When you’re shopping for a home, you’ll find yourself quickly acquainted with an array of architectural styles. From Colonials and Cape Cods to split-levels, Victorians and beyond, each distinct design has its pros and cons. But there’s one type of home that garners the most interest, at least as far as Google searches go… and it may surprise you.
Ranch Style Houses
While in years past consumers were seeking sprawling McMansions, the most popular style searched between April 2018 and April 2019, according to Google, was ranch style houses as reported on Today.com.
As their name implies, these single-story dwellings have their roots in the old West. Both homey and practical, ranches were designed by San Diego, CA-based architect Cliff May in the early 1930s. Their reign continued well into the post-World War II 1950s thanks to their affordability and lack of pretension. Google isn’t the only site seeing an uptick in interest in this style. According to a 2016 Trulia study, the ranch is the most popular pick in 34 states in the U.S.
Why are ranches experiencing a resurgence in this era?
Also, who are the homebuyers most interested in getting in on this ground floor living situation? The answer: baby boomers and millennials.
Again, it’s easy to understand the appeal for each group. Despite the disparity in their ages, both seniors and first-time homebuyers would prefer not to spend a fortune on larger, splashy estates. Additionally, for individuals who are at the beginning of their careers or just starting a family, these homes are more attractively priced for those on a budget. The same holds true for baby boomers on a fixed income who may wish to downsize and take advantage of the lower cost associated with this home style.
At the time of the Trulia study, ranch homes for sale in Atlanta, GA had a median listing price of $92 per square foot, which was almost half of the citywide median listing price of $180 per square foot. Heading west, this trend seemed to continue in other metro areas, including Portland, OR, where the median listing price of ranch homes, also the Beaver state’s most popular home style, is $186 per square foot, which represents just three-quarters of the city’s median listing price of $248 per square.
Another reason this style is so desirable is because it lacks staircases that can be difficult for seniors and young families to navigate. One-level living is easier on the knees and back for older folks, while new parents needn’t worry about their crawling and cruising curious toddlers taking a tumble down a steep flight. Maintaining the home feels more manageable as well, making it ideal as a starter home or a retirement home.
Though they lack other levels, ranches often boast the open layout today’s homebuyer adores. Some have a master bedroom on one side of the home, offering a private, secluded space. For those looking for a retro or rustic aesthetic, ranches often tick those boxes as well. As families grow, there’s always the potential to build up, if that plan aligns with local zoning ordinances.
When you consider all these attractive features, it’s no wonder ranches have become a coveted home style.
The start of 2019 was slow for the real estate market, but it looks like that’s starting to change—and just in time for the spring season, which is historically the busiest time of year for buyers and sellers across the US.
According to a recent article from REALTOR Magazine, existing home sales posted a huge jump from January to February 2019—an 11.8% increase, the largest month-over-month gain the market has seen since December 2015. The reason for the jump? According to the National Association of Realtors™’ chief economist Lawrence Yun, the dramatic increase in existing home sales from January to February can be attributed to a number of factors including increasing inventory, falling mortgage rates, and a higher level of consumer confidence.
This dramatic jump in existing home sales is good news for both buyers and sellers. So if you’ve been thinking about getting into the real estate market, it looks like the upcoming spring season is shaping up to be a great time to make a move.
Finally found the house of your dreams? But wait… you rejected the offer just because the walls in the house were full of wallpaper covering and the homeowner had painted over it. Frustrating isn’t it? It’s like the homeowner wanted you to suffer after you bought the house.
Sellers usually do this when they are not willing to spend more time and money on staging your Oakland County home. However, you still think to yourself, “Why would someone do this?”
- They found it a quick fix (saves a lot on staging, so they probably wanted to save time on peeling off the wallpaper)
- Painting was much easier than dealing with the glue residue
- Some crazy YouTube video assured them that this was a great idea
- They were afraid that there might be cracks under the wallpaper, which would mean caulking the holes to prevent any foundation damage
- They had no idea that painting over wallpaper would cause a huge problem for the next homeowner
Better stop scratching your head to figure out why the seller would do this to you! They just didn’t have the right information before making this move.
How Does Paint Affect the Wallpaper?
Since you don’t know what type of wallpaper and paint the seller used, there’s no saying how your DIY repair tricks will work on this particular type of project. A number of things can happen, such as:
- The paint slowly starts to crumble
- Patterns on the wallpaper are lightly reflected through the paint
- Bubbles start to form on the wall and the edges curl away from the corner
- The wallpaper loses its glue and starts to fall off
- With time, the wallpaper became stiffer and thicker, making it more difficult for you to remove it
How to Remove the Wallpaper
So, the process of removing the wallpaper covering is pretty easy. All you need is a scoring tool and a steam machine. Use the tool to punch holes in the wall that are just on the surface. Use the steam machine to blow in the warm air. This softens the glue and allows you to peel off the wallpaper easily with a scraping tool. It will take a couple of hours to remove the entire wallpaper. It depends on how it was applied— in strips or as one piece. Removing strips are way easier than the one piece as you can do this task on your own. The latter requires help— the wallpaper can be gripped from both ends and removed simultaneously.
You can rent a steam machine from any store and take on this challenge yourself. If the walls are made of plaster, you might only get a few scratches on it. However, if its drywall, be prepared with caulking material to patch up the cracks and holes. The latter wall material will create a lot of mess.
So, there you go… an easy peasy way to remove wallpaper covering when it has been painted on. If you want to buy a Oakland County, Michigan home, that falls under your budget and has all the features you need, then visit Homes2MoveYou. Get in touch with a me Tom Gilliam and start seeing houses in areas that you like.
One of the biggest hurdles in the home buying experience is the approval of mortgage. However, many buyers set their heart on a house that does not fall under their budget. Today, while the inventory is quite stable, multiple offers are on the rise. You have to compete with other buyers to come out at the top.
From loan programs to repairs, home inspection and other costs, you need to plan for everything in advance so that no surprises face you in the future. It’s important for you to take notice of everything the seller says in the first meeting because this will help you during the negotiation or when you are preparing a counteroffer.
Following are some of the things you need to work on before and while meeting the sellers:
When searching for a home for sale in Oakland County, Michigan, create a list of all the features you are looking for in the house. This will help you remain under the budget. A key to making this experience easy on yourself is to set a low budget. Give yourself some room to raise the budget in case you find a house that you fall in love with. This way, you will be able to negotiate with the seller on the price and give him the impression that you are going out of your range.
Maintain a Poker Face during Negotiations
Buyers beware… think before you say anything in front of the seller. It’s possible that during the negotiations, your own words might bite you back. Moreover, when touring the house, assume that the seller has eyes and ears everywhere. Any offensive comment you pass might affect the buyer negatively. Just because of a simple conversation that you and your wife had amongst you, the buyer might decide to cancel the deal with you.
Home Buying Experience Qualifying Questions
You won’t seem nosy at all if you start asking the seller questions one after the other. You are going to make such a big purchase, so it’s your right to know everything about the property and the seller.
Following are some examples of questions you should ask for a great home buying experience:
When will the seller move?
What kinds of repairs are needed?
Has the seller received any other offers?
How long has this Oakland County, Michigan, been up on the market?
How much are utilities, taxes and interest rates?
Are there any restrictions from the HOA? (Home Owners Association)
Does the seller want you to pay the closing cost?
Are pets allowed?
Can the buyer recommend any lenders who will expedite the mortgage loan process?
Explore the Neighborhoods
Do you have kids? Are you planning to have them in a year or two? If you are, then you need to explore the neighborhoods before buying a home for sale Oakland County, Michigan. Talk to the people living in the neighboring houses, check out the parks, and visit the community center. Have a feel of the place and then decide whether you are ready to move here or not.
Remember, You Are Just a Guest
Don’t go using the bathroom while you are touring the house. Turning the taps on and off in the bathroom or pressing the flush handle is fine, but don’t make yourself at home. Be respectful and do not go into the rooms that the seller has cornered off.
Take Pictures with Permission
You want to share the home buying experience you had during a house tour, which is completely fine, but don’t start clicking pictures without the seller’s permission. It’s common courtesy!
Before you forget what features you saw in which house, create a list of pros and cons. This will help you make the right decision when you finally sit down to choose the house you liked the most. If you want to buy a home for sale in Oakland County, Michigan, that falls under your budget and has all the features you need, then visit Homes2MoveYou.
It’s illuminating to visit For Sale by Owner websites from time to time to see if there are any new insights to be gleaned. True, as a licensed Farmington Hills Realtor®, I’m not likely to learn much new when it comes to selling Farmington Hills homes—but that’s not the motivation. Call it ‘opposition research:’ the reason is to uncover any areas where the services I provide aren’t superior to what a do-it-yourselfer can come up with on their own.
Here are some takeaways from the For Sale By Owner sites Google recently presented as the most frequently consulted sites. I’ve included my opinion about the pronouncements—either valid or less than valid:
Valid: Valuing your house is an important step toward FSBO success. Absolutely true, if “valuing your house” means incorporating the latest Farmington Hills comparable sales adjusted for the features that make your property unique.
Valid but irrelevant: Your lender will more likely sell your mortgage to another bank, sometimes within the first 72 hours. Although this is sometimes true, it has nothing to do with anything a potential Farmington Hills FSBO owner needs to worry about.
Valid: “This should be no cause for alarm.” The reason why the above pronouncement about mortgage lenders’ procedures is a non-issue.
Less valid: “[name of an online service] is a free tool that instantly estimates your home’s value…” As has been shown time and again, automated systems (even the top 3 national ones) can come up with wacky valuations—it’s why they ask homeowners for corrections. Compiling a carefully researched, up-to-the-minute comparable presentation is only one part of what you can expect from any licensed Realtor. Both are free.
Less valid: Whether you list your home with an agent…or sell your house on your own, it is going to involve considerable effort on your part. More candid would be pointing out that the considerable marketing, advertising, and negotiating activities in addition to timely compliance with all legal and financial deadlines are parts of the considerable effort that your Farmington Hills agent undertakes for non-FSBO sellers.
Valid: Another pricing [tactic]…is calling a real estate agent for a Comparative Market Analysis…the agent’s point of view could be valuable. I couldn’t agree more!
Farmington Hills FSBO properties are commonly passed up by serious-minded house hunters wishing to avoid non-professionals in such a major transaction. Since those are the prospects sellers should try hardest to attract, that’s one point you never find on any FSBO web site.
In case you’ve been toying with the For Sale by Owner idea, I hope you’ll first give me a call for a no-obligation discussion of your property and goals—and what makes the most sense for you!