Judy Levin
April 2020
Leelanau County Specialist

Don’t Try to Outsmart the Markets
Getting ready to refinance your mortgage but waiting for rates to fall just one more time? Is that extra 1/8th percent ready to drop? Some consumers begin to follow economic news and perform no shortage of due diligence trying to pick the perfect time to lock in an interest rate. Loan officers are asked on a daily basis, “What are rates going to do?” The fact is nobody knows and for those who say they know, well, they don’t. Even the most learned of financial analysts get it wrong. There are just too many ingredients that affect mortgage rates, some expected but many unexpected, for any solid projection to come to fruition. Yes, there are certainly general trends that can be pointed to but trying to outsmart
Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of April 2020:

30 yr. fixed: 3.5%
15 yr. fixed: 2.92%
5/1 yr. adj: 3.34%

interest rate markets can go wrong rather quickly.
      Conventional mortgages, both fixed and adjustable, are tied to specific indices. A traditional 30 year


New York Might Pass an Anti-Flipping Bill. Are Other States Far Behind?
     That dream of buying a house in a state of disrepair and fixing it up to sell for a big profit is one many of us share. And the people you see on TV aren’t the only ones who are doing more than dreaming. According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ most recent stats, more than 200,000 U.S. homes were bought and resold within a 12-month period in the year 2017. 
      “That’s just under 6% of all the single-family homes and condominiums sold that year,” said Investopedia.
      But, if the state of New York has its way, it might soon be harder to pocket that cash. There are actually two bills making their way through the system: Assembly Bill A5375A and Senate Bill S3060E. Each of them “Imposes a tax on the

What Is a Home Renovation Loan and Should You Think About One?
     For many homebuyers, a picture-perfect, move-in ready home is the dream. For others, a project house they can get for a discount and then put their personal stamp on is too good to pass up. The problem with many of these “project houses,” though: coming up with the money to complete the projects. 
      Once you’ve depleted your savings to gather the funds for your down payment and closing costs, there may not be much left over to knock down that wall between the kitchen and living room, redo the counters and cabinets, and put in new hardwood flooring. Add in the costs of new furniture and hiring movers, and it could be years before you’re finally ready to make those improvements. 
      This is where a home renovation loan can help. 
      What is a home renovation loan?
      Although they are growing in popularity, home renovation loans are


April 2020 Blog

The County Rallies With Carryout And Comforts
The Ticker - By Emily Tyra

With an executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer temporarily limiting restaurants to carryout and delivery only — and social distancing in full effect — several Leelanau County businesses, school districts and nonprofits are pivoting to make sure county residents have safe access to good food.

Residents, in turn, continue to support their neighbors’ businesses during uncertain times. Suttons Bay resident Kim Schneider tells The Ticker she is grateful for special accommodations made by Hansen Foods and several village restaurants while she practices social distancing. This week, staff at Hansen Foods of Suttons Bay took her grocery order over the phone, shopped for her, and took credit card info for payment. “The owner was there curbside, in gloves, to load my bags through my passenger windows,” she says. “It was a little ‘pandemic movie surreal,’ but with a Hallmark twist.”

Martha Ryan of Martha’s Leelanau Table switched up her regular day-and-evening table service hours to offer takeout and delivery from 4pm to 8pm. “My son Matt actually made up a to-go menu last year and I put the kibosh on it. When this happened, we brought it back out. It’s therapy for me to make what I love, and I’m trying to make as small of a footprint as I can, so Matt and I are alternating nights cooking. We have a limited staff to take orders, deliver and run orders to the car. (Martha Ryan is pictured above with her daytime manager, Dylan Schmidt).

Restaurants are following suit county-wide by adjusting hours and adding either curbside service, delivery, or both. The following info is accurate as of press time; if there are additions please contact the Leelanau Ticker.

Carryout (And Delivery)

In Leland, Trish’s Dishes is now open for takeout 9am to 3pm and offers nearby delivery. Bogey’s at Leland Lodge is offering a curbside-only menu available 4pm to 8pm plus delivery within Leland Township, through March 21, when the lodge closes for spring cleaning. Bluebird, The Riverside Inn and The Cove are on a normal winter break.

Newly opened in Lake Leelanau, Hannah's is offering next-day curbside pick-up on cakes, cookies, and pretzels. Fig’s is temporarily closed, with a reopening in new digs planned for mid-April. Dick’s Pour House has a full menu available for takeout during the adjusted hours of 11:30am to 7:30pm.

