$309,900 :: 1515 CHELTENHAM, Birmingham MI, 48009

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,140 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 09/14/17, Last Updated: 09/14/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21368739
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Status: Active


Listed with RE/MAX Nexus

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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Fall Maintenance for Your Rental Properties


Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Do you own a rental property or several rental properties? Routine maintenance will ensure that your properties are protected from the harsh fall and winter elements, and most can be done without detracting too much from your time or pocketbook.

Begin With a Tenant Check-In

It’s important to consistently check in with tenants and ensure that they are maintaining the rental unit to lease standards. Seasonal maintenance is the perfect time to inspect the unit for issues that should be addressed. Ask tenants if they have questions or concerns.

Checking in is also the best way to establish open communication. Good communication is the foundation of a healthy tenant-landlord relationship. Not to mention, when a tenant feels that there is a direct line of communication, they are much more likely to report on a minor but time-sensitive issue before it becomes an expensive repair.

Complete Indoor Maintenance

  • Windows and Doors:Apply weather stripping or caulk to any needed areas along windows and doors. This will prevent against overtaxing your heating system on those blustery fall days, and will keep your tenant’s utility bills down, ensuring satisfaction with the unit.
  • Fireplace:If your unit has a fireplace, check that the chimney is swept and free of debris. A blocked chimney is an easily avoidable a fire hazard and a smoke inhalation risk. If you don’t already have one, take the time to install an animal-proof chimney cap to prevent further blockage from nesting critters.
  • Smoke and CO Alarms:Regardless of whether you require your tenants to change the batteries, it is crucial to check that they have indeed kept up with the task, and, moreover, did not remove them altogether. Ensure your tenant’s safety—and your legal protection—by ensuring that the alarms are in working order.
  • Attic:Check your attic’s insulation. Poor insulation can lead to expensive roof repairs. Inspect for signs of small animals that can sneak in looking for a warm place to nest—they can destroy crucial insulation that prevents against ice-damming on your roof.

Complete Exterior Maintenance

  • Gutters:Fall leaves can lead to clogged gutters. Clogged gutters can create ice dams in freezing weather, and this can cause the gutters to break entirely. Trim trees or install gutter guards where necessary to ensure that your gutters will appropriately channel water away from the property and prevent water damage to the foundation or structure.
  • Animal-Proofing:Attics and basements are very enticing to rodents and small animals who seek shelter from the cold weather. The Humane Society has recommendations to prevent nesting in your property: ensure animals are not inside the home already (you don’t want to seal them in) and then caulk small holes and staple hardware cloth over larger holes. To stand up against stronger animals, opt for 16-gauge, 1×1 steel mesh.
  • Stairwells, Walkways and Patios:Verify that all supports, stairs, and handrails are secure. Make sure that the handrails can support a person who is slipping due to rain or sleet.
  • Irrigation Systems:Fall weather means that sprinkler systems can often be reset, since seasonal rains will keep the foliage appropriately hydrated. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to winterize your sprinkler and irrigation systems. This will protect the functionality of the system and ensure your property looks its best.
  • AC Units:Depending on where your rental unit is located, be prepared to wrap the outside box units in order to protect it from rust or weather damage.
  • Trees and Shrubs:Now is an excellent time to trim any branches or vegetation that touches the exterior of the building, as they can lead to damage over time. Protect your investment and ensure that all foliage is maintained before the wet season gets in way.

Hire a Professional

For some costly items on your list, it will pay to have a professional inspect them. Big-ticket items like your HVAC system and your roof should be inspected yearly to ensure that any slight damage is dealt with proactively, before a serious issue occurs.

HVAC: Have it serviced, inspected and cleaned. Proper maintenance will extend the life of the furnace, so be sure to remind your tenants to change the filters. To be certain the task is done, consider supplying some extra filters yourself. This makes the task simple for tenants, and is a minor expense for you compared to an expensive system replacement.

Roof: Extreme temperatures and general exposure to the elements can wreak havoc on your property’s roof. Have a licensed, certified roofing professional inspect the condition of your roof. Simple repairs like loose or damaged shingles can lead to water exposure that can lead to deterioration of insulation, wood and drywall, or make electrical or plumbing systems vulnerable. It’s much simpler to deal with a repair now than an emergent leak come winter.

