Visit Downtown Grand Rapids During ArtPrize Eight

September 27th, 2016 by Katie K Team

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The Katie K team is excited to celebrate another year of ArtPrize and share one of the fabulous entries we’ve seen downtown in Grand Rapids, MI! ArtPrize Eight is well underway, and there’s still plenty of time to walk around the city and check out all of the different pieces and installations. Above, you can see just one section of the 288-inch wide painting ‘Four Play’ by artist Charles Yoder. The painting shows the transition of the four seasons in a woodland setting during four different times of day. This piece and more can be seen at the DeVos Convention Center in downtown Grand Rapids, and makes an excellent starting point for your tour of the city.

ArtPrize is an independently organized, international art competition decided by public vote and an expert jury. Open by design, the contest features 1,453 artist entries from 44 countries and 40 U.S. states all across the downtown area of Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize runs from September 21st through October 9th, 2016. You can read more about ArtPrize Eight by visiting ArtPrize.org

Below, you can hear Katie talk about how great ArtPrize is both for residents of Grand Rapids and for visitors who may be thinking to re-locate here. Check out the audio clip via the player below:

 


3 Favorite Festivals in Grand Rapids and West Michigan

May 27th, 2016 by Katie K Team

Good times make Grand Rapids great. If you’re looking for fun and family-friendly events to entertain visitors this summer or just to get out and about, here are a few of Katie’s favorite festivals.

festivalGR_2016Attend the Festival of the Arts

June 3rd, 4th, & 5th, 2016

Make your way down to Calder Plaza on the first weekend of June for the 47th annual Festival of the Arts! Every year, Festival presents the best performers in West Michigan on six stages, both inside and out. Thanks to their generous sponsors, live music, dance, theatre arts, and more are all presented free of charge. Peruse the artwork for sale in Calder Plaza, find dozens of food booths operated by local nonprofit organizations, and maybe make a masterpiece of your own with provided art supplies. Also featured is the Festival Regional Art Exhibition, a juried show featuring the works of West Michigan’s finest artists. For more information on the Festival of the Arts, visit FestivalGR.org.


cherryNational Cherry Festival in Traverse City

July 2nd through 9th, 2016

Visit scenic Traverse City this summer and partake in their annual Cherry Festival! Every year, the city is host to a massive celebration of farmers, laborers, neighbors and anyone that comes together because of cherries and their important role in the local economy.

The National Cherry Festival has over 150 events and activities and 85% are free for all! Come and see the U.S. Navy Blue Angels air show, parades, concerts, the arts & crafts show, and more! Kids can enjoy events like pie-eating contests, turtle races and more! Visit CherryFestival.org for more information.


coast-guardCoast Guard Festival in Grand Haven

July 29th through August 7th, 2016

Experience this massive celebration of the men and women serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during their annual festival in downtown Grand Haven! Attendees can enjoy parades, food, ship tours, a car show, fireworks, a carnival, and more.

Bring the kids down for a great time on August 2nd for kids’s day, where there will be games, displays, storytelling, face painting, arts and crafts, and other fun activities for the whole family. Senior day is on August 3rd, where there will be a pickleball tournament, free lunch, bingo, live music, and informational seminars.

For the complete schedule of events and more information on the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, visit CoastGuradFest.org!


Brokers & Qualified Buyers: Please Join Me For an Open House Today at Fisk Lake!

May 25th, 2016 by Katie K Team

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Brokers and Qualified Buyers are invited to join us for an Open House on May 25th from 2 to 4 p.m. This gorgeous custom home is on one of Fisk Lake’s most desirable 1.38 acre lots with southeastern exposure & water views. The walk-out brick ranch has an inviting front entry, circular drive, 6400 sq.ft. & spacious 3-stall attached garage. Exquisite finishes throughout include polished hardwood flooring, custom wood detail & built-ins.

A newly finished kitchen features everything a culinary artist would need. Formal living room centered on a wood-burning fireplace, formal dining room, & intimate library den complete the living space on the main floor. The lavish master bedroom/bathroom suite recently updated also includes built-in drawers, closets & safe. His & her bathrooms have both been updated. Oversized windows offer breathtaking views of the lake and the morning sunrise.

