Michigan International Auto Show at Devos Place

Michigan International Auto Show Comes to Grand Rapids

Michigan International Auto ShowThe annual Grand Rapids Car Show comes to town in February at Devos Place and I can’t wait! Every year, the Michigan International Auto Show comes to town and we get to see the latest and greatest cars, trucks, SUVs and some classic automobiles. It’s a fun way to spend a few hours downtown.

Car manufacturers from around the world are here with their shiny new vehicles. This year we will have over 300 new vehicles including hybrids and sports cars! If you are in the market, the timing couldn’t be better to see all of your options gathered in one spot. The show is presented by the Grand Rapids New Car Dealers Association.

You can visit the event’s site at http://www.GRAutoShow.com.

Dates and Times:

  • Feb 6, 2014: 3 PM – 10 PM – $10 Adults, $4 Children 6-14, 5 and under free
  • Feb 7, 2014: 11 AM – 10 PM – $10 Adults, $4 Children 6-14, 5 and under free
  • Feb 8, 2014: 10 AM – 10 PM – $10 Adults, $4 Children 6-14, 5 and under free
  • Feb 9, 2014: 10 AM – 6 PM – $10 Adults, $4 Children 6-14, 5 and under free

Hot Kitchen Trends for 2014

Hot Kitchen Trends for 2014

Grand Rapids Real Estate

Old and Busted: Oak Cabinets – New Hotness: White Cabinets

Thinking of renovating your kitchen? You aren’t alone! Kitchen renovations were the top home project throughout 2013 and it looks as though this trend will continue into 2014.

The kitchen always seems to be a focal point at parties and/or family gatherings and why not, that is usually where the food and/or the cold beer is kept. Renovating your kitchen can be a costly project if you want it to be but you can save money by taking on some projects yourself. White cabinets is a clean, modern look and you don’t have to purchase a complete new set. There are products on the market and plenty of self help guides to show you how to inexpensively transform your older oak look into a sensational modern kitchen. A great place to find Do It Yourself (DIY) guides is Pinterest…of course. Pinterest holds an ever-growing wealth of DIY information about many things and there you can find some great How-To Kitchen Project guides.

Aside of white cabinets, a cool look that I have seen in a few condos is open shelving. Where you have no door on your cabinets.2014 Kitchen Trends Stainless Steel appliances is a timeless look and really, if you have to replace your kitchen appliances, it worth it to consider the upgrade to stainless.

Top Kitchen Trends

  • White cabinets
  • Open Shelving (no door)
  • Black Counter Tops
  • Dark Accent Colors
  • Work Zones (specialty work areas)
  • Walk-In Pantries
  • High Tech Gadgets
  • Eco-Friendly products
  • Integrated Appliances
  • Layered Kitchen Lighting

When selling your home, having an up to date kitchen is a great marketing point. There is nothing better than walking into a house or condo and seeing a clean, updated kitchen. It’s a big selling point. If you are going to invest money in your home, seriously consider starting with your kitchen. Not only will you love it, you will be better off when it is time to sell.

If you would prefer to have a professional do the work for you you, I can recommend several excellent local builders. Always take the time to meet with a few builders/contractors, to get an accurate estimate and a better idea of your costs.

 

Grand Rapids is the Top US Spot to Visit in 2014

Top 10 U.S. spots to visit in 2014

Grand Rapids Real Estate

Grand Rapids, Michigan once again shows up on a Top 10 List! This time, our big, little City is #1 on CNN Travel’s Top 10 U.S. spots to visit in 2014.

“It’s such an overlooked part of the Midwest, says Wolman, and so deserving of attention by travelers who love art, beer and food and the beach. The second-largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids has beer and food festivals almost year round, perhaps inspired by more than 25 craft breweries in the area. It has a beautiful art scene, including the LEED-certified Grand Rapids Art Museum and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

From Grand Rapids, it’s an easy 30-mile drive to Michigan’s Gold Coast, “one of the United States’ most unexpected beach getaways,” says Wolman, at least to folks outside the Midwest. Enjoy the sugar white sand beaches, orchards, cider houses and wineries. Take a dip, and have a drink.”

Of course, we already know all that but there is so much more going on all year round in Grand Rapids. From Laughfest, to the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize. We have also been voted Beer City USA in 2013! (my personal favorite!). Grand Rapids is also 40 minutes from Lake Michigan and miles of sandy beaches, parks and abundance of smaller lakes, rivers and streams.

The Grand Rapids Real Estate market is also rebounding nicely and with interest rates still relatively low, housing is very affordable and we do have something for every one. Including some very special downtown condos.

Congratulations Grand Rapids!

Christmas Light Show at Fifth Third Ballpark

Michigan’s Largest Light Show

Grand Rapids Christmas Lights

It’s my favorite time of year and one of the many fun things to do with the kids in Grand Rapids at this time, is to take them to Fifth Third Ballpark for the Christmas Lite Show. Fifth Third Ballpark is located at 4500 West River Dr. Comstock Park, right by the exit to US 131.

Over a mile and millions of Christmas lights, displays and animated displays.

Santa will be in town December 6th and 7th and 13th – 23rd, 2013.

