Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Traverse City, Michigan First on List of 10 Great Boating Towns: To Retire + Play + Thrive!

Monday, June 17th, 2013

With over a half million members, the Boat Owners Association of The United States, should know a thing or two about what makes for a great place for boating people to live.

This article is partly inspired by the recovering U.S. economy and the resurgence of the vacation property and retirement property real estate markets. One fact quoted in the main article is:

“The number of U.S. workers who leave their current hometowns after completing careers may have declined since the 2007-2008 recession, but 16 percent of baby boomers surveyed by the MetLife Mature Market Institute last year still plan to seek new digs once they stop working full-time.”

Lake Michigan Dunes

The intro text about Traverse City reads:

Lake Michigan – Traverse City, MI

“Lovely waterfront town, and a boater’s paradise. Sheltered Grand Traverse Bay empties into northern Lake Michigan. Nearby access to Lake Huron, mountain lakes.”

A couple of vacation property and/or retirement property real estate specific facts include:

  • Waterfront: Neat, well-kept. Substantial publicly owned waterfront
  • Cost of Living: 6.2% below the national average
  • Taxes: 4.25% state income tax; 6% state sales tax; no state inheritance tax or estate tax; low property taxes
  • Median Home Price: $149,000

Click here for the complete article about: 10 Great Boating Towns to Retire + Play + Thrive!

Click here for the complete article about: Lake Michigan – Traverse City, MI

Click here for the complete article about: Traverse City, Michigan – Turtle Lake Property

Wisconsin – Free Fishing Weekend: June 1 – 2, 2013

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Yes, it’s true over the weekend of June 1st through the 2nd you can fish anywhere in Wisconsin for free. Naturally, since we are a Wisconsin (and Michigan) vacation property real estate company we are encouraging people to head up north, look at a lake lot, lake access property, river acreage, river access land or wooded stream property that is for sale, and try out the fishing. You might land the big property deal at the same time you hook a trophy catch.

Here’s the Wisconsin DNR summary:

“Fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp on Free Fishing Weekend. This includes all inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. So, pack up the family or call your friends and head to the water for fishing fun.”

Here’s the direct link to the Wisconsin DNR Free Fishing Weekend Web Page.

Wisconsin Fishing Property

Wisconsin Fishing Property

WJS: U.S. Land Gets More Expensive

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the value of land in the United States quickly made the rounds of the Twitter and the Blogosphere. Here are some some telling excerpts about the changing value of vacant land from:

Wall Street Journal Property Report: U.S. Land Gets More Expensive

By Robbie Whelan | April 9, 2013

“The world has just woken up and said, ‘We need land!’ ”

Land values across the U.S. rose on average 13% in 2012, the first annual gain since 2005, according to estimates in a March report by Zelman & Associates, a housing consultancy. The increase was fueled primarily by growing demand among builders for finished lots, or ready-to-build home sites with roads, sewage lines, electrical-power hookups and other infrastructure in place.

“There’s no question the land market has gotten heated of late,” said Richard Dugas, chief executive of PulteGroup Inc., the nation’s second-largest home builder by volume, . . . “In some markets it’s a real challenge to get land deals to pencil.”

For consumers, costlier land means more-expensive houses. Land cost constitutes 21.7% of the final sale price of a new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As land prices rise, builders tend to pass 100% of those costs on to consumers.

To be sure, land prices nationally are still far from the peak levels reached in 2005 and 2006.

Meanwhile, with the inventory of finished lots dwindling, investors are beginning to bid up raw land, as well. A recent survey by Zelman showed that demand for raw land has grown in each of the past five fiscal quarters.

Justin Good, a land broker . . . , points to a parcel of raw land that sold in April 2012 for $235,000 per acre. Now, builders are making offers more than 35% higher than that price on an adjacent piece of raw land. “That’s staggering,” Mr. Good said.


See the original article here at Wall Street Journal Online, or the easy to read print version. Read all of Robbie Whelan’s excellent Wall Street Journal Real Estate and Property articles at his WSJ archive.

Improved Wisconsin Land for Sale

Fishing for Wisconsin & Michigan Vacation Homes

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

In down market, second-home properties luring buyers!

