Real Estate Information Archive


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4 Don’ts When Selling a Home

by Mark Brace

1. Don’t slack off on home maintenance. Houses in need of TLC often attract investors or property flippers, which are known for submitting low-ball offers. To attract offers and the highest bids, sellers should attend to any upkeep and maintenance issues before putting the house for sale.

2. Make sure the home isn’t being overshadowed outside. Nothing kills curb appeal more than a home you’re selling that you can’t even see. Be sure to trim trees or bushes to ensure they aren’t blocking any windows or the exterior of the home.

3. Remove wallpaper. Wallpaper and borders can be a nuisance to remove so you might want to take these personal decor touches down before you list the home. Neutralize the homes in subtle colors that will appeal to the most buyers and allow buyers to better visualize their personal decor moving in.

4. Don’t keep an empty home empty. Buyers can struggle in picturing themselves moving in if a home is left empty. Vacant homes can feel cold and rooms can look smaller than they really are. That’s why O’Ryan reminds us why builders spend thousands of dollars staging model homes. If your listing is vacant, consider staging it to bring in furniture and accessories to help define the various rooms functions.

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR Magazine

Video of Todayshow ranking GR 5th in Nation

by Mark Brace

The Today Show on October 6, 2009 Ranks Grand Rapids Michigan as the 5th Best Real Estate Market to purchase in The United States.

Here is a link for you to view the broadcast:

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

This is really great news for Grand Rapids.

Federal Housing Tax Credit - Detailed Breakdown

by Mark Brace
 Important things to know about the Tax Credit:
*The money is not immediately available to the home buyer! The buyer must fill out a specific form when filing their 2008, or 2009 tax returns. (Note, buyer can file an amended tax return to their 2008 tax returns if they buy a house in 2009, and still get the tax credit in 2009 instead of waiting!) They then receive the money as though they would be receiving a tax refund. Please know this is not a tax refund or a tax deduction, this is essentially a 0% interest loan.
*Must be a first time home buyer OR buyer can not have owned a home in the last three years.
*Buyer can claim a credit of up to 10% of the purchase price, with a max credit of $7,500.
*Repaid over 15-years with no interest.
*$500 per year repayment at time of doing taxes each year.
(Example: If buyer was expecting $1,000 back on taxes, buyer would only receive $500 back. If buyer had to pay $500 on taxes, buyer would actually need to pay $1,000. Caution - if buyer cannot come up with money at tax time there are penalties and fees!)
*If buyer bought/buys the house in 2008, and filed for tax credit on 2008 tax returns, buyer would not need to start repayment until 2010. (Credit available to home buyers after April 9th, 2008)
*If buyer buys a house in 2009, and filed for tax credit on 2009 tax returns, buyer would not need to start repayment until 2011. (Credit available for home buyers up until June 30th, 2009) (Please note the above - tax credit available immediately in 2009 IF buyer files amended tax return for 2008)
*Full $7,500 available for singles with gross income of $75,000 per year, OR joint filings with gross income less than $150,000 per year. The tax credit phases out from there until single filing reaches $95,000, and joint filings reach $170,000. After which no tax credit is available.
     *Important! If buyer is expected to pay (example) $4,000 in taxes on returns, and is applying for the $7,500 tax credit, the buyer would actually only receive $3,500. Vice versa if buyer is to receive $1,000 back on taxes, buyer would actually receive $8,500 back.
*No restrictions on location or type of house.
*No restrictions on what the money is used for. Can be used for remodeling, paying off credit cards, etc.
*Tax credit is not available for nonresident aliens, or if the home is anything other than a primary home.
*If buyer sells house before repayment period and has no gain on the sale, buyer will not be expected to pay the credit back. If the buyer has a net gain, the "recapture" cannot exceed the amount of buyers gain.
If you would like to investigate further, please visit or call me anytime.
Information Provided by:
Zac Ellerbroek
Independent Mortgage Broker - Treadstone Mortgage

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.