Flooding Isn’t Fun—Take These Steps to Protect Your Home

Flooding Isn’t Fun—Take These Steps to Protect Your Home

With the record amounts of rainfall flooding  has been occurring in and around the Farmington Hills, Novi Mi areas and has been a challenge to many home owners. These steps provide insights on how better to protect your home.—whether it’s from a tropical storm, burst pipe, or overflowing bathtub—can cause serious damage to your property. And if you don’t want to deal with excess water damage (and all the costs that go along with it), it’s important to do everything you can to protect your home from floods.

recent article featured in REALTOR® Magazine outlined a few key steps homeowners can take to protect their homes from flooding, including:

  • Purchase flood sensors… Flood sensors alert you when water is present when it shouldn’t be—and placing them strategically around your home, in areas that are prone to flooding (for example, in the basement or bathrooms) can help protect your home.
  • …and an automatic shut-off valve. Flood sensors will let you know when flooding is happening. But if you’re not there to stop it, there’s not much you can do. An automatic shut-off valve can turn off your main water line any time a flood sensor is triggered—which can add an extra layer of floor protection to your property.
  • Invest in flood insurance. You can do everything you can to prevent a flood, but in case a flood does happen, you want to make sure your property is protected. Homeowner’s insurance policies typically don’t cover floods—so make sure to purchase an additional flood insurance policy.
Moving House 101: Helpful Tips for Making it Less Stressful

Moving House 101: Helpful Tips for Making it Less Stressful

Moving House 101: Helpful Tips for Making it Less Stressful

Whether you are moving out of the country, to another city, or five miles down the road, moving house takes time, effort, and is stressful.  A recent survey conducted by OnePoll found that 45% of respondents say moving is by far the most stressful event in life, followed by going through a breakup or divorce (44%), and getting married (33%). In this article, we are going to discuss the ways you can get ready and organized and tackle your move like a champion!

Get organized and plan ahead 

Moving is a big endeavor, with a lot of steps, so you need to get ready organized, and plan ahead. Start by making a schedule and checklist so you don’t forget anything. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:  

  • Create a moving folder (physical file or an electronic file) for all of your move-related documentation, receipts,  estimates, important documents, and notes.  
  • Create a budget for your move. Before you begin researching companies and quotes, determine how much you want to budget for your move and then estimate the costs/expenses that fit within your budget.
  • Create a move calendar to help you keep track of important dates such as move-out and move-in dates, packing schedule, closing date (if buying a home), lease termination date (if renting), travel dates, and other deadlines.

Stock up on moving supplies

You are going to need moving boxes of all sizes, packing paper, bubble wrap, packaging tape, Sharpie permanent markers, sticker labels, scissors, box cutters, trash bags, blankets (to protect furniture, mirrors, and TV), felt pads (to protect floors while moving large furniture), and plastic bins (if you plan to reuse them for storage).

If at all possible, start packing up items that you won’t be needing for the next month or so. Packing ahead is a lot less stressful than trying to get it all done at once or under a time constraint. 

Get rid of stuff    

The last thing you want to do is spend your time and energy packing and moving items you don’t actually want or need. Instead, lighten your workload by going through everything in your home and decide if it’s actually worth hanging on to or whether to donate or dump it.

Start with one room at a time. Although packing and sorting through a life’s worth of belongings and parting with possessions can be difficult for a lot of people, moving is the perfect opportunity to get rid of excess stuff that’s only taking up space and bogging you down.

Create a labeling system

Before you start writing on boxes, come up with a plan for how you are going to label them. If you are super-organized, you might even want to number your boxes and make a corresponding list of contents for each numbered box for easy access on the other side. This will save you a lot of time searching for specific items in the weeks after your move. You may even want to take photos of your items for your inventory. 

Start the process early

Leaving all of the packing, cleaning, and moving details until the last minute will likely multiply your stress tenfold. Some aspects of your move, like decluttering, can be done weeks or even months ahead of time. Others, like packing, can be done slowly over a few weeks, leaving only the essential tasks until the last minute.

Pack your belongings

Consider items you’ll need for the first night in your new place and pack those items together such as bedding, shower curtains, coffeemaker, clothes, snacks, laundry detergent, dish detergent, and toiletries. Make sure you understand how to pack items like lamps, vacuums, and small appliances such as blenders, microwaves, TVs, and computer equipment. Make sure to note if the contents inside are “fragile” or heavy. 

Pay attention to the weight of your boxes. If you make them too heavy, they become difficult to move and are susceptible to breaking. If you don’t fill them completely, fragile items can bounce around and break. It’s also a good idea to pull aside all your valuables that you don’t want to pack.

These will go with you in your vehicle, in the truck cab, or on the plane. Belongings to take with you include legal documents, family heirlooms, and other precious items you hold dear.

