Featured

Checklist: Getting Licensed in Michigan

  1. Complete your real estate prelicensure course. Your school will submit your certificate of completion to the State of Michigan on your behalf. There are many wonderful in person and on-line courses to help prepare you for the licensing exam. A list of courses can be found here.
  2. Submit an application to the State of Michigan to become a licensed real estate salesperson. You can apply online at https://www.michigan.gov/miplus.
  3. Register to take your real estate salesperson exam.
  4. Once you have scheduled, taken and passed your exam, you may choose your broker and begin work!

Do you have more questions? Contact us and let us know!

Visit our Careers page here.

Featured

Enhanced life estate deeds (Lady Bird Deed)

An enhanced life estate deed is often called a Lady Bird Deed. This type of deed transfers ownership of real property to beneficiaries outside of probate – the court process of finalizing an estate. 

(Technically, this type of deed is a term that describes a method of transferring real property by a warranty or quit-claim deed to a person or trust).

An enhanced life estate deed gives the deeded property away during the owner’s lifetime.  The owner of the property makes a gift of it to their beneficiaries, but can continue living in the home until the time of their death. The property is transferred to beneficiary at the owner’s death.  

(This type of deed is recognized in just five states: Florida, Michigan, Texas, Vermont, and West Virginia.)

The deed is an estate-planning instrument, transferring real estate to one or more beneficiaries during the owner’s lifetime without the necessity for probate at the time of the owner’s death (when the property actually transfers).

The owner of the real estate, referred to as the “life tenant,” retains control over the property while alive with an enhanced life estate deed. The life tenant has the right to mortgage or sell the real estate without the consent of their beneficiaries named in the deed because they haven’t actually given the home to them yet. The real estate doesn’t actually transfer until the life tenant’s death. 

As of 2020, the property is considered to be a contribution to the homeowner’s estate which does become an inheritance to the beneficiaries. However, estates valued less than $11 million + are not subject to federal estate taxes. Homes are subject to a “stepped up” basis, though. Which means that the home’s property tax is uncapped and reassessed at the current market value which could cause a rise in taxes for the beneficiaries.

Resources:

Special thanks to Attorney Sonja M. Markwart for reviewing and ensuring accuracy of our post!

Featured

Coldwell Banker Commercial National Real Estate Outlook 2021

                A Review

The Coldwell Banker Commercial publication highlighted 3 lessons learned in 2020:

 2020 LESSONS LEARNED

  1. The pandemic expedited the declining demand for traditional brick-and-mortar retail (e.g., enclosed malls, department stores) and forced consumers to adopt online shopping more quickly than they ever planned.
  • As with any economic disruption, there are winners and losers. While the coronavirus outbreak halted the hospitality industry with widespread hotel and restaurant cancellations, it spurred demand for industrial space primarily to support distribution and storage. Freestanding retailers (especially drive-thrus) and net leased office space also held up exceptionally well compared to actively managed retail.
  • The sudden shift to work-from-home has created new expectations about flexibility that cannot be undone. People are making new choices about where they want to live, how and where they want to work; and the massive deployment of remote work technology platforms has only accelerated this push.

The national commercial outlook is promising:

2021 OUTLOOK

While we wait for a widely available vaccine, we expect the recovery in 2021 to be led by industrial, grocery retail, multifamily, land, single-tenant net leased, and drive-thru retail properties. The leasing of small office spaces will be preferred over larger ones and tenants will look for flexibility in lease terms. Secondary and tertiary markets will grow echoing people’s current preference where to live. Vacant malls will be repurposed for nontraditional tenants as obsolete retail space is recommissioned. The new administration in Washington D.C. will hopefully be successful at reducing economic uncertainty related to combatting COVID-19, bringing back market stability (e.g., foreign capital), and steadying the job market. A recovering economy paired with continued low interest rates should help sustain the private investor market and may push commercial real estate asset prices higher in 2021.

