10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Michigan

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10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Michigan

Bart Waldon

Situated in the heartland of the Midwest, Michigan is a state defined by its geographic abundance. Four of five Great Lakes touch its coastlines, gifting the region over 3,200 miles of freshwater shoreline. Inland, a patchwork unfurls of dense forests, rolling orchards, farm fields and glittering lakes. Michigan’s natural riches extend through its four distinct seasons, each offering its own magic. From winter wonderlands to summer beach getaways and the vibrant colors of autumn, Michigan’s outdoors beckon. The state also strikes an alluring balance between access to major Midwestern cities and plenty of secluded wilderness. It comes as no surprise that for land buyers like us, Michigan captures the imagination. The state presents the perfect blend of attributes when you’re seeking recreational, agricultural or waterfront land ownership.

Reasons to Buy Land in Michigan

1. Miles and Miles of Freshwater Shoreline

Michigan is defined by water. Surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, the state boasts over 3,200 miles of freshwater coastline. That's more than any other state in the U.S. except Alaska! Beyond the Great Lakes, Michigan has over 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams. From anglers casting their lines for prize trout on Lake Superior to families building sandcastles on Lake Michigan's beaches, there is so much opportunity for water recreation. For land buyers interested in waterfront property, Michigan certainly delivers. The abundant water access also adds to the state's natural scenic beauty.

2. Diverse and Gorgeous Landscape

Within its geographically diverse landscape, Michigan offers a spectacular variety of natural settings from dense forests to rolling orchards, tall sand dunes and miles of sandy beaches. You can find rugged, remote woodlands in the Upper Peninsula or the heavily forested northern part of the Lower Peninsula. The western and southwestern areas of the Lower Peninsula reveal gently rolling hills blanketed in fruit orchards and farmland. And along Michigan's vast coastlines exist towering sand dunes and beautiful beaches. Whether you prefer the seclusion of a wooded acreage or sunny open fields, Michigan's landscapes appeal to every taste.

3. Four Distinct and Glorious Seasons

If you talk to most Michigan residents, they'll agree that one of the best features of living in the state is enjoying all four seasons. Each one brings its own magic. When winter blankets the state with deep snowfall, ski resorts come alive and ice fishing shanties pepper frozen lakes. Springtime offers mild breezes, budding wildflowers and maple syrup season in the sugar bush forests. Summer is all about warm sunny days spent boating, swimming and lounging lakeside. And what's better than the vibrant crimsons and oranges of Michigan's fall foliage? Every season provides special outdoor opportunities. So no matter when you visit your Michigan property, it always offers something exciting.

4. Prime Conditions for Agriculture

Michigan's land and climate combination have long made it excellent for agriculture. About one-third of the state's total land area is comprised of active farmland. The state produces over 300 different food commodities and leads the nation in crop varieties like tart cherries, blueberries, cucumbers for pickling and black beans. Michigan's rich agricultural output owes thanks to its relatively mild temperatures, sufficient rainfall and abundance of both sandy and loamy soils that support diverse crops. For individuals or companies looking to invest in farmland, Michigan offers ideal conditions to sustain working farms now and into the future.

5. Within Reach of Major Midwestern Cities

Despite Michigan's vast wilderness areas and plentiful farmland, the state also offers easy access to major metropolitan hubs. Land located anywhere in Michigan is within a half day's drive or less from cities like Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor. For property buyers who want proximity to urban attractions, restaurants and international airports along with recreational land, Michigan provides the perfect blend. And even properties in rural areas are easily accessible from cities, thanks to the state's extensive highway and roadway network.

6. Low Taxes Relative to Other States

A major plus for land buyers and owners is Michigan's tax structure around property. Property tax rates typically range between 1-2% of a property's taxable value - quite reasonable compared to other U.S. states. Michigan does not collect inheritance tax or estate tax when property changes hands. The state also exempts real estate capital gains from taxation, if the property was held for three or more years. With lower property taxes at purchase and transfer, as well as fewer taxes on profits down the road, buying land in Michigan makes solid financial sense.

7. No Waiting Period for Out-of-State or Foreign Buyers

Michigan imposes zero waiting periods for out-of-state or international buyers looking to purchase real estate. You do not have to be a Michigan resident nor U.S. citizen. There are no special permits or applications required of non-residents buying land. Provided you have the financing lined up, you can close on a Michigan property and take ownership right away. The state's straightforward process makes buying land seamless for both domestic and overseas investors.

