Barriers to Buying Troy Michigan Real Estate

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 18th, 2010

Buying a new home takes a lot of preparation. Without knowing what you are walking in to, you are bound to run into road blocks. A good Troy Michigan real estate agent can help you understand the intricacies involved in purchasing your new home. Some of the most common problems that buyers run into are avoidable.

Buying the Best is Nice… but

If you’re looking at the most expensive house in the neighborhood, in the city or in the state, you’re asking for problems.  The chance that it will go down in value, be difficult to make payments on if anything changes in your lifestyle, or be hard to sell in the event of a foreclosure is high, which makes it tough to get a mortgage.
If you must have the most expensive home, pay the most you can as a down payment.  That will lower the risk and make it more likely your loan will be approved.  If you can’t afford a big down payment, you’re probably looking at a formidable roadblock to a loan

Being Unprepared

Walking into a mortgage lender unprepared is like shooting yourself in the foot. Have your financial information in hand. If there are any problems with your credit, be prepared to explain them. Have a good budget including the estimated new mortgage to show you can handle the loan.  Think like a Boy Scout and be prepared.

Not Taking All Costs into Consideration

A big mistake many prospective home buyers make is not realizing there are many costs associated with buying Troy Michigan real estate besides just a new mortgage. There are closing costs, legal costs, insurance costs, property taxes and deed and recording fees.   All of these have an impact on your wallet and most need to be paid at closing.

Want to know more about how to prepare to purchase Troy Michigan real estate or Oakland County real estate?  I’d be happy to walk you through the entire process.  Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof sells North Woodward Homes in Oakland County Michigan RE/MAX Showcase Homes

Lee Morof
Associate Broker/Attorney
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Europe’s Crisis a Plus for Troy Michigan Real Estate?

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 28th, 2010

Europe, or more correctly, Greece, is having a debt crisis that may end up being a great boon for national and Troy Michigan real estate. The euro, Europe’s currency, dropped drastically and Europeans responded by exchanging euros for the American dollar.

Help for Troy Michigan Real Estate for Sale
As more money pours into the U.S. “safe haven,” interest rates drop. Although interest rates may rise again once global economies begin to recover, the real estate market will benefit during this period of European instability. In fact, the mortgage markets are already benefiting.

On May 20,, known for its accurate reporting of average national mortgage rates, reported the lowest 30-year fixed-rate mortgage  in almost 25 years. At the time of the report, national averages hit at 4.96% for a 30-year fixed mortgage, 4.34% for a 15-year fixed and 4.14% for a 5-year ARM (adjustable rate mortgage).

Pessimists vs. Optimists
Pessimists believe that the low mortgage rates won’t affect home sales, because of the large influx of buyers who beat April’s tax credit deadline. In short, their view is that all the eligible homebuyers have already signed closing papers.  They think that a few more buyers may trickle in before the busy season for real estate is over, but their general attitude is that the fat lady has already sung.

Optimists, as usual, have a much brighter point of view about the economy. Banks, they say, are finally letting some of the much-talked-about shadow inventory into the light. Unemployment seems to have slightly reversed, retail sales are up and manufacturing inventories are increasing – all of which indicate a stabilizing economy. Although even optimists aren’t betting on a huge real estate boon, they do point to an uphill trend.

Questions for You
Which are you, an optimist or a pessimist?  And, how can there be such a big difference in real estate market outlook when all the experts are looking at the same information? Lastly, if you’re trying to sell your home, can you really afford to be pessimistic?

Here’s a hint: the attitude you have about your chances of selling will carry over to the results you achieve. Think positive, even when you hear about downturns.  You’ll have a better chance of getting your Troy Michigan real estate sold!

If you’d like to sell your home, I can help. Call me at 248-514-2640 or email me at for more information.

Lee Morof sells North Woodward Homes in Oakland County Michigan

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate: Can’t Afford the Rent on Homes?

