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8 Dumb Reasons People Can’t Buy a Home

Buying a home—especially if it’s your first—can be a lot like losing weight in the sense that people end up doing, well, some pretty dumb stuff in the process. But while desperate dieters might waste money on “magical” weight-loss pills or silly exercise equipment (remember the shake weight?), misguided home buyers could be doing far more serious damage—like undermining their ability to purchase a house at all. Don’t be one of them! We asked real estate agents to shed light on some of the dumbest reasons people can’t buy a home. The good news? These flubs are easily avoidable. Read on and beware.

Dumb reason No. 1: Waiting to line up financing

Your first step in the home-buying process should be to meet with a mortgage lender to discuss your financing options, says Benny Kang, a real estate agent in Irvine, CA.

“You don’t truly know what you can afford until you meet with a lender,” says Kang. In other words, just because you think you can buy a $1 million house doesn’t mean you can actually get a loan to purchase a home that nice.

Dumb reason No. 2: Using a fly-by-night mortgage lender

The mortgage industry is rife with scams—including a slew of fake or unreliable lenders. Placing your trust in a bad lender can cause a deal to fall through. That explains why “sometimes sellers reject offers because of the buyer’s lender,” says Philadelphia real estate agent Kathy Conway. To make sure your financing is rock-solid, ask your real estate agent for lender recommendations instead of, say, just Googling it. And read up to know your mortgage basics.

Dumb reason No. 3: Getting pre-qualified rather than pre-approved

Pre-qualification and pre-approval might sound similar, but they’re not. Essentially, anyone can get pre-qualified for a loan, because it only involves having a conversation with a lender about the state of your finances (no documents are exchanged). Getting pre-approved, meanwhile, involves the lender gathering all necessary documentation—your tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and more—packaging the loan, and submitting the file to an underwriter for review. If everything checks out, the lender will issue you a written commitment for financing up to a certain loan amount that’s good for up to 90 or 120 days.

When you submit an offer on a home, you’ll need to include a pre-approval letter from your lender, says Conway.

“Educated sellers won’t even entertain an offer unless the buyer has a letter of pre-approval” from a reliable lender, Conway says.

Dumb reason No. 4: Shopping outside your price range

“It sounds obvious, but some home buyers just have trouble sticking to a budget,” says Kang. Therefore, resist the temptation to shop online for homes that are simply outside your price range (i.e., how much you’ve been pre-approved for).

Dumb reason No. 5: Making lowball offers in a seller’s market

You need to rely on your real estate agent to determine whether a house that you’re interested in has a fair listing price. (Your agent will do this by performing a comparative market analysis, which entails looking at recently sold properties that are comparable to the house that’s up for sale.) If a home is priced well, it might make sense to offer full price, says Kang. Moreover, “if you’re in a seller’s market, making a crazy lowball offer can piss off the seller” and kill your offer, says Kang.

Dumb reason No. 6: Writing a bad personal letter to the seller

If you’re competing against other buyers, writing the seller a personal letter can help strengthen your offer. But Julie McDonough, a real estate agent in Southern California, says some home buyers are inclined to overshare, in which case a letter can actually hurt your offer.

“Stick to the fact that you love the house and the neighborhood,” says McDonough. “Don’t get into personal details” such as the fact that you’ve lost out on other homes or want to remodel the dated kitchen.

Dumb reason No. 7: Making a big purchase while in escrow

Some home buyers make the mistake of opening new credit accounts while they’re in the process of buying a house. But purchasing a big-ticket item like a car or a boat while you’re buying a house can jeopardize your financing. Why? Because your mortgage lender’s underwriter is going to re-evaluate your finances and recheck your credit report shortly before closing in order to determine that you’re still able to qualify for the loan.

“Even buying a fridge can throw off your credit or debt-to-income ratio,” says Conway. Translation: Don’t make any big purchases until after you close on the house.

Dumb reason No. 8: Not budgeting for closing costs

If you don’t have enough cash to cover closing costs, you won’t make it to settlement; and if that’s the case, you could lose your earnest money deposit. Thus, make sure to get an estimate from your mortgage lender of what your closing costs will be before making an offer on a property (currently, this is legally required—just make sure to read it).

