How Seniors Can Jumpstart Their House Flipping Careers

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How Seniors Can Jumpstart Their House Flipping Careers

After retiring from their jobs, some seniors go on to a second career in a different field. More than 20% of people over 65 look for new opportunities. One exciting opportunity that may be perfect for a senior like you with a flexible schedule is house flipping. Here is how you can get started in this venture, presented below by Michigan Homes and Cottages.

Define Your Business Brand

House flippers are business entrepreneurs. If you are just starting a new company, you should think about how you want to structure your new house-flipping business. You should also name your company, establish yourself as an LLC and create an eye-catching logo so contractors, clients, and real estate pros take you seriously. Then, you can use your logo and branded colors to create banners that you can use across all of your marketing platforms. The best part is that the process is inexpensive, if not free, thanks to an online banner generator tool that allows you to add your own graphics and text-color combos.

Find the Ideal Property

The first step to making a profit in house flipping is finding the ideal property. You may want to partner with a skilled real estate agent who can help navigate the wild house-buying market.

Educate Yourself About a Potential Fixer-Upper

Some house flippers go for a cheap fixer-upper when buying a property. Be cautious when considering a fixer-upper. These homes can be a bargain, but they often come with high costs for repairs and renovations. Look for big issues, like water damage, foundation cracks, or outdated electrical systems. Get an estimate for remodeling costs and then add 20 percent more, especially if your property requires major work like electrical repairs, HVAC upgrades and repairs, foundation improvements, or asbestos or mold removal.

Qualify for a Mortgage

Next, you’ll need to get a mortgage for your property investment purchase. Work with a trusted mortgage broker to help you find the right loan for your needs. When applying for mortgages, you’ll have to provide a lot of information and documentation. To do this efficiently, select a PDF merger tool online to combine all the digital information into one file. Then you won’t have to bother with collective several files for each application.

Remodel the Kitchen

After the purchase, it’s time to start your renovations. A kitchen remodel can boost the property’s final sale price. Find a competent plumber who is licensed and insured to help replace or repair pipes. Plumbers may charge you between $45 and $150 per hour according to NIR Plumbing. Check out each plumber’s reviews and ratings before booking them for a job.

Renovate the Bathrooms

Bathroom renovations can help increase the home’s value. Buyers want bathrooms with luxury fixtures and lots of space. Consider adding a lush master bathroom to help attract future buyers. 

Upgrade the Flooring

Flooring upgrades may also pay off when it’s time to sell the home. Swap out tired carpet and laminate floors for something more high-end, like grained hardwood or vinyl plank flooring. Keep the flooring consistent throughout the property to make it feel more open.

Add Curb Appeal

Don’t forget to do some work on the outdoor spaces of your property. HGTV suggests updating the curb appeal to bring in potential buyers. Add some fresh exterior paint to the siding, doors, and shutters to brighten the property. Plant flowers and shrubs around the home, power wash the exterior, and cut the grass to make it more inviting.

Stage the Home for a Quick Sale

Finally, when you’re ready for an open house, take time to stage your home. You can rent furniture for the rooms to help buyers get a better vision of the property. Keep decor neutral and focus on brighter lighting to highlight your best renovations.

House flipping can be an exciting and fun new career for business-minded seniors. If you want to start flipping houses, follow these tips to maximize profits and bring in higher income this year. Be sure to market yourself with a great logo and digital banner, and work with a great handyman to ensure all those projects are completed with craftsmanship and care.

To begin your search for your next fixer-upper, contact Michigan Homes and Cottages


How to Change Up Your Home to Make It Your Dream Sanctuary

Our homes should be the one place we feel most at home in; hence the phrase – home is where the heart is. And if it’s not the type of place that you want to escape to when life gets a little crazy, Michigan Homes and Cottages wants to show you how to change it up so that it can be all that you need and more.

Design a Space that is Perfect for You

If you want your home to reflect your personality, then you should make the adjustments so that it is a place you can come home to with a longing in your heart. Moreover, these changes don’t have to be major either; it’s often the subtlest of changes (when done well) that can transform your space into something magical. For example, a simple splash of paint can transform the look of a room instantly. Or if you want to deviate from paint to something a little more sophisticated, then peel-and-stick wallpaper should do the trick.