The Christmas Light Show runs from November 23, 2013 to January 4th, 2014 in the evenings from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.

Prices:

  • $15 per vehicle
  • $22 per limo
  • $40 per mini-bus or trolley
  • $70.00 per Greyhound

Print a Christmas light Coupon!

Grand Rapids Condos FHA Approved

Which Grand Rapids Condos are FHA Approved?

Grand Rapids CondosOwning a condo has it’s advantages and there are some great Grand Rapids Condos for sale. Qualifying for an FHA Loan to purchase a condo can be the right option for you but not all condos are eligible for an FHA Loan. Here you will find a list of all condos throughout the Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas that are approved for an FHA Loan.

Why Go FHA?

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) makes it easier to become a homeowner. The Federal Housing Administration insures the loan allowing your lender to offer you a better deal.

Downpayment: You can purchase a condo with a downpayment as little as 3.5% of the sales price and have lower closing costs. With interest rates as low as they have been, owning a condo is an attractive option as it is less expensive than renting.

Fixer Upper: An FHA Loan can allow you to purchase a home in need of repair and include all of those costs in your loan. Also, if you own a home and would like to remodel, you may be able to refinance and add the costs of repairs.

Help for Seniors: FHA has a program (FHA Reverse Mortgage) that lets you convert a portion of your equity into cash. To qualify, you must be 62 years of age or older, live in your own home and own the home outright or have little remaining on the loan.

Make Your Home more Energy Efficient: With an FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage, you can include the costs of energy improvements into the loan.

To find out more about qualifying for an FHA loan, I can recommend a very good lender to help you.

Searching for a Condo?

Let us help you make that purchase. Use our website to search all Grand Rapids Listings, sign up for Email Alerts so that when properties that match your criteria come on the market, you are notified immediately. Save your favorite listings for review later and schedule showings online.

Grand Rapids Real Estate – House VS Condo

Grand Rapids Real Estate – House VS Condo

Grand Rapids Real EstateWe are in an interesting market. After the last few years, selling Grand Rapids Real Estate was not easy as house values had taken a huge hit and many home owners were under water or nearly so.  Buyer’s were tentative to purchase but interest rates were low and it was a good time to purchase a home or condo.

Late last year and right into this year, the real estate market has improved dramatically. Home prices are up slightly and interest rates are still down. This year we have seen an improvement across the board in pending sales and sold property over last year. Sellers are more inclined to hire a great agent (Yours Truly!) and put their home or condo on the market. We have seen many homes, priced correctly, selling within 30 to 60 days.

But what to buy? Is a home or a condo a better option? Which one suits you better? There are many factors to consider when choosing between houses and condos. Aside from location, buyers are able to choose between houses and condos as there are usually several options available in most neighborhoods in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Purchasing a home means you also own the land underneath while buying a condo includes only the living space within the unit and some of the common areas of the building or grounds. There are advantages and disadvantages to both however and the kind of lifestyle you want and the costs involved will help determine which is more suitable to your needs.

Pros of Buying a Condo

Grand Rapids Condos have been becoming more and more popular in recent years. Condos are typically located in urban areasGrand Rapids Condos however our downtown Grand Rapids Condos are in demand. The condos located downtown for example are mostly in walking distance to so many venues, restaurants, museums, outdoor concerts and so much more. Living in downtown Grand Rapids has shown to be a fantastic lifestyle. Many of the downtown condos will have parking, common areas, roof top decks, pools and fitness facilities located on site. Outside of downtown, you can find stand-alone units that feature all of the space of a single family home, but without the maintenance. For people with busy lives, empty-nesters or young professionals, condos are an attractive choice because of their location, low maintenance and convenience. It is also less expensive to purchase homeowners insurance for a condo vs a house.

Note: Some downtown condos are located in a Renaissance Zone and offer reduced income and property taxes until 2017.

Cons of Buying a Condo

The main negative to purchasing a condo is having to pay a monthly association fee. These are not rolled into the mortgage but impact your monthly budget. Association fees are used to pay for maintenance and the upkeep of the condo and vary from condo to condo. A portion of this monthly fee is used for building insurance. Association fees can be quite expensive in certain condos. For example, some condos downtown charge $0.30 per square foot. Another con is that homeowners share in the decision making process regarding any upgrades or repairs to the building. Each condo also has its own set of bylaws which contain the rules and restrictions that all homeowners must follow. Therefore some condos may not allow pets, or have breed restrictions or size restrictions for dogs. Condo owners can not deduct HOA (Home Owners Association) fees as an expense on their federal income taxes.

Pros of Buying a House

The main advantage to owing your own home is that you have complete control over the property and are able to make anyGrand Rapids Real Estate renovations or changes to the home without need the consent of a committee. Houses will usually have more living space and more storage space. Plus you can plan and care for your own landscaping. Houses will also have more privacy and won’t have restrictions on pets.

Cons to Buying a House

As a home owner, you are completely responsible for all maintenance and repairs inside and outside the home. These costs have a tendency to “nickle and dime” a person to death because you not only have to spend valuable down time on these repairs and maintenance items, but you have to either hire out the repairs or spend money on the equipment needed to do the repair. Plus you will need yard equipment, lawn mowers, snow throwers etc. Something else to consider are your utility bills will probably be higher with a house.

