How is your December going? Are you busy with the holiday rush? Let’s remember to stop and enjoy the season of giving a bit. Why not try changing a few things this holiday to help someone out. Giving up something might be a way to give to someone. A few years ago I gave up sending holiday cards. I use that time and money savings to do a few nice things in the community. I actually feel better about the giving of my time for that purpose as well. Writing holiday cards always seemed stressful and too time consuming. It wasn’t enjoyable for me. I know some of you may love doing it, but I am not that person.
What can you change to be someone’s giving elf this year? It could be as simple as making cookies for a neighbor, or taking someone their mail on a nasty day. Look around you and see who or what you can do to be a giver of a different kind of gift this season – the gift of kindness is always warm and welcome.
Happy season of giving to all of you! Warm your Heart and Home with Love and Laughter.
Hot deals on lake front property will be out there. Just look around and see what is still on the market and if they are willing to make a deal. Now is the time, Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer for many lakefront homeowners. Most people are done using their cottage this weekend. They are getting the kids back to school. The retirees are getting ready to go back to their winter homes. Generally if the home has not sold by now, they are reducing prices. If they haven’t reduced prices, they will be ready to negotiate something to get it sold. So, check out the hot deals, summer may not be over just yet!
Let’s go to the cottage! These words bring sweet memories as I think back about our cottage years. In fact, they are never ending times. The cottage was a place we went to year-round and spent quality time together with family, extended family and friends. Memories abound when you have a cottage and they are years that you will always cherish and want to continue with each generation. We visited friends last night that are here from Lake Tahoe. And when I say here, I mean they are at the cottage on Horsehead Lake. They, like our kids, grew up at the cottage. They are now married and having children and have come to spend two weeks at the cottage. This is home away from home, a haven, a place to go to recharge. And we recharged each weekend in the summer, and many of them spring, fall and winter.
When our kids were in college and had time to come home, it was to the cottage they roamed. The cottage was home because that is were their fondest memories were made. There is nothing like a cottage; and what a time to invest in a cottage. We have a good inventory of cottages around the lakes in the area. A changing of times for many families that have to sell for some reason. But what a great time for someone to start their cottage memories by investing in this vacation market. I can remember a time when you could not find a cottage on our lake to buy. If someone did want to sell, there was someone in the neighborhood that knew someone who wanted to buy it. They never hit the market!
I think this is one purchase you will never regret. A cottage is so much more than a vacation property. It permeates the very people it houses with sights, sounds, smells, and great times! Our first cottage was 700 square feet, had three bedrooms and a pull out sofa – one bath. We had the best times there and still recall all the fun things we did when we are all together. Our second cottage was 5 bedrooms and baths, and I remember having 50 people for my 50th birthday and what a celebration weekend it was! Big or small and cottage does it all.
Thinking about a cottage? Come and see what our area has for you! There is a nice selection to choose from with prices all around good!
Summer is here! Finally the season we all long for has arrived. Thankfully it has brought along some warm weather. The weekends have not been the best weather so far this June so we welcome the warmth and the sun! Boating season has begun as has the golf season. At Canadian Lakes we have many clubs and activities that have started as well. It is a great time to look at homes and we have a great selection of water front properties to choose from as well. Join the fun at Canadian Lakes and the surrounding area lakes with vacation home ownership. Check out all the great homes here:
The mighty Muskegon is how people refer to it around here. We took our boat on a cruise of the Muskegon River on Sunday. We put it in at the River Landings Resort and had a four hour cruise on the Hardy Dam Pond. Beautiful water, beautiful scenery and just a beautiful day all around. It was such a relaxing day and the sights were amazing. There were so many carp jumping, it was as though the water was boiling. The swans were beautiful swimming and splashing about. There were about ten turtles perched on a log. And, although the water is still cold, we saw one wakeboarder – a diehard to be sure. What a beautiful place to consider living or a vacation property. I will have to explore more on the Mighty Muskegon!
Up, up and away is something my first time home buyers are now crying. After doing pre-qualification work, then shopping for their first home, it all comes down to offers. Some of what they see, and like, while shopping is beginning to get “scooped-up” quickly. They are starting to see the trends of upward prices and limited inventory. That’s good news for sellers, but not especially for first time home buyers on a tight budget. How you can get ahead of the rest of the buyers is to be prepared. Here are a few tips to keep it straight and get it done:
Have your pre-qualification letter ready, printed and in the hands of your Realtor.
Have your good faith deposit ready to go. Not, I will have it when I get paid next week. Set it aside and be ready when you find that perfect home. In today’s market of “bank owned” properties, the typical deposit requirement is $1,000.00. That is CASH. Not money they will “take out” at closing. You need CASH, today, to write the offer.
