Predictions for 2018's Housing Market

The Michigan real estate market is no exception, 2018 is projected to be a strong year in real estate.  Here are some pros and cons of buying and selling your home in the Michigan real estate market in 2018.

 

Mortgage Rates are on the Rise

Although rates are projected to increase in 2018, they are only projected to slightly rise. This means now more than ever is a great time to buy as they will only continue to rise over the next year or so, and you can still get a great rate!

Rent Prices Increase

Millennials are reaching the point in their life where they are having to make the decision of continuing to rent or becoming a homeowner. As rent prices rise it is becoming increasingly affordable to take on a mortgage. Many renters are finding they are able to take on a mortgage for the same, or at times, a cheaper monthly payment!

Low Inventory on the Market

Low housing inventory will continue into the new year, which will make it a great time for sellers. This trend will result in homes to selling quicker at a higher price. It's more important than ever for buyers to have a real estate agent working for them. Having an agent will get you the quickest access to homes once they're on the market.

Housing Prices on the Rise

As the demand for houses remains higher than the supply, many home prices will rise. Housing will become less affordable which will hurt Millennials and those that are renting the most. It's always best to work with a trusted real estate agent to best determine the listing price for your home. An experienced real estate agent has the knowledge and experience in your market and will be able to guide you to reach top dollar for your home.

The market for 2018 is really at a stage that can work well for both sellers and buyers.  Since rent prices are on the rise and mortgage rates are slowly increasing as well, now is a great time for renters to become homeowners!  with motivated buyers on the market and low inventory now is a great opportunity for sellers to get multiple offers on their home. If you are looking to buy, the first step is to consult an experienced real estate agent and get pre-approved for a mortgage.  Sellers will want to consult with a real estate agent for expert advice on their home value and the current market!

 

June 22, 2018

Easy Maintained Landscaping

Having a landscape full of weeds is always very irritating, especially when you are driving by all your neighbor's houses and see their perfect weed free areas. You may be due for an upgrade and in need of some easy care landscaping. It is easy to have a low care landscape although you may need to give up a few weekends to get the process started.

What’s wrong in your current landscape: It is not hard to guess what is wrong with your current beds, especially if there are weeds popping up where they shouldn't be or it looks like the mulch is turning to dust. This is probably due to a geotextile, which are woven fabrics that allow water to pass through to soil but prevent the evaporation. They can be good for stopping weeds but once mulch is placed on top it creates a medium for new weeds to grow that will eventually poke holes through the geotextile. The best way to fix this problem is to take out the old landscaping fabric.

Geotextiles:

  • PROS: Geotextiles will allow the soil to absorb and retain water properly and they will typically hold the weeds down for a few years.

  • CONS: They will not allow for the nutrients to mix into the soil due to the divider between, this divider also makes it so it is harder for insects and earthworms to reach the soil so compaction can become an issue.

Mulch: This is another great option for those that are less interested in the constant interaction with their landscaping. Organic mulch without a weed barrier is the best solution. You'll need to replace the broken down mulch yearly but with a few sprays of weed killer the bed should be kept looking healthy. Organic mulches like bark, shredded wood, pine needles and cotton seed hull break down and will eventually feed the plants below. If you install a mulch only cover, remember that you should be using a six inch metal retainer to make sure the mulch won't slide away if heavy rain or winds occur. After placing this you should put down two to four inches of fresh mulch. Remember to keep the mulch away from any trunks or stems. It may also be less expensive to get mulch locally by the truckload rather than picking it up from the store. Depending on how large the area is you need covered.

 

We hope this information helps you when you’re thinking of redo your landscaping!

Posted in Home Maintenance
June 21, 2018

The Next Generation of Marketing: Drones

  

As technology is evolving drones are becoming a more popular sight. A few years ago we would rarely see them and now people tend to see them more and more often. Drones are basically an unmanned aircraft that is made of lighter material that makes it more easily maneuverable. This handy technology can be used to video several different events such as capturing live events, surveying dangerous areas, and even making great movies. Drones allow for a very unlimited potential in creativity. A drone video is a great way to capture all of the best perspectives and aspects of your home, inside and out. A great marketing tool as you put your house on the market.

These are only a few examples of drone videos we have done on our clients homes. For more information on selling with The Sedlarik Group or setting up a free consultation to go over our next generation marketing plans please give us a call.

 

 

June 20, 2018

Your Summer Painting Project

Being a homeowner can be a mixed blessing. Of course living in a home will give you a place to eat and sleep along with somewhere to keep all of your belongings. On the other hand, being a homeowner means that you will have to take on projects that are simple but can be very overwhelming. Repainting your home is one of these simple but sometimes testing tasks. It's a big and messy job but the techniques do not require very many years to master.

