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Family Fun this Weekend in Northville, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Family Fun in Northville, Michigan

Are you looking for something to do this weekend with the whole family?

It is going to be a beautiful weekend in Northville, Michigan. The temperatures will be in the low 70s with partly cloudy skies. This is the perfect weekend to pick pumpkins, drink apple cider, eat donuts and maybe even head to a corn maze after dark.

Sometimes it can be hard to find events that are family friendly and fun for all. We are here to share with you that Northville, Michigan has a number of fantastic events planned for you and your family this weekend. According to the Northville Patch, there are 4 events happening this weekend in Northville.

Get your planners out and let's start planning.

  1. Corn Maze at the Maybury Farm

Although we have shared about the Maybury Farm Corn Maze before, we wanted to highlight a few more things. The farm has a 12 acre maze that is hiding 8 wooden animals. If you find all 8 wooden animals, you have a chance to win a Meijer gift card. 

The ticket you purchase includes your wagon ride to the corn maze, admission to play at the farm-themed playground, and visit with all the animals. This is a perfect event for anyone with young children.

What we didn't share last time is that the corn maze continues after dark. Fridays and Saturdays they are open until 10 pm and Sunday's hours have been extended to 8 pm. 

Another great part is that all of the proceeds from the Corn Maze go to feed the animals during the winter. 

Pumpkins are half-off this weekend, too. If you're looking for fall family fun, the Maybury Farm in Northville, Michigan has it for you.

  1. Fall Fair Artisan Market 

If you are looking for some individuality in your decor, this fair will have it all: furniture, fiber art, jewelry, photography, sculptures and more. Everything has been handcrafted by 75 artists and crafters from around the country. Don't worry. They will have holiday items as well. The fair will be held at the Northville Community Center at 303 West Main Street on October 11 through the 13th.

  1. Support the High School Rowing Club

This weekend in rain or shine, the Northville High School rowing club will be rowing from Detroit to Mackinac Island. Thankfully, it looks like they've picked a beautiful weekend to do it. The team is hoping to raise money for a new boat. 

  1. Northville Township Fire Department

Does your child love fire trucks? This Saturday is the perfect time to visit the Northville Township Fire Department. The fire department is having an open house to have fun and educate everyone who attends on fire safety. There will be activities for the whole family including:

  • Live demonstrations including the Jaws of Life, hydraulic rescue tools and fire extinguishers.
  • Fire truck tours
  • Games
  • Meet and greet with the firefighters. 

Northville is one of those places that gives you a hometown feel and always has something going on. That is why so many people move to and choose to stay in Northville, Michigan.

If you have any questions about moving to Northville, call my office at 248-348-7200. We would love to help you become a part of this unique city. 


How the Government Shutdown is Affecting Real Estate

by The Jamey Kramer Group
How the Government Shutdown is Affecting Real Estate

Are you applying for a mortgage?

Have you been considering selling your home?

The government has shut down and now we are all looking at how that affects us. Much of the shutdown is affecting us in ways we don’t always notice, like the White House website with the warning, “Because Congress did not fulfill its responsibility to pass a budget, much of the federal government is shut down.” Other parts of the shutdown that you wouldn’t think mattered, like the IRS being reduced could actually affect you the most.

Today, we are going to share how this shutdown might affect you, either as a home buyer or as someone who is interested in selling their home.

Why The IRS Shutting Down is Bad For Mortgages.

Buying a home is a big process even with the government up and running. For mortgages that are backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie May, the IRS being reduced is bad news. Banks use the IRS to verify income information. That income information is what helps home buyers close on their mortgages. Without that information, Freddie and Fannie may not be able to approve mortgages.

According to an article on CNNMoney, even Wells Fargo will not be able to complete any new applications until after the shutdown is over and the home buyers’ income can be verified.

Don’t worry. If you have found your dream home, there are still banks that are continuing to lend money during the shutdown. Those banks that are continuing to lend will sell the mortgages to Fannie or Freddie after the shutdown is over and when the buyers’ income can be verified.

