Judy Levin
January 2022
Leelanau County Specialist

2022 Real Estate Market Predictions
It’s hard to believe we’re already approaching 2022, yet here we are. The new year has a lot of people planning for what’s ahead financially. As part of that, you could be wondering if you’re going to have a chance to buy a home next year after 2021 left few opportunities.
      So what are the predictions looking like for the coming year?
      Cities Could Surge Again People may become comfortable with big cities again, following the pandemic's start, where many people relocated to the suburbs and less expensive states. That means some areas in the Northeast, Southeast and the West Coast could see an increase in real estate
Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of January 2022:

30 yr. fixed: 3.05%
15 yr. fixed: 2.3%
5/1 yr. adj: 2.37%

course, we don’t know how the pandemic will continue to unfold and whether that’s going to play a role in how willing or reluctant people are to make a move back to

Click here for
Judy's Video News Channel

These Projects Could Lower the Value of Your Home
     When you think about a home project, you really have to consider how it will affect the value of your property if you ever want to sell it. It’s best to invest in projects that will give you a good return in terms of raising the value of your home.
      Unfortunately, some projects may give you no return, or they can even hurt your resale value.
      Think twice before doing some of these projects unless you truly don’t ever plan to sell your home.
      Do-It-Yourself Projects That Look DIY If you have the skills to do a DIY project in your home, it can add value to your home. In some cases, however, DIY projects can be very apparent and can turn off potential buyers. For example, if you’re

Can You Buy a House If You’re Unemployed?
     A lot of people in the United States are unemployed right now for various reasons. At the same time, many people are also hoping to buy a new home. Can you buy a home if you’re unemployed?
      The short answer is that no, you can’t use your unemployment benefits to get a mortgage, but other options may be available as far as the income you can use.
      What Other Income Can You Use to Buy a Home? There are many types of income you may receive that could be considered if you were trying to get a mortgage. If you have investment dividends or Social Security income, these can be counted as income to get a mortgage.
      If you have a co-signer, this is another option.
      Unemployment income isn’t considered when you’re applying for a mortgage because it’s short-term. Therefore it’s not qualified income. If you get a mortgage while you’re


 January 2022 Blog

Coneys, Pop-Ups, A Private Speakeasy: Here’s The Food & Drink Dispatch From Lake Leelanau

