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Novi, Michigan’s Best of the Best Police and Firefighter Awards

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Novi, Michigan’s Best of the Best Police and Firefighter Awards

Who are your heroes?

Do you know who the people are that protect your city?

Novi, Michigan honored its truest heroes at the annual Police and Firefighter Award Ceremony last week. Today, we would like to share with you the kind of men and women who are fighting to protect the city of Novi on and off the job.

These are men and women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They work tirelessly at their day jobs, but their efforts don’t stop there. From helping the poor, to pursuing higher education and making sure the next generation of police officers meet the standards that Novi has come to expect of its officers, these real life heroes are shining examples to us all.

Novi, Michigan Awards and Low Crime Rate

The Novi Police Department isn’t a stranger to awards. In 2012, the Novi Police Department was awarded with the 2012 Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety. In our article, Is Novi, Michigan a Safe Place to Live?, we explored even more about the Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety.

In addition to providing traffic safety, Novi, Michigan is also known for its low property and violent crimes rates. In another article that we published back in July, we shared the article, 3 Reason Why People Want to Live in Novi, Michigan. One of those reasons is the low crime rate.

Outstanding Role Models

The Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police David E. Molloy had this to say about the Fire Fighter of the Year, Police Officer of the Year and the Civilian Employee of the Year award recipients at the annual Police and Firefighter Award Ceremony,

 “All three individuals embrace the highest of public safety values and serve as outstanding role models for their colleagues, the City of Novi, and the community.”

Novi, Michigan’s Fire Fighter of the Year

This year, Mark Pehrson was picked for Fire Fighter of the Year. According to the City of Novi’s website, Mark has been with the department since 1995 and his “drive and determination” has set him apart as a leader amongst his co-workers.

In addition, Mark gathers names of those in need and does everything he can to assist them.

Another reason that Mark was chosen as this year’s Fire Fighter of the Year was because he takes an interest in mentoring newer fire fighters.

Novi, Michigan’s Police Officer of the Year

Officer Eric R. Lindblade was selected as Novi’s Police Office of the Year. He has been with the department since 1999 and has an impressive resume of special assignments including:

  • Training Officer
  • Hostage Negotiator
  • Detective in the South Oakland Narcotics Intelligence Consortium
  • The South Oakland Special Response Team

In addition, Officer Lindblade is the only instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test.

Novi, Michigan’s Police Civilian of the Year

This year’s award for the Police Civilian of the Year is Communications Manager Rick Mitchell. Rick has been with the department since August of 2010 and finished his degree in a Bachelor of Science from Madonna University in 2012.

Rick’s past experience in law enforcement has made him invaluable to the Novi Police Department and the Fire Departments.

For the full list of the awards presented last week, please make sure to check out the City of Novi’s Press Release.

Summary

Novi, Michigan is known for being a safe place to live. The police department, the fire department and many dedicated individuals work hard on and off the job to make the city of Novi a great place to live.

If you are interested in living in a city with a proven record of safety that has a host of individuals that work tirelessly to keep the community safe, you may like to consider Novi, Michigan. We would be honored to help you find a home in this community. Please call our office at:

 248-348-7200

How the New Mortgage Rules May Affect New Graduates

by The Jamey Kramer Group

How the New Mortgage Rules May Affect New Graduates

Have you recently graduated from college?

Are you excited about purchasing your first home?

Buying your first home is an amazing moment in life. It is a moment that you will remember forever. However, new mortgage rules may mean that recent college graduates will have a harder time getting approved for a mortgage.

New graduates are facing a lot when they step off campus and onto the streets. While the economy is coming back, there is still too much unemployment. In addition, the rising cost of college tuition means that many new graduates will be saddled with sizable student loans.

Preventing Another Housing Crisis

In a comprehensive effort to prevent another housing crisis, the government has created a set of standards, the Qualified Mortgage Standards Under the Truth in Lending Act. These new standards must be met if the lenders want the mortgages to be protected from lawsuits in the event borrowers are unable to pay. They were created to ensure that lenders only issue loans to those who can afford to repay them.

