SWEET ON THE BETSIE
Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine|April 2021
JENA MATZEN AND GREGG TRAHEY WEREN’T LOOKING FOR A BIG HOME UP NORTH. BUT THEY DID WANT STYLE.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS

FINDING THEIR PIECE OF UP North took husband-and-wife Jena Matzen and Gregg Trahey decades. While they make their home in North Carolina, Gregg has summered in Northern Michigan his entire life—and after he met and married Jena, she joined him. In the beginning, the couple dreamed of Lake Michigan property, but that always seemed a bit out of reach. Nevertheless, they never stopped searching for their piece of the North, trying out rental properties in various locations on their vacations. For several summers, the couple rented a cabin on Green Lake in Interlochen, near the headwaters of the Betsie River— a beautiful river that they enjoyed canoeing.

Then one day in 2018, while they were at home in North Carolina, 12 acres on the Betsie River popped up for sale on Zillow. They could hardly believe their eyes. They recognized the property in the listing—they’d canoed past it. Unable to reach the listing Realtor, they reached out to Laurie Bouwman of Bouwman Realty Group in Interlochen. “She jumped on it—called us back within the hour and got the ball rolling,” Jena says. With Bouwman’s help, the couple purchased the land in September of 2018.

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