Archive for Real Estate

Dealing With Stress Related To A Home Sale

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

Dealing With Stress Related To A Home SalePutting a house on the market can be a major life decision. Even though there might be a bit of a change during this time, there are ways to deal with the stress. Even though home showings, negotiations, and constant phone calls from real estate agents can be a lot to handle, there are a few tips for dealing with the stress. What do homeowners need to know if they are selling a home? 

Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

First, homeowners must make sure they choose the right real estate agent. Think about the goals during the home sale. Is the goal to sell the house as quickly as possible? Is the goal to sell the house for as much money as possible? Maximizing the value of a home may take some time, so homeowners need to find a real estate agent who can work with them to meet their goals. Always make sure the real estate agent has time to commit to the listing before signing a contract.

Always Do Homework

Even after partnering with a real estate agent, there is still a lot of homework that homeowners need to do during this process. Homeowners need to take a look at comparable properties in the local area to see how much their house might be worth. Then, homeowners also need to take a look at their house and see if there are any red flags that need to be addressed. There might be some repairs to handle before the home gets put on the market. Finally, homeowners also need to consider every offer thoroughly. For example, homeowners should make sure a buyer that requires financing has a pre-approval letter. 

Be Prepared To Adjust

Finally, homeowners should be prepared to adjust during the process. There is a middle ground between being too flexible and staying firm. For example, if a buyer is asking for a lot of repairs, homeowners might want to make some of the repairs but not all of them. Working with a real estate agent can help homeowners make sure they are making a wise decision. There are some offers that should be dismissed right away, but some potential homebuyers might be worth negotiating with. 


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Important Relationships During The Home Buying Process

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 20th, 2021

Important Relationships During The Home Buying ProcessPurchasing a home is an exciting time, but there is also a lot to manage. There are a lot of text messages, phone calls, and emails coming in. It is important for potential homeowners to keep them straight. Who are some of the most important people during the purchase process?

The Real Estate Team

First, there are going to be a lot of important people on the real estate side of this transaction. Every home buyer should work with a real estate agent who can help them assess the market, arrange showings, and find the right home. There might also be interactions with other agents along the way who represent sellers. Keep in mind that there may be assistants, secretaries, and other agents who are part of a real estate team.

The Mortgage Team

The vast majority of potential home buyers require financing. Therefore, there will be multiple people who work on the mortgage side of this transaction as well. There will probably be a loan agent, an underwriter, and multiple assistants who navigate this side of the process. The mortgage team might also be responsible for arranging a home inspection and asking for a home appraisal. Potential home buyers might have to work with these individuals as well. 

The Closing Team

If an offer is accepted, there will be a closing team as well. A real estate attorney will probably be required to process the documents. Therefore, a potential home buyer should be expected to work with multiple people from the law firm as well. The real estate attorney is responsible for collecting funds from all responsible parties and disbursing the money appropriately. There will probably be multiple assistants in the real estate attorney’s office who will be asking for information. 

Keep These Relationships Straight

There is a lot that happens during a real estate transaction, and it is important for a potential home buyer to try to keep these relationships straight. Remember that the real estate agent should always be the first point of contact with any questions or concerns. A real estate agent probably has connections throughout the area that can help home buyers make this process easier. Nobody has to go through this process alone. 


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Taking A Look At The Current Real Estate Market

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 19th, 2021

Taking A Look At The Current Real Estate MarketThe law of supply and demand governs every area of the economy. The law is relatively straightforward. If there is more demand than there is supply, prices should be expected to rise. If there is more supply than there is demand, prices should be expected to fall. The same is true with houses, which have been rising quickly in price during the past year. Why is this the case, and what does this mean for the future?

Housing Prices Are Going Up

It should come as no surprise that houses are going up quickly. The biggest reason why the prices of homes are going up across the country is that there is more demand than there is supply. Not as many new homes are being built, more people are trying to take advantage of favorable home loans, and some homeowners are hesitant to sell their houses because they are worried they will not be able to find a new one. All of this is contributing to a low home supply, driving up prices. 

Will Prices Stop Going Up Soon?

