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ArtPrize! ArtPrize! Whoo Hoo – It’s here in Grand Rapids!
September 24th, 2010
Unbelievable – that’s the word for it. Thousands of people (yes, ordinary folks just like you and me) are streaming into Grand Rapids for the next few weeks to view art – I said ART!
ArtPrize was founded last year here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. No one knew it was going to be so exciting, fun and yes…Unbelievable. You – as an observer of art in all forms through life – become an Art Judge – voting for your favorite art or artist – and You can affect the outcome of the ArtPrize.
Artprize runs from September 22 – October 10. The venues (tons of downtown buildings, condos, lofts, public spaces, museums) are open (at a minimum) M-Th 5-8, Fri & Sat 12 – 10pm, Sun noon – 6pm. Many are open longer so check with the venues to see if they have extra special hours.
I will be showcasing some special people that I know at and around ArtPrize over the next few weeks and hope that everyone reading this will take the opportunity to join in the fun and attend ArtPrize…you will end up being the winner. Let me know what art you like the best…where the best food is…and I’ll keep you all updated on ArtPrize as we move through the weeks. ENJOY!!!
Celebration of the Grand – Come Celebrate Grand Rapids!
September 10th, 2010
My Favorite Things to Do at Celebration on the Grand:
Absolutely top on the list is the Fireworks Display over the Grand River in Downtown Grand Rapids on Friday, September 10 at 9:30pm . Often set to music – this display can be seen from every corner of the City – but a few secret places to watch it are:
- sitting on a log on the bank of the Grand River just below the Gerald Ford Museum
- sitting at the corner of Michigan and Monroe in your lawn chair (not so many crowds)
- the maternity ward of Butterworth Hospital (the noise will certainly help with the contractions).
2. The Music
This year’s lineup is spectacular:
Thursday at Rosa Parks Circle – Headliner: Chris Young at 9:15 (but loads of entertainment all evening)
Friday at Rosa Parks Circle – Headliner: Jimmy Stagger right after fireworks – but loads of enterainment beforehand.
Friday at Ah-Nab-Awen Park: 5pm starts the fun with Trilogy – then wonderful entertainment culminating at 9:30 with the Fireworks.
Saturday - Mark Farner – formerly from Grand Funk Railroad – Headliner at Rosa Parks Circle
3. The Food
Oh Mmmmmm - Loads of some of the top restaurants have their tastes for stolling and tasting! Go on down and enjoy.
Get Going to Downtown Grand Rapids and help Celebrate “Celebration on the Grand”
Top 3 Things to do on Labor Day in Grand Rapids, MI
September 5th, 2010
Proving that Grand Rapids is a COOL City – Here are my top 3 Things to Do around Grand Rapids this Labor Day:
1. Bridge Walk
In honor of the great Mackinac Bridge Walk, our very own Grand Rapids is having it’s Bridge Walk too. It starts at 8:00am at Ah-nab-Awen Park – is 5 miles long (same as the Mackinac Bridge Walk) – crosses over 7 of our famous Grand Rapids bridges – and will take about an hour and half.
What a great way to start the day – get some excercise, see the City and it’s Bridges – and prepare for the next school year with a positive attitude.
You can’t let summer pass into fall without taking a look at the phenominal exhibit of glass art intertwined with the natural settings at Meijer Gardens – where Dale Chihuly has installed hundreds of his glass pieces in surprising, inspiring and somestimes shocking places. The exhibit is open until October 31 – but Labor Day is the perfect day to take it all in.
Play a round of golf on Labor Day – select one of 2o Courses in the area that are participating – and you’ll have the opportunity to donate some $$$ to benefit Veterans Homes in Grand Rapids and Marquette. Have some fun and help someone at the same time. Sounds like a good plan to me.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! Drive Safely and Enjoy this beautiful Water Wonderland we call Pure Michigan.
1956 Shining Tree NE , Belmont, Michigan – SOLD!
September 3rd, 2010
Privacy – Woods – yet great accessibility to highways and amenities! Check out this lovely ranch style home that looks like new and is located in the award winning Rockford School District!
The home features cathedral ceilings, large windows with views of this acre lot surrounded by nature and woods. The main floor master suite has sliders to deck, a master bath and large walk in closet. Complimenting the master suite on the main floor are two more bedrooms (easily one could be an office), full bath and main floor utility room.
The Kitchen features maple cabinets, center island and upgraded appliances – all light and bright with loads of windows.
The open staircase leads to the walkout lower level, family room with wet bar, 2 bedrooms and full bath (one bedroom is so large it is now being used as a music studio).
