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Archive for May, 2011

Clarkston MI– Are Final Water Bills Settled At Close or Possession?

The question above, or variations of it, was a search term that was used a few times to find my seller blog this week. It’s a good question. After selling real estate for a while it’s easy to forget that most sellers only go through this every few years at most and often times as long as 10, 15 or 20 years since the previous real estate transaction.

The correct technical answer is– whatever is written in the purchase agreement.

Typically any past due bill will be paid at close and if there is any possession after closing, then there is a dollar amount escrowed until the seller moves out and a final water bill issued. The bill is paid out of the escrowed money and the rest returned to the seller. If there is no possession we try to get a final water bill for the closing and it’s paid from the proceeds. If that doesn’t happen for some reason, money will be escrowed until the final reading.

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty, Clarkston
cell: (248)736-6407
email:
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

A Tale of Two Taxes- How Property Taxes Affect Your Buying Power

Highest and Best are NOT Synonyms

Is the Appraisal for Your Protection?

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

If You Work As My Buyer’s Agent, How Much Does That Cost Me?

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What Is A Home Warranty And Who Pays For It?

I was going over an offer to purchase with one of my sellers recently and one of the things the buyer was asking for was for the seller to supply a 1 year home warranty. The seller asked if this meant she was responsible for any repairs in the house for the next year. And her question is quite common; I’d say 7 out of 10 sellers ask that same question.

So to the first part of the question- What is a home warranty? Basically a home warranty is an insurance policy that covers the house for 1 plus year after closing. Policies vary in costs; the one our office endorses starts at $375 for a 1 year policy with a $100 deductible. They tend to cover things such as heating systems, water heater, appliances, well pump, plumbing and such. Now this doesn’t mean if the furnace breaks you get a new furnace for a hundred dollars. They may pay a large chunk of it- there are limitations, $ caps, conditions.

Basically it’s an insurance policy, and you need to read everything before you fix or call in a problem. Follow their rules to a T and everything should go smoothly. Sometimes they end up being just a waste of money. Sometimes you end up saving a lot of money. Some would say that $375 is cheap peace of mind.

Who pays? That depends on how it is written in the purchase agreement. It can be part of the negotiation process just like asking for appliances, possession, price, etc. The seller usually has a bottom line in mind and will factor the cost of the home warranty right along with seller concessions, offer price, etc.

If a buyer wants to purchase their own home warranty they don’t need to make it a part of the offer to purchase. Their agent should be able to hook them up with a good warranty company.

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston
cell: (248)736-6407
email:
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

A Tale of Two Taxes- How Property Taxes Affect Your Buying Power

Highest and Best are NOT Synonyms

Is the Appraisal for Your Protection?

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

If You Work As My Buyer’s Agent, How Much Does That Cost Me?

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Oxford Lake, Oxford MI Home Sales Update

Home sale pricesin Oxford Lakes Sub in Oxford MI are still pretty much in the crapper. Sales so far this year range from $111,550-$149,900 for off the water houses, and 2 houses on Oxford Lakesold for $173,000 and $381,000. That $381K sale is the only sale so far this year over $200,000. There are 2 sales pending – both short sales- with asking prices of $112,000 and $225,000. There is one rental listing pending at an asking price of $2400/month. There is currently 1 home listed for lease at $1800/month and 2 active listings for sale- a bank owned home asking $142,900 and a “normal” listing asking $214,500.

In 2005 only 4 of the 28 off the water houses that sold,  sold for less than $200,000. 6 of those 28 sold in the $300’s and both lakefront sales were in the high $300’s. Who would have thought you could ever buy a house in the same neighborhood for under a hundred and a quarter or a lakefront house for under $200,000.  

So far in 2011:

  • 6 closed off the water sales
  • 5 bank owned
  • 1 short sales
  • 0 “normal” sales
  • Median sale price: $135,164
  • Average sale price: $132,136
  • 2 lakefront homes (on Oxford Lake) a bank owned for $173,000 and a “normal” sale for $381,000

Home sales in 2010:

  • 17 closed off the water sales
  • 9 bank owned
  • 1 short sales
  • 7 “normal” sales
  • Median sale price: $152,000
  • Average sale price: $156,458
  • 6 lakefront homes (on Oxford Lake) 1 bank owned, 4 short sales and 1 “normal” sale
  • Lakefront home sales ranged from $135,000-$350,000

Home sales in 2009

  • 15 closed off the water sales
  • 7 bank owned
  • 0 short sales
  • 8 “normal” sales
  • Median sale price: $140,550
  • Average sale price: $145,020
  • 3 lakefront homes (on Oxford Lake)- 1 short sale and 2 “regular” sales
  • Lakefront home sales prices were $242,000, $300,000 and $400,000

Oxford Lakes still offers the same amenities as it did in it’s hey day- The 6 acre park with the tennis courts, volleyball court, beach and private boat launch, picnic tables, grills, and more. The same 2 acre little kids park, community water, sewer, sidewalks… 

For More About What Oxford Lakes, Oxford MI Has to Offer

Oxford MI Homes for Sale

Do You Really Want to Buy a Fixer

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

 How NOT to Buy a House

The Perfect House- Doe it Exist?

