This issue has another exciting installment of the Made In Minnesota series: a local entrepreneur from Alexandria, MN and how he’s making waves in the car industry. You will also find tasty pumpkin recipes, decor tips to bring the fall season into your home, seasonal tips to take the best care for your lake home and more.

You can pick up the latest issue at any of the locations below. If you need it mailed, we’ll send you a copy! Send an email to


Lakeland General Store in Dunvilla

Long Bridge in Detroit Lakes

The LAKE LIFE WKND Shop in Perham

Central Market in Perham and Detroit Lakes

and Hornbachers in the F-M area


Hornbachers Azool
950 40th Ave S
Moorhead, MN 

Hornbachers West Fargo
2050 Sheyenne St
West Fargo, ND

Happy Harry’s
4001 53rd Ave S
Fargo, ND

Happy Harry’s
1621 45th St SW
Fargo, ND

Bottle Barn Liquors
2515 S University Dr
Fargo, ND

Bottle Barn Liquors
3171 Bluestem DR
Fargo, ND

Hornbachers Express
1433 S University Drive 
Fargo, ND

Hornbachers Northport
2510 N Broadway Ave
Fargo, ND

Hornbachers Southgate
1532 32nd Ave S
Fargo, ND 

Hornbachers Osgood
4151 45th St S
Fargo, ND 

Hornbachers Willage West
4101 13th Ave S
Fargo, ND 

Hornbachers Moorhead
101 11th St S
Moorhead, MN 

Dirk Ockhardt
The market is hot despite Summer being too short this year in Lakes Country

Despite cooler temperatures and Summer being too short this year we are experiencing a very active real estate market in Lakes Country.

Many properties are selling quickly and buyers have to act unusually fast this season. Why? One can blame a long winter and late start into the selling season pushing buyers into fall to purchase. Another reason can be that there are fewer properties available for sale and to choose from.

We also have experienced many sales transactions during the past 5 years and we feel that a lot of the past buyers are enjoying lake life so much today, they are not willing to sell again at this point. That means we have even fewer properties available. Lakeshore properties are unique and scarce. They just don’t make more lake shore.

The real estate market in Lakes Country is very different from a growing metro area. When the city grows you can simply turn a field into a new development. However, most lakes have already been developed and again they don’t make any more. Also, many families hand down their cabin from generation to generation which makes it even harder for someone “new” to find their own lake home.

Each lake is different and before considering to purchase one should always find out what it is they want out of their lake. Swimming, fishing, or boating—everybody has their own priority. Since a lake cabin is a second home for most buyers, the location is also critical because of the weekend commute. There are many more factors such as elevation, lake shore, water clarity, and set back regulations to name a few which have a significant impact on property demand and evaluation.

We recommend a local expert to assist you with your property search because we know the area and market best. And we will make sure that you will be ready when the right property hits the market. Contact any of our local sales agents and lake life experts to help you find your home in Lakes Country. We know a place for you.

Dirk Ockhardt

Dirk Ockhardt
New Agent Joins jack chivers realty group

Welcome, Rhonda!


Rhonda Mahlum lives and plays on Ottertail Lake and extends our service to the southeast corner of Otter Tail County. She possesses extensive real estate industry experience and is also a licensed CPA. In her role as Certified Public Accountant she held the mandate to audit real estate companies trust accounts for the North Dakota Real Estate Commission for many years before she sold her accounting business. She had been a licensed real estate agent in the past and decided to get active again helping clients in lakes country. She truly enjoys the area and lake lifestyle which she hopes to bring to many clients in the future. Her knowledge in property value and investment opportunities make her a great asset to our team and all of our clients, buyers and sellers.

Dirk Ockhardt
NEW Lakes Country Map out!

Available to pick up or let us send one to you!


This map is perfect to bring along on your adventures or just to keep in your car in case your GPS dies. Hang it up in your cabin and mark the places you’ve traveled or pin new spots you haven’t explored yet! We’ve added public accesses and swimming beaches to the lakes and points of interest you should check out in lakes country!

Send us an email to have one sent to you!

Name *
Address *
Where are we sending your map?
Dirk Ockhardt

Grab your FREE copy at any Hornbacher’s locations, Happy Harry’s in F-M and all over lakes country


You can pick up our latest issue at any of the locations below. If you need it mailed, we’ll send you a copy! Send us an email to


Lakeland General Store in Dunvilla

Long Bridge in Detroit Lakes

The LAKE LIFE WKND Shop in Perham

Central Market in Perham and Detroit Lakes

and Hornbachers in the F-M area


Hornbachers Locations:

Hornbachers Express
1433 S University Drive 
Fargo, ND

Hornbachers Northport
2510 N Broadway Ave
Fargo, ND

Hornbachers Southgate
1532 32nd Ave S
Fargo, ND 

Hornbachers Osgood
4151 45th St S
Fargo, ND 

Hornbachers Willage West
4101 13th Ave S
Fargo, ND 

Hornbachers Moorhead
101 11th St S
Moorhead, MN 

Hornbachers Azool
950 40th Ave S
Moorhead, MN 

Hornbachers West Fargo
2050 Sheyenne St
West Fargo, ND

Happy Harry’s
4001 53rd Ave S
Fargo, ND

Happy Harry’s
1621 45th St SW
Fargo, ND

Bottle Barn Liquors
2515 S University Dr
Fargo, ND

Bottle Barn Liquors
3171 Bluestem DR
Fargo, ND

Summer is coming and traditionally the peak season for real estate sales

Half of all properties sold in Lakes Country in 2018 closed during the months of June and September.

These 4 months are the most active and if you find the perfect property for yourself you may want to secure your lake life destination.

Comparing 2018 numbers with this year’s marketplace we noticed that the amount of transactions is down by more than 10% year to date but the property volume in dollars is only down by 5%. This is an indicator for more higher priced property transactions. The value of lake shore property has been steady and increased most of the time during the past 5 years. These numbers do not mean that all lake shore has become more expensive however buyers are spending more money on properties in Lakes Country.

