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3 Manageable Strategies to Declutter Your House Before Selling

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Are you contemplating selling your house? Do you need to get your home sold quickly? Do you look around at the clutter that inevitably finds its way into your house and have no idea how you're going to fit selling into an already-packed lifestyle?

For most people, save those who are exceptionally disciplined, clutter is the unfortunate by-product of life. Things make their way into your house, and you deal with it as best as you can within the time you have.

Many of the organizational magazine articles and books require an entire overhaul of your life. While that may sound good, who has the time to make that a reality? You have a full-time job, and a family to take care of. Who has time to gaze at each possession, trying to decide whether it sparks joy in one's heart?

Don't get me wrong - if you want to make the time for that, more power to you.

However, if you need a strategy that will work right now to beat the clutter in manageable chunks of time, read on!

Minimalism Doesn't Work For Everyone

While the basic ideas behind minimalism can be helpful for just about anyone, remember that you're not going for no possessions at all. For most people, it simply isn't practical to get rid of almost all of their stuff.

Instead, one essential question to ask yourself as you work through the rest of the steps below is: "If having this item is stressing me out, why do I still have it?"

This essential question can set your priorities straight. Are you ever going to fix that chair, those boots, that broken monitor? If not, why keep it? Looking at it makes you think about another project you don't have time to do.

Instead of minimalism or perfectionism, let realism be your goal.

If you're cleaning up to sell and move, be realistic about what you want to unpack on the other side. And if you find yourself unable to make a decision, let your boxes decide for you.

Pack away whatever you can't decide about and label it. If, on the other side, you find that you don't miss anything in those boxes, just donate them.

Better yet: the prospect of having to cart all that stuff around might just inspire you to donate now!

Make Cleaning a Game

Okay, it might not be the most fun game, but if you can find a way to set a goal that is manageable but still gets results, you've beaten the system.

One way to "gamify" cleaning is by giving yourself a time limit. Clean for 20 minutes and then take a break for 10. Or set a timer for 45 minutes and try to get one thing completely done in that time: that junk drawer you've wanted to tackle forever, or all the dusting you've been putting off. Then pack up and save the next part for the next day.

What you want to avoid with this strategy is twofold: avoid allowing the clutter and dirt to build up in your house until it feels unlivable and you have to spend a whole weekend trying to get on top of it. It's a vicious cycle. The other thing you want to avoid is trying to tackle a big organizational project all at once.

Remember those organizational TV shows, where professionals make homeowners dump all their possessions on the lawn and sort them all? What people don't realize is that it takes a whole team of people to achieve that process.

If you start this on your own, you will quickly be overwhelmed and left with a bigger mess than when you started - that will work against you!

Before and After Photos Are Their Own Reward

In the age of social media, why not put it to your advantage? If you're brave enough, post a before photo of the room or dresser you're about to tackle.

Getting to that after photo, and all the encouragement you will receive from friends and family will spur you on toward the finish. Just make sure it's a doable project!

Your "after" photos of your home ready to put on the market will just be the icing on the cake when you've tackled your house in manageable chunks.

Bringing it Home

Any real estate agent will tell you how important it is to have a clean and organized house when you want to sell. The good news is that if you master this, it makes your move that much easier! Happy cleaning!

Real Estate Marketing: Top Pros and Cons of an Open House

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale with open house sign

Are you trying to sell your house? Are you thinking about how to manage showings during the busy holiday season? Does your realtor believe you should hold an open house?

The practice of holding an open house may appeal to you as a seller, or you may think it doesn't make any sense to hold one in the digital age. Even in 2018, there are benefits to an open house. And yes, there are drawbacks as well.

The following list should give you a good starting point as you think through the idea. Be sure to talk through it with your realtor as well. He or she may have some good points to add either for or against the idea.

Feel free to question the realtor who wants to push an open house on you when you would rather not. It can be an excellent opportunity for a realtor to hand out business cards and meet potential clients.

However, any good agent knows that has to be secondary to your needs as the homeowner. Here is what your realtor should already be doing for you:

  • Lending his or her local competitive presence to the sale of your home.
  • Providing excellent photography and a vivid description of your home, and being willing to go above and beyond with other advertising measures.
  • Showing willingness to communicate with you quickly and consistently.
  • Exhibiting honesty and trustworthiness and, above all, treating you the same way every other client is treated.

Drawbacks of Holding an Open House

Open Houses Don't Sell Homes

One of the main drawbacks you will hear about is that it isn't necessary to hold an open house to sell your home. This is true in the sense that interested buyers will schedule a private viewing to see your house.

They won't rely on an open house to view your home. Some studies indicate that only 7% of sales come from open houses. It's no longer the most popular way to spread the word.

Open Houses Mostly Attract Looky-Loos

Another potential criticism from a seller's perspective is that only nosy neighbors and unqualified buyers will be coming to walk through your home and see how you live.

The majority of lookers won't be there to consider buying your house seriously.

Seller Competition

Open houses, by their nature, give anyone the opportunity to see what you are doing. So you may get neighbors stopping by with other ideas in mind: namely trying to see what they are up against if they decide to sell their home too.

While this shouldn't be a big problem for your agent, it can be unnerving to know this might happen.

Potential for Theft

Yes, one of the nasty surprises that can come from an open house is someone walking away with a valuable item. If your realtor knows what he or she is doing, they are going to recommend you have insurance. In addition, he or she will recommend that you put any valuables you might have into storage before you even list the house.

However, if your open house gets slammed, your realtor won't have a chance to keep an eye on every couple or family all at once.

Benefits of Open Houses

There are still benefits to holding an open house. If your realtor thinks it's a good idea to hold one, hear them out. You might get more benefit from it than you think.

Open Houses Are Free

You can't go wrong with free advertising. And even though many Americans look at homes from the comfort of their couches first, many of them do still take the time to go to open houses.

It's also an opportunity for you to get many people in the door with a clean house. Private viewings are great, but you have to clean every time.

Social Networking Opportunities

Your savvy realtor will know that just because you're attracting looky-loos doesn't mean that's worthless. If your house is clean and appealing, the people who visit it are going to be talking about it to their friends and social networks.

You never know who will recommend your house to someone else. Free, word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.

Your Realtor is Working for You All Day

Real estate agents are usually very busy. However, when they are at an open house, they are focused on the sale of your home for that day. If you stay for your own open house, you get even more of his time and attention to ask questions and clarify your strategy with him.

Bringing it Home

Ultimately, you decide to hold an open house. Don't get bowled over by a pushy realtor, but don't discount what he or she says, either. Seeing a home in person is always the best way to see it, and real social networks do sell houses.

If you are interested in putting your house on the market, please give us a call. We will be happy to help!

248-348-7200

 

4 Top House Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House marketing mistakes - caution

It happens eventually: the housing market takes a downturn. When the market slows, it becomes more difficult to sell your home. And the market downturn has hit Southeast Michigan.

It can be baffling for some sellers. Why is your house not selling when it seems like plenty of other homes like yours are selling quickly?

We see this scenario over and over again. The problem has very little to do with the house itself and everything to do with the marketing efforts you are making.

If you are trying to sell your home and are having no luck, take a look at the following list to see if you are making these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Poor Photographs and/or No Virtual Tour

Selling a house is a highly visual endeavor! Sellers often get wrapped up in the other aspects of selling their home without first taking into account that they must entice sellers to look at it.

If you have uploaded bad pictures or too few pictures and you have no other way for potential buyers to browse online from the comfort of their couches, you are losing the bulk of your business.

Most buyers only choose from homes whose pictures are top notch. A preference for quality photos is especially relevant in a housing market where inventory is high.

Do you have to spend thousands to have your home professionally photographed?

It would help, but no. You will be doing better to avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Dark photos.
  • Photos of cluttered rooms, or with pets.
  • Unflattering or uncropped photos - showing either not enough of the room or unnecessary elements.
  • Photos uploaded turned sideways or not scaled to be viewed on the internet.

A virtual tour is also a great way to entice buyers to make an appointment to see your home. If you can market your house in both of these ways, you will be much closer to getting your house sold.

