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A Great Article Posted Via Trulia.Com! Check it out!
In 2011, The Daily Beast included Grand Rapids in a slideshow of Americas dying cities. In 2012 Grand Rapids is included in the top 12 cities for sustainability. Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell responded to the editor listing several awards and qualities that show Grand Rapids is continually growing. Since then, Heartwell has launched a new recycling program that allows Grand Rapids residents to put all recyclables like paper, plastic, cardboard and glass into a single container. By doing this it simplifies the recycling process by keeping everything together. After the items are collected the city sorts through them. The program has increased recycling in Grand Rapids 80 percent and saves the city $100,000 because there is less trash to incinerate.
Check out the link below to see the top cities for job growth. Grand Rapids being listed at number 10.
AGI Before Taxable Gain $325,000
Affordable home energy audits are available in the Grand Rapids area.
Normally, these consultations would cost $300-$400, but the State of Michigan has designed a program through BetterBuildings for Michigan with $30 million in federal grant money to help homeowners reduce energy usage. This is available in Grand Rapids currently.
Before you decide that this will not save you any money in the future, or even right now, you should think about the facts of having a free home energy audit. Many people have reported that after having an audit they saw savings as low as $235 and as high as $800 a month. Seems like a no brainer right?
The Team installs energy efficient light bulbs, showerheads,faucets, and programmable thermostats at no additional charge. The team can also consult you on whether or not your old appliances are weighing down your electric usage. The team will suggest alternative solutions to help lower your energy costs. Speaking of costs, the team offers financial assistance to people who are wanting to take greater diligence in reducing energy consumption. There are rebates available for this of up to $5000.
The First time home buyer grant became available in Michigan December 7th. A first time home buyer is classified as a buyer who has never owned a home, or has not owned a home within the last 3 years. This will be checked through credit, tax returns, and previous addresses (in the case of a land contract).
There is only $15 Million reserved for this. My best guess is that this may only be available for 2 weeks in Grand Rapids since it is on a first come first serve basis. This is part of a nationwide class action lawsuit, so it is not the same as the first time home buyers assistance of the past where there is a chance for more funds to be allotted. A $3,000 grant is available for first time, non-military buyers, and a $5,000 grant available for first time buyers who are veterans, or currently active in the military.
Files must be fully approved and clear to close before they can be sent to MSHDA for approval of the grant. That being said, anyone who is out looking at homes currently may not have a chance to get these funds. Most likely only those buyers with files in process at this time.
Funds can only be used towards:
Any funds that are not used toward the above can be used to execute a principal reduction at close. (No cash back at close except for EMD, or application fees).
Chalk up another award for Grand Rapids. Earlier this year Grand Rapids (along with Asheville, NC who statistically tied with Grand Rapids) won Beer City USA 2012. Generally speaking the more awards a city receives, the better the value of the area. Just another reason why Grand Rapids is among the top places to live. Take that Milwaukee!
Below is a link for an awesome video showcasing the best breweries in Grand Rapids, and also below are more detailed articles on G.R winning Beer City USA 2012.
Sept 14, 2012.
ABC's weekday hit "The View" interviewed nationally renowned real estate mogul and expert Barbara Corcoran, on Where the best place to buy in America are. She listed Grand Rapids MI real estate the #1 place in America to buy real estate!!!!
ABC's "The View" Click to see her interview:
Barbara Corcoran Mentions that a typical home is $108,000, and prices are going up quickly! That $150,000 will buy you a Castle! "which is all true" She also said the cost of living is also 15% lower than anywhere else in the country. That Grand Rapids has lots of jobs and lots of good schools, which always assures good real estate values.
I'm so happy Grand Rapids is finally getting the national attention it deserves; it is such a cool place to be with ArtPrize and all of the local philanthropy from business owners, and being very close to some of the best fresh water beaches in world. We have been also working our way to become the microbrewery capital of America too!!! It seems like every other week a new microbrewery is opening. If you haven't figured it out yet Grand Rapids is the Place to be!!!
I just had to share this really funny Commercial about house hunting.
Sometimes the home you think you don't like ends up being the best one, after you see everything that is available.
I think more and more home buyers in the Grand Rapids, MI area are starting to feel like this since we are sooo short on quality inventory!
New and existing homes in the Grand Rapids and surrounding areas are flying off of the shelves. Some homes selling before they even hit the market and others selling for more than the asking price. Reason…historically low interest rates, $0 down Rural Development loan options, 3.5% down FHA loan options, 5% down Conventional loan options with no mortgage insurance and the list goes on. You can now own for less than you rent an apartment for! First time home buyers are ecstatic with their payments, growing families are selling and moving up to bigger & better homes for the same payment as their old homes. It is an incredible time for all buyers, sellers, builders, real estate agents and loan officers in West Michigan. If you are on the fence, it is time to get off quickly before this window of opportunity passes you buy. I always say, you will never know we hit the bottom until we are on the way back up and at that point the opportunity may be gone.
Loan Originator – Lake Michigan Credit Union / Knapps Corner
616-234-6864 – Direct
616-893-6024 – Cell
616-643-0783 – Secure Fax