Judy Levin
November 2019
Leelanau County Specialist

Scary Issues That Can Kill Your New Home Joy
Be afraid. Be very afraid. That new home you’re thinking of buying might not be as perfect as you think. Danger lurks behind every wall. Or maybe just one. Either way, it's probably something you should know about. 
      Buying a home is full of challenges, and the one that might be the most frustrating of all is finding out there’s something wrong after you’ve already closed escrow. In many cases, you may have recourse against the seller if there is an issue that wasn’t disclosed, or against the home inspector if he or she missed something serious. But even then, you’re still left with a problem you have to deal with when all you want is to be enjoying your new
Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of November 2019:

30 yr. fixed: 3.75%
15 yr. fixed: 3.18%
5/1 yr. adj: 3.4%

are eight things to look for before signing on the dotted


Now That It’s Fall, Did You Miss the Home Selling Boat?
     Worried you missed your window when it comes to selling your home this year? It’s true that spring and summer are the hottest (literally) seasons of the year, with more buyers out there looking to purchase a home and get settled before school starts. Also, there is some recent data out there that says that October and December are two of the slowest months of the year for home sales. 
      But that doesn’t mean you can’t offload your home now, or that you won’t get a good price if you do. If you have to list now and you want to get your home in the best position to sell quickly and for a good number, heed these tips. 
      Make sure your home is market ready Buyers at this time of

New Appraisal Rule: What Does It Mean for You?
     A new home appraisal rule just went into effect—the first time in 25 years that "federal regulators have increased the property value limit of the homes that require an appraisal as part of the selling process,” said REALTOR® Magazine. The rule exempts some home sales priced at $400,000 and below from requiring an appraisal. That figure was previously capped at $250,000. "The new rules likely apply to about 40% of home sales, regulators estimate.”
      So how will this affect home buyers and sellers? First, it should be noted that those homes that do receive the exemption still have to be evaluated "to provide an estimate of the market value of real estate collateral,” said Housingwire. "The agencies state that the evaluation must be ‘consistent with safe and sound banking practices.’ To that point, the rule establishes that an evaluation "should contain sufficient information and


November 2019

Retail/Restaurant Changes For Downtown, Region

By Beth Milligan the Ticker

Multiple retail and restaurant changes are coming to downtown Traverse City, a new Indian restaurant and golf simulator center are launching in the Grand Traverse Mall area, and other changes are underway across the region in The Ticker’s latest look at openings, closings, and moves.

Downtown Traverse City
After 15 years in downtown Traverse City – eight on Union Street and seven at its current location at 300 East Front Street – Allure Salon & Spa is moving to a new location.

Owners Bob and Shelly Derrer will relocate Allure to new digs at 522 West Fourteenth Street in the Hickory Corners shopping center effective November 1. Shelly Derrer calls the new space – which will undergo renovations prior to the grand opening – “perfectly-sized” for the salon, and says the company plans to create a “relaxing, fun atmosphere” at the site. Allure will continue to operate as an Aveda salon and offer the same menu of hair and nail services at the new location.

The biggest change – and a primary contributor to the company’s move – is the availability of parking at Fourteenth Street versus downtown, according to Derrer. “The most frequently asked question at the salon has always been, ‘Where can I park?’” she says. “Now that we'll have a big parking lot right outside our door, we're looking forward to answering questions about creative cuts and the magic of color instead."

A few doors down from Allure on Front Street, the departure of McMillen’s Custom Framing – which is now operating in a new storefront at 322 South Union Street – has created an opportunity for another downtown retailer to expand. Makers market West Bay Handmade is moving from its current location next to The Coin Slot to the former McMillen’s space at 326 East Front Street, with a planned opening date of the first week of November. Owners Brad Richardson and Cat O’Connor will continue to operate Wednesday-Sunday in their current space until the new store is ready. The couple, who hope to rent out their old space to another vendor interested in coming to downtown TC, say they “expanded two times in the Coin Slot building and couldn’t grow anymore” at that location. Fashion retailer Gitche Gumee is also moving from the Coin Slot building to East Front Street, holding a grand opening celebration October 24 from 5pm to 7pm at 319 East Front Street next to Morsels.

Around the corner, State Street Market will celebrate the opening of new vendors in its market space at a “Re-Launch Party” October 12 from 11am to 8pm. The event will mark the debut of new BBQ joint TC BBQ and Grind Coffee Co., which will specialize in “handcrafted espresso creations.” The event will also commemorate the rebranding of Monkey Fist Brewing Company – which will now be called MiddleCoast Brewing Company – and the debut of a mug club membership program for the venue’s Market Bar.

