Grand Rapids Real Estate and Community News

Aug. 2, 2021

2021 Crazy Housing Market

2021 has proven to be one for the books, with sellers getting ABOVE "top dollar" for their home, it makes the rest of us want to jump into the market frenzy and plunk a "For Sale" sign in our front yard too!  BUT WAIT!! Where will we go? And, what amount of money will we have to spend to get there? Sell high and buy low right?? Buying low doesn't apply for 2021 buyers. As a matter of fact, it's the amazing race to who will be the highest bidder on a single property that you and everybody else wants. Buyers are gobbling up just about everything that hits the market and at a high price tag. What are the reasons for such a market? Covid, change in demographics,  record low interest rates and low inventory all play a role in what's happening in todays market. What will the future returns look like on such an investment?? Are we looking at a market crisis similar to that of 07-08? Or, is this the new normal?

Buyers and buyers agents are hoping for a better 2022. Being in this real estate race isn't fun for everyone. Buyers want to get back to looking at multiple homes before making one of the biggest financial investments in their lifetime, they also want a home inspection contingency to be a part of their purchase agreement so they can have peace of mind. Lastly, they hope for a good return on their investment.


Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 23, 2019

Take the Frustration Out of Home Buying

This past spring and summer market has proven to be competitive for home buyers. Especially when it comes to finding the home they love. This can be very frustrating if you're not prepared. Below are a few great tips to help alleviate some of the frustration and to better prepare you for the home buying process.


1. Get Pre-qualified For a Mortgage: Go into home buying with the confidence of knowing what you can and cannot afford. Why set yourself up for the disappointment of looking at homes that are out of your price range. A pre-qualification letter tells the seller that you are a serious, qualified buyer


2. Write a List of Your Must-Haves: Knowing the difference between your "Must-Haves" and your "Wants" will also help alleviate frustration and will keep you focused. "Must-Haves" include 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a big yard for the dog, close to work, etc. "Wants" include granite countertops, double sinks, deck, paint color, etc. "Wants" are things you can add yourself at a later time.


3. Choose an Area or Neighborhood That Meets Your Needs: Take time to drive around the area and find the neighborhood that has the charm you desire and meet the needs of your family: How far is the commute to work, is it near the school you're hoping for, is near your favorite coffee shop, gym or grocery store. These are all important things to consider.


4. Choose a style of Home: Evaluate your family's needs and settle on a style.  Is your family growing larger or smaller, are you single or retired? Choose the style you love and stay away from the style you know isn't for you. 


5. Take Good Notes: While viewing homes take notes on the features you love and take note of the things you don't love about the home. Does the home meet "Must-Haves"? It may even have some of your wants!! 

Going into the home buying process with confidence will give you an advantage over any market

Posted in Buying a Home
July 31, 2019

Getting Your House Ready to Sell, A Realtors Point of View


Getting Your House Ready to Sell,

A Realtors Point of View


As a realtor, I understand what it takes to get your home ready for the market. Seeing things from inside the real estate world, I know exactly what I would do if I were to sell our home. I’ve thought about this often enough and have seen first hand what sellers do right and what they do wrong but, with my job, it’s easy to see. However, seeing and doing are two totally different things. It’s simple for me to tell someone what to do but, actually doing it is another thing. For me, it would be about finding the time and I’d need a lot of it…at least 6 months. That may be a bit of a stretch.


Personally, the first thing I’d do would be to hire a home inspector to inspect my house. Then I’d make all the necessary repairs. Keep in mind, my husband and I have done a great job keeping up with our house so the repairs should be minimal. I don’t want to hold a sale up do to buyer or lender required repairs. As a realtor, I know that government home loans (VA, RD & FHA) look for health and safety concerns in a home such as GFI’s by all water sources, smoke & CO2 detectors, chipping and peeling paint, proper handrails etc...I’d address those area’s as well.


With country living comes a septic system and a well. So, naturally knowing what lenders and buyers look for, I’d have our septic tested for compliancy and I may even consider a water test. If my septic was noncompliant then I’d have it updated to meet compliance. I really want a septic compliance certificate in my hand. This is just one more thing that can hold up a sale. Keep in mind that the septic can be negotiated in a sale and monies can sometimes be held in escrow to bring the septic to compliance.


