Preparing For An Appraisal Before Listing Your Farmington Hills MI Home

Preparing For An Appraisal Before Listing Your Farmington Hills MI Home

Preparing for an Appraisal Before Listing Your Farmington Hills MI Home 

You’ve decided to put your Farmington Hills MI home on the market. Before listing your home, you may want to have it appraised. An appraisal is an unbiased, professional opinion of how much your home is worth. The results of the appraisal will help you determine the asking price for your home. Homeowners often get nervous about the appraisal process and what could end up hurting the appraised value of their home. 

Read on for some tips on how to best prepare for your appraisal: 

Make sure your home looks good from the curb  

Curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of preparing a home for sale and it’s also important when preparing for an appraisal.  Similar to neglected repairs, a home with little or no curb appeal can create a poor first impression for the appraiser and lower the value of your home. 

Houses with high curb appeal receive better appraisals, hands down. Start by walking around your home before the appraisal with a critical eye. Remove any clutter from both the front and backyards like stray toys, bicycles, and lawn furniture.

Also, look for any damage that could decrease your home’s value. Are there loose floorboards? Do the gutters work properly? Pay attention to things like overgrown shrubs and bushes, weed-filled flower beds, and damage to the exterior of your home. Be sure to also address any chipped or peeling paint.

While an appraiser won’t necessarily care what color your house is painted, they will pay attention to the condition of your paint. Chipped or peeling paint, especially on the exterior of your home, can be an invitation to wood rot and other structural issues.  

Take a look at comparable homes in your area

The market value of your home is largely determined by how it compares to similar homes in your area that have recently sold. Your Farmington Hills MI real estate agent will be able to pull information for you on recent closing sale prices in your neighborhood. 

This will provide valuable insight into how your home measures up. Before an appraiser even steps foot on your property, they’ll gather a list of comps to compare your home.

They’ll use the price of similar homes sold nearby, and adjust based on the features and qualities of your home. If homes in your area are selling with new hardwood floors, updated appliances, and fabulous curb appeal, you should consider taking on similar projects to fetch the same value. 

Inspect for potential safety issues around your home

As you prepare for an appraisal, you’ll want to inspect any potential safety issues in your home that could raise a red flag for an appraiser.  A few of the most common repairs that are cited in appraisal reports include peeling paint, missing handrails, and broken windowpanes.

 If you are unsure if you have any potential safety issues, an experienced Farmington Hills MI real estate agent can walk through the home and point out things that might be cause for concern during the appraisal.

Make some smaller home updates to your home 

Outdated décor can have a negative impact on an appraisal, while a more modern appearance can have the opposite effect.  Small things don’t add a lot in an appraisal, but they add up – giving the entire home the appearance of being modern and updated. 

Repaint the walls and hang new curtains. Install shiny new doorknobs or faucets. Update old countertops, paint cupboards, or reface them and replace old flooring, if you can. You’d be surprised how inexpensive flooring can be to replace, especially if you do it yourself.

Laminate flooring and tile will refresh a room, as will updating countertops, even laminate countertops. Keep the looks neutral and adaptable, yet modern.  

Give your home a deep clean 

Give your home a deep cleaning.  A home will appear to have more worth when it’s clean. Pay extra attention to areas that might not be part of your regular cleanings such as the inside of cabinets and the corners of ceilings.

Get rid of any scuff marks on the walls and shampoo your carpets to remove lingering stains or odors. Focus on the exterior of your home as well, such as cleaning out gutters, wiping down the outsides of windows, and even power washing the floor of your garage and the sides of your house.

A spic and span home inside and out looks newer and more attractive to both appraisers and buyers.

Compile a comprehensive list of upgrades

Be sure to inform your appraiser of any improvements you’ve made in your home within the last 4 years. New additions, replaced HVAC units, siding, gutters, a new roof, remodeled kitchens, and updated bathrooms will all positively reflect on your appraisal. Don’t assume the appraiser will notice every updated fixture or siding replaced.  

Make sure everything is in working order

Go through your property and ensure that everything is working how it’s supposed to. Makes sure any safety equipment installed is working properly like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and home security alarms. 

Replace burned-out bulbs, turn on any pilot lights that you have switched off, and take care of anything else that suggests something might not be quite right. While an appraiser won’t go into as much detail as the inspector will, it’s best to show that everything is in good working order.

Look beyond your house to the surrounding area 

Are there new schools, parks, highway ramps, stores, or other public amenities that have been added since you bought the house? Point these out to your appraiser. The appraiser may not be totally familiar with the area and amenities such as these can add even more value to your home.  

Farmington Hills MI REALTOR -Tom Gilliam

When you are ready to list your Farmington Hills MI home, contact Farmington Hills MI REALTORⓇ – Tom Gilliam. Tom can help determine the market value of your home and make suggestions on how you can command a higher asking price.  

Tom is proud to be one of the most trusted real estate agents in Farmington Hills – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers for the past 20 years. He understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust.

As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and guide you towards a smooth and successful transaction. Get the process started today by contacting Tom Gilliam directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can reach him by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

How to Increase The Resale Value of Your Oakland County MI Home

How to Increase The Resale Value of Your Oakland County MI Home

How to Increase the Resale Value of Your Oakland County MI Home

As the housing market continues to rebound, amid the pandemic, would-be sellers should think twice before skipping on updating areas of their home in need of serious upgrades. With housing inventory low and demand steadily increasing, Oakland County MI homebuyers are still willing to spend big on homes with quality finishes in sought-after neighborhoods. Whether you are thinking about putting your Oakland County MI home on the market this year or in the next couple of years, it’s a good idea to start building your home’s resale value now. 

Small maintenance and repairs

If you think that home maintenance on the weekend is a waste of your time and energy – well, it’s not. The small chores that you do around your home today actually prevent it from losing value. A little TLC maintenance goes a long way toward warding off expensive repairs. Most appraisers claim that homes showing little to no preventative maintenance can depreciate from $15,000 to $20,000.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University reveals that regular maintenance can boost your home’s value by about 1% per year. However, ongoing maintenance costs offset that value, which means that regular maintenance actually slows down your rate of depreciation. 

