Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 9, 2022

3 Smart Technology Upgrades to Help Sell Your House

If you’re putting your house on the market, you’re likely trying to find every way to increase buyer interest. There are many things you can do to boost home value and attractiveness to potential buyers. One thing that has become increasingly effective in modern home sales is smart technology. If you’re interested in adding some easy smart home upgrades to help your home stand out, here are some suggestions:

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are an easy value-add to your home. Not only is it a convenient feature for future homeowners to have, it comes with the added selling point of being energy-efficient. Smart thermostats can help save a sizable percentage on utilities in several ways. One key way they work is by automatically raising or lowering the temperature in the room based on the amount of activity. Smart thermostats can sense when a room is empty and automatically turn down the heat or AC to save energy.

The ability to connect to smartphones is another major advantage of smart thermostats. Once potential buyers find out they can control their thermostat with just a few buttons on their phone—from anywhere—they’ll be able to imagine themselves making it their new home.

Advanced Smoke & CO Detectors

Smart smoke and CO detectors bring this ubiquitous safety feature to a new level. Not only do they have the latest and greatest in smoke and carbon monoxide detection technologies, they connect to your smartphone. These smart detectors can send you a special emergency alert to your smartphone if they go off. This can help you keep your home and belongings safe when out of the house and also keep housemates and loved ones informed.

Another great function of these smart detectors is they can warn you when the battery is getting low. Getting a text message reminder to change the batteries is much more pleasant than piercing beeps in the middle of the night.

Video Doorbell

Video doorbells are easy to install and have become more affordable even as technology improves. With a video doorbell, you can see and record live footage of your front (or back) door to see who’s knocking. It also lets you see delivery people, so you’ll never miss a dropped off package again. You can connect your video doorbell to a security system to make it easy to alert the authorities in case of an attempted break-in or theft from your porch.

These smart home upgrades are simple to set up and well-worth the money. When potential buyers find out about these new advanced features, your home will stand out in the market.

Posted in Home Tips
Aug. 2, 2022

Using lawn fertilizer in spring & beyond

Many aspects of caring for a lawn are seasonal, like using lawn fertilizer in spring. However, in most climates, fertilizing multiple times a year is the key to a healthy lawn. To help you accomplish your lawn goals, here are some tips for applying lawn fertilizer at the right time:

What’s the best fertilizing schedule?

Many homeowners follow a basic fertilizing schedule suggested by various lawn companies. Here is a basic example:

In early spring, use a lawn fertilizer containing a crabgrass preventer. Crabgrass is one of the most problematic lawn weeds, and stopping the seeds from germinating early in the season can save you time and effort later in the year.

In the early summer, fertilize again with a more general weed control fertilizer. Alternatively, use a herbicide to prevent ground ivy, clover and other common lawn weeds.

Late summer is the perfect time for a “summer-proof” lawn fertilizer. These formulas strengthen the grass against periods of drought and hot temperatures.

Apply a winterizing fertilizer in the fall to prepare your lawn for cold temperatures. Not only will it help keep the lawn healthy during the winter, it can provide essential nutrients to help promote a green lawn in the springtime

Using compost

Compost has excellent advantages as a lawn fertilizer, and maintaining a compost pile means you have a constant supply. It’s worth using compost to help feed your lawn if you have it available. Not only will compost provide a wide range of essential nutrients, it can help improve soil texture.

Many homeowners prefer using compost and other organic fertilizers instead of commercial fertilizers and achieve great results. A hybrid approach is also an exceptional strategy for saving money and growing a more sustainable lawn.

Other lawn fertilizer considerations

Is it necessary to fertilize your lawn so often throughout the year? Many lawn experts argue such heavy feeding can hinder root development and disease resistance of some grass varieties. However, lawn fertilizers also can feed the weeds, potentially increasing the amount of maintenance needed to keep the grass healthy.

Regardless of your ideal lawn fertilizing strategy, it’s important to follow any included instructions and consult local regulations regarding chemical use. The more you know about lawn fertilizers and their use, the better you can care for your lawn.

