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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®

New Listing Alerts

Search My Listings

Contact Me

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

Mark Brace, Realtor, ABR, GRI, CRS, SRES, e-PRO, A
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.