Author Archives for Karen Gill

Ada Home on Acreage

Just prior to the Governor’s “Stay in Place” order because of the Corona virus, I had listed this gorgeous property on 13.5 acres. Just a short bike ride across the river from the village, once the order is lifted you can enjoy the restaurants, shops, grocery store or connect with all of the paved trails and take in the beauty of the area parks. Dogwood is designated a natural beauty road and this home sits high on a hill overlooking the adjacent 20 acres which is also for sale. If you have further questions, or would like additional information emailed to you, please feel free to contact me at 616.292.3712

Should I sell my home in the midst of the Corona Virus?

It’s a great question and one I’m being asked a lot these days. Homes are selling and as of today we don’t expect damage to the real estate market as it has been very strong. We know this health crisis will pass and look forward to a life which is normal again. In the meantime, we are hearing from some people that have underlying health issues, are elderly or just concerned as to what to do. We are concerned to protect you too. Interest rates are historically low so buyers want to take advantage of them so it is a decision each individual or family needs to make.

To that end, I am immediately suspending open houses and encouraging buyers to preview homes and narrow their choices online. If a home is in the narrowed down list I am taking precautions to protect my sellers by having buyers remove their shoes at the front entry, asking buyers to not bring children to showings when ever possible, and if they must bring them carry them or have them by the hand so they are not exploring on their own. Also, for my listings I have a limited supply of gloves and asking one party from the group to use one glove to open doors and cupboards so we don’t deplete our supply, and use hand sanitizer. After the party leaves I encourage the sellers to use a Norwex cloth or a bleach spray to wipe down the front door knob and any other areas of concern. Lights are already on when the parties arrive and lights remain on for the seller to turn off keeping touching at a minimum. If the home is vacant I will be making trips over to keep the home as clean as possible. Inspectors, appraisers and moving companies I have spoken to are all onboard to protect your family as well.

Our Real Estate Board is tracking some simple stats on a go-forward basis to follow the pattern of activity this year compared to last year. 

In order to compare apples to apples, they are using the same week of the month when making comparisons. 

Also keep in mind that all pending and closed transactions may not yet have been reported for 2020 since they are not always reported on the same day the transaction went pending or closed, whereas, the closed transactions for 2019 will include all sales for that date.

They will be recalculating the numbers below and republish them.  Thus far, we appear to be outpacing 2019 activity for the reported week, both in terms of listings and sales

GRAR MLS Activity – 3rd week of March, Current Year, 2020

 DateNew ListingsPending TransactionsClosed TransactionsPrice Changes
Friday, 3-20-20TBDTBDTBDTBD
Thursday, 3-19-2088534910
Wednesday, 3-18-2077554029
Tuesday, 3-17-2059514921
Monday, 3-16-2052604224
Sunday, 3-15-20172947
Saturday, 3-14-20122373
Total for Wk 3-14-20 to 3-20-20TBDTBDTBDTBD

GRAR MLS Activity – 3rd week of March, One Year Ago, 2019

 DateNew ListingsPending TransactionsClosed TransactionsPrice Changes
Friday, 3-22-1949364416
Thursday, 3-21-19109363923
Wednesday, 3-20-1931442924
Tuesday, 3-19-1949563623
Monday, 3-18-1954685323
Sunday, 3-17-1992214
Saturday, 3-16-191527116
Total for Wk 3-16-19 to 3-22-19316289213119

Showing Houses …

Well here comes the headline straight from Houzz. [Transitional becomes the No. 1 style as farmhouse loses steam] This according to the U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study.

Once again West Michigan, we are on the end of a trend that has taken off in our area. I love the farmhouse look, I see elements of it everyday as I show houses, be it the big sink in the kitchen or the signs over the walls telling us to GATHER in the dining room or the ones that let us know where our LAUNDRY and PANTRY’s are.

Farmhouse decor

So now, homeowners remodeling their master bathrooms are selecting natural and neutral colors to compliment their TRANSITIONAL, contemporary and modern style spaces, according to this new Houzz data. And farmhouse style, which had risen in popularity in master bathroom upgrades in recent years, has now declined. While you’re planning that master bathroom remodel, know that 21% are choosing a transitional style. What is Transitional? Transitional blends the classic elements of a traditional look with the clean lines and subtle color palette of contemporary style.

Photo by Moore House Interiors, LLCMore bathroom ideas

White is the most popular color for upgraded master bathroom vanities, and shades of gray for walls, wood elements on the walls themselves and heavier framing on the mirrors. White countertops is the No. 1 pick at 46% A white bathroom looks clean, crisp and bright. Add some natural wood elements into the design, and suddenly the space feels warmer and more inviting.

Meanwhile, vinyl/resilient flooring and engineered wood are on the rise, with their stats capturing a combined 10% of upgraded floors in 2019, compared with 6% in 2017. I think our area may be higher than that, with ceramic starting to take a backseat. These floors are beautiful, water resistant if not waterproof, and they are warmer on the feet on cold winter days.

1989 Bathroom 2019 Makeover
Cabinet Color Sherwin Williams Gray Shingle
Walls Sherwin Williams Cream Puff
Flooring Mannington Adura Max
Cape Shell

New Look For Your 5th Wall

One of the many joys of homeownership is incorporating your signature style throughout your home. From furniture and rugs to artwork and paint colors, there are so many ways you can make a space all your own. 

