A Winter Visit to Mackinac Island

As a Realtor, driving through the snow and showing homes in the winter can occasionally be a challenge in Grand Rapids. When one of my lifetime clients considered purchasing a summer home on Mackinac Island I was up for the task. What I discovered though, was that this trip would be one of the most memorable times of showing homes of my career. Northern MI Realtors have more fortitude and can have way more fun!

The adventure began with a 4 hour drive north, stopping at a favorite stop in Cadillac, Clam Lake Beer Company for lunch. I highly recommend them for their extensive menu, great food, and of course spirits and craft beer. Crossing the majestic Mackinac Bridge at night was a first for me. At 5 miles in length, it’s the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere! For the feint of heart, they have vehicle escort service across the bridge.

Then it’s rise and shine at 6:30 to catch the 8:00 Star Line Mackinac Ferry to the island. The usual 20 minute summer ride can take more than twice that long as the boat cuts through the ice. Meanwhile, we are toasty warm inside the boat with an occasional sneak outside to photograph and video.

 

getting around via winter taxi

winter taxi

Upon our arrival, the docks were busy with construction workers unloading lumber and supplies as this is the season for hotels and shop owners to get their projects done before tourist season. We saw windows being replaced, front porches partitioned off in plastic while buildings were undergoing a facelift. Our hotel was the only one open this weekend, and we were very happy with the accommodations at the  Pontiac Lodge. There was one restaurant open,  Cawthorne’s Village Inn (same ownership as the Grand Hotel) where Planked Whitefish is a favorite. I especially liked that they had the Grand Pecan Roll, a fudgy ice cream classic featured at the Grand Hotel.

The Mustang Lounge was our alternate choice that was open for food and drink. Our server/bartender  Miranda made a great Cosmo, instantly adding her to my friend list. They also serve breakfast, lunch and appetizers. Except for historic Doud’s Market which has been servicing the island with groceries since 1884, all of the other stores and eateries were in hibernation and the street was filled with parked snowmobiles and the occasional horse drawn island taxi. Our host, and listing agent for our home tour was Billy Borst from Mackinac Island Realty. My client, Cindy, rode shotgun behind Billy and I scored the sled and off we sped through the snow covered streets, up and down hills to view available inventory and see some pretty exciting scenery. Showing homes by snowmobile was a first for me!

We also did a lot of on foot touring that day. From Mission Point Resort  through Main Street to the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Hotel  The sky was blue and even in the crisp afternoon the sight of the Grand Hotel closed for the season sparked memories of Jack Nicholson and the movie “The Shining” but there was no sign of the 2 little girls or boy in the hall or voices of “redrum”. Imagination run wild!!!

Grand Hotel in winter

Grand Hotel closed for the winter

In the evening we joined my daughter, Alicia and her partner Thomas for a twilight cross country ski trail lined with lanterns. Beautiful groomed trails took us past the Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf rock formations and ended at a bonfire complete with hot chocolate.

Twilight XCountry Trail

Twilight XCountry Trail

Arch Rock

Arch Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following a fabulous meal and a good nights rest, we were back out in the morning to take a taxi to the airport. The ferry doesn’t run on Sunday’s in the winter, so taking a small plane to the mainland was our only option. I don’t mind saying I was slightly terrified. William, the pilot, assured me that he had 15 years of flying experience so Cindy and I along with our 2 other flying companions hopped in the plane, me in the co pilots seat. It’s a 5 minute plane ride from Mackinac Island to St. Ignace and the views of the Mackinac Bridge were fabulous. I found myself disappointed that the ride was over so soon. As I left the island after our winter view,  I am now anxiously awaiting my return trip for our closing on Cindy’s new condo at the end of April. Then, of course there is always the Lilac Festival, Fourth of July, the Labor Day walk across the bridge, etc. etc.  ………..

flying over the Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Island Air transportation to St. Ignace

with Alicia VanHeulen, Thomas Birks, Cindy Idema & me, Karen Gill

snowmobiles parked everywhere on Main Street

Ada Moorings

Ada Moorings, Ada MI

Ada Moorings

Ada Moorings is comprised of 230 single family homes and condominiums and offers a lifestyle unlike most with a walkable community built around 200 acres of scenic trails and private nature preserves. Imagine peaceful morning walks via the community trails to the Grand River boat launch for kayaking, canoeing or watching your favorite Forest Hills high school team rowing in unison while they practice for regatta’s.  Walk to Ada Park to watch your kids play soccer, enjoy the playground with your toddlers, picnic with your entire family , play tennis or join an adult softball league. Take a bit longer stroll or a bike ride past the covered bridge or into the charming village of Ada where there are delightful shops, salons, a spa, coffee shop, several restaurants including Schnitz Deli, Vitalie’s Italian, Zeytin’s Turkish, and more. A favorite for dessert is Spoonlicker’s frozen yogurt shop. With the newly designed village underway it is a scene out of a Norman Rockwell Christmas print. Located in Forest Hill’s Central schools, or attend the full Spanish or Chinese language immersion schools.

