Tech Jobs Driving House Flipping Projects

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 12th, 2018

Tech Jobs Driving House Flipping ProjectsReality TV shows about house flipping make it look easy. But behind every lucrative renovation project, there are factors that impact profitability such as buying price, labor costs, unforeseen setbacks and perhaps most importantly, location.

There is no escaping the old real estate adage of “location, location, location.” Home-flipping entrepreneurs must take into account whether polishing up a blighted building is in a viable resale neighborhood. One of the location factors some house flippers are following is the trend in tech jobs.

Because the tech industry does not necessarily rely on interstate highways, commercial hubs or seaports, computer-oriented businesses are taking advantage of once vibrant manufacturing areas that have fallen on hard times. Property values in these areas seem to be trending behind some of the nation’s hotspots despite having many desirable community living aspects such as parks, walking trails, waterfronts, restaurants, and a vibrant arts scene.

Rust Belt Resurgence

Following the decline in industrial work in areas throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois and others, once highly sought after cities and towns saw mass population declines. The lack of good-paying jobs left large numbers of wonderful homes and commercial buildings under-occupied.

Tech companies have been putting some economic lifeblood back into these communities in recent years. House flippers have been hot on their heels to renovate properties as high-paying workers migrate into the communities. Some of the numbers coming out of cities such as Pittsburgh and Buffalo have been impressive.

In Pittsburgh alone, house-flipping profits exceeded 162 percent in the second quarter, and Buffalo topped 100 percent. Considering the national average for this sector stands at about 44 percent, chasing tech outfits appears to be rewarding. Pennsylvania is reportedly now the second best place for home-flipping profits at 132.7 percent statewide.

Tech Trends Nationwide

The former mill and mining areas of the Rust Belt are among the top trending regions for flipping homes as Internet-based companies set up shop. There are also smaller pockets of tech-driven opportunities for contractors and real estate professionals to turn profits.

In New England, small cities such as Providence, RI, are seeing an upsurge in old mills being converted into online and tech business spaces. In Massachusetts, technology jobs have been on the rise in the region north of Boston. Former manufacturing hubs are seeing properties move as high-paying jobs increase. The opportunities for home flippers are growing.

Nashville, Tennessee, is reportedly outpacing tech-heavy Seattle in terms of employment growth. The professional networking website LinkedIn reported that 85 in 10,000 members relocated to Nashville through September. Approximately 118 in 10,000 moved to Austin and 96 to Denver. It appears the country is in the midst of tech-industry migration.

This trend is likely to continue, and house-flipping entrepreneurs are likely to have robust opportunities in these emerging housing markets across the country.

Contact your trusted real estate professional to learn about the current market trends in your area.

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True Facts About 4 Real Estate Reality TV Myths

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 4th, 2018

True Facts About 4 Real Estate Reality TV MythsMany of us are guilty of plopping on the sofa and binge-watching reality TV home flipping shows. The allure of buying and selling homes for big profits with no boss looking over our shoulders has major lifestyle appeal.

Shows like “Love it or List it,” “House Hunters,” “Flip or Flop” and others make it look incredibly simple. Even when they face adversity such as rotted wood or bad pipes, the way the reality TV stars overcome adversity is more of an inspiration than a deterrent. And plenty of everyday people do manage to succeed in the house-flipping industry.

But many of the myths these ratings-driven shows perpetuate could use a little busting.

Consider these four common house-flipping myths and the true facts behind them.

1: Three Viewings And A Closing

Reality TV shows tend to show viewers the industry professional looking at no more than three homes before making a flipping decision. That may play into the limited time slot they have but it’s far removed from reality.

True Facts: It’s not uncommon for potential home buyers to fall head over heels for the first property they view. After all, buyers often already like the neighborhood, school system, and home style. But the National Association of Realtors reports that the average person looks at about 10 properties before making a decision. Home flippers are additionally tasked with developing a return on investment plan. Three and done is not reality, it’s just TV.

2: Homes Linger On The Market

TV shows follow home flippers who seem to have all the time in the world before making an offer.

True Facts: Most of the purchase and sale process is simply staged for television. The homes have been pre-purchased before filming. Today, we are experiencing a seller’s market, meaning there are more buyers than inventory. Homes move quickly.

