Near State Land,River, Kingsley,TC
• 2,024 sq. ft., 2 bath, 4 bdrm 2 story split
- Bonus Garage/2.5 acres
Kingsley, Paradise Township
4 BR 2 Bath over 2000 sq. ft. set on 2.5 beautiful / landscaped country acres yet only 5 minutes from Kingsley, Boardman River, US-131, and lots of state land and 15 minutes to Traverse City. Features split level living with large foyer/mud area from front door & garage, 2 beds and bath on each level, formal dining area, gallery style kitchen, large living room w/ bonus office area +lower level family room + game/play/office area and separate laundry room w/ closet. large paved drive for plenty of guest parking and additional 30x40 2+ car heated garage/workshop.
Swim, Fish, Hunt, Snowmobile, Camp & ...
• 1,590 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm 1 1/2 story
- Pvt. Lakefront&State Land
Inland Township, Benzie County
100 ft. Private Lakefront-well maintained & updated weekend cottage or year round home w/2 car garage+ large heated workshop, 2 large storage sheds, 3 Bedrooms w/main floor master, 2 baths, den, & bright open living area overlooking the lake complete w/wood stove for those cozy chilly nights. Good bass, walleye & pan fishing + tons of state land (hunt, walk, x-country ski) & snow mobile trails just out your door. Short drive to Crystal Mountain for golf & skiing, Traverse City, Lake Michigan & many other area lakes & towns. Complete with private dock, paddle & row boats negotiable. The whole package is here for your 4 season getaway or live like you are on vacation everyday!
80 Acres,Barn,Guest House,Horses Allowed
• 2,640 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm 2 story
- Near Lakes & State Land
Rapid City, Kalkaska County
Totally rebuilt, down to the studs, and professionally designed to meet that classic farmhouse style, in the mid 1990's. This classic farm house/ property has an open floor plan, hardwood floors, 3 bedrooms (main floor master), open loft area, den/office,2 baths, cathedral ceilings, hot water baseboard heat + wood stove, tons of storage, & large floyer/mud room + huge laundry/mud room coming in from garage. Set on 80 very private acres mixed with approx. 75% woods & 25% open/tillable rolling land it is located near lots of state land, walking trails, Chain-O-Lakes (Torch, Elk, Skegemog & more), Rapid City, Kalkaska, Alden, US-131 & a short drive to Traverse City. The property features farmhouse w/attached garage with large heated workshop, 1BR 1Bath guest house, chicken coop & pen, green house, original corn crib & granary, the classic farm/hay barn with horse stalls, huge organic garden, tons of landscaping, fruit trees, state MAEAP certified, good hunting, and even seasonal Skegemog Lake views from back of property. The possibilities are endless....customize it to fit your lifestyle!!!
For the past three years, the average size of new homes has been on the rise. The median new-home size in 2012 reached a record high at 2,306 square feet, according to newly released data from the Census Bureau. That is an 8 percent increase from 2009.
During the Great Recession, Americans showed a preference for smaller homes, and many housing experts were saying it meant the end of the McMansion.
But Jeffry Roos, a regional president for homebuilder Lennar, told CNNMoney that it wasn’t that Americans wanted less space, they just couldn’t afford more space at the time.
Now, they’re upsizing again. A spokeswoman for GL Homes says that the builder has been selling homes that average 7 percent larger than during the first five months of 2012.
Some consumers are choosing to buy larger because they have more people under their roof. Lennar offers homes known as Next Gen, which feature separate suites for a mother-in-law or college grad who has moved back home.
Home shoppers tend to buy bigger than what they originally plan, Fred Cooper, a spokesman for Toll Brothers, told CNNMoney.
"In the downturns, in upturns, whenever, our customers typically added another 18 to 20 percent of floor space onto what already was a very nice house to begin with," Cooper says.
