Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Need a Diversion?


    1.    An instance of turning something aside from its course.
    2.    An activity that diverts the mind from tedious or serious concerns; a recreation or pastime.

amusement, pastime, distraction, recreation, entertainment

I wasn't looking for a diversion. It just happened. It was almost lunchtime and I needed to take care of a couple of items before a scheduled conference call at 2:30. First, to deliver documents relative to a recent closed transaction on the North Branch Au Sable. (hooray!) The second, to purchase the required trash bags from Waste Management for trash pickup the next day. (urgent!)

On my way, I thought I would make a quick trip to Downtown  Traverse City to the Camera Shop. (what the heck, just a few minutes away) I had been researching 500mm lenses on the internet (diversion in itself) and thought, what better than to just go touch one and test drive it? Like always, my camera was with me and putting one of those big boys on sounded like fun. A young guy, Miles, was really accommodating and we went out on the street with the Canon (and it was big as one too!) Anyways, took a bunch of shots and then downloaded them on the shop computer to check out the quality of the lens. After a lot of chit chat and helpful advice, I managed to get going. (almost left without my camera's memory disk and my driver's license) On the way to the car, I noticed that Argo was playing at the State Theatre. (I better go check showtimes while I'm here) After mulling around under the marquis on Front St., I decided to check in at the offices of Home Waters Recreational Real Estate. (what the heck...its just across the street) While I'm there, I get a message that my conference call needs to be rescheduled. Hop in the car and make a call to rearrange. We decide to do it as I'm driving. Fifteen minutes later, call complete and I'm back at my home office. As I sit down at my computer, I realize...I forgot the garbage bags!

Do you need a diversion? Is there a pastime, recreational hobby or a passion that you like to partake in? Need a break from the serious routine of life? Something that takes you to sunsets on a lake, wading in a trout stream or hiking through tall pines? Take a break and call me...

A Group of Exceptional Agents and Brokers

As we prepare to launch a brand new version of our very popular website,, it's really set in just how exceptional our agents and brokers are.  Instead of filling an office with as many agents as we can find, we seek out just one very qualified agent to represent our entire firm in their respective region.  That's a lot of faith for any company to put in just one individual, but I can honestly say we do not have a single agent or broker representing our firm today that I do not trust or respect absolutely.  Our new site will be featuring a lot more video including instructional videos, property videos and simple promotional videos like the one below. Take a minute and meet the agents and brokers of Homewaters, L.L.C.  If you, or any of your family or friends has any real estate needs in their areas of service, go ahead and reach out to them.  I'm confident they'll help you achieve your real estate goals in 2013!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Enjoy this view from your own 3 BR cottage with almost 300 feet of private sandy beach/shoreline for you and your family to enjoy.  This cozy cottage features complete interior updates in 2006 including an island kitchen with cherry cabinets, hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances.  Gradual slope to the waters edge and great elevated water views from your 3 season porch and multi level deck complete the package.  Located at the end of a private road provides a serene setting.  Bonus, natural gas backup generator which comes on withing 15 seconds if there is ever a loss of power.

Starvation Lake is 125 acre all sports lake with depths up to 47ft.  It boasts fabulous fishing, all water sports activity plus it is one of the cleanest inland lakes in the State of Michigan.  Wintertime fun abounds as well with the Blue Bear Snowmobile Trail only minutes away and less than an hours drive to Boyne USA or Schuss Mountain/Shanty Creek Resort.  Easy access from I-75 or US-131 make this a great getaway package.  State Land and forest abounds in the area.

Click here   for more information on this listing or contact to schedule a showing or obtain more information. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Banner Year Coming for Northern Michigan Real Estate!

We just wrapped up The 2013 Cottage and Lakefront Living Show at The Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi where we were an exhibitor. We've been attending the show for a few years now but there was definitely a different mood at the show this year. In years past we had more conversations with individuals dreaming of buying a property in northern Michigan or planning to look in future years. At this year's show we spoke with a tremendous number of people who recognize the market has turned and are anxious to get into the market before it once again gets out of reach for them! This echos the sentiments we've been hearing in our every day phone conversations and just about any analysis you read of market conditions throughout northern Michigan. I know REALTORS are notorious for embellishing a bit when talking about the strength of sales in their area, but I cannot stress enough how much information we're seeing that is pointing to a dramatic increase in sales and pricing moving forward. If you've been on the fence, it may be wise to take a hard look at getting in sooner rather than later. As an example, in The Grand Traverse Area, prices jumped 8% on average between 2011 and 2012. If that continues, a home that could have been purchased in 2011 for $200,000 will cost $251,942 next year. Those are real numbers worth considering. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth this year! It was great to speak with so many past and current and future clients. Enjoy what's left of the winter and let us know how we can help with any real estate needs you may have.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Classic AuSable River Log Cabin

Over the past decade, I've been very fortunate to have represented many of the finest properties along The AuSable and Manistee Rivers.  Spending time in these amazing places is by far the favorite part of my job!  We have the pleasure of now representing this terrific 1930's era log cabin.  With over 10 acres of towering pines and hardwoods, and 293' of frontage on perhaps the best section of the entire river, the setting cannot be matched.  The cabin is situated on a gentle knoll overlooking the river as well as a small spring fed brook.  The current owners undertook a painstaking renovation of the cabin when they purchased it that included corn blasting the interior and exterior to restore the original natural finish of the logs.  Cathedral ceilings with exposed beams, a large stone fireplace and a broad screened porch along the river all add to the cabin's unique charm. Other features include a large deck, original river boat house and even a hidden spring fed "cooler" under the boardwalk for keeping your beer cold...  If more space is needed, we've already consulted with Eric Render of Render Construction to develop a proposed addition and an estimate for the additional work.  There are a number of properties for sale along the river, but none can match the quality of character possessed by this parcel of land.  Contact me at your first convenience to set a time to view the property or get more information.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Big Platte Lake-One of N MI's Best!

Big Platte Lake is a very quiet and peaceful Northern MI inland lake only minutes away from beautiful Lake Michigan and on the edge of Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, which was voted one of America’s most favorite places to stay, play and live.  Big Platte Lake is centrally located within close proximity to all of Northern MI best; such as, skiing at Crystal Mt, ice fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and so much MORE! Big Platte Lake is an all-sports lake, approximately 2,500 acres, with a water depth of 90 feet. Fish include northern pike, coho, steelhead, and small mouth bass, among others; which taste especially good in the winter, coming right out of the frying pan.  Oh, and the Platte River run through it, so you can kayak from dockside to Lake MI too.  Benzie County offers some of the most beautiful topography and expansive hillside views; which can only be experienced as you meander through the area. If you’re looking for a great home with all the amenities, look no further, because all you have to do is click the photo below and give me a call.  It’s winter in the “Great North”, and this would be a perfect time to purchase your N, MI getaway, or year around home!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gladwin County Real Estate Market Conditions for January 2013

Real Estate Market Conditions for January 2013

Gladwin County is located in rural Northern Michigan and is conveniently located within 3 hours of Detroit and 2-2.5 hours of Flint and Lansing making it easy to come "Up North" for the weekend. But, we encourage you to stay longer. After visiting Gladwin you will want to spend much more time here! Gladwin, Michigan is an area popular for its scenic lakes (including Wixom Lake and Secord Lake), plentiful state land, quaint parks, Amish communities and down town shopping. Gladwin is primarily a second home/resort community due to the amount of waterfront homes. Gladwin, Michigan has real estate to accommodate every buyer from very affordable cabins to luxurious homes. As a life-long resident of Gladwin County I know the area well and the real estate market even better!   