Banks all across the United States are already starting to implement these new mortgage rules. So, what is changing and why would it affect recent college grads?

In our article, What Determines If You Qualify for a Mortgage, we reported about 8 factors that will determine if you qualify for a mortgage. There are a few factors that directly impact those who have recently graduated from college.

4 Factors That Directly Impact Recent College Graduates

  1. Employment Status
    The first factor that will directly affect new college graduates when applying for a home mortgage is their employment status. Even if a new grad gets hired right away, banks are looking to lend money to those who have been employed for at least 2 years.
     
  2. Income
    Another piece that banks will want to see is 2 years of income. They will ask recent graduates to show 2 years worth of W2s.
     
  3. Student Loans
    Many college students make it to graduation because of student loans. These days, student loans can be used to cover the cost of books, cars, rent and tuition. While in school, student loans can feel like a life saver, but when you are out of school these types of loans can make banks feel pretty nervous about lending money especially if they have amounted to a sizable sum of money.
     
  4. Debt-to-Income Ratio
    Lenders will be looking at the debt-to-income ratio. The magic number here is 43%. Your monthly debt (student loans, car payments, credit cards, etc.) cannot exceed 43% of your income.

What Should a College Graduate Do?

If you have recently graduated and are looking to purchase your first home, this news may be frustrating. There are few things you can do.

  • If you are still in school, get a part time job with a company you will want to work for after you graduate. When you graduate, you will be able to report that you have been working there for a year or two. You may also minimize unemployment time after graduation if that company hires you full time after graduation.
  • Pay off your credit cards and other loans as soon as possible. Get your debt lower so you can purchase more house for your money.

Summary

As a recent college graduate, there are factors that will come into play when you apply for a home mortgage. There are practical tips that you can implement to help increase your chances of being approved for a loan when you are ready to purchase your first home.

When you are ready, you may like to consider looking at the family-friendly cities of Northville and Novi, Michigan. We would be honored to help you find that perfect home. Please call our office at:

248-348-7200

Northville, Mi Expands WiFi and Offers Weekend Activities

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Northville, Michigan News & Events

Are you looking for a place to relax and surf the Internet for free?

Have you ever wanted to try snowshoeing?

Northville, Michigan is one of those cities where the past meets the present and looks forward to the future. It is a place where you have a rich history that is preserved well, an amazing community with events happening all week, and a city that isn’t afraid to embrace the latest and greatest technology.

Whether or not you and your family are just starting out or you’ve been established for some time, Northville is a city that has something to offer you. Take a look below at the latest news and this weekend’s activities in Northville.

Northville, Michigan Expands WiFi

There is now a larger reach for free wireless Internet throughout Downtown Northville. Early this month, the Northville Downtown Development announced that the free wireless Internet has been expanded from Cady Street to Dunlap Street and from Wing Street to Hutton Street.

The network’s name is “Downtown Northville WiFi” and requires no password.

Upcoming Northville Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Snowshoeing 101
Saturday, February 22nd
10:00 am – Noon

If you have ever wanted to try snowshoeing, there has never been a better time. This Saturday between 10:00 am and noon, head over to the Maybury State Park at 20145 Beck Road in Northville for a free snowshoeing event.  Open to participants 12 years old and older, the first 24 participants to pre-resister will have snow shoes provided for them to borrow.

Warm clothing is required and a water bottle is recommended. You will learn the basics in snowshoeing techniques. After the introduction, you will be able to put all that you have learned to the test on a 60-90 minute hike. For more information and to register online, please see Runningfitevents.com.

Movies at the Marquis Theatre
February 22nd
7:30 pm

Northville’s historical Marquis Theatre will be showing the movie, When Harry Met Sally, on Saturday night. The show begins at 7:30 pm and tickets are only $5 at the door. The doors open at 6:45 pm and tickets are limited. This particular show is brought to you by Northville Physical Rehabilitation.

