Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Gladwin County Waterfront Properties Ready for Winter Fun!

Winter Fun is in Full Force! Gladwin County Lakes are Ready for Every Season!!

  Featuring Wixom Lake, Secord Lake, Sugar Springs (Lake Lancer & Lake Lancelot), Smallwood Lake and many more!    
 See what our lakes have to offer.......     
Wixom Lake 
There are currently 67 active listings on Wixom Lake ranging in price from $5,900-$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.
 Secord Lake 
There are currently 38 active listings for Secord Lake ranging from $19,900 - $379,900 
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.
Sugar Springs ~ Lake Lancer & Lake Lancelot 
There are currently 179 active listings on Lake Lancer and Lake Lancelot ranging in price from $1,400 to $419,000 
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!   
Smallwood Lake 
There are currently 27 active listings for near by Smallwood Lake ranging from $19,900-$459,000 
Below are featured listing 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:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It's winter... in northern Michigan... bring your boots...

Usually about the first of the year we get our first clients travelling from points south who come to tour property.  Because there may be little or no snow where they're coming from, they're dressed for the conditions they just left.  We just got about 2 feet of snow in some areas!  If you plan to come north to look at property (it can be one of the prettiest times of year to do so), make sure to bring along the right gear.  It's nearly impossible to objectively consider a property when you can't feel your hands and your tennis shoes are full of snow.  Even the most spectacular parcel will be associated with the miserable way you feel at that moment. With that in mind, here are a few items to bring along on your next trip north.

  1. A good pair of boots.  Make sure they're at least ankle high and, preferably, taller.  They should have good traction on the bottom as well.  Many of the properties will not be plowed out and the sidewalks likely aren't going to be maintained. You'll also need to trek through virgin snow in order to really check out the land.
  2. Sunglasses.  While we don't get sun everyday, it is really bright when it bounces off the snow so make sure you have a pair in the car.
  3. Gloves and hats. Even if it cramps your style a bit, having warm fingers and a head not covered in snow goes a long way toward having a great time in the winter.
  4. Patience.  Travel can be difficult so give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Your REALTOR is driving in the same conditions and they can sometimes get behind as well.  It will take a little longer travelling between properties and a bit longer to see each one, especially if you're looking at a good sized parcel of land.
  5. Snow shoes.  I always have a few pairs in the truck for clients but bring your own if you have them.  It can make for a fun outing and really give you the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate a property.
  6. Camera.  The landscapes created by fresh fallen snow will rival anything you'll see in the summer months.  Wildlife also tends to move in closer to homes and cabins and the waterways they are often associated with.  If you like to shoot photos, bring along your camera just in case you witness something you want to share with those less willing to brave the elements.
While many think the northern Michigan real estate industry goes into hibernation in the winter, nothing could be further from the truth.  Serious buyers are in the hunt all year long just waiting for the right property to hit the market. Skiers, snowmobilers and others prefer to come north in the winter and house hunting is something many take their time to do while in town.  Over $400,000,000 in real estate sold during the winter months in our service areas last year!  If you plan to wait for spring to find the right parcel, it could very likely have already hit the market and been sold.  Consider a winter trip north if you see a great property online.  You might have a great time and happen upon THE perfect property.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gladwin County Real Estate Market 2015 Year in Review

Gladwin County Year in Review 2015
Time flies seems like such a cliché' statement but is sure represents how I feel about 2015. Where did the year go and how can we possibly be discussing the real estate market from 2015 and gearing up for a successful 2016 already? This year was another stellar year for myself and Homewaters Recreational Real Estate. It seems my career has done nothing but skyrocket since I joined the team 6 years ago. I was able to strike a decent balance this year between work and family and hope that all of you make that a priority as well. My most important job is as mom to my son Chandler as he is in a monumental year. He will be graduating from high school this year and 2015 was such a memory filled year from senior pictures to ordering the cap and gown to visiting potential universities. While attempting to be the best mom and wife I can be I sold 54 units this year for 5 million in home sales, including selling the most real estate of anyone on Wixom Lake! I finished the year selling the 4th most in the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors. I am proud of always being a top broker and strongly believe success is earned. Mine is earned through countless hours of hard work, a passion for my career, a competitive attitude and a thorough understand of the existing market. My ability to competitively price a home, the extensive internet marketing I offer clients, the use of the latest technology allowing me to work more efficiently which enables me to carry a large inventory and my follow up and communication skills are additional reason why I achieve success year after year. Of course no one rises to the top alone and I need to send huge shout outs to my assistant, Sherri, for her dedication to her work and to Chad and Mandy Brown for allowing me to be part of the Homewaters brand and my husband for putting up with me and trying to keep a smile on my face day after day. As I gear up for 2016 I am looking forward to seeing who is placed in my path that I will be lucky enough to help accomplish their real estate goals!
Homewaters Recreational Real Estate serves all of Northern Lower Michigan and this year we were able to participate in 405 transactions for a grand total of over 51 million in sales! We truly feel we are selling a lake living lifestyle and not just a piece of real estate.
Below is a comparison of 2014 and 2015.

The following data was obtained from the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service and reflects residential home sales only.
                                                            2014                2015
Number of Listings                             1613                1583
Average List Price                              $114,456         $111,755        
Average Sold Price                             $83,596           $89,652
Number of Sold Listings                    773                  854
Average Days on Market (for solds)  213                  215
% of Asking Price Received               92.3%              92.7%

Referencing the grid you can see there were 30 less listing in 2015 and the average asking price fell by $2,700 from 2014. However, the average sold price rose by over $6,000. Less sellers entered the marking in 2015 and I will be bold and say that the area real estate market has recovered after years of stability followed by a few with increased sales. There were 81 more sales that last year which is an average of 6.75 more sales every month! Days on market fell to a low of only 213 days. The percentage the seller's received of their asking price rose another .4% over 2014. More inventory selling means more buyers in the market and points to a more balanced market in this area. The market shift has been gradual but steady and should continue in 2016. With that said this is an election year and we are experiencing a volatile stock market so this year will be highly unpredictable in my opinion. It is my job to serve as the expert when you are ready to buy or sell so please consider contacting me when you are ready to enter the market.         


Thursday, January 14, 2016


Finally, the snow has arrived to the snowbelt region of Northern Michigan and the Blue Bear Trail  is groomed and ready for fun.  The folks pictured above are out for a mid-day ride and stopped by the Starvation Lake Hideaway Bar for some refreshments and a light lunch before hitting the trails.  Kalkaska County boasts some of the finest groomed trails in the state of Michigan.  Many of our cabin owners enjoy four season reacreational opportunities from snowmobiling and downhill skiing close by to trout fishing on the Manistee River in the Spring; boating and fishing on some of the cleanest and deepest lakes in the state during the summer and recreational hunting on thousand of acres of state land in the Fall.  Couple this with easy access off I-75 or US-131 and it makes total sense to invest in a cabin for year around use.

This cabin pictured above  is located on a l.4 acre private setting directly across the road from Big Blue Lake, just minutes away from the Blue Bear Trailhead and minutes away from some of the finest trout fishing in the area on the Big Manistee River.  Pride of ownership shows the minute you walk into the 2BR, 1B cabin with an open living area which can accomodate additional sleeping room if needed and boasts and new 24x28 garage for all your storage needs.  This property is being offered for sale for $84,500.

Please contact Mary Janik, or 231-384-1207 to schedule a showing.  It is a pleasure to show and you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Homewaters enters The Cadillac Market with Associate Broker, Joni Holly

While we've been servicing some clients in The Cadillac Area, we'd been hoping to find just the right person to really attack that market and provide our services to buyers and sellers in the region on a much larger scale.  The addition of Associate Broker Joni Holly will allow us to partner with a long established member of the community and proven real estate professional.  After a decade long career in lending, Joni made the successful transition into real estate where she quickly built up a strong presence.  Focused on building relationships with her clients, as well as in the local community and real estate industry, Joni has built an impressive network of contacts.  She currently serves on The Board of Directors for The Traverse Area Association of REALTORS as well as serving on their Education Committee.  Her willingness to volunteer shows the dedication she personally has to the profession as she works to make sure ALL area REALTORS have the education and resources they need to be as professional as possible.

In addition to joining Homewaters, Joni is also bringing her daughter, Jessica, on board for 2016.  Jessica also has a strong lending background and brings an entirely different set of skills to the team.  Her in depth understanding of technology and high level of ambition paired with Joni's experience and long community ties will make them a team to be reckoned with in the market.  Click HERE to learn more about Joni and Jessica.

Cadillac is an iconic northern Michigan town.  Chris Craft boats were built here beginning in 1941 and, in the early 60's another manufacturer began making fiberglass boats under the company name of Saf-T-Mate.  Today that company is known as RBH and produces brands including Four Winns, Glastron and Wellcraft.  Lakes Mitchell, Cadillac and Missaukee are the largest in the area but countless other smaller lakes provide opportunities for swimming, boating and fantastic fishing.  Caberfae Peaks Ski and Golf Resort is just outside of town and adds additional opportunities for getting outdoors.  In recent years, the downtown area has seen a number of new restaurants, cafe's and other businesses. If you haven't stopped in recently, it's worth a look.  (Clam Lake Beer Co. is my personal favorite)

If you, or anyone you know, has a real estate need in The Cadillac Area, including Wexford and Missaukee Counties, reach out to Joni at or by phone at (231) 878-8386.  You'll be happy you did.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Gladwin & Clare County Real Estate Market Snapshot for December

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

                                         Featured Listing!
Secord Lake Waterfront Cottage 
MLS #164864

Active Listings: 702 (41 new listings came on the market in December)
Average Asking Price: $107,441
Average Days on Market : 252
Range of Asking Prices: $8,000 - $695,000
Sold: 53 Sold in December (82 sold in November)
Average Asking Price of Sold Listings: $81,370
Average Selling Price of Sold Listings: $74,519
Average Days on Market of Sold Listings: 185 (26 days less than November)
Sellers Received: 91.5% of their asking price       

Total Residential Sales Volume: $3,874,990 (up from $6,296,650 in November)
Listings Sold by Price Range
0-99,999: 42 (down 29 from 
100,000-199,999: 9 (down 6 from 
200,000-299,999: 1 (down 2 from 
300,000-399,999: 1 (up 1 from 
400,000 and above: 0 (same as 

Sold!! Secord Lake Waterfront

**97 Homes Expired off the Market in November

Absorption Rate = 1.1 years

Monday, January 4, 2016

Kalkaska County's Finest... Meet Sales Associate, Mary Janik

When it comes to finding a quality REALTOR to work with in Kalkaska or eastern Grand Traverse Counties, look no further than Sales Associate, Mary Janik.  A current member of The Board of Directors for The Traverse Area Association of REALTORS, and it's past President, Mary has consistently worked to improve the level of professionalism among agents and brokers in the region.  This is no more evident than the way she practices her own real estate business.  ALWAYS putting the needs and goals of her customers at the forefront, Mary simply will not cut corners for convenience or her own personal gain.

Her dedication to the community of Kalkaska is truly admirable.  Often overlooked by many as only a little bedroom community of Traverse City, Mary relishes the opportunity to show it to be it's own charming town with an array of services often only found in larger municipalities.  The collection of spectacular lakes and rivers within Kalkaska County also make it a favorite among outdoors loving people who have taken the time to discover this regions unique beauty.  Over 50% of Kalkaska County is State or Federal land open to public access providing limitless opportunities for exploration.

One of the first agents to join our firm, Mary certainly holds a special place in our hearts.  Her warmth, generosity and tireless spirit are so refreshing in the sometimes ugly business of real estate.  She's among the biggest cheerleaders for Homewaters and we feel the exact same about her.  If you're looking to buy or sell property in Kalkaska or eastern Grand Traverse County, reach out to Mary.  She'll work tirelessly to make sure you reach your goals and I can almost guarantee she'll also earn your friendship along the way.  She can be reached by email at or by phone at (231) 384-1207.  Click HERE to view her listings and learn more about Mary.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Thank you to the 405 who helped make 2015 an amazing year!

As Homewaters moves forward and celebrates our 10 year anniversary in business in 2016, we couldn't be more optimistic coming off a truly spectacular 2015.  Real estate certainly tends to be an industry of numbers.  The most important number to us in 2015 is 405.  That's how many buyer and seller clients entrusted their real estate transaction to one of our talented agents or brokers in 2015.  When it came time to sell their home or purchase their cottage, they chose Homewaters and we were able to guide them to a successful closing so they could move on to the next adventure in their lives.  We closed 405 sides of business allowing us to break our goal of $50,000,000 in sales for the year!  A sincere thank you to each and every one of you who allowed us to help acheive your real estate goals last year!  

Over the past decade, we've built a team of true all-star agents and brokers servicing an area from Muskegon to Mackinaw to Midland.  For 2016 we've added a couple of new service areas and strengthened existing ones.  Sales Associate, Preston Bovee, joined Homewaters and now provides a presence for the firm in Midland County.  An avid outdoorsman and talented videographer, Preston will join Sales Associate, Jason Manderbach, and Associate Broker, Steve Shaw, in growing our Sporting Properties division.  In 2015 we sold more than 3,000 acres of hunting or agricultural land and look forward to helping even more buyers and sellers in that market in 2016.  We also added a strong presence in The Cadillac / Lake City Area with the addition of Sales Associate, Joni Holly.  Joni is a long time resident of Cadillac and has been a very involved community leader.  A background in lending lead to a successful career in real estate and we're very excited to have yet another energetic, professional representing our company.  Joni's daughter, Jessica, will be coming into the business for 2016 as well and together they'll work under the branding of J & j Holly, REALTORS.  Jessica also comes from a strong lending background and brings with her a very high level of ambition and strong technology skills. Those two ladies, armed with Homewaters unmatched marketing and technology tools, are going to be a real force to be reckoned with in Wexford and Missaukee Counties!  In Houghton Lake for 2016, we've added Sales Associate, Kimberly Kaminski, who will be stepping into one of our most successful markets, where we topped $20,000,000 in sales in 2015.  Kimberly leveraged a lifetime of sales and decades of property investment experience and found fast success in the competetive Houghton / HIggins Lake market.  Her passion for her clients, tireless energy and dedication to the growth of her business will allow us to continue our strength in the area while improving service by staying true to our business model focused on a QUALITY experience for each and every client.  

We also lost a few great staff members in 2015 who were inspired to start their own brokerages.  Associate Broker, John McNeil, founded Coastal North Realty with fiance and Sales Associate, Britt Brubaker.  Together they'll share their passion for the outdoors lifestyle they enjoy with buyers and sellers in The Grand Traverse Region.  It's going to be an exciting year for John and Britt as they tie the knot, grow their existing businesses and work to grow their new brokerage!  Associate Broker, Midge Rutter, also took the leap and founded Midge and Co to continue servicing clients in the Houghton Lake Area.  It's exciting for us to see the entrepreneurial spirit in our former agents and brokers and we wish them all the best as they work to grow their fledgling businesses and find their space in the highly competetive industry. 

Homewaters, at it's core, is really a collection of smaller individual real estate businesses who chose to affiliate with each other and reap the benefits of the collective knowledge, resources and friendship that comes through collaboration.  Each of our agents and brokers are experts in their respective service areas with strong local connections, deep personal knowledge of the lakes and woodlands they service and a strong desire to succeed and surpass every client's expectations.  Thank you so much to each and every one of our amazing team members who chooose to call Homewaters their brokerage.  Together, we're poised for yet another fantastic year in 2016 as we look forward to helping another 400+ people navigate what may be the largest financial decision of their lifetime.  

Enjoy a safe and Happy New year!