Nobody has a crystal ball, and it is difficult to predict the future. During the winter, many people are hesitant to move because they do not want to be stuck dealing with a major life change during the holidays. Furthermore, unless there are changes in the supply chain, it will probably be difficult for construction companies to build more houses. Even though housing prices may continue to go up, they will probably not go up as quickly.

What Should Homeowners Do?

There are some people who are hesitant to enter the buying market because they are waiting for prices to come down. Unfortunately, it will probably take a long time for housing prices to drop. Until the market normalizes, housing prices are probably not going to fall. Even when they fall, they probably will not drop by much. Therefore, it is more important for homeowners to work with a  real estate agent who can help them find the right house without overpaying. Even though this can be a difficult market to navigate, there are opportunities for potential homeowners to find the right house at the right price. It simply takes a bit of persistence. 

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What Potential Homebuyers Need To Know About Buying Their First Homes

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

What Potential Homebuyers Need To Know About Buying Their First HomesIt is exciting to purchase a house for the first time, but this is also a major financial decision. Therefore, potential homebuyers need to make sure they are prepared. What do potential homeowners need to know about purchasing a home for the first time? Learn more about this process below. 

Ask For Help From A Real Estate Agent

First-time home buyers always need to ask for help from a real estate agent. A real estate agent can help someone identify potential issues with a home that might have otherwise been overlooked. A real estate agent can also make sure potential home buyers do not overpay for a home. 

Always Get A Pre-Approval Letter

Potential home buyers also need to get a pre-approval letter from a lender. This is a letter stating that a potential home buyer has been approved for a specific loan amount for that specific property. A pre-approval letter will help someone’s offer appear more competitive, particularly if they are going up against a cash offer. This makes the seller more confident that the offer is not going to fall through on financing. 

Do Not Skip The Inspection

Some home buyers are tempted to skip the inspection because this costs more money. It is critical to get a home inspection done so that everyone is aware of the potential issues with the home. If there is a major repair identified, potential home buyers may ask to have this repaired before purchasing the home. 

Pay Down Other Debt

First-time homebuyers need to pay down as much of their debt as possible before applying for a home loan. This could make it easier to receive financing, and potential homeowners might receive a lower interest rate. Examples of other forms of debt include credit card debt, student loans, and car loans. 

Get The Money In Order

Of course, potential homeowners need to make sure they arrange their money prior to closing, but it is also important to get a down payment put together before looking for a home. Many sellers will ask for proof of funds before accepting an offer. Arranging funds prior to the search process can make this much smoother. This can also help first-time homebuyers compete with cash offers. 


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Buying Property As-Is: How To Protect Yourself Accordingly

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 12th, 2021

Buying Property As-Is: How To Protect Yourself AccordinglyIf you are looking for a home, your agent may tell you that a home is being sold as-is. This means that there may be major defects with the home that the seller is not willing to repair before offloading the property. As a result, their problems may become your problems if you purchase that property. How can you protect yourself during the sale?

Look At All Disclosures

Even though disclosure laws can vary significantly from state to state, the homeowner may be required to disclose certain problems to you. Real estate agents should always point out disclosures from sellers, so take a look at what the seller is sharing with you. Examples could include problems with the roof, lead paint, or natural hazards such as flood zones or fire zones. 

Add An Inspection Contingency

You should always get an inspection before you purchase the home so you know what defects might be present. If you purchase a home and do not get an inspection, you might be surprised by certain defects when you move in.

Furthermore, you should add an inspection contingency to the home. This means that you have the opportunity to negotiate for certain issues to be resolved if they are found on inspection. Or, you pay a lower price for the home if the seller is unwilling to resolve them.

Ask For Help From A Lawyer

If there are major defects in the home, and if the seller is refusing to budge, you may want to reach out to a real estate attorney. This is helpful for learning more about the real estate laws in your state. You need to protect your rights, figure out how you can get the defects fixed, and how you can save money on the price of the home. Your real estate agent might be able to refer you to a real estate attorney. 

Negotiate A Lower Price

Ultimately, the best way for you to protect yourself is to negotiate a lower price. Because you will have to spend a lot of money repairing the home, the seller should be prepared to reduce his or her asking price. In a seller’s market, you may not have that opportunity, but you may want to ask for a discount. 


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What Are The Requirements To Sell A Home Using An FHA Loan?