The Marquis Theatre was originally built as an opera house and then hosted vaudeville acts that featured some amazing stars of the time including Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford.  

According to the Northville’s Historical Theatre, while this theater is over 80 years old, the Zayti Family bought the Victorian building in 1978 and restored it to its former glory. Many of the theater’s features like the French glass doors, black walnut ticket booth and brass door handles are all original. It is a crowning jewel in Northville’s history as a historic landmark and attending a movie there is a special treat for the entire family.

The theater is located at 135 E. Main Street in Northville. For more information, please see www.downtownnorthville.com.

Before MoTown: A History of Jazz in Detroit
Monday, February 24th
7:00 pm

The Northville District Library is featuring Professors Lars Bjorn and Jim Gallert of Detroit Music History for an “audiovisual” discussion on the history of Detroit jazz. This event will be held on Monday, February 24th at 7:00 pm. For more information and to register, please call 248-349-7640 or visit the Northville Library website.

Summary

If you are looking for a city with free WiFi access, outdoor winter activities, a night out at the movies in a magnificent former opera house or to explore the history of jazz, Northville, Michigan has all you need this weekend and Monday.

What Determines if You Qualify for a Mortgage?

by The Jamey Kramer Group

What Determines if You Qualify for a Mortgage?

Would you like to purchase a home this year?

Not sure what it takes these days to qualify for a mortgage?

The housing market is coming back especially in the Metro Detroit area. It is now a prime time to purchase a home in Southwest Michigan. If you are interested in purchasing a home in the near future, you will want to be aware of the stricter rules that are being put in place for mortgage lenders.

Qualified Mortgages

The new Qualified Mortgages rules are the federal government’s response to preventing another housing crisis. According to Forbes.com

“The Qualified Mortgage rules are intended to ensure that lenders issue loans only to those who can afford to repay them.”

Lenders are now legally responsible for loans they issue according to the Qualified Mortgage Standards Under the Truth in Lending Act. However, if the mortgage meets the Qualified Mortgage requirements, the mortgage loan will be protected from lawsuits if the borrower is unable to repay.

8 Factors That Determine Qualified Mortgages

It is easy to draw the conclusion that as mortgage rules become stricter, it is likely it might get harder and harder to qualify for a mortgage loan. While some banks are still issuing non-qualified mortgages, you can bet those loans will be under strict rules as well since they are not protected. With that in mind, today we wanted to share 8 factors that go into determining a Qualified Mortgage.

  1. Employment Status
    It should come as no surprise that the banks will want you to be employed if they are going to issue you a mortgage loan. The mortgage lenders will most likely want to see at least 2 years of employment.

     
  2. Income
    Make sure to have on hand the past 2 years of W2s or income tax returns. If you have any assets, make sure to provide that information as well.

     
  3. Monthly Mortgage Loan Payment
    The banks are going to want to see how much per month your mortgage will cost you.

     
  4. Other Property Loans
    Some equity loans will fall under this category and the lenders will want to know about them.

     
  5. Other Monthly Housing Costs
    Costs like HOA dues, property taxes and even mortgage insurance will also be included when determining a Qualified Mortgage.

     
  6. Other Financial Commitments
    Banks will be taking into account credit cards, student loans, alimony and even child support.

     
  7. Debt-to-Income Ratio
    The debt-to-income ratio will be looked at on a monthly basis and it means that your monthly debt cannot be more than 43% of your monthly income.

     
  8. Your Credit History Your credit score will help to determine whether or not you as the borrower are eligible for a Qualified Mortgage.

You may learn more about the Qualified Mortgage features by checking out our article, What A Qualified Mortgage Is and How New Mortgage Rules Will Affect You

Summary

The new requirements of the Qualified Mortgage Standards Under the Truth in Lending Act have been put in place by the federal government to ensure that another housing crisis does not take place in the United States. Lenders will be held accountable and will be collecting documents and analyzing numbers.

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a new house, please call our office. We will be happy to help untangle the web of mortgage terms and requirements to help get you the house of your dreams.