Due to the fact that many buyers found particular lakes to be more desirable the prices on these lakes have increased more than on other lakes. That is a normal market reaction as we have limited shore line and properties available on each lake. Most lakes in Becker county, which are closer to the Fargo- Moorhead area, are more expensive than lakes in Otter Tail county. We have seen much more interest in Lakes around the Perham area these past years and buyers found adding 15 minutes to their drive into the weekend not to be an obstacle. Franklin Lake and Lake Lida have also grown in popularity and you will find a lot of more affordable property around Dent by the McDonald Lake chain and on Star Lake.

When buying lake shore property it is very difficult to compare. The purchase of recreational real estate is very different from buying a home in the City. There are many variables to consider which will determine which lake is the right one for you and which property suits your wants and needs most. We find that prices in lakes country are often driven more emotionally than metro prices. You can compare buying lake shore with buying a piece of art. Each property is unique. Location, direction, elevation, neighbors, beach, and many more aspects are making lake shore property a unique piece of nature. Some buyers are willing to spend more on a piece of property simply because it is exactly what they have been looking for in a lake life property.

Selling property in our area is more than just selling real estate. You are buying a lifestyle and it holds a different value with your purchase. Finding the right place for you to enjoy lake life is a task we are very passionate about at Jack Chivers Realty. We live lake life year-round and like to show you what that means. Take advantage of our experience and knowledge during the process. We love lake life and we know a place for you. Greetings from Lakes Country!

Dirk Ockhardt

Dirk Ockhardt
Blake Olson recently awarded the highly acclaimed national Graduate REALTOR Institute (GRI) designation

Blake Olson was recently awarded the highly acclaimed national Graduate REALTOR Institute (GRI) designation.

JCR_Team_Blake_a_v1 - Cropped.jpg

In completing the required curriculum, Blake Olson of Jack Chivers Realty in Detroit Lakes, joins other top REALTORS in the residential real estate industry from across the nation who hold this designation.

Blake earned the GRI designation by attending a specific, intensive series of classroom instruction, covering a variety of subjects including professional standards, legal issues, sales and marketing, finance and risk reduction, technology and social media.

With this achievement, Blake Olson has made the commitment to provide a high level of professional service by securing a strong educational foundation of knowledge and skills to better navigate the real estate market and serve prospective clients and customers.

The Institute is designed to educate practitioners about local, state and national real estate practices that affect them, their clients and customers. Only members of the REALTOR Association may earn the GRI designation. The REALTOR Institute is more than twenty-five years old and has graduated thousands of REALTORS nationally.

All agents at Jack Chivers Realty hold a Bachelors college degree aside from their Real Estate license requirements. Blake is adding true value to our service promise made to our clients with his latest achievement and GRI Designation.

Dirk Ockhardt
Spring is around the corner and who does not have cabin fever by now?

This past winter has been long, cold and brought us lot’s of snow.


The beautiful thing about Lakes Country is its yearround attractions. But for now we like to leave winter and snow behind us to get ready for the open water season!

Lake Life is a lifestyle decision and a dream to live for so many people in the area. Whether you like to reside in Lakes Country all year long or if you are looking for a weekend home, there is a place for you here. At Jack Chivers Realty you will find a group of local experts guiding you through the process of finding your place by the water or in the country.

It has been 10 years since the housing crisis in 2009 and looking at property values in Lakes Country we can say that we are past any price corrections. Prices in the local area never dropped as significantly as in other places in the U.S.–however, we also had been affected by the recession. During the last 5 years we have experienced a very strong buyer’s market. Many people felt confident enough to invest in lakeshore property again. Real estate prices have been stable and it was a good market to buy.

Looking at the upcoming sales seasons we believe that it will be a few more strong years at least and more buyers will decide to purchase a second home. Interest rates may go up a little more but property values and affordability seem to justify their purchase decisions. We also feel that property prices are going to stay strong and we will possibly see a long term value increase again. Our local market is very unique and does not compare to any metro real estate market. That’s why it is in your best interest to connect with a local expert.

If you are in the market to sell or buy real estate in Lakes Country we would like to introduce ourselves to you. All sales agents are local experts which give you the required insight and knowledge when it comes to owning property here. Contact any of us and we like to introduce our group and service advantage to you.

Dirk Ockhardt

Bigger format...more stories...more copies!

wkndMAG BOX.jpg

OUT NOW! Our new spring issue...bigger format...more stories...more copies! Find it where you get your magazines. Free all over Lakes Country and in F-M metro area. If you want us to send you a copy—send us a message. Let us know what you think! Read online here.

Dirk Ockhardt

Lori Ellefson joins Jack Chivers Realty to service both Otter Tail and Becker County.


She will operate out of JCR's Detroit Lakes office.

Lori grew up in Moorhead and has many fond memories of lake life since her childhood. She’s married and has 3 children. Her husband is a third generation farmer in the Twin Valley area. All family members have graduated from NDSU and are passionate Bison supporters.

Lori received a BS in Interior Design and moved to the Twin Cities with her husband after graduating from college. A short time after, they decided to move closer to lakes country to raise a family. Today, the Detroit Lakes community is their home.

Her passion for spaces and environments led Lori to start a career in real estate sales.

She is a well-educated real estate professional and has received a GRI Designation from the Graduate Realtor Institute. With more than 10 years of industry experience, she is a great asset for all buyers and sellers.


The Chivers are a group of local realtors who dedicate their passion and knowledge to

one thing: Lakes Country. When Jack Chivers came to Detroit Lakes in 1966, he fell

in love with the beauty of this area and never left again. We believe that living at the

lake is more than just establishing a homestead. This gift from nature drives us to

share our passion with our clients. Get connected with the outdoors in your every day

life. Get out and explore! Lake life is a lifestyle which we love. It’s a lifestyle we know

and like to share. We love lake life and we know a place for you.

Dirk Ockhardt
Three Things Every Beach Captain Should Know

In Lakes Country, it’s important to foster behavior that will help maintain the land, but also it’s a sense of community.


Where bodies of water and large plots of land can sometimes leave residents separated, beach captains can be the driving force to keep relationships intact and lakes maintained.

Lake Detroiters adopted a revised Beach Captain approach in 2012 in order to facilitate interaction and communication among lakeshore residents, their LDA officers, and board members.

