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What You Need to Buy Grand Rapids Real Estate

by Mark Brace

Especially if you're a first-time homebuyer, it may be exciting to hit the ground running this spring and begin your home search for properties in the Grand Rapids area. But don't get too carried away— there are a few tasks to cross off your list before you make that big Grand Rapids real estate purchase. According to AOL Real Estate, "Getting a loan right now is a lot easier than it has been, [but] getting a home right now is brutally different." You should make sure you're fully prepared before you take off on your real estate journey and your finances are the first place to start. They are everything you will need to buy a home in Grand Rapids— here are just a few aspects of your finances to spring clean this season:

To Do: Round Up the Documents

You will soon learn, or if you've purchased a home before then you know, that buying real estate requires quite a bit of paperwork and specific documents. Many of these will come from you— so be prepared with everything you need. Round up the documents— these may be W-2's, tax returns, or tax forms like a 1099 if you're self-employed, any document or form to show your income over the past few years. In fact, the more assets you can show, the better. Lenders will want to know you have the ability to repay the loan, in addition to mortgage insurance. Many will even want to see a set of "reserves," or savings that can cover more than one mortgage payment. Two months or more of these "reserve" funds will show a lender you are prepared to make your payments and will be in good shape when they begin assessing your financial situation.

To Do: File Your Taxes

It's tax time, but don't be late on filing your returns! Many of the important documents associated with buying a home in Grand Rapids will come from your tax returns, both past and present. Why? Mortgage lenders like to take a look at your tax returns to prove your income. When you file on time, you are on track to showing a lender you're ready to make that purchase. But no matter if you owe taxes and are making payments now, or if you're planning to file an extension, the lender will still want to see the documents, so have them at the ready when your Grand Rapids home search begins to progress.

To Do: Find Your Credit Score

It's the season for spring cleaning and you shouldn't leave out your finances. Now is the time to do some research on your credit score— this way you can find and fix any errors that may come up before you purchase a Grand Rapids home. Errors on your credit report do happen and it's important you take the time to fix them before you begin the serious homebuying process. Depending on the error, these can often tax months to correct, so get a head start this spring.

To Do: Talk to Your Grand Rapids Realtor

You've taken the steps to prepare your finances, you've spot checked and cleaned your credit score, and you've got a few homes or even the neighborhood in mind. Next up is speaking with your Grand Rapids real estate agent to get the ball rolling. Do not rely solely on the internet as your primary source for Grand Rapids area real estate, your agent is key! The market is changing and your agent, as a local expert, will be able to fill you in on the status of the market in your area. Feel free to contact me this season as you prepare to buy a home in the Grand Rapids area, I'm happy to help! I can work with you through the entire process and fill you in on more steps to take to ensure real estate success. 

I look forward to speaking with you!

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Brace Homes

Realtor, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, e-pro, AHWD, SFR

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate

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With rates still considered low and housing prices rising, many Michigan homeowners are ready to sell. However, this spring it won’t be the number of bedrooms or square footage that will draw homebuyers— it’s all about the neighborhood. The neighborhood not only helps your Grand Rapids homes hold their value when you’re ready to sell, but it is also a major factor that will seal the deal for prospective Grand Rapids homebuyers. If you’re a current homeowner and are ready to sell your Michigan home, consider your neighborhood— is it what homebuyers are looking for? The neighborhood is ultimately what will help you get into a new home this year.

 

What makes a great neighborhood? It can vary by homebuyers, but walkability is a priority, as well as proximity to entertainment and shopping. Looking to see if your own Grand Rapids real estate is in a great spot? Here’s what to look for:

 

Homebuyer Wishlists

Again it will vary by homebuyer, but the best neighborhood is the one that will meet a specific buyer’s wants and needs. In your Grand Rapids home search, you will likely come across properties that you love, but they maybe aren’t in the school district you’d like or aren’t close enough to work. It’s important to keep your wish list in mind when house hunting. Every buyer is different and your ideal neighborhood will vary from the next buyer. For instance, do you want to be close to shopping, but also local parks? Keep that in mind as you shop for homes in the Grand Rapids area.

 

Do Your Research

Don’t be afraid to ask the neighbors for their opinions on traffic, noise, and pros and cons— especially if you find a home that you are particularly interested in. Before you take that next step in the homebuying process, act like a local and do the research. When you visit with neighbors, talk to others out and about, you can often get the insider’s perspective on a neighborhood. Acting like a local also includes getting a feel for the area by visiting local shops and attending open houses.

 

New Business

For Grand Rapids area homebuyers, one of the big selling points of a home is its proximity to shops, entertainment, and schools. When you’re ready to sell your Michigan home, a great sign you’re in a great neighborhood is the presence of new businesses— including restaurants and especially, coffee shops. These new locales are great indicators that the neighborhood is stable and growing as new businesses in typically do market research to determine the best spots to invest. When you’re shopping for a new home, you can be looking for these new businesses and make a note of the up and coming spots.


Ready to buy a new home in Grand Rapids this spring? Contact me to help you begin your home search and find a home that meets the terms of your own homebuyer wishlist, in the best neighborhood possible. If you're in a position to sell your home this year, I can help you attract the right buyers and showcase the best aspects of your property. As your Grand Rapids area real estate expert, I am happy to help with your home search and determining the right neighborhoods, including those that have high homeownership rates.


I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Brace Homes

Realtor, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, e-pro, AHWD, SFR

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate

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Helpful Moving Tips for Grand Rapids Homebuyers

by Mark Brace

Spring is a busy season for Grand Rapids real estate and if you have just purchased a new home in the Grand Rapids area, moving can be just as stressful. No matter if you're a seasoned homebuyer or have just purchased your first home in Michigan— Grand Rapids homebuyers can always use moving tips, especially from real estate experts. This spring, take some tips from the pros to help you in the moving process to new homes in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, Rockford, Northview, Grandville and more. Read on for ways to make your transition into new homeowner a smooth one this season:

Find a Reliable Moving Company
Many times homeowners don't desire to do all of the heavy lifting themselves in a big move. Taxing belongings from one property in Grand Rapids area real estate to the next can be tiresome— in which case you will need a moving company. But it can be tough to find a reliable moving company, especially if this is the first time you're hiring one. Many times, real estate agents have a recommendation and can refer you to one of their own. As your Grand Rapids Real Estate expert, I am happy to discuss referrals for these types of companies.

Make a List, Check It Twice
There is no such thing as too organized when it comes to moving to new homes in Michigan. Make a timeline for your move and all of the necessary parts and steps that will be involved. Break down the tasks that you should be doing each week and the pieces that should be moved during which times. It can also help to color coordinate boxes and keep a log of them with your timeline and checklist. The earlier you start, the easier it will be come moving time!

Make a Budget
Oftentimes homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, do not estimate the amount of money it might take to move to a new home in Grand Rapids. Have questions? Real estate agents are always better equipped to discuss the budget of a move and what to account for in that budget— always contact your real estate agent with uncertainties in this area. Remember, they're local, they know the area and can attest to local rates and company pricing. If your budget is tight for your move, your agent will be able to help you get it down to the essentials and keep costs low.

Get Recommendations
Again, finding the right moving company and all of the other services you'll need for a move can be difficult. It's helpful to get recommendations from friends, family, and your local real estate expert who can guarantee a reliable, trusted service for you and your move. You'll save time and money in the long run when you use a trusted company with a proven record. KCM even recommends real estate agents "provide [their] clients with a list of people [they] recommend, including a cleaner, exterminator, interior decorator, handyman, contractor, and anyone else [they] find necessary or helpful to clients during the moving process."

Prepping to move to a new home in the Grand Rapids area this spring? As your local real estate expert, I am happy to discuss what you may need to make your real estate experience this season go according to plan. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have about the local real estate market, especially as we head into this exciting and busy time.

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD

Prudential Preferred REALTOR®

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Great Reasons to Hire a Grand Rapids Real Estate Agent

by Mark Brace

With spring right around the corner, you may be thinking about moving and buying a new home in the Grand Rapids area. Whether this is your first time buying Grand Rapids real estate or your fifth, it's important to have the best resources available to you during this time. For instance, teaming up with an experience real estate agent who knows the area and can guide you through the entire real estate process, explaining along the way. Hiring a real estate agent is one of the smartest decisions you can make during this time— just take a look at one of the many reasons below:

Paperwork Can Be Overwhelming

When you purchase a new home in the Grand Rapids area, there are a lot of documents and paperwork to look through, sign, and understand. As this is one of the biggest purchases you'll likely ever make, you want to have a professional in your corner to make sure you're making the right moves. For instance, every state has different regulations and contracts required to complete a successful real estate transaction. Especially if this is your first time buying homes in Grand Rapids, a real estate agent will be able to walk you through each stack of paperwork necessary to make your homebuyer dreams come true.

