Forest Hills, MI Real Estate News

By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Choosing the right Realtor® Does experience matter when choosing a Realtor? National statistics tell us a different consumer story.  Consumers look at very few things about the Realtor® they choose to represent them when going through the selection process. They, sellers and buyers, look at physical presence and usually do not consider company image...what your body language says to them when you meet for the first time is a key factor.  In fact studies show that we as humans make up our minds in the first 15 seconds if we like others or not.  So does that smile or gesture make a difference?  Does a warm firm handshake or a clammy palm tell you anything about the other person?  Does dress express how they will treat you or your listing if you ask them to sell your property?  The evaluat...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Cascade Woods is an established neighborhood of large, executive  style homes in Cascade Township, MI. Most of these homes were built in the 1960's and 1970's, although there are a few newer homes that were  built recently in the area. Close to the village of Cascade and the Thornapple   River, this heavily wooded area has been a Grand Rapids desired suburban place to live for  decades.  Part of the Forest Hills School District, which draws many families, there is also the river and it's picturesque  appeal.  The drive down Thornapple River Drive between Ada and Cascade in the fall is one of the prettiest drives in the greater Grand Rapids area.                  Cascade Woods Residential Real Estate                          Market Report Aigust 2008          12 Homes For Sale (FS),  1 ...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Forest Hills Plat in Grand Rapids Michigan is a well established home neighborhood located just west of Forest Hills Drive and just south of Fulton Street.  Built in the late 1950's and 1960's by R.D. Brooks, this development has a community outdoor pool, community association, and common park area for residents who  belong to the association. It is in Grand Rapids Township, prestigious Forest Hills Schools, and  close to the I96 Expressway for fast access to many parts of the city.  Just minutes away from the Forest Hills shopping area, 28th Street retail corridor, and about 10 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids or Gerald R. Ford Airport. A very desirable place to live for its safety, quality construction, and convenience.                     Forest Hills Plat Residential Homes        ...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Stoneshire Homes is a newer development located just south of Hall Street  and directly across the street from Forest Hills Central High School. These are executive style homes with landscaped yards, and lots of amenities. This location on Hall Street is in back of the presigious Manchester Hills development. They were purposely not connected by a common road, so you can't drive through to the other development.  This neighborhood is quite new and there aren't many homes built yet. There are quite a few lots and new homes available. If you are looking for a new home in the Forest Hills School District, this could be your next home.             Stoneshire August 2008          Real Estate Market Report               2 For Sale, 0 Pending, 1 Sold Address                       Status       ...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Forest Hills, Michigan is a prestigious place to live, I just didn't realize how prestigious until I happened upon this website on the internet, CNNMONEY.com The stats here on Forest Hills, MI were surprising and not surprising.    18 homes for sale in the million dollar + category. That surprised me. I figured there were a few but not that many!   That 92.9% of our kids attend public or parocial schools - no surprise there. Parents in this community prize education and support their school systems with their tax dollars and volunteer support.   78.9% of our days per year are ranked as good for Air Quality by the AQI index.  No surprise here either, We live in a great area for outdoor sports and activities.   136 public golf courses within 30 miles - Gee, guess I better get busy making ...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
The housing market affects more than builders and Realtors.  The first to come to mind is the home owner...which most Realtors fall into this category too. The riding lawn mower industry is feeling the pinch too.  Why?  Simply with fewer housing start less lawn mowers are being purchased.  The roofing industry has turn up the heat trying to get replacement roofs since housing and building starts are down. Cement contractors they lay people off too.  The housing starts gets them too and they can change over to roads and driveway replacement but in most cases these jobs are already being done by established contractors in that market segment. Take a look at all the other apspects of the trickle down effect...a work Reagan used...trickle down ecconomics.  Window manufacturers, siding, door...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Life's lessons can not always be fun.  But....that little three letter word can have a big impact on what you think is going to happen and what does happen. Many times in talking with For Sale By Owners they have a misconception that using a Realtor costs them money.   Now did you notice the word "Misconception"....they see a commission fee and say hey....what is this nut talking about "Misconception".  People say, "if I pay it out it is gone and not mine.  Maybe?  I have had people asking if I was smoking funny cigarettes or on crack....the fact is the commission a real estate agent earns is not a cost.  I know if it reduces the money you make it has to be a cost, right?  In that sense it is no doubt a cost, BUT let me ask you a question. I you you went to buy a car, you know the sales...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
In today's market of foreclosures and short sales buyers tend to want answers right now on the offers they have submitted.  So what takes so long for the lender to respond?  You can have several reasons why offers take so long before a lender will respond.  The number one reason is the backlog of properties to process.  The second largest reason is the offer was to low for the target sell price set by the lender.  The third reason is not all the paperwork on short sales has been filed with the lender.  The seller has to file a hardship letter and several other documents before a lender will consider a short sale.  On foreclosures the lender already owns the property and you are dealing direct with the seller (lender).  Just like anything else there are procedures and processes to go thr...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Sellers may not think of the demographics of where they live but marketing a property depends on understanding the demographics. Anyway that is my theory, demographics is an integral part of the marketing strategy.  The demographics leads you to buyers.  Now did that get your attention?  That is right knowing who lives in the area, what the average income is and what the schools have to offer is part of the neighborhood and selling features that attracts buying within the demographic segment.  Income issues are a leading indicator of who will live in a specific area.  Just like family size, age of occupants and whether the neighborhood is new, declining or well established. Here are a few examples: Established neighborhoods have a core of residents that have lived in them a long time an...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Exclusive Manchester Hills Estates Cascade Township MI Would you like to live next door to a millionaire? Looking for a fabulous place to live with all the amenities? Would you like to build your own dream home on the perfect setting?   Then Manchester Hills Development in Cascade Township might be just what  you are searching for:  Large custom homes with 3-4 stall garages, award winning landscaping, and all the extras you have been dreaming of incorporating in your new home.     This new subdivision in Cascade Township has all the requirements you have been searching for: Heavily wooded Acreage sites Privacy, gated entrance Access to major freeways & shopping Prestigious Forest Hills Schools Premier Custom Builders   A few pictures of one of the entrances:   117 homes sold in Cascade ...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Spring break came just in time!The weather has co-operated, it's warm...sun shining and the repairs are starting to happen.  We are seeing homeowners out getting things done.This is the perfect time to get things done before listing your home.  The curb appeal is the first thing noticed by a potential buyer.  If your home looks inviting they are going to take the next step and as for a showing appointment to see the inside.This is dependant on your home being competitively priced of course.  Realtor's can help you will pricing information but the bottom line is you price your home.  You have the final say on the listing price.  You may find that if you are not willing to price your home competitively the selling agent may excuse himself from representing your listing.  I known that most...
