Welcome to my Traverse City Real Estate Blog where you can keep up to date on new home listings, price reductions, real estate market & area information and more. Please visit often for updates and information and contact Jon for all your Traverse City area real estate buying or selling needs!

Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland




Wed Jul 26 17:49:20 UTC 2017

Rent vs. Own? The Best Option in Each State

Posted by: Jon Becker

Rent vs. Own? The Best Option in Each State Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, July 26, 2017Home prices may be on the rise across the country, but you’re still better off buying a home in most states in the U.S. than renting one. Consumers in only 11 states will find renting more affordable than buying a home, according to a new study by GOBankingRates, a personal finance website. GOBankingRates analyzed the cost of renting versus owning a home in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers looked at estimated rent prices for all homes listed on a real estate website. It then calculated the estimated monthly mortgage to own a home in each state, based on the median list price of homes, a 20 percent down payment, and a 30-year fixed-rate loan. Source: “The 2017 Cost of Renting vs. Owning a Home in Every State,” GoBankingRates.com (July 24, 2017)Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Mon May 08 19:54:36 UTC 2017

17 Most Popular Remodeling Projects

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, May 08, 2017 Kitchen upgrades have overtaken bathroom updates as the remodeling project homeowners want most, according to the National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index report covering the first quarter of 2017. Bathroom renovations previously held the number one spot, but kitchen redos barely pulled ahead in the most recent report. Visit REALTOR® Magazine's Styled, Staged & Sold blog for the latest remodeling and design trends. NAHB's survey showed these are the most common jobs for remodelers:Kitchen remodeling: 81% Bathroom remodeling: 80% Whole-house remodeling: 53% Room additions: 45% Windows/door replacement: 36% Finished basement: 27% Repairing property damage: 27% Decks: 25% Bathroom additions: 24% Roofing: 23% Enclosed/added porch: 23% Handyman services: 22% Siding: 19% Second story additions: 16% Enclosed/added garage: 12% Historic preservation: 9% Finished attic: 7%Fifty-three percent of remodelers say "whole-house remodeling" has become a much more common project, the survey notes. It's also the first time since 2006 that more than half of the respondents to NAHB's survey have cited anything besides kitchens and bathrooms as a common type of remodeling project, the index notes. Source: “Remodeling in 2016: Kitchens Reclaim Top Spot From Baths,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (May 5, 2017) Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Mon Apr 24 19:19:46 UTC 2017

$10M Development Proposed For Eighth Street

Posted by: Jon Becker

By Beth Milligan
A proposed new $10 million development could bring 60,000 square feet of retail, office and residential space, three new public kayak launches and a second Higher Grounds café location to Eighth Street in Traverse City. Developer Joe Sarafa – operating under Envision Eighth Street LLC – will present a brownfield application for the project to the Grand Traverse County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) on Wednesday at 8am at the Governmental Center. Sarafa has a purchase agreement on 400, 408, 414 and 416 East Eighth Street – currently home to a commercial office building and adjacent parking lot – on the south side of the Eighth Street and Boardman Avenue intersection. Project plans call for a two-phase development that could break ground as soon as August. Phase one includes construction of a 24,000 square-foot, three-story building in the vacant parking lot, featuring retail on the ground floor, commercial on the second floor, and residential on the third floor. A proposed lease agreement with HomeStretch would commit all 12 residential units to workforce housing. The building – serviced by 19 underground parking spaces – could be completed by mid-2018. A second phase of development is proposed to break ground in 2020, with an estimated summer 2021 completion date. That project involves demolishing the existing office building and constructing a new 36,000 square-foot, three-story building in its place. As with phase one, the building would offer retail, commercial and residential space, with a total of 18 planned apartments to be rented “at market rate or less, with a focus on smaller affordable units.” The project would be serviced by 28 underground parking spaces. Envision Eighth Street LLC also plans to build two “north-south pathways between Eighth Street and the Boardman River…to provide direct public access to the river,” as well as three public kayak/canoe launches on the property. The Watershed Center and SEEDS are listed as collaborative partners to “ensure that thoughtful, sustainable design solutions are included in the development,” including a low-impact stormwater management system and energy-efficient building designs. Sarafa credits Higher Grounds Trading Company Director Chris Treter with bringing the property to his attention with the vision of opening a second Higher Grounds location within a community-focused development site anchoring the Eighth Street corridor. “He’s an important part of this project,” Sarafa says. Treter tells The Ticker that while he plans to continue operating Higher Grounds’ current café at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, he hopes to open a second café and relocate his roasting operations to the new development. “We’re willing to be the anchor tenant for this vision,” says Treter, who has an option to buy into the LLC. “We’re excited about the opportunity, as long as the community and partners can come together to ensure it’s a sustainable development for the future of Traverse City that cares for our workforce, the natural environment and the public stakeholders.” The development is contingent on a public-private partnership that includes a requested $2.7 million in brownfield reimbursement, with eligible activities including lead and asbestos abatement, demolition, site preparation and infrastructure. Approximately $705,000 of reimbursement would cover underground parking costs at the site. Grand Traverse County Director of Community Development and Codes Jean Derenzy says both state brownfield laws and local BRA rules were recently amended to include multi-level and underground parking as an eligible brownfield expense. The inclusion was made to reduce surface parking lots and maximize community tax base by ensuring properties are “developed to (their) highest and best use,” according to Derenzy. “In this project, providing underground parking provides 60 percent more future tax revenues,” says Derenzy. “If surface parking was only available, the development space would be limited to approximately 30,000 square feet” – half of the project’s proposed size. Derenzy says BRA members must weigh the public benefits of a proposed project and its compatibility with the city’s master plan against requested brownfield incentives. In a memo to the BRA board, Derenzy cited components of the project including “workforce housing, increased access and reduced stormwater discharge to the Boardman River, and providing for Eighth Street improvements” in her recommendation of support for the application, saying the project meets the city’s master, corridors and Eighth Street reconstruction plans. “The proposed project is located at a strategic and highly visible intersection of this important corridor….that will provide the anchor for future Eighth Street development,” Derenzy wrote. According to Derenzy, Sarafa has agreed to provide the city with an easement for the future extension of the Boardman River riverwalk, as well as 600 square feet of easement along Eighth Street to accommodate the corridor’s new streetscape design. Project plans also call for closing two of the property’s three curb cuts, an identified priority along Eighth Street. Captured taxes through the brownfield plan will also fund two public improvement projects, including $600,000 for future riverwalk construction and a portion of Eighth Street's reconstruction costs. The exact figure for reconstruction costs “is still being worked on” by staff but will be included in the final brownfield plan, says Derenzy. BRA members will consider approving Sarafa’s application Wednesday – a conceptual first step that does not guarantee project approval or brownfield funding. The meeting allows for “comments and suggestions,” says Derenzy, before developers return with an official brownfield plan detailing finalized financial figures for approval. That brownfield plan must go through the BRA, city and county commissions, and state in order for funding to be approved and the project to proceed. Permalink
 Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Feb 14 17:26:56 UTC 2017

