TCAPS Preps Property Plans

TCAPS Preps Property Plans

August 9, 2016
TCAPS Preps Property Plans

From the reconstruction of Eastern Elementary School to consideration of a donor’s offer to keep Old Mission Peninsula School open to the sale of the former Long Lake Elementary School, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) officials are juggling several plans and proposals for district-owned properties.

Eastern Elementary School
TCAPS is preparing to move ahead with a $10 million reconstruction of Eastern Elementary School next summer.

District board members Monday night approved a three-year contract with Cornwell Architects and Diekema Hamann Architecture & Engineering to provide architectural services for the project. The hiring marks the end of TCAPS’ more than decade-long relationship with Cornerstone Architects. TCAPS Executive Director of Finance & Operations Christine Thomas-Hill, who helped review bids and interview candidates, says the district decided to go in a new direction because of the “unique partnership” offered by Cornwell and Diekema Hamann.

“Cornwell has the local experience and history in Traverse City, and Diekema Hamann has extensive K-12 experience,” Thomas-Hill says. “They partnered together (to bid)…and that combination provides a lot of important perspectives for this project.”

Plans call for the demolition of existing buildings on the Eastern property at the end of the 2016-17 school year, followed by construction of the new facility. Thomas-Hill says the new building will be ready to accommodate 500-550 students in preschool through fifth grade by the start of the 2018-19 school year.

According to Eastern Principal Biz Ruskowski, TCAPS is in the process of “identifying a transition plan for where students will be housed during the 2017-18 school year.” She says the school hopes to inform parents of those plans in September. Any temporary facility site next year will offer busing, says Ruskowski, and the “transition will become part of the learning experience and will be incorporated into the classroom.”

Old Mission Peninsula School
Old Mission Peninsula School students were also set to relocate to the new Eastern building in 2018-19 – the timeframe Old Mission was scheduled to be shuttered – but TCAPS officials have stayed that decision in light of an $800,000 donor offer to keep the school open.

Board members Monday agreed to a request from the anonymous donor group to hold a joint meeting with the Peninsula Township board in the next few weeks to hear a presentation about the proposed gift. “The group is looking to create a sustainable solution that’s more than a couple years long,” Superintendent Paul Soma told board members. “There’s some talk around what that might mean in the big picture, but we’re waiting on a specific proposal. Until we get that, we’re not exactly sure how to respond.”

The meeting would be public and held in a big enough venue to host both boards, as well as residents. TCAPS proposed a meeting date of August 22, but will wait until after tonight’s (Tuesday’s) Peninsula Township board meeting to confirm trustees are willing to meet and can accommodate that date.

Former Long Lake Elementary School
TCAPS board members unanimously voted Monday to approve a purchase agreement for the former Long Lake Elementary School property. The building has been used as a “transition school site” since the construction of the new Long Lake school in 2011. However, the deteriorating facility requires a new roof and parking lot and is no longer in functioning condition. The property costs TCAPS approximately $40,000 annually in maintenance and utility costs.

TraverseCONNECT CEO Doug Luciani helped TCAPS evaluate the property and connect with potential interested buyers. After lengthy discussions, owner John Hoagland of Cherry Capital Foods made a $151,000 purchase offer for the 10.5-acre site. The parcel was valued at approximately $73,000 if it was vacant without a building, according to Thomas-Hill, and demolition costs for the facility were estimated at $200,000-$300,000.

Thomas-Hill said that although Long Lake Township still has a “process it has to go through” for rezoning the parcel for food distribution and/or commercial use, “they’re very excited about this possibility and very supportive” of the purchase agreement.

“The benefits to the district are obvious, but there’s also a benefit to the community in that it puts that property and that building back on the tax rolls,” said board member Gary Appel. “It probably creates employment, and the purchaser has a long and a successful history in this community. It seems to be a win-win.”

Thomas-Hill said the district did not receive any other purchase offers on the property.

Pictured: Old Mission Peninsula School

 

What Sellers Need to Know About Comps

July 2016 | By John N. Frank

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housing comps

The sales price of neighboring homes is only one part of the equation. Be sure that sellers understand the other factors that affect how their home compares to their neighbors’.

Location within the neighborhood.

If your seller’s home is in a part of the neighborhood that borders a highway, train tracks, or an industrial area, it’ll likely fetch a lower price. Make sure you pull comps of other homes in similar locations to compare and explain pricing differences to sellers.

The home’s lot.

Take into account that hilly terrain can affect the usability of each home’s lot and bring your seller’s price down. You can have two one-acre lots next to each other, and one can be fully usable while the other is only half usable because of steep slopes, says Todd Gibbons of William Pitt Sotheby’s International.

