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30 Ways it Pays to Work with a Realtor

 

  1.  They can check your credit report for you.
  2. You'll have a market expert price your existing home without having to do the research and guesswork yourself.
  3. Determine how much you can afford. Realtors can see the big picture and help you find something within your budget.
  4. They have access to the full market potential and will be able to show your home across many platforms.
  5. They will be able to market and advertise for you. Saving you tons of time AND money.
  6. Host open houses.
  7. Schedule appointments to show the current home and show you your next one.
  8. Find the perfect home with everything you heart desires.
  9. Research the school district. They'll know everything there is to know to put your mind at ease.
  10. Research the neighborhoods. You'll know exactly what you have access to without pending hours finding the information yourself.
  11. Analyze the neighborhood's home sales to price your home properly.
  12. They can make offers on your behalf and are skilled in negotiating with other realtors.
  13. They'll be able to weed through the offers on your current home and present you with the best options.
  14. Review home owners' association documents. Who wants to read through all of that themselves?
  15. Coordinate with the closing lenders, buyers, sellers, and the title company.
  16. Find you the best pest and home inspectors for your home.
  17. Schedule and meet with home and pest inspectors.
  18. Negotiate terms of sale or purchase including repairs or concessions.
  19. If you want, they can even find an attorney to draft the contracts.
  20. Review and approve contracts.
  21. Get signed contract to seller.
  22. Choose your mortgage lender.
  23. Hire attorney or title company to complete closing research.
  24. Hire surveyor to survey property.
  25. Review and approving closing costs.
  26. Obtain homeowners' insurance.
  27. Conduct a final walk through of the home.
  28. Review and sign closing documents.
  29. Get signed contract to seller.
  30. Order title search.

How to Stage a Home with Kids

Staging a home is difficult enough but with kids? It may not only seem daunting but impossible. Can a home really be expected to look like a Pinterest worthy haven when you have kids running around and a dog that slobbers on everything? We are here to tell you that yes, it is. The only way to sell your home whether you're childless or with a mini football team, is to appeal to all types of buyers. Try to keep all the spaces as neutral as possible because even though a family may love your house, your next potential buyer could very well be a bachelor (or bachelorette, 2017!). To make things easier for you, we've compiled a list of tips to streamline the process:

1) Declutter.
Now, this is something that all sellers should keep in mind, with children or without however, it is definitely more of a challenge with little ones around. Try to organize a tucked away space for the toys with neutral colored containers or go extreme and simply either move things to a storage unit or better yet, donate clothes and toys your children don't need anymore. I know, that toy they loved for a whole 5 minutes seems a lot more worthy of their time now that you're telling them to get rid of it but, be honest with them and you'll be able to teach your children a life lesson about selflessness in the process. Just please, PLEASE, don't just shove everything into a closet. Imagine a buyer walking through your home, opening a closet door, and being faced with a mountain of clutter. Not the image you want them to leave with, now is it?

2) Tone Down the Themed Bedrooms.
Yes, your five year old might not understand why someone else wouldn't love his dinosaur themed wallpaper but just bribe with all the possibilities in your new home. Sure, there will be families who love the decor but again, you can't list a home with only one type of buyer in mind. Most people want a turn-key home and for many, this does not include a princess themed bedroom. Try painting the walls a neutral tone and opt out of displaying all those action figures.

3) Replace Your Family with Artwork. 
No, not your actual family - just their photos. This is almost a MUST. Photos of your family will distract buyers and make them unable to see themselves in the space. They can't envision their life in your home if they're too busy looking at yours. Try to remove any personalized items and replace it with paintings or stylish, neutral decor.

4) Repair, Repair, Repair. 
This should go without saying but any marks on the walls, stains, or chips should be repaired. Think of it as when you borrow something from a friend, you'd return it to them in the same if not better condition, wouldn't you? Why would your new friend who's paying for your home want anything different? No one wants to invest their money in a home with wear and tear so maintaining is key.

5) Stay Clean. 
Don't wait until you know you have a showing as this is unpredictable and a lot of times, last minute. Your house should not have to be prepared, it should stay prepared. I know this is easier said than done with little germ monsters running around (love them but let's be honest). It might be a good idea to invest in a cleaning service to do a deep clean. Everyday the surfaces should be wiped, floors should be scrubbed, and home decluttered.

