Fireworks displays are one of our favorite summer activities! Whether you plan to celebrate this summer with a small back yard sparklers or go all out with a large professional display, fireworks are sure to please. And if you don’t want to do all of the work? Check out some of these recommended displays happening in Michigan this month and next!
The Ford Fireworks Detroit Website Here
Fireworks at 9:55pm
White Pigeon Days Website Here
Fireworks at dusk
Sturgis Fest Fireworks Website Here
Fireworks at dusk, around 10pm
All American 4th of July Website Here
Fireworks at dusk
Fireworks and Steel Drum Band Website Here
Fireworks at dusk
4th of July Celebration Website Here
Fireworks begin at 10pm
Fourth of July Waterfront Festival Website Here
Fireworks begin at dusk.
Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival Website Here
Fireworks begin at 10:30pm
4th of July Parade and Fireworks Website Here
Fireworks begin after concert, which starts at 8pm
Fourth of July Celebration Website Here
Fireworks begin at 10pm
Bay City Fireworks Fesitval Website Here
July 4th, 5th and 6th
Fireworks at 10pm
Amway Family Fireworks Website Here
Fireworks begin at 10:30
A small tip from your REALTOR® friends and neighbors: remember when doing your own fireworks displays to abide by all laws, policies, and procedures for your neighborhood, city/town, and county. Also be respectful of those with small children or pets that may not enjoy fireworks displays!
In Michigan we don’t often have to worry about many severe weather disasters – we’re lucky to avoid tsunamis and hurricanes, and tornadoes, fires and earthquakes are few and far between. But especially during the spring and summer months, the chance for thunderstorms, hail, damaging winds, and the occasional tornado do increase. So, what to do when those severe weather patterns strike? We’ve got the top tips from REALTORS® to keep your family and your home safe.
Make emergency plans for your home. Ready.gov has an amazing guide for making an emergency plan for your home. They break it down in to four easy steps:
Discuss key questions: How will I receive emergency alerts? What is my shelter plan? What is my evacuation route? What is my family communication plan?
Consider specific household needs: ages, access needs, barriers, dietary needs, religious considerations, pets, etc.
Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
Practice your plan with the family/household
Research Insurance Options
It surprises so many homeowners every year, but your current home insurance policy may not cover you in the event of some natural disasters and weather events. Consider if your home is in a flood zone, if the area is prone to high winds, etc, and address this accordingly with your insurance company. If you’re ready to explore other insurance options, your REALTOR® is an excellent resource!
Create an Emergency Kit
In the event of an emergency, you won’t always have time to gather necessary items, severe weather often strikes fast. Taking the time now to create an emergency kit will save you precious moments and could help to keep your family safe. We recommend these essentials:
Non-perishable foods – ideally a 3-day supply for each person
Filtered or bottled water – ideally a gallon per person per day for at least 3 days
Lantern, candles, or flashlights
Battery powered or hand crank radio
Extra batteries (consider for flashlights or cell phones)
Basic tools to turn off utilities
Cell Phone chargers
First aid kit
Blankets or extra clothing
Also consider your individual needs – if medication is necessary, do not forget to include this. Copies of important family documents can also come in handy – be sure they are protected from the elements. And finally, if you have pets, do not forget their essentials!
Clean Up and Seal Your Home
Especially in the event of high winds or rain and flooding, cleaning up and sealing your home from the outside can provide a lot of protection. You want to inspect and clean out all gutters and downspouts to allow water to properly flow away from your home. Seal small cracks with caulking to prevent water from getting in through those areas. Check trees for signs of weakness – it may be best to remove them before they can come down on or around your home.
After Severe Weather
When severe weather has passed, you may need to process, clean up, or restore your home. Be sure to consult professionals when appropriate and take necessary safety precautions.
Always assume any down power lines are live and thus dangerous.
Contact your utilities to turn off or restore services as needed like natural gas, electricity and water.
Do not venture in to flood waters, even if they appear shallow or safe.
