Whether you are interested in music, art, or a demolition derby there will be plenty of fun for everyone at these Ann Arbor area events.
If you’re a music lover, you won’t want to miss the 8th Annual NashBash. The free event mixes Nashville and Ann Arbor musical talent. Catch all the tunes tonight, Thursday August 21, music starts at 5pm at the Farmers Market area in Kerrytown. In addition to a great line up of artists there will also be a beer garden, BBQ, and the Ann Arbor Artisans Market.
Chelsea Community Fair
Looking for fun? The 77th annual Chelsea Community Fair has entertainment for everyone. Favorites include the always popular demolition derby and tractor pulls, horse shows, livestock judging, crafts, agriculture and art exhibits, midway games, rides and much more. New this year Mini-Mod Tractors have been added to Friday Night’s Tractor Pull. The tractors will be running V-8 Small Blocks (up to 375 ci) with small tires and weighing no more than 1800 lbs. These tractors are guaranteed to be fast and very entertaining.
DIYpsi Indie Art Fair
The fourth summer installment of DIYpsi Indie Art Fair is taking place this weekend at the Corner Brewery . DIYpsi is a handmade art fair that features the best indie artists in our region. Bring your appetite, and get ready for some incredible food and craft beer while you shop. Find unique hand crafted gifts while contributing to the local economy and supporting the arts. The fair takes place Saturday August 23 from 11am-11pm and Sunday August 24 from 12pm-6pm.
Today, voters across Michigan will decide who will go to the general election in November. Today’s primary offers both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti voters have the chance to decide between different mayoral candidates. In Washtenaw, there are also two countywide judge races, a congressional race, and a statewide ballot proposal to consider.
Haven’t been able to decide who to vote for? Visit www.vote411.org for information about candidates and proposal on your ballot. Vote411 is prepared by the League of Women Voters, which is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that never supports or opposes any candidates. Polls are open until 8pm.
The annual Chelsea Sounds & Sights Festival is returning to historic Chelsea, Michigan. The two-day, three-night event runs Thursday, July 24, through Saturday, July 26. The revelries include live music and social tent, kids’ entertainment and activities, a classic car show, pet parade, and more. All performances and activities are held in downtown Chelsea.
In addition to music and entertainment this year the indie art market will be back and better than ever. According to the Chelsea Standard the 2014 artist line-up will featuring cool, hip and affordable art from emerging artists and craft persons. Street artists will demonstrate techniques in clay, glass, spray paint, jewelry making, painting, and wood for event attendees.
Click here for a full schedule of events.
Do you have a flower lover in your family? Join naturalist Shawn Severance, for an exploration of garden, field and forest habitats County Farm and learn about many of the summer wildflowers found in the park. Meet up in Ann Arbor at the Platt road entrance of the County Farm at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 26.
The oldest of the Michigan Brewers Guild’s four annual festivals, the Summer Beer Festival returns July 25-26 to Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park in historic Depot Town. It features approximately 800 different beers from more than 80 Michigan craft breweries. Food will be available for purchase inside the festival, and guests will enjoy live music from a variety of Michigan bands.
Click here for a the complete beer list and more information about the event
Washtenaw County has an abundance of summertime festivals, fairs, and fun. These activities are in full swing this week with the start of Cinetopia International Film Festival on Wednesday and the launch Sonic Lunch on Thursday, and other events throughout the weekend. Despite some rain in the forecast there are many fascinating events for you to enjoy this week.
Cinteopia International Film Festival
Created for the people of southeastern Michigan, the Cinetopia International Film Festival features dramas, comedies, and documentaries from the world’s best film festivals. The festival is happening June 4-8 at 10 venues in Ann Arbor and Detroit.
This year there will be screenings of 50 films with special pre- and post-film events, including presentations, discussion panels, and Q&A sessions with directors, writers, and stars.
Started in 2008, Bank of Ann Arbor’s Sonic Lunch is a free outdoor concert series. Every Thursday from noon to 1:30pm June 5 to August 28, Sonic Lunch features a live band at the corner of Liberty and Division in downtown Ann Arbor. Each week a different area restaurant is on-site selling a Sonic Lunch for concert-goers to purchase.
The concerts are free and suitable for all ages. Some seating is available but lawn chairs are welcome. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a revitalizing mid-day break. As a result, Sonic Lunch has become one of the coolest summer events in Ann Arbor.
Sounds and Sights
Also starting Thursday, June 5, is the kick-off of Chelsea Sounds & Sights. Every Thursday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. artists perform at 10 staged areas located throughout downtown Chelsea featuring music, dance, comedy and family entertainment.
Audiences will also be able to enjoy interactive art with SculptureWalk Chelsea, a self-guided walking tour of 12 juried sculptures.
African American Festival
The African American Festival is a celebration of the contributions of African Americans to the development of Ann Arbor. It is taking place this Saturday, June 7, at the intersection of N. 4th Ave. and Ann St. in Ann Arbor.
The event was created to celebrate the city’s cultural heritage with a splashy, fun annual event that would remind locals of the neighborhood’s history. And while the festival celebrates African Americans’ life, history and culture in Ann Arbor, it is open to, and always draws a broad range of people. In its 19th year the festival will feature something for everyone including food, art, children’s activities, and entertainment.
Join more than 2,000 guests to help fight hunger and raise funds for Food Gatherers. Grillin’ takes place on Sunday, June 8, 3:00-8:00 PM (rain or shine) at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, located at 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Road.
Grillin’ is an event for all ages with live music, kids’ activities hosted by the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, and a cash bar featuring Michigan microbrews and wines. There will be a wide assortment of food including: grilled chicken, gourmet sausages, corn, tofu dogs and veggie burgers throughout the day. Grillin’ for Food Gatherers also features side dishes from nearly 50 of Ann Arbor’s best restaurants, as well as desserts by Zingerman’s Bakehouse and Creamery.
