Buying an Investment Property? 3 Key Home Features That Will Help Ensure You Turn a Profit

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 27th, 2021

Buying an Investment Property? 3 Key Home Features That Will Help Ensure You Turn a ProfitIf you’re entering the real estate investment market for the first time, you’re embarking on a great adventure – and with a solid plan, you can turn a tidy profit on your investment.

The key to a successful real estate investment is choosing the right property. A great property will reap dividends for years to come. Look for these three features in your next investment property and you’ll have no trouble finding one that turns a profit.

Location: More Important Than You Think

The location of your investment property will be critical in determining how much you earn on it and how long you’re able to keep tenants. And as the saying goes, you can change the color of the walls, you can change the type of flooring, and you can change the layout of the home, but you can’t change the location. So before you do anything else, make sure your new investment property is in a good location.

High cash flow investment properties tend to share certain location characteristics. They tend to be in neighborhoods with great schools and great amenities like pools, parks, movie theaters, and public transit. They also tend to be in an area with quiet, low-traffic, well-kept streets. Great neighborhoods have a low crime rate and don’t mix housing types.

Average Rent Price & Vacancy Rate: Look For Marketability

Aside from local amenities, you’ll also want to consider the average vacancy rate and rent price in your neighborhood. If you can’t cover your costs by charging the neighborhood’s average rent, then the home is a poor investment.

Keep an eye on vacancies in the neighborhood. If there are a high number of vacancies in the area, it could mean that the area’s rental market is seasonal or that renters are no longer interested in it. A low-vacancy area will allow you to charge more rent, and you’ll be more likely to find renters.

Floor Plan: Know The Trends And Buy Accordingly

There are a lot of things you can change if you don’t like your home, but the floor plan is a challenge to rearrange. That means in order to make your property competitive on the market, you’ll want to choose a property with a modern floor plan. Watch the trends and buy a home with a floor plan that’s in demand – you’ll have an easier time finding tenants.

Buying an investment property is a great choice for smart investors, but it’s important that you choose a property that will turn a profit. An experienced real estate agent can help you find a great new investment property that tenants will love. Contact your local real estate professional to learn more about qualifying investment properties.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 26, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 26th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - July 26, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, data on sales of new and previously-owned homes, and weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

NAHB: Affordability, Shortages of Labor and Materials Impacting U.S. Housing Markets

Housing market conditions are changing according to July’s Housing Market Index produced by the National Association of Home Builders. Although the HMI reading declined by one point in July, ongoing trends including labor shortages, higher prices for building materials, and affordability impacted builder confidence in overall market conditions. July’s index reading was 80 as compared to June’s reading of 81 and the expected reading of 82. Housing Market Index readings over 50 indicate that most builders surveyed were confident about housing market conditions.

Component readings of July’s Housing Market Index included builder confidence in current market conditions, which fell one point to 86;  builder confidence in housing market conditions for the next six months rose two points to 81. Builder confidence in prospective buyer traffic in single-family housing developments fell six points to an index reading of 65. Buyer traffic readings often fell below 50 before the pandemic.

Regional builder confidence readings for housing market conditions were mixed in July. The Northeastern region’s reading was four points lower at an index reading of 75. The Midwest index reading was one point lower at 71. The builder confidence reading in the South was unchanged at 85 and the West’s builder confidence reading dropped two points to 87.

Previously-Owned Home Sales Rise in June

The National Association of Realtors® reported a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.86 million sales of previously-owned homes in June. Analysts expected a reading of 5.93 million sales; May’s reading for existing home sales showed an annual pace of  5.78 million homes sold.

Demand for homes since the pandemic started is driven by home buyer demand for homes in less congested suburban and rural areas. Although demand for homes encourages home builders, it also increases home prices when multiple buyers submit purchase offers on each available home. This drives home prices higher and sidelines first-time and moderate-income buyers. High-demand areas are also experiencing more cash offers, which creates difficulties for buyers needing to finance a home purchase.

