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Michigan Sets another Record! - 07/30/09 06:58 PM
Yesterday an early release of the Michigan unemployment statistics confirmed what those in the unemployment lines already knew. The new unemployment rate for Michigan has hit 17%. We also have the dubious honor of having 2771 foreclosures in Kent County, Michigan. Check my website www.flexitrealtymichigan.com click Foreclosures on the top button and then click a county to see the number of foreclosure homes by county. This is dramatic or should I say catastrophic news. Yet if you look at this in a way that sets aside the pain and misfortune of those that have lost their jobs and homes....there is a (17 comments)
A Word to the Wise? - 07/29/09 06:14 PM
I love this saying...."A Word to the Wise". If you were talking to someone already wise why would you have to give them advice? It seems that everyone knows real estate. Everyone lives in a dwelling of some sort, an appartment, duplex or home. They know that homes have windows, doors, walls and roofs. How hard can it be to buy or sell homes? How hard can it be to show a house to buyers? How tough can it be to sit a sign in the yard for sellers? Many buyers and sellers think exactly that..."How hard can it be?" They (23 comments)
Understanding your costs when bidding Foreclosures or HUD properties. - 07/25/09 10:16 PM
Foreclosure & HUD Home Bids can be deceiving if you don't know your true cost of repairs. Many people look at the glut of homes in the marketplace and think what great buying opportunities. The truth is they are right...it is a great opportunity but you have to use some common sense and understand what you are buying. The price ranges of homes is a wide spectrum. You can find anything in all shapes and sizes. Some people are amazed when they see a home that has a description of 8 bedrooms and 4 baths only to do a drive-by and find (7 comments)
Foreclosure Bus Tours, Is it Right for You? - 07/25/09 01:01 PM
Foreclosure Bus Tours Is it Right for YOU? This type of marketing of foreclosure homes has been going on all over the nation for over a year now. Is this the right method for you to find a bargain? Here are a few thoughts that may make you think twice. All you have to do to be included on these tours is have a pre-approval letter from your lender. That is simple enough you should have that before you start your home search anyway. But have you considered the other issues? •1. Multiple buyers are looking at the home at the (2 comments)
Vacations and the Economy? - 07/25/09 11:25 AM
Vacations and the Economy? I just traveled north of my home two and half hours this week and noticed something different. Fewer campers, fewer cars, fewer families on the roads taking advantage of summertime vacations. Many of my clients have chosen to make shorter trips in distance and time doing what they call "weekenders". Taking a Friday or Monday and combining it with the weekend so it turns into a mini-vacation. Others have decided to stay home and create a family fire pit, remodel, update a patio or backyard area. The economy has created major concerns for people that would normally (2 comments)
Can You Call Yourself a Good Samaritan? - 07/25/09 10:59 AM
Can you call Yourself a Good Samaritan? Yesterday I traveled to a city I rarely go to was quickly lost. I needed to get to the local hospital, my nephew was having emergency surgery, as the result of a car accident. My sister wanted me to be there. I stopped and asked several times for directions because there wasn't a hospital direction sign anywhere. I thought that to be strange for one of the largest hospitals in Northern Michigan. Anyway, the first two people I asked were on vacation and had no idea where to direct me. I spotted a lady getting (5 comments)
Living in Your Home VS Selling Your Home, There is a Difference! - 07/25/09 10:44 AM
Living in Your Home VS Selling your Home, There is a Difference! When you are not selling your home you can pretty much live your lifestyle any way you see fit. When you decide to sell your home living in your home and selling your home take on very different meanings. Living in your home you can have the junk drawers....I think I have two myself. I think almost everyone but the most twisted neat freaks have a junk drawer! :-) You can have your closets packed full so you have to put a visitors coat on your bed or other (1 comments)
Do You Communicate Your Efforts to Sellers? - 07/25/09 10:22 AM
Do You Communicate Your Efforts To Sellers? Sellers need a communication stream of information or they never know what you are doing for them. I had a perfect example this week. One of my agents clients calls for the agent, who is out of the office, as should be the case. The seller says, "I haven't heard from the agent in weeks, are they still working?" I assured them they were still actively working on selling their home in fact, "have you seen the magazine ads with your home listed or the cable ads your agent is running in addition to the (0 comments)
When listing your home, agents cannot know your true debt - 07/23/09 04:35 PM
I recently listed a home and the seller shared her mortgage information so I could do a seller's net sheet. Meaning I could give the seller an estimate of her selling expenses and potential profits or losses from the sale. The seller told me the mortgage amount. I did the net sheet and she was thrilled with the expected profits. I listed the home and began to set up the marking. At same time as the listing I requested preliminary title work. I was a bit surprised when the title work came back to with two additional loans, a second and (9 comments)
Seller says I want to update before I Sell - 07/18/09 12:40 PM
I have heard this more times than I care to count. Sellers always want to do something they think will improve the selling potential of their homes. That is all well and good but they should consult a Realtor before making a decision to upgrade anything. Especially when it comes to remodeling. Why certain upgrades will not pay you your investment while others will give you a profit. Things like painting, cleaning, landscape and staging will help you sell and for very little effort may get you more money at the same time. The key is getting these things done timely. (17 comments)
Seller Daze - 07/18/09 12:35 PM
