Category Archives: Lake and Land Real Estate

Autumn Is An Attractive Time To Purchase A Home

There are two seasons that the real estate market finds incredibly active: spring and fall.  If you are in the market to purchase a new home the fall season that is almost upon us may be the best time.  Take a look into why we think Late September, October and early November are the best months in real estate to look into buying a home.

First, let’s talk about the lack of competition in buying during the fall season.  Less people purchase homes in the fall because it is notoriously spring that is known for purchasing a home.  The fall season is a perfect time for new inventory and repositioning of older inventory that did not sell during the previous season.

Buyers are better able to negotiate a deal on homes that are leftover from the spring and summer inventory.  Sellers are always motivated after their homes have been on the market awhile and are interested in getting into new homes before the holiday season.  It is a great time to negotiate with sellers.

Another reason the fall is a perfect time to purchase a home is simply because sellers are worn-out.  This is especially true if they out their home on the market during the prime spring selling season and were a tad overly confident about how much buyers were willing to spend.  If a seller has set an unrealistic objective when pricing their home at first they are going to be more eager than ever come fall to find a buyer.

Don’t take this to mean that all sellers during the fall are leftovers unsold from the spring.  That is not at all true.  In fact many sellers that newly list their homes in the fall do so because they need to.  Whether they have bought a new home, finished building a home, were transferred or are interested in making a change before the holiday, sellers in the fall are often the most serious about selling.

Another great benefit of buying a home during the fall is the tax advantages.  Both property tax and mortgage interest are deductions that can be taken on the whole year’s income.  Even if you purchased the home in late December the tax advantages are yours for the whole year.  The payments made before the closing of the loan are all tax deductible.  This can make a big dent in the amount of money that is owed to the government at the end of the year.

Fall is a perfect time to find you and your family in a new home.  Call to talk with a real estate professional today to find a home that best meets your unique wants and needs.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Winter May Be The Perfect Time To Buy A New Home

Have you been thinking about purchasing a new home but are afraid to start looking now because the winter season is right around the corner? This article will bring a new perspective to home buyers that are uncertain about buying a home in the winter.  It is true that the spring and summer seasons are typically the most active seasons for both sellers and buyers.  Winter house hunting does have benefits over other seasons.  Work these to your advantage and you will be moving into your dream home without having to wait until spring comes around again.

When it comes to buying a home in the winter the one main benefit is the lack of competition in the bidding process.  The myth that buying a home in the winter is undesirable leads many sellers and buyers hesitant.  This means that although there are fewer houses on the market the houses that are on the market will have less competition when submitting your offer.  It can be a bit inconvenient and messy to move in the winter but when you think about an offer without the competition of other buyers it diminishes the worry about a bit of untidiness during the moving process.

When buyers are scarce, it is the perfect time to start looking for a home.  Homes during the winter move more slowly; it is truly a buyers season.  Sellers most often have a reason for selling in the winter that makes the need to move their home off the market more crucial.  This means that a buyer is able to negotiate a better deal.  It leaves room for the buyer to ask for money off the asking price, the appliances to stay in the home or any extras the buyer is interested in.  For instance, a client recently purchased a luxury recreational property.  In the offer they asked for the seller to include the family’s golf cart as part of the deal.  These items are easier to negotiate for when the buyers offer is the only one on the table.  This is often the case when buying in the winter.

Another advantage of buying in the winter is that you are seeing the property at its worst.  In the winter sellers don’t have any real curb.  Trees are barren, grass is brown and the flowers have all been cut back.  It also gives you a better chance to inspect for drafts, pipe freezing issues, attic air leaks and other issues that are commonly seen in the cold weather that are hidden from even the most experienced inspectors during the summer season.  You can feel the warmth of the home or lack thereof and really get a feeling for the homes insulation as well.

Mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders and real estate agents are also less occupied during the winter as well which allows you to have more of their attention when buying in the winter.  Mortgages tend to be processed faster with fewer issues because they aren’t focusing on thousands of new mortgages.  Paperwork flows through the proper changes without as many hiccups because people have more time to properly process documentation without the rush that occurs with the spring and summer seasons.

