My Blog

March 2021 - Prepping your home to sell

3/2/2021

March is here, and as the temperature warms up, so does the housing market. If you’re looking to sell, now is the time to take the steps necessary to get ready to list your home. When the listing goes live, you want to make sure your home is ready to show. To get ready to list, take these steps:


  1. The first and most important step, and one that makes the biggest impact, is to clean. Do a deep clean (floors, walls, windows, bathrooms) to make sure that the home looks and smells its best.
  2. Remove clutter so that potential buyers can see the home’s features and imagine themselves living there. Organize cupboards and closets to allow potential buyers to see the storage space available. 
  3. If you have funds available for it, a fresh coat of paint goes a long way to increase eye appeal. 
  4. Make any small repairs that have been put on hold, so that doors, windows, faucets, and other “moving parts” of the home are in good working order. 
  5. Replace light bulbs in all fixtures, so that all available light can be put to use to make the home look welcoming and cheerful.
  6. Increase the home’s curb appeal by making sure the yard is clean, tidy, and well-trimmed. 
  7. Evaluate entrances to make sure they’re clean, uncluttered, and attractive, so that they will make a good first impression on potential buyers. 

By taking these simple steps, you can make your home attractive and inviting to potential buyers and move closer to Closing Day. 


March is Womens History Month: ”Here’s to strong women.  May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.” -Source Unknown

February 2021 - Black History Month

2/5/2021

February is Black History Month. 


American history reveals the barriers that racist policies have put in the way of Black home ownership. While Civil Rights Era legislation removed some of the barriers, more recent history has seen much of that progress erased. 


In their article, “Are gains in black homeownership history?”, authors Goodman, Zhu, and Pendally, warn: 


The overall decline in homeownership threatens to exacerbate racial inequality for decades to come. If recent trends continue, black people born between 1965 and 1975 will likely become part of the first generation since those born before 1900 to reach retirement age with more renters than homeowners among their community.

The period since the housing crisis began has been a tragic chapter in the history of the black community’s access to the wealth building, security, and the sense of belonging offered by homeownership. We must take action to avoid further decline. Reforms are needed that provide more affordable rental housing and more plentiful and secure access to homeownership.


Black home ownership, along with many other issues important to the Black community, were addressed in presidential candidate Biden’s campaign Plan for Black America. His goals: 

  • Advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial wealth and income gaps.
  • Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system.
  • Make far-reaching investments in ending health disparities by race.
  • Strengthen America’s commitment to justice.
  • Make the right to vote and the right to equal protection real for African Americans.
  • Address environmental justice.

The Biden-Harris administration “will renew the federal government’s commitment to making the American Dream real for families across the nation by taking bold and ambitious steps to root out inequity from our economy and expand opportunities for communities of color and other underserved Americans.” Find details of the work being done to address policies and practices that affect Black home ownership in their FACT SHEET: President Biden to Take Action to Advance Racial Equity and Support Underserved Communities.


Home ownership offers a sense of home place, community, belonging, and peace of mind. With new policies in place, more Black families will be able to buy a home, and as your real estate agent, I look forward to helping you celebrate at closing. 


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. ? James Baldwin

January 2021 - What do you want in a home?

1/23/2021

As we begin the new year, it’s time to reflect on housing. Is your current home right for your needs, or did 2020 leave you realizing you need a home office, home gym, home classroom, outdoor living area or updated kitchen? Perhaps it’s time for a bigger home, a smaller home, a home with a different commute to work, or a home with a different yard. Maybe it’s time to consider buying a new home. 



In preparing to buy a home in 2021, first ask, “What are my needs?”


Then make a list of the features and spaces you want in a new home, yard, and neighborhood. Think about what you like about your current home and what falls short of your needs. Consider future needs for yourself and others who will live in the home; what life changes are on the horizon that will require particular features in the home? (Jobs, education, life stages)


Also consider your wants. While you might not fight a home that meets your every desire, the more you know about what you want and don’t want, the better your real estate agent can help you find and buy the right home for you. Once you know what you want, take the next steps.


Meet with your real estate agent. 


Work with your agent to create a home-buying plan. 


Meet with your lender to see if there are any last minute things to take care of before being eligible for a mortgage loan. 


Currently, homes are selling at a fast pace right now. It is important that you have all your financial “ducks in a row,” so that when you find the home you want to buy, you’re ready to make an offer.


By taking these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding the home that’s right for you. 




“Home is the nicest word there is.” –Laura Ingalls Wilder, author

December 2020 - Oh, the lights

12/2/2020

"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'" — Lewis Carroll


December in Lenawee is lit! (literally)! Local shops are packed with seasonal specialties, and local merchants are making extra efforts to insure shoppers are safe and satisfied with take-out options from restaurants, online ordering, delivery and curb-side service. Downtown Adrian will host their Holiday Open House on Friday, December 4th from 10:00am - 8:00pm, and Saturday, December 5th from 10:00am - 6:00pm.


Few things are as festive as the Comstock Park Riverwalk & Tree Display at night, with all the colorful lights reflecting off the River Raisin. Bundle up and take a leisurely walk through the park, made beautiful by the combined efforts of the people and community organizations of Adrian. 


