Consumer Confidence in Economy & Housing is Soaring

Consumer Confidence in Economy & Housing is Soaring | Simplifying The Market

The success of the housing market is strongly tied to the consumer’s confidence in the overall economy. For that reason, we believe 2017 will be a great year for real estate. Here is just a touch of the news coverage on the subject.


“Consumers’ faith in the housing market is stronger than it’s ever been before, according to a newly released survey from Fannie Mae.”


“Americans’ confidence continued to mount last week as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached the highest point in a decade on more-upbeat assessments about the economy and buying climate.”

Yahoo Finance:

“Confidence continues to rise among America’s consumers…the latest consumer sentiment numbers from the University of Michigan showed that in March confidence rose again.”


“U.S. consumers are the most confident in the U.S. economy in 15 years, buoyed by the strongest job market since before the Great Recession. The survey of consumer confidence rose…according to the Conference Board, the private company that publishes the index. That’s the highest level since July 2001.”

Ivy Zelman, in her recent Z Report, probably best capsulized the reports:

“The results were incredibly strong and…offer one of the most positive consumer takes on housing since the recovery started.”

Source: KMC

Looking to Move-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

Looking to Move-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time! | Simplifying The Market

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control. 

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

Source: KMC

Millionaire to Millennials: Buy Now!

Millionaire to Millennials: Buy Now! | Simplifying The Market

Self-made millionaire David Bach was quoted in a CNBC article explaining that “the single biggest mistake millennials are making” is not purchasing a home because buying real estate is “an escalator to wealth.”

Bach went on to explain:

“If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none. The average homeowner to this day is 38 times wealthier than a renter.”

In his bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” Bach does the math:

“As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over the years ($1,500 a month for 30 years comes to $540,000), and in the end wind up just where you started — owning nothing. Or you can buy a house and spend the same amount paying down a mortgage, and in the end wind up owning your own home free and clear!”

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.

He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show appearing more than 100 times, has been a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS, and has been profiled in many major publications, including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

Source: KMC

Renting or Buying… Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage

Renting or Buying… Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage | Simplifying The Market

There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained this month in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.23% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

Source: KMC

How Low Supply & High Demand Impacts the Real Estate Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Low Supply & High Demand Impacts the Real Estate Market [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The concept of Supply & Demand is a simple one. The best time to sell something is when the supply of that item is low & the demand for that item is high!
  • Anything under a 6-month supply is a Seller’s Market!
  • There has not been a 6-months inventory supply since August 2012!
  • Buyer Demand continues to outpace Seller Supply!

Source: KMC

HOW TO: The Perfect Home Search

Being a home buyer in a sellers market is challenging. Low on market inventory forces multiple buyers to fight over the same home, frequently resulting in multiple offer bidding wars.  As a buyer, you need to be ready to jump on an opportunity when it presents. If you’ve started implementing my “5-Steps” then you’re on your way!

When to Be Picky

There are a few things you “Must Have” in your home search and these are going to be the key items we look for. These are things you can’t very easily change after buying the house;
1. The Location
2. The Size
3. The Price
Three items will be the heart of your search. From there you may have some things you really really want, and depending on #1,2, and 3 these are usually easy to find;
4. A Basement
5. A Garage
6. Specific Construction (A Ranch, A Colonial, Etc)

When Not to Be Picky

Focus on what you can’t change. If you need a basement, you can’t add one later. But restricting yourself to only looking at homes with a finished basement WILL hinder your search & cut your possibilities in half. The same goes for things like fireplaces, decks, air conditioners, and cosmetic items.

Know when to comprimise will make your house hunt much less frusterating. We get a lot of calls from buyers that just can’t find what their looking for and a lot of times it takes going through the search criteria and making a “must have” vs “nice to have” list.  You’d be surprised at how many more results pop up.

I always say, if you can get 4 out of the 5 things you wanted, then you won!

Closing Costs: What a buyer can expect to pay

Fire Safety is Key during Winter Months!

There have already been several home first this winter season. The frigid temps and potential for power outages bring on additional risks. In addition to have working smoke detectors through-out your entire home, please use additional safety measures including but not limited to;

  • Never leave space heathers unattended or on overnight
  • Don’t burn anything except dry seasoned wood in your fireplace
  • Make sure your chimney flue is open and unobstructed
  • Ashes can remain hot for days, remove and store in a noncombustible container outside of the house
  • Never leave candles unattended
  • Keep generators as far away from the structure as possible
  • Plug on 1 heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time
  • Keep flammable objects at least 3 feet from heat sources

Also, make sure you have an escape plan in the unfortunate even of a house fire. Doors and windows should never be blocked.

