Archive for December, 2021

The Three R’s Of Fixing Historic Homes For Sale

Posted in Homebuyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 10th, 2021

The Three R’s Of Fixing Historic Homes For SaleIf you enjoy history and fixing things, then it may be hard to drive by historic homes for sale without feeling the urge to buy one and fix it up. 

Before you do, you need learn the three R’s of fixing up historic homes and the differences between them.

The three R’s of fixing up historic homes are restoration, renovation and repair.  Some of the differences are minor, but they can make all the difference in cost, time and problems.


“Restoration” literally means returning something to its original state. 

Restoring historic homes for sale involve city and state programs. It’s essential that you check to see if the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or if it’s located in a historic district. 

If either of these is the case, there is a specific set of rules that you must follow while renovating. 

Cost: Restoration is not a cheap endeavor. For a home to keep its historic value, the materials used need to match the original materials, including furnishings. These can be very expensive due to their antique value.


Renovating is less complicated than restoring, at least when talking about what you can and can’t do. However, with a renovation, you’re generally turning the home into a more modern living place, which lowers its historic value. Make sure it isn’t listed in the NRHP or located in a historic district.

Cost: Depending on the amount of renovations, i.e., modernizing, gutting or remodeling, this can also be expensive. However, it’s much easier to find deals on modern appliances than it is on antiques.


Repairs differ because they generally aren’t as in depth as the others. For restoration repairs, it’s important to use materials that fit the house, such as plaster walls and wooden floors. For renovation, original materials aren’t as important. 

Cost: Again, the cost depends on the number of repairs, as well as, whether you’re keeping the historic value. 

Whether restoring, renovating or repairing historic homes for sale, the key is cost. Don’t get so caught up in the possible that you miss the probable. Thinking of buying or selling an historic home? I can help! Call your trusted real estate professional today.

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$500 Renovations That Will Boost Your Home’s Value and Speed Up Your Sale

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 9th, 2021

$500 Renovations That Will Boost Your Home's Value and Speed Up Your SaleThe idea of home renovations when you’re selling your home can be unpopular because of the cost and time that can go into sprucing up a place you’re about to leave behind. However, making a few simple, economical touches can go a long way to capitalizing on your home’s value and making a difference in dollars. If you’re curious about cheap options for an easier sale, here are a few that may make the deal a little sweeter.

Kick Up The Kitchen A Notch

With all of the time that a family spends in the kitchen, it’s unsurprising that it is fast becoming one of the most important features that go into a potential buyer’s interest in a home. For less than a thousand, you may want to consider an upgraded appliance that will serve as a sparkly new selling feature or even some slightly revamped cabinet fronts that will keep the price down and the look up-to-date.

A Little Bathroom Fix-Up

With the bathroom being one of the smallest spaces in any home, it can be hard to know how to properly enhance this minimal space for maximum effect. Instead of re-doing the floor or the tub, consider the basic cost of a new light fixture and an updated mirror. Simply updating these two items will completely shift the look of an aging bathroom.

Clean Up The Carpet

With carpet making a bit of a comeback, it’s certainly not going to be worth your while to replace any damage it’s incurred before leaving your home. Instead of leaving things to chance, though, consider a relatively economical carpet cleaning that will drastically improve the look of your carpet and may convince potential buyers it’s less worn than it is.

Lighting Is Everything

There are few things that can lend or detract from the look of a room more than the lighting you choose. While you may want to consider a new, nice fixture to change up your living room, kitchen or foyer area, a shade of light that is complimentary to the space it’s illuminating will have more of an impact than anything on how your home is viewed.

Renovations may seem like unnecessary work if you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, but some minor upgrades can make a huge difference on the price tag that your home sale will pull in. If you’re wondering about home upgrades and other factors that will be considered in selling your home, you may want to contact your local real estate agent for more information.

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Qualifying For A Mortgage Credit Certificate

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 8th, 2021

Qualifying For A Mortgage Credit CertificatePurchasing a house can be expensive, but there are measures in place to make it easier, particularly for people buying a home for the first time. One option is a mortgage credit certificate. What is the certificate, and how does it work?

A Mortgage Certificate Is A Tax Credit

A mortgage credit certificate, usually shortened to MCC, is a credit issued to first-time homebuyers by the local or state government. This certificate allows first-time homeowners to claim a federal tax credit for mortgage interest paid on the loan, with a limit of up to $2,000. When someone takes out a mortgage, the majority of the payments go toward interest. This credit certificate allows homeowners to recover some of the interest paid in the form of a tax credit.

Who Qualifies For This Credit?

