Real Estate, Fireflies, & Croaking Frogs

As I sit in my farmhouse kitchen after a busy week, I am happy to report that in the midst of a total farmhouse renovation, my stove has been moved from the backroom and into the kitchen (for now, anyway!). The old avocado green range is mid-test as I type this blog–will the batch of cookie bars I just placed into the oven (which I have never used) bake or burn? A huge risk considering how much I love cookie dough.

This week as I continue to immerse myself into the Michigan real estate market, I have learned a couple of things–both about real estate and about life in general.

First thing–never hesitate to reach out to the experts in your chosen industry to glean advice and education. I will admit that it can be humbling to ask questions when learning a new market, or a new anything–but ask the questions!

Last week I met with a local lender to learn how to best serve my Michigan clients in regard to loan package options as well as the process involved for each loan type. This week I met with an incredibly helpful title expert at one of our local title agencies. The information and resources regarding title-related issues in Michigan were invaluable.

Just as a preacher takes the stage on Sunday morning or a gymnast performs at a competition, there remains a score of people in the wings who have been a part of the process from conception to finish–working together with a shared end-goal in mind. No one person can achieve as much alone as a group of like-minded comrades can achieve together.

A realtor is no exception–we are only great when we surround ourselves with great lenders, escrow officers, home inspectors, fellow realtors, brokers, and so on.

Second thing–when embracing a new endeavor of any type–don’t forget to slow down from time-to-time to enjoy the people in your world who are your motivation for doing what you’re doing in the first place! I forget this easily when life moves forward too fast.

My camera could not capture the light show very well! You’ll have to use your imagination!

Last night my granddaughter and I caught fireflies together as we played outside during the transitional moment of dusk turning into night. We listened to the deafening (beautiful) sound of nighttime in Michigan. The crickets and croaking frogs sounded like an orchestra which had been eagerly awaiting darkness so they could begin their nighttime symphony. We watched the field of tall grass light up as fireflies appeared from nowhere to impress us with a Friday Night Light Show.

A great end to a week filled with real estate, farmhouse renovations, family…and now…a pan of cookie bars that look about good enough to eat.

Looking to buy or sell a property? Give me a call (517.921.8651) or text. Or shoot me an email (

Stay the Course…

Sheila Cote

Hand to The Plow

Exactly two weeks ago my husband and I pulled into the driveway of our farmhouse in Michigan. Our 200-year-old farmhouse is in need of a makeover but the process will be lengthy, tedious and laborious.

Two days later I jumped back into Michigan real estate at The Wagley Group in Adrian–the same brokerage where I first obtained my license as a Realtor nearly 9 years ago. I am quickly realizing that the best approach to Michigan real estate is to put my hand to the plow, eyes looking forward, feet at a steady pace.

This morning I took my first run down the dirt country road leading to our farmhouse. I thought about all the changes in my world and the difficulty of re-learning, re-establishing and navigating my new environment. Seems most of us like to present an image of ourselves that shouts, “I’ve got it all together!”

Right now I’ve got my make-shift office in a ripped-apart kitchen boasting orange countertops; my printer set up in a living room stripped of its lathe and plaster walls awaiting a makeover. I clearly do not have it all together.

However, today during my first morning run the thought hit me that life is a process of changes, renovations, and new environments. It’s ok to introduce myself as a Michigan realtor even though my driver’s license and license plate still say “Alaska.” It’s ok to welcome you into my 200-year old farmhouse during the ugly renovation process. And it’s ok to admit that most nights for the last two weeks I have hit the bed reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day.

I’ve decided not to wait with my Michigan real estate blogs until I can impress you with the polished version of myself.

Even during this time of transition, after wiping off the dust from my kitchen table, I was blessed to write two real estate contracts this week– in full view of my orange countertops.

So. I am excited to say that I am officially a Michigan Realtor. Welcome to my world–both my personal and my professional world.

How may I serve you? It would be my honor to help you purchase or sell a property.

Give me a call (517) 921-8651, or shoot me a text or an email (

Let’s do this!

sheila cote