Real Estate Information Archive


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Thanks to Brexit, It's Cheaper to Get a Mortgage

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Thanks to Brexit, It's Cheaper to Get a Mortgage

Have you been saving, waiting, and hoping to buy your first home or needing a bigger home for a few years? Have you been discouraged by the small inventory of homes, the pre-approval requirements for mortgages, and even the necessity of giving up on some of the things you’d hoped to get in a home? Are you worried about eating into your other savings to afford it?

Now might be your time to start looking again.

Mortgage Rates Drop

Since the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, the U.S. mortgage rates have been hovering at a very low number. Sean Becketti, one of Freddie Mac’s chief economists said, "This marks the ninth consecutive week that mortgage rates have been below 3.5 percent.”

Here are the current mortgage rates for week end 8/25 as report by Freddie Mac:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages:

  • Averaged 3.43 percent, with an average 0.6 point
  • A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.84 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages:

  • Averaged 2.74 percent, with an average 0.5 point
  • Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.06 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages:

  • Averaged 2.75 percent, with an average 0.4 point
  • Increased from the prior week’s 2.74 percent average.
  • Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.90 percent.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury Note - a federal government security (an investment product) - serves as a benchmark for consumer loans. The United Kingdom’s vote sent it down to 1.45%, which is a four year low. It also inspired investors to sell off to the tune of a record $3 trillion dollars gone from the global stock market. According to CNN Money, some investors think this will encourage foreign investors to find a safe haven for their money in U.S. real estate.

Home Buyer Advantage

You may have been feeling the pinch because home prices in general have continued to rise about 5% each year even though most people aren’t getting a raise in their wages or incomes.

However, the market may be shifting with the start of the school year. Many families don’t like to buy a home during the school year or move in cold weather, and as the season begins to shift, houses sitting on the market a median of 65 days in May and June - real estate’s biggest season - will sit on the market for a median of 72 days.

This means that buyers will have an advantage: there will be more homes for sale on the market from now until January.

Your Chance to Buy Now

This may be the chance you’ve been waiting for. Is there a home you’ve been eyeing, hoping it won’t get snatched up before you can get everything in order? Have you had a problem finding what you’re looking for, always looking, but losing confidence you will find the right one? Are you saving for a home, but haven’t looked yet?

Now is your chance. Interest rates are low even though housing prices have risen. Fall means more homes on the market. Contact us today at the Jamey Kramer Group. We would be honored to help you find the home of your dreams.


Fall 2016 School District Start Dates for Novi, Northville & South Lyon

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Fall 2016 School District Start Dates

It may be hard to believe school will be starting so soon - especially if you are in the middle of that one last vacation or currently soaking up summer at the beach. For Novi, Northville, and South Lyon, Michigan, school will be starting after Labor Day, as Michigan law dictates:

  • South Lyon schools start September 6th with a half school day for all students.

Michigan is one of only three states, including Minnesota, and Virginia requiring schools to wait until after Labor Day to start classes. Wisconsin’s law prevents schools from starting until September 1st.

Why Michigan Starts School After Labor Day

In September of 2005, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation as part of a jobs package intended to facilitate the tourism industry calling it “a great economic tool that will create new job opportunities in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.” The law went to affect in the 2006-2007 school year.

Some School Districts Get Waivers

Since 2006, school administrators in Southeast Michigan, which are less affected by the tourism industry, have been filling out paperwork to apply for waivers each year to get permission to start earlier.

Many school districts have been denied waivers and still have post Labor Day start dates, but more schools are getting waivers - conditions for which were written into the law - to start earlier. There are at least 53 school districts and charter schools, 16 intermediate districts and 13 independent school districts which have waivers from the Michigan Dept. of Education.

The conditions for waivers include:

  • Operate on a year-round calendar
  • Offer summer learning options to all students targeting specific district goals  
  • Provide early/middle college programs in partnership with post-secondary institutions

That many of Southeast Michigan’s schools meet the conditions for the waiver attests to this area’s different needs from that of the Upper Peninsula, although 16 districts and 9 independent districts have been denied waivers this year due to failure to comply with one of the conditions.

In the past, as many as 100 school districts have received waivers. The State of Michigan has mandated five more instruction days to be added to the upcoming school year - 180 total up from 175 for last year - which means going deep into June when students and teachers are ready for a break, instead of adding them in before Labor Day when everyone is fresh from vacation.

Another factor making waivers helpful is that the M-STEP - the major test each district is gearing its students toward taking each year - ends in mid May, so a school year that runs more concurrently with the testing schedule, ending shortly after the tests are done instead of running into mid June, make more sense for students and teachers.

Take Away

Michigan’s after Labor Day school start date was put into practice to help the state’s tourism industry in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The intent was to create new job opportunities. A number of schools districts throughout the middle and lower portion of Michigan that are not impacted by tourism have applied for waivers to start earlier.