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com
cell: 248-736-6407

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Woodbriar Sub, Oxford MI Home Sales Update

Home sale prices in Woodbriar Sub in Oxford MI seem to have stabilized over the past couple years and may even be shifting upwards. So far this year there have been 4 closed sales in Woodbriar ranging in sale price from $132,950-$183,000.

  1. 1141 Woodbriar 3 bedroom 3 1/2 baths bank owned $132,950 sold for $276K in 2006
  2. 444 Pine Valley 4 bedroom 2 bath bank owned $169,750 sold for $206,380 in 1999
  3. 1208 Poppy Hill 3 bedroom 3 1/2 baths “normal sale” $179,000 sold for $261,478 in 2001
  4. 445 Glen Eagles Ct 4 bedroom 2 full 2 half baths “normal sale” $183,000 sold for $262,975 in 2001

There is currently 1 listing in Woodbriar pending with an asking price of $159,900 and no homes actively for sale at this time.

Homes in Woodbriar Sub don’t sit around on the market long if priced properly, with an average time on the market of less than 9 days (2011 sales). I calculate days on the market from time a listing hits it’s final asking price until pending/ccs. Overpriced homes aren’t really “on the market”- they’re just active listings. 3 of the homes sold within 3% of asking price, 1 home sold within 4% of asking price and 1 home sold for 1/2% over asking price.

So far in 2011:

  • 4 closed sales
  • 2 bank owned
  • 0 short sales
  • 2 “normal” sales
  • Median sale price: $174,375
  • Average sale price: $166,168

Home sales in 2010:

  • 11 closed sales
  • 4 bank owned
  • 3 short sales
  • 4 “normal” sales
  • Median sale price: $159,500
  • Average sale price: $151,057

Home sales in 2009

  • 7 closed sales
  • 0 bank owned
  • 2 short sales
  • 5 “normal” sales
  • Median sale price: $147,250
  • Average sale price: $161,807

We’re still a long way from the average sales price of $233,300 that Woodbriar sold for in 2004 but so far in 2011 both average and median sales prices are above both 2010 and 2009.

For More About What Woodbriar, Oxford MI Has to Offer

Oxford MI Homes for Sale

Do You Really Want to Buy a Fixer

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

 How NOT to Buy a House

The Perfect House- Doe it Exist?

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com
cell: 248-736-6407

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Most of my posts about Clarkston MI have been about the Village of Clarkston and Independence Township. To get the stats for this post I used Clarkston school district for my search criteria to not only include the Village of Clarkston and most of Independence Township, but also parts of Springfield Township, Orion Township, White Lake Township and Waterford Township. Springfield Township specifically is too small to compare sales data; there just simply isn’t enough population to generate a sales volume worth examining by itself.

As you will see from the various charts below, prices in the Clarkston school district have been trending upward for well over a year

As you can see from the chart immediately below, except for a weak Jan this year, the 2011 brown line is above both the 2010 yellow line and the blue 2009 line. For the most part the yellow 2010 line is above the blue 2009 line with only three dips below the 2009 line.

clarkston mi home sales data 

Sales prices in 2010 were up from 2009 with a year end average price up 6.8%. Only 3 months during 2010 did the average price drop below the average sale price for the same month in 2009- March, July and December.  And as you will see a couple graphs down, that trend of rising prices is continuing into 2011.

 clarkston mi home sales

Year to date sales are continuing the above trend.  As you can see below prices in 2009 dropped drastically from 2008 and then gradual increases in 2010 and 2011.

clarkston mi home sales 

As well as quarterly sales displayed below in 2 manners. First you can see that 2010 sales were higher each quarter than the same quarter in 2009, and that the first quarter in 2011 saw a higher average sale price than the first quarter of 2010.

 clarkston mi home sales

Then again below when I started with the first quarter in 2008 through the first quarter in 2011. You can see we are nowhere near the prices at the beginning of 2008, but  you can see we bottomed out in quarter 6 (the second quarter in 2009) and the average sale price for the first quarter of 2011 (quarter 13) is higher than every quarter since the 3rdquarter of 2008. Even though the line zig zags it is consistantly rising- the zigs are going higher and the zags aren’t as low.

 clarkston mi home sales

Sale prices in the Clarkston school district are showing a strong (and long) trend of inclining prices. Closing in on a year and a half of increasing prices I think it’s safe to say that we are no longer a declining market and are at minimum a stable market and at best prices are on a slight/healthy increasing pace.

