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Homes For Sale in Novi, MI

by The Jamey Kramer Group

If you are searching for comprehensive data on the homes for sale in Novi, Michigan - an idyllic northwestern Detroit suburb of more than 55,000 residents about 25 miles from downtown - you have come to the right place...sort of.

The actual place is the Search Homes page on this website. You're welcome to surf on over there whenever you'd like to, of course. For those of you who would like some instructions, tips and suggestions, stick around or come back and read this article.

Inside the Search Homes Page

Jamey Kramer and his friendly, knowledgeable and professional RE/MAX real estate experts provide you with this cool tool, and using it allows you to discover homes on the market, right now, anywhere in the Detroit metropolitan area or in Ann Arbor. This kind of immediate, up-to-the-millisecond data retrieval is so commonplace today that it already enjoys the endearing nickname, "real time".

Also in real time on the Search Homes page, you have at your fingertips the ability to check out homes for sale in the five-county Detroit metro area. Click any of the counties below to begin your search:

You can also pinpoint your search by entering in an MLS number, if you know it, or a street name. Currently, there are more than 27,200 real estate listings from which to choose.

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.

Fannie Mae Releases Good News/Bad News GDP Estimate

by The Jamey Kramer Group

In July, the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known by its pseudonym Fannie Mae, scaled back its formerly optimistic prediction for the United States gross national product (GDP) in 2012. In its official announcement, Fannie Mae cited the unstable employment market and the seemingly interrelated factor of relatively anemic consumer spending for its abrupt backpedaling away from its original prognostication of a 2.2 percent growth in the GDP. The revised estimate was scaled down to a modest 2 percent increase.

The economists employed by Fannie Mae to calculate and subsequently disseminate this kind of data describe their findings over the recent months as a good indication of a downward skewing or decelerating growth in the United States economy as a whole.

The news coming out of Fannie Mae was not all negative, however. The association's Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, provided a silver lining by pointing out that the housing market has managed to sustain its upwardly mobile direction, even in the nation's currently impossible-to-predict economy, referring to it as a bright spot that is providing a “rare upside boost.”

During the same time frame in 2011, the mortgage and finance company reported that home sales jumped up by 9 percent, with “single-family housing starts” showing a 20 percent increase. Once again, Fannie Mae was careful to place this data into its proper perspective by providing the caveat that levels remain consistently below what it considers a healthy norm.

Fannie Mae also offered mixed reviews concerning the overall state of residential investment, saying that this area will very likely show positive growth by the end of the year, even though it is starting from a comparatively low base. Additionally, it expects this market to deliver a positive contribution to the nation's economy, which it has not been able to do since 2005.

Consumers who took part in Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey in June provided an indication that their overall confidence in the housing market is improving for two reasons: low interest rates and the belief that home prices had likely dropped about as low as they are going.

Short Sale Bill Would Make Process Even Shorter

by The Jamey Kramer Group

A recently proposed bill entitled the “Fast Help For Homeowners Act” is designed to make the humbling, painstaking and nerve-wracking process involved in attaining the approval for a short sale a bit less of an ordeal.

The framework that makes up this proposal, which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, contains provisions that are intended to speed up short sale transaction approval.

One method by which it proposes to accomplish this task is by way of a clause written into the bill explicitly stating that 45 days is the maximum amount of time allotted for subordinate lien holders to respond to both the consumer and primary lender with their answer to a short sale request.

If the bill passes, it would essentially mean that if the primary, secondary or subordinate, and other possible lien holders fail to make and subsequently communicate their decision on a short sale within the established time period guideline of 45 days, the transaction is automatically, so to speak, given the stamp of approval on the 46th day.

The Fast Help for Homeowners Act (sometimes referred to as simply the short sale bill or FHHA) has garnered enthusiastic support from a large number of state and national real estate trade organizations and associations, including the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The proposed short sale bill carries with it the same sense of urgency that tends to accompany most of the transactions it seeks to improve. Real estate agents and the field's trade publications have continued to report on the frustrating, even bewildering, length of time it takes some lien holders to respond to a short sale request, if they respond at all.

In addition to McNerney, the short sale bill has a number of other Congressional co-sponsors.

Detroit Metro Real Estate: FREE Help to Avoid Foreclosure

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Home Values Rise

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Trying to determine the health and direction of the housing market is no easy task, considering the veritable mountain of data out there all sorts of things. Fortunately, some reliable data-crunching is available on the Internet. One of the good ones can be found on Zillow.com, specifically the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI).

At the national level, Zillow's Home Value Index is determined using data derived from more than 80 million homes, with locations in about 3,000 of the nation's counties, including more than 400 core statistical areas. The index is primarily focused on a specific geographic location and articulated using dollars.

The Zillow Home Value Index was the benchmark used to determine that the housing market in United States had hit its bottom in terms of home values in July, 2012. This information, which on the surface might look like bad news, is actually good news because it was determined after the Zillow Home Value Index began – finally – to rise. This is the first time since 2007 that the index has shown an upwardly mobile trend!

Zillow released information and statistical data on this elevation in the data via its Real Estate Market Reports, which described a 0.2 percent rise in the value of homes in the United States that had occurred over four consecutive months. Zillow's Real Estate Market Reports aggregates data collected from a variety of public resources and through several different providers of relevant data. It has employed a number of these providers for 276 core-based statistical areas dating back to 1996. Out of the 167 metropolitan areas that the Real Estate Market Reports covers, 53 of them reported annual home value increases in the second quarter of the year.

