Category Archives: Blog

America’s Top 5 Up-and-Coming Foodie Towns

Who’s ready to eat? has selected the top 5 up-and coming foodie towns by the following criteria:

  • # of non-fast-food restaurants per capita
  • # of craft breweries, food trucks & markets
  • % of adults who dine out 3x per week
  • # of mentions in food magazines
  • # of Michelin-recommended restaurants

Let’s eat!


This is one of the prime meals-on-wheels locales in the United States. Welcome to street food nirvana with 155 different food trucks. 


Tradition plus innovation equals one of the surprise eating destinations on the East Coast. There is something for everyone in this new food mecca.


Fresh and experimental eats here in the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement with many cool and weird places to try. 


Award-winning, locally caught seafood is creatively prepared. Blue crabs, oysters, fish, shrimp, and clams are hauled in daily. 


Beer, booze, and barbecue. Southern food is elevated using local ingredients and taking mountain cuisine to new heights. 

Where will you go for your next food adventure?


content courtesy:

James Silver

Associate Broker | Team Leader

Keller Williams Realty | James Silver Team

Michigan | Florida

(248) 530-7292 |

Detroit Tigers 2017 Opening Day Roster

Hey batter, batter, batter! It’s that time of the year, again. Spring is in the air and the Tigers are ready to come out to play. April 7, 2017 is officially Opening Day for the Tigers as they take on the Boston Red Sox at 1:10 p.m. Whether you plan to go to the game or just hang around downtown Detroit, here is the full roster for the game:


Matthew Boyd

Michel Fulmer

Shane Greene

Daniel Norris

Francisco Rodriguez

Bruce Rondon

Kyle Ryan

Anibal Sanchez

Justin Verlander

Alex Wilson

Justin Wilson

Jordan Zimmermann


Alex Avila

James McCann


Miguel Cabrera

Nicholas Castellanos

Jose Iglesias

Ian Kinsler

Dixon Machado

Andrew Romine


Tyler Collins

JaCoby Jones

Mikie Mahtook

Justin Upton


Victor Martinez

Eat ’em up, boys! Good luck to the Tigers!

Line up courtesy of CBS Detroit 

James Silver

Associate Borker | Team Leader

Keller Williams Realty | James Silver Team

Michigan | Florida

(248) 530-7292 |

Cheap Upgrades to Make a Home Feel New!

#1 Sensor Lights – Brighten Up! 

Add sensor lights to your porch and any other entrance. Starting at just $15, it’s a tiny cost with a BIG REWARD. These lights won’t just improve your visibility, they’ll also LOWER YOUR ELECTRICITY BILL.


#2 Keyless Entry – Make it Easy!

If you’re always losing your keys, invest in a keyless entry pad. Plus, it’ll only run you about $100.


#3 Low-Flow Toilet – Save Water! 

Chose a low-flow toilet to save water. Expect to pay between $100 and $325 for the toilet, but with a high efficiency flusher you’ll use around 300 fewer gallons of water.


#4 Fresh Mulch – Mix It Up! 

There’s no need to go full out on landscaping. Replacce your mulch for around $6 and the fresh layer will make your yard POP!


Content courtesy of

James Silver

Associate Broker | Team Leader

Keller Williams Realty | James Silver Team

Michigan | Florida

(248) 530-7292 |

8 Staircase Decorating ideas

When it comes to decorating your home, people tend to overlook the staircase. However, the stairs are a focal point of your home – and often the first thing that your guests, or if you’re selling, a potential buyer will see when they walk in your front door. 

So banish boring stairs! Here are some decorating ideas that suggest how to jazz up this important- yet overlooked – feature of your house, with paint, tile, wallpaper and more. 


Add a fresh burst of color on the toe kick of every step on yoru staircase, says Art Freedman, CEO of Max Warehouse in Sacramento, CA. 

Consider contrasting shades for each step, or even the ombré route. 

You could also cover risers with numbers, the ABCs, or chalkboard paint an instant art center for the kids. 


A fab remnant or a discontinued style may not be enough to covery your half bath, but a limited amount of wallpaper should suffice to cover each stair riser. The same holds for accent tiles that you might use in the kitchen or bathroom. 

Bonus: Most tiles can handle the everyday wear and tear (and kicks) that your family will dish out as they head up and down the stairs. 


