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The Real Value of Home Ownership - 11/30/10 09:25 PM
The real value of homeownership is sometimes lost in all the media these days. The truth is that homeownership isn’t for everyone. However, for those ready to take on the responsibility, the desire to purchase a house goes much deeper than a dollars-and-cents analysis. Understandably, job security is in the forefront of concerns for many Americans and renting provides relocation flexibility, but most people don’t want to uproot their families and disrupt established friendships by leaving the community they call home. In fact, the typical recent home buyer moved only 19 miles from his or her previous home. According to the (1 comments)
The American Dream 2X - 11/29/10 05:20 PM
The economy may be facing some challenges, but that didn't stop many buyers from investing in vacation properties last year. NAR's 2010 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey shows vacation home sales rose 7.9 percent to 553,000 in 2009, compared to 513,000 in 2008. Ninety percent of survey respondents plan to use their second home as a family vacation retreat. Only one in four plan to rent it to tenants. Twenty-six percent intend to make the property their primary residence in the future. The median sale price of a vacation home was $169,000 in 2009, compared with $150,000 in 2008. In (0 comments)
A Home for the Holidays - 11/28/10 11:59 AM
While the winter months are often considered perfect for spending time with loved ones, they could also be an excellent time to buy a home. You can get yourself a home for the holidays. There is a general perception that real estate activity typically slows down a bit during colder months. Many people don't find the idea of house hunting in the cold very appealing. Also, many families are focused on the school year and their holiday shopping - which tends not to include shopping for a house. This reduced competition can work to a buyer's advantage. With fewer people searching (6 comments)
Getting a Little Help on the Road to Home Ownership - 11/27/10 11:31 AM
According to poll results from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the principal barrier to homeownership is accumulating the money needed for a down payment and closing costs. Of the more than 2,000 poll respondents, only 12 percent said they'd have no problem coming up with a 20 percent down payment, while 49 percent of those polled say they would never be able to save that much. The National Association of Realtors® research found that 61 percent of recent home buyers relied on savings as a source for their down payment and 22 percent were helped by a gift from a (3 comments)
Tax Benefits to Owning Your Own Home - 11/27/10 10:30 AM
There are tax benefits to owning your home, and these should be considered by buyers as an incentive to buy a home before the end of the year. One of the tax benefits many homeowners enjoy is the mortgage interest deduction (MID). This tax deductibility of interest paid on mortgages has been an incentive for homeownership since 1913. Individuals can deduct interest paid on mortgage debt of up to $1million. The deduction is available for interest on mortgages for a principal residence and one additional residence. Sixty-three percent of families who claim the MID earn between $50,000 and $200,000 per year. (4 comments)
Home Ownership: Still the American Dream - 11/26/10 12:10 PM
Despite attacks by national media pundits and critics in recent months on the value of home ownership and whether it's still the American Dream, the idea of home and the goal of homeownership continues to resonate with a majority of people from all walks of life. For proof, look no further than the Country Music Awards. Country singer Miranda Lambert's song "The House that Built Me" won the award for Single of the Year. A sample of the lyrics reinforces the importance of home: "Mama cut out pictures of houses for you... From Better Homes and Gardens magazine... Plans were drawn (6 comments)
A Qualified Buyer in Winter is Generally a Very Serious Buyer - 11/25/10 04:24 PM
A qualified buyer in winter is generally a very serious buyer. If you live in Michigan, and are considering placing your home on the market, do not buy into the old saw that you should wait until spring to place your home on the market. Too many sellers hold off for this, thinking that there are fewer buyers, and they might have more ‘luck' when the weather gets warmer. I have found the opposite philosophy to be true. The reason you should consider placing your home on the market during the heavy winter months of December, January, February and March is (50 comments)
Buying a Home in Richland, Michigan - 11/24/10 02:46 PM
If you ever happen to drive through Richland, a village in Kalamazoo County in Michigan, you will find that it is an interesting community. Buying a home in Richland, Michigan with its population of less than 600 residents, according to the 2000 census, does not offer as wide a selection of property as in other communities. Still, you will find in buying a home in Richland, Michigan that it is located in the middle of what was once the Gull Prairie, a higher land area relatively free of trees and once maintained by natural and man-made fires. The area historically had (0 comments)
Let's Talk Turkey for a Minute, shall we? - 11/23/10 01:05 PM
Let's talk turkey for a minute, shall we? Being that this is the season for turkey dinners across the USA, I thought I would engage in some turkey talk for this blog post. Just outside Battle Creek, Michigan, North of Marshall we have the locally owned and operated ‘Cornwell's Turkeyville Farm and Restaurant' where you can go enjoy some good food (usually turkey related) all year long. In fact they are open for Thanksgiving, and guess what they are serving? That's right: Turkey. So when we are talking turkey, it is hard not to wander on over to Turkeyville, which is a great (4 comments)
Buying a Home in Olivet, Michigan - 11/23/10 09:11 AM
If you are considering buying a home in Olivet, Michigan, you probably are aware that this is a college town. Olivet College, founded in 1859, in Eaton County is located 30 miles south of Lansing and 125 miles west of Detroit. It sits on a rolling hilltop shaded by huge maple and oak trees in the city of Olivet, a community of about 1,700 people. Buying a home in Olivet, Michigan can be a fun adventure, as some of the homes have been cobbled up to serve as multi-units the closer you get to the college, so if you are going (0 comments)
Current Economic Conditions & The State of Homeownership - 11/22/10 11:04 AM
The following Press Release was made available last week by the National Association of REALTORS®, and I consider it to be a compelling analysis of the current economic conditions and the state of homeownership in our Nation right now, with vital decisions coming up for the 2011 Congress. I thought it important enough to include in my blog: Washington, DC, November 16, 2010 Although the recent trend of rising long-term borrowing rates may mean higher mortgages for consumers in the coming months, the greater obstacles to housing market recovery are job creation and availability of credit, according to a National Association (1 comments)
Selling My Home in Battle Creek - 11/21/10 02:04 PM
How do I go about selling my home in Battle Creek? This is a question I get asked a lot in these times with a declining national market place for Real Estate, and an influx of foreclosures that resemble a tidal wave. The answer can be simple, or very involved. Dr. Seuss once wrote: "Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." The most difficult answer for many sellers to understand right now is that the ‘added value' items that used to influence an increase in value for a home have zero impact on values when the overall market (1 comments)
Buying a Home in Galesburg, Michigan - 11/20/10 11:26 AM
Buying a home in Galesburg, Michigan is a great choice because it is close to Fort Custer in Battle Creek, and also Comstock and Kalamazoo. Being a city so located, buying a home in Galesburg had become quite a competitive housing market in recent years. A nice aspect of Galesburg is that it qualifies as a rural area, according to the US Department of Agriculture official maps for the Rural Development loan program. Thus, a first time home buyer can take advantage of the Rural Development loan program which offers 100% financing and even allows for the seller to contribute (0 comments)
A Certified Residential Specialist in Battle Creek, Michigan - 11/19/10 07:44 PM
When I became a Certified Residential Specialist in Battle Creek, Michigan there were only ten Realtors in town that had achieved this designation from the Council of Residential Specialists. Today, there are only six remaining. The other four appear to have moved away from the Battle Creek area. What is a Certified Residential Specialist in Battle Creek? A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is a REALTOR® that has earned this certification from the Counsel of Residential Specialists by completing a rigorous course of advanced training on Real Estate, and by meeting significant experience requirements. It's a rare combination that makes a Certified (0 comments)
Buying a Home in Bellevue, Michigan - 11/19/10 02:32 PM
An area of Calhoun County that is popular with homebuyers is Bellevue, Michigan. Buying a home in Bellevue, Michigan places you in a great location between Battle Creek and Olivet, and gives you access on I-69 to Lansing or Marshall if you need it. One thing to consider in buying a home in Bellevue, Michigan is that the city is located in Eaton County, but part of the village is in Calhoun County. Depending on which section of Bellevue you select will determine which County you have to work with in terms of well and septic requirements. Barry County is merged (0 comments)
Buying a Home in Marshall, Michigan - 11/18/10 04:22 PM
Buying a home in Marshall, Michigan is to become part of a wonderful community that has a strong pride of ownership throughout. Marshall, Michigan is the County seat for Calhoun County, and according to the 2000 U.S. Census has a population of 7459 people. The homes in Marshall, Michigan are a mix of many eras of history, and a great many of them are well preserved. My impression of this community is that they tend to take very good care of their homes. So buying a home in Marshall, Michigan is a good move for long term property values. One of (1 comments)
Single Family Housing in Battle Creek, Michigan - 11/17/10 09:01 PM
Single family housing in Battle Creek is the general term used for homes that are a one family home. This can be defined as any sized home that can comfortably house 1-5 people, but is more often defined as any single group of people living as a family in a single home, as opposed to a ‘multi-family' home which would be like an apartment building as an example. Single family housing in Battle Creek can be a free standing home, or a condominium. When one mentions ‘Single family housing in Battle Creek' one typically thinks about a free standing house in (0 comments)
Owning a Home in Battle Creek, Michigan - 11/17/10 08:50 PM
Owning a home in Battle Creek, Michigan is a desirable goal for anyone who is currently renting. If you write that check to a landlord each month, and ever have the thought that it would be nice if you could just keep the money, then you should consider owning a home. Owning a home in Battle Creek, or anywhere, is essentially the same as renting each month, but you are buying something tangible with your monthly payments. When you rent, you are buying time, or as it could be better defined ‘Time to remain where you are'. So owning a home (0 comments)
FHA Loans and Gift Funds - 11/16/10 09:54 PM
I attended a class just last week instructed by an experienced local lender from Wells Fargo on the subject of FHA loans and gift funds. First time home buyers often seek help from their family members when buying their first home. FHA (Stands for Federal Housing Authority) is a government loan program which is directed at first time home buyers. It requires that a buyer place 3 ½% down of the purchase price of the home as a down payment. The funds have to be their own, or they can be gifted from a family member. There are certain requirements that (3 comments)