This new approach enables face-to-face contact between representatives of LDA and residents of the lake. 64 Beach Captains will be leading the 2019 efforts and will be contacting each homeowner to deliver the packet of lake information in preparation for the 75th Annual Meeting to be held on this June.

Regardless of what lake you live on, big or small, this is an important facet of all lakes. But there are three things that various lakes may have to watch out for in the Summer of 2019. Here are five things that every Minnesota beach captain should know:

Introductions and Welcomings

It’s good practice to have beach captain’s introduce themselves the new neighbors and at meetings where guests or outside attendees might be unfamiliar.

In addition, getting the lake meeting minutes recorded and reported to those who aren’t able to attend is important too. Busy schedules often mean that every single resident will be unlikely to make the meetings, so creating an email list is a surefire way to deliver the meeting minutes too.

  • Identify new owners on their beach.

  • Visit and introduce them to the association.

  • Report ownership changes to the Membership chair and the Database Coordinator.

CPR and Safety

A beach captain, though not a lifeguard per se, is around the lake area often. We often find ourselves in situations that we aren’t prepared for. With enough of the community being elderly though, a skill like CPR is a good one to have. Local community centers and churches often host these kinds of events to teach this useful skill to are residents.

There is a long list of rules that make lake life safe for everyone. It’s important to know that Beach Captains are able to report dangerous activity and breach of rules.

Reporting and Community Outreach

Maintaining activity throughout the Summer can be hard as we described. There’s simply way too much fun to be had. But it’s always nice to stay in touch with the community. There are a few ways to report major events happening with the lake.

For instance, organizing a water pumping project on a lake that is overflowing or above ordinary watermark, can be difficult. Here are a few tips:

  • Distribute flyers of important information or events to each property owner in your area.

  • Assist in the distribution of the membership directory.

  • Identify possible volunteers for association projects.

As we look forward to the coming Summer months, it’s good to spend the cold days, indoors, planning. Making a difference around the lake can be easy, fun, and a particularly great way to keep the community alive. Whether you’re planning a boat parade or a lake community picnic, we hope that the tips here will help provide a basic structure to do so!

Dirk Ockhardtlake, beach, captain
Your Guide To Renting Out A Lake Home

The lake house is a sought after retreat.

If you live next to a body of water, of any size, the enjoyment factor increases tenfold over the summer. In the great state of Minnesota, we are surrounded by lakes, and this draws people from all over.

This has an added benefit for the homeowner.

Much more lucrative than a timeshare, and less cause for alarm, renting out your lake home can be a great way to earn a little extra money and get a vacation away.

The best part is, that snowmobilers or ice fishers will help you snowbird in the winter, and tourists looking to cool down away from the city can be of aid in the summer.

So, if you’re just starting to think about becoming a host, start here and follow these steps to give yourself the best chance of success.

This is the Jack Chivers Realty Guide to Hosting Your Lake Home

Before You Even Decide to Rent Out:

There’s a lot to consider before letting a possible stranger stay in your vacant home.

Planning is the first step, after acceptance that someone else will be in your home. This requires a little understanding of the the market.

Understand Rental Arbitrage

The short term rental market is ruled by a guideline called rental arbitrage. This means that anyone can profit off the short term rental market, more or less, depending on how they choose to rent out the home.

For instance, Airbnb is a popular option, as well as VRBO. The way you go about this is up to you, but there are many things to consider along the way.

Second, every host should know what it means to quickly assess to what degree your home is suited to be rented out. This could involve many other parties and more commitment that you expected. Yes, we all want to make some money doing this but there are more than financial benefits and burdens to becoming a host.

There are three main types of hosts out there–those that want to make a few extra bucks with their available space, those who want a stable secondary source of income, and those who want to build a serious business that will eventually become their main source of income. But who wants to leave the lake area that much?

All kinds of folks!

If you’re trying to spend summers in the great white north, it’s not going to be easy to rent out your lake place frequently.

The more income you’re looking to get out of the deal, then the further you’ll need to plan and invest. First, you want to be able to provide details about the location, size, and nature of your listings as well as the tools and strategies you will be using. If you want lake time in the summer and to rent out in the winter, you have to make connections with the right crowds.

Have A Realistic Expectation About Time Commitment

Although you can stipulate the degree to which guests need to clean before vacating, you’ll still want to go over the property with a fine tooth comb. But this means cleaning and making things orderly before and after the rental period.

If only we could just list the unit and then the money starts to come in.

It takes time to chat with potential guests who ask questions before they’re willing to book too. Earning great reviews on rental sites makes for a more trustworthy experience. A cozy house means better reviews!

Consider the time it will take to check guests in and check guests out.

Set the right expectations about time commitment by evaluating how much time it’ll likely take for you to host on Airbnb, VRBO or others.

Starting out and doing everything on their own, beginner hosts are often shocked by the amount of time and effort needed to consistently deliver an experience for their guests.

Once the renter gets the hang of it, get in a groove, become more efficient, and utilize tools for automation, it’s clear that there are ways to save time and energy without lowering the quality of service. Picture yourself hosting with ease and able to vacation, headache free.

Some lakes are less desirable than others, so planning out what kind of demand you'll have is important. If you're a full-time resident and have been for years, perhaps you have an idea of just how in-demand the area is for renters.

On the flip side, you might be happy with only renting out a few weekends to simply enjoy the remaining days of Summer.

Go get a market report from a trusted data provider. This can give you an idea of what to expect.

What About Insurance Coverage

If you’re renting out your own home, your standard home insurance plan is almost guaranteed not to cover any damage that results from short-term renting. However, Airbnb’s policy does have a $1M guarantee gives great comfort but if you have some special items or risk factors not covered by their policy, you likely need additional insurance.

This does remind us that belongings in the home should be removed if they are at risk of being damaged or stolen.

Of course, it shouldn't look like a ghost town, but it's helpful, and comforting for guests to remove clutter. This makes for an easy remedy for keeping track of what's in the home too.

Remember Your Neighbors

Are you in a quiet gated community with early to bed neighbors who are very very sensitive to noise or outsiders?

Sound can sure travel on lake.

