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!

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

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates