Home > Blogs > Tim White's Blog

Tim White's Blog

By Tim White | Agent in Hart, MI
  • New Help for Michigan Home Buyers May Be Coming

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Michigan  |  April 20, 2009 7:53 PM  |  590 views  |  1 comment

    MichiganThe Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) is considering expanding a down-payment assistance program that, when combined with the 2009 $8000 Federal Tax Credit, would provide more than $15,000 in help for first-time home buyers.

    The MSHDA program offers down payment assistance up to $7500. Currently, however, your household income must be below $55,000 to be eligible. I've sold many homes with this program in Grand Rapids, but was often unable to help families with incomes that exceeded the limit.

    This may be about to change, however. If MSHDA's new plan is approved, MSHDA would raise its limits on the household income for buyers eligible for the $7,500 loan from the current level of $55,000 to more than $100,000. This would open the door to a lot more potential homeowners.

    MSHDA Loans are commonly referred to as a "piggy-back" type loan. "Piggy-back" loans are not stand alone mortgage products, but instead can be used in conjunction with other loans. When paired with another mortgage plan, like an FHA loan, for example, buyers can get enhanced benefits in their mortgage choices.

    Combining the Federal First Time Homeowner's Tax Credit of up to $8000 with MSHDA's $7500 plan means that homeowners could get more than $15,000 in savings on a new home. The state loans can be used for homes worth up to $224,500.

    The MSHDA Loan is different from the $8000 Federal Tax Credit in several ways. It is not a credit, but rather an interest free loan. The loans do not have to be paid back until the home is sold or the mortgage refinanced or paid in full. There are no monthly payments on the loan. Unlike the $8000 Federal Tax Credit, you can use the money at closing, rather than waiting until you file your tax return. The MSHDA loan can be used for closing costs, expenses such as setting up escrow accounts, or down payments.

    HomeIf you've been thinking about buying a home, but don't think you can afford the down payment, think again. There are loan programs out there, but you have to know about them. Contact your lender for more information about MSHDA/FHA, MSHDA/RD, and other MSHDA combo loans.

    Prices are the lowest we've seen in years, and interest rates are at historic lows. 8 out of 10 economists predict that home prices will rise within the next five years. What more reason do you need to consider buying a home today? Contact me or your local real estate professional to find out how you can fulfill your dream of home ownership.

    You can get more information about the $8000 Federal Tax Credit here.



  • Doom & Gloom Real Estate Headlines Are Misleading

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Michigan  |  April 20, 2009 5:06 PM  |  289 views  |  No comments

    "March Housing Construction Drops 10.8 Percent"

    By now you've probably seen headlines like this one. It's dramatic, it sounds like the world is ending for real estate, and it is just the kind of dramatic overstatement that makes me gag when I read the news. But have you actually READ the article? I've linked it to the headline.

    Believe it or not, there's actually a lot of good news in there. The article explains that the percentage is based largely on the fact that multi-family home starts (apartments) are down, but in fact, single family home starts have stabilized. Here are two excerpts from the article which belie the headline:

    "The much larger single-family sector actually stabilized in March at an annual rate of 358,000 units, the same level as February when single-family starts managed a small 0.6 percent rise."

    "The bad news is that home construction is still in the tank. The good news is that single-family activity may finally be stabilizing," - Joel Naroff, an economist at Naroff Economic Advisers

    question mark

    So why the mixed message? No, wait, scratch that. Why the completely misleading, borderline outright lie of a headline? The answer is simple: bad news sells.

    The media has adopted an attitude that no one wants good news. I am a fan of Fox News, which is where this article comes from. However, they are often just as prone to adopting this attitude as anyone else.

    As a Realtor, I find it encouraging that apartment starts are down. This means that people are buying homes, and are less interested in renting. With low interest rates and low prices, the consumer is realizing that renting is not their only option.

    Now, more than ever, it is extremely important that we perform as real estate educators, and not just salespersons. We have to counter this type of negativity, and make people aware that the sky is truly not falling.

    Somebody get on the phone and tell Chicken Little he can come out, we're going to be OK. All we need is a healthy dose of reality. We've seen an increase in home sales in West Michigan real estate, and I'm doing my part to make sure the word gets out. You can help by reblogging and linking this blog to everyone you know.



  • Instant Results From Trulia!

    Posted Under: Using Trulia in Michigan  |  March 18, 2009 7:35 AM  |  515 views  |  3 comments

    Yesterday, I was telling a fellow agent about my progress in establishing my networks and web presence, and she asked if I had ever looked at Trulia.

    I hadn't, so I jumped on-line, created my profile, and started looking around. I went to the Q&A section, and there was a post from a buyer looking for a couple acres of land in one of the markets I work in, and I replied simply:

    "Scott - Give me a call and we'll see what we can find. All my contact info is available at http://www.timwhitehomes.com"

    Within a couple of hours, my cell phone rings, and I am talking to Scott directly! I asked him to provide more details about what exactly he was looking for, and collected his contact information. I told him I would start looking for some opportunities for him, and call him tomorrow.

    I just got off the phone with him this morning! He has the day off today, and we are going to look at some properties this afternoon.

    It took me all of ten minutes to create my profile on Trulia, and about 30 seconds to post my reply to Scott. I think that's a pretty good return on my time investment! Best of all, it didn't cost me a dime! Seeing the results so quickly was extremely satisfying, and I would recommend that every agent be using Trulia.

    Or not, and I can just keep getting the leads :)

    Follow me on Twitter!  
Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer