Monday, December 31, 2012


resolutions.jpgAfter spending the holidays with family and friends, this is a time of the year to start thinking about changes to make in our lives, both personal and in business. We wanted to share one of ours with you.

Our goal is to become your REALTOR® for life. We want you to think of us first when you need to buy or sell and that you’ll recommend us to your friends too. That kind of trust has to be earned and we’re committed to helping you be a better homeowner even when you’re not buying or selling.

The strategy is simple. A well-informed homeowner will make better decisions. We’ll periodically offer information through articles and social media on a wide variety of home-related topics like maintenance tips, tax law changes, financing suggestions, insurance, equity building strategies, and rental property investments.

Please contact us if you need a recommendation on a service provider. Our experience has built a list of reputable and reasonable contractors that you can rely upon. When you have any kind of home-related questions, I hope you’ll have the confidence to call us.

Happy New Year. We sincerely look forward to helping you or your friends.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spotlight Listing: Move in ready and modern updates! 4504 Bond ~$204,900

356308_17_rThis classic 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom brick ranch sits on a quiet Court and is move in ready with fabulous updates! Fresh paint, carpet, large windows, and skylights throughout home allow for plenty of natural sunlight lending to a bright and cheery feeling. Brand new kitchen with glazed maple cabinets, ceramic flooring, tile back splash and all new stainless appliances. The finished lower level has fresh paint and new carpet, a new windowed walk out door, egress windows, fireplace, laundry, ½ bath and work area. This home is a keeper.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 4504 Bond

This home is brought to you by Carol Park and she can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 120 or via email at

Monday, December 17, 2012

Avoiding Unexpected Expenses

It's common for sellers to consider offering and buyers might find it an incentive, but a growing number of homeowners are purchasing the home warranties themselves to limit the unexpected expenses of repairs and

A home protection plan is a renewable service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the components in a home. Some homeowners especially like the convenience that it organizes a qualified service provider as well as the cost of the items.

There are a variety of companies that offer home warranties and the coverage may differ but the majority of things will include heating, air conditioning most built-in and some free-standing appliances, as well as other specific items. Additional specific coverage may be available for other things like pool and spa equipment.

Some investors are even placing this coverage on their rental properties to limit the amount of maintenance repairs during the year. It is a viable alternative to managing the financial risk and the stress dealing with unexpected expenses.

If you're interested in home warranties, I'll be happy to send you more information.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Supply Drive 2012! Help Us Pay It Forward

Once again, we are Paying it Forward at Park Place Homes. Our Annual collection for Shelterhouse and Caregiving Network is going on NOW through the end of the year. Please check out our website for our wishlist this year. All items are accepted, as usual. We are focusing on the day to day, not so glamorous items such as paper towels, gas cards, cleaning supplies, etc. These items are costly and cut into the same budget that feeds families, which is why we are asking for help in this area.

Click the Logo to see the Supply Wish Listsanta logo

Monday, December 10, 2012

Let Your Tenants Send Your Kids to College

Most people have lots of things to save for but not always enough discretionary income after the family essentials have been

A relatively small investment in a rental home can control a good home that will easily rent, generate positive cash flows and pay for itself. The borrowed funds create leverage that earn a return on the total value of the home and not just the amount of cash you have invested.

The strategy is simple. Find a slightly below average priced home that will rent well. It will appeal to a larger group of people while it's rented and when it's ready to be sold.

Rent the home and maintain its condition over the years. As the loan amortizes and the value increases, the equity will grow. When your student is ready to start college, you'll actually have several options.

You can sell the property; pay the tax on the gain at the reduced capital gains rate and fund the education. Another option would be to refinance and take the proceeds to pay for the tuition. This would allow you to continue to own the asset but would free your equity and under current tax laws is a non-taxable event.

Regardless of whether you're trying to plan for your children's education or your own retirement, rental property offers many solid investment opportunities. Contact me if you want more information.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Spotlight Listing: 3311 Garland Price Reduced ~ $120,000

363415_7_rThis 3 bdrm 1.5 bath home has a lot to offer. The main level has a fireplace for the winter evenings, and beautiful hardwood flooring. It also has an open kitchen concept that leads right into the dining room. Another great quality is the full basement that has a large game room and workout area. There is plenty of room for entertaining. Let's not forget all the work done for you outside, with the brand new roof, sprinkler system, new lawn, poured walkways, new poured patio, and landscaping. Last but not least the brand new 12x18 storage shed.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 3311 Garland.

