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7 Ways to Update Your Kitchen for Under $1,000

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Want that designer look for less?

Having a designer looking kitchen doesn’t have to empty your wallet. There are small, low-budget updates that can have a big impact on the look of your kitchen. Since so much of our time is spent in the kitchen, shouldn’t it be a space that we love to be in?

Updating your kitchen is also great idea if you ever decide to sell your home. A gorgeous kitchen often makes the must-have list for potential buyers.

Today, we are looking at 7 ways to update your kitchen for under $1,000.

  1. Change Out the Sink

In an article for HGTV, Douglas Trattner states that fixtures like your sink’s faucet are the jewelry of your kitchen. Change out your sink or the faucet or both and you will add a statement to your kitchen. Plus, if you have to do dishes, why not love the sink you use?

  1. Think Backsplash

A fun color or interesting pattern for your backsplash will certainly add that designer look to your kitchen. According to Examiner.com, you could splurge freely on your backsplash because of the low cost of tile. You could potentially add a backsplash to your kitchen for less than $400.

  1. Fixtures

If fixtures are the jewelry of your kitchen, how much style does your kitchen have? You can create that designer look by simply replacing fixtures from new light fixtures to new knobs on the cabinet doors.

  1. Organize Your Kitchen

Get rid of what you don’t need and what you do need and want, organize it in your kitchen. Whether you add some custom organization or simply buy some baskets, keeping your kitchen neat and organized will give you that designer feel.

  1. Bring the Flooring Back to Life

You don’t have to replace the flooring to make it shine. If you already have hardwood, consider refinishing it. If you have ceramic or tile, have it professionally cleaned and sealed.

  1. Keep Your Kitchen Cool with a Fan

A ceiling fan really can make all the difference in your kitchen. When you consider that an energy-efficient fan could save you around 40% on cooling costs in the summer and about 10% in the winter, the cost is well worth it according to HGTV.

  1. Cabinets

Throw a few coats of paint on your current kitchen cabinets yourself for less than $50 a door according to Consumer Reports. Or you could remove the doors to some of the upper cabinets and paint the inside for a fresh and updated look.

Bringing It Home

If you are looking to add a designer look to your kitchen for less, these 7 options will help you to do just that. You don’t have to break your bank to have the kitchen of your dreams.

Novi Public Library Offers Youth Story Times

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Looking for a way to engage your toddler?

Are you at stay at home mom and looking to meet other moms?

School age children have headed off to school and now you may be wondering how you can engage your toddler or baby. You may have one goal to inspire the love of reading and another goal to break up the day. Wouldn’t it be great to even meet other moms, dads and playmates for your little one?

The Novi Public Library offers free story time classes throughout the week. There are story times for children from birth to 5 years of age. They are offered in the mornings and in the evenings to accommodate every schedule.

Each story time is designed for a certain age group, giving your little Einstein exposure to other kids his or her age. Today, we are sharing story times for the little ones. Please scan through the list below to find the story time for you and your little one(s).

Baby Time

This story time is designed for the ages of birth to 12 months. During the class, your child and a caregiver/parent will enjoy stories, finger plays, rhyming and other activities that promote early literacy and socialization. Below are the class times available.

Session 1:

  • Mondays: September 8th through October 6th from 10:15 - 10:45 am.

Session 2:

  • Mondays: October 27th through November 17th from 10:15 - 10:45 am.

Session 3:

  • Mondays: December 1st through December 8th from 10:15 - 10:45 am.

Tot Time

Calling all 12-month-olds to 23-months-olds and their caregivers and/or parents. Tot Time story time is designed to promote early literacy while providing activities you can do with your child at home. Activities like songs, finger plays and stories.

Session 1:

  • Mondays: September 8th through October 6th from 11:15 - 11:45 am.
  • Tuesdays: September 9th through October 7th from 11:15 - 11:45 am.
  • Thursdays: September 11 through October 7th from 11:15 - 11:45 am.

Session 2:

  • Mondays: October 27th through November 17th from 11:15 - 11:45 am.
  • Tuesdays: October 28th through November 18th from 10:15 - 10:45 am.
  • Thursdays: October 30th through November 20th from 11:15 - 11:45 am.

Session 3:

  • Mondays: December 1st through December 8th from 11:15 - 11:45 am.
  • Tuesdays: December 2nd through December 9th from 10:15 - 10:45 am.
  • Thursdays: December 4th through December 11th from 11:15 - 11:45 am.

Bringing In Home

It’s free programs like this that enrich the lives of the littlest residents of Novi that help lead Novi into being one of the best school districts in the state and in the country.