You can search all Grand Rapids Listings on this website and sign up for Email Alerts where you can receive daily notifications of any property that match your criteria, save your favorites and schedule showings online. If you are selling a home, let us provide a free Market Analysis and let you know what your closing costs will be. Email me with any questions or call or text Andrew at 616-570-1871. I am happy to answer any questions you might have.

Grand Rapids Real Estate Mobile App

Grand Rapids Real Estate Mobile App

Grand Rapids Real Estate Mobile App

The Real Estate market is a fluid, ever changing beast and the ways of searching for Grand Rapids Real Estate, trying to find that perfect home or condo, has to change to keep pace. More and more people are using their mobile phones, tablets or iPads while driving around through the various neighborhoods, to look up information on homes and condos. Realtors should be taking advantage of this amazing technology to market their listings and/or provide  potential buyers with easy “mobile” access to their listing’s information.

Here at Realty Executives, we have some pretty slick tools that we use to market our homes and to give unlimited access to every listing in Grand Rapids and Southwest Michigan. I just love this technology!

Try our Mobile App yourself right now. Text “Andrew Ingram” to “35620”. You will be sent a link to the app where you can now use your phone, your tablet or iPad to search for homes or condos throughout Grand Rapids. No more calling the agent and waiting for a return call or writing down addresses and having to wait until you return home to your computer. Get the information right now. While you are sitting outside the home and/or search for other active listings in the area.

Selling Your Grand Rapids Home?

Now you can drive my one of my listings and simply text me and instantly (and automatically), you will receive a return text with complete information on that property including all of the interior pictures.

Try it right now! Text “73460” to “35620”. You will instantly receive a text back with a link to all of the current information on one of my listings.

Grand Rapids Real Estate    Grand Rapids Homes for Sale

Mobile Marketing is outperforming conventional internet marketing 5 to 1. It’s time to take your home mobile. If you are selling your home or condo, give me a call or text at 616-570-1871. I would love to show you how this can help you tremendously when selling your home.

Grand Rapids Wine Beer and Food Festival 2013

Grand Rapids Wine Beer and Food Festival 2013

Grand Rapids Wine Beer and Food FestivalPlan to be wined and dined! Now in its 6th year, the Grand Rapids Wine, Beer and Food Festival is an annual pre-holiday event help at Devos Place in downtown Grand Rapids frm November 21st to 23rd, 2013. It is the largest wine and beer tasting event in the Midwest with over 1200 different wines, over 200 beers, plus ciders and spirits.

Visit their website for information about Dates, Times, Admission, Venue and Directions, Floor Plan & Exhibitors, Features & Attractions and more.

Grand Rapids is a Top City to Retire

Grand Rapids is a Top City to Retire

grand rapids real estate

A recent list complied by AARP The Magazine lists Grand Rapids, MI as one of the Top Cities in the Country to retire! “Retire to a good life for less”!

Grand Rapids, Mich.: Midwestern Swagger

Population: 782,100
Median home price:
$114,200
Median mortgage payment:
$436

Median property tax: $1,830
State tax on Social Security:
No

State tax on pensions: Yes (with some exemptions)

Great eating: Hoist a craft beer at HopCat, a popular brew pub.

Catch a game: Ticket prices to watch the Grand Rapids Griffins ice hockey team start at $14.

Favorite freebie: The international ArtPrize competition brings world-class art downtown

57 Reasons to Live in West Michigan

“What is important is a sense of community, and Grand Rapids has that in abundance, says Ingrid Scott-Weekley, 62, a City Hall managing director who recently retired. She and her husband, Dale, 69, both have a pension and are trying to live more modestly. The first step? Selling their home and moving into a smaller condo: “We just looked at one that’s perfect,” Ingrid says. “It’s 1,800 square feet, three bedrooms, two and a half baths — all for $110,000.”

Grand Rapids Real Estate Listings

Home ownership in Grand Rapids is a very attractive option these days. Although inventory is lower than it has been in the last few years, prices are still low and interest rates are still relatively low. There are housing opportunities for every taste and style. If you are thinking of a maintenance-free lifestyle with a condo, or one of our downtown Grand Rapids condos, let us help you find the perfect home.

If you prefer to search on your own, feel free to use our Grand Rapids Listings tool, or sign up for timely email alerts. Save your favorite properties for review later and schedule showings online.

 

3340 Chestnut Dr SW – Grandville Real Estate

3340 Chestnut Dr SW – Grandville Real Estate

Grandville Real EstateJoin me today at our open house from 1:00pm – 3:00pm at 3340 Chestnut Dr SW. This home is in great condition and is move in ready. Priced competitively at $93,900 in Grandville Schools makes this an excellent opportunity to own your own home. It is cheaper than renting.

If you are in the market for Grand Rapids Real Estate, try our Grand Rapids Listings search tool and have access to every listing in town. Or sign up for automated Email Alerts of any new property that matches your criteria. Saves you time and you can save your searches, save your favorite properties and schedule showings online.