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Macomb County Housewarming Traditions have Deep Roots


        

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Macomb County Home Sale Safeguards Don’t Apply Elsewhere



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What “New Phenomenon” Could Affect Macomb County Listings?

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Home Improvements to Help Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

Guest post by: Brittany Fisher-Financiallywell.info

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Free Local events and activities in and around Macomb County for the whole family to enjoy

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Mortgage Rates Fell. No, they Rose. No, they…

Keeping an eye on Clinton Township mortgage rates is a useful pastime for anyone who tracks local home sales because of the immediate effect they have on affordability. It can’t get much more immediate than the “projected monthly payment” numbers that calculators come up with alongside an online listing. Those instant calculations include tax and insurance estimates, but those change rarely. The mortgage rates, are always on the move.

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Clinton Township Housing Market Fits Many Downsizing Agendas

Time Magazine ended last week with a commentary that could foreshadow how this year’s Clinton Township housing market might differ from years past. Author Bill Saporito identified a mismatch in the housing market that could bode well for empty nesters. Whether or not the implications will be a perfect fit for our Clinton Township housing outlook, the “Big Picture” assessment does seem to gel with a lot of what we’re hearing and reading.

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Rental Properties in Clinton Township and Some Magic Stagecraft

Striving to become a prudent person is a laudable goal—one usually only achieved after impetuous youthful misadventures have taught the wisdom of prudence. Caution—particularly in financial matters—may seem to be synonymous with prudence—but they aren’t always the same thing. Especially when there are magicians at work.

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Pricing a Home in Clinton Township from Both Sides Now

When it comes to the reality of pricing a home in ClintonTownship, it’s natural that buyer’s and seller’s points of view reflect theirdifferent roles and objective. In a way, they are mirror images of each another.

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Will House Sales in Clinton Township Match “Soaring” U.S. Rate?

Clinton Township house sales do usually respond in the seasonal pattern that is familiar in most other areas. Spring and summer lead the way for weather-related, financial, school scheduling and other family-related reasons. From now into well past July (and sometimes even August), house sales activity can be counted on to peak. Those are the normal expectations.

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Clinton Township Home Prices Get a Nobel Prize Treatment

The timing for when to sell a Clinton Township home can be a decision that pretty much makes itself. Sometimes family demands call for a move to larger or smaller quarters; sometimes a change in career demands or a schooling decision dictates a residential switch. But there are other times when an eventual move is in the cards—but timing is flexible.

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Clinton Township Real Estate Market Taps Confidence Gains

The attachment we build to the places where we live is an easy-to-understand human emotion. Almost everyone who has ever moved away from a family home has experienced a sense of loss that can be quite profound. But that’s only one of the emotional connections that come into play where real estate is involved.

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Rate Hike No Surprise for Clinton Township House Buyers

Clinton Township house buyers and sellers were not surprised in the least at last week’s Federal Reserve decision to notch up the Fed Funds short-term rates. For once, anticipating the move had been easy. The surrounding factors—the economy, employment, and consumer confidence measures—were all in unison, pointing to a meaningful improvement now underway.

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Worst 9 Clinton Township Home Improvement Notions

When it’s one of those weekend days when the Clinton Township weather has refused to cooperate with outdoor plans, one way to fill the idle time is to go online in search of home improvement ideas. You may not follow through with any for your own Clinton Township home—but it’s amusing to review the almost unlimited number of clever and inventive notions people have put online.

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20% Down Payment Fiction vs. Clinton Township Reality

It turns out that the run of admirable national and Clinton Township home sales advances have been pulled off despite a couple of strong countercurrents. At least that’s the theme that emerges from last month’s Aspiring Home Buyers Profile report, which supplied one obvious and one not-so-obvious widespread beliefs among would-be future homeowners.

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5+ Tips to Reduce Clinton Township Relocation Stress

If you go looking for new ideas to make a relocation to or from Clinton Township easier, it’s amazing how often the words “stress” and “relocation” appear in the same paragraph. The most universally agreed-upon method is to separate the two by hiring relocation professionals—not surprising since many of the most-read articles are authored by people involved in the industry. But the runners-up when it comes to relocation are either work-related (for those who are making the move to change jobs) or moving-related (the nuts and bolts of a household move).

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Clinton Township Daylight Savings & St. Pat’s Nearly Collide

This Sunday marked the annual “spring forward” sleep-robbing occasion: the switch to this year’s Daylight Savings Time. “Springing forward” may sound like a spirited, energetic exercise, but for Clinton Township residents like me who do our best to keep regular hours, this week it will inevitably produce, at minimum, an extra yawn or two.

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Months Supply of Inventory and why that matters to you Thursday, February 09, 2017

Months Supply of Inventory isn't a term that everyone is familiar with, and there is a reason for that. Unless you are looking to buy or sell and home, Months Supply of Inventory doesn't really have any effect on you. For those looking to buy or sell on the other hand, this is a pretty important number that your real estate professional can give to you. Why is this something you might need to know?

