livingston county michigan: Howell Market Update Jan 04 2016 - 01/03/16 09:43 PM
This week's report shows 265 units available through the MLS. Lower than typical, but not unexpected at this time of year.  In the last 7 days there were 8 new listings on the market and 15 sold - a little more than I expected.  I think there was a lot of push to get sales in for the 2015 tax season!
The 15 sales averaged $194,448 each, or $109/sq ft - right on target for Howell.  Note that lakefront homes, new construction and homes on larger parcels will command a premium from this figure.
The MLS shows 11 rental units (homes and condos), … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: India Pale Ale (IPA) Day – August 7th - 08/03/15 10:58 PM
It must be an omen that IPA Day falls on Friday this year.  If you’re into craft brews, you know what an IPA is all about.  For those into other types of drinks, here’s a quick explanation of an IPA.  The important letter is the ‘A’ – for ale. No, wait, it’s the ‘I’. I guess they’re all important now that I think about it.
Way back, the 18th Century to be exact, Britain ruled the waves.  Sailors found that beer didn’t quite survive the long trips o’er the seas so a London brewer (attributed largely to George Hodgson) developed a highly … (4 comments)

livingston county michigan: Livingston County Museums - Part 2 - 03/03/15 03:01 AM
Here is Part 2 of my post on Livingston County museums.  The first post had three venues, as does this one.  If you happen to find one that I missed, please send me the information. I'd love to include it in a future post. 

The Howell Depot Museum.  Unfortunately, this museum is closed in the winter months.  When it's open it has a replica of a general store and the station master's office.  Hand-operated signal equipment, old telegraphy equipment, artifacts from WW I and WWII and some of the original rail sidings are still there, too.  Next time you're in … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Livingston County Museums - 03/01/15 09:47 PM
If you've been in Livingston County for a while, you're familiar with the number of museums in the Ann Arbor area - just about 30 minutes away.  But did you know about some of the local museums right here in Livingston County?  I have six to share with you, but I'll post three today and three next week.  In alphabetical order they are:
The Aeronca Aircraft History Museum.  Even some pilots in the area don't know about this online-only museum, which began in 2010.  Aeronca was the first company to build a commercially successful general aviation aircraft. They also built a … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Property Tax Appeal - 02/18/15 09:08 AM
Yes, it's that time of year again.  Residents are getting their assessments and some won't be happy - so unhappy that they'll want to appeal.  If that's you and you're in Michigan, State Senator Joe Hune has a very nice guide on effectively appealing your property tax assessment.  You can find it at:
In the last couple of years, I know of residents that were actually able to prevail with a reduction because of this guide and through the helpful services of a friendly REALTOR that ran really great comps for them.

livingston county michigan: List My Home In January??? - 01/05/15 02:55 AM
Yes, it may seem counter-intuitive to many homeowners, but there are some great reasons to beat the ‘spring rush’ for listing your home by doing so in January.
I know all the reasons for not doing so. I’ve heard them every one of my 17 years in the real estate business.  In no particular order, they’re:
People will track up my home because of sloppy weather Nobody’s really looking to buy this time of year It’s too much of a hassle We just want to relax after the busy holiday season Rather than address these statements individually, let me say this … (4 comments)

livingston county michigan: Senior Real Estate Designation Received - 07/17/13 08:17 PM
I’ve worked in real estate for 16 years and have had my share of transactions with elderly clients.  Because of the graying of our population, I decided to ensure that I will always do the best for my clients in the older age groups. I have recently completed a course of study and been accepted into the Senior Real Estate Specialist Council, a group that has knowledgeable and passionate members serving the 50 and older market.
If you know somebody that needs this kind of specialized real estate knowledge in my market area, it would be my privilege to assist … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Signs Of Spring - 04/15/13 08:10 PM
We live in a big country.  We have almost every conceivable global climate within our borders. It shouldn’t surprise us that here in SE Michigan, we can have a very lovely Spring day while our friends in Colorado are getting hammered by a snow storm.  But there are always little joys if you have your eyes and ears open.
I had the windows down as I drove today, and in a wetland area, the peepers were almost deafening.  I pulled over and just listened to the chorus of small frogs carry on for a number of minutes. 
My tulips have … (5 comments)

livingston county michigan: Earth Day 2013 - 04/15/13 06:40 AM
In case you didn’t know, Earth Day falls on April 22nd of each year.  Started in 1970 to support environmental protection, this event is now fully international.   The Earth Day Network ( is emphasizing the ‘Face of Climate Change’ in 2013, but in truth there are many facets to Earth Day, and many ways to celebrate it and support environmental wisdom and consciousness.
Too much trouble to recycle?  Start with something small.  As small as a 9 volt or AAA battery.  Don’t just dump them in the trash, find an old bucket or margarine tub and put the used batteries in … (4 comments)