Renovations.

Home owners who have done home-improvement projects typically get a higher price for their property. You should know which properties in the neighborhood have undergone renovations and how much they sold for so you can suggest to your seller what projects they should do if they want to boost their home’s sale price.

New construction.

In some markets, the cost of land has dropped, making building a new home less expensive and, thus, more affordable for buyers. Sellers need to understand how competition from the new-home segment could affect their listing price. For example, in the suburbs of Chicago, where Michael LaFido of Marketing Luxury Group does business, building a house similar in size to an existing structure costs 20 percent less today than before the recession. Pull comps from builders in your area to show sellers the potential impact on their home’s value.

The difference between listing price and sales price.

Many sellers will go online to see listing prices for other homes on the market in their neighborhood and ask you to price their house accordingly. You need to explain that listing prices reflect what sellers are asking, not what buyers are willing to pay. That’s why sold inventory is more reliable for determining the realistic price of your seller’s home than the asking price of properties currently on the market.

It’s a Good Time to Sell, Americans Say

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Fifty-two percent of home owners say now is a good time to sell in their neighborhood. This is up from 34 percent who said so last year, according to a survey conducted by the real estate brokerage Redfin.

Read more: What Sellers Need to Know About Comps

What’s more, 58 percent of home owners believe sellers have more power than buyers in the market right now. Redfin researchers note this is nearly the highest level of seller confidence they’ve recorded.

The top reasons sellers say they want to sell now:

  • I want a larger or nicer home: 40%
  • I am relocating to a new city: 24%
  • I want to pull out my profit: 21%
  • I want a smaller or less expensive home: 20%
  • I have had a change in family status: 19%
  • I want to move to a better school district: 15%

“Many move-up buyers have told me they are buying now to take advantage of low mortgage rates,” says William Porterfield, a real estate professional with Redfin in Little Rock, Ark. “Buyers are trying to get as much home as possible before rates rise.”

Still, some Americans expressed concerns about selling, mainly about finding a new home to buy when they sell their own.

The following were Americans’ top concerns about selling:

  • I might not find another home I want: 30%
  • Prices might fall before I sell: 26%
  • I might not find another home I can afford: 25%
  • General economic conditions might discourage buyers: 23%
  • The appraisal might come in low: 19%

Pricing Matters

When it comes to setting the price for their home, 55 percent of home owners say they will price in the middle range based on comparable sales. However, 19 percent of home owners said they would price high, citing that negotiation is inevitable. Also, 12 percent of home owners said they would price high because if the market didn’t value their home, they would wait until it did.

“While we’re noticing a shift among sellers in terms of their confidence in getting their homes sold quickly and for good prices, it’s up to the agent as their advocate to keep their expectations grounded and recommend a pricing strategy that is most likely to get the best value for their home,” says Sascha Gummersbach, a Redfin real estate agent in Atlanta. “A seller’s market doesn’t grant home owners a license to skip things like valuable upgrades, home staging or setting a price based on comparable homes in their neighborhood.”

Source: “Most Home Sellers Think Now Is a Good Time to Sell,” Redfin Research Center (July 28, 2016)

How to Avoid Identity Theft When Moving

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The moving process can make your clients more vulnerable to identity theft and other forms of fraud, since often personal financial information isn’t adequately protected. As if moving wasn’t stressful enough on its own, it can take nearly six months for a person to recover from identity theft during a move.

Read more: Take Control of ID Theft

People can do a few things to protect themselves from identity theft during a move, says writer Adam Levine, author of  “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.” He says to focus on the 3 M’s: 1. Minimize your exposure 2. Monitor your accounts 3. Manage the damage.

Here are some of Levine’s other tips:

  • Don’t share too much: Before, during, and after a move, avoid sharing too much information with those you don’t know, whether in person, on the phone, or via social media, Levine writes.
  • Secure electronics: Set long, strong passwords, and use two-factor authentication whenever possible. Secure computers, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Protect documents: Shred sensitive documents you no longer need. During a move, carry your personally identifiable information with you and in one box.
  • Monitor for fraud: Check your credit score and consider enrolling in transactional notification programs. You also might consider subscribing to various credit and fraud monitoring services to alert you to any sudden changes on your credit report.
  • Watch your mail: Your mail will be influx when moving so look into doing more online billing and autopay to prevent lost or forgotten bills.
  • Make address notification a priority: Notify federal agencies that send you mail of your new address. Compile a list of places to inform of your new address, such as the Social Security Administration, IRS, and Department of Motor Vehicles.

