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City of Novi, Mi Offers Help to Homeowners

by The Jamey Kramer Group

City of Novi, Mi Offers Help to Homeowners

Is your home in need of repairs after the harsh winter weather?

Did you know there is a free program that helps to assess and improve your home’s energy efficiency?

Owning a home is still the American dream. For many families it may seem that this dream has become harder and harder to reach. The City of Novi would like to help qualified residents to make home repairs and to provide information about a free program to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Today, we would like to share with you about two amazing programs for the homeowners of Novi and Oakland County. Take a look at the programs below to see what they are about and if you are likely to qualify.

The City of Novi Minor Home Repair Program

The City of Novi is offering grants up to $5,000 to qualified candidates to help make needed home repairs. According to the city’s website,

“The City of Novi Minor Home Repair program seeks candidates for its upcoming service year. The program helps qualified low-income homeowners in the city make needed repairs and improvements to their residences.”

Eligible repairs include the following:

  • Water Heater
  • Toilets
  • Furnace Repair
  • Garbage Disposal Replacement
  • Porches
  • Wiring
  • Leaky Roofs
  • The Removal of any Dangerous Trees

Qualifications for this program include, but are not limited to the applicant meeting the following criteria:

  • Must be over the age of 18.
  • Must own their residence in Novi, Michigan
  • Must have a total income at or below the HUD Section 8 low-income definitions.

If this program sounds like something you would be interested in, you may contact the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA).

OLHSA
248-209-2760
OLHSA Housing & Energy Department
196 Cesar E. Chavez
P.O. Box 430598
Pontiac, MI 48342-0598

Weatherization Assistance Program

The Weatherization Assistance Program is a free program offered and funded by the Federal Department of Energy and administered by the Michigan Department of Human Services.

This free program is offered to low - moderate income households and works to help lower the resident’s utility bills making the home more affordable to live in. Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) determines eligibility of applicants and “contracts with qualified, licensed and insured private contractors to complete the work.”

According to the City of Novi’s website, the free weatherization services are listed below, but are not limited to:

  • Home energy audit
  • Wall, attic and floor insulation
  • Furnace repair or replacement

If you are interested in applying, please contact the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA). For questions or to see if you qualify, please contact Monica Cory, Assistant Director for Outreach, at 248-209-2788 or visit www.olhsa.org.

Summary

The City of Novi offers services to help eligible residents with home repairs. It also brings awareness about a free federally funded weatherization program that will help eligible residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Novi is a community that cares about the people who live in it.

Have you ever thought about moving to Novi? If so, please give our office a call. We would be honored to help you find your next home in the thriving community of Novi, Michigan.

248-348-7200

4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Purchasing a Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group

4 Questions

What do you really need to know before you make one of the biggest purchases of your life?

Home ownership remains part of the American dream. Now that prices are still low, you may be rightfully thinking that it is time to purchase a home. Home values are starting to rise. Truthfully, right now is a great time to buy a home before prices and interest rates start to climb.

Before you head out looking though, we have put together some questions to ask yourself. These questions can help guide and direct you towards the perfect home for your family.

4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home

1.  What Can You Actually Afford?

It is easy to dream of mansions, but it is even better to know you can afford one. This is a great opportunity to take stock of all your financial information including your income, assets, debts, etc. Then you can see how much money you have to work with on a monthly basis. 

With the interest rates continuing to stay low, it might be helpful to know that the lower the interest rate, the more home you get. Would you like to know how much a 1% interest rate actually affects your money? You can find this out by visiting our article, Low Mortgage Interest Rate Stats You Want to Know.

2. Are There Any Unanticipated Charges?

Unanticipated fees and charges can be very frustrating especially if you have never purchased a house before. Here is a list of fees associated with purchasing a home to keep in the back of your mind:

  • Home Owner’s Insurance
  • Property Taxes
  • Closing Costs
  • Upcoming Anticipated Maintenance of the Home

These unanticipated fees can turn your just affordable mortgage payment into an unaffordable one if you are not prepared.

3. How Much Should You Put Down?

One of the biggest reasons why financial experts everywhere recommend putting a 20% down payment is because of PMI.

PMI stands for private mortgage insurance and is added onto mortgage payments when the buyer does not put 20% down. We are only talking about an extra $50 a month for every $100,000 you borrow. However, you can save that extra payment by putting 20% down on your home.