Closing costs vary widely by location, but they typically total 2% to 7% of the home’s purchase price. So on a $250,000 home, your closing costs could come to $5,000 to $17,500. Both buyers and sellers usually pitch in on closing costs, but buyers shoulder the lion’s share of the load (3% to 4% of the home’s price) compared with sellers (1% to 3%), so you need to make sure you have enough cash on hand to pay your portion.

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Original Date: Jul 11, 2017

Outlook For Spring 2017 Real Estate Market

The 2016 real estate market was quiet a success.  Interest rates were lower than they had been since the 50’s.  Home values exceeded expectations and an end was in site to the housing recession.  With the federal housing administration offering grants and low interest rate loans there was a monumental increase in first time homebuyers.  With this in mind there are some Real Estate trends to consider as we enter the spring real estate season.

Increased Home Prices

As with 2016, home prices will continue to rise however it will happen at a more gradual pace.  With the buying demand already starting 2017 at a rate that is above 2016 it isn’t a surprise that there will be an increase in the median home price.  Many industry experts expect the increase in home prices to be upwards of five percent.

Increase in Inventory

Interest rates are currently low.  In order to take advantage of these lower interest rates more and more renters are looking into purchasing homes right now.   The same is true of many current homeowners looking to upgrade.  The one disadvantage to this for first time home buyers is that the inventory of homes within the low to average price range is low and moving quickly when it does hit the market. The inventory of homes is expected to increase in 2017 but is still at a historical low.

Volatile Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates remain low even with the slight increase that occurred following the 2016 election.  This was only the second time that we have seen a rate increase in housing interest rates in a decade.  It is important to note that the Federal Reserve, who controls the rise and decline of interest rates, has stated that they expect interest rates to increase at least three more times this year.  Realize however that these rates even with a few small increases will still be less than we have previously seen.

Availability to Credit Will Improve

With a new president in office there is talk of rolling back many of the financial regulations that were put into place post-crisis in the Dodd-Frank Act.  This means that the regulations on lending the banks are currently under would be removed and less strict rules would take their place.  It is also speculated that the new president would make moves to return mortgage companies that are government-controlled to the private sector.

The spring real estate season is getting started in just a few weeks.  If you are thinking of buying a home or selling your home now is the time to contact a local real estate agent for assistance.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

Attracting Home Buyers During The Hot Fall Real Estate Season

Autumn is literally right around the corner.  The kids are back in school, the weather is becoming a bit more bearable and there is downtime between summer vacations and the holidays.  There is no doubt why fall is the second best season in real estate especially when it comes to selling your home.  Not only do the colors start to explode amongst the trees, for sale signs also start to reappear.  Below you will find some of our top tips to help sellers attract autumn home buyers.

Shape Up the Landscape

In order to attract buyers a home must appear well maintained inside and out.  Make sure to take time to rake up fallen leaves and clean debris before it settles.  Overgrown vegetation should be trimmed including small bushes and large trees around the home.  Dead flowers should be cut down and prepared for next spring and vine growth should be eliminated to enhance the exterior of your home.

Create an Autumn Atmosphere

Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling your home for top dollar.  One way to enhance the feeling of warmth and fall is add a little bit of it to your home.  Take advantage of the beauty that comes from all things fall like corn stalks, pumpkins and mums.  Accent walkways and entrances to add to the fall appeal.

Window Washing

Everyone considers spring cleaning however the momentum often dies going into the fall season.  When looking to sell your home during the fall real estate season it is beneficial to thoroughly was dusty, streaked windows.   Clean off pet prints and wipe down window ledges.  The little details may not get noticed when they are on point but if they are left uncared for you can guarantee that buyers will take note.

HVAC Maintenance

Just as homeowners take time to have central air conditioning system evaluated at the beginning of the spring season, heating systems should be checked as well at the beginning of fall.  You will want your home to smell clean and dust free.  A dirty heating system says a lot about your home that you don’t want it to.  Replace furnace filters, have vents cleaned and do the yearly maintenance that needs to be done to ensure your system is running efficiently and clean.

Prepare Fall Edibles

The scent of fall is quiet attractive and should be used to your advantage during open houses and home visits.  Fresh apple cider smells, pumpkin spice cupcakes or leaf cut out cookies left out on the counter are all ways to welcome guests into your home.  People looking to purchase a home want it to be warm, cozy and inviting.  Make sure that appeal is what they feel when they first arrive.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

Don’t Get Caught Up In Curb Appeal When Purchasing A New Home

When it comes to purchasing a new home many buyers get caught up in the visual aspects of the home.  This is a mistake that often hurts buyers.  Instead of seeing the potential in a home they are driven off by brightly colored walls or unconventional flooring.  In reality these aspects are easily changed.  Instead staging often fools buyers and they forget that beauty is only skin deep allowing them to forget about the costly realities like roofing, electricity, plumbing and foundation.