Seasonal maintenance is a chore, but being proactive will ensure that your rental property remains in good shape and your investment is protected for years to come.

Brentnie Daggett is a contributor for Rentec Direct.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of RISMedia.

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$650,000 :: 790 LAKEVIEW Avenue, Birmingham MI, 48009

4 beds, 2.1 baths
Home size: 2,056 sq ft
Lot Size: 6,969 sq ft
Added: 09/14/17, Last Updated: 09/14/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 217082984
Community: Birmingham
Status: Active

Stunning Birmingham Colonial in the most heavily desired Holy Name area. This east coast charmer features four bedrooms all upstairs including a gorgeous master suite. Fully renovated chefs kitchen with amazing Quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and great entertaining space. The moment you walk into this pristine home you feel the warmth you would hope for with the well thought out floor plan ideal for get togethers and relaxation. Featuring newer windows, brand new furnace ann AC, amazing newly built deck out back with 2 entry points paired with amazing new landscaping, this will certainly impress all of you fussy buyers out there. Just steps away from Downtown Birmingham and Quarton Lake, minutes away from Cranbrook and Somerset Mall this is the one you have been patiently awaiting. Call today and schedule an appointment.

Listed with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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Understanding Energy Costs

I was recently contacted by the Consumer Energy Alliance, which provides consumers with unbiased information on U.S. and global energy issues. Its affiliates represent sectors from the energy industry, academia, small businesses, conservation groups to travel-related industries.

The CEA recently released a sweeping study of energy consumption across the country, and analyzed various regions, states, even major municipalities promoting ideas to enhance efficiency and preserve an uninterrupted flow of energy based on expected future population shifts.

To the end consumer, the report paints a fascinating picture of who is paying what for their energy, and why it costs so much, or, in some regions, so little.

According to the CEA study, the average mid-continent family currently enjoys some of the lowest electricity costs in the nation. While these low costs are attributable to the region’s access to natural resources and booming energy production, the report suggests that could end in only a few years unless new infrastructure and pipeline
projects are hastily approved.

This planning is especially important, as some of the nation’s poorest communities like Camden, Ark.; Opelousas, La.; Deming, N.M.; Commerce, Okla.; and San Benito, Texas, dot the mid-continent region. The average household income in these communities is $24,857—55.43 percent less than the national average, the CEA report states.

Even small increases in energy prices could have a devastating effect on families in the mid-continent region where median household incomes are $10,000 to $25,000 less than the national average. In this region, the CEA reported that low-income households pay roughly 22 percent of after-tax income on residential utility bills and gasoline.

While most mid-continent families currently pay, on average, a rate roughly 9 percent lower than the national average of 12.90 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), it is also home to states like Texas, where the average monthly bill is 17 percent higher than the national average.

In addition, the study found:

  • The bottom 20 percent of earners spend almost 10 percent of their income solely on electricity—more than seven times what the top 20 percent pays.
  • Of those low-income earners that spend 10 percent of their income on power bills, half are African-American families.
  • The average household in the U.S. currently pays 13 cents per KwH using, on average, 901 KwH per month totaling $116 in electricity bills. That represents almost one-fifth (4.78 percent) of the average income of the poorest mid-continent families.

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$249,900 :: 1264 WEBSTER ST, Birmingham MI, 48009

Property Photo

2 beds, 1 bath
Home size: 700 sq ft
Lot Size: 4,791 sq ft
Added: 09/12/17, Last Updated: 09/12/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21367768
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Status: Active

Investors and builders please be alerted: Newer $600K plus homes surround this home. You can buy this house for the lot and build your client’s dream house as the yard has much to offer. A beautiful tree lined street with Birmingham Schools beckons you to check this home out! Investors, the current tenant would love to sign a 2 year lease so take your time and lease this home until you are ready to build. Current tenant also has the option of a 60 day notice to move during the sale of this home. Newer roof, windows with transferable warranty, hardwood flooring T/O ceramic in bath and kitchen; Beautiful natural fireplace in living room. The best of both worlds are right here on Webster Street. Check with listing agent for exclusions.