In this way it is good to consider how renting out will affect relations with your neighbors. Noise complaints are the biggest indicator for unhappy neighbors. Check out a nifty product that can help you prevent and manage noise issues with guests.

Get all the Essentials for Your Listing

As more and more hosts bring listings onto the market to compete for the guests, so too have guest expectations grown. What used to be a nice-to-haves are now must-haves. Certain amenities are absolutely essential to delivering great experiences. This can be difficult in some lake areas, as things like Wi-fi, even cell phone service, are sparse at times.

Still, furnishings and amenities could make a big difference. Every lake place must have furniture. You must consider what pieces are important to your guests? What need is it fulfilling?

Here's the checklist for getting your lake place rental spotted:

  • Accurate title and description

  • take proper photos that display the area in size and furnishing

  • Get reviews on rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO

  • Make sure that you communicate who you are and what you expect of renters.

  • Tell guests what to expect on the lake and how to be prepared

Anticipate and Address Guest Headaches

Your guests have traveled far to stay at your lake place and that can be stressful. Flights can get delayed. Keys can get lost.

So being thoughtful and proactive towards some of these most common guest headaches could go a long way towards turning potentially stressful situations into moments where you shine as a host.

Having a simple lockbox to keep a spare set of keys that you could send the combination for a guest to open late at night will not only make them happy but would save you time when some of your guests are bound to get locked out late at night.

Hopefully this has been a helpful reminder of what it takes to rent out your lake home. As we wait to unthaw and anticipate Summer, these are the sorts of things we are able to consider. Thanks for reading the JCR Blog.

Dirk Ockhardt
Dirk Ockhardt, Broker & Art Collector

Giebler & Götze | Grand Tour

Dirk Ockhardt Giving Opening Reception Speech AT THE

German Consulate General in New York City

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 @ 6:00pm

What is German? Is it Heinrich Heine’s poetry “The mellow sound of bells rings gently through my mind”? Is it Novalis’s use of the blue flower as a symbol, Goethe’s Faust, perhaps wurst and sauerkraut washed down with wheat beer? Maybe exquisite music—or mass murder ushered in by a delusional sense of order? How could the land of poets and philosophers possibly become a country of judges and executioners? This is something which Thomas Mann also wondered, and he came up with an answer: Kaisersaschern. Kaisersaschern is the place where Adrian Leverkühn lived in Friedrich Nietzsche’s novel Doctor Faustus. It’s a symbol of Germany’s core: “in the middle of the home of the Reformation,” “in the heart of the Luther region,” one half in the grip of the Enlightenment, the other entangled in the Middle Ages. And it’s a delicate symbol. After all, according to Nietzsche, that was just what the Germans lacked: a core providing stability. Because the development of the German nation wasn’t completed by the foundation of Imperial Germany in 1871, Nietzsche saw it as a race still emerging, simultaneously hopeful and dangerous.

“Made in Kaisersaschern” is the title of the grand tour which for the past two years has taken Rüdiger Giebler and Moritz Götze around the world from Brussels, London and Paris via Australia and New Zealand to New York. In the 18th century, the grand tour was an educational trip that young noblemen were sent on to see the world. Mind you, the artists and friends Giebler and Götze don’t come from the nobility. Their training began 30 years ago in a country that no longer exists: the German Democratic Republic, East Germany. They are ambassadors of the region of Saxony-Anhalt, the area around Magdeburg, Halle and Naumburg which Thomas Mann called Kaisersaschern. It’s a provincial backwater full of history: a region of castles and cathedrals, battlefields of the Thirty Years War, and glittering Baroque residences; the cradle of the German chemical industry; and witness to bloodily suppressed workers’ revolts. The artists’ paintings tell of both positive and negative aspects of this history in short stories.

Rüdiger Giebler was born in Halle in 1958. After working as a surveyor, he enrolled at the local Burg Giebichenstein college of art at the age of 22. He graduated in 1986, allowing him to become a freelance painter and graphic artist. But titles don’t mean much: creative people live outside the law. Released from the golden cage of East Germany with censorship on the one hand and government commissions on the other, he and his art suddenly had to assert themselves on the free market, where the mood depends on the latest fad and where it’s easy to make a fool of oneself: “The World-sport, all-ruling, / Mingles false with true: / The Eternally Fooling / Makes us play, too!” wrote Nietzsche in his “Songs of Prince Vogelfrei.” Fifteen years ago, Giebler helped to set up a memorial in Nietzsche’s birthplace, Röcken. His job was to disrupt the too-perfect arrangement of display boards and provide the spark of chaos that brings order to life.

His visual world is still characterized by unbridled vitality. Whether large oil paintings or small drawings and gouaches, they always feature a tangle of nervous lines and twitching muscle tissue woven out of contrasting colors, pulsating and vibrating as if about to turn into something else. Snapshots of an inner transformation, unfinished on principle, primitive in the sense of original. Not an illustration of ready-made ideas but obeying unconscious impulses, even abruptly changing tack in the midst of work when layers of paint overlap as if in a dream, when figures suddenly appear … They’re reminiscent of drawings by children or “madmen” who live in their own world and haven’t yet mastered the art of dazzling with presets or seeming to be more than they actually are. Attaining this childlike quality, this seeming naïveté takes skill, honed technique, and a certain “discipline” to “reduce” what the artist sees to “a few steps,” to the essentials, as Paul Klee once summed up this method.

Rüdiger Giebler says he can hear the “last echo of Expressionism.” But it’s not a tribute to the past. The expressive, which by means of abstraction creates additional vitality, runs throughout the history of art. Seen in the earliest cave paintings, it emerges in Baroque Mannerism, comes into its own after the 1900s, and recurs with the Junge Wilde artists of the 1980s—a lava flow that will never be extinguished because it’s part and parcel of humans’ dual nature of being body and soul. Borrowing from Nietzsche, we can describe Giebler’s visual world as “Dionysian” (Rimbaud’s “deregulation of the senses” also comes to mind) in order to feel the rhythms of life.

