The World's Greatest Real Estate Blog

Yes, the title says it all. And yes, we may be a bit biased, but what you will find are informative entertaining articles that will walk you through the process of buying and selling a home. We will be constantly adding new content, so if there is something you'd like us to address, send us an email and we'll do just that!

April 22, 2017

Why hasn't my house sold?

If you have your home on the market and it lasts more than a few weeks there is only one reason. It's your price. . That's the only reason. Here's what amazes me, I see all these open houses and for what and why? I'll go into why the open house benefits your agent and not you in another post, but there is no way your home should last long enough to have an open house unless it's overpriced. I understand some of you homeowners out there are convinced that your home is worth more than it really is. But part of your agent's job is to not only explain that to you but to come up with a plan. 

When someone tells me they want to sell their house I ask them if they're already packed because I'll have it sold in a week. And don't think for a minute we're not getting top dollar because we're talking about multiple offers. So if you have a home that hasn't sold within a month and that's being generous, you have the wrong realtor. When you realize you want the right one give me a call at 248-866-8784 and we'll get you moving fast. Just make sure you're packed!!!

March 18, 2017

Spring 17 Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor Market Report

The spring home buying season has kicked off with the Fed raising interest rates by a quarter point. While this will make mortgages slightly more expensive, it's negligible therefore will not slow down this market. The Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor areas still suffer from a lack of quality inventory. What happens when a solid quality house priced correctly hits the market? It doesn't last a week let alone a day in some cases.

According to what the Fed has indicated, we can expect two more rate increases this year. We don't expect the next rate hike (expected to be a quarter point) to do much to curtail the market. However, the third increase, depending on when it occurs could slow buying down. Now if any of these increases are more than a quarter point all bets are off. Fortunately, the Fed does a good job of indicating what's to come. Still, it would not be wise to underestimate what low inventory has done to home prices.

So for you buyers, you need to be pre-approved before you see that first home. That way, when you find a home you like, you can get your offer in immediately. And in this market don't get cute and lowball your offer. There's a good chance the seller has two more who were serious. Do your research, know what the comps are, and make an informed offer. Your agent should do this for you before you make an offer. Just know, some agents are better at this than others.

For you sellers, if you price your home for what it's worth, and not based upon buying a boat, vacation home, and trip to Tahiti, plan on being ready to move and get packing!

Jan. 9, 2017

The kitchen upgrade adds the most value to your home

Jan. 9, 2017

The lighting in your home matters

Jan. 6, 2017

Why you need your own real estate agent

Dec. 15, 2016

An appointment and assigned seating for a Canton movie experience

Plan on being in the Canton area? Interested in making an appointment to see a movie? Well then Emagine Canton has you covered! In what I believe will become a standard practice for movie theaters Emagine Canton allows you to not only purchase your movie tickets ahead of time, but you get to select your seat as well. What's the big deal some may ask. Well, let's say it's opening weekend for the latest Star Wars film. With an assigned seat there is no need to arrive 45 minutes to an hour early to guarantee a good seat even if you already had your tickets. If you've ever been stuck in the front row or back corner you know what I'm talking about. Oh yeah, did I mention that these are larger seats and recline? The back goes down and a leg rest comes out and best of all, there's plenty of space between the person in front and behind you that you'll never even notice. Not to mention the kids love it, and what's not to love? The good news is soon this won't be limited to just Canton. Emagine Novi is reported to be going ahead with renovations and will not only have the reclining seats with a reservation system, they are going to be constructing the largest movie screen in Michigan! So if you're looking for something to do in the Canton area, make your movie reservation today!

 

Sept. 13, 2016

Getting Pre-approved and why it's so important

Once you've decided to buy a home, it's time for an essential step in the process and that is pre-approval. Essentially, this is a letter your mortgage lender provides that states how much they are will to lend you. There's two things this does. First, it ensures you are looking for homes in the corresponding price range. Just think when you watch Property Brothers and they take the couple to an amazing home that is nowhere near their budget. Well this is for effect on the program, but with pre-approval in hand you don't run into this situation.  Second, when you find a home and make an offer without a pre-approval letter your offer won't be accepted. In reality, there's no agent I'm aware of that will submit an offer without a letter unless this was a cash deal. 

