Thursday, August 1, 2019

Zestimate


MID-LAND REALTORS is striving to be your primary source for REAL ESTATE information in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. However, a lot of what will be posted here will apply throughout the United States.
We are also aware that what you need will be different depending on where you are in the process – buying, selling, renting, up-sizing, downsizing, landlord or property management. With that being said, we want to talk about Zestimate.
Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the living room and why REALTOR’S don’t like Zillow. Most REALTOR’S will send you to their professional website or their offices or REALTOR.com and roll their eyes at Zillow. While some of it is Zillow giving away information to the customer for free but making the agent pay heavily to get their information on the site. The big reason for our distrust is Zestimate. Maybe if we lived on the East Coast or West Coast of the US it would be more accurate but here in the Great Lakes Bay Region, it can be really off. You might be saying that will 1 to 5% off is no big deal. I recently worked on a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) for a piece of vacant land. One of the comparable properties I was using sold for $22,000 in Sanford. Zillow’s Zestimate said it should have sold for $256,243 (off by 1064.7%). That is more than a little off. Now on the REALTOR.com website, the same property said it should have sold for $25,000.
Ok, ok, ok I can hear you, well that’s one. I had another CMA for a house in Gladwin county. One of the properties sold for $77,000 and Zestimate said it should have sold for $125,883 (off by 63.5%).

Even on my own home, Zillow says $164,829 and REALTOR.com says $150,300. Another site called Homesnap.com, said it was worth $181,000.

This is why you should use a REALTOR in your local area. They know what the local market is doing right then, they know more about the trends and will give you a very good snapshot of the houses like yours.

Here is your chance to go to the websites and check your home.


We here at MID-LAND REALTORS would love the opportunity to help you sell your house and find you your next home. Let us show you some great homes.

Happy Buying

Monday, July 1, 2019

What NOT to do when you are waiting for your closing.


MID-LAND REALTORS is striving to be your primary source for REAL ESTATE information in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. However, a lot of what will be posted here will apply throughout the United States.

We are also aware that what you need will be different depending on where you are in the process – buying, selling, renting, up-sizing, downsizing, landlord or property management. With that being said, we want to talk about what not to do when waiting.

So, CONGRATULATIONS you found the perfect house, got an accepted offer, past the home inspection with flying colors. Now you are waiting for those three magically words from the lender, CLEAR TO CLOSE! That is music to you and your REALTOR’S ears. However, until you hear that things can happen. Something happens and the lender gets slowed down or ill and can not finish in 45 days. Some sort of blemish or cloud (why they don’t say error, I don’t know) is found in the title. 

There is plenty for you do to during this time.
  • Pack
  • Plan the layout of your furniture in the new house
  • Pick out color swatches at the paint store
  • Get your home insurance

There is also plenty for you to NOT do
  • Do NOT do anything that can add an inquiry on your credit report
  • Do NOT sell a vehicle
  • Do NOT buy a vehicle
  • Do NOT buy appliances
  • Do NOT have a big deposit made into your account that cannot be accounted for.
  • Do NOT buy recreational vehicles including boats, jet skis, and snowmobiles.

All of these can change your credit score and your debt to income ratio. And yes, even adding money to your account. 


We here at MID-LAND REALTORS would love the opportunity to help you sell your house and find you your next home. Let us show you some great homes.

Happy Buying

Saturday, June 1, 2019

HOME VALUE (a.k.a. It now the time to sell my home)


MID-LAND REALTORS is striving to be your primary source for REAL ESTATE information in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. However, a lot of what will be posted here will apply throughout the United States.

We are also aware that what you need will be different depending on where you are in the process – buying, selling, renting, up-sizing, downsizing, landlord or property management. With that being said, we want to talk about Home Value.

A lot of pieces go into determining a house’s value. Some include:
  • City or Country
  • Ranch, two-story or multi-level
  • 3 bedrooms, 4 bedrooms or different
  • 1 full bathroom or 2 full bathrooms
  • Basement or crawl space

And the list goes on. Notice, I have not even mentioned the condition of the house or the d├ęcor.

You can use the link below to have an estimation of your home sent to you. This will use homes in your neighborhood for comparison.


We here at MID-LAND REALTORS would love the opportunity to help you sell your house and find you your next home. Let us show you some great homes.

Happy Buying

Saturday, December 1, 2018

WINTER HOME SAFETY

MID-LAND REALTORS is striving to be your primary source for REAL ESTATE information in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. However, a lot of what will be posted here will apply throughout the United States.

We are also aware that what you need will be different depending on where you are in the process – buying, selling, renting, up-sizing, downsizing, landlord or property management. With that being said, we want to talk about Winter Home Safety.

Now that we have hit the cooler to colder temps and you find yourself staying home longer each night, I would like to talk about some home safety tips. This is not in order of importance or all-inclusive by any means. It is meant to get you thinking of things to look at. 

  • Look at are your fire, smoke, carbon dioxide detectors. Make sure they all have batteries! Then change then at least annually, preferably change them when the time changes. It is a small price to pay for a vital piece of safety.
  • Change your furnace filters. If they are the small 1inch one, monthly is best. If they are the 4 inches and bigger, change when the filter is at least 2/3 dirty.
  • Check pilot lights on gas fireplaces.
  • Check the dampers on fireplaces.
  • Maintain the area around your furnace intake and exhaust. If these get full of ice of an animal makes a nest, at best your furnace efficiency will go down. Worse case is carbon dioxide poisoning and die.