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Good news or bad for Harsens Island? Wednesday, July 13, 2016

With the Harsens Island Bridge not happening, at least any time soon, the ferry has raised it prices....again. Going to my grandparents house for the 4th of July with everyone else in the family, I noticed something I didn't expect. Even with the increased rates to get to the island, there didn't seem to be any shortage of cars and trucks waiting to get across. For people that visit the island rarely the $10 fee to get across still isn't a huge expense, but for the business on the island that depend on non-residents for a bulk of their summer time patronage, the price increases could spell trouble. With the recent closure of the Middle Channel Party Store, residents on that side of the island lost a quick and convenient spot to grab items on the go. With development of the golf course into residential homes/condos there seems to be a lot of changes coming to the island. I have been traveling to the island pretty regularly for almost 35 years, and have seen more resident turnover in the last 5-7 years than I can ever remember. I want to hear from residents and business owners about what they see for the islands future. Is no bridge a good thing or bad? Will the development of the golf course add to the value of homes, or detract from the resort type feeling of the island. Do you think that the increases in ferry rates will start to affect businesses on the island from lack of non-resident traffic. Let me know what you think of all the changes happening in your little island paradise.

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4th of July, Pure Michigan Style Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The 4th of July is right around the corner and that means most people in Michigan will be celebrating our nations independence with lots of grilled food and some fireworks! For the next week, cities all over our great state will be having events for everyone to enjoy. Please share what events you might be attending that people may not know about and if there is a cost. I will list a few of the top events happening around our great state!

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Hot weather means swimming. As a pool owner, brush up on pool safety and liabilty Sunday, June 19, 2016

 Michigan is heating up, not just the real estate market but the temperatures outside. This means more people will start enjoying their backyard pools with friends and family. While having a pool seems like a wonderful carefree addition to any backyard oasis, homeowners should know that there are certain risks and potential expenses involved with having a pool. Besides the regular maintenance and up keep costs associated with having a pool, there are safety concerns that need to be addressed for everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable. This list of things to keep in mind is by no means all inclusive, but can give you a good idea of some liability issues and precautions to take.

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You made it through the buying process, now what? Sunday, June 19, 2016

So you have successfully navigated yourself through the buying process. Congratulations! Now you get to do all the fun stuff that comes along with home ownership. After signing the papers and getting your keys at closing(or shortly after) you now have the license to create. Create your own masterpiece. Painting, decorating, demolition? Well hopefully not too much demolition, but you get the point. Everything before you got the keys was just the technical stuff, now you get to turn the house you bought into the home you dreamed of. If this is a first home, the freedom you will feel to do whatever you want and not have to worry what a landlord or apartment complex thinks will be unreal! If it isn't a first home, maybe an upgrade, or downsize, you will use your previous experiences in ownership to create your masterpiece. This is perhaps the funnest time period of owning a home. It is a blank slate for you to express yourself. Colors can be as bold or tame as you feel fit. Layouts and decorations are waiting for you to put your stamp on and show off to everyone who will be lucky enough to be invited in. This is a time for new beginnings, no matter the life stage or upcoming events! You might be thinking of your previous residence with fondness of great memories or major moments, or you might be thrilled to be out of a cramped apartment that no longer fit your life. Either way, moving can stir up a lot of emotions. I have seen both buyers and sellers cry at the closing table or final walk through, and the reasons are usually very different. With that in mind, enjoy this huge step in life, because a house doesn't stay new for long, and the things that seem fun and exciting now turn into chores and honey do tasks later! Have fun! You earned it!!

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Why a VA Loan might be your best option Wednesday, June 01, 2016

With memorial day being celebrated this past weekend by millions of patriotic Americans, I think now would be a good time to shed some light on one of the best types of lending products offered to our heroes in uniform. There are plenty of different types on loans available to consumers these days, but one in particular is geared towards those who have sacrificed and served our country. By no means will this be an exhaustive list of reason why this might be the best loan for you, buy it will offer a little insight into VA loans.

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How low appraisals affect home sales Monday, May 23, 2016

One of the most frustrating things to happen while buying or selling a house is the appraisal coming in lower than the sale price. This can kill a deal quicker than anything else. With the housing market in recovery the past few years, common sense would tell you that low appraisals shouldn't happen often, but that isn't the case. According to the National Association of Realtors and a survey they conducted, nearly 35% of home sales are either delayed, cancelled or prices lowered due to low appraisals. When asked, real estate agents gave a lot of answers to how they think appraisals ruin their sales. Lee me know if you agree:

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Patience during the home buying process Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Patience during the home buying process is something that can pay huge dividends. I am a firm believer in the adage that good things come to those who wait. That being said, I am one of the most impatient humans in the world. When I found out I was going to be a father, I wanted my child now, not in nine months. When I met my wife, I proposed within two months. I have always been a person who knows what I want, when I want it. Real estate has already taught me that it isn't what I want or even when I want it to happen that matters. There is a process and there are steps that need to be taken. Each step has a time table and there is no rushing it. I can handle this because I know what is happening at all times behind the scenes. What steps are next, what is normal and what is worth getting worked up about. For the client though, they do not know anything but what they are told is going on. So it is key to keep them informed throughout so they too can relax a little and stop watching the clock. There are always hiccups and additional steps, but how well you prepare your clients and yourself to handle them can make a huge difference. One thing I have found to work is discussing an end date. What I mean by this is telling your clients the worst case scenario date that everything should be over with. That way, no matter what comes up during the process, you can re-assure the clients that you are still on track, and they needn't worry. Just being the voice of reason and calm, even if its a struggle can make the world of difference to both buyers and sellers, especially if this is a first time for them and they don't know exactly what to expect. Be realistic with your clients and let them know that in real life, unlike the house hunting shows on television, that rarely is it possible to buy or sell a house, close the loan, and move in within 30 minutes. Things take time, and when you think of how big a decision buying or selling a house is, there are a lot of moving parts and everything will get done, in time. Problems happen and things may seem like they are at a stand still to your client, but that is when your experience pays off and you can talk them off the ledge many climb onto in real estate transactions.