Government-Backed Mortgages Are Still Available

While FHA has 96% of their staff on furlough, they have promised to continue to process loans. That is great news for anyone looking to buy or sell a home.

CNNMoney has reported that FHA, the Veteran’s Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture made up about 45% of backed mortgages in 2012. FHA alone insures 60,000 loans a month.

Mortgage Rates Dropping

We have one last bit of good news to share. Mortgage rates have dropped, again. At the beginning of last week the average rate according to CNNMoney was about at 4.32%, but by the end of last week, mortgage rates had dropped to 4.22%. Now .10% may not actually seem that important, but when you’re buying a $350,000 that .10% will make all the difference.

Just because the government has shut down doesn’t mean that you cannot buy your dream home or sell the home that your family is currently growing out of. Make sure to have an experienced realtor on your side that is familiar with the shutdown. That experienced realtor can help you navigate the waters of buying or selling your home. 

Please give our office a call at: 248-348-7200

Help with Remodeling and Renovating Your Home

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Help with Home Remodeling and Renovating Your Home

Are you hoping to save money by remodeling yourself?

Are you wondering what remodeling jobs will add value to your home?

There is good news in Novi, Michigan: the summer-like temperatures are here to stay at least for the weekend. While we may be enjoying the occasional fall shower, temperatures will be staying in the high 70s. This weekend will be the perfect weekend to head out to the Novi Home Remodeling Show. 

Both remodeling and renovating have the potential to add value to your home. Today, we want to share with you some of the top places to renovate or remodel that will get you the return on your investment. With that knowledge you can head into the Novi Home Remodeling Show ready to learn how.

Remodeling and Renovating 

Last month, we shared the article, Do Renovations Increase the Value of Your Home?, that questioned whether or not renovations actually increase the value of your home. What we learned is that renovating does work as long as it is in the right place. 

The biggest winners when it comes to return on your investment are outside your home. According to the Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling Magazine, the top four places to receive a return on your investment are,

  • Entry Door Replacement
  • Fiber Cement Siding
  • Wood Deck Addition
  • Garage Door Replacement

The report just proved what realtors have been saying for a while, curb appeal goes a long way. First impressions are critical, especially when you are considering selling your home. 

The fifth highest remodeling job was minor kitchen remodeling. That's great news, because the cost to renovate isn't going to break the bank. The kind of remodeling jobs we are talking about here are changing out counter tops, adding new appliances and replacing the cabinet fronts. 

The last couple of remodeling jobs that are worth taking notice are finishing off the basement and adding an attic bedroom. These two will cost more than the previous jobs, but having that extra space may be what the buyers need to make that offer. 

The Novi Home Remodeling Show

This weekend is the perfect time to start researching any remodeling jobs that you may be considering. Here is what the Novi Patch reported on the Novi Home Remodeling Show,

"Looking to update your home? Anything and everything you need to remodel and design your home can be found under one roof at the Novi Home Remodeling Show! Browse exhibits in kitchen and bath interiors, windows and doors, flooring products, furniture, cabinetry and much more!"

The Novi Home Remodeling Show is sponsored by the Home Builder Association of Southeastern Michigan and is being held all weekend at the Suburban Collection Showplace. 

Adding space, sprucing up, and updating can all add value to your home making it a perfect opportunity to sell. If you need any assistance, please call our office at 248-348-7200. Have a wonderful weekend and we'll see you in Novi, Michigan this weekend. 

Renters Look to Buy As The Cost of Rent Spikes

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Have you seen the increase in rent?

Renters Look to Buy As The Cost of Rent Spikes

A young couple sat in my office, and they were a little frustrated. They told me about how their rent had increased again. We took a look at the numbers of the cost to rent versus buying a home in the growing area of Northville, Michigan where they wanted to live. Their frustration began to fade after they saw what kind of home they could own with the money they were paying in rent.

