Should Your First Home Be A Starter Home Or Forever Home?

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 17th, 2022

Should Your First Home Be A Starter Home Or Forever Home?If you are looking for a house for the first time, you might be wondering whether you should purchase a starter home or a forever home. A starter home is a home in which you intend to live for a few years before you sell it and upgrade to a better home. A forever home is a home that you intend to be in for ten years or more. You can see yourself moving into the house and potentially spending your entire life there. How do you decide which type of home you should purchase?

A Starter Home

If your budget is relatively tight right now, you might be thinking about purchasing a starter home. A starter home is typically smaller than a forever home, which makes it more affordable. On the other hand, if you plan on having kids in the near future, you might want to purchase a larger home instead. Furthermore, you need to think about capital gains taxes when you sell your starter home. If you take the proceeds from your starter home and use them to purchase a larger house immediately, you might be able to avoid capital gains taxes. 

A Forever Home

If you could see yourself spending the rest of your life in a certain place, you may want to consider buying a forever home. This is particularly helpful if you can secure a low-interest rate, as the interest rate might not change during the life of the mortgage. Interest rates could go up in the future, so you may want to lock in a low-interest rate for your forever home now. You will also need to think about your future cash flow to ensure you have the money to cover a larger mortgage. Do not forget to think about real estate taxes and home insurance as well.

Find The Right Home For Your Needs

These are a few key factors you should think about if you are looking for your first home. There are starter homes and forever homes available, but you need to think about which option is best for your needs. 

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The Pros and Cons of ‘Mortgage Before Marriage’ for Young Couples

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 10th, 2022

The Pros and Cons of 'Mortgage Before Marriage' for Young CouplesThere was a time when a higher percentage of people were married before they committed to buying a home together, but it’s a lot more common to co-habit and invest in a home together. If you’re considering the commitment of a mortgage without being married, here are some things to be aware of before you start searching the market.

Relationship Status Won’t Affect Your Rates

It might seem like there are greater risks involved if two individuals purchasing a property are not legally bound, but it actually makes no difference to the mortgage lender. If two people are buying a home together, the lender is going to be assessing their credibility based on their individual credit reports and financial history, not on their relationship to each other. While it may seem like co-habiting will have an impact, the proof – as far as lenders are concerned – is in the numbers.

What’s Your Credit History?

Most people are aware of their credit history, whether they’ve had financial hiccups in the past or are still paying off a significant amount of debt. However, it is more difficult for some to know the financial background of their partner, and this can be more common when it comes to co-habiting. Because the lender will be looking at both credit scores, if you or your partner have had financial issues in the past, it can have an adverse impact on your application. While you may have a nearly perfect credit history, if your partner does not this can make mortgage approval more difficult.

In The Event Of Separation

Home ownership can involve significant hurdles after a divorce, but there will still be some legal and financial issues to wade through if you’ve never been married. Since it’s likely that you won’t want to continue to co-habit, there’s the possibility that one party will have to buy the other out, which can be a sizeable financial burden. While this type of situation may never come to fruition, it’s important to be aware of what might occur so you can be prepared.

There can be a lot of complexities involved in co-habiting whether you’re married or not, but it’s important to have an awareness of your partner’s financial history and be prepared for financial hurdles. If you’re currently on the market for a new home, contact one of our mortgage professionals for more information.

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Sale Pending: What Does This Mean?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 29th, 2022

Sale Pending: What Does This Mean? The search for a house can be stressful and filled with lots of jargon that can make it difficult for someone new to the real estate world to figure out what is going on. One of the most common terms that people might see on the MLS is “sale pending.” What does this mean, and how should people interpret this?

An Overview Of Sale Pending

If a listing says that it is “sale pending,” it means that the buyer and the seller are under contract. While the deal is not yet set in stone, it means that the seller has accepted an offer, and there is a contract in place for the sale of the house. There might also be some contingencies to meet before the sale is finalized. 

Making An Offer On A Sale Pending House

This is something that someone can certainly do, but it might not be worth the time of the prospective buyer. If a higher offer comes in, the seller is still contractually obligated to honor the original offer. Buyers that want to make a backup offer should talk to a real estate professional to make sure they submit an offer properly. 

Why A House May Come Back On The Market

There are a few reasons why a house might come back on the market after being listed as pending. Sometimes, the home inspection doesn’t come back favorably, and the buyer might elect to withdraw the offer to find a house with fewer problems. Or, the buyer might have had a hard time finding financing, and cannot buy the house without a home loan. The seller might also be trying to force a short sale, which the bank might not approve, thus canceling the transaction.

