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Farm Fest 2018 at Maybury Farm in Northville, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Maybury Farm Northville, MI

Maybury Farm is one of Northville’s best family fun places. We frequently report the wonderful activities at Maybury Farm because they offer something for the whole family. In addition, with acres and acres of bike and hiking paths through the woods right next door at Maybury State Park, you have a whole day of activities right at your doorstep in the heart of Metro Detroit.

Farm Fest 2018

  • Date: June 2, 2018
  • Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Location: Maybury Farm- 50165 8 Mile Rd., Northville, Michigan
  • Admission cost: $5 per person. Children 2 and under are free.
  • Rain date: June 3

Farm Fest is just one of Maybury Farm’s annual celebrations. The farm is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working farm. You can come weekly for story time, animal visits, and tours. It’s famous for its corn maze in the fall.

Saturday, June 2 is the day to come for Farm Fest 2018. This spring and summer festival is geared toward old and young alike, with games and activities for kids, baby animals to see and pet, live music, good food, demonstrations, and much, much more.

Fun for Kids

If you have wanted your kids to get more hands-on experience planting a garden, they can do that here! Let them get their hands in the dirt by planting their own container garden with the Country Garden Club of Northville.

The fun continues with water play in form of making bath bombs with the Great Lakes Natural Soap Company. There will be a variety of kids games, a chance to make beeswax candles, and a craft project put on by the Northville Art House.

There will be face painting, germination bracelet making, a building workshop sponsored by the Home Depot, and a newly designed station about safety where kids learn about animal safety, home safety, and outdoor safety through visiting various stations around the Farm.

Fun for All

Here is a quick look at all the Farm Fest festivities of the day.

Golden Griffon Stringtet

  • Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Work up an appetite with square dancing with the Golden Griffon Stringtet from 11-1. If you love the rare sound of a hammer dulcimer, this band is sure to excite. They have tons of experience playing for many types of folk dances and period reenactments!

The Flutter & Wow

  • Time: 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

If you enjoy live music, you won’t want to miss the musical guests, The Flutter & Wow. They will be performing from 1:30-3:30. An excerpt from the band’s website says this about the band:

The Flutter and Wow band, formed in 2011 is known for their captivating stage presence as they merge vocal harmonies, infectious rhythms, and strings into their brand of Rustbelt Americana.

Concessions

There will be concessions on hand - all your favorites - and the Naughty Boy’s Rolled Ice Cream Truck is there for dessert!

Demonstrations and Wagon Rides

Walk around Maybury Farm to see farm demonstrations: sheep shearing, wool spinning with Michigan Handspinners Guild, and even a blacksmith! Take a relaxing and fun wagon ride through the fields and forest areas surrounding Maybury Farm.

This is one event that you will not want to miss. Additionally, parking is free at Maybury Farm. For more information, visit www.mayburyfarm.org/farmfest.

What Not To Do To Settle Into Your New Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Familysettiling into new home

As the weather warms up and sunny days abound, we know many of you are going to be moving into new homes this year. One of the best things about being a new homeowner is that feeling that it’s all yours. You get to do whatever you want with it, right?

Well, yes, but there are certainly ways that you might think you are doing the best for your house but you’re actually hurting it. Read on and avoid these little mistakes.

Cleaning 101

Has anyone ever told you not to use Windex on your mirrors? Well, you know what causes that black ring around old mirrors? Cleaning solution! It drips down the mirror and pools just on the underside of installed fixture mirrors - like the kind you see in bathrooms - and eats away at the backing, causing that unsightly black ring. Instead, use a microfiber cloth and dampen if necessary.

You might think bleach is the go-to cleaning solvent for every emergency. What about moldy grout? Not so much. Using bleach to whiten grout actually creates a breeding ground for more mold. This is because the bleach eats away at the grout. It also eats through a lot of other stuff, it turns out including:

  • Stone surfaces like granite
  • Laminate and colored grout
  • Enamel and acrylic tubs
  • Vinyl flooring like linoleum
  • Corrode your garbage disposal seals

Instead, use vinegar and water on most everything and ice cubes in the disposal.

Speaking of the disposal, those heavy duty drain cleaners you use when you get a clog? They can also dissolve your pipes. The solution? Vinegar and baking soda can make them explode. Either call a plumber or invest in a snake tool and some drain covers.

Gardening

Planting trees too close to your house or trying to train anything to grow up your walls is a homeowner no-no. A lot of times new homeowners don’t think through the ramifications of those plants growing a lot bigger.

A tree’s roots will grow as wide as the crown is, so unless it’s a dwarf variety, that tree needs to be far, far away from your house’s foundation, driveway or sidewalk. We know that ivy is really pretty, but it is best left in pots, or at least supported by trellises. Don’t let it get a vine-hold on your walls or they will eventually crumble.

Mulching too much and stacking firewood against your house are also big potential problems. There is such a thing as overdoing a good thing. Too much mulch can keep your plants from getting any water. In addition, as with firewood by your house, it can become a breeding ground for insects like termites to take up shop right by your walls.

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to check out any changes you want to make to your new house before you make them and potentially end up paying. Likewise, looking at the manufacturer’s instructions for how to clean your home’s surfaces will help keep your new house looking and feeling new for years to come. 

Cheap Fixes To Sell Your House Quickly

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Cheap Fixes To Sell Your House Quickly

If you are going to try selling your home this summer, you don’t have to tell us that you want to move that house quickly and you want to get your asking price for it.

Homeowners sometimes get zealous about the kinds of improvements projects they do in order to sell quickly and for top dollar. However, they don’t always choose what buyers want to see.   

Don’t waste your money or time on things a buyer doesn’t want. In addition, definitely do look at the list below to find out which repairs or updates bring the biggest returns.

*Don’t get confused between maintenance and updates. Maintenance might be needed, but it doesn’t add value. If you just replaced your roof, it won’t get you a higher price for your home. However, it will increase your pool of potential buyers, so definitely do it if your house needs it.

Cheap Fixes to Add Value to Your Home

Paint

This is the number 1 most cost-effective and biggest return on investment when selling your house.

Update your paint colors to something neutral, not white. Paint your trim a nice, crisp white. If your house is already painted this way, just make sure all holes are patched and all scuffs and dings are either cleaned or touched up.

Don’t just stop at the walls either! You may not be thinking about your ceilings (unless you have had a leak), but buyers are going to look up there. Updating popcorn ceilings, cracks, grease spots or any other kind of stains will go a long way toward making a buyer want to pull the trigger right away.

*Quick tip: bold paint and wallpaper choices are almost always going to work against you. These are style choices a buyer doesn’t want to see. If you have decided to sell your house, investing in a steamer and letting your personal color preferences go could be the thing that gets you a higher offer.

Kitchens

You are not going to spend a bunch of cash on a new kitchen that you’re leaving. That said buyers don’t want to replace appliances or clean disgusting ones. They also don’t want to suffer from someone else’s design choices.

Painting dated cabinets and replacing hardware is a good option. So is deep cleaning your appliances or replacing broken ones. The good news is that remodeled kitchens are almost always a 100% return on investment.

Bathrooms

The other area that sells homes is the bathroom, and for the same reason as the kitchen. Buyers don’t want to fix that dated, gross bathroom. That’s your job. If you have dated tile, a scummy tub surround and a vanity that is eating up bathroom space, consider investing in a few things (besides elbow grease):

  • Pedestal sinks
  • Tile epoxy
  • A new toilet and/or shower door
  • If your tile is outdated and dirty, either scrub and whiten with a grout cleaning solution or refinish your tub surround with tile epoxy. It can be rolled on or sprayed and dries hard and shiny like tile. It does require a bit of work, but it is way cheaper than replacing the tile. Likewise, if your shower door is scummy, maybe you just need to clean it really well and leave as-is. But if it can’t get cleaned enough to look like new, you need a new door.

Exterior

This may be your most important fix of all. Most buyers are looking online at first impressions. They matter more than you think they do. Some buyers are going to just flip on by and never save your home for a second look if they don’t like the picture of the front of your house.

  • Trim the grass.
  • Weed the flower beds.
  • Plant blooming flowers.
  • Make sure the front of your house is clean and in working order.
  • Re-paint or stain the front porch if necessary.

These are all cheap fixes. Some of them are free. However, they go a long way toward getting you that quick sale.

Conclusion

If you want to sell your house quickly without spending a lot of money, consider doing these things. Don’t change the house according to your own taste, but definitely do make the fixes buyers want to see, and make sure there is no visible maintenance you haven’t done.

When you are ready to put your house on the market, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

Memorial Day Parades in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Memorial Day Parades in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan

Americans look forward to Memorial Day weekend for many reasons. Usually, it marks one of the first warm, summer-like weekends. Because it’s a federal holiday, it gives us extra time to spend time with our loved ones, families, and friends.

But as admirable as that is, this holiday exists as a remembrance for those brave souls who gave their lives in wars so that you and I can remain free.

On the memorial in Novi, dedicated on May 30, 1952, it reads: “in memory of all veterans who gave their lives that we may live.” Simply said, but very appropriate.

Did you know Memorial Day has been around since 1868? Major General John A. Logan instituted Decoration Day in May. The idea was for people of our nation to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers of the Union Army, after the Civil War, “with choicest flowers of springtime.” Businesses would close and flags would fly at half-mast.

Later, after the first World War, the day was appropriated to honor the fallen from all American wars. In Michigan, Decoration Day was made into a state holiday in 1871 and in 1882, Decoration Day became Memorial Day. In 1971, Memorial Day was made a national holiday and placed on the last Monday in May.

What better way to enter into the spirit of the day than to bring your loved ones and friends to watch or even be in your community’s parade? If you live in Novi, Northville or South Lyon you are fortunate! There are events happening in each community.

Celebrating Our Veterans in Novi, Northville, and South Lyon

Northville, Michigan Memorial Day Parade

  • Monday, May 28
  • Time: 10:00 a.m.

The Northville VFW will be hosting the 2018 parade. It will begin at Northville Downs and end with a ceremony at Rural Hill Cemetery in Northville.

For more information, contact the VFW post at 248-348-1490 or visit www.downtownnorthville.com

Novi, Michigan Memorial Day Parade

  • Monday, May 28
  • Time: 10:00 a.m.
  • Parade route: along 10 Mile, beginning at Karim Blvd

Novi wants you to be in the parade! If you own a business, have a band, are part of a scout troop, a civic organization, a family who wants to march together, or even a kid with a decorated bike - you can join in!

This event doesn’t only honor the fallen, but also our veterans and those currently serving in the military. This is especially great for those who have family members who are currently in the military. For information about how to participate in the parade, visit the City of Novi’s website.

In addition, Novi is hosting a Memorial Day run, starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 28. There will be a 5K and 10K starting at 8:00 am and a 1-mile fun run starting at 9:00 a.m. Each participant receives a free t-shirt. Veterans, returning runners or canned food donations are $5 off!

  • Regular Price: $10 for the Fun Run, $24 for the 5K, and $24 for the 10K (Before May 2)
  • Add $5 to each if you register after May 2.
  • Registration: Register online at novimemorialdayrun.com or print a form from the website and send it to: Running Race Management P.O. Box 1094, Novi, MI 48376-1094.

South Lyon, Michigan Memorial Day Parade

  • Monday, May 28
  • 9:00 a.m.
  • Parade route: 10 Mile/Lake Street from Bartlett Elementary through downtown to Reynold Street Parkway.

The parade will end in South Lyon Cemetery with a commemorative ceremony organized by VFW Post 2502. For more information, please see the South Lyon website.

Conclusion

You can make this Memorial Day into a true day of remembrance and honor of our local veterans. We hope you have a great holiday.

The Pros and Cons of Buying for the School District

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Bus in neighborhood

People have many different priorities when considering buying a home. These include proximity to a job, amenities, location within a city, the number of bedrooms, and interior finishing. The list goes on and on.

When making a decision about this huge purchase, there are so many factors to weigh. Not the least of which is, where will your kids go to school?

Will you be able to sell the house when you move, and for how much? Will you get a good return on your investment?

The common wisdom for buying a home has been “buy in a good school district, even if you don’t have kids.” And there is good reasoning in this approach - especially if you have kids.

However, there are also some good reasons not to let the school district influence your decision.

Do You Have Kids?

The biggest factor for buying a home in a good school district is, of course, whether you have kids under the age of 18. The truth is, when you buy a sought-after home in a good school district, the value of that home is reflected in the price. You will be paying more up-front. But then, your children will benefit from the education a good school district provides.

The alternative is living in a bigger or better home in a less-desirable school district. At that point, you must factor in the cost of paying for a private school education or making a lifestyle-altering choice like homeschooling your children. Some families are able to do this. However, most families will want to benefit from a high-quality public education.

Private schools, as many people know, can run into the thousands per year for each child. The average tuition cost for a private school can run up to $10,000 per year. That is the same as paying around $900 per month in extra mortgage payments.