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Two additional bedrooms are located on this floor. 2 spacious family rooms, computer rooms, & 2 bedrooms complete the finished lower level. A perfect floor plan equally suited to entertaining family and friends. A whole house back-up generator will protect you during weather-related conditions. A private dock, new retaining wall and magnificent landscaping will make you feel like you are in Northern Michigan. All within walking distance to the energy of Gas Light Village. And minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. Once in a lifetime does a home of this stature come along.

Please join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Fisk Lake!

2022 Robinson Road
2 – 4 p.m. Wed. May 25
1.3 Acres on Fisk Lake * 6,522 SF * 5 BR * 4 Full, 2 Half Bath $1,595,000


Get Your Tickets: Spring and Summer Serenades

April 12th, 2016 by Katie K Team

Grand Rapids has one of the most diverse collections of music and performance venues in the Midwest. Below, you can check out three of Katie’s favorite places to attend concerts in the spring and summer!

st-ceciliaSt. Cecilia Music Center

Royce Auditorium was first constructed in 1894 and has been called “the Carnegie Hall of the Mid-West.” Designed by famed Chicago Architect Henry Ives Cobb, the Auditorium is known for its intimacy with seating for less than 700, and the incredible acoustics.

St. Cecilia continues their Acoustic Café Series on April 14th with guitarist Leo Kottke, and ends May 5th with a performance by Alejandro Escovedo. Stop by their box office in downtown Grand Rapids for more info on upcoming performances this summer. Enjoy music from genres such as Chamber, Jazz, Folk, and more! For more information on upcoming shows, events, and to order tickets online, visit SCMC-Online.org.


fredrick-meijer-gardensFifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens:

June 1 – September 1, 2016

Spend a summer evening in the beautiful terraced amphitheater of the Fredrick Meijer Gardens, and enjoy intimate performances from groups like The Monkees, Of Monsters and Men, The Decemberists, Ben Harper, and more. This venue offers lawn seating and food, beverage and merchandise concessions, all surrounded by spectacular views of gardens and sculpture.

The series runs from June to September, and the full lineup is not yet announced. Meijer Garden Member Presale will begin on Saturday, April 30th and close Friday, May 13th. Sales will resume for members and the public on May 14th.

The annual Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens continues to bring the finest national and international musicians to West Michigan, thrilling music lovers across all genres and all generations. To see the full schedule of upcoming performances announced to-date, and for box office info, visit MeijerGardens.org.


DPH_InteriorDeVos Performance Hall

DeVos Performance Hall is a performing arts theater located in the heart of Grand Rapids and is home to The Grand Rapids Symphony, The Grand Rapids Ballet Company, Broadway Grand Rapids and Opera Grand Rapids.

Starting in May, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera will come to DeVos Performance Hall as part of a brand-new North American Tour. This production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier, and will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions now on tour. Performances will take place between May 18th through May 29th. For more information on upcoming shows and for ticket info, visit DeVosPerformanceHall.com.


Spirited Spring Things to do in Grand Rapids, MI

March 31st, 2016 by Katie K Team

The time to hibernate is over: it’s time to celebrate spring in our Grand city! If you’re looking for something different, here are three fun things you can do to “get out there” this spring!

market250Visit the Downtown Market

Fresh, Natural Produce, Informative Classes, and More!

The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids is a mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local produce. The expansive indoor facility features a 24-vendor market hall, and dozens of farmers and artisans line the outdoor farmer’s market shed.

There are many fun and exciting classes and events to attend at the market too, to see what’s happening next, Click Here to see their event calendar! Learn more about healthy cooking, urban farming, and more!


photo_mangiamoAttend a Wine Education Night at Mangiamo!

Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Want to learn more about wine? Attend a Wine Education Night at Mangiamo! This unique restaurant is housed in a beloved 19th-century mansion just east of downtown Grand Rapids. The Gilmore Collection has transformed the historic mansion into one of West Michigan’s best spots for fantastic Italian-inspired dining.