Can't sell, won't compromise? What do you expect? Sellers are like buyer they want the best deal for their home they can get. Why not....they should expect to get the most they can get. Some seller's have this misconception their home is worth so much more than anyone else's in the neighborhood. If you are only looking at you neighborhood as the competition to sell you have not taken a true picture of the market and your selling competition. Look at your school district. Many parents are looking at school districts so anywhere within that school district could be your competition (2 comments)
Home Won't Sell? Refinance and get a lower payment. - 07/18/09 12:30 PM
Our primary market has over 2700 foreclosure home right now. It just rose by 1.2%. That means the competition for your home to sell is extreme. You have to have three things to sell, location, condition and price. The other missed element to selling is marketing. If buyers can't find your home it won't sell. If you are having showing but now selling it is probably one of the three things I listed. 1. Location 2. Condition 3. Price It could be all three. If you need to sell don't refinance it will add closing costs that you will not be able (1 comments)
First Time Buyer Gets Eye Opening Experience - 07/18/09 11:13 AM
I mentioned earlier that many builder representative are not licensed Realtors. This means these representatives are not bound by rules or regulations like Realtors are, or the code of ethics. I represented a recent purchase of a new construction. I always have a home inspection done even on new construction if the buyers authorize it to be done. I suggested a home inspection to my buyers in front of the builders representative, he said..."this is a brand new home, why waste your money on one of those inspections?" Just a double check to see if everything has been completed properly. The (4 comments)
Death in Families bring out the Best and Worst. - 07/18/09 11:08 AM
We just had two death in our family or extended family, both are blessings, while one is tragic at the same time. My daughter-in-law's step-mother passed at the age of 53. Cancer of the brain, lungs and other organs. She commented before her passing ....."I am not afraid to die, it's the how I am going to die that worries me!" Cancer can be an agonizing death. She was blessed with a very fast paced cancer which took her quickly. Then within a few days my wife's elderly uncle passed. He had done everything he could to expedite his demise short (3 comments)
Deceptive Advertising....how do you know? - 07/18/09 11:01 AM
Michigan has laws covering advertising real estate, as many states do. I recently represented a couple that purchased a builders home. The advertising hook, "get $10,000.00" when you buy a new home. Then the ad outlines the "deal". $8000.00 in first time buyer money and $2000.00 in closing cost money for a total of $10,000.00. My buyer thought they were going to get $2000.00 in closing costs. I asked the Builders representative about this and he said, "that is only for new construction when the buyer buys the lot not on new homes." I told the representative your ad does not (3 comments)
What Builder's Don't Tell You Can Cost You! - 07/18/09 10:51 AM
In Michigan, if you buy from a builders representative it is a good chance these are not licensed Realtors at all. The company selling the homes many very well have a real estate license but the "representative or counselor that you are discussing the home purchase with may not be a Realtor. Buyers many times think they will get the "best deal" by negotiating directly with the builders representative. Let me share the experience of a couple that I met. They had sold their home after living there 15 years. The kids have moved out so they wanted to down size. (0 comments)
Lenders advertise they will help.....is it true or Lip Service - 07/18/09 10:45 AM
From many sellers perspectives this is nothing but lip Service. I just had one of my clients go through the complete process of a short sale. The buyer's offer was very good for the market we are in and the lender accepted the offer but had not signed the final draft of the paperwork yet. That is a key. They wanted the hardship letter, the current status of the income and debt ratios, which were all provided. When it got down to signing they said no problem we can sell at purchase price offered but the seller will have to make (1 comments)
Michigan Unemployment Rate Top's the Nation. - 07/18/09 10:28 AM
Michigan has been riding high for quite some time now but the dubious honor is for having the nation's highest level of unemployment. The current level of unemployment stands at 15.2%. This affects everyone even those that have jobs. How can this be? Pretty simple when you think of it. The unemployment costs go up with every new filing. The lower purchasing power of each person on unemployment causes other employers to lay off works because of reduced sales. This is a cycle. Being the largest automotive state...it has always been said, so goes the auto industry so goes Michigan. Many (1 comments)
9 Steps to Owning a Home - 07/11/09 11:45 AM
Thinking of buying a home? Here is a thumbnail outline to get you started in the right direction. This nine step list below is expanded on my website so you can get more detail. For now the list of nine items is a preliminary starting point for your own outline to finding that dream home. In the Grand Rapids Real Estate Market and West Michigan the home prices are at record lows. The old expression "the early bird gets the worm" couldn't be more true. The home selections are at their highest level in decades. Having a plan to find and buy (2 comments)
Going Going Going-Gone! - 07/11/09 10:21 AM
The first time buyer program is not going to be here forever....in fact December 1st. is it. Nobody knows if it will be extended or expanded but one thing is for certain if you don't take advantage of it you could miss the deal of the decade or even century. I read a recent article about the consumers thinking 5% loans are to high.....what a shame that reality and experience never happen together! The reality is 6% is a great interest rate for a mortgage. So anytime a buyer can get any mortgage for under 6% they have done very well. One (2 comments)
Grand Rapids Real Estate & West Michigan real estate markets, trends and issues discussed. Technical and personal thoughts pertaining to buying and selling real estate.
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