Not every homeowner will qualify for this certificate. Usually, this is a certificate reserved for low-income people purchasing a home for the first time. Or, these credits are limited to people who purchase a house in a certain area. Usually, these programs are run by the states. Every state has a slightly different income limit for people purchasing a home. Everyone needs to check the local rules and regulations set by their states.

Is The Certificate Different From A Tax Deduction?

Yes, the mortgage credit certificate is different from a tax deduction. A tax credit is directly applied to the amount of money someone owes in taxes. In contrast, a tax deduction is a deduction from someone’s gross taxable income. A tax credit is better for tax purposes than a tax deduction. It is possible for someone to be awarded a mortgage credit certificate and deduct the interest paid on the mortgage from their taxes. Anyone who has questions about how deductions and credits work should work with a tax professional. 

Do Not Leave Money On The Table

It is true that purchasing a house for the first time can be a challenge; however, there are financial measures in place to make this process easier. Anyone who is buying a home for the first time should take a look at the state qualifications for the mortgage credit certificate program. This could help people save money on their taxes.


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Tips For Buying A Home In Another State

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 7th, 2021

Tips For Buying A Home In Another StateThere are many reasons why people need to move. Some people might be moving to be closer to a school. Other people might be moving to live closer to family members. Some people might have gotten a job in another state. Purchasing a home in another state can be a challenge, but technology has made it easier. Even though a lot of people still prefer to see a potential home in person, it is possible to take a virtual tour of a house. As a result, some people purchase homes they have never seen in person. On the other hand, there are many challenges that come with purchasing a house in another state. What can potential homeowners do to make the process easier?

Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

One of the first tips potential homeowners need to keep in mind is that they need to choose the right real estate agent. Even though it is always important to work with a real estate agent, it is even more important when purchasing a home in a new area. Potential homeowners are unfamiliar with the area, and they need to learn more about the community. A real estate agent can talk to homeowners about local schools, shopping and dining opportunities, potential development, and property values. The right real estate agent should take the time to understand the needs of his or her clients and generate a list of potential properties based on those preferences. 

Ask Questions About The Area

Next, homeowners should not be afraid to ask questions about the area. There is no such thing as a dumb question, and homeowners need to collect all the necessary information to make an educated decision. How much earnest money is required? What is it like to get an inspection? How long does it take to close? Don’t hesitate to ask a few questions about the region. 

Request A Remote Closing 

Speaking of closing, homeowners can request a remote closing. That way, they don’t have to worry about altering their schedules to be physically present at the closing table. The real estate agent can be the representative of the buyer at closing. This can make the process easier, saving money on travel expenses along the way. 


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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 6, 2021

Posted in Uncategorized by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 6th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 6, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on home price trends, pending home sales, labor-sector readings on public and private-sector job growth. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

S&P Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Slows in September

The pace of national home price growth slowed for the first time since May 2020 in September according to S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Year-over-year home price growth slowed by 0.30 percent to 19.50 percent from August’s year-over-year home price growth reading of 19.80 percent. Demand for homes typically slows during fall and winter; some buyers were also sidelined by affordability concerns.

The 20-City Home Price Index for September showed some changes as Phoenix, Arizona continued to hold its top spot in the index and reported a 33.10 percent gain in home prices year-over-year. Tampa, Florida held second place with a  year-over-year home price growth rate of 27.70 percent. Miami, Florida reported a year-over-year home price growth rate of 25.20 percent. Western states have recently dominated home price growth rates, but Florida cities have surpassed former second and third-place cities San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington.

Pending home sales of previously owned homes rose by 7.50 percent in October as compared to the expected pace of 0.70 percent and September’s reading of  2.40 percent fewer sales of homes for which purchase contracts were signed but sales were not yet completed. The surge in pending home sales was attributed to homebuyers’ haste to avoid expected higher mortgage rates and rapidly rising rents. The National Association of Realtors® noted that sales activity was higher than usual for fall, but also cautioned that the emergence of a new variation of the covid-19 virus could slow sales activity.

Mortgage Rates Little Changed as New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported minimal activity for mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 3.11 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.39 percent and were three basis points lower. Interest rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by two basis points to 2.40 percent on average. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims rose to 222,000 claims filed and fell short of the expected reading of 240,000 new claims filed. 194,000 initial jobless claims were filed during the prior week. Continuing jobless claims fell to 1.96 million ongoing claims from the prior week’s reading of 2.06 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on job openings and quits and the University of Michigan’s preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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How To Sell A Home Around The Holidays

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 3rd, 2021

How To Sell A Home Around The HolidaysIt is true that the summer months are a hot time for the real estate market. Many families with children prefer to move during the summer because they do not have to pull their kids out of school. On the other hand, it is possible to sell a home during the holidays. There are fewer homes on the market, so this could drive up prices. What are a few tips homeowners should follow for selling their houses around the holidays?