8. Stable, Appreciating Property Values

Reviewing data from the past decade, Michigan has demonstrated a steady, gradual appreciation in land values over time. According to Zillow, property values across different parts of the state have risen moderately but consistently year over year. Industry experts forecast this stable growth to continue through the coming years. Compared to states where property values may have spiked dramatically or experienced big swings, Michigan represents a less volatile real estate market - making it lower risk for land buyers.

9. Relaxed Land-Use Laws

Some U.S. states impose strict zoning regulations around building or land usage. Michigan is not one of them. It possesses some of the most relaxed land-use laws in the country. Property owners benefit from flexibility around developing, modifying and repurposing land to suit their intentions. Those looking to build a vacation home, agricultural structures or even alternative energy sources like wind farms face minimal barriers or red tape. Of course, there are common sense limitations around environmental impact. But otherwise, Michigan's lax rules allow freedom in how you use your land.

10. Affordable Pricing Compared to Other States

The reasonable pricing of land and real estate is what ultimately seals the deal for us operating in Michigan. Looking at Midwest states like Illinois or Ohio, the cost per acre of farmland or other vacant land is thousands more. On average in 2020, the per-acre value of Michigan farmland was around $4,100 according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data. That's extremely affordable contrasted with per-acre values exceeding $10,000 in states like Iowa or California. Even Michigan waterfront parcels tend to list for lower than comparable offerings in Ontario, New York or Wisconsin. For savvy land buyers, the overall value is unbeatable.

When you add up all that Michigan has going for it between natural beauty, four fun seasons, investment potential and affordability, the state emerges as a premier option for land buyers. With smart navigation of market conditions, you can secure recreational, agricultural and waterfront parcels here for fair prices. For us, the Great Lake State is a standout because of its abundant assets that make land ownership so rewarding. Whether you're an individual or business buyer, Michigan should be on your radar for land buying and investment.

Final Thoughts

In the end, Michigan simply checks all the boxes when it comes to ideal places to buy land in the United States. The state boasts an abundance of natural beauty, from its countless miles of freshwater coastline to its varied forests, dunes and farmlands. It offers four glorious seasons packed with recreational opportunities. Michigan provides accessibility to major metropolitan hubs while still maintaining miles of rural wilderness and open spaces. Factoring in the stable real estate market, favorable tax structure and affordable land prices compared to neighboring states, Michigan emerges as a premier destination for land buyers. Whether you're an individual looking for a recreational retreat or an investor seeking agricultural acreage, the Great Lake State will likely have something to fit your needs. For us, Michigan represents what's best about land ownership - nature, beauty, freedom and stewardship of the land. That's why we love buying land there and believe others seeking property will find it's a place easy to love as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land are available for purchase in Michigan?

Michigan offers diverse land options for buyers. You can find vacant recreational parcels perfect for hunting cabins or summer cottages. There are lakeside and riverfront properties with pristine water access. Abundant agricultural land and farmland can be purchased for crops or livestock. And you can buy large acreages of timberland or undeveloped forest. Overall Michigan has a great mix of land types for sale.

What is the average price per acre for land in Michigan?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average per-acre value of farmland across Michigan as of 2020 was around $4,100. However, land prices can vary more significantly based on location and whether its recreational, agricultural, waterfront, etc. But in general, Michigan offers affordable land prices compared to nearby Midwest states.

Are there restrictions on non-residents or foreign buyers purchasing Michigan land?

No, Michigan imposes no waiting periods or restrictions for out-of-state or foreign buyers to purchase and own property. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Once you close on the sale, you can immediately take ownership of land.

What taxes are there on owning land in Michigan?

Michigan levies a property tax on land averaging 1-2% of assessed value. The state has no inheritance tax, estate tax or capital gains tax if you sell a property owned for 3+ years. Overall, property taxes are low making it a tax-friendly state for landowners.

Is financing readily available for buying land in Michigan?

Yes, there are many financing options for purchasers. Banks and mortgage companies offer loans for land acquisition. Owner financing is also common where the seller finances a portion of the sale. And companies like us provide land contract sales that allow buyers to pay the purchase price over time. Financing makes buying Michigan land accessible.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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