Judy Levin
November 2020
Leelanau County Specialist

Why Are People Obsessed with Mid-Century Modern Design?
Mid-century modern design is one of the most popular design styles right now and for good reason. It boasts clean lines, pops of color, and if you buy an older home, it can be a natural fit with the existing elements of the property.
      So, what exactly is mid-century modern design, and how can you make it work in your home?
      Mid-Century Modern Basics Mid-century modern design is based on architects’ work who moved from Germany to the U.S. after World War Two. These architects led the way in mid-century modern design, which emphasizes functionality and simplicity.
      The period, while there is some disagreement on
Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of November 2020:

30 yr. fixed: 2.81%
15 yr. fixed: 2.32%
5/1 yr. adj: 2.88%

on specifics, generally is considered to have lasted from the 1940s to the 1960s, but much of what we think of as mid-century modern now is from the


What is a Short Sale?
     The idea of purchasing a home at a deeply discounted price is appealing to most people, but these situations can come with strings attached. One way to get a deal on a property is to buy a short sale, but the transactions are complex and risky.
      Short sales are transactions where a home is sold for a lower price than the debt that’s owed. When a homeowner realizes they can’t afford their mortgage anymore, they can start the short sale process with the lender. The owner has to apply, and the goal is to avoid foreclosure.
      Lenders will often approve a short sale if the home is worth less than what’s owed, and the seller has to demonstrate financial hardship. Short sales were incredibly common following the Great

Can You Get a Mortgage with Bad Credit?
     The real estate market remains hot right now, despite economic headwinds. Many people want to jump in and buy a home or upgrade their current home to a new one for good reason. Interest rates are incredibly low, so now could still be a buying opportunity, despite limited inventory and high prices in some locations.
      If your credit isn’t perfect, you may wonder if anyone will approve you for a mortgage. The short answer is maybe.
      You aren’t alone if you don’t have great credit. Around 15% of Americans have a credit score from 500 to 599, which is considered poor. Around 10% of people have credit in the range of 600 to 649, which is considered fair.
      When you’re applying for a mortgage, you’re most likely to be approved with a score of at least 650, although even anywhere in the 600s can make it challenging. If your score is below 500, you’re almost certainly not going



November  2020 Blog


Leelanau Sales Hit High Water Mark In A Real Estate Market Gone Wild

The Ticker By Ross Boissoneau

Leelanau’s current real estate climate is creating a dramatic storyline, with anecdotes of overnight offerscottages bought sight-unseen, 15-minute showings of “unicorn” houses, and listings of once-in-a-lifetime properties. But just how off-the-charts have property sales been? Here’s a peek, by-the-numbers.

“It’s turned out to be the largest year for us by far in 20 years,” says Roger Schaub of Schaub Team Premier Realty in Suttons Bay.

Not just for Schaub. Sales in September set an all-time record for the month, according to figures from the Traverse Area Association of Realtors. The total of $42,437,650 on sales of 89 homes is far above prior totals: 53 homes for $23,788,545 last September and the previous record, 60 homes sold for a total of $27,644,367 in September 2017.

Despite — or perhaps because of — the six-week shutdown of business in March and April due to the pandemic, the market has been steadily gaining strength. “There was pent-up energy,” Schaub acknowledges.

While there was hope that would be the case, no one really knew what would happen following the unprecedented closure of the economy. “From March to May it was so quiet,” says Pam DePuy with The Martin Company of Glen Arbor. Since activity picked up again in June, “it’s just been nuts.”

That’s the story most everywhere across the north. The five-county real estate market served by TAAR totaled $151,270,406 on sales of 423 homes last month. That is nearly $47 million more than the previous high of $104,504,358 in September 2018.

September outstripped August as well. Nationally, home sales were up 9.4 percent from August. Leelanau County topped that as well, going from 68 in August to 89 in September, an increase of more than 30 percent.

By now, the reasons are not a secret: record-low interest rates, technology and the claustrophobic effect of people being sequestered in their homes. The shutdown had the unanticipated effect of sending some folks scurrying away from crowded urban areas, with an eye to Leelanau. With remote working suddenly becoming a thing, a number of those who found themselves working from home chose to make their home here.

But from where are these newcomers to Leelanau County coming?