Remove The Clutter

When the temperature cools off, people spend more time inside. Therefore, it is easy for houses to get cluttered. When this is combined with the rest of the holidays, it is easy for messes to build up. People looking to sell their houses during the holidays need to avoid clutter at all costs. Potential buyers want to imagine what their life is like in the house. If there is a mess everywhere, it will be difficult for buyer imaginations to run wild. 

Maximize The Curb Appeal

There is never a second chance to make a first impression, and the first impression comes from curb appeal. Even though there might be a lot of leaves on the ground, homeowners need to act quickly to remove them. Furthermore, bare trees can expose damaged parts of the house. It might be a good idea to throw a fresh coat of paint on the outside. 

Price To Sell

There is a delicate balance between pricing a house too high and pricing a house too low. Nobody wants to leave money on the table, but it is important not to scare away buyers. Homeowners who can afford to wait may want to price the house higher; however, if someone is starting a new job at the beginning of the year, the house might need to be priced lower to sell quickly. 

Select The Right Agent

Selling a home during the holidays can be a challenge, but the right real estate agent can make all the difference. It is critical to work with an agent who has experience selling a home during the holidays. That way, they can find comparable homes in the area, set the price right, and get as many showings as possible to get offers on the table. 


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When Inventory Is Low, Sellers Win

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 2nd, 2021

When Inventory Is Low, Sellers WinThe real estate market has gone through a number of changes during the past few months. When inventory is low, sellers win. They have the ability to pick a buyer, they can make more money, and they can sell a house faster. What are some of the biggest reasons why sellers win when inventory is low? 

The Asking Price Goes Up

One of the biggest reasons why sellers win when inventory is low is that the asking price goes up. When there are more buyers than there are sellers, a seller may have multiple offers on the table. Then, the seller can leverage those offers against each other, driving up the price of the house. This could allow sellers to get thousands of dollars over the asking price for their homes. 

Sellers Maximize The Return

When sellers drive up the asking price of a house, this also increases the equity they have in their homes. When sellers have a mortgage, the monthly payment does not change much over the life of that mortgage; however, when the value of the house rises, this means sellers have more equity in their homes. They can do a lot with this equity. They can sell the house, pocket the extra equity, and either put it toward a new house or deposit it into their retirement account. 

The Seller Can Dictate The Terms

Finally, when inventory is low, sellers have the ability to dictate the terms. For example, a seller might be selling a house that has a wide variety of repairs. When inventory is low, sellers do not necessarily have to do these repairs. They know there are so many people looking for houses that someone will be willing to purchase the house without asking for repairs to be made. Sellers might even ask for cash offers only. This allows the seller to avoid certain closing expenses and walk away with more cash. 

Sellers Win When Inventory Is Low

The real estate market fluctuates over time; however, when inventory is low, sellers win. Because there is less competition on the market, sellers can get multiple offers on the table. This allows them to drive the negotiation, getting as much money as possible for their house. 


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Decluttering A Home Can Make A Major Impact

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 1st, 2021

Decluttering A Home Can Make A Major ImpactThere are numerous homeowners who are looking for a way to make more space. Even a small decluttering project can make a significant difference to the amount of space available in a home. This can also make it easier for homeowners to find what they are looking for. Furthermore, if a home is going on the market in the near future, it needs to be as clean as possible. That way, prospective buyers can see the potential of a home. What are a few examples of decluttering projects that can make a significant difference?

Clean Under The Kitchen Sink

The kitchen is one of the most used spaces in the home. Therefore, it is critical to keep it clean. Focus on cleaning under the kitchen sink. The easier the cleaning supplies are to locate, the easier it will be to keep the kitchen clean. Some homeowners are more likely to keep the kitchen clean if they have an easier time pulling out the cleaning supplies. Consider using labels, drawers, and boxes to keep the equipment organized. 

Check The Bathroom Closets

Bathroom cabinets are among the most overlooked areas in the home, but they also have a lot of potential. Many homeowners do not have enough linens and towels to fill up the bathroom cabinet, so think of other ways to use this space. For example, homeowners may want to place extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, and cleaning supplies in the bathroom cabinet. It might be smart to use dividers to keep the space in the bathroom closet organized. 

Tidy Up The Refrigerator

Finally, homeowners should also think about cleaning the refrigerator. Stains in the refrigerator can be notoriously difficult to remove, but using a bit of white vinegar can go a long way. Take a look at the expiration dates on the items in the refrigerator and throw away food and drinks that have already gone bad. Then, consider using labels to keep the refrigerator organized. This will make it easier for everyone to find what they are looking for the next time they open the door. 

These are just a few tips on how to declutter the areas that most homeowners often forget about. Just remember that a home can be decluttered in steps and is a process. 


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