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Friday, August 31, 2012

Real Estate One
Norman, W Werner

Norman, W Werner

248-763-2497

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Here's a little report that is generated by my
company and emailed to some of my clients.
It has some nice charts for the Michigan
market embedded. Enjoy!
Michigan Monthly Market Update -
August 2012
July pending sales jumped up from June's pace, proving
once again that our recovery is moving in the right
direction but not in a straight line. Some months are
moving up quickly, others just a bit, but so far, always
up! The overall Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) for
Southeast Michigan hit a five-year low at 4.6 months
and NW Michigan was also at a five-year low of 9.1
months.

MSI Chart
The average MSI is the industry standard index for
following the market direction, but to get to the true
index number we look at the MSI in the market
segment where the majority of buyers are, those
homes on the market less than 90 days.

Value Chart
The pattern follows the same trends as the overall
MSI, falling to the lowest levels during the market
decline, and clearly showing a sellers’ market, which
explains the multiple offers we are seeing in the under-
90-day market. Low inventory is also helping fuel the
rising price trends shown in the following charts with
values picking up speed since the beginning of the year.
Price per square foot is not a pure indicator of 
appreciation, but it does filter out some of the distortion
found in median values as an indicator of general value
trends.

Appraisals have been a challenge for the past 18 months
as appraisal standards struggle to keep up with rising
values.  Although there still are many issues, the good
news is we seem to have turned the corner with appraisal
shortfalls shrinking daily. More and more appraisers will
take into consideration the details on multiple offers in
their evaluations, so if you’re in a multiple offer situation,
and your Realtor is  able to obtain information about those
multiple offers, they should include them in their comparable
presentation to the appraiser.

This month was a particularly strong month for our family
of companies, with the best market share gains across the
board of any month so far this year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some significant trends starting to show up in the data…

I track sales in 9 local real estate markets that surround (or are near)  Milford – Milford (Village and Township), Commerce Township (to include Walled Lake and Wolverine Lake), Highland Township, White Lake Township, West Bloomfield Township and Lyon Township and South Lyon in Oakland County;  plus Green Oak, Brighton (Township and City), and Hartland Township (and Village) in Livingston County. I’ve been tracking these same nine markets for a about three years and five of the nine for several years longer.

Basically I show the sales data every week and report the following statistics – Whether the sale was a distressed sale (a foreclosure or short sale), the listed price, the sold price, the percentage of sold verses listed prices, the SEV for the home as recorded in the Public Record Database at the time of the sale, the SEV multiplier that the sale price represents (SEV is supposed to be ½ of the market value, but these days homes are selling for 2.2 to 2.5 times the SEV, which indicates that the assessors overshot in the down direction), The number of days that the home was on the market (DOM), the Square Footage of the home as reported in the MLS and the listed value per Sq. Ft. and the Sold value per Sq. Ft. For each market I show the Averages for those values and the Median value for the data.

As I looked at the data yesterday when I posted it for last week, several things jumped out at me. One is that this is one of the few times in the last few years that distressed sales as a percentage of all sales has been below 50% for all nine markets. There are still some hovering at  mid- to high-40% levels, but there is also one that has remained at 0% all month, so far (Milford). The days on market (DOM) numbers are down on average across the board, indicating that properties are selling faster. Perhaps the most important is that four of the nine markets have broken back through the $100/Sq Ft Average barrier. To me that’s a significant figure, sort of like the Dow has “barriers” at 12,000 or 14,000.

In housing in this area, when the bottom dropped out of the markets we dropped from sale values in the $124-144/Sq Ft ranges during the peak in the markets that I track down to markets that were averaging $70 - $80/ Sq Ft. Admittedly much of that severe drop was due to the high percentage of foreclosed houses in the sales mix during that period; however, it did impact the market values of all houses on the market.  So we are not back to peak levels and may not get back to that level for a decade or more (if ever); however, we are getting closer to market values that will allow many who have been sitting on the sidelines to consider listing their homes.

Not everyone bought or refinanced and took out equity during the bubble years; however, even those who were financially conservative and may have had a big down payment when they bought found themselves under water when homes values fell as far as they did in the recent recession. I see articles that the housing market is back to the value levels of this year or that and I’d say that we regressed back into the mid 1980’s somewhere, so far as lost value went. A few of our local markets lost 30-40% of their 2006 values and a very few actually lost more than 50%.

