The lakes in Michigan and Illinois offer an active, yet serene lifestyle.
Backed by diverse pricing, ideal locales and a lifestyle unknown to many city-dwellers, the Great Lakes’waterfront estates have seen a surge of activity this year.
Realtors from across the region agree that a home near the Great Lakes has something for everyone. Itcreated what Patrick Leavy, co-founder of Kidd & Leavy Real Estate in Northern Michigan, calls perfect storm”.
marketgetting better and better,” he says. are so many people in Ohio, Indiana, Chicago [and the] Midwest trying to get to Northern Michigan and buy their dream home”.
The region offers a lifestyle that is a true opener” for many new visitors, says Rik Lobenherz of Prudential Preferred Properties Network.
“[People] do not expect to see our lakes so clear and abundant, our air so clean or our small-town sophistication so prevalent” he says.
Susan Walsh, a Michigan resident whose family is listing a home on Lake Charlevoix for $8.95 million, could not agree more.
beauty the serenity and the pace of life are so unique,” she says. youaround the beauty, the uniqueness that it holds and everything it has to offer —itheavenly. There is no other word”.
one summer here will tell the story,” adds Gary Deters, broker/owner of RE/MAX Resort Properties, who is the listing agent on Walshfamily home.
Needless to say, sales in Northern Michigan have been exceptional for 2012. Lobenherz reports significant increase in interest for waterfront properties. Leavy expects to surpass his 2011 sales. A waterfront estate on coveted Lake Charlevoix typically ranges from $800,000 to $2.1 million; Leavy adds that buyers can acquire a waterfront cottage at nearby lakes starting around $400,000.
Further south along Michiganwestern shore, the town of Grand Haven offers what Sandi Gentry of RE/MAX Grand Haven describes as active lifestyle.”Here, locals take advantage of Lake Michigan with boating, boardwalk strolls and shopping or waterfront dining, she says.
have the most beautiful beaches and a fun downtown with shopping and dining,”she says. activities are nonstop: art shows, boat shows, sand-castle contests, wine tours.”
On the beauty of the area, Gentry echoes others’sentiments: is clean, green and pure.”
Gentry is thrilled with her teamsuccess this year and remains optimistic for the remainder of 2012. Four of her most recent transactions sold in record times at or near full price, she says.
In the southeastern region of the state, the rural town of lrish Hills is a haven for lake lovers, according to Mark Riggle of RE/Max Irish Hills.
are 52 lakes in our region, ranging from fishing lakes to all-sports enclaves,”he says. Hills evokes the small-town, rural, agricultural homestead of yesteryear and combines it with the waterfront fun of the lakes.”
Above all, buyers in this area are seeking a natural setting, Riggle says. He is currently marketing properties in Cedar Glen, a community that boasts 120 acres of lakefront, orchards, trails, campfire spots and horse paddocks.
With the market reaching a low point for interest rates and prices, couldnbe a better time to purchase”’he says.
Not everyone needs to away from it all,”which is why waterfront property in Chicago is a rare gem, according to Joanne Nemerovski of Prudential Rubloff Properties. Shecurrently listing a waterfront home in River East, one of the citymost desirable neighborhoods, for $2.9 million.
on waterfront properties depends on so many things: location, condition, views, waterfront footage; but I think there is a huge premium to living on the water and the wonderful lifestyle it has to offer”she says.
Nemerovski has seen all types of buyers relocating to Chicago, ranging from New York and Boston to as far as Singapore.
who live in Chicago are passionate about it. With world-class shopping, restaurants, top-tier universities, business opportunities and competitive sports teams, we have something for everyone,”she says.
For many residents, a waterfront home in Michigan or Illinois is not just a place to live; it s, in the words of Walsh, frame of mind.”
s something about being there that you appreciate the beauty that surrounds you and the people you are with,”she says. Walsh has spent 10 years making memories with her extended family —all 29 members —on their Lake Charlevoix home.
Lakefront seclusion isn t all the area offers. A short drive away reveals access to golf courses; unique downtown hubs such as Petosky, Traverse City and Harbor City; ski resorts and the highly rated McLaren Hospital.
Meanwhile, the rural surroundings of Irish Hills make it a hotspot for tourism year-round. Residents have access to unparalleled watersports, hunting, hiking and exploring the area s many parks.
Further west, the Windy City s waterfront allure attracts residents and tourists alike. This diverse city offers a plethora of ethnic food districts. The ”section of Chicago s downtown is home to the city s many financial buildings and skyscrapers; the South Side is where you ll discover the University of Chicago as well as two of the city s largest parks.