As you can see buyers should not fear starting to look for a new home or their first home in the winter.  Winter is an advantageous time to purchase a home for buyers.  It should actually be considered a prime time for buyers to find the perfect place to live.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at http://www.ladyofthelakes.com.

Choosing A Realtor

The truth is that purchasing a home is the single most expensive investment in our lives.  In order to ensure the process of buying a new home is smooth it is important that you find a realtor to work with.  In order to find a realtor that will maximize your experience there are some things to look for when searching for someone to sell your home or assist you in purchasing a new home.

One of the first things to take into account is that you need a professional.  A realtor is someone that is a real estate professional that is a member of the National Association of Realtors, which subscribes to a strict code of ethics.  Not all agents or brokers are realtors so it is important to find a true realtor to assist you in buying or selling your home.

Experience counts when you are looking for a realtor.  Ask questions about how long that they have been a licensed realtor.  It is also important that they have been a realtor in the area that you are selling or buying a new home.  Your realtor needs to be familiar with the area and what buyers and sellers are looking for when it comes to homes in order to best serve your needs.

After you have narrowed down the field of potential realtors it is time to look into their referrals to make your final selection.  Ask their referrals about the services the realtor provided.  What was their experience buying or selling a home with the realtor?  A great question to ask is if they were going to buy or sell their home again if they would choose to use that realtor again.

You need to use the right type of realtor for your needs.  Are you going to use a conventional realtor or a buyer’s broker?  A conventional realtor works mainly for the seller.  The commission they make is off of the purchase price of the home.  Conventional realtors work to sell a home fast for the most money possible.  If you are selling your home this will work well for you however if you are buying a home you may want to look into a buyer’s broker.

A buyer’s broker will represent you as a buyer.  Buyer’s agents are not working for the seller and therefore are focused on finding a home that is perfect for you.  There is one other type, a dual agent.  This type of agent is able to take clients that are selling homes and buying homes; they represent buyers and sellers.  This may or may not be the ideal situation for you but is one that is available.

The best piece of advice to find someone you can talk comfortably with.  You will want to be honest at all times and have someone that is available and will listen to you.  It is important that you choose someone that is a great communicator and that works with you to ease any and all questions and concerns you may have.

Lake and Land Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor out of Pinckney, Michigan serving homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Hamburg, Pinckney and Howell.  More information can be found at http://www.lakelandmi.com/.

Buyers Guide To Lakefront Property

Buying a house on a lake is a dream for many families. When it comes to buying a lake home it is different from buying any other home. There is a detailed list of do’s and don’ts to consider. You will find a list of considerations below that will make your job finding a lake home simple.

First decide the location of where to begin looking. Take into consideration the distance from your base home as well as the distance from family; what is the maximum amount of time you are willing to dedicate to traveling from one location to the other. For most people lake homes are usually kept within two to three hours from their base home, family and friends. When it comes to going to the lake you will want a retreat to go that family and friends can visit. Any more than three hours and the adventure takes a turn from a weekend getaway to a full blown vacation. It is hard for most people to take full blown vacations several times throughout the summer but weekend getaways can be taken on a regular basis.

Consider the weather in the location you are hoping to purchase a lake home. Are you looking for a strict summer lake house for summer boating fun and such or are you looking for an all-weather, all sport location. Many lake homes can be purchase in locations where the weather is perfect for four season adventures. The important part is to purchase a lake home in a location that suits your desires.

Find a realtor that specializes in lakeside living and recreational home purchases. This is important because only a person with significant experience in lake properties will have accurate information on lake house living. Real estate agents with knowledge of lakefront homes will help be able to provide accurate information to your questions as well as provide a smooth transition on finding a lake front property that is perfect for you.

Another question to decide upon is if you want to live directly on the lake or if a home with lake access is more appropriate. You will be able to get more home for your dollar in a home that has lake access but is not directly on the lake. Homes on the lake are more expensive and often smaller because you are getting the prime real estate and view of the lake. Do you want the luxury of walking out onto the back patio and staring into the lake or are you okay with crossing the road and sitting on the dock?

