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Macomb County MI Real estate

Macomb County MI real estate blog

“How do I compete with cash offers?” – tips for Macomb County MI home buyers

March 6th, 2013 · No Comments · Buyers agency, macomb county mi real estate market, tips for home buyers

It’s happening.    The very thing that we saw coming for the last year.   “Bottom” of the market.  In fact, our real estate market in Macomb County is on an upswing in the northern areas of our county.  (Clinton Township / Sterling Heights and north).

One of the things that is extremely difficult for home buyers who are getting a mortgage is competing with the cash buyers (normally investors, but sometimes Mom and Dad with cash purchasing for their kids).

I can’t tell you how many times a buyer client of mine has written a good strong offer on a home only to be beat out by a cash / no contingency buyer, especially in the under $100,000 price range.   The market is toughening up with homes selling much quicker, and with more offers in on one home than I’ve seen in 16 years.

My advice to buyers who are using a mortgage?   Have ALL your ducks in a row.  (Not just a pre-qualification, but a strong pre-approval letter with perhaps an additional letter from your lender stating that your credit scores are high enough for the mortgage, that you have sufficient work history and funds to close, etc.)    Also, if you know there are multiple offers on a home then make your offer your “highest and best” right from the start.  Ask your buyers agent to review all the comparable sales on the home for the past 90 days so that you can make a confident, educated decision about the market value on the home.

Happy house hunting and good luck!

Kris Wales – a partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
SEARCH homes for sale in Metro Detroit
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453

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Purchasing a HUD house in Macomb County MI – What does “repair escrow” mean?

February 16th, 2013 · No Comments · tips for home buyers, tips for purchasing a foreclosure

Even though the supply of foreclosures is finally going down in Macomb County, my buyers and I are still seeing new HUD homes come on the market each week.   If my buyers are FHA buyers with limited funds to bring to closing, there is something I watch out for diligently with these HUD homes:  A repair escrow.

Prior to a home being put in the market HUD has the home appraised.  This appraisal determines the market value of the home for HUD as well as notes any repairs or deficiencies that the home may have that would be a “no go” for a FHA mortgage without the items being corrected.  This is where the repair escrow comes in to play.

The addendum that HUD attaches to the home (can be viewed at is quite detailed and will list the items that need to be repaired or replaced along with an estimated dollar amount that it would take to correct these items.

An example:   A home at 123 Main Street in Macomb may be offered for sale by HUD for $50,000.  There is flaking & peeling paint that the appraiser notes must be corrected / repaired, and the appraiser estimates that it will cost $1000 to do this. HUD will accept an offer by a purchaser with an FHA mortgage if the purchaser comes up with an extra $1000 at closing to be put in to an escrow account to insure that this work is done on the home.

Can the buyer add this $1000 in mandatory repair escrow to their mortage?  No.   You cannot finance the repair escrow with a standard FHA mortgage.

Many of my home buyers have the funds for their 3 1/2% down payment as well as extra for the closing costs and/or prepaid items they will need to bring to closing, but the repair escrows on certain homes puts the home out of reach.

All of the HUD homes that are currently for sale in Macomb County can be found at .  Each home listing will have addendums attached, and if the home has a repair escrow you can find that addendum and review it prior to writing an offer on a home.   Ask your buyers agent to do this for you before you even view a home.  You will save yourself wasted time and effort and frustration.

Kris Wales – a partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453
SEARCH Metro Detroit homes for sale with MLS provided data

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“I’m waiting for the market to hit bottom” – too late. It has hit bottom and coming back up in Macomb County!

February 6th, 2013 · No Comments · macomb county mi real estate market

This is one of those “if I had a nickel..” type of phrases that I’ve heard over the last 5 years from prospective buyers:  “I’m waiting for the market to hit bottom” or something along that line.

Too late.   It hit the bottom and is climbing back up in Macomb County.  How do I know this?  I could attach all kinds of links to the news articles, give you stats from our 2 local multilist services, and throw data all over this post.  I won’t though, I’ll simply tell you what my home buyers are seeing:

Lack of inventory.   Multiple offers within days of a home being on the market.   Paying darned near asking price, or above asking price. 