Housing Starts Rise in July as Building Permits Issued Fall

U.S. housing starts rose in June according to the Census Bureau. 1.64 million starts were reported on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. 1.59 million starts were expected based on 1.55 million starts reported in May. Building permits fell to 1.60 permits issued in June; analysts expected building permits issued in June to match May’s reading of 1.68 million building permits issued.

Mortgage Rates and Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported lower rates for fixed-rate mortgages with 30-year fixed rates averaging 10 basis points lower at 2.78 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were also 10 basis points lower and averaged 2.12 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable mortgages rose two basis points on average to 2.49 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

419,000 new jobless claims were filed last week as compared to 368, 000 initial jobless claims filed in the previous week. 3.24 million continuing jobless claims were filed as compared to 3.27 million ongoing jobless claims filed in the previous week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on home prices from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, data on pending home sales and new home sales will be released along with the post-meeting statement of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give a press conference after the FOMC statement is released. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will be published along with the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index.

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The Younger Generation is Looking To Buy Houses

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 23rd, 2021

The Younger Generation is Looking To Buy HousesThe current housing demand is unparalleled and because of this demand, home prices are skyrocketing. Nonetheless, people continue to shop for homes. Low interest rates and high demand combined with supply chain issues are stunting the homebuilding industry, creating a perfect storm for an unprecedented housing market. In addition, there are many millennials who are looking for homes right now as well. Why is this the case?

Interest Rates Are At Record Lows

One of the biggest reasons why so many younger people are looking to buy a home is that low-interest rates make them more affordable. As a result, people are able to stretch their dollars farther. There is no question that buyers want to take advantage of low-interest rates; however, this is also driving up the price tag of homes. What some home buyers might save in interest they could have to pay extra in principle.

Young Homebuyers Want To Grow Their Wealth Through Homeownership

Owning a home is an investment, and young buyers see it that way as well. Right now, millennials and gen Z adults are looking to purchase homes for the first time. During the next year, these numbers are only going to increase. A lot of young adults realize that they may never see a market like this again; however, the lack of supply in the housing market continues to remain a challenge.

Inventory Is Historically Low

Now is a smart time to buy a home for everyone, including young adults; however, the challenge is finding one. There are many buyers who are looking to purchase homes right now and there are not that many houses for sale. Therefore, some buyers might eventually give up and wait for the market to cool down; however, it might require a spike in interest rates to make that happen. This is leaving many homebuyers confused about what to do next. That is why it is important to work with an experienced real estate professional.

Help Is Available

Buying a home is a major decision and it is important to get this right. That is why it is a smart idea to work with an experienced real estate professional who can help buyers make the right decisions.

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Down Payment Assistance Programs May Make Homeownership More Affordable

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 22nd, 2021

Down Payment Assistance Programs May Make Homeownership More AffordableThere are many people who are currently looking to purchase a home while interest rates are relatively low; however, there are many homeowners who feel like they do not have a strong level of financial understanding when it comes to the process of purchasing a home.

If homeowners don’t have the financial knowledge base to effectively evaluate their options, they might have trouble figuring out what they can truly afford. For example, how much money do homeowners need to save for a down payment? There are a lot of down payment assistance programs available at local, state, and regional levels.

Resources Are Available For First Time Homebuyers

There are many down payment assistance programs that have been made available specifically for first-time homebuyers. Many people who are buying a home for the first time might not be able to put 20 percent down when lenders ask for it. That is why down payment assistance programs might be able to help homebuyers bridge the gap between what they have and what they need. At the same time, there are other programs available as well.

There Are Programs Available for Non-First Time Homebuyers As Well

There are also down payment assistance programs that are open to people who aren’t first-time homebuyers as well. For example, many people are thinking about relocating because they work from home. They might want to stretch their money farther and purchase more space. Some rural areas have USDA loans that do not require a down payment. USDA loans might even be available in the suburbs. These loans might be easier for homebuyers who might not have a large chunk of money saved up for a down payment. Reaching out to these down payment assistance programs could be a smart move.

