There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to buying a dream Northern Michigan vacation home, says Ann Porter of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors in Traverse City

“With families claiming they are busier than ever with the obligations of everyday life, vacation homebuyers are looking for ways they can maximize their investment to get the most joy and use out of the property they choose,” Porter says.

Some options from Porter to consider…

1. Buy a place you can rent out when you are not there, so it pays for itself.

With continuously changing short-term rental ordinances, be sure to check township rules, but Airbnb, VRBO and local management firms make it really easy to recoup much of the costs of owning a second home or condo. Just keep a locked “owner’s closet” for your personal belongings and let someone else enjoy the beauty of Northern Michigan, too!

2. Buy a place that will be your retirement home. 

Northern Michigan has been named by numerous magazines, programs and top ten lists as a great place to retire. Why not get to know where you are going to retire, but before you take the plunge? Do you dream of waking up looking at the bay after you say goodbye to your day job? Purchase that lakefront now, use it when you can, and update it when it’s time to retire.

3. Buy a place with some of your favorite friends or family.

Most people say they do not spend nearly enough time with the people they care about. Consider investing in a vacation home with those you are closest to so you share those relaxing moments together. Work out a schedule so you have time to yourself as well as with your loved ones in your very own spot.