Thursday, October 30, 2008

Downtown Halloween Festivities

The streets of Downtown Plymouth were blocked off tonight for the The Great Pumpkin Caper.

Between 3,000-4,000 kids lined the streets to trick-or-treat from store to store.

Special awards were given for the best costume, but ...
the pumpkin princess pups got my vote!

Meanwhile, Downtown Northville hosts Rock 'O Ween tomorrow evening from 3-6 PM in the Downtown Square followed by trick-or-treating in the City.

Reflections in the Rearview Mirror

Two months ago, I started using a new Blackberry Curve. Besides being a great telephone/email tool, it has a halfway decent camera. So in early September, I launched a photo blog to highlight the places and things I see in my real estate travels.

I haven't documented anything too wild and crazy so far, but I have seen some interesting things. Here are some of my favorites:
  • the two minute duck parade offered me a chance to transfer my irritation from my car being stopped into a photo op
  • catching the Sturgis or Hell sign at the Plymouth Chili Cook-off
  • finding Plymouth all a-pink in support of the Breast Cancer 3-Day
  • sharing photos of veterans and flags
  • discovering the South Lyon's Witches Hat Depot
  • and attending Northville's Victorian Festival and watching Greenfield Village's Lah-De-Dahs vintage baseball team play the Northville

Having a photo blog has been a lot of fun. A side benefit is that it's made me pay more attention to my surroundings, seeing and finding things I might never have paid attention to.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

29445 Orangelawn St | Livonia, MI 48150 Just Listed For Sale

The Seller's Job Has Moved Out Of State and She Hates To Leave This Great 2 Bedroom Condo With Basement!

Cute Updated Oak Kitchen With Hardwood Flooring, Newer Appliances, Newer Carpeting, Windows, Air Conditioning & Furnace * Two Spacious Bedrooms With Updated Bathroom * Basement With Newer Washer & Dryer * Like Living In A House With The Convenience Of A Condo Plus Short Walk To Shopping, Restaurants & Parks * Offers Are Subject To Short Sale/Bank Approval

Property information ~ $59,900
2 bedroom, 1 bath condo with basement

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Social Networking Buzz: Twitter Synchronicity

Fresh off the buzz of attending my first tweet-up, I noticed a tweet about a blogging class being given the next morning by Missy Caulk, Michigan's own online real estate superstar. Plus special ActiveRain guest Bob Stewart was going to be speaking. This was something not to be missed.

The next morning, the room was packed and overflowing. Not only were agents from her company there, but several of us from the Twitterverse were as well, including Edward Vielmetti, a well-known local blogger who 'live-blogged' the session. He had found out about it by reading a tweet just that morning!

The two hours went by quickly with everyone furiously taking notes and a few of us tweeting (including the photo to the left which appeared in my photo blog).

Many of those in attendance were just getting started and Missy's message was to be authentic, transparent, and personal. Bob demonstrated how easy it is to get started on ActiveRain.

From Edward's precise notes and real-time tweets to Missy's sage advice, the seminar was "happening". The icing on the cake was meeting people face-to-face for the first time

The Social Networking Buzz: Getting Started, Twitterland, Tweet-Beeps & Tweet-Ups

The Social Networking Buzz: TweetBeeps & Tweet-Ups

Once I mastered the Twitter basics, I set up TweetBeep (kinda like Google alerts) to email me when someone wrote a tweet on something that interested me. For example, any time a tweet included the word "Plymouth". Do you know how many cities are named Plymouth in the world? Lots.

Next, I noticed people talking about "tweet-ups". I had no idea what they meant, but had a hunch it might have something to do with getting together.

As luck would have it, one of our local agents organized one last week and five people showed up. We met at a pub, enjoyed food & drinks, and shared real estate war stories and tech tips.

It was great to be in the company of others who "get" and embrace the same technology instead of looking at you like you're nuts.

Next, a little Twitter synchronicity.