States Where Homes Sell in Less Than a Month

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In some locales, at least half of the properties sold between March and May were on the market for 30 days or less, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey Report. Properties sold the fastest in 12 states: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington, the report shows.

Properties are selling faster nationwide, too. In May, homes across the country were typically on the market for 32 days on average (compared to 39 days a year ago). Short sales tended to stay on the market the longest amount of time, at 103 days on average, while foreclosed properties were on the market for 51 days. Non-distressed properties stayed on the market for an average of 30 days, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Nearly 50 percent of sold properties nationally were on the market for less than a month, according to NAR. Only about 11 percent of properties sold in May were on the market for longer than six months.

Source: “In What States Did Properties Sell Quickly in March-May 2016?” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook Blog (June 28, 2016)

REMEMBER REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL – EVERY TOWN/TOWNSHIP/AREA IS DIFFERENT!  Traverse City is seeing days on market of a week or less in most cases for price points under 200-220k.  Thinking of buying or selling contact Jon Becker – Century 21 Northland anytime 231-342-5401 or jon@c21jb.com

visit www.c21jb.com for all area information, links and real estate listings.

 

3D-Printed Home Can Withstand Earthquakes

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While 3-D printing in the homebuilding industry has largely created prefab houses whose components are created at a factory and then assembled on location, a new technique is letting one company print the house in its entirety onsite.

Let the Machines Do It

Minnesotan to 3-D Print New Home in His Garage

3-D Printer Builds a House in a Day

HuaShang Tengda printed an entire 4,300-square-foot home in 45 days, with walls up to 8 feet thick that are designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake.

Curbed.com reports that “construction workers prepared the site and installed the building’s frame, plumbing, and rebar supports.” With the building’s infrastructure prepared, the 3-D printer then created the structure. HuaShang Tengda’s device uses four separate systems to formulate ingredients, mix the concrete, control the transmission, and print the home.

“A specially designed split nozzle,” says Curbed, “spits out concrete simultaneously on the interior and exterior sides of the rebar support, creating a sturdy construction.” The home used about 20 tons of concrete.

The 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, at magnitude 7.9, claimed nearly 80,000 lives. HuaShang Tengda developed the technique to help make safer homes more widely available.

Source: “3D-Printed Chinese Villa Is Virtually Indestructible,” Curbed.com (July 6, 2016)

Traverse City Top Small Town in USA 4 Years in a Row!

When looking for the Best Small Town for 2016, all signs point north to Traverse City. The town of 14,600 consistently ranks on the annual Livability list of the 10 Best Small Towns (this is its fourth year in a row), and it’s easy to see why. With its freshwater beaches, sprawling vineyards and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, visitors and newcomers have more than enough excuses to quickly fall in love with this Midwestern town.

Traverse City offers residents plenty of places to play and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle. “There are hundreds of square miles of state and national forests, dozens of nature preserves and wildlife refuges for hiking, cycling and beachcombing,” says Michael Norton, Media Relations Director for the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Some of the nation’s finest trout streams are located here, and our lakes and rivers are perfect for sailing, boating, swimming and canoeing.”


Why Traverse City is the Best Small Town in America


While a large part of the town’s economy is based on tourism, Traverse City is still agricultural at its heart. The Traverse City area is the country’s largest producer of tart cherries, harvesting 360,000,000 pounds of them annually. Each July, the town celebrates the cherry harvest with the weeklong National Cherry Festival, complete with fireworks, a parade, live music and pie-eating contests. The town’s location near the 45th parallel also makes it ideal for growing grapes, and there are more than 50 wineries in the Old Mission Peninsula wine region, of which Traverse City is a part. Traverse City also boasts a thriving craft brewing scene, with 18 microbreweries, not to mention the brew pubs and craft brew taprooms. As a result, Livability named Traverse City one of the 99 Best Beer Cities in 2015.

“Traverse City is a great place to indulge the appetite, too. Our restaurants feature a growing cadre of talented and original chefs and some of the best locally-produced wines and craft brews being made in this part of the world. Top chef Mario Batali is a big fan of our food scene – he even bought a house nearby,” Norton says.


4 Reasons Why Traverse City is the City You’ve Always Dreamed of


The town’s diverse range of restaurants, which helped land Traverse City on Livability’s list of the 10 Best Foodie Cities in 2014, are also a great place to people watch, especially for the celebrities that flock to the beach town in the summers. Traverse City’s burgeoning culinary scene ranges from traditional American fare to farm-to-table favorites and ethnic eateries.

Another of the Traverse City’s draws is the diversity in housing and neighborhood options.

Whether you choose to buy a condo in the Downtown District along the bay with its mix of cultural, shopping  and dining options, or a Victorian in the historic Grand Traverse Commons, you’re sure to find friendly neighbors, good schools and access to parks and other quality-of-life conveniences. Traverse City Area Public Schools is the largest school district in northwestern Michigan, and is consistently ranked as one of the top districts in the state. The school system also boasts an award-winning music and performance arts program, provides students with an international education, introducing them to world languages such as Mandarin Chinese and gives families options such as preschool and Montessori programs and Early College and Dual Enrollment to allow high schoolers to earn college credit.

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Ranch For Sale in Interlochen, Grant Township


3 Br 2 Bath, Heated Garage, Double Lot

•  1,115 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm ranch$125,000. Near Lakes & State Land
MLS® #1813658  

– Newer 3 BR 2 Bath home with open floor plan, hardwood floors in kitchen & dining , island kitchen, laundry/mud room, private master suite, central air, high speed cable and internet available, and finished/heated garage set on double lot near State Land, Duck & Green lakes, river, Arts Academy / Interlochen and approx. 20 25 min drive to Traverse City .

Property information

Will Traverse City Build Boardman Lake Avenue?

Will City Build Boardman Lake Avenue?

June 8, 2016
Will City Build Boardman Lake Avenue?

To build or not to build a road connecting Fourteenth Street to Eighth Street: That is the question.

It’s one city commissioners have long discussed – and could soon answer. Consulting firm LSL Planning presented three design options Tuesday for addressing traffic, encouraging economic development and improving placemaking in the West Boardman Lake District. The firm was hired last December to analyze growth scenarios in the neighborhood – including the feasibility of building a new east-west corridor, often referred to as Boardman Lake Avenue.

LSL Planning met multiple times with a stakeholder group of Boardman Lake residents and business owners to assess their needs and desires for the neighborhood. The firm also held public workshops this spring to gather community input. Using that feedback, LSL Planning presented three design options to the public and city planning commissioners Tuesday night.

Two of the proposed scenarios call for the construction of a new 24-foot-wide, two-lane road – which the firm called by the updated name South Boardman Drive – that would follow the curve of the railroad tracks and Boardman Lake to connect Fourteenth Street to Eighth Street (see above). Both South Boardman Drive scenarios – nearly identical except for differing exit points on Fourteenth Street – call for the road to empty onto Eighth Street just east of Lake Street.

To avoid neighboring exit conflict points on Eighth, the scenarios call for Lake Street to be converted into a service drive, with pedestrian and bicyclist access and on-street parking for businesses such as Oryana and McGough’s. The options also call for eventual new residential and commercial development along the corridor.

A separate, third scenario also focuses on turning Lake Street into a more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood drive, and implements traffic-calming measures on Cass Street. But it eliminates the construction of a new east-west road. “It maintains the neighborhood character, and allows for potential redevelopment,” says Robert Doyle of SmithGroupJJR, another member of the consulting team. “But it doesn’t really address any of the traffic congestion issues.”

The three options reflect the feedback of residents, whose opinions ranged from a desire for a high-speed bypass (a scenario that was collectively ruled out due to its negative impact on the neighborhood), to support for a calmer east-west option, to opposition to any new road for fear it would drive traffic into (not away from) the neighborhood.

“At every level, opinions are mixed,” says Planning Division Manager Bradley Strader of LSL Planning. “But there’s a concern about traffic issues from everybody.” Strader says analysis supports South Boardman Drive as an option that would “provide benefit to the city and businesses and neighborhoods. But it’s up to (the community) to decide if those benefits are worth the cost.”

To help city officials make that decision, LSL Planning will put together a detailed cost-benefit analysis for each scenario to present to the city commission by the end of June. Commissioners have stated their intention to use the analysis, as well as the Boardman Lake Trail and Eighth Street redesign plans, to make a decision once and for all whether to pursue an east-west corridor – or kill the concept.

Oryana General Manager Steve Nance, who has participated in the stakeholder meetings, says he’s reserving final judgment until he can review the cost-benefit analysis and details of each scenario. A new corridor “could affect us positively – but it could also affect us negatively,” he says. The road could bring heightened visibility to Oryana, divert traffic away from the quieter neighborhood streets around to the east side of the store, and open up more parking on Lake Street. But depending on its design, it could also hamper access to the store, potentially disrupting the flow of in-out traffic or creating a bottleneck for customers and delivery trucks, Nance says.

“There are ways (a design) could all come together,” he says. “We want to be in a position to support the best course of action.” Nance says he’s pleased to see the city nearing a resolution either way on the long-debated project. “When a business is trying to think about the future, something big like this raises a lot of question marks,” he says. “So it’s nice to be thinking in terms of a decision point.”

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