4 Big Tips for Painting your Home This Summer:

Prepwork  Although prep is not actually painting the prepwork is still extremely important. It is the good prepwork that will make or break your finished product.

  • Outside Prep work: If you're painting outside use a metal putty knife to go over all of the painted areas and get rid of all loose and peeling paint, instead of a metal putty knife you could also you a pressure washer to wash away all of the loose paint if there are multiple layers. Paint stripper can also be helpful in removing the paint on finely detailed trim that may otherwise be damaged with a pressure washer.  Make sure to remove or repair any rotting window sills or siding now.

  • Inside Prep work: If painting a popcorn ceiling make sure that you always paint on a small test area to make sure the paint will stick properly and end looking great. Patch any holes in the walls but after make sure you sand them to get the smooth look. Clean all of the walls very thoroughly to give you the perfect looking paint job.

Start on the Dark Side  In the summertime painting your house can be difficult although it is still very important in our homes maintenance. When you’re ready to begin painting start on the dark side of the house and as the sun shifts you should too. This will allow you the most time to work with the wet paint and ensure there are less visible brush strokes and help you avoid dried-on paint drips.

Reducing Strokes While you’re painting trim make the job a challenge of seeing how little you can touch it. If you use fewer brush strokes you will see a better end result and smoother finish. To accomplish this task work in smaller sections. Load the brush on the heavy side and apply as much coverage as possible, using very few strokes to fill in the previously painted section.

Storing your Paint Brush  There are several tricks when it comes to storing your paint brushes. You can store your brush in anything from a disposable glove to a zip lock bag. Between coats you can even drop your brush into water that covers up to the handle or higher as long as you don't mix colors, of course. When you're ready for the next coat swish the brush around in the water to get most of the thin paint out. You can then use a brush and a roller to spin out the water.

 

We hope that these painting tips help you this summer as you begin your big project!

Posted in Home Maintenance
June 18, 2018

Why Home Inspections are Great for Potential Buyers

Just like you should never judge a book by its cover, you should never judge a house by what you see during a showing. Showings are for you to begin picturing yourself living in that space rather than you slowly assessing a home’s structural stability system functionality. Showings tend to be over too short of a time period for you to have time to crawl through the attic. Instead of doing all this yourself, home inspectors are hired to tell you all of the nitty gritty details on the house.

There are many misconceptions with what exactly a home inspection is. Many people think that a home inspection is information given to you about all of the unchangeable aspects of the structure of the home. However, any property or home is in a constantly changing ecosystem. When you call a home inspector to come look at a property, it is their job to tell you about the current details of the home that they see while they’re present. This means that a year from the home inspection there could be things that have changed that no one could’ve predicted at the time of the visit.

The Three Big Reason to Get a Home Inspection

Buyers typically are unaware of the great value of an inspection. Although home inspections aren’t cheap there are still many reasons that you should hire a home inspector.

 

Home inspectors can find problems within the home that you may have missed during a showing. No one wants to buy a home and lose a boatload of money in the long run because they failed to get a home inspection. Home inspectors take hours to complete the inspection, really giving the house a good look. Their finished product is a report that will provide you with more information that you could ever imagine. The types of problems a home inspector will find will aide you in deciding if you can really deal with the house in the long term or if you can afford the house at all.  

They’ll provide you with information on what upcoming repairs to expect. Given that a home inspection is a current report on the condition of your home and is not meant to predict the future, there are several parts of the ecosystem that predictably show signs of wear. Although the furnace or the shingles are in usable shape now this doesn't mean they will be the same for a while longer. Knowing that there are problems coming up in the near future will help you in preparing the finances to fix them.

Don’t forget, an inspection report is also a bargaining chip. Most real estate contracts allow you an inspection period, during which you can get your experts out and have them look around the property. From that point you have the right to request repairs with your initial offer based on what they find. However the things requested cannot be readily apparent issues. For example, at this point you could not request that the seller fix the worn carpet because you could’ve originally saw this when you were walking through the home. However, if your home inspector found a leak in the plumbing under the house you can request that the seller fix the issue because this is clearly a major problem that you couldn’t of know about before hand. If they decline your request you can then come back and ask for the sales price to be lowered. In most cases lenders will require that something as important as piping is in working properly before the closing.

 

After closing, there are a lot of buyers that will lose or toss their home inspections. Home inspections can be used as a list of items to update, repair or replace, and check them off as you go. You can then show this list to a buyer when you want to sell this house. Please get in touch with The Sedlarik Group if you need of a referral for a great home inspector.  

Posted in Buying a Home
April 19, 2018

How to Decipher What's Included with the House

When you've finally found the home of your dreams it’s perfect to you. You’ve found the right price with a wonderful neighborhood and a house with some really beautiful appliances. When you go for your final walk through you may be shocked to see that those beautiful appliances have been removed.

When a home is on the market and being shown to potential buyers, it is often occupied. Occupied homes will usually have a lot of items inside that won’t go with the house when it is sold. You should not assume that a piano or a couch would come with the property because they’re pieces of private property to the owner. Appurtenance means that an item belongs to the house. Therefore, the item is not yours or the new owner’s, but instead it sort of travels with the property. A great example of an appurtenant would be both the in-ground pool and the pool house. These items would clearly go with the property until they’re destroyed.

How do you know when they stay or go?

A pool is one thing, but when is comes to items in the house such as the stove or light fixture there are different circumstances. Make sure that you always check the listing carefully to find what is meant to stay with the house and what will be kept by the current owner. However, if you can't seem to find what you’re looking for use the litmus test to help you understand more clearly what belongs. There are many questions you can ask yourself when trying to decipher if an item will stay with the house. Ask yourself, “Was this item designed to be permanently attached to the house, and if so, will it cause permanent damage if removed?” The item has to be designed to be permanently attached to the house and cause cosmetic or structural damage if removed from the house to be appurtenant.

There are several different people out searching for houses and because they all have different ideas of what permanent damage means can make it harder to understand the concept. Another great example would consist of the seller taking the TV but in turn leaving the brackets in the wall so that you could replace the old TV with a new one of your own. The television itself wasn’t actually considered permanent, however the brackets were.

A few Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is it plugged in? There are some expectations to this rule, but for the most part if something in your house is plugged into the wall, it’s not appurtenant. Although garbage disposals do break this rule.
  • Is the item required to make the property function? This question can be seen as odd, unless you’re already thinking about your house as one giant thing made up of lots of little systems. All those little systems have to be in balance to make it work, from the gutters to the soffit vents. Gutters, for example, are not permanently fixed to the house, but they are a part of the gutter system, which is required to keep water from running under your house and into the basement. Those downspouts could be argued to be appurtenant since they’re part of a necessary system.

We hope that this information will save you the bit of shock some home buyers receive when they realize those amazing appliances are gone.

Posted in Buying a Home
April 10, 2018

Preparing your Home for the Market by Decluttering

There are an abundance of different things that you can do to prepare your home for being placed on today's growing market. Decluttering is one of the most easy and inexpensive ways to increase your home’s attractiveness on the market and to your potential buyers. Another advantage to decluttering is that it can help you get ready to move and possibly rid of some of the items you really don’t need anymore anyway. This can be a large project but make sure that you always start by making a plan. Making your home appear as large and functional as possible within the provided space is the goal of decluttering. When you remove the clutter from a room it creates a more open and airy feel that your potential buyers are searching for.

Here are a few tips to help you stay focused:

  • First Things First Think about what your potential buyers will see first when they come to see your home. Potential buyers will first notice the outdoor aspects of your home such as the yard, driveway, and even the front door. These areas need to be kept very neat so that it encourages people to come inside rather than drive away. Start outside so that you don't waste money on the interior for potential buyers to be turned off by what they see on outside.
  • Focus on One Room at a Time It is important that for each room you make a list of what you plan to do. Lists can be made on paper or you could even download an app on your phone to help you plan for this big projects. Break the effort into the smallest chunks possible to make it easier to accomplish. The more you check off, the better you’ll feel and the more momentum you’re going to build.
  • Furniture Having a living room full of furniture can be great for when the family gets together, although terrible for showing how the space in the room could be used differently because all that can be seen in the room is the furniture. Get as much of the furniture out of the way and leave the pieces that are the nicest or the newest for the very best first impression.
  • Counter Space It is very easy for you to get into the habit of using your counter tops for storage space. Buyers see this and will assume that there isn't enough storage provided. No potential buyer will be looking for a house without the proper amount of storage, the search for the right amount of storage could be the reason they're moving in the first place.
  • Garage and Storage Spaces These are great places to store things that you aren't quite ready to get rid of but don't know where to put it. Your potential buyers are going to be trying to picture their own belongings in that space. Installing shelves or racks can help to give an appearance of organization within the room.