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
cell: 248-736-6407
Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com

Buying a Foreclosure Listing

All About Short Sales and Why They May Not Be Right for You

Buying a “Normal” Listing

Search the MLS

Lakefront Real Estate

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Buying an Oakland County MI Short Sale Listing- What to Expect

Between what I’ve heard on TV and radio, read and from conversations I’ve had with clients, potential clients, other agents, relatives, friends… I have learned that there are a whole host of definitions for the term “short sale.” And most of them not very accurate.

A short sale is when the house is offered for sale by the owner (person as opposed to a bank) who owes more than what the house is worth and can’t, or isn’t willing to, pay the difference themselves. Any offer that home owner would accept would be subject to the bank agreeing to reduce the mortgage payoff. Selling short. Short sale.

Short sale listings can be some of the best bargains available in Oakland County Michigan, but there are things about short sales that the Oakland County Michigan home buyer should be aware of prior to even looking at houses.

  • Be prepared to wait 3-6 months (sometimes longer) for short sale approval
  • Be aware the lien holders may not agree to the payoff required to proceed with your offer. After 3-6+ months your offer may be countered or outright rejected
  • Don’t expect appliances to stay
  • Don’t expect the seller to pay for repairs
  • Don’t expect your closing costs to be covered in the form of seller concessions- sometimes they’re capped at 3% and sometimes they won’t be covered at all
  • DO expect to close pretty quickly once the short sale is approved

One of the first things everybody involved in a short sale needs to understand is that the banks are under no obligation to approve a short sale. You would think it would be in the banks best interest to approve a short sale when the offer is reasonable, but often times the actions of many of these banks seem to defy logic. Also, the more lien holders involved in the transaction the more difficult it is to complete and the higher the probability that it won’t close.

Buyers need to realize that there are factors beyond the control of the buyer or buyer’s agent.

  • We can’t control how cooperative the seller will be with the bank’s demands addressed in more detail here
  • We can’t control how knowledgeable or diligent the listing agent is
  • We don’t know from day-to-day what financial incentives the government will offer the banks which can determine what short sales they approve
  • When there are multiple mortgages we don’t know how well the negotiators for the first and the second will play together or the abilities of the listing agent to ref them
  • The seller can also reject the terms of the short sale which will be addressed in detail in another article

In a nut shell– short sales can be a good bargain but for the right buyer. You need to have the patience of a saint and the ability to move on someone else’s schedule.

What if the Appraisal is Low?

Search the MLS

Property Taxes and Your Home Purchase

Is the Appraisal for Your Protection?

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
Cell: (248) 736-6407
Email: Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com

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What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

Low appraisals (appraised value coming in lower than the agreed upon sale price) are becoming more common and will probably remain a problem for quite awhile to come. There are many reasons why appraisals can come in low, and it is usually NOT because the buyer was prepared to “over pay” for the house.

I used to define the word “appraisal” as an opinion of value. Back in the day the loan officer got to choose the appraiser; an appraiser on that lender’s approved list of appraisers. Most of the time a local appraiser was used, and appraisals were usually pretty accurate. In fact- contrary to recent pundit opinion– many appraisals tended to come in lower than they should have. Most of the time, the appraiser would justify the sale price, even if the buyer was buying the house at a bargain price.

Today I define the word “appraisal” as an opinion of value derived from data that fits a particular lender’s criteria. Also, because of fairly recent legislation (over the past couple years) the choice of the appraiser is taken away from the lender, and I have been seeing a lot of out of the area appraisers on my listings and when representing the buyer. On a recent purchase my buyers ended up paying for 2 appraisals- both licensed appraisers, both appraisals were within a week of each other- one came in at $300,000 and one came in at $362,000.

Buyers and sellers both want the house to appraise. Buyers are represented now ‘days, and their agent should advise them if they are over paying. Buyers are more savvy and educated than in the past, and by the time they make an offer they know what a house is worth. But the appraisal is usually needed to obtain a mortgage.

So what happens when the appraisal comes in low?

  • The seller can come down in price to match the appraised value
  • The buyer can pony up the difference
  • The buyer and seller can settle somewhere in between
  • The buyer can back out and the house go back on the market

The above scenarios assume the purchase agreement stipulates the house must appraise for at least the sale price. The purchase agreement I use lets the appraised value become part of the negotiations. For example the buyer may offer to pay $200,000 for a house but is contingent on the appraiser coming in no lower than $190,000. This can be very useful in a multiple offer situation.

There is no law that forces a seller to come down in price, just like there’s no law that forces the buyer to go through with the purchase if the appraisal is low. Some sellers can’t come down any farther and sometimes the buyer just isn’t able to pay the difference. This can be a real problem when seller concessions are needed.

Bottom line is: appraisals come in low way too often and there is no right or wrong way to resolve the problem. BUT don’t assume the seller will automatically come down in price because a third party doesn’t agree with the buyer or seller on the value of the home.

If You Work As My Buyers Agent How Much Does That Cost Me?

How Not to Buy a House

All About Short Sales and Why a Short Sale May be Wrong for You

Search the MLS

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI
cell: (248)736-6407
Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com

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