For more information about the library story times, please visit the Novi Public Library’s website. For more information on moving to a great city like Novi, please contact our office.

 248-348-7200

How Much Money Do You Really Need For a Down Payment?

by The Jamey Kramer Group

How Much Money Do You Really Need For a Down Payment?

Does saving 20% for a down payment seem like too much?

Have you gone through a financial hardship and think homeownership is out of your reach?

In a survey conducted by Trulia, 74% of Americans said that homeownership is a part of their American Dream. So, what has so many Americans renting instead of owning? Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, explains that the biggest obstacle to homeownership is saving for a down payment. 

Today, we would like to help shed some light on how much money you actually need for a down payment. While the classic response is that you will need 20% down for a mortgage, there are other options.

One of those options is for those who have been through a financial hardship like bankruptcy or foreclosures. Another is for first time home buyers and a third is for veterans.

Let’s look into how much you really need for a down payment on a home.

The Classic 20%

Let’s start with the classic 20% down payment concept since it may be what is holding you back from finally buying a home. There are a lot of benefits to saving the 20% down. Benefits such as:

  • You are more likely to get approved for a mortgage.
  • You will have a smaller monthly payment.
  • You will not have to pay private mortgage insurance.
  • You will have instant equity in your home.

Taking advantage of all those benefits and saving for 20% of your home is a great goal. However, that isn’t the only option.

FHA Loans and First Time Home Buyers

An FHA loan is a mortgage loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These loans take the pressure off the lender because they have a lower risk if a borrower defaults since the government has insured them. The benefits of an FHA Loan are:

  • The down payment required for an FHA loan is 3.5%.
  • These are the easiest kind of loans to qualify for.
  • Your credit does not have to be perfect to qualify.

Would this be a good program for you? Please find out more by reading, FHA Loans and Qualifications for First Time Home Buyers.

FHA Back to Work Program

Many of us are still feeling the hardships from this most recent housing crisis even as the market comes back to life. The good news is that there is help.

In 2013, a program was launched called the FHA Back to Work Program. This program allows for those Americans who went through a financial hardship to only wait 12 months to qualify for a mortgage loan. Prior to this program these same individuals would have waited 3 years.

If you would like to learn more about how this program can get you back into homeownership, please visit, FHA Back to Work Program Gives Families Hope.

Loans Through the VA or Department of Agriculture

Loans through either the VA or the Department of Agriculture require no down payment. Each program has its own qualifications.

For more information on the VA Loans, please visit, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information on the USDA loans, please check out United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Summary

Here are three different options to purchasing a home other than saving for the classic 20% down payment. The American Dream of owning your home isn’t a farfetched idea anymore. It is a tangible, realistic, and achievable dream.

If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you and answer those questions. Please give our office a call at 248-348-7200 to start your search for your home.

Northville, Michigan Weekend Events

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Northville, Michigan weekend events

Have you ever seen a vintage baseball game?

Do you love attending silent auctions?

Northville, Michigan is a jewel nestled in the suburbs of Detroit. This family-friendly town with a great community atmosphere is the place to be for the next two weekends. From enjoying a game of vintage baseball and shopping local to attending a fundraiser at the Northville Winery, this city offers something everyone is looking for.

The following are the upcoming weekend events for Northville, Michigan.

Northville Farmers’ Market

  • Thursdays
  • 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Northville Downs
  • 301 S. Center Street, Northville

There are over 75 stands featuring over 125 Michigan grown and Michigan made products at the Northville Farmers’ Market. Here are some more of what you get to experience this Thursday:

  • Between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm - See the Master Gardeners.
  • To help occupy children while you shop local, pictures are available for them to color.
  • New cars on are on display weekly.
  • After walking through the market, visit the local chefs that offer cooking demonstrations. They will even provide samples and recipes.

The Painted Chair Fundraiser

  • September 18th, 2014
  • 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Northville Winery and Brewing Company
  • 630 Base Line Rd, Northville
  • 248-344-2131

Come out tonight for a fun and enjoyable evening while supporting a great cause. Head over to the Northville Winery for a silent auction that will be featuring artist-donated chairs. You will also enjoy local wines and hors d’oeuvres. To purchase tickets in advance please see, The Painted Chair Fundraiser

Maybury Farm Corn Maze

  • September 20th - November 2nd
  • Fridays from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Saturdays 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Sundays 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Last wagon leaves for the Corn Maze one hour prior to close.
  • 50165 Eight Mile, Northville

It is that time of year again to visit the Maybury Farm Corn Maze. Find all the animals hidden throughout the 12 acre Corn Maze for the chance to win a prize. Ride on a hayride to and from the maze. Stop by the Welcome Center and warm up by the fire while enjoying cider, hot chocolate and donuts.