In addition, make sure you have worked out any technical kinks. Providing potential buyers the ability to share photos of your home with friends and family is crucial. However, not having good images is a one-way ticket to having your home ignored.

Mistake #2: Restricting Showings

Showing your home at all hours of the day is a hassle, and we know it. However, if you're trying to sell your home, you have to get used to the idea: you are going to have to show it!

The more showings you have, the more potential for good competition and multiple offers. If you restrict showings, buyers and agents aren't likely to keep trying. They will move on to a more readily-available listing.

Here is what you need to do to make sure you are staying competitive with other sellers:

  • Make sure your home has a lockbox.
  • Don't restrict the hours available for showings! You might want to cuddle up in your pajamas after 7 pm, but many potential buyers may only be available for showings after 7.
  • Don't require 24 hours notice. Commit to keeping your house ready to show at a moment's notice and make a plan for where you will go. Agents and buyers will appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile!
  • Allow showings without an appointment. When buyers take time out of their busy schedules to look at homes, they often want to see as many as possible. You will gain a leg up on the competition if your home is available at a moment's notice.

Mistake #3: Offering Less Commission

Like it or not, real estate agents get houses sold, and they expect to get paid for their hard work.

Think about the last time you used the services of your agent. He or she did their best to be available to you at all hours, right? It will work against you if you are trying to save money by offering lower commission - especially in a cooler market.

It doesn't mean agents are motivated by greed. It's actually illegal for them to avoid showing homes offering lower commissions.

However, what your buyer's agent will see - whether it's true or not - is that you aren't very motivated to sell or that you aren't willing to negotiate.

If buyers and agents have a choice, they are going to work with sellers who are generous and willing to negotiate.

Mistake #4: Not Providing Buyer Incentives

Likewise, when you offer buyer incentives, you are acknowledging market conditions. Providing a buyer incentive doesn't have to cost you any money.

In addition, it can be an excellent way to say "I know you could look at five other homes. Let me show you why this is worth your time."

Your agent can give you great ideas for buyer incentives, but here are a few:

  • A certain amount toward the buyer's closing costs
  • A buy-down mortgage interest rate
  • Pre-pay their first year of homeowner's association fees
  • Offer a home protection plan

Bringing it Home

The reality is that the housing market is changing and it's not likely to snap back to the highs of the last several years. A softer market doesn't mean your house won't sell! With the right attitude and marketing tools on your side, your home will sell in no time.

If you are interested in selling your house, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Holiday Events for Northville, Novi, and South Lyon - 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Holiday Events Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, MI

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas songs have been playing on the radio for weeks by now. Michigan has had more than one widespread snowfall, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

It's time to deck the halls, make your Christmas treats and plans, and revel in the bright magic of the season. Thankfully, you don't have to sustain all your holiday traditions on your own.

Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan have plenty of events for all ages in December. So, find one that calls to you, gather your loved ones, and start the celebration in your community!

Northville Christmas Events December 2018

Handcrafters Tinsel & Treasures

  • Friday, December 7, 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 8, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 9, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Northville Community Center
  • Address: 303 W Main St, Northville, MI 48167
  • Cost: $4/ person admission, Children 12 and under FREE

This year marks 39 years Northville has made this craft show a tradition. Whether you're looking for holiday gift ideas, stocking stuffers, and Christmas decorations or you like to browse and get into the holiday mood; this is the place to see some of Michigan's finest handmade goods and works of art. Parking is free!

For more information, please see Tinsel & Treasures.

Santa Visits & Open House at Maybury Farm

  • Saturday & Sunday, December 8 & 9
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 15 & 16
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily
  • Location: Maybury Farm
  • Address: 50165 Eight Mile Rd, Northville, MI 48167
  • Free Admission, Reservations are now available

Northville's own Maybury Farm, a non-profit community organization committed to connecting the next generation to agriculture, is one of the best places to take the family for a Christmas outing!

The farm is getting so popular that families have to make reservations to see Santa this year, instead of walking in. But don't worry! Maybury's open house and Santa visits are completely free.

Maybury Farm does accept donations, and relies on them to keep this community treasure alive.