Call us today for even more tips and tricks!
 

Before Buying Vacant Land, READ THIS!

We have sold many properties, some of which have been lots and land. There are many people who would rather buy an open space and build their dream home, and hey, we get it. However, as with any dream, you'll need to be prepared for all outcomes. We've compiled a list below to make things a little easier for you.

1. Ensure the Land is a Proper Building Site.
Now this one may seem obvious but you'd be surprised by how many people buy land without doing their research. This is one of the most important things you can do. Do you really want to buy land to find out you have to put more money into fixing the site than building your home? You have to research everything from slope to grading land and tree removal. You'll have to consider things like driveways and access to the land itself. Once you've done your own research, it will be good to get a second opinion.

2. Pick Your Builder, Architect, & Contractor.
This step may be first or second depending on how much experience you have with lots & land. You can get the gist on your own but if you're a complete novice, I'd pick your team first. They'll be able to walk you through the building process and give you advice on your land.

3. Conduct a Soil Test
You will absolutely, without a doubt need to conduct a soil test to determine if if you'll be able to set up a septic system as well as proceed with the development phase. If the soil is too soft, your home could risk a multitude of issues.

4. Get All of Your Permits
Your local jurisdiction will be able to show you on a zoning map which piece of land can be used for in terms of single-family, commercial, etc. You will still need to do some of your own research on this and then confirm with your local jurisdiction on which zone your land falls into.

5. Plan Your Financing
We recommend this as one of the first steps before even making an offer on the land. You should have a rough estimate of what this build will cost you so you can be prepared. If you don't have enough financing as a cushion then you should probably avoid buying the land in the first place. It's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. You can even get multiple loans such as land loans (to purchase the land), a construction loan (for building), and then you can get a separate loan for the mortgage.

6. Consider Utilities
Living remotely may seem fun in the movies but realistically, not everyone is going to want to rough it. You'll want to ensure that you can get power, gas, water, and internet. This can be done by simply calling the local utility companies.

7. Obtain a Recent Survey of the Property
A survey will basically explain the exact lines of the land you own. It will help you determine exactly what you're buying in terms of your surroundings. If your seller doesn't have one, it's worth investing to obtain one yourself.

8. Conduct a Title Examination
Have an attorney review the title for you. They can research through county records and review the chain of title to ensure you have one without liens, excess mortgages, encumbrances, easements, etc. That way you'll know exactly what you're signing up for.

9. Appraisal of the Property
Your realtor will be able to verify the true value of the property but if you'd rather get a second opinion, you can place a appraisal contingency in your purchase contract and a pay a couple hundred dollars to have an appraisal done. That way if the appraisal is lower than your purchase price you can renegotiate.

10. School Districts
This won't apply to everyone which is why I made it last but if you do have children to consider, you'll need to call your district to see which school system you were in and do your research!

I hope you see the recurring theme of DO YOUR RESEARCH and take this list as a beginner's guide to buying land. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us and our licensed, experienced realtors will be happy to help!

 

Is Foreclosure Your Best Option?

So, you've received a foreclosure notice in the mail, your mind is racing. Are you really that behind on your payments? Can you keep your home? Where else can you live? Will you never be able to buy a home again? Foreclosure can be the right path for some homeowners. Decide whether this or another option is right for you while learning to protect yourself if you feel you're not deserving of foreclosure or you don't trust the individual or service that sent you the notice.

1. Common Causes of Foreclosure

  • Negative equity - Housing prices dropped by nearly half in the hardest hit areas of the mortgage  crisis. People owing $200,000 on a mortgage for a house valued at $100,000, for instance is the leading cause of foreclosure.
  • The most common reasons for foreclosure might be more grim than you think. A death, drug addiction, disease, or divorce can all lead to denial of missed payments and a foreclosed home.

2. Two Types of Foreclosure

  • Judicial Foreclosure is when a lender sues for payment of debt, described in a promissory note which can take over a year and is extremely expensive. A public auction is then held with the proceeds applied to the amount owed and remaining balance is still due at 12% simple interest rate until paid off.
  • Nonjudicial Foreclosure is when the trustee orders the sale of the property. Proceeds are applied to debt owed under promissory note. This option is less expensive and faster than a judicial foreclosure. There is also no deficiency judgment - all debt eliminated, even if sale does not completely repay the lender.

