Thursday, August 31, 2006

Exclusive Buyer Agents Mentioned in Wall Street Journal Publication

Exclusive Buyer Agent's were favorably mentioned in a recent article published by RealEstateJournal.Com, the Wall Street Journal's online "Guide to Property". In an article entitled "Selecting a Real-Estate Agent in a Cooling Housing Market", the author quotes Tom Early, President of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (, who states that "By hiring a representative who works on only one side of the transaction, you'll get a specialized agent who probably won't have a conflict of interest."

While the subject of real estate agency relationships is confusing and often misunderstood, even by many real estate licensees themselves, exclusive buyer agency seems to be gaining awareness in the mainstream media, with recent favorable mentions in a number of publications, including Consumer Reports and Money Magazine.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

North Central Michigan College

North Central Michigan College is a tremendous asset to our community, providing accessible, affordable, quality post-secondary education and job skills training to area residents. Through its University Center partnerships, students can take courses from participating universities, leading to bachelor's and master's degrees.

NCMC enrolled 2,792 students for the Fall 2005 semester. With its main campus located in the City of Petoskey, NCMC had a 2005-2006 fiscal year budget of $11.7 million. The college is primarily funded through local property taxes, which contributed approximately $4.85 million to the 2005-2006 budget. Other revenue sources included tuition and fees ($3.8 million) and state appropriations ($2.7 million).

According to NCMC President Cameron Brunet-Koch, Ph.D., 90 out of 100 ninth graders say they want to go to college, but only 40 will, and only 18 out of 100 will actually graduate. I heartily agree with her assessment that Michigan's future success depends on our ability to raise that percentage.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Up North Real Estate: Cottages for the Taking

In case you missed it, here is a link to the Detroit Free Press article which was published earlier this Summer in which Yours Truly was quoted. At the time I was contacted by one of the authors, I had just completed some market research for some clients contemplating the the purchase a Petoskey home. The authors interviewed numerous Northern Michigan real estate agents and property owners for the story, with the consensus being that given the current market conditions, this may be a good (or even great, if you give any credence to headlines) time to buy.

With for sale signs everywhere, now could be a great time to buy [Detroit Free Press]

Homeowner Desperation Means Strong Buyer's Market

The National Association of Realtors, in a report released on August 15th, indicated that housing prices in the Detroit Market declined 8% year over year in the second quarter of 2006, compared to the same quarter in 2005. According to a recent MSN Money article, the Detroit market is as bad as it gets, and one of the toughest real estate markets in the country to try and sell a home. According to the Detroit News, housing inventory in the Detroit market is up 43% from a year ago. The wobbly job market and uncertainty regarding the future of the Big Three automakers has apparently resulted in severe weakness in the Detroit real estate market.

This news obviously does not bode well for the Northern Michigan Real Estate market, at least in the short term. Weakness in the Detroit area which is arguably the number one source for Northern Michigan real estate purchasers may have created buying opportunities, however, for those who have been waiting on the sidelines to see where the dust settles. The buyer's market in Northern Michigan is currently in full swing, and with the recent dip in interest rates, a number of buyers have been stepping forward recently to take advantage of the current market weakness. We are finally getting to the point where we are starting to see property owners capitulate and lower prices in order to sell their properties, which is somewhat of a change of events here in Northern Michigan.

When Homeowners Are Desperate to Sell [MSN Money}

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Little Traverse Bay Regatta

It was a picture perfect weekend for the 46th annual Little Traverse Yacht Club (LTYC) "U-Gotta Regatta", which was held the weekend of July 28-30. More than 60 sailboats, ranging from 24 to 70 feet, participated in the event, which traditionally follows the running of the Chicago Yacht Club's Chicago to Mackinaw sailboat race. One of the busiest weekends of the summer in Harbor Springs, regatta weekend included the famous U-Gotta Regatta Party at Irish Boat Shop on Friday afternoon, pancake breakfasts hosted by LTYC on Saturday and Sunday mornings, along with cookouts in the afternoons. The regatta has become an important attraction both for the community and local businesses. Bill Gurney, owner of Gurney's Harbor Bottle Shop and the famous Gurney's sandwiches, expected to have over 250 sandwiches pre-orded on Saturday alone, with turkey being the best seller.