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HomeGain surveyed nearly 500 real estate agents nationwide to determine the top 10 low cost*, do-it-yourself home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell.
As you may or may not know, the Michigan Design Center has a sample sale 2 times a year. This is an opportunity for the general public to get a great discount on home décor and furniture.
Consumer days are Friday, July 27 with extended hours from 9 am to 8 pm and Saturday, July 28 with 9 am to 5 pm shopping hours. There will be a $5 admission charge for consumers on Friday and Saturday with a portion of the proceeds to support WDET 101.9 FM Detroit Public Radio.
The Trade Preview Day on Tuesday, July 24 is complimentary to registered trade members. Be sure to wear your MDC Membership Card to identify your trade status with our showrooms.
de Grimme Gallery, Suite 90
Decoroom, Suites 33 & 37
Design by Choice, Suite 104A
The Designer Group Collection, Suite 34
Flooring Design Distributors, Suite 73
Ghiordes Knot, Suite 20
Grange Furniture, Suite 77
Henredon Interior Design Showroom, Suites 98 & 122
Lighting Resource Studio, Suite 76
Marie-Howard Showroom, Suite 119
Michael Coyne Design, Suite 29
RJ Thomas, Ltd., Suite 82
Robert Allen | Beacon Hill, Suite 13
Roche Bobois, Suite 22
Urban Houzz, Suites 18 & 27
For more information you can visit www.mdctrade.com.
By: Anne Patterson, RE/MAX Gallery
For many younger Americans, the dream of owning their first home is alive and well. But for others, it’s still an elusive dream.
Only five years ago, it was relatively easy to finance a home, but the Great Recession and the mortgage market’s meltdown have made it difficult for many people to qualify for home loans. The shifting state of home values and prices has complicated matters. In some markets, values have plunged by more than 40 percent. While that has created once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for younger people to enter the real estate market, others have taken a more cautious approach, waiting to see if prices will continue to fall.
Whether you’re ready now or will be down the road, buying your first home takes preparation. Here are some tips from FindLaw.com, the nation’s leading website for free legal information, on how to get started.
Save aggressively for your down payment. Many first-time homebuyers seek a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Association, which insures loans made by lenders for qualifying homebuyers. The program allows buyers to put down as little as 3.5 percent of a home’s cost. However, if the home you want to buy doesn’t qualify for the program, you’ll need to obtain a conventional loan, which will require you to put down anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of the purchase price as a down payment to qualify for a mortgage.
Get your finances in order. Lenders are now taking a closer look at debt-to-income ratio (percentage of monthly income that goes toward debt payments) and housing-to-income ratio (percentage of monthly income that goes toward housing payments). In general, responsible lenders follow the 28/36 percent rule – no more than 28 percent of your monthly income should go to housing costs, and no more than 36 percent of your monthly income should go to debt (including auto loans, credit cards and other loans).
4709 Elmhurst Ave., Royal Oak, MI
Completely updated turn-key 3 bedroom, 2 full bath ranch in Royal Oak. Beautifully refinished oak hardwood floors throughout, updated kitchen with granite counter tops, new stainless steel appliances, tile floor. 2 car garage, large backyard, partially finished basement. Newer roof, windows, high efficiency furnace, hot-water tank. Home warranty. Don’t miss this one!
Contact ELLIOTT BRODERICK, EAGLESTONE REALTY ADVISORS LLC, 248-680-7214
159 Baldwin Road, Birmingham MI
Best location in Birmingham! Perched on a lovely lot siding the Rouge River w/gorgeous views of waterfall & walking distance to downtown. Mid century modern open light-filled floor plan w/spectacular views, hardwood floors, floating staircases, volume ceilings & tons of charm. Could easily be converted to a 3 BR home. Also, has original basement w/exterior access & houses furnace, etc… & tons of storage. Very special GEM. Must see!!
Contact: Rebecca Meisner, Coldwall Banker, Weir Manuel (248) 433-5405
As you may or may not know, the Michigan Design Center has a sample sale 2 times a year. This is an opportunity for the general public to get a great discount on home décor and furniture. Consumer days are Jan. 27th and 28th. There is a $5.00 admission with a portion of the proceeds going to COTS. For more information you can visit www.mdctrade.com.
