Pros and Cons of Replacing Your Roof Before A Listing

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

Pros and Cons of Replacing Your Roof Before a ListingYou might be wondering whether to replace your roof before listing your property. Most reputable real estate agents will advise you only to do so if your current roof isn’t likely to pass inspection or if replacing it will significantly raise the value of your home. 

Here is some valuable information to help you decide.

Pros Of Replacing Your Roof Before You Sell

Buyers are attracted to homes with curb appeal and online photos highlighting a new roof will attract a lot of traffic. That means you may sell your home more quickly. Roofing replacements also help you when it comes time to negotiate a sales price. Buyers will be willing to pay more for the security of knowing they won’t need a new roof anytime soon.

Cons Of Replacing Your Roof Before A Listing

Putting on a new roof is a huge financial commitment. It may not be one you’re willing to assume before moving into a new property. Other problems may arise that delay construction or cause cost overruns. Both of these scenarios impact your ability to look for a new home right away, meaning you can’t put the current one up for sale.

Consider Repairing It Instead

If your roof is in decent shape, talk to an expert about whether it needs to be repaired. If there’s structural damage, chances are an inspector or appraisal will request repairs prior to closing anyway. You may want to just get it taken care of. If the roof is in good shape but doesn’t look great, it may just need to be cleaned and spruced up. A roofing expert can give you some great ideas that are within your budget.

Should You Replace Your Roof?

Ultimately, it’s your decision. It’s important to determine how much a new or repaired roof adds to the price you’re likely to get. Dealing with construction on a home that no longer meets your needs is stressful. If the roof needs a lot of work, it may be worthwhile to offer a concession to the buyer — you essentially give them the money to fix it when they move in — so you can move out and move on sooner. Your time frame is another factor to consider. If you don’t have a lot of time, leaving this task to the buyer may be your best option.

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

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

Real Estate Tips for a First-Time Home Seller

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 18th, 2019

Real Estate Tips for a First-Time Home SellerMany homeowners don’t think about what it takes to successfully sell a home until they make the decision to purchase a new home. It makes sense to consider the best ways to improve your home sales appeal early if you think you might consider selling at any time in the future.

Some reasons for buying a new house are to accommodate a growing family or a transfer to a new job. No matter the reason you want to buy a new home, it is important that you take the right steps to ensure you sell your home on terms that meet your needs.

Not only do you want to get a good price for your home, but you also want to sell your home sooner rather than later. Read this article for real estate tips that will help you as a first-time home seller.

Price Your Home Accurately

It is essential that you price your home accurately. To do this, you should use a reputable, trusted real estate listing agent. The home selling process will be far more straightforward for you if you choose a real estate agent who is actively engaged in real estate on a daily basis and knows your neighborhood well.

Your agent will take a look at the comparable sales of homes in the area and create an estimate of value, which is called a comparative market analysis. You can compare this estimate to the estimates from different real estate websites as well.

However, your listing agent will likely provide you with the most accurate estimate of value because they will use their education and experience to take into consideration the nuances of your local market and your particular home that will impact the sales price.

Home Staging

If you want to boost the value and buyer appeal of your home, you should do some home staging. In general, homes are most appealing to buyers with half of the furniture removed. Believe it or not, you want potential buyers to walk into your and wonder if anyone is actually living in the home.

The purpose of home staging is to boost the appeal and selling power. One of the best and most cost effective upgrades you can do during the home staging process is painting the walls. A fresh coat of paint will make any home look better.

List Your Home

The season that you choose to list your home is an important decision. The sales success can depend on the weather, time of year, local community, school schedules, and the state of the real estate market. Your real estate listing agent should have a solid plan to broadcast their new listing in the best light possible on its first day being listed and follow that with an energetic promotional agenda. 

Talk with them to learn more about their customary marketing plan before agreeing to list your home for sale. This gives your agent a chance to demonstrate their marketing expertise and you will know that you have the best representation for your home when it goes on the market.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

4 Easy Ways to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living Space

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 17th, 2019

4 Easy Ways to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living SpaceIf you want to maximize your outdoor living areas, the ideas below will help you do so. Backyards are seldom used to their full potential. No matter how large or small your yard is, a makeover can create cozy sitting areas and larger spaces that are perfect for entertaining.

