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Gail Bailey

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Bailey's Bulletin

"Next time I move..."

5/15/2013
"One part group therapy and one part roadmap, this is a home-sellers manual without the snooze factor," writes RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly of the new book 'Next Time I Move, They'll Carry Met Out in a Box.' Consider it a must-read if you're currently selling your home!http://wojosworld.com/
"One part group therapy and one part roadmap, this is a home-sellers manual without the snooze factor," writes RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly of the new book 'Next Time I Move, They'll Carry Met Out in a Box.' Consider it a must-read if you're currently selling your home! http://wojosworld.com/

NAHB Cares

3/4/2013
http://www.nahb.org/page.aspx/generic/sectionID=93Source:  National Association of Home Builders

6 Things you think add value to your home, but don't...

12/12/2012

1. Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are one of those things that may be nice to enjoy at your friend's or neighbor's house, but that can be a hassle to have at your own home. Many potential homebuyers view swimming pools as dangerous, expensive to maintain and a lawsuit waiting to happen. Families with young children in particular may turn down an otherwise perfect house because of the pool (and the fear of a child going in the pool unsupervised). In fact, a would-be buyer's offer may be contingent on the home seller dismantling an above-ground pool or filling in an in-ground pool. An in-ground pool costs anywhere from $10,000 to more than $100,000, and additional yearly maintenance expenses need to be considered. That's a significant amount of money that might never be recouped if and when the house is sold.

2. Overbuilding for the Neighborhood
Homeowners may, in an attempt to increase the value of a home, make improvements to the property that unintentionally make the home fall outside of the norm for the neighborhood. While a large, expensive remodel, such as adding a second story with two bedrooms and a full bath, might make the home more appealing, it will not add significantly to the resale value if the house is in the midst of a neighborhood of small, one-story homes. (Overbuilding might be anticipating your neighborhood's next move.)

In general, homebuyers do not want to pay $250,000 for a house that sits in a neighborhood with an average sales price of $150,000; the house will seem overpriced even if it is more desirable than the surrounding properties. The buyer will instead look to spend the $250,000 in a $250,000 neighborhood. The house might be beautiful, but any money spent on overbuilding might be difficult to recover unless the other homes in the neighborhood follow suit.

3. Extensive Landscaping
Homebuyers may appreciate well-maintained or mature landscaping, but don't expect the home's value to increase because of it. A beautiful yard may encourage potential buyers to take a closer look at the property, but will probably not add to the selling price. If a buyer is unable or unwilling to put in the effort to maintain a garden, it will quickly become an eyesore, or the new homeowner might need to pay a qualified gardener to take charge. Either way, many buyers view elaborate landscaping as a burden (even though it might be attractive) and, as a result, are not likely to consider it when placing value on the home.

4. High-End Upgrades
Putting stainless steel appliances in your kitchen or imported tiles in your entryway may do little to increase the value of your home if the bathrooms are still vinyl-floored and the shag carpeting in the bedrooms is leftover from the '60s. Upgrades should be consistent to maintain a similar style and quality throughout the home. A home that has a beautifully remodeled and modern kitchen can be viewed as a work in project if the bathrooms remain functionally obsolete. The remodel, therefore, might not fetch as high a return as if the rest of the home were brought up to the same level. High-quality upgrades generally increase the value of high-end homes, but not necessarily mid-range houses where the upgrade may be inconsistent with the rest of the home.

In addition, specific high-end features such as media rooms with specialized audio, visual or gaming equipment may be appealing to a few prospective buyers, but many potential homebuyers would not consider paying more for the home simply because of this additional feature. Chances are that the room would be re-tasked to a more generic living space.

5. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
While real estate listings may still boast "new carpeting throughout" as a selling point, potential homebuyers today may cringe at the idea of having wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpeting is expensive to purchase and install. In addition, there is growing concern over the healthfulness of carpeting due to the amount of chemicals used in its processing and the potential for allergens (a serious concern for families with children). Add to that the probability that the carpet style and color that you thought was absolutely perfect might not be what someone else had in mind.

Because of these hurdles, wall-to-wall carpet is something on which it's difficult to recoup the costs. Removing carpeting and restoring wood floors is usually a more profitable investment.

6. Invisible Improvements
Invisible improvements are those costly projects that you know make your house a better place to live in, but that nobody else would notice -- or likely care about. A new plumbing system or HVAC unit (heating, venting and air conditioning) might be necessary, but don't expect it to recover these costs when it comes time to sell. Many homebuyers simply expect these systems to be in good working order and will not pay extra just because you recently installed a new heater. It may be better to think of these improvements in terms of regular maintenance, and not an investment in your home's value.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Chrysler to trumpet 1,250 new jobs for Michigan - More Great News for Michigan!

