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2017 Real Estate Market Forecast

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Real Estate Marketing Forecast

This year is going to be a hot one - housing-wise. We’ve already had a streak of spring-like weather in many parts of Michigan. We hear the trend will continue. Another trend from 2016 is also going to continue and become more pronounced: the increase in home buyers. Like it or not, if you’re a millennial, you and many of your peers are going to be competing for the same homes.

Rising Rent

Rent costs are continuing to rise. Rising investment in real estate, rising home prices, tighter standards for landlords, higher taxes, and increasing insurance rates are some of the main reasons this is happening.

Landlords are paying more, and houses are becoming more valuable. We’re going to see that reflected in rental prices in most of the markets. Because of this, millennials who have been renting are at the tipping point. A mortgage payment for a modest home is now the same or cheaper than what they’ve been paying on rent.

Low Inventory

The low inventory trend is a growing one. Home sales were almost flat compared to last December, only increasing 0.5 percent. While inventory posted its largest year-over-year decline since April 2013, it has fallen 12.7 percent. That means that now is the time to list your home. There’s low seller competition. Homes are selling more quickly and more often at asking price. Plus, those buyers reluctant to purchase in December are starting to look again. A record sales month in November meant the inventory was at a low point. We should see a rise in inventory as the year progresses.

Home Prices

The national median home sale price rose 4.7 percent to $267,600 in December. This marks the kind of steady growth we’re going to see continue in 2017. Soon, we will see housing prices rise to near the pre-recession mark. For sellers, this may be the boon they’ve been waiting for. They could actually recoup any home value that was lost during the recession. If you are thinking about selling, make sure you work with an agent to accurately price your home based on the market.

While prices are rising, and that’s good for sellers, affordability is at its peak right now. It has been steadily around the 60-65% mark. It’s been predicted to drop slightly as 2017 continues but still remain at the top of the 50% mark. So, first-time home buyers, take note! You are certainly getting into a competitive market right now, but it’s never been a better time. If you’ve been thinking about looking, start sooner rather than later.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates will probably rise slightly this year as well. They’re not predicted to rise over the 5% mark, but they will go higher than in 2016. Some experts believe they won’t rise quite as much as predicted, as 2016 rates were predicted to rise higher than they did.

Take Away

2017 is looking like a great year for buyers and sellers. If you’re going to sell, now’s the time to sell. If you’re going to buy, now’s the time to start looking! Mortgage rates, inventory, and home affordability are all at their most ideal. If you have any questions, give us a call. We’d be glad to help.

248-348-7200

Local Events in Northville and Novi, Michigan for February 21-28

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Local events Northville and Novi, MI

Get ready to power through the last part of winter - even when the days are cold! Northville and Novi, Michigan are offering exciting things to do over the next week. Be sure to get your calendar out and plan to attend one or more of the following events.

Northville, Michigan Upcoming Events

In Our Own Voice: African American Art at the DIA

  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017
  • Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Northville District Library - Carlo Meeting Room
  • 212 W Cady St, Northville, MI 

This is a lecture and photo presentation of African American Art through the 19th century through today. Come learn how much you may not know about the cultural contributions African Americans have made to this country. View current issues of race, gender, politics and culture through the eyes of someone else!

To register, please see the Northville District Library website. 

Brightmont Academy Open House

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017
  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Location: Northville Campus
  • 15374 N. Haggerty Road, Plymouth, Michigan 

Come check out Brightmont! If you are new to the area, or are looking for school options for your kids, this open house is a great way to get familiar with what the area has to offer. Brightmont Academy is an accredited private school for grades 6-12. It offers one-to-one instruction for students with many kinds of learning challenges. Come get a tour and meet campus director Teresa Woods, who is on campus to talk about the one-to-one teaching model.

Brightmont offers diploma programs and individual courses designed to earn credit toward a diploma from another local high school. It also offers tutoring for grades 3-12, test prep courses, and career planning advice.

Brightmont has 11 locations all over the country - including two in Michigan. It has served 3,500 students since 1999. The academy accepts applications all year and receives new students in educational programs at any time.

For more information visit: www.BrightmontAcademy.com or call 1-888-521-0887.

Electronic Music Production with Mike Huckaby

  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017
  • Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Northville District Library - Carlo Meeting Room
  • 212 W Cady St, Northville, MI 

Are you or your kids interested in learning about electronic music production? Maybe your interest has started to be more than a hobby, or you’re hoping to put your teen’s technological skill to productive use. There’s no better place than Motown to learn about music and no better person than Detroit sound engineer Mike Huckaby. He’s a sound designer, music producer, and has a deep knowledge of dance music. Come join in the fun and bring your questions.

This event is for adults, teens and grades 6 and up. To register, please see, please see the Northville District Library website.

Novi, Michigan Upcoming Events

Tex Mex Meal Class

  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Location: Cutco Kitchen Store
  • 43215 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI 48375

Would you like to learn how to craft a delicious Tex Mex meal for friends and family? You won’t want to miss this free kitchen party at Cutco Kitchen Store in Novi.

For more information, please call 248-679-1538 and to register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tex-mex-class-tickets-31930881125

Cottage and Lakefront Living Show

  • February 23: 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • February 24: 11:00 am - 9:30 pm
  • February 25: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • February 26: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Location: Suburban Collection Showplace
  • 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi, MI 48374

This is a great showcase for those who own, are building, or are looking to own or rent a home on the water - whether for vacation or full-time. It’s the 10th annual event, featuring:

  • The Log and Timberframe Showcase
  • Cottage Fine Art Show
  • Lakefront Marketplace
  • Cottage Living Seminars
  • The Beach and Water & Woods Photo Contest Display

There are many displays being offered for year-round lake living and vacation living. This is a great way to find the perfect cottage for sale or rent for your future vacations or weekend getaways. Michigan has so many wonderful lakes and opportunities for waterfront living.

  • Cottage and home builders
  • Contractors
  • Realtors
  • Furnishings and accessories
  • Shoreline and cottage landscaping
  • Lakeshore maintenance
  • Boats, Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards
  • Docks & boat-lifts
  • Seawalls
  • Outdoor recreational equipment and much, much more.

Cost:

  • Admission:  $10 Adults, $4 Children (6-14), Free for Kids 5 & under
  • Parking: $5.00

For more information, please see ShowSpan.

Take Away

So many of us are dreaming of warmer days, and it is great to know that spring is right around the corner. Don’t forget there are still fun things to right in your own backyard during the next few weeks in Northville and Novi, Michigan.

Costs for Selling Your House - What You Need to Know

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Costs for Selling Your House

There is no shame in wanting the best deal you can get for your house. After all, you’ve probably spent a chunk of your life in it, not to mention a chunk of change and some blood, sweat, and tears. Many sellers who are ready to move on have understandable dreams for what they will do with the proceeds of their sale. You might even be hoping for a little extra for a weekend getaway once this is all over.

Reality Check: it actually takes money to sell a house when it’s all said and done. Consider a few factors:

Will I save money selling my house myself?

It sounds alluring. Snap a few pictures, post online, set up a sign out front, and you’re done, right? There are a few things potential sellers don’t realize:

  • The often-quoted 6% commission fee - roughly amounting to $15,000 for a $250,000 sale - gets divided several times before your agent sees any of it. That commission gets split first between the buyer’s agent’s brokerage and the seller’s, then the brokerages take their cuts and the remaining amount goes to your agent. In addition, please remember: your agent probably doesn’t receive a salary, so whatever time he or she has spent getting your home ready, plus photographs, signs, and listing costs comes out of that commission. If your house doesn’t sell, your agent doesn’t see a penny.
  • Speaking of agents: consider the hassle of not only keeping your house clean and staged, but managing calls, arranging showings, professional photography, hosting open houses, setting up legal representation for paperwork, and negotiating. Add to that the legal protection and access to the MLS agents have. It’s possible it may save you a little bit of money - probably not much in the end - to represent yourself, but is it worth sacrificing your sanity? After all, it is a real estate agent’s full-time job to sell your house.
  • Over 93% of active buyers have a real estate agent representing them according to realtor.com. In order to even attract them with your home, if you’re selling “by owner,” you have to pay the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fee anyway.

