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Why It's Not Too Soon to List Your Home in February

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale

There seems to be a consensus that the spring market is the best time to sell your house. Most real estate agents will tell you this. But why is that?

Problems Leftover From The Recession

The real estate market is still trying to work out the problems it has had since 2008. Homeowners who wanted to sell in 2008 or subsequent years were stuck. Either their homes were worth less than what they paid, and they couldn't sell, or they didn't want to sell in a recession.

So many owners waited until the market started to creep back to normal to sell. And when they did, they all listed their homes in the spring. As that season wore on, more and more houses were stuck on the market, not selling, and owners were forced to lower their asking prices.

As a result, one of the trends we have seen is that the spring market has been pushed back to start earlier and earlier in the year.

What often happens is that owners who come late to the market have to lower their prices to meet a moving deadline. Or, they do so to avoid being on the market in July or August - which can be a dead time for selling a house. This causes everyone else to have to lower their prices as well as more and more homes come on the market in May and June.

What You Need To Sell In Peak Season

Spring does bring out lots of buyers. However, the truth is that spring often brings out many more sellers than buyers.

In the last several years in Southeast Michigan, competition has been high, and inventory has been low. However, we're about to see a change in this pattern.

When more homes like yours - either in your neighborhood or your city - hit the market, buyers can afford to be choosy. This makes it hard on homes that aren't in tip-top shape.

If you're planning to try to list in April or May, you could be in for a big surprise when many other homes in your neighborhood are being listed as well.

Does your home have fresh carpet and paint? Is it completely clutter-free and clean like new? If not, you are in for an uphill battle.

Start Your Listing Early

This is why you may want to consider getting your house ready to list now if you're going to plan to sell by spring. It does sound very early. After all, the winter holidays have just ended.

But I'm here to tell you that it's not too early to put your house on the market in February for the spring market.

Why?

There aren't as many hard-and-fast rules in real estate anymore. Buyers start searching when they are ready. They can often begin this process from the comfort of their couches. Thus, the season doesn't matter quite as much as you might think.

This means that selling a home often requires a strategy, and it requires an expert set of eyes to watch the market and react accordingly. This, in turn, means that you as a homeowner have to be able to be flexible - as much as you can.

Listing your home in February gives you the advantage of entering the market before it starts to ramp up. There will be fewer homes for buyers to compare.

A good rule of thumb is to watch your neighborhood to see how many homes are for sale. National and regional sales statistics can tell you some important things, but it's your neighborhood that will determine when and for how much you sell.

Bringing it Home

Although the spring market for real estate is still a good time to sell, this may not be the rule to follow every time, especially as the market starts to slow down a little bit.

If you are thinking about selling this spring, now may be a good time to start getting your house ready to list. Call the Jamey Kramer Group RE/MAX Classic in Novi, Michigan today!

248-348-7200

 

Top Blog Real Estate Articles in 2018 - Jamey Kramer Group

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Top 20 Real Estate Articles 2018

Happy New Year from the Jamey Kramer Group! We hope you are having a great 2019 so far: staying warm and enjoying some of the warmer, sunnier days of this winter so far.

As we do every year around this time, we are enjoying the process of looking back at what made 2018 so special and what our valuable clients and readers have meant to us.

We are always so grateful to say that we serve the beautiful communities of Novi, Northville, and South Lyon in Oakland County, Michigan. It's a beautiful place to live and serve - and you all are what make it that way. We are honored to have your support and your trust.

Because we value this community so dearly, and also because we see what a fantastic job it does serving its citizens at every level, we always want to partner with these cities and promote all of their best aspects. One way we do this is through this blog, as we highlight community events and activities for each month.

This past year, 2018, has been another hopeful one of those of us in the real estate market. The economy and real estate trends have continued to stay strong, and we've been able to see many people buy and sell their dream homes.

