Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big Bounce on Wall Street

After suffering one of the largest single day point losses in history, the stock market made a strong bounce back today and quickly gained back 484 of the 777 points lost the previous day. Speeches by President George Bush, Senator John McCain, Senator Barack Obama and other U.S. governmental leaders provided a solid sense of confidence that a recovery bill would in fact be coming out of congress in the very near future. Many investors jumped back into the market to take advantage of some of the bargains created during yesterdays sell off. Many more investors have decided to wait and see what would happen.

As is often the case, the real estate market often follows the stock market. In recent weeks, we've had a solid number of buyers looking to take advantage of good end of the season buying opportunities. With the news over the past week, however, most of those buyers have decided to wait and see how the stock market reacts to the legislation that eventually comes out of congress. Almost without exception, most analysts feel that the forced debate over the scope and structure of the recovery legislation will help to ensure it's something that will actually help the american tax payer and have longer lasting positive impacts. Like most of you, we're going to watch the news to make sure our elected officials do what they were sent to Washington to do and put together legislation that actually addresses a real problem. Once everyone is confident that has been accomplished, we'll likely see those same tentative buyers get back in the game and make a move to acquire a late season deal in beautiful Northern Michigan.

Once we have an opportunity to review the legislation that actually gets voted into law, we'll be sure to provide analysis to you from leaders in the real estate industry to help make sure you can make the most well informed decision possible. It's been quite a news cycle with all the economic headlines as well as the very important upcoming presidential election. We'll do our best to help you determine how all of this news may affect the world of real estate.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Economy and Northern Michigan Real Estate

I've had the opportunity to attend a number of meetings recently with various real estate boards across Northern Michigan and, not surprisingly, not many people are overly excited about their fortunes in 2008. Those that I know well as hard working agents who understand how the modern real estate industry works are doing very well. There is not doubt that there is a bit of a pause right now as everyone waits to see how Wall Street will react to the legislation coming out of Washington in the coming days, but we are still very busy and in there is solid interest in the market. Those who have not overextended themselves and have access to money are taking advantage of one of the greatest buyer's markets we've seen in an awful lot of years.

There are also indicators that things are beginning to show signs of turning as well. Fewer homes are being built, which means there will be less inventory and many of the homes that have been on the market for a long while will be able to sell. Other sellers have decided to just hold on to their properties and be happy with what they have which will also help to reduce inventory. It's all supply and demand. We haven't lost too much on the demand side, but the supply side was making it difficult. As the supply drops, prices are likely to come back up. If I'm a seller right now that doesn't have to sell, it might make sense to wait until after the election and until we have a better gauge on the impact of the "rescue" legislation to decide whether to sell or not. If I'm a buyer, I see a combination of circumstances that makes it pretty tough for me not to take advantage and buy at the bottom!

Either way, the colors are rapidly starting to change and it's getting awfully pretty here in Northern Michigan. Take a drive along the lakeshore, a walk through the woods or paddle any number of spectacular rivers, but get out and enjoy the spectacular fall season. Let us know if we can help while you're in town.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We work for free

In today's world of immediately available information and each individual's ability to do their own research, the profession of real estate has changed drastically. We feel excited about the direction our business is heading because we've had the opportunity to build our company from the ground up to cater to today's more internet savvy buyers and sellers. Our site, as I'm sure you would agree, is very easy to use, provides a tremendous amount of information and allows users to get all the information they need in one location.

We've also seen a very interesting trend with all this available information and self education of buyers. They are much less likely to seek out a solid agent to represent them in the process. Even though it is possible to find detailed accurate information on listings and do your research on geographic location and characteristics of the neighborhood, it is impossible to replace the knowledge of a professional Realtor. Don't get me wrong, not all Realtors are created equal. Many either don't have the knowledge base or character to truly represent their client's interests over their own. This is the biggest way we separate ourselves from the competition. We're a small firm for a very specific reason. Each and every professional involved with our firm treats our business as a profession and not just a sales job. We recognize that the single largest financial decision most people will make in their lives is the real estate they choose to purchase and we take our role in that transaction very seriously.

Best of all, we work for free for buyers. It costs absolutely nothing to contact us and tap into our extensive experience in the market. We can help make sense out of the puzzle of why one property may be worth more than another when on paper, the opposite seams true. We have already weeded through the lenders to determine those that are most likely to get you the best terms and conditions. We work daily with the title companies to insure the property is free and clear of any liens and have built relationships with those companies who go to great lengths to make our customers happy. Perhaps most importantly, we understand the legalities surrounding the purchase of real estate and all the other issues that go along with that such as easements, deed restrictions, zoning ordinances, D.E.Q. concerns and other information that the average buyer couldn't possibly be expected to know. This is our profession and we do it better than anyone else. All of these services come at no charge to you, the buyer, so next time a question pops into your mind as you're looking online, drop us an e-mail or pick up the phone and give us a call. We look forward to helping you sort out all the information you've gathered and help to make sure the decision you make is right for you.