Oakland County Michigan Real Estate Homes for Sale

Cell: (248)736-6407


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Choosing Your Buyer's Agent

In today's real estate market, choosing the right agent is more important than ever. With the rapid changes in available mortgage programs, low inventory, rising home prices and interest rates, and a plethora of other factors, make choosing an experienced, knowledgeable, full time agent even more important than in the past.

Once you've made the decision to purchase a home (or investment property) the first two things you need to do is contact a loan officer and contact a full time, experienced real estate agent. It's a good idea to interview/research two or three professionals just like a seller would, then select one to work with exclusively.

When you work with multiple agents, none of them will work as hard for you as they would if they know they have your loyalty. Multiple agents will send you the same listings (or they should if they're using the same search criteria) so there's really no advantage to working with more than one agent. How much work (and time) can you expect a person to invest in your search when there's a good chance another agent will show the property to you?

There's more to finding a house for a client than plugging the search criteria in the MLS and emailing it to the buyer/client. The first time I show you houses I get a good idea of what you really like and dislike. If you want automatic MLS updates, I will be happy to do that for you, but I will also go through the updates myself and cull out the crap and only send you houses that suit your needs. I grew up in Lake Orion and have sold in the North Oakland and Lapeer areas for over 24 years and know the area well. After I get a good idea of what you do and don't like in a house I use that knowledge of the area and my experience to help you find the home that best suites your needs as well as considering the investment aspect of the purchase.

Both my associate, Marcia, and I look out for your best interest, educate you about the process, and we will work harder for you than any other agent will. By having three agents on our team, you won't be working with an agent who is always trying to "fit you in."

  • Upon our first conversation I will question you thoroughly so I can start your first search. There's a good chance that search will change after I've shown you a few houses, but I need to get as much information from you as possible to make that search a thorough one. I would hate for you to buy a house and find out later that there was something you might like better that I never told you about.
  • I will discuss agency with you which has been required in this area since 1994
  • The first time either of us shows you houses we will show you a variety of homes in a variety of areas (such as different subdivisions or different lakes if you're a lakefront buyer) but that still meet your basic criteria
  • After the first trip out to look at houses I will go back to the computer and alter your search criteria. We then look at EVERY listing that comes up, the additional photos the listing agent supplies, if the house is in Oakland County we look at aerial views, then pick out the houses we feel will best fit your needs
  • Once you've found the house you want I will pull comps (comparable sales) and together we will put together an offer. Then the negotiations start.
  • Once we've come to terms with the seller we schedule the home inspection (I can recommend a very good home inspector if you don't already have one).
  • After the home inspection I will order the title work and get the pertinent information to your loan officer who will order an appraisal and convert your "pre-approval" into a mortgage commitment, then we proceed to closing (this typically takes approximately a month from the time our offer is accepted to close)

Below are just a few things that set the Jackie Hawley team apart from other agents as well as some myths or common misconceptions about purchasing real estate, and the facts. Please don't hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.



  • We are all experienced, full time Realtors who are knowledgeable about our market area
  • We have a full time assistant who helps with the phones, paperwork, computer work, etc which frees us up to devote more time to you
  • With out of the area buyers or transferees we will preview houses for you and take photos and/or video to send to you before you make that trip to Michigan. This will help you weed out some of the homes you wouldn't be interested in
  • We advise you on the investment portion of your purchase. We point out potential repairs (neither of us are builders, but we've both seen literally thousands of homes and will probably see problems the typical buyers might overlook), we discuss re-saleability, WE WILL GIVE YOU OUR OPINION - it's not our goal to just hustle you into the first house you express interest in
  • When we look at houses, we give you the full listing of each house along with the listing history, the public records sheet (which may show what the seller paid and how much the mortgage is) and if the house is in Oakland County we attach an aerial with the property lines outlined in red
  • Most importantly we listen to your wants and needs and we look out for YOUR interests 100%  

Myth: The new taxes will be based on half the new sales price.

Fact: There are 2 assessments on your tax bill: your taxable value and the state equalized value (SEV). Upon transfer of ownership the SEV becomes the new taxable. That may be higher than half the sales price.

Myth: Sellers are coming down 20%, 30%, 40% and more.

Fact: In the Orion, Oxford, Clarkston area, sellers are coming down about 5 or 6% on average. It's your agent's job to help you determine what is a fair price to pay. Some sellers are coming down more than the average stated above, but some houses are selling for more than asking price.

Myth: Short sale means it will close fast.

Fact: Short sale is when the seller owes more on the house than he will be able to sell it for so he is asking the bank to take a reduction on the payoff. Sometimes this can be accomplished in a matter of days but often times it can take anywhere from 3-6 months to hear an answer from the lien holders. And at that point they can outtight reject the short sale or counter.

Myth: Foreclosures are the best deals.

Fact: Sometimes they are better deals. Some are beat up and some are pristine. But the foreclosures have had a big influence on setting prices that have forced regular home sellers to lower their prices in order to compete with the foreclosures.

How to Calculate Your New Property Taxes

It has been a myth ever since I can remember that the sale price of a home determines the amount of the new property taxes. Many home buyers (and real estate agents) are under the false assumption that their new taxable value will be half the sale price. This is not correct!

When I show you houses, one of the sheets attached to the listing is the public record report for the house that is available through our MLS. This public record sheet (or PRD) will give the taxable value and the state equalized value as well as the annual tax amount.