Understand All Options Available For Down Payment Assistance

Ultimately, there are a lot of down payment assistance programs that could make it easier for potential homebuyers to purchase a home. With many homeowners looking to purchase a home now before interest rates rise, it is important to explore all options available. This includes looking at down payment assistance programs that might make it easier for homeowners to afford a home.

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A Review Of Government Vs Conventional Mortgages

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 21st, 2021

A Review Of Government Vs Conventional MortgagesThere are two broad categories of mortgages. The first is government mortgages, which include USDA, FHA, and VA loans. These loans are backed and insured by the United States government. The other category is conventional mortgages. These are mortgages that are insured by private lenders, such as banks and credit unions. What are the differences between these two loan options?

Government Mortgages

The qualifications for government mortgages are usually more lenient than conventional loans. For example, FHA mortgages are usually backed by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans could be a smart option for borrowers who might not be able to make a large down payment or who are taking out a loan for the first time. In addition, borrowers with higher debt to income ratios and lower credit scores might also be able to qualify for an FHA loan. While it is possible to qualify for an FHA loan with a lower down payment mortgage insurance might still be required.

Another government mortgage is a VA mortgage. This is a mortgage that is insured by the United States government that is available to members of the military. In order to qualify for a VA loan, a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required. While VA loans do not charge mortgage insurance, an upfront funding fee could be charged if certain requirements are not met.

Conventional Mortgages

Conventional mortgages refer to home loans that are created and financed by unions, banks, credit unions, and other lenders not associated with the United States government. When compared to government loans, they usually have stricter guidelines. Borrowers seeking a conventional mortgage usually must have a higher credit score, a larger down payment, and a lower debt to income ratio. If borrowers are not able to put 20 percent down, they might be charged private mortgage insurance (PMI); however, some borrowers might be able to negotiate lender-insured PMI if they are willing to accept a higher interest rate.

Speak To A Loan Officer

The right loan for one person might not be the right loan for someone else. Everyone should speak to a loan officer to figure out which type of home loan is right for them. That way, everyone can negotiate favorable terms on a home loan.

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3 ‘Must Know’ Pieces of Advice for First-time Home Buyers

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 20th, 2021

3 'Must Know' Pieces of Advice for First-time Home BuyersWhen delving into the realities of home ownership, there can be many factors involved that make it difficult to determine what you need to know and what can wait until later. If you happen to be a first-time buyer who’s looking for the best tips for purchasing a home, look no further than the following three pointers to set you on the right path.

Get Familiar With Your Credit Score

If you haven’t looked at your credit report for a long time, it can be a daunting task to request this information. Fortunately, your credit report is free from AnnualCreditReport.com and it will prepare you for what lenders are going to see. By taking this important step, you will be able to determine any delinquent accounts or balances owing that have gone to collections, and hopefully have these cleaned up before they can become a problem for your mortgage.

Determine The Price You Can Pay

While you may have a price in mind for what you’re willing to pay for a home, it’s important to determine your debt-to-income ratio before putting in an offer. Your DTI ratio can be determined by taking your total monthly costs, adding it to what you would be paying for a home and dividing it by your monthly gross income. If it’s a housing price that will work for you, this amount should equate to less than 43%.

Organize Your Housing History

If you have a good history as a tenant, the next step will probably be the easiest of all, but it’s very important in order to prove you’re a responsible candidate for home ownership. Once you’ve acquired a Verification of Rent from any applicable landlord in the previous year, you’ll want to ensure that you have money in the bank. While RRSP’s can make a good impression, make sure you have liquid assets available so you can convince the lender your home investment is manageable.