During the class, you can taste wines from all over the world and enjoy the beautiful setting. For more information, Click Here.


beeertours250Explore Beer City, USA

ExperienceGR’s Self-Guided Brewery Tour

Grand Rapids has certainly made some waves in the national and international beer scene. Voted 2012 Beer City USA and again in 2013, Grand Rapids is home to Founders Brewing Co., the 3rd best brewery in the world, and HopCat, voted both the #1 brewpub in the US and the 3rd best beer bar on Earth. ExperienceGR.com has a great self-guided tour on their website called the Beer City Ale Trail, with a printable map and over 40 breweries to check out all over downtown Grand Rapids and West Michigan. You can download and print out the map here.

For an organized, fee-based tour, check out Grand Rapids Beer Tours to see upcoming events.

We’d like to remind everyone to be safe and enjoy beer responsibly!

 


Grand Rapids Real Estate Market: If You Want To Sell, The Time is NOW!

March 17th, 2016 by Katie K Team

RMarch came in like a lion in Grand Rapids this year weather-wise, but even the recent warm-up hasn’t fueled the volume of inventory in the spring real estate market. That’s a fact the Katie-K real estate team can put in your favor if you’re even remotely considering selling your home.

“The supply and demand ratios are anything but parallel. It is most definitely a seller’s market.  Anyone thinking about moving in the next two to three years should be listing right now if they want to capture top dollar,” said Realtor Katie Karczewski, principal of Keller Williams’ Katie-K Team.

Katie and her team have seen several homes sell like hotcakes, with multiple offers and selling prices above list. While it makes it challenging for home-buyers in Grand Rapids, the hot market earned the city the designation of a 2016 “Market to Watch.” Katie’s team can help buyers be ready for fast response in the tight market, and can help sellers get top dollar. It’s an especially lucrative time to downsize.

Higher-end homes in East Grand Rapids, Ada and other upmarket Greater Grand Rapids areas have enjoyed very strong gains over the last year, Katie said. Between February 2015 and February 2016, the sold properties $500,000 and above are up 28%.  The pending properties for the same month are up 8.3% year-over-year.  The active properties in those parameters are 4.91% of the market.

“Interest rates remain at a historical low.  With an election year coming up we don’t know what will happen with rates,” Katie said, explaining the continued high demand and one of the reason’s she feels the 2016 market is optimal.

Last year, Grand Rapids Metro was a consistent outperformer with the latest growth rate of 3.8 percent, according to the NAR. The growth rate reflects the city’s burgeoning reputation as a great place to live, work, and visit. Grand Rapids’ latest fete was its inclusion as #20 on the New York Times’ “52 Places to Visit in 2016” list.

Grand Rapids Real Estate Stats from GRAR

For year-to-date new listings, residential has seen only marginal growth over 2015 with a 0.2% increase. As of March 10th, 2016, there are 1,668 residential listings.

So far this year, residential closed sales are up 18% (1,368), and sales volume — which is based on selling price — has risen by 28.5% ($236,598,996.)

Nationwide Optimism About Housing Market

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) over three-quarters of surveyed households would purchase a single-family home if they were to buy in the next six months, and 79 percent of renters would choose to buy outside of an urban area, according to the second installment of the National Association of Realtors® new quarterly consumer survey released March 15.

In NAR’s first quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, respondents were asked about their confidence in the U.S. economy and various questions about their housing expectations and preferences, including a question on if they were to purchase a house in the next six months, what type of home and in what area would they choose to buy.

The survey data reveals an overwhelming consumer preference for single-family homes in suburban areas. Most current homeowners (85 percent) and 75 percent of renters said they would purchase a single-family home, while only 15 percent of homeowners and 21 percent of renters said that would buy in an urban area.

If Grand Rapids reflects national consumer trends, that’s great news for suburban sellers.

If you’d like a Free Market Assessment from the Katie-K Team, Contact Us by email or call 616.575.0119.

