Archive for Real Estate

Why Buying A Home In An Adjacent Area To The Best Neighborhood Is A Wise Strategy

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 13th, 2019

Why Buying A Home In An Adjacent Area To The Best Neighborhood Is A Wise StrategyHave you ever seen a scientific experiment with things growing in a Petri dish? This is a metaphor for how neighborhoods grow as well. Things in a Petri dish grow towards the areas that have more nutrition to attract them and repel from areas that have bad things that they do not want.

A popular neighborhood does a similar thing. It may have boundaries that are certain street or other physical barriers. Nevertheless, if the area builds its popularity, it tends to grow and might also cause an improvement in the surrounding areas.

Homes In Adjacent Neighborhoods

An adjacent neighborhood is one that is right next to another one. For example, in the Los Angeles Metro Area, just to the west of Beverly Hills is Century City. Century City is a fine area so it is usually called by its name. However, properties in Century City are also “Beverly Hills – Adjacent.”

This nomenclature is a bit like identifying a “used car” as a “pre-owned vehicle.” It is a marketing technique to say a home is located in a neighborhood adjacent to a popular one. However, those homes are indeed special. If the popular area appreciates significantly, this may have a positive impact on the neighborhoods surrounding it.

Mapping Adjacent Neighborhoods

It is a terrific strategy to look at the opportunities for buying a home in an adjacent area near the best neighborhood in town.

Use Google maps to find the map that includes the best area of town and what is around it. Then, research the listing prices for homes that are within the best neighborhood and those that are in the adjacent areas. For comparison, look for homes of the same style, type, and size

Zoom in on the satellite view of the streets to get a close look at the places just inside and just outside the official boundaries of a great neighborhood. It may be surprising to find areas that have a significant pricing differential, even just for a few blocks on a few streets. Those particular areas are worth further exploration.

Barriers To Progress

Be aware that physical barriers are stronger than psychological ones. A river, a very wide street, a public park or another major physical barrier can permanently separate a neighborhood from another adjacent one. These may block a growth opportunity.

What to look for are adjacent areas where the barrier between the neighborhoods is psychological and there is nothing at all very different between the great neighborhood and two blocks down the street. These few blocks in the adjacent neighborhood are where one might discover a treasure. It is possible to find a home that has a slightly better price. It might appreciate at the same rate as the best neighborhood next door or faster to catch up with other similar homes.

Summary

Using the adjacent neighborhood strategy may help avoid buying a home only in the most expensive areas that may be over-priced. Many find that the adjacent areas are just as nice and a home there may be a better value. 

Work with a real estate agent that knows the area well. Your agent should be able to help you discover the up-and-coming adjacent areas and properties that might offer an enhanced investment opportunity.

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Culture Clash: Why Boomers Are Moving Back to Big Cities

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 11th, 2019

Culture Clash Why Boomers Are Moving Back to Big Cities“Baby Boomers,” defined as people who were born between 1946-1964, are the wealthiest generation to ever retire, as well as the largest. According to U.S. Census Bureau projections, the population of people 65 and older will increase by 36% between 2013-2023 and is expected to outnumber children by 2034 — for the first time in U.S. history.

Interestingly, in the decade since the Great Recession,people aged 50-59 are increasingly bucking tradition and moving to urban areas. As Boomers retire en masse, they are headed for major cities, favoring amenities-loaded condos over large single-family homes with manicured lawns. What is responsible for this change in older adults?

Home Maintenance Considerations

One of the largest factors causing boomers to migrate to cities is home maintenance. Once adult children are out of the home, many people downsize into more manageable houses. Larger suburban homes take a lot of work between routine home maintenance, not to mention larger emergency repairs. 

It makes sense then, that people 55 and older accounted for the largest increase in the rental home segment from 2007-2017, with a 38% rise in those older than 55 and a 43% increase in people older than 65. In stark contrast, the increase in rentals in people aged 54 and under in the same time period was less than 10%. 

Creature Comforts

Another thing responsible for older adults moving away from the suburbs and into more urban areas is the abundance of amenities large cities can offer them. Exceptionally walkable cities such as those where universities are located tend to cluster upscale condos and apartments near major shopping outlets and public transportation lines, as well as a multitude of options for shopping, dining, cultural experiences, and medical services. 

