Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Good News For Holland, Michigan

The 2009 tax credit for first time home buyers has been generating an in crease in sales. One out of two sales were first time home buyers in 2009. The average tax credit that was received was $5,000. Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt offices earned $3.5 million in tax credits. Of the $3.5 million $1.75 million was from buyers of the Holland Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt office. The greater areas of Holland and Zealand, Michigan earned $7 million in 2009 tax credits for home buyers.

WZZM News Broadcast about Happy Holland

ABC News: Michigan Town One of the Happiest Places in the U.S.

For more information about purchasing a home in Holland, Michigan please contact the Andrea Crossman Group.

Watch live streaming video from whtc at livestream.com

Holland, Michign's New Web Site

The city of Holland, Michigan has launched a new web site to promote the city and provide information on moving to Holland. The Web site is the most recent development in efforts to market the city, following a promotional video released last year. The site includes promotional videos, an online quiz and a downloadable application or “widget” that lists city events. The Web site features links with information on the area economy, recreational opportunities and local neighborhoods. Visitors can click on a map that will link them with the attributes of a specific neighborhood, ranging from downtown to Holland Heights.

Enjoy Holland Michigan Web Site

Holland By The Lake Web Site

Grand Rapids Press Article

Friday, February 19, 2010

Holland, Michigan Ranks Again!

Hope College’s DeWitt Tennis Center has been named the national 2010 Public Facility of the Year by the Professional Tennis Registry, or PTR. The six-court center, which opened in August 1994, was honored for the array and quality of programs that it offers to its members as well as the Holland tennis community. The 40,000-square-foot building features men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a waiting reception area. The DeWitt Tennis Center offers instruction year-round for players from kindergarten through the high school level, including a nine-week tennis academy held each summer. The center offers annual memberships for individual community members and families, and its services also include adult tennis clinics and private lessons. The DeWitt Tennis Center is located along Fairbanks Avenue near Holland Municipal Stadium.

The news organization points out that a report of the Chronicle of Philanthropy recently named the region of Western Michigan – in which Holland is located – as the No. 2 most generous area in the U.S., behind only Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite its 16 percent unemployment rate, Holland has over 100 volunteer-based service organizations fanned out through the city.

Video from ABC News about Holland.

For more information on purchasing a home in Holland visit the Andrea Crossman Group.

Ottawa County Ranked Second in Michigan

The University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developed a new ranking of nearly every county in the nation shows significant disparities in the overall health of residents. The data used was on premature deaths, self-reports about health and factors such as smoking rates, obesity, teen births, the percentage of children in poverty and number of liquor stores vs. grocery stores to rank more than 3,000 counties nationwide against others in their state.

The counties are ranked according to the measure of health outcomes and health factors. Health factors in the County Health Rankings represent what influences the health of a county. We measure four types of health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and physical environment factors. In turn, each of these factors is based on several measures. Health outcomes are based on equal weighing or mortality and morbidity measures.

Top 10 Michigan Counties
Rank Health Outcomes
1 Livingston
2 Ottawa
3 Leelanau
4 Alger
5 Clinton
6 Emmet
7 Washtenaw
8 Grand Traverse
9 Marquette
10 Houghton

Rank Health Factors
1 Washtenaw
2 Livingston
3 Ottawa
4 Oakland
5 Clinton
6 Marquette
7 Grand Traverse
8 Leelanau
9 Midland
10 Dickinson

County Health Rankings

For more information on purchasing a home in Ottawa County visit the Andrea Crossman Group.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Holland, Michigan Ranked Second in Overall Well-being

Holland, Michigan was ranked the second best city in overall well-being on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index . Boulder, Colorado ranked first and Honolulu, Hawaii was third.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed over 353,000 Americans age 18 or older in 2009. The survey was completed by randomly polling 1,000 Americans per day, in 162 large and medium-size cities. The results for overall well-being, life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment, and basic access based on Gallup-Healthways data from 2009.