More on Rural Development Loans in Calhoun County Michigan - 11/16/10 11:20 AM
There are specific income caps for Rural Development loans in Calhoun County, Michigan. Each County in the State has a specified income requirements assigned by USDA Rural Development that oversees the guidelines for this loan program. In Calhoun County, a household income of 1 to 4 people cannot exceed $74,050.00 per year. The household income of 5-8 people cannot exceed $97,750.00 per year. The income is verified by the lender by obtaining a copy of the prior year's W-2 and recent pay stub of each working member of the household over 18 years old. This can include adult children living in (0 comments)
Country Homes in Michigan - 11/16/10 10:29 AM
Country homes in Michigan are in high demand. Many buyers, first time and seasoned home owners alike often are drawn to this type of property for the solitude they typically offer. There are unique characteristics of country homes in Michigan that differ from other properties. Quite frequently these homes have at least an acre of land or more, and are usually on a well and septic system. It is always recommended that a well and septic inspection be done on any home when purchasing it, but especially on homes that have been vacant. In fact some Counties such as Barry and Eaton (0 comments)
Requirements for VA Loans in Battle Creek, Michigan - 11/15/10 09:51 AM
There are Calhoun County specific requirements for VA loans in Battle Creek, Michigan which should be of interest to the prospective buyer. One key Calhoun County requirement is that the home must have a pest inspection, and this inspection must be paid for by the seller. Obviously if signs of infestation are discovered in the inspection, the home must be properly treated and any required structural repair made. Additional requirements for VA loans in Battle Creek, Michigan include the standard VA requirements of having a VA certified appraiser do the appraisal. VA loans in Battle Creek, Michigan offer features that are (1 comments)
FHA Loan Programs in Battle Creek, Michigan - 11/15/10 09:41 AM
Many home buyers are using FHA loan programs in Battle Creek, Michigan on their first home purchase. The FHA loan allows buyers to get into a home with a low down payment of 3 ½ % of the purchase price. So for example, if a buyer is seeking to purchase a home at the price of $100,000, the required down payment would be 3 ½ % of $100,000, which is $3500. Most conventional loan programs require on the low end 5% and on the high end as much as 25% or 30% down. So you can see the savings right there (0 comments)
The Battle Creek Downtown Transformation - 11/14/10 12:23 PM
The city of Battle Creek has been working on a project called ‘Battle Creek downtown transformation' which is a plan for revitalization for the city. The plan includes an $85 Million dollar project for redeveloping the downtown area with improved curb appeal. Part of the project involves the Kellogg Corporation establishment of the Food Production Training Institute and the Global Food Production Institute. The plan also includes an expanded presence of the Kellogg Company in downtown, and their continued expertise in food and nutrition research. The business of food science and research is the core of the development plan, and is (4 comments)
How do I find out if I am qualified to buy a home in Battle Creek, Michigan? - 11/13/10 12:44 PM
Many new homebuyers find themselves asking the question "How do I find out if I am qualified to buy a home in Battle Creek?" Their first impulse is usually cautious one, and they start looking online. They find a website heavily advertised that presents itself as helping someone get pre-qualified for a loan online. As a Realtor in Battle Creek, I would caution any buyer from placing their faith or financial information in the hands of an internet site for the purpose of getting qualified for the largest purchase in their life. So how do you find out if you (0 comments)
The 2010 National Association of Realtors Convention and Expo in New Orleans - 11/09/10 04:51 PM
The 2010 National Association of Realtors Convention and Expo in New Orleans was an awesome event! This was the first time I had attended one of the national conventions, and being in New Orleans it made it extra special. I spent most of my time at the Expo seeing all the booths, and after my first day there decided that it was where I would devote most of my convention time. I learned about so many new products and services at the 2010 National Association of Realtors Convention and Expo in New Orleans to improve my business as a Realtor in Battle Creek. (1 comments)
Winterization of Homes in Battle Creek, Michigan - 11/04/10 07:48 PM
Winterization of homes in Battle Creek, Michigan is something one needs to factor in when buying a foreclosure. It would be the same for anywhere in Michigan. If it is vacant, you need to find out if the house was winterized? The banks usually hire asset companies to do the winterization on homes, but it happens often during the winter that the bank reacquiring a home in the foreclosure process does not obtain possession until mid-winter. With this occurring, there is a risk of the home not having been winterized before some of the plumbing was damaged by freezing conditions. When (7 comments)
Galesburg-Augusta Market Report for 2010 - 11/01/10 11:39 AM
The Galesburg-Augusta area is a school district between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. Buyers who buy in this school district most often commute to Kalamazoo, Portage or Battle Creek for work. I thought it might be interesting to look at a Galesburg-Augusta Market Report for 2010, and see how the area home values are doing. The first graph I will present here in this Galesburg-Augusta Market Report for 2010 is the average days on the market compared to the average home sale final value versus the listing price. With the listing price versus final sale value, you can see that the percentage has (0 comments)
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