T|N|T asked Northern Michigan REALTOR® Susan Hintz to write a little on the current real estate market as it relates to riverfront property. As she shares below in her analysis, the market has seen a substantial change in this last year, both in terms of the number of properties purchased and in terms of the average selling price. Although bank financing can be very difficult to obtain for some borrowers, the opportunities are certainly out there.

Susan, as you will see, has a warm humor about her. I’ve also fished with her, and can report that she is good company in a driftboat. – ed.

Susan Hintz

Susan Hintz

Are You a Bobber or a Caster?

It occurs to me there really are similarities between fishing and the real estate market; and it’s not as fishy as it sounds.

Take the angler: They come in two varieties. The “bobber” – one who hasn’t totally committed to the experience, not trusting in his or her abilities and instincts — floating out there aimlessly just hoping something will bite; not really expecting success, and then missing the opportunity if it strikes. And then there is the “caster” – one who is totally committed, hook, line and sinker — trusting of their abilities and instincts, and then casting methodically knowing that if they cover enough water that a bite is imminent. Persistence, timing and skill produce success with even the slightest of nibbles.

Now translate that to real estate. The “bobber,” one who has an interest in buying, hears that it’s a good time to invest, but questions the timing and values (wonders if it will get worse), ultimately can’t decide, and therefore does nothing — resulting in a missed opportunity. But the “caster“– one who studies the market, sees the value, makes a decision, casts, sets the hook, and captures a big one.

So, is it a good time to invest in riverfront or fishing property?  Yes, and I’m not just feeding you a line. Why? Because here’s the “reel” deal:

1)      They’re not making any more! So demand will continue.

2)      Property values/prices have adjusted resulting in a decrease in average sold dollars.

3)      Mortgage rates for second homes are relatively low; surfacing around 6%.

There are currently 67 properties listed in the Traverse City MLS [TAAR] that are located on the major area trout streams. Prices range in value from $79,900 to $699,900. Thus far in 2009, there have been only five sales with an average price of $206,980.00.

Sales History


# of  Sales

Average Price

Days on Market

















With this in mind — what are you “wading” for? Get to the “river bank” and see what you qualify for, and then cast your line in the real estate stream and see what bites. It may take a few false casts before you hook a keeper, but you’ll never know until you get a fly on the water. Don’t be the one left on shore talking about the “big one that got away.”

Susan is a Traverse City native and a REALTOR® for Century 21 Northland.  Her playground is the outdoors where she can be found hunting, fishing, or golfing in her spare time. If you are looking for a REALTOR who is energetic, reliable, and offers undivided attention with a splash of wit in what can be an otherwise stressful time, contact Susan through her website. She’d welcome the opportunity to share her knowledge and love for the area with you.