Purchasing a Lake House

Buying on Lake Michigan

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Purchasing a lake house is an exciting and significant life decision. A buyer must do thorough research and be clear as to His/Her purchase priorities. Buying on Lake Michigan is not only finding the perfect cottage or estate but also finding the best beach available. Paradise Properties philosophy is to choose the beach first and then look at the cottage; this is due the fact that in most cases the greater percentage of the purchase price of a Lake Michigan property is reflected by the land value not its structure. With the ebb and flow of Lake Michigan and the current low lake levels, what seems to be a great beach now, was in some cases not eight years ago.  It is Paradise Properties goal to find you the best and historically good beach to enhance your long term investment. All homes will age in time, but a consistently good beach will forever increase in value regardless of the structure on it. Paradise Properties can assist in the selection and comparison needed in finding a quality beach and bluff,  by using a multi level “No Stone Unturned” discovery process with the help of our highly trained [consultants], not only will there be inspections on the structure but also on the beach, bluff and bluff content. Paradise Properties has gone to extreme measures in the past to reinforce Buyers confidence and knowledge when it comes to a Lake Michigan purchase. For example Paradise has procured aerial photographs of the questioned property and beach showing previous ten year increments of lake levels. Although the internet is a terrific research tool, it is no substitute for a knowledgeable Lake Front Specialist that knows the market and the beaches.




Do you want to be in a family friendly area like Grand Beach or Shorewood Hills? Or a remote and extremely private wooded area likes Covert’s Fire Lanes? Or maybe you crave the high energy vintage beach community of Union Pier? Paradise Properties can guide you through over one hundred miles of coastline and harbor towns to find the perfect fit for you.


With Lake Michigan coastlines soaring to bluff heights in excess of a 110 feet translating to two hundred stair treads or more, or to the opposite end of the spectrum “no stairs” with a walk-out bluff.  This broad range of heights can impact your choices as well as affect the purchase price. Paradise Properties can guide you to the bluff height you are most comfortable with and can assign property value on that specific height of bluff.


Do you have specific criteria in regard to a particular area or setting?  Or do you a preferred square footage size? Or number of bedrooms? Do you mind a beach house in need of renovation? Or would you prefer a ready to go “fresh” beach house? Would you like a pool, home theatre, gourmet kitchen or a sizable lot? There are so many items to consider and a multitude of areas of which to choose from. Paradise Properties market knowledge allows them to excel in hand picking properties best matching your criteria thus saving your valuable time and expediting the process of choosing. Paradise Properties often will take digital photographs of properties to e-mail to Buyers to answer specific questions about a property that is not visually shown in a listing they are considering making an appointment to see. Paradise Properties strives to make your Lake Michigan Property shopping easy and fun. Use the Dream Home Finder to start your personalized search, and let Paradise Properties become your ultimate personal shopper.


Lake Michigan properties have consistently held or gained in value for almost 30 years. Buying limited commodity coastal properties sets you apart from just another cottage. Not only will Lake Michigan properties be a great investment but will create memories and establish family legacy’s as they have done for so many families for centuries in the past. In the current Buyers market, Lake Michigan properties are setting realistic sale prices and though these properties tend to be classified as “discretional” type sale, Buyers can expect good value, good negotiations and low interest rates.  Many of our clients smile and comment where else can you do as well or better as the stock market and have a day at the beach.



Many Buyers of Lake Michigan properties initially are not aware of how a properties beach rights may reflect on the value or how you can enjoy and use your Lake Michigan Property. The following beach rights apply to a specific Lake Michigan property.


Refers to a Lake Michigan property that owns to the ordinary high water mark, in this situation the property owns the beach and the owners have rights to enforce non-invited beach goers to refrain from using their beach. In addition this type of beach right is important for Buyers who own dogs, as they are not allowed on the beach in prime time season at other types of beaches. In addition if you have Littoral rights you are able to have Bonfires, large parties, erect small structures and leave your watercraft on the beach. In other types of beach rights you are not allowed to do the majority of these things.


Many real estate agents refer to Lake Michigan properties as having “Riparian Rights”; this term is incorrect for Lake Michigan. Riparian Rights refer to inland streams, rivers and small lakes. Having Riparian Rights mean you own in most cases to the middle of the stream or own a portion of the river or small lake.


