Tips For Buying A Home In Another State

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 7th, 2021

Tips For Buying A Home In Another StateThere are many reasons why people need to move. Some people might be moving to be closer to a school. Other people might be moving to live closer to family members. Some people might have gotten a job in another state. Purchasing a home in another state can be a challenge, but technology has made it easier. Even though a lot of people still prefer to see a potential home in person, it is possible to take a virtual tour of a house. As a result, some people purchase homes they have never seen in person. On the other hand, there are many challenges that come with purchasing a house in another state. What can potential homeowners do to make the process easier?

Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

One of the first tips potential homeowners need to keep in mind is that they need to choose the right real estate agent. Even though it is always important to work with a real estate agent, it is even more important when purchasing a home in a new area. Potential homeowners are unfamiliar with the area, and they need to learn more about the community. A real estate agent can talk to homeowners about local schools, shopping and dining opportunities, potential development, and property values. The right real estate agent should take the time to understand the needs of his or her clients and generate a list of potential properties based on those preferences. 

Ask Questions About The Area

Next, homeowners should not be afraid to ask questions about the area. There is no such thing as a dumb question, and homeowners need to collect all the necessary information to make an educated decision. How much earnest money is required? What is it like to get an inspection? How long does it take to close? Don’t hesitate to ask a few questions about the region. 

Request A Remote Closing 

Speaking of closing, homeowners can request a remote closing. That way, they don’t have to worry about altering their schedules to be physically present at the closing table. The real estate agent can be the representative of the buyer at closing. This can make the process easier, saving money on travel expenses along the way. 

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 6, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 6th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 6, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on home price trends, pending home sales, labor-sector readings on public and private-sector job growth. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

S&P Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Slows in September

The pace of national home price growth slowed for the first time since May 2020 in September according to S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Year-over-year home price growth slowed by 0.30 percent to 19.50 percent from August’s year-over-year home price growth reading of 19.80 percent. Demand for homes typically slows during fall and winter; some buyers were also sidelined by affordability concerns.

The 20-City Home Price Index for September showed some changes as Phoenix, Arizona continued to hold its top spot in the index and reported a 33.10 percent gain in home prices year-over-year. Tampa, Florida held second place with a  year-over-year home price growth rate of 27.70 percent. Miami, Florida reported a year-over-year home price growth rate of 25.20 percent. Western states have recently dominated home price growth rates, but Florida cities have surpassed former second and third-place cities San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington.

Pending home sales of previously owned homes rose by 7.50 percent in October as compared to the expected pace of 0.70 percent and September’s reading of  2.40 percent fewer sales of homes for which purchase contracts were signed but sales were not yet completed. The surge in pending home sales was attributed to homebuyers’ haste to avoid expected higher mortgage rates and rapidly rising rents. The National Association of Realtors® noted that sales activity was higher than usual for fall, but also cautioned that the emergence of a new variation of the covid-19 virus could slow sales activity.

Mortgage Rates Little Changed as New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported minimal activity for mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 3.11 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.39 percent and were three basis points lower. Interest rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by two basis points to 2.40 percent on average. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims rose to 222,000 claims filed and fell short of the expected reading of 240,000 new claims filed. 194,000 initial jobless claims were filed during the prior week. Continuing jobless claims fell to 1.96 million ongoing claims from the prior week’s reading of 2.06 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on job openings and quits and the University of Michigan’s preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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How To Sell A Home Around The Holidays

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 3rd, 2021

How To Sell A Home Around The HolidaysIt is true that the summer months are a hot time for the real estate market. Many families with children prefer to move during the summer because they do not have to pull their kids out of school. On the other hand, it is possible to sell a home during the holidays. There are fewer homes on the market, so this could drive up prices. What are a few tips homeowners should follow for selling their houses around the holidays?

Remove The Clutter

When the temperature cools off, people spend more time inside. Therefore, it is easy for houses to get cluttered. When this is combined with the rest of the holidays, it is easy for messes to build up. People looking to sell their houses during the holidays need to avoid clutter at all costs. Potential buyers want to imagine what their life is like in the house. If there is a mess everywhere, it will be difficult for buyer imaginations to run wild. 

Maximize The Curb Appeal

There is never a second chance to make a first impression, and the first impression comes from curb appeal. Even though there might be a lot of leaves on the ground, homeowners need to act quickly to remove them. Furthermore, bare trees can expose damaged parts of the house. It might be a good idea to throw a fresh coat of paint on the outside. 

