Home Warranty Awareness Cost More Than You Realize
A home warranty plan, also known as a home protection plan, is a service contract that offers homeowners in Oakland County, Mi. a way to safeguard themselves against possible breakage or a malfunction within the home. It’s impossible to predict the future, which is why so many buyers look for that little extra peace of mind to comfort them when life unexpectedly throws them an unforeseen problem.
As a Realtor it is sometimes left to you to decide the home warranty that you want the home seller to provide for your buyer. In some cases it is important that you do your homework to determine all of the items that may need coverage such as swimming pool, garage door opener, plumbing and especially the water softener if it is owned by the seller.
The best way to make sure that you negotiate what is covered and what is not is to pay close attention to the private inspection is for you and the home buyer to make sure you attend the private inspection and ask the inspector to note the items like things such as garage door openers and water softeners their age and conditions. In cases of water softeners, as the buyer’s agent you need to ask questions of the seller’s agent to determine if they are owned by the seller or if they are not. If the home owner owns the system then you need to include it in the home warranty.
As you attend you home buyers private inspection make notes an suggest items they may want the home seller to include in the home warranty as this could mean thousands of dollars In repair cost and could also cost you as a Realtor a referral from the new home buyer.
Typically, home warranties cover the repair or replacement of a home’s heating, plumbing, and electrical systems and major built-in appliances. The cost often runs $350-$450, typically with a small deductible for each repair or replacement.
Shop For The Best Coverage
When shopping for home warranty coverage, compare the following:
• Required pre-warranty inspections.
• Coverage for appliances and systems.
• Deductibles and service fees.
• Dollar caps on total or individual replacement/repair costs.
• Limits on number of repair calls.
• Costs, including any initial or inspection charges
Who Needs a Home Warranty Plan?
Basically, anyone who purchases a home and is concerned with the cost of repairs should consider a home warranty plan. This is especially true of first-time home buyers who may not be familiar with home maintenance.
Factoring In the Cost
When factoring in the potential cost of repairing a major appliance or other home component, a home warranty plan may not be a bad investment. The actual cost of warranty coverage will depend on the plan chosen and the items protected. As is the case with everything in life, it’s best to shop around and compare prices.
Who Pays For a Home Warranty Plan?
As a buyer, you can order a home warranty plan in conjunction with the purchase of your home. However, some sellers or builders may include this type of offering as an incentive to attract potential buyers. In this case, the plan is yours at no additional cost. Some Realtor’s may also offer a home warranty plan as a house warming gift to customers who buy a home through their agency.
What’s Covered & What’s Not
Just like a car warranty, no two policies are the same. Coverage varies by location and issuer, and your Realtor can help you to choose a warranty plan that best suits your needs. Most basic plans cover a home’s heating and cooling system, electrical system, plumbing, water heater and major appliances, including a dishwasher, range/oven/cooktop, garbage disposal, etc. Coverage does not apply to items that are misused or damaged, either intentionally or through negligence. Instead, most home warranty plans are designed to protect the homeowner from defects that result during the course of normal wear and tear.
When considering the purchase of a home warranty plan, review the complete contract and familiarize yourself with exactly what’s covered under your policy. If you want an upgraded policy, don’t hesitate to ask your Realtor if one is available. Most companies do not require a home inspection and will notify homeowners when their coverage is about to expire. The good news is that most policies are renewable and I always suggest the home buyer to renew after one year.
What to Do If a Problem Arises
If you are unable to satisfactorily resolve an issue with your home warranty plan, either due to denial of a claim or undesirable service, talk to the Realtor who sold you the home. If he/she refers a lot of business to this particular company, it may be possible for him/her to speak with them about reaching an amicable resolution.
The purchase of a home is a big step and it’s likely to be the largest purchase you will ever make, so be sure to consider all of the options available to help protect yourself from costly repairs. Ask your Realtor for more information relating to available home warranty plans.
Types of Home Warranties
1)Homeowner Warranty: Available to homeowners who are not listing their home for sale or who purchased their home more than 90 days before applying for the warranty. Sometimes these warranties are not in effect until 30 days after they’re purchased.
2)Buyer Conversion Warranty: A home warranty that has been transferred to the buyer that is immediately effective on the day of the closing.
3)Renewal Warranty Contract: A home warranty policy that has been renewed. Most home warranties are effective for one year and are renewable.