Another fun family outing awaits at Heritage Park, where a drive-through holiday light display is a local tradition. Fill the thermos with hot chocolate, put a winter tale or holiday tunes in the player, and enjoy the ride! 


While pandemic protocols are in place and many common indoor activities are not an option, we are fortunate to have many excellent opportunities for outdoor activities in Lenawee. Aside from holiday light displays, Lenawee parks offer beautiful, wooded hikes near the River Raisin, and when winter really takes hold, local parks and lakes are where you’ll find local residents sledding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating, and ice fishing


The winter solstice marks the return of the light to the northern hemisphere; some local residents welcome the Sun’s return with a sunrise hike on solstice morning. The ancient Celts marked the solstice by building a bonfire and celebrating all night while they waited to welcome the sun’s return at dawn. 


While the pandemic may require some changes to holiday plans, Lenawee County offers residents a variety of outdoor environments where friends and families can safely meet and celebrate. Maybe 2020 is the year to celebrate like our ancient ancestors did: under the stars, around the bonfire. 


"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for a home." — Edith Sitwell

November 2020 - Give Thanks

11/14/2020

November 


While November in SE lower Michigan requires the furnace most nights, there are still plenty of days when we can switch it off and enjoy sunny days, mild temps, and Michigan beauty. While most of the leaves have dropped, the landscape is aglow with the golds of autumn. 


Colder temperatures make us appreciate the comfort of home. Now’s the time to make sure the furnace, snow equipment, and winter sports equipment are in good working order and ready to go when they are needed. With the pandemic protocols in place, many homeowners are improving the home office and/or home classroom for students; and an outdoor meeting space is a new “must-have” for safe socializing in small groups. November is a great time for home improvements. 


In the current, seller’s market, homeowners looking to sell are in a good position, even as winter is around the corner. Homeowner’s looking to sell should spruce up the place and call a Realtor, pronto. Likewise, buyers need to be ready to make their move when they meet the home that’s right for them; with some buyers offering more than asking prices, there may not be time to “sleep on it.” 


Giving Thanks

As we reflect on wonders of fall, we can practice gratitude and appreciation. We can take a moment to breathe deeply and feel thankful; we can thank our health care providers and essential workers; we can thank the sun, the rain, and the land. We can thank our loved ones for sharing themselves with us.


As we practice gratitude for what we have, we have an opportunity to practice generosity toward the members of our community who are suffering the effects of unempolyment, poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness. As the pandemic continues and winter is around the corner, the need for assistance grows. We can ease the suffering in our community by donating to organizations such as Associated Charities, The Daily Bread of Lenawee, and Share the Warmth. Donations are needed at this critical time--and are greatly appreciated. 

October 2020 - Preparing for Winter

10/5/2020

October lends its hand to many tasks to keep homeowners busy: raking, cleaning the gutters, changing the furnace filters, and beginning the winterizing process


And when the chores are done, there are still plenty of warm days to enjoy the outdoors at local parks, or hop in the car for a fall color tour


Lenawee County is home to many farms, and October is harvest time for many delicious foods, including winter squashes and pumpkins. Find fresh, homegrown produce in the last month for outdoor farmer’s markets in Adrian, Madison, or Tecumseh--or visit a local farm and buy direct from the farmer, at Needle-Lane Farm, Ames Acres, Carpenter Farms, or Kapnick Orchards.


As we reflect on the abundance of beauty and nourishment of the fall harvest season, we can practice gratitude and appreciation. We can take a moment to breathe deeply and feel thankful; we can thank our farmers and gardeners; we can thank the sun, the rain, and the land. We can thank our loved ones for sharing themselves with us.


As we practice gratitude for what we have, we have an opportunity to practice generosity toward the members of our community who are suffering the effects of unempolyment, poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness. As the pandemic continues and winter is around the corner, the need for assistance grows. We can ease the suffering in our community by donating to organizations such as Associated Charities, The Daily Bread of Lenawee, and Share the Warmth. Donations are needed at this critical time--and are greatly appreciated. 


Remember: Daylight Savings Time ends when we turn the clocks back on November 1, 2020.

September 2020 - Fall in Lenawee

9/7/2020

September 


Are you ready for Winter? Even though September in Michigan is late summer, with warm days and cool nights, it is time to start to plan for fall yard clean up and preparing the home for the cold season. 


September in Lenawee is marked by abundant produce at the Farmers Markets for home canning, in Adrian, Madison, or Tecumseh, and at local farms, such as Needle-Lane Farm, Ames Acres, Carpenter Farms, or Kapnick Orchards. Our local farms keep us well fed.


September is a great time to check out the outdoor events at the Historic Croswell Opera House: find their  modified schedule here


Some of the trees have begun changing into their autumnal dresses, making September a lovely time to watch the colors change at any of  Lenawee County’s  beautiful local parks. Late summer is the perfect time to enjoy the sights along the scenic, eight-mile Kiwanis Trail , which offers many views of the River Raisin, as well as pleasant stopping points for hikers, bikers, and runners. 


September sunsets come a little earlier, making it a perfect time to gather around a fire on a cool evening with family and friends to swap stories and strengthen our relationships. Make it a September to remember. 


"'Tis the last rose of summer,

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone."

- Thomas Moore, The Last Rose of Summer, 1830

August 2020 - Fall Harvest

8/12/2020

It’s harvest time in Lenawee. Like the ancient Celts, who celebrated the sun, the grains, the bread, and the beer on August 1, Lenawee county residents are reaping the fruits of their labors in local farms and gardens. 


While many favorite social events of summer have been cancelled, the wheel of the year keeps turning, and the land brings forth her fruits. August is the perfect time to gather at home with family and try your hand at new recipes for meals with locally-grown produce--or putting food by for winter, by pickling, canning, or freezing. Homemade jams, wines, or beer make for fun family projects at home, and they make great gifts at future holidays. 


Lenawee County is home to many farms, and August is harvest time for a lot of delicious foods, like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash, peppers, and sweet corn. Find fresh, homegrown produce at a farmer’s market in Adrian, Madison, or Tecumseh, or visit a local farm and buy direct from the farmer, at Needle-Lane Farm, Ames Acres, Carpenter Farms, or Kapnick Orchards.


While fall sports events and cultural events have been cancelled or are in limbo as August arrives, the show must go on at The Croswell Opera House, and they have posted their  modified schedule here


Even when we’re following social distancing protocols, we can enjoy Lenawee County’s  lakes, hiking, biking, disc golf, picnics, and wildlife watching at the beautiful local parks. The city of Adrian is a river town, and many of the the city’s beautiful parks have the River Raisin running through them. The scenic, eight-mile Kiwanis Trail offers many views of the river as well as pleasant stopping points for hikers, bikers, and runners.


Some paintings become famous because, being durable, they are viewed by successive generations, in each of which are likely to be found a few appreciative eyes.

I know a painting so evanescent that it is seldom viewed at all, except by some wandering deer. It is a river who wields the brush, and it is the same river who, before I can bring my friends to view his work, erases it forever from human view. After that it exists only in my mind's eye.

Like other artists, my river is temperamental; there is no predicting when the mood to paint will come upon him, or how long it will last. But in midsummer, when the great white fleets cruise the sky for day after flawless day, it is worth strolling down to the sandbars just to see whether he has been at work.” ? Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There 

July 2020 - Lakes and Festivals

7/9/2020

July

Area Lakes/Festivals & Events 


The 4th of July has passed us by and summer is in full swing in the Great Lake state. The local landscape offers a wide variety of opportunities to enjoy Michigan’s many lakes. Sixty-two lakes can be found around Lenawee county, making it easy to relax on the beach, on a boat, in a canoe or kayak, or on your favorite float.  


Along with lakes, Lenawee County is rich with parks for hiking, biking, disc golf, picnics, and wildlife watching. The city of Adrian is a river town, with the River Raisin running through it. 

Many of the city’s beautiful parks are down by the riverside. The scenic, eight-mile Kiwanis Trail offers many views of the river as well as pleasant stopping points for hikers, bikers, and runners. 


Along with a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation, Lenawee County is home to many fantastic festivals that celebrate the wealth of talented visual artists, musicians, and dancers in the area. While the pandemic has cancelled some 2020 events, some are going ahead in a modified format. Check individual event listings for updates. 


Lenawee County is home to many farms, and July is harvest time for a lot of delicious foods, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet corn. Find fresh, homegrown produce at a farmer’s market in Adrian, Madison, or Tecumseh, or visit a local farm and buy direct from the farmer, at Needle-Lane Farm or Ames Acres


"The dandelions and buttercups gild all the lawn: the drowsy bee stumbles among the clover tops, and summer sweetens all to me."  - James Russell Lowell  

 

June - Hello Summer!

6/18/2020

Hello, June! Good-bye quarantine! Normal activities are resuming. Flowers are in bloom, the grill is on stand-by, and we can drink coffee and welcome the sunrise on the deck or patio. June is a time for graduations, weddings, family reunions, and vacations. It can also be a time of transition, as new graduates look for a home in a city where they’ve gone for a new job, young parents look for a place with more room as they prepare to welcome a new baby to the family, and “more experienced” parents find that they don’t need as much room--now that the kids are gone. 


Summer in Michigan is a busy time as we pack our schedules with activities that don’t require parkas and snow boots. Summer is the season for gardening, for cookouts, for silly games in the backyard, for a dip in the pool, for sitting by a firepit on a chilly night, for watching sunsets and moonrises from comfy chairs on the porch. For many in Michigan, June marks a season of celebration of Home and Family. 


June is also a time when Americans celebrate FREEDOM.  Juneteenth is the name given to June 19, 1863, the day when the Emancipation Proclamation— which had been issued on January 1, 1863— was read to enslaved African-Americans in Texas by Gordon Grange. Juneteenth is a day set aside to celebrate the liberation of Black Americans from enslavement. Juneteenth is also known as America’s 2nd Independence Day.

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