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Michigan vacation home market: Should you buy now?

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Bob Klaus bought 10 acres in Manistee for a vacation in northern Michigan in 1999, and a few years later built a three-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage on land surrounded by Manistee national forests. At times, he considered it an investment and a hideout. ..

Residents of Commerce Township said they had no idea what the villa market would look like 20 years from now. His second home sold for $ 350,000 to the first person to see it in less than two weeks on the market.

“I knew I was sitting on a nest egg because my brother and wife lived in the area and said the real estate market was burning. I believe how big the nest egg is. I couldn’t, “Klaus said.

The surge in the real estate market is well documented, but the demand for villas is just as strong. According to the latest statistics available in the first half of 2021, villa sales surged by more than 57% compared to the same period in 2020, according to the National Association of Real Estate Agents.

In Michigan’s vacation countries, the market is even stronger. Some counties in northern Michigan are considered “paid leave housing counties,” and the NAR defines that more than 20% of housing stock is listed seasonally. North and Northwest Michigan are home to one of the country’s most concentrated villas.

Leelanau County, which includes the tip of a scenic and highly popular state on Lake Michigan, northwest of Traverse City, saw average home prices jump from $ 494,649 in the year-ago quarter to $ 779,960 in the first quarter of this year. did. According to Kim Pontius, CEO of Aspire North Realtors, it is a member of the National Association of Realtors, including Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties and their surrounding areas. Looking at this, in the first quarter of 2012, the average Leelanau County home sold for $ 274,831.

“Many members say that villas are typically $ 100,000 higher than the asking price. Currently, the asking price is the starting point. People are buying real estate here. They are on the internet. I’m looking at real estate above. I’m abandoning home and septic tests so I don’t delay the deal. ” “This has always been a special market for villas, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Tracey Krause (not related to Bob Krause) was visiting the Baldwin area from his home in San Antonio, Texas, and fell in love with Wolf Lake. She stayed on the lake several times for her riding vacation and she was kayaking when she saw the “for sale” sign at the cottage near the water’s edge.

She called the realtor listing the house, and she didn’t buy that particular cottage, but Klaus kept in touch with her. The agent regularly sends a list to Klaus, and last year she found what she loved. “The next day, I sent an email to the agent and said,’I think this is it,'” Tracy Klaus said.

It was Sunday, and the Wolf Lake cottage was scheduled to be shown to the other two prospective buyers twice on Monday. Her agent used her phone camera to guide her to the cottage remotely, but the service was uneven and Klaus couldn’t see it all.

Still, she fully understood that she wanted it.

Her agent suggested sending an offer to a property that was selling cottages at midnight on Sunday. The offer has been accepted. Klaus is the owner of a cottage in Michigan and has never set foot there.

“I grew up in Atlanta and my family had never been to Michigan,” she said. “I have no connection to the state. I just found it and it seemed very sweet and quaint. I love the clean water and the dark sky.”

She rents a cottage at VRBO.com all year round and uses it when traveling north for a horseback riding adventure.

This is a classic story of how fast the person trying to buy has to move.

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