Troy Michigan Real Estate Buyers Can Get A $8,000 Boost From The Stimulus

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 30th, 2009

The new stimulus bill gives first-time home buyers a tax credit of $8,000! Whether the Troy Michigan real estate you purchase is new or a re-sale there are always things you can do to make improvements. Here are a few ideas on how you can use the tax break for your new home.

  1. Put in all new modern appliances. $8,000 will buy a nice set of kitchen and laundry appliances, and enough groceries to fill up that new refrigerator for several months on top of it.
  2. Furnish a room. Many times a new home means old furniture just won’t fit in or fill it up. $8,000 goes a long way to decorating a new room or two.
  3. Add on a porch or deck.  The stimulus money can be used to add value to your Troy Michigan real estate by making additions like a patio, deck or porch. It will make your new home even more enjoyable too. Construction jobs not only help the economy, but they create jobs in the community—a double bonus that you are making happen!
  4. Buy a car. Okay, maybe your new home is perfect as it is. That’s lovely. Use your stimulus tax incentive to put a big down payment on a new car. The huge down payment will keep your monthly payments low and affordable while helping out the other big industry failing in the current economy.

The key to the President’s stimulus plan is to spur the economy and give people money to spend—so go ahead and spend it. Buy those items you’d have trouble buying for your Troy Michigan real estate without the extra help.  And, feel good about it because you’re stimulating your local Michigan economy. 

Are you ready to purchase a new home?  Have questions about how the stimulus helps first-time buyers get Troy Michigan real estate? I’ll be happy to assist you in finding the right home for you at the best price.   Email me at or call 248-514-2640 now for more information.

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


How the Stimulus Bill Can Help You Buy Troy Michigan Real Estate

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 26th, 2009

There are several indications that the new stimulus bill passed by Congress will have a positive influence on the struggling housing market. If you are considering buying your first home and would like to purchase Troy Michigan real estate, the stimulus plan may help make that happen.

How the Stimulus Bill Stimulates the Bottom Line

The biggest effect the stimulus plan will have on new home buyers is a tax incentive. We all want to get more money back on our tax returns and the stimulus bill has an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers purchasing Troy Michigan real estate in Oakland County.

How You Qualify

In order to qualify for the stimulus tax incentive you must:

  • Not have owned a home in the past three years.
  • Use the new home as your primary residence.  
  • Have an income of less than $75,000 per person or $150,000 per couple.

No action is necessary other than reporting the purchase on your income tax filings.  You must keep your home for at least 36 months in order to not have to pay back the incentive in the following tax year. If, however, you keep your new home for 36 months or longer you never have to repay the incentive.

There is no cap on return for this incentive either. Even if you would not normally be entitled to the full amount according to your taxable income level, you will still receive the entire $8,000 amount in return.

Purchase Troy Michigan Real Estate and Stimulate Interest

The stimulus bill also gives first-time home buyers a chance to get into those big ticket houses. Houses with market values over $417,000 will be eligible for lower interest rates to make them more affordable. The luxury home industry has stagnated in the failing real estate market and this should give it a vital boost.

President Obama’s stimulus plan is serious about improving the housing market. The bill gives people looking to buy Troy Michigan real estate reason to hope. 

Interested in more information on how the stimulus plan can help you purchase a home?  Call me at 248-514-2640 or email  I’ll never share your contact information with anyone for any reason.

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


Troy Michigan Real Estate Gets Hope From The Stimulus Plan

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 9th, 2009

The President’s stimulus plan has offered hope and a ray of sunshine to a gloomy Troy Michigan real estate market. Here are some ways the Southeast Michigan real estate market can benefit from the plan:

  • The mortgage industry will receive a financial boost which will help buyers with new housing loans.
  • First-time home buyers will receive a tax incentive that results in a huge tax break.
  • There will be 50 billion dollars targeted at bailing out failing mortgage institutions.  This will part of the stimulus plan will bring home buyers financial opportunities.

Besides the stimulus plan, Troy Michigan home sellers are looking at more creative ways to sell their real estate.  Sellers need to insure their properties have good curb appeal to attract buyers.  Insure your home is in great condition both inside and out.  Selling your Troy Michigan real estate will be faster with less headaches if your home is appealing to buyers…and that mean more profit to you.  

Home Seller Tips

  • Get rid of the clutter in your home.  Donate or throw away things you don’t need. Most of us have way more in our Troy Michigan homes than we use. If you don’t want to throw items away, put them in storage for use in your new home or condo.  
  • Freshen it up. A new coat of paint and a good steam cleaning for the carpets will help make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
  • Create curb appeal. Don’t lose a buyer because your home exterior is unattractive and the yard is full of clutter.  Make sure your landscaping is top notch by mowing your lawn, trimming the bushes and trees away from the house.  Your front door and entrance should be clean and painted if necessary, to give a welcoming look.  Update your home’s exterior inexpensively with new hardware on the doors, add new house numbers, and light fixtures.  
  • Price your home right. Ask a professional Troy Michigan real estate agent for his opinion on what a good price would be for your home. In the current housing market you want to price your home to sell.  