Pending Versus Contingent: What This Means

Pending and contingent are similar terms, but they are not the same things. If a listing has gone “contingent,” it means that an agreement is in place but the buyer has to meet a number of contingencies before the sale can be finalized. If a sale is listed as pending, it means that all of the contingencies have been met and the sale is likely to close. Buyers may want to reach out to the seller agent for clarification if they are confused. 

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There Are Several Great Reasons To Consider Buying A Condo Today

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 14th, 2022

There Are Several Great Reasons To Consider Buying A Condo TodayMany would-be homebuyers are now considering buying a condominium instead. Condominiums may be a good option for first-time buyers who are experiencing obstacles when searching for properties that meet their budgets and other criteria. Here’s why:

Condos Might Offer More Budget-Friendly Options

In today’s housing market, supply constraints are a fact of life. Including condominiums in a home search might expand the pool of alternatives. Remember, condos are often less expensive because they have less room—the owner won’t have their own garden, for example—and the overall square footage is typically less than that of a single-family house. Still, if budget is the obstacle, condos could be the solution.

Condos Let Buyers Get Their Feet In The Door

Purchasing a condo is a terrific way to get a foot in the door and begin accumulating equity for a future move up. The sooner the purchase, the more equity can be gained. The condo that is purchased now may not be an everlasting home, but it might serve as a terrific stepping stone toward an ideal house purchase.

Determine If Living In A Condo Suits The Desired Lifestyle

Owning and living in a condo is a lifestyle decision that is right for some but wrong for others. While condominiums are smaller than single-family houses, the features they offer may be a selling point for many purchasers. With less room in the condo, owners typically have less day-to-day care, lower maintenance bills, and more time to spend with family and on leisure and recreation activities.

For instance, if a person dislikes lawn maintenance tasks such as mowing the grass and trimming the hedges, condo living might be ideal. Even spending time power cleaning a driveway is unnecessary, as is spending money on renting or buying a power washer that also needs to be maintained.

Condominiums are a terrific alternative for many consumers, particularly first-time homebuyers who match the profile of ideal condo dwellers. If you’re willing to look at condominiums in your search, you might be able to discover something that fits your budget and needs. To learn more, contact a reputable real estate agent in the area who is familiar with the condo-buying market and process.

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Advice For Purchasing A House On A Single Income

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 6th, 2022

Advice For Purchasing A House On A Single IncomeEven though a lot of people have two incomes they can use to purchase a house (theirs and their partner’s), this is not necessarily required. There are lots of people who want to take advantage of current interest rates to purchase a house, and some people are trying to do it on their own. Even though it can be a challenge to buy a house with only one income, it is certainly not impossible. There are several tips that can make it easier for everyone to afford a house with just a single income. 

Always Check Your Credit Score

If you want to buy a house on a single income, make sure you check your credit score first. Your credit score is a reflection of your financial health. The higher your credit score is, the better your chances of having your loan application approved. You can check your credit score for free once per year from any of the major credit bureaus. You need to know what your credit score is and you need to correct any inaccuracies on your credit report before you apply for a home loan. 

Explore Government Loan Programs

Next, if you are buying a home for the first time, you should explore government loan programs. For example, you might be able to apply for an FHA loan, which could allow you to purchase a home for as little as 3.5 percent down. That way, you do not necessarily need to save up a 20 percent down payment to buy a house. Depending on your location, there could be other government loan programs that can make it easier for you to buy a house.

Ask For a Co-Signer To Help 

Even if you plan on paying for the mortgage yourself, you may find it easier to buy a house if you have someone who can co-sign for your loan. This is particularly helpful if your credit score isn’t quite high enough to qualify for a loan. As long as your co-signer has a solid credit score, they might make it easier for you to get your loan application approved. Furthermore, you might be rewarded with a lower interest rate than you could otherwise get on your own. 

 

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A Guide To Helping A Dog Adjust To A New Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 11th, 2022

A Guide To Helping A Dog Adjust To A New HomeMost people treat their dogs as members of the family. Just as moving can be difficult for children, moving can be a challenge for dogs as well. Dogs develop an attachment to their homes, and they can have a hard time adjusting to a new place. Fortunately, there are a few steps that homeowners can take to make the moving process easier for everyone involved, including dogs. 

Let The Dog Get Familiar With The Moving Supplies 

A lot of dog owners have found that it is easier to take a dog to the vet if he or she can acclimate to the carrier. The same is true with the moving process. Dogs have a difficult time understanding what is happening when the family moves. Consider giving your dog an opportunity to become accustomed to the packing and moving supplies. That way, they will be comfortable in the car on the way to their new home. 

