Friday, April 17, 2020

My Successful Real Estate Career

I have been thinking about my 18 years in Real Estate Sales - my second career after 20+ years in corporate finance. When I took the plunge and got my license in 2002 it was a "hot market" and I was very fortunate to hit the ground running.  Then we experienced the great recession. I was President of our 1,000 member regional Traverse Area  Association Realtors where we experienced a 40% drop in membership and I along with a great group of leaders in our industry navigated through all the ups and downs of a very troubled real estate market. We got to the other side, learned a lot and have great insight as a result.

Real Estate sales are celebrated annually measured in terms of  total sales dollars.  I am not the top dollar agent in my market however I have done really well ($2.5 million in 2019) and am grateful to each and every one of my clients.  I take most pride in the clients I have helped - both buyers and sellers - and where I have helped them achieve their dreams.  I was reminded of this when I saw a social media post by the owners of this  charming cabin on 10 acres with 1,000 ft. of frontage on the N. Branch of the Boardman River, 3.5 miles off a main road surrounded by hundreds of acres of state land with the exception of a few surrounding cabins and 20 minutes to Traverse City.

The current owners were celebrating their first overnight stay four years ago. This beautiful family has an abundance of children, spouses, grandchildren, family and friends who are the lucky beneficiaries of their generosity, love and kindness. They purchased this property with the hope of it becoming a legacy property and that is exactly what it has become. In fact, they even shared it for a week with the prior owner who had to sell when her job took her to Pennsylvania. I found myself smiling as I read all the comments from those who have visited and enjoyed their hospitality.

I most recently have helped a number of people sell in order to downsize and move on to the next phase of their lives; helped families find their legacy cottage to enjoy with their families; assisted a newly engaged couple purchase their Up North dream home on Starvation Lake, and so many other stories as I scroll through my closed sales.

Real estate is a people business and my goal has always been to help a client achieve their goals. I never list or sell more properties in a year than I am capable of delivering superior service. My service, reputation and ethics are everything to me. If these same qualities are important to you, let's talk. Here is link to my web page  if you would like to learn more about me.

Mary Janik, 231-384-1207,

Monday, April 13, 2020

Peace of Mind? Piece of Land...

40 to 100 acres under $100,000
Prior to the recent virus outbreak we were already seeing a trend toward rural living in some fashion.  For some that means a 10 acre parcel within easy reach of town.  For others it means agricultural land for investment or to become more food independent.
Some people are also looking for a getaway property in the more quite corners of the state to simply escape the rigors of living in a city or busy suburb.

Now, with the peak of corona virus upon us, even more people have this thought in mind.  Many people who already enjoy their own parcel of land found a real sense of security through all of this.  There's something extremely satisfying about knowing that you're able to provide almost completely for yourself and your family off your own privately owned land.  Social distancing isn't a policy here that takes a lot of effort or thought.  It's every day life.  You have to choose to go be around other people when that social need hits you.

This post certainly isn't meant to scare anyone.  For many, giving up the conveniences of city living is simply unthinkable.  For others, the thought of being out in the sticks could not be less appealing.  If you are one of those people, however, that's been considering purchasing some acreage, we're built for the task.  Begin your search by clicking HERE to easily search acreage property throughout central, western and northern Michigan.  We made it very simple to use so you can get immediately to the properties that are most likely to suit your needs.  Here's a quick tutorial showing how best to use the search.

A number of our agents embrace this lifestyle themselves and specialize in helping buyers find the property that best suits their needs.  You may need a guide through the process depending on what your needs are.  Do you want to simply hunt?  Do you need quality agricultural land for planting crops?  Do you need a property that suites multiple purposes?  What is your budget and can you find a property that falls within that budget near your current community?  We can help you make sure to make the right choice.  There are more options than you might think.  Click HERE to see all the current properties in our service area listed under $100,000 with 40 to 100 acres.

Despite all that's going on, we're working every day as always.  We're limited from in person travel but a phone call, email or video conversation would be a great first step to beginning the process of finding your own acreage parcel.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.  Contact us today to get started.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Farwell Log Home within WBLRA! 4169 Cherry Road, Farwell, MI

Farwell Log Home on a Wooded Lot within WBLRA!

MLS #172782

Bedrooms: 2
Bathroom: 1
Finished Square Feet: 2016
.83 Acre Wooded Lot

Call or Text Shannon at Homewaters Real Estate at 989-339-1326 or call (877)820-1194 ext 711 to schedule a 

Beautiful 1 1/2 story, 2 bedroom, 1 full bath true hand hewn log home on a little over 3/4 wooded acres. True artisan style log home with one of a kind architectural appeal. Partially finished basement. Sit and relax on the 15x20 & 7x20 tiered decking or around the fire pit located under the 9x14 gazebo. If you want to be outside even on those rainy days, you can in the 6x15 screened in front porch. Lots of storage space in the 10x16 shed with covered porch area. Enjoy the 4 private lakes, which has great fishing and swimming at the 2 nice beach areas. You can't pass up visiting the club house that has an indoor heated pool, sauna, free WiFi, relaxing lounge area with beautiful lake views, game room, putt putt golf, tennis and basketball court. You and your guests also have access to the private campground with electrical hook-up, playground and bathhouse. There are several roads and trails to ride your off road vehicle or even take a nice bike ride on. 3 additional lots available. 

Click HERE to view more images of this Farwell Home for Sale!

Play VisualTour

Friday, April 3, 2020

Agent Recognition Software

Our company and our website were built to immediately put you in contact with the agent that is most informed about your area of interest. Here's a quick video on how we use technology to put our web users on the path to real estate success as soon as they begin their search.

