9/18/2013

Reduced Waiting Period for Borrowers Who Experienced Foreclosure


Waiting Period is Reduced
Great news for borrowers!  If you have experienced bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, or short sale, you may now reenter the mortgage market in as little as 12 months!



"Back to Work"
The Federal Housing Administration recently released a new mortgage letter acknowledging the hardships that many borrowers faced in "recent recession-related periods of financial difficulty".  Additionally, the FHA realizes that borrowers "credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage".

Who is Eligible
Eligibility is based on providing evidence that poor credit was not the fault of the borrower and that income loss was for greater than 6 months at a 20 percent reduction in income.  The borrower must also show that they have reestablished good credit for the past 12 months, and attend a housing counseling class.


 
Moving Forward


Designed to help potential buyers who are trying to get back on their feet after financial difficulty, these guidelines are effective until September 2016.

As you move toward your goal of homeownership, it helps to have someone in your corner!  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about the process, we look forward to hearing from you!

     248-758-0022



 




9/17/2013

Inexpensive and Durable Flooring Alternatives

A low-cost alternative to flooring is something I've been pondering lately. Everyone knows about tile and hardwood flooring, and knows how expensive they can be. As I look at the prospect of home ownership, I contemplate the expenses, and conveniences of different types of flooring.
Hardwoods and tiles are amazing because of their cleanliness. They don't retain smells or stains and are very easy to clean. They last for a long time, far longer than carpet which is also more expensive to clean and maintain. So I wonder, what type of hard flooring can I get which is clean and lasts as long as tile or hardwood, without the expense? Here's what I found:



Polished Concrete


Well I am practically in love with the idea of simple concrete floors. They are under most subfloors and flooring in a standard basement to start with, so they make a wonderful flooring option for a basement. Even if you want to finish your basement, concrete floors can look amazing. If you rent some common tools for a hardware store, you can buff, clean, polish, and seal it yourself in 1-3 days and have results that will last your lifetime.
Concrete is porous, but if you seal it with a few layers it becomes extremely sanitary.  Concrete is arguably more sanitary than tile or hardwoods as it has absolutely no cracks for allergens, dirt, or other matter to gather in.
I was feeling slightly deterred from concrete, thinking about how slippery it must be once it's finished. I had already planned to throw some nice ornamental area rugs over it, but I still wouldn't want anyone slipping elsewhere. I was pleased to find that there are non-slip sealants out there, that while still looking glossy, have added texture for friction. Amazing!



Acid Stained Concrete


This is the same as the regular concrete flooring. However this adds in an extra step which, although it doesn't affect the floor's functionality, makes it completely different. By adding in some acidic, colored stains, you can get a faux marble look. You can stain concrete any color you wish (most common is brown), or enhance the natural grays. The end result is truly beautiful. It looks like a marble floor that costs far less than most other options, and will last your whole life!



Recycled Glass Tile


Though this can still be expensive, glass tiles usually run less than ceramic tiles. They are also found to be more durable in many cases because of the way they are created. You can find them in solids, dapples, and print designs or colors. The most wonderful thing about these is that they are recycled and reused glass, which means one small victory for mother earth.



Pennies


I've already written about using pennies as a form of cheap alternative flooring in a past blog. I love this idea, though it does require a particular design to be pulled off right. But if you're feeling daring, try a penny floor. They will look best in a room with a lot of natural light, or pure artificial light. for $1.44 a square foot, you can't beat the price. The only other costs are the adhesive to glue them to the floor, and the sealant. Oh, and some Advil for that back pain after laying 500 pennies.


Feng Shui 101

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy on design which is utilized to help humans become more in tuned with nature and their surroundings.  Used optimally, feng shui is said to be able to improve your life. It is said you can use feng shui to increase income, improve love, better your health. It is most well known for its applications in home design, which professionals all over the world refer to.



Here are some basics:

1.) First, consider your home in this way, as the image below depicts. The top image is how everything is divided and categorized, in its simplest terms, according to feng shui. The lower image is how that translates to your home. The top most color (fire) is north, while black is south (water).



