Archive for February, 2015

The Spring Parade of Homes is upon us…Make the most of it! – by Barb Crea

February 27th, 2015

The Spring Parade of Homes starts this weekend, and if the “Foot Traffic” the last couple of months is any indication, people will be out in droves! The days are getting longer, and with Daylight Savings Time starting Sunday, March 8th, people are going to be anxious to get out and enjoy the warmer weather. The Parade of Homes is a great opportunity for all of us to tour the beautiful homes being showcased. From Albertville to Zimmerman, with prices ranging from $142,100 to $2,500,000, there surely is something for everyone – even if it’s just great decorating tips and ideas!

Kitchen trends will be big – the one place in everybody’s home where family and friends tend to gather. Check out new cabinetry solutions including open shelves combined with glass and solid front cabinetry, with beautiful counter tops like Corian, Granicrete, Laminate, Aurura Stone, Granite, Quartz and Butcher Block. Fabulous technology and clever ideas to keep you organized!

The 2015 Color trends are exciting, with colors like Greek Blue paired with grey or pink; and 60’s Shades – like olive and orange. How about Sour Green with Blue – vibrant versions of classic blue and green with a fresh bold look. Pastel Color Combinations of orange and purple sunsets, green palm trees, aqua pools, and pink flamingos. Neutral Gray – combining soft gray walls with dark charcoal doors and pale grayish-white ceiling. Renaissance-Inspired with combinations of greens, plums, cerulean blue, beiges and whites. Olive greens – the shade is warm, organic and neutral for almost any color you pair it with. Mixing Bold Colors like pinks, purples, and vivid green with aqua and turquoise. Or a citrus green to keep things fresh! Warmer, muddy colors are starting to come back into vogue like rust, olive, dusty mint, and aubergine with a splash of bright color thrown on top to keep things exciting. Dynamic Parings like black, grey and white with splashes of red or brown, blue and green with orange citrus tones. What colors speak to you and put a smile on your face? For more fun ideas check out House Beautiful, The 2015 Color Trends You NEED to Know Now at

As a Builder or Realtor, how are you going to make the most of this year’s Spring Parade of Homes? With the increase in “Foot Traffic,” what are you going to do to capture those prospective buyers before your competition does? The time to figure this out if you haven’t already is NOW – what’s your plan? Read the rest of this entry »

Somewhere between 90,000 and 140,000 additional people are going to buy a house this year. – by Barb Crea

February 13th, 2015

GOOD NEWS - CONSUMER OPTIMISM HITS 11-YEAR HIGH PER MICHIGAN SURVEY OF CONSUMERS The economy is doing better, people are feeling better, and they have a couple of extra dollars in their pockets thanks to gas prices. Household formations, for the first time in a long time, are starting to sky rocket. People who have been living with family and friends are starting to move out.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re buying houses, they may be renting, but the good news is they’re starting to move out and form their own households.  Be there to help them make good decisions regarding renting or buying, and help them understand the protection that homeownership provides against rent increases.

Not only are down payments starting to decrease, like the 3% down conventional loan that was recently reintroduced back into the markets, but the FHA mortgage insurance premium has been reduced for the first time in several years which makes buying a home with FHA financing more affordable.  Based on a $200,000 loan amount, the savings on the reduced FHA mortgage insurance premium would be $4,800 over 5 years. “NAR Research estimated that the fee reduction will price in an additional 1.6 million to 2.1 million renters along with many trade-up buyers, resulting in 90,000 to 140,000 additional annual home purchases based on the standard affordability limits at the FHA and conventional market and dynamics in the housing finance markets.”  Somewhere between 90,000 and 140,000 additional people are going to buy a house this year.

Renters are starting to hear that mortgage credit availability is better than it has been over the last few years, and many are planning on buying a home in the near future. Almost half of the 25-34 year olds are planning to buy a house over the next 3 years, and 6 out of 10 people ages 35-44 are planning on buying over that same time period. People are starting to feel more confident in the economy, and with the FHA MI reduction and new 3% down loans, financing is more affordable than it’s been in a long time and renters are ready to buy now. Read the rest of this entry »

In our busy daily life, it's easy to become distracted…

February 6th, 2015

“Your main competitors are not those in your industry.
Your main competitors are distractions. Don’t let them beat you – stay focused.”
Darren Hardy

This week I thought I’d step back from all of the regulation and policy changes and updates, and focus on something that can translate to both our business and personal worlds.

Every day our SVP of National Production & Marketing sends out a Daily Start. It is a picture or statement chosen to catch your eye or make you think. Many are contributed by individuals within Fairway who find something that moves or motivates them and wish to share it with others. I believe this one is extremely appropriate for all of us. In this fast-paced industry of ours, it’s easy to believe that our competitors are our biggest hurdle; when in actuality that belief can be a distraction in and of itself! The lesson here is to NOT be distracted and spend our time worrying about our competition, but to focus on what is in our control and continue to move toward our own goals. The market is improving, and as industry professionals it’s important to stay focused on our own needs and goals, and not be detoured by what others may be saying and doing.

No matter where you are in your personal or business life, look around to see who is there helping you go farther. Find those moments of inspiration… and be sure to share them with others!   – The Kate Wilson Team