This year’s band lineup includes the rustic pop sounds of Jake & Mary, followed by Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful, an indie folk band with melodies that celebrate American roots music. Grillin’s longtime headliner, George Bedard and the Kingpins, will close the night with blues and rock beats.
Taking care of your yard in the spring will yield bountiful and beautiful blooms through the summer. Follow the 6 tips below to prepare your yard.
Clean-up the Yard
Spring is an important time for yard maintenance and repair. Start by removing tree limbs, dead or damaged plants, and cutting down last year’s perennial foliage, and toss it into the compost pile. Rake mulch from beds planted with bulbs before foliage appears. Also check steps, fences, and paths for disrepair caused by freezing and thawing.
Organize Your Tools
Spring is the perfect time to take an inventory of what tools you have and what you need. By organizing your tools you will be able to easily see which tools are missing or damaged. Head to the local hardware store with a list and replace missing or damaged tools. This will help you maintain your yard all season long.
Annual lawn mower maintenance will ensure that your mower runs well and keep your yard beautiful and healthy. Spring is the perfect time to sharpen blades, refill the oil, tighten nuts and bolts, clean intake screens, install new spark plugs and lubricate moving parts. Make sure to reseed your lawn before mowing.
Rake in Your Grass
Raking the lawn removes dead growth and winter debris. It helps bring light and air to the soil level, encouraging the grass to grow. Start by raking bare spots firmly with a metal rake. Sprinkle grass seed into a bucket of soil and spread evenly over bare spots. Keep well-watered until seeds germinate and the new grass establishes.
Make Your Beds
Flower beds require upkeep. Clear the planting area by removing sod, weeds, and debris. Spread a 4-inch layer of compost or manure over soil. Covering bare spots with mulch or ground cover will minimize the emergence of new weeds.
Sow Your Seeds
After you’ve made your flower beds, you can begin to fill them. Even though it may not seem warm enough, many trees, shrubs, and perennials such as hostas and daylilies should be planted by early spring. Now is a good time to plant cool-season flowers like poppies, calendula, and sweet peas, and vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, parsley, kale and spinach.
If you’ve been waiting to buy or sell, it’s time to set your real estate plan in motion. With snow melting and the weather improving, the spring market is underway. Activity has been a little slower than expected this winter due to weather, but that means demand is building and we are expecting a sudden influx of sellers and buyers and a strong remainder of the year.
Interest rates continue to favorable for buyers. Average prices are increasing. The housing market is continuing to strengthen, and is expected to continue to do so at a steady pace for the next several years.
For sound advice and help creating your real estate plan, contact us today.
For the first time since the economic recession, all 25 municipalities in Washtenaw County experienced gains in average home values.
The gain in value has meant increased property values in the communities across the county. Values have risen between 1.66 percent in Salem Township up to a high of 10.7 percent in Sylvan Township.
Home values in Ann Arbor increased an average over 6 percent and Ypsilanti homes gained an average of over 4 percent. Overall, Washtenaw County shows a 5.93 percent gain in home values in 2014, compared to a roughly 2 percent gain in 2013.
While many associate carnivals with warm weather, the American Legion’s 42nd Winter Carnival makes for a wonderful winter delight. With three days of food, fishing, and other winter fun at Cavanaugh Lake, this year’s affair promises to be more entertaining than ever. New this year is a Kid’s 25-Cent Carnival. The 25-cent carnival will be open to all children 12 and under.
Schedule of Events:
Friday, Feb. 7th:
4pm Carnival Kickoff
7pm Euchre Tournament – $10 Entry Fee must be 18 years old to enter.
Saturday, Feb. 8th:
7am-5:30pm Fishing Derby
1pm Chili Cook-off Tasting & Judging
8:30pm-11:30pm Live Band “Star 69?
What happened in 2013 with the real estate market? What will happen in 2014? We’ve got the answers.
Increase in Prices and Sales In 2013,home prices rose faster than they have since the housing boom. Nationwide sales were on pace to reach 435,100 new homes sold in 2013, the most since 2008. Annual nationwide existing home sales were up with approximately 5.1 million, the highest total in seven years and 10% higher than 2012’s total of almost 4.7 million.
Financial / Banking Nationwide bank failures dropped again dramatically to just 24 in 2013, down from peak of 157 in 2010. Refinance activity also dropped dramatically as interest rates rose. Delinquencies and foreclosures continued to fall. In addition more than 3 million homeowners returned to positive equity in 2013. Government began easing back on its bond buying and stated that its continuance will be data dependent, which could result in high mortgage rates in 2014.
Washtenaw County Improvements Average sale prices of $249,294 – up 18% over 2012 and up 37% over the recent low in 2009. The average days on the market was 47, which is down from 69 in 2012. Countywide 43% of homes sold at or above their asking price – up from 33% in 2012.
What’s ahead in 2014?
New Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer are excellent replacements and are likely to be dovish.
Tapering continues and is scheduled to end by 01/01/2015
Short-term rates remain at zero until 01/010/15 or as long as unemployment is “elevated” and inflation is “low”. Thus, low but rising interest rates with end of year 30-ryear rates at 5% to 5.25%
Trillions in household net worth recovering and now at a new record level means more income to spend elsewhere
Consumer confidence, while historically low, is up
No recession is in the card- Leading Economic Indicators for the USA at the highest level since Great Recession
Household formation for first-time home buyer in the 25-34 age group is rising
Residential housing permits are expected to continue their climb
FHA lowered state-wide maximum loan limit to $271,050.