Archive for Real Estate Tips

4 Steps To A Smooth Mortgage Refinance At A Rock-Bottom Rate

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 28th, 2021

4 Steps to a Smooth Mortgage Refinance at a Rock-Bottom RateRight now is the best time to look at refinancing your home. Even if your current mortgage is as young as a year old, you might find that a refinance is in your best interest.

Be Sure That A Refinance Makes Sense

With today’s rates, refinancing makes sense for many homeowners, but it might not be the right move for you. Depending upon your mortgage, you may pay a penalty if you prepay early. Also, if you’ve paid heavily into your mortgage, refinancing into a new 20 or 30 year mortgage could cost you money over the long-term. The bottom line is to carefully read through your loan documents or even call your loan company to find out the details of the impact of a refinance.

Consult With A Professional

Once you’ve determined that a refinance makes sense in theory, it’s time to talk with an objective professional, i.e., not your loan rep. Seek out a fiduciary, who has receives no gain whether or not you refinance. Have the professional run the numbers so you can see in black and white where you will stand financially after a refinance.

Compare Rates

If you and your financial professional decide that a refinance is the way to go, now it’s time to compare rates. Even with rates at rock bottom prices right now, you’ll find that you might save even more money just by shopping around. Also, remember that if your credit is excellent, you have more negotiating power. If you have a preference with working with a certain company, ask them to match the interest rate you’ve been offered by a competitor. 

Protect Your Investment

Now that you’ve improved your mortgage situation with a refinance, it’s time to consider what your heirs will be left with when you’re no longer here to provide for them. Make sure that your loved ones can reap the benefit of your savvy financial planning by taking out a life insurance policy. There are many variations on life insurance policies, so by sure to compare and contrast benefits, terms and rates.

As a homeowner, you should always be on the lookout for ways to maximize your investment. Use these refinancing tips to get the most out of your home’s value.

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How To Stretch Home Improvement Dollars The Most

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

How To Stretch Home Improvement Dollars The MostThere are lots of homeowners who are looking for a way to improve the quality of their home while also increasing the value of their property. Unfortunately, a lot of home improvement ideas can be prohibitively expensive. It is not unusual for homeowners to spend six figures on a renovation project. On the other hand, there are also home improvement ideas that will not break the bank.

What are a few of the top ideas that homeowners should consider? 

Start With A Few Quality Ceiling Fans

First, homeowners should consider starting with a few quality ceiling fans. Because a lot of homeowners do not look up at the ceiling on a regular basis, they may not realize just how old their ceiling fans are. Therefore, homeowners should consider updating their ceiling fans. Ceiling fans should be hung between 7 and 8 feet above the floor. Now, there are advanced Energy Star ceiling fans that will help homeowners lower their utility bills while also increasing the value of their property. Finally, even advanced ceiling fans are not that expensive. 

Consider Planting Some Trees In The Yard

Another idea that homeowners need to consider involves planting trees. Planting trees will not only prevent erosion from the property but can also lower energy costs. Trees can protect the property from rain, wind, and the sun. Furthermore, as trees grow over time, they also increase the curb appeal of a property, driving up the value of the home. Even though a lot of people say that money does not grow on trees, planting a few trees in the yard can help homeowners save a lot of money while also boosting their home’s value. Fortunately, planting trees are also not that expensive. 

Increase The Quality Of The Insulation In The Home

Finally, a lot of homeowners neglect the quality of the insulation in the home. Even though this might not be as attractive as a complete kitchen or bathroom remodel, upgrading the insulation of the home reduce its utility bills. Furthermore, upgrading the installation is not that expensive. Homeowners should consider taking a closer look at the insulation of their homes every few years. There may be ways to save a significant amount of money.

 

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The Top Ways To Upgrade The Exterior Of The Home On A Budget

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

The Top Ways To Upgrade The Exterior Of The Home On A BudgetThere are a lot of people who are spending more time at home these days. As the temperature starts to warm up once again, there are some homeowners who are looking for ways to upgrade the outside of their home. Even though there are some people who are looking at installing a brand new patio or deck, this can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, there are ways that homeowners can completely transform the exterior of their home without breaking the bank. Take a look at a few of the top ideas below.

