Blog

Housing Inventory Making History in 2021

Well, home values are at an all-time high, home equity at an all-time high, and interest rates are still at historic lows.   Who would have thought we would be in this position a year ago?  If you are thinking of selling your home, you may reap a healthy profit; however, if you are then to buy a new home you would be paying top dollar.  New guidelines being put into play now are limiting the market on borrowers refinancing a second home or investment property.  No bank or lender can exceed 7% saturation of these types of investments in their Read More

Housing Inventory and Rising Lumber Prices

Housing Starts, which measure the start of construction on homes, fell 10.3% in February and 9.3% year over year. Starts on single-family homes were also down almost 9% from January to February and were pretty flat compared to February of last year. Bad weather across the US is the likely culprit for the decline. Building Permits, which measure future construction, dropped nearly 11% from January to February but they were 17% higher year over year. Permits on single-family homes likewise fell 10% in February but they are up 15% year over year, signaling that help is on the way for Read More

Home Maintenance Checklist

Whether you’re a new homeowner or a seasoned, home-owning veteran, we pulled together a quick home maintenance checklist that will help keep your biggest investment organized and looking great all year long.  So without further ado, here’s our easy-to-follow home maintenance checklist: Weekly Sweep floors and vacuum carpets Clean bathrooms Check all drains to make sure they aren’t clogged Make sure all interior and exterior light bulbs are working properly and replace as needed Mow and edge lawn to maintain good curb appeal (if in season) Remove weeds from flower beds (as needed) Monthly Replace air conditioning filter Clean garbage Read More

3 Financial Advantages to Home Ownership

1) The Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction: Perhaps the most powerful financial incentive for owning (versus renting) is the home owner’s ability to deduct certain expenses (such as mortgage interest) from their taxable income. You may wonder: What impact will this have on my financial foundation? Jeffery, I’d be happy to walk you through some of the answers to that question. As you can imagine, numerous factors are involved and one size often does not fit all. Please be sure to email me back if you’d like to set some time aside to analyze your situation. 2) Forced Savings – Equity: If you’re like Read More

Existing Home Sales Soar

Housing Starts Heat Up Housing Starts were also on the rise in July, up 22.6% from June and coming in 23.4% higher when compared to last July. Though the gain was mostly in Multifamily Starts, Single-Family Starts were up a solid 8.2%. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, were up 18.8% from June to July and up 9.4% when compared to July of last year. Almost the entire gain was comprised of permits for single-family homes, which rose 17% from June to July. Even with the increase in Housing Starts and Building Permits, supply remains extremely tight. And since Read More

UPDATE – Loans in Forbearance or Deferral

Student loans in forbearance or deferral The borrower must qualify with 1% payment or document Student Loan lender has removed student loan(s) from forbearance or deferral. The borrower can typically request and document removal from forbearance or deferral thru the Student Loan lender online portal. Cannot CTC or close without documentation from Student Loan lender or must qualify with 1% payment. Other debts Ok to proceed with Borrower LOE and qualify with full standard monthly payment. Mortgage Forbearance or Deferral Borrower(s) currently in mortgage forbearance or deferral on any mortgage are ineligible. This includes refinance or purchase transactions, all loan Read More

MSHDA Full Appraisal Requirements are Back

Full appraisal requirements reinstated for MI Home Loan (bond), Flex loans and Mortgage Credit Certificates On June 1, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding Michigan’s “Safer at Home” order. As a result: • MSHDA will no longer accept exterior-only or desktop appraisals. • Applications for all MSHDA Homeownership programs made on or after June 8 will require full interior/exterior appraisals.   What does this mean for our home buyers? A home appraisal is often required as an essential part of the mortgage financing process and receiving fair market value when purchasing said home. The lender uses the appraisal’s Read More

New Homes Smooth Move

If you’re trying to decide between a brand new home or one that’s new to you, think about this: New homes are livable and lovable from the start. When you purchase new, you can select the design, style, and finishes you love. Your home will reflect your personality on move-in day, no changes needed. A new home is likely to “live” bigger than older homes of similar size. Modern designs optimize living and storage spaces. Popular open floorplans and high ceilings make homes feel more spacious too. A new home can cost less to own. New homes meet more stringent Read More

MI Realtors back to work May 7th!

Below is information regarding the reopening of residential and commercial real estate in Michigan as stated on the MI Realtor website: www.MIRealtors.com Executive Order 2020-70, eases restrictions on residential and commercial real estate and construction. Click here to see more information regarding our industry during the pandemic This is great news and speaks volumes about our membership’s willingness to lead the way in a safe and responsible manner. This, of course, does not mean business as usual. Preventing a second wave of this pandemic demands a concerted effort by all Michigan citizens, and certainly Realtors® as they serve their clients. Read More

A Take on Mortgage Forbearance

To all my Clients, Partners and Associates As we are coming up on the sixth week of quarantine here in Michigan, it is taking a toll on the Real Estate and Mortgage industry.  Where does it end?  Last week Chase Bank announced it will require any borrower to have a minimum of a 700 credit score and will require a 20% down payment to purchase a home.  Today I read a report that Chase will also suspend its HELOC or  (Home Equity Lines of Credit) until further notice.  We at highlands Mortgage are still have our low down or no Read More