Most homebuyers generally notice any repairs needed upon buying a home. Proactive maintenance lets potential buyers know they won’t need to spend extra cash to maintain the basics – making your Oakland County MI real estate more attractive and more likely to get higher-priced offers. Although maintaining the basics can cost you a little money and certainly some effort, there is a way to accomplish this very important activity intelligently.

Many Professional home appraisers and REALTORSⓇ recommend a proactive maintenance schedule that includes keeping enough cash on hand to replace systems and materials; creating and following a maintenance schedule; planning a room redo every year; and keeping a notebook of all your maintenance and repairs.

Landscaping

Landscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your Oakland County MI property. In fact, it is one of the few home improvements you can make that not only adds value immediately but also increases in value as the years go by as plants grow fuller and more robust as the years go by. 

A well-landscaped home has a significant price advantage over a home with no landscaping. This advantage ranges from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent depending on the type of landscaping and the home’s original value. That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home.

Having a long-term landscaping plan is great if you’re in the house for the long term. However, If you are planning to sell within a year, you can take several immediate steps to dress up your landscape and boost your selling price. For example, cutting fresh edges around your planting beds; having a sharp, well-defined edge between grass and mulch or dirt gives the landscape a professional look.

Replacing Your front (entry) door 

So how much value does a new front door add? According to Remodeling magazine, replacing your entry door has an average ROI of 74.9% With that ROI, you could potentially add three-quarters of the front door cost back into your home’s value. You could even add more value to your home, depending on the type of door you get and other adjustments you make to your home’s curb appeal.

With that ROI, you could potentially add three-quarters of the front door cost back into your home’s value.  A new door adds value in several ways: It attracts potential buyers, replaces an old worn-out door, prevents drafts, and welcomes visitors to your home. 

Popular front door color options include:

  • Black gives your home anything from a sleek and modern look to a more traditional touch. It can also provide the best resale value for your home because it is such a versatile color.
  • White is another versatile shade that goes with classic or contemporary facades. It doesn’t draw as much attention, though, but it would be a safe option.
  • Navy blue can be sleek or traditional, depending on the rest of your home. If a black door wouldn’t complement your home’s exterior, consider navy blue instead.
  • Yellow is a cheerful color that’s sure to attract attention. It’s more of a gamble to go with this color since not every potential buyer will like it.
  • Red is eye-catching. A red front door adds a traditional look to your home, and you can tone it down with a burgundy color if true red seems too bright.

Also consider leaving your front door its natural wood tone, which can give your home a warm and inviting appeal that complements other features of the exterior.

Replacing your garage door 

Initially, you might not think that your garage door increases the value of your home. However, as the largest entryway of your home, the garage door gets noticed first because it’s the focal point of your house. Your garage door distinguishes your home from the other houses on your block. If you want to quickly increase the resale value of your home, you’ll want to make the most of this feature. 

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing your garage door has an average ROI of 97.5%, and ranked number two when compared to 21 other home improvements. The report’s data came from across 101 US markets and focused on the ROI at the time of sale. If you are planning on selling your home and have to decide between different renovations, consider a new garage door for the most added value.  

Another 2018 industry study examined real estate agents’ estimates of perceived home value based on exterior appearance. Respondents were also asked if garage door appearance made a difference in the listing price they would assign to a house. The study indicated that a new garage door could result in up to a 4% increase in a home’s perceived selling price, which is an $8,000 bump on a $200,000 home.

 A few interesting things being done with garage doors include:

  • Increased Size: Bigger garage doors help homes stand out more, and homeowners can do more creatively with them.
  • Bold Colors: Bright and bold colors now can complement the color of your home, or you can build a concept around the color of your home.
  • Faux Wood: You can install fiberglass or steel garage doors that look like wood garage doors. This gives your home a new level of sophistication.
  • Windows: Large Windows on your garage door improve the aesthetic of your home, and provide light into your garage so that it’s no longer a dark space

Installing fiberglass attic insulation

While energy efficiency is still not the sexiest selling point of your home, installing fiberglass attic insulation saves energy and provides a big payback on your investment. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value top trends report, fiberglass attic insulation gained the top return on investment among the 30 projects in this year’s report. 

The national average ROI in the U.S. for a fiberglass insulation upgrade is a whopping 116.9%, meaning this upgrade more than pays for itself. The average national cost of installing blown-in insulation in an attic is $1,268, and the average of a home’s retail value increase for this project is $1,482, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report.

Replacing your windows

Replacing your windows is another way to save energy and increase your home’s resale value. Window replacement is consistently listed as a top ten home improvement project that increases home resale value. If you spend $15,000 to replace your home’s windows, your home could rise in value by $11,000, which is an ROI of 74%. Replacement windows offer homeowners the chance to update the look of their homes.

You might consider investing in some custom window shapes to add architectural interest or amp up the natural light. The options and ability to customize with replacement windows are endless. Replacement windows will also increase your overall energy efficiency. From Low-E glass to UV and solar blockers, window technology is continuously evolving to make homes look good while saving on energy costs. According to HGTV, you will see a reduction in your utility bill from 7% to 15%.

Replacing the windows can help your Oakland County MI home stand out in the market and increase your home’s value before you list it. And since most buyers are looking for houses that are not only move-in ready but updated with modern amenities, new windows can help improve your home’s resale value and marketability.   

Remodeling your kitchen

Since the kitchen is central to the home and commonly used by families, it’s one of the first things many house hunters look at. Whether you’re renovating your kitchen to help your home sell or to create the kitchen of your culinary dreams, there’s some planning and budgeting you’ll want to do first. Remodeling your entire kitchen can get expensive, but small renovations can make your home more buyer-friendly.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of remodeling your kitchen ranges from $13,343 – $37,701. How do you know what a realistic budget is for your kitchen renovation? A good rule of thumb is to spend 5% – 15% of your home’s total value on your kitchen renovation. For example, if your house is valued at $200,000, a decent kitchen renovation budget would be 10% of that value, so about $20,000.  

Bathroom addition or remodel

When thinking about selling, many homeowners consider areas in their home that might need a little pre-listing TLC, and bathrooms are commonly on the list. In fact, 26% percent of sellers make some sort of improvement to a bathroom before selling, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018.