We find it to be a unique privilege to be in the lives of the many singles, couples, and families as they are buying and selling, and 2018 was no exception. It's often one of the most exciting and momentous processes in anyone's life, and we get to walk alongside you! We are committed to doing our best to be there for you in this time of your life to make sure you're as supported as possible.

To that end, we try to offer the most helpful tips and information for the current real estate market in the current season. We make sure when we write that our information is up to date and that it's helpful for our readers as they make decisions about their homes.

As exciting as it can be to go on a new adventure - to buy or sell your home - we know that it's often stressful and exhausting. We want to be there to help you through it, either with the knowledge and expertise we've gained from our many years of working in this business, or with the simple, personal touch of having one of us by your side.

After all - we do this all the time! Hopefully, you will only have to do it once or twice in your life. And we're just a phone call away.

Every year we assess what you wanted to read by rounding up our top most popular articles from the year before using Google Analytics. We get to see what you liked most and found most helpful - both in our real estate section and in the community section of our blog.

At the beginning of the next year, we put them all in one place, so you have a handy recap. Without further adieu, here are the top most popular articles from 2018! Happy New Year and happy reading!

Top 10 Real Estate Articles in 2018

1. Is Novi, Michigan a Safe Place to Live?

2. Is Northville, Michigan a Good Place to Live?

3. Novi, Michigan - The Origin of Its Mysterious Name

4. 3 Manageable Strategies to De-clutter Your House Before Selling

5. Top Kitchen Fixes For Mass Appeal
 
6. Deep Cleaning Checklist to Sell Your Home Fast

7. What Matters When Applying for a Mortgage
   
8. Hottest Design Trends to Help Sell Your House Quickly

9. Cheap Fixes To Sell Your House Quickly

10. 4 Reasons Your House is Sitting on the Market     

    
Top 10 Northville, Novi, & South Lyon Community Event Articles 2018

1. Easter Brunches in Novi and Northville, MI

2. How Many Snow Days Are Michigan Schools Allowed

3. Easter Egg Hunts in Novi Northville and South Lyon, MI 2018

4. Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

5. Best Local Places to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner in Northville and Novi Michigan

6. Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

7. 4th of July Events for Novi and Northville, Michigan 2018

8. Easter Brunches in Northville and Novi, MI 2015

9. Christmas Events in Northville, Michigan - November 2018

10. Thanksgiving in Northville and Novi, Michigan

 

Takeaway

We appreciate your input and requests! Please feel free to let us know if there is any subject you would like us to cover. And please remember, we are here whenever you need us!

3 Manageable Strategies to Declutter Your House Before Selling

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Are you contemplating selling your house? Do you need to get your home sold quickly? Do you look around at the clutter that inevitably finds its way into your house and have no idea how you're going to fit selling into an already-packed lifestyle?

For most people, save those who are exceptionally disciplined, clutter is the unfortunate by-product of life. Things make their way into your house, and you deal with it as best as you can within the time you have.

Many of the organizational magazine articles and books require an entire overhaul of your life. While that may sound good, who has the time to make that a reality? You have a full-time job, and a family to take care of. Who has time to gaze at each possession, trying to decide whether it sparks joy in one's heart?

Don't get me wrong - if you want to make the time for that, more power to you.

However, if you need a strategy that will work right now to beat the clutter in manageable chunks of time, read on!

Minimalism Doesn't Work For Everyone

While the basic ideas behind minimalism can be helpful for just about anyone, remember that you're not going for no possessions at all. For most people, it simply isn't practical to get rid of almost all of their stuff.

Instead, one essential question to ask yourself as you work through the rest of the steps below is: "If having this item is stressing me out, why do I still have it?"

This essential question can set your priorities straight. Are you ever going to fix that chair, those boots, that broken monitor? If not, why keep it? Looking at it makes you think about another project you don't have time to do.

Instead of minimalism or perfectionism, let realism be your goal.

If you're cleaning up to sell and move, be realistic about what you want to unpack on the other side. And if you find yourself unable to make a decision, let your boxes decide for you.