Automated Searches and Tracking Favorites

Create a free premium account on our website, to setup automated searches, track favorite properties and more. Here's a quick video on how to take advantage.

Downtown Traverse City Search

ONLY HomeWaters has single click Traverse City downtown searches with neighborhood descriptions, sales stats and more. Click below to see how it works.

Hunting & Acreage Search

Considering a hobby farm, hunting acreage or agricultural land? HomeWaters has the easiest way to search for exactly those properties. Here's a quick video on how it works.

Golf and Ski Resort Search

Interested in golf or ski resort properties? Here's a quick demonstration of our one of a kind search that allows users to search only those properties within golf or ski resorts.

ONLY available at!

Targeted Area Search

Have you tried the Targeted Area Search on our website? It's a terrific way to search for lake or river/stream properties when you're not certain which specific body of water you'd like to enjoy. It's a great tool and ONLY available on our website.

Beginning Your Property Search

We've spent the past 13 years developing our website to be the finest resource for searching waterfront and recreational properties in northern and central Michigan. Watch this to see just how quick and easy you can get to the exact results you're looking for!


This social distancing situation is a great time for families to try out geocaching. For the unfamiliar, this is when folks (including yourself, if you choose) place a container of some sort somewhere in a hidden location for others to find. Ease of locating them vary from out in the open to pretty tricky to find. There is paper inside to note your username and date you found it, and often they have a small doodad ('trackable') that you can retrieve from the cache and place in another cache to help it travel. It's a great way to explore new places in your area, or see familiar terrain in a new light, and get the whole family involved in the adventure. Check out the Geocaching site for beginner info, etiquette, and a link to the app.

Wine Online


There has been much in the local and national media about restaurants offering curbside take out and delivery since social distancing measures have taken effect in an effort to keep businesses afloat and employees paid. Another business sector that is hoping similar practices will keep them in the black is our Michigan wineries.

Local Leelanau and Old Mission wineries are reminding folks that wine can be direct shipped and some are offering discounts to bolster sales. While maybe not as fun as a trip up north to do some wine tasting, it's a great way to keep your favorites in business and your spirits high. Cheers!

Our Time to Shine

The strong real estate market has been an incredible blessing for REALTORS and home owners alike.  It had gotten to a point where there were so many buyers that many sellers and sub par agents were finding easy success finding buyers for properties.  Put a sign in the ground or post a property to Zillow and you were likely to get at least a handful of buyers willing to pay asking price.  This is, of course, the very first step toward a successful sale and many clients and agents learned the hard way that managing a transaction smoothly and overcoming obstacles to get there takes more expertise. 

We now find ourselves in a very different position.  The reality is that no one really knows the impact the current situation will have on the real estate market as a whole.  What is certainly going to be true is that some buyers will fall out of the market.  This will shift things from a pure seller's market to one that's frankly more healthy, where you likely have a reasonable amount of inventory for the number of active buyers.  It's going to make it more important than any time in recent years to work with an exceptional, professional agent.  

There will certainly be many buyers looking to shift funds into real estate from the more volatile stock market and many people will still be in a financial position to continue with the buying process.  All of these buyers are going to be nervous, though.  They're going to want to be provided all the necessary data that gives them a sense of confidence that they're making a sound decision.  With fewer buyers in the market, it's also going to be essential to expose listings to as many active buyers as possible.

This is where HomeWaters and our agents truly shine.  We have built an unmatched online presence geared toward exposing our clients' properties to as many potential buyers as possible.  Naturally, we use sites like Zillow, Trulia, and, but we've invested a tremendous amount of resources in our own proprietary distribution channels including, the most viewed brokerage website in northern and central Michigan.  Our social media reach is also unparalleled with dozens of pages geared specifically toward niche buyer segments.

Our philosophy of ONLY partnering with the most ethical, professional agents will also ensure that our clients are guided through the process with as little frustration as possible.  It's going to take some patience to get a property sold for the best terms, and our full time dedicated team is second to none in providing our clients much needed confidence in what's likely going to be a softer market.

This process begins right now as we continue to stay in frequent contact with our team on what will likely be the most effective strategies to employ when we're able to once again actively show properties.  We look forward to the opportunity to speak over the phone or by Zoom online meeting right now so we can keep you informed and make sure your property is showing-ready the moment it's time to hit the market.

We're excited for this new opportunity and cannot wait to show what value our truly dedicated, professional REALTORS can provide to sellers and buyers in what is now a very different real estate market.  Click HERE to learn more about our agents and brokers and get in contact with your local representative.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Social Distancing Pros

Avoid contact with other people! That’s not a problem for many of us outdoorsman and women who seek hobbies that offer seclusion, fresh air and of course, social distancing.  April is now upon us and it’s finally starting to feel like spring which is a very welcomed season in my opinion and invites many “social distancing” opportunities in Michigan.

Turkey season is closing in with the first seasons opening April 18th. It will be nice to dig out the camo once again and head to the woods, not to mention the benefit of providing a few meals in a time when supermarket shelves are a bit sparse. There’s been some changes to the season dates including the popular “unit ZZ” hunt, so be sure to check out the rules and regulations here: 

Besides turkeys, the coveted morel mushrooms should be showing up before too long. They also offer a challenging hunt and rewarding table fare. Personally, I’m better at eating them than finding them. So if you have any hotspots, feel free to share.

If nothing else, spring is a great season to just spend some time in the woods and scout for next deer season and if your in the market to purchase hunting property, there’s no better time than now to start looking. As I write this we are currently restricted from showing properties due to the Governor’s order regarding Covid 19, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start doing the homework online and have a list of properties ready to look at when restrictions lift.

However you decide to spend your time during this period of social distancing, I hope you’re able to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. I know I will.