By Emily Tyra | The Ticker

The heart of the county is buzzing with culinary announcements this week. Chef Eric Nittolo and family are opening a third venture: a members-only speakeasy in the lower level of their Lake Leelanau pizza-and-seafood restaurant. Fiddleheads, the new breakfast/sandwich shop on Main Street, is revving up with daily service and Saturday night pop-ups this winter. And a cute-as-can-be coney counter called Capital Dog is coming this spring to the original fire station at the Narrows. Here’s more: After a quiet opening October 6 at 202 W. Main Street in Lake Leelanau, Fiddleheads has hit its stride with a chill counter-service vibe and healthy comfort food that incorporates hyperlocal ingredients. The breakfast — all day! — and lunch spot is currently open Wednesday through Sunday. “We look forward to being open seven days a week starting the week after Christmas,” says Joshua Deters, who co-owns Fiddleheads with Richard Roberts. The two are also proprietors of the VI Grill in Suttons Bay.
The new pedestrian bridge at the Narrows has been a boon for dining-out activity in the village, says Deters, and that paired with Fiddlehead’s newly procured liquor license has made it the newest county destination for brunch with beer, wine and freshly made cocktails. (Libations are available for carry-out as well.) Now the culinary team is starting Saturday night pop-ups, catered to locals and with a focus on Michigan products. “For burger night we had Michigan-raised beef with cheeses from The Cheese Lady in TC; for Fiesta Night, a local woman in Suttons Bay made the homemade tortillas and tamales,” says Deters. Next up? Pasta Night on December 4. “We have handmade pasta from Raduno; craft-made sauces, responsibly sourced proteins, salad and bread plus special Italian wines to have in-house or to go.” Pop-ups run every Saturday night this winter, with the new menu dropping the first full week of December on Instagram and Facebook.
The Lake Leelanau chef’s life has been good to Eric Nittolo. Since last February when he and his family raised the curtain on Nittolo’s Pizza (104 Main Street, Lake Leelanau) and then a sister restaurant Nittolo’s Seafood & Social, business has been, “Wow, wow and holy wow. We are blessed every day and grateful that we hit the right chord,” Nittolo says. Nittolo is now dedicated to being open seven nights for dinner. Meanwhile, the woodfired pizzas crafted with Old World–meets–New World flair are going like hotcakes (as of yesterday, he has hit 276,000 slices sold), paving the way to open the lower-level of the 7,000 square-foot building as Nittolo’s Powerhouse Speakeasy. Explains Nittolo: “This is a 60-seat membership style jazz club, offering top notch quality musicians in a setting that is just knockout gorgeous.” Your seat at the table in this private club model (family memberships are $1000 annually; businesses are $1500) includes a sensory-rich experience through inventive cocktails, fine fare and handpicked live music. “I believe in doing things that don’t exist, and the closest thing to this is in St. Clair Shores,” says Nittolo. “The setting will be pure class, but not pretentious.” Renovations are underway now.
Membership fees will be used as seed money to pay for the musicians. “The intention is to be jazz-oriented, other styles to be introduced will be Blues and R&B in the style of Toni Braxton and Sade,” says Nittolo. He also hopes to support talent from Interlochen Arts Academy. Opening night is May 13, 2022; the speakeasy will operate four nights a week in high-season and taper to Saturdays-only next winter. “It hit me Monday. Of anywhere in the world I could be, being here in Lake Leelanau doing this is incredible.” Call the restaurant’s main line to inquire about membership. Meanwhile, Leelanau County residents Kevin and Sue Burns are refurbishing the original fire station at 106 St. Mary, near the Narrows, and opening a casual eatery called Capital Dog. The new venue — with both eat-in service and backyard seating — is geared toward families: “We feel like there is a real gap in the county of places for families to eat that are economical and real quick,” explains Sue Burns. The couple has spent several months giving a total refresh to the space (most recently a mechanics garage).
A crisp-and-clean interior with polished cement floors and an open kitchen includes an antique apothecary counter from a downstate drugstore. “We laid 600 feet of subway tile and got to know this spot well, meeting people who were having wine and listening to music at the Boathouse, and boaters coming up from the dock down the way,” says Burns. “This is a lively spot — which was not entirely a surprise but really validated this for us.” The Burnses are also the founders of the upcycled wool garment company Baabaazuzu, which they have operated in the county for 30 years. “We have been rooted here,” Burns says. “Lake Leelanau is in an awakening, and we are grateful to be a part of that.” Capital Dog will offer classic coney dogs and a full-service ice cream counter to start, with an opening planned for the “sighting of the first robin” says Kevin Burns. Photo of the Narrows by Lisa Baird of Capturing Michigan. Editor's note: A previous version of this story had an incorrect last name for Kevin Burns.

Photo of the Month


A beautiful snow fall!

Ken Scott Photography 


Property of the Month


5822 S Calle Court Suttons Bay
MLS# 1885655 $82,500
Monterey Hills is a quality neighborhood located between quaint Suttons Bay Village and the primary Northern Michigan community of Traverse City. The required elevated driveway on this 9/10th of an acre will give you the maximum and best panoramic Grand Traverse Bay views after select cutting of the trees. A stand of pine trees buffers you from adjacent lots. Some of the building requirements are 1,850 sf minimum for one level living and minimum 2000 sf for two story home. Standing on the knob of the hill remember the view will be much wider when you have built a home. There is a minimum two car attached garage requirement with no outbuildings allowed. Architectural Control and Master Deed under the D tab in the listing for your review. There are only 17 building sites, 20+ acres of common area, so houses are beautifully spaced for privacy. Utility information includes private septic with septic pipe installed to the property, underground utilities are electric, natural gas, cable tv and high-speed internet for easy working from home. You are less than a mile from the GT Bay DNR boat launch, close to Lake Leelanau swimming and boating, Leelanau Trail access (off Shady Lane) to ride your bikes, plus Shady Lane Cellars and Mawby Winery are just up the road. Enjoy the wonderful Leelanau Lifestyle from this great location.
Click here to view the listing


Real Estate Update 



8002 E. DONNER ROAD TRAVERSE CITY $579,000.00 MLS#1891395
Charming ranch on 6.68 with Lake Leelanau water views and countryside views. 3 beds/2 baths, split able acreage on a quiet, private area on a county-maintained road. I represent the buyer on this delightful home. This is a special place.
Click here to view the full listing



Restaurant of The Month 

PH 231-421-1873
This building was originally the Seven-Eleven Party Store. It’s by Mad Mike’s Computer store off E. Front Street. This is excellent Middle Eastern food. Everything from scratch and sooo fresh. Owner is always happy to tell you about the different dishes and he has a caring attitude. A must try!!!