They Know the Process

 A real estate agent in the Grand Rapids area knows each move you need to make to successfully purchase a new home. Did you know, according to the REALTOR Assocation, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction? When you team up with a Grand Rapids Real Estate agent, they will know these steps right away, having completed successful sales in the past. You can rest assured, knowing that your home sale is in good hands and will soon result in your owning your dream home.

Negotiations Can Be Overwhelming

Like paperwork, the negotiations associated with buying a new home can be overwhelming. KCM advises, "After looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you'll realize the value in selecting a real estate professional." As a homebuyer, you'll need to negotiate with the seller (who will want the best deal possible) and vice versa if you're a Michigan home seller in the Grand Rapids area. There are also many industry professionals you'll need to learn to correspond with during your home purchase like home inspectors, appraisers and more. 

Home Values Are Changing

As you may have noticed in recent months, home values are appreciating. This is a changing factor in the local real estate market and a real estate professional will know how to approach them from both sides of the transaction. For instance, the typical agent-assisted home sale sold for $230,000 as compared to $184,000 for those who did not use a real estate agent, reported the National Association of REALTORS. As a home seller, it's important to know the pricing strategies that will work for your area ahead of time to attract the right buyers and shorten the length of time that the home will sit on the market. You also need someone who can give you an accurate assessment of what your home is worth in comparison to others in the area.

They Know the Market

There is so much more going on in the local real estate market than you may understand or notice. Your Michigan real estate agent will know all of the in's and out's of local areas and real estate in surrounding communities. You may see a lot of information on the news or on the internet, but your agent will be able to tell you how much of that can apply to you and your area. Finding an agent who is armed with all of the knowledge of a local expert will make your experience an educated one and run much smoother. 

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD

Prudential Preferred REALTOR®

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Paws, Claws & Corks Event 2014

by Mark Brace

Don't forget to buy your tickets for a great charity event on March 24, 2014! Mark Brace & his wife, Kara Brace will be working this wonderful event!

 

Taking place in the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place, this 2nd annual event is benefiting our local Kent County Humane Society.

 

Check out the details below courtesy of http://pawsclawsandcorks.com/

 

Humane Society of West Michigan is excited to present the 2nd annual fund raising party, Paws, Claws & Corks!

This extravagant event will feature the hottest restaurants, breweries, and wineries in West Michigan.  Guests will enjoy fabulous cuisine, wonderful wine and beer samples, as well as opportunities to bid on exciting packages including adventures, trips, wine, sports memorabilia and much more!  Most importantly, money raised will benefit the Humane Society of West Michigan in our mission to promote the humane treatment and responsible care of animals in our community through education, example, responsible placement and protection.

This year’s event will feature the following restaurants:
The Catering Company
Cygnus 27
Leo’s
B.O.B.’s Brewery
San Chez Bistro
FOODesign by Chef Brech
One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom
Reds on the River
FireRock Grille
Reserve Wine & Food

Paws, Claws & Corks
Monday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place

$100 per person ($50 of each ticket is tax deductible)
Corporate tables are $1,000 each and include reserved seating for 10, corporate signage, quarter page ad in program book, and complimentary wine at each table.

Reserve your place at this once a year evening by contacting:  Tammy Hagedorn at thagedorn@hswestmi.org or 616-791-8138.  You won’t want to miss it!

Dress code for the event: Cocktail Chic or Business Attire

Grand Rapids Real Estate Off to Strong Start in 2014

by Mark Brace


Grand Rapids area real estate is off to a strong start in the new year, with housing prices nationwide now up a significant amount as compared to last year. According to Redfin, "prices were up 14 percent in January and continued to rise sharply during the first half of the year," which lead economists to wonder if the levels were inevitably going to reach a point of unsustainability. And now in 2014, reports are showing housing prices to be up another 14.3 percent.

So, what does that mean for Grand Rapids Real Estate? Below are just a few factors currently characterizing the housing market and what homebuyers might expect to see if they are preparing to buy a home in Michigan in the near future— before the busy spring buying season hits. In fact, Redfin also reports many home sellers are preparing to wait until between March and May to list homes for sale in Grand Rapids rather than listing early. Here's why:

Low Inventory

Due to these rapidly rising prices, home sellers—while confident— are willing to wait until there are more homes to buy before listing their properties. Frustrated with the limited options in the market, home sellers are contributing to the lack of inventory in local real estate markets.

Home Sellers Game

Real estate in Grand Rapids is relatively in the hands of the home sellers. Growing confident, home sellers are feeling no pressure to list their homes early. The sellers feel they will have no trouble selling their homes no matter what time they decide to list and are willing to wait until the busy spring and summer buying seasons to anticipate more homebuyers in the market. Local real estate is now looking up for home sellers as prices rise and more homebuyers feel the push to buy before they rise even further. Home sellers also believe in the upcoming months they will see a better profit than if they listed now.

Home Prices Not Slowing

Home prices are showing no signs of slowing down— the slowing trend seen in the second half of 2013 has now reversed. "Between April and October of 2013, year-over-year price growth slowed considerably from 18.7 percent to 12.6 percent before rising once again in December (13.2 percent) and January (14.3 percent)," reported MSN Real Estate. Now that the trend has reversed, home seller confidence is rising along with rates.

Interest Rates Are Increasing

Interest rates are said to rise even further this year, so for homebuyers looking to buy, you might be encouraged to buy before the spring buying season. "The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have all projected that the 30-year mortgage interest rate will be over 5% by this time next year," reported KCM. "That is an increase of almost one full point over current rates."

Refinancing Not Necessary

Many homeowners in the Grand Rapids area may have heard the "refinance now!" advice over and over before the bubble, but now that doesn't so much hold true. If you hear somebody advise you to refinance, that might not be the case and in fact, buyers are encouraged to do the math themselves before making the move. See what a refinance will really do for you— Will it lower your payment? Will it result in a shorter loan term? Can you manage the closing costs? If you answer yes to all, then go for it. If not, rethink your decision.

Are you ready for a change, ready to move to a new home in the Grand Rapids area? Let me help you decide when to make your move and time your real estate purchase with the right season in today's real estate market!

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD

Prudential Preferred REALTOR®

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Make Your Grand Rapids Home Mortgage Move Faster

by Mark Brace

Buying a Grand Rapids home is on the minds of many this season, especially as we move further into the busy spring and summer homebuying seasons. From beginning the home search for Grand Rapids area real estate to closing the deal, one of the most important aspects of a home sale is securing the mortgage. Homebuyers have heard stories of lenders drawing out the process, but did you know there are steps you can take to move along your mortgage? You'll need patience and a handful of prepared documents— below you'll find some of the most important:

Your Credit

Good credit is a staple in buying Grand Rapids area homes and you'll need to have your credit in order for a lender to even consider you for home financing. What's more, you'll need a favorable credit report to secure a competitive rate. Credit is a major factor in determining how long your mortgage process will take— the better the credit, the more prepared you are on this front, the easier it will be to move this along. According to MSN Real Estate, "Loan applications with blatant blemishes may trigger additional scrutiny, which often means requests for additional documentation from you. That back-and-forth process can eat into the calendar."

Be Prepared

Help move the process along by having the necessary documents ready ahead of time. Throughout the process of obtaining your home loan, you'll be asked for documents and paperwork— keep up on it. If asked questions, respond as quickly as possible. You cannot move along a mortgage process if the lender is ultimately waiting on you to answer questions and provide information. Grab your tax returns, bank statements, documents from your employer and the like before you even speak to your lender. Having these ready will help the loan officer from the beginning.

No New Credit

If you're planning to purchase homes in the Grand Rapids area, do not take on any additional credit or make large purchases during this time. Big changes in your credit profile and rating can raise a red flag to lenders and halt the mortgage process. When viewing your eligibility for a home loan, the lenders want to see stability and reliability. When you make big purchase or take out new lines of credit, you're risking your chances of making the loan happen. Remember also that mortgages are a business of people, you can always "Explain to the people who help you through the process that you're buying on a tight deadline. Communicate constantly, and take responsibility (and quick action) when the ball's in your court," reported MSN Real Estate.

