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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Newest local housing report indicates favorable numbers in listings, sales

February was a short month, but it packed a real punch when it came to bitterly cold weather. That, according to last month's housing statistics, is what is attributed to listing and selling activity that was slightly lower than the same month in 2014. 

To clarify, single-family listings are down only 3%, while sales decreased by 12.9%. In comparison to the first two months of last year, there's not much difference overall, with only a 5% gap as last January was on par with February 2015 with regards to sales, listings and the weather. 

With sunnier skies rebounding in February, so did sales prices. Listing prices were up at this February from last — a 23.4% jump — which mirrors the sales price percentage increase. The average sale price this year is $274,182, up from $222,255.

There's even better news: market growth is expected to increase both at the local and national level, thanks to consumer confidence and interest rates remaining low.

Chris Glahn is a licensed Realtor in the state of Michigan with RE/MAX Platinum Ann Arbor. He can be reached at 734-730-3403

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seeking activities for the warm-weather season? Washtenaw County is host to a limitless array of fun

One thing that Michigan is known for is the outdoors, and though many areas are enjoyable year-round, the warmer months of the year are high time to get out and enjoy what the state has to offer.

Washtenaw County and the areas surrounding it are no exception. 

Whether it's being on or near the water, biking, birding, trail riding or any number of outdoor activities to indulge in, the best part is that one needs not go far to enjoy them. 

There are many areas that are perfect for serious fun, and some are governed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources like the Waterloo State Recreation Area and the Pinckney State Recreation Area. 

To gain use of the facilities in these areas, which include camping (even with horses) and swimming — and ample parking — recreation passport or pass is necessary. 

The Waterloo State Rec Area, located in Jackson and Washtenaw Counties, boasts the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center. The attraction features exhibits how the areas geology and natural habitats have changed since pre-settler times.

The Pinckney State Rec Area encompasses Washtenaw and Livingston Counties, comprising 11,000 acres in all, some of which is surrounded by property owned by the University of Michigan. Four lakes are part of the PSRA, including Silver, Crooked, Halfmoon and Pickerel Lakes. 

The Potowatami Trail — one of six trails in the PSRA — is an access point to two rustic camping areas as well as the Yurt at Glenbrook. This trail has 17 miles of mountain biking pleasure, as well as hiking. 

Boating, fishing and water sports are popular on the scenic chain of lakes in northern Washtenaw County in southern Livingston County. Nine lakes, including Big Portage, Little Portage, Baseline, Strawberry, Gallagher, Whitewood and Zukey Lakes are connected by a series of no-wake channels and are enjoyed by year round and seasonal residents and visitors alike. Zukey Lake Tavern, located on the banks of its namesake, offers up docking and a full-service restaurant, including takeout.

Hell, located within the PSRA, recently made headlines after having gone on the market and garnered the attention of one group of artists seeking to buy the hamlet to hold exhibitions and other events there. 

Hudson Mills Metropark is part of the Huron-Clinton system of metro parks in the state. Located in Dexter, it hugs the banks of the Huron River and is a fun spot to canoe, run, disc golf, among other activities. The park is host to events throughout the year, including probably the most popular, the annual fireworks show, held in early July. 

The Border to Border, with its local section funded by Washtenaw County Parks, The village of Dexter, the Metroparks, as well as generous donations.

The Border to Border trail is non-motorized trail aimed to link neighboring areas of trail as far as Wayne County, and was originally imagined as a recreational tool but has unfolded as a way to better facilitate non-motorized transportation for area residents. Click here for more information, from the friends of the Border to Border trail website.

People taking advantage of what the area has to offer don't want for much when it comes to outdoor beauty and recreation, and there always seems to be room for more folks seeking a little RNR in the region. 

Chris Glahn is a licensed Realtor in the state of Michigan with RE/MAX Platinum Ann Arbor. He can be reached at 734-730-3403