We hope that severe weather does not strike, but in the event it does, remember, your REALTOR® is a great resource for you to find professionals that can help rebuild or repair, to find community opportunities, and ultimately, to be a sounding board for you on all matters of your home.
We don’t know about you, but when the weather gets warmer, we crave ice cream! Michigan has so many iconic ice cream flavors, like Superman, a wild blue, red and yellow ice cream. We tried one from Kilwin’s that had Blue Moon, Red Pop and lemon flavors. Another favorite is Mackinac Island Fudge from Hudsonville Dairy, a West Michigan creamery – it has delicious fudge chunks and butter fudge in a vanilla ice cream. Can you say “Yum?!”
Tucked away in every corner of Michigan, there are the cutest little ice cream shops serving some of Michigan’s best scoops. Here’s some of our favorites:
LANSING MICHIGAN AREA
Scoopy Doo’s – Dewitt, MI
126 N Bridge St, DeWitt, MI
Visit Scoopy Doo’s brand-new digs on Bridge St. in Dewitt – they just re-opened Memorial Weekend! We love the fun Scooby Doo theme and their Hudsonville Ice Cream selection.
EASTERN MICHIGAN AREA
Creamy Freeze – Commerce, MI
602 W Commerce Rd, Commerce, MI
Featuring both soft serve and hand scooped ice cream, Creamy Freeze is a local favorite! They feature new flurry flavors every week, like Samoa girl scout cookie, brownie fudge, and pecan praline caramel.
SAGINAW MICHIGAN AREA
Mooney’s Ice Cream and Cakes – Saginaw, MI
5716 State St., Saginaw, MI
Mooney’s is a Saginaw area favorite for a long time – it has been in business for over 20 years! Stop in a pick up a triple scoop sundae or try one of their unique ice cream cakes.
NORTHERN MICHIGAN AREA
Kilwin’s Chocolates – Petoskey, MI
316 Howard Street, Petoskey, MI
The original Kilwin’s opened its doors in Petoskey in 1947. From their delicious ice cream flavors, to their amazing chocolate treats, their slogan really says all you need to know about the stores: “Sweet in every Sense since 1947.”
GATEWAY MICHIGAN AREA
Sand Lake Party Store – Nottawa, MI
25595 M 86, Nottawa, MI
This one is truly a hidden gem! The Sand Lake area party store is home to all sorts of goods (can you say “24 flavors of bratwursts”?!) but they are also known for their HUGE servings of ice cream. Try a “bellyache” – that’s 5 giant scoops – of their most popular flavor, Hudsonville chocolate!
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN AREA
Sherman’s Dairy Bar – South Haven, MI
1601 Phoenix Street, South Haven, MI
In South Haven’s shopping district, Sherman’s Dairy Bar is a quaint little community staple. Serving up Sherman’s Ice Cream, which opened in 1916, their ice cream is known for the real ingredients that make up their flavors. Check out the strawberry – you’ll see real whole berries in there!
GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN AREA
Frosty Boy – Cascade, MI
6886 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI
Situated right in the cute downtown Cascade area, Frosty Boy is everything we need from a neighborhood ice cream parlor. They have a few snacks, some dinner items like hot dogs and broaster chicken, and of course, ice cream! Also serving up Michigan’s own Hudsonville ice cream, this is a must stop when in the area.
Especially in the spring real estate market, selling your home as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) might feel like a no-brainer. Post to Zillow, easily receive an offer, and avoid a REALTOR® commission. What could go wrong?
Actually, quite a few things could go wrong, which is why we recommend starting with a qualified Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate REALTOR®. If your home is currently listed FSBO, you might recognize some of the problems below, or if you are thinking about FSBO, here’s the top things to be look out for.
Pricing Your Home Correct for the Market
As a homeowner, you know what you paid for your home, and you might have a small idea, thanks to Instant Home Value tools like Zestimate, of what it could be worth. But all instant home value tools are using historical data, which means you could be getting outdated info. Only a REALTOR® has real-time, live market knowledge to accurately price your home. You could risk over-pricing your home and missing well-qualified buyers, or even worse, you could risk underpricing your home and leave valuable money on the table.
