Ann Arbor, MI Real Estate News

By Kim Foster, 33 years experience
(Real Estate One)
2008 Outlook As we enter a New Year many Sellers wonder what 2008 holds for them. Though we are not out of the woods yet, there are many positive things happening in Michigan and the Ann Arbor area that is at least changing the attitudes of home sellers and Buyers. The Pfizer facility welcomes Three New Companies moving in this year and they expect another 2-3 other companies to follow. Toyota is still going strong. Ford and GM have financial plans in place to help them become profitable again though it has been a long road and we are not yet near the end, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That being said Inventory is going down in the Ann Arbor Area. Buyers that need to move to the area because of Job or Family are still moving, Investors are taking advantage of the opportunit...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
I am a relative newbie to active rain but I have blogged on several occasions about the down market we are experiencing in Michigan.  Auto industry woes, exodus of other major employers, the news just keeps hitting us one wave after another.  Yet we hang in there, many of us, knowing that Michigan is not going to disappear off the map; our market will shift to the bright side again, this new year we hope.During this time of price reductions and falling values, I have hesitated to look at my own property.  Some of the biggest losses have been in the $300,000 and over price points and we definitely fit in there.  (You California people can just look away - that can buy a LOT of house here in Michigan.)  I put myself on a search to be on top of what my own home's value is, though we do not...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
Tomorrow my husband returns to work after a very, very long break.  I sometimes envy him his corporate ways.  He goes to his job, does not work overtime, comes home, and forgets about it all.  He has ample vacation time when no one calls him for work purposes.  There may be unfinished projects that someone else attends to in his absence.  He doesn't check email outside of the work day - no one expects him to.  His cell phone is not on unless he needs to call someone or I have told him to keep it on, situation specific.  He is so "off" that he doesn't even answer the home phone except to me or our children.Here's the problem.  He works in the auto industry in Michigan.  His income is ALWAYS at the mercy of someone beyond his control.  My income is my own; my business is my own.  That sch...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
Yes, I know.  I had all year to get it done but I officially completed the required continuing ed for 2007 just 6 minutes ago.  For a procrastinator, that means I did really, really well!  I finished early - exactly 5 hours and 57 minutes early to be precise!So now it's on to New Year's Resolutions:1)  Complete 2008 continuing ed in a timely manner - oh, the many ways I can abuse that far too generous and vague mandate...2)  Write down my business and personal goals with defined actions needed to get quantifiable results; it needs to be committed to paper to be measurable, accountable, and real - tomorrow.3)  Clean and organize my darned home office!!!4)  Put doors on my darned dining-room-turned-home-office; shut the doors when working in there and when the work is done for the day.5) ...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
This is a real estate blog site and there are so many groups that there is literally room for everyone.  I have to wonder though, when is a blog more than a blog?  Is the information we are sharing more than the public deserves, or more than our families, friends, associates, should be expected to tolerate?I ask this because of a blog I wrote the other day related to my family's holiday prep or lack thereof - hardly earth-shattering except to me.  I wondered if my writing had gone too far.  I took a vote and asked the kids what NEEDED to be done for the holidays.  The tree, the mantel, the wreath on the front door, lights outside would be nice (that didn't happen).  That was it.  Of course there were gifts, limited.  The family meals, mandatory.  Mass for some of us, required - disappoi...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
It is past midnight, officially Christmas Eve.  The gifts are bought and wrapped, the holiday food is purchased and ready for the traditional meals; ours include Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.  The family is quietly excited, as excited as a family of 15, 18, and 20 year old kids can get; they're pretty low key.  No more suspense wondering if that Furby is going to be under the tree as in the Furby-shortage year (it was), or if any other of the coveted gifts would be found - usually they were.  There were a few years when the "magic" of it all got out of hand.  "Santa" would write notes about shortages and delays in the workshop, elaborately packaged with future dates for delivery.  One year a video camera appeared in the ash of the fireplace one or two days after the k...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
Just two days ago I spoke about my new beginning, and I meant it.  I was going to give myself specific times to do things and stick to them.  I was going to get my work done and have a normal life.  DO NOT DISTURB!  Well, the problem is that the rest of the world doesn't operate in the time frame I have committed myself to operate in.  They have jobs too and often can't leave the 9-5 world to meet with me.  Yesterday afternoon I received a call from a business associate.  I had been scheduled to meet with him and his wife on Sunday, the day of the first big snowstorm in Ann Arbor.  My country road and probably his were not passable so I called to cancel - he was expecting my call.  I had met with them originally on November 3, 2007, to be exact - I know that since the listing documents ...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
Yes, we're usually late, fashionably late.  Not so late that people wonder if we are coming or not, just late enough that they can get that last thing or two underway.  I always appreciate when I get a spare five or ten minutes - I gift that to our friends as well.  I HATE when people are five or ten minutes early for social engagements - what are they thinking?  Are we all they have in life?  Thank you?  Sorry?It's the holidays, nearly, and our family is gathering more.  My husband is on his nearly one month vacation that he looks forward to each year (sigh...) where he watches videos, plays computer games, doesn't shave or get out of sweat clothes, but does occasionally take my suggestions on fixing this, finishing that, running an errand, making me tea...without a complaint.  It is j...