Listed with RE/MAX Classic

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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Infographic: 5 Down Payment Savings Tips

Sixty percent of homebuyers put 6 percent, or roughly $15,500, down on a median-priced house, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Work toward that goal with these tips:

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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Renter Demand for Houses Puts Upward Pressure on Prices

Almost half of all renters consider renting a single-family home, but less than a third actually do, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report out this fall Continue Reading →

$1,200,000 :: 1120 GOLF VIEW BLVD, Birmingham MI, 48009

Property Photo

5 beds, 5 baths
Home size: 4,300 sq ft
Lot Size: 16,552 sq ft
Added: 03/21/17, Last Updated: 09/11/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21273408
Community: Birmingham (63192)
The price of this listing was last reduced on 5/15/2017 by 4%
Status: Sold

Welcome home to your custom colonial built in 2013 offering over 4,300 sqft in the highly desirable Golf View Heights Subdivision. Property features award-winning Birmingham Schools! Your dream home has all of the bells and whistles of custom living with no details missing. Spacious open concept living is featured in your gourmet eat-in kitchen-living room combination. Featuring two-tone cabinets, massive island w/ bar-stool seating & ss appliances / wine fridge. Kitchen opens to the great room offering hardwood floors, tasteful moldings & trims. Second floor features the 19×21 master suite w fireplace, tray ceilings walk-in closets, free-standing tub, and spacious spa-like glass shower oasis. All other beds w/ walk-in closets. Upper laundry. Completely fin basement w/ 2nd kitchen, full bath, & storage. 3 car garage w/ spacious fenced in, landscaped yard w/ covered in-ground pool & spa for the best summer pool parties! Less than 1.5 miles to downtown shopping, parks & nightlife!

Listed with Keller Williams Rlty-Plym Market Center

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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The Best Space-Saving Ideas For Small Apartments

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How to Qualify for an FHA Mortgage

(TNS)—If you’re concerned about getting approved for a conventional mortgage, keep your dreams of homeownership alive by considering a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. For borrowers who meet FHA requirements, this mortgage alternative is a terrific way to buy a home with a low down payment and less-than-perfect credit.

What Are the Requirements for an FHA Loan?
In order to obtain approval for an FHA loan, the borrower must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Steady Employment History – Borrowers typically must have been regularly employed within the past two years. Self-employed borrowers have to prove that their business has drawn stable income for at least two years; verification, such as tax returns or company documents, is required.
  • Ability to Pay – This is determined by two formulas: the front-end ratio and the back-end ratio. The front-end ratio refers to the entire amount that the borrower spends on housing costs, and it must be less than 31 percent of the borrower’s gross income, with some exceptions that push limit up to 40 percent. This includes expenses such as the principal, interest, property taxes, homeowners association fees, mortgage insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. A borrower’s back-end ratio, also known as the debt-to-income ratio, encompasses all of the borrower’s debts, including the mortgage payment, credit debt, and personal loans, and it should be less than 43 percent.
  • Financial Soundness – The borrower must have a credit score of at least 580 and be able to afford a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent. Some institutions may accommodate lower credit scores if the borrower is able to pay a larger down payment. She must be a minimum of two years out of bankruptcy and not have a foreclosure in the past three years. All her federal student loans and income taxes must be current.
  • Residency – The borrower must be a lawful U.S. resident with a valid Social Security number, and she must be the occupant of the home.

What Costs Are Associated With an FHA Mortgage?
Like conventional mortgages, there are costs associated with FHA loans that the borrower has to pay when the loan closes, including lender fees, prepaid interest, inspection expenses, and attorney fees. The FHA mortgage program permits lenders and property sellers to pay some or all of the buyer’s closing costs.

To insure the mortgage against default, the borrower must also pay an annual mortgage insurance premium. The MIP varies based on the terms of the loan, including the principal, loan-to-value ratio, and term. On average, expect to pay 0.85 percent of the loan amount each year.

Borrowers may be required to pay a one-time additional mortgage insurance fee at the time of closing, called the Up-front Mortgage Insurance Premium. As of 2017, the UFMIP is equal to 1.75 percent of the mortgage.

Want to learn how long it’ll take you to pay off your mortgage? Run the numbers through Bankrate’s mortgage calculators.

What Are the Disadvantages of an FHA Mortgage?
Since an FHA loan permits a lower down payment, you can expect to pay more interest over the life of the loan than you would with a conventional mortgage that necessitates a larger down payment.

Visit Bankrate online at www.bankrate.com.

©2017 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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