Price To Sell

There is a delicate balance between pricing a house too high and pricing a house too low. Nobody wants to leave money on the table, but it is important not to scare away buyers. Homeowners who can afford to wait may want to price the house higher; however, if someone is starting a new job at the beginning of the year, the house might need to be priced lower to sell quickly. 

Select The Right Agent

Selling a home during the holidays can be a challenge, but the right real estate agent can make all the difference. It is critical to work with an agent who has experience selling a home during the holidays. That way, they can find comparable homes in the area, set the price right, and get as many showings as possible to get offers on the table. 

 

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When Inventory Is Low, Sellers Win

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 2nd, 2021

When Inventory Is Low, Sellers WinThe real estate market has gone through a number of changes during the past few months. When inventory is low, sellers win. They have the ability to pick a buyer, they can make more money, and they can sell a house faster. What are some of the biggest reasons why sellers win when inventory is low? 

The Asking Price Goes Up

One of the biggest reasons why sellers win when inventory is low is that the asking price goes up. When there are more buyers than there are sellers, a seller may have multiple offers on the table. Then, the seller can leverage those offers against each other, driving up the price of the house. This could allow sellers to get thousands of dollars over the asking price for their homes. 

Sellers Maximize The Return

When sellers drive up the asking price of a house, this also increases the equity they have in their homes. When sellers have a mortgage, the monthly payment does not change much over the life of that mortgage; however, when the value of the house rises, this means sellers have more equity in their homes. They can do a lot with this equity. They can sell the house, pocket the extra equity, and either put it toward a new house or deposit it into their retirement account. 

The Seller Can Dictate The Terms

Finally, when inventory is low, sellers have the ability to dictate the terms. For example, a seller might be selling a house that has a wide variety of repairs. When inventory is low, sellers do not necessarily have to do these repairs. They know there are so many people looking for houses that someone will be willing to purchase the house without asking for repairs to be made. Sellers might even ask for cash offers only. This allows the seller to avoid certain closing expenses and walk away with more cash. 

Sellers Win When Inventory Is Low

The real estate market fluctuates over time; however, when inventory is low, sellers win. Because there is less competition on the market, sellers can get multiple offers on the table. This allows them to drive the negotiation, getting as much money as possible for their house. 

 

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Decluttering A Home Can Make A Major Impact

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 1st, 2021

Decluttering A Home Can Make A Major ImpactThere are numerous homeowners who are looking for a way to make more space. Even a small decluttering project can make a significant difference to the amount of space available in a home. This can also make it easier for homeowners to find what they are looking for. Furthermore, if a home is going on the market in the near future, it needs to be as clean as possible. That way, prospective buyers can see the potential of a home. What are a few examples of decluttering projects that can make a significant difference?

Clean Under The Kitchen Sink

The kitchen is one of the most used spaces in the home. Therefore, it is critical to keep it clean. Focus on cleaning under the kitchen sink. The easier the cleaning supplies are to locate, the easier it will be to keep the kitchen clean. Some homeowners are more likely to keep the kitchen clean if they have an easier time pulling out the cleaning supplies. Consider using labels, drawers, and boxes to keep the equipment organized. 

Check The Bathroom Closets

Bathroom cabinets are among the most overlooked areas in the home, but they also have a lot of potential. Many homeowners do not have enough linens and towels to fill up the bathroom cabinet, so think of other ways to use this space. For example, homeowners may want to place extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, and cleaning supplies in the bathroom cabinet. It might be smart to use dividers to keep the space in the bathroom closet organized. 

Tidy Up The Refrigerator

Finally, homeowners should also think about cleaning the refrigerator. Stains in the refrigerator can be notoriously difficult to remove, but using a bit of white vinegar can go a long way. Take a look at the expiration dates on the items in the refrigerator and throw away food and drinks that have already gone bad. Then, consider using labels to keep the refrigerator organized. This will make it easier for everyone to find what they are looking for the next time they open the door. 

These are just a few tips on how to declutter the areas that most homeowners often forget about. Just remember that a home can be decluttered in steps and is a process. 

 

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What To Know About Property Values and Refinancing

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 30th, 2021

What To Know About Property Values and RefinancingThere are many people who are thinking about refinancing their homes. For example, some people may be interested in reducing their monthly payments, while other people may be interested in tapping into the value of the home to fund a home improvement project. What is the relationship between property values and refinancing? There are several important points to keep in mind. 