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By Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
(Missy Caulk TEAM)
The wait is over....University of Michigan hires Rich Rodriguez, from West Virginia as the new Head football coach at University of Michigan.He will be introduced at a press conference Monday morning. Personally, I'm glad the search is over. It has been a month long search since Lloyd Carr resigned.You can read the entire story on my Ann Arbor Real Estate Blog.Last year, U of M. hired the head basketball away from W. Virginia, John Beilein. Sorry, Jeff Belonger, I know you love West Virginia and Sarah Cooper, I know you do too.GO BLUE !!!  
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
I blogged recently about our daughter Sara's financial problems regarding a study abroad program in France this spring, February to June.  We cannot help her pay the additional $10,000 expense at this time; in fact, she is funding her entire school year at the University of Michigan with student loans and a collection of jobs.  She cannot wait to go until next spring when our finances will undoubtedly be better, as my business continues to grow, since she plans to complete her degree in December, a full semester early.Well, the university emailed that Northwest Airlines was offering up two round trip tickets to students who would be doing study abroad in the spring - that's two tickets for ALL the students at Michigan who are planning to leave the country for their once-in-a-lifetime ex...
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By Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
(Missy Caulk TEAM)
My computer is fixed. I blogged on it, Monday afternoon, when support at DELL told me to: "Take Your Computer to Walmart. You all were so kind with all your suggestions and your own troubles with DELL. A few of you have had none and you can be grateful for that. The mother board arrived on Thursday, 5 days earlier than I was told. My hubby installed it that night and oh no, "the same blue screen".On Friday, I called Kevin Williams, he does tech support for the Keller Williams office and the manager had offered for him to help me. (No, no decision has been finalized)After working on it for several hours in my home, Kevin needed to take it to his office to do more testing, but he suspected I need a new hard drive.Late Friday night, Kevin called and he had it fixed. It was the hard drive, ...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
Today I received a bottom-lined contract on one of my listings, HURRAH!, and handed it over to my transaction coordinator.  It had the essentials, sure, but there were so many errors, including my name, that I handed it over with the notation that it was a pretty sloppy effort.  MY TC had to leave before I could document them all, none fatal, but it just made me realize why I appreciate my Keller Williams office so much.  I could never get away with this!My broker once had an office member find a clean copy to make copies for a document I needed that she was helping me with.  It was going to a bank for a BPO I think and she didn't want a bank to see the line that shouldn't have been there on the side of the page.  She's gooooood.  Impressions do matter.  I've blogged here about spelling...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
I was looking at my stats a minute ago and realized the blog I wrote about finding innocent sellers at home in the Ann Arbor area, naked, was the one that overwhelmingly had the most number of comments.  Let's see if "naked" works the same magic here.The topic is not about naked really, it is about de-icing materials.  They do make your surfaces naked of ice but it is far less sexy than the commonly recognized naked, I know.  Today at my BNI meeting (Business Network International) one of our members talked about the differences between the de-icing agents that can be used on surfaces.  Some are good at certain temperatures.  Some will not pit your concrete.  Some are colored so you can see what you have spread.  Some will melt ice dams on your roof and not damage the shingles.  Some ar...