Do I need to do repairs to my home?

Do you need to fill every single nail hole? Probably not. However, if you haven’t completed needed home repairs, they may be caught in the home inspection stage and leave potential buyers wary of what else they will find if they buy your house. If you know you have major repairs to do, it’s better to be up front about it. A real estate agent is your best friend in this game, keeping your expectations realistic.

Will I have to pay closing costs? What About Taxes?

Buyers do end up paying more in closing costs, but as a seller you should expect to pay an additional 2% of your home’s price for this. Closing costs include transfer taxes, escrow expenses, and notary fees. You will be paying any outstanding property taxes you owe and your prorated share of utility payments plus the remainder of your mortgage. You also may have to pay a capital gains tax if the value of your home has appreciated since you bought it.

Take Away

If you are contemplating selling this year, you may want to take a breath and keep in mind all those hidden fees you don’t think about while you’re dreaming of sandy beaches. It’s best to go into this process knowing what you’re facing - even in a seller’s market.

If you are ready to put your house on the market, please give us a call. We would be honored to help.

248-348-7200

February Local Events in Novi, Northville & South Lyon

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Are you looking for something to do in February in the Novi, Northville, and South Lyon, Michigan area? Take a look at some of the exciting events offered below to help chase away the winter blues.

Novi, Michigan February Events

Valentine’s Mad Hatter Luncheon

  • Tuesday,  February 14
  • Time: 12:00 pm -2:00 pm
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center
  • 25075 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi, MI 48375

Don’t be late for this most important date! The Valentine’s Mad Hatter Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, February 14 for ages 55+ on the Meadowbrook Activity Center in Novi. You are invited to wear your finest Alice in Wonderland character costume or a comical grandiose hat. This program is sponsored in partnership with Waltonwood at Twelve Oaks.

  • Price: Residents: $7.50 / Non Residents: $9.00
  • Ticket Deadline: February 7 or until the event is sold out

Please call 248-347-0414 for more information.

Camp Arctic Adventure

  • February 20-22 (Mid-Winter Break)
  • Monday – Wednesday
  • Time: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Location: Novi Ice Arena
  • 42400 Nick Lidstrom Dr, Novi, MI 48375

Are you looking for something for your children to do over Mid-Winter Break? Camp Arctic Adventure will be held at the Novi Ice Arena from February 20-22. Campers will have the opportunity to participate in activities including ice skating, an indoor human snow blower competition, and Novi’s very own Mini-Iditarod! Please have your child bring a lunch and dress for the outdoors.

  • Ages: 6-12
  • Price: Residents: $119 / Non-Residents: $142
  • One-Day Price: Residents $43 / Non-Residents $51

For more information, please contact the City of Novi - Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services at 248-347-0400.

Coffee with a Cop Day

  • Friday, February 24
  • Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Location: Fire Station #2
  • 919 Paramont, Novi MI 48377

How would you like to have a cup of coffee with the local police department? On Friday, February 24, you will have the opportunity. Stop by Fire Station #2 with your questions or concerns from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. There will be no agenda or speeches.

Northville, Michigan February Events

Live Professional Theatre

  • Play: Sexy Laundry
  • Tipping Point Theatre
  • 361 E Cady St, Northville, MI 48167
  • Performances throughout February*

Would you like to attend a live theatre right in Downtown Northville? You won't want to miss Downtown Northville's third of six shows in their theatrical season, Sexy Laundry.

*For dates, times, and tickets, please see:  www.tippingpointtheatre.com or call the Tipping Point Box Office at 248-347-0003.

South Lyon, Michigan February Events

The Salem-South Lyon District Library has many events on the schedule for this month - for all ages and interests.

  • Location: Salem-South Lyon District Library – Meeting Room
  • 9800 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, MI 48178
  • For more information about the events listed below, please see Library Events or call: 248-437-6431

The following is a sampling of some of the events offered this month.

Cupcake Wars

  • Tuesday, February 7
  • Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Ages 7-12

Do your children love to enter contests? How about a cupcake decorating contest? Cupcakes, kitchen items, and decorations will be supplied. All your child needs to bring is creativity and imagination. Cupcakes will be judged on presentation and creativity.

S.T.E.A.M. Team "Block Party": Legos in the Library

  • Saturday, February 11
  • Time: 1:00 pm -2:00 pm
  • Grades K-5

Do your children love to build with Legos? The Salem-South Lyon District Library is having a Block Party for grades K-5! Legos will be supplied and children only need to bring their imaginations. The finished creations will be photographed and displayed in the Youth Department for one week.

For more information, please contact Dee Beaver at: 248-437-6431 x20

Live Jazz Music: RJ Spangler Trio

  • Sunday, February 12
  • Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Jazz lovers of all ages

Are you a jazz music lover? The Jazz Foundation of America and the Metro Detroit Book & Author Society 2016 James Dance Performance Grant is sponsoring a special event you won’t want to miss! Plan to attend and enjoy live Detroit Jazz, Blues, and history with RJ Spangler Trio and friends.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Take Away

If you’re looking for something special to do in the gray days of February, plan to attend one of the special events in Novi, Northville or South Lyon, Michigan. It’s a great way to meet people who live in your area and chase away the winter blues.

Top 4 House Architectural Styles

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House Architectural Styles

Do you know what a Cape Cod style home looks like? Yes? What about a Tudor or a bungalow style? Do you ever get overwhelmed by the descriptions of architectural styles in real estate listings and wonder why they matter? Why do some people refer to a one-story home as a ranch style and others may call it a cottage?   

Why Style Matters

"What is style? Every flower has it; every individual worthy the name has it in some degree, no matter how much sandpaper may have done for him. It is a free product, a byproduct, the result of an organic working out of a project in character and in one state of feeling....A style is some form of spiritual constipation."Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

In more general and less poetic terms, most houses can be classified into categories based on a number factors:

  • Roof shape and pitch
  • Building size and number of stories
  • Window size, shape, and placement
  • Door shape and placement
  • Decorative details such as brackets and cornice trim
  • Structural details such as arches, columns, and porches
  • Construction materials such as brick, stucco, adobe, or wood
  • Footprint and floor plan
  • Historic period

It’s possible that no two experts will agree on the style of your home, particularly if it’s a new construction. For the last two decades, many new homes are being built in a neo-eclectic style, marrying features from different types of architecture. To make matters more confusing, many older homes have renovated interiors that don’t match the outside. For example, the modern kitchens or great rooms in Victorian houses.

All of these factors trend in different directions over time. Ideally, no style is better than another, but there are several styles - and one in particular - that continue to be the most popular for the last few years.

Craftsman

The Frank Lloyd Wright quote above is particularly apropos because this style of architecture comes out of the Arts and Crafts movement of the mid-twentieth century, of which he was a big part. Craftsman style homes are all about boxy interiors with deeply overhanging eaves and crafted details inside and outside. Many of these homes have their decorative art built right in in the form of simple, but elegant woodwork. An original Craftsman style home will have been built in the late 1890s until the mid-1900s, but many new homes are being built with a Craftsman aesthetic in mind.

Ranch

Most people understand that a ranch home means one story. These don’t generally reach their full glory here in Michigan, but are very popular in the Southwest and California - where you can find some truly sprawling one-level homes. These were built and made popular in the 1950s and 60s.

Southern Style

This style isn’t only popular in the Southern parts of the U.S., but you can certainly find some beautiful examples there, often with large wrap-around porches, columns, high ceilings and tons of windows. These homes share some architectural details of Victorian style homes. They are often, but not always, two stories.

Traditional

This term can encompass so many different variations that it’s hard to pin it down. Generally, a traditional home will have a balanced look - with windows on either side of the front door and a row of windows along the top story. It may have columns in a neo-classical style or it may not. What ties these styles together is their timeless appeal.

Take Away

When it comes time to start looking for a house, don’t be intimidated by the term style. It is, after all, what you make of it. Have fun finding out what you do and don’t like. Please give us a call when you are ready. We would be honored to help you find your dream home.

248-348-7200

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