4)Seller Home Warranty: A home warranty purchased by a home seller during the time the property is listed. The warranty becomes effective as soon as it’s paid for and covers the property during the listing and a home warranty placed on the home by a prospective home seller at any time during a listing. This plan can be transferred to the buyer at the closing.
5)Buyer Direct Warranty: A home warranty purchased by the buyer or by the buyer’s real estate agent that becomes effective on the day of the closing. The buyer can purchase this type of warranty within 90 days after a closing.
Oakland County First-Time Buyers Condos, Co-ops and Townhomes
Homeownership in Oakland County, Mi can be a great investment that also gives people a sense of stability and control in their lives. Yet, many first-time buyers don’t have the time, interest or budget to handle a home with a yard or maintenance that’s involved. Condominiums, co-operatives and townhomes are three options available to newbie home buyers or downsizers seeking an alternative to single-family dwellings.
Daily life in a townhome, condo or co-op can be less taxing — both in terms of lifestyle and expense. Lacking a yard and living in a multi-unit complex allows owners to spend time away from home without much worry about upkeep or security (if in gated community).
The “lock and leave” lifestyle is especially attractive to working singles and child-free couples and seniors. That may explain why so many builders have invested in condo, co-op and townhome projects in the last numerous years.
Today, these types of properties are more affordable than ever, especially considering today’s interest rates, which remain near historical lows.
Forms Of Ownership
The main difference between a condo, co-op or townhome is how the unit is owned. Both townhomes and condos in Oakland County are owned by the person who lives in the dwelling. That person owns the particular unit and a portion of the common areas, such as courtyards and open green spaces.
In condos, owners typically only own the inside of their unit. (Although many condos are constructed as multi-unit buildings, some condo developments are actually single-family homes, duplexes or quad structures) Condo association fees usually cover all exterior maintenance of the units and common grounds, as well as some services, perhaps even some utilities. The owners of units vote through the condo-owners association to make decisions about the complex.
In a co-op, on the other hand, the “homeowners” do not actually own their units. Rather, they are stockholders in the “co-operative housing project”– a corporation that owns the building that houses all the individual units. A panel or board of directors usually makes decisions about the co-op building as a whole.
In townhomes, owners typically own their entire unit, inside and out, perhaps including a small yard. Homeowner association fees pay for common-area maintenance, and may cover such items as trash-pickup, snow removal, even maintenance of driveways and/or fences, depending on the association. Decisions about the community are governed by the homeowners association, through which owners of each unit have a vote. (Also, “town houses” or “row houses,” “patio homes,” “garden homes.”)
There are plenty of other differences between condos, co-ops and townhomes, such as how tax benefits and expenses pass to the owners. If you are considering buying one of these types of properties as your first home, be sure to:
Questions To Ask
When buying a townhome, condo or co-op, remember that you become a co-investor in with your neighbors. Since you will be bound by the covenants of the homeowners association, you’ll want to know as much as possible about the organization’s requirements and how it is managed. After all, you’ll be contributing to the complex’s maintenance fund on a regular basis.
Here are some issues you should get the answers to before you buy:
How much are association fees? They are likely to change periodically. Find out how often have they been raised in the past and when the last fee increase was.
What percentage of the complex’s current occupants are owners? You may find financing more difficult to get if too many units are serving as rental properties for investors.
What mechanisms does the homeowners association have available to enforce owners’ compliance with rules?
How much money is available in the association’s replacement reserve fund? Are there any planned major expenditures that would drain those reserves?
Have there been any special assessments in the past three to five years? Frequent special assessments may indicate the association’s funds are not managed well enough to cover necessary expenses.
What restrictions would apply to your ownership? Would you be constrained from owning pets, modifying your home or using it in some way you intend?
Are there any changes to the association’s by-laws under consideration?
Video Tutorials to Help You
Oakland County Rentals Could Be Homes
It’s been a long, long debate: Should you rent or buy in Oakland County, MI? That truly is up to the individual to decide, but understandably there are many who cannot get qualified or think they cant and are throwing away money and paying their landlords mortgage every month. I have many friends in Oakland County that spend an incredible amounts of money each month for renting their homes and apartments. For comparison reasons, the Muirwood Apartments boast a 700 Sq Ft Apartment for a whopping $1,035 a month! As a Realtor in Oakland County I cannot understand why someone would pay so much to rent a one bedroom and one bath apartment for that much. Maybe, Just maybe some of them will find this post blog and decide they have much better options out there.
To help make this decision, consider these five questions. (Spoiler Alert: If you answer “yes” to most of these, you’re ready to buy a home.):
Is it expensive to rent in your community? If you’ve noticed rents are rising lately, you aren’t alone. The Associated Press reported in the spring of 2014 that nationwide apartment rents averaged 6% annual increases from 2000 to 2012. And in some markets—such as downtown areas of major cities—rents have soared even higher. If rents in your preferred neighborhood keep rising, it might be time to buy a home, take out a mortgage loan and lock in monthly payments that won’t rise each year.
Do you want to establish roots? Have you found the perfect neighborhood for you and your family? Do you plan to live there for seven years or more? If so, buying a home makes sense. Renting is a good choice if you expect to move soon. But if you don’t? Buying a house gives you the chance to become part of a community—and build equity from loan payoff and rising home values.
Are you ready to start—or grow—your family? If you’re ready to add children to your family or take back an elder relative, a larger home makes sense. You might also get a large backyard. Apartment living might feel too cramped for your growing family.
Are you creative? This might seem like an odd question. But remember, when you rent an apartment you are often forbidden to decorate as you might like. But if you own a home? You can paint those kitchen walls any color of the rainbow. You can turn your kids’ bedroom into a jungle fort. And you can paint your fireplace mantel pink.
Do you need another income stream? If you buy the right kind of home—with a separate live-in unit—you can rent out space to generate income. This rental income might come in handy if you need to save for a child’s college education or give your retirement a boost.
Buying Verses Renting A Home
When it comes to a home, you have two options: buy or rent. What is right for one person may not be right for another, which is why it’s important to know which the best option for your individual situation is.
Why People Rent
There are a number of reasons why someone may either choose or be forced to rent, including sporadic or unpredictable income, a high debt-to-income ratio, a bankruptcy or foreclosure within the last six months, unpaid collection accounts or judgments, frequent relocating for employment or the inability to save enough money for a required down payment on the purchase of a home.
As a homeowner, you will be responsible for any maintenance or repair issues that arise. This is a big consideration when choosing whether to rent or buy. When you rent, the property owner is responsible for repairs and it may not always be obvious that these issues can be very costly.
How To Know When It’s Time To Buy
If you have steady income with a good employment history, can provide a down payment of at least 5-10 percent of the purchase price and are current with all debts, it may be time to consider buying a home instead of renting. In some cases, the cost of rent may even exceed that of a typical mortgage payment.
When deciding to buy, job stability is a big factor. If your job does not require frequent relocation and you plan to live in the home for at least 5-10 years, you may want to consider making the purchase. If you need to relocate after that, you may have enough equity from the sale to use as a down payment on another home.
Home Buyer’s Checklist
If you can answer yes to the following questions, you may be ready for home ownership. Your REALTOR® can help you to find the perfect home based on your individual needs.
Have you been steadily employed for at least one year, but preferably two years?
Do you plan to live in the home long enough to build equity?
Can you provide a down payment and still have enough money left to pay for closing costs, utilities and home furnishings?
Are you current on all debts, including auto loans, credit cards, etc.?
In addition to any current debts that you may have, can you afford a monthly mortgage payment which will likely include property taxes and insurance?
Do you have the time to devote to shopping for a home and comparing interest rates from various lenders?
Have you checked your credit reports for inaccuracies and disputed anything that needs correction with each of the three major credit reporting agencies?
The decision to buy or rent is a very personal one that can only be determined after a careful evaluation of your situation. A REALTOR® like myself can show you the perfect home and a lender can tell you whether or not you can afford it, but it’s up to you to make the choice as to whether or not you are ready to make the move.
3 Things Your Novi Mi Listing Agent Must Do
Did you know that according to Realtor.com, only about .8% of Realtors are actually using video marketing in Novi Mi for their real estate business? Plus, when considering that almost 90% of people are now using the internet for real estate based searches in Novi, Mi , wouldn’t it only make sense that your Novi home listing agent should include this as a part of their real estate marketing strategy?
However, embracing change is not always easy to do, and many real estate professionals are still relying on traditional marketing methods even though the future of real estate is online. Therefore, by listing with me you can rest assured that we will make video marketing for your Novi, Mi home is a priority to ensure you gain top exposure and receive the fastest and best offers possible on your home.
Step 1: Creating Video Content
The first step in preparing video content for your Novi, Mi listing will be to create a virtual tour of your entire property. We will be sure to highlight all the perks and benefits of your home and the surrounding neighborhood as well.
