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Storage: self-storage vs. movers (guest blog)

Posted by on 3:47 pm in Buying a home, Guest Blog, Selling a home | Comments Off on Storage: self-storage vs. movers (guest blog)

Storage: self-storage vs. movers (guest blog) I have been having some clients that are struggling a little bit to find self-storage units that have the availability that they need so I’ve been having more questions about movers and storage lately.  When Peter approached me about doing a guest blog on the subject I was happy to have him as I see this as a need I am running into more and more.  I hope this helps! – Julie   Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-storage vs. Storing with your mover by Peter Sander, Stevens Van...

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Finding the perfect house when inventory is low

Posted by on 9:10 pm in Buying a home | Comments Off on Finding the perfect house when inventory is low

Finding the perfect house when inventory is low So you have your house on the market and you get an offer. This is great news, except for now you need to figure out where you’re going to live next. This is an exciting process, but in an environment where there is limited inventory it can also be quite frustrating. How do we find that next house? 1) Be ready to make a quick decision. Think through as much as possible what exactly you are looking for in a home. Look through homes and make sure that your desires are in line with your price...

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Luxury homes in Grand Rapids

Posted by on 11:26 am in Buying a home, Selling a home | Comments Off on Luxury homes in Grand Rapids

Luxury homes in Grand Rapids For the sake of this blog post, I am considering luxury homes to be homes with more than 5,000 square feet. Although this is not a large portion of the market (homes over $500,000 made up only 1.6% of the market so far in 2013), it is still something not just fun to look at for the other 98.4% of homebuyers, but also a place to keep a finger on the pulse of trends in the housing market. So, what are things that we are seeing in the luxury market? Location. School district is a big factor in determining a great...

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Buyers’ market or sellers’ market?

Posted by on 3:34 pm in Buying a home, Selling a home | Comments Off on Buyers’ market or sellers’ market?

Is this a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market? For years buyers have been told that they rule the market. Sellers have been aggressively pricing and staging and everything that they can think of to be competitive against all the other homes on the market, many of which were foreclosures or short sales. Things have changed. Since October inventory has been decreasing by 3-10% per month. In October, 2012 we had 4,739 residential homes on the market and at the end of February, 2013 we are down to 3,732 (down 21% in 4 months). This is...

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What is a HUD home?

Posted by on 4:46 pm in Buying a home | 0 comments

What is a HUD home? What does it mean to buy a HUD home?  How is it different from purchasing a “regular” house?  Is it different from buying a different kind of foreclosure? These are questions that I get quite frequently. The answer is: yes, it is different. HUD stands for The Department of Housing and Urban Development, a department of the U.S. Federal government. This department does many things, one of which is provide insurance on certain mortgages. These mortgages are called FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans when...

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How do you pick a neighborhood when new to the Grand Rapids area?

Posted by on 4:40 pm in Buying a home, Grand Rapids | 0 comments

How do you pick a neighborhood when new to the Grand Rapids area? As a real estate agent, I often get questions from people who are relocating to the Grand Rapids area and have questions about what community would be the best for their needs. How do you choose when you’re not familiar with the neighborhoods and different suburban areas? Of course the first thing is the same as what it would be with someone who grew up here: what’s important to you in a home? How much can you spend? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want land...

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Property tax relief!

Posted by on 2:25 pm in Buying a home | 0 comments

Property tax relief! Homebuyer Tax Relief Bill signed on last day of 2010 Session! (via Julie Rietberg, CEO of the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS®) 12/3/2010 MAR-supported legislation to allow foreclosed properties to retain their principal residence exemption for a period of up to 3 years has passed both the House and Senate, and is expected to be signed by the Governor in the coming days. Senate Bill 77 provides for much needed Principal Residence status and tax relief to purchasers of bank-owned properties after the May 1st filing...

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Buying after bankruptcy or foreclosure (guest blog)

Posted by on 11:07 am in Buying a home, Short sales | 0 comments

Buying after bankruptcy or foreclosure (guest blog) The foreclosure crisis began in 2007 and was in full effect by October 2008. The foreclosures were due to job loss, credit mismanagement and predatory lending. Those that had a foreclosure three years ago can now buy through FHA financing with 3.5% down. This presents an interesting situation. Rates are very low, which allows for a lower payment compared to what the same borrower would have been offered just three years ago in the same price range. Housing prices have plummeted, which also...

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Grand Rapids area schools – how does yours compare?

Posted by on 9:49 am in Buying a home, Grand Rapids | 0 comments

Here we are – back to school time! My son goes to a year-round school so he actually started a couple of weeks ago, but everyone else is gearing up to start in a couple of weeks. A question that I often get asked is: what’s the best school? My response is: the one that is the best fit for your child. There are large schools and smaller schools, urban, suburban and rural, some emphasis reading and some math. Some emphasize sports and some academics. Some of these factors are not easy to quantify. So, we tend to look at proficiency...

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You say tomato, I say tomato

Posted by on 6:18 am in Buying a home | 0 comments

Sometimes the hardest thing about my job is that it’s only maybe 25% knowing about houses, and the remaining 75% knowing about people. Often I’m working with two people who know each other well and have many common goals but still each have their own likes and dislikes. What do you do if he’s more worried about the budget and she’s more worried about being in the right part of town? What if he wants acreage and she wants neighbors? Here’s a little house hunting marriage advice: 1) Start with the budget first....

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