As Excited As A Two-Year-Old At Christmas

I find myself entering the new year with great excitement. It may be the overflow of the contagious enthusiasm of our two-year-old granddaughter, Yetzy, from Christmas day, but whatever the reason I am ready to hit the ground running!

With the holiday’s behind us, now is a great time to find out the value of your property, and for that, I can help!

If you are ready to implement home improvements and are curious about which renovations add value to your property (or which renovations do not add value!)–I can help with that too.

If you are considering an investment property and need to know the market value of the neighborhood you are interested in purchasing a property in–yep–I can produce a packet of pertinent info which will be helpful when deciding if an investment is stable or not!

Real estate is a lot like winter–there are so many segments that are interesting that it’s essential to know which part is interesting to YOU. For example, in winter, you may enjoy the contrast of the colors of the trees, plants, and bushes against the white blanket of snow–I sure do! In real estate, you may be interested in residential, commercial, a new home, investments, or a particular neighborhood.

Whatever area of interest you have in the real estate market, it would be my great pleasure to serve you.

Let’s do this!

Sheila ( (517.921.8651)

When No One Is Watching

Ever notice how the best parts of our worlds are meticulously woven together when no one is watching? We aspire to reach specific goals, yet the behind-the-scenes work required to achieve our goals is often known and seen only by ourselves, or possibly by our closest friends or immediate family.

My Michigan farmhouse home office/guest bedroom!

Some of my best creativity and real estate solutions have materialized within the environment of my simple home office. In my anonymous office, I can work uninterrupted, think clearly through best and worse case scenarios, negotiate contracts, and face conflicts head-on as I battle for the best outcome for both buyer and seller clients.

Find what motivates you..and roll with it!

When no one is watching, our true selves emerge. Doubt and fear get kicked aside as we discover our true grit. In real life and real estate–courage and determination go a long way!

We find out best who we are when no one is watching. And our best contributions are eventually revealed when the time is right–a successful real estate transaction, a sermon from the pulpit, writing a book, teaching a class, serving in the military, etc.

Whether an idea that keeps you awake at night or a passion that brings out the “real” you–there’s no time like today to take the first or next step toward becoming the person you know you are when no one is watching.

I would welcome the opportunity to serve you in buying or selling a property in Michigan–I will do my best to become the hardest working realtor you know. Call or email anytime (517.921.8651


The Truth About Moving

If you or someone you know have recently moved or are considering making a significant move, there are a few thoughts I’d like to share that I have learned over the years from several moves. Having moved back to Michigan 6 weeks ago; the timing of sharing this blog makes good sense.

Thought #1. It’s very difficult uprooting and relocating regardless of the reason for the move. Whether the move is to a new and exciting location or not, each place you move embodies a culture unique to itself. Learning a new culture can be difficult and frustrating. Acclimating to a new environment takes time, so give yourself some grace. Also allow yourself time to grieve the people, relationships, and familiarity which you have left behind.

Thought #2. You have more than likely said some tearful goodbyes to dear friends who were not happy to see you leave. Don’t be surprised when people you meet in your new location do not welcome you with open arms. Not everyone is excited to hear that there’s a new kid on the block. Remember that change is difficult for the person moving, but is also difficult for those we meet in our new locations.

In time, you will no longer be the new kid. In time you will forge new friendships. In time you will notice the ache in your heart for those you left behind minimize as you learn to embrace the new people in front of you.

Thought #3. If your move involves starting a new career or in my case, keeping the same career but in a new location–pace yourself. A fellow realtor whom I have known for years shared sound advice which someone had shared with him–stop striving and trust that God has your back. He is not surprised to find you struggling to start over. You can trust Him in your new endeavors.

My final thought is this: remember what it feels like to be the new kid. Remember it very, very well. One day you will not be new. One day YOU will get to welcome the next new kid on the block.

And when you do, I hope you will look the new kid in the eyes. I hope you will take time to welcome him or her to your familiar world in such a way that if the day comes when one of you needs to move away, the ache in your heart will serve as a reminder of how blessed you have been to have known one another.

If you or someone you know are looking to buy or sell a property, business or land–give this new kid a call (517.921.8651) or shoot me an email ( It would be my honor to serve you.

Stay the course…


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

Farewell, Alaska

This morning I sat with my husband at the title company as both a realtor AND a client for what appears to be my last closing in Alaska. And before we unplug and head down the Alcan, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has been a part of our lives both on a personal level as well as a business level.

Signing closing docs at First American Title!

Alaska will always hold a special place in my heart. Alaska is where I met and married my husband over 33 years ago. Alaska’s beauty is unmatched–her untamed splendor and rugged terrain has become a part of me!

Seward Alaska

Thank you to my broker, Marty Van Diest–I could have never hoped for a better broker. His influence, love for Alaska and experience in the world of real estate has certainly helped me to grow into both a better person and a better realtor. Marty has always had my back, (with the possible exception being my early initiation when he sent me to Chickaloon by myself to find a property where I got lost and had no cell phone service)!

We are heading to Michigan where I first started my real estate career. I will be working under another amazing broker, Joe Wagley, (The Wagley Group). My Michigan license has already arrived, so if you ever need help in Michigan please look me up!

However, the reason for our move is not real estate related. Our three daughters are our greatest motivators for everything that we set our hands to do. And now there is a granddaughter in Michigan in need of her Mimi and Boppa!

The adorable Yetzy!

