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Archive for the ‘Clarkston Michigan’ Category

Clarkston MI and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of both indoor and outdoor activities- a quaint downtown shopping area, township and state parks, top of the line restaurants… and the topic of this post Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort.

Pine Knob is located on the southeast corner of Clarkston and Sashabaw Roads in Independence Township. Pine Knob boasts 17 runs and 12 lifts. Other features are a 300 ft. vertical drop, six chairlifts, four tow rope and two magic carpets. Their longest run is 1620 ft. They make their own snow and have a ski and snowboarding school.

On site restaurants include Quicksilver Cafe (a cafeteria), Off the Wall Lounge and Pinery Snack Bar.

Please take a few minutes to see the video embedded below.

If you are considering a move to the North Oakland County area, you may want to check out Clarkston MI.

www.Clarkston-Homes-For-Sale.com

www.Oakland-County-Real-Estate.com

www.Search-The-MLS.net

Check out more area information at my YouTube channel at

www.JackieHawleyRealtor.com

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An early attempt at video. I’m getting better but have a long way to go.

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Clarkston MI boasts an excellent location with I-75 intersecting the township twice – M-15 and again at Sashabaw. It is the fourth largest township in Oakland County with a population of approximately 32,000 residents. Independence Township can be characterized as a growing residential community. Shopping centers and professional services have sprung up along the main thoroughfares to provide all local conveniences. Listed in the Michigan National Features Inventory are the extant buildings of the old Henry Ford farm used for testing tractors. Independence Oaks County Park, DTE outdoor music theatre, the Pine Knob ski area and an extensive public recreation program provide recreational opportunities.

Clarkston has a downtown business district which has been designated a national Historical Site. The charm of the downtown conveys a nostalgia and picturesque setting that everyone enjoys. With numerous homes on the historical register, the City of the Village of Clarkston is a lively small town surrounded by a rapidly growing area.

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s the Clarkston area (Clarkston, Independence Township and Springfield Township) was just booming. New construction was going in, lake cottages were re-built into large year ’round homes. Prices soared. Then the economy tanked and like every place else, Clarkston was hit. We have had and still have our share of foreclosure and short sales. Prices tumbled.

The good newsPrices are on the rise as the amount of distressed sales have been declining.

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More good news– All those beautiful subdivisions that were created during the good times are still there and between the low prices and the even lower interest rates, homes in those neighborhoods have become more affordable. Area amenities that always come with growth are still there. And the physical location is still great as far as access to expressways to go to Detroit, Flint, Auburn Hills, Troy, etc. The proximity to state and county land. City and township parks. Lakes for both fishing and playing with public access for both beach and boats. Shopping, eating, just about anything one can ask for in a home town.

Clarkston Lake Homes For Sale

Deer Lake

Lake Oakland/Woodhull Lake

Maceday/Lotus Lake

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How Much Does The Interest Rate Really Affect Your Buying Power?

I am going through old listings that couldn’t sell at the owner’s desired price and through files of home owners who didn’t try to sell after getting a market analysis (CMA) for their home because of the value at that time. The good news for those homeowners is that prices are coming up in the Clarkston area and have been for the past couple years. But for buyers- if you look at your payment instead of price- prices are still very low.

As an example I just pulled up a listing I had in 2007 that was asking $400,000. At that time the interest rate for mortgages was at an average of 6.34%. When I checked the Freddie Mac web site I found the average interest rate last month was 3.92%.

What does this mean from the buyer perspective? If you would have bought that particular house for $305,000 in 2007 your payment (principle and interest) would be the same as if you were to pay $400,000 today. That’s a hundred thousand dollars worth of buying power just in the difference in the interest rate.

But it gets better!!! The property taxes on that house have dropped from just over $6k/year to just over $4600/year. That’s $116/month savings in your house payment.

Interest rates are not going to stay this low forever. Home prices are on the rise– not skyrocketing, but steadily rising. If you have been holding off buying waiting for the market to hit bottom I think we may be there- especially when you factor in the mortgage interest rate and property taxes. AND the cherry on top is the fact that your property taxes will be capped to 5% or the rate of inflation as long as the house is your primary residence. So for the example above it will take quite a while before property taxes are back at 2007 amounts.

Clarkston Lakefront Homes For Sale

Waterford Lakefront Homes For Sale

Lake Orion Lakefront Homes For Sale

For Buyers

For Sellers

Search The MLS

Buing a Foreclosure or Short Sale

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: (248) 736-6407

www.MiRelocation.com

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Independence Oaks County Park Clarkston MIIndependence Oaks County Park, Clarkston MIOffers Something for Everybody Year ‘Round

The last couple summers I took my continuing education (6 hours/year for license renewal) at Independence Oaks County Park with another real estate office. There is no better way to learn dry legal updates than in the middle of 1100 acres overlooking a lake.

Independence Oaks County Park is located at 9501 Sashabaw Rd, Clarkston MI about 2 /12 miles north of I-75 exit 89.

Independence Oaks consists of 1088 acres with 68 acre Crooked Lake, about 10 miles of marked natureindependence oaks county park clarkston mi and ski trails, overnight camping area, boat launch (non motorized boats) and boat rental. Picnic areas, ball field, sand volleyball courts, playground. horseshoe pits…

For the bird lover Independence Oaks boasts an extensive bluebird trail and from March through August you have a good chance of seeing both bluebirds and tree swallows. More than 150 species of birds have been sighted here.

Independence Oaks also offers restrooms with flush toilets as well as port-a-johns.

independence oaks county park clarkston miThe Lewis E. Wint Nature Center offers exhibits and year-round educational programs conducted by park naturalists. The Cohn Amphitheater accommodates 150-200 guests, and the Rubach Sensory Garden boasts a gazebo and water garden.

Independence Oaks County Park is just one of the many attractions that makes living in Clarkston MI and the surrounding areas a desirable proposition. You can “vacation” after work or on the weekends and never really leave home.

Independence Oaks State Site

Independence Oaks County Site

Clarkston MI Homes for Sale

Oakland County MI Area Information and Homes for Sale

Search the MLS

For Sellers

For Buyers

Jackie Hawley

ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

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Clarkston Michigan Home Buyer- How to Calculate Your New Property Taxes

Right now in Clarkston Michigan many houses are assessed higher than their true market value. Many home buyers are under the false assumption that they will only be stuck with that tax for the first year. That the new assessment will be half the sale price. This is not correct!

When I show you houses, one of the sheets attached to the listing is the public record report for the house that is available through our MLS. This public record sheet (or PRD) will give the taxable value and the state equalized value as well as the annual tax amount.

The taxable value is the number used to calculate your taxes. The taxable value times the millage rate equals your annual tax bill.¬† Upon transfer of deed (sale) the SEV will become the new taxable. In this market there’s a good chance the SEV will be higher than half the sale price.

I showed a house the other evening that is listed for $278K. The SEV and the taxable are both $163,610. Multiply that by 2 and you will be taxed like your house is worth $327,220. That is going to make a difference on your monthly payment.

This isn’t to say your assessment won’t drop next yearstate law states that the assessed value is to be one half of the assessor’s estimate of market value of your property and that the taxable value has to be less than or equal to the assessed value. And once ownership is transferred and a new taxable in place, that taxable value is capped at 5% or the rate of inflation- whichever is less.

Many townships are dropping assessments across the board. The house in the above example was assessed at $198,670 in 2006 and has dropped each year since. You may also fight your assessment through your township and appeal to the state if you are not satisfied with the results.

For the purpose of determining what your costs will be when purchasing a home, you should figure the worse case scenario and figure your new payments based on a tax amount that uses the SEV plus 5%. When your taxes end up lower- treat yourself! Or put it against the principle of your house.

Search the MLS

Homes for Sale in Clarkston MI

Lakefront Homes for Sale in Clarkston MI

For Buyers- Choosing an Agent

For Buyers- Financing

For Buyers- Negotiating the Purchase

Jackie Hawley

Keller Williams Realty
cell: 248-736-6407
email:
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

web: www.MiRelocation.com

Search The MLS

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Thinking of buying a new home in Clarkston or Lake Orion MI? You need to get that pre-approval from your lender very early in the process. Ideally before you even start looking, and for a variety of reasons. Of course there are the same reasons as always– need to know a price to perform an MLS search. Need to know the type of mortgage. Listing agent won’t present an offer without one. All good and valid reasons.

But often times educated buyers have a good idea of what they can afford and even the type of mortgage based on the amount of down payment money they have to work with. So what is wrong with finding a house and calling the loan officer and getting a quick pre-approval? How long can that take? A day? Maybe two days? Maybe even in just a few hours if you are organized and have everything ready to send immediately?

A guess it depends on how strong of a pre-approval letter you want? Or need. Right now if you are buying in Clarkston or Lake Orion you have a 20% or 25% chance of competing against a cash buyer. The odds go up if you are buying a bank owned  home. But the facts are that 19% of all sales in Clarkston, MI in 2011 were cash sales and 23% of all sales in Lake Orion, MI were cash sales.

What’s the difference to the seller you may ask? Either cash or mortgage it is still cash to the seller. And this is true- it is still cash to the seller. But there are no conditions to obtaining the cash in a cash sale. The house doesn’t need to appraise unless otherwise addressed in the offer. The buyer doesn’t need to keep his job or be careful about purchases that may affect his ability to get the mortgage. Cash IS king and when you are competing against a cash buyer you need to come in as strong as possible- and that starts with a strong pre-approval from a dependable lender.

Financing

Writing the Offer

The Home Inspection

Search The MLS

Choosing a Buyer’s Agent

Lake Orion MI Homes For Sale

Clarkston MI Homes For Sale

Jackie Hawley Keller Williams Realty, Clarkston MI

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: (248) 736-6407

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