Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate News

By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Grand Rapids Michigan Home Seller – Asking More Doesn’t Mean You Will Get More About one third of homes listed on the Multiple Listing Service will not sell. They might be over priced, in very poor condition, in a bad location, a weird floor plan or some other oddness about them.  They will sell at the right price, which is what we are trying to convey to you here.     The correct price is so crucial to the sale of your home, that if you miss the mark the first time, you are chasing a downward trend that is very difficult, if not impossible, to catch.   This can be tricky, as you don’t want to under price the market. But the market doesn’t hold still, what was a great price a few months ago is not a great price today.  You can’t rely on any market information over 3-6 months old.  You ...
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By Mary Kent, Grand Rapids to the Lake Shore
(Five Star Real Estate )
Exploring the Short Sale from Start to Finish. What sellers and buyers need to know: Completion of the Short Sale Package: The agent and the seller work close to assemble the proper paper work (short sale package) these documents must be filled out truthfully and complete. If the banks receive anything that's not complete they could ignore or move the file to the bottom of the Short Sale pile.  I cannot stress enough the importance of concise and complete information when filling out the Short Sale package. Occupying the home: While your house is listed as a Short Sale your bank will send someone out to check the occupancy of the home. If they find the house is vacant they can Accelerate a foreclosure on the property. I suggest to remain in the home until the sale is complete. Utilitie...
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By Katrina Cole, Inlanta Mortgage, Business Development Manager
(The Jonathan Arnold Team of Inlanta Mortgage)
Where are things really at today?   Home Sales:   Grand Rapids Recently Sold Homes Home Listings:   Grand Rapids Homes For Sale Home Listing Price:   Grand Rapids Homes For Sale Home Sale Price: Grand Rapids Recently Sold Homes What do you think?  Are these stats comparable to what you are seeing in the Grand Rapids market?   Now is the time buyers.  Invetory is still high and prices are low.  It is time to take advantage of this hot market!
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Foto Friday – Michigan Winter – Bear it! This Brown Bear lives at the John Ball Zoological Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He should be hibernating in mid-winter, which is what many of us wish we could do on these short, cold days.  There are lots of winter activities to lure you out of your cave this winter in the West Michigan.  WinterWest Fest Cannonsburg Skiing Pando Winter Sports Park Cross-Country Skiing Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink Syndicated from Grand Rapids Real Estate Blog  
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By Homes For Heroes
(Affiliates nationwide for Hero Rewards)
Introducing a new addition to the Homes for Heroes family! “I have been in the Mortgage Business for over 8 Years. Since serving in the U.S Army I have always enjoyed working with both active and retired veterans and helping them finance their dream home. I joined the Homes for Heroes program to provide additional value and savings to our Heroes. Because of my bond with the military Homes for Heroes was a perfect fit.”
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Byron Center Michigan Real Estate Market Report Jan – Dec  2010 Byron Center Michigan is a suburb of Grand Rapids, located about 14 miles away to the southwest.  This report will cover waterfront homes which are mostly newer construction in fast growing Byron Center.           Byron Center  Waterfront Homes Real Estate Activity                          January to December 2010           Current Active Listings  – 11 Average List Price – $ 413,827 Pending Properties – 2 Sold Properties – 18 Average Sold Price – $350,006 Average Sold Square Feet – 2542 Average Sold Price/Sq Ft – $ 149.98    Additional Byron Center Articles: Byron Center Photos
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Foto Friday - Byron Center Michigan Photos Byron Center Michigan is located in Byron Township, which is about 14 miles southwest of Grand Rapids and still within its metropolitan suburban reach.  The population has grown significantly in the last 5 years with the addition of a large medical community, headed by Metropolitan and St Mary’s Hospitals at the M-6 and Byron Center Rd. intersection.   The Van Singel Fine Arts Center is the hub of artistic & theatrical activity in Byron Center and draws crowds from Grand Rapids, also. More Byron Center photos can be seen on our GR Real Estate Blog: Syndicated from Grand Rapids-Real Estate Blog
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
  9 Pros and Cons to Balance When Buying a Grand Rapids Condo Condominiums and townhouses offer an affordable option to single family homes in Grand Rapids, and they’re ideal for those who appreciate a maintenance-free lifestyle. But before you buy, make   sure you do your legwork.   The 9 Top Elements to Consider: Storage. Some condos have storage lockers, but usually there are no attics or basements to hold extra belongings. Outdoor space. Yards and outdoor areas are usually smaller in condos, so if you like to garden or entertain outdoors, this may not be a good fit. However, if you dread yard work, this may be the perfect option for you. Amenities. Many condo properties have swimming pools, fitness centers, and other facilities that would be very expensive in a single-family home. M...
