Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thought for the Day

Leadership is not about titles, positions or flow charts; it is about one life influencing another.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Thought for the Day

No one is capable of giving direction unless he or she knows how to take directions and carry them out.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Housing Market Goes Boom

That's "boom" in a good way, as in booming.  Not boom as it was in 2007 when the market blew apart.

Yesterday  I posted a video that now was a good time to buy your first home.  Well, I did not promise it would be easy.

Metro Detroit home prices have gone up, houses are selling fast for near-full price, there are a lot of cash offers, and sellers are loving it.  Also loving it are builders, who are ramping up new construction to soak up the increased demand, particularly on the high end of the market.  All this according to the Free Press today.

Great for sellers, not so great for buyers, and good for owners who are doing neither.


Thought for the Day

You find that you have peace of mind when you know that it was a 100% effort that you gave, win or lose. -Gordie Howe

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thought for the Day

Loafing on your job hurts your employer, but it hurts you more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Right Way to Shop for a Mortgage

Most people, I believe, walk into their local bank, say they need a mortgage, and fill out the paperwork.  They reason that they will get a better rate at the place they have their money.  Sometimes that is true, but it is an iffy way to make an important financial decision.

Mortgage banker Mark Fitzpatrick shares some insights with us, and what he says makes a great deal of sense.  He suggests not just shopping around, but doing so in a way calculated to ensure that all of the potential lenders are using the same assumptions.  Only then can you be sure you are getting a good deal.

Not really helpful to the process.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thought for the Day

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter! (video)

Psych's Maggie Lawson Moves On

Maggie Lawson, one of the stars of the recently-ended tv series Psych, has sold her home in Los Feliz, California.  She got her full asking price of $2.2 million and the home sold rather quickly, according to

One thing I didn't know is that she has apparently been dating Psych's James Roday for years.  Their interactions on screen were undoubtedly the better for it.


Focusing back on the house, it has four bedrooms, three and a half baths, and 2900 square feet.  Her new digs in Bronson Canyon are smaller, at 1400 square feet.  Not sure what that's about.

The home features an open floor plan.


Thought for the Day

Do you wanna see your biggest opponent? Look in the mirror.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thought for the Day

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Detroit Rocks for Landlords

Want to know one of the best places in the world to be a landlord?  Right here in the D.  Of course, we've been preaching this for awhile now, so we're glad CNN caught up.

We'll have more later today.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thought for the Day

Almost nothing is as bad as it first seems.

Update: Most Expensive Listing in America SOLD!

It seems like just yesterday when we filled our dedicated readers in on the most expensive listing in the United States, the Copper Beech Farm estate in Connecticut.  At last report, the price had been slashed $50 million to $140 million.  Then it dropped another ten in January.  You would think that reducing the price so much would position it in front of a whole new cadre of potential buyers, but still it didn't sell.

Well, you can slap a SOLD sticker on that sign in the front lawn, because it is gone for $120 million.  About one-third less than the original ask.  Just to put it in perspective, the broker might have lost three million dollars in commission and will only clear about seven.  Tough times for them.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Best Home in the Block

When you own a property for sale that is significantly better than the rest of the neighborhood, it requires a special understanding.  While you can upgrade a property that is less than the neighborhood average, a home that stands out requires a different buyer than the rest.

The Detroit News tries to shed some light on this.  My own advice is don't buy this kind of property unless you will accept that it will never sell for what it should.  But if you have such a place, then you should adjust your marketing to reach people who would otherwise be looking in a better neighborhood than yours.

What do Zillow readers say?  Their consensus: don't.


Thought for the Day

If you try and fail, make another effort, and still another, until you succeed. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Thought for the Day

Initiative will immediately set you apart from the competition

Bruce Willis, Sun Valley, Cheaper

Bruce Willis has reduced the asking price on his Sun Valley, California home.  Before you call your local realtor, it is still $8.8 million.

For that, you get 20 acres and 8 bedrooms.  It was originally listed for $15 million back in 2011, but Bruce has kept cutting the ask to try to unload it.  At this point, it is almost half price.