This home is brought to you by Tim Sodini and he can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 140 or via email at

Monday, December 3, 2012

FHA to Cost Borrowers More

FHA has announced a major change to its loan program which allows borrowers to cancel the mortgage insurance premium (MIP) when their unpaid balance reaches 78% of the original purchase price. While no specific date has been set for the change, sometime in 2013, new FHA loans will require the mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.fha.jpg

At existing rates, the monthly MIP on a $168,875 mortgage is $178.99 per month. Under the current rule with normal amortization, the MIP would no longer be required in 9 years and 9 months. However, under the new rule, it would last for the entire 30 year term.

They also announced that the annual MIP will also be increased from 1.25% to 1.35% at some point in the near future. HUD, the parent agency for FHA, is making the changes to restore the capital reserves of the program that are needed to fund failed loans.

People that can close a FHA loan before the change takes place will fall under the old rules for canceling MIP and the lower rates. Since no date was announced, it is not known exactly when the changes will take effect.

While this information will probably not make the evening news, it will have a big impact on borrowers planning to use an FHA loan. Please pass it on to anyone you know who might be considering purchasing or refinancing with a FHA loan.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dont Miss This Weeks Spotlight Listing at 6116 Courtside~$455,000

Built in 1993 ~6 Bedrooms includes Main Floor master and 2 Bedrooms in lower level  ~4.5 Bathrooms ~3381 square feet with an additional 1500 square feet in Finished Basement with a second Kitchen ~ Large Walk-in Pantry ~Den with Built in Bookshelves ~Marble Fireplace from Greece ~3 Car Attached Garage ~2 Furnaces and A/C units ~Security System ~Skylights  ~ System ~Vaulted Ceilings ~Wired for Sound

6116 Courtside exudes Elegance! Schedule a showing to see this Ultimate Home

Click HERE for more pictures and information.

Our spotlight listing is proudly brought to you by Gwen Holt. Gwen can be reached at 989-698-1100 x130 or by email at

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dripping Dollars

Conserving water to be green while lowering your monthly bill to save green is a beneficial combination. Little things can contribute significantly to a large water bill.

  • faucet.jpgLeaky faucets can waste over 1,000 gallons a year

  • Leaky toilets can waste 7,000 gallons a month

  • A five-minute shower saves more water than a tub bath

  • Water running while you brush your teeth or shave

  • Sprinkler heads need to be adjusted to spray on the yard only

  • Install a rain sensor on sprinkler system

  • Pool equipment can be a hidden source of wasted water

A larger than normal water bill can be your first indication you have a leak. Then, you'll need to track it down.

  1. Turn off all the water faucets and appliances; don't forget the ice maker.

  2. Open the water meter, usually located near the sidewalk in the front of the house. You may need a water key that can be purchased from a home improvement store or possibly borrowed from a neighbor.

  3. Locate the dial indicating water usage. It should not be moving since all of the water is off. If it is still moving, verify that you have turned off anything that might be using water.

  4. If it appears to be still, make a mark with a Sharpie and wait 15 minutes. If the flow indicator has moved, you probably have a leak.

  5. Now that you've confirmed that you have a leak, you may need help in locating it. A plumber or leak specialist may be able to help you track it down and repair it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spotlight Listing- 5400 Sturgeon Ave. ~ $118,000

ONE STORY LIVING. Our spotlight listing this week is a charming 3 Bedroom ranch situated on a 115 x 163 wooded lot.  If you're looking for comfortable one story living with a nice yard, this home is waiting for you. Spacious rooms all on one level.  A beautiful corner-stone fireplace is the focal point of the spacious living room. The charming kitchen opens to the dining room which features doors leading to the covered deck.  Your family will love the large  backyard with plenty of shady spaces to enjoy the summer weather.

Click HERE for more pictures and information.

This spotlight listing is proudly brought to you by Shelley Park Cluff. Shelley can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 110 or by email at

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spotlight Listing 4610 Washington St. ~ $139,900 Price Reduced!!

This weeks Spotlight home is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath,  all brick ranch within walking distance of Adams Elementary. Main floor master, mud room with half bath and laundry, lots of kitchen cabinets, and a fireplace in the eat in kitchen are just some of the wonderful attributes of this family home. A large living room with a bowed window gives  the room more space and light.  The open kitchen has lots of storage, with plenty of seating when you include the wide counter area with seating for 4. Freshly painted basement is ready for you to make into a family room. At the back of the home is a nice deck and beautiful back yard.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 4610 WashingtonSt.

This home is brought to you by Jill Vander Zouwen and she can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 180 or via email at

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spotlight Listing: 4816 Butterfield ~ $194,900

This weeks Spotlight home is a 2004 Cook's Custom Home. This traditional 2 story, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom home is nicely decorated and has many custom features including, an island kitchen with light oak dovetailed cabinets and roll out shelves along with a tile back splash. Hardwood flooring, diagonal ceramic baths with his and her walk in closets in the master suite and ceiling fans. The basement has egress window, high efficiency furnace and is plumbed for another bathroom. Located on a quiet Court with easy access to U.S. 10, don't hesitate to schedule a showing today.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 4816 Butterfield.

This home is brought to you by Carol Park and she can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 120 or via email at

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This weeks Spotlight Listing: 2484 Quail Run ~ $269,000

Gorgeous custom-built home in the Woodland Estate Subdivision.. This four bedroom, three and a half bath home with open main floor plan, main floor master and laundry is tastefully decorated. Custom landscaping and privacy provide the setting for our spotlight listing. Don't miss seeing this home inside and out!

Click Here for more information and pictures of 2484 Quail Run.

This home is brought to you by Brad Vander Vliet and he can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 150 or via email at

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spotlight Listing 6112 Partridge ~ $210,000

Don't just drive by this unique quad level home, make an appointment to see the beautifully finished layout inside. This home features 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, 4 separate levels, and several new upgades. Cathedral ceilings, gorgeous hardwood and ceramic flooring, spacious bedrooms and an open floor plan are just a few great qualities of this home. Our spotlight home is full of opportunity and move in ready.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 6112 Partridge.

This home is brought to you by Tim Sodini and he can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 140 or via email at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2307 Bayliss ~ $113,000 Spotlight Listing

Our spotlight home this week is a charming 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom ranch. This home is  convenient to schools, shopping, dining, and the Community Center. This is a perfect home for the first time buyer or the "down-sizer" that wants to be in town. Plenty of newer updates have been made to the inside and out side of  this home. There is a  2.5 detached garage and a welcoming deck for entertaining or quiet evenings. Extra room can be found in the full, partially finished basement with additional electric and internet connections it is perfect for what ever the next buyer wants to do. The basement is plumbed for a future bath.  Don't miss out on this inviting, ready to move in home.

Click HERE for more pictures and information.

Our spotlight listing is proudly brought to you by Gwen Holt. Gwen can be reached at 989-698-1100 x130 or by email at

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spotlight Listing: 2542 Arbutus Ct ~$165,000

Our spotlight home this week is a gorgeous 2-Story in desirable Larkin township. This home features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a charming neutral interior. The kitchen is open to the dining area and has sliders to a deck overlooking the private backyard.  The full basement has tall ceilings and is already partially finished for even more living space. If you are looking for the quiet of country living with the convenience of being close to town and the safety of a neighborhood, consider this great home!

Click HERE for more pictures and information.

This spotlight listing is proudly brought to you by Shelley Park Cluff. Shelley can be reached at 989-698-1100 x110 or by email at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chili Salsa Taste Off Results

We had so much fun competing in the Downtown Midland Chili/Salsa Taste Off on Saturday!

Gwen Holt rocked her "should-be-world-famous"chili again this year and won People's Choice FIRST PLACE-Mild. Our office manager, Sherry, entered a fresh pineapple & bacon salsa and walked away with a THIRD PLACE People's Choice Award in the mild and unusual categories!

Thank you to everyone who voted for us and huge thanks to the Downtown Development Authority who put on this great event.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spotlight Listing 683 N 8 Mile ~ $142,000

This weeks spotlight listing is a beautiful 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home nestled quietly back on nearly 6 wooded acres. Very open floor plan, with beautiful hardwood floors throughout. If you're looking for privacy, charm and comfort you don't want to miss this home and setting.

Click HERE for more information and pictures of 683 N 8 Mile!

This home is brought to you by Logan Richetti and he can be reached at 989-698-1100 x170 or via email at

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Defending our honor….with Bacon!!!

Last year Gwen entered her unbelievably delicious ‘It’s better with bacon” Chili in the annual Downtown Midland Chili Salsa Taste-Off. She walked away with 4 awards including 1st Place People’s Choice Mild and 1st Place Judge’s Choice Mild.

This Saturday, September 22, we will take to the street again against 25 other chili chefs. We need your support to defend our titles!

As an added bonus, we’ve decided to throw our hat in against the salsa chefs. Is salsa really better with bacon? We think so!! Come out and try our Fresh Pineapple Bacon Salsa and decide for yourself.

We will be located in front of Heather & Holly on Main St. Please come out, sample the recipes and decide if “It's better with Bacon!” The event runs from Noon to 2pm and last year tickets did sell out. Come early, taste everything, and vote for Park Place Homes!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our town named in the top 100 best communities for young people!

Midland, Michigan has been recognized as one of the "100 Best Communities for Young People". ING , in its sixth year presenting this competition, rewards and commends communities that go above and beyond to reduce dropout rates and provide outstanding services and support to their youth...To see the whole article click the link below.

Invest In Midland by Logan Richetti Realtor with Park Place Homes

Ready to flip this house?  Not so fast.  The decision to make an investment in residential real estate can be an exciting one, but without the proper due diligence and an experienced Agent in your corner, it can be a big mistake.

Obviously, the goal of “flipping” a property is to make a profit.  That profit is realized by reselling the home on the open market for more than the cost of acquiring, holding, updating and marketing combined.  In order to be successful, all your projections need to be accurate (or at least close).  For purposes of this article, we will assume your financing source is already in place.  You will most likely be using your own cash, a private investor’s cash, or some sort of bank financing for your purchase and repairs.

The first step in the process involves identifying and learning the market segment in which you’re interested in working.  This is where your Park Place Homes Realtor comes in handy.  With some effort and advice from your Agent, you can learn to identify the submarkets in Midland most advantageous to cultivating a quick sale at near full market value for the home you decide to “flip.”  There are several solid Midland submarkets in which most local investors focus.

Once you feel comfortable with your understanding of the market, the next step is to identify a target subject property.  Usually, the only properties with enough potential equity to profitably “flip” are foreclosure listings.  (Note: this is not ALWAYS the case.  Short sales, estates and sometimes homes for sale by owner are potentially viable).  Your Park Place Homes Realtor has access to all the main foreclosure listing websites as well as the local multiple listing service, and he or she can search daily for newly listed properties.

Now that you have identified a potential “subject property” the next move is to schedule a showing or two to begin your repair plan budgeting.  It’s crucial that you have a close approximation of what repairs and improvements are required to increase the value of the property enough to create a gross profit margin.  Park Place Homes has a “Home Improvements Partner” brochure with dozens of reputable contractors we recommend.  Most of them will meet you at the home and provide written estimates for the repairs at no charge to you.  Cultivating relationships with these contractors is very important.  Use an excel spreadsheet to tally all your anticipated costs and then add about 20%, because no project EVER comes in under budget.

After the repair plan is completed, you will also need to account for the costs of acquisition and resale of the property.  Acquisition costs include but are not limited to: purchase price, title company closing fee and recording fees, owner’s title insurance (if you’re purchasing a HUD home, HUD does not provide this for you), a tax proration credit/charge, homeowner’s insurance, and any loan costs/fees from your financing source.  Costs of sale include but are not limited to: realtor fees, transfer taxes, owner’s title insurance, tax proration credit/charge, and any loan payoff costs from your financing source.  If you can develop a relationship with a title company, they will often create a mock settlement statement for your sale and be able to estimate down to the penny what your closing costs of sale will be.  Also estimate your holding period costs for: homeowner’s insurance, water, electric/gas costs, and any loan payments you may have for the duration of your holding period.  A general rule of thumb would be to approximate loan holding costs at around 1.00 of the total project budget per month.

At this point in the process, you have enough information to calculate all the costs of the project.  Now you must decide how much to bid on the property to obtain it.  Never count on re-selling the property for maximum value when calculating your purchase price.  Use the lower end of your estimated resale value and subtract the following: your estimated repair budget, acquisition, holding, and resale costs, and most importantly your desired profit margin.

Here’s an example: 123 Main Street, Midland MI

Estimated Resale Value: $80,000 - $95,000

Resale Value Used for Pro Forma: $80,000

Estimated Repair Budget: $15,000

Estimated Acquisition Costs: $750

Estimated Holding Costs: $3000

Estimated Resale Costs: $7,200

Desired Profit Margin: $10,000

Maximum Purchase Price: $44,050

 Note: This is a highly simplified example, and all figures need to be verified prior to any offers being written.  The harder you work on your due diligence up front, the better the chances are that your results are successful.

 Now you ARE ready to flip this house!  It’s YOUR Move!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This Week's Spotlight Home 1707 Sylvan ~ $159,000

This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home is a one of a kind! Very open floor plan with a wall of windows along the back of the home and vaulted ceilings bring a "retro contemporary" feel to this home. Corian kitchen counter tops, cherry cabinets and many fresh updates have been made to this home. Beautiful home for entertaining family and friends with a 20 foot screened porch overlooking the large private backyard for extra space during the warmer months. Home is nicely located close to shopping, schools and dinning. Looking for something unique take a look at 1707 Sylvan today!

Click Here for more information and pictures of 1707 Sylvan

This home is brought to you by Jill Vander Zouwen and she can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 180 or via email at

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spotlight Listing -300 Broadhead Dr.~ $309,900

Only thing our spotlight home is missing is YOU! This beautifully finished 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home comes with style, elegance lots of space and much more! Crown molding, 9 ft ceilings,  custom window treatments, Corian countertops, ceramic and slate tile,  6 foot jet tub, and oak floors  are just a few of the finishes this home entails. The outdoors are just as inviting with the private backyard, tiered patio and lovely landscaping. Last but not least - the Old English Pub style bar in lower level, perfect for entertaining family and friends!

Click Here for more information and pictures of 300 Broadhead Dr.

This home is brought to you by Carol Park and she can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 120 or via email at

Monday, August 27, 2012

Join Us! Walk to End Alzhemier's Sat Sept 22,2012

Please join our team at Park Place Homes to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's. You can JOIN or DONATE to the cause. The walk is on Saturday September 22, 2012 and starts at Emerson Park, Midland. Registration is at 9:00  and Walk starts at 10:00. To learn more on this walk, to join or to donate thru our team please click on this link

We hope to walk with you to change the course of Alzheimer's!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

4229 W. McNally ~ $199,600 Spotlight Listing!

Looking for land? This custom built ranch sits on 20 Acres perfect for a horse pasture or just wanting some privacy. Enjoy the land and privacy  with a 15'x30' 17' deep  pond and a 40' x 40' pole barn with a 36' powered bi-fold door and 16' x 24' addition.

If privacy and land is something you're looking call to schedule a showing to see this 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch built in 2006. Price Reduced and ready to sell!

Click Here for more information and pictures of 4229 W. McNally

This home is brought to you by Brad Vander Vliet and he can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 150 or via email at

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spotlight Listing - 513 Broadhead Dr. Newly Built

A recently built Mayberry Home at 513 Broadhead Dr. is our spotlight listing this week. You don't want to miss this beautiful, 3+ bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom home. This home has a nice open floor plan with a loft area that could easily be finished into a fourth bedroom. The insulated and plumbed basement is awaiting your creative design to add to this already wonderful home.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 513 Broadhead Dr.

This home is brought to you by Tim Sodini and he can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 140 or via email at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Habitat for Humanity Revitalizes Midland

It’s no secret that the agents and staff at Park Place Homes love Midland. Everyday we get to share with people moving into the area what a great place Midland is to live and work.

We were lucky this week to spend a few hours working on a charming home in the heart of Midland with Midland’s Habitat for Humanity Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. This program identifies homes in neighborhoods that need some home improvements and empowers the homeowners to help revitalize their own neighborhoods with help from volunteers. This year the program is focused on 22 homes in the Carpenter School area.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with other volunteers and the dedicated crew leaders from Habitat for Humanity was a wonderful reminder of what makes Midland great. Chatting with the homeowners and seeing their excitement about the work being done made every minute worth it!

 The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative continues through this week. For more information or to volunteer your time and talents, click here to visit their website.  Or, stop by the tents on the Carpenter School playground.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Spotlight listing - 3333 Hubbard ~ $120,000

Our spotlight home this week is 3333 Hubbard in Larkin Twp. This great 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, easy to maintain home, is waiting for the perfect family to enjoy its simple lovable style. Enjoy spending quality time in the remodeled kitchen, featuring gorgeous maple cabinets with granite counter tops. If you are looking for extra space and only need three bedrooms the fourth bedroom would be a great living space for kids to play and/or  parents to relax. This home sits on an extra-large lot and is conveniently located near Eastman & Jefferson just north of town.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 3333 Hubbard.

This home is brought to you by Shelley Park Cluff and she can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 110 or via email at

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spotlight Listing: 5901 Lamplighter, Price Reduced!

Our spotlight home this week is 5901 Lamplighter in Midland. This quality built 4 bedroom has recently been reduced in price and ready to sell to someone looking for space and quality for entertaining or for a large family to gather. A formal living and dining are provide space and comfort for guests and family. There is also a large family room on the main floor.  A gracious, nicely painted rec room, including wet bar, is located in the basement along with additional space that can be used as an exercise room or office. Quality is expressed in the woodwork seen through out the home. Entertain outdoors, in the fenced in back yard or on the large deck. This home which is priced to sell is located in the Adams School District.

Click Here for more information and pictures of 5901 Lamplighter.

This home is brought to you by Jill Vander Zouwen and she can be reached at 989-698-1100 x 180 or via email at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spotlight Listing: 6610 N. Perrine Rd.

Our spotlight home this week is 6610 N. Perrine Rd. in Midland. This charming 3 bedroom has an open floor plan, an updated interior, and a main floor laundry. The home is highlighted by an awesome 3.5 car garage with a workshop! The lot is 330' deep for a great yard and it has city water and is in the Midland Public School district.

Click HERE for more information and pictures of 6610 N. Perrine!

This home is brought to you by Logan Richetti and he can be reached at 989-698-1100 x170 or via email at

Friday, April 13, 2012


From the Midland Daily News:
The Midland Board of Realtors gave its top honor -- Realtor of the Year -- to Shelley Park Cluff, Park Place Homes, at its annual awards luncheon Wednesday at the Midland Holiday Inn.

Cluff has been a member of the Board of Realtors since July 1997. She currently serves as 2012 MBOR Secretary/Treasurer, having served a previous presidential term in 2006. In addition to her presidency, Cluff has served as a director and on several committees.

Her community involvement includes the SOS Animal Rescue, Shelterhouse, Midland Chamber of Commerce, and as a Level III certified volunteer instructor of traditional Muay Thai Kickboxing working with troubled teen referrals.

Cluff is the managing broker of Park Place Homes which she opened in September 2008. She holds the CRS Realtor designation and is an active member of both the state and national Realtor associations.

Named Rookie of the Year was Logan Richetti of Park Place Homes.

Richetti joined the Board of Realtors in April 2011 and currently serves on the PR Committee.

His community involvement includes Dow High School varsity baseball assistant coach and Make A Wish Foundation.

He has a master of science in real estate development from the University of Memphis and is working on his SPR designation. He is the owner of Richetti Holdings, LLC, and Horizon Investment Properties, LLC, and a member of the Midland Area Real Estate Investors Association.

Richetti is also a member of both state and national Realtor associations.

The 2011 Office All Star Awards was presented to a Jill Vander Zouwen, the Realtor at Park Place Homes who was selected by her peers as the most outstanding not only in production but in her contribution to the real estate industry and her community.

Congratulations to all our winners. We are so proud of you!

Click here for full article.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Property Owners Selling Their Home Should Beware

Craigslist can be a very useful and valuable online tool for everything from selling that old lawn mower to finding tenants or buyers for your home. Many agents utilize the popularity of Craigslist to build a prospect list and find qualified buyers or tenants. However there are those who are also looking to take advantage of the anonymity of Craigslist and steal your money.
I recently listed a beautiful home for sale. Within a week I received an inquiry about this home as a rental. Since the home was not available for rent I asked the inquirer where she got her information and she sent me to a Craigslist link. Imagine my surprise when I found a picture I had taken of this home posted on in the ad. The ad appeared two days after my listing was originally activated.
The ad script was very brief but nonetheless enticing. The rent amount was listed as $700 per month or half the market value if in fact we were to rent it. It was time to take action to protect both my seller and prospective tenants who could be wooed into this scam.
The first step I took was to flag the Craigslist posting as “prohibited”. I also sent an email to notifying them of the scam and unauthorized listing of the property. The prospective tenant who contacted me was sent an email notifying her that this was a scam and she should stop any correspondence with the person who posted the advertisement. Finally in an effort to protect others who may be drawn into a similar dishonest post I have contacted our local newspaper to write an article about this.
Since I took these actions I have received two other inquiries from prospective tenants. One of those called me to tell me she was suspicious since the “owner” sent her a picture of his family but she recognized a professional baseball player in the picture and became suspicious. The other prospect was also suspicious and was told not to contact me by the false “owner”.
Thank goodness for consumers who are as aware as these three! These false Craigslist ads are not new as an internet search will prove but appear relatively new to our area. Many unsuspecting tenants have sent money to these scammers only to find out they had no right to occupy the listed property and no way to get their money back.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Logan Richetti Earns NAR Short Sales and Foreclosure Certification

Midland, MI. 3/28/12 — Logan with Park Place Homes has earned the nationally recognized Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification. The National Association of REALTORS® offers the SFR certification to REALTORS® who want to help both buyers and sellers navigate these complicated transactions, as demand for professional expertise with distressed sales grows.
 According to a recent NAR survey, nearly one-third of all existing homes sold recently were either short sales or foreclosures.  For many real estate professionals, short sales and foreclosures are the new “traditional” transaction.  REALTORS® who have earned the SFR certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities.
 “As the number of home sales due to short sale and foreclosure continues to rise, it is so important that people have a REALTOR® with expertise on their side,” said Richetti. “Completing the SFR coursework and my background in real estate development and investing enable me to guide my clients through these sometimes difficult transactions.”
 The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk, and provides resources to help REALTORS® stay current on national and state-specific information as the market for these distressed properties evolves. To earn the SFR certification, REALTORS® are required to take several courses and Webinars.  For more information about the SFR certification or short sales and foreclosures in the Midland area, please call Logan at 989-698-1100, or email him at

What is a QR Code, and Why is it on My House?

QR Codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) are those funky little stamp size, black and white squares that are popping up in magazines, newspapers, websites and company literature. They are a "barcode" of sorts used for advertising. The all-knowing Wikipedia tells us "...Invented by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, the QR Code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. It was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. ..."

That said, what business do they have in selling houses? Placing a QR Code on a brochure is a great way for a prospective buyer to be able to access additional information and/or photos and videos about the house from their phone or tablets once they have left the home. The ability to answer questions visually, and keep a home in the forefront of a buyer's mind is primary to making the home #1 on the buyer's list.

Add any dimension to the QR Code usefulness: put it on a sign. Picture this: Mr. and Mrs. Smith are driving around town starting their house hunting search. They are cruising through the neighborhoods they think they may like to live in. As they approach 5107 Natalie Ct., they see an additional sign with a QR Code on it. Mrs. Smith whips out her smartphone, snaps a picture and is INSTANTLY looking at interior room dimensions, photos and written descriptions, including the price, of the home she is parked in front of.

Our world of on-demand, instant answers is increasingly expanding. We don't like to wait. We don't like lines. We don't want to be on hold. We want to grab technology and make it answer all of our questions. I can't even ride in the car and hear a song I like and wait to see if they announce who sings it. I have to Shazam it. Have a disagreement with my girlfriend about useless trivia, and need to know who is right? I google it from my phone! Instant answers!

Start looking for our QR Codes to pop up on our listings. Tell us what you think. We think it is pretty cool. Try the one out at the top of the blog and give us your comments. (If you need a QR Code reader, try Neoreader from your App Store on your phone.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Park Place Homes Moves You...And Us!

We have outgrown our space! In just 3 short years, we grew from 2 agents, to 7 agents, and gone up to 6.56% market share. We have our clients and customers to thank for our growth.

So, what did we do to grow so fast? We are still selling more of our listings than our Midland competition, selling 45% of our listed properties. (24% are still listed.) Compare that to the board average of selling just 36% of the listed properties.

We sold more of our homes, faster and at a better price, on average in 2010 and 2011. Our record speaks for itself...and THAT is why we have outgrown our space.

Our new office will be at 1007 E Wackerly Rd, Midland, across from the Midland Tennis Center, and next to the Midland Gymnastics Training Center.

Thank you, Midland, for all of your support.