Friday, December 17, 2010

10 acres Fornier Road, Beaverton MI - SOLD!

Nice 10 acres across the street from State Land!

Great camping, building or hunting parcel located directly across the street from 1000s of acres of state land and close to ORV trails. Fantastic recreational property. Lots of deer, turkey, rabbits and grouse in the area. Electricity is already installed. The property is a mix of thickets and open areas, making a great location for hunting.

Lots of deer sign!


Monday, October 25, 2010

10 deadly mistakes buyers make when purchasing a home

1. Making an offer on a home without being prequalified.
2. Not having a home inspection
3. Limiting your search to open houses, ads or the internet
4. Choosing a Real Estate agent who is not committed to forming a strong business relationship with you.
5. Thinking there is only one perfect house out there.
6. Not considering long-term needs.
7. Not examining insurance issues.
8. Not buying a home protection plan.
9. Not knowing total cost involved.
10. Not following through on due diligence.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Gladwin Family Story

I thought this was a very interesting story about a small piece of local history, regarding am old building I had taken a picture of a couple of years ago.

Last week I received an email from someone who recognized the building and told me about the history of the place and his family.

Click on the LINK to read the story:


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gladwin Girls Meet Sarah Palin in Washington DC August 28th, 2010

I know that this is unrelated to real estate, but I just couldn't help but share!
Our daughter and her friend met Sarah Palin in DC during the "Restoring Honor Rally" on August 28th, 2010. That's our daughter standing right next to Sarah. Sarah took time out from her busy day to talk to the girls and have her picture taken with them.
The girls were volunteers behind the scenes of the event and got to meet several know figures.

This is Alveda King.
They didn't meet Chuck Norris... but they got this close.
They didn't meet Glenn Beck either, but they saw him this close.
He was a busy guy that day!
They did meet John Rich (Country Singer with "Big & Rich").
What a SIGHT!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

12 Acres Meredith Grade Rd, Gladwin - SOLD!

Super RARE Find!
12 Beautiful Acres on Streaked Lake


Wow! Look at this extremely rare find on beautiful Streaked Lake in NW Gladwin County. Located just north of Blue Lake Estates! Enjoy fantastic fishing and crystal clear lake waters on this beautiful woodland lake where there are only 3 other lakefront acreage parcels on the entire lake! Excellent hunting for deer and turkey.

There is even a creek on the north line of the property. Enjoy the surrounding forests & wildlife. The Emerald Valley Ranches are also part of the Blue Lake Estates association. Property owners have rights to use the pristine swimming beach on Blue Lake (located just south of Streaked Lake). Blue Lake also has a private park with some playground equipment, a scenic creek and a fire pit.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

2958 Broka Dr, Beaverton MI - SOLD!

Beautiful 3 BR, 2 Bath, 2 Car Garage Home
Located in a very nice neighborhood

SOLD! $149,888

Wow! Look at this beautiful ranch style home on approximately 2 acres, south of Beaverton. You'll fall in love with this beautiful home! Enjoy country living in an area of other nice homes. This home features large rooms, open floor plan, hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, lots of cupboard space, stone veneer, large covered porch, concrete driveway and so much more!

Beautiful stone exterior on the front of the home.

Vaulted ceilings in the living room and a gas log fireplace.
Extra large kitchen with plenty of counter space and lots of hardwood floors!

Large 20x16 shed with a 10x20 lean-to.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Clare County home sales increase; Gratiot, Isabella sales pace struggles

Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:25 AM EDT

Sun Online Editor

Realtors in Clare and Gladwin counties sold more homes in April than any April in this decade, and May's sales pace was the fastest in five years.

Meanwhile, members of the Central Michigan Association of Realtors reported sales at a near-average pace for the two months. Those agents, who work mainly in Isabella and Gratiot counties, sold 89 homes in April, compared to a five-year average of 81, but only 84 in May, compared to a five-year average of 97.

That's according to an analysis of recent sales figures released by the Michigan Association of Realtors trade group.

Prices paid for homes in Clare and Gladwin also recovered, but buyers there paid the lowest prices of anywhere in outstate Michigan. Only in economically ravaged Detroit were prices lower.

Members of the Clare-Gladwin Board of Realtors, which represents agents who do business mainly in those two counties, sold 65 properties during April and another 73 in June. The April sales pace is well above the five-year average of 46, and the May average also is considerably above the five-year average of 64 sales for the month.

