Archive for August, 2021

Where To Find Inspiration For Your Home Decor

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 31st, 2021

Where To Find Inspiration For Your Home DecorAre you working on decorating your home? Perhaps you want to spruce up your decor, but you aren’t sure where to start. Where can you find inspiration for your home decor, besides the obvious home decor magazines and websites?

Here are some fun and creative ideas that will inspire you when designing your decor:

Luxury Hotels

The next time you go on a vacation, you can find decor inspiration at your hotel. Most hotel rooms in mid-range to luxury hotels have beautiful, comforting and understated designs, so take photos if you find something that you like.

Perhaps you can invest in plush throw pillows for your bed, a sleek bed table lamp or thick white towels for your bathroom to recreate the look of a luxury hotel.

Art Galleries

Take a walk around your local art gallery and see if you can find some inspiration there. Perhaps the harmonious colors of Impressionist paintings or the angular shapes of Cubism will inspire you to add visual interest to your decor.

You might not be able to afford an original Picasso or Monet, but you can always order prints of your favourite artists online and add art to your home on a budget.

The Beauty Of Nature

Another place to find beauty and inspiration is from Mother Nature herself. Take a walk outside in the country and take some photos of what you encounter.

Perhaps you will be inspired to paint your walls a shade of green just like the spring leaves, or create a centrepiece for your table made from pinecones.

Fashion Design

You can also find inspiration from the colors, textures and patterns that are popular in the world of fashion design. Look at magazines, fashion shows and advertisements to see what colors and styles are popular at the moment.

If you love the look of a certain item of clothing, think about how you can incorporate that color, texture or pattern into your decor.

If you have an open mind, you can find inspiration for your home decor all around you. These are just a few ideas to get you started, but of course there are many other sources of inspiration out there.

For more info and tips regarding your home, contact your trusted real estate profesional.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 30, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 30th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 30, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on new and existing home sales; the University of Michigan released its monthly Consumer Sentiment Index, and weekly updates on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

New Home Sales and Median Home Price Rose in July

The Census Bureau reported that new homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 353,000 sales in July; analysts expected a pace of 350,000 new homes sold based on June’s reading of 349,000 sales of new homes. Homebuyers are buying new and existing homes at a faster pace as more homes and wider choices become available to would-be buyers. The number of new homes for sale rose 5.50 percent month-to-month and was 26 percent higher year-over-year. The median price for a new home rose to a new high of $390,500 in July.

The National Association of Realtors®  reported that July sales of previously-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 5.99 million sales; analysts expected 5.87 million sales based on June’s sales pace of 5.83 million sales of previously-owned homes. Real estate pros were pleased with July’s increased sales pace and expected the trend to continue.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged one basis point higher at 2.87 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose by one basis point to 2.17 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.42 percent and were one basis point lower. Discount points were lower across the board and averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose to 353,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 349,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 350,000 new jobless claims to be filed last week. Continuing jobless claims dipped to 2.86 million claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 2.87 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for August ticked up to an index reading of 70.3 from July’s reading of 70.2; analysts expected an August reading of  71.0.

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic reporting included readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, construction spending, and Government readings on public and private-sector jobs growth and the national unemployment rate.

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Financial Preparation: Millennials Are Getting Ready To Buy Homes

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 27th, 2021

Financial Preparation: Millennials Are Getting Ready To Buy HomesIn the current economy, there are a lot of millennials who are thinking about buying a home; however, the price of homes is rising quickly. It can be challenging for millennials to save the money they need to buy a home. When this is combined with other monthly expenses they have, millennials might be financially unprepared to buy a home.

Finding the right house takes patience and discipline, so millennials need to avoid jumping in unprepared. What do millennials need to do to make sure they are ready for the expenses that come with owning a home?

Be Aware Of How Much Money Is Required

The first thing that millennials need to do is make sure they have enough money saved up. If prospective homeowners do not have enough money saved up, they could be denied financing by a lender. Conventional mortgage lenders will ask for 20 percent down to avoid PMI, but it might be possible for homebuyers to get a home for as little as 3.5 percent down from some lenders. If the home costs $250,000, then 3.5 percent down is going to be $8,750. If prospective homebuyers have less than this saved up, they could be denied a loan.

