Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Kalkaska County Waterfront Listings.

Charming classic cottage on Kettle Lake located two miles outside of the Village of Kalkaska. This cottage has knotty pine interior, 3 season porch on the waterside and 120 feet of frontage on this quiet fishing lake where Eagles soar and Loons nest. Great fishing for perch, bass and bluegill. The property adjoins state land and is on a private road with rare traffic. If you have every thought you wanted a place to get away from it all this is the cottage for you and priced at only $99,500.

Adorable turn key cottage located on almost an acre of property with 100 feet of channel frontage leading into Manistee Lake - an 860 acre all sports lake located in Northeast Kalkaska County and very close to the Blue Bear Snowmobile Trail system. What this cottgage lacks in size in makes up for in total charm with cathedral ceilings, woodburning fireplace and a guest cottage which could be updated to provide additional sleeping room for extra family and friends. Priced at only $89,500 it is a great opportunity for someone looking for a low maintenance getaway.
Kalkaska County offers incredible value and some of Michigan's cleanest lakes. Kalkaska County has 90 lakes and 3 rivers providing something for everyone in all price ranges. Contact to help you find your Homewaters.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mortgage Rates Rise on Weak Auctions

A combination of factors was negative for mortgage markets this week, and mortgage rates ended higher. Large budget deficits and economic troubles in smaller European Union nations made bonds less attractive to global investors. In addition, stock market gains sent the Dow to an 18-month high, which pulled funds out of fixed income investments. Finally, with just one week remaining for the Fed's MBS purchase program, comments from Fed Chief Bernanke about potential future MBS sales added to the pressure in mortgage markets.
For months, investors have been concerned that the enormous supply of debt needed to fund US government spending would force yields on US Treasury securities to rise to attract purchasers. This is what took place this week. Demand was surprisingly weak at all of this week's record Treasury auctions, especially from foreign investors, and yields were pushed higher. Since mortgage-backed securities (MBS) compete for investors with Treasuries, MBS yields rose as well, pushing mortgage rates higher.
In a speech on Thursday, Fed Chief Bernanke added to the volatility in mortgage markets with his comments about the possible timing of future sales of MBS from the Fed's portfolio. To support the economy, the Fed has purchased almost $1.25 trillion of MBS since the start of 2009. The Fed has made clear from the start that it was a temporary measure and that it would eventually sell its MBS holdings when the economy was healthy enough. Earlier this month, Bernanke stated that he did not expect the Fed to sell assets "in the near term". On Thursday, however, his language changed a little. While Bernanke assured investors that MBS sales would be gradual and that they would only take place if the economy were strong enough to handle it, he opened the door for the start of Fed MBS sales at an earlier date than previously anticipated. For more information and free mortgage advice, please e-mail Keith Gillow: or call me at 231.946.6300.

Tight Lines,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Caution to the Wind

With spring dangling on the horizon and fisherman ready to cast their first line, the DNR would like to remind all anglers a new license season begins April 1, 2010. With this new season comes some changes - surprise! Here are just a few . . .
  • Inland Trout and Salmon streams formerly designated as Types 5, 6, and 7 have been re-categorized into "Gear Restricted Streams."
  • Walleye fishing in Mullet Lake and adjoining sections has a reduced bag limit of three fish daily with a revised season of May 15 - March 15.
To ensure that your season doesn't start off with a snag, pick up a copy of the 2010 Michigan Fishing Guide and read it! Be sure to check the specific zone boundaries and stream types to make sure you are in compliance. You sure don't want to get a tap on the shoulder when you're landing the big one!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

For all of us in Northern Michigan we are glad to see the snow has all but disappeared. Summer never seems to be long enough and winter lasts forever. At least that is what it seems like right around this time of year. The ice is retreating from the shoreline and soon will be gone. That means it is time to get the boat wet!
Last year we had the boat ready to go early and did get a cruise under out belts in April. I am always ready to hit the lake. Boating for my family and me is one of our summer highlights; Especially on Lake Leelanau. A slow cruise early and late in the season with the canvas up keeps us toasty warm, yet still able to enjoy all the beauty there is to behold on this great lake. I invite you to get your boats ready soon, and take a cruise down to the south end of Lake Leelanau and have a great burger at the Lakeside Resort, better known as the Tiki Bar, before the summer rush happens. It is a different experience to be the only boat on the water, almost like it is your private utopia. Happy boating everyone - Spring has sprung.