Pack away whatever you can't decide about and label it. If, on the other side, you find that you don't miss anything in those boxes, just donate them.

Better yet: the prospect of having to cart all that stuff around might just inspire you to donate now!

Make Cleaning a Game

Okay, it might not be the most fun game, but if you can find a way to set a goal that is manageable but still gets results, you've beaten the system.

One way to "gamify" cleaning is by giving yourself a time limit. Clean for 20 minutes and then take a break for 10. Or set a timer for 45 minutes and try to get one thing completely done in that time: that junk drawer you've wanted to tackle forever, or all the dusting you've been putting off. Then pack up and save the next part for the next day.

What you want to avoid with this strategy is twofold: avoid allowing the clutter and dirt to build up in your house until it feels unlivable and you have to spend a whole weekend trying to get on top of it. It's a vicious cycle. The other thing you want to avoid is trying to tackle a big organizational project all at once.

Remember those organizational TV shows, where professionals make homeowners dump all their possessions on the lawn and sort them all? What people don't realize is that it takes a whole team of people to achieve that process.

If you start this on your own, you will quickly be overwhelmed and left with a bigger mess than when you started - that will work against you!

Before and After Photos Are Their Own Reward

In the age of social media, why not put it to your advantage? If you're brave enough, post a before photo of the room or dresser you're about to tackle.

Getting to that after photo, and all the encouragement you will receive from friends and family will spur you on toward the finish. Just make sure it's a doable project!

Your "after" photos of your home ready to put on the market will just be the icing on the cake when you've tackled your house in manageable chunks.

Bringing it Home

Any real estate agent will tell you how important it is to have a clean and organized house when you want to sell. The good news is that if you master this, it makes your move that much easier! Happy cleaning!

Real Estate Marketing: Top Pros and Cons of an Open House

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale with open house sign

Are you trying to sell your house? Are you thinking about how to manage showings during the busy holiday season? Does your realtor believe you should hold an open house?

The practice of holding an open house may appeal to you as a seller, or you may think it doesn't make any sense to hold one in the digital age. Even in 2018, there are benefits to an open house. And yes, there are drawbacks as well.

The following list should give you a good starting point as you think through the idea. Be sure to talk through it with your realtor as well. He or she may have some good points to add either for or against the idea.

Feel free to question the realtor who wants to push an open house on you when you would rather not. It can be an excellent opportunity for a realtor to hand out business cards and meet potential clients.

However, any good agent knows that has to be secondary to your needs as the homeowner. Here is what your realtor should already be doing for you:

  • Lending his or her local competitive presence to the sale of your home.
  • Providing excellent photography and a vivid description of your home, and being willing to go above and beyond with other advertising measures.
  • Showing willingness to communicate with you quickly and consistently.
  • Exhibiting honesty and trustworthiness and, above all, treating you the same way every other client is treated.

Drawbacks of Holding an Open House

Open Houses Don't Sell Homes

One of the main drawbacks you will hear about is that it isn't necessary to hold an open house to sell your home. This is true in the sense that interested buyers will schedule a private viewing to see your house.

They won't rely on an open house to view your home. Some studies indicate that only 7% of sales come from open houses. It's no longer the most popular way to spread the word.

Open Houses Mostly Attract Looky-Loos

Another potential criticism from a seller's perspective is that only nosy neighbors and unqualified buyers will be coming to walk through your home and see how you live.

The majority of lookers won't be there to consider buying your house seriously.

Seller Competition

Open houses, by their nature, give anyone the opportunity to see what you are doing. So you may get neighbors stopping by with other ideas in mind: namely trying to see what they are up against if they decide to sell their home too.

While this shouldn't be a big problem for your agent, it can be unnerving to know this might happen.

Potential for Theft

Yes, one of the nasty surprises that can come from an open house is someone walking away with a valuable item. If your realtor knows what he or she is doing, they are going to recommend you have insurance. In addition, he or she will recommend that you put any valuables you might have into storage before you even list the house.