Tip: The age of the schools, the condition of the facilities, student to teacher ratios, and standardized test scores are all things you can find online about a public school district. These are the factors used in determining the value of the school district.

If you are childless and not planning to have children, or have children over 18, buying an expensive house in a good school district may not be for you.

As mentioned above, the value of the school district does tend to be reflected in the price of the home and the property taxes. If you are paying this without reaping the benefits, it’s no deal for you. You can always pass that inflated price on to the next buyer, which makes this option seem like the safe bet. However, your home isn’t going to appreciate in value as much as a home in an area with bad schools.

It’s true! You can look at the data provided by Zillow to see the home appreciation values for the last 20 years in any area. The reality is that home values have gone up faster and higher in gentrifying areas than in those with good school districts.

What does this mean?

In the economics blog “Up From Wage Slavery”, the author makes a good case for why this trend is changing. Here are some of his reasons:

  • Government policy can affect school district changes quickly.
  • The growth market is in gentrifying cities. Small towns with good school districts appreciate, but fewer people are choosing to move there.
  • People moving to cities are increasingly either childless or waiting until they are older to have children.

Conclusion

It’s not a bad investment to buy a house in a good school district. In fact, it can be one of the safest investments to make. If you are directly benefiting from the schools in your area, it’s a no-brainer.

But if you are looking at buying a home for its appreciation value, the truth is in the data: homes in gentrifying cities (many of which have less desirable school districts) are appreciating faster and higher.

If you are interested in looking for a house and live in Southeast Michigan, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

May 2018 Events for the City of Northville, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Northville Michigan Upcoming Events

Spring has arrived in Michigan and so have a whole bunch of new events and activities in the City of Northville. There are running events as well as one-time spectacles for all ages. Read below to find fun for your friends and family.

Recurring Events in May

Farmers Market

  • Thursdays in May
  • Time: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Location: Northville Downs
  • Northwest corner of 7 Mile and Sheldon Rd, Northville, MI

All through May, come visit farmer stands to buy fresh produce and flowers as well as a whole array of food, crafts, and handmade goodies. Get advice from master gardeners!

ESL Conversation Group

  • Tuesdays in May
  • Time: 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  • Location: Northville Library
  • Address: 212 W Cady St, Northville, MI 48167

Are you learning English? Want to improve your language skills? Drop in at our informal conversation group to learn in a kind and comfortable environment.

Sporcle Live Trivia Night

  • Wednesday Nights in May
  • Time: 7:30 pm & 8:30 pm
  • Location: North Center Brewing Company
  • Address: 410 N Center St, Northville, MI 48167

Do you love trivia? Two chances every Wednesday night to win gift cards will bring fun and camaraderie to your life. You might even find out you’re smarter than you thought!

Running Events in May

The 19th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition

  • May 4 - 19
  • Location: Northville Art House
  • Address: 215 W Cady St, Northville, MI 48167

Are you a young artist? Do you want to support growing artists? Northville Art House has put on this juried exhibition since 1999 and has, in the past, had over 100 participating middle and high school students from local schools.

This exhibit gives students a chance to feel what it’s like to work in the world of art and gives them a place to display their work from school in a celebratory space. If you are passionate about fine arts in education, this is your chance to support that work in the community. The Northville Art House encourages all young students to display their art and get feedback.

For more information, please see Northville Art House’s upcoming exhibit.

Northville Spring Carnival

  • May 10 - May 13
  • Location: Northville Downs parking lot
  • Address: 301 S. Center Street, Northville
  • Presented by Elliott’s Amusements

Come one; come all to the annual spring carnival in Downtown Northville. Buy wristbands and make the most of the weekend or stop by for a quick funnel cake and ride on the carnival rides for a night. There are midway games and food, big and small rides and prizes for every age.

For more information, please see Northville Chamber of Commerce’s website.

One of a Kind Events

History of Northville Police and Fire Departments with Hugh H. Jordan III

  • Monday, May 7
  • Time: 7:00 pm -9:00 pm
  • Location: Northville District Library
  • Address: 212 W Cady St, Northville, MI 48167

Explore Northville’s past through the eyes of a retired firefighter and member of the community, whose family has served for a total of 166 years. Learn about historical emergency events from the perspective of first responders. Not to be missed!

I Love The 90’s Trivia Night Part 2

  • Tuesday, May 8
  • Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Location: Northville District Library Carlo Meeting Room
  • Address: 212 W Cady St, Northville, MI 48167

Love trivia? Love the 90s? Continue this fun game night in round 2. For more information and to register, please see the Northville District Library’s website.

Conclusion

Northville is one of those communities that have it all: beautiful, historic surroundings, not-to-be-missed events, and the wonderful people who make it all happen. Join up with friends and family for one or all of these fun times.

Real Estate News: Seller’s Market - Buyers Are Paying More

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House with sold sign

According to USA Today, 2018 is shaping up to be a seller’s market more than ever before. This is especially true for anyone selling a “starter” home.

The lowest point of the housing market was in 2012, and we’ve seen it steadily get better over the last six years. Now, many people have jobs but the inventory is still tight, so buyers are getting creative to afford homes.

One-third of buyers are spending more than the upper limit of what they thought they would spend to buy a home - an average of over $16,000 - according to an Owners.com survey. This is for two reasons:

  • Home prices went up 6.2% on average between January of 2017 and January of 2018.
  • Bidding wars are driving up prices because of the low inventory.

Guess who is paying the most over their set budget?

The answer is Millennials.

Put it another way: Millennials are the “most likely to splurge” to the tune of $25,000 on average. Not all of them, but around 40%.

Compare this to 34% of Gen Xers by $13,000 and only 19% of Baby Boomers by $8,000 on average.

The fact is that Millennials are still first-time home buyers. They are coming from a rental or living with relatives, compared to their older counterparts, who can stay in the home they are in until they find something in their price range. In addition, they are also unpracticed at buying a home, so less likely to know what constitutes a realistic budget.

Good News for Sellers

This could be great news for sellers, although it doesn’t mean your house will automatically attract a bidding war. A home priced too high for its area is still likely to sit on the market unless it has clear amenities and updates the other homes around it don’t have.

And there are concrete things buyers are looking for this year when they are looking for an updated home. The top answers might surprise you.

According to a Zillow survey of 4 million home sales in the last two years, here is a list of amenities that made homes top sellers (that is, the homes with these amenities sold for this percentage above asking price):

  • Steam shower (29%)
  • Professional-grade appliance (29%)
  • Pizza oven (26 %)
  • Pet shower (25%)
  • Outdoor kitchen (25%)
  • Entertainer or prep sink (25%)
  • Shed or garage studio (24%)
  • Heated floors (24%)
  • Meditation room (24%)
  • Wine fridge (22%)
  • Chef’s kitchen (21%)
  • Craftsman style (21%)
  • Herringbone or parquet floors (21%)
  • Free-standing tub (21%)
  • Solar panels (21%)
  • Coffered ceiling (20%)
  • Outdoor fireplace (20%)
  • Carrara marble (19%)
  • Home theater (19%)
  • Farmhouse sink (19%)

That’s right; buyers these days are looking for wellness-related features like heated floors and free-standing tubs, outdoor cooking spaces, and mudrooms with pet showers.

These things signal to potential buyers that your home is recently updated and will not need any changes or remodeling. It also helps buyers to be able to see themselves living and entertaining in the space.

This desire could translate into more money for you on the other end - and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Investing in some paint and simple staging could change a bedroom into a meditation room in a day.

Takeaway

With inventory low and more buyers willing to pay more, you could be looking at a nice profit on your home if you were thinking about selling this year. Some minor updates could be all you need!

If you are considering putting your house on the market, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

 

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Help Buy a Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group

New house concept

We are approaching what most people think of as the peak housing season - the season when most homes are listed and most people who are looking for a home start that process.

Interestingly enough, the peak season for Midwesterners starts in May - ahead of the rest of the country. All other regions start in June.

Getting a jump on this year’s busy season could be important - especially if you’ve been waiting extra long to find that perfect house.

So, how can tax season be helpful?

It’s not hard to figure out how having extra money could be helpful, and I’m sure there are a few different purchases you could make.

Don’t we all look forward to that tax return? Tax return season tends to be when prospective buyers get approved for a home loan more easily for this reason.

Tips on Using Your Tax Refund to Buy a Home

Down Payment

The down payment can be the biggest hurdle. First-time homebuyers are more than ever saddled with school debt. Did you know you can apply for a low down payment mortgage program if you’re a first-time buyer?

There are also down-payment assistance products to help you pay 3.5% all the way on down to nothing down for a first home. A tax refund could be used for a down payment or the return can be used before you’ve received the money to get pre-approved for a loan. Once the money is in your account, it can be used for closing.

If you get approved for a no down payment loan, a tax return can help with closing costs or help to pay the insurance.

