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How Bitcoin Could Revolutionize Real Estate

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Bitcoins and real estate

Most of us have heard of the term Bitcoin. We may not totally understand what it is or how it functions, however, we know it’s been making the news because of its value.

In addition, that value is rising. Right now as I write this, one Bitcoin is worth over $10,000 in US currency.

What does this have to do with real estate?

Bitcoin - whatever else we understand about it - is not “real” in the same sense as a building, a house or a piece of land is real.

First, let me break down some of these terms to be more understandable. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is encrypted or secured, using cryptography. And we know from watching spy movies that cryptography is simply writing code.

In this case, the encryption techniques used to secure and verify the transfer of transactions is powered by a public ledger. Anyone can see these transactions. They are recorded and validated chronologically using this highly sophisticated encryption. That public ledger is called the Blockchain.

As far as real estate goes, that is all you need to keep in mind about Bitcoin and the Blockchain. Understanding Bitcoin can be tough. While it is an asset that can be used for many types of transactions - mostly financial - the language around it is highly technical.

Bitcoin is reaching the mainstream

It can get confusing very quickly. It is important to know is that nine major banks, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, are in partnership to develop Blockchain technologies. So this technology and currency have reached - or is reaching - the mainstream.

In fact, cryptocurrency is entering the stock market. And here is where you and your property could eventually enter into this. Some initial coin offering (ICO) issuers have a vision of the future where “tokenized pieces of property could be tracked and traded via a shared database.”

A token is simply a representation of a particular asset - say, your house - that resides on top of another Blockchain. A token can represent any asset that is fungible and tradable.

The tokenization of real estate would allow for fractional ownership of property. You could, conceivably, “split up” your home and sell off equity stakes on the Blockchain. That equity would go on being freely traded until the home is sold - at which point the homeowner and equity owner(s) would benefit from the gain in the home’s value.

How soon is this coming?

There are four ICO issuers right now having to do with real estate:

  • BitRent - which is a way to finance construction projects;
  • Etherty - real-estate management through equity access;
  • Caviar - a fund that makes loans to real estate projects in order to temper its crypto investments;
  • Trust - this is already doing what I mention above - tokenizing equity in real estate and other assets.

I think it’s fair to say that this is coming. How soon, it’s hard to tell. For one thing, real estate laws are highly complex and record-keeping isn’t uniform state by state.

Right now there are places in Cook County, Illinois and in Vermont, as well as others, who are updating their laws in accommodate cryptocurrency. You may see individuals putting land titles on the Blockchain sooner than you think.

Conclusion

The concept of Bitcoin can be confusing. Its language is full of technical terminology and its inner-workings resemble the machinations of the stock market which few ordinary people truly understand. However, handled wisely and understood well, cryptocurrency as the future in real estate could end up being a very exciting time for homeowners.

Upcoming Events in March for the City Of Novi

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Novi, Michigan upcoming events

The weather in Michigan isn’t usually nice yet in March and we are all longing for some time outdoors by then. Thankfully, the City of Novi has a fun schedule of upcoming events planned for you, friends, and family, no matter your age.

2018 Bowl-A-Thon

  • Saturday, March 3
  • Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Location: Novi Bowl, 21700 Novi Road, Novi, MI 48375

The 2018 Bowl-A-Thon at Novi Bowl is almost here. This fun event has been running for 35 years and counting. On Saturday, March 3, you can come to bowl, donate a prize, sponsor a lane, and much more!

This event helps many community organizations that are in high demand every single year:

  • Novi Youth Assistance
  • The Mentors Plus Camp
  • Youth Recognition
  • Alcohol Awareness
  • Educational and Recreation Scholarships
  • Jeanne Clarke Teen Center

These great programs need our help to continue running, and they often depend on the funds raised at this event.

What better way to give back to your community and serve the youth in your town? You can form a team to participate in the bowl-a-thon or sponsor a lane for just $100.

Corporate sponsorships are quite welcome too, for just $500. If you don’t have $100, you can donate prizes and other items to include in the gift bags for each bowler or collect a group donation from family, coworkers, and friends.  Chances are, they are looking for a great cause to contribute to.

Novi Youth Assistance, the host of the Bowl-A-Thon, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization so any donation will be tax deductible.