Study: Small Homes Appreciate Faster

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, February 13, 2017 Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to appreciation. In fact, a new study shows that smaller homes likely will offer a bigger percentage return on a home shopper’s investment. Read more: New Single-Family Homes Are Getting Smaller A new study conducted by NerdWallet culled three years of listing data from realtor.com® of the 20 of the largest U.S. metro areas and shows that smaller homes, in general, appreciate at a faster rate than larger homes. Markets can vary greatly, however. In 17 of the 20 metro areas analyzed, listing prices of the smallest 25 percent homes rose faster when calculated as a percentage, according to NerdWallet. The median annual growth rate for the smallest quartile of homes was 8.9 percent from 2013 to 2016, the study showed. The second smallest group of homes had the second-fastest growth rate: a median annual growth of 7.4 percent. Florida had two of the metro areas that saw the fastest rate of price appreciation among smallest homes. In Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, the smallest quartile of homes appreciated by a whopping 19.5 percent each year from 2013 to 2016. In close second, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater saw its smallest quartiles of homes appreciate by 16.6 percent annually. Still, while the smallest homes appreciate fastest when viewed as percentage, larger homes appreciate fastest by absolute dollar amount, the study showed. That’s not surprising given a larger home often comes with a heftier price too. Case in point, the smallest homes in the metro areas NerdWallet analyzed saw appreciation, on average, of about $57,535 between 2013 and 2016. Within that same time period, the largest homes saw prices rise, on average, by $99,790. Richard K. Green, a professor and chair of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California, says one reason smaller homes are likely appreciating faster is due to less inventory of starter homes available. Buyer demand for starter, smaller homes remains high, however. That could be pushing prices higher, he says. Source: “Small Homes Can Offer Big Returns,” NerdWallet (Feb. 7, 2017) Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Mon Jan 23 18:26:41 UTC 2017

Mortgage Rates Move Down Again

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Friday, January 20, 2017 For the third consecutive week, fixed-rate mortgages edged down, lowering borrowing costs for buyers and refinancers. Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 19:30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.09 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.12 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.81 percent.15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.34 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.37 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.10 percent.5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.21 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 3.23 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.91 percent.Source: Freddie Mac Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Wed Jan 11 16:58:21 UTC 2017

Century 21 Ad Pinpoints Agent Value

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Century 21’s new television campaign focuses on the value of an agent while poking fun at technology that can sometimes be unreliable in its 30-second, fast-paced ad. The first of four commercials, Not an App,aired during the Golden Globe Awards on NBC Sunday night. Its premise is that the power of human interaction is irreplaceable when it comes to buying or selling a home. But Century 21 isn’t moving away from technology. On the contrary, it’s focusing more on how sales professionals use digital tools to enhance personal relationships with home buyers and sellers, according to Century 21 chief marketing officer, Cara Whitley. “We believe that our [agents] earn the trust and affinity of home buyers and sellers better than anyone in the business,” Whitley says. The brand also recently commissioned a study by Wakefield Research that found 92 percent of millennial home buyers believe it’s important for a real estate agent to get to know them personally before choosing to work with them. Another nine out of 10 surveyed said it’s important for their real estate agent to have significant experience with other home buyers in their age group. Century 21 has been working on building trust with consumers on behalf of agents since its “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” campaign. “It’s all about relevance and being relevant from both a consumer and industry standpoint,” Whitley says. “Everything that we do as an organization, including this campaign, seeks to earn and re-earn relevance at every touchpoint with consumers — our tribe of C21 ambassadors — and with those looking for a new place to call home.” The latest ad also celebrates the company’s sweep of the JD Power awards in all four home buyer and seller categories for the third year in a row. Century 21’s other spots — Good Luck, Robot; House Call; and Master Juggler — will air during the AFC and NFC championship games, and live digitally online via Century 21’s YouTube channel and social media pages. — By Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Dec 20 19:07:20 UTC 2016

Families Can Get $11,000 More In Loan Funds

Posted by: Jon Becker

Posted in Mortgage Financing, by Robert Freedman on December 19, 20165ShareInterest rates are inching up and credit can still be hard to get but there is one bright spot for households hoping to buy a home soon: they can get a larger loan now, thanks to recent loan-limit increases for both conforming loans and loans backed by FHA. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increased the conforming loan limit a few weeks ago, for the first time in 10 years, and it’s now at $424,100 in most markets, up from $417,000. That increase didn’t come about by chance. Among other things, the agency last year heard from NAR on making the limits more responsive to changes in market conditions. “NAR encouraged them to use a number of factors that would create the most favorable result in all communities nationwide and did in fact result in an increase in loan limits,” says Megan Booth, an NAR regulatory policy representative. As a result of that increase, FHA loan limits will also be going up, because those limits are set as a percentage of the conforming limit. Starting in 2017, borrowers in high-cost areas will be able to get loans as high as $636,150, almost $11,000 more than what they can get this year. That increase is expected to make a big difference for households trying to buy in major metro areas like Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington. Details of the new loan limits are covered in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. Also covered are remarks by Reps. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) on why it’s crucial that lawmakers do no harm to housing next year should Congress take up tax reform and reform of the secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Despite being on opposite sides of the aisle, both lawmakers said residential real estate is too important to the health of the U.S. economy for any changes to disrupt home sales. That means lawmakers must tread lightly as they look at whether long-time tax incentives for homeownership, like the mortgage interest deduction, should be touched. It also means any changes to Fannie and Freddie mustn’t reduce investor interest in mortgage-backed securities. “I think [low interest rates on 30-year, fixed rate loans] go away if we don’t have a government insurance program,” Sherman said at a meeting NAR hosted last week with S&P Global on the state of homeownership. The video also includes remarks by NAR President Bill Brown on the nomination of neurosurgeon Ben Carson to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and what to expect in home sales in 2017. Access the video. Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Nov 22 08:49:54 UTC 2016