Context is important – this was not a real estate led recession. Many investors are well-capitalized and remain active in the market, even during the shutdown, especially local private investors and those with 1031 tax-deferred exchanges. As a result, cap rates should see steady to downward movement when the crisis eases, with exceptions in retail, hospitality and mid/high-rise office which could remain unstable over the next few years. Expect land sales for housing and industrial development product to continue to be in short supply in 2021. Freestanding net lease formats, drive-thru retail and essential businesses should also hold up well compared to actively managed retail over the next few years.

Local commercial outlook:

On the local level, the below data provided by the Northern Michigan MLS shows year over year comparisons from 2019 to 2020 and beginning of 1st quarter 2021.

To summarize, Emmet County specific commercial sales were increased by 5% year over year (2019 to 2020). 

Market Statistics Emmet County MLS Data
Statistics for: Class=Commercial, Date Range 01/01/2019-12/31/2019; As Of: 2/8/2021
Total ListedNum SoldPct SoldAvg List Price SoldAvg Sale Price SoldSale Price/List Price RatioAvg DOM SoldAvg List Price UnsoldPct Expired
1042524.04%$504,868$485,86096.24%207$219,70915.38%
Market Statistics Emmet County MLS Data
Statistics for: Class=Commercial, Date Range 01/01/2020-12/31/2020; As Of: 2/8/2021
Total ListedNum SoldPct SoldAvg List Price SoldAvg Sale Price SoldSale Price/List Price RatioAvg DOM SoldAvg List Price UnsoldPct Expired
983535.71%$335,271$315,25094.03%180$376,15933.67%
Market Statistics Emmet County MLS Data
Statistics for: Class=Commercial, Date Range 01/01/2021-02/28/2021; As Of: 2/8/2021
 
Current ActiveAvg List PriceAvg DOM
54$552,125437
Total New ListedNum SoldPct SoldAvg List Price SoldAvg Sale Price SoldSale Price/List Price RatioAvg DOM SoldAvg List Price UnsoldPct Expired
36200%$191,266$184,47796.45%754$432,580166.67
         

Emmet County 2020 Equalization Report

According to the 2020 Emmet County Report of Assessment Roll Changes and Classification (L-4022) there were 2,047 commercial parcels in Emmet County valued at 411,664,700 including 10,264,900 in new parcels on the roll.

4.8% of those parcels were listed in 2020 and 1.7% sold at an average sale price of $315,250 with a potential sale volume in total of $11,033,750.

Commercial property in Emmet County makes up 9.80% of the total of all parcels and is the second largest taxed parcel type in the county, second to residential.

Taxable values of commercial properties rose 3.47% in 2020, despite the pandemic. Rising from a 2019 total taxable value of 332,539,779 to 344,070,719.  


(Coldwell Banker Commercial)

(Northern Michigan MLS, 2021)

(Department, 2020)

Featured

A Look at Wealth 2020: New Affluent Trailblazers

Affluent Relocation Index

Priorities have been realigned.

Intro

2020 will be remembered as an unprecedented year. Priorities have realigned toward home, family, health, and wellness due to the pandemic. These profound lifestyle changes, combined with other factors such as increasing numbers of people teleworking, have led to a U.S. luxury real estate boom and a migration of wealth to new markets.

In past reports, we have focused on traditional demographic classifications, such as net worth or age. But 2020 has ushered in new affluent demographics. We’re calling them trailblazers because they are charting a new path forward, choosing housing locations based on family, health or lifestyle reasons, rather than being close to business or work. They are turning their attention away from cities and relocating to small town hidden gems, suburbs and popular second home destinations. Many of these trends were already underway prior to the start of 2020; the pandemic simply accelerated them. 