After you have completed the decluttering process you will need to sort through everything you've removed from your home and decide what to do with it. Items can be resold, put into a storage unit, recycled, or even donated. We hope that these tips will help you through the process of decluttering your home and preparing it for the market.

March 26, 2018

Common Remodeling Mistakes

Being aware of the most common mistakes homeowners make while remodeling can help you a lot in making sure those mistakes are not repeated by yourself. When you are building something small like a night stand you can make small mistakes that aren't a big issue and can be easily fixed. The small projects like this only have a small number of parts so it is easier to fix the mistakes. Remodeling a house there are thousands of steps and parts that you have to go through to get your final product. With all of these pieces and steps there are many more problems that could arise and mistakes that can be made. Make sure to closely pay attention and look around the specifics of your house before tarring down that first wall. Here are a few things others have done wrong in the process of their remodel that you can learn from.

The Permit When you are planning to knock a small hole in the wall it may seem like it is not a big deal if you were to skip the permit. But when it comes to permits, the rules were not made to be broken. There are many safety features that would need to be considered for both current and future homeowners. If you complete permitted work without a permit you can be fined and have created a safety issue in the home that possibly can’t be undone.

The Budget  When you are preparing for a remodel it is important that you create a realistic budget that will leave you enough money for the unexpected. When writing out your budget include money for extra parts, odds and ends because remodels are typically more costly than expected. It is always easier to have left over money at the end of the remodel to upgrade appliances or even through in a savings account rather than having an unfinished remodel you don’t know how to finish.

Excess Items  Buying your supplies is always a bit stressful but there are ways around getting that exact amount that you need. When you buy extra supplies you will be prepared for more. Extra supplies can always be returned to the store after you’re finished. The amount of extra supplies you buy is dependent on the size or your project as well. When you are making a smaller project you can usually get away with getting the exact amount of lumber needed. Preparation Work  When remodeling a home it may be tempting to move on from the task at hand and rush into a new one. Not rushing your preparation and doing it until it's done. Make sure that any work or cleaning up that needs to be done at the reception can be cleaned up.

Underestimating Difficulty Being unsure of how difficult a remodel may be is one of the most common mistakes made. Those that have worked in the construction field are probably a bit more aware of what they’re jumping into for the larger projects but there are projects better for beginners that tend to be fairly easier like learning to paint or building shelves. So before you jump right into this exciting remodel make sure to educate yourself more on how to do the task at hand by watch videos about your next project.

Posted in Home Maintenance
March 15, 2018

Preparing Yourself for Spring Storms

Spring is coming, and with it comes spring storms. Wind and Rain our coming our way and it's best to be prepared in the case that any damage are done to your home this season. If a tree were to fall on your house you would be in panic. Although your insurance would cover most of the cost, you have to figure out how to pay the deductible and other related expenses until everything is sorted out. If you happen to be one of the almost 50% of Americans that couldn’t cover a $400 emergency payment without borrowing it elsewhere, don’t panic. Even if you have exhausted all of your hidden money places you can always get money from people. There are loans and grants that are given to people like you to help you rebuild and find shelter. Here are some of the best options you have to help fund with problems like home repairs,

Most Common Source of Funding: Loans

Home Equity Loans  The two types of home equity loans are the original home equity loan and a loan known as the HELOC. The one caveat is that you generally can’t tap more than 80 percent of your home’s total equity, so if your mortgage is already taking up 75 percent of that, you may not have enough equity left to fix the weatherhead. These loan types have the longest terms so therefore have the smallest payments.

Personal loans  Out of the loans a personal loan can be more difficult to qualify for because there isnt any general security involved. With these loans there is no collateral so they will process much faster and help get that power turned on much quicker. With a personal loan there is the downfall of having to pay a much higher rate than you would if you were to have a secured form of credit.

401(k) loan  This is an account that is mainly set up for retirement. Most people believe that a 401(k) would never do anything for them. This idea can be very untrue though depending on the amount of funds you have vested and how specific your 401(k) is set up.

Borrowing from family  Although many people avoid taking money from family members. But as things get more rough you may have to go back to your people and grovel. People always imagine a long list of cons for this but borrowing the money can say Hey, don’t skip this one. It’s no fun to ask family for money, but sometimes, you’re caught between a rock and hard spot.

Free Grant Money  There are some grant programs out there, but they are very few and far between. Primarily, they go to people who are elderly, very impoverished and live in rural areas, but if there’s a grant program in your area, apply. It can’t hurt anything. The biggest downside to grant money for a repair like yours is that they’re rarely in any hurry to get things done. Grants can be achingly slow, even if you’re approved right away. You probably can’t afford that kind of time investment. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s not going to cost you a fortune.