Friday, March 19, 2010

No Surprises From Fed Meeting

There were no major surprises in the economic data or the Fed announcement this week. As a result, while volatility remained day to day, mortgage rates ended nearly unchanged for the third straight week.
As expected at its meeting on Tuesday, the Fed held the fed funds rate steady, and the accompanying statement contained few changes. The statement retained the language about the fed funds rate remaining at extremely low levels for at least several months. The Fed's assessment of the economy was a little more upbeat at this meeting, but pointed out that economic improvement will occur slowly. The Fed continued to signal that the $1.25 trillion MBS purchase program will conclude at the end of March. With less than two weeks of Fed MBS purchases remaining, investors will be watching closely to see if the Fed's exit has an impact on mortgage rates.
This week's inflation data showed that inflation is not a concern right now. The February Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased at a low 1.3% annual rate. The Fed's target range is commonly believed to be a 1.5% to 2.0% annual rate. The current low inflation environment makes it easier for the Fed to continue to hold the fed funds rate low to stimulate the economy. For more information and free mortgage advice, please e-mail Keith Gillow at:

Tight Lines,


Wixom Lake in the Spring!

Wixom Lake in the Spring

I love Wixom Lake but I especially love Wixom Lake in the Spring. Actually Spring doesn't officially arrive until this weekend but with all the sunshine and 60 degree weather is feels like it has been for about a week or so. Fresh off an afternoon off spent doing some shopping with a favorite Aunt I wanted to continue with the clear headed, less stressed feelings I was experienincing so I asked the neighbor to take a walk with me.

I am so glad I went. Spring near Wixom Lake is amazing to me. The birds are returning home after a long winter away. I saw ducks swimming around and a beautiful trumpeter swan! The lake was very still and looked like a sheet of glass, the world around us was quiet and sleepy and the sun was low in the sky. There was a thin layer of ice in a little cove yet, but for the most part, the lake is unfrozen and I get such a sense of re-awakening, new life and a fresh start!

It was just what I needed to kick off this day. I need to remember that I can take care of my family and clients better if I take care of myself first! I'm not sure why that is so easy for me to forget but hopefully with the help of my neighbor we will take more morning walks along Wixom Lake just like this!

Soon, we won't see any ice but rather a sleepy world waking up, ducks swimming on Wixom Lake, the occasional fish jumping and the early morning fisherman on their docks or out in their boats. Still sounds amazing to me but not able to be apprecicated as much as a beautiful Spring morning on Wixom Lake!!

Are you thinking about making Gladwin County, Michigan your new home? Gladwin County is home to both Wixom Lake and Secord Lake! Are you thinking about taking advantage of the great interest rates and affordable prices to buy your own slice of Northern Michigan Heaven? Contact me today and lets gets started! I know the area very well and I know the market even better! You can call me at 989-429-2600, email me at or visit my website.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Secord Lake, Gladwin, Michigan

Secord Lake, Gladwin, Michigan

Welcome! Visitors are welcome in Gladwin, Michigan especially the kind that like to stay and play awhile! Come with your family, your friends or just yourself and I'll bet you'll make new friends while you're here!

This blog post will feature Secord Lake, an approximately 2,000 acre serene and picturesque all sports lake,inside Gladwin County and located in Gladwin, Michigan. The lake takes in Secord Township and is formed by the Tittabawassee River system. It would take many hours of boat travel to see the entire lake! You will find miles of shoreline and much sandy swimming!

