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Home sales on the rise

Real estate expert serves up good news for sellers

Created date

January 25th, 2011

Michelle Michael has good news for folks who d like to sell their house and move to Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. Michael, who s worked as a real estate agent in Wayne, Oakland, and Livingston counties for more than 25 years, is with RE/MAX Classic. She s also an Erickson Realty and Moving Services preferred agent and has helped people sell and move to Fox Run since the community opened in 2003. There s lots of data out there, and using the wrong data will give you the wrong idea of the current market, she says. Late last year she researched data specific to Oakland County, home to the vibrant and growing Novi community where Fox Run is located.

The Oakland County market

From Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, 2010, the growth in sales for Oakland County homes in the $50,000 to $300,000 price range was 15% higher than the same period in 2009, Michael says. The figure represents nearly 1,000 additional sales. And she cites even more good news for sellers in the desirable Oakland County area. In that same price range there was a 23.4% decrease in the number of homes and condos on the market. Fewer properties on the market mean better opportunities for sellers because the demand is there. Why the demand? For one, Michael says, southeastern Michigan has dealt with a poor economy and its effect on the housing market for two to three years longer than the rest of the country. So we ve had more time to adjust our housing prices accordingly and more time to sell off high volumes of inventory. She also says that large companies who had downsized the past few years have begun adding jobs, and that s brought people back to the area. And new buyers are entering the market enticed by attractive prices.

Positive direction

The market hasn t plateaued, but she sees it moving in a positive direction. Today is a better time to sell than yesterday was. But waiting till tomorrow could be risky. We re not out of the woods, says Michael. However, Moving your house money into the investment of Fox Run secures that money. You don t risk losing it. If you wait, you do run the risk of it depreciating. You re spending money on your house now, and it will continue to cost you as long as you stay. What you needn t worry about is competition from foreclosed properties. In Oakland County, the demand for privately owned homes outpaces foreclosure homes by 33%, Michael says. Privately owned homes aren t distressed properties, so private homeowners can get more for their house and it will be on the market for a shorter time.

Listed and sold

Irv and Alyce Boynton are an example. Michael marketed their 3,000-square-foot home in Commerce Township when they decided to move to Fox Run late last summer. He was eager to move for Fox Run s continuum of care should they need it, the camaraderie of new friends, and freedom from winter chores and house maintenance. Our road was plowed in winter, but for the past four years we d contracted for our long driveway to be plowed commercially, he says. And we both admitted we were overwhelmed by the amount of maintenance and upkeep of the house. Mr. Boynton also liked the range and contemporary styling of Fox Run s apartment homes as did his wife. During visits to other retirement communities, Alyce realized neither offered the floor plans that Fox Run did, he says. But she wasn t so eager to move. Alyce had invested a lot in our house emotionally, explains her husband. Then their preferred apartment style became available. Located in the Hudson Park residence building, which opened in 2008, the two-bedroom, two-bath Lansing unit featured a patio and scenic views of wetlands. Although she was positive the house wouldn t sell, Alyce said let s float a trial balloon, Mr. Boynton says. Nobody knew what the housing market was going to do, adds his wife, and we didn t want an inflated listing price. Michelle suggested a price we could work with, so we listed and people came through nonstop. Within three days they received two offers and accepted a cash offer. Michelle was right on with everything she told us, says Mrs. Boynton. Money has to be a factor, of course, and that s where Fox Run is pliable. They work to the nth degree to help you through the financial process and make it possible to move in. You have to keep focused on the goal.