Join us for a premier one-day home tour featuring 13 beautiful homes, thoughtfully designed and surrounded by stunning landscapes in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. The Traverse City Area Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour is Saturday, September 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Below is a sneak peek inside the third home!

Proceeds raised during the Traverse City Area Home Tour will benefit Northern Michigan non-profit, Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan. Save money by purchasing tickets online at or by calling 800.836.0717. Online ticket sales end Friday, September 15 at noon. Tickets are also available at the door.

Address: 12134 S Tager Road, Cedar

Directions: Beginning in Traverse City at the intersection of M-72W and S W Bay Shore Dr/M-22: Travel west on M-72W about 7 miles. Turn right onto S Cedar Rd/651 and continue 2.3 miles. Turn left on E Kasson Rd. After 1.2 miles turn left onto S Tager.

Builder: Scott Norris Construction, 231.218.6849

Head down South Tager Road, a country lane that meanders through the heart of Leelanau County, and you can’t help but feel the serenity. A herd of free-range goats grazes around a weathered barn, birds it through brush, and well, there isn’t much else—except for a new home built in a sunny field at the edge of a forest. Happily, the home, built by Scott Norris Construction and owned by Dr. James Reznich and his wife Dr. Julie Botsford, could not be more perfectly suited in style and in substance, to this location.

Nudged into a berm, the dove-gray home blends seamlessly into its site. More importantly, the sun powers all of the home’s electrical needs, including heat, hot water and lights. The result is no carbon footprint. Power comes from a bank of solar panels that sits quietly in the yard—the home is so tightly insulated, it needs far less power than a traditionally built home. On a similarly green note, the clean runoff water from the home’s groundwater heat pump fills a manmade trout pond.

It takes vision on the part of both homeowners and contractor to build a home this environmentally sensitive. “We both have always been very conscious of being stewards of the environment,” Julie says. Accordingly, Scott has built three other solar powered homes. Add to this thoughtful team, architects Chris Reznich (James’s son) and James Chesnut, who designed the home and proved that environmental sensitivity doesn’t have to mean sacrifice. Indeed, the design process began with a discussion about what James and Julie wanted in their home, a list that includes a fabulous kitchen (gardeners will be envious of root cellar just steps out the kitchen door!), wood-burning fireplace in the great room, in-floor heating, their own studios and a master bedroom that looks out onto the forest behind the home. Interior elements include natural maple cabinetry, a stunning use of Douglas fir beams, and glossy cement floors.

Add to that the fact that with its steel roof and wood composite siding (that will never need painting), the home is virtually maintenance free. James and Julie have it all—but with no utility bills. This solar powered beauty is a tour must-see!

Preview all 13 homes on the Traverse Area Home Tour in the August 2017 issue of Northern Home & Cottage.

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman