Family Matters: How to Choose the Perfect Home for a Large or Growing Family

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 18th, 2021

Family Matters: How to Choose the Perfect Home for a Large or Growing Family Selecting the right home to purchase for a family is a monumental task, and this process can seem even more challenging for those with a large or growing family. A common goal may be to give everyone ample space to stretch out and feel relaxed, but some home buyers may also be focused on other factors like location, cost and even the general style of the home. While choosing the perfect home for a large or growing family is not easy, the process can be simplified by focusing on a few points.

Focus On Storage Space

There are few things that can make home life more miserable in the coming years than a lack of storage space. When a large family does not have adequate storage space in closets, the attic, the garage and cabinets, their items will likely find a home on the counters, on the floor and in other undesirable locations. Home buyers can consider looking for a home that has more storage space than is needed right now to ensure that the new home can accommodate growing needs over the years.

Think About Function Over Size

Many people who are looking for a new home will focus on finding a home that has a specific minimum square footage or a minimum number of bedrooms, but function is generally more important. For example, if a home has bar-style seating at the kitchen counter, the family may not need as large of a breakfast room to accommodate its needs. The family may also get more use out of a home that has a second living area, such as a game room, rather than a formal dining room that may rarely be used.

Choose The Right Floor Plan

In addition, consider reviewing the floor plan of the home carefully. Many prefer to have the kids’ rooms away from the master room, a study placed away from the kids’ game room or an open area where the kitchen and family room are connected so that a parent can oversee the kids while making meals. Home buyers should consider how they live and their likes and dislikes about their current space to determine which floor plan is best for them.

Deciding which home to purchase is rarely easy to do, but your trusted real estate professional can assist home buyers with this process. Those who are searching for a new home for a large or growing family can call their local real estate agent for further assistance.

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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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Working from Home? Learn How to Create the Perfect Office with Any Spare Room

Posted in Homeowner Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 9th, 2021

Working from Home? Learn How to Create the Perfect Office with Any Spare Room

With the increasing flexibility of the modern workplace, there are many more businesses offering their employees the opportunity to work from home. While this shift in the job market has created many new options for freelance workers, it can also be a good reason to turn a spare room into a spanking new office. If you’re working from home, here are some tips for a stylish transition.

Prime It With Paint

Outside of lighting, the color and upkeep of the walls is going to have a huge impact on the way your spare office will look. Before even considering placing furniture or putting up pictures, decide on the perfect shade of paint that will keep you inspired and will go with the rest of your house. This will easily brighten the room, and prep it for its future purpose.

Start With Good Lighting

There are few things that will change the ambiance of a room like light, so make sure the room your changing up has a great set of windows or the kind of fixture that will provide effective illumination. Since many people have a hard time focusing in the orange or bright light that can come in certain work settings, a well-lit place may make all of your work seem a little bit easier.

Decide On A Desk

Many people put any old clunker of a desk in their spare office since it will do the trick, but if you’re making the decision to renovate your spare room for work, it will be worth it to choose a desk you’ll want to work at. Before going desk shopping, measure out the length and width of your spare room so you can make a desk purchase that will work for your new office.

What’s On The Wall?

Beyond the supply of pens, paper and a computer, it might seem like the extras of your office situation can be kept out of the equation, but a few pictures can add a lot. While you may want to add some photos of family and friends, it might also be helpful for your work-time diligence to put up a picture that adds a shot of color and will inspire your best work.

There are a lot of great options for a spare room, but if you work from home an office can be the ideal renovation. If you happen to be sprucing up your spare room to sell your home, you may want to contact one of your local real estate agents for more information.

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Inspect And Maintain Your Garage

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 27th, 2021

Inspect And Maintain Your GarageIn most parts of the country, garages are especially appreciated at this time of year. Even if you don’t live in a colder climate, it’s important to do an annual inspection and routine maintenance to keep everything in working order.

Make sure yours is doing its job well by following the care tips below.

Check The Tracks

You’ll want to make sure the garage door can go up and down smoothly. Get your leaf blower and blow any cobwebs, bugs or leaves from the track.

With older doors, you’ll also need to oil the metal rollers, hinges and tracks in order to keep everything moving easily.

Inspect For Pests

This time of year, pests are searching for a warm place to take shelter and find food. Look along the walls where they meet the foundation and double-check any spots where you’ve had moisture problems.

If you see chewed wood or trails of sawdust, call an exterminator because they could be signs of termites or carpenter ants.

Insulate Your Garage

If you have a workshop or gym located out in the garage, then insulating this space is a must for colder climates. Not only will it make your home warmer, but also it will reduce your electricity bills. You can buy DIY kits for under $100.

However, be careful if your door is over nine feet wide, because the extra weight can be too much for some opening mechanisms.

Spend Time On The Floor

Don’t actually get down on the floor, but definitely give it some care. Move everything out and hose down the entire surface. Patch any gaps to prevent tripping. Then give the foundation a good inspection.

If you notice mold or major cracks, call a contractor to come take a look and see if you have settling or water drainage issues.