If 20% down is just not an option, you may consider a Federal Housing Administration Loan or FHA loan. FHA loans only require a 3.5% down payment, are really easy to apply for, and you don’t necessarily have to have great credit.

For more information on FHA Loans and how to qualify for them, please check out our article, FHA Loans and Qualifications for First-Time Home Buyers.

4. Where Do You Want to Settle Down?

Where is the right place for you and your family or potential family to settle down? Do you want to live in a small town, a big city or a city like Northville, Michigan which has both? Do you want to have community events happening every weekend, like Novi, Michigan? How important are good schools and low crime?

All of these questions can help you decide where to start looking for a house.

Summary

Now that you know what you can truly afford, what the unanticipated costs might be and where you want to start looking, you are almost there. With the help of an experienced real estate agent, it won’t be long until you are enjoying the perfect home for you and your family.

Do You Have Any Questions?

If you have any questions please contact my office. We would be honored to show you the available homes for sale in Northville and Novi, Michigan that are perfect for raising a family. Please call our office to schedule an appointment today.

248-348-7200

 

Family Friendly Events to Enjoy This Spring in Northville, Mi

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Family Friendly Events to Enjoy This Spring in Northville, Mi

Are you looking to get out of the house after a long winter?

Want to keep the kids busy this spring?

Happy first day of spring everyone! Today feels a little like spring with the high temperature of 45 degrees and rain in the forecast in Northville. With the freezing temperatures and all the snow that we have had this winter, the 45 degrees is a welcomed change.

Today, I would like to take some time and share with you the different events that are happening in Northville, Michigan throughout the spring of 2014. Northville is known for its small town feel and big city access. The list below will show you why.

Spring Events Happening in Northville, Michigan

Last Weekend for the Maple Syrup Experience at Maybury Farm
Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29
Tours at: 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm

If you know someone who grew up in Michigan, they will most likely share the childhood memories of learning how maple syrup is made. From tapping the trees, to processing the sap and learning how the sap turns into maple syrup, you can create the same great memories with your children at the Maybury Farm in Northville. This is the last weekend, so make plans to attend today.

First Friday Experience
Downtown Northville
First Friday of each month between 6:00 – 9:00 pm

On the first Friday of each month come and see all that the businesses in Northville, Michigan have to offer at the First Friday Experience. Artists, trunk shows, samples, and maybe even a complimentary glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres await you.

If you’re interested, simply head down to Downtown Northville on the first Friday of the month between 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Maybury State Park Egg STRAVAGANZA
700 W. Baseline Rd., Northville, MI 
Saturday, April 19
11:00 am

Mark you calendar to bring the kids to the Maybury State Park in Northville for a fun filled Egg Stravaganza. Rain or shine, this event will take place on April 19 and kicks off at 11 am. The schedule of events is as follow:

  • 11 a.m. - Ages 5 & under Egg Scramble;
  • 11:10 a.m. - Ages 6 & up Egg Scramble;
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Games; Face Painting; Crafts; Seed planting

Recreation Passports are required for all vehicles entering the park. If you do not have one, the cost is $11.00. For more information, please visit the Downtown Northville website or call the Maybury State Park at 248-349-8390.

Northville’s Farmers’ Market
Corner of 7 Mile and Sheldon Roads
Opens: First Thursday in May
8:00 am – 3:00 pm

It won’t be long now until you can stroll through Northville’s Farmers’ Market in search of all the amazing things that Michigan farmers have to offer. Beginning in May and ending in October, the Northville’s Farmers’ Market is open every Thursday from 8 am - 3 pm on the corner of 7 Mile Road and Sheldon Road.

For more information, please visit the please visit the Northville Chamber of Commerce’s website or call 248- 349-7640.

Summary

Whether you are looking to create special memories with your children or visit a farmers’ market to buy home grown vegetables and flowers this spring, Northville, Michigan has a variety of events for you and your family to enjoy this spring.

3 Key Home Repairs to Make After a Brutal Winter

by The Jamey Kramer Group

3 Key Home Repairs to Make After a Brutal Winter

Not sure where to start off with this year’s spring cleaning?

The temperatures are finally starting to warm up enough to convince us that maybe spring really is arriving this week. When spring arrives, so does spring cleaning. This year, that spring cleaning may look more like spring repairs after the kind of winter we have had.