Cherry Public House in Glen Arbor and Art’s Tavern both offer takeout during regular hours. Meanwhile, Riverfront Pizza & Deli and Blu are on winter break.

The Tribune in Northport is doing pick-up orders through the ice-cream window. Tucker’s is open daily at 11:30am for take-out. The Garage and Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern are on their regular winter breaks.

In Suttons Bay, 45th Parallel Café offers carryout, curbside pickup and delivery; Mundos is open and will bring pre-paid orders curbside. Streetside Grille offers takeout; Martha’s Leelanau Table is doing curbside and delivery service for dinner only. The V.I. Grill is offering full menu plus family-style menus for four people from 11am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday. All proceeds from takeout go directly to the V.I.'s staff.

Hop Lot Brewing Co. offers curbside growlers and take-out 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 7:30pm every day, with delivery starting today. Gold Baby Biscuits is open regular hours while the owners at North County Grill & Pub, Boone’s Prime Time Pub and Lylah’s, respectively, have decided to close temporarily.

In Maple City, both Market 22 and Pegtown Station remain open for carryout for pizza and breakfast fans. Broomstack Kitchen & Taphouse in Maple City offers curbside service and growlers to go during normal hours. Little Traverse Inn is offering carryout service. La Becasse and Funistrada are on a short break.

Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire is closed for the time being, with Empire Village Inn offering their full menu under adjusted hours of 11am to 8pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am to 9pm Friday and Saturday. The Shipwreck Café is open regular hours with sandwiches to go.


Anderson’s Glen Arbor Market is offering curbside pickup and delivery. The store has waived all normal delivery fees and shortened the delivery turnaround to three hours.
Hansen Foods of Suttons Bay is offering delivery and curbside pickup on grocery orders by phone or by email: And Leland Mercantile is offering curbside pickup via email at
MI Market Suttons Bay offers a “ship-to-store” shopping option on its website, with curbside service. Co-owner Beau Webb is also providing free cups of soup to families. NJ’s Grocery in Lake Leelanau and Tom’s Food Market in Northport are stocked and keeping normal business hours.

Food Pantry and School Lunches

Leelanau Christian Neighbors in Lake Leelanau is running as normal, with the food pantry and baby pantry open on Mondays from 2pm to 6pm. Staffers will be doing pre-packaging of food items for pickup.
The Blessings in a Backpack program is working with Leelanau County's schools to get bags of food to families with children, and a full schedule of school breakfast and lunch deliveries across the county.

Photo of the Month


A photo by: Fishtown Preservation

Property of the Month

Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos
Real Estate Updated Pending

N Knollwood Drive Northport
16,000 MLS# 1871972

Gorgeous wooded 1/4 acre Lot at the tip of the pinky in Leelanau County. Association park with Pickle Ball Court, Sandy Beach, Playground Grills, Fire Pit, Kayak Rack, and Club House!

Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos

Recipe of the Month

30-Minute Green Chicken Chili

This is a favorite of my chicken chili 🌶 because I love to use tomatillos. Great flavor and visually interesting. Give it a try. I use fresh jalapeños without seeds.


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 jalapeño chillis, 1 seeded and diced, 1 sliced for sprinkling
2 poblano or green (bell) peppers, seeded and diced
1 tin tomatillos, drained or 6 fresh husked or 6 fresh green tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
450 g (1 lb) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) low-salt chicken stock (broth)
125 g (4 oz) tin mild or hot chopped green chillies, preferably Hatch
2 limes, juice of 1, 1 sliced into wedges, for serving
15 g (1/2 oz/ 1/2 cup) fresh coriander (cilantro), fine stems and leaves roughly chopped
1 Hass avocado, halved, destoned, peeled and sliced, for serving (optional)


Step One: Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish (Dutch oven) over a medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, jalapeño, peppers, tomatillos, salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step Two: Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add to the pan. Pour in the chicken stock and raise the heat to maintain a gentle simmer (avoid bringing to a boil). Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. If the chicken pieces are not completely submerged, then turn them over halfway. Remove the chicken and place on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Use a fork and knife to shred the chicken, then add it back along with any liquid and the green chillies. Cook until the chicken is warmed through, about 2 minutes; squeeze in the lime and adjust seasoning as needed. Ladle into bowls and top with coriander, avocado (if using) and sliced jalapeño. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe notes: You can add white beans when you add the chicken. Then, use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the beans against the side of the pan to thicken it.

