Greater Oakland County Moving With Children

Greater Oakland County Moving With Children

Greater Oakland County Moving With Children

Relocating with children in the Greater Oakland County area or any other for that matter can be a stressful situation, not only for you but the children of Greater Oakland County as well. It is important to involve your children in your home Greater Oakland County Moving With Childrensearch and your relocation plans. When making your list of things to do before, during and after your move, don’t forget to include your pets as they are as much of the family as well. Moving can be stressful, even dangerous, for pets if their interests are not taken into consideration as well.

Child experts agree it’s a good idea to involve the children when family makes relocation plans to move. You may have mixed feelings about taking the kids house-hunting in Oakland County, however. (It’s hard enough for just two people to decide on a new home!) Here are a few pointers that may help in your relocation move and including children in the process.

Narrow the Field First

The kids don’t need to visit every potential house on the list in Oakland County. If possible, wait until you’ve selected two or three serious prospects of homes before bringing the children along. In any case, limit your kid-accompanied tours to three houses or less per day

Provide Behavioral Guidelines

Remind the kids to treat the home owners and their property with respect. Make sure the kids stay in the same room with you at all times and they “keep their hands to themselves.” If the home owners are present, your family members should also keep their thoughts about the house to themselves until after you leave the property. Making positive comments in the presence of the home owners could work against you when negotiating the price, while negative comments could spark a hostile reaction, causing the home owner to sell to another home buyer.

Make the Kids Your Secretaries

If they’re old enough, your children can each keep a log of the homes you look at I Greater Oakland County, including detailed information about the house — location, size, types and numbers of rooms, etc. Have them describe their feelings about the house, too, particularly what they think it, and what would be like to live there for them.

Locate the Nearest Playground

A post-tour trip to the park (or local mall, if you have teenagers) can be a great motivator for good behavior during tours of Oakland County properties and a nice way to get to know the area as well. Walking the streets in the Oakland County neighborhoods will also give you and the kids a better feeling for the local lifestyle and whether there are other children the same age as yours in the area. Also look for local parks and recreation for children to visit and become a part of.

Offer Entertainment

Bring along books or games to help your kids through the “I’m bored” stage. If you’ll be driving for extended periods, bring some audio books or favorite music. Nowadays usually it is a I-Pad or tablet that keeps them busy, but make sure they pay attention to the particular homes of interest that you have and get their opinions as you go through each.

Time Your Tours for Success

Plan to look at homes in Greater Oakland County early in the day or just after (certainly not during) nap time. Be prepared with snack foods and drinks to keep energy levels up.

Let Them Know Their Input Counts

Although the final decision is yours, your children will feel better about the move to Greater Oakland County if they know you value what they think about their potential new home and neighborhood.

How to Help Your Kids Adjust To the Move to Greater Oakland County

  • Children can find a move to Greater Oakland County overwhelming, even to a home within the same area. Here’s how you can help:
  • Parents’ positive attitudes about a new environment inspire positive attitudes in children. Try to focus the children on what they can gain, rather than on what is being lost.
  • Keep schedules as normal as possible to give children the extra security needed in the new surroundings.
  • Call on new neighbors in Oakland County early so your children can meet other children who live nearby.
  • Seek counseling or academic tutoring immediately if a child runs into trouble in the new Oakland County School, being sure to give the child lots of encouragement and praise in the process.
  • Be available at mealtime, bedtime and (if possible) after school to listen to and share new experiences.
  • Sign up your child for one or two activities, sports or lessons so he or she can meet new friends and establish or continue special interests.
  • Consider requests for clothing, bikes and other equipment that may not have been a “necessity” in the previous area but can help a child fit in with new peers.
  • Visit the old home and invite old friends to your new home in Oakland Country to help your child maintain a sense of roots.
  • Exercise patience during the adjustment period. Finding a new sense of “home” takes time.
Greater Oakland County Home Buyers BUY OR WAIT?

Greater Oakland County Home Buyers BUY OR WAIT?

Greater Oakland County Home Buyers BUY OR WAIT?…                                                                                                              Greater Oakland County Home Buyers BUY OR WAIT?

Check The Answer That’s Right For You

There’s no right or wrong answer when you ask: “Is it the right time to buy a home in the Greater Oakland County area ?” For some, it’s a great time to buy—while for others, the answer is not as clear cut. There are lots of check marks that make buying favorable, but some unknowns as well. We’re here to help you sort out the right answer for you.

Today’s real estate market in Greater Oakland County is affordable for many. Interest rates are still near historic lows, which means your money buys more home than it will when rates rise. With stable employment, a decent down payment and a good credit history, you’re likely to qualify for a mortgage.

The selection of homes available locally in greater Oakland County is improving because the overall economy has encouraged more owners to sell. Because of this, your odds of finding the right home for you are higher today. Also, home buyers now have many financing options because lenders offer a variety of loan programs that allow buyers to choose their mortgage term and interest rate to ensure the loan is affordable today—and tomorrow.

Should you buy a home today?
There are many reasons why it might be a good time for you, personally, to buy real estate today. How many reasons can you check off?

☑ I need a tax break.
Paying mortgage interest and real estate taxes may provide you with a sizable deduction on your income taxes. Consult a financial professional to review your tax return and see the impact owning a home (or a larger home) could have on your tax bill.

☑ My household income is likely to grow.
Up for a raise in the not-too-distant future? In line for a promotion? If your career—or your partner’s career—is on an upward trajectory, your growing income will offset any increases in real estate taxes, insurance or interest rate down the road.

☑ I’m ready to put down some roots.
You may feel ready to sink deeper roots in one location and become more vested in our community. If you’re looking to call our area home for five years or more, it may make sense to buy a home or move up to a larger one.

☑ I have been saving for a rainy day.
If you’ve been stashing away money for a down payment for some time, consult a mortgage lender to determine how much home you can comfortably afford to buy (ask us for lender recommendations). Calculate if your savings cushion is enough to cover unexpected maintenance costs or other emergencies after the down payment is paid.

☑ I need a home that will grow with my family.
If the home you can afford today has enough bedrooms to accommodate future children, children who are returning home, elderly family members or a work-at-home situation, it may be the right time for you to buy.

☑ I’ll be receiving some money.
If you are receiving a large legal settlement or a family member has presented you or your partner with a sizable monetary gift or inheritance, you might be able to buy that home you’ve only dreamed of before now.

☑ I follow a budget.
With your finances in order and personal spending in check, you likely have a realistic budget to know how much you can safely spend on housing.

☑ My debt situation is under control.
If you had student loans and they’re nearly paid off, college-age kids that are close to graduation or credit card debt that is near a zero balance, it might be time for you to think about buying a home.

☑ I’m just ready.
If you’re ready to buy a home, it’s time to contact us. We can show you local homes that fit your finances and your family. We can work with you to determine which one meets your needs best. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Tom Gilliam
Professional Realtor
RE/MAX Classic
Cell : 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
[email protected]m


Greater Oakland County Home Buyers BUY OR WAIT?


Homes by Schools

Homes by Schools

Homes by Schools seem to be one of the most important criteria for Home Buyers with children. The difficulty for us as Realtor’s is that we have to be very careful in the discussion of this school verses that Homes by Schoolsschool when it comes to advise to our home buyers. It is unethical to discuss our opinions regarding schools and school choices for a home buyer in a particular neighborhood, so I thought these tips may help home buyers and agents alike to share with their home buyers so they may gather the proper information and plan ahead when choosing schools for their children. I hope this helps, enjoy!

7 proven tips to shop for your first home with an eye on schools

Among the criteria first-home buyers consider when evaluating homes to purchase, being near good schools shows up near the top of the list. After all, many first-timers are young couples that plan to have children or have already graduated to that phase of life. Even buyers without children are often concerned about the quality of schools. They know property values often reflect the reputation of local schools — both public and private — and that a home near good schools may be easier to sell later on.

1. Plan Ahead
It pays to look at schools early in the house-hunting process so you can narrow your focus to particular neighborhoods. Consider the following approaches and available resources for determining whether a school or school district is right for you and your children — or those you’re planning to have.

