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Grand Rapids Resource

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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 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?


  • 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.?


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


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


  • 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 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?


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 by:
Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty

Home Staging the Family Room or Great Room

Home Staging the family room is one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to preparing a home for the Real Estate market.  While at home, we spend most of our time in the family room therefore through the years we have formed an imprint of who we are in this room.  Effective home eliminates that imprint and creates a space in which buyers can visualize their unique imprint in the room.   

According the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary , a “family room” is “a large room designed as a recreation center and informal gathering place for members of a family.  Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at home staging the family room.


First of all, the definition tells us that the family room is “a large room”.  When home staging, we want to make sure the family room shows off its true spaciousness.  Too much furniture, ineffective furniture placement, and heavy draperies tend to make the space look smaller.  For a more detailed explanation, visit my previous blog: Home Staging the Living Room. 

Secondly the family room is a “recreation center”.  Today’s recreation in the family room can vary from TV viewing, media usage, video game playing, computer usage, board game playing, book and magazine reading, and if you have small kids, toy playing.  That’s a lot of recreation!  Does everyone like all these forms of recreation?  Probably not, so stage the family room to appeal to the broadest range of buyers by making the space as generic as possible.


The last part of the definition states that the family room is an “informal gathering place for members of a family”.  Successful home staging creates a comfortable family room in which buyers can envision themselves enjoying lots of time together as a family.  The result should be a room that is inviting, cozy, relaxing, and informal.  Eliminate any distractions or restlessness by de-cluttering the space as much as possible, Start by hiding as much of the media equipment as possible.  Make sure any cords are coiled up nicely and hidden from view.  Put all dvd’s or cds in a cabinet or decorative box with a lid.  Also, move any toys to another location while your house is on the market.  As you home stage, keep reminding yourself that the way you live in your house and the way you market it for sale are two different things.  By staging, these inconveniences should be short-lived since you will soon be moving to your dream home.

Many homes in the Grand Rapids area have what is called a “great room”.  Merriam-Webster states that a “great room” is “a large room in a residence usually serving several functions (as of a dining room, living room, and family room)”.  The key thing I want to touch upon here is that the great room usually serves several functions.  When staging a great room, it is important to allow the buyer to visualize the function of each space.  Therefore, make sure each area is defined to portray its specific use.  This is usually achieved through the strategic placement of furniture and rugs. 

Home staging the family room may be a difficult task but it will pay off in the end.  Look at the room through “buyer’s eyes” and you will create a room that buyers can’t resist.  Happy staging!

Contributed to by:

Heidi Herbruck at Simply Staged

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?


  •             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 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.


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.


 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 by:
Heidi Herbruck at Simply Staged

What Is Title Insurance and Why Am I Paying For It?

What is title insurance and why am I paying for it?  This is a question that is asked a lot at the closing table.  The easiest way to explain why you might need title insurance is to give you an example of what CAN happen.   

Let’s take a look at Jane and Jason (fictional).  They’ve lived in their house for 35 years.  They have several acres.  They want to split two of their acres off of the main parcel and sell them to Dawn and David, their children.  They work with the township to acquire the split.  Dawn and David’s lender orders their title work.  Once the search has been done the title work comes back with an issue.  When Jane and Jason purchased the property, they bought it from the City of Danville.  Upon searching the property, we found that the City of Danville had never received a Deed when THEY purchased the property.  SO, they never had the legal right to sell. OOPS. Even though Jane and Jason have lived there for most of their lives, the property is technically not all “theirs” since it was never properly deeded to the City of Danville to begin with.   

This is a situation where title insurance comes in VERY handy.  It seems odd that something like that can happen, but it does.  Our job is to protect our customers and make sure that title is free and clear of any liens or interests.   

Contributed to by:

MJ Knauss at Sun Title Agency

Tactics for Selling a Home in the Greater Grand Rapids Area

I was watching The Today Show this morning and saw a segment about a new study that was released titled “Seven Tactics for Selling a Home: A Data-Driven Approach for Home-Sellers” ( See: Segment).  Real Estate professionals are already aware of these tactics.  The report is from Redfin ( See: Redfin The Real Estate Scientist )and I am in no way endorsing them.  I am aware that many homeowners in our area may have seen the segment and could possibly think that the statistics encompassed the entire nation when in fact most of the statistics come from the west coast markets.  I have listed each tactic along with comments relating to the greater Grand Rapids area.

1. Don’t overprice your property

Price your house from the get-go so you don’t lose potential buyers along the way.  This is especially important in the extremely competitive greater Grand Rapids market.  My vacant stagings are even contingent upon the listing Realtor’s agreement that the property is priced accurately for the current market. 

