Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Is This a Trend? Clarkston Michigan Sales are Up AGAIN! - 09/29/10 09:07 PM
Is This a Trend? Clarkston Michigan Sales are Up AGAIN! Let's hope it is. The past couple days I wrote similar posts for Lake Orion and Oxford. And today I'm happy to write that sales are up, AGAIN, in Clarkston Michigan. The median sales price was up for the first half of the year, up through the end of August, and up for the past 4 months in a row. Unit sales are also up and total sales volume for Clarkston Michigan homes is also up from last year.
In fact- unit sales through August 2010 are up from 2009, 2008 and (6 comments)
Michigan Innovation: The Stove Capital - 09/29/10 07:10 PM
Jason Channell, The House Sleuth out of Troy Michigan wrote a very interesting post about Detroit before we were the motor capital. Even Julia Child used a Detroit stove. Read below!
Via Jason Channell, The House Sleuth (Diadem Property Inspections): Detroit... The Motor City. But what was Detroit before the automotive industry revolutionized the way we lived and traveled? Detroit was known across the nation as the Stove Capital of the World, with five major companies manufacturing stoves inside the city limits at the turn of the 20th century. In 1860, the city's first stove company set up shop on (0 comments)
Oxford Michigan Homes- Prices Up! Inventory Down! - 09/28/10 07:22 PM
Oxford Michigan Homes- Prices Up! Inventory Down! Does this mean Oxford Michigan real estate has reached rock bottom? Who knows? What I can state is that at the end of August: Unit sales are up 17.5% Median sales price is up 15% Total sales volume through August 2010 was $30,807,690 vs $22,988,190 in 2009. In fact the total sales volume is up slightly from 2007 and 2008, too.
in the graft above- the blue line is 2009 and the pink line is 2010 Active listings on 9/18/2010- 119 with a median asking price of $189,900Active listings on 9/28/2009- 165 with (2 comments)
Lake Orion Michigan- Sale Prices Up 4 Months In a Row! - 09/27/10 07:42 PM
Lake Orion Michigan- Sale Prices Up 4 Months In a Row! Normally hearing that year to date median sale prices are down 3.4% wouldn't be good new. But when you consider Lake Orion Michigan/Orion Township Michigan prices have been plummeting since 2005, a slight decrease in prices truly is good news. Even better news is the median sale price has been up over the previous year the last 4 months in a row. And the extraordinary news is the total sales volume is up from last year.
Median Sales Price Through August2009: $152,0002010: $146,850 Unit Sales Through August2009: 2272010: 270 (4 comments)
Some Energy Tax Credits Due to Expire in a Few Months- Reduce Your Bills and Get Some of Your Tax $$ Back - 09/26/10 01:31 PM
It's no big secret that Michigan residents in general have been going through some rough economic times. I say in general, because not everybody is hurting. But with unemployment/underemployment at 20% or more many Michiganders have felt a financial pinch. Some of that financial pinch shows in many of the houses that have sold in the past few years. Not as well maintained and some foreclosures are downright destroyed. For those who have taken advantage of our buyers' market, you will more than likely need/want to make repairs and improvements on those homes. And while making those repairs and improvements you (2 comments)
Oakland and Lapeer County Short Sales- The Basics. For Sellers - 09/25/10 06:12 PM
Oakland and Lapeer County short sales- the basics from the sellers perspective. I recently wrote a post about the decision to short sell- or not. And between that post and this one is an article about the changes in penalties regarding future mortgages once one has gone through a foreclosure. I intend this post to cover the basics of what is a short sale, how the process works, basic marketing of a short sale listing. Future posts will cover everything that is in this post in more detail. What is a short sale? Basically a short sale is when the seller owes more (4 comments)
Michigan Tax Legislation Now in the House of Representatives- Good News for Home Buyers - 09/24/10 06:06 PM
Michigan Tax Legislation Now in the House of Representatives- Good News for Home Buyers A brief explanation of how Michigan property taxes work. We have what is called the homestead exemption for a person's primary residence in The Great Lakes State, which basically means if the house is your primary residence you get a break on the millage rate- up to 18 mills. On a house valued at $200K- or a taxable value of $100K- 18 mills equals $1800. Not chump change. The way the law currently works is if you buy a house that isn't a primary residence, such as (2 comments)
Why a Foreclosure Listing May Not be the Best "Deal" - 09/23/10 05:41 PM
