Interest Rate – “act now” mentality

    One the the most motivating factors in any purchase is knowing you’ll get a better deal the faster you act. We’ve all seen it, interest rates are rising and in the long run they are expected to continue to move upwards. With this in mind buyers are begining to take advantage of money being “on sale” now and seeking to purchase before another rate hike. Secondarily, with the recent buyers market, buyers have been motivated to take advantage of buying now rather than waiting a few months or even a year or two. One of the strongest motivators for this activity is the idea that when you buy a more expensive house and you’re obtaining 5% off list price (what the current GR market is bearing) it’s a SLIDING scale. Imagine if you’re selling your house for $185,000 – you might be giving up on average $9250 (5%.) However when you go to purchase your new home of $250,000 you have a high likely-hood of obtaining 5% off that one, $12500 (5%) You’re ahead $3250. Factor in the competition that varies at different price levels and you may even be able to obtain even a higher percentage off.

    Keep in mind that typically once you have selected your property your lender can “lock” your rate and you can be assured of getting the rate you’ve been promised. The next step then – pick a property. There’s a lot to choose from but there’s no reason to drag your selection out for ever. Your home will only be more expensive the longer you wait – assuming it’s still there. Also, working with a experienced professional such as Ashley and myself will assist you in narrowing down your options and providing you with a selection of what you really want.

    What do you think is likely to happen in your case? Call or email Ashley and I and we’ll help you figure that out.

    Activity is through the roof!!!

    Activity is up and people are showing up ready to buy! It’s like the world of buyers woke up! Interest rates are still great but their upward trends have indicated to buyers that if they’re going to be serious aobut buying they might as well do it now before they hike again. With Memorial Day now behind us, the Parade of Homes and Parade of Downtown Living either upon us or in the very near future, buying is “top of mind” for many.

    The latest…The greatest time of year!

    I have sellers who wait all year to place their home on the market during this time of year. It’s one of the BEST times of year to sell. With kids close to out of school and homes looking their best buyers are in search of their next home now before kids are back to school and the turkey’s on the table.

    As always, if you have questions email me: or post your comments

    Buyer’s Agency? What’s that?

    What’s the point in using an agent, I can find the home on my own…….

    Sometimes this is what we hear. This can be a typical attitude of someone who is unaware of the home buying process and/or who feels comfortable searching the internet and seemingly finds the “house of their dreams.” Usually, after talking with friends, neighbors or relatives of the horror of trying it alone, they look for someone to turn too. Other times, they don’t findout until they go to resell their home that they overpaid because they bought it from an agent who was working for the seller!

    Questions like: 1. How much is too much for this home? 2. What condition is it in? 3. How can I hold the seller accountable for what they say they’re going to do before we buy it from them 4. I’ve heard it’s a buyers market and there are a lot of homes to choose from – how can I narrow it down quickly and not waste all this time at open houses? 5. When I go to resell the home what are trends like in the area I should be aware of that could affect my resale?… the list goes on and on.

    These are questions we answer several times a day. A typical buyer may purchase a home every 5 years on average, and purchase less than 4 homes over their entire life time. We, on the other hand, assist multiple home buyers per day – and experience matters when you talking about purchasing what could be the single largest asset you’ll ever own.

    Buyer’s Agency is hiring a real estate agent to be on your side – not working for the seller (which is customary.) We work on your behalf to point out the answers to questions above and make the process smooth and headache free.

    Everything from connections in various market places like landscapers, mortgage reps, movers, handymen, insurance agents, etc.; to negotiating the deal(price, terms, all the details); to assuring you’re well aware of your homes history and any possible flaws and short comings BEFORE you purchase it – we’re here to be ON YOUR SIDE. The best part is our fee has already been negotiated with the seller  and typically you don’t have to pay it – the seller does! To understand how this works – check out the video below.

    If you would like to learn more about the services we provide to our buyer’s please visit here: Buyer’s Info.


    Market Trends

    The spring/summer market is upon us!! In a brief analysis of the current market we have more on the market than last year. Meaning on the whole the Grand Rapids area is leaning more towards a buyers market. However, sellers do not despair!! In a look back of the recent months it would appear the area has been on a steady uptick since last August – the apparent low spot. There is evidence of more sellers and neutral markets coming, and the buyers market ratios and slimming down. Often a great indication of what’s to come is shown by the internet activity and activity is on the rise! February showed an average of 4800 viewers searching the public side of the (Grand Rapids Association of Realtors site) now, the latest for the most complete (April) month is just under 7000!


    Price: $179,900
    651 Reynard
    Grand Rapids • MI • 49507
    MLS #: 555731
    Status: For Sale

    Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2
    Property Sub Type: Ranch
    Square Ft: 2502
    Year Built: 1953

    Listing Description
    Absolutely stunning ranch located on a quiet tree-lined street in the heart of Alger Heights. You will be impressed with all the grand upgrades and surprises this home has to offer. Marble entryway, gorgeous hardwood floors, completely new and spectacular kitchen design by “Dimensions” with beautiful cherry cabinets, appliance garage and pantry. Large master bedroom has a redesigned deep and spacious closet by California closets. 2 large additional bedrooms host ample closet space. Living room on main level with gas fireplace, formal dining room. Large family room in basement with a 2nd wood burning fireplace. Gorgeous 4 season room with tile flooring. Every window has been replaced with quality Renewal by Andersen windows. Underground sprinkling, adorable playhouse, 2 3/4 stall garage with work bench, and storage shed. Roof, furnace, water heater, gutters, eaves–All newer and top of the line! Too many upgrades to list, you must get inside this amazing home.

    Exceptional 3 Bd 2 Ba NE Home

    Exceptionally Clean and Well Cared for NE 3bd

    Price: $157,900
    1619 Edith Ave
    Grand Rapids • MI • 49505
    MLS #: 560449 •
    Status: For Sale

    Listing Information Bedrooms: 3Property Sub Type: Single Family – Bi-LevelSquare Ft: 1700Bathrooms: 2Year Built: 1996Listing Description Gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2 bath NE home. Appealing open/spacious floor plan with cathedral ceilings in living room. Beautiful maple kitchen with center island (all appliances stay). Large dining area located off from open kitchen. 3 large bedrooms with plenty of closet space. Neutral colors found throughout home. Walk-out lower level features family room with wet bar, bedroom, bathroom, laundry, & storage. This home has been well maintained & pride of ownership can be seen throughout.

    John Rice Greenridge Realty3435 Lake Eastbrook Blvd Grand Rapids, MI 49546

    New in Rockford!

    Gorgeous 2 Story

    Price: $244,900
    7569 Cannon Run
    Rockford • MI • 49341
    MLS #: 560310 •
    Status: For Sale

    Listing Information Bedrooms: 4Property Sub Type: Single Family – 2 StorySquare Ft: 3000Bathrooms: 3+Year Built: 2002Listing Description Step into your dream home. With 9 foot ceilings, arched entryways, upgraded flooring including wood laminate, carpeting & tile this home has all the details. Built in 2002 with a newly finished walkout basement, this home features 4 bedrooms, 3+ baths & over 3,000 square feet of living space, plus storage. All the details have been included, fireplace in living room, center island in kitchen, laundry/utility thoughtfully located on the second floor & a terrific flowing floor plan. This is a must see, must have, home nestled in the heart of Cannon Farms, privately overlooking flowering fruit trees off the back deck & sidewalks out the front. Better than new construction with fully finished deck & patio, central air, finished basement & landscaping, plus all appliances are included, including washer & dryer. John Rice Greenridge Realty3435 Lake Eastbrook Blvd Grand Rapids, MI 49546616-974-6766

    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!