Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break Events in Midland

Sprouts and Snouts

Space Studios is hosting two Spring Break workshops for children grades K-12. Participants get a hands on clay experience, creating functional pieces of pottery start to finish. The kids will be crafting flower pots on March 29th and pig banks on April 31st. Each two hour workshop will also include a visit to our Glaze Bar. Cost is $45 per session; save $5 when you sign up for both. Space is limited so call or stop by the studio to register today!

Spring Break Mini - Day Camp


Come enjoy the wonders of Spring in Michigan at this three-day day camp! Campers will be divided into smaller "camp groups" based on their age and will play games, sing songs, do art projects and more, all while exploring the CNC property.

Registration Deadline: 3/25/11.   Cost is $90.  Ages: 5-12.  Phone:  989.631.0830

Spring Break 2011 at Valley Lanes.

8:00 pm to Midnight; High School only with ID.

  $5 entry gets you Unlimited Bowling & Mini Golf, Billiards, DJ/Dancing & MORE!

Please call (989) 832-3256 for information.

Contact Name: Kathryn

Golf Expo at Dow Diamond

The Great Lakes Loons and Citadel Broadcasting have partnered to host the first-ever Golf Expo on Saturday, March 26th and Sunday, March 27th at Dow Diamond.

The Golf Expo, presented by King Par Golf, Hole in One Golf Book and Bid Al's Golf Discount, will feature over 20,000 square feet of the latest and greatest of golf and golf-related exhibits and vendors. Vendors from all over the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond will have golf merchandise and services for sale. In addition, there will be golf pros on hand conducting a range of game improvement seminars, factory reps from an assortment of golf equipment manufacturers on hand to demonstrate their latest technology and designs, and courses such as Apple Mountain, Buck's Run, Tree Tops, Bay City Country Club and more!

The Golf Expo will be open from 9AM to 5PM on Saturday and 10AM to 3PM on Sunday. Throughout the Expo there will be prize giveaways, seminars and presentations by a variety of speakers.

The event is open to the public and admission is $5 for adults, $1 for kids 5-12 years and kids under will receive free admission. Dow Diamond concessions stands will be open in the heated, enclosed concourse throughout the Expo.

Vendor space is available, but is very limited. If your company or course has an interest in participating the Golf Expo at Dow Diamond, contact Tom Clark of Citadel Broadcasting at 989.776.2138 or

Phone: 989.837.2255

Q&A: Do I need a home inspection to finance a house?

Q:   If I buy a home and its listed "as is", do I have to have a home inspection before the bank will approve the loan, and will the bank give a loan on a home where repairs are needed?

In answer to the first question, no, you are never REQUIRED to conduct a home inspection prior to purchasing a home.  However, it is very strongly encouraged.  Consider  that you are spending  approximately $200, give or take, to protect your multi-thousand dollar investment.  It only makes sense.

 Now, as far as the loan, mortgage underwriters have become far more conservative with not just lending, but also with repair issues than in the past.  The lending crisis caused by more lenient lending terms has now caused the pendulum to swing far the other direction.

 In the past, FHA VA and other government backed loans were the only loans that required basic condition criteria to be met.  They addressed such things as roof life expectancy, peeling paint, broken windows, and the likes for repair prior to lending.  Now, it is not uncommon for all loans, including conventional, to review the notes of the appraiser or the and request repairs based on the appraisers comments.  The rules are not hard and fast, however.  It is independent for every lenders’ underwriter.  I will say, I have seen things in the last year that I have not seen in the previous 12 years, so this is an ever-changing market.  So, yes, it is possible the lender will require repairs prior to lending.

Real Estate Minute #2: Good News in Real Estate!

I am here today to tell you there is GOOD news in real estate!
Many economists have stated the housing market is still frail and positioned to fall another 15%, 20% or even 25%. I think they are dead wrong, at least in our community. Those of us working this local market have our finger on the pulse of housing locally. We know what is happening here. And we like it!
Over ½ of the 100 major housing markets nationally are showing improvement. Take a look at these local statistics on residential, single family home and condo sales:
• Average Sales price from 2009 to 2010 was up 9.3%
• 2011 average sales price is already up almost 11% this year over last year.
• Number of sales from 2009 to 2010 was up 15.25%
• Year to date, the Midland Board MLS reports 188 sales
I think we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. True, prices are not recovered back to where they were in 2005/2006, but we are forging down the right path.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finally, a Critic of the Critics!

I watched the Today Show last week in the morning and was positively ecstatic to hear a segment on the housing market.  Guest consultant on the topic was Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and business expert, founder of The Corcoran Group in Manhattan.  Barbara came out in opposition of the economists and the housing market.  What I felt had the most impact, was that a person in a knowledgeable position on the topic of real estate, and someone in the trenches, gettting down and dirty with selling real estate, had something POSITIVE to say!

Many economists are stating the housing market is still frail and positioned to fall another 15%, 20% or even 25%.  Barbara Corcoran's comment: "I think they are dead wrong...of all the major markets, over 100 of them, more than half have already come off the bottom and are rising..."  She further supported this claim with details pertaining to open house traffic being up all over the nation.

Those of us working the market, especially in a local market, have our finger on the pulse of the housing market in our cities.  National economists have national statistics, and project what they personally think will happen.  Enough of the doom and gloom.  As Ms. Corcoran said, "This is a bell weather change in the real estate're crazy if it passes by."

Some local statistics on residential, single family homes or condos in the Midland Board of REALTORS MLS:

  • Sales price from 2009 to 2010 was up 9.36%

  • Number of sales from 2009 to 2010 was up 15.25%

  • 2011 average sales price is already up another 11% over last year.

  • Year to date, the Midland Board MLS reports 163 sales, 79 of which occurred in the month of February.