Archive for Mortgage

How To Find The Right Home Insurance Coverage For You And Your Family

Posted in Mortgage,Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 17th, 2021

How To Find The Right Home Insurance Coverage For You And Your FamilyThose who are taking out a loan for a home will probably be required by the lender to purchase home insurance. Even those who don’t need a loan will still need to make sure that they protect their property accordingly with a comprehensive home insurance policy. This is important for making sure homeowners have the money to replace their belongings and repair their property in the event of a disaster. At the same time, homeowners do not want to spend more than they must for a home insurance policy.

How can homeowners find the right home insurance policy to protect themselves?

Think About The Disasters In The Area

First, homeowners need to make sure the home insurance policy protects them against the right risks. If homeowners live in an area that is prone to floods or earthquakes, they need to find a policy that will protect them against these risks. If homeowners live in an area that gets a lot of hurricanes, they should make sure their home insurance policy protects them against hurricane damages. Not all policies include these as standard coverage, so homeowners should make sure they do not have to purchase a rider.

Make Sure There Is Money To Rebuild Your Home

Remember that the cost to rebuild a home could be more or less than the original purchase price. Lenders will want to make sure that all homeowners have a policy that gives them enough money to rebuild. Otherwise, the lender might not finance the mortgage. The local construction costs and the square footage of the structure will all play a role in the cost to rebuild. It might be prudent to work with a real estate agent to estimate this cost. The type of exterior, the style of the house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other properties on the premises will all play a role in the cost to rebuild a home.

Other Factors To Consider

Homeowners also need to think about whether their home is up to code. When the home is rebuilt, it needs to match new codes, which could increase the price. Homeowners also need to make sure their home insurance policy will cover valuable belongings in the home as well, such as furniture and electronics.

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4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now

Posted in Mortgage,Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 16th, 2021

4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell NowNow is a great time to sell a home. Inventory is down to historic lows, according to recent reports, which means it’s a sellers’ market. Yes, many homeowners are reluctant to put their homes on the market for a variety of reasons. However, right now there are four big incentives for homeowners to sell, despite these objections.

Unsure Of Being Able To Find A New Home To Purchase

It is good to sell at high prices, but that might leave a homeowner desperate to find a new home. Not exactly.

Buyers are entering bidding wars in order to secure their new dream homes. Using leverage, a homeowner could sell to a buyer but have a stipulation where they lease their home back to the new owner until such time as the homeowner has time to get themselves a new house.

Uncertainty About Being Able To Obtain Top Market Price

It is understandable that homeowners want to be able to recoup the cost of improvements they have made along the way, along with some profit. When neighbors are getting top dollar, homeowners might want the same kind of guarantee if they put their own home up for sale.

The bidding wars have become so common that it is almost guaranteed that a homeowner will get the asking price at a minimum.

Do Renovations Need To Be Completed First?

It is common for homeowners to “put down their brushes” and think about just moving instead of finishing renovations, but will there be a heavy price to pay for selling an unfinished house?

Not in this market. Currently, buyers are willing to overlook most repairs in order to get into the house they want, including unfinished renovations. If you’re a homeowner worried about every little unpainted patch on the wall, rest assured your prospective buyers won’t even flinch.

Worries About Getting A Quick Closing

Homeowners are worried that they might not get a quick closing. Why? Because the longer the closing date is pushed out, the higher the chances that a sale will fall through.

If you’ve been on the fence about selling, it’s time to choose sides. There’s never been a better time to sell. Talk to your real estate agent today to start the listing process.

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Why An Emergency Fund Is Important

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 8th, 2021

Why An Emergency Fund Is Important

There’s almost a guarantee that at some point in the future you’re going to face an emergency. Like most things in life, that emergency is going to require money to solve. You can’t assume that you’ll have the funds to face the emergency when it happens. You can’t even assume that you’ll have enough on your credit cards to pay for it. The only safe way to plan is to have an emergency fund.

What Is An Emergency Fund?

An emergency fund is a reserve of cash set aside for emergencies only. It’s not a savings account, because you’re not saving up for anything in particular like a new sofa or a dining set. It’s strictly money on hand to be used in an emergency.

