First-Time Home Buyer 101: Five Ways to Jumpstart your Home Search in 2015

Daisy Square Lofts
Daisy Square Lofts
house1
Patrick and Carrie’s First Home in Plymouth

Buying a home is anything but a passive process.  You must align yourself with a reliable team and take an active role in the process with plenty of communication with both your household members and your real estate team.

Here are five things to think about to get started:

  1.  Find a Local REALTOR in the area of your desired home. A local real estate professional will have knowledge of the schools and neighborhoods in the community in which you’re searching. They can help you determine which neighborhood or street is the best fit for you based on your wants and needs. When your Realtor lives and works in the community, they know it best and can pass on their first-hand knowledge to you.
  1.  Talk to 2-3 lenders (local ones, ideally) and pick one to obtain a Pre Approval. Interviewing multiple lenders is an important step. You want to find someone with whom you’re comfortable discussing your finances and personal information because you will be entrusting them to finance the biggest purchase of your life – so far. It’s also very important to find a lender who will be available to you when you need them, during business hours and beyond. Pre-approvals help gauge how much you can comfortably spend on your home. Local lenders are hopefully easier to meet in person and will understand the area in which you’re buying.
  1.  Spend time in the towns and neighborhoods you’re considering. Going to open houses is a great way to familiarize yourself with the local neighborhoods and home styles. Visiting open houses does not require a pre-approval letter, but it’s recommended to look within your price range. Filling your weekends with open house tours will increase your knowledge of the local market and help you determine what you can get for your money. It’s also important to visit the towns/cities you want to live in and experience the festivals, events, restaurants and shops. You can learn more about the area, meet the locals, and find out what you can buy for your money
  1.  Work your travel plans around house hunting so that you are available when the right house comes up on the market. Good houses go fast, especially in more affordable price ranges. You want to be able to be the first in the door when a good house gets listed, especially during the spring and summer months when there are more buyers searching for homes. The early bird gets the worm!
  1.  Make sure you have prioritized your needs and are realistic based on your price range and the level of competition in the market. You could miss out on the right home if you narrow your search too much. Keep an open mind and trust your REALTOR’s suggestions. Make sure your Realtor knows your deal-breakers, but keep them realistic. Competition has become common lately for good homes, so working with a local expert who is skilled at negotiating and writing offers will put you ahead of the pack.

There are many more items to think about but if you have a good REALTOR they will help you navigate the process and keep you on track to get your ideal next home!

Just Sold: 1064 William in Downtown Plymouth, 3389 sqft 4 Bed, 3 Bath Front Porch Cape Cod

1064 WilliamWe are pleased to announce the completed sale of 1064 William in downtown Plymouth. This home sold immediately and is further evidence that highly desirable homes in the City remain in demand.  Located within easy walking distance to downtown and schools, the welcoming, covered front porch exemplifies Plymouth curb appeal. From there, you enter an updated and expanded home with charming vintage details and modern amenities commensurate with a home of this calibre. Generously appointed with spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, a new mudroom, updated windows, 2 high efficiency furnaces and central air, electrical, the features and updates are many.  Additional noteworthy items include built-in cabinetry and crafted millwork throughout, updated maple and granite kitchen with stainless steel appliances (2011), large breakfast area and adjacent open dining room, gas fireplace in great room, upstairs loft style family room with wet bar and skylights, abundant storage space including pull-down attic access in both garage & main house, 1st floor master suite and another full bedroom with a full bathroom on main level and 2 bedrooms with one large bathroom upstairs make it versatile for many household configurations. A main floor office, laundry and bonus room are practical as well. A private fenced-in rear yard with deck for pets or kids to play. This is the Plymouth downtown experience and location that so many desire!  See the virtual tour at www.bobbake.com.
For more information about buying or selling a home in Plymouth, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie,  Associate Broker, at (734) 788-2398 – carrie@bobbake.com, Patrick,  Associate Broker
,at  (734) 272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com, or Stephanie, REALTOR, at (734) 620-4536 – stephanie@bobbake.com.

