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How to Buy a House in a Hot Market

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House in a Hot Market

You’ve probably heard this phrase by now - it’s a hot market.

What was a burgeoning development in 2016 has continued in 2017, and it’s only getting more pronounced. There are fewer homes on the market in every county in Southeast Michigan.

Metro Detroit has seen the largest inventory decline - 35% - since the recession and subsequent increase in house prices: 44%. The only county surpassing it in terms of percent changes is St. Clair County.

Here are the figures by percentages. You can see the changes from 2016:

Detroit

  • Sales, September 2016: 283
  • Sales, September 2017: 359
  • Percent increase/decrease: 26.9 percent
  • Median sale price, September 2016: $22,728
  • Median sale price, September 2017: $32,750
  • Percent increase/decrease: 44.1 percent
  • Average days on market, September 2016: 54
  • Average days on market, September 2017: 49
  • Percent increase/decrease: -9.3 percent
  • On-market listings, September 2016: 2,526
  • On-market listings, September 2017: 1,643
  • Percent increase/decrease: -35 percent

Wayne County

  • Sales, September 2016: 1,824
  • Sales, September 2017: 1,902
  • Percent increase/decrease: 4.3 percent
  • Median sale price, September 2016: $118,000
  • Median sale price, September 2017: $127,600
  • Percent increase/decrease: 8.1 percent
  • Average days on market, September 2016: 35
  • Average days on market, September 2017: 28
  • Percent increase/decrease: -20 percent
  • On-market listings, September 2016: 6,967
  • On-market listings, September 2017: 4,755
  • Percent increase/decrease: -31.7 percent

Macomb County

  • Sales, September 2016: 1,323
  • Sales, September 2017: 1,244
  • Percent increase/decrease: -6 percent
  • Median sale price, September 2016: $149,500
  • Median sale price, September 2017: $162,000
  • Percent increase/decrease: 8.4 percent
  • Average days on market, September 2016: 38
  • Average days on market, September 2017: 26
  • Percent increase/decrease: -31.6 percent
  • On-market listings, September 2016: 3,915
  • On-market listings, September 2017: 2,756
  • Percent increase/decrease: -29.6 percent

Oakland County

  • Sales, September 2016: 1,930
  • Sales, September 2017: 1,851
  • Percent increase/decrease: -4.1 percent
  • Median sale price, September 2016: $215,000
  • Median sale price, September 2017: $229,000
  • Percent increase/decrease: 6.5 percent
  • Average days on market, September 2016: 35
  • Average days on market, September 2017: 27
  • Percent increase/decrease: -22.9 percent
  • On-market listings, September 2016: 6,683
  • On-market listings, September 2017: 4,960
  • Percent increase/decrease: -25.8 percent

Source: Realcomp Ltd. II.

Good News

This is all good news. It’s what we in the business have been waiting for a long time. In addition, it is what you should be happy about if you are - or are hoping to be - a homeowner.

This does pose problems for home buyers, though. If you are frustrated by the lack of inventory, have been searching for a long time, or have lost a number of bidding wars, you are probably not rejoicing at this turn of events.

There are some good strategies out there, but remember this: the current market is a much better position in which to own a house. When you do get a house, your investment will be much better protected.

Strategies for Sellers

If your home looks like an “after” picture and is competitively priced, it could sell in a matter of days or hours, but don’t be fooled. Houses can still sit on the market for months. This happens when sellers believe they don’t have to keep their home maintained or can drive up the asking price too high. It’s not a fool-proof climate for sellers. The “hottest” homes are still the move-in ready ones priced right.

Keep in mind that should you sell quickly, you will be on the other end of the deal trying to compete with other buyers.

Strategies for Buyers

The two things to keep in mind are to be patient and to have flexibility. However, that is easy to say and a lot harder to do.

  • If you have flexibility on your lease end day - or closing on your own house - you have a lot more range of homes from which to choose. If you have the financial means to buy a home before selling your home, are renting, or can stay with family or friends, you have something tangible to offer a seller. Sellers very well may choose an offer with less stress for them (if they can stay for a week or month after closing, for instance) over a higher price.
  • The holiday season may be the best time of year to buy a home in Michigan. Activity generally slows way down during this season, but employers transfer their employees in and out at all times of the year. Sellers who have to get out at this time of year, coupled with a general inactivity in the market, could equal a relatively smooth home buying process. If you are willing to not take a break while others are taking theirs, it might be the way to finally get a house.
  • Everyone, everyone, everyone wants the move-in ready home. The reality is most of them aren’t. If you are determined to get that one, be prepared to get in a bidding war. If you are tired of the bidding wars, think about making a quick offer on a house that is sound and well-maintained but needs a new kitchen or flooring. There are mortgage lenders out there who offer renovation financing as part of a home purchase.
  • There are things other than high offers that are attractive to sellers: strong mortgage approval letters, larger down payments, quick closing, and short inspection periods. Consider whether you can offer them any of those things.

Takeaway

The current mortgage rates make buying still a good decision. Most mortgage payments will end up being lower than monthly rent payments. Patience and flexibility will pay off in the end and you will get the right house.

If you are ready to buy or sell, it is important that you have an experienced real estate professional by your side. Please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

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.

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