“I’m getting calls from all over the United States,” says Judy Levin of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors in Suttons Bay. “People [want] out of the big cities. A couple from Brooklyn sold their condo and are buying a beautiful home here. I get calls from Texas, Florida, Arizona, the Carolinas.”

“We’re seeing large play from the Detroit suburbs,” adds Schaub. The area’s relative proximity to southeastern Michigan — “You can get in a car and get here in four hours” — gives those looking for a second home a space that’s away but relatively nearby. Some buy that second home anticipating retiring within the next few years, while others are taking early retirement to move. “Younger clients are moving here fulltime because you can work remotely.”

It’s not just about remote working, either. With online schooling becoming more prevalent, having an internet connection which allows Mom and Dad to work online while the kids are learning virtually is of paramount importance. “I’ve had some buyers stall because the internet is not good enough,” Schaub says. “It’s a leading question for buyers: How is the internet? We need better, bigger, stronger, faster connections.”

And where in Leelanau are they buying? “Everywhere,” says Schaub. Whether on the water, in town or in the country, sales are up at every price point. “There isn’t a segment that isn’t producing at its highest level.”

An “X” marked the spot on the map for Glen Arbor specifically, in a recent trend watch published by, which identified the Top Affordable Lake Towns In the U.S.

Glen Arbor ranked number three — with a median lake home price of $390,000 — behind Branson, Missouri, whose median lake home price is $444,900; and Chestertown, New York, with a median lake home price of $493,900.

DePuy says Glen Lake and the area in and around Glen Arbor have seen so much action there are few homes available, and when there are they are quickly snapped up. Rather than sit back and wait for offers to come in on two homes on Big Glen Lake she had listed, she told fellow Realtors to bring their best offers on a particular day.

Leelanau-specific real estate numbers contributed to another record this September. For the first three quarters of the year, sales totaled $179,193,541 on sales of 369 homes. Both those figures eclipse last year’s total of 345 homes for $155,84,626. While January-September of 2017 saw 376 home sales, the total dollar volume was $30 million short of this year at $149,058,964. That represents an average price of $396,433, compared with this year’s average of $485,619.

Realtors also cite the record-low mortgage rates as helping to drive the market. Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtor’s chief economist, says the confluence of interest rates and an abundance of buyers in the marketplace has pushed the market, including buyers of vacation homes, given the greater flexibility to work from home.

While it is definitely a seller’s market, to price a home correctly is key, with pricing too high not creating an advantage: “If you price it at market value and it’s in nice condition, it will go [sell] over the list price,” says Levin. Multiple offers are now the norm.

Where and when will it end? That’s hard to say, as agents continue to work with clients who want to move here. “I’ve got five (potential) buyers who want to be on the north shore of Glen Lake,” says DePuy.

Photo: A Lake Michigan home listed for $2,500,000 this week on Manitou Trail (M-22). 

Photo of the Month

Color Tour…Sleeping Bear Point
By Ken Scott 

Property of the Month

N Morning View
$35,900 MLS#1851168

Wonderful opportunity to build close to Suttons Bay Village, 2.22 acres in a quiet private area of Leelanau County. Manufactured allowed, 1500 square feet minimum build, natural gas at the road, high speed internet, easy setbacks as this is a private road, approved perk test, some deed restrictions. Survey, restrictions and legal description in the documents. Nice affordable neighborhood with year-round residents. Countryside views to the east.

Click here to view the full listing


Real Estate Update 


1197 S Manitou Trail Lake Leelanau
MLS1860136 $699,900
Click here to view the listing


5467 N Putnam Road Home on Bass Lake
MLS 1880204 $320,000
Click Here to View the Full Listing


TO $49,000 MLS 1853750
Click here to view the full listing


Bay View Trail view lot Suttons Bay 
MLS 1834477 $71,000.00
Click Here to View the Full Listing


Ridge Road spectacular view property
MLS 1876568 $270,000.00
Click Here to View the Full Listing

Chelsea Park Condominium New Build 3 bed 2.5 baths Traverse City  
MLS 1878033 $379,900.00
Click Here to View the Full Listing
Waterfront Home on the Bay to be remodeled 2 bed 1 bath Suttons Bay 
MLS 1879569 $494,400.00
Click Here to View the Full Listing


8497 Lake View Hills Road Beautiful acreage estate 
MLS 1863832 $850,000
Click Here to View the Full Listing

Resturant of the Month





One of the best breakfast and lunch restaurants in Northern Michigan. They were originally on Duck Lake Road in Lake Leelanau. When Bella Fortuna closed Figs moved into that building with a beautiful garden in the front. Everything is delicious and made to order. Lots of menu choices. Enjoy!!!


