Friday, February 28, 2014

Midland Michigan Real Estate YTD

The Midland, Michigan Real Estate market usually heats up in the early spring. Last year, our local REALTORS® noticed things picked up a bit early- possibly due to the weather. So how are we doing this year? We've compiled some data for you and analyzed the sales year to date.

Demand for single family homes fluctuates based on price, location, and size. Since January first of 2014, REALTORS® in the Midland Board have sold 115 residences. Broken down by number of bedrooms, nearly 60% of those sales were homes with three bedrooms. The graph above shows the full break down of the homes sold this year. This year's sales are broken down by price range in the graph below.

You'll notice that 27 homes sold under $75,000 dollars. A number of those sales represent foreclosures or short sales. Midland has a healthy "fix and flip" market (one reason why you rarely abandoned homes in our area) and investors often snatch up these properties. Of the 115 homes sold so far this year, the average sale price is $138,345 which falls right around the middle of our 75k-150k range.

While there have not been as many new listings added to the Midland area market this year as last year at this time, sales have remained steady. This leaves us with about 4% fewer homes available for sale. Lower inventory and strong demand means that buyers may experience competition for a home they decide to purchase. For the same reason, prices are likely to remain strong which is good news for home sellers.

For more detailed information about the Midland real estate market, home values, and homes for sale in the Midland area give us a call at 989-698-1100, or visit our website:! We'd love to help in any way we can.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making Room in Your Rooms

retain remove.jpgThe more things you have, the more you have to take care of.  And in this case, the more that you have to store that gets in the way of finding the things that you actually use.  Periodically, you need to go through every closet, drawer, cabinet and storage area to get rid of the things that are just taking up space in your home and your life.
Every item requires the decision to retain or remove.  Consider these questions as you examine each item:
• When was the last time you used it?
• Do you believe you’ll use it again?
• Is there a sentimental reason to keep it?
You have four options for the things that you’re not going to keep.  If you know someone who needs it or will appreciate it, you can give it to them.  You can sell it in a garage sale or on Craig’s List.  You can donate it to a charity and receive a tax deduction or you can discard it to the trash.
Start with your closet. If you haven’t worn something in five years, get rid of it.  Then, go through the things again and if you haven’t worn it in two years, ask yourself the real probability that you’ll wear it again.
Another way to do it is to move it from your active closet to another closet.  If a year goes by in the other closet, the next time you go through this exercise, those clothes are on their way out.
If the items taking up space are financial records and receipts, the solution may be to scan them and store them in the cloud.  There are plenty of sites that will offer you several gigabytes of free space and it may cost as little as $10 a month for 100 GB at Dropbox to get the additional space you need.  It will certainly be cheaper than the mini-storage building.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Share The Memories

Visit Share the Memories' Website

In 2008, Becca Tointon wanted to donate four bridesmaid dresses to a good cause and found that no local agency collected them.  Soon after that, under the umbrella of North Midland Family Center and in cooperation with the Midland Newcomers Club, Becca started "Share the Memories".

The organization's seeks to provide underprivileged high school girls the opportunity to attend prom by removing the financial barriers created by the expense of a dress.  Thanks to a large team of volunteers and the generous support of the community, Share the Memories has provided 750 girls with prom dresses.  

Park Place Homes is a long time supporter of Share the Memories and is thrilled to once again be able to offer our office as a collection location.  Anytime between now and March 7th you may drop off any new or gently used dresses and we will deliver them for the event.  Share the Memories is also accepting other prom related items such as gift certificates for a salon appointment, accessories, or prom tickets which will be raffled off during the event.

With a large selection of dresses available and continued increase in awareness of Share the Memories, we expected 2013 to be the best year yet!

You can find more information at, through their facebook page, or our facebook page

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rate/Payment Relationship

Rate Payment Relationship 2 small.pngA ½% increase in interest rate may not sound like much but it is roughly equivalent to a 5% increase in price.  It becomes obvious when you compare the payments.

If you financed 100% of the cost of a $250,000 home at 4.5% interest for 30 years, the payment would be $1,266.71 per month.  If the mortgage rate went up to 5%, the payment would be $1,342.05.  If the home increased 5% in value, the $262,250 loan at the lower 4.5% rate would have payments of $1,330.05.

The two payments are close enough to justify the statement that a ½% change in interest is approximately equal to 5% change in price.

Each time interest rates go up, fewer people can qualify to buy a seller’s home.  The mortgage rules that went into effect this year require buyers to meet specific payment to income ratios.  As demand picks up for the seasonal market, most experts expect rates to increase.

Buyers will be doubly challenged in the current market because prices are rising (NAR reports 11% last year) along with the anticipated mortgage rates.  Buyers who wait will inevitably be paying more to live in the same home had they acted sooner.