When it comes to purchasing a lake front home there is also a list of don’ts to consider as well. One thing many eager lake front home buyers do is set their mind on buying a lakefront home and instantly purchase a boat. This is something that should never be done. You may find the lake home of your dreams and discover the boat you purchased doesn’t fit into that ideal image; then what? Wait until you have purchased the home and then buy the boat. Some lakes only allow certain sixe boats and motors. Don’t waste money on a boat that is too big or to fast; wait until you find the perfect location and purchase a boat to fit.

Don’t seek out lake homes. Allow your realtor, lakefront specialist, to find homes that fit within your desired budget and requirements. If you go out seeking homes you may find yourself falling in love with a home that is well beyond your budget and perhaps listed at well over fair market value. Where does this leave you? A lake specialist will only show you homes that fit within the criteria that you have set forth. You won’t find yourself falling in love with homes that don’t fit with your needs just because you fell in love with it curb side.

Don’t assume the property comes with the home. When you purchase a lakefront home it is important to note that the land surrounding your home is not always yours. Often the property in which lakefront homes resides is owned by the DNR, local city or possibly a lake association. Again, using a realtor that specializes in lakefront reality and recreational homes for sale is most important.

When it comes to finalizing the purchase on your lake home you will find a great sense of satisfaction. With lakefront living comes relaxation, fun and time making memories. Using an expert that specializes in lake property will allow you to go through the buying process stress free and ready to unwind and let go of the stress that comes with everyday life while enjoying your weekend retreat.

Lake and Land Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor out of Pinckney, Michigan serving homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Hamburg, Pinckney and Howell. Information can be found at http://www.lakelandmi.com

Tips To Help You Buy Your Dream Home

Purchasing a home is a huge responsibility as well as financial commitment. With this said there are a few things that are important to consider while you are in the process of purchasing a home.  Consider the following while you are working with a real estate agent locating your dream home.

Don’t Make Any Major Purchase During The Home Buying Process

Buying a home is a large investment.  If your objective is to purchase a home it is crucial that you hold off on other purchase such as a new car until after your mortgage is approved and you have been in your new home for a few months.  Give yourself time to gather as much money as you can for a down payment and emergency plan.  When it comes to your lender they will look at your credit record and score as well as your debt and income before they assess that you are worthy of a mortgage.  This is why it is key that before you set off to buy a home you get your financial house in order and hold off on purchasing anything that is not an absolute necessity when buying a home.

Check For Errors and Make Corrections To Your Credit Report

First things first, when getting ready to buy a home get a detailed copy of your credit card report.  An inaccurate report can hurt your chances at receiving the best possible mortgage rate.  Errors on your credit report are unavoidable however correcting them is essential in moving forward with the purchase of your home.  It is important to the lending process that your credit report and score accurately reflect your financial situation to guarantee you end up with the best mortgage possible for you.

Keep Steady In Your Job Especially When Applying For A Mortgage

Your income verse your debt are the two most critical pieces of information needed when it comes to a decision on your mortgage application.  Buying a home requires a lot of money both in a down payment and a monthly payment as well as funds for needed repairs.  This is why it is so important to show a record of consistent employment with the same employer when applying for a mortgage.  A steady income from a steady source is something that will help you while your mortgage loan is been approved and settled.

Put An Offer In Contingent On The Homes Inspection By A Licensed

The home inspection is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle.  Just because you have fallen in love with the home and an offer has been made as well as accepted doesn’t mean this is home has to be the one.  If the homes inspection uncovers many costly repairs need to be done remember that you can keep looking.  Another option is to go back to the seller with the information from the inspection with a new lower offer or an offer contingent on the repairs being made to the home. Even after the offer has been accepted don’t feel pressure to move through the process if the inspection has uncovered more than you can handle.

