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Paul Wolfert Real Estate | Blog

Wednesday, April 19, 2017   /   by Paul Wolfert

Really Thinking Outside the Box: Shipping Container Homes

By: Paul Wolfert

I don’t know about you, but when I used to hear the term “affordable housing” I’d think of value-priced Michigan condominium listings, some of the nicer area mobile home parks, or maybe fixer-uppers likely to be snatched up by professional house flippers (ultimately to become slightly less affordable housing).
When I heard “affordable housing,” I did not think “packing crate.” Nor did I think, “steamer trunk” or “storage unit.” That turns out to be entirely appropriate; nobody is volunteering to live in those.
Where I missed the boat was that I did not think, “shipping container.”
But that was then—this, as they say, is now. Those simpler days are behind us. Shipping containers, it turns out, are the latest in affordable housing. And I must say there are some real possibilities for tricked-out shipping container homes.
Before dismissing the idea out of hand, first, consi; ...

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017   /   by Paul Wolfert

Experts Shocked About Increase in New Home Sales

 By: Paul Wolfert

Michigan home sales do usually respond in the same seasonal pattern that’s common in most other areas.

Spring and summer lead the way for weather-related, financial, school scheduling and other family-related reasons. From now into well past July (and sometimes even August), home sales activity here in Michigan and beyond can be counted on to peak.

Those are the normal expectations.

But when any segment of U.S. house sales numbers quadruple expectations even before spring bulbs see daylight, that’s worthy of special attention.

That was the case last Thursday when the Commerce Department reported that in February, purchases of newly built homes rose by more than 6%. Since The Wall Street Journal’s panel of experts had forecast 1.4%, it drew headlines.
In fact, this was the second month in a row for sharp rises in U.S. new home sales—and what could be a bright sign for Michigan’s own prospects as the spring selling2 ...

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Monday, March 27, 2017   /   by Paul Wolfert

Pricing Any Home in Michigan from Each Side

 By: Paul Wolfert

When it comes to the reality of pricing a home in Michigan, it’s natural that buyer’s and seller’s points of view reflect their different roles and objective.

In a way, they’re mirror images of each other.

From the seller’s point of view, pricing their Michigan home starts out from the reality check of the “comps”—the prices registered in recent comparable neighborhood sales. From there, the pricing decision revolves around the tradeoff between maximum asking price versus the desire for a speedy sale.

Even if there's no time pressure at all, serious sellers will still set the asking price below a level that indicates disregard for current market realities. Rather than communicating “this place is worth more than what people are willing to pay,” overpricing only serves to needlessly put off buyers and their agents.

If time pressure is an issue, experienced sellers will peg the asking pr; ...

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Monday, March 20, 2017   /   by Paul Wolfert

9 Terrible Michigan Home Improvement Ideas

By: Paul Wolfert

When it’s one of those weekend days when the Michigan weather has refused to cooperate with outdoor plans, one way to fill the idle time is to go online in search of home improvement ideas.
It’s too easy to get lost in the sea of photos on Houzz or Pinterest. I’ve been there.
You probably won't pull the trigger on any of them for your own place—but it’s pretty fun to review the almost unlimited number of weird and inventive ideas people slapped onto the ‘ol interwebs.
When it comes to the kitchen, for instance, there are endless home improvement ideas. There’s the herb garden wall (in addition to a green thumb, a powerful sunlamp in the ceiling is required) or the pool table top that slips right over the center island. That one wouldn’t work if your kitchen’s island is plumbed: the water faucet would stick up and ruin everything. Unless you have a wicked “ball off the faucet, into the corner” tr ...

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Thursday, March 16, 2017   /   by Paul Wolfert

The Best Time to Sell a Home in Michigan

By: Paul Wolfert

What time is it?
Time to move! Maybe.

The timing for when to buy or sell a home in Michigan can be a decision that pretty much makes itself.

Sometimes family demands call for a move to larger or smaller pad; sometimes a change in career demands or a schooling decision requires a residential switcheroo.

But there are other times when an eventual move is in the cards—but timing is flexible.

That’s a situation where the whole decision can sometimes be based on guesses about the future of Michigan home prices.

This is when people ask me “how much do you think that house will cost next year?” or "Do you think my house will go up/down in value?"

Nobody likes to be taken by surprise—especially if the surprises were predictable.

As we venture into the peak real estate selling season here in  Michigan, it would be nice to know the direction home prices are headed.

Right now, it looks as if mortgage interest ra; ...

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