Traverse City New Business

Posted by: Jon Becker

East Bay Plaza Expanding; Other Business Openings, Closings November 22, 2016 By Beth Milligan
East Bay Plaza is undergoing another major expansion, a new event center is opening in Traverse City, Interlochen Golf Club has a new owner (plus a new name and restaurant) – and several store changes downtown and at the Grand Traverse Mall await holiday shoppers in The Ticker's latest look at local business news. East Bay Plaza Expansion Another 9,000 square feet of retail space and close to 100 more parking spots are coming soon to East Bay Plaza on Munson Avenue, according to developer Tom McIntyre. McIntyre is in the process of relocating the property’s water retention system underground – a move that will free up surface space for two new buildings and expanded parking. “Once that whole system is underground, we’ll begin construction of the new buildings, which will essentially be identical to the one we built last year,” he says, referring to the most recent addition to East Bay Plaza housing Biggby Coffee and Domino’s Pizza. McIntyre says the two new buildings will be fully completed and open by June 1. “We’ve got significant interest or leases in place already on 80 percent of the space,” he says, declining to identify tenants. “It’ll be full by the time the buildings open.” The new construction will “pretty well complete any build-outs” at East Bay Plaza, according to McIntyre. “We still have plans to improve the façade on the old part of the plaza.” The finished shopping center will offer 122,000 square feet of retail space and roughly 430 parking spaces. Grand Traverse Event Center A local development group hopes to fill a market gap left by the closure of Traverse City event venues including InsideOut Gallery and Ecco. Cold Water Development has purchased the property at 738 Garfield Avenue – formerly Steven’s Place and The Other Place comedy club – and is targeting a May opening for a new venue called Grand Traverse Event Center. According to Holli Shephard of Cold Water Development, the company plans to expand the parking lot, paint the building and update landscaping, as well as make a few interior renovations. “It’s beautiful inside, so we’ll be doing minor things like updating the bathrooms and getting new chairs and tables in,” she says. Grand Traverse Event Center will be able to accommodate up to 298 people and will offer a liquor license for events such as parties, rehearsal dinners, reunions, and performances. Bookings are available at 231-645-4428. Interlochen Golf Course/Bradley’s Pub & Grille Brad Dean, director of golf at Crystal Mountain Resort for 23 years, is bringing his expertise to a new venture in Interlochen. Dean purchased the Interlochen Golf Club on US-31 in September. In addition to renaming the facility Interlochen Golf Course, Dean is preparing a major renovation of the property’s clubhouse this winter with the goal of opening a year-round restaurant called Bradley’s Pub & Grille. The eatery will replace the former Hagen Room, which previously operated only during golf season. “We’re planning to do a total makeover of the interior…it’ll be a sports-themed (restaurant), with sporting events and programs and live music,” Dean says. “I’m excited about making it a year-round presence.” Dean says the restaurant will open in late winter. As for the golf grounds, “it’s always been a great course, but we’re going to take the conditioning up a couple notches,” he says. Center City Kitchen A new incubator kitchen near the corner of Garfield Avenue and South Airport Road will host a grand opening party tonight (Tuesday) with food, drinks and live music. Ryan and Meagan Wells are launching Center City Kitchen to “encourage entrepreneurship and stellar food production by offering an affordable shared commercial incubation kitchen with shared resources, support, and technical assistance.” Located at 767 Duell Road (Suite A), the kitchen offers up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs a licensed commercial kitchen for prep, storage and food production at an all-inclusive rental rate of $400/month. An initial lineup of tenants includes Cordwood BBQ, Bayside Gatherings, Seafood Driven, Polyculture and The Sea Foam Candy Company. The public can samples wares and tour the facility from 4:30-7pm tonight, with a ribbon cutting from 4:30-5pm. Area band Oh Brother Big Sister will play from 5-7pm. Other Openings & Closings…A new working artists studio, gallery space and teaching facility has opened on Old Mission Peninsula. Tinker Studio, located at 13795 Seven Hills Road (Suite D), is a “place to meet, make, learn and shop,” according to Creative Director Elizabeth Burbee. The company offers the works of local and national artists, letterpress cards, decorative and handmade papers, DIY supplies and artisan-made gifts. Several business changes are underway in downtown Traverse City. Livnfresh has taken over the former Harbor Wear space at 125 East Front Street, offering Michigan-branded tees, hoodies and other “state pride wear.” Also in the 100 block, Lola’s owner Denise Leeds has formed a new partnership with former Posh owner Juliette Goodwin. The duo will collaborate on store merchandise, wih Goodwin opening a new sewing studio for alterations and custom work in the shop’s rear space. Further down Front, retro arcade The Coin Slot has found a new home at 346 East Front Street #7 after closing down its Garland Street location. The new space – located in the lower level underneath Tee See Tee and Escape Salon – will open to the public December 1. Meanwhile, one block over, new donut shop Peace, Love & Little Donuts is planning to open "later next week" at 441 East Front Street, according to owner John Schnepf. Finally, several changes are in store for holiday shoppers in the Grand Traverse Mall. Aeropostale has closed its doors, one of five stores in Michigan and 113 to close nationwide after the company declared bankruptcy in May. In the food court, Mackinaw City Popcorn Factory and AuSable River Smokehouse will both open new locations within the next two weeks, offering (respectively) nearly 50 flavors of popcorn and barbeque sandwiches and entrees. Clothing, jewelry and novelty gift shop Frannie’s Follies of Frankfort has launched a new store next to the food court, while H&R Block will open a new division in the Macy’s wing this month. A new stand from Ludington’s KRAVE Frozen Yogurt & Candy Shoppe will also join several “holiday merchandising units” opening for shoppers, according to PR representative Matthew Chudoba. Permalink
 Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Wed Nov 02 13:05:35 UTC 2016

Nail the Right Color for Your Listing

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, November 02, 2016 You've seen clients react: The wall color can make or break a room. And when selling a home, choosing wrongly could make for a very costly mistake. Trendy color: The 'It' Paint Color for 2017 The color “sets up the temperature, the depth, the mood, and the atmosphere for all the other colors to be layered and featured,” says Gretchen Schauffer, founder of the paint line Devine Color. Schauffler and Puji Sherer, president at Colorhouse Paint, recently offered some tips at Curbed.com for selecting the best paint color for a space. Among their tips: Weigh the light and scale of the space. A room facing north could have a much different quality of light, affecting how the paint appears compared with a south-facing room. A dusky lavender’s blue undertones, for example, can be strong in a south-facing room, but the warm lavender can appear lilac in a north-facing space. Carefully review the paint colors in the actual space. Paint a big poster board or even a section of the wall before committing to the entire wall. This will help you spot any undertones in the color beforehand. Don’t go too bright. Let the wall color be the background, the color experts recommend. In living spaces, Sherer and Schauffler recommends letting the wall color be the supporting player and not the star. “I’m always explaining how that background color is going to actually allow you to see the foreground,” Schauffler says. A neutral wall may feel “muted and subdued,” but “the colors sit back so they become more backdrops and don’t overwhelm the space,” Sherer says. Check the color temperature. You want buyers to feel comfortable in the space as soon as they walk in. Cooler hues — blues and greens — are known for creating more restful retreats that are calm and peaceful. “Any colors that are a little bit on the cooler side are great for bedroom spaces,” Sherer says. On the other hand, warm and energetic colors — yellows, oranges, and reds — tend to work better for social areas in the home. They are "gathering colors, so they’re good to put in spaces like dining rooms or kitchens, where people sit around the table and share stories, or cook and eat together," Sherer says. View more of their color tips at Curbed.com. Source: “How to Choose the Best Paint Color for Any Room in Your House,” Curbed.com (Nov. 1, 2016) Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Wed Nov 02 13:02:39 UTC 2016

Home Owners Should Feel Twice as Rich

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, November 02, 2016 Thanks to rising home prices, home owners are getting richer, a new study says. The amount of homeowner equity has doubled in the last five years, according to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index and HPI Forecast for September 2016. "Home equity wealth has doubled during the last five years to $13 trillion, largely because of the recovery in home prices," says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Nationwide during the past year, the average gain in housing wealth was about $11,000 per home owner, but with wide geographic variation." Home owners in several markets across California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Utah are seeing some of the most growth, with double-digit home price gains. Home owners nationwide likely are to see even more equity in the coming months, too. “Home-price growth creates wealth for owners with home equity,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “A 5 percent rise in home values over the next year would create another $1 trillion in home equity wealth for home owners.” Source: CoreLogic and “Home Owners Twice as House Rich as Five Years Ago,” CNBC (Nov. 1, 2016) Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Fri Oct 07 09:44:43 UTC 2016