Furniture can also play a big role in how a room is perceived. Of course, comfortable furniture is a must if rest and relaxation is your goal. And this doesn’t need to be expensive either; you could upcycle old furniture to make it look brand new. But suppose you are thinking of creating an office space that is functional yet peaceful. Then you should ideally source furniture that is practical, meaning that it should be good for your posture first and foremost. Then, select items that fit your style and space.

Add Touches for Your Lifestyle

Plants are an excellent addition to any home. Apart from it injecting some life into a space, they are great for the air quality within your home which can also end up benefiting your focus levels too. Moreover, it is a trending design feature worldwide.

Add products that suit your lifestyle, too. Find home product reviews online for items like recumbent exercise bikes to support your fitness goals, or toddler-friendly kitchen tools to encourage family friendly home dining. The last thing you want to do is waste your money on inferior items, but online resources allow you to screen your purchases thoughtfully.

Fix Your Lighting

While natural light is always a winner, there are other types of lighting that can boost the mood of a room just as well. For example, pendant lighting can add that touch of elegance to a room. But it can also be used to highlight an area or space within a room quite nicely. For example, you can hang it so that it’s suspended over a kitchen island or dining room table to create a focal point of interest. Furthermore, there are a variety of pendant lighting styles to choose from in terms of styles, colors, and finishes so you can pick and choose depending on the theme you’re going for.

Lighting will play a crucial role in your office space. If it’s too light and bright, it could be distracting; if it’s too dim or warm, you may just find yourself nodding off despite your best intentions. 

Create an Outdoor Space You can Brag About

When it comes to creating a space that you truly kick back and relax in, few other spaces within your home can compare to your backyard – provided you’ve made the effort to transform this into your perfect oasis. Creating a kitchen outdoor area that’s ideal for the outdoor chef who loves to entertain is a great starting point, to begin with. Here, you’ll want to focus on creating an outdoor cooking space that comes with all the amenities that would be any home chef’s cup of tea such as a BBQ grill and hood, a refrigerator, and a sink to wash up in. 

Creating a home you’re proud of is going to require some work if you haven’t tended to it in a while. However, it will be every bit worth your effort when you can’t wait to come home to it at the end of the day!

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Michigan, contact the professionals at Michigan Homes and Cottages. We are regional experts and are ready to help you with your real estate needs. Contact us online to speak with a real estate agent today!

How Is the Housing Market Right Now?

How Is the Housing Market Right Now? 2022 Trends to Watch

Michigan Real Estate Market

The economy has everyone on edge lately. Gas prices are through the roof, the stock market is tanking, and food prices are incredibly costly. On top of this, the war in Ukraine doesn’t seem to be letting up. As a result, all these factors seem to be sending a ripple effect on costs throughout the globe. With so much gloom from the greater economy, it is comforting to see that home sales are still increasing at a moderate pace. But the current housing market isn’t perfect on both sides of the spectrum. Some buyers are still missing out on buying opportunities due to intense bidding wars, losses to cash buyers, low inventory, and other issues. On the flip side, sellers are still enjoying a strong seller’s market. Although much hasn’t changed since last year, a few factors may start to turn the tide of the current housing market later in the year and as time goes on. Here are a few trends to watch for the rest of 2022, especially if you consider buying a house with cash.  

Higher Priced Homes May Increase in Supply

If you have been looking for homes in your local market priced under $500,000, chances are you haven’t seen many. The inventory for houses under this price point is meager, and seemingly everyone wants homes in this price range. This has increased the availability of homes higher than this price range. So shifting your interest to homes in a higher price range could help you finally get a house. The only drawback of this plan is that there may be some issues with qualifying for a mortgage at a higher rate. While you may not be able to change how much a bank loans you, increasing your own out-of-pocket cash for a house may help you acquire a home. Thus, buying a home will be more expensive than you’ve probably budgeted.

