Archive for October, 2021

Thinking About Buying A Waterfront Home? Check Out These Important Tips!

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 29th, 2021

First Time Home Buyers: What You Really Need to Know About Buying a Beachfront HomeThe idea of an idyllic beachfront home is appealing for many people, but there are a number of factors involved in this type of home purchase that should be considered before getting serious. Whether it’s a home to live in full time, or a vacation property with investment potential, there are a number of issues to take note of. So, if you’re on the fence regarding waterfront property, here are some things you should keep in mind if beach life might be right for you.

The Ever-Shifting Shoreline

It goes without saying that the times are changing, and erosion of beachfront property is set to be a more pressing issue in the years ahead. If you’re planning on living in a house by the beach, you’ll want to research the surrounding area to ensure your investment will be sustainable over time. If significant shore erosion does occur, you could suffer a loss in regards to your most expensive asset.

In The Event Of Extreme Weather

Home insurance exists to cover you in the event of theft or fire, but if you’re planning on buying by the beach, it’s important to purchase an insurance package that will have you covered for many of nature’s calamities. Instead of leaving this to chance, double check that your home is protected against wind or water damage, as leaving this out could cost you a lot of money down the road.

Do Your Market Research

If you’re buying by the water and you’re looking to live there into the foreseeable future, it may not be necessary to do a lot of research, but if you plan on having renters it’s important to know that someone will be able to make your investment more feasible. If the market is down and people are not flocking to the beach during the months you’ll require renters, it may not be wise to invest huge amounts of money into a property.

Everybody Loves The Beach

It’s important to do research before you decide to invest in a beachfront home, but you will want to keep in mind that a home by the water will probably end up being more valuable than a home in the same town that doesn’t sit on a patch of sand. If you’ve done your research and everything looks good, this may be an investment well worth it.

Beachfront property has its own set of risks and rewards, but if you do your homework it can be an ideal investment. If you’re looking for homes in your area and are interested in waterfront property, you may want to contact your local real estate agent for more information.

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After Closing On A New Home: The Top Tasks To Complete

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 28th, 2021

After Closing On A New Home: The Top Tasks To CompleteClosing on a new home is exciting and many people view their closing date as the finish line; however, even after closing a new home, there is still a lot that has to happen. What do new homeowners need to do after closing on a new home?

Mark The Date Of The First Payment

Every homeowner needs to know the first date of the new mortgage payment. They need to get their bank account set up for an automatic draft, or they need to send a physical check by that time. Keep in mind that the first payment might include a partial payment from the prior month as well.

Understand That The Loan Servicer Might Change

Anyone who is sending a physical check needs to be aware that the loan servicer might change. Many banks sell their loans to another entity, which means physical checks might need to go to a new address. 

Watch For Potential Scams In The Mail

Many new homeowners receive a lot of junk mail and deceptive advertisements from scam artists. Anyone who has questions about the information they receive in the mail might want to talk to their real estate agent or lawyer to see what is real or what is fake. Sometimes, people try to sell homeowners on policies they already have, such as home insurance or mortgage insurance.

Make Sure Property Taxes And Homeowners Insurance Are Set-Up

Homeowners also need to make sure their property tax payments and homeowners’ insurance are set up. Often, the lender will escrow these payments, saving homeowners a significant amount of stress. This also means that homeowners need to make sure the lender is taking enough money every month to cover home insurance and property tax bills at the end of the year.

Look Past The Closing Date

These are a few of the most important tasks all new homeowners need to complete after closing on a new home. That way, nothing important gets overlooked, and homeowners are not surprised by anything they receive in the mail. Talk to a real estate or mortgage professional to learn more.

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Is An Escrow Account Right For You?

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

Is An Escrow Account Right For You?When someone is looking at purchasing a home, they usually focus on the purchase price of the home and the potential monthly payment. At the same time, there are other costs that need to be included as well. This includes home insurance and real estate taxes.

As a result, many homeowners find themselves asking if they should use an escrow account or not. What do homeowners need to think about and how can they make the right decision?

What Is An Escrow Account?

First, it is important to define an escrow account. An escrow account is an account that contains money for items such as insurance and taxes. That way, homeowners are not blindsided by a major bill at the end of the year. Some people may be required by the lender to have an escrow account, but those who are putting 20 percent down may have an option to use an escrow account or to handle this on their own. With an escrow account, the money that is required for real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance is broken up into 12 months. That way, homeowners can pay a little bit every month instead of paying it all at once, when the money might get tight. When should homeowners use an escrow account?

