Grand Rapids Parade of Homes 2009 Marks 50 in Green!

Downtown Grand Rapids Michigan...view across the Grand River

Downtown Grand Rapids Michigan...view across the Grand River

There are a number of metrics which one can use to get a handle on the current housing market in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  However, the one which captures my attention as we head into what is traditionally the busiest season in real estate is the Spring Parade of Homes. Here’s what I wrote about the tour last year...

 It’s a spring time ritual in Grand Rapids, Mi.  For residents like myself and many others who love to peek into gorgeous homes and pick up the latest tips for home decor and furnishings, the Spring Parade of Homes Tour is an event which is highly anticipated.

However, this year, the Parade of Homes will feature a tour with significantly fewer offerings than in recent years.  In 2006, there were 200 homes featured in the Parade of Homes, last year (2007) the number was 133.  This year, 83 homes will make their debuts in the Parade…far fewer entries than just 24 months ago. (click here to continue reading)

This year, the Parade of homes will feature less than 1/2 of the homes entered in the 2008 year.  The 2009 Parade debuts with 42 homes as it marks 50 years.  A search for the nucleus of this story traces back to the number of building permits issued in Kent County in 2009.  A number which has been declining for the past several consecutive months to just 25 for the entire county in March of 2009; down from 61 in the same month of the previous year 2008 according to data obtained from the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors®.  

For the first quarter of the year, permits are being issued at about 1/2 the rate of last year 2008…which was already a less than stellar year for new home construction.

But, West Michigan has always been a resilient community which prizes innovation and creativity.  This year, the Parade of Homes will feature six Green Homes, a Brand New offering.  Not only will the public be able to view quality built, affordable, environmentally sustainable home construction, there will be classes available for those who would like to learn more.

Last year, I visited a green built home in my neighborhood.  I thoroughly enjoyed talking with the builder and learned a lot about how smart investments can save a future homeowner money and increase the enjoyment and comfort of the residence.  If you’d like to tour a Parade home, look for the signs which mark each home or visit this site for additional tour information including scheduling for the Green Homes which are open on Thursdays.


Visit to view NEW home construction in all price ranges!

Use Your Tax Credit to Buy a Home Now! Monetizing the $8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit


Step 1:  Determine if You Qualify:  Status, Income, Credit, Price

Step 2.  Pre-Qualify for your Home Loan

Step 3.  Find Your Home

Step 4:  Obtain your Funds

For a detailed review of your specific situation, contact us at or call 616-791-0511



UPDATE #2:  May 19, 2009…

Click this link for an update regarding the Monetization of the New Home Buyer Tax Credit Information from HUD & NAR (National Association of Realtors ®)

UPDATE: 5/16/2009…It appears that there is some additional information which will be forthcoming from HUD & NAR regarding this issue and FHA guidelines for homebuyers.  This post will be updated as soon as the latest information becomes available regarding the details of the proposed monetization of the new home buyer tax credit.


Original posting:  May 12, 2009

In an announcement yesterday to participants in the mid year National Association of Realtors meeting in Washington DC,  the  HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said that HUD will allow its’ lenders to permit homeowners to use the tax credit for a new home purchase as a downpayment. (Credit available for those purchasing a new home for the first time or who have not owned a primary residence for the past 3 years)

Here are excerpts from the article published by the National Association of Realtors.  The full article can be accessed here.

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that the
Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow homeowners to use the $8,000 tax credit as a downpayment.

Donovan’s remarks came in an address to several thousand Realtors®gathered this morning at The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy, a special daylong session at the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo here.

Secretary Donovan said that important changes, which the National Association of Realtors® has been calling for, will help consumers purchase a home. “We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a downpayment,” Donovan said. According to Donovan, the FHA’s approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

Click to continue reading…

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a new home in Grand Rapids, MI as a first time home buyer and wondering where you would find the cash for the downpayment, this may be just the break you’re looking for!

Related Posts:

Spring Market (2009) Update

What Does the Tax Credit Mean For Grand Rapids, MI Homebuyers


Relationships Matter…Connectivity via the Blogosphere

Less than Six Degrees of Separation




















They say that we are all separated by just six degrees from every single person in the entire world.  This theory about the Human Web is a powerful reminder of the fact that we’re all connected…and that connections and relationships matter!

A couple of months ago, I was in Ann Arbor, MI to teach a series of two Real Estate Continuing Education Classes, Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals (K1061) and Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals K(1062).

Prior to my experiences on the blogosphere, I would have walked into a room of complete strangers.  But, the blogosphere has a way of making strangers into friends.

Karen Moorhead was the first person I met, or should I say hugged. I had never met Karen or Marian Gregor who introduced herself next, but meeting both of these ladies felt like greeting a friend.

When Missy Caulk walked in, it was great to see her again after our first meeting in Grand Rapids last year. There were several agents from Missy’s Keller Williams office and I had the opportunity to meet Chet Hill, the Broker and office manager.

One of the benefits of having fellow bloggers in the class was in the way in which their presence expanded the discussion.  Missy, Karen & Marian were generous in sharing their insights with the class in a way in which really enriched the experience for everyone. 

This is one of the most impressive contributions of the blogosphere to our profession; the sharing of ideas and the power of the synergy which this generates. 

The picture above illustrates in a way, one of the ways this has impacted my learning curve.  Everyone in the flower circle is a person who I’ve talked with because of my blogging…an individual who I might never have met or learned from apart from this remarkable medium.

I’d have missed getting to know Jeff & Racquel Turner who are extraordinary people in so many ways, nor would I have known about Real Estate Shows, a service which has generated thousands of hits to my listings and website.  

Talking with Jeff Dowler and the subsequent introduction to Amber Riviere would never have happened.  Jeff Dowler is also a trainer at heart and Amber, an innovative writer and entrepreneur.  And then last but, not least…I wouldn’t have been embraced by a warm circle while visiting another city for a presentation.

 This experience has given me the privilege of a less than six degree connection through which I’ve talked with or met the Broker & the Lovely Wife from Florida, Midori Miller my friend and fellow trainer, Sally Cheesman in Hawaii, Jesse Clinton in Alaska, Colleen Kulikowski in upstate New York, Sara Bonert andCraig Schiller in Chicago, Lydia & Matt Heaton from Washington, Maureen Francis, Kris Wales, Russ Ravery, Sonya Loose & Gary Smith from Michigan, Carol Smith in Ohio or Steve Volkers and Michelle Gordon in Grand Rapids, MI amongst others. 

Has your world been shrinking since you started blogging?  Mine has…and I think that’s a wonderful thing!

Related Articles:

Blogging Wiz, If Ever a Wiz There was! by Marian Gregor

Real Estate Blog – The BEST con-ed class I’ve ever attended and it … by Kris Wales

Making the Change We Need Happen…Active Rain’s Michigan Agents Lead the Way! by Lola Audu

Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors hosts Lola Audu for Blogging Con Ed by Missy Caulk

Blogging Class Taught By the Wonderful Missy Caulk by Lisa Bender * Coming up in March!

 real estate shows: The Smartest $10.42 Investment I’ve Ever Made! by Lola Audu