Now how do you get pre-approved? It's actually quite simple. You call your mortgage lender and they will walk you through the process of what they require. If you don't have someone, your agent should be able to recommend at least a couple people that you can talk to. It's a pretty quick process but very essential. 

Once this is complete nothing is holding you back from finding your dream home!

Happy house hunting

Sept. 7, 2016

This mistake could cost you thousands

Let's get right to it. One of the most foolish things you can do when purchasing a home is to use the listing agent as your agent. That name on the sign, they are not your friend and here's why. A good buyers agent (your agent if you're looking to buy a home) will advise you should you decide there is a home you would like to put an offer on. If a home is overpriced for the market, a good agent will show you the numbers that the house just isn't worth what they're asking. Now if your agent also represents the seller, they can't really do much more than write an offer because they are obligated to the seller. They may know the house should be priced $15,000 less but in doing their duty to the seller you the buyer are neglected and in a bad position. 

The solution, find yourself a great agent that is not the one selling the home. Now you have someone working for you and not against you. If you found the right agent, they will run the comps and not be afraid to come in with a lower offer if the circumstances demand it. They will inform you about the market and show you everything that meets what you're looking for. They will be your partner in finding that dream home and not just trying to sell you their listing. 

July 19, 2016

Summer 2016 Michigan Real Estate Market Report

There is no doubt that we are in a sellers market. So the question is, what does that mean for you? First, if you are looking to buy a house you need a pre-approval letter from a lender. They're easy to get, and you'll know exactly how much you're approved for. Furthermore, when you find a home you like in this current market, you need to have the pre-approval in hand when making an offer. And speaking of offers, in super hot markets (Ann Arbor, Novi, Bloomfield Hills, South Lyon, Chelsea, and others) you may have no more than 1-2 days to get your offer submitted. If you're paperwork is not completed you don't stand a chance and are wasting your time.

So that's the what and the how, now we're going to explain the why. Why is this a sellers market. INVENTORY! Remember the housing crisis? Well, it did a few things that we are still feeling the effects of today. First, there are people still underwater on their mortgages. Even with the increase in home values, not everyone is in the plus column yet, but it is improving. Second, credit requirements are stricter. Now they have loosened up but it's not like it was eight plus years ago, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Third, housing starts (new construction) is way down, so the competition for existing homes can be fierce because the inventory is limited.

So the big question, what do we do? 1. Don't panic. 2. Don't chase a property. Think of the Ebay effect here, where a bidding frenzy surrounding an item drives up the price much higher than what it is worth. It becomes less about the item and more about winning the item. Well the same thing happens with homes. Know your max and what you're comfortable with. Ignore everything else. You may lose out on a house or two, but you'll be in a much better position than if you overreached. 3. Have everything ready to make an offer and don't hesitate. That one day "to think about it," is the difference between the house being available, and the house under contract to someone else.  

June 21, 2016

Flip or Flop Flipping Homes

There are no shortage of home flipping shows on television, and truth be told, I find them quite entertaining. Just remember the key word, entertaining. For those of you out there thinking of flipping homes because it looks easy, well let's just say there's a lot they leave out. Least of which a 6 week project fits nicely into a 30 or 60 minute show. Furthermore, most of the main players in the shows seem to be real estate agents. That means on a purchase, they're saving 3% that you won't. Then factor in another 3-6% savings on the sale price and that adds up to a pretty substantial number. 

Now does this mean you can't make money doing this? Of course not, there are always opportunities, but you have to know what you're really getting into. Are you doing the work yourself or hiring it out? How long will the renovation take? What is the market doing? Is it going up down or staying the same? What are the tax implications? Not just property tax but capital gains tax as well. What happens if you get in this house and find there are substantial problems that you didn't know about going in? Do you see where I'm going with this? Deciding whether to form an LLC to buy homes does not make for interesting television so you never really see the how. 

I know the how. Do I say this because I'm an broker? Absolutely not, because an agent or broker wouldn't necessarily know all that is involved. I know what to do because I've done it. I've fixed up homes sold them turned them into rental properties. You can do it you just need someone to show you the how and that we can do!