Many people enjoy Secord Lake with pontoons, ski boats, jet ski's, fishing boats and it's not uncommon to see a canoe or kayak during the quieter times. Don't forget to check out Lost Arrow Resort on the Water, a beautiful waterfront resort that boasts a fabulous restaurant serving many fine foods including farm raised venison. The resort offers trophy whitetail hunting, a sporting clay course, fishing, indoor pool and spa!

Secord  Lake Map

There are currently 64 active listings for sale on Secord Lake ranging in price from an older mobile on the more river like waters at $35,000 to a 3,700 sq ft contemporary home with 100' of sandy bottom frontage for $499,900. There is something for all budgets and life styles on Secord Lake!

Rose Lane, $499,900

Come join the fun!!! Are you thinking about making Gladwin or Clare County, Michigan your new home or vacation get away? Are you thinking about taking advantage of the great interest rates and affordable prices to buy your own fun and relaxation headquarters? Contact me today and lets gets started! I know my hometown very well and I know the market even better! You can call me at 989-429-2600, email me at or visit my website at .

Are you thinking about making Gladwin County, Michigan your new home? Gladwin County is home to both Wixom Lake and Secord Lake! Are you thinking about taking advantage of the great interest rates and affordable prices to buy your own slice of Northern Michigan Heaven? Contact me today and lets gets started! I know the area very well and I know the market even better! You can call me at 989-429-2600, email me at or visit my website.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Top Agent for February

Congratulations to Cheri Wickman who worked hard to top all other agents and brokers within our company for the month of February. Cheri joined the firm last year to service the lakes and rivers of Leelanau County including Glen Lake, Lake Leelanau, Lake Michigan and West Grand Traverse Bay. Cheri and her husband, Ted, who is also an agent with Homewaters, L.L.C., live and play in Leelanau County with their two daughters, Paige and Lainey. Cheri earned the honor in part by listing 11 new properties in February including a fantastic opportunity to build your dream home or condo atop the historic Candy Factory in Downtown Traverse City that is now home to North Peak Brewing Company. (click the photo below for details) If you have a need for property in Leelanau County or are a seller looking to learn more about the value of your property, please contact Cheri at your convenience. She's one of the most sincere, personable people you're going to meet this year, I guarantee.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why Now is the Time to Buy Your Cottage on Wixom Lake

Why now is the time to buy your cottage on Wixom Lake.

Now is the time to buy on Wixom Lake

As a full time realtor who both lives, works, and plays actively in the communities I serve, I am frequently asked how the market is doing or how business is. It seems the people asking me lately are a bit surprised by my answer, but there are many out there who already know, and they are the ones who will be relaxing and making memories with their families on the lake this Spring, Summer and Fall.

So why is now the time to buy on Wixom Lake? Well here are a few reasons:

1. The market is stable. There has been no decline in value in 7 months. Prices appear to have declined as far as they are going to decline on Wixom Lake, meaning now is the time to get the best deal before we begin to realize any appreciation.

2. The Spring Market is Here. It is time to buy on Wixom Lake or at least actively begin your search because while there remains some fabulous inventory, new listings are becoming available every day now!

3. More Buyers are Becoming Aware. More and more buyers are realizing that now is the time to buy on Wixom Lake, thus if you don't act soon, competition with other buyers will increase and the market could turn towards a sellers market.

4. There is no better time! There is no better time to start making memories than today! I have one couple who wants to purchase a cottage on the lake to build memories with their kids. BUT, they have been looking for that perfect investment opportunity. Meanwhile their children have grown by 3 years. Time flies and the memories you create today will last a lifetime!

Now is the time to buy on Wixom Lake

Currently there are 52 listing available on Wixom Lake ranging in price from $30,000 - $449,000. There is real estate on Wixom Lake for any budget from cute cottages and cabins to luxurious homes. Now is the time to buy on Wixom Lake.