Probably the most important tip, do not shop out of your budgeted amount. Last year this would have been different. Everyone was shopping in a bit higher price range because you could get deals. Today, the prices have corrected to the point that banks are marketing the property at prices that are bringing in multiple offers. So, if your budget will not allow a full price, or sometimes, an over full price offer, expect to be disappointed when the offer is rejected or outbid by another buyer. This disappointment can lead to a deflation in spirit and sometimes can turn a buyer to renting longer.
Roll off disappointment and start over. The best thing to remember is the ultimate goal – owning your home and not paying rent. We all know the foreclosure market has led to more renters and higher rent prices. Don’t get caught in the disappointment of losing a bid on a home. It’s a lot of work to shop, and write offers, etc. for all parties involved; but so worth the reward when you finally accomplish your goal.
Get it done should be your mindset when shopping for a home. With the proper planning it should not be hard to accomplish your goal of buying a home. So don’t let that perfect home go up in price, up in a bidding war, and away from your hands! Get it done!
No money down is a term heard often in Real Estate today. What does no money down really mean? I have had first time home buyers come in to “shop”. They are pre-qualified with a bank for a “no money down loan”. Now I know the banks are informing the client about the loan products they will be using. There are certain products that require “no money down”. But “no money down” does not mean “no money at all”.
Buyers shopping for new homes do need to have some money to buy a home. First of all, you will need a “good faith deposit”. This usually consists of cash deposit made when putting forth an offer on a home. Most of the time, and especially when buying a foreclosed home, the deposit required is a minimum $1,000.00. Next, you will need money for inspections. Typically, inspections run $350 and up. An average home inspection is more near the $400 mark. Inspectors expect to be paid at the time of inspection. What about lender expenses. Are you expected to pay for the appraisal? Will the lender be rolling expenses into the mortgage? When first time home buyers are shopping, these numbers can be overwhelming. If you expect to buy a home with “no cash” this can be a shocker!
Buyer’s beware, no money down does not mean no cash required. There is a difference and you should be prepared. It’s great to get pre-approved with a lender. This gives you an edge to know what your buying power is. Next look at your household budget and decide how that fits in your overall plan. Next, establish a cash fund to use for expenses during the purchase process. Planning will elimate all the surprises for new home buyers.
For more help with purchasing a home, or answers to any real estate questions, please get in touch with me.
Spring is here, so says the calendar. But, in northern Michigan we have yet to feel it in the air. The sun has been shining, the temperatures say 40’s, but the air is so brisk that it feels like winter is still around. Regardless, people have been coming in to look at lake front homes already this year. Want to see what is new in lakefront homes? Check out my website for all the latest listings. Get your mind set for summer – it’s right around the corner.
Today is the Canadian Lakes Winter Carnival 2013 at the Highland Haus. I stopped in this morning to serve hot dogs with our Coldwell Banker Lakes team. Since they were so well equipped to handle that job, I ventured out to see the action. The kids were having so much fun, it made me want to be a kid again. Sledding, ice sculpting, ice skating, sleigh rides, face painting, clown balloon making, arts and crafts all were going on while the Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandpa’s and Grandma’s were all hanging out and having fun catching up with other families. Out on the patio the Morton Township Fire Department were grilling up the dogs. The Canadian Lakes Association and Coldwell Banker Lakes were inside serving the dogs. There were cookies galore, hot cocoa, chili donated by Gregory’s Grill, popcorn and snacks for all. The event is still going on through the day, but I had office duty this afternoon so all of the Coldwell Banker Lakes team could enjoy the event. I would say the Canadian Lakes Winter Carnival 2013 has to be one of the best ever with all the wonderful snow we were blessed with this week! A perfect day all around. See the Canadian Lakes Winter Carnival event here – click on the photo!
The Canadian Lakes Housing Market is starting out strong. In the past three months inventory is down 7% and sales are up 12.5%, and prices have gone up a bit as well. That is a great trend. We still have a nice selection of inventory with about 50/50 waterfront to non-waterfront. The homes that sold in December were averaging a $186,750 sales price. Not bad for the Canadian Lakes Housing Market which has a $198,000 average list price on current market homes.
Get in on the action in 2013 with low interest rates still favorable for the buyer. This is a good time to capture a good buy while prices remaining stable. Before long we should see prices starting to creep up, so get a good deal now!
Here’s hoping you all had a Happy New Year! Let’s celebrate in 2013 with all our family and friends throughout the year. A great way to be with family and friends all year long is with a vacation home. Why not consider Canadian Lakes your destination for that wonderful gathering place. Click below to see what is for sale in Canadian Lakes Housing Market…