I grew up on a farm in the Eastern Upper Peninsula (Sault Ste. Marie), lived in Chicago for ~8 years and now live in Nothern Lower Michigan (Tustin).
When my wife and I moved from the city back to the farm, we didn't pick the Sault — even though that would have been much easier in a lot of ways. The main reason we chose Tustin (besides my wife's work) is that it's much closer to things. If you want to have any kind of life outside of your property or see friends (or have them easily visit) I would stay in the lower peninsula.
We can get to Traverse City and Grand Rapids in a little over an hour. The culture is many small towns in just terrible and you'll need to get out every once in a while. Houghton is probably better with Michigan Tech being up there. Marquette is a really cool town too.
Of course, we also have slightly warmer weather here. A little less rain though. The snow belt is just north of us (Traverse City area) so a lot of the summer rains end up missing us. We still get a decent amount though — except for this summer. :p
Houghton gets absolutely dumped on for snow with long winters. They actually had historic rains/flash floods earlier this year too and it literally washed out many of their roads. It will be interesting to see how it affected housing/land up there.
If you're looking for land in that area I believe it's pretty rocky up there. Be sure to look at the USDA soil surveys to get an idea of the land and how deep the soil is.