Monday, March 3, 2014

Replace Your Furnace Filter

This is one of those chores most people know they're suppose to do, but few remember.

Replace the air filter on your furnace. 

Now, and again in three months (this is minimal for the average home).

Because a dirty filter restricts airflow through your heating system. Reduced airflow can mean uneven heating or cooling, increased fuel bills, and added stress on your furnace  

Locate the filter. It's usually where the cold air enters the furnace, near the fan section (see the diagram). At this location, the air is flowing into the furnace. The airflow arrow on the filter should point toward the furnace.

Slide the filter out and not its size. It's written on it somewhere. Buy half-dozen filters from the hardware store. 

Replace the filter now and check it monthly. Replace it as needed, but at least every three months. The rate at which they get dirty depends on the number of people, pets and amount of dust in your home. 


Mark airflow direction on the ductwork with a market so that it will be easier to remember the orientation of the filter the next time. 

you may want to have the ductwork cleaned to remove the previous owner's debris. Once is enough though -- don't get talking into doing it annually. 

Consider an electronic air filter if you have a family member who suffers from allergies or one who smokes. They do a great job of taking very small particles out of the air. But remember, because they do a better job of cleaning, they get dirty faster. They should be cleaned once a month. 

We hope this has been helpful to you. 

-The James Silver Team

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Purchasing a home is a fantastic investment for your future. For many, it is an extremely important goal of their lives. Overall, the main concern of potential buyers is to invest in the perfect home for them without having to sacrifice all of their savings and earnings. 

The National Association of Realtors released the latest housing affordability data on Monday. 

The affordability index measures the household income needed to qualify for a traditional mortgage on a median-priced single family home. So it's looking at a mortgage with a 20 percent down payment and a monthly payment below 25 percent of income at the currently effective rate on conventional mortgages.

Because the index is above a score of 100, this indicates that the "median income is higher than needed to qualify for a mortgage" (Carney, CNBC). We are at the lowest level of affordability since July 2009 because of the rising interest rates and home prices, while wages increased at a much slower pace.

According to the NAR, this shouldn't be dire news. A score of 157.8 officially indicates that a household earning the median income has 57.8 percent more income than needed to get a mortgage on a median priced home.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Consumers Say Home Ownership is Top Priority!

With the real estate market rising, the once forgotten, American dream is making a quick comeback. More and more consumers are showing that owning a home has become their top priority for the future! 

Concerns of the depleting and then crashing economy in 2010-2011 (some areas saw this years prior) caused many consumers to shy away from getting a piece of the American dream. As banks foreclosed on homes, more and more people became renters as a temporary alternative to owning a home. 

Recently, the market has been on the rise, and housing specifically seems to be picking up. A recent survey was conducted by the National Association of REALTORS that showed a concise agreement that consumers view homeownership a top priority as compared to previous years. 

Americans overwhelmingly believe owning a home is a good financial decision and a majority of renters say homeownership is one of their highest priorities for the future. The 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey also found that renters are thinking more about purchasing a home now than in past years, while the number of people who say they prefer to rent has declined. 


Some key findings from the year’s survey include:
  • Eight-in-ten Americans believe buying a home is a good financial decision, up 8 points since 2011.
  • Half of renters now say that eventually owning a home is one of their highest personal priorities, up 9 points from 2011.
  • Respondents expect to see continued improvement, as 37 percent expect real estate sales to increase in the year ahead.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

