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Pros and Cons of Operating a Vacation Rental

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Vacational rental - keys

Have you ever thought about operating a vacation rental?

The popular vacation rental website, Airbnb.com, has made an agreement with Michigan’s Department of Treasury this year. Before now, it was up to owners of these short-term rentals (30 days or less - sometimes just one or two nights) to pay the 6% tax the state levies on their own.

Now, as homeowners use Airbnb.com to advertise their extra bedrooms, basement suites, and single bedroom apartments for rent, Airbnb will collect the tax for the state.

The great news is that Airbnb sales in Michigan are way above projections from revenues in 2016. The state expected $1.5 million for the year.

Instead, Airbnb sent $960,000 to the state for the months of July, August, and September alone. Of course, these are the highest tourist months for Michigan - our state having plenty of shoreline and lakes. Tourists come from out of state to recreate and they want to do it in a place that feels like home.

According to an article published by MLive, the second most popular city destination for Airbnb users in Michigan is Detroit. Maybe more tourism dollars are to be had throughout the state of Michigan for any homeowners willing to put in the work. Michigan homeowners earned twenty-four million dollars on Airbnb this year during that time. That’s a 90% growth over the same period last year.

Although some cities are cracking down on ordinance enforcement, property owners are quick to make sure they can keep their rights to rent out their property. This is for good reason.

Real estate investment blogger, Paula Pant of Afford Anything, wrote a 4-part series on the pros and cons of operating an Airbnb rental unit in Atlanta, Georgia. She and her partner enjoy traveling and own several properties which they rent to long-term tenants in the traditional fashion.

Pant decided to use one unit as an Airbnb rental unit for a year to see if she made or lost money and what the other benefits might be. Here are a few pros and cons we’ve gleaned from her insights:

Pros of Airbnb Renting:

  • It does pay more. In the heart of Boston, priced starting at $75 a night, her one-bedroom unit was never empty and there was a waiting list. Eventually, she upped the per-night price to $155. All told, she ended up earning over twice what she would have earned with a typical investment - and that was after she’d paid herself for her time and added up expenses like cleaning and replacing soap.
  • You get to meet more people, from more places, than you otherwise would. Pant’s Airbnb rental has hosted cast and crew members from Broadway touring companies, artists, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, tourists from other countries, and many more. She says being in the same building - or in the case of other homeowners - being in the same house as many of your guests has definite benefits. Interesting people come to your home.

Cons of Airbnb Renting:

  • It’s not passive income, its hospitality. This can be a pro if you like hospitality or if you aren’t planning to travel at the same time. But it’s not a passive investment, it is work. You will have to clean, replace coffee, sheets, soap, towels, and whatever anyone broke every time there’s a turnover. In addition, if your investment is paying off, you will have many turnovers because your unit will be rented out almost all the time.
  • You will probably catch a bad apple once in awhile. Pant doesn’t get into any details, but she did have to call the police one time on one of her Airbnb renters.
  • It is hard to find reliable help. If you do leave while hosting an Airbnb property, you will need backup - lots of backup. It’s hard to find a cleaner who will come in a tight window of time. Also, if you are out of town when management issues come up (guests unexpectedly need an air mattress late at night when stores are closed), you are on the line for it.

Takeaway

Ultimately, it is up to the property owner to weigh the pros and cons of operating a vacation rental to see if it is right for them. This could be a great time for Michigan residents to earn some extra income listing properties on Airbnb.





 

Northville Holiday Lighted Parade and Upcoming Events

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Northville Holiday Lighted Parade

The holidays are a wonderful time to visit Northville, Michigan. There are a number of holiday events coming up in the months of November and December. From the Northville Holiday Lighted Parade to the Tinsel and Treasures Holiday Market, you won’t want to miss a thing.

Upcoming Holiday Events in Northville, Michigan

Northville Holiday Lighted Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony

  • Friday, November 17
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Northville Town Square

The first and most anticipated holiday event in Northville is the Holiday Lighted Parade. If you can’t wait for the first Christmas lights and decorated trees to appear all over town, don’t miss this event. Bring your neighbors, kids, and friends to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

The theme for the parade this year is the “Island of Misfits” and the highlights will include:

  • Northville High School marching band
  • Lighted floats
  • Marchers in holiday gear
  • Fully lit Fire Engine
  • Santa Claus

Northville’s Town Square will be hosting Northville residents and more with hot chocolate, photo opportunities with your favorite holiday characters, and lots of seasonal cheer thanks to the Northville Christian Assembly, Hilltop Church, and First Baptist Church of Northville.

