Let's find your dream home Jennifer's Blog for this Month! Jennifer Brown, Real Estate Agent

“The mean average for residential property in GKAR approaches $200,000 for the first time ever.”

Notes for People buying a home, for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. WHAT TO EXPECT!

This is provided to you from Jennifer Brown at www.jenniferdolphin.com 
and Betty Murphy at Lake Michigan Credit Union- For more information now!

What to Expect:

After you select your Realtor, you will want to meet with a licensed mortgage professional to define your home buying needs and options.

Pre-qualifying may help you land the home you want. 

When your realtor presents the offer you make on the home you want, both the "listing" realtor and the seller will want to know you are pre-qualified.

Where you are pre-qualified matters a great deal, especially,  in the low inventory market we are currently in.  Using a local credit union or bank matters. The Quality of your offer, is based on many things of interest to the sellers, including the time frame of the closing; the specific lender and their ability to be in communication with regard to their progress; the type of loan you plan to use; and the down payment; as well as the price! 

More importantly to you as a buyer, this mortgage lender is going to be part of your life for a while, whether they hold your mortgage in their portfolio or sell it to another lender, during the life of your loan.

Should you need a referral or two, I can refer you!
Why I frequently recommend LMCU is that LMCU underwrites and holds all of their residential mortgages. Do you have an unusual financial situation? LMCU, has been known to work with people who are a good risk, but just don't have everything neatly sorted out. Let's set you up with Betty to find out more!  As always there are several lenders you could speak to, but it is always good to ask your realtor who they know, as they are working very closely in the community to support their clients in finding a lender.  Kalamazoo has a wide range of mortgage lenders and surely one of them is a match for you.

Your banker will review your:
  • Total assets
  • Credit rating
  • Financial condition
  • Total income
  • Liabilities  and other obligations

Your loan officer reviews your loan options:
  • Loan details
  • Determine down payment amount
  • Consider private mortgage insurance (PMI) to reduce your down payment
  • Review Required documentation
  • Expectations and responsibilities - yours and your lender

Your loan processor will prepare and send your loan documentation to a LMCU underwriter.
You'll need to provide:
  • Income and asset statements
  • Purchase agreement from your realtor (after you make an offer)
  • Miscellaneous supporting documents
The bank will secure and schedule:
  • Appraisal
  • Obtain employment verification

A LMCU underwriter will review your credit and property info to verify that you qualify for your chosen loan.


A loan processor makes a final review of all the materials for closing and sends the package to the title company.  Your loan officer schedules and prepares you for the closing process.


The title company or attorney prepares all legal documents for signing. Your review and signatures will finalize the transaction. 
You're there! Keys are waiting!

From Application to Close: What to Expect| THE PEOPLE:

You (and/or your co-borrower)
Loan Officer:
Your main point of contact/facilitator
Assembles, verifies, and submits loan package documents
Reviews and approves the loan request
Title Company: 
Reviews closing papers and facilitates signing


“The mean average for residential property in GKAR approaches $200,000 for the first time ever.”

January 18. 2019

This just in: “The mean average for residential property in GKAR approaches $200,000 for the first time ever.”

So, the volume is still highest ever, but December 2018 was the first month, in 2018, that the volume of homes sold, was less than the year before. 

“Kalamazoo Metropolitan Area sales of residential properties in 2018 eclipse $1,000,000,000 for the second year at a record pace.”

January should indicate if this was important or not!

If you are considering selling, now might be the best time for the whole of the year, if the downward trend continues. 

“The average price for residential property in the Kalamazoo area rose 6.69% in 2018.”

With January so close to the highest numbers of November, I say, let's talk now.  

Talking now, doesn't mean you are selling now, just that you will have the details on your home to make any decisions required.

Remember- the first step is in  your hands.  Follow the link below!


Happy January. Happy Martin Luther King Day.

PS. If you are one of my clients - see you on January 30th at Hunan Gardens!! Bring your significant other or your children!
It's on me!

September News

Hello Everyone:

This summer has been a whirlwind for me, I wonder if it's the same for you.
My summer listing in Comstock sold in less than a month, hooray!  Did you notice how quickly the homes in your neighborhood sold? I'd love to know what you've been seeing and the conclusions you've been drawing.  Here's mine:  looks like just about anything is selling, unless your home is older than 1965, then it takes a special buyer who is willing to move into a NOT move in ready home.  However, all the buyers are fussy. If you are  one of the people considering selling an older home, let's talk! I want to talk with you about Christy's Consignment Shop.  Did you know Christy's is looking for homes, full of 'stuff' for their estate sales and consignment business.  If it's your stuff that's between you and your next home, we should definitely meet!

Also, what are the things to do in the fall that will prepare you for listing your home in the spring? First, let's, run the numbers from the past year, and the past 6 months; that will give you a starting point about what to expect.  We can look up how long all the homes in your area did take to sell, and what those prices were.

Is there upkeep to do? Well, if you want to come out of the gate running in early spring, the answer is probably yes!
How about painting the wood of your windows, that have been soaking up the sun all this summer?

I've finally begun the maintenance work on our 1965 brick ranch.  One day I realized, that my husband had no interest in updating windows and had gathered all the evidence about why single pane plus storm window equals updated dual pane glass! So, I started scraping, inside and out.   I remembered how to use TSP!! and Kilz!  Did you know that Kilz is now latex and hazard free?  I had no idea. I am no painter, but having both the inside and outside of the windows, scraped, and primed, makes a world of difference.  

I'd love to meet you for coffee, answer all your real estate questions, and learn about your concerns for the coming year.  
Call anytime, let's talk soon.
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Kalamazoo, Michigan