3: Open Houses Are A Sure Thing

On real estate reality TV shows, the fully renovated home is amazingly staged and sells during the first open house. Multiple offers are often floated.

True Facts: Only in a perfect world or on TV does this happen. Matching properties with potential buyers requires hard work from real estate agents. They must align purchase limits, pre-approved house shoppers, family size, school systems, location, and other expectations. Most homes are sold by real estate professionals setting up appointments and making multiple showings.

4: Homeowners Make Fast-Sell Decisions

On real estate reality TV, homeowners seem to take just moments to decide whether to love it or list it. This certainly doesn’t mirror the process of ordinary homeowners.

True Facts: Homeowners sell their properties for a wide range of reasons. These may include downsizing, retirement, relocation or an expanding family among many considerations. The vast majority of people mulling over a sale also take a long look at their next home options. It’s completely unrealistic to think someone made such a major life decision in five minutes or less.

Reality real estate TV shows are wonderfully entertaining to watch. So is science fiction. Enjoy your binge-watching and speak to a real-life real estate professional before making any major decisions. 

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When It Makes Sense To Buy An Ugly Duckling

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 24th, 2018

When It Makes Sense To Buy An Ugly DucklingMove-in ready” homes are desirable — there’s no doubt about it! But sometimes it makes better financial sense to opt for a house with dated decor and a less than trendy kitchen or master bath.

You may not get your dream home immediately, but the opportunity to transform a property into your own swan can be rewarding. It can also be easy on the pocketbook.

When looking at Ugly Ducklings, however, look first to structural integrity and the condition of major home systems. including plumbing and septic, driveway and drainage. A home inspection is invaluable, even though no inspector can guarantee trouble-free systems.

Inspections will alert you to potential problems: Needed roof repairs, leaking faucets, inoperable appliances, termite infestation or dry rot and the like.

All home components have a life span, and if you’re buying an older home, try to determine the age of its systems, including heating and air conditioning, and kitchen appliances.

Here are some ways to weigh the pros and cons:

Electrical Wiring

Assure that the electrical panel and service to the home are ample for your needs. If the panel is undersized or the home still has aluminum wiring, you’ll probably want to check on repair and replacement costs: In some older homes, it might be a deal killer. But it also might be an opportunity. You’ll have to weigh the options.

Roof

A roof that has been well-maintained, and that currently has no major deficiencies, is a bonus. If there are existing problems with shingles or gutters, it’s prudent to get an estimate for needed repairs from a qualified roofer. Use it as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

HVAC

Heating and Air Conditioning are major “quality of life” considerations. Whatever systems the house has installed should be in reasonable condition, and should heat and cool appropriately on demand. That doesn’t assure that you won’t have some costs sooner rather than later. But, depending on the age of the systems, you make get many more years of use.

Appliances

Older appliances may not have all the bells and whistles of stylish new models. But kitchen updates are expensive; the most costly items include cabinets and appliances. Buying a house with a vintage kitchen means that you can undertake a redo on your own terms, doing a little or a lot on your own timetable and with a specific budget in mind. 

Decor

Paint and simple fixes can change the whole look of a room, and put a new face on a whole house. A little elbow grease and a lot of imagination will easily compensate for the extra price of a remodeled home with all the newest materials. 

Landscaping

If you’re looking for bargains, look beyond negative curb appeal. Consider lot size and potential, and know that with a little cash and a lot of sweat equity, a nondescript yard can be transformed. Choose low-maintenance plants and reap double rewards.

Buying property in need of TLC, a Plain Jane, or the ugliest house on the block can be a wise decision if you have a little patience. But you might have to also invest some time and effort, along with some cash, to make it a thing of beauty. 

If you are in the market for a fixer-upper, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional to help you find your very own diamond in the rough.

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Should You Buy A Fixer Upper?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 24th, 2018

Should You Buy A Fixer UpperPopular TV shows like Fixer Upper and Property Brothers have brought the charms of owning a fixer upper to light. A fixer-upper can be a great option if you are prepared for the experience of owning a house that needs work and time.

A house that needs work can be a great investment if you are ready to invest the time and money into it. On the other hand, buying a fixer upper might be a problem if you are not aware of what you are getting into.