This type of beach pertains to planned developments where non-lakefront owners in the development have shared rights to use what ever portion of beach they desire. Most association's have lengthy guidelines for use of common areas including the beach. Generally Associations have beach use times, approval for parties, no access for dogs or limited times when allowed. In some cases you will also find small informal vintage areas that are not a development but have deeded access for non-lakefront properties as well. Generally these old platted association parcels have little or no published rules or guidelines, but each one is different and should be verified before a purchase.


Most Municipalities in Southwest Michigan have access for cottages not on the lake. Generally there is no parking or facilities made available and are accessible by area residents able to walk to them. A common misconception is that these are ample sized beach areas, but in some cases they have only 50 feet in frontage width for the beach goers to use.


Here you will have set regulations, set hours, and in most cases life guards, bath facilities and concessions. Many State and County owned public beaches also offer Camping.

For more information on Lake Michigan and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) go to www.michigan.gov/deq


Paradise Properties strives to provide the very best professionals in the State of Michigan for their Clients and Customers. Paradise Properties “leave no stone unturned attitude” requires professionals that are committed to ongoing development, ensuring current knowledge in regard to regulations, methods and technology. It is their constant goal to ensure that every last detail when it comes to transactions for both Buyers and Sellers will be evaluated by the appropriate professional or consultant with the highest level of experience in their related field. At Paradise Properties they feel “Strength by Experience” is the way to make every transaction a successful and enjoyable process and that on the closing day there is a celebration not surprises.


Paradise Properties strives to provide the very best professionals in the State of Michigan for their Clients and Customers. Paradise Properties “leave no stone unturned attitude” requires professionMany of our recommended Attorney s have been high ranking Government Officials, have published numerous books on Real Estate Law, Hold the status of “Super Lawyer” for the State of Michigan, or have extensive careers representing Michigan Counties and Townships as legal council by retainer. Paradise Properties has the relationships and contacts to align you with not only an Attorney with extensive Real Estate Transaction experience but an Attorney that is best suited for your specific property purchase.


Buying property on Lake Michigan has many aspects to consider and evaluate, and Paradise Properties goal is to consistently provide a choice of top ranked, extensively trained consultants. Paradise Properties will provide you with a contact list of the most qualified specific to the job, this is to ensure full discovery of your chosen property, giving you the ability to make informed decisions related to specific regulatory issues, property evaluation and a deeper understanding and confidence in your purchase.
Some of our Geomorphologist’s  are past Directors of the State of Michigan’s Department of Environmental  Quality and the Department of Natural Resources.
A few of the evaluations and services our consultants offer.

  • Critical Dune Assessment
  • High Erosion Assessment
  • Coastal Assessment
  • Shoreline Protection and Stability Assessment
  • Wetland Assessment
  • Threatened and or Endangered Species Assessment
  • Coordination or if desired complete execution of Document Preparation, including Management of site renderings, building footprint, identification and conformance, Application to The State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in obtaining a Building Permit as well as applications for permits with the local Municipality.


Paradise Properties has strong relationships with many of the areas oldest and most revered Survey Companies. Through their contacts and combined experience many times they can provide added insight to solving property discrepancies wheter it is in a legal description or an improperly recorded easement. As an example if you were looking to purchase in the Fire Lanes in Covert and needed a copy of a specific easement, Paradise Properties knows the survey company that survey/legal description archive than many of the local title company’s have available to them. Many Paradise Clients and Customers ask why they are so insistent on asking their Buyers to include a “New Survey” as part of the Purchase Discovery Process; they reply that you would be amazed as to the many surprises and odd findings they have uncovered in the past that would of effected the Buyers Purchase, Loan Procedure, Loan Approval, Title Work, Insurance Coverage and or the Legal Safety and Protection of the Buyers. Reviewing a New Survey Report can many times reveal more than you would think, even for an example “A Seller offering a two year old Survey they had ordered and bought” to the new Buyer. Paradise Properties philosophy is as always “Leave no stone unturned”.

Paradise Properties has many other types of Consultants they often refer to their clients and Customers; the above is a sampling of their vast relationship and contact resources.

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