If you are feeling the pressures of renting, you are not alone. According to,

          “In June, the real-estate data firm Trulia analyzed the rent prices in 25 of the largest rental markets in the United States. What Trulia found is an average annual increase of 3.9%. This is a huge increase when compared with inflation. And, generally speaking, incomes are not keeping pace with rent increases, putting renters in an even tighter position.”

In the city of Boston alone, the rates for renting rose 5.5%. There are now many renters paying up to half of their income just to rent. Renting could seem as the safe option especially to those in their 20s, however, by renting it’s actually costing you more money.

Buying is More Affordable Than Renting

Right now buying a home is actually the more affordable option and that will continue to be the case. In fact, it will continue to be the case until the 30-year fixed interest rates rise to 10.4%. Currently, it is 41% cheaper to buy than it is to rent.

Benefits to Buying

Financial reasons are not the only benefits to buying. For many people, it is the American dream to own their home and to have a backyard for their children to play. While that dream has been threatened, many still hold out hope. The good news is that buying a home has never been so affordable.

The Good News on Mortgage Rates

Much of our country has been watching the interest rates slowly rise after being at an all time low of 3.5%. In August, the rates rose to 4.4%. As the economy comes back and jobs are more secure, more and more people feel confident investing into the purchasing of a home.

The good news is that right now, even as the interest rates have risen, you can still get a lot of house for your money.

If you have been renting, have felt the increase in rates and would like to save money by purchasing your own home, give my office a call. We would love to help you find your dream home.


There's Always Something Happening in Northville, MI

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Chocolate ice cream

Do you love free ice cream?

In a city like Northville, Michigan there is always something for everyone and there is always something going on. Whether you want to enjoy the beautiful fall weather or some free ice cream, it's all happening in Northville. Before you make any weekend plans, check out what Northville, Michigan has to offer.

Maybury Farm Corn Maze

If you are looking for some fun and family-friendly activities this weekend, this corn maze has it all. The maze is actually shaped like a barn and finding your way through it is only one part of the fun. 

Another fun activity is finding 8 animals. Once all 8 are found, you can head back for cider and donuts. Then you can be entered to win a Meijer gift card. While you are enjoying your cider and donuts, you and the kids can head out to the playground and visit the animals. The hours of operation are:

Friday: 6 pm-10 pm

Saturday: 1 pm-10 pm

Sunday: 1 pm-7 pm

Remember the last wagon of the day leaves 1 hour before closing time. This maze was created to raise money to feed the animals during the winter. The cost of admission for adults is $7 and kids under 9 are $6. Maybury Farm is located at 50165 Eight Mile in Northville.

Kidpreneur Video Production Workshop 

Here is a great event if your kid is interested in making movies. According to the Northville Patch,

"This is part of the Kidpreneur Video Production Series workshop. In this workshop, kids will learn how to use Microsoft Live MovieMaker to make a 30sec introduction video with titles, audio and music."

This class is for kids 10-14 years old. Classes and workshops are held at 235 E Main Street, Suite #104 in Northville.  Kids must bring their own laptop. If you are already a member then the workshop is free. For non members, the charge is $25. 

This workshop focuses on teaching kids how to promote their business by using a 30 second video. 

Sundaes on Sunday

I know I love ice cream, especially when it's free. This Sunday, the Northville District Library is hosting an event called, "Friends of the Library". Bring your friends, family, or anyone you can find even if they are not a member because this event is open to everyone. 

If you would like to become a member of the library, Sunday is the perfect time to do it. You'll also discover the upcoming events that the library has to offer. This Sunday's event will be from 1 pm-4 pm. 

Northville is a wonderful, family-friendly city with something going on every weekend. What are you looking forward to doing this weekend?

Will The 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Disappear?

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Will The 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Disappear?

Have you been waiting on purchasing a home?

When you plan to buy your home, do you plan to get a 30-year fixed rate mortgage?