Community Sing-Along

Stick around in the Northville Town Square for more hot chocolate, photo ops, Santa sightings, and the official sing-along led by Tina Genitti. Northville’s mayor, Ken Roth, and Citizen of the Year, Chuck Lapham will give greetings to Santa and light the Town Square tree.

For more information, visit the Chamber of Commerce’s website or call 248-349-7640.

More Upcoming Events in Northville, Michigan

Holiday Home Tour (Ticketed Event)

  • November 17 & 18
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Various homes in Northville

For more information, please see Northville Holiday Home Tours 2017.

Greens Market Weekend

  • Saturday, November 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: Northville Town Square

Would you like some new holiday accessories to help decorate your home or business? Don’t miss the Greens Market on November 18-19 in Northville and support the local Farmers Market. Vendors will be offering holiday items for sale from wreaths to accessories.

For more information, please see www.northville.org.

Christmas in the Village

  • Sunday, November 19
  • Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Location:  Mill Race Village, Northville

Plan to celebrate the holidays at Mill Race Village on Sunday, November 19. The festivities will include Christmas stories, music, crafts, music, holly, Christmas trees, and smiles. 

For more information, please see Mill Race Village’s website.

Children’s Christmas Workshop

  • Saturday, December 2
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m.
  • Location: Mill Race Village, Northville
  • Children in grades 1-6 
  • Cost: $20.00 per child

Children in grades 1-6 are invited to make seven old-fashioned, hand-made gifts for the special people on their Christmas list.

For more information, please see Children’s Workshop.

Santa Visits Maybury Farm

  • The first 3 weekends in December
  • Time: Noon – 3:00 p.m.
  • Maybury Farm, 50165 8 Mile Rd. Northville

Santa will be visiting Maybury Farm in Northville complete with his antique sleigh. Plan to bring your little ones and your camera.

For more information, please see Santa Visits.

Tinsel and Treasures Holiday Market

  • Friday, December 8: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 9: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 10: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Northville Community Center,  303 W. Main St., Northville
  • Cost: Admission: $4.00 / 12 & Under: Free

This holiday market will feature homemade gifts and is reportedly on the Top 50 shows in the country.

For more information, please see Tinsel and Treasures.

Takeaway

Whether you are a resident or just looking for a place to experience the wonder of the season in a picturesque location – Northville is the place for you!

Photo courtesy of Northville Chamber of Commerce

 

Northville Holiday Home Tours 2017

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Holdiay decorations - Northville Holiday Home Tours

The Northville Holiday Home Tour tickets are now on sale! In 2017, come get in the holiday spirit - November 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

The Holiday Home Tour is presented by the Northville Community Foundation. On Friday and Saturday, November 17 -18 you can come and find new decorating ideas for your home during the holidays as well as ramp up for a warm, inviting holiday season.

As a guest of the Holiday Home Tour, you will tour five privately owned Northville homes. These beautiful homes have been decorated from top to bottom for the holidays, each in a different style, with something in every color and for every taste.

The homes in the tour aren’t all huge Victorian mansions. They range from a traditional condo to industrial chic. See the range of design sensibilities and styles of decor.

One of the homes is decked with unique artist-made accessories, and one of them has been recently renovated with custom upgrades on both floors. The holiday decor is provided by Pear-Aphernalia, Williams Sonoma, Gardenviews and many more. Each home is stunning in its own way.

The 2017 Holiday Home Tour has a refreshment stop along the way. The Tipping Point Theatre in Downtown Northville will provide guests with light refreshments from the Northville Meijer. While you sip and warm up, enter to win two tickets to a future Tipping Point Theatre production.

Holdiay decorated table - Northville Holiday Home Tours

The tickets for this fun event are only $25 in advance and $30 on the day - for an afternoon of merriment.

In order to purchase tickets in advance, you will need to visit Pear-Aphernalia, Gardenviews, Haven of Northville or the Northville Chamber of Commerce. You may also purchase tickets online by visiting www.northvillecommunityfoundation.org/holidayhometour or over the phone by calling 248-374-0200.

The proceeds from the Holiday Home Tour help to fund the Northville Community Foundation’s work in Northville community. The foundation has made grants every year since 1997 to nonprofit groups that serve the community. It has also awarded scholarships to local students, organized the Northville Independence Day Parade, and operated Maybury Farm since 2003.

Maybury Farm is itself host to many fun and exciting community events throughout the year. It is a working farm in the heart of suburban Detroit, dedicated to bringing the life of animals and farming to kids and families through hands-on experiences. Maybury Farm believes that experiences that are fun and educational are the ones that stay with people and teach them about the world.

