Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Sunday Fun Run With 3,365 Close Friends

There are several unique Ann Arbor experiences. We have the Art Fair, Zingerman's Corned Beef, Paddle Boating in Gallup Park, breakfast at the Fleetwood, dinner at the Chop House, and several others. There is, however, a (relatively) new experience that has quickly gone to the top of my list as a must-do Ann Arbor experience.

I believe this is the second year for the Big House/ Big Heart 5K and 1K fun run and walk to benefit Mott Childrens Hospital and ALS. Tragically, one of the race organizers was just diagnosed with ALS 60 days ago. It can really make problems seem small when viewed through that lens.

The weather was perfect, there was music in the air, and the obvious highlight of the race, as a participant, was the opportunity to run through the tunnel of the Big House, and finish the race on the field at the 50 yard line as your image is shown on the Jumbo-tron.

I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, I have never participated in a 5K before, but I made the commitment to do this back in January. Going in, my goal was to not finish last, and to just go as fast as I could for as long as I could. I was not able to run the entire time, but I ran more of the course than I thought I could (thanks to Rolling Stones on the MP3), and finished the race with what I feel was a quite respectable 40:50 time.

Anyway, it is a pretty indescribable experience to run down the tunnel of the Big House, with folks at the entryway high-fiving you, and then running to the south end zone, and sprinting up the middle of the field to the finish line, with your fellow runners cheering you on. I cannot wait until next year!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Burns Park Home Sales Year to Date

Periodically, I post a real estate market snapshot for selected neighborhoods in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Today's snapshot is for the Burns Park neighborhood. Burns Park is one of the oldest and most desirable neighborhoods in the area. It is just south and slightly east of the main campus of the University of Michigan. It is home to a large number of student rentals, and several professors and other staff of the University.

The sales statistics for this neighborhood fall pretty close to the overall statistics that I publish each month. As detailed below, in the last year, the average sales price is dropping at about 1.2% per month, which is slightly better than the area average. Here is a bit more detail from a report I ran yesterday from numbers provides by the Ann Arbor Board of Realtors.

Burns Park Home Sales: 2007 - 2008 Comparison Jan 1 - September 23 Totals:

Number of Sales (Units) 2007 YTD: 45
Number of Sales (Units) 2008 YTD: 40
Decrease: 12%

Average List Price YTD 2007: $476,422
Average List Price YTD 2008: $441,713
Decrease: 7.3%

Average Sales Price YTD 2007: $448,612
Average Sales Price YTD 2008: $400,784
Decrease: 10.7%

Sales Price Per Square Foot YTD 2007: $214.84
Sales Price Per Square Foot YTD 2008: $198.80
Decrease: 7.5%

Saturday, September 20, 2008

You're Invited: Big House/ Big Heart Fun Run!

This is an open invitation for all of my friends, associates, networkers, Tweeple, LinkedIn connections, Plaxoites, Plurkers, Powncers, Bright Kiters, MeetUppers and Facebook friends to join me next Sunday for the Big House/ Big Heart Fun Run.

Since I learned about it, I thought it was one of the coolest ideas for a Fundraiser: A no pressure, fun walk/ run where at the end, you run down the tunnel of the University of Michigan Stadium, finish on the 50 yard line, and watch yourself finish on the Jumbotron. All that, plus the money goes to a few great causes.

I will be running with a few friends from my Networking Group, and if the weather cooperates, it will be a great day.

If your interested, shoot me a comment, Tweet, or email to

I hope to see you there!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ann Arbor Condo Sales Report - August 2008

Ann Arbor Condominium sales in August 2008 were down by 32.5% compared to July 2007. Year to date, Condo sales, in units are down by 10.3%, and median sales price is down by 8.5%, or 1.06% per month.

Here are the latest statistics from the Ann Arbor Board of Realtors. These numbers are for Condominiums. Please see earlier post for Single Family Home sales statistics.

Condo Listings in August 2007: 245
Condo Listings in August 2008: 163
Decrease: 32.5%

Condo Listings Y.T.D. 2007: 2,084
Condo Listings Y.T.D. 2008: 1,470
Decrease: 29.5%

Condo Sales Aug 2007: 80
Condo Sales Aug 2008: 54
Decrease: 32.5%

Condo Sales Y.T.D. 2007: 485
Condo Sales Y.T.D. 2008: 435
Decrease: 10.3%

Condo Avg. Days on Market Aug. 2007: 74
Condo Avg. Days on Market Aug. 2008: 80

Condo Avg. Days on Market Y.T.D. 2007: 84
Condo Avg. Days on Market Y.T.D. 2008: 94

Condo Median Sales Price Aug 2007: $147,750
Condo Median Sales Price July 2008: $148,000

Condo Median Sales Price Y.T.D. 2007: $159,000
Condo Median Sales Price Y.T.D. 2008: $145,500
Decrease: 8.5%

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Make Your Plan For Personal Growth

Quick back-story: I'm privileged to be one of the leaders of a local Ann Arbor business networking group called A2 Biz Insights. In my role, I have been publishing a weekly motivational email, which I called the Monday Morning SMART Start. The email was designed to help the members of the group focus on their annual goals in a seven day 'bucket.' The SMART Acronym is in reference to our groups SMART Goals: Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-phased.
About three weeks ago, I decided to make these motivational emails into a blog post. Subsequently, I have heard from a few of my readers who are not members of the networking group, but who seem to enjoy these posts. That said, here is todays entry.