Source: “McMansions are making a comeback,” CNNMoney (June 4, 2013)
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Federal investigators are cracking down on foreclosure auction scams, where real estate speculators illegally try to fix the bidding process on properties. The cases mostly center in northern and central California, but bid-rigging schemes have also been discovered in Raleigh, N.C., and Mobile, Ala.
Federal prosecutors have charged 54 people in the past three years for bid-rigging during courthouse auctions for foreclosed properties.
Scammers would appoint one person to bid on a property during an auction so that the person could get the property at a lower price. After the official auction was over, they would conduct a separate auction.
“The conspirators would then divvy up the difference paid at the official auction and the private one,” the Associated Press reports. “The scammers took money that otherwise would have gone to banks selling the foreclosed properties or beleaguered home owners who should have been compensated.”
The U.S. Justice Department has established a special task force to investigate bid-rigging at foreclosure auctions and to "stop those who engage in illegal conduct that thwarts the competitive process, and take advantage of American consumers when they are most vulnerable," says Bill Baer, assistant attorney general and head of the DOJ's antitrust division in Washington, D.C.
Source: “Feds Crack Down on Foreclosure Auction Scams,” the Associated Press (June 1, 2013)
Nearly a quarter of Americans say they’ve discovered problems with their credit reports, according to a new study of 1,000 American adults by FindLaw.com, an online legal information portal.
The most common problems reported were incorrect or outdated credit or personal information, information that was mixed up with another person due to identity theft, a credit score being incorrectly reported as too low, or a denial of credit because of an incorrect credit report.
Sixty-eight percent of those who found a problem with their credit report were able to fix the problem, the study found. However, 18 percent of the people who reported problems with their credit report said they were never able to get it corrected.
"It's important to check your credit report periodically to ensure the information it contains about you is accurate and up-to-date," says Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. "The credit reporting agencies all have detailed procedures for correcting errors. And our survey found that people are generally having success in getting the agencies to correct those errors.”
The FindLaw.com study finds that 22 percent of Americans have never checked their credit report to verify its accuracy.
Source: “Credit Report Problems Resurface,” Realty Times (June 4, 2013)
Two new upscale residential developments in the works will bring 30 new residences to downtown Traverse City.
The first, located at the northeast corner of Washington and Cass (behind City Centre Plaza), will be the four-story, 18-unit Washington Place. The development, led by Passageways Travel’s Tom and Sheila McIntyre, will have retail and office space on the ground floor. They hope to start construction this fall.
“It’s going to be our primary residence,” says Sheila McIntyre. With their kids grown, the couple wants to be able to walk downtown to the shops, restaurants and the State Theatre.
Realtors from Real Estate One and Coldwell Banker Schmidt are representing Washington Place; ten units are already spoken for.
The units will range between $180,000 to $670,000, each with 800-2,000 square feet of living space. The higher-priced units will include an indoor parking space.
The McIntyres already own one of the two parking lots now occupying the lot, and have a purchase option for the other from the City of Traverse City.
Just two blocks west on State Street past the post office, developers Tim Burden and Mike Wills are partnering to create Uptown. The $6 million project will overlook the Boardman River and Hannah Park across the water.
“I’ve really been interested in this property for fifteen years and things have just recently come together,” says Burden.
The duo has been working with city, county and brownfield development officials on the project; the site was an edge-of-town dumpsite decades ago, leaving contamination underground.
Burden also developed River’s Edge apartments and Midtown condominiums further upstream on the Boardman. Both projects utilized brownfield redevelopment funds.
Uptown will be brick, townhouse style; each unit will feature three bedrooms and a two-car garage. Prices will range between $500,000 to $700,000.
Burden hopes to have some units sold and occupied by spring 2014, with the entire project finished and occupied the following year.
Is Local Golf Scene on the Upswing Again?
May 21, 2013
Following a five-year span that left a divot in most golf courses’ pocketbooks, some reports have the $25 billion industry on the upswing. Can the same be said here in Northern Michigan? We inquired.
For many local courses, last year brought the first signs of a turnaround.
“We have to give a nod to Mother Nature,” says Kate Morris, executive director of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, referring to the early arrival of warm weather in 2012. “More buying confidence and an amazing, long season had a huge economic impact.”
Rodger Jabara, general manager of Bay Meadows Golf Course, also credits the weather and an unusually high number of out-of-state visitors in 2012. “When I was able to have a conversation with them [about how they decided to visit], most times Pure Michigan was mentioned,” he says.
This year’s longer winter means a more typical start to the season, but the heavier and later snowfall also means better turf conditions, notes Tom McGee, Director of Golf Operations at the Grand Traverse Resort. He believes that, combined with a predicted strong tourism season, “Northern Michigan golf courses are in a good position to have a good season.”
Boasting a $4.2 billion golfing economy, Michigan leads the nation in public courses. But is the state “over golf coursed?” Nobody knows for sure, and locals point to two key areas for survival: differentiation in the marketplace and price integrity.
“Every golf course will have to pick its own path to appeal to its market,” says Brent Maitland of LochenHeath, which reopened in 2011 after closing operations for a few years.
Many courses and clubs have tried to diversify beyond the traditional golf enthusiasts or emphasize a certain niche. Grand Traverse Resort has seen an increase in golf and resort packages for groups of 12 or more players coming into town. LochenHeath is positioning itself to those seeking a club that preserves some afternoon tee times just for members, with an ambition to someday become private again, while Bay Meadows plays-up the family golf experience.
Morris says courses statewide are also struggling with the proliferation of discount deals, particularly among courses in desperate situations to fill rounds, which “ultimately erode the real price point.” Because maintenance costs remain the same or increase each year, Jabara worries about the long-term effect on the quality of the actual courses, while Maitland asserts that in the long term, such aggressive discounting is just bad for business.
Still, with a relatively high per capita rate of golfers in Michigan and numbers strong in junior golf tournaments and high school events, the future of the state’s “green” industry looks healthy.
Perhaps its best asset? Golfers’ enthusiasm.
“Michigan golfers are hearty participants,” says Morris. “I’ve traveled all over and have never seen the determination and love of the game that our golfers have.”
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Weekly Market Statistics
05/13/2013 thru 05/19/2013
303 New Listings
Sales By Classification
80 Residential $19,000 to $1,075,000 Median $156,200 Mean $213,681
22 Vacant Land $12,000 to $440,000 Median $79,000 Mean $97,527
05 Commercial $225 (Lease) to $285,000
Sales by Location
14 Antrim County
11 Benzie County
61 Grand Traverse County
08 Kalkaska County
13 Leelanau County
00 Wexford County
Expired Listings 56
Year over Year Comparison for Grand Traverse County on & off water homes
Off Water Homes All Values
Current Listings 603
Sales 05/12 to 05/13 1,071 05/11 to 05/12 872
Average DOM 141 or 4.7 Months
Value Direction Up 7.7%
Market Activity Up 22.7%
Inventory Supply 6 .8 Months
Direct Water Homes All Values
Current Listings 194
Sales 05/12 to 05/13 173 05/11 to 05/12 162
Average DOM 211 or 7.0 Months
Value Direction Down 2.7%
Market Activity Up 6.7%
Inventory Supply 13.5 Months
Sales for the week broke over 100 with 107 transactions last week. Off water sales continue to gain momentum with rising prices in more market segments. Rural markets continue to struggle, although momentum is moving in the right directions. Activity will continue to build as confidence returns to the market.
"Don't squander your difficulties; wring every possible lesson out of them" Chris Brady
Old Mission Welcomes Two New Wineries
May 16, 2013
Traverse City natives and siblings Carter and Todd Oosterhouse received good news from Peninsula Township Tuesday evening – which means good news for fans of Old Mission Peninsula wineries.
