Calculating MI Property Taxes

Calculating Michigan Property TaxesWhen shopping around for a home it is beneficial to check the cost of property taxes.

Property Tax Overview:

Property tax is a levy on property.  It is required to be paid by the owner annually based on the fiscal year. They are collected on a county level and each county has its own system in determining them.

Because each county has its own system, property taxes vary from county to county.  Property tax on homes are based on a tax assessments and millage rates for the local municipality. Counties take many variables into consideration as well: funding needs, property value based in appraisal, school district, transportation, etc.

Because there are a variety of variables considered during the process property taxes are not set, they fluctuate.  Local governments can raise property taxes for a number of reason (this is often seen when the economy starts to take a turn for the worst). Property taxes are set by millage rates that are typically voted on in local elections to cover such things as fire departments, libraries and police departments.

Related: Michigan Property Transfer Tax Estimator

How to calculate Michigan Property Taxes

Calculating Michigan property taxes is an important step when you are buying a new home. If your estimates are off, you could find your budget thousands of dollars off each year.  The easiest way to do the math is to use the Michigan Property Tax Estimator.

You will then complete the following steps:

  1. Enter the SEV (State Equalized Value) found on the property tax records (you will use the SEV to calculate the property taxes for a property that you are purchasing. To calculate the property taxes for the current owner you will use the “Taxable Value” which may be less than the SEV.
  2. Select your Michigan County
  3. Select Your City/Village/Township
  4. Select Your School District

After entering this information you will see two numbers below. One number will be the estimated property tax bill based on a Primary Residence and the other number will be the number based on a non homestead exempt property such as an investment property.

How you affect your property taxes:

Homeowner’s actions often increase their property taxes.  As a home’s value increases so do its property taxes.  For example, if homeowners remodel, re-roof, add a pool or do anything else that would add value to their home, their property taxes may be effected. The local municipal assessor will revisit the property and make value adjustments accordingly.

Michigan Property Tax:

In Michigan, the median home value is $132,200 according to Tax-Rates.org.  Counties collect an average of 1.62 percent of their property’s market value as property taxes; that’s an average of $2,145 each year spent on property taxes – equivalent to 3.8% of most Michigander’s annual income ($55,244)!

Now, as stated above, these statistics are averages of Michigan as a whole.  They do vary, a significant amount! The highest property tax in Michigan is that of Washtenaw County which is at 2.9 percent.  The lowest is in Luce County at .56 percent.

As you can see, location matters for many reasons when choosing a home.

So, when you are shopping around take all expenses into consideration so you are able to make the best and most affordable decision for you and your family.

Am I eligible for a USDA Rural Development Mortgage?

USDA Rural Development Home Loans

A USDA Rural Development Mortgage is a no down payment mortgage that is offered to rural property purchasers.  There are many benefits of this mortgage including no down payment needed, a minimum 580 credit score and low interest rates! This home loan options is growing in popularity among first time home buyers and repeat home buyers that are looking to upgrade to a new home.

For more information on rates and benefits visit USDA Rural Housing Mortgage.

So the question arises:

Is the home I want to purchase eligible for the USDA Rural Development Mortgage?

Eligibility for this loan is based on income and the population of the location based on the 2000 Census data.  The intention of this mortgage is to lend to purchasers within rural communities.  Areas that are highly populated are not eligible for this mortgage. Alternatives for properties that do no qualify for the Rural Development loan would be FHA loans or Conventional loans.

*Note: The National USDA will be updating the USDA Rural Development program eligibility maps.  On October 1st, 2014 the 2010 Census data will be used to determine eligibility, rather than the 2000 Census data.  For more information go to 2014 Rural Development Loan Eligibility Updates.

To tell if your income and selected area are eligible for this loan go to USDA Rural Development and follow this step-by-step process to determine if you are eligible based on population and income:

Step-By-Step Process to Determine Eligibility:

USDA Property Eligibility

From the Eligibility panel on the right hand side of the USDA Rural Development page select the Property Eligibility Program that fits your situation followed by the Accept button for the Property Eligibility Disclaimer.  From there you will need to enter your address into the search box in the top left hand corner of the map.  Once this is done you will be immediately notified if your area is eligible or ineligible for this mortgage.