You think you are miles away from the hustle and bustle of life at this lovely retreat – yet minutes away from the Post Dr. exit of 131 – in a small private development. New storage shed, loads of basement storage, fireplace in great room, all of this priced below market at $250,000 for a quick sale
TOO LATE! WE HAVE AN ACCEPTED OFFER ON THIS HOME AS OF 10/18/10
Do you leave yourself “Open” to theft when you have an Open House??
August 20th, 2010
Sellers Be Attentive! There are loads of really good things about Open Houses – like they might get your house sold – or the neighbor down the street, who has a brother moving to town, might stop by to see it and refer it to her brother.
It is a perfect time to finally get your home organized and it’s a forced way of washing those windows you have been putting off for months. Some buyers feel much less obligated if they can find a nice neutral time to view a home – so an Open House is a perfect time for them to slip through.
But before you have an Open House, make sure you have an open discussion with your agent about the things that will keep you and your home out of trouble. Over the past years, we have had really very little theft from Open Houses – which is a good thing. However, there is no sense in tempting fate – so put away your valuables, jewelry and any small items that could be stuck in someone’s pocket – better safe than sorry.
The other thing most folks don’t think about – and something that is becoming more and more prevalent – is the theft of prescription drugs. The most innocent looking people are doing it. I heard of a little gray-haired lady who asked to use the bathroom and was stealing drugs from the medicine cabinet! Again, don’t tempt fate. Put away all your prescription drugs before an open house.
It actually is pretty rare anything goes missing from an open house – so the odds are pretty good to continue to have Open Houses – just be smart about getting ready for it.
3 Reasons why your home is not selling
August 13th, 2010
In today’s BUYER’S MARKET homes are sitting on the market for record numbers of days. Even those everyone says will sell immediately are languishing. After 40 years of selling real estate in Grand Rapids, I believe there are only 3 reasons why a home does not sell. These reasons were valid in 1971 when I started in the business and are just as true today.
Top on the list is your price. The more properties on the market – the more competition you have for the buyers in the marketplace – and price is the only part of the equation many folks even look at. Buyers always want a “Deal.” This was true in 1971 and remains true today.
Everybody wants a bargain. In today’s marketplace, the media has hyped the foreclosures and short sales as to make everyone feel they are sure to get a bargain – so don’t be surprised if any offer you get is a “low ball” offer.
All areas and marketplaces are different so make sure you listen closely to a professional REALTOR who knows your marketplace – and price your home accordingly. If you are interviewing more than one agent – don’t necessarily go with the one who comes in with the highest price for you – go with the person who has the most experience in your neighborhood and knows the marketplace backwards and forward. Study the comparable homes and know the market – then price yourself below your competitors.
2. PROPERTY CONDITION
Houses, which are updated with the latest paint colors, countertops, and hardware and show great – will be the first homes to sell. Having dated wallpaper, woodwork, hardware and counter tops stop a buyers from either making an offer or offering a good price. Have your agent walk through your home to assist you in determining what you need to do to get it ready for the market. If you don’t have the money to update – think about offering a price below market or offering a decorating allowance so they can do the work themselves. Consider hiring a stager to have the place look like a “million bucks”
Our old school real estate mantra used to be “Location Location Location” – even though other things come into play in today’s marketplace – Location could be a key reason why your home is not selling. The good news for those of you who are in a good location is that it will be a real plus when selling.
For those of you who are next to a power line, a railroad track or under the flight path of your local airport – you will need to discount the comparable cost of your home to below others that are not affected by these challenges. You can always turn the tables and aggressively look for someone who shares a love for trains or planes and market directly to them – but keep in mind that re-sale is on the mind of every buyer out there today.
Check with us today if you need any real estate counseling on Price, Property Condition or Location…we’re happy to help.
1568 Winterwood NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan NEW PRICE 475,000!!!
August 12th, 2010
Oh My, this is Wonderful! Location – Location – Location is the key to this top quality home (built by Distinctive Homes) in the exclusive Winterwood neighborhood. Nestled into a prime wooded setting at the end of a cul de sac, it overlooks a forest and bubbling stream – ah, it is beautiful.
Featuring the award winning Forest Hills School District, this home has many amenities which will appeal to the nature lover in you. The master suite is phenomenal with 3 full walls of windows and loads of natural light – master bath with whirlpool, 2 sinks, shower and loads of closet space – all on the main floor. Cathedral Ceilings and a window wall overlooking the deck, wooded ravine and stream highlight the great room along with a lovely gas fireplace. An office with loads of built-ins adjoins the master bedroom and could also be a main floor bedroom.
The spacious kitchen has all the amenities including a huge island for easy entertaining, it features an eating area filled with the morning sunshine to really help you begin your day with a smile. Included on the main floor is a huge mud room/utility area off both the garage and the back entryway.