The best part is all the proceeds are used to pay for the animals’ winter feed bills.

Eclipse Base Ball Club's Game

  • Sunday, September 21st
  • 2:00 pm
  • Northville’s Ford Field

Don’t forget to come out this Sunday to support the local vintage Eclipse Base Ball Club of Northville as they face the Might River Hogs of Midway County. The game will take you back in time, when base ball was spelled with two words, no one swore, spate or slid, gloves were not worn, and it was considered a true gentlemen’s game.

Summary

Northville, Michigan is a great place to live and raise a family. Community events are organized to entertain the entire family each weekend throughout the year.

Would you like to live in a city like Northville, Michigan? Please go to Search Homes to find homes currently available or call our office at 248-348-7200. We would be honored to help you find the house that you have been dreaming of. 

How to Start Your Search for Your Dream Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group

How to Start Your Search for Your Dream Home

Do you feel lost with all the options when looking for a home?

Have the ups and downs of the market made you a little nervous about buying a home?

Buying a home is a big deal. With everything that has happened in the market over the last 10 years, it is understandable why so many people feel a little tense when it comes to purchasing a home. In addition, there are a multitude of options that are available these days on the Internet, and you may not even know where to start.

We wanted to share with you a great way to start your search for your dream home. We will explain why it is great and how to do it.

How to Start Your Dream Home Search

A great way to start your dream housing search is by narrowing the search down to a specific area. We suggest that you start with the highest rated school districts in the areas where you would like to live. You will want to do this whether you have children or not.

It is an obvious choice why parents or those planning to have a family in the future would look for a home in a good school district. What parent wouldn’t want to send their little Einstein to the best school in the area and give them a world of opportunity?

What does this mean for those of us who are not having children? Why would we pay more for a good school district?

Here are a few reasons why paying more to be in a good school district is worth it.

  1. A Good School District Could Protect You From the Market’s Ups and Downs
    Zillow calls buying in a good school district a “safer bet”. As mentioned earlier, we all know the harsh reality of the housing market’s fickle nature. Buying in a good school district is a “safer bet” because a good school district can be what lifts prices of all the nearby homes out of a down market.
  1. The Resale Factor
    Here is what Forbes had to say about the importance of good schools, 
     

    “Even though you might not have children, buying a home in a good school district is always smart. If the schools are desirable, homes tend to hold their value.”

    It is always important to consider the home’s potential resale value when you purchase it. Homes in good school districts are more likely to hang on to their value even through tough economic times.

The Downside

The main downside of purchasing your home in a good school district is most likely the home will be more desirable and pricier.

Bringing It Home

A great place to start your housing search is in an area with great public schools. While you may pay more upfront, your home’s value will be “safer” during economic downturns. When it is time to sell, your home will more likely retain its value.

How to Get Started

To get started, you may like to read Top 10 Best Small Cities for Education in America and Novi, Michigan Scores 2nd Best Schools In Small Town America. The next step is to partner with an experienced real estate agent that will work diligently on your behalf. We would be honored to help you find your dream home in the school district of your choice. When you are ready, please give our office a call.

248-348-7200

Northville, Michigan Upcoming Weekend Events

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Do you love going to Northville’s Historic Victorian Festival?

Are you planning on participating in the Tour de Ville?

This coming weekend is one of the best weekends to experience Northville, Michigan. Not only can you enjoy fresh produce from a farmers market and a stroll into history at the 26th annual Victorian Festival, but you can also ride for a cause at the annual Tour De Ville.

Below is the list of exciting events that you won’t want to miss this weekend in Northville.

Northville’s Farmers Market

  • Every Thursday until October 30, 2014
  • 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Northville Downs
  • 301 S. Center Street, Northville

There are only a few weeks left to visit Northville’s Farmers Market where you will find over 75 stands full of Michigan grown and Michigan made products. Plan to attend and support the local farmers by shopping at the Northville Farmers Market every Thursday until October 30th, 2014.

Victorian Festival

  • Friday, September 12, 2014 : 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Saturday, September 13, 2014 : 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 14, 2014 : 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Downtown Northville and Ford Field

Come out and celebrate Northville’s history and heritage this weekend. The Northville Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 26th Annual Victorian Festival in downtown Northville from Friday, September 12 through Sunday, September 14. This year’s theme is “The Lumbering Industry.”

The following is a list of all the exciting events happening this weekend according the Northville Chamber of Commerce.

