Over the last three years of giving market updates, I am starting to sound like a broken record. The real estate story of Grand Rapids, MI in 2015 was quite similar to 2014 and 2013. The inventory of homes for sale has remained low, and prices have been steadily increasing. It has been a great market for sellers and a frustratingly competitive market among buyers. Interest rates went up and down a bit throughout the year. Right now they are sitting around 4.0% for a 30 year loan, which is still quite low when you look at the history of interest rates.
In December 2015, there were changes made to the real estate transfer tax exemptions in Michigan. If you did not qualify previously, but now qualify for an exemption under the new rules, you may go back up to four years and request a refund on the transfer taxes you paid.
So what changed exactly? On 12/16/15, governor Snyder passed a bill that simplified and clarified exemption "U". Exemption "U" applies when the SEV (State Equalized Value) at the time of the sale is less than or equal to the original SEV when purchased. The idea of this exemption is that if you sell your house at a loss, you do not pay transfer tax. The only other requirement is that the home was your primary residence.
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