Pine Lake Front, MI Bloomfield Hills Schools

Interlaken 3141

Interlaken 3141

WATCH THE SUNSET, RELAX ON THE TERRACE OR ENJOY BOATING ON ALL SPORTS PINE LK. INCOMPARABLE INTERLAKEN IS AN EXCLUSIVE LAKEFRONT COMMUNITY WITH ITS OWN PARK.RARELY OFFERED, THIS IS THE HOME YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. WITH OVER 85′ OF LAKE FRONTAGE THIS TIMELESS BEAUTY BOASTS THE FIRST FLOOR MASTER SUITE YOU RICHLY DESERVE.FROM THE LAKESIDE VIEW TO THE PRIVATE SITTING ROOM/OFFICE, HIS & HER MARBLE/GRANITE BATHS & CLOSET ROOMS, YOU WILL BE AWED. THE MOMENT YOU ENTER, THE WATER SPEAKS TO YOU FROM AN EXPANSIVE GREAT RM WITH CUSTOM FIELDSTONE FIREPLACE, DINING LARGE ENOUGH FOR ANY EVENT AND A BRIGHT SUNNY WHITE ISLAND KITCHEN FEATURING DOUBLE SUB ZERO’S,PREMIUM APPLIANCES & EXOTIC STONE. OPEN TO A SUN DRENCHED ADJOINING FAMILY ROOM FOR TODAY’S CASUAL LIFESTYLE. THE SEAMLESS BLEND OF CHARACTER & NEW AMENITIES SHOWS THROUGH FROM THE UPSTAIRS MASTER SUITE WITH SITTING ROOM AND SECOND BEDROOM WITH SITTING ROOM & TWO MORE GREAT BEDROOMS WITH THE FOURTH SERVING AS AN UPSTAIRS OFFICE ALSO. WHOLE HOUSE GENERATOR, EXTRAORDINARY GROUNDS, MOTOR COURT & BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOLS.


Franklin, MI Over an Acre

Franklin Park 25225

Franklin Park 25225

STYLE, COMFORT AND QUALITY CO-MINGLE TO MAKE THIS HOME THE LUXURY LIVING EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME. RENOVATED TO ALMOST NEW BY JOHN MORGAN DESIGN WITH EXTRAORDINARY EXECUTION. EXQUISITE HARDWOOD FLOORS, GLEAMING ARTISAN MILLWORK, SOLID CORE DOORS AND EUROPEAN FIXTURES. WITH ALMOST 4,700 SQ. FT. ON ONE FLOOR, THIS HOME OFFERS AN EASY LIVING LIFESTYLE WITH THE EMPHASIS ON FUNCTIONALITY AND ELEGANCE. DINING FOR 20+, SOLITUDE BY THE FIRE IN THE LIVING ROOM, PRIVACY IN THE COZY DEN OR GET AWAY TO THE MASTER WING STUDY. THE TRUE HEART OF THE HOME IS AN ENORMOUS SUN DRENCHED WHITE SHAKER KITCHEN SPORTING EXOTIC MARBLE, EXPANSIVE ISLAND, STAINLESS APPLIANCES AND SEPARATE STAINLESS PREP KITCHEN AND BUTLERS PANTRY. TODAY’S LIVING MERGES THIS ALL INTO ONE WITH THE FAMILY RM AND ELECTRICALLY SCREENED PORCH. PRIVATE MASTER RETREAT HOSTS A MARBLE BATH WITH EURO SHOWER, HEATED FLOORS AND WALK-IN CLOSET ROOM. WINDING STAIRCASE TO TWO SPACIOUS BEDROOMS WITH THEIR OWN RETRO BATH. HUGE FULL BASEMENT HAS GREAT POTENTIAL. SPECTACULAR PERENNIAL GARDENS ON JUST OVER AN ACRE.

Bloomfield Hills, MI First Floor Master

Glenbrooke 2

 EXPECT TO BE IMPRESSED FROM THE MOMENT YOU ENTER THIS ELEGANT UPDATED CONDO WITH A FIRST FLOOR MASTER. EXTRAORDINARY UPDATES RECENTLY COMPLETED BY GARDELLA HOME BUILDERS. THIS RARELY OFFERED KIRKWAY PINES CONDO IS NESTLED ON A PRIVATE COURT SETTING OVERLOOKING A PARK LIKE YARD. YOU WILL LOVE THE CUSTOM WOODWORK AND IRON SPINDLE STAIRCASE, VOLUME CEILINGS, DRAMATIC GREAT ROOM FEATURING A MARBLE FIREPLACE FLANKED BY FLOOR TO CEILING WINDOWS AND ADJACENT WET BAR AND DINING ROOM FOR ENTERTAINING. TWO STORY FOYER, HARDWOOD FLOORS THROUGHOUT AND AN UPDATED WHITE AND GRANITE ISLAND KITCHEN WITH SKYLIT BREAKFAST AREA AND STAINLESS APPLIANCES. DEN/FAMILY ROOM FOR CASUAL LIVING AND WONDERFUL MASTER SUITE WITH TWO WALK-IN CLOSETS, SUMPTUOUS BATH, WHIRLPOOL AND EURO SHOWER MAKES FOR THE PERFECT RETREAT! THREE SPACIOUS BEDROOMS AND BATH UPSTAIRS PLUS NEWLY FINISHED BASEMENT INCLUDES FULL BATH, FAMILY ROOM, THEATRE ROOM AND OFFICE/EXERCISE ROOM. SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY AND SECURITY SYSTEM. JUST LIKE A SINGLE HOME, BUT WITH ALL THE CONDO AMENITIES.

West Bloomfield, MI First Floor Master

Woodcliff Hill 4989

 BEAUTIFULLY NESTED ON A WOODED CUL-DE-SAC SURROUNDED BY NATURE AND GREENERY. YOU WILL LOVE THE PEACEFULNESS OF THIS EXTRAORDINARY SETTING. LIKE LIVING IN A PRIVATE ENCLAVE WITH ACCESS TO THE NATURE TRAIL FOR WALKING AND BIKING. TRUE CAREFREE LIVING IN THIS EXPANDED RANCH FLOOR PLAN THAT IS COMPLETELY DETACHED. HARD TO FIND CONDO WITH TWO BEDROOMS AND A DEN ALL ON ONE FLOOR. LOVELY OPEN FLOOR PLAN FEATURES LARGE WINDOWS AND SUNLIT ROOMS. DRAMATIC GREAT ROOM/DINING ROOM WITH SOARING CEILINGS, FIREPLACE AND SERVING BUILT-IN. SPACIOUS ISLAND KITCHEN AND MASTER SUITE WITH TWO WALK IN CLOSETS, DRESSING AREA AND EURO MASTER BATH WITH TUB AND SHOWER. UNLIMITED POTENTIAL TO MAKE THIS ONE YOUR OWN. BRING YOUR DECORATING IDEAS! AND TO TOP IT OFF,  A FULL FINISHED WALKOUT LOWER LEVEL WITH HALF BATH, WET BAR AND ABUNDANT STORAGE, THE PERFECT VENUE FOR GATHERINGS AND ENTERTAINING. A BEAUTIFUL ROLLING COMMUNITY IMPECCABLY MAINTAINED AND CLUSTERED AROUND THE LAKE JUST AROUND THE CORNER FOR RELAXING WALKS.

 

REALTOR MAGAZINE 5 PREDICTIONS FOR 2015

OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
November 18, 2014

5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November.

What’s Coming in the New Year

“The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 — only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015. And with that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity.”

Freddie Mac economists have made the following projections in housing for the new year:

  1. Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year.
  2. Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”
  3. Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in the new year, projected to rise by 20 percent from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.
  4. Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.
  5. Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60 percent between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14 percent.

Why 2014 is a Good Year to buy a Home

If you didn’t buy a home in 2013, you may be kicking yourself now. Home prices climbed nationally an average of 13.6 percent in the past 12 months, according to Tuesday’s release of the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index.
Don’t make the same mistake in 2014, suggests Benjamin Weinstock, real estate attorney and partner at the firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale, N.Y.
Market forecasters predict that 2014 will be another year of gains for the real estate market, even though the rapid pace of sales in 2013 cooled off a bit at the end of the year. On Dec. 30, The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index, based on contracts signed last month, rose 0.2 percent in November, below the 1 percent rise forecast.
Home prices are expected to rise about 5 percent next year, says Weinstock. Higher mortgage rates will dampen the pace of both sales and price gains, but not bring them to a halt. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to rise from 4.5 percent to 5 percent in the next year.
Even aside from expected price gains, buying a home is almost always a good investment in the long run, says Weinstock. Tax benefits are not to be overlooked.
“When one rents, at the end of the year he or she has a pile of 12 cancelled rent checks,” Weinstock says. “However, the homeowner has a pile of 12 cancelled mortgage checks that are nearly fully tax deductible in most cases.”