248-348-7200

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

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Happy Valentine's Day

Are you looking for something special to do on Valentine’s Day?

Would you like to take your sweetheart to great restaurant?

No matter your age or your relationship status, Novi, Michigan has something for you to do on Valentine’s Day. Whether you would enjoy getting together for an Oscar Celebration luncheon, or taking someone special to that perfect restaurant, you can find it in Novi.

Today, we are sharing all those hot spots with you. Please take a look at the events listed below to find the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.

Restaurants to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Novi

  • The Melting Pot of Novi
    26425 Novi Rd
    Novi, MI 48375

    For $129 per couple, you can enjoy a 4-course meal including a champagne toast and single rose. The dinner will include tomato basil cheese fondue, a cherry blossom salad, an entree of your choice (including choices like lobster tail, filet mignon and much more), and for dessert a chocolate cherries jubilee fondue. You can also upgrade to a bottle of moscato and a half dozen roses for only an additional $21.

    Valentine's Day reservations are strongly encouraged. To find out more information about the Melting Pot of Novi, please visit their website for Valentine’s Day specials or contact them at 248-347-6358.
     
  • Toasted Oak Grill and Market
    27790 Novi Road
    Novi, Michigan 48377

    If you like eating local, the Toasted Oak offers “delicious American brasserie cuisine with an emphasis on all things local.” This local emphasis doesn’t end with the food either. You can enjoy Michigan beer and wines and well.

    Valentine’s Day specials will be available and reservations are strongly encouraged. Find out more at the Toasted Oak’s website, www.toastedoak.com, or call 248-277-6000.

     
  • Shiro Restaurant and Sushi Bar
    43180 West Nine Mile Road
    Novi, Michigan

    Go back in time and enjoy your favorite Japanese cuisine at the beautiful Shiro Restaurant located at the White House Manor. The name Shiro means “Castle” or “White” in Japanese. This historic house was built 1929 and sets the stage for romance. It was a gift from Charles Rodgers to his future wife, Harriet Thornton. It was Charles dream to escort his daughter down the grand staircase on her wedding day.

    To learn more about the Shiro Restaurant and Sushi Bar, please visit the website at www.Shiro-Restaurant.com. For reservations, call 248-348-1212.

Special Valentine’s Day Luncheon

Nothing Sweeter Than You Oscar Celebration
Meadowbrook Activity Center
25075 Meadowbrook Road
Novi, MI 48375

If you love movies or simply enjoy luncheons and are 55 or older, this is the event for you. Join the excitement of the 86th Academy Awards in true Novi style. You will be able to cast your vote for the greatest movies and performances for the 2014 Oscars. This special Valentine’s Day event is being held at the Meadowbrook Activity Center, and registration doesn’t end until the event is sold out. The price for Novi residents is $7 per person and non-residents, $8.50.

According to the City of Novi, this event is being held tomorrow from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm. You can contact the Novi Older Adult Services at 248-347-0414.

Summary

Whether you plan to enjoy an evening out at one of Novi’s spectacular restaurants or to enjoy the Nothing Sweeter Than You Oscar Celebration, all of us at the Jamey Kramer Group extend our warmest wishes for an unforgettable day.

11 Real Estate Terms Made Easy

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Real Estate Terms Made Easy

Do you feel like your real estate agent is speaking another language?

Are you wondering what Escrow or PMI is?

Buying a home should be an enjoyable experience and one of the most exciting times of your life. Sometimes though, searching for a home isn’t everything you dreamed it would be. You may even feel like your real estate agent is speaking another language.

At the Jamey Kramer Group, we want to make sure that you have the experience you have always dreamed about when purchasing your home. Whether you are buying your first home or you are looking to move into something that will fit your family more comfortably, we are here to help.

We would like to provide you with common real estate terms with definitions that are easy to understand to help take the mystery out of real estate terminology. Please take a look at the list below and call our office if you have any questions.