Just Sold: 656 Evergreen, Plymouth Hough Park Colonial with 5 Bedrooms, 3.1 Bath and 3700 Sqft

evergreen
We are very pleased to announce our latest sale, this original owner Hough Park colonial was purchased by our clients in time to enjoy all that summer brings to Plymouth: casual walks along tree-lined streets, neighborhood playgrounds, downtown concerts, events, and the weekly farmer’s market.  With 3700 sqft of living space, 5 bedrooms, 3.1 bathrooms, a barn, and generously scaled room sizes, this Hough Park home gives the new owners the lot space and community feel that makes a Hough Park residence so desirable among other City homes.
The Hough Park neighborhood has seen a resurgence in recent years as quite a few homes have changed hands.  You’ll see many homes undergoing extensive renovations, additions, and landscaping on any given street.  And while the market has fallen and risen over the years, the location of Hough Park and the unique homes will always make this area something truly special for generations to come.
If you are searching for a home in Plymouth, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie,  Associate Broker, at (734) 788-2398 – carrie@bobbake.com, Patrick,  REALTOR,at  (734) 272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com, or Stephanie, REALTOR, at (734) 620-4536 – stephanie@bobbake.com.  If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Just Sold: 13150 Glenview in Plymouth – 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Ranch with Finished Walk-out Lower Level on over 1/2 Acre

glenviewJust sold to one of our clients, this ’60s era Brick Ranch in Plymouth represents the best single floor living has to offer.  Spread out over grounds that provide the optimal space between neighbors, this 1700 sqft home also affords another benefit of a Ranch home: a large basement due to the larger footprint (shadow area) of the home.  The additional 1700 sqft in the lower level is made more appealing and functional given its walkout configuration with large windows facing an expansive rear yard ideal for entertaining and outdoor activities.
The Plymouth real estate market continues to show strength as prices steadily rise but more new listings are arriving on the market each day.  The supply situation is still very tight but buyers now have some selection to choose from.  However, the good ones go fast like this one which sold immediately with multiple offers.
If you are searching for a home in Plymouth, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie,  Associate Broker, at (734) 788-2398 – carrie@bobbake.com, Patrick,  REALTOR,at  (734) 272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com, or Stephanie, REALTOR, at (734) 620-4536 – stephanie@bobbake.com.  If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Just Sold: 1064 William in Downtown Plymouth, 3389 sqft 4 Bed, 3 Bath Front Porch Cape Cod

1064 WilliamJust listed sold, this Plymouth home located within easy walking distance to downtown and schools exudes the timeless elegance you expect. When you arrive, you are greeted by a gracious, covered front porch.  You will enter an updated and expanded home with charming vintage details and the modern amenities commensurate with a home of this calibre. Generously appointed with spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, a new mudroom, updated windows, 2 high efficiency furnaces and central air, electrical, the features and updates are many.  Additional noteworthy items include built-in cabinetry and crafted millwork throughout, updated maple and granite kitchen with stainless steel appliances (2011), large breakfast area and adjacent open dining room, gas fireplace in great room, upstairs loft style family room with wet bar and skylights, abundant storage space including pull-down attic access in both garage & main house, 1st floor master suite and another full bedroom with a full bathroom on main level and 2 bedrooms with one large bathroom upstairs make it versatile for many household configurations. A main floor office, laundry and bonus room are practical as well. A private fenced-in rear yard with deck for pets or kids to play. This is the Plymouth downtown experience and location that so many desire!  See the virtual tour at www.bobbake.com.
If you would like to schedule a private viewing of this home or are searching for a home in Plymouth, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie,  Associate Broker, at (734) 788-2398 – carrie@bobbake.com, Patrick,  Associate Broker
,at  (734) 272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com, or Stephanie, REALTOR, at (734) 620-4536 – stephanie@bobbake.com.  If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Just Sold: 317 Ann Street in Downtown Plymouth, 1693 sqft 3 Bed, 2 Bath Farm House Style Colonial

317 Ann in Plymouth
Just sold – Classic character and charm, prime location, and gorgeous updates define this downtown Plymouth residence. Originally built in 1921 and renovated in 2003, the interior is warm and inviting with lustrous wood flooring and white trim. As you enter, the main floor is open with a larger living room and dining room.  The updated kitchen features stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and 42” Maple cabinets. All 3 bedrooms are located on the same second floor level including the master suite. Enjoy plenty of natural light in the master retreat which features 2 closets. There are also plenty of bathing options with 2 updated full baths – each with a tub and one with a ceramic tiled shower and granite countertop double sink vanity. Outside, you’ll discover a detached 2 car garage and fenced in rear yard for pets! And living in downtown Plymouth along a tree-lined street would not be complete without the wide, covered front porch. A perfect place to rest after a casual summertime stroll. Here, you’ll be close enough to main street shopping and dining while enjoying one of downtown’s most picturesque streets.
If you are searching for a home in Plymouth, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie,  Associate Broker, at (734) 788-2398 – carrie@bobbake.com, Patrick,  REALTOR,at  (734) 272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com, or Stephanie, REALTOR, at (734) 620-4536 – stephanie@bobbake.com.  If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Plymouth’s Beacon Hill

45800 Beacon HillThe Beacon Hill Neighborhood of Plymouth

  • Mostly Ranches & Colonials
  • 2,000-4,500 Square Feet
  • Built 1963-1991
  • Prices Ranging $322,000-$1,000,000+ (The higher range homes are located in the original 24 lot section off N. Territorial and on Lighthouse Court)
  • Bird Elementary, West Middle and PCEP High Schools

Forever one of Plymouth’s most desired and sought after neighborhoods is Beacon Hill, sometimes referred to as “Beacon Estates”. There are 173 homes in total, mostly Ranch and Colonial styles that range in size from 2,000-4,500 square feet. While you’ll see a lot of brick exteriors, you’ll notice that no two homes look quite alike. The bulk of the neighborhood was built during the 1960s and 1970s with construction continuing up until 1991.

A Number of homes in the neighborhood are placed on cul-de-sacs and all have mature trees. All of the Courts and Circles in Beacon Hill provide some privacy from home to home and yard to yard. This location is valued for its easy accessibility to town and both Middle School West and Bird Elementary. Beacon Hill is nestled up against Plymouth’s Township Park on the west.

45763 Amesbury

Beacon Hill was the creation of Loren W. Gould, a highly respected man with a likeable personality who dominated the building landscape in Plymouth during the 2nd half of the 20th century. Now deceased, but born and raised in Plymouth, he was the consummate entrepreneur of his day with gifted instincts and risk-taking boldness. The first section of Beacon Hill was a 24-lot section running south off N. Territorial with a 1-acre minimum size featuring sewer & water. This, in the early 1960’s, was a high-risk speculative venture fueled by 2 or 3 Plymouth citizens who, along with Mr. Gould, climbed the economic ladder and wanted to enjoy larger custom built homes with private settings. Many of the original buyers were City of Plymouth long-time residents who, in their 50’s, desired amenities that couldn’t be added to their older homes. This was the transformational in the mid 1960’s and it took at least 10 years to build out the first phase.

All of this pre-dated the creation of the M-14 expressway and Beck Road was still unpaved. No subdivisions existed West of Sheldon Road except for “Old Woodlore” on the Southeast corner of Beck and Ann Arbor roads. Mr. & Mrs. Gould’s home at 12500 Beacon Hill Drive was featured on the front page of the Detroit Free Press when, at that time, a 2250 square foot home was considered large. In the 70’s and 80’s there were new phases to Beacon Hill as larger parcels made available by aging owners provided access to Ann Arbor Trail and the cache of the Beacon Hill name became an important moniker for the marketing of these later phases. Bob Bake says “I remember clearly in the early 80’s when interest rates were in the mid to high teens, Mr. Gould told me he had borrowed from National Bank of Detroit a million dollars for the development of the larger and final plats. This was when a million dollars was very serious money. His carrying costs of that loan would have created serious problems if the sale of the lots to 3 builders had not occurred.

