Unparalleled views & wide sandy beach with the finest quality home on Lake Michigan in Wilderness Dunes (Fire Lane 9), a gated community featuring 130+ acres of virgin forest w/nature trail, tennis/basketball courts. 9,390 sq. ft. and 6 fireplaces. Priced at nearly half of the assessed value. Dining area leads into the formal dining room with beautiful chandelier & see-through fireplace. The great room with its own custom bar featuring beveled glass mirrors with views of the expansive beach. Enter your own dream world entering the Gazebo room with views of the lake & the woods & outdoor pool w/waterfall, hot tub & landscaping. 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 6 fireplaces, indoor sauna & whirlpool tubs, lakeside master suite with library/sitting room, balconies and outdoor shower. Bring all offers!
4872 East Gull Lake Drive
Magnificent estate property in the plat of Hickory Point on Gull Lake. This 7 bedroom, 6 bath home was built in 1932 by one of the Upjohn family members on a double lot with 2.5 acres & is one of the finest properties on beautiful all-sports Gull Lake. With 207 ft. of lake frontage, this elegant 2-story features a slate roof, stucco walls, pueblo tiled bath, 4 fireplaces, crown moldings, large lakeside dining room, sun room & a lovely outdoor fountain & pond as well as an attached greenhouse. There is an apartment over the 3 stall garage. You'll find the current owners have made many improvements, from electrical & mechanical to cosmetics. One of the top 5 or 10 properties on this beautiful lake facing westerly for sunsets with a lushly landscaped, deep yard. Large pictures windows that maximize the panoramic views. Possible trade. Home next door sold for $3.1 million.
The Hope Diamond of Lake Michigan properties, with 645 feet of frontage, this 30 acre jewel is the most precious parcel on the lakeshore and abuts Manistee National Forest. You'll love the expansive views this home has to offer with its many windows along the lakeside and virtually no steps to the beach where you can walk for miles or just sit and soak up the sunshine. The privacy of this parcel of land is awesome and the only lights you can see at night is Ludington and Manistee lighthouses, yet you are only 20 minutes from Ludington or Manistee. The home boasts 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths, vaulted ceilings, 2 story fireplace, hardwood flooring on the main level and laminate beams with open bolt pattern. The open concept living allows everyone to mingle together in the kitchen, dining room and living room while enjoying fabulous views of Lake Michigan. The 1,700 sq.ft. deck is great for entertaining, star gazing & enjoying the natural beauty of the shoreline. For more information and photos on this amazing Lake Michigan Property click here.
Lake Michigan at it's finest. Nearly 7 acres of pristine beach & forest just a few doors from the gorgeous Saugatuck Dunes in a wooded wonderland with views of Saugatuck Channel. Built by Cottage Homes in 2008, this 6+ bedroom, 6 bath home features nearly 9,000 sq.ft. of finely crafted home. Incredible views, wide sandy beach, electric tram to the beach, 2 main floor master suites, spacious gourmet kitchen with large granite center island & stainless steel & quality appliances. You'll love the 2 story great room, main floor library/den/TV room, each with it's own stone fireplace. The his & hers bedroom suites share a large walk-in closet w/nice built-ins, tiled heated bathroom floors, tiled shower with multi-heads & a soaking tub. Pella windows, James Hardie cement fiber siding & stone. The lakeside 3 season room is sure to become a favorite place to relax and enjoy the beauty & sounds of living on the lake. 86 steps to the beach. For more information and photos on this amazing Lake Michigan Property click here.
Capital Economics expects the housing crisis to end this year, according to a report released Tuesday. One of the reasons: loosening credit.
The analytics firm notes the average credit score required to attain a mortgage loan is 700. While this is higher than scores required prior to the crisis, it is constant with requirements one year ago.
Additionally, a Fed Senior Loan Officer Survey found credit requirements in the fourth quarter were consistent with the past three quarters.
However, other market indicators point not just to a stabilization of mortgage lending standards, but also a loosening of credit availability.
Banks are now lending amounts up to 3.5 times borrower earnings. This is up from a low during the crisis of 3.2 times borrower earnings.
Banks are also loosening loan-to-value ratios (LTV), which Capital Economics denotes “the clearest sign yet of an improvement in mortgage credit conditions.”
In contrast to a low of 74 percent reached in mid-2010, banks are now lending at 82 percent LTV.
While credit conditions may have loosened slightly, some potential homebuyers are still struggling with credit requirements. In fact, Capital Economics points out that in November 8 percent of contract cancellations were the result of a potential buyer not qualifying for a loan.
Additionally, Capital Economics says “any improvement in credit conditions won’t be significant enough to generate actual house price gains,” and potential ramifications from the euro-zone pose a threat to future credit availability.
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Michigan residents with bad credit scores wouldn’t necessarily pay more for their personal insurance under proposed consumer protection rules.
State lawmakers, government officials and insurance companies have been debating for several years whether insurance companies can and should use credit reports to determine home, auto and other personal insurance rates.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration sought to ban the practice, which it deemed discriminatory. But in 2010 the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that credit-based insurance scoring is legal.
Four House bills and a Senate bill are headed to the full Senate that would regulate the use of credit information by insurers. It passed the Senate insurance committee on Tuesday. The House passed its four bills in October.