Want to find a Troy Michigan real estate professional who can help sell your home or condo faster and for top dollar?  Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email

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


How the Stimulus Plan Might Affect Troy Michigan Real Estate Condo Buyers and Sellers

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 2nd, 2009

The stimulus, the stimulus—it is hard to go to a news site or blog now without seeing something about the stimulus plan, good or bad. The one thing that seems to be a common thought is everybody hopes it works whether they like the plan or not. There are many ways the stimulus plan might affect Troy Michigan real estate condo buyers and sellers.

Buyer Incentive

The biggest boon to both buyers and sellers is the proposed tax break for any first-time buyer purchasing a home (including condos) in 2009. That last part is the one down point in the plan. Homes must be purchased in the current year, retroactive to the beginning of 2009, and ending December 31st. That should, however provide a decent impetus to get things moving again. While it is short lived, it could boost the market long enough so that the forward motion continues past this year.

Mortgage Incentive

Not for the buyers and sellers in particular, the banking and finance industry is set to receive the biggest portion of the stimulus plan. That can only help both buyers and sellers of Troy Michigan real estate, as it will mean buyers will once again have the ability to get mortgage loans.

More expensive luxury homes and condos will also be given lower interest rates and affordable mortgage loans. There does seem to be some argument over whether the stimulus plan will raise or lower mortgage rates so that remains to be seen.

Are you thinking about buying or selling Troy Michigan real estate in Southeast Michigan? If you want to take advantage of the stimulus plan, 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


Impound Accounts for Troy Michigan Real Estate

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 29th, 2009

When buying Troy Michigan real estate in southeast Michigan, you may come across the option to set up an impound account.  If you don’t know what it is, you could end up passing on a good thing.

An impound account is also known as an escrow account.  The mortgage lender sets up a separate savings account to pay the taxes and insurance you owe on your Troy Michigan real estate.  Each month, you pay the lender 1/12 of the total amount due for the year, along with your regular principal and interest payment.  The total payment is known as your PITI – your principal, interest, taxes and insurance payment.

For instance, let’s say your property taxes are $2400 a year and your homeowner’s insurance is $600.  You would pay the lender $250 a month, instead of having to pay in one lump sum.

Impound accounts can be set up at the same time as your mortgage loan, but the initial sum will be larger than what you’ll pay on a monthly basis.  You’ll have to pay a few months and the insurance premium up front.  The overage amount is used as a reserve in the case of shortages; as much as eight months reserve could be required.

There are several reasons that a shortage can happen:

  • Your property taxes increase and you need to make up the difference
  • Your insurance policy coverage can change, raising the cost
  • Your lender didn’t calculate the initial cost correctly

This means that you won’t have paid enough money into the impound account (or escrow account) and the bills on your Troy Michigan real estate won’t be paid in full.

Account shortages will happen, no matter how careful you are, so it’s best to know your options before that happens.  You can look for less expensive insurance, pay the difference in cash, or agree to pay the increased amount.  You can also get less insurance coverage, but it isn’t recommended.

You can also set up your own impound account, but you have to be disciplined enough to do so or hire an accountant. If your loan is 80% more than the value of your Troy Michigan real estate, the lender may not let you set up an account.  You also have to pay any shortages in one lump sum if your taxes go up at the end of the year.

Do you have any questions about buying Troy Michigan real estate?  No matter how big or small your questions are, I’d be happy to answer them for you.  Just drop me an email at now or give me a call at 248-514-2640.

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


Southeast Michigan Real Estate – Will You Need Private Mortgage Insurance?

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 26th, 2009

You may have heard the term Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) when looking to finance Southeast Michigan real estate.  What is PMI, and how do you know when you need to purchase it?  The answer can be hard to find among all the real estate jargon you’re hearing lately.  Here is the short version of what you need to know about it:

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance? (PMI) 
PMI is an extra insurance required by some lenders to offset their risk of you defaulting on your home loan.  When you put down less than 20 percent of the real estate’s value, your lender may tell you that you have to buy PMI.  It is usually added into your monthly mortgage payment until the equity in your Southeast Michigan real estate reaches 20 percent.

Under the current law, the PMI will be canceled automatically at 22 percent equity, if you are current on your payments.  If you aren’t current, the lender does not have to cancel the insurance because the loan is high-risk.  After getting caught up on your payments, the PMI will be cancelled.  Any money that you have overpaid must be refunded to you within 45 days.

