ime was, you counted on old What's His Name to drain your pipes in winter and open the cottage in spring. Time was, he was out hunting or smelt dipping just when you wanted it done. Add to that the waste of paying for 12 months of ownership when the cottage sat empty for nine. What's a cottager to do? One answer: Become a fractionalized owner--you own a place Up North (deed and all) for a fraction of the year. No maintenance required. There are a number of ways to slice the buy--here's a taste of what the Up North market is serving up.
The Homestead Resort, Glen Arbor
This four-season resort on Lake Michigan's Sleeping Bear Bay has a number of fractional properties, each designed for a different share of the year: 1/12, 1/8 or 1/4. Owners own at least a week a season, depending on their fraction. Fractions start at $97,900. 231-334-5500, thehomesteadresort.com
Tamarack Lodge, Traverse City
This Arts & Crafts–styled lodge on 800 feet of East Grand Traverse Bay shoreline divides the year in eighths, and you call the fraction—from as small as 1/8 all the way to 8/8. Weeks rotate so everyone gets a piece of the good season. Fractions start at $51,500. 888-938-3950, tamaracklodgetc.com
The Cabins at Hidden River, Brutus
These sweet little cabins nestled next to the Maple River and the Hidden River Golf and Casting Club slice up at 13 weeks a year. That's 1/4 ownership with an extra week that rotates through the year. Cabins are fully furnished and include a club membership. $79,000, 800-325-4653, hiddenriver.com