The Office of Insurance and Financial Regulation, which previously opposed the use of credit-based insurance scoring, supports the legislation. Several insurance industry groups also back the bills.
Credit history can make a big impact on how much consumers pay. Discounts for good credit scores can range from 10 percent to 80 percent of the policy, Hummel said.
The legislation would prohibit insurers from denying, cancelling or not renewing a policy based on a poor credit report or insurance score. It would require an insurer to notify customers if their credit information results in any adverse action.
Another bill allows consumers to request an exception to the credit-based pricing under certain circumstances, such as a catastrophic event, serious illness or injury, death in the family, divorce, identity theft, temporary unemployment or other factors that could lower a credit score.
Customers also could dispute an insurer’s discount determination based on incorrect or incomplete credit information. And people who don’t use credit cards or don’t have an extensive credit history can’t be punished for that reason alone.
The story of recent wind turbines supply-chain entrant Energetx Composites of Holland, Mich., and how wind energy providing new economic opportunities is the subject of the latest segment of WindTV.
Michigan and manufacturing go together. But it’s no secret the state has been hit hard by a generally shrinking U.S.-based manufacturing segment over the last several decades.
Thanks in part to wind power, that’s changing in America, and in Michigan too. The story of recent wind turbines supply-chain entrant Energetx Composites of Holland, Mich., and how wind energy providing new economic opportunities in the Wolverine State is the subject of the latest segment of WindTV, the American Wind Energy Association’s vehicle to highlight how wind works for America.
Energetx is Exhibit A of wind power’s ability to provide new manufacturing opportunities--that is why President Obama showcased the company in his State of the Union speech last month. The company, explains Energetx’s Kelly Slikkers, has a history in yacht manufacturing. With an expertise in composites, wind power seemed like a natural fit some four years ago, when the company began considering entering the space. “It was an opportunity for us to look at diversification using those core skills,” Slikkers explains in the video segment.
Providing a broader statewide viewpoint on the video is Lindsay Eister of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Getting Michigan manufacturing plants linked into the wind power supply chain is about one thing, she says. “It’s absolutely all about jobs.”
Energetx Compositives is doing both of those things. In wind, it has found a new market for its product and, in doing that, it’s creating jobs. Just one example: in need of workers for the company’s new growth area, it partnered with Grand Rapids Community College on a composite technician training course. Energetx has already hired 20 people from the course. “Jobs are needed in Michigan,” says Slikkers. “This is a way we’ve been able to create jobs, through this diversification.”
Just last week, the Michigan Public Service Commission released a report showing that the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) is doing what the state hoped it would: generating investment and economic activity. The report found that the RES has resulted in $100 million in investment in the state, spurring manufacturing and business growth and creating jobs.
Such manufacturing success stories could be a thing of the past, however, if Congress doesn’t take action. The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), wind power’s primary policy driver, is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, and the wind turbines industry supply chain is already feeling the effects of the uncertainty, particularly given that turbine orders are placed months in advance.
“Michigan is at the forefront of the American manufacturing success story wind power is creating all across the U.S.,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “Yet congressional inaction threatens to end this positive story. We urge Congress to listen to the humming of factories across America before they go quiet, and pass the PTC now.”
Notably, WindTV interviewed both Slikkers and Eister at the WINDPOWER 2011 Conference & Exhibition, which is the industry’s annual town square for doing business and exchanging ideas. This year, conversations allowing supply-chain members to do deals and link with one another are certain to take place at WINDPOWER 2012, scheduled for Atlanta, Ga., June 3-6. For more information on the event, go to www.windpowerexpo.org.
Laukitis, the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director since 1994, was told she had been appointed to the Michigan Travel Commission.
The state commission works to promote Michigan’s travel and tourism industry.
“It will be a lot of work, but it’s something I’m passionate about,” Laukitis said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to digging into it, finding out what’s expected of me.”
Laukitis was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to serve out the remainder of a departing commission member’s four-year term that ends August 2014. Her first big meeting will be in conjunction with the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the end of March. The commission is working to set a new strategic plan for Michigan tourism and the Pure Michigan marketing campaign, she said.
Will the new position translate into more recognition for Holland as a tourist destination? Laukitis wasn’t sure.
“It’s actually setting policy for the entire state,” Laukitis said. But, she added, “it’s nice to have your little corner of the world represented.”
“She has a great grasp of what’s going on,” said Lori Varner, president of the local convention and visitor’s bureau board, and representative of the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
She pointed toward Laukitis buying an advertisement in the Super Bowl program as an example of Laukitis’ outside-the-box thinking.
“We’re trying to become more creative,” Varner said. “Never before would we be able to advertise in a publication that’s at the Super Bowl.”
In addition to her role at the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Laukitis is president of the Michigan Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus and the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan, and serves as secretary for the Lake Michigan Beachtowns Cooperative Partnership.
“Sally brings extensive experience in marketing all our Great Lakes state has to offer,” Snyder said in a released statement.
Holland Area Chamber of Commerce President Jane Clark said the appointment was an honor — not only for Laukitis, but the Holland area.
About 17 percent of the Chamber of Commerce’s members do business in the retail or tourism sector, she said.
“I think that Sally is a leader in the convention and visitor’s bureaus arena in the state,” Clark said.
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