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Expectations vs Reality Monday, May 16, 2016

There are certain expectations that everyone has during the home buying process. Expectations that your realtor, whether buying or selling has your best interests at heart and will go to the end of the world to make sure those interests are fulfilled. Expectations that the buyers' loan officer will efficiently get the loan closed in a timely manner. Expectations that all parties will walk away happy, with a warm and fuzzy feeling about everything that unfolded during the sale. Unfortunately these expectations don't always happen exactly how we envision them. Loans take longer to close, appraisals come in too low, communications break down and feelings get hurt. Coming from someone that worked years in the banking industry as a lender, and now as a Realtor I have seen some bothersome trends with how some "professionals" conduct business. Growing up in sales, especially jobs that only paid commission, you learn quickly that if you don't treat people better than they should be treated you wont be in sales long. That means going above and beyond for everyone, every time. I have enjoyed success in sales, both in retail settings, banking and now in real estate by getting referrals. I have always made a point to set realistic expectations of what I can do, and what is probable not possible in the transaction. I have always been the master of my own destiny, responsible for my own success. That is until I got in real estate. I have had the pleasure of working with great people in every career I have had, and this is no different now that I am my own boss. One think I cannot understand though, and maybe I am too old school, is the lack of accountability with some people in the sales industry. When realistic expectations, and I do mean realistic expectations are set with everyone involved and timelines are of the essence, it surprises me how some professionals refuse to hold up their end of the bargain. When working at the very bank as some of the loan officers I was held accountable both by my production and my clients. It seems the shift now is leaning more towards relying on everyone else to get the job done, collect a paycheck and in the time between, let everyone scramble to take care of the clients. Things I have always known, since a young age in sales, are not being done. Answering emails, responding to phone calls, giving updates and following through with promises. These all seem like no brainers , and you would think they would be instrumental in maintaining a good client base. Many times though these "little" things are overlooked, because of what I could only guess is too many clients throwing too much money at these individuals. I know we all wish we had this problem, so much business that it is physically impossible to keep up with this demand. On the other hand, when working a career were a large part or even all of your income is based on closed sales, have you ever been that busy? I surely haven't. I have always had enough time to work in that extra phone call, or quick email. Heck those 5 minutes literally could be worth thousands of dollars, and I have never once met a salesperson so busy they cannot take 5 minutes to do that. I have run into people that are so poor in time management that they don't have time, but I simply choose not to work with them. I think there should be more effort to make these huge life decisions, like buying or selling a home more enjoyable for the clients. Little things like timely communications can ease a lot of tension and ensure future business. Just my two cents!

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What do your clients want? Like really want? Thursday, May 12, 2016

To me, the most challenging part about the Realtor-client relationship is figuring out what types of homes and features they want. Like really want. Everybody has an idea of the exact type of home they want, and what high end features they love. The reality is that not everyone can afford the perfect house they seen in a magazine or driving through that trendy part of town. Things get interesting when you actually start showing the client homes. It can be both rewarding when you find the perfect house and their eyes light up, and disheartening when you thought you find a real diamond in the rough only to have them dismiss it quickly. There is one thing to remember though, this is going to be THEIR house, not yours. So don't get caught up in someone not loving YOUR idea of the perfect house for THEM! But get excited, thrilled, overjoyed when they do find the house the right house, on the right street, for the right price. When you aren't even to the door yet on your walk out, and the client says cancel the other showings we had scheduled I would like to make an offer, it is exciting.  You did your job, you presented a house that obviously fits what they were looking for, and you found that house in a price they could afford. Just recently I had a client that had a long list of must haves and deal breakers. To some this might be tricky, me, I love it. This helps me save time and eliminate showing homes that the buyer will have zero interest in, even if I think they're great. I scheduled a few different types of homes with various features that needed to be present. Some were hits, others were misses, but this helped me hone into what the client said was important, and what I could SEE was important. I scheduled more houses for the following day. This was only our second trip out, and the client gave me some suggested houses she had seen and wanted to look at. Always, always take the opportunity to show the houses the client already likes, or thinks they like. This is the house version of a warm lead in sales. I needed to fill some time slots on our showing tour so decided to throw in a few homes she hadn't seen or didn't express too much interest in. Some were 1st day on market, others had been listed for a while. But the reason I chose them was because of the reactions I had seen on our previous trip, and thought I knew what the client really liked. It paid off. After seeing the first house, which was the house the client most wanted to see, we left to go see the house I picked to show. We hadn't been inside the house for 2 minutes before the client asked "How much was is listed at again? What is the square footage again? What are the taxes?", I thought hmm this is either really good, or really bad. The client hadn't asked me anything about the others we had seen. After answering those questions, and walking around for another 1-2 minutes, the client said "Ok I have seen enough", oh I thought, on to the next, "This is it, right up the paperwork, I want to offer"! You just never know, the client loved the house, it was below her price range, had the features she liked and was in an area she hadn't looked at before. I took a chance on a house I thought the client would like, maybe helping me narrow down future options, and it turned into the last house we looked at, and the client is very happy!