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 17th, 2009

Not ready to buy Troy Michigan real estate now?  If you’ve looked at renting a Troy home but think you can’t afford it, you might want to take another look. This is especially true if you have a good credit history. When it comes to finding tenants, landlords have never been more willing to play “Let’s Make a Deal.”

Sitting Pretty
Why would any landlord be willing to make a deal? The reason topping the list is, of course, the economy. With so many people having lost their jobs, finding tenants who can afford the rent on time isn’t easy. Second, many renters are trying to save money by having roommates. Thirdly, because of the marketing slump there are plenty of homeowners renting out their Troy Michigan real estate rather than selling it.  Lastly, because of the first-time buyer tax credit, many potential renters are becoming homeowners instead.

All of these points add up to a high amount of vacancies, which put landlords in a pickle and have renters sitting pretty.

Taking Steps
Many landlords are trying everything they can to keep their rentals occupied to help pay for the maintenance on the buildings. The steps they’ve taken include such things as:

  • Lowering rents
  • Giving a month or two of free rent
  • Lowering deposits
  • Offering upgrades
  • Offering storage and parking at lower rates
  • Relaxing pet policies
  • Allowing more leniency for breaking the Troy Michigan real estate lease

Let’s Make a Deal
So what can you do to take advantage of the renting situation? What points can you base your bargain on?

  • Start with a good credit rating. If you have a history of paying on time, you have a chance at negotiation.
  • Pay attention to the average rent in the area. If the rents on the Troy homes you’re looking at are higher than average, you have a point to negotiate.
  • Look at one-bedroom homes first, if they will work. Many two- and three- bedroom homes are taken by individuals sharing rent and families. There may be a surplus of one-bedroom houses, so you might have a better chance of snagging one of them.

If you’re looking for an affordable place to rent or buy, I can help. Call me at 248-514-2640 or email me at for more information.

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Is the Timing Right to Buy Troy Michigan Real Estate?

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 28th, 2009

There are many wonderful reasons to want a home of your own. Right now is an excellent time to pick up a great deal on Troy Michigan real estate. It’s definitely a buyer’s market where you can purchase homes at historically low prices. To be sure the time is right for you, answer a few simple questions for yourself:

Are you ready to stay put for more than three years?

If you move around a lot, have a job that sends you to different locales all the time, or just haven’t found the area you want to settle down in, it can be a bad time to buy Troy Michigan real estate no matter how great the price. Selling a home and moving is much harder than just switching apartments or other rental units. However, if you are ready to settle in a spot for a number of years, the value you get from owning your own home is well worth it, especially now.

Can you afford it?

There’s more to owning a home than just the cost of the mortgage. Other costs added to a typical mortgage include homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.   These add hundreds of dollars a month to the simple mortgage costs. On top of those are routine repairs and upkeep that will be your responsibility instead of a landlord’s.

Do you value the pride of ownership?

For many people, the pride of owning their own home is a primary factor in purchasing Troy Michigan real estate. There is a feeling of success and security when you own your home that won’t be fulfilled with any rental.

I can assist you in finding the perfect Troy Michigan real estate to meet your needs.  If you’d like help determining if now is the right time for you to buy a home, give me a call at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate – Rent or Buy a Condo

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 27th, 2009

With the current economy, it may seem like a better idea to rent a condo instead of buying one. Let’s explore some of reasons why it’s still better to buy Troy Michigan real estate rather than rent.

Throwing Money Away

When you rent that’s basically what you’re doing. You give your money away in exchange for a ‘perishable’ item—one month of living space. Once that month is over, the money is gone and you didn’t get anything of long term value in return.

When you buy Troy Michigan real estate you still spend money for a month of living space, but in addition, you’re building long term equity. It may take longer and property may not increase in value as quickly as it did in the past, at least for now, but the money you spend becomes a back end asset instead of just disappearing.