What If Your Southeast Michigan Real Estate Increases In Value?
With a conventional loan, it may take as many as 15 years of a 30-year loan to pay down 20 percent.  But, if property values in your area rise, you might be able to cancel the PMI sooner.

Some lenders may be willing to consider the new value of your home to determine the equity in your home.  You may be responsible for any fees like an appraisal that may occur.  You’ll have to weigh the costs of the appraisal against the savings of the PMI premium.  In most cases, you’ll find that the added expense is worth it. 

Private mortgage insurance is a good thing if you can’t afford to pay 20 percent of the cost of your real estate as down payment.

Are you a first-time home buyer?  Now is a great time to buy Southeast Michigan real estate. Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email to find out why.

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


Troy Michigan Real Estate – 4 Tips to Lower Homeowner’s Insurance

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 20th, 2008

With the prices for everything skyrocketing these days, every penny counts.  This includes your homeowner’s insurance costs.  If you’re thinking of buying Troy Michigan real estate and need homeowner’s insurance, here are a few tips on getting quality insurance for a fair price:

Tip #1: Shop Around
Ask family and friends about their homeowner’s insurance.  Check the Yellow Pages, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the state insurance department.  Other places to shop for insurance include consumer guides, insurance agents and online Michigan insurance quote services.  Don’t just look for lower prices, however.  You need a fair price for the services you need.

Tip #2: Raise Your Deductible
The deductible is how much you have to pay before the insurance company starts to pay a claim on your Troy Michigan home.  You’ll find the higher your deductible is, the lower your premiums.  Make sure, when reading the policy, you carefully go over damage-specific information.

Tip #3: Use the Same Insurer
Some companies will take five to fifteen percent off your premium if you buy more than one policy from them.  If the insurer offers homeowner’s, auto and liability coverage, you stand a chance of having a lower premium for a multi-discount.  The key is to make sure the combined price is lower than if you bought them separately.

Tip #4: Improve Home Security
By installing a sophisticated fire sprinkler system and a fire/burglar alarm that rings the monitoring stations, some companies will cut your premium as much as fifteen or twenty percent.   And you’ll have peace of mind in case of an emergency.  For a smoke detector, burglar alarm or deadbolt locks, you can usually get at least a five percent discount.  Check with your insurer to make sure that the system you’re installing will lower your premiums, though; the systems aren’t cheap and not all of them qualify for a discount.

Read everything carefully before you sign, to make sure the policy covers your insurance needs without adding on hidden fees.

Even a little money saved can go a long way toward making it easier to live within your budget. 

Are you ready to buy a Troy home in Southeast Michigan?  I can help you find and buy the right Troy Michigan real estate home or investment property that fits your needs at the best price and terms.  As a licensed real estate broker and lawyer I’ll keep you from making mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.  Call me now at 248-514-2640 or send me an email at

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


4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Troy Michigan Real Estate

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 30th, 2008

Buying a new home is a big decision. Your home is your greatest financial asset. It is also your refuge from the world and a place where you can relax. You will ideally spend a considerable amount of time in your home, so you want to buy the right one for you and your family. Make sure you avoid these common mistakes when buying Troy Michigan real estate.

  1. Buying a home you cannot afford. If you cannot afford to pay for your home, you risk losing it in a foreclosure. To determine if you can really afford a home, you have to look at more than the asking price. Not only do you need to make your monthly mortgage payment, you also need to pay for your home’s regular maintenance.  
  2. Buying a home without doing your homework. Appearances can be deceiving, especially with homes. What appears to be beautiful stucco exterior can disguise a rotting wood frame. A fresh coat of paint can cover mold and water damage behind a wall. This is why you should always have a home inspected before you buy it.
  3. Buying the first home you see. Sellers do their best to make sure their homes look as appealing as possible. It’s easy to fall in love with just about any Troy, Michigan, home you see. Remind yourself that there are plenty of other homes for sale and make sure you see them all. There’s no point spending your hard earned money when you haven’t seen all the available possibilities.
  4. Buying a home that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. If you spend a considerable amount of time in your backyard entertaining guests and relaxing on weekends, you want a home that gives you the space to do that. Likewise, if you’re rarely home except to sleep, you don’t want to spend your weekends mowing an oversized yard.

Let me help you avoid mistakes when buying Troy Michigan real estate.  As a licensed real estate broker and lawyer, I can help you find and buy the home that is right for you…and save you from making a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars.  I’ll help you negotiate your home purchase at the best price and terms.  Click to:  Search for Troy Michigan Real Estate now!

Find a home you would like to see or do you have questions about Troy in Southeast Michigan?  Call Lee Morof today at 248-514-2640 or email right now!

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