Explore Grand Traverse County, MI

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By Jules Yates, I Guarantee Results
(Re/Max Bayshore)
Comments 0
For anyone wondering what the real estate market is like post Covid-19, all I can say is it is HOT.  Some might say too hot.  Since the Governor allowed real estate agent to go back to work, our phones have been ringing off the hook and here is why: 1. Record Low Inventory2. Record Low Interest Rates3. The Ability to Work from Home4. Traverse City is a Place People Flee to not Flee From Those 4 things have moved many people time lines up from years to in some cases weeks.  There was a lot of time during lock down for people to search online and no one could go look at property.  There was pent up demand and very few new properties coming one the market. Suddenly, we had a lot of people steping to the line and that has caused most properties (that are priced right) to sell almost immedia...
By Jules Yates, I Guarantee Results
(Re/Max Bayshore)
Comments 21
You are thinking of buying a home, you shop online and there it is… the perfect home.  The listing says I just went on the market so you pick up the phone and call your friendly local real estate company to schedule a showing.  Your heart is pounding with excitement as the phone rings.  On the other end you hear, “This is REALTOR John, how can I help you?” You excitedly tell John about the home you just saw last night and then he drops the bomb… “Sorry, but that home is under contract with another buyer”.  You think, “How can that be?  Is real estate really selling that fast?” The simple answer is yes, in many cases homes are sold the same day they hit the market.  So how does this happen?   Savvy buyers that are working with local agents can often submit an offer sight unseen relying o...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
Prior to purchasing a home for the first time, many buyers often will rent a home. And in doing so, the common household and some not so common issues, are the responsibility of the landlord – homeowner of the rental property. A landlord traditionally handles anything from a leak with the shower to a crack in a foundation. Renters, also known as tenants, are not responsible for these issues. However, the transition from being a tenant to a homeowner is difficult and often surprising for many first-time buyers. While renting a home, a tenant is protected by law from having to live in unsafe and unsanitary living conditions. The landlord is the responsible party for the safe and sanitary conditions of the home for the renters. These responsibilities become reality when a renter looks to p...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 2
 There is a lot of misinformation surrounding a Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan. Often times, Veterans are unnecessarily convinced to use another loan option, primarily due to lack of new information surrounding VA Guaranty Loans. One of the largest VA Myths is the unusually long processing time of a VA Home Loan.  Recently, the Military Mortgage Bootcamp was held in Novi, MI. This two-day event cleared up a ton is misinformation and longstanding myths surrounding VA Guaranty Loans. A huge factor for the relatively low number of Veterans using a VA Loan are bad experiences Realtors & Lenders have faced with previous VA loans. After listening to these issues for many years, the VA has stepped up and improved the overall process for a Veteran.  Now, the average closing time for a VA Loan ...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
Many times, a seller or their agent may cringe when they receive a VA-Backed Offer. Immediate fears of an intense inspection and overly scrutinized appraisal process. A lot of people have experienced nightmares with a VA loan or know someone who had to deal with the excruciating pain of aa appraisal visit. What if I told you, there is no need to swallow to continue with the Blue Pill…Red Pill will set you free! A VA Appraiser objective is to determine if the home is adequately priced and to verify the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPR). According to Brad Stinson with Benchmark Mortgage, the MPR could be summed up as Safe, Sound, and Sanitary. Any home not meeting the 3-S’s must be resolved prior to closing. He goes on to say, “VA Appraisal is no different than an FHA Appraisal or ...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
 Regularly, veterans are told or come to understand, the VA has the toughest requirements when it comes to buying a home. More often than not, these are myths. In fact, these “myths” are often disguised as Lender Overlays.  Lender Overlays are additional guidelines placed on a loan by the lender. The VA is insuring the loan. However, the lender has the right to further protect their investment by adding an additional layer(s) of protection. This additional layer(s) of protection by the lender is oftentimes mistaken as a VA requirement.  Some examples of lender overlays would be:       No manufactured homes – False: the VA will restrict a purchase of manufactured home if the home is not safe, sound, and sanitary       Minimum Credit Score of 620 – False: the VA does not have a minimum sc...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
When sellers are considering an offer from a buyer, understanding the effects contingencies often are under estimated. Contingencies are considered to be the ability to obtain financing, inspections, septic inspection, pest inspections, appraisal, early occupancy, but for the sake of discussion let’s address the “contingent to sell existing home”.  Contingent to sell existing home is when a buyer’s offer cannot close unless the buyer’s original home sells first. And there are times when a buyer may submit an offer, even though their existing home is not listed yet. This scenario creates an open-ended contract with no end in sight. This type of offer will lock up your home from selling to anyone else until the buyer’s home sells. When entertaining an offer with a contingent to sell situa...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 2
When you have an accepted offer on a home you are interested in, it is very important to know all the facts. Reasonable expectation could be placed on the home inspector’s report and an appraisal, if you are using a federally backed loan (FHA, VA, etc.). However, you do have the right to conduct specialized inspections as well.  With specialized inspection, an additional review of life safety areas of the home, will provide a better understanding and condition of your future home. These specialized inspections include but not limited to: Roof; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC), Plumbing; Electrical; and Foundation. A home inspection will provide you with a great report of the home and highlight areas of potential concern. And in the event a concern is noted, the home inspect...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
In Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Kalkaska, Benzie & Antrim Counties of Michigan, military veterans are utilizing their earned VA Home Loan entitlements. In the last 5-years, the use of VA guaranteed loans has steadily increased. According to the US Census Report of 2016, over 13,000 veterans living in the region; these numbers are expected to continue to climb in the foreseeable future.  The VA guaranteed loan is a no-money down payment entitlement earned by military veterans and active duty service personnel. With a no-money down system, veterans and active duty members are able to purchase homes that normally would be unavailable. Lenders write the loan with a guarantee from the VA regarding the security of the loan. In the last 5-years, veterans and active duty personnel using the VA loa...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
The Grand Traverse region is primarily Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Antrim Counties. Home to many wonderful lake front homes; buyers looking to purchase will find it’s an investment worth making. This region offers year-round activities for families as well as vacation get-a-ways. Lake front homes in the Grand Traverse Region has become a haven for great values on lake front homes. Lake homes in the Grand Traverse region are homes on Lake Michigan and many inland lakes – Torch Lake, Long Lake, Elk Lake, Lake Leelanau (North & South), Glen Lakes (North & South), Crystal Lake, etc. And in the previous six months, 397 lake front homes are active and the oldest listing has been on the market for 810-days. The typical list price is $844,992.00. The average square foot sold price is $...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
The Grand Traverse region is primarily Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Antrim Counties. Home to many wonderful lake front homes; buyers looking to purchase will find it’s an investment worth making. This region offers year-round activities for families as well as vacation get-a-ways. Lake front homes in the Grand Traverse Region has become a haven for great values on lake front homes.  Lake homes in the Grand Traverse region are homes on Lake Michigan and many inland lakes – Torch Lake, Long Lake, Elk Lake, Lake Leelanau (North & South), Glen Lakes (North & South), Crystal Lake, etc. And in the previous six months, 72 lake front homes were sold, after being on the market for an average of 176-days. The typical list price was approximately $607,896.00 and sold within 3% of the askin...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
An appraisal report is used by the lenders to determine if the agreed upon price to purchase a home (between buyer and seller) is in-line with the current market value of homes in the area. The lender will need to assure the best possible value of the home. A lender has to feel comfortable – in lieu of default by the borrower – their money will be re-cooped or with minimal loss. To determine the value, an appraiser accounts for a lot of data to verify the purchase offer is in-line with market values. Due to the gathering of data and governmental requirements, the process could be lengthy. During the lengthy reporting process, an appraiser will account for size of a home, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, recent selling prices of homes, condition of a home, is the home close to hospital...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
U.S. Coast Guard, aka “Coasties”, have been an integral part of Traverse City, MI since 1946. Their community involvement, providing life-saving support and vital protection on the Great Lakes makes them superior stewards of our community. The Coasties have a broad reach within the US Coast Guard’s Ninth District – all of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and most of Lake Huron. Their guardianship and the selfless sacrifices their families make on a daily basis is all the more reason we should show our appreciation. From a fixed-winged search and rescue – one plane operation – to today’s MH-60T “Jayhawk” helicopters, our Coasties are ready to go when needed. Being prepared, willing and able is a daily occurrence. Covering over 6,700 miles of shorelines and 1,500 miles of our international...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