Homes My Not Sell As Quickly as Last Year

The last few months of 2021 had deficient inventory levels for houses because they were selling relatively quickly. Most homes were averaging about 21 days on the market in most states. This trend may start to change a bit this year due to increased interest rates and increased home prices. These changes may slow down the rate of home sales minimally and reduce the competition. Unfortunately, this may be bad news for those who need to move or those who are new home buyers. The market trends seem to favor those who can afford homes at a higher price point. 

Foreclosures May Be on The Rise 

Another wild card that may pump the brakes on the selling market is increased foreclosures. In the last few years, the pandemic halted a lot of foreclosure activity because home loans, especially those backed by the government, were offering forbearance plans to help homeowners cope with the crisis. As these forbearances end, homeowners who are still suffering from financial issues that don’t have a course of action will have to relinquish their property. The only saving grace that most homeowners facing foreclosure may be able to secure is working with home investor companies that can buy their homes as-is. They specialize in working with distressed homes and buyers in dire financial situations such as facing a foreclosure. Otherwise, this will inevitably be a rising trend that could add another layer of suspense to the housing market and the overall economy. 

Bidding Wars May Ease

As this year goes on, you may start to see less of “armies” of potential home buyers lined up ready to buy a home. Intense bidding wars could be a thing of the past as home prices and mortgage rates increase. While it will still be a strong seller’s market, there may be less for buyers to fight about if sellers decide not to sell at all. A recent report conducted by Homelight has discovered that some sellers are starting to opt to stay where they are amidst all of the global insecurity. Therefore, higher prices and reluctant sellers may decrease buyer aggression and even send them elsewhere looking for places to stay. Renting could be an option for some as this housing shortage crisis continues. But new home construction may be another place where home buyers, especially new ones, start looking for their pot of gold. As of February of this year, new home construction climbed 22 percent, up drastically from new home building from last year. Unfortunately, supply chain problems and labor issues contributed to the low inventory of new homes. Consistent increases in this segment may be a game-changer as the year continues.

Mortgage Rates Will Increase to Help Combat Inflation

The mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at about 5.25, moving down a few points within the last few days due to the current economic crisis. It was below 3 percent a little over a year ago. However, many experts predict that the mortgage rates will continue to rise by the end of 2022. The higher interest rates mean buyers will have to pay more money on their mortgage each month. As a result, buyer purchasing power is eroding. While mortgage rate increases may help stave off inflation, this could create reluctant buyers. Higher costs and reduced purchasing power may be another blow to the buyer in a market that is favorable to sellers. Pricing buyers out of the market could decrease demand for housing. Thus, as the year goes on, the housing market may cool off a bit from what we’ve seen in recent years following the pandemic. 

It’s still too early to determine how these changes will affect the market. But this could be the beginning of the end of a scorching home selling market. Some expect the housing market to begin a trend toward normalizing, which will culminate around 2024. That is when we may start to see buying and selling trends start to favor those in place before the pandemic. In addition, an improvement in inventory over the next few seasons will begin to usher in the change. Until then, we’ll have to see how the housing market takes shape as the year continues.


The Benefits of Downsizing Before Retirement and How to Simplify the Process

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The Benefits of Downsizing Before Retirement and How to Simplify the Process

Many people wait until retirement to downsize their home, but there are many financial and quality-of-life benefits to downsizing earlier. If you’re considering downsizing before you turn 65, Michigan Homes and Cottages shares these important considerations about the benefits you’ll enjoy and how to move through the process with ease.

Benefits of downsizing early

One of the biggest benefits to downsizing your home in your 40s or 50s is cutting costs that you normally see with maintaining a bigger home. It’s truly an embodiment of “less is more.” It’s less to clean and less to repair, so you expend less time and energy dealing with it. You likely have a smaller roof when it’s time for repairs and a smaller HVAC system to maintain. And of course, all that means less costs involved. Here are some of the financial perks you can expect.