Although closed for the season, Maybury Farm is open on weekends in December. You can come to walk around the farm, peruse the general store and get a picture with Santa.

Bring your little ones to see Santa in this rustic habitat, complete with a bonfire and warm cocoa and cider in the general store! Santa's sleigh will be parked in the 100-year-old barn, so dress warmly for your visit because the barn isn't fully heated!

Warm your hands by the bonfire, pet the animals, and see their winter coats growing. Stock up on local honey, preserves, and crafts to take home for Christmas gifts.

There is no professional photographer, so make sure you have those phones or cameras handy to snap some cute pictures with Santa!

For more information and to make reservations, please visit Maybury Farm’s website.

Novi Christmas Events 2018

Light Up The Night

  • Friday, November 30
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Location: Novi Civic Center
  • Address: 45175 West Ten Mile, Novi, Michigan
  • Free Event

Welcome to Novi's annual holiday festival and tree lighting celebration! This one-night festival features a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family including:

  • Children’s activities
  • Craft show
  • Kid’s crafts
  • Reindeer
  • Ice sculptures
  • Fireworks
  • Food for purchase
  • A visit from Santa Claus (photos at additional, minimal cost)

For more information, please city the City of Novi’s website.

South Lyon Christmas Events 2018

Cool Yule Festival & Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt at McHattie Park

  • Saturday, December 1, 2018
  • Time; 10:00 a.m.
  • Location: Downtown South Lyon

South Lyon's Christmas festival packs in a full day of free and low-cost events for the whole family throughout downtown South Lyon and the wider community.

The last event is a lighted parade through Downtown South Lyon, and a flashlight Candy Cane Hunt for kids at McHattie Park at 7:15 p.m. Bring your kids ages 3-10 for an age-separated candy cane hunt. Make sure they have their bags! Find as many candy canes as you can, and multi-colored candy canes win your child prizes.

There will also be photos with Santa opportunities, so bring your phone or camera! For more information, please visit South Lyon Cool Yule.

Takeaway

There are so many amazing opportunities to celebrate in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan. Plan to take your kids for an unforgettable holiday season. Bundle up and enjoy the ramp up to Christmas!

 

Real Estate Marketing News: Home Sales Cool in Southeast Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale depicting home sales cooling

Here's a piece of good news: if you are still reeling from the scorching market and subsequent bidding wars of the last couple of years and you came out of it without a new house, now is probably your moment.

The housing market in the entire country is slowing down, and it has started to affect Southeast Michigan.

As a seller, it may be somewhat of a surprise - and an unwelcome surprise at that - to find that your starter home won't garner three deals on the same day it goes on the market.

However, don't get too discouraged! There is overall good news in this for everyone.

For one thing, most experts say it's not a temporary downturn but part of a more significant slowdown. So, as you are seeing home prices inch downward now, you can probably expect to see them continue to inch down toward next spring.

A market slowdown is highly preferable for buyers and sellers than a housing bubble leading to a recession.

The Trend in Southeast Michigan

The number of homes sold in this area was down 5.7% in September, according to data collected by RealComp, which is based out of Farmington Hills. New home sales were down as well in September, which follows the trend for existing homes.

Part of the reason for the slowdown is that interest rates have begun to go up. While you may have gotten an interest rate below 4% a year ago, the rates hit an average of 4.9% for a 30-year mortgage this fall with every indication that they may continue to go up.

Experts are predicting that rates may be as high as 5.55% by this time next year. These kinds of rates may seem high to you but bear in mind that in the early 2000's, the rates were closer to 7 or 8 percent.

How a Cooldown Affects Buyers and Sellers

Sellers

As you may have reason to expect, market conditions are slowly returning to more normal conditions for sellers. Houses will typically sit on the market for slightly longer than they would have before the hot market began.

Gone are the days of multiple bidding wars and cash offers on the same house, and prices will not continue to rise. If you were planning to sell your house for an above-asking price on the same day you list it, you might need to adjust your expectations.

This market change doesn't mean you won't sell your home! Rising borrowing costs coupled with rising material costs mean that inventory is still low. Also, many buyers who were discouraged by the too-hot market of the last several years may be shopping again.