I often get inquiries from potential buyers who want to look at foreclosure listings. No short sales. No "regular" listing. Just foreclosures. Sometimes foreclosure listings in Oakland and Lapeer County Michigan are GREAT deals. Often times foreclosure listings are grossly under-priced. And often times those listings need major work and won't mortgage in their current condition. Not every foreclosed listing in Oakland and Lapeer County areas are dumps; there are some beautiful homes in pristine condition. Sometimes they're priced at fair market value and sometimes they are grossly under-priced. But the sad truth is that every time a grossly under-priced home (2 comments)
The Foreclosure Process in Southeast Michigan - 09/22/10 06:19 PM
The Foreclosure Process in Southeast Michigan Many of the numbers the media likes to spout about homes going into foreclosure are a bit exaggerated. When you read about the number of homes in foreclosure the stats often quoted are the notices of foreclosure that have been served- not the new bank owned listings. There are also companies like Realty Trac that publish specific houses as foreclosed homes. And technically while that that may be true, those houses are not for sale and may never come up for sale. Below is my attempt to dispell the myths floating around about foreclosures and explain (2 comments)
Oakland County Michigan Seller- You Accepted the Offer. Now What? - 09/21/10 07:47 PM
Oakland County Michigan Seller- You Accepted the Offer. Now What? When we go over an offer to purchase from a buyer, I will go over price and terms as well as any contingencies. Typical contingencies are mortgage contingency, inspection contingency, subject to clean title, must appraise for at least sale price. And there are time frames for each contingency. A normal offer will give 30 or 45 days to get a mortgage and the buyer must apply within 5 days. Usually 7 days for a home inspection and clean title prior to close. So let's use these time frames to explain (0 comments)
Common Contingencies in the Offer to Purchase- Part 2 Financing - 09/20/10 04:20 PM
Common Contingencies in the Offer to Purchase in Southeast Michigan- Part 2 Financing As explained in a previous post about writing an offer to purchase a home in Southeast Michigan, financing is typically a contingency in an offer to purchase. Unless you are writing a cash offer, it is a very important contingency. With the recent upheavals in the real estate and banking industry, understanding the mortgage process is more important than ever. The first step- STOP LISTENING TO THE NEWS! Contrary to what we are hearing from the media, the sky IS NOT FALLING! There is mortgage money available. And the (0 comments)
Writing an Offer on a Southeast Michigan Home - 09/19/10 12:25 PM
Writing an Offer on a Southeast Michigan Home Unless you're a cash buyer, our standard purchase agreement contains a financing contingency. Even if you are pre-qualified you need this contingency to protect yourself. If your financial situation changes after writing the offer (such as job loss) you need the protection of the financing contingency. It also protects you if the house has problems with mortgaging, such as appraising too low, clouded title, etc. When it comes to rural properties, the property can present many issues when it comes to obtaining the mortgage. I won't get into those specifics here, but the (2 comments)
Lakes of Indianwood, Oxford Michigan- Upscale Homes in a Natural Setting - 09/18/10 09:25 PM
Lakes of Indianwood, Oxford Michigan Lakes of Indianwood is an upscale subdivision (higher priced, larger homes) covering Orion and Oxford townships in North Oakland County Michigan. The majority of the lots are heavily wooded - some waterfront. There are approximately 90 acres of lakes and streams, 125 acres of wetlands (aka waterfowl habitats), and the Polly Ann Trial runs through the sub. House ages range from the early to mid 90's until now, and there are still vacant lots available. The entire subdivision is in the Lake Orion school district. Lakes of Indianwood is serviced by city sewer and community water, underground utilities. (0 comments)
Oakland County Michigan Home Buyer- Find a Foreclosure Listing You Want? Jump on It! - 09/17/10 11:11 AM
Oakland County Michigan Home Buyer- Find a Foreclosure Listing You Want? Jump on It! Dear Home Buyer, While it is true that we are currently in a buyers market here in Oakland County Michigan if you define a "buyer's market" as follows: low prices, low interest rate. One thing that is strange about this market is that even though our inventory is low, and half of what is available is over priced, prices are still way down there. So much for the theory of supply and demand! Despite the fact that demand is greater than the supply, prices are still very (2 comments)
Common Contingencies in the Offer to Purchase- Part 1 The Home Inspection - 09/16/10 08:36 PM
Common Contingencies in the Offer to Purchase- Part 1 The Home Inspection A home inspection is a common contingency included in an offer to purchase in Oakland County Michigan. Not all buyers ask for one, but most do. FHA and VA appraisals ARE NOT home inspections and you will be signing "as is" statements at the closing, so a home inspection is not a bad idea. Any inspections you ask for usually need to be performed within a week or ten days of an accepted offer, and most inspections are at the buyer's expense. I usually recommend to my buyer clients that (4 comments)
Oakland Michigan Foreclosure Listings Are NOT Available For Sale BEFORE Hitting The MLS - 09/15/10 07:07 PM
Oakland Michigan Foreclosure Listings Are NOT Available For Sale BEFORE Hitting The MLS I am asked multiple times a week if I can let someone know about Oakland County Michigan foreclosure listings before they hit the market. When I say "there is no way" I am then often asked about RealtyTrac. RealtyTrac reports foreclosure notices. Many houses that are served a notice of foreclosure do not go into foreclosure. In fact, it appears that actual foreclosure listings here in Oakland County Michigan are on the decline and many distressed Oakland County home owners are going the short sale route. We have a couple (0 comments)
I Got Burned!!! No- You Burned Yourself! - 09/14/10 07:33 PM
I got burned! I've heard it from more than one Oakland County buyer lately. They didn't get the house they wanted. They wrote low and expected the seller to take it- even though the house was properly priced, even though it was a multiple offer situation, even though the buyer could afford to pay over asking price if need be. One thing these Oakland County buyers had in common - they all blamed their agents. That's how we ended up working with them. Unit sales in Oakland County Michigan are up significantly; there is no shortage of buyers to work with. So (8 comments)
Want to Upgrade But Don't Want to Give Your House Away? Consider Leasing Your Current Home - 09/13/10 08:17 PM
Home prices in Oakland County and Lapeer County Michigan may be stabilizing (or at least not falling as fast), and if you have been considering upgrading to that home you couldn't afford 5 or 6 years ago, now might be a good time to consider making that move. Houses that were selling for $300K are selling for less than $200K. That dream house from 5 years ago that you couldn't afford may be selling for less than you paid for your current house. Interest rates are low, and if you have a job, some cash and decent credit you can probably get a mortgage. That (0 comments)
Pre Closing Walk Through- What is it? And Why You Should Do It - 09/12/10 11:49 PM
Pre Closing Walk Through- What is it? And Why You Should Do It The majority (if not all) of the purchase agreements used in Oakland and Lapeer County Michigan have a clause allowing the buyer to walk through the house up to 48 hours prior to closing. I typically like to recommend to my buyers that we walk through on the way to the closing. What follows are 2 examples of why you (the buyer) should take advantage of this clause. The pre-closing walk through is just to make sure the house is in the same condition as when we made (4 comments)
"Highest" and "Best" Are Not Synonyms - 09/11/10 06:16 PM
"Highest" and "Best" Are Not Synonyms True story: A friend of mine, who is also a Realtor, wrote an offer on a house for herself. The house is a short sale, and my friend made a fair offer. The listing agent called to tell my friend that there were other offers, and hers wasn't the highest, and did my friend want to increase her offer. My friend (did I mention she is an EXCELLENT agent) pointed out that her offer was within 10% of asking price, that the comps bore it out, and it still had to appraise in 3-6 months in (5 comments)
Like Your Priest- What You Tell Me is Confidential - 09/10/10 01:27 PM
Like Your Priest- What You Tell Me is Confidential And like your priest- I expect you to tell me EVERYTHING! In Michigan, once you become my client, I have certain fiduciary duties to you: Loyalty, Obedience, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Reasonable care and diligence, and Accounting. I work for you, in your best interest. What does this mean? If you are a buyer client, don't tell me "this is the most I will pay" if it's not. If you have a negotiating strategy, please share it with me. I will not pass along any confidential information. There's a good chance I know the (0 comments)
Land Contracts- Southeast Michigan Real Estate - 09/09/10 12:55 PM
Land Contracts- Southeast Michigan Real Estate Over the past couple years I've been getting quite a few calls asking about Land Contracts and Lease/Option properties. Many of these callers have recently lost their homes to foreclosure or recently sold via short sale and need a place to live. It is understandable- these people are used to being homeowners and the thought of renting is not an attractive thought. The other day I wrote a post about Lease/Option purchases and why it won't work for many of the callers who have been contacting me. This post is an attempt to explain exactly (4 comments)