Township officials granted the Oosterhouses a special-use permit to build a 6,500 square-foot winery off Center Road, paving the way for the duo to apply for county building permits and begin construction next month. Todd says they hope to have production facilities built in time to begin harvesting this fall on their 20 acres of wine grapes originally planted three years ago.
According to Us Magazine, the winery will be called Bonobo, after a type of chimpanzee.
“If we stay on track, we should be ready to open (the tasting room) in June 2014,” Todd says, noting that planned varietals include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gri, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.
Though the permitting process was a bumpy one for the Oosterhouses – who had to navigate zoning restrictions, land disputes and legal challenges en route to township approval – Todd says the support of other Peninsula winery owners was instrumental in negotiating the red tape.
“Going through this process, everyone has been very helpful,” Todd says. “It's definitely collaborative out here..people are willing to tell you the best steps to take.”
Marie-Chantal Dalese, marketing director at Chateau Chantal, seconds the view of the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) as a close-knit community. Dalese, who calls the business environment on the Peninsula “friendly and collaborative,” is helping oversee this month's launch of Hawthorne Vineyards, the newest winery to join the organization.
The 86-acre secluded facility, tucked on top of a private drive off Peninsula Road overlooking Grand Traverse Bay, is home to 26 acres of wine grapes, a seasonal tasting room designed by architect Bradley Wheeler, and a wine patio with an outdoor wood-burning fireplace. Hawthorne Vineyards will focus on “super-premium, single varietal wines that reflect their...elevated position on the Peninsula,” according to Dalese.
The business itself is an embodiment of vintner collaboration. While owners Bruce and Cathleen Hawthorne will maintain distinct production facilities, tasting rooms and product lines at Hawthorne, the winery will share a management staff and winemaker Brian Hosmer with Chateau Chantal, which is a joint partner in the venture.
“It’s been an interesting project working with the Hawthornes," Hosmer said in a statement. "They bring a new perspective to the wines being offered from their estate, and it will continue to be an enjoyable challenge to create unique styles of wine for this property.” Dalese notes that the winery – which is planted for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer and Lemberger varietals – currently has 12 wines available to accompany its launch.
Hawthorne Vineyards officially opened on May 1 and will remain open seasonally through October 31. To commemorate its launch, the winery is hosting a grand opening celebration on Saturday, May 25 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and will include complimentary wine tastings, live music and light appetizers. For more information, visit www.hawthornevineyards.com.
I have recently greatly enhanced my Traverse City area Real Estate Listings search on my website www.c21jb.com You can now search the most current listings and exclude listings that already have accepted offers and pending sales on them and I have included more specific search options for you to better narrow down to what best fits your needs.
You may search by cities, counties, waterfront etc. for the Grand Traverse area, Central Michigan and NE Lower Michigan. There is no sign in required or password you need, just view my Search MLS and browse until your heart is content. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please feel free to also browse the community information and links ( dining, hotels, shopping, local events, lake maps, recreational opportunities, golfing, skiiing, and much more) as well as property tax estimators, mortgage calculators and contacts etc.
I hope this is very helpful and much easier to use and do please contact me with any Traverse City real estate questions or if you are considering buying or selling in the Grand Traverse ( Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska counties) and beyond.
Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland
Big Questions for the Big Three Festivals
May 13, 2013
Traverse City's "big three" festivals are coming soon, each facing its own unique challenge in 2013 and beyond. One needs to appeal to a more upscale audience, another needs more "connections" to locals, and the third is finding its identity among its peers. Here's the lowdown:
NATIONAL CHERRY FESTIVAL – June 29-July 6, 2013
What's in Store for 2013: Now in its 87th year, the National Cherry Festival (NCF) is putting a modern twist on some of its traditional components, introducing the first-ever night air show and ramping up the Bay Side Music Stage with acts like Foreigner and Montgomery Gentry. The Global Wine Pavilion is gone this year, but culinary classic Cherries D'Vine is back.
