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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!


What do the Fed rate cuts mean to me?

The Fed has continued to lower the Fed funds rate through the first quarter of 2008.  How does this affect the interest rate on my mortgage?  Should I wait to purchase my new home until the Fed is done with its rate cuts?  I’ve been thinking of refinancing, but should I hold off on this until the Fed has stopped cutting rates?The statement and questions I wrote above are on the top of everyone’s mind today especially if you are a home owner hoping to refinance or a potential home buyer.

I have attached an article here that will help dispel the myth that when the Fed lowers the Fed funds rate that it actually reduces mortgage rates by the same amount.  The article is authored by market expert, Barry Habib.  I have been a member of Barry’s online service called “Mortgage market Guide” since 2003.  Barry’s service is a must for mortgage professionals that want to know exactly what is happening in the bond market and when the best time to lock or float interest rates for their customers.

Interest rates for mortgages such as the 30 yr. fixed loan, 15 yr. fixed loan, FHA, MSHDA, etc… are all based on the value of mortgage backed securities in the bond market.  The Fed can only control the Discount rate which is what banks can borrower money at and the Fed funds rate.  The Fed has no direct control over the bond market or how the 30 yr. fixed interest rates change on a day to day basis.

As bond prices go up, interest rates on mortgages go down.  As bond prices go down, there is less demand for bonds and then interest rates go up.  If you watch how the NASDAQ is trading throughout the day you should be able to see the bond market working in the opposite direction.  When the stock market is doing well, there is less money going into the bond market.  When there is less money going into the bond market, mortgage rates will drift higher due to less demand.  When the stock market is having a couple negative days in a row, it’s likely that the investment dollars are flowing into the bond market instead, therefore helping lower mortgage rates.

The Fed reducing the Fed funds rates helps individuals and businesses that have shorter term loans that are tied to the prime lending rate.  The reduction of the Fed funds rate often creates higher interest rates for long term mortgages that most Americans are concerned about.  Keep this in mind the next time the Fed lowers the Fed funds rate which will be on March 18. It does not necessarily mean lower interest rates on your mortgage.


Forest Hills Schools Home For Sale!

2105 Shiloh Hills Dr.
Kentwood, MI 49546

Forest Hills Schools

Priced to sell at : $214,900

  • 4 bedrooms

  • 3 1/2 Bathrooms

  • 2300 sqft.

  • 5 years old

The original owners have kept this home looking as new as it was when it was built 5 years ago. With 4 spacious bedrooms, 3 and 1/2 bathrooms in the Forest Hill School district, it’s one of the best values on the market. This home has a great yard with already established professional landscaping and underground sprinkling.

Call or Email me today to set up a showing!


What I need for a Homeowners Insurance Quote:

Year Built: Most insurance companies need to know what year your home was built.  The age of your home affects the type of risk it is for an insurance company to insure.  A lot of insurance companies also offer discounts on newer homes.For instance, Farmers Insurance offers a “New Home Discount” on homes that were built within the last 10 years or newer.

Square Feet:

The size of your home is very important.  Most Homeowners Insurance policies will insure by Replacement Cost rather than Actual Cash Value, and the size of your new home is a necessity when configuring the Replacement Cost.

Type of Home:

Is your home a 1 story

  •  1 1/2 story
  • 2 story
  • Ranch
  • Tri-level
  • Mobilehome
  • Modular Home
  • Townhouse
  • Condo, etc.

Roof Type:

  • How old is the roof? 
  • Is it Asphalt Shingles? 
  • Does it have a warranty?

Insurance History:

  • Have you ever had a Homeowners Insurance Claim?  If so, how long ago and for how much?

Basement:

  • Is there a basement? 
  • Is it finished? 
  • What percentage is finished? 
  • Is it a walkout basement? 

Garage Type:

  • Attached/Detached? 
  • How many Stalls?

Interior Information:

  • Is the interior of the home Drywall or Plaster? 
  • Covered in Paint or Wallpaper? 
  • Is the flooring mostly Carpet, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, etc.?

Baths:

  • How many baths does your home have?
  • Full baths?  
  • Half Baths?  
  • Custom Baths?

Chimney:

  • Is there a fireplace?  Gas, electric? 
  • What’s the homes main heating source?
  • How many chimneys?

Renovations:

  • When was the electric updated? 
  • How old is the Furnace? 
  • Has the plumbing been updated?

Farmers Next Generation Homeowners Insurance Policy offers discounts for all three of these types of Renovations.

Additional Features:

  • Does your home have a Deck?
  • Jacuzzi?  
  • Swimming Pool?
  • Skylights?  
  • French Doors?  
  • Sliding Glass Doors?  
  • Hot Tub?  
  • Trampoline?

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

David Gregwer at Farmers Insurance


The Seven Most Costly Misconceptions About Home Inspections – Misconception #5

Misconception #5: If you are buying a brand new home you don’t need an inspection.

“Simply not true.  Many people believe that if they are buying a new home that everything is new and going to work perfectly. 

“Nothing could be further from the truth.  While buying a new house is great because no one has lived in it and everything is brand new, from the carpet to the roof, this does not mean everything was put together right. 

“In fact, over many years of experience, I have found that we find some of the strangest problems and situations in brand new homes. 

“In one case we discovered that the main sewer drain line from the house had been collapsed under the weight of the tractor that was used to grade the front yard.  The hose partially flooded during the inspection. “Another time the builder somehow forgot to have any insulation put in the attic.  That would have been a costly utility bill.” “And just one last example was the home that both of the standing showers had been installed with no shower pans.  Water literally ran down the exterior walls when the showers were tested.  Since this was on the outside of the home, it may have been months or years before it was discovered. 

“Of course, the building in each case went back in and fixed these items.  And I am sure he would have done so even after you move in, but don’t risk it.  My recommendation is that you don’t put yourself or your family through having to chase the builder down that may or may not really care and fix the problem in a timely manner while your family has to work around the problem.



Do Open Houses Sell Homes?

 Do Open Houses Sell Homes?

 open-house-sign.jpg

This weekend, I was sitting in an open house at one of my listing in Hudsonville, MI. I often get asked by both Realtor’s and my clients if open houses are worth doing. Realtor’s say they are a waste of time and sellers wonder what the point is when only a couple people come through anyway.

So my response to that is this:

Over the course of a listing, the home maybe marketed for over 3 some times 6 months and in the Greater Grand Rapids Market there are some home being marketed for over a year.  If your Realtor is not having an open house how is your Realtor marketing that home?

An above average agent will place the home on the MLS ( GRAR), place a yard sign and list it on a couple of websites. We can all do that! I go a step future with my internet marketing and I would place against any other agent in Grand Rapids. But once all of the beginning marketing has been done what is your agent doing if he/she is not having open houses?

Every time I have an open house, which is once a month, I get to tell people again about your home. I get to place it in front of people that are looking for open houses, place another add on Craigs List and so much more.

So do open houses sell the home? Most of the time no, but they do allow for marketing to happen! It’s one more opportunity for someone to see it every month.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:
Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty


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