4 Threats That Remain in Housing Recovery

The housing recovery appears to be on track and growing stronger. Home sales and prices are up after reaching bottom in 2010, foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies are dropping, yet housing affordability still remains high. 
So why are some analysts and economists concerned? 
At a recent Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., panelists said that threats to the housing recovery still remain. The biggest threats they pointed to included:
  1. Land scarcity: Real estate developers are struggling to find desirable land to start new projects, which is limiting the supply of new homes. A few years ago, banks took ownership of land after developers had foreclosed on some projects. The land is worth less than its original price so banks are reluctant to write off additional losses by selling it too cheaply. Plus, lenders remain cautious about issuing loans for new land purchases. 
  2. House flippers should be cautious: Housing affordability is high mostly due to super low mortgage rates, and investors are taking advantage with intentions of flipping homes for profit. "No doubt you can buy a house today and get a really good price and a low-interest loan,” says Jeff Greene, president of Florida Sunshine Investments. “But if you want to sell that house to somebody two or three years later and rates go up to 5 or 6 percent, how much is he going to pay for that house?"
  3. Foreign buyers potentially inflating prices: In some markets, strong demand by foreign buyers has helped home prices recover, which has made homes more expensive for Americans in some areas. Some analysts fear that it could even lead to another housing bubble if interest rates started rising quickly as well. Markets like Miami, Los Angeles, and New York are seeing strong demand among foreign buyers. Some say this is a good thing, because it reflects a strong faith in the U.S. market. 
  4. A ‘patchy’ recovery: Some markets are seeing rapid increases with bidding wars, rising prices, and low inventories, while other markets are still at a standstill. For example, Miami’s housing market is “on fire” while 80 miles north in Palm Beach County there’s a “huge glut of housing,” says Greene. 
Source: “5 Reasons the Housing Recovery Remains Wobbly,” U.S. News & World Report (May 3, 2013)

Monday, August 5, 2013

June Existing-Home Sales Slip but Prices Continue to Roll at Double-Digit Rates

Existing-home sales declined in June but have stayed well above year-ago levels for the past two years, while the median price shows seven straight months of double-digit year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dipped 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million in June from a downwardly revised 5.14 million in May, but are 15.2 percent higher than the 4.41 million-unit level in June 2012.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there is enough momentum in the market, even with higher interest rates.  “Affordability conditions remain favorable in most of the country, and we’re still dealing with a large pent-up demand,” he said.  “However, higher mortgage interest rates will bite into high-cost regions of California, Hawaii and the New York City metro area market.”
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.07 percent in June from 3.54 percent in May, and is the highest since October 2011 when it was also 4.07 percent; the rate was 3.68 percent in June 2012.
Total housing inventory at the end of June rose 1.9 percent to 2.19 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply2 at the current sales pace, up from 5.0 months in May.  Listed inventory remains 7.6 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.4-month supply.  “Inventory conditions will continue to broadly favor sellers and contribute to above-normal price growth,” Yun remarked.
The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $214,200 in June, up 13.5 percent from June 2012.  This marks 16 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases, which last occurred from February 2005 to May 2006.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thirty-Seven Percent of Homes Sold in Less than a Month

Multiple bidding in a low inventory environment continues to lead to shorter days on the market. About 37 percent of REALTORS® reported that in March recently sold properties were on the market for less than a month when sold compared to 27 percent in the same month last year. The percentage of REALTORS® reporting that the house sold had been on the market for 6 months or more is down to 20 percent from 28 percent a year ago. This information can be found in the March REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) Survey report.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Troy MI | Real Estate For Sale |

Troy, MI 

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The city we love to call "home."

Troy is one of the most dynamic and livable cities in Michigan, and the country. It is renowned for A+ rated schools, excellent public services and a community spirit that's second to none. As one of the safest cities in the nation, Troy combines diversity, Midwestern values, and a great location to make it a wonderful place to live and raise a family.

Attractive Neighborhoods

Troy has one of the lowest tax rates in Oakland County.
Troy High School

Troy High School

The Troy School District is one of the highest ranked districts in the state and country.
Somerset Collection

Somerset Collection

Michigan's premiere upscale shopping destination

Home Sweet Homes.

Beautiful homes, in many price ranges, provide a distinctive landscape for the City of Troy. They form wonderful neighborhoods that are picture-perfect for raising a family. In addition to single-family residences, you’ll find an excellent mix of condominiums, apartments and multi-family complexes. This range of housing forms the backbone of this great City.

An Award-Winning School District.

First-class schools are one of the hallmarks of Troy. Our public school district has six national blue ribbons and features 13 State Exemplary Schools. Our high schools, Troy High School and Troy Athens High School, were both recently featured on the list of “The 1000 Most Outstanding High Schools in the United States” by Newsweek magazine. And with math and reading MEAP scores for Troy Public School running about 35% above state averages, it’s no wonder 95% of our students go on to higher education.

World-Class Shopping, Dining and Entertainment.

People come from miles around to take advantage of our premier shopping and dining. Somerset Collection, located in the heart of the City, is an upscale mall with over 180 stores, boutiques and restaurants. The travel magazine, Fodor's, describes Somerset as "one of the top shopping malls in the United States." One look around and you'll know why.

Taken from The City of Troy