Consider Adding An Outdoor Rug

First, homeowners should consider adding an outdoor runner or rug to the exterior of their home. Because this run is going to be outside, try to go with bright colors. Furthermore, there are also specific runners and rugs that have been designed specifically to stand up to the wear and tear of the outdoors. Consider adding a rug that leads from the patio door to the deck. Or, think about placing an area rug underneath the table outside. This can completely change the look of the patio.

Think About Installing A Swinging Chair

For those who are looking for a way to relax outside, consider installing a few swinging chairs. In some situations, homeowners might be able to attach a swinging chair directly to the awning outside. In other situations, it might be a smart idea to install a swinging chair that hangs from a tree in the yard. It is important to make sure the awning or the tree is able to support the chair before it is installed. Then, add a bright cushion to the chair and relax outside with a great book! 

Use Citronella Candles

Anyone who likes to spend evenings outside under the stars should consider using candles. Specifically, think not using citronella candles. Citronella candles will help keep the mosquitoes away in addition to adding a majestic fuel to the outdoors. Think about using them on top of poles that line the walkway. This is a great way to add a little bit of ambiance to an evening party.

Consider a few of these ideas to completely change the exterior of the home in a budget-friendly way.

 

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Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application Approved

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 15th, 2021

Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application ApprovedRight now, mortgage rates have fallen to rates that haven’t been seen in years. This opens the door for many people to apply for a mortgage that they previously may not have been able to afford. Sadly, not everyone who applies for a mortgage is going to be approved. There are a few steps that applicants can take to increase their chances of getting their mortgage application approved.

Increase The Credit Score

Applicants need to make sure that their credit scores are as high as possible when they apply for a mortgage. The greater the credit score is, the more trustworthy they look to lenders. In general, applicants are going to need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for a home loan; however, those who want to get the best interest rates possible need to make sure their credit score is as high as possible. Try to ask for a free copy of the credit report from one of the major credit bureaus and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. Then, pay down as much debt as possible before applying for a mortgage.

Add More To Savings

Those who want to qualify for the best interest rates will need to be willing to put more money down. The only way to make this happen is to increase the amount of money in the savings account. Lenders are more willing to provide people with a home loan if they know the potential homeowner is supplying some of the capital as well. Delaying the home search by a month or two to collect more money in a savings account can dramatically improve someone’s chances of getting approved.

Increase Employment History

The longer someone has been employed, the better the chances of the application being approved. Lenders want to make sure that the potential homeowner is going to be able to pay back the loan. The longer the applicant has been employed, the greater the chances that he or she is going to remain in that position. A longer employment history could help someone qualify for lower interest rates.

Get A Mortgage Application Approved

These are a few steps applicants can take to improve the strength of their application. That way, they can get the home of their dreams.

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When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A Home

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 13th, 2021

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A HomeFor those who are trying to buy things for their home, it is important to think carefully. Nobody wants to overpay; however, reaching for something cheap may simply end up getting replaced quickly. There are a few highlights that everyone should consider purchasing for their home in January!

Purchase Some Furniture In January

First, everyone has to make sure they think about buying furniture either in January or July. A lot of furniture manufacturers provide retail stores with new pieces in February and August. Therefore, a lot of furniture will go on sale starting either in January or July.

Storage Items Go On Sale In January

Again, a lot of stores will roll out sales in January for storage essentials such as baskets, shelves, and organizing systems. There are a lot of student’s who are looking for inexpensive items before the start of the new semester and what’s leftover after Christmas will often go on sale in January.

Major Appliances Go On Sale During January And The Holidays

One of the most expensive items that people purchase for their home is a new appliance. These tend to go on sale during the holidays and shortly after Christmas. With new versions coming out at the start of the new year, the prior year’s models need to be cleared out and retail stores will slash their prices in January.

Flooring And Paint Will Go On Sale In January

A lot of homeowners will take breaks from remodeling projects during the holiday season. Therefore, paint manufacturers and flooring specialists are often desperate for business during the winter. For this reason, a lot of paint and flooring essentials will go on sale during January, providing homeowners with a chance to save some significant money on their next renovation projects.

Linens And Towels Go On Sale In January

Finally, anyone who is looking for new linens and towels should try to wait for January. These are common gifts during Christmas so retail stores will be looking for ways to clear out the leftover inventory after the holidays. As a result, a lot of linens and towels will be marked for major discounts following Christmas.