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Free night out at Michigans own Cranbrook Institute of Science! Monday, May 02, 2016

If you ever think that there aren't enough fun things to do with the family that are free and educational, well you might be right, but not the first Friday of every month! Cranbrook Institute of Science offers free admittance to the museum from 5:00pm until 10:00pm  on the first Friday of every month. This is a great reason to stray from the norm and show young kids that learning can be fun. They have exhibits for every age group and every interest. Rooms of gems to dazzle the young and old alike, a planetarium to explore the night sky like you could only imagine. Fossils and early native American artifacts give everyone plenty of things to see and touch. The new bat exhibit has thrilled my children as you get up close and personal to different types of bats big and small, and even see the famous Vampire Bats in all their glory. There is plenty to see and do at the museum and surely your family will want to go back, as the attractions change through out the year, but a free preview cannot be beat. A word of advice, walk quickly past the gift shop, because once your kids see what's inside, your free night won't be so free anymore!  

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The importance of not burning bridges in real estate Sunday, May 01, 2016

Everyone knows the old saying of not burning bridges, well this is especially true in real estate. It is always good karma to treat everyone better than they might deserve and in sales this could literally make or break your career. I have always had the philosophy that being in sales you need to treat everyone equal, and treat them great. This doesn't mean to treat your potential client great just while pitching a sale or following up on a closed deal. I try to make sure that people I work with, clients I interact with and bosses I have had never have a reason to not recommend me. You never, and I mean never know when somebody you have never met will ask a friend or family member to refer someone they trust will do right by them. Being in sales for the better part of 17 years I have met too many people to remember and sold more products than I could count, but I have always taken great pride in doing what is best for the client. This has served me well in every sales job I have ever had. People seem to remember me and recommend their friends and family, and I am pretty sure it isn't because I have some sales gift or are super convincing. I would like to think it is because I treat them with respect and focus on what is most important to them and sell according to that. When I started contemplating leaving the banking industry and working full time commission again, I was nervous that my skills wouldn't translate. I was pleasantly surprised when clients from previous jobs began calling and asking for my help, commenting that I had helped them with buying appliances years earlier, or helped them as a bank manager more recently. There is no better feeling to me personally than when a former colleague calls out of the blue to say, "Hey Steve, I have someone sitting at my desk that is filling out a mortgage application and I told them I knew someone who could help them find a house". That is such a compliment that makes me strive to continue the best customer service I possibly can. You never know when someone will be asked the question, "Do you have anyone you could recommend for....?", and it is at that moment when the trustworthy, friendly and professional people will get that referral. Make sure to never leave business on the table by trying to over sell now, because clients that follow you from career to career are the best clients you could want, loyal!

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What would you do with an extra $6,000? Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What would you do if somebody sent you an email saying they could save you more than $6,000? Probably be a little skeptical right? Well that exact situation happened to me, but I was the one sending the email. Being in real estate, one of my daily tasks is to update clients, prospects, lenders, other agents etc. via email about whatever the topic of the day is. Well this particular day, I happened to start the day at 6:00am after getting home from the gym. Instead of jumping right into the normal morning routine, I figured I would brush up on recent changes to some mortgage products. When I started reading a light bulb went off. I knew someobody who this one particular change would benefit and benefit big. Luckily when I started real estate full time, I took organization seriously because working at home I knew it would be easy to get lazy. So I looked through my client list. I have a spreadsheet with clients broken down in to 3 different categories. Buyers, sellers and prospects. Included with the name is email address, phone number and any other pertinent information to help me recall at a later date how I might be able to help. I looked at my list and found the person I was looking for. This particular client had responded to one of my door to door postcard campaigns. This client was renting the house I dropped the postcard off at and was waiting until October to buy a house. Mind you it was February when I left the postcard for him and he called. I ended up meeting him the next day to discuss some options with him. He said he had spoken with a family member who was a real estate agent and was told to wait until October because of a foreclosure in his past. I did my best to still answer any questions and provided my business card even though he was "working with someone". He had previously given me his email address and phone number when we set up our first consultation, so I knew I had to let him know about the change. Isent him an email letting him know that this change could affect him and possibly eliminate the need to re-sign a 6 month lease and get him a mortgage pre-approval. About 3 hours later I got a phone call from him. He was very skeptical about the info I laid out in the email. He asked me how I would know this and why I would let him know, if his family member who has been an agent for 30 years didn't mention it. Trying to come up with as diplomatic response as I could on the spot, I said "I am sure he has a lot of clients hes helping, so he might not have gotten around to it yet", wich we both knew wasn't true. I gave him the number of a friend who is a Loan officer and said give him a call and see what he says, if nothing good comes from it you haven't lost anything. Within an hour, during an inspection I was at with other clients my friend the loan officer called and said "hey, just wanted to tell you I got the gentlemans pre-approval and he's good to go" ! The client was so happy that he was now in control of his home situation and can save the rent payment of over $1,000/month and apply those funds to a home he would own! One email. That's all it took to save a man and his family $6,000 and earn their trust. They are I am happy to say my clients now and we will be looking for their next house together!

