Dec 04

A lot of home buyers get bad information about home inspectors. Most of that bad information seems to come from real estate agents.

I just heard about a buyer who purchased a seven year old home and they thought they were smart to have a home inspection. The trouble was, the inspector was more worried about making the real estate agent happy and getting repeat business than he was concerned with doing a good inspection.

45 minutes later the buyer thought they had an inspection and were told by the inspector that they were buying an “above average home”.

Unfortunately the inspector missed a lot of issues, including some very expensive water infiltration issues.

Problems that could cost a home buyer many thousands of dollars in repairs. And yes, it was just seven years old.

I’ve got to say that in general taking a real estate agent’s recommendation on a home inspector is very risky.

Our office is different. Since we only represent home buyers and never sellers, we have standards. We only recommend credible, buyer focused home inspectors.

Dec 01

In our role helping home buyers decide on homes we are often talking about the various floor plans and designs of homes and how they impact the quality of living.

One of the real references on this topic is a book called “The Not So Big House” by Sarah Susanka.

Well, this year Sarah had the opportunity to really showcase her talents in the village of Libertyville, Illinois, just North of Chicago. Construction is complete, and the Grand Opening event was held Saturday, November 19, 2011, with more than 500 visitors touring the house and meeting Sarah.

This is the 2011 Showhouse.

Here is a Youtube video with some background:

We congratulate Sarah and wish her and her team the best with their 2011 effort!

May 31

Our friend John McFarland keeps a directory of Exclusive Buyer’s Agents from around the country. We appreciate him and we have shared his directory on our website for about as long as I can remember having a website. Here is his latest update.

Real Estate Buyer Agent

Exclusive Buyer Agents who will find the Real Estate that You’re searching for…


New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington DC
West Virginia

May 07

Laura Degiovanni, an exclusive buyer’s agent in our office, has received  an award for helping one of the buyers whe was working with purchase a home in a very difficult transaction.

Laura did a great job and there is detailed information in the news release here:

Laura’s Award

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May 06

Our office moved to the iPhone platform recently.

Here is the release.

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Apr 16

I’ve heard from a couple sources that some incoming physicians doing their residency here have been receiving bad information about available mortgages.

It is true that 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.

But, when you are buying a home you only need one mortgage, and if you are a physican here for your residency then realatively 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

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Apr 13


I’ve been reading and talking to people about the new efforts this year to help homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages.

Here is a link to the new official government site.

There are a of differing opinions at this point,  including an article on Inman News by Jack M. Guttentag.

Jack’s view is that the program doesn’t go far enough and that many homeowners are ineligible even though it would make perfect sense to include them in the offering.

I also spoke this last weekto an attorney who has spent a lot of time dealing with home owners who have had difficulty. At this point I think only time will tell.

Apr 13

On the national scene we’ve recently seen a major concern recently with drywall used in new construction that has the potential to be one of the biffest lawsuits in US history.

The problem specifically is drywall from China that brings some dangerous chemicals into the home.

 Here is a link to a news video.

The biggest issues at this point are with areas that saw a lot of new construction recently, so that may mean that Michigan won’t be significantly impacted.

More to come…

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Mar 31

Here is a good, short, informative checklist for home buyers.

TheNest magazine is a web and print magazine that is targeted to newlyl married couples. They also have a publication targeted at engaged couples called TheKnot.

Home Buying Checklist

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Mar 22

I’m active on a few different professional forums. A major thread on a real estate agent/broker forum just really pointed out the difference between a buyer agent and what most real estate agents do when they are acting as a “buyer’s rep.”

A buyer’s agent remember is a company and their agents who are representing a home buyer on a transaction. If they are truly looking out for the buyer they will make the buyer aware of the shortcomings of the home. Before the negotiation even begins.

Judging from this blog thread, most buyer’s reps are just opening the doors and letting the buyer look at the home. Some are even actively “selling” the home.

A “real” or “genuine” buyer’s agent isn’t afraid to point out the shortcomings and use their professional expertise to help a buyer critically evaluate a home.

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