The Dog Report: Roasted Sadie

When I started using Facebook a few years ago, I would periodically upload pictures of my dogs. My wife and I really get a kick out of the silly things our dogs do and I figured my Facebook friends would as well. Little did I know that the pictures were indeed quite popular. More times than I can count when I would run into a Facebook friend in person they would invariably comment on how they enjoyed our dog pictures. Therefore, without further adieu I present “The Dog Report,” a weekly picture of one (or all) of my silly dogs!

Roasted Sadie

Everyday I come around 1 or 2 and let the girls out. Whenever its sunny outside Sadie inevitably makes her way up to the “tree house” in the back of our yard. It’s basically a deck that’s raised up about 8 feet off of the ground with a little shed on it. After a few minutes of sun bathing Sadie is already panting profusely and she’s quite hot to the touch. Ah, the life of a dog!

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Find the Home Loan that Fits Your Needs

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Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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Should I Have A Private Home Inspection Done?

Yes! Absolutely! For sure! All of the above! An inspection is a very important part of the home buying process and I always encourage my buyers (and some sellers) to complete a private home inspection. Even if a home looks good it may have some hidden dangers. Karen Aho of MSN Real Estate in her article, Home Horrors: Lessons From Home Inspectors, does a great job outlining the reasons why it is extremely important to have a private home inspection.

The term “inspection” comes up quite often in discussions about real estate. Unfortunately there are a couple of types of inspections and the differences between them are very important. Those 3 are:

1. Municipal Inspection – Is an inspection required by the county, city, township, or village and usually must be done before a sale is completed or someone occupies the home. The inspector is usually employed by the municipality or if not was contracted by the municipality to complete such inspections. These inspectors are usually in the home a very short time and are looking for code violations.

2. FHA Appraisal – The FHA Appraisal is a special type of appraisal with different requirements than other types of appraisals. It is often called a FHA Inspection because the appraiser not only views the home for the purposes of valuation but to also make sure the home is in acceptable condition. If the home is not in acceptable condition then the appraiser will note this on the appraisal and any issues will need to be completed before the potential sale could close. As HUD says on its document For Your Protection: Get A Home Inspection, “Appraisals are for lenders; home inspections are for buyers.”

3. Private Home Inspection – When negotiating a sale for a property it is prudent that the offer include a contingency allowing the purchaser a window of time to complete an inspection of the home. Usually the inspection period begins from the time the contract is fully executed by both the buyer and seller and often lasts for between 5 and 10 days. During that period the buyer will have the opportunity to bring in their own inspector and to have the home thoroughly inspected. If after the inspection is completed but before the inspection period is over, the buyer is unhappy in any way he will have the option of being released from the contract.

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The Dog Report: Miley’s Close-up

When I started using Facebook a few years ago, I would periodically upload pictures of my dogs. My wife and I really get a kick out of the silly things our dogs do and I figured my Facebook friends would as well. Little did I know that the pictures were indeed quite popular. More times than I can count when I would run into a Facebook friend in person they would invariably comment on how they enjoyed our dog pictures. Therefore, without further adieu I present “The Dog Report,” a weekly picture of one (or all) of my silly dogs!

Miley and...

I usually try not to use the pictures where the dogs’ eyes are glowing but I think an exception was in order on this one. Incidentally if anyone has any suggestions about how I can take a picture of my dogs with a flash without their eyes glowing please leave a comment below. Anyway, back to the picture. Isn’t Miley such a ham? But wait, look closely and you’ll see Miley’s “close-up” has been ruined by, in Miley’s words, the rascaliest rascal that ever lived!

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Westland…What’s in a Name?

As I discussed in a previous blog post, I’m full of useless trivia having to do with a broad range of topics. One such topic that has always fascinated me is the origin of place names in Metro Detroit.

One such place is Westland, Michigan. Westland is located in western Wayne county and as of the 2010 census has a population of 84,904. Prior to Michigan becoming a state, what is now Westland and the immediate surrounding area was surveyed and named Nankin Township. Over the years small sections of Nankin Township broke off and became their own communities including Wayne, Garden City and Inkster. This phenomena lead Nankin Township and later Westland to have a peculiar shape. In 1966, the people of Nankin Township decided to incorporate as a city, but instead of keeping the Nankin name its citizens decided to name their newly incorporated city Westland,  after the shopping mall that had been erected within in its limits just a year earlier.

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First Things First: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The first thing I tell my clients when they tell me they are interested in buying a home is that they need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. More often than not my clients are surprised that getting pre-approved for a loan is the first step. I guess their thought is that they would like to go out and see if there are any homes out there that they would even want to buy before contacting a loan officer. But I look at it quite differently. If you decided you wanted to buy a new television you would first look at your bank account or the limit on your credit card before choosing the one you want to buy, right? I guess some people (and yes I fall into this category sometimes) just go to a store to look at televisions even though they have not determined whether they can make the purchase or in some cases know that they indeed cannot purchase a new television but are looking nonetheless. But as I have said many times before, buying a home is definitely a much bigger purchase than buying a television and thus deserves a bit more planning.

So if the first step in the process of searching for a new home is getting  pre-approved for a mortgage, then what’s the first thing that the loan officer will look at? Your credit score. Sure things like having a job and how much you pay in bills every month are important, but those items for the most part are known quantities and should not cause too much of a problem. Basically if you have decided to buy a home then you have a relatively good idea that you can indeed afford that home. Your credit score on the other hand can possibly be a wild card. Jack Guttentag in his article “6 Tips for a Higher Credit Score” on Inman.com, does a great job explaining how to make sure your credit is not a surprise when your loan officer pulls it up.

Buying a home should not be a spur of the moment decision. It requires planning and patience to insure the process is efficient and relatively painless.

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99-Cent Store Solution #3: Patch Drywall Hole

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Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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