Info on Grand Rapids Real Estate

Grand Rapids Home Buyers

Grand Rapids Real Estate Content has moved!!

Steve Volkers Group

 

Thank you for visiting Grand Rapids Real Estate Resource! For current information about the Grand Rapids Real Estate market, check out  www.stevevolkersgroup.com. There you can find properties for sale and for rent as well as information on new construction homes and what’s going on in West Michigan. See you there!


Our New Grand Rapids Home: Getting Prepared

My wife and I are going through the process of buying a new home! Over the next couple of months, I will walk you through the process as my wife Amy and I purchase our new house.We know that it is a buyer’s market right now, so we thought it would be a great time for us to buy a new house. We realized that we may loose on the current home that we are in, but that ultimately we will gain on the new house what we lost on the old.

We knew we were willing to do a lot of work to a house if it needed it. We wanted to look at some foreclosures and as with all foreclosures, we had to make sure that we would be ready and prepared to make a clean offer to the bank. The bank just wants to get the property sold in the quickest amount of time with the least amount of hassle.

So what did we do to prepare?

  1. We were keeping an eye on the market and researched what type of house we were looking for.
  2. We went online and filled out an application online to start the process of figuring out what loan options we have and what we could afford.
  3. We kept an eye out on houses in the price range and areas that we were interest in. For us this included the North side by Riverside Park and Alger Heights. We went to go look at a couple of different houses. Some of them were more work than what we wanted and others we knew would be out of our price range by the time we made the repairs that we would want.

These steps allowed us to be ready to make an offer right away when we found the right home.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty

 


First Time Home Buyer Road Map in Greater Grand Rapids

I truly enjoy working with first time home buyers. First time home buyers have so many options available them and so many different things to learn along the way. Over the coming weeks we will help you, the first time home buyer, understand the process of buying your first home in Greater Grand Rapids and why it works the way it does.

The questions we will try to answer are:

How do I get my loan figured out?

  •             MSHDA Loan?
  •             Costing Cost?
  •             How Much do we need Down?

Agency?

  •             Who is representing me?

Where do you want to live?

  •             City of Grand Rapids?
  •             Or a suburb?

What kind of home are you looking for?

  •             Two story or ranch
  •             How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
  •             Condo or single family?

Are you willing to do some work?

  •             How about a foreclosure?

How do we make an offer?

  •          Do we bid low and see what happens?

When the offer is accepted then what?

  •             Title Work?
  •             Inspections?
  •             Appraisal?

What happens at the closing?

  •             Do I need to bring my ID?
  •             What is a HUD Statement?

When do I get the keys to move in?

  •             Do I get to move in the same day as close?
  •            What does 30 days after close mean?
  •            Do I get paid for the people living in the home?

Over the next few weeks, the Grand Rapids Resource Team will try to help you understand this process better. So when you’re ready to buy your first home you will know whom to call, when it will be their turn to help you and we hope that this will make the process of buying your first home easier and less stressful.

If you are currently looking at homes now and can’t wait for the following articles please feel free to call or email me today. I would be honored to help you through this process.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty


Home Staging Room by Room: The Living Room

Home Staging a living room need not be a daunting task.  Keep in mind that the function of a formal living room is plain and simple, a cozy room to invite friends to sit to have a conversation.  If you are fortunate enough to have a formal living room, it is wise to market the “formal” in the room.  This means no televisions, exercise equipment, or toys.

When determining how to stage the living room, stand in the doorway at which buyers will first be entering, usually the foyer.  Ask yourself, “Does the room invite me to want to come in and sit? Is there a clear path to maneuver around the room without having to swerve around the furniture?”  If not, the furniture needs rearranging and if your home is like most, it may have too much furniture for marketing the house for sale.  Furniture should also fit the scale of the room.  Oversized couches and chairs make a room look smaller.

living_room_pictures.jpg

In Grand Rapids, fireplaces are a sought after feature so if your living room has a fireplace it should be played up as the focal point of the room.  This is accomplished through the placement of furniture and decor.  Personal items and collections should be packed away so they do not distract buyers and little hands don’t disturb them.  When selecting décor, keep in mind that Grand Rapids is generally a conservative community.  Simple décor is what we are looking to achieve so remove any excess books or knick-knacks and replace them with a few larger, tastefully selected items.  Remember, a buyer is looking to purchase your house, not your stuff – effective home staging places the emphasis on the product for sale, the house.

living_room_before_and_after.jpg

 Ample lighting, especially in the winter months, also helps to reveal the appeal of your living room.  Make sure you have enough lamps to light the entire room sufficiently.  All drapes and blinds should be open to let in as much natural light as possible.  This may unveil some flaws that you haven’t noticed so carefully inspect the carpet, trim, and walls.  Freshly cleaned carpet, painted walls (in a warm, neutral color), and sparkling windows will impress buyers that you have taken care of the home.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:
Heidi Herbruck at Simply Staged

Grand Rapids Foreclosure List

So you would like a list of Grand Rapids, Michigan Area Foreclosures! Sorry it’s not that easy. You can go online and pay some money on different websites and they will provide you a list of addresses that are foreclosures in the Grand Rapids area. This list can be helpful as a starting place, but doesn’t help you in the purchasing of the home.

I can provide you with that same list for FREE if you work with me. Why would I want you to work through me? Why will I not just give you a list of the foreclosures in Grand Rapids? Because I don’t think that serves you in the best manner I can.

There are so many homes on the market and most of the great deals are not foreclosures. The media is telling people that the best homes for the dollar are foreclosures, which sometimes they can be, but often they are in poor condition. You may be able to find a non-foreclosure for the same price or just a little more and you don’t have to put near the amount of work into it.

Yes, if you are looking for a home to make $15,000 and up in one year by spending a lot of time and money to get it into proper living conditions, a foreclosure could be for you! But if your looking for a home that you can move into with little to no work and make $15,000 on it over a couple of years with light improvements than a foreclosure is typically not the best route.

There are exceptions to every rule, so please don’t think you can find a foreclosure in Grand Rapids that you can move right into or a regular listing home that you could buy and sell next year for more money. Rather these are basic guidelines I offer to my clients as we work through the process of finding the perfect home for their needs.

If you want a list of foreclosures in your area, I am more than willing to provide this to you, but please allow me to ask: Why do you want a foreclosure, so I know how best to serve and help you with the process.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty


Alger Heights 2000 U.S. Census Populations Results

population-of-alger-heights.pngpopulation-of-alger-heights.pngpopulation-of-alger-heights.png

I came across this great information on the Community Research Institute Web Site. This is a great site which has census information compiled by the Johnson Center at GVSU. Take a look at there site for more Alger Heights Neighborhood Statistics.

Then when you’re thinking about seaching for a homes in the Alger Heights Neighborhood of Grand Rapids Michigan feel free to give me a call and I would love to take you for a tour of the homes for sale in Alger Heights.


Buyers Agency Post # 1

What is Buyer’s Agency? And why, as a buyer, or as a seller, or even as someone just walking into an open house, is this so important?

It amazes me all the time how many people, I come in contact with, that have not been told about Agency Law. I don’t know if Real Estate Agents are afraid of it because it might mean that they would not be able to get both the listing and buyer’s commission if someone comes into your open house. Or perhaps agents are afraid people will not be willing to sign a buyer’s agency with them or maybe there are too many agents out there that don’t understand Agency Law themselves.

As a realtor my duty is to inform the public about real estate and where does that begin. It starts by explaining what Buyer’s Agency Law is and whom I’m representing and finally, how they could be best represented but a realtor.  

Please, before you consider buying a home or listing your home ask the real estate agent. “First and foremost, what is Agency Law and who do you represent?”

So you’re thinking what is Buyer’s Agency Law and how can it help me get the best price for my home or the best price for the home you are buying? We will go through all of these topics in the next few posts. If you want more information right away about agency law please give me a call it could save you thousands of dollars!


What does Disclosure of Agency Relationship mean?

Disclosure of Agency Relationship:

What does this mean?

In 1978 the State of Michigan passed a law stating that all brokers and real estate agencies must disclose in writing who they are working for.

There are 4 different types of Agency that are possible:

1. Sellers Agency

            This means that you have given me the right to sell your home

2. Buyers Agency

            This mean that you have, in writing, given me the right to help you buy a home and that I am no longer bound to being a sub agent of the listing

3. Dual Agent

            This is when an agent has a home listed or the broker they are working for has a home listed and you have a buyers agency with that agent. Now you both have agency with the same broker of agent. So you would then, in writing, give permission to let that agent work for the best interest of both the buyer and seller.

4. Transaction Coordination with No Agency

            This is when you have asked a licensed agent or broker to help you just with the paper work of the transaction. So they have no agency but are being hired to help make the transaction go through for both parties. It is often times what might happen if a For Sale by Owner finds there own buyer and just needs help with putting the transaction together properly and getting it to close.

These are the 4 different kinds of agency that are explained in the Disclosure of Agency form. I will go more in depth on all of the four in future posts. If you have any question just email me or give me a call.


How to Search for Homes in Grand Rapids!

There are many different resources today that will help you find the home of your dreams before even talking to an agent.

First resource is Grrealestate.net that can point you in the right direction. Click on the Search Kent County Homes Page and pick any of the links to go to the Multiple Listing Service Provided by the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors.

From this search page you will be able to find home in the school district or area of town you want to live in and you can also look up homes in different categories like Price Bedrooms, Baths and many other things.

The second and more in-depth resource to search listings on line is called the Home Buyers Scouting Report. Very few agents are able to offer this produce to the public. But I have been able to secure this resource for any one that is search for a home in the next 6 months. This recourse is free and does everything the MLS does but it does so much more then that. It offers Google maps, search create that you can change and update at any time, email up dates on home you are looking at, it also offers something that the MLS doesn’t to new buyers and that is how much home sold for in your search area before you even sign up with using an agent.

  So if you would like to use these free recourses just give me a call or send me an email so I can get you started in this free service. All I ask from you is that you give me the first chance to show you all that I can offer when you are ready to buy a home.


Garfield Park Neighborhood getting a boost!

If you have not heard yet when you buy a home using my services in the Garfield Park Neighborhood you could be eligible for $10,000 down payment assistance and also $20,000 to fix the home up.

Yes you hear me right it’s a new program that has just been rolled out! So if you are looking for a home in Garfield Park Neighborhood and want some money to fix it up we can now do that.

If you are looking for home in other areas of Grand Rapids or surrounding areas please don’t get worried there may be programs out there for you! If you are looking for down payment assistance or other programs in Grand Rapids please don’t hesitate to call as there are many more programs out there to get hooked up with!

So send me an email today to get more information!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.