How to find a new home

There are lots of things to consider when deciding on the location of your next humble abode. Perhaps you want to be closer to a hobby spot you enjoy, like a golf course or lake. Perhaps you would like to be closer to your workplace, or maybe you’re ready to move south in anticipation of retirement. Even if you’re just moving across town, finding the right downsized home is important, especially if you plan on staying there for the long term. Here are some helpful suggestions on how to find your next perfect place.

Improving your current home’s resale value

Even if you don’t plan on downsizing for a few more years, taking action to influence your home’s resale value now will prove priceless when the time comes to sell. Should I buy a home warranty? Absolutely, to protect your investment. Not handy? Don’t have a green thumb? No worries! You don’t have to channel Bob Vila or Martha Stewart to make amazing upgrades. While some projects are best left to professionals, there are many do-it-yourself projects you can take on to boost the value of your home.

  • Boost your home’s living space by finishing a basement
  • Color is a great way to change the look and feel of a space, and painting is DIY-friendly
  • How to add curb appeal to my home without overspending
  • Which major home repairs do I need to make before listing my home?

Not only will downsizing early give you the opportunity for a lower cost of living, you will also get the chance to use the extra cash to fund your retirement plan. Make sure the investments you make in your home are ones that pay off now and in the long run so you can enjoy your simplified lifestyle well into your retirement years.

Kersh Ruhl, Lauri Sisson, and Dave Hulst started Michigan Homes and Cottages because we feel quality homes deserve quality agents. We are equipped with the knowledge and contacts to market a home effectively and truly work as a team. We know that a large percentage of buyers for your home are from out of the area and looking online for homes, as a strategic marketing team, we know what it takes to stand out to those buyers. Our philosophy is to go and seek the buyers for your home, and do whatever necessary to make certain your home has the best chance of selling.

For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!

Demand for Vacation Homes Soaring

Vacation home sales spiked from January to April 2021, rising by 16.4%—more than 10% higher than the growth of existing home sales during the same period, according to the 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report.  Sales have continued to soar, however, and Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist expects the trend to continue. “Vacation homes are a hot commodity at the moment,” he said in a statement. “With many businesses and employers still extending an option to work remotely to workers, vacation housing and second homes will remain a popular choice among buyers.”

We’re looking at four popular locations for vacation homes and taking you beyond the tourist traps to provide a peek into what local living could be like in your dream spot.

Santa Barbara, California 

Known for its laidback, coastal casual ambiance, Santa Barbara packs a lot of high-end appeal into its 42 square miles.

Where to eat: What’s better at The Lark: the cuisine, the wine, or the ambiance? It’s a toss-up at this Michelin-starred spot. Make a dinner reservation in advance and ask for a table on the covered patio, where you can enjoy a view of the starry sky with your family-style, Central Coast fare. After dinner, (and lunch, for that matter), grab a scoop of Garrison Bros. Whiskey & Pecan Pralines or Eureka Lemon & Marionberries from McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, which TIME calls “The best ice cream in the world, as anyone who has tried it will argue.”

What to see: Thousands of Monarch butterflies visit the historic Ellwood Mesa Monarch Preserve in Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara, every year during their migration. This Eucalyptus grove is a 137-acre coastal bluff that also attracts hikers, artists, and wildlife lovers. Other must-dos: Watch—or play in—a polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club and explore the 40 wineries of the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail.

Where to stay: While you’re figuring out where you want to purchase, spend some time at the five-star El Encanto. The seven-acre property, opened in 1918, is the epitome of relaxed yet elegant Santa Barbara life and boasts spectacular views of the ocean from its hillside perch.

What to buy: Located in Montecito’s highly desirable, guard-gated Sea Meadow community, this gorgeous home offers all the amenities you’d want in a vacation getaway, including a gourmet kitchen, large living room with fireplace, and a main-level guest suite. Outside, the grounds feature a resort pool, lush landscaping, and an entertainment patio, with private, shared beach access. It’s listed for $8,750,000 by Dana Zertuche and Lori Bowles of Coldwell Banker Realty.

Best time to visit: Anytime! The average high in Santa Barbara doesn’t dip below 65 degrees all year. But if you want to time a visit to the monarch migration, schedule a trip from mid-October to mid-February.