If you live in Northville, Novi, or South Lyon, Michigan, school will begin on September 6, 2016.

Best School Districts in Michigan and Why It Matters

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Best School Districts in Michigan and Why It Matters

There many different factors that influence a home buyer’s decision. When making a list of top priorities, you might have found that the quality of the school district is among the top of your own list. If this is the case, you can rest assured that you are not alone.

Buying a home in a top-rated school is among many buyers’ key factors, and it is for good reason. Buying in a district with great schools will have many exponential benefits. Regardless if you have kids or not, choosing a home in a quality school district has become a key factor in home buying a home.

What to Expect from a Quality School District

While each school district is different, there are some common components that help to create that top notch school. Oftentimes top rated schools will have great teachers, better test scores, and better books. However, what might be a significant benefit for all people, regardless if they have children or not, is that it will help to preserve home values and ensure faster resale rates according to Trulia.

Studies Show School District as a Key Factor

Many buyers are choosing to search for their home by school district. Trulia conducted a survey and found that 19% of Americans indicated that their “dream home” is located in a great school district. That includes people without children. The percentage jumped to 35% who desire to live in a great school district among parents with children under the age of eighteen.

Another study was conducted by the National Association of REALTORS profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. It found even stronger results. They found that 29% of home buyers listed school districts as a deciding factor in their home buying decision. Choosing a home in a desired school district is a key factor in home-buying decisions.

Top Rated Michigan Schools for 2016

According to Niche, Bloomfield Hills Schools, Birmingham Public Schools, and Okemos Public Schools were the top three school districts in Michigan. Both Novi Community School District and Northville Public School District ranked in the top 10 school districts in all of Michigan. Novi Community School was ranked the fourth best school district. Northville Public School District was ranked tenth best school district.

When you see lists like this, it makes one wonder what goes into these ratings. The criteria for this ranking were based on “statistics, student and parent reviews, and expert insights. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, student and parent reviews, and more.” To see more of how they calculate the rankings, check out the Niche’s explanation at 2016 Best School Districts Ranking Methodology.

Buying in the Area?

The quality of a school district clearly makes a significant impact for both home buyers and sellers. If you are looking to buy a home in the Novi and Northville areas, you can know for sure that you are making a great decision. You will not only be making an investment into your children’s educational future, but making a great financial investment.

Contact the Jamey Kramer Group today to view homes in Novi and Northville.  


American Girl Store Opens in Novi, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

It is many a young girl’s dream to hold and cherish their very own American Girl doll. The stories of each American Girl doll are mesmerizing and offer a glimpse into history. The wide assortment of doll options is sure to allow your child to find one that reflects or resonates with themselves. In addition, the variety of dolls helps to create experiences and entertainment for children of all ages.

Store Opens in Novi

Until this past weekend, the closest American Girl doll store to Michigan was in Columbus, Ohio or Chicago, Illinois. That is no longer the case. On August 6th, a new American Girl store opened in Novi, Michigan. This is the only American Girl store in all of Michigan. It will be open from August 6th through January 31st, 2017. That means it will be around for the holidays.

The high-end doll company is located right in Twelve Oaks Mall on the 2nd level by Nordstrom. The store will have a number of different features such as books, doll accessories, and even a “Doll Hair Salon,” as well as, the American Girl dolls.

What Makes These Dolls So Special?

What makes American Girl dolls so special is that behind each doll is their own specific story. These stories revolve around different time periods of American history.

For example, Maryellen Larkin is a girl growing up during the 1950s. Kit Kittredge is a girl that uses her talents to tackle the challenges brought on by the Great Depression. Addy Walker is a girl growing up in 1865 that learns to discover that hopes and dreams can live on in others. Samantha Parrington is girl that uses compassion to help others in need in 1904.

The American Girl doll company also has other lines of dolls including Girl of the Year, Bitty Baby, Bitty Twin, and TrulyMe. In the TrulyMe doll line, children have the opportunity to create a doll to look just themselves with freckles, hair color, and more. The additional accessories that can be bought are endless from clothes to furniture. Other unique doll accessories can be bought like glasses, braces, and even hearing aids.

American Doll with Detroit Background

Earlier this year, the company released a new doll with a background from Detroit. Her story reflects the Civil Rights movement with the changing face and history of the nation. According the company’s announcement, the doll is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “to have a dream of her own: to lift her voice for fairness and equality.”

The doll’s name is Melody Ellison and is the most recent African American Girl doll. She is a 9-year-old singer and performer in her church in the 1960s. According to the company’s website, it is a time “of great energy, optimism, and change for the African American community.” When you buy the Melody Ellison doll, you will also receive her book as well.

Moving to the Area?

If you are looking at buying a home in the Novi, South Lyon, and Northville area, contact us today. We would love to answer any of your questions.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4