For many people, Northern Michigan means fresh air, tall trees … and neighbors just out of sight. Here, we take a look at finding your perfect peace in the great outdoors. For those looking for a truly remote parcel, we start with a pro from—where else—above the mighty Mackinac Bridge.
“More and more people are seeking peace and quiet, and they equate that with space, big spaces, 80 or more acres,” says Frida Waara, Realtor at RE/MAX 1st Realty in Marquette. “But what may suit most folks is not an entire section of the plat book as much as a wooded lot with distant neighbors, a year-round road, cell service and power.”
As of the writing, Frida says there are six properties currently for sale in the Upper Peninsula with 900 acres or more, but there’s an easier way to get the quiet you seek. “You can accomplish your goals, particularly when it comes to hunting and hiking, with five acres adjoining state or federal forest lands.”
Privacy is at the heart of what Leelanau County Realtor Judy Levin hears from buyers looking for land, as well. “Living in the woods gives families privacy,” Judy says. “I hear all the time, ‘I don’t want to see my neighbor’s house.’
“Living in nature away from a big city is very appealing to city families,” Judy continues. “They like the safety and beauty of rural America, especially in our current environment. Important points are clean air, clean and fresh water, organic food and knowing your neighbors.”
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Some price ranges for wooded parcels in Leelanau County include small wooded lots north of Northport for $16,000–$30,000. In Cedar, look for under $30,000 while in the Suttons Bay area, two acres can be found for $35,900, five acres starting at $50,000 and 10 acres starting at $89,900 with woods and meadows.
Ian is seeing a steady flow of buyers for acreage—but it’s not for what you might think. “I never assume only a hunter is buying big parcels,” Ian says. “More and more, we are seeing all kinds of nature lovers entering the market. Last year I sold 40 acres with a yurt and divine walking trails through the hills of Oceana County. The sellers and the new buyers were simply excited about nature.”
Many of these buyers are on the younger side. “There is a healthy trend of pre-retirement outdoor-types to get their land now, use it on the weekends and then plan their retirement build later,” he says.
Ian says areas in Lake and Manistee counties clock in at around $1,000 per acre, while areas near Traverse City, Petoskey, Charlevoix and the Lake Michigan shoreline are up closer to $3,000–$4,000 per acre. He encourages buyers to look far and wide: “There are really nice spots that you may overlook if you get tunnel vision,” he says.