Friday, December 17, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
2. Not having a home inspection
3. Limiting your search to open houses, ads or the internet
4. Choosing a Real Estate agent who is not committed to forming a strong business relationship with you.
5. Thinking there is only one perfect house out there.
6. Not considering long-term needs.
7. Not examining insurance issues.
8. Not buying a home protection plan.
9. Not knowing total cost involved.
10. Not following through on due diligence.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Last week I received an email from someone who recognized the building and told me about the history of the place and his family.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
By MARK RANZENBERGER
Sun Online Editor
Realtors in Clare and Gladwin counties sold more homes in April than any April in this decade, and May's sales pace was the fastest in five years.
Meanwhile, members of the Central Michigan Association of Realtors reported sales at a near-average pace for the two months. Those agents, who work mainly in Isabella and Gratiot counties, sold 89 homes in April, compared to a five-year average of 81, but only 84 in May, compared to a five-year average of 97.
That's according to an analysis of recent sales figures released by the Michigan Association of Realtors trade group.
Prices paid for homes in Clare and Gladwin also recovered, but buyers there paid the lowest prices of anywhere in outstate Michigan. Only in economically ravaged Detroit were prices lower.
Members of the Clare-Gladwin Board of Realtors, which represents agents who do business mainly in those two counties, sold 65 properties during April and another 73 in June. The April sales pace is well above the five-year average of 46, and the May average also is considerably above the five-year average of 64 sales for the month.
The record sales pace for May was in 2005, when 74 properties changed hands.
So far this year, 253 properties have been sold by Clare-Gladwin agents, up nearly 19 percent from the first five months of last year.
The average sale price for the year so far is $62,787, up 7 percent form 2009's highly depressed average.
May's sales rate of 84 was the slowest May of the decade in the Gratiot-Isabella region.
So far this year, agents have sold 350 homes, compared to 365 in the first five months of 2009. The average sale price for the first five months of the year was $75,773, up 6.77 percent from 2009.
Prices increased in 37 of the 40 regions tracked by the statewide real estate marketing group. Prices fell only in Branch, Lenawee and Livingston counties.
Sales rates also increased in 30 of the 40 regions. Besides the decline in Gratiot and Isabella counties, the pace of sales of existing homes also fell in the west-central region, the Down River and Eastern Upper Peninsula regions, Branch, Hillsdale and Lenawee counties, and Detroit, Flint and Saginaw.
Overall, the pace of sales of existing residential properties was up nearly 5 percent in 2010 compared to the first five months of 2009, and prices were up nearly 11.5 percent, averaging $88,863.
Detroit continued to have the cheapest residential property in the state. Nearly 5,300 homes have been sold in the city since the start of the year at an average price of just $15,329. As low as that figure is, it's a third higher than 2009's average price through five months of $11,387.
Michigan's priciest real estate this year is in Emmet County, at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula, where sales are up 39 percent over last year, and an average home sold for $187,296 during the first five months of the year, up 15.5 percent from last year.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
This is a PRIVATE lake with NO Public access! The lake is so clear, that you can easily see over 20 ft down to the bottom!
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
For the first time in recent years, property values county-wide have decreased, and this decrease has affected all real estate sectors.
Residential properties have seen the biggest decrease in value. Across the county, residential values have decreased by a total of 11.27 percent. Beaverton, Bentley, and Grim townships, as well as the City of Beaverton saw their values fall by only 3 percent, while Bourret, Sherman, Grout and Secord townships experienced the largest decrease in value at 15-16 percent.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Property Taxes and appealing your assessment: Guidelines for REALTORS® to pass along to their buyers
Real More... (PDF File)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
RISMEDIA, February 5, 2010—Real estate-related issues were the leading legal service request among members (customers) of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. during 2009 followed by 2) consumer finance, 3) family law, 4) collections and 5) estate planning. The top five legal service requests for 2009 is based on the total volume of 2.3 million member requests for legal services to the 40 independent provider law firms that assisted Pre-Paid Legal members throughout the U.S. and four provinces of Canada for calendar year 2009.
“The PPD legal service request list offers a unique perspective on the legal issues that Americans and Canadians face on a daily basis,” said Pre-Paid Legal’s Founder and CEO Harland C. Stonecipher. “Because these members have a Pre-Paid Legal plan, they have access to affordable legal service to help them manage issues such as foreclosure, credit issues, collections and other life events,” he said.