Not sure if owning a fixer upper is worth it? Here are some considerations to think about.

Start With This Easy Equation

Start with the likely market value of the house after renovations will be made. Then, sum up the cost to renovate the home. Then, add another 25 percent to the renovation costs for unforeseen problems that will no doubt come up during the renovation process.

Next, subtract the renovation costs from the probable market value of the house after the renovations are made. Use similar real estate prices in the area to get your estimate.

What number is left? This number what you should offer.

So, if the comparable estimates are $100,000 and the house needs $25,000 in work, then you should offer no more than $75,000 to break even. Most professionals recommend deducting 10 percent from the asking price just to make the investment of time worthwhile.

Determine How You Will Pay

If you buy a fixer-upper, you’re going to need some way to fund the renovations. It can be hard coming up with the funds for repairs and upgrades after paying closing costs. Some options for funding renovations include a renovation loan, like Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Loan. This loan is rolled right into your mortgage, which makes things easier.

Another popular option is an FHA 203(k) loan. This loan is a little easier to qualify for than the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Loan and it only requires 3.5% down.

Decide If You Want To Invest The Time

Buying a fixer-upper is an investment. You will have to invest your time in making a lot of decisions. You’ll need to decide on things like building materials and aesthetics.

Do you have a design or architectural background? Do you enjoy remodeling projects? These are questions that you’ll really want to think about before buying a fixer upper.

Your trusted real estate professional will be your best resource to help you find the right fixer upper and negotiate your best offer price. 

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Looking to Renovate?: 4 Renovations That Are Cheaper in the Summertime

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 3rd, 2016

Looking to Renovate?: 4 Renovations That Are Cheaper in the SummertimeIt’s often necessary to make a few small renovations before putting your home on the market, but it can be surprising to learn that summer can be a less expensive time for many common fix-ups. If you’re wondering what you should renovate in the summer months, you may want to consider a few of the following for the sake of economy.

Take On The Lawn

In many cases, often-difficult weather conditions that the winter months can provide make a lot of things difficult, and tackling the state of your lawn is certainly among these. Since curb appeal is very important when it comes to the overall impact of your home, the summer months are the optimal time to deal with any changes you want to make to the lawn, gardens or even your walk-way or front stoop.

Fix Up The Kitchen

A kitchen renovation may be long overdue but this is another one you’ll want to put off until the summer. While the warmer seasons afford the possibility for many outdoor, evening meals, this option may not exist in the cold throes of the winter, depending on your location. Instead of hustling off to restaurants where the costs will quickly add up, summer will provide a more affordable opportunity for upgrading.

Add On Extra Space

Whether your doubling your garage or adding on an extra room, this is the kind of work that can bring an influx of cold air into your house and will take a little longer given the discomfort. Instead of completing renovations that deal with the elements in the cooler months, spring for the summertime when the temperature and timeline will be a little milder.

Paint The Exterior

Few things will have a more positive impact on the overall look of your home than a coat of paint, but taking on this task in the winter can be a recipe for disappointment with the sudden snow and storms that may come along. Instead of chancing it and extending the completion of this task, save it for summer when the weather will be more predictable.

There are countless renovations under the sun, but there are some that may end up being more affordable if they’re completed in the summer months. If you’re fixing up your house because you’re planning on selling in the near future, contact your trusted local real estate professional for more information.

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Peak Season Is Near: 4 Tasks to Get Your Home Ready for Sale Season

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 24th, 2016

Peak Season is near 4 tasks to get your home ready for sale seasonThe spring is the most popular time of the year when it comes to real estate, and it’s a good time for a few fix ups if you’re putting your home on the market. While you may have a lot of different things to do before you’re ready for your first showing, here are the four things to keep at the top of the list.

Complete The Forgotten-About Fixes

If you’ve lived in your home for a while, it’s entirely possible that there’s a damaged baseboard or broken door latch that you haven’t gotten around to fixing; however, these are the things that a potential buyer will quickly notice. Instead of leaving it to chance, make a note of the little fixes and complete them before you set a date for a showing.

