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The Reinhart Blog

Spring is Officially Here

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.

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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. 

 

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Home Values on the Rise in Washtenaw County

For the first time since the economic recession, all 25 municipalities in Washtenaw County experienced gains in average home values.

Photo taken by Darby Kolano

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.

Click here to read the complete article on Mlive.com.

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What’s Ahead: 2014 Real Estate Market

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.

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Embrace the Winter Weather without Getting Frostbite

Winter weather is upon us.  With subzero wind chill and snow in the forecast it is important to prepare both yourself and your home.

Dress for Success
Whether you want to build a snow man, go skiing, or shovel the driveway, wearing appropriate clothing in the winter is important. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm.  Having good thick socks will make a huge difference. When going outside remember to wear gloves, hats, and scarves to retain body heat.

 

Shovel Your Neighbor’s Driveway
Despite the fun winter activities that come with snow, snow removal can be a nuisance. For those who rent or own a home removing the snow is essential. While there are many methods of snow removal shoveling is still incredibly popular. If you are shoveling it is important be careful. It is physically strenuous work, so it is important to stay hydrated and take breaks when necessary. In addition to your own driveway and sidewalk, consider helping your out of town or elderly neighbors by shoveling their walk also.

Set Aside the Salt
With the cold and slippery roads there has been a lot of talk about salt use on roads and sidewalks. Salt works best when the outside temperature is above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is colder than that, sand is a better option.

When it is the proper temperature be careful about how you distribute your salt. Salt will corrode metal when it gets wet, and can kill grass.  After applying salt thinner ice will melt, but thicker patches should be brushed or shoveled away.

 

Northern Exposure
In the winter exposure to cold can lead to hypothermia or frostbite. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue, or yellow skin, discoloration, or waxy feeling skin.

Symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering require immediate medical attention.

Pets and Pipes
Both your pets and pipes need to be kept at an appropriate temperature in the winter. For pets this means bringing them indoors with access to water.

Avoid bursting your pipes by keeping your house the same temperature day and night. We recommend at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Have your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

 

How are you protecting yourself from the elements this winter?

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The New Year is Here

What will you do this year to increase your business and improve your life? January is the time to re-focus on your business and make the changes needed. Here are a few easy ways to make this your best year ever.

Plan and Track Your Strategy
Spend time every day planning your strategy to keep you on track. Implement a way to measure your goal. This will ensure you are meeting your goals and following through with your plans.


Identify Your Target Market
Choose your comfort zone in the market and be the expert in that area. Finding your niche will help you focus your market plan.

Break Free from Your Comfort Zone
Do one marketing strategy outside your comfort zone. This is the only way you will grow.

Start a New Hobby
Find something that you like and do it. Doing something you enjoy will give you the opportunity to create relationships with new people. New friends are a great way to continue to grow your personal network.

Get Moving
Join a gym, a workout group, or take a class. Spending just a few hours a week on yourself will improve your outlook. You’ll feel better and be more confident, which makes meeting new people easier. You never know where your next customer will come from.

Keep a Positive Outlook
Happy people are much more desirable to do business with. Happiness spread so if you are happy it is more likely your customers and co-workers will be.

Stop Making Excuses
If you don’t make the phone call, you won’t get the business. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward. You have nothing to lose. Make the call!

Best of luck to all of you for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year.

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Discover Ypsilanti at the 17th Annual Holiday Tour and Downtown Stroll

Discover the beauty and charm of Ypsilanti’s local landmarks at the 17th annual Ypsilanti Holiday Tour and Downtown Stroll, December 14th and 15th. This event provides participants with a unique opportunity to tour local landmarks and shop local businesses to support Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels (YMOW) at the peak of the holiday season.

This year’s tour includes nine tour stops:

Music, food, and beverages are provided at each site.

YMOW is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing hot meals to homebound elderly, disabled, and ill residents of eastern Washtenaw County. The meals provided by YMOW help clients stay healthy while caring for themselves in their own homes.

Click here for more information.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!


 

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18th Annual Coat Drive: Help Others Stay Warm

Reinhart kicks-off our 18th Annual Coat Drive November 1, with the goal of collecting more than 1,500 adult and children’s winter coats to distribute to local agencies throughout Washtenaw County.

Through the month of November, we will be collecting new and gently used winter coats at all of the Charles Reinhart Sales Offices as well as all Sunday Open Houses.

Over the coat drive’s 17-year history, Reinhart has collected more than 17,000 coats, all of which have been donated to agencies in our community. The need for winter coats, especially for children, continues to be great. The 18th Annual Coat Drive hopes to help fill that need in our community as the weather gets colder.

For more information about the 18th Annual Coat Drive, please contact Greer Thibodeau, Marketing Coordinator at 734-669-5837 or gthibodeau@reinhartrealtors.com.

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The Fall Real Estate Market is Strong

Third quarter results are in, and they are outstanding! Reinhart finished the third quarter strong with closed sales up 13% for the first 3 quarters of year versus the same period in 2012.

The good news for homeowners in Washtenaw County is that prices are continuing to climb and homes are selling 22 days faster on average than last year. The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors is reporting that average sales prices YTD for residential homes are up across all major areas of the county.

Many industry experts feel fall is the best time to list because low inventory creates upward pressure on prices and fall buyers are serious.

For sound advice and help creating your real estate plan, contact us today.

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9 Safety Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Fire Free

National Fire Safety Week is a way to spotlight fire safety and prevention.

Whether you are a home owner or renter, the latest National Fire Protection Association research found that cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.

Here are 9 helpful safety tips to help you prevent kitchen fires:

  1. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
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  3. Stay in the house and pay attention to what is happening. Many fires start because people do not check what they are cooking regularly.
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  5. Always use a timer. It will remind you that food is cooking.
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  7. Always keep a lid or baking soda close when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires.
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  9. If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible.
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  11. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
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  13. When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
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  15. Keep anything that can burn away from your stovetop, especially potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, and towels.
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  17. Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.

>Click here for more fire safety information.

Photo Credit: Fdmount via Flickr

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