Restaurant of the Month

A photo by Martha’s Leelanau Table



I have been fortunate to dine at Martha’s many times. The food and presentation are always good. Treat yourself! Martha is doing everything for you to have a special experience at your private home.

Click Here to View Martha’s Leelanau Table Menu

Sugar Loaf (Still) Readying For A Renaissance

The Ticker - By Emily Tyra

A waiting game 20 years in the making for the derelict Sugar Loaf property could come to a crossroads next month at Leelanau County’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, April 21 at 10am.

Trudy Galla, the county’s Planning & Community Development Director says representatives from Sherman Oaks, California-based real estate broker and developer J.D. Market Acquisitions sent part one of a brownfield application for assistance on the Sugar Loaf property.

Officials at both the county and township level had been expecting the application, which is key to moving ahead with demolition of the existing resort structure. “It’s a step forward,” says County Administrator Chet Janik. “And assuming we will be open, it will be on the agenda for the next Brownfield Authority meeting.” (At this time, all Leelanau County buildings and non-essential services are closed, with normal operations and office hours expected to resume on Monday, April 6.)

Jeff Katofsky, President of J.D. Market Acquisitions, plans to restore the Sugar Loaf Mountain Resort property — dormant since 2000 — to a year-round luxury resort. Details about the project on J.D. Market Acquisitions’ website indicate amenities will include luxury accommodations, a full-service spa, extensive fitness and wellness center, fine dining restaurants, and event space. Plans also include vineyards with tasting rooms, year-round outdoor activities including equestrian, hiking, golf, cross-country skiing, tennis, team sport facilities and water sports. The most current timeline indicates that renovations would begin in 2021 or 2022, with a reopening sometime in the spring of 2024.

If the Sugar Loaf brownfield plan goes through, the developer can seek reimbursement for eligible activities on the restoration project through Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Increased taxes on the development are used to reimburse the developer for eligible activities, which might include items such as demolition, engineering studies, site preparation and environmental studies.

Brownfield properties face economic impediments to reuse and redevelopment, due to being contaminated, blighted, or functionally obsolete. As is the case with the Sugar Loaf property, “this could include structures that have been destroyed from the elements and vandalism,” says Galla.

“We usually see a part two application within about 6 months of the part one being accepted,” adds Galla, who reviews all applications before submitting to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. “The timing depends on the size and scope of each project and when they can submit a more detailed plan and request for consideration.”

Katofsky tells The Ticker, “there is full cooperation between us and the county and the local officials,” but the speed the project moves ahead could be subject to fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. “My priority is not whether or not we are taking bulldozer to an old building,” says Katofsky. “This will pass but…this is going to be life-altering for a while.”

For the Sugar Loaf brownfield plan to move forward, the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Country Board of Commissioners and the Cleveland Township Board of Trustees all have to sign off on it. The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will work with a consultant to chart out a conservative and realistic projection of how much the property values will increase, then create a developer reimbursement agreement.

“They have to develop the project so the value and TIF increases, and also pay their taxes in order to be eligible for reimbursement,” says Galla.

Says Janik, “We are all on the same page, that their goal is to submit a plan and start the demolition of the resort. Truly, it is a blighted area and we all want to see the facilities demolished and construction to begin.”

In mid-January, the Cleveland Township Board of Trustees passed a blight elimination ordinance as a first step to taking action against the resort. The ordinance is at the ready, but no action has been taken. As of press time, Cleveland Township Supervisor Tim Stein says the township board agreed “we would wait through April” for the county’s action regarding the brownfield application.

“If the Katofsky group moves ahead with the brownfield application, and moves ahead with demolition, we will stay on the action on our part, relative to enforcing a blight ordinance,” Stein says. “We have had good dialog so far.”



Al Pacino at his best!! It’s about killing Nazis hiding in the USA. Violent but great cinematography, script and acting. I binged on the 10 episodes 4 out of 5 stars



Sarah, daughter of slaves is a washerwoman who dreams of succeeding and making a good life for herself. She meets another woman who helps her with her hair that has fallen out with a special cream. Sarah asks her to allow her to sell the product which she really believes in. The woman turns her down because she is not attractive enough. But Sarah starts her own business and improves upon the original formula. The two woman fight over this product for a long time. Sarah builds her own factory with the endorsements from Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois. She becomes the first female millionaire. Incredible businesswoman who knows how to persevere. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Video of the month

Fishtown in Leland Michigan aerial video - Steve Benton Photography

That’s all Folks!!

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

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