2. Set your price to show up in MLS searches

When setting the list price of a home, don’t price it at the bottom of a price tier.  Your Realtor already knows this strategy.  Not all systems have the same tier breakdown so your Realtor will familiarize you with the tiers in our local MLS system.

3. Debut on Friday This may not be the same for all demographic areas, all times of the year, or all market conditions.  Your Realtor should have the current statistics.

4. Stay engaged

Since our local market is highly competitive, any extra effort will pay off.  Motivated sellers should be willing to paint, stage, fix repairs and look better than the competition.  It’s especially important to keep your home show-ready throughout the entire process.  That’s the hard part!  Remember, the way live in your home and the way you market it for sale are two different things.

5. Market the property online

In addition to the MLS, other websites can help notify potential buyers of your house for sale.  Different types of homes demand different marketing strategies.  Consult with your Realtor to inquire about supplementary websites that may gain your home more exposure.

6. When selling your home, stay put

You don’t HAVE to stay put.  Another option is to Stage the vacant house in order to help buyers visualize the space and to picture themselves living there.  Most of my vacant stagings in the greater Grand Rapids area sell within 2-3 months.

7. If you can, wait to list your property until neighboring foreclosures are off the market

You have most likely heard the news about Michigan’s foreclosure statistics.  Just because there’s a foreclosed home for sale in your neighborhood doesn’t mean that it’s competition for your home.  Your Realtor is there to help decide.

Contributed to by:

Heidi Herbruck at Simply Staged

Take inventory of your 2008 Financial Situation.

Maybe you’ve been working with a financial advisor for many years now, or maybe you’re in the first few months of building that relationship.  Like some people, maybe you’ve never pursued working with a financial advisor for specific reasons.

We’re nearing the end of another year, and over the next couple of weeks, many people will take the time to set new goals or make New Years resolutions as we embark on 2008.

With that in mind, I encourage you to “take inventory” of your family or business’ financial situation.  If you’ve never put together a personal financial plan, it may be a good time to consider doing so.  Maybe you’ve developed specific financial strategies in the last couple of years, but remember, life circumstances change as do financial rules and regulations, so it may be worthwhile to go in for a “financial checkup.”  Whether your plans for 2008 include changing jobs, buying a new home, purchasing investment property, developing a plan to deplete bad debt, or beginning to save for retirement – I think you’ll find it worth your time to “take inventory” with someone you know and trust.

Contributed to by:

Aaron DeVos at Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors

Home Staging Room by Room: Front Entry and Foyer


When staging a home, the front entry and foyer are often overlooked since most homeowners rarely enter their own homes through their front doors.  Along with curb-appeal pay special attention to these areas since they are where first impressions are formed.  Are there cobwebs, leaves, or snow that need to be removed?  Is there moss growing that must to be power-washed?  Take note of the condition of the trim and the door.  Could they use a fresh coat of paint?  Is the door hardware corroded and in need of replacing?

Once inside, examine the foyer rug.  It’s the first thing potential buyers see once inside the house and an indication of what’s to come.  Is it clean and in excellent condition?  If not, consider sprucing up the area with a new entry rug.  Choose one that is fitting for the size of the foyer and front door.  It should be tastefully selected to flow with the rest of the house.

If your foyer is large enough, a small table and floral arrangement are an excellent way to greet new guests.  Don’t over-clutter the space, though.  Make sure you are showing there is enough space for a few people to be invited into the house at once.

Contributed to 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 by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty

How Title Insurance Works on Foreclosed Properties.

There is a lot of media attention lately to purchasing foreclosed properties.  This can be a great way of purchasing more home for your money.  From a title insurance viewpoint, this transaction is only slightly more complicated.   

As a title company, we always insure to buyers and sellers that there are no outstanding liens on the property.  In a foreclosure situation, we do an additional search.  This is called a “Name and Party Search”.  This allows us to insure that there are no outstanding personal liens on the property, such as a lien from the IRS or State Treasury.


It is critical to track the chain of title through the foreclosure and redemption process to make sure that there are no gaps.  Once this is done, the closing is handled normally and the title insurance policies are issued. 

It is important to have an experienced realtor and lender to guide you through this process.

Please watch for future updates on the status of the market and what your title company can do to assist you.

Contributed to by:

MJ Knauss at Sun Title Agency


Grand Rapids Resource Welcomes it’s Newest Contributor, Aaron DeVos with Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors!


Hello, my name is Aaron DeVos, and I’m a Financial Advisor with Waddell & Reed in Grand Rapids, MI.  I’m a graduate of Hope College and I’ve been in my career for nearly six years.  I currently live in downtown Grand Rapids, and I continue to enjoy seeing the rapid growth that is taking place in our city.