Common Real Estate Terms

  1. Escrow
    Escrow is when a third-party holds cash, property or property title until all the terms of the property agreement are met. Once the terms are met, the assets are distributed. An example of the escrow process is when a mortgage lender collects funds for real estate taxes and/or homeowners insurance on the behalf of the borrower on a monthly basis. The funds are held in an escrow account and the lender pays the payments when they are due on the behalf of the borrower.
     
  2. ARM or Adjustable Rate Mortgage
    An ARM or Adjustable Rate Mortgage is a type of mortgage that may have the interest rate adjusted. They usually start off low then adjust periodically accordingly to the market conditions. The adjustments could take place monthly, quarterly, annually or even at a longer time interval.
     
  3. PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance
    PMI or private mortgage insurance protects the lender in case the buyer’s loan goes into default. PMI is generally required on high-risk loans. For example, if someone is putting less than 20% as a down payment, PMI may be required. The PMI can be lifted once your loan-to-value ratio hits a certain rate.
     
  4. LTV or Loan to Value
    According to RealEstateABC.com, the higher the loan-to-value ratio, the more likely lenders will consider it as a high risk loan. The LTV is the percentage of the appraised value of the home, divided by the mortgage (or money owed).
     
  5. Appraisal
    A real estate appraisal is the process of determining the value of a house or property. An appraiser will evaluate the condition of the property, the location, comparable sales of homes nearby and upgrades to help determine the market value of the house.
     
  6. Closing
    The closing in real estate is the final step when a house is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
     
  7. Closing Costs
    Closing costs are fees required in the final settlement of a real estate transaction that are not included in the price of the property. Examples of fees that may be included in closing costs include loan origination fees, escrow deposit fees (several months of property taxes and PMI if applicable), credit check fees and appraisal fees.
     
  8. Comps
    Comps or comparables are homes that are comparable to the property in question. They are used to help determine the value of the property.
     
  9. Down Payment
    The payment that the buyer pays in cash for real estate sale is considered a down payment. Down payments generally range from 3% - 20%.
     
  10. FHA Loan or Federal Housing Administration
    The FHA loan of Federal Housing Administration loan is a loan that is insured by the federal government. This type of loan allows lenders to have a lower risk if the borrower defaults on their payment. You can learn more about if a FHA loan is right for you in our article, FHA Loans and Qualifications for First Time Home Buyers.
     
  11. Fixed-Rate Mortgage
    A fixed-rate mortgage is a mortgage where the interest rate does not change for the term of the mortgage loan.

Your Turn   

Is there a real estate term that you would like to learn more about that is not covered on this list? We would be happy to help. Please give our office a call.

 248-348-7200

Your Guide to Northville, Michigan Weekend Events

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Your Guide to Northville, Michigan Weekend Events

Does all this snow have you feeling a little cabin fever?

Are you looking to get out into the community this weekend?

Whether you are looking for some Valentine’s Day events or to enjoy the local shops, Northville, Michigan has just what you are looking for this weekend.

From afternoon tea or a romantic movie to enjoying some refreshments while listening to live music, you have a great choice of things to do in Northville this weekend. You don’t need to stay bundled up and indoors. It is time to stretch your legs and enjoy some of the community events that make Northville such an attractive place to live.

We invite you to get your calendar out and take a look at what’s happening this weekend in Northville, Michigan.

Friday, February 7th, 2014

  • First Friday Experience
    Downtown Northville
    Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm


    Between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 pm every first Friday of the month, head to Downtown Northville for special exhibits, featured artists, live music and shops that stay open late to serve you refreshments. Learn more about this event at DowntownNorthville.com
     
  • Pink Gerber Daisy Friday
    The Bees Knees
    Time: 6:00 – 8:30 pm


    Are you looking for the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day? Paint your Valentine a canvas painting for only $35 per painting. Northville’s own, The Bee Knees, is hosting a “Social Artworking experience” for adults from 6:00 - 8:30 pm on Friday evening. No experience is required. Call today and reserve your spot in tomorrow night’s step-by-step instructions to your Valentine’s perfect gift.

