As spring winds down and summer draws closer, more and more homebuyers are beginning to come out for the busy season, especially as they start to notice local real estate market increases. Nationwide, inventory is finally seeing an increase (great news for homebuyers), as well as existing home sales and housing prices. According to a new analysis by CoreLogic, a global real estate industry firm, U.S. home prices saw increases up to 11.3% in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the previous year.

"Limited construction of new homes and low inventories of existing homes for sale contributed to the jump," said one CoreLogic economist. Also contributing to the increases are the number of "traditional" homebuyers that are making the move into the Grand Rapids real estate market. Buyers that choose homes based on their own personal wish list and desire to stay put for a good amount of time. These traditional buyers are choosing homes based on certain features that appeal to their lifestyle, including their profession.

So what types of features are drawing these homebuyers to homes in the Grand Rapids area? Or what will they be looking for as the summer buying season gets underway? One important factor is an easier commute! 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that "seventy-three percent of recent homebuyers said that commuting costs were an important factor when deciding whether or not to purchase." Homebuyers are now weighing the benefits of being close to work as well as having shops, restaurants, schools, and transportation nearby. As of late, buyers are now factoring these into their decision to purchase a home in the Grand Rapids area

Homebuyers want to live close to their workplace and as a result, that is driving up housing prices. "It creates a positive feedback loop; the more skilled workers employed in an area, the more others want to move there." Neighborhoods also benefit from having such skilled professionals in the area as it raises the profile of the community and thus, the value of the homes. It's also a great selling point for those who may currently be living in a coveted area— so, Grand Rapids area home sellers take note!

In addition to the commute time, homebuyers in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Cascade, Ada, Rockford, Northview, and Grandville are looking for neighborhoods that are walkable. Not only do they want their Michigan homes to be close to their workplace, but also in easy-to-navigate and walk-around neighborhoods that offer a mix of homes, stores, and businesses. According to a National Association of Realtors Community Preference Survey, 60% of those looking to purchase a home agreed that they chose a home based on its walkability and proximity to such shops and businesses.

What's important to you as a Grand Rapids area homebuyer? If this is the year you're planning to buy a new home, we can work together to find a home that meets your criteria, in a great neighborhood and with your home wish list features. Contact me today to discuss which homes are available 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

Brace Homes

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate

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