June 12th, 2017 by homehappily

Today, maintaining good personal credit is more important than ever.

A secured credit card can help in rebuilding credit, or help to build new credit for individuals just starting out. The First Progress Platinum MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is a full-feature Platinum MasterCard® with a credit line based on a security deposit rather than on a credit score.

The card is designed to advance the accumulation of new information in a credit file, by reporting account activity to all three of the major national credit bureaus every month. Since it is a full-feature Platinum MasterCard®, the card provides the convenience and prestige of the worldwide MasterCard® system.

I can offer you this card, along with many other credit restoration, repair, building and education through Financial Education Services, a company I represent as a credit specialist.

Follow the link to learn more about the secured credit card 

Follow the link to learn more about all the credit services I offer

Posted in Buying, Credit Repair Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

March 9th, 2017 by homehappily

If you haven’t heard, the Michigan Dower Right has been abolished and it goes into effect on April 7, 2017. See my previous blog post with more details and links to info.

What does this mean to you? If your spouse is not on the title of your home, you need to get that person added ASAP, otherwise — if you die after April 7 — your spouse has no claim to the property.

Here’s what to do: Have your lawyer do a Michigan Quit Claim Deed for you and then record it with your County’s Register of Deeds by April 7. Of course, you can do this after April 7, but if you croak before you get it recorded, your property goes into probate, instead of to your spouse.

You don’t have to use an attorney to prepare a quit claim deed in Michigan. A Michigan quit claim deed form is very simple to complete on your own – you can do it yourself and save money. However, there is no substitute for good legal advice.

I found the free fillible e-form below. This site also seemed like a good resource.

Michigan Quit Claim Deed Form

 

Posted in Homeowners, Property Law Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

February 23rd, 2017 by homehappily

So, you’re thinking about buying a home. Whether you’re a first time buyer, or you just need a brush up, here’s your Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home. Please let me know if you have questions!

Sylvia’s Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home from Sylvia Dana

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Buying Tagged with: , , , , ,

February 7th, 2017 by homehappily

Perhaps you’ve decided, or circumstances have decided for you, that you’re losing your home to foreclosure.

If foreclosure is imminent or you’ve recently gone through a foreclosure, the next step is to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next.

The first stop is easy. Just breath. Take a big sigh of relief. Then, inhale the positive energy and exhale the negative. You more than likely have been dealing with a lot of stress over the last few months, and everything you’ve been dreading and fighting agains is upon you. But, it’s not the end.

Yes, there is life after foreclosure. I don’t mean you get to just walk away and forget it. Instead, this is a time of reflection, evaluation, rebuilding.

I’m Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

It might not be easy. In fact — if you’re lucky — this might be the worse thing you’ll ever have to go through. Yes, there are worse things than foreclosures. Still, the next few months will require “pull up your bootstraps” kind of effort to get yourself to the next step. I’ve compiled a list below of what you’ll need to think about now, beginning with where to live…

If you know you’re facing foreclosure, but a sheriff sale hasn’t taken place on your home yet, you still might have options instead of foreclosure. Read my recent post “Facing Property Foreclosure & How to Fix It.”

Your Obligations and Options After Foreclosure:

Live in the Home – If your state provides a redemption period after the sale, you often have the right to live in the home payment-free during this time period. For example, in Michigan, most homeowners get a six-month redemption period (up to a year in some cases) during which time they can live in the home.

Redeem the Home – Some states permit a foreclosed homeowner to buy back the home within a certain period of time after the sale. This is called a redemption period. To redeem the home, you would have to pay the total purchase price, plus interest, and any allowable costs, to the purchaser who bought it at the foreclosure sale. (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.) In order to redeem, the former homeowner has to come up with another source of financing. However, getting a bank to lend you money after a foreclosure can be very difficult, even if you have a steady income, since your credit score will have taken a bit hit.

Move Out or Get Evicted – If you don’t move out after the purchaser gets title to the home (typically either after the sale or after the redemption period), the new owner (often the foreclosing party, i.e. the bank) will start eviction proceedings to remove you from the property.