Additionally, we can include information about your school district(s), local businesses, as well as other recreational activities. Feel free to share any other ideas you may like to include as a part of the marketing strategy, and we will be happy to accommodate where we can.
Step 2: Optimizing Your Content
As experts of video syndication and online marketing tactics, we have access to various tools and strategies that will ensure you are receiving maximum exposure for your listing. Some of these techniques include:
- Uploading to Youtube and other video marketing directories
- Including videos within written article content and submitting to various platforms
- Creating a property specific landing page and/or mobile website with your virtual home tour
- Feeding listing data to social media pages, the MLS and other property marketing sites
We have found that videos tend to really engage prospects more and really help them to get a better feel for the home and Novi, Mi neighborhood before even scheduling a showing. Plus, you are more likely to attract qualified buyers following this plan as well.
Step 3: Call to Action
Finally, we also ensure that there is always a unique call to action within every one of our videos, in order to capture important contact information for future follow up. This is an area that many agents can neglect, which can drastically impact your chances for success in selleing your Novi, Mi Home.
Therefore, we make it a point to always direct each prospect to some form of lead capture, so that we are able to build a relationship and ensure that we never miss a possible opportunity. In other words, people are much more likely to share their information than take the time to call.
Can you now see the power behind using video marketing for your Novi property listing? Since creating video is so simple and can greatly enhance your chances for selling, we encourage you to contact us when ready to list your home in order to learn more about our comprehensive online marketing strategies.
Please See This Video for More Description
Novi Home Sellers-How To Sell Your Home Fast!
Selling your Novi, MI home fast doesn’t have to be an impossible endeavor. In fact, even in today’s market you can still command a very reasonable price on your home within 90 days or less. And if you follow some proven steps that we’ll outline below, your turn around time could be much faster than expected.
There may be various reasons that you want to get your Novi home off the market as quickly as possible, but these principles I offer here can work in nearly every situation. So let’s dive in on some basic strategies that you can implement today to gain the most favorable results:
Stage Your Novi Home Properly
This is one area where it may make sense to hire professional help. Regardless, do your homework and take the time to find out exactly what can be done to make your property more marketable. For example, be sure to strip away any of that stuff on the walls or being used as decorations that is personal. Also, place something of interest in each room that draws buyers in.
Additionally, people want to be able to picture themselves living in your space and visualizing where their own possessions will go. So you need to clear out space and remove clutter, especially from public areas and closet spaces. In fact, it is said that at least a 1/3 of your own items should be placed somewhere else other then the home you are trying to sell.
Finally, maximize the use of lighting and make sure the house is spotless. Most importantly, this goes for the kitchen and bathroom spaces which tend to endure a lot of wear and tear. Patch any areas that need touch ups with some spackle, paint and caulk.
Cut That Price
If you’re in a situation where you are moving for example, and want to be rid of your Novi property ASAP, then consider starting your listing price at about 10% below its estimated value. It’s better to start a little lower up front if you want to attract the attention of buyers and get quick offers.
This can also work much more effectively then dropping the price incrementally overtime. In fact, the latter can even be harmful, because it may create the perception that nobody wants your Novi property. So make your listing competitive and be ready to entertain some early offers.
Do Your Research
People like things in writing. Therefore, spend a little extra money to get an appraisal and inspection ahead of time, which you can offer at each showing. This will build confidence with your buyers, since you will be providing the hard facts up front and you will show there is nothing to hide in your Novi home sale.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can even include receipts and/or documentation of repairs done on the home, as well as any new appliances that may have been purchased. Your agent may also want to include information and statistics on the Novi neighborhood as well.
Hire A Real Estate Agent With Proven Results
Did you know that about the top 10% of agents produce 90% of the results? Therefore, why hire a Realtor that can’t follow through on their commitment to sell your Novi home, especially when time matters most? You need a team to work on your side that knows your market and can command the best price for your home in a short period.
Also, it is vital that your real estate agent has expertise in marketing your home both with traditional methods and using online strategies for maximum exposure. Because information travels so quickly on the internet, it is crucial that you have property tours, videos, listing information, etc. submitted to all the top traffic producing sites. This will attract a high amount of responses and will help the word to travel quickly.
Thus, allow us to prove our ability to help you sell within the next 90 days or less by calling us today. During our private consultation, we will show you quantifiable results along with a comprehensive marketing process that has helped other homeowners just like you get the results they desired. We look forward to earning your business!