As each area of the country has its own local customs and policies when it comes to buying real estate it is important for you to know what to expect in Michigan.
You can expect to close in 30 days from the time your offer is accepted if you are working with a local ender 45 days with an out of town lender. Possession is usually 30 days after closing. Much different than possession day of closing that most of the Chicago area experiences. You may charge the seller rent to stay for those extra days although the buyer normally lets the seller stay at no charge.
Seller pays for and will provide termite inspection however at Michigan Lakes Team Inc. we feel this is a conflict of interest for our buyer’s best interest and therefore recommend that the buyer pays the $60.00 for the inspection and controls who performs the inspection.
You may have your attorney represent you in your lake property purchase however this is not the norm. The title companies handle all aspects of the closing including title searches, processing all of the paperwork and doing the closing. They have their own attorneys. As your real estate agent is not an attorney and cannot give you legal advice if you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask your attorney.
You are encouraged to have the home you are interested in fully inspected by inspectors of your choice. We believe it is very important to know the full condition of the property before you close. Your inspection choices include: whole home, well, septic, water, radon, survey and more. You may also choose to have roof, electric, heating, cooling, plumbing etc. done by individual inspectors rather than a whole home inspector. Inspections are normally paid for at closing but some whole home inspectors may want to be paid for at the time of the inspection. Several health departments in Michigan ask for payment up front.
Your offer is contingent to favorable inspections. You may either ask the seller to make repairs to problems found through the inspections or cancel the sale if the seller does not agree. You will get your earnest money back. As these homes are most likely not new we are looking for major defects that will affect the integrity/safety of the home. Roof, cracked heat exchangers, unsafe electric, radon septic failure and well repairs. Expect many small items such as no GFI’s, sticky windows, bathroom fans not working etc. These items are not items to cancel a sale. Remember we are looking for major problems and that older homes will have many small items wrong with them. If you ask your agent to select inspectors for you please do not hold your agent liable if that inspector misses something. We can suggest inspectors for you but cannot guarantee their work.
Most heating systems will be propane heat or maybe even oil. These are systems you are most likely are not familiar with. We can get heating budgets for you from the seller which should give us an idea of how well the systems works and how insulated the home is. That combined with a heating system inspection should give us a good picture. All fuel stays with the house at closing.
Your earnest money will be held in non-interest bearing account with Michigan Lakes Team. Your check will be cashed and held until closing. Monies will be applied against your closing costs/down payment.
Taxes are prorated from January 1st until the day of closing. You will get a credit from the seller for this time period. After closing your taxes may go up substantially. Please check the Michigan tax we site or call the county treasurers to verify what your taxes may go up to. Your agent will guide you but cannot guarantee tax information.
You may ask the seller to provide a 1 year home warranty or you may purchase one yourself. Costs are normally $375-$400 paid at closing. This policy covers your home for items that may need repair but were in good working order when you closed. There is a deductible of normally $95.00 to you.
You are responsible to get information as to sex offender’s locations, psychologically affected properties, crime statistics etc. Your agent can give you the proper place to go for this information.
Michigan Lakes Team will NOT discriminate for any reason, with anyone nor answer any questions in respect to protected groups.
Michigan Lakes Team is a very ethical group of agents. We will always work for our client’s best interest while being fair and honest to everyone. We pride ourselves with our outstanding principles, education and professionalism. You will not find a better group of agents to work on your behalf. We look forward to helping you in this very important purchase and in keeping you well informed about lake living for many years to come.
Always make sure to ask the Real Estate Company you are thinking of listing with if they are members of the Multiple Listings Service and if they are Realtors. Some are not and will not offer this information to you. You must ask!
The Multiple Listing Service is where the company that has listed your home tells all other Real Estate Companies and agents about your home. The listing company will share the commission that you pay with these other companies in order to help sell your home faster and for the most money you can get. This makes it so hundreds of agents are trying to sell your home. If the company you list with is not a member of the MLS the only agents that are trying to sell your home are the 2 or 3 in that office. They will not work with any other companies or agents. This is NOT good for you! This is only good for the Real Estate Company as they keep all of the money.
With Michigan Lakes Team Inc. we will do anything to get the maximum exposure for your home.
We cover ALL of SW Michigan. That covers from New Buffalo all the way up to Saugatuck, east of Kalamazoo to Delton and Gun Lake, south to Colon to Indiana State line. You work with one office and one agent and you will see all homes that fit your needs and driving time even though they maybe 75 miles north and south of each other they will all be in your driving time. Our agents have been trained in detail about all the lakes, they know the polluted lakes to stay away from, the fish die offs, the ones with muck and the ones with sand.
We will meet at the first house on the tour and you will follow your agent. You won't end up at the same place so this will save you driving back to the beginning. We will show you all the lakefront homes that fit your needs in one day. The norm on this is 150-200 miles. You can expect this to take about 8 hours if we are seeing 12-14 homes. Make sure to pack snacks and drinks as many of the miles we cover will be in the country. We can stop for lunch or eat on the go, we'll leave that up to you. Your agent will not only give you the MLS print outs of the homes but you will have the listing/sale history of each one along with a map of that lake.
It will be a very informative day as you get a feel of the lakes you like and an idea if the lake market in Michigan.
In SW Michigan buyers do not use attorneys. Once you have an accepted contract on your lakefront home the Title Company handles the deed, processing and closing. The title company has their own attorneys and your agent will handle inspections, repair negotiations, and timelines to be met. You may have an attorney if you prefer but it is an option.
We are big believers in knowing all you can about a property before you buy and inspections are very important. You should have a whole home inspection and be there for it if you can during the inspections. Inspections include termite, water, well. sprinkler system, radon and a survey. The buyer pays for all fo the inspections except for the termite inpsection.
A survey is optional but we feel that it's a good idea to go ahead and have done. You can have just the borders staked or you can have the borders staked as well all of the improvements marked that sit on the property. The seller or buyer can pay.
We will work for you, the buyer unless you look at the agents own listing or the brokers own listing. In that case we become what is called a dual agent. A dual agent basically is in the middle and can not jeopardize either sides position. Things that the buyer discloses cannot be passed to seller and vice versa. You will not pay to have your agent work for you in a buyer broker capacity as sellers pay the listing company to have their home sold.
You usually need 20% down for a second home but there are some lenders that will accept 10% down.