The taxable value is the  number used to calculate your taxes. The taxable value times the millate rate equals your annual tax bill.

Upon transfer of deed (sale) the SEV will become the new taxable. It is important to look at theh SEV and compare to the taxable to determine what your taxes will do.

As an example- my home has a taxable value of $64,193 and and SEV of $140,900. If I were to sell my house today the new owner's taxes would more than double. I have a closing on Mon with a sale price of $325,000, a current taxable of $114,100 and an SEV of $118,350. So taxes will go u p slightly but the house will still be taxed for a value less than tha sale price ($118,350 x 2 = $236,700).

State law states that the assessed value is to be one half of the assessor’s estimate of market value of your property, and that the taxable value has to be less than or equal to the assessed value. And once ownership is transferred, and a new taxable in place, that taxable value is capped at 5% or the rate of inflation- whichever is less.

For the purpose of determining what your costs will be when purchasing a home, you should figure the worse case scenario and figure your new payments based on a tax amount that uses the SEV plus 5%. When your taxes end up lower- treat yourself! Or put it against the principle of your house.

Jackie Hawley
Cell: (248) 736-6407

Buying a "Normal" Home Listing - Not a Short Sale or Foreclosure

Since non-distressed sales make up about half of all sales in North Oakland and Lapeer Counties, below are the 5 most recent blog posts I wrote about buying "normal" or non-distressed home listings (not short sales or foreclosures) in Oakland County MI. For a complete list please go to my buyer blog at http://SoutheastMichiganRealEstate.Wordpress.com and click on the "buying NON distressed homes" category. Or simply click on this link for posts covering topics such as the purpose of the home inspection, what is an earnest money deposit, why you need title insurance, what are seller concessions, etc.

My buyer blog at http://SoutheastMichiganRealEstate.Wordpress.com is a pretty complete resource for all aspects of purchasing a home in Oakland County Michigan with articles covering how to write an offer, the home buying process, how to figure your new taxes after purchase, market conditions for various areas including my predictions about future market conditions. And of course it is a pretty complete resource for all that is involved in buying a short sale or foreclosure listing.

Jackie Hawley

cell: (248)736-6407


buying NON distressed homes – Southeast Michigan Home Buyer Information

The 72 hour contingency clause is often referred to as a first right of refusal; that is close but not quite accurate. A first right of refusal is an agreement between a seller and potential buyer that if the seller accepts an offer on a piece of property the potential buyer has a certain time […]

Interest rates are low- super low. How low? Low enough you can pay today’s prices for a smaller payment than 2008 prices with 2008 interest rates. Last week’s rates for a 30 fixed with 20% down and a half point was 3.625%. With good credit of course. A few weeks ago you could get a […]

When an Oakland or Lapeer County home buyer comes to us with a pre-approval letter for an FHA mortgage we will ask both you and your loan officer “Why FHA?” It’s not that we are FHA snobs or don’t want to work with FHA buyers, but FHA does come with its own baggage. Baggage that […]

Turning your home into that “dream house” Most Oakland County home buyers come to us with expectations for a home that exceed their budgets. Most people aren’t buying their “forever home” (too much time on pet finder with dogs looking for their forever homes). Many settle for something they like, build some equity and sell […]

Customer Service…. What doe is mean to you? I have been selling real estate for a touch over 23 years and it still amazes me sometimes how little effort other “professionals” put into a transaction. A little background without names or exact location. One of my listings is supposed to close this Friday. The sale […]

Local Market Conditions North Oakland County MI

Below are the 5 most recent blog posts I've written about the local market- sales data, neighborhood and lake information. You can see all the posts I've written about the local market by going to http://SoutheastMichiganRealEstate.Wordpress.com and clicking on the market conditions category on the right hand side or simply click here.You may also want to check out post about lakefront real estate, and local recreational attractions.

Jackie Hawley
cell: (248)736-6407


Oakland County Lakefront Homes for Sale

Oakland County Lakefront Home Sales and Lake Data

Lapeer County Lakefront Homes for Sale

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Lake Orion




market conditions – Southeast Michigan Home Buyer Information

Interest rates are low- super low. How low? Low enough you can pay today’s prices for a smaller payment than 2008 prices with 2008 interest rates. Last week’s rates for a 30 fixed with 20% down and a half point was 3.625%. With good credit of course. A few weeks ago you could get a […]

If you tried to sell your Lapeer County Lake house last year with no success, AND you were a fairly high priced listing, do not despair. It was not your house- it was the market. In 2014 there were only 4 lakefront sales over $600,000 and all 4 were on acreage. 2 of those were […]

Lake Orion MI Home Sales- Market Update Unit sales are down and average and median sales prices are up. Or are they? Lake Orion, MI is recovering from a housing crisis that lasted close to a decade. Statistics show that prices started dropping in 2006. I felt it in 2005. In 2009 the amount of […]

Oxford MI Home Sales- Trend or Anomaly? Trend! You can see from the charts below, the average sales price every month in 2013 beat the same month from the previous year. When you compare 2012 to 2011 you can see the lines criss crossing, but 2012 prices were higher than 2011 more times than not. […]

Oxford MI home sales – units, prices and total sales volume were up significantly (2013 over 2012). Unit sales in 2013 were up 16% from 2012. The average sales price was up 21% from 2012 and up 26% from 2011. Volume sales were up almost 22 million from 2012 and distressed sales were down significantly. […]