Brook Walsh's Real Estate Blog

Joining a homeowners’ association can be an added perk of living in certain communities. In essence, a homeowners’ association allows a community to agree to share the costs of the extra benefits of living in said community.

HOAs are common in gated neighborhoods with special accommodations like a pool, tennis courts, regular lawn service, and more. They can also afford greater security and fund neighborhood maintenance problems that may arise.

With shared community amenities, a local body to keep the neighborhood uniform and safe, and a community fund to help with issues around the neighborhood, HOAs provide a kind of safety umbrella for neighborhood members.

HOAs can make a neighborhood more pleasant and livable by allowing for shared

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Utilizing renewable energy is a great way to both lower your bills and reduce stress on the environment. Through some high and no-so-high-tech methods, there are more and more ways to efficiently save and even create energy.

Residential Solar Panels

As the efficiency of solar power technology increases and costs of installation decrease, more homeowners are adding electricity-producing panels on their roofs. Doing so often allows users to sell their surplus power back to their utility company and recoup their panel investment even faster.

With government entities sweetening the deal with tax credits and subsidized rebates, many homeowners are saying ‘yes’ to producing their power.

Smart Energy

Thanks to technologies like super-efficient

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Selling your home requires more than simply sticking a "For Sale" on the front curb and hoping for the best. With a little bit of work and some affordable enhancements, you could be saving yourself loads of time and money in the long run. The last thing any seller wants is for their home to linger in the market for too long and become stale, so here are a few easy ways to get your home in great shape and ready to please prospective buyers.

 

DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF CURB APPEAL
Before a buyer sets foot in your door, they have to pass through the front yard first. As with many things in life, making a good first-impression is the first barrier to successfully showing your home. That initial impression will be hard to change unless the

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There are lots to consider when buying a vacation home. Check out our three keys to help you in your search. Our team is ready to answer your questions. Give us a call at (231) 459-3179 or email Brook, brook@nmescapes.com.

 

1. Consider the cost—and whether you can afford it
Unless you purchase your vacation property with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage—typically, a downpayment of 10-20% is required. You’ll also need to meet minimum credit and debt-to-income standards, and provide documents for asset and income verification. 

2. Think: location, location, location
Lakefront cottage? Beachside condo? Cabin in the woods? Know what you’re looking for, then get to know the area.

Bonus tip:

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Experience the thrill of zooming through the trees on our Zipline Adventure Tour, race your friends on the Twin Zip Ride, or explore the ambiance of Northern Michigan from the saddle! The only thing you need to bring is yourself and your sense of adventure, Boyne will provide the rest. 

Your adventure starts at Boyne's Adventure Center, located in The Village. The guides at Boyne's Adventure Center will take you from the treetops to the trails, and help plan a whole day of fun for your family. 

Zipline Adventure
Feel what it's like to fly at speeds of 20-25 mph on lines up to 50 feet in the air and 780 feet in length. The adventure begins at the top of the mountain and routes you through trees and across the

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If you’re shopping for a new home to lease or purchase in Northern Michigan, you may wonder whether homeowner’s associations are worth your while.

It’s usually easy to educate yourself about what specific HOA communities provide and allow. Before taking the financial plunge, take some time to learn about what Northern Michigan HOA communities offer.

To some, the benefits of having a quality HOA far outweigh the fees and restrictions. Paying a simple, recurring fee can mean time saved from menial tasks, more fun activities to do around your community and no obscure-looking houses or fences that are a blight on the surrounding community, spoiling the immaculate beauty of the rest of the neighborhood.

On the other hand, some believe HOA

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We’ve all noticed it; the icy cool breezes, the flecks of snow on the lawn, and the need for an extra layer outside. While we might not like to admit it, Winter is just around the corner. Just like you’d get your vehicle ready for the weather ahead, there are some things that homeowners can do to ensure their home doesn’t turn into an ice palace when the temperatures drop.

Getting your home ready for winter doesn’t have to cost much, and each little improvement can help save expensive fixes and wasted energy, saving you time and money in the long-run.

Here’s how you can get your Northern Michigan home in tip-top condition this Winter:

REVERSE THE CEILING FAN

It’s something incredibly simple but it can make a considerable difference.

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The tax filing deadline is quickly approaching. If you own a home, here are some important residential tax-saving incentives you should not miss:

Residential Energy Tax Credits

  • Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit - Taxpayers may take a credit up to 30% of qualified solar, wind, geothermal and fuel cell property improvements. This includes labor costs to assemble, build, and connect the equipment. The credit is capped at $500 per one-half kilowatt of capacity purchased.
     
  • Non-Business Energy Property Credit - Taxpayers may take credit for 10% of the qualifying costs to improve energy-efficiency for the non-business property. Qualified improvements include adding insulation, energy-efficient windows/doors, or energy-efficient
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A Guide for Getting Started

Vacation rental homes are spiking in popularity and for good reason. A 2016 HomeAway survey showed that 70% of vacation rental homeowners could pay at least half the mortgage on their vacation home from the rental income it generates. For owners who work with professional property managers, the cashflow benefits may be even greater.

Investing in a vacation home that’s also a vacation rental can create a best-of-both-worlds scenario: You get to enjoy downtime in one of your favorite locations while getting an income-generating property that helps pay for itself. Full-service vacation rental management companies like Northern Michigan Escapes make life even easier by booking and communicating with guests while also managing

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Natural disasters, theft, and other home security problems can arise no matter the technology or attention that you give to your home. But preparing your home with practical safety measures is a powerful way to enhance the safety of your family, and alleviate the problem or damages these incidents cause.

Northern Michigan isn’t exactly the most dangerous place to live in the U.S., but even the safest places on earth are far from perfect. Theft, fire, and weather are a possibility no matter where you turn. Those who desire more safety for their family can easily improve their security with a few intentional investments of time or money.

Here are a few ways to improve the safety of your Northern Michigan home:

1. Always Give The Appearance Of

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