Now things are trending back up. If we get back on the historic home appreciation curve of 3-4% per year it will take us a decade to get back. I suspect that the lack of inventory in the market will drive a faster recovery, at least until the market reaches a new supply and demand equilibrium.  The data that I look at each week certainly seems to indicate that.  If you want to see for yourself, go to http://www.movetomilford.com and click on the choice “ What have homes in this area sold for?” There is data there for all nine markets going back three years and for some of the markets going back further. The data that I collected has changed a bit in format over the years, but you should still be able to compare some key metrics.
 
And if you’re ready to see what your home is worth on the market today give me a call. I don’t charge to do a Market Analysis for you and you might just be surprised that you can take your plans off hold and move on with life by selling now and moving to take that new job or moving to that retirement home or that place closer to the kids. Maybe it’s time to look at that move-up house that you’ve been dreaming about but felt that you couldn’t afford. You just won’t know until you see where you are on your current place.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't fail to try...

“Try, and fail, but don’t fail to try.” (Stephen Kaggwa) from Jack’s Winning Words. Jack went on to talk about trying or doing things that might be on one’s bucket list, before it’s too late. I’d contend that as realtors we face this challenge every day. All too often at the end of those days there are too many things on or “coulda, woulda, shoulda” list because we find ways not to try.

Whether through procrastination or just fear of failure, sometimes we don’t even try new things. I certainly know that I’m guilty of that. Sometimes my wife and I use a phrase that my dad used to use a lot – “go with what you know.” Dad was not one to get very far outside of his comfort zone. We use that phrase most often when discussing choosing a restaurant for a weekend meal. Sometimes it’s just easiest to go with what you know, rather than trying someplace new. In that case, it’s a matter of getting a good meal of known quality, rather than taking the chance on a new place and a new menu. Fortunately we both have enough sense of adventure to overcome that conservative approach once in a while and try a new place. Many times to our great delight we “discover” a great new place to eat and add it to our “go with what you know” list.

In real estate there are probably lots of opportunities to try something new, whether it be a new prospecting approach or a new CMA analysis tools or a new listing presentation.  Many times there are things out there to potentially try that we don’t even know about or maybe don’t associate with our business. That’s why you also need to work at finding things to try. One easy way to do that is to make the effort to study the profession. You read about athletes who “study the game” or are called “students of the game”. Michael Jordan was one and LeBron James has been attributed with the same curiosity about the game basketball. Tiger Woods has been called a great student of golf.  Those athletes study the history of their game and delve deeply into the mechanics and strategies and other aspects of the game.  Often, after their playing days, these students of the game become coaches; sometimes great coaches.

In our profession, to be a student of the game one must study what makes real estate tick and what it takes to be good at it. For some that means reading, for some it means taking courses and for others it means picking the brains of mentors or others with more experience. For all it should mean never stopping the learning process and approaching that process pro-actively, rather than waiting for something to happen and then drawing conclusion from that. It also means trying and failing, but never failing to try. Hesitation to try new things in the early days of the current recession led many of us (and I count myself in this crowd) to avoid (or try avoiding) getting involved with foreclosures and short sales. Better that we should have tried and failed and then tried again to figure out how to work with the lenders through those trying times. Lesson learned there! I've since started a good practice in short sales.

So, now we face another challenging period as the real estate market tries to adjust to the new reality of dealing with reduced home values, low inventory and a still leery and recession weary population. One thing is for sure – trying to get by with a “same old same old” approach isn’t going to work. It’s not the same old market and the same old approaches will not serve the real estate practitioner nor the client very well. What will work? I don’t know, but as for me, I’m off to find it and try it. I do not intend to fail because I failed to try. What about you? Are there things that you are missing because yo don't even try?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

You haven't lived in Milford until...


You’ve seen the waterfalls of Milford. Yes the plural is correct. There are at least two waterfalls in the Village of Milford. The most obvious and best known waterfall is now called the Mill Valley Falls, which is located behind the Mill Valley Strip Mall on Main street right where it branches off into Main street to the north and N. Milford Rd to the northwest (at the Flatiron Building with the waterwheel and geese statue).

