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Posts Tagged ‘clarkston michigan real estate’

I want to start out by stating this post IS NOT for the potential Clarkston short sale seller. Short sales, and what I like to call a normal sale, are 2 completely different animals. Most Clarkston MI short sale sellers NEED to sell and are upside down on their mortgage. The regular seller may or may not NEED to sell but either way, they either have equity or have the money to make up the difference if they are upside down on their mortgage.

But this post is for the “regular” or “normal” Clarkston home owner who has at least been toying with the idea of selling for whatever reason.

If you have been thinking of upgrading you may be able to buy that house you couldn’t afford back in 2003 or 2004. You may be able to purchase that home you dreamed about back then for the same or less than you paid for your current home. And with current interest rates you may be able to upgrade with a lower house payment.

Other benefits to selling now:

  • Inventory is low which means a lack of competition. A good chunk of that competition are short sale listings and by virtue of the time it takes to get a short sale approved, a large portion of the buyer pool can’t even consider a short sale listing
  • Lack of new construction listings. Prices have gotten so low a builder can’t compete against existing homes.
  • Prices have gotten so low you may be able to downsize into a house for a very small or no house payment. Buying that retirement home a bit early and eliminating your house payment is about the ultimate in security
  • If you’re thinking of upgrading this may be a great time. Prices are low and whatever you may lose on the house you’re selling you can more than make up for on the other end. I have clients moving to the lake or onto acreage who never thought they would be able to live that lifestyle.

Other possibilities are to downsize and buy a second home/cottage. Or downsize and buy rentals for income purposes. I have one client who is buying small homes in the Lake Orion, Clarkston and Oxford areas and renting them out for double her house payments on those homes.

This is an economy where a lot of people are hurting beyond belief. It is also an economy where real wealth can be made.

Jackie Hawley, Realtor

ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

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Selling?

Buying a Foreclosure or Short Sale Listing

Clarkston MI Homes For Sale

Clarkston MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

Lake Oakland and Woodhull Lake

Lotus and Maceday Lakes

Deer Lake

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Is This a Trend? Clarkston Michigan Sales are Up AGAIN!

Let’s hope it is. The past couple days I wrote similar posts for Lake Orion and Oxford. And today I’m happy to write that sales are up, AGAIN, in Clarkston Michigan. The median sales price was up for the first half of the year, up through the end of August, and up for the past 4 months in a row. Unit sales are also up and total sales volume for Clarkston Michigan homes is also up from last year.

clarkston michigan home sales

In fact- unit sales through August 2010 are up from 2009, 2008 and 2007. Even though unit sales are up, bank owned sales are down from 2009- 95 bank owned sales though August 2010. 101 bank owned sales through August 2009.

Median Sales Price:
2010: $157,450
2009: $142,000

Units Sold:
2010: 268
2009: 209

Total Sales Volume:
2010: $48,227,480
2009: $$37,348,470

Bank Owned Sales:
2010: 95 units or 35.4% of total sales
2009: 101 units or 48.3% of total sales

Short Sales:
2010: 64 units or 23.9% of total sales
2009: 27 units or 12.9% of total sales

As of 9/18/2010 there were 223 total listings for sale in Clarkston Michigan with a median asking price of $217,000. On 9/28/2009 there were 258 homes for sale with a median asking price of $239,450.

For more detailed information about a particular house or neighborhood a market analysis would need to be done for that specific home. Below are links to some pages where I’ve been compiling information (including sales data) for specific subdivisions and lakes (for lakefront homes). The above numbers are averages for Clarkston Michigan/Independence Township with some additional date to help interpret the data. The more specific the geographic area, the more one can glean from the data.

 North Oakland County Michigan Neighborhoods

North Oakland County Michigan Lakefront Homes for Sale

Search the MLS

Clarkston Michigan Homes for Sale

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It’s no big secret that Michigan residents in general have been going through some rough economic times. I say in general, because not everybody is hurting. But with unemployment/underemployment at 20% or more many Michiganders have felt a financial pinch.