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Interesting Insight - Spring Market? By John I recently read an article by blogger, Steve Harney, author of Keeping Things Current, a real estate blog that focuses on national real estate trends.   The article points out the potential for a national spring market dip in real estate prices as banks and fannie mae, begin to unload the properties they've been "stock piling."  This logic makes sense when you consider simple supply and demand.  Just as gold bars and diamonds are worth more when there's less of them, real estate prices flucuate based on how many homes are on the market.  The more available properties, the less those properties are in demand, therefore price drops. The wrinkle in todays scenario is the largest holders of those properties are: Bank of America, Fannie Mae and We...
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First time homes buyers, now more than ever is your time to capitalize on today's market. To learn more about the next steps to ensuring you get the best home to suit your needs, at the best mortgage rate, with the best amount of potential return, and for a fun easy path to get there: visit: http://www.mynewgrhome.com/Search.aspx?segmentid=4731415&rid=59599&htmlfile=1311345.html Here's you'll find all of the information you need to be successful and find the home of your dreams!  
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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")
This headline has attracted thousands of buyers looking for a bargain priced home.  In Michigan I am an authorized HUD broker with access to any HUD home in West Michigan. When you are considering the purchase of a HUD home you must be ready for a journey.  Repossessed homes may look the same on the outside as a conventional home but inside they may in be need of extensive repair.  Then again, a Foreclosed Home may only need cosmetic repair.  Being prepared with your financing can help you respond quickly when you find the right home.  Your lender will provide you with the required approval letter.  You will also need your earnest deposit to place your offer to purchase. I have had some clients make as many as five offers before getting an accepted bid.  This is unusual but they felt bi...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Grand Rapids Michigan 2010 Suburban Real Estate Market Reports Caledonia Michigan Real Estate Market Report 2010   Forest Hills Michigan Real Estate Market Report 2010   East Grand Rapids Michigan 2010 Real Estate Market Report    Kentwood Michigan 2010 Real Estate Market Report   Lowell Michigan 2010 Real Estate Market Report   Rockford Michigan Real Estate Market Report 2010   The 2010 Market Reports for the East suburbs of Grand Rapids are linked above. Some areas went down in activity, some went up, some stayed relatively the same. Which proves the maxim, all real estate is local.  Even these reports will just give a general picture of what is happening in your community.  If you want to know what is happening in your neighborhood, just give us a call.  
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By Katrina Cole, Inlanta Mortgage, Business Development Manager
(The Jonathan Arnold Team of Inlanta Mortgage)
Grand Rapids, MI asks:  What is an origination fee?It has become more and more common with the uncertainty in the real estate market, that a loan originator be questioned on what certain fees are and why they are needed.  One of the number one questions of 2010 was, “What is an origination fee?”.Many assume that an origination fee is just what the loan originator or sales person is being paid, but that is not all there is to it.  If you have ever applied for a mortgage or any type of loan, you know that there is a process of collecting documentation such as credit, assets, employment and housing information as well completing a full application. This is not a process that takes 5 minutes on the side of the lender; it is more like 5-8 hours of gathering and evaluating.  All of these thin...
