Real Estate Information

Grand Rapids Real Estate with Mark Brace

Mark Brace


Displaying blog entries 61-70 of 126

The 4 Types of Personalities Women Home Buyers Have!

by Mark Brace

According to research done by Design Basics, LLC of Omaha, Nebraska-there are 4 different types of personalities Realtors need to cater to when working with a female home-buyer. They have come up with names to characterize these 4 different personalities:Margo-wants to "wow" others with her unique home, Elise-tends to prefer traditional, Claire-is so detailed she might bring a black light to spotlight all of a home's imperfections and Maggie-well, keeping her focus long enough on the home will be a Realtor's biggest challenge. Why so much focus on what women want? Well, according to Realtor Magazine, single women alone compromise 20% of buyers, up from 14% in 1995 and when a woman is shopping for a home with her significant other or family members it is often she who has the biggest influence over the final decision. Although these 4 personalities may not characterize every female buyer its important to decide which personality is closest to you so that you can have a better idea of what you're looking for. Choose from the more detailed list below:

Margo-"My Home is Unique" Her ideal home: Modern design and clean lines draw her eye. She likes geometric shapes and unusual features and she prefers edgy, European-influenced trends. A work area, library, or inspiration room is also desirable since she’s work-oriented.

Elise-"My Home is my Haven" Her ideal home: Function trumps aesthetics for this traditional, family-oriented buyer. She wants a home that’s easy to clean, low maintenance, and durable. She looks at a home from the family’s perspective, and wants plenty of storage, a large laundry room, and a floor plan that comfortably fits her family lifestyle. She’s more likely to go with a traditional design, such as a country kitchen.

Claire-"My Home Makes a Statement" Her ideal home: This status-driven buyer is drawn to brand names and quality products, such as nice fabrics and crown molding. Claire appreciates symmetry in design and wants polished, sophisticated spaces for formal entertaining. She’s also drawn to arched openings, columns, and a gourmet kitchen.

Maggie-"My Home is Carefree" Her ideal home: This adventurous and spontaneous buyer is the least connected to a home’s appearance. She’s drawn to comfort and function and tends to want less square footage because it means less upkeep. She also tends to prefer "green" design and low-maintenance products since she’s always on the go. Maggie is casual when it comes to a home’s design and desires flexible spaces that she can tailor to accommodate her hobbies.



New Craigslist Scam!!

by Mark Brace

WARNING: Scammers may try to steal your account by sending an official-looking email with a link to a fake craigslist login page, hoping you'll type in your username and password.

Look carefully at the web address near the top of your browser to make sure you are on the real craigslist login page, If the URL is different from this one in anyway DO NOT Login.

The safest way to login is go to the craigslist homepage directly by typing in the web address, and then clicking on the 'my account' link.

Craigslist Scam for Renters in GR

by Mark Brace

It appears that someone is pulling the addresses, property descriptions, and listing comments from listed properties and adding erroneous “homes for rent” advertisements to Craigslist.  The person posting the ads is offering an email address for inquiries and then sends the following response to those inquiries:  Our family has relocated to South Africa and are willing to rent our home in Grand Rapids.  Please complete the attached application and we will have someone meet you at the property for a showing.   This is apparently an attempt to gain consumers’ personal identification and information, and is also causing headaches and confusion for the true listing agents and property owners, since they too are starting to get calls from interested renters.  If this happens to you, please report the incident to the FTC at 877-382-4357 or fill out an online complaint form.  

Worlds Largest Sound Stage opens in Grand Rapids

by Mark Brace



The world’s largest sound stage is now open, right here in West Michigan. Hanger42 Studios is ready for business in Walker, Michigan in the former Lear plant. Walker is northern suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan

You can find out about future job possibilities at Hanger42 Studio’s website. Operators of Hangar42 Studios announced Thursday that they will be opening a 500,000 square-foot, full-service film production studio in the old structure. 

The film tax incentives have brought hundreds of millions of dollars in productions to Michigan. Hanger42 Studios is an example of a permanent structure, to draw more movies to West Michigan.

They made airplanes in the building during World War II. They will make movies here in the 21st century.

The former manufacturing plant on Alpine Avenue is now known as Hanger42 Studios. Hanger because of the airplane origins and 42 because it was built in 1942.

The building has already been used to film movies such as “The Gun” starring Val Kilmer and 50 Cent.

Rick Hert of the West Michigan Film Office says Hanger42 is open and ready for business. He says, “Because of the size of this space we have the opportunity to have 3, 4, 5, 6
projects going in here at a time.”

Learn How to Reduce Property Taxes

by Mark Brace

There is one last opportunity on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., to take the RPOA-REI detailed class on fighting inaccurate tax assessments.  The class will:

  • Provide a detailed look at the property tax assessment process.
  • Explain the assessment appeal process.
  • Explain and provide examples of the paperwork necessary to file an appeal.
  • Explain the methodology of determining a correct assessed value and proving it.
  • Offer information on resources to help appeal your property tax assessments.