 
Another image, showing the directions:



These guides are called the ba gua. It is a mapping chart to divide your home into nine areas and to determine where to place furniture and objects. You can get started in feng shui by using a ba gua do divide your home into these life areas, wealth, future, love, children, helpful people, career, harmony, family and well-being.
Consider these connections when organizing and decorating your home. You want everything to be in harmony and balance. This means that water should not overpower fire, or vice versa. Considering east and west, green should not be more prominent than white, and so on. 
Because balance is the goal, so too must you consider how much of these qualities are represented. If you are decorating a room you want to make sure that its elements are represented there (IE: water room having a fountain). However, you do not want too much of them. Nor do you want too much of a different (especially contrasting) element. 



2.) One of the main principals of feng shui is the "Five Elements." This is noticing the colors around you, what they represent, and how they are in balance with one another. Notice how they make you feel. Here is an elaboration on what they represent and control:

Fire Colors: Reds, Oranges - passion
Earth Colors: Browns, Yellows - stability 
Metal Colors: White, Metallics -  strength 
Water Colors: Deep Blues, Black - relaxation
Wood Colors: Greens - growth 

3.) I asked my friend Margo, who is a practitioner, for some tips for someone starting out in feng shui. This is what she said, 
"If you live in the Northern hemisphere - you can maximize your daylight by ensuring you have east south and west facing windows- the opposite is true in the Southern Hemispheres - have east north and west facing windows."
4.) Another main principle is that of continuity and connectedness. It means that the more you surround yourself with images of what you want to attract, the more likely you are to attractive them. An easy and effective way to do this is to make sure your artwork represents what you want to attract into your life.






9/10/2013

Energy Saving Tips


Energy Saving Tips

Nowadays, saving energy is no longer just a nice idea, it is an important skill for homeowners. Saving energy is saving money, plain and simple!  

We could all use some great energy saving ideas!  Hopefully you will find a few here that you can incorporate into your lifestyle.  Small changes can add up to big savings!


·        Install energy efficient appliances.

·        Install energy efficient light bulbs throughout your home.

·        Recycle
 

·        Insulate ceilings and attics, don't forget to ask for tax credits, if applicable.

·        Caulk windows and doors.

·        Caulk anywhere there is an air leak.

·        Wrap heating and cooling ducts with duct wrap.

·        Install energy saver showerheads.
 

·        Set your furnace thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.

·        Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.

·        Install a new energy efficient furnace and air conditioner.

·        Replace old windows with new windows.
 

·        Replace furnace and air conditioner filters on a regular basis.

·        Set the water heater thermostat to 140 degrees if you have a dishwasher. If you do not have a dishwasher, set it at 120 degrees.

·        Fix all plumbing and faucet drips as soon as they start.

·        Only wash full loads in dishwasher and washer.

·        Install shades or curtains on south and west windows in the summer.

·        Open shades and curtains in the winter on sunny days to warm up your rooms.

 

9/04/2013

Front Door Colors and What They Say

   As with everything in life, there is no clear or ultimate rule. When dealing with color it is important to remember that its potency comes from how it is interpreted. Because everyone is individual, colors may mean something different to you.  You are the best judge of your own spaces and know your own preferences best. Be aware of what you want when designing your home, but when in doubt, refer to some tips and tricks like these to make the decisions easier!




Reds:
   A red front door is a popular idea. Though most people stick to browns and taupe, red is the most popular color in America beyond the mundane. It is probably so popular because red is the color of passion and impulse, and is closely associated with bravery, love, and money. Red also demands attention, so home owners often opt for a red door because like that it says, "hey look at me, I'm brave and comfortable with that." They aren't off base, red certainly says many things, and that is one of them.




Blues:
   There are a myriad of blues which can all be strikingly different from each other, even when they seem similar!  Blue may be mixed with small amounts of red, or green, which will determine if you have a "warm" blue or a "cool" blue.
   Blues can be pastel, deep, bright, or pale and associated with intuition, empathy, sensitivity, calmness, success, and trust. These are powerfully positive things.  Blue comes off as a very strong and stable color. For this reason most government agencies (state and federal ) use blue in their logos. Many offices rely on blue for decor because it promotes order.




Yellows:
   Yellow promotes feelings of positivity, happiness, warmth, amusement, and mental stimulation. However, your personal tastes and judgements will affect this.  I have a yellow kitchen (my third yellow kitchen) as homage to growing up with one. However, I chose a pale, warm yellow only slightly beyond the realm of white. For me that color yellow promotes happiness, cheerfulness, positivity.




