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Archive for January, 2012

Independence Oaks County Park Clarkston MIIndependence Oaks County Park, Clarkston MIOffers Something for Everybody Year ‘Round

The last couple summers I took my continuing education (6 hours/year for license renewal) at Independence Oaks County Park with another real estate office. There is no better way to learn dry legal updates than in the middle of 1100 acres overlooking a lake.

Independence Oaks County Park is located at 9501 Sashabaw Rd, Clarkston MI about 2 /12 miles north of I-75 exit 89.

Independence Oaks consists of 1088 acres with 68 acre Crooked Lake, about 10 miles of marked natureindependence oaks county park clarkston mi and ski trails, overnight camping area, boat launch (non motorized boats) and boat rental. Picnic areas, ball field, sand volleyball courts, playground. horseshoe pits…

For the bird lover Independence Oaks boasts an extensive bluebird trail and from March through August you have a good chance of seeing both bluebirds and tree swallows. More than 150 species of birds have been sighted here.

Independence Oaks also offers restrooms with flush toilets as well as port-a-johns.

independence oaks county park clarkston miThe Lewis E. Wint Nature Center offers exhibits and year-round educational programs conducted by park naturalists. The Cohn Amphitheater accommodates 150-200 guests, and the Rubach Sensory Garden boasts a gazebo and water garden.

Independence Oaks County Park is just one of the many attractions that makes living in Clarkston MI and the surrounding areas a desirable proposition. You can “vacation” after work or on the weekends and never really leave home.

Independence Oaks State Site

Independence Oaks County Site

Clarkston MI Homes for Sale

Oakland County MI Area Information and Homes for Sale

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Jackie Hawley

ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

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Orion Oaks County Park Offers Something for Almost Everybody

Orion Oaks County Park Lake Orion MichiganOrion Oaks County Park covers more than 916 acres in Lake Orion Michigan with entrances off Clarkston Rd, Baldwin Rd and Joslyn Rd. Orion Oaks boasts 10 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, 90 acre Lake Sixteen for fishing or boating (non-motorized boats), bow hunting, and a 24 acre area designated “bark park.”

Orion Oaks County Park Lake Orion Michigan            Orion Oaks County Park Lake Orion Michigan           Orion Oaks County Park Lake Orion Michigan

Lake Sixteen is just off Joslyn Rd south of Clarkston Rd and boasts and award winning, wheel chair accessible fishing dock and 120 foot boardwalk linking two trail systems. Since Lake Sixteen was stocked with Northern Pike and Largemouth Bass in the early 80’s, hopefully the fishing is better than when I was a kid growing up during the 70’s.

Orion Oaks Dog Park Lake Orion Michigan24 acres of Orion Oaks County Park is fenced and is a designated dog park which seems to be quite popular. Orion Oaks Dog Park has an entrance off Joslyn Rd just north of Lake Sixteen and features a small dog area, trails, picnic area, drinking water, field area, a newer parking lot and access to Lake Sixteen where you can swim your dogs (no human swimming allowed). There are also modern rest rooms on site.

         Orion Oaks Dog Park Lake Orion Michigan       Orion Oaks Dog Park Lake Orion Michigan        Orion Oaks Dog Park Lake Orion Michigan

Access to Orion Oaks County Park requires a daily pass or annual vehicle permit which you can order online.

Map of Orion Oaks County Park

Orion Oaks Dog Park pricing and rules

Lake Orion MI Homes For Sale

Lake Orion MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

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Jackie Hawley

ReMax Encore

Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

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Clarkston Michigan Home Buyer- How to Calculate Your New Property Taxes

Right now in Clarkston Michigan many houses are assessed higher than their true market value. Many home buyers are under the false assumption that they will only be stuck with that tax for the first year. That the new assessment will be half the sale price. This is not correct!

When I show you houses, one of the sheets attached to the listing is the public record report for the house that is available through our MLS. This public record sheet (or PRD) will give the taxable value and the state equalized value as well as the annual tax amount.

The taxable value is the number used to calculate your taxes. The taxable value times the millage rate equals your annual tax bill.  Upon transfer of deed (sale) the SEV will become the new taxable. In this market there’s a good chance the SEV will be higher than half the sale price.

I showed a house the other evening that is listed for $278K. The SEV and the taxable are both $163,610. Multiply that by 2 and you will be taxed like your house is worth $327,220. That is going to make a difference on your monthly payment.

This isn’t to say your assessment won’t drop next yearstate law states that the assessed value is to be one half of the assessor’s estimate of market value of your property and that the taxable value has to be less than or equal to the assessed value. And once ownership is transferred and a new taxable in place, that taxable value is capped at 5% or the rate of inflation- whichever is less.

Many townships are dropping assessments across the board. The house in the above example was assessed at $198,670 in 2006 and has dropped each year since. You may also fight your assessment through your township and appeal to the state if you are not satisfied with the results.

For the purpose of determining what your costs will be when purchasing a home, you should figure the worse case scenario and figure your new payments based on a tax amount that uses the SEV plus 5%. When your taxes end up lower- treat yourself! Or put it against the principle of your house.

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Homes for Sale in Clarkston MI

Lakefront Homes for Sale in Clarkston MI

For Buyers- Choosing an Agent

For Buyers- Financing

For Buyers- Negotiating the Purchase

Jackie Hawley

Keller Williams Realty
cell: 248-736-6407
email:
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

web: www.MiRelocation.com

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Writing an Offer on a Lake Orion Michigan Home

Unless you’re a cash buyer, our standard purchase agreement contains a financing contingency. Even if you are pre-qualified you need this contingency to protect yourself. If your financial situation changes after writing the offer (such as job loss) you need the protectionof the financing contingency. It also protects you if the house has problems with mortgaging, such as appraising too low, clouded title, etc. When it comes to rural properties, the property can present many issues when it comes to obtaining the mortgage. I won’t get into those specifics here, but the bottom line- a standard contingency in the offer to purchase is financing.

Once the seller accepts your offer, their house is off the market while you fulfill the contingencies in the offer, so it is muy important to submit a pre-approval letter with the offer. The pre-approval letter will state the down payment required from you, the type of mortgage you’re getting, how much of a mortgage you can afford, and needed seller’s concessions if any.

Actually, it’s important to get that letter before you even start looking at houses. I need to know what you can afford (or what you’re comfortable with- I bought much lower than the bank was willing to lend me) and the type of mortgage you will be getting. If you are getting a rural development loan, I will know not to look in Lake Orion for example, but go 3 miles north into Oxford the houses would qualify- even in a sub. If you are going to go FHA, I would know not to show you fixers. Etc. So meeting with a good, honest, experienced loan officer, before you start looking, is also muy important. If you don’t already have a loan officer you like and trust, I can supply the contact information for one. More about that in a future post.

At the time we write the offer we also need to decide if you would like a home inspection, and what type of inspections you should get. Now some people think if they get an FHA loan that there is an automatic inspection built into that process. That is not correct. Your lender will send out an FHA approved APPRAISER who will look for repairs that FHA deems necessary, but that person IS NOT AN INSPECTOR.

If your offer is contingent upon the sale or closing of another property, we would include that in the offer. But beware- bank owned homes do not take offers subject to the sale of another property. If we make an offer subject to the closing of another property that you currently have an accepted offer on, we need to submit a copy of that offer with our offer to purchase. We want to submit as strong an offer as possible and to relieve the seller of any doubts of your ability to close. It’s much easier to negotiate from a position of power.

Other things included in the offer to purchase include “possession.” Or how long you are willing to let the seller live in the house once the sale is closed. They usually ask for a specific amount of time in the listing- 30 days or 60 days for example. After the closing the house is yours, and if there is possession, the current seller is now your tenant. They will typically pay you rent in the amount of your new house payment for any time they stay after closing, and that money is typically escrowed from their proceeds at closing. Possession is something we negotiate up front.

We also include time frames in the initial offer to purchase. We give them a certain amount of time to answer our offer. We give them a time frame in which you will make your formal mortgage application and a time frame for you to get a full mortgage commitment. We will include a time frame to close by.

For the most part, the above are the most popular contingencies included in an offer to purchase. Of course everybody’s situation is different, and sometimes there are contingencies that may be unique to your situation. I wrote an offer recently that was subject to the buyer finalizing their job transfer. But no matter what the contingency is, we must include time frames.

One other issue that is not covered above is the EMD or earnest money deposit also known as a good faith deposit. It is usually a check I collect from you at the time we make the offer that shows your “good faith.” Hence the term good faith deposit. If there’s a problem on the inspection or financing, and the sale doesn’t close, you get that money back. If everything goes just fine, and we close on the property, that deposit is applied toward you closing costs/down payment. If everything goes just fine and all the contingencies are fulfilled satisfactorily, and you just change your mind and back out- then that deposit goes to the seller.

Hopefully this gives you a basic understanding of how the offer making process goes. If you have any questions or would like to see a copy of our purchase agreement, please don’t hesitate to call or email me.

Choosing Your Buyer’s Agent

Financing

Writing the Offer

The Home Inspection

Buyer Agency

Foreclosures and Short Sales

Search The MLS

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty, Clarkston
Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.MiRelocation.com 

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Thinking of buying a new home in Clarkston or Lake Orion MI? You need to get that pre-approval from your lender very early in the process. Ideally before you even start looking, and for a variety of reasons. Of course there are the same reasons as always– need to know a price to perform an MLS search. Need to know the type of mortgage. Listing agent won’t present an offer without one. All good and valid reasons.

But often times educated buyers have a good idea of what they can afford and even the type of mortgage based on the amount of down payment money they have to work with. So what is wrong with finding a house and calling the loan officer and getting a quick pre-approval? How long can that take? A day? Maybe two days? Maybe even in just a few hours if you are organized and have everything ready to send immediately?

A guess it depends on how strong of a pre-approval letter you want? Or need. Right now if you are buying in Clarkston or Lake Orion you have a 20% or 25% chance of competing against a cash buyer. The odds go up if you are buying a bank owned  home. But the facts are that 19% of all sales in Clarkston, MI in 2011 were cash sales and 23% of all sales in Lake Orion, MI were cash sales.

What’s the difference to the seller you may ask? Either cash or mortgage it is still cash to the seller. And this is true- it is still cash to the seller. But there are no conditions to obtaining the cash in a cash sale. The house doesn’t need to appraise unless otherwise addressed in the offer. The buyer doesn’t need to keep his job or be careful about purchases that may affect his ability to get the mortgage. Cash IS king and when you are competing against a cash buyer you need to come in as strong as possible- and that starts with a strong pre-approval from a dependable lender.

Financing

Writing the Offer

The Home Inspection

Search The MLS

Choosing a Buyer’s Agent

Lake Orion MI Homes For Sale

Clarkston MI Homes For Sale

Jackie Hawley Keller Williams Realty, Clarkston MI

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: (248) 736-6407

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