Depending on where the stairs are located (back steps to the kitchen, office, home gym, or garage are ideal for this), write out a phrase to inspire you as you climb. “A quote or saying can be energizing each time you use the staircase,” says Freedman. 

You could also put the days of the week, the signs of the zodiac or the name of each family member (and the dog) on risers. 

Note: This technique can also go badly wrong. Avoid tweets from political figures. 


The area underneath a staircase is often an afterthought, but there are dozens of ways to utilize this real estate for storage. 

You might even build out this area to create a home office, sewing nook, or gift-wrapping station. 


If your staircase comes with a plain ol’ wooden banister, consider an upgrade. 

consider your home’s decor and then choose coordinating material (wrought iron, steel, horizontal wire, or even glass). 


Consider removing carpet, especially if there’s beautiful wood underneath blah floor coverings. If not, you can also add a rug as well. 

Think neutral colors and patterns if you’re planning to sell in the near future. 


Do not crowd the space at the top or bottom of your suitcase. Too much furniture on the landing or the base of the stairs can make potential buyers feel cramped as they tour your home. This will make your home feel larger and more grand.

The bottom line: Stairs should be a calm space of transition. 


Regardless of how it’s designed, your staircase has to shine in order to make a good impression.

Content courtesy of

James Silver

Team Leader | Associate Broker

James Silver Team | Keller Williams Realty

Michigan | Florida

(248) 530-7292 | 

The 5 Best Home Improvements You’ll Ever Make

A New Deck 

A new deck will provide a solid return on investment.

According to Remodeling Magazine, the upgrade will have an estimated 75% ROI.


The Basement

Fixing up the basement will add a whole new level of living space to your house and get you over 70% ROI, higher than a rehabbed kitchen or bathroom.

A New Front Door

Front door replacements have a high ROI, with 91.1% for steel doors and 82.3% for fiberglass doors.


Attic Insulation

Installing new insulation will score the highest ROI for your home: 116.9% return!!!

Plant a Tree

Do you know planting a tree is cheap?

Did you know it will end up being a good investment?

A mature tree can add $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your home, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.



Content Courtesy of

James Silver

Associate Broker | Team Leader

The James Silver Team | Keller Williams Realty

Michigan | Florida

(248) 530-7292 |

Will Home Sales and Prices Continue to Accelerate in 2017?


The days of multiple bids and offers that are typically way higher than a home’s asking price—you know, that stuff that we now consider to be normal in the housing biz—aren’t expected to disappear any time soon. But here’s the good news: Things aren’t expected to get too much worse in 2017 either.

Rising mortgage rates as well as a dearth of affordable, existing homes (i.e., previously lived-in residences) on the market are expected to lead to a smaller increase in sales in 2017, according to the latest quarterly survey from the National Association of Realtors®.

The survey was of nearly 2,800 U.S. households and conducted from October through early December.

Existing-home prices are expected to go up 4% in 2017, slowing down just a bit from 5% in 2016, according to NAR.The pace of sales is also expected to slow, rising just 2% in 2017, compared with 3.3% in 2016

All in all, 2016 is expected to be the best year for existing-home sales since the height of the housing boom in 2006.

The challenges ahead

2017 will “be a year of growth in both sales and prices,” says Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of®. “But that growth will be slower than what we’ve seen over the last three years.”

Those higher mortgage rates have already driven monthly mortgage payments up 7% since the presidential election, Smoke says. And those bigger bills are expected to make it harder for wannabe homeowners, particularly first-time buyers, to qualify for loans.

That’s in addition to the low inventory of available homes on the market that they need to contend with. In November, there were 12% fewer new and existing homes for sale on than the same month a year earlier.

Still, the majority of households surveyed still believe now is a good time to buy a home, But fewer renters are getting the buying bug these days. That’s because housing prices are continuing to go up, making affordability an ever bigger challenge, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“Younger households, renters, and those living in the costlier West region—where prices have soared in recent months—are the least optimistic about buying,” Yun said in a statement.

According to the survey, about three-quarters of current homeowners who are over 45, make more than $50,000 a year, and live in the Midwest or South were the most confident that now is the time to close on the homes of their dreams.

They are typically the most financially stable or live in the most affordable regions of the country.

But for everyone else, it’s not all doom and gloom. Lenders are beginning to make more loans to buyers with lower credit scores and down payments as well as higher debt-to-income ratios as a result of rising mortgage rates, says Smoke.