Remodeling a bathroom before resale can help attract more buyers, but getting every dollar invested back at the time of resale is not guaranteed. Zillow data shows that bathroom remodels yield the biggest returns in terms of boosting your home’s resale value. For minor cosmetic changes, you’ll see a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1 you spend. This includes things like painting and refinishing cabinets, swapping out the mirror, or upgrading hardware. In most cases, a renovation will be cheaper than an addition.  

The cost for adding a bathroom can vary widely based on a number of factors. The lowest cost is going to be around $3,000. This is a good estimate if you’re taking an area that you already have all marked out that has all the necessary components. If you need to add an entirely new space totally from scratch, the cost will be closer to $25,000.

It’s important to note that you’ll get diminishing returns in terms of value if you already have a house that is among the highest in value of any other on your street. The conventional wisdom on this is that you’ll add about a fifth to your house’s value, in general, if you add a full bath. If you add a half bathroom, then you’ll get about a tenth of the value added on.

The takeaway

No matter if potential buyers view your Oakland County MI property in-person or virtually, you’ll want to make sure it’s in top condition when it comes time to sell. If you want to get the most return on your investment, focus on features that most home buyers really want to see. Knowing design trends will give you the opportunity to make changes to your home based on where your needs and your potential buyer’s desires come together – greatly increasing your home’s value. 

Consumer tastes can vary by region, so be sure to consult with your Oakland County real estate agent to find out which home features are in high demand in your area, advises Dr. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for the National Association of REALTORSⓇ. Your agent will be able to help you make the most informed choices when it comes to remodeling or renovating your home.  

When you’re ready to list your home, contact Oakland County REALTOR – Tom Gilliam to help you navigate the competitive Oakland County MI real estate market. Tom can help determine the value of your home and also make suggestions on how you can command a higher asking price.   

Partner With one of the Most Trusted REALTORS® in Oakland County MI – Tom Gilliam 

Tom Gilliam is proud to be one of the top-rated REALTORS® in Oakland County MI, offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers for over 20 years. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and will always go the extra mile to ensure the best results possible. Get the process started today by contacting Tom at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Searching For The Best REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI?

Searching For The Best REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI?

Searching for The Best REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI?

If you currently in the market to buy a home in Farmington Hills MI, you’ll need to choose from among the most qualified REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI to help you with your purchase. There are so many moving parts to real estate and finding a great house is just one piece of the puzzle. You need a skilled agent in your corner who can help you navigate the market, uncover the best homes in Farmington Hills for sale, make sure you get the most value for your money, pull together all the details of the transaction, and get you the best deal possible.

Offering over 20 years of experience, Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam is able to provide his clients with the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service they need when purchasing Farmington Hills MI real estate. Highly knowledgeable, Tom can help educate you on the best neighborhoods and communities in Farmington Hills, the types of homes and features offered, the top builders in the region, school districts, area amenities, commute times, local community developments, and so much more.  

Tom can help streamline your property search by putting together a list of homes in Farmington Hills for sale that are the best fit based on your preferences and needs. He would love to speak with you to discuss the type of home you have in mind and answer any questions you might have about Farmington Hills MI real estate, pricing, financing, and more. Get started on finding your dream home today by contacting Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch by email.


On our easy-to-use website, you’ll be able to search Search the MLS for homes in Farmington Hills MI for sale – listings updated every 3 minutes. View photos of available properties, find detailed real estate information, create a free account, save your search, and receive notifications of new listings that match your specific home criteria delivered directly to your email. Be sure to scroll down below to find out about current market trends and why homebuyers should consider living in Farmington Hills:

Search Homes in Farmington Hills MI for Sale

If you would like more information on any of the homes in Farmington Hills MI for sale, or to set up a private showing, please contact Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam. Tom is very familiar with the market and is always the first to know when new inventory becomes available (and coming soon listings), ensuring that his buyers have access to the most desirable homes and securing an offer. 

Farmington Hills MI Real Estate Market Snapshot

The current median list price in Farmington Hills MI is $335,000, down 4% from March to April. Farmington Hills’ home resale inventories are at 41, which is a 2% increase since March 2021. The median list price per square foot in Farmington Hills is $166, with no change since March 2021.

 

Today April 2, 2021

1 Month Ago

1 Year Ago

Active Inventory

41

40+2%

121-66%

Median List Price

$335,000

$349,900-4%

$299,000+12%

% Distressed 

0%

2%

0%

Median Days on Market

16

15+6%

46-65%

Median Home Size

2,398

2,381

2,141+12%

Median $/Sqft

166

166

141+17%

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI with a Skilled Agent

Partnering with a skilled and knowledgeable agent like Tom Gilliam can prove invaluable when shopping for a new home. Tom will set up an initial consultation with you to gain a good understanding of what characteristics and features in a home and Farmington Hills neighborhood are important to you. 

He will then sift through multiple databases for homes in Farmington Hills MI  for sale that best match your specific home criteria, and schedule private showings for you to see them in person. While this may seem like something that is easy enough to do on your own, it can actually be a very time-consuming process without the help of a qualified agent. Tom may also be able to uncover Farmington Hills Michigan real estate and coming soon listings that you might not be able to find on your own. 

Search Homes in Farmington Hills MI for Sale

Think of Tom as an extra set of hands (and feet) that can help you with the legwork of the home search process and coordinating appointments for showings. Tom will also do a comparative market analysis to ensure the home you are interested in is priced according to current market value to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money.

All real estate transactions involve staggering amounts of paperwork that can often be confusing. Tom will make sure that all necessary paperwork is filled out and filed correctly as well as review any contracts you sign to makes sure that you’re getting exactly what you think you’re getting.

If you are ready to get the process started, Tom would love to speak with you to discuss the type of home you have in mind and answer any questions you may have about properties for sale in Farmington Hills MI, pricing, financing, and more. Feel free to contact Tom directly Tom Gilliam at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch by email.

The Benefits of Living in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Farmington Hills is a small, affluent city in Oakland County, MI, and part of the northwestern suburbs of Metro Detroit. Recently ranked as the fifth-best city in the state to live in by the Chamber of Commerce (a digital-based company), TIME Magazine also picked Farmington Hills as the best place to live in Michigan based on strong economic and educational performance, convenience,  and pleasant way of life.