Buyers

First-time buyers are, unfortunately, still going to be in a tight position. Although the mortgage interest rates aren't nearly as high as they have been in the past, it is discouraging to see how much they've climbed.

Additionally, inventory may still be tighter than in years past as rising costs and lowering sales keep new homes from being built. The primary advantage you have on your side now is time, and lower asking prices.

In the last two years, it may have been all but impossible for the average first-time buyer to snag a single-family home. Now, you have the luxury of shopping around without the fear of losing your chance.

It's a good bet that now you can make a realistic offer on a house and get it accepted. The sooner you decide to enter the market, the lower interest rate you will be able to secure, as rates will continue to rise through next year.

Takeaway

Because the rest of the economy is strong and incomes are still rising, experts don't predict that this housing cool-down is predictive of a recession.

Although the market is definitely cooling, and will probably continue to cool down throughout this fall and into next year, it will create opportunities for some without jeopardizing sellers' chances.

If you are ready to buy or sell, please give us a call. We would be happy to help!

248-348-7200

Christmas Events in Northville, Michigan - November 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Christmas Events in Northville, MI

The weather has turned crisp, the leaves are almost all changed, Halloween is behind us, and everyone has eaten their fill of fresh donuts at Michigan's beautiful orchards and cider mills. You know what that means.

Christmas time is here!

Do you look forward to the holiday season every year: the lights, the shows, the music, the warmth, and generosity? Do you have Christmas traditions in your family or in your town that inspire you?

Northville During The Holidays

The City of Northville is at one of its best times of year during the Christmas season. Not only are there lights and decorations abundant which show off the beautiful, antique architecture, but Northville boasts several unique holiday experiences you shouldn't miss if you want to capture your holiday spirit fully.

The following events are happening in November. Make sure to get your calendar out so that you won’t miss a thing!

Holiday Home Tour

  • Date: Friday and Saturday, November 16 & 17
  • Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Location: Downtown Northville
  • Ticket cost: $25 advance, $30 day of the event

Do you drive around quaint downtown areas and wish you could see inside some of the homes you see every day?

You're not alone!

It's always fun to see how other people live and decorate, particularly during the holidays. That's why Northville works hard to offer five new and gorgeous homes for you to peek into during this weekend.

Every year is something different. Bring a couple of friends, wear shoes you can easily remove, and get into the holiday spirit by visiting some homes you may never have seen before!

Tickets can be purchased in advance in a variety of ways, or on the day of the showings. Visit the holiday home tour web page for more information.

Holiday Lighted Parade

  • Date: Friday, November 16, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Downtown Northville

Northville's official kickoff to the holidays begins with the Holiday Lighted Parade. Plan to bundle up and watch the parade with the whole family.

For more information, visit Downtown Northville’s website.

Christmas in the Village

  • Date: Sunday, November 18
  • Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Mill Race Village, 215 Griswold Street, Northville, MI 48167

If you have never toured historic Mill Race Village, or if you try to make a stop every year, come to the Mill Race open house to experience Christmas preparation the old fashioned way!

Soak up the beautiful decor and watch Guild members busily crafting away: weaving, knitting, spinning and making lace! Hear the student string orchestra and carolers, and mandolin performances.

Then visit the JM Mead store and the Cady Inn for Christmas gifts and delicious cream tea.

Entrance is free! Bring the whole family and enjoy.

Victorian Christmas Cream Tea

  • Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: Mill Race Village

If you are looking for something special to welcome the Christmas season, Mill Race Village's Victorian Christmas Cream Tea is a great way to do it.

Tickets will be available at the door and cannot be pre-purchased.

For more information, please visit Mill Race Village Northville.

Holiday Greens Market

  • Saturday November 17, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 18, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Town Square, Northville, Michigan

Are you ready to deck your house with fresh evergreen? Come to downtown Northville's Holiday Greens Market for roping, wreaths, outdoor arrangements for your porch, table centerpieces and everything else you could want.

The best part is that when you buy from Holiday Greens Market, you are buying local from Michigan merchants!

For more information, please visit Northville Square.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Square!

  • Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: Northville Town Square

Yes, the big guy is coming to town! Plan to bring your little ones to Northville Town Square on Saturday afternoon, November 24, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Takeaway

If you are looking for fun events to help you get into the spirit of Christmas, come to Northville in November! From a Holiday Home Tour and Lighted Parade to taking your children to see Santa Claus, there is something for all ages in Northville.

Halloween Hours & Events in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon - 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Halloween Hours & Events in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon - 2018

Halloween is the time of year when your whole neighborhood turns out to meet each other and opens their doors for the cute kids in their bright costumes.

It is a magical time and like no other day of the year for this reason. This fun tradition gives us all the chance to step outside our doors and see our neighbors face to face, or to walk through our cities and towns, knocking on doors for no other reason than to share in the fun.

If you don't have children to take trick-or-treating, consider buying a few bags of candy and turning on your porch light this Wednesday. The great thing about kids is that they don't care whether you have a single pumpkin on your porch. If you have free candy, you are automatically their hero!

One of the best things about Halloween, from our perspective, is that it gives you, as a family, a perspective on your wonderful community that we get to see all the time! You might not know it yet, but you have wonderful, interesting and kind neighbors all around you. That is truly the thing which gives homes their value.

You may have already participated in Halloween and harvest festivities in a variety of ways through churches or schools. However, luckily, these local communities are all safe places where you can take your kids and be assured of friendly neighbors with a light on and a bucket of scrumptious candy. Don't miss the opportunity to participate in trick-or-treating on Halloween night!

Halloween Events

Northville, Michigan Trick-or-Treat Hours & Events:

Not only does the City of Northville have active participation from neighbors in Halloween festivities, but Northville also pulls out all the stops to decorate for the occasion.

In Downtown Northville, you can see the annual skeleton display of a lifetime. Set against a backdrop of historic homes, this spooky decor is sure to delight kids and adults alike as you make your trek in search of booty.

There are 116 skeletons scattered all over downtown Northville this year. As an extra frightful treat, you can also see the spiders take over town square!

Northville trick-or-treat hours are 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and the streets in Northville's Historic District will be closed 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Novi, Michigan Trick-or-Treat Hours & Events:

As a recommendation, Novi's hours are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. per Novi City Hall.

Senior Citizens Halloween Luncheon "Spiders, Bars and Cats, Oh My!"

  • Wednesday, October 31 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Ages 55+
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center
  • Ticket prices: Resident: $7.50 and Non-Resident: $9:00

You're never too old to participate in this fun community holiday. Novi has something for those aged 55 years young and up! Enjoy a Halloween-themed holiday luncheon, complete with spooky decorations and entertainment provided by Balancing Earth. The program is sponsored by Right at Home. For ticket availability and more information, please call 248-347-0414.

South Lyon, Michigan Trick-or-Treat Hours:

South Lyon’s trick-or-treat hours are from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Bringing it Home

Even if you haven't done much for Halloween yet, you can get in on the fun by visiting Northville's skeleton and spider display, attending a senior's lunch in Novi, or just opening your doors to the bunches of cute kids who are about to flood the streets in their costumes.

We hope you make some new connections and strengthen old ones with your neighbors. Have a wonderful Halloween!

What to Do Before You Move into Your New Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Tasks before moving into your new home

Did you recently purchase your new home? If you did, or if you are about to make this big purchase, congratulations!

It's an exciting time as well as a potentially stressful time. You can eliminate potential stressors right away by doing a few things you might not have thought of before you move in.

Many of the following tips are great things for any homeowner to do no matter how long you've lived in your house!

Have Your New Home Professionally Inspected

It pays to do your homework for a professional inspector you can trust. Your real estate agent may have recommended an inspector to you. More than likely, that inspector will be able to catch any big problems before your move.

However, home inspectors can't always detect pests or issues that were hidden by the previous owner's furniture. It may be worth it to get a second inspection for your benefit before unpacking your belongings.

Clean Your Gutters and Chimneys

You should already have a good idea of the state of your gutters and chimneys, but that doesn't automatically mean they're clean and in working order!

