Posts Tagged ‘clarkston mi real estate’

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.




Check out more area information at my YouTube channel at



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There is so much more to writing an offer to purchase a home in Clarkston MI than in days of yore. At one time pretty much price ruled. Strength of buyer was important, but not as much as today. Today there are many more factors to consider in a Clarkston MI real estate transaction– is it a short sale, bank owned or good old fashioned non-distressed homeowner/seller?

You see more Clarkston houses go pending then back on the market (sometimes this will happen multiple times with one house) than I ever remember seeing. Appraisals are coming in low causing the financing to fall apart. Short sales get denied. The list of reasons for dying sales can go on and on.

The more contingencies an offer has, the more chances the sale has to die. Low appraisals is probably one of the biggest reasons sales don’t close. No matter if buyer, seller and all agents involved know the house is worth every dime the buyer is paying and may even be a bit under priced, there is never a guarantee the house will appraise.

Where as one time the prime motivator was price, now removal of obstacles to closing have also become prime motivators. And the appraisal contingency is probably the biggest obstacle that can be removed.

I have used it to negotiate for the buyer in multiple offer situations. I have used it on the seller side to improve our chances to close. Often times a seller will take a slightly lower offer if the odds of closing are greatly increased. Of course cash negates the need for an appraisal. When a mortgage is involved, an appraisal is probably necessary. But if the buyer has the cash to pay the difference between the sale price and the appraised price, he can remove the appraisal contingency to make his offer stronger. Or remove it with limitations. Recently one of my buyers beat out another offer by agreeing to pay up to $10K difference on a low appraisal. So if the seller takes our $140K offer we would agree to close even if the house appraised at $130K.

With a lack of inventory, when you find the house you want, the goal is more to win and obtain that house as your new home. Until the inventory at least triples, getting the seller to come down on price will be a distant second to winning and getting the house you want.

Writing the Offer

The Home Inspection

Clarkston MI Homes for Sale

Search the MLS

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
Cell: (248)736-6407



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What If The Clarkston MI House Doesn’t Appraise?

A common misconception is that the house must appraise for sale price and if it doesn’t then the seller has to come down to make up the difference.

First of all everything is negotiable. When you make an offer on a house you can specify that the house must appraise for the sale price. Or you can specify that the house must appraise for X below sale price.

Why would you negotiate in a lower appraisal amount you ask? There are many reasons.

You may be in a multiple offer situation and this is a great way to strengthen your offer.

You may be able to get the seller to come down a bit more if they’re more comfortable about your ability to close.

There are many reasons a house might not appraise and they have nothing to do with value.

First of all the appraiser does not work for the buyer. The appraiser is hired by the lender to protect the lender’s interests- period.

The appraiser has to follow the guidelines specified by the lender as well as government guidelines. I recently had a sale in a subdivision in Metamora- a fairly rural area. The appraiser was told to go no farther back than 6 months but preferably 3 months and no farther than 3 miles from the subject property. The criteria was just plain silly. There aren’t any other subs within 3 miles.

There may not be any comparable sales in the area. This is especially true in neighborhoods where there is a high amount of foreclosures.

If the lender uses an appraisal management company you may get an out of the area appraiser who doesn’t know the area. On the buyer side of a transaction about a year and a half ago we were in a multiple offer situation. 4 people wanted this house the first weekend it hit the market. We were the strongest offer (not the highest- but strong buyers who offered incentives to the sellers other than price), and when the appraiser went out the appraisal came in at $80,000 under the agreed upon price. We changed lenders and ordered a second appraisal and it came in $62,000 higher. 2 licensed appraisers came in $62,000 apart on a house that was selling for less than $400,000.

I actually had one lender brag that the appraisers they used tended to come in low! His attitude was it put the buyer in a position to negotiate a lower price. Well, all the low appraisal did was require my buyer to pony up the difference. We had seen many of the comparable sales the appraiser used and all it did was confirm for the buyer that he was getting a great deal and was fortunate to have the difference in cash so he didn’t lose the house he had his heart set on.

So back to the original question I titled this post with. What happens if the appraisal comes in low?

The seller may come down to meet the appraised value.

The buyer and seller may negotiate a price some place between the original price and the appraised price.

The buyer may have to come up with the difference.

The deal may die and someone else will get the house that you wanted enough to make an offer, put up a deposit for and pay for inspections on. And you get to start your home search over and hope that the interest rates didn’t increase in the meantime.

Search The MLS

Choosing A Buyer’s Agent

Why You Should List With Jackie Hawley

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston
Cell: (248) 736-6407



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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

web: 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.


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


Cell: (248) 736-6407

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