Real Estate Blog

First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, For Sellers, Interest Rates, Move-Up Buyers, Pricing

Over the course of the last 12 months, home prices have appreciated by 7.0%. Over the same amount of time, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices

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The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report  from  Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 17.4% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 53.2% less expensive in Miami & West Palm Beach (FL), and 37.7% nationwide!

Other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
  • Home prices would have to appreciate by a range of over 23% in Honolulu (HI), up to over 45% in Ventura County (CA), to reach the
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Home shoppers are increasingly facing steep competition for the limited number of homes for sale.

“Attempting to purchase a house in this type of market can make the already complex process of buying a home even more overwhelming,” the National Association of REALTORS® notes in a recent release.

NAR offers up five suggestions for home buyers navigating today’s competitive market:


1. Stick to a budget.

Have buyers get preapproved by one or more lenders to ensure eligibility. Be sure to also take into account extra costs of homeownership, such as taxes, utilities, and insurance. “When listings are scarce, bidding wars can drive up prices, so buyers must be prepared to walk away if the asking price surpasses their budget,” according to

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There are measures you can take around your house to save energy and reduce your utility bills. The following are some tips — some simple, some more involved — from the Energy Star program and other experts:

  • Turn your hot water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep your refrigerator at 37-40 degrees and freezer at 5 degrees.
  • Install and properly use a programmable thermostat (this can save about $180 annually).
  • Install low-flow fixtures.
  • Do only full loads in the washer and dishwasher.
  • Fix any leaky faucets, toilets, pipes, and your roof.
  • Seal heating and cooling ducts (in the typical house, about 20 percent of the air in a duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts).
  • Seal the
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Today's market is HOT!  Sellers are enjoying a great market right now, though if you want to most assuredly get into a multiple offer situation you may consider completing a few tasks listed below and limit the amount of "Walkers" from your home.

1) Kitchen. Nothing turns a Buyer off more than an unclean kitchen and/or one that is cluttered.  It's imperative that Seller's take the time to really deep clean their kitchen and put away all non essential items like mail, counter mixers, etc.  It is also important to organize your drawers and cabinets.  Potential Buyers will likely look to see if they are self closing or not and may look at unorganized drawers and cabinets as a red flag to how well the rest of the home is being taken care of.  It's the

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We are seeing homes move extremely fast this Spring 2017 and this is expected to continue into the Summer.  There is no time for you to wait and think about literally have to get out there and go see the home the day it hits the market or you run the risk of watching it go Pending before you even get a chance.  The days of seeing a home come on the market on a Monday and scheduling it with your agent to see on the weekend are over.  Homes that have desirable updates and good school districts are going into multiple offer situations.  You really have to be on your game if you want a shot and when you do take that better be good.  You need a smart agent in your corner to make your dreams come true or you will likely lose out.  With

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  • You can find them in every grocery store, office, playground and drop off lane at the local elementary school.

    The women who wipe their children's tears away, who selflessly serve day after day with little or no appreciation, who juggle working and parenting and sleepless nights and endless guilt, who love their husbands fiercely, who continually look after everyone's needs except their own. They are the women who quietly run the world.

    And, if you're a woman reading this article, "they" probably means you.

    I know the look in your eye. I know what it feels like to give everything and never feel like it's enough. I know what it feels like to wake up and wonder how you'll ever make it through the day. Please know that you are not alone.


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The full Senate on Wednesday passed a package of bills that would raise speed limits on some Michigan highways to 75 miles per hour.

The bill requires the Michigan Department of Transportation and Department of State Police to raise speed limits to 75 miles per hour on 600 miles of rural, limited-access freeways if a safety and engineering study deems it safe.

Speed limit raises will also be based on the 85th percentile -- a measure of current road activity that determines the speed 85 percent of drivers do not exceed.


That was important to Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, who shepherded the bill through the Senate. Using the 85th percentile takes into account how a road is being used and the current speed people are traveling, he said. For

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