 

 

 


Grand Rapids Real Estate Market Tops Trulia Hot List for 2016

December 15th, 2015 by Katie K Team

Grand Rapids, MI skyline of downtownThe Katie-K Team has long known that Grand Rapids, MI has it all, from a vibrant city center to pastoral havens a stone’s throw from downtown. Recently, the combination of urban chic and bucolic beauty has turned heads at Trulia, which named Grand Rapids the #1 Hot Real Estate Market to Watch in 2016.

“The word’s out. Grand Rapids is the place to be for quality of life, affordability, and first-rate community amenities,” said Katie-K, a top Grand Rapids Realtor with a growing team who serves East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills, Cascade, Ada and other Grand Rapids Metro communities. Most recently, Megan Lynch has joined the team as a buyers agent to help serve clientele in the rapid-fire quest of purchasing a dream home in a hot market.

Why does the river city top the list for 2016? Well, according to Trulia, Grand Rapids hits the sweet spot in terms of affordability and job growth; it ranks as the 14th-most affordable in the U.S. and 22nd-strongest in job growth over the past year.

Those numbers are reflected in the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors (GRAR) activity report, where year-to-date sales are up 13% in terms of housing units and 21% in terms of sales volume. Average home values are up more than 8% at $178,460.

“We’re going to finish strong in 2015. Serious sellers and savvy shoppers will not let the holidays slow them down,” Katie predicted.

For home sellers, listing during the holidays and winter months gives them a chance to stand out in the market place, when typically the volume of homes for sale is down. Buyers can benefit from motivated sellers and fewer competitors than in the madcap spring markets of recent years.

In the article, author Ginny Gaylor cites the Fulton Street market, a walkable downtown, a vibrant arts scene, and a rich food and craft brew culture as reasons why Grand Rapids tops the list.

Ten Hot Real Estate Markets To Watch for 2016:

1. Grand Rapids, MI
2. Charleston, SC
3. Austin, TX
4. Baton Rouge, LA
5. San Antonio, TX
6. Colorado Springs, CO
7. Columbia, SC
8. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
9. Las Vegas, NV
10. Tacoma, WA

If you’re looking to sell your home in Grand Rapids, or are looking for homes for sale in Grand Rapids, put the power of the Katie-K Team in your court. Call 616-575-0119 or Contact Us for a FREE home evaluation or help searching for a perfect fit.


Katie-K Team Sponsors Hearts of Gold – Save the Date Oct. 23rd!

October 9th, 2015 by Katie K Team

EastHGCompEast Grand Rapids’ Leading Realtor Team Helps Hearts of Gold Fund Ele’s Place

Katie-K and her team of East Grand Rapids Real Estate mavens are suiting up in gold for a great cause. While they won’t be playing the field October 23rd when the East Grand Rapids Pioneers line up against Forest Hills Central, the fab four will be sporting special jerseys for the Hearts of Gold benefit football game. This year, the fundraising initiative supports grieving children and teens in an outreach program called Ele’s Place.

“I love football, but the closest I’m getting to a scrimmage is to wear the fundraising jersey and cheer the Pioneers from the sidelines,” said Katie-K, who often spends home games in the announcer’s booth. “This game is extra special, and I hope to see every fan in the stands sporting Hearts of Gold gear,” she said. “It’s my kind of haute couture — the helping kind!”

Since its inception in 2009 to remember child cancer victim Reid VanGelderen, the Hearts of Gold events have become a community-wide effort to raise funds and awareness for childhood illnesses both physical and mental.  This effort has helped teach many EGR students the importance of philanthropy in the community.  The Hearts of Gold events have been supported by all EGR elementary, middle and high school students as well as a variety of athletic teams, clubs and special interest groups.