  • Parade – Friday, September 12th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Non-Profit Group food and fun
  • Carnival at Northville Downs
  • Art Fair – managed by Handcrafters Unlimited
  • Beer Garden and Saloon
  • Strolling entertainers
  • Vintage Base Ball
  • Mill Race Historic Village exhibits and activities
  • Great Lakes Timber Show – demonstrations and exhibits
  • Barnyard Express Animal Show and Petting Farm

Tour De Ville

  • Sunday, September 14th 2014
  • Registrations begins at 7:00 am
  • Course opens at 7:45 am
  • The course will start and end in Downtown Northville
  • Rider fee is $35.00

The annual Tour De Ville is sponsored by the Northville Rotary Club and is another annual event happening this weekend. Bicycle riders will have the option of choosing one of three different courses: a 10 mile course, a 35 mile course, and 70 mile course.

According to the Tour De Ville website, each course will have well paved bicycle lanes, rolling hills, well-placed stops and tree lined scenery.

All registered riders will receive a free t-shirt, a light breakfast and a lunch.

One hundred percent of your $35.00 rider fee goes towards a non-profit fundraiser. Below is a list of the following fund-raiser your rider fee will be supporting.

  • The Rotary Foundation: Working towards world eradication of polio, clean water projects in third world countries, and much more.
  • Rotary Club of Northville: Working towards supporting local food banks, funding scholarships, and much, much more.
  • Kids Against Hunger: Part of the proceeds will also go toward Kids Against Hunger, an organization that bring students from Northville and students from Detroit together to package meals for the hungry locally as well as around the world.

Summary

Northville, Michigan is a great city to live in. From reliving history to helping to feed the hungry through fund raising events, this city has a lot to offer. If you are considering moving to a family friendly town with great community activities, consider Northville, Michigan. We would be honored to help you find your next home.  Please give our office a call today.

 248-348-7200

3 Areas to Consider Before You Buy Your Fixer-Upper

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Do you find yourself watching marathons of HGTV?

We have all had those moments after watching marathons of HGTV shows like Fixer-Upper, Property Brothers, and Flip or Flop. Those moments where we think, “I can do that.”

We start dreaming about our future fixer-upper; however, we are usually dreaming about the end result and not the actual condition of the house when we buy it. It is exciting to think about getting your dream custom home for less.

We want you have it all, and we want to help you along the way. If a fixer-upper is what you want, below you will find 3 areas of the home to pay attention to if you are considering buying one.

3 Areas to Note If You’re Buying a Fixer-Upper

  1. Foundation and Structure

When you are trying to identify foundational problems in your home, you are basically looking for cracks. Houselogic.com reminds us not to just look in the basement, also look,

  • On the walls,
  • The doorways,
  • in the vinyl or ceramic tiles,
  • Where walls meet.

In addition, check these areas for possible structural damage,

  • Check to see if the door is jamming or failing to latch,
  • Make sure all the windows open and close easily,
  • In the basement make sure there isn’t any water or water damage.

Structure and foundations problems could cost up to $20,000 or more.

  1. Roof

In an article by MSN Real Estate, the author points out to make sure the roof isn’t sagging. If it is sagging, that could mean it’s bearing too much weight. Most likely this is caused by too many shingles on top of each other.

However, a sagging roof could also be caused by snow damage, especially here in Michigan. 

A new roof could cost you between $6,000 and $8,000 dollars, so make sure that you know what you are getting into.

  1. Electrical

It isn’t uncommon for older homes to have electrical problems. It could be a faulty electrical system or the old circuit-breaker panels aren’t working. Either way, the cost of rehab can be expensive, especially if you have to update the wiring.

Making sure the electrical in your home is critical for your safety and cannot be ignored. LifeHacker reported the cost of a new electrical system around $2,500.

Summary

We would be honored to help you find your dream home. Maybe a fixer-upper is for you and maybe it isn’t. The list above is not exhaustive.

Purchasing a fixer-upper is quite the task, and you may find it helpful to hire a professional to rehab the home, especially if there are any roofing, electrical or structural problems.

If you need any help finding the perfect home for you and your family, please give our office a call. We look forward to hearing from you!

248-348-7200

Novi, Michigan Weekend Events – Motorcities Markers Unveiling & More

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Novi, Michigan Weekend Events – Motorcities Markers Unveiling & More

Are you hoping to take advantage of the Detroit Eastern Market Farm Stand and the Novi Farmers Market this year?

Have you heard about the Motorcities Markers?

Over the next two weekends, Novi, Michigan will be full of exciting and family-friendly events. From celebrating diversity to learning about the history of the city, Novi has events that are sure to entertain you and your family over the next two weekends.