Cities like Lawrence, Kansas and Bloomington, Indiana have taken note of the trend — and the fact that boomers have about 70% of all disposable income in the United States — and have taken steps to lure retirees in, offering recreation opportunities specific to seniors and making public transportation and preventive healthcare more accessible.

This trend of boomers moving back into large cities, while fascinating, makes perfect sense and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future as cities make themselves more and more appealing, as well as accessible.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Tips On How To Get The Home You Want In A ‘Seller’s Market’

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 10th, 2019

Tips On How To Get The Home You Want In A 'Seller's Market'A “seller’s market” happens when there are more potential buyers than homes for sale. In a seller’s market, people looking for a home may feel frustration and not easily find the home that they want. When they find a home for sale that they like, the seller of the home may receive multiple competitive offers at the same moment.

The seller is in an excellent position when this happens. Sellers can pick from the purchase offers to choose the one they like the most. Even if an offer is the same as another one, sometimes it is not the offer chosen by a seller.

Causes Of A Seller’s Market

Seller’s markets arise because a particular area is very desirable. There can also be limitations that do not allow any further development of residential properties in an area. Well-established neighborhoods in up-scale market areas are typically likely candidates for becoming a seller’s market. Easy credit financing is another contributing factor. 

Check the median sales price as a percentage of the listing price for an area. If it is greater than 100%, this is a seller’s market.

Buying A Home In A Seller’s Market

If you must live in a certain area, and there are extremely compelling reasons for buying a home in a seller’s market, then expect to pay more and work harder to get the type of home that you want. Here are some tips about how to buy a home in a seller’s market:

1. Work With A Top Real Estate Professional: You want to go into this challenge along with the best professional help that you can find. You want to choose a top real estate agent that specializes in the market area that you desire. They should know the neighborhood intimately and represented both buyers and sellers in that market.

2. Pre-Approved Credit Commitment: Apply for mortgage approval before looking for a home to buy. Request more than the amounted needed and pay for a written loan commitment that guarantees the financing is both approved and legally-committed for the time, plus a little more, that you need to find a home to buy.

3. Move Fast: Make a purchase offer as quickly as possible when a new home listing comes up that meets your criteria.

4. Cash Earn Money Deposit: Offer the seller earnest money in cash that is a significant amount to accept the purchase price you offer. By cash, we mean physical dollar bills of around $5,000 or more. Cash makes people sign a deal.

5. Offer More Money: If you want a specific home, make your purchase offer 1% or more than the asking price. Also, offer in writing to match any other competing offers plus a bit more. You may get into a bidding war and have to pay much more to get the home. 

6. Off-Market Properties: Seek to buy a property that is not yet for sale. Ask your agent to call people who they sold a home to before. Ask everyone in the local area if they know of one that is like the one you want. Knock on doors of homes that are one you might like to buy and ask the owner if they will sell the home.

Summary

To get the home you want, try to be flexible with the basic criteria of what type of home it is. Work with a great real estate agent. Move fast and use our tips to be competitive with other potential homebuyers.

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The Risks And The Rewards Of Buying Homes In An ‘As-Is’ Condition

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 5th, 2019

The Risks And The Rewards Of Buying Homes In An 'As-Is' ConditionWhen considering buying a home in an “as-is” condition, the buyer takes all the risk of anything needed to bring the property back up to current building codes and make it ready for occupation or re-sale. There can be bargains in as-is properties if you know how to hunt for one. 

How To Find As-Is Bargain Properties

To find these properties, look for those that sell at auction for tax liens or other reasons for governmental asset-seizure. The might be distressed as-is properties that are foreclosures, short-sales, or estate sales.

A popular home-flipping strategy is to buy an as-is property at a price that is far below market value, make the repairs necessary, and then resell the home for a price that covers the repair costs plus makes a profit.

Tips On Buying As-Is Properties

It is a guessing game when buying an as-is property. There may be very unpleasant surprises for repairs that are very costly and are not obvious. Hidden problems include major plumbing troubles, severe electrical system repairs, shifting or broken foundations, dry rot, and termite infestations.