After saving up enough money for the down payment, homebuyers also need to cover closing costs. This could include the inspection, the appraisal, and any fees that come from the closing attorney. Even if millennials have parents and grandparents to help them, they still need to save up an emergency fund to cover any possible repairs that are needed. It is a solid rule of thumb to save up and move at least three to six months of emergency money in a liquidity fund. If this money is not there, it might be better to wait.

Millennials Should Wait For The Right Time Instead Of Jumping In Unprepared

Even though it is a great investment to own a home, it is better to wait for the right time instead of jumping in unprepared. Millennials need to make sure they have enough money saved up for a down payment. Then, they should have an additional two to five percent of the loan’s value saved up to cover closing costs. Finally, homeowners should also have a liquidity fund with three to six months of living expenses set aside.

 

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An Overview Of Umbrella Insurance: How It Works

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 26th, 2021

An Overview Of Umbrella Insurance: How It WorksAccidents can happen from time to time, which is why it is important for people to have insurance. While you might be able to fix some accidents on your own, others can lead to a significant amount of financial stress. This is why people must have insurance. Insurance is supposed to help individuals and families pay for catastrophic expenses; however, what happens if the insurance policy is not big enough to cover the expenses? That is where umbrella insurance can be helpful. What is umbrella insurance, and how does it work? Learn more about how umbrella insurance might be able to help you.

Umbrella Insurance: A Definition

Umbrella insurance provides extra liability that goes above and beyond the limits of other existing policies. If the policyholder is at-fault for damages and the existing insurance policies are not enough to cover the damages, the umbrella insurance kicks in. In addition, umbrella insurance provides coverage for other items, such as legal fees, that other policies might not cover. Umbrella insurance can cover a wide range of issues that could provide important financial protection.

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Umbrella insurance acts as a fail-safe to protect you and your family against lawsuits that are directly related to accidents that could result in a personal injury lawsuit. Furthermore, umbrella insurance can cover landlord liability, defamation, and a number of other tricky financial situations, depending on how your policy is structured. Your umbrella policy will have a liability limit; however, your policy might continue to cover associated legal costs above that specific limit, depending on the wording of your policy. Because details and exclusions can vary between policies, you should ask a professional for help if you have questions.

What Umbrella Insurance Does Not Cover

Unlike some insurance policies, umbrella insurance will not cover the damages and injuries of the policyholder. This means that if you sustain property damage, your umbrella insurance policy might not cover this. In addition, there are limits to umbrella insurance with respect to breach of contract cases. Finally, umbrella insurance also does not cover intentional acts or criminal issues. It is critical to read the policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.

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From Big to Small: How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller, More Efficient Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 25th, 2021

From Big to Small: How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller, More Efficient HomeIf you’re moving from a large home into a smaller house or condo, you’re probably looking forward to enjoying a lower utility bill and not having to do as much cleaning. But before you move, you’ll want to take certain precautions to ensure that you’re not overwhelmed.

A smaller home won’t have as much room for your belongings, which means you may need to get creative. Here’s how you can downsize without losing your mind.

Decide What You’re Going To Keep

Before you do anything else, choose which of your belongings are coming with you. Unless you’ve habitually been getting rid of things you no longer need over the years, chances are you have a large stash of things you’ll never use again. That’s the kind of clutter you’ll need to eliminate before moving into a smaller home.

The obvious exceptions would be anything of significant sentimental or monetary value, but you’ll want to get rid of lots of your everyday objects – for instance, there’s no reason why you need three soup ladles. Having trouble deciding what to throw out? Here’s a simple rule of thumb: If you can’t remember the last time you used it, you probably don’t need it.

Have Anything In Storage? Find A Storage Solution Now

Most homeowners nowadays have the luxury of large storage spaces like basements or attics – but if you’re moving into a condo or a small starter home, storage will be at a premium. And that means anything stored in your basement, garage, or attic will probably need to find a new home. You’ll want to look for a storage solution earlier rather than later.

Perhaps you could rent a storage locker in your neighborhood, or let children or relatives hold onto your belongings until you decide what to do with them.

On Your Moving Day: Move Large Items First, And Put Away Stored Items Before Anything Else

When the day comes for you to move into your new home, you’ll want to try to find the best configuration for the space right away – before your new home is filled with boxes stacked six feet high. Before you do anything else, move your furniture and other large items into the space first, and get them set up so they’re out of the way.

Once all of your boxes are in your new home, put storage items away before anything else – it’ll help you avoid unnecessary stress and sorting later.

Downsizing can be stressful, but with a solid plan and a great real estate agent, you can find a smaller home and move in without issues.

