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Spot Hidden Problems in Older Novi, MI Area Homes

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Real estate is a business rife with euphemisms. Usually, in general language, there at least a whiff of truth in stereotypes and cliches, and the same can be said for many of these sometimes hilarious and primarily sales-oriented descriptions. In reality, there is a fine line between antique and old; charming and weird; rustic and dilapidated; small and cozy; and so forth. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

In the majority of relatively older homes, the problems are not physically hidden, but rather mentally hidden. In other words, you might not see potential headaches and money pits if you don't know where to look. That's where we come in and, as real estate experts, help you know what to look for. Read on for five areas that deserve a close look.

1. Begin at the beginning: The Foundation

Once you find out how old a home is (10, 20, 50 years old or more), you can make a relatively safe assumption that its foundation is the same age, although in a small number of cases a new foundation may have been added later. A home's foundation really is its base, and not just in name only. If any part of the foundation is cracked or broken, or shows signs of mold, it could foreshadow costly repairs in the very near future.

2. Plumbing

A large number of old homes will likely still have cast-iron pipes. Cast-iron pipes collect minerals over time, which can lead to corrosion, which in turn can lead to constriction and leaks, which can then mean you having to repair or replace your entire plumbing system. Ouch. 

3. Determine the age of the electric wiring

If the home is old enough, it might still use the outdated knob-and-tube wiring system. These can spell not only incredibly expensive rewiring projects, but also pose a serious fire hazard. Check with an electrician because, even if the wiring is not ancient, it may still be advisable to update parts of it for safety or to bear the load of modern usage.

4. Up on the roof

Most contractors worth their salt will tell you that replacing a home's roof is one of the costliest repair projects of them all. Be sure you know what you’re dealing with – in other words, how long do you have until the roof needs to be replaced? It pays to know.

5. Ensure insulation is up to date

Remember when asbestos wasn't akin to a swear word in our lexicon? It actually used to be a good thing, providing a heat-resistant, fireproof insulating material for pipes, brake linings and electrical systems. Now that we know its health-related shortcomings, asbestos has all but disappeared from the earth. The point here is that home insulation is impacted a great deal by changes in technology. And in Michigan, where extremes in temps are actually the norm, you need to know the age, type and efficiency of your home's insulation. You may want to upgrade or modernize your insulation (or at least plan for the expense of doing so) in order to reduce your power bills. It’s also possible, especially under a home, that insulation has been water-damaged and may not be working properly. In fact, insulation could be trapping water against wood and creating damage.

So, if you are living in or considering the purchase of an older home in Novi, it can really pay to look for problems in areas that you don’t normally see every day. Paying a trained professional can really pay off when it comes to your foundation, plumbing, wiring, roofing and insulation.

2013 Michigan Winter Dog Classic in Novi, MI

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Michigan’s largest dog show, The Michigan Winter Dog Classic, will take place this upcoming January 17th-20th at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.

Host to over 160 breeds, and 7,000 total canine contenders, this exciting four-day show boasts a variety of family-friendly events. It includes:

  • Breed seminars
  • Conformation and obedience judging
  • Educational exhibits and demonstrations
  • Opportunity to view breeds sanctioned by the American Kennel Club and recognized by the Oakland County Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, and the Livonia Kennel Club.

In addition, don’t miss this year’s “My Dog Can Do That,” an opportunity to work with a number of AKC professional trainers who will help you gauge how your own dog may perform in some of the featured agility events. Each day will consist of individual breed judging, obedience judging, agility judging, group judging, and best in show. Other attractions include “Canine Good Citizen Testing,” “Duck Herding,” and clinics for your healthy hound (eye and reproductive clinics as well as a general health clinic and testing will be available).

Please check the full schedule here for updated event times and listings.

For accommodations at this year’s Winter Dog Classic, take advantage of preferred pricing at the Host Hotel located at 42100 Crescent Blvd, just two miles from the Suburban Collection Showplace. Additionally, there are a number of hotels in the area to choose from including the Detroit Marriott Livonia, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, Comfort Suites, Embassy Suites Hotel, and the Crown Plaza. For more affordable options, check here. For those interested in a motor-home stay, electrical hook-ups are available at The Suburban Collection. Contact Terry to make advance reservations at 248-348-5600 x205.

For a great week-long vacation for all ages, make this year’s Michigan Winter Dog Classic your destination and experience all that this family-friendly event has to offer!

Here you will find the complete schedule with updated event times and listings.

Economy Stinks, but Housing Remains Sweet

by The Jamey Kramer Group

The housing market's fate is intrinsically dependent upon the overall fate of the economy of the United States as a whole. Makes logical sense, right? You could probably say the same thing about the retail market and the vehicle market and, really, about any market in which money is exchanged for goods and services. This doesn't necessarily mean, however, that these individual markets' fate will always mirror that of the overall U.S. market.

As we all know, America is in the midst of a multi-year economic slog. The reasons, justifications and rationalizations for the steep and sudden downturn are complex and confusing – so much so that even the country's professional economic brain wizards disagree on many of the finer points. When it comes to the real estate market, let’s just acknowledge that there was and likely still is an economic recession and look at the housing market's situation.

Some economic experts indicate that it was the inherent volatility of the housing market that played, if not the biggest, then certainly one of the biggest roles in creating the recession in the first place. Others say that the housing market's crash was collateral damage sustained by virtually every individual market that make up the nation's economy as a whole. The arguments will undoubtedly go on for years.

Whatever brought on the recession is essentially water under the bridge now, other than as a learning tool for what not to do. Regarding the future, economists are analyzing today's data and making educated, if cautious, predictions about the future of the nation's economy and its various markets. The reports of their findings are guardedly positive in some areas, including those coming from housing market analysts.

As the larger economy continues to struggle, the housing data is showing that the worst may be over. Data from July 17th underscore this view as home builders’ confidence showed the largest monthly increase in almost a decade.

The National Association of Home Builders indicated that its housing market index increased to 35 in July – the best since March of 2007. This also represented a rise of six points over June 2012. According to Cooper Howes of Barclays, “2012 is expected to be the first year since 2005 in which residential investment will provide a positive contribution to GDP growth.” 

Could it be that the U.S. housing market could be changing from a drag on the economy to a source of strength? Time will tell, and it’s unclear considering the overall struggles that continue in the economy, but it’s great to see housing trending positively.

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