Recipe of the Month  


Dear Blog Friends….. Here is a delicious chicken noodle soup for your slow cooker. After the holidays this is easy to do and if you are in the cold it will warm your toes and make you feel sooo goooood! Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup from Judy Levin
• 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 8 cups chicken stock
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 onion, diced
• 3 carrots, peeled and diced
• 3 stalks celery, diced
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 2 bay leaves
• 8 ounces spaghetti, broken into thirds
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Step One: Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.
Step Two: Stir in chicken stock, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
Step Three: move chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.
Step Four: Stir in pasta and chicken into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
Step Five: Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Step Six: Serve immediately. From Damn

Sweet Farewell To River & Main and Fishtown Candy, Closing At End Of Year

By Emily Tyra | The Ticker

River & Main and Fishtown Candy, the family-owned coffeehouse/candy store (and Leland’s unofficial corner hangout) will close in December. For owner and longtime Lake Leelanau resident Dawn Fisher, the driving force every season — since the mid-70’s — has been connecting with her shoreside community and what makes Leland special. The store started as Fishtown Candy where it operated on the docks of Fishtown for years, and later became the enchanting village anchor it is now at the corner of Main and River Streets.
The reason for closing is straightforward, says Fisher: Her 21-year lease runs out at the end of the year, and “it’s time.” Nevertheless, she has wrestled with the emotions in closing the business after decades. When we caught up with her, she was on a call with a long-ago employee, and making arrangements to remove the immense, classic glass candy counter from the building. Fisher will have some epic candy deals in the final stretch to the new year — and she will be completely out of the space by January 1. After that? “I think I’ll relax a little more. Right now, I am still a little hyper about it.” Her eyes convey it: “I want my guys and gals to be happy,” she says, noting dedicated store supervisors and employees and acknowledging those who made it a Leland institution. “A lot of people are upset. It’s totally a locals’ spot. The kids after school are always right there.” Many of those kids worked on her crew as teens and college students over the years. “The list goes on and on, it’s unreal,” she says. What blossomed into a full-blown confection-and-coffee shop with fine wines and gifts at River & Main, had its roots as a penny-candy emporium in Fishtown.
Fisher was instrumental in the future of the iconic fishing village, by helping make it a historical site at a critical time which then paved the way for its eventual preservation. “If we didn’t have a Fishtown, we wouldn’t have a Leland,” she says. When the coffee shop opened a few decades ago, there was nothing quite like it in town. It has equally drawn Main Street boutique browsers; Leland’s workforce; local parents and their kids; and socializing teens to its candy-and-coffee counters and super-chill corner courtyard, where the trademark wooden gliders invite lingering. And the lingering was always fine with Fisher, for whom it really comes back to a focus on people. Her voice catches, “I’m going to miss the overall building and what it’s all about. People loved to sit down and enjoy themselves. I love treating the little guys that come in; I check with mom and dad and find out what they like. I love the smiles. That’s why I am catching heck from a lot of people that we are closing.”
The mind-melting array of classic and newfangled confections came from Fisher’s annual trips to the Atlanta Market. “Atlanta is the best. It’s two huge buildings with 20 levels.” She — and her young customers — were drawn to the candy oddities. “I always handed out chicken feet gummies, and kids came back every year asking, ‘Do you still have chicken feet?’” she laughs. The building that now houses River & Main and Fishtown Candy is owned by Benjamin Maier and family; his ceramics gallery is housed next door. Stay tuned for what’s next for the space: negotiations are in the works and the interested party hopes to fill a need — for both Leland tourists and locals — on this high-profile corner. For Fisher, now is time to relax and enjoy her grandchildren, and her automobile adventures with the vintage road and racecars she has collected for years with her husband Mike Fisher. She is an Audi enthusiast; and she owns one rare classic car that even gregarious gearhead Jay Leno has visited their Traverse City automobile storage facility, MFD Classic Motors, and admired.
Both Fishers also teach a driving school every year at Grattan Raceway near Grand Rapids. This is their 30th year running it. Fisher races herself, at several famous tracks around the country including Wisconsin’s Road America. Cars are something she has loved since age 12, when she used to sneak the family’s ride out to tool around the fields surrounding her house in Long Lake. But for now, those who were charmed seeing Fisher’s irresistibly adorable, cherry red 1957 BMW Isetta parked in front of the candy store over the years, will now have to look for it zipping along the scenic roads of Leelanau County. Fisher says it doesn’t go faster than 45 or 55, so she’s cool if you pass her.


