Three Great Reasons to Buy a Home Today

Three Great Reasons to Buy a Home Today

The forecast for the 2018 housing market suggests there are a number of reasons to buy a home today.  If you have been thinking of buying a home today but just can’t find the necessary motivation, then you need to consider these issues.

Increasing Home Prices

Home prices have been increasing in the Lansing area for the last couple of years.  Each year you wait to buy a home, you lose buying power.  That house that you have been thinking of buying will cost you more money the longer you wait.  What you can buy today for $750 per month will most likely be much higher by the end of the year 2018.    A $100,000 house will cost $115,762 in 3 years with only 5% yearly appreciation.

Increasing Interest Rates

Most financial experts are expecting interest rates to continue to increase for 2018.  Rising interest rates hurt potential buyers by making the monthly payments increase even if the home values don’t and it hurts buyers because many home owners will not put their homes up for sale knowing that they will also have to buy another home with the higher interest rates.  So, higher interest rates can really hurt in two different ways.

One of the biggest reasons to buy a home today: Missed equity

When house prices are on the rise, you build equity.  When you don’t own a home, you miss the opportunity to build equity.  Think of it as a savings account.  You can’t earn interest if you don’t open an account and deposit money into the account.

Remember that $100,000 house mentioned above?

Well, that $15,762 could be yours in 3 years if you decide to buy a home today instead of waiting 3 years from now to buy.

Contact Jim About Buying a House

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Selling a Home – 7 Inexpensive Kitchen Modifications

Selling a Home - 7 Inexpensive Kitchen Modifications

When selling a home, a beautiful kitchen will help bring top dollar. If you already have a functional kitchen, then making these 7 inexpensive kitchen modifications can help you get your home sold for more money.  You don’t have to do an expensive remodel to make your kitchen appealing to buyers.

Here’s 7 inexpensive Kitchen modifications when selling a home!

  1. Clear the counters of any appliances or items that clutter the counter space. You want the counters space to be free and look as open as possible.  Every buyer will want to know the counters are large enough for them to use.  So even though it’s a hassle, put away everything that’s on the counters prior to a showing or open house.
  2. Remove those hanging racks for pots and pans. I know they are useful, especially if you have a small kitchen, but they are a definite turn off to buyers.  Sorry!
  3. Make sure the counters are clean before every showing. Buyers will set their personal belongings on the kitchen counter when they do their walkthrough of the house, so you want it free from any thing that is sticky.  Surprisingly, this is also where most of the agents will write their clients offers and you don’t want their last impression to be dirty counter tops.
  4. Lighting can make or break a kitchen, so make sure to have as much lighting in the kitchen as possible. Sometimes you will need to add lighting under the top cabinets to accomplish this.  Just remember to turn them on prior to any showings because most buyers will not know they are there to turn on.  If you have windows, make sure to have the blinds open to let as much sunlight in as possible.
  5. If the kitchen is still dark after adding lights, then try looking at having the exterior of the cabinets painted or resurfaced in a light color. You would be surprised at how much of a change you can obtain by painting the cabinets.  I have had buyers comment many times on how nice the cabinets look, when I know all the seller did was have then painted.
  6. Don’t forget the flooring! Kitchens have relatively small flooring space, so consider replacing the flooring if it looks warn or old in the least bit.  You don’t want to go wild and spend a lot of money on exotic hardwood, something inexpensive that looks good and matches the kitchen will work.
  7. Lastly make sure the appliances are clean and look nice. You don’t need to upgrade to stainless steel or anything like that but make sure the inside of the oven and microwave are clean.  If they are not clean, buyer’s will wonder if they need to be replaced and will lower their offer price.

The kitchen is one of the biggest factors buyers use to determine if they have an interest in your home. If you are thinking of selling a home, this is where you want to spend your time before you list your home for sale.  Don’t neglect the rest of the house either, but this is where you should spend your resources if you are on a tight budget or time crunch.