Don’t pack these items with other belongings 

Some items can be hazardous during the moving process, so it is best to move them separately or dispose of them before the move. For example, tools, painting equipment, and cleaning chemicals should be packed together in clearly marked boxes. You may want to use plastic totes to prevent leaks.

Pack bottles and medications together and keep them separate from other belongings. Other items to pack separately include fire extinguishers, ammonia, paint thinner, varnishes, heating agents like propane and Sterno, and auto batteries.

Plan to disconnect and connect

You will need to schedule a cut-off date for your current utility services such as electric, gas, water, internet, cable, trash, and others before you go. Plan to call about a week ahead of your move and schedule the disconnections for the day after you move just in case something unexpected comes up. You will want to provide notice and cancel local memberships like fitness organizations (gym, yoga), business associations, social clubs, etc. as well.

You will also need to research utility services for your new location, make any required down payments or security deposits, and schedule a start-date, preferably a day or so before you move in. 

Hire a professional cleaning service

Having to thoroughly clean your home on top of everything else on your to-do list, might just be the tipping point that sends you over the edge. If your budget allows, why not hire a professional cleaning service to do the move-out clean for you. After all, they are experts at efficiency and will clean places in your home that you may forget to clean or that haven’t been cleaned for years.  

Say goodbye 

Saying goodbye to your friends, family members, favorite places, and your old home can be difficult, but it’s also an important step in moving on. If you’re moving far away and it’s possible that you won’t see a lot of these people or places again, take the time to give an earnest goodbye. Let your last memories of your old home be good ones.

Be prepared come launch day

There are some necessities you are going to need easy access to on moving day, like toilet paper, paper towels, markers, scissors, disinfectant wipes, misc. cleaning supplies, the vacuum, kids’ toys (if you have any), your pet’s water bowl, energy snacks, and water bottles to get you through the day.  

Final words

I think we can all safely agree that moving is never an easy task, but if you can keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to get through it like a boss and with a lot less stress!

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

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Oakland MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to both home buyers and sellers. 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, he will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and guide you towards a smooth and successful transaction.   

Whether you are ready to buy a home in Oakland County MI or its time to list your your current property, 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 

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Why You Need A REALTOR®

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Why You Need A REALTOR®

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills, MI? Why You Need A REALTOR®

If you are thinking about buying a home in Farmington Hills, MI, you will want to consider hiring a professional real estate agent to help you through one of life’s largest financial transactions. A Farmington Hills MI REALTOR®’s job is to match you with a home that fits your lifestyle needs and budget and also help you with making an offer, negotiations, the home inspection, and closing on your new place.

Some buyers may hesitate to use a professional real estate agent because they don’t want to pay the agent’s commission fee. That being said, it’s actually the seller that is responsible for paying the commission fee and not the buyer, which are typically about 5 to 6 percent of the home’s purchase price and split between the listing agent and buyer’s agent. 

Search Farmington Hill MI Homes for Sale

A Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® is a professional who works on your behalf and advocates for your interests. Because most sellers will have seller representation, you also want someone that has your back to represent you.

What You Will be Responsible for Without a Farmington Hill MI REALTOR® 

If you should decide not to hire a professional Farmington Hills MI real estate agent, you will be responsible for the following: 

1). You will have to uncover homes in the neighborhood or area you want to live in that match your budget and lifestyle needs. Although the many property search sites online can give you a sampling of what homes are currently available, you will have to research whether a seller’s asking price is justified based on comparable home sales in the area. 

Realtors also have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A real estate agent can help you find those hidden gems. A local REALTOR® is also going to know the search area probably better than you ever could.

2). You will have to research information and important facts on a neighborhood, including those that a seller may choose not to disclose that could be important to you.  Researching local trends, market values, and other vital info can be daunting.

A real estate agent is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood. They’ll be able to tell you all about the school districts, zoning codes, the types of homes offered, and where to find everyday needs.

3). You will have to negotiate an offer, including the price and other clauses and contingencies in the purchase agreement. Any time you buy or sell a home, you’re going to encounter negotiations, which can easily get a little heated. Don’t you want a savvy professional negotiator on your side to get the best deal for you?

4). You will have to navigate the home inspection and negotiate repairs or credits with the seller. A REALTOR® will help draw up a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that’s crucial to your particular needs.

5). You will have to sort through complex paperwork filled with real estate terms you might not understand. Real estate has its own language. It’s full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon. A skilled real estate agent has been through all the paperwork before and actually knows what it means.

Questions? Concerns? Confused? An agent can clarify all the clauses, contingencies, and jargon-filled fine print as well as find hidden fees and conditions that you might have skimmed over.