Thousands of cars a day pass by the Upper Mill Pond just north of the Mill Valley complex and see the Upper Mill Pond. I’m sure that they wonder where the water goes. They can actually see the top of the falls at the south end of the pond as they pass by; however, I wonder how many have actually seen the falls. It is now quite beautiful, due to the efforts of the Mill Valley owners, who spend quite a bit to have it totally landscaped and a new stairway to the top installed. There are little seating areas along the path to the top and an area to sit and listen to the falls at the top too.  It’s really quite soothing to sit there and listen to the water falling over the concrete stepped falls. This falls is about 30-40’ in height, so the water has some force behind it. After heavy storms and during the spring thaw the water flow can be quite rapid and the falls become almost a raging torrent. It has a pretty good waterfall roar almost all the time.

The other waterfall within the Village is not nearly so dramatic. In fact it is so peaceful and pleasant that it is one of those places that you just want to lay out a blanket and take a nap. It is off lower Mill Pond, next to the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse. You can’t really get to this falls, but you can get close enough to see it and hear it. You can either go in through Central Park (to the upper parking lot) or come in off W. Liberty, which is reached from Commerce by turning left (South) onto Cabinet St at the entrance to the Prospect Hill shopping center (The Kroger Shopping Center) and then east on W. Liberty until you get to the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse (itself to be the topic of another of these missives). The Lower Mill Pond Falls is right next to the Powerhouse, on the west side. It is probably only a 10 foot drop. But is makes a nice sound and is quite pleasant sit and watch and listen too.

So, there you have the waterfalls of Milford. If you haven’t ever taken the time to go behind the Mill Valley Center, to the lower level, or deep into Central Park to the Power house, then you haven’t really lived in Milford. Take the time to go find these wonderful little places and enjoy them. Take the whole family. Kids love waterfalls.

Next time I’ll talk about the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse, which you will see, if you visit the Lower Mill Pnd waterfall.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A slice of Americana right here at home...


I recently spent a few days meeting with most of the local merchants and businesses while soliciting support for the upcoming Milford Home Tour. The experience gave me pause to reflect on how idyllic a setting the Village of Milford really is. I got to meet with the Butcher and the Baker, the Barber  and the Feed Store proprietors, because we still have all of those things in our little Village. I met the shoe store owner, several clothing store owners and a couple of our jewelry store owners, too. Then there were the furniture stores, the candy store, the local photographer and the kitchen/cooking store. Of course the more prosaic stores are there too – the auto parts stores the drug stores and grocery stores. Finally I got to meet with most of the owners of our great local restaurants. See the header at the top of this page for a composite picture of downtown Milford.

The thing that stood out for me was that all of these little, individual businesses still existed right here in the Village of Milford and that, for the most part, you could park once and walk to all of them by going up and down Main St. You just don’t find such a great assortment of stores and businesses in small towns anymore. Milford is far enough off the beaten path to have avoided the fate that so many small towns suffered when so-called “big box” stores moved in and took all of the customers away. Milford also had a good master plan for growth and strong and visionary leadership who carefully managed what and where growth took place, in order to preserve a strong downtown.  It worked and we still have a viable downtown that takes advantage of the great historical buildings that are there and the small town feeling that permeates everything.

Many of the local merchants that I talked to have had a tough time recently, with the down economy taking its toll, even here. Every one of them said there’s no place else that they’d rather be than in Milford, even in this economy. That says a lot, too.

Several of the local businesses decided to support the Milford Historical Society and its 36th annual Home Tour during the third weekend of September. The fact that we have the local Milford Historical Society, with its museum and a Home Tour that’s been going on for 36 years also speaks volumes about small town America and our little Village. People in Milford value and have preserved the fine old housing stock that grew up during the mid to late 19th Century. Milford was never a rich town, but it has preserved the bigger, nicer homes that were built by its early merchants and businessmen, as well as the smaller homes that were occupied by the workers of the day. There are no real mansions in Milford, but there are some fine old homes that have the best features of homebuilding of that era. Some of them are on display each year for the Home Tour.

