Exploring the Charms of Whitmore Lake, Michigan: A Summer Kickoff

Whitmore Lake is situated between Brighton and Ann Arbor in Livingston and Washtenaw Counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula. This aerial photo was taken southwest of the lake in the morning during peak fall foliage color. In the foreground are the Harbor Cove Apartments and First United Methodist Church.

As the sun casts its warm embrace upon the picturesque landscapes of Michigan, Whitmore Lake awakens with a vibrant energy, marking the beginning of an unforgettable summer. Nestled amidst the heartland of the state, this delightful village is brimming with natural beauty, exciting activities, and a warm sense of community. Join us as we explore what’s happening in Whitmore Lake at the start of this scintillating summer season.

  1. Waterfront Bliss: Whitmore Lake is centered around its eponymous lake, and summer brings a surge of water-based activities to delight both locals and visitors alike. Boating enthusiasts can be found cruising the tranquil waters, their sails billowing in the gentle breeze. Kayaking and paddleboarding offer a more serene and personal connection to the lake, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck in the abundant waters, hoping to reel in a catch of bass, pike, or catfish.
  2. Beach Fun: The sandy shores of Whitmore Lake transform into a hub of recreational excitement during the summer months. Pack your beach gear and head to the public beach area, where you can bask in the sun, build sandcastles, or enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters. The beach is a popular spot for picnics, so don’t forget to bring your favorite snacks to savor as you take in the breathtaking views.
  3. Community Events: Whitmore Lake’s sense of community shines brightly during the summer season, with a variety of engaging events that bring people together. The Whitmore Lake Independence Day Celebration is a much-anticipated event, featuring parades, live music, fireworks, and a vibrant carnival atmosphere. The local farmer’s market springs to life during this time, showcasing an array of fresh produce, crafts, and delectable treats from the region.
  4. Outdoor Recreation: Beyond the shores of Whitmore Lake, the village is surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The nearby Hudson Mills Metropark offers hiking trails, scenic picnic spots, and opportunities for cycling. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at one of the area’s renowned golf courses, taking in the lush greens and serene landscapes.
  5. Dining and Local Delights: Whitmore Lake boasts a range of dining options that cater to various tastes and preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy lakeside café, a classic American diner, or a family-friendly pizza joint, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Indulge in locally-sourced ingredients, farm-to-table delicacies, and Michigan’s famous craft beers as you explore the culinary offerings of the village.

Conclusion: As the summer dawns upon Whitmore Lake, this charming Michigan village invites you to immerse yourself in its natural beauty, engaging community events, and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil day on the water, a thrilling festival experience, or a culinary journey through local flavors, Whitmore Lake promises to deliver an unforgettable summer kickoff. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on a journey to this idyllic destination where lasting memories await.

Today’s Real Estate Market: The ‘Unicorns’ Have Galloped Off

Today’s Real Estate Market: The ‘Unicorns’ Have Galloped Off Simplifying The Market

Comparing real estate metrics from one year to another can be challenging in a normal housing market. That’s due to possible variability in the market making the comparison less meaningful or accurate. Unpredictable events can have a significant impact on the circumstances and outcomes being compared. 

Comparing this year’s numbers to the two ‘unicorn’ years we just experienced is almost worthless. By ‘unicorn,’ this is the less common definition of the word:

“Something that is greatly desired but difficult or impossible to find.” 

The pandemic profoundly changed real estate over the last few years. The demand for a home of our own skyrocketed, and people needed a home office and big backyard. 

  • Waves of first-time and second-home buyers entered the market.
  • Already low mortgage rates were driven to historic lows. 
  • The forbearance plan all but eliminated foreclosures.
  • Home values reached appreciation levels never seen before.

It was a market that forever had been “greatly desired but difficult or impossible to find.” A ‘unicorn’ year.

Now, things are getting back to normal. The ‘unicorns’ have galloped off. 

Comparing today’s market to those years makes no sense. Here are three examples: 

Buyer Demand 

If you look at the headlines, you’d think there aren’t any buyers out there. We still sell over 10,000 houses a day in the United States. Of course, buyer demand is down from the two ‘unicorn’ years. But, according to ShowingTime, if we compare it to normal years (2017-2019), we can see that buyer activity is still strong (see graph below):

Home Prices

We can’t compare today’s home price increases to the last couple of years. According to Freddie Mac, 2020 and 2021 each had historic appreciation numbers. Here’s a graph also showing the more normal years (2017-2019):

We can see that we’re returning to more normal home value increases. There were several months of minimal depreciation in the second half of 2022. However, according to Fannie Mae, the market has returned to more normal appreciation in the first quarter of this year.