About the Northville Community Foundation

The Northville Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to enhance and enrich life in the community. Since 1997, the Northville Community Foundation has annually made grants to support nonprofit organizations serving the community, awarded scholarships to local students, organized and executed the Northville Independence Day Parade, and, since 2003, operated Maybury Farm, a working farm with a mission to connect the community to animals and agriculture through hands-on experiences that are both engaging and educational.  

For More Information

To learn more about the Northville Community Foundation, please visit www.northvillecommunityfoundation.org or contact Jessica Striegle, Executive Director, Northville Community Foundation at 248-374-0200.

 

Photos courtesy of Northville Community Foundation. Used with permission.

Halloween Events 2017: Northville, Novi, & South Lyon, MI

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Children in Halloween costumes

Fall is the perfect time to experience Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan. Trees are adorned with bright red, orange, and yellow leaves and the days are crisp.

These family-friendly towns offer a number of Halloween events that your family won’t want to miss. From the Skeletons Are Alive in Northville to a special Halloween luncheon for seniors 55+ and the Halloween Spooktacular in Novi, there is something for all to enjoy.

Be sure to check out the following Halloween events in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon taking place this week.

Northville Halloween Happenings

Skeletons Are Alive

  • Month of October
  • Downtown Northville, Michigan

Have you had the chance to walk the streets of Northville during October? You still have time! There are over 110 skeletons scattered throughout Downtown Northville. Bring your children and see how many you can count. In addition, check out the spiders that have taken over town square!

This is the 7th annual Skeletons Are Alive event. This year’s theme is “October in the Ville.”

Northville Trick-or-Treating Hours

  • October 31
  • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Northville’s trick-or-treating hours will be from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Be sure to stop by the Northville City Hall for the Fire Station Open House. Additionally, there will be a costume contest at the Northville Community Center at 7:30 pm.

Please note that the streets of Northville’s’ Historic District will be closed from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

For more information, please see www.northvillesquare.com.

Novi Halloween Happenings

Monsters on Main

  • Monday, October 30, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Location: Main Street at Grand River in Novi
  • Cost: Ages 2-12 $5.00 per child

This event was rescheduled to October 30. There will be trick-or-treating, games, crafts, and a pumpkin patch.

For more information, please call the Novi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services at 248-347-0400.

A Be “Witching” Halloween Bash Luncheon

  • Tuesday, October 31, 2017
  • Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center, 25075 Meadowbrook Rd., Novi
  • Ages: 55+
  • Cost: Residents $7.50 and Non-residents $9.00

Calling all adults ages 55+ for a special Halloween luncheon sponsored in partnership with Rose Center. Entertainment will be provided by John Latini.

For availability, please call 248-347-0414.

Halloween Spooktacular

  • Tuesday, October 31, 2017
  • Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Location: Twelve Oaks Mall, 27500 Novi Rd., Novi, MI

Do you have a little one that loves American Girl dolls? Come and celebrate Halloween at the American Girl store at Twelve Oaks Mall! Girls who wear their costume and visit the store will receive a special treat while supplies last. In addition, there will be a Halloween Boo Box craft and the opportunity to pose for a photo.

The American Girl store is located on the upper level near Nordstrom department store.

Novi Trick-or-Treating Hours

  • October 31
  • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Recommended trick-or-treating hours are 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

South Lyon Trick-or-Treating Hours

  • October 31
  • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Please be sure to confirm the trick-or-treating times with your city as they are subject to change.

Takeaway

There are many exciting Halloween events to choose from in the cities of Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan. From all of us at the Jamey Kramer Group, have a safe and happy Halloween!

November 2017 Events: Novi, Northville, and South Lyon, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

November is the beginning of the holiday season for many. Get out and celebrate the end of fall, Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the holidays with one of many events in Novi, Northville, and South Lyon, Michigan.

Northville, Michigan

Northville Holiday Home Tour

  • November 17-18, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Northville
  • Cost: $25 in advance, $30 on the event day

Are you looking for inspiration on how to decorate your home for the holidays? How would you like to see how other people decorate their houses? Five privately owned houses in Northville will be decorated from top to bottom on this amazing tour. 

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. For more information, please see the Northville Community Foundation’s website.

Holiday Lighted Parade

  • November 17, 2017
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Downtown Northville

Kick off the holiday season with neighbors and friends. Come see the lighting of the Christmas tree in Town Square and stay for the Greens Market to deck out your own house too!

