5-Steps for Buying Your Up North Vacation Home

midgeco Buyers , First Time Buyers , Real Estate Leave a Comment

Everyone has a reason to come up north. Many simply want to step away from the hustle of life and enjoy time with! But as you pack your gear & head to your favorite up-north resort for the umpteenth time, you may think how much easier life would be if you had your own vacation home. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you have a place waiting for you to come to visit anytime you want, no making reservations, just pack a weekend bag and go! If you’re dreaming of owning a vacation home or cottage in Houghton lake or Higgins lake, here is a few things you may want to consider.


Returning to the same place time and after time can be comforting as you become familiar and comfortable with the location. It allows you the freedom to be yourself and the opportunity to expand long-term friendships with residents – you can become part of the social fabric. It will also allow you to spend more time on vacation and less time on packing because you have the ability to conveniently store items that are used exclusively at your place up north.

Get a retirement head start

Not only will your cabin provide many memories of people, relationships, and good times it can also serve as a retirement home when you are ready. Locating and buying a second home prior to retirement enables you to experience the benefits of refuge before actual retirement. Vacation-home owners considering retiring to their second home for a while after selling their first home may even be eligible for tax breaks.

A place for memories & family gatherings

Many of us have enjoyed the annual holiday gathering at a family members lake house. These annual traditions are easier to keep going when you are not having to deal with the hassle of packing and booking a place to accommodate everyone. Owning your place up north give you the benefit of being able to pass that property from generation to generation. This benefit is incalculable, especially for a cabin that has been and will continue to be the site of many happy gatherings.

Rental Income

Buyers who plan to rent the home to others, as 25% of purchasers do, cannot go wrong with choosing the Houghton or Higgins lake area. These locations both have numerous seasons of rental demand, so you wouldn’t be limited to income only, say, three months of the year. This means you can play all summer when you want to and rent your cabin to those who prefer colder activities like snowmobiling, skiing, & ice fishing during the winter season. For tax purposes, vacation homes are subject to what’s called the 14-day or 10% rule. You can rent your place for up to 14 days a year and pocket the rental income without having to declare it on your tax return. If you rent out the house for more than 14 days a year, you are considered a landlord by the Internal Revenue Service and you must report the income. But you also qualify to deduct certain expenses.

The Midge & Co Advantage

Midge & Co is the #1 source for Higgins & Houghton Lake lakefront real estate, northern Michigan hunting property, northern Michigan vacant acreage for sale, and just about everything else that is “up north” real estate for sale. The assistance of a local Midge & Co agent is invaluable during your search for your dream vacation home. Many people never consider owning their own single family lakefront cabin because the myth that you have to put 20% down holds them back. This is NOT always the case. We have helped many clients purchase their vacation retreats with much easier to afford down payments. We can guide you through the purchase process and help you find mortgage financing with one of our recommended lenders & tools like our mortgage calculator.

If you’re getting the itch to own your own up north retreat check out our current listings or contact us today.

Midge & Co Innovative Realtors are here to help you start living the dream up north.

Find information about Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Lake James, Roscommon, on our area specific pages.

The Midge & Co 5-Step Plan for Buying a Vacation Home:

  • Step 1: Decide if it’s the right time to buy.
  • Step 2: Know what to look for in a second home. Match housing choices to your lifestyle.
  • Step 3: Understand the total cost of owning a vacation home.
  • Step 4: Determine how you’ll use your vacation home. Learn the tax ins and outs.
  • Step 5: Make an offer using a Midge & Co agent and one of our recommended lenders
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