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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Area HALLOWEEN Happenings

Beyond trick-or-treating, Washtenaw County is home to a plethora of Halloween activities and events. You'll find pumpkin carvings, haunted houses, puppet shows, scary movies, performances, concerts, parades, story times, and, of course, trick or treating! Pick your poison or pick a few!

Let's not forget about trick-or-treating. Here are the hours in various locations:

• Ann Arbor: 5-8 PM
• City of Ypsilanti: 6-8 PM
• Ypsilanti Township: 6-8 PM
• Saline: 6-8 PM
• Dexter: 5:30-7:30 PM
• Chelsea: 4-6 PM

Thursday, Oct. 27

Pumpkin carving 6 to 7:30 PM at the Ypsilanti District Library, Superior branch. Free, but registration is required: 482-4110 ext. 1391. Youth/teens.

"Nosferatu" with live organ accompaniment - The Michigan Theater presents the silent film classic NOSFERATU with live organ accompaniment at 7:30PM. Adult - $15.00; Student (with ID) - $12.00; Senior / US Veteran - $12.00; Michigan Theater Member - $10.00

Friday, Oct. 28th

Downtown Halloween Fall Festival 5 to 6:30 PM in downtown Ypsilanti. The Downtown Association of Ypsilanti is sponsoring its 15th annual evening of trick or treating for children 2-12 in historic downtown Ypsilanti. This year’s event will take place on S. Washington between Michigan Avenue and Ferris Streets and on the Library Park Plaza. The library’s Book Mobile will also be on hand. Andy the Ambulance will be around to “talk” with wee ones, too. 

Teen Halloween Party at the Dexter District Library. 4 to 5 pm. Free, but registration is requested at 734-426-4477. Grades 5-12.

EMU Halloween Concert at Pease Auditorium, 7:30 pm. Kevin Miller and the EMU Symphony Orchestra present an entertaining evening of astonishing surprises and spooky music. Come in costume!

11th Annual Halloween Concert at Greenhill’s School – 7 to 8:30 PM.

EMU Symphony Orchestra Halloween concert at Pease Auditorium - at 7 PM join the EMU Symphony Orchestra present an entertaining evening of astonishing surprises and spooky music. The audience is invited to come in costume!

Halloween Family Bash at Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center – 6 to 8:30 PM. Register in person or online (Activity #53000). Pre-Registration is recommended as space is limited. $4 per person OR Family of 4 for $15 ($2 each additional child). At-The-Door (space permitting): $5 per person.

Maze of Terror at Bryant Community Center – 7:30 to 9:30 PM. The Bryant Teen Program presents: Maze of Terror! A horrifying, one night haunted house at the Bryant Community Center. Come out and support the Bryant Teen Program by taking a tour of the gruesome and ghastly house maze. It's the scariest Haunted House in Ann Arbor!

Storytime: Halloween Party at Ann Arbor District Library, Main Branch – 9:30 to 11 AM. Free. For Preschool To Grade 3.

Halloween Hullabaloo at Saline Recreation Center – 6:30 to 8 PM. Contact the Rec Center to sign your child up. (734) 429-3502.

Saturday, October 29th

Creatures of the Night: Nocturnal Animals at Ypsilanti District Library, Michigan Avenue, 11 AM. Free. Drop in.

Halloween Storytime at Nicola's Books. 11 AM. Free

Briarwood Mall Boo Bash - 5 PM. Free. Indoor trick-or-treating. Colors the Clown and her animals, activities from Ann Arbor Hands on Museum and lots of Halloween fun.

Kids Club Halloween Treat Trail at Whole Foods, Washtenaw Ave. Part of the Huron Village Plaza Halloween Happening 11am-3pm. Come in Costume and follow the Halloween Treat Trail through the store for a special treat in each department. Trick or Treat bags provided.

Trunk or Treat at Ypsilanti Free Methodist Church, 7 PM, 1800 Packard Road. Children pre-K through 5th grade.

Huron Village Plaza Halloween Celebration - 11 AM and 4 PM. 3255 Washtenaw Avenue. Area merchants in the Huron Valley Plaza. Come in costume and enjoy the fun!

Dreamland Puppet Troupe presents: "Children of the Corn" at there theatre. October 29th and 30th, 7:00 PM

Sunday, October 30th

Afternoon of the Undead at Ypsilanti District Library, Whittaker.  2 to 3 PM.  Learn the secrets of Zombie make-up from local movie make up artists.

Family Halloween Party at the U-M Exhibit Museum of Natural History. Noon to 5 PM. One of the favorites year-after-year because entertainment is combined with informal science learning. Come in costume and journey through the Museum, discovering special stations and displays full of hands-on activities.

Dexter Community Band All-Costume Halloween Concert – 3 PM. Free. Special guest artist: Jeffrey Zook, Flute & Piccolo, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major for Piccolo and Band – all in the costume. Spooky music Children's Costume Parade.


University of Michigan Halloween Concerts at Hill Auditorium. TWO performances - 4 PM AND 7:30 PM. Join the University Orchestras (in costume, or not) for this holiday favorite. The concert includes a variety of spooky classical music combined with popular Halloween songs. Get out your scariest costume or come dressed as you are to enjoy this fun event for young and old alike.