Here are four ideas to transform how you use your yard:

1. Move Your Kitchen Outside
Outdoor kitchens let you enjoy fine weather while you cook. It also makes feeding a large gathering easier since there’s probably a lot of room to expand. Setting up a fully stocked outdoor kitchen gives you a multi-purpose space that can double as a lounge or dining area. It’s all about choosing the right furnishings, such as convertible picnic tables that turn into comfy benches.

2. Decorate To Attract Company
Patio and deck parties are fun and easy — especially if you can get everyone to come to you. Put up umbrellas or add an overhang to keep out the worst of the sun. Plushy seating with room to place snacks or meals keeps guests comfy and satisfied. It’s a great place to host poker night, a girls’ night in or your kids’ soccer team.

3. Create Green Space
Gardens have come a long way from your mom’s veggie patch. Reinvigorate your outdoor space with fresh ideas, such as raised beds that save your back when it comes time to harvest your tomatoes and cucumbers. Add brightly colored flowers around trees or in window boxes for a lush look that transforms your yard into a botanical retreat. If you really have a green thumb, consider building a greenhouse where you can grow things most of the year.

4. Light It Up

Area lighting really looks fantastic during nighttime get-togethers and lets you determine when the party’s over, not the sunset. Solar lights save energy and work well as guide lights along pathways. String lights create a magical effect around gazebos and patios. However, you’ll need brighter illumination if you have guests over. This may mean adding a circuit and hiring an electrician to put up spotlights and security lighting. The good news is that the changes also make your home more secure.

If you are interested in purchasing a new home or if you are ready to list your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

3 DIY Home Improvement Projects You Can Complete Before Thanksgiving

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

3 DIY Home Improvement Projects You Can Complete Before ThanksgivingIt’s the time of year when many people are making their holiday plans: booking travel, making shopping lists, and getting their home ready for guests. Hiring a house cleaner, having the carpets steamed, and buying new furniture ahead of the holiday season are all common, but what about completely updating a room (or two)?

It’s easy to think that home improvement projects are too expensive or will take several weeks or even months to complete. However, there are several simple, affordable do-it-yourself projects that can be completed in a weekend to give outdated rooms a fresh new look — in plenty of time to host holiday guests. 

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets The Easy Way

Painting cabinets is an excellent way to totally transform a kitchen. This fun budget-friendly project can be done in a weekend or spread out over a couple of weeks if necessary. With adequate preparation and attention to detail, the “new” cabinets will look great for years to come.

Minimal supplies are necessary for this project and there is no limit to the looks that can be created using different paint colors, stains, and seals.

Create A Shiplap Accent Wall

Arguably one of the most popular home decor trends is the rustic farmhouse look, and shiplap is at the center of that. Using basic tools that are likely already in the garage and some plywood from the local hardware store, it’s easy to create a unique shiplap wall and dramatically change the look of a room.

The most fun part about DIY shiplap is that it’s so customizable. Use reclaimed or pallet wood, paint unfinished planks, or try using boards cut to different lengths. 

Update Flooring With Vinyl Or Laminate

Replacing outdated flooring is perhaps the biggest bang-for-the-buck DIY project that can drastically freshen up a space. Changing the floors in even one room can have a tremendous impact on the look of the entire home. 

With so many budget-friendly options such as click-together laminate panels and peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, choose different looks for different rooms or go for one cohesive look throughout the house.

Giving a home an entirely new look doesn’t have to involve a complicated renovation project. Major home improvement stores and websites have step-by-step tutorials to make it as simple as a few coats of paint and some elbow grease.

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.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

New FHA Financing Available For Condo Buyers That Has A Low Down Payment

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

New FHA Financing Available For Condo Buyers That Has A Low Down PaymentCondominium owners and buyers have previously been at a disadvantage when trying to use the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) support to get a home mortgage. Single-family homes could get better FHA mortgage deals than condominiums. In October 2019, this changes.

New FHA Condominium Financing

As of October 15, 2019, FHA loan availability is extended to condominium buyers. This is important news for first-time buyers who frequently purchase a condominium. First-time buyers appreciate FHA loans because they only require a very modest 3.5% down payment.

FHA loans were strongly curtailed after the real estate market collapse in 2008. Since 2009, most condos did not qualify for FHA loans. The problem was that FHA loans require mortgage insurance and this insurance was only available for about 6.5% of all condos.