Can It Go Upscale? Part of NCF's broad community appeal is its endless array of free or inexpensive entertainment, from parades to carnival rides to cheap eats. But for those seeking a more upscale experience, high-end options at the festival have historically been limited.
Cognizant of the opportunity to diversify its customer base, NCF has taken a number of steps in recent years to offer premium experiences for attendees looking to indulge. Special Air Show Galas at the Park Place Hotel, reserved seating at festival concerts, and elegant epicurean events like Cherries D'Vine are all designed to appeal to audiences seeking out more swank offerings.
“Our theme is 'Generations of Fun,' and for us that means appealing to as many different groups of people as possible,” says NCF Executive Director Trevor Tkach. “It's a balancing act. We've got a great lineup already...but we're always looking for ways to bring new demographics into the fold.”
HORSE SHOWS BY THE BAY – July 3-28 and August 2-4, 2013
What's in Store for 2013: The prestigious equestrian festival returns to the 84-acre Flintfields Horse Park in Williamsburg for a nearly five-week series of events, bringing in an estimated 1,500 horses and some 3,000 competitors and support staff. In celebration of the festival's tenth anniversary, organizers have added six new $10,000 awards to this year's event.
How Will It Engage Locals? Horse Shows by the Bay contributes an estimated $12 million annually to the local economy. Yet due to its niche focus, many area residents have never experienced the festival – or are even aware when it's underway.
Show owner and operator Alex Rheinheimer says increasing local engagement is a complex undertaking. While community sponsors underwrite the festival and spectators add to the atmosphere and help sustain the sport, equestrian events – which prize distraction-free environments for competitors – also demand special crowd etiquette. A sudden noise or movement in the stands, even if unintentional, could dangerously throw off an animal or rider.
To help spread awareness of show etiquette and engage more locals with the event, Horse Shows by the Bay is hosting a community Kids Day on July 6 and a Family Day on July 20. The festival is also increasing promotion for its weekend Grand Prix events, where competitors and animals are more acclimated to crowds. “We want people to come out and enjoy the events, but we also have to protect the environment for the competitors,” Rheinheimer explains. “These events are a perfect way for us to do both.”
TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL – July 30-August 4, 2013
What's in Store for 2013: Most of the well-known elements of the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) will be back in 2013, including the filmmakers panels, festival parties, film school and Open Space movies. One major new addition: TCFF recently received approval to use the City's Con Foster Museum in Clinch Park as a year-round, 150-seat movie theater called Bijou by the Bay, which will open in time for this year's event.
What's Its Identity? TCFF has grown exponentially each of its past nine years, enjoying widespread local support and undeniable success. But how does it rank against other renowned film festivals, such as Sundance and Tribeca? Answering that question (along with key others, such as whether booking celebrities or first-time filmmakers is a bigger priority for the event, and whether staff will continue to hand-pick films or convert to an open submissions process) poses a number of challenges for organizers. But tackling them promises to help TCFF refine its identity in the years ahead – and ensure its long-term sustainability in the process.
“We're coming up on our tenth anniversary (in 2014), which tends to be a time when many festivals come into their own and figure out...what makes them special,” says TCFF Executive Director Deb Lake. She notes that while TCFF will never be an “industry festival,” such as Sundance, organizers are ready to consider new possibilities going forward, including formally assisting films in finding distribution and taking on more submissions.
“It's a special time for us. We're on the brink of self-identifying,” says Lake. “I think our tenth anniversary will be a really big year for us.”
Three Michigan Associations of REALTORS® Launch a New Collaborative Multiple Listings Service
Submitted by NGLR on Mon, 2013-04-01 10:06
Today it was announced that three Michigan associations of REALTORS® have launched a new collaborative multiple listings service (MLS) venture to serve as a nucleus of what is hoped will be a truly regional real estate MLS solution.
The new entity known as the Northern Great Lakes REALTORS® MLS is a cooperative partnership between the Central Michigan Association of REALTORS®, the Northeastern Michigan Board of REALTORS®, and the Traverse Area Association of REALTORS®.
