Out in the Field
Here at Trillium Real Estate, we have a commitment to helping people buy and sell homes and, more importantly, to helping our clients make good decisions. We’re so solidly committed to the decision part that it’s No. 1 in our Mission Statement.
In that spirit, I’m happy to report that even if you don’t have a down payment, you can take advantage of today’s low interest rates and buy your home. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) assists with down payments for buyers who qualify.
The program will provide you up to $7,500 to cover your down payment, closing costs and even inspections! Income ceilings apply, but they are more than $100,000 a year ($104,880 in Washtenaw County).
And the home sale price can be as high as $224,500. In Ann Arbor, that price will buy you 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and about 1,700 sq. ft. The borrower must make a minimum contribution (1 percent of the sale price), but there is no interest on the loan and no monthly payments.
To see if you qualify and for more details, visit the MSHDA website.
Ring in the new year! My goal this year is to simplify, simplify and simplify some more. Let’s get rid of the stuff—in our heads, our houses and in what we buy!
Just before winter’s cold hit, I learned my furnace’s heat exchanger was cracked. Not good. Time to shop. One furnace company gave me a whole song and dance on super-high-efficiency furnaces, tax rebates and the like.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m into saving energy just like the next gal, but when he started telling me this high-priced model was the Porsche of furnaces, I knew it wasn’t for me. I’m a 2003 Honda CR-V woman, and I’m not looking to upgrade anytime soon!
I kept shopping and opted for a perfectly fine 80 percent efficiency furnace that required no extra outside piping or chimney liners, and had no bells and whistles! It is simple and easy to repair, and has been tried and true for decades. I had it installed by an old-school furnace guy who threw in a non-programmable, simple-to-use thermostat that doesn’t need an IT person to operate!
With the money I saved on a simple furnace, I opted for upgrading my virtually nonexistent insulation. Even the furnace guys said insulation was truly the best bang for your buck.
Off I went shopping again, now for insulation. I decided on a longstanding reputable company that used environmentally friendly materials and was priced reasonably.
So for less than the price of one Porsche-style furnace, I was able to get a new furnace and insulate my basement, crawl space and attic!
I know some of you may be squirming that I chose simple and cheap in this modern day of “gotta have the best of the best of everything.” But I gotta tell you, the old cliché of “the simpler, the better” rings true for this woman!
Let me show you around this sweet 3-bedroom ranch-style home at 395 E. Bemis in Pittsfield Township at its Open House Sunday, Nov. 4, from 1-3 p.m.
Take your time exploring the lovely 2.5-acre yard with plenty of foliage that leads into a 3-season porch. Peruse the giant basement with 8.5-foot ceilings—with wood-burning fireplace, the updated kitchen and roomy dining and living rooms. Big bonus: 2 and a half baths!
You’re even welcome to relax next to the fieldstone fireplace and imagine cozy nights there, snuggling up as the heat-o-later pumps out extra warmth.
This home has another bonus for the coming season: newer windows! And for the gray days ahead, there are two solar tube skylights.
Located in Pittsfield Township, the 1705-square-foot home is in the excellent Saline School District. Read all the details below—and do join me Sunday. If you have any questions before the Open House, feel free to call at 734-546-8548.
Hosted by Chrissie George, Trillium Realtor®
See our historic beauty at 212 Washtenaw, a Trillium listing that’s on the tour of the 4th Annual Ypsi Open House event this Saturday, Oct. 13.
Start your tour at the Key Bank building at 301 W. Michigan, where you can grab an info bag and a map of all the open houses. Tour the homes at your own pace from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Just be sure to see our entry, which absolutely deserves the description as one of “the best houses in Ypsi.”
Built in 1871, it is a gem of history with its tall ceilings and the gorgeous trim of the era. Yet it has updates galore, from the kitchen island to the 2nd-floor laundry, from its walk-in tub in one of the 3 full baths—to the sauna in the stone basement!
There’s much more to do at the Ypsi Open House: meet the mayor and city residents, talk to experts and loan managers for tips on buying a home, even get discounts for great Ypsi joints like the Sidetrack Bar & Grill, the Bomber Restaurant, and Clover Computers. You can even explore EMU. Be sure to RSVP here for the 4th Annual Ypsi Open House.
For more info on 212 Washtenaw, see below.
If you have any questions before our Open House, feel free to call or email us.
For info about 4th Annual Ypsi Open House, please go here.
|Hosted by Linda Lombardini and Chrissie George,
734-216-6415 Linda’s cell
734-546-8548 Chrissie’s cell
Come explore 2255 S. Seventh, a fabulous Lansdowne colonial that has had all its major infrastructure updated, during the Open House I’m hosting from 2–4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16.
This spacious and lovely 4BR/2.5-bath home has a 650-sq.-ft. addition, which is fully handicapped-accessible. With its own living room, a fifth bedroom and a third full bath, the addition is absolutely fitting for an in-law suite. It also has a separate entrance, making it perfect for a home-based business or artist studio.
Other pluses include a first-floor laundry, lovely family room with a cozy fireplace, mature trees and landscaping, and brand new siding, driveway and walkway.
Hosted by Linda Lombardini, Trillium Realtor® and Co-owner
Tree Town Trends
The real estate market in Washtenaw County continues to show improvement, according to sales figures released by the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors®.
- December 2011 sales were just slightly more than December sales last year, at 326 units compared with 320 in 2010.
- A total of 4,064 units were sold for the year, which was 97 percent of total units sold in 2010.
- Dollar volume sold for the year is up 2 percent, thanks to a steady increase in sales price of residential properties.
- Average sales price for 2011 was $194,338, a 5 percent increase over the average sales price of $184,217 in 2010.
“The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery,” says Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors® chief economist. “Record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices are giving more consumers the confidence they need to enter the market.”
As co-owner of Trillium Real Estate and 2012 President of the AAABoR®, I believe it’s also important to note that these market improvements we are seeing locally occurred without any added incentives, like the first-time homebuyer federal tax credit that gave our market quite a lift in 2010. This trending upward is happening organically.
Based on information from the Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service for the period 12/01/2011 through 12/31/2011.
The State of Real Estate
A quick glance at the picture above will show you that the inventory of available homes in the Ann Arbor market has dropped dramatically since 2010. There were far fewer homes on the market in 2012 than in 2010 and 2011, and just about the same number of buyers. This is what heats up the market.
In the first quarter of 2013, there were 7% fewer new listings than in 2012 while there were 7% more homes sold. In a very short time we have dramatically shifted to a super-charged seller’s market. Without an external force affecting the market in some way, I see this situation continuing throughout the summer.
If you put off selling your house a while back, you may want to re-examine your market position. Ask a Trillium Real Estate agent to help you gauge what your property is worth. You may just be pleasantly surprised!