Stay safe and warm this winter!

5 Deal Killers when Selling your Home

Sometimes when selling your home its good to take a step back and see if from a buyers perspective. A lot of time, since we live in our homes, we don’t see all the little things that may be big things to buyers. This is a good place to start;

Home Sale Deal Killers

1. Clean! Not just your weekly dust-up routing. Take everything off the counters and scrub. Get down on the floors and clean the baseboards so their nice and white. Make sure to vacuum up corners and trim. Believe it or not, buyers will open cabinets to see how spacious they are, if they are yucky in side, buyers will think you may not take such great care of the house. Silly I know, but they will probably open the fridge for a look too, make sure its spic and span. For a few hundred dollars you can hire a house-cleaner to come in and do a “sales clean” and we highly suggest this, as they see and know all the area’s we commonly miss in our routine cleaning.
The biggest problem area’s we see:
– White Light Switches covered in finger smudges
– White Appliances covered in finder smudges
– Pet Hair & Dust collecting around the moldings
– Crumbs behind appliances on counters
– Toothpaste splatters on mirrors
– Fido’s nose smudges on windows
– Dusty Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures

2. Fix the Wear and Tear. While normal wear and tear is expected when buying a used house, you want to fix or clean as much as you can. One of the biggest things I see are rub/streaks on walls from shoes, kids toys, and what not. You know, the black lines that seem to accumulate on your walls. A buyers immediate reaction will be “I have to repaint this whole house” and they will move onto the next one. Outlet Covers, for a very small amount of money, you can replace all the outlet covers and light switch covers with shiny new white ones, it will make a huge difference. You want your house to look like you really love and take care of it.

3. Smells. This is a tricky one. Smoking in the house is an obvious no-no when you’re trying to sell, but there are two more big problems areas as well. Cooking and Pets. If your going to be making a delicious Italian feast full of garlic and herbs, first invite me over, but next, air out the house. You will get used to the smell because you’re there, but it will linger. Fish, Onions, and Garlic are huge nemeses. Pet odors are hard, make febreeze your best friend, and if you can have a professional come in to clean the carpets. Don’t go too crazy with air fresheners though. Walking into a house with strong air fresheners in every room is almost worst than the original odor and make it appear your covering something up. Stick to things labeled “odor eliminator” which are typically very gentle and made up of baking soda.

4. Poor Curb Appeal. More specifically your lawn and flower beds, seasonally permitting of course. Flower beds need to be clean and manicured regularly. Overgrown gardens and beds look like a lot of work to buyers, and in turn make it look like a lot of up keep. If they’re gorgeously manicured, it looks easy to maintain. Additionally, keep your lawn green and watered. It will make your home show much better.

5. Personalization. Not everyone has the same taste as you. If you’ve painted vibrant colors or put up wall paper, taking it down / re-painting will likely be cheaper than the hit you will take on the sales price of your home.  While a lot of buyers are going to repaint anyway, it makes the job look a lot more difficult if they have to cover up hot pink walls. Cut your decor and art down by half, packing it up now with save you time when you have to move, and make your house look larger. Keep your decor neutral and simple. “Pottery Barn Perfect” is a term frequently used in Real Estate.

I know a lot of this may seem like a challenge, and we do realize you still have to live in your house while selling, but these quick and simple steps WILL make a huge difference on both how fast your home sells and how much it sells for.

Margo Borkin
Real Estate One
$14,000,000 Sold in 2014
6960 Orchard Lake #150 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 | 248-419-3160 |
2014 Hour Magazine ALL STAR – Presidents Council of Excellence
Website ::: Facebook ::: Twitter ::: Google+ ::: Linked In ::: Blog ::: Pinterest

© Margo Borkin Real Estate
If you’re viewing this information on a site owned by someone other than Margo Borkin Real Estate, it has been stolen. Please report to us here.

Year End Market Update Recap

All last week we brought you city by city year end market updates, if you missed any, let’s sum it up!

  • Click “Market Updates” Above to View them All
  • Click “Community Info” and Choose your City to view just yours

2014 was another productive year in Real Estate growth. Oakland County as a whole is up about 17% from last year. While there were about 4000 less homes sold in 2014 as compared to 2013, the average sales price is up from $109,000 to $131,000. The time it takes to sell a home has improved also down to 41 days from 66 in 2013! This data is through November 2014, as Decembers #’s aren’t published until mid-late January, but should be relatively the same.

Royal Oak had the most total home sales coming in over 1200 not even including condo sales! The highest average sales price was found in Birmingham at $535,000 and they also take the cake for highest average price per square foot at $235/SqFt. The city quickest to sell was Bingham Farms with an average days on market of only 36! The highest sales price in our market area was in Orchard Lake at $4,300,000. Most all homes sold with-in 5% of their asking price.

Here is the National Association of Realtors predictions for the new year;



Photo Credit: Realtor.Org


Margo Borkin
Real Estate One
$14,000,000 Sold in 2014
6960 Orchard Lake #150 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 | 248-419-3160 |
2014 Hour Magazine ALL STAR – Presidents Council of Excellence
Website ::: Facebook ::: Twitter ::: Google+ ::: Linked In ::: Blog ::: Pinterest

© Margo Borkin Real Estate
If you’re viewing this information on a site owned by someone other than Margo Borkin Real Estate, it has been stolen. Please report to us here.


Buying a House in Michigan? What closing costs can you expect to pay.

Buying a House in Michigan

Are you thinking about buying a house in Michigan? Deciding to buy a house, especially for the first time, can be a very intimidating process! So much to think about and to plan out. So many questions to have answered.

One frequently asked question is what exactly do I have to pay to buy a house? Fortunately, most of the cost of selling and transferring the property is paid for by the seller. As a buyer, the bulk of your costs are pro-rated reimbursements and mortgage costs.

Your lender can give you a closing cost estimate based on the purchase price and probable taxes for the area you are looking.
You can ask them for this with your pre-approval.

Property Taxes

In Michigan, We pay our property taxes in advance. You have your city & county taxes, one due July 1st each year covering July 1 – June 30th the following year, and one due December 1st covering December 1st – Nov 30th of the following year. Because of this, when you close on a house you must reimburse the seller for the taxes they’ve already paid. The title company pro-rates the taxes by computing the daily rate, and then multiplies it by the number of days you will own the home, to calculate how much you will owe the seller at closing.

Pre-Paid Utilities

In cities where you pre-pay for things like garbage collection, this will also be prorated like Taxes so that you pay for the days you own the property, and the seller pays for the days they own the property.

Condo Fee’s

If you are purchasing a condo or house with association fee, this is another item that will be prorated at closing since it is typically paid in advance. You will pay for the days you will own the condo and the seller pays for the days they will.

Closing Fee

As a buyer, you pay a closing fee to the title company to prepare paperwork and close the transaction. This fee is typically $450-$550, maybe a little less if it is a cash purchase.

Buyers Agent Transaction Fee

Your agent will be paid their commission through the seller on a traditional listing. Most buyers brokers charge a small transaction fee which covers the storage or your transaction documents so that a copy will always be available should you need it. Our fee is $325.

Lenders Title Insurance

While the seller is responsible for owners title insurance which protects you against any undetected defects in title, your lender will also require you purchase a policy of title insurance to protect the loan they are giving you. Lenders title insurance costs are based on the purchase price.

Recording Charges

As a buyer, you pay the costs to records your new deed and new mortgage if applicable. The cost from the County is per page and is usually about $100 for a deed & mortgage.

Mortgage Costs

Your largest expense closing cost wise will be your mortgage costs. These cost fluctuate based on your credit, your purchase price, the type of loan, etc. So this is something you have to speak with a loan office for, to go over your specific situation. That’s why, the first step in the home buying process is always to get pre-approved. Then you know exactly where you stand, and how much money you can expect to need at closing.

Down Payment

Your down payment is typically your largest expense. Unless you qualify for a VA loan your down payment will range from 1% to 20% depending on the loan type you go with

Most loan programs allow you to roll your closing costs into you mortgage so long as the properties appraisal value allows enough equity to do so, which is a great option if you are hoping to keep some cash in the bank to do property repairs and cosmetic upgrades. In many situations, buyers are able to come to the closing table only having to pay their down payment, with the rest of their closing costs financed!

If you have any questions about the buying process or are ready to start looking, feel free to contact me at anything. For a home buyers outline please visit my Michigan Buyers Resource Center and if you would like to get set up on a MLS property search — Click the Find My Dream Home tag on my website.

HOW TO: The Perfect Home Search