With a total population of 80,823, the average household income in Farmington Hills is $106,572.00 and the Median Household Income $83,268.00. The median home value with a mortgage in Farmington Hills is $258,900.00 and without a mortgage is $254,000.00.  Buyers will find a wide range of homes in Farmington Hills for sale to choose from including entry-level homes to multimillion-dollar estates.

Affordability in Farmington Hills provides abundant opportunities for families to move here and enjoy a strong sense of community with access to top-rated public schools. Thriving in business and leisure activities, Farmington Hills is fueled by a strong economy and is home to several large corporations providing hundreds of jobs.

Top employers in the city include Botsford Hospital, Robert Bosch Corporation, Quicken Loans, Cengage Learning Gale, and Chrysler Financial Services among other great companies. The Nissan Technical Center and Nissan Trading Corp. are also located in Farmington Hills as well as Hitachi Automotive Services, Hino Motors Manufacturing, and branches of Panasonic, Mercedes Benz, and Greenpath. 

Search Homes in Farmington Hills MI for Sale

Downtown Farmington is a vibrant, walkable destination with over 160 businesses from banks, bead stores,  photography and yoga studios to a variety of eateries and one-of-a-kind shops. For parents with school-age children, most of the community is served by the highly-acclaimed district of Farmington Public Schools, shared with nearby Farmington and filled with top-rated schools.

Other public school districts serving Farmington Hills include Clarenceville Public Schools and Walled Lake Consolidated SchoolsThe city also contains branches of Oakland Community College and Wayne State University, and is the home of the Michigan School of Professional Psychology.

Farmington Hills has several neighborhoods and community parks including Heritage Park, featuring trails for hiking and cross-country skiing during the winter months, a splash pad, playground, volleyball courts, and an in-line hockey rink. The beautiful 18-hole Farmington Hills Golf Club is one of the best-golfing venues in the area. With an active youth and family services division, a strong educational system, and involved, service-oriented community members, Farmington Hills continues to evolve and grow, and just get better and better for its residents.

Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) operates local and regional bus transit in Farmington HIlls. Major thoroughfares in the city include (M-5), Orchard Lake Road, 12 Mile Road, 8 Mile Road, Northwestern Highway, I-696, and I-275. There are several freeway interchanges connecting local roads to the two interstates. The closest major airport serving the community is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, about a 30-mile drive from the center of town. 

Partner With one of the Most Trusted REALTORS® in Farmington MI – Tom Gilliam 

Tom Gilliam is proud to be one of the top-rated REALTORs® in Farmington Hills MI, offering his guidance and expertise to homebuyers and sellers for over 20 years. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and always go the extra mile do ensure the best results possible.

Get the process started today by contacting one of the most trusted REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI – Tom Gilliam at (248) 790-5594 or get in touch by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Getting Your Farmington Hills MI Home Ready to Sell? 2021 Home Design Trends

Getting Your Farmington Hills MI Home Ready to Sell? 2021 Home Design Trends

Image: The Nordroom.com

Getting Your Farmington Hills MI Ready to Sell? 2021 Home Design Trends

If you have plans for selling your Farmington Hills MI home now or in the near future, we recommend that you be mindful of design choices when planning a remodel or redecorating. Selecting last years’ trending paint colors, fixtures, and finishes, for example, could cause your home to feel dated quickly. Also, over-personalized renovations that buyers may not resonate with could actually get you less money for your home, or cause it to linger on the market, which is never a good thing. 

Due to the pandemic, we’ve all spent a lot more time at home over the past year. For many of us, our homes have become our office, classroom, gym, and most importantly, our refuge during times of uncertainty. So, it’s no surprise to see that the hottest design trends for 2021 revolve around soothing color palettes, coziness, comfort, functionality over flash, and quiet retreats. 

People are really starting to think about how they function in their own homes more than what others are going to think walking into their homes. Instead, we are asking ourselves: What do I need? What makes me comfortable? What does my family need? The trends for 2021 and moving forward are about real lifestyle, not just flash.

The cozy comfort theme is being translated into colors, materials, and textures throughout the home. Cold grey and white minimalist color palettes are taking a backseat to warmer neutrals with pops of color and pattern throughout. People are also wanting cozier spaces with more separation and privacy and a dedicated space for working from home.

Homeowners are putting vacation budgets towards home improvements and creating their own staycation-worthy retreats. Bathroom trends for 2021 are all about easy-to-clean surfaces and hands-free components that minimize exposure to germs and maximize cleanliness. Enhanced outdoor living areas are also becoming increasingly popular. 

To help inspire your design projects, unlock the full potential of your Farmington Hills MI home, and maximize your investment, let’s take a closer look at some of the hottest design and remodeling trends showing up for 2021: 

1). Uplifting color pallets

This year, colors appear to be gravitating toward warm and happy shades that convey a sense of coziness, comfort, and wellbeing. Palettes are getting their inspiration from earthy hues, warm neutrals, and soothing blues and greens.

While white and gray are still the safe options they’ve been for the past several years, expect to see alternative neutrals becoming increasingly popular choices for cabinets, walls, and furnishings in 2021. For a fresh and sophisticated look, try one of these 2021 paint colors of the year:

  • Urbane Bronze (brownish-gray) by Sherwin-Williams
  • Aegean Teal (coastal blue) by Benjamin Moore
  • Soft Candlelight (muted yellow) by Valspar

Indigo, ruby, sapphire, and plum on the opposite end of the spectrum are showing up on everything from fabrics and home accessories to fireplace mantels and floating shelves. These classic rich hues can help bring warmth, depth, and a touch of luxury to your living space. Designers recommend using the “60-30-10 Rule” to incorporate these colors, which is a classic decor rule that helps create a pleasing color palette for an interior space.

The rule states that 60% of the room should be a dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color or texture, and the last 10% should be an accent. The 60% is the overall color of the room or the background color. The 30% number becomes the secondary color in your space and compliments the main color, but different enough to give the room interest. The final 10% is your accent color, which can be bolder or more subtle depending on the look you what to achieve. The accent color in the space can be showcased through artwork and accessories.  

2). Reimagined living spaces

The pandemic forced many of us to rethink our home design. From multipurpose rooms to converted closets to backyard cottages, we have had to find creative ways to manage virtual meetings and school. And designers expect these changes to impact the way we live and work for years to come. For example, some home builders are predicting the end of open-concept floor plans as we know them.