1751 Whitney, Beaverton, MI                      
Molassess Riverfront                                   
1751 Whitney, Beaverton MI          
MLS #158430             $199,900      

3504 Howard Road, Beaverton, MI        
Lake Elizabeth
3504 W Howard Road Beaverton MI 

MLS #158403                        $68,000

The real estate market conditions in Gladwin, Michigan along with most areas of Michigan, remain somewhat challenging, but appear to be stable! There is a slightly improving economy, stable values and less days on market than before. If you are interested in buying your first home or your vacation home, it is a fabulous time to buy! Interest rates are very low for qualified buyers, and a lot of inventory remains. It should be noted inventory levels are lower than in previous years which indicates a shift from a stable market to a sellers market. I believe the shift will be a slow process however. Homes remain more affordable then they have been in years! Buyers: With winter here sellers may be willing to negotiate lower sales prices. Let me help you find your special place to escape to or to call home. Sellers: Your home needs exposure to the market all year long! List today if you are serious about selling!

Here are the latest real estate market conditions for Gladwin, Michigan and the surrounding areas of Beaverton, Harrison, Clare, Rhodes, Bentley, Wixom Lake and Secord Lake. In January I had 3 closings and currently I have 4 pending.....sales continue to be strong!!

The Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors currently has 778 homes for sale through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and 68 of those were new to the market in January. The number of new listings is 12 more than last month. The average asking price of the homes currently on the market is $101,905 and the average days on market for those homes has been 302 days. These stats are only slightly different than they have been the last 3 years clarifying my theory that the Gladwin, Michigan real estate market conditions are stable! Residential asking prices range from $7,500 - 875,000.

During the month of January we saw 35 homes sell/close in the area. This is 7 less sales than we had in December. The average asking price was $74,585. The average sales price was $66,702 and the average days on market for these homes was 264 days. The average days on market is 19 days more than last month. The sellers received an average of 89.4% of their asking price.

In Gladwin 14 homes expired from the market unsold in January. The main reason homes don't sell during their listing period is that they were priced incorrectly for the real estate market conditions and or condition of the home. In any market it is imperative that a listing be priced as competitively as possible for its condition in order to have the best chance of selling. To learn more about why homes expire from the market visit this link to a page on my website. If you're thinking about selling your Gladwin area home one very important fact to know about your real estate market conditions is the absorption rate. The absorption rate will tell you how long it will take for the current inventory of homes in Gladwin, Michigan to be absorbed by the market if no other homes come on the market. The absorption rate for January is 1.8 years! If you want your Gladwin, Michigan area home sold you need to know this number to help you price your home accordingly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Real Estate Market Conditions for Secord Lake

Real Estate Market Conditions on Secord Lake
 Secord Lake
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!
Secord Lake is 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 also offers trophy whitetail hunting, a sporting clay course, fishing, indoor pool and spa!

    There are currently 31 active listings for Secord Lake ranging from $69,900 to $325,000.
January saw one new listing on Secord Lake for $139,900.  This month three listings expire and no homes sell.

Below are featured listings for Secord Lake:
3729 West Branch Drive $249,900
3848 Thendara $229,900
110 Fawn  $157,500
110a Fawn $145,000
110b Fawn $15,000
4426 Lakeview, Alger $99,000
3761 Jennings Court  $119,900

Click here to visit more listings on Secord Lake!!!!

Real Estate Market Conditions for Sugar Springs, Gladwin County

Real Estate Market Conditions for Sugar Springs
 Lake Lancer & Lancelot

Lake Lancer & Lancelot offer 1,000 acres of water fun with Lake Lancer at 780 acres and Lancelot at 230 acres. These two lakes are private and are for residents of Sugar Springs, a planned community with over 3,200 platted acres. 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. 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 times per year to control weeds and infestation allowing boaters, skiers, jet skiers and swimmers to enjoy the waters! Lake Lancer and Lancelot are in Butman Township within Gladwin County.

There are currently 25 active listings on Lake Lancer and Lake Lancelot.
 They range in price from $149,000 to $439,900

January saw no new listings on Lake Lancer and Lake Lancelot. During the month of we saw two listing expire and one home sell.

Click here to search for available listings in Sugar Springs!!

