Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Seasons of Thanks and Gratitude

There is much to be thankful for this and every year, and family is always at the top of my list.

After a morning of playing with the new Grand-Kitty, a Thanksgiving lunch feast out with my honey, and an afternoon seeing "Bolt", I'm packing to fly to the Twin Cities tomorrow.

Saturday, my 77-year-old aunt from North Dakota is getting married to her 78-year-old honey from Michigan. Besides her entire family, much of the extended family will be there to celebrate and share their joy.

With a grateful and filled heart, I wish you and yours a very happy Thankgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

October Market Report

For the 10th straight month in a row, sales were up over 2007 for total of 27.7% in the MLS area. With lots of competition from bank & government-owned homes and short sales, owners are continuing to hold their homes off the market until it stabilizes so the number of homes on the market has continued to decline.

Homes priced competitively are selling and the number of starter homes (those priced under $125K) sold this year has surpassed 2007. In fact, 53% of all homes sales were below $100K!

Activity has definitely slowed with all the market chaos so next month's numbers will be interesting to see. It's still a great time to buy for first time buyers, particularly owner-occupied HUD homes which require only $500 down. For example, my daughter recently bought a home that was far cheaper than what she would be paying in rent!

Like shifting sands under our feet, it's difficult to keep up with the changes happening around us, but here are a few links to some of the important items that have happened this year:
Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act
Summary of Economic Stabilization Act by the National Association of Realtors
Tax Credit to Aid First Time Homebuyers by the Internal Revenue Service

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Big Bad "B" Words

Bush, Bridge Loan, Bailout...lots of "B" words are being bantered about the cause of our current financial crisis and possible solutions.

We here in Michigan never really enjoyed the recovery after 9/11 the way the rest of the country did. Now with the meltdown of the economy, the auto industry has taken a huge hit. Unfortunately, Congress adjourned for the Thanksgiving holiday without making a decision on assistance for the automakers.

Mixed feelings aside about what the best course of action should be, I thought Rep. Thaddeus McCotter stated Michigan's case pretty well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Blogging Blues...Life Is Good

It's been hard to blog lately. On a personal level, it's tough balancing business, blogging, face-to-face networking, online social networking, and a personal life. News on the national front, mortgage upheaval, and the local economy hasn't helped.

But the good news is that despite all the bad news, business is good. When meeting people for the first time who find out I'm in real estate, they feel sorry for me and ask how it's going, expecting to know the answer.

Inevitably, they are surprised when I tell them that business is good and I've had a better year than the past 2 years. I can attribute this to a beefed up internet presence and a buyer's market because of the great deals out there.

It also helps that for the first time in 3 years, I'm not scheduled for surgery at the end of the is good!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Northville Veteran's Day Tribute

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice was signed ending World War I. Veteran's Day was established to honor that momentous event.

Today, the Northville VFW along with the Ladies Auxiliary and a number of other veterans gathered around the flagpole at 11 AM.

The brief ceremony honored the service of veterans past and present, ending with a 21-gun salate and taps.

Afterward, the Ladies Auxiliary provided a lunch of sausage and biscuits.

Don't Forget The Vet!

Today is Veteran's Day. Although it began as a commemoration of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I, it has evolved into a national holiday honoring and thanking the men and women who have serviced in our armed forces.

Instead of just one day a year:
  • Remember the aging veteran who needs a ride to the VA
  • Remember the homeless veteran who needs a hand-up, not a hand out
  • And particularly remember those returning from recent action overseas as they adjust to their new civilian lives

Monday, November 10, 2008

Once a Marine, Always a Marine.

Today, November 10th, 2008 is the 233rd Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

Whether active duty or veterans, on this day Marines stop to reflect on the proud heritage we share with all those who have ever served in the Corps.

It's hard to describe the commradarie and esprit de corps felt by Marines. I think LtGen Carol Mutter said it best "It's the branding of that eagle, globe and anchor on your heart...nobody else can quite understand, who hasn't been a Marine, who hasn't earned that title".

I am privileged to be a member of this Marine brotherhood, and ask you to join me in saluting all veterans for their service to this great country of ours!

Please enjoy GoDaddy CEO Bob Parson's Marine Corps Birthday greetings. Semper Fi!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Freedom Is Not Free

A someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life...”
Author Unknown

This week is National Veteran's Awareness Week and Tuesday is Veteran's Day. Originally intended to celebrate the signing of the Armistice ending World War 1, we now honor the service of all veterans.

I joined the military just after the Vietnam War ended. While it was definitely not a popular thing to do, it was a great experience. The GI Bill paid for my college education and helped me buy my first home. But being in the military back then was a very different world.

Today's military members face multiple, extended deployments resulting in terrible family and financial stress, sometimes even leading to home foreclosures. Leaders are just beginning to address the serious emotional toll this extended war is taking on the warriors.

One thing that has changed from the Vietnam days, thankfully, is support for the troops. Whether or not people support the war, American citizens do support the troops this time around.

If you are a veteran, thank you for your service to your country. If you know a veteran, please express your gratitude for their sacrifice. And by the way, if you know any Marines, wish them "Happy Birthday" on November 10th.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

3979 Berkley Ave | Canton MI Condo Just Listed For Sale or Lease

Popular Chatterton Village!

Light, Bright & Neutral Two Bedroom Newer Built Condo With High Ceilings and Great Room With Dining Area * Breakfast Bar Plus All Upgraded Appliances Stay * Tons Of Storage With Balcony Overlooking Lush Landscaping * Pool, Club House, Gorgeously Maintained Grounds And Landscaping * Also Available For Lease at $1,100/mo

Property information ~ $124,900
1,300sqft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

6781 Emily Ct | Westland MI 48185 Just Listed For Sale

Absolutely Perfect And Everything Is New!

New Roof, Windows, All New Kitchen With Cherry Cabinets, Recessed Lighting, Stone Ceramic Floor And Back Splash Plus All New Appliances * Kitchen Opens Into Family Room But Can Be A Great Gathering Kitchen * All New Baths & More * Located On A Small Cul-De-Sac Dead End Street * Stop Looking and See This Home Today!

Property information ~ $123,900
1,073 sqft, 3 Bedroom, 1.1 bath Ranch

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Get Out And Vote

I think nearly everyone will be really glad when the elections are over and the country can get on with the business of digging ourselves out of the economic mess we're in.

Here's a little comic relief from Jib-Jab (with a cameo appearance by my father) that's sure to have enough fodder to offend every political ideology, but the message is...get out and vote in this very important election:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!