These trailblazers are looking at the following criteria when considering their relocation destination:

  • Property size
  • Property Amenities
  • Close to Nature/Outdoors
  • Privacy
  • Safe Environment
  • Hobbies or Lifestyle Considerations
  • Cost of Living
  • Driveabilty/ Accessibility (freeways, airports)
  • Proximity to workplace
  • Access to Luxury Amenities
  • Schools
  • Health
Market Statistics Emmet County Residential
Date Range 01/01/2020-12/31/2020, County Emmet; As Of: 2/9/2021
 
Current ActiveAvg List PriceAvg DOM 
147$975,882214 
 
Total ListedNum SoldPct SoldAvg List Price SoldAvg Sale Price SoldSale Price/List Price RatioAvg DOM SoldAvg List Price UnsoldPct Expired 
80772890.21%$519,019$485,13293.47%141$806,9608.92% 

Emmet County market data shows the average list price at $975,882 for 2020.

According to Coldwell Banker Global Luxury standards, a home in Emmet County is considered luxury at a minimum price threshold of $500,000.

Filtering for homes listed above $500,000, the Northern Michigan MLS data (MLS, 2021) shows that there were 183 residential sales. Of those, 113 sales took place within an association.

The majority of these sales took place in Harbor Springs, Petoskey and Bay Harbor.

Emmet County 2020 Equalization Report

Taking a dive into the 2020 Emmet County Report of Assessment Roll Changes and Classification (L-4022) (GIS, 2020), there were 26,295 residential parcels with a total value of $3,603,058,998 to the county.

The highest assessed values were in the townships of Bear Creek, Resort, Little Traverse, West Traverse, and the cities of Harbor Springs and Petoskey, as expected.

Assessed values in these municipalities increased.

TOWNSHIP OR CITY2019 ASSESSED VALUE2020 ASSESSED VALUEPERCENT CHANGE
BEAR CREEK$600,708,000$618,584,3002.98%
RESORT$501,566,705$527,539,7005.18%
LITTLE TRAVERSE$456,103,550$513,169,05012.51%
WEST TRAVERSE$423,725,900$459,404,2508.42%
HARBOR SPRINGS$339,883,500$369,836,4508.81%
PETOSKEY$629,754,550$662,494,4505.20%
   

(Coldwell Banker Global Luxury)

(GIS, 2020)

(MLS, 2021)

Featured

Congratulations to our Award-Winning Agents!

Coldwell Banker has unveiled their 2020 International Award Winners and we’re so proud of our four!

Please join us in a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to –

Paul Fairbairn, Owner/ Broker
Karen Petrimoulx, Associate Broker
Craig Wilson Jr., Realtor
Jim Bell, Realtor

NEWS RELEASE                             

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Murphy, Office Manager & Associate Broker

231.548.9336

PAUL FAIRBAIRN, KAREN PETRIMOULX, CRAIG WILSON JR. AND JAMES BELL NAMED COLDWELL BANKER® INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNERS

Alanson, Michigan 2/5/2021 –Paul Fairbairn of Harbor Springs, Karen Petrimoulx of Mackinaw City, Craig Wilson Jr. of Alanson, and James Bell of Mackinaw City, sales associates with Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty, have earned membership in the company’s International Diamond Society and International Sterling Society, levels achieved by only the top ten and fifteen percent of all sales associates worldwide in the Coldwell Banker® system.

^Each sales associate/representative is an independent contractor affiliated with a Coldwell Banker franchised office, including a Realogy Brokerage Group owned and operated office, and nothing herein shall be deemed to render any such sales associate/representative as an employee of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

Paul Fairbairn established Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty in 2008.

Karen Petrimoulx has been an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty since 2011.

Craig Wilson Jr. has been a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty since 2014.

James Bell has been a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty since 2018.

Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty located at 7569 US 31 South, Alanson, can be reached at 231.548.9336. Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty has been an affiliate of the Coldwell Banker® system for 13 years. 

Featured

24/7 Free Flowing Artesian Water

If you’re a property owner in Littlefield Township, you likely received the township’s bi-annual newsletter discussing the history of the free flowing wells in our area. If not, we’re sharing it with you below!

“Flowing wells (along with springs and geysers) symbolize the presence and mystery of subsurface water, and as such they have always evoked considerable public interest”. – (From Groundwater, Freeze and Cherry, 1979)

An artesian well is defined as an aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. The word artesian comes from the town of Artois in France, where the best known flowing artesian wells were drilled in the Middle Ages. A “flowing artesian well” runs clear, cold water without pumping — a real gift. Seeming to defy gravity, the water pressure builds up between layers of rock and is relieved when the water finds a path to the open air.

Emmet County has a large flowing well district that extends from Harbor Springs to Littlefield Township, mainly along the north side of Crooked Lake and Crooked River. In the late 1800s over 100 artesian flowing wells were identified from Conway to Alanson.

With the railroads making transportation to Northern Michigan accessible in the late 19th century and early 20th century, flowing wells attracted visitors to Michigan resorts that advertised the therapeutic benefits of their artesian mineral waters.

With the railroads making transportation to Northern Michigan accessible in the late 19th century and early 20th century, flowing wells attracted visitors to Michigan resorts that advertised the therapeutic benefits of their artesian mineral waters. In 1884, there was an effort to contain a flowing well in Oden in a search for suitable water for boiler use in the busy railroad engines of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railway. There was an excellent flow, but the water was found to be too hard for use in boilers.

The flowing artesian well (fondly named Crystal’s Well by locals) on US 31 just north of Alanson has been a very popular spot for many years. Due to its location and easy access people often stop by to fill their water bottles.

This well was placed into the hands of Littlefield Township by the Fairbairn family to make sure the flowing well remained in public use.

This well was placed into the hands of Littlefield Township by the Fairbairn family to make sure the flowing well remained in public use. The township maintains 2 flowing artesian wells in Oden as well.

Some of the earliest water supply legislation in Michigan dealt with regulating the use of artesian wells. State regulations concerning flowing wells can be found at:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/odwma-eh-wcu-flowingwells_529561_7.pdf

 

Crystal's Well
Crystal’s Well donated by the Fairbairn Family Image by Matt Mikus

Artesian Well
Free Flowing Well US-31 Image by Matt Mikus

Unique video of Crystal’s Well (5 seconds of 5 images)

 

Featured

What is the MLS anyway?

You’ll hear Realtors talk about the MLS often. It’s probably one of the first things a Realtor mentions when talking about a marketing plan to sell your home or when they’re helping you to look for a home to purchase. So what is it?

The MLS or multiple listing service, is an online portal that allows agents to work together to share listings and sold data.

Listings include homes, lots and acreage, multi-family dwellings and commercial properties for sale. Having access to this information helps agents to know what is going on in the real estate market to serve their clients quickly and efficiently.

All Realtors agree, as part of their Realtor membership, to share their listings with other Realtors. This spirit of cooperation allows all agents to have access to sell the same listings (i.e. a buyer doesn’t need to seek out only the listing agent) and offer a portion of the commission contracted with a seller, to other agents.

The information entered into the MLS begins upon the initial listing of a property for sale. It is detailed with numerous required fields such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage, school district, address and legal description.

Once a sale occurs, that information is updated into the MLS for all agents to see. This information will include the sales price, date sold and how the property was sold (i.e. cash, conventional mortgage, land contract, etc.).

There are many websites that are available for the public to view listings on. These websites take the information that agents input into their local MLS and export the data through a “feed”. These feeds, while mostly accurate, do not always import information into the websites correctly. Because of this, it’s important to verify information with an agent.

What’s more is, these sites often give you the opportunity to view your home’s value. What their system is actually doing, is averaging a home sales price based on many home values that are not necessarily similar to your own. While a fun system to play with, it isn’t necessarily accurate, another reason to confirm pricing with a Realtor.

The MLS is one of the most valuable tools an agent has. Here at Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty, our agents belong to two Multiple Listing Services. We chose to do this so that our clients can have access to more information and exposure for their listings.