Recipe of the Month 

 15-Minute Shrimp Stir-Fry

Prep Time: 3 min Cook Time: 15 min Serves: 4 serving(s)



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeeled and deveined
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, in 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups corn kernels, from 2 ears fresh corn
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise, and cut crosswise on the bias into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups snap peas, trimmed and cut in half on the bias
  • 1/2 finely grated lemon, zest of, plus juice of 1/2 lemon, and additional lemon wedges, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup mixed chopped herbs, such as dill, tarragon, mint, and parsley


Preparation Steps

Step One: Preheat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, swirl to coat, and add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until shrimp begins to brown on the edges and is nearly cooked through about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Step Two: Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, swirl to coat, and add red onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to turn golden, about 4 minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and snap peas. Toss to coat, and cook until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook. Add shrimp back to skillet, and add lemon zest, juice, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat and serve, topped with herbs and lemon wedges.


Calories: 414.7
Fat: 18.7
Saturated Fat: 5.5
Cholesterol: 158.5
Sodium: 660.8
Carbohydrates: 45.9
Fiber: 7
Sugar: 6
Protein: 22.9

Recipe Source:



What Shoulder Season? Leelanau’s Restaurants Keep Pace With Fall Visitors

The Ticker By Emily Tyra

Some might say there isn’t a shoulder season at all for the hospitality business in Leelanau County this year: since Labor Day, it’s been just one big, extended peak season.

Among them, Skip Telgard, third-generation proprietor of the Bluebird Restaurant and Tavern in Leland. Telgard says Monday and Tuesday’s wind, rain and cold temps did not keep patrons from seeking an outdoor table under the tent on the Bluebird’s parking lot, which he has depended on exclusively for serving guests since the pandemic hit.

“I’ve been seating customers nonstop,” says Telgard. “It’s been an amazing fall — business has been absolutely off the hook. This past weekend was comparable to a 4th of July weekend.”

Telgard says with people not needing to be physically back to school or work, “it’s become a vacation dream year-round,” and projects that Leelanau’s restaurants will continue to be busier than in normal years, with a concentrated influx over the next three fall weekends.

But the Bluebird will not be a part of it, he tells the Leelanau Ticker. Yesterday, October 13, was the Bluebird’s last day for the season, with a reopening planned “as early as possible” this spring. 

M-22's iconic roadside eatery, Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern, offered tent seating for curbside guests while the dining room was closed this summer. Now that indoor seating is officially back, the tent is doing double duty to safely welcome a continuous stream of fall color travelers, says co-owner Kristi Fischer, whose family’s business turned 49 this October.

“Interestingly, parking lot seating saved us,” she says, “and once we realized it was going to be more than just ‘a tent in a parking lot,’ IndieGrow Flower Farm helped us with potted plants and pumpkins to make it more of a welcoming extension of our business,” explains Fischer.

The tent must come down when the snow flies, but now that patrons have had an outdoor Happy Hour experience in addition to the traditional tavern atmosphere, “we can’t put this cat back in the bag,” Fischer says, adding that they will make use of heaters and firepits so people can continue to socially distance outside this winter. Other good news for business: the ability to hire college students staying local though the winter means lunch service resumes tomorrow, Thursday, October 15. Fischer explains that with most of her staff being homeschooling parents, lunch has been on hiatus, “but we are back to noon to 9pm every day.”

In the village of Northport, Laura Cavendish, a co-owner at Around the Corner Food & Fun, extended her food truck hours earlier this week to sync up with the peninsula's peak color. The family-run food truck will continue to serve takeout Mondays and Tuesdays all winter, while construction runs full steam ahead for a permanent brick-and-mortar location at 115 South Waukazoo Street set to open this spring. “The walls are up as of this week,” Cavendish says.

