Real Estate Information Archive


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5 Home Appraisal Facts You Need to Know

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Home Appraisal Facts

Imagine placing your home on the market, getting a great offer, working through the home inspection only to find out that the home appraisal came in under the price you agreed on. You might be asking yourself, what does that mean? Is a home appraisal really that important when both parties already agreed on a price?

That is a situation many Americans have experienced when selling their home. While a home appraisal might feel like one small check mark on a list of to dos, it can actually have a profound impact on the progress of the closing of a house.  A home appraisal can not only derail a contract, but it can cancel the agreement all together.  Here are five facts about home appraisals that you have to know.

  1. Appraisal = Fair Market Value

In almost all cases of a home sale and purchase transaction, a home appraisal will be required. According to Investopedia,An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home's value.” A home appraisal will also be used when a home owner wants to refinance their home.

  1. What Determines the Value

The value of a property is greatly influenced by the recent sales of similar homes in the area including the square footage, floor plan, condition, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and home amenities. The home appraisal should be done by a third party that has no direct or indirect interest in the transaction. The appraiser will inspect the interior and the exterior conditions that might impact the value of the home.

Even when the seller and the buyer agree on a home price, the lender wants to protect itself from lending too much money in case the borrower is not able to pay the mortgage, and they have to take possession and resale the home. What that means for the seller is that if a home appraisal comes back under the agreed price, the sellers have two choices: they can lower the price of their home, or cancel the contract. The buyer also has the right to terminate the contact if the appraisal comes in under the list value.

  1. The Lender’s Role

The lender wants to make sure that the homeowner is not borrowing more money than the property is worth. In the case that the homeowners are not able to pay their mortgage and the house goes into foreclosure, it would be the lender who will recoup the money it lent by reselling the home. This key reason is why a home appraisal is done. It serves to protect the bank from lending more money than the home is worth in the case they have to resale the home.

  1. No Appraisal with a Cash Buyers

The only time a home appraisal won’t impact you selling your home is when you have an all-cash buyer.So, unless you want to wait for someone with who can buy your home straight out for cash, making sure you understand the appraisal process will help you manage your expectations and help the process continue to run smooth.

  1. Changing an Appraisal

It might be the case that as a seller, the homeowner feels that their home wasn’t appraised correctly. One key reason that can happen is due to distressed sales. The value of home could be dragged down by short sales or foreclosures that are nearby. A seller can share this information that their home is in considerable better condition than those homes with the appraiser. However, according to Investopedia, “Federal guidelines (intended to eliminate the inflated appraisal that contributed to the housing crisis) sometimes cause appraisals to come in below fair market value and can make low appraisals difficult to challenge.”

Wrapping Up

While a home appraisal might have been a formality in the past, currently, it can greatly impact the process of the selling of a home. When a home appraisal comes in at the agreed price or above, the closing of the home can proceed as normal. The problems arise when a home appraisal comes in below the agreed price. When this happens, it can slow the closing process down, derail, and even cancel the contract Knowing these five key aspects of an appraisal can help sellers and buyers come to the transaction informed and prepared.

South Lyon, Michigan News & Events

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Are you thinking of moving to Michigan and want a family friendly, safe, and environmentally conscious place for your family to live? South Lyon, Michigan is a great place to start looking. This town is located in Oakland County just north of Ann Arbor and is a small, close-knit community with a population of just under 12,000 people. According to The United States Census Bureau, over 25% of the population is families with children under the age of 18. If you are looking for a place to live that has a large number of other families, this may be the perfect place for you.

Not only is South Lyon a family centered community, it is a safe place too. In 2012, South Lyon was named the third safest city to live in all of Michigan by Movoto, and it is considered number 7 of the safest places to live in all of Michigan according to Safewise. While the town is a family friendly and safe place to live, it is also an environmentally conscious community. They have just started a new recycling program called Simple Recycling.

Simple Recycling Clothing/Household Goods

The community of South Lyon is concerned about the environment and wants to make it as easy as possible for their residents to help keep items out of landfills. According to Simple Recycling, 14.3 million tons of clothing fills our landfills each year, and another 85% of all clothing ends up in landfills with only 15% getting recycled.

South Lyon wants to help fight this problem by using Simple Recycling. The residents of South Lyon can now recycle unwanted clothing, shoes, accessories, and other household items like kitchenware, tools, toys, and books. The best part is that this service is a free residential curbside pickup on the same day as the weekly trash and recycling service.

As a resident, if you want to jump on board and receive this amazing benefit, you can pick up green plastic bags and labels at the South Lyon City Hall located at 335 S. Warren, South Lyon, Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. To start, pick up your first bag and you are set to go. Fill the bag and leave it at your curb. The driver of Simple Recycling will pick it up, and leave another bag in its place to use the next time.

You can keep your green bag/or tagged items separate from the regular recycling and trash containers. This helps the drivers to spot the difference from your other recycling items. Simple Recycling will collect the bags and recycle the items for reuse.  

To find out more about this program, please see Simple Recycling.

Take Away

South Lyon, Michigan is a great small community that has proven that it is a safe, family friendly place to live. It is also a community that is making huge steps to help their residents be environmentally savvy by making it as easy as possible to keep items out of the landfills.

If you are looking to move to South Lyon and want to know more about the available real estate in this town, please let us at the Jamey Kramer Group help in this exciting process. You can contact us at:


5 Steps to Take After Your Offer to Purchase a House Has Been Accepted

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Steps to Take After Your Offer to Purchase a House Has Been Accepted

Congratulations! You have gone through the rigorous process of picking a house and placing on offer, and your seller has accepted. With the excitement whirling, there are a few more details that need to take place to make sure this house is truly yours. Here are 5 steps to do immediately after your offer to purchase a house has been accepted.

