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Pros and Cons of Owning a Swimming Pool

by The Jamey Kramer Group

inground swimming pool

Pros and Cons of Owning a Swimming Pool

If you are thinking about buying a house with an inground swimming pool or having one  installed, chances are you are trying to gauge whether this will be a good investment.

Of course, in the summer when pool season is at its peak in the Midwest, your eyes - or more likely your kids’ eyes - may light up at the idea of having a pool right outside your door. But then you may start to think about the expenses and upkeep involved. You may wonder whether you should go ahead and get that house with the pool.

Here are some things to consider as you are making your choice.

Pros of Owning a Pool

  • You will be the cool family with the pool and everyone will want to come to your house. It’s true! Think about how often you went to spend hours with the friend whose house had a pool when you were a kid.
  • It’s the perfect place for parties. If you like to entertain and want your space to be open for people virtually all the time, it’s the perfect kind of investment for you. You can host kids’ birthday parties, keep your teens at home, and have a relaxing soak under the night sky any time you want.
  • It’s relaxing. You now have the perfect spot for a vacation-like atmosphere all the time. Especially if you integrate your pool with beautiful landscaping to make it look exotic.
  • It’s a perfect way to stay in shape. It can get laborious to gather up all your gear and your kids to go swim laps at the local pool, but if you have your own you can take a quick early-morning dip to stay fit almost every day without all that hassle.
  • Depending on what part of the country you live in, an outdoor pool may increase your home’s value.

Cons of Owning a Pool

  • The return on investment is not 100%. Houses with pools may be more expensive, but if you are the person installing the pool, be aware that you aren’t going to see all that money back when you sell your house. You have to have a bigger motivation than a return on investment.
  • Safety is an issue. We’ve all heard the horror stories of toddlers drowning in the backyard pool, so you will have to invest in security gates and pool covers and you will have to be vigilant. It also increases the cost of insuring your house because of all the people it attracts. You will want to be covered in the event of accidents, so secret pools are a big no-no.
  • Maintenance costs. Even if you are not the one building the pool, the expense of maintaining it is something to think about. You will need to keep it clean, repair it, and keep all surrounding areas like decks and gates under repair as well.
  • Your utility bills will go up. Obviously, this depends on how much you use your pool, but with all that extra water use, the pumps, and filters requiring energy you will be shelling out more every month in energy costs.

Takeaway

You may decide that having a pool makes the risks and financial costs worth it. However, it is a good idea to take stock of what building or acquiring a pool will involve so you won’t be surprised by what you’re taking on.

 

 

Summer Events in Novi, Northville, and South Lyon for August 2017

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Summer Events in Novi, Northville, and South Lyon for August

The dog days of summer are right around the corner. By then, most of us will have taken our vacations, gotten our tans, and are gearing up for the school year to begin. Don’t forget there are still many fun local events scheduled in August in Novi, Northville, and South Lyon, Michigan in August. There will be family fun and fun for the young and the young-at-heart.

Novi, Michigan Events

Sizzling Summer Kids Wonderful Wednesdays

  • August 2 – Cirque Amongus, Circus Acts
  • August 9 – Gemini, Musical Duo
  • August 16 – Crazy Craig, Juggler
  • Time: 10:30 am
  • Cost: Free

Sizzling Summer Kids Wonderful Wednesdays are here to stay through August. Bring your kids to listen, learn, and wiggle at Fuerst Park. In case of inclement weather, the events will be held at the Novi Public Library. For more information, please call Novi Parks at 248-347-0400.

A Piece of Paradise

  • Friday, August 4
  • Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center
  • Price: Resident $7.00 / Non-Resident $8.50

If you’re looking for a relaxed event to attend with other senior citizens - Age 55+ - this is especially for you. This Hawaiian theme will bring you the scents, tastes, and sounds of a Hawaiian paradise: Hawaiian style appetizers and an island culture that will leave you feeling like you’ve taken a mini getaway.

This event is in partnership with Waltonwood at Twelve Oaks and Lake of Novi Health Campus. The ticket deadline is July 27 or until sold out.

Northville, Michigan Events

Northville’s great events continue through August. If you haven’t been to one of these yet this summer, this is your opportunity. Stroll through a festival or farmers market, bring your kids to dance around with other little ones on a Tuesday morning or listen under the stars on one of summer’s last Friday Nights Concert Series.

Buy Michigan Now Festival

  • Friday, August 4: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, August 5: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm 
  • Sunday, August 6: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Location: Downtown Northville

Mark you calendar for the 9th annual Buy Michigan Now Festival from August 4 through August 6 in Downtown Northville. This event is a great way to celebrate Michigan-based businesses and Michigan products. Bring the whole family to enjoy the celebration with live music, activities for children, treats, street vendors, and more. For more information, please see www.buymichigannowfest.com/home.php.

Friday Night Concert Series

  • Friday nights
  • Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 p.m.
  • Town Square across from Great Harvest
  • Cost: Free and family friendly.

Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy. Note: there is no concert scheduled for August 4 due to the Buy Michigan Now Festival. August concerts include:

  • August 11: Gia Warner - Classic Rock       
  • August 18: Dr. Swift - Classic Rock
  • August 25: Steve King and the Dittlies - Classic Rock

Northville’s Farmers Market

  • Thursdays
  • Time: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: Corner of 7 mile and Sheldon across from Northville Downs

Come and stroll through the booths of local produce, locally produced art and products or chat with a master gardener from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. For more information about the Northville Farmers Market, please contact the Northville Chamber of Commerce at 248-349-7640 or visit www.northville.org.

Tunes on Tuesday: Children’s Concert Series

  • Tuesdays
  • Time: 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  • Town Square across from Great Harvest
  • Cost: Free

There will a different musical act each week for your children and you to enjoy. Bring a blanket and prepare to dance and wiggle. For the list of upcoming concerts, please see www.downtownnorthville.com/1/163/files/Flyer-TunesOnTuesdays2017.pdf

South Lyon, Michigan Events

Concerts at McHattie Park

  • Friday Nights
  • Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Location: McHattie Park
  • Cost: Free

This concert series runs through fall. Come to the McHattie Park gazebo, bring a lawn chair or blanket, and soak up some of the last sounds and feels of summer. Rain cancellations will be posted on www.southlyonmi.org and the city sign. Upcoming August concerts include:

  • August 4 – Fast Eddy
  • August 11 – Bill Bynum & Co
  • August 18 – Rich Eddy’s Rockin’ Oldies
  • August 25 – Invasion

South Lyon’s Farmers Market

  • Saturdays in August
  • 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Location: Veteran's Memorial Parking Lot Pontiac Trail & Liberty Street

This is where you come to find fresh, local produce, home goods, hand crafted items, and much more!

Takeaway

Don’t let summer end without making the most of it. If you haven’t been to your local events yet, now is the chance. From farmers markets to Friday night concerts, you have a number of fun events to choose from in Novi, Northville, and South Lyon, Michigan.

10 Tips to Make Moving Day Less Stressful

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Tips to Make Moving Day Less Stressful

Are you joining the ranks of the hundreds of people moving this summer? You might even now be in the throes (or woes) of closing on your new house and making that master to-do list. You may be looking around your house wondering how it’s ever going to all get on a truck and put in your new home.

Here are your ten tips to getting you and your family into that new house you’ve been visualizing for months.

#1: Purge First

This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t trust that you’re going to sort everything after it’s in your new space. Do yourself a favor and sort everything before you pack - even if you plan to hire a professional packing and moving company.

  • Sort all of your things by type. In other words - don’t try to sort your whole bedroom in one day. Pick one day and sort all of the books in your house. Then sort all of the clothing, and so on. Set aside items to donate, sell, and toss. The rest will get packed.
  • Schedule a pickup. You might be surprised at the volume of stuff you don’t need and plan to give away. This is probably not the time to hold a garage sale. You can schedule a pickup at your home through Goodwill or nearly any resale store of your choosing. Simply leave the boxes of unwanted items on your porch.
  • Sell unneeded valuables. If there are a few items you know you can get a little money for, take an hour to list them all on eBay or take them to a consignment store. The point is to clear your home of all the clutter you’ve accumulated and not look back. If you find you can’t make the bucks you thought, donate, and move on. Don’t waste your precious time haggling.

#2: Research Moving Companies

There are so many options out there it will make your head spin. A professional moving company can definitely make your life, and your move, much, much easier. Just make sure you do a little research and find a licensed and insured company - not the first four-star rated one you find on Google and not someone looking to make some extra bucks.

#3: Create a Master Schedule

You need to clear your head of all the little nagging tasks and chores surrounding a move. Sit down and make a master list and include every little detail. What about that outlet cover in the hallway that needs to get fixed? Put it on the list. Once you have all your chores listed out - or as many as you can remember - put them on the calendar. Once you have delegated to-do items to their own days, the list won’t seem as intimidating.

#4: Locate Supplies

Of course, boxes are big on everyone’s mind. If you want to go green and save the paper, try calling the night manager at a big box store and ask them to save boxes for you. If calling around and adding to your to-do list is too much, U-haul offers a 100% buy back on all unused boxes. Plus, they’re designed for multiple uses. If you’re not planning to move again anytime soon, why not sell the gently used boxes in a bundle at a discounted rate? Neighborhood apps and Facebook Marketplace make this easier than ever. Don’t forget packing paper and bubble wrap.

#5: Make One Big Run to the Hardware Store

This will be surprisingly simple once you’ve purged and made your master list. You’ll be happy you’ve done this when you’re halfway through moving and suddenly need duct tape. You always need duct tape.

#6: Schedule Disconnect/connect Times Ahead of Time, and Change Your Address One week Before Move-in Day

Don’t wait until you’ve been at your new house for two weeks and start wondering why you are not getting any mail. Make the transition seamless by scheduling with your utility companies when to disconnect here and connect there. You will be happy you spent the time when your Wi-Fi is up and working in your new house.

#7: Send the Schedule Early to Your Helpers

Let your friends and family know what they’re in store for. They are taking time out of their busy lives to help you move. Honor their kindness by giving them a clear schedule and sticking to it.

#8: Pack Necessary Items Ahead of Time

  • Cleaning supplies - bring a cleaning kit to your new house first. This is the only chance you’ll get to scrub everything down before your stuff goes in. Even if you get the new house cleaned, it’s a good idea to have this on hand just in case.
  • Put immediately needed items in a clear bin to take in first. Ibuprofen, other medications, a first-aid kid, reading glasses, portable stereo, you name it. If it’s something you won’t want to dig to find, put it in the kit.
  • Bedding - Keep all your bedding handy to make the beds first thing. At the end of a long moving day, the last thing you’ll want to do is dig through boxes to find sheets and blankets. Make the beds as soon as they’re in place so you have a soft, familiar place at the end of the day.

#9: Create a Labeling System for Your Boxes

There are ways to make this as detailed as you want to get, including number or color-coded boxes corresponding to written lists. But the best thing you can do for yourself is clearly label exactly what’s in every box. That way, when you inevitably don’t unpack everything at once, you will not have to dig through 10 boxes to find the blender.

#10: Pack Correctly

Save yourself the grief of broken stuff.

  • Pad and then stack your dishes vertically inside their box. U-Haul sells a complete dish packing kit.
  • Use your baskets and suitcases instead of trying to pack them. Use light baskets for sheets and pillowcases. Suitcases can hold your off-season clothing.
  • Cover toiletries with plastic bags to avoid spillage en-route
  • Use small boxes for heavy items. There’s nothing like trying to carry a huge box full of books up or down a set of stairs.
  • Use packing tape for your boxes instead of folding the tops. It’s safer for your stuff and keeps your boxes nicer for resale or reuse.
  • Designate a foreman for move-in day. There should be one person who knows the answer to all the questions about where things go. Friends and relatives - not to mention strangers you hire - won’t want to make decisions. They’re just there to carry boxes.

Takeaway

Moving is stressful. Follow these ten steps to make the process simpler and easier to manage. Hang in there! Your dream house awaits you!

Michigan Housing Shortage Unlikely to Change in 2017

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Michigan housing market

There is no getting around the fact that the number of homes for sale in Michigan this year is way down. According to an Associated Press analysis, here’s the breakdown of comparison between 2016 and 2017 by county for the Metro Detroit area:

  • In Macomb County, average prices increased 5.4 percent, listings dropped 54.8 percent, and days on the market before sale decreased 4 percent.
  • In Oakland County, average prices jumped 9.3 percent, listings fell 39.7 percent, and days on the market are down 14.5 percent.
  • In Wayne County, excluding Detroit, average prices rose 14.7 percent, listings were down 45.1 percent, and days on the market decreased 17.3 percent.

We know these things are happening, and we know it can be difficult at this time to be a home buyer, but what are some of the reasons behind this?

The main reason is, of course, the recession. Mainly, repercussions of the recession that began in 2008.

  • Homeowners lost a lot of equity in their homes during the recession. Homeowners who have been eager to get out of their homes in the past may start to think again now that the market is coming back. Home values are starting to rise again and if homeowners think they can recoup some of their losses, they want to try to keep their homes.
  • The recession saw an increase in homeowners staying put and putting money - and sweat equity - into remodeling. They want to stay put. This is especially true of the older generation of homeowners: baby boomers. Many of them have refinanced or are taking advantage of their low interest rates and are working longer. They aren’t ready to downsize.
  • The market crash led to an almost complete shutdown of new home construction. It’s building back up, but it takes time.
  • Investors and homeowners who bought foreclosed properties in the lowest point of the recession might be waiting to sell until they can get a bigger return on their investments. The market is up, however, they think there’s still room to grow.
  • Homeowners may not trust that it’s real. After all, the recession was a huge deal for everyone. No one knows that better than homeowners in the Detroit metropolitan area. It takes a long time for homeowners to feel trustful again and that’s not an easily quantifiable thing.

Another big factor may be a psychological one. It’s a seller’s market, but sellers will quickly become buyers once they sell their home. Many - if not most - properties will not sit on the market for longer than 30 days. Many of them are selling within hours.

In addition, cash offers and bidding wars are the norm right now. If a potential seller can’t find the perfect home at the perfect price before selling, which is tough in this tight market, they won’t be confident enough to sell. Perhaps the tight buyer’s market is keeping potential sellers from putting their homes on the market.

Takeaway

It’s a crazy seller’s market out there and an even crazier buyer’s market. The recession hit everyone pretty hard, so it’s going to take some time for potential sellers to finally move on to that bigger dream home. 

If you are thinking about buying a new house or selling your current one, it is important to have an experienced real estate agent by your side. Please give us a call today.

248-348-7200

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