Team Registration

Register your team online by clicking here.

Bowler Information Packet

Please download a bowler information packet for each bowler.  Pledge sheets are due at check-in.

For questions or if you need additional information, please call 248-347-0410.

The Novi Choralaires & Novi Concert Band

Novi is lucky enough to have two musical ensemble groups who are offering two different concerts in March:

Novi Choralaires Joint Concert with Novi Concert Band

  • Sunday, March 4
  • Time: 3:00 pm
  • Location: Novi Civic Center, 45175 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375

Novi Concert Band Winter Concert

  • Sunday, March 18
  • Time: 3:00 pm
  • Location: Novi Civic Center, 45175 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375

Looking for Leprechauns Luncheon

  • Senior Citizen’s Luncheon – Ages 55+
  • Thursday, March 15
  • Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center, 25075 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi MI 48375

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by eating a traditional Irish meal served by volunteer leprechauns and listening to an Irish Piper. Entertainment will be provided by Balancing Earth.

This event is located at the Meadowbrook Activity Center and is $7.50 for residents and $9 for non-residents. It is sponsored in partnership with O’Brien Sullivan Funeral Home. The ticket deadline is March 8 or until sold out.

Helpful Classes in March

A number of great classes will be held in March for those looking for help with different common concerns. These topics can be helpful for anyone, but are particularly helpful for senior citizens!

10+ Things You Need To Know To Enroll in Medicare

  • Thursday, March 8
  • Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Location:  Novi Public Library, 45255 W. Ten Mile Rd, Novi MI 48375

Financial Crimes, Scams and Identity Theft

  • Tuesday, March 20
  • Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Location: Novi Civic Center, 45175 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375

How to Review Your Estate Plan

  • Wednesday, March 28
  • Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Eggstravaganza
  • Sunday, March 25
  • Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Location:  Fuerst Park, 45325 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375
     

Bring your children ages 2 and up for a fun afternoon with crafts, bunny visits, and multiple age egg hunts. Please leave Easter baskets at home.

The price is $5 per child and you may register online. Please note that no registrations will be taken at the door.

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

Conclusion

Help beat the end-of-winter blues by joining in the fun at the bowl-a-thon, attending a concert or luncheon with a friend, learning new things or an Easter egg hunt. We hope your March this year is lucky and full of fun.

 

Real Estate Predictions for 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Real Estate Predictions for 2018

Every year, investors and financial companies like to pay attention to the housing market and make predictions for how it will do in the upcoming year. Will the trends we have seen in the previous year continue to develop or will they take an unexpected turn?

Of course, not many people see things coming that are truly unexpected. One notable exception to this is depicted in the film The Big Short with our housing market and its eventual demise.

In any case, what’s interesting is that the experts don’t agree. They are predicting some wildly different things, according to an article in Market Watch. Part of the reason for this, according to Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics and cited in this article, is the housing market collapse and “messy” recovery.

Some experts think we might even still be in a housing bubble. Another reason he cites for such divergent opinions on the market is social media - media outlets sometimes report based on anecdotal evidence rather than more factually based evidence.

An example he states is reported from a few years ago that millennials suddenly lost interest in being homeowners. He says these kinds of reports can have unintended consequences. In reality, millennials are the fastest growing sector of homeowners and are much more likely to own homes as singles than previous generations.

Here are three other predictions for 2018 that seem grounded, based on how the market did in 2017:

Inventory Will Continue To Be Low

This may be crushing news to a lot of people, given that the inventory has been in a crunch for a couple of years now. This has given rise to bidding wars and rising home prices in many areas of the country.

Superficially, this can seem like good news but it just isn’t sustainable. Home prices can’t rise faster than wages forever. New homebuyers are leveraging themselves at a higher rate than they were - and will continue to do so - but it won’t be sustainable.

We may see a slight increase of inventory as some sellers will have no choice but to sell and builders are starting to swing more toward single-family homes and away from apartment complexes, however, it won’t be very big.

Mortgage Rates Will Be Around 4%

Last December, the Federal Reserve increased short-term interest rates by 25 basis points, which usually has a corresponding effect on mortgage rates. However, there were three such bumps in 2017 and two in 2016 which didn’t make much of a difference - only slightly raising the cost of a home loan.

The three bumps projected for 2018 by Federal Reserve policy makers may just have very little effect on mortgage rates. Most experts agree that by the end of this year, rates will only be around 4.5% at the highest, which is still historically low.

People Will Keep Renting In More Expensive Areas

This one has to do with the new tax law, which makes it more expensive to own a home in high tax and high price areas of the country. Home prices are rising faster than wages, salaries, and even inflation. It all adds up to mean that, for some of the most expensive areas of the country, it makes more sense to rent than to buy.

Conclusion

Even though not all the experts agree, these three trends seem to be in keeping with how the housing market is shaping up in the last few years. It certainly can be a volatile time to buy or sell a home. We hope to make your experience as pain-free as possible.

If you are ready to buy or sell, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

4 Reasons Your House is Sitting on the Market

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House sitting on the market

This past peak season of the real estate market was the best we have seen in a decade. There were so many homes being bought and sold, we published several blog articles dedicated to home buyers having a frustrating time trying to even put an offer on a house.

While this is a good market for sellers, not all homes are “flying off the shelves” so to speak. Some houses are still sitting on the market and frustrated homeowners may want to know why.

Real estate is not an exact science, but there are a few obvious reasons your home may not be selling - reasons obvious to seasoned realtors but maybe not to homeowners.

If you are trying to sell your home - with little or no interest - start with these issues first:

Price

It can be very difficult to part with a home you have loved and lived in for many years. You have likely given it blood, sweat, and tears in a literal sense so it means much more to you than it does to the person coming in trying to tell you what it’s worth.

The sad reality is, however, that even with the market being hot for sellers right now, the only way to truly predict an accurate selling price is to look at what comparable homes have sold for in your neighborhood.

Of course, the realtor you hire will do what you tell them to do with your home. However, if he or she hasn’t at least tried to give you the reality of the situation, he or she is not doing their job. In fact, that realtor is actually doing you a disservice. An overpriced house is one of the most obvious reasons it won’t sell.

Lack of Aesthetic Appeal

There is a reason we have whole television shows devoted to the buying and rehabbing of “fixer uppers.”

Most people don’t want the hassle of buying a house that looks bad whether from poor curb appeal or on the inside because of decor and finishes that are old or in need of repair.

Look at your house honestly and critically. Is there peeling paint on the outside? Does the screen door need to be replaced? Are there overgrown bushes or trees blocking the view?

Likewise, design choices inside that are more than a decade old are likely to detract. Do you have old carpeting? Do you have wallpaper that passed its prime 10 years ago?

A word about curb appeal in the era of online shopping: if the picture of the front of your house doesn’t look nice, prospective buyers will skip it and move on. Most people don’t want to mess with having to clean something up.

They want a home that looks nice when they buy it. And most buyers these days are looking at pictures of listings for a long time before they ever go to visit a house in person.

It’s Not Upgraded

We get it. The last thing you want is to buy a new set of kitchen appliances you won’t get to use. Or put a new roof on a house you are about to vacate. However, your house will stand out - and not in a good way - if those things are old.

There are always going to be other homes on the market with key items updated. Yes, replacing a roof more than 10 years old does seem like a hassle and a waste of money, but chances are good you will be paying for it one way or another.

If your home has been sitting on the market, it might be the time to invest in some upgrades.

It’s Not Clean

You may not smell the cat odor or the smell of cigarettes in your home anymore, but I guarantee a prospective buyer will. A prospective buyer will notice your clutter, even when you don’t.

We even suggest taking down everything personal as soon as you decide to sell. Family photos, collections, and even too much furniture only detract from a showing. Take the time to clear out your storage areas - especially your garage - and invest in a short-term storage solution to get rid of some of the clutter if need be.

This is also your chance to touch up paint - or repaint entirely - clean your carpets and install new outlet covers. Taking care to make your baseboards and trim look new can make a huge difference. These things aren’t going to break the budget.

And yes, we know showings are annoying. The reality of the situation is that once you list your home for sale, you have to take ownership of getting it sold. Making sure it’s clean, clutter-free, and brightly lit will go a long way. It may, in fact, be all you need to get it sold.

Conclusion

Channel your frustrations into action: listen to your realtor and fix the problems with your house. You may be looking at a sale within a couple of weeks.

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

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4