The works of his friend could therefore be described with the principle of the “Apollonian.” Moritz Götze also comes from Halle. Born the son of two artists in 1964, from 1981 to 1983 he was an apprentice cabinet-maker, despite originally wanting to become a museum director in order to give a voice to the things he’d collected since his childhood. Genuine collectors don’t seek; instead, they find objects and keep them because they tell little stories reflecting the big picture. This collection and preservation already have something Apollonian about them: it’s the principle of individuation, the emergence and consolidation of a self that asserts itself in the world by surrounding itself with clearly defined things to create an order, its own little world. Götze, too, built himself his own world. Originally a punk singer and guitarist, he taught himself screen-printing to produce posters for bands and friends who were artists. He joined the East German Association of Artists when his wife, a ceramic artist, employed him in her workshop, enabling him to live on his own terms in one of the country’s many niches.

Until the late 1990s, these early screen prints were also expressive and anarchic. A young generation, tired of being talked down to by the pedagogues and temple guards of state socialism, saw them as a chance to escape. Hip young things romped colorfully on the prints as if in comics: young, dynamic, with fast cars and beautiful women against the backdrop of major metropolises. Critics welcomed the arrival of pop art, of lightness in German painting, and acclaimed the prodigy creating a colorful world of images for everyone with no academic ballast.

But what most admirers of Götz still overlook to this day is that right from the start, his characters were rigid prisoners of their individuation lost in themselves, something Nietzsche saw personified in Apollo—the principle of tearing a moment out of the course of life, giving it shape, and hence simultaneously condemning it to death. For something which has come into being is transitory; in order to last, it must be constantly changing. On closer inspection, the black thumbnail sketches of people turn out to be the sadness of atomized figures, floating as it were in the cosmic emptiness of space, detached despite being so close to each other. Moritz Götze’s colorful visual world is deeply melancholic, despite its creator being so life-affirming. Maybe this is German, a legacy of Romanticism. At any rate, it connects him with Nietzsche, who wanted to approve of the emerging nihilism, the secretly sinister revaluation of all values, and to rise above himself. Götze holds a mirror up to us, he shocks-freezes the brave new world, the colorful cosmos of cheap objects in which we turn ourselves into objects without a murmur.

Over the past two decades, this mirror has changed. The painter not only tells stories, he has also appropriated history as reflected in canonical images. In the early 2000s, he began to reproduce icons of East German painting with his stylistic devices. In 2003, he counteracted the 1890 book Bildersaal deutscher Geschichte (‘Picture Hall of German History’), which was originally supposed to illustrate the Germans’ national history. And in the following years, he trained his sights on the leading figures of Prussia.

The distortion of the found material compels observers to confront the images we carry in our heads, the mosaic stones of historically evolved world views. Götze thus turned from a storyteller into an anti-historical painter of history questioning the assumptions of our worldview.

However, working on pictures in this way also altered his own imagery. The anarchic awkwardness, the wild rawness of his youth gradually gave way to smooth lines of graceful confidence and classically trained beauty. The punk became a sovereign, who from 2013 to 2016 decorated an entire church—the chapel at Bernburg Palace—with enamel paintings.

The journey of both the Dionysian orgiast of vibrant colors and the Apollonian illustrator of the sovereign line continues, and it will be interesting

to see how the grand tour changes their work. Sadly, Moritz Götze couldn’t take the chapel with him to New York, but he does have a new work in enamel as a greeting to America: “German Soup” in cans bearing portraits of Goethe, Kleist and Novalis, Nietzsche and Fontane, also Brecht and Kafka. I hope the heavy fare of the German spirit in this pop art packaging proves delicious!

Jens-F. Dwars
Jena, in winter 2018


Dirk Ockhardt
Improve and Protect Your Shoreline: Tips for New Lake Home Owners

Many of us grow up dreaming of living on a beach or having the chance to live next to open water.

This allows for access to water activities and some cooling down, ice fishing if you live in Minnesota, etc. One thing that might not come to mind immediately though is the chance to help the environment and create a much more beautiful ecosystem, right in your backyard.  

Taking care of your home's maintenance is obvious for those wanting to sell or just keep the value of their home. However, being able to contribute directly to the very nature one is living in, can be especially rewarding. Here's our list of benefits to the lake that you can be a part of, as well as some actionable ways to make a difference:

  • Water quality

  • Lakeside home value

  • Curbing pollution at the source

  • Creating a cleaner and more enjoyable lake

Shoreland Homeowners and Stewardship

When you own shoreland you do have certain rights and privileges, it's what separates lake living from any other kind of lifestyle.

Homeowners are able to put a dock out to a navigable depth; take water for domestic and agricultural purposes; and to fish, boat, hunt, and swim. However, these rights must be exercised in compliance with local rules and regulations and those of the State of Minnesota or North Dakota for example. Some rules require removal or preservation of certain aquatic plants; placement of wells; and maintenance of septic systems.

These rules are in place for the benefit of your health and safety and the health of the lake.

The overall quality of the water can be improved with some simple techniques. It's our responsibility to protect, improve, and enhance the lake for your enjoyment and that of future generations to come, keeping in mind that the water itself is a public resource for everyone to enjoy.

That’’s called stewardship.

The lake is a living ecosystem and part of the larger ecosystem of all living plants and animals to which we also belong. In Minnesota, we are lucky to have Eagles live around the lake. That is something we do not want to go away. As the lakeshore habitat deteriorates, local species lose their habitat. Although there's nothing wrong with lake home ownership, it just has to be done right.

Also, healthy waters equal higher property values.

Here are a few tips to help your enjoyment of the lake, and also preserve its ecological integrity.

Simple Fixes for a Lake Home

Many people think owning lakefront property requires installing a seawall and clearing natural vegetation to make way for a lawn. However, it's actually quite simple to take proper care of the shoreline.

Contrary to popular belief, high-impact development activities like seawalls and other shoreline structure installation, natural vegetation clearing, and removing aquatic plants and fallen trees from the lake change the ecosystem and allow increased stormwater runoff, increased shoreline erosion and loss of habitat.

Eliminate the use of fertilizers near water or wetlands.

By law since 2005, Minnesota homeowners cannot use fertilizers containing phosphorus, except for exemptions for new lawns or when a soil test indicates a need for phosphorus. Otherwise, it can run off into the lake and effect PH.