Today is a beautiful day in Northville, Michigan. Temperatures will be in the high 60s and the forecast is sunny. It's a perfect day for house hunting. If you have been considering buying a house for a while, right now is the time to do it especially if you are thinking about getting a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. 

Did you know that most other countries do not even offer a 30-year fixed rate mortgage? Instead, they have adjustable rate mortgages that rise and fall with the interest rates. 

As Washington meets to discuss the replacement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a deeper question emerges: should 30-year fixed rate mortgages continue to be as assessable? 

Banks do not like holding 30-year mortgages and that's because when they guarantee the interest rate for those 30-year mortgages, they don't get a guarantee for themselves. During the 1980s, many saving and loans failed because of this.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, that was the introduction of Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac.

          "Enter Fannie and Freddie. They don't make loans. Instead, they buy them from lenders, package them into securities, and sell those to investors. They promise to make investors whole when mortgages default. In other words, they take the credit risk. The 30-year mortgage is available mainly because of government guarantees-implied before the crisis and explicit since 2008."

Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided on the decision. 

  • Those for keeping the 30-year fixed mortgage believe that it is a bad time to push adjustable rate mortgages because interest rates are most likely going to be rising.
  • Those against the 30-year fixed mortgage want the government out of the mortgage business. They believe that the loan is not practical when borrowers pay so much in interest at the beginning of the loan, do not build equity and then the loans are dissolved early due to a move or divorce. 

However, Americans love the 30-year mortgage. Instead of the 30-year mortgage disappearing, there may be other answers such as requiring larger down payments and/or higher interest rates.

Whatever Washington decides, it looks like changes are coming for the future. That makes right now the perfect time to buy that home you have always been dreaming of. Get in on the low 30-year fixed-rate mortgage while you still can. If you are ready to start looking, please give our office a call. 


Fall for Novi and the Tollgate Fair this Weekend Only in Novi, Michigan

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Fall for Novi

Are you looking for a inexpensive place to take the kids this weekend?

Would your child enjoy getting behind the scenes with the Police Department?

Thursdays are one of my favorite days of the week. It is the day when you start to think about the weekend. On this Thursday, we are sharing with you what is happening in Novi, Michigan. If you have children, we've got some great family activities that will stay within your budget. So get your planner out and get ready to make some plans.

Fall For Novi – Community Open House and Health Fair – September 21st

If you are from Novi or if you are looking to relocate to Novi, this weekend is the perfect to make a trip out. This weekend at the Fall for Novi, you can experience a city-wide open house.

Here are a few of the great things you and your family will be able to see this weekend,

  • Police Cars
  • Fire Trucks 
  • State Police Mobile Crime Lab
  • University of Michigan's Life Flight Helicopter 
  • Free refreshments
  • Children’s activities

In an article from Novi Today, we learn that the goal of this open house is not only to show what Novi has to offer.  Sandy Fisher, Older Adult Services Senior Coordinator, stated:

          "One of our objectives is to promote healthy, active lifestyles. And, one of the ways we do that is to connect people with health services."

They are connecting people with health services by bringing in over 30 exhibits and making health services easy to access. Some of those health services will include:

  • Flu Shots
  • Blood Pressure
  • Heart rate screenings
  • Oxygen level screening 

There will also be free information provide about the screenings. The open house will be held on Saturday the 21st from 11 am to 2 pm at the Novi Civic Center Campus. For more information, please visit the City of Novi’s PDF on the website.

The Tollgate Fall Fair – September 21

This fair will be held on Saturday, the 21st from 10 am to 3 pm at the Michigan State University Tollgate Education Center 12 Mile & Meadowbrook Roads in Novi. You can enjoy crafts with the kids, hay rides and even catch and release fishing.

Music and entertainment will be there while you and your children learn about bats, frogs, toads and lizards. If you love to garden, make sure you check out the self-guided garden tours. 