The record sales pace for May was in 2005, when 74 properties changed hands.

So far this year, 253 properties have been sold by Clare-Gladwin agents, up nearly 19 percent from the first five months of last year.

The average sale price for the year so far is $62,787, up 7 percent form 2009's highly depressed average.

May's sales rate of 84 was the slowest May of the decade in the Gratiot-Isabella region.

So far this year, agents have sold 350 homes, compared to 365 in the first five months of 2009. The average sale price for the first five months of the year was $75,773, up 6.77 percent from 2009.

Prices increased in 37 of the 40 regions tracked by the statewide real estate marketing group. Prices fell only in Branch, Lenawee and Livingston counties.

Sales rates also increased in 30 of the 40 regions. Besides the decline in Gratiot and Isabella counties, the pace of sales of existing homes also fell in the west-central region, the Down River and Eastern Upper Peninsula regions, Branch, Hillsdale and Lenawee counties, and Detroit, Flint and Saginaw.

Overall, the pace of sales of existing residential properties was up nearly 5 percent in 2010 compared to the first five months of 2009, and prices were up nearly 11.5 percent, averaging $88,863.

Detroit continued to have the cheapest residential property in the state. Nearly 5,300 homes have been sold in the city since the start of the year at an average price of just $15,329. As low as that figure is, it's a third higher than 2009's average price through five months of $11,387.

Michigan's priciest real estate this year is in Emmet County, at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula, where sales are up 39 percent over last year, and an average home sold for $187,296 during the first five months of the year, up 15.5 percent from last year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

1141 Chatterton St, Gladwin MI - SOLD!

Beautiful 3 BR, 2 Bath Home in Gladwin

SOLD! $119,888

Wow! Look at this beautiful home in a very nice area, within the city limits of Gladwin. This home features a friendly floor plan, wood laminate floors throughout, spacious kitchen, main floor laundry, 2 full baths, large open deck, fenced in yard and an extra large yard (approx 1/2 acre). This lovely home is located close to the Riverwalk walking trails, city park, hospital, restaurants and shopping. Nice quiet neighborhood.


Lot 51 Blue Lake Drive, Gladwin MI - SOLD!!!

Rare Find!!! Beautiful Waterfront Lot of Blue Lake
There hasn't been a vacant waterfront lot for sale on Blue Lake in many many years! Take notice of the fabulous lot with beautiful panoramic views!

SOLD!!! $59,888

Look at this beautiful lot on one of the prettiest, clean fishing lakes in all of
Gladwin and Clare Counties! This lot offers the perfect building spot for a home with a walkout basement. Blue Lake offers a "U.P." like atmosphere, only 2.5 hours north of Detroit. This quiet no-gas-motors lake is located in a beautiful woodland area, close to miles of snowmobile trails and 1000's of acres of state land.

Blue Lake offers some of the best fishing in the area. Catch Bluegills, Bass, Crappie, Rock Bass and Perch. (I have pictures to prove it, on my virtual tour!)

This is a PRIVATE lake with NO Public access! The lake is so clear, that you can easily see over 20 ft down to the bottom!

Find out what Blue Lake Estates has to offer! Including a private sandy swimming beach, only available for use by Blue Lake members and their guests.

You have to visit Blue Lake to truly appreciate it's awesome beauty!

Visit for more information about the area.


Saturday, June 05, 2010

5029 Ruby, Gladwin MI - SOLD!

Nice Waterfront Home on Beautiful Island Lake
3 bedrooms, 1 Bath & Large 24x36 Garage


Are you looking for a quiet lake with great fishing and clean & clear lake water? You may have just found it. Look at this nice 3 bedroom home, nestled in a nice wooded settling with a great view of the lake. Sit out on the open deck and enjoy the great view. Listen to loons, watch for Bald Eagles and watch a variety of other birds, deer and squirrels.

Watch fish swim by while standing on the dock. Island lake sub also come with shared access to almost 300 acres of association shared lake for leisure walks, hunting, ATVs and bike riding. Being sold mostly furnished, including the propane tank.


4351 Earl Street, Gladwin (Alger) MI - SOLD!

Cute Secord Lake Cottage on 2 Waterfront Lots
Sandy Swimming and a Permanent Suspended Dock
2-3 Bedrooms, 1 Bath & a Shed


Are you looking for an affordable waterfront cottage on Secord lake with a sandy beach and lots of waterfrontage? You may have just found it! Check out this cozy waterfront cottage on 2 waterfront lots with nice sandy waterfront, great panoramic view, enclosed porch, knotty pine interior and "Up North" appeal! Truly a traditional up north cottage. This property comes with a nice sized shed and a park like picnic area with a firepit.

Friday, March 12, 2010

HGTV's Identifies Top 10 Things First-Time Homebuyers Should Know

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Mar 08, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Buying a home for the first time can be complex. To avoid mistakes and make a smart purchase, do the homework and know what to expect. To help start the process, HGTV's identifies the top 10 important points every first-time buyer must know.

Read Article....

Monday, March 08, 2010

Property values decline across county

Gladwin County Record - March 2nd, 2010

GLADWIN COUNTY: Declining property values have impacted cities and townships across Michigan and the country. This year Gladwin County will also feel the pinch.

For the first time in recent years, property values county-wide have decreased, and this decrease has affected all real estate sectors.

Residential properties have seen the biggest decrease in value. Across the county, residential values have decreased by a total of 11.27 percent.
Beaverton, Bentley, and Grim townships, as well as the City of Beaverton saw their values fall by only 3 percent, while Bourret, Sherman, Grout and Secord townships experienced the largest decrease in value at 15-16 percent.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Walk (2006)

(I put this together in April of 2006)

One last walk in the snow? I put together "The Walk" last early spring. I thought you might enjoy a walk around the woods with Angel and I.

"The Walk"


Property Taxes and appealing your assessment: Guidelines for REALTORS® to pass along to their buyers

It’s that time of year again – homeowners have started to receive their 2010 property tax assessments in the mail. Over the last few years, homeowners have been frustrated by their assessed value increasing, while their property value has decreased because of the economic downturn. This is due to current law that allows a home’s taxable value to increase each year by either the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower. However, this tax year is particularly interesting because Michigan has a negative inflation rate. So, almost every homeowner should see a property tax decrease of at least .3%.

Real More... (PDF File)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Piece of Michigan History

This is a short movie of Michigan 60 years ago.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Traverse City, Sprikehorn in Harrison and more!

Movie was made in 1949 -- pre-Mackinaw bridge and I-75 days....very interesting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2701 Pratt Lake Rd, Gladwin MI - SOLD!!!

Nice 3 Bedroom Home on 25 Acres near Gladwin

3 Bedrooms, 1.5 Baths, 2 Garage Garage & 30x40 Pole Barn

SOLD for $107,000

Well maintained home on 25 partially wooded acres, just a short drive from town. This home sits in a convenient location, just a few sort miles from town, shopping and schools. Enjoy watching deer, turkeys and rabbits out your back door. Great deer & rabbit hunting area. Property has a horseshoe shaped asphalt driveway & a 30x40 pole barn with concrete floor. Great buy!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Real Estate Issues Top 2009 List of Requests for Legal Services

RISMEDIA, February 5, 2010—Real estate-related issues were the leading legal service request among members (customers) of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. during 2009 followed by 2) consumer finance, 3) family law, 4) collections and 5) estate planning. The top five legal service requests for 2009 is based on the total volume of 2.3 million member requests for legal services to the 40 independent provider law firms that assisted Pre-Paid Legal members throughout the U.S. and four provinces of Canada for calendar year 2009.

“The PPD legal service request list offers a unique perspective on the legal issues that Americans and Canadians face on a daily basis,” said Pre-Paid Legal’s Founder and CEO Harland C. Stonecipher. “Because these members have a Pre-Paid Legal plan, they have access to affordable legal service to help them manage issues such as foreclosure, credit issues, collections and other life events,” he said.

Read the Entire Article...

(Note: Jim & Ivie Baker have also been sales associates for Pre-Paid Legal Services for over 5 years. It's a fantastic service. Visit for more information)

Friday, January 29, 2010

4848 Queens Circle, Gladwin MI - SOLD!

Nice Waterfront Chalet in Sugar Springs
3 Bedrooms, 1.5 Baths, 2 Car Garage


Cute cottage or year round home on beautiful Lake Lancelot! Enjoy lakefront living at it's best. This home features large rooms, newer windows & roof. Enjoy the beautiful sandy beach and lovely shaded lot, overlooking a clean and quiet cove, just off of the main lake. There is even a permanent dock for you boat. Includes most furnishings. Great location at an even better price!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why Buy Now?

Written by Ivie K Baker - January 26th, 2010

There is a long list of reasons why NOW is a great time to buy real estate! The stars and planets have aligned and the real estate environment is in the perfect position. Well, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but you’ll never see a better time to buy a home or property.

According to many real estate experts, most believe that we have seen the bottom of the market and sales are going to start to up-tick in 2010. Of course, we aren’t going to see those soaring real estate prices for a long time, but we should start seeing some markets appreciate in value across much of the USA.

According to an article in the January 2010 National Association of Realtors Magazine, (Easier Money, Steadier Sales), one expert predicts that we could see existing home sales raise by 13.6 percent in 2010. That’s great, considering that in 2009, we only saw an estimated 2 percent increase over 2008.

So, why should YOU buy now? There are several very valid reasons. If you are a first time home buyer, you may be eligible for the $8,000 tax credit, if you purchase a home before April 30th, 2010 or have a valid purchase agreement signed before April 30st 2010 and the sale closes on or before June 30th, 2010. If you are a current home owner, you may be eligible if you have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight! To find out more about the Home Buyers Tax Credit, visit,,id=204671,00.html

There are other key factors that make this a great time to buy! Home and land prices are at a recent all time LOW. In most markets, prices have already hit bottom. Experts say that we should start seeing prices appreciate in the near future. As real estate sales start in increase, prices will stabilize and many markets will start to see a subtle rise in price as consumers decide to take the plunge and take advantage of the market.

Along with the lower housing prices, mortgage interest rates are still holding very low. This is key for enticing buyers into making a purchase in this market. Obtaining a new mortgage is also getting a little easier too. When the mortgage crisis first hit and HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct) was put into place, we saw some very poor and inaccurate appraisals surface. This was due to the insane regulations that were put on the appraisal market. Lenders were forced to use third party referral companies to order their appraisals and in many cases, appraisers were sent into areas where they were unfamiliar with the local market. This resulted in low and inaccurate appraisals.

Since then, other regulations have been put in place to allow only appraisers who are familiar with the local markets, to do appraisals in those areas. This has improved the quality of the appraisals being done throughout the nation, making it a easier for buyers to secure a mortgage.

Currently, there are several programs out there to help lower income families purchase a home. FHA is also lightening up their restrictions and now allowing some manufactured home purchases though their program. In my Michigan market, there are still programs, such a USDA Rural Development and MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority) programs, to help make owning a home affordable for many Michigan families.

Find out more about these programs here:
USDA Rural Development:

For second home buyers, there are still advantages to buying in this market. The biggest advantage is, that prices have come down and interest rates are still low; even for second home purchases. In my local market (Clare/Gladwin Counties, MI), even waterfront homes have come down in price between 1/4 to 1/3, compared to two years ago.

Many second home buyers are finally taking advantage of the decreased prices to purchase a vacation home, which may have been out of their price range several years ago.

Also, contrary to popular belief, there are lenders out there, who will mortgages on second homes with just 10% down. I personally recommended one in particular lender, who has closed several deals for my clients in the past 6 month, with just 10% down. This has created additional sales that may have not come together, considering that most lenders are now requiring a minimum of 20% down for this type of purchase.

Vacant land is also easier to buy. With just 15% down with a good credit score, many buyers are purchasing vacant lots and acreage with reasonable down payments and fixed mortgage terms, stretching out as long as 30 years. For vacant land purchases, the closings tend to happen much faster than a home purchase, with an average turn around time of just 2-3 weeks.

So, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home or land in the near future, now is the time to do it. Combined with low interest rates, low real estate prices and flexible lending programs, you can’t go wrong in this market!

Copyright 2010 - Ivie K Baker

Friday, January 15, 2010

Debit-Card 'Skimming' Scams

I thought this was important to post. I realize that this isn't related to real estate, but a good way to keep your money in check!

Three steps to take to protect your account data from getting into the wrong hands

Whether by choice or necessity, American consumers are increasingly relying on debit rather than credit cards. Debit card spending has risen steadily, growing from 47.7 percent of purchases made with plastic in 2003 to 58.9 percent in 2008 and it is expected to surpass 67 percent by 2013, according to the Nilson Report, a newsletter that tracks the consumer payment industry.

When you use a debit card, the money is immediately taken from your checking account. While using debit guarantees that you pay as you go, these cards have downsides, including a growing appeal to thieves.