The Laws are Changing for Southeast Michigan Real Estate

Posted in Southeast Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 8th, 2009

Not just Southeast Michigan real estate, either. Since the end of 2007, as the real estate market started to decline, new rules, regulations, mandates and more have come down the pipeline.

State Specific Laws
Take Michigan, for instance. Ranking sixth in the nation on the number of foreclosures, Michigan legislature enacted the “Lifeline Law.”  This law gives an extra 90 days for homeowners to work with banks to come up with solutions other than foreclosure.  California did the same, with the California Foreclosure Prevention Act.  In New York, judicial hearings are mandatory for both borrowers and lenders before foreclosure can go through.

Nationwide Laws
Other laws have been enacted throughout the United States, such as Congress lowering homeowners’ tax deductions.

Before 2009, if you used your Southeast Michigan real estate as a primary residence for at least two years out of the last five, you could keep up to $500,000 (married couples – $250,000 if single) in real estate gains on your tax return. That exemption is now pro-rated to the time you spent in the house, which could be quite substantially less than what your tax exemption would have been last year.

As well, new appraisal rules went into effect May 1, and, although they aren’t government rules, they do affect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. With the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) put into place, every lender that goes through Freddie or Fannie has to follow the HVCC to the letter. The HVCC stops mortgage brokers from having home appraisals done themselves. Instead, the home appraisals must be done by a third party appraisal management company in the same area as the home.

Laws that Affect You
Other laws have been put into place that may (or may not) effect the Southeast Michigan real estate you own or are looking to buy. However, with so many coming down the line, make sure that you ask your real estate agent what laws have been put into place that may affect your purchase, sales or ownership.

As your Michigan real estate expert, if you’re looking to buy or sell Southeast Michigan real estate, I can help.  I’m not only a professional REALTOR®, I’m also a licensed real estate attorney who keeps up to date on real estate laws.  Call me at 248-514-2640 or email me at for help or more information.

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640

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