3. Benefits of Foreclosure

  • Save Money - once your home enters the foreclosure process, you stop making mortgage payments; saving you money and preparing you for your next dwelling.
  • Negotiate Your Terms - foreclosure puts you in a position to negotiate with your bank on your mortgage terms with a possibility of a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment, and dismissal of back pay or even staying in your home for another 6-18 mths, saving you an average of $1,500 a month.

4. Alternatives to Foreclosure

  • Short Sale
  • Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
  • Bankruptcy
  • Switch to Rent

5. Your Credit Score

  • 30 days overdue on mortgage = 40-100pts off your credit score
  • 90 days overdue on mortgage = 70-135pts off your credit score
  • Foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu = 85-160pts off your credit score
  • Bankruptcy = 130-240pts off your credit score

7. Recognize a Foreclosure/Mortgage Scam

  • The FBI and Department of Justice offer tips to protect your home and finances from fraud.
    • Approaches you as something like a "mortgage consultant" or "foreclosure service"
    • Requires collection of fees prior to services
    • Only accepts said payment via cashier's check/wire transfer
    • Requires payment of mortgage to the individual/service, rather than your lender
    • Requires transfer of home title/deed to the individual/service
  • Only 3% of qualified borrowers have applied to have their foreclosure cases reviewed for mismanagement.
  • A $26 Billion settlement was reached in 2012 to reduce payments for owners who wrongfully received foreclosure notices.

8. Foreclosure Facts

  • 1 in 662 houses in the US received foreclosure notices in March 2012.
  • Foreclosures were down 3.89% between February and March.
  • Average sales prices on foreclosed homes increased by 8.84% between February and March to $177,192.
  • The average foreclosure takes up to 2 years to complete and costs the lender $78,000.

Fall is the Time to Buy!

Think the only things to look forward to this season is a pumpkin spiced latte and apple orchards? Think again! If you're in the market to buy, now might be the season for you!

Everyone always thinks spring is the best time not only to list but to buy a new home & for the most part, that's true but there's a whole new (& cheaper) market out there right now!

For example, think about all of those homes that were listed this spring. They were snatched up almost instantly and the ones that weren't? Well, those were probably overpriced and now that we are well into fall, they've realized the error of their ways and have more than likely lowered the price to meet realistic expectations.

So, what have we learned so far? Fall not only means delicious cider and donuts but less competition as most buyers have been conditioned to believe that spring is the best time to buy and also, more motivated sellers who have had their home on the market for far too long.

Before you go rushing to find the home that's been listed since March and try to low-ball the owner, this is not a one size fits all kind of thing. Not every owner will be (for the lack of a better term) desperate to sell. This is where a great realtor comes in. They will know the market well enough to know which sellers will be more negotiable than others. 

An added bonus to all of this? This is year-end sale season! Not only will you (hopefully) be able to find a great deal on your new home but you'll be able to find great deals on furnishing your nest. You'll find great deals on everything from carpet to law mowers. 

Don't wait until the snow melts & the birds start chirping. Call us today and let us help you find your new home!

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

It's that time of year again.. pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, crunchy leaves.. you guessed it - it's FALL! Before you go off galavanting through an apple orchard, don't forget about your home! Just like with spring cleaning, fall means it's time to prep your home for the following season and if Michigan has taught us anything, it's how brutal winters can be. They'll be here before you know it. Follow our checklist below of what you need to do to prepare yourself.

1. Chimney
Sure, this is a great option for those who have a fireplace. Who hasn't wanted to recreate a romance novel with a bear skin rug & a warm hearth while the snow is lightly falling outside but before you go planning your best Nicholas Sparks impression, you need to have the chimney cleaned and inspected. Creosote buildup can lead to a chimney fire. If you plan on turning up the heat regularly then you should be having it inspected once a year. 

 

2. Gutters
This is the least favorite task on everyone's to do list but it's really unavoidable. Your gutters are like a safe haven for pests, mold, and clogs to your gutter system. It might seem like something that will take care of itself but an ignored gutter can lead to water buildup and damage to your roof in the long term. Even your basement can be effected! To avoid an issues down below, make sure the downspouts carry water away from the foundation.