Buying a home is like no other experience in this world.  The range of emotions that are felt vary depending on the minute of the day.  The great news is at the end of the day when you have closed on your new home and have the keys in your hand all the hassle and aggravation of the situation disappears.  What is left is your happily ever after.

Lake and Land Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor out of Pinckney, Michigan serving homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Hamburg, Pinckney and Howell. Information can be found at http://www.lakelandmi.com

Needed Preparations Before You Purchase A Home

When it comes time to purchase a home it is vital to be conscience of the task at hand and its importance. Purchasing a home should be done with caution, preparation and with the assistance of a licensed real estate professional.  The purchase of a home, for most people, is the most expensive purchase they will make.  Whether this is the first time you are buying a home or the fifth there are preparations to be made, steps to be followed and caution to be had throughout.

The very first step in the home purchase process is known as the preparation stage.  Buying a home is not something that can be done on impulse.  The first part of preparing to buy a home is to know what the real estate market is like around you.  Is it a buyer or sellers’ market?  Are homes mainly be sold as is or in tip top shape?  What do the sales projections look like for the area or neighborhoods you are concentrating on?

During the preparatory phase you will also want to look at your finances.  It is important that your credit score is accurate and reflects up to date information on your debt.  You will also want to have a detailed report of income as well as expenses.  Your debt to income ratio along with savings will help mortgage lenders to determine your preapproval amount.  During this stage you should find a mortgage broker or lender that you trust and would like to work with.  This may take some research on your end.  Remember not all lenders are created equally.  Find a mortgage lender that is thorough in providing you detailed options along with the pros and cons of each available mortgage.  Finding the best terms along with a low annual interest rate is imperative in helping you to finance the purchase of your new home.

After you have followed the necessary steps in preparing to buy a home you actually get into the actual buying phase.  This is when patience as well as diligence come into play.  Many people interested in buying a home consider this the fun stage of buying a home.  Your realtor will pull from a list from the IDX records, MLS listings and other sources to find homes that meet your criteria.  It is essential that your criteria be broken into a few sets including things the home must have for you to purchase it and those luxuries that would be nice but that aren’t critical deal breakers.  Once your realtor has found you the perfect home and you decide that this is the one step three can occur.

During phase three of the buying process you will submit your offer, have your offer accepted and close on your new home.  Of course this is simplified a bit.  A lot of work is done behind the scenes between your mortgage lender, the title company and the real estate agency. There is a lot that needs to be processed and solidified before the home is yours however after a few hours signing papers the house will be yours.

Lake and Land Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor out of Pinckney, Michigan serving homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Hamburg, Pinckney and Howell. Information can be found at http://www.lakelandmi.com

The Complicated Middle In Between Thinking About and Actually Buying A House

Once you have the basics covered the next step in purchasing a home is to determine your exact financial situation.  At this point you have gone through your wants and needs in a home.  You have also gotten a basic foundation established of how much you have for a down payment as well as home much you want to spend each month as far as a mortgage payment.  This is the point you need to get down and dirty with your finances.  This is the point in which you retain a realtor that is willing to help you get what you want and a mortgage lender that will address how much you can afford.

To establish a foundation with your finances you must first start by getting a detailed copy of your credit report. The hope is that the report is above 720 if it isn’t you need to work to correct issues that with errors in reporting as well meeting with a financial advisor that can help you increase the rating.  Some tips that may come from meeting with an advisor could be paying down your credit cards or increasing the amount of money you earn.

Getting your financial house in order involves saving for a larger down payment.  A ten percent down payment is standard however some lenders are more apt to provide a lower interest rate to buyers who have a larger down payment. Consider putting twenty percent down to decrease your mortgage interest rate.  When thinking about a larger down payment take into account that you will have closing costs that creep up, expenses for moving as well as the surprises that aren’t accounted for during the inspection process.

