10 Things to Consider When Buying Your Northern Michigan Vacation Home

By Ken • November 21st, 2014
Original Log Home On River

Original Log Home On River

Who doesn’t love Northern Michigan especially in summer? A large number properties in the Higgins Lake, Houghton Lake and Grayling areas are seasonal homes and occupied only during the warmer months often by residents of Southern Michigan. If you live in Southern Michigan or elsewhere and are thinking about buying a vacation home in Northern Michigan, look to Ken Carlson Realty as the preferred buyer’s agent in Northern Michigan for waterfront properties and cabins. Now is the perfect time to buy in Northern Michigan. There are hundreds of beautiful cottages and even more properties which may be just what you are looking for. Take a look with us at 10 things to consider when buying your Northern Michigan vacation home.

  1. Know the area before you buy – find out how long it really takes to get there, what is around and get to know the area before you buy. You will be spending a fair amount of money on this purchase. Be sure you are making the right choice.
  2. Understand costs associated with your vacation home – from taxes to any lake association fees, these can all add up. Keep them in mind when planning your budget.
  3. You will need to winterize – winter snow falls may vary in Northern Michigan but one thing you can be sure of is the cold. If you have a cottage you will not be using it in the winter, you will need to winterize it to avoid burst pipes or worse.
  4. Don’t forget work associated with your vacation home – unless you hire a cleanup crew in spring and fall, you are going to have some work to do when you arrive and even throughout the summer. From flowerbeds to yards to leaf clean-up and even putting out the dock (if applicable) this is all work will have to do as a vacation home owner in Northern Michigan. If you don’t want to do it yourself, there are plenty of businesses who will do it for a fee, but keep these fees in mind when planning your budget.
  5. Your vacation home as a rental option – one way that many vacation home owners offset these new costs is to offer their vacation home as a rental on weekends they won’t be able to make it.
  6. What about the trash – many neighborhoods have their own pick-ups which happens only specific days. Check with any local township organization’s rules relating to trash and refuse pick-up when you buy. No one likes a messy neighbor!
  7. During the holidays it can be crowded – if you are not from the area and don’t generally travel to Northern Michigan during the holidays, you may be surprised to find out how busy our lakes and recreation areas can be during the holidays. Understand that even in Northern Michigan, you are going to have neighbors during the busy holiday weekends.
  8. Know what you are looking for BEFORE you buy – sometimes people are not sure what they really want before they buy. Knowing what you hope to find from a vacation home will help your realtor narrow down your search to properties you would really be interested in.
  9. Waterfront property has VERY specific rules – if you choose to buy property instead of an already built vacation home on the water, be sure you research codes relating to how much property is required to build and make sure the property you are interested in can support a vacation home if this is your intent.
  10. Choose a REALTOR® who is familiar with the area to help you – any and all of the questions you have relating to your new vacation home can be better answered by a local real estate agent like Ken Carlson. From the area, Ken can help you better understand the market and what the best match for you is.

Ken Carlson Realty has been helping people buy and sell Northern Michigan vacation homes for decades. A waterfront specialist, Ken can assist you in finding the home or property of your dreams anywhere in Northern Michigan.

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