USDA Income Eligibility

From the Eligibility panel on the right hand side of the page select the Income Eligibility Programs for a Single Family Household.  From there, use the drop box and select your state; do the same for your country.  You will then be asked to fill out the “Housing Members Information.”  Once this is filled out click the next button.  Fill out the “Expenses and Deductions” and “Gross Monthly Income” and select finish.  The following page will inform you if you are eligible or ineligible based on the information you have provided.

*Note: Home purchasers that are eligible based on the USDA still need to go through the actual application process in order to be accepted for this mortgage.

To apply for a USDA Rural Development Mortgage contact a licensed loan officers at 800-555-2098 or request information below:

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Control Your Credit so it Doesn’t Control You!

credit-meterAll throughout school we are graded.  After graduation we tend to have the mindset “YES! I passed! No more teachers, no more grades!”

However, that is not the case – not at all.

From childhood into the first few years of our adult lives we receive report cards stating how well we did on an academic grading scale.  After that, we are graded based on our financial habits: our credit.

So, what is credit?

In its simplest form credit is trust.

If you don’t have good credit, you don’t trust.  If you don’t have trust, you won’t have anything.

Credit gives us the ability to acquire goods and services before making an actual payment or before paying off a balance in full; we are able to borrow money or purchase items on credit.  This system is all done based on an agreement, based on trust, that the balance due will be paid back in a timely fashion.

Your credit could be the deciding factor on weather you are able to become a homeowner or not.

Related: Low Credit FHA loans

Trust must be gained

Likewise, credit must be gained, it is not given.  It is something you must work towards and earn.

Similar to employers needing to see your resume prior to determining if you are right for a position, lenders must look at your credit report to see if you are eligible to receive their trust – that is, to see if they allow you to take out a line of credit: a credit card, a loan, a mortgage, etc.

What is a Credit Report?

A credit report is a financial report card. 

A variety of financial information is taken into account and provided in a credit report: bill payment history, loan repayment history, amount of credit, amount of debt, public records, account types (bank accounts, student loans, mortgages, etc.), bankruptcies, etc.

The information provided on your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. 

What is a Credit Score?

In comparison to the academic grading system, your GPA (grade point average) is equivalent to your credit score (AKA FICO score).

Your grades are used to calculate your GPA; your credit score is calculated by the information in your credit report.

Credit scores are represented by numbers: 300 to 850:

  • Excellent: 720 to 850
  • Good: 680 to 719
  • Average: 620 to 719
  • Poor Credit: 580 to 619
  • Bad Credit: 500 to 579
  • Miserable Credit: 300 to 500

The higher your credit score is the better off you are.  Your score affects whether you are eligible to borrow money, the amount you are eligible to borrow, the interest rates of the loan and the terms you have to abide by.

An excellent credit score of a 720 or higher means that you are a low risk borrower.  In other words, a lender trusts that if they lend to you, you will make all of your payments on time throughout the life of the loan; they trust you.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you have a miserable credit score lenders categorize you as a high risk borrower.  That is, they are much less likely to lend to you because they will not trust you enough to pay them back.

If you don’t have the best credit you may still be eligible to buy a home with bad credit by working with the loan officers at Riverbank Finance LLC.   

In sum, the higher your credit score is the more opportunities you will have.

Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus, or credit reporting agencies, gather your credit information and provide your credit reports.

There are three Credit Bureaus or Credit Reporting Agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

It is important to know that not all of your information is reported to each of these bureaus.  One may receive your credit card information, while the other two will not.  Another bureau may receive your mortgage information and not the others, and so on and so forth.  Therefore, each bureau may provide you with a credit report that varies from the other two.

You are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of these bureaus.  You are able to request your credit report(s) at www.annualcreditreport.com (or call 1-877-322-8228).

