Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Custom Lakefront Home Just Minutes From Downtown Traverse City!

1751 Round Lake Road
Interlochen, MI  49643

Grab your kayak, fishing pole, and your peace of mind on this absolutely serene piece of property.  Built in 2013, this custom home sits on over four acres and backs up to Round Lake. 

Imagine sipping your morning coffee on the back porch as you watch the wildlife along the lake and explore hundreds of acres of state land right outside your backyard.  Inside the home you'll find an open main floor with tons of natural light. Cozy up to the beautiful fireplace and leave your worries behind! 

Boat access and campgrounds are just down the street and Traverse City is only 15 minutes down the road! Property is composed of two parcels-- the second parcel could be sold as a future build site.

Click here for more information on this listing. 

Blake Bernard - 231.714.4787 - blake@homewaters.net
Tony Dombrowksi - 231.313.1041 - tony@homewaters.net

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Top 3 Leelanau Waterfront Properties - January Edition

Top 3 Leelanau Waterfront Properties

January 2017
Leelanau County has some pretty amazing properties for sale. Some are spectacular based on their value and view, and some are just plain incredible. See for yourself below... but don't blame us if you happen to find your dream home --- actually, we don't mind if you do! We love to help people... and we think we're pretty good at it.
Check back every month for Leelanau County's "Top 3 Waterfront Homes For Sale"

785 S Wagon Wheel Drive
Northport, MI  49670

Sitting on 183' of Lake Michigan shoreline, this home features not only a private marina but a boathouse and a guest house. You need to see the rest. You won't regret it! (Property listed by Century 21 Northland - Meagan Luce)

Have questions? Contact Blake here.
2893 N. Lake Leelanau Drive
Lake Leelanau, MI  49653

Nestled onto 150' of North Lake Leelanau frontage, this remodeled cottage was revived of its original character and charm back in 2012. Take a look at the added kitchen and dining room here. Can you say "cozy"? (Property listed by Coldwell Banker Schmidt Glen Arbor - Mark and Peter Fisher)

Have questions? Contact Blake here.
9476 SW Bayshore
Traverse City, MI  49684

This Civil War era house has all the space and waterfront you need. It needs some TLC...  but did you see the price? Look at all that's included --  a barn, a garage, gardens upon gardens and 400+ feet of beach frontage is all there waiting for you to make it your own! (Property listed by Real Estate One Randolph - Jack Lane)

Blake Bernard - 231.714.4787 - blake@homewaters.net

Gladwin County Real Estate Market 2016 Year in Review

Gladwin County Year in Review 2016
When I look back upon 2016 a few words come to mind. Those words are transition, balance, gratefulness and confidence.  Those four words reflect on my personal life, but ironically they actually encompass the real estate market in 2016 as well. 2016 was a transitional year for my family as we saw our only son graduate with honors from high school. In the fall we moved him into the dorms of Saginaw Valley State University to study Mechanical Engineering.  We couldn't be  more proud of the man we have raised and he continues to remain close to us and bring endless joy and laughter into our lives. It was a transitional year in real estate too as the market became more competitive with less listings available, more sales and the average listing and sale prices rising. Sellers received a higher percent of their asking price this year as well!
Last year I vowed to lead a more balanced lifestyle as I felt burnout creeping in on me.  No one can work endless hours away from their family and passions without feeling that.  I was able to create some boundaries and carve out some additional personal time.  This left me feeling more energetic (than normal), happier and more content.  The balance in my life played a huge part in my state of mind and led me to my best sales year of my 14 year career!!  I sold $7,400,000 in real estate this year and I am extremely grateful to each and every buyer and seller who placed their trust in me and allowed me to help them accomplish their real estate goals.  A real estate transaction is unlike any other business you will do as the professional helps you with one of the most intimate parts of your life.  Choosing where to enjoy summers or weekends at the lake or where you will retire to is a very private, personal choice and I enjoy showing off the lifestyle of lake living and why Gladwin County is such a wonderful place to call home.  Relating the word balance to our market shows in the lower number of listings. Since 2014 we have seen the amount of listings dropping and I can attribute that to a reduction in foreclosure inventory.  That makes many of us grateful because a more balanced market typically means that families are doing better, there are more jobs and better income.
You might think confidence is an odd word to reflect on my year but I have to say that as I have entered my 40's I have never felt more confident in who I am, what I do, what I want to achieve and what I need to feel happy and fulfilled.  My 40's saw me run in my first 5k and I am now proud to say that I have a wall full of medals and I plan to continue "down that path". My new passion is yoga and I hope that you all make sure to take time for yourself and do things that you love.  All of us should have confidence in the real estate market as you have reviewed 2016 with me.  It was a robust year in Gladwin County as evidenced by the stats in the below grid.  Real estate has proven to be a great vehicle for investing in and creating wealth and that is definitely a confidence booster! 
                                                                                      2015                                     2016
Number of Listings                                                      1583                                      1356
Average List Price                                                        $111,755                               $117,885
Average Sold Price                                                       $89,652                                 $92,351
Number of Sold Listings                                              854                                        871
Average Days on Market (for solds)                            215                                        223
% of Asking Price Received                                        92.7%                                    93.4%