Roof and gutter cleaning is #1 for maintaining the integrity of your roof and house. In addition, if you want to use your new fireplace and chimney, make sure it's in working order.

Have Your HVAC System Cleaned

This task often gets overlooked, but pet hair and dust can clog your HVAC system and contribute to allergies in a new home. It's not very expensive to have your ducts cleaned, have the filter on your furnace change, and make sure everything in your HVAC system is in working order.

Have Your Floors Professionally Cleaned

Nothing is more annoying than moving all your furniture into your new bedrooms and then realizing you needed to have the carpets steam-cleaned. The previous owners probably didn't do this. You want the carpet cleaned of other people's dirt before you move in.

Check Your Water Quality

You might never have thought of this one but bad water can contribute to a host of illnesses. You can purchase a kit to test for bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrates, chlorine, hardness, and PH.

If you find out your water needs to be filtered, consider having a reverse osmosis water filter installed.

Update Your Detectors

Replacing those old smoke detectors with smart detectors that can sense smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide is probably a good idea. As a bonus, many new detectors also connect to your smartphone to give you updates and tell you a bunch of other pertinent information while you're away!

Take Pictures of Everything

As horrible as the idea is, your new house may get damaged by floods, fires, tornadoes, storm damage, etc.

The sad reality is that your insurance company is going to want to pay the least possible amount on any insurance claim you make in the event of a catastrophe. It pays to have documentation of how your house looked when you moved in.

Set Up Your Utilities

If the previous owners didn't leave you with all of this information, don't worry! Your neighbors have the same services you do (mostly). What better way to get to know them?

Paint

Avoid the fumes, the headache of moving and covering everything and paint your new house before your move in. If you have a newer build, you're in luck.

However, older houses will probably need every surface to be painted - ceilings, trim, walls, etc.

Make Emergency Plans and an Evacuation Kit

One of the first things you should do when you move in, particularly when you have kids, is to sit down and make an evacuation plan together.

How will you get out? Where will you meet? Make sure everyone knows how to make the right emergency calls. You also need to have the right tools necessary for a potential survival situation. Consider having on hand:

  • An emergency fire ladder
  • A water filter
  • An emergency radio
  • A survival kit that includes emergency rations and first aid products - enough for every person in your family.

Hopefully, you won't need any of these things. But if you do, they are better to have on hand.

Bring it Home

We hope you have a great time moving into your new house! Use these tips to make it your own and avoid some of the stressors of living in a new place.

Why You Need to Organize Your House to Sell Quickly and For More Money

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Organized closet

Why is it that organization and cleanliness make such a significant impression on buyers? After all, we are all aware that our houses get messy - sometimes very messy - from time to time. Life gets busy, and cleaning gets put to the bottom of the list.

However, buyers don't care about how busy a homeowner is when they are coming to look at your house. What they want to see is often the fantasy (or hopeful thinking) of what a new home will do for their lives.

We see it over and over again: buyers won't stop at your beautifully staged kitchen and living room. When they are in your home, they can and will open every drawer, cabinet, built-in, and closet.

And they will judge your house by what they find. Not only that but if your clutter is there, they won't be able to picture their things fitting into your home.

Think of your closets and drawers as a kind of potential blank slate - even though your items will still be there. Organized belongings make your space feel calm and inviting. If your home isn't orderly and clean, buyers will disconnect from your house emotionally. They won't be able to see any of its potential: only the mess.

You don't want this disconnect to happen.

Clean Is More Than Surface

This is why we always advise our sellers to treat their home as if it's already someone else's home once they decide to sell. Ironically, if you are taking selling seriously, you need to organize and declutter the way your buyers imagine they will do when they see your house.

This is especially true if you want to get top dollar for it and have it sell quickly. You want to sell quickly to avoid having to keep your house "perfect" until it sells. It won't work to put the toys in a bin, sweep the floor, and call it a day.

Invest In Organization

Organization is more important than any other problem area in your house you might think you have to tackle to get it sold. Think about this from the other way around. If you can get a buyer to invest emotionally, that is when that buyer is going to want to live in your house and pay their top dollar to ensure they are the ones who get to live there.