Riverbank Finance also offer an instant credit report online that you can request for a home purchase.

Better yourself, better your credit!

If you would like your credit score to be higher than what it is you may want to make some lifestyle changes.

Some key pints to live by:

  • Pay your bills, and pay them on time!
  • If you do miss a payment pay it ASAP! Try your hardest to stay current on your bills.
  • Pay off your debt, don’t add onto it.
  • Keep your credit balances low.  Maxing out your credit cards month after month make it seem like you are irresponsible.
  • Do not open unneeded credit accounts.  According to Credit Karma having four to six credit cards open is a healthy if you manage them currently – it will make your look responsible!
  • Check your credit report and make corrections when needed.
  • Do not be afraid to get help! If you are concerned or unsure of what to do when it comes to your credit ask a professional.

Remember, your credit can change your life for the good or for the bad.  Control your credit so it doesn’t control you and our life!

Tips to Avoid Closing Delays when Buying a Home

Things to avoid when buying a home in Michigan.Mortgage Closings are stressful. Let’s not add to it!

Congratulations! You have found the home of your dreams! You have all of your documentations in order! You are ready to move in! All you have to do is close on your mortgage! But wait, did something go wrong that could potentially prolong your loan closing? Was it something you did? Was it something you could have prevented?

When something goes wrong and there is a delay in the close date it can be very disappointing and frustrating.  Unfortunately, we see this happen all too often when home buyers create delays on their own loans. Here are some tips that should be followed during the process to make sure you cause no closing delays.

RELATED: First Time Home Buyer in Michigan

Be accessible and keep in touch with your loan officer

Stay in touch! Do not go out of town and do not change your phone number.  Make sure you are available to all parties involved in your closing. When underwriters or title companies need documents and information they need them now!  So stay connected, check your email and listen to your voice messages.  If information is not given in a timely fashion your closing date won’t be either.

Look for incorrect information on your mortgage documents

Incorrect, misspelled or missing information is a huge problem during the closing process that could delay it.  It is important to check over all documents and information prior to closing.  Correct all information as soon as you notice it is not correct.  Finding out information is not as it should be at closing could delay the process for days.

So, stay connected with your resources and sort out all of the little things as they come – don’t wait until the end!

Things to double-check on your mortgage paperwork include: loan amounts, down payment amounts, interest rates, name spelling, social security numbers, previous addresses, employer information etc.

Do not change jobs, become “self employed” or quit your job

Doing this is a sure way to prolong the process of purchasing a home.  Underwriters require you to provide a month’s worth of paystubs during the process of buying a house.  Therefore, if you change your employment and/or income you will need to provide another month’s worth of paystubs which could lead closing to be pushed back more than six weeks.

If you become self employed, commission based or a contract employee that gets paid by 1099, you may need a 2 year history to prove your income. Changing to self employment will surely delay your loan closing.

Stay with your current employment and income throughout the entire process of purchasing your home.

Managing your Bank Accounts wisely

Do not do anything that could dramatically change what you have in your savings and checking accounts including: transferring large amounts of making large deposits into your bank accounts or making large purchases.

Just because you have to money in your account doesn’t mean you can afford to spend it. If your underwriting approval is based on your current statement balance, spending money by making large purchases could delay your loan closing.

How much you have saved is a big deal to lenders.  It tells them that you have enough for a down payment and that you will be able to pay your monthly mortgage payments.  Changing the assets in your savings and checking accounts could change their minds about you and your financial situation.

When large amounts of money are transferred or deposited a red flag goes up that is often seen by lenders.  This leads them to wonder if you have recently taken out an additional loan (or cosigned a loan) that they are unaware of – is your debt larger than what they thought?

If you are getting a gift for your down payment or closing costs, be sure to speak with your mortgage loan officer about the process that needs to be followed to use these funds. You will need to fully document the source of the funds and provide a letter stating that no repayment is required.

Try your hardest to keep your bank account relatively the same throughout the process and speak with your loan officer before you make adjustments.