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What Renovations Have The Best Resale Value? Monday, April 25, 2016

When thinking about doing renovation projects on your home, unless you plan to stay forever, getting your money back out of these projects has to be in the back of your mind. How do you choose which renovations are worth your time and money? Well as you would have guessed, certain upgrades provide a better return on investment when you go to sell than others. According to getmyhomesvalue.com, smartmoney.com, nolo.com and greenlivinglifetips.com these renovations are popular among home sellers and can add a lot of money to your sale price. Enjoy the list and be sure to comment.

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Macomb County's real estate market is hot, so are the schools! Friday, April 22, 2016

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/michigan/districts/chippewa-valley-schools/international--academy-of-macomb-91614http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/michigan/districts/chippewa-valley-schools/international--academy-of-macomb-91614 With summer quickly approaching, a lot of families are looking to move before the new school year starts. If you are looking to buy a home, you know how important good schools are for your relocation. If you are looking to sell, good schools can help with the sale, and bad schools can certainly hinder your efforts. Michigan, and Macomb County in specific have reason to celebrate. If you are currently searching for a great place for your children to grow up and flourish academically, look no further than the schools Macomb County offers. U.S. News & World Report recently came out with their annual High School rankings for the nation. This is a comprehensive list of the best of the best high schools you could send your future surgeons and accountants to. A magnet school in the heart of Macomb County has proven what residents already knew, this is a place to set your children up for lifelong success. The International Academy of Macomb was ranked as the second best high school in the state of Michigan, and the #12 school nationwide! That is quite the accomplishment, and a great reason to move to the area. There are multiple great schools in the area to prepare your children for future success both in college and in life. When asked nationwide, good schools nearby are a must have for over 40% of respondents. This is a great reason to check out all the great schools this area has to offer. Be sure to comment on what schools you like and why!

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Polk Penguin Conservation Center, the new gem at the Detroit Zoo Thursday, April 21, 2016

My family and I recently had the chance to attend a members only screening of the newest exhibit at the Detroit Zoo. To say the work done at the Detroit Zoo in the last few years has made my annual membership and donations money well spent is an understatement. I have been a paying member for about 17 years, and have always had great pride in our beloved Detroit Zoo. I have seen more improvements in the last 5-7 years than in any previous time.  The zoo is clean and family friendly, and the exhibits they keep adding aren't just for the visitors. They have made a great effort in re-creating natural environments with larger spaces for the animals to explore and relax. The wolf habitat unveiled last year is a favorite of my kids, and looks fantastic. The Arctic Ring of Life polar bear exhibit has been a fan favorite for a while, and nationally recognized among all the zoos in the country as one of the very best. I was expecting to be similarly pleased with this new attraction. I was dead wrong. The Polk Conservation Center exceeded all of my expectations. The layout was very well thought out. Upon entering the modern building, you are met with a enormous view of the enclosure and just how massive it is. My kids were in awe of how much the enclosure looked like a natural habitat. You follow a pathway down, and down some more, all the while seeing portholes in the walkway fitted with screens showing underwater videos. There are massive acrylic windows to see just how deep the water is that the penguins enjoy, and a tunnel like the Arctic Ring of Life to get under the water and watch the animals swim around and over you.   The whole exhibit felt more like a destination at the zoo instead of a pit stop. I would recommend anyone who loves penguins, or the Detroit Zoo in general to get out and go, you will not be disappointed!

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How your Realtor and Social Media can get your house sold! Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Selling your house use to be as simple as hiring a real estate agent and putting a sign in your yard. Things have definitely changed since those simpler times. Yes, you still hire a real estate agent or Realtor and they do still put the sign in your yard. These days though even the yard signs are more advanced. Signs now do not just list the agents name and number, they often include the agents website for the potential buyer to gather more information, email addresses to contact the listing agent, and even QR codes to scan with your smartphone. Simple changes in technology have made a huge difference. Instead of placing a teeny tiny black and white photo of your house in the Sunday paper, your agent has millions of ways to get your home marketed and sold! First and foremost your agent with enter your listing on one or more MLS sites. This will get your home and the beautiful photos they surely took into view of thousands of agents, who will email this listing to any and all clients they know that might be interested.  After this your agent will turn to social media. They will post pictures and descriptions on their real estate Facebook page, spreading the word even further to people that might not be working with an agent or even actively looking for a house. This works because the person who sees this listing might know someone who is looking to move and give them the heads up. Your agent will possibly create a link of your listing and post it on Twitter. These quick little ads are seen by thousands of people and with one click of the mouse can be forwarded, liked, and commented on. The agent might take a few of the best photos and pin them to their Pinterest board, where again people can browse and look at your home. All of these ways to get your house in front of people who could be interested are fantastic. They engage people who may not be looking, or know someone who is looking and put your listing front and center. It is like that newspaper ad from days past on steroids.  When you think of how much time you and your family spend online, on social media in particular, think about how impactful it is to have your newly listed house pop up on all these websites! When interviewing agents to list your pride and joy, ask them what ways they will market your home and make sure they are savvy enough to include these avenues to get your house sold!