Pisa, Italy

Pisa has so much more to offer than the Leaning Tower.

Where to eat: Want to eat like a local? Ask a Pisano for a recommendation and you’re bound to hear, “Ristorante Osteria L’Artilafo.” Tucked away from the main tourist area, it’s a bit hard to find (Look for the side door and don’t be deterred if it’s locked—just ring the bell.). Inside, don’t let the cozy atmosphere fool you: The food is first class, with seasonal Italian fare you’ll return for again and again.

What to see: You’ll obviously need to take first-time visitors to the aforementioned Tower; It is one of the most popular attractions in Italy, after all. But what will you do the rest of the time? Spend the day at the lovely Orto Botanico di Pisa (Botanical Garden of Pisa), the first university botanical garden in the world. Stroll under the magical canopy of trees at the park of San Rossore. Head to Piazza dei Cavalieri on the second Sunday of the month, when the daily market welcomes antique stalls. In Pisa, you’re also just 55 miles from Florence, where more Italian wonder awaits.

Where to stay: Palazzo Cini is a luxury Bed & Breakfast set in a late 19th-century Art Nouveau villa close to Corso Italia, Pisa’s main shopping street. Featured are gardens of jasmine, bananas, and orange trees and an art gallery with works by Chagall.

What to buy: Fulfill your “Under the Tuscan Sun” fantasies in this 12th-century castle in the countryside of Pisa. Constructed as a fortified monastery and owned by the archbishopric until the end of the 17th century, the castle is ensconced in cypress and olive trees and surrounded by vast parkland. The main villa has been lovingly restored over the years and features grand entertaining spaces, expansive frescoed halls and works of art, and several additional structures to accommodate guests and staff.

It’s listed for sale for $5,884,521 by Alessandro Tognetti of Coldwell Banker Forte dei Marmi.

Best time to visit: In Pisa, you’ll want to make sure you’re in town in June. Three important (and very popular) celebrations take place during this month: the Luminara, when the banks of the Arno are lined with candles, illuminating the city, on June 16; the Regatta Parade, a race along the Arno celebrating the city’s nautical history, on June 17; and the Battle of the Bridge, a true spectacle/cherished tradition, the last Saturday in June.

New York City, New York

If you feel the pull to NYC, you’re not alone. One of the most popular vacation areas in the world is also one of the most in-demand real estate spots.

What to eat: You can eat your way through three tantalizing meals a day during a month-long trip to New York and never double dip. But if we had time for just one meal, you’d find us at the two-Michelin-starred Momofuku Ko. It’s notoriously small and often hard to get a reservation, so bring your patience—and your appetite. In the main dining room, the 10-course Asian tasting menu spans three delicious hours. If you can’t get in, or during those times when you’re craving some genuine New York pizza, head to NY Pizza Suprema, offering arguably the best slice in the city.

What to see: You already know about the many monuments and must-see tourist spots throughout the city, but there’s plenty to see and do in NYC you might not be familiar with. A few of our favorites are ARTECHOUSE for unique experiential art and The Elevated Acre, a serene acre of view-rich green space between Lower Manhattan skyscrapers near Pier 11 and Wall Street.

Where to stay: You can take your pick of plush, swanky, and funky hotels in New York City, but The Mark, well, hits the mark. Between the history of this 1927 hotel, its glamorous setting on Madison Avenue, the posh décor and classic architecture, and the on-site Jean-Georges restaurant, there isn’t one inch of this place that isn’t awe-inspiring. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one block from Central Park.

What to buy: A Pied-à-terre in the city generally comes with a mansion-size price tag. But this particular penthouse also comes with an incredible Fifth Avenue location and spectacular views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. The well-designed interior space includes a renovated kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances and a great room with 10-foot ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead out to a wraparound view terrace that spans the length of the building, revealing more than 85 feet of frontage along the park. It’s listed for $7,995,000 by Jane R. Andrews and John Cronin of Coldwell Banker Warburg.