The best part about this fair is that it is completely free to all. For more information visit the Tollgate Fall Fair PDF flyer.

Whether you choose to attend the Fall for Novi Community Open House and Health Fair or the Tollgate Fall Fair, this weekend has memories is store for you and your family.

Do Renovations Increase the Value of Your Home?

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Do Renovations Increase the Value of Your Home?

Are You Wondering If It's Worth It To Renovate?

This big question is: if you put more time and money into your home, will you get the return on investment you were hoping for when you go to sell it?

It is a beautiful day in Novi, Michigan. With a high of 68 degrees we say good-bye to summer and hello to fall this week. Fall is one of the most gorgeous times of year in Novi with tree leaves turning an array of vibrant reds, yellows and oranges.

Is It Really Worth It To Renovate? 

Today we are going to look at a question many home owners ask themselves: is it really worth it to renovate? Renovating can be a lot of elbow grease, especially if you do it yourself. We've all heard that renovating certain parts of your home will actually increase your home’s value. We know there are less expensive ways like changing out fixtures or replacing the knobs on the kitchen cabinets.

However, as the market is increasing more and more, people are finally feeling the relief they needed to put their home on the market. With so many homes now on the market, what will make your home stand out? We've been looking at 2013 Cost vs. Value report to see if it is really worth it to renovate.

2013 Cost vs. Value Report

This is the 25th report that Remodeling Magazine has published. The reports look at 81 cities all across America. It shows the cost of overall construction on popular renovating projects and compares them to the resale value. 

Here's the good news:  the average cost to value ratio has improved. It hasn't just improved, but it is the best it's been in 6 years. One of the biggest reasons why this has happened is the lower cost of construction. 

Prior to the recession, the cost to value ratio was so high that it turned many homeowners away from replacing projects. Since the recession, price is now on everyone's mind and replacement jobs have increased. This is because of the lower cost of construction along with the increase value it gives to your home.

What we mean by replacement is to completely replace what is current existing. Remodeling means just that; to remodel instead of completely replacing. 

So Where Do You Put Your Money?

Here are 5 remodels that scored high on the report

  • Entry Door Replacement
  • Fiber Cement Siding
  • Wood Deck Addition
  • Garage Door Replacement
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel 

It looks like first impressions are taking the lead in recent market trends for value. Normally when you think of renovating, whether you are remodeling or replacing, you may be thinking kitchen and bathrooms. According to this report, the money to renovate your home should be spent on the outside of it - the curb appeal. 

What are your thoughts?

Will you be tackling that remodeling project that you have put on the back burner before putting your house on the market?

Northville to Celebrate Annual Victorian Festival

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Perfect curb appeal without breaking the bank

This weekend, the city of Northville, Michigan will be celebrating its history and heritage when the annual Victorian Festival returns for its 25th anniversary. If you love history, Northville is the place to be this weekend. This charming town has a vast history and this weekend you will get to experience a taste of that history.

Northville has always been proud of its historical heritage. The Mill Race Historical Village has been a special attraction and a crowning jewel highlighting the city’s heritage. This weekend, however, will be there will be so much more historical fun.

The Victorian Festival is hosted by the Northville Chamber of Commerce and will kick off with a parade on Friday, September 13th at 6:30 pm. There will be magic, music, historical games and food, a children’s carnival and more. The following is a breakdown of the activities available by day.

Friday, September 13

Before the parade begins, there is fun for the entire family to enjoy including:

  • Kid’s Carnival Rides: Opens at 5 pm and stays open 10 pm
  • Face Painting: 5 pm-8 pm
  • Saloon: 5 pm-10:30 pm
  • Victorian Festival Parade: Starts at 6:30 pm and will be taking a new route. The parade will start and end on W. Cady. For a complete map, please visit the Victorian Festival Event brochure.

In addition, as long as weather permits, there will be balloon rides following the parade.