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Pocket the Profits: The Secrets to Selling Your Home above the Asking Price

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 24th, 2021

Pocket the Profits: The Secrets to Selling Your Home above the Asking PriceWe all want to sell our homes at above asking price, but what is it that makes a seller succeed at this? Here’s our expert advice on how you can sell your home above the asking price.

Ask For Less

You may be surprised, but pricing your home lower than market value can have an extremely positive effect on the offers you receive. This is because a low-priced listing will stand out and will draw more attention, which boosts your chance of a bidding war.

By attracting more buyers to come and look at your home, you will find more buyers who are willing to make an offer on your property. When they view your home they will see its true market value, and are then more likely to make a higher offer in hopes of outbidding others. It’s all about creating hype, and a low asking price will do just that.

Wait It Out

While it may be tempting to accept the first offer that comes along, in some cases, it may be better to wait and see what other offers come in. If you accept the first offer on your property you have closed the door to competition.

Consider Who You’re Selling To

Is your home better suited towards traditional buyers, or is it a valuable property for investors? If your home could easily be renovated and flipped, has high potential as an income property, or is in an up-and-coming neighborhood, it may be better marketed as an incredible investment property.

Investors expect a return on the money that they spend so are often more willing to make a higher offer – they know those funds will come right back to them.

Rock Your Renos

There are several simple renovations that can add a huge amount of value to your home. The return on investment for a few small upgrades is often very worthwhile when your goal is to receive more than asking price.

Make sure the flooring, kitchen, and bathrooms in your home are updated and appealing, and if not, consider upgrading these areas first. If you’re targeting investors, adding an income suite to your property may be the best investment you can make. Consider which kind of buyer you’re targeting and what areas of your home need the most TLC, and choose accordingly. Speak with your trusted real estate professional today to learn more.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 23, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 23rd, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 23, 2021Last week’s economic news included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: August Builder Confidence Fell to Lowest Level in 13 Months

Homebuilder confidence fell to its lowest level since July 2020 according to the National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index for August. The HMI reading for August was 75; analysts expected a reading of 80 based on July’s index reading of 80. Readings over 50 represent positive sentiment among homebuilders surveyed. Ongoing obstacles to builder confidence included high materials costs, supply chain issues, and lack of skilled labor. Shortages of available homes and rapidly rising home prices sidelined buyers and dampened builder confidence.

Component readings of the Housing Market Index were lower in two categories as builder confidence slipped five points to an index reading of 81 for builder confidence in current market conditions and also fell five points to 60 for builder confidence in buyer traffic in new housing developments. Builder confidence in housing market conditions over the next six months was unchanged at an index reading of 81. Regional readings for builder confidence were also lower. The Midwestern region reported an index reading of 68 and was two points lower than in July. Builders in the Northeastern region reported their confidence reading slipped one point to 74. Homebuilder confidence in the South fell three points to 82; builder confidence in the West fell two points to an index reading of 85.

New home starts reflected builder hesitancy as they slipped from a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million starts in June to 1.53 million starts in July. Building permits rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.64 million permits issued in July as compared to June’s reading of 1.59 million building permits issued.

Mortgage Rates and Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.86 percent and were one basis point lower than for the previous week. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.16 percent and were one basis point higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged one basis point lower at 2.43 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Fewer jobless claims were filed last week; 348,000 new claims were filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 377,000 initial jobless claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also dropped last week with 2.82 million ongoing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.90 million continuing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include reports on new and existing home sales, consumer spending, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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Tiny, but Cozy: 3 Ways to Furnish Small Spaces to Make Them Feel Much Larger

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 20th, 2021

Tiny, but Cozy: 3 Ways to Furnish Small Spaces to Make Them Feel Much LargerWhen decorating a small space, there is a general desire to make the space look and feel larger than it is while also meeting basic functional needs in the room. For example, there may be a need to accommodate seating for a group of people in a living room, but there also may be a desire to provide ample space for foot traffic so the area does not feel cramped. By following a few important tips, it is possible to furnish smaller spaces so that they are functional and do not feel cramped.

Think About Decorative Storage Solutions

One of the most common factors that will make a small space seem cramped and uncomfortable relates to clutter, and because of this, focusing on storage solutions can go a long way toward making the space feel larger than it is. Storage solutions can be decorative, and they can be a true benefit to the décor in the room. Think about functional storage features like an ottoman with hidden storage features, an entertainment center with cabinets and shelves or a tall bookshelf that can hold many of the items that are needed in the room.