The Holiday Lighted Parade will begin and end at the Community Center/Board of Education Parking Lot, located behind those buildings off Cady Street. Parade line up begins at 5:45 p.m., with the parade beginning at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, please see Hometown Holidays.

  • November 17-18, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Northville
  • Cost: $25 in advance, $30 on the event day

Are you looking for inspiration on how to decorate your home for the holidays? How would you like to see how other people decorate their houses? Five privately owned houses in Northville will be decorated from top to bottom on this amazing tour. 

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. For more information, please see the Northville Community Foundation’s website

Greens Market - Town Square

  • November 18th, Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • November 19th, Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Location: Downtown Northville

Plan to attend this Farmers Market right in Northville. Choose from an assortment of your favorite holiday greens for sale to decorate your home or office. This is a great way to support local farmers while decorating for the holidays.  

Novi, Michigan

American Girl Slumber Party

  • Friday, November 3, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Grades K-6
  • Novi Civic Center, 45175 10 Mile Road, Novi MI 48375
  • Cost: Price: Residents - $14 / Non-Residents - $17

Do you have a little girl in grade K-6 that loves American Girls? Here is her opportunity to wear her favorite PJs, bring a sleeping bag and pillow, her American Girl doll, and enjoy the movie, Lea to the Rescue.

For more information, please see Experience Novi.

Addicted to Movies Not Drugs

  • Monday, November 6, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m.
  • Location: Novi Emagine Theatre, 44425 West 12 Mile Road, Novi, MI 48377
  • Novi Teens Grades 7-12
  • Cost: $10 per student

All Novi teens in grades 7-12 are invited to an all-night movie marathon at the Novi Emagine Theatre. Pizza, popcorn, and soda will be provided. This event is sponsored by The City of Novi Youth Council, the Novi Fire and Police Departments, and the Novi Emagine Theatre.

For more information and to purchase tickets, see the City of Novi’s website.

A Harvest of Thanksgiving Memories Luncheon

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017
  • Time: 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center, 25075 Meadowbrook Rd., Novi MI 48375
  • Ages 55+
  • Cost: $7.50 for residents and $9 for nonresidents

Gather with friends for the Harvest of Thanksgiving Memories Luncheon at the Meadowbrook Activity Center in Novi. Special entertainment will be provided by Special Blend.

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

Parents Night Out

  • Friday, November 17, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Location: Civic Center, 45175 10 Mile Road, Novi MI 48375
  • Grades K-6

Do you have children in grades K-6? How would you like a night out? Drop the kids off for a few hours of pizza, crafts, games, and more on November 17! Rest easy that your kids are having a blast while you do your holiday shopping or just take a breather.

For registration information, please see online registration.

South Lyon, Michigan

The Village Strings Dulcimers Concert

  • Sunday, November 26
  • 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $6

The South Lyon area Historical Society will be sponsoring a concert to be held at the Little Village Chapel in South Lyon. Tickets are available at Bakman Florist, Java House Café, and Parkside Cleaners beginning November 1. Tickets will not be available at the door.

Takeaway

From the Holiday Lighted Parade to a special concert in South Lyon, there are many exciting events to choose from in November in the cities of Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan.

If you are interested in moving to one of these family-friendly cities, please give our office a call. We would be honored to help with all your real estate needs.

248-348-7200

 

Photo courtesy of Northville Community Foundation.

 

Top 10 Design Trend Strategies to Help Sell Your Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Design trends - stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops

With summer of 2017 at an end, the hot seller’s market might be taking a quick lull. If you are thinking about selling your home in the cooler months or even just thinking about doing some home renovations with resale value in mind, here are the top 10 trends in home design right now. Luckily, most of these trends are actually quite timeless, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something a future buyer will love too.

#1: Stainless Steel Appliances

According to Country Living, stainless steel appliances signal to a potential buyer that they won’t have to update the kitchen very much, if at all. Stainless steel tells buyers the appliances are new and they have a classic look that will complement any decor choice a new buyer might make. If you are planning to update your appliances and you haven’t already been thinking about going stainless, think again.

#2: Freestanding Tubs

A blogger and designer at DecoratingDivas.com may have a word or two to say about the size and expense of a freestanding tub. Country Living proclaims these tubs best sellers. It may all come down to the right buyer. Beware spending a fortune on a large, impractical fixture. You may not recoup your investment. If soaking is your thing, then go for it.

Would you like one easy solution? Go for a smaller claw foot version, many of which you can find for sale at antique stores. These babies have all the style, a fraction of the price, and much potential resale value.

