An interesting lighthouse property is up for auction near Mackinac Island, Michigan. Historically, the lighthouse, which opened in 1948, marked the maritime passage between Round Island and Mackinac Island in Lake Huron. The lighthouse is still in operation, and the U.S. Coastguard will continue to maintain its solar panel powered signaling beacons despite any purchases and sales of the property.

According to a representative for the U.S. General Services Administration, which is managing the auction, the lighthouse investment property has potential for being turned into a bed and breakfast business or even a home. The structure is made of steel plate, and it includes a concrete base and a 71-foot high tower; however, the land on which it stands is not for sale.

At this time, the U.S. Coast Guard is the listed owner of the property, and it is working with the GSA to dispose sell it. Thus far, the GSA has liquidated 213 different facilities for total proceeds of approximately $97.7 million. When a historic lighthouse is put up for auction, other government agencies and certain nonprofit organizations will have the right to buy it, but if no applications are received, then the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act allows the GSA to sell lighthouses to the general public.

Lighthouses could make interesting investment properties and the purchases and sales of them have gone for as little as $10,000 to as much as $933,000 in the past. Whenever a Michigan resident decides to purchase a piece of investment property, however, it is important that he or she reviews all documentation pertaining to the sale carefully and with an expert legal eye. Barring such a legal review, investors could find themselves in a difficult or unplanned for situation later on down the road.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “Historic lighthouse near Mackinac Island could be your house!” Zlati Meyer, Aug. 19, 2014

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