The Social Networking Buzz: Getting Started, Twitterland, Twitter Synchronicity

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Social Networking Buzz: Twitterland

I signed up for Twitter this Summer after reading about it on ActiveRain. With only 140 characters and chatty conversations between people that seemed to know each other, I totally didn't get it.

As part of the social media webinar assignment, our homework was to log in Twitter and get our feet wet. I was ready to dive in.

First, here's a quick explanation from CommonCraft:

I started slowly by searching for and following real estate agents (including Missy Caulk from Ann Arbor and Teresa Boardman from St. Paul), real estate techies and local folks.

Gradually I started participating by "tweeting" (posting) some of my daily activities and people started following me (by the way, my Twitter ID is @MichiganMoves).

The more time I spent on Twitter, the more sucked in and addicted I became. I found an application for my Blackberry (Twitterberry) as well as other websites to post status updates to multiple networking websites (

Soon I built up a network of local "tweeps" and was ready to take Twitter and social networking to the next level...a "tweet up" (meeting face to face).

The Social Networking Buzz: Getting Started, TweetBeeps & Tweet-Ups, Twitter Synchronicity

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Social Networking Buzz: Getting Started

Last month I signed up for the first Social Media webinar series from the Domus Consulting Group mentioned on the ActiveRain network.

I had a website, I'd been blogging over the years, and even had profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. What I didn't get was how to leverage that presence and take it to the next level...Web 2.0 or social networking.

What is social networking? Here's a quick Common Craft video overview:

So the shocking thing I learned in the first class? Email is for people over 30. That made me feel really old.

I was even more surprised to talk to a couple of 20-somethings and find out they don't even have email. The MySpace generation primarily relies on text mesages and notes on a friend's online wall.

First assignment: sign in and check out Twitter, something else I just didn't get

The Social Networking Buzz: Twitterland, TweetBeeps & TweetUps, Twitter Synchronicity

September Market Report

As if the Michigan economy didn't have enough challenges, the past month of national and world financial chaos certainly hasn't helped.

Even with all those challenges, the Southeast Michigan counties of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, and Macomb all experienced higher sales volumes than last year for the month of September. Depending on the zip code, the number of September sales in Plymouth increased 48.5%, Livonia between 30-54%, Northville 15-175%, Westland 22-100%, and Canton 27-29%. However, sale prices are continuing to decline.

The good news is that between the higher number of sales and Sellers choosing to wait out the market and not putting their homes up for sale, the inventory of homes on the market was down 16.43%.

It remains a great market for buyers, especially those with good credit, first time homebuyers, or those who don't need to sell anything to buy. There are some smokin' deals out there, particularly if you want to put in a little sweat equity. Additionally, lots of investors are jumping into the market hoping to take advantage of the low prices to position themselves well for the market's turn.

With the financial bailout, auto merge rumors, job insecurity, and presidential politics, we're still in for some rough months ahead. Best to batten down the hatches, cut where you can, and hang on for the ride.

Summary of Economic Stabilization Act by the National Association of Realtors
Tax Credit to Aid First Time Homebuyers by the Internal Revenue Service

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hospital Redevelopment Slogs Along

I've written about the Northville Psychiatric Hospital redevelopment efforts for over four years now and now there's a new fly in the ointment.

A group of local residents have filed suit against the Northville Township Board alleging violation of the Open Meetings Act. The next Township Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night, October 16th which should be interesting.

Somehow I don't think we're going to see redevelopment on this 400+ acre parcel anytime real soon.

See also:
Annexation Plan Goes Down in Defeat
The Great Annexation Debate
Another Round, Another Deadline

Livonia Pumpkin Fest and Haunted Barn

The historic Wilson Barn is the site of Livonia's Pumpkin Fest being held Fridays through Sundays, October 17-19 and 24-26, and Wednesday and Thursday, October 29-30.

Decked out in Halloween haunting style, the barn has been transformed and children aged 12 and under are invited to journey through the spooky historical horse stalls for lots of chills and thrills.