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Trying to Sell a Home with Tenants Still Living Inside? These 3 Tips Will Make Your Life Easier

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 5th, 2021

Trying to Sell a Home with Tenants Still Living Inside? These 3 Tips Will Make Your Life EasierAre you thinking about selling a home that you have rented out for some additional revenue? If so, you’re likely trying to discern how to best inform the current tenants and conduct the sales process in a way that works well for all of the parties involved. In today’s blog post we’ll explore how to sell your home while you’re renting it out to tenants and share three tips that can make the process a bit easier.

#1: Review Local Laws and Your Tenancy Agreement

First, you’ll want to break out your tenancy agreement and download any state, provincial or municipal laws that apply to landlord-tenant relations. Selling a home with renters living in it can result in a number of sticky situations. You’ll want to ensure that you conduct yourself in accordance with the rule of law as you may end up in court if the process goes sour.

#2: Communication is a Vital Part of the Process

Next, you’ll need to ensure that you’re communicating with your tenants every step of the way. Meet with them to let them know that you would like to place the home on the market, and explain how the sales process is going to work. Allow your tenants to ask questions and to state their case as they may be willing to buy the home from you if they can afford it, or if the price is right. Be polite but firm; you don’t want to encourage any hostility but this is your property and ultimately, your decision.

Don’t forget to fully inform your tenants as to how home showings will work, as they’ll likely be concerned as to who is being provided with keys to their home.

#3: Incentives Can Sway an Unruly Tenant

Finally, if you’re faced with some unruly tenants that are making the sales process challenging you may find that financial incentives make them back off a bit. You’ll need their cooperation in keeping the home relatively clean and tidy, so you may want to consider offering some gift certificates or paying a portion of the rent in exchange for their help. If you’re hosting an open house over a weekend, offer to put their family up in a nice hotel somewhere in town where they can enjoy a weekend together.

While selling a home with tenants living inside is rarely easy or fun, it’s certainly doable. When you’re ready to learn more about the home selling process, contact your local real estate agent as they can share their expertise and guidance to ensure you get the most from your sale.

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Moving This Winter? Here Are 5 Relocation Tips That Will Help Ease the Stress of Moving

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 31st, 2020

Moving This Winter? Here Are 5 Relocation Tips That Will Help Ease the Stress of Moving Moving is not exactly enjoyable at any time of the year, but it can be especially stressful in the winter. Moving all of your items when it is snowing and blowing outside makes things a lot tougher. However, if you prepare accordingly and have the right attitude, you’ll find that your move will go much smoother. Here are five relocation tips that will help ease the stress of a move.

Do not Pack Your Winter Supplies

When you are moving in the wintertime, you should keep your winter supplies, such as a snow shovel and salt, in the car with you. For example, let’s say you get to your new place and there is a lot of snow on the ground. If you have your shovel nearby, you can dig out a path from the driveway to the front door. If you see ice on the ground, you can sprinkle salt on it to prevent falling and hurting yourself.

Pay Attention to the Weather

It is a good idea to watch the weather reports the day of your move. If they are predicting a big snowstorm or other dangerous conditions, it may just be best to reschedule your move to a different day.

Hire Movers

Hiring movers will cost some extra money, but it will be well worth it. If you hire professional movers to move your belongings, you will not have to worry about carrying heavy furniture in the snow and ice. They have the experience to get your items moved in a timely manner.

Get Your Car Serviced

If you are moving a long distance, you should get your car serviced beforehand. Take it to a trusted mechanic and have him check your tires and brakes. If you let a professional look at your car before your move, you will be less likely to break down on the road.

Protect Your Entryways

When you move in the winter, you can bring in a lot of snow and salt from the outside, damaging your floors. That is why you should place cardboard or plastic on your flooring before you start the moving process. It will prevent snow, ice and other particles from ruining your floors.

Moving during the winter is not exactly pleasant, but it does not have to be impossible. If you follow these helpful tips, you will have a much easier move. If you have any more questions, you should contact our trusted real estate professional today.

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How Are Different Mortgage Lenders Handling Student Loans During the Pandemic?

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 24th, 2020

How Are Different Mortgage Lenders Handling Student Loans During the Pandemic?The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on everyone. This pandemic has led to massive economic issues as well. Given the ongoing crisis as it relates to student loan debt, many students are wondering how the pandemic is going to impact their student loans and how their student loans are going to impact a potential mortgage payment. There are a few points to keep in mind.