As a specialty underwriter of the 2015 campaign, Katie and her team are urging friends, neighbors and clients to get their orders in for the fundraising Jerseys, T-shirts and Socks. Orders are accepted at all EGR schools beginning Monday, Oct. 12th. Call Amy Stuursma at (616) 901-6841 to secure a jersey and the jersey number. More information on ordering is available at the Hearts of Gold website.
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“I’m delighted to be a part of this community event,” said Katie. “Ele’s Place is a vital resource for grieving children and teens, where they can learn how to cope and begin to heal after the death of a parent, sibling, or other loved ones. Our community needs to support this type of resource for our young,” Katie said.
Ele’s Place offers weekly peer support group programs for children aged 3-18 in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Flint and Lansing. Before coming to Ele’s Place, many grieving children feel alone and keep their feelin1810851297gs inside, not wanting to burden their parents or other family members. Often, friends don’t seem to understand if they haven’t had a similar experience. But each week at Ele’s Place, hundreds of grieving children and teens find a warm and welcoming place to meet new friends who really understand how they feel, while they begin to heal after the death of a loved one.  To learn more about Ele’s Place and how you can help, please visit: http://www.elesplace.org/

To connect with Hearts of Gold on Facebook, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/147829244720/

 

 

 

 


Katie-K’s Track Record Selling Homes in Grand Rapids, MI

August 31st, 2015 by Katie K Team

The average agent sells 12 homes per year.
Katie-K sold 56 homes in 2014.
Imagine what she can do for you!

Katie-K has been among the top real estate agents in the Grand Rapids, MI real estate market for more than a decade. With $21.679 M in sales volume last year and a track record of getting 98% of asking price with an average of 36 days on market, why turn anywhere else for your real estate needs?

Katie and her team can help with all your real estate needs in East Grand Rapids and across West Michigan. With over 25 years of experience both living and working in East Grand Rapids Katie understands the needs of her clients as well as the unique things that East has to offer. From the great schools in East Grand Rapids, to the night life, lakes and more, if you have any questions Katie can help.

Working with a team is crucial to being able to have enough time to serve clients in an appropriate manner. Katie’s real estate team works together and communicates openly to ensure a smooth process from start to finish. From great buyer’s agents, to administrative staff, lenders, title companies, and more Katie has assembled a team off professionals that is able to guide clients together through the home buying process.

For mortgage help or pre-approval in East Grand Rapids please call Kevin Polakovich with Treadstone Funding 616-774-9160 x 223. Visit Treadstone online http://www.treadstonemortgage.com/pur…

Katie currently has many homes for sale in East Grand Rapids and can schedule a showing for you if needed. Similarly if you are interested in selling your home in East Grand Rapids Katie is the person to call.


Grand Rapids Real Estate Update – Economic Recovery Propelling Housing Market

October 15th, 2014 by Katie K Team

A lovely centerpiece of chrysanthemumsThe weather might be cooling, but in Katie-K’s neck of the woods, the market remains “hot hot hot.” Don’t think for a moment that fall isn’t a great time to list your home for sale in Grand Rapids — especially East Grand Rapids, where living where you play is a way of life. The Greater Grand Rapids area listing inventory remains tight at just over 3-months. In a “balanced market,” inventory ranges from 5 -7 months. So if you’re thinking about listing your home, don’t wait for spring.

“Rates are historically low and there are so many programs available, the demand is phenomenal,” Katie said.

One new trend in West Michigan is the rise of the Millenials, who are increasingly returning to urban centers and purchasing their first homes. For years, first-time homebuyers have been largely absent from the housing market in the current economic recovery, but according to the National Association of Realtors, West Michigan is well positioned to see increases in home-buying from the Millennial generation in upcoming years.

NAR analyzed current housing conditions, job creation and population trends in metropolitan statistical areas across the U.S. to determine the best markets for aspiring, leading edge Millennial homebuyers. Grand Rapids was 5th on the list.

That’s not the only area in which Grand Rapids is making national news. Check out the recent Forbes article on the cities benefiting the most from economic recovery. Grand Rapids makes fifth on the list.

In his story, Forbes author Joel Kotkin writes of the “Rust Belt Revival”:

“The booms in tech and energy are well-known. But the most surprising wrinkle in our survey of per capita GDP growth is the revival of auto manufacturing, which benefits both from technological improvements and lower energy costs. Among the larger metro areas, the key winners have been Grand Rapids-Wyoming (fifth, 7.8%) and Detroit (tied for ninth, 7.2%), as well as the surprising 15th place ranking for Cleveland-Elyria.”

Read more at Forbes.

And if you’re thinking about listing your home for sale, contact the Katie-K team for a free market evaluation.


 

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