Want to Sell Your Home? The Spring Selling Season May Be Coming Early This Year

The spring selling season has historically been the hottest time for home sales in the U.S. That trend remains intact for 2014.

Source: Images of Money

If you’re considering selling your home in 2014, now is the time to get ready. Not next month, not next week, not tomorrow. Right now.

Why? Because buyers are already on the hunt.

The Internet is the new curb appeal
Last month will likely be remembered for polar vortexes, widespread snow, and historic traffic jams. Lost in the shuffle is that while American’s were sitting inside trying to stay warm, they were looking at houses for sale on the Internet.

Experian Marketing Services released its monthly most visited real estate website rankings earlier this week for web traffic in January. The results are eye popping.

Web traffic to real estate websites was up 25% from December to 364 million visits. Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) led the way with over 57 million visits and Trulia (NYSE: TRLA) limped into second at over 30 million visits.

If you’re considering selling and your home is not yet online, then every day you’re missing out on thousands (or even millions) of potential buyers viewing your home.

Even more incentive for buyers
Spring is coming, and that is certainly driving a lot of the interest in homes currently listed for sale. But there are other factors at play.

Mortgage rates have declined over the past month and are currently trending back toward 4% for traditionally structured, well qualified loans. This is a significant development for buyers, as interest rates are a huge driver of home affordability.

For example, a traditional 30 year, $150,000 mortgage at 4.5% would have a monthly payment of $760. If rates declined to 4.25%, the payment would change to $738.

For borrowers on the edge of qualifying for a mortgage, that $22 per month savings could make the difference between getting a loan approval or not. Over the life of the loan, that 0.25% difference saves the borrower $7,963!

For buyers, the time is now!
Buy low and sell high, right? For buyers, the time to buy low is quickly ending, creating a sense of urgency to buy now before prices rise too high or interest rates return to more historically normal levels.

According to CoreLogic and reported by Realtor.org, home prices in 2013 saw the largest percentage increase across the board since 2005, north of 11% as of December. The appreciation was most pronounced in the states that were hit hardest in the real estate collapse: Nevada rose 23.9%, California 19.7%, and Michigan 14% rounding out the top three.

Buyers are ready. Are you?
The spring selling season will be in full swing sooner than you think. Rates are low, there is urgency to buy now, and buyers are already coming out of their winter slumber. If you’re planning to sell you home in 2014, you need to be ready now. Don’t miss out on the perfect, well qualified buyer because you waited a moment too long.

Buying Your Own Home? Read This First

 Published: Sunday, 9 Feb 2014 | 9:00 AM ET
By: Cathy Curtis, Special to CNBC.com
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It seems nothing can stop Americans from wanting to buy their own homes. It’s almost as if the credit crisis didn’t happen, even though not too long ago we were bombarded daily with stories about crashing prices, underwater mortgages and home foreclosures. It was an American nightmare, not the American Dream.

Image source: Dagmar Heymans | E+ | Getty Images

But if you think about the emotional and economic reasons people want to buy instead of rent, it’s not so hard to understand. As a financial advisor, I meet many potential first-time homebuyers who cite these reasons for wanting to buy:

—”Why should I pay a landlord when I can put the money toward building equity in something myself?”
—”Paying rent is like throwing money away.”
—”I don’t trust the stock market. I’d rather put money in real estate.”
—”Renting feels like a temporary situation. I want to put down roots and nest.”
—”I want to be able to remodel my home in any way I want, with no restrictions from landlords.”

What I usually do at this point in the conversation is a back-of-the-envelope analysis of what it would look like for my client to buy a home. The key components of the analysis involve money saved and money earned.

(Read more: Roth IRA a better way to pay for college?)

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Home sales are at the lowest level in two years. CNBC’s Diana Olick explains what role the “unusually disruptive weather” played in the slumping numbers.

Comprehend your costs
How much is saved for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves? The best scenario involves putting 20 percent down. With 20 percent down, the borrower can receive gifts of up to 100 percent of the down payment with no private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI can add several hundred dollars to the monthly payment.

However, many first-time homebuyers are cash-constrained. Some may qualify for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, which requires only 3.5 percent down. Many end up putting 10 percent down, which requires PMI and only 5 percent of the down payment can be a gift.