Some of that financial pinch shows in many of the houses that have sold in the past few years. Not as well maintained and some foreclosures are downright destroyed. For those who have taken advantage of our buyers’ market, you will more than likely need/want to make repairs and improvements on those homes. And while making those repairs and improvements you may want to consider the fact that the cost of energy has been on the increase with no end in site at this time.  Personally, my electric use is down, but my electric bill is higher than for the same period last year.

We can only tackle the cost of power itself with constant contact with Congress people (Cap and Trade, etc) and in the voting booth this fall. But we DO have some control on the amount of electricity and gas we use and get some of our tax dollars back in the process via tax credits and rebates.

There are Federal tax credits that don’t expire until 2016 for items such as Geothermal Heat Pumps, Residential Wind Turbines and Solar Energy Systems- 30% of cost with no upper limit.

And there are Federal tax credits that expire December 31, 2010 for 30% of the cost up to $1500 for items such as “biomass stoves” known to the rest of us as wood stoves (or corn, or pellets), central air, heating, water heaters, insulation, windows, doors, and roofing. You should go to the federal government web site for details and exclusions and consult with your accountant before purchasing anything.

Not covered are items like ceiling fans, CFL’s- those swirly light bulbs made in China (the last American light bulb factory just closed down), toilets, electric furnaces/boilers (like we all have natural gas available), clothes washers and dryers….

You state may have it’s own credits or rebates. Some of the rebates for the state of Michigan have run out of money (but there is sill money in the budget to promote breast feeding), but there is still some money left for the purchase of refrigerators, clothes washers and dishwashers. Check this web site for details.

If you are getting ready to sell your curent home, some energy efficient improvements may help when competing against the rest of the houses on the market.

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Michigan Tax Legislation Now in the House of Representatives- Good News for Home Buyers and Sellers

A brief explanation of how Michigan property taxes work. We have what is called the homestead exemption for a person’s primary residence in The Great Lakes State, which basically means if the house is your primary residence you get a break on the millage rate- up to 18 mills. On a house valued at $200K- or a taxable value of $100K- 18 mills equals $1800. Not chump change.

The way the law currently works is if you buy a house that isn’t a primary residence, such as a bank owned home, you must close and file your homestead exemption with the township prior to May 1. If you file after May 1, you will pay the higher rate for the remainder of the year. So if you close on your house in June, you will have both the summer and winter tax bill at the higher rate.

Today I received an E-News Special Alert in my in box from the Michigan Association of Realtors letting me (and everybody else in their e-blast) know that Senate Bill 77 passed the Michigan Senate today with a vote of 36-0 and now moves to the House of Representatives. The email states that “This legislation would provide for an additional principal residence filing date of October 1st.” It goes on to state an amendment was added to move that date to November 1 for 2010 only. It wasn’t specific as to whether you have to file ON Oct. 1 or BY Oct. 1. As I find out more details, I will update you.

In the meantime you may want to contact your state rep to let them know how you want them to vote. I have also found when I need more details on a piece of legislation, my rep has had no problems in the past emailing me the complete text of a bill. Remember- our representatives work FOR us.

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The Foreclosure Process in Southeast Michigan

Many of the numbers the media likes to spout about homes going into foreclosure are a bit exaggerated. When you read about the number of homes in foreclosure the stats often quoted are the notices of foreclosure that have been served- not the new bank owned listings. There are also companies like Realty Trac that publish specific houses as foreclosed homes. And technically while that that may be true, those houses are not for sale and may never come up for sale.

Below is my attempt to dispell the myths floating around about foreclosures and explain as simply as possible how the foreclosure process works in Southeast Michigan.

Typically a person needs to be behind on their house payment by 3 months or more before they receive a notice of foreclosure. That notice of foreclosure will have a date for the sheriff’s sale– usually a couple months off. The bank (or first lien holder if there are multiple loans on a house) will buy the house back at the sheriff’s sale for the amount of the mortgage or fair market value or someplace in between.

