6 Iconic Detroit Streets You Must Stroll At Least Once

Whether you’re a longtime Motor City resident or an occasional visitor, there’s nothing better than exploring the area’s many marvelous attractions. The roadways that make our city complete offer adventurous folks the chance to appreciate history, modern destinations, eateries, and so much more. Here are six iconic streets in Detroit that deserve a spot on your bucket list.

Have you walked or driven along any of these iconic streets in Detroit? Did we include any of your favorite places on our list? Share your experiences with us by leaving a Facebook comment or let us know which famous roadways deserved a mention by filling out our official nomination form here.

If you’re fascinated by our city’s history, you’ll want to check out these Depression-era photos from Detroit.

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The Heart And Soul Of Michigan Is The Small Towns And These 7 Have The Best Downtown Areas

When you’re looking for a place to stroll, shop, dine, and spend quality time with loved ones, there’s nothing better than exploring some of the best small towns in Michigan. Our state offers access to endless charm, whether you’re enjoying coffee with a waterfront view or hunting for antiques in a long-standing shop. If you’re a sucker for small towns, you’ll want to read about these seven spots in Michigan that offer truly outstanding downtown areas.

Have you spent time in any of these small towns in Michigan? What were your favorite downtown destinations in each? We’re always eager to hear your suggestions and experiences, so share your thoughts by leaving us a Facebook comment. If there’s a charming community that should have been included on our list, let us know by completing our official nomination form here.

Can’t get enough of our state’s small towns? Be sure to read about this unique waterfront area in Michigan.

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These 8 Amazing Detroit Restaurants Are Loaded With Local History

Are you a fan of both history and food? If you’re a culinary enthusiast who also appreciates all things timeless, you’ll want to check out some of our favorite historic restaurants in Detroit. After all, the Motor City boasts a unique and storied past that’s so worth learning about — and this includes plenty of awesome eateries. Here are eight history-rich restaurants that deserve a spot on your dining bucket list.

Have you been lucky enough to enjoy a meal from one of these historic restaurants in Detroit? Which of our selections is your favorite? We’re always happy to hear from you, so share your thoughts with us in the Facebook comments or recommend another history-rich eatery by filling out our nomination form here.

If you’re searching for even more historic charm, be sure to read about this train depot restaurant near Detroit.

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WHAT TO DO WITH AN UNFINISHED BASEMENT

Beautifully finished basement sometimes called a ‘man cave’

Although currently dimly lit and a little rough on the eyes, your unfinished basement still has a lot of potentials. With just a little love and the help of the following ideas, you can spice it up in no time and get some great use out of the space.

  1. Add a pop of color. Give your basement a whole different look without a big renovation by adding some color to space. Consider painting and sealing the floors, opening up the room by painting the rafters white or a light color, or creating a bold accent wall.
  2. Divide the space. Want to make your basement a multi-use room? Partition out the area by installing an inexpensive curtain system. This can be done either with a curtain track or a simple wire, some hooks, and curtains will suffice.
  3. Add foam mats. Whether you’d like to use the basement as a home gym to get a quick workout in or a place for the kids to play and rough house, adding some foam mats into the mix is a great and easy solution. They come in various colors and can quickly be picked up and tucked away if need be.
  4. Use a large rug. As an alternative to adding mats, find a large, eye-catching rug to be used as a focal point, and furnish the area around it.
  5. Add lighting. Basements often offer very little built-in lighting and few outlets around the room. Consider stringing café lighting across space from the rafters to give a nice ambiance and glow without any difficult electrical work.

Why It Just Became Much Easier To Buy a Home

Why It Just Became Much Easier To Buy a Home | Simplifying The Market

Since the pandemic began, Americans have reevaluated the meaning of the word home. That’s led some renters to realize the many benefits of homeownership, including the feelings of security and stability and the financial benefits that come with rising home equity. At the same time, many current homeowners have decided their house no longer meets their needs, so they moved into homes with more space inside and out, including a home office for remote work.

However, not every purchaser has been able to fulfill their desire for a new home. Here are two obstacles some homebuyers are facing:

  • The ability to save for a down payment
  • The ability to qualify for a mortgage at the current lending standards

This past week, both of those challenges have been mitigated to some degree for many purchasers. The FHFA (which handles mortgages by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Federal Housing Administration) is raising its loan limit for prospective purchasers in 2022. The term used to describe the maximum loan amount they will entertain is the Conforming Loan Limit.

What Is the Difference Between a Conforming Loan and a Non-Conforming Loan?

Investopedia explains the difference in a recent post:

“Conforming loans are the only loans that meet the requirements to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Jumbo loans, which exceed the conforming limit, are the most common type of nonconforming loan.”

What Difference Does It Make to Me as a Home Buyer?

A Forbes article earlier this year explains the benefits of a conforming loan and why they exist:

“Since lenders can’t sell non-conforming loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to free up their cash, they’re a bit riskier for the lender. This is especially true for jumbo loans, which aren’t backed by any government guarantees. If you default on a jumbo loan, it’s a huge blow to the lender.

Thus, lenders generally charge higher interest rates to compensate, and they can have even more requirements. For example, lenders who give out jumbo loans often require that you make a down payment of at least 20% and show that you have at least six months’ worth of cash in reserve, if not more.”

What Happened Last Week?