Interest rates are still so incredibly low that most buyers are finding their new mortgage payments to be less than the rent they were paying in a decent apartment or house rental.   Combined with the low inventory of homes for sale, the “supply and demand” is pushing home sales prices higher (great news for sellers!) and creating havoc among home buyers in my Macomb County area.

Still want to wait until the market hits bottom before you purchase a home?   You’ll have to wait for the next recession, although that is something that none of us wants to experience again.  Hopefully it never will.

Kris Wales
A partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
SEARCH homes for sale in Metro Detroit
Contact Kris (586) 536-5453

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Inexpensive ways to spruce your Macomb County MI home up for a quick sale! – Tips for home sellers

January 29th, 2013 · No Comments · macomb county mi real estate market, tips for home sellers

  The snow and icy rain mix we are seeing these last 2 weeks won’t stop the sale of your home if you stick to the following “tips” that my buyer clients have shown to be true:



Paint – an inexpensive way to spruce up the interior of your home.   Most buyers don’t mind painting when they move into their new home, in fact most prefer to personalize a home with their choice of colors.  However, they don’t like the appearance of drab and dirty walls, or overtly “bright” colors.    Make the first impression of the interior of your home a good one, you won’t get another “first” chance!

Steam clean carpeting:  If you can afford to have them professionally cleaned, do so!  If you can’t afford to, then rent a steam cleaner from your local hardware store.   Even old and worn carpeting can get a fresh look by being cleaned.  Looks better and smells better to the buyers coming in to your home!

Declutter!    If it looks like you’ve outgrown your home, and buyer won’t be able to picture themselves in it for years to come.  Declutter closets and cupboards to show off the space you DO have in your home.  This goes for garages also!  If your home is full of possessions then you may want to consider renting a storage unit while your home is on the market.  A few hundred dollars of storage fees will often pay for itself many times over when it comes to the offer on your home.

Clean!   People often forget about the little things.  Deep clean, not just “surface” clean.  Wipe down the front of those cupboards, scrub the tile in your bath, bring the glow back to your hardwood floors.    Almost every buyer that I’ve taken in to a nice clean home has remarked about how refreshing it was to be in a clean home.  Make yours stand out!

If you have questions about how to prepare your home for sale in the best possible way to attract a high offer and serious buyer, please ask your agent to walk through your home with you and advise you.

Kris Wales
A partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
SEARCH Macomb County MI homes for sale
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453

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Buying a home in Macomb County MI – do I need a buyers agent?

January 24th, 2013 · No Comments · Buyers agency, macomb county mi real estate market, tips for home buyers

It’s been almost 5 years since I wrote an article about the role of a buyers agent, and everything in that article still holds true today.  Even more so, since so many homes for sale are “distressed” (foreclosures, short sales, etc) and the ins and outs of purchasing these homes can be overwhelming for home buyers.

Here is the article in it’s entirety:

It’s all about you! 

The buyer agency & brokerage agreement protects and serves you in many ways:

Notice–   The document puts the sellers & sellers agent on notice that the buyers have their own representation during the transaction and are accepting the brokerage compensation that the sellers offered. (Nearly 100% of the time the brokerage compensation offered by the sellers to the buyers agent is more than sufficient for payment of  my services to you.  No out of pocket costs to you for buyers agency representation should occur.)

Confidentiality– When the sellers and their agent receive the notice they understand that anything you tell me will remain confidential unless I have your permission to share it with them. If the sellers or their agent reveal something to me it will be shared with you.  The document binds me to your confidential information, not to the sellers or their agent. (Wouldn’t you love to hear that the sellers slipped up and said they would take XXX amount for their home before you wrote your offer to purchase?)

Investigation– Part of my duty to you is to find out as much as I can about the home and pass that information along to you.  Relying on public records for tax information, or permits obtained for remodeling isn’t always the most accurate.  Visiting the city/township offices and verifying information for you is part of a buyers agents job.  Providing true recent sales data to you before you make an offer on a home is also an important part of our job.  (You’ll see all the recent sold data, not just the higher comparable sales to justify the sellers asking price.)

