Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Programs Available for First-Time Michigan Homebuyers

Governor Granholm today announced the restoration of a federal tax credit program along with new programs that will give Michigan residents an unprecedented opportunity to purchase affordable homes through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). “These innovative programs will help Michigan citizens achieve the American Dream of home ownership,” Granholm said.

If you’re on the market for a new Ann Arbor home or downtown Ann Arbor condominium, this summer is the perfect time to find an Ann Arbor realtor and talk with him or her about what you’re looking for in a home. Browse listings online to narrow down the houses or condos you’re interested in, then tour the homes with your realtor. With the new funding assistance programs, now is a great time to purchase.

The first program offers new enhancements to MSHDA’s existing Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA). Income limits have been increased to parallel single-family income limits, improving a potential homebuyer’s ability to qualify for DPA loans. Homebuyers may also take advantage of the first-time homebuyer $8,000 federal tax credit provided for under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. MSHDA recently issued bonds totaling more than $300 million that will generate the money to fund the DPA and other single-family mortgage loan programs. Interest rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is 6.25 percent.

The second program is the federal Michigan Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program that has been resurrected following a three-year hiatus and allows a tax credit of 20 percent of the interest a borrower pays during the term of a home mortgage.

Two other programs have also been created that have allocated $10 million dollars to assist new buyers purchasing foreclosed or abandoned homes. The programs are temporary while funding is available.

According to MSHDA Executive Director Keith Molin, said, “There are people out there who can and want to buy a home. We are just being responsive to the needs expressed by the people of Michigan and providing the necessary tools to make it happen.”

Full details of these programs are available on MSHDA’s Web site: Once at the site click on Homeownership on the left hand side of the home page.

Co-housing Film at Library Tonight

The Ann Arbor Public Library is hosting a discussion on “co-housing,” a movement in which communities design and build neighborhoods that are sustainable and affordable. A film entitled “Designing a Great Neighborhood,” will be shown at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor district library at 7 p.m. tonight.

The movie chronicles the process of designing and building "Holiday Neighborhood," a sustainable, affordable residential and commercial development in Boulder, Colorado. After the movie, members of Ann Arbor’s co-housing community will lead a discussion on co-housing, neighborhoods, and the things that make Ann Arbor a great place to live and work. The public is invited to attend and learn about the co-housing movement, and how it can be applied in Michigan.

Ann Arbor real estate offers home buyers many options- from downtown Ann Arbor condos to Ann Arbor homes in the suburbs of the city. Summer is a great time of year to search for a new home, and the co-housing film might spark some ideas of what you’re looking for in a new neighborhood.

There are many resources available to first-time home buyers, including mortgages offered through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and first-time home buyer credits given by the federal government. With these incentives available right now, this is a great time to purchase a home. Happy house hunting!

Image courtesy Flickr: Eric Livak-Dahl

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Liberty Lofts as viewed from Ashley Terrace in Downtown Ann Arbor

Liberty Lofts as viewed facing south, from Ashley Terrace condominiums in downtown Ann Arbor. Two of Ann Arbor's finest downtown condominium developments. Liberty Lofts features true loft condominiums in an old factory building. Ashley Terrace is Ann Arbor's newest downtown high rise condominium building featuring@100 luxury condominiums with secure underground parking.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Historic Ann Arbor Home in Downtown Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor home
Originally uploaded by Andypiper
Beautiful historic Ann Arbor home located at 538 North Division Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Now a law office - Ferguson & Widmayer, PC Beautiful late afternoon sun. In the day, you would have had an exellent view of the train station and the Huron River from your font porch. Still have the view, but not quite as serene.
Ann Arbor real estate

Ann Arbor Open House - 695 Vine Ct Hosted by Diane Byrne

695 Vine Ct Ann Arbor MI
Originally uploaded by Andypiper
Open Sunday 1 to 3 pm. Hosted by Diane Byrne

695 Vine Court - Ann Arbor Real Estate for Sale. Virtual tour at

1436 SqFt +500s qft Finished Lower Level 3 Bedroom 2.1 Bath 2-Story Contemporary Home.

Offered for sale at $249,900

Newer contemporary home on Ann Arbor's North West side close to Parks, Downtown & Freeway Access. Open Floor plan with Great Room & Dining. Loads of Windows throughout. Gorgeous cabinetry in the Kitchen and Baths. 3 Bedrooms including a Master Suite

Finished Daylight Lower Level has a great Family/Rec Room.