12305 Beacon Hill

Wander North, South, East or West to find entertainment, shopping, dining and events in Downtown Northville, Downtown Plymouth, Ann Arbor and Canton’s Cherry Hill Village (and theatre). Walk to downtown Plymouth down either Ann Arbor Trail or North Territorial and enjoy festivities and fun for all ages. Canton’s Village Theatre is always showcasing local talents. The proximity to these towns and central location between Ann Arbor and Detroit is another reason Beacon Hill is so popular.

Accordingly, the homes of Beacon Hill sell for premium prices. In July 2013 a 4 Bedroom, 4 ½ Bath Ranch in the 1st phase sold for the highest price recorded in the last few years in the neighborhood – $562,000! This home featured spacious rooms, main floor master bedroom, finished basement, wine cellar, expansive deck, wooded & private rear yard and an in-ground pool. The following homes sold in the past year in Beacon Estates:

  • 46354 Wesford Court for $322,000
  • 12313 Duxbury Court for $345,000
  • 45763 Amesbury Drive for $362,000
  • 45800 Beacon Hill Circle for $370,000
  • 45931 Amesbury for $415,000
  • 12600 Beacon Hill Court for $562,000

Beacon Hill is in the Plymouth-Canton school district and individual school rankings are accessible by clicking here. Children from this particular neighborhood may attend Bird Elementary and West Middle Schools, which are both on Sheldon Road and within walking distance.  All students in Plymouth-Canton’s district will go on to PCEP (Plymouth Canton Educational Park). The Park is comprised of all three high schools for the district and a lottery decides whether your child will go to Canton, Salem or Plymouth high school. There are many private and charter school in the area for you to select from.

The Bake Real Estate Group has worked with countless homeowners, both buyers and sellers, in Beacon Hill. In fact, we just recently connected with original owners on 12305 Beacon Hill Drive to sell their home. It’s currently under contract at a list price of $419,900 and you can get more information on this home and see the virtual tour by visiting our team’s website. Some other homes we’ve had the pleasure of working with include:

  • 45763 Amesbury Drive – 4 Bedroom Colonial on a large private lot.
  • 45800 Beacon Hill Circle – 4 Bedroom Georgian Colonial on a Cul-de-Sac.
  • 46023 Amesbury Drive – 4 Bedroom Colonial with a finished basement.
  • 12560 Lighthouse Court – 4 Bedroom Brick Colonial with a 3 car garage.
  • 13401 Beacon Hill Drive – 4 Bedroom Colonial backing to woods and trails.

For more insights on homes in Beacon Hill or the surrounding area, please contact the Bake Real Estate Group. If you have a home to sell in Beacon Estates and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your goals or concerns in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

– Stephanie Brown and Bob Bake

Just Listed: 317 Ann Street in Downtown Plymouth, 1693 sqft 3 Bed, 2 Bath Farm House Style Colonial

