Michigan Real Estate Market
Surrounded with four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is divided into Upper and Lower peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula, also known as the U.P. (its residents, by the way, call themselves Yoopers), is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac. The Mackinac Bridge connecting the two peninsulas was opened in 1957 and has boosted the development of the Upper Peninsula. The eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula has limestone hills and swampy flats on the Lake Michigan shore. The sandstone ridges rise abruptly from the rough waters of Lake Superior; in the west the land rises to forested mountains.
Pleasantly cool summer climate in the north of Michigan in surrounding of numerous inland lakes makes these sites very attractive for many vacationers. And when the winter comes, the Michigan's snow-covered hills bring into delight a lot of skiers from all over the Midwest.
The economical development of Michigan is an example of technological achievements and disadvantages that industrial revolution has brought with it. The virgin forests full of animals were stripped and fur animals were trapped out. The lumber boom of the late 19th century made Michigan the world's leader in lumber production. The soil of these cut-over lands, as it has turned out later, was generally unsuitable for agriculture. Selective cutting and replanting of trees are now employed in the second-growth forests.
The manufacture of automobiles and transportation equipment is evidently the state's chief industry, and Detroit, Dearborn, Flint, Pontiac, and Lansing are historic centers of automobile production, although the industry is now in dramatic decline throughout the state. Other Michigan manufactures include nonelectrical machinery, fabricated metal products, primary metals, chemicals, and food products.
Abundant natural beauty and excellent fishing help to make tourism a major Michigan industry. Fields of grain and corn cover much of the southern counties, and Michigan's noted fruit belt lines the shore of Lake Michigan (the state leads the nation in the production of cherries). Dairying is the most lucrative farm business.
Current Michigan Real Estate Market Conditions
From the beginning of the year, the real estate market in Michigan is getting perked up and gathering strength. The most of analysts from the Michigan counties say despite the federal incentive that has helped boost the Michigan's weak housing market, nevertheless total sales are still in decline and some signs of revival might be deceptive.
Reasons to buy a home in Michigan
1. First-time home buyer tax credit. This is no longer just for first-time buyers; existing homeowners also qualify for up to $6,500 on a new home if they've lived in their current home for 5 years or more. First-ime buyers still qualify for up to $8,000. This has been extended to April 30th, 2010, so start looking for a new home!
2. High inventory of homes. There is no better time to buy than now because never again will you have such a large selection of available homes everywhere. You can literally pick not only the city you want to live in, but also down to the streets you want to be close to.
3. Low cost of homes. What could make this more ideal? Not only are many homes readily available, they're also about half price in most areas. Homes that were valued at $160,000 just two years ago are now down to $75,000, buy your dream home now before property values rise with the flood of first-time buyers.
4. Low mortgage rates. Interest rates have not been this low for over a decade, so buying a home in Michigan now can save you thousands just on the rate alone. Already in your dream home? Look into refinancing to take advantage of this opportunity.
5. Capital gains, building equity, and tax deductions. Buying a home now is truly an investment - more so than ever before. Why? Because homes are cheap, and every investor knows the "buy low sell high" rule. If you buy a home now and just pay the minimum mortgage payments, you're still building equity that renting wouldn't allow.
Your home is also appreciating without your help, and in 10 years - it's naturally going to be worth more than it is now, so you can sell it and reap the gains. Lastly, the tax deductions that come from home improvements, and just owning a home is pretty helpful – especially if you're just going to spend the same amount for rent anyways.
Things to Consider when Buying a House in Michigan
Below see a compact wizard that might help you to go through the entire home buying process in Michigan and we hope it would be helpful somehow:
1. Define What You Want
Create a prioritized list of amenities and features you want in your next home and the reasons why. Afterwards, you could use this list as your search guide with keeping in mind that depending on your finding, you will have to make some compromises. Talking to your real estate professional about where you want to live could also be useful. Location is a big part of any move.
2. Figure out What You Can Afford
Now it's time to see what you can afford. You can always start by crunching the numbers yourself. Once you are ready to move to the next step, take note that you should be approved for a mortgage. This process can take regularly about an hour and it accomplishes two important goals. First, it will tell you about the house price you can afford and what your monthly payments would be. Second, it tells the seller that you can afford to buy their home. By definition, an approved buyer has an approved mortgage subject to an appraisal of the property. In some cases later, a buyer can use this approved status as leverage during the negotiation process.
3. Homes Shopping
Once you are aware of what community you would like to live in and have an idea of how much house you can afford, it's a good time to start checking out actual properties. Searching online can help save you time since it will speed up targeting homes that meet your search criteria.
Next, begin visiting homes in person. Ask your Michigan real estate agent to help you with arrangements of showings and accessing open houses that are in your target area and help with pricing range. Make sure to look at all aspects of the property when comparing houses. Find out if the property tax approximately the same? Do they both have the same amount of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are both houses located on the same or similar streets? Are both of the houses renovated? Does either house have any encumbrances?
4. Make an Offer
If you have found the home you want to buy, you need to make an offer for the house. As both parties have totally different goals, this typically is a very difficult and trying time procedure. We would recommend you to have a real estate professional as a third party for negotiating the offer. Another recommendation is to not give out any information to the homeowner about your move, your current housing status, financial status or your feelings about their property - positive or negative. This could hurt you in future negotiations.
This might also be a good time to consider purchasing a home protection plan. The insurance policies can be purchased by the buyer or seller and help protect against unexpected expeditures or home repairs during the listing period or in the initial years after a home has been purchased.
5. Inspection & Insurance
After your offer is accepted you will need to set up, coordinate various inspections, including insect, building quality, radon, oil tank, title, etc. You will also need to arrange for homeowners insurance and finalize the mortgage.
As this is a major step in the buying process, many potential problems can be discovered during this period. Those are a leaky roof, termite damage, a foundation problem, wall cracks, radon gas and others. These problems happen all the time, as a rule.
6. The Final Closing
At this stage, make sure all the necessary paper work and deposits have been completed. If the mortgage, homeowners insurance, title work and other items necessary under local and state laws are not completed and brought to the closing table, the closing may not occur on time. Depending on what the contract says, this could result in further action including financial penalties and even the loss of your rights to the home.
Once you close, it comes official and you own the house! But there might be a few things you want to do before you lay out the welcome mat. These may include arranging for an alarm system, subscribing to the local paper, turning on the electricity, arranging for lawn services, cleaning or replacing the carpet, etc. This is a good time to make some renovations if any needed.