Advertising Your Home
Sure, you can publish your home For Sale By Owner on Zillow. But on average, prospective homebuyers are looking at over 15 sources when house hunting. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, you are hoping buyers will see your home and like it enough to take a gamble. A professional REALTOR® will put together a robust marketing plan for your home, including syndication to the top 40-50 real estate websites in the country, a large network of REALTOR® colleagues (who all have buyers), and will showcase the features of your home that are most likely to get you a favorable result.
Open Houses, Showings and Offers
It is not uncommon in this market for a new home for sale to get outrageous traffic in the first day it is listed. That may sound like a great thing – more eyes = more offers, right? But remember, as a FSBO, you are responsible for scheduling the showings, coordinating with multiple buyer’s agents, accepting and evaluating offers with complicated clauses and addendums. All while likely still trying to work your normal schedule, coordinate family life, or relax in your home. A REALTOR® takes all of those struggles away from a homeowner, making your selling process so much easier and more streamlined.
We hear at least once a week a story about the listing that “got 50 offers in the first 24 hours” – and as a FSBO, all of those offers are coming directly to you. What’s the difference between Offer A and Offer B, both at full price, both with closing costs covered by the seller, both with inspection waived? A REALTOR® will help you evaluate each offer with your end goal in mind, whether that is the offer with the most money at the end of the day, the offer that gets you into your new home the quickest, or whatever your home selling goals may be. And what if you only get a few offers, and they aren’t what you had hoped? A skilled negotiator can help you counter those offers without skipping a beat.
For this week’s “…In the Mitten” feature, we’re covering Farmers’ Markets! Farmers’ Markets are a summertime staple in Michigan. Professional farmers, home-growers, and often times craft-makers get to show off their skill weekly, and the market is a community hotspot in just about every corner of this awesome state! Here’s our favorite farmers markets that are a must see this summer.
Eastern Michigan – Plymouth Community Farmers’ Market
The Gathering – 736 Penniman Ave, Plymouth MI
Tucked in the adorable downtown area of Plymouth, MI is the Plymouth Community Farmers’ Market. Held on Saturdays, you can stop by, grab some fresh produce, and have a picnic in Kellogg Park, or stop by any of the other local shops all in walking distance.
Farmers’ Markets have been running for over 100 years in the Saginaw area. The current version features over 50 vendors 4 days per week and offers an awesome place for community engagement in the heart of downtown Saginaw. We love their website too – it features all sorts of great resources and education about fresh food from their vendors.
Located at Festival Square in downtown Cheboygan is the Cheboygan Farmers Market. Rain or shine come visit this quaint market featuring 10-20 quality Cheboygan area vendors. You can pick up fresh produce of course, but there are also craft goods like hand spun yarn, jams and jellies, and fresh baked goods.
Valley Court Park, 280 Valley Ct, East Lansing, MI
Steps away from the MSU campus, the East Lansing Farmers’ Market is for growers only – meaning you get some of the best farm grown produce and products that Michigan has to offer! Occasionally, you can also find artisan goods, flowers and more! The market accepts SNAP/Bridge cards, and the Double Up Food Bucks initiative for those that qualify.
The Fulton Street Market is actually one of the few farmers’ markets in Michigan that is open almost year round. Featuring an indoor market and an outdoor market, Fulton Street has dozens of vendors each week offering produce, dairy products, meat and eggs, farm products, baked goods, beverages, artisan products and more!
Main Market: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00am – 2:00pm
Featuring over 100 businesses each week, the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market has everything you want. Conveniently located in downtown Kalamazoo near Upjohn Playground, the Farmers’ Market has a central pavilion with restrooms, often features live music or entertainment and is the place to be on summer weekends! Visit for the fun activities, entertainment, or Food Truck Alley, and stay for the amazing home grown products.
