Money Saving Tips for Home Buyers & Owners

What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a House?

Today, almost every mortgage loan program requires a certain minimum credit score. Credit scores have been used extensively by the mortgage industry since the late 1990s, and are a key factor when a lender reviews a mortgage application. Yet there are a lot of mysteries around credit scores, including how they’re calculated and what effects your credit score can have. What credit score do you really need to buy a house? Will a better credit score make a difference? We’ll explain.

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How Millennials are Using Gift Money for Down Payments

Millennials are currently the largest demographic of home buyers in today’s marketplace, having recently replaced the Baby Boomer generation as the most populous. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors highlights some of the characteristics and some particularly interesting differences between today’s home buyers and those of previous generations. One of these differences is the how Millennials are using gift money for down payments. This trend tells us a lot about the current housing market, not only how prices have changed but also about the challenges that this generation faces.

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Homeowner Tax Credits in 2018: What Tax Reform Means for You


You probably remember the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, introduced and signed nearly a year ago, but if you don’t recall it’s because the new changes haven’t yet come into play. But when it’s time to file your 2018 income taxes next year, there are several changes that will impact your taxes, particularly homeowner tax credits. The mortgage interest deduction is one of the few remaining tax deductions you can still take, but also one of the most popular. There are some changes to this and several other homeowner tax credits in 2018.

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What to Expect in the Housing Market in 2019


With most of 2018 behind us and 2019 right around the corner, it’s time to take a peek at what’s in store for the housing market in 2019. While we don’t expect any major shake-ups in real estate, we do feel confident the market will tighten as home prices continue to hold strong. 

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How Much House Can I Afford?


If there’s something nudging you about finally becoming a homeowner, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how much house you can afford. Once you start your search, it’s easy to become overwhelmed about not just the number of properties for sale but also the wide range in pricing. What is the price range you need to be looking into and how do you know how much you can qualify for? It’s a combination of income, credit, rates and loan amount.

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7 Reasons for Michigan's Housing Inventory Shortage in 2018

There is no doubt we’re right in the middle of a housing shortage in Michigan, and across the nation. And, as we know from the classic “supply and demand” axiom, less supply and greater demand pushes up prices for real estate. The housing inventory level is at the point now where even sellers who are willing and able to sell their homes are reluctant to do so because they’re not sure where they’re going to buy.

Though strong demand for housing allows sellers to command a higher asking price for their home, this also creates challenges for buying a new home. This leads many homesellers and homebuyers to ask, “Why are there so few homes to buy?” This is a complex problem and the reasons are equally complex. Here are 7 reasons why Michigan’s housing inventory is so low in 2018.

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The Secret to Beating the Housing Shortage

You’ve likely heard the term a “Buyers’ Market” and “Sellers’ Market” as it relates to real estate. This indicates which party has the upperhand in a real estate transaction. When home sales are slow and there are plenty of listings, it’s a buyer’s market. In a seller’s market, inventory is tight, negotiating sellers concessions is difficult and buyers can even enter bidding wars, pushing up the price further. In our market, the advantage is on the seller’s side due to the lack of inventory. However, buyers have a few techniques to beat the housing shortage.

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10 Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make

It seems there is no shortage of advice for home buyers, but not as much for home sellers. Which is a bit counterintuitive since home sellers typically turn into home buyers once their property sells. When you decide to sell your home, for whatever reason, there are some mistakes to definitely avoid. Here are the top 10 mistakes home sellers make.

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The Simultaneous Close: 8 Steps to Selling and Buying a Home at the Same Time

When buying or selling a home, things start to move pretty fast once the sales contract is signed. There’s a time element involved, and the closing date listed on the contract doesn’t leave a lot of leeway. Yet when you buy and sell at the same time, things can get really involved. But they don’t have to if you carefully plan and know how to buy a house before selling your current house.

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Negotiating Seller Concessions: How Much Can You Ask For?


What Forms Can Concessions Take?

When someone makes an offer to buy a home, most often the initial offer isn’t the final one. Instead, it’s the start of some back and forth between the buyers and sellers. It’s a starting point. In the sales contract, the buyers can ask the sellers to pay for some or all of the buyer’s closing costs while at the same time allowing the buyers some time to have the home inspected during a specified period of time. 

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