I am planning to purchase a house in May 2013. You may recognize me from the thread I started almost 1 year ago asking if home prices would go up in the next 2-3 years in Metro Detroit and there were so many replies and I kept bumping the thread up to much later this year (each time something would come up that would cause me some severe worry and stress) with the latest reply being in September.
Well anyways, my time frame may be a bit ahead of schedule and I have pushed it forward a bit as may savings goal is a little (due to cashing out on my mutual funds a week ago and getting more OT at work than I would have thought) ahead of schedule a little bit although only 2 months ahead of the 2 year time frame when I started this thread.
Now this will be a house I intend to pay cash for and that is the only option as I absolutely refuse to have a mortgage of any kind as I am a cash only person and hate any debt.
Now there are specific areas I will most likely be buying in:
*Sterling Heights (Utica School District - Not because I care about the school district as I am not haivng childtren, but because the property taxes are almost 20% lower for an equal valued home for whatever reason in that section than Warren Consolidated school district)
*Auburn Hills (May prefer Pontiac school district as taxes are lower for an equal valued house than in Avondale school district, although the difference is less than Utica vs Warren Consolidate in property taxes and Auburn Hills in Avondale is only like maybe 10% higher than in Pontiac school district)
These are the 3 areas I will most likely be buying in. Reason being is these areas are within a reasonable commute distance to my job, they have lots of homes in my price range, and they have low property taxes. Those 3 reasons are the most important.
I calculated property taxes here: https://treas-secure.state.mi.us/pte...testimator.asp
No I do not know how accurate that is and if any of these areas have an extra hidden property tax that is not part of the normal city tax that I should be aware of?
Now as I get ever so closer, and continue to hold my breath ensuing my price range is safe for these areas with only 5.5 short months to go, how am I looking? As some have stated the home prices and where they are headed and by how much has so much to so with the areas you are looking at. So the focus being specific on these areas, how am I looking with only 5.5 short months to go.
Here is what I am looking for in one of these areas:
*1000-1300 square feet brick starter home with a small or bigger basement and a 1.5-2 car garage on a small lot built in the 1960s or newer (Bigger home on bigger lot would be fine as long as it was still in my price range and in good condition in a decent or better neighborhood)
*Neighborhood has to be decent or better and safe and reasonably well kept up – Does not have to be perfect in terms of up keep/neighbors taking care of lawn, but it has to be reasonable and cannot be severely run down (Vanilla landscaping is totally fine and maybe even preferred. I define vanilla landscaping as having an almost all grass lawn with a little simple plants)
*Little to no home owner’s association fee (0 to $100 per year)
*Maximum price range of $95K to $125K (preferably no higher than $120K) for an up to date in good condition, well taken care of mostly up to date home in move in condition (such as having newer furnace, water heater, stove, kitchen, roof, etc so things work and will last a long time after moving in)
*Fixer upper home for maximum price range of $60K to $85K in a neighborhood of $95K to $125K homes that are all reasonably well kept and in good condition. This would be a home in such a neighborhood that say needed some work such as a new kitchen, water heater, furnace, bathroom, roof, etc… and some of it could be done myself with the help of my dad and brother and maybe hiring someone to do some of it so the cost of any needed labor and materials would be no higher than $40K to $60K thus making the finished product right back into my price range and in line with the quality of the homes in the neighborhood
(An in between of the 2 above scenarios also works)
So how am I looking? It seems highly unlikely that much could change in the market in 5.5 short months, although the stress and worries still persist for me over the what ifs. But the closer I get, the safer it feels from the evil wrath of rising home prices that would push my price range to the brink or shatter it all together for what I am looking for. Although even over 6 months ago, I knew it was probably pretty unlikely that home prices would go up that much to threaten my price range in just 1 to 1.5 years, the worries still persisted and some things I would read would make me feel on the edge of my seat and cause a great deal of stress and panic wondering whether my price range was in trouble or not when my time came? Fortunately, it seems that much of the scary news about possible violent price increases have mostly been in upper tier prestigious areas like the west side of Royal Oak, Birmingham, Plymouth, certain pockets of Troy and Rochester Hills, and Grosse Pointe which are areas that were too expensive for me to begin with anyways and some of them way too far away and also some of them had too high of property taxes for my liking.
Since the focus is now specific to these areas of Sterling Heights, Waterford,, and Auburn Hills, what trends have you noticed just regarding these areas? Anything disturbing, or do you think I am well on track for what I am looking for in one of these areas in 5.5 short months in my price range?
Also, how is the foreclosure situation? Are there still plenty of foreclosures coming onto the market and stuck in a pipeline through court proceedings that will continue to be released to the market at least through May 2013 and beyond? I have done my own research and it seems like it, but cannot really tell for sure. It is a bit disturbing that foreclosures filings were done significantly year over year, but it seems based on how real estate is a slow process with only 5.5 months to go for me, the effects of that would not be noticed until 2014 and it would seem there should still be plenty of foreclosures coming to the market gradually form the pending backlog gradually month over month at least for another 6 months or so, but I cannot really tell or know for sure? What do you think?
And also, how much do you know about those areas? Are there any bad pockets/neighborhoods of these areas that should be avoided?
Also, do you foresee any threat of greedy scumbag investment companies buying up properties and creating an artificial shortage that could drive prices up to shatter my price range for what I am looking for in such a short time. I read in another thread here shortly that it was hard to buy home sin certain pockets of the city of Detroit and someone mentuioned that a property was purchased by some company in Florida. which leads me to believe and also have heard rumors of companies in Florida doing it to properties throughout much of the country. These kind of companies doing that are flat out scumbags who are as bad as people like Bernie Madoff and far worse than stock market insider traders. Yes, I am that emotional about paying cash and getting a starter in my price range when my time comes and it is of utmost important to me. I have no problem with people who buy second properties for vacation purposes or for the purpose of giving it to their kids one day. But investment firms buying them up to drive an artificial shortage and turn them into rentals and then hope prices are driven way up past the reasonable where they should be $95K to $125K range for nice starter homes in a few years in good neighborhoods and sell them one day at a much higher price than that are evil scumbags as bad as people like Bernie Madoff.