So, if you get the opportunity to get out to Milford for the Home Tour, try to come on September 15th so that you’ll also have time to wander around our beautiful downtown. Most of the downtown stores are not open on Sunday, but on that weekend some will be, because there is also the big Milford Car Show downtown, too.  You’ll be able to easily find our Butcher and Baker and many of the other businesses that I’ve mentioned. The Feed Store is a little harder to find, but it’s there, tucked away off a residential side street (Houghton St) on the south east side of town. If you have an animal of almost any type you can find feed and other things for it there, along with a proprietor who’s more than happy to chat with you about your pets.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bits and pieces from Milford, Michigan


Things can’t be that bad in the economy - I’ve heard from Kim Galbraith, owner of 2 Moms & a Mop,  a few times lately that she can’t find people to work on her cleaning crews. You would think that with an unemployment rate stuck near 9% it wouldn’t be all that hard to find people who want work. I guess you’d be wrong. Perhaps it’s that last word – WORK – that scares people off. Kim pays well and even extends a benefits package to full-time employees. She is looking for reliable workers who will show up for work and work to the standards that she has set for her business. If you or someone you know is looking for employment and are not scared off if it involves work, click here for an application that you can send in to Kim.

An opportunity to support a local tradition – I’ve spent the last two weeks soliciting support for the upcoming Milford Home Tour. Milford has one of the only successful home tours in Oakland County. Our Milford Home Tour, which is presented by the Milford Historical Society, is now in its 37th year. I’ve got lots of sponsor packets out and I hope that things have improved enough in the economy that local businesses can spend a couple hundred dollars to support the Milford Historical Society and this traditional fall event. Call or email me if you’d like to be a sponsor or a support of the Milford Home Tour. Supporter packages start as low as $200.

The third weekend in September (14th and 15th) will be another of those busy weekends in Milford. The Home Tour is on both days; however, Sunday is crammed full of things to do. There is the Milford Car Show, the largest annual car show in this area, that takes up all of Main St and runs from about 8 am (check in time and positioning cars on the street) until 4 pm. The actual display time and voting time for the public is 11 am until 4 pm. For more on the Milford Car show and how to register a car, click here.

Then there’s the Tractor Show out at the Huron Valley State Bank parking lot at the corner of Milford Rd and GM Rd. Tractors of all vintages and type will be on display there.  That show runs from 11 am until 5 pm on Sunday only.

Finally there’s the annual Rotary Club of Milford Duck Race. Thousands of yellow rubber ducks will be dumped into the Huron River east of the Village and will be swimming frantically for Central Park where the first duck across the finish line will win a big prize for its owner. To find out how to get a duck in the race click here.

Milford honored to host the 2012 Oakland County Heritage Conference – The Annual Oakland County Heritage Conference will be held in Milford this year on September 19th at the Milford Presbyterian Church. This conference, which is sponsored by the Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs Office will be focusing upon what makes someplace a “Place”, a destination. Milford was chosen for its strong integration of its historical downtown and Historic District into the fabric of the community. The meeting attendees will be taking walking tours of the historic downtown area and of a portion of the Historic District. The group is particularly interested in how Milford has been able to successfully conduct the Home Tour for 37 years. For more on this conference, click here.
Of course, for the most up to date calendar of upcoming events in the Milford and Highland areas go to my web site - http://www.movetomilford.com



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Is it covered?

The recent severe downpour left lots of people with flooded basements and maybe leaking roofs. It also left them with the ringing question...


If you have..

BASIC COVERAGE

There are 11 initial causes of damage that are covered –

Fire                                                      Lightning

Explosion                                            Windstorm or hail

Smoke                                                            Aircraft or vehicles

Riot or civil commotion                       Vandalism

Sprinkler leakage                                Sinkhole collapse

Volcanic action

Read your policy because carriers can limit or exclude how the coverage applies.

BROAD COVERAGE

The 11 above listed causes as well as 3 more covered–

Falling objects                                     Weight of ice, sleet or snow

Accidental water damage

Carriers have a duty to include coverage on this form.  If it is not included, it is not covered.

SPECIAL COVERAGE

Also known as “all risk.”

However, there are numerous exclusions which can include government action, nuclear hazard, war and military action, water damage (flood), fungus and pollution. 

Carriers have a duty to specifically exclude coverage.

Remember, when a carrier is processing your claim, they will always go back to the original cause of the claim. If the roof leaks and it is due to wear and tear, it is not covered. However, if it was hit by lightning and caused the flooding inside the home, the original cause is lightning and it is covered.

The content for this post provided by Annette White, Insurance Consultant for the Insurance One Agency. Contact Annette at 248-795-9152.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The next big weekend in Milford - the Home Tour & Car Show

The warm afterglow of a successful (albeit a bit wet) Milford Memories is fading fast and we turn our attention to the next big thing – the third weekend in September when the Milford Home Tour is the weekend event. That same weekend, on Sunday only there is the biggest car show in the area – the Milford Car Show – and a Tractor Show. In addition the local Rotary Club holds their annual rubber duck race on the Huron River on Sunday. It’s a fun-filled weekend for the whole family.

The 36th annual Milford Home Tour will feature tours through 5 Milford homes, as well as having the Milford Historical Museum, the log cabin next to the firehouse and the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse open to tour. Go to the Milford Historical Society Web site for more details on the Home Tour as they become available. Tickets are available ahead of time at the Museum for $15.

The Car Show takes place on Sunday and takes up most of Main Street and features hundreds of cars from classics to cruisers. The Car show is judged by the attendees in several classes and the best in each class wins an award. Then there is the Sponsors Award, which is usually given to the car judged by the event sponsors as the best in the show. For more on the Car Show and to get a registration form, if you’d like to be in the show, go to the Web site – http://www.milfordcarshow.com

The Tractor Show is held on Sunday out at the Huron Valley State Bank on the corner of Milford Road and GM Road. Tractors of all vintages and from all around the area are featured. The Tractor Show is run by Bill Crawford, a local farmer who lives and works on the Crawford Farm, a Sesquicentennial farm in Milford Township that has been in the Crawford family for the entire time.

The Duck Race is a fund raiser event for the local Rotary Club and features thousands of yellow rubber ducks dumped into the Huron River upstream of Milford’s Central Park. The numbered ducks then “race” down the river, with the owner of the first duck to the finish line in Central Park winning a cash prize. It’s always a lot of fun to root for your duck in the frantic race to the finish. For more on how to buy a duck for the race go to http://www.milfordducks.com/

So mark your calendars now for September 15 & 16 and plan on spending the weekend in Milford. Come out from the events and visit some of our local stores and fine restaurants while you’re there. The newest restaurant on Main St – The Palate – will be open by then. All of our restaurants will be open in Saturday and many will also be open Sunday for the Car Show. It’s always fun to visit Milford and even more so when there are so many things to do.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Look ahead and prosper...


“One who does not look ahead remains behind.” (Brazilian Proverb) from the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack wrote about looking ahead to the next Olympics when he used this saying.

I think it is very useful for real estate purposes and for life in general. Often there is a tendency (human nature I suppose) to dwell on the past. Some never let go of a past success, maybe throwing the winning touchdown pass in their final high school game; and some can’t seem to let go of a past failure – losing a listing to another Realtor for instance. It is equally sad to see the 50+ year old, ex-high school jock still walking around in his tatte4red high school letter jacket reliving that final game as it is to see the brooding and petulant agent grumbling about losing that last listing opportunity.

A wise and older agent who helped me get started tried hard to get me to understand his philosophy of being able to say “So, what?” So, what if you didn’t get that listing; or so what if the sale fell through; you’re still here and the future is still ahead of you, if you’ll just turn your attention in that direction, instead of dwelling on the past.

There is a time for celebrating and a time for sadness or disappointment, but both are brief and need to be let go, so that you can move forward with life. Don’t get left behind. Life is too short to waste it by dwelling in the past. Look ahead, there are many more opportunities for you to celebrate.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good new short sale readings –

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – still make up about 40% of the local real estate market sales (higher in a few of the markets that I track and lower in others). Of that 40% the majority in this area are still foreclosures, with short sales tending to be prevalent in the mid-range of the market – the $200K to $400K segment.

Short Sales occur when a homeowner sells his/her home for less than what is owed to the bank on the mortgage balance. A homeowner who makes up the difference themselves, but bringing money to the closing table is selling short, but it is not recorded as a short sale, since the bank got what it was owed. Bringing money to closing is one obvious way to deal with the situation, albeit not a very popular way. In the sales that are officially reported as a “Short Sale” in the local Multi-list Service, the bank has agreed to take less than the amount owed on the mortgage. There are credit implications to an official short sale, as well as many other possible implications. You can read more about those implications at my web site www.mishortsales.com .