We’re one of the few area offices that do this and we really enjoy gathering the data to better educate our clients. We believe that this dual membership is invaluable as it allows our clients to have access to more accurate sales information when pricing their properties and allows buyers access to more homes available for sale.

Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty Home with Yard Sign
Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty has access to two Multiple Listing Services allowing double the exposure for your home.

 

Featured

Great Lakes Water Levels

Great Lakes Water Levels are rising to a record high since record lows of 2012 and 2013.

According to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “the water level of Lake Michigan continues to rise after generally staying below long term average values for over a decade…”

For the combined Lake Michigan/Lake Huron Basin…it adds up to 20.17 trillion gallons,” – NOAA.

The peak water levels of this summer (2019) were 2.13 feet higher than the average peak of record low level summers (2012/ 2013). “For Lake Michigan alone… that’s 9.95 trillion gallons of water more than 2012/2013. For the combined Lake Michigan/Lake Huron Basin…it adds up to 20.17 trillion gallons,” – NOAA.

“Great Lakes Water Levels are continuously monitored by U.S. and Canadian federal agencies through a binational partnership,” – NOAA. That binational partnership uses the International Great Lakes Datum (IGLD of 1985); a reference system which is adjusted every 25 to 35 years.

Great Lakes
Photo by Melanie Wupperman on Pexels.com

According to the Coordinating Committee on Great Lakes Basic Hydraulic and Hydrologic Data, “the harmonious use of these waters requires international coordination of many aspects of their management” … the common datum is periodically revised “due to isostatic rebound, sometimes referred to as crustal movement. Isostatic rebound is the gradual rising or ‘bouncing back’ of the earth’s crust from the weight of the glaciers that covered the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River region during the last ice age.” This movement causes benchmarks to shift. However, the data shows that from 1955 to 1985 the low water datum levels for Lakes Michigan and Huron were increased from just 576.77 ft. to 577.43 ft.

…water levels on Crooked Lake are raised to elevation 595.4 ft (IGLD 1985) by May 27th.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses the IGLD of 1985 to raise and lower lake level elevations along the Inland Waterway. Specifically, water levels on Crooked Lake are raised to elevation 595.4 ft (IGLD 1985) by May 27th and held to 595.4 ft, or as near as possible, through Sept. 30th. After Nov. 1st, the locks are opened and the lake is drawn “down to the maximum possible, leaving the gates fully open throughout the winter as long as conditions allow,” according to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Photo by fishweb.com
https://www.fishweb.com/maps/emmet/crookedriver/locks/index.html

For comparison, as of January 20th, 2020, the water levels on the downstream sensor show the water levels at 595.30 ft (indicating higher than usual water levels). Meanwhile, the water level in Mackinaw City was 581.43 on IGLD.

“Lake Michigan-Huron is forecasted to begin its seasonal decline and fall to be below its record high August levels by 2 inches. Over the forecast period, the levels are projected to remain below record high levels by 2- 12 inches and above their levels from last year by 7 to 15 inches. Likewise, levels are expected to remain above their long-term average by 28 to 31 inches,” – The US Army Corps of Engineers; July 2019 Great Lakes Water Level Summary.

For more information, the US Army Corps of Engineers updates their site weekly on Great Lakes Water Levels. Click here for a link to the weekly forecasts.

Lakes Michigan-Huron Water Levels January 2020
Lakes Michigan-Huron Water Levels January 2020 provided by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Printable version – Lakes Michigan-Huron Water Levels January 2020 PDF

Our Favorite Northern Michigan Beaches

Petoskey State Park – Petoskey

Camp Petosega – Pickerel Lake

Zorn Park Beach – Harbor Springs

Little Traverse Beach Park – Crooked Lake

DeVoe Beach – Burt Lake

Middle Village Park Beach – Good Hart

Cross Village Beach

Sturgeon Bay Beach

Beach 1 & Beach 2 – Wilderness Park Drive, Mackinaw City

Where are your favorite places to cool off in the summertime?

Little Traverse Bay