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Real Estate: What is the difference between a detached condo and a site condo?

Q: My Dad passed away in January and my Mom passed many years ago. I need to sell their home. Dad had his hobbies and there is a lot of stuff besides the normal furniture, clothes etc… My husband and I still work full time jobs (not retired yet). With only limited time available to work at the house, it will take us a long time to go through everything and empty it out. This doesn’t take into consideration anything that should be done to the house before putting it up for sale. I don’t want to make a second career out of this. We need help; any suggestions?

A: This is a position that many find themselves in more often than you’d think. There may be items you want to keep, items that are keepsakes, valuable or collectable, items that are saleable and definitely items that belong in the trash. I can’t speak for what other agents do, but I can tell you what I do for clients listing their inherited home with me. I first recommend taking out the things you or family members want, leaving what you don’t want. I know reputable estate sale companies that will come in and organize a sale, but be aware that depending what you have, they may not be interested in doing an estate sale. Also, another stumbling block with estate sales is that it will cost you money to have all the items removed that did not sell at the estate sale. I have seen numerous times where a check has to be written out to the estate sales company because what sold did not cover the cost of removal.

I also have a thrift / resale store that will come in and empty out the house at no charge and sometimes pay you for some of the items. For the hobbyist who have model trains, model cars etc. I know reputable dealers who will come in and pay cash at a fair market price and remove those items so you don’t have to. When it comes to possible repairs that need to be done before putting it on the market I have handymen, electricians, roofers etc… who have helped many of my clients that I can recommend. This approach prevents a lot of stress/anxiety.

It can also save you time and money; remember, a vacant house or condo can be a financial burden. You still have to pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, mortgage (if one exists) and possibly home owner’s association dues. I have witnessed family members of deceased love ones taking 7-9 months or longer to go through things and organize their own garage sale to make $1,000 not realizing that the monthly overhead for taxes, insurance, monthly association fees and utilities was costing them $675 per month (they lost over $4,000).

Q: My wife and I are looking to sell our house and buy a condo. We are not clear as to the difference between a detached condo and a site condo. Are they the same thing?
A: Often Buyers buy this type of property and really don’t know what they bought because no one explained it to them correctly. I have even witnessed builder’s sales people explain it wrong. Here’s the simple explanation. Detached condos look like houses; however, no land/lot goes with the property. Everything outside the walls of the condo is common area. Site condos look like houses and include the land/lot it sits on with the ownership of the condo.

Market Update: February’s market update for Macomb County and Oakland County’s housing market is as follows. In Macomb County prices were up by more than 8% and Oakland County prices were up by more than 9% for the month. Residential home/condo on market inventory was down again. Macomb County’s on market inventory was down by more than 7% and Oakland County’s on market inventory was down by almost 24%. Macomb County average days on market was 28 days and Oakland County average days on market was 30 days. Closed sales in Macomb County were down by almost 7% and closed sales in Oakland County were down by almost 13%. The closed sales are down as a direct result of the continued low inventory.

Demand still remains high. We are currently averaging around a one-month supply of homes for sale; a six-month supply is considered a balanced supply. (All comparisons are month to month, year to year.)

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Real Estate

Central banks end crisis-fighting measure as bank tumult recedes

Last month, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the second-largest bank failure in US history, unleashed broader panic and raised fears the global financial system would seize up. Now, central banks are signaling that their immediate concerns have eased.

The Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank said Tuesday that they would end daily measures to boost the flow of US dollars to lenders around the world. They cited “improvements in US dollar funding conditions” and “low demand” at recent operations aimed at providing liquidity.

Starting May 1, those operations will once again be held weekly, a decision made in consultation with the US Federal Reserve, the primary source of dollars. The frequency could increase again if needed, the four central banks said.

“These central banks stand ready to readjust the provision of US dollar liquidity as warranted by market conditions,” they said in their statements.

Policymakers sprung into action in March after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the United States sparked an acute bout of turmoil in the global banking sector. The tumult also nearly took down Credit Suisse (CS), a globally important but troubled bank, forcing Swiss authorities to arrange an emergency sale to rival UBS (UBS).

Hours after the Credit Suisse takeover was announced, the Fed said it would work with central banks in the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Switzerland and the European Union to make sure lenders there had access to the dollar liquidity they needed.

That meant making greater use of dollar swap lines, or agreements between the Fed and other central banks to provide dollars in exchange for, say, euros or yen.

Swap lines are a key instrument in central banks’ toolbox aimed at preserving financial stability and keeping credit flowing to households and businesses.

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Real Estate

Fukushima’s fishing industry survived a nuclear disaster. 12 years on, it fears Tokyo’s next move may finish it off

It is still morning when Kinzaburo Shiga, 77, returns to Onahama port after catching a trawler full of fish off Japan’s eastern coast.

But the third-generation fisherman won’t head straight to market. First, he’ll test his catch for radiation.

It’s a ritual he’s repeated for more than a decade since a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011, spewing deadly radioactive particles into the surrounding area.

Radiation from the damaged nuclear plant leaked into the sea, prompting authorities to suspend fishing operations off the coast of three prefectures that had previously provided Japan with half of its catch.

That ban lasted over a year, and even after it was lifted, Fukushima-based fishermen like Shiga were for years mostly limited to collecting samples for radioactivity tests on behalf of the state-owned electricity firm Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, rather than taking their catches to market.

Ocean currents have since dispersed the contaminated water enough that radioactive cesium is nearly undetectable in fish from Fukushima prefecture. Japan lifted its last remaining restrictions on fish from the area in 2021, and most countries have eased import restrictions.

Shiga and others in the industry thought they’d put the nightmare of the past years behind them.

So when Japan followed through on plans to gradually release more than 1 million metric tons of filtered wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from the summer of 2023 – an action the government says is necessary to decommission the plant safely – the industry reeled.

The Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations body promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy, say the controlled release, which is expected to take decades, will meet international safety regulations and not harm the environment, as the water will be treated to remove radioactive elements – with the exception of tritium – and diluted more than 100 times.

But with the deadline for the planned water release looming this summer, Fukushima’s fishermen fear that – whether the release is safe or not – the move will undermine consumer confidence in their catches and once again threaten the way of life they have fought so hard to recover.

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Real Estate

Video shows US police at wrong house before shooting homeowner

Robert Dotson, 52, was killed by police on April 5 in New Mexico after officers responding to a domestic violence report arrived at the wrong house.

New Mexico police officers realised they were at the wrong address just moments before the front door opened and they fatally shot the armed homeowner, then exchanged gunfire with his wife, according to newly released body camera video of the April 5 shooting.

Robert Dotson, 52, was killed in Farmington, a city of 47,000 people in the southwestern US state, after officers on their way to a domestic violence call went to the wrong house.

The Farmington Police Department released several videos on Friday, including footage captured by body cameras worn by the three officers who fired their weapons.

“All of us – the men and women of the Farmington Police Department – recognise the severity of this incident,” Police Chief Steven Hebbe said in a statement.

“Once again, we wish to express our condolences to the Dotson family, and as your chief of police, I wish to convey how very sorry I am that this tragedy occurred,” Hebbe said.

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