The daylight basement boasts a large family room with wood burning fireplace, two more large bedrooms and a full bath. The storage in this home is huge – spacious basement area all set up for storing everything (or use it as a roller skating rink for the kids).
Close to highways, schools, shopping, downtown…just a few minutes from I-96. Let us give you a tour or this fine home priced at $550,000 with conventional terms available. Interest Rates are at a long time low – so, it’s a great time to buy your dream house.
3 Cool Things to do on the “Dog Days” of Summer
July 24th, 2010
I don’t really know how the “Dog Days of Summer” came into use in the English Language – but they are defined by a number of sources as the hottest days of summer between the end of July and the start of September – so RIGHT NOW – we are experiencing those Dog Days. Some say they were named after some star constellations and others after very hot animals (specifically dogs) who couldn’t tolerate the heat very well – but wherever they came from – we all know they are HOT!…and when you’re hot, you’re hot, so here are 3 cool things to do during the Dog Days.
1. Go to your local County Fair
I know – you are thinking – how could that be cool?? While walking around looking at the “cool” animals (namely pigs, sheep, cattle, horses, goats (my personal favorite), you can be sipping a “cool” cup of homemade lemonade with a half of lemon still inside…mosey on over to the Midway and take a “cool breeze” ride on the tilt-a-whirl or sip a blueberry snow cone atop the ferris wheel! Cool off at night in the grandstands and watch your favorite country singer or a demolition derby while cooling off with ice cream drumsticks. Check this list for all the County Fairs in Michigan in 2010
2. Go look at some houses
OK – you should only do this if you want to get some “cool” deals on a home and “cool” low interest rates – the Dog Days of 2010 are going to be known for their great values. Traditionally, the real estate market slows down a little bit during the Dog Days – and this year is no exception. Our listings are getting fewer showings and the phones are not ringing as earlier in the year. Many folks are on vacation or just plain too hot to be motivated to look for a home. Check with us and we’re happy to get you in on some great values.
3. Go Jump in the Lake
Wow – this where Michigan, and especially West Michigan, really shines! Did you know Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes – this is in addition to our four Great Lakes! That’s a lot of lakes to jump into. Many of these lakes have public access where you can launch your speed boat, waverunner or canoe, and cool off from the heat of summer.
There are cottages galore on these lakes – some for rent – some owned by families for many generations – and even some to buy! Did you know there are more cottages for sale this year than in the past 10 years combined – and the prices are really affordable – so these Dog Days are good waterfront buying times also. Here’s a short list of the cottages for sale just in the Grand Rapids area
“It’s the Hard Knock Life” – Annie hits town at Circle Theater
July 14th, 2010
What a perfect song for the times.
Unemployment is running high – Jobs are scarce – there are loads of reasons to look at the darker side of life and kick around complaints you have no control over. Then Annie shows up with a positive attitude and a smile on her face – and the worries float away. It’s amazing what a little positive thinking can do to turn your life around.
Everyone really should get over to the Circle in the Park Theater on the Aquinas College Campus to catch this great production and get your positive adrenalin going. The cast is great – and I’m just a little proud of my niece – Sophie Bolen – who plays one of the orphans with such grace.
Every time I go to the Civic Theater or the Circle in the Park productions, all the fabulous talent in the Grand Rapids Area blows me away. The voices are wonderful, dancing is enchanting, and the production itself, from sets to costumes to lighting, is great. See it Wed – Sat through July 24 – you can call the box office at 616-456-6656 and order your tickets – but hurry – time is running out.
Get a little boost of positive thinking and put that “Hard Knock Life” on hold for a little while as you enjoy a great production.
1340 Colorado SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan – SOLD!
July 9th, 2010
This is it! City living at it’s best right here in Southeast Grand Rapids. Walk the sidewalks among the tall shade trees and manicured lawns and enjoy the great neighborhood. Plus, this house has everything you could be looking for! And It’s OPEN Sunday July 11 from 1-3 so you can take a look personally!
This home features: 3 Large Bedrooms – 2 Full Baths – Beautifully refinished hardwood floors – Curved Doorways – Gas Fireplace (could be woodburning), Huge ceramic tile entryway – Full basement with a great play area - Den/Office on the main floor – Updated bathrooms – White Kitchen – Master Bedroom with walk-in closet and a New furnace and Water Heater.
And the backyard – what a delight! Walk out the den to a lovely patio surrounded by perennials and large shade trees – it’s like a secret garden area – all private and comfortable – plus a beautiful lawn and a huge tree you can swing on. This is a great place to spend a quiet summer afternoon with a cup of tea and a good book.
All appliances are included – so you can move right in. Attached garage with electric door opener adds to the amenities. Close to shopping, restaurants, library and schools (New Christian Grade School is opening up this Fall only a few blocks away).
TOO LATE - THIS HOME IS SOLD!!!