Posted in Home Tips
July 26, 2022

Energy: 3 Thing to consider about your home's doors

When climate-controlled air escapes or gaps allow non-climate-controlled air inside, heating and cooling system are forced to work overtime. Although frugal people often calculate the cost benefits of replacement windows to reduce energy loss, entry and secondary doors also have a significant effect. A poorly insulated door with even small gaps around the casing can create ongoing drafts. If you are considering replacing an outdated or inefficient door, these are things to consider.

1: Choose an energy-efficient material

Fiberglass doors are widely considered the most energy-efficient because they are poor heat conductors. Materials that absorb energy such as heat and cold transfer it from the outdoors through your door. For example, when the temperatures outside are below freezing, the door radiates those temperatures into the home.

This process might seem like a nominal cost driver, but energy efficiency is about tightening heat and cold losses. Following fiberglass, vinyl, steel and wood provide energy efficiency in descending order.

2: Glass panes can be energy efficient

Although glass conducts heat and cold easily, this facet does not necessarily mean home, and commercial building owners should avoid them. The ability to see outside and the infusion of natural light into the space also provide value.

Just like windows, doors panes offer varying degrees of energy efficiency. When selecting a product that serves your needs, conduct some due diligence about glass ratings.

3: Material fluctuations cause energy loss

One of the reasons industry professionals typically rank fiberglass, vinyl, and steel ahead of wooden doors stems from expansion and contraction. Wood suffers swelling and tightening far more than the other materials, which means cold weather generally causes the door to shrink and allows increased drafts to leak in. Wooden doors enjoy natural beauty, but the heat loss can be significant.

When choosing the best door for your needs, energy efficiency ranks among many factors. A sound decision also weighs appearance, durability, security, cost and other items. The right door helps reduce utility bills and makes homeowners feel good in many ways.

Posted in Home Tips
July 19, 2022

Seller Tips: How to Prepare for Home Inspections

Preparing your home for sale is a complicated process. Home inspections are a key part of that process, and many buyers and sellers aren't sure what to expect. As a seller, it can be your best chance to negotiate pricing and terms with your potential buyer as well as identify any major issues that could be deal-breakers. Here's what sellers can expect from a home inspection:

What Will the Home Inspector Look For?

A home inspector will carefully evaluate the condition of your home's features. This includes major systems like heating, air conditioning, electrical and interior plumbing. They'll also examine the roof, walls (inside and out), ceilings, floors, doors and windows. Basements and attics are also on the list, as are major structural components like beams, pillars and the foundation.

There are also special home inspections for specific things like mold, termite damage and detailed foundation reports. These extra inspection reports can be optional, but be prepared for a buyer to request them.

How Can I Prepare for a Home Inspection?

The best way to get a complete and detailed report is to make the home inspector's job as simple and efficient as possible. Here are some things to consider doing to prepare:

  • Provide clearly-labeled keys for things like basement storage and electrical panels.
  • Turn on the pilot lights for fireplaces and furnaces to make it easier to check the heating components.
  • Remove or tidy anything that could prevent access to the basement, attic or other parts of the house. This includes providing easy access to appliances that are usually hidden away, like water heaters, HVAC units and furnaces.
  • Keep the yard neat for the inspector to access crawl spaces, drainage points and examine the foundation. You don't need to completely redo your landscaping, but cleaing the area of debris will help the inspector do their job.

Use the inspection report as an opportunity to improve your chances of selling your property and getting the best price possible.

Posted in Home Tips
July 13, 2022

Trends to inspire your next floor project

If you’re interested in bringing your interior design skills to the cutting edge, consider the latest trends in flooring for your next floor project. While it’s common to replace or refurbish floors due to necessity, changing the aesthetics of the floor can impact the entire space. If you’re planning a floor project, here are some of the top trends from design experts to consider:

Black floors

Using black floors in a design can be divisive, but there’s no question about the bold statement black floors can make in a space. Black floors work well in contemporary designed spaces and floor projects where black is otherwise used as an accent for contrast.

