Suffering in a ‘Low Inventory’ Real Estate Market? 3 Helpful Tips for Finding a Home to Buy

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 18th, 2022

Suffering in a 'Low Inventory' Real Estate Market? 3 Helpful Tips for Finding a Home to BuyMany homebuyers struggle with finding a home that is within their price range, but many of those perusing the market also struggle when it comes to the search. If you’re currently in the real estate market and are having difficulty finding a good selection of homes, here are some ways to expand your search so you can find an opportunity you’re prepared to invest in.

Look Over The Old Listings

Whether you do it on your own or enlist the help of your real estate agent, it’s worth looking through the old listings to determine if any old opportunities are still available. There may be many formerly listed homes that have since sold, but homes that have lingered on the market may be open to offers; they may also be more aligned with the current market rates. Instead of taking the listings for granted, search for old opportunities that might turn up something good!

Consider Other Marketing Strategies

The market has changed in recent years, but the way that people choose to sell their home has changed along with it. While it’s still possible to see a sign on the front lawn or find a home on a real estate agent’s page, social media has become a very popular way to buy and sell. Aside from looking through the listings, consider searching Twitter or Facebook posts for homes that are for sale in your area. While you may not find your dream home, it’s entirely possible that an interesting detail or neighborhood that might have been missed will capture your attention.

Keep An Eye On Expensive Listings

Most homebuyers will immediately write off a listing that is out of their price range, but homes that are overpriced will often sit on the market. Fortunately, for many homeowners, this is something they can use to their advantage. Instead of avoiding pricey homes altogether, make sure to keep tabs on ones that are a little bit out of range but manage to pique your interest. It’s entirely possible that they won’t come down in price, but if they do it may be well worth the wait.

Many homebuyers struggle to find a home in a tight market, but by keeping an eye out on listings and considering all of the post-modern strategies for marketing, you may be able to find your dream home. If you’re currently searching for a home, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

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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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6 Tips That Will Help You Get the Most Out of Your Home Inspection

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 4th, 2022

6 Tips That Will Help You Get the Most Out of Your Home InspectionA home inspection may be one of the last things that needs to be done before the deal is sealed. However, it’s very important to have a proper inspection done so that you can ensure you’re offering price is appropriate for the home you’re getting. If you’re prepping for an inspection soon, here are some things you’ll want to consider beforehand.

Choose A Good Inspector

Like a good agent, the right inspector is going to have expertise in what they do and know what to look for. They will not only find the small fix-ups, they’ll be able to highlight the potentially huge issues that may arise down the road.

Prepare Your Papers

Your inspector may be able to do their job well on their own, but if you’ve noticed any issues when you’ve visited the house, it’s important to address them. While they may amount to nothing, an inspector will be able to clear up any confusion.

Ask The Questions

Whether you’re experienced with real estate or not, ask the questions you want to ask whether or not they make you feel like a novice. Even if the answer is simple, it will give you the information you’re looking for.

Get The Lowdown

It might seem like a bridge too far, but talking to neighbors in the area can give you a good sense of the overall upkeep of the home. While it’s unlikely you’ll get any unfortunate tales, people in the area may be able to illuminate you on the house’s history.

Partake In The Inspection

It’s good enough for many a homeowner to get a written report, but going along to see the house can facilitate conversation and may give you insights into what to watch out for. It may also mean you have a clearer idea of any potential issues.

Facilitate The Discussion

In the event that there are significant issues with the home, it may be worth talking with the inspector about dealing directly with the contractor. While this may or may not be necessary, it’s a good way to ensure any problems will be effectively communicated and can be rectified.

A home inspection may be par for the course, but by asking the right questions and being involved you can ensure you’ll get the most out of your inspection. If you’re currently in the market for a home, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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What Home Improvements Sellers Should Make In 2022

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 28th, 2022

What Home Improvements Sellers Should Make In 2022Owning a home is an investment, and it is important for people to treat it as such. Some homeowners are looking for improvements they can make to their house that might improve its resale value. There are a number of home improvements that seller should consider making in 2022 if they want to maintain or increase the value of their home.