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The problem with House Hunting Sites Sunday, April 17, 2016

Everyone has looked online for houses at one point or another. Maybe just out of curiosity to see what your neighbors home sold for, or to get that "estimate" of what your house might be worth. Or maybe, you have looked for a home to buy. There are endless websites to search for houses in endless price ranges and in endless communities. How can this be a bad thing you ask? The fact all of this information is free and readily available isn't bad, it is truly fantastic to empower house hunters to do things that required a Realtor to do in decades past. The problem I have with this information is that it is often not verified or up to date. While working with clients, most are so eager and excited, they start doing some investigating themselves. They find houses that fit their criteria, and check all of their boxes. This is great, having your clients actively engaged in the whole process is awesome. They know what they want better than any agent ever could. The problem is when they give you lists of homes they have spent hours of time compiling, sifting through hundreds of houses that won't make the cut, and finding out that the information they have is not the best. This is not only frustrating to the would be home buyers, but it looks bad for the industry. If I didn't know any better, I would think that if a house is labeled as FOR SALE, that the house would be I don't know, for sale! This is the case unfortunately from time to time. The listings on these free sites that do not require any verification or agent input are unfair to the willing buyers. I have received listings from clients that they would like to go see. Maybe it is a house that didn't make a list we created, or is outside the price range or area we normally look. Either way, this was a house that seemed to slip through the cracks of our searches and could really be a possibility. Then I go to book the showing and guess what? The house has been sold months prior, is pending now, or is completely off the market. How frustrating to have to let your buyer know that time and again, sorry the properties have not been updated and it is no longer available. There has to be a better way to keep these listings updated. Is it laziness on the part of the listing agent? Glitches in the system itself or just the fact that once a listing has sold, everyone just moves on? It has to be better. That is why my clients have access to a system that updates listings based on what is actually happening, when it is happens. I encourage anyone looking for houses to reach out to an agent, because finding your dream home, or homes, is especially frustrating when you realize you never had a chance because it has been long gone. Don't make the mistake and think that everyone does their jobs in a timely matter, just contact someone who will go the extra mile for you and help find ACTIVE listings you can explore!! Happy House Hunting!

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Macomb County real estate is heating up! Saturday, April 16, 2016

You and your client pull up to a house they chose to look at after seeing pictures online and it looks great. What is even better is that you are the only ones here! What a relief, you can walk through at your leisure and go over every detail on why this may or may not be the right home. All of a sudden you see a car pull up to the house, you check your time and make sure you are in your scheduled window. Success, you still have 10 more minutes to look. Then almost instinctively you look again at the activity outside and realize quite the line has formed to see this house. You should have been tipped off to the fact the house would see a lot of interest by the fact that its been listed for about 7 hours and there is a healthy stack of business cards on the counter from agents that already showed it. You reassure your clients that this is normal and that when a home is priced right, and in good condition is warrants more interest than a home that has is overpriced and been on the market for months. This is the norm currently in Macomb County for homes meeting these criteria. Just in the past two months, I have many houses that have been priced well and are move in ready. Many of these houses have either sold the same day we looked, or shortly after. None of this is revolutionary information to agents, but to those of you looking for a first time home or an upgrade, keep in mind that if you think the house looks perfect, it checks all of your boxes, and the price is phenomenal, you are not, I repeat, you are NOT the only person to think so. This is when diligent house hunting and constantly lurking on listings will pay dividends. Your chances for success in finding that gem increase, when you can see the house early on in the listing, and decide in a timely manner whether it is offer worthy. By no means does this mean place offers on anything and everything that COULD be the one, and an agent that is looking out for you wouldn't suggest this, but it does mean that if you find something you could not imagine someone else getting, act on that. When you walk out of a house and there is no doubt that this is the perfect house for you and your family, don't hesitate to make an offer you are comfortable with. There will always be more houses to look at and this is surely not the only one you could love, but thinking about there always being something better will keep your landlord happy, or keep you in a house you already considered leaving. If you are looking to sell in Macomb County and your house is in good shape with features many are looking for, good for you, if you price it well you shouldn't have any issues selling. If you are buying, make timely smart decisions and you could land the home of your dreams! Good luck and happy house-hunting!

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If you are ready to sell your home, avoid these buyer turnoffs! Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yesterday I wrote about what Realtors across the country have highlighted as some of the features that buyers like to see when house hunting. Today I will go over a few of the things that go a long way to hinder any offers on a home.This is by no means an exhaustive list and after reading it I would love some comments on what things you have seen while viewing homes that instantly killed your mojo! Comment below or on Facebook. Now on to the list, enjoy!