Real Estate Market Conditions for Wixom Lake

Real Estate Market Conditions for Wixom Lake
    Wixom Lake
Welcome! Visitors are welcome in Beaverton, 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! Wixom Lake is an approximately 2,000 acre all sports lake, inside Gladwin County and located in Beaverton, Michigan. The lake takes in Billings and Tobacco Township and is formed by the Tittabawassee River system and is also fed by the Cedar and Tobacco Rivers.
It would take many hours of boat travel to see the entire lake! Many people enjoy Wixom 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. Be sure to check out "Pontoon Alley", a local and very popular area to spend the afternoon on Wixom Lake! Pontoon Alley boasts a shallow, sandy bottom swimming area with a very festive atmosphere!
Public access (DNR Launch Site) on Dundas Road on the Tobacco River side of the lake. 

   There are currently 45 active listings on Wixom Lake. 
They range in price from $35,000 to $572,000.
January saw six new listings on Wixom Lake ranging in price from $54,000 to $189,900.
 During the month of January we saw one listing expire and six homes sell.

  Below are featured listings on Wixom Lake. Click on the address to learn more about them.
   4237 Grant, Beaverton MI $39,900
   681 Quillette, Beaverton MI $585,000
   4127 Wieman, Beaverton, MI  $39,900

Click here to search for more available listings on Wixom Lake

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A surprise shot of two Bald Eagles!

There seems to be no doubt that Bald Eagles are being seen more and more often throughout our service area.  They were removed from the endangered species list in Michigan in 2009 and I've been seeing a lot of them as I travel between Traverse City and Grayling.  This photo came from a trail camera in Crawford County near Grayling!  Keep your eyes to the sky as you travel in northern Michigan and you're sure to catch a look at these amazing birds!!  Click on the image to learn more about Bald Eagles in Michigan.

Wooded & Riverfront in Gladwin County! 1751 Whitney, Beaverton

New Listing at 1751 Whitney, Beaverton, MI
Molasses Riverfront Home
MLS #158430
A 1.6 acre wooded, waterfront parcel is the setting for this beautiful home, custom built in 1999. Located on a point where the Molasses River & Tittabawasee River meet, make this is truly a unique parcel. The home constructed using the ICF method has 1,260 sq ft of living area on the main floor & 1,260 sq ft in the finished, walkout basement. W/ 5 bedrooms & 2.5 baths & large, open rooms there is space for everyone. The kitchen offers maple cabinets, a skylight & ceramic tile flooring. The dining room is just off the kitchen & offers amazing views of the water and french doors to the wrap around deck w/ hot tub. The extra large living room with cathedral ceilings is filled w/ natural light from the plentiful windows & a slider door to deck. Cozy wood stove in living room is a great alternative heat source Main floor master suite is very private and relaxing. Lower level offers a family room with fireplace and 4 additional bedrooms! 2.5 car garage with carport and paved drive too!

Click HERE to visit our website for more details!!
1751 Whitney, Beaverton MI
 1751 Whitney, Beaverton MI
1751 Whitney, Beaverton MI
1751 Whitney, Beaverton MI

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Thursday, February 7, 2013


Kalkaska County never disappoints in its annual snowfall and provides a plethora of access to groomed trails, off road riding and family fun.  Enjoy the beauty of winter along with the other 3 Seasons in this totally renovated Lodge-style home located on 5 acres just east of the Village of Kalkaska.  This home features 5 bedrooms, 2 baths, totally renovated kitchen with solid surface counters, cedar walls and ceilings, steel roof, vinyl siding, and large living room with cozy gas fireplace for those chilly evenings.  There is an additional 1,300 sq. ft. of unfinished floor space providing lots of opportunity for an additional living suite or family room/game room space.

Kalkaska County is located in Northwest Michigan and is home to the Kaliseum with indoor swimming pools and hockey/ice arena; Kalkaska Memorial Hospital (associated with Munson Medical Center of Traverse City);  Kalkaska Public Schools which have recently gone through major renovations; two shopping centers, hardware store and the infamous Cherry Street Market open 8 months of the year providing locally grown produce and a deli.  Located 17 miles east of Traverse City with a lower tax base and surrounded by beautiful nature in abundance, Kalkaska is a very affordable option to those wanting the "Up North" experience while having access to all the amenities of Traverse City.