There have already been some startling headlines about the percentage increases in foreclosure filings. Of course, the percentages will be up. They are increases over historically low foreclosure rates. Here’s a graph with information from ATTOM, a property data provider:

There will be an increase over the numbers of the last three years now that the moratorium on foreclosures has ended. There are homeowners who lose their home to foreclosure every year, and it’s heartbreaking for those families. But, if we put the current numbers into perspective, we’ll realize that we’re actually going back to the normal filings from 2017-2019.

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There will be very unsettling headlines around the housing market this year. Most will come from inappropriate comparisons to the ‘unicorn’ years. A real estate professional is a great resource to help you keep everything in proper perspective.

Moving Now Can Give Your House Its Day in the Sun [INFOGRAPHIC]

Moving Now Can Give Your House Its Day in the Sun [INFOGRAPHIC] Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

The Benefits of Selling Now, According to Experts

The Benefits of Selling Now, According to Experts Simplifying The Market

If you’re trying to decide if now’s the time to sell your house, here’s what you should know. The limited number of homes available right now gives you a big advantage. That’s because there are more buyers out there than there are homes for sale. And, with so few homes on the market, buyers will have fewer options, so you set yourself up to get the most eyes possible on your house.

Here’s what industry experts are saying about why selling now has its benefits:

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“Inventory levels are still at historic lows. Consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties.”

Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic:

“We have not seen the traditional uptick in new listings from existing homeowners, so undersupply of housing will continue to heighten market competition and put pressure on prices in most regions. Some markets are already heating up considerably, but price premiums that we saw last spring and summer are unlikely.”

Clare Trapasso, Executive News Editor at Realtor.com:

“Well-priced, move-in ready homes with curb appeal in desirable areas are still receiving multiple offers and selling for over the asking price in many parts of the country . . .”

Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow:

“. . . sellers who price and market their home competitively shouldn’t have a problem finding a buyer.”

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If you’re thinking about selling your house, connect with a real estate advisor who can share the expert insights you need to make the best possible move today.

Owning a Home Helps Protect Against Inflation

Owning a Home Helps Protect Against Inflation Simplifying The Market

You’re probably feeling the impact of high inflation every day as prices have gone up on groceries, gas, and more. If you’re a renter, you’re likely experiencing it a lot as your rent continues to rise. Between all of those elevated costs and uncertainty about a potential recession, you may be wondering if it still makes sense to buy a home today. The short answer is – it does. Here’s why. 

Homeownership actually shields you from the rising costs inflation brings.

Freddie Mac explains how: 

“Not only will buying today help you begin to build equity, a fixed-rate mortgage can stabilize your monthly housing costs for the long-term even while other life expenses continue to rise – as has been the case the past few years.”

Unlike rents, which tend to rise with time, a fixed-rate mortgage payment is predictable over the life of the mortgage (typically 15 to 30 years). And, when the cost of most everything else is rising, keeping your housing payment stable is especially important.

The alternative to homeownership is renting – and rents tend to move alongside inflation. That means as inflation goes up, your monthly rent payments tend to go up, too (see graph below):

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to protect yourself from future rent hikes. With inflation still high, when your rental agreement comes up for renewal, your property manager may decide to increase your payments to offset the impact of inflation. Maybe that’s why, according to a recent survey, 73% of property managers plan to raise rents over the next two years.

 Having your largest monthly expense remain stable in a time of economic uncertainty is a major perk of homeownership. If you continue to rent, you don’t have that same benefit and aren’t as protected from rising costs.

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A stable housing payment is especially important in times of high inflation. Connect with a real estate agent so you can learn more and start your journey to homeownership today.

Why Buying a Vacation Home Beats Renting One This Summer

Why Buying a Vacation Home Beats Renting One This Summer Simplifying The Market

For many of us, visiting the same vacation spot every year is a summer tradition that’s fun, relaxing, and restful. If that sounds like you, now’s the time to think about your plans and determine if buying a vacation home this year makes more sense than renting one again. According to Forbes

“. . . if the idea of vacationing at the same place every year makes you feel instantaneously relaxed, buying a vacation home might be a wise move.”  