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Will a bridge destroy Harsens Island? Monday, April 11, 2016

I have been traveling to Harsens Island since I was a baby. I have made the trip more times than I can count. My grandparents are full-time residents there so we get to see the island in all of its summer glory, and when its snowy and a lot quieter. What keeps my grandparents  as well as the other residents and visitors happy about the island is the remoteness. Sure the ferry ride from Clay Township takes a total of 10 minutes, but you still have to take a ferry. This keeps traffic and congestion to a minimum on the island, and that is just how everyone likes it. Before I ever got involved in real estate I appreciated the quiet, peaceful island more for the fishing and hunting than anything else. It is a great place to sturgeon fish, or deer hunt during fall. You really can do any type of outdoor activity on one small island, only 30 min removed from I-94. The proposed bridge has created a lot of drama and strong opinions by the residents of the island. For some, it is a way to increase the values of the properties by making the island appeal to a broader range of people. For others it will take away some of the seclusion that they purchased when they bought on the island. There is no denying it, a bridge would increase vehicles on the island if for no other reason than its easier to drive a bridge across than hop on a ferry. As a Realtor, I see more people becoming interested in Harsens Island with a bridge that cannot ice over, leaving you stranded during the winter. I also think non-retirees that would like to live on the island and commute to work will appreciate the time saved not waiting for the ferry to load and unload passengers. Does the island lose some of its charm if traffic increases and more people want to drive its waterfronts? I don't know the answer to that because it has been the same for as long as I can remember, but I do like it how it is. What is your opinion?

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Is bigger always better? Thursday, April 07, 2016

Today I was talking with a friend of mine that works at the same agency I do. We have known each other for a while, moving up through the ranks of the banking world before we both decided to transition to real estate. He made the move before me as my banking ambitions lasting longer than his. We started our daily motivation call, yes we talk every day and motivate each other, and the call started like normal. What is in our pipelines, what do we expect to close soon and what issues came up the day before. Well he has been on a little bit of a hot streak lately and as it turned out, the problem he ran into had absolutely nothing to do with him or his client. You see we both work for a great broker than empowers us and helps in any way he can. It is this personal attention and guidance that has kept his office smaller, more intimate. We focus more on nurturing relationships and gaining referrals than churning out clients and moving on to the next. Now one way is not better than the next, both help clients with their particular needs, our personalities both just happened to fit this relaxed help each other out type of environment. His client had him place an offer on a home they loved, in a very desirable neighborhood at a great price. My buddy knew this was going to be a fast deal, whether the offer was excepted or rejected, the house would sell fast. Well the offer was excepted! Hooray, on to closing right? Not so fast, the seller had employed a broker that is very well known from his radio spots, T.V. commercial and seemingly endless advertising budget. The one downside to this mega brokerage is actually what makes them so profitable and appealing to clients. They seem to have a listing on every street, and the homes do in fact sell, but how smooth is the process? With our smaller operation, each agent handles the client like they are the most important, with emphasis on getting the deals done in a timely matter and making sure everything is smooth. My friend has been waiting three days, for certain documents that take mere minutes to fax over, and has left numerous messages with the BIG GUYS only to have no response. They are simply to busy, and they will get to the tasks when it is convenient for them to do so. Again, the end result is the same, the house was sold at a price the seller was happy with, but what about the buyer? The buyer now thinks they aren't very important and are pushed down the waiting list. A little faster follow through would put the buyer at ease and let them feel that the money they are spending is important and keep delays at a minimum. There are always issues that arise in deals, so why make more by simply not performing your duties as efficiently as possible? This has made me think about what really matters to a client. Saying you worked with a local celebrity to sell or buy a home, or give business to the smaller company that does everything in its power to accomplish the clients goals in the best way for them. There is always a choice and real estate is no different, it just all depends on what is most important to you.

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6 Reasons to NOT list your home for sale by owner! Wednesday, April 06, 2016

While listening to other agents talk about the clients they have had try or even succeed at listing properties by themselves, there always seems to be a few things that could have gone smoother. Whether that is how long it took the property to sell, how much time it took to get the sale closed, the cheaper than expected sale price or any other headache you could think of. So I wanted to share a few thoughts on while it is not impossible to list a home yourself, you might be more than qualified to do this, there are benefits to having a professional handle the transaction for you.

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International Dark Sky Week Hits Michigan. Break out those telescopes and Sextants! Tuesday, April 05, 2016

April 4th-10th this year is Dark Sky Week. What this means is that for one week 20 Michigan State Parks are extending their evening hours to allow families and astronomers of all ages to gaze up into the night time sky. This is a great time of the year to find your favorite constellation and kids and adults alike will enjoy this relaxing hobby. The Department of Natural Resources said that the parks will stay open late for self-guided stargazing tours. They recommend calling ahead and brink warm clothes and blankets. Of course, this would be a good time to dust of the telescope you received for Christmas as a kid. The following parks are participating in the extended hours . The phone number to the park is listed also.

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How simple landscaping can increase your homes value-Things to do in Spring! Monday, April 04, 2016

Everyone has heard the term curb appeal before. What this means is the first impression friends and family, or potential buyers get when pulling up to your home. This could make a or break a sale, or lead to snickering behind your back by those thoughtful people you invited over. Fret not because there are simple things you can do to increase your curb appeal and even increase the value of your house! By doing some or all of these fairly easy DIY projects your yard will be the envy of the block, and show anybody looking that you take great pride in your home...Even if these tips projects don't break the bank or consume all of your time.