  1. Earnest Money

Once you come to agreement about a price, the next step will be to write a check for earnest money. Earnest money is essentially money paid to confirm a contract. This is money that you give in good faith to show that you are a serious buyer. The amount will typically be a modest amount –about 1-2% of the price of the home. The good thing to remember is that this money will roll into your down payment. 

The check should not be written out to the seller directly, but to the escrow company. The buyer’s real estate agency can be the ones to hold the money. The buyers can receive the money back if something comes up in the home inspection.

Having the earnest money on hand keeps frivolous and less serious buyers away. Without earnest money, people could make offers on many different homes, taking them off the market, as one waits to decide what home they want.

Make sure to check your contract to see what exactly is specified in regards to what it will take to get the earnest money back as it can differ from contract to contract. This is a great question to discuss with your real estate agent and your attorney.

  1. Home Inspection

The next step you will need to take is a home inspection on your future home. Your real estate agent is a great resource for you when it comes to finding a reliable home inspector. Your contract will determine how many days you have to complete the home inspection, but it is a good idea to find a trusted inspector and schedule it as soon as possible. It is typical to have five days to complete a home inspection once the offer has been signed. If you are traveling or need more time, you can request in your contract an extended amount of days.

A home inspector will examine the condition of the home. This is different than an appraisal, which we will talk about. While inspections may include different things, all look to make sure that the house is up to code. To get a checklist of what might be included in a home inspection, please see, Home Inspection Checklist. You and your agent may be present at the time of the home inspection. The home inspector will write a report, add photos, and send you the report. Expect to pay $400 – $600 on your home inspection. Once the report comes back, you will respond with the line items that you would like to request be done.

You will also be asked if you want to perform a radon test. According to IEMA, “Radon is radioactive element that is part of the radioactive decay chain of naturally occurring uranium in soil.” It can’t be seen or smelled or tasted and is the second leading cause to lung cancer. The test can be done by your home inspector and can cost $150 – $250. Each state has different minimum levels of radon. If the radon levels come back above those minimum levels, you can request that the home be mitigated.

  1. Lender Documents

Before making an offer, you might have had a preapproval from your lender. Once your offer has been accepted, contact your lender to let them know. They will help direct you to the documents that you will need to sign and help you lock in an interest rate.

  1. Appraisal

The appraisal should be ordered as soon as you have completed your home inspection.  Your lender will require the appraisal and will normally select the professional appraiser. The home appraisal will include a detailed report on the value of the house.

  1. Final Walk Through

Before the closing date, you will have the opportunity to walk through the home and make sure all the items that you requested in your home inspection have been completed.

Take Away

Buying a home is such an exciting experience. Knowing the little steps and details that are come along with making such a serious purchases will help ease your stress.  These 5 steps are the basic ones that you need to know about for right after you have finalized an offer and contract. Your real estate agent is a great resource for you to ask any questions that you have and to help walk you through all the details.




Reflections and Top 20 Blog Posts in 2015

by The Jamey Kramer Group

As we reflect on 2015, we feel thankful for all that we have experienced in the past year. The towns of Novi, Northville, and South Lyon are the ones we serve and are among the top places to live in all of Michigan. We love having the opportunity to highlight what makes these towns so amazing. From their historic backgrounds, unique dining experiences, impactful organizations, and creative and fun activities for the whole family, we love having the chance to share them with you here on our blog.

When we at Jamey Kramer Group consider what stands out in 2015, we know that without a doubt, it has been the gift of being able to walk alongside so many different families and individuals as they have either sold or bought a home. We consider it our privilege to have the opportunity to walk beside each individual in these vital decisions. It is one of our favorite things to be able to see new homeowners’ faces as they are handed the keys to their new home.

We also love being your reference for real estate questions and concerns. Going through the process of buying or selling a house can be a daunting, and we want you to know that you do not have to do it alone. That is why we share our expertise on our blog with different tips to help you in the buying or selling process.  

As a way of honoring 2015, we thought we would take a moment to share our most visited posts on our blog. Here are the top 20 according to Google Analytics:

20. Best Local Places to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner in Northville and Novi, Michigan

19. Novi, Michigan – The Origin of Its Mysterious Name

18. New Year’s Eve Events in Novi and Northville, Michigan

17. Halloween Events in Northville and South Lyon

16. Where to Go on Valentine’s Day in Novi, Michigan 

15. Upcoming Events in Northville, Michigan November 2015

14. Upcoming Northville, Michigan Events for October 2015

13. New Year’s Eve in Northville and Novi, Michigan

12. Everything You Need to Know About Halloween In Northville, Michigan

11. Is Novi, Michigan A Safe Place to Live?

10. Trick-or-Treating in Novi and Northville, Michigan

 9.  Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

8. Is Northville, Michigan a Good Place to Live?

7.  How Many Snow Days are Michigan Schools Allowed

6. Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

5. Easter Brunches in Northville and Novi, Michigan 2015

4. Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Novi and Northville, Michigan

3. Easter Egg Hunts In Novi and Northville, Michigan 2015

2. Thanksgiving in Northville and Novi, Michigan

1. Easter Brunches in Novi and Northville, Michigan


Take Away

While reading through this list of the top 20 blog posts, we are reminded again of what amazing places Northville, Novi, and South Lyon are to live in. We are grateful to serve such extraordinary communities.

We would like to take this opportunity to express a special thank you to all the people that we had the privilege of working with. We are looking forward to another amazing year and would like to wish you the best in 2016.


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