By John Handley, Special to the Tribune September 2, 2011

Saugatuck, Mich., has been a magnet for Chicagoans for years because of its beaches, trendy boutiques, art galleries and yacht harbor. (John Handley/ Photo for the Chicago Tribune / September 2, 2011)


“Is now the time to buy the vacation home of your dreams? That cottage by the lake, in the woods or on a golf course is a lot more affordable than it was five years ago.”

” . . . some baby boomers are renovating their vacation homes for year-round living. “They used to be just summer places.”

“Sales of vacation homes fared better last year than sales of primary residences.”

“Nationally, the median price of vacation homes was $150,000 in 2010, down 11.2 percent from $169,000 in 2009, according to the survey. The main reasons for buying included the desire for a family retreat, the potential for price appreciation and low mortgage rates.”

“The typical buyer of a vacation home in 2010 was 49 years old, had a median household income of $99,500 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 375 miles from his or her primary residence.”

Read the complete article at

Go North Old Man

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

US Census Reveals Population Trends Affecting Wisconsin Vacation Property Values

Don’t wait for a mass sell-off of Baby Boomers selling their cottages and cabins so they can move to warmer climates. Northern Wisconsin remains as a #1 choice to live for an aging population.

” . . . a small percentage of retirees leave for such places as Florida and Arizona but it’s a misconception most retirees flee due to the weather.”

” . . . that many older people migrating to the state may be retiring to homes or areas they once used for vacations, because northern Wisconsin is typically a vacation area . . .”

Here’s the link to the full article in the Green Bay Press Gazette.

US Government Surplus Property Sale in WI & MI

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

The Federal Government is Cutting Costs by Getting Rid of Buildings We Don’t Need

This property location map visualizes a sampling of over 7,000 of the total 12,000 buildings and structures currently designated as excess, surplus real estate. These properties range from sheds to underutilized office buildings and empty warehouses. Included in the government surplus property sale is real estate in northern Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and lower Michigan.

The White House

The White House

Wisconsin Fishing Season 2011

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Opening day for Wisconsin fishing is traditionally the first Saturday in May, May 7th during 2011. Hook and line fishing for many species of fish on many Wisconsin waters begins the first Saturday in May. However, to better manage Wisconsin fisheries, season dates are often specific to the species of fish as well as the water body.

Here’s the link to the Wisconsin DNR 2011 Fishing Season Web Pages. Have a fun and safe time on enjoying Wisconsin’s beautiful lakes and rivers.

Sunfish & Fishing Rod on Dock

Sunfish & Fishing Rod on Dock

Petosky, Michigan: Beach Drive Lake Access Settlement Proposed

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Inland Property Owners Propose Common Dock to Resolve Lake Access Dispute

View of Lake Charlevoix

View of Lake Charlevoix

Residents of Michigan and Wisconsin need to keep a close eye on how the laws of their state, and the courts that rule on those laws, are changing and affecting their rights to access our lakes.

Here’s the original article: PetoskyNews.Com

The Wonderful Wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Friday, April 29th, 2011

“Immortalized by Longfellow, the Midwest’s preferred vacation spot offers unspoiled forests, waterfalls and coastal villages” has discovered the UP.

Upper Peninsuala of Michigan: Cliff jumping into clear blue lake.

Upper Peninsuala of Michigan: Cliff jumping into clear blue lake.

Here’s the complete article: Smithsonian Travel UP MI Story

Here is a slideshow of UP MI photos that accompanies the story: Smithsonian Travel UP MI Slideshow

Vacation Home Sales Strong

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

From the National Association of Realtors “Speaking of Real Estate Blog”

Vacation-Home Sales Surprisingly Strong

“In today’s market, you might think the vacation-home market would be really soft. But as it turns out, sales actually grew at a faster rate than those of primary residences between 2008 and 2009 (7.9 percent to 7.1 percent, respectively). That’s according to NAR’s Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, released at the end of April. It shows that the typical vacation-home buyer is making a lifestyle choice, with nine out of 10 saying they intend to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat.”

Posted April 23 by Brian Summerfield, online editor

Here’s the original comment on Realtor Mag at