Six sub-components of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index:

Life Evaluation Index includes a self-evaluation of two items present life situation and anticipated life situation five years from now, using the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale with steps from 0 to 10.
Emotional Health Index includes 10 items: smiling or laughter, learning or doing something interesting, being treated with respect, enjoyment, happiness, worry, sadness, anger, stress, and diagnosis of depression.
Work Environment Index includes four items: job satisfaction, ability to use one's strengths at work, supervisor's treatment, and is it an open and trusting work environment.
Physical Health Index includes nine items: sick days in the past month, disease burden, health problems that get in the way of normal activities, obesity, feeling well-rested, daily energy, daily colds, daily flu, and daily headaches.
Healthy Behavior Index includes four items: smoking, eating healthy, weekly consumption of fruits and vegetables, and weekly exercise frequency.
Basic Access Index includes 13 items: access to clean water, medicine, a safe place to exercise, affordable fruits and vegetables; enough money for food, shelter, healthcare; having health insurance, having a doctor, having visited a dentist recently; satisfaction with the community, the community getting better as a place to live, and feeling safe walking alone at night.

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index City Rankings

Top 10 Cities Overall, Well-Being

Rank City WBI Score
1 Boulder, Colo. 72.5
2 Holland, Mich. 71.0
3 Honolulu, Hawaii 70.8
4 Provo, Utah 70.6
5 Santa Rosa, Calif. 69.4
6 Santa Barbara, Calif. 69.3
7 San Jose, Calif. 69.2
8 Washington, D.C. 69.1
9 Ogden, Utah 69.1
10 Oxnard, Calif. 69.0

To view the full lists and view other graphs on the nations well-being visit Gallup.com

For more information on this topic there is a good article in USA Today

To purchase a waterfront home in Holland, Michigan contact the Andrea Crossman Group.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Michigan Has Seen Better Days; Proposals For Change

Michigan ranked as the seventh worst state, with one default and auction notice or foreclosure filing for every 258 homes in January. Michigan is the worst in the nation with the highest unemployment rate. The state unemployment rate is currently at 14.6%. The state also has a 1.5 billion dollar deficit. What is being proposed to help solve the state from swirling even farther down the drain.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposed a new sales tax on services. The tax proposal would reduce sales tax from 6% to 5.5%, and expanded to 168 services Michigan does not tax, such as accounting and legal services, landscaping, auto and home repairs, dry cleaning and tickets to concerts, movies and sporting events. The tax would not apply to health care, education, construction, real estate commissions, insurance premiums or business-to-business transactions. The proposed service tax purpose is to avoid more cuts to public schools, and a tax on doctors to improve Medicaid health care to low-income Michigan residents. The revised sales tax would pump an additional $550 million to schools next year.

Citigroup Inc. plans to let homeowners on the verge of foreclosure stay in their homes for six months, if they turn over the deed to their property. Citi is launching the pilot program, "Foreclosure Alternatives," this week in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio. The program is intended to help borrowers who don't qualify for a mortgage modification or a short sale have a less severe hit to their credit score. Initially, about 1,000 homeowners are expected to participate. Borrowers in Citi's program will still need to pay their utility bills. But Citi will pay at least $1,000 in relocation costs and will consider helping out with other expenses. Citi also plans to provide relocation counseling.

Proposal A, which limits annual increases in property taxes. Under Proposal A, property taxes can increase only up to 5% or the rate of inflation so long as the same person owns the home in question. However, if the ownership of the home is transferred, the taxable value of the house can rise at a much greater rate. The stated purpose of Proposal A was to provide incentives for homeowners to remain in the same home, encouraging neighborhood stability while simultaneously keeping the tax burden on homeowners low. The taxable value of a home is limited in the amount it can increase. During periods when the value of real estate is rising, this provides significant savings for taxpayers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2006-2009 Comparison of the West Michigan Real Estate Market

The best way to judge the market it not by looking at the month-to-month sales but the year-to-year sales. In the graphs below you will find the comparison over a four year period. Graph A shows the number of homes sold each year in a given area of Michigan''''s coast line. Although numbers are great you must also consider the average selling price. Graph B shows the average selling price for homes.

Graph A:

Graph B:

For more information about your local market contact the Andrea Crossman Group.