Saturday, September 14

If you thought there were a lot of activities on Friday, Saturday will have even more things to do. As on Friday, there will be carnival rides for the kids as well as face painting. There will also be,

  • Stage Coach: Check out an actual stage coach between 11 am and 5 pm.
  • Live Theater: Don’t miss the live interactive show at 11:30 am, 2:15 pm and 4 pm.
  • Street Magician: Let the kids be entertained by a street magician. You can catch his act between 1 pm-3 pm.
  • Vintage Baseball: Northville’s very own vintage baseball team, Eclipse, will be taking on Port Huron Welkins at 1 pm on Ford Field.
  • Mill Race Village: Northville’s Mill Race Village will be opening over the weekend. You and your family can step back into Northville’s very own history.

Sunday, September 14

The events don't end on Saturday. Just like the days before, there will be the kids carnival rides, the carousel and face painting. In addition, the planned activities include:

  • Comedy Juggling Show: From 12 pm-1:30 pm at South Main and Center Street.
  • Victorian Tea Room: From 12 pm-3:30 pm come by the Cady Inn to enjoy some tea.
  • Eclipse Vintage Baseball: The Eclipse Base Ball Club of Northville will take on the Mighty River Hogs of Midland County at 1 pm.

One of the best ways to learn about history is to actually experience it. This weekend in Northville, you and your family will have the opportunity to do just that. Enjoy all the activities and let us know which activity was your favorite.


How To Achieve That Perfect Curb Appeal Without Breaking the Bank

by The Jamey Kramer Group
Perfect curb appeal without breaking the bank

Would you like to sell your home?

Are you looking for a way to make your house stand out without spending too much money?

Curb appeal is one of the most significant elements of a home when someone is trying to sell it because it is the buyer’s first impression. In some cases, it can actually make or break a sale. Research shows that homes with anesthetically pleasing curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell.

In our article, How to Amp Up Your Homes Curb Appeal for Less, we shared easy ways to really stand out by,

  • Cleaning up the Yard
  • Put toys away
  • Fix the address numbers
  • Fresh coat of paint on the door and mailbox
  • Planting flowers

Perfect Curb Appeal Without Breaking the Bank

If we are really looking to go the extra mile to ramp up that curb appeal, we have a few more ideas that might help.

Start With a Plan

Bring your realtor in and start discussing what you want to do to improve the curb appeal of your house. Next, determine how much you are willing to spend. According to Better Homes and Gardens,

        A common mistake many gardeners make is to dive into landscaping without having a plan -- which leads to plants that may not be a good fit for a particular site or landscaping features that don't work well in an overall scheme. How do you keep your landscape costs low and avoid that rookie mistake? Decide on a plan for your entire yard before you even pick up a trowel.”

Plant Drought-Tolerant Plants

Planting fresh flowers can really add a special touch a home’s landscaping. Planting flowers that are drought tolerant will add something more. Don’t be afraid to point this out to any potential home buyer because certain varieties won’t need that much water. Some drought tolerant flowers are:

  • Butterfly bush
  • Rosemary
  • Barberry
  • Lilacs

Invest in Mulch

Fresh mulch can be really eye catching, but it can also be expensive. Try asking around your neighborhood and find out if one of your neighbors is also interested in purchasing mulch and if they would be interested in going in on a bulk mulch purchase. Buying landscaping items like mulch, compost, sand, and gravel in bulk will save you money and add to your overall curb appeal.

The first impressions of your home do make an impact on potential buyers purchasing decisions. As many people start their home hunting on the Internet, sprucing up your home’s curb appeal is a wise investment. When you feel like the curb appeal of your home couldn’t look any better, have quality photos taken. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then having a variety of high quality photos available online will multiply the chances of your potential buyers deciding to visit. As your realtor, the Jamey Kramer Group will be able to help you with this by posting the pictures on multi listings and on different social media sites to draw people into your home.

Do you have any other ideas to improve the curb appeal of your home without breaking the bank?

Displaying blog entries 351-360 of 403