Best time to visit: It’s frigid in the winter and muggy in summer, but that does little to deter visitors. If you can time a visit to fall and catch the changing of the leaves, by all means, do so.

Durango, Colorado 

Looking for the perfect ski locale? Durango has the slopes and a style all its own.

Where to eat: Eolus Bar & Dining is a well-loved fine-dining spot in Historic Downtown Durango featuring everything from lobster corn dogs to prime rib “two ways.” When the weather allows, grab a table on the heated rooftop patio.

What to see: People often come to Durango to ski Purgatory. But the city isn’t just a cold-weather mecca. Here, you can enjoy everything from horseback riding to whitewater rafting to rock climbing. Off-season, mountain bikers flock to Purgatory Bike Park to ride the 400+ miles of backcountry trails.

Stay: Molinillos Mountain Resort will give you great access to the slopes and the city. But while you’re in southern Colorado, check out Dunton Hot Springs. Here, you’ll stay in a restored, hand-built log cabin with breathtaking views of the mountains—all of which were constructed around a saloon and dance hall. The springs are calcium bicarbonate, said to aid in circulation and promote healthy skin.

Buy: Now that you’re primed for the log cabin experience, it’s time to purchase one. This custom log estate offers premium mountain living with four and one-half acres on a peninsula in the private, gated community of Two Dogs, close to Purgatory and minutes from Historic Downtown Durango. The craftsmanship is as exquisite as the nature views are dramatic. Features include an elevator, home gym, wine cellar and card room, wet bar and billiards room, private study/home office, and an expansive guest wing. It’s listed for $6,795,000 by Lindsay Lubrant of Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties.

Best time to visit: If you’re skiing, be prepared for temps that can get down to -15 in the winter. Summers are warm and sunny, with highs reaching the low 80s.

2975 Lakeshore Drive in Saugatuck, Saugatuck Township is Sold!

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The 2 story at 2975 Lakeshore Drive has been sold.

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The Cost of Buying a Second Home is Set to Increase

As the holidays are now behind us, and winter is in full effect here in West Michigan, now is about the time people begin dreaming of the warm days of summer, and with that, the prospect of owning a home on or near one of our amazing lakes.

Grand Haven Waterfront Real Estate
Grand Haven Real Estate

Whether it’s Lake Michigan, Spring Lake, Lake Macatawa to name a few, it seems it’s getting a little more expensive to take out a mortgage. This week, Freddie Mac said the average interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage crept up to 3.22% — still very low. But this time last year, that rate was a record-low 2.65%.  If you were on the fence before, it might be time to take the dive and purchase before April 1, as that is when the increase is set to take effect.

Who will be impacted?

The pricing increases target borrowers applying for conventional high balance loans and those for second properties. 

For perspective, conventional mortgages account for about 64% of home purchase loans, according to the National Association of Realtors.

High balance mortgages are any that have a balance above the baseline conforming loan limit — $647,200 in 2022 for about 95% of the U.S. 

And a second home is any property you’ll live in part-time, but that won’t be your primary residence. 

For those in the market for a second home, costs are going up even more, thanks to higher fees coming in a few months.

Demand for second homes has gone through the roof in the last couple of years, as newly remote workers seek more space and better scenery.    

It’s not just the pandemic, said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.

“There is a long-term trend that we’ve seen of second-home purchases increasing,” she said. “I think part of that just goes along with wealth inequality in the rich getting richer and being able to buy more second homes.”

Soon, they’ll have to pay a little more for those homes. This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it’s increasing the upfront fees for second-home loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by as much as about 3.9% starting in April.

Why is FHFA raising fees on high-balance and vacation home loans?

The FHFA made the fee adjustments in order to facilitate “equitable and sustainable access to homeownership” while improving Fannie and Freddie’s “regulatory capital position over time,” FHFA Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson said.

Basically, that means the new fees will bolster FHFA’s cash reserves.  

The fees are also a way to help first-time home buyers and borrowers with low- and moderate-income get access to credit. First-time homebuyers in high cost areas with incomes at or below their area median income will be exempt from the fees.

