Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 10, 2020


HATS OFF TO EVERYONE STAYING HOME!  Unpleasant, sometimes even mentally brutal, but it's what we must do to get "better, faster, sooner"  and to help keep our loved ones alive.


SO...Another day of challenges for most people in South Eastern Michigan.  But there truly is an UPSIDE to this COVID-19 Pandemic. WE, ARE indeed, in this TOGETHER!  WE ARE STRONG BECAUSE OF EACH OTHER. Because of that, I want to put a spotlight on some of the many, many people who are out there risking their lives for us all every day.  They very much deserve our accolades. I hope you agree, because I need YOUR help in bringing them to light and giving them the much deserved attention and gratitude from our community. 


There are so many heroes out there doing so much for us all, both individually, as well as businesses.  It runs from GROCERY STORE WORKERS, PHARMACY WORKERS, HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, POLICE, RESTAURANT/FOOD INDUSTRY WORKERS, FAITH LEADERS, TRUCKERS/DELIVERY PERSONS, VETERINARIANS, EMERGENCY HOME REPAIR PROFESSIONALS, and the lists could go on and on.


Please share with me deserving candidates, with a couple sentences about what this individual and or business is doing for our community in this challenging period.  I will do my best to share and spread the word about these amazing people to the world.


We also recognize how difficult it is for those of us that WANT desperately to be out there working, but are sacrificing paychecks to comply in order to get us to the other side of this.



Stay safe, and stay healthy and find some gratitude every day.



Click on the link below to fill out our form and nominate a Hometown Hero or send me an email!

Posted in Gratitude
April 7, 2020


Times are tough right now for everyone.  THANK YOU is just not enough to say to all of those out there that are bravely risking their lives on a daily basis to help us get over this huge hump that has taken over our lives. There ARE some bright points for every buyer and seller to consider.  Many people are weary of being cooped up at home. I thought I would have learned 3 different languages by now! Being a worker, teacher, chef, entertainment committee, and all around cheerleader, makes the Corona 15 lbs. a real thing!





I am being (thankfully) inundated with inquiries and well wishes from clients (which is incredibly meaningful, and I thank you all for that and send my virtual hugs and well wishes right back to everyone).  I also have lots of people asking my opinion of what the market will do, wanting to look at houses and wondering about listing a house, etc. Below is my "low down" of the current situation, and what we can and can't do.





This is the first thing we can all do to stop the spread.  NO ONE is allowed to show houses per the Statewide mandate currently. This is considered "non-essential" by the Governor, for now.  Bummer, when people have nothing but time on their hands, this will help our state and our country get back on its feet quicker and with fewer deaths.  Of course, washing hands and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting households is critical and will continue to be.







1. Use this time wisely.  Now is the time to tweak details around the house.  We often don't really "see" our own homes when we busily live in them.  Go at it with a fresh set of eyes. Touch up paint and declutter, but don't miss the opportunity to move things around and re-decorate.  Splashes of color, moving some plants around, "staging" a dining room table, cleaning blinds, etc. Buyers will be VERY EAGER to be able to look at houses again soon, and you want everything to be just right.  Pay special attention to front door entrances. It is the first impression everyone will have of your home, so it should say INVITING, WELL MAINTAINED, AND COME HOME TO YOUR NEW HOUSE!



2. When the stock market struggles, people often want to jump more heavily into real  estate. Impressive interest rates, and the ability to get in to buy something that they can enjoy that should appreciate at the same time becomes very compelling for many people. If you have been considering potentially selling and/or the timing of that, this may be an incredibly good opportunity coming up this spring, summer and fall.  A market analysis can be arranged virtually so that we are poised and prepared as soon as the stay home ban is lifted to potentially get your home on the market. At the very least, it gives you an idea of where you stand.





This is a great time to consider what REALLY are critical aspects for your home purchase and search.  You CAN even schedule showings for homes for specific times and dates right now! At this point, the very end of April will be when we can get out and start looking again!  Great news is that lots of homeowners have been poised and prepared to put countless homes on the market for spring, so there should be amazing new inventory coming very soon and INTEREST RATES  are at an all time low! Some over-leveraged sellers of 2nd and 3rd homes may be eager to simplify and scale down right now.