After the sheriff’s sale the owner has what is called a redemption period to pay off their mortgage(s). Most homes will have a 6 month redemption period. Homes on 3 plus acres will have a year to redeem. During this entire time the owner still has full rights of use and has the ability to sell. But the media will still call these homes bank owned or “in foreclosure” during this period.

Many of these homes will never go back to the bank. Some people will catch up before it ever gets to the sheriff’s sale. Some will sell during that time; some people still do have equity in their homes and others may be willing and able to bring cash to the closing. Others will sell via the short sale route. Many times a lender will delay the sheriff’s sale if the owner is in the process of a short sale. Some will even extend the redemption period if necessary rather than take the house back and sell as an REO (bank owned) property.

I’m finding that the amount of true bank owned sales in North Oakland County are on the decline and a major increase in short sale closings. For very detailed sales statics please click the links below for very dry and for many boring sales data for Lake Orion, Oxford and Clarkston Michigan.

Lake Orion Michigan sales data

Oxford Michigan sales data

Clarkston Michigan sales data

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Oakland County Michigan Seller- You Accepted the Offer. Now What?

When we go over an offer to purchase from a buyer, I will go over price and terms as well as any contingencies. Typical contingencies are mortgage contingency, inspection contingency, subject to clean title, must appraise for at least sale price. And there are time frames for each contingency.

A normal offer will give 30 or 45 days to get a mortgage and the buyer must apply within 5 days. Usually 7 days for a home inspection and clean title prior to close. So let’s use these time frames to explain what happens next.

The buyer will call his/her loan officer and apply for the mortgage (formal mortgage application) but instruct his/her loan officer to not order the appraisal until after the home inspection. In the meantime I send a copy of the purchase agreement and pre-approval letter to our title company to get rolling on the title work.

Within the first week the buyer will need access to your house for approximately 3-4 hours. They may need to make 2 trips, depending on how many inspections they will have (radon requires the inspector to come back. Septic or mold inspection may require a second inspector). If everything is fine with the inspection, we should hear from an appraiser within a week or so. If there are problems with the inspection, the buyer will probably either back out of the offer or ask you to either make repairs or lower the price.

Assuming we get past the inspection ok, the appraiser will come out to the house. He/she will only be there around 15 minutes to maybe a half hour. Within a week or so the lender will get the appraisal back. An FHA appraisal may require some repairs. It will be addressed in the purchase agreement who is responsible for the repairs. An appraisal for a conventional mortgage is pretty much just justifying the sale price. For this example we are going to assume the appraisal comes back ok. A later post will address low appraisals.

So now your house has cleared the inspection and appraisal contingencies. We are probably at least 2 weeks into the transaction at this point. Your title work should be back and clean since I order pre-title at the time of listing and any problems can be taken care of at that time.

Now we just wait until the lender finishes approving the buyer and we set a closing. The buyer will probably walk through the house prior to closing to make sure it’s in the same condition as when they wrote the offer. If possession is at close, they will also want to make sure you have moved out.

You will need to call the utility companies and let them know when you will be moving out and the name of the future new owners. It would be a courtesy to leave any manuals for appliances, or furnace, etc. for the new owner.

Then we all proceed to the closing and it’s a happy happy day for all!

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HAT TRICK! Clarkston Michigan Sales Are Up- Units, Sale Price and Sales Volume!

When we rounded the first quarter of the year, things weren’t looking too good for Clarkston Michigan home owners and sellers. Clarkston unit sales were up, but sale prices were down- again. By the time we hit the half way point, things were looking up. And now that we are almost 2 full months past the half way point I can maybe stop holding my breath. Maybe it wasn’t a couple of fluke months and sales would adjust down again. (Adjust is a nice way to say nose dive)

As of today opposed to the same time period last year:

2009- 205 closed sales
2010- 260 closed sales

2009- median sale price $140,900
2010- median sale price $155,950

2009- $36,503,870 in total sales volume
2010- $46,762,580 in total sales volume

So- units are up 21%, sale prices are up 10% and total volume is up for the first time in years and that number is up almost 22%.  These numbers are down from previous years, but if this is really a trend, it’s not a bad start at all. Only time will tell.

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