The newly raised fees “should provide an opportunity for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to lower fees on the mission-centric portions of their businesses that primarily serve first-time and low- to moderate-income borrowers,” according to Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Robert Broeksmit.

Both fee hikes will go into effect on Apr. 1. 

How much are the new conforming loan fees?

The upfront fees for high balance loans bought by the GSEs will increase on a tiered scale between 0.25% and 0.75%, depending on loan-to-value ratio.

Upfront fees for second home loans will increase between 1.125% and 3.875%, also tiered and dependent on loan-to-value ratio.

How much of the new fees lenders absorb and how much they pass to the borrower will be up to the lender.

“It’s hard to model how much, but [the new fees] unequivocally mean higher rates”

In this scenario, lenders will likely inflate the mortgage rate they offer on these types of loans to offset their new incurred cost. 

“It’s hard to model how much, but it unequivocally means higher rates. That’s how it works,” according to a community lending expert.

However, if the lender knows they’ll be able to execute the loan sale to Fannie or Freddie before the new fees go into play, they won’t have to price it up, the expert continued. 

Redfin estimates that’ll cost a typical buyer an extra $13,500 on a $400,000 home. Fairweather said regulators may be trying to get a handle on what could be an emerging bubble in the housing market.

“If a whole lot of people are buying up second homes with the belief that it’s a great investment because the value will only go up, that can turn into bubble behavior,” she said.

Fees will also go up on certain high-balance loans with exceptions for first-time buyers. Fannie and Freddie have a mission to help make homeownership more affordable, said Guy Cecala with Inside Mortgage Finance.

Propping up the market for second homes isn’t exactly helping.

“They should be focusing their resources on low- and moderate-income borrowers, and that’s the reason for doing it,” he said.

Demand for second homes is likely to remain high, according to Dean Tucker, a mortgage broker in Boise, Idaho.

“I don’t think that it’s going to slow that market down. Second homebuyers are typically more affluent,” he said. “And if that’s the cost of getting a second home, that’s the cost.”

Apply before costs rise

If you’re considering taking out a loan above the baseline conforming limit or purchasing a second home, two factors should push you to act fast: the FHFA’s fee increase and expected rising interest rates for 2022

The FHFA set the date of Apr. 1 for the fee hikes “in order to minimize market and pipeline disruption,” according to its press release. 

Getting in before the new fees take effect will come down to individual loan characteristics and how long it takes from application to delivery. Giving your lender as much lead time as possible will likely help everyone involved.  

“If it’s a purchase transaction, consumers should be very conscious of the contract settlement date,” said Allied Mortgage Group COO Kyle Manseau. 

“And ideally, the industry and lenders need a little bit of buffer from the time a loan funds, to post-close, to prep it for delivery to the GSEs — generally a week or so. Realistically, we’re looking at 30 to 40 days.”

With that buffer period in mind, submitting your application around two months before Apr. 1 to allow for the regular processing time could help you avoid the new fees.

If you’re looking at either a high balance loan or a mortgage for a second home, there’s no time like the present to lock in a low rate.

All is not lost, however, for properties in Michigan, my trusted lending partner Dan Moralez has a fixed rate option where the increase will not be applicable.  “A super aggressive product and the rates will be way lower than what clients can get in most places.  With this product there is no price adjustment for second homes in Michigan only.  Does not apply to other states” says Dan. 

Buyers can always borrow in the private market. And a lot of them don’t even need a mortgage — they pay cash.

Luxury Real Estate’s New Power Players: A Snapshot

About 71% of U.S. luxury properties owned by those with a net worth over $5 million are now valued in the $1–$5 million range. These individuals have been dubbed the new “Power Players” — because of their outsized influence on the luxury real estate market over the last 18 months, as per the newly released report “A Look at Wealth: 2021” from the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program.

Using wealth data compiled by Wealth-X, WealthEngine and The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, there are four key groups of Power Players who have expanded their wealth since 2019, and are primarily responsible for the bulk of luxury real estate transactions in this country today. Baby Boomers, Golden Millennials, Second Homeowners and Urban Repatriates are driving demand in the suburbs, resort markets and secondary cities. Many are even moving back to major metropolises — bucking the urban exodus trend of 2020.