Nice Landscaping all around. *Easy walk to Abbot Elementary & Hollywood Park, Maple Road & Westgate Shopping Centers, and Vets Park with Swimming Pools--Toddler Pool w/Splash park and Deeper Lap Pool with Slide, Softball Fields, Tennis Courts, Ice Skating & Huge Sledding Hill, Indoor Gym & more!

* Built in 2000
* Open Floor plan with Great Room & Dining
* 3 Bedrooms including a Master Suite
* Beautiful Cabinetry in Kitchens & Bath
* Newer Carpet, Move-in-Ready home.
* Finished Daylight LL with Family Room & Wide Window
* Acclaimed Ann Arbor schools - Abbot, Forsythe, Pioneer & NEW Skyline High School.
* Ann Arbor's Northwest side, minutes to downtown.

Call Andy Piper Today at (734) 604-8242!
Ann Arbor real estate listings

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Westside Ann Arbor Home Open House Sunday 1-3pm

1210 Newport Ann Arbor MI
Originally uploaded by Andypiper
1210 Newport Road, Ann Arbor MI. Open Sunday 1 to 3pm. Hosted by Steve Wickland.

Stop by and see this beautiful contemporary 3 bedroom ranch with a huge 9 foot deep daylight basement. Walk to Wines Elementary. Walk or bike to downtown Ann Arbor.

Features include:
  • Large covered front porch with porch swing.
  • Large open deck in back.
  • custom craftsmanship throughout.
  • stone fireplace.
  • large windows- flooded with daylight.
  • Master bedroom-bathroom suite with walk in closet.
  • Mahogany front door and trim.
  • Walk to Wines Elementary.
  • Near Bird Hills Park and the Huron River for biking and hiking.
  • Minutes to downtown.
  • Features and price you won't find on the old westside but still near everything.

This home beats anything available on the old west side in Ann Arbor for quality and utility at this price. See over 30 photos on Flickr

For a virtual tour 1210 Newport Road, Ann Arbor visit

Roos Roast-Local Ann Arbor coffee at the Art Fair

Roos Roast set up in front of Good Time Charley's on South University in Downtown Ann Arbor was serving up wicked shots of espresso for $1 at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. I had a doube and it was just what I needed. You can find Roos Roast coffee at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market or online.
Andy Piper-

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ten Tips for Conquering the Ann Arbor Art Fair

The Ann Arbor Art Fair, which begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday, brings art from all around the country to Ann Arbor. With four fairs to explore downtown, short of dedicating the entire rest of this week to browsing through blocks and blocks of art booths- which really isn’t a bad idea- you’ll want a plan for enjoying every minute of the delightful zaniness that is the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Whether you are one of many visitors coming from far-away lands or a native A2’er living in a downtown Ann Arbor Condo, these tips for enjoying the fair will help you navigate this week with ease and enjoyment.

1. Wear comfortable shoes. Shuttle buses are being offered from nearby Briarwood Mall and Pioneer High School parking lots, but you’ll still do quite a good bit of walking once you get downtown. Leave your Jimmy Choos at home and wear some sensible walking shoes.

2. Plan ahead for parking. Check the Art Fair’s website for a map of the fair location and available parking places. If you have friends who live in an Ann Arbor home near the Art Fair, invite them to go with you. Hey- their house would be a great spot to park your car!

3. Stay hydrated. This week promises to be warm and sunny, so make sure you’re drinking enough water to keep you body cool. Sports drinks and fruits and vegetables full of water, such as watermelon and cucumber, are other tasty ways to stay hydrated.

4. Bring a shopping tote. Toss a small, expandable tote into your pocket or purse, and use it to carry home all the treasures you found that day. Not only is there amazing art for sale, but many downtown retailers offer special sales during the event. Pop into stores downtown to take advantage of their air conditioning and to browse the merchandise as well.

5. Pace yourself. Don’t try to visit every single booth in the first hour. Browse for a few hours, then take a break at a restaurant or café, enjoy a cool drink and a bite to eat, and get rejuvenated before you head back out. If you can swing it, enjoy the fair over a couple of days. Come one evening and browse the booths after an early dinner downtown. Come in the morning one day and enjoy lighter crowds.

6. Wear comfortable clothes. Light colored clothes are going to keep you cooler than dark clothes. Check the forecast before you go, and pack an umbrella or a lightweight plastic poncho if clouds are slated to roll through. If you do encounter a sprinkle, duck into a café or downtown shop for a coffee and some indoors shopping until the sun peeks back out. Wear a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes. Don’t forget sunscreen.

7. Don’t be surprised by the crowds. The fair annually draws about 50,000 attendees, so there will be a lot of people milling around the booths. Try visiting in the morning when crowds are generally a bit lighter. If you’re bringing a baby or small child, consider the logistics of navigating a stroller versus using a baby carrier.

8. Keep your kids entertained by visiting the Imagination Stations and the Kid Zone, which all offer fun crafts to give your children a hands-on approach to art. Check out a fun band or dance performance, then top of the day with a stop for ice cream or a cupcake from Cake Nouveau.

9. Set a meeting place in case you split up from your friends. Preferably someplace with shade and cool drinks, setting a meeting time and place gives you the flexibility to browse one block while your friend checks out another block, and you can rendezvous with them to check out each other’s purchases and compare notes over lunch.

10. Stash a bit of cash in your pocket, along with your checkbook and credit card, so you’ll be prepared when you stumble across that absolute must-have piece of artwork that is going to look amazing on your wall.

Image courtesy Flickr: Ifmuth

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fun Events around Town this Weekend

This weekend holds the promise of blue skies and sunshine, so get outside and enjoy our city. Washtenaw County is hopping with Elvis Fest, the Saline Celtic Festival, and even a class on pickling green beans! With so many events to choose from, you’re sure to find something that’s close to your Ann Arbor home. Enjoy a peanut butter, bacon (or tofu-bacon) and banana sandwich, in honor of the King of Rock and Roll, while you check out these ideas of fun things to do this weekend around town.

Saturday, July 11

Class: Pickling green beans
The author of the blog, Cynthia, will teach marketgoers at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market how to pickle green beans. This is a great opportunity to learn a technique that can be used to preserve all sorts of delicious vegetables that are fresh right now. Stop by market between 8 and 10 a.m. to join in the fun. The demonstration will be taking place near the market office.

10th Annual Elvisfest: Ypsilanti Depot Town Association
Thousands annually celebrate the memory of the Man from Memphis at this festival highlighted by performances by 10 professional Elvis tribute artists from around the nation, including Ontario singer Stephen Kabakos, English singer Mario Kombou, 12-year-old female singer Demi Downing, and others. They are backed by the Change of Habit Tribute Band. Imitators of Elton John, Tom Jones, and Ricky Nelson will also perform. Sale of Elvis memorabilia, raffles, door prizes, concessions, and a beer tent. Bring folding chairs. A gospel hour (2-3 p.m.), a candlelight vigil (time TBA, BYOC) that commemorates the 32nd anniversary of Elvis's death, and kids activities (noon-6 p.m.), including face painting, clowns, stilt walkers, a costume contest, and more. Riverside Park near Depot Town, Ypsilanti. Tickets $20 at the gate. Kids age 12 & younger, free. 483-4444, 544-3800.

13th Annual Saline Celtic Festival: City of Saline
Saline's celebration of its sister city, Brecon, Wales starts with competitive Highland dance (9:30 a.m.) and the North American Full-Contact Jousting Championship (noon). Children's events: a "Wee Folks" area with games, crafts, music, and a kids' parade (4 p.m.). Musical events: 3 different stages feature Celtic song and dance. This year's headliner is Tartanic (3:30, 6:30, & 8:30 p.m.), a kilt-clad Houston band that plays pop, rock, and traditional Celtic tunes on Highland bagpipes and drums. Also, many other local and visiting Celtic music bands, pipe and drum bands, and dance ensembles, plus local favorites the Chelsea House Orchestra and Saline's Fiddlers ReStrung. Other features: a Viking encampment, historical reenactment troupes, jousting by knights in full armor, demonstrations by the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a birds of prey demo, and a display of shaggy Highland cattle and Celtic canines. Food tents, beer tents, clan tents, sale of imported and handmade crafts, and a parade from Liberty School to Mill Pond Park at 10 a.m. No pets. 9:30 a.m.-midnight, Mill Pond Park, end of W. Bennett St., west of Ann Arbor St., Saline. Tickets $15 at the gate. Children 12 & under with adult admitted free. 944-2810.

57th Annual Summer Carnival: Ann Arbor Jaycees
July 9-12. Carnival games, adult & kid rides, a wing eating contest, and a petting farm. Food concessions. Pioneer High School parking lot, 601 W. Stadium at S. Main. Free admission. 1-11 p.m. 913-9629.

Sunday, July 12

"29th Annual Gallup Gallop": Ann Arbor Track Club
A 5-km run and 3-mile fitness walk around Gallup Park and a 1-mile run along the Gallup Park bike path. Medal to overall male and female winners of each race, and awards to top 3 finishers in the 5-km run in various age divisions. T-shirts (guaranteed for advance registrants only). (mile run) & 9 a.m. (3-mile walk & 5 km run), Gallup Park canoe livery, 3000 Fuller Rd. (west side of Huron Pkwy.), $25 (5-km run) & $20 (walk & mile run). 8:30 a.m. 332-9129.

29th Annual Huron River Day: Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation
This popular annual festival features lots of family-oriented nature activities, including educational exhibits on the Huron River and its history, the Huron-Clinton Metropark traveling nature center, displays of live river animals, storytelling and other activities for kids, fishing, a show of classic small boats, music by WCC jazz bands, and more. Barbecue available from Smoke House Blues. $5 canoe and kayak rentals. Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Rd. (both sides of Huron Pkwy.). Free admission. Noon-4 p.m.
662-9319, 997-1719.

57th Annual Summer Carnival: Ann Arbor Jaycees
July 9-12. Carnival games, adult & kid rides, a wing eating contest, and a petting farm. Food concessions. Pioneer High School parking lot, 601 W. Stadium at S. Main. Free admission. Noon-6 p.m. 913-9629.

Image courtesy Flickr: Jtosh

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Forbes Ranks Pure Michigan Among Best Tourism Campaigns

Forbes Magazine recently ranked the “Pure Michigan” campaign among the 10 best all-time tourist campaigns. The campaign promotes Michigan as a beautiful place to come and vacation, and the advertisement is clearly working. The Pure Michigan campaign was ranked 6th best by Forbes.

Governor Jennifer Granholm spoke about the tourist campaign, saying, “The showcasing of Michigan’s vast beauty, from our world-class beaches to top-ranked golf courses, creates local business activity and jobs for our workers. This campaign is helping travelers choose Michigan.”

The Pure Michigan campaign showcases the beauty of the Great Lakes State- our golf courses, big cities, beaches, forests, art and shopping. The campaign appeared on national network cable channels, and according to Travel Michigan, a business unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, has been tremendously successful in drawing visitors to our state.

George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, said, “This award-winning campaign has produced a dramatic increase in the number of travelers seeking Michigan tourism information.” For each dollar Michigan spent on out-of-state advertising from 2004 through 2008, new visits to Michigan stimulated by that advertising created more than $40 of spending at Michigan businesses and generated $2.86 in new state tax collections.

“There are millions of Americans who know little or nothing about the vibrancy, heritage, culture, arts and entertainment in our great cities, our sandy beaches and stunning overlooks along America’s longest fresh-water coastline, or the majesty and recreation in our 19 million acres of magnificent forests,” Zimmermann said. “The Pure Michigan campaign is designed to introduce to the nation the attributes that make Michigan such a popular and unique destination.”

This campaign highlights all the wonderful reasons we love living in Michigan. And lucky for us, we don’t have to travel far, or even at all, to enjoy the very best of this great state. From our Ann Arbor home, we can easily spend an evening in Detroit, a weekend on Mackinac Island, or an afternoon in Grand Rapids. The beauty of the entire state is at our fingertips, so make time this summer to enjoy…Pure Michigan.

Photo courtesy Flickr: Numstead

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Updated Ann Arbor real estate search pages at

Updated pages on We have updated content on several of our real estate search and community information pages to better serve home buyers and seller in the Ann Arbor, MI area. With over 2000 pages of content, strives to be the leading online resource for Ann Arbor real estate. Please visit the following pages.

Ashley Terrace Condominiums
Downtown Ann Arbor Condominiums
Plymouth Green Crossings
Ann Arbor Schools
Ann Arbor Condominium Communities
Ann Arbor MLS search