Tax Breaks

When you buy a home, you can deduct the interest and property taxes that you pay every year on your income taxes. That can be a sizeable amount of money.  If you buy your first home in 2009, you get an even bigger tax break of $8,000 as a result of President Obama’s stimulus plan.  

Saving Money

Yes, you actually end up saving money in the long run if you buy a home or condo rather than renting. According to The New York Times, over a 16-year period you can save as much as $5,000.00 by owning your own home.  And, that number doesn’t include the $8,000 tax credit first-time home buyers get when they purchase a principle residence in 2009.

The bottom line is that the housing market troubles have nothing to do with the ‘evils’ of homeownership. They have to do with bad lending practices, and people wanting more than they can afford.

Choose your Troy Michigan real estate home or condo wisely.  Only buy what you can afford to pay for each month, and pay attention to the loan you are being offered. If you need any advice on the best types of loans or condos available, I’d like to help. Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Finding Defects in Newly Constructed Troy Michigan Real Estate Homes

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 19th, 2009

According to the Better Business Bureau, contractor problems are one of the most common consumer complaints.  With those kinds of statistics, buying a newly constructed Troy Michigan real estate home calls for a knowledgeable individual.  Here are a few things you can do to make sure your contractor  doesn’t end up as your complaint:

Know What Your Warranties Cover

There are two types of warranties.  One is called an express warranty, and is given to you by the contractor.  Usually, this warranty lasts between one to ten years, with one year being the most common.  It covers everything from cosmetic flaws to serious defects.

The second type of warranty varies depending on the state you live in.  It’s an implied warranty that states the residence has to be habitable.  To have your defect covered by this warranty, you have to be able to prove that it’s a health or safety hazard. 

Have warranty questions?  I’m in a unique position as a licensed Troy Michigan real estate broker and lawyer, to assist you with all facets of purchasing your new home.  And, I’ll keep you from making a mistake that could cost you thousands.

Find Real Defects

If you spot a defect, you need to find out whether it’s an acceptable imperfection or a real defect.  For instance, small cracks in the interior of new Troy Michigan homes for sale are normal defects.  The only cracks that need to be repaired are those longer than 3/16 of an inch, according to the National Association of Home Builders’® performance guidelines.  In addition, hammer marks or nail pops only count if you can see them from more than six feet away.

Document Everything

Once you find a real defect, document everything.  Take photos and make detailed notes.  You may want to hire an independent inspector or structural engineer to give your house a full examination.

Buying new Troy Michigan real estate can be enjoyable when you work with a REALTOR® like me who has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the homebuying process.  Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email me at now.

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Owners of Troy Michigan Real Estate – Dos and Don’ts of Homeowner’s Insurance

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 24th, 2008

No matter where you live, you are at risk for some sort of natural disaster, crime, or accident. Since you never know when disaster will strike, owners of Troy Michigan real estate need homeowner’s insurance to protect from loss. Finding the right insurance policy is extremely important, so here are six ideas to consider when looking for homeowner’s insurance for your home.

  1. DO make sure you choose a reputable agent and insurance company. Unless you’re well versed in current insurance laws and practices, you will rely heavily on your agent’s advice. This is not the time to do your own work.
  2. DO buy the right amount of insurance. A lower premium may seem like a great idea now, but you may feel differently if you suffer a major loss. Consider what it will cost you to replace everything in your home.  Purchase your insurance policy based on that amount.
  3. DO pay attention to your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of your pocket when you file a claim. In most cases, you are better off paying for minor damages on your own without filing an insurance claim.
  4. DON’T choose your insurance company by price. You may save money on your premium, but ask yourself what you stand to lose if you ever have to file an insurance claim. Make sure you have adequate coverage through a reliable company.
  5. DON’T lie to your insurer. If you underestimate the value of what you own, you may not have enough money to replace it. If you overestimate the value of what you own, you can be prosecuted for insurance fraud
  6. DON’T rely on your home’s purchase or tax appraised value when choosing the amount of insurance you need. You need insurance that will provide enough money to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss.