Black:
   You may be surprised to find that black is a diverse color with many applications.  Black is actually very closely linked with order, cleanliness, sophistication, respect, tradition, and equality in terms of design.  A black front door can be an elegant touch.
   Black front doors make a beautiful statement about tradition and sophistication, and modern, contemporary design, giving a feeling of respectable, clean, order. Though you may think black is a common color for utilitarian objects like doors and trimming, take a look and you will find that having a black door will actually set you far apart from the norm.




White:
   White symbolizes cleanliness, purity, simplicity, and clarity.  A white front door says that those who reside beyond it value order, organization, cleanliness, and control. It also says that they understand simplicity, and respect mental clarity.
    If you choose to opt for a white door, considering deviating from stark white, and choosing an egg shell or muted gray. In this way the feelings this powerful color portrays will be dulled down. Keep in mind that the entrance to your home is one of the chiefly important areas of it. Your door will give people their first impression of you and your family.


In Conclusion:
   Start by imagining how you want your entrance to look on the outside, and inside of the home. The porch and your foyer space are connected to one another so make sure they reflect this. Once you have that in mind, choose a color that will go with your design. Be it yellow, purple, green, blue, black, or orange, make sure that you consider every hue and shade before making a selection. You do not have to choose a textbook standard when dealing with colors.
   The color you choose will mean something personal to you. But make sure it does not misrepresent you to others who will venture to your threshold. The front door of your home is a first impression area, and the energy guests and visitors pick up from it will affect how they see the rest of your home, and those who live within it.


9/03/2013

Day Care Services In Warren, Waterford, & Pontiac

If you are moving into the northern area of Oakland County soon you may be interested to learn about some of the day care programs available. We want to ease the transition for you, so we have provided lists of programs in the Warren, Pontiac, and Waterford areas. Moving into a new home can be a big adjustment for your child. Placing them in a positive learning environment with other children - even just for a short time once a week - can help them to feel better about it. They will meet friends who are nearby, and start to grow a sense of independence and community.




Warren

 
♦ Amazing Learning Academy
          23297 Hoover Road
♦ Antioch Baptist Church
     30590 Dequindre Road
♦ Busy Bee Home Learning Center
     23815 Marlin Avenue
♦ Carousels Child Care
     14410 Toepfer Road
♦ Creative Child Inc
     4320 East 12 Mile Road
♦ Kiddy Camp
     29850 Lorraine Ave
♦ Lifelink Home Health Care Services Inc
     11885 East 12 Mile Road
♦ Mt Calvary Luthern Church
     8129 Packard Avenue
♦ Robinwood Preschool
     28600 Suburban Drive



Waterford
 


♦ Academic Adventures
     2716 Dixie Highway
♦ Airport Road KinderCare
     3575 Airport Road
♦ Alkapa Child Care Corporation PC
     4299 Roseberry Court
♦ Bright Horizons Children’s Centers LLC
     2490 Airport Road
♦ Happily Ever After Child Care
     4250 Stanley Court
♦ Haviland Child Care
     5305 Cass Elizabeth Road
♦ Nanny Anytime
     1048 Sandpiper Drive
♦ Our Lady Of The Lakes
     5501 Dixie Highway
♦ Stepping Stone Childcare
     4440 West Walton Boulevard
♦ Sunny Skies Child Care
     3881 Highland Road




Pontiac

 
♦Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
     318 Auburn Avenue
♦ Baldwin Early Learning Center
     212 Baldwin Avenue
♦ Bright Beginners
     19 South Eastway Drive
♦ By Your Side Child Care
     252 Voorheis Street
♦ Cox Family Day Care
     64 Illinois Avenue
♦ Head Start
     196 Cesar E Chavez Avenue
♦ Douglas P Jones
     143 Oneida Street
♦ Loving Hearts Childcare And Development Center
     770 East Walton Boulevard
♦ Nurtured Minds & Hearts Academy
     1079 Williamson Circle
♦ Tee’s Daycare
     712 Newman Lane
 

Residential for sale - 240 W YALE Avenue, Pontiac, MI 48340

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