The FHFA has significantly increased its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022. Sandra L. Thompson, FHFA Acting Director, explains in the press release that:

“Compared to previous years, the 2022 Conforming Loan Limits represent a significant increase due to the historic house price appreciation over the last year. While 95 percent of U.S. countie​s will be subject to the new baseline limit of $647,200, approximately 100 counties will have conforming loan limits approaching $1 million.”

This means that more homes now qualify for a conforming loan with lower down payment requirements and easier lending standards – the two challenges holding many buyers back over the last year.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) also increased its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022. That could also mean an easier path to homeownership for many prospective buyers. As the Forbes article explains:

“FHA loans can be very beneficial if you don’t have as much savings, or if your credit score could use some work.”

Bottom Line

Buying your first or your next home may have just gotten much easier (less stringent qualifying standards) and less expensive (possibly lower mortgage rate). Let’s connect to discuss how these changes may impact you.

Resources:
  1. To get more information on the new FHFA Conforming Loan Limits, click here.
  2. To get more information on the new FHA Conforming Loan Limits, click here.

Win When You Sell (And When You Move)

Win When You Sell (And When You Move) | Simplifying The Market

If you’re trying to decide when to sell your house, there may not be a better time than this winter. Selling this season means you can take advantage of today’s strong sellers’ market when you make a move.

Win When You Sell

Right now, conditions are very favorable for current homeowners looking for a change. If you sell now, here’s what you can expect:

  • Your House Will Stand Out – While recent data shows there are more sellers getting ready to list their homes this winter, there are still more buyers in the market than there are homes for sale. If you sell your house now before more houses are listed, it will get more attention from serious buyers who are eager to find a home.
  • Your House Will Likely Get Multiple Offers – When supply is low and demand is high, buyers have to compete with each other for a limited number of homes. The latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows sellers are getting an average of 3.6 offers in today’s market.
  • Your House Should Sell Quickly – According to the same report from NAR, homes are selling in an average of just 18 days. As a seller, that’s great news for you if you’re looking for a quick process.

Win When You Move

In addition to these great perks, you’ll also win big on your next move if you sell now. CoreLogic reports homeowners gained an average of $51,500 in equity over the past year. This wealth boost is the result of buyer competition driving home prices up. You can leverage that equity to fuel a move, before mortgage rates and home prices climb higher. To get a feel for how rates are projected to rise, see the chart below.Win When You Sell (And When You Move) | Simplifying The MarketThe longer you wait to make your move, the more it will cost you down the road. As mortgage rates rise, even modestly, it will impact your monthly payment when you purchase your next home. Waiting just a few months to make that change could mean a long-term financial impact.

The good news is today’s rates are still hovering in a historically low range. According to Doug Duncan, Senior VP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae:

“Right now, we forecast mortgage rates to average 3.3 percent in 2022, which, though slightly higher than 2020 and 2021, by historical standards remains extremely low . . .

Selling before rates climb higher means you can make your move and lock in a low rate on the mortgage for your next home. This helps you get more home for your money and keeps your payments down too.

Bottom Line

As a homeowner, you have a great opportunity to get the best of both worlds this season. You can truly win when you sell and when you buy. If you’re thinking about making a move, let’s connect so you have the information you need to get the process started.

The Romantic Michigan Getaway That’s Perfect For A Chilly Weekend

Whether or not you’re a fan of cold weather, it’s tough to deny the delights of embarking on a romantic getaway in Michigan — and such escapes are especially magical when temperatures drop and coziness abounds. One charming bed and breakfast here in the Great Lakes State makes for an ideal adventure with your sweetheart in tow. Get ready for an unforgettable stay away from the stresses of everyday life.

For more information about Candlelite Inn, click here. Have you been lucky enough to spend the night at this spectacular bed and breakfast while enjoying a romantic getaway in Michigan? Share your experiences with us by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend another top-notch vacation destination in the Great Lakes State by filling out our official nomination form here.

If you’re looking for even more excitement, be sure to read about this historic inn in Michigan.

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This Michigan Waterfront Is Officially One Of The Best River Walks In The Country

Whether you’re looking for a dose of fresh air, seeking a place to stretch your legs, or simply searching for pretty scenery, nothing beats the experience of strolling along a river walk in Michigan. While our bodies of water offer all sorts of attractions, there’s one walkway here in the Great Lakes State that stands out above the rest – and has even earned national accolades. Get ready to go on an adventure.

For more information about this nationally recognized river walk in Michigan, click here. Have you and your family taken a stroll alongside the water during previous visits to the area? Share your experiences and memories with us by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend another great place to appreciate river views in Michigan by completing our nomination form here.

If you’re seeking something a bit more rustic, you might appreciate reading about this pretty overlook in Michigan.

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The Magical Place Near Detroit Where It’s Christmas Year-Round

Can you imagine experiencing the joys of the holiday season in the midst of a sweltering Michigan summer? There’s one incredible Christmas store near Detroit where you can do just that. Whether you’re a full-blown Christmas fanatic or a kid at heart who’s searching for a dose of childlike glee, this sprawling shop will capture your heart. Get ready to step into a year-round holiday dreamland.

For additional information about Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, click here. Have you and your family checked out this magical Christmas store near Detroit during previous day trips to Frankenmuth? Share your experiences with us by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend another year-round gem by filling out our official nomination form here.

If you’re a fan of the holiday season, you’ll want to read about these top winter activities in Michigan.

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