Consider Replacing The Doors

You’ll know it’s time to replace your door when the panels are rusted and scratched or there are wooden ones that are warped. There are many decent replacement options, including wood, steel or aluminum.

The prices can range from high to reasonable depending on the quality of the material. If you decide to do a replacement, talk to an expert and take your climate into account.

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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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First-Time Condo Buyer? What to Expect from Your New Homeowners Association

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 18th, 2020

First-Time Condo Buyer? What to Expect from Your New Homeowners AssociationEvery owner of condominium property automatically becomes a member of a homeowners association, otherwise referred to a “HOA” throughout the United States or a “Strata” in Canada. With that membership come certain rights and responsibilities. The primary right that the owner has is to vote at HOA meetings and elect board members. Responsibilities include payment of condo fees and assessments, compliance with association by-laws and rules, and maintaining a condo unit in conformity with those by-laws and rules.

Let’s take a quick look at various other terms you may hear about from your new HOA.

Declaration of Condominium and By-Laws

The declaration of condominium establishes the existence of a condominium property. It gives the precise location of the property through a legal description and describes each individual unit in the development along with the various common elements.

Individual Units

Ownership of an individual condominium unit is defined by the declaration of condominium and ordinarily consists of the interior walls and everything within the interior walls of a dwelling unit. Anything outside of that unit is usually considered to be a common element, such as the entryway, the swimming pool, the tennis courts, the parking lots and more.

Common Elements

This is property both inside and outside of buildings that the individual condo owner has an undivided interest in. It would include any common hallways, garages, parking lots, recreational facilities and open space on the property described by the declaration of condominium. If for example, there are 100 units in a condominium development, each individual unit has an undivided one percent interest in the common elements.

Running a Homeowners Association

Homeowners associations tend to operate like a small democracy. When matters are brought up at meetings to be voted on, each condo unit has one vote. Each HOA has an elected board of directors. They’ll meet once a month to decide on association business and make decisions on behalf of the HOA. The unit owners are permitted to be present at these meetings.

Owners’ Responsibilities Inside Their Units

Owners are responsible for any repairs within the walls of their dwelling unit. They might be responsible for damage to other units from leaks or flooding from a burst pipe. Depending on the by-laws, the unit owner might be responsible for maintenance or repairs of any pipes or electrical wires running behind their walls. The association is responsible for anything on the common elements.

Don’t let the purchase of your next home get derailed. If you’re thinking of getting started on condo shopping, your trusted, reputable and highly experienced real estate professional will guide you through your condominium purchase.

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Winter is Here: Prepare Your House with These Three Home Maintenance Tips

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 4th, 2020

Winter's Coming: Prepare Your House with These Three Home Maintenance TipsHave you prepared your home for the winter? With colder temperatures starting you’ll need to spend an hour or two getting your home ready to deal with the possibility of harsher weather and below-freezing temperatures, depending on where you live. Let’s take a look at a few quick home maintenance tips that will help you get your house ready for the cold of winter.

Check Your Roof, Gutters and Spouts

Your roof is one of the most important structural elements in your home and one that is going face the brunt of any inclement weather that passes through your area. If you feel comfortable on a ladder, climb up and quickly inspect the roof for damage or missing shingles. You’ll also want to clean the gutters and drain spouts, removing leaves and other gunk so that water can flow freely from your roof to the ground.

Drain Your Faucets, Hoses and Irrigation System

If you have exterior faucets and hoses you’ll need to flush out and drain any remaining water before storing them away for the winter. In-ground irrigation systems should have an anti-freezing treatment performed by a professional as freezing can cause a significant amount of damage to pipes and outlets.

Check Your Doors and Windows for Drafts

Leaky windows and doors can cause your heating bill to skyrocket, so spend a few minutes going around the house to inspect seals and frames to see if anything is leaking. Pay close attention to any single-pane windows as leaks can appear over time due to expansion caused by temperature fluctuations. It takes just a few cents worth of caulking to save many dollars in wasted heat.

Store Your A/C and Prep Your Furnace

Finally you’ll want to ensure that your air conditioning unit has been fully shut down and properly stored. If you have an in-ground unit, you’ll also need to cover it to protect it from rain, snow and wind. If you use a furnace to heat your home, be sure to clean or replace its air filter and consider firing the entire system up so you can check the ducts for leaks.

These home maintenance tips will help keep your home in peak condition and prevent damage that can reduce your resale value. If you’re thinking about selling your home, give your local real estate agent a call and they can assist you with getting the process started.

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Tips For Selling Your Home In The New Year

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 3rd, 2020

Tips For Selling Your Home In The New Year Many people think that selling a home after the holidays and during the Winter season is a bad idea. Most people are not in the home buying mood, because they are thinking about the holidays.

Also, buyers will think that you are desperate and they will give you offers that are less than list price.

Advantages Of Selling Your Home Now

However, there are some advantages to selling your home over the holidays and into the new year. There will be less homes on the market, so there won’t be as much competition.

Also, buyers will likely be on their holidays from work, so they will have much more time to view properties and look around at homes.

