When you buy land in the U.P., Northern Michigan, or any more remote area there are a few things we’d like to think about. Here, you will find wildness, beauty, serenity, security, and recreational opportunities that recharge your batteries and renew your perspective on who you are and what you do.
Not every property connects to a public road. Some do not even have legal access, a recorded easement from a public road to the property. When land belonging to others has been used for more than 15 years a “prescriptive” right of access may be created and it may be possible to convert this to a legal easement. Sometimes “legal” access exists but is over terrain where it is not practically possible to build a usable road. Obviously you need the legal right to access your property over usable terrain.
Many public roads are “seasonal,” which means they are not plowed in the winter. In these areas people may have a vehicle with a plow or hire it done; but the length and/or nature of the access can make that nearly impossible or expensive. If you have land in such a place you may reach it by snowmobile, cross country skis or snowshoes in the winter.
Consider utilities: In some areas it is difficult to drill a well because of rock, and the water you get may contains impurities that will need to be removed. This will make your system more expensive. Rural areas have no sewer systems. Sewage treatment requires a septic system or one of the aerobic or wetland systems. In some areas these systems work very well; in others they require additional features that cost more and/or work less well. Some areas will not “perc” and septic systems are not possible.
Your land may have electric and phone lines, or they may be close enough to extend at reasonable cost. If not you will need a generator if you want electric power, and cellular or radiophone systems of you want phone service. There are contractors experienced in developing site-specific solar and wind energy systems as well. Some people make decisions on how they value privacy and wildness and do without or use alternate systems.
Excellent medical facilities that may not be close to the property you choose. The distance to a good airport with scheduled service is a consideration, as is the convenience of a good grocery store, restaurants, and a good hardware store.
Concerns include the threat of metallic sulfide and uranium mining in the Western U.P. primarily west of Marquette. Exploration, and spirited opposition, are proceeding. See savethewildup.org for details. I believe this kind of mining will be controlled, but I could be wrong and there could well be more active mines. Help us fight this kind of mining to protect the water!
Some areas have it all. Others do not. The trick is to decide what you can live without, and to be comfortable without “conveniences” knowing you’re gaining so much more: beach fires, Northern Lights, trout fishing, a glimpse of a bobcat, and a simpler way. People come and enjoy the North Country experience, build traditions, and pass them on to their children BECAUSE it is less developed. We can help you sort through alternatives, find an area with features and benefits that meet your needs, and a place within that area that will become dear to your heart.