Negotiation–  Once the investigating is completed you’ll be able to make a confident and educated decision on not only the price to offer to a home seller for their home, but the terms of the offer you would like to have included.   Presenting your offer on the home to the sellers & their agent and  negotiating with them on your behalf is one of the most important and challenging parts of the home buying process.  (Wouldn’t you want someone to negotiate on  your behalf, and not representing the financial interests of the seller?)

Post closing care– Following up with you after you have closed on the purchase of your new home is equally as important as anything I’ve stated above. If you need help afterwards your buyers agent will be there to lend a hand.   Can’t get to the city or township office to turn in your paperwork because of your work schedule?  A buyers agent can handle that for you.  (Keeping in touch and being your advocate after the closing is one of the most rewarding aspects of our duties to you.  After all, you’ve become extended family to us and we will miss the daily contact with you.)

Buyer brokerage agreements are all about you.

Copyright 2008 Kris Wales – A Macomb County MI real estate agent.

Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453
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Another area of Macomb County with low inventory of homes – Macomb Township

January 7th, 2013 · No Comments · Macomb Township, tips for home buyers

The other day I wrote about the low inventory of homes for sale in Chesterfield Township.  Today while searching for homes that are currently on the market for buyer clients of mine I realized that Macomb Township is also experiencing a very low inventory of homes.



Macomb Township is quite large and encompasses 3 different school districts:  Chippewa Valley, Lanse Creuse, and New Haven schools all fall within the township borders.   In such a large area buyers expect to have a large selection of homes to choose from.    This is not the case, as I clearly found out this morning for my buyers.

Right now there are only 36 homes for sale in Macomb Township up to $200,000 with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.    Most of these homes, 25 of them, fall between the $160,000 and $200,000 price range.

My advice to buyers?   Be ready to make an offer.  Don’t take your time to “think about it” for more than an overnight period of time. Know what you want, where you want your home and be confident in your price range.   You may only get one chance at making an offer on a home, don’t let that chance slip past you if you want the home.

Kris Wales – a partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
SEARCH Macomb County homes for sale
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453

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Low inventory of homes for sale in Chesterfield Township

January 3rd, 2013 · No Comments · chesterfield township, macomb county mi real estate market, tips for home buyers, tips for home sellers

It’s the start of another new year, and this one is going to be exciting for home sellers in Macomb County.  The extremely low inventory of well priced, well kept homes is driving sales prices up once again.

I firmly believe the “dragged down” years are behind us for real estate in most of Macomb County, and Chesterfield Township is one area that I can see is climbing back upwards again.

This morning I did a search in our MLS (Mirealsource™) and found only 88 homes currently for sale in Chesterfield Township.  The prices range from a “fixer upper” for $49,900 to a lakefront home for $695,000.

The most common searched for price range, $120,000 to $180,000, number only 29 homes currently for sale.

A tip for home buyers in Chesterfield Township:   Have that pre-approval rock solid and ready to go.  Also keep in mind that your first offer may be your only chance.  Most well priced, well kept homes are receiving multiple offers.  You may only get one shot at it!

A tip for home sellers:   Ask your agent to present to you a list of the homes that are similar that have sold within the last 30 days.  Going back 6 months will not give you a fully accurate picture of your homes value.    If there haven ‘t been many similar homes sold within 30 days, then go back 60, then 90 days if need be.

Kris Wales – a partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
SEARCH Macomb County homes for sale
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453

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What does “highest and best” mean? Tips for purchasing a home in Macomb County MI

December 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Buyers agency, tips for home buyers

Highest and Best – you’ve just heard that term from your buyers agent and start to feel the squeezing of pressure even more after you’ve written your offer on a home.

It used to be that we would only hear about “highest and best” when it came to foreclosures.   The banks and asset managers for the foreclosures like to use this procedure when there have been multiple offers on a home.  In these purchases (foreclosures) it’s a deadline given by the seller (the bank or asset manager) for you to have one more chance to either put in another (higher) offer or to stand pat with the offer you submitted.   Buyers agents are given a deadline, usually a 24-48 hour window, in which to either send in a different offer for their client or let the listing agent know that the offer already submitted is the buyers “highest and best”.

