So, what does the Spring Market look like in West Michigan – Grand Rapids? Well, in a nutshell…it’s interesting! My go to word when things are unexpected, don’t quite fit into the routine and operate outside of established or expected norms.
Interesting, this Spring means unexpectedly low inventory levels. Normally, there’s a significant uptick in homes for sale, this year inventory levels continue to run well below the average, with March 2014 listings being 26.5% less than last year and overall home listing totals throughout 2014 so far running 27.4% lower than the volume of 2013 in the first quarter. In fact, inventory levels are recorded as the lowest since 2002 according to data available from the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors monthly marketing update.
What has that meant for housing values? Well, the squeeze on inventory has increased the value of West Michigan real estate. It’s a basic supply/demand thing. Overall, housing prices are approximately 14% higher than they were this time last year. That being said, mortgage rates are still cooperating for the most part, so in many cases, it’s still actually cheaper to BUY a home than it is to rent a similar dwelling.
Add to that, the recent MI incentive to encourage home ownership with up to $7,500 in MSHDA grant money to qualified home buyers, well…this could present the unlikely paradox of ‘the best of both worlds’ for potential homeowners and purchasers in West Michigan. Are you noticing more For Sale & Sold signs in your neighborhoods yet?
If you’re interested in looking at the hard numbers available through our local real estate association, click this link.
Posted in audu real estate, Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Homes For Sale, Grand Rapids, Mi Real Estate Market Reports | Tagged 2014 spring market update for grand rapids mi, audu real estate, grand rapids association of realtors, inventory levels, local real estate trends, west michigan, West Michigan housing market | Leave a Comment »
For the past few days, we’ve been hearing birds singing in the morning. They can’t be wrong about Spring can they? It must be around the corner even though these mountains of snow seem to be taking forever to melt! Another ritual of Spring for the real estate community is the prospect of building a new home. Over the past year as inventory levels for existing housing has remained consistently low, more people are looking into the possibility of designing and building their own home.
Today, Cheryl Johnston- Audu Real Estate New Home Specialist and I had the pleasure of meeting with Rich Kogelschatz, the Owner and Principle Builder of Heartland Builders LLC. Heartland Builders was established in the mid 1980′s and has specialized in some unique ways. One of which is Universal Design, which acknowledges that for many people some form of physical limitation will touch our lives through someone we know or in a personal way. As we mature, the prospect of accessibility and barrier free living are conversations which may become necessary for a variety of reasons. Heartland Builders believes that our homes should age as gracefully as we do and implements this thought into the design and building process.
According to Rich, ‘thoughtful people’ want to build with confidence. We loved the unique APP designed to manage the building and communication process from start to finish. Unexpected surprises are minimized when you can ‘tap’ into your building process for a seamless update on what is going on. Heartland Builders also has a very detailed process map which highlights the entire construction process including client/contractor meetings and inspections from start to Closing.
One of the most daunting aspects of building a brand new home from scratch is figuring out what product selections look best and fit within your budget. Heartland Builders provides interior design services and computerized modeling to help you select your product and even see how changes to the architectural design will look before you make a final decision.
We both learned a lot from talking to Rich and were impressed with the attention to detail and the processes Heartland Builders has put into place to create a great client experience!
Related Content: http://fox17online.com/2014/02/26/deep-frost-and-cold-temps-delay-new-home-construction/#axzz2uT9AKyGL
Posted in Grand Rapids | Tagged audu real estate, Cheryl Johnston Audu Real Estate, Green Building, Heartland Builders LLC, Heartland Builders LLC Grand Rapids MI, Universal Design | 1 Comment »
Lately, I’ve been thinking about Focus. And the way our focus impacts our lives. Focus is a magnifier. It enlarges whatever it is directed towards. Focus also is an attractor. It brings to us whatever we pay attention to.
Focus is not just a mental activity. It incorporates just about every dimension of our being. And, it’s not optional. We are all focusing on something. It’s just a matter of WHERE we are choosing to place our focus at any given time and to what extent. Even folks who have a hard time at focusing are actually doing so. The difference is that they are simply jumping more rapidly from one thing; in other words a type of mis-directed focus.
Concentrated focus is incredibly powerful. When we concentrate our attention on anything, we have the capacity to tap into an enormous reservoir of energy and opportunity. Over the years, I’ve talked with many real estate agents. I’ve also had the opportunity to coach and train agents. One of the most interesting elements of training has been exploring where agents place their focus during the work day and how this correlates to the results they’re achieving.
I was somewhat shocked to find that the average agent was spending less than 3 hours in any given day on real estate related activities which actually produced an income. Yes, they may have been at a desk and even in front of a computer. But what were they focused on? More often than not, the focus was NOT on the things that generate income for agents such as: Prospecting, Lead Generation, Follow-up, Listing Appointments and Buyer Appointments. It does not require genius to understand that three hours or less on any work related activity is not likely to bring in an living wage. Unfortunately, the advent of many online activities has made the issue of a lack of focus even more acute.
Focusing requires the discipline to take a step back and in some cases to step away from other activities. It is about prioritizing and re-evaluating the direction in which you need to go. Focus allows you to concentrate on things which need to be changed and to address issues which require urgent attention.
Lastly, focus requires balance. Anything taken to an extreme is not advantageous. In the past, I’ve focused so much concentration on my business that sometimes placed other important areas of my life on a back burner.
Balanced focus means that taking care of business does not come at the expense of family life, spiritual life, emotional health, financial well-being or spiritual vitality. For it is in balance that focus brings it’s greatest gift. Living a focused life means that we are fully present in whatever we do and when that’s over, we release and move on without regrets. These are some of my lessons. What does focus mean to you?
(Republished from 2012 – Copyright Audu Real Estate)
Posted in audu real estate | Tagged direction, focus, inspiration, life lessons, Lola's Real Estate Inspired Moments | Leave a Comment »
One of the best kept secrets in real estate is the ability to get ‘instant’ notification when homes for sale around Grand Rapids MI have a price reduction. Obtaining real time updates on homes that you have your eye on can save you thousands of dollars! Price reductions for homes can occur for a number of reasons, including but not limited to…
1. Increased urgency to sell the home due to changing circumstances
2. The threat of default on mortgage note
3. Over-pricing – reduction to bring the home price into conformity with current market conditions
4. Feedback from agent showings about the fact that a home is over-priced
When a price reduction for a home for sale in Grand Rapids, Mi occurs, it is important to act quickly if this is a home you have some interest in. When a price reduction occurs for a home, it increases the likelihood that the home will sell. Home sale price reductions occur everyday! In fact, 19 homes in the greater Grand Rapids MI area had a price reduction within the past 24 hours. Of these homes, two were priced above $500,000 and eight were priced below $100,000. The point being, home price reductions occur in EVERY price range, so being an informed buyer can sometimes make you a lucky buyer!
If you’d like to be e-mailed a list of homes which fit your particular criteria on a daily basis AND be notified when a home selling in the Grand Rapids MI area has a price reduction, contact us or call: 616-791-0511. There is no obligation for this service. You will not be contacted unless you specifically request additional assistance or help. Enjoy the ability to keep informed and updated right from the comfort and privacy of your own home computer. Contact us for a FREE list of homes reduced for sale today!
Posted in audu real estate, Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Homes For Sale, home buyers | Tagged audu real estate, grand rapids mi, grand rapids mi homes for sale, grand rapids price reduced homes for sale, price reductions | Leave a Comment »
I am looking forward to speaking the Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence on Wednesday, January 22nd at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation (185 Oakes St. SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503) on the topic of ‘Anatomy of a Smart City – Moving from ‘Cool’ to ‘Cohesive Collaboration.’
Many still remember 2004 when then Governor Jennifer Granholm named Grand Rapids, MI one of Michigans’ ‘cool cities.’ Indeed, the 21st century is likely to emerge as the era of city states as the impact of migration, technology and demographic shifts make cities everywhere major intersections for life and commerce. By 2050, it is anticipated that 70% of the world’s population will live in and around cities.
We will be discussing the implications of 10 areas of core attraction and logistics which are vital to creating spaces that attract and sustain people. As a real estate broker involved in the daily movement of people in West Michigan, this topic is vitally important to our industry and to our city, region and nation. You’re invited to join in the conversation! More information and registration details can be accessed here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lola-audu-on-anatomy-of-a-smart-city-the-art-of-moving-from-cool-to-cohesive-competence-tickets-9719753043
Lola is a former President of the Women’s Council of Realtors-West Michigan Chapter, a District Director for the Michigan Association of Realtors, former President of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors, and Owner of Audu Real Estate. She currently serves on the Board of Real Estate Brokers & Salesperson for the State of Michigan. She is also a highly prolific blogger and a professional speaker.
Posted in audu real estate, Grand Rapids | Tagged anatomy of a smart city, grand rapids michigan, lola audu | 2 Comments »