A recent article on the RealtyTimes web site focused upon short sales and had links to two good short sale readings – one a blog posting by the National Association of Exclusive Homebuyer Agents on the 51 Critical things that you need to know about short sales  and the other a pointer to the web site of a homeowner who when through a couple of short sales herself and decided to write a book about it. You can buy the eBook on that site. Go to http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20120809_shortsales.htm to read the Realty Times article or you can just access the links below.

Reports 51 Critical things you need to know about short sales (a sizable PDF file of 16 pages)  -


 and

The web site for the lady who wrote a book about her experiences with short sales -


As I emphasize on my short sale web site, no one really likes doing these short sales. Short sales are generally better, in terms of credit impact, than foreclosures or declaring bankruptcy; but, they are often frustrating for all of the parties involved. The most apparent “winner” in these transactions is the buyer of the short sale house; although the frustrations and long waiting periods involved can certainly dull the thrill of that victory. Statistically, the majority of short sales actually fail to close. Many don’t happen because the lenders often pursue the foreclosure process in parallel with the short sale process and the foreclosure happened first. You might think that the bank’s foreclosure department would know that the short sale department is pursuing a sale, but you would be wrong – most banks are so siloed in their organizational structure that those two departments almost never talk to each other.

So, if you are contemplating short sales in the southeastern corner of Michigan read these items and/or go to my web site – www.mishortsales.com for even more on the process and possible outcomes and consequences. Then give me a call and we’ll discuss whether a short sale may be right for you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stop by and buy something from Granny

The Milford Historical Society will conduct a Granny’s Garage Sale on the front porch of the Milford Historical Museum during the first two days of the Milford Memories Festival. The sale, which features collectibles, antiques and garage sale items (but no clothing), will run from 9 am until 4 pm on Friday, Aug 10, and Saturday, Aug 11.

In addition to the garage sale the Historical Society will have two tents on the front lawn of the museum. One tent will contain a display of items that are normally displayed in the museum, including native American artifacts that were collected by a Society member. The other tent will be used to sell the items that are normally sold inside the museum, including rare photo prints and the Historical Society book “Ten Minutes Ahead Of The Rest Of The World”, the history of Milford, Michigan.

People planning on visit the Milford Memories Festival are encouraged to stop by the Museum and get acquainted with the Milford Historical Society. Perhaps you will find a treasure among the items on sale at Granny’s Garage Sale.

The Milford Historical Society was founded in 1973 by a group of citizens who recognized the importance of the heritage of their community and wished to share it with their contemporaries and preserve it for those who will follow. To these ends, the members have established a museum, a research and archives room, and have sponsored, in conjunction with the Milford Township Library and the State of Michigan Library, the microfilming of the Milford Times newspaper beginning with the first issue in 1871. The Society’s continuing projects include an annual home tour, various research projects and an effort toward local architectural preservation.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Go for the gold - listen

“None is so deaf, as those who would not hear.” (Australian Proverb) from Jack’s Winning Words.

How true and how important for success in real estate. Sometimes the calliope of so-called “super star” agents focusing upon “ME, ME, ME” during listing appointments drowns out the would-be sellers’ comments about the house or their needs. There is certainly nothing wrong with letting the potential client know what your qualifications are to represent them and their house, especially is they ask.  I’ve heard feedback more than once from people who listed with me that they were completely turned off by that ego-driven ME approach. I’ve heard many times the comment, “He/she wasn’t listening to me at all. She/he was too busy talking about himself and great he/she is.”

In real estate, whether on the seller or buyer side, listening is the most important thing that you can do. It’s through listening that you’ll pick up on the features of the house that attracted the current owners and may be used to help attract buyers.  It’s through careful listening at showings (with some well-designed prompting, sometimes) that the needs and desires of potential buyers are really uncovered, sometimes involving things they had never mentioned before.  It’s also through listening for all of the hidden cues and clues while negotiating that one can find the right path to a win-win situation.