Find the Right Local Lender

Don't know how much home you can afford? We have a finance center available to Michigan homebuyers to learn all about loan options. There are several programs available and they all depend on your credit history. From Fixed Rate Loans, Adjustable Rate Loans, FHA and VA Loans, Rural Development Mortgages, and Local Homebuying Programs, we're explaining them all so you can make the best decision. You're bound to find one that's right for you and your home purchase— we've also put together a list of preferred local lenders to chat with about the process. When you partner with the right local lender, the mortgage process will be much smoother (and undoubtedly quicker) than those who go with a less experienced individual.

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD

Prudential Preferred REALTOR®

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Why This Is the Year to Sell Your Homes in Grand Rapids

by Mark Brace

For many homebuyers in the Grand Rapids area, patience has paid off if you waited to list your home for sale until the market was just right. Now is the time to sell your homes in Grand Rapids for a number of reasons, many of which include the benefits of a seller's market. More homebuyers are flooding the real estate market looking for Grand Rapids Real Estate and as a result, confidence is soaring— for both buyers and sellers! Many home sellers have held out for this moment and you can rest assured, now is a great time to sell your Michigan home! Below you will find four reasons why this is the year to sell your home, from increasing housing prices and values to 2014 being marked as the "Year of the Big Move."

Homebuyer Demand is High
There is confidence present on both sides of the real estate fence (both buyers and sellers) and therefore, demand for homes for sale in Grand Rapids is high! According to the latest data from Realtor.com, "homes in November 2013 were selling 11% faster than they were a year prior," as reported by MarketWatch. Buyers are now serious about purchasing a home whether in the Grand Rapids area and listing your home now could be beneficial for everyone involved!

Supply is Increasing
According to MarketWatch, "some analysts say that the supply-demand imbalance that has helped create this seller’s market is largely due to [investors purchasing homes and turning them into rentals]." In fact, many real estate experts projecting levels to rise even more as these investors place the homes back up for sale and more home sellers begin to gain back positive equity in their homes. Selling while the demand for Michgian homes is high and before the supply increases even more could guarantee you a great selling price on your property!

Interest Rates are Rising
This seems to be the case in nearly every real estate market across the country— so strike while rates are still low! Mortgage rates are rising, along with housing prices, jumping at significant levels and real estate experts and economists predict they will only continue to climb over the next few years. “Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home,” reported KCM.

It’s Time for a Change
Think about the reason you want to move to a new home in Grand Rapids, Michigan and why you are ready to sell your current home. Realtor.com reports that 2014 will be known as the "Year of the Big Move," with many changing homes for varying reasons— jobs, cost of living, and switching from renting to owning. Decide whether it is worth the wait and how much it might cost you and your family if you put off selling for another month or even year. With the real estate market reapidly changing, especially with increasing interest rates, a delay can really make an impact on your future.

Are you ready for a change, ready to move to a new home in the Grand Rapids area? Now may be a great time to sell your home and may prove to be the best move for your family! 

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD

Prudential Preferred REALTOR®

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How to Keep Your Grand Rapids Home Winter-Weather Safe

by Mark Brace

It's a new year and a new month and the Grand Rapids area is headed into the thick of January winter weather. You've probably been wondering how you can protect your Grand Rapids area homes this winter, especially from these harsh cold temperatures. The answer is yes! Whether this is your first home, as a first-time homebuyer, or you're a long-time homeowner, the following steps can help you protect your home before the winter taks a toll on the property.

Keep the Pipes Warm

Winter weather can cause a Grand Rapids homeowner to endure expensive repairs this time of year, many of which come from burst pipes. Take heed— the rest of your home may be warm, but the water in the pipes in other areas, like the attic, basement, crawl space and back of cabinets, can freeze. To keep your pipes from bursting, MSN Real Estate suggests to "wrap the pipes in the cold parts of your house in insulation, and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes." You can also "let water drip slowly from the faucets to help keep the water flowing."

