Fiber internet is coming to Northern Michigan, and it may help boost home values.

Fiber internet plans rollout

Over a decade ago I had an opportunity to create a rough draft for a business plan
to bring high speed broadband internet to Northern Michigan with the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance. It was called the Northern Michigan Broadband Cooperative, and to be honest, it seemed like a pipe dream. Between the logistics and infrastructure costs I could not see it being an economically feasible plan without significant public funding.

Today, however, the rural Northwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan is already seeing some properties connected to high speed fiber internet, and the network is rapidly growing through a subsidiary of Great Lakes Energy Cooperative called Truestream. For anyone living or thinking of living in an area serviced by Truesteam this is very exciting news, and their plans to expand are huge! Much of the Petoskey area including Alanson are slated to be connected sometime this year, and if all goes well the Harbor Springs, Pellston, and Cross Village areas may soon be next. Check Truestream’s site for planned service areas as well as a 2019 construction update.

So what’s this about home values?

Areas lacking high speed internet are often not a relocation consideration for home buyers or businesses despite being an otherwise desirable place to live and work. According to a study published by the Fiber Broadband Association, values of homes with access to fiber increased 3.1%.

High speed internet is becoming an essential requirement in daily life. We rely on it to stay connected to the world, learn, work, play, and even manage our increasingly “smart” homes through devices like WiFi thermostats and video doorbells. As Americans increasingly work from home, and streaming video services also gain popularity the need for fiber only increases.

Undoubtedly, access to reliable and affordable high speed internet will boost the quality of life for many, and open the door for opportunities we would not otherwise have. It will be very interesting to see how fiber impacts our lives and local economy over the next few years.

Are you excited for fiber? How will it impact your life? Post in the comments below!

Author: Jared Hammond, Managing Associate Broker, REALTOR, Association Manager

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Birchwood Farms Real Estate Sales & Market Update

Birchwood Farms Golf & Country Club has had 27 homes and condos sell as of 10/31/2018 this year; a 13% increase over this time last year. Interestingly, properties took longer to sell yet the gap tightened between listing prices and selling prices.

This is promising news for the Birchwood micro-market; a market that has struggled to recover from the last recession. Trouble may be on the horizon, however, as nationwide sales are at a 3-year low. Low inventory, increasing housing costs, and increasing interest rates have all been cited as reasons for the market slow down. In Birchwood, however, values are still very reasonable which may help sales continue at a steady pace. Buyers and sellers can expect, however, that market forces will eventually catch up to the micro-market.

Speaking of affordable pricing, check out one of the best values in Birchwood at only $199,000 for a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home. Could this be the vacation home you’ve been dreaming of?

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Bay Harbor Real Estate Sales & Market Update October 2018

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) existing home sales have fallen to a 3-year low. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes increasing home prices and rising interest rates as the cause for the sales decline. Meanwhile, the nationwide median existing home sales price increased to $264,800; a 4.2% increase from September 2017. Low housing supply has largely been cited as the primary cause for increasing values, but with sales volume at a 3-year low we may begin to see appreciation slow or decrease until equilibrium has been reached. If the local market follows the nationwide trend we can expect to see decreasing sales prices and longer time on the market before selling in the near future.

In the Bay Harbor Community micro-market median home sales (including condos, single family) were $515,000 as of 10/23/18; down 6% from a year ago. Properties that sold were on the market an average of 238 days. Thirty-eight residences in Bay Harbor have sold so far this year.


All data compiled from NMMLS.

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