Local Orchards to Visit

The weather is starting to turn and leaves are changing colors which means it is finally time to start engaging in our favorite Fall favorites! Stay tuned throughout the upcoming weeks as we bring you fun activities around Michigan.

Don’t you just love the smell of cinnamon sugar donuts, filling up that basket full of raspberries, pumpkin picking, wagon rides through the apple trees, and fresh cider? Check out these 5 cider mills you’ll want to visit this season

img_9536

Erwin’s Orchard

Located at 61475 Silver Lake Rd, South Lyon

(248) 437-0150

Apple picking, donuts (plain, pumpkin glazed, cinnamon sugar), hay bales and tricycles, petting farm, barn of horrors, & terrifying corn maze.

Plymouth Orchards & Cider Mill

Located at 10685 Warren, Plymouth

(734) 455-2290

Cider, pies, donuts, pumpkin and picking

Spicer Orchards Farm Market, Cider Mill, Winery

10411 Clyde Rd, Fenton

(810) 632-7692

Donut shop, caramel apples, animal barn, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins & raspberries. Free wine tasting (10am to 7pm) as well as hard cider tasting.

Westview Orchards and Adventure Farm

65075 Van Dyke, Washington Twp

(586) 752-3123

Farm market, bakery and sweet shop, witness apple cider being pressed on weekends, 6-acre corn maze, pony rides, playground, unique donut flavors like maple bacon

Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill

714 Baseline Rd, Northville

(248) 349-3181

Donuts, cider, and extra weekend attractions (duck feeding, craft booths, “chow mills” featuring Dearborn Sausage Co. hot dogs and kielbasa

Have fun touring these local cider mills and orchards and make sure to tag Team Hamilton Real Estate on Facebook if you do!

Smokin’ Jazz & BBQ Blues

Hey downtown Brighton lovers! The Smokin’ Jazz & BBQ Blues Festival is approaching fast so we want you to keep it on your radar. This is by far one of the best festivals that Brighton offers presented by First National Bank and Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce.

EventPhotoMini_4_SmokinJazz 400 by 400

Some of the tasty food items include pulled pork, pork tenderloin, beef brisket, mac & cheese and much more! Several food trucks from around Michigan and the U.S. come, serve, and don’t disappoint. In addition, Jazz and Blues music can be heard from the stage Friday and Saturday night. Bands featured are The Alligators, Ben Sharkey with the Woodward Horns, Root Doctor, George Bedard & The Kingpins, Marcus Elliot Quartet, The Millionaires feat. Camille Price & Dr. Leonard King, Toronzo Cannon, & finally, the Kenny Parker Band.

The festival will be held on Main Street Friday September 9th and Saturday September 10th. Don’t miss out on the fun and bring the whole family!

 

Check out this link for more details such as times the bands will be playing and which food trucks will be there!

http://www.brightonsmokinjazz.com/

Benefits of Using a Realtor

Why use a Realtor vs. going solo?

Sale house and calculator

Have you been thinking of buying or selling your home, but leaning towards doing it all on your own as opposed to using a Realtor? How hard could it be right? All they do is look for listings online and show it…we could do that ourselves! Well, you might want to rethink a little bit. Team Hamilton has some great reasons to help you understand why it is to your benefit to have a Realtor on your side.

For starters, Realtors have tons of knowledge and expertise. Agents are required to have taken a real estate course and state test, as well as obligated to keep up with many hours of continuing education each year. In addition, Team Hamilton for example has real life experience handling many transactions, negotiating, and getting people to the closing table. Selling or buying without representation is a little harder when it is the only time you’ve dealt with contracts, appraisers, dozens of forms, etc.

Next, the searching power is so much greater when you have a Realtor with access to the MLS (multiple listing service). Realtors are able to input your exact criteria into the MLS and when new listings come up for sale, those will automatically be sent to you once or twice a day. There is also much more information on these sites compared to Zillow or Trulia.

Realtors are also highly connected with other realtors as well as other team members important for your entire process. These people can include lenders, title companies, insurance brokers, home inspectors, stagers, and so many more. Similarly, through networking, Realtors may know of homes that will be coming up for sale before they are even listed on the open market. This could really work in your favor and allow you an “in” over everyone else.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that Realtors are held to a standard of ethics. These are standards that real estate agents are encouraged to abide by and if they do not, there are actions and steps that can be taken to report that and hold them accountable. Consider entering into an agreement with a for sale by owner…they are not licensed professionals and can technically do whatever they want. What if they ended up pulling out of the deal and deciding not to sell their house at the eleventh hour? Well, there is nobody to report them to.

Lastly, Realtors are not just salespeople. Team Hamilton agents wear many different hats that can leave you really trusting and ultimately befriending your agent when things are all said and done. We invest our time and money to make sure you have the best service possible including professional photos when your home is being listed, high end flyers to market your home, doing additional research to provide great comparables when it comes time for an appraisal, being available during morning, nights and weekends, as well as listening to much more than just your real estate needs. We want your home buying or selling experience to be the smoothest and most personal experience it can possibly be.

Smoke Detector Safety

Smoke Detector Safety

Do you ever get frustrated when your smoke alarm goes off after you’ve burnt something as simple as a piece of toast? To avoid future annoyances, many people disable their smoke alarms so this doesn’t happen repeatedly. DO NOT DO THIS. Between allowing batteries to die and disabling the alarms, tragedies often occur. To protect your family and home, there are things you can do to update your alarms and keep your home as safe as possible.

smoke detector

Here are some important facts provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  • Smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years.
  • They should be installed inside and outside of every bedroom or sleeping area.
  • Test all alarms once a month.
  • Consider getting interconnected alarms. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Alarms should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement).

You may want to consider upgrading your smoke detectors just for the new technology that they now have. The new “smart” designs have been developed to protect while producing fewer false alarms. The Nest, for example, is one brand that can detect smoke and carbon monoxide and give you a verbal warning. This device can pinpoint the exact problem area and then send you an alert on your smart phone. Another device, The Lophic, can decipher between cooking smoke and real smoke from a fire. Lastly, the Birdi can monitor the quality of the air and even contact the fire department when something isn’t right. All of these new smoke detectors are 90% faster to detecting fires compared to the original smoke alarms.

Replacing or upgrading detectors can range anywhere from $30+ depending on which type you buy, but no matter which type of alarms you choose, just remember to have them hooked up, working, and in the correct locations. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Seriously Septic

Getting Serious about Septic Fields

It is so important to maintain your septic tank in order to avoid costly problems later down the road. The first thing you should remember to prevent clogging up your disposal field is to never pour cooking oils, grease, paper towels, sanitary products, and other garbage down your disposal or toilets. Also, reduce the amount of chemicals you are allowing into the tank such as detergents, bleach, paint, and paint thinners. The more water you add to the tank, the more stress you are putting on it too, so it would be helpful to limit the amount of water you allow to be drained into the tank (don’t drain hot tubs or pools into the tank).

Next, keep in mind that you should be getting the tank pumped regularly. It will depend how often you need to get it cleaned out based on the amount of people living in the household. For residential, tanks should be pumped once every three years. You also want to make sure the tank is easily accessible. We’ve recently seen septic fields that are underneath decks and pools. That is a big problem and your deck would have to be ripped off in order to service the field.

If you haven’t done the maintenance regularly and see areas in your yard that are wet all of the time, or if there is a foul odor emitted, consult with a septic company to come out and inspect the tank. Replacing the septic field can be a very costly repair and we as realtors, have seen this issue come up in recent transactions. Just remember that spending a little money now to maintain will be worth it in the long run and save you from an even bigger wad you will have to spend later.

messyField

If you need your septic tank cleaned or inspected, try the trusted company we recommend:

Howell Sanitary

517-546-2978

Family owned business founded by Lloyd Wellman in 1948.

Ready to List

Now that the holidays are over, it is a great time to start thinking about your plans for this New Year. Have you been contemplating listing your home for sale or know somebody else that has? There are some things you can do to prepare for the spring market. Set a date for when you want to list your home for sale and start working on home projects to get your house in tip top shape for potential buyers. It will also be handy if you can get certain documents and information ready so that when you are ready to contact your realtor to list, you will be all set. It will also look great to potential buyers if you provide them with additional information they won’t have to dig up for themselves (such as schooling info).

checklist

Start gathering the following to be prepared:

  1. Owner’s title policy
  2. Extra house key for the lock box
  3. Mortgage survey report
  4. Mortgage information-lender’s name, address, phone number, & your loan number for all mortgages
  5. Any information you may have on your well (if you have one), such as size, depth, & location
  6. Any information you may have on your septic (if you have one), such as location of field, tank, and when it was last pumped
  7. Association information-name, address, phone number, & monthly dues if applicable
  8. Seasonal pictures of your home and property
  9. Information on any updates or improvements you’ve made to your home/property and dates of completion
  10. School information-designated elementary, middle, and high schools for your address
  11. School bus information-location, pick up, & times