Real Estate Agent Russ Ravary
Russ Ravary
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If you are moving to Southeast Michigan you may not realize that there are many lake areas around metro Detroit.  Yes, hundreds of lakes with many different types of lake homes.  You can find lakes and lakes homes in almost all directions from Detroit.  To the northeast you have Lake St. Clair.  To the east and south you have the Detroit River that flows down to Lake Erie.  This is what we call big water.  You can find river front homes and lake front homes all along the coast.   As you can see there is a large area north of Detroit on Lake St Clair that is full of lake homes.  There are even canals that run off the lake.  So there are canal front homes.

If you buy a house on the river, canal, or on Lake St Clair you are going to have a bigger boat than the inland lakes.  Mininum size boat I would say you want would be at least 25' but a 30 to 40 boat would be better.  Lake St. Clair is a shallow lake, and has several sand bars where boaters hang out.  There are some weekends where there will be hundreds of boats parked at a sandbar. 

 

 

To the west and to the north you have several lake areas.    In Oakland County they say there are 421 named lakes (at least according to one source).  There are others that say there are more or less lakes.  To the west in Livingston County there is another lake area that also has many different lakes. Then further to the southwest in the Irish Hills are another group of lakes.  It is the same way to the northwest near Fenton.  There is another group of lakes up there.   

Lake Sherwood in Commerce Township

You will find Oakland County lakes and lake homes in the follow communities

  • West Bloomfield
  • Bloomfield Hills
  • Bloomfield Township
  • Clarkston Area
  • Lake Orion Area
  • White Lake
  • Waterford
  • Commerce
  • Milford area
  • Highland
  • Wolverine Lake
  • Walled Lake
  • Novi
  • Holly area 

 

 

Oakland County lakes are the closest lakes to downtown Detroit and the major business areas in Oakland County.  You will learn that Southfield, Troy, and Auburn are three of the major office areas and where many of the Fortune 500 have offices.  You can find lakes and lake homes as close as 15 minutes away from these big centers.  Usually you can find a lake home with anywhere from a thirty minute commute to a hour and fifteen minute commute. 

Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township are two of the most prestigious communities in Oakland County.  Though lake homes in West Bloomfield, Novi, and the Clarkston area are in very high demand also.  Though you will find both luxury homes and average size homes throughout the county.  You can find homes in all price ranges, sizes, and styles.  

 

Portage Lake in Livingston County

If you zoom in on the above map between Ann Arbor and Brighton you will see a large lake area to the west of the freeway US -23.  This area I am showing you includes both Livingston County and Washtenaw County.  What is nice about this area is that you are close to Ann Arbor and Brighton.  You have the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and many tech companies.  So if you are going to work in Ann Arbor, Brighton, or the western part of metro Detroit you may be able to find a great lake home with a short commute for you. 

The most desirable lake or should I say lakes is the chain of lakes that runs from Hamburg to Pinckney.  It includes Little Portage Lake, Big Portage Lake, Baseline Lake, Whitewood Lake, Gallagher Lake, Strawberry Lake, and Zukey Lake.  Many of the lakes in this area are part of the Huron River watershed.  Further downstream you will find two large lakes called Ford Lake and Belleville Lake near Ypsilanti.  There is also a second chain of lakes further to the west that is more rural and has more state land surrounding the lakes.  Of course there are many other nice lakes in Livingston County that you will like.  It just boils down to your budget and what you want in a lake and lake home.  They say there there are about 164 lakes in Livingston County and about 115 lakes in Washtenaw County.  You have plenty of lakes to chose from when you move to Southeast Michigan.

 

 

The next closest area of lakes is going to be Fenton area in Genessee County and then next is Lapeer County.  There are many more lakes and lake homes to chose from in these areas.  However your drive to Metro Detroit is going to be longer.  However if you work in Flint the Fenton, Linden, Argentine Lake area is going to be a short drive for you.  Fenton Lake and Silver Lake near Fenton are two very high end lakes.  There are quite a few million dollar plus lake homes on these two lakes.  Like so many other lakes you will find regular homes too.  Of course all across the area there are hundreds of lake homes of all different sizes, styles, and age group.

The city of Flint if you do not know has gone down hill since the closing of some of the auto factories there.  I am sure you heard of the Flint water crisis.  However if you live out in the lakes area you are not affected by that or by the City of Flint at all.  It is two separate world.  I would call the area a semi rural area, with the City of Fenton being a great place to live.  Fenton which is a growing community with many of the stores, restaurants, and conveniences you will need.  I like the area a lot and would move to a lake out there if I moved from White Lake. 

 

 

Above is Lapeer County.  The only lake area in Lapeer County that you would even want to live in if you work in the metro Detroit area is the southern part of the county.  Even then it would be a longer drive for you.  Metamora would not be a really bad drive if you worked in Auburn Hills.  But Lake Orion would be a closer lake area for you.  Genessee County is going to be more of a rural area with farms.

The last lake area I will talk about is the Irish Hills - Jackson lake area.  As you can see there are a lot of lakes in the area.  You would only want to live in this area if you worked in Jackson or if you wanted a long drive Ann Arbor.  Again you would want to pick out the lakes closest to Ann Arbor if you want a reasonalbe commute time. 

 

 

I hope you have a little understanding of where the lake areas are in Southeast Michigan.  No matter what you make in salary or wages there most likely is a Michigan lake home for you.  I would say in 2019 that lake home prices will start at $300,000 and run into the millions of dollars for a luxury lake estate.

Sunset on White LakeYou have to remember that in the early 1900's many of these lake areas were weekend getaways for Detroiter's and other major city areas like Flint and Jackson.  So you will find lake homes that were built in the 1920's to the present.  It is very hard to find a decent affordable lake lot to build a lake home in the metro Detroit area.  If you find a lot you are going to find that it is going to be expensive.  Many times the cost of the lot will make it only feasible to build a home over a million dollars.  It is hard to find a lake lot that is less than $300,000.  I recently sold a home for $600,000 in 2018 that was a teardown.  The buyers were going to tear down this rundown house and build a new home.  It would have to be a two million dollar house to make sense to do that.

What I started to say that some of the older homes from the early era are still around.  Many of them have been added onto, remodeled, or torn down to make way for bigger homes.  In most of the lake areas you will find homes that have been built in almost every decade.  So you will have many different styles, and sizes of homes.  Some homes have been designed to fit the smaller lots.  If you are moving to Michigan and need a good relocation real estate agent then give me a call or text.  I will provide you the information to make a good decision on where to live in Michigan.  My cell is (248) 310-6239 

Remember I give a great home buyer bonus too

Michigan home buyer bonus