Your Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® Will Run A Comparable Sales Analysis

One of the main tasks a REALTOR® will perform for you is a comparable sales analysis (also known as “comps”) of homes that are similar in size, condition, and age to the property you are interested in purchasing. 

Your Farmington Hills MI real estate agent will evaluate the prices of homes that are currently on the market and those that have sold in recent months to determine whether a seller’s asking price is in line with market data. Without this critical market data, you could easily end up overpaying for a home. 

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts that go into purchasing a home. Hiring an experienced and skilled Farmington Hill MI real REALTOR® like Tom Gilliam can save you time, money, and possible headaches down the road.  

Partner With Top-rated Farmington Hills MI Real Estate Agent – Tom Gilliam

2020 Best of Farmington Hills REALTOR - Tom GilliamTop-rated Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam has over 20 years of local experience and provides the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service you need and deserve when buying a home.

With access to the most up-to-date listings in Farmington Hills and surrounding Oakland County, Tom can help you explore your options and find your dream home. 

As your personal agent, Tom will protect your interests, negotiate on your behalf, advocate for you, and go the extra mile to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. 


Search Farmington Hill MI Homes for Sale

If you or someone you know is interested in buying a home in Farmington Hills or Oakland County, MI, please give Tom Gilliam a call today at (248) 790-5594

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

Selling Your Home Safely During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Selling Your Home Safely During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought much of the country to a screeching halt. But, just because people are stuck at home doesn’t mean your home sale has to come to a screeching halt, too. You can sell your home in the midst of this challenging time—as long as you’re safe.

Now more than ever, it’s important for home sellers to be flexible with shifting market dynamics. While some sellers are deciding to pull their homes off the market during the COVID-19 crisis and try to sell at a later date, that may not be an option for everyone.

If you are planning to move forward with selling your Farmington Hills home during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some things you can do differently during this current market while keeping everyone involved as safe and healthy as possible

recent article from realtor.com outlined steps homeowners should take to sell their home safely during the COVID-19 crisis, including:


  • Embrace virtual showings. You don’t need a bunch of potential buyers walking in and out of your house; it’s not safe for you or them. Instead, have your real estate agent vet buyers and give them virtual tours of your home.


  • Practice safety measures for in-person showings. If your real estate agent has a buyer who they’ve vetted and is extremely interested in the property, they may want to see your home in person. Before you allow anyone in your home, make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces to protect potential buyers—and then make sure to do the same after the in-person tour to protect yourself and your family.


  • If possible, close remotely. Many states have remote notaries and many lenders offer fully virtual closings. Do your research and see if you can close your home sale remotely to avoid any unnecessary contact.

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way people buy and sell homes. But with the right safety measures, there’s no reason it has to derail your home sale!

To find out more about buying or selling Farmington Hills real estate, please contact Tom today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: [email protected]
License #301741

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected life across the globe. Strict social distancing measures, school closures, and, in many locales, a ban on all non-essential businesses have turned people’s lives upside down and thrust us into a surreal existence where we’re spending nearly all of our time at home.

From a real estate perspective, it would be disingenuous to say that nothing has changed. Great agents are honest at all times, even (especially) when it’s difficult.

That said, there’s no indication that we’re in (or headed toward) a housing crisis like the once-in-a-century 2008 collapse. And, by all accounts, the fundamentals of the housing market remain in place, despite the safety precautions enforced by health and government officials.

The following list may help you better understand what’s changed and what hasn’t in the world of real estate:

What’s changed:

1. Access to showings

In many places, the process of showing a home has changed. Some states have put limits on the number of people allowed to gather in one place, which has impacted open houses. Additionally, sellers, buyers, and agents are taking more precautions to keep themselves safe, with more cleaning, access to protective gear, and enforced distancing measures becoming the norm. Digital-only showings are also growing in popularity, although they’re still relatively new. Despite all this, if there’s a home you’re interested in seeing, it’s still possible to make it happen.

2. The closing process

Much of the work that needs to be done between going under contract to sell or buy a house and the closing can be done remotely and electronically. But there are many things that need to be done by many people throughout the process. From the mortgage, to the title work, to inspections and appraisals, getting to the closing table depends upon a lot of people doing their job. Social distancing and working entirely remotely has a certain learning curve while everyone involved figures out how to get their end of things done. So, the process may take at least a little longer, and change as everyone figures out the best way to handle things. The upshot to this is that it could create better, more efficient ways of doing things moving forward.

3. Some mortgage products

Perhaps the most impactful changes in the real estate industry are happening in the mortgage market. The conditions on certain products are being tightened, and some lenders are temporarily exiting the market altogether. Jumbo loans (a type of financing where the loan amount is higher than the conforming loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency) seem to be feeling the most impact, while conventional loans, which are considered less risky, have been less affected. If you have questions about getting pre-approved, you should contact a mortgage professional who can help you better understand your options.

