Market Update

    I’ve been talking with several people in the West Michigan area who have asked me “What’s the market like? Is it as bad as the papers say?”

    The good news is we, in West Michigan, are sitting better than much of the state and have seen a strengthening of the selling market as of late. We’re not as robust of a market as in 2004 – but that’s to be expected. You can not sustain record sales growth. The West Michigan market has continued to strengthen from what appears to have been the worst slump back in summer/early fall of ’05. We’re now in a stage of flushing out the market as we move into peak buying season. While the majority of the Grand Rapids and surrounding areas are still considered a “buyers’ market” (a list to sales derived ratio) we continue to see an increase in “neutral market” (neither buyer or seller are favored) and even some “sellers’ markets” are forming. This is a positive sign and one that should continue to assist in evening out the market.

    An important consideration to remember during “buyers’ market” times is that it’s a sliding scale. The majority of sellers soon become buyers and naturally buy a home that costs more. While you may take a 5% hit on the house you’re selling there is also a high likely hood of obtaining a 5% or more decrease on the one your are buying. For example if you list your home for $185,000 and you take a 5% hit to sell it you’re taking a $9,250 loss. HOWEVER when you go to purchase you’re new home for $$275,000 a 5% reduction here is $13750. You just kept an extra $4500 in your pocket!

    To determine if you’re in a sellers market or ways to potentially retain higher than 5% off your sale price please feel free to contact us for an individual analysis.

    Moving from Apartment to home….

    So you’re considering a move in home ownership? Then here are a few points to consider.

    The Home Buying 9 Step Process:
    The hardest part about the home buying process is often just knowing where to start. We hope that the steps outlined below will assist you in your journey toward home ownership.

    Education – Call us for an individual appointment or attend our next Home Seminar. This will help you assess your readiness to buy or sell and identify techniques to help you find the home you want.
    Review Your Budget – Budgeting your money is the second step in preparing for home ownership. Most consumers interested in purchasing a home need to save money for their down payment, closing costs and other expenses associated with moving and home maintenance. Several low down and zero down programs exist but may not be right for everyone – a conversation with your Realtor & mortgage lender will help with this decision.
    Identify Loan Amount – Visit a lender and be pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.
    Assess Your Needs – Identify the features in a home that will be most important to you and your family.
    Work With a Real Estate Agent – Choose a Real Estate Agent to show you properties in your area.
    Purchase and Sales Agreement – Your Real Estate Agent will help you to make an offer and negotiate a purchase price on a property. Be sure your offer is contingent on your ability to obtain the mortgage needed and any inspections you wish to have.
    Inspection – Arrange for a professional home inspector to look at the property.
    Complete Loan Package – Contact your mortgage lender to complete your application. Be sure to respond promptly to any requests from the lender for information.
    Lender Approval – The lender’s formal approval of your loan request is called an “pre-approval letter.” Give a copy of this letter to your Realtor to confirm that you have complied with the terms of your contract with the seller.
    Closing – At the closing, you will sign all of the mortgage documents and keys to your home from the seller (unless you’ve negotiated with the seller to allow them to stay longer.)
    Congratulations, you are a home owner!

    New in Rockford School District!

    2580 Winding Ridge Trail
    Bedrooms: 3
    Bathrooms: 3+
    Property Sub Type: Single Family
    RanchSquare Ft: 3200 (upto 5000 sq ft available)
    Year Built: 1995

    Listing Description
    Quality custom built executive home on scenic 1.45 acre wooded lot. Located on a private, wooded, cul-de-sac. Artful, high-quality craftsmanship found throughout home. Beautiful living room with grand gas fireplace and cathedral ceilings. Inviting 4 season room overlooks spectacular wooded lot and picturesque landscaping. Gorgeous kitchen with dining area, center island, and ample cupboard/ counter space. Large master suite boasts spa shower with marble tile countertop. Lower level hosts family room with custom built-ins/ bookshelves, full bath, and over 1500 sq.ft. of unfinished space remains for expansion and storage(making it over 5000 sq. ft.) Whole house wired with surround sound system and fiber optics. This is an exquisite home and a must see!

    The Top 5 Steps To Help You Sell Your Home

    Before placing your home on the market there are some considerations to make. Think back to when you purchased your home. How did it smell? How clean was it? Did this affect your opinion of how the home owners were keeping up the house? Often, a buyer will perceive what is seen on the surface as a reflection of how well you’ve cared for the house while living there. A clean house with well oiled doors and clean windows and cupboards that close is often perceived as a house that has been well cared for. With that in mind read on….

    The Top 5 Steps To Help You Sell Your Home
    So you’re thinking of placing your home on the market? Be sure to consider these 5 steps before the sign goes in the yard.
    1. Curb Appeal: What does your home look like from the outside? Is it such that a buyer would want to come in? The buyers’ first impression is very important to drawing them to the interior of the home. Make sure your exterior is well manicured; cut the grass, trim the shrubs, eliminate weeds from cracks in pavement, scrub down the front door and wash all the windows. This shows the buyer how well you take care of your home.
    2. Clutter Be Gone: Clear entryways and hallways making it easy for the buyers to move throughout your home. Clean off counter tops in bathrooms and kitchens and rid them of clutter. Take good inventory of items that can be given away or thrown away – shoving them a closet won’t help – buyers open closets and drawers too! Speaking of closets, organize them – showing ease of use and plenty of space. If you need to, consider renting a storage unit for off-season items.
    3. Hammer & Nail: If there are small items around the house that need fixing correct them. A home that shows it’s been well maintained is received positively. If the cabinet door sticks, or there are areas that could use patching, consider doing these before you let the buyers in.
    4. K.I.N.: Keep It Neutral! Paint is one of the least expensive ways to improve the appearance of a space. Buyers these days prefer light, neutral colors. While painting a room will not usually yield a higher sale price it can GREATLY assist in your home selling sooner. Dark paints can make a room look smaller and don’t reflect the light as well and stronger colors can inhibit many buyers from envisioning themselves living in the home.
    5. Soap & Water: Cleaning can do wonders for the appeal of your home. Clean carpets, shine wood floors, scrub the tile and wipe down the baseboards –and that’s just the floors! Consider cleaning every inch of the bathrooms and replace the shower curtain if necessary. For the kitchen clean the cupboards and the both the stove top and the oven. When it comes to dusting replace your furnace filter first! Then dust away all those dust bunnies. By replacing your filter first you will have less of a likelihood of the dust returning so quickly.

    By following these 5 steps you’re well on your way to having your home prepared. Now it’s time to call us and we’ll walk through the home with “buyer eyes” assisting you by pointing out items that a buyer may notice. Small corrections can go a LONG way!

    Welcome!

    Designed as the premier real estate blog spot, mynewgrhome.com’s blog is here to serve you. If there are topics or issues you’d like to see discussed here please let us know! Otherwise we’ll be covering a number of local real estate issues. Including, common housing issues, market issues, market updates, recent listing updates, Q&A common questions covered in our seminars, and anything else you send us! Please feel free to check it out and give us your feedback!