Here are some tips about how to improve the chances of getting a better deal when buying an as-is property:

Home Inspection: Conduct a professional home inspection. This is insurance to avoid a serious mistake. It is worth the few hundred dollars to pay for one, even if you do not get the property. 

Work With A Contractor: Being a contractor yourself is great. Many contractors buy and flip houses when not working on projects for others. The next best thing is working or partnering with a contractor. Just doing a walk-through with a remodeling contractor helps identify things that need to fix. Then, the estimates for the renovation can be done more accurately.

Major Systems: Assume the major systems will need work or replacement. The biggest unknown expenses in a renovation come from the heating, cooling, and other major systems.

Check Drains: Running water into the sinks for a few minutes is an easy way to see if the drains are blocked.

Roof: Based on the home’s age, assume the roof needs replacement if the roof is more than 20 years old. Inside the home look for evidence of roof leaks that left behind stains on the ceilings and walls that are signs of water damage.

Probe For Termites: Drill tiny deep holes into wood, in an inconspicuous area, to test for termite infestation and/or pay for a pest control inspection.

Foundation Problems: Go into the crawl space under a home to look for foundation problems, such as major cracks and shifting. Another indicator of ground movement and settling, which may be a problem, is that the doors in the home are not level or plumb and do not close properly.

Summary

It is possible to get a bargain when buying an as-is property; however, it is not a certainty. If you are just starting with flipping houses, it is better to partner with professionals to get helpful guidance. Work with a qualified real estate agent who specializes in distressed properties and partner with a reputable building contractor to increase the chance of success.

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How Much Money To Budget For Home Maintenance

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 29th, 2019

How Much Money To Budget For Home Maintenance1Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of these involves home maintenance. Sometimes, people are surprised by the size and frequency of home maintenance costs.

In order to reduce the stress that comes with home maintenance, it is important to plan ahead of time. This means budgeting for the inevitable costs that come with home maintenance. There are a few systems that people can use to estimate their home maintenance costs.

The Percentage System

One of the most common systems that people use is the percentage system. In general, the amount of money that people spend on maintenance is directly related to the size of their home. The larger the home, the more money someone is going to spend on maintenance.

Most people will spend between 1 percent and 4 percent of their home’s value every year in maintenance costs. Older homes are going to have more maintenance costs than younger homes. For example, if a home is worth $300,000, someone is going to be spending between $3,000 and $12,000 per year on upkeep.

The Square Footage System

The range above might be too large for someone to budget accurately. Therefore, a lot of people also use the square footage system. Again, the larger the home, the more someone will spend on upkeep.

In general, someone should allocate $1 dollar per year per square foot of home. For example, if someone’s home is 2,500 square feet, they should allocate about $2,500 per year in home maintenance. 

Some of the downsides of this method are that it does not take into account the location or age of the home. Keep these factors in mind as well.

Home Maintenance Is Different Than Home Repairs

Home maintenance costs are very different than major repairs. The idea of maintenance is to prevent repairs from arising. If someone has to replace their HVAC unit or take out faulty wiring, this does not count as home maintenance costs.

With this in mind, it is important for everyone to budget accurately for home maintenance and to make sure these tasks are completed on-time. Proper home maintenance can save money on homeownership by preventing major repair bills from coming up down the road. 

And any time you have home maintenance questions, remember to ask your real estate professional. They have a lot of experience dealing with every type of home repair and a list of local referral maintenance providers.

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5 Essential Books To Read Before Starting In Real Estate

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 27th, 2019

5 Essential Books To Read Before Starting In Real EstateIt is important for everyone to put money in a position to make money in order to make financial dreams come true. One of the common targets that people circle is real estate investing.

Before jumping into the world of real estate investing, it is important for everyone to be prepared. This starts by reading a few fantastic books that can help people learn more about the environment associated with investing in real estate.

The Book On Investing In Real Estate

One of the first books that people need to circle is called The Book On Investing In Real Estate. This is a fantastic book that explains to everyone how they can get involved in real estate investing with limited capital. It doesn’t take much to get started. The strategies discussed in this manner are similar to those involved with investing large amounts of money.

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

A book titled The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is another great read. This book was put together using interviews with more than 100 millionaire investors in the world of real estate. Those who would like to be successful in this arena need to make sure they learn from the successes of those who came before them.

How A Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment

This book, titled How A Second Home Can Be Your Best Investmentis a great read for anyone who is looking to get started in this investing world. This book is written by some of the world’s leading experts in the world of real estate. Using plain language, everyone has the potential to learn about the basics involved in investing in real estate.

One Rental At A Time

This read, titled One Rental at a Time, is an easy and straightforward read. The book compares the world of investing in real estate with an ancient Chinese proverb. This proverb can serve as a powerful guiding principle that can help people get started in the sector of real estate investing.

The Entrepreneur Mind

It is important for those who are looking to get started in this investment state to read everything they can. At the same time, this is also about building a business, which The Entrepreneur Mind addresses. The business world is useful for every aspiring real estate to understand.

Reading high-quality books about real estate investing is a great way to improve your knowledge. Combine that knowledge with a trusted team of real estate industry professionals like a trusted real estate agent and mortgage financing expert and you’ll have a winning combination!

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How Growing, Multi-Generational Families Impact Home Design And Financing

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 26th, 2019

How Growing, Multi-Generational Families Impact Home Design And FinancingThere has been a surge in families who have multiple generations living together. In many cultures, children take care of their parents as they age. This is done in an effort to repay the parents for raising them during their childhood.

At the same time, when there are multiple generations living together in the same home, there are some changes in both home design and financing.

Financing a Multi-Generation Home

Anyone who is looking to finance a multigeneration home will need to detail their financing plan to the mortgage lender. The lender always wants to know how the loan is going to be repaid. The more details someone can supply, the better the chances are that the application will be approved.

A common arrangement is having the grandparents supply the down-payment. They are more likely to have a ready supply of cash-on-hand, often in the home of equity from their prior home.

Then, parents typically supply monthly payments. They are more likely to a stable source of income given that they are likely still employed. 

The Home Design of a Multi-Gen Home

Given that more and more people are indicating their willingness to live in a multi-gen home, this is having an impact on home design as well. Many of these homes have a first-floor bedroom. While these were unusual before, having first-floor bedrooms is important for older relatives. This allows them to avoid having to take the stairs, reducing the risk of falls.

In addition, many people want to provide their older relatives with a feeling of independence while living in the home. This can be accomplished by providing a small kitchenette in the first-floor bedroom. There is often a separate entrance as well. Some families are even interested in having a separate guest house on their property.

Investing in a Multi-Gen Home in the Future

As multiple generation housing arrangements continue to increase throughout society, the financing and home design will continue to evolve. For this reason, it is important for everyone considering this living arrangement to stay up to date on the trends in this industry. It might impact how they design and finance their home for their elderly family members in the future.

Talk with your trusted real estate and mortgage financing professionals to get the best advice on your personal situation. They are experienced in designing solutions for every possible scenario.

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The Most Commonly Searched Household How-To Remedies

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 22nd, 2019

The Most Commonly Searched Household How-To RemediesOwning a home comes with a lot of responsibility. Many of the responsibilities that people think about involve home maintenance. There are few things that frustrate a homeowner more than having repair and maintenance bills come up. At the same time, it is important to address these properly.

For this reason, it is important for everyone to understand the most common how-tos people search for. This will give someone a glimpse into some of the responsibilities he or she might face when owning a home. Those who can handle these how-tos can save money on maintenance costs and repair bills.

How To Unclog A Drain

One of the most commonly searched how-tos is how to unclog a drain. Some of the drains that might get clogged include kitchen drains, sink drains, and bathtub drains. When these drains are clogged, water can back up and make the equipment unusable.

In order to unclog a drain, it is important to consider the various options available. Some people use a “snake” to unclog a drain. Other people use a liquid, such as Drano. 

How To Stop A Leaky Faucet

Another how-to that people frequently have to handle is a leaky faucet. A dripping faucet can lead to significant increases in someone’s water bills. Furthermore, the dripping noise can also keep people up at night.

Sometimes, the handles on the faucet simply need to be tightened to stop the leaky faucet. In other cases, there might be a loose washer underneath the sink somewhere. These are some of the common causes of a leaky faucet.