With many people working from home full-time, the need for compartmentalization is bigger than ever. Buyers are looking for cozier spaces with more separation and privacy. That means separate dining rooms, plenty of office space, and maybe even room for a bar or a home-gym. Parlor-style seating is also trending. The addition of alcoves, pocket doors, and sliding partitions that enable homeowners to section off rooms as needed are a popular and functional design trend.   

3). Dedicated work-at-home spaces

A study by Modsy, an online interior design service, revealed that working from home has already had a significant impact on home décor and design. Limited private space to work was the number one frustration of clients with their, often makeshift, home office work set up.  Creating a private, dedicated workspace has become a priority. The study found that home office design requests had increased by 40% in the past year.

As life gets back to the “new normal,” post-pandemic, it’s likely that many jobs will allow for remote employment, so home offices are here to stay. As a result, we will see more dedicated and private home workspaces, as opposed to makeshift desks. This may mean people will choose to move to larger homes in more remote areas for more space, or re-envision rooms as permanent home offices.

But, what if you don’t have a dedicated room? Alternative workspaces have also become increasingly popular. In fact, one of the biggest trends this year is the “cloffice,” essentially a spare closet turned home office. 

4).  Tranquil staycation retreats

With travel options limited right now, many homeowners are reallocating vacation budgets toward making their home a staycation-worthy retreat. In theory, vacations are relaxing and after a few smart decorating tweaks that cater to your senses, you can transform your abode into a tranquil retreat.

Most would agree that there’s something instantly relaxing about walking into a pristine hotel suite free of clutter. To create the same experience at home, you’ll want to address clutter first. Start by placing baskets at every entryway for shoes, and trays and hampers where messes collect.

You can also create a calm and serene environment by layering lighting throughout the space. Use floor and table lamps with neutral color shades, like white or beige, to evoke a sense of calmness. Next, consider the flow of the room, and rearrange furniture to create symmetry. The room will look and feel calmer because there are fewer pieces and objects to focus on. Lastly, Introduce accents in calm colors.

Opt for accent pieces like lamps, trays, and decorative objects in mellow shades of blue, green, lavender, or beige, or earth tones such as dusty yellow.  Carry those vacation-vibes into your bathroom with some of the top upgrades for 2021.

5). Contemporary easy-clean bathroom designs  

With 2020 came sheltering in place and, with it, a heightened awareness of the cleanliness of our homes. As hygiene continues to be top of mind, particularly in high-traffic environments like bathrooms, expect to see interiors with easy-to-clean surfaces and antimicrobial fixtures. 2021 bath trends include these items without sacrificing style.

Once seen as a futuristic and costly luxury, smart toilets and bidets are finding a prominent place in the post-pandemic home, according to the NKBA 2021 design trends report. Smart toilets have hands-free components, like self-closing lids and touch-free flushing, which reduce interactions with germy surfaces. Smart toilets eliminate the nooks and exposed plumbing of more traditional models, making cleaning the exterior easier as well.

Quartz dominated all other materials in the NKBA report, in which 74% of designers picked it as the top countertop material for the bathroom. Quartz countertops like Silestone easily keep up with the frequent cleaning that’s part of the new normal. Plus, quartz surfacing is non-porous and inherently less susceptible to harboring bacteria, an important trait in a damp environment. In line with today’s contemporary-leaning bath designs, these countertops have sleek profiles with few seams, which adds to their low-maintenance appeal.

6). Inviting outdoor living spaces  

Enhanced seating and outdoor comforts are both strong trends for 2021. The pandemic has elevated the importance of having private space just beyond your own doors.  According to a National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) membership survey (NKBA looks at outdoor spaces, as well as indoor ones, and tracks trends for both categories), outdoor kitchens were the top project. Next were patios and decks. Screened porches and three-season rooms rounded out the top three.

The most requested features for enhanced outdoor living are expanded seating, fireplaces and firepits, and weather protection. When asked where residents prefer to set up their home offices, one of the most popular choices was at the back of the house with direct access to the yard or patio. Homeowners want to work with an outdoor connection. According to Houzz trend reports, pergolas have become a quick and affordable solution for homeowners looking to extend their usable living space outdoors.

Pergolas provide adequate shade for dining, lounging, and other outdoor fun and relaxation. Privacy is also an increasing priority. With the pandemic driving residents outdoors to exercise, meditate, rest, or recuperate, it’s a bigger issue than in the past. “The more private the spaces, the more desirable they are for homebuyers,” the report notes.

Are you contemplating a remodel? Preparing to put your Farmington Hills MI home on the market? Want to find out how upgrades could impact the value of your home? 

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam  

With over two decades of real estate experience working with buyers and sellers, Tom Gilliam provides the kind of knowledge, skills, commitment, and personalized service you need and deserve. Tom understands that selling a home is a huge financial and life decision and that you are looking for an agent you can trust to sell your home for top dollar. 

Tom will first visit your home and assess it in detail to provide an approximate valuation based on the age and condition of the home as well as nearby sales comparison data. Tom partners with some of the best professional home stagers in the area and will offer suggestions for preparing your home accordingly and make it available for showings. 

Tom will create a competitive marketing strategy that exposes your home to the public and other real estate agents through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on. Your listing will appear on all the most popular real estate sites where buyers spend hours a day looking at such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, REMAX, Redfin, and dozens of others. Your home will also be featured on Tom’s own highly-trafficked website homes2moveyou.com.

As your agent, Tom will hold open houses, communicate with prospective buyers, negotiate offers, and put out any fires that might erupt along the way. You can be assured that he will do whatever it takes to get your home sold quickly for top dollar. With an agent like Tom, the experience of selling your home is a very personalized and pleasant one.

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Farmington Hills MI real estate, please give Tom a call at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

 

 

 

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12 Tips for Getting Your Oakland County MI House Ready to Sell

12 Tips for Getting Your Oakland County MI House Ready to Sell

12 Tips for Getting Your Oakland County MI House Ready to Sell

If you are getting ready to sell your Oakland County MI home, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Selling a home involves a whole lot more than just planting a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn or uploading a few interior/exterior photos of your house. Real estate agents are experts when it comes to what makes homes sell. They can do a walkthrough of your home and point out changes you need to make to attract buyers and get the best offers. 