What hasn’t changed:

1. People’s dreams

Even when the whole world comes to a stop, our hearts and minds do not. We all have dreams, whether it’s owning a fabulous condo in the city, a sprawling victorian with a rolling lawn, or a starter home that we can finally call our own. A pandemic doesn’t change that, even though it can help put things in perspective and remind us of what matters most. But don’t let the strange times we’re in stop you from daydreaming and working toward those dreams. A pandemic is temporary; our hopes are not.

2. Housing demand

There’s been a well-documented housing shortage for years, and there’s no indication that the fundamentals have yet changed. That said, every real estate market is unique, and what holds true on a macro-level may not hold true in your local area. Regardless of the specific market and overall demand in your area, people always need homes, despite a pandemic. So, if you want to sell, there’s likely a buyer for your home. And if you want to buy, there’s likely a seller who’d love to sell.

3. Our desire to help

Most agents eat, breathe, and sleep real estate, and aside from looking out for our loved ones and wishing for a healthy and safe resolution to this mess, that hasn’t changed. We want to help you with your real estate needs because we’re passionate about what we do, and it’s likely that our newfound home-time has coincided with a lot more real estate research than it has with cleaning or learning how to play the guitar.

Realtor-Tom Gilliam is your expert to buy or sell your home in Oakland County, Michigan, the Oakland County community’s number one Realtor. In Oakland County, Michigan, you need to find a Realtor who knows the community.

Tom Gilliam currently lives in the Oakland County Area and is very familiar with the market, neighborhoods, schools and community issues. His office is located into the heart of Farmington Hills, with five additional offices throughout the south east metropolitan area to serve his clients real estate needs

changes in housing since pandemic

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)



Ready To Sell Your Farmington Hills Home? Why You need a REALTOR®. Most folks will agree that selling your home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your lifetime and can be a complex process. Considering the relatively small cost of hiring a qualified Farmington Hills REALTOR® to assist you and the large potential risk of not hiring one, it only makes good sense to hire a professional to get your home sold fast and for the highest market price possible.

A highly-qualified agent like Tom Gilliam, who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, can help you at every stage of the selling process from setting the right asking price to marketing your property to closing the sale.


Typically, the selling process starts with determining a reasonable asking price. Tom knows the Farmington Hills real estate market inside and out. He brings over twenty years of experience to the table and can give you accurate, up-to-date information on what is happening in the local marketplace.

As a licensed, professional REALTOR®, Tom has access to data about recent sales in the area and can help you price your home accordingly. He will protect your investment by making sure you don’t end up giving your home away. Setting the best market price will encourage interested and qualified buyers to consider your home and recognize the market value it represents.


An experienced Farmington Hills real estate agent like Tom can also help you get your house ready for sale, point out housing-code or zoning violations, and suggest improvements to help your house sell faster and for the highest price. Tom can provide referrals of qualified home inspectors and contractors should your home need additional repairs or need to be brought up to code.


Marketing your home includes exposing your property to as many potential buyers as possible as well as other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service and other cooperative marketing networks. Tom knows where and how to advertise your Farmington Hills real estate property online as well as which medium, format, and frequency will work best for your market.

Tom understands that the Internet is the first place the majority of home buyers visit to help them in their home search. Your home will be listed in hundreds of locations all around the Internet and get exposure on all the major sites like Zillow, Homes.com, and Trulia, along with many other sites frequented by home buyers.

Over the years, Tom has built up a vast network of real estate professionals and regularly speaks with other agents. He understands that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways of finding potential buyers. Tom will often set up a special showing of your property and limit it to other agents who will see it with their clients in mind.


When it comes to negotiating your real estate deal, Tom can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing, which can include a lot of potential pitfalls.

Tom can help you write a legally binding agreement that’s a win-win for both parties concerned and that will be more likely to make it through the process. As a highly-skilled Farmington Hills MI REALTOR®, Tom has the training and experience needed to ensure that the sale of your house proceeds smoothly.

Tom works hard to build trusting and long-lasting relationships with his client-family and the number of his clients that are referred to him by previous clients is a testimony of his skills and integrity. He will always put your needs first and will handle the details to make sure your transaction is as stress-free as possible.


Whether you’re interested in Farmington Hills MI homes for sale or it’s time to list your current property, Tom Gilliam provides the kind of knowledge, skills, and personalized service you need and deserve. Tom will take the time to listen to your needs and concerns, keep you informed every step of the way, and will go above and beyond to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

To find out more about buying or selling Farmington Hills MI real estate, please contact Tom directly at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: [email protected]
License #301741

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