Dick's Sporting Good on Hold - Traverse City

Posted by: Jon Becker

What Next As DICK'S Store On Hold? October 3, 2016 By Beth Milligan
According to multiple sources, DICK’S Sporting Goods has withdrawn its plans to open a new store in Grand Traverse Mall. News of the retailer's arrival broke in December; the store was to take over the massive space left by the departure of Carmike Cinemas and 10 other tenants in the northwestern wing of the mall. The 54,000 square-foot store was to employ 60-75 staff members.  Mall General Manager Donald Pelland says the deal is not officially “dead, but it’s also not moving forward.” “It’s in a holding pattern for the moment pending negotiations, for a lot of different reasons,” he says. The mall “should have a better idea in 30 days” what the status of the project will be, according to Pelland. He says rumors DICK’S pulled out because of the mall’s no-carry policy are “absolutely” untrue, but demurred when asked about roadblocks with Garfield Township approvals. “The township I’m not going to comment on,” he says. Garfield Township Deputy Planner Brian VanDenBrand says the last his department heard from DICK'S developers was in February, and that it's been a "routine matter of getting their building permits," which were issued months ago but never picked up. Piccolo Forno In other business news, the owner of Patisserie Amie is opening a new Neapolitan pizzeria in downtown Traverse City. New Jersey native Eric Fritch aims to bring the Little Italy food he loved on the East Coast to northern Michigan. “It’s my responsibility to bring some good pasta and pizza to Traverse City,” Fritch says. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” Fritch is targeting a December 1 opening for Piccolo Forno (“Little Oven” in Italian) in the former Happy Hog Café space at 810 East Front Street. The old-school joint will offer Neapolitan, New York and Sicilian-style pizza, pasta and “gravy” (simmered Italian meat sauce), gelato, zeppole (Italian fried doughnuts), and “maybe an arcade game or two,” says Fritch. Pizza variations will skew both traditional – such as pepperoni and margherita – and more exotic, including clam and conch. Piccolo Forno will offer dine-in, take-out and delivery six or seven days a week, likely from 11am to 9pm, according to Fritch. The restaurant will not have a liquor license. Fritch will continue to run Patisserie Amie along with the new eatery, he says. Ecco Closing Less than a week after the announced closure of InsideOut Gallery in the Warehouse District, another downtown event venue is shutting down operations. Venue Manager Madeline Begley tells The Ticker she will stop booking events at Ecco at 121 East Front Street at the end of 2016. Begley is leaving after four years of managing the space for building owner Marty Lagina in order to focus on her event planning business, Events to Remember. According to Begley, Lagina – who was out of the country and could not be reached for comment – does not plan to employ another event manager to continue rentals for him, but will instead seek a long-term tenant. That could include an event company willing to assume rent, utilities and all responsibility for the space, Begley says. “If someone wants to come in and keep it going, it’s a great opportunity,” she says. “It’s a lot to take care of it, but it’s such a valuable space in downtown Traverse City.”Fusion Love In Limbo Also in downtown Traverse City, plans for Frankfort’s The Fusion Restaurant to open a second location called Fusion Love at 317 East Front Street have been aborted. Marsha Stratton of Idea Stream, the marketing firm representing Fusion, says a number of building issues – including plumbing and ventilation – made it “cost-prohibitive” to convert the former office space into a restaurant. However, Fusion’s owners are “still looking and hoping to find another location downtown,” Stratton says. In Other News….Press on Juice closed its retail store at 134 Front Street effective September 25. In an email to customers, owner Kris Rockwood wrote that overwhelming feedback showed patrons “preferred coming to our Eighth Street store because the parking is so much easier than on Front Street…we are now focusing all of our energy back on our Eighth Street location.” Mobile wood-fired pizzeria trailer Rocco’s Old World Pizzeria has opened on M-22 next to Northern Building Supply near Suttons Bay. The eatery offers pizzas and calzones created from fresh house-made dough and baked in an authentic Italian wood-fired oven. Salads and desserts are also available. Rocco’s is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday from 11:30am to 7pm. Short’s Brewing Company is expanding its Elk Rapids production facility. The expansion includes a new 2,500 square-foot warehouse, a 1,000 square-foot cold-storage facility, and laboratory upgrades that will allow Short’s to test products for IBU, alcohol, calories, pH and more. The company plans to make the lab’s services available to other area brewers, vinters and cider makers. Great Lakes Malting Company aims to be in full operation by early November at 3025 Cass Road in Traverse City. The company owned by partners Jeff Malkiewicz and Mike Chereskin will be one of only a handful of malt houses in Michigan, and the only one in northern Michigan. GLMC will convert grains like barley, wheat and rye for use in brewing and distilling, as well as food products like flour. “All the grain is sourced here in northern Michigan,” says Malkiewicz. Edany B.L.T. owners Eddie and Dani Walker are planning to reopen their restaurant at an undisclosed location February 1, according to the company’s Facebook page. The couple closed their restaurant at 720 West Front Street earlier this year, then canceled plans to reopen at 317 East Front Street (the same space targeted by Fusion Love). The Walkers now have a contract with the city to run concessions at Clinch Park and Hickory Hills Ski Area. Finally, the former Hooters building on US-31 is back on the market after a proposed bar and restaurant deal fell through. The site had been advertised as the future home of a new restaurant and bar called Paradise Grille and the Shrunken Head Tiki Bar. However, real estate agent Tom Krause – who represented the buyer – said “the financing fell through due to complications.” The 5,000 square-foot building is listed for $1.3 million, according to Jason Elsenheimer of Coldwell Banker Schmidt. Permalink
 Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Fri Oct 07 09:41:04 UTC 2016

Hotel, Retail, Housing Could Follow Costco - Traverse City

Posted by: Jon Becker

By Beth Milligan
Costco is the first domino in a series of potential developments on South Airport Road that could eventually include a hotel, retail center, restaurant, and senior housing development, according to project documents. Costco commissioned a traffic study from engineering firm GRAEF to determine potential impacts of opening a 156,170 square-foot retail store on the northeast corner of South Airport Road and Fly Don't Drive on Cherry Capital Airport property in 2017. In addition to evaluating Costco's impact, the study references several other projects planned for the corridor. "Based on discussions with the Cherry Capital Airport Authority, the remaining three parcels surrounding the proposed Costco development are anticipated to be a hotel (125 rooms) and approximately 28,000 square feet of warehousing," GRAEF wrote. A future retail development is also "anticipated to be located in the southeast quadrant of the South Airport Road intersection with Townline Road." That development shows 30,000 square feet of retail space and a 7,000 square-foot "high turnover sit-down restaurant." Further up the corridor, an off-site senior living development "is proposed to be located south of South Airport Road along the west side of Three Mile Road," East Bay Township officials told GRAEF. The traffic study mentions a 360-unit congregate care facility, 100-bed nursing home, and 123,000 square feet of retail space at the site. Those developments will likely require significant traffic improvements in the corridor in the future, according to GRAEF. In the interim, however, Traverse City planning commissioners will first focus on Costco and its impact. The national retailer faces one of its last major hurdles tonight (Tuesday) to opening a new store in Traverse City: site plan approval from the city planning commission. Costco's site plan offers a new detailed look at specs and renderings for the proposed development. The project will include a Costco’s retail store, an attached tire center, and an eight-pump gas station. The development will be serviced by 753 parking spaces, as well as bike access/storage and a pedestrian path stretching from South Airport Road to the store’s front entrance. In a memo to planning commissioners, Cherry Capital Airport Director Kevin Klein said the architectural features and landscaping of the new Costco building will complement those of the airport, including "stone work, columns and earth-tone colors." Costco will be buffered by the existing tree line on South Airport Road to extend the “up north feel” of the airport entrance, and will incorporate "downward facing lighting to protect the night sky and avoid interference with flyers utilizing the airport.” Klein also outlined the partnership potential offered by having Costco next to Cherry Capital Airport, which will earn close to $170,000 annually from the store’s lease. In addition to interconnected pedestrian and bike networks, Fly Don’t Drive (the airport's entrance road) will serve as one of three access points to Costco. “Costco’s site plan addresses a valuable need by providing a fueling station conveniently located directly off Fly Don’t Drive,” Klein wrote. “This will greatly assist those airport customers that rent vehicles and need to return them with a full tank of gas." In a memo to planning commissioners, city planning staff recommended approving Costco’s site plan tonight – albeit with several key conditions. Those include updating the store’s stormwater control measures, finetuning bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and either downgrading Costco’s planned signage or requiring the store to obtain a zoning variance. But the most significant condition will likely hinge on Costco making traffic improvements to the South Airport Road corridor prior to the store’s opening. According to GRAEF, the store is expected to generate 7,340 weekday and 9,530 weekend trip ends (counting vehicles both entering and departing). In addition to access from Fly Don’t Drive/Townline Road, customers will be able to enter Costco from two other points on South Airport: a new right-in, right-out driveway east of the airport entrance, and a new road into the development (accessible from all directions) closer to Three Mile Road. Traffic Services Supervisor Garth Greenan of the Grand Traverse County Road Commission says the turn lanes required for the store entrances will “essentially make (South Airport) a three-lane road between Townline Road and the new Costco road.” The Road Commission is working with Costco on turn lane placement/length and “stacking space” for cars waiting to turn into the store to ensure those don’t “interfere with traffic flow” in the corridor, Greenan says. Turn lane improvements and safety upgrades – including longer red light clearance intervals, new signal heads for each traffic lane, and optimized signal timings – are also recommended for the intersection of South Airport and Garfield roads. Should planning commissioners make the traffic improvements a condition of site plan approval, Costco would be responsible for funding and implementing the upgrades before opening, with final road permit approvals coming from the Road Commission.
 Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Mon Jul 18 09:21:15 UTC 2016

How to Avoid Identity Theft When Moving

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, July 18, 2016 –> The moving process can make your clients more vulnerable to identity theft and other forms of fraud, since often personal financial information isn’t adequately protected. As if moving wasn’t stressful enough on its own, it can take nearly six months for a person to recover from identity theft during a move. Read more: Take Control of ID Theft People can do a few things to protect themselves from identity theft during a move, says writer Adam Levine, author of  “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.” He says to focus on the 3 M’s: 1. Minimize your exposure 2. Monitor your accounts 3. Manage the damage. Here are some of Levine’s other tips:Don’t share too much: Before, during, and after a move, avoid sharing too much information with those you don’t know, whether in person, on the phone, or via social media, Levine writes.Secure electronics: Set long, strong passwords, and use two-factor authentication whenever possible. Secure computers, smartphones, and tablets.Protect documents: Shred sensitive documents you no longer need. During a move, carry your personally identifiable information with you and in one box.Monitor for fraud: Check your credit score and consider enrolling in transactional notification programs. You also might consider subscribing to various credit and fraud monitoring services to alert you to any sudden changes on your credit report.Watch your mail: Your mail will be influx when moving so look into doing more online billing and autopay to prevent lost or forgotten bills.Make address notification a priority: Notify federal agencies that send you mail of your new address. Compile a list of places to inform of your new address, such as the Social Security Administration, IRS, and Department of Motor Vehicles.Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Thu Jul 07 12:32:35 UTC 2016

States Where Homes Sell in Less Than a Month

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, July 06, 2016 –> In some locales, at least half of the properties sold between March and May were on the market for 30 days or less, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey Report. Properties sold the fastest in 12 states: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington, the report shows. Properties are selling faster nationwide, too. In May, homes across the country were typically on the market for 32 days on average (compared to 39 days a year ago). Short sales tended to stay on the market the longest amount of time, at 103 days on average, while foreclosed properties were on the market for 51 days. Non-distressed properties stayed on the market for an average of 30 days, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Nearly 50 percent of sold properties nationally were on the market for less than a month, according to NAR. Only about 11 percent of properties sold in May were on the market for longer than six months. Source: “In What States Did Properties Sell Quickly in March-May 2016?” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook Blog (June 28, 2016) REMEMBER REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL – EVERY TOWN/TOWNSHIP/AREA IS DIFFERENT!  Traverse City is seeing days on market of a week or less in most cases for price points under 200-220k.  Thinking of buying or selling contact Jon Becker – Century 21 Northland anytime 231-342-5401 or jon@c21jb.com visit www.c21jb.com for all area information, links and real estate listings.Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Thu Jul 07 12:28:29 UTC 2016

3D-Printed Home Can Withstand Earthquakes

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, July 07, 2016 –> While 3-D printing in the homebuilding industry has largely created prefab houses whose components are created at a factory and then assembled on location, a new technique is letting one company print the house in its entirety onsite.Let the Machines Do It Minnesotan to 3-D Print New Home in His Garage 3-D Printer Builds a House in a DayHuaShang Tengda printed an entire 4,300-square-foot home in 45 days, with walls up to 8 feet thick that are designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake. Curbed.com reports that “construction workers prepared the site and installed the building’s frame, plumbing, and rebar supports.” With the building’s infrastructure prepared, the 3-D printer then created the structure. HuaShang Tengda’s device uses four separate systems to formulate ingredients, mix the concrete, control the transmission, and print the home. “A specially designed split nozzle,” says Curbed, “spits out concrete simultaneously on the interior and exterior sides of the rebar support, creating a sturdy construction.” The home used about 20 tons of concrete. The 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, at magnitude 7.9, claimed nearly 80,000 lives. HuaShang Tengda developed the technique to help make safer homes more widely available. Source: “3D-Printed Chinese Villa Is Virtually Indestructible,” Curbed.com (July 6, 2016)Category: Uncategorized ← Traverse City Top Small Town in USA 4 Years in a Row!States Where Homes Sell in Less Than a Month → Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Wed Jun 08 08:42:47 UTC 2016

Will Traverse City Build Boardman Lake Avenue?

