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Grand Rapids is in the “National NEWS”
October 28th, 2013
It’s no fluke of luck – Grand Rapids is consistently and constantly making National Headlines – and in a good way! The latest newsworthy headlines are:
1. AARP’s 2013 Cities to Retire for Less.
Check out this Link and see the story about Grand Rapids and why it’s a great spot to retire. In conjunction with GR being a great place to retire – check out Baby Boomer Certified housing on our website right here. We have been scouting out some good buys for retirees and are happy to help those thinking of moving to GR to retire.
I really do think we have so much here that Seniors can do – most of it free! With ArtPrize – our beautiful parks – Celebration on the Grand – Festival of the Arts and so much more – it’s no wonder we were chosen in this category.
…then we go for the younger crowd being named:
2. Forbes names Grand Rapids #1 Place in USA for raising a family!
Of course, we knew this, but it’s always nice to have our beliefs validated – especially by Forbes. Here is the link to the article and the important factors used in judging that category. We are so blessed here in GR with wonderful schools (public and private), parks, affordable entertainment, sporting events, green spaces, churches, and all the activities to make this a fabulous spot to raise a family. Our hospitals are award winning too – so think about Grand Rapids when thinking of raising your family.
3. Beer City USA 2013
Check out this link and find out all about the craft brews and why GR got the nod. Last year it was a shared Title – but this year we stand alone as THE one and only Beer City USA. Loads of new breweries are cropping up all over town and in the small cities surrounding Grand Rapids. In addition to the beer – the food is great too!
Let us know your favorite local brewery…and if we can shed any light on real estate in relationship to retirement, raising your family or being within walking distance of some of these cool brewpubs – give us a shout!
ArtPrize 2013 – It’s a Winner for Grand Rapids
September 5th, 2013
It’s Year #5 for ArtPrize – So…Ready…Set…GO! It’s time to plan your attack on the ArtPrize venues to optimize your ArtPrize experience in Grand Rapids. Here are some cool and helpful links available for the September 18 – October 6, 2013 ArtPrize Extravaganza.
With over 1,400 pieces of Art…in over 400 venues in a three mile Grand Rapids downtown area – it is almost impossible to see everything. Trust me – I have been coming to ArtPrize since the very beginning and have yet to see even half of the art available each year – so planning is essential.
This link brings you photos of the Art itself – you can search by artists name, by the name of the art or do a random search. This is a great overview, but a little 2″x 2″ photo does not do a 6′ or 10′ tall sculpture or painting justice.
So – you don’t have to be “just” a spectator at the ArtPrize Events – you can learn…participate in the art…meet the artists…keep the discourse and discussion about art rolling in Grand Rapids. This link is a good one to check out early before ArtPrize officially opens since there are a lot Pre-ArtPrize events to attend – most of them totally Free!!
We all know Grand Rapids is full of giving and involved folks – here is a perfect way to prove it to the world – VOLUNTEER!! Participate in our Great City…meet new friends and cultivate old friends by volunteering together. There are over 4,000 volunteer hours to fill – it’s not too late to do your part.
It’s FINALLY feeling like Summer – Enjoy!
July 9th, 2013
It’s FINALLY feeling like Summer – Enjoy!
Need some Summer inspiration? Here is a wonderful Pure Michigan video featuring many fantastic summer activities for you and your family. Even though Winter is gorgeous – Fall is stunning and Spring is inspirational in MICHIGAN – It’s the Summers that really cap off our Michigan love. Enjoy the Video…
July 4th Festivities 2013 for West Michigan: Fireworks – Parades – Yippee!
Every year I list the places for fireworks, parades, picnics, etc. over the 4th of July Holiday. This year the 4th is on a Thursday so it will be a little easier to make some weekend plans (thinking folks will do a Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday holiday). Two of the most difficult days for holiday planning are Wednesday (last year) when no one knows whether to take off the beginning of the week or the end of the week for their fun – and Sunday, when many communities around Western Michigan move their fireworks and /or parades to Saturday.
I’m happy to tell you 2013 – with a Thursday 4th of July – will be easy – now you just have to figure out which location you want to watch the fireworks and which parade to attend. You can really celebrate the 4th by attending the parades but also to be IN the parade yourself. The kids usually ride their decorated bikes, scooter or wagons along the parade route. For at least two local parades, there is the opportunity to enter your very own float into a float contest. Both the Cascade Township Parade and the Ada Parade have float contests (which just happen to be sponsored by our Vredevoogd Combs Real Estate Team ). Hope to see you there!
Here are the dates and locations for 4th of July Celebrations this year:
East Grand Rapids Fireworks
All we can say is - Finally, it is warmer and Spring is here – I’m not sure the record books have shown it, but it sure feels to me like this was the longest Winter on record. Now the wonderful news – Spring has sprouted some Grand things happening in Grand Rapids. Here are some of my favorite things to to in May.
5TH/3RD RIVERBANK RUN - Saturday, May 11, 2013
I attended the very first Riverbank Run in 1978 mostly out of curiosity – We had 2 daughters at the time and decided to drive to downtown Grand Rapids to take a look at what was happening in our City and find out what all the hoopla was surrounding this new idea of a road race in Grand Rapids. There were 1,000 participants in the race and I can still recall standing on Calder Plaza looking out over Monroe and seeing one lone runner coming down Monroe heading for the turn and the finish line under the Calder – Wow!