Saturdays, 7:00am – 2:00pm
May through November
Tuesdays, 8:00am – 1:00pm and Thursdays, 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Gateway Area, Southern Michigan – Three Rivers Farmers’ Market
Market Pavilions at Scidmore Park, 138 West Michigan Avenue, Three Rivers, MI
Located in beautiful Scidmore Park, the Three Rivers Farmers’ Market is not only an amazing place to find fresh produce in the summer months, but they are a great community resource for all things Three Rivers. Visit their Facebook page to see info about local crafters, businesses and resources for residents. They also host Summer Movies in the Park, which sounds so fun!
In Michigan, we are finally having some consistently warm weather, so you know what that means: it’s time to ready your home for those rising temperatures! Check out our tips below for quick and easy ways to make sure you stay cool and comfortable in the warm temps.
Get an A/C Tune Up
We know all too well that a nice summer day can quickly derail if the A/C unit isn’t working. So, protect yourself from sweltering temps by getting an A/C tune up. Many local companies offer tune up specials this time of year. Especially if your air conditioning unit was fully exposed to the elements, it’s good to have a professional take a look and make sure all fluids are still present, lines are in good condition and fans are functional.
Tune Up or Check Lawn Equipment
Especially if your lawn equipment was stored outdoors or in an outdoor shed all winter, now is the time to get it out and cross your fingers as you tug on that pull cord. Your lawn equipment will thank you (and you will be so much happier) if you check your oil levels, replace with new gasoline (if needed) and clean out any debris that may be left from last season.
Clean your Windows and Screens
This one is less for actual functionality, and more just quality of life! Enjoying those gorgeous summer views from clean windows is sure to improve your mood each day. Plus, cleaning your screens can help with indoor air quality, can help keep mold growth down and can save time and money on repeat window cleaning.
Inspect Outdoor Plumbing
As you clean up your lawn, add the extra step to carefully inspect your outdoor plumbing. It may be rainy enough now that the lawn doesn’t need watering, or your plants are already growing like weeds, but inspecting now can save you valuable time when you do need to water the lawn, fill up the pool, or play in those sprinklers! This may be a great time to call in a professional if you do see anything wrong.
Plan for Summer Days Outside
Do you have a pool, playscape or outdoor patio furniture? Now is the time to get those items out, clean them and then relax. If you do have a pool or outdoor water feature, make sure you follow proper guidelines or consult a professional. For playscapes and patio furniture, use this time to tighten any loose screws, check for anything that could splinter or cut, and oil any chains or attachments if needed.
Clean Out the Mudroom
Finally, we can say goodbye to the winter jackets and snow boots. Assess the quality of each family member’s clothing – is it time to retire the old jacket from the 90’s? Do the kiddo’s snow boots that they used once not fit anymore? Donate whatever can be and toss the rest. Remember, you can use Marie Kondo’s tips to tackle the mudroom. Then bring out your sneakers, flip flops, light jackets and hats!
Feeling like that backyard or outdoor space is not the right fit anymore? Springtime means the spring real estate market, so we have tons of available homes to choose from! Start your search today at bhhsmi.com.
Welcome to our new blog feature – “…In the Mitten”! We love Michigan and could probably give you 1 million reasons to live here. But that would take a while to read. So, every couple of weeks, we’re going to break down some of our favorites about Michigan and give you an inside peak at the communities we call home.
Up first this week, Wineries in the Mitten. May is Michigan Wine Month, and May 25th is National Wine Day, so it’s only fitting to look at some of our favorite places for a glass of vino. Whether you prefer a light refreshing white, or the full body of a dark cabernet, these locations have you covered!
Our Northern Michigan region is home to many nationally recognized vineyards and wineries, as well as several hidden gems.