REALTORS® can see flaws you are oblivious to because you see them every day or you simply don’t view them as flaws. They can also help you determine which feedback from potential buyers you should act on after you put your home on the market to improve its chances of selling. Anyone who’s determined to sell their own home should hire a professional cleaning service to give it a deep cleaning before putting it on the market. Sellers should also consider hiring a home stager to assess the current condition and market appeal of the home.  

Here are a few tips to help you get ready to sell your Oakland County MI home fast and for top dollar:

1). Find a qualified Oakland County MI real estate agent

You might be tempted to avoid a real estate agent, save the commission, and just sell your home on your own, also known as “for sale by owner” (FSBO). However, in most cases, the risks of going it alone outweigh the benefits. Risks include having fewer potential buyers, not knowing how to negotiate like a pro, not having enough free time to market your home, and not having the expertise to navigate all of the legal and regulatory requirements that come with selling a property.  

Oakland County MI Real estate agents who have worked with many home sellers can identify the to-do’s that sellers typically overlook. There’s also the fact that professional real estate agents network know other REALTORS®. Often times an agent will post their listing on social media, and because of their network of real estate agents, it reaches the right audience who in turn shares that information with the buyers they are working with. 

Do some research to find a REALTOR® in Oakland County MI with knowledge of the local market and make sure the agent you choose is a good fit. You want an agent you are going to feel comfortable working with and one you can trust to sell your home fast and for top dollar. When interviewing a listing agent, be sure to ask about their experience in your neighborhood, connections to potential buyers, and social media expertise.

The Realtor® you choose should be able to give you a comprehensive plan for how they are going to sell your home. Don’t be afraid to speak with a few agents before picking one to work with.

2). Research your local housing market

First and foremost, make sure to do your homework on the value of your home. Start by researching the local housing market through Realtor.com. Take a look at comparable sales in your neighborhood to figure out the appropriate listing price for your home. Pay attention to the various comps’ square footage, features, and location. 

Finally, think about how they compare to your home. For example, your neighbor’s home may have sold for $1 million, but if your home is considerably smaller, you’ll most likely need to list your house for less. Of course, a reputable real estate agent should be able to assist with finding comps and determining the right listing price for your house.

3). Amp up your home’s curb appeal  

Curb appeal is both an art and a science. And since it’s a buyer’s first impression of your home, it can be absolutely essential for getting your home sold. Curb appeal will improve how your home looks to buyers as they pull up and park or drive by. That includes your driveway to the potted plants on your porch to the welcome mat at your front door. 

By investing in some relatively easy fixes such as replacing an old mailbox, planting colorful flowers, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, sprucing up lawn furniture with some new cushions, and repainting your front door, the outside of your house will encourage prospective buyers to take the next step and arrange for a tour inside. 

There is also the stuff you don’t necessarily want prospective buyers to see such as garbage cans,  recycling containers, compost bins, jumbled hoses, garden tools, bicycles, and toys strewn all over the lawn. You want to be sure the outside of your home is neat and tidy because it says  ‘well-maintained’ to potential buyers. 

If you’re not sure how to improve your home’s curb appeal, ask your Oakland County MI real estate agent for advice on how others in your area have improved the exterior of their homes before selling.   

4). Depersonalize your home  

Depersonalizing it is an important step when preparing your house for sale. Your home is likely filled with many personal items that are unique, special, and important to you and your family. However, to prepare your house to sell, you’ll want to remove your personality so that potential buyers can visualize themselves actually living in the space. 

Make it as easy as possible for them by removing personal items and family photos, as well as bold artwork and furniture that might make the home less appealing to the general public. Dozens of antique plates, figurines, ball caps, or beer bottles lining shelves are distracting, especially in online photos. Get those things packed away. The added benefit of depersonalizing is that it’s a good start to decluttering. The goal is to create a blank canvas on which buyers can project their own visions of happily living in the space.  

5). Declutter every area of your home

Before you can successfully show off your house to anyone (or even take listing photos) you need to ensure you have a home that people would want to live in. When getting your house ready to show, less is definitely more. And since potential buyers like to see everything, that means no area of your home (not even your utility closet) is off-limits from the gaze of a serious house hunter.  

Clean off countertops, windowsills, tables, shelving, and all other visible areas. Next, you will want to tackle behind closed doors, closets, drawers, and cupboards. Take your excess stuff and donate it, or pack it up to be stored somewhere else. Not only will clearing the clutter help make your house look more appealing to potential buyers, but it will also help you once you’ve accepted an offer and it’s time to pack up and move to your new abode.  

6). Give your home a deep clean   

When selling your Oakland County MI home, it’s important to keep everything clean and tidy. You never know when a buyer might want to schedule a last-minute tour. First impressions mean everything, so don’t let dirty floors, dusty surfaces, and dingy carpet make a bad one on a potential buyer. Before listing your home, you want every square inch to shine, from the baseboards to the corners of your ceilings and everywhere in between.  

This means wiping down surfaces, cleaning toilets, mopping floors, washing windows, dusting ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, and rafters, cleaning rugs, etc. Remember to take special care with the bathrooms, making sure the tile, counters, toilet, shower, and floors shine. Whether you do the cleaning yourself or hire a professional house cleaning service, you want your home is pristine clean at all times, especially for those last-minute showings.

7). Repaint the walls to neutral colors

You might love that purple accent wall in your foyer, but if a potential buyer isn’t into purple, it could be a turnoff. According to Home Advisor, the best paint colors for selling your home are neutral colors and earthy tones. This means warm beige, light gray, off-white verging on yellow and white.

Ask yourself these questions while selecting paint colors: 

  • Does it feel warm and inviting?
  • Does it feel cold or boring?
  • Can you see the previous color underneath?

Fortunately, there are many neutral colors that make your home feel warm. For example, try greige, which is a warm shade of gray that’s closer to beige than it is to blue. Neutral colors are also versatile. You can place any color couch into a white living room wall and any color table and chairs to a beige kitchen interior. For your kitchen, choose light blue or gray paint. 