What Constitutes An Emergency

As a homeowner, you could face any number of emergencies regarding your property. An emergency is something unexpected and urgent. In other words, you couldn’t foresee it happening, yet it needs to be taken care of right away. Examples of homeownership emergencies are:

  • Basement floods and needs to be drained and contents cleaned
  • Tree falls on roof, and you can’t wait for insurance check
  • Furnace dies in the middle of winter
  • Central air system dies and there’s a high deductible on your insurance policy
  • Water tank gives out a week before your big family holiday

How To Manage an Emergency Fund

The key thing about an emergency fund is that it needs to be instantly accessible. Instantly accessible means you should only have to use your debit card or write a check to use it. You shouldn’t have to sell stock or transfer money out of your retirement IRA. It should also be kept separate from other funds, so it doesn’t get confused with the Christmas gift fund or the college fund.

Why Have An Emergency Fund?

Emergencies shouldn’t cause catastrophic damage to your finances. With consistent, small saving habits, you can build up an emergency fund so you can easily and readily take care of maintaining and repairing your home. This is part of good homeownership. When you have an emergency fund, you know that you can always keep your home in tip-top shape.

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There Are Major Incentives For Homeowners To Sell Their Homes Now

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

there-are-major-incentives-for-homeowners-to-sell-their-homes-nowNow is a great time to take out a new home loan because mortgage rates continue to hover near historic lows. As a result, many homeowners are refinancing to a lower rate. This is also the perfect time to move because homeowners can take out a new home loan with a lower interest rate. Mortgage rates will not remain at historic lows forever and have already begun to rise slowly this year. Homeowners should sell now and take out a new home loan before they rise too much.

Homeowners Can Take Advantage Of A Bidding War

Because the real estate market is so competitive right now, homeowners might be able to take advantage of a bidding war. With surveys showing that homeowners are getting more offers on their homes than ever before, this is an opportunity for homeowners to drive up the sale price.

Homeowners Can Speed Through The Closing Process

While many homeowners get frustrated about the time it takes to close a sale, home sales are closing faster than they ever have in the past. The number of all-cash sales is going up as well, which is also an opportunity for homeowners to close quickly. Anyone who is looking for a quick closing process should consider selling in the current market.

Homeowners Can Sell Without Updating The Home

Finally, this is also a great time for homeowners to sell because they might be able to sell their homes without updating anything. Instead of having to worry about home upgrades and cosmetic changes, homeowners might be able to get great value for the home as-is. This opportunity might not come along again for decades, so now is a great time to sell.

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The Three Essential Habits That Successful Home Buyers Must Embrace

Posted in Home Buyer Tips,Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 22nd, 2021

The Three Essential Habits That Successful Home Buyers Must EmbraceWhether you are preparing to purchase your first home or it has been many years since you last walked through the home buying process, you may be starting to feel overwhelmed at the thought of all of the work that lies in front of you. From concerns about finding the right home to the physical act of relocating all of your belongings after the closing, there is certainly a lot to think about. While each home buying transaction is unique, the most successful home buyers have typically adopted a few behaviors. You may keep these in mind to help you navigate through the process with success.

Keep An Eye On Your Budget

Financial stress when buying a home is common. You may have saved for years to afford your down payment, but there are various expenses that some may have not calculated or planned for. It is important to leave extra funds available for unexpected expenses, such as paying for the appraisal up-front on the home you have fallen in love with. Likewise, keep a close eye on your budget so that you are aware of your financial situation at all times.

Be Available And Flexible

It is imperative that you remain available and flexible as much as possible. Your real estate agent may call you at the last minute with a great new listing that has come on the market, and you may need to be flexible with your schedule to see this property before other buyers do. In addition, you may need to be flexible and accommodating with regards to contract negotiations, working with title company requests and more.

Seek Advice And Knowledge

Buying a home does not have to be stressful, but it also is not something that you do every day. There is a lot for even an experienced home buyer to learn, and you should be prepared to seek advice and to educate yourself along the way. Ask questions as necessary, and use the Internet for additional research.

Home buying is a process, and you may consider taking one day at a time as you proceed through the journey to reach your ultimate goal. A skilled real estate agent can guide you through the process and can help you to more successfully reach your goal. Reach out to a real estate agent today to begin looking for your new home.