On to the interior of my home..the fun part! I’d begin with one room at a time, starting the declutter and organization process, storing away or getting rid of all things that I don’t need and the things that just add clutter. Clear away ALL clutter (family photos, knickknacks)!!  I want the buyers to see the space in my home not my personal belongings. Simple is more!! Keeping in mind that the walls and flooring need to look fresh and clean as well.  Yes, that means cleaning out the closets too!!! NO CLUTTER!! CLEAN! CLEAN! CLEAN! You may need to clean/replace the carpets and paint the walls. A big NO to old dirty carpet and scuffs or holes in the walls.  Always use neutral colors to make the rooms look clean and fresh. Do the same for each room in your house. At the same time you should be cleaning, making everything sparkle..bathrooms, kitchen, windows, hardwood floors, appliances, don’t forget kitchen cupboards & under the sinks, Uffda! Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it?? That’s because it is!!


Next on my to-do list…Furniture arrangement, I want to showcase my home. To do that I’ll remove extra furniture, knowing that my goal is to show the space of my home, I’ll keep the furniture minimal and arrange it so it flows nicely. Again, less is more. If you need help, look at home style magazines or watch HGTV. Or, ask that one friend whose house always looks great!!


Odors... Does your home have an odor? If so, get rid of it. Nothing worse than a buyer walking into a smelly home or one full of dog/cat hair. Do what you can to make it fresh. With all of the cleaning you should have done, your house should smell clean too. It’s always a good idea to open windows and let the fresh air in.


The exterior of my home will be of great importance. Potential buyers will drive-by before deciding they want to look at the inside. Make sure the curb appeal is clean and inviting. Clean up the yard of any debris, keep the grass cut, plant flowers, paint or replace your front door, replace any broken siding or sand and repaint any peeling or chipping paint.




1. Make a list of all the things that need to be done and tackle one things at a time.


2. Purge! Purge! Purge!


3. Paint if it needs a fresh look (always neutral colors)


4. Replace dated light fixtures


5. Make your hardwood floors shine


6. Make your bathroom look like a spa


7. Make your kitchen look great. Counters should be free of clutter, cupboards cleaned. (your kitchen is a huge selling point, make it count)


Posted in Selling Your Home
March 19, 2019

Why Sell Your Home in 2019?


Why Sell Your Home in 2019?


#whysellyourhousein2019There may be good reasons to sell your home in 2019..We can’t exactly say what 2019 will mean for the real estate market but, there are a few good indicator’s that may make 2019 the year for the “For Sale Sign”.

First off, as we are heading into the Spring thaw..there are fewer homes on the market. When inventory is low it increases your chance of a home sale. Less homes on the market mean more exposure for the homes that are. Yeah for you!! Right?

Second, thanks to our evolving economy, interest rates are on the rise. However, they are still relatively low..That’s a plus for you as well.

What’s more? God bless those beautiful Millennials. This spunky bunch are on the rise to be first time home buyers. Woot! Woot! That’s good news for you too!

Lastly, what about “home equity”? Are you one of those lucky souls that bought when interests rates were under 4%? Many of us did!! If so, then you’ve been building some of the good stuff. 2019 may be a great time to cash that out.

If you’re considering 2019 to be your year. Don’t hesitate about the timing. The early spring market is the best market!!










Posted in Real Estate News
March 6, 2019

The Power of Five

Would you rather have $1,000 or $5,000, a one-egg omelet (do they even make such a thing?) or a five-egg omelet, a one-day vacation or a five-day vacation? You get the idea.

Now, when you are selling your home or looking to make a purchase would you rather have one realtor working for you or five realtors working for you.

We work as a team because it is impossible to be everywhere at once and if one of us are not around for any reason (family emergency, vacation, illness, etc.) you still have a team member who can meet your needs.

Real estate is a fast moving business. The best properties typically don’t last long, especially when they are priced below market and when you are buying to selling in this game you need a realtor that is responsive. Or, better yet, five responsive, top-producing, award-winning realtors.

We admire individuals but we are inspired by teams. When individuals come together, make sacrifices, and give up some of their self-interests for the sake of the team we are moved (think 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid, NY). At the “Up North” Team we want you to experience a great real estate transaction through our team’s commitment to you.

Whether you are looking for a getaway cabin, a retirement home, or are relocating to the beautiful Northwoods we call home our goal is to assist you in your real estate dreams.

Posted in Community News