There are a lot of things to know when it comes to buying a home, but if you’re a first time buyer the most important thing is to ensure that your finances are organized and that you’re not diving into more house than you can afford. By taking the time to determine your debt-to-income ratio and looking into your credit, you can ensure a positive first-time buying experience. If you’re wondering about homes for sale in your area, you may want to contact your trusted real estate professionals for more information.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 19, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 19th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - July 19, 2021Last week’s scheduled economic reports included readings on inflation, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, and the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Consumer Price Index: June Inflation Grows at Fastest Pace Since 2008

June’s Consumer Price Index showed the fastest pace of inflationary growth in 13 years; inflation grew by 5.40 percent on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Used car sales accounted for one-third of the growth, but prices also rose for clothes, food, energy, and travel/hospitality. The year-over-year inflation rate for May was 5.00 percent.

Inflation grew by 0.90 percent month-to-month, which exceeded analyst’s expectations of 0.50 percent growth and 0.60 percent growth in May. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors also grew by 0.90 percent in June as compared to a month-to-month reading of 0.70 percent in May. Analysts expressed concern that the rapid pace of inflation may not slow as quickly as the Federal Reserve predicted.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Testifies Before House Financial Services Panel

Fed Chair Jerome Powell maintained the Federal Reserve’s earlier prediction that the pace of inflation would ease, but not immediately: “Inflation has increased notably and will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating.”Mr.Powell said that inflationary growth has come in at a faster pace than the Fed was hoping to see.

Chair Powell identified three factors contributing to current inflationary growth. Weak inflationary growth during the pandemic will drop out of the year-over-year calculation; Production and supply chain constraints have led to sharp price increases after the pandemic. The third factor is a surge in demand for services as the economy reopens.

The Fed Chair said that “it’s a pretty narrow group of things that are producing these high readings.”

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported mixed mortgage rates last week as the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.88 percent and were two basis points lower. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by two basis points to an average of 2.22 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell by five basis points to 2.47 percent on average; Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-yar fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

New jobless claims fell to 360,000 initial claims filed from the previous week’s reading of 386,000 claims filed. Data for continuing jobless claims were not updated last week.

The University of Michigan reported no change in its Consumer Sentiment Index for July with an index reading of 85.5. Analysts expected a reading of 86.3.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, reports on housing starts and building permits, and data on existing home sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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Selling Your Home? Here’s Why You’ll Want to Invest in Professional Photography

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 16th, 2021

Selling Your Home This Summer? Here's Why You'll Want to Invest in Professional PhotographyWith all of the time and money that can go into moving, spending money on one more thing can seem like a bank account drain. However, when it comes to selling your home, investing in a professional photographer can mean the difference between getting a buyer and making a sale you’ll be proud of. If you want to get the deal your house deserves, you might want to consider the skills of a professional who will make your house look like someone’s dream home.

“Lighting” Up Your House

If you’ve ever noticed how dull a room can look when it’s cloudy outside, you’ll quickly realize how important the right lighting can be in complimenting the appearance of your house. A professional photographer will be able to determine what hours and what types of flash will work to highlight the rooms in your house the best. Not only that, they will go above and beyond what your smart phone can do to correct the issues that can impact a potentially perfect picture.

Capturing The Perfect Panorama

In the right light, it’s possible that you’ll be able to get some great pictures of your house on your own, but a photographer will be able to go beyond that. It’s a proven fact that people are most often lured in by façade photos when searching for homes online, and it’s these the right photographer will be able to perfect. By using a professional who understands what size of lens to use to compliment your home, your photos will easily optimize the way your home looks.

Diving Into The Details With Expertise

Beyond the panorama shots that might convince a potential buyer into considering your house for their next home, a professional photographer may be able to hone in on details that differentiate your house from the rest. With their keen, curious eye, they’ll not only notice intricate details, they’ll be able to highlight them in a way that makes them look interesting, expert and one-of-a-kind. They’ll also be able to beautifully capture the special features that you love about your home!

