Stunning Golf Course Luxury

    This stunning walkout ranch, masterfully crafted by West Michigan Award Winning builder BDR, boasts custom quality throughout. The gated community of Watermark offers the superb blend of privacy and convenience. The impressive exterior features gorgeous landscape and cascading water features, with the beautiful backdrop of the private pond and meticulously landscaped 6th green; providing stunning views all year long. Step inside to appreciate the sense of quality and grace that captures the essence of home. With main floor master suite, main floor laundry, 4 fireplaces, 4 bedrooms 3.5 baths, office, craft room, den, wet bar, screened-in porch, open patio and more -this home offers the perfect layout for everyday enjoyment and artful entertaining.

    7486 Alaska Ridge – Private Thornapple River – Forest Hills Schools

    Forest Hill Schools – Private Thornapple River frontage. This gorgeous Town & Country cedar home is surrounded by the natural beauty of hardwoods. Located on the open 6 mile stretch of the Thornapple River (all sports.) This home offers the best of rustic-lux. With soaring vaulted plank ceilings, stone fireplace, majestic views out every window, and quality finishes throughout every inch breathes the essence of home. The main floor master with luxuriously appointed on-suite, the additional bedrooms, finished garage loft space, and walk-out lower level each offer custom touches combining form, function and fun. Experience the peace of this location while appreciating its easy proximity to everyday amenities such as shopping, dining, entertainment, and more.

    2277 Lee St SW – Commercial Retail Space For Sale

    Ample parking and excellent location

    Conveniently located within walking distance to popular Wyoming Park residential area, yet surrounded by supporting business 2277 Lee St SW offers ample parking, excellent opportunity for both location based walk-in business, and business driven consumers.

    The open interior floor plan offers a blank canvas of opportunity. With block constructed exterior walls, over 700 sqft interior space, 10ft average height, and forced air heating and cooling – this place is built with “great bones” and designed to be both energy and space efficient.

    Brief overview of the area with screenshot of google maps

    What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?

    What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?

    What is the Probability that Home Values Sink? | Simplifying The Market

    With the current uncertainty about the economy triggered by a potential trade war, some people are waiting to purchase their first home or move-up to their dream house because they think or hope home prices will drop over the next few years. However, the experts disagree with this perspective.

    Here is a table showing the predicted levels of appreciation from six major housing sources:What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink? | Simplifying The MarketAs we can see, every source believes home prices will continue to appreciate (albeit at lower levels than we have seen over the last several years). But, not one source is calling for residential real estate values to depreciate.

    Additionally, ARCH Mortgage Insurance Company in their current Housing and Mortgage Market Review revealed their latest ARCH Risk Index, which estimates the probability of home prices being lower in two years. There was not one state that even had a moderate probability of home prices lowering. In fact, 34 of the 50 states had a minimal probability.What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink? | Simplifying The Market

    Bottom Line

    Those waiting for prices to fall before purchasing a home should realize that the probability of that happening anytime soon is very low. With mortgage rates already at near historic lows, now may be the time to act.

    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    Top Priorities When Moving with Kids

    Top Priorities When Moving with Kids

    Top Priorities When Moving with Kids | Simplifying The Market

    According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it comes to finding the right size, location, school district, and more.

    Recently, the 2019 Moving with Kids Report from the National Association of Realtors®(NAR) studied “the different purchasing habits as well as seller preferences during the home buying and selling process.” This is what they found:

    When Purchasing a Home

    The major difference between the homebuyers who have children and those who do not is the importance of the neighborhood. In fact, 53% said the quality of the school district is an important factor when purchasing a home, and 50% select neighborhoods by the convenience to the schools.

    Buyers with children also purchase larger, detached single-family homes with 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms at approximately 2,110 square feet.

    Furthermore, 26% noted how childcare expenses delayed the home-buying process and forced additional compromises: 31% in the size of the home, 24% in the price, and 18% in the distance from work.

    When Selling a Home

    Of those polled, 23% of buyers with children sold their home “very urgently,” and 46% indicated “somewhat urgently, within a reasonable time frame.” Selling with urgency can pressure sellers to accept offers that are not in their favor. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR explains,

    “When buying or selling a home, exercising patience is beneficial, but in some cases – such as facing an upcoming school year or the outgrowing of a home – sellers find themselves rushed and forced to accept a less than ideal offer.”

    For sellers with children, 21% want a real estate professional to help them sell the home within a specific time frame, 20% at a competitive price, and 19% to market their home to potential buyers.

    Bottom Line

    Buying or selling a home can be driven by different priorities when you are also raising a family. If you’re a seller with children and looking to relocate, let’s get together to navigate the process in the most reasonable time frame for you and your family.


    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    Top 5 Reasons Why Moving from Chicago to Grand Rapids, MI Is Popular

    Smith & Sons (3)

    Ranked as one of the 25 Best Places to Live in the U.S.in 2019 (U.S. News & World Report), Top Up and Coming Cities (Thrillist) along with countless other awards including The Top Five Most Popular Destinations for Millennials (The National Assocation of REALTORS), Best Places to Retire in the U.S. (U.S. News & World Report), Top Places to Raise a Family (Forbes.com) Grand Rapids, MI has really made a name for itself.

    But why are many new Grandrapidians (as Grand Rapids residents are known) moving here from Chicago?

    1. Location – (it’s a whole new world yet not too far from any Chicago family.)
      • From Grand Rapids to Chicago is about 2 hours and 45 minutes. A suburb of Chicago? Not quite, but the distance is certainly not long making “work at home – commute to CHI possible.” Plus it’s close enough where if there are fun things you enjoy about Chicago – it is very manageable to enjoy them.
      • Lake Michigan is about 25 minutes from Grand Rapids. Combined with over 10,000 inlet lakes, plus award winning rivers and streams – the water activities and beach enjoyment is endless.
      • Up North – for decades the “UP NORTH” area and lake shore area have been sought after playground for those from Chicago – imagine having that within a short drive of right out your own backyard!
    2. Getting Ahead – having your dollar go farther is always advantage no matter what your stage of life.
      • The Cost of Living average for Grand Rapids 92.7 ( as noted on bestplaces.com ) compared to Chicago cost of living at 117.8
        (also found on bestplaces.com.) Cost of living index is measured on a scale of 100 – 100 being the national average. Those under 100 allow your dollar to go farther – those over 100 your dollar would not buy as much of the daily things for living.
    3. Travel Time – It has been said you can get anywhere in Grand Rapids in 20 minutes or less, across town, “outta town”, etc.
      • The average commute from a Chicago suburb to downtown Chicago is currently about 60-75 minutes – without traffic. those of you that have experience know it can be closer to about 2 hours on some days – but even then unpredictable
      • Google maps is actually accurate for travel times in the Grand Rapids – why? Our traffic patterns are predictable and that allows for accurate projections on travel times.
    4. Entertainment – you mean people choose Grand Rapids over Chicago for entertainment?
      • Grand Rapids hosts an amazing array of cultural festivities. Frankly they are easy to attend, good entertainment value vs ticket price  and the downtown parking rates and availability have appeal.
      • From Beach towns to Winter Wonders, Museums, Symphony, Live Theater, Opera, Broadway shows, and more….Check out an extensive list of things to do here:
    5. Jobs – Yes, Grand Rapids is home to several large corporations making the list of some of the top employers in the world, in a variety of industries with a multitude of career options.  Make such lists as #1 – Mid-Sized Metro for Economic Growth Potential (Business Facilities),  Top Metro for Sustainable Development (Site Selection Magazine), Top Hiring Metro Areas in the U.S (Manpower.) Recently a job fair was held to attract new talent to the area where it was reported more than 1/3 of those attending where from Chicago and looking to move to Grand Rapids.

    Grand Rapids has a lot to offer.  Winning award after award in a variety of categories (for a great list of even more reasons by West Michigan check this out: The Right Place.) Think it might be right for you? Feel free to start exploring all Grand Rapids has to offer. Have questions? Just Ask – we’re known to be one of friendliest towns in the world as well!

    Originally drafted in Jan 2016, this blog post has become one of our top performing posts, organically appearing in numerous searching. Updated now August 30 2019 with fresh links and updated data. Enjoy!

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    What’s the Latest on Interest Rates?

    What’s the Latest on Interest Rates?

    What’s the Latest on Interest Rates? | Simplifying The Market

    Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since Q4 of 2018, settling at near-historic lows. This is big news for buyers looking to get more for their money in the current housing market.
    What’s the Latest on Interest Rates? | Simplifying The Market
    According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey,

    the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate averaged 3.60 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2016.

    Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, notes how this is great news for homebuyers. He states,

    “…consumer sentiment remains buoyed by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales into the fall.”

    As a potential buyer, the best thing you can do is work with a trusted advisor who can help you keep a close eye on how the market is changing. Relying on current expert advice is more important than ever when it comes to making a confident and informed decision for you and your family.

    Bottom Line

    Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home is on your short list of goals to achieve, let’s get together to determine your best move.

    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    Experts Predict a Strong Housing Market for the Rest of 2019

    Experts Predict a Strong Housing Market for the Rest of 2019

    Experts Predict a Strong Housing Market for the Rest of 2019 | Simplifying The Market

    We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019.

    Here’s what some of the experts have to say:

    Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic

    “We see the cooldown flattening or even reversing course in the coming months and expect the housing market to continue coming into balance. In the meantime, buyers are likely claiming some ground from what has been seller’s territory over the past few years. If mortgage rates stay low, wages continue to grow, and inventory picks up, we can expect the U.S. housing market to further stabilize throughout the remainder of the year.”

    Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR

    “We expect the second half of year will be notably better than the first half in terms of home sales, mainly because of lower mortgage rates.”

    Freddie Mac

    “The drop in mortgage rates continues to stimulate the real estate market and the economy. Home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago and has noticeably strengthened since the early summer months…The benefit of lower mortgage rates is not only shoring up home sales, but also providing support to homeowner balance sheets via higher monthly cash flow and steadily rising home equity.”

    Bottom Line

    The housing market will be strong for the rest of 2019. If you’d like to know more about our specific market, let’s get together to discuss what’s happening in our area.


    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    Open SAT 12-2PM 8688 Rainbows End Caledonia

    Better than new, this incredible home offers and amazing floor plan, fenced in backyard, and located in one of the hottest developments of Caledonia. With 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 baths and the walkout lower level offers room future 5th bedroom and 3rd full bath, and a huge rec room, this home offers move-in ready living with untapped potential for building equity. This is a must see – Open Saturday 12PM-2PM. Offers due Monday Aug 26 2019 by 5PM