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Looking at houses in all weather, and why rain isn't such a bad thing! Saturday, April 02, 2016

If today's weather in Michigan reminded us of anything, it should be that Michigan weather is very unpredictable. When it is sunny and warm outside everything seems perfect. But when the weather turns nasty, thunderstorms, rain and tornado like winds it might seem best to stay inside curled up with a good book and not venture out to run errands or look at houses with your Realtor. Forgetting all common sense, this might be the best time to go house hunting. Think about it for a moment. When is the better time to find out that the wall you plan to hang your big screen on leaks, before you move in or after. How about the basement that looked AMAZING and perfect and delightful on that perfect weather day the listing agent took the photo! Wouldn't it be a bummer to just assume that the basement in the picture is exactly how it will look after a few days of hard rain, only to find out that you could actually fish off your basement steps with the lightest sprinkle. This is why you need to look at houses in all weather. Leaky roofs, flooding basements, surprise ponds in the yards are all issues that could, not always, but could be spotted if you look at the houses in inclement weather. The same goes for windows or door-walls that let in too much light or not enough during the day. Sure most of these things can be fixed and some might not be that expensive, but again, wouldn't you rather know all of this before moving your costly antiques or prized sports memorabilia into the house? The point of this is, there is always a perfect time to do things, but life isn't perfect! Go out, find your dream home no matter who might think your crazy for house hunting in a category 15 hurricane, because once that house is yours YOU will be the one responsible for the repairs and upkeep! Happy Househunting

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Things to consider when buying your first home! Friday, April 01, 2016

When buying your first home there are a lot of things to consider beyond what weekend to have the house warming party and who you should Tweet first about your awesome new pad! First you have to find the right home at the right price, and this is where these tips might help. First time buyers are often thinking about buying a house in terms of an HGTV program were after seeing three perfectly decorated, immaculately clean homes, they can make a low ball offer and walk into their dream home. Experienced home buyers, and Realtors all know this to be the exception, not the rule. But there are a few tips to keep in mind while starting your search that can go a long way!

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Summer is just around the corner! Wednesday, March 30, 2016

 Our wonderful state has a lot to offer its' residents. We have fall colors that attract thousands from all over the country, feet...and feet of snow to entertain all of the winter warriors. We even have a brief three to four month spring. Best of all though might be the summer! Michigan summers conjure up thoughts of baseball games, camping at one of the Michigan State Parks,  or just sitting around your backyard with friends around a crackling bonfire. March is ending, and spring is nipping at its' heals. Soon enough the weather will turn warm enough to spend days and nights outside with family. Kids are becoming more restless as the days get longer. Almost like a sixth sense they know that the longer it stays light outside, the shorter the school year is.

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Benefits of a good inspector Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Benefits of a good inspector are too many to list in a single post. I will however highlight what happens when you have a good one, and what could have happened if the inspector was not so honest. I recently had the chance to go to an inspection with a client who was also a first time home buyer. But let me back up a bit to give some insight into how we got to this point. The client had a very particular area that she would like to purchase her first home. The area she was looking is an up and coming area with a lot of young singles and couples relocating to because of the art and emerging downtown scene. The client knew going in that because of the increasing demand in the area, that looking for a house in a desirable area at a good price was going to take diligence and a bit of luck. After narrowing down on a neighborhood that checked all of the clients boxes, we started our search. After looking at about fifteen houses, the client always had a house we looked at early on in the back of her mind. We took a second look and the client wanted her parents to come take a look on a third visit. This was the winner. The house she was going to buy, fix up and make her own! After some stealthy negotiating the house was hers. We just needed to get an inspection done and then the fun parts could start. Being that this home was a forclosure and needed a bit of work, the client decided to purchase the home with a FHA 203k loan. This would allow her to finance the cost of repairs and do any construction that she wanted...to a point. Because of the 203k guidelines, the inspections are a little more indepth and the move in requirements MUCH stricter. We had a 203k consultant recommended by a lender friend because of his honesty. Did that ever pay off. So I picked the client up from work(yes impeccable service) and we headed to the house. The inspector met us there and instantly I could tell from being around inspectors before he knew what he was doing. Within a minute he was on all fours crawling into the narrow crawl space opening. We then went inside after numerous pictures were taken of things outside. THe water damage we knew was present and did not know the extent of presented itself to our hero inspector. He was polite and honest when asking the client what her expectations were, and what budget she wanted to stick to for repairs. After jotting this info down, he proceeded to look around for a few minutes. Instead of just talking at the client, he sat her down, just for a moment to show her some of his findings, and let her browse the camera he had been using. He showed her the standing water in the crawl space that had gathered just in the last two days rain. He showed her the mold on the floor supports and explained that the water damage we all seen and wrote off as pretty common for this price range and area was much, much worse than expected. With the client upset he told her that the damage would have doubled or tripled her budget, and that if she asked him honestly he would say walk away. There were too many un answered questions that could not be resolved until demo. He was perfectly honest, caringand thourough. Oh and he would not accept any payment, even though he traveled 45 minutes to the house. He only asked if the client and myself would consider using him again for inspections. So even though the client had to pass on her dream house, the insector saved her from a sure nightmare. We all walked out of the house smarter. I met a new consultant I have total faith in, the client walked away with her sanity and savings intact, and the inspector won himself more business from this Realtor!

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