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Do Not Procrastinate On These Spring Maintenance Tasks

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

Do Not Procrastinate On These Spring Maintenance TasksAt the flowers begin to bloom and the weather starts to warm up, everyone is thinking about spring cleaning. It is critical to make sure the house is ready for the warmer weather. What are the top spring maintenance tasks that have to be completed? Do not procrastinate on these tasks, as the price could be high.

Prune The Trees Before They Start To Bloom

Take a closer look at the trees, particularly those that hang over the house. As they begin to bloom, the weight on these branches could start to increase. If that happens, branches could snap over the house, leading to serious roof damage. Prune these trees before they start to bloom. If they are too high, it may be better to reach out to a trained professional who can prune them safely. 

Always Look For Signs of Leaks And Water Damage

Check around the house for signs of leaks and water damage. If the floor is buckling, the walls are starting to change color, or the water bill is going up without an explanation, these could be signs there is a leak somewhere. Address any signs of water leakage now. Waiting to address a water leak could lead to serious repair bills down the road. Be sure to get the plumbing system maintained regularly. That way, these leaks can be avoided. 

Inspect The Water Heater

Take a closer look at the water heater. It is important to get it inspected by a trained professional once per year. Over time, mineral scaling and gunk can accumulate in the water heater. It needs to be flushed regularly. Even though online tutorials can be helpful, it may be better to reach out to trained professionals who have the equipment to do this properly. In addition, professionals may take a look at other areas of the water heater that might have to be addressed.

Get Ready For Spring

These are a few of the most important spring cleaning maintenance tasks that have to be completed now. Make sure these systems are ready to go before they are called upon. If homeowners do not procrastinate on these important tasks, they could save a lot of money down the road.

 

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The Top Tips For Impressing A Potential Buyer At Showings

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 25th, 2021

The Top Tips For Impressing A Potential Buyer At ShowingsFor those who are getting ready to put their home on the market, they want to make sure they get as much money as possible for their home. This means making a positive first impression. There is never a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, homeowners need to make sure they do everything possible to “wow” potential buyers at open houses and showings. What are a few of the top tips that homeowners should keep in mind?

Listen To The Agent

Homeowners know their home the best. Therefore, they feel like they are able to show their home in the best manner possible. Even though they should have some input, homeowners are ultimately selling a building. They are not selling their memories.It is a prudent idea to listen to the agent. For example, the real estate agent may recommend staging the home in a certain way. The real estate agent may even recommend that he or she hosts the open house personally. Homeowners will need to listen to the experience of their real estate agent in order to have the best showing possible. 

Clean The Home Thoroughly

Homeowners also need to make sure they clean the home thoroughly. There is a high chance that the real estate agent may even recommend a cleaning service to scrub the house from top to bottom. Even though a potential buyer is probably going to clean the home after he or she buys it, nobody likes to see a dirty house. If there are any children or pets living in the home, try to eliminate all traces of them. 

Put Away Family Photos And Memories

Finally, homeowners also need to put away any family photos or personal items they have left out. When someone is looking for a new home, they want to envision what their life might be like in that home. This is going to be challenging if the current homeowner has family photos all over the walls. Remember, selling a home does not mean selling the memories in it. As a result, homeowners should try to put away their family photos and trinkets before the open house or showing. This will increase the chances of getting a great offer.

 

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How To Save Big Money On Your Next Home Renovation Project

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 8th, 2020

How To Save Big Money On Your Next Home Renovation ProjectEvery year, homeowners spend billions of dollars renovating their homes. It almost seems expected that homeowners are going to end up going over budget on any project. On the other hand, this doesn’t have to be the case. In reality, there are a few tips and tricks that homeowners can follow to help them save big money on that next home renovation project.

Serve As The General Contractor

Many homeowners hire a general contractor to control the staffing of each individual project. While this might reduce stress levels, it also costs more money. Hiring a general contractor adds an additional middle man to the project who might charge a premium for each individual project.

Homeowners that need to renovate the kitchen, replace the roof, and find a new water heater should hire professionals to handle these individual projects; however, they don’t necessarily need to hire a general contractor. Skipping this step can save money.

Seek Out Multiple Bids On Each Project

Some homeowners don’t like making phone calls and filling out paperwork to collect bids for various projects; however, collecting multiple bids can help homeowners save money. On any given home renovation project, try to collect at least three bids. For larger projects, it is better to collect even more. 