Add A Stone Veneer

One of the top home improvements homeowners might want to make is to add a stone veneer. It can be expensive to replace the siding of a house with a stone veneer, but this is an improvement that can add significant value to the house over time. Furthermore, homeowners might expect the cost of the veneer to recoup almost all of its value when they go to sell the house.

Update And Remodel The Kitchen

Another upgrade that homeowners should consider is remodeling the kitchen. Styles change over time, and the needs of homeowners can change over time as well. Remodeling the kitchen can be both a stylistic upgrade as well as a functional one. People spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and a prospective buyer might be willing to pay a lot of money for a kitchen that has been upgraded and remodeled. The cost of the project could pay for almost all of itself by increasing the value of the home. 

Replace And Upgrade The Windows

Consider replacing and upgrading the windows to boost the value of the house. A lot of people are tired of spending a lot of money on utilities, and one of the ways to save money on utility bills is to invest in energy-efficient windows. This can improve the insulation of the house and reduce the load on the HVAC system. Buyers might like these utility savings, and they could be willing to pay more for the house, covering the cost of the windows in the process.

Invest In A House With These Improvements

These are just a few of the many home upgrades that homeowners should consider making. There are plenty of ways to not only improve or remodel the house but also increase its value. Work with a professional to get the most out of these improvements. 

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The Top Ways To Use Home Equity

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 5th, 2022

The Top Ways To Use Home EquityEquity is a powerful tool. As homeowners pay off the mortgage, the amount of equity in the house grows. As the house appreciates in value, homeowners accrue even more equity. Then, homeowners can tap into this equity for a variety of purposes. What are a few of the ways homeowners might be able to use this equity? 

Purchase A New House

One of the top ways homeowners can use the equity in their existing home is to purchase a house that better suits their needs. Even though homeowners may find a house that is right for them now, it might not be right for them 10 years from now. For example, homeowners may have children, meaning they need more bedrooms. In this case, homeowners can leverage the equity in their house to purchase a bigger home. 

Complete A Renovation Project

Homeowners can also use the equity in their home to complete a renovation project. If homeowners have a significant amount of equity in the home, they might be able to refinance their house, tapping into the equity to complete the project. For example, homeowners might want to renovate the kitchen. Or, they may want to add a gym or a home theater. They might even want to complete an addition. Instead of having to save up the cash to do so, homeowners might be able to tap into their equity to do this.

Launch A New Business

Some homeowners might decide to use the equity in their homes to launch a new business. Getting a new business off the ground can be expensive, and the cost of taking out loans can be daunting. Instead of having to take out a loan, homeowners can use the equity in their existing house to launch that business. 

Fund Higher Education

The cost of higher education can also be expensive. Even though parents might save up to send their kids to college, the cost of education is growing quickly. Instead of having to take out a student loan, consider tapping into the equity in the house to pay for that college education. Homeowners may want to work with a financial advisor that can help them make the right decision for themselves and their children. 

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Which Home Equity Loan Is The Best Option?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 23rd, 2022

Which Home Equity Loan Is The Best Option?There are a number of significant advantages that come with homeownership, and one of the biggest advantages is the ability to take out a home equity loan. As homeowners pay off the mortgage, the amount of equity in the house increases. Homeowners can borrow against the equity in their house to fund other projects. For example, homeowners could borrow against home equity to complete a home renovation, pay medical expenses, or pay down student loans. The most common home equity loans include cash-out refinances, a traditional home equity loan, and a home equity line of credit. Which is the best option? 

A Cash-Out Refinance

The first option is called a cash-out refinance. Essentially, homeowners are taking out a loan for an amount that is greater than the current mortgage. Then, homeowners will keep the difference in the two loan values for their personal use. Homeowners essentially refinance the existing mortgage and extract additional equity. There is only one mortgage payment, and any interest on the new loan is tax-deductible. 

A Home Equity Loan

The next option is a traditional home equity loan. Homeowners borrow against the existing equity in the home, and homeowners create a second mortgage. There is a fixed interest rate on the second mortgage, and homeowners receive the money as a lump sum. It is not unusual for the interest rate on the second mortgage to be higher than the first mortgage.  Then, they have to pay off the second mortgage just like the first mortgage. 