Property Values Tend To Rise

First, it is important for homeowners to understand that property values tend to rise during the life of a mortgage. For example, someone may purchase a home valued at $250,000. Then, fifteen years later, the home might be valued at $350,000. This might mean that homeowners have access to an extra $100,000 in equity. They might use some of this money to put towards a new home when they sell their current home. Or, they might refinance their home and access that equity to complete a home improvement project. 

Monthly Payments Might Go Up

If homeowners decide to refinance their houses and take all of the equity out of the home, they might be starting their 30-year mortgage over again. Then, because the property is worth more money, they may end up with a higher monthly payment. That is why homeowners need to work with a professional who can help them figure out how the refinancing process may impact their finances in the future.

Why Property Values May Rise

There are several reasons why property values may go up. First, there might not be enough homes in the local area. Therefore, the ones that are available might be worth more money. The popularity of a specific location might increase as well. There might be a new company moving to the area with attractive job opportunities. Finally, home improvements might also increase the value of the property. 

Why Refinancing Might Make Sense

There are several reasons why it might be a good idea to refinance a home. First, homeowners might use some of the equity to pay off existing debt, such as medical bills. Some homeowners like to refinance their homes to reduce their monthly payments with a lower interest rate. Finally, there are homeowners who refinance to complete home renovation projects. 

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 29, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 29th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 29, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes, inflation, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. President Biden announced his nomination of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell for a second term.  Financial markets were closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Single-Family Home Sales Increase in October

The Commerce Department reported sales of new homes rose in October with 745,000 new homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. October sales fell short of the 800,000 new home sales expected by analysts but surpassed September’s reading of 742,000 new homes sold.

The National Association of Realtors® reported 6.34 million previously owned homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis in October. Sales of previously-owned homes rose by 0.80 percent from September to October and exceeded expectations of 6.20 million sales and September’s reading of 6.29 million sales of previously-owned homes. Real estate pros said that high demand for homes and strong job growth contributed to October’s reading.

Slim inventories of homes for sale and rising home prices continued to sideline some buyers; competition with cash buyers also caused difficulties for would-be buyers who relied on mortgage loans. 6.34 million pre-owned homes were sold year-over-year in October and exceeded expectations of 6.20 million sales and September’s reading of 6.29 million pre-owned homes sold.

LawrenceYun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®, said,  “Inflationary pressures such as fast rising rents and increasing consumer prices may have some prospective buyers seeking the protection of a fixed consistent mortgage payment.” Rapidly rising home prices challenged would-be home buyers as the median price for a single-family home rose to $353,900 in October, which was more than 13 percent higher year-over-year. The inventory of available homes equaled September’s inventory with a 2.40  month supply of homes for sale. Real estate pros typically consider a six-month supply of homes for sale as a sign of balanced markets.

Mortgage Rates Little Changed as Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported no change in the average rate of 3.10 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose three basis points to 2.42 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell two basis points to 2.47 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 199,000 first-time claims filed as compared to the expected reading of 260,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 270,000 first-time jobless claims filed. 2.05 million continuing jobless claims were filed as compared to 2.11 million ongoing claims filed in the prior week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from S&P Case-Shiller Housing Market Indices, along with reporting on pending home sales and construction spending. Public and private-sector job reports and the national unemployment rate will also be released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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Greenify Your Home with Our Guide to Conducting a DIY Energy Audit

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 24th, 2021

Greenify Your Home with Our Guide to Conducting a DIY Energy AuditThe idea of conducting an energy audit on your home might seem like something complicated that should be left to the experts, but there are ways for you to make your home a little greener without consulting anybody. Instead of having someone else do the work, here are a few simple ways for you to inspect your home and green up its energy use.

Do A Candle Test Of Exterior Walls

Since cold air coming in from outside your home can impact your energy use significantly, do the simple test of taking a candle on a tour of your home to determine if there are any drafts. Ensure that you check all of the windows, doors and exterior areas where outside air can gain access; if your candle blows out or wavers, this is a surefire sign that a fix-up is needed. If you’ve located an area where air is getting in, you may need to caulk it or add insulation to remedy the problem.

Carefully Inspect The Attic

Since we rarely venture up to the attic, it can be one of the last places that we would look for a draft, but it can be one of the most vulnerable areas when it comes to insulation. Before heading up, put on a mask and some work gloves to protect yourself from the dusty surfaces, and lift up the insulation to inspect for any spaces where air could be accessing your home. If you’ve noticed gaps or places that lack coverage, fill them with additional insulation and seal it with expanding insulation for added coverage.