Then, once all the bids are collected, they can be leveraged against each other for a lower price. Homeowners are often surprised by the wide range of bids on a project. Some proposals might even be thousands of dollars apart.

Take Advantage Of Sales

Just as food goes on sale at the grocery store, the materials needed to complete a home renovation project might go on sale from time to time as well. Taking advantage of sales at department stores can be a great way to reduce overhead costs. There might even be cheaper options online. 

Reduce Home Renovation Costs

These are a few of the most important tips for reducing the cost of that next big home renovation project. Home renovation projects don’t have to break the bank! Be sure to collect multiple bids and leverage inventory sales. 

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Are Home Warranties Worth The Money?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 6th, 2020

Are Home Warranties Worth The MoneyThose who own homes might regularly receive mail advertising something called a home warranty. Many people end up tossing these leaflets away because they think this is just another form of home insurance, which many people get through their mortgage lender. In reality, a home warranty is not home insurance. Therefore, some people might be wondering whether or not a home warranty is worth the money.

There are a few important points that people should know.

What Is A Home Warranty?

A home warranty is similar to insurance is that people are going to pay a set premium per year to protect them against the risk of larger expenses down the road; however, people need to know what a home warranty is going to cover. This is where people need to read the policy. 

Typically, a home warranty is going to cover the cost to repair or replace certain appliances or home systems is they are damaged or break down. If someone needs to file a claim, this is usually done online or over the phone. Then, the homeowner is going to bring out a professional and pay a service fee (which is similar to a deductible) to get the repair completed. In some cases, the homeowner will have to pay the entire bill and get reimbursed later.

Is The Home Warranty Worth It?

In general, if someone has purchased a brand new home, this policy simply isn’t necessary. In many states, the builder is required to repair defects for a few years after the home is built. The common time-frames range from two years to ten years. Therefore, a home warranty might be duplicate coverage and, thus, unnecessary. Furthermore, brand new appliances are almost always protected by one or two-year warranties. Again, a home warranty might be duplicate coverage.

On the other hand, if someone has an older home or older appliances, the home warranty might be worth it. Older appliances are more likely to break down and, thus, require repairs. Therefore, people need to think about their own individual circumstances and weigh the risk of a broken appliance against the cost of the policy. A home warranty may be right for some people but not others.

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How Does A Home Appraisal Work?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 29th, 2020

How Does A Home Appraisal WorkWhether you’re a buyer or a seller, a home appraisal is a critical component of the home selling process. An appraisal is also required in situations where a home is gifted to a family member, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of what it entails. 

What Is A Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of a home’s fair market value conducted by a professional appraiser. All 50 states require that appraisers be licensed and/or certified and demonstrate knowledge of the specified area. The purpose of a home appraisal is to determine whether the home’s asking price is appropriate based on its location, condition, size, and amenities.

Appraisals are done in almost all purchase, sale and refinance transactions, with the exception being when a buyer uses cash and doesn’t have a mortgage. They are typically coordinated by the mortgage lender to ensure the loan isn’t too large in relation to the home’s value.

How Are Appraisal Values Determined?

Licensed appraisers calculate a home’s value based on comparable recent sales in the area and current market trends. Factors such as the home’s floor plan, size, number of rooms, and any upgrades or amenities are also considered. Upgrades and amenities could include things such as a pool, an expanded garage, or a remodeled kitchen.

The appraiser conducts a visual inspection to appraise a home, noting the home’s condition and whether any major repairs are needed. It’s important to note that this differs from a home inspection in that the appraisal assesses a home’s value, while an inspection assesses its condition. In an inspection, the home inspector actually makes repair recommendations. During an appraisal,the appraiser notes any necessary repairs but does not make recommendations.

When Is An Appraisal Done?

After an offer is made, an appraisal is one of the first steps in the closing process. Everything will proceed as planned as long as the appraisal value comes in at or above the price in the contract. If it appraises for below that amount, closing can be delayed or canceled altogether.

What Does A Home Appraisal Cost?

Costs vary based on the mortgage type, but a home appraisal generally costs $300-500. It is almost always paid for by the borrower as part of closing costs.

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