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New Buffalo : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying5
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Activity 14
Sun Mar 30, 2014
Paul Zubrys answered:
Yes! Especially if the former owner acquired the property when it's value was much lower.

On March 15, 1994, the voters of Michigan passed a state constitutional amendment known as Proposal A. This proposal created a new term called Taxable Value (TV), or the figure against which millage would be multiplied to determine property taxes.

Proposal A requires that:

Assessments (State Equalized Value or SEV) be calculated yearly at 50% of the true cash value, as determined by 1-2 year studies of market sales that occur during a time frame that is outlined by the State Tax Commission. (2009 assessments were based on a single year study of sales occurring between October 1, 2007 thru September 30, 2008)
Taxable Value (TV) for parcels be determined using a methodology mandated by the State legislature, and which can not be changed by any local community. The calculation formula takes the previous year's taxable value, minus any physical losses to the property, plus any physical additions to the property, multiplied by 5% or the rate of inflation - whichever is less. Rate of inflation is determined by the state (4.4% for 2009).
Proposal A "caps" the growth in TV in those years when market values (Assessed Values) are increasing faster than inflation. Over the course of many years, Proposal A allows many taxpayers to pay property taxes on significantly less than the market value of their property.

Proposal A's Relationship to Housing Market Downturns

As long as the TV of a property remains less than the SEV, TV will increase under Proposal A's formula. If there is a significant gap between the SEV and TV figures for owners, it would take several years of depressed market conditions for the TV to catch up to SEV. Thus, a tax increase could occur for many homeowners even in a market downturn.

Taxable Value Reset Upon Transfer of Property

When property is transferred, the TV is reset or "uncapped" and returned to being the full (SEV) for the following year. This most often results in a new property owner paying higher taxes than the previous owner, who may have been benefitting from many years of capping. Potential buyers should always use SEV when estimating a property's tax liability.
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Tue Mar 4, 2014
dhoworka answered:
No-never a hotel. It is a solid craftsman built and recently expanded and renovated SF home 1/2 block to Lake Michigan and beach.
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Wed Oct 16, 2013
Liz Roch answered:

I will touch base with the listing agent, some of these deals fall apart prior to closing. It has been under contract since 9/26.

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Sat Jun 8, 2013
Liz Roch answered:
303 W Clay is approximately 1 mile from the Public Beach in New Buffalo. As an owner of property in the city of New Buffalo, you are entitled to free parking passes for the public beach parking lot. I believe you can get 2 passes per household. ... more
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Thu May 16, 2013
Sarah Mcintyre asked:
Looking for at least a 3 bedroom rental under 1800 in Grand Beach, New Buffalo, or other city near South Shore trains. We are a couple with a small well behaved dog. This would be for a…
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Mon Jul 9, 2012
Paul Zubrys answered:
The value of Lake Michigan lakefront property depends on many factors, however, in New Buffalo, MI the main factor is the quality of the beach. For example, the beaches southwest of the marina have little to no beach, and the quality of the sand is poor; very rocky. The beach northeast of the marina in Wolverine Beach and Riviera Beach are fantastic.

In areas where the bluff is low and the beach is of high quality, beachfront property can run as high as $25,000 per foot.

I would be happy to send you a complete list of recent sales throughout Harbor Country, or even all of Berrien County, if you would send your email address to me at Feel free to call me at 269-783-LAKE if you would like to discuss this in detail.


Paul Zubrys, Broker
269-783-5253 ph/txt/find me
269-645-5915 fax
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Thu May 24, 2012
Paul Zubrys answered:
I've setup a website that makes it very easy to locate any type of property in Harbor Country as a whole, or in each individual beachfront community such as New Buffalo, Union Pier, Lakeside, Harbert, or Sawyer. We also have all properties, updated daily, displayed by price or by DOM, or Days On Market.


New Buffalo less than $200k:

I hope this helps.

Paul Zubrys, Broker / REALTOR
Harbor Country Real Estate since 1987
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Thu Apr 21, 2011
Emily Erekuff answered:
Hi Nadra,

I"m afraid that Tim is actually incorrect. Trulia does receive listings directly from many MLS systems at this time. You can inquire directly with your MLS as to whether or not they send listings to us, or you can send an email to our Customer Service team via the link below.

Best Wishes,

Emily Erekuff
Community Moderator
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Thu Nov 11, 2010
Ron Zarantenello answered:
The best way for you to determine how the railroad lines may or may not affect your quality of life is to stay a few days/nights in the area. There are many rentals from condo units through single-family homes that are in communities near the railroad tracks. Most of the trains that pass through Harbor Country are Amtrak with just 4-8 cars per train. Most of our home buyers want easy access to local beach communities and other area attractions.
Ron Zarantenello
Prudential Rubloff Properties
New Buffalo, MI
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Wed Jun 2, 2010
Paul Zubrys answered:
To be accurate, Ill need to know where along Red Arrow, and how far from the nearest beach access. Other contributing factors will be proximity to I94 or the RR Tracks. You mentioned New Buffalo, however Red Arrow Hwy does not run the town, so I might assume you are interested in all of Harborcountry which includes Union Pier, Lakeside, Harbert, and Sawyer. Id be happy to send you some data that incudes all those areas. Please contact me for further info. ... more
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Fri Feb 5, 2010
Liz Roch answered:
The average price per square foot in the last year was 176.61. As Ron mentioned there is a wide range, starting as low as 50-80/sqft for distressed property far from the lake. This is based on sold properties in the last year. ... more
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Wed Jan 20, 2010
Hi Amuthana
In order to be able to purchase this home as a primary (owner-occupied) residence, you have to work within the general area. This means you need to have started employment already in the general vicinity of Dearborn. Future planned income cannot be considered. The only way I could see you being able to buy FHA before moving here is if your employer planned to transfer you to a local office and you could document this in writing. If you're simply planning on getting a job in the Dearborn area once you graduate, then you'll need to wait until you've started the new job.