Allow Dogs Alone Time In The New Home

Moving is stressful for everyone, including dogs. Dogs will need a bit of time on their own in their new home. Give dogs the freedom to explore. When they find a corner they like, let them stay there and decompress. Eventually, dogs will get more comfortable in the new environment, and they will resume their normal behaviors. 

Stick To A Regular Schedule

Even though the home is changing, not everything has to change. For example, try to keep dogs on their regular schedules. If dogs tend to go out and use the bathroom at a certain time, stick to that time. If dogs go for a walk at a certain time of day, stick to that schedule as well. By keeping other environmental factors consistent, dogs will have an easier time adjusting to the home. 

Keep A Consistent Environment

Dogs have already experienced a lot of changes by moving to a new home. It is important to keep the new environment as consistent as possible. Even though some changes will be expected as boxes are unpacked, try to keep the home looking as normal as possible. The faster things get into their new places, the easier it will be for dogs to adjust. By following these tips, it is possible for homeowners to make their dogs as comfortable as possible with the moving process.

 

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How Can Parents Help Their Children Buy A Home?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 4th, 2022

How Can Parents Help Their Children Buy A Home?One of the most common dreams is homeownership; however, the cost of buying a house is rising quickly, and many children cannot afford to buy a house even after they finish school. They might be encumbered with student loans, and they could have a difficult time finding a job. Fortunately, there are ways parents can help their adult children buy a home.

Help Children Build A Healthy Credit History As Early As Possible

One of the biggest factors involved in an application for a home loan is the credit score. One reason why children have a difficult time qualifying for a home loan is that their credit scores are not high enough. They simply do not have a lengthy credit history. Parents should help their children build credit as early as possible. One way to do that is to help them take out a credit card and co-sign for it, giving children a lengthy credit history of on-time payments when they apply for a home loan.

Let Children Live At Home Temporarily

Another obstacle that gets in the way of homeownership is the size of the down payment. For children to qualify for a home loan with a favorable interest rate, they need to have a sizable down payment. It can take a long time for children to save 20 percent for a down payment, so parents should consider letting children live at home temporarily, rent-free, so they can save money for a down payment.

Offer To Be A Co-Signer

Finally, parents can also make it easier for children to buy a home by co-signing for the loan. While some parents might be reluctant to do so, this could be the best way to help children qualify for a mortgage. If parents are confident that their children can afford the mortgage, they should consider becoming a co-signer to give the lender a greater degree of confidence.

Make It Easier For Adult Children To Buy A Home

These are a few of the best ways parents can make it easier for their children to purchase a new home. Even though homeownership can be a challenge, it doesn’t have to be a fantasy. Parents should start planning for their children as early as possible to make it easier for them to qualify for a home loan.

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The Process Of Buying A New Construction Home

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

The Process Of Buying A New Construction HomeBecause the housing market is so competitive right now, many buyers are looking at alternative options. Instead of looking for a resale home, some buyers are considering a new home. What is the process of taking out a loan on a new construction home? There are several factors buyers should consider.

Pricing On A New Construction Home

Many buyers are used to negotiating with sellers to get the best deal possible. On a new construction home, it is still possible to negotiate for a better price. Most homeowners are going to be negotiating for better items in the home than the purchase price. For example, it might be possible for buyers to negotiate for better counters, cabinets, floors, or appliances instead of asking for a discount on the price. It is also possible for buyers to negotiate for better options if they are the first or second people to move into the new community. Homes usually go up in price after the first homes in the community sell.

A New Home Is Often A Better Investment

Buying a new home is often a better investment than purchasing an older home. Newer homes tend to appreciate faster immediately after they are built. Many people like to buy a home that has had only one owner because items in the home are less likely to break. Therefore, homes with only one owner are often in higher demand, which can lead to higher property values on new homes.

Understand The Financing Process

Typically, prospecting homeowners need to put down a building deposit for the project to start. This is usually three percent of the projected sale price of the home; however, it can be higher or lower depending on the price of the home and the builders. In addition, homeowners need to be aware that they will need to secure financing when the building project nears its completion date. The lender might require a certain percentage down in order to finance the home.

Do Not Hesitate To Ask For Help

Buying a new home does have a few differences when compared to buying an existing home. Homeowners should reach out to professionals for help with this process to make sure they get the best deal possible.

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What to Do With Spot When Buying a Home

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

What to Do With Spot When Buying a HomeBuying a home in another location far away can be challenging in terms of logistics as well as moving, but it becomes additionally harder for pet owners who may not be able to take their bigger animals with them right away.

Oftentimes folks may have to prepare a newly-bought home for a pet, make multiple moving trips or might not be able to take the new pet to the location at all for a while. All of these situations can be frustrating and difficult for both the pet and owner. Some available solutions can make some sense depending on the situation.

Family or Friends

Ideally, if a person has a family member or friend whom the pet can stay with for a temporary duration, that can be an advantage. If doing so, make sure your pet is already good around other people as it will have anxiety being left in a new place with unknown people for a long time and missing you. Also, make sure whom you leave the pet with has had experience with animals. Folks who have never had a big dog for a pet, for example, may hit you with a surprise when they suddenly can’t care for your pet being overwhelmed a day or week into the favor.

Short-term and Long-term Kennel Services

Alternatively, kennel and animal boarding services can help. Keep in mind you get what you pay for. Low cost kennels will likely keep your animal in a basic unit, often cement, with few amenities aside from water and food and an hour of exercise time. It’s a bit like prison for an animal. Better services focus on care for animals lodged, give them exercise and socialization time, keep their cages or containers clean, and interact with the animals when feeding. These facilities cost more, but they tend to keep the pet mentally healthier during the stay.

Permanent Separation

In some cases, a home buying move may require one to give up their pet completely. The first step should always be to try to give the pet to family or a friend who will take care of the pet right and wants to take on the pet willingly. These are the best situations, and the pet likely may know the person already. It will still be depressed for a while, but the pet will transition better.

If you don’t know anyone willing and a separation is a must, don’t immediately resort to the local pound or animal control as they unfortunately end up having to euthanize animals they can’t adopt out. There are multiple rescue groups based on specific breeds who will take the pet and try to adopt it out to a willing and vetted family and new home that can handle the breed. These groups work nationwide through networks and move former pets to new homes regularly.

Separating from a pet is no fun and often painful, but there are options to provide care temporarily or long-term versus just leaving a pet with local animal control. Planning and some research will typically produce multiple choices locally, and they could very well make your move and new home transition easier.

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Buying in a Sellers Market

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 27th, 2021

Buying in a Sellers MarketHome buying is often made possible or unreachable due to the local and national economy. Fortunately, what goes up, must come down. So, for buyers who can wait, economic changes in supply and demand can create opportunities. These shifts in real estate are known as buyer’s markets and seller’s markets. 

The seller’s market specifically tends to be the harder one for homebuyers. In short, sellers see a lot of demand, so they can command higher prices for a sale. Things are competitive, sell fast, and inventory is low. 

For buyers, it’s a headache, but there are ways of handling the challenge.

Understand Your Local Market Better

Many people might throw out the statement locally, “Oh good luck, it’s a seller’s market,” but that’s not necessarily the case until you can confirm it objectively. It may be that certain neighborhoods have high demand, but overall regional inventory is available. 

Understanding your local market as a whole and by neighborhood gives a buyer a far better idea of what’s really going on and how to compare homes in different locations.

When Making an Offer, Go With Your Best Offer First

The worst that can happen is someone responds “no.” You didn’t really lose anything with a rejected offer. However, if they accept your offer as-is, then you may have scored a better deal than trying to hedge and bargain down after the fact. Negotiation can be more difficult in a seller’s market, and sellers can be quite motivated to drop a negotiation the instant a second buyer becomes available.

Be Prepared to Move Quick and Bid Fast

Sellers’ markets go fast. Bids are taken in a day and a sale happens the next day or by that evening. If going out to buy, you need to be ready to make an offer on-site. That means also having your pre-approval for financing squared away and having enough liquid assets to cover the down payment along with enough cash to cover closing fees as well. If you’re not wired up already, you will lose sales waiting for your financing prep to get taken care of.

Have Cash, Will Talk

Buyers who are able to show they have the cash to purchase make the process go much more smoothly. Sellers are far more interested in parties who can show they are a firm sale versus those with financing approval still pending. 

Known as earnest money, a deposit placed on a home with larger than the minimum amount will get attention and commitment faster than someone with a nice bid but waiting for financing approval, thereby delaying the seller.

Anticipate Non-Cash Sweeteners

Sellers often have interests or desires to meet when letting go of a home. A buyer who can fathom what these are can improve a buying position considerably.

In some cases, it might be as simple as agreeing to additional time for a seller to move out. 

In other cases, the seller might have an attachment to the home that they want to keep protected versus seeing it destroyed by a new seller. 

Finding these things out can help a buyer make commitments in a sale that make it better for the seller and for the buyer versus other bids.

Sellers’ markets are hard, but there are ways around the challenge and getting into a home you want. By being flexible, creative, and ready you stand a better chance than bidders with half a heart in but one foot still hanging out.

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