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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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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4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now

Posted in Mortgage,Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 16th, 2021

4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell NowNow is a great time to sell a home. Inventory is down to historic lows, according to recent reports, which means it’s a sellers’ market. Yes, many homeowners are reluctant to put their homes on the market for a variety of reasons. However, right now there are four big incentives for homeowners to sell, despite these objections.

Unsure Of Being Able To Find A New Home To Purchase

It is good to sell at high prices, but that might leave a homeowner desperate to find a new home. Not exactly.

Buyers are entering bidding wars in order to secure their new dream homes. Using leverage, a homeowner could sell to a buyer but have a stipulation where they lease their home back to the new owner until such time as the homeowner has time to get themselves a new house.

Uncertainty About Being Able To Obtain Top Market Price

It is understandable that homeowners want to be able to recoup the cost of improvements they have made along the way, along with some profit. When neighbors are getting top dollar, homeowners might want the same kind of guarantee if they put their own home up for sale.

The bidding wars have become so common that it is almost guaranteed that a homeowner will get the asking price at a minimum.

Do Renovations Need To Be Completed First?

It is common for homeowners to “put down their brushes” and think about just moving instead of finishing renovations, but will there be a heavy price to pay for selling an unfinished house?

Not in this market. Currently, buyers are willing to overlook most repairs in order to get into the house they want, including unfinished renovations. If you’re a homeowner worried about every little unpainted patch on the wall, rest assured your prospective buyers won’t even flinch.

Worries About Getting A Quick Closing

Homeowners are worried that they might not get a quick closing. Why? Because the longer the closing date is pushed out, the higher the chances that a sale will fall through.

If you’ve been on the fence about selling, it’s time to choose sides. There’s never been a better time to sell. Talk to your real estate agent today to start the listing process.

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3 Reasons Why the Cost of Title Insurance is Worth the Investment

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

3 Reasons Why the Cost of Title Insurance is Worth the InvestmentTitle insurance is one of the few types of protection policies available to homebuyers and one that is often overlooked because of its optional nature.

Because title insurance is purchased simultaneously with the home, it can be very easy to forego when looked at alongside all the additional fees that are associated with purchasing property.

This is typicaly not advisable, as title insurance is one of the smartest forms of protection a homeowner can buy. Here are just three reasons why every purchaser should get title insurance.

It’s The Best Protection Against Fraud

Title insurance protects the owner of a home from any claim made against their property, whether or not they are responsible. These include unpaid mortgage balances on the home, an improper foreclosure or any form of real estate fraud perpetrated by the seller.

Fraud is more prevalent now than ever before and has started to gain momentum in real estate as well. Forgeries are easier to create in the electronic age and criminals take advantage of today’s ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude to sell property they don’t actually own to unsuspecting victims.

The Insurer Performs An Exhaustive Title Search

Countless records are now made public online for low one-time payments to access them. But does anybody really know what they should be looking for? Title insurers are experts at finding anything suspicious with a home and researching exhaustively to make sure everything about the transaction is legitimate.

And if it’s not, the insurance still covers the buyer for any losses incurred if they are ordered out of their new home should a claim be made against it. Then they will research the claim to make sure it isn’t a fraudulent one.

Title Insurance Is A One-Time Fee

Although it is a large fee, title insurance only needs to be paid for once. Unlike other insurance policies that are either monthly or annually, title insurance is a one-time fee that is acquired at the time of closing. Most mortgage lenders require that their title insurance policy is paid for by the borrower anyway, so it’s not a giant leap to take out your own policy the same time.

Title insurance will also protect against mortgage fraud or any unpaid mortgages the home already has. Although title insurance is strongly recommended, it is a good idea to speak with a professional about it so that any questions you have may be answered.

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Reviewing The Basement Options For Homeowners: What To Know

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 14th, 2021

Reviewing The Basement Options For Homeowners: What To KnowEven though not every home has a basement, those that do usually fall into one of three categories. The most common examples of basements include poured concrete, masonry block basement, and precast panels. What do homeowners need to know about the different types of basement construction? 

Concrete Basements

Concrete basements are the most common examples. There are several advantages of going with a concrete basement. First, concrete basement walls are resilient. They can resist possible cave-ins, standing up to natural pressure created by wind, water, and soil. Furthermore, concrete basements are also fire-resistant while creating joint-free basements that can increase property values.

Even though concrete basements are water-resistant, hydrostatic pressure can allow water to permeate over time, creating mold and mildew issues. Homeowners need to keep a close eye on the humidity of a concrete basement to make sure this is not happening in their homes.

Block Masonry Basements

Another popular type of basement is called a block masonry basement. This structure is created with cinder block or masonry units that are connected to one another. Ultimately, this creates a waterproof structure. This is a highly resilient, cost-effective construction option that is much easier to install. Therefore, homeowners can save money on labor and materials. The walls are also more durable if they are reinforced using a steel rebar. 

Precast Panel Basements

Finally, homeowners may also encounter a precast panel basement. These usually involve concrete panels that are molded in a different location before being transported to the construction site using a crane. Typically, these walls are strong and resilient. They do provide waterproof qualities, but if the joists have been neglected, they can develop moisture penetration issues. These panels also have to be treated with boric acid to prevent pest infestations. 