Posted by: Jon Becker

Will City Build Boardman Lake Avenue? June 8, 2016 By Beth Milligan
To build or not to build a road connecting Fourteenth Street to Eighth Street: That is the question. It’s one city commissioners have long discussed – and could soon answer. Consulting firm LSL Planning presented three design options Tuesday for addressing traffic, encouraging economic development and improving placemaking in the West Boardman Lake District. The firm was hired last December to analyze growth scenarios in the neighborhood – including the feasibility of building a new east-west corridor, often referred to as Boardman Lake Avenue. LSL Planning met multiple times with a stakeholder group of Boardman Lake residents and business owners to assess their needs and desires for the neighborhood. The firm also held public workshops this spring to gather community input. Using that feedback, LSL Planning presented three design options to the public and city planning commissioners Tuesday night. Two of the proposed scenarios call for the construction of a new 24-foot-wide, two-lane road – which the firm called by the updated name South Boardman Drive – that would follow the curve of the railroad tracks and Boardman Lake to connect Fourteenth Street to Eighth Street (see above). Both South Boardman Drive scenarios – nearly identical except for differing exit points on Fourteenth Street – call for the road to empty onto Eighth Street just east of Lake Street. To avoid neighboring exit conflict points on Eighth, the scenarios call for Lake Street to be converted into a service drive, with pedestrian and bicyclist access and on-street parking for businesses such as Oryana and McGough’s. The options also call for eventual new residential and commercial development along the corridor. A separate, third scenario also focuses on turning Lake Street into a more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood drive, and implements traffic-calming measures on Cass Street. But it eliminates the construction of a new east-west road. “It maintains the neighborhood character, and allows for potential redevelopment,” says Robert Doyle of SmithGroupJJR, another member of the consulting team. “But it doesn’t really address any of the traffic congestion issues.” The three options reflect the feedback of residents, whose opinions ranged from a desire for a high-speed bypass (a scenario that was collectively ruled out due to its negative impact on the neighborhood), to support for a calmer east-west option, to opposition to any new road for fear it would drive traffic into (not away from) the neighborhood. “At every level, opinions are mixed,” says Planning Division Manager Bradley Strader of LSL Planning. “But there’s a concern about traffic issues from everybody.” Strader says analysis supports South Boardman Drive as an option that would "provide benefit to the city and businesses and neighborhoods. But it’s up to (the community) to decide if those benefits are worth the cost.” To help city officials make that decision, LSL Planning will put together a detailed cost-benefit analysis for each scenario to present to the city commission by the end of June. Commissioners have stated their intention to use the analysis, as well as the Boardman Lake Trail and Eighth Street redesign plans, to make a decision once and for all whether to pursue an east-west corridor – or kill the concept. Oryana General Manager Steve Nance, who has participated in the stakeholder meetings, says he’s reserving final judgment until he can review the cost-benefit analysis and details of each scenario. A new corridor “could affect us positively – but it could also affect us negatively,” he says. The road could bring heightened visibility to Oryana, divert traffic away from the quieter neighborhood streets around to the east side of the store, and open up more parking on Lake Street. But depending on its design, it could also hamper access to the store, potentially disrupting the flow of in-out traffic or creating a bottleneck for customers and delivery trucks, Nance says. “There are ways (a design) could all come together,” he says. “We want to be in a position to support the best course of action.” Nance says he's pleased to see the city nearing a resolution either way on the long-debated project. “When a business is trying to think about the future, something big like this raises a lot of question marks,” he says. “So it’s nice to be thinking in terms of a decision point.”
 Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Thu Apr 14 12:32:30 UTC 2016

3-4 BR 2 Bath,Heated Garage, Lakes & State Land

Posted by: Jon Becker

3-4 BR , 2 Bath, Heated garage, finished basement ...near Lakes and State Land $169,900 Near Lakes & State Land • 2,022 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm ranch - $169,900 - Updated Inside & OutGreen Lake Township, Grand Traverse County  -  Welcome Home: 3-4 Bedroom with over 2000 finished sq. ft., office/den, 2 bath with granite counters and beautiful tile shower, hardwood floors, central air, natural gas, high speed cable internet , family room with bar & fireplace, finished/ heated 2 1/2 car garage, paved drive , extra paved parking for boat/camper/snowmobiles, deck & patio & storage shed all set on large lot with huge yard for the kids and pets to play, and near state land 3 large all sports lakes, Arts Academy and 10-15 min. drive from TC.. Newer porch/deck, windows, well & septic, baths, basement finish/bar & fireplace added, appliances (all included) , stone work and more! All the features almost all buyers want!Property informationJon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Mar 22 11:37:55 UTC 2016

The Most Expensive House in Michigan Wants $40 Million

Posted by: Jon Becker

The Most Expensive House in Michigan Wants $40 Millionby Rebecca Golden Oct 27, 2015 Photos via Northern Michigan Land Brokers Granot Loma, a fancy-pants named beachfront estate on Lake Superior, hit the market this week at a staggering $40 million. The self-described "largest log cabin in the world," built over the course of four years and completed in 1923, this 26 thousand square foot mega mansion originally cost $5 million to build—nearly $70 million in 2015 dollars. The home's original owner, financier and bank president Louis G. Kaufman played a key role in the founding of General Motors and served on the automaker's board for over 20 years, giving this home a Detroit connection. Granot Loma rests on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Superior, just north of Marquette. This is the ultimate Up North house. Though summer has come and gone, imagine Thanksgiving or Christmas here and you'll wish you had $40 million. The home is constructed of Oregon pine, cement and stone. The great room, a massive 60-foot-long space, has a huge stone fireplace with an 18 foot mantle. The vaulted ceilings are 24 feet and feature a large, carved chandelier. If you want a fireplace for every family member (immediate and shirt-tail), not to mention every last friend and pet, you're in luck—the house has 25 additional of them. There are 23 bedrooms, 13 baths, and a spectacular kitchen the listing claims is modeled on the one at the White House kitchen. There's also a solarium, a card room and a game room where George Gershwin played for the Kaufman family on a Steinway Grand that comes with the property. The modern amenities are pretty swanky, too—there's a 3,000 gallon outdoor hot tub overlooking the lake and private harbor, complete with its own marina and boathouse. The interiors are a weirdly appealing blend of expensive finishes and kitsch. There's a stone bath that has to be seen to be believed, complete with painting of Native American warrior, and there's a living room whose current decor scheme consists of every animal you can imagine as taxidermy. We counted a bear, a wolf and many, many things with antlers there. If 23 bedrooms aren't enough, there's also a guest house with 4 apartments, not to mention servants' quarters, a root cellar and a tennis court designed by 1920s champ Bill Tilden. The house comes with over 5,000 acres of land, including a full trail system and nearly four miles of shoreline. And it can all be yours. For $40 million. If you have 30 roommates, or hit the Powerball, this is clearly the place. Jokes aside, this house is fabulous, and one of the rare Michigan lake mansions that has this kind of pedigree. It's grand old construction, built to last, and an amazing architectural treasure in its own right. Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Thu Feb 18 12:39:47 UTC 2016