Real estate professionals often warn clients from making mistakes like this but fall on deaf ears.  To prevent the same mistake from happening to you consider the following when considering a home to purchase.  Even the ugliest of ducklings can have the makings of a castle given the shape of the homes foundation, roofing and a fundamentally strong structure.

Consider the shape of the homes windows.  Realtors stress that it is important for buyers to look at the external state of the windows over their age.  New windows that are installed incorrectly are far less attractive as older, sturdier windows that have been well maintained.  If the exterior of the windows are in good shape it is a great indicator of the condition and level of maintenance that the current homeowner showed the home.  If you push on the window and can easily push the window frame in at all then it means the windows are starting to rot.  If the windows are double hung and you can visually see any sort of condensation the windows are faulty.

The roof is also an important aspect when looking into purchasing a home.  An asphalt shingle roof has a life expectancy of between fifteen and twenty years.  If you are unsure of when the roof was last replaced it is best to have a professional roofer out to inspect any homes you are interested in.  A professional roofer will know what to look for to age a home roof.  Certain things buyers can see themselves such as if the roof has a bunch of missing shingles or if there is substantial curling that can be seen on the shingles.  These are all signs the roof will need to be immediately replaced.  If this is the case be sure to negotiate the expense of a new roof into the purchase price of the home.

Another item a buyer often over look is the homes electrical system and power sources.  Electrical wiring that is not done by a professional electrician leaves a lot of room for error.  Improperly ran electrical wiring is dangerous.  Check out the shape of the fuse box and test the circuit breaker to ensure that it is functioning properly.  Rewiring a home is a messy and expensive job to undertake.  It is often a job that new homeowners are not looking to involve themselves in.

In our next installment we will continue to look into the items often overlooked by buyers as they concentrate on the less important visual aspects of a home.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

Buying and Selling During The Spring Season

Spring time in the north is one of the greatest times.  The landscapes are turning from brown to green, color is coming back to the skies, softball starts and home buyers eagerly start to look for a home to purchase.   There is no doubt about it; spring is the most popular real estate season.  No matter if you are looking to purchase or sell a home now is the perfect time to forge full speed ahead.  Below are some tips to assist buyers as they look to gain insight into the spring real estate market.

First things first:  Talk with a Mortgage Broker

Before you even begin to look at homes are meet with a real estate agent talk with a mortgage broker.  You must be able to secure a home loan to buy a home.  Sellers are looking for buyers who are preapproved.   Sellers do not want to waste time accepting offers from buyers who will not be able to secure a mortgage.  A pre-approval is valuable because it shows that the buyer will be able to obtain a home loan as well as a point of reference on how much the buyer can afford.  A pre-approval means that you are a serious buyer.  If a seller needs to choose who to enter into a contract with they will always go with the buyer that has already secured financial backing in the form of a pre-approval.

Secondly: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent is the next step in looking to purchase a home in the spring.   Get referrals from family, friends and individuals who have recently purchased a home.  After you get several names and numbers start by calling their office to schedule an appointment to meet to discuss what you are looking for, how much you have to spend and the needs verse the wants in the home you are looking to purchase.

It is critical when interviewing real estate agents you find someone that is not only experienced in local real estate but also one that is available to communicate with you in a productive manner.  Buying a home is the biggest financial decision in your life; you will want a partner to help you find a home that is in it for you and not just for the commission.

Check out the Neighborhood

Take time to look into neighborhoods that your real estate agent thinks best fit what you are looking for.  Drive by the area, check out the schools and such before ever stepping foot into a home.  Find several locations that you are interested in to help narrow down the search.  The last thing you want to do is spend day after day walking through home after home especially in areas that are of little appeal to you.  If you don’t love the neighborhood falling in love with the house does very little in getting you to the finish line and purchasing a home.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

Tips To Find Your Dream Home This Spring

Spring is a great time to buy a home.  With the spring home buying season about to fully get underway there are a few strategies to keep in mind to ensure you find the home of your dreams within your budget.

