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3 Small Home Fixes To Make A Huge Impact

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Tools for home fixes

If you have just purchased your new home in the spring or summer, chances are good that you have bought at the top of your budget and that you are trying to find ways to settle in and make the best of finishings in need of an update. You are probably mostly happy you finally got a house, after months of searching and putting in offers.

As a brand-new homeowner, the world is your oyster. However, your budget may not be. Whether you are inwardly groaning at your 1950s kitchen with no $20,000 insight to gut the whole thing, or eyeing your peeling front porch and wishing for carpenter elves, there are solutions.

You may not realize it yet, but there are many small and affordable fixes out there. Your attitude about your house can do a 180 on a slim budget.

Paint, paint and more paint

Did you know that paint is for more than just walls? You can actually paint your tile. That ugly backsplash you just can't afford to replace? That 1990s bathroom renovation you absolutely can't stand?

You can purchase a DIY epoxy kit that can cover the whole thing with a shiny, white glaze. No one will ever know the difference. You can even cover those mustard-colored bathroom sinks and fiberglass shower insert.

Another area where paint can make a huge impact is on your trim. Do you have dated or cheap-looking trim? It might take a weekend's worth of your time, but fresh white trim can give your whole house a clean, updated look.

The same goes for doors and kitchen cabinets.  If you want to get really bold, there are even paint products out there made especially for floors. So if you have a tile floor that's eventually going the way of dinosaurs, why not stencil on a pattern you like?

Hardware

You might not realize what an impact the fixtures and hardware in your house are making on you. Take a moment to look at your faucets, light fixtures, electrical plates, doorknobs and cabinet hardware.

These things can each be replaced relatively inexpensively. Does one room stand out to you? Could you switch out that construction-grade flush-mount ceiling light in the dining room for a modern pendant light?

You might be surprised at how much it changes the atmosphere of the place all by itself. Maybe your electrical plates are grimy. Can you change them for fresh, white plates to match your new white trim? Or perhaps all your kitchen really needs is a few coats of paint on the cabinets and new hardware. That's an inexpensive fix that can really make all the difference.

Outside

Is your curb appeal a little lackluster? It's a good thing you don't really need a team of beefy landscapers to fix it since they come at a price. There are three things you can do right now to update the front of your house.

Weed and mulch.

Don't worry about adding any plants or making big plans. Just have a load of mulch delivered and tidy-up what's already there. Don't have much of a garden? Buy a few hanging baskets or big pots for the front porch and put in some colorful flowers.

Paint your front door.

This is something no one thinks about doing, but it can make the most dramatic impact of all. If you have one bright color you love, think about putting on the front door instead of the bedroom wall.

Update your house numbers.

You can't beat the power of typography on the eye, especially for modernizing the exterior of your house. What better way to say to friends and neighbors, "welcome to my new house!"

Takeaway

Don't let your fading home finishes get your down. Make a few of these small fixes that will fit in your budget and enjoy the significant impact they make on how much you love your house.


 

Top Things to Overlook When Buying a New House and What Not to Overlook

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Top Things to Overlook When Buying a New House

This year, housing shortages are worse than ever. Mortgage interest rates are rising a little bit, and home prices are raising a lot, due to the large demand. You might be sitting yourself down for a serious talk right about now if you’ve been on the housing search for a long time and haven’t gotten anything yet. First-time buyers are especially hurting in this extreme seller’s market.

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Forget buying a house for now. I’ll just wait until market conditions clear up.” For some first-time buyers out there, the hassle and heartbreak might not be worth it.

But I bet you have that nagging voice in the back of your head asking, “what if it doesn’t get better? What if it only gets worse? If I gave up now, would I miss my chance?”

If you decide to take another stab at finding a house, you want to look at homes with a new perspective. I’m here to tell you there are things you can overlook when you decide to purchase a home. And there are things you shouldn’t. Not all potential home buyers know the difference. Maybe your willingness to accept a few things about a house that you don’t like will be the difference between buying a home and renting for a few more years.

What Should You Overlook?

