Things are Looking Up

Things are looking Up

I get asked quite a bit when the market in Michigan is going to get better…. and the answer is it already has! After all the bad news of the last few years, it is not surprising that many are unaware of how things have turned around.

We have truly moved to a seller’s market in southeast Michigan. The inventory of homes for sale is at a 10year low. At the peak of the market in 2008, there were over 61,000 homes on the market. Right now there are roughly 14,000 homes. There are a lot of buyers out there and they are all chasing after those homes! Overbidding is common in as much as 30% of all sales. The good news is that the combination of low inventory and the large number of buyers is driving up values. Real Estate One, who does an excellent job of following these trends, estimates that in 2013-2014, Michigan will see double-digit appreciation. This is great news! With these good indicators, as well as continued low mortgage interest rates, now is a great time to consider selling.

Some things that continue to be of concern include difficulty with appraisals and continued lender uncertainty. Since the market has been in such decline for the last several years, appraisals are going to need a bit of time to catch up. This is something that both buyers and sellers need to be aware of. Lenders continue to be very conservative. While we’ve seen credit standards ease somewhat, the strict underwriting standards will continue to be an issue for the foreseeable future. Buyers will need to be aware of this and should seek mortgage pre-approval before beginning their home search.

It is wonderful to see the real estate market moving forward and gaining strength. I’ve enjoyed working with some wonderful clients already this year, and as first quarter comes to an end, looking forward to the remainder of 2013.

Until next time,

Darlene

Return on Investment – Remodeling Projects

If you are like me, you’ve already been receiving advertisements in the mail for home improvement services and contractors, right? New Windows? Painting? Landscaping? It’s all coming in. As a homeowner, there is always something to be done, and always things we would like to update or improve. But which of these things will give us the best return on our investment? Sure, that lavish man cave or 500 sq. ft. closet might be high on our lists, but since that might not appeal to all buyers, let’s look at some of our best options.

1. Additional bedroom – It’s an expensive undertaking, but if you have the space and the resources to put in an extra bedroom – like in the attic, or above the garage, this will be very attractive to homebuyers and you will get about 73% return on your investment when you sell.

2. Kitchen Remodel – You will likely see about a 66% return on a kitchen remodel. However, the kitchen is one of the first things a homebuyer will look at. An updated kitchen is a huge plus to a buyer and might distinguish you from another, similar home in your area.

3. Updated Master Bath– Most buyers require a master bath to have two sinks, a custom shower and great lighting. Bathrooms can require a lot of work to update and many buyers are not looking to take on a lot of projects when they buy a new home. Having an updated master bath will make your home very appealing.

And here are a few exterior projects that are great for return and curb appeal:

1. Vinyl siding – It’s a quick project, doesn’t break the bank and can really update and freshen up the look of your home. Siding now comes in a variety of colors. You will typically see a 71% return on investment.

2. Garage Door – A new garage door is an excellent way to increase curb appeal and you’ll likely recoup about 75%. Average cost of a new garage door is around $1500, so not a huge investment.

3. Deck or Patio – It increases your living space and many buyers find this an incentive to purchase. You’ll see about a 77% return on this investment. Some DIY’ers will save up to 50% by doing the work themselves.

Even though it doesn’t feel like spring, it is here! We are already pretty busy at Team Hamilton; the market in Michigan is very active. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, give us a call. We’ll get you ready for the busy home buying season ahead.

Until next time,

Darlene

Home Projects

Despite all the snow and cold weather we’ve been having, I am ready for spring! And since the groundhog says it will be early this year, it’s not a bad time to start thinking about spring projects. If you are considering selling your home this year, here are a few projects that will really make a difference to potential buyers.

*Organize and clear away clutter. Potential buyers want to picture what it would be like for them to live in your home. Clearing away any clutter so that they can really see all the great features of your home is essential. This includes closets, foyers and mud rooms.

*Are there any rooms in your home with a particularly dark or bright color? Updating that space in a warm, neutral tone will really make a difference to a potential buyer.

*First impressions can be crucial, washing and/or painting the exterior of your home can go a long way to making that first impression a great one.

*Are there any areas of your home that could use some lighting updates? A great new light fixture above the kitchen island, dining room table or foyer can really give a space a fresh new look.

*Do an inventory of all of the screens in your home, if any are torn or saggy, repair or replace them.

Not sure where to start? When we meet, we’ll walk through your home and discuss what makes sense to focus on. I’m here to help!

Until next time,

Darlene

Market Analysis

As I’m writing today I’m busy at work on three market analysis for new clients. It is an exciting time at Team Hamilton! A thorough market analysis is an essential first step in the process of selling your home. As our Michigan housing market improves, prices are changing quickly.  It is more important than ever to have a thorough market analysis completed. I talk about this more on our website under ‘Selling Your Home’.

The process of selling your home can be overwhelming, but I can help!

-Darlene

Reviews & Ratings

I recently took a weekend getaway (fortunately to a much, much warmer climate) and I noticed something interesting. Most of the restaurants that we stopped by had their Tripadvisor rating in the window. I was familiar with the logo, as I often visit Tripadvisor when I’m planning on traveling. It is really eye opening to see what others first hand experiences are. It got me thinking about my customer base and how I’ve been so fortunate to have long standing relationships with many, many of my clients. In fact, I recently helped one of my long time clients daughter find her first home! Soon I will be adding more testimonials to the site so that new clients can read about others experiences. You can be certain that if you decide to work with myself and my team, you can count on us!

Back to Tripadvisor, I decided to look up the top restaurants in Brighton. Do you agree with their rankings?

1. La Marsa Mediterranean Cuisine
2. Sushi Zen
3. The Wooden Spoon
4. Brighton Bar & Grill
5. BarNone Fish & Steak Restaurant
6. Stillwater Grill
7. Cia Amici’s
8. Grecian Island Restaurant
9. Sagano Japanese Bistro
10. Jack’s Custard Company

Hope everyone is staying warm!

-Darlene

Good News

I want to take a moment on my first blog entry of 2013 to thank all of my wonderful clients for a great 2012! It was a great year for Team Hamilton and we are truly appreciative!

We are looking forward to an even better year in 2013! There is a lot of good news for real estate on the horizon. Mortgage rates continue to be low, housing values in our area are continuing to climb and there are many, many buyers entering the market looking for a wonderful new home.

As we move into 2013, we will be doing a lot of updating here at Team Hamilton, so stay tuned! We will be updating our blog and Facebook page frequently, so if you don’t follow us yet, please do! (www.facebook.com/teamhamilton).

From all of us at Team Hamilton, we hope you have a wonderful 2013!

-Darlene