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

“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.




Wander North to the National Cherry Festival

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team


One fun way to celebrate summer when you live in Grand Rapids is to take a short day trip to a fabulous festival held in Katie-K’s childhood hometown. Celebrate all things cherry this year in Michigan’s gorgeous Grand Traverse Region at the Traverse City National Cherry Festival. Drawing over a half a million people annually, this jamboree is named one of USA Today’s top ten annual festivals. The celebration takes place this year from July 5 -12 and includes concerts, sporting events, air shows, pie-eating contests, pit-spitting competitions, and more (over 150 events!) that involve participants of all ages. Its hosting city is renowned for its 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and home of several wineries, microbreweries, golf courses, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and of course the world record tart cherry harvest. Visit for more information.

Festival of the Arts coming Soon!

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team

Festival of the Arts 2014 poster by Dana Ziebarth

One early summer event beloved by the Katie-K Team is the Festival of the Arts, which a fine example of the booming culture Grand Rapids has to offer. Marking the 45th year, the 2014 community celebration downtown will feature art, entertainment, food and fun for adults and youngsters alike. With six stages, music concerts of all genres, dance performances and theatre productions, the variety of things to enjoy is virtually limitless. Alongside poetry, films, storytelling and art activities will be food booths offering cuisine of all kind. All festival performances, exhibits and activities are offered free thanks to the generous donations of local organizations, companies and families. Join West Michigan at the Festival of the Arts June 6-8! Visit for more information.

Founders Fest 2014

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team

One of the things the Katie-K team loves about Grand Rapids, MI is the diverse local events that suit every interest. The fabulous beer culture is one of the many reasons why Grand Rapids is a great place to live! Beer City USA is a proud host of Founders Brewing Co.’s annual festival. A street side collaboration of local beer, food, art and some of the nations taproom musical entertainment, Founders Fest is a grand way to celebrate the emergence of Grand Rapids’ eclectic culture in one event. Join other local beer lovers on June 21 and get your tickets by visiting


Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with Equest Center’s “Horsin’ Around at the Derby Day”

April 24th, 2014 by Katie K Team

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 3.07.58 PM

The Katie-K team will be sporting Derby hats and horsing around to help out the local Equest Center’s Derby Day. In addition, if you’d like tickets to the REAL Kentucky Derby for $5,000, Cathy Ryan (616.262.4994) will DONATE THE PROCEEDS to the Equest Center. Read on for more details!

Join our friends at Equest Center for an afternoon and evening of celebrating the Kentucky Derby and the center’s own horses and riders MAY 3rd.

As the largest fundraiser for Equest Center, the Horsin’ Around at the Derby for Equest’s kids is the premier event for horse lovers and riders. The event will be filled with all the traditions of the Kentucky Derby – Derby hats, Mint Juleps and delicious derby cuisine. The event will also have a Twist auction while guests are enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a live simulcast viewing of the big race.

Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, Inc. is a non-profit establishment based out of Rockford, Mich. It’s first therapy class was held in 1991, and since, the company has expanded to having 125-160 riders per week and over 30 acres of land with trails, facilities, barns and paddocks. Equest Center offers equine-based therapy to physically, mentally and socially/emotionally challenged individuals in order to improve their quality of life. By integrating academic, social and physical skills with the aid of a horse, this unique program reaches a variety of people and provides a rich, healthy and distinct alternative to other therapeutic options.

In addition to being a Race for the Roses event replica, the Horsin’ Around at the Derby will offer the opportunity for it’s attendees to bid on the sponsorship of an Equest therapy horse for a year. By sponsoring a therapy horse, you are providing a caregiver, friend, confidant and a provider for an individual in need. Horses available for sponsorship are listed here. Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 3.06.51 PM Space is limited! Tickets cost $100 per person or $775 for a table for 8. Click here for more information about the Equest Derby.

Photos by Joe Mercier of Mercier Graphics

Happy Heart Month!

February 12th, 2014 by Katie K Team


Katie-K teamed up with the American Heart Association on Friday, February 7 for a Go Red For Women fundraising fashion event. Proceeds went to the research and education of the American Heart Association and celebrated both survivors and fighters of the No. 1 killer of women: heart disease.

Celebrate your heart by creating healthy habits and spending time with your loved one!

Happy Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to Go Red!


© 2017 - Katie K Team