Paint Colors

I can’t tell you how many times potential buyers have been deterred from looking at a home because the paint colors or the color of the trim isn’t to their liking. Paint colors are one of the easiest things to change about a house. Paint is cheap, relatively speaking, and it doesn’t take much skill or time to change.

Curb Appeal

If you are like most buyers now, you are cruising through the pictures on listing sites long before you make an appointment to see a house in person. In fact, many homes are weeded out of a prospective buyer’s list solely based on whether the pictures are nice or not. The curb appeal of your home is easily changed within a year or two, on a small budget. When deciding which houses to see, try basing your decision on the size and location of the house rather than how it looks on the outside.

Old appliances, Carpeting or Light Fixtures

It’s one thing if you’re looking at a home near the top of your price range that needs $100k worth of work before it’s livable. It’s another thing to strike it off the list for having old finishings like carpet, light fixtures or appliances. I understand that it all takes money to replace, but some of these things don’t require much money or skill to replace.

The bottom line is if your home needs cosmetic updates, but everything else is right, (location, size, and fundamental structure) you might be looking at the house of your dreams.

What Do Buyers Overlook (But You Shouldn’t)?

Budget Concerns

Sometimes buyers overlook how much closing costs are going to be when they calculate how much they can spend on a house. Make sure you get this nailed down before you make that offer. You should also take the time to calculate utility costs before you make your offer. Your offer is going to depend on how much you can pay each month. It’s best not to be surprised before getting into a new house, and you can’t assume your utilities will be the same in your new house as they are now.

Resale Value

While some things can be overlooked, what some buyers do is sacrifice what can't be changed in order to get into a house, like a backyard right next to a busy train track. You may tell yourself you don't mind, but you might be surprised what other buyers mind when it's time to sell.

Likewise, there are some things about your new neighborhood you might not know until you live there. Those can’t be changed either. What’s the new neighborhood like at night, for instance? Is there a dog that barks all night two doors down? Do the neighbors fight loudly on weekends or throw wild parties? And what will your commute be like from your new house? It’s a good idea to check these things out before committing.

Takeaway

House hunting season is bound to be tough right now for first-time buyers. Hang in there and try to hold your expectations loosely. If you can look past a few of the things that can be easily changed while being smart about the things you can’t change, you might find yourself with the advantage.

If you are interested in buying a house in Northville, Novi or South Lyon, Michigan, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200

Novi and Northville, Michigan Upcoming Events July 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Upcoming events - Northville & Novi, Michigan July 2018

The cities of Novi and South Lyon are in full swing with summer festivities and celebrations. The fun doesn’t end with Independence Day celebrations in July. In fact, the fun is just beginning.

With regular concerts, movies, a pop-up splash pad in the parks, there’s so much to do you won’t want to miss it!

City Of Novi Events for July

Sizzling Summer Art Series

Wonderful Wednesdays

  • Time: 10:30 am
  • Location: Pavilion Shore Park
  • 43390 W 13 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48377

Running through July, every Wednesday morning, Novi welcomes local artists to delight and inform. July’s schedule includes:

  • July 11 - Native American stories and dance presentation with Reg Pettibone. Get ready to learn all about this nation’s first peoples!
  • July 18 - Drummunity!
  • July 25 - John Magician will amaze and tantalize your senses.

Sizzling Summer Nights

  • Friday, July 13
  • Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm followed by a movie at dusk
  • Location: Fuerst Park
  • 45325 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375

Novi is celebrating ten years of spectacular family programming with Sizzling Summer Nights! This popular activity for all ages features free food and games in the park from 7-9 followed by the movie, Kubo and the Two Strings, showing at dusk.

This July, the activity is water! A pop-up water park with giant water slide, water balloons and more mean you have to come prepared to get wet. Bring a change of clothes and picnic blanket to settle in for a fun twilight movie in the park.

Luau On The Shore

  • Saturday, July 28
  • Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Location: Pavilion Shore Park
  • 43390 W. 13 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48377
  • Cost: $7 per plate (cash only)

Summertime in the frozen North always makes us think of places where it never gets cold! Hawaiian and Polynesian island cultures are as fun to experience as they are to dream about. Come to this free community event for all ages. There’s a pig roast, lots of other food, music, dancing, and games for all!