11/15/2012

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne today confirmed Chryslers plans to hire 1,250 workers and invest $240 million at three Michigan plants so it can ramp up production of its engines and pickups.

Today is another important milestone in living up to the commitment we made more than three and a half years ago to our employees, this city, this region and our country to transform this company, Marchionne said in a statement. "Together, and with the support of our UAW partners, we are committed to building something that will have a long lasting, direct impact on this community."

The investments, first reported by the Free Press, include:

$198 million at Chryslers Mack Avenue Engine I plant where Chrysler will add about 250 workers to build its V6 Pentastar engine.

$40 million at Chryslers Trenton North engine plant to build Pentastar and Tigershark four-cylinder engines.

The addition of a third crew at Warren Truck in Warren to build more Ram 1500 pickups.

With this announcement, Chryslers investments at it U.S. plants since it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 now tops $4.75 billion. The company also has added nearly 6,000 hourly jobs in the U.S.

After Chrysler idled the 60-year-old Mack Avenue plant in 2011, the company said it would reopen and hire 268 workers to make components for the Pentastar V6 engine.

Tracy Handler, principal at IHS Automotive, said Chrysler likely needs more engines for the additional pickups it will produce in Warren.

The Ram pickup, which went into production in September, can be purchased with a Pentastar V6 engine or a larger V8.

"They really got out ahead of GM and Ford, and are kind of hitting the market at the same time that we are possibly seeing growth in the housing market," Handler said.

The Free Press first reported in June Chrysler's plan to consider adding a third crew at the Warren plant. Chrysler currently employs more than 2,300 workers at the 74-year-old plant.

The Mack Avenue Engine I plant at 4000 St. Jean Ave. in Detroit was purchased by Chrysler in 1953. About 144 employees work there now, making V8 engines for the Ram 1500 pickup.

An adjacent factory, called Mack Avenue II, was idled in September. However, the 200 workers who worked there are eligible to transfer to other plants, including to fill the jobs Chrysler announced today.

In May 2011, Chrysler repaid $9.3 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments six years earlier than required. That sum does not include the $1.3 billion provided by the Bush administration to the automaker before it filed for bankruptcy.

The Free Press first reported in June Chrysler's plan to consider adding a third crew at the Warren plant. Chrysler currently employs more than 2,300 workers at the 74-year-old plant.

The Mack Avenue Engine I plant at 4000 St. Jean Ave. in Detroit was purchased by Chrysler in 1953. About 144 employees work there now, making V8 engines for the Ram 1500 pickup.

An adjacent factory, called Mack Avenue II, was idled in September. However, the 200 workers who worked there are eligible to transfer to other plants, including to fill the jobs Chrysler will announce today.

Chrysler has recalled or hired about 7,000 hourly workers in the U.S. and Canada since it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 with $12.1 billion of emergency funding from the U.S. government.

In May 2011, Chrysler repaid $9.3 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments six years earlier than required. That sum does not include the $1.3 billion provided by the Bush administration to the automaker before it filed for bankruptcy.

U.S. auto sales have increased 13.8% for the first 10 months this year. Chrysler sales have risen 22.5% in that period

February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day

2/17/2012
17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It is a day where every one of us can make a decision to not just rely on others to make the world a better place.  We all must do our part.  Random acts of kindness create a win/win for all involved. The person you are being kind to benefits through your help, you feel good for having helped someone, and the world is a better place because of your positive influence through being kind.   Check out the following websites to give you some great ideas on how to carry out your Random Acts of Kindness today.  Enjoy the process of spreading good cheer.  You may even decide to turn it into a daily habit. 

RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS Website
HELP OTHERS Website
LEARNING TO GIVE Website

Robo-Signing Settlement Finalized

2/10/2012

Robo-Signing Settlement Finalized



See the full story at Source - DSNews

Mortgage Modification Expanded to Investors

2/9/2012

Mortgage modification program expanded to investors, others

 

The Obama administration on Friday announced it would significantly broaden the pool of consumers eligible for mortgage modifications by opening its program to owners of rental properties and homeowners burdened by medical and credit card bills and second mortgages.