In my career at a Financial Advisor, among a variety of responsibilities to my clients, my greatest priority is to first focus on the PROCESS of personal financial planning before discussing specific products.  I believe individuals, families, and business owners are seeking to work with a financial professional they can trust and rely on, and someone who truly understands their specific life circumstances and financial goals. In partnering with my clients, our common goal is to develop a financial “roadmap”, specific to where they want to go in life.  As a result of this written plan, we then implement certain investment strategies or insurance programs to help us reach those goals.

Whether your questions or interests are in the areas of cash flow, planning for a major purchase, your children’s education planning, your own retirement, tax planning strategies, or estate planning – I look forward to offering you valuable information in the weeks and months ahead.

 Contributed to by:

Aaron DeVos at Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors

Quick Tips about Financing Foreclosures in Grand Rapids, Michigan

How to finance a foreclosure has been a popular question for me lately in this Grand Rapids, Michigan Market.  There are many homes in Grand Rapids, Michigan that in foreclosure right now that many purchases that I’ve financed over the past 6-12 months have been properties that have been foreclosed on.  A home goes into foreclosure when the original owner of the home fails to keep the commitment of the original loan they signed when they purchased or refinanced the home.  Once the foreclosure process is complete, the bank will typically become the owner of the home.

Financing options for a home that has been foreclosed on is not that much different than if you were buying a home from a family that is living in the home.  The main difference is that you are negotiating with a bank who is the owner and not an individual or a family.  Mortgage options for a buyer are still based on credit scores, income level, down payment or assets available, and the property type.

The biggest concern most lenders have when lending money on a home that is in foreclosure is the current condition of property.  Foreclosure is a difficult thing for anyone to go through and often times a disgruntled home owner will destroy or take many of the big ticket items from a home with them when they are forced out of the home.  I have seen people take out kitchen sinks, counter tops, flooring, water heaters, plumbing fixtures, etc…

The media glamorizes the opportunity to make a lot of money on foreclosures.  I believe there are great opportunities to buy today and it may not necessarily mean the only good deals are on bank owned properties.  When purchasing a home you have to ask yourself, what is my motivation for purchasing a particular home?  Do you want to purchase a home for your family to live in for the next 10 years that will not require a lot of work?  Do you want to buy a property that is terrible condition, renovate it, and sell it as quickly as possible?  Any type of home purchase is a large investment and whether a home has been foreclosed on or not should not be the end all reason for purchasing a particular property.

If you are interested in purchasing foreclosures or other distressed properties I would suggest seeking out the advice of a couple professionals early on in the process.  This type of transaction has the potential to be more complicated than most and requires the skill and expertise of experienced mortgage professionals and Realtors. 

I look forward to hearing any questions or concerns you may have about this post.  Please let me know if there is anything specific you would like to hear from me about.

Contributed to by:

Jon Potvin at First Horizon Home Loans

The Seven Most Costly Misconceptions About Home Inspections – Misconception #3

 Misconception #3: One inspection is as good as another inspection.  One inspector is as good as another inspector.  One inspection company is as good as another inspection company.

“No.  You will want to make sure the inspector or inspection company has the experience to take care of you.  Many people think of home inspection companies as a commodity.  This can be a major mistake and leave you holding the bag or in this case a house with problems that are expensive to fix or unable to be repaired.

“The bad news is that home inspectors can receive the highest possible license “Professional Inspector” without ever having actually done any inspections.  Or, as in the case of the State of Michigan where there currently is no licensing, all that is needed to inspect a home is a screwdriver and a flashlight.  Pretty scary and hard to believe, but we see it happen every day.

“Again I will give you some questions to ask here in a minute that will help you avoid this dilemma when calling companies to choose your inspector.

“One thing that can help you here also is if the company has several inspectors and has an in-house training program to keep the inspectors up to date on current issues and problems.  The in-house training program is designed to constantly test even the veteran inspector to help keep him from falling into complacency, which I have seen many one man operations have to deal with over the years.  Many one-man veteran shops simply believe they have so much expertise that they stop looking as close as they really know they should.

“No question, the best direction to go is with a larger company that has been around for years, that continually trains its inspectors and even if something does go wrong you are better off.  A one-man operation can simply file bankruptcy and or go out of business.  The larger companies are going to be more inclined to fix problems and take care of you so they can be here tomorrow.

“Some people believe that the one-man operation cared more because it is his business – however the owner of a larger company has even more at stake and wants to make sure you are given the best inspection possible. 

Coming Soon:

Misconception #4: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.

Misconcetions You Might Have Missed:

Misconception #1:  You should wait as long as possible before getting your home inspection.

Misconception #2:  You don’t need a home inspection if you are getting a home warranty. 