2. Get An Overview
You can tap the resources of several organizations to find out what schools are available in a particular area and how they rank compared with others in the system, the state and the nation. Check out these resources online: (fee required for reports)

Also check the web site for your state’s Board of Education to see if school reports are posted online.

3. Identify The District
It’s easy to find out what public school district a home is in — the information is nearly always included in the multiple listing service (MLS) property listing, available through your agent. Note, however, that school boards frequently re-draw districts. To help ensure a home is likely to remain in a particular district, you may want to find out how close it is to district lines — being central to a district increases your chances of staying in it. Contact the local board of education (or search online) to obtain a district map.

4. Go To The Source
Also ask the local board for any information available about the school system, special programs, etc. Many boards will provide you with standardized test scores, often broken down for each school and subject area. Private schools often provide test-score information and college-placement statistics as well.

5. Define Your Idea Of ‘Good’
Good for one child may not be so good for another. If you’re already a parent, the first step is taking an honest look at your child’s educational needs. Is he or she average, exceptional, or is there a learning disability to consider? What are the student’s interests and natural abilities? Cerebral? Artistic? Athletic? It won’t matter that a school is tops in math and science if your child’s educational focus is in language and fine arts. Identifying your child’s individual needs will help determine the types of programs and educational approaches you’re looking for in a school.

Take a look at the programs that would most interest or benefit your children. Is the local public school strong in those areas? If not, there may be good private-school alternatives in the vicinity.

Keep in mind that what you see on paper may not provide a complete picture of the school, its resources and the capabilities of its educational staff.

6. Interview The Neighbors
Perhaps the best way to investigate a school is to talk with parents whose children attend. Visit neighbors in the area and ask them to be candid about what they like and dislike about local schools.

7. See For Yourself
If you’re a parent, make plans to visit the schools you are interested in. Schedule appointments with the principal and some of the teachers in your child’s grade. Inquire about school policies and procedures. Discuss your child’s strengths and weaknesses, asking how the school would handle them.

Once you’ve gone through these 7 steps, you’ll have a good idea of the neighborhoods you want to consider buying your first home in. Call me to help you find it fast!

Negotiating The Best Contract For Your Home Purchase

Negotiating The Best Contract For Your Home Purchase

Negotiating Tips

Negotiating  The Best Contract For Your Home Purchase is very important when it comes to writing a Purchase contract on a new home. Keep in mind the Home Sellers want (in most cases) to do whatever possible to make the you, the Home Buyer happy and keep the deal together. The way you and tour Realtor structure the purchase agreement can not only save you money, but can get you almost everything you want in your home purchase. Here are some fine points of contract terms that you and your real estate agent may want to include in your purchase offer or in counteroffers once negotiations with a home seller are underway. Feel free to discuss and share them with your Realtor, and as always I’m here to help with any and all of your Home Selling or Home Buying needs.

Loan Strategies
Finding a monthly payment you can afford is key to getting approval for a mortgage. Sellers may be able to help by agreeing to the following terms:

  • Buy-down. Ask the seller to buy down the initial interest rate of the loan. A lower interest rate means lower payments, which means you’ll need less income to qualify for the loan.
  • Take-back. Perhaps the seller would agree to a mortgage take-back—financing a second mortgage that could help you qualify for the first-mortgage loan. This may be cost-effective if you are unable to come up with a full 20% down payment or you would otherwise have to pay a higher interest rate for a jumbo or sub-prime loan. (Ask us how a take-back would affect your financing.)

Settlement Sweeteners
These are options designed to help reduce buyers’ out-of-pocket costs such as down payment and closing costs.

  • Points. A seller who pays some or all of your loan discount points sweetens the purchase by reducing the amount of cash you need at closing/settlement and providing a tax write-off, as many buyers now can deduct the discount points sellers pay at closing as a Schedule A mortgage expense.
  • Closing costs. Ask the seller to pay some or all of your closing costs—title search, attorney’s services, appraisal, recording, etc. (Be aware: There are limits to how much a seller can contribute to a buyer’s closing costs.)
  • Furnishings. The seller may be willing to convey some household furnishings you would have to purchase later, such as a swing set or sandbox, tractor-mower, draperies tailored to specific windows, etc. This may be treated as a separate addendum in the contract.
  • Home warranty. For as little as $300, the seller can provide you with a one-year warranty that covers all the home’s major systems. Some programs even cover appliances.

Contingencies refer to specific things that must happen before the contract can go to settlement.

  • Inspections. To protect yourself against unexpected and expensive surprises, make the contract contingent on a satisfactory professional home inspection and pest inspection. The type and characteristics of the property may also prompt you to order a professional check for mold and radon gas.
  • Financing. A financing contingency states the amount, type and maximum percentage rate of the mortgage loan you seek, along with a time frame for obtaining financing. Should financing not come through as expected, the contingency would allow you to opt out of the contract.
  • Sale of home. If you need to sell a home before purchasing your next one, include a clause in your contract making it contingent on you being able to sell your home within a certain period of time.

Accommodations are small favors you can ask to help smooth your transition.

  • Occupancy. Ask for a move-in date that will allow you to move directly from your old home into your new one, avoiding costs for temporary housing and storage.
  • Storage. If you can’t avoid a gap between moving from your old home to your new one, ask the seller to allow you to store some items at the new home (perhaps in the garage) until you can move in.
  • Services. If the seller has paid in advance for services such as lawn care, pest prevention, etc., and time remains on those contracts, ask the seller to transfer the remainder of the contracts to you.


To Pay or Not To Pay

To Pay or Not To Pay

 To Pay or Not to Pay : Among the first things people ask when shopping for a mortgage loan is: What’s the interest rate? The answer is often a percentage rate with points—for example, 4.5% plus 2 points. Here’s what those points Mortgage Pointsare all about.

A loan discount point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. So, on a loan of $100,000, a borrower would pay $1,000 per point to the lender. (Fees, such as loan origination fees, are sometimes quoted in points, but here we’re talking about discount points, which are prepaid interest.)

What’s the advantage to the borrower to pay points in addition to interest? By paying points, borrowers can get a lower interest rate—a discounted rate. In other words, borrowers pay points to “buy down” the mortgage interest rate, reducing their long-term interest expense on the loan.

To Pay Or Not To Pay

It is certainly possible to take out a mortgage without paying points. In fact, many borrowers opt to do so if they are short of cash for their home purchase or they don’t expect to own the home for long. But for many people, getting a lower interest rate is worth the up-front payment of at least some points.

What confuses many loan shoppers are the different combinations of rates and points available from lenders. Is a 4.5% loan with 2 points, for example, a better deal than a 5% loan with no points? That depends. Paying one point may get you a 1/8% to 1/4% drop in interest rate, depending on the current market. If the going trade-off is 1/4%, then our example loans are comparable. Still, one of those loans may be better for the borrower’s financial circumstances. Here’s how to know when paying points pays off.

1. Run The Numbers
For illustration purposes, say you pay 2 points ($2,000) on a $100,000, 30-year mortgage to get a 4.5% interest rate. Your principal-and-interest (PI) payments would be $6,080 per year. If instead you took a 5% loan paying no points, your annual PI payments would be $6,442—$362 more per year. You would, however, have to own the home about 5 1/2 years for your savings to pay back your $2,000 up-front points expense ($2,000 ÷ $362 = 5.53).

But what if you move sooner? You’ll lose more money in points than you’ll save with the lower-rate loan. Consider, too, you could have taken the higher-rate, no-point loan and invested your $2,000 elsewhere.

Another factor is how your tax bill will be affected. Paying less interest means a smaller mortgage-interest tax deduction, reducing the real savings achieved by buying down the rate. On the other hand, points are tax deductible in most cases. Consult IRS Publication 936 for further details.

2. Pay For The Long Haul
Paying points may be a great idea if you own your home for a while—how long depends on how much difference in interest rate your points can buy. If 2 points could buy you a larger drop in interest rate (rather than the 1/2% we calculated earlier), you could recoup your cost in a shorter time. If you owned the home in our earlier example for the full 30 years, your PI savings would be around $8,850 (not factoring in tax implications).

3. Finance The Points
If you think paying points is a sound choice but you are short of cash, you may be able to roll the points into your mortgage loan. In our example, you would finance $102,000 at the 4.5% rate.


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