Other activites include a pony ride, bounce house, and pumpkin patch. Cider & donuts are available in the Barn to get you in the seasonal spirit.

Held 5:30 - 8:00 PM on the above dates, admission is $.50/person/trip through the haunted barn.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Plymouth's Chili Cook-off Serves Up Crowds

The 13th Annual Great Lakes Regional Chili Cook-off and Motorcycle Show took over Downtown Plymouth, Michigan on Sunday, October 5th. Sponsored by Motor City Harley-Davidson, the event featured live entertainment, a dog costume contest, children's activities, and performances from area dancers.

Under sunny skies, the large crowd included nearly 6,000 bikers with their bikes lining several downtown streets and filling the parking lots. With all the leather in town, it was hard to tell the lawyer bikers from the true blue bikers.

Speaking of true blue bikers, check out the Big Blue bike to the right which was custom designed by Mikey and Paulie Teutul of Orange County Choppers. The headlight helmet was a crowd favorite. This was one of the many bikes on display during The Chili Bike Show.

Chili cook-off contestants competed by selling samples of their chili and hoping to garner enough votes for the chance to advance to the 2009 World Championship Cook-off next Fall. Visit the Great Lakes Chili Cook-off website for a list of winners.

All proceeds support local charities, and this year's recipient was the Western Wayne Habitat for Humanity.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Highlights from the 2008 Victorian Festival

Although the rain cancelled many Saturday activities, it didn't dampen spirits. This year's Victorian Festival in Northville was enjoyed by many, including those decked out in their Victorian finest.

I particularly enjoyed see the vintage baseball game featuring the Northville Eclipse against the Greenfield Village's Lah-De-Dahs. A kinder, gentler game played without gloves, I was surprised to learn these two teams are just a few of the many in a vintage baseball league.

Mill Race Village was in full swing with lots to see and do as the Basket Guild demonstrated basket weaving, the Country Store sold their wares, school was in session at Oak Wash School, and Victorian Teas were hosted at the Cady House.

The annual Victorian Festival celebrates Northville's past. If you've never attended this special event , be sure to put it on your calendar next September.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Plymouth All Decked Out in Pink

The Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk came through Plymouth last Saturday and Kellogg Park was awash in a sea of pink.

Even the fountain was flowing pink in honor of those whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer.

More than 3,000 participed in the 3-Day, 60-Mile walk to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

Starting the trek in Farmington Hills on Friday the 26th, participants came through Plymouth on Saturday. According to the official website, Plymouth residents and business owners turned out to cheer on and support the walkers.

The Walk ended on Sunday with celebratory Closing Ceremonies at The Henry Ford.

Plymouth's Chili Cook-off Returns Sunday

This Sunday, October 5th, the 13th Annual Great Lakes Regional Chili Cook-off and Motorcycle Show returns to Downtown Plymouth.

Participants can compete in the red chili, green chili, or salsa competition. Winners from each category will move on to the 2009 World Championship Chili Cookoff next Fall.

More than 15 restaurants will be competing in the Restaurant Chili Challenge where attendees will judge who serves up the best chili. The chili sampling will be held in The Gathering across from Kellogg Park.

Besides lots of great chili, the streets will be filled with motorcycles, live entertainment, and Kid's activities.

Proceeds from this year's event support the Western Wayne Habitat for Humanity.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

37168 Vincent St | Westland MI 48186 Just Listed For Sale

This Home Shouts "Pride of Ownership" With Lovely Updated Oak Eat-In Kitchen With Tons of Cabinets With Large Pantry, Corner Carousel and Pull-outs, Updated Roof, Furnace, Air Conditioner, Baths and Vinyl Windows and Siding * Large Family Room With Fireplace, Newer 2 Car Garage With Opener Plus Nice Fully Fenced Backyard With Deck * Check It Out Today...You Won't Be Disappointed!

Property information ~ $139,900
1,479sf, 3 bedroom, 2 bath Tri-Level