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Grand Rapids Michigan Cost vs Value Home Improvement Report 2010 The new Cost vs Value Report 2010 is out from the National Association of Realtors.  This report compares home improvement costs and returns for sellers all over the country.  There are national trends and local trends.  If you are a homeowner, this is valuable information because it will tell you how much money you can expect to recoup from home improvements on the sale of your home.   While you may not be intending to sell your home for many years, it is a good indicator of what the average buyer is looking for in a home purchase and what they are willing to pay for in home updates.  As a  home owner, it is prudent to know your home's value and not over improve your home in relation to it's current value.       Grand Ra...
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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")
Grand Rapids Michigan has a very active Rental Property Owners Association (RPOA) if you are renting property in the West Michigan area it may pay you to be a member. The association, as it indicates, focuses on Grand Rapids but the added knowledge you will gain by being a member could change how you are dealing with your rental properties and renter relationships. I have been a member for nearly three years.  As a real estate broker in the Grand Rapids Real Estate Market having the knowledge and expertise of the membership is worth every penny. Check the area you live in if you are a rental property owner or are considering becoming a landlord.  You will find the classes offered and the information available to be one of the best sources for you business of renting. You will also find ...
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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 Rent versus Owning is a question that has no simple answer. It is based on the individual and/or family situation financially and personally. Now that answer coming from a real estate broker you may find as an odd answer, but it is the truth.  If you are paying rent and are starting out as a first time buyer owning may be the right thing for you.  The reason?  Simple interest rates are very low.  In may cases you can make a monthly payment on a home for less than you area paying rent. If you are a family renting an apartment, home or condo owning may be right for you as well. You will gain privacy and personal pride of ownership.  You will also have taxes, insurance and maintenance issues that you do not have when renting.  You also may have a better environment for yourself or fami...
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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")
Protecting Property Access Codes. I showed a property to an investor client.  He is from a family of investors in multiple tenant rental properties. He understands the real estate laws and the rules of access. Since the property was not mine that I was showing I called the listing agent to get the combination for the key lock.  In our MLS most of the agents use an electronic lock system which has a credit card style chip embedded with a private access number.  Agents still need to call for buyer showing appointments.  This gives the listing agent property access information.  The agent will know the tracking information of who entered the property.  When they entered the property and when they left property or put the key back into the lock box. Agents that use button style locks or com...
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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)
Click Here to Read Part #1 of this series on the first THREE myths. Click Here to Read Part #2 of this series on the next installment of myths... Over the years, I've had the dubious experience of becoming a myth collector.  Specifically, regarding the myths around why a home has not Sold.  As I talk with agents around the country, it has become clear that these myths are actually very widespread and have developed a life of their own...sometimes with variations which are location specific.   As a public service, I am going to do a mini-series regarding these myths and give some insights regarding why they ought to be dismissed and rejected. Continuing...   Myth #7...All forms of Advertising are Equal.  Especially when it's the form I prefer or which helped me locate my current home. F...
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By Katrina Cole, Inlanta Mortgage, Business Development Manager
(The Jonathan Arnold Team of Inlanta Mortgage)
I hope that the holidays feel you joy and happiness that last through the next year!  Do you have any special holiday plans?  Big New Year's parties?   Picture Credit to: Pucture Michigan
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By Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
(Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner)
Grand Rapids Michigan East Suburban Top Best Buy Homes - November 2010   The Top Best Buy Home Blogs that we publish every month give us a great overview on what is happening to the lower end of the market in each of these east Grand Rapids suburbs with pricing and sales.  We can see the uptick in sales or the downturn in pricing, at a glance.  We always give a brief market synopsis of  each particular area and what we see as the trend that month.   If you are looking for a modestly priced home in these specific Grand Rapids suburbs, then you will be interested in reading these blogs:   Caledonia Michigan Top Best Buy Homes - November 2010 East Grand Rapids Top Best Buy Homes - November 2010 Forest Hills Michigan Top Best Buy Homes - November 2010 Kentwood Michigan Top Best Buy Homes - ...
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