Behind every successful person are people in the shadows or behind the scenes and for me that is my assistant and social media manager, Sherri Breault.  Sherri works very hard keeping our blog posts drafted, facebook pages full of useful content, syndicating my listings and countless other duties that would leave me lost without her and buried beneath of pile of never ending work.  Thank you Sherri!  I also want to thank Chad and Mandy Brown who had the foresight to start the Homewaters brand in 2006 and who continue to grow and adapt the company and the technology it uses to keep us way ahead of our competitors!  It is at the end of every day that I get to spend time with my husband Jason. Seriously the man spoils me rotten and without him helping me cook we would probably never eat!  He is truly  my life partner and I've found that being an empty nester isn't so bad, it turns out I really do love my husband!  As you can hopefully tell I love humor and need to laugh and smile each day.  I can promise you that I am the consummate professional but each transaction will be interjected with just enough humor to keep us both sane and to hopefully keep it enjoyable.  Please consider using my services when you are ready to buy or sell any lake property in Gladwin County, including Wixom Lake, Secord Lake and Lake Lancer and Lake Lancelot in Sugar Springs.
Here's to a incredible 2017. Peace is the word I've chosen for this year.  I am hoping that choosing the word with the new year will allow me to shape, mold and create a peaceful year in all aspects of my life.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What to Do With All the Snow???

Growing up in Northern Michigan, winter was an accepted part of my young life experience.  Early memory was of my parents stuffing my siblings and I into our winter snow clothes and boots (including bread bags) and sent outside to play, get creative, eat the snow, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, sled, ice skate on a neighbors frozen back yard, go skiing at the local ski hill, build a snow fort or just lay in snow and make snow angels.  Not much has changed in terms of Michigan winters.  I moved to Kalkaska County 20 years ago and discovered that our winters are in what is called the "snowbelt".  Where our neighbors receive 5 inches of snow in a day - we might receive 1-2 feet.  It is just how it works out.

That being said, the Northeast part of our county is home to an incredible amount of state land, clean clear lakes and the Manistee River.  There is the groomed Blue Bear snowmobile trail and county friendly side roads for riding. We are also within 30-45 minutes of some of the best downhill skiing in Michigan.  Once winter leaves us, the river, streams and lakes open up to great fishing, trail riding, boating, mushroom hunting, deer and bird hunting, or just relaxing in a woodsy setting watching the stars at night.  This is a great place to make memories as many families and multi generations have done in the past.

6241 E Bass Lake Road is the newest lakefront listing in Blue Lake Township.  This 3BR/2B home has 100 feet of private frontage on no wake Bass Lake, central air, natural gas heat, insulated and heated garage and a beautiful deep lot with towering trees  and sunset views from the front of your home.  This home is priced to sell and will not be on the market for long.  Call or email for your own personal tour.  Mary@homewaters.net or 231/384-1207.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Northern Michigan's Best Real Estate Website, www.homewaters.net?

I'm admittedly a little partial so I'd say a resounding, "Yes!".  Don't just take my word for it, though, more than 85,000 other people thought so in 2016.  It's no coincidence that our company did our first deal the same year that sites like Trulia and Zillow were formed, back in 2007.  Changes in available data and other technologies finally allowed developers to build custom functionality into search sites that brought in data from all participating brokers.  While many brokers struggled to keep their doors open during the crash of 2008 and 2009, we invested heavily in www.homewaters.net functionality and SEO and it's always been the foundation of our success.
First and foremost, we wanted to build a user experience for OUR buyers.  We sell primarily waterfront and recreational property in northern, central and western Michigan.  We realize that our clients are searching for a property that provides a certain lifestyle and aren't necessarily focused only on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.  Large national sites like Trulia and Zillow and national brokerage sites were built for a majority of home sales which are condos and homes in metropolitan areas.  Searching for a lakefront cottage up north just isn't even on their radar.  So we built our site with searches that begin with lifestyle.  Lakefront, Riverfront, Ski/Golf, Hunting and Acreage, and Downtown Living.  With just a few clicks, users can find all properties from all participating brokers in the region they're most interested.

Descriptions and maps of individual bodies of water and neighborhoods also add to the content available on the site.  Users can track favorite properties and receive updates on status or price changes.  They can automate searches to ensure they get new listings and price changes the moment a change takes place in The MLS.  The site is also fully optimized for mobile devices so it works seamlessly regardless of whether the user is on a desktop, tablet, phone or other device.

Last year alone we had over 88,000 unique visitors viewing more than 1,400,000 pages on the site.  That makes it, by far, the most viewed northern Michigan brokerage site.  There were more than a half million page views in our lakefront search area alone last year.

Don't just take our word for it, next time you're online, head over to www.homewaters.net and check it out for yourself.  We're confident you'll find it's the most user friendly, accurate, and reliable site for real estate searches in Michigan's vacation areas.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Congratulations to Associate Broker Sonya Loose! #1 agent in The Clare Gladwin Board of REALTORS for 2016!

With sales of nearly $7,400,000, Associate Broker, Sonya Loose, earned the crown as the top producing REALTOR for The Clare Gladwin Board of REALTORS for the second time in three years!  By focusing on the waterfront and higher end recreational markets throughout Gladwin County, Sonya landed on top for 2016.  She and her assistant, Sherri Breault, do a terrific job of leveraging social media to expose their clients' properties to a huge online audience.  The consummate professional, Sonya has worked extremely hard to successfully find a balance between providing outstanding service to her clients while still finding time for family, friends, and even a second business, Dirty Girl Racewear, that taps into her family's passion for dirt track racing.  Considering buying or selling in Gladwin County?  Look no further.  Just reach out to Sonya at sonya@homewaters.net or click HERE to learn more about her and view some of her current listings and recent sales.

Congratulations to Kimberly Kaminski, The #1 selling individual agent in Roscommon County!

The numbers are in and it's official!  Sales Associate, Kimberly Kaminski was the top selling individual agent in The Paul Bunyan Board of REALTORS for 2016.  With $16,954,350 in sales for 2016 alone, she bested the next agent by more than $6,000,000.  She also sold more units than any other individual agent with 117 buyers or sellers represented.  More importantly to her clients, she did it all while providing exceptional service and outstanding results for them with one of the highest average sales prices for any agent in the region.

Kimberly joined Homewaters in late 2015 with the hopes of growing her business in 2016 and finding a brokerage that was a better personal fit than the one she worked with previously.  She certainly did that, and then some.  Kimberly displays a tireless work ethic, an unmatched commitment to professionalism and a dedication to her clients that is truly rare in any industry.  Paired with Homewaters' exceptional branding and marketing reach, clients in The Houghton / Higgins Lake area have an outstanding person to work with in order to achieve their real estate goals.

To ensure that her business continues to flourish without sacrificing service, Kimberly has brought on administrative assistant, Rachel Stefan, for 2017.  Together they'll continue to service clients in Roscommon County with a focus on Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Lake James and other recreational properties in the area.  If you, or any of your family or friends, are interested in buying or selling property in the area, you owe it to yourself to contact Kimberly at kimberly@homewaters.net. You can learn more about her and see some of her recent sales and current inventory by clicking HERE.  We're confident you'll find no one better to guide you through the sometimes frustrating process of buying or selling real estate.

Congratulation, Kimberly!  We're so proud to have you on board at Homewaters!

*Sales statistics provided by Paul Bunyan MLS for the period of January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gladwin and Clare County Real Estate Market Snapshot for December

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

Active Listings: 555 (36 new listings came on the market in December)
Average Asking Price: $113,837
Average Days on Market : 257
Range of Asking Prices: $8,900 - $985,000

Sold: 67 Sold in December (8 more than November)
Average Asking Price of Sold Listings: $107,807
Average Selling Price of Sold Listings: $101,211
Average Days on Market of Sold Listings: 208 (down 1 from November)
Sellers Received: 96.6% of their asking price       

Total Residential Sales Volume: $7,010,050 (up from $4,750,986 in November)
Listings Sold by Price Range
0-99,999: 37 (down 9 from November)
100,000-199,999: 24 (up 9 from November)
200,000-299,999: 4 (up 2 from November)
300,000-399,999: 2 (up 1 from November)
400,000 and above: 0 (same as November)   

Sold!! Tittabawassee River Get-A-Way!!

**113 Homes Expired off the Market in December

Absorption Rate = 2 Months