Options For Basements: Homeowners Should Work With A Professional

Ultimately, there are plenty of options available when homeowners are looking to construct the basement. Examples include full basements, partial basements, walkout basement, and crawl spaces. Homeowners need to work with a construction professional who has experience building basements. Each option has its individual benefits and drawbacks, so homeowners need to inquire about permits and environmental factors that might make one type of basement superior to another. 

 

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The Average Length Of Homeownership For Most Families

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 3rd, 2021

The Average Length Of Homeownership For Most FamiliesIt is critical for everyone to find a home that is right for them. Given the current lack of inventory, this can be a significant challenge. Fortunately, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps track of numerous market aspects, including how long the average family stays in a home. For the past few decades, the average family has stayed in their home for approximately six years; however, during the past few years, that average has gone up to nine years. This means that the average homeowner is keeping his or her house longer than he or she did in the past. Why is this happening?

Why Are Families Staying In Their Homes Longer Than Before?

There are numerous reasons why this might be taking place. First, the real estate market crashed just over ten years ago. When home prices fell, homeowners were worried that they would not be able to sell their home at a price that would pay off their mortgage, also known as a home sale. Therefore, they decided to stay in their homes longer until their homes recouped their value.

In addition, there was a lot of uncertainty about the economy, causing some homeowners to think twice about making a move. They might have been worried that they wouldn’t have the money to cover emergency expenses if they paid for a move.

Finally, the homeownership rate among the younger generation, including those getting ready to have kids, has still not caught up to previous generations. When this generation starts to look for better school districts or more room, they might start looking for houses, causing them to move more frequently. Because they might not currently own homes, they are not selling homes, and thus not bringing down the median tenure.

What Is The Impact On The Housing Market?

So, what does this mean for the housing market? If families are moving frequently, they might not be in houses that are right for their family circumstances. As a result, baby boomers who are looking to downsize or parents with multiple children in a 2-bedroom house might be looking to move in the foreseeable future.  Given the current lack of inventory, this might be a bit of a challenge.

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Financial Preparation: Millennials Are Getting Ready To Buy Homes

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

Financial Preparation: Millennials Are Getting Ready To Buy HomesIn the current economy, there are a lot of millennials who are thinking about buying a home; however, the price of homes is rising quickly. It can be challenging for millennials to save the money they need to buy a home. When this is combined with other monthly expenses they have, millennials might be financially unprepared to buy a home.

Finding the right house takes patience and discipline, so millennials need to avoid jumping in unprepared. What do millennials need to do to make sure they are ready for the expenses that come with owning a home?

Be Aware Of How Much Money Is Required

The first thing that millennials need to do is make sure they have enough money saved up. If prospective homeowners do not have enough money saved up, they could be denied financing by a lender. Conventional mortgage lenders will ask for 20 percent down to avoid PMI, but it might be possible for homebuyers to get a home for as little as 3.5 percent down from some lenders. If the home costs $250,000, then 3.5 percent down is going to be $8,750. If prospective homebuyers have less than this saved up, they could be denied a loan.

After saving up enough money for the down payment, homebuyers also need to cover closing costs. This could include the inspection, the appraisal, and any fees that come from the closing attorney. Even if millennials have parents and grandparents to help them, they still need to save up an emergency fund to cover any possible repairs that are needed. It is a solid rule of thumb to save up and move at least three to six months of emergency money in a liquidity fund. If this money is not there, it might be better to wait.

Millennials Should Wait For The Right Time Instead Of Jumping In Unprepared

Even though it is a great investment to own a home, it is better to wait for the right time instead of jumping in unprepared. Millennials need to make sure they have enough money saved up for a down payment. Then, they should have an additional two to five percent of the loan’s value saved up to cover closing costs. Finally, homeowners should also have a liquidity fund with three to six months of living expenses set aside.

 

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An Overview Of Umbrella Insurance: How It Works

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 26th, 2021

An Overview Of Umbrella Insurance: How It WorksAccidents can happen from time to time, which is why it is important for people to have insurance. While you might be able to fix some accidents on your own, others can lead to a significant amount of financial stress. This is why people must have insurance. Insurance is supposed to help individuals and families pay for catastrophic expenses; however, what happens if the insurance policy is not big enough to cover the expenses? That is where umbrella insurance can be helpful. What is umbrella insurance, and how does it work? Learn more about how umbrella insurance might be able to help you.

Umbrella Insurance: A Definition

Umbrella insurance provides extra liability that goes above and beyond the limits of other existing policies. If the policyholder is at-fault for damages and the existing insurance policies are not enough to cover the damages, the umbrella insurance kicks in. In addition, umbrella insurance provides coverage for other items, such as legal fees, that other policies might not cover. Umbrella insurance can cover a wide range of issues that could provide important financial protection.

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Umbrella insurance acts as a fail-safe to protect you and your family against lawsuits that are directly related to accidents that could result in a personal injury lawsuit. Furthermore, umbrella insurance can cover landlord liability, defamation, and a number of other tricky financial situations, depending on how your policy is structured. Your umbrella policy will have a liability limit; however, your policy might continue to cover associated legal costs above that specific limit, depending on the wording of your policy. Because details and exclusions can vary between policies, you should ask a professional for help if you have questions.

What Umbrella Insurance Does Not Cover

Unlike some insurance policies, umbrella insurance will not cover the damages and injuries of the policyholder. This means that if you sustain property damage, your umbrella insurance policy might not cover this. In addition, there are limits to umbrella insurance with respect to breach of contract cases. Finally, umbrella insurance also does not cover intentional acts or criminal issues. It is critical to read the policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.

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