As a final note, (again, not real estate related!), if you are living in the valley and in need of a place to find people who have your back and who can become your “Alaska” family–there is a church family that we found that I know will be happy to meet you! Take a chance on Summit Worship Center in Wasilla. Pastor Milt Michener, and his wife, Melinda, are the real deal. We will miss them dearly.

Farewell, Alaska–


( (907.315.1086)

Be Right There!

The market in Alaska is HOT right now! If you have been considering whether or not now is a good time to sell or buy a property–the answer is YES to both!

We’ll be right there to help you with your real estate needs!

Several buyer clients are watching the new listings with anticipation while simultaneously lacing up their running shoes to make sure the property doesn’t go into pending status before they have a chance to take a look at it!

I would love to answer any questions you may have regarding buying, selling, or anything else real estate related. Give me a call or text (907.315.1086) or shoot me an email (

If you see a property hit the market that you want to take a look at–I’ll be right there!


Valley Market Real Estate
Serving Palmer and Wasilla Alaska

Looking for Lakefront?

My favorite part of being a Realtor is the amazing folks I get the privilege of working with, both buyers and sellers.

Each person has a story. The stories often take time to piece together but if I listen closely enough, the pieces begin to connect until eventually the full picture is clear to me.

I find that I am much better equipped to serve well the more I learn. I am able to understand not only WHAT is important but WHY he or she is wanting to buy or sell a specific property.

I just met with a seller client of a private lakefront property who has decided to make a drastic price reduction from $399,000 to $375,000.

If your WHAT is a lakefront/waterfront property on Cottonwood Lake, I have a spectacular one bedroom cabin (with potential for more bedrooms) on a private 1.68-acre lot (perfect for pilots!).,2

Beautiful Setting!

Give me a call or shoot me a text (907.315.1086) or email (

I would love to be a part of helping you live next to WHAT is important to you.


Ready to Move to Alaska?

700 pound, 13′ 4″ alligator found in irrigation ditch in Lake Blackshear

While on a hike in a beautiful southern town in Georgia last month, our friends casually warned us, “Make sure to keep a watch out for snakes and gators!”

My heart skipped a beat, especially when I realized that they were not kidding. “Why are you afraid of snakes and gators when you live in a place with bears and moose?” they asked.

“Critters that slither scare me!” I shouted back at them. I realized in that moment that everyone has his or her own idea of what “home” feels like.

I admittedly love the geography AND the wildlife unique to Alaska. I also love the adventure of Alaska real estate. This morning I trekked out to a property that is currently unoccupied to check things out for a potentially interested buyer. The snow was deep and the driveway long. There were a few moose tracks but for the most part I made my own tracks to the property.

There really is a property back there somewhere!

Alaska is a great place to live if you are a person who loves making your own tracks. There is much to explore and numerous trails leading to adventures and new memories.

Wrestling alligators may be fun for some people; but if that’s not your idea of “home,” I might be the realtor for you!

If you or someone you know are considering making a move to Alaska–it would be my honor to work with you to find the property that is the perfect fit for you and your family!

Give me a call or text (907.315.1086) or shoot me an email (

My first time wrestling an alligator!


Is New Construction For You?

Are you considering building a new home?  Have you wondered about the process? It can be very confusing, here is some helpful info.

Choosing a builder.

Ask your friends for recommendations, go to open houses to meet builders, look on facebook for builder pages.  Many of them post on-going projects. Meet with one or two to see who best fits with your needs and personality. There are many builders in the Mat-Su Valley, some of the best ones are hands-on builders who personally swing a hammer.

How to find land.

Some builders already own land.  These are usually larger builders who develop subdivisions and then build on them.  Or you can go out and shop for just the right piece. This can take some time. You may need to buy the land yourself or sometimes the builder will buy it for you if you participate with a large deposit.

Builders Meeting.

When you know the basic plan you want to build it’s time for a builders meeting.  The builder will explain the process from their perspective and help you understand the many steps.  You can change the plan or upgrade the plan. It’s important to finalize as many details as possible before you start.  If you make changes after you start the cost will be extra.


You need to know how you are going to pay for it.  Unless you have cash you will need a loan. Usually you enter into a contract with a builder who finances the whole construction phase and you close with your long-term mortgage at the end.  Some lenders have a single loan process where you get your long term loan at the beginning and the builder is able to make draws on the loan during construction. This may end up to be slightly less expensive for you since the builder does not have to assume as much risk.

Go into contract.

Before you start building you will need a contract with the builder.  This will spell out in as much detail as possible the whole process right up to the closing date.  It will talk about the plans, allowances, plot plan, builders warranty and more. A non-refundable “notice to proceed” deposit will be required before construction begins.

Do you have the time?

A key factor is time.  Construction can take up to six months depending on the situation.  Not only is the longer closing time a consideration, you will also need to spend time during construction personally talking with the builder, looking at the site and making some on-going decisions.

Hands-on involvement.

You will need to make many choices during the process.  Paint colors, kitchen finishes, flooring, fireplace or not, window placement, lighting locations and type, driveway location and finish etc.  There will be a LOT of decisions to make, and many of them need to be made fairly quickly to not slow the construction process.

Use Your Realtor.

Your Realtor can help you all along the way to keep things on track so that you will be ready to move in by the contract date.  Your Realtor can be a big help when things get stressful along the way, and believe me, they a WILL get stressful.

Close and Move in!

There is a lot of excitement from the beginning to the end, there are disappointments too, but the excitement outweighs the disappointments and seems to build (no pun intended!) the close it is to closing time.  When you finally get the keys and walk into your brand new home you will be glad you were willing to invest so much time and energy into building your new home.

Happy Building!

Sheila Cote, Realtor