Research shows that homes with this color kitchen sold for almost $2,000 more than homes with white-walled kitchens, according to Home Advisor. If you’re looking for a professional paint job, you might need to know the cost to hire a painter to see what works with your budget. The average cost to paint a house is between $960 and $2,750.  Also, when you paint your home’s whole interior the same neutral tone, you save money because you can buy in bulk.

Keep in mind that during an open house, homebuyers can more easily imagine their decor in a neutral room than a chartreuse room they would have to repaint.  You want to help buyers picture themselves in the house because if they don’t feel at home, they’ll probably look at other real estate options.

8). Make sure big-ticket items are in working condition

Unless you are selling your home in as-is condition or to a buyer who is planning to gut it, you will want to make sure any big-ticket items are in good working condition. Consider getting a home inspection done to help guide you where you should spend money or be able to factor that into the price and be aware of any big issues during negotiations. 

If you take care of the improvements, you may be able to ask a higher price for the home, covering the cost of the upgrades with your list price and making it attractive to a broader group of buyers. Tackling problem areas now will also help you avoid post-inspection price reductions. 

These are the most common big-ticket items, including some that buyers and their inspectors could flag as safety issues:

  • Replacing the roof
  • Updating the electrical panel
  • Installing a new water heater
  • Addressing termite, mold, or water damage
  • Repairing pipes, sewer connection, or septic system
  • Updating the HVAC system

9). Fix and repair everything and anything that needs it

Along with big-ticket items, make sure anything and everything that needs to be fixed (locks, hardware, cracks in the walls, scuff marks, missing light bulbs, loose handles, squeaky doors, etc.) has been taken care of before listing your home. Otherwise, It may make buyers think your home hasn’t been well taken care of and stop to think what else could be wrong with it.

Beyond any critical updates, think about the following easy things to do before selling your house. Many of these items can be tackled over a weekend before putting your house on the market.

  • Caulking in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Improving lighting by adding fixtures or replacing bulbs
  • Having the carpets professionally cleaned
  • Paint touch-ups 
  • Painting the baseboards

Selling almost any home can be tricky, but selling a home with lots of little problems and small repair needs can be downright difficult. With a home that is fixed up and move-in ready, you’re more likely to see more interest in your home and may even see multiple offers. 

10). Give your home the sniff test  

As you get your Oakland County MI home ready to sell, keep in mind that the visual appeal of your home is not the only thing to be considered. Foul odors, even slight ones, can be a deal-breaker, and the problem is that you might not even notice them.

Overwhelming odors can be off-putting to buyers at best, and leave a negative impression, at worst. You want to make sure that your house passes the sniff-test. 

Here are the places in your home that typically need attention:

  • Closets. Odors tend to build up in closets because they stay closed.
  • Bathrooms. Besides the obvious odors, mildew on surfaces and towels can be either subtle or strong.
  • Bedrooms. Dirty clothes, bed linens, carpet, and musty drapes can cause odors.
  • Kitchens. Onions, garlic, and strong spices can linger in the air from last night’s dinner. Garbage disposals and kitchen trash cans can also add unpleasant odors to the mix. 
  • Basements. Basements often not have the same airflow that the main floor rooms have, and musty odors can build up.
  • Pet smells. It is common to get used to pet smells and forget that buyers will immediately notice the lingering smell of pets.
  • Trash receptacles. Probably the worst odor culprit of them all.

To solve those unpleasant odors in your home, natural solutions like baking soda are the best, which absorbs the odors from the air. You can use absorbent air fresheners in closets to absorb stale odors in the air and place them inside gym shoes that can build up odors. Use a dehumidifier in the basement to keep that musty smell away and also open windows periodically to get fresh air circulating throughout the space.

If you’re going to use strong-smelling cleaners like bleach, make sure to clean the night before so the odors are not overpowering to potential buyers. Be sure to place pet beds and items outside or in a garage before a showing, and keep a neutralizing spray on hand to spray on furniture, carpets, or any place where your pet has been. Take the trash out before a showing. It’s a good idea to remove all trash receptacles. 

We often get used to the odors in our living spaces so it helps to have a friend or family member that does not live with us (and who will be brutally honest) to give the home the sniff test.  

11). Consider professional home staging

Consider getting your home staged by a professional home stager. Home staging is a method of decorating meant to highlight your house’s most impressive assets and help buyers imagine themselves living there.  Home stagers will evaluate the current condition and belongings in your home and determine what elements to add or take out that might raise the bar. 

According to a staging report by the National Association of Realtors, 49% of buyers’ agents believe that home staging has an effect on how a buyer views the home, with 77% saying that it makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their own. On the seller’s agent side, 21% said that home staging increases the value of a home between 6% and 10%, and 39% note that it greatly decreases the total amount of time a home is on the market. 

With so much to gain, it makes sense for sellers to stage their home, and fortunately, many of the best staging tips don’t require spending a lot of money. Professional stages know the real estate market, and what sells, so it’s important to take their advice and not take offense when they make big changes. Their job is to help drum up interest from potential buyers, which is always good news to the seller.

12). Hire a professional photographer

In 2021, everyone is looking at images and videos online to make decisions. Professional real estate photography and real estate video tours can help sell your home faster. Given that many potential buyers search for homes online, it’s crucial to include high quality, professional photos in your online listing. 

According to a recent study, professional real estate photography can earn you between $1,000 and $100,000 more on your final sales price. In addition, better quality photos can also increase the number of people clicking on your listing. This means that simply updating your listing with professional photos can potentially double the attention your home gets from potential buyers. 

Professional photographers understand the essential elements that make up quality home images. Furnished rooms and spectacularly staged photos attract homebuyers by helping them envision their new life in your home. Few pictures are automatically perfect. Instead, they require careful post-production editing to enhance the final product.

Before putting your home on the market, hire a professional photographer to snap photos or create an impressive video tour of your clean and staged abode. Your Oakland County MI real estate agent should be able to help with finding a professional real estate photographer, so be sure to ask who they use when interviewing real estate agents to work with.

Partner with award-winning Oakland County MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted Oakland County MI REALTOR® in Oakland County MI for the past 20 years- offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that selling your home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust to get you top dollar.

Tom employs the latest technology to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible. He also partners with the most talented home stagers and real estate photographers/videographers to ensure that your home’s features are optimally showcased.