That’s because fewer homeowners are likely to refinance their mortgages now that rates have gone up. To make up for that loss in business, lenders have to issue more loans. And higher rates can net mortgage makers higher profits, he says.

“Lenders are getting more aggressive,” Smoke says. “Credit access already appears to be improving because of the rates.”

How Much It Really Costs To Sell Your Home

Show me the money! Admit it, that’s what you’re thinking when you consider selling your house. In fact, chances are good you’ve mentally spent much of the proceeds already—on a new house you’re buying, and maybe even a nice vacation this summer. Slow down there—while selling a home can indeed bring in some sweet profits, not every dollar goes into your pocket. You also have to pay the professionals who help you unload your property. So now the question in your mind is probably: How much does it cost to sell a house? Really?

On average, home sellers pay their listing agent a commission amounting to about 6% of the price of their home (although that percentage can vary). On a $250,000 house sale, this amounts to roughly $15,000.

That might seem like a yuuuuge chunk of change, but don’t go assuming you’re getting ripped off! Here’s where that money goes, and why it’s totally worth it.

The real estate agent commission, explained

If you’re picturing your real estate agent pocketing the whole sum, think again.

“Sellers are often confused by the often-quoted ‘6% commission fee,’ and it’s because many agents don’t explain clearly why it’s being collected,” says David Nelson, a real estate professional with Re/Max Advantage Plus in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

In fact, that commission is split between the buyer’s agent‘s brokerage and the seller’s. They might split it evenly, or the seller’s agent’s side might get a bit more. From those splits, the respective brokerages take their cut—which, again, varies—and the remaining amount goes to the agents.

Remember, most agents don’t receive a salary, so that fee pays for all that time the agent spent marketing your home. It also includes costs like photographs and signage, as well as the cost to list it on the multiple listings service. And if your house doesn’t sell, the agent doesn’t get reimbursed for those costs—or paid for her time.

How much sellers pay in closing costs

While buyers tend to pay more in closing costs, sellers aren’t completely off the hook. You can expect to spend an additional 2% of your home’s price on this expense, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage information resource

Closing costs tend to be fixed, including transfer taxes, escrow expenses, and notary fees. You’ll also pay at closing any outstanding property taxes, a prorated share of the water and sewage bills, and the remainder of your mortgage.

Yet you may have control over a few closing costs, says Gumbinger. If you hire a real estate attorney to oversee your side of the transaction, it’s worth shopping around to compare rates. You might also be able to avoid a $100 to $200 reissue fee for the title search if you can provide a copy of your policy.

Should I just sell my house myself to save money?

In a hot market, many sellers may think they can sell their house themselves to avoid the commission fees.

However, most people don’t realize that if you sell your house on your own, you still have to pay for the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fee.

“Since over 93% of active buyers have a real estate agent representing them, it’s the only way to attract these agents—and thus their buyers—to even consider your home,” Nelson says.

What about that cash they would still be saving by selling their home as “For Sale by Owner,” or FSBO?

Consider what your agent brings to the party:

  • Marketing, signs, advertising support, and professional photography
  • The time and “hassle factor” savings of not having to be present for showings, manage calls, host an open house, set up legal representation for paperwork, and conduct the negotiations
  • The legal protection that comes with working with a licensed real estate agent
  • The professional market knowledge that can help you wisely price the house
  • Negotiating expertise that allows your agent to extract the best terms and price from the buyer
  • A wider pool of potential buyers that comes with listing your home on the MLS
  • Access to other agents, who have or know potential buyers. In fact, notes Nelson, many sales can happen before a home is even listed, because agents will reach out to one another.

“In the end, that ‘savings’ to list a home yourself doesn’t usually save you any money,” Nelson says. “In fact, it can cost you in terms of time, stress, and often a lower price for your home.”

You know the saying “you get what you pay for”? Well, you also earn what you save. Think long and hard about your limitations in terms of time and expertise before heading down the home-selling path solo. After all, this home sale may be one of the largest financial transactions of your life, so it’s not exactly something you should cut corners on with the hopes of saving a few bucks.

Call us to get your home sold! 

Content courtesy of

James Silver 

Associate Broker | Team Leader

Keller Williams Realty | The James Silver Team 

Michigan | Florida 

(248) 530-7292 |