Category : Moving

House Officers Getting Bad Information About Mortgages?

It sounds like some incoming physicians doing their residency here have been receiving bad information about available mortgage options. The mortgage market has changed dramatically over the last two years. There are now only about a half dozen zero downpayment mortgage options now where two years ago there were about twice that many. (And they were dramatically more available.)

But, when you are buying a home you only need one mortgage, and if you are a physician here for your residency then relatively easy zero downpayment options are still available.

It will take some preparation and there are some limitations, but in general the Midwest Financial Credit Union is still a good option.

They offer:
Closing before  first paycheck
Zero downpayment
Ignoring student loan obligations in most situations
No PMI (but a higher interest rate to compensate for some additonal risk.)
A  physician friendly application process

Note: These loans are specifically for physicians, so they are not visible on the credit union’s website.

You can reach the Credit Union at 734.769.4621
or https://www.mwfcu.org

The Inspiring Story of Augie Nieto, a Man Who Shares His Gifts

One of the business consultants I get news from has shared this with me. I find it interesting and inspirational.

So, I’m going to share it with you!

Here is a link to a Today Show video about this unusual entrepreneur. I hope you enjoy it and share it:

TODAY SHOW VIDEO ON AUGIE’S STORY

We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti areas in Southeastern Michigan. And we can guarantee that you will never be stuck with designated agency, dual agency, or non-agency. We will always be your buyer’s agent!
Call us today at 734-662-6240 to talk about how we can help you achieve your home buying dreams!

Two Little Words That Are Causing a Lot of Frustration for Home Buyers – Procuring Cause

The national association most of the top buyer agents belong to (naeba.org) just posted this press release:

AVONDALE, Ariz., March 31, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — As fewer transactions are split up between a relatively fixed number of real estate agents, those agents are using whatever tools they can to hold on to home buyers, in some cases against the buyer’s will. One of those “tools” is an outdated industry secret called “procuring cause,” and it is frustrating many of today’s home buyers, according to the home buying specialists at the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA).
Procuring cause is an industry term that describes the ability of any agent who showed a buyer a home to claim that they should be paid if the buyer eventually wants to buy that home.
Many buyers get “married” to agents who show them a property without ever knowing it. Charlie and Meg Bear, of Acton, Massachusetts, are like many buyers in today’s market. When they started house-hunting, they went to the Internet. Click … they found a house to see; click … they sent a request to the listing agent. At the second house they saw this way, the agent who showed them the house disclosed that he was a “buyer’s agent.” He was the husband of the listing agent. Charlie did not want a buyer’s agent who was married to the listing agent. “This disclosure is not a contract” was clearly on the form. Meg signed the form; Charlie did not.
Time went by. Charlie and Meg hired Connie LeDuc of Authentic Home Buyers Brokers in Southborough, MA. When they eventually decided to make an offer on that home they saw through the Internet, confusion reigned. The “buyer’s agent” did not want Connie to represent Charlie and Meg on his wife’s listing. The listing agent, his wife, was all for getting this home sold to the Bears, but her husband insisted that he was their “buyer’s agent.” After much negotiation between the brokers, the Bears bought their new home.
“Potential homebuyers who attend open houses or view properties with the listing agent, or a licensee working for the listing agency, may forfeit their opportunity to have full representation,” said John Sullivan, President of NAEBA . “To have 100% representation 100% of the time, homebuyers should have a written agreement with an exclusive buyer’s agent that spells out the duties and obligations of both parties before looking at any home.”
What did Charlie and Meg Bear learn from their experience? “People like us don’t know they should find their agent before they find their house,” says Charlie.
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents was founded in 1995 to help consumers become educated home buyers. NAEBA is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to be the “champions of real estate buyers’ rights and representation.” NAEBA offers industry standard certifications, ongoing education, client referral services, technology, and information sharing. The NAEBA Code of Ethics pledges undivided loyalty to real estate buyers only. For the name of an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent in your area, visitwww.naeba.org.
SOURCE National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents
When you think about it the idea that a wife can be a seller’s agent and the husband can be a buyer’s agent on the same transaction is a complete scam. Why don’t those licensees admit that they are dual agents or non-agents and stop destroying any confidence that consumers might have in the profession.
Amazing!
If you are looking to buy a home and you don’t want to expose yourself to this kind of nonsense we can help.
We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti areas in Southeastern Michigan. And we can guarantee that you will never be stuck with designated agency, dual agency, or non-agency. We will always be your buyer’s agent!
Call us today at 734-662-6240 to talk about how we can help you achieve your home buying dreams!

What happens when a home owner removes the filters in their furnace

We sometimes talk about homes that have suffered from abuse from their owners. A friend of mine ran across this example in a home he bought recently. The furnace had been run for years without a filter. Here is what he saw when he opened it up and looked at the air conditioning coils:

Homes that have been “abused”

We sometimes talk about homes that have suffered from abuse from their owners. A friend of mine ran across this example in a home he bought recently. The furnace had been run for years without a filter.

Here is what he saw when he opened it up and looked at the air conditioning coils:

dustyAcoil-756490

Here is what it should look like:

CleanAcoil-741880

You can imagine how this impacted the unit’s efficiency for both heating and cooling.

This is something that I think any buyer agent should understand and be able to talk about. This isn’t highly technical and it certainly isn’t a buyer’s agent’s job to open up a furnace, but, a buyer agent should understand this. Many real estate agents call themselves buyer’s agents but don’t know much about houses. This is unfortunate. Our people understand homes and we are willing to tell you what we see. Remember if you want an unconflicted, true buyer agent to help you with your home buying, call us.

Rant – They call themselves “buyer agents” but they are still missing the point!

I just read an interesting post here on Active Rain on the private “Member Only” side. It was about a real estate agent bringing in an offer from a buyer and trying to get the listing agent to respond in a professional way.

This is certainly a common problem in many markets, fortunately here in Ann Arbor it is the rare exception.

But in that post, the agent talks about trying to get the buyer to make a higher first offer. And out of about 50 responses none of the regular real estate agents even questions that effort.

Now it is important to understand that every negotiation and every transation is different. So there  may be times when it is appropriate for a buyer’s agent to suggest a buyer make a higher initial offer. But, in today’s market that situation is not the norm.

If you are a buyer and you have NEGOTIATING POWER in the form of OTHER OPTIONS, then your best strategy may be totally different than what all those regular real estate agents naturally want you to do.

National and State associations of REALTORS falsely Misleading Consumers on agency

As time goes by a lot of good information can get lost on the internet. This is a press release from NAEBA in August of 2004 that covers the intentional effort of many state REALTOR associations (Including ours here in Michigan) to confuse and mislead buyers about agency.

It is clear enough and important enough that I wanted to reproduce a few of the paragraphs here so when the topic comes up again it is easy to find.

Insider Trading Within the Real Estate Industry? – The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) Points to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and State Realtor Associations for Falsely Misleading Consumers

N.J., Aug. 25 2004 /PRNewswire/ — Claiming that most National Association of REALTORS(R) members (Traditional Agents who often try and claim to represent both sellers and buyers in the same transaction), are infringing on the trust of real estate buyers by falsely claiming to be “Exclusive Buyer Agents,” the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents wants to set the record straight.

“In a nutshell,” says Andrew Show, NAEBA president, “NAR and many of its state REALTOR associations have promulgated a falsification falsification of the truth by claiming that real estate buyers are getting `exclusive buyer representation’ when, in fact, these buyers are simply giving an `exclusive compensation agreement’ to that particular Real Estate Company.”

Show explains that NAR’s promotion of “exclusive buyer representation” has little to do with how the buyer is represented. NAR’s deliberate misuse of this terminology, however, has misled consumers by confusing them into thinking that they are getting exclusive buyer representation with an Exclusive Buyer Agent on every purchase, when, in fact, the consumers are not receiving these specialized services. These misrepresentations that go on in the real estate industry are more massive and widespread than recent corporate scandals that have received so much media attention. This malpractice has detrimentally affected buyers and sellers for over a decade. Show also explains that the misleading representation lies in the fact that many groups use terms such as “Exclusive Buyer Agent,” “Exclusive Buyer Agency,” or “Exclusive Buyer Agency Contract,” yet these same groups do not truly engage in the professional behaviors inherent in these definitions — protection, negotiations, advocacy, no conflicts of interest, and fiduciary representation to and for that buyer, exclusively.

“Very simply, `exclusive buyer agent’ means that a real estate professional and their company is dedicated solely – exclusively – to the rights of the home buyer, not the seller, during a real estate transaction,” says Show. “This means that exclusive buyer agents and exclusive buyer agencies never represent the seller’s property listing. Never! “A seller will sign an `Exclusive Right To Sell Listing Contract’ which has nothing to do with Agency or Representation. That is clarified in a completely separate document. No Realtor would ever refer to this as an `Exclusive Seller Agency Agreement!’ So why does NAR treat buyers like second- class citizens?” Show wonders. Show cites an example of an Ohio real estate company that refers to their buyer agency agreement as an Exclusive Buyer Agency Contract. “Yet the only thing exclusive about it is the fact that the buyer must purchase through that real estate company during the term of the agreement,” says Show. “It has nothing to do with representing the buyer’s best interests exclusively.” “Consumers must be aware of these all-too-prevalent falsifications. Consumers who are aware are now demanding full representation by a true EBA” states Show.

For more information about obtaining representation from a true EBA such as NAEBA, visit their website at http://www.naeba.com.

What is the difference between Buyer Agency and Designated Buyer Agency?

This question comes up often. I’ve never found a consumer who understood it and the vast majority of real estate agents and brokers I’ve spoken to don’t really understand it either.

After years of teaching it in home buyer classes I’ve found that diagrams make it much easier to understand.

The other thing to understand is that a consumer’s legal relationship is always with the broker or brokerage, never with the salesperson directly. In fact, it is illegal for a salesperson to take compensation directly from a consumer. The relationship is with the brokerage and any compensation must be paid to the brokerage.

Here is a diagram of Buyer Agency:

BuyerAgencyChart

Note the buyer is blue, and everybody in the real estate office is also blue. They all represent the buyers and have requirements of loyalty and full disclosure to the buyers.

Here is Designated Buyer Agency:

What is wrong with this picture? Why have an inspection?

So often we talk with real estate agents who question the choice of inspectors or question the reasons for even having an inspection.

As the company that represents buyers in our area I am not surprised. But sometimes I see an issue so obvious I think that anyone in the business should be able to identify it.

Here is one such photo:

BadwaterHeaterInstall600x450

Unless you are in your first year in this business you should really see one obvious and one more subtle defect with this installation.

And, we rely on home inspectors to find and document these types of concerns and since both of them are safety related, they may be worth discussing with a home seller for a credit or repair by a licensed contractor.

If you are a buyer considering who to use as a buyer’s agent or a designated buyer’s agent, you may want to make sure those you are considering have enough knowledge of homes to discuss topics like this with you.

Jon Boyd Broker/Manager
The Home Buyer’s Agent of Ann Arbor, Inc
1905 Pauline Blvd. Suite 1 
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti – Saline – Chelsea – Dexter – Novi – Northville areas in Southeastern Michigan.

2 Incredibly Useful Moving Tips For Buyers or Sellers

Moving is usually a challenging and time consuming effort. These two tips will probably help anyone moving a home or office save time, stress, and money.

In our many years of helping home buyers we’ve found two things that most movers need to make a transition from one home to another. These things usually are just needed for a few days to a few months. They are moving boxes and extra storage space. This article will let you in on some of the very best options for both of those two items.

In our many years of helping home buyers we’ve found two things that most movers need to make a transition from one home to another. These things usually are just needed for a few days to a few months. They are moving boxes and extra storage space. This article will let you in on some of the very best options for both of those two items.

1. Boxes

Moving boxes always seem to be in short supply. Even if you are having professional movers pack your belongings you may still want to pack some things yourself. A basic small 12X12X16 moving box can cost as much as $6.00 if you buy it at a office supply store. Larger boxes can cost a lot more.

What you probably don’t know is that Home Depot has amazing prices on moving boxes. I assume that they made a strategic decision to price moving boxes about at their cost to bring in new business.

Home Depot’s small box is just 67 cents! Their large 18X18X24 box is just $1.37. They also have a medium sized box that is priced under a dollar.

These boxes are priced less than used boxes in most areas.

After you are done with the boxes you can advertise them on Craigslist and people will be happy to take them off your hands. Since the market price for boxes is so much higher than what Home Depot sells these for you could probably sell these boxes used and almost break even.

2. Short Term Storage Space

During a move there are often times when you can’t quite filter through everything you have in a time frame to match when you need to move. You can often benefit from moving some storage type items into somewhere other than your destination. Here is the trick: You can often get the first month at low cost or even free when you lease a storage building and most leases are month-to-month!

As an example when we moved our office recently we needed some extra space for desks, files and such for about 6 weeks while we made the transition. I spoke to five storage building locations that offered the first month free on a month-to-month lease. I ended up choosing the location nearest our office who actually offered a 600 square foot space with the first two months free. I did take the insurance policy they offered but even so we ended up paying less than $30 to use that space for almost two months. It worked out very well.
We’ve found these two tips very useful in the moves we’ve been involved with recently and we make an effort to share them with our buyer clients. I hope you find them useful and share them with others also!