Friday, October 15, 2010

Property in Northern Michigan : What to do in the winter and other thoughts


Commentary – See All Commentary

By Mr Sig

Should we start buying up all the cheap property in Michigan?  I keep hearing the international sophisticates and US expats talking about purchasing swaths of cheap land to prepare for the coming economic apocalypse.  This seems to be a tune many people are singing these days.  What can we do about it?

Without having any knowledge of real estate markets, I think it's pretty safe to say that we'll leave the expensive downtown penthouses and multi-million dollar homes and commercial property to the experts.  But when I hear that I can buy about 10 acres or so of land near Quito, Ecuador for around $3,000, I start thinking really hard.  This stuff isn't just for those who have built large sums of capital over time.  Having a good chunk of property is well within even a moderately responsible saver.

I can only imagine that it is the same way in Michigan.  Although the prices of Michigan property are going to be higher than in Ecuador (I think!), they can't be THAT much higher.  Is Michigan going to be the next target for a major property grab?  Do we keep a high property tax because we want to try and ward off the big guns from essentially buying up all the land in this state?  Those may be questions for another time (and for the comments) but is now the time to start thinking about getting a few acres "up north" in preparation for the land boom or building that cottage you've always wanted?

I say yes.

It's a buy low, sell high principle.  In my experience, when news is terrible, it's time to buy.  When guns are blazing and everyone is getting right, it's time to sell.  So it's time to short Apple and Gold, right?  And then take the outrageous profits you make from it and grab 50 acres or so in Northern Michigan?  Absolutely!  Or, hell, you can buy up a city block in Flint, Lansing, or Detroit.

But back to Northern Michigan.  What do you do up there in the Winter?  In the summer, you are shielded from the 90+ temperatures and you get to experience the most beautiful place on earth.  Right now, there is snowmobiling, skiing, ice-fishing, and... hmm.. cold cold cold.  While these outdoor winter activities are attractive to some, I don't think they are attractive to the masses since I don't really see people retiring up there yet.

I'm going to pose a question now to our readers.  Of what value is northern Michigan property?  As part of a diverse portfolio of lifestyle options, how would property in northern Michigan contribute to the likes of Simon Black and Jim Rogers?  Maybe it would be a good location for a modern Galt's Gulch.  There has to be more to do and experience up there than what is currently going on, and I’m at a loss for ideas.  Help?


  1. Hunting, relaxing, wine-tasting, communing with nature, reading, sitting by a campfire or the lake, playing Euchre or Pinochle with friends or family, hiking, painting, and photography are some of the slower-paced activities that draw people to northern Michigan. All of us need activities like these in our lives at times.

  2. Snow shoeing, cross county skiing, fantastic art galleries and theatres and lots of community events, not to mention excellent dining options.