Motor City Mountain Biking Association & Team Tree Farm Tree Farm Relay

  • Saturday, July 28
  • Time: 8:45 am
  • Lakeshore Park   
  • 601 S Lake Dr., Novi, MI 48375
  • Age: 18+
  • Price: $100 per team until July 20 and $140 on the race day
  • Registration: MCMBA.org

Are you interested in endurance racing and ready to get your feet wet? This race is for you! It’s the 13th annual Tree Farm Relay Event at Lakeshore Park. This unusual race features a four-person relay, and the course has tons of hills, passing zones, and spectacular beauty. Team racing at its most fun!

City Of Northville July Events

The City of Northville’s unique summer events continue through July, all in Northville Town Square:

Tunes On Tuesday Children’s Concert Series

  • Tuesdays 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Are you looking for something special to do mid-week with your children? Tunes on Tuesday in Northville’s Town Square is a free event that is a great way to have some fun! July’s schedule includes:

  • July 10, 2018 - Paula Doak
  • July 17, 2018 - Palamazoo    
  • July 24, 2018 - Stephanie J  
  • July 31, 2018 - Earth Angels

Wednesday Night Concert Series - Northville Unplugged

Plan to come to Northville’s Town Square throughout July on Wednesdays from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. July’s schedule of performances include:

  • July 4, 2018 - No Concert     
  • July 11, 2018 - Just Joken    
  • July 18, 2018 - The Johnnies
  • July 25, 2018 - Jill Jack

Friday Night Concert Series

  • Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Northville’s Friday Night Concert Series is a great way to relax and start the weekend. July’s entertainment schedule includes:

  • July 6 - Randy Brock   
  • July 13 - Social Bandits
  • July 20 - Gia Warner   
  • July 27 - Groove Therapy

Takeaway
'Whether you are looking for something special to do with your children or want to enjoy a free concert, there are a number of events to choose from in Northville and Novi, Michigan in July.

If you are interested in taking a closer look at these family-friendly cities, please give us a call. We would be honored to help you find your next house.

248-348-7200

 

4th of July Events for Novi and Northville, Michigan - 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Northville & Novi Michigan 4th of July events

Do you have any plans for the 4th of July this year? Sometimes this holiday is hard to plan, and this year it falls on a Wednesday. What do you do with a holiday surrounded by work days? You can make the most of it, or you can celebrate before.

This year, in Novi and Northville, you can do both. Come to the newly expanded Novi Stars and Stripes Fest June 28th - July 1 - the weekend before the 4th of July - and celebrate the actual holiday in downtown Northville at the parade and Mill Race Village events afterward!

Stars and Stripes Fest

  • Suburban Collection Showplace
  • 46100 Grand River, Novi, MI 48374

The Stars and Stripes Fest has come to stay in Novi, to the Suburban Collection Showplace! This is the 12th year for this huge event, and the second hosted by our great city. This exciting event draws many people from all over Metro Detroit. It’s also fun for the whole family with a huge midway and carnival rides for adults and kids, an arts & crafts show, food trucks, car crush demolition, a fireworks display and, of course, great live music on multiple stages.

This event is hosted by Fun Fest Events and presented by St. Joseph Mercy Health System.

Stars and Stripes Fest Hours

  • Thursday, June 28, 2018 – 2:00 pm - 11:30 pm
  • Friday, June 29, 2018 – 2 pm - 11:30 pm
  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 – Noon - 11:30 pm
  • Sunday, July 1, 2018 – Noon – 11 pm

Live Entertainment

  • Friday, June 29, 2018 at 8:15 pm – Rockstar
  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 6:45 pm – Alien Ant Farm
  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 7:45 pm – LIT
  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 8:45 pm – P.O.D.
  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 10:00 pm – Buckcherry
  • Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 5:15 pm – School of Rock Farmington
  • Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm – Spiral Crush
  • Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 7:45 pm – Seventh Alley
  • Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm – Teddy Petty
  • Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 6:45 pm – Fifty Amp Fuse

Carnival Prices

  • Thursday – Half Off Wristbands ALL DAY – $12.50 wristbands
  • Friday through Sunday-  $25 Wristbands

Presale discount wristbands are available for $20. Please see customer service center at Twelve Oaks Mall.