In much of our area, soils are naturally high in phosphorus so lawns generally don’t need extra phosphorus. When shopping for fertilizer, buy a brand that has a middle number of zero like 22-0-15.

The laws do not prohibit retailers from selling phosphorus fertilizers, and even though most retailers are carrying more zero phosphorus fertilizers, it's up to you to make sure you comply with the law.

If you have leftover phosphorus fertilizer, using it on the garden, that is away from the lake facing portion of the house, is a good way to dispose of it.

Before you consider fertilizing your lawn, aerating it is an easy way to give new life to the yard at the beginning of the season.

•If you have to fertilize in sunbaked areas, or the like, try to use the minimum amount needed to replenish the soil.

Ways You Can Contribute to Clean Lake Water

A clean lake is vastly more enjoyable than one covered in weeds and with debris making visibility difficult. It also contributes to the water temperature. A clean lake will warm up much quicker, and in this area that is very desirable for lake area residents. Here are a few things to add to your list for a clean lake:

  • Proper lawn care

  • Pet waste disposal

  • Shoreline erosion control

  • Septic system maintenance

Runoff is the main culprit here. It can pick up pollution and carry it to the lake.

This can be reduced by minimizing hard surfaces on your property and limiting clearing and controlling the grading of your landscape. It can also be captured and cleansed so it doesn’t reach the lake by using shoreland vegetative buffers and by redirecting it to rain barrels

Never use near the lake:

Remove dandelions and other unwanted plants from your lawn using hand-tools instead of chemical applications.

Keep grass clippings, leaves, and washed up plant debris out of the lake.

Use a mulching lawn mower and leave grass clippings on the lawn as a natural fertilizer, just keep in mind that excess material can be blown around with a good strong wind.

•Collect and compost leaves and clippings, or haul them away from the lake to for disposal.

Do not burn leaves near the lake. Instead, locate fire pits away from the shoreland.

The leftover ash from burning wood is very high in phosphorus. If the fire pit is located near the lake, rain can wash the ashes into the lake. Locate the fire pit at least 50 feet away from the lake.

Properly Dispose of Pet Waste

Improper disposal of pet waste not only jeopardizes water quality but your health as well. Pet waste contains phosphorus and may contain disease-causing organisms, which, if washed into the water, can make it unsafe for swimming.

Pick up pet waste in the yard or near the shore and dispose of it properly.

Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy a more clean, safe, and beautiful season out on the water when Summer arrives. If you're curious about other ways to improve the value of your lake home, check out the rest of our blog.

Dirk Ockhardt

Cabin Fever? Lake Life is coming to Fargo this spring!

Explore Lake Life Expo 3rd annual event will be held at the Civic Center in downtown Fargo on Friday and Saturday, March 22 +23, 2019.


Free -- Open Admission / Bean Bag Tournament / On stage live program / 2-day event

40 + Vendors on expo floor / Lakes Country Food Court / Music act by "Cropdusters"

Discover year-round opportunities to explore, visit, and live lake life.


Friday, March 22rd | 3PM – 8PM

Saturday, March 23th | 10AM – 6PM


Civic Center, Downtown Fargo

207 4th Street N Fargo, ND





For further information or media inquiries, please contact: Aubrey Roberts | | (218) 841-6433

Dirk Ockhardt
Three Objectives Every Lake Committee Should Have

Minnesota and North Dakota are rife with secret societies. These gilead groups have leadership, codes, and even a set of by-laws that every member should abide.

Just what are these underground orders?

Lake Associations

In the land of ten thousand lakes it’s easy to understand why keeping order across the many natural wonders would be vastly important. If you’re unfamiliar or maybe a member yourself, we’d like to weigh in on just a few of the important objective out there for lake committees, and please weigh-in on your own ideals in the comments.

Here are just three ways to establish or improve your own lake association.

1. Select Beach Captains

Most Lake Committees already have designated beach captains, voted in every year. These people function as a sentinel for the lake and uphold some important duties. Let’s make sure we’ve got those responsibilities covered.

Welcome New Residents:

Seems like the simplest of tasks, so let’s begin here. It’s important to get a good network of neighbors on your lake for a plethora of reasons. However, just making everyone feel welcome can be a huge asset that many forget altogether. It’s also good to make acquaintances and know what the status of their residency are. Meaning, if they’re planning on snowbirding or just coming out on the weekends, maybe it’s a full-time residence.

Keeping an eye out for your community is very important, especially on lakes, when people may not reside there all the time.

Beach Liaisons:

Having a Beach captain also means that someone can watch for violations around the beach area and make sure the lake, in this designated area, is being cared for.

Some issues that can occur involve abiding by rules regarding No-Wake zones. If water is particularly high on your lake then waves caused by boats can be damaging to the shoreline. We are probably all aware of these complications so it’s important to help enforce rules of this nature.

Divers also tend to visit lakes with public accesses so making them feel welcome and safe is a must. The general rule is to keep boats at least 150 feet from diving flags.

Obviously use of boats and jetskis in a considerate fashion is of the interest to everyone.

2. Solicit membership in the Lakes Association:

If you’re on a lake with or without a Lake Committee it’s important to facilitate a proper meeting place and get members active. This can be as simple as discussing possible meeting places, or just bringing coffee along to entice neighbors to get active.

Some lakes have issues with drainage or ordinary water height. This can affect property values significantly. However, it is also a treatable problem when a community comes together to face it. Even if nothing has happened on the lake yet, it’s wise to get a group in place that can handle such issues.

3. Print and deliver association directories:

To be a really effective lake association, we should be able to get in contact with one another. If you’re like Detroit Lake, you may have an entire website dedicated to news, for instance, letting lake area resident know about the recent zebra mussel infestation.

Since aquatic invasive species can be a real threat to lake ecosystems, letting the community know quickly creates an effective line of defense for such issues.

Speaking of defense…

Lake areas can be large and the property lines vast. This puts your neighbors at a distance likely. For better or worse.

Burglary and vandalism can happen. But if you know your neighbors and establish another line of defense, then it’s easily to spot activity that might be suspicious.

