Real Estate Blog - Home Owner Tips and Advice

A round up of some of our best tips, advice and more. 

There’s one thing I’ve learned from my decade listing homes in Ypsilanti, dogs love me.  I mean they really love me.  Every breed of dog, Labradoodle, Pitadoodle, Snickerdoodle.  Okay, maybe not Snickerdoodles. That’s a little nutty.  Did you catch that? That’s a bad cookie joke and a terrible pun...BAM!  Are you still reading this? Great!  Because I have some excellent information and relevant data that could make you some big time cash (or bitcoin) on your home sale.  It all has to do with man’s best friend, but more about that later...

So we’ve established dogs love me, Ypsi loves dogs and YOU love cash.  The number one question Ypsilanti sellers ask me is “Hey, can you stop petting my dog?”  The second question they ask me is “What improvements can…

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Ready to leave your winter blues behind? Catch up with our Spring newsletter! Did you know we have specific newsletters available for Dexter/Miller, Whittaker Village, Warner Creek, & Vernon Downs neighborhoods!? Learn about the latest market information, catch up on local events and discover the amazing benefits of native plants! What're you waiting for? Dive right in!

We can also run a FREE market analysis for you at any time. Just give us a call at (734) 677-3500.

Spring Newsletter

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When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, there are obvious things you notice them doing to help your house sell. Things like: hosting open houses, bringing potential buyers on home tours, and marketing your property in multiple ways to make sure it gets enough exposure.

But when it comes to adding value to your home sale, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A huge percentage of our job takes place behind-the-scenes- working around the clock to get your house sold!

Here are 4 behind-the-scenes way your Spotlight agent is working to get your house sold:

1. Performing market research


When it comes to pricing your home, we don't just pull a random number out of a hat. Your agent’s recommendation is a result of…

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If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, obviously you want to do everything you can to increase the value before you sell. And if you want to add to that value without breaking the bank? Try a little paint.

According to Zillow’s 2018 Paint Colors Analysis, which analyzed the effects different paint colors had on home values, choosing the right paint colors—and incorporating those paint colors in the right way—can make a huge difference when you list your home.

Which colors will give you the most bang for your buck? According to the analysis, painting your door black can boost your home’s sales price by 2.9% while covering the bathroom walls in a periwinkle blue can add another 1.3%.

The kitchen is another area where the…

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We've noticed a trend lately. Our buyers' ages are shifting! It's not just us though, 2019 is set to be a major year for millennials.

According to's 2019 housing forecast, millennials will account for nearly half (45%) of all mortgages in 2019—significantly more than Gen Xers (37%) and Baby Boomers (17%).

As time goes on and we enter a new decade, that trend is only going to continue. According to the report, 2020 will see a peak in millennial home buying as the largest percentage of millennials turn 30. And millennials will likely continue to dominate the housing market for the better part of the next 10 years.

The Takeaway

If you’re a millennial who has been thinking about purchasing a home, 2019 is the time to join…

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A good Buyers Agent is like a well-trained Sherpa that will guide you through the rocky terrain and to the peak of home ownership. In most real estate transactions, there are typically two Realtors, one representing each party. The “Listing Agent” represents the seller and their interests and the “Buyers Agent” represents you as the buyer.

A  few ways a Buyer’s Agent can have your back:



1. Help you find the right lender and introduce you to loans and programs you may never have heard of otherwise.




2. Protect ALL of your interests as a buyer. From your financial interests to your family interests and future resale.




3. Negotiating the best price…

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Even with interest rates at historic lows, it seems to be getting harder and harder for first-time homebuyers or people with credit blemishes to get a home loan. Higher student loan payments, rents and overall cost of living are keeping people in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and all over the country from buying their first home.

When I get a call from a first-time home buyer, sometimes they have a pre-approval and other times they do not. Even though I am not a lender myself, I have a network of lenders that provide an assortment of products. Often times I will tell them about a program and their response is, “Why didn’t my lender tell me about that?” There is a good chance that their lender did not go through the training necessary to implement the…

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The Ann Arbor area is no stranger to winter. Make the transition a bit easier by preparing you for what is to come. 



1. Out with the Summer Tools, In with the Snowblower

Organize your garage to make the most practical sense. Pull your lawnmower to the back and break out the sidewalk salt and snowblower. Make sure your blower is in good working order before the first snow arrives. 



2. Get your yard ready for frost 

Outdoor chores can be a drag, but hey!- at least you won't have to trim or mow for a few months. Collect your leaves, trim the grass short and fertilize to ensure a bright green lawn next spring. Check out the Ann Arbor City's website for ideas on ways to manage your yard waste. 


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Sam and Dan had the honor of sitting down with Bonnie Billups, Jr. Executive of the Peace Neighborhood Center in Ann Arbor.

Peace, as they refer to themselves, offers a wide variety of youth and adult services.  Their after-school enrichment programs provide meals and tutoring for 80-120 students per day.  Adult services are geared to help adults gain knowledge and skills that will improve their confidence and ability to manage the day-to-day struggles of family life.

Sam and Dan were especially interested to know how we, at Spotlight Houses, could partner with this wonderful charity especially when it comes to housing needs.

The soaring home prices in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas have taken a toll on many low-income families in the area.…

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