Professionals within the housing market industry are anticipating a busy home buying season for 2016. The inventory is here, the market itself is stable and there are concerns that the interest rates on home loans have seen their lowest days are on the rise.

If you hope to be successful in the present market it is important to have a strategic plan in place to approach finding the home of your dreams.  Be prepared and incorporate the tips below when buying a home this spring.

  • Ditch The Computer

With over ninety percent of homeowner looking online for the home of their dreams it may benefit home buyers to look elsewhere.  Get outside; start canvassing areas in neighborhoods that meet your needs.  Work with a realtor to help narrow the window of area homes that meet all of your wants and needs within your budget.  Having a real estate agent that completely understands what you are looking for at the start of the busy spring season is a must.  They often have ties to homes going on the market, which you can preview before anyone else.  New homes hit the market quickly.  Get in, preview the space and make an offer before the seller is even prepared to list the home to ensure you the pick of the litter when it comes to homes hitting the market this spring.

  • Understand the Current Housing Market

Each housing market is a bit unique.  This is true of different neighborhoods, school districts, towns and more. The area in which you are looking is distinct and the housing market within will be exclusive to that space.  It is important that buyers understand the current housing markets of the areas that interest them and hire a real estate agent that fully embraces the concept.  The entire process can hinder on the uniqueness of the market in which you are looking.  Research and educate yourself before it’s too late.

  • Get Pre-Approved and Lock In Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have begun to fluctuate.  The economy of 2016 is different than that of years past.  We are seeing economic recovery, new construction and home remodeling increases and with that eventually come higher interest rates.  Mortgage specialists have indicated that they don’t expect these low mortgage rates to last into the summer buying season.

Mortgage brokers have indicated that all signs pointing from the Federal Reserve are that interest rates will begin the spring buying season low and will increase slowly throughout the season and into the summer buying season.  The concerns about heightened home prices and increases in rent will continue to exceed the increase of earned wages; before it is too late lock in a low pre-approved mortgage rate.

  • Construct a Dream Team

The spring home buying season can be competitive and fast paced.  With this in mind it is important that buyers have a team in place that allows them to make an offer on the perfect home at a moment’s notice.  Your dream team should consist of a professional real estate agent, a mortgage specialist with several lenders and loan options in place, a lawyer and home inspector.  With your pre-approval in hand you are ready to complete the mortgage process quickly once a property is found.  Eager sellers will often benefit from a quick sale and can compensate accordingly.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

The Perfect Time To Buy A Home Is Now

Do you think you are ready for the commitment of buying a home?  With the home buying and selling market that we are experiencing right now it is the perfect time to start looking.  Whether you are looking to buy your first home or upgrade the current interest rates and home market make it an ideal time to hire a realtor to begin your search.

A trusted realtor with experience in the local area is a must when you are looking to buying a home.  Some buyers are hesitant to use a realtor because they don’t want to pay the fees involved with using a realtor.  It is important to remember that the fees that realtors are paid, the commissions, are paid for by seller.  It is crucial that buyers remember that listing agents do not have their best interest in mind. They represent their client, the seller and their best interest.

No matter if you use a realtor to buy a home or not the commissions are paid by the seller.  Therefore not using one only allows for the sellers listing agent to be paid both sides of the commission.  Using an real estate agent that is savvy can help to protect your interests throughout the home buying process from negotiating the sale price to helping you navigate through the home inspection process.

Buying a home requires you enter into a legal contract.  One major difference in contracts dealing with the purchase of a home is that they are negotiable up until the time at which you sign on the dotted line to buy the home.  If you want time to review the home inspection report, time to obtain a well inspection or want to ensure that the sale is subject to a certain condition such as the ability to obtain a home loan this can be negotiated into the deal.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments that most of us will ever enter into.  With this in mind it is important to consider changes in your future before making a purchase.  If you are looking to start a family in the next two years buy won’t want to move again within that period of time it is essential you consider the additional member of your family in the purchase.  Consider the number of rooms in the home, the day care centers in the area, local recreation and all other aspects that are important to you.

When you buy a home you are making an additional commitment to your time.  You will need time to keep up on daily maintenance as well as future home improvements.  Find a home that meets the commitment level you are ready for.  If you don’t have lots of time for yard maintenance or exterior upkeep consider the purchase of a town home, condominium or home with significantly lower maintenance requirements.

An affordable home is important as well.  Take into consideration the amount you have to put down on a home, the interest rate you will pay, monthly utility payments and such before purchasing a home.  The cost of the home is essentially unimportant if you can’t afford to live in it.  All of these items should be added up and accounted for before fixating on a home of your dreams.  Affordability comes from more than just the initial cost to purchase the home.

An experienced real estate agent is invaluable to the buying and selling process.  They offer extensive knowledge of the process as a whole and therefore decrease the amount of stress that is usually associated with buying a home.  A great way to find a reputable real estate agent is to talk to family, friends and associates about their experiences.  Newer agents with less experience can still offer a reliable amount of knowledge to the process depending on your level of experience in home buying.  If however, this is the first time you are buying a home look to work with an agent that has been working within the industry for a significant amount of time.  Time in real estate improves upon the knowledge of an agent as well as the different number of situations they are familiar with.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

Buying A New Home In 2016

2016 around may just be the perfect time to buy a new home.  There are many factors that determine whether the timing is right for you to buy a home.  Below you will find 5 key elements that play into why 2016 is the year that you find your dream home.

  • Interest Rates Remain Low For 2016

Interest rates may be slowly creeping up at the beginning of 2016 but overall still remain at an all time, historic even, low.  A common thirty year fixed mortgage loan is still hovering around four percent.   It is not uncommon to assume that interest rates may never see these low numbers again.  In fact many current homeowners have seen mortgage rates, in their lifetime, as high as eighteen percent.  The eighties were a notorious decade for impossibly high interest rates.

  • Rent Prices Have Increased

Another reason homeowners should be looking into purchasing a home is the cost of rent is increasing.  Rent is outpacing the value of homes in up to thirty five percent of housing markets around the United States.  In 2016 rent payments are said to see increases of upwards of eight percent.  This is the perfect year to say good bye to landlords for good and say hello to a mortgage broker that can find you a home loan to match your needs.

  • Home Prices Are Stabilized

Rising home costs are said to be stabilizing in 2016.  This will help to restore a common playing field for buyers looking capitalize on the opportunity.  Even in the most heated home markets buyers should expect to see home values stay relatively stable over the course of the year.

  • Down Payment Are No Longer The Standard Twenty Percent

The biggest obstacle against home buyers of the past was the required twenty percent down.  This was almost impossible to obtain for many people looking to buy a home.  Recently mortgage lenders have loosened their down payment requirements and are allowing homeowners to buy homes with less down at closing with the addition of principal mortgage insurance, otherwise known as PMI.  Even with a lower than average credit score mortgage brokers are able to secure home loans with three percent down.

  • Mortgage Insurance Rates Are Low

With lower down payments required a PMI is required until the equity in the home has reached twenty percent of the home loans value.  With this said the rates being charged along with this insurance is relatively low making the payment overall reasonable.

There are many reasons that you should look into meeting with a mortgage broker today.  Initial consultations and mortgage pre-approvals are free services offered by mortgage consultants every day.  Find out how much house you can afford, determine a down payment needed, meet with a local real estate agent and begin your quest to homeownership in 2016 today.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

Home Improvements That Fall Short In Selling Homes

In this installment on home improvements we will look deeper into improvements that homeowners make that add no value to their home. If a homeowner is thinking of selling in the next two to five years they should relay evaluate the reasoning for the following home improvements as they do not add any value to the equity of the home.

Homeowners want to believe by installing an in-ground pool they are increasing the value of their property. An in-ground pool is a pricy endeavor. You have to pay for the pool to be created, a safety fence installed and the maintenance to upkeep the pool throughout the season. Not to mention opening and closing the pool each year. Stay away from installing a pool if you can avoid it. A pool limits the marketability of your home. Think about it, most people with young children are fearful of pools for the fact that drowning is a top accident among young children. Seniors are really interested in the upkeep of a pool leaving your home to be marketed to families with pre-teens and teens. The money you put into the pool will never be recouped in the sale of your home. This improvement will always be at a loss to the homeowner.

Homes without a garage or a small garage your home is at a disadvantage when it comes to its sale. If you live in a condo or retirement home you can sometimes get away without a garage but a home in a neighborhood without at least a two car garage your home is far less appealing to sellers than one with a garage.