This collaboration, which began the process of mapping and merging data fields eighteen months ago was released to the collective REALTOR® membership of these three boards last week. However, the process and ensuing activity was based upon an ongoing conversation to regionalize MLS operations in this part of the state that has spanned the last twelve years, and an Effective MLS Market Solutions (EMMS) research study funded by a grant from the National Association of REALTORS® that was completed in late 2010.
The new public facing MLS website can be found at www.nglrmls.com or by visiting any of the websites for the three partner organizations.
This regionalization effort is designed to potentially and on a discretionary basis include REALTOR® association MLS operations located in the central and the northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, or an area many consumers feel represents a Northern Michigan experience. Future considerations may also open the door to someday collaborate with the Upper Peninsula REALTOR® MLS operations.
The Northern Great Lakes REALTORS® MLS (NGLR) is using the powerful Paragon 5™ MLS software developed by LPS real estate solutions to provide a high level of service and cutting edge real estate listings tools for their collective membership and to power a robust public facing property search function.
Search ALL Traverse City area real estate and the new Central Mi. and Ne Mi. real estate listings. Free 24 hours a day...7 days a week!
Mortgage Giants to Limit Loan Purchases to 'Qualified Mortgages'
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin next year to purchase only loans that meet new “qualified mortgage” requirements, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Monday.
In January, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized new rules that would require lenders to verify borrowers’ ability to repay their loans. It capped loan terms and fees and the bureau said that qualified mortgages are borrowers whose debt does not exceed 43 percent of their income.
The requirements are to go into effect January 2014.
"Adoption of these new limitations by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is in keeping with [the] FHFA's goal of gradually contracting their market footprint and protecting borrowers and taxpayers," the FHFA, which regulates Fannie and Freddie, said in a statement.
The two mortgage giants, which do not issue loans, provide financing to banks and other lenders by purchasing mortgages that are often repackaged as securities that are sold to investors. Fannie and Freddie back about half of home loans today.
Following the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the Dodd-Frank law created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which issued rules that would force lenders to make sure borrowers could pay back loans to avoid the steep losses that banks experienced before. “The law also called for a category of safer, lower-priced loans that lenders could make in exchange for some protection from lawsuits arising from ability-to-repay disputes,” Reuters reports.
The CFPB is creating a temporary qualified mortgage status, which the FHFA said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be permitted to purchase loans that fit under that status to ease the transition.
Source: “Regulator says Fannie, Freddie to buy only 'qualified' loans,” Reuters (May 6, 2013
Delinquencies on home loans dropped in March to 0.84 percent of the nation's 50.2 million mortgages -- the first month since 2007 that delinquencies were below the 1 percent mark, Lender Processing Services Inc. reports.
First-time defaults -- loans that are at least 60 days delinquent -- peaked in January 2009 at 2.89 percent.
As the economy and employment gradually are on the mend and home prices rise, more home owners are keeping up with their mortgage payments.
“Mortgage quality is improving rapidly,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc. “Once we’re able to work through this last bulge of foreclosed property, which I think we’ll be able to do over the next 18 to 24 months, mortgage credit quality is going to look absolutely beautiful.”
Home loans at least 30 days delinquent or in foreclosure dropped to 5 million in March. In January 2010, delinquent loans for at least 30 days peaked at 7.7 million, LPS reports.
Mortgage default rates are highest among underwater borrowers, those who owe more on their home than it is currently valued. Four percent of borrowers have defaulted on their loans that owe at least 50 percent or more on their home, compared with 0.6 percent of home owners with equity, according to LPS.
More home owners are seeing equity once again in their homes, as prices rise. The number of mortgages with negative equity dropped to 18 percent of homes with a mortgage in January, down from 41 percent one year earlier.
Source: “Housing Crash Fades as Defaults Decline to 2007 Levels,” Bloomberg (May 6, 2013)