At 111 East Front Street, in part of the space formerly occupied by Petertyl Drug, Matt Davis and partner Sarah Ward are planning to open a new float spa called Solitude Float & Wellness. The spa will include four private float rooms, each equipped with a "state-of-the-art float pod" filled with under a foot of water heated to body temperature and treated with a high concentration of Epsom salt. The salt causes users to float, creating a sense of weightlessness. Users can also control light and sound options during treatments, which last 60 minutes to two hours. Davis praises the "mental and physical health benefits to floating," noting it's popular among professional athletes and is believed to help improve focus and contribute to muscle relaxation. The spa is targeted to open in mid-November, with planned hours of 9am-10pm Tuesday-Sunday.

On the other end of East Front Street, two national franchises will be newly operational this fall. Starbucks has opened the doors to its first standalone location with a drive-thru in Traverse City at the corner of East Front and Garfield (a neighboring Rite-Aid Pharmacy remains under construction). The company is also opening a second Starbucks with a drive-thru in a new outlot building under construction at the Grand Traverse Mall, which could open before the end of the year. Also on East Front Street, Bells and Birds has purchased the KFC franchise at 720 East Front Street and is finishing a $120,000 remodel of the property, according to building permits. The KFC restaurant – which held a hiring event this week – is expected to reopen by the end of October.

Elsewhere in the region…

Foodies who’ve long desired a dedicated Indian restaurant in Traverse City could soon get their wish. Chef Dhal Hossain and Golam Rabbani are working on renovations to a space in the Grand Traverse Mall food court in preparation of opening new restaurant Taste of India. Hossain, who has worked in Indian restaurants the past 15 years in the U.K. and Canada, plans to serve up classic Indian dishes including curry, paneer, vindaloo, chicken tikka masala, biriyani, aloo gobi, and side dishes like naan and basmati rice. The menu will feature both vegetarian and meat dishes, with the goal of presenting an “authentic south Asian restaurant,” the partners said in a statement. “We want to give the northern Michigander the taste of real Indian subcontinent food.” Depending on the pace of construction, Taste of India will open in either November or December, according to the duo.

Nearby in the former CityMac space at 3480 South Airport Road Suite B – in the same strip as Buffalo Wild Wings – X-Golf Traverse City will open its doors October 25. The venue will offer six “state-of-the-art” indoor golf simulators using camera systems, infrared lasers, impact sensors, and advanced gaming software to “offer players unparalleled accuracy and realism” and opportunities to virtually play the world’s top courses, according to the company’s website. X-Golf will also offer full food and beverage service, with hours “ranging from 8am to as late as midnight on weekends, depending on the season.” The Traverse City location will be the ninth X-Golf franchise in Michigan and twentieth nationwide.

In Leelanau County, clothing brand Poppy Things will host a grand opening celebration November 2 from 10am to 7pm at 326 North Saint Joseph Street in Suttons Bay. The store will feature clothing with “earth-friendly materials and original textile designs” by owner Chelsey Skowronski, artisan-made accessories, home décor, greeting cards, pottery, and more. The venue will also include a new studio space for Forget-Me-Not-Florist.

Elsewhere in the county, Gabe’s Country Market closed its downtown Maple City location at 8647 South Center Street effective September 30. The company is consolidating operations into its other remaining Gabe’s store at the intersection of M-72 and South Maple City Road. The full-service grocery store specializes in a variety of smoked meats and beef jerky. In Leland, the Village Cheese Shanty closed its doors early this year due to the rising water levels in Fishtown. While the shop had its last day October 5, the other remaining shanty businesses will remain open until Leland’s Fall Frenzy event on October 26.

Finally, Robby’s Taquiera TC Mexicana has closed its US-31 location near the Traverse City State Park. Company representatives did not return a request for comment on the reason for the location’s closure, though Robby’s continues to operate its other restaurants on East Front Street and Garfield Avenue. The company announced it plans to launch a new Sunday brunch service starting this weekend at the Garfield location, and has also hinted on Facebook that it will soon be launching a new catering service.


As I was showing property from October 14 to the 23rd Leelanau County was a fairyland of color some of the best is on Herman Road in Suttons Bay Township. Peak color was late this year. All the seasons were like that.

Tunnel of trees in Springport Michigan. – Picture by PureMichigan Instagram


6499 S. Lake Shore Drive, Cedar

MLS 1868496 $489,500.00 A private direct South Lake Leelanau waterfront home with a great, quiet and peaceful setting off the main road. Enjoy a 960 sf 2 spacious bedrooms, 2 bath main cottage and a 432 sf guest cottage with 1/2 bath which totals 1,392 sf. All of this is nestled on 75ft of frontage. Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos



6499 S. Lake Shore Drive, Cedar
MLS 1868496 $489,500.00
Direct South Lake Leelanau Waterfront. 2 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, and a guest cottage!
Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos


18675 Bonnie Jean Drive, Traverse City
MLS 1866785 $314,500 Cottage sits on 5 Acres. 3 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms.
Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos

5071 Hoxie Road, Cedar
MLS 1867625 $169,000.00
3 bed, 2 bath 2 car garage, studio, workshop, loft above garage Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos


2580 W. Armstrong Lake Trail, Empire
MLS 1862726 $375,000
Direct Waterfront. This private, peaceful lakeside property
Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos


12436 N. Crystal Cove Court, Northport
From $799,000 to $749,900.00
Direct Waterfront MLS 1866921. 3542 sf. 4 Bed 2.5 Baths Sunroom, 2 car garage, 34x32 pole building with workshop guest cottage
Click Here to View the Full Listing and More Photos

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Recipe of the month

Stewed Tomatoes (Gobbledygook)

Recipe from

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 45 mins

Total: 50 mins

Servings: 6

Max Servings: 6

Yield: 6 servings

1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
3 slices stale bread, torn into pieces
⅔ cup white sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Step One: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
Step 2: Stir the tomatoes, bread, sugar, butter, salt, and pepper in a bowl; pour into the prepared dish.
Step 3: Bake until hot and the tomatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.



East Bay Plaza
178 Munson Ave. Traverse City, MI
Open Tue-Sat 11:00 to 4:00pm. Closed Sun-Mon

This is winter so Soup is King. There are 8 freshly made soups every day they are open. Pair your favorite with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich or great Belgian fries.. These are 23 sauces for your fries….If you can’t get there they will deliver. You can count on vegetarian and they are happy to give you taste tests to find just the right soup for you. I love this place!!!!

Timber Shores, More Park Projects Planned

Photo credit: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

By Beth Milligan – The Ticker

Despite the looming cold weather, multiple planning and parks boards across the region are busy with upcoming park projects, including the proposed redevelopment of Northport’s Timber Shores, new recreational amenities at Sleeping Bear Dunes and Leelanau State Park, upgrades to the Grand Traverse County Civic Center and Silver Lake Recreation Area, and a possible new dog park in East Bay Township.

Walter Johnson of Vogel Advisors appeared before Leelanau Township planning commissioners Thursday to discuss plans to bring the long-shuttered Timber Shores RV Resort back to life. Johnson, speaking on behalf of property owner Fred Gordon, outlined ambitious plans to use 67 acres for a revitalized park, which would host 335 new camping sites: 69 pull-thru overnight sites, 135 back-in overnight sites, 111 seasonal sites, and 20 park model rentals. Plans also call for a beach swim area with a giant inflatable floating waterpark, an 18-hole mini golf course, a pedal kart path, a playground area, and shower facilities, among other amenities. On-site staff housing is also shown in concept renderings.

“The plan is simply to restore Timber Shores to its former prominence as a premier family-oriented RV resort,” Johnson told The Ticker in an email. “In addition to the RV campsites, there will also be some mini cabins that tourists to the area may use for overnight lodging. As a family-oriented resort, there will be many outdoor recreation amenities...this will be a destination quality resort that will bring many new tourist/campers to Northport, which once benefited significantly from the tourist dollars generated by Timber Shores.”

Concept renderings indicate the park would be open not only to campers, but also to day visitors, with more than 100 parking spaces reserved for the latter. Parking and high volumes of traffic were cited as potential concerns by some residents in attendance at Thursday’s meeting, though others praised the economic boon the park could bring to local businesses. Representatives from The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, noting the prominent wetlands on the property, said they wanted to make sure development plans would not negatively impact the environment. Thursday’s meeting was only a conceptual discussion for developers to gather feedback before they return with a formal application, which will then go through the township’s approval process.

Elsewhere in Leelanau County, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore held a grand opening last week (pictured) for a new three-mile-long trail in the Bow Lakes area of the park. The Kettles Trail trailhead is located on West Baatz Road near South Fritz Road (west of County Road 669) and offers a 1,000-foot beginning section leading to an overlook that is fully accessible, thanks to a compacted stone surface. Kettles are depressions created by retreating glaciers, many of which later fill with water; Bow Lakes is a geologically unique area featuring many such kettles, along with steep hills, ponds, and bogs, which can now be explored by the new trail. “The Kettles Trail will provide visitor access to some of the best examples of the ancient glacial phenomena that Congress cited when it established the park on October 21, 1970,” says Sleeping Bear Superintendent Scott Tucker.

Another park upgrade will debut Tuesday at an 11am ribbon cutting at Leelanau State Park. The event will commemorate the opening of a new accessible playground at the park, located at the tip of Leelanau Peninsula. The new amenity features two slides, a log balance beam, a crow's nest, and trapeze rings, among other components. The playground sits on a rubberized surface that “makes access easier for persons of all mobility levels,” according to a release from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR says the playground was made possible by a “massive volunteer effort” – including a community build assisted by Michigan Cares for Tourism – and a community fundraising drive spearheaded by Friends of Leelanau State Park.