Also, Feb 12,2010 is the last day to file your property tax assesment appeal!! Don't throw away your money!! Take action now!!

10 Home Features Buyers Want

by Mark Brace

Home designers and builders speaking at the recent International Builders Show in Las Vegas say that buyers are seeking cost-effective features and rejecting things that don’t have lasting value.

“It's all about family togetherness – casual living, entertaining and flexible spaces," says Carol Lavender, president of the Lavender Design Group in San Antonio.

Paul Cardis, CEO of Avid Ratings, which conducts an annual survey of buyer preferences, identified these must-haves in new homes:

  1. Large kitchens with islands
  2. Energy efficiency, including energy-efficient appliances, super insulation, and high-efficiency windows.
  3. Home offices
  4. Main-floor master suite
  5. Outdoor living space
  6. Ceiling fans
  7. Soaking tub in the master suite and/or an oversize shower with a seating area
  8. Stone and brick exteriors rather than stucco or vinyl
  9. Community walking paths and playgrounds
  10. Two-car garages, but three-car garages are even more desirable

Source: Realtor Magazine

Cirque Dreams Illumination Comes to Grand Rapids

by Mark Brace

Cirque De Soleil is known for putting on wacky, zany and mysifying acrobatic shows. They are usually performed in large Metro areas such as Las Vegas, Chicago and NYC however, we who live in Grand Rapids are getting the chance to see one of the Cirque shows starting tonight (1/26) at DeVos Performance Hall. In Cirque Dreams Illumination city dwellers collect objects that are balanced beyond belief, linemen delicately walk wires, daredevils leap tall buildings and flyers redefine the risks of flight. Everyday occurrences are transformed into astounding feats performed by an international cast of acrobatic urbanites, flexible fanatics, world-class athletes, musicians and more. This action packed Cirque Dream is enhanced with over 100 inventive costumes and set in a fantastical cityscape of dimension and special effects. Cirque Dreams Illumination will surpass its "jaw dropping, family friendly spectacle" proclamation by the Los Angeles Times and exhilarate audiences of all ages. To get tickets visit

10 Big Impact, Low-Cost Remodeling Tips

by Mark Brace

According to Realtor Magazine there are 10 ways you can update your home for sale without breaking the bank. These ideas are all proven to make an impact on potential buyers without making a huge impact on your wallet. Check out the ideas below:

1. Tidy-Up Kitchen Cabinets-Potential buyers do typically open up cabinets and peek inside. An easy way to make them look better is by organizing with baskets or roll-out organizing trays.

2. Add or Replace Tile-By adding new tile inexpensively you can make a space look much brighter and cleaner than it was. Many stores offer tile for $1-$2 and under. This is an easy way to update bathrooms as well.

3. Add a Breakfast Bar-When a wall separates a family room from a kitchen, cutting out an opening to create a breakfast bar is a low cost upgrade that adds value to the home. This can be done for around $500.

4. Install Granite Tiles instead of a Granite Slab-Granite counter tops are an extremely hot commodity in the home buyer's market, but a granite slab can go for more than $3000. An easy alternative is installing granite tiles, which gives the feel of granite counter tops for around 1/10 of the cost!

5. Freshen Up a Bathroom-Add new light fixtures, updated hardware, a new medicine cabinet and re-grout existing tile. All of these are low-cost ways to improve and freshen up a bathroom.

6. Freshen up the Basement-Even if you don't have a finished basement, there are ways to freshen it up. If you have poured concrete walls, have a contractor fill the cracks with cement and paint with a waterproofing paint. After the waterproofing paint you can add a top coat to add color.  You can also paint the basement floor with a good floor paint.

7. Add a Room- Look for large spaces that can be enclosed to create a bedroom for just the cost of creating a wall. Adding rooms adds value.

8. Spruce up Cabinet Fronts-Recondition old wood cabinets or even paint them. Both of these are less expensive than re-facing or replacing.

9. Replace Light Fixtures-Replacing light fixtures is the easiest way to update a home.

10. Tech up the Garage- The easiest way is to replace the garage door opener with a remote touch-pad entry system.  The cost is low, but makes it look like you have a high-tech garage-opening system.

100 Days Left for Home Buyer $8000 Tax Credit

by Mark Brace


Get your pre-approval NOW!  We only have 100 days to have an accepted PA to qualify for the federal tax credit.
Also, we are expected to have an announcement from FHA this week.  They are going to raise the up front mortgage insurance premium from 1.75% to 2.25%and reduce the maximum seller paid costs from 6% to 3% (which means more money out of pocket and higher payments). 
Get your rate locked in before these changes occur.  More to follow.

Important Staging Tips for Sellers

by Mark Brace

Click to visit my activerain blog and important staging tips for sale.


Displaying blog entries 61-70 of 126

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.