To help you decide if making a move like this is right for you, let’s explore why you may want to consider purchasing a vacation home today. 

Benefits of Owning Your Vacation Home

You don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay. It can be a challenge to find a rental where you want, when you want. Some summer vacation destinations are more popular than others, meaning your favorite place may be booked up in advance. Bankrate explains why owning your vacation home means you don’t have to worry about that sort of inconvenience: 

“. . . a second home can offer a place to have quality time with your family and ensures that you always have a vacation destination.”  

It’s an investment. Home values typically appreciate over the long haul. That holds true for your vacation home as well, especially if it’s in an area with growing market demand. This can help grow your net worth with time.  

Vacation homes may provide tax benefits. If you own a vacation home, you may be eligible for tax deductions based on where it is. However, before buying, you’ll want to consult with a tax professional to discuss first as taxes can vary by location.

It could potentially turn into a retirement location. If you love the location of your vacation home, you could potentially sell your primary residence and retire there in the future.

How a Pro Can Help You Find Your Perfect Match

As you’re preparing for summer vacation, remember, you could potentially visit your second home instead of another rental unit or hotel. If that sounds appealing to you, a

local real estate agent is your best resource. They have the knowledge and resources to help you understand the area and what vacation homes are available in your budget. Plus, these agents can explain the perks of how owning a second home can benefit you. 

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If any of these reasons for owning a vacation home resonate with you, reach out to a trusted real estate agent. You still have time to enjoy spending the summer in your vacation home.

Why Buyers Need an Expert Agent by Their Side

Why Buyers Need an Expert Agent by Their Side Simplifying The Market

The process of buying a home can feel a bit intimidating, even under normal circumstances. But today’s market is still anything but normal. There continues to be a very limited number of homes for sale, and that’s creating bidding wars and driving home prices back up as buyers compete over the available homes.

Navigating all of this can be daunting if you’re trying to do it alone. That’s why having a skilled expert to guide you through the homebuying process is essential, especially today. Bankrate shares this perspective: 

“Advice and guidance from a professional real estate agent can be invaluable, particularly amid a hot or unpredictable housing market.”

Here are just a few of the ways a real estate expert makes a big difference: 

  • Experience – Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of what’s happening today, how it impacts buyers, and how to navigate any hurdles that may pop up.
  • Education – Knowledge is power when it comes to buying a home. Your advisor will simply and effectively explain market conditions and translate what they mean for you so you can feel confident in your decision. 
  • Negotiations – Your real estate advisor advocates for your best interests. Having an expert on your side provides assistance with the purchase agreement. An agent can also help you negotiate potential seller concessions if the inspection reveals issues with the home.  
  • Contracts – Real estate advisors guide you through the disclosures and contracts necessary in today’s heavily regulated environment. 
  • PricingMaking an offer and negotiating with a seller can be one of the most difficult and stressful parts of the homebuying process. A skilled agent will help you understand what similar homes are selling for so you have the full picture of what you may want to offer.

All of these reasons combined may be why 86% of recent buyers used an agent according to the latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR also has this to say about why an agent is so essential today: 

“A great real estate agent will guide you through the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget. Agents are also a great source when you have questions about local amenities, utilities, zoning rules, contractors, and more.” 

What’s the Key To Choosing the Right Expert?

It starts with trust. You’ll want to know you can trust the advice they’re giving you, so you need to make sure you’re connected with a true professional. No one can provide perfect advice because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen at every turn – especially in today’s market. But a true professional can give you the best possible advice based on the information and situation at hand. 

They’ll help advocate for you throughout the process and coach you on the essential knowledge you need to make confident decisions. That’s exactly what you want and deserve. 

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It’s critical to have an expert on your side who is skilled in navigating today’s housing market. If you’re planning to buy a home this year, connect with a real estate advisor who will give you the best advice and guide you along the way.

Why Saline, Michigan is the Perfect Place to Buy a Home Right Now

aerial view architecture autumn cars

Welcome to Saline, Michigan, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Great Lakes State. As a knowledgeable local expert, I am thrilled to share with you why Saline is the ideal place to buy a home at this moment. From its thriving real estate market to its unique features and upcoming developments, Saline offers an unbeatable combination of charm, convenience, and community spirit.

