Welcome to Michigan Lakes!

We are all about Michigan lakes. Life on, in and near Michigan's lakefront brings a richness that rewards for a lifetime. Have a story or comments on your experience? You can be one of the first to share it with the world on our Michigan lake directory.
  • Error loading feed data.

Different Types of Waterfront Property

michiganwaterfront-dockPeople looking for waterfront or lakefront property will soon discover some new terms regarding water frontage.

“Private waterfront” is the most expensive, but you own frontage right on the water and you do not have to share it with others.

“Water view” property is really just that, property with a view of the lake or the river. The property has no waterfront and often no water access.

The advantage of having a property with only a view and no actual frontage on the water is that the purchase price, and often taxes, are considerably less. However, as water view property gains in popularity, some townships are beginning to realize the increased value and this is reflected in the taxes.

One of the disadvantages to water view is that your view may be a seasonal view. Views can greatly be diminished as the foliage on the trees increase during the summer months. You should also keep in mind that new construction on nearby lots could eventually block your view.

Purchasing a home near a public park or a public access area is often an affordable way to enjoy the water without the higher costs associated with waterfront purchases.

The terms “deeded access” and “shared access” can be confusing and misunderstood. Not all types of shared access or deeded access are the same. They are properties that do not own any water frontage, but have an easement for access and egress through another property. In other words, you can go through the property to get to the water.

Many times when land was developed around a lake or along a river, off water lots, sometimes referred to as back lots, were created with a common waterfront lot to serve as the public access for the owners of the back lots. Some of these lots may allow the right to have a dock, use the beach or to moor a boat. Some do not allow for such rights, but only allow for ingress and egress.

An important thing to find out is how many other people have the same use of the deeded or shared access. If it is only a few, it may not be to bad. But, if 101 others are sharing a 100 foot lot, it would not be as appealing.

Anytime you are not sure of the type of water frontage you are looking at, be sure ask the questions and ask again until you are sure you understand.

As in any real estate purchase, always insist on a Title Insurance policy as well as a Survey. This is all the more important with all lakefront and all waterfront properties.

Written by Dave.