Savings Habits And Risks

First, some homeowners would rather handle real estate taxes and home insurance on their own because they want to be in control of their finances. While this is fine, some lenders might see this as an increased risk. If they view that homeowner as a risk, then they could use this as an excuse to raise the rate on the loan. Homeowners need to make sure they do not have to pay more for the loan simply because they are not using an escrow account.

Next, homeowners also need to think about their individual saving habits. Because home insurance and real estate taxes are often paid as one lump sum, this could be a lot of money leaving the account at once. If homeowners do not have appropriate saving habits, they might not set this money aside when the payment is due. If they fall behind on their real estate taxes, they could place themselves at risk of losing the home.

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Five Unique Renovations That Can Make Small Living Spaces Feel Bigger

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 26th, 2021

Five Unique Renovations That Can Make Small Living Spaces Feel BiggerJust because you live in a small space doesn’t mean your home needs to feel cramped. There are several renovations that are popular among interior designers to make a space feel larger. Incorporate them into your own home to give it a more open, spacious feel.

1. Crystal Clear

Glass is an absolutely phenomenal way to make a small space feel larger as it removes visual barriers to show off additional square footage, making it seem as though it’s part of the room. Whether you choose a glass railing for a staircases or room divider or incorporate a glass shower into a small bathroom, glass can help your home feel more spacious.

2. Make The Most Of Mirrors

Similar to glass, mirrors can make a small space feel big as they add an illusion of depth to a room. Try installing a large mirror on a wall in lieu of paintings or other decor if you’d like to make a room seem larger than it is.

3. Goodbye Island

If it’s your kitchen that’s feeling cramped, consider removing the island. Islands can add value to a home, but if your kitchen is small enough that it shouldn’t have been there in the first place then getting rid of it will create a much more functional space. Consider whether you’d still have ample counter space and storage without your island, and if the answer is yes it may be time to say goodbye to your island.

4. Tear Down The Walls

Creating an open concept floor plan is a fantastic renovation for a small home as it removes barriers between several small spaces to create one larger open space. Do you really need a wall between your kitchen and dining room? How about between your dining room and living room? If there’s a wall that simply isn’t necessary, it may be time to tear it down.

5. Keep It Light

A very quick and easy renovation to help open up a small space is to paint the walls in a light color as it will reflect more light than a darker shade, making the room feel airy rather than cozy. If you’re considering re-doing the floors, choosing a lighter color can further contribute to the feeling of a larger space.

Small spaces don’t have to cramp your style. In fact, they offer unique design opportunities and can make wonderful living spaces. If you’re looking for more homeowner advice, get in touch with your local real estate professional today.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 25, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 25th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 25, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index reports on building permits issued and housing starts, The National Association of Realtors® reported on sales of previously owned homes, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Improves in September

The National Association of Home Builders reported an index reading of 80 for its September Housing Market Index. Analysts expected September’s index reading to match August’s reading of 76. Builders continued to face supply chain challenges and labor shortages amid growing concerns over rising home prices and affordability for would-be home buyers.

Component readings for the Housing Market Index also showed rising builder confidence. The index for current housing market conditions rose five points to an index reading of 87; builder confidence in housing market conditions over the next six months rose three points to 84. The gauge for buyer traffic in new single-family housing developments rose four points to an index reading of 65.

Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the NAHB, said “Policymakers must focus on fixing the broken supply chain. This will spur more construction and help ease upward pressure on home prices.”

Continuing supply chain problems caused some builders to limit building due to concerns over materials costs and availability. Shortages of small and medium homes would cause home prices to rise just as interest rates are expected to rise. These conditions add to concerns over affordability for first-time and modest-income home buyers.

NAHB HMI readings over 50 indicate that most builders surveyed have a positive outlook on housing market conditions.

