Realtor Josselyn Gross RE/MAX SE Michigan - Josselyn Gross

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What is a "GREEN" Home? ... Does a "GREEN" home sell better?


What is a "GREEN" home?

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, a green home is a home that uses less energy, water and natural resources compared to a standard home. It is more efficient, and so it creates less waste.

The concept of GREEN has been around for years, mostly in the commercial industry. However, it's picking up momentum on the residential front.


Does a "GREEN" home sell better?

There are many factors that contribute to the sale of your home. But, GREEN features, are just that. They are an added features to market your home with.  Anything that you can do to set your home apart from the masses is going to do nothing, but help sell your home.  

In fact, our MLS just added GREEN categories due to this new demand.  For a full list of GREEN features listed in our MLS, please feel free to contact me.  I'll be happy to provide this and resources to explain each feature.  

Whether it's the money savings, environmental, or health benefits, GREEN homes do appeal to buyers of ALL ages and types.  


What "GREEN" features should I focus on?

Put yourself in a buyer's shoes. What features would you want? Features that cut utility costs, and improve water and energy efficiencies are very popular on all fronts.


There are several practical and GREEN home features that you can use to advertise your home.  Below is a list common GREEN features, what they are, and why they're important.  For a full list of GREEN features listed in our MLS, please feel free to contact me.  

  1. Low VOC Paint According to, VOC's are volatile organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases.  Along with carbon, they contain elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulfer, or nitrogen.  Some of these chemicals are found to have short & long term health effects.  Most homes need a coat of fresh paint prior to selling, so why not use a low VOC paint and not only advertise the home as freshly painted throughout, but painted with environmental friendly low VOC paint.  
  2. Programmable thermostats These are beneficial to save energy and thus money by resetting your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home.  According to, you can easily save as much as 10% a year by setting the temperature 7-10 degrees F less for 8 hours daily from its normal setting.  
  3. Energy-star certified appliances These are another practical GREEN feature.  Purchase a well rated brand as well, and you'll be able to advertise two fold!  Also, turn your old appliances in to Consumers for money back and/or tax  benefits!
  4. Enery-star Skylights are an efficient way to bring natural light and reduce the need for lighting.  They add ambiance to a space as well.  
  5. For lighting, CFL's and LED's, can save 75%-90% of electricity and last 10-20x longer than incandescent light bulbs.  They also give off much less heat, helping the home stay cooler.  

The list can go on and on, tankless water heaters, high efficiency furnaces, insulation, water retention systems, water smart landscaping, etc.  

I hope that you found this helpful, and if you're thinking of selling, think "GREEN".  


#1 Buyer Tip (after finding a Realtor)


As a Realtor, we are often times asked, what advice can you provide to a potential buyer?  Well, there are many sources present for buyers to use a guides and references these days, which is awesome!  But, if I had to give one of my buyer's one piece of advice, after finding a great Realtor of course, it would be to have a great lender!  


Why is a lender so important?  

After searching and searching for a home, we find one!  We negotiate the deal, and make it through the inspections.  Whew... Now what?  Well, we metaphorically pass the baton to the lender.  The lender is the entity willing to lend you the money to purchase this home that we've been looking so long for.  They are going to make sure that you get to the closing table so you can get the keys to this home.   

How do I find a great lender?

Ask your Realtor!  Your Realtor sells homes everyday.  They know which lenders will handle your purchase smoothly and professionally.  They know which lenders know how to head off any issues and thoroughly pre-approve buyers so there aren't any issues down the road.  Think about this...would you lend someone $150,000 and only ask them a few phone questions with no proof to substantiate what they say that they earn?  Neither will a lending institution and the underwriter will catch any errors or omissions if you loan officer overlooked them.  

Plus, a great lender will listen to your situation, assess it, and provide recommendations on what type of loan you should apply for.

Make sure the lender that you are talking to asks very thorough questions and make sure they you provide them with the most accurate information possible.  

If you have any real estate questions, or would like further advice, please don't hesitate to contact me. 

Josselyn Gross


(248) 924-4110

7 Tips for Improving Your Credit


7 Tips for Improving Your Credit

By: G. M. Filisko

Published: February 25, 2010

Here’s how to clean up your credit so you get the least-expensive home loan possible.

Getting the loan that suits your situation at the best possible price and terms makes homebuying easier and more affordable. Here are seven ways to boost your credit score so you can do just that.

1. Know your credit score

Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher, the better. They’re based on whether you’ve paid personal loans, car loans, credit cards, and other debt in full and on time in the past. You’ll need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a home loan and 740 to get the best interest rates and terms.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the major credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Access all three versions of your credit report at Review them to ensure the information is accurate.

2. Correct errors on your credit report

If you find mistakes on your credit report, write a letter to the credit-reporting agency explaining why you believe there’s an error. Send documents that support your case, and ask that the error be corrected or removed. Also write to the company, or debt collector, that reported the incorrect information to dispute the information, and ask to be copied on any materials sent to credit-reporting agencies.