I can't stop thinking about that statistic I quoted in last week's post that 97% of people who have written goals don't actually follow through on them. I plead guilty to sometimes being among that 97%. It is my goal to become one of the 3%. Being in that 3% is the only way to realize your full potential, and the only way to become content with your life.

Continuing to cherry pick from John Maxewell's "Your Road Map for Success," he has a great section on personal growth. He has 10 major principles for growth. Today I am drawn to his #8: Develop a Plan For Growth. Again, the key is in the follow-through. His plan, which I will do this week, is a plan that requires one-hour per-day, for 5 days out of the next 7. I invite you to join me. Maxwell's principle was adapted from Earl Nightengale, who said: "If a person will spend one hour per day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject." What an incredible promise! It shows how far we are capable of going when we have the discipline to make growth a daily practice.

John Maxwell recommends the following growth plan to participants of his Leadership Conferences:

Monday: Spend one hour with a devotional to develop your spiritual life.
Tuesday: Spend one hour listening to a leadership tape.
Wednesday: Spend one hour researching quotes and reflecting on Tuesdays tape.
Thursday: Spend one hour reading a book on leadership.
Friday: Spend another 30 minutes reading the book, and 30 minutes reflecting.

As I've said before, one of my goals is to read one book per week, and listen to one tape per week. If you do that, in 10 years, you will have read over 500 books. How much smarter will you be after you have read 500 books, and listened to 500 tapes!

Make it a plan, make it a daily routine, and have an OUTSTANDING Week!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

August 2008 Ann Arbor Home Sales Market Report

We've heard this song before. August 2008 Ann Arbor real estate market statistics as compared to August 2007 shows the following: Inventory Down 36%; Sales (in units) are down over 6%; and Average Sales price is down by almost 33%. Year To Date, Number of listings are down over 25%; Number of sales, in units, are flat; but over the first 8 months of 2008, the Average Sales Price continues to drop by 1.51% per month.

In my opinion, the key market indicator is the average sales price. The way I look at it, the average sales price needs to flatten out for a period of at least 90 days before we can declare the market as having hit bottom. We're not there yet.

Here are the latest statistics from the Ann Arbor Board of Realtors. These numbers are for Single Family Homes (SFH) Residential, and do not include condominiums:

SFH Listings in August 2007: 1,062
SFH Listings in August 2008: 677
Decrease: 36%

SFH Listings Y.T.D. 2007: 8,536
SFH Listings Y.T.D. 2008: 6,389
Decrease: 25.2%

SFH Sales August 2007: 365
SFH Sales August 2008: 343
Decrease: 6.1%

SFH Sales Y.T.D. 2007: 2,130
SFH Sales Y.T.D. 2008: 2,141
Increase: 0.005%

SFH Avg. Days on Market Aug. 2007: 74
SFH Avg. Days on Market Aug. 2008: 80

SFH Avg. Days on Market Y.T.D. 2007: 76
SFH Avg. Days on Market Y.T.D. 2008: 83

SFH Avg. Sales Price Aug 2007: $283,544
SFH Avg. Sales Price Aug 2008: $218,626
Decrease: 32.9%

SFH Avg. Sales Price Y.T.D. 2007: $254,988
SFH Avg. Sales Price Y.T.D. 2008: $224,287
Decrease: 12.1%

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Plan Now To Make 2009 Your Best Year Ever!

I am making plans for a kick-ass 2009. Both professionally and personally. It begins with a detailed, written plan. It happens with daily commitment, self discipline, and action.

One of my favorite books on goal setting is John Maxwells "Your Road Map for Success." In it, he quotes the famous German Poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who said:

"Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put ones thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world."

I think we are all guilty, to some degree, of being great on the thought part, but fizzling out on the action part. Maxwell sites a survey done by Gregg Harris which shows a pretty dramatic drop-off of those who create goals in comparison to those who actually reach them. In Harris' survey, 67 out of 100 people set goals. Two-thirds. Not bad. However, out of those 67, only 10 had made written plans to reach them. AND, of those 10, only 2 followed through to make them happen. That means that of those with written goals, only 3% actually follow through.

The good news is that even if you have been among the 66% who have goals but are a bit behind in the achievement category (like I am), today is a NEW day, full of hope, sunshine, and God's promise for a brighter future. You CAN achieve virtually anything you truly set your mind to. I have an unwavering faith in that concept.

Our SMART Goal system is solid. Use it, commit to it, work it, achieve it, and help others achieve their goals. Make it a GREAT week!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sep. 2008 Ann Arbor On Market Snapshot

What will the fall market bring in Ann Arbor real estate? Well, the kids are back in school, and those who must sell but have been putting it off now need to get serious. What kind of competition will they face?

As of today, in the immediate Ann Arbor area only, there are 1,036 Single Family Homes and Condominiums on the market, broken down in the following price ranges:

Up to $100K = 53 Units
$100K - $200K = 363
$200 - $300K = 269
$300K - $400K = 110
$400K - $500K = 51
$500K + = 176

There are 33 Single Family Homes, and one Condo listed at over $1 Million in the Ann Arbor area. Topping the list, at an asking price of $5.599 Million is this home in the Barton Hills neighborhood. The pictures with snow give you a hint as to how long it has been on the market, but this home features over 18,000 square feet; 9 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 700 feet of waterfront footage, a guest house, etc., etc. By the way, the property tax bill comes in at just a shade over $23K per year. We can dream, can't we?