Improve Your Credit Score

You may not be approved for a no down payment loan - or even a low down payment loan - because of too much debt. Your debt to income ratio may be too high - meaning the repayment of the mortgage would take too much of your monthly income and the bank thinks you wouldn’t be able to do it.

You can use that tax return to pay off debt in order to qualify. Paying off credit cards or other lines of credit with high-interest rates can dramatically increase your credit score as well, making you a better candidate for mortgage qualification.

It would be helpful to talk to a mortgage loan officer before deciding which debt to pay off if that’s what you’re hoping to do. You want to pay off the debt that makes the most impact and doesn’t jeopardize your loan approval.

Asset Reserves

An underwriter wants to see assets - money - in your bank account. If you have a lower credit score, a high debt ratio or some other problem standing in your way, you may still receive an approval if you have asset reserves like a big tax refund in the bank.

If it’s 2-6 months’ worth of monthly mortgage payments, that’s the most ideal. Talking to a loan officer should help sort out what is best to do with your tax refund if you think it may help you buy the home you’ve been waiting for.

Conclusion

Tax season is upon us. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you may be surprised at how much it could help you buy a first home this season. Make sure you talk to a financial advisor to work out how best to use this asset.

If you are ready to start looking for a house and live in Southeast Michigan, please give us a call. We’re here whenever you need us!

248-348-7200

April 2018 Events in the City of Novi, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Novi, MI events April 2018

Spring is finally here - at least in name - and Novi has an array of fun community events to both fill those rainy spring weekends or nights and bring you outside a bit to enjoy the season warming up. There’s something here for everyone - adults, kids, families, and seniors.

Euchre Tournament

  • Saturday, April 7
  • Time: 4:00 pm
  • Location: Novi Civic Center, 45175 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375
  • Registration: $7 resident /non-resident $8.50

They say Euchre is a Michigan game. If so, Michigan is a genius because this game never gets old. This 8-round tournament comes with gift certificates for the winners and dinner included for everyone. There will be sub sandwiches, cake, pop, and chips as a break in the middle of play after 4 rounds. Make sure to bring quarters for euchres and reneges.

Novi CARES

  • Saturday, April 21
  • Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Every year, Novi demonstrates its commitment to the Earth and to our community with these five events centered around environmental responsibility and community togetherness. Each of the letters in CARES stands for a community event inspired by caring for the earth - and two of them fall in April this year! Bring your kids, bring yourself, and have a fun time while learning something.

Earth Day

  • Saturday, April 21
  • Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Location: MSU Tollgate Farm / Education Center Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi Mi 48375

Plan to celebrate Earth Day by doing something positive to help. This working event is in partnership with MSU Extension Tollgate at the Harvest Garden. Please plan to bring shovels and garden gloves, and wear gardening shoes.

Arbor Day

  • Saturday, April 28
  • Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 a.m.
  • Location: Rotary Park, 22220 Roethel Dr, Novi, MI 48375

How would you like to teach your children about Arbor Day first hand? Come out to plant, mulch, and weed the trees in Rotary Park.

Mom and Me Tea

  • Saturday, April 28
  • Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Location: Novi Civic Center, 45175 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375
  • Ages 4 and up
  • Registration ends April 14th $10/$12 non-resident per person

A beautiful time to learn and play together as female family members - mother, grandmother, aunt and daughter or niece! Learn how to decorate cakes, how chocolate is made and how good it is for you! Chef George Rapitis, an instructor at Schoolcraft College for the culinary arts, will teach all this. There will also be plenty of time for tea, punch, and sweets.

To register, please see online registration.

Novi Half Marathon

  • Saturday, April 28
  • Time: 8:00 am
  • Location: Start and end at Novi Middle School, 49000 W 11 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48374
  • Cost: Prices Vary

It’s not just a half marathon; it’s a 5K, 10K, and 1 Mile race through the City of Novi. The course is flat with a scenic view of Island Lake and horse farms. A DJ will provide encouragement and fun at the start and finish area. Get a high-quality Tech Shirt for participating and a medal for completing the half marathon and 10K. Proceeds go to the Novi Parks Foundation and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Visit www.springrobinraces.com for more information and to register.

