Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Election Day Today--Don't Forget to Vote!

Many communities in Metro Detroit are having elections today. Whether it is for local elected officials, school board members, or millages, they are all important decisions.

Don't be that person who does not vote, but then complains about things government does or does not do. Simply put, if you don't vote, you don't count.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Forms Make Closings Clearer

As of last Saturday, there are new closing forms when you go to buy a house. The new forms are an improvement, but there is one pitfall that can now come up. Detroit News columnist Brian O'Connor has an excellent discussion of this.

The old Good Faith Estimate, which was frequently not all that accurate an estimate in my experiences, will be replaced by a clearer form called a Loan Estimate. The new form includes a computation of how much you will be paying in all of the different costs, fees, and payments during the first five years of the loan, along with computing how much of that will actually pay down the amount owed on the house during that time.

Another form, the Closing Disclosure, replaces the HUD-1. It has been tested with focus groups to be much easier to understand.

I am one of the few people

Monday, September 7, 2015

When Decorating, Black is the New...er...Black

Have a space in the home that is just not working, the Freep suggests adding some black accents.

It makes a lot of sense. You can find lots of black in Hollywood mansions built in the 30s and 40s.  Black comes off as glamorous without clashing with other colors. It looks dramatic.

So don't be afraid to add a dash of black accent. You'll be happy you did.

Link: http://www.freep.com/story/life/2015/09/06/decorating-black/71713194/

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Real Estate Scammers Caught

A man and a woman are accused of running a scam, selling properties they did not own using fake paperwork.

What is really outrageous is that the man was still trying to collect some of his payments while he was already behind bars after being arrested. Apparently he did not know that his mail could be screened.

This is not the first time either of these two have been in trouble with the law, but it probably is the most blatant.

Since they did not own the properties and have no assets worth talking about, the victims in these cases will be completely out of luck for whatever money they already paid the pair.

Link: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/08/25/mortgage-scam-detroit-wayne-county-sheriff/32357971/

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Update: Van Elslander Mansion Sells

Aerial view of the 3.75-acre former Art Van Elslander estate in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Did I ever get around to mentioning this? Art Van Elselander's spectacular Michigan mansion, which had been on the market for some time, finally sold. At an auction. At a bargain price.

Originally priced at over $15.9 million, easily the most expensive listing in Michigan at the time, it ended up selling for a relatively bargain price of $3.75 million, which is like going to an Art Van store for a new sofa and finding one for $100 in the Clearance Center in the back.

That price is amazingly low. Mr. and Mrs. James Anderson got themselves quite a deal. Hey, if I'd have known it would go for that cheap, I would have put in a bid in the auction. Then again, I would have needed to come up with the money to buy it, so maybe not.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Psst...Want to Buy A Lighthouse? The Feds Got Three For Sale!

Here is one of the lighthouses up for sale. 

That's right. Your friendly Federal government is selling not one, not two, but three different Michigan lighthouses. Sadly enough, only non-profit institutions that promise to keep the place maintained and historical are eligible. Still, you might want to think about getting a nonprofit ready for the next round.

Link: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/07/14/great-lakes-lighthouses-sale-online-auction/30122673/

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Knappmann Law Firm Represents Landlords

Blatant Self-Interest Plug By Blogger:

The Law Offices of John O. Knappmann represents landlords in residential evictions, along with practicing in the area of commercial lease disputes. We are experienced landlords ourselves.

You can see our web page here.

Our offices are located in Trenton, Michigan at 2836 W. Jefferson, across the street from Del's Pizza. You can call us at 734/931-0440.

Link: www.landlordrealestateattorney.com

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Detroit Housing Prices

dfp detroit real est (10)

The Detroit Free Press took a thorough look today at Detroit home prices. Yes, they are going up. Yes, some of them were so low it did not take much to get them to go up. Yes, certain neighborhoods held up well during the drop in 2008-09 and are still holding up well. Yes, out of state investors need to be careful. In short, nothing that we did not already know, but they have lots of pictures.

Readers of this blog have been keeping track of prices in Detroit all along. That's particularly because of our philosophy that Detroit is a great place to buy a house if you can buy the right one in the right neighborhood. That's why you need to know the neighborhood. Sometimes crossing the street can make a difference in prices.

Investors from out of state are vulnerable to being taken advantage of. The news story includes one such person, who bought a house and used a property management company, but did not make any money. As she observed, it is hard to make money on Detroit from afar.

Link: http://www.freep.com/story/money/real-estate/2015/07/11/detroit-home-values-rising/29169949/