michigan: Short Sale Questions -- Advice Needed - 03/14/11 07:39 PM

I’m hoping that the collective wisdom of all of the experienced people here can help me. I'm a licensed broker in Michigan, but I don't know much (almost nothing) about short sales.
My wife and I are strongly thinking about buying a bigger house in our same neighborhood (located in Farmington Hills, Michigan). We looked at four houses, including one that is a short sale. We really like the short sale house.  There is already one offer on the short sale house, but the selling agent said that the bank is still entertaining offers.
I very little about short sales, … (7 comments)

michigan: How Much Snow Did You Get? - 02/21/11 03:26 PM
How much snow did you get during last night's storm?  I live in Farmington Hills, and we got hit with 9 inches.  It took us almost 2 hours to dig out this morning so we could get the cars on the road.  I'm curious to see what others got.

(4 comments)

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michigan: Requirements for Using Fair Housing Logos and Posters - 09/22/10 02:07 PM
 

Using the fair housing logo is a great way to show a commitment to fair housing.  Many housing providers use the Equal Housing Opportunity logo in their ads and on their written materials to show that they do business in compliance with fair housing laws.
HUD requires that owners and managers display a fair housing poster with its logo at rental offices.  This applies to rentals covered by the federal Fair Housing Act, and to dwellings rented through a real estate broker/agent.  See 24 C.F.R.  §§ 110.1 – 110.30.
Who Is Required to Display a Fair Housing Poster?
HUD’s … (3 comments)

michigan: What Housing Providers Need to Know About Service Animals - 06/14/10 11:25 AM

Under the Fair Housing Act, a housing provider cannot refuse housing to someone who is disabled because of their disability. Just as important, the law requires housing providers to accommodate a person’s disability by changing or modifying a rule or policy or practice when doing so is necessary to give the disabled person equal opportunity to use and enjoy his or her unit.
Under the Fair Housing Act, a housing provider who has established a "no pet" policy must allow a disabled resident to keep a service animal as a reasonable accommodation. The housing provider must allow the disabled resident … (2 comments)

michigan: Michigan Laws Related to Mold - 06/02/10 09:28 AM
Are there laws in the State of Michigan related to mold issues?
It might seem surprising, but the State of Michigan does not have laws that require anyone to cleanup, remove, or report mold in any indoor environment.  Also, the State of Michigan does not have a program to address issues related to mold, other than to provide people basic information about mold clean-up.  Moreover, the State of Michigan does not certify or license contractors for mold removal.
Since 2002, the Michigan legislature has introduced six separate Bills regarding toxic mold and its disclosure in real estate transactions. Those Bills include:
(0 comments)

michigan: Radon in Michigan - 01/30/10 10:31 AM

Why do real estate professionals need to know about radon? Because radon can build to dangerous levels in some homes, which, in turn, can cause lung cancer after prolonged exposure. Many people wait until they are about to sell their home or buy a new one before they decide to learn more about radon. But real estate professionals who are knowledgeable about radon can properly guide home buyers and sellers by educating them about radon and answering related questions during real estate transactions. Radon can be resolved at a relatively low cost and should not stand in the way of … (4 comments)

michigan: Types of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibited by the Fair Housing Act - 09/29/09 08:56 AM

The goal of the Fair Housing Act is to ensure “no person shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin in the sale, rental or advertising of dwellings, in the provision of brokerage services, or in the availability of residential real-estate related transactions.” With respect to people with disabilities, the Act serves to:
Give people with disabilities opportunities to choose where they want to live; Assure that reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications are made so that a person with a disability can secure and use housing as fully as a person … (0 comments)

michigan: Michigan Laws Related to Mold - 09/24/09 08:16 AM
Are there laws in the State of Michigan related to mold issues?
It might seem surprising, but the State of Michigan does not have laws that require anyone to cleanup, remove, or report mold in any indoor environment.  Also, the State of Michigan does not have a program to address issues related to mold, other than to provide people basic information about mold clean-up.  Moreover, the State of Michigan does not certify or license contractors for mold removal.
Since 2002, the Michigan legislature has introduced six separate Bills regarding toxic mold and its disclosure in real estate transactions. Those Bills include:
(2 comments)

michigan: List of Activities that Assistants (Who are Not Licensed Real Estate Salespersons) Can Perform in Michigan - 04/06/09 04:21 PM
Each year, Michigan real estate professionals make dozens of phone calls to the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth ("DLEG") requesting information about activities that an unlicensed individual may perform. In an effort to provide guidance and to help reduce a broker's exposure to potential risk in the utilization of unlicensed assistants, the DLEG published a list of guidelines, which were modeled after an article written by Tom Kotzian (Macomb County Association of Realtors) and approved by Ann Millben (Licensing Administrator for Real Estate for the DLEG).
Here are the guidelines provided by the DLEG:
Unlicensed Assistants MAY:
Assist licensees … (0 comments)

