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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 93

Grand Rapids: Beer City USA 2012

by Mark Brace

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BMQ6cc5DJs

http://www.examiner.com/article/grand-rapids-asheville-share-beercity-usa-2012-title

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-12/travel/ct-trav-0812-grand-rapids-20120812_1_leinenkugel-beer-city-usa-darker-beers

 

-Mark Brace

Grand Rapids Labeled #1 Place in America to Buy Real Estate

by Mark Brace

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!!!

Great TV Commercial About House Hunting

by Mark Brace

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!

Why The Time is Now!

by Mark Brace

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.

 

Zac Ellerbroek

Loan Originator – Lake Michigan Credit Union / Knapps Corner

616-234-6864 – Direct

616-893-6024 – Cell

616-643-0783 – Secure Fax

NMLS# 138717

To Send Secure E-Mail Click Here

Beware: Mortgage Loan Modification Scams

by Mark Brace

Earlier this week the National Grand Rapids Foreclosures Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program held a web-ex about the Loan Modification Scam Alert campaign. Due to the growing number of scams, Congress asked NeighborWorks America to launch a national public education program; the campaign empowers homeowners to protect themselves against loan modification scams, to find trusted help and to report illegal activity to authorities. Keep yourself informed and aware, visit this website to stay educated www.LoanScamAlert.org.

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

Are Home Buyers Getting Too Picky?

by Mark Brace

Many buyers are demanding perfection in home’s today.

A small stain on the carpet? Forget it. Distracting paint colors? They can’t look past it. No granite countertops? Onto the next house!

As home values drop, offering buyers some of the best bargains in years, more home buyers have realized they can get more choosy when home-shopping. And with inventories high in many areas, sellers realize their home needs to exude perfection if its going to stand out.

During the housing boom a few years ago, buyers were more willing to overlook flaws, or accept them, that is. They may have negotiated with the seller over repairs or upgrades, but some buyers were willing to even take the home “as-is” to win a bidding war or to get the home in the area they wanted.

Times have changed.

Even first-time buyers, who once were lured to the “starter home” (a.k.a. a fixer-upper), are getting choosier. A Coldwell Banker survey earlier this year found that 87 percent of first-time buyers say they want a “move-in” ready home over a fixer-upper–and they want it to be affordable too!

Buyers are “missing out on some excellent, older lived-in houses,” Holly Kirby Weatherwax, a real estate professional in Reston, Va., told the Toledo Blade. “It’s a shame, simply because they can’t overlook” flaws that wouldn’t have bothered most buyers in the previous two decades. Those flaws could be anything from minor imperfections like kitchen appliances by different manufacturers to the home’s color not matching the buyer’s furniture, Kirby notes.

“Anything that can be a distraction, you want to eliminate,” a Tennessee home seller noted in a recent news article. “A light bulb isn’t a big issue, but it can affect [buyers’] subconscious.”

So how did buyers get so picky anyway? Is it just the power of a buyer’s market? Some also blame the rising popularity of home design shows on TV for making buyers more selective when viewing homes. But in recent months, more home design TV programming is showing a slight shift to fixer-upper housing make-overs, showing how a home’s flaws can be overcome to still become a dream home. Will such TV shows eventually make more buyers give less-than-perfect homes a second chance?

Until then, before the for-sale sign goes up, more sellers are heeding the advice of their real estate agent to clean, paint, upgrade and stage to avoid lowball offers. Plus, with the huge glut of low-priced foreclosures, such finishing touches may help home owners rise above the competition.

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Grand Rapids Voted # 2 Best City To Re-Locate To!

by Mark Brace

Grand Rapids, Mich., made RelocateAmerica’s Top 10 list for its solid schools and strong economy, especially when compared with the rest of the state. “It’s got the best of everything in a smaller large city,” said Steve Nickerson, president of RelocateAmerica.

Read the full article by clicking the link below:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-10-best-places-to-live-in-the-us-2011-08-02

Declutter Your Home and Get it Sold

by Mark Brace

In today’s competitive housing market, Grand Rapids area home sellers must use all means possible to position their properties to sell.  When buyers step inside your home, they hope to see a neat, clean house where they could imagine themselves living for the next few decades.

With all else being equal, home buyers prefer the look of an uncluttered home over one that is stuffed with “stuff.”  Why is this?  Uncluttered homes tend to look cleaner than ones where there are piles of books, boxes, and other items lying around.  A highly cluttered home also gives the perception of having less square footage than it really does.  And when potential buyers see open floor areas and unbroken wall space inside your home, they can more easily envision their furniture and other belongings fitting into that space.

But how can you move all that stuff out of sight without marching it down to the basement or jamming it all into your closets?  After all, prospective buyers will walk through those areas of the house also.

Consider renting temporary storage space.  Self-storage facilities offer a convenient way to relocate items that can clutter up a home.  These facilities, commonly called “mini-storage,” are fairly numerous in most towns and offer spaces with different storage volumes.  These units can be rented on a monthly basis and may be just the solution you are looking for.  All you need is a truck and some helpers to move the clutter out of the house ahead of that open house this weekend.

An even more convenient temporary storage solution for the home seller is a portable storage unit.  These enclosed containers are delivered to your home and securely protect your belongings from the outside elements.  They are especially handy when you are moving from one home to another.  The units can be loaded up at your old home and transported to your new house where they can be unloaded at your convenience.

Whether your house is located in Grandville, Ada, or any other Grand Rapids neighborhood, making your home stand out from all the others in this real estate market is an important component in getting it sold faster.  Decluttering your home by utilizing temporary storage may make the difference between going through yet another open house and finally hanging that SOLD sign in what will soon become your old front yard.

Brian Sinnott is with Zippy Shell of West Michigan, a trusted provider of temporary self-storage in Grand Rapids

THINK ABOUT THIS!

by Mark Brace

There are homeowners that would like to have a larger/nicer home but are patiently waiting for the market to improve.  A frequently heard objection is that they can't sell their home for what it is currently worth.   

Buying up in a down market is actually advantageous because while you might get less for the home you're selling, you're also getting the larger home for less.  For instance, if you had to sell a $200,000 home for a 10% discount, you might feel that you left $20,000 on the table.  However, buying a $300,000 for the same 10% discount would put you $10,000 ahead on the sale and purchase.

The other obvious matter is that when the mortgage rates increase while you're waiting for the market to improve, it dramatically increases your cost of housing with higher payments.  The cost of housing is affected by price and mortgage rates.

To accurately evaluate your current options, you need facts and assessment tools that will provide you the information to make an informed decision. Contact me, Mark Brace, today to discuss your options. Whether buying or selling I am here to help make the process enjoyable and exciting! 

First 3 Paragraphs Taken from Pat Zaby's Blog

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 93

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.