livingston county michigan: Shopping Local Has Even More Benefits - Neighborhood Values! - 06/19/12 09:01 PM
We all know at some intuitive level that supporting your local merchants is good.  Yes, sometimes you pay a little bit more than the big box stores, but often they have unique items or services that balance out the little bit of extra expense. Or perhaps it’s just the convenience.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate having to walk to the very rear of a large grocery store when all I want is a gallon of milk.  Not to mention the wait in line to pay.
Now a study shows that shopping local is not just good for … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Unhealthy (But Rewarding) Choices - 04/25/12 08:43 PM
Credit and Debit card reward points are a fixture today.  You can get cards that give you bonus points for air fare, travel, or general use – to be redeemed out of a catalog.  Years ago, I remember my local bank giving 4 points per dollar for the first six months your account was active.  It later downgraded to 2 points per dollar, then one point.  Now, it’s one point per two dollars spent. Guess we were having ‘too rewarding’ an experience, America.
Scanning my online bank account, I noticed a promo (yes, embedded into my online account statement!) for 40 … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Support The Troops - Thursday, December 1st, 2011 - 11/28/11 12:16 PM
Hey, Livingston County! One of the Brighton Optimists, Donna Campbell, is helping a friend collect items to send over to the troops in Afghanistan.  She'll be collecting items Thursday morning at the Bauery Restaurant at Mt. Brighton, during the weekly Brighton Optimist Club Meeting.  An excerpted list of items that are wanted are:
lotion, sunscreen, deodorant - all travel size; chap stick, soap, eye drops, disposable razors; individual packets of trail mix, beef jerky, and general munchies; disposable cameras, small toys like beanie babies that the troops can hand out to the kids over there; zip lock bags and holiday … (5 comments)

livingston county michigan: To Hell And Back - 11/16/11 08:04 AM
Yup, and it only took a little over an hour.
I had to preview a bank owned property today.  It was what I euphemistically call ‘a Purell (R)‡ house’.  You know, the kind that you can’t wait to get back to your car to wash your hands with Purell (R)?  This kind of property has made me an expert and turning lights on and off with my elbows, by the way, so my wife will be pleased to learn that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  The house was in the Pinckney zip code, but really it was just … (2 comments)

livingston county michigan: The Red Barn - 10/29/11 02:40 AM

One thing that seems to stay constant in my real estate life is an appreciation of architecture, form, light and color.  Some pretty typical-looking homes just seem to catch my eye.  I guess the same thing goes for cars, people, animals, and yes – even barns.
I was driving to a new property assignment yesterday morning.  There was a moderate fog at my first stop, and as I neared my second destination, the sun was poking through and burning the fog off.  I’ve passed this particular barn many times over the years, but coming out of a foggy patch into … (7 comments)

livingston county michigan: Livingston County Homes - $100K or Less - 07/26/11 12:34 AM
I still chuckle when I see marquee signs on Real Estate companies that say things like, “87 homes under $100,000 – Stop In For A List”.  I chuckle not because they provide the list, but because the numbers can change by the day, even by the hour.  New listings are coming on to the market constantly. Agents can enter new listings into the MLS 24 hours a day.  And of course homes that have just gone under contract will fall off the list, too. If you're working from a list prepared two weeks ago - good luck!
But I recognize that … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Lower Priced Homes Predicted To Drop Value Faster - 06/28/11 02:29 AM
A new study says that lower priced homes will have steeper price drops than their higher priced counterparts, according to a report by
Already discounted heavily, many of these lower end properties are ‘distressed'. Before the housing market tanked, this market was robust due to the proliferation of subprime and ‘teaser' mortgages and lower down payments.  With the tightening of credit conditions and lending requirements, this market has been hit harder than the higher priced homes that are generally dominated by repeat buyers.
But the higher priced homes face valuation drops, too. The analysis was prepared by Capital Economics, a … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Chipmunk Feast - 06/20/11 12:01 AM

I love this time of year. I have a serviceberry tree in my courtyard and when the berries ripen, an amazing array of large and small birds appear.  I just replaced a large bird feeder that hangs from the tree with one designed for smaller birds.  For the last few days I've noticed a chipmunk eating the seed that the birds spill onto the ground.  As I sat on the porch (with a camera, should an interesting bird happen by), I noticed a chipmunk scurry up the tree trunk and find a comfortable perch.  As you can see, he's helping himself to … (8 comments)

livingston county michigan: Free Fishing Derby For Kids - June 11th, Brighton, MI - 05/26/11 10:08 AM
The Brighton Optimist Club has been around for 34 years.  For the last 25 years, they've conducted a free fishing derby for the area youth, aged 16 and under.  It started with some Optimists, some kids and some worms. From its humble beginning with about 30 participants, it's grown to a 300-400 kid event. 
The entire event is free and includes souvenir photo mock fishing licenses, bait, age group trophies, door prizes, entertainment and food. The really little ones get to try their luck at the L'il Angler booth where a clip on the end of a fishing line is dropped … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Average Down Payments Reported, Rents Increasing - 05/25/11 08:06 AM
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released a number of economic reports.  One summarized the average down payments provided by home buyers for different parts of the country. (We're in the East South Central, along with WI, IL, IN and OH.)  Our area works out to be in the 5% zone (lowest in the country), but the figures vary greatly and the national average is 8% down payment. Middle Atlantic States (NY, PA, NJ) led the crowd with an average 12% down payment amount.
I know from working with local lenders that even the ‘affordable' housing purchase programs are now … (0 comments)

livingston county michigan: Livingston County Market Report - Through April 2011 - 05/19/11 09:21 AM
In reviewing the year to date (YTD) stats through April 2009-2011, we are facing lower prices, shrinking inventory and quicker sales.  First the raw data.Listings went from 2,269 (YTD) in 2009, to 2,012 in 2010, and now for 2011 we're at 1,647. That means this year's listings are down 18% from last year and down over 27% from year 2009. 
Sales (YTD) were at 599 in 2009, jumped to 771 (a 28+% increase) in 2010, but we're at 679 for 2011. That represents an almost 12% decrease for 2011 vs. the 2010 data. The fact that we're seeing more sales in 2011 … (0 comments)

Robert Smith, SRES, Search for Homes Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan (Preview Properties, PC - Rainmaker large

Robert Smith

SRES, Search for Homes Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

Brighton, MI

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Address: 130 W. Grand River, Brighton, MI, 48116

Office: 810-220-1478

Mobile: 810-923-1480

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Life and Real Estate In Livingston County




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