Children age 5 and under will be admitted free. As an extra bonus, you will be able to enjoy all of the concerts as they are included in the festival admission.

VIP tickets for the June 30 concerts in the preferred pavilion seating are available for $35. To purchase tickets online, please see starsandstripesfest.com.

The only firework display in Novi is presented at this event - on July 1 - and sponsored by Eyeglass World. It takes place at dusk on Sunday. For more info, visit www.starsandstripesfest.com.

Northville Independence Day Parade 2018

  • Downtown Northville
  • 10:00 a.m.

Grab your seats early this year for Northville’s annual Independence Day parade. This great event brings together the community, attracting over 20,000 visitors! All kids are invited to decorate their bikes to join in the parade, which starts at the corner of E Main Street and South Griswold.

The Northville Independence Day parade includes great music, floats, marching bands, children’s characters, clowns, the bike parade, the pet parade, and maybe even a few celebrities! It wouldn’t be a Michigan parade without vintage and classic cars in attendance. There will be new, never before seen attractions and all of your old favorites!

For more info, call 248-349-1300 or visit www.mayburyfarm.org/independencedayparade.

Mill Race Village

  • 215 Griswold St, Northville, MI 48167
  • 11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

After enjoying our exciting parade, head over to historic Mill Race Village to celebrate our country’s independence and remember the past. All the historic buildings are open to the public on July 4th from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bring a picnic lunch or shop at the general store and eat outside on the beautiful grounds. Experience the fun activities after relaxing in the shade.

Takeaway

This year, there’s plenty to do to celebrate our country’s independence! Come and join the fun! Have a happy and safe holiday.

Upcoming Events in Northville, Michigan - June 2018

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Northville Michigan June Events

Summer in Northville, Michigan this year is getting kicked off with a bang and it’s all about the arts! This includes music, theater, craft beer, local arts, photography, and more.

Wednesday Night Concert Series

Northville’s Wednesday night concert series, held in downtown Northville in Town Square every Wednesday night from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm is all about “unplugged” music by local artists.

Friday Night Concerts

Get a taste for more of Northville and Michigan’s local musical talent on Friday nights in Northville Town Square from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm continuing on June 29 with Mr. Moody playing party music.

Northville Farmer’s Market

Don’t miss Thursdays in Northville through the month of June at Northville Downs. From 8:00 am – 3:00 pm there will be vendors, local farmer’s stands, fresh produce, fresh flowers, and arts and crafts from Michigan artisans. There will be a master gardener on hand to answer your questions until noon every Thursday!

Craft Beer Festival

Come to the second annual Tapped in the ‘Ville Craft Beer Festival at Millennium Park on Saturday, June 23 from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. If you like to sample good beer, this is the place to do it, with some of the best local, state, and regional brews available.

There will be food trucks on site and live entertainment. In addition, what beer festival would be complete without a cornhole tournament?

Tickets include admission, 10 tasting tickets and a 12 oz. “Tapped in the ‘Ville” mug. Right next door is Northville Art House’s annual Art Fair for more to see and do as you taste our delicious brews. To purchase tickets online and more information, please see www.tappedintheville.com.

The End of Nowhere: Stories and Photographs by Thomas Pickarski

Speaking of the Northville Art House, this free photography exhibit by Thomas Pickarski will run through the end of June. Come to see his 32 dramatic photos of Iceland, Greenland, and Patagonia and read the stories of his journeys.

Dinner Theater at Genitti’s Hole In the Wall

Genitti’s is a 46-year tradition in Northville. This fine restaurant has expanded several times over the years and kept its relaxed and delicious family atmosphere. One thing they are known for is their one-stop-shop entertainment.

