Archive for April, 2009

Scrounging Up a Down Payment for Your Bloomfield Hills Real Estate

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 30th, 2009

You’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a home for your family.  With the banking industry in the shape it is, unless you have stellar credit, you’ll need a more sizeable down payment than ever before.  So, how do you get the down payment for the Bloomfield Hills real estate you’ve always dreamed of?

Get Scrounging

Scour your attic, basement and storage units. Look in every nook and cranny to find items that are in decent shape, but no longer used, and have a garage sale. Sure it’s usually pennies on the dollar of what your stuff is worth.  But if you’re not using it, someone else can, and you get the cash in hand. If you find items that are more valuable, sell them on eBay.  Every little bit helps.

Rich Relatives?

Hey, if you have’em use’em. This is no time to feel shy about asking for a gift. Purchasing Bloomfield Hills real estate is a wise investment.  Many relatives who might otherwise be unwilling to give cash for frivolous items are happy to help loved ones buy a home.

Sell Something Big

Having precious jewelry or antiques is a great asset.  Consider selling items you’ve been holding onto as investments, in order to get the home of your dreams.

There are many ways to come up with the down payment and financing you need to buy Bloomfield Hills real estate.  I can help you buy your dream home!  Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or send me an email at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate – Rent or Buy a Condo

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 27th, 2009

With the current economy, it may seem like a better idea to rent a condo instead of buying one. Let’s explore some of reasons why it’s still better to buy Troy Michigan real estate rather than rent.

Throwing Money Away

When you rent that’s basically what you’re doing. You give your money away in exchange for a ‘perishable’ item—one month of living space. Once that month is over, the money is gone and you didn’t get anything of long term value in return.

When you buy Troy Michigan real estate you still spend money for a month of living space, but in addition, you’re building long term equity. It may take longer and property may not increase in value as quickly as it did in the past, at least for now, but the money you spend becomes a back end asset instead of just disappearing.

Tax Breaks

When you buy a home, you can deduct the interest and property taxes that you pay every year on your income taxes. That can be a sizeable amount of money.  If you buy your first home in 2009, you get an even bigger tax break of $8,000 as a result of President Obama’s stimulus plan.  

Saving Money

Yes, you actually end up saving money in the long run if you buy a home or condo rather than renting. According to The New York Times, over a 16-year period you can save as much as $5,000.00 by owning your own home.  And, that number doesn’t include the $8,000 tax credit first-time home buyers get when they purchase a principle residence in 2009.

The bottom line is that the housing market troubles have nothing to do with the ‘evils’ of homeownership. They have to do with bad lending practices, and people wanting more than they can afford.

Choose your Troy Michigan real estate home or condo wisely.  Only buy what you can afford to pay for each month, and pay attention to the loan you are being offered. If you need any advice on the best types of loans or condos available, I’d like to help. Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


How You Can Get the Best Price When Buying Southeast Michigan Real Estate

Posted in Southeast Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 23rd, 2009

The Southeast Michigan real estate market is a homebuyer’s dream right now!  Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or to buy investment property, it’s the perfect time.  Home prices are down, which means that well-informed buying could benefit you in the long run.  There are several tips I can offer you on how to get the best price when buying a home:

  1. Shop around in the neighborhood where you’re looking to buy.  The only way to know if you’re getting a good deal is to look at home prices in the same neighborhood.  Ask your Southeast Michigan real estate agent for listings that are similar to the homes you’re looking at.  Evaluate the homes and their prices to ensure that you’re getting a good price.  Your real estate agent can help you with this evaluation.
  2. Play the negotiator when writing your contract!  One way to try to bring down the price of the home is to offer a lower price on your contract.  Offering a slightly lower price than what the homeowner is asking is a place to start trying to save some money.  If the homeowner is firm on the listing price, you can look to cut costs in other areas.  One way you may be able to lower your cost is by asking the seller to pay your closing costs
  3. Check how long the house has been on the market.  If a home has been on the market for an extended period, the homeowner is going to be more likely to lower the price.  A house that has not had any offers in a few months gives you, the homebuyer, an advantage.  The homeowner may be willing to lose a few thousand dollars in order to sell the property to you.