317 Ann in Plymouth
(Update – this home has sold) Just listed  – Classic character and charm, prime location, and gorgeous updates define this downtown Plymouth residence. Originally built in 1921 and renovated in 2003, the interior is warm and inviting with lustrous wood flooring and white trim. As you enter, the main floor is open with a larger living room and dining room.  The updated kitchen features stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and 42” Maple cabinets. All 3 bedrooms are located on the same second floor level including the master suite. Enjoy plenty of natural light in the master retreat which features 2 closets. There are also plenty of bathing options with 2 updated full baths – each with a tub and one with a ceramic tiled shower and granite countertop double sink vanity. Outside, you’ll discover a detached 2 car garage and fenced in rear yard for pets! And living in downtown Plymouth along a tree-lined street would not be complete without the wide, covered front porch. A perfect place to rest after a casual summertime stroll. Here, you’ll be close enough to main street shopping and dining while enjoying one of downtown’s most picturesque streets.
Great Room to Dining Room
If you are searching for a home in Plymouth, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie,  Associate Broker, at (734) 788-2398 – carrie@bobbake.com, Patrick,  REALTOR,at  (734) 272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com, or Stephanie, REALTOR, at (734) 620-4536 – stephanie@bobbake.com.  If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Just Sold- 1450 Junction in the City of Plymouth

junctionwinterHere’s another charming in-town Plymouth home that we just sold. From the covered front porch to the updated kitchen, this expanded Ranch home with full basement is walk-to-downtown and offers 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths,  and 2 car garage – rare in the city for this price!

To learn more about homes like it, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie, Plymouth and Northville Associate Broker, at 734-788-2398 –  carrie@bobbake.com or Patrick, Plymouth and Northville REALTOR,at  734-272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com.

If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Patrick

Just Listed – 1450 Junction in the City of Plymouth

 

junctionwinterThis walk-to-downtown Plymouth ranch home offers 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, full basement and 2 car garage – rare in the city for this price!  Enjoy everything that Plymouth living has to offer from the tree-lined streets to downtown shops, restaurants, and events. Click here to view the virtual tour!

To learn more about this home and homes like it, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie, Plymouth and Northville Associate Broker, at 734-788-2398 –  carrie@bobbake.com or Patrick, Plymouth and Northville REALTOR,at  734-272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com.

If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Just Sold! 9417 Ivanhoe – 4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom Woodlore Colonial on Wooded Lot

9417 IvanhoeJust Sold in Plymouth’s Woodlore Association, this never-before-offered-for-sale, much loved Colonial rests cradled among age-old shade trees amidst a 120′ x 190′ setting. There are 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, hardwood flooring in most rooms, newer (2007) Marvin windows, newer kitchen (2008) with Corian counters and recessed lighting, formal dining room with stunning bay window, 1st floor laundry, and built-in bookcases. The yard is private and wooded with a stone serpentine garden wall & terrace. Mechanicals are also newer for peace of mind.  If you are looking for quiet, serene surrounds just outside of town, 9417 Ivanhoe in Woodlore offers the perfect partnering of modestly scaled homes on generous lots.

Rear Yard

To learn more about this home and homes like it, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie, Plymouth and Northville Associate Broker, at 734-788-2398 –  carrie@bobbake.com or Patrick, Plymouth and Northville REALTOR,at  734-272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com.

If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.

Just Sold (Again!) – Downtown Plymouth Historic Gem – 440 N. Harvey – 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom Updated and Expanded

440 North HarveyJust sold again by one of our clients due to a relocation, this charming historic gem captures the patina of time with today’s space & amenities. As with many of our recent listings, this home immediately received dozens of showings, multiple offers, and sold well above asking price after only a couple of days on market.

Recently expanded, this home offers a plentiful master suite with full bath and walk-in closet, an invitingly spacious family room, enclosed front porch, 2.5 car garage, granite kitchen, gorgeous wood floors, updated bathrooms, library with built-in shelving, updated inside and out and completely move-in ready, all within easy walking distance to downtown Plymouth.

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To  learn more about this home and homes like it, please visit our Plymouth and Northville Real Estate homepage at  www.bobbake.com or simply contact Carrie, Plymouth and Northville Associate Broker, at 734-788-2398 –  carrie@bobbake.com or Patrick, Plymouth and Northville REALTOR,at  734-272-8375 – patrick@bobbake.com.

If you have a home to sell in the Plymouth and Northville area and would like a private consultation, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs in confidence. We are specialists in the local area with the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout your home buying and selling process.