In recent months though I have been seeing “highest and best” notifications on normal home sales.  (normal – privately owned homes that are not distressed sales).    The inventory of homes for sale in Macomb County keeps falling (good news for sellers) and if a home is priced well and in good condition it is common to have multiple offers on the home.  In these instances the sellers agent typically will call the agents of the buyers who have submitted offers and given everyone a bid deadline, a “highest and best” notification deadline.

What does this mean for a home buyer?   Don’t assume that your offer will be countered and that you can negotiate with the seller with a lot of back and forth on price and terms.  Very often your first offer will be the only one that you will be able to submit.   If you love the house, if it’s a good fit for you and your family, then submit your “Highest and Best” right from the start.  It may be the only chance you will have of obtaining the home.

Kris Wales – A Macomb County MI buyers agent
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453 cell
SEARCH Metro Detroit homes for sale

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When a “first” happens while viewing homes – it never gets boring in Macomb County!

October 29th, 2012 · No Comments · macomb county mi real estate market

I, and my buyer clients, had a “first” the other evening while viewing homes in the northern part of Macomb County.  (I’m not going to give the address of this home or otherwise identify it)

The home was new to the market, in the price range my buyer wanted and had most of the criteria met (square footage, lot size, etc).  We rushed to see it, and were pleasantly surprised by the nice floor plan and other amenities.   The other surprise was in the basement:

As we walked down the basement stairs a different odor greet us.  Not a cigarette smoke or musty/mildew smell, but rather one that we didn’t quite put our finger on, at first sniff.  Not until we saw a locked door in which lights were on behind it, along with a motor of some kind attached above the door, and water lines going in to the room, did we realize it was more than likely a marijuana grow room.

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised since marijuana for medicinal purposes is now legal in Michigan and it appears that many people are “growing their own” for this purpose.  (Have you noticed all the hydroponics stores popping up in your neighborhoods?)

My buyer clients weren’t put off by whatever was hidden behind the door, but if they do decide to purchase a home that we couldn’t completely view, then unlocked doors will be a must for the home inspection!

I absolutely LOVE what I do.  Each day is a surprise and never boring!

Kris Wales – a partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
SEARCH Metro Detroit homes for sale
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453 cell

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HUD owned condos – different rules for FHA financing

October 6th, 2012 · 4 Comments · Condos in Macomb County MI, tips for home buyers, tips for purchasing a foreclosure

We (agents and home buyers) are all getting used to the fact that if a home buyer is using FHA as their mortgage financing for a condo, that the condo must be in a HUD approved condo complex.   (Lots of fun for the buyers agents and buyers to find what they want within a complex that is HUD approved!).   There is an exception to this hard rule though:

What is not commonly known is this:   A HUD owned condo, regardless if it is in a HUD approved complex, can be financed using FHA.

That’s right folks.  If HUD owns the condo, no matter where it is located, you can use FHA financing for the condo.  I understand why HUD allows this.  They don’t want to own a condo for any longer than necessary, so they open up FHA financing to anyone who wishes to purchase the condo even if the complex isn’t HUD approved.

I do feel though that it is a shame though for  other condo sellers who don’t own a condo in an approved complex. They are pretty much restricted to cash only buyers, or those with hefty down payments using conventional loans.

Here is an example of the condos for sale right now (October 6, 2012)  in Macomb County owned by HUD and able to financed with FHA:

8263 Kennedy Circle in Warren for $23,000
25400 Quarterdeck in Harrison Township for $25,888
30318 Wedgewood Circle in Roseville for $31,000
37292 Charter Oaks in Clinton Township for $36,000

If you are a condo buyer in Macomb County and using FHA for your financing, ask your agent to check the HUD  list of condos for sale. You may find the condo you want in a complex that you didn’t think would work for your financing.

Kris Wales – a partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI
SEARCH Macomb County MI homes for sale
Contact Kris – (586) 536-5453 cell

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Important copyright information: All photos were taken by Kris Wales. Do not copy and use photos for your own use, whether it be for personal or commercial purpose. All articles were written by Kris Wales. Once again, do not copy and use for your own purposes. Important disclaimer: Views expressed on the blog by the author and commenters do not express the views of Keller Williams Realty. All information contained is deemed to be reliable at the time of posting but not guaranteed.