Black floors are also perfect for an art deco styled space, especially with luxurious high-shine finishes. You can explore this trend with tile flooring, luxury vinyl plank flooring or wood flooring. No matter which direction you plan to take your design, black flooring is a trendy option for a floor project.

Bamboo floors

Bamboo has been a favorite building material among designers for a while, but bamboo flooring in particular has never been a hotter trend. Bamboo is well-loved for being eco-friendly and durable. Many homeowners choose bamboo because it can have the same aesthetic appeal as hardwood floors at a much lower cost. Whether it’s to be on-trend or simply to improve sustainability, consider high-quality bamboo for your DIY flooring project.

Cork floors

Though a more recent trend in flooring materials, cork is an excellent option to consider for your floor project. Similarly to bamboo, cork is a sustainable building material with very little waste. It’s less expensive than wood floors and easier to maintain, but the most popular aspect of cork is the texture.

Cork is soft, comfortable and an exceptional shock absorber. The unique texture makes cork a trendy choice for kitchen floors, bathroom floors and commercial spaces.

Trends are constantly changing, and ultimately, your choice of flooring is your preference. However, if you’re interested in the latest interior design trends, consider these options for your next floor project at home.

Posted in Home Tips
May 9, 2022

Plant Care Hacks for Happier Houseplants

Even the most seasoned gardeners and houseplant lovers learn new things. While we might thoroughly understand the basics of plant care, every plant is different. It can get overwhelming trying to keep track of each plant’s specific needs, but luckily there are some tricks for making your life easier in caring for them.

Here are some of the best plant care hacks for you to try.

Make a DIY Watering Can With a Milk Jug

Watering cans are the classic tool to hydrate your houseplants, but they don’t work for everyone. Long-necked watering cans with large spouts can be awkward both for small plants and in small spaces, leading to spillage or worse. One great alternative is to make your own watering vessel out of an old gallon milk jug. By heating a needle and piercing holes in the plastic cap, you can make a gentle shower of water rather than a single powerful stream. What’s even better is that milk jugs are smaller, making them easier to maneuver and store when you’re finished.

Use Coffee Filters to Prevent Soil Leakage

Pots with drainage holes are crucial to healthy houseplants. However, one common issue with drainage holes is that they can become blocked by compacted soil or small pieces of organic matter. This prevents drainage and can lead to problems for the soil and the plant. The opposite may also occur: soil may fall out of the bottom of the pot when you water your plants and make a muddy mess. The best way to solve both problems is to place a coffee filter in the pot's bottom before you add soil. Coffee filters will allow moisture to pass through but keep any soil from blocking or falling through the drainage hole.

Treat Problems With Common Household Products

If you encounter a pest or other problem with a houseplant, check your own cupboards before rushing off to buy expensive chemical products. You can fix many common plant issues with products you may already have in your home. One example is using a hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect and treat root rot. You can also mix up a weaker solution to drench the soil and kill any fungus or pests that might be hiding. Another example of a common household item you can use to help your plants is in your spice cabinet. Sprinkling cinnamon on the soil will kill fungus and deter ants. In your outdoor garden, it will keep even more pests away including rodents and slugs.

Rotate Rather Than Move

It’s important to remember that plants are stationary in their natural environment. Once rooted, a plant is going to stay in one spot unless an outside force removes it. This is one major reason you should avoid moving your houseplants around. It may be tempting to move plants around for decorative purposes or even based on the weather, but doing so can cause stress and stunt growth among other problems. Find a suitable spot for your plant and leave it there, giving it a chance to acclimate to the environment. However, one thing you should do is rotate your plants to help them grow evenly. Leaves and stems will grow towards a light source, so if your plant is next to a window you may find it leaning in that direction. To prevent this, and keep them growing evenly, give your plants a one-quarter turn once every two weeks to disperse the light.

 

These are just a few gardening hacks to help you care for your plants. It’s common to learn best practices through trial and error, but these tips will give you the advantage.

