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Archive for the 'Good Real Estate Information' Category
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
Baby Boomer Certified Homes – Whaaat??
January 10th, 2013
We’ll rolling out a new Certification which should be both fun and useful. On any homes we list – we will be making notations on the listings themselves and any advertising that they meet the following standards for Baby Boomer Certification.
1. Main Floor Master Suite
As the Baby Boomer Generation moves into upper middle age (polite words for getting older) – they will need to make sure they have their bedroom and bathroom on the main floor. There is a chance there will be an illness or a surgery which will prevent them from climbing stairs to go to sleep at night. Now, they could sleep on the couch in the living room – but that would not be ideal – so to be certified for the optimal positive experience for Baby Boomers – it must have a main floor master suite.
2. Garage and Main Entrance on the main level
No Tri-Level homes here! In addition – the home must have an electronic garage door opener so the baby boomer owner can enter the garage – get out of their car – and have access to the home without going up or down to the main level of the home.
3. Main Floor Utility/Laundry Room
Of course, the Baby Boomer family is totally into cleanliness and keeping up with their laundry. All of these certified homes will have the laundry room on the main floor so no one has to fall down the stairs and break their hip while they try to do the laundry.
4. General Certification Items
- Certification can be either for condominiums or single family homes
- There are many other parameters in making a buying decision for the Baby Boomer – make sure you work closely with your Realtor to discuss neighborhoods, distance from hospitals and doctors, general maintenance, etc.
- Being Baby Boomer Certified does not preclude those younger or older folks from purchasing these homes and living in them very successfully.
- We would be happy to get you more information – just give us a call – and guess what??? We are Baby Boomers ourselves!
PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate
Everyone looking to buy a home in today’s marketplace is struggling with deciding what kind of loan to get. Should they go “really low” and get an adjustable rate mortgage for 5, 7 or 10 years?
… Or should they go with the tried and true 30 (or 20) year fixed rate mortgage?? With today’s record setting low rates I don’t believe there is any doubt a 20 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage makes the most sense for almost everyone in today’s market.
Here is the most important reason why – and almost the only reason why:
1. Check out this Cost Comparison Chart and become a BELIEVER
Here are the Cost Comparison’s for the major indexes in the United States. ONLY the monthly fixed rate mortgage ends up having a 0% of change on the Price Index. We all know our food, gasoline, medical care and tuition have all gone crazy since 1981 – it is only the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home (which at that time was at 14% – and was not refinanced with any cash out) that did not skyrocket…it didn’t even go up!
Words of advice:
1. Find a good lender (we’ll send you a list if you like). With rates as low as they are today you can shop closing costs and rates.
2. Find a good REALTOR (that would be us) who can lead you through the process.
3. Rest easy with the knowledge that today’s marketplace offers great value and if you go with a fixed rate loan – future stability
4. Don’t refinance for cash out during the time of your loan (you probably won’t have to since the rates today are so low.
PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate
Grand Rapids Real Estate Stats – Things are lookin’ UP
March 7th, 2012
There are two trends that we are tracking here – which should be of interest to any buyers or sellers in the marketplace today. Both trends can be predictors of the marketplace
Trend # 1 Fewer Listings
The first trend is the light green graph, which shows the number of listings on the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS site. We have fewer listings on the market today than in the past 12 months. What does that mean right now? For Buyers: Fewer choices. Since it is trending this way you can pretty much plan that the choices will even diminish more – so make your move when you find the right house or condo – don’t wait!! For Sellers: Better chances of selling since you have less competition on the marketplace.
What does it mean for the future if this trend continues throughout the summer? Simply that prices will begin to go up – it’s a simple supply and demand equation
Trend #2 Pending Sales are up
This trend is shown with the solid line and triangles - It’s the Pending Sale Numbers. This trend mirrors the consumer confidence that is showing up in the marketplace. A combination of historically low interest rates and unemployment numbers improving has given consumers a better feeling in the marketplace than we’ve seen in years. Our foreclosure numbers are decreasing and job growth is picking up – so it’s not just a Spring Market driving the Upward Trend of Pending Sales.
It’s Spring…No, It’s Winter..wait…wait…It’s Spring – It’s a crazy Real Estate Market Too!
February 3rd, 2012
This has been the craziest winter I can remember (and I’ve been in the Grand Rapids area for many a winter). One day the snow will be blowing and howling and the driving will be terrible, then the next day, the sun comes out – the snow melts and it’s so mild I don’t need to wear a coat. I’m not complaining – it has really been the mildest winter I can remember with snow very sparsely scattered. I do feel bad for the businesses that depend on a snowy winter (ski resorts, snowmobile resorts, restaurants and tourism surrounding the snow industry) and hope they can make it up yet this winter.
One unintended consequence of this “spring-like” weather is it has really gotten the “home buying juices” flowing in the marketplace. As early as the first week of January, when typically the real estate market is dormant, our phones were ringing off the wall (ok – we don’t hang phones on the wall anymore – but I don’t have a saying that will work yet). My listing showings are up from December and we are receiving offers on them!
Most folks don’t realize our real estate market is dependent on the weather. This year our “Spring Market” has started way early. Spring itself doesn’t really get here until March 20 – by then we will be well into the middle of our “Spring Market.” The major cause of a “spring market” is the change in the weather from very wintry to sun, melting snow and a 15 to 20 degree rise in temperature.
The original premise really was that most folks have cabin fever after being home bound during the snow storms of winter – then when it begins to thaw folks are so sick of staring at their four walls they want to move. Hmmm – not sure that is really the motivator – but do know there seems to be a psychologically positive attitude when we go from predominately dark days and little daylight to warmer days, sunshine and longer daylight. That positive attitude often translates into thinking about moving – which is good!