If the floor plan in your home has little rhyme or reason, it will be more difficult to sell your home. Large, open floor plans have an appeal to buyers. Home with small bathrooms and bedrooms along with a floor plan that requires you to access bedrooms or bathrooms through another room really detract most buyers. The flow of the home should be one that makes sense. The kitchen should connect to the dining room and if possible a laundry room should be off of this area as well. Living rooms should share a space with dens and studies. Bedrooms should have access to bathrooms and avoid being in the space near the living room, kitchen area or dining room.

Another major eye sore are homes that are overly personalized. Buyers are looking to see themselves and their belongings in the space. All realtors will ask sellers to remove the personal touches within their homes to increase the marketability of the home. If you love bright colors by all means paint and enjoy bright décor knowing that when it comes time to sell you will be investing in neutral paint and décor to stage your home.

Maintenance is another turn off to home buyers. It is important that your home is well maintained. The last thing that is appealing to home buyers is requiring a lot of work to be done before the home is livable. Keep up on your home. Fix light fixtures, maintain cleanliness and do general upkeep as needed. Keep your home fresh, updated and clean when you list it. A home that looks to be taken care of is far more attractive to buyers than a home that requires a tin of work just to move in. Plus it gives buyers the impression that they will run into issues as they go because of poor upkeep and a lack of maintenance.

All home improvements that are done to your home should be thoroughly considered before they are done. If you love color, by all means paint but do so knowing that is money that is wasted as you will need to repaint to attract most buyers and to get top dollar for your home. If you can’t live without a pool, install one. Be prepared however when going to market the home for sale that it is not necessarily a feature that home buyers will be thrilled about. They are purchasing a home that requires early maintenance throughout the summer. This is not appealing to all home buyers and could possibly be seen as a burden. This would decrease the appeal and therefore some buyers would actually offer a price far less than asking as they will either want to fill in the area of need to plan for the extra expense of maintenance.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at

Home Improvements That Sell Homes

There are always a ton of must haves and wants on the list of home buyers.  For real estate agents the tricky part is finding what a buyer wants within their allotted budget.  It is important for both sellers and buyers to recognize what is important in regards to home improvements in the market.  Sellers want to make their homes as appealing as possible to the needs of buyers in order to move their homes from the market quickly.  In the next two installments on home improvements we will discuss the home improvements that bring homeowners a return on investment and those that fall short.

One home improvement that is always a hit with buyers and sellers is a well equipped master suite.   It is important that at the end of the day we come home to an environment that is equipped just for us.  Nothing does this better then a master suite that offers everything one needs for solitude and relaxation.  The most wanted features in the master suite include a luxurious spa tub, walk in shower, lounging area and a full walk in closet.

The use of natural materials in home improvement is also a draw for new homebuyers.  People enjoy natural materials used in ceramic tile, hardwood flooring and granite countertops.  For flooring it is best to forgo using linoleum and look towards ceramic tiles.  If instead of hardwood you choose carpet flooring it is best to choose a carpet that is neutral and of the highest quality.  It is best to combine natural flooring with carpet to avoid the wall to wall feeling of fabric.  Natural materials in the kitchen, bath and flooring tend to be huge requests when buyers are looking for a home.

Landscape, exterior care and the aesthetics of the area all make curb appeal another top priority for new home purchasers.  Local realtors stress to sellers that the exterior must appeal to the eye to attract a buyer.  If the outside is un-kept buyers are likely to suspect the same level of care on the interior of the home. No matter what season you are looking to sell your home in it is wise to invest in the exterior appeal.  Make sure that the siding is kept clean and free of imperfections.  Take time to spruce of the homes landscaping.  In the fall trim bushes and clear leaves, in the winter clear sidewalks and keep patios clear and in the spring and summer keep the lawn in the best shape possible enhancing the green of the grass and adding mulch to improve the coloring of landscape plants.

Another improvement that is a huge hit amongst home buyers is the addition of new, top quality windows.  It is amazing how much this improvement can boost the price you can ask for your home.  Windows are expensive but it is one of the most likely home improvements to bring homeowners a high return on investment.

In our next installment on home improvements we will discuss the home improvements that bring homeowners that don’t offer a return on investment and should be avoided on homes that are about to be placed on the market for sale.   The improvements we will discuss are those that should only be done to improve the quality of life for the current homeowner and should not be viewed as an increase to the homes overall value or mass appeal.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area. Find out more at