Over the years I’ve watched friends and family complete in both the Riverbank Run and in the 5K’s. I even walked the 5K myself a few years ago – it is so moving to be in downtown Grand Rapids or anywhere along the race route and see the enthusiasm and excitement generated during this race. It’s amazing and I highly recommend you either participate or take an early drive downtown to watch the race take off or finish.
If you think you want to participate you can register here.
The history of Grand Rapids is alive and well in Heritage Hill – the historic home center of the Grand Rapids area. The 44th annual Heritage Hill Tour of Homes is so special – it features elegant turn of the century homes that are amazing in their workmanship and style. The hours are 11 am – 5 pm on Saturday/Noon – 6 on Sunday. The tour used to be done in the Fall – which was also beautiful – but seeing them in the Spring really gives a lovely overview of the gardens and showcases these grand homes perfectly.
Come down and stroll along the tree lined streets and enjoy the step back in time – you won’t be disappointed! Advance purchased tickets are $15 and can be ordered here.
Enjoy Spring in Grand Rapids!
Anyone for a little Michigan Golf?
April 24th, 2013
It’s that wonderful time of the year! Time to break out the clubs and head to the links. Michigan is truly a golfer’s paradise with over 137 public courses and some are unbelievable!
It was Named #4 best State for golf by GolfDigest! Actually, I am not sure why it isn’t #1!
If you haven’t played Arcadia Bluffs, give yourself a gift and play it. Enjoy the panoramas from each hole – Beautiful.
680 Sandtrap NE, Comstock Park, Michigan
April 9th, 2013
BETTER THAN NEW! …plus it looks like it just came out of the pages of House Beautiful! Check out this lovely quality built home by Roersma. Here are some of the fine features of this home:
- 4 Bedrooms ( 3 up and one in the daylight level along with it’s own full bath)
- Huge master suite with cathedral ceilings, private master bath with double sinks and walk-in closet
- Convenient Living Room with Fireplace plus either music room/office/formal dining possibilities
- Kitchen with a new subway tile backsplash – black appliances (all stay with the house) – snack bar and huge dining area with sliders to the deck
- Newly finished daylight level with Family Room, Bedroom and full Bath
- Great neighborhood location within walking distance of the elementary school plus convenient to highways and shopping.
Let us know if you would like to take a personal tour.
Welcome to the first day of Spring!
March 20th, 2013
Here is a wonderful Pure Michigan video about the place we call home.
Three Astounding Trends…January Stats for GR Housing
March 7th, 2013
Since I am in the trenches everyday helping real estate buyers and sellers – I am experiencing three trends which really show up in these reports for the Grand Rapids Housing Market:
1. Inventory is Down
Yes, I know you’ve seen them – actual SOLD signs on homes as you are driving around. Buyers are beginning to experience disappointment when they attempt to schedule showings for 10 homes and only have 3-5 available because the others have sold. The January Stats show in 2012, 1147 new listings came on the market while in 2013, only 1121 appeared – which is a decrease of 2.3%. The average days on market for a residential home is 115 and there are currently 3.4 months of inventory available.
2. Closed January sales are UP
In January of 2012, 549 homes were closed while in January of 2013, 661 units were sold – a 20.4% increase in closed sales for the month compared to last year. The builders are beginning to build again – vacant lot sales were up 15.2% for the same time period. As an agent in the field, I can tell you February will probably be record breaking as well – If a home shows great and is priced right – it will sell!!!
3. Prices are rising
We have to realize we are coming off the bottom as far as price – so rising prices are wonderful but have not recovered to the 2005-07 levels. The January stats show the average sale price went from $114,236 to $137,083, a 20% increase. Where are you in the pricing scenario? Give us a call and we are happy to do a market study to determine the price of your home in today’s market.
Home Videos – 3 ways our Videos stand above the crowd
January 30th, 2013
We are really excited to showcase a new way of viewing homes in the Grand Rapids marketplace. Check out our new videos by clicking on the “Videos” tab above or click PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate Videos to see them.
1. Unique Personal introduction
Often times, the only thing you know about a listing agent is their old high school photo on their business card or website. Clients have been telling us for years – It would really be nice
to meet and get to know you today. Since we started these videos with a personal introduction - we have had wonderful responses by those who enjoyed my warm and personal greeting.
2. Voice over slide show to showcase highlights of the home
With much experimentation we have tried many video styles which have not worked. The “gorilla style” video of grabbing your iPhone and walking through the home while talking about whatever comes into view ends up being difficult to follow. The 360 degree spinning videos are fine if you like a REALLY fast merry-go-round ride and don’t mind seeing all the rooms distorted.
We settled on the voice-over approach explaining the highlights of the home that are not obvious in the photos.
3. No YouTube distractions
When we first started using videos – and bringing them along on listing appointments – I always had to make sure there were no small children hovering around before I started the video. Typically, when clicking on my YouTube channel there were five or more videos enticing someone to take a look – mostly with well-endowed ladies with very little clothing.
We have our videos on their own video channel so you never have to worry about embarrassing content popping up while you show the cool video of your home to your friends or relatives.
Everything we do in our marketing plan is geared to provide a quick successful sale using our Win/Win philosophy. Adding these professional videos to our toolkit (which includes staging, professional photographs, high end brochures, blogs, etc….) translates into successful sales for our clients.
PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate