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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
The Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw (WXW), a local nonprofit organization developed for women growing successful companies in Michigan, hosts unique events where women business leaders talk through their issues, share experiences and ideas and form lasting connections. WXW’s signature event is their annual all-day forum for business leaders.
Hundreds of local business leaders will come together for a fun day of learning, networking, and growing through workshops, an exchange session and an amazing panel at the WXW Forum13 on October 10th.