Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Arkansas Trip

We just returned from a wonderful long weekend trip to Arkansas to surprise Dan's mom who was celebrating her 70th birthday with her brothers and their wives.

Bella Vista, in Northwest Arkansas, is a wonderful planned community. With 9 affordable golf courses, 12 tennis courts & all sports lakes, there is something for everyone. Better yet, the average home price is only about $125K!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tired of McMansions?

According to a recent article in WallStreetJounal.com, many homeowners are opting for microhouses, particularly as second homes.

Other uses for mini homes are guesthouses, yoga rooms, personal sanctuary, or whatever the owner wants them to be.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Housing Bubble?

With all the talk about a housing bubble, I found the report The State of the Nation's Housing released by The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard Univerity very interesting.

According to the report, "when and if house prices do fall, the so-called bubble is more likely to deflate slowly rather than burst suddenly."

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The IKEA Buzz...

The IKEA Canton store finally opens at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, June 7, 2006. Gifts and prizes are being given to the first store visitors, and they're expecting people to start lining up Monday!

Prepare for your first visit by familiarizing yourself with the virtual IKEA store.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Volunteers Needed...

Join the City of Plymouth's Rouge Rescue~River Day taking place on Saturday, June 3, 2006 from 9 AM to 1 PM.

Volunteers will be cleaning up trash and debris plus storm drain stenciling in the area of Byron St. & McKinley. Gloves, t-shirts, trash bags, and lunch will be provided.

It's a good time for a good cause. Call (734) 453-7737 for more information.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Rent or Buy?

Check out this handy rent vs. buy calculator if you're on the fence about whether or not to buy a home or condo.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Memorial Day Tributes

Area events in honor of Memorial day include:

Farmington Hills ~~ Memorial Day Tribute at 11 AM on Friday, May 26th, 2006 at the
Costick Activities Center at 28600 Eleven Mile Road

Livonia ~~ A Veterans Memorial Dedication/Memorial Day Ceremony at 9 AM on Saturday, May 27th, at the new Livonia Veterans Memorial Plaza at the northeast corner of Five Mile and Farmington.

Plymouth ~~ Memorial Day Parade at 7:30 AM on Monday, May 29th on Main Street through downtown hosted by the American Legion Post 391.

Northville ~~ Memorial Day Parade at 10 AM on Monday, May 29th in Downtown Northville.

Novi ~~ Memorial Day parade at 10 AM on Monday, May 29th followed by a memorial service at the Novi Civic Center.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Identify Theft & Fraud Alerts

With the news that a laptop computer has been stolen containing the personal identity information of veterans discharged after 1975, it's more important than ever to periodically monitor your credit report.

If you suspect that you may be a victim of fraud, here's the contact information of the 3 major credit reporting agencies. Once you have requested a fraud alert put on your account, they will alert the other agencies as well.

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Again, you're able to access your credit report from each company once a year. For more information about identity theft and what you can do to prevent it, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Who Needs 50-Year Mortgages?

Yes, you read right, 50-year mortgages!

As a reference, in December only 14% of people could afford a median-priced ($548,430) California home with 20% down.

While 40-year mortgages account for 5% of all home loans, Statewide Bancorp in Rancho Cucamonga, California introduced a 50-year mortgage in March of this year. So far 220 applications have been taken. The downside is very slow equity growth and it is adjustable.

Read more about it in this Detroit Free Press article.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Free Annual Credit Reports

Did you know that you are entitled to one free annual credit file disclosure from each of the three major credit reporting companies? Under a new Federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies--Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

This free credit file can be requested by phone, by mail, or on the web at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New Construction Reality Check

The Detroit Free Press reported today that permits issued for new construction were down nearly 50% from January through April, as compared to last year at the same time.

This is certainly reflective of the resale market where there is a saturation of homes and noncommittal buyers. The Free Press went on to say that although the average U.S. home appreciated 12.95% last year, home values increased only 2.03% in metro Detroit and 3.76% statewide, the lowest among all 50 states.

However, James Babcock, president of the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan predicts that 2006 will finish strong in home building, based on the nearly 10 record-setting years of growth.

Just Listed

Country Living in the City!

This 3 bedroom Farmington Hills ranch with a basement sits on over one-half acre was just listed for $175,000.

For more details, call me Toll Free at 866-910-8600 or visit the web.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Internet Savvy Seniors

It's no surprise that most senior home sellers relocate less than 50 miles away from their primary residence. More surprising, however, is that nearly half the seniors use the internet in the home selling process, according to a report published by the the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council®.

According to "Moving Forward: 50 and Beyond" of those home sellers utilizing the Internet, nearly two-thirds (61 percent) did so to locate a specific real estate agent, 92 percent utilized the Internet to research comparable prices, and 20 percent went online to learn about specific neighborhoods to move to.

Younger seniors are more likely to use an online appraisal, while older seniors are more likely to use the Internet to find a real estate agent, the study said.

The survey also revealed that not only did most senior home buyers stay within their home state (82 percent), 72 percent of seniors selling their primary residence move less than 100 miles from their previous home.

Younger seniors tended to move farther away from their previous residences than did older seniors, and of those senior home buyers who did move to a new state (18 percent), the most popular choices were: Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and New Mexico, the study said.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Calling All Shutterbugs

The Novi Historical Commission will award cash prizes to the top 3 photographers representing the theme "My Hometown Novi". Entry deadline is November 1, 2006 and you don't need to be a resident of Novi to enter.