    The Bees Knees is located at 149 E. Main Street in Northville. You can reach The Bees Knees at 248-347-6718 or visit their website for more information.

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

  • Handwriting Analysis Tea
    Mill Race Historical Village
    Time: 1 p.m.

    Come and check out what your handwriting has to say about your behaviors and the way you think at the Mill Race Historical Village. According to Hometownlife.com,

    “The Cady Inn provides a charming backdrop for this traditional afternoon tea, and refined celebration of friends and family. Enjoy an assortment of petite finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and an array of desserts, served with the group’s signature Cady House Tea on their finest china. The tea will be catered by Victoria’s Tea Salon.”

    Tickets are $30 and $25 for NHS members. To check availability and to purchase tickets, please call 248-348-1845. All proceeds are going to the Mill Race Village.
     
  • Movie Night at The Marquis
    Marquis Theater
    Time: 7:30 pm

    Come see the first of three films in a romantic movie series. The film, Crazy Stupid Love, will be featured this weekend at the historic Marquis Theatre located in downtown Northville at 135 E. Main Street. The movie starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are $5:00 each and may be purchased at the door. For more information, please call 248-349-8110 or visit Movies At The Marquis.

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

  • Texas Hold’em Fundraiser
    Northville Downs
    February 9
    Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 am

    Do you love playing Texas Hold’em and giving to charity? Then, we have the perfect event for you. This Sunday, come join the game at Northville Downs from 11 am – 2 am. For more, please see the City of Northville's website.

Summary

Northville is one of those cities that offer a “small town feel” while providing its residents with everything a big city offers. The many community events that are offered in Northville throughout the year contribute to making it an appealing place to live and raise a family. What do you plan to attend this weekend in Northville?

Property Values Rise in Metro Detroit

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Property Values Rise in Metro Detroit Has your home’s value risen?

Are you ready to move out of your current home and into your dream home?

There is more good news for Metro Detroit residents. Property values are on the rise! This means that if you are living in the Detroit metropolitan area, your home is now worth more than it was a year, 2 years, maybe even 5 years ago. The last time we have seen home prices like this was in the mid-1990s.

Home values are up 52% since the end of 2009 according to an article published by the Detroit News. Would you like to hear even more good news? Kurt Rankin, a bank economist from PNC, is forecasting more growth. He stated, “While it’s slowing, growth will remain in positive territory.”

Metro Detroit Cites Seeing Growth

Here are a few specific examples of Metro Detroit cities that are seeing a growth in property values in the last year:

  • Northville and Northville Township: In the city, there has been a 12% rise and in the township, an 8.7% rise in property values.
  • Novi and Novi Township: The city saw an 8.62% rise and the township saw an 8.84% rise in property values.

Shortage of Available Properties for Sale

With the value of homes rising, another interesting thing has happened. We are noticing a shortage in available properties for sale. It is a simple case of supply and demand. In this case, the supply of available houses on the market for sale is low, and it is driving home values up.

While many Michiganders are still unsure about the latest news reporting that home values are up, those who are putting their homes on the market are seeing a quick turnaround.

Why the Comeback?

In our article, 4 Reasons Why 2013 Had the Highest Home Sales Since 2006, we shared that all across America people are selling and purchasing homes. We talked about the 5 million previously owned homes that were sold last year alone.

One of the biggest reasons why homes are selling is that home prices have increased and homeowners that want to sell are no longer underwater in their mortgages. Other reasons include lower mortgage rates, less foreclosures and more employers hiring.

Is Your Once Perfect Home No Longer Suitable?

One of the most frustrating parts of the housing crisis is when people started to feel stuck in a house that no longer fit their family’s needs. They may have bought that house thinking it would be perfect, but then life happened and their once perfect home was no longer suitable.

If you live in the Metro Detroit area and have been dreaming about selling your current home and purchasing your dream home, please give our office a call. We would love to help you sell your home and find that perfect home that you have been dreaming of.

248-348-7200

 

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8