However, if your open house gets slammed, your realtor won't have a chance to keep an eye on every couple or family all at once.

Benefits of Open Houses

There are still benefits to holding an open house. If your realtor thinks it's a good idea to hold one, hear them out. You might get more benefit from it than you think.

Open Houses Are Free

You can't go wrong with free advertising. And even though many Americans look at homes from the comfort of their couches first, many of them do still take the time to go to open houses.

It's also an opportunity for you to get many people in the door with a clean house. Private viewings are great, but you have to clean every time.

Social Networking Opportunities

Your savvy realtor will know that just because you're attracting looky-loos doesn't mean that's worthless. If your house is clean and appealing, the people who visit it are going to be talking about it to their friends and social networks.

You never know who will recommend your house to someone else. Free, word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.

Your Realtor is Working for You All Day

Real estate agents are usually very busy. However, when they are at an open house, they are focused on the sale of your home for that day. If you stay for your own open house, you get even more of his time and attention to ask questions and clarify your strategy with him.

Bringing it Home

Ultimately, you decide to hold an open house. Don't get bowled over by a pushy realtor, but don't discount what he or she says, either. Seeing a home in person is always the best way to see it, and real social networks do sell houses.

If you are interested in putting your house on the market, please give us a call. We will be happy to help!

248-348-7200

 

4 Top House Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House marketing mistakes - caution

It happens eventually: the housing market takes a downturn. When the market slows, it becomes more difficult to sell your home. And the market downturn has hit Southeast Michigan.

It can be baffling for some sellers. Why is your house not selling when it seems like plenty of other homes like yours are selling quickly?

We see this scenario over and over again. The problem has very little to do with the house itself and everything to do with the marketing efforts you are making.

If you are trying to sell your home and are having no luck, take a look at the following list to see if you are making these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Poor Photographs and/or No Virtual Tour

Selling a house is a highly visual endeavor! Sellers often get wrapped up in the other aspects of selling their home without first taking into account that they must entice sellers to look at it.

If you have uploaded bad pictures or too few pictures and you have no other way for potential buyers to browse online from the comfort of their couches, you are losing the bulk of your business.

Most buyers only choose from homes whose pictures are top notch. A preference for quality photos is especially relevant in a housing market where inventory is high.

Do you have to spend thousands to have your home professionally photographed?

It would help, but no. You will be doing better to avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Dark photos.
  • Photos of cluttered rooms, or with pets.
  • Unflattering or uncropped photos - showing either not enough of the room or unnecessary elements.
  • Photos uploaded turned sideways or not scaled to be viewed on the internet.

A virtual tour is also a great way to entice buyers to make an appointment to see your home. If you can market your house in both of these ways, you will be much closer to getting your house sold.

In addition, make sure you have worked out any technical kinks. Providing potential buyers the ability to share photos of your home with friends and family is crucial. However, not having good images is a one-way ticket to having your home ignored.

Mistake #2: Restricting Showings

Showing your home at all hours of the day is a hassle, and we know it. However, if you're trying to sell your home, you have to get used to the idea: you are going to have to show it!

The more showings you have, the more potential for good competition and multiple offers. If you restrict showings, buyers and agents aren't likely to keep trying. They will move on to a more readily-available listing.

Here is what you need to do to make sure you are staying competitive with other sellers:

  • Make sure your home has a lockbox.
  • Don't restrict the hours available for showings! You might want to cuddle up in your pajamas after 7 pm, but many potential buyers may only be available for showings after 7.
  • Don't require 24 hours notice. Commit to keeping your house ready to show at a moment's notice and make a plan for where you will go. Agents and buyers will appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile!
  • Allow showings without an appointment. When buyers take time out of their busy schedules to look at homes, they often want to see as many as possible. You will gain a leg up on the competition if your home is available at a moment's notice.