Find a mortgage provider that you like once your credit score is in order and get pre-approved.  This will give you a limit on what you can spend on a home.  This is the upper limit on what you can afford.  Most home buyers should seek to find a home for at least twenty percent less than what they are pre-approved for.  Otherwise you are placing yourself in a tight position when it comes to the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

You should also discuss with your mortgage provider the process of actually getting a loan as well as the different options in mortgage loans available to you.  Key factors involved in determining what loan type is right for you are the following: the required down payment, the interest rate, the costs and fees involved in closing the loan and secondary requirements from the actual lender.  Secondary requirements can include flood insurance, private road agreements, self employment documentation and such. This secondary information is all necessary documentation outside of the cookie cutter information needed for most mortgages.

Different types of mortgages available from lenders can include conventional, adjustable rate, FHA, VA, assumable, balloon and private mortgage insurance.  These are a variety of mortgages to look into and to understand before moving forward with any one type of mortgage.  The process of buying a home requires a whole lot of work before looking for a home can even begin. A reputable realtor will help you with this entire process even before showing you a single home and a mortgage lender will help explain anything and everything you need to know before supplying you with the right loan for your need.

Lake and Land Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor out of Pinckney, Michigan serving homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Hamburg, Pinckney and Howell.  More information can be found at http://www.lakelandmi.com/buyers-resources.php

Beginning The Process Of Buying A Home

The purchase of a home is both exhilarating and challenging.  Owning a home comes with an assortment of benefits both financially as well as personally.  The benefits financially range from building equity to tax deductable interest.  Personally the benefits can range from the satisfaction that comes from ownership as well as the stability that it gives you. To give yourself the financial and personal benefits of owning a home you need to get started; below are some tips on finding the perfect home for your needs.

First things first you will need to get your finances in order.  You need to know what you currently have, what you will have coming in and what you will have in the future. This will vary from person to person.  Some people will be working with equity that has built up in their homes, others will work from their savings alone and some will work in combination of resources to obtain a reasonable down payment.

Once you have established a down payment you have a starting point to where you should be when looking for a home to purchase.  The rule is twenty percent down however mortgage lenders have recently become more lenient with the requirements of what is needed to get a home loan.

A long with what you can afford you need to consider what you want; what are your intentions. Do you need a home to accommodate a growing family; do you need a home to address your need to have accessibility and to age in place?  Is it possible that you need to live closer to work, shopping or entertainment? Did your income increase or decrease; do you need a smaller mortgage payment or more tax deductible interest?  Prioritize your objectives with the purchase of the new home and start looking at other wants and needs.

Consider the style and size of the home that you desire.  Are you willing to purchase a home that needs time and sweat equity to be perfect but is the right size or do you want a home that is perfectly kept but a bit smaller than you would like. Do you need a large space outside for entertaining? If you are looking for a home to grow old in you may only need to take into account the fact that your biggest goal is a ranch, a home all on one level.  Is there a certain location that is needed, perhaps by a highway or work? When it comes to location also consider the schools, the commute to work and the neighborhood.

This is just the beginning of buying a new home.  It doesn’t matter if it is your first home or your last the process is the same from start to finish.  The beginning of the home purchase process all starts the same. It is important to consider your finances, your personal preferences, your wants and your needs.  Prioritize what is most important to what is least important for you and choose a realtor that is willing to help you get what you want.

Lake and Land Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor out of Pinckney, Michigan serving homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Hamburg, Pinckney and Howell.  More information can be found at http://www.lakelandmi.com/buyers-resources.php

The Countdown to Selling Your Home: Step Three – The Final Step

After much preparation you are finally here; the final steps in actually selling your house.  By this point you have gathered all the paperwork, prepped the home, researched pricing and are ready to add the sign to your yard.  Your realtor will be right by your side each step of the way.  Within the last two weeks before you officially add your home to the market the push from the realtor will be staging.

Staging your home for sale is a whole lot easier than it sounds.  Especially because your real estate agent has done this process so many times before and can truly give you sound advice on what buyers want to see when they enter a space.  Staging is a three step process.  You first start by eliminating clutter, then cleaning and finally staging your space.