September sales of previously-owned homes rose to 6.29 million homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to August’s reading of 5.88 million previously-owned homes sold and expectations of 6.10 million previously-owned homes sold. Increasing sales of pre-owned homes indicated that severe shortages of available homes during the pandemic were easing.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose four basis points to 3.09 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged three basis points higher at 2.33 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell one basis point to an average rate of 2.54 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 290,000 claims filed from the previous week’s reading of 296,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 300,000 first-time claims to be filed. Fewer continuing jobless claims were filed last week; 2.48 million ongoing jobless claims were filed as compared to 2.60 million ongoing jobless claims filed in the previous week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, reports on sales of new and previously-owned homes, and the University of  Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

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Luxury Selling: How to Qualify Potential Buyers to Ensure They Can Afford Your Home

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 22nd, 2021

Luxury Selling: How to Qualify Potential Buyers to Ensure They Can Afford Your HomeLuxury estates can be a challenge to sell. The more expensive a home is, the less potential buyers there are. The biggest hassle is going through the process with people who can’t actually afford the home, only to have it fall apart at the last minute.

Here are some ways to make sure the property is only being viewed by qualified buyers.

Only Accept Offers From Buyers Who Are Pre-Qualified From A Lender

One of the only ways to guarantee a buyer will be able to afford a luxury home is to let the bank do the work on your behalf. By only accepting offers from people who have been pre-qualified by a lender, it allows the seller the peace of mind of knowing that every offer is a legitimate one.

Luxury Agents Will Have Vetted Their Clients

Working with a real estate agent with a specialty in luxury properties is one way to make sure the vetting process is handled effectively and legally. These agents do not have time to waste with people who can’t afford a home in this price range and they will have a roster of clients who are not only looking for a new luxury house, but can afford one. Talk to the neighbors and see who their buying agent was. This will give an idea of which professionals are working with clients who can afford the neighborhood.

Use Broker Open Houses Over The Traditional Open House

Hosting an open house in a luxury home is a dangerous prospect. There is no way of knowing how many visitors can actually afford the home and how many just want to look around to see how the other half lives. On top of that, it’s a serious safety risk as luxury open houses bring out potential thieves to case the place and see what the security is like.

For luxury sellers a broker open house is the best course of action. These open houses are closed to the public and only available to brokers who have clients that are looking for a luxury home.

There are more luxury homes on the market than buyers and standing out is important if you want to sell quickly. Trying to sell a home like this on your own is a disaster waiting to happen. Make sure to talk to real estate agents in the area who deal with luxury properties until you find one you are comfortable with. Contact your local real estate professional today for more information.

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Dealing With Stress Related To A Home Sale

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 21st, 2021

Dealing With Stress Related To A Home SalePutting a house on the market can be a major life decision. Even though there might be a bit of a change during this time, there are ways to deal with the stress. Even though home showings, negotiations, and constant phone calls from real estate agents can be a lot to handle, there are a few tips for dealing with the stress. What do homeowners need to know if they are selling a home? 

Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

First, homeowners must make sure they choose the right real estate agent. Think about the goals during the home sale. Is the goal to sell the house as quickly as possible? Is the goal to sell the house for as much money as possible? Maximizing the value of a home may take some time, so homeowners need to find a real estate agent who can work with them to meet their goals. Always make sure the real estate agent has time to commit to the listing before signing a contract.

Always Do Homework

Even after partnering with a real estate agent, there is still a lot of homework that homeowners need to do during this process. Homeowners need to take a look at comparable properties in the local area to see how much their house might be worth. Then, homeowners also need to take a look at their house and see if there are any red flags that need to be addressed. There might be some repairs to handle before the home gets put on the market. Finally, homeowners also need to consider every offer thoroughly. For example, homeowners should make sure a buyer that requires financing has a pre-approval letter. 

Be Prepared To Adjust

Finally, homeowners should be prepared to adjust during the process. There is a middle ground between being too flexible and staying firm. For example, if a buyer is asking for a lot of repairs, homeowners might want to make some of the repairs but not all of them. Working with a real estate agent can help homeowners make sure they are making a wise decision. There are some offers that should be dismissed right away, but some potential homebuyers might be worth negotiating with. 

 

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Important Relationships During The Home Buying Process

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 20th, 2021

Important Relationships During The Home Buying ProcessPurchasing a home is an exciting time, but there is also a lot to manage. There are a lot of text messages, phone calls, and emails coming in. It is important for potential homeowners to keep them straight. Who are some of the most important people during the purchase process?

The Real Estate Team

First, there are going to be a lot of important people on the real estate side of this transaction. Every home buyer should work with a real estate agent who can help them assess the market, arrange showings, and find the right home. There might also be interactions with other agents along the way who represent sellers. Keep in mind that there may be assistants, secretaries, and other agents who are part of a real estate team.