Do A Spring Clean

Packing up all of your stuff for a big move can be quite a gargantuan task, but taking advantage of spring-cleaning to clear out some old stuff will make the selling process a lot smoother. Not only will this force you to look at your home with new eyes, it means there will be little less to organize and de-clutter when it comes to staging time.

Break Out The Paint Cans

It’s important to stay away from colors that are too bold, but taking your brush to the paint can bring a lot to what viewers will take away from your home. Instead of a dull coat or chip marks, potential homebuyers will see your home in its best light. As painting your home can be quite a sizeable task, make sure you take this on well in advance of putting your home up for sale.

Check Out The Exterior

There’s often enough cleaning to do inside the home that the exterior is forgotten about, but this is the first thing a new visitor to your property will see. Instead of sticking to the inside, make sure that your lawn is mowed, any flowers beds are well groomed, and make sure that nothing appears out of place or disheveled.

There’s a lot to be done before putting your home on the market, but by following these tips you’ll be well on your way to a positive home staging. If you’re almost ready to sell and are weighing your options, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

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Thinking about Renovations?: 5 Considerations Before Hiring a Home Improvements Contractor

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 4th, 2016

Thinking about Renovations?: 5 Considerations Before Hiring a Home Improvements ContractorWith the pre-summer enthusiasm and the milder weather, springtime can be one of the best times of the year to take on home renovations that aren’t as easy in other months. If you happen to have some projects in mind and are considering taking the work on yourself, here are a few questions you’ll need to ask.

What Can You Take On?

If you have specific renovations in mind for the coming months, it’s very important to decide what you can reasonably take on and what you could pass on to a contractor. While some projects and fix-ups may be easier to complete on your own, some will require a greater degree of expertise.

What’s Your Skill Level?

You may have something that you think you can take on yourself, but if you’re new to renovating, it may be worth hiring a contractor who will be able to complete the job without incident. It can be a great learning experience to do many fix-ups on your own, but this can take a lot of time and energy too if you don’t know the details.

What’s Your Price Point?

Before deciding to hire a contractor, it’s important that you’ve thought about the potential costs associated with what you want to do. It can be pricy to hire someone if you have a lot that needs to be done, but someone else’s expertise can also end up being worth the money spent.

Do You Have A Timeline?

Many people renovate in the spring and summer months, and this means that your ideal contractor may not have a lot of time available. While this may end up working out for you, you’ll want to consider when you want it done so your expectations are not unreasonable.

Is A Second Opinion Helpful?

It’s great if you can handle all your home renovations on your own, but no one will be able to offer you the knowledgeable opinion that a contractor will. While a professional will undoubtedly be able to complete the work you’re requesting, they may also have helpful suggestions for you that may make for an even better home improvement.

Spring is an ideal season for home renovations, but before taking anything on you’ll want to carefully consider whether or not you’ll need to hire someone. If you’re renovating to put your home on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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3 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying That Fixer-Upper Home

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 22nd, 2016

3 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying That Fixer-upper Home

What Will It Cost?

If you’re going into a home expecting a few renovations costs, a minor detail here or there may not add up to much. However, if you’re not interested in spending the big bucks on making changes, you’ll want to estimate an approximate amount of how much the renovations you don’t want to live without will amount to. By including all the necessary labor and materials, you’ll be able to determine if the price-point of your offer will be worth it. Keep in mind that if there are any serious issues with the house, it may not be worth your while to consider the purchase at all.

Will Renovations Increase The Value?

In the event that you’re buying a home for its investment value, it’s going to be particularly important to consider if the renovations required will actually increase its market value. While adding another bedroom or upgrading a bathroom may not add significantly to a home’s overall price, certain more inexpensive improvements like painting, refinishing and new siding can actually add a lot to the look (and worth) of your home.

How Much Are You Willing To Take On?

It’s easy to think that you’re prepared to do the dirty work when faced with a fixer-upper, but getting down to brass tacks may not be so simple when the time comes. Before taking on a home that needs a lot of renovation, consider how much you’re willing to do so that you can determine if fixing it up will even be an economic boon after all the labor that may go into it. If you’re not a DIY kind of person, you may want to avoid a house that has a long list of repairs.

A fixer-upper can be tempting for those who want to invest or save on a home purchase, but you’ll want to carefully consider if it will be a good choice when it comes to selling time. If you’re currently perusing the market for a home, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

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Looking for a Value-adding Upgrade? Why Residential Solar Panels Are Becoming a Popular Renovation

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 2nd, 2014

Looking for a Value-adding Upgrade? Why Residential Solar Panels Are Becoming a Popular RenovationIf you’re looking for a home upgrade that can add resale value to your home while paying itself off over time, look no further than a solar panel setup. In the past few years, the cost of installing residential solar has declined while the efficiency of the panels has increased. This combination has made home solar one of the best investments that a homeowner can make – provided they live in an area that receives a good deal of sunshine.

Solar Adds Immense Value To Your Home

While solar panel installations are not inexpensive, in almost every case they add at least their total cost to the value of the home as soon as they are installed. If you decide to sell your home, it will be very attractive to those who are interested in leaving a lighter footprint or for anyone who was thinking of going solar after they bought their new home.

A Quality Install Will Pay For Itself Over Time

As they generate electricity which can be used in your home or sold back in to the public grid, residential solar panels are one of the only home upgrades that will pay for themselves over time. If you live in a very sunny area and watch your home energy consumption, you may even find that after a few years your solar setup actually begins generating a profit each month. Home solar setups typically come with a 25-year warranty so you can rest assured that your panels will be producing energy for at least the next couple of decades.

Tax Credits And Incentives Reduce The Up-front Financial Cost

Renewable energy sources like solar quality for significant tax credits and rebates which will vary depending on the city and state or province that you live in. A quick web search will show you which types of incentives that you will qualify for, or you can call a local residential solar installer as they’ll be fully aware of all of the various incentives that are available.

For more information on home renovations or upgrades that have been adding value to homes in your community, contact your local real estate agent. They’ll be able to advise you on which upgrades you will need to make in order to keep up with other homes in your area so that if you do decide to sell, you’re able to stand up to your competition.

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Thinking About a New Floor? Five Excellent Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring when Remodeling

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 18th, 2014

Thinking About a New Floor? Five Excellent Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring when RemodelingIf you’re remodeling, you should seriously consider updating your flooring. A new hardwood floor will give your home an impressive look and prevent scratches and stains. Here are five very good reasons why you should consider a hardwood floor for your next remodeling project.

Hardwood Is More Durable Than Other Materials

Hardwood is much more durable and longer lasting than many other flooring materials. If there’s a lot of traffic in your home, hardwood floors are less likely to get scratches and dents than vinyl tiles or laminated floors. On weaker floors, damage is often permanent – but with hardwood floors, any imperfections can be sanded and refinished to make your floor look as good as new.

Hardwood Offers A Wide Array Of Styles

Hardwood flooring is very versatile, and it comes in a wide assortment of styles and colors. Hardwood is also available in a variety of textures to compliment any decor or color scheme. It’s easy to buy small area rugs that match the flooring rather than having wall-to-wall carpeting installed that may have to be replaced when it gets worn.

It’s A Good Long Term Investment

Hardwood flooring is one of the most practical investments you can make in your home. Carpeting, vinyl tile, linoleum, and laminate flooring will eventually need to be replaced. Although the initial investment of installing hardwood floors in your home is more than you’d spend on some of the alternatives, hardwood lasts much longer than other materials – so you spend less money in the long run.

Selling Your Home Is Easier

Hardwood flooring is an extremely attractive material that a lot of homeowners love. It also increases your home’s value. If you put your home on the market, you’re making a good investment by making your home more appealing to buyers.

You’ll Experience Fewer Allergy Problems

Carpeting can cause symptoms from allergies to get worse, because dust and other allergens like pet dander can get trapped in the fibers. Doctors often recommend that patients with severe allergies get rid of the carpeting in their home and replace it with hardwood flooring. With this type of flooring, it’s a simple matter to sweep or mop the floor, so allergies are no longer an issue.

Hardwood flooring is a highly popular interior design choice that is taking modern homes by storm. If you’re renovating your home in the near future, consider installing hardwood flooring as a means of giving it a classic floor that you and your guests will adore. For more great design ideas that will increase your home’s value, contact a local real estate agent today.

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