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.
“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.

Partners: Treadstone Mortgage Celebrated Real Estate in Grand Rapids with Artprize Exhibit

October 15th, 2014 by Katie K Team
Holly Degan, Kari Radermacher, Matt Muscat and Megan Howard of Treadstone Funding teamed up to create a community tribute to Grand Rapids Real Estate.

Holly Degan, Kari Radermacher, Matt Muscat and Megan Howard of Treadstone Funding teamed up to create a community tribute to Grand Rapids Real Estate this year.

The Katie-K team relies on it’s closest partners in the Grand Rapids real estate industry to ensure smooth, timely transactions for home buyers and sellers. One outstanding partner, Treadstone Funding, created a beautiful Art Prize collage featuring its clients, partner agents, and homes they’ve financed through the greater Grand Rapids area. Kudos to Team Treadstone for one of my personal favorites of Art Prize this year!

Nothing says “local lender” like a 16-foot mural featuring Grand Rapidians who’ve purchased homes with the help of Treadstone Funding. In its quest to think outside the bank, Treadstone’s marketing crew teamed up with local real estate agents and client purchasers this year to create a mosaic of more than 500 submitted images for Art Prize. The feat involved nine months of planning, untold hours of platform time, and the mad photoshopping skills of Holly Degan, Treadstone’s graphics guru.

“I love photography and I love people,” Degan said. “It was fun to see what people would send, and then to make it all work together.”

Degan decided the collage needed a motif that readily identified Grand Rapids, and chose an overlay of the Calder to achieve the effect.

For marketing director Matt Muscat, the exhibit is part of Treadstone’s growing presence in Art Prize and in the community. The company established a marketing department three years prior to assist with internal projects, but also to help local agents build their respective businesses. Since the inception of the marketing department, Treadstone has hosted guest artists. For 2014, the team thought it would be fun to involve its client community and put its artistic prowess to work.

“It’s amazing how excited everyone has been about it. It was great to see our clients engage with the project and interact,” Muscat said.

In addition to the exhibit, Treadstone hosted an ever-expanding Art Prize party for hundreds of its closest associates. Branding manager Megan Howard brings her event planning savvy to service each year to create an Art Prize party piece de resistance. Her first year was a three-week trial-by-fire, but the former events manager and private concierge was undaunted. The networking success and popularity of the event inspired the company to continue to outdo itself.

“It turned into this amazing thing. Real estate agents are used to working together via emails and phone calls and this gives them a chance to network in person.”

The Art Prize party has evolved into one of the festival’s larger celebrations, featuring ice carvers, local brewers, fan favorite BBQ-meister Matt Smith from Pitstop Catering, and a musical lineup that included Chicago’s Bluewater Kings.

For Howard, it’s all in a day’s work. “Art Prize is great for Grand Rapids. We’re invested this community, and our business continues to grow. We celebrated Art Prize to thank our partners and clients and to support a great community event.”

About Treadstone Funding

Treadstone Funding has special teams trained and experienced in every major loan program including FHA mortgages, 203k renovation loans, Zero down mortgage options, Rural Development home financing, veteran home loans,  Conventional Mortgages, refinancing, and even debt consolidation. Treadstone is best known for its ability to streamline the purchase process for buyers using the FHA 203k Renovation mortgage program. You can fix up the home you’re buying with up to $30,000 and have the work done before you even move in. It is for these reasons that the name “Treadstone” has become synonymous with great mortgage service throughout Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Visit Treadstone Funding to learn more about this local mortgage partner.

Support Breast Cancer Month in Grand Rapids

October 14th, 2014 by Katie K Team

MakingStridesScreenFor Katie-K, breast cancer awareness is worth celebrating, this month, and every month. Whether you put on your walking shoes, buy a bra to bridge the Grand, or simply donate to a worthy cause to advance the cure, please think Pink and lend your support.

Bras across the Grand – October 25

Bras will hang downtown at the Blue Pedestrian Bridge during Bras across the Grand. It’s a celebration of breast cancer survivors with an opportunity to honor those who have been lost to the disease. Bring a bra that you’ve decorated or bring a $5 donation and decorate a bra that will be provided at the event. Each donation will support free programs and services to cancer patients and breast cancer research, along with early detection and prevention programs. Bras across the Grand will be held in conjunction with the Making Strides against Breast Cancer 5K. Bras across the Grand will begin at 8 a.m. on October 25, at the Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids.

Strides against Breast Cancer 5K – October 25, 10 a.m., Rosa Parks Circle

The fight to end breast cancer starts with a single step, so join the American Cancer Society Making Strides walk. So far, 569 participants have raised more than $43,000, according to their website. The Making Strides Walk will take place on Saturday, October 25 in downtown Grand Rapids. Visit their website for more information — you can sign up, sponsor a walker, or volunteer to help out.

Grand Rapids’ Celebration on the Grand

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team


End your summer in Grand Rapids with a bang (literally) at the 35th Annual Celebration on the Grand. This year marks the first year that the Celebration on the Grand will merge with downtown Grand Rapids’ Amway Family Fireworks on July 4 and 5. The annual celebration was implemented years ago to celebrate the quality of life in the Grand River valley. Events include live entertainment in Rosa Parks Circle and Ah-Nab-Awen Park downtown and a fireworks display over the Grand River. Both the entertainment on Friday and the fireworks on Saturday are free of charge.


Why Wait to List – Inventory is Low and Prices are Rising!

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team

kitchen diner

Wanted: Outstanding homes for our buyers!

With homes sales and pricing rebounding strongly in Grand Rapids last year and with inventory at an all-time low, homeowners in Grand Rapids who are thinking about listing their homes should be getting ready now to make the most of the late spring market, according to Katie Karczewski, principal of Katie-K.com.

“There’s no time like the present for a free home market evaluation and staging tips. It takes time to prepare a home to put its best foot forward in the market,” said the veteran Grand Rapids realtor, who sold 78 homes last year to be among the area’s leading agents.

The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors published statistics that showed that West Michigan Realtors ended the year with an 11.6 percent increase in homes sold and a 26.7 percent increase in dollar volume. The net effect was a 13.5 percent increase in the average sales price – from $134,645 in 2012 to $152,883 in 2013. In Katie-K’s areas of specialization, such as Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, and Ada, housing prices rose even more than the average.

But inventories fell as homeowners were reluctant to put their houses on the market. Despite the rising prices and sales, the number of new listings on the market was flat. The average home sold in 2013 was on the market for less than four months – a 12-year low.

“Homes are selling before they even hit the market right now. It’s just incredible! Through social networking and our connections, we’re getting multiple showings and offers before the listing even publishes on GRAR.” Katie-K said.

“But the most important thing you can do is to make sure your home is priced for market conditions. The houses that are selling are houses that are priced right and showcase the value proposition. A house has to make it through the appraisal process for the transaction to close, so it’s important to work with experienced agent intimate with specific market fluctuations,” she said.

Folks who are on the fence about whether it’s the right time to list should consider having a market evaluation performed. They may find they have considerably more equity than they thought.

For a free home market evaluation and meeting with Katie or her teammate, Tanya Craig, simply email a request that includes your home address and the best time to reach you. Referrals are always welcome.





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