If you have any questions or want to sell please fell free to contact me…

Contact Jim

Lansing Real Estate News – March 2018

Lansing Real Estate News – March 2018

If you’re interested in Lansing real estate news, you might be asking, “What were the hottest selling homes in 2017 for the Lansing Area?” According to the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors, Mason, St. Johns and Waverly school districts saw the average home sales price rise by over 10% from 2016. DeWitt, Laingsburg, Potterville, Okemos and Williamston saw their average home sales prices rise by less than 5% from 2016.

Remember our housing market is just like any other commodity.

It’s driven by supply and demand. In some areas we have more new homes being built than others, which is providing more supply in certain school districts than others.

By now you probably have heard we are in a seller’s market due to so few homes on the market. If you live in Holt, Mason or DeWitt you probably noticed a lot fewer homes on the market. Those school districts saw a decrease of at least 10% inventory.

How can DeWitt be on both lists?

What’s going on? Well, DeWitt had a drop in the number of homes on the market in 2017, but the number of homes on the market was still higher than the demand. DeWitt had 14.8% decrease in number of homes on the market in 2017 but only saw a 2% increase in average sales price. This isn’t necessarily bad news! The correction in 2017 should make for a much better market in 2018!

More good Lansing real estate news!

If you have a 3 bedroom home that has a value of $180,000 or above, you saw an increase in demand. 4 bedroom homes over $200,000 also saw an increase in total number of homes sold. In fact, in 2017 we sold about 15% more homes in this price range than we did in 2016. Pretty good considering we had 8% fewer homes go up for sale in this same price range!

If you would like to see this information specific to your school district and value range, please contact me. I would be glad to explain this in more detail. I also have information specific to neighborhoods.

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Make Yourself Wealthy by Buying a Home

Make Yourself Wealthy

Why do the rich buy real estate?  Because it can make them wealthy!  You can make yourself wealthy by buying a home too!  The question that every renter needs to ask themselves is; “Who is getting rich off my monthly payments?”.  If you are renting, it’s the landlord who’s making the money.  If you own a home and are making payments to the bank, then you are the one making money.

Unless you are living with parents or friends for free, someone is making money off your housing situation.  Why can’t it be you?  Mortgage rates are still historically low and there are even some government financing options that can lower the down payment amount you will need to purchase a home.  You might not even need any money for a down payment!

Great Advice

I was told a long time ago, you don’t get rich off the money you make working 8 to 5 everyday, you get rich off what you do with the money you make working 8 to 5 every day.

Make Yourself Wealthy by Buying a Home

Step 1 is to buy a primary home.   This is the home you will live in.

Step 2 would be to buy another home and use it as a rental.  But that is a story for another day!

When you purchase a house, you should work with an experienced real estate professional to make sure you buy in an area where home values are trending up.  This way you will be building equity in your home at maximum rates.  So, in 5 years, the value of your home should be worth much more than you paid for it.

Bottom Line:  Now might be the time to start making yourself wealthy and stop making someone else wealthy.

Contact Jim About Buying a House

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Misconceptions About Buying a House That Might Be Holding You Back

Misconceptions About Buying a House

Often times, at open houses, I hear people express misconceptions about buying a house for the first time, I hear them say they, “We’re just looking and dreaming for now because we don’t qualify for a home mortgage due to our credit score” or because they haven’t saved enough for a down payment.

The Down Payment

When I ask people how much they think they need for a down payment, most will answer 20%. And, that was true many years ago. Now, we have several options available to qualifying buyers where the down payment can be as low as 3% or even no money down in some instances.

The Credit Score

The other big hurdle stopping people from trying to buy a house revolves around credit scores. Before the housing crash in 2006, getting qualified for a home was very easy, then the lenders tightened credit to only those with seemingly perfect credit. Now that the crash is over and the housing markets are more stable, banks are starting to become more relaxed again and are giving out loans to those with lower credit scores than they were a few years ago. It’s still not like it was in 2005, I think the banks learned their lessons, but it is much easier than it was not too long ago. Some of the options available can go as low as 550. But, if your score is below 550, keep checking with a lender because this figure seems to be going down on a regular basis.