Ordering your world can take a long time. There are many online tools to help you get started if you feel lost. However, you might want to consider hiring a professional organizer before you put your house on the market.

An organizer can see your stuff more objectively than you can. You may need some extra direction or courage to get rid of things that are holding you back. An organizer can also make the most of your space in ways you may not be able to see.

For buyers, this is solid gold. So what if your house doesn't have the closet space you wish it did? If a buyer sees a cunningly devised system, she will be able to picture herself living there too.

Bringing it Home

The most important thing a buyer needs to feel in your house is a sense of connection. They need to be able to see themselves living there. To do this, they need to feel the sense of calm that is created by a well-organized space.

If you are thinking about selling your house, this should be one of your first steps. If you need help or have questions about where to start and live in Southeast Michigan, please call. We would be happy to help you get started!

248-348-7200

Maybury Farm's Great Pumpkin Fest of 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Maybury Farm's Great Pumpkin Fest

Fall is here, and Michigan residents couldn't be more pleased. The leaves are turning, the weather has finally become crisp and refreshing, and the fall activities are in full swing all over the great state of Michigan.

If you're looking for a fun family outing that has everything you could want from fall in one beautiful location, this is it.

The Great Pumpkin Fest is Maybury Farm's most popular event of the year. It has been expanded to two weekend days instead of one because of its popularity, and no wonder! This festival is jam-packed with activities, food, sights, and sounds.

About Maybury Farm

Whether you are new to this area of Michigan or you have lived in Metro Detroit for years and have never been to Maybury Farm, this is your year!

Maybury Farm is located in Northville, Michigan. It adjoins Maybury State Park, which is almost 1,000 acres of lovely, pristine nature in the heart of Metro Detroit. Bike paths, horse trails, and walking trails are just the tip of the iceberg for what's available in this park.

At the farm, you can regularly experience a u-pick farm garden, petting farm animals, playing on a farm-themed playground, and a general store with Michigan-made goodies. There are educational tours designed to teach kids science in a hands-on way and regular events like the Great Pumpkin Festival for the community.

Maybury Farm's 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Fest 2018

  • October 13 - 14 Saturday and Sunday
  • 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • $7 or $10 per person
  • Children 2 and under Free

Maybury Farm's incredible corn maze has been open for several weeks for your weekend fun! There is a 1-acre maze just for kids and a more massive 8-acre maze for anyone who wants a challenge. Check out the aerial view of this work of art!

This is Maybury Farm's 5th year hosting the Pumpkin Fest. This year, it's held on October 13 & 14 - Saturday and Sunday - from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are two pricing options: $7 per person includes admission to the festival and Maybury Farm. $10 per person includes access to the festival, entrance to the farm, and a chance to challenge the corn maze with complementary wagon rides.

Activities Include:

  • Pie pumpkin painting
  • Bonfire & S'mores
  • Face painting
  • Hay Maze for the kids
  • Corn Maze
  • Model milking cow
  • Corn husk doll making
  • Mask making
  • Kids games - pumpkin themed
  • View the work of professional pumpkin carver John Angevine
  • Beeswax candle making
  • Children's costume contest
  • Story time & sing-along
  • Children's activity stage
  • Delicious foods
  • Home Depot Building
  • Corn Maze Trick or Treating
  • Animals smashing pumpkins
  • Apple cider pressing

The schedule for live music performances includes:

High Street Band

  • Saturday, 10:30am to 12:30pm

Steve Taylor Music

  • Saturday, 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Audrey Ray

  • Saturday, 2:30pm to 4:30pm

Vendetta Ride

  • Sunday, 10:30am to 12:30pm

Kari Holmes

  • Sunday, 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Todd Michael Band

  • Sunday, 2:30pm to 4:30pm

For more information, please visit Maybury Farm’s website.

Takeaway

With such a huge list of fun activities included in your admission to Maybury Farm’s Great Pumpkin Fest, plus great food, drinks, and entertainment, this could be one of the highlights of your year!

I hope it becomes a family favorite and that you come back year after year! Happy fall everyone!

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