Here’s a quick snapshot:

1. Second Homeowners still drive the 2021 market.

This power group gobbled up inventory and drove up prices in resort enclaves like Coeur D’Alene and Monterey. Their influence on the overall luxury property market is one to watch; nearly 70% of those with a net worth of $5 million+ own two or more properties.


2. Baby Boomers represent 51% of Power Players.

Speeding up retirement plans, they’re buying dream homes in places like Park City, where they can build family compounds near outdoor recreation, or Sarasota, Florida, where there’s sunny weather and a friendly tax environment. Boomers show greater affinity for second-home ownership, as well; there are 2,020,854 Boomers owning more than three properties, the most out of any age group.


4. Urban Repatriates pump up cities again.

Luxury attached property values in 2021 increased an average of 10% compared to 2020 and 2019, and number of sales is up 39%. Investors capitalizing on low interest rates and higher inventory in cities like San Francisco and New York are behind the uptick, as are newcomers flocking to the city and former residents who fled in 2020 and are now on the hunt for more square footage and outdoor space.

4. Golden Millennials own 60% of millennial-owned properties priced $1–$5 million.

Golden Millennials have reached the life stage (35–40) where they are getting married and having children. This, combined with shifting psychologies during the pandemic and inability to travel, pushed them toward suburban locations, like the Greater Chicagoland area, and hot secondary cities like Atlanta, where they can get more house for their money. The influence of Golden Millennials will be important to watch as their wealth and real estate portfolios grow.



Benjamin Moore’s 2022 Color of the Year Is

Each year, the color and paint gurus at Benjamin Moore have the monumental job of selecting one paint chip out of more than 3,500 that captures the mood of the moment. They call this ever-elusive paint chip their “Color of the Year.”

Their annual analysis usually involves attending exhibitions, canvassing trade shows and collecting everyday observations, hobbies, personal rituals and cultural influences — you know, a lot of travel. But the team’s travel schedules were lighter-to-non-existent last year, which meant that their usual color explorations turned solitary and the swapping of ideas and inspirations with the group moved from in-person to online. It “became more of an inward-looking process than other years, where we’ve really focused on outside influences,” as Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore Director of Color Marketing & Development, recently told Architectural Digest’s Hannah Martin.

The result of their team’s inner reflection was the selection of October Mist 1495, “a gently shaded sage that encourages creative expression through color,” said Magno. “People are looking for a means of self-expression. There’s this craving for individuality.”

Much like the green stem of a flower, Magno’s team saw October Mist as a natural connector from which a rainbow of colors could emanate — like the 14 colors in the Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2022 palette. It’s the kind of color that would allow the imagination to blossom.

Adds Magno: “As the spaces in our homes continue to evolve, we uncover more opportunities to express our individuality and leverage the power of color to design environments that serve different functions and styles, October Mist and the corresponding Color Trends 2022 palette reflects an effortless harmony of colors, while inspiring unique combinations for any paint project.”

The Color Trends 2022 palette features 14 Benjamin Moore colors — ranging from refreshed primary colors to luminous pales and botanical hues. There’s Wild Flower — a mellower version of poppy, a Hint of Violet — almost more gray than purple, and Mysterious —a richer and moodier take on navy. The palette is meant to encourage experimentation, invigorate the senses and give root to personal style. And don’t we all need a little bit of all of that in our lives right now. 

To learn more about the Benjamin Moore Color of the Year and Color Trends 2022palette, order color samples or to locate a Benjamin Moore retailer, For more information, search #ColorTrends2022on social media channels including Instagram (@benjaminmoore), Facebook (Benjamin Moore Paints), Pinterest (Benjamin Moore), YouTube (BenjaminMoorePaints), TikTok (benjaminmoore)and Twitter (@Benjamin_Moore).

1950 Forest Drive in Park Township, Holland is Sold!

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The 2 story at 1950 Forest Drive has been sold.

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