In America, there are about 160,000 condominium projects (complexes and buildings). The new FHA program makes mortgage insurance possible for about 20,000 to 60,000 more condominium projects nationally. Not all condos will qualify for the new FHA program; however about half of them will.

Both first-time buyers and people who are down-sizing by selling a larger home appreciate condos. The median price for a condo nationally is around $260,000. This is about $29,000 less than the median price for a home that is about $289,000. Maintenance costs and upkeep for a condo are typically less than caring for a larger home.

Refinance Opportunities

For condo buyers, who could not get FHA loans in the past, they may now qualify for the mortgage insurance needed if they could not get it before. Then, they can refinance a loan to get a better deal with FHA financing if they want to do this.

Easier Condominium Sales

For those who are putting their condos on the market for sale, this new FHA loan program is worthwhile to investigate to see if the condominium building or complex qualifies. If the condo is in a facility that qualifies, this new FHA financing option will potentially attract more buyers

Summary

Real estate agents should become aware of the new FHA program and inform their clients if a condo buyer can use an FHA loan to finance the purchase. This is a very impactful change for the condominium market dynamics. This new FHA loan program is the first of its kind to occur since around 2009, a decade ago, which is great news for condo buyers.

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.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

4 Cool Green Material Ideas For Your New Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 4th, 2019

4 Cool Green Material Ideas For Your New HomeIf climate change is foremost in your mind, you may be interested in reducing your new home’s carbon footprint. Choosing green materials is one way to promote sustainability and ensure you’re doing your part to help the planet.

Green Flooring 

Flooring takes up all the square feet throughout your home. If you can opt for green flooring that will do a lot to reduce your new home’s carbon footprint. Bamboo is a sustainable flooring option to consider. Bamboo grows at a rate that far outpaces any hardwood. For that reason, it’s become a popular choice for homeowners looking for green material options. Bamboo flooring now comes in a wide variety of colors, textures and styles. You’re sure to find something that matches with your style and décor.

Green Insulation

It’s now easier than ever to find green insulation options at just about any hardware stores. Green insulation is frequently made up of recycled fabric. The benefit above being sustainable is that there is no fiberglass to worry about getting into your skin or lungs. Green insulation is available in the same forms as some other kinds of insulation, including as a rolled up “blanket” that can be trimmed to match your insulation spaces.

Green Countertops

Countertops are often made of stone and granite, which may be considered green materials. However, the processing of such materials and the energy needed to transport them from the source to your home may not be so green. Consider investing in concrete countertops for your kitchen and bathroom. Concrete is a renewable and sustainable green material. Concrete countertops can be created in the same general location as your new home. They are mold and pest-resistant, fire resistant and offer a permanent countertop solution for those who are eco-conscious. 

Green Roofing

Green roofing is harder to find, but in most areas, eco-conscious homeowners still have plenty of options. One such option is to have a copper or metal roof. While copper and other metals do require a labor-intensive process to extract from the earth, they last far longer than traditional roofing materials. Your copper or metal roof could last for a lifetime or more, whereas traditional roofs typically only last a maximum of 20 years. 

These green material ideas for your new home will ensure that your home is leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible. For more green material ideas, contact your local contractor. 

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.

 

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

The Most Popular Cities For Relocating To Get A Better Deal On A Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 3rd, 2019

Many people are looking to buy homes, not across the street, not somewhere else in town, but in other parts of the country. The motivator for this is that there are significant differences in the median prices for home sales in different parts of America. This is not a result of the places being undesirable.

Many of the places with excellent values in home prices are very desirable. In these nice cities, the lower prices are more about the local economy, the cost of living, and the availability of homes for sale.

Popular Cities For Relocation

The Most Popular Cities For Relocating To Get A Better Deal On A HomeA study done by REALTOR® identified the most popular cities that people search for when looking for a new home in another area that is different from where they currently live.

The median home price in America is $226,800.

Areavibes ranks American cities based on a livability score that considers many factors, which include the cost of living, crime, school, employment, and amenities. The livability score is a scale that goes up to 100.

Here are the top choices in the order of their popularity for searches and median home prices along with their livability score:

  1. Charleston, South Carolina – Median home price is $269,400. Livability score is 77.
  2. Boise, Idaho – Median home price is $191,000. Livability score is 80.
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii – Median home price is $601,500. Livability score is 73.
  4. Columbia, South Carolina – Median home price is $164,200. Livability score is 63.
  5. Fort Myers, Florida – Median home price is $160,800. Livability score is 70.
  6. Portland, Maine – Median home price is $248,000. Livability score is 66.
  7. Sarasota, Florida – Median home price is $109,500. Livability score is 74.
  8. Greenville, South Carolina – Median home price is $237,800. Livability score is 73.
  9. Tucson, Arizona – Median home price is $135,200. Livability score is 65.
  10. Las Vegas, Nevada – Median home price is $184,900. Livability score is 71.

Cost Of Living

The cost of living is a big factor that impacts the quality of life for the average person. The cost of living includes the cost of housing, groceries, transportation, health care, utilities, and other goods and services. The national standard for America’s cost of living is set at 100.

The cost of living index in each city is a number that is higher or lower than 100. Higher figures than 100 represent a percentage higher than the national average. Lower numbers than 100 are cities that cost less than other cities in America.

Here is the cost of living index for these popular cities:

  • Charleston, South Carolina – 115
  • Boise, Idaho – 96
  • Honolulu, Hawaii – 182
  • Columbia, South Carolina – 101
  • Fort Myers, Florida – 94
  • Portland, Maine – 114
  • Sarasota, Florida – 108
  • Greenville, South Carolina – 106
  • Tucson, Arizona – 92
  • Las Vegas, Nevada – 100

Conclusion

The lowest median price for a home is found in Sarasota, Florida. The city with the highest livability score is Boise, Idaho. The lowest cost of living is in Tucson, Arizona. These are all great cities to live in. For those who have the option to relocate, to get a better price when buying a home, they should all be considered as decent choices.

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.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

Top Tips For Having A Home That Is Also Your Office

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 1st, 2019

Top Tips For Having A Home That Is Also Your OfficeTelecommuting has significantly changed the housing market. More people than ever before are working from home. Younger people are especially likely to do this and become part of what is called the “gig” economy. Many are working as freelancers or starting online businesses.

Advantages Of Working From Home

There are many advantages to working at home. It is less stressful. There is no commute. This saves money and is better for the environment. There may be lower income taxes because currently, the IRS allows a tax deduction of the expense of a home office. 

Homeworkers find clients online. They also can work from anywhere that has an Internet connection. There may be an opportunity to have a working vacation and keep their online presence going. They can maintain business efforts, perhaps at a reduced level, when also taking some time to enjoy themselves.

Staging A Home With An Office

Staging a home for sale is a useful technique used by real estate agents and homeowners. Staging beautifies the home to make it ready for viewing. This may improve the sale price when selling a home.

Staging may also help sell the home quickly by making it attractive to more potential buyers. Staging includes cleaning the home to make it spotless and strategically decorating the rooms to make them look nice.

One way to increase the attractiveness of a home is to have a room that is set up as a home office. If possible, choose a room with a view. It should be bright and comfortable, to entice buyers who want to work from home.

Buying A Home With An Office

When looking at homes for sale consider buying one that has an extra room or space that can easily convert to a home office. Think about the home design if you will live and work there. The office room needs to be in a quiet part of the home that creates a working environment where there are fewer chances for disturbances.

It is important to be serious when working at home. It is best to have a routine that encourages proper work habits in the home office space. Also, be able to leave the home office at the end of the workday. Avoid the temptation to overwork and set time limits for working hours.

If you plan to have business guests or clients come to your home, you may need to get commercial insurance. Talk this over with your insurance agent.

Summary

A home with an office is highly desirable. Consider retrofitting your home with an office when staging it for sale. For buyers, think about the possibilities of having a room for a home office when viewing homes for sale.

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.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

How To Create A Home-Buying Partnership

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 24th, 2019

How To Create A Home-Buying PartnershipMany want to have a home, yet find it difficult to afford one by themselves. Some people are forming home-buying partnerships to buy a home and live in it together. Here are some considerations for those interested in forming a home-buying partnership.

A home-buying partnership is a legal and personal relationship that is similar to having a permanent roommate. It has the feeling of being married to the other person in a legal way, not in a romantic way. Like any business partnership, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages Of A Home-Buying Partnership

Buying a home is easier when sharing the responsibility with another person. In an equal partnership, the money needed is half and the expenses are also half of when compared to buying a home alone.

Wasting money on rent stops and the equity value may build up by owning a home over time if real estate prices increase.

