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Archive for June, 2012

Rental Homes, Condos and Duplexes in West Michigan…

A decade ago, most area REALTORS were not receiving many inquires about homes to rent in Grand Rapids and the West Michigan area.  In fact, less than 48 months ago, there was no way for real estate agents to reliably search or list on the local Multiple Listing Service for Rental homes.  So much has changed.  Today, the options for clients who need to rent a home, duplex or condo can now be serviced through the Rental Multiple Listing Service, a data exchange between area REALTORS which promotes properties available for rent in the West Michigan area.

There has been a significant increase in the number of people who are seeking rental housing across all price points in the real estate market place.  This rise in demand has also prompted a rise in rental rates with some estimates being an anticipated 6-10% increase in rental rates over the next year.  There are many reasons for this shift…

1.  Distress & Foreclosure Sales

The past five years have been tumultuous in the real estate industry as prices plummeted and many home owners found themselves owing more on their homes than they could be sold for in the open market.  As a result, many homes were sold at a loss through Short Sales and Foreclosure Sales.  At one point, almost 60% of the sales activity in West Michigan was related to a distress sale.  This pushed up the demand for rental properties.

2.  House Purchase Anxiety

Directly related to #1 in many ways due to the fact that some consumers were spooked by the decline in home prices and did not want to be in situation in which they lost money or had difficulty in retailing a home.  Many potential home buyers have hedged their bets although in reality, the decline in home prices offered some of the best investment opportunities ever.  Due to fear, some potential home owners have determined to pursue term rentals which has also fueled demand in the rental housing market in West Michigan.

3.  Increased Mobility – Professionally & Personally

According to this report by the Department of Labor & Statistics, the average person in the United States held 11 jobs between the ages of 18 – 44. With increased mobility professionally and personally,  consumers are more open to renting rather than putting their roots down to deeply in a community which they may need to exit from due to a job change.

4.  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

And of course, the issue of ‘jobs’ remains front and center in terms of simply having one.  Unemployment continues to be a factor in the wider labor market and this impacts the amount of money people can spend.  Steady employment also impacts issue #5…Financing.

5.  Difficulties with Financing

Mortgage financing has tightened significantly over the past two years, partly in reaction to the mortgage lending crisis.  As a result, many consumers who would have had no problems obtaining a loan 3-4 years ago, find themselves unable to obtain financing for a home.  A sizable number of self-employed individuals who have good incomes but may show business losses find themselves in this difficult position.

All of these factors are playing a role in the increased demand for rental housing in Grand Rapids, MI.  We are finding that homes are renting quite quickly and some home sellers who have tried to sell their homes without success have found the home rental market to be a viable financial alternative.

If you have a home that you would like or need to rent, please contact us.  We can provide you with a detailed analysis of your options with regards to pricing and marketing.

If you need to find a home, condo or duplex to rent in Grand Rapids, MI, here’s an Updated Link of Rental Homes available Today.

Call 616-791-0511 to arrange an appointment.

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Featuring 6471 Avalon Dr. SE, Caledonia MI 49316

We just listed a beautiful new home in Avalon Pointe Estates.  The address is 6471 Avalon Dr. SE, Caledonia MI.  The home sits on .3 Acres bordering undeveloped acreage.  There’s a lot of space here…2,500 sq. ft finished plus potential for more square footage in the basement.  The interior is immaculate and shows pride of ownership. This property can be viewed on the Local MLS or

Click here or the picture to preview a Real Estate Show.

About the  Avalon Pointe Community…

Avalon Pointe Estates is a community of condominium homes, duplexes and tri-plexes  in Caledonia MI.  Turning into the community which is just north off of 68th Street, a beautifully landscaped entry provides a welcoming aesthetic.  Association home owners can enjoy some respite from the more mundane tasks of home ownership as the Association fees include lawncare, trash and snow removal as well as bi-weekly recycling.

The community Clubhouse is a popular meeting spot for gatherings.  Residents are encouraged to meet their neighbors through activities which take place in the Clubhouse which includes a pool area.  For property owners who are not condominium dwellers, a variety of home styles and structures are available.  They can also take advantage of the amenities at the Gatehouse for a yearly Fee.

Click here to Pre-View more Condominium Homes For Sale in Caledonia, MI

Nearby Schools – Avalon Pointe Community – Caledonia MI

  1. Explorer Elementary School
  2. Rainbow Child Care Center
  3. East Kentwood High School
  4. Dutton Christian Middle School
  5. Pinewood Middle School
  6. Cross Creek Charter Academy
  7. Kentwood Public Schools: East Kentwood Freshman Campus
  8. Horizons DRC

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*THIS HOME HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN FROM THE MARKET 8/12

For additional information on Multi-Generational Living, read this Blog Post.

Located on 3 acres of an idyllically scenic setting, this spacious home was designed with Multi-Generational living in mind. For many people, this style of home offers several advantages including:  Affordable Living,  Privacy, Plenty of Space to Roam and Play plus the Flexibility to grow and contract as your needs dictate.

With more college students returning home for a stint and an increase in home rentals, this home has a lot of potential benefit.  The walk-out downstairs area is plumbed, studded and framed out for 2-3 additional bedrooms, a Living Room, laundry area and kitchen. The main level features an open style gathering room with a large counter-top and range cooker. An additional bar-top provides even more seating in this ample space.

Two stairways on all levels ensure that there will never be a traffic jam as members of the household engage one another. There are 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths on the main level plus a large loft area which is currently used as office space but could easily be converted into an additional bedroom and bath upstairs.

Other features to note include: zoned heating (4 zones) central vacuum, 2 laundry areas, radiant heat around bath, heated flooring in downstairs, water softener, drinking water filtration system, a fire-pit and expanded deck.  The home abuts Luton Park, a popular nature preserve.

The area attracts a generous assortment of wildlife including deer and butterflies. Lots of options here…see them for yourself! Call us at 616-881-6889 for an appointment.  Click on the picture for an interior pre-view tour.

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There are so many stunning scenic areas in Michigan.  Summer is definitely a great time to take a road trip.  This picture by the water was taken in Petoskey, MI.  It is said that in West Michigan, you are never more than six miles from a body of water.

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