Tom will create a competitive marketing strategy that exposes your home to the public along with other real estate agents through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on. Your listing will appear on all the most popular real estate sites where buyers spend hours a day looking at such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, REMAX, Redfin, and dozens of others. Your home will also be featured on Tom’s own highly-trafficked website homes2moveyou.com.

As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to get your home sold fast for the best price. Feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch with him by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578

Planning on Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Things You Can Do Now To Prepare 

Planning on Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Things You Can Do Now To Prepare 

Planning on Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Things You Can Do Now To Prepare  – Buying a home in Farmington Hills MI is a major accomplishment. It’s an opportunity to put down roots and build equity. That being said, the housing market has become more competitive, with national inventory down almost 30 percent. This is especially true when it comes to mid-priced, affordable houses. So, the sooner you start preparing to buy a house, the easier it will be to beat the competition. 

If you are in the early stages of buying a home, here are a few important steps you can take right now to prepare:

Check Your Credit

Once you have made the decision to buy a home in Farmington Hills MI, the first step is to request a credit report from all three credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). Your credit will determine whether or not you are eligible for a mortgage and also influences your mortgage rate. 

Most mortgage programs require a minimum credit score of 580 – 620. You will want to also check your report for accuracy and dispute any errors, especially negative errors that decrease your score A free copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies is available every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com.  

Figure Out Your Debt-to-Income (DTI)

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) plays a big role in whether you are able to qualify for a mortgage. It’s the percentage of your income that goes toward paying your monthly debts and helps lenders decide how much you can afford to borrow. DTI is as important as your credit score and job stability, if not more so. 

Most lenders prefer a DTI that’s no higher than 36%, depending on the mortgage program. DTI sometimes leaves out monthly expenses such as food, utilities, transportation costs, and health insurance, among other items. Lenders may not consider these expenses and may approve you to borrow more than you’re comfortable paying. So keep these additional obligations in mind as you evaluate how much you’re willing to pay each month.

You can improve your DTI by paying off as much debt as possible (credit cards, car loans, student loans, and other loans) before applying for a mortgage. Some lenders will allow a higher DTI, but only when a borrower has “compensating factors” such as a high credit score or a large cash reserve.  You don’t have to be debt-free to buy a home, but the less debt you have can mean more purchasing power.

Determine Your Budget

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a home before asking yourself the most important question, “How much house can I afford? Before meeting with a mortgage lender, use one of the many online mortgage calculators to estimate affordability. For example, let’s say that your total monthly take-home pay is $5,000.

Multiply it by 25% to get your maximum mortgage payment. If you earn $5,000 a month, that means your monthly house payment should be no more than $1,250. Sticking with an income of $5,000 a month, you could afford the options below on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: 

  • $187,767 home with a 10% down payment ($18,777)
  • $211,238 home with a 20% down payment ($42,248)
  • $241,415 home with a 30% down payment ($72,424)
  • $281,650 home with a 40% down payment ($112,660)

Keep in mind that this is just a ballpark and don’t forget items like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Once you know what you are likely to afford, you can then estimate how much to save for your down payment and closing costs.  

Save Money

First, know how much down payment you’ll need. The majority of mortgage programs require a down payment ranging from a minimum of 3% to 5% for a conventional loan, and a minimum of 3.5% for an FHA home loan. So, if you pay $200,000 for a house, you will need a minimum of $6,000 to $10,000 for your down payment. A down payment is not required with VA and USDA loans.   

Typically, you will need to put down at least 20% to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance,  which protects the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan. You are also responsible for closing costs, which are an estimated 2% to 5% of the loan amount (or $4,000-$10,000 on a $200K loan).

If you are having trouble saving for a downpayment, every state has first-time home buyer down payment assistance programs (DPAs) as well as tax credits and help with closing costs. These programs are often run by Housing Finance Agencies or through grants issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

Gift money from relatives or friends can also provide help for downpayment and closing costs. but it must be an outright gift and not a loan. The rules for gift money vary, depending on the loan program. In many cases, there’s no limit on the amount of gift money that can go into a down payment, as long as the buyer is purchasing a primary residence. 

Research Different Loan Programs

Even though your mortgage lender will discuss different home loan programs with you, it is always a good idea to do your own research before meeting with a lender. Once you are ready to buy, the process will be moving fast and you might not feel like you have time to explore financing options. 

No two home buyers are alike, so the best loan program for one buyer is likely unsuitable to another. It’s up to you to ask these and other questions:

  • Which loan has the lowest monthly payment?
  • What option requires the least amount upfront?
  • Which loan type is suitable for my credit score?
  • What will cost me less over time?
  • How does my income affect the products for which I’m eligible?

If you settle for the first loan that your lender offers, you might miss out on lower rates or a more affordable loan program. Knowledge will help you make the most informed choice and get the best loan for your particular situation.   

The Takeaway

Buying your first home in Farmington Hills MI is very exciting, but there’s a lot to think about before you start house hunting. Start by getting all your finances in order, managing your credit score, and comparing mortgage programs. 

Partner with Experienced Farmington Hills MI REALTOR®- Tom Gilliam

2020 Best of Farmington Hills REALTOR - Tom GilliamWhether you are interested in buying a home in Farmington Hills, MI, or its time to list your current property, experience matters most in a changing market.

With over 20 years of local experience, Farmington Hills REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam is very familiar with the local market and has access to the most up-to-date listings. Known for his professionalism and care for every detail, Tom is also an expert at uncovering the perfect home for his clients’ lifestyle needs in the right neighborhood. 

Search Farmington Hill MI homes for sale

For sellers, Tom will create a comprehensive marketing plan that exposes your home to the public as well as to other real estate agents through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on.

Your listing will appear on all the most popular real estate sites where buyers spend hours a day looking at homes such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, REMAX, Redfin, and dozens of others. Your home will also be featured on Tom’s own highly-trafficked website Homes2moveyou.com. You can be assured that your property will get sold quickly and for the highest market price.  

Tom works very hard for his clients. He will protect your interests, advocate for you, and be your trusted guide and advisor throughout the home buying or selling process. If you or someone you know is interested in real estate in Farmington Hills MI, please give Tom Gilliam a call at (248) 790-5594 or you can reach him here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic 
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578

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