Friday, January 23, 2015

Is the Manistee flies only section the finest fly water in Michigan?

It's always fun to pose these questions and see what responses come out of the woodwork.  The reality is that we're blessed in Michigan to have miles and miles of prime trout water.  Each river and each section of each river can vary dramatically and provide for a completely different angling experience.  The case I'll make today is that, for the average fly angler, it may not get any better than The Manistee, and especially areas within the flies only stretch.

There are certainly stretches of other rivers that offer more consistent and prolific hatches for the fly angler. Many areas of The Au Sable watershed seem to constantly have rising trout thanks to an incredible wealth of insect life.  For the dry fly purist, it's pretty tough to beat the technical challenge that fishing these areas present.  If you can fool a 20" trout during daylight on these waters with a dry fly, you're more than likely an exceptional angler.

The average angler, however, is not likely to consistently be able to exactly match the hatch or make a perfect drag-free drift in complex currents.  They'll more than likely have an enjoyable day outdoors and land a few beautiful but smallish brookies or browns.  If they do manage to take a sizable fish, it may have been more happenstance than skill.

The Manistee, in my opinion, offers an ideal blend of a solid average fish size with many truly impressive trout. More importantly, because the hatches aren't as prolific, the fish tend to be more opportunistic.  An angler bouncing a stonefly pattern or chunking an attractor pattern near the bank is much more likely to not only catch decent fish, but find at least one that's worth posting on Instagram.  Don't get me wrong, there are great hatches here too including phenomenal Sulphur, Brown Drake and Hex hatches.  There just isn't the variety or sheer biomass that some other fly water has.  Access is a bit of an issue in places and the wading can be a bit touch and go with a more sand/silt bottom and more natural structure, but I've seen more "average" anglers have the fly fishing day of their life on this water than anywhere else.

Another nice attribute of this water is the lack of commercial canoe traffic and angling pressure in certain areas.  Don't get me wrong.  If a canoe will fit in a river, someone will find a way to rent it to another person.  Due to the difficulty of access on this stretch and the location of the local liveries, however, the traffic is much more minimal than many other areas.

Like anywhere else you choose to fish, put in a little extra work to get away from the primary access points and find some water that's not been fished and you're going to have a lot more success.

If you really want to fall in love with this water, buy your own parcel and learn each fish that lives near each log jam and in every bend.  Click HERE for details on a great vacant parcel that would put you right in the heart of the action on The Manistee flies only stretch.

Elk Lake Access Cottage in Gladwin County!

New Listing at 6530 N. Shore, Gladwin
Elk Lake Access Cottage
MLS #162747

Escape up north and relax away the weekend. The knotty pine interior adds to the cottage charm of this 2 bedroom, 1 bath. Eat in kitchen includes the appliances. Living room has a wood stove for cozy mornings and evenings and the sun room looks out to Elk Lake across the street. Entry room offers storage and additional sleeping space. The bathroom is rustic, but just right for cottage style living with a sink and toilet in a private room and a stand up shower in an adjacent room. 1 car detached garage has a finished guest room that the kids will love!! Private back yard is fenced. With township land across the street sandy swimming is available as well as access for fishing, boating or jet skiing. Cottage has vinyl siding for low maintenance. State land is very close to this peaceful neighborhood for additional recreation. Located in between Gladwin and West Branch. 

Click HERE to visit our website for more details!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gladwin County Lakes....Winter Fun Awaits!!!

Gladwin County Lakes....Winter Fun Awaits!!!

Featuring Wixom Lake, Secord Lake, Sugar Springs (Lake Lancer & Lake Lancelot), Smallwood Lake and many more!    

Secord Lake
There are currently 57 active listings for Secord Lake ranging from $12,900 - $459,9000

Secord Lake is an approximately 2,000 acre serene and picturesque all sports lake. 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.

Below are featured listings for Secord Lake:

Wixom Lake 
There are currently 67 active listings on Wixom Lake ranging in price from $10,900-$490,000 

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!   

Below are featured listings on Wixom Lake. Click on the address to learn more about them.

Sugar Springs ~ Lake Lancer & Lake Lancelot 
There are currently 175 active listings on Lake Lancer and Lake Lancelot ranging in price from $1,500 to $380,000

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! 

Below are listings featured in Sugar Springs: 

Smallwood Lake 
There are currently 30 active listings for near by Smallwood Lake ranging from $24,900-$214,000

Below are featured listing for Smallwood Lake:  

Click here to search more available listings for Smallwood Lake!!

Gladwin County has many lakes that offer boating, fishing, swimming and so much more!  Year round fun!  
Click on the links below to see the listing on those specific lakes:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gladwin County Homes Real Estate Market Snapshot Year in Review

Gladwin County Year in Review 2014
While preparing the Gladwin County real estate market sales and statistics for 2014 and my own personal sales statistics I can't help but be excited and proud of what I've accomplished!  I am very aware that my success couldn't have been realized without each and every seller and buyer who placed their trust in me.  The hard work and efforts of my licensed assistant, Sherri, played an integral role as well.  Without the support of my husband, Jason, and my son, Chandler, I couldn't have made it through this year with my sanity! Combining that with the Homewaters brand and the ever encouraging owners, Chad & Mandy, allowed for another record breaking year!  I personally sold 65 units this year for $6.4 million in home sales.  This is 7 more units and over $2 million more in dollar volume from 2013!  It was an exceptional year and I was the top producing Realtor in the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors!!  I was able to make it possible for so many  people to find their slice of heaven, or to accomplish the sale of their home.  I can attribute my success in part, to many, many hours of hard work, a passion for my career, a competitive attitude, and a thorough understanding of the existing market.  My ability to competitively price a home, the extensive internet marketing I offer clients, the use of the latest technology that improves my efficiency and allows me to carry more inventory, and my follow up and communication skills are additional reasons why I continually break sales records. As I gear up for a strong 2015 I am excited to see what sales records will be broken and to meet the new people placed in my path during this year, that I will be lucky enough to help accomplish their dreams. 
Homewaters Recreational Real Estate serves all of Northern Lower Michigan and this year we were able to participate in over 322 transactions for a grand total of over $41.7 million in sales.  At Homewaters, we truly feel like we are selling a lifestyle and not just a piece of real estate.  Our commitment to the communities we serve is certainly translated through our sales figures.

Below is a comparison of 2013 and 2014.
The following data was obtained from the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service and reflects residential home sales only.
                                                            2013                2014
Number of Listings                             1473                1613
Average List Price                               $101,112         $114,456
Average Sold Price                              $75,367           $83,596
Number of Sold Listings                     695                  773
Average Days on Market (for solds)   231                  213
% of Asking Price Received                91.3%              92.3%

Referencing the grid above you can see there were 140 more listings in 2014 with an average asking over $13,000 higher than in 2013.  The average sold price rose over $8,200.  It appears more sellers entered the real estate market in 2014 due to increased buyer demand and the general consensus that our market in this area was recovering.  They weren't given incorrect information and as predicted in my 2013 year in review there  were  more sales this year than last.  There were actually 78 more sales than last year!  That is an average of 6.5 more sales every month.  Days on market fell to a low of 213 days.  That is the lowest days on market I can remember seeing in some time and another sign of market recovery. The percent of asking price the seller received rose another 1% this year and is now up 2% from 2012.  More inventory selling means more buyers in the market and points to a tightening up of the real estate market in this area.  As predicted last year the signs of a return to a more balanced market and a shift towards a seller's market were very evident.  I had more multiple offer scenarios this year than in the last 5 combined.    The market shift has been gradual but steady and should continue into 2015.  I hope this information has proven to be valuable to you and can serve as a guide towards your future decisions to buy or sell real estate.   

Thursday, January 15, 2015


This great cabin located just off M-72 between Grayling and Kalkaska is the perfect spot to act as base camp for all your snowmobile and trail riding activities.  It features an open great room to the kitchen/dining, 3BRs, 1B, mudroom, 2 wooded lots, covered patio and heated oversize 2 stall garage to work on your sleds and 4-wheelers.  This complete package is priced to sell at $74,900.  Additionally, it has shared access to a beautiful hard sand bottom swimming beach/park on the beautiful clean clear Bear Lake.

This cabin is near the end of a private road and has a canal across from it to put your kayak or canoe in and paddle out into the waters of Bear Lake.  There is a covered patio overlooking a private pond on your property which attracts wildlife.  Click here  to view additional details and pictures.  Contact or call 231/384-1207 to schedule a private showing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Meet Homewaters Artist of the Month, Lydia Morrison

One of my favorite aspects of living in northern Michigan is the truly remarkable number of incredibly talented, creative people who choose to call this place home.  It seems I meet someone at every turn that just happens to be an accomplished artist, musician, photographer or author.  With that in mind we've decided to dedicate the images on the front page of our website,, to a different featured artist each month.  Some of these will be professional artists or photographers while others are simply individuals passionate about the area who have.

Sales Associate Blake Bernard reached out to his friend, Lydia Morrison, knowing she was a passionate photographer and we're fortunate to have her as our first ever featured artist.  As you scroll through the images on the front page of our site, you'll get a chance to see some of her work that features scenes and points of interest from throughout the area.  If you'd like to see more of her work and follow her travels, you can "like" her facebook page at

Thanks so much, Lydia, for allowing us to display your work! 

If you or anyone you know has work they'd like to display, have them reach out to us at and we'll work to get their work up too.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gladwin & Clare County Homes Real Estate Market Snapshot for December

December 2014 Real Estate Market Snapshot for Gladwin and Clare County Area Homes

Featured Listing!
Custom Built Beaverton Home on 2.8 Acres
5418 Hunter, Beaverton
MLS #162654

Active Listings: 790 (53 new listings came on the market in December)
Average Asking Price: $105,267
Average Days on Market : 251
Range of Asking Prices: $7,500 - $875,000
Sold: 69 Sold in December (68 sold in November)
Average Asking Price of Sold Listings: $85,044
Average Selling Price of Sold Listings: $77,345
Average Days on Market of Sold Listings: 226 (74 days more than November)
Sellers Received: 90.9% of their asking price

Total Residential Sales Volume: $5,259,466 (down from $5,948,958  in November)
Listings Sold by Price Range
0-99,999: 50 (up 2 from November)
100,000-199,999: 17 (up 2 from November)
200,000-299,999: 2 (down 2 from November)
300,000-399,999: 0 (down 1 from November)
400,000 and above: 0 (same as November)

SOLD! Sugar Springs Waterfront!!!

**142 Homes Expired off the Market in November

Absorption Rate = 1.04 Years

Check out the custom Ski property search for the perfect slope side property!

If you're having trouble finding the right ski in / ski out condo or home, it's probably because the real estate site your using cannot sort them out from all the rest.  Our custom search for Golf and Ski properties allows users to search ONLY those properties that are on a ski hill or golf course or within a resort that offers those activities. Give it a shot by clicking HERE and I'm sure you'll find the right property in no time flat!  Enjoy the slopes!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Congratulations to Midge Rutter, #1 agent in Paul Bunyan Board of REALTORS for 2014!

Since joining Homewaters three years ago, Midge and her team have been on an absolute tear in The Houghton / Higgins Lake area.  In 2014 Midge sold $16.36 million in sales putting her #1 for the entire Paul Bunyan Board of REALTORS. which primarily services Wexford and Roscommon Counties including Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake and Cadillac.  Midge has put together a truly formidable team of professionals all working toward the same goal of providing the highest level of serice and results for every one of their seller and buyer clients.  

Showing assistant Bethanne Masse handles most of the incoming buyer contacts and works to find them the perfect property.  Administrative Director, Sallie Ratza, manages the office and files to ensure no detail is overlooked and all of the transactions move forward smoothly.  Marketing Director, Walea Britton, handles all of the marketing for Midge's listings to ensure that any potential buyer will find their clients' properties regardless of the format they choose to search.  

Together they make up the finest team in the region for any of your buying or selling needs.  If you have family or friends that need real estate help and want to work with the best, reach out to Midge.  Click HERE for more information on their approach to real estate and for contact information.

Congratulations to Sonya Loose #1 REALTOR in Sales for Clare/Gladwin Board of REALTORS for 2014

Sonya Loose, Associate Broker
The numbers are in and it's official, Associate Broker, Sonya Loose, ended the year as the top producing agent for The Clare/Gladwin Board of REALTORS with a closed sales volume of $6,450,000 for 2014!  She and her amazing assistant, Sherri Breault, had another spectacular year servicing sellers and buyers in Gladwin County.  They focus on acreage parcels and waterfront properties on the area lakes including Wixom, Secord, Smallwood and Lakes Lancer and Lancelot which lie within The Sugar Springs Development.  Great work ladies!!!  If you or anyone you know has the need for a professional, dedicated REALTOR, reach out to Sonya.  Click HERE to learn more about Sonya and the area she services.