April 19, 2022

How to Improve Your Home's Value With These Plumbing Projects

It's easy to forget about your plumbing as you are planning your home improvement and maintenance schedule. With pipes tucked away behind your walls and generally functioning as they should be, they are often overlooked. However, it's important to consider home improvement projects that will protect and enhance your plumbing, as this will ensure that everything is always running smoothly — quite literally — and your home maintains its value.

Here are some plumbing home improvement projects to consider:

Add Insulation to Your Pipes

Foam insulation can be installed on top of the water pipes in your home to prevent heat from escaping the pipes. Foam insulation not only helps you enjoy a warm shower in a shorter amount of time, but it also will reduce your energy costs and decrease the amount of water that you use inside your home. It is a cheap, easy and sustainable home improvement project that will improve your plumbing.

Install a New Toilet

If your toilet is more than 10 or 15 years old, then it may be time to consider replacing it. An old, out-of-date toilet is going to be less efficient than the newer models, and is going to put more strain on your drains. A low-flush toilet will save you money and reduce your water consumption, all while preserving your pipes.

Caulk the Bathtub

The caulk around the tub may deteriorate with time, so it's important to re-caulk the tub every once in a while. This will prevent water from seeping into the caulk and building up underneath the tub

Fix Broken Pipes as Quickly as Possible

When you address a leaking pipe quickly, you will prevent significant damage from occurring in your home. In some cases, you can patch the pipe, but if the break is more severe, a plumber may need to fix the pipe for you.

Fix a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet in the kitchen or bathroom may not seem like a big deal, but you lose a lot of water with those constant drips and drops. By fixing a leaky faucet, you reduce your water consumption and prevent further issues with your plumbing.

Most of these projects are simple and affordable improvements that will help you protect the plumbing in your home. By preserving your plumbing, you will continue adding value to your home while simultaneously preventing an emergency situation from occurring in the future.

Posted in Market Updates
April 15, 2022

913 Mckeighan Ave, Flint, MI 48507 is now new to the market!

913 Mckeighan Ave, Flint, MI 48507 is now new to the market!

by Prime Real Estate Group 04/14/2022

913 Mckeighan Ave, Flint, MI 48507
SINGLE FAMILYFor Sale
$65,000
913 Mckeighan Ave
Flint, MI 48507
Courtesy of Prime Real Estate Group
MLS: East Central Association of REALTORS
3Beds
1Bath
1,772Sq Ft
EST. MORTGAGE
$436/mo

Cute 3 bedroom 1 bath ranch home with ample storage in need of a little TLC located in Flint. Great for adding your own personal touch! Make it yours today!

Posted in Market Updates
April 12, 2022

The basics of a 15-year fixed mortgage

Prospective homebuyers and current homeowners know that a mortgage is likely to go hand-in-hand with your home, unless another arrangement has been made. However, there are many options available for those monthly mortgage payments, most commonly through 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 15-year fixed rate mortgages.

Most know about the 30-year option, but what about the 15-year fixed mortgage?

Here’s a quick guide to three of the top questions surrounding a 15-year mortgage:

Who is applicable for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage?

Most homeowners and potential homebuyers can be eligible for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage. The qualifications will follow those set forth by your mortgage lender and can vary based on the property you find or your personal financial situation.

For those who have a secure investment and savings future and proven income stability, you may be more likely to gain a mortgage with a 15-year payoff. Likewise, you may have a limited pool of housing options available, since the loan is likely to be a bit smaller than your average 30-year mortgage.

What are the interest rates like?

Interest rates for a 15-year fixed mortgage may be lower than those of a standard 30-year mortgage. This is typically because you’re voluntarily paying higher monthly payments and have signed off on paying your loan in full within the 15-year period.

What will my monthly payments look like?

Because the loan term is shorter, your monthly mortgage payment may be larger by up to 50% (or more, depending on the loan) of what it would have originally been in a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, larger doesn’t have to be scary.

 

For those with a secure financial future, excellent financial health and who may not need as much property for their plans or lifestyle, a 15-year mortgage is more than an adequate option. Like a 30-year mortgage, you’ll want to ensure you’re ready for the larger monthly payments, applicable interest rate and quick-building equity that a 15-year fixed mortgage provides.

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates