Tuesday, January 24, 2006

State Supreme Court Clears Way for Toyota

Reported today in Crain's Detroit Business -

"The Michigan Supreme Court has cleared the way for the state to sell 690 acres in York Township to Toyota Technical Center USA Inc. for $11 million. The company plans to build a $195 million, 400,000-square-foot technical center on the site in Washtenaw County.
The high court Tuesday killed a lawsuit by West Bloomfield Township-based DPG York L.L.C., which had offered $25.2 million for the land. The developer claimed that the state had unfairly passed over its bid when the State Administrative Board last April approved an agreement for Toyota to buy the land for the lower price. " Full story

While the State of Michigan has its economic problems, here in Washtenaw County we are in better shape than in many parts of our State. Having Toyota's Technical Center come in will bring an estimated 300+ new jobs to this area plus boost other development in and around York Township.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Downtown Development in Ann Arbor

Last Thursday the City Planning Commission approved 3 new multi-use projects in downtown Ann Arbor. If the City Council also approves these projects, as presented, they will add 288 units to downtown. The biggest project is the William Street Station which is to be on the site of the old YMCA between Fourth and Fifth Streets. The project is to include 100 low-income housing units to replace the low-income housing of the former YMCA and another 45 units will be affordable residential designed to house low-income professionals.

Recent projects such as Kingsley Lane apartments, Loft 322 near Seva restaurant on Liberty Street and the redevelopment of the Eaton plant into Liberty Lofts have been approved in the past couple of years. The majority of these units were reserved even before work began.

Housing values rose in Ann Arbor, increasing 129 percent from 1990 through 2004, according to figures from the U.S. Census and Washtenaw County. In 1990, the median home value was $116,400. By last year, the figure rose to $266,051. Where average square foot pricing in homes throughout ann Arbor may be at $200 per square foot, in the downtown condominiums one sees more like $300-350 per square foot.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Cost vs. Value of Remodeling

Just released by NAR (National Association of Realtors), the "Cost vs. Value Report" shows the home remodeling projects that will yield the best return at re-sale. This report is the result of a compilation of surveys from across the country.

For the fourth consecutive year, the four projects that have the greatest return are the bathroom remodel giving a 102% return, vinyl siding replacement with a 95% return, a major kitchen remodel with a 91% return, and window replacements giving a 89% return.

Keeping up with the Joneses can turn out to be a savvy investment. But, truly, the best reason for a remodel is to enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

After a really "down" fall and winter in the Ann Arbor Area real estate market, January 2006 has started off looking positive. The phones are ringing and showings on listings are up. There's still an oversupply of listings and not enough buyers, but with the slowdown on housing starts, the numbers are not as bad as during the fall.
Mortgage rates are still exceptionally good, typically 6.25% on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. If you were a homeowner in the 1980s, when rates were 14-20%, you can appreciate how great our rates are today!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Welcome to my blog. I am a Realtor in the Ann Arbor area.