Many of you have heard by now that as operating principal of the new Keller Williams Grand Rapids Market Center North, Katie-K and her team are looking for highly talented and passionate real estate professionals to join one of “America’s Top 10 Workplaces.” In the course of expanding our website to include information for agents, we recently posted some videos from our founder and mentors at KW that talk about the company’s unique corporate culture and what makes it different. Follow this link to View the videos. Please share the link if you know someone who’s ready to take their career to new heights, and contact Dave Melvin for more information.
We all know Grand Rapids is an outstanding community to live in, but it’s super nice nonetheless to have one of our events receive a global “shout out” from Time magazine! Check out the article at Time: http://style.time.com/2013/01/17/five-events-you-wont-want-to-miss-in-2013/
New Center Will Expand Keller Williams Brand in Grand Rapids Metro Market
Katie Karczewski has been a partner of Keller Williams Realty Grand Rapids and the number one KW agent in West Michigan for more than 12 years. Now she’s lending her real estate savvy to serve as Operating Principal of a new Grand Rapids Market Center North that promises to bring the Keller Williams brand of high-caliber training, integrity and tech know-how to a new generation of real estate professionals. Beginning in January, the company will begin recruiting passionate real estate professionals to expand the Keller Williams’ presence in the Grand Rapids north market.
“The market is ripe for expansion following unprecedented shifts in supply and demand. I’ve had more multiple offers on properties in virtually every transaction this last quarter than ever before, and demand continues to skyrocket. People have realized that the market hit bottom and with interest rates at a historic low, they’re responding in full force,” Karczewski said.
During the first quarter of 2013, she will be looking for entrepreneurial-minded individuals who are interested in joining Grand Rapids’ number one realty company. The Grand Rapids Market Center North will cater to “plug and play” technology aficionados who want to build their real estate practice using cutting edge methodologies — and technology — for success.
“Keller Williams is unparalleled in setting the standard for real estate training, coaching and consulting. I am especially looking forward to giving back to my profession by mentoring the next generation of real estate professionals. Our company motto has always been ‘Win-Win or No Deal.’ That philosophy extends from our relationship with our realtors to our individual treatment of home buyers and sellers,” Karczewski said.
The Katie-K team will continue its tradition of outstanding sales and service in its core markets with extra support from newest team members, Tanya Craig and Cathy Dracht, who both possess considerable prior experience and track records as producers. Interim offices are now open at 4949 Plainfield Avenue NE, with plans for a permanent facility in the works for a northern East Beltline location.
Professionals interested in joining the Market Center North team are encouraged to contact, in confidence, the Katie-K Team at (616) 575-0119.
The Katie-K Team would like to take a moment to thank our clients, friends, and fellow associates in the community for your continued support, referrals, and business. We wish you a happy and safe holiday this season, and peace and prosperity in the New Year!
If we can assist you or your friends in any way, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.
In the extract below, the National Realtor Association reports that on the national level, the inventory of homes for sale is still tight, leading in some cases to bidding wars. We’ve especially seen the same kind of activity on attractive, well-maintained properties in desirable school districts such as East Grand Rapids and Forest Hills. If you’re a buyer when inventory is tight, you’ll want an accredited ABR (Buyer’s Representative) like Katie-K team member Tanya Craig helping you navigate the bidding process. And if you’re selling your home, you’ll want Grand Rapids top producing realtor, Katie-K, to help you get top dollar. For the best of both worlds, talk to the Katie-K team today!
From the Realtor’s Confidence Index: Low Inventory/Multiple Bidding
REALTORS® reported that the inventory of homes for sale remains very tight, resulting in multi-bidding in some cases. REOs and other properties do not appear to be coming on market sufficiently to meet demand, while sellers are also waiting for prices to pick up further. Listings for properties that are in good condition are reported as receiving multiple offers. Investors are snapping up REOs, paying cash.
Here are few direct quotes from the report, which can be found here:
- “I feel that the price of housing is going up due to the lack of inventory that is available, once the banks start releasing more property’s I feel that it will become a more stable market and the bidding war will end!!”
- “Inventory still down, sellers waiting for prices to go up if they can; rental market is way up, prices too.”
- “Buyers want properties in A1 condition. Investors are out there & will do the work to get property in A1 condition but only at a rock bottom price.”
- “Foreign investors focused on foreclosures make up most of our potential buyers.”
- “All entry level single family homes are multiple offer. Many homes are sold to investors prior to reaching the MLS, then within hours of listing on the MLS, it changes from active to under contract.”
Whether you’ve got a nosy spouse or a curious kid, you need a good hiding place to squirrel away those gifts until you find time to get them wrapped and under the tree. Here are some ideas, compliments of the folks at NAR’s home owner site, HouseLogic & author Courtney Craig.
1. Borrow a friend’s house. Swap storage spaces with a trusted friend or neighbor, and you won’t spoil any surprises. This is particularly useful if you’re buying someone a big present, like a bicycle or a car — you might talk a neighbor into letting you borrow space in their garage until Christmas morning.
2. Pop the trunk. This won’t work if you have an SUV or hatchback, but if you’ve got a car with a trunk that’s closed off from the backseat, it’s a primo place to hide gifts. Small children will never get in there.
3. Make your office work for you. If your office is a safe, secure place, squirrel some presents there. This is only an option if you work out of your home, though — home offices are prime targets for prying eyes.
4. Take stock of kitchen pots. Got a huge stock pot? Unless you’re planning to make a giant vat of soup anytime soon, the stock pot can hold a load of small gifts, and chances are your family will never think to look there.
5. Make use of your underwear drawer. Small presents can easily fit there. Your spouse probably won’t hesitate to look there, but your kids might stop short of rifling through your skivvies. (We hope.)
6. Crack the crawl space. If you don’t mind a little dirt and some creepy-crawlies, the crawl space can hold some sizable presents. Don’t store anything there for too long, though — unless your crawl space is insulated. Moisture and temperature changes could damage items. Plastic toys are OK to keep outside; electronics should be stored inside.
7. Rent a storage space. If you’ve got a ton of presents to hide, you’ll need to look outside your house. Some storage units offer one-month-minimum specials for as low as $25. Check the storage units in your area for deals.
8. Go for the cleaning supply closet. Worst-case scenario: Your kids might find presents there, but they’d also find the cleaning supplies, which means they might actually clean something. Now that would be a Christmas miracle.
Holidays are a great time to catch up with friends and family. If you know a “millennial” in the greater Grand Rapids area who’s been on the fence about buying a home, tell them to contact the Katie-K team for expert advice about timing and navigating tight inventory while rates are low. As NAR’s recent report suggests below, the millennial generation, long thought to be housing-averse, may be ready to buy:
The millennial generation has grown up during the years of the housing boom and ultimate bust. But the shakiness of the housing market over the years hasn’t deterred their will to buy.
Ninety-three percent of millennials, aged 18 to 34, say they plan to buy a home at some point, according to Trulia’s 2012 American Dream Survey. Forty-three percent of the generation are already home owners.
“Millennials have been shaken, not scarred by the housing bust,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Nearly all of them want to own a home someday if they’re not home owners already. But many of them think today’s low prices and low mortgage rates will last. They may be in for sticker shock if the cost of home ownership has returned to normal levels by the time they’re ready to buy.”
Source: “Reminder: Millennials Want to Buy Homes!” HousingWire (Dec., 2012)
In this report, S&P Case-Shiller show that the national home price index is up for 5th straight month, and is up on a year-over-year basis for first time since 2010. Of the 20 major metropolitan areas for which data is kept (Grand Rapids is not one of the composite cities used in the index) Detroit recorded the highest monthly increase at 6.0% over its May 2012 level. Overall year-over-year pricing growth rate was recorded at 2.5%, twice the national index. This report is great news for those who’ve been awaiting stability to make their next move. Talk to Katie-K for an analysis of your Grand Rapids micro-market, and put our hard work in your corner!
(From S&P Dow and BMO):
S&P Dow Jones Indices – the leading measure of U.S. home prices – released data today showing that all three headline composites ended the second quarter of 2012 with positive annual growth rates for the first time since the summer of 2010. The national composite was up 1.2% in the second quarter of 2012 versus the second quarter of 2011, and was up 6.9% versus the first quarter of 2012. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted respective annual returns of +0.1% and +0.5% in June 2012. Month-over-month, average home prices in the 10-City Composite were up 2.2% and in the 20-City Composite were up 2.3% versus May.
For the second consecutive month, all 20 cities and both Composites recorded positive monthly gains. Eighteen of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted better annual returns in June as compared to May 2012 – only Charlotte and Dallas saw a deceleration in their annual rates.
BMO Economics commented on the home price index, saying that higher equity and home values must be providing some much-needed comfort to U.S. consumers. The report showed a more-than-expected rise of 0.9 per cent, seasonally adjusted.
“This represented the fifth straight monthly gain, and lands the index 0.5 per cent above year-earlier levels – the first positive reading in nearly two years,” said Jennifer Lee, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. “This report is very good news, and shows that prices are getting support from the pickup in demand for housing as well as fewer distressed homes on the market. It also represents a much-needed boost given the release of today’s consumer confidence index for August, which shows a drop of 4.8 points.”
A look at individual areas provided further encouragement, according to Ms. Lee. “Eighteen of the 20 metro areas saw home prices rise in June, the most since 2006. On a year-over-year-basis, 13 areas are now able to say that home prices have grown, including Phoenix, Miami and Minneapolis.”
Ms. Lee noted that U.S. housing prices are likely to stabilize further in 2013, with demand improving on firmer job growth and easier lending standards.
This tongue-in-cheek article from HouseLogic gives great perspective on securing your home through “thank you” notes left by burglars. We thought it was a cute way to deliver an important message about safety. Pay special attention to the “social media” clues opportunist burglars can use!
By Jan Soults Walker for HouseLogic
Successful burglars have lots in common — home owners who unwittingly give invitations to robbery. Here’s how thieves thank you for your generosity.
1. Thanks for the ladder!
Call me a social climber if you will, but I did discover a ladder in your back yard. Thank you for leaving it where I could lean it against your home and easily reach a second-story window. I really love it when upper story openings aren’t wired to a home security system!
So, if you want to keep me out, store your ladder in the basement or a locked garage. And call your security company to wire upper-story windows into your alarm system.
A rising star
2. Loved your trash
Can’t tell you how much fun I have driving around neighborhoods on trash day (especially after big gift holidays) when the empty boxes on the curb reveal what wonderful new toys you have. Your thoughtfulness made it possible for me to land a new laptop and a flat-screen television in one easy trip to your home!
Next time, break down the boxes and conceal them in the recycling or trash bins.
3. Dear Can’t-Get-Around-To-It
Recently, I noticed you hadn’t trimmed trees and shrubs around your home, so I knew I’d have a wonderful place to hide while I worked to break into your home. I really can’t thank you enough for all the great new things I grabbed.
Next time, trim back bushes and trees near windows and doors. Make sure entry points to your home are easily visible from the street — I much prefer to work in private! While you’re at it, install motion-sensor lighting. I’m scared of bright lights!
The Tree Lover Read the rest of this entry »
At Katie-K.com, we know that landscaping is an important element of staging your home for sale. With the lack of snow cover this winter exacerbated by early and prolonged heat waves, sellers are faced with a Sophie’s Choice to make when it comes to combating drought to maintain curb appeal and using water resources in an environmentally-friendly way. We thought sellers might enjoy this article from NAR’s Houselogic.com site – Great info on ways to “be green” while you’re “keeping it green!”
Almost one-third of the water your family uses—some 100 gallons a day on average—ends up on your yard and garden, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Nationwide, more than 7 billion gallons a day go to landscape irrigation. If that weren’t problem enough, as much as half that water is wasted. It falls on sidewalks or evaporates into the air before it ever reaches the ground. With a few simple changes to the way you water, you can save a precious resource and lower your bills at the same time. To remember the steps to take, just use our handy acronym: DIRTS, which stands for drip irrigation, recapture, timers, and sensors.
Drip irrigation sends water only where you need it
Drip irrigation systems can be a great way to save because they put water only where you want it. Unlike a soaker hose, which emits water all along its length, a drip system delivers water directly to plants’ roots, which cuts down on waste and also reduces weeds. Read the rest of this entry »