Eliminating clutter is a difficult step in the process as you still need to live in the space as you sell your home.  Many times the clutter found within the home is the stuff that also makes the home livable.  When we are talking about reducing clutter we are talking about the minor stuff like school bags but mainly the stuff within the space that screams to other that this house is yours.  Buyers want to enter your home and feel themselves in the space.  If the only thing that they see is you and your family everywhere they turn this will turn them off.

When it comes to removing clutter the best option is to have your realtor or another outside party come in and help.  They are impartial and can come in and quickly eye pieces that should be packed and put in to storage.  For instance, if you are a collector of crabs within a kitchen space, when identifying you your friends probably think about crabs.  When a buyer comes in those things that identify you to the space need to be removed and more neutral things put into place.  The goal is to allow the buyer to visualize themselves in the space.  The more of you left in the space the harder this is to accomplish.

Next comes cleaning.  If this is not something that you are within your expertise hire a cleaning company to come in and hit your house hard.  You will want all the windows, door walls, molding, cupboards, appliances and so forth cleaner than they would be if the buyer was looking at a brand new home. The house should appear like it is ready to move your stuff out and theirs in.  Clean is important!

The staging process is next.  Take out any furniture that takes away from showcasing how roomy the space is.  Eliminate any pieces that bring to much focus on to them.  Large furniture draws away from the space.  If needed put your furniture in storage and rent more space friendly pieces.  Your realtor will help you layout the furniture in a way that enhances the space and makes it buyer friendly.

The final step to selling your home is list it on the market, wait for buyers to roll in, negotiate a reasonable offer and close.  Using a local realtor often leads to a quicker sale as they are experts in highlighting your home, neighborhood and community.  Realtors will market your home in a variety of ways to attract the type of buyers interested in exactly what your home offers.  If you are selling a home on water, you market to lake front buyers.  The same can be said for homes on golf courses and farms.  Your real estate team will market your home to the right buyer; your job is to ensure they can visualize themselves in your home without putting in too much sweat equity.

The Countdown to Selling Your Home: Step Two

The countdown is on.  You have made it through the processes involved in phase one.  You have taken time to set up a realistic budget, analyzed the cost of selling verse equity and have obtained all the key documentation needed for the sale; now what?  After you have done all cosmetic and functional repairs and downplayed the issues that you can’t fix it is time to move on to the next step.

With one month to go before you officially list your house on the market you will find yourself busy in research.  With your realtor, the month’s goal will be to obtain a reasonable asking price for your home.  There is a lot that needs to be taken into consideration when determining exactly what you need to ask for your home.  The first is the local housing market.  You must establish the pricing at which similar homes in the area have actually been selling for.

This is where the process becomes a bit tricky.  It seems simple, take what you bought your home for add the cost of the improvements you have made and calculate the appreciation value found in similar homes for sale in the area and wham there you have it; the magic number, the asking price. Here is the problem, plain and simple market conditions are often uneven.

In recent years we have seen an amazing amount of change in the housing market.  With homes selling for a significant amount less than what they are valued at due to the increasing in foreclosures and short sales.  This can drive the market down in your area a solid thirty percent.  With this in mind you will want to assess the fair market value for your home.  There are several things to take into consideration when determining the fair market value over an asking price.

The first thing you need to do is look at the actual sale price of properties sold in the area.  This can be done through local property records that are open to the public.  This will be an accurate account for the amount of money that is passing from one party to the next in the sale of comparable homes in the area.

The next step is to get the top of the line estimates of home values of homes that have sold in the area.  You can do this by looking on sites such as Zilllow or Trulia. These sites will give the outer most prices at which the houses in the area would go for.  This is the top of the line price for homes in your area.

From here it is important to get an actual appraisal for the home.  An appraiser will take into consideration things like a new water heater, new roofing and upgrades that have been done within the home.  This is nice to do as well because they can also point you into the direction of small upgrades that really pack a lot into the actual price you will be asking for your house. An actual appraisal will also help you in negotiations as you will have proof and validation for the buyer on why the home is being placed at that price point.

All of this research can be put into perspective an asking price on your home.  You will have a better understanding of offers that are coming in and be able to counter offer with physical hard evidence.  This puts you in a great position as a seller.