Ann Arbor Homes and Real Estate Update
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Posted by Andy Piper at 10:09 AM
Thursday, November 14, 2013
While it’s true that families traditionally plan their moves around their children’s summer vacations, several emerging catalysts are influencing a somewhat unknown trend: winter is a great time to buy or sell your home.
With the baby boomer generation retiring from the workforce and families finally unburdening themselves from a period of financial restriction brought on by the recession, a fresh crop of highly motivated buyers and sellers is rejuvenating the marketplace year-round. Additionally, recent data from Ann Arbor real estate team Piperpartners finds that the average amount of time a home spent on the market in Washtenaw County dropped from 62 days to 39 days between September 2012 and September 2013. In a market that competitive, many people looking to buy were forced into a holding pattern over the spring and summer months. Not confined by the academic school year, these buyers are ready to jump on the next great listing.
|Average days a home spent on the market in Washtenaw County between Sept. 2012-Sept. 2013|
Many sellers, assuming a drop in buyer activity during the holidays or choosing to not deal with the pressures of real estate during such a busy time of year, will shelve their listing until the spring. Those with property on the market through January will face fewer competing property listings. And while home affordability is currently at an all-time high, trends indicate that prices will begin increasing into 2014. Educated buyers know this, so sellers can expect a spike in activity among serious buyers between now and the end of the year.
|Number of properties sold each month are on the rise, a trend that we expect to continue into 2014|
As we move into the 2013 holiday season, do not let old real estate myths put a freeze on your home buying or selling plans. Savvy sellers will face less competition for a still-strong pool of buyers during this period. And if the right home goes on the market in mid-December, a serious buyer — and there will be a lot of them — will take note.
Posted by Michal Miller at 12:36 PM
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Today Clothing is Ann Arbor's newest menswear shop, opened by Eric Hardin and Kevin Pearson, both veterans in the fashion industry. Each owner brings incredible style, years of experience, and a passion for quality clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Patrons often comment that they feel like they’ve been transported to Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles - the store itself is a destination. The shop’s chic, clean style is unique to Ann Arbor and sets Today apart. The boutique has been carefully designed locally-made poured-concrete tables, over-dyed vintage rugs, and a gorgeous industrial space.
Unique, Quality Brands
Along with meticulous design, every item, product, and brand has been selected with great thought and care. “We try to choose items we like, that we would wear and use,” Hardin says. They also ensure they choose items that will age well, for customers to wear and use for many years. From apparel to shoes, and even accessories, there is care taken in each selection. Patrons will find classic pieces, remixed with bright colors, modern and contemporary flair, and high-end design. Every piece in the store is special - whether its a woven leather shoe, a dress shirt detailed with leather, or a classic wool blanket with an American history.
Kevin and Eric have curated a unique and beautiful collection of items and brands that highlight craftsmanship, creativity, and design. The selection includes local designers and artisans - Goest Perfume. The store has also worked with American designers and manufacturers to bring quality, fair-trade items.
The owners have also selected a small collection of brands and up-and-coming European designers who all bring clean and modern sensibilities to classic pieces.
For many of these European brands, Today is their first US location. They feature famous brands including Apolis, Levi's Vintage, Tanner, Steven Alan, Philson, and Wolverine Shoes (largely made in Michigan). Younger brands that are featured include AXS Folk Technology, Unmarked, and ISAORA.
A Community Experience
Beyond impeccable style, Today Clothing is warm and inviting. The staff and owners are happy to talk with anyone who walks in and help them find the perfect pieces. They love to tell patrons about other stores and businesses they enjoy -- Literati Bookstore is just across the street and they are excited to talk about an upcoming womenswear store that will be launching two doors down.
Kevin and Eric know the history and background of every item in the store; it’s amazing to see them at work. Any shirt, jacket, pair of shoes - they can tell you a story.
Visitors to the store will see a new t-shirt hanging behind the counter every day, printed with the date, one-of-a-kind. Eric and Kevin were inspired by artist On Kawara, a conceptual artist known for painting the date, to create something for Today.
This is unique feature to the store invites you to interact and become part of their community. What better way to mark a special occasion than to commemorate it with a completely unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art?
Perfect for Winter and Holiday Shopping
Situated on Fourth Avenue, just a block from Main Street and a quick walk from State Street, the store is perfectly walkable for residents and students in the area. The store has been gaining in popularity, getting more and more visitors and locals to venture beyond Main Street to enjoy Ann Arbor's many unique offerings.
Today offers a variety of stylish, quality winter coats, boots, hats, and accessories.