Another factor is mood – buyers will generally be feeling more cheery and relaxed over the holidays, which will result in them being more likely to make the decision to buy a home.

A home can have a really romantic and cosy feeling during the winter season, which could make a buyer fall in love with it.

When You Are Selling Your Home During The Winter Season, Here Are Some Tips To Keep In Mind:

  • Choose a good real estate agent who will be able to communicate with you well and find the right buyers for your house.
  • Price the house realistically. This time of year, it helps to be competitive. You might even get buyers competing, which will push the price up as they bid against each other.
  • Make sure that you have all of the paperwork in order, including an energy performance certificate, fittings and fixtures list and much more.
  • Give your home a little makeover so that it gives a great first impression. Touch up the paintwork, rearrange the furniture and remove clutter.
  • Giving a sense of airy lightness is important, especially in the winter months. Make sure that your windows let in plenty of natural light.
  • Be flexible. You might need to be able to accommodate last minute viewings or viewings at strange times, so keep your schedule open.
  • Serve seasonal drinks and snacks at your open house, such as mulled wine, eggnog and cookies, to put your buyers in a good mood.
  • Have your moving company chosen and ready to go in advance, in case there is the possibility of a quick sale.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind for selling your home over the holidays. For more helpful tips, contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Are You Ready to Make the Leap into Home Ownership? Here’s How You Can Tell

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 6th, 2020

Are You Ready to Make the Leap into Home Ownership? Here's How You Can Tell Are you ready to make that leap from living at home or renting to owning a home of your own? While everyone moves at their own pace, here are some signs that you can use to determine if it is time to own your own home. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you can use to justify your decision.

Are You Sticking Around?

If you plan on moving soon for a job or think that you won’t be in town much longer, it may be better to rent. However, if you are thinking about living in the same town or within the same county for years to come, it is time to put down roots.

The stability that comes with home ownership may make you more prepared for a marriage and/or a family if that is something that you want. This stability may make you more attractive if you are single and searching for a long-term relationship.

Do You Have a Steady Job?

Those who have a steady job and know that they have a stable salary may want to make the move to home ownership. As long as there aren’t any other major debts eating into your income, you can probably handle a mortgage and other costs associated with home ownership.

The equity that you build in your home can help you build wealth for the future if and when you want to retire. Your home may also make a great rental property in the future, which can help you diversify your portfolio and keep you solvent for years to come.

You Are Spending More Time Watching Television Shows Related to Home Ownership

You may have caught yourself recently watching shows revolving around people or couples who are looking for homes. You may also be watching programs dedicated to giving tips as to how you can upgrade your home. If you watch these shows frequently, it may be a sign that you are ready to move out on your own and take on the exciting challenge of being a homeowner.

Are you ready to be a homeowner in the near future? Only you can say for sure if it is time to make that leap. However, those who are looking for a long-term housing solution may be ready to make that move. For more information, it may be worthwhile to talk to a real estate agent today.

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The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash When You Buy Your Next Home

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 23rd, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash When You Buy Your Next HomeWith mortgage bubbles and real estate issues still in recent memory, one might feel that their best option is to buy their next home using cash instead of borrowing the necessary funds. In today’s article we’ll explore the pros and cons of paying cash for that next house or condo.

The Pros Include A Feeling of Complete Ownership

There’s a feeling of pride and joy that comes with owning a home outright. There are several other reasons for paying cash instead of signing on the dotted line and getting and being strapped to a 30-year mortgage. Perhaps the best reason is having 100 percent equity in the home.

The cash will be there to borrow in case of an emergency. Having cash on hand is great if a water pipe bursts or there’s a huge car repair bill. In addition, instead of paying a monthly mortgage, that money could be used to start a college fund, to grow savings or to invest.

And, credit problems wouldn’t be an issue since there wouldn’t be a need to check credit history in the first place. The homeowner may be able to negotiate a better price, which may result in a likelihood of a smoother sale, and attract more prospective buyers.

The Not So Great Reasons To Pay With Cash

Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments a person will make in his or her lifetime.

However, buying a home outright most likely means that a significant percentage of cash will be tied up in the house. Less cash will be on hand for savings, college funds, and emergencies like a plumbing malfunction or an expensive car repair.

While paying in cash may result in a mortgage life, if the property value drops for whatever reason, there’s no purchase protection. For instance, if the market value of a $100,000 home loses 10 percent that will be a loss of $10,000. Take this example and apply it to a mortgage down payment. If the market value falls, there’ll be a loss of $10,000, but the bank would take a loss for the remainder of the property value.

Also, when paying with cash, there is no third party property evaluation to ensure the buyer isn’t overpaying for the home. Banks will send a professional to provide a property evaluation check to verify the correct home value.

Buying a home is a significant personal decision. In today’s tough economy, homeowners are finding ways of cutting back on expenses. Owning a home outright, without the stress of mortgage payments can be extremely liberating. Sit down with a professional real estate agent today before making the decision to use cash to pay for a home.

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