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Classes are 100% online, so take classes wherever there is an Internet connection Work at your own pace (start/stop whenever you want) Complete a few hours or all of your required hours at once We offer courses in 2, 3, 4 and 6 hour increments, so you can pick topics that … (0 comments)

michigan: Who qualifies as a person with a disability under the Fair Housing Act? - 03/07/09 10:04 AM
The following is a summary of what it takes to qualify as a "person with a disability" under the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act defines a person with a disability to include (1) individuals with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) individuals who are regarded as having such an impairment; and (3) individuals with a record of such an impairment.  The Act defines certain terms as follows:
The term “physical or mental impairment” includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, … (0 comments)

michigan: Yesterday the U.S. Department of Justice Sued a Large Multi-Family Housing Developer Alleging Disability-Based Housing Discrimination - 03/05/09 07:45 AM

Here is another example of a lawsuit that was recently filed by the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") to enforce the Fair Housing Act. I try to post summaries of these types of cases in order to provide timely updates to real estate professionals about the "dos and don'ts" under the Fair Housing Act, since fair housing is such an important issue.
Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, March 4, 2009), the DOJ filed a lawsuit against JPI Construction L.P. (“JPI”) and six JPI-affiliated companies for failing to provide accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities … (2 comments)

michigan: In the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, is it okay to screen housing applicants on the basis of their citizenship status? - 03/01/09 02:59 PM
The question often arises whether is it okay to screen housing applicants on the basis of their citizenship status.   This question seems to have come up more often in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The Fair Housing Act does not prohibit discrimination based solely on a person's citizenship status.  Accordingly, asking housing applicants to provide documentation of their citizenship or immigration status during the screening process would not violate the Fair Housing Act.  In fact, such measures have been in place for a number of years in screening applicants for federally-assisted housing.  For these properties, HUD regulations … (0 comments)

michigan: Some Examples of Discriminatory Advertisements in Real Estate - 03/01/09 02:26 PM

As every real estate professional should already know, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. Fair housing laws prohibit making, printing or publishing any notice, statement, or advertisement that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on a protected class.
Although not an exhaustive list, the following are a few examples of what might constitute a discriminatory housing advertisement.
1.   Race/Color
Ads stating a preference for the race of a desired applicant (e.g., “no blacks,” “whites only,” etc.) Ads describing the race of current occupants … (2 comments)

michigan: Requirements for Using Fair Housing Logos and Posters - 02/27/09 01:55 PM
 

Using the fair housing logo is a great way to show a commitment to fair housing.  Many housing providers use the Equal Housing Opportunity logo in their ads and on their written materials to show that they do business in compliance with fair housing laws.
HUD requires that owners and managers display a fair housing poster with its logo at rental offices.  This applies to rentals covered by the federal Fair Housing Act, and to dwellings rented through a real estate broker/agent.  See 24 C.F.R.  §§ 110.1 – 110.30.
Who Is Required to Display a Fair Housing Poster?
HUD’s … (1 comments)

michigan: A Housing Provider or Homeowner’s Association May Not Condition Approval of a Request for a Reasonable Modification on the Requester Obtaining Special Liability Insurance - 02/27/09 01:39 PM
The question often arises whether a housing provider or homeowner’s association may condition the approval of a request for a reasonable modification (under the Fair Housing Act) on the requester obtaining special liability insurance.
The answer is, no. Imposition of such a requirement would constitute a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
For Example: Because of a mobility disability, a tenant wants to install a ramp outside his unit. The housing provider informs the tenant that the ramp may be installed, but only after the tenant obtains separate liability insurance for the ramp out of concern for the housing provider’s potential … (0 comments)

michigan: How Does A Housing Provider Know If An Accommodation Or Modification Request Is “Reasonable”? When Can The Housing Provider Refuse A Request? - 02/27/09 01:28 PM
Under the Fair Housing Act, a person with a disability may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation or modification.  A reasonable modification is a structural change made to the premises whereas a reasonable accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service. A person with a disability may need either a reasonable accommodation or a reasonable modification, or both, in order to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces.
An accommodation or modification is reasonable if:
It is related to the resident’s disability needs; Is not an … (0 comments)

michigan: Instances When a Housing Provider Can Deny a Request for a Reasonable Accommodation Without Violating the Fair Housing Act - 02/27/09 01:16 PM
A housing provider can deny a request for a reasonable accommodation if the request was not made by or on behalf of a person with a disability or if there is no disability-related need for the accommodation. In addition, a request for a reasonable accommodation may be denied if providing the accommodation is not reasonable (i.e., if it would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the housing provider or it would fundamentally alter the nature of the provider’s operations). The determination of undue financial and administrative burden must be made on a case-by-case basis involving various factors, such as … (0 comments)

michigan: A Few Exceptions to the Fair Housing Act - 02/27/09 01:07 PM
The Fair Housing Act applies to all housing transactions (unless exempted by law, see below). Courts have applied the Act to individuals, corporations, associations and others involved in the provision of housing and residential lending, including property owners, housing managers, homeowners and condominium associations, lenders, real estate agents, and brokerage services. Courts have also applied the Act to state and local governments, most often in the context of exclusionary zoning or other land-use decisions.
Most types of housing properties are covered – leased or rented apartments; houses or condominiums that are sold, leased or rented; rooming houses; cooperatives; temporary shelters; mobile … (0 comments)

 
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