Judy’s Movie Reviews





A British comedy/drama with Helena-Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Daniel Day-Lewis and Judi Dench, all excellent actors. A young English woman tours Italy during the 19th Century in this Edwardian upper-class comedy. She meets a charming and free-spirited young man but the proper protocols are important. Superb ensemble acting, intelligent writing and stunning design. 4 out of 5 stars 
Click here to view the trailer




This was a fun movie starring Stanley Tucci at his best, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Mark Anthony and Isabella Rossellini. A great cast for a Big Night. This film is a poem to food and family. A delicious adult film sure to leave you hungry. If you liked  “Like Water for Chocolate and Babette’s Feast” you will like this film. 4 out of 5 stars
 Click here to view the trailer





Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst star in this strong and most interesting Western. It is directed by Jane Campion and she is a powerful director. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. Both of the brothers are totally opposite in character and intelligence.  They met a widowed woman with her son. The film moves forward with such intensity with an unsettling conclusion. This has Oscar power. 4.5 out of 5 stars
Click here to view the trailer




Sandra Bullock plays against type a prisoner released after 6 years for good behavior for killing a policeman. Getting a job is so hard being an ex-convict in a society that refuses to forgive her past. Please check out Viola Davis’s performance with its spark. This woman tries desperately to find her younger sister who she left behind and was adopted. This was so difficult to watch I have to see it in stages. Critics did not like it but audiences gave it very good reviews. It is a grim story that should be told. 4 out of 5 stars
Click here to view the trailer  




A comedy with laughs, gags, ad-libbing and just crazy plot between Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Bill Macy and Ray Liotta. These are middle aged men who are bored with their lives, so they leave on an adventure and take a motorcycle trip. They meet a hard core gang who don’t take to these novice bikers. I think these actors had a lot of fun making this movie. The audiences loved it and the critics disliked it intensely. 3 out of 5 stars 
 Click here to view the trailer




Nicole Kidman and Javier Barden play Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz during a difficult time when Lucy was accused of being a Communist by the House Un-American Activities Committee with Senator Joe McCarthy. They were looking in Hollywood to turn over anyone they could. This was excellently directed and written by Aaron Sorkin. I have been watching I LOVE LUCY for so many years and have loved every bit of their slap stick comedy. I was excited to see this film. I am also reading Lucy’s auto biography now so this ties it all together. 4 out of 5 stars
Click here to view the trailer


Video of the Month   

Lake Michigan On A Cold, Windy Day From Leelanau County, Michigan
By: Chosen Won

Click here to view the video of the month



Local Information

The City Opera House

The State Theater and The Bijou By the Bay

Old Town Playhouse

Leelanau County Farmers Market

Met Opera 

Cherry Capital Airport guide


  Daily News and Advice

Read about the events shaping the Real Estate market today, find current interest rates, or browse the extensive library of advice and how-to articles written by some of the top experts in Real Estate. Updated each weekday.
More Articles
December Real Estate Roundup
Should You Hire an Interior Designer?
What Should You Know About Buying a Starter Home?
Assets and Your Mortgage Application: What to Know
What is the Hardest Part of Buying a House?

Judy Levin, CRS e-PRO
231- 218-7653
Coldwell Banker Schmidt
71 W. 4th Street
Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Equal Housing Opportunity

E-mail this Newsletter to a friend