Especially now, it’s possible to get a good price in the Southeast Michigan real estate market.  But you’ll need an experienced real estate agent to find the best deals for your mortgage dollars.  I’m not your average REALTOR®; not only am I a licensed Southeast Michigan real estate agent, I’m also a licensed lawyer. 

Let me help you negotiate an excellent price for your new home.  Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email me at now to get started.

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Barriers to Selling Your Troy Michigan Real Estate

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 20th, 2009

The biggest barriers to selling your Troy Michigan real estate are often those you create yourself such as:

  1. Wanting a quick sale.
  2. Not knowing how to price your home correctly.
  3. Not knowing how to present your house to its best advantage.

When you first begin to think about selling your home it seems easy. Put a sign on the lawn and list it. Once the shine wears off of the desire to do it all yourself, you might need some tips to help sell your home

Clean It Up

That’s the first and foremost advice. Nothing deters a Troy Michigan real estate sale faster than a messy house. Living in your home while trying to sell it makes it difficult to keep it clean, but if you’re serious about wanting to sell your home, it’s worth the extra effort.  You may want to learn how to clean your home fast for those times when a buyer calls and wants to see your home in 15 minutes or less.

Take Good Pictures

Where do you think people search first for homes for sale?  Online!  Newspapers used to be the first place people looked for homes.  But now, approximately 80% of all home buyers look online before searching anywhere else. 

Due to cost and space limitations, newspapers usually display only one photo of the front view of the home.  On the internet, where space is abundant, buyers expect to see lots of exterior and interior pictures, in fact, the more the better. If you aren’t experienced at getting good room photos that show off your Troy Michigan real estate home to its best advantage, hire a photographer or a real estate agent who can do it for you.

Hold an Open House

Or several. Selling your home takes time. If you are busy and can’t fit opening your home up to viewers into your schedule, you may want to list your home with one of the Troy Michigan real estate agents who can do it for you. It’s better to leave your home in the hands of a professional real estate agent so you aren’t tempted to hover over buyers as they walk through. Hanging around discourages buyers from talking to each other about the qualities of your home and from taking the time to view and consider the true potential of your home.

Want to learn more about how to stage your home for a successful sale?  I’m prepared to send your FREE book, “Staging Tips to Prepare Your Home for Market.” There are absolutely no strings attached!

There are pitfalls you can get tripped up on when selling your Troy Michigan real estate. If you’d like to work with one of the Troy Michigan real estate agents who can help you maneuver around those pitfalls, send me an email now at or give me a call today at 248-514-2640.

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Wise Investments to Prepare Your Bloomfield Hills Real Estate for Sale

Posted in Bloomfield Hills Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 16th, 2009

If you’re thinking of listing your Bloomfield Hills real estate for sale and know it needs a little sprucing up, here are a few tips on the smartest home improvements you can make to help sell your home faster and for more money.

  • Kitchen remodeling stands at the top of any list of most attractive projects for re-sale value. Crisp clean new cabinets, fresh tile and countertops all make for buyer approval and is money well spent.
  • Bathroom remodeling is a good bet but not nearly as good as adding additional bathrooms, unless your home already has a lot of them.
  • Adding central heat and air to replace floorboard or radiator heat is a huge selling point for any Bloomfield Hills real estate home for sale.
  • Installing a deck or patio. This one hovers close to the middle of the do/don’t numbers but it is still a nice investment that can make your home feel more comfortable and give it more ‘space.’

Items that are less likely to be worth the money include:

  • Installing a backyard pool. Some people think a pool is attractive.  To many buyers, it’s nothing but additional work and expense.  Unless you live in a climate where the majority of people want a pool, steer clear of this investment.
  • Converting your basement into a finished living space. Many buyers like a finished basement, but it’s the main living space that counts most to them.  Your money would be better spent above ground.

It is important to fix up your home to get it ready for buyers.   But with money tighter than we’ve seen it in a long time, you need to focus on those improvements that will give you a good return on your money.

