"Up North" Cottage interest is low

Jul 7, 2014

Credit Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

Owning a cottage up north used to be the ‘Michigan Dream’.  However, with the recession, the burst of the housing bubble, the auto bailout, and the loss of pension plans and other savings, interest in the market is low.

Craig Hinkle, a broker and owner at RE/MAX Grayling, said auto workers used to be one of the biggest cottage buyers, and now many others are not holding on to their second homes. In 2006 values dropped 25-30%. With the market so low, people who want to sell can’t.

“You put up a cute log place on one of these trout streams, you are all proud of it. You get a good price on it, you post it on the internet, you do a mailing, and you get zero responses and it’s just like ‘Oh my goodness, what’s going on here?’” Hinkle said.

John Beck is an associate professor at the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University. He said a lot of auto workers had cottages because they had disposable income, but now they are not making enough to do so. The younger generation does not have the income, assets, or savings for a second home, or can’t even afford first homes. The interest is also not there. 

*Listen to the interview on Stateside at 3:00 pm. Audio for this story will be posted on Michigan Radio by 4:30 pm.

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