Downtown Traverse City Development / Businesses on the Move

Posted by: Jon Becker

Retail Shops On The Move, 4Front Expanding February 18, 2016 By Beth Milligan
4Front Credit Union is opening a new branch in downtown Traverse City, national children’s resale franchise Once Upon A Child is coming to the area and several other stores are on the move in The Ticker’s latest look at local business openings and closings. 4Front Credit Union Following a decision this month by law firm Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge to “consolidate our workspace footprint and move our offices entirely to the second floor” of the 101 North Park building, 4Front Credit Union President Andy Kempf confirms his company will open a new branch in the vacated ground floor this spring. “This will be our fifth branch in the community,” Kempf tells The Ticker. “We’ve been looking to get downtown for convenience’s sake for our customers. This will give us a better presence…and also allow us to focus on business development.” Kempf says 4Front will begin renovations within the next month to convert the first floor into a full-service branch with an ATM. The credit union – which also maintains locations on West Front Street, Hastings Street, South Airport Road and US-31 – hopes to open the downtown branch in May or June, Kempf says. Once Upon A Child The country’s largest children’s resale franchise is opening its first northern Michigan location this summer at 2751 N. US-31 South next to Red Lobster. Franchise owner Jen O’Brien will begin a build-out this weekend in the 5,200 square-foot future home of Once Upon A Child, which specializes in the buying and selling of gently used kids’ clothing, shoes, toys and baby gear. “We’ll be open in April to begin buying (merchandise) for eight weeks, then we’ll have a grand opening hopefully in early June,” O’Brien says. Once Upon A Child – which is owned by the same company behind Plato’s Closet and Play It Again Sports – differentiates itself by only paying cash for items (no store credit or consignment), buying seasonal items year-round and offering bigger store footprints and inventory selection, O’Brien says. “When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do (in retail), this is what I heard from friends and family they wished was here,” says O’Brien, a Traverse City native and retail industry veteran who’s moving back to open the store. “Right now, Grand Rapids is the closest location.” Other Businesses On The Move Clothing, furniture and housewares consignment shop Evergreen Consignment – which opened last summer on Cherry Bend Road in the Grand Traverse Regional Arts Campus – is moving to 720 West Front Street. According to owner Jaffe Rae Davis, the store will “reopen sometime during the month of April” in the former Edany BLT space. The company is hosting a moving sale on Saturday, February 27; the Cherry Bend Road location will remain open through mid-March. Also on West Front Street, stylist Chad Smarsty has opened The Hair Code Salon at 901 West Front (Suite B) behind Impres Salon Spa. Smartsy launched his full-service salon February 1, which offers haircuts, coloring, highlights and ombres, as well as house calls. Around the corner, Brandon Larabee, D.C. opened new chiropractic practice Pathways Chiropractic at 1001 Bay Street (Suite C) Monday. On the other end of downtown, owner Rex Rector has closed his Blue Heart Tattoo shop at 441 East Front Street and reopened the business at a new location at 508 Munson Avenue next to Terrace Shopper. The company will host a grand opening party for the new shop on Saturday, March 12. Finally, two well-known local businesses are on the hunt for new owners. Matt Hunter has put his Dockside Party Store – which operates two locations on West Bay Shore Drive and N. US-31 South – up for sale. The stores will remain open as Hunter looks for a buyer, according to real estate agent Tom Krause. House of Doggs owner Nick McAllister has also put his Grand Traverse Mall food court location up for sale as a turnkey operation. The listing includes all restaurant equipment and is priced at $145,000. McAllister is selling the company to pursue “a new career opportunity,” according to the listing. Pictured above: 101 North Park Permalink
 Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Jan 26 09:43:49 UTC 2016

31.08 acres with 24x40 Pole Barn $49,900

Posted by: Jon Becker

31.08 Partly wooded acres with 24x40 Pole Barn $49,900 24x40 Pole Barn, Trails on property •  lot / land - MLS $49,900 - Priced under Market ValueParadise Township, Grand Traverse County  -  31.08 acres with 24x40 pole barn with electrical run inside and located in highly rated Kingsley School district on paved county maintained road and approx. 1 mile to over 1000 acres of state land, short drive to 2 rivers, Kingsley, Traverse City, Cadillac, Kalkaska. Property was surveyed 2014 & updated January 2016 and is partly wooded(cut few years ago but growing back up) with deer, turkey, wildlife spotted often, lots of deer tracks and at least 2 ideal locations for food plots.Property informationJon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Jan 26 09:41:12 UTC 2016

2 BR 2 Bath, Master Suite, large lot $88,000

Posted by: Jon Becker

Newer 2 BR 2 Bath 960 sq. ft., large lot near town, state land, lakes $88,000• 960 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bdrm ranch - MLS $88,000 - NearTown,Lakes,State LandTraverse City, Grand Traverse County  -  Newer 2 BR 2 Bath 960 sq. ft. home with private master suite with walk in closet, mud / laundry room, bright open floor plan, storage shed, cable TV & high speed internet, natural gas, municipal water & all appliances on large 1/2 acre lot. Only minutes from TC, Interlochen, Lakes, State Land, ORV & Snowmobile trails. Sold As Is. Should qualify for all types of financing.Property informationJon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Wed Jan 20 09:10:26 UTC 2016

7 Reasons to own a Home

Posted by: Jon Becker

Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity. Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Jan 05 12:23:50 UTC 2016