Contributed to by: 

Dawn Wilder  at Ace Home Inspections

Kentwood Condo For Sale, 5951 E Lyn Haven Dr. Kentwood Michigan 49512

5951 East Lyn Haven Dr.
Kentwood, MI 49512

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 2 ½

Square Feet: 1272

Price: $134,900


Come and see for yourself the benefits of living in this great condo. This condo has a lot to offer including a formal dining room, eating area in the kitchen, fireplace in the living room and both bedrooms have their own private bathrooms. Basement unfinished but ready to be made into the third bedroom and den area. Build some equity with this condo which is priced to sell. 

Contributed to by:
Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty

from stevevolkers.vodpod.

What is Your Home Saying to Buyers?

Home Staging communicates to buyers, “This house won’t be on the market long. I better make an offer.”  You, the homeowner, cannot be at showings and in most cases it’s the showing Realtor’s first time in the home. How can the unique and desirable features of the house be pointed out to a potential buyer?  The answer is … Home Staging Home stagers enable a house to “speak” positively to potential buyers through strategic placement of furniture and furnishings.  Doing so obliges a house to brag about itself generating greater buyer interest which in turn results in a quicker sale closest to the list price. 

Imagine viewing a house that is full of collections, memorabilia, or personal photos.  As you walk through the house you are most likely distracted by the homeowner’s “stuff” and don’t even notice the crown molding, specialty trim, or unique architectural details throughout the house.  You are so preoccupied that a true mental picture of the HOUSE is not getting imprinted into your memory.  Hours or days later after viewing several homes, will you remember the house and its features or the homeowner’s “stuff”? 

This is just one example of the many considerations when staging a furnished or vacant home for sale.  An Accredited Staging Professional is educated in the psychological art and the science of purposefully preparing homes for sale.  A house fashioned to brag about itself says, I won’t be on the market long. You better buy me NOW!”

Contributed to by:
Heidi Herbruck at Simply Staged

Are Vacant Homes in Grand Rapids Insurable?

You’re thinking about purchasing a vacant property and renovating some of the rental units, or you have a vacant home you can’t seem to sell.  The trouble is that many insurance companies offer little or no vacant coverage. 

You may even have the home insured the same way when someone was living there and taking the chance that if a claim does happen then your insurance company won’t deny it.

Vacant homes are considered a high risk to insure; which is why many insurance companies don’t offer coverage for them.  If a pipe bursts in a vacant home and floods the basement then it may go unnoticed for days or even months causing severe damage.Many other risks such as animal damage, vandalism, theft, fire and general maintenance repairs are considered to be much more volatile when it comes to vacant homes.  There’s nobody in the home preventing these risks from happening.Make sure your vacant home is covered correctly and let your insurance agent know whether the home is occupied or not.  Be sure and select a vacant policy with pro-rated cancellation benefits.  That way, you won’t have to hunt for new coverage every three months- and you’ll get a pro-rated refund if you cancel before the normal one-year coverage period.

If you have a vacant home and are unsure about your coverage’s than click on our contact info and send me a message regarding your questions or concerns.

Contributed to by:

David Gregwer at Farmers Insurance

1042 Widdicomb NW, Grand Rapids MI Home For Sale

NW Grand Rapids Home/Rental Property For Sale

1042 Widdicomb NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Unit # 1 
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Owners Suite
Unit # 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Rent $450

Price: $119,900


This beautifully updated NW bungalow offers many possibilities. The current owner lives on the spacious, remodeled first floor and rents the second floor for $450/ month. You could do the same! Separate kitchen, bathroom, utilities and entrance. Or easily combine this 2-unit into 1. Updates include roof, windows, paint, carpet, garbage disposal, refrigerator, vinyl siding, glass block windows in basement, and much more! Hardwood floors run throughout the house and the bathroom has been recently refinished with a tile floor and pedestal sink. Entertain in the formal dining room with leaded glass windows or relax on the large front porch. Situated on a lovely, tree-lined street, this is a must see!

from stevevolkers.vodpod.

Contributed to by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty

Reconstruction Cost vs. Market Value On A Home Purchase

When it comes to insuring your home, make sure you know the difference between insuring by the Reconstruction Cost versus insuring by the actual Market Value.  The reconstruction cost is the amount it would cost to actually rebuild your home if there was a total lost.  The Market Value is what you bought the home for or what it was appraised at.

For instance, you may have an older Victorian style home here in Heritage Hills which was built in the early 1900’s and has a market value of $180,000, but actually reconstruction cost of the home may be much over $250,000 due to the size and way the home was built. 

The opposite is also true; you may have a regular size home on Lake Michigan or on 100 acres of land which has a market value over $500,000, but an insurance company doesn’t need to insure the lake front view or your land, they just need to insure the home.

I’ll get into more detail on how Farmers and other insurance companies calculate reconstruction cost in future blogs.   Be sure and leave any comments or concerns on the contact us link.

Contributed to by:

David Gregwer at Farmers Insurance


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