3. Pay every bill on time

You may be surprised at the damage even a few late payments will have on your credit score. The easiest way to make a big difference in your credit score without altering your spending habits is to diligently pay all your bills on time. You’ll also save money because you’ll keep the money you’ve been spending on late fees. Credit card or mortgage companies probably won’t report minor late payments, those less than 30 days overdue, but you’ll still have to pay late fees.

4. Use credit carefully

Another good way to boost your credit score is to pay your credit card bills in full every month. If you can’t do that, pay as much over your required minimum payment as possible to begin whittling away the debt. Stop using your credit cards to keep your balances from increasing, and transfer balances from high-interest credit cards to lower-interest cards.

5. Take care with the length of your credit

Credit rating agencies also consider the length of your credit history. If you’ve had a credit card for a long time and managed it responsibly, that works in your favor. However, opening several new credit cards at once can lower the average age of your accounts, which pushes down your score. Likewise, closing credit card accounts lowers your available credit, so keep credit cards open even if you’re not using them.

6. Don’t use all the credit you’re offered

Credit scores are also based on how much credit you use compared with how much you’re offered. Using $1,000 of available credit will give you a lower score than having $1,000 of available credit and using $100 of it. Occasionally opening new lines of credit can boost your available credit, which also affects your score positively.

7. Be patient

It can take time for your credit score to climb once you’ve begun working to improve it. Keep at it because the more distance you put between your spotty payment history and your current good payment record, the less damage you’ll do to your credit score.

Other web resources

How FICO scores are calculated

Answers to frequently asked credit report questions

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who keeps a close eye on her credit scores. A frequent contributor to many national publications including, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

August Home Sales Statistics


RealComp announced, on 9/20/16, the month of August's Single-Family (Residential & Condominium) Highlights:

All MLS sales for the month up by 5.4% Y-O-Y, from 8,162 to 8,600.
Median sale price-All MLS up 6.0% Y-O-Y, from $150,900 to $160,000.
Highest Median Sales Price for August in 10 years.
Average Days On-Market decreased by 3 days Y-O-Y, from 45 to 42.

What NOT to do when shopping for a home


Buying a home?

If you're in the market to purchase a new home, there are few things that you should be aware of that could negatively impact your ability to purchase.  Below is a list of items NOT to do when shopping for a home.  

  1. Do not cancel or change bank accounts.
  2. Do not excessively check your credit score, or originate any inquiries into your credit.
  3. You may be excited about your new home and want to furnish it, but if you go out and purchase furniture on credit, you could affect your ability to get a loan. 
  4. Do not co-sign on a loan for someone else. 
  5. Do not let your accounts become delinquent, or let you credit card debt become excessive.
  6. If you receive a large sum of money from a relative, marriage, bonus, taxes, etc., do not make any large deposits without checking with your loan officer first.
  7. This one may seem obvious, but do not quit your job or become self-employed.
  8. Make sure you complete your loan application thoroughly.  Do not omit debt from your application.
  9. Do not buy a new vehicle.  An increase in your debt ratio is a major red flag for lenders.
  10. And, lastly, do not spend the money you have set aside for closing.  

If you have any questions in regards to the home buying process, or just a general real estate question, please feel free to contact me.  

Josselyn Gross

RE/MAX Encore

(248) 924-4110

Moving to Howell


Are you moving to Howell and want to know a little about the community?

One of the most important things to do while searching for a new home is to research the area that you are moving. The Howell area is a great place to move to, and I wanted to share a few unique and informative bits of information with you!

Howell prides itself on its historic heritage. The city of Howell is centrally located in Livingston County and was initially know as Livingston Center. It was platted by a group of settlers from Detroit in 1835 and later incorporated in 1863. This pride is seen throughout the downtown area. In fact, downtown Howell has a Nationally Accredited Main Street Program. There are also numerous choices of unique restaurants and pubs. Check out for more information on their downtown area.

In addition, the Howell school system is also the pride of the community! Howell operates the largest of 5 county school districts. Each district boasts above average state assessment scores! Check out

If you want to get out and explore your new home town in Howell, there are many upcoming events. 

  • April 8-10 is the Livingston Co. Home and Garden Show (
  • April 15 is the Moon Glow & Marshmallow Drop ( This is a nighttime easter egg hunt for children 0-8. I would highly recommend this if you have children!
  • May 8 the Farmer's Market begins. This is 9am - 2pm on Sunday's starting in May.
  • These are just to name a few! Howell is know for its' Balloonfest in June and Melonfest in August as well.

I hope you found this helpful in your search! Howell really is a great area! All of these wonderful attributes are great for you as a buyer today, and could be helpful in the future too if you decide to move on later in life.

If you have any questions or need anything in regards to your home search, please feel free to contact me.

Josselyn Gross

Realtor- RE/MAX Encore

(248) 924-4110

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