Living Up North in Michigan

Blog about real estate related issues, property, living and vacationing in beautiful Boyne City, East Jordan, Charlevoix, Boyne Falls, Petoskey, and Walloon, Michigan.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Market Update for the Northern Michigan MLS and the Number One Reason Your Home Isn't Selling

These are from statistics ending July 31, 2018, the latest available at the time of this post.
Brett  Binkley
2018 ACK President and
Realtor of the Year

By the end of July, residential median prices are up about 11% this year for all areas in the Northern Michigan Multiple Listing Service.  That is consistent with July 2017 that was at 12% and where 2017 ended for the whole year.

Keep in mind that we're talking about the whole residential category across all price ranges. Sellers have continued to push the list price attempting to maximize their return.  However, it has resulted in price reductions rather than multiple offer situations like we were seeing earlier in those cases.  One factor could be increasing mortgage rates that currently are just over 4.7%.  That is approaching a percent higher than last year.

An example of this is a home in Boyne City in a very good location that has been on the market for 45 days, at the time of this post, that was reduced recently by 5%.  The importance of pricing real estate property properly IN THE BEGINNING is imperative no matter whether it's a buyers OR sellers market!

THE number one reason a home doesn't sell is that it is priced improperly.  The market appreciation either has to come up to the seller's expectations for a sales price, or the seller has to go to it.  Guess which wins almost every time!  No one determines the market price for the home except the market. 

Another factor that continues to affect the market is the lack of homes.  The cost of building is getting prohibitive as the prices continue to climb for building materials, labor, and government regulations (code).  Government entities and private groups are meeting all over the country to try and come up with solutions for homes that people can buy AND rent.  

There are no easy solutions but the fact remains that as long as there is a limited inventory of homes, the prices will continue to rise until there is another outside influence such as an economic downturn, high mortgage interest rates, or some other disaster--weather related or otherwise.

Monday, September 17, 2018

After the Closing: How should you leave your home for the new owner?

When vacating a home for the new owner, ask yourself: "what condition would I like the home I'm moving into?"

Trust me, YOU may like grandma's dresser but unfortunately, it didn't fit on the moving truck. Don't leave it for the new owners--they don't want it either!  The old saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure" does NOT apply here.  The new owners don't want to deal with your belongings, even if you think you're leaving them a family treasure.  They have their own stuff they've brought or have bought to make your old home their own.
Don't Leave Your Stuff for the New Owners
to Clean Up

One other thing they don't want is your dirt and pet hair.  At a minimum, leave the home in "broom-swept" condition with the cupboards and appliances wiped clean.  Better yet, hire a house-cleaner to do a quick once-over.  The way you leave a home is a reflection on you.

There may be exceptions, however.  Paint or stain that is in good condition and matches the current wall colors may be left for touch-ups by the new owners.  Dried up paint from two updates ago don't belong--throw it out.  Make sure to leave any manuals for appliances, keys, garage door openers, window screens, towel bars, window treatments, TV mounts attached to the wall, and a list of vendors such as repairmen that are familiar with your home.
Don't Leave Your Boat Either-Even if it floats!

Same thing applies outside.  Don't leave items in the yard unless they belong there or they were part of the purchase agreement.  The old tractor and parts that have been stuck in the grass behind the garage have got to go. If you have a fireplace or fire pit, a neatly stacked pile of firewood is appropriate to leave.  A nice gesture is to leave the grass cut so the new owners don't have to worry about that at the same time they're trying to move into their new home.

In our market, it's customary for the new owners to transfer utility services effective the day of close.  It's up to the agents to help facilitate that by providing utility information and contact numbers.  If the seller cancels service, the new buyer may incur re-connection fees charged by the utility companies.

Again, the best way to make sure there is a smooth transition between buyer and seller, leave the home clean and empty--just like you'd like to enter YOUR new home!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Why Haven't You Listed Your Property with Me Yet?

If you're thinking about selling (or buying), let's talk about what's happening...

Prices are rising as you may have heard on existing homes, but so are mortgage rates.  I have a client couple who have a contract on a home but it's contingent on the sale of their home.  Since they contracted that home about 90 days ago, the interest rates have risen 15%.  If they don't sell their home soon, they'll have to withdraw their offer based on the financing contingency. The monthly payments will be too high for the bank to approve the financing based on income.

Demand for homes remains high as there is a truly a lack of supply that is driving up the prices.  As mortgage rates rise, the amount of home or price that buyers can afford diminishes--if they can afford a home for their familial situation at all!

As far as building homes, not only are we way behind where we should be in the number of homes being built, the cost is becoming more and more prohibitive.  An example regarding the cost of building supplies, a sheet of OSB board last year was $7--this year that same sheet is $22.  Even so, builders are busy and it is hard to schedule a build.  Few developments are being started as investors are still a little cautious because of the financial crisis just 10 or so years ago.  Their money isn't going as far these days either for the same reasons I spoke above about.

If you'd like to talk to me about this or other real estate topics, please don't hesitate to contact me. brett@patobrien.com or 231.590.8230

Friday, February 9, 2018

Congrats Boyne City High School Class of 2020!

The Boyne City Class of 2020 was successful in raising money for the recent Snowball Dance and future activities.  Shelly Brya, class adviser and high school teacher, said they were no longer in debt.  With the matching grant they raised over $700.  Brett Binkley, Associate Broker at Pat O'Brien & Associates, presented a check to some of the class members last Monday. 

Pat O'Brien & Associates Real Estate has contributed over $100,000 in the last 8 years to local charities and causes. The money is all private money from the agents and staff.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Lake Charlevoix Waterfront Parcel Listing


Beautiful parcel in Horton Bay on Lake Charlevoix’s north shore. Well located between Boyne City, Charlevoix and Petoskey. More information here


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Charlevoix County Residential Median Pricing Stats 2009-2017

In preparation for this blog I went back to 2009 to see what the median price appreciation or depreciation was over the years since the financial debacle in 2008.  

Our MLS provides monthly stats and a year end summary in December.  It's those reports that I used to come up with the numbers.  I also measured the units sold to see how that would correspond to the sales (demand).  

You can see from the graph that the units sold does have the same general shape as the fall and rise in prices. The most interesting thing to me is that if you take the percentage increases and decreases over the displayed years, do you know what the average per year prices did?  Rose 4.3%!  

While we were living the recovery, we weren't feeling it, but real estate continues to be a good investment.