This summer’s dinner theater is no exception. For $50 per person, all inclusive, you and a table of friends or family can experience the interactive comedy murder mystery “Lights, Camera, Murder!” Set on the set of a 1950s monster horror flick “The Atomic Iguana,” you will be entertained and pulled in to this comedic murder mystery all while savoring the best Genitti’s has to offer. Performance dates are Saturdays, June 23 & 30 at 6:30 p.m.

To make reservations call 248-349-0522. For more information, please see Genitti’s Dinner Theater.

“Northern Aggression” by Joseph Zettelmaier

Tipping Point Theater

Running through June 24, Northern Aggression is a play about long-time Michiganders moving down south and hilariously misunderstanding a Civil War reenactment. It is directed by Matt Foss and features Thomas D. Mahard, Patrick Loos, and Alysia Kolascz.

Ticket Pricing

  • Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday at 8:00 p.m. - $30
  • Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. - $37
  • Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. - $33
  • Sundays at 2:00 p.m. - $33

For more information and purchase tickets online, please see Tipping Point Theater.

Takeaway

There’s certainly no shortage of fun in Northville, Michigan during the month of June to kick off the summer!

If you are interested in moving to at Northville, please give us a call. We would be honored to help you find the perfect house in this family-friendly community.

248-348-7200

The Ugly Summer Housing Market Forecast

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Couple looking at house online - housing market

If you are a first-time home buyer this summer, you probably have already been feeling the burn, so to speak. If 2017’s housing market was difficult for those seeking starter homes, this year is looking to be even tighter. Spring has been very busy already, and it’s not likely to let up as summer progresses.

While searching for a new house, it’s best to be informed. According to Forbes, which has analyzed the data and research this spring, more buyers are as informed as they can be going into this season.

If you are one of them, it’s probably because of the disappointment you, or your friends, have experienced while looking for a home. Here are the facts:

  • Inventory has been declining steadily for 42 consecutive months. It’s down almost 9% from last year at this time.
  • Average days on the market have fallen by 5 days as well.
  • Starter home prices have risen 9.6% this year over last year.
  • Trade up and premium home prices have risen as well - 7.5% and 5.2%.
  • Mortgage rates are on the rise as well - 4.66% at the end of May, which is ¾ of a percent higher than this time last year.
  • 40% of buyers are planning to put more than 20% down.
  • 40% of buyers have been actively looking for a home for more than 7 months.
  • 60% of buyers are still hoping to close on their dream home within the next 6 months.
  • More than 25% of buyers plan to offer above asking price.
  • 31% of buyers are planning to put a larger earnest money deposit down.
  • Only 6% of buyers aren’t planning to use any of these tactics to cope with the increased difficulty of finding a new home.

Here’s an interesting one, not necessarily negative.

  • There are 8.3% more fixer-upper starter homes on the market than there were 6 years ago.

According to the list above, clearly many buyers are going into this season with action plans in hand - and you can too.

Get pre-approved before you shop.

You don’t want to fall for a home and then lose it in the rush to get approved for a mortgage. In addition, according to The Mortgage Reports.com, you can shop around for your mortgage the same way you shop for a home. Don’t be like other buyers and take the first offer you find.

Be prepared to act fast!

This means having all your ducks in a row and knowing exactly what you’re willing to settle for, and how much you have to spend. It is better to know when to walk away than get in over your head with a mortgage payment you can’t afford.

On the flip side, know what you can offer over and above what other buyers might be able to offer. If you have a bigger down payment or more earnest money, offer it up front.

You can also settle, up front, with your realtor what other terms you can add to your offer to make it more attractive. For example, offer a fast closing, a quick inspection or renting back to the seller are all things that don’t cost extra money but could make the difference to the seller.

Keep an open mind.

When looking at homes - especially the way we all window shop on our phones - it’s best to reserve judgment until you’ve seen a home in person. If there is a particular listing in your neighborhood and price range that you are tempted to pass by because the pictures don’t look great, think again.