Darla Rowley, President
Impact Interior Design Solutions, LLC
Our recent garage sale turned out to be a community event. We are known for having good stuff, because this is where we sell items from our household, as well as items we no longer use in the staging business. Annually we take a look at our inventory to make sure we get rid of items no longer being used, not flexible enough, too big to move, etc. This is a good practice for everyone.
I find the purging process is a healthy one. When you clear the old you make room for the new. Another benefit is that this is great way to stay connected with your neighbors, ours came over, made purchases and or loaned us tables. Everyone pitches in, and we usually have a lot of fun in the process.
My family had fun too. I used the opportunity to have my 9 year old son negotiate some deals on some of his old toys. He also added up the purchases for me so he could practice his math skills. Toys no longer in favor, and kids clothes get a chance for a new family, it is a good way to recycle, and make room for new. With him selecting the items to sell and negotiate, he gets to use the money for new hobbies or activities he is currently interested in.
Organization is important. We priced after we displayed everything by category. My opinion is that you need to have a decent amount of stuff to have a sale otherwise I suggest donating it directly to a charity. Having a sale is a lot of work. Here are some tips if you want to have a successful sale:
• Have a lot of stuff
• Good signage from the street
• Organize items by category ie: toys, decorative items, tools, clothes, kitchen
• Price after you have displayed, use pre-printed stickers you can purchase or print on label paper
• Put merchandise as close to curb as possible
• Do it with friends at a house that has the best location
• Post your ad on Craig’s list
• Security – keep an eye out for scammers and thieves
Many homeowners have difficulty keeping up with a watering schedule during the hottest months. I am lucky that my husband waters every morning and evening to keep our garden healthy the entire summer season. Make no mistake, this takes a lot of dedication. But even if you have the dedication what do you do (if you do not have an in ground watering system) when you go on vacation or away for a long weekend, or place your house on the market if vacant. You need a plan to keep up with the watering to keep your garden vibrant, and beautiful.
As a home stager, I have a few tricks that help to keep my sellers’ flowers, lawns, flowers and shrubs looking good even in the most challenging months. Listed below are a few ideas which can help.
• Create a plan for watering. Even if it is a manual system, get into a routine.
• Soaker hoses are a good way to open up a spigot, and go. But do not forget to shut them off or you will get a huge water bill
• Battery operated timers are a good way to control automatic cycles so you do not have to remember to turn off the water and they are perfect for use when out of town. I have a client’s house that has been running on a timed cycle for 3 weeks now and we have not lost her brand new sod, even with this heat.
• Adding multiple spigots to an existing faucet: Adding additional hoses saves time when they are strategically positioned, so you do not have to move or switch hose type every time you water. We have a 4 spigot converter on both of our faucets. For example in front yard we have a soaker for flower beds, a regular hose for containers, another hose for the sprinkler and one spigot not used. By doing this we do not damage the plants with every watering.
• Trim back perennials after they have bloomed to keep greenery looking healthy, versus having dead blooms.
• Start with the right types of plants in correct locations: Make sure your plants can handle the heat. If planting new plants make sure your shade plants have shade, and the sun loving ones are fully exposed. Planting the right type of plants will help a lot in getting maximum appeal all year long.
It may be a good option to hire a neighborhood kid to water plants when gone for a weekend. I suggest you make sure directions are written down, and provide time to do a practice run (depending on age of helper). My son did this for a neighbor a few months ago and earned $20.00. He was very excited and it gave him good practice at being responsible. She even gave him a bonus for doing such a good job.
Keeping your landscape looking great when the house is on the market is critical to the curb appeal, so take time to make sure your plants do not die half way through summer. A dead lawn or flowers do not show pride of ownership, be proactive and do your part in contributing to a beautiful neighborhood, which in the end adds value to every house on the street.
In our video transformation series we show how we transformed a much lived in small house to a wonderful first home for a lucky buyer. This house needed some TLC, as well as our expert staging techniques to get top dollar. The videos shows how cost effective updates were implemented, on time and on budget. This specific property resulted in a return on investment of over 230%; the project was completed in just 2 weeks! Our seller and Realtor, and new home buyer could not be more pleased!
Curb appeal: First impressions are critical to get sellers motivated to set up an appointment to view house. If small details are not addressed at the curb; it will leave a buyer with a poor first impression. In this video you will see how simple projects, made a huge difference for less than $75.00.
Darla Rowley featured in article with other real estate experts.