Don’t Take Ducts For Granted

Since ducts are made of thin metal and can easily lose heat if they are damaged or unclean, it’s important to inspect them for holes and make sure they are joined sufficiently so air is not escaping. If you’ve found an issue, you will want to replace or insulate them more effectively so that energy loss can be prevented and does not impact energy use throughout your entire home.

There are plenty of ways that your home can lose energy – from the ducts through to the exterior walls – but there are simple things you can do to test its efficiency and improve your energy use. If you happen to be doing some minor renovations so you can put your home on the market soon, you may want to contact your trusted real estate agent for more information.

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Real Estate Investing: 3 Secrets That You Can Use Today

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 23rd, 2021

Real Estate Investing: 3 Secrets of Successful Home Buyers That You Can Use TodayWhile making a real estate purchase can be filled with many questions, buying to invest in a long-term property can be even more confusing. If you’re looking into investing in real estate and wondering what variables to consider, here are a few tips that you’ll want to keep in mind before deciding on an investment property.

Be Aware Of The Market You’re Buying Into

Since you’ll need to be aware of what other people are looking for in a property if you’re diving into real estate to invest, you’ll want to carefully consider the neighborhood and city that you’re buying in and think about what the future holds. While becoming knowledgeable about home prices in the area you’re thinking of buying is a must, you’ll also want to think about market projections, trendy new neighborhoods and what the appeal will be to renters or buyers of the home you’re contemplating.

Consider A Diamond In The Rough

It might seem like a home that is a little rough around the edges is going to be a high-maintenance endeavor that doesn’t balance out in the end, but a fixer upper of a place may be end up being the best option. While you may need to renovate a little here and there to unearth some of its natural features, improvements to a home with a good structure in a good neighborhood can be more economical than spending more on a home that instantly appeals. It can also provide a better return on your investment in the long-term.

Stay Within Your Spending Means

When considering an investment property, it can be quite easy to get derailed and think about what you’ll be making instead of the expenditure of the initial investment. However, it’s important to determine beforehand that what you’re choosing to afford is going to be manageable in case you have to swing it on your own. By determining whether or not it’s an affordable expense, you can have a successful investment that will balance out in your favor at the end of the day without having to worry about sinking beneath the cost.

There are many questions that can come along with choosing to invest in real estate, but by carefully considering the market and keeping your purchase at a reasonable price point, you may have a long-term moneymaker on your hands.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 22, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 22nd, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 22, 2021Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions. Reporting on housing starts and building permits was released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

NAHB: Home Builder Confidence Grows as Demand for Homes Increases


November’s national reading for home builder confidence in housing market conditions for single-family homes rose three points to an index reading of 83 and the expected reading of 80. Component readings for the national index were mixed. Builder confidence in home sales for the next six months was unchanged at an index reading of 84. Builder confidence in potential buyer traffic in new housing developments rose three points to an index reading of 68. Readings over 50 indicate that a majority of home builders were confident about housing market conditions.

 

High demand for homes continued, but builders faced ongoing obstacles including shortages of lots and labor. Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, said: “ Lot availability is at multi-decade lows and the construction industry currently has more than 330,000 open positions.” Mr. Dietz urged policymakers to address these issues to enable builders to better meet the high demand for single-family homes.

 

Three of four regional readings for builder confidence in housing market conditions rose, while the Northeast’s reading fell to 69 in November from October’s reading of 73. The Midwest reading rose to 75 in November from October’s reading of 72. Homebuilder confidence in the South also rose three points to 87 in November. The Western region posted a two-point gain in builder confidence for an index reading of 87.

 

Housing starts fell by one million starts in October to 1.52 million starts on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Building permits issued in October rose to a pace of 1.65 million permits issued on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Housing starts and building permits issued do not always reflect builder confidence readings.

 

Mortgage Rates Rise as Jobless Claims Fall


Freddie Mac reported higher fixed mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose  12 basis points to 3.10 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose 12 basis points and averaged 2.39 percent; the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell four basis points to an average rate of 2.49 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent. 

 

Initial jobless claims rose to 286,000 new claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 269,000 first-time claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims fell to 2.08 million claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 2.20 continuing jobless claims filed. 

 

What’s Ahead

 

This week’s scheduled economic readings include sales of new and previously-owned homes, reporting on inflation and consumer sentiment are also scheduled. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will be released in advance of the Thanksgiving holidays on Thursday and Friday. 

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