This property located at 3125 NE Hunters Vista is a pleasure to show and you will not be disappointed.  Please contact to schedule a showing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Beauty of Torch Lake

Ice has covered most of the lake now, but this photo shows just how beautiful the water of Torch Lake is even if you can't see it from above!  While Torch is still among the more expensive lakes in northern Michigan, prices have come down a lot over the past few years.  They're starting to creep up in some cases so now may be the only opportunity for many to get on this amazing body of water.  Click the image to view all the current listings available on Torch Lake! 

Winter at it's best in Lake Ann!

It's winter at its best in the little Village of Lake Ann, MI--always open for your business. I think of Lake Ann as one of the best keep secrets, because lake-front properties tend to be a bit more affordable then the surrounding lake communities. Taxes are definitely much more palatable then our neighboring Grand Traverse County, and yes, we are centrally located and well positioned to access the all of our Up North's greatest features. Thanks to our winter snow, there are groomed snowmobile trails essentially in the "backyard of the Village", and Crystal Mountain Ski Resort is just minute's away. There is four-season fishing for perch, lake trout, smelt, whitefish and rainbow rock bass within reach of the Village and surrounding fishing spots. Bring the family and come experience Lake Ann at its winter's best! While you're here, check out this very affordable waterfront parcel with an existing garage and infrastructure in place, (well, septic, electric), for your home, cottage, or just summer hideaway! For a sneak-peek of this parcel click the picture above! With the improved real estate market conditions, parcels like this won't last long.  Lets make this one, YOURS!!!!

Consider The Platte River...

Platte River has some great qualities and flows out of and through a few small lakes Southwest of Traverse City, heading west to Lake Michigan. The river is home to a good population of trout, especially small rainbows (future steel head) that are excellent for teaching someone to fly fish or for your fishing enjoyment.  As the river meanders closer to Honor and the upper end of Platte Lake, there are more deep holes that are home to larger trout, salmon and steel head.   If you have visions of having your slice of paradise on the Platte River, then you might want to check out this parcel with an existing 45’x55’ pole barn; and just over an acre, with more than 200’ of direct frontage and within walking distance to the Village of Honor.  You could convert a portion of the pole barn for living quarter, or build your dream home or vacation cottage on a beautiful footprint that overlooks the Platte.  There is tons of storage for your toys or camper in the pole barn for frequent visits.  Location speaks volumes, and from this parcel you can experience some of the best fishing and even launch your kayak from your dock and paddle to Lake Michigan through beautiful Platte and Loon Lakes.  Here’s an affordable opportunity to be up North while enjoying river life and all of Northern Michigan greatness for under $100k.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Join us for The 2013 Midwest Fly Fishing Exposition!

I began exhibiting at The Midwest Fly Fishing Exposition more than a decade ago when I was working at The Fly Factory.  They basically pulled the walls off the interior of the shop and trucked the whole darn thing to Southfield (Now it's held in Warren) where they reconstructed a full on fly shop in the exhibit hall.  When I started selling real estate out of the shop, I'd take some space on the counter for my riverfront listings and it was a great way to strike up a conversation about any available cabins along The AuSable and Manistee Rivers.  Now a decade later, the show is held at Macomb Community College in Warren and we'll be exhibiting in our own space dedicated to marketing the spectacular lake and riverfront properties available in northern Michigan. Put on by The Michigan Fly Fishing Club, it's a terrific event with tons of seminars, exhibitors selling everything from hand painted silk scarves to original artwork, to exotic vacations and, of course, the latest and greatest fly fishing gear.  Click the photo for more details on the show.  Stop by our booth to say "hello" if you make it down.  Also, give us a call if you're looking to sell your northern Michigan waterfront property this year and we'll make sure to include it in this and our other marketing efforts!