My Blog

Lake Superior Community Partnership Offer Cost of Living Calculator

1/18/2021

The Lake Superior Community Partnership has launched a Cost of Living Index Calculator on their website to help provide a baseline for understanding Marquette County's cost of living. This will give people relocating to the area an idea of the income they will need to maintain their current standard of living. It is also a great resource for businesses to show talent prospects they are trying to attract to the area how Marquette County compares cost of living wise. 

The tool is free and easy to use. The index is comprised of six major categories: grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. Access the Cost of Living Index Calculator at Cost of Living Calculator - Lake Superior Community Partnership (marquette.org).

Homeownership Still More Affordable Than Renting!

1/12/2021

Even though home price have risen a bit over the past few months, in most areas, including the Midwest, owning a home is more affordable than renting. Record low mortgage rates continue to offset some of the higher home prices. Low mortgage rates that dropped below 3% are helping keep the cost of rising home prices in check. This really indicates how declining interest rates have such a notable impact on the housing market and homeownership. 

We see this also as we are working with more first time home buyers than ever. Trends show that homeownership is more affordable in counties with a population of less than 500,000 people, and that describes the entire U.P.! If you are considering buying your first home, let me know. I'm happy to connect you with a lender that can offer mortgages that will work for you and I can explain the entire buying process to you so that you fully know what to expect as I help you in your transition to homeownership!

Mortgages Are Taking Longer to Close

1/6/2021

Several closings with mortgages are taking a week or two longer to close than what was typical prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to lenders seeing a surge in business due to low interest rates and high demand. Lenders are also working with people looking to refinance existing mortgages due to lower rates available, in addition to those looking to close on a new mortgage. 

The biggest reason for potential delays is due to the sheer volume that lenders are dealing with. Lenders are very busy and are doing all they can to keep up, often working remotely themselves. This makes it increasingly important for buyers to be communicating with a lender and have a preapproval prior to looking at houses. If buyers find a house they like they need to be in position to write an offer. Local lenders are doing a fabulous job with their clients with clearly communicating realistic closing timelines so that buyers know what to expect. I have great relationships with the local lenders here in Marquette County and we communicate and work together well. Give me a call if you'd like a referral to a few local lenders who would be great for you to work with!

Reflecting on 2020, and Looking Ahead to 2021

12/31/2020
As 2020 comes to a close, it is hard not to reflect on all that happened this year. This was a unique year indeed and everyone has their own stories and experiences that shaped them through the year. I am thankful for all clients I worked with during 2020. All were understanding about new requirements on showings due to the pandemic, and my clients were always courteous and respectful. I learned how to operate more virtually and now feel I am more comfortable both in person and in virtual settings. I look forward to the clients I will work with in 2021, the friendships formed, and the additional blessings that come from working in a field that I truly enjoy. Happy New Year to you all! 

VA Loans Have Had Record Year!

12/28/2020

In all the changes and adjustments that COVID-19 has caused this year, VA loans have had a record year. There was a time that VA loans for veterans only made up about 2% of the overall loan volume for home purchases, but as of now they make up approximately 10% of the overall mortgage market! 

Veterans should look into VA loans as they often can get better rates with smaller down payments needed. Several lenders in the area have fantastic programs for veterans. I would be happy to connect you with local lenders who offer these loans. Call me anytime at 906-236-3750.

Almost HALF of Consumers Say They'd Move if Bosses Allowed Remote Work!

12/16/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home. This has caused many workers to realize that if remote work was allowed all the time, perhaps they would consider moving. We have seen this situation play out in the Upper Peninsula this year in several transactions. We have had several out of state buyers purchase properties in the U.P. and relocate their families now that they can work from anywhere. And who can blame them? The U.P. is stunning year round and the benefits of being in nature and surrounded by such beauty are so good for mental health! Other people working from home have looked to buy and sell in order to upsize their living space, often looking to add space for a home office.

While the pandemic has put life on hold in so many ways, it has also provided the opportunity to step back and look at a bigger picture. Let us know if your real estate needs or goals have changed. My assistant, Karen, and I are here to help!

Article: 45% of Consumers Say They'd Move if Bosses Continued to Allow Remote Work

Recent Remodel? Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy!

12/9/2020

Have you recently remodeled your home? If so, it is important to contact your insurance company about your homeowner's policy to make sure that you are properly insured. Many times a home can be under-insured after a remodel. It is important that your dwelling coverage limit matches the rebuild cost of your home. While this might increase your policy price slightly, it will ensure you are appropriately covered in the event a disaster takes place.

Reading through insurance policies can be tedious and often confusing, but it would be beneficial to talk to your insurance agent directly. They will be happy to explain it to you and help you understand your options!

Market Still Moving Heading Into Winter!

12/3/2020

Houses are still moving quickly in Marquette County and the inventory is low right now! We have serious, pre-approved buyers just waiting to find the right house. Below are the residential market statistics for Marquette County for September - November, 2020.

Marquette County
300 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $172,900
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.7%

Within the Marquette School District
123 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $247,950
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.5%

Within the Negaunee School District
43 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $155,000
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 98.2%

Within the Gwinn School District
35 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $162,000
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.7%

Within the Ishpeming School District
41 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $90,000
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.1%

Within the NICE School District
18 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $145,450
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 98.6%

Within the Powell Township/Big Bay School District
11 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $163,845
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 94.5%

Within the Republic-Michigamme School District
26 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $163,500
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 93.5%

Within the Wells Township School District
3 Properties Sold
Median Sale Price: $100,000
Average Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 95.4%

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/24/2020
Thanksgiving will likely look very different for many of us this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but there is still so much to be thankful for! Take time to reflect and appreciate all you do have. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get some rest and relaxation over the long weekend. My licensed assistant, Karen Bruce, and I hope you and your family are safe and healthy and can find joy in the present. 

New MDHHS Order and Real Estate

11/17/2020

Beginning at 12:01AM tomorrow on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 the new order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services goes into effect. What does this mean for real estate? Well, the Michigan Association of Realtors and the Upper Peninsula Association of Realtors have both confirmed that in person client meetings and showings are still permitted under this new order. That being said, agents and buyers must wear masks at all showings (we were already doing this anyway), and sellers may not be present at showings. Additionally, only the buyers may attend showings. They may not bring parents or friends along with them.

For now, not much has changed on our end as our office was already doing this already. Please stay safe and healthy and let me know if there is anything I can assist with to help you accomplish your real estate goals!

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