Retirement in Northern Michigan
If you are exploring retirement in Northern Michigan, the first thing to be said is congratulations! You are beginning a process that many before you have also experienced with fantastic results. Retirement in Northern Michigan is a wonderful experience, with recreation, shopping, dining, and much more all in close proximity. Our area also provides for your more practical needs such as medical care, which is key when deciding how to spend your golden years. Whether planning to stay here year-round, or take off for warmer climates in the winter, there are a variety of key considerations to make in your real estate search. The below should help guide you to ultimately finding the best fit for your Northern Michigan retirement property.
Floor Plans Matter
One of the most common reasons I hear of retirees selling, and similarly one of the main considerations for retirees buying, is the notion of “stairs free living”. The convenience of having everything you need on a single floor cannot be overstated. As a result, many architectural styles (Victorians, Cape Cods) have fallen out of favor with the baby boomer generation. Instead, ranch floor plans and more modern construction have gained popularity of among retirement buyers. In order to find these types of homes in higher numbers, you will want to focus your search on the communities that have seen the greatest new building output in recent years. Boyne City is one community that has seen a high number of new builds over the last 15 years. There are many newer single family homes in Boyne City that afford main floor living, as well as many new condo developments that provide everything on a single floor. Some of the upper condo units in Boyne City even enjoy elevator access!
Alanson is another community with a number of newer neighborhoods and convenient floor plans. Associations like Eagle Beach have proven popular with newer homes and access to Pickerel Lake. There are also a number of newer neighborhoods on the outskirts of Harbor Springs that offer modern layouts. While new construction can be found in larger communities like Petoskey, an advantage of areas like Alanson and Harbor Springs can be lower taxes. Keeping carry costs low is appealing to budget-conscious retirees, and these towns remain in close proximity to broader amenities.
Nobody likes thinking about it, but access to quality health care and emergency services is a vital consideration for any retiree looking to buy in Northern Michigan. Fortunately, Petoskey is home to MacLaren Northern Michigan, a regional hospital complete with emergency services and a cardiovascular unit. Close proximity to the hospital has made Petoskey a very popular retirement destination. Nearby Walloon Lake, Pickerel Lake, and Crooked Lake each enjoy a commute of 20-25 minutes to these medical services as well, allowing buyers the ability to balance lakefront living with such practical concerns. Bay Harbor also offers premier luxury real estate in very close proximity to MacLaren. Each of these communities present ample real estate solutions, while ensuring your health can be cared for quickly and effectively.
Cash Flow Your Retirement
Many retirees in Northern Michigan elect to leave during the cold winter months. As a result, their Northern Michigan home can sit vacant for weeks or even months. For some buyers, it is difficult to justify owning a home that is out of commission for an extended period. A great option is to rent your home in the off-season to vacationers. Winter months attract a high volume of skiers and snowmobilers to the area, and thus make for great rental prospects. Harbor Springs is home to two major ski resorts (Nubs Nob & Boyne Highlands), and as a result hosts many winter visitors. Boyne City has the Boyne Mountain resort just a few miles away in Boyne Falls. Retirees in Boyne City may find exceptional demand for their real estate in the winter months. By purchasing in Harbor Springs or Boyne City, you may find your winter rental income largely offsets the costs of ownership. This can be a very attractive solution for those wishing to retire in Northern Michigan, but concerned about the long-term financial feasibility.
There are many retirement options in Northern Michigan beyond those detailed here, but these should help give you a few options to begin your search. If you are ready to pursue your retirement dream home, I recommend giving me a call at (231) 622-1535 to discuss. By understanding your specific objectives in a retirement property, I can help guide your search to the right home for you.