We don't show enough master closets in places like this.  Here's this one.


Monday, April 7, 2014

People Who Shouldn't Be Landlords

Actually, Mr. Furley wasn't that bad a landlord.
Certain personalities and skills lend themselves to being successful landlords.  Certain ones don't.  You can add in certain life situations, too.

For example, if you are rich, you do not want to be a landlord who deals with tenants.  Why would you want people in your life who could make it miserable?  Nope, stick to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

And if you are good at picking stocks, why would you be a landlord?  Stocks don't call about flooded toilets.

Well, the list goes on and on, according to  Let me know what you think.


Thought for the Day

Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Financial Emergency in Lincoln Park

A State of Michigan panel officially found a financial emergency in Lincoln  Park, which is the next step to Governor Snyder appointing an Emergency Manager.

The move is not a surprise.  Lincoln Park officials expect an Emergency Manager (EM) will be coming soon.  Although the city could propose other responses, such as a consent agreement, there does not seem to be any serious opposition to an EM being appointed and taking over administrative duties in the city.

An Emergency Manager could also break existing vendor contracts and union agreements.  Frequently, city employees to have salary and benefit cuts.  Although an EM can suspend the salaries of the mayor and city council, it is not always done.

Ecorse and Allen Park have had Emergency Managers appointed for them recently, with Ecorse recently emerging out of that but with a state oversight board still in charge.  Other Downriver communities may have one coming in the future.


A Spock-Tacular House--Leonard Nimoy


Modern decorating mixed with a traditional Japanese Tea House.  Highly illogical.

It makes more sense when you realize that Leonard Nimoy, of Star Trek fame, has a wife who likes to use the Tea House to meditate.  Otherwise, the Bel Air home emphasizes white walls, black floors, and art that looks better because of the first two things.

Regular blog readers will know that this place is not my style, but I also get that others would disagree and that's fine.

It's also interesting that Nimoy points out that the placement of his office allows him to see who is coming and going through the front door.  Apparently he does not want people materializing in front of him without warning.  Ironic, isn't it?

Yes, pointy ears are in fact on display.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Walk-Through Checklist

"Don't worry about the missing furnace, I'm sure the sellers will bring it back after closing."

The final walk-through is customary when buying a house, but what should you be looking for?

The walk-through should be done shortly before closing, but you need to be ready to postpone the closing if there is something amiss.  Once you sign the final papers, then the house is yours and any verbal promises are worth the paper they are written on.

Thought for the Day

Be prudent about the risks you take, but don’t be paralyzed by fear of failure. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Breaking News: A World of Beer is Coming to Woodhaven

World of Beer

A craft beer establishment, World of Beer, is going to be one of the tenants at the former K-Mart site in Woodhaven, it was announced today.

I had previously heard that a Planet Fitness would be moving there, but that idea apparently did not happen.  Instead will be three or so retail and restaurants.  It is reported that the old K-Mart building was in worse shape than originally thought.

A quick peek at World of Beer reveals that they are a craft beer drinking establishment.


Top 5 for March

We have reposted our most popular posts from March for the Downriver Homes and Real Estate Blog to Twitter and Facebook, but you can see the links here:


Barron's: Detroit Will Rise Again

Dick Clark's Flintstone House

Tom & Giselle are Selling

Section 8 Landlords Who Don't Pay Taxes

What Does $19 Million Get You in Michigan?

Thought for the Day

Every success and every temporary setback only serve to prepare you for the time when you will eventually prevail. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thought for the Day

 If you expect to fail, you can be sure that you will. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thought for the Day

The chances are that your job likes you precisely as much as you like it, but no more.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ten Pro Wrestler's Mansions

What with Wrestlemania coming up this weekend, now would be a good time to see how the really successful pro wrestler's live.  Here are ten of the most successful, or at least their homes.


Thought for the Day

Worry serves no useful purpose and can have a serious adverse effect upon your mental as well as your physical health.