After reading through the following list of Novi events, you may like to get out your calendar and make your weekend plans.

Motorcities Markers Unveiling

  • Friday, September 5th
  • 6:00 pm
  • Pavilion Shore Park
  • 43390 W. 13 Mile Rd
  • Novi, Mi 48377

Join the City of Novi, The Novi Public Library, and the Historical Commission for the unveiling of the Motorcities Markers Unveiling this Friday night, September 5h. Refreshments and entertainment will be provided.

Eight historical markers have been installed throughout Novi, Michigan. These historical markers are a part of the Motorcities National Heritage Area and are there to preserve the cultural and historical landscapes that have associated with the automobile.

For more information, please call 248-347-0416 or visit: City of Novi's website.

Novi’s Farmers Market

  • Saturday, September 6th and 13th
  • 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Novi Civic Center Campus
  • 45175 Ten Mile Road

There are only two more Saturdays this year to visit the Novi Farmers Market. Plan to stop by and enjoy the fresh and local produce, Michigan made and Michigan grown products and of course the Detroit Eastern Market Farm Stand.

Ethnic Taste & Tune Fest 2014

  • Saturday, September 6th
  • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Fuerst Park
  • Novi Civic Center Campus at the intersection of Ten Mile and Taft Roads
  • 45175 Ten Mile Road

Come out and celebrate the diversity Novi, Michigan has to offer at the 2014 Ethnic Taste & Tune Fest. This free community event will offer music, dancing, and family activities. Food will be available for purchase.

For inclement weather, call 248-347-0473

For more information, please contact 248-347-0416

Motorcities Markers Tour

  • Saturday, September 13th, 2014
  • Saturday, October 11th, 2014
  • Both dates: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Registration for this free community event has already begun. Take advantage of this free event and tour all eight of the Novi Motorcities historical markers. All ages are welcome. Transportation will be provided by City of Novi Older Adult Services.

To register, please call the Novi Public Library at 248-349-0720 or register online at Motorcities Markers Tour Registration

Summary

Novi, Michigan is planning a number of family-friendly activities to enjoy over the next two weeks from the unveiling of the Motorcities Markers to the 2014 Ethnic Taste & Tune Fest.

Would you like to live in a city like Novi, Michigan? Please give our office a call. We would like to help you find your dream home in Novi.

248-348-7200

11 September Gardening Tips for Northville and Novi, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Fall is on its way, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your garden or your lawn. Whether you are looking to put your house on the market or simply want to take care of your yard, September is the month to get to work.

Take a look through our list of 11 September Gardening Tips to help you decide what goes on your gardening to-do list.

Planting Spring Bulbs

  1. If you are not putting your home on the market this month, but plan to next spring, it is time to start preparing. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, September is the right time to plant your spring bulbs.
  1. Need a few suggestions on what spring bulbs to plant? Plant any of the following for beautiful results,
    • Trout Lilies,
    • Tulips,
    • Narcissus including daffodils,
    • Starflowers

Lawn Care

  1. If you are looking to start your lawn from seed or repair your lawn, this month is the perfect time to do both.
  1. If you were ever going to fertilize your lawn, this is the month to do it. Fall is the best time to fertilize because your lawn will be more prepared to handle the winter.
  1. September is the time to cut back on watering your lawn. This will help trigger your lawn to go into dormancy during the winter. When your lawn goes into dormancy that means it won’t produce any new growth. Instead, it will be growing deeper roots, resulting in a greener lawn.

Planting Trees and Shrubs

  1. Fall is the perfect time to plant trees because trees also go into dormancy over the winter giving their roots plenty of time to become established before spring.
  1. For the same reasons it is a good time of the year to plant trees, it’s also a good time to plant shrubs.

In the Garden

  1. According to Better Homes and Gardens, you might see some of your mature plants flopping over this time of year. If that’s the case, stake them or add support. 
  1. Don’t forget to deadhead. Deadheading is a term for cutting or pinching off the heads of bloomed flowers. By doing this, your plants will bloom longer and you will have a better looking garden.
  1. Keep weeding. Weeding right now will prepare the soil for next spring and it will cut down on the amount of work you need to do when spring does arrive.
  1. Move your herb garden indoors. Grow your fresh, organic herbs like tarragon, oregano, and basil indoors this winter.

Summary

A majority of what you should have on your gardening “to do” list this month involves helping your landscape prepare for winter and spring. If you are considering putting your house on the market in the near future, please give our office a call. We have years of experience with selling homes in Northville and Novi, Michigan. We would be honored to help.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9