To take advantage of the ideal market conditions and begin making memories contact me today to begin your search. I can create a new listing notifier for you that will send you listings that meet your specific search criteria as they become available.

Are you thinking about making Gladwin County, Michigan your new home? Gladwin County is home to both Wixom Lake and Secord Lake! Are you thinking about taking advantage of the great interest rates and affordable prices to buy your own slice of Northern Michigan Heaven? Contact me today and lets gets started! I know the area very well and I know the market even better! You can call me at 989-429-2600, email me at or visit my website.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quiet Week for Mortgage Markets

During a very light week for economic news, the economic data and Treasury auctions contained few surprises and produced little reaction in mortgage markets. Mortgage rates ended the week nearly unchanged.
In early 2009, the Fed embarked on a $1.25 trillion mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program to help keep mortgage rates low and stimulate the economy. The amount purchased varied from week to week, reaching a peak of $33.2 billion in the week of March 25, 2009. The Fed has been gradually reducing the size of its purchases at a pace consistent with a March 31 conclusion of the program, and the most recent weekly purchases have been down to around $10 billion.
As the date nears, the big question is what will happen when the MBS purchase program ends. This program is unprecedented, making the outcome difficult to predict, and forecasts vary widely. Estimates for the impact on mortgage rates from the conclusion of the program vary from an increase of one percent to no change. Those who predict higher mortgage rates point to a basic change in the fundamental supply and demand. The added demand from the Fed was widely credited with moving rates lower, and a decrease in demand would typically push rates higher. However, other economists argue that investors respond only to unexpected news. In this view, since the Fed has telegraphed the end of the program for months, there should be little reaction around March 31. The Fed itself has indicated that they expect a modest increase in mortgage rates due to the end of the program. For more information and free mortgage advice, please e-mail Keith Gillow at:

Tight Lines,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Easy, low cost update that WILL help sell your cottage!!

Paint your panelling!!!!!!!!





Happenings in River Country

March 2010

Like most of the state, we are experiencing balmy weather for the month of March. It would be na├»ve to think that this spring like weather is here to stay but we’ll enjoy every day that we can. Old man winter could still have some surprises in store and putting the snow shovel and boots away might be a bit premature. In the meantime, folks are taking an opportunity to get out on the rivers to get in some kayaking, canoing and fly fishing where permitted. Ice shanties are disappearing from the lakes and the snow is slowly melting away. It’s a great time to get out and enjoy some fresh air and the warmth of a sunny day!

Upcoming Events

Home Waters Recreational Real Estate will be exhibiting at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo, March 13 & 14 in Warren, Michigan. One the largest shows of it’s kind, this show is a season kickoff for many fly fishing enthusiasts and a fun excursion to shake off those winter time blues. For show details go to: Stop by and see us!

For the second year, Michigan Anglers for Conservation is proud to be the host for the 2010 Fly Fishing Film Tour. The venue this year and will be at the Traverse City Opera House.  If you haven’t been there before, it’s a spectacular place that has been meticulously restored and will provide an awesome setting for the event. Beer will be available at the venue including selections from Short’s Brewery in Bellaire.  There is a terrific collection of films this year and trailers for each can be viewed on the Film Tour Website.  Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased online through the Opera House at

River Property

If you’ve been thinking about finding your own home water, check out what’s available on the Au Sable and Big Creek systems. There are 38 residential properties listed, ranging from $46,000 to $1,295,000 in price. There’s something available for everyone’s budget! For details, go to There’s also a good selection of residential properties available on the Manistee River starting at $49,900. Go to for more information. There are also many fine vacant parcels on these rivers. Visit our website and use our easy to use search tools for a river or lake property that peaks your interest. always, let me know if I can be of assistance in helping you find your own Home Water! Visit us often at

Mark Bear / / (989) 889-5037

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sugar Springs, A Planned Community in Gladwin, Michigan

Sugar Springs, a private planned community in Gladwin, Michgian (of some 1,200 homes) is well known for its all sports lakes (Lake Lancer & Lake Lancelot) that offer great fishing, its championship golf course and pro shop, rolling terrain and winding roads. Over 100 years ago the heart of this thriving community was called Millsville. Millsville was centered near the "Shotgun Corners" of what are now Grass Lake Road and Butman Road and was home to families and a lumber company. The railroad and farming were the main industries however Millsville was hidden away from the industrial revolution and the seclusion that made its inhabitants love it the most was what ultimately led to its demise.

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N.E. Isaacson, a developer, adored the seclusion this area had to offer and felt it was the best kept secret in Michigan. He desired to create a community called "Sugar Springs". The community was to include and does still today a 1,000 acres of Lakes (230 for Lake Lancelot and 780 for Lake Lancer) and 3,200 platted acres.

<span class=Today Sugar Springs offers an 18-hole golf course and pro shop that was designed by Jerry Matthews. The golf course has been rated with 3 stars from Golf Digest and distinguished as one of the 25 best public golf courses in Michigan.

There are 15 private beach clubs along the shores of the lakes for association members only. Some of the beach clubs offer restrooms, showers, swimming, picnic areas and boat launches.

<span class=Fisherman enjoy the tranquility of the lakes and the Northern Pike, Walleye & Bass and Panfish that can readily be caught from both Lake Lancer & Lake Lancelot. Lake waters are tested annually and treated several time per year to control weeds and infestation allowing boaters, skiers, jet skiers and swimmers to enjoy the waters.

<span class=The Sugar Springs Club House contains The Hearth Restaurant and Pub and is the hub of social activities in the community. The Hearth is known for its casual dining and fine food and the Pub is casually nicknamed the perfect 19th Hole! The Club House also offers an Olympic sized indoor heated pool for use all year round.

Recreational activities abound and include weekly card and game nights, quilters and stitchers club, coffee walks. Annually, the POA plans an ice cream social, hay rides, sleigh rides and a craft fair. To find out what is happening now click here.

Sugar Springs is complete with a 3,500' grass airstrip certified as a public airport <span class=and a 35 site campground with a chalet. For the outdoor enthusiast the campground has a sledding hill, trails and an archery area.

Because the wilderness and serene setting was the draw for the developer the 1,000 acres of natural, undeveloped wilderness is perhaps one of the greatest amenities Sugar Springs can offer.

All amenities in Sugar Springs are owned by the Property Owners Association and managed by a Board of Directors and a General Manager.

There are currently 67 residential properties actively listed for sale ranging from $39,900 to $389,900 to accommodate all budgets. The POA allows camping and many owners just utilize lots for camping (some have well, sewer and electric). There are currently 132 lots actively listed in for sale in Sugar Springs ranging from $1,500 to $144000.

Does Sugar Springs living in Gladwin, Michigan sound like the life you'd like to lead? Contact Sonya Loose at 989-429-2600 or by email at for a complete list of all available homes and properties.

Are you thinking about making Gladwin County, Michigan your new home? Gladwin County is home to both Wixom Lake and Secord Lake! Are you thinking about taking advantage of the great interest rates and affordable prices to buy your own slice of Northern Michigan Heaven? Contact me today and lets gets started! I know the area very well and I know the market even better! You can call me at 989-429-2600, email me at or visit my website.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why Wixom Lake is an Affordable Choice!

Why Wixom Lake is an Affordable Choice!

Wixom Lake is located in Beaverton, Michigan and at approximately 2,000 acres it offers miles and miles of scenic shoreline to discover. An all sports lake, Wixom Lake has been a popular destination for years for those that enjoy boating, jet skiing, tubing, fishing or anchoring at Pontoon Alley for a day of fun, relaxation, and sandy swimming.

Some lake front homes in Northern Michigan can be very expensive and thus make them out of reach to many second home buyers. Wixom Lake offers a wonderful opportunity to purchase lake front property at an affordable price.

