The Stonebrook Letter
Vol. 24, No. 5
How’s Real Estate
In the midst of the Covid “social distancing”, real estate sales continue thanks to technology. If this pandemic came 40 years ago, there would be no email offers, no online access to MLS, no key access codes for contractors, no advance settlement sheet reviews sent to buyers and sellers, all of which allow real estate transactions at a social distance.
Everything would have simply shut down.
Thanks to technology, houses continue to sell and Shelby County experienced only a 17% drop in April closings over last year, the first monthly report following the mid-March “social distance” announcement.
April saw 1,359 home sales compared to 1,639 last year. Although sales slowed, the average price was up a whopping 26%, pushing the total $ volume of sales up 5% over 2019. It will be interesting to see if the May sales figures can match April.
Reasons home sales could continue relatively strong this year, include:
1. Mortgage rates in the 3.125% range! They have never been lower.
2. A strong desire to have your own home (and social distance) - versus living in an apartment.
3. Young couples with growing families want to move up to a larger home. Many have substantial equity as prices have risen sharply in the last 5 years. (If they paid $150,000 5 years ago, they are now selling for $210,000 to $225,000.) Their homes are in high demand and will likely sell quickly.
Certainly there are a lot of Covid unknowns that could send the market a different direction. It remains to be seen how real estate will fare.
1011 W. Poplar, Suite 8
I am always challenged to grow a good tomato. A YouTube video by the Michigan Gardener recommends these steps to avoid tomato blight:
1. Single stem. Remove suckers. Remove lower branches to 2 leaf nodes above the first fruit.
2. Defoliate for airflow. Trim limbs pointing to the interior side of the row. Remove limbs that touch or are in the shade. Keep leaves dry, in the sun. (Mold spores in the air need moisture.)
3. Spray every 2 weeks with a baking soda spray. Baking soda changes the pH on the leaf surface and is inhospitable to spores. (He recommends 2 Tbsp. baking soda, 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil and squirt of dish soap to 1 gallon water.)
New Freeman Park Pavilion
The $2 million Keith McDonald Pavilion is scheduled to open in July. The Bartlett Farmer’s Market should flourish at this new site, with increased visibility and excellent parking. More than half a football field in length, the building measures 32’ wide by 157’ long and will accommodate up to 30 vendor vehicles. A concession and restroom building anchors the west end. Expect this to be a big success for Bartlett!
Thought for the Month
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
— Sophia Loren
Guilt-free Banana Bread … no flour!
2 large bananas
Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly spray 8 x 8 pan or loaf pan. Mash bananas in large bowl with a fork. Add the yogurt and eggs and mix well. Mix together the ground oats, whole oats, salt, baking powder and baking soda and add to liquids. Blend well. Add the vanilla and mix in. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave in pan to cool.
(I like to add almond extract as a “sweetener”.)