Right now, Detroit is only 3 inches away from breaking the record of the most snow fall in one year. According to the National Weather Service, the record for the Detroit area was set back in 1880-1881 and currently stands at 93.6 inches.

If you have lived in Michigan for any amount of time, you know that just because it is April, it doesn’t mean that the snow is gone for good. In fact, in 1886 there were 25.7 inches of snow in April alone according to the Detroit Free Press. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be in our near future.

This winter, our homes have stood the test of wind, snow, ice, sleet, floods and more. With a high of 45 degrees expected today in Northville, Michigan, it may be time to step out and investigate the damage, if any, that this brutal winter may have caused.

Where to Look for Winter Damage

If you are not sure where to look for winter damage, scan through our list below for 3 key areas where your house may need a little tender loving care.

  1. Check the Foundation
    When checking the foundation of your home, look for cracks. Take care to closely examine the foundation for hairline cracks. According to Homesite Insurance, just because you see a crack, it doesn’t mean that your house is going to cave in. They suggest marking the crack with tape and then to check back on it in a few months.

     

    When the few months have passed, go back and check the crack again. If it hasn’t changed, Homesite Insurance recommends filling in the crack with epoxy-injection system. If the crack size has changed, you may want to call in a structural engineer.

    When inspecting your foundation, you should also look for evidence of termites. North Carolina State University recommends looking for mud tubes on foundation walls. These mud tubes are pencil-size (or larger) tubes that termites build from soil, wood particles and other materials.

    Lastly, make sure to clear away all debris and leaves away from the foundation so that you don’t invite rodents to nest by your home.

     
  2. Check the Roof
    Closely examine your roof for any cracked, missing or loose shingles. You may like to use binoculars from the ground, or if you do it safely, climb up to your roof. Pay close attention to the shingles around your chimney and sky lights. According the
    MSN Real Estate, if you think there might be a leak, head to the attic and check for moisture.

     
  3. Check the Gutters
    Clear out the gutters of your home on the first available dry day of spring. You can bet that leaves and other debris have gotten themselves caught up there. Use a sturdy ladder to examine and clean out the gutters and downspouts or hire someone to do it for you. According to HomeTips, LLC, clearing out the gutters and downspouts will help to protect your home’s “siding, windows, doors, and foundations from water damage and help prevent flooding in basements.”

Summary

No one can contest that this year’s winter weather has been a brutal in Southeast Michigan. Spring is right around the corner and it is time to start your home’s spring cleaning and if necessary, spring repairs.

Novi Weekend Events: Boating Expo, Dinner Theater and St. Patrick's Ice Skating

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Novi Weekend Events

Would you like a new boat to take out this summer on Michigan lakes?

Are you looking for a family friendly way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Novi, Michigan is where you want to be this weekend. From a boating expo and a murder mystery dinner theater to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the whole family, this weekend is full of things to do.

Here are the events that you won’t want to miss this weekend in Novi:

The 22nd Annual Spring Boating Expo
Suburban Collection Showplace
March 13 – 16
Thursday and Friday: 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

No one can deny how amazing Michigan lakes are. According to Michigan.gov, there are 46,199 inland lakes that cover 890,535.69 acres and the great lakes cover 24,681,998.27 acres.

From Thursday, March 13 through Sunday, March 16, you can check out the latest and greatest that boating has to offer at the 22nd Annual Spring Boating Expo at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

According to the Suburban Collection Showplace’s website, there will be hundreds of new and overstock boats, trailers and motors that are all “priced to sell”. Over 100 exhibitors will all be under one roof showcasing what you could be cruising around when the weather warms up.

It may be hard to imagine cruising around the lakes right now, but the snow will melt and the ice will break up. When it does, you can be there with your dream boat, ready to ski, fish, and tube.

Admission fees are $10.00 per adult and children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parking is $5.00.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater - The Mobfather
Novi Civic Center Theatre
March 14 and 15 at 6:30 pm

Are you interested in a dinner theater with a show that is sure to entertain? Plan to attend the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater at the Novi Civic Center either Friday or Saturday. If you like mobster movies then this weekend has the show for you. According to the City of Novi’s website, The Mobfather is a “who done it” kind of a show.

“Come join us for a night of dinner and death, when someone gets murdered in the middle of the party - it’s up to YOU to help the detective figure out whodunit. A cast of hilarious characters will help guide you through this evening of clue collecting and finger pointing.”

Tickets for the show can be purchased up until 1 hour before the show. For ticket information, please call the Novi Parks at 248-347-0400.

St. Patrick’s Day Skate
Novi Ice Arena
March 16
3:00 - 4:50 pm

For an afternoon filled with family-friendly fun, head over to the Novi Ice Arena for an open skate this Sunday, March 16th from 3:00 to 4:50 pm. All ages are welcome for the St. Patrick’s Day Skate and if you wear green, you can receive $1.00 off admission. There will be raffles, games and prizes. Admission for residents is $4.00 and for non-residents $5.00.

The Novi Ice Arena is located at 42400 Nick Lidstrom Drive, Novi, MI 48375. For more information, call 248-347-1010.

Summary

Whether you are looking for a new boat, going out for the evening to a dinner theater, or enjoying a fun filled family afternoon ice skating, Novi, Michigan is the place to be this weekend.

Low Mortgage Interest Rate Stats You Want to Know

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Are you considering taking advantage of the current low mortgage interest rates?

Have you wondered if a small increase in interest rates is really that big of a deal?

It is an interesting time in the real estate business. We are on our way to a housing recovery. As the recovery has progressed, we are seeing interest rates on mortgages start to rise, even if only by small percentage points.

Many people have asked why a lower interest rate is so important, and why they should take advantage of the low rates now. Today, we wanted to take some time and answer those questions.

Mortgage Rates and a Little History

Freddie Mac has reported a drop in mortgage rates from 4.43% in January to 4.30% in February. Last year, rates were 3.53%. Five years ago, interest rates were 5.0%. Ten years ago, they were 5.45% and 15 years ago mortgage rates were at 7.04%.

Within ten years, interest rates on average have fallen over 1%. So, why is 1% such a big deal? How much money do you actually save at a 4.5% interest rate versus a 5.5%?

How Much 1% Will Save You on Your Mortgage

Last week, Zillow published an amazing infographic that illustrates just how much a 1% difference will make in your interest rate over the lifetime of a 30 year mortgage.

Zillow used an example of a $300,000 loan with a 20% down payment and compared a 4.5% interest rate to a 5.5%.

The Difference Each Month

In just one month, by purchasing the same home at a 4.5% interest rate versus 5.5%, you would save $147 dollars. To give you an example of what $147 dollars looks like, it is around 40 Starbucks Grande Caffe Lattes in one month.

The Difference in the First Year

In the first year of that loan alone, you would save $2,398. Instead of paying that money to the bank, you could take your family on a week-long vacation.

The Difference Over 15 Years

Over the next 15 years, you will save $34,211 by purchasing your home at the interest rate of 4.5% instead of 5.5%. For a good picture of what that kind of money looks like, Zillow reports that instead of that money going to the bank, you could be enjoying a brand new car and an entire year’s worth of gas.

The Difference Over 30 Years

Over the entire lifetime of your loan, you will save $52,794. That is a 20% down payment on a vacation home worth $264,000.

Summary

As the housing market returns, so will the higher interest rates. A lower interest rate keeps more money in your pocket. That is why we recommend taking advantage of the lower interest rates now. If you are interested in purchasing your first home or upgrading to a larger home, remember right now rates on average are 4.30%. If we can be of any help, please call our office at:

248-348-7200

Northville’s Annual Business Showcase and More Weekend Events

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Northville’s Annual Business Showcase and More Weekend Events

Have you ever been to the Taste of Northville Business Showcase?

Would you like to sample what the businesses in Northville have to offer?

This weekend, Northville is having its annual Taste of Northville Business Showcase, but that’s not all that’s happening in this city. Northville is known for having a “small town feel” with a big city access. There is always something to do and enjoy, and this weekend is no different.

Events that you won’t want to miss in Northville

Taste of Northville Business Showcase

Saturday, March 8
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The Northville Chamber of Commerce kicks off a year-long celebration with the Annual Taste of Northville Business Showcase this weekend. This year, the chamber is turning 50-years-old and they are ready to celebrate.

The first celebration is this Saturday, March 8th, at the Northville High School located at 45700 Six Mile Road (between Sheldon and Beck Roads) from noon to 3:00 pm.

Over 1000 business owners and residents are expected to show up for the showcase. Those who attend will enjoy free samples, prizes and raffles.