Decorate The Space Vertically

For most people, there is a general inclination to decorate a room horizontally and to fill the floor space with furnishings, but this can be detrimental when decorating a smaller room. In a smaller space, decorating the space vertically by using bookshelves, storage cabinets and other features that rise above the ground rather than that sprawl across the ground can be beneficial. The goal should be to decorate the room fully while leaving ample space for foot traffic to maneuver through the room comfortably.

Use Lighter Colors

Darker colors used in a smaller room can make the space feel closed off and cramped. Using lighter colors can brighten the space and make it seem more airy. While using shades of white and beige throughout a space may not be ideal in all rooms, these can be incorporated into various aspects of the décor to improve the spacious feel of the room.

Smaller spaces can be challenging to decorate, but there are different tips and tricks that can be used to make the space look and feel larger than it is. Some tips help improve the functional use of the space, while others simply play tricks and create the illusion of space. All can be used together to create the feeling of a larger, more inviting room.

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Taking A Look At The Top Trends In Bathroom Design

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 19th, 2021

Taking A Look At The Top Trends In Bathroom DesignIt is important to make the bathroom a relaxing, peaceful, and stress-free location. Many people view their bathrooms as a sanctuary, and it is important to treat them as such. What are a few popular trends that are taking place in bathroom design? 

Customized Tiles In The Bathroom

Many people enjoy customizing the tiles they use in their bathrooms. These are commonly called affinity tiles, which are concrete tiles with creative scenes and prints on them. They come in a wide variety of colors, designs, and styles. Many homeowners like to use these types of tiles to create a bold pattern in the bathroom. They are commonly used on the floor, near the bathtub, or in the shower. 

Floating Sinks And Vanities

One popular trend that is taking place is a floating vanity. This is a sink that looks like it is floating above the ground. Instead of having a pillar that connects the sink to the ground, the sink sits on a shelf. Then, the pipe is relatively short, making it difficult to spot. From a standing height, this makes it look like the sink is floating, creating a crisp, clean appearance in the bathroom.

A Natural Theme

Many homeowners are creating natural things in their bathrooms by using botanical wallpaper. The reality is that right now, bold patterns are in. During renovation projects, many homeowners are showcasing their personal styles in their bathrooms. For example, a large botanical print often includes colorful leaves and flowers. This makes it easier for homeowners to make a statement. Then, the flowers and leaves are printed on either a light or dark background, allowing the nature scene to stand out. This creates a relaxing feeling that many people love when they spend time in the bathroom. 

Bring The Styles Together

Finally, homeowners should remember that these options are not mutually exclusive. There are plenty of fusion designs that can bring all of these together. That way, everyone will feel more comfortable while occupying the bathroom. Renovating a bathroom could also be a great way to add more value to the home. 

 

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What To Know About Home Loans for Renovation Projects

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 18th, 2021

What To Know About Home Loans for Renovation ProjectsWhen people are looking for a home, they are often looking for something that is move-in ready. While this might make the process easier, this can also make the home much more expensive. It is still possible to find a dream home even if the house requires a bit of renovation. This is also a great opportunity for homeowners to customize the home to meet their needs. What do potential homeowners need to know about taking out a mortgage to renovate a fixer-upper when compared to a conventional home loan? Take a look at some helpful information below.

When Buying A Fixer-Upper Is The Right Decision

There are several situations where buying a renovation project might seem like the logical decision. Remember that these projects are going to take time and money, so homeowners need to have both of these resources to complete the project. Of course, these projects are going to require a lot of construction skills, so it is important to either have the equipment and expertise or be willing to hire someone to do this. Furthermore, it is critical to look at the value of the property once the project is done. What type of return should homeowners expect after they finish the project? It should meet the needs of the homeowner while also providing a significant return.

Understanding The Financing Options

Homeowners are unlikely to have the cash to pay for all of these out of pocket, so it is important to take a look at a few financing options. An FHA 203k Mortgage is often a great option for those with a credit score of 580 or higher. These loans can cover a diverse array of construction projects.

There are also Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Loans, which allow people to borrow up to 50 percent of the total value of the home for the project. Homeowners can also borrow against projected equity instead of having to wait to take out a traditional cash-out home refinance. This loan requires a credit score of 680 or higher and the renovation must be completed in less than 12 months.

These two loan options could be helpful for those who are looking to complete a home renovation project.

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