In Grand Traverse County, Garfield Township trustees last week approved a $167,086 contract with North Country Contracting to make improvements this fall and next spring at Silver Lake Recreation Area. A significant portion of the contract – more than $115,000 – will pay for the expansion of the parking lot at Grand Traverse Metro Fire Station 12, which will also provide additional spaces for the park and a slightly rerouted loop trail. An ADA ramp will connect from the parking lot to the sidewalk system. Trustees are hopeful the construction firm can complete the parking lot before winter weather arrives, though in the event that’s impossible, the company has committed to at least getting a gravel base down so that lot is usable for the March primary election (the property serves as a polling location). In either scenario, the lot would be finished by spring 2020, with other improvements next year to include new sidewalks and an asphalt connection across the park to provide an interior trail loop.

In East Bay Township, parks and recreation commissioners plan to approach trustees at the board’s November 13 meeting about using the township’s water tower property near Five Mile and Hammond roads for new community recreational amenities, including a dog park, walking trail, and senior exercise stations. Township Supervisor Beth Friend explains the 30-acre property was purchased for the construction of a water well and storage tank, which have since been built, leaving much of the remaining site “underutilized or vacant.” While it’s possible the township will need parts of the property to meet water demands years or decades in the future, commissioners hope in the meantime to open it up to community use with amenities that can be moved or removed if needed down the line. If trustees approve the concept, parks and recreation commissioners can move forward with planning and budgeting for the park upgrades.

Finally, in Traverse City, a new “natural trail” has opened at the Grand Traverse County-owned Civic Center on East Front Street. The two-and-a-half-foot-wide dirt path parallels the outer edges of the existing one-mile paved trail loop and is marked by pink flag markers and low-cut grass. According to Executive Director Lisa Taylor of the Traverse City Track Club – which proposed the trail to county parks and recreation commissioners – the trail “is designed to offer users a more forgiving underfoot surface, versus pavement, and offers less impact due to the natural grass and dirt surface.” The trail was officially unveiled October 17 and is open now to walkers, runners, and bikers. It will be monitored over the next year as a temporary amenity as the county embarks on a master site planning process for the Civic Center in 2020.

Judy’s Movie Reviews


This stars Eddie Murphy in a true story of a never was who became the baddest mother there ever was. Definitely R rated, lots of 4 letter words and even more. Eddie Murphy is one talented dude. Not my kind of flick but Eddie Murphy is worth seeing. 3 out of 5 stars

From director Ron Howard comes this intimate portrait of Luciano Pavarotti, the most beloved opera singer of all time. Howard interweaves Pavarotti’s performances with revealing never before seen private footage. Since Pavarotti was my most favorite opera singer, this movie mean so much to me. I saw him in person and it was a treat of my life. I loved this film. 4.5 out of 5 stars


This stars William Hurt and Raul Julia with brilliant performances. A flamboyant homosexual passes the time in a Brazilian jail detailing the scenes of his favorite romantic movie to his cellmate, who is a hard edged political activist. Slowly the two form a bond based on mutual understanding and respect. Excellent film 4 out of 5 stars.


This is the story of the cutthroat race between electricity titan, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world. The real hero in this story is Nikola Tesla who you never hear about, but you know about Edison who stole Tesla’s ideas. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Holland. This is a slow ponderous movie. 3 out of 5 stars.


Click Here to View What is Coming Soon


Stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. A true story. A struggling single Mom ( Constance Wu) starts working in a strip club to pay the bills. She enlists the aid of the experienced Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) to set up a scam to take down the Wall Street high rollers who take advantage of them. I wasn’t sure I would like this film, but I loved this incredible cast and think Jennifer Lopez will be nominated for an Oscar. 4 out of 5 stars


All the unemployed Kim family takes particular interest in the wealthy and glamorous Park family for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident. A MUST SEE MOVIE!!! 4.5 out of 5 stars


Click Here to View What is Coming Soon

When a riot breaks out in Milwaukee, medical transport driver Vic is torn between his promise to get his relatives, a group of Russians to a funeral and his desire to help Tracy, a head strong black woman in a wheelchair. A really good movie…4 out of 5 stars.


Click Here to access the METROPOLITIAN OPERA LIVE Website

Click Here to access the Traverse City Official Website

Click Here to access City Opera House Website

Click Here to access Interlochen Center For the Art Official Website

Click Here for the Leelanau Farmer Market Schedule

There are so many wonderful properties for you to buy in Leelanau County. You are never more than 5 miles from a body of water to look at and take a swim or a trip on your boat. Please call me or text me at

231-218-7653 from 8 am to 9pm. Of course, email me at

I look forward to assisting you with your goals and dreams.


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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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