The news was especially good for the Detroit metro area, which registered a 2.1 percent increase on the Zillow Home Value Index.

Supply and Demand: The Inescapable Conundrum of Doing Business

by The Jamey Kramer Group

A central tenet of business looms large over the housing market in Michigan: supply and demand. Across America -- and in parts of Michigan -- as the U.S. economy slowly continues to improve, it is providing people with comparatively more money than they've had for several years. One noticeable result is that, in a growing number of places, there are more people who want to buy a home (a.k.a demand) against the supply of homes available to buy (a.k.a supply). This tends to drive home prices upwards. But each specific housing market is unique, and this is certainly true in Michigan. Fortunately, things are looking up in the  Metro Detroit area

Supply and Demand In a Nutshell… and What It Means in Michigan

When broken down to its bare essentials, the economic concept of supply and demand is an easy one: When demand goes up, prices rise, and if supplies are scarce, items are more expensive. Of course, this is the laboratory version of things, and things like housing markets are highly complex.

In product manufacturing, for suppliers of goods, creating goods is fairly straightforward. For example, if you are a manufacturer, you agree with suppliers on prices for the raw materials or components you need, you build the product and then attach a price to finished goods.

But demand is tricky to gauge. Sellers try to determine the number of buyers they expect for their product. They must make educated guesses because the variables on the buyer’s side are numerous and buyers can be fickle. When it comes to real estate there are simply many factors beyond the seller’s control, from tax policies to interest rates to the ever-fluctuating American economy as a whole. It's a moving target, and a lot of factors have to be considered. What's more, the past may not be the key to setting home price points -- after all, we live in challenging times.

When there is strong demand for housing, there is a tendency for the most attractive, move-in-ready properties to receive a disproportionately large number of bids compared to properties that are considered less attractive. This potentially drives up the prices of these high-demand homes, while the homes in lower demand often remain in indefinite limbo. According to data released by Realcomp, a Farmington Hills MLS and quoted in the Detroit Free Press, The inventory of homes for sale in metro Detroit dropped 16.7% in June to 19,433, contrasted with 23,315 in June 2011. Nearly half, or 45%, of sales in July were cash sales, and homes sold on average nine days faster, with 81 days on the market.

It appears that the upward trend is due to several interconnected factors including low interest rates, relatively lower prices on homes and American consumers' gradually increasing confidence in their local economy.
 
For evidence of the upturn in Michigan's real estate market, consider information from Farmington Hills multiple listing service, Realcomp. They reported that home sales rose more than 5 percent in metro Detroit compared to the same time frame a year ago. In fact, each of the counties in the Detroit metropolitan area – Macomb, Livingston, Oakland and Wayne – reported increased home sales in June 2012:
 
Macomb: 12.6% 
Livingston: 11%
Oakland: 0.8%
Wayne: 0.5%
 
This is good news and while the economy and the housing market face challenges, the data are showing improvement.
 
Still, in some parts of Michigan those with property for sale are still feeling the pinch even while demand creeps upwards. This is because, overall, home prices in the state have taken a big hit since 2000. For some sellers, home prices are still low enough that selling property without incurring a major financial loss is incredibly difficult. In short, supply and demand are exerting their influence, but the market is still recovering from a decade of tough times.

Overall, if the economy continues to improve, increasing demand will drive prices higher. Total recovery won’t come overnight, but the housing market continues to strengthen.

Some Homeowners Face New Tax Hit on Forgiven Mortgage Debt

by The Jamey Kramer Group

There is an old cliché that states, no situation is so bad that it can't get worse. Chances are pretty good that if you are a homeowner who may have to lean (or already are leaning) on a short-sale solution, or if you are facing foreclosure, your finances are not in tip-top shape. Now comes the news that unless Congress swoops in to save the day, you will incur a federal income tax charge on any part of your loan that was previously forgiven.

To figure out how this whole situation came about, you need to travel back in time to the year 2007. It was then that the United States Congress passed the Mortgage Debt Relief Act. What this meant for the countless number of homeowners who needed to transact a short sale, reconfigure their mortgage, or deal with a foreclosure was that they were able to have a portion of the principal balance forgiven without having to pay income tax on it.

Now, after five years of providing coverage to those folks, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act has one metaphorical foot in the metaphorical grave, with the other foot poised to fall at the end of the year, when the act will expire.

In order to give you an example of this works, let's create a hypothetical scenario. Let's say that the act is allowed to expire at the end of this year. It is now 2013 and you are a homeowner who decides to transact a short sale on your home for $120,000, and your home has an appraised value of $150,000. Upon completion of this short-sale transaction, you will receive a bill from the federal government in the form of income tax owed on the phantom $30,000 worth of forgiven debt. This is because without the Mortgage Debt Relief Act, the federal government now considers that $30,000 income and it is therefore taxable. 

Hope is on the horizon, however, for those who want the act to remain in place. One of the loudest voices proclaiming its benefits and shouting, as it were, for it to be maintained is the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Their team of lobbyists is endeavoring to convince Congress to extend the Mortgage Debt Relief Act beyond the 2012 expiration date. Apparently their efforts, and no doubt the efforts of other like-minded people, are doing some good because a number of legislators in both the Senate and House of Representatives have already introduced bills that would extend the tax relief. It’s certainly something to keep an eye on for those involved in short-selling their properties.

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.

Displaying blog entries 341-350 of 350