Use this time to connect with your REALTOR® to review any timing changes, lifestyle shifts in your lives, or changes in your desired living areas.  That way you will be ready when the right house presents itself. Home buying is often very competitive this time of year, and everyone may "rush" out there as soon as they can look at houses again, so be sure you are prepared with a current pre-approval letter (most lenders are working from home) or proof of funds (make sure that the account(s) you intend to pull your cash from will be available when you are ready to buy).  It may be critical to get you what you want!



As we all know, there is no crystal ball, but I am currently working with buyers and sellers to organize inventory and put buyers and sellers together as soon as we ramp back up.  



Please be sure to try to reach out to those around us who are in greater need such as the Brooklyn Food Pantry and the Jackson Food Pantry.


- Brooklyn Food Pantry


- Jackson Food Pantry














Also, many  animals are in need of foster care.  Please consider offering assistance, if this is an option for you!


- Jackson County Animal Shelter


- Cascades Humane Society




March 2, 2020

WHAT SELLS A HOUSE? The answer may be a surprise, and an opportunity for enjoyment AND added value, right under your nose!

I am always asked, "What sells a house"?  Of course, we all know that location is critical.  The basics of the right layout, number of bedrooms and baths, and kitchens are always very important.  But the surprise that can be KEY to making your home have that EXTRA something that catapults it into the "MUST HAVE THIS HOUSE" stratosphere is something RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE!  Behold, (drum roll please), THE GARAGE!



Yes, as boring and utilitarian as it may sound, your garage can be a game changer, a functional feature, and a talking point amongst potential buyers.  Not to mention, your garage can also be a major source of enjoyment for you and your family WHILE adding value to the potential sale of your home.



WHAT IS YOUR STYLE?  Industrial modern? Vintage? Harley? Shabby chic? Minimalist? Elegant?







1.  PAINT - Remember, your garage is usually the first thing you see when you get home, and the last thing you see when you leave home.  It should be an invitation to leave the world of work and chaos behind. People often forget, it is a blank pallet you can make all your own.  An extension of your personality and of the interior of your home. Think of the feeling you are trying to achieve. Consider even artwork for the walls.  Most people desire functional organization first, but consider as well, color! PAINT can make a world of difference. Even just an accent color on the floor or walls can transform the space.  Consider a textured durable wall cover as a half wall treatment. Natural light and skylights are stunning and useful.





2.  FLOORING - High end luxury home buyers are often seduced by glossy high end epoxy, tile or other, defining a refined sense of style as well as luxury and durability. There are also very high end designer snap in squares which allow a homeowner to design a pattern and personalize.  Often chosen to accentuate stunning vehicles and motorcycles.







3.  WHERE SHOULD EVERYTHING GO?  STORAGE IS KING! NEAT AND TIDY, OUT OF SITE, OUT OF MIND -  it sends an immediate, unstated message to a buyer, of the way your home has been maintained .  Don't miss this opportunity to Wow!




CABINETS are where it's at for luxury homeowners and buyers.  Again, delivering the message about what awaits in the interior of the home. Consider professional garage organization companies such as Cutting Edge Garage Solutions.  There are also high end looks for storage in the big box stores, IKEA, or get creative, and use your old kitchen cabinets giving them new life with color and/or hardware. 













4.  LIGHTING - Here is your chance to create and enhance the mood you are going for.  You want functional lighting that accentuates work spaces, surfaces, high end vehicles and bikes and high end boats.   Consider UNIQUE and unusual lighting for your high end garage, such as a chandelier, spot lights, rope lighting, floor lights,  ceiling fans. You can even add some crown molding for an additional detail that adds BIG panache!



5.  UNIQUE - THE MESSAGE SHOULD BE, "YOU NEED ME,  YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THIS GARAGE".  Arguably, nothing sells a home better than a super high end feature that makes your jaw drop, and you just have to tell everyone you know about what you saw.  "You won't BELIEVE the garage I saw today honey", is what you want people to say about YOUR garage. Garages can easily add hundreds of thousands of dollars of value, or just something that sets it apart from the heard.



In the Jackson Michigan/Irish Hills area  - HE/SHE CAVES, in luxury garages are HUGE draws. These can include poker/gaming areas, craft areas, media areas, themed restrooms, kitchen areas, art spaces, planting rooms and very often even bars! 





Think of creating another haven for yourself, and it's literally, right under your nose.


Posted in Things To Know
Feb. 20, 2020

DOCKS AND DON'TS: Top 5 things New Lakefront Home Owners should consider...

Now that you have your new lakefront home, the FUN begins! This can be the most exciting time you could imagine.  Of course, the first thing you need to arrange is GETTING ON THE WATER.  A dock is your lifeline to fun in the sun on the lake! Here are some personal tips to consider pertaining to docks.





Nearly everyone wants their dock in by Memorial Day Weekend.  Don't miss out on being part of all that "first summer weekend fun"!  There are many dock installation people in the Irish Hills of Michigan.  Typically they currently are charging around $25 per section in my experience, depending on the circumstances of course (such as length, depth, bottom conditions etc.)  Boat lifts run about $75-$100.

Mem. day weekend


When applicable, associations may require approval of dock placement.  Always try to be respectful of neighboring properties. It goes a long way on the lakes for neighborly relationships.

Dock placement


Take it from me, it is hard to find someone to get into frigid water to remove your dock.  Often people take them out Labor Day weekend, however, there are some incredibly beautiful fall lake days that are missed that come far in to October in my experience.



Oh yes.  The big dilemma.  The dock is "the magical gate" to the lake, but it is also, JUST a way to get to the boat.  It all depends on your taste and your budget. Typically, in South Eastern Michigan basic wood type docks run around $250 per section.  Vinyl maybe $400-500 per section not including hardware and brackets. There are often used docks for sale in a variety of styles. Many people really like the ROLL A DOCK.  A dock on wheels essentially. Minimal hassle. Bear in mind, the heat under bare feet when you are considering color and choice of surface.



Your dock can be an extension of your living space!  It can be friendly and inviting. You can inject your own personality with all weather outdoor rugs and seating and a pop of color or bright hearty plants.  Night time dock lights can create a memorable ambiance for entertaining. There are even under water lights in a variety of colors. I have seen the green ones, and to watch the fish at night is just magical!  Also check out dock hammocks and Lily Pads. Just cool stuff. Have your water toys and water safety items accessible in a sturdy container for ease. An easy to carry container for rolled towels make for a festive fun dock experience. 




lily pad






If you are in the market for a dock, or even just ready to upgrade your current one.  Here are a couple of recommendations:

- Lakefront Solutions, Troy Davenport

- 517-592-1002




- Knutson's Sporting Goods

- 517-592-2786


Posted in Things To Know
Feb. 18, 2020


OK.  You've made it!
You endured the nail biting showings, documents, negotiations, and packing.  WHEW!   ACCEPTED OFFER!   So now all you need to think about is a good clean closing, right?  Below are a few suggestions from 20 years of being a REALTOR® in Michigan.  As always, check with your trusted REALTOR® for specific details. 
1.  Know where you are going.
2.  Bring your drivers license.
3.  No personal checks. (Those don't work at the title company)  A cashier's check payable to yourself or the title company.
4.  Do NOT send wiring instructions via email or text.  Too many hackers.
5.  Review closing documents prior to sitting down at the closing.  That's the time to ask questions :)
6.  Often best to save the majority of final talking bits, discussions about home details, friendly chat during the close until the end, when final copies are being made.
7.  Don't forget your reader glasses if you need them.
8.  *IMPORTANT*  If you are taking your check out of state, there may be a 10 day hold on your funds, so arranging for a wire with your REALTOR may be your best option.
9.  IF your home is in a trust, the title will need a copy of the CERTIFICATE OF TRUST.  IF you are receiving funds from the sale of a home IN a trust, there MUST be an account set up IN THAT TRUST NAME in order to deposit the check.
10.  Lastly, try to relax.  Deep breaths.  It is surely the culmination of one journey, and a wide open door to another!
Closing Time
July 31, 2017

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Posted in Market Updates