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By Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
(Missy Caulk TEAM)
Running out of time in Ann Arbor, Michigan to get your presents wrapped? There is great little company that I found in Ann Arbor, Mi called, Santa's Little Helper.Santa's Little Helper will come into YOUR home and wrap your presents, stuff your stockings. They are currently offering 10% off on all wrappings before December 15th, 2007. To see the prices, click here.   I saw this on YouTube, a video of  Cindy Johnson who has 42 Christmas Trees in her home in Lyndon Township. Cindy is an IT Supervisor at Borders Corporate office in Ann Arbor, Mi. Lyndon Township is located in Washtenaw County. Cindy has each of her 42 Christmas trees decorated with a different theme. Enjoy !
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
One of the messages I have internalized through the extensive training in my Ann Arbor Keller Williams Realty office is the need to differentiate ME from every other agent out there.  I need to have valid reasons for buyers and sellers to work with me, beyond charm and good looks.  (The looks fade with time, but I have known a lot of 80+ incredibly charming, witty, sarcastic, and outright fun senior citizens - I plan to be one of those, in 30 years or so....)  Today was a day where my value-added stance came shining through.I have a pair of young investors who will be getting officially engaged while spending a month with their families in Poland.  I saw the engagement ring last night and it is stunning - citrine with diamonds and sapphires - not to be worn while doing dishes.  I have b...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
I recently blogged about favorite Christmas videos and named one of my favorite Christmas songs as, "I'll Be Home For Christmas".  I really don't know for sure, but I always believed it was about soldiers away from home during the holidays.  It could apply to anyone yearning to be with someone they cannot be with in what is usually a very joyful season.  This year both of those things apply to my mother.My family is going through a lot of "firsts" since my father died in September at age 84 of end-stage Parkinsons disease, among many other age-related issues.  We saw it coming for months, with denial and hope exchanging places on a regular basis.  There was a lot of time to put things in order, people stepped up to the plate to do some heroic things, and my father was well aware of thos...
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
Big deal, right?  Yes, it is a big deal.  This is a man raised in a family where the mother always made the meal, did all the housework but none of the yardwork or mechanical maintenance, and never learned to drive a car.  In over 30 years of marriage, my meat-addicted husband has never really embraced the greater range of food offerings beyond peanut butter and assorted sandwich fixings, barbecue, and holiday meals prepared by women.Today, in the middle of the day while I was working on a listing contract to be signed later in the day, my husband appeared in the kitchen and noted that he was going to make some stuffing.  If I could make that Scooby Doo noise, I would do it now, because that is how I felt then.  Make stuffing?  Granted, it was from a box and I had to have him bring it t...
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By Lu Parsons
(Keller Williams Realty Ann Arbor)
I am wondering if anyone markets Ann Arbor as a destination city.  We hear of destination resorts all the time.  When I attend one of the sessions at the National Association of Realtors convention, one of the speakers was talking about demographics and the future buying population.    The statistics were emphasizing the interest of "boomers" in places with lots of activity and university communities are a growing draw for those buyers.  I haven't seen anything from AA2 that targets this population.  Is this something the real estate community could get behind?
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
An appraiser alerted me to this website and I was amused at the concept.  I uploaded my business card photo and made an elfin' fool of myself!  Quite silly and probably not something you want to share with your more serious friends or clients.  I sent my elfin' self to my college daughter.  I hope she LOLs all week - it's finals....  http://www.elfyourself.com
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By Susan Walters
(Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI)
Miracles are happening in Ann Arbor, that's for sure...  For starters, I will have closed three December deals by Wednesday, had a verbal offer on another of my listed properties today and also turned down another offer - TURNED DOWN AN OFFER that was close to asking price since the sellers felt they could do better - and I think they are right; there were too many uncertainties and conditions in the deal for it to feel right to them or to me.  Another one will come along soon; we're not worried.  Besides that, the two deals of today were for the same sellers and they would have been instantly homeless without time to look since they are leaving the country for Europe for nearly a month.  (I'm driving them to the airport - please see my "real estate whore" blog...)  I did a second showi...
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