Under an expansion of the Home Affordable Modification Program, investors can seek mortgage loan modifications for rental properties, regardless of whether the home is occupied by a tenant or it is vacant but the owner plans to rent it. Previously, only owner-occupants were eligible for loan modifications under the government's plan, but officials said they decided to take this step because foreclosed rental properties were having a particularly detrimental effect on low- and moderate-income renters.

"The whole purpose of HAMP is to try and prevent foreclosures," said Treasury Assistant Secretary Tim Massad in a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. "We're expanding it to investor-owned properties for the same reason. If your neighbor is foreclosed on, whether they're an owner or a tenant, that affects you and all your neighbors. We're allowing them to get modifications. They still have to prove a hardship and go through a protocol that proves this is a good use of taxpayer money."

Roughly 700,000 rental properties nationally may be eligible for loan modifications, he added.

"They're finally recognizing that this is a part of the housing market that needs stabilization," said Geoff Smith, executive director of DePaul University's Institute for Housing Studies. "These small multifamily buildings make up a big part of the housing stock in Chicago so any effort to stabilize them would be helpful. But one of the reasons that HAMP didn't target rentals was at some level these are businesspeople and why would you want to incentive them for taking too much risk on an investment."

Federal officials also said HAMP would begin evaluating borrowers who may face large medical, credit card or second lien payments but up to now have been ineligible for mortgage modifications because the debt-to-income ratio on their first mortgages was below 31 percent.

HAMP, which was set to expire in December, now has been extended until Dec. 31. 2013. There will be no additional costs to taxpayers for the expanded program, officials said. It will be funded from the $29 billion already set aside mortgage modification efforts.

Part of the administration's Making Home Affordable effort that was announced shortly after President Barack Obama took office, HAMP has been criticized as falling woefully short of its goal of helping 3 million to 4 million homeowners. Of the more than 1.7 million trial  mortgage modifications begun under the program since its March  2010 start, only about 43 percent had resulted in permanent loan modifications through November.

The government has withheld $131 million in servicer incentive payments from Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase for poor compliance with the program.

Also announced was a tripling of the financial incentives awarded to mortgage investors whose modifications include principal writedowns in cases where the homeowner owes significantly more on the mortgage than the value of the underlying property. The current rate of between 6 cents and 21 cents on the dollar will be increased to between 18 and 63 cents. Officials said they had already briefed mortgage servicers on the new incentive plan.

Principal reduction incentives also will be offered to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if they use them in loan modifications on mortgages they own or insure.

 

Source Chicago Tribune

Administration Announces Changes to HAMP

1/29/2012

Administration Announces Changes to HAMP

The Obama administration has announced changes to its flagship foreclosure prevention initiative the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Among the changes, borrowers who are struggling because of debt beyond their mortgage will be eligible for a secondary evaluation with more flexible debt-to-income criteria, andeligibility will be extended to investor-owned homes that are used as rental properties. The administration is also giving principal reductions a bigger role within the program, tripling incentives for investors that agree to write down an underwater borrowers principal balance and offering these same incentives to the nations two biggest mortgage investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Surprising 2011 Cash Home Purchases

1/9/2012
http://goo.gl/eSJZH

Despite record low mortgage rates, 2011 has seen a surprisingly high level of cash home purchases, according to the real estate research firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.

Jonathan Dienhart and Ken Lee, two analysts with the company, say between tight lending standards and a desperate search for yield by investors, cash purchases of homes particularly for distressed properties became even more common in 2011 than last year.

Dienhart and Lee analyzed data collected through Hanley Woods Housing IntelligencePro, and shared their findings in a blog post.

The two discovered that 38 percent of homes purchased in 2011 were bought with all cash. Thats up from 34 percent in 2010, and double the 19 percent rate in 2006.

According to Dienhart and Lee, this trend is likely to continue in the near term. They note that cash-paying investors are responsible for an increasing share of home purchases nowadays as prior homeowners abandon the ownership market and head back to rentals.



Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas for the Table

11/13/2011
If you're looking for some great decorating tips and ideas go to HGTV for some great visual ideas.  
http://www.hgtv.com/entertaining/15-stylish-thanksgiving-table-settings/pictures/index.html

You don't have to be a pro to make your home look up-to-date and in style.  Use what you have, and remove the clutter.  Display your items or pack them away for a clean and organized feeling.  It's the holidays, after all!  I make sure I'm organized heading into the holidays.  It's not easy, but it's worth it!  That way we can enjoy the holidays while having time to entertain, too. 

If your home is for sale, decorations are okay.  Simple is elegant, less is more!

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