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Overflying pigs from flickr courtesy Austen Squarepants the next several days I will be making significant changes to this blog. Many of the posts were written when the housing market was down and distressed sales were the norm (foreclosures and short sales).

Tags and categories were assigned accordingly.

We now appear to be back to a normal market, and I am rearranging tags, categories and posts to better “educate” and opine on more current topics. I will be recycling some posts that are still relevant. Many will be updated. And of course there will be new posts.

I also have several other blogs and am considering posting more general posts on this and my seller site and more specific posts on my area (Orion or Lapeer for example) or lakefront sites. Then maybe just link those posts on the more general sites like this one.

Any feedback about the updates is greatly appreciated.youtube 6

No reason for the photo- I just like it.

The 72 hour contingency clause is often referred to as a first right of refusal; that is close but not quite accurate. A first right of refusal is an agreement between a seller and potential buyer that if the seller accepts an offer on a piece of property the potential buyer has a certain time frame to match the offer. There can always be other details built into the agreement, but this is a short basic description.

A 72 hour contingency (the time can be substituted with any number – 24 hour, 48 hour are both common also) is part of an agreement to buy a house that is subject to the sale of another house. It accompanies a fully executed purchase agreement that goes into effect when the 72 hour contingency clause is removed.

After buyer and seller come to terms with the condition the buyer needs to sell, the seller’s house stays on the market and other offers can be negotiated. Once the seller receives another offer, notice is served to the first buyer and that buyer has 72 hours to show their house is sold, show they willing and able to buy without selling, or be released from their offer. If the first buyer chooses to “perform” and go through with the sale, the 2nd offer is then voided. If the first buyer hasn’t sold and doesn’t want to or able to buy without selling the 2nd offer slides into place and the first offer released.

If the first buyer sells, they remove the 72 hour contingency clause and the offer then becomes subject to the close of their house.

Interest rates are low- super low. How low? Low enough you can pay today’s prices for a smaller payment than 2008 prices with 2008 interest rates.

Last week’s rates for a 30 fixed with 20% down and a half point was 3.625%. With good credit of course. A few weeks ago you could get a conventional mortgage for only 3.5%

But they won’t stay this low forever. As the housing market, and economy in general, improve the rates will go up. I doubt they will ever get back up to the 9+% they were when I got my license, but to put things in perspective the average rate during peak price time of 2003, 04, 05 was right around 5.8%. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) projects interest rates will get as high as 5.4% by the end of 2015.

What this means for you, the home buyer: If you can afford a $500,000 house today you will only be able to afford $405,000 at the same payment. You don’t like what you’re looking at for $150,000 today, be prepared to stay under $120,000 if NAR is right.

See the charts below for an idea of how your buying power diminishes as interest rates go up.

buyers purchasing power 300k March 2015buyers purchasing power 150k March 2015buyers purchasing power 500k March 2015Jackie@JackieHawley.com
(248)736-6407
www.Search-The-MLS.net

www.MiRelocation.com

Clarkston MI and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of both indoor and outdoor activities- a quaint downtown shopping area, township and state parks, top of the line restaurants… and the topic of this post Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort.

Pine Knob is located on the southeast corner of Clarkston and Sashabaw Roads in Independence Township. Pine Knob boasts 17 runs and 12 lifts. Other features are a 300 ft. vertical drop, six chairlifts, four tow rope and two magic carpets. Their longest run is 1620 ft. They make their own snow and have a ski and snowboarding school.

On site restaurants include Quicksilver Cafe (a cafeteria), Off the Wall Lounge and Pinery Snack Bar.

Please take a few minutes to see the video embedded below.

If you are considering a move to the North Oakland County area, you may want to check out Clarkston MI.

www.Clarkston-Homes-For-Sale.com

www.Oakland-County-Real-Estate.com

www.Search-The-MLS.net

Check out more area information at my YouTube channel at

www.JackieHawleyRealtor.com

If you tried to sell your Lapeer County Lake house last year with no success, AND you were a fairly high priced listing, do not despair. It was not your house- it was the market.

In 2014 there were only 4 lakefront sales over $600,000 and all 4 were on acreage. 2 of those were on major acreage with private lakes- 40 acre and 90 acre parcels. And by private lake I mean their own private lake. The other 2 were a house and 9 acres on Lake Metamora and a house on 5 acres on Lake Lapeer.

Only 2 houses sold in the $400,000’s- both on Lake Lapeer.

This is better than 2013 when the price of lake houses in Lapeer County topped out at $477,500.

So far in 2015 there has been 1 sold on Lake Lapeer for just under $400,000 and 2 pending at just under $400,000 and in the mid $500,000’s.

The rise in prices is due to an improving economy, low interest rates and the lack of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). The distressed sales dropped to 11% of the total lake sales in 2014 from 19% in 2013. In 2010 distressed sales made up 49% of total lakefront sales in Lapeer County.

For more detailed information about specific lakes, please go to www.Lapeer-Homes-For-Sale.com and click on the appropriate link. Or LapeerLakes.MiRelocation.com – no w’s.

Lake Nepessing

Lake Lapeer

Lake Metamora

www.MiRelocation.com

My YouTube Channel: www.JackieHawleyRealtor.com

why an FHA mortgageWhen an Oakland or Lapeer County home buyer comes to us with a pre-approval letter for an FHA mortgage we will ask both you and your loan officer “Why FHA?”

It’s not that we are FHA snobs or don’t want to work with FHA buyers, but FHA does come with its own baggage. Baggage that affects you the buyer, not me or anybody on my team. We are very experienced dealing with FHA buyers, and FHA is a good program for the right buyer. But it’s not for everybody.

FHA is good if you have bruised credit; it is a program that is more forgiving of less than perfect credit. And what better way to repair credit than making a house payment on time for a few years since your house payment will probably be lower than the rent you are currently paying.

Some people need to go FHA because of their debt to income ratios. FHA allows you to carry more debt than conventional mortgages do.

But if your reason for going FHA is solely because of down payment you may want to find another lender. A big part of a loan officer’s job is to fit you with the loan that is best for you.

Two of the biggest issues with FHA loans from the buyer perspective: 1) Many sellers have heard too many horror stories and are somewhat biased against FHA buyers. You want your offer to be as strong as possible and an FHA offer will make you come across as a weak buyer. 2) You will be paying mortgage insurance for the entire life of the loan.

Until recently if you could show 20% equity after a couple years, you could drop the mortgage insurance from your FHA mortgage. But the rules changed last year and if you want to drop the mortgage insurance you need to re-finance to a conventional loan. And with today’s rates under 4% do you really think you will get that rate in a few years?

There are now conventional mortgages with as low as a 3% down payment. Once you find a house you can lock into today’s low low super low rates and not wonder and hope for the next 3 or 4 years that the rates don’t go up a per cent or two.

www.Search-The-MLS.net

www.JackieHawleyRealtor.com

If you email me and don’t get a reply within 24 hours (usually much sooner) the chances are I never received your email. Just because you sent it, doesn’t mean I received it. Technology is great, but is not perfect. Sometimes I get the feeling others (especially other Realtors) feel a bit put out when I ask for confirmation of receipt. I’m not trying to be snarky when I do that; I just want to make sure you received my email.