Afterward, an exhibition of winning entries will be held at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi where a "People's Choice" award will be selected by popular vote. Click here to read the rules and get an entry form.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ride for America's Patriots

Today, Tom Donegan, the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Premier in Fairfax, VA and a few of his associates began the Ride for America's Patriots. Starting in Washington, DC this morning, they will travel to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas with planned stops in cities along the way.

All monies raised will be donated to Coalition to Salute America's Heros, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping severely wounded and disabled veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and their families rebuild their lives.

Meet the riders, read about J.R. Martinez (the severely wounded veteran who inspired the ride), review their travel schedule, check out their blog, follow along on the webcam, and donate if the spirit moves you.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Desert Real Estate

We just returned from vacationing in Southern California.

Check out the old real estate office we found outside the small town of Anza in the middle of the high desert while driving from Palm Desert to San Diego...definitely deserted!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Household Hazardous Waste Day

On Saturday, May 6 Livonia will host its annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. This event is for the disposal of residential hazardous wastes only and will be held at Ford Field in Livonia (enter on Stark).

Proof of City of Northville or Livonia residency is required. Driver’s licenses will be checked. For more details, call the City of Livonia Public Services at 734-466-2655.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Farmers Market Opens

Time once again for the return of Farmers Market. The Northville Chamber of Commerce hosts the Northville Farmers Market every Thursday from 8 AM to 3 PM, beginning May 4th. Held across from Northville Downs on 7 Mile & Center, the market has something for everyone.

For more information, please contact the Northville Chamber of Commerce at 248-349-7640.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ameriquest Mortgage Closes Michigan Doors

According to the Detroit News, Ameriquest Mortgage has closed all 10 of its Michigan offices, consolidating their lending operations into four regional mortgage production centers in California, Arizona, Illinois and Connecticut. They continue to serve Michigan consumers on-line.

Earlier this year, Michigan was part of a lawsuit settlement against Ameriquest charging the company with unfair and deceptive lending practices resulting in $12.1 million paid in restitution to Michigan consumers.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Unclaimed Michigan Property

Visit Michigan.gov/unclaimedproperty to check out unclaimed property being held by the State of Michigan. You can file an initial claim online, with proof of who you are and/or what your relationship is to the person named.

Call (517) 636-5320 if you have questions about a possible claim.

Monday, May 01, 2006


After 5 years at Century 21 Town & Country, I've moved up to RE/MAX 100.

RE/MAX has always enjoyed a reputation of having the most experienced agents, and I'm excited to be joining their team.

I'm still in downtown Northville and have just moved up the street. Here is my updated contact info:

RE/MAX 100
422 N. Center ~ Northville, MI 48167
Cell (248) 974-6210
Office (248) 348-3300 x130
Toll Free/Fax (866) 910-8600

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Presidential Greetings

Do you know someone who is celebrating their 80th birthday and would love a birthday card from the President of the United States? Visit The White House Greetings Office to find out how you can arrange that.

Recipients must be U.S. citizens, the request must be received 6 weeks prior to the event, and greetings are typically mailed from the White House 10 days prior to the special occasion.

Other milestones which qualify for presidential greetings include 50th (or subsequent) anniversaries, weddings, baby's birth, Eagle Scout award, Girl Scout Gold award, Bar/Bat Mitzvah or equivalent occasion.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Purple Rose Is A Gem

Founded by Michigan's own Jeff Daniels, The Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea is in its 15th season. The Theatre has a tradition of developing new plays and cultivating local creative talent.

We recently enjoyed The Late Great Henry Boyle written by emerging Livonia playwright, David MacGregor. Next up is the Midwestern premiere of Honus & Me, running from June 22nd to August 26th.

Local, professional theatre at its very finest!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Free Movies For A Month!

Do you like movies? If you haven't tried Netflix, here's a chance to try out the service that delivers movies straight to your front door.

From now until May 9th, sign up for one month of Netflix service for free. Quantities are limited to first-time customers only. We signed up last Fall and have seen a lot of great movies and love the convenience of it. Check it out!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Are You A Diehard Or A Tokig?

With the big IKEA store opening in Canton in 40 days, the IKEA Canton Project is looking for their biggest fans.

An IKEA Tokig (pronounced “too-kig”--a Swedish word that means avid in a playful and funny way) is someone who is dedicated to the IKEA way of life, with a passion for the IKEA brand clearly above and beyond that of the ordinary fan.

Visit the IKEA Canton Project to play IKEA games, solve IKEA trivia, and earn points towards exclusive benefits and prizes.

Time Again to Blog

With all the bad news being reported about the local housing market, I found the latest foreclosure information on National Realty News interesting.

While the national foreclosure rate is up 63% from last year, "Michigan’s foreclosure rate dropped from second to fifth place among the top state foreclosure rates thanks to a 25 percent decrease in new foreclosures from the previous month. The state reported 7,727 properties entering some stage of foreclosure in March, a foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 547 households and more than three times the number reported in March 2005."

According to the article, Colorado’s foreclosure rate landed it in first place with a rate of one new foreclosure for every 339 households — more than three times the national average. Georgia is second with one new foreclosure for every 404 households and a 77 percent year-over-year increase. Rounding out the top 5 is Indiana and Utah.