  1. The Strong Real Estate Market: The real estate market in Saline is currently experiencing a period of robust growth, making it an opportune time to invest in a home here. Over the past few years, property values have steadily risen, demonstrating the area’s desirability and potential for a solid return on investment. The demand for homes in Saline is high, with a balanced supply of diverse housing options to meet various preferences and budgets. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, a growing family, or a retiree seeking a peaceful abode, Saline has something to offer for everyone.
  2. Charming Small-Town Atmosphere: Saline’s allure lies in its charming small-town atmosphere combined with the convenience of nearby metropolitan areas. Nestled just 10 miles southwest of Ann Arbor, Saline offers a tranquil retreat while being within easy reach of urban amenities. The city’s historic downtown, with its picturesque streetscape and boutique shops, exudes a warm and welcoming ambiance. The close-knit community fosters a sense of belonging and neighborly camaraderie, making Saline an inviting place to call home.
  3. Excellent Schools: One of Saline’s standout features is its exceptional school system. The Saline Area Schools consistently rank among the top in the state, offering students a quality education and a range of extracurricular opportunities. Parents and guardians can have peace of mind knowing their children are receiving an education that prepares them for future success. Strong schools are not only beneficial for families but also contribute to the overall value and stability of the local real estate market.
  4. Natural Beauty and Recreation: Nature enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise in Saline. The city boasts an abundance of natural beauty, from lush parks to scenic trails. The breathtaking Saline River meanders through the area, providing opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and peaceful walks along its banks. Mill Pond Park, with its picturesque landscapes, is a favorite spot for picnicking and community gatherings. Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures or simply relish the serenity of nature, Saline offers ample opportunities to embrace an active and balanced lifestyle.
  5. Upcoming Developments and Events: Saline is a city on the rise, with exciting developments and events on the horizon. The Saline Downtown Development Authority is working on revitalization projects to enhance the historic downtown district, ensuring its continued charm and vibrancy. The city also hosts a variety of annual events, such as the Saline Celtic Festival, which celebrates the area’s Scottish and Irish heritage, and the Summer Music Series, featuring live performances by local and regional musicians. These events foster a sense of community and provide residents with opportunities for entertainment and cultural enrichment.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Saline, Michigan, stands out as an exceptional place to buy a home right now. With a strong real estate market, a charming small-town atmosphere, excellent schools, natural beauty, and a vibrant community, Saline offers an idyllic living experience for individuals and families alike. Whether you seek a peaceful retreat or a convenient location close to urban amenities, Saline has it all. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become a part of this thriving community. Come discover why Saline is the perfect place to call home.

Burns Park, is this your next home?

miniature village photo

Burns Park, located in Ann Arbor, is indeed a fantastic neighborhood with numerous benefits that make it a desirable place to live. Let’s explore the charming and renowned school, the wonderful park, and the best Halloween celebration that Burns Park has to offer.

  1. Charming and Renowned School: Burns Park is home to the Burns Park Elementary School, which has a longstanding reputation for excellence in education. The school is highly regarded for its dedicated teachers, strong curriculum, and supportive community. Families living in the neighborhood have the advantage of sending their children to this exceptional school, ensuring a high-quality education and a nurturing environment for their kids.
  2. Wonderful Park: Burns Park itself is a beautiful and well-maintained public park that adds to the neighborhood’s appeal. The park spans over 15 acres and features a variety of amenities for residents to enjoy. There are open green spaces, playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts, and picnic areas, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and leisure activities. The park’s lush trees and scenic surroundings create a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for families to relax and enjoy nature.
  3. Best Halloween Celebration in Ann Arbor: One of the highlights of living in Burns Park is the renowned Halloween celebration that takes place each year. The neighborhood comes alive with festive decorations, and residents go all out to create a spooktacular experience. Trick-or-treating in Burns Park is an extraordinary event, as many houses participate and offer creative displays, costumes, and treats. The community spirit is palpable, and families from all over Ann Arbor visit the neighborhood to join in the fun. This Halloween celebration has gained a reputation for being one of the best in the area, making it a cherished tradition for both residents and visitors alike.

In summary, living in Burns Park offers the charm of a renowned school, the beauty of a wonderful park, and the excitement of the best Halloween celebration in Ann Arbor. The combination of excellent educational opportunities, recreational amenities, and a vibrant community make Burns Park an exceptional place to call home.