Monthly Archives: December 2015

Secrets To Buying A Home In The New Year Continued

Bigger isn’t necessarily better:  We are naturally drawn in to the ideal that bigger is better.  The same is not true when buying a home.  A bigger home can often mean a bigger mortgage payment, higher expenses and more maintenance.  Also, buying the biggest, best home on the block can set you apart from the neighbors.

The appeal for the biggest home on the block is limited because it is different than the natural appeal of the neighborhood.  If the neighborhood is full of ranch homes with one car garages set within the one hundred and fifty thousand dollar range and you purchase the only home within the neighborhood with two stories and a two car garage for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars you have basically bought a house with little appreciation value overall.  Buying the worst home leaves a lot of room for appreciation upwards towards the highest valued home in the area.

Consider More than just the Mortgage Payment: The mortgage payment is not the only payment you need to concern yourself with.  It is just one of the many expenses that you will accrue when owning a home.  Consider the costs that come with owning a home before saying yes.  Look at the utilities as well as the hidden fees that are often unspoken like grinder fees and water fees.  Uncovering these sleeper costs will ensure that you are covered and can truly afford the costs that are associated with buying the new home.

Avoid Being Over Emotional:  Never buy a home based on emotions.  When you fall in love with a home you often make irrational choices that lead to bad financial decisions.  Trust your instincts.  Go for the overall value of a great house verse the obsession of a certain aspect of another.  As with any investment it is best to relax, breathe and think before reacting.

Have an Inspection Done: Never buy a home without having it inspected by a professional home inspection company.  It will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  Being prepared for what is wrong with the home will allow you to negotiate prior to closing.  This ensures that you are at an advantage during the bidding process.  An inspection will prevent you from overbidding.  Paying too much for a home that has hidden work that needs to be done to keep the space in working order is a sure way your home will not build the equity you hope for.

Get to know the Neighborhood: Truly stalk out any neighborhood you are looking into before putting an offer in on a home.  Get a copy of the HOA rules and regulations, do a dry run to work at the times you will be going and coming and observe the behavior of the people within the subdivision.   Research the schools in the area as well, even if you do not have children.  A solid school district can increase the price a buyer is willing to pay for a home by up to twenty percent.

The number one secret in buying a home is using a qualified real estate agent who knows the local area and understands your needs as a buyer.  This will help determine if you get the home buying experience you have always dreamed of.

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

Secrets To Buying A Home In The New Year

Keep All Money Right where it is: When you are looking into buying a new home it is crucial that you keep all of your funds right where they are.  For three to six months prior to buying a home avoid taking on any new credit card debt, making a large purchase or taking money out of your savings account.  Your credit report is what mortgage brokers rely on to help lenders determines your credit risk and therefore the interest rate on your new home loan.  It is crucial, in order to get the best mortgage rate, that lenders can visually see where your money is and what it has been spent on.   Now is the time to stick money away and not the time to start purchasing items for the new home.  Spending habits in the months before applying for a mortgage can either help or hurt your ability to receive reasonable mortgage rate.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage: Two terms: pre-qualified and pre-approved are often used when consumers are looking to purchase a new home.   Pre-approval says that a lender has looked at you, your financial criteria and has agreed that you can afford a home and will give you a figure of exactly how much you can afford and how much they will lend to you.

Being pre-approved allows your realtor to narrow the focus down to homes that you are pre-approved for.  Knowing what you can afford significantly increases or decreases the market of homes for you to look into.  With pre-approved loans be sure you are getting the best mortgage available.  Look into hidden expenses and fees for processing; make sure you are not paying for extras in a home loan that are not necessary for your situation.

Survey Property for Boundaries:  When you find a home that you believe is the one the first step is to determine exactly what you are purchasing and for how much.  Do not rely on the property lines specified by the seller as these may be fictitious boundaries that have been observed over time which may not be entirely accurate.  Knowing ahead of time what you are purchasing helps to prevent issues further on down the road with neighboring homes.  It is also important to note that the property taxes that will be assessed are based on the property lines.  This new survey will allow you to have an accurate map drawn up that can be submitted to local property tax assessors.

Timing the Market is Unlikely:  It is unlikely that at any time, even with detailed research and experience in the market that you will be able to time the real estate market.  Don’t obsess trying to time the market; buy a home when you are in the position to and sell based on when it is right for you.  You will only find your perfect home when you can afford it because affording it is what makes it perfect.  The real estate market fluctuates all the time.  In one given year you will see highs, lows and then highs again.  If you wait to try to time the market perfectly it is most likely you will time yourself right out of buying a new home or selling your old one.

In our next installment exploring the secrets of buying a home we will look into why a bigger home isn’t necessarily better, looking into hidden costs outside those of the mortgage payment, the emotions of a buyer, home inspections and the purchase bidding process 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