The Mortgage Team

The vast majority of potential home buyers require financing. Therefore, there will be multiple people who work on the mortgage side of this transaction as well. There will probably be a loan agent, an underwriter, and multiple assistants who navigate this side of the process. The mortgage team might also be responsible for arranging a home inspection and asking for a home appraisal. Potential home buyers might have to work with these individuals as well. 

The Closing Team

If an offer is accepted, there will be a closing team as well. A real estate attorney will probably be required to process the documents. Therefore, a potential home buyer should be expected to work with multiple people from the law firm as well. The real estate attorney is responsible for collecting funds from all responsible parties and disbursing the money appropriately. There will probably be multiple assistants in the real estate attorney’s office who will be asking for information. 

Keep These Relationships Straight

There is a lot that happens during a real estate transaction, and it is important for a potential home buyer to try to keep these relationships straight. Remember that the real estate agent should always be the first point of contact with any questions or concerns. A real estate agent probably has connections throughout the area that can help home buyers make this process easier. Nobody has to go through this process alone. 

 

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Taking A Look At The Current Real Estate Market

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

Taking A Look At The Current Real Estate MarketThe law of supply and demand governs every area of the economy. The law is relatively straightforward. If there is more demand than there is supply, prices should be expected to rise. If there is more supply than there is demand, prices should be expected to fall. The same is true with houses, which have been rising quickly in price during the past year. Why is this the case, and what does this mean for the future?

Housing Prices Are Going Up

It should come as no surprise that houses are going up quickly. The biggest reason why the prices of homes are going up across the country is that there is more demand than there is supply. Not as many new homes are being built, more people are trying to take advantage of favorable home loans, and some homeowners are hesitant to sell their houses because they are worried they will not be able to find a new one. All of this is contributing to a low home supply, driving up prices. 

Will Prices Stop Going Up Soon?

Nobody has a crystal ball, and it is difficult to predict the future. During the winter, many people are hesitant to move because they do not want to be stuck dealing with a major life change during the holidays. Furthermore, unless there are changes in the supply chain, it will probably be difficult for construction companies to build more houses. Even though housing prices may continue to go up, they will probably not go up as quickly.

What Should Homeowners Do?

There are some people who are hesitant to enter the buying market because they are waiting for prices to come down. Unfortunately, it will probably take a long time for housing prices to drop. Until the market normalizes, housing prices are probably not going to fall. Even when they fall, they probably will not drop by much. Therefore, it is more important for homeowners to work with a  real estate agent who can help them find the right house without overpaying. Even though this can be a difficult market to navigate, there are opportunities for potential homeowners to find the right house at the right price. It simply takes a bit of persistence. 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 18, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 18th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 18, 2021

Last week’s economic reporting included readings on inflation, core inflation, and minutes of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting held on September 22 and 23. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

September’s Consumer Price Index rose by 0.10 percent to 0.40 percent. The Core Consumer Price Index for September, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.10 percent to 0.20 percent and fell short of the expected reading of 0.30 percent growth.

Feds’ FOMC Meeting Minutes: Policymakers Consider Tapering Securities Purchases

Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held September 21 and 22 indicated that policymakers discussed when to taper the Fed’s purchase of U.S. Treasuries and Mortgage-Backed Securities. Opinions were mixed as some policymakers recommended faster tapering of asset purchases and others were concerned about the potentially negative impact on financial markets if the Fed reduced its asset purchases too quickly. No specific dates for tapering asset purchases were set during the current FOMC meeting, but analysts expected the Committee to announce its plan for tapering asset purchases at its next meeting.

FOMC members also discussed inflation and were divided on their forecasts for inflation. While some members expected high inflationary growth in 2022, other FOMC members said that Covid-related bottlenecks in supply chains caused higher inflation in the near term.

Mortgage Rates Rise as Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by six basis points to 3.05 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by seven basis points to 2.30 percent; rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose averaged 2.55 percent and were three basis points higher Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 293,000 new claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 329,000 first-time claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also fell with 2.59 million ongoing claims filed; 2.73 million ongoing claims were filed in the previous week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions. Reporting on sales of previously-owned homes, housing starts, and building permits issued are expected; weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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