Misconceptions About Buying a House in the Lansing Area

I know in the Lansing area and surrounding communities the inventory or number of homes on the market is much lower than it has been in years past. It’s really important you work with an agent that is searching everyday for homes for you. When a home hits the market that meets the criteria you have, you need to know about it the same day and be ready to make a decision right away. It’s a really competitive market right now but you can still find what you are looking for if you have the right help.

If you would like to know more specifics about down payments or qualifying credit scores, please feel free to contact me….

Contact Jim About Buying a House

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List Your Home in January or February

List your home in January or February

WHY list your home in January or February? I wanted to share with everyone today about one of the discussions I have been having with people who are thinking of selling their homes this Spring.

There is a big advantage when you list your home for sale prior to March 1st!

I have included a graph that shows how many homes have sold each month for the past 5 years. The key to this chart is to know that it takes 30 to 45 days from the time a seller receives an accepted offer to the time of closing. So, you can see June is the month we have the most closings but those properties that closed in June actually had accepted offer back in April or May.

With that in mind, you can see our sales really start to increase in March. The March closings were properties that had accepted offers in January and February.

One of the things I have noticed is the homes I list for sale in the Fall will receive showings and maybe offers but then they really get hot during January and February. It’s hard to believe it but it’s been happening for the last few years.

Here are some reasons to list your home in January or February:

  1. Serious buyers are willing to shop for homes in the snow and cold weather.
  2. Agents tend to only work with pre-qualified buyers during the cold and snow.
  3. The buyers who lost out on homes last year are much more aggressive now.
  4. Companies hire after the first of the year, so relocation is best right after the Holidays.
  5. There is less competition now than there will be in a few months when more homeowners put their homes up for sale.
  6. Buyers will be receiving their tax refunds soon and they will now have funds available for a down payment.
  7. You can still schedule showings around your schedule. You are still in control.

I hope this helps explain our winter market. If you have any questions or want to sell please fell free to contact me.

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Finding the RIGHT Roofing Contractor

Finding the RIGHT roofing contractor in Lansing, Michigan.

Thinking of a getting a new roof this summer? Finding the right roofing contractor can be a tough decision, with so many options available. Here are a couple of tips on choosing the right one for you and a couple of companies in the Lansing are you can contact to get started.

Tips for Finding the Right Roofing Contractor:

  1. Visualize: Find a company that has software that you can use to see how certain colors will look on your house. This software can take the guess work out of how a different color will look on your house. Maybe now is the time to change from one color to another.
  2. Use Scotchguard protection to avoid those ugly algae streaks and stains. We’ve all seen those streaks and they make any roof look much older than it is. If you plan on selling your home in the future, you want it to look as new as possible.
  3. Ask for a free estimate. Some companies charge service fees to come out to your home for a estimate and then remove the fee if you choose them to perform the work, others do not charge at all for the estimate.
  4. Make sure they are licensed and insured. Protect yourself and your property from injury or damage. This should be a must of all contractors you interview.
  5. Ask about the written warranty. Does it include labor? How long is the warranty good for? Make sure to get it in writing!
  6. Do they have recent references? Most companies can provide references, but make sure they are recent clients. There is high turnover at these companies and so quality can change quickly.
  7. What is their cleanup policy? Not all contractors use the same methods and may leave you with damaged landscaping or nails in the yard. Don’t just assume they will leave your yard the way they found it.
  8. Do they have financing options? Roofs are expensive and most people don’t have savings to pay for them. Many companies provide financing but you need to check the interest rates if you go this route.
  9. Check their scheduling options. If your roof is currently leaking, you need someone who can do the work NOW! Some companies just can’t get to the work as soon as you need them too.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Lansing, Michigan area, finding the right roofing contractor just got easier.

Here’s a list of roofing contractors we recommend;

Want to find out other ways we can help you with your new home search?
Contact Jim Munk, Lansing ReMax Realtor TODAY!