Do not jeopardize your credit score

Keep your credit score the same as it was when you were approved for the mortgage.  If it changes it could change your approval status and your eligibility for the mortgage.

Do not take out more debt during this process!

So, try your hardest to keep your credit card balance(s) at a minimum – don’t max them out.  Don’t take out addition loans or cosign loans.  Don’t take out new credit cards and do not close old ones.  And of course, pay your bills on time.

Most Importantly – DO NOT GIVE UP!

There are many hills (some feel like mountains) to climb and many bumps avoid during the closing process.  It is stressful and sometimes frightening but don’t get scared!  Keep chugging along!  If you are unsure of what is going on ASK! Your loan officer will gladly explain exactly what you need to do to have a smooth closing.

There is light at the end of the tunnel – becoming a homeowner is part of the american dream!

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Let’s Pay Our Mortgage, Then Our Credit Cards!

happy couple signing mortgage documentsWhen you pay your bills, how do you prioritize?

Credit cards, mortgage, other bills?  Mortgage, credit cards, other bills?

The normal payment hierarchy, which mortgage lenders expect, ranks mortgages as the top priority when paying bills.

This hierarchy was not managed during The Great Recession – and as most of us personally know, still has a toll on us to this day.  Homeowners started prioritizing their credit cards higher than their mortgages.  People were defaulting on their mortgages, yet they still made it a point to pay off their credit cards.

Mortgages fell to the wayside while credit cards were keep current on.

A patterned formed during this time; as home prices fell so did the amount of people who paid on their mortgages.  This same correlation between home prices and mortgage payments was not seen in areas where home prices did not fall, or did not fall as dramatically (this varied from state to state and from region to region throughout the United States).

The reason:

The equity in many borrower’s homes was lost due to the rough shape of the housing market, and foreclosure on their homes was not immediate.  People felt stuck – they had to priorities against the guidelines of the normal payment hierarchy in order to make it.

And so, an abnormal hierarchy was formed; people held more value in their credit cards and car loans than their mortgage.

Related: Buying a Home with Bad Credit

Credit cards are essential in many of our day to day lives – without them, without immediate money at our finger tips, life would not be the same.

Life wouldn’t be the same without vehicles either.  For many, our vehicles are our only way of transportation.  Without them many people who live an independent lifestyle would have to transition into becoming very dependent on others – not an ideal way of living in such an independently driven society.

In short, not having credit cards or a car would immediately and drastically change our lives – not paying on a mortgage to a home that has no true value just didn’t measure up on the priority list.

Ahhhh, and so we have it, the financial circle of life.  But, don’t loss hope! Our ways of life change as the world and the society that takes up the world alter.

We are now in a transition!!

Now credit-reporting firms have seen a transformation from the abnormal payment hierarchy back to the normal hierarchy – it’s almost there!! This is an important step to increasing home values and getting our housing market back on track.

But why the transition back to normal?

Well, home prices are going up and have been for the past two years!  The negativity of The Great Recession is simmering down. Equity is building.  People are beginning to rank mortgages high again which means less people are defaulting on their mortgages.

That means lenders are slowly beginning to trust borrowers again.  This is great news! Although lenders still have stricter guidelines than Pre-Recession they seem to be lessening them.

That means that people with poor credit who aren’t eligible for a mortgage might be soon – once lenders trust the economy again. Learn how to buy a home with low credit scores.

So, let’s cross our fingers, hope for raising home prices, and mark mortgages first on our priority list!

It’s your first home, don’t let credit hold you back!

buy-a-homeCredit is Crucial!

When you start thinking of buying a home one of the first things you should do is check your credit score.  Contact a loan officer at Riverbank Finance to get a free credit report (or get an instant credit report online now).  If you find that you don’t have good credit, you may not get the best interest rate available – let alone get a loan at all.

Either way, good or bad credit, focus on paying your debt down.  Pay on your credit cards and make sure you are paying all of your bills on time.  You do not want to be turned down when applying for a mortgage, so focus a lot of your energy on raising your credit score.  If you have been turned down in the past due to poor credit score raising it can enable you to be approved in the future!

What is a good credit score, you ask?

720 and above is considered a good credit score, 750-850 is considered excellent!  However, if you do not have a good credit score you might still be eligible for a mortgage.  We have home loan options down to a 560 credit score for FHA loans and have lower score requirements than many banks and mortgage lenders. Check with a loan officer at Riverbank Finance to see if you are eligible for a bad credit mortgage.

Related: FHA loans with a 580 credit score

Save when you can!

Future home buyers should make sure their bank accounts can afford to put a down payment on a house and  have enough additional money to pay the extra fees involved in the home buying process.  Check to see how much of a down payment will be for your dream house and save accordingly.    

Budget, budget, budget!

Oh, did I mention to budget?

Buying a home can be very stressful.  Paying for it can be even more stressful – especially if your ways of living aren’t supported by your budget.  So be proactive about it!  Budget now so you won’t stress in the future.  When you budget ALWAYS consider the future, not just the present; what payment can you afford? What all will you have to pay for?

You know what assuming does . . . so don’t do it!

Do not look at your monthly mortgage amount and assume that you can afford your home.  A lot of other expenses should be considered when budgeting: utilities, amenities, taxes, day-to-day living expenses, etc.  This is a long term investment.  Therefore, your budget should be long term as well.

Remember, being a homeowner should be a rewarding and happy experience, so try not to set a budget that will make you stressed to the max.  Give yourself room to breathe – room to live.

Let the real fun begin!

It’s hard to budget when you aren’t exactly sure how much your future home will cost you.  So, look around for potential homes!  Narrow it down!  What city do you want to live in?  Neighborhood?  Street?  House?  The more specific you are the easier it will be to budget.

Use your resources.

Now, your budget will have to consider a variety of things: the type of loan, the loan amount, the interest rates, the length of time, etc.  These things cannot be known until you are approved by your lender for a mortgage on a specific home.  Talk to your loan officer about these things once you have found a house, they are there to help!  They can find the best loan and interest rates available to fit your situation.

Good luck!

Remember, Riverbank Finance is only a phone call or click away.  So don’t hesitate! Call us today with your questions or concerns.  We are always happy to help :)

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How Mortgage Lenders Choose Your Mortgage Rate

Mortgage loans are detailed products and it is fair to say that one size does not fit all when it homes to home loans. The interest rate that you may qualify for on a mortgage may be different than what others qualify for based on their situation. This short video from MSNBC explains how mortgages work and ultimately how lenders choose your mortgage rate.

Because each homebuyer has a different financial situation, it is important to work with a local mortgage company that offers multiple home loan options.

Below is a short list of mortgage options and their benefits:

Conventional Mortgage: A great mortgage option for high credit score buyers that have 5% or more to use for a down payment. This is one of the only mortgage options that you can get rid of PMI (private mortgage insurance).

FHA Mortgage: FHA loans are great for homebuyers with bumps in their credit past of even first time home buyers. Qualification requirements are easier than conventional mortgages because these loans are insured by the federal government.

VA Loans: A great mortgage for military veterans is a VA Loan which is a zero down mortgage. While there is an up front guarantee fee charged by the Veterans association, there is no monthly PMI which helps to keep payments low and affordable.

USDA Rural Development Loans: The RD loan is great zero down home loan that is great for first time home buyers. This type of mortgage allows a homebuyer to buy a home with no down payment and the sellers can pay your closing costs. Qualifications are easier than conventional mortgages however there are restrictions on income and the location of the home.

What Mortgage Rate Will I Get?

To see what mortgage rate you qualify for call Riverbank Finance at 1-800-555-2098 or request information below.

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The Housing Market is Recovering Thanks to Expanded FHA Guidelines

home-buyers-looking-at-homes-for-sale

Major economic growth has happened within the last few years.  This growth has allowed the housing market to build back up from the Great Recession – bringing home prices up as much as 13% in the past year!

This has help to aid many underwater homeowners to the surface – that is, if they have been able to sell their homes.

Home prices are going up, equity is increasing, but lenders are becoming stricter than ever! Mainly when it comes to credit scores on conventional loans.

Lenders want to ensure their safety, that is, they want to make sure that if they lend to you they will not take a loss because you were unable to make your mortgage payments on time.  Therefore, they take a look at your credit history to make sure you are reliable for a loan.  Nowadays, if you have a less than perfect credit score most lenders will turn you away – scared that you will not be able to fulfill your mortgage obligations.

And so, home prices are on the raise, it would seem as though the economy is too.  But that isn’t the entire truth – yet.

Because of uncertainties lenders have about who they lend to they have begun to become stricter about who they let borrow.  They adapted their guidelines and changed the minimum credit score needed to be eligible to get a mortgage – it has risen.  This has caused many potential mortgage borrowers to be turned away; people who used to be seen as creditworthy are now being turned down for mortgages.

The U.S. Government (FHA and FHFA) has a problem with this trend with the large banks.

The government believes that creditworthy individuals should be able to take out a mortgage and that the minimum credit score should not have changed.  Individuals with good credit, before many lenders raised the minimum credit score needed, should be able to get loans.

As of this month the U.S. Government is making changes to strengthen the present housing market, and to build and strengthen the future economy. The FHA has committed to helping individuals receive loans who meet their credit guidelines.  These loans can be given without the distress of penalty for banks and lending institutions.

According to Ellie Mae the average credit scores on loans closed in April 2014 was 726. Many lenders have increased their minimum credit standards to attract only high credit borrowers. Riverbank Finance LLC has used this as an opportunity to offer loans to the undeserved lower credit score borrowers offering FHA loans down to a 560 credit score.

Since this, some lenders have reduced their minimum credit score needed for eligibility, therefore, more people will be eligible for mortgages.

Hopefully this will help to make the economy strive!

More Information on FHA Mortgages

For more information on low score FHA mortgage loans request information below or call Riverbank Finance LLC at 1-800-555-2098.

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Top 10 Mortgage Mistakes that Slow Down Home Loans

Top 10 mortgage mistakes that hold up the home loan process.

In today’s competitive real estate market it is important to get through the mortgage process quickly and efficiently. Avoid these top 10 mortgage mistakes to keep sellers happy and close your loan quickly!

  1. Mortgage Underwriters are picky! They will not accept incomplete documents. Be sure to provide ALL PAGES of required documents including Bank Statements, Divorce Decrees, Tax Returns etc.
  2. Do not alter or black-out documents. Lets face it, if you applied for a mortgage they already have your personal information. Blacking out account numbers and other information will only create delays.
  3. Underwriting guidelines do not allow items to be added onto a purchase agreement that are not attached to the house. Items such as lawn mowers, T. V.s, audio equipment, and furniture are all culprits that must be removed from the purchase agreement.
  4. Gaps in dates will be a cause of concern for underwriters. There cannot be a gap of employment information or residency information. Also pay stubs and bank statement dates must connect without gaps!
  5. Changing jobs during the home loan process is asking for a delay or loan denial. Even if you are taking a job with higher pay, making the transition is risky business. Underwriters will require a full month of pay stubs which will set you back 6 weeks!
  6. When buying a home you will need to provide bank statements to prove you have money for funds at closing. A common mistake is making large cash deposits without documentation. You will be required to document and explain each deposit.
  7. When you meet with your loan officer to apply for a mortgage, be sure to explain all the details. If you withhold information or bend the facts, underwriters will find out which will cause delays and require extra documentation and explanations.
  8. For purchases, most loan types allow gifts to be given for down payments and closings costs, however, there is a specific process to receive these funds. Gifts also must come from acceptable sources so speak with your loan officer before transferring money.
  9. Applying for other credit while buying a house may cause your loan to be denied. Wait until your loan closes before you take out that loan for new furniture. Underwriters repull credit before allowing you to close. This will alert them if you applied for credit.
  10. Home loans are time sensitive. Rate locks and purchase agreements expire so it is crucial that you return documents quickly! Do now wait until the last minute to send in that update. It takes time to review and approve documents so act quick!

Free Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Free Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

At Riverbank, it is our goal to help save you money so why not start by cutting down the costs of making mom happy. Don’t let Mother’s Day transition into feelings of stress rather than of love and happiness. Thankfully for you, Riverbank Finance has come up with a list of the top ten mother day gift ideas. Oh, and did I mention these gift ideas are free? Check them out:

Top 10 Free Mother’s Day Gift Ideas:

1) Breakfast in bed

Whether you are a professional chef or not, this Mother’s Day gift idea will make mom’s heart melt and won’t break you fast.

On Mother’s Day get up extra early and raid your mom’s cupboards, cabinets, refrigerator and any other place she may be storing breakfast food. Once you have come up with a good selection of food for a tasty meal get to cookin’! Doing this will save you money and ensure that your mom will be consuming foods that she actually likes.

Remember, it’s the thought that counts. So, even if the meal you cook isn’t award winning, odds are your mom will still love it.

2) Take mom on a relaxing walk

Spring is a beautiful time of the year, full of bright colors and comforting smells- especially in Michigan. This Mother’s Day take mom for a walk down the road, around town or through a nature preserves. On this walk you will be able to express your feelings and gratitude towards your mom. This is a great opportunity for the two of you to relax and bond!

3) Mother’s Day Card

A thoughtful card is a sure way to make mom smile; a handcrafted, thoughtful card is a sure way to make mom tear up. So grab a few pieces of paper, cut out a few cool designs, and construct a unique, one of a kind card for you mom. Inside, describe how much mom means to you. And of course, sign it with love from her favorite child – you!

4) Best Mother Ever Award

Your mom probably has many cards expressing love but, does she have an actual award to prove that love? Create a Best Mom Ever Award on your computer or out of craft paper.

On it state: “The 2014 Best Mother Ever Award goes to _(Insert your mom’s name)_.”

In the bottom right hand corner of the award state: “This award has been presented by _(Insert your name_.”

Now your mom has proof that she is in fact the best mom ever and can rub it in her friend’s faces.

5) Poem

Nothing says I love you more than a heartfelt rhyme or melody! This Mother’s Day use your words and write mom a poem that expresses your love and feelings towards her. Better yet, turn that poem into a song that you can sing to her on Mother’s Day!

6) Draw mom a picture

A picture says a thousand words. So if you are not very good at verbally expressing your feelings draw mom a picture that does it for you! You don’t have to be an artist to create a masterpiece for your mother – she will love your picture no matter what! If you have a few dollars to spare, purchase a nice frame for your artwork so that your mom can hang it on her wall for all to see. If not, your picture will be a great decoration for your mother’s refrigerator!

7) Mow mom’s yard

Mother’s Day is here and that means spring is too! With spring comes the bright colors of nature, beautiful flowers and of course, the much hated lawn work. Your mom probably hates mowing the lawn as much as the next mom. So do mom a solid and mow the lawn for her this Mother’s Day!

8) Wash mom’s car

The birds are back and the pollen is flying! Needless to say, your mom’s car needs a nice bath. Grab your cleaning supplies and make mom’s car squeaky clean this Mother’s Day.

9) Dish Duty

Most families gather together and enjoy a meal on Mother’s Day. If your family engages in this tradition, help mom out and do the dishes! This will give mom time to relax after she has gorged herself from the delicious Mother’s Day meal.

10) Clean the house

If your mom has not already taken part in the annual tradition of spring cleaning you can start for her! You do not necessarily have to deep clean your mom’s house, but that could win you brownie points over your siblings.

Tasks while cleaning include but are not limited to the following: dusting, dishes, vacuuming, organizing, sweeping and mopping.

Happy Mother’s Day!