Monday, October 29, 2007


Below is an exert from the Big Rock Newsletter. The Big Rock Marlin Tournament is held in Morehead City and soon to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The tournament brings in tourists and sports fishermen from all over to Carteret County.

"Big Rock History"

The Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament began in 1957 when a few local businessmen known as the Fabulous Fishermen decided to offer $250 silver dollars to the first fishermen who could catch a blue marlin off the Crystal Coast. On September 14, 1957 Raleigh angler Jimmy Croy fishing aboard the Mary Z with Capt. K.W. “Bill” Olsen, landed a 143 pound blue marlin. A tournament was born. In the early years, the Big Rock could barely be considered a tournament. There were no rules of consequence and only a few boats participated. In 1965, a listing of prizes included one quart of varnish. Wow, has it ever grown from that!Entries in 1970 were 35 and in 1973 Bump Styron, owner of the Morehead City Yacht Basin gave the tournament its current name, Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. The tournament entrants topped 111 in 1979 and grew to 177 boats in 1989. The Big Rock currently averages 190 boats and nearly 1500 competitors. The purse has exploded from that first 250 silver dollars into a whopping $1,568,950 in 2007.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Investors prowling around

Over at I just posted a note about investors.

I would love your comments and what you think of this report and how FSBOs should be prepared for them.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Southeastern Michigan Real Estate

Here in southeastern Michigan, as in many areas across the country, we continue to have a swollen inventory of homes for sale. It started with overbuilding and overly inflated home prices. Eventually the market had to re-adjust, and when it did so, foreclosures added to our already large inventory of homes for sale.

Now with money getting tighter, which means less buying power, there are fewer home sales. Mortgage rates have been increasing. And every time the mortgage rates go up, even a quarter of a percent, a large number of potential buyers are disqualified from the marketplace. Additionally, a number of mortgage companies are going out of business, with American Home Mortgage Company - the tenth largest in the country - as the latest to close their doors. In recent years mortgage companies granted mortgages to just about anyone, including those who couldn’t or wouldn’t prove their income, those with no down payment and even those with very poor credit. But today, with foreclosures climbing steadily, almost all mortgage companies have re-enacted the tight lending restrictions that were common decades ago. The result of all this is that there are fewer buyers now to purchase those homes on the market so the inventory continues to be swollen.

Statistics from First American Real Estate Solution show if one house forecloses in a neighborhood, the average house in that neighborhood loses five percent of its value. If eight percent of the houses in the neighborhood foreclose, the value in that neighborhood goes down twenty percent.

Recently President Bush has been exhorting the lenders to try to help out those who are facing foreclosures. Just what can be done is yet to be seen, but some lenders are more willing than others to try to work with a homeowner who is in financial trouble. If you or a family member are having trouble making your mortgage payments, it is advisable to discuss your situation with your lender now. Or, if you have a very experienced Realtor who has seen good and bad markets over time, you might want to discuss your situation with that person before going to the lender.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mid Year Real Estate Report Wasilla Alaska

The residential market is down 27% compared to this same time last year. That means that 27% fewer homes are selling as compared to last year at this time AND only 41% of all the homes coming on the market since the beginning of the year have sold. The good news is that we (Kristan Cole Team) are selling more homes this year than we did last year, so at you have the best chance of selling if you are listed with us.

Year to date comparisons from last year same time:

Residential down 27%
Land down 53%
Commercial down 12%
Multi Family down 49%

What percentage of properties that were listed this year has sold?
Residential 41%
Land 20%
Commercial 14%
Multi family 25%

Home many properties are on the market now?
Residential 903 (about 50 more than last month)
Land 922
Multi family 89
Commercial 81

Average number of days on the market for homes that have sold: 95 days

The most important advertising we are involved with is on the internet. We know 78% (National Association of Realtors statistic) of all buyers start their search and ultimately find their home by using the internet. Our web site is attracting great buyers for our homes and our sellers. Here are some statistics about how powerful our web site is. FACT: 60% of all of our buyers that purchased a home in the month of May came to us from the internet.