You may, however, want to talk to your lender (or another lender) to see if you could purchase this as a 2nd/vacation home, since you have family connections in the area and you could feasibly visit them. It won't get you an FHA loan, but you could probably do a conventional loan with 10% down as opposed to 20% and the interest rate would be a little more manageable.

Best of luck!
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Thu Apr 2, 2009
Genius answered:
Have you considered Diamond Point villas in New Buffalo?

See press release about upcoming auction, below.

Global Real Estate Auctions to auction
Diamond Point resort townhomes in New Buffalo

Affordable luxury a train’s ride from the center of Chicago city life

Media contact: Darryl Cater (773) 401-0764

CHICAGO (April 27, 2009) -- Global Real Estate Auctions, Inc. announces today the upcoming auction of 11 brand new townhomes and one cottage at the Diamond Point development in New Buffalo, Mich., one of the Chicago area’s fastest-growing and most accessible lakeshore resort towns, with newly improved rail access that now beats many local suburbs for fast accessibility to the city, while providing a year-round restive lakeside retreat atmosphere.

Amtrak is now constructing a rail platform close to the Lake, just minutes away from this development, located at 1313 Buffalo Street (Rt 12/20) in New Buffalo. This will improve the availability of regular trips to the area.

“As a result, New Buffalo now provides something you may have assumed doesn’t exist in today’s economy,” said John DeMato, president and CEO of Global Real Estate Auctions. “And that’s an affordable resort-style property that can be used as both vacation home and weekday commuting hub.”

With the use of “Pooled Unit Bidding” or “Bidders Choice”, the auction will provide a one-time only opportunity for bidders to realize their dreams of owning a luxurious home of their choice, near the lakeshore, at a price they want to pay, DeMato said.

Three of the units, which were previously priced to nearly half a million dollars, will be sold “absolute, regardless of price” – and the high bidders will have their choice of all available units in that round of bidding. This auction will be a demonstration of a trend rapidly increasing in the current market toward the use of auctions to sell luxury resort properties once thought the exclusive province of conventional pre-sales and spring mark-downs.

“In recent years, more and more sellers have seen the benefits of the auction for luxury properties – and the current economy has only accelerated that trend,” said Vincenzo Zaffarano, executive vice president and lead auctioneer of Global Real Estate Auctions.

The townhomes and cottage feature:

• Spectacular sunsets and lake views from the roof decks which top the townhomes, located just a few short blocks from the beaches of Lake Michigan.

• An indoor pool, clubhouse, hot tub, fitness center and courtyard shared only by Diamond Point residents, extending summer vacation activities year-round.

• Stone fireplaces, hardwood floors, premium fixtures (including Corian countertops and SS appliances).

• Proximity to quaint lake town boutiques, fine dining, local wines, and New Buffalo’s regionally renowned upscale Four Winds Casino.

Each townhome boasts three bedrooms, three full baths, 5 private decks and attached one-car garage. The cottage also has three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an open front porch and a side screened porch.

The multi-leveled nature of the townhomes could allow luxury for multiple generations of extended family, or could even be ideally suited for multiple families to share ownership – an increasingly common method for families in the market for a second home during today’s less certain economic times.

Open houses will be held on Saturdays and Sundays, May 16, 17, 23, 24 and on Memorial Day, May 25, all from 11 am to 3 pm Eastern Time. Interested bidders can obtain a bidder’s package, available by calling (877) 920-1326 or (630) 920-1327. The auction will be held June 6 in New Buffalo at Marina Grand Resort, 600 W. Water Street with registration at noon and the auction at 1 pm EDT.

About Global Real Estate Auctions
Global Real Estate Auctions, Inc. principals, brokers and agents have international experience with many high-profile properties including another recent successful auction in New Buffalo and two of the only Frank Lloyd Wright homes ever sold or marketed at auction. They have also participated in highly publicized commercial auction sales on behalf of Fortune 500 companies such as Intel Corporation (marketing a chip plant in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico), Harris Bank and General Electric. Global Real Estate Auctions is a sister company of Global Real Estate Consulting Corporation with offices located in the Oakmont Corporate Centre, 900 Oakmont Lane, Suite 207, Westmont, IL 60559. For more information, visit
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Wed Mar 11, 2009
Allen A. Kavanaugh answered:
the casino has inded helped the market for those who are looking to invest and use property for rental units they are in HIGH demand. I have numerous people walking into my office looking for rentals ona daily basis.
I have told investors I could keep places full at the right price for rentals with the request for rental I get on a daily basis
you can contact me at or my webste
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