If you’d like more tips on what works and what doesn’t when fixing up your Bloomfield Hills real estate for sale, I can help you Sell Your Home for the Max. Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


When is it Time to List Your Home with a Southeast Michigan Real Estate Agent?

Posted in Southeast Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 13th, 2009

Going it alone and listing your home as for sale by owner can be exciting at first, but there is a turning point where the prospect of losing money makes it necessary to bring in help. There are several reasons to change your plan and list your home with a Southeast Michigan real estate agent in order to facilitate a sale.


If your property has been languishing on the market for more than three months, it is no longer fresh. People will avoid it simply because it hasn’t sold. A Southeast Michigan real estate agent can give your home wider exposure and get traffic moving through it again.


Fresh eyes on a project are helpful in any business endeavor. You can be too close to your home. You love it and see it in a positive light that can often overlook minor items that will kill a sale. Your Southeast Michigan real estate agent can help you see the problems you didn’t even know existed.

National Exposure

As a FSBO (for sale by owner) seller, you are not able to list your home on the official MLS (multiple listing service). That exposure alone can get much faster responses and sales. Additionally, a professional real estate agent markets your home on multiple websites which gives your home a Virtual Open House 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

An Earthly Advantage

Many FSBOs price their homes way over market for two reasons.  First, they love their home and see certain aspects of their home as more valuable than they really are.  Second, they don’t have extensive knowledge of the real estate market nor do they have the ability to do current home price comparisons. You ‘might’ know what your neighbor’s house sold for 10 years ago, but do you know what it is worth now?  And even more important, do you know exactly how comparable your house is to that one? Your Southeast Michigan real estate agent does.

Thinking about selling your Southeast Michigan real estate in the following communities?  I can help!

  • Berkley
  • Birmingham
  • Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township
  • Ferndale
  • Huntington Woods
  • Royal Oak
  • Southfield
  • Troy

Sellers, I’d love to tell you about my 30-Day Marketing Plan that sells 85% of the homes I list!  

If you would like more information on how a professional real estate agent can help you sell your home, please give me a call at 248-514-2640 or email me now at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Consequences of Buyer’s Remorse When Purchasing Bloomfield Hills Real Estate

Posted in Bloomfield Hills Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 9th, 2009

Buyer’s remorse happens to most people. The fear of signing a long term deal with a mortgage company at the closing of a Bloomfield Hills real estate deal, whether it is for a family home or investment property, can be frightening. It’s important to not let that fear get the best of you for several reasons. Not only will you lose out on that perfect piece of property you’ve looked so long for, you can lose a lot more than that.

Walking away from a deal before signing can mean losing any earnest money you have put down when you bid on the property. Unless you made a bid with no money to back your offer, which is highly unusual, you will lose it by deciding not to go through with the closing.

There are a few contingencies that may allow you to get all or some of the earnest money back when you walk away but only if you have listed those possibilities in the offer such as:

  • Not getting the financing you’d hoped for. If you don’t list that possibility as a contingency for buying a home, even if you can’t get financed, you will lose your earnest money deposit.
  • Not selling existing Bloomfield Hills real estate.  Again, this only works if you included the sale of your existing real estate before final closing on the new home as a contingency.
  • Appraisal, title, or inspection contingencies are also good clauses to have in your offer to protect you in case you want to back out of the deal. These allow you to change your mind if the appraisal value of the Bloomfield Hills real estate doesn’t come back matching the price you are paying, inspections turn up problem areas, or the title has issues.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can back out of a signed contract bid because of those items if you do not list them as contingencies.

As a licensed real estate broker and lawyer, I can help you prepare a proper real estate contract, including all contingencies.  And, I’ll keep you from making a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars.  Contact me today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Stimulus Isn’t Just for New Troy Michigan Real Estate Buyers

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 6th, 2009

All the talk is about how the President’s stimulus plan helps out new and first time home buyers.  The good news is that it also helps homeowners.  You can get stimulus plan benefits from your existing Troy Michigan real estate too.  Add a little green living to your environment and you’ll be pocketing some change at the end of the year from your income tax return.

Under the stimulus plan, both eco friendly new home purchases and eco friendly improvements on existing homes are tax deductible. Now’s the time to make your home more energy efficient and get a tax break at the end of the year for your efforts.

Going green saves money, makes your living environment healthier, and improves the world we live in. To reap the benefits from the stimulus plan, you can make major home improvements such as adding solar power or moderate priced home improvements such as adding low flow water fixtures.

You need to make your home improvements soon to get the stimulus plan benefit.  The plan only allows for the tax benefits through the year 2010.  Why wait?  Use this as motivation to get your projects started (and completed) now.

Here are a few additional eco friendly home improvements to consider for your Troy Michigan real estate:

  • Re-cover your roof: The color of your roof can make a big difference in how well your attic retains or refracts heat and cold.
  • Install an energy efficient Energy Star furnace: Make sure it has a high SEER rating (seasonal energy efficient ratio).

With a little work and a reasonable investment, your Troy Michigan real estate will not only pay you back in dividends for years to come, it could get you a great tax break.

If you need more ideas for how to make your home energy efficient and get tax credits, give me a call at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


5 Tips to Protect Yourself When Buying Newly Constructed Bloomfield Hills Real Estate

Posted in Bloomfield Hills Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 2nd, 2009

Buying newly constructed Bloomfield Hills real estate in Southeast Michigan isn’t much different from buying an “already used” home.  What variances there are, however, can make all the difference between buying a diamond or a lemon.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying new construction:

Tip #1: Don’t use the builder’s sales agent – hire your own.
If they’re the builder’s agent, they’re being paid to represent the builder, no matter what they tell you.  Your own Bloomfield Hills real estate agent, who is representing you, is required to tell you the negatives as well as the positives.  The builder’s agent doesn’t have to tell you the drawbacks of the transaction.

Tip #2: Find your own lending agency.
Again, if you go through the builder, the lending agency may offer you a deal that isn’t in your best interest.  In addition, the builder may actually own the lending company, and will have full information on your personal progress.  Your Bloomfield Hills real estate agent can refer you to a reputable lender, if you don’t already have one of your own.

Tip #3: Talk to a Bloomfield Hills real estate agent and lawyer.
Although standard agreements are made to keep everyone out of court, they aren’t necessarily in your best interests.  Ask about cancellation rights and make sure you understand both your liability and your commitments.  Also, check your contract to make sure it doesn’t contain warnings about health issues. 

I’m not your usual REALTOR®.  I’m both a real estate broker and lawyer who can keep you from making a costly mistake when buying a new home.  And, I’ll help you purchase it at the best price and terms to meet your monthly mortgage budget.  Contact me now for more information.

Tip #4: Decide what options or upgrades you want.
Remember that the profit margin for many builders is highest in upgrades.  Find out if your lender allows the options and upgrades you’ve chosen to be added to the loan.   If your lender doesn’t allow this, the cost of the upgrades will come out of your pocket in cash. 

Tip #5: Research the builder.
It’s amazing how many people think a builder is good, simply because they can build a house.  Unless you’re a licensed home inspector, the chance of you catching a cut corner or shoddy building practices is slim to none.  Check out the neighbors’ homes and talk to them.   Are the homes a consistent size or are they shrinking in size?  Do the neighbors have consistent complaints about the quality of their homes?  Also, check public records for lawsuits.

Owning newly constructed Bloomfield Hills real estate and knowing that you’re the first person to live in the home can be a wonderful, exciting experience.  Make sure that you protect yourself so you can enjoy it worry free!

Are you thinking about relocating to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and buying newly constructed real estate?   Click here to learn more about the community of Bloomfield Hills.  

Talk with me before you start shopping for Bloomfield Hills real estate.  If you visit a builder prior to working with me, I won’t be able to legally represent you with that builder.  To find out more about how I can help you save money and get the best terms when buying newly constructed real estate, call me today at 248-514-2640 or email me at now.

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640