It can be tempting to be cost effective when it comes to showcasing your home, but just like wedding photographs, you don’t want to skimp on real estate images. If you’re interested in learning more about positive ways you can highlight your home, you should contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Buying a Rental Property? How to Choose Between Single-Family and Multi-Family Homes

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 15th, 2021

Buying a Rental Property? How to Choose Between Single-family and Multi-family Homes Entering into the real estate market requires time and monetary commitment. Depending on the purpose for purchasing rental property determines whether one should invest in a single family or multi-family dwelling. In either case, one should prepare short or long term goals, be cognizant of his or her financial health and monetary comfort zone, and conduct a comparative market analysis before considering a real estate investment.

Short Term Versus Long Term Investments

For investment purposes, a multi-family dwelling provides the owner with more potential rental income than a single family dwelling. However, if the purpose is to claim the new location as a future domicile, then investing in a single family dwelling provides the buyer with time for relocating.

One should be aware, however, that rentals are not eligible for homestead exemptions. With the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, all states offer some type of homestead exemption for primary residences. As a result, if changing one’s domicile is part of the long-term goal, then considering the purchase of a single family for a temporary rental, until one is ready to change domiciles, may prove advantageous.

Investment Considerations

One must be prepared for the initial rental preparation. Plumbing and sewage lines must be in working conditions to avoid impending disasters. Adequate electrical service and outlets, in combination with internet access, attract financially secure tenants. If one depends on registered, licensed, and insured contractors to provide the necessary workmanship, one must also be prepared for delays in the delivery of goods, inspections, and completed work orders. If one’s finances are not be stretched beyond his or her monetary comfort zone, then time may present the only obstacle.

Location Versus Location

Any real estate investor must consider location. One should look at the demographics of an area, the percentage of violent versus non-violent crimes committed in an area, and the future plans for development of any surrounding areas. Usually the rating of the local high school will also provide insight into the stability of the surrounding communities.

Consult A Reputable Agent

Before making an investment, one should consult a licensed and experienced real estate agent familiar with area rentals. The agent should provide information regarding long term versus short term available rentals. In addition, if there are deed restrictions, the agent should provide the prospective buyer with the necessary information.

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Taking A Closer Look At Affordability: Renting And Buying

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 14th, 2021

Taking A Closer Look At Affordability: Renting And BuyingThere are many people who are looking at the housing market wondering if now is the time to make the jump from renting to owning. At the same time, is it more affordable to rent a home? Or, is it a smarter move to buy a home? Even though many people like the comfort of renting because it is someone else’s problem if something goes wrong, waiting too long to purchase a home could be costly. Here are a few of the most important points you need to keep in mind when it comes to renting versus buying a home.

Renters Spend A Higher Percentage Of Their Income On Housing

First, renters usually put a higher percentage of their income toward housing than homeowners. When looking at the numbers, people may believe that the percentage is higher for renters purely because people who own homes make more money; however, this is not necessarily the case. People who rent still spend a greater percentage of their monthly income on housing than people who own a home.

Renters Often Have Trouble Investing In Other Assets

One of the major advantages of owning a home is that it is going to appreciate over time. Not only is a house an investment, but because homeowners spend less of their money on housing, they have money to invest in other assets. For example, someone who spends a lot of money on rent might not be able to invest in retirement accounts, such as a 401k. Homeowners are not only building equity in their homes but also investing money elsewhere.

Rent Goes Up While Mortgages Stay The Same

A lot of homeowners decide to take out a 30-year fixed mortgage, which means that their mortgage payments are going to stay the same throughout the life of the loan. Renters are more vulnerable to cost increases. Whenever someone renews a lease, rent payments usually go up. Therefore, this projects vastly different economic futures for homeowners versus renters. With a home loan, the only expenses that might go up are taxes and insurance. In contrast, renters are subject to the supply and demand laws of the rental market.

Now might be the time to make the jump to homeownership.

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