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New Listing in Ada Open Sunday 1-3

It’s easy to fall in love with this home and the area surrounding it will blow you away!!! Located at the end of a cul-de-sac with a gracious front porch just waiting for a couple of Adirondack chairs and conversations with your friends and neighbors. Step inside to over 3,000 finished sq. ft. starting with a roomy entry foyer with newer engineered hardwood flooring and built in accessory niche, a formal dining room, a great room with 2 story windows and palatial ceilings surrounding a fireplace. 002-front-elevation 008-dining-room 012-living-room

Entertain around the adjoining dining area and open kitchen with warm cabinetry. a center island for extra storage and seating, and a corner sink overlooking the beautifully maintained gardens, shrubs and trees and your professionally manicured yard with upper and lower decks and underground sprinkling. Also on the main floor is a king-sized master suite with spacious walk in closet, and a bath to pamper with duel sinks, and garden tub with glass block window.

022-master-bedroom 024-master-bathroom

Upstairs are 3 bedrooms, a full bath with double vanity and a loft area with ample space to serve as a home office for this owner. The lower walk out level offers a fantastic family/game room finished with Quality Edge high tech insulated wood panels providing sound and noise control, perfect for your home theatre experience. If you need another bath, there is a framed in and rough plumbed bath ready for an easy finish and plenty of storage leftover. Stop by and see us at 7645 THORNAPPLE CLUB – Buttrick to Grand River to Ada Moorings and read more about Ada Moorings in our neighborhood post.

What is the draw to living on a golf course, what’s the attraction, and is it for you? 

While getting our marketing off the ground at our newest listing at Boulder Creek Golf Club, we decided to spend some time at a few golf front housing communities and check them out. We have been blessed to have sold 5 other homes with golf frontage within the last 6 months so we’re feeling rather “golfy” these days. So for this trip we visited the East end of the city starting by our new listing at 6207 Boulder Ridge Dr., located just minutes to Knapps Corner at the NE corner of the city. Homes currently range from $300,000-$563,500. with frontage on Boulder Creek Golf Club. We took some time to have lunch at the clubhouse, and were offered excellent service, great food, and pleasant surroundings. It is rated 5 stars on “The Knot” for receptions of all kinds and has many golf outings throughout the year.

 

Boulder Ridge

6207 Boulder Ridge

Boulder Ridge_course

Views at Boulder Creek Golf Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop #2 was Thousand Oaks Golf . Homes in this community are currently $425,000-$699,000, in gorgeous wooded settings and a choice of single family homes or stand along condominiums to choose from. Thousand Oaks Golf is part of the Watermark group of 4 courses where membership allows you to golf and access on any of the courses.

Onward to Watermark Country Club, a gated community of single family homes and condominiums with recent activity ranging from $350,000 to over $1,000,000.00. This community has a pool, a fantastic restaurant named Cork which has one of the largest wine lists in the areas. And FYI, all of the Watermark group of courses have different levels of membership, but the restaurants are open to the public with a members area.

A Watermark Home

A Watermark Home

 

Of course, we ended our afternoon at Stonewater Country Club , the corporate headquarters of 2RealEstateAgentsAndACity.com. Robbie lives at the 12th Tee and I’m at the 12th green. Lately home price’s have ranged from $705,000 to more affordable condominiums starting at $185,000. What we love most about living in Crystal Springs on the golf course is we feel a very strong sense of community. The social aspects of club membership, golf leagues, fun couples and food events that Stonewater  offers all really add to community. My favorite thing was unexpected……it’s watching all the kids riding their bikes to the pool, the golf carts buzzing down the streets like dinghy’s riding around the boats at the marina’s. It’s also so nice to look out your windows at the vast expanse of green grass….. and if you’re lucky enough to have a pond it’s a bonus. Or as Sherry, one of our neighbors put it, ” What I love most about living on the golf course is the beauty – sitting out in the evening with a cocktail in my hand,  watching the wildlife, enjoying the calmness and tranquility of the ponds I can see from my beautiful deck, a course that is always well maintained – just a beautiful place to be”.

So far we have 3 more golf front homes slated to be listed this year, so if you’re looking to buy or looking to sell your golf course home, please contact Karen (292.3712) or Robbie (299.0149) We’d love you to entrust your golf course home to us !

“Life on the Course” July

What a great summer to be at Stonewater Country Club at the pool. Click on the link below to see the July issue. Past issues are located under the Crystal Springs Category on the left. For all of your Crystal Springs real estate needs call Karen Gill or Robbie Bosch. We are 2RealEstateAgentsAndACity.com  Crystal Springs_2016 7 July

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