Need a gift? Someone hard to buy for?
Purchase Chamber Checks at the Chamber Office, 28 S. Lake Street, Boyne City
The Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce is changing its Boyne Bucks program to a more user-friendly program called Chamber Checks. Like Boyne Bucks, Chamber Checks also make the ideal “shop local” gift that can be redeemed at nearly any business in the Boyne area. Chamber Checks are issued through Charlevoix State Bank by the Boyne Chamber and are redeemable much like a gift certificate or traveler’s check. Chamber Checks make a great gift and encourage purchases at our member businesses. A person can choose where and when to use Chamber Checks, redeeming them at local restaurants, shops, or for professional services. In many ways Chamber Checks function like community-wide gift certificates. Chamber Checks are sold exclusively at the Boyne Chamber office in denominations of $10 and $20. We appreciate advance notice for large orders.
HOLIDAY BONUSES – Chamber Checks are also a great way to give holiday bonuses to your employees. In fact, just recently the Chamber filled an order for a total of more than $6,000 in Chamber Checks from one local employer.
EASIER FOR BUSINESSES – Chamber Checks are easier to use since they are an official bank check through Charlevoix State Bank. So when a merchant receives a payment with a Chamber Check, they can deposit it for the full face value in their bank account as they would any other check deposit. No more saving up Boyne Bucks, turning them in to the Chamber, going through an invoice process, and waiting for the money.
BOYNE BUCKS ARE STILL GOOD and will be redeemable with us for the next 5 years. Businesses should continue to turn in Boyne Bucks as you get them and we will honor them until December 2021.
QUESTIONS? If you have any questions about Chamber Checks or Boyne Bucks, call the Chamber at 231-582-6222 or email Ashley Cousens, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this fall was a precursor of things to come, real estate is going to be great in 2018!
The somewhat cool summer of 2017 had the real estate market lagging a bit. We know that the “selling season” doesn’t end with the beginning of school in northern Michigan; typically our third quarter is our strongest, and this year it was fine, though a little less robust than we had hoped. But just as you can’t rest on your laurels, you can’t match your pace to the market when the market’s not keeping up.
So without losing our stride, we entered a long, warm fall. And since September 30th, there have been 17 completed sales of waterfront homes and property on Lake Charlevoix alone (and more under contract!). Of these, Pat O’Brien & Associates participated in 11 (representing both the buyer and seller in seven). Of the 17 sales, three were well over $1 million.
This could be excellent news in 2018. Consumer confidence is high. The economy seems to be doing well. Real estate sale prices have seen modest gains, but are still a great value for buyers.
If you are thinking about buying or selling in Boyne City, East Jordan, Charlevoix, Petoskey or any of the surrounding areas, give us a call. We love to talk real estate! (231) 582-1700
Everything changes. And everything stays the same.
With our Charlevoix office merger, we gained a lot of real estate (so to speak), as our sign circled Lake Charlevoix and spread across the county.
We expanded, but we didn’t try and reinvent ourselves.
We have held our market share since the second year we opened our doors, because we earned it to start with and we have continued to earn it with every transaction since.
There’s a saying in real estate: “You’re only as good as your last closing.” It’s true.
So we treat each last closing like it’s our first closing, and we work just as hard on the next one, and the next one and the next one. And that keeps us where we are – the number one real estate office in Charlevoix County.
For us, it wasn’t a name change or a new office. It was and is who we are.
If you’re thinking about buying or selling on Lake Charlevoix, talk to us. We’ll put our years of doing one thing and doing it well to work for you – just like it’s the very first time.
“The Tailgate Party” fundraiser, will take place on Saturday, September 16. The fundraiser will will be held at the Boyne City Eagles, 106 River St. The party will start at 4 pm and end at 10 pm. The Boyne City Firemen will be grilling chicken quarters, and the Boyne Area Free Clinic will supply all the fixings. There will be live music, raffle tickets, a silent and live auction. Dinner is $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. The live auction will be held at 7 pm. Come dressed in your favorite team jersey, and have a great time. 100% of all profits go to the Boyne Area Free Clinic.