(Note: Jim & Ivie Baker have also been sales associates for Pre-Paid Legal Services for over 5 years. It's a fantastic service. Visit http://jamesbakerppl.com for more information)
Friday, January 29, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
According to many real estate experts, most believe that we have seen the bottom of the market and sales are going to start to up-tick in 2010. Of course, we aren’t going to see those soaring real estate prices for a long time, but we should start seeing some markets appreciate in value across much of the USA.
According to an article in the January 2010 National Association of Realtors Magazine, (Easier Money, Steadier Sales), one expert predicts that we could see existing home sales raise by 13.6 percent in 2010. That’s great, considering that in 2009, we only saw an estimated 2 percent increase over 2008.
So, why should YOU buy now? There are several very valid reasons. If you are a first time home buyer, you may be eligible for the $8,000 tax credit, if you purchase a home before April 30th, 2010 or have a valid purchase agreement signed before April 30st 2010 and the sale closes on or before June 30th, 2010. If you are a current home owner, you may be eligible if you have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight! To find out more about the Home Buyers Tax Credit, visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html
There are other key factors that make this a great time to buy! Home and land prices are at a recent all time LOW. In most markets, prices have already hit bottom. Experts say that we should start seeing prices appreciate in the near future. As real estate sales start in increase, prices will stabilize and many markets will start to see a subtle rise in price as consumers decide to take the plunge and take advantage of the market.
Along with the lower housing prices, mortgage interest rates are still holding very low. This is key for enticing buyers into making a purchase in this market. Obtaining a new mortgage is also getting a little easier too. When the mortgage crisis first hit and HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct) was put into place, we saw some very poor and inaccurate appraisals surface. This was due to the insane regulations that were put on the appraisal market. Lenders were forced to use third party referral companies to order their appraisals and in many cases, appraisers were sent into areas where they were unfamiliar with the local market. This resulted in low and inaccurate appraisals.
Since then, other regulations have been put in place to allow only appraisers who are familiar with the local markets, to do appraisals in those areas. This has improved the quality of the appraisals being done throughout the nation, making it a easier for buyers to secure a mortgage.
Currently, there are several programs out there to help lower income families purchase a home. FHA is also lightening up their restrictions and now allowing some manufactured home purchases though their program. In my Michigan market, there are still programs, such a USDA Rural Development and MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority) programs, to help make owning a home affordable for many Michigan families.
Find out more about these programs here:
USDA Rural Development: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mi/
For second home buyers, there are still advantages to buying in this market. The biggest advantage is, that prices have come down and interest rates are still low; even for second home purchases. In my local market (Clare/Gladwin Counties, MI), even waterfront homes have come down in price between 1/4 to 1/3, compared to two years ago.
Many second home buyers are finally taking advantage of the decreased prices to purchase a vacation home, which may have been out of their price range several years ago.
Also, contrary to popular belief, there are lenders out there, who will mortgages on second homes with just 10% down. I personally recommended one in particular lender, who has closed several deals for my clients in the past 6 month, with just 10% down. This has created additional sales that may have not come together, considering that most lenders are now requiring a minimum of 20% down for this type of purchase.
Vacant land is also easier to buy. With just 15% down with a good credit score, many buyers are purchasing vacant lots and acreage with reasonable down payments and fixed mortgage terms, stretching out as long as 30 years. For vacant land purchases, the closings tend to happen much faster than a home purchase, with an average turn around time of just 2-3 weeks.
So, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home or land in the near future, now is the time to do it. Combined with low interest rates, low real estate prices and flexible lending programs, you can’t go wrong in this market!
Friday, January 15, 2010
Whether by choice or necessity, American consumers are increasingly relying on debit rather than credit cards. Debit card spending has risen steadily, growing from 47.7 percent of purchases made with plastic in 2003 to 58.9 percent in 2008 and it is expected to surpass 67 percent by 2013, according to the Nilson Report, a newsletter that tracks the consumer payment industry.
When you use a debit card, the money is immediately taken from your checking account. While using debit guarantees that you pay as you go, these cards have downsides, including a growing appeal to thieves.