Check out on how Interest Affects Price for a home in your price range.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sometimes Love Just Isn't Enough

Have you lost that loving feeling?
Are you starting to think "it might be you, not me"?
Do you love it, but you're just not in love with it anymore?

We understand.

You have some great memories. You've had a good run.
But sometimes love just isn't enough.
You're ready to see *dramatic pause*...other houses.

Don't feel guilty. We understand, and we have good news for you! There are more fish in the sea...or, houses on the market, to be more accurate.

The new year is here and the market is heating up. 528 house have been listed with the Midland Board of REALTORS® just since January 1st! Our agents have been busy showing houses to buyers eager to start this spring in a new home; and that is great news for sellers.

Bottom line: if you're not in love with your house anymore, Park Place Homes can help. Whether you're ready to jump ship tomorrow or may need a little time making a break from your current dwelling, we're here for you. You can browse all available homes for sale in Midland and the surrounding areas on our website: or if you'd rather, give us a call and we can help narrow your search.

Park Place Homes- your successful housing matchmaker since 2008

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rent or Buy - the cost is going up

Buy or rent small.jpgWhether you continue to rent or decide to buy a home, according to recent Zillow 2014 housing projections, the cost is going up.  Zillow projects home prices to increase nationally by 3%, mortgages to rise to 5% interest rate by the end of the year and rents to go up by 2.5% on average.

If it will cost a person more whether they rent or buy, the conclusion can be made that one way or the other, they will pay for the house they occupy.  The question will be whether they buy it for themselves or their landlord? Will they benefit from the equity build-up and the appreciation?

The following analysis looks at a $200,000 home that can be purchased with a 30 year FHA mortgage at 4.3%.  The assumption uses 3% appreciation and tenant currently paying $1,750 a month in rent.

The house payment, principal, interest, taxes and insurance would be about $1,609 a month.  However, once you consider the benefits of the principal reduction each month, the appreciation and the tax savings and the increased cost of maintenance, the net cost of housing is closer to $630 per month.

Even if you ignored the tax savings, the net cost of housing would only be $919.06 per month.  The tenant would pay considerably more to rent than to own the home.  Over time, the decision to buy a home could result in a considerable financial asset that the tenant will not benefit from.

To estimate your cost of housing, use the Rent vs. Own.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Spotlight Listing: 4619 Ottawa Ct.

This fairy tale home could be the house you've been dreaming of! Conveniently located within Midland, but on the and of a cul-de-sac, you have your own little gem right in town. With three bedrooms, two baths, a fenced yard, and a full finished basement, you're sure to find your happily ever after here!

Wood floors and plenty of natural light make the entrance to this home and the living room a lovely place to relax.  The large front window looks out over the spacious front porch- yet another perfect spot to spend some time.  If the weather gets too warm, come on back inside and enjoy the Central Air.  Just past the living room is a galley kitchen with plenty of space for a table.  The sliding glass door fills the space with light and offers convenient access to the back deck and fenced yard beyond.

 Down the hall you'll find all three bedrooms. Each has large windows and updated lighting fixtures! Currently one bedroom is being used as a den/office. In such a lovely space, you can certainly dream up any number of uses for your rooms!  And space is not limited to those bedrooms.  A full finished basement offers an additional living space complete with egress window. The basement is also where the second bathroom is located.

If you're ready to make your housing dreams a reality, contact Tim Sodini, REALTOR® to schedule your own private tour of this lovely home.  Park Place Homes can help you write your happy ending.   Tim Sodini: 989-698-1100x140 or

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Find a Better Return

Return on Investment.pngA certificate of deposit will generate a cash flow based on the interest rate that it pays which is the only way it generates a return for the investor.
An investment in a stock that doesn’t pay dividends, would need to be worth more than you paid for it to earn a profit.  On the other hand, a stock that paid dividends could make the investor a profit even if it sold for the same price that he paid for it.
Investors can profit four different ways with an investment in rental real estate.
1. Cash flows that result from having a surplus after collecting the rent and paying the expenses.
2. Equity build-up results from a portion of each monthly payment reducing the unpaid balance.
3. Tax benefits can result from the depreciation allowed on the property and the preferential long-term capital gains tax rate.
4. Appreciation benefits the investor when the value of the property increases.
The most conservative investors in real estate make decisions to purchase a rental property based on its ability to generate a cash flow and reduce the mortgage through normal amortization.  If the property can offer an acceptable rate of return compared to other available investments, the tax benefits and possible appreciation become an added bonus.
With increased rents and low mortgage rates for investors, rental property can offer significantly higher returns than many of the available alternatives.  Contact us for more information-; you may be amazed about what is available in the market.