Let’s talk about the importance of pricing real estate to sell. There is a dramatic difference in the days-on-market for the well-priced home as compared to a home priced even a little too high.
Sellers often want to build negotiating room into their price. It’s a very common strategy, but nonetheless a mistake. A price that is too high will often get no offers at all. A price that is just right will often get a full price offer – and recently that has been happening rather quickly.
Too often we hear sellers say, but what if we get a low-ball offer? The answer is simple: Price your home where it needs to be in the market – your Realtor will provide comparable sales to help identify that number – and stay reasonably close to that price with any counter-offer you make.
Having said that, here’s one other tip: Don’t leave an offer unanswered. Even if it’s insultingly low. It isn’t personal – it’s business. Your business – and your Realtor’s – is to get the best price you can get in the shortest period of time. But don’t leave an offer on the table – always treat it like it’s viable, and present a realistic counter-offer.
To many in Boyne City, Jamie Woodall is a familiar face. He’s one of those rare people you meet once, and the next time you see him he calls you by name, remembers your wedding anniversary, and asks if your dad is still dealing with those pesky kidney stones.
OK, that’s an exaggeration, I admit it. But he will remember your name and face. And his warm greeting will be completely genuine.
He brings all that and more to his real estate career. His true passion – not just lip service – is helping people. His goal is to provide for his family and help multitudes of others while he’s at it. He wants to propel people to a finish line. Not just the dream, not just the race, but the medal. He’s all about finding a home for people who have never thought they would own a home. Helping them find the way… through the pre-approval, through the hunt, through the lending phase. For someone who’s not used to buying and selling homes, these stages can be daunting.
For sure, he’d sell your home on the lake, or help you purchase that 50-acre horse farm you are dreaming of. You might be an old hand at real estate transactions, and Jamie’s calm demeanor, expertise, servant’s heart, and ready smile will be icing on your cake. But for the buyers and sellers without experience, or with limited resources, those same qualities will be exponentially greater.
He’ll walk beside that buyer or seller every step of the way. It might feel like it’s never going to come together, or like moving (in or out) is overwhelming, or even like the sky is falling, but it will NEVER feel lonely.
Jamie will be there. It’s his passion.
… to Steve Good. His claim to fame is in is the golf world, where he has been active in the PGA for the last 25 years. But these days his favorite thing about golf is how well his son, Matt, is doing in the sport. He’s still teaching folks to swing, and loves to play when he can, but his heart is with his family and his new career.
Steve joined the Pat O’Brien & Associates team in Charlevoix in 2017, and he is a strong team player, with tons of empathy and expertise to offer his clients. Practically a Charlevoix native, there is not a neighborhood or street he doesn’t know. If you’re looking for high-pressure sales, don’t call Steve. He’s relaxed, honest, and cares about the whole end result – and for him, that only goes well when he has a satisfied client or clients. He’ll walk you through the process of either buying or selling with compassion and patience. When you finally hand over the keys to your sold home, or receive the keys to your new one, you will not only feel great about your decision, you’ll have made a friend.
It’s a good thing to have a successful, satisfying end to a real estate transaction. Talk to Steve. He’ll get you there. (231) 497-4709 or email@example.com
August 25th started out at 36 degrees in some parts of Charlevoix County, and it felt a lot like fall. While that was Mother Nature getting ahead of herself, it does remind us to think about what the next month or two will be bringing us.
Think late season swims in Lake Charlevoix, Walloon Lake or even Lake Michigan – when the air is cool, and in contrast the lake feels like a bathtub.
Anticipate apples – Friske’s or King’s or The Farmer’s Daughter at the local farmer’s markets. From popular varieties such as the new Sweet Tango to the heritage types such as McIntosh and Cortland, anyone can find a delicious (there are those, too) way to keep the doctor away.
While away the hours on a wine-tasting tour, or check out the craft brewers locally. Both have become an economic mainstay in northern Michigan, and there are myriad places to taste and still “Drink Local.”
A color tour goes without saying… but you might step it up a bit by climbing Avalanche in Boyne City to see all of Lake Charlevoix laid out before you with an autumn patchwork at its edges. Or float down the Jordan River in a canoe and enjoy the colors and smells from their epicenter.
In the meantime, though, it really is still summer. Don’t let a little thing like a thermometer discourage you. You don’t have to say goodbye until the bags are packed, the engine is running, and the sunshine guest is slipping behind the wheel to head south.
The Charlevoix office of Pat O’Brien & Associates has been up and running since February of this year. What a great addition it’s been to our business and to the Charlevoix community.
The merger came about after the Cherry Republic building burned downtown on Christmas Eve, 2016. Our Charlevoix office was above Cherry Republic and we found ourselves in the dead of winter, looking for a place to put Mark Snyder and Karlee Philp, who had occupied the downtown office before the fire.
Enter Steve Andreae, Greg Bryan and Joe Vogelheim. These three have been powerhouses in the Charlevoix and Lake Charlevoix real estate market for years, as well as advocates for and active in the community. They are well established at 701 Bridge Street, in a classic turn-of-the-century house/office. Their familiar, trusted faces have been part of the business and community landscape – and they, and Gil Mottarelli, the office manager – have made a practice of giving back to their hometown.
That fit in well with the O’Brien business model, and when Steve, Greg and Joe – all of whom were ready to step up their game and are working harder than ever (and that’s saying something!) – approached Mark and Pat, the merger was a no-brainer.
And so it happened. 701 Bridge Street, Charlevoix got a fancy new “Pat O’Brien & Associates Real Estate” sign out front. Today the new face of Team O’Brien includes the original crew – Steve, Greg, Joe, Mark (who is the managing broker), Karlee, Jerry Pease, Danielle Boyd, Gil, and Amy Lalewicz, and has added a new agent, Steve Good, as well as support staff Marrietta Bell. We also reluctantly said goodbye to Marrietta’s predecessor, Melissa Wyglendowski.
Be sure and stop by and say hello to the new associates – and the familiar ones, sporting their new team colors!
Only three more weeks to attend Boyne City’s Friday night Stroll the Streets. This downtown event, which occurs every Friday night from June until Labor Day, is simply delightful, bringing out the best in Boyne City.
Not only do the streets throng with visitors, the locals also make their way into this waterfront town each Friday, to enjoy a diversity of musical fare or a gourmet ice cream, dinner at one of Boyne’s fine restaurants, or just to join friends for a Friday night of celebrating our remarkable home town.
Each corner sports a musical event (or alternative entertainment such as face-painting and balloon animals), and businesses take advantage of the crowd to pass out samples of chocolaty delights, or roasted organic vegetables with coconut oil and sea salt, or sweet, airy cones of cotton candy.
At the Pat O’Brien & Associates’ corner, you’ll be able to wet your whistle with a bottle of cold water, grab a frisbee or sneakers bag, and sing along to the best band on the street (we think).
This Friday, August 18, you might hear the heartfelt, full-throated sounds of The Sweetwater Blues Band, a Traverse City band that is just on the edge of break-out fame. Discover them for yourselves at the corner of Water and S. Park streets, where there’s room for everyone. It’s tight, but we’ll even clear a patch of sidewalk if you and your beloved want to dance.
And you just might.
The summer is winding down, and the morning has a subtle tang that feels like fall, even though the leaves are still deep green in most places. You wake up and step out onto the porch, and you can feel it. Familiar. Melancholy. Summer is still here, but it is fading gently, like leaves into musky black soil.
You might sense the passage of time, of change, in a new way. You might be realizing that it’s time to leave this house. To pack your memories in boxes and move them to a new home. Someplace a little easier. Closer to the kids. Nothing to pack and winterize and cover and worry about. No calling in January to try and find someone to rake the snow off the roof.
If it’s your time to move on, don’t wait until spring. When August hits, it may feel like the real estate selling season is over. It isn’t. People look for homes all summer, but the buying season really gets underway at the end of summer, and continues to remain strong for many weeks.
We would love to talk to you about selling your home. We’ll help you every step of the way – from pricing to staging to maintenance while it’s on the market. When we sell it, we’ll help you bring it to closing, we’ll help you get rid of the large items you don’t want to move (and the small ones you just don’t want to deal with!), we’ll help you with changing the utilities out of your name and pro-rating your taxes and remaining propane.
All the “little things” that loom so large.
Sometimes necessary tasks – whether selling a home or cleaning out a closet – are postponed simply because they feel overwhelming. We can help with that. We’ve done this a time or two. If you are facing the decision to sell your home, and if that time is now, don’t put it off because you don’t know where to start.
Start with us. We can make it easy.
So you are here because you are looking for a Realtor. You may be looking for a house – or checking out our marketing to find out if you want to list with Pat O’Brien & Associates – but chances are, you are also looking for a Realtor.
If you are a buyer, you are looking for someone who “gets” you, who listens to you and is empathetic, who understands your needs and appreciates your wants. You are looking for someone who won’t push you too fast, or drag their feet when you’re ready to move. You want low pressure, but you want all the options presented, so the right property doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Mostly, you want someone who is honest and ethical – who isn’t encouraging you to pay too much for the sake of a slightly larger commission, or who isn’t pushing you to purchase a home he or she has listed. You want to have confidence that you can absolutely trust your Realtor.
Or you’re selling. Of course you want someone honest. But you are most concerned about getting your house sold in as timely a way as possible, for the most money you can reasonably expect. You are looking for a communicator. You want a Realtor who will let you know when there’s a showing and provide feedback when it’s done. If you’re far away from your listed property, you want to know someone has an eye on it. Does the grass need to be cut, or the snow need to be removed from the roof? Can your Realtor recommend someone to take care of those things, or – better yet – find someone to do the work and get it scheduled? And will this Realtor respect your home and your privacy, making sure that the home doesn’t get mud tracked in, or doors left unlocked?
We think you’ve come to the right place for either side of a real estate transaction. The agents at Pat O’Brien & Associates have been carefully chosen by Pat for their work ethic, their honesty, their knowledge of the market, their integrity and communication skills, and their plain, old-fashioned neighborliness and good-will. It’s no small thing to be the number one real estate sales office in Charlevoix County, and we’ve held the position for years (according to the numbers provided by the Antrim Kalkaska Charlevoix Board of Realtors). We have earned a good reputation, and we are careful never to rest on our laurels, but keep working hard to stay in front – by means of all those qualities our clients need and expect.
At the end of the day, it’s not about how much advertising we do, how many times you see our faces, the outreach we do for our business and community. It’s about whether the people who have worked with us had a good experience. Whether we were honest with them, communicated effectively, and ultimately got the job done. That’s why what you think of us IS our business. And we hope you’ll agree, we have the best agents in northern Michigan – for all the things you’re looking for in a Realtor.
Two things are right around the corner, specifically right here in Charlevoix County: 1.) In-season apples. Can’t get enough of them. When they’re ready, treat yourself to a Sweet Tango! and 2.) The colors here are perfect when the season is ripe. The hillsides are just a riot of color – rich reds, blackened greens, autumn gold, sunny yellow, burnt brown, and here and there spots of summer green and evergreen. Above all the turquoise sky.
You’ll also get the complementary blues and grays of Lake Charlevoix, the deep greens of Lake Michigan, or the brown and gold sparkle of the Boyne and Jordan rivers.
Plan to take a day or two off and come for a visit this fall. Take a leisurely drive around this beautiful state. Get a bag of apples for the car. The memories you make will warm you through the winter.
Today is Wednesday, and I missed the Boyne City farmer’s market this morning. I watched a co-worker come in with her arms full of fresh blueberries and healthy, disease-fighting greens. If it were me, there would have been some home-made cheese that you can find there, too – just the right texture and available plain or laden with goodies as diverse as bacon, chives, dried cherries and jalapeno.
If you missed it, too, it’s coming around again Saturday – and again Wednesday, and then Saturday – on into the fall, with harvests changing and options abundant. Pretty soon it will be sweet corn season, and I will refuse to miss another market. And tomatoes. And when fall comes, we’ll get to buy apples crisp from the tree – and crisp with cold air.
But I’m not ready for apples yet. I still want the offerings that are warm from the garden, and that fill my plate and palate with sunshine.
Wednesdays and Saturdays. 8 – noon at the Veteran’s Park in Boyne City. Be there, foodies.
Another blog with tips for sellers – but this one is pretty specific: These are tips for northern Michigan sellers in winter.
In a northern Michigan winter, to the standard “neat and clean” prerequisite for selling a property, add accessible. For some sellers, that means if you aren’t going to be there, have someone lined up to keep a path shoveled to your home and at the minimum a little parking carved out in your drive. We agree that it is easier to sell in the green months, but we also believe that because people buy for all different reasons, and because they will want to be in their new home when the weather turns warm, you are not unwise to keep your property on the market in the “off” season. But if you’re going to keep it listed, arrange to keep it plowed out.
Other than that, you can’t do as much about curb appeal as you would like to in the winter. Assuming you have done your homework and your home is de-cluttered and clean, it should show pretty well if a prospective buyer can get to the door. But another sneaky sourpuss could ruin your showing. In the winter, we keep our homes pretty tightly sealed against the cold. Cozy is good! But what you might not notice in your own home, might be a deal-breaker for a potential buyer – the smell. Cigarette smoke smells in your carpet, drapes, furniture, clothes and bedding can kill a deal faster than a leaking roof! Even a litter box, wet dog, or a wood-stove/fireplace creosote smell can dampen a buyer’s enthusiasm. Do what you can to make sure your home smells as homey as it feels… or a buyer probably won’t even notice how comfy and well laid-out it is.
If you are selling an older home, it is possible that you have what we affectionately call a “Michigan basement.” These are sometimes partly dirt-floored, and with a partial dirt floor comes another smell issue. Because your home is built partway into the ground, that dirt floor never freezes, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of moisture. And moisture plus dirt equals a musty smell. It is worth the effort and the cost to seal that portion of your basement with a heavy plastic. There are companies who will do this for you, but if you wish to do it on your own, it is not terribly expensive, and either way it will result in a fresher-smelling, more appealing home – not to mention improved usefulness of the space.
Try and look at your home with fresh eyes – and a fresh nose! – when you are ready to sell.
Give us a call. We would love to help you get started. (231) 582-1700.
Does this ever get old? I think not.
- “I have no special talent. I am just passionately curious.”
- “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
- “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
- “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
- “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
- “You have to learn the rules of the game. Then you have to play better than anyone else.”
- “The imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
- “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
- Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you, mine are still greater.”
- “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Businesses in northern Michigan cater to tourists. Just as we “downstaters” are known as Trolls in the Upper Peninsula (because we’re under the bridge, ha-ha), we name our tourists, too. It’s a little condescending, I know, but that is just because we’re jealous. We wish WE were on vacation in Charlevoix County, with our toes in the beach sand; eating fudge or catching the drips from a hard-serve ice cream cone with our tongues; fishing the Boyne River or hiking in the Jordan Valley state forest.
But we’re not. We’re working. And so we call our (welcome) visitors names, like Fudgies or Conelickers. Whatever. We’re jealous.
Truthfully we love tourists. We love the fact that our stores and restaurants are full of happy people, our rentals and hotels are booked, and our streets are festive with bright summer clothes and sun-tanned skin. Take a drive from Boyne City, all around Lake Charlevoix, through historic Horton Bay, picturesque Charlevoix, also historic Ironton, Holy Island, East Jordan (stop at Sodalicious for ice cream!), getting back to Boyne in time for dinner, and each of those places will be sporting a beautiful bounty of summer company. Our trips around the lake may have taken us to listing appointments, or to deliver purchase agreements, to place, remove or straighten signs, and generally to work, so we catch the glorious aroma of suntan lotion and mutter, “Fudgies!” under our breath, but really we love the company.
Our favorites: The people who decide they want to stay. Real estate sales are booming on waterfront properties all over the county, and residential homes in quiet neighborhoods, and acreage out in the country. We love it when people decide they just want to live here; that’s what we love the most.
Oh. That and weekends.