One other premise folks have about selling in the spring is the school theory. Years ago – if someone was being transferred by their company and they had a family – they often wanted to transfer during the Spring or Summer – with the idea they wanted to move in the summer so their children could start school in the fall. This idea is not as relevant today since the new theory is transferring and moving during the school year is really better for the children – especially since most schools have really good immersion programs for new students – making them feel special and often pairing them with peer mentors.
So – It’s a Real Estate Spring Market early this year. Don’t be left behind. Interest rates are still at record lows. We could really use some good homes to sell – so if you are thinking of moving and have a bit of cabin fever give me a call!
It’s a HOT! HOT! HOT! Real Estate Market
June 23rd, 2011
Despite all the negative publicity and crummy stats getting thrown at us – the real world real estate market in Grand Rapids is HOT!
Last week we put three sales together (condo in the 150’s; home in the 200’s; executive home in the plus 1,000,000’s) and are working non-stop this week with buyers. We wonder what is causing this resurgence in buyer activity and attribute it to one of five reasons:
It’s summer and we’re finally feeling warm and fuzzy – which brings out the positive attitudes needed to step up and make the move to buy a home.
Once again – It’s summer – and in Michigan we’re on the far Western side of the Eastern Time Zone – so it stays light until 10pm – which gives us much more daylight to look at homes in the evenings.
3. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
Here in Michigan our housing market took a dive earlier than any other area of the USA and we are digging back out earlier than other areas too – the folks we are working with looking at homes have a very positive attitude, can qualify for loans (and are getting phenomenal rates beside) and are making the move.
4. GREAT PRICES
It’s taken the sellers a few years to realize the market isn’t like it was in 2007 – so sellers are actually pricing their homes TO SELL! Buyers are having to adjust a bit because their idea of “screaming deals” are the relationship between list price and sale price – now that the list prices are becoming more reasonable, sellers are often getting “their price” – even though it happens to be at 2000 levels.
5. HOMES PRICED RIGHT AND SHOWING GREAT ARE SELLING FAST - SOME URGENCY!
As more buyers enter the marketplace – the inventory is going down. Two of the offers we wrote last week were multiple offers (our buyers got the houses!!). Many sellers are listening to their agents and staging their homes so they are showing well, that coupled with a price to sell has some homes selling in a matter of days or weeks. Hopefully gone are the days when it takes years to sell a home!
Bankrate’s Article on Tips from First Time Sellers
May 26th, 2011
Bankrate had a fun article this week that I had the opportunity to participate in as a Quoted Expert.
I’ve been doing these blogs for a few years now and thought some of you might want to take the opportunity to read something from a professional writer that I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed by – and check out some of my opinions on First Time Sellers.
The article is written by Dana Dracht who I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few times over the years – I appreciate her insights and her in-depth reporting so I though it would be fun to share her piece for you to read. Enjoy!
QR Codes + Clients = Love
April 20th, 2011
The era of the brochure box in front of a home has gone the way of the bag phone – it’s obsolete – and our clients love our new technology. It’s drawing the cutting edge crowd! Here are the top three reasons our clients love our new signs with QR Codes:
1. It draws attention to their home. Not only do our signs glow in the dark – but they also contain QR Codes (Quick Response) for each property. When a buyer pulls into the driveway, they can use their Smartphone to scan the Code and instantly have the price, floor plan and interior photos. Our contact information is available so we can set up a showing immediately.
2. It appeals to Gen X and Gen Y Buyers. Cutting Edge Technology is the mantra of the Gen X and Gen Y Folks – but also the Baby Boomers who are forward thinking. Many of the Gen X and Gen Y are first time home buyers – so any opportunity to get them interested is well worth the effort.
3. Our Sellers Love The Look! Direct quote today from a seller when we put the sign in front of her home “Cool Technology – We love it – Keep up the good work.” Here’s a photo of a seller in front of the sign put up this weekend – it’s a big thumbs up for her too!
Updated Market Trends…Sizzling Stats
March 25th, 2011
This is the first in a series which will summarize monthly the relevant information for the Grand Rapids Real Estate market. I believe these stats are relevant if you are thinking of buying or selling in today’s market. How better to see the “real picture” than to check out the statistics which are driving the market.
These are displayed in easy to read graphs with corresponding commentary. The following graphs are for the entire Grand Rapids Real Estate Market – I will be breaking them down by area as we get rolling with these monthly reports.
The first one represents the Homes for Sale vs. the Homes Sold. It’s an interesting comparison and will wow you with the number of homes in our inventory at the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors. Ohhh – I think we have plenty of inventory – so now you know how important the right price is when you put your home on the market.
The second graph represents the Days on the Market and the Percentage of List Price a home finally sells for. Both of these stats can be a little misleading.
It’s important to see for the past few years, the percentage of list price to sale price has not deviated a great deal. This is the number between what the house is listed for and what it sells for. All everyone hears from the media is it’s a buyers market (which is evidenced by the huge amount of inventory) – so everyone expects to get a screaming deal when they buy. These high numbers indicate perhaps one of the following is happening:
1. Sellers are now pricing their homes realistically. When this happens, the home stays on the market a shorter period of time and the percentage between list price and sale price is reduced.
2. Only those homes priced right are getting sold. The overpriced homes are being passed by – buyers still don’t feel comfortable putting those “low-ball” offers in.
The last graph is the current inventory in months supply. As you can see, we are well stocked in homes for sale.
All Graphs – Copyrighted by Trendgraphics