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, January 28, 2020

Why Didn't My House Sell?

With the real estate market supposedly so strong, sellers may be surprised when their home doesn't sell in a day for asking price or better. First, the only thing that determines what a home sells for is the market. Agents and homeowners work together to come up with a starting price for the home by using "comparables"--homes of similar size, location, and condition and what the sold price was, not what the current price of a home that hasn't sold yet. How many days the home has been on the market is a good indicator as to how the home has been received by the market. The starting price is generally the main reason a home sells in a reasonable amount of time and the highest price. Other reasons homes don't sell include: not showing to it's potential or not convenient to show; lack of communication between the seller and the agent; contract length was too short; wrong marketing. Let us show you how we can make selling and buying property a smooth process!


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What to Expect with 2020 Real Estate Market

All indicators point to a similar real estate market that we saw in 2019. Multiple sources predict that with low unemployment and historically low mortgage rates, there remains a scarcity in housing, especially in the lower priced category. Homeowners are staying put longer and new housing isn't being built because of high cost of materials and shortage of skilled building trades labor. But with prices up so much over the past few years and lack of homes, 2020 is lining up to be another great time to list your home for sale. reports that it is expected that nationally, home prices will flatten out.

What does this mean to your personal situation?  While moving up means paying a higher price--potentially--for a comparable home replacement, mortgage rates remain remarkably low and your home SHOULD garner a good sales price and maybe good equity to put on the new home!  The problem as indicated earlier in this blog is that there aren't many homes for sale to look at to buy.

Contact me if you want to discuss your personal situation.  I can do a free market analysis on your home to see if you have the equity to make a move!

Brett Binkley
Associate Broker
O'Brien & Associates
128 Water St. Boyne City, MI

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Rare Piece of Property Available on Lake Charlevoix!

Private Parcel
 This is a wonderful 4.5 acre private parcel located in a protected bay on the south side of the main body of Lake Charlevoix with 345' of frontage.  One of many nice features of this property is the hard sand bottom frontage that everyone craves.  The sandy lake bottom very gradually drops off allowing for a large area for swimming but deep enough for a boat to be close to shore.
Hard Sandy Bottom!

If privacy is what you desire, this parcel is lined with trees on either side and you'll never know there's anyone close by!
The classic cabin has a natural rock fireplace, 3 bedrooms and 1 bath.  It also has a separate sleeping quarter near a babbling artesian well (see video below) and a covered gazebo for hanging out at the lake.

Boyne City is a convenient 11 minute drive away with restaurants, shopping, and regular fun!  A popular golf course is across the street and the Ironton Ferry is also close so you can jump over to drive up to Charlevoix.

Click here for an aerial video of the property and the surrounding area.  For more information you can email me here and I'll be more than happy to provide you
with surveys, disclosures, etc.  mls #459222

Check out the NEW North Prime Real Estate website!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How Does All of This Harsh Winter Weather Affect Real Estate?

As with most things, the harsh winter weather tends to slow things in the real estate business.

Normally, during this time of year, we begin to see inventory build.  Savvy sellers are getting their homes on the market to beat the "competition" of other homes that are in the same price range.  By bringing their home to market sooner that other homes while inventory is low they are hoping to catch the eye
of a buyer who has yet to find the home they've been searching for since last year.

Is it more challenging to list your home for sale in the winter in northern Michigan?  Yes, it is. The exterior/landscape doesn't look great, you have to keep the snow and ice under control, you'll have people looking at your home and potentially tracking in snow.  And when your home sells you may have to move in it! 

On the other hand...since inventory is low, you may garner a higher price for your home since there are fewer homes to compete with yours.  Also, you may NOT have to move if the buyer is willing to take occupancy at a later date, allowing more time for you to move out and/or find a place to go.  Most of us have seasonal pictures of the exterior and can show potential buyers what your home looks like in the spring, summer, and fall.

With this onslaught of winter, 2019 is shaping up to having an even slower start with property listings.  There's plenty of time to make an appointment with me and I can consult you as to what the best timing is for your home to be listed.  It may depend on price range, property type, or location, for example.

Listing now could make a big difference in how much you put in your pocket at close so contact me now to discuss.  231.590.8230

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!