Events at Today Clothing
On December 1st, the store will launch a special art installation from local artists who will be creating hand-numbered, “art-meets-commerce” art pieces right in the store. Pearson explains, “There are a lot of creative people in this town, and it’s nice to create a space in retail for [artists] who wouldn’t normally have a spot like this to show their interesting [work].” Today Clothing will keep rotating installations of art, collections, designers, music, and more; all focused on highlighting local talent.
Today will also participate in Ann Arbor’s annual holiday shopping event - Midnight Madness on December 6th. Hardin promises, “It will be well worth your while.”
215 S 4th Ave
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Hilary and Michael Gustafson are building a community of readers in Ann Arbor with their bookstore, Literati. The town has long been known for its literary culture formed by writers, readers, students, and academics. The University of Michigan helps Ann Arbor attract a rich community of scholars and writers who inspire each other and the city around them. That is what Literati Bookstore aims to enhance and enliven with their downtown store.
Literati may not be Ann Arbor's only bookstore, but they are the only general, new bookstore in the walkable downtown area. Nicola's Books offers great independent press books. West Side Book Shop offers beautiful antique and used books. Aunt Agatha’s sells mystery and detective novels, Vault of Midnight offers anything a comic lover could want, and a handful of other stores offer specialized selections and used books. All of that adds to Ann Arbor’s strong culture of readers, but Literati is the first general bookshop to open since the town lost two other major stores a few years ago. Literati’s owners have carefully curated a wide selection of fiction, poetry, children’s books, non-fiction, local favorites, young adult, mystery, fantasy, and more. Literati has it all.
Literati opened its doors in April, 2013 and quickly found that Ann Arbor was just as welcoming as they had hoped. As co-owner Michael Gustafson put it, “The difference was a punctuation mark… When we told people anywhere else that we were opening a bookstore, they’d say, ‘A bookstore?’ But when we told people in Ann Arbor, they’d always say, ‘A bookstore!’” Michael and Hilary knew Ann Arborites would be excited about their business, and they were hoping that excitement would make their big investment a big success.
Building a Community
They certainly have tapped into that excitement by creating a space that lets their customers interact with each other and engage with their books. They’ve placed Scrabble tiles for patrons to leave little messages to each other and the store. The Literati logo is a vintage typewriter, mirroring one of their best touches - an open typewriter that is always loaded with blank paper. Visitors can sit in the colorful basement, enveloped by carefully curated books and write anything they want. People have left poems, epiphanies, confessions, jokes, and even letters on the typewriter that Michael carefully maintains.
Hilary and Michael shared that the local Violin Monster (a very talented violinist who performs on Ann Arbor’s streets in a monster mask) and a young boy named Logan became friends through the typewriter. For weeks, they exchanged messages, and a friendship formed. Logan is now the official Violin Monster Junior - violin and all.
The Perfect Place for a Small Business
Ann Arbor is more than a literary community; it is a city that strives to support local entrepreneurs and business owners. “People are really into buying local here - they really want to support their local businesses,” says Hilary Gustafson, co-owner. As the owners have seen, people in Ann Arbor are excited to shop local, stay local, and talk local. That is part of why Hilary and Michael strive to involve so many local authors by holding readings and talks in the store’s basement.
Megan Levad, MFA, is the Associate Director of the University of Michigan MFA Program and the Director of the Zell Visiting Writers Series. She recently gave a reading at Literati and said of the store: “I think that Literati has done a great job already of curating their selections for our particular audience--which includes University professors and students, of course, but also a highly literate community of readers who are interested in being challenged by new literature. It is an honor and a joy to share my work with those readers, and I look forward to hearing from other writers in that shared space.”
Readings are almost always well-attended by locals, students, and fellow authors. These readings give local and visiting authors a chance to showcase their talents and personalities, while meeting locals and signing books. Authors like Megan Levad, Doug Trevor, Keith Taylor, and Ray McDaniel give local flavor and bring energy into Literati. The store also brings in children’s authors for fun and interactive activities with their youngest patrons.
The Power of Buying Local
Buying books locally does more than support a single store or a single owner, it affects the community around it. Locals are employed and enjoy the benefits of events, readings, and excitement a store can build. Literati has already employed quite a few locals in their store - even pulling experienced employees from the former Borders and Shaman Drum stores. They are dedicated to having knowledgeable, well-read staff who are always ready to help shoppers find the perfect book.
Literati’s owners have discovered that Ann Arbor is a place where creativity, community, and engagement thrive. Ann Arborites are, in turn, discovering that Literati is a perfect place to continue building a community that is friendly, innovative, and full of ideas.
124 E Washington St - Corner of Fourth Ave & Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104