#3: Smart Home Features

Smartphone controllable features in your home are what I call a no-brainer. Not only do these devices - smart thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and security systems - provide backup when you’re away from home, but they can all be controlled from your phone. So many of us do most of our business on our phones now, why not make sure you can control your home this way too?

#4: Light Neutral Walls

One design trend really making its way into the mainstream is minimalist decor. Twenty years ago, it was considered boring and bad taste to have white walls. However, minimalism is here to stay - at least for now. Modern home buyers want a clean palate. Most of them are looking for some type of twist on modern design.

#5: Quartz

Quartz is one of those “can’t-go-wrong” design choices when remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. It’s also called engineered stone and it’s one of the most versatile and durable things out there, not to mention high-end. Many home buyers that would be turned off by less than luxurious countertop choices will take a second look just because of the quartz countertops.

#6: Marble

Similar to quartz, marble countertops, with their timeless appeal that works with a variety of cabinet colors and backsplash combinations, offer something to design conscious buyers. New, natural and more luxurious countertops are instant home sellers. Buyers see that and know that is one place they won’t have to fork over big bucks to make it their own.

#7: Built-In Bars not Breakfast Nooks

For extras that are more fun than necessary, consider adding a bar instead of a breakfast nook. According to Redfin, breakfast nooks are on their way out. More and more home buyers want space to entertain. Built-in bars are gaining more and more traction every year.

#8: Floor Lamps

According to the stars of HGTV’s Vintage Flip, floor lamps are a bigger deal than recessed lighting. If you’re thinking about springing for those flush-mounted lights to sell your home, think again. A design-savvy buyer may not want them, and they also might be sold when they see how great your floor and table lamps look in your home. The plus side is you get to keep your floor lamps when you move.

#9: Barn Doors

Vintage Flippers Jessie and Tina Rodriguez were the pioneers of using barn doors as temporary space dividers. While they personally are starting to move away from using them as often, the trend is still at its height. “Modern Farmhouse” decor is all the rage, so if you have been longing to add one of those sliding barn doors, definitely do it now.  

#10: Hardwood Floors (Not Bamboo Floors)

Bamboo floors are on their way out and hardwood floors will never go out of style. Hardwood offers new buyers a chance to refinish to their liking and less expensive vinyl flooring can be replaced more cheaply, but bamboo just doesn’t fall into one of those categories. If you need or want a major floor change, go with hardwood.

Takeaway

Design trends come and go, so you want to be choosy when you’re spending your hard-earned money updating your home. Thinking about what will give you the best resale value could be a lifesaver down the road.

Home-buying Couples: Top 5 Biggest Conflicts

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Home-buying Couples: Top 5 Biggest Conflicts

Buying a home can be one of the most exhilarating, and stressful, times in the life of any person. Multiply the stress, expectations, anxiety, and preferences by 2 and you’ve got potential trouble brewing.

It’s true. We see couples on HGTV finding the home of their dreams all the time. All that conflict is edited out. A new survey from LendingHome makes clear the biggest areas of stress home buying makes on a relationship.

Here are the top 5 biggest conflicts for home-buying couples:

#1: Longevity of the Relationship

If you have been with your partner for less than five years, it might be time to re-think buying a house right now. This survey studied millennial and Gen X couples buying their first home together. It found that couples who have been together for 5 years or longer disagreed only 14% of the time during the process.

The sad part is, the amount of disagreement more than doubles for couples who have been together for 4 years: they argued 30% of the time. That’s only one more year, but apparently, it’s the golden year in terms of peaceful home-buying experiences. In addition, the survey found that 60% of home buying couples said they disagreed occasionally, frequently or a lot during the process.

#2: Amount of Debt

Money, of course, is a big problem for many couples, aside from home buying. It’s not a surprise that money concerns are huge when you are making this huge decision together. A big chunk of your income will go to this dwelling every month you may have different priorities when it comes to housing.

49% of couples disagreed - according to this survey - with how much debt to take on. This was the single biggest disagreement in the whole survey. How can anyone avoid it?

  • Both partners have to be clear on your current financial situation - especially if you don’t share a bank account.
  • Both partners need to know the full amount of debt already in each name and have plans for paying it down.
  • Both partners have to have a realistic picture of how much more you’re willing to take on and a plan to pay for that as well.

Remember - these questions are just the starting point. You might still disagree once you have all these nailed down, or you might find that nailing these down makes your priorities as a couple clear.