We hope that showing you a few of your options will help you this spring in deciding how to handle a situation like this if you were to come across a problem.

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
March 13, 2018

Preparing for Your Potential Home Buyers

When you own a home there are always little projects you’re doing to fix things that bother you. When you put your house on the market don’t expect to be able to fix every little thing first, however, know that the buyers will be expecting a minimum level. Before you decide to sell your home it's a good idea to go through your house with a realtor so that they can inform you of how to put your homes best foot forward. This is the key to success.

Entry Area  The first thing that buyers will really notice about the inside of your home or most homes is the living room and foyer as a combo unit. Unless yours are separate understand that this same advice applies to both. When buyers are looking at your house they are forming an opinion, so try making what they'll see first the punch. Clean your windows very well to receive as much natural lighting in the house as possible. Make sure that you have cleaned the flooring and that the walls are flawless. Most buyers are looking for walls that are a neutral colors.

Dining Room  When looking through your dining room follow the same advice given for the entry area, with an exception. Since there is typically a lot of eating that happens in this room, you will want to check up under the table for any stains. It is important that you work to get the stain removed instead of covering it with a rug because this can be know as a “hidden or latent effect”.

Bathrooms   Bathrooms are much like kitchens, they have a lot of wet, moving parts. Since they are so similar your will be looking for most of the same concepts. In the bathrooms the only new things you will have to check are the shower or tub units and sinks. Check to make sure that the faucets are not leaking and that you can't find any mold. If you’re unable to remove the stains you find, try recaulking.

Garage  In the garage make sure that you have a functioning garage door and that the wheels on the door are lubricated so there isn't an awful noise given off when it is opened. Try to get things in your garage tidied up as best as you can.  

General Outdoors  Before entering your home the first thing buyers wills see is the view from the streets. Make sure that you keep your landscaping well taken care of and take care of all the excess projects you started and never finished. Make sure to check that your roof and gutters are in good shape because its highly likely your potential buyers will be doing the same. First impressions can make or break your potential buyers chance of loving your home.

For more tips on how to give your home curb appeal click on the link below!

Giving your Home Curb Appeal

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 9, 2018

How to Stick to Your Home Remodeling Budget

Remodeling is always a bit more pricey than you expect. Older houses will always find a way to surprise you when ii comes to remodeling because of all the changes made in the building codes over the years. It helps to approach a remodel with a mindset to save as much money as you can if you’re trying to stay under budget. Remodeling can be an extensive process but if done the right way can be a great experience to be involved with. Try using these tips to save more money throughout the process.

Recycle and Reuse There are several things in the house that you can reuse when remodeling. If you carefully remove the trim, for example, you should be able to reuse it. Some types of trim can be more fragile that others but wider crown molding or tall base moldings can be great for recycling. Cabinets, tiles, sinks, tubs, light fixtures and most materials, really, can be recycled in some way.

New Paint? If you have decided that you like the style of the wooden trim or kitchen cabinets in the house but come to the idea that they may fit your new design better if they were a different wash or color you could recycle them. Without ripping them out all you would have to do is lightly sand them, apply the right primer, and then carefully paint them.

Avoid Relocation  As you remodel it can be tempting to rearrange the toilets or sinks in the bathrooms and kitchens, but don’t. Instead of moving things around, try to work around their existing locations, moving plumbing (as well as electrical) can be very expensive and may require that you bring your house up to current code, adding even more cost to the remodel.

Discount Material Stores Discount material stores often get bulk shipments of items that larger retailers couldn’t move in a reasonable amount of time. These discount material stores can be very hit and miss when it comes to what you’re looking for. Always make sure that you know how much material you’re in need of so that the day you find your high grade laminate flooring you'll be able to buy it before it’s sold out. Once the material is gone there typically isn’t another shot to find the same thing in stock in the store.

Buying Used Materials People will often put bigger, more valued items, up for sale when they are replacing them during a remodel. Windows, pavers and excess materials from projects are popular things you’ll see in online and offline ads. Buying used materials can be very beneficial to staying under budget, when the items you find fit what you are looking for and match your design plan.

Be Efficient With Materials The more efficiently that you use your materials, the less you will need and the more you will save. Plan your cuts ahead of time so that you can utilize the least amount of material as possible. Returning excess material to your home improvement store can help you save and stick to your budget.

If you tend to be a little less handy or just are too busy to do your own home remodel, it’s smart to call in someone to remodel your home. These professionals will advise you in ways to save money based on what you want for your finished project.

Posted in Home Maintenance