Protect the Outside of Your Home

If you didn't already in the fall, cleaning your gutters can help to prevent water from backing up and freezing. Take a look at the downspouts and be sure the water is being routed away from your home, disconnect your garden hoses, and use weatherstripping or caulking to seal drafty windows and doors. You should also trim any low-hanging branches outside that might freeze and snap which can damage your home or nearby power lines.

Watch the Roof

The roofs of Grand Rapids homes can become problematic during the winter season if not taken care of properly. If alot of snow accumulates, the roof can actually collapse, especially those over porches or additions. Average accumulations and dry snow will not typically have negatives affects on homes, but when heavy snow begins you can use a roof rake with a long handle to remove the snow while on the ground.

Think About a Generator

Before a big winter storm hits, consider buying a generator. While you may not have time now, it's something to keep in mind to protect Grand Rapids Real Estate for the long-haul of the winter season. " A generator can help keep your heat and power — as well as your sump pump and your fire and burglar alarms — running," stated MSN Real Estate. "It can help prevent frozen pipes and keep you a lot more comfortable, too." Winter weather can often cause power outages due to ice and wet snow, therefore an automatic standby generator can be useful. This type immediately turns on after a power outage and can even qualify you for a discount on your homeowners insurance.

Want more advice about real estate in Grand Rapids? Thinking of moving this winter? I can help you with all things Grand Rapids real estate to find a home that works for you!

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD

Prudential Preferred REALTOR®

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Prep Your Grand Rapids Home for Holiday Visitors

by Mark Brace

The holidays are here and many Grand Rapids homeowners are expecting guests to flood their homes with holiday cheer. You may be ready, but is your home? It's time to prep Grand Rapids area homes for the holiday with the following tips to make it easy— especially helpful if you're getting ready to sell!

Work Ahead of Time
Just like your holiday meal, work ahead of time to prep your home for guests. Make your way into those guest bedrooms and clean out the closets to open up the room. The process is the same as staging homes for sale in Grand Rapids, clean off countertops and entryways, removing any unnecessary items. For the holidays, keep these items out of sight and out of mind.

Safety
Your guests don't know your home as well as you do. Install night lights and make sure your outside lights are working so they don't trip coming to the door. Bathrooms and bedrooms should also have motion activated lights to ensure safe travels through your homes in Grand Rapids.

Take Extra Precautions
Take extra precautions to ensure that all you need for holiday cooking and hosting is up and running. For instance, what would happen if the oven decided not to heat? Or the refridgerator gave out just when more guests arrived? To be proactive, don't self-clean your oven until after the holidays and avoid putting any oils, fats, or grease down your kitchen sink. You can also stick a thermometer inside your refridgerator to be sure it is at the proper temperature, and always make sure the coils at the back are free to breathe. If it is blocked in any way, it could prevent the appliance from cooling.

Make a Good Impression
Your home's entryway will be the first thing they see, make sure it's well-equipped and clean. Give doors a new coat of paint, oil hinges to prevent squeaking, and tighten door hardware. Houselogic even suggests removing "scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings [and placing] a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow."

Sleeping Arrangements
If you have a guest room, it's helpful to install a ceiling fan/light combo to help guests control the room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat.

Ready to move this holiday season? I can help you with all things Grand Rapids Real Estate to find a home that works for you!

I happily serve the areas of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, Grandville, Kentwood, Caledonia, Walker, Cedar Springs, Sparta, Belmont, Comstock Park, Byron Center, Wyoming, Alpine, Kenowa Hills, Plainfield, Cannon, Lowell, Sand Lake, Jenison, Hudsonville, Wayland, Belmont, Alto and Kent City

Mark Brace

Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD

Prudential Preferred REALTOR®

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Contact Information

Mark Brace, Realtor, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, AHWD,
Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Michigan Real Estate
3000 East Beltline NE
Grand Rapids MI 49525
Direct: (616) 447-7025
Cell: (616) 540-7705
Fax: (616) 447-7025

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Michigan Real Estate is a full service, locally operated real estate brokerage company backed by the strength of a solid national and global brand. Our full service businesses include Residential, Commercial, Relocation, Mortgage, Insurance, Home Services and New Homes & Land. Our core values, service philosophy, cutting edge technology, and most importantly our people are what make us the leading real estate company in Michigan. We are committed to providing the highest quality real estate services possible and making each customer's experience one that surpasses their expectations.