Each attendant will vote for the best business display, restaurant/caterer display and best theme display in the “People’s Choice Awards.” The winners will receive a plaque and media recognition.

If you are looking to get out of the house this weekend, take the whole family and head over to the Northville High School. Admission is only $3.00 per person at the door.

Genitti’s Hole-in-the-wall Dinner Show

Saturday, March 8
6:30 pm

If you looking for a fun date night with your special someone this Saturday, Genitti’s Hole-in-the-wall has you covered. Jasen Magic will be performing live on stage for an “adult only” show this Saturday. Dinner and the show start at 6:30 pm and the price is $35.00 per person.

Genitti’s Hole-in-the-wall is located at 108 East Main in Northville. For reservations and for more information, please call 248-349-0522.

The Maple Syrup Experience at Maybury Farm

Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9
Tours at: 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm

In Michigan, it almost appears to be a rite of passage for every Michigan child to learn how to make maple syrup. It is that time of year and time for our children to enjoy the “hands on” experience of learning all about maple sugar.

At Maybury Farm in Northville, Michigan, you can share that classic Michigan childhood experience with your children. There will be a hay ride to the farm’s Sugarbush where you and your children will have the chance to tap the trees and learn the steps to making maple syrup.

Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays throughout March at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm. The General Store and Welcome Center will be open to purchase maple syrup and maple syrup products.

Summary

No matter what phase of life you are in there is always something to do in this family-friendly town of Northville, Michigan. From celebrating the city’s important milestones and enjoying a night out for a dinner show to learning all about maple sugar with your children, Northville is the place to be this weekend.

 

6 Easy Ways to Make Your Yard Sparkle & Open House Ready

by The Jamey Kramer Group

6 Easy Ways to Make Your Yard Sparkle & Open House Ready

Would you like to move this spring?

Is your yard ready for potential buyers?

Curb appeal has never been more important. It is the first thing that potential buyers see and your home’s first impression. Research indicates that investing into the outside of your home gives you the most return on your investment.

In the article we published last year, Help With Remodeling and Renovating Your Home, we shared about how you can get the most return on your investment when you put effort into the curb appeal of your home.

Remodeling Magazine published a report last year that showed us the four areas in your home that get the highest return on investment are all on the outside. This may feel contrary to what we think. However, when we realize that first impressions are crucial - the curb appeal investment starts to make sense.

Today, we would like to share 6 ways to get your yard ready for your spring open house and maximize your home’s curb appeal. 

  1. Backyard Clean Up
    One of the biggest things that you can do to impress those potential buyers is simply cleaning up your yard. With snow on the ground, it might be hard to notice the tricycle or the old broken lawnmower today, but as soon as the snow melts those items will become eye sores.

     
  2. Fresh Coat of Paint
    Add a fresh coat of paint to your:
    • Front Door
    • Mailbox
    • Any Other Spot Where Paint is Peeling

    Painting these areas will add an inviting fresh appeal when potential home buyers first see your home.
     
  3. Spruce up Perennial Beds
    If you have a lot of landscaping, that can work in your favor as long as it is cleaned up. Overgrown perennial beds may deter potential home buyers. Head outside and start weeding. Spruce up your shrubs by pruning and shaping them. You may like to consider adding a new fresh layer of mulch to give it that added touch.

     
  4. Take Care of Your Lawn
    As soon as that snow is gone, start taking care of your lawn. Make sure to water your lawn regularly, and don’t forget to continue cutting the grass while you are trying to sell your home.

     
  5. Garden
    If you have a vegetable garden, make it your mission to keep it in tip-top shape while your home is on the market.

    If you want to garden while your home is on the market, a great solution for that is to build a raised garden bed. These are a great way to grow vegetables and it can move with you.

     
  6. Take a Step Back
    Take a step back and look at your home, what do you see? Try and imagine what a person who has never seen your home will see. Take notice of things like your mailbox or the address numbers on your house and make sure they are in great shape.

Summary

When it comes to great curb appeal, a little goes a long way. Once the snow clears, take a Saturday and follow these tips and soon your home will be ready for an open house.

What Do You Think?

If you have looked at potential homes to purchase, what was the first thing you noticed?

If you have any questions or when you are ready to put your house on the market, we would be honored to help. Please call our office at:

248-348-7200

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8