New Resort, Planet Fitness Coming To Traverse City

Posted by: Jon Becker

New Resort, Planet Fitness Coming To TC January 5, 2016 By Beth Milligan
A proposed new four-story hotel and the arrival of national franchise Planet Fitness in Traverse City herald a flurry of new business activity in 2016. The Ticker has an inside look at the latest openings, closings and moves across the region. Baywatch Resort A new four-story, 51-unit hotel could soon be headed to East Bay Township. Wuerfel Resorts has a purchase option on an adjacent parcel to the company’s Beach Haus Resort on US-31 North. The company hopes to build a 27,000 square-foot hotel – tentatively called the Baywatch Resort – on the site. The lakefront hotel will offer 57 parking spaces, an indoor pool and a continental breakfast area. Project representatives will appear before township planning commissioners tonight (Tuesday) at 6:30pm for a public hearing on the hotel site plan. Wuerfel Resorts plans to demolish an existing single-family dwelling on the property to make way for the resort. Planet Fitness Coming To TC One of the country’s fastest-growing fitness franchises is coming to Traverse City. Ken DeBusscher and Lonni Bhirdo, who recently relocated to the area from Rochester, are targeting a March opening of Planet Fitness in the former Office Depot building next to Aldi on South Airport Road. “Planet Fitness is known as the “judgment-free zone”…it’s for people who don’t like going to gyms because they’re self-conscious,” says Bhirdo. "People can feel comfortable doing their workouts here in a non-intimidating atmosphere." The franchise – known for its affiliation with NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” – is popular for its low membership rates, which range from $10/month for a basic membership to $20/month for a “black card” membership that includes tanning, hydro massages, free guest day passes and access to any Planet Fitness location. The 24,000 square-foot location will operate 24/7 with a front-desk attendant and offer “top-of-the-line” weight and cardio equipment, including 50 treadmills. Special membership offers and pre-sales begin the first week of February. New Buffet, Yarn Shop For Chums Corner A new gourmet coffee bar and breakfast/lunch buffet has opened its doors at 905 US-31 South in Chums Corner. Pat Johnson, who owns the building formerly home to Northwest Michigan Head Start, says he launched Fast Track Café & Fast Track Buffet as an “alternative for people out here who are tired of going to fast food.” The eatery offers a full breakfast buffet beginning at 7am daily until 11:30am, when it switches over to a salad/soup bar and pizza buffet until 8pm. Carry-out is available; Johnson says the company also plans to soon offer delivery and an expanded Sunday brunch. Down the road at 300 US-31 South, partners Michael Paggeot and Randy Kelley are preparing for the Saturday (Jan. 9) grand opening of Knitology. The full-service yarn shop will offer lessons, product supplies and a “unique knitting lounge where yarn crafters can hang out doing their craft.” Changes On Front Street Downtown TC remains as busy as ever heading into the new year. On East Front Street, Lake Effect Bakehouse opened its counter inside the Happy Hogg Restaurant January 1. The company will offer “from-scratch, fresh-baked goods” Mon-Fri from 6am-2pm and Sat-Sun from 7am-2pm. After five years in the alley behind Vortruba’s Leather Goods, Lilies of the Alley is keeping its name but moving one block east to the former John Robert Williams Photography space at 227 East State Street. Owner Cindy Hardy is hoping to move “by the end of the month” and says the new space will help the business “spread out.” Williams, meanwhile, has relocated to the new Grand Traverse Regional Arts Campus in the former Norris Elementary School building on Cherry Bend Road. Spice Merchant owner Lisa Freeman is preparing to transfer ownership of the Front Street spice and tea shop to managers Mark and Ginger Haworth. Mark, who notes that Freeman will remain involved in the business, says the couple is excited to branch out and begin participating in area festivals, cook-offs, fairs and culinary events. “There are so many people who don’t know we exist…our goal is to get our name out there,” says Mark. Both SugarKissed and The Little Fleet will experience temporary closures in the first quarter of the year. SugarKissed is closed now through early April for “changes that will be introduced in the spring,” according to a company statement. The Little Fleet will close for maintenance and staff R&R Jan. 12-27. More Openings & Closings Two antique stores opened their doors in the region last month. Lola’s Antiques – a “brick-and-click venue” offering both online and in-store sales of vintage items, antique books and more – celebrated its grand opening December 17 at 402 Union Street. Meanwhile, owner Brett Gourdie opened the 8,000 square-foot Elk Rapids Antique Market at 603 Bridge Street in downtown Elk Rapids December 12, welcoming “buyers, sellers and consigners of quality antiques and collectibles.” The market boasts 25+ dealers of furniture, art, clothing and more. Finally, Cherry Raceway in Fife Lake is closing after nearly four decades in operation. New owner Stephen Batzer – a neighbor of the track – purchased the property from Roger Steig through an attorney with the express intention of closing the facility, which has operated weekly on Friday nights each summer. Steig took to Facebook to express his disappointment in the closing, saying he “never spoke” to Batzer directly during the sale and that he wasn't aware of Batzer's plans to close the track.
 Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Dec 22 11:08:20 UTC 2015

10 Blockbuster Housing Sales of 2015

Posted by: Jon Becker

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, December 22, 2015 The 10 priciest home sales this year add up to a whopping $445 million in transactions. Reatlor.com® recently added up the most expensive on-MLS sales of 2015. Most of the sales were in California, Florida, and New York. Here are the top 10 MLS-listed sales of this year: 1. 2215 Collins Ave. #B, Miami Beach, Fla. Sold for: $60,000,000 in September 2015 2. 25 Columbus Circle, Penthouse 7, New York Sold for: $50,917,500 in July 2015 3. 1210 Benedict Canyon Dr., Beverly Hills, Calif. Sold for: $47,851,500 in August 2015 4. 440 Golden Gate Ave., Belvedere, Calif. Sold for: $47,500,000 in August 2015 5. 616 Nimes Road, Los Angeles Sold for: $46,250,000 in March 2015 6. 2500 Gordon Dr., Naples, Fla. Sold for: $45,600,000 in March 2015 7. 10410 Bellagio Road, Los Angeles Sold for: $38,000,000 in March 2015 8. (tie) 784 Meadow Lane, Southampton, N.Y. Sold for: $37,000,000 in May 2015 8. (tie) 127 E. 70th St., New York Sold for: $37,000,000 in January 2015 10. 119 Tuscaloosa Ave., Atherton, Calif. Sold for: $35,300,000 in November 2015 Source: “2015’s 10 Most Expensive Home Sales Total Almost $445M,” realtor.com® (Dec. 22, 2015) Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information

Tue Dec 01 10:16:41 UTC 2015

4 Surprising, Practical Reasons For Your Home’s Gorgeous Architecture

Posted by: Jon Becker

By: Jamie Wiebe Design with function in mind. These old-world features weren’t created just for their good looks. Each was designed with a specific purposeIn high-traffic spaces like this mudroom, wainscoting protects the walls from dings and dents. Image: © 2014 Greg PerkoYou see them on the most beautiful houses in the neighborhood — they’re romantic, fun, and add unmistakable character to a home. But while classic architectural details like dormers and bay windows look fantastic, they also add real value and functionality you might never have imagined.1.  Wainscoting Image: Elissa ToewsWainscoting bestows textured detail and rich visual interest to an otherwise bland wall, but its origins are much more practical: adding insulation.In 18th-century homes, pre-industrial stone walls tended to be cool and damp. Wood wainscoting absorbed heat and kept drafty rooms cozy. Today’s modern insulation means wainscoting isn’t necessary to warm up your room, but it does provides another benefit: protecting your plaster walls from dings and dents, especially in high-traffic areas like hallways, mudrooms, and tightly packed dining rooms.Related: Avoid the No. 1 Mistake Most Homeowners Make When Installing Chair Rails2.  Bay Windows Image: Hibbs Homes, LLCSure, bay windows transform an average room into a visual masterpiece. But their unique design also helps to modulate that room’s temperature and airflow. Open the windows on all sides to ventilate your space with breezes from multiple directions — ideal for airing out a stuffy winter bedroom or cooling down on a sticky summer day.We’ll even contend that bay windows can cheer you up: Their extra window surface area — sometimes complete with a reading bench — invites more sunlight into your home. And evidence indicates sunlight makes you happier.Related: The Joys (Emotional and Financial) of Daylighting3.  Parapets Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogicOriginally designed to fend off intruders, parapets have found a new purpose in peaceful society: keeping a roof over your head in high winds. These small walls, commonly found bordering flat terraces or roofs, can prevent pressure from building up at your home’s upper perimeter that possibly — in the right (terrible) circumstances — could “suck roofs off buildings,” according to an article in “Building Science Insights.”So while you might think your parapet is just ornamental, it’s actually preventing you from having a real-life “Wizard of Oz” moment. (Well, probably not — but don’t they look amazing paired with beautiful molding?)4.  Dormers Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogicThe little windows sticking out from a roof are far from just decorative: Not only do they break up a flat expanse of shingles visually, but they also provide ventilation and light to an attic or upstairs living space. Best of all? Because they push out from a room, dormers drastically increase the livable space inside by forming an alcove or nook, potentially turning a drafty old attic into a sunny, cheerful bedroom.Other options for adding space to your loft might involve raising the roof or lowering the ceiling height of your main floor, but dormers are a far more affordable — and adorable — solution to your small space problems.Related: Classy Architectural Details for Your Home’s InteriorJon Becker - Century 21 Northland ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013) jon@c21jb.com 231-342-5401 www.c21jb.com for all Traverse City area real estate listings & information