Rent – Most people become renters after experiencing a foreclosure – purchasing another house right away is usually not feasible. However, since a foreclosure appears on your credit report and most landlords check credit reports, finding a rental is not always a piece of cake either. The best thing to do is be honest and up-front with potential landlords. Explain why you were unable to keep up with your mortgage payments, and why paying your rent won’t be a problem (e.g., your mortgage payment increased and the rent is much lower, you were out of work for six months but have a job now). If you have a positive payment history for other bills, such as a car loan or utilities, mention it. Offering a higher security deposit, if you have the cash, or a co-signer with a positive credit history can also help. (They don’t have to live with you – just sign the lease, which makes them on the hook for rent payments if you don’t pay. Of course, you’ll need to find someone who is willing to be a co-signer.) Individual landlords are often more flexible and willing to overlook a foreclosure than a management company running a large apartment complex.

Understand the Deficiency Balance – The deficiency balance is the difference between the balance remaining on your mortgage and what the lender is able to get for the property. So if you owed $325,000 on your mortgage and the house sold for $200,000, you would have a deficiency balance of $125,000. In Michigan, the lender may obtain a deficiency judgment following a nonjudicial foreclosure, but the borrower can contest the amount of the deficiency if: the lender was the purchaser at the foreclosure sale, and the foreclosure sale price was substantially less than the fair market value of the property.

It is possible that you will be sued and your wages garnished. You can apply for a hardship exemption to stop garnishment, although this can be difficult to get. Filing for bankruptcy is another way to stop garnishment, but it will further damage your credit report. It is also possible that the lender may be willing to set up a payment plan or forgive the deficiency balance. In general, the IRS considers forgiven debt income, and requires you to pay taxes on it. However, under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, you do not have to pay taxes on a forgiven deficiency balance if the home was your primary residence and the mortgage was used to build, purchase, or improve the home. (Refinanced mortgages are covered to the extent of the balance on the original mortgage at the time of the refinance.) Resource: Filing Bankruptcy Before or After Foreclosure

Consider Your Next Tax Bill – Uncle Sam always wants a cut, and it’s no different when you go through a foreclosure. It comes as a shock to many people, but the federal government considers a forgiven debt as a form of income, which means you might have to pay income tax on a foreclosure.

Repair Your Credit – The first step on the road to recovery is to start repairing your credit. The best way to repair your credit is to continue using credit, but make sure you keep up to date with your payments. People often make the mistake of closing credit lines or cutting up credit cards when their scores take a major hit. But shunning credit altogether only leaves a large gap in your credit history, which is nearly as troubling to lenders as a bad credit history.

Learn to Budget and Save – Regardless of whether you are a millionaire or making minimum wage, the foundation of financial success is the same – budgeting. Budgeting means analyzing what you have coming in, then developing a reasonable and goal-oriented plan for what goes out. Essentially, a budget is a tool that can help you make the most of your money. One of the best things you can do to prepare for the unexpected is to save. With savings, you don’t have to put car repairs or medical bills on your credit card or worry about how you will pay your rent or electric bill if you lose your job. Set yourself up for success by making saving an automatic process via direct deposit through work and periodic automatic transfer of funds from your checking account to your savings account.

Think About the Next Home You’ll Own – Repairing your credit is only one part of the waiting game. You’ll still need to find a lender willing to offer you a mortgage. Unfortunately, after a foreclosure, many lenders will give you the cold shoulder. However, there are some government-backed loans that can help speed up the process. For many people, an FHA loan will be the quickest path back to homeownership. After a foreclosure, the government body requires a three-year waiting period before you can qualify for another FHA-backed loan.

Related Links:

Short Sales and Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure

What to Expect Once You Decide to Let Your Foreclosure Proceed

Your Options After the Foreclosure

How to Bounce Back After Foreclosure

Life After Foreclosure

Deficiency Judgements After Foreclosure in Michigan

 
Get Your Free Home Value Now!
 
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
 
 
MY REVIEWS
 
 
 
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        
 

Posted in FHA Loans, Foreclosure, Selling Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 2nd, 2016 by homehappily

Update: This property SOLD for $158,000 on January 26, 2017

Just-listed, ranch-style, 4-bedroom, 1.5 bath home on quiet street. This listing package includes open house information, listing features, videos, flyers and related links.