A HELOC

Homeowners who are okay receiving the funds over time might be interested in a home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC. The initial interest rate on a HELOC is often lower than the mortgage, but it can vary with time. Payments are often lower because homeowners only owe money if they actually use the line of credit. Interest is only charged on the outstanding balance.

Choose The Right Option

Homeowners need to understand the differences between these home equity loans to choose the best option for them. Some of them provide lump sums, some create multiple monthly payments, and some have more flexible payment terms. The features of each loan must be compared to the needs of the individual homeowner.

 

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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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Maintain A Home’s Value With These Helpful Home Maintenance Tips

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 9th, 2022

Maintain A Home's Value With These Helpful Home Maintenance Tips A home is an investment, so it is important to treat it as such. The best time to capitalize on a home’s value is when it is sold. Therefore, it is important to take care of it with some simple home maintenance tips. There is a common misconception that if something is working well, it does not need to be fixed; however, it is always better to prevent problems from happening than to fix them after they have appeared. The average homeowner should spend between one and four percent of a home’s value per year to keep it in excellent condition. There are several key home maintenance tips that homeowners need to keep in mind. 

Paint The Interior And Exterior

There is never a second chance to make a first impression, and a home’s paint job will be responsible for a significant portion of that first impression. A fresh coat of paint can make a home look like new. At the same time, it is usually better to hire a professional to paint the house to make sure it looks as great as possible. 

Clean The Gutters And Roof

Many homeowners forget about the roof of the house because it is difficult to see the entirety of the roof from the ground. On the other hand, a damaged roof can lead to expensive repairs, particularly if the roof begins to leak. Therefore, homeowners need to clean the gutters and roof regularly. That way, water has an easier time running down the roof, through the gutters, and away from the house. This can prevent serious problems from happening.

Stay Up To Date On HVAC Maintenance

Homeowners should service the furnace and ductwork regularly. It can be expensive to replace an HVAC unit, and routine maintenance is critical for making sure it lasts as long as possible. Furthermore, an efficient, working, maintained HVAC unit can be an attractive asset to a potential buyer. Service the HVAC unit at least once per year.

Take Care Of The House

These are a few of the most important home maintenance tips that homeowners should keep in mind. They can go a long way toward preserving the value of a house.

 

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An Overview Of Electronic And Smart Locks

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 3rd, 2022

AAn Overview Of Electronic And Smart Lockslmost everyone has been locked out of their home before. If you do not have a hidden key or someone else with a key, it can be stressful to wait for a locksmith to come and open the door. Fortunately, there are ways homeowners can address this issue, and one of the options is to get a smart lock or an electronic lock instead. 

How Smart Locks And Electronic Locks Work

Every smart lock is different; however, they have a few themes. Basic electronic locks have a combination that someone has to enter before the door unlocks. Other electronic locks use fingerprints, RFID, or Bluetooth recognition to allow someone to enter. Many smart locks also allow the owner to give out digital keys that allow friends, children, and other people to come and go. The combinations are stored and act as a digital log of who has entered the home. 

The Benefits Of Using Smart Locks And Electronic Locks

There are a number of benefits that come with using smart and electronic locks for homes. First, homeowners never have to worry about getting locked out of the house, as they don’t have to worry about losing manual keys. Second, homeowners can keep track of people, including their children, as they come and go. Finally, smart locks do not necessarily have to be rekeyed or replaced. Homeowners can change the combination when they feel it is nessesary..

Choosing The Right Electronic Lock

Even though smart locks and electronic locks have a variety of benefits, it is important for homeowners to think carefully about which option is best for them. Homeowners need to make sure whatever lock they choose is compatible with their phone. They also need to select locks that have security measures in place that prevent people from cracking the code or getting through the keypad. Finally, take a look at how many combinations the lock can handle. Sometimes, homeowners like to assign people specific codes so they know exactly who is coming and going. Some locks can even be customized so that certain combinations only work on certain days. This can be helpful if there is a maid or tutor who comes from time to time. 

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