U.S. Coast Guard, aka “Coasties”, have been an integral part of Traverse City, MI since 1946. Their community involvement, providing life-saving support and vital protection on the Great Lakes makes them superior stewards of our community. The Coasties have a broad reach within the US Coast Guard’s Ninth District – all of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and most of Lake Huron. Their guardianship and the selfless sacrifices their families make on a daily basis is all the more reason we should show our appreciation. From a fixed-winged search and rescue – one plane operation – to today’s MH-60T “Jayhawk” helicopters, our Coasties are ready to go when needed. Being prepared, willing and able is a daily occurrence. Covering over 6,700 miles of shorelines and 1,500 miles of our international...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
Generalization of facts do not often fit in Real Estate. If you are looking for the answer to “when is the right time to buy or sell a home?” stop and consider contributing factors in the area you are buying into or selling. Understanding trends will provide you a clearer understanding of how much competition you have to purchase a home or how many potential opportunities you have to sell your home. However, do not develop “paralysis by analysis”. Trends are a great first step in answering the age-old question of “the best time”. This one of the better ways to forecast the future and minimize the fear of not having a crystal ball at your disposal. Population growth provides you a better understanding of the competition (home-buyers) and potential opportunities (home-sellers). The US Cen...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
 The inspection period is a great opportunity to completely understand what your future home has and may need prior to purchasing. Once the inspection is complete, sitting down with your Realtor to better understand the home inspection report and how to move forward. In the event your inspection discovers items requiring correction; it is best to document and be very clear on the issues as well as expectations for the proper results you seek. When creating the paperwork for corrective items resulting from a home inspection report, furnishing the home inspection report and reference the report in the addendum to the seller. This is the most efficient process to help clear up any confusion from the desired results you seek. For example: a home inspection discovered an electrical breaker w...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
 Everyone wants to save money and For Sale by Owners (FSBO) are no different. And most Do It Yourself (DIY) home sellers, a.k.a. FSBO, are confident they will be able to maximize their profits by selling without a Realtor. Many obstacles, market conditions or trends in the local market are often neglected by a FSBO due to a lack of knowledge within the industry. And the resources to adequately perform, prepare and process the contract negotiations and closings are limited versus the resources an industry expert Realtor will have at their disposal. The ever-changing landscape of the Real Estate requirements have made selling a home privately, increasingly challenging. A record low 11% of homes are sound by owners, down 13% from 2008 – according to Hamptons.com Kathy Gurley. Of the 11%, o...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
A collection of local VA Home Buying industry experts recently gathered at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Cherryland in Traverse City, MI. The experts were a local Loan Officer, Realtor, Home Inspector Appraiser, and Title Officer. Each provided great informative information and advice for military veterans looking to buy a home. Each expert works in concert of one another to maximize the best possible outcome for each VA Guaranteed Home Loan veteran.   Charity Anderson, Caliber Home Loans in Traverse City, MI emphasized the ease and convenience of using a VA Guaranteed Home Loan – compared to just 5-10 years ago. Many qualified military veterans using a VA Loan are seeing loans closing in the same amount of time – and in some cases – sooner than conventional loans and other governm...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 0
Michigan has a unique home development association to accommodate new home construction without the restriction of the State of Michigan Land Division requirements; splitting a larger acreage no more than ten times in ten years. The Site Condominium, also known as Site Condo, is an association with a legal entity, managing the large parcel of land with multiple single-family homes within the association. Typical management process includes: caring for common areas, road maintenance, and architecture review for new homes and any allowable out buildings for each single-family home. Veterans Affairs (VA) originally required the Site Condo to be approved by the VA and assigned a VA Condominium ID. The Condo ID would be required for a VA Guaranteed Loan.   As of May 24, 2018, the VA Condo ID...
By Ben Williams
(Lake Life Real Estate)
Comments 1
There is a lot going one during a move and closing on a home. For many people, a move is one of the most stressful events in their lives. Coordinating with lender, title, real estate agent, ordering a home inspection, paying for an appraisal, shopping around for a homeowner’s insurance, transferring utilities, setting up your internet, and making sure your movers are confirmed; could be very overwhelming. However, planning, preparation and patience will go a long way to ease most of these worries.   Hiring a good Realtor will pay huge dividends later. Your Realtor will be able to recommend resources and follow-up on many of the closing details between the seller, seller’s Realtor, lender and title. Single most important step, once you have an accepted offer on your next home, is making ...

Grand Traverse County, MI Real Estate Professionals