#3: Style of House

Right up there with debt is style. Who doesn’t have a style of home and an ideal neighborhood picked out in his or her mind? The survey found that 46% of couples disagreed about what style of home to choose. Interestingly, it also showed that women generally preferred a traditional or cozy home in the suburbs or established neighborhoods and men generally preferred a modern home in a city setting.

Before you start the search process, take some time to sit down together and talk about why you are buying this home. Is this a starter home, hopefully on your way to something bigger and better down the road or after you have kids? Is this your forever home with room to grow? What things will you need near you if you do have kids? What things are you willing to give up? What other goals or milestones do you have coming up and how will living in this house affect that?

#4:  Size of House

The survey found that 45% of couples disagreed over the size of the house they were going to buy. One word of advice to any first-time home buyer (or maybe even subsequent home-buyers...we don’t always learn from our mistakes, do we?).

It’s not a good idea to max out your budget, even if you can afford it. Buying a new home almost always ends up being more expensive than you think - in terms of moving costs and other small extra fixes that can add up along the way. If you are one of those couples disagreeing over the size, think about all of your other priorities first to help you iron out that issue. You might find that there are amenities available with a smaller home that will make up for missing space indoors.

#5: Whether to DIY

With Do It Yourself shows on HGTV exploding in popularity over the last 10-15 years, it’s no surprise that couples would fight about this. The survey shows 43% of couples disagree over this issue.

If you are the partner dreaming to DIY a concrete countertop (because it’s not really in the budget and Chip makes it look so easy!), make sure you do your research. Most of the time, unless you are highly experienced (and even then), all DIY projects take a lot more money, time and patience than you are truly willing to dish out.

You might be set on a fixer-upper, but it’s always a good idea to have a contractor come with you to look at a potential new home. You may find that having a realistic picture of how much it will cost and how much time it will take will help make your decision for you. Just don’t make the mistake of assuming you can do it in a week.

Takeaway

Good news: more than 60% of couples said the process didn’t affect the overall health of their relationship and they felt more committed than ever after they bought their house together. So, even though there may be disagreements, there’s a really good chance it’ll all be worth it.

With any home buying decision, it is critical that you have the right people by your side. Please give us a call. We would be honored to help.

248-348-7200

 

 

 

Upcoming Events for Novi, Michigan October 2017

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Little girl at pumpkin patch

Do you live in the Novi, Michigan area? Are you looking for some fun things to do in October?

The City of Novi has a number of exciting events for all ages planned this October. Check it out ahead of time and make plans to do something local while the good weather holds.

MSU Tollgate Farm Pumpkinfest

  • Saturday – Sunday, October 7 & 8
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: MSU Tollgate Farm, 28115 Meadowbrook Road, Novi, MI 48377
  • Cost: Free Community Event. Parking $5

If you have never attended the Tollgate Farm Pumpkinfest, you are in for a treat. This family-friendly event is a great way to enjoy the fall while taking a wagon ride on the way to pick out the perfect pumpkin.

Story times are planned throughout the day featuring children’s authors reading their stories - through participation with the Novi and Walled Lake Public libraries. You will also be able to participate in the fundraiser for educational programming at the farm.

In addition, there will be a children’s straw maze, pumpkin bowling, antique tractors, MSU Bug House, educational exhibits, live music, and other children’s activities. Tickets will be sold for the other activities.

For more information, please see Pumpkinfest - Tollgate Farm and Education Center.

 Health & Wellness Fair

  • Saturday, October 7
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center, 25075 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi, MI 48375
  • Cost: Free Community Event (There is a flu shot fee)

Explore the ways in which your community helps improve your health and well-being.

  • Free health screenings including blood pressure checks
  • Free giveaways and a grand prize drawing
  • Healthy snacks and refreshments
  • Prescription drug take-back event
  • Flu Shot Clinic - Flu shots will be available for adults and children and given on a first come, first serve basis. Flu Shot price is $36 without insurance or at no cost with Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Blue Care Network, HAP, Priority Plus and Health Care Plus.

For more information, please see the flyer, Health & Wellness Fair.

Smores Family Fun Run

  • Saturday, October 14
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Lakeshore Park, 601 S Lake Dr, Novi, MI 48375
  • Registration Fee: $9.00

Come and run with the whole family! You can make it, it’s only 1 mile! Have a blast running the mile with other families and then come back to celebrate with live music, smores by the fire, and hayrides!

To register online, please see Smores Run registration.