Freddie Mac

In general, loans backed by Freddie Mac are going to use the student loan payment that is marked on the credit report. If this amount is $0 or unknown, then the lender is going to use 0.5 percent of the outstanding loan balance. This should also be reported on the credit report. Then, the lender will provide the borrower with information on possible mortgages.

Fannie Mae

When it comes to loans that are backed by Fannie Mae, students might still be on an income-driven repayment plan. In this case, the monthly payment might be zero and the lender may qualify a potential borrower with this $0 payment. On the other hand, if the loans have been deferred or are in forbearance, then the lender may calculate a payment that is equal to approximately 1 percent of the remaining balance on student loans. 

FHA Loans

For individuals going through FHA, the lender is going to run a few calculations. The lender may look at one percent of the remaining balance on the loan, the monthly payment that is reported on the credit report, or the actual documented payment as long as the borrower provides ample evidence. The lender will likely use the greater of these amounts in calculations. 

Why Do These Student Loan Payments Matter?

Credit reports are an essential part of the home-buying process. It is critical for everyone to understand what their student loan payments are and how they might impact their credit report. Furthermore, their student loan payments are also going to have an impact on the monthly mortgage payment they can afford. Therefore, it is important for everyone to make sure the information documented on their credit report is accurate when it comes to their student loans.

 

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Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 23rd, 2020

Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?If you are looking for a home, then you probably have a budget in mind. You also need to know about the most common factors that influence the price of a home. One factor that always seems to play a role in the price of a home is the quality of the school system. This makes sense. After all, a lot of people who are looking for a home have children (or are planning on having children) and want to make sure they have access to a quality education. At the same time, is it truly worth the price increase to have access to a better school district?

The Quality Of The School District And The Price Of The Home

Numerous surveys have consistently shown that the majority of homeowners are willing to go over their budget price for the perfect and home and the location certainly plays a role. In this manner, the quality of the school system absolutely factors into the right location.

When people think about going over budget, they often think about a higher monthly mortgage payment; however, other costs are going to increase as well. For example, you might need to pay a higher down payment, pay more in home insurance to protect the home, and pay more in property taxes. Therefore, is this truly worth it?

This Is A Subjective Decision

In the end, the answer to this question is always going to be subjective. Therefore, you need to decide what matters most to you and your family and compare this to the premium that is put on the home. For example, the school rankings and test scores are certainly important factors. At the same time, they only tell one small part of the story.

For example, you also want to see how much money the school district spends on each of its students. The more money they spend, the more they care about their students. You also want to think about the diversity of the school district as well, as this is closely correlated to the overall quality of the education each student receives. Compare these factors to your budget to see if it is worth the price of living in that school district.

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How To Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 8th, 2020

How To Finance Your Home Improvement ProjectIf you have been spending a lot of time at home recently, then you might be getting tired of staring at the same four walls. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to switch it up by financing a home improvement project. At the same time, home improvement projects can be expensive, particularly if you are targeting the kitchen. Therefore, you might be wondering how you are going to be able to pay for them. There are plenty of ways that you can finance a home improvement project, so take a look at a few of the options below. 

Consider Taking A Cash-Out Refinance

One way that you can free up some extra cash is to carry out something called a cash-out refinance. Right now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage rates are at historic lows. Therefore, you might be able to complete a refinancing plan that can free up some cash for the home improvement project. When you refinance your loan, you essentially change the terms of your mortgage to free up some of the equity that you already have in your home. Then, you can put this equity toward your home improvement projects. 

Take Out A Home Equity Line Of Credit

You might also be able to tap into the equity you have in your home directly by creating a line of credit. This is a common option when it comes to home improvement financing. The money that you receive from this home equity line comes directly from the equity in your home. If you have been paying into your mortgage for several years, then there is a high chance that you have built up an equity line of credit. At the same time, remember that this is very much like a second mortgage, so you are essentially putting up your house as collateral.

Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Even though you can always put your home improvement project on a credit card or take out a personal loan, it might be better for you to tap into the equity in your home. By accessing a lower interest rate, you might be able to save a significant amount of money while still accomplishing your home improvement project goals.

 

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