January 24, 2020
5 Myths About Real Estate

Whether looking to buy or sell a house, entering the real estate market can be intimidating and riddled with misconceptions that can range from how real estate agents work, to how the entire process works whether buying or selling.  What we want to do is help you navigate through the weeds and break down the myths of real estate so you can navigate the process confidently and easily.

How Real Estate Agents Are Paid

This topic seems to be the biggest misconception the public is confused on and the reason being is most people assume that their agent is getting the entire commission, or that they have a salary to fall back on and yes while that would be nice that is very far from the truth.  The agents time and expenses are 100 percent on them, there is no reimbursement for the time and money they have expended, and as far as commission goes the seller is the one who pays their commission and then they split it between the two brokerages and the two agents.

All Agents Are Alike

All agents are not cut from the same cloth, so it is important to do your research and find someone who aligns with what you want, not only in a home price but in a community. Some agents specialize in a certain home price, community, or both and by narrowing down where you want to live and really doing your research on the type of community you’re looking for it will help you align with the right agent who will give you that personal touch that you wouldn’t get from just any agent.

It’s Better to Price a Home on The Higher Side

This is one of the most common misconceptions in real estate. As a seller you want to protect your asking price, so overpricing seems like a good way to protect against your house selling for too low right? Wrong, overpricing your home often leads to the home sitting on the market for a while, yes a buyer can always make an offer on an overpriced home but the problem with that is a buyer may not even look at a home in the first place if it is overpriced, let alone put an in an offer. If a home is priced competitively right from the start, your chances of optimal traffic and selling your home quickly increases.

Multiple Price Reductions Mean the Seller is Desperate to Sell

Just because a price is dropped does not mean that the seller is desperate to sell. Price reductions happen and happen often mostly to keep in line with other current listings and to be competitive. It can also help generate more traffic and interest but also sellers who have done multiple price reductions means they are through with negotiation.

Start Low When Making an Offer on a Home

Just as sellers want to overprice a house, buyers tend to want to start with a low offer in fear of not getting the best deal. There is nothing wrong with negotiating but an offer that is too low may turn the seller off and you run the risk of losing the house all together before the bidding war even begins. Take your time, talk to your agent, and above all else don’t react out of fear of losing the house because that’s when mistakes are made!

January 10, 2020
Best Ski Hills in the Mitten

It looks like we have snow heading our way this weekend so that means it’s time to strap on your skis and boards and head to some of the best hills that the mitten has to offer. No matter where you are in the mitten, you’re always within two hours of a ski resort which is pretty cool so why not take advantage of that?

Big Snow Resort: www.bigsnow.com

They didn’t exaggerate on the name, with their mountains Indianhead and blackjack getting more than 17 feet of snow per year at Big Snow Resort you never have to worry about not having enough powder! Both mountains can handle any level of skier or boarder with their wide range of beginner and intermediate runs. Big mountain also likes to pride itself on the fact that it isn’t just about skiing and boarding. They feature live music every weekend, feature numerous events like yoga, have a tubing slide, and yeti fort!

Boyne Resorts: www.boyne.com

Consisting of two mountains, and two of the largest resorts in lower Michigan spanning over 400 acres, there is no question why Boyne is Michigan’s best-known resort! Whether you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing there is something there for you. Not into winter sports? That’s ok too because they have at 88,000 square foot waterpark an award-winning spa and are close to downtown Boyne which is filled with shopping and breweries. They really have fun for the whole family!

Crystal Mountain  www.crystalmountain.com

This is Michigan’s heavy hitting resort making lists of the best ski resorts in the United States and Canada. There is no question why Crystal can compete with the heavy hitter resorts out West with their 102 acres of terrain, luxury cottages, fat tire biking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and their LEED certified spa.

Pine Mountain Resort: www.pinemountainresort.com/

We can’t forget the Upper Peninsula and their hidden gem of a ski resort. Pine Mountain claims to have the best-groomed slopes in the Midwest. They have over 30 trails, a terrain park, and night skiing, but what really sets them apart for the diehard downhill lovers is their ski jump which is revered as one of the best in the world. Big changes are also coming to the resort, due to new management they have been in the process since 2018 of doing a multimillion-dollar upgrade to the resort which will include renovated rooms, décor, and easy skiing access.

January 3, 2020
New Year’s Resolution for Your Home

We did it! 2020 is here and we have made it to a new decade which means we all are thinking about ways to better our lives for the new year. I mean the saying is new year new you right? Well how about new year fresh home! The best way to start a new year is to start with the home, it will help you get into the right mind set to hit your other new year’s goals if the place you spend most of your time is updated and fresh for 2020 too!

Revamp

You don’t need to go out and drop a ton of money buying all new furniture, or re painting your whole house because let’s be honest, most of us after the holidays are aiming to save money not spend more. There are little things you can do to make your space feel fresh and new without breaking the bank, like new light fixtures! This is a simple way to freshen up a room and going to places like Home Depot and Lowes will help you save money but still get the stylish light fixtures you’re looking for.

Wallpaper

No, we haven’t lost our minds! Wallpaper no longer needs to look like your grandmothers living room. There are plenty of modern wallpaper options available and will instantly add character to a what was once dull room!

Add Some Life

Adding some greenery to your home can really change a space and make it feel brand new. Hanging some small vine potted plants adds great aesthetic while placing a larger plant or tree to a corner of your room that was once bare helps tie everything together. Bonus is the health benefits of having live plants in your home!

Clean that Tile

You may look at your kitchen or bathroom and think that you need a whole overhaul but that’s not always the case! You can bring in the professionals or to save some money by doing it yourself with some heavy scrubbing and grout cleaning. This can really make a huge difference and have your kitchen or bathroom feeling and looking brand new.

December 26, 2019
Decorating for the New Year

There is always that limbo time between Christmas and New Year’s where time seems to just stop and before you know it New Year’s Eve is a couple days away, you have people coming over for a party, and your house is looking like Christmas threw up instead of fresh and festive for The New Year. That being said you don’t have to put away all of your Christmas decorations or spend a ton of money to put up some New Year’s Eve décor that will make you and your guests feel ready to ring in The New Year!  

Colors

You can give your home the right New Year’s feel by bringing out some sophisticated colors in your décor whether it be with your Christmas decorations that are already up or with some new but inexpensive decorations! Black, white, silver and gold are perfect celebratory colors for The New Year, but the trick is to pick on main color like gold and use it for at least half of your décor and then accent with another color like silver or black.

The Table

If you don’t feel like decorating your whole house your table is the perfect place to add some New Year’s cheer because let’s be honest parties tend to center around the food and drinks. By adding some silver and gold candle holders, plates, chargers, flatware etc. to accent your table it can be a cheap but easy way to bring a sophisticated New Year’s look to your party without breaking the bank and with minimal effort!  

Party Favors

You can’t have a New Year’s party without party favors, and bonus they can be used for décor. Set sparklers aside in tall hurricane glasses on your mantle, or arrange a table or bar cart with silver, black and gold hats, crowns, poppers, horns, confetti and other festive favors that will instantly add the New Year’s feel to your party!

Champagne

No New Year’s party is complete without champagne so why not use it as a decoration as well! Hit up the thrift stores to find some unique champagne flutes to place around your table or bar cart. If you can’t find a matching set that’s ok! Having different styles adds a unique flare to your décor and people won’t have to worry about which glass is theirs.

December 19, 2019
Best New Year’s Eve Parties in the Mitten

Santa has come, presents are unwrapped, and most of us are stuffed to the brim with holiday food but the celebration is not over yet! The New Year is approaching, and we have the best places in Michigan for you to ring in 2020!

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Marquette

If you’re up in the snowy upper peninsula for new year’s then you have to hit downtown Marquette for their ball drop! Locals and visitors alike pack the downtown area to watch the ball as it’s lowered from the historic Savings Bank Building.

CherryT Ball Drop in Traverse City

Traverse can be just as fun filled and exciting in the winter especially for New Year’s Eve. Not only is a massive illuminated cherry lowered at the stroke of midnight, but the celebration includes live music, entertainment, and fireworks!

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Downtown Ludington

If you’re looking to pair some beer with your New Year’s celebration than look no further than downtown Ludington. Their celebration is complete with an outdoor beer garden, music, and a ball drop with 6,000 LED lights, plus a spectacular firework display.

New Year’s Eve Ballroom Bashes Around the World in Grand Rapids

Maybe being outside in the middle of the winter to watch a ball drop is not your thing…Well don’t fret because The Ballroom Bashes in downtown GR has you covered. Not only will you be able to party in 4 glamorous ballrooms, but each has a unique theme and the party spans from the Amway Grand Plaza to the JW Marriott to the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott! Bonus all are connected via skyway, so you never have to step foot outside!

The Resolution Ball in Downtown Detroit

This party… or excuse us “ball” is claimed to be Detroit’s largest and most exclusive annual New Year’s Eve celebration. The event is filled with DJ’s, acrobats and performers, strolling dinner and premium bar, and last but not least a balloon drop at midnight! Be sure to get your tickets fast because the event has sold out the past 15 years.

Didn’t see something in your area? Check out this full guide of New Year’s Eve celebrations available from Pure Michigan!

December 16, 2019
Moving During the Holidays Tips

The holidays can already be stressful without adding moving out of your home to your to-do list. Whether your moving far away or across the street we have some helpful tips to make moving during the holidays as stress free as possible.

Budget, Budget, Budget

It’s already hard enough to stay on a budget with all the gift buying and other expenses you can incur during the holiday season, let alone having to add in moving expenses, but don’t fret. If you’re hiring movers aim to move mid -week, or if you want to avoid the cost of movers all together cost-efficient alternatives like rental trucks or portable moving containers would be a perfect way to save a few bucks. Lastly DOWNSIZE, the less boxes you have to move the cheaper it will be so look at selling some items on Craigslist or donating to places like Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Pack Early

This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but begin to pack a couple weeks early, and chose a location, like your garage to store all your belongings so they aren’t just piled around your house. Start with the non-essential items that you can go without for a few weeks and as time gets closer than start packing up the essentials!

Still Put Up Decorations

Just because you’re moving during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and decorate! All you have to do is make sure to keep your decorations to a minimum. There are lots of options when it comes to decorating that don’t require a ton of set up. Just be careful when it comes to putting up a Christmas tree if the holiday is too close to your moving date. Or if you do put up a tree make sure to use minimal ornaments. Lights, strung popcorn, and tinsel can be just as festive!

Keep Your Family Busy

Don’t let the stress of moving ruin the holiday fun! Stick to your family traditions just don’t push it. Make time to enjoy some old community traditions as well before moving to somewhere new. Drive around your neighborhood and look at the light displays, stop at your local coffee shop to grab some hot chocolate, anything to saver the time you have left before venturing to somewhere new!