In conclusion, one of the most important objective a lake committee should have is the welcoming of all new residents. Establish a strong community by gaining membership and help beach captains serve as a liaison between areas of the lake and the association.

Make sure to observe for violations or emergencies in the area, and further communication in an event through use of a group message or other communicae. A directory can be a very important tool in emergency events, so try to keep it up to date and distributed.

Setting up an annual meeting is also very helpful to garner a community voice when deciding important matter regarding the lakes area.  

As we await the Spring thaw, hopefully these tips will help you prep for a productive Summer with your own Lake Committee.

Thanks for reading and please consider watching our blog for more tips on having a prosperous property in lake country and beyond. Please comment on your best lake committee tips!

Dirk Ockhardt
Reflecting on 2018

Reflecting on 2018 we are proud to announce that we are closing one of the most successful business years in the history of Jack Chivers Realty.


The move to our new location in downtown Detroit Lakes has contributed to this success as well as the hard work of the Chivers team.

However, at the end of the year, some of our team members have decided to go separate ways.

Jack Chivers, Lisa Jasken Peterson, and Paula Okeson decided to leave our company.

We appreciate all the hard work they have invested in the past and wish them all the best for their future.

Special thanks go to Jack Chivers who we are very grateful for to leave behind a legacy.

Therefore, we are keeping the brand name to reflect our core values:

Loyalty, individuality, and highest personal service for our clients in real estate marketing.

In 2019 the Chivers team will continue to be the leading partner for real estate sales in the area.

Stay tuned for our new marketing tools and technology updates to be released this year.

Happy New Year 2019!

Dirk Ockhardtreal, estate, new year
Advantages To Buying A North Facing Lake House

North and South Facing Lake Homes

If you’re buying a home for the first time, it’s easy to become inundated with information. There are many factors that influence your choice and often times it can be stressful.

Among these wildly varying factors is the cost. Sure. But when investigating a property there’s likely emphasis on how you will enjoy and grow into the home.

Comfort is among the biggest buying factors for new homeowners. However, also listed these as potential deciding factors, when making that big purchase:

  • The Neighborhood and Commuting Distance

  • Lot Location and Size

  • The Architecture and Layout

  • Last but not least, the potential for future projects

Yet, one factor isn’t discussed regularly, and it’s awfully important to the energy efficiency of the home and the future of the yard:

What direction is your home facing?

Sunlight in the Home

This isn’t just about proper feng shui.

If you’re looking into purchasing a lake home, or a first home, or any structure, in general, it’s quite important to understand what direction the home is facing. After all, this determines how it will affect your living situation.

Especially true of Midwest homes, where winters can be colder than other areas, the way we heat the place is affected by sunlight, dramatically.

A South facing kitchen and living room would mean more natural light and a warm ambiance in those rooms throughout the day.

During the winter days, the rooms located on the South side of the house would get more consistent light especially on the shorter days of the year.

The temperature will be warmer on the South side of the house as well. Great for wintertime, even with all our modern utilities, heating, by electricity or propane gas, can be expensive. It’s worth using natural sunlight to help temperature maintenance and be a little more energy efficient in the process. It’s the why and how that will help make your purchasing decision.

For energy-conserving purposes, a house on an east- or west-facing lot should also have the long side facing south. This is a good aspect of home ownership to look out for if you’re searching the market. With the ridgeline oriented east-west, this may mean that a narrow side of the house faces the street.

A North facing house typically would indicate a South facing backyard. Generally speaking, the kitchen and living room would be located in the back of the house as well.

A South-facing home gets sun for most of the day, but it also matters how the layout of the house works. It is brighter and warmer if the kitchen is on the south side of the home. A north-facing home gets sun at the back of the house and is typically darker and naturally cooler than a south-facing one for Summer.

There’s an entire Hindu concept called Vastu Shastra, which according to Wikipedia is a dedicated “ancient doctrine which consists of how the laws of nature affect human dwellings. The designs are based on directional alignments, primarily concerned with architecture — building houses, forts, temples, apartments, and other structures.”

These old concepts are still with us today, and make a big difference in the ways our homes function.

Lake Home Real Estate and Seasonal Affect

One big factor for a lake place to consider is the time you’re going to be spending there.

Often people buy a home to get away on weekends throughout the Summer. Or there’s the retired crowd that likes to have a lake getaway and subsequently snowbird to a warmer climate in the Winters. That’s lake life after all.

Whatever you're plan is there’s going to be North or South-facing benefits.

Among those benefits is the idea that a North facing home will warm itself with the evening sunlight and stay cool during the day. That’s ideal for those spending a large amount of time out at the lake during the Summer.

For those staying through the winter, it also might be applicable.

Having a warm bedroom, on the south side of the house, is a benefit worth considering. This is especially true for full-time lake residents who work during 9-5 business hours. These residents won’t worry about a foyer remaining colder through the day, as they might just appreciate the sun-warmed bedroom instead.

Benefits In The Yard

Since we have covered the major aspects of the home, it’s time to consider your yard.

Many lake places enjoy access to a fresh garden. Summer storms in the Midwest can deliver water if you’re only out at the lake place on the weekends, when you come to the lake and can enjoy the literal fruits of your labor.

For sunlight though, placement of your garden is crucial. We all know that healthy crops are thanks in part to a balance of water and sunlight.

The main advantage of a North-facing house is that you can place a garden in an area with the right amount of sunlight. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the south side of any house will see the most hours of sunlight during the day – especially in the Northern Hemisphere – so a south-facing garden takes advantage of this.

Home buying, while it can be stressful, gives us a lot of options for consideration. When you’re making a list of must-haves, and visiting properties, remember to get the compass out on your iPhone and check the path of sunlight by seeing what sides of the house face south.

This one factor will change the way you approach energy, living, and the value of your home over time.

Thanks for reading and please consider watching our blog for more tips on having a prosperous property in lake country and beyond. Happy holidays!

Dirk Ockhardtreal, estate, lake, homes, house
Five Ways To Prep For Winter That Protect Your Homes Value

If you’re a seasoned homeowner or just making the down payment on your first home, you’ll still have one thing in common:
protecting your investment.