For more information on other ways to prepare your home for winter visits the sites below:






We’re here at MID-LAND REALTORS would love the opportunity to help you sell your house and find you your next home. Let us show you some great homes.


Happy Buying!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

SELLING YOUR HOME

MID-LAND REALTORS is striving to be your primary source for REAL ESTATE information in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. However, a lot of what will be posted here will apply throughout the United States.

We are also aware that what you need will be different depending on where you are in the process – buying, selling, renting, up-sizing, downsizing, landlord or property management. With that being said, we want to talk about Selling Your Home. 

Now that you have decided to sell your house, you have to remember that it is now a house and not your home. It will become someone else home and what they want or like about the house might be different than you. That is ok, let it go.

So, what should you do first you ask? Well, it is generally NOT painting all the walls or replacing all the flooring. The time to do that was at least 5 years ago so you could enjoy it. The exception to this is if it is a structural or mechanical issue and that is a different blog.

What you should do now is:
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter: Coco Chanel said when leaving the house in the morning count the accessories you have on and remove 2. This thought pattern applies to your house. Box up paperwork, minimize toys, empty closet. This is a great time to donate those seldom use things. Make shelves, closets and rooms look bigger
  • Clean: If you have taken pictures off the walls, wash the wall. Mr. Eraser works great. Take the cobwebs down that hang in the basement. Halloween is only one night a year and it is in October. Sweep the porches, window ledges, and doorway thresholds. Pull the refrigerator and stove from the wall and clean it. You might find Jimmy’s hamster. 
  • Paint only what is needed: If you had a wall for photos and the paint different is huge, paint it. No amount of cleaning will match them match.
  • Preventive Maintenance: Showing that the furnace, air conditioner or septic field has been cleaned and inspected is a good selling point. It cheaper for you to find an issue before an inspector does.
  • Check the Curb Appeal: Clean out/up flower beds. Trim shrubs.  Clean out the gutters. Maybe power washing would be good if the weather supports it. Cut the grass. The better it looks from the road, the better the inside will look.

For more information on selling tips visit the sites below:





We here at MID-LAND REALTORS would love the opportunity to help you sell your house and find you your next home. Let us show you some great homes.


Happy cleaning

Monday, October 1, 2018

FIRE SAFETY

MID-LAND REALTORS is striving to be your primary source for REAL ESTATE information in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. However, a lot of what will be posted here will apply throughout the United States.

We are also aware that what you need will be different depending on where you are in the process – buying, selling, renting, up-sizing, downsizing, landlord or property management. With that being said, we want to talk about Fire Safety and Your Home. 

Fire Safety is probably one of the most important things to have a good understanding of in your home. This applies whether you are buying, selling, renting or property managing. 

It is important for you to explore and figure out exit strategies in the event of a fire. It is important to have a planned location to meet in the event of a fire.
It is important to have devices to identify fires.
It is important to have devices to stop a fire.
And so many more things to consider for fire safety.

Any of these points could be a full blog on what to do and what not to do. For this blog, we are going to give you high-level tips. 

  • First and foremost, have operational fire detectors in the home. I don’t care if it is hard-wired, battery operated or both, (check building code for your area) but HAVE them. This is the easiest way to save a life. Most fire detectors have a “Best By Date.” Check it and change if it is past. Change the battery at least 2 twice a year if it is not lithium.
  • Have a fire extinguisher by the furnace, hot water heater, stove/oven, and each fireplace 
  • Have a carbon dioxide detector
  • Plan with your family on an outside location to meet if you need to evacuate the home due to a fire or a gas leak.

These simple steps will keep you safe if the unexpected happens.

Some other things to plan on is having blankets and other supplies in your vehicle.

For more information and plans visit the sites below:





We here at MID-LAND REALTORS would love the opportunity to help you find a house to turn into your home for you and your family. Let us show you some great homes.


Be Safe

Saturday, September 1, 2018

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

MID-LAND REALTORS is striving to be your source for REAL ESTATE
information in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. However, a lot of what
will be posted here will apply throughout the United States.

We are also aware that what you need will be different depending on where you are
in the process – buying, selling, renting, up-sizing, downsizing, landlord or property
management. With that being said, we want to talk about the HOMESTEAD
EXEMPTION.

If the home you are living in is your primary home (not a second home, cottage or
rental), the house should be listed as 100% homestead in your tax bills and your
city, township or county online records.

Below is an example of a Larkin Township Tax Statement and a City of Midland
Payment form:







There will be a line on your tax bill that will be similar to the red arrow. If you, not 100%, contact your assessor’s office.

If you wish to look online click the link below:

For the City of Midland and Midland County, it is referred to as Principal
Residence Exemption and it is just under the General Information for Tax Year.

City of Midland, Michigan:
https://bsaonline.com/?uid=1540&sitetransition=true

Midland County, Michigan:
https://bsaonline.com/?uid=314&sitetransition=true

You should check this periodically. Starting with now and every 5 years after that
or whenever your winter or summer taxes make a significant jump up.