Mistake #3: Offering Less Commission

Like it or not, real estate agents get houses sold, and they expect to get paid for their hard work.

Think about the last time you used the services of your agent. He or she did their best to be available to you at all hours, right? It will work against you if you are trying to save money by offering lower commission - especially in a cooler market.

It doesn't mean agents are motivated by greed. It's actually illegal for them to avoid showing homes offering lower commissions.

However, what your buyer's agent will see - whether it's true or not - is that you aren't very motivated to sell or that you aren't willing to negotiate.

If buyers and agents have a choice, they are going to work with sellers who are generous and willing to negotiate.

Mistake #4: Not Providing Buyer Incentives

Likewise, when you offer buyer incentives, you are acknowledging market conditions. Providing a buyer incentive doesn't have to cost you any money.

In addition, it can be an excellent way to say "I know you could look at five other homes. Let me show you why this is worth your time."

Your agent can give you great ideas for buyer incentives, but here are a few:

  • A certain amount toward the buyer's closing costs
  • A buy-down mortgage interest rate
  • Pre-pay their first year of homeowner's association fees
  • Offer a home protection plan

Bringing it Home

The reality is that the housing market is changing and it's not likely to snap back to the highs of the last several years. A softer market doesn't mean your house won't sell! With the right attitude and marketing tools on your side, your home will sell in no time.

If you are interested in selling your house, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Marketing News: Home Sales Cool in Southeast Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale depicting home sales cooling

Here's a piece of good news: if you are still reeling from the scorching market and subsequent bidding wars of the last couple of years and you came out of it without a new house, now is probably your moment.

The housing market in the entire country is slowing down, and it has started to affect Southeast Michigan.

As a seller, it may be somewhat of a surprise - and an unwelcome surprise at that - to find that your starter home won't garner three deals on the same day it goes on the market.

However, don't get too discouraged! There is overall good news in this for everyone.

For one thing, most experts say it's not a temporary downturn but part of a more significant slowdown. So, as you are seeing home prices inch downward now, you can probably expect to see them continue to inch down toward next spring.

A market slowdown is highly preferable for buyers and sellers than a housing bubble leading to a recession.

The Trend in Southeast Michigan

The number of homes sold in this area was down 5.7% in September, according to data collected by RealComp, which is based out of Farmington Hills. New home sales were down as well in September, which follows the trend for existing homes.

Part of the reason for the slowdown is that interest rates have begun to go up. While you may have gotten an interest rate below 4% a year ago, the rates hit an average of 4.9% for a 30-year mortgage this fall with every indication that they may continue to go up.

Experts are predicting that rates may be as high as 5.55% by this time next year. These kinds of rates may seem high to you but bear in mind that in the early 2000's, the rates were closer to 7 or 8 percent.

How a Cooldown Affects Buyers and Sellers

Sellers

As you may have reason to expect, market conditions are slowly returning to more normal conditions for sellers. Houses will typically sit on the market for slightly longer than they would have before the hot market began.

Gone are the days of multiple bidding wars and cash offers on the same house, and prices will not continue to rise. If you were planning to sell your house for an above-asking price on the same day you list it, you might need to adjust your expectations.

This market change doesn't mean you won't sell your home! Rising borrowing costs coupled with rising material costs mean that inventory is still low. Also, many buyers who were discouraged by the too-hot market of the last several years may be shopping again.

Buyers

First-time buyers are, unfortunately, still going to be in a tight position. Although the mortgage interest rates aren't nearly as high as they have been in the past, it is discouraging to see how much they've climbed.

Additionally, inventory may still be tighter than in years past as rising costs and lowering sales keep new homes from being built. The primary advantage you have on your side now is time, and lower asking prices.

In the last two years, it may have been all but impossible for the average first-time buyer to snag a single-family home. Now, you have the luxury of shopping around without the fear of losing your chance.

It's a good bet that now you can make a realistic offer on a house and get it accepted. The sooner you decide to enter the market, the lower interest rate you will be able to secure, as rates will continue to rise through next year.

Takeaway

Because the rest of the economy is strong and incomes are still rising, experts don't predict that this housing cool-down is predictive of a recession.

Although the market is definitely cooling, and will probably continue to cool down throughout this fall and into next year, it will create opportunities for some without jeopardizing sellers' chances.

If you are ready to buy or sell, please give us a call. We would be happy to help!

248-348-7200

What to Do Before You Move into Your New Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Tasks before moving into your new home

Did you recently purchase your new home? If you did, or if you are about to make this big purchase, congratulations!

It's an exciting time as well as a potentially stressful time. You can eliminate potential stressors right away by doing a few things you might not have thought of before you move in.

Many of the following tips are great things for any homeowner to do no matter how long you've lived in your house!

Have Your New Home Professionally Inspected

It pays to do your homework for a professional inspector you can trust. Your real estate agent may have recommended an inspector to you. More than likely, that inspector will be able to catch any big problems before your move.

However, home inspectors can't always detect pests or issues that were hidden by the previous owner's furniture. It may be worth it to get a second inspection for your benefit before unpacking your belongings.

Clean Your Gutters and Chimneys

You should already have a good idea of the state of your gutters and chimneys, but that doesn't automatically mean they're clean and in working order!

Roof and gutter cleaning is #1 for maintaining the integrity of your roof and house. In addition, if you want to use your new fireplace and chimney, make sure it's in working order.

Have Your HVAC System Cleaned

This task often gets overlooked, but pet hair and dust can clog your HVAC system and contribute to allergies in a new home. It's not very expensive to have your ducts cleaned, have the filter on your furnace change, and make sure everything in your HVAC system is in working order.

Have Your Floors Professionally Cleaned

Nothing is more annoying than moving all your furniture into your new bedrooms and then realizing you needed to have the carpets steam-cleaned. The previous owners probably didn't do this. You want the carpet cleaned of other people's dirt before you move in.

Check Your Water Quality

You might never have thought of this one but bad water can contribute to a host of illnesses. You can purchase a kit to test for bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrates, chlorine, hardness, and PH.

If you find out your water needs to be filtered, consider having a reverse osmosis water filter installed.

Update Your Detectors

Replacing those old smoke detectors with smart detectors that can sense smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide is probably a good idea. As a bonus, many new detectors also connect to your smartphone to give you updates and tell you a bunch of other pertinent information while you're away!

Take Pictures of Everything

As horrible as the idea is, your new house may get damaged by floods, fires, tornadoes, storm damage, etc.

The sad reality is that your insurance company is going to want to pay the least possible amount on any insurance claim you make in the event of a catastrophe. It pays to have documentation of how your house looked when you moved in.

Set Up Your Utilities

If the previous owners didn't leave you with all of this information, don't worry! Your neighbors have the same services you do (mostly). What better way to get to know them?

Paint

Avoid the fumes, the headache of moving and covering everything and paint your new house before your move in. If you have a newer build, you're in luck.

However, older houses will probably need every surface to be painted - ceilings, trim, walls, etc.

Make Emergency Plans and an Evacuation Kit

One of the first things you should do when you move in, particularly when you have kids, is to sit down and make an evacuation plan together.

How will you get out? Where will you meet? Make sure everyone knows how to make the right emergency calls. You also need to have the right tools necessary for a potential survival situation. Consider having on hand:

  • An emergency fire ladder
  • A water filter
  • An emergency radio
  • A survival kit that includes emergency rations and first aid products - enough for every person in your family.

Hopefully, you won't need any of these things. But if you do, they are better to have on hand.

Bring it Home

We hope you have a great time moving into your new house! Use these tips to make it your own and avoid some of the stressors of living in a new place.

Why You Need to Organize Your House to Sell Quickly and For More Money

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Organized closet

Why is it that organization and cleanliness make such a significant impression on buyers? After all, we are all aware that our houses get messy - sometimes very messy - from time to time. Life gets busy, and cleaning gets put to the bottom of the list.

However, buyers don't care about how busy a homeowner is when they are coming to look at your house. What they want to see is often the fantasy (or hopeful thinking) of what a new home will do for their lives.

We see it over and over again: buyers won't stop at your beautifully staged kitchen and living room. When they are in your home, they can and will open every drawer, cabinet, built-in, and closet.

And they will judge your house by what they find. Not only that but if your clutter is there, they won't be able to picture their things fitting into your home.

Think of your closets and drawers as a kind of potential blank slate - even though your items will still be there. Organized belongings make your space feel calm and inviting. If your home isn't orderly and clean, buyers will disconnect from your house emotionally. They won't be able to see any of its potential: only the mess.

You don't want this disconnect to happen.

Clean Is More Than Surface

This is why we always advise our sellers to treat their home as if it's already someone else's home once they decide to sell. Ironically, if you are taking selling seriously, you need to organize and declutter the way your buyers imagine they will do when they see your house.

This is especially true if you want to get top dollar for it and have it sell quickly. You want to sell quickly to avoid having to keep your house "perfect" until it sells. It won't work to put the toys in a bin, sweep the floor, and call it a day.

Invest In Organization

Organization is more important than any other problem area in your house you might think you have to tackle to get it sold. Think about this from the other way around. If you can get a buyer to invest emotionally, that is when that buyer is going to want to live in your house and pay their top dollar to ensure they are the ones who get to live there.

Ordering your world can take a long time. There are many online tools to help you get started if you feel lost. However, you might want to consider hiring a professional organizer before you put your house on the market.

An organizer can see your stuff more objectively than you can. You may need some extra direction or courage to get rid of things that are holding you back. An organizer can also make the most of your space in ways you may not be able to see.

For buyers, this is solid gold. So what if your house doesn't have the closet space you wish it did? If a buyer sees a cunningly devised system, she will be able to picture herself living there too.

Bringing it Home

The most important thing a buyer needs to feel in your house is a sense of connection. They need to be able to see themselves living there. To do this, they need to feel the sense of calm that is created by a well-organized space.

If you are thinking about selling your house, this should be one of your first steps. If you need help or have questions about where to start and live in Southeast Michigan, please call. We would be happy to help you get started!

248-348-7200

Housing Market Trends for 2018 and Beyond

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Housing Market Trends for 2018 and Beyond

For many prospective homeowners, the last few years have been a challenge. With home prices continuing to rise and inventory at its lowest point in a decade, first-time home buyers and those downsizing have had to compete against many others - especially in our country's hottest markets.

With this furious pace, experts have started to look into the possibility of another housing bubble and financial collapse.

Of course, no one wants to live through another great recession. Many American families are still trying to recover from the 2008 bubble burst.

So, what's the truth? Is this current real estate situation a housing bubble? What are the indications that it could be? Could we be headed for another bubble burst?

While some market trends are showing similar signs to a housing bubble, the newest data from popular housing markets this summer says we may be heading for a slow-down rather than a bubble burst.

It may not be the best news for sellers who are hoping for a bidding war and a massive increase in their asking price. However, it's better for everyone than another recession.

2 Significant Trends of a Housing Bubble

Interest Rates

In 1997, Professor Fred Foldvary predicted the 2008 bust based on his examination of history. Interest rates tend to follow bank credit swells, which are typically to follow peaks in land value.

The cycle has repeated itself consistently since around 1800, except for the interruption of WWII.

Some experts point to today's high mortgage rates as an indicator that the market is about to bust. Interest rates are high but not as high as their peak in 2007 of 6.70% or 18.19% in 1979.

Default Rates

The rate at which homeowners are defaulting on their loans is also a predictor of an impending real estate crash. However, this rate is at its lowest, nationally, in 12 years.

The Evidence Points Toward Housing Market Cooling

Although the fact remains that you may not see much of a difference in your local market, there is emerging data to suggest that it may be the beginning of a change.