Senior Events in April

A Taste of Poland Luncheon

  • Thursday, April 5
  • Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
    Age: 55+
  • Price: Res. $7.50/Non-Res. $9
  • Location: Meadowbrook Activity Center, 25075 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi, MI 48375

Pierogi, paczkis, and kielbasa... the best of Polish comfort food well beloved in Michigan. But there’s more to Poland than just those foods! Debra Willbanks of Armchair Travel will present a travel log of Poland to fill your senses and make you feel as though you have been there yourself.

Island Escape - A Senior Socialite Event

  • Thursday, April 26
  • Time: 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  • Age: 50+
  • Price: $8
  • Location: TBA
  • Ticket Deadline: Apr 19 or until sold out

There’s nothing more inviting than an Island escape in the middle of April in Michigan. We have all been longing for more warm weather! Warm weather is on the way, but why not escape for an evening to the tropical beaches brought right to you?

You can almost smell the fresh flowers, the warm breeze and hear the island music. Come to enjoy the Hawaiian food, learn about island culture, and hear some excellent island music by Melanee Hirvela. Not only that, but this event is put on in cooperation with neighboring communities Livonia, Northville, South Lyon, and Wixom so you never know who you might meet!

For more information on older adult events, please see special events.

Takeaway

From a Euchre Tournament and Mom and Me Tea to special events for older adults, there is something for all ages in the City of Novi in April. If you would like to learn more about purchasing a home in the family-friendly city, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

Making Maple Sugar Tours in Southeast Michigan – Maybury Farm & More

by The Jamey Kramer Group

One of the most Michigan things you can do is to attend a Maple Syrup or Maple Sugar tour at one of our many parks throughout Southeast Michigan. You may not know how popular and fun it is to learn how to tap Maple trees for their syrup.

There are several ways you can participate in this annual ritual, and even take home some of the sweet stuff for yourself. And, there is still time!

Maybury Farm Making Maple Syrup Tours

Maybury Farm

  • 50165 8 Mile Rd., Northville, MI 48167
  • March 31, 2018
  • 1:00 pm, 1:45 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:15 pm
  • Cost: $7.00 per person and children 2 and under are free.  

This is a full family event and your kids will love it. If you have ever wondered how maple syrup is made or have read about it but never seen it in action, you can take a tour to find out.

Tours begin with a wagon ride out to Maybury Farm’s Sugar Bush. Upon arrival, a guide will take you to the maple woods to learn about which trees give sap good for syrup, how best to “tap” a tree for sap, and how it is collected so as not to waste it. Participants can even taste the sap straight from the tree!

Another wagon ride takes you to the “sugar shack” for the cooking down demonstration. You will get to see firsthand how the sap is cooked to make maple syrup we know and love. In addition, you will learn all about how it gets graded, and why, and how you can make your very own maple syrup at home!

Your tour concludes with the chance to warm up at the Maybury Farm Welcome Center with hot drinks, snacks, and a blazing wood stove reminiscent of pioneer times. You can buy your own jug of Michigan maple syrup to take home and a book of free recipes that work well with maple syrup - not that you’ll have any problem eating it up!

Kids of all ages will benefit from the outdoors and learn a lot about one of the oldest gathering techniques in America!

This is a very popular event and space is limited. The earlier you arrive, the better, to reserve a spot. Private farm tours are available for groups of 15 or more: call 248-374-0200.

The cost for the Making Maple Syrup Tours is $7.00 per person and children 2 and under are free.  

Visit www.mayburyfarm.org to learn more or please call 248-916-3033.

Kensington Metropark: Maple’s Sweet Story

Kensington Metropark Farm Center

  • 4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford, MI 48380
  • March 31, 2018 and April 1, 2018
  • Time: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 adult, $3 child*

Kensington Metropark is one of Southeast Michigan’s great treasures. It is also offering guided Maple Sugaring tours March 31.

This is a guided walk through Kensington Metropark’s Farm Center sugar bush. You can learn everything from how the ancient Native Americans collected maple sap and turned it into sugar and syrup, to how to choose the right tree for sap, to how sap has been collected and boiled down over time.

This process hasn’t changed very much over the years. Samples at the end of your tour and syrup available for purchase. Or step into the Farmhouse Grille to down a stack of pancakes with pure Michigan maple syrup.

Tours begin every half hour and last about 1 hour. They are entirely outdoors, so dress appropriately!

* Please note that a Metropark vehicle entry permit is required to enter any Metropark. The cost is $35 annually for regular admission, $21 annually for seniors or $10 daily.

For more information, please see www.metroparks.com/facilities-education/kensington-farm-center/ or call 248-684-8632.

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