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Friday, December 11, 2015

A real “estate” opportunity…

There are all sorts of properties that use the word “estate” in their descriptions, including many mobile home parks in the area. There are subdivisions that advertise “estate-size lots”, which usually means a plot of 2-5 acres in the middle of a barren field that used to be a farm. The newly rich build big houses on those lots for all to see, because they have a need to show off their wealth and to be seen.

Then there exists what I would truly call estates. Most of the time, you may not even be able to see the house or perhaps just catch a glimpse of it. They may have high stone or brick walls around them and impressive entrances with big iron gates. They usually have long winding drives, many times in wooded areas that afford the privacy that moneyed people who are secure with their wealth and position in life crave. Of course they are still spectacular homes, but they are not so much on public display as they are built for the enjoyment of the owners and a few invited guests.

Such will be the case for the estate that will be built on the 12.6 acres at the end of Indian Hills Drive in Milford, Michigan. The area was named Indian Hills by early settlers and likely was frequented by the Chippewa Indians that lived in the Milford area.  The Chippewa Nation (also called Ojibwe) were part of an Algonquian body, including the Ottawa and Potawatomi Indians. During the late 1700s and early 1800s, all three nations resided in Michigan. Back then, the band of Saginaw Chippewa tribe ruled most of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula including the Milford area.

To begin with, this is a spectacular property. It is perhaps the most pristine and dramatic build site left in Oakland County and perhaps all of Michigan. Hilly and with ravines that drop off 50’ or more this property was formed by the recession of the great glaciers that once covered this area. From the entrance on Indian Hills Drive, off W. Commerce Rd., the property rises perhaps 100-200 feet along the ¼ mile path that will be the driveway.  It ends at the highest point of the property on a hilltop that overlooks Indian Lake, which is about 50-60 feet down the slope of the hill. The property has 332’ of frontage on the Indian Lake. Indian Lake is a small all-sports lake that is most suitable for swimming or fishing and provides a great view from the hill top.

All around the build location, and for the full length of the drive, the property is heavily wooded with trees that have been there for centuries. The right buyer and builder will leave as many of those trees as possible. It would be a shame to clear this land down to a barren plot as many would-be estate builders seem to prefer. The trees and the wildlife that lives in them are a major part of what will make this a true estate. It awaits the right buyer and the right builder with a grand vision of what it could become.

I’m working currently with Hemphill Builders and have listed  their proposal to build a 5,000 Sq. Ft. 4-bedroom, four and a half bath French Country Home on this spectacular site.  There were two obvious ways that one could go with a site like this – either go modern with a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired house that would blend in with nature or go classic with a French or English style country home. I think the natural stone facade of the proposed French Country style home will fit very nicely in the wooded setting. The listed price of
$1,700,000 for the build job is just a starting point and does include the lot, which is listed separately for $300,000. The right person will probably end up in the mid-$2 Million range, perhaps much more if they decide to do a privacy wall around the estate or to pave the ¼ mile driveway and put in a grand entrance gate. This has the potential to become one of those properties that is given a name, because of the unique and spectacular nature of the setting.

It’s interesting to speculate about who might build here and what they might end up doing. People coming to this area from places like California can’t believe how inexpensive real estate is here. Out there, one might pay $1.7 Million for a three-bedroom ranch house of 2,500 Sq Ft. in a subdivision. So an executive moving from there might think this is a bargain. The same is true of many international buyers. We do not have quite the draw of the coasts for international buyers; however, we do have a quaint little Village nearby with great restaurants and shops and the promise of great anonymity, should they choose to live quietly by themselves.  

For those who are past the need to show off their wealth and just wish to have a wonderful and private estate, this is a rare opportunity. Hemphill Builders has built many homes in the area from 3,000 to over 10,000 Sq. Ft. They use the finest materials and employ the best craftsmen to insure the finest finishes inside and out. They can put all of the amenities that you can imagine into the home, but it would still not be a true estate if it were placed out in the middle of a barren field in a subdivision full of “estates”.  IF you’re ready to build a true estate, then check out this property and Hemphill builders. It doesn’t get any better than this. 

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