Black Star Farms
Voted Michigan’s Best Winery by mlive.com, Black Star Farms is a Michigan favorite. We love the Late Harvest Riesling, or if you prefer something a little dryer, the Arcturos Dry Riesling was awarded the “Best Riesling in the World” at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge! Even better than the wine, is the amazing community in Suttons Bay and Leelanau Peninsula. Sprawling countryside, amazing Lake and Bay views, and outstanding culture make this a great place to call home. Click here to see homes for sale.
Chateau Grand Traverse
Located on Old Mission Peninsula, Chateau Grand Traverse is one of the oldest and largest northern Michigan wineries, and offers wine tours, a winery inn, and premium wine tasting. Chateau Grand Traverse has just announced their best wines of the summer including! A chilled bottle of the Pinot Grigio is the perfect choice for summertime barbeques or picnics with floral and citrus notes.
Gateway Area Michigan
Amazing wineries can even be found in our southernmost region in Michigan! Our Gateway region has one of the most unique wineries.
Round Barn Winery
Round Barn specializes in award-winning wines, handcrafted spirits, and even micro brews. The winery also has live music every Saturday and Sunday, Island Spirit Parties in the summer, delicious food, and more! From local wine to craft brews, Round Barn Winery offers a little bit for everyone. The Gateway area is one of Michigan’s best kept secrets, but promise to keep it just between us, and you could own one of these beautiful properties!
Our Southwest region is home to one of the most nationally recognized wineries in Michigan.
St. Julian Winery
For over 95 years, St. Julian Winery has been producing nationally recognized, award winning wine. Using only Michigan fruit, St. Julian is truly Pure Michigan. As a fourth-generation family run company, wine is not only a family tradition but also a passion. With over 50 products, including Vodka made from grapes and 7 non-alcoholic sparkling juices, St. Julian surely has something for every palate. And to top it off, Kalamazoo and Paw Paw, where St. Julian’s vineyards are located, is a vibrant growing community with something for everyone. Click here to see homes for sale in Kalamazoo.
Often thought of as “Motor City” or just the suburbs of Detroit, Eastern MI is home to many exciting communities and some really fun wineries!
Fenton Winery & Brewery
Our favorite in Eastern MI is Fenton Winery & Brewery. Offering over 20 wines every day, there is something for everyone. They also offer the opportunity to make your own custom wine or custom wine labels, which is a great activity for gift for family and friends. Located in southern Genesee County, Fenton and the surrounding communities provide a great blend of waterfront communities, bustling cityscapes and tons of fun to boot. You could snag one of these homes for sale today!
Lansing and Central Michigan
Life in the capital city of Michigan is always moving and changing. But tucked just outside of the city are some really fun winery destinations.
Located in Haslett, east of Lansing is Burgdorf’s Winery. All of Burgdorf’s wine selections are produced 100% from Michigan grown fruits and vegetables. We love that the winery and their award-winning wines started in a three-car garage and they stay true to their roots! Stop by the tasting room, located in the original garage! And while you’re there, check out all of these homes available with their own three-car garage.
Now, you might be thinking “Wineries in Grand Rapids? It’s Beer City! There’s no wineries there!” But you would be wrong!
Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery
On the city’s northeast side is one of our favorites, Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery. Open year round, Robinette’s is apple orchard meets cider mill meets winery, with a whole lot more wrapped up. They feature fun and fruity blends as well as traditional varieties. With all of the buzz around Grand Rapids as a great place to live, what more could you need! Check out these homes available today. https://www.bhhsmichiganrealestate.com/Homes-For-Sale/Grand_Rapids/MI
Each and every day, our REALTORS® try to be good stewards for our communities and environment. There are a ton of ways we, as homeowners, can impact the environment for the better! The key is to start small, in whatever ways you can and build from there.
1. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
We’re taking it back to the basics for our first tip – but it is so critical! Make sure that you are reducing your consumption of products that may clog landfills, like Styrofoam packing materials, plastic single use bottles, etc. Switch to reusable whenever you can, like aluminum water bottles or fabric grocery totes. Recycle whenever possible – this is a great way to get the kids involved too.
2. Change Your Gardening Routine
Rather than using harmful pesticides to keep your garden and lawn work together, switch to something that is pollinator friendly like all-natural fertilizers. Pollinators are incredibly important in food production and atmosphere maintenance from plant life, and pesticides threaten many of those species, like bees.
3. Plant a Tree
This is a great family friendly activity. Studies show that by planting one tree, you can help to combat the effects global greenhouse gas emissions. And you and your family will enjoy your contribution for years to come. Can’t plant a tree in your space? The Canopy Project is a great organization that plants one tree for every dollar donated.
4. Lower your water consumption
Water is a renewable resource, yet much of the world does not have access to clean and safe water. And while water might be one of your lowest utility bills this month, there are a lot of savings to be had! Consider turning off the water when brushing teeth or shaving, install low flow shower heads or high efficiency flush toilets to use less of this precious resource.
5. Explore LEED or Energy Star Certification
Looking at a new construction project, or building a new home? Consider asking your REALTOR® for their recommendation on a LEED certified builder to help with your home. The LEED program provides guidelines for building a more-eco-friendly home and LEED certified properties are becoming more and more popular. Not building a new home? Try looking for new Energy Star appliances to give your home a mini boost.
We could go on and on about our REALTORS® and the funny stories they bring back to the office. But below are some of our favorites that are so funny, we thought they must be April Fools Pranks!
1. “I was helping a first time home buyer and we came across a new listing. The listing comments read “Charming 3-bedroom, 1 bath. Just needs a ‘little TLC.’
The house in real life:
*photo credit: Sara Dennison
2. This one is more of a professional hazard really…
“When you think everything looks good, you’re on the road to closing, and then…”
*Video credit: The Lighter Side of Real Estate
3. “There always seem to be surprises before the open house. It’s like, “what else could possibly happen before this?” Just once, I’d love to have and open house that goes completely without a hitch.”
Client: our pet snake got loose this morning, but we’ll find it before the open house!
Client: We will definitely have everything clean for the open house!
Me, arriving 30 minutes before the open house:
Me, when the tenants are home after confirming they would leave:
4. “Never, ever, under any circumstance whatsoever, believe the budgets on HGTV!”
5. “When showing a home, my buyer and I had the strange feeling that someone was watching us.”
Curb appeal typically brings to mind spring planting, weeding, lawn maintenance, and maybe some hardscaping to bring definition to your garden. But some of our favorite curb appeal tips have nothing to do with your yard! Take a look at our top 5 tips below for curb appeal that wows.
1. It’s all about color.
One of the first things buyers always seem to notice is color! So, give your front porch a little love with a fresh coat of paint to your front door, or some fun furniture accents. We’re loving this cabernet colored door, or may we suggest an outdoor chair or pillow in the Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral?
*photo credit to Pantone LLC.
2. You’ve got mail.
A fresh new take on this staple for any home could be just what you need. Be sure to check your neighborhood or HOA for any rules/restrictions, but you can freshen up where you receive your daily mail for very little investment, just by visiting your local hardware store. Try a new pedestal or roadside mailbox, or this modern wall mount mailbox is sure to stand out.
3. Improve Your Numbers
House numbers have become something of a trend in recent years, and for good reason! They are such a quick and easy way to update the look of your entry way. Try a modern new display with chic metallics and dark wood tones, get crafty with a planter/numbers combo, or get custom numbers carved into metal, like this example. There are so many options, and all add a little flair.
4. Let Your Light Shine
Outdoor lighting can add another level to your curb appeal – especially for people who may be house hunting in the early evening hours. Think about how welcoming a brightly lit entry way feels compared to one that is dark and hidden. Help buyers see your hard work by adding new sconce lighting or some trendy Edison lightbulb strands.
5. Power Wash the Dirt Away
So simple, and we know we keep telling you that cleaning is key, but it really is! If you don’t own a power washer, renting one for the day from a local hardware store can be a huge game changer for your curb appeal. Buyers will see a fresh clean house as they walk up and instantly feel welcome and at home.