Battle of the Badges Fall Blood Drive

  • Wednesday, October 11
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Novi Civic Center, 45175 Ten Mile Rd., Novi, MI 48375
  • Register online by visiting www.redcrossblood.org code: novi or by calling 313-549-7052

Celebrate Fire Prevention Week with the Novi Public Safety Team by coming to donate blood. Cast your vote for Police or Fire when you donate and see who wins! It’s an easy way to help save a life today.

Novi Athletic Booster’s Holiday Kickoff Arts & Craft Show

  • Saturday, October 21
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Novi High School, 24062 Taft, Novi, MI 48375
  • Cost: $3 entry, children 5 and under free

The Novi Athletic Boosters will be hosting a Holiday Kickoff Arts & Craft Show on October 21. Come, pick out your Christmas gifts from over 160 juried crafters and support the Novi athletic boosters at the same time. If you have community spirit, this is the perfect place for you to come and support the kids in your community.

For more information, please see Novi Athletic Boosters 2017 Craft Show.

Monsters on Main

  • Wednesday, October 25
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Main Street off Grand River in Novi
  • Cost: Ages 2-12 $5/child

If you have little kids, this is the perfect trick-or-treat community event. Come for games, a movie, crafts, a pumpkin patch, and of course costumes and candy!

To register online, please see Monsters on Main Registration.

Day of the Dead

  • Sunday, October 29
  • Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Novi Civic Center, 45175 Ten Mile Rd., Novi, MI 48375
  • Cost: Free Community Event

Would you like to know what the Day of the Dead is all about? Come for a procession, mariachi performance, dance performances, crafts, activities, and traditional costumes. A food vendor will be on site and much more!

Takeaway

The City of Novi has an exciting list of events planned in October. From the MSU Tollgate Farm Pumpkinfest to the Day of the Dead celebration, there is something for everyone.

If you are interested in moving to Novi, please give us a call. We would be honored to help.

248-348-7200

 

 

 

Northville, Michigan Upcoming Events - October 2017

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Are you looking for something special to do in October? Do you live in the Northville, Michigan area?

The fall season is in full swing in Northville with many exciting events coming your way. From the Northville Art House Exhibition to the Great Pumpkin Festival at Maybury Farm, you won’t be disappointed.

Here are the upcoming events for October 2017 in Northville, Michigan:

Northville Art House Exhibition

  • September 1 – October 28
  • Tuesday – Fridays: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • October 6 First Friday: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Location:  215 W. Cady Street, Northville, MI 48167

9th Annual West of Center Juried All-Media Exhibition

The Northville Art House has a philosophy of bringing the community something unexpected. “West of Center” is this year’s showcase of contemporary artworks. Brian Nelson, professor of sculpture at Eastern Michigan University, is this year’s juror who has made the selections. There are 32 works of art from 22 different artists.

The First Friday reception for this showcase will be held October 6 from 6-9.

Come for The Skeletons are Alive kickoff celebration, treats, drinks, and a free make-and-take project by Art House instructor Maria Latour.

For more information, please see Northville Art House Exhibition.

Boeing Boeing” at the Tipping Point Theatre

  • Wednesday-Sunday evenings, September 14 - October 22
  • Location: 361 East Cady Street, Northville, MI 48167

Tipping Point Theatre’s fall comedy play - “Boeing Boeing” is about Bernard, an American in Paris. He’s an architect and self-styled playboy who only dates air hostesses from international routes so he can juggle three ladies at a time! See hilarity ensue when Boeing invents the super-high-speed jet and a huge storm system develops - bringing all three ladies at once.

Times and Pricing:

  • Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday at 8:00 p.m. - $30
  • Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. - $37
  • Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. - $33
  • Sundays at 2:00 p.m. - $33

The box office opens 90 minutes prior to each performance. For more information and to buy tickets online, please see Boeing Boeing” at the Tipping Point Theatre.

Maybury Corn Maze

  • September 16 - October 29
  • Location: 50165 8 Mile Rd in Northville, Michigan

Don’t miss this year’s Corn Maze at Maybury Farm! The 2017 maze is double the size of last year: 10 acres of baffling fun. Come, sample some Parmenter’s cider and donuts, weave in and out, and find all 10 checkpoints for a chance to win a grand prize.

In addition, you will be able to find your pumpkins for the year at the U-pick pumpkin patch and take this chance to visit the animals at the farm for one last time before it closes to the public for the winter.

Another option is the “Fall on the Farm” tour, which is an educational tour for K-5 graders about corn and farming. It includes a run through the maze and cider and donuts for everyone. Group reservations and bonfire times are available too. Call 248-374-0200 for more information.