Kristan Cole Team WEB SITE TRACKING:
Average views: per day 1051 and 26, 593 per month

Kristan’s Visual Tours
Average number of times our active tours have been viewed per property 86
Average number of views per week of different properties 338

Kristan’s site
Average views per day 525 and 15,750 per month

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Everyone Loves a Sale

Thinking of remodeling or staging your home for selling or furnishing a new home??? "Baby Boomer News" offers some suggestions for saving money on household items by waiting to buy during certain sale times. Here are the typical sale months for bargains on specific merchandise:

January - Linens, fabric, quilts,blankets, small appliances, TVs
February - Bedding, floor coverings, furniture, housewares
March - Washers and dryers, air conditioners, china, glassware
April - Kitchen ranges, wallpaper, paint
May - Radios, TVs, linens
June - Bedding, floor coverings, furniture, storm windows
August - Linens, rugs
September - China, glassware
October - Rugs, fabrics

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ann Arbor Michigan Tops List for Talented Labor

Ann Arbor was ranked first in the country for its knowledgeable workforce according to trade publication Expansion Management's 6th annual Knowledge Worker Quotient. The study ranked 362 metropolitan statistical areas for their ability to provide talented workers and an "innovative environment."

What does this mean? Well, for one thing, Ann Arbor is better positioned than almost any other place in the nation to thrive and prosper in the future. That's good for businesses looking to come into this area. It also means Ann Arbor is a good place to settle and invest in a home. While much of Michigan is struggling with economic issues, the Ann Arbor area is faring much better than the rest of the State.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fayetteville Arkansas #1 in new "Best Places" study

Our best-kept secret has been announced to the world by Bert Sperling of Sperling’s Best Places fame. Sperling has previously researched and written books about a variety of issues such as the best places to raise a family and cities with the lowest crime rates.

The idea is that although larger cities may be a great place for young graduates to find work and jump start careers, often the high cost of living is prohibitive for young families. This study looked at affordability and job growth, as well as quality of life for the real estate section at MSN. The Fayetteville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ranked number one in the country, according to Sperling. (Fayetteville MSA includes Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and stretches into extreme southwest Missouri.)

The area boasts five-year-job growth of 26.1% and a low unemployment rate of 3.5%. In addition to the headquarters for Wal-Mart, Tyson and J.B. Hunt Trucking, many other Fortune 500 companies have facilities here.

Living costs are low and there are many cultural opportunities: the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville with all their sports and cultural activities, several museums plus a world-class museum scheduled to open in 2009, a large performing arts center, excellent medical facilities, and our own regional airport with non-stop service to Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Dallas and additional cities.

Add all that to the clean air and natural beauty of the Ozarks, many lakes including Beaver Lake with its 449 miles of shoreline, and a very livable four-season climate and you can easily understand why Sperling found this area so attractive.

Other cities featured in the study are also smaller cities with vibrant economies and usually universities: Idaho Falls, ID; Logan, UT; Auburn and Huntsville, AL; Iowa City and Dubuque, IA; Pensacola, FL; Blacksburg, VA; and Fargo, ND.

To find real estate information for Fayetteville:

Fayetteville and NW Arkansas Real Estate

To search for homes in NW Arkansas:

For more information about the study:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Short Sales

For those of you who follow the news of southeastern Michigan and the auto industry, you know just how much our real estate market has declined. Today Michigan is 5th in the country with foreclosures. Detroit is #1 of all cities in the country, with 1 out of 21 homes in foreclosure. There is more reason for this than just the auto industry, such as mortgage practices that put many homeowners in an "upside-down" position.

With this situation if an owner has to move, and does not have cash to take to closing, as Realtors we are suggesting to the owner to try to work a deal with the lender to take less than is owed on the mortgage. This is called a "short sale."

You might question why a lender would do that, but often they are better off taking a little less now than spending over a year going through the foreclosure process with mounting legal fees, taxes, and utility bills to pay. Plus there's the concern the lender should have of sitting with a vacant house that could be vandalized or have frozen pipes in the winter or whatever.

From the owner's point of view, they end up with a rather mild "blip" on their credit record as compared to going into foreclosure which stays on their credit record for TWELVE years and makes it difficult to get another mortgage at a reasonable interest rate during those years.

Difficult as it is to lose a home, we encourage owners to face the issues early on while there is time to possibly work a deal with their lender. As Realtors many of us are able to provide asistance with the process.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Wasilla, Alaska First Quarter Marketing Statistics for 2007

Our market here in Alaska started changing last fall. We have transitioned from a seller's market to a normal market. This change of pace has caught a lot of folks and a lot of real estate agents off guard. Currently our residential market is off 5% as compared to the first quarter of 2006. To see my full first quarter report click here

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Real Estate Myths Debunked

Real Estate Myths Debunked

After almost 23 years in the real estate business I have found there are still lots of misconceptions surrounding real estate. Here are my top 6 real estate myths:

1. If the house has been on the market for a while, the seller will negotiate price. There are many reasons a house may have been on the market for awhile. Maybe they had an offer that fell through because the buyer couldn’t qualify, possibly the house was listed at a higher price initially and after several days on the market the sellers reduced their price, or maybe the seller had an emergency and the house couldn’t be shown for several days. Just because a home has been on the market for more than the average number of days, does not mean the seller will negotiate their listed price.

2. If I make an offer, the seller can’t sell to anyone else while I am negotiating with him and/or the seller must address my offer first if I was the first one to submit an offer. Neither of these is true. Up until the buyer and the seller have come to an agreement (fully accepted offer), the seller can choose to accept a different offer and stop negotiating with you. Additionally, if more than one offer is presented to the seller, the seller can choose to accept either offer without notifying both buyers that more than one offer was received. The thing to remember is that all offers must be presented to the seller regardless of whether the seller is currently negotiating an offer or not. Then it’s the seller’s decision as to how he would like to proceed and negotiate with the buyers.

3. A full price offer can’t be rejected by the seller. Yes, a seller can reject a full price offer. There are several other terms to an offer other than just price. The seller does not have to accept any offer, even full price offers.

4. Discount Brokers or FSBO save sellers money. Not true according to The National Association of Realtor Statistics (NAR). NAR indicates that sellers end up with a much higher sales price when using a full service Realtor, up to 10% more on average.

5. I'll save money if I don't use a Buyer Representative (sometimes called a buyer specialist).
In my opinion you will save money and lots of heartache if you use a Realtor to represent you. I have seen some real horror stories where buyers purchased a home without representation and ended up with problems (encroachments, set back violations, inspections that were never completed, lack of sex offender notice, etc.) that could have been resolved prior to the purchase if a professional had been helping them from the beginning. My husband and I bought a condo in Girdwood about 7 years ago and we hired a Realtor to represent us instead of trying to represent ourselves in a market where we were not familiar. A buyer’s representative can show you ANY home regardless of who has it listed.

6. Assessed Value is Market Value. Unfortunately, this is not true either. Assessed values rarely accurately depict the actual market. This can happen for many reasons. The article that I wrote last month goes over several of these reasons. That article is posted on my blog Click Here. If you want to know what the market value is of your home, ask your Realtor for ALL comparable pending sales and solds in your area. Pending and sold data is the best indication of value. If you would like more information on the value of your property, contact me at 907-373-3575 or email me at

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Connected By Proximity

Oops.. I posted this on the wrong blog by mistake!

Oakland has some amazing deco.. including the Paramount Theater and the Flower Building.

I took Carol to breakfast at the Oakland Grill, then to see the California as Muse: The Art of Arthur & Lucia Mathews exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. The light wasn't quite right, but I thought I'd still take some photos for you.

The Mathews Exhibit closes tomorrow. We saw some of my favorite pieces... but was most "wowed" by the frames!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

SW Florida Real Estate Market Heating Up

The SW Florida Real Estate Market is heating up. The Ellis Team has noticed a spike in sales activity in Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate markets. You can read more about it on our What's New in SW Florida Real Estate Blog. We'll be posting new sales numbers in a few days once they're released by the Florida Association of Realtors over at our SW Florida Real Estate Top Agent website. Of course you can search Fort Myers Homes for sale as well as Cape Coral homes for sale and all properties for sale in SW Florida.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

SW Florida Real Estate Building Permit Activity

Permit activity slowed, as evidenced by Lee County's latest permit activity numbers. Read the full story and what it means for buyers and sellers in SW Florida over on our What's New in Southwest Florida Real Estate Blog