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By Sue Prins, Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI
(Five Star Real Estate)
Ever had to turn an "Okay" listing to an "OH WOW!" listing?I had a frustrated seller call me recently. He and his wife had their home for sale for a vey long time with no offers and very little traffic. He was looking into hiring me for the job as his listing was due to expire with the last realtor. I was wondering myself why it had not sold since by the exterior appearance it seemed to be an attractive home in a gorgeous wooded setting in popular Forest Hills area, Grand Rapids, MI. The price seemed within the realm and it had plenty to offer for the money.As I entered the home I quickly figured out what was an obvious problem. The interior appearance-boooring...yawn, yawn. The views of the woods and wildlife from inside were amazing, but as I scoped out the interior views I was left u...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
As we start a new year it is good to review and look back to see if we can learn from the past. So much of the news lately is on the Housing Market and the difficulties that sellers are having through the erosion of prices. Buyers are waiting for the lowest point in the market to buy. Sellers are looking at prices that were higher a year ago to set prices for today. In some markets we have seen the average price go down while in others the prices has been stable and even risen. How do you make the right decision in this market? I don't think there is a economist or an "expert" in the business that can say with certainty what the market will do in the short run. I have sold Real estate since 1973 and I have seen almost all the cycles in this business. One thing remains constant - given e...
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By Sue Prins, Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI
(Five Star Real Estate)
    I recently took an afternoon off for the soul purpose of taking in some of the new and exciting developments in the Forest Hills area, east of Grand Rapids. I am not talking about housing developments. I am talking about recreational developments. As I meandered my way heading south on Grand River Dr. (between Knapp and E. Fulton), I was surprised to see how beautiful the new bike/walking path is going to be. It is almost finished with some stretches fully useable.                                                            As I followed this gorgeous stretch of road and path, I was noticing how the developers did such a great job of making the path blend in and compliment the nature alongside it. There were sections of wooden boardwalk and bridges where the path wound through wetlan...
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By Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
(Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate)
 Picture this.  It's the first day of kindergarten.  You arrive at school with little Jenny tightly clutching your hand.  She's been talking about this for months.  You're both a little apprehensive.  The teacher spots you in the doorway...hesitating about venturing in.  She warmly crosses the room and introduces herself to you and Jenny...in Spanish!Yes, you're in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but this is not a neighborhood of predominantly Spanish speaking people.  In fact most of the students in the classroom look Anglos...they're very white.  But this is a Spanish speaking classroom. All the students will be speaking Spanish for the next 8 years while enrolled in a Spanish Immersion Program in Ada Vista school in the Forest Hills, one of West Michigan's premier school districts. This is a...
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By Karen Webster...Grand Rapids, MI Realtor
(5 Star Real Estate, Grand Rapids MI)
"Home will be sold to the highest bidder Sunday night" with an out-of-town phone number to call.  Hand-lettered sign.  Hard to read.  Pretty ineffective, I'd bet.  Looked like the home was in Ada.Anybody know what's going on there?  Anybody willing to hazard a guess?  Not a sight we're accustomed to seeing here in Grand Rapids, MI 
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Forest Hills has many great areas to live.  The first quarter the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors (GRAR) had 10302 homes listed for sale with an average of 103 days on the market before they sold.204 homes sold in Forest Hills.  The average sell price has slipped from last year at this time.  This means with the onset of the spring listings anticipate your will have to market your home more aggressively to attract the buyers that everyone else is trying to attract in your price range.  Plainfield Township has also seen a drop in values.Marketing is going to be the key to your sales success.  GRAR showed a listing increase in the first quarter 708 listings over December yet down from November by 375 homes.  This means 4318 homes were either re-listed or newly listed in the first qua...
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