Combining credit strength as co-signers may make it easier to buy a home if both parties have a decent credit history. Qualifying for a bigger home loan amount may be possible, which allows buying a larger home.

A strategy to consider is buying a duplex building, which is two homes combined into one building structure.

Disadvantages Of A Home-Buying Partnership

Getting along well with your home-buying partner is essential. Not only will you share a business relationship, but you will also see each other constantly. Having compatible lifestyles is critical to avoid personality clashes.

People who have been roommates for years and get along extremely well make great candidates for home-buying partners. This is a far better choice than doing something this serious with a person you just met.

Legal Structure

The best way to own the property is by forming a single-purpose limited liability company (LLC). The company will do nothing but own the home. An LLC is like a general partnership with the exception that it limits the liability exposure of its owners to the investment value they have in the LLC.

Ownership in an LLC is in units of the LLC. Owning half the authorized units is half the LLC. If one partner has one unit more than the other one has, that partner has decision-making control over the property.

For tax purposes, an LLC is a pass-through entity. The tax obligations and benefits pass to the owners of the LLC according to the portion of the LLC that they own.

Sudden Death, Buy-Sell Provision

This provision allows for one of the partners to buy out the other one’s ownership before it sells to a third party. This can happen automatically if one of the partners dies or becomes incapacitated. It may happen if there is a disagreement.

The idea is to use this provision so that one partner is not forced to sell the home and has the option to buy the other half of the home before it sells to another party.

Summary

These are just the basic issues about a home-buying partnership. This arrangement can be an effective way to own a home, just be very careful about how you select a partner. Use a competent real estate attorney to form the LLC properly. 

And as always, consult with your trusted professional real estate agent to help you navigate through the purchase process.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

Is It Possible To Have A Hurricane-Proof Home?

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

Is It Possible To Have A Hurricane-Proof HomeThe recent total devastation of the Bahamas by hurricane Dorian reinforced the need for hurricane-proof homes in areas that are subject to this risk. Building codes have not kept up with the increasing severity of the weather.

Wind Damage

As an example, Florida communities, such as the Miami-Dade County area, have building codes that are designated by risk zones.

The risk zones in Miami-Dade County are:

  • Risk Category I – Buildings must be able to withstand 165 mph winds.
  • Risk Category II – Buildings must be able to withstand 175 mph winds.
  • Risk Category III – Buildings must be able to withstand 185 mph winds.

These building codes were last updated in 2010. Broward County in Florida has these same risk categories; however, the wind speeds are 10 mph lower for each category. Other parts of Florida have building codes that are even lower than these standards. Dorian reached a 183 mph wind speed. It stayed over the Bahamas for over fifty hours with these winds.

Water Damage

Water damage from hurricanes is more severe than wind damage. The storm surge for Dorian reached over 23-feet high in some places.

Hurricane Proofing

To withstand hurricane-force winds, the structure must be able to handle 180+ mph winds over an extended period. Damage done by the wind includes all the projectiles and debris being blown about. Some homes in the Bahamas had vehicles blown through walls.

The main consideration for wind damage is to use wind-resistant, shatter-proof glass for windows that are also protected by steel shutters, which can be closed when a hurricane is coming. These shutters close to protect other openings such as doors as well. Walls should be thick, reinforced concrete, especially the lower floors that need to resist both the wind and the water.

Water is going to come into the lower two floors of a home on the beach, so beach homes need to be at least three stories high. This may be challenging in some areas because of the building-height restrictions that are in place to prevent blocking other neighbors’ views of the ocean.

The idea is to make to bottom floors able to withstand water entering the home as if it is a swimming pool. When a hurricane is coming, you can move all the items from the lower floors to the upper floor.

In Holland, where many of the coastal cities are at sea level, their solution is to have homes that float. These homes near Amsterdam are like houseboats that are moored down very strongly so that they can rise with the storm surge but not float away.

Summary

There is not a 100% certain way to make a home completely hurricane-proof; however, there are examples of well-built homes that are the only ones left standing when the entire neighborhood is devastated by a hurricane.

When considering a home on the coast, it is better to build a new home to very high standards regardless of the building codes. In all coastal areas, building codes need to be updated to make the hurricane standards more robust because hurricanes are becoming stronger and more frequent.

If you are have concerns about buying or selling a home in a high risk storm area, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

Tags: , ,


| Comments off

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »