Long Beach Realty continues near-century of service
MICHIGAN CITY — Nearly a century. Few businesses earn that distinction, but Long Beach Realty is one of them.
It began in 1920 as Long Beach Company at 1401 Lake Shore Drive and the original developers of the local lakeshore: Long Beach, Sheridan Beach and Michiana Shores in both Indiana and Michigan. The realty company still has files on houses that date back nearly 100 years.
“It’s very useful when you can look up a property going back that far,” explained Principal Broker/owner Doug Waters, who has been a broker since the mid ’70s.
Doug’s mother, Phyllis Waters, was in charge of the business from 1963 until her retirement at age 95. She still came into work until she died in 2013 at the age of 100.
“Ethics has always been an important part of this company,” said Managing Broker Sandy Rubenstein. “Phyllis always stressed ethics.”
In the mid 1990s, the realty purchased a second location at 3100 Lake Shore Drive. Between the two locations there is one office manager, Jeannie Muldowney, and six full-time brokers besides Waters and Rubenstein: June Livinghouse, Zakaria Elhidaoui, Tom Cappy, Jebbie Smith, Sunny Billups and Zach Baker.
“We have at least 100-125 years of experience here,” Waters said.
“We have exceptional experience selling lakefront homes and second homes on the beach,” said Rubenstein.
“And more commercial experience than the majority of brokers in La Porte County,” Waters added.
Long Beach Realty sells more than just homes and property near Lake Michigan however. From Valparaiso, Portage, Chesterton and Beverly Shores to Westville to La Porte, Rolling Prairie and New Carlisle to New Buffalo, the market is widespread.
Both Waters and Rubenstein are long-time beach residents themselves.
“We have a historic background with extensive knowledge of the beach area,” Rubenstein said.
The two are excited about the changes they’ve seen in the local real estate industry and in Michigan City in general.
“We see a lot more people are moving here year-round. We have a positive outlook on this area,” said Rubenstein.
Having lived in Hawaii for some time before moving to Sheridan Beach 30 years ago, Rubenstein said, “Moving back here from Maui is a testimony to the area.”
“We’ve seen a lot of changes in the beach area in the past 50 years,” Waters said.
“There’s the upgrading of homes and the city looking at the lakefront as an asset,” Rubenstein said. “The pride that people take in their ownership has increased drastically. Everyone is investing in their homes and it’s lovely.”
“The general attitude of Michigan City is that we are all looking forward,” added Waters. “We support the fantastic job that Mayor Ron Meer is doing. We think the city is on the right track in drawing in more people. The revitalization of downtown has been very big.”
Long Beach Realty is a member of the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce and the Uptown Arts District. It also belongs to the La Porte County Association of Realtors, of which Waters was previously on the board of directors; the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors and the Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors. Long Beach Realty also has membership in the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service and Southwest Michigan Regional Information Center.
Waters is a member of the Michigan City Exchange Club and is on the board of directors for the La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as Family Advocates. In the past, he was a member of the La Porte County Fair Board and the La Porte County Parks Board; He also served as a Boy Scout Leader for 20 years. Long Beach Realty brokers have been volunteering for La Porte County Meals on Wheels for 15 years, and participate in clean-up events of the beach area and Friendship Botanic Gardens. They support the Long Beach Civic Association and Long Beach 4th of July festivities too.
Hours for Long Beach Realty are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about Long Beach Realty, call (219) 874-5209, go to www.longbeachrealty.net or look up “Long Beach Realty” on Facebook.