Real Estate Blog - Ariel Christy's Blog

Now that we are in November and inching closer to Christmas, the season of giving is in full swing. As a person who has gifts at the top of my love language, I couldn’t be happier about this time of year. There’s nothing I love more than shopping and picking out the perfect presents for the people I care about most. As a realtor however the concept of gift giving can get a little complicated. 

One of the many changes following the crash from 2008 is the tightening and attention given to RESPA. RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and isn’t new. In fact, it was signed into law in late 1974 and provides consumers with proper disclosures regarding settlement costs for closings and the transparency and elimination of referral fees and…

13 Views, 0 Comments

There's a lot of talk about people staying in their homes and no one wanting to sell because rates have gone up. No matter what some situations always prompt people to at least consider selling, and those are the way to a listing agent's heart. I'm going to uncover a little bit more about each of those reasons why these people typically decide to move and sell a home regardless of what interest rates are. And they all happen to start with the letter D.

The first D is diamonds, typically implying an engagement or marriage. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) in 2021 single females made up 18% of home buyers and single males made up 9% of home buyers, which combines for 27% of all home buyers. 

I think many of us that have been…

38 Views, 0 Comments

The Importance of Honesty in the Homebuying Process

There’s that cliché line of “honesty is always the best policy,” and to me it couldn’t ring truer when it comes to the early stages of the home buying process, and most importantly the pre-approval process. It is critical to be honest with the loan officer in those early conversations about debts, wages, and relationships, because once we get under contract, I can almost guarantee they will find out one way or another. 

I think many of us wish we made more money, myself included, but there is nothing to be ashamed of when being honest about how much you can afford. By being honest about this up front it allows us to see exactly where we should go up or down in budget, and how things like…

74 Views, 0 Comments

There’s a running joke amongst some real estate agents that many of us left the feeling of a comfortable salary and being told what to do by a boss, being chained to a desk or phone for 40 hours per week, only to become a real estate agent and work 24/7. Sure there are perks like building your own business, having no income caps, and enjoying flexible working hours but that comes with clients calling and texting you at all hours, other agents that you need information from that may not respond or be nice, 100 % commission only, all the license and access fees and of course getting paid last after all the hard work.

Television makes this job look so easy and glamorous. In reality, it is not. Some days I feel less like a realtor and more like a truck…

152 Views, 0 Comments

I find that it's easy for buyers to criticize homes that they view because they want the best. Homes are expensive, it’s a big decision and they want the most they can afford with the highest quality materials, design, and no imperfections. Who wouldn’t want that, but in reality, very few homes will be perfect from the moment we walk into a showing for the next buyer. If you’re looking for perfection and nothing to change, my suggestion is to research new construction and we can go that route. A home that isn’t new construction will rarely be perfect and that’s because a home is more than just materials. 

I like to think that people putting their home on the market truly try their best in getting it prepared to appeal to the most people and put…

461 Views, 0 Comments

Submitting an offer in a competitive market where you know there are multiple offers feels a bit like sending a racehorse to the starting gate and hoping for the best. Given that it is May and the Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May followed by the Preakness just a couple of weeks later, I can’t help but notice the similar feelings and emotions. For the Kentucky Derby 20 three-year-old racehorses are loaded into a starting gate after years of careful planning and strategizing, only to let loose to run hopefully what will be their best race for what is known as the greatest two minutes in sports. 

Anyone that knows horseracing, knows the favorite horse doesn’t always win the race. There are many factors at play in these races:…

224 Views, 0 Comments

Here is the blog post I never wanted to write. I would like to keep this blog only to pure real estate things related to Grand Rapids and the West Michigan area, but sometimes big topics can’t be ignored, even on a platform like this. I have no intention of getting political and I don’t have answers or solutions to these problems, but they are problems happening here, big serious problems. Big city problems some people might say. 

Many people are quick to share all the good news about how great the city and metropolitan area grows and accolades it receives in the news. For example, In February 2022 a study from Rocket Homes listed Grand Rapids as the number one city to raise a family in the country after reviewing the largest 150 metropolitan…

376 Views, 0 Comments

Buying a house right now is not easy, there is no way to sugar coat that, but with a little bit of luck and a lot of math now is still a great time for many buyers to purchase. While many people will say sellers have the advantage in the market today, buyers today have a clear advantage over buyers who wait. 

First let’s talk about the math. I will use the interest rates from MSHDA (MI State Housing Development Authority) as their rates do not fluctuate daily for a conventional down payment assistance loan. As of March 24, 2022, the fixed rate for this loan was 4.625%. According to the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors (GRAR), the average sale price of a home in the city of Grand Rapids was $245,188.00 in February 2022. For round numbers we’ll…

228 Views, 0 Comments

 

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…

185 Views, 0 Comments

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…

340 Views, 0 Comments