Lease Option- A Brief Explanation and Why it Probably Isn't a Good Idea in Southeast Michigan - 09/07/10 07:37 PM
Lease Option- A Brief Explanation and Why it Probably Isn't a Good Idea in Southeast Michigan First- what exactly is a lease/option? It's where a tenant leases a house with the option to buy at some point in the future at a price decided on today. The lease part is easy- lease = rent. The option part is where some have a problem. Option = $$. You pay for the privilege to determine a price today. Sometimes this is paid up front and surprisingly is called "option money." Sometimes this is paid to the landlord/potential seller with increased house payments. Example (2 comments)
Contingent Offers on Destressed Sale Homes - 09/06/10 04:34 PM
In the past it wasn't uncommon for home buyers in Southeast Michigan to need to sell a house prior to purchasing the new home. "Back in the day" everybody had equity, prices were increasing rapidly, and just like in any market, properly priced homes sold. So there wasn't a huge risk when the seller accepted an offer subject to the sale of another home. Often called a 72 hour contingency. Basically the way it worked: Buyer makes an offer with acceptable price and terms and subject to the sale of the buyer's current house which would need to be listed with an agent. (2 comments)
Southeast Michigan Home Sellers- Check Your Listing (MLS Sheet) - 09/05/10 11:51 AM
Southeast Michigan home sellers, you need to check your MLS sheet shortly after the house hits the MLS. Ask to see the agent and buyer version. We all make mistakes and no agent is going to know your house as well as you do. I've been showing houses a lot lately, and really too many listings are incomplete and sometimes plain inaccurate. A couple things I've noticed- about 20% of the lakefront listings don't have the name of the lake in the "waterfront name" search field. Which means if a buyer's agent searches for a particular lake those 20% won't show (0 comments)
Seller Concessions For Dummies - 09/04/10 08:27 PM
I'm not really calling you a dummy. This is my attempt at a very simplified explanation of what seller concessions are. Example: You want to buy the house you just looked at and want to make an offer of $200,000. You need $5000 in seller concessions (seller paying all or part of your closing costs). Your offer will be $205,000 asking the seller to pay $5000 in concessions. If you offer $200K and ask for $5K in concessions, your offer is really $195,000. The seller isn't really paying your closing costs- you are mortgaging them. Sellers- you really aren't paying those (2 comments)
Southeast Michigan Sellers- Please Don't Turn Away Showings - 09/03/10 05:36 PM
And Pretty Pretty Please don't suggest alternate times that would work better for you. Hopefully, when you turn away a showing, it's a fluke. I like to fantasize that ANY other time is good for you- that this specific time just happened to be bad. Let me start out by telling you about the reason for this post. Yesterday I was setting appointments for tomorrow and for a different buyer/client on Sunday. Tomorrow's client is in Michigan for one day- Saturday. This is a cottage, a second home- an extremely strong buyer. Doesn't have to sell to buy. Can wait forever (0 comments)
Buying a Southeast Michigan Short Sale Listing- Negotiating Tips- Part 3 of ? - 09/02/10 07:17 PM
This is part 3 in a ? part series about buying short sale listings in Southeast Michigan- particularly in the North Oakland County and Lapeer County areas. Part 1 of ? explains the short sale process, gives you the seller perspective, and how the seller's perspective affects how you negotiate.It also goes on to suggest that for some sellers, some free possession after the closing might be more of an enticement than price. Part 2 of ? goes into a bit more of what the seller goes through, including the possibility of a deficiency judgment (in Michigan the banks can sue the seller after a short sale) and what is sometimes (0 comments)
A Tale of Two Taxes - 09/01/10 08:39 PM
It was the best of times (when your house was assessed). It was the worst of times (now)... it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity... it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us... Two houses in Oakland County Michigan- both priced the same. Both in the same township with the same tax base. The difference- The tax amount. To the tune of a tad over $2800/year or $235/month. This is not chump change and it is very important. When you get pre-approved (2 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.