How To Patch And Repair Drywall

Another common house issue that people sometimes need to handle involves drywall. Patching drywall can be a complicated process depending on the location and size of the drywall.

Everyone who is thinking about patching drywall should understand the steps involved. This includes how to make the drywall smooth in addition to the various adhesives and tools involved.

Understanding Household How-Tos

These are a few of the various how-tos that people might have to face during homeownership. Homeowners that can handle these how-tos will be able to save money on maintenance and repair bills down the road, provided they are handled properly.

If you are in the market for a new home or if you are interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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5 Essential Tips For Painting A House

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 20th, 2019

5 Essential Tips for Painting a HouseWhen someone makes the decision to purchase a home, they often want to add their own personal touch, style, and flair to the home. One of the ways to do this is to paint the home. Of course, painting a home is a significant investment in terms of both time and money. It is important for everyone to keep a few tips in mind to make sure this process goes smoothly.

Pressure Wash The Walls Ahead Of Time

The first step is to make sure the walls are pressure washed first. Anything that is present on the walls when the paint goes down will be trapped there permanently. Remove any dust and debris by taking the time to pressure wash the walls first.

Prime The Painting Areas

The paint needs to adhere to the walls properly in order to achieve the desired effect. In order to make this happen, prime the painting areas first. This coat of primer is essential for making sure the painting job is completed properly.

Protect The Areas That Aren’t Painted

Homeowners also need to take the proper precautions to make sure the paint stays in the desired area. This means using painter’s tape or similar precautions to protect the areas of the home that aren’t going to be painted. Make sure the paint is contained in the desired areas. 

Start With The First Paint Layer

Those who are painting their home need to make sure they paint with a single layer at a time. Even though it can be a hassle to move the painting equipment from spot to spot, give the paint time to rest before judging the work. Finish the first layer before moving on to the next.

Call A Professional Home Painting Contractor For Help

Finally, it can be hard to paint a home. Often, the job does not proceed exactly as planned. Therefore, homeowners should not hesitate to call a contractor for help. Even though homeowners might feel like this is spending money unnecessarily, the costs that come from a painting job performed incompletely or incorrectly will be far more significant.

A contractor has the training and experience necessary to get home painting jobs done correctly the first time.  As always, your local real estate professional can help you find the most reliable painting contractor available in your area.

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The 5 Most Common Dangerous Home Issues

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 20th, 2019

The 5 Most Common Dangerous Home IssuesYou are supposed to feel safe in your own home; however, accidents can happen and there are plenty of hidden dangers that might land someone in the hospital. It is important for you to understand the common household dangers. Knowledge is power and you can take steps to prevent these issues from arising. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This is one of the most common household dangers that everyone should know. Homes always have a smoke detector; however, carbon monoxide detectors are often overlooked. This is an odorless gas that can actually kill someone if the levels get too high. Make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working. This gas commonly arises from the tailpipe of a running car.

Lead Poisoning

Lead can be absorbed through the skin or the mouth. Lead poisoning can lead to serious neurological issues. Newer homes are built without lead paint; however, if you purchase an older home, there might still be lead paint on the walls. Check the paint thoroughly and swap it out if lead is present.

Mold

Mold is a common hazard that grows in homes. Mold can release spores into the air that can irritate people who suffer from asthma and allergies. Make sure that you keep your home clean to avoid mold growth. Mold likes warm, humid climates.

Falls

Injuries due to falls are among the most common accidents that happen in homes. If someone falls in their home, they are at risk of breaking bones or suffering a head injury. Make sure that you keep your outdoor steps clean and stabilize your staircases. This will reduce the risk of falls.

Drowning

Unfortunately, drowning can happen even if someone is safe in their own home. Even if a house doesn’t have a pool, people can still drown in the bathtub. In order to reduce the risk of a drowning event, make sure your pool has a fence around it (if you have one). Also, try to supervise bathing children. This will reduce the risk of a drowning event.

Reducing Household Dangers

Knowing about these dangers ahead of time reduces the chances of them happening. Try to inspect your home thoroughly to make sure that these common hazards are avoided.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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