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5 Winterzing & Budget Saving Tips


Testing and Cleaning your Smoke Alarms



 You have all heard the statistics about how many people die in home fires every yea, but if you are like most of us, this hasn't motivated you. Batteries are easier to replace then people. Don't neglect your smoke alarms!


Test and clean your smoke alarms.


1. Press the test button once a month, but we'll only remind you every six months. 

2. Test you alarms with smoke at least twice a year.

3. Clean your alarms at least twice a year. 

4. Replace the battery once a year.


We don't want to get really heavy, but fire kills.


1. Press the test button. This verifies that the unit has power and has an audible alarm, but it does not guarantee smoke detection. 

2. Blow smoke into the unit. It should take a minimal amount to activate the alarms. The smoke can come from a cigarette, a candle, or preferably an aerosol canister specifically designed to test smoke alarms. 

3. Open the alarms cover and lightly vacuum the interior components with the fine brush attachment with your vacuum cleaner. 

4. Pull out and disconnect the battery. Replace it with a new one. 

Smoke alarms have a life expectancy of approximately 10 years. If you don't know how old he smoke alarms are, replace them or smoke test them. 


If your home has a security system connected to a central station contact the alarms company before testing the smoke alarms. 




Another Great Sign!

Daily Real Estate News  |  April 25, 2011  |   Share
Analysts Say Housing Is on the Way Up
Analysts at both Standard&Poor's and Barclays Capital agree that the uptick in home resales last month is a favorable sign of things to come. Because pending home sales an indicator of future activity were up in February, S&P believes transaction volume will rise for April.

Barclays, meanwhile, says March's 3.7 percent gain in existing-home sales merely reinforces its position that the housing market actually hit bottom in late 2010.

Source: Monday Morning Cup of Coffee, Housing Wire, Jon Prior (04/25/11)

February Home Sales Rise!

Daily Real Estate News  |  March 28, 2011  |    Share
February Pending Home Sales Rise 
Pending home sales increased in February but with notable regional variations, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 2.1 percent to 90.8, based on contracts signed in February, from 88.9 in January. The index is 8.2 percent below 98.9 recorded in February 2010. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says its important to look at the broader trend. Month-to-month movements can be instructive, but in this uneven recovery its important to look at the longer term performance, he said. Pending home sales have trended up very nicely since bottoming out last June, even with periodic monthly declines. Contract activity is now 20 percent above the low point immediately following expiration of the home buyer tax credit.

Yun notes there could have been some weather impact in the February data. All of the regions saw gains except for the Northeast, where unusually bad winter weather may have curtailed some shopping and contract activity.

The PHSI in the Northeast fell 10.9 percent to 65.5 in February and is 18.4 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index rose 4.0 percent in February to 81.1 but is 15.9 percent below February 2010. Pending home sales in the South increased 2.7 percent to an index of 100.3 but are 5.3 percent below a year ago. In the West, the index rose 7.0 percent to 105.6 and is 0.6 percent higher than February 2010.

We may not see notable gains in existing-home sales in the near term, but theyre expected to rise 5 to 10 percent this year with the economic recovery, job creation, and excellent affordability conditions providing confidence to buyers whove been on the sidelines, Yun said.

Source: NAR

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Freddie Mac

5 Predictions for 2011 
Freddie Mac analysts point to five features that they believe will likely characterize the 2011 housing and mortgage markets:

1. Low mortgage rates. With Fed observers expecting the central bank to keep the federal funds rate at its current target range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent for most (or all) of 2011, relatively low mortgage rates will be a feature of the 2011 mortgage market. Thirty-year fixed-rate loans are likely to remain below 5 percent throughout the year, and initial rates of 5/1 hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages will likely remain below 4 percent in 2011.

2. Prices have hit bottom. House prices are likely to begin a gradual, but sustained recovery in the second half of 2011. 

3. Housing will remain affordable. With affordability high, many first-time buyers will be attracted to the housing market in the New Year, likely translating into more home sales in 2011 than in 2010.

4. Refinances will dwindle. Many eligible borrowers have already refinanced and the federal Making Home Affordable refinance program is expiring on June 30. While fixed-rate loans are likely to remain low, they will move up gradually, making it even less likely that refinances will be attractive to most home owners.

5. Delinquency rates will decline. Based on the last several business cycles, the share of loans that are 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure proceedings known as the "seriously delinquent rate" generally crests within a year of the start of the recovery in payroll employment, and this economic recovery appears to fit within that pattern. Payrolls began to rise last January, and by the spring the seriously delinquent rate had begun to fall.

Source: Freddie Mac (12/09/2010)

Home prices are coming up!

October Home Sales in Michigan saw stabilization of units sold and ongoing price fluctuations  
For the third consecutive month in 2010, units sold topped 10,000 while overall, Michigans statewide average sale prices showed improvement from October 2009 to October 2010, with an increase of 3.49 percent. According to the Michigan Association of REALTORS® latest report, the average YTD home sale price in 2010 is $106,620, an 8.5 percent increase over 2009s average sale price of $98,187, but still down from the summer months, 2010 when average sales price hit levels about $111,000.

Some markets, despite a decline in number of sales, have shown stabilization along with an increase in average selling price of 20 percent or more. Hillsdale County boasted a 34.09 percent increase in average selling price, while Battle Creek, Central Michigan, and Traverse Area Associations were all above 20 percent for the month of October.

Monthly housing statistics for MAR are reported by participating Michigan REALTOR® local boards and associations.

For more information on housing statistics, as well as specific market statistics, visit this link:

View October Housing Statistics 

New Home Property Tax Change!

Important Tax Policy Legislation Takes 1st Step Out of Committee

Senate Bill 77, sponsored by Senator Jud Gilbert (R Algonac) unanimously passed the Senate Finance Committee yesterday. This legislation would provide for an additional Principal Residence filing date of October 1st. 

As you know, Michigan homeowners can claim one principal residence in Michigan to qualify for an exemption from a portion of local school operating taxes. To claim this exemption, one must file the principal residence affidavit with their township or city by May 1st. Thereafter, a purchaser must take on the burden of 18 additional mills until the next principal residence exemption period begins anew. This legislation has become particularly important since non principal resident properties, specifically foreclosures, have flooded Michigans real estate market. If passed through the House and Senate, Senate Bill 77 will provide much needed tax relief to Michigans homebuyers by providing them with an additional filing date to make home loans more attainable. 

We thank the Senate Finance Committee Chair, Senator Nancy Cassis (R Novi), bill sponsor, Senator Jud Gilbert (R - Algonac) and committee members Senator Mark Jansen (R- Cutlerville), Senator John Pappageorge (R-Troy) Senator Gilda Jacobs (D - Huntington Woods) and Senator Deb Cherry (D - Burton) for their support of this important legislation. The MAR Public Policy staff will continue to meet with legislative leaders to help move Senate Bill 77 though the House and Senate. 

Victoria Festival

We are pleased to announce that the Northville Victorian Festival is this weekend in beautiful downtown Northville. Visit our office RE/MAX Dream Properties, for some family fun. Free balloons for the kids snacks and refreshments. We look forward to seeing you. Friday September, 17th the Victorian Festival begins at 6:30. Saturday from 12 noon to 6pm.
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