So, don’t be the ones that will not hear (usually because they are too busy talking). In the midst of the Olympics, an old Turkish proverb also seems apropos - "If speaking is silver, then listening is gold." As for me, I’m goin’ for the gold.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Getting ready for a huge weekend

Milford’s summer festival Milford Memories may not be at the level of the Ann Arbor Art Fair, but for a little Village the size of Milford it’s HUGE. It’s also huge with the various arts ads crafts vendors who attend every year. It is such a success that there is a waiting list of vendors trying to get a booth slot at Milford Memories. I’ve talked with many of the vendors who tell me that this is one of their favorite street festivals of the year and a very good one for business for them. Even during the very down years of the “Great Recession” they were still selling their wares to the visitors at Milford Memories.

The Milford Memories Festival draws crowds estimated at over 100,000 people into Milford over the three days – Friday through Sunday. That’s a lot of people for a small village to accommodate and getting a parking slot close to the downtown area can be tough. Since I only live two blocks from the north end of the festival, I get lots of requests to park at my house from friends and church people in West Bloomfield and Orchard Lake, where we lived before moving to Milford in 1999. We try to accommodate them all and certainly welcome people to visit us while they are out for the festival.

My house also happens to be right on the primary detour route for getting people around the closed off streets of downtown. That makes it tough to back out of my own driveway during the weekend, but we still manage. We also get lots of foot traffic by our front and side yards during the weekend, which, again, I don’t mind. I just hope that passers-by don’t use my yard as the dump for their empty water bottles or food wrappers.

There are lots of events planned for the weekend – 5 & 10K races; blind canoe races; a civil war encampment, with canon firing daily; an Art in the Village art show and much more. Click here to see a schedule all of the events associated with Milford Memories over the three days. The Milford Historical Society will be holding a Granny’s Garage Sale Friday and Saturday from 9 am until 4 pm on the front porch of the Milford Historical Museum. We also plan on having a display of museum items in a tent out front and another tent to sell some of the items that the museum normally sells when it is open. If enough docent volunteers can be found, we’ll also have the Museum open on Friday and Saturday.  The Museum is on Commerce Rd just a block east of Main Street, so it will be an easy detour for you if you are walking the whole festival.

Believe it or not there are a few other things going on in the Milford/Highland area that weekend, if street festivals are not your bag. One event of interest to history buffs might be Kensington Colonial Days out at Kensington Metropark.  For the list of other things going on, go to my web site www.movetomilford.com and check out Upcoming Community Events.

So rest up this weekend and early next week and get yourself ready for three days of fun and shopping  in Milford at the Milford Memories Festival or participating in some or all of the events going on during the weekend. And remember to stop by the Granny’s garage Sale at the Museum. I’ll be there most of the day on Friday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Updated Real Estate Stats – July is in the books

I’ve just completed updating the sold real estate stats for the markets that I track locally – Milford, Highland Commerce, White Lake, Lyon & West Bloomfield in Oakland County; and Green Oak, Brighton and Hartland in Livingston County. So how are we doing so far in 2012?

Did more homes sell in Highland or Milford in July? How about year-to-date? Is the median home price higher in Commerce or Lyon? How about the cost per square foot? Which market had the most New-Build sales in July? Is Brighton on average more or less expensive than West Bloomfield in terms of average cost per sq ft for a home? If I was looking for a lower cost (average sale price) home market, would I look in White Lake or Highland? Which market had the shortest days-on-market for July? How about year-to-date? Which market had the least amount (%) of distressed sales – short sales and foreclosed sales – during July? How did July compare to June in those markets?

You can find the answers to those questions and more at my site www.movetomilford.com under the choice “What have homes in this area sold for?” While you’re there you can also check out what events are coming up in the Milford/Highland area or find a referral to a local business. If you want to know lots more about Milford, just choose the “Click on Milford” button at the top of the page for everything about Milford.

I live and work in Milford, Michigan and think it’s the greatest place in Michigan to live. There’s always something to do in the area for the whole family and lots of great restaurants to visit. The shops downtown are still useful for shopping for more than knick-knacks (although we have those, too). Soon we will be hosting Milford Memories, one of the largest Street festivals in Michigan; followed by the Milford Home Tour and the Milford Car show and the Tractor Show on the third weekend in September.

So study the real estate stats and learn more about Milford and when you’re ready to Move To Milford give me a call, I can help with that.