Corn Maze Hours:

  • Friday: 5:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: Noon to 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: Noon to 7:00 p.m.

(Please note: the last wagon leaves for the maze one hour prior to close)

Corn Maze Cost:

  • $7 per person
  • Kids 2 and under: free

(The farm admission and a wagon ride to and from the maze are included with your corn maze ticket. The Barn is open until 7:00 p.m. nightly)

Northville Fall Fair

Fall is a perfect time to celebrate the fullness of life. Come to the fall craft fair to sample the best handmade items, specialty foods, fall décor, and much more.

  • Friday, October 13, 2017 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 14, 2017 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: Northville Community Center, 303 W. Main St., Northville, MI 48167
  • Cost: Admission: $3, 12 & Under: Free

For more information, please see .

Great Pumpkin Festival at Maybury Farm

  • Saturday, October 14, 2017
  • 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Maybury Farm 50165 8 Mile Road, Northville, MI, 48167
  • Admission Cost: $5 per person or $8 to include the corn maze and wagon ride. Children 2 and under are free.  

If you want to combine the corn maze and a day of activities and fun for the kids, the Pumpkin Festival is your day. Come for many pumpkin-themed activities for the kids, face painting, pumpkin painting, story time, and much more. Stay to enjoy cider and donuts, corn maze, and pet the animals for one last time.

For more information, please see Great Pumpkin Festival.

Takeaway

Northville, Michigan is a family-friendly city located northwest of Detroit. This charming town is a wonderful place to raise a family. If you are considering moving to Northville, we would be honored to help. Please give our office a call.

248-348-7200

Sump Pumps: What Homeowners Need To Know

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Sump Pumps: What Homeowners Need To Know

Is it a good idea to buy a house with a sump pump?

This question was opened for discussion on Trulia. Let’s take a close look at what prospective and current homeowners should know.  

Michigan is the land of many lakes. Whether you live in a flood-prone area or have basement issues you’re trying to solve, a sump pump might be a homeowner’s best friend. In fact, sump pumps are very common in Southeast Michigan.

It is a good idea to take some time to familiarize yourself with how a sump pump works and what kinds of sump pumps are out there. In addition, if you don’t have a sump pump but you need a long-term solution for your basement to keep your stuff safe from destruction, here’s your guide.

Sump Pump Basics

  • Sump pumps don’t keep water from accumulating. If you are having significant issues, other outlets include having the grading of your yard examined and changed and repairing any noticeable leaks or broken pipes.
  • Some homes have sump pits built right into the basement floor. However, if you have an older home, it might not have one. If you have a pit, all you need is the pump. If not, contact a drain expert or contractor to see if your basement or crawlspace can be retrofitted with a sump pit.
  • A sump pit is just a hole with a gravel base - 2 feet deep and 18 inches wide - dug in the lowest part of your basement or crawlspace. The pit will fill with runoff water and the pump turns on, moving the water out of the pit through pipes running away from your home to a spot where it can drain away from the home’s foundation. There is a one-way valve at the pump end designed to keep water from flowing back into the pit.
  • Sump pumps usually turn on automatically using a float activator arm or pressure sensor to tell the pump there’s water there.

Types of Sump Pumps

  • Water-powered - the least powerful of the types, they run on city water pressure instead of electrical power, thus no need for electricity to keep them running. You can see the advantage here. No power, bad storm...still a dry basement. However, they can’t be used if your city’s water pressure is low or if you have an independent well.
  • Pedestal - also called a column or upright sump pump. It has an open motor supported on top of a column attached to the pump casing. The motor sits outside the sump and above the basement floor and is not designed to be submerged.
  • Submersible - this is a watertight motor designed for immersion. This kind kicks on when it senses it is submerged. The motor is coupled to the pump casing and is hidden within the sump.

Most sump pump systems have a primary pump, an emergency backup battery or water-powered pump and an emergency backup pump alarm. The emergency backup works when the power goes out, to help the primary pump with extra water or when the primary pump fails. The alarm lets you know the backup pump has had to be used, so you can attend to any failure before the next storm.

Should I Get a Sump Pump?

Installing a new sump pump can be an expensive and disruptive job. However, if your house experiences regular flooding or you live in a storm-prone area, installing a sump pump just might make the difference in saving your valuables and retaining the value of your home.

Prospective Buyers

If you are interested in purchasing a home that has a sump pump, you can rest assured that it is a good thing. It can help avoid water problems if properly maintained. Additionally, it is recommended that you have a battery backup on the sump pump in the event of a power outage.

 

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