Other buyers may be doing what you were tempted to do and miss out on a good opportunity. The same thing goes for viewing fixer-uppers. Not everyone can see past paint or finishings they don’t like. However, if you are willing to do that, you might just get in ahead of everyone else.

Takeaway

Yes, the market is crazy for buyers again this year. But take heart and keep informed. If you are interested in looking for a house, it is important to have an experienced real estate agent by your side. Call our office today!

248-348-7200

 

Home Improvement: Do It Yourself vs. Getting a Loan

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Home improvement project: removing old asphalt roof

Spring and summer are often the time to roll out those power tools and work on the home improvement projects you have been waiting to do. Some homeowners are just now realizing their house needs work either before the next time cold weather hits or before they can sell their house.

The trouble is, which projects are worth it to do yourself and what ones are absolutely best done by a professional? In addition, if you need professional help, how can you finance it?

Here are practical tips to help you decide if you should do that home improvement project or to hire a professional.

Doing It Yourself

There are a few big questions to answer before you know whether a certain project is worth doing yourself. Before you get into a big one, make sure you have really done your research. Otherwise, you may end up paying double for a contractor to get you out of your DIY predicament.

Do You Have the Time and Energy to Invest in This Project?

I’m not just talking about the energy required to do the work, but also the energy required to live with the constant state of a mess as you navigate through your job, your family life, and the unfinished work and state of mess that inevitably comes with a DIY job.

While things like finishing a basement, landscaping, or even painting your home’s exterior yourself might be worth the hassle of the workaround, replacing all your kitchen cabinets and countertops yourself might not be worth it in the loss of your kitchen for weeks or months.

Is it Safe for a Novice?

Even experienced DIYers know better than to take on something that could be dangerous or cause expensive problems if done incorrectly. Things like electrical, plumbing, and removing walls are best left to the experts.

Do You Truly Have the Skills to Do it Right?

Many of the projects on DIY shows aren’t as easy as the professionals make them look. Installing tile is often touted as a DIY project. However, it can be tricky and costly to get wrong. Do your research, take a class, and practice before you commit.

How to Finance a Home Remodel

There is good news if you need home improvement and know you can’t tackle it yourself. There are many ways to finance home improvements.

Personal Loans

According to an article in US News, there are some personal loans available for as low as $1,000. Although they do have the drawback of short repayment times, they do not affect your home equity.

Home Equity Loans

A home equity loan is basically a smaller second mortgage for a fixed amount of money that is secured by your home. They typically have fixed interest rates that never change, so the monthly payment will be the same.

These loans have higher interest rates than mortgage rates, but they are much lower than a typical credit card. They also come in larger amounts - usually about 85% of the value of your home minus what you still owe on your current mortgage. You can also get a tax deduction under certain conditions.

The disadvantages of a home equity loan are that you use your home’s equity, so it doesn’t exist anymore or isn’t as high. There is a risk of foreclosure if you fail to pay the loan since the collateral is your home’s equity. Also, this isn’t a good product to use for short-term expense since you could end up paying more than if you had used a different loan product.

Contractor Financing

If you need a new roof, for instance, most companies offer financing to get you into the new roof you need right now and offer 100% financing. In fact, most contractors offer project financing that doesn’t affect your home equity, is easy to sign up for on the spot, and doesn’t tie up your personal credit card balances in case of emergency.

This option can often give you the ability to have a nicer renovation than you had anticipated and cover the total cost. However, keep in mind that it is a loan and a contractor is interested in selling you a higher-priced product by showing you a low monthly price you feel you can afford. Make sure to do your homework beforehand.

Best Home Improvement Projects for Return on Investment

Lifehacker.com lists the top three money-saving home improvements you can do. These are worth checking out even if they aren’t cosmetic. Not only are they worth the money, but they are, in some cases, very inexpensive.

  • Seal up all drafty areas - windows, doors, etc.
  • Update your old energy-wasting appliances
  • Clean your gutters and check for structural problems.

Conclusion

The best thing you can do to make a decision about home improvements and how best to get them done is to do your research, both on how long it actually takes to DIY a project AND how much it actually costs to finance.

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

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