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

What Are The Requirements To Sell A Home Using An FHA Loan?Before an owner can market a property to buyers that want to use a FHA loan, he will want to familiarize himself with the FHA’s standards. FHA won’t insure loans on just any property.

While their standards aren’t as stringent as they used to be, a home needs to be in relatively good condition to qualify for FHA financing.

Location And Lot

To qualify for FHA financing, the property has to be located on a road or easement that lets the owner freely enter and exit.

The access also has to be paved with a surface that will work all year a long dirt driveway that washes out in spring won’t qualify.

The FHA also wants the lot to be safe and free of pollution, radiation and other hazards. For that matter, it also needs to provide adequate drainage to keep water away from the house.

Property Exterior

The FHA’s requirements for making a loan start with the home’s roof. To pass muster, the house must have a watertight roof with some future life left. In addition, if the roof has three or more layers of old shingles, they must all be torn off as part of the replacement process.

The property’s exterior has to be free of chipped or damaged paint if the home has any risk of having lead paint. Its foundation should also be free of signs of exterior (and interior) damage. It also needs full exterior walls.

Property Interior

The property’s interior also needs to be inspected. FHA standards require that the home’s major systems be in good working order.

Bedrooms should have egress routes for fire safety and the attic and basement should be free of signs of water or mold damage.

The bottom line is that the FHA wants to make loans on homes that borrowers can occupy. This doesn’t mean that a home has to be in perfect condition to be sold to an FHA mortgage-using borrower. It just needs to be a place that they can live.

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Getting Your Mortgage Application Approved As A Self-Employed, First-Time Homebuyer

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 6th, 2021

Getting Your Mortgage Application Approved As A Self-Employed, First-Time HomebuyerA significant number of people are self-employed, which means they might be relying on this income to apply for a mortgage. It is true that people who are self-employed may face additional challenges when trying to get approved for a home loan when compared to someone with traditional W2 income, these are obstacles that can be overcome. With the right qualifications and documentation, even first-time homebuyers who are self-employed should be able to qualify for the home loan they need.

Lenders Assess Someone’s Ability To Repay The Loan

First, lenders are trying to make sure the person will repay the loan. Lenders believe that someone with W2 income has a stable job and a guaranteed salary, which means they are more likely to repay the loan; however, someone who is self-employed has other ways of demonstrating that he or she can repay the loan. Self-employed individuals can use tax returns, payroll receipts, and records from financial institutions that serve as documentation of the applicant’s income or assets. This means standard W2 forms and pay stubs might no longer be necessary.

Navigating Eligibility Requirements

Next, self-employed individuals need to meet the eligibility requirements. This includes two years of self-employment, a reliable income, a strong credit score with a clean credit report, cash for a down payment, and a low debt to income ratio. It is possible for a first-time homebuyer to get a loan for less than five percent down; however, closing costs can be significant. Realistically, first-time homebuyers should plan on spending close to five percent of the home’s value to get approved for a first-time home loan.

Understanding Mortgage Options

Finally, self-employed first-time homebuyers should be aware that there are multiple loan options available. For example, there are FHA and VA loans for those who qualify. USDA loans and jumbo loans might also be an option. There are bank statement mortgages and conventional options available as well. Self-employed individuals might have to visit several of these programs to see which ones work the best. The programs vary in terms of their down payment, minimum credit score, and credit history requirements. It is prudent to work with a professional loan officer who has experience helping self-employed, first-time homebuyers get approved.

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Keep Your Home Free From Clutter With These Helpful Unpacking Tips

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

Keep Your Home Free From Clutter With These Helpful Unpacking TipsThe thrill of purchasing a new home is unparalleled; however, once you close on the sale, the dreaded unpacking process begins. You probably did not realize just how much stuff you had until you had to pack it all up. Worse yet, you need to unpack it when you get to your new home. If you don’t unpack intelligently, your new home could end up disorganized and full of clutter. With this in mind, how can you unpack without leading to a tremendous amount of clutter in your home?

Get Rid Of Items You Do Not Need

As you go through the boxes, ask yourself if you are actually going to need the items as you unpack them. If you do not need them, consider donating them to a local charity. Just because you brought it with you does not mean that you need to keep them. Evaluate the items in your boxes, and discard them when not needed.

Unpack Room By Room

Hopefully, you labeled your boxes as you packed them up, so this is a perfect time to organize your items before you open the boxes. Furthermore, it is faster to carry the boxes to the individual rooms than to carry the individual items to their designated locations one at a time. If you unpack room by room, you can ensure every item has a place (and that every item is in its place).

Take Advantage Of Organizers

While unpacking your boxes is half the battle, the other half is using organizers to keep your belongings in the right spots. There are plenty of organizers you can use to keep your items in the right locations. Examples include bins, boxes, and trays. You can use them to organize your storage spaces, drawers, and closets. You can even use wire organizers that prevent your cords from creating trip hazards. Use every tool available to keep your rooms organized.

Prevent Clutter From Developing In Your Home

There are a lot of homes that develop a significant amount of clutter during the unpacking process, but your home does not have to look this way! When you start to unload those boxes, put these tips to work for you!

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Making Repairs And Upgrades To A Home: DIY Or CAP

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 29th, 2021

Making Repairs And Upgrades To A Home: DIY Or CAPThere are many people who are thinking about listing their homes, but they need to make sure they get as much money for their homes as possible. This could mean making a few upgrades and repairs around the home. There are some situations where it might be possible to DIY these projects, but there are other situations where it is better to call a professional, or CAP. When should homeowners take which path? Learn more below.

Painting And Light Work Could Be DIY

First, anything that is simple or easy around the home needs to be a DIY project. For example, if there are a few spots that need to be touched up with a fresh coat of paint, then this could probably be a DIY project. If there are easy plumbing fixes around the house, such as swapping out a toilet flapper, this could probably be a DIY project as well. It might even be easy to swap out some handles or drawer pulls. Ultimately, everyone has a different comfort level, but these are a few examples of easy DIY projects around the home.

CAP For Issues Of Safety, Time, And Money

There are larger projects that should require a professional. For example, anything that has to do with the electrical system needs to be handled by a professional. It is possible for someone to shock or electrocute themselves, which is something that needs to be avoided. Furthermore, any major carpentry projects need to be handled by someone with the right tools and training. Finally, if there is a major leak in the home somewhere, then this is something that requires the attention of a trained plumbing professional. If these projects go wrong, they can go very wrong, so they need to be fixed correctly on the first attempt.

Cosmetic Is DIY, Structural Is CAP

In the end, everyone has their own comfort level, but a great rule of thumb is that anything cosmetic should be DIY, well anything structural should be CAP. Remember that everyone has to put safety first. When in doubt, call a professional for help. That way, everyone can maximize the value of their home when they go to list it.

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An Overview Of A Smart Fridge: What To Know

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

An Overview Of A Smart Fridge: What To KnowToday, technology has come a long way, and this includes refrigerators. There are many people who have smartphones, home connected devices, and smart TVs. Now, there are smart refrigerators as well.

While a smart refrigerator is still a relatively new addition to the market, this gives users more control over their fridges and how they work. For example, it is now possible for homeowners to use a smart fridge to send and receive information using an electronic screen on the exterior of the refrigerator. How does this technology work and why is it so important?

What Can Homeowners Do With The Screen On A Fridge?

There is a lot that homeowners can do with the information on their refrigerators. For example, they might be able to put digital notes on the fridge. That way, they do not have to worry about forgetting something important. Homeowners can also use this screen to watch TV when they are in the kitchen. This could save someone the trouble of having to put a TV in the kitchen. Then, homeowners can use their refrigerators to listen to music as well. Their refrigerators can also send an alert when the homeowner is running out of something or when there is low ice. Homeowners might be able to do all of this without opening the door.

Major Appliance Companies Are Now Offering Smart Fridges

Today, there are numerous major appliance companies that are offering smart fridges. For example, GE offers an app that lets people know when the door is open, when the water filter has to be replaced, or when the ice maker is empty. LG offers a smart fridge that allows people to order groceries and turn on music. Samsung also has a Family Hub fridge that allows people to look up recipes and write notes before sending them to someone’s phone. Homeowners can also use this feature to create a new shopping list. All of this has the potential to change the way homeowners interact with their refrigerators moving forward. There are a lot of local stores that carry the latest in smart refrigerators, which could make a major difference when it comes to the daily routine in the kitchen.

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