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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 Lines...

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Good pictures matter

Posted by on 1:05 pm in Selling a home | Comments Off on Good pictures matter

Good pictures matter When showcasing your home that is on the market, many aspects come into play. As a homeowner for example, you may want to touch up the large knick on the entrance wall or re-grout the bathroom, but have you ever considered how your REALTOR® will capture your home through photography? Photographs create an overall impression of your home and can make a buyer pass right by your online listing or urge them to delve deeper and schedule an appointment for a walk through. Take the photographs below for example: this image was...

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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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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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Should I just give the keys back to the bank?

Posted by on 3:20 pm in Short sales | 0 comments

Should I just give the keys back to the bank? I have spoken with many people who have the unfortunate circumstance of having negative equity in their home. Then people start looking around at the kind of house they could be living in for the same payment if they could get out from under the house that they’re in. The thought creeps in to their mind (and maybe it’s floated through yours): would I be better off to just turn in the keys to the bank? Why do I keep making a payment when it’s going to be many years until...

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Options for avoiding foreclosure (there is hope!)

Posted by on 5:29 pm in Short sales | 0 comments

I have heard so many stories. Some real heart breakers. Almost no one was just irresponsible with their money and put their housing on the line, most people just had some bad luck that in the past would mean selling their home and renting until they got back on their feet or buying something smaller. When housing prices go down and the equity position isn’t there to sell it makes things a little harder. If foreclosure is an issue you may be dealing with, here’s some options for you: 1) Reinstatement – if the reason you...

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Should we start with a higher price just to try it?

Posted by on 12:14 pm in Selling a home | 0 comments

When listing a home for sale, there are various components that go along with successfully selling the home, but the one that trumps them all is pricing. But, how do you know what the right price is? When I am doing research on a home to determine what the right list price is I look at homes sold in the area that have similar characteristics. There are some homes that are unique in one way or the other where it is harder to tell the price, but most of the time we can make an educated guess on the sales price based upon the sale of similar...

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Now that the homebuyer credit is over…..

Posted by on 9:11 pm in Market statistics, Selling a home | 0 comments

For the time period of January 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010 the government has been offering an $8,000 refundable tax credit to those who purchase a home for the first time (or at least recently) and then December 1, 2009 that credit was expanded to include a $6,500 credit to repeat homebuyers. So, for the last almost year and a half the government has literally been paying people to purchase houses in an effort to stimulate the housing market. Did they succeed? How do you measure a successful program? Did home sales increase? Absolutely....

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Staging 101 – Clean your house

Posted by on 6:44 pm in Selling a home | 1 comment

Staging 101 – Clean your house! Here’s a public service announcement to everyone selling their house (and maybe a bit of a rant): I went through 10 houses today, all under $80,000 and about half of these were short sales (pre-foreclosure). My clients aren’t investors, they are looking for a place to establish a home so they are looking to emotionally connect with a house. I understand that when you are behind on your mortgage payments that means that money is tight. I don’t expect to see new carpet and paint throughout...

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