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Up North Bill's Blog (29)

Avoiding Inspection Nightmares

Finally. You've spruced up your home, kept it looking good, picked up and generally uninhabited; and after weeks of tire kickers and an occasional promising prospect you have your first real offer in your hands.  Your problems are behind you -- right?  All they need is an inspection. What could go wrong? Well....

Most residential pu…


Added by Up North Bill on April 17, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

How to Tell A Buyer from a Solicitation

I recently ran into a situation where a client of mine was solicited by a REALTOR who claimed to have a buyer for his property. The owners had listed with me for a year and we were in the process of renewing the contract.  The market  had improved…


Added by Up North Bill on March 6, 2014 at 1:46pm — No Comments

The First Will Be ... First


It happens every year.  People looking to buy or sell real estate in Northern Michigan take one look at the snow cover and say, "I think this can wait a bit".  Not a bad strategy really . . . if this were 2009, 10 or even 11.  It's not.  In the past year the number of homes available in most Northern Michigan counties has been diminishing; the average price of a home has been rising.  Homes are selling. People are buying.  Or they were until they got hip deep in snow.  Sales…


Added by Up North Bill on January 21, 2014 at 3:54pm — No Comments

A Buyer's Strategy for 2013

A different year, a different real estate market.  If you're seriously considering purchasing a new or second home in Northern Michigan in 2013, it's time to hit the reset button.  The market is changing and so should your ideas about how to shop for a home.

What's Changed?

In most areas in Northern Michigan prices are rising and the number of  the most desirable homes on the market are decreasing. Last year saw the healthiest market in five years. The average sales…


Added by Up North Bill on February 27, 2013 at 1:17pm — No Comments

Timing the Up North Real Estate Market

It's one of those annoyingly consistent and ignored pieces of financial advice universal among professional investment advisers -- "don't try to time the market." They are usually discussing the stock market. Nevertheless, most of us hear that voice rattling in our heads when we look at our largest single financial commitment (outside of kids) -- buying and selling real estate.

Ironically, if the last real estate downturn taught us anything, it was "timing IS…


Added by Up North Bill on February 4, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Ho, Ho, Home Sales

Christmas is coming early for area home buyers and sellers
Michigan first time homebuyers (any state resident who has not owned a home for at least three years) can soon qualify for a grant for up to $3,000 toward the purchase of a principal residence, $5,000 for active military and veterans. There are no income limits nor restrictions on the purchase price of the home. The grant just cannot exceed 25% of the purchase price. (Since there aren't a whole lot of desirable $20,000…

Added by Up North Bill on December 6, 2012 at 1:35pm — No Comments

Exorcizing the '70's

If you want to see a REALTOR wince, tell him you have a late 60's early 70's home to sell that "might need a little updating."  Why? Let me count the ways:

            First, "a little updating" in this era can mean things such as "green shag carpets", orange patterned kitchen vinyl flooring and…


Added by Up North Bill on June 5, 2012 at 3:50pm — No Comments

Warning: Bad Student Loan Servicing And Credit Agency Policies May Keep You From Buying Your First Home


            I don't pretend to know all the aspects of the Student Loan debt crisis in this country, but as a parent, co-signor and REALTOR I can offer a very personal perspective. First, some background:

            According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York there is approximately $870 Billion in student loan debt in the U.S. That's more than all the credit card debt in this country. Unlike credit card debt however, (or mortgages,…


Added by Up North Bill on May 24, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Your Cash Is Waiting, Up North Home Buyer

When the federal, first time home buyer tax credit ended in April 2011 many left the market thinking that incentives had disappeared. If you're talking up-front incentives you'd be right. But for many qualifying first time buyers and those in  targeted areas in Michigan (and that includes all…


Added by Up North Bill on May 5, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments

5 Ways NOT to Sell a House


We all have encountered them -- friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and strangers who "inexplicably" can't sell their home. They'll tell you it's the market, the economy, the neighborhood, stingy lenders, even the weather. And sometimes they're right. Other…


Added by Up North Bill on April 20, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Sales Are Marching On

Recently our local papers began trumpeting the "sudden" rise in sales activity in the local real estate market  (Regional Home Sales Jump in Feb. ) and some are wondering if this is just a patch of fair weather that brought out the optimists or if a trend may be taking shape.  Were I a betting man I would say it was the latter not the former. Here's why:

1. Mortgage rates are…


Added by Up North Bill on March 26, 2012 at 1:23pm — No Comments

Welcome to Serious Season

When it comes to second home buyers, the post Christmas winter months are what we up north REALTORS call the “serious season.”  A couple of visitors pry open the office door, kick off a few inches of snow, dump scarves on a nearby chair and with a computer printout in one hand and mittens in the other asks the first agent who enters their view “could you tell us something about this?”

Chances are the object of their search is not a spur of the moment inquiry. In the spring they may…


Added by Up North Bill on January 24, 2012 at 11:10am — No Comments

Go North for That Old-Time Shopping Experience



            Once upon a time … when bright windowed storefronts stood along glittering urban walkways, and bell ringing Santas and Salvation Army bands dotted every other corner, holiday shopping was a magic bundle-up, hometown experience – two parts entertainment, one part mindless bustle. It was a feast for the senses – wafting warm chestnuts and steaming hot chocolate tantalized cold-nosed shoppers, dueling recorded carols sang their…


Added by Up North Bill on November 17, 2011 at 12:38pm — No Comments

November Is the Best Time


                “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” …


Added by Up North Bill on November 1, 2011 at 2:54pm — No Comments

Let’s Hear It for Second Season


 Sometime in mid-August the seasonal exodus begins as families with children in sports are the first to make the last fudge run and retreat to their busier, less idyllic lives.  After Labor Day a number of the actively employed but less encumbered retreat to their assigned interstate.  Some linger through September or continue the weekend shuttle northward and back before closing the summer home. While the retired snow…


Added by Up North Bill on October 13, 2011 at 3:58pm — No Comments

The Last Lock Up


            Every fall throughout Northern Michigan a ritual as predictable as the southern migration overtakes our landscape -- the great cottage lockup begins. Docks and shore stations are removed and secured for the season.  Non-fishing craft…


Added by Up North Bill on September 7, 2011 at 3:44pm — No Comments

The Most Beautifully Priced Place In America

When Good Morning America viewers recently named Leelanau Peninsula’s Sleeping Bear Dunes the “Most Beautiful Place in…


Added by Up North Bill on August 26, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

Owning a Piece of the Most Beautiful Place In the Nation -- Sleeping Bear Dunes


                Chef Mario Batali did it, so did comedian Tim Allen. Madonna’s family chose the area to build a winery. Executives, retired auto workers, professional musicians, foodies, cherry farmers, wine makers, bakers, entrepreneurs and…


Added by Up North Bill on August 17, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Five Home Ideas Whose Time Has Come



The idea of progress is an American religion.  We are always trying to do things better, faster, more efficiently.   Because we believe we can, and we should.  Nowhere is this more evident than in our homes, where within some fairly conventional exteriors the latest in innovations – remote computer security, 3-D surround sound entertainment centers, convection ovens, cappuccino makers and remote control hot tubs – have literally reshaped…


Added by Up North Bill on August 16, 2011 at 2:34pm — No Comments

It’s Cool Up Here and That Keeps Us Hot

Northern Michigan is the hottest spot in the state and among the coolest in the nation (in oh so many ways). How so? Well . . . Unlike elsewhere in Michigan, real estate sales in Northern Michigan are on the upswing – we saw the best June sales in our five county region in five years. And they weren’t just fire…


Added by Up North Bill on August 5, 2011 at 1:52pm — No Comments


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