There are currently 48 listings available on Wixom Lake priced between $30,000 - $349,500. There are small cottages for the budget conscious weekend warriors to luxurious homes.

With Wixom Lake's convenient location and distance from the Flint and Metro Detroit area you are never very far away from a slice of "Up North" heaven!

Contact me to see why so many others call Wixom Lake their home away from home. Prices are at the most affordable as they have been in years, interest rates are remaining is the time to begin making memories!

While the site here is being expanded it is best to visit to view available Wixom Lake inventory.

As a lifelong resident of Beaverton and a girl who grew up on Wixom Lake I will guide you through the process of turning your cottage dreams into a reality!

Mixed Data Affects Rates

Economic data was the primary force driving mortgage rates this week. Generally weaker than expected data resulted in modest improvement in rates for most of the week. This was completely offset by an increase in rates on Friday due to stronger than expected Employment data, however, leaving mortgage rates nearly unchanged from last week.
Against a consensus forecast for a decline of -50K jobs, the economy lost -36K jobs in February, and the revisions from prior months showed more jobs than previously reported. The Unemployment Rate remained unchanged from January at 9.7%, which was lower than expected. The payrolls figures and the unemployment rate are calculated from two separate sets of data. The payrolls report focuses on larger companies, while the unemployment survey covers all companies. The more volatile unemployment survey surprisingly showed an increase of 308K jobs in February, indicating that smaller companies were a source of job gains.
This week's housing data was weaker than expected. January Pending Home Sales fell 7.6%, far below the consensus forecast for a small increase. They were still 12% higher than one year ago, however. The expected surge in sales from the extended homebuyer tax credit has failed to materialize so far. The chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggested that unusually harsh weather "hampered shopping activity" in many regions, so a pickup in sales still may be seen as buyers take advantage of the tax credit before the April 30 deadline. For more information and free mortgage advice, please e-mail:

Tight Lines,


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring is Listing Season

This first signs of Spring are in the air - robins are arriving, warmer temps, melting snow, skunks coming out of hibernation and buyers shopping on line for their Waterfront Dream.

Now is the time to get your homes and cottages ready and on the market for 2010 Buying Season. The buyers spend their free time on line looking and comparing all that is available and what they want to view and make a decision on this year. Many buyers want to make that purchase before their summer vacations so they can have their own place to go to this Summer.

Even if your place has been closed up through the winter, we Realtors have much work to be done to get your home from a listing appointment to IDX feeds and presence on hundreds of websites. As soon as the snow is off the ground the pent up buying demand begins to sprout and if your property is not available to the market, you may lose that opportunity to be viewed and possibly purchased. Don't miss your opportunity for this year's sales. Homewaters Agents are professionals with year's of experience who can navigate you through the transaction from start to finish. Don't wait to make that call today!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't Miss Out - Tax Credit Expires Soon!

The Extended Home Buyers Tax Credit offers current homeowners and first-time home buyers alike an incredible tax-saving opportunity when they buy a home through April 30, 2010. First time buyers, who haven't owned a primary residence in the past three years, are eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent of a home's purchase price, up to a maximum of $8,000. Current homeowners are also eligible for a tax credit of their own. Homeowners who have lived in their primary residence for 5 consecutive years of the past 8 are eligible for a tax credit of 10% of a home's purchase price, up to maximum of $6,500.

The following conditions apply:
  • The tax credit is only awarded on homes purchased for $800,000, or less
  • Full tax credit is available to buyers earning up to $125,000 a year, or $225,000 for married couples filing jointly
  • Partial tax credit is available to buyers earning between $125,000 to $145,000, or for married couples earning between $225,000 to $245,000.
  • Under the rules, as long as a written binding purchase contract is in effect on April 30, 2010, the buyer has until July 1, 2010 to close.

The tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the buyers tax liability, and does not have to be paid back as long as the buyer remains in their home for three years or more. This is a once-in-a-lifetime offer to have Uncle Sam help you buy a house. Don't let this opportunity pass you by!