Winterizing Home Readiness – 6 Important Winterizing Tips

Winterizing Home Readiness – 6 Important Winterizing Tips

When it comes to your Oakland County Michigan home and its survival through our tough and blistering winter, you need to winterize your home. Hopefully you have already taken the steps to winterize your home and are one step ahead of this blog post and if not, this is sure to help you.

  1. Store patio furniture

Winter isn’t the time for barbecues and dining alfresco, so it’s important that you protect your grill and patio furniture in the winter months along with winterizing your home — that way, they’ll be ready to roll when the weather starts to warm.

Take your patio furniture and grill and put them into a nice storage area. This is especially important if you have aluminum patio furniture, which can rust once the snow hits. If you don’t have a place to store your grill and furniture (or if your furniture is made of a more durable material), you should at the very least cover it up to protect it from the winter elements.

  1. Empty and store hoses

You’ll also want to store your garden hoses before the temperature drops. If you leave your hoses as is, the water in them can freeze, which can cause holes and leaks.

Drain each of your garden hoses and store them inside until the spring.

  1. Protect your home from chilly winter air

One of the trademarks of winter is cold air, and if that cold air finds a way into your house, you’re likely to find yourself shivering no matter how high you turn up the heat.

It’s important to seal off your house to keep cold air from getting in. Look for any gaps in the walls or foundation and seal them with foam or caulk (you can also use caulk to seal any gaps around windows). If your home is notorious for being cold in the winter, you’ll also want to check the insulation. Your attic and basement should be insulated, and if the insulation is old or improperly installed, it can cause dropping temperatures in the colder months.

Redoing or adding insulation isn’t cheap, so if you’re unsure of whether your insulation needs an upgrade, consult an insulation professional and get an estimate.

  1. Get the right thermostat

One of the most important ways to protect your home in the winter is keeping it at the proper temperature. But “proper temperature” is relative; obviously, you’ll want your house warmer while you’re home, but it’s fine to turn down the heat while you’re out. But if you turn OFF the heat, you run the risk of the temperature dropping too low.

A programmable thermostat will allow you to control the temperature in your home at all times. You can program your thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you leave, and raise the temperature before you get home so you get to return to a nice, toasty environment. Many of the new thermostats even connect to your smartphone, allowing you to control the temperature in your home straight from your mobile device.

  1. Switch to winter fabrics

When the winter chill kicks in, you’re going to want lots of warm, cozy fabrics to keep you warm. Replace your summer linens with more substantial fabrics, like velvet, fleece, or faux fur, to match the season. Put a throw or blanket in one of these fabrics in each room so you always have something on hand to wrap yourself up with when the temperature drops.

  1. Replace your furnace filter

Old, dirty filters will make your furnace less efficient, driving up your energy bills and making your home more difficult to heat. Replace your furnace filter this fall to ensure that your furnace is in tip-top shape when winter hits.

Colder temperatures are on their way, so it’s important to protect your home while you still have time. And with these winterizing tips, getting your home ready should be a cinch.

 

Is There a Buyers Market Creeping Up? – Realtor Tom Giliam

Is There a Buyers Market Creeping Up? – Realtor Tom Giliam

We all know that this sellers market would not last too much longer and it seems to be coming to an end sooner than later. The turn towards a more favorable buyers market seems to be taking place with 14% of all listings taking a price reduction in June of this year which is up from just 11% in 2016. Everywhere you turned you heard nothing but, It’s a sellers market and a great time to sell! which was true and still is in some areas of Oakland County Michigan like Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and others, but are the sellers realizing that things are changing in the opposite direction now that we are approaching fall of 2018?

In my business here in Oakland County Michigan, things seem to have been in a stalemate between home sellers and home buyers resulting in many homes staying on the market for longer periods of time then expected, even surprising us professional Realtors. The potential home buyers seem to know that the buyers market will soon be upon them, with the home sellers still bent on getting top dollar or even more. In Farmington Hills where I have several listings that get many showings, but no one is presenting or moving on them which leaves the sellers thinking “why isn’t my home selling” which leaves us to have to try and explain what is happening when we know the market trends seem to be pointing to a buyers market in many areas.

Part of this can be explained by rising interest rates, builders not meeting demand and foreclosed homes being bought in the past and are now rentals. The simple explanation is supply and demand in which was never reached that housing demand when prices were rising upward. The trend now seems to be on the downward swing especially on the high end housing communities in which rising housing prices benefitted those areas more favorably (which lately have seen close to 20% in their inventory price reductions). A buyers market is not a bad market but getting home sellers to realize and be more realistic in pricing their home may keep us in the black for the meantime while the housing market adjust to the coming changes.

The market changes will happen and it will correct itself as I feel this is exactly what this shift means. The supply and demand aspect of this years upswing left the market unable to respond to the needs of the home buyers, so a slight buyers market may correct the voids that this years home buying and home selling season missed out on. The market will shift back and forth but this home selling and buying season seemed to have ended with a slighter advantage headed toward a buyers market.

5 Deadly Pitfalls that Every Buyer Needs to Avoid

5 Deadly Pitfalls that Every Buyer Needs to Avoid

Research, research and research… this is the only thing you need to focus on when you are thinking about buying a home for sale in Oakland County, Michigan. There are many pitfalls that buyers are not aware of. Not only do these pitfalls waste your time and energy you put into the process but also put you under mounds of debt.

Of course, with a real estate agent by your side, you can go through this process a little stress-free but at the end, you need to understand the responsibilities of becoming a homeowner. Don’t get caught up in the moment and make a hasty decision. Sooner or later, you will regret your decision because you forgot to factor in a lot of expenses.

So, to help you navigate this process without any mistakes, we bring you the five deadly pitfalls of home buying:

Pitfalls #1

Forgetting the Pre-Approval Letter

The reason why a mortgage pre-approval letter is necessary is because it shows the seller that you are a serious buyer. With this paper in your back pocket, you can freely look at the homes for sale in Oakland County, Michigan and make an offer on the spot. This also keeps you at the front in the competition.

Pitfalls #2

Not Planning for the Future

Is your job stable?

Are you expecting a raise or a promotion?

Do you plan on starting a family?

Where do you see yourself three years from now?

The answer to these questions will help you decide what type of house you need to buy. Selling the house after three years because you are in a relationship will put your investment down the drain. So, think carefully before making the final decision.

Pitfalls #3

Letting go of the Home Inspection

A home inspection costs somewhere between from $200 to $400. Letting go of the inspection can cost you thousands of dollars. There are dozens of repairs that you might not be able to spot. This is why it is necessary to hire a trained inspector.

Pitfalls #4

Not Factoring the Market Value

The value of the house appreciates over time and if you are lucky, you might even build some equity. So, do your research on the market and ask your real estate agent to compare it with the comps. This way, you will be able to find out whether you are buying an underpriced, overpriced or fair priced house.

Pitfalls #5

Not Calculating the Other Costs Involved in the Process

The loan you get covers the monthly payments, down payment, and closing costs. There are many other costs involved such as the prepaid amount, legalization of documents, moving cost, home inspection fees, escrow, transfer of documents and more. Make sure that you have enough savings to cover these costs.

Going through this process without a real estate agent will cost you more because you don’t have the right connections. Now that you know the deadly pitfalls awaiting you, proceed wisely.

If you want to get the home for sale in Oakland County, Michigan appraised, then head on over to Homes2MoveYou. Get in touch with a real estate agent and start seeing houses in areas of your liking.

 

Home Prices Still A Concern For Home Buyers And Sellers

Home Prices Still A Concern For Home Buyers And Sellers

Home prices in Oakland County are the top concern for both home buyers and sellers. After all, a lot of the calculus that goes into determining whether or not it’s a good time to sell or buy a house is based on where home values are and where they are expected to be in the future. For that reason, it’s good to follow the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, as they are considered the leading measure of U.S. home prices.

According to the latest data, prices have continued to rise at around the same pace they’ve been increasing, with both month-over-month and year-over-year data showing little change. In short, prices are going up but no faster than they have been. David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says things aren’t expected to change any time soon. “Unless inventories increase faster than sales, or the economy slows significantly, home prices are likely to continue rising,” Blitzer says. But despite rising prices, Blitzer notes that the market is calmer today than it was during the last price boom in the early 2000s. More here.

Home Prices Another Look

According to CoreLogic’s  another great resource for home prices predicts in their Home Price Insights report, home prices are expected to increase by 4.3% in 2018. While that’s less than the 2016-2017’s year-over-year change, which came in at 6.3%, it’s still a significant increase. If you purchased a home for $400,000 today, that same home is projected to cost you an additional $17,200 by the end of the year.

Homes have steadily been getting more expensive, and they’re just going to continue to get more expensive in the upcoming year. Buying at the start of 2018 can save you thousands (even tens of thousands) of dollars vs. waiting until the end of the year to make a purchase.

Existing Homes Value Are Up – It’s A Great Time To Sell

Existing Homes Value Are Up – It’s A Great Time To Sell

The Great Recession was one of the most challenging times in US history and in the Oakland County area. The US lost nearly 9 million jobs, unemployment nationwide hit an astounding 10%, and housing prices fell a whopping 33%, causing American households to lose of $16 trillion dollars in net worth also losing their homes value.

After the housing crisis of 2008, many homeowners found themselves “upside down” on their properties, with their mortgage balances significantly higher than their homes value. According to Zillow, negative equity in the US peaked 31.4% in Q1 of 2012, meaning nearly one-third of all mortgage holders in the US owed more on their homes than it was valued.

But luckily, the economy started improving in 2010. The GDP grew an impressive 19% from 2010 to 2017, and the economy added jobs for a record-breaking 88 consecutive months, recovering all the jobs lost during the recession. Not to mention, unemployment fell to 4%.

But one area that was a bit slower to recover was peoples home values. Many homeowners who lost a significant portion of their home’s value in the recession have been hesitant to sell—especially if they purchased their home when prices were high.

But according to Evaluating The Housing Market Since The Great Recession, a recent report from CoreLogic, homeowners who lost value in their homes during the recession finally have something to celebrate. According to the report, the average house price is now 1% higher than it was at the peak of the real estate market in 2006, growing 51% since bottoming out in 2008.

The  Homes Value Takeaway

If you’ve been waiting to sell your home for it to recover its pre-recession value, now is the time to make a move. Not only have housing prices recovered to their peak values, but the inventory crisis is driving up prices, making it the perfect market to finally sell your home.

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