Buying property in Michigan

7 Replies

I'm new to Bigger Pockets and love the wealth of information and knowledgeable people providing advice. I'm looking into investing in the Detroit area, but not so much in the bottom range fixer uppers, more in the turn-key rental markets. I live in and understand California real estate and have some questions about purchasing in Michigan. Property taxes seem high? And have a summer and winter tax? Are these in addition to basic property taxes? Is the purchase process similar to California? I plan on using a buyers agent if anyone has a recommendation. Are there any special closing costs or fees that are different? I saw one listing that said 'seller will furnish C of A'? What is C of A? Are there standard monthly expenses on a rental that a landlord would pay? I'm currently paying HOA in my rental, and am wondering about sewer/trash/gas/ etc. Thanks in advance! Doug

Hi Doug, Where in the Detroit area are you planning on investing? The property taxes are probably higher in comparison to other markets. But, many of the Detroit suburbs have excellent schools, libraries, and community centers. The basic property taxes are split into two payments, one in the summer and one in the winter. Sewer is included on the water bill, which most cities bill quarterly. I believe trash is included in the property taxes. Gas is usually used for HV and the water heater, gas prices peak around Dec-Feb for the winter and are very low in the summer months. I am assuming you would have the tenant cover the water/sewer, gas and electric. I am still in the learning stages myself, so I can't offer any advice on the C of A. Hope this helps. I would definitely recommend making a trip to Michigan, we have beautiful weather in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Good luck on finding the right property.

CofA Certificate of Approval

A presale inspection required in some areas

Originally posted by @Doug Dattawalker :
I'm new to Bigger Pockets and love the wealth of information and knowledgeable people providing advice. I'm looking into investing in the Detroit area, but not so much in the bottom range fixer uppers, more in the turn-key rental markets. I live in and understand California real estate and have some questions about purchasing in Michigan. Property taxes seem high? And have a summer and winter tax? Are these in addition to basic property taxes? Is the purchase process similar to California? I plan on using a buyers agent if anyone has a recommendation. Are there any special closing costs or fees that are different? I saw one listing that said 'seller will furnish C of A'? What is C of A? Are there standard monthly expenses on a rental that a landlord would pay? I'm currently paying HOA in my rental, and am wondering about sewer/trash/gas/ etc.

Thanks in advance! Doug

 Doug,

-Taxes I guess you can say are high but so are the rent rates, metro areas justify them wiith taking care of the public services, and inner detroit is high since no one pays them (which can be lowered). but it would not be a main concern on wanting to invest here. Your cash flow will justify your taxes. Taxes are split between summer and winter. summer is higher than the winter. 

-Numerous title companies to choose from here rather you use your own or a realtors. They can do title searches and get warranty deeds. Nothing really special about closing cost thats different. Yes this is detroit, but we are still in america lol. 

-  

@Al Nealundefined

 friend and agent on here that helps outsiders such as yourself.

-C of A or a  C of O is a certificate of occupancy. Its to ensure a home is up to code and inspected by the city. It is a must in most metro spots.

-standard monthly no, sewer/trash/gas is in my taxes on my properties in detroit and metro detroit. Water I have in my rental agreements for tenants to pay.

My advise, being a newbie, come here and see for yourself and enjoy the show. Call or PM me if your willing to buy me a drink if your serious about it. metro areas you will find turn key properties all day everyday. If you know what your looking for there are numerous of investors (such as myself), wholesalers, realtors can provide a turnkey product and property management. Detroit city I would leave for the boys that are local that have boots on the ground . You will pay to play, get burned,  or you will be late to the party.  

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Doug,

Many areas in SE Michigan will require you to have a landlord license in order to rent a home. Those usually need to be renewed every 2-3 years and require an inspection of the property.  The cost is usually a couple hundred dollars unless there are fixes that come from it. 

Every area is a little different, but rents are strong.  You'll be able to find good turnkey deals.  Detroit proper is a different animal.  You can find great deals there as well, but need to really know the area.  Things change from street to street which is why it's so important to be working with someone local.

Good luck!

@Doug Dattawalker you can find great rental stock in all or the border cities to Detroit. You can find great rentals is Detroit too. As @Scott Wilcox and @Mike Carino mentioned, you need someone with boots on the ground in Detroit to vet the property because things can change dramatically by block. Scott and I just spent a day in Detroit looking at investments. There are great areas and then areas that will take many many years to stabilize. Good luck and feel free to PM me if you want more details. 

Jon

thanks everyone for your assistance. At the moment I am researching communities, taxes and regulations. I'm going to leave fixers to the locals and will probably stay out of Detroit proper. The surrounding suburbs/cities along the river will probably be my target market. I plan on being a regular here now that I've found it and will pm you to send some business or ask questions. Thanks again

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