Closing costs are approximately 2 percent of the purchase price and include title insurance, escrow fees and appraisal fees. There may be a local transfer tax due on the purchase—and that can be substantial.

(Read more: Clueless investors just pay the fees)

Lenders require two to 12 months’ worth of cash reserves, which will cover mortgage, property tax, insurance and other debt payments. The cash reserves can be in retirement accounts, but lenders only count 65 percent of retirement accounts, unless you’re over age 59½.

For example, Mary wants to buy a home in the $400,000 range. She makes $90,000 a year. She will put 10 percent down. Her lender requires a five-month cash reserve. Closing costs will be 2 percent of the price. There will be a $15-per-thousand city transfer tax due that Mary will split with the seller. She has $500 a month in other debt payments. (The chart below breaks down all these expenses.)

Mary’s new home—counting the costs

Home price: $400,000
Down payment: $40,000
Loan: $360,000
Closing costs (2% of mortgage): $7,200
Transfer tax ($15 per $1,000 divided by 2): $3,000
PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance):
Payment @ 5% interest: $1,932.56/month
Private mortgage insurance: $150/month
Property tax (1.25% of purchase price):* $416.67/month
Homeowners insurance (0.35% on loan amount): $105/month
Other debt payments (credit card, auto): $500/month
Required cash reserves (5 months’ PITI and debt): $15,521.15
*Lender qualifying rate
Source: Cathy Curtis, Curtis Financial Planning

Mary would need $65,721 saved to buy this home. Plus, she might need to pay various moving costs. I usually add $5,000 to the analysis so that these costs are accounted for.

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Get prequalified
Does the client earn enough money to qualify to buy the home? Rule of thumb: Lenders require that housing costs (PITI) plus all other monthly debt payments be no more than 43 percent of gross income. In Mary’s case, she would need to earn $86,630 a year to qualify for the $360,000 loan at 5 percent.

If this analysis looks positive, I will recommend that my client visit a lender and get prequalified for a loan. This will involve running a credit report. With a credit score of 700 or above, there should be no issues. Below that, a good mortgage professional will advise clients on how to improve their scores.

(Read more: Give the baby a bottle and a bank account)

Lastly, a good real estate agent and a good dose of patience will make the experience a lot easier. That dream home may be right around the corner, after all.

—By Cathy Curtis, Special to CNBC.com. Cathy Curtis is an independent certified financial planner and founder and owner of fee-only investment advisory firm Curtis Financial Planning, based in Oakland, Calif.

Top 10 Home Improvement Projects

 

If you’re thinking of selling your home in 2014 or just want to ramp up your home value, it’s important to educate yourself on which improvement projects will bring you the most return on your investment.

A great resource for your research is the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, an annual collaboration between Remodeling magazine and REALTOR® Magazine, which breaks out the estimated cost of various projects and the estimated return on investment for those projects by region and by city, as well as by midrange and upscale projects. In general, this year’s report shows that exterior replacement projects are the most cost-effective. If you plan to sell your home later this year, remember that the first impression your home makes on buyers is their first glimpse of the outside.

Here are 10 home improvement projects you should consider:

1. Replace Your Front Door

You may not even notice your front door anymore, especially if you regularly use another entrance, but a new door makes a great impression on buyers and yields an 86 percent return on your investment. If your front door doesn’t need replacing or you’d rather spend less money, you can paint it and replace the hardware for a similar impact. Replacing your garage door recoups 75 percent of your investment.

2. Add a Deck or Patio

No matter where you live, buyers are looking for outdoor living space. You can recoup 77 percent of your investment on a new wood deck. If you already have outdoor space, consider enhancing it with a water feature, an outdoor fireplace or new landscaping.

3. Add Space

Depending on your budget and your goals for your home, an addition of extra bedrooms and bathrooms, a finished attic or an expanded casual living space can rapidly increase the value of your home. You can recoup 73 percent of your investment in an attic bedroom.

4. Remodel Your Kitchen

Buyers look most carefully at kitchens and bathrooms, so you should, too. You can recoup 75 percent of a minor kitchen remodel and 60-68 percent of a major kitchen remodel. If you’re selling soon, be careful not to overspend on your kitchen. You may be able to do one or two things, such as replacing the appliances and painting the cabinets, or just replacing the counters with granite to garner a good offer.

5. Replace Your Windows

Buyers are interested in how your windows look and their energy efficiency. Whether you’re replacing vinyl- or wood-frame windows, you can get a 72 percent return on your investment. When you’re ready to market your home, be sure to highlight the new windows as a selling point.

6. Work on Your Lighting

Today’s buyers like bright, light rooms, so look around your home and see if you need to upgrade your lighting fixtures or add more. You can hire a professional to add a few recessed lights to your kitchen and living areas and replace outdated overhead lighting fixtures to match contemporary tastes.

7. Replace Your Window Treatments

Make sure you’re letting as much natural light as possible into your home and that your window treatments don’t hide any oversized windows.

8. Update Your Bathroom

While a full, upscale bathroom remodeling project can cost as much as $50,000 and add only about $29,000 to your home’s resale value, you can make cost-effective minor upgrades. Replace your fixtures and your mirror, repaint the space and jazz it up with some crown molding (depending on your home’s style) and you’ll have a space that looks new. While you’re there, redo the caulk around your tub and shower and replace the grout on your tile flooring. If your tub is in bad shape, you may be able to have it resurfaced rather than replace it.

9. Replace Your Siding

If your home’s exterior needs a major makeover, you can typically recoup 72 percent of your investment by replacing the siding.

10. Organize Your Closets

High on the list of priorities for today’s buyers is adequate storage. If your home lacks big closets or has too few storage spaces, you can increase their efficiency with closet organizers.

No matter which project you choose, be careful not to over-improve your home for the neighborhood. A REALTOR® can offer advice about how to spend your money so that your home sells faster and for the best possible price.

Existing-Home Sales Highest Since 2009

June 20, 2013, 11:52 a.m. EDT

Existing-home sales highest since 2009

 

By Ruth Mantell, MarketWatch

Existing-home sales in May were up 12.9% from the same period in the prior year — the largest growth since October 2011. Meanwhile, year-over-year median prices rose 15.4% in May, the largest growth since 2005.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Existing-home sales rose in May to the highest pace since November 2009, when buyers were rushing to make a tax-credit deadline, pointing to a continuing recovery, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

Existing-home sales rose 4.2% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.18 million. These sales were 12.9% higher than during the same period in the prior year. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the pace of existing-home sales to hit a rate of 5 million in May, compared with an April rate of 4.97 million.

“This report provides further evidence that the housing market is on a firmly improving trend,” wrote analysts at RDQ Economics in a research note.

Meanwhile, the median existing-home price hit $208,000 in May, the highest since 2008, with low inventory supporting prices. The median price is up 15.4% from the same period in the prior year, the largest growth since 2005.

Inventories rose 3.3% in May to 2.22 million existing homes for sale. The supply of existing homes declined to 5.1 months at May’s sales pace from 5.2 months at April’s sales pace. The share of the sales accounted for by distressed properties and first-time buyers remained low in May.

Analysts say the housing market’s gains over the past year could have been even larger if inventories were greater. Still, economists expect housing demand to continue to grow along with the U.S. economy.

As home prices continue to rise, more buyers are likely to be able and willing to put their homes on the market. Rising prices also induce buyers to bid before prices get too high. However, NAR said prices are rising too quickly and more construction is needed.


Bloomberg

Existing-home sales rose 4.25 in May and home prices climbed more than 15% year over year.

Low interest rates have been fueling demand. In recent weeks these rates have trended higher, though there was a recent decline. While rising rates will curb demand among some buyers, they could also spur others to quickly enter the market to take advantage of high affordability.

“Given the massive rise in mortgage rates in recent weeks, we expect the pace of positive momentum will likely slow in the coming months, though the initial reaction could be for some buyers to move into the market as they try to lock-in the lower mortgage rates,” wrote Millan Mulraine, director of U.S. research and strategy at TD Securities.

Despite their recent climb, rates remain relatively low, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pointed out Wednesday.

“In terms of monthly payments on an average house, the change in mortgage rates we’ve seen so far is not all that dramatic,” Bernanke said at a press conference following the central bank’s decision to leave policy unchanged.

Indeed, Americans’ views on the housing market recently hit a multiyear high, with large shares saying that now is a good time to buy and sell homes. However, recent price gains don’t necessarily signal that real estate is a good long-term investment, according to Yale economist and housing expert Robert Shiller.

 

Ruth Mantell is a MarketWatch reporter based in Washington. Follow her on Twitter @RuthMantell.