Lake Michigan Waterfront Homes and Beach-saving Solutions

Posted by Andrea Crossman on Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 at 10:52am.

The West Michigan Lakeshore is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. With its towering dunes, sugary beaches, and wooded parks, the Michigan shoreline has no shortage of natural beauty.

Recently, some homes along the Lake Michigan shoreline made headlines due to issues created by rising water levels. However, beachfront erosion may have put some homes in danger of damage, but not all of them. Much of the gorgeous Lake Michigan waterfront real estate in West Michigan is not under any threat.

In areas where high water levels may become an issue, there are solutions that can prevent erosion from damaging lakefront homes and properties. Depending on characteristics of the shoreline and surrounding environment, different solutions may exist but one of the most popular approaches is the use of rock revetment.

Rock revetment is the use of large rocks or stones, sometimes known as riprap, to protect the dunes and the homes above by armoring the shoreline against the pounding Lake Michigan waves.  

Heavier materials like granite and limestone are placed carefully along the shoreline to create a barrier. Although it may look as though they have been thrown in a pile along the beach, the large, often angular rocks are carefully placed to disperse the energy of the incoming waves while allowing the run-off of any water trapped behind.

Rock revetment may not be the least expensive option, but it is a long-lasting solution capable of protecting a home for generations. Other solutions may be available in some areas, but revetment provides a shoreline barrier that may never need to be replaced. 

For many properties, natural characteristics can create a protective barrier that helps protect the dunes. Plants and trees, natural rock formations, and other structure help build a foundation that prevents sand from eroding and keeps the shoreline in place.

However, if that natural structure has been removed, rock revetment can recreate that protective barrier and protect the shoreline.

For buyers looking to purchase a lakefront home, the need for improvements or upgrades can present pricing or negotiation opportunities. Knowing what solutions exist can help buyers make better decisions or better offers. For sellers, knowing what solutions exist, or whether they may be necessary, can help ease a potential buyer’s mind.

With recent events impacting businesses and industries across the country, people want to know more about the safety of their potential investment before they buy a house.

Whether the home is a two-bedroom ranch in Zeeland or a 5000 square foot castle overlooking the big lake, buyers want to know they are making a good decision before signing on the dotted line.

Beachfront erosion may present challenges to buyers and sellers, but it should not be seen as a deal-breaker. By learning the options available, beautiful Lakeshore properties and the coastline below can be protected for generations to come.

If you would like to know more about homes along the West Michigan Lakeshore, please contact the waterfront specialist team at the Andrea Crossman Group. We can help you find the home of your dreams.

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