When you own Troy Michigan real estate your home may well be your most valuable asset.  So make sure you purchase the appropriate amount of homeowner’s insurance.

Are you looking for Troy Michigan real estate in Southeast Michigan?  I can help you find and buy the best home for your needs and budget.  Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or drop me an email at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate – 7 Tips for Packing to Move into Your New Home

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 22nd, 2008

You’ve just bought Troy Michigan real estate and you’re ready to pack and move into your new home.  If you find yourself staring at your rooms in bewilderment, wondering how you’re going to pack it all, take a look at these helpful tips.

Tip #1:  Have plenty of boxes.  Too many is better than too few.  If you buy boxes from a moving company you can return them for a refund.  Extra boxes from a grocery store can just be thrown away if you have too many.

Tip #2:  Pick a color for each room.  Use color-coded stickers to mark which boxes go where.  There’s no need to open a box to see what it is; just look at the sticker color.  Be sure to make a list of the color associated with each room.

Tip #3:  Pack heavy things in small boxes.  This makes them less bulky and easier to carry.  It also makes it less likely that you’ll drop them or that the box will break.

Tip #4:  Put all furniture accessories in one boxFurniture knobs, feet, screws or legs should all be in one container, clearly marked, so the parts won’t get lost.

Tip #5:  Load what you’ll need first, last.  Make sure that items you’ll need as soon as you get in your new Troy Michigan home, such as a telephone or cleaning supplies, are loaded last. 

Tip #6:  Pack for the first day.  Use a separate bag for toiletries, a change of clothes, etc – whatever you might need for the first day.  This way, there’s no need to run to the store for things you can’t find or dig through boxes to find them.

Tip #7:  Save extra boxes for moving day.  You will forget something – it’s guaranteed.  Rather than try to stuff it all in your car, have extra boxes set aside for any last minute items such as blankets, towels and pillows.

When you’re ready to move into your Troy Michigan real estate home, follow these tips to help make the move a smooth, easy transition.

Would you like to move into a new home?  Let me help you find Troy Michigan real estate that fits your needs and budget.  I can help you find and buy a home that’s perfect for you.  Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email right now!

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate – Fixing Up Your Home for Sale

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 15th, 2008

If you own Troy Michigan real estate and are thinking about putting up your home for sale, you may start to look around the house with an eye for increasing its value.  Here are some inexpensive things you can do to increase the value of your home:

The Kitchen
When buyers walk through a Troy Michigan real estate home for sale, one of the first places they look is the kitchen.  A well put together kitchen is a big plus, so make sure it looks clean and up-to-date. 

  1. Replace old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.
  2. Replace the old kitchen faucet set to something more modern and clean.
  3. Add new cabinet doors and drawer handles
  4. Reface your cabinets – this takes a little more time and money to do, but the results can be outstanding.  Or, you could order replacement doors and door fronts and install them yourself.
  5. If your appliances don’t match, you can order a face panel.  Also, check with your manufacturer; some appliance panels have another color on the back (white on one side, black on the other, for instance), and you can just flip them over.

The Bathroom
This is another “first go” place for buyers.  Again, most of these are inexpensive and easy to do yourself.

  1. Install a new toilet seat – even a little change can make a difference.
  2. If your bathroom is small but you have a large vanity, try installing a pedestal sink instead.  It can make the room look larger.
  3. Regrout the tile if your tub and shower look dingy.  Replace any cracked tile.
  4. If need be, try a prefabricated tub and shower surround. It may be a little more expensive, but it can make a bath look brand new.

If you’re thining of selling your Troy Michigan real estate, try these inexpensive tips and then look around the rest of your home.  You’ll be surprised what a few dollars and a little time can do!

Are you ready to sell your home for top dollar?  As a licensed real estate broker and lawyer I can not only help you sell your home for top dollar, but I can prevent you from making costly legal mistakes.  Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640