Real Estate Blog | Page #3

Hey, I'm Steve Volkers with Steve Volkers Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A small local brokerage. And we are going to start just talking monthly about market data. So I use a lot of market data when I'm talking at listing appointments, buyer appointments, and just within our brokerage with our agents.

Kevin, our marketing guru is starting to throw together this, uh, real estate market data package. You can get all the data online and Kevin will probably throw up a link. But what we're going to do is just drop this once. With the newest data. And then I'm just going to do my overview of what I think is happening within the market.

Right. So I want to, just to dive right in today on some of these graphs that I find interesting and give you…

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I like to think there are three categories of items when it comes to looking at houses: Love It, Leave It and Need It. Sometimes people think they already know what items fall into which category, other times we learn as we go and the lists get narrowed down over the more houses we see. While a lot of things can be changed in houses like cosmetic things such as paint, flooring, or even the number of bedrooms, other items are not as easy to change or not even possible such as lot size, school district, or type of utilities available. 

In a competitive market, like we are in, it can be very difficult to find a house that a buyer loves everything about. I would love to show my buyers a house that checks every single important box they have and is…

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The super-simple (and fun) way to separate needs from nice-to-haves.

When you embark on the home-buying process, your heart is filled with all the dreams in the world. It’s really easy to get caught up in the “I have to have ___________,  so I’ll cut back somewhere else” game, even when you don’t actually know where that somewhere else is or if you can realistically cut back there.

This post will show you how to pare down the excess and make sure to get the things you really NEED.


Make a List of Wants

Start by making a list of everything you want in your house. If you love it, jot it down. Have your spouse or partner do the same thing in a separate document.

Once you and your partner have everything down, start sorting your wants…

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It’s a new year which means many people are setting goals, and maybe one of those goals is to buy your first house or move into a new one. For many first-time buyers, there are plenty of rumors or myths that you might hear from those in your circle of friends, family, or coworkers. It seems everyone has a couple of house shopping stories they are willing to share, either a fairytale version of the one where they got super lucky fell in love with the first house they saw and the offer was accepted and they moved in without an issue, or the absolute nightmare of a story where anything and everything went wrong from lending issues, inspection scares, and paying for a house they couldn’t afford. I’ve outlined four common myths that might scare you enough…

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In today’s real estate climate, it can be difficult to know how much your home is worth and what to base those numbers on. This is where our Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) comes in. Simply put, a CMA is a tool real estate professionals use to determine the value of your home based on the other homes that have sold in your area. 

Although you may be aware of some factors that influence the price of your home, there’s really no substitute for having a professional prepare a CMA. You can be confident your Steve Volkers Group agent will give you the most accurate estimate of a home's value in the current market. 

A CMA can give you a competitive advantage when it comes to selling your home, making critical decisions, and closing quickly.

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While the spring and summer continue to be popular home-buying seasons, there’s no reason you can’t purchase a home during the winter months! Winter isn’t quite as unpopular in the real estate world as you’d think— Ramsey Solutions reports, over a million homes were sold in the U.S. last winter. That being said, there are some major advantages of purchasing in the winter that you won’t find in the spring or summer.

The Market Looks Different

In the winter, there’s significantly less competition and typically lower prices. Less competition means you’re less likely to enter a bidding war with other interested parties. If you’re willing to brave the Michigan winter, chances are other people won’t be (and won’t be showing up to tour your prospective…

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Before the mercury settles in the bottom of the thermometer for the next three months, it’s a good idea for homeowners to winterize their homes against the freezing temperatures so that their greatest investment will survive intact for springtime.

Get your home ready for winter - checklist


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Whether you’re getting ready to sell or you have the itch to get organized before the snow flies, a clean garage is truly a game changer.

Garages are an often overlooked or misused space— and yours likely has tons of storage potential just waiting to be utilized. Once you have a plan, organizing your garage isn’t as daunting as it may seem! So grab a notepad, make a list for the hardware store, and let’s get to work.

It may go without saying, but your first step should be to sort through what you want to keep, donate, or toss. Once you have your “keep” pile, that’s where the real organizing begins. NOTE: If you have a lot you’d like to get rid of, we recommend researching your area’s second-hand stores or donation centers before throwing things…

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We’ve welcomed cooler temps, pumpkins are for sale at Meijer, and football season is in full swing— it’s officially fall in Michigan. After fall comes winter, which means you have a few things you need to take care of before the snow arrives (we won’t think about that too much). Taking care of your home now will set you up for success as the seasons— and elements— change over these coming months.

  1. Clean Your Gutters

    This is crucial to complete before winter weather rolls around. Clogged gutters can potentially lead to interior flooding and exterior damage (neither of which are fun, especially in dwindling temperatures). If your gutters are in need of replacing, fall is a great time to do that as well.

  2. Rake Your Leaves

    You either…

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REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. When you're buying a home, here's what an agent who's a REALTOR® can do for you.

  1. Act as an expert guide. Buying a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. A knowledgeable real estate agent will know what's required in your market, helping you avoid delays and costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
  2. Offer objective information and opinions. A great real estate agent will guide you through the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives…

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