4161 Janet Drive, Dorr MI 49323 – $159,900 – MLS#16058784


Open House:  1-3 pm., this Sunday, Dec. 44161 Janet Drive, Dorr MI 49323 – $159,900 – MLS#16058784

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-12-53-19-pm
Click to download Open House Flyer PDF


 

See this video on my YouTube Channel SheSellsGR


Listing Features:

  • Original wood floors throughout main living area
  • Wood laminate in kitchen, master and basement
  • Creative and practical updates, including reclaimed-wood trim and industrial lighting in the
  • Finished basement with bar, family room and rec are
  • 2-car attached garage; storage shed
  • Roof, 7 yrs old; heating and septic systems, 2 yrs old
  • Room for camper storage
  • Less than 1.5 miles from US 131
  • Two exits away from Tanger Outlets or Gun Lake Casino
  • Get to Lake Michigan shore in Holland in under 30 minutes
  • Dorr’s newest hotspot 5 Lakes Brewery opening in Dec. 2016
  • Home is wired for a generator; garage has 220 outlet installed

See this listing on my website SheSellsGR.com


I'm Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

I’m Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

Posted in Buying, Listings, Open Houses Tagged with: , , , , ,

November 26th, 2016 by homehappily

Are you looking to buy a home? Sell a home? Or do you just love houses? If so, you might try visiting some open houses to get your feet wet and see what’s out there.

I’ve compiled a  map list of open houses (http://bit.ly/2ghnAWl) taking place Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, within the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ok, so I’m only a little bit impressed with myself for doing this. Along with the address, I also included the times, prices, bed and bath numbers in the description. They are in order of the earliest starting open house times to the latest closing times. However, these mapped locations aren’t in order for the most efficient route. I’ll figure out how to do this better in the future, but I think it’s a good start.

Click on the image to get to the Google Map. If you have questions about any of these properties, please contact me.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-3-52-03-pm

I'm Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

I’m Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com or contact me.

 

Posted in Buying, Open Houses, Selling Tagged with: , , , ,

November 26th, 2016 by homehappily

I took some buyers to see a house recently. It was my first showing. New to the real estate business, I shadowed another realtor. We arrived early and took a look at the house before the buyers arrived.

We opened the front door and walked in to what looked to me like either a natural history museum or a serial killer’s trophy room. It was filled with 30+ dead animal heads hanging on the walls, a pair of stuffed coyotes and a zebra rug. Maybe this kind of entrance would impress you. But for me, it was a turn off. It just wasn’t my thing. Especially being an animal lover, animal rights supporter and vegan, it really was not my thing.

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When it comes to staging your home for buyers, be sure to remove items that speak strongly to your personality.

Say, for instance, you’re a college football fan. Your team is Michigan, but you walk into a room filled with Ohio State paraphernalia. Or maybe you are creeped out by clowns and “Chuckie” movies, but during your house hunt, your realtor walks you into a room filled with clown dolls, marionettes and mannequins  — staring, smiling…waiting.

You get the idea. Theses types of environments might trigger such an emotional response you cringe and want to turn around and walk out, never to return and certainly not to buy that home.

So, rule No. 1 I’ve learned so far about home selling: When it comes to staging your home for buyers, be sure to remove items that speak strongly to your personality or lifestyle.You’ve got to depersonalize. Your space for sale should be more neutral, appealing to a wide variety of buyers, allowing a buyer to be able to envision their own style in their potential new home.

If you’re listing your home for sale, there are three simple things you can do to depersonalize and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

The following three items are described in detail in the article “What is depersonalization? Stage your home to appeal to buyers” , published on “Blue Matter,” Coldwell Banker’s blog.

  1. Neutralize – By removing personal items such as pictures and framed degrees along with utilizing neutral colors, it is much easier for home buyers to see how their own furniture and personal style would mesh with the house they are viewing. Placing neutral-colored throw pillows on your couch and having complementary wall colors and window treatments, you create an inviting space for people of all tastes.
  2. Clean – Have your home thoroughly cleaned before showing it. A clean home is much more inviting and appealing to potential buyers than a home with dust, clutter, and dirt. Be sure to tidy up every morning or evening. For example, unwashed dishes in the sink, an unmade bed, and dirty laundry overflowing in a laundry basket are unappealing.
  3. Extra Touches
    • Make sure the trashcans are empty and the toilet lids are down. Remember to stow away grooming items such as makeup, toothbrushes and shaving kits.
    • Turn on some lights. In rooms without windows or rooms with heavy drapes, turn on lamps and recessed lights. An adequately lit home is warm and comforting to buyers.
    • Place flower arrangements in communal spaces such as kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. Fresh flowers bring a cozy, earthy feel into a home without being too personal.
    • Consider using mild air fresheners throughout your home, especially near trashcans, pet areas, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Avoid overpowering fragrances, though, as they may distract buyers.

By depersonalizing your home and appealing to a broad range of buyers, you increase the likelihood of receiving a viable offer and decrease the likelihood that your home will sit on the market for an extended period.

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Selling Tagged with: , , , , , , ,