 

3. Roof
Make sure there are no damaged shingles, flashing around the seams, or branches that hang over your home.The last thing you want is a roof repair in the middle of winter. You might love making snowmen but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't love making them indoors. 

 

4. Storage
I'm sure leaving your paint, caulk or adhesives outdoors from those summer projects may seem like an alright idea but doing so will ruin those materials. And unlike spring flowers, the snow won't just thaw them out to bring them anew.

 

5. Insulation
I cannot stress enough how important insulating your house for the winter is. It's not only a cost effective way to lower your energy bills but is a small step in helping your environment. Get a home energy audit to find out where you need additional insulation.

 

6. Water Heater
Drain your water heater to remove sediment buildup from the holding tank. You can improve your water heater's efficiency by 50% simply by draining. Because let's be honest, no one wants to take a cold shower in minus degree weather.

 

7. Windows & Doors
This step is probably as important as insulating your home. Check for drafts near windows & doors. Apply weatherstripping where needed. Drafty doors may need to be re-hung by an expert for a better fit.

 

8. Furnace
Are you noticing the recurring theme of keeping warm? Air filters that are clogged with dust & debris can greatly reduce your home's heating efficiency and should be checked/replaced regularly especially if you have pet.

Before You List Check Out This List

So, you've decided you're ready to sell your home. It's a flurry of activity, and it's daunting to think about everything you'll need to do before you even list your home.

Let us at Inside Realty, make things a little easier for you. We've created this list so you can take the proper steps in prepping your home for showings. 

Staging Your House 

The first thing you should do to get your home ready for showings is preparing the house to be shown in it's best light. Making sure your house looks it's best on the inside and outside is key to making the right first impression and making the sale.

What are some changes you can make inside the house to get ready?

staging the house for sale

Clear the clutter:  Do what you can to make the house as free of clutter as you possible. If you have a lot of possessions, pack them up, and put them in a storage locker while you're selling your home. Nothing says “this house is cramped” like a house full of things.

  • Clear off counter surfaces: Clear everything off the kitchen and bathroom counters, as well as off of other horizontal surfaces where it makes sense.  Less stuff makes it feel like there's more available space to put things – and makes it feel more roomy.
  • De-personalize the home: Remove personal photos of your family, and other personal touches around the home. Keep decorations and photos neutral. You want potential buyers to picture themselves living in the house, not to feel like a creepy voyeur!
  • Fix obvious issues that need repair:  If you have items that need obvious repair, take care of them before listing. For us that meant fixing some drywall that had peeling drywall tape, fixing a leaking faucet and patching up a few of small drywall holes.
  • A fresh coat of paint: Paint rooms with non-neutral colors (that bright red kitchen?), or touch up paint in rooms where there are nicks and scrapes on the wall.  Our house was already pretty neutral in color, but we still went around the house and touched up small marks,scrapes and nicks on the walls.  Now the walls look brand new!
  • Fresh caulking in bathrooms: Put fresh caulking on the the showers, tubs and around the sinks in your bathrooms and other areas that might be caulked.
  • Update outdated or unsightly fixtures:  If you live in an older house that looks a bit outdated you can update the look relatively inexpensively by putting in a few new faucets, light fixtures and other accessories.
  • Replace outlet or light switch covers that are old/worn: Sometimes after years of use light fixtures and outlet covers get dirty, scraped up and ugly.  Spend a few dollars and get new ones. They'll only take a short time to replace and will make the outlets and switches look new!
  • Replace or clean worn carpeting: If you have older carpeting that's threadbare you might consider replacing it.  If the carpet's newer you might want to just get it cleaned to remove any stains or blemishes.
  • Make sure to replace all burned out bulbs: Before your showing make sure that all the light bulbs are working to ensure there is adequate light in the house.
  • Open shades/curtains to give the home a light and airy feel:  Open the curtains and blinds to let in plenty of light when you sell. It will give the house a lighter and airier feel.
  • Use scented plugins or bake cookies on the day of a showing:  Before your showing bake some cookies, or plugin a scented air freshener to give the home a nice homey smell.
  • Pack away un-needed clothes and accessories in closets: If your closets are jam packed full of clothes, pack away the ones you don't need and put them in storage. The roomier you can make your closets look and feel the better!
  • Oil squeaky doors and hinges: Go around the house and oil any squeaky doors and hinges.  Squeaky hinges can make a house feel old.

 

There are also quite a few things you can do outside the home to make sure that it has great curb appeal.

getting-house-ready-for-sale
 

  • Clean your windows:  Make sure to clean your windows so that they look clean from inside and out, and let plenty of light in.
  • Wash the house down: If you've got siding on your house, give it a good cleaning so that it looks fresh and new.  For us that essentially means just spraying it down with the hose.
  • Paint the house and/or trim: If your house is painted and is looking worn, you may want to consider painting the house. At a minimum painting the trim can be a good idea.
  • Cut the lawn: Make sure your lawn isn't an overgrown mess. Mow the grass and trim the edges before any showings.
  • Trim the bushes back: If you've got big overgrown bushes in front of the house you may want to consider cutting them back a bit.  If bushes or undergrowth gets too out of control, it can hide the house and make it feel out of repair.
  • Plant flowers and other plants: If you don't have any landscaping or plants, consider planting a few inexpensive flowers and plants, or get a planter to put in front of the house.  Some people suggest planting yellow flowers – a color that supposedly puts people in the mood to buy!
  • Put down fresh mulch: Put down a few fresh bags of mulch in flower beds to make it look  nice and appear as if you maintain things, including the landscaping.
  • Clean the AC unit condenser:  Make sure to clear debris out of your AC unit condenser coils, and hose it down to make it clean.
  • Make the home's entry inviting: Spruce up the home's entryway with flowers, a wreath on the door and by making sure it's clean and house numbers are visible and polished.

Doing Your Research

When listing your home for sale it's important to do your research in several different areas.

  • Finding the right price: This is by far the biggest thing you will need to do when selling your house, choosing a price that will mean your home actually gets showings.  If you're working on your own finding the right price can often be as easy as perusing recent sales in your neighborhood for comparable homes, and pricing it accordingly.  Usually, however, your best bet is to work with a good agent who can give you a good market analysis.  Be careful not to price all your priceless memories and fond feelings for your home – into the selling price.  Buyers won't want to pay for those!
  • Finding the right agent: Finding a good agent can definitely help you to sell your home quicker. Not only are they able to get your house listed in the MLS system, they can also help you in pricing your home and work their network of contacts to help sell your house.  Try not to choose just any agent because they're a friend or family member. Interview a few agents and go with the one that feels right and can demonstrate expertise.
  • Finding the right photographer: Do some research and ask around to find a good photographer that can take great inside and outside photos of your house, preferably with a wide angle lens, and some degree of HDR photography so that light and dark areas in the house are both easily visible.
  • Research other successful ads: Look at ads for other homes that are for sale, especially ones in your neighborhood on recent sales. See how the homes are presented, and notice what things stand out to you when you look at ads for other houses. Write out some of the biggest pluses of your house and figure out how to feature those things in your ads.

Be Aware Of The Costs Associated With Selling Your House

Selling your house isn't likely to be cheap, in fact that are all kinds of costs associated with selling a house. When you add it all up, the cost of selling a home can sometimes be anywhere from 7-10% of the sale price or more. Here are some of the costs to be ready for:

  • Marketing the home:  Marketing your home can be quite expensive when you factor in all the listing fees, the cost of a photographer to do nice photos, etc.
  • Fixing and staging the home: The costs of fixing up things that are wrong and staging the home (especially if you use a professional) can add up quick.
  • Fixing things contingent to sale: Sometimes when you have a potential buyer they'll agree to purchase, but only contingent on certain things being fixed.  Those costs can add up.
  • Real estate agent fees: agent fees to buyer and seller's agent can be anywhere from 6-7% of the sale price.
  • Closing fees: Closing fees can be thousands of dollars depending on where you close, and what you've agreed to pay for the buyer's fees.
  • Miscellaneous fees: Sometimes there will be other miscellaneous fees like transferring association membership, among other things.

When it comes down to it, to properly fix, stage and market your house can potentially cost thousands of dollars, so be sure you're ready for the cost when you go in.

Conclusion

Selling your home can be quite the undertaking, but if you put in the time, do your research and do what it takes to make the sale, you could end up with thousands more in your pocket because of your hard work.

10 Things We Do For Home Buyers

A realtor can be extremely helpful when you are buying a home. Every real estate agent has a slightly different approach to the home buying process. However, there are certain things that every real estate agent should do for you as a buyer. As a buyer, your expectations should be met and if possible, exceeded by your real estate agent.

Use the following list as a guide for finding the right agent for you even if it's not us. These are critical things a real estate agent should be doing for home buyers. If you find a potential agent that says he or she won’t do the things on this list, keep looking. When you find a quality agent, he or she will be more than happy to take care of these things. 

1. Find an Realtor with various accreditations.

Sure, having a good work ethic can allow you to become an realtor but what sets a GREAT realtor apart? Your agent should be someone who took extra initiative to serve a specific market and met all requirements to claim a designation with their expertise, knowledge, and experience. View all of our Accreditations here.

2. Get you pre-approved.

A realtor is defined by his/her network. If your realtor is in good standing with other trusted agents, organizations, and their community that is a good sign. They will be able to offer you options for lenders, and othe professionals that will be involved in your home buying process.

You want to be pre-approved so you know how much you can spend, so if you aren’t already – talk to your real estate agent about getting it done.

One thing to keep in mind is the differences between being pre-approved and pre-qualified. These two mortgage terms are night and day in their meaning. You want to be pre-approved which means the lender has verified your income, employment and run your credit. A pre-qualification letter in most circumstances does none of these things. Frankly, it is not worth the paper it is written on.

An exceptional seller’s agent will insist upon having a solid pre-approval letter so make sure you get one!

3. Help find you a home 

House hunting is a tiring process at the best of times, requiring you to make concessions so that your dreams can match up with the reality of what is available and what you can afford. One of your Realtor’s key jobs is to help you clarify what you want most, and find you options that meet your specifications as much as possible. The best real estate agents are going to counsel you on location, neighborhood, schools and other factors.

Your agent should help you determine the best locations for you to look based on what you’re looking to achieve, including the type of neighborhood you want, schools for your kids, etc. If driving you from house to house is all your real estate agent is doing, you might want to look for someone else!

4. Negotiate an offer.

Your realtor's goal should be to get you the best possible deal which means they know how to negotiate well. The best negotiators know the value of what they are attempting to buy or sell, which is what makes them so useful.They should be advising you on what your initial offer should be and how to proceed accordingly when the seller responds.

He or she should know how to effectively negotiate to get you the best possible price on the home of your dreams. Ultimately you are beholden to the market, but that doesn’t mean a good negotiator can’t tip the scales in your favor.

5. Help with picking a home inspector.

Just like real estate agents, some inspectors are better than others. Your Realtor should know the best home inspectors in the area and help you choose one that you can depend on to give you the low down on the true state of any home you are interested in buying.

6. Attend the home inspection.

Even the best home inspectors can miss things, and even the most knowledgeable inspectors can fail to accurately convey the information they find to you as a buyer. Your realtor should be at the home inspection to hear exactly what the home inspector finds.

When the home inspection is over and you are given the report from the inspector an excellent agent will counsel you on what should be brought to the seller's attention.

If your agent is not in attendance it is awfully hard to understand what the issues are and then negotiate them. Make sure you find out up-front if your agent will be at the inspection. If they say it is not their “policy” to go, insist they be there. Unfortunately, in this business, there are a lot of lazy agents that will try to get away with doing as little as possible.

7. Negotiate any home inspection repair requests.

The information you get from the home inspection can provide you with leverage in negotiations. You can request repairs based on the information from the home inspection, and you can sometimes get concessions based on the problems found in the inspection. Your Realtor is best qualified to negotiate these things because he or she is most knowledgeable about how each issue affects the value of the home.

Skilled buyer’s agents will direct you what to keep your focus on and what to let go.

Your Realtor can also verify that there are no permitting issues with the home. Sometimes homeowners make changes to the home without getting the proper permits, which can present major problems to you as a buyer. You want to know about any of these hurdles before you buy.

8. Communicate with seller’s agent throughout the sale.

Everyone needs to be on the same page for a home purchase to go smoothly. Your real estate agent will be responsible for keeping everyone informed, including the seller’s agent.

9. Monitor your loan commitment.

Excellent buyer’s agents are always staying on top of things including monitoring the buyer’s mortgage commitment. Smart agents also make sure buyers understand they need to maintain their current credit status. Mortgage mistakes can be quite common, especially among first-time home buyers.

The pre-approval you got for your home purchase is a fragile thing, based off of the information given to the lender at the time of the pre-approval request. Any changes to your financial situation could make it impossible to get the loan or reduce the amount of the loan available to you.

Your real estate agent should monitor the status of your loan and advise you on how to protect your approval. He or she will make sure that you understand not to make any large purchases or take out any loans, like buying a car, before you close on the home.

10. Finalize all loose ends for the closing.

You only need to make it through the closing to finally get your home. But there are a surprising number of details involved in a closing, all of which need to be wrapped up before you officially become the owner of the home. Failing to take care of everything could cause the closing to fall through.

Your agent will finalize all the loose ends so that the closing goes through without a hitch, and will be there alongside you at the closing so you have support and advice should you need it.

 

25 Cheap & Easy DIYs to Spruce Up Your Home

1. Create wainscoting by buying frames from a craft store and painting them to match the wall.

Create wainscoting by buying frames from a craft store and painting them to match the wall.

See how they did this here.

2. Regrout that shower.

Regrout that shower.

You will live your best life with a mold-less shower. Directions here.

3. Use peel-and-stick tiles to cover up a leaked-on cabinet bottom.

Use peel-and-stick tiles to cover up a leaked-on cabinet bottom.

Directions here.

4. Give your living room sofa a little perk by re-stuffing the cushions.

Give your living room sofa a little perk by re-stuffing the cushions.

Directions here.

5. Turn your address number into an address planter.

Turn your address number into an address planter.

Project tutorial here.

6. Coat your new kitchen countertop to look like an expensive stone.

Coat your new kitchen countertop to look like an expensive stone.

Get more details about this product here.

7. Turn your cheap dining room table into something straight out of a Restoration Hardware catalog.

Turn your cheap dining room table into something straight out of a Restoration Hardware catalog.

Tutorial here.

8. Make new curtain rods out of copper pipes and fittings.

Make new curtain rods out of copper pipes and fittings.

Tutorial here.

9. Replace your boring air grille with sheet metal you can buy at any hardware store.

Replace your boring air grille with sheet metal you can buy at any hardware store.

thefriendlyhome.blogspot.com

Always wondered what those sheets of metal with the cool designs on them were for? Now you know.

10. Remove your vents and spray paint them.

Remove your vents and spray paint them.

thefrugalhomemaker.com

Crazy how a fresh coat of paint makes everything look so clean.

11. Use kitchen cabinets and IKEA butcher block counter tops to fake the look of built-ins.

Use kitchen cabinets and IKEA butcher block counter tops to fake the look of built-ins.

thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com

See how she did this here.

12. Turn your blinds into Roman shades.

Turn your blinds into Roman shades.

domestically-speaking.com

Directions here.

13. Replace the rod in your coat closet with hooks — everyone will be so much more likely to hang up their coats!

Replace the rod in your coat closet with hooks — everyone will be so much more likely to hang up their coats!

housewivesofriverton.com

So simple, so genius.

14. Caulk and repaint your moldings so they look like new.

Caulk and repaint your moldings so they look like new.

domestically-speaking.com

15. Add vintage shutters to a bookcase.

Add vintage shutters to a bookcase.

thecottagejournal.com

16. Use square molding to frame a mirror (no miter saw necessary).

healthytippingpoint.com

healthytippingpoint.com

Get the directions here.

17. Or just glue tiles around the border.

Or just glue tiles around the border.

18. Make a classy gallery wall for $20 or less.

Make a classy gallery wall for $20 or less.

atkinsondrive.com

See how they did this here.

19. Hang mirrors on your bifold closet doors.

Hang mirrors on your bifold closet doors.

bedroom.about.com

It’s almost like having one big wall-length mirror.

20. Keep your dirty, rain-soaked shoes on a pebble-filled tray.

Keep your dirty, rain-soaked shoes on a pebble-filled tray.

marthastewart.com

21. Use a bookcase as a headboard.

Use a bookcase as a headboard.

lescarnetsdudesign.com

Really opens up your options as to where you can put your bed.

22. Make an easy bar for your balcony out of a piece of countertop and table legs.

Make an easy bar for your balcony out of a piece of countertop and table legs.

ikeahackers.net

This is actually an IKEA hack.

23. Use quarter-round molding for instant, easy glass shelving.

prettyhandygirl.com

prettyhandygirl.com

See how they did this here.

24. Finally get those paneled antique doors you always wanted with molding.

Finally get those paneled antique doors you always wanted with molding.

25. Treat your shower like a window with two curtains instead of one.

Treat your shower like a window with two curtains instead of one.

Survivor Housing a Priority for the Federal and State Recovery Effort after Hurr

            

WASHINGTON – The federal government continues to focus on the lives and safety of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. While the coordinated response continues, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other federal, state, local, and tribal partners, are beginning to direct efforts toward recovery, including housing survivors displaced by the disaster through the state-led disaster housing task force.

HUD is the lead federal coordinating agency for long-term disaster-related housing needs resulting from Hurricane Harvey. Federal partners are working closely with the Texas state-led housing task force, as well as other state, local, tribal and voluntary agencies, to meet the need for quality affordable rental homes. They’re also focused on identifying strategies to strengthen the housing market, building inclusive and sustainable communities, and integrating disaster mitigation measures into community design and development, to reduce future damages.

HUD is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Justice, FEMA and other federal departments, agencies and national organizations. Below is a summary of the short-term, intermediate and long-term efforts already underway:

Short-term Housing Activities

  • For those who are eligible for FEMA assistance, FEMA transitional housing assistance provides lodging to displaced survivors who need a place immediately. FEMA pays the hotel/motel directly for this assistance.
  • Local communities, the American Red Cross, and other voluntary and faith-based agencies are providing emergency shelter to those displaced by the storm and subsequent flooding.  
  • AmeriCorps and other voluntary and faith-based organizations are helping to clean out flood-damage to homes.  
  • HUD is immediately assisting those displaced from public housing and multifamily subsidized rental units. Immediate foreclosure relief may also be available for Texas residents. HUD is granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages.

Intermediate and Long-Term Housing Activities

HUD's giving communities in Presidentially-declared disaster areas, the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars in annual CDBG and HOME formula funding to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster survivors. In addition, HUD is: 

  • Making mortgage insurance available: HUD provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders may be eligible for 100 percent financing;
  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation: HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and
  • Offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance: HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure.
  • FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program provides financial assistance in the form of grants to survivors with uninsured or under-insured flood related losses. To-date, more than 176,000 individuals and households have been approved for more than $141 million in assistance. Of that amount, $50 million is approved for housing assistance, such as rental assistance. Survivors may use the rental assistance to obtain temporary housing such as a house, apartment, hotel, motel, or other readily-available dwelling for rent by the public. 
  • As part of FEMA’s comprehensive approach to meet the post-disaster intermediate housing needs caused by Hurricane Harvey, FEMA is considering all available housing options for survivors. FEMA is working with federal, state and local partners to assess the temporary housing needs and the best options to meet those needs. 
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans are available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. As of September 1, 2017, the SBA has received 2,118 disaster loan applications, primarily for homes.  The SBA has fielded 5,221 calls and completed 451 property damage inspections.
  • Insurance proceeds help insured homeowners and renters to repair hurricane-damaged, or flood-damaged property more quickly. The National Flood Insurance Program is authorizing advance payments of certain NFIP claims to expedite recovery. Call your insurance agent to find out more or to file a flood insurance claim under the NFIP.

A variety of housing options will continue to be considered to ensure disaster survivors with housing needs receive assistance to help their way to recovery. For additional information about recovery resources in states affected by Hurricane Harvey, visit www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey.  


# # # 

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.  You can also connect with HUD on social media or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List

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Inside Realty LLC “Woman Owned & Operated”

Evduza Ramaj Broker/Owner/GRI/SFR/ABR | Nationally Certified (WBENC/WOSB)

 Office - 248-758-0022 | Cell - 586-995-5054

Inside Realty LLC
1877 Orchard Lake Rd, 204
Sylvan lake, MI 48320
United States