In addition to Around the Corner’s eclectic comfort food offerings  — including cheeseburger pasties and Yorkshire pudding wraps — for the first time this November Cavendish is planning a Thanksgiving dinner menu for carryout, based on an emerging need: “There will many more people staying here in second homes, with some not gathering with family, or keeping gatherings very small, so I am making all of it very flexible.”

At the gateway to the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Empire, The Empire Village Inn has kept pace with both locals and the surge of vacationers to the National Lakeshore, which is on track for a record-breaking year for visitors. So far sticking to strictly takeout and patio service this season, the V.I. will likely shift to indoor service in November, but keep an outdoor option as long as the weather holds. The managers also plan to the keep the V.I. pop-up grocery running through the winter.

Meanwhile, in Cedar, what Sugarfoot Saloon co-owners Peter and Karen Bardenhagen planned as “one last summer” for their 31-year-old business has segued straight into fall, with Peter Bardenhagen confirming they will continue to serve fans Foots’ famous wet burritos and other carryout items 5pm to 7pm daily, through the end of October, and possibly beyond.

Glen Arbor institution Art’s Tavern is gearing up for all-indoor seating after November 7, a move co-owner Tim Barr tells the Leelanau Ticker coincides with the installation of a state-of-the art Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) air-filtration system

It also coincides with Art’s customer appreciation day, to benefit the Glen Lake community’s food bank and Leelanau Christian Neighbors’ Blessing In A Backpack.

“November 7 will be the last day the tent is up. People can bring food donations, and we will charge this year for a lake trout and pulled pork lunch — we'll be roasting a pig that came from 4-H — with all food and beverage sales that day going to the food bank,” says Barr.

Photos: Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern tent patio by Kathleen Snedeker; Tim Barr’s likeness in stained glass at Art’s Tavern


Judy’s Movie Reviews



Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor star…Opens in 1960’s NYC. And all the ladies are swooning over a handsome journalist. But not all of them, the feminist advice columnist stands for everything the womanizing handsome hunk does not. The co-stars David Hyde Pierce, Tony Randall and Sarah Paulson are a great supporting group makes this Romanic comedy come together. 3 out of 5 stars
Click Here to View the Trailer


An adventurous young English woman travels to colonial India with an open-minded older lady friend. The women accompany a local man named Dr. Aziz on the tour of the Marbar Caves, the young woman accuses Aziz of rape. This movie starts slow but picks up and is an interesting film. 4 out of 5 stars.
Click Here to View the Trailer



This is my number one documentary in the last six months. Simply moving, perfect cinematography and the narration is honest and brought me to tears. A learned relationship between man and octopus. I loved it 5 out of 5 stars.
Click Here to View the Trailer


In 1969 seven people were charged by the Federal Government with conspiracy and more. I remember this in Chicago during the Democratic Convention protesting the Vietnam War. Aaron Sorkin did himself proud directing Eddie Redmayne, Sasha Baron Cohen and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Sorkin is one of my favorite director/writers. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Click Here to View the Trailer


Since Paris is my favorite city in the world, I thought I would check out this series. An ambitious 20 something marketing executive from Chicago lands her dream job in Paris. Her new life is filled with many challenges in learning European ways. Beautiful pictures of Paris but this is a 3 out of 5 stars.
Click Here to View the Trailer 



A BUSHMAN IN THE Kalahari encounters technology for the first time when a Coke bottle falls out of an airplane. The villagers fight over this strange object and their leader takes it back to the Gods. I enjoyed this terrific film 4 out of 5 stars.
Click Here to View the Trailer


Video of the Month  

Fun fall activities to check out in Traverse City!
-By eightwestonline

Click Here to View the Video


Local Information

The City Opera House

The State Theater and The Bijou By the Bay

Old Town Playhouse

Leelanau County Farmersmarket

Met Opera



  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
October Real Estate Roundup
Rate Locks: What You Need to Know
What Should You Know About Buying Real Estate Overseas?
What to Consider Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel
What Are the Differences in Mortgage Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?

Judy Levin,CRS e-PRO
231- 218-7653
Coldwell Banker Schmidt
71 Fourth Street
Suttons Bay Michigan 49682

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