In some of the most active markets in the country, where bidding wars were common, and housing prices were being driven sky high, markets have begun to cool.

Homes are starting to sit on the market for weeks instead of just days and sellers aren't receiving multiple bids on their homes.

Existing-home sales dropped this past June for the third straight month, and new home purchases are at their lowest in 8 months.

Inventory is Growing Again

Home prices are rising still - which is good news - but not as fast. Only 6.4% this past May, which was the smallest year over year gain since early in 2017.

Prices are at their lowest increase over a 3-month period since 2012 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. 

Experts are predicting a 5% gain this year and a 3% gain in 2019, which is much lower than what we saw in 2007 shortly before the crash, which was 10.7%.

Takeaway

Evidence of the housing market cooling may not be welcome news to everyone. However, it's much more welcome news than another impending recession.

Sellers can take heart! Home values are still rising. And buyers can start to catch a breath.

As 2018 draws to a close and 2019 begins, the real estate market is looking like a much more comfortable place to venture into.

If you are interested in buying or selling a house and live in Southeast Michigan, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

 

How to Choose the Perfect Neighborhood

by The Jamey Kramer Group

How to Choose the Perfect Neighborhood

One common nightmare scenario for new homeowners: you find the perfect house - a beautiful new kitchen, number of bedrooms, and beautiful deck. Then you find out later that your new neighbors have loud parties until 2 a.m. on weeknights.

Or there's a barking dog right next door. You are stuck with a perfect home in the wrong location.

What do you do?

This phenomenon can be called "neighborhood regret," and it's genuine. If you are not looking out for it, you may lose sight of how important your new neighborhood is going to be.

It's why you can't just consider the house itself. You have to think the whole package.

According to a recent Trulia survey, 36% of residents would move to a different neighborhood than their current one if they had a chance.

How to Search for a New Neighborhood

It could be argued that the neighborhood is just as important as the house you buy. You can always change the aspects of your home you don't like over time.

However, it's a lot less likely that you will have any way of influencing the makeup of your neighborhood.

If you are about to buy a house, or you are looking for a new community for this exact reason, follow these smart tips about where to start your search.

Make a List of Your Priorities

Most buyers know some of their top priorities before they start looking: school district, proximity to the interstate, walkability, etc.

Those are all great things, but think about the details you might be overlooking:

  • Can you handle a neighborhood with a lot of dogs?
  • Do you want to live on a street with other families?
  • Do you want to avoid a place where college students often throw late-night parties?

Scope Out Your Top Choices Online

The chances are good that this list of priorities will narrow your neighborhood choices down to just a few. If you have kids, the school district will probably make a significant impact on your neighborhood choice.

You can use Niche.com to find "user reviews" on the areas you are looking for. Niche is like a search engine for neighborhoods and schools. It is made up of a team of scientists and parents who have taken all the raw data about your area and taken the guesswork out of your search. Information is presented in an easy-to-use format that allows you to search under many different criteria and receive ratings and reviews from actual residents of the area you're searching for.

Take a Look for Yourself

The best way to find out about your potential new digs is to go there yourself. Drive through at all different times of day and night. If it's walkable, consider getting a coffee and spending some time strolling around.

Notice what you see and hear. Is the car traffic loud? Is there construction nearby? Are you noticing graffiti you didn't see when you toured the house?

Now, summon your courage and knock on a few doors. The chances are good that you will get your best information this way. The neighbors will know how quiet it is at night. They will have experience with potential crime, and it won't just be a statistic. You have got nothing to lose. If the next-door neighbor is rude, maybe that's a sign you should move on.

Takeaway

The environment you live in can be just as important as the state of your new kitchen or the number of bedrooms. Take some time to research your new neighborhood before you make that big purchase and avoid neighborhood regret.

If you have any questions about this process and live in the Detroit Metro area, we would be happy to help.

248-348-7200

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