Download the July Data PDF

Video Transcript (auto generated)

 Hey, I'm Steve Volkers and this is our monthly real estate market data update. It is July. We are talking about June data and beyond. July is just, we're just starting in July, right? Well, it's the 11th already. Holy cow. The month is going by fast. So, market monthly data. Obviously, we throw these up, you can see them on our website or YouTube. If you'd like to. And also, I think we throw it on our socials for sure. But, each month Kevin and I sort of ring through this. Kevin takes the data from the, association, plays with it, puts it in the fancy book, so it creates all these graphs for us, which is awesome. And we get to see trends and stuff. And so today I really want to talk…

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Rent v. Buy

Renting vs. Buying a Home: Making an Informed Decision

When it comes to finding a place to call home, one of the most critical decisions you'll face is whether to rent or buy. Both options have their advantages and considerations, and as REALTORS®, it's our job to help our clients through this decision-making process. In this blog post, we'll delve into the pros and cons of renting and buying a home, helping potential homeowners understand the factors that should influence your choice.

The Advantages of Renting:

  1. Flexibility and Mobility: One of the significant advantages of renting is the flexibility it offers. Renting allows individuals to move more freely, whether for career opportunities or personal reasons. Lease agreements are…

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I’ve lived in Grand Rapids my whole life. It has been very interesting to live in a place it experiences growth and get to benefit from all of the exciting new things that come with a growing city. One of the major things that has changed over the years is the food and dining options available. In recent years, it has felt like new restaurants and food joints are popping up all over the place. This is wonderful because it gives folks lots of choices, but if you’re new to the city, scrolling through Yelp can get old in the quest for finding the best food in town. I have tried many of the restaurants in Grand Rapids, and I wanted to share what my favorite places are to have a sit-down dining experience.


MDRD is one of the more expensive…

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Deciding you are ready to purchase a home can be an exciting and overwhelming time. Although homeownership is one of the cornerstones of the “American Dream”, not much information about the process is made available, often leaving folks overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. I know from personal experience, when I was looking for rental properties, I often used online platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and I feel as though this is why many people take to these online platforms as their first step when deciding they're ready to purchase a home. However, renting and buying are two very different things with varying levels of financial investment and commitment. 

I like to think of real estate in dating analogies. Renting a home is kind of…

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What comes to mind when you think of the real estate industry? Is it reality shows like Selling Sunset? Shows like House Hunters where all they do is see three houses and magically always get their first pick? The annoying person you’re friends with on Facebook who won’t stop posting about the “grind” and “building an empire”? 

Before I knew much about the real estate industry, all these things came to mind. All these misconceptions made me certain I would never want to be a real estate agent. I never considered myself someone who would be good at a sales job. I’ve never had a clear idea of what I wanted to do for a career, but I have always known I wanted to help people and be in service of others. Being a real estate agent didn’t seem like…

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A few weeks ago, my grumpy old cat Gus got out of the backyard and went on a near weeklong adventure. For some people this might not be a big concern but for me it meant every day and night we were on the hunt for Gus considering he’s 16 years old, very small, declawed in the front and deaf. While it may not seem like a cat going missing in a neighborhood has a lot to do with real estate there were quite a few correlations came to mind over the week. 

First, I made the mistake at first of relying on technology with things like his microchip, Facebook posts and nextdoor neighborhood groups. I suppose this might be something that for sale by owners might think as well, such as relying on Zillow and social media to get the word out about their houses.…

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Download the May Data PDF

Video Transcript (auto generated)

 Hey, I'm Steve Volkers, and this is the Steve Volkers report of the Grand Rapids Real Estate Market Data using this fancy booklet that Big Kev puts together for us each month. This is gonna be talking about the month of April. I don't even know how to say that, Kev. It can't be. It can't be May, but it is, and the sun's out today and it's 70, so we're loving it.

So this month's data, there's gonna be a couple of themes that I'm gonna, that I'm gonna talk about. Ultimately, it is all over the place in my mind, just based on offers and what I'm doing with clients, but then also trying to figure out what the data tells us. So, My word of the week is fickle.

I should probably…

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It may sound strange but sometimes I find that working backwards actually sets us up best for success. When I used to compete with my horse in dressage competitions, I learned exactly how to work backwards. In dressage the show office gives you a precise time of when you are expected to ride, such as 9:23 am. That means you need to be ready and in front of the ring at 9:21 or 9:22 and checked in with the warmup volunteer person that is coordinating the riders entering and exiting the ring. For every ride it is necessary to figure out exactly how long it takes you to do things before the actual ride time. For example, if I ride at 9:23 am, I need a 20-minute riding warm up plus 5 minutes to brush him off and wipe my boots before going in the ring. The…

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This is a scenario I think we as realtors see often: You stay in an Airbnb in another city and think how easy it must be for those owners and want to try it. So, you scroll through Zillow and see a downtown condo that is cool and updated and surprisingly not as expensive as you thought. Next you run the numbers (Purchase price of $425,000 with 30% down plus taxes, insurance and HOA Fees) and the monthly payment is only $3,400. You’d only need to rent out this place for 12 nights at $300 each to cover that, it has to be that easy. Finally, you reach out to your realtor friend to book a showing and this is where the bad news starts to come rolling in. 

First dose of bad news, condos have homeowner’s associations, which means they have additional…

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This year I am honored to on the young professional network (YPN) committee within my local association of realtors (GRAR). There are approximately 3,000 agents in our association which covers most of West Michigan and the greater Grand Rapids area. I had to sort of laugh, because I thought my days of being on the young or junior committees and board were winding down, but not for real estate! 

Here is part of the assignment for why a YPN committee like this matters in real estate: “Young professionals are the future of the real estate business. But in a field where the average age is 54, younger real estate practitioners often strive for a way to connect with each other and to tap into valuable resources that will help them succeed in their…

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