Lake place, cabin, or farmhouse, increasing the value of our real estate is always the goal. If you’re too busy counting how many lakes are in Minnesota or just enjoying your Summer activities, the ways to get distracted are innumerable. Still, we have to find the time to put in those particularly pertinent housekeeping and homeowning tasks to prevent a loss in value. Now Summer is gone and the Fall is coming swiftly to an end.

If the winter season has you concerned, then this guide will provide ample methods to protect your home for the winter season, which the Midwest is known for.

  1. How Does the Grade Around Your Home Affect Winter Conditions?

Landscaping is one aspect of the home that is rarely thought of when it comes to protecting the home itself. The characteristic slope around the property does determine which way water flows. If water is flowing into the foundation, you might experience a loss in real estate value, and rather quickly.

With extreme winter weather a commonplace occurrence in North Dakota and Minnesota, especially in Lake areas, landscaping grade should be addressed.

Many lake area homes have basements or at least crawl spaces, and being close to a lake can leave homeowners wondering what to do. It is possible to have no water in your basement even if you have a negative grade around your home, but the issue should be addressed to protect the value of your home. Check this out:

Negative Grade

To put this into perspective, a negative grade is when a home’s yard and landscaping slopes toward a structure instead of away from it.

Pooled water will drain alongside your foundation, collect below your home and could result in a heaved floor in the foundation, as well as increasing seepage and humidity in your home.

Positive Grade

Positive grade is the opposite then. An effective positive grade should slope 1” per foot around the perimeter of your home, to 5’ away from your foundation.

Downspout extensions should be out at all times, depositing runoff 6’ from your home.

Patios, driveways, and walkways are designed with this in mind and should slope away from your home as well.

How to Fix Negative Grade

First, you can add black dirt to increase the slope. It is important to use pulverized black dirt for this, not rock, sand or clay. However, it is good practice to keep black dirt far away from the lake if you have a lake place.

The reason we use black dirt is that it keeps a better balance of moisture and won’t show the drastic effects of wet/dry expansion/contraction as much as the clay-based soil will.

The soil in the Red River Valley area is made up from roughly 90% clay. When clay is exposed to water it expands. This will cause the waterlogged soil to push against your foundation and cause breaks long term.

If you’ve purchased a home that features breaks in the foundation it is important to have these cracks assessed and repaired before further issues arise.

Conversely, the Midwest winter gets cold enough to “settle” or shift a foundation. This is especially common in lake homes as the area features lots of groundwater movement, between steady flow in the summer to drought-like conditions of winter freezing.

So, take a good look at your foundation and check for cracks when out in the winter months.

2. Lake Living and Your Sump Pump

A sump pump is a staple of most lake homes that have seen floods in the past. If your lake association hasn’t set up a pump to get water levels back to ordinary watermark, then this investment will protect your home for years to come.

Additionally, winter in the North Dakota/Minnesota area means that power outages due to excessive cold can be common. Your sump pump should be set up for just such an emergency.

Always have a second pump or backup generator setup.

If your pump should fail, you want to get another line of defense in place as quickly as possible.

Maintence on the sump hole is recommended too. Be sure to clean debris out of your sump so that it doesn’t become an issue in the future.

3. Seasonal Humidity Shifts

The transition to Winters on a lake or in a forested area have homeowners wondering about humidity, alike.

A typical Midwestern home emits gallons of water a day into the air through its basement and foundation. Sometimes in excess of ten gallons of moisture.

Although having moisture in your home is important for better health and air quality, still having too much can lead to mold, rot and the deterioration of the value of your property.

As homeowners, it’s essential to keep moisture at desired levels. In the winter, too much moisture can easily be identified by condensation on any cold surface around your home.

As with all Winter living, areas to watch are windows, doors and exterior corners in a room.

How to Control Excessive Moisture

Try adjusting your humidity according to the outdoor temperature. This is why we see condensation on windows, doors and exterior corners, these are areas that fluctuate the greatest when the temperature drops.

Here’s one central tenant to keep in mind:

The colder the surface, the lower dewpoint.

Dewpoint is responsible for how moisture forms. Even installing new, more effective, blinds can’t stop cold air from condensing between the glass and blinds without icing over. Therefore it is important that you open your window coverings daily.

Opening your blinds just a quarter of the way up allows air to flow and water to evaporate.

Another effective way to control humidity is to install an air to air heat exchanger into your home. This unit plays an important role to improve indoor air quality.

The state of Minnesota made including these important pieces of equipment a requirement in their 2015 building code. If you’ve purchased a newer home in the state of Minnesota, then you’re probably fine, however, older homes might require this added feature to protect your investment and win-over potential buyers in the future.  

4. Mold Myth-Busting

This leads us to the next point, mold.

Tiny mold spores are in the air all around us, and with that, a mold colony in one location can easily spread to other areas. This makes for a challenge as the homeowner enters winter. Why?

Mold spores often travel through your heating system.

From Fargo and Moorhead, all the way to Western Minnesota, cabins and lake places alike face the issues of mold. However, if you’ve tackled the excessive moisture with humidity control than you’ve basically won the war.

Third-party testing will also confirm that mold spore counts in your home have returned to acceptable levels, giving you final peace of mind that your mold problems are behind you. Just make sure to keep paperwork from these ordeals just in case you list your lake home for sale at some point in the future.

5. Preventing A Frozen Pipe

If you snowbird south for the winter and leave your home, or if the lake property you have is simply a getaway from your regular home, it’s important to make sure that it is ready for winter.

Nothing can drastically affect your home's value for the negative quite like a burst pipe.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed. Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, or garages are suspect. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day if you’re away. Flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold are just a few of the problems homeowners could face.

To prevent this from occurring try out these workarounds:

  • Always heat parts of a building with piping.

  • Keep exterior doors closed and secure, even if not in the immediate vicinity of piping.

  • Maintain heat in buildings at all times. Don’t leave temperatures below 40°F.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF. Pipes under cupboards are particularly at risk, so consider leaving doors open if you’re leaving the cabin for a long period.

Hopefully, these five tips find you well. As winter approaches, these are the top five things you’ll want to take care of. Protect the value of your home, and watch our blog for more tips on having a prosperous property in lake country and beyond.

Dirk Ockhardt