Dreamland Puppet Troupe presents: "Children of the Corn" at there theatre. October 29th and 30th, 7:00 PM .

Monday, October 31st

Halloween Storytime/Halloween Party at Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown - TWO sessions: 10:30 AM to11:00 AM AND 11:30 AM to Noon. Preschool to age 3. Stories, songs and trick-or-treats in conjunction with Main Street Association's Trick-or-Treat Day.

Halloween Crafts at Ann Arbor District Library-Pittsfield . 4 to 5 PM. Preschool to age 5. Crafts and refreshments.

  
Main Street Area Halloween Treat Parade in downtown Ann Arbor – 11 AM to 5 PM. It’s the eleventh annual! Area merchants welcome your little costumed characters to the neighborhood with greets and treats. Look for the black and orange balloons and walk right in!














* Information is compliments of AnnArbor.com





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Want To Be In Your New Home By December?


Your first step is to find a Realtor that you feel confident in. Choose a full-time Realtor with extended designations (ABR, GRI, Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified, ePro, Relocation Specialist . . .). This way you will have confidence that the Realtor you choose is professional and that they respect their profession enough to be full time and to stay up and educated on the market place.

Through your meeting and discussions with your Realtor, he/she will be able to establish a home search for you on the multi-list system (MLS) and have the homes emailed to you. This is something that you should do right away because it will help you get familiar with the market, what homes cost in one area or neighborhood versus another. The homes will be emailed to you immediately upon being listed, and they will come to you again if photos are added or a price adjustment is made.

You should then, with your Realtor's guidance, find a local lender. Please DO NOT get pre-qualified form the Internet. These pre-qualifications are not worth the paper they are written on. Getting prequalified will help direct you to the price range that you should be looking in, will save you from the heart break of falling in love with a home only to find out that you can't buy it, and, once you do find the right home for yourself, you will be able to act quickly (hopefully quicker than anyone else) to submit an offer. You must have a pre-approval letter to submit along with your offer.

There is time to get find and close on a home by December if you get started now. I recommend staying away from short sales. Foreclosures may work for you because they are already owned by the bank; therefore the decision making on their end is much quicker.




Monday, October 24, 2011

Why You Need A Buyer Agent

Before you disclose confidential information to a real estate agent wouldn't you like to know who they are working for?

Unless you have hired them as your Buyer Agent, by law, that Realtor represents the Seller. Prior to 1993, all Realtors represented the Seller.


Now — to your benefit — we have Buyer Agency. Signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement benefits you because it insures that the Realtor you are revealing your heart and sole to is actually working solely on your behalf and not just gleaning information from you to take back to the Seller.

Please understand that when you call the listing agent (Seller’s Realtor) to see a property, she or he is working in the best interest of their client — the Seller. It is their duty to get the best deal for their client — the seller — not you.

As a Buyer Agent, I step into a fiduciary (TRUST) relationship with you and it is my duty to:

  • Promote your best interest
  • Make you aware of all facts that might affect or influence your decision to tender an offer to purchase
  • Keep confidential all your motivations for buying while at the same time, disclose to you all information gleaned about the willingness of the seller to complete the sale, accept a lower price, motivation . . .
  • Never advance any interests adverse to yours, or conduct your business in such a way as to benefit another party to the detriment of your interest.
  • Act according to the law subject to your continuous control, but not exceeding the scope of authority conferred by you. In other words, “I don’t make decisions for you.”
  • Protect you from foreseeable risks of harm and recommend that the you obtain expert advice or assistance when your needs are outside the scope of my expertise.
  • Never communicate personal information about you that was given to me within the scope of employment as your Buyer Agent. This personal information must be kept confidential unless you tell me otherwise. 
  •  Disclose material facts (something that will affect your decision to buy the house or pay a different price) concerning the transaction and property which might affect the decisions that you will make. 
  • Promptly report to you all money and property received and paid out, and upon request, to tender an account of these actions. I must safeguard all money held on your behalf.





Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Housing Market is UP!

Prices are up! The sale of residential homes -- September, 2011 vs. September 2010 -- reflect a 3% uptick. This marks a continuing trend as prices march on in a steady upward climb. They are up 4.4% year-to-date.


Conversely, mortgage rates remain low. What more can you ask for?

If you are a Buyer sitting on the fence, it's time to jump in!

If you have been thinking about selling and have been waiting for the market to rebound, it is!

Here is how September, 2011 looks by school system:


*Based on information from the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors MLS for the stated period

Areas are based on school district.



And for a graphical display . . .







Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mortgage Rates are LOW

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to its lowest level on record -- 4.15 percent.


The last time rates were lower was in the 1950s, when gas was 80 cents a gallon, and the average house cost $25,000.

Five years ago, the average 30-year fixed rate was near 6.5 percent.

In 2000, it exceeded 8 percent.

Most homeowners are paying rates more than a full percentage point higher than the current average.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.36 percent, also a record low.

If you’re a qualified Borrower and want to take advantage of these record low rates, I can help.

If you are thinking of Selling, you should know that inventory is as low as the rates are! This makes it very attractive to you as a seller. Be aware, that because inventory is so low, Sellers are receiving multiple offers on their homes. In other words, Buyers are fighting over the available homes. I'd be happy to help you discover what the market is doing in your neighborhood. Contact me for a complimentary market analysis.