But there’s one space in the home that’s often left untouched — the ceiling. Though rarely considered, it’s a vital part of your home’s story. 

Whatever your design style, there are plenty of ways to dress up your fifth wall. Check out these ceiling styles and get your creative juices flowing.

Go Modern Minimalist  
If you like sleek and elegant design schemes, minimalism is for you. A minimalist home has clean lines in a defined color palette. Forego bright color schemes and add elaborate elements sparingly. 

Add Some Rustic Charm
If you’d prefer a more accessible look, then rustic style is the answer. It’s comfortable, warm and inviting with neutral tones and natural textures like wood and stone. Wood ceilings are gorgeous, immediately making a room warm and inviting. Rough-hewn panels, bold beams or reclaimed wood will add stunning character to your barnhouse decor. 

Keep It Traditional
If you’re looking for a style that’s casual and understated, consider a classic look. It’s a great option whether you enjoy muted tones or simple pops of color. For traditional ceilings, bright white paint with recessed lighting is a tried-and-true choice. Your cool and classic fifth wall can be flat or vaulted with lavish details like crown molding or coffers. 

Bring the Focal Point Down
If a crisp, white ceiling is your preferred style, you can dress up your fifth wall with a pendant lighting. Other ways to be creative, try a color on your ceiling.

Photo by Michael Nash Design, Build & HomesBrowse kitchen ideas

#GrandRapidsInsight #GrandRapidsHomes #ShowingHomes


Grand Rapids Insight 8.31.19

As we head into August there are still some exciting concerts and events going on. “Restaurant Week” will be starting August 7th- 18 so keep it on your list and try some different eats. Summer Nights at the Market continues at the Fulton Street Farmers Market, and some of you tell me you’ve not been to Dutton General Store, and to that I say get in your car immediately and head over to 3422 68th St.. It has the best shopping for gifts, clothes, bling & home decor. Cheers!

weekend in the city
weekend in the city

#RestaurantWeekGR #SummerNightsAtTheMarket #DuttonGeneralStore

Restaurant Tip Ramona’s Table

Hot weather has me craving a great salad vs. heavy lunches or dinners. Stopped in Rockford while putting a SOLD sign on a listing and stopped for my first time at Ramona’s Table in downtown Rockford by the dam. What a treat! I highly recommend you put it on your list . My choice Peach salad and my forever buddy and I split their homemade carrot cake. I have to say it may be my favorite of all time, and I’m fussy with my carrot cake. Yum, I will return.

Rightsizing for Seniors

I have been selling real estate for over 35 years and since I am over 65 considered by most to be a “senior citizen” myself. The words can sting for a minute until you change your mindset and start appreciating the fact that hey, I’m alive and I deserve this title and the freedom that comes with it. Things are not the same as when my parents were reaching this milestone. I am not needing nor wanting to retire but intend to live like my heroine, Betty White, so I have many years to plan for. I choose to enjoy my career, my home, friends and clients, and travel. Seven years ago, my husband and I sold our 2-story home in Ada and moved into a ranch in the Crystal Springs golf community. I wanted my space, but also wanted a main floor master suite. My daughters called this “flattening out” not downsizing and when they used this term I laughed for a week. While still helping first time and relocating buyers, I have decided to devote the majority of my time to helping seniors, or soon to be seniors, plan for the next chapter of their lives.

So, if this scenario, or a variation of this, may be weighing on your mind, let’s start really looking at your house and to see if it’s time for you to “RIGHTSIZE.” Have you lived in your home for a long time and have rooms that you never use? Is your lower level or basement starting to accumulate cobwebs because you don’t use any of the extra space? Are all your bedrooms on the second floor, maybe even your only full bathroom? Do you have boxes and tubs filled with “stuff”, unused small appliances and gadgets, old cookbooks, dishes, vases and car parts taking space on your shelves? It’s time to let some of that go and rightsize your life NOW while you can. Don’t put it off and have an event happen in your life whereby you must make an unexpected move quickly. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a walk out or daylight basement if you want, it just makes sense to have all your main living area on one level.   

Begin by having a heart to heart talk with whomever is most important in your life, be that a spouse, your children, or a friend you’ve had for many years and start envisioning where you’d like to live when you rightsize.

  • CONDOMINIUM Many decide to move to a condominium to free up time and energy with  outdoor maintenance. There are many varieties such as stand alone, duplex style, no steps and no basement.
  • SMALLER HOME Maybe condos are not your vision. Moving into a ranch style home where you can live on one floor, with a lower level that could be finished or unfinished may be more suited to you. You can always hire private lawn maintenance and snow removal.
  • APARTMENT Moving to an apartment could be an option if you want to free up your cash and not have the burden of a house to maintain
  • RELOCATE Are you wanting to make a long distance move to be near your children or south to a warmer climate?
  • SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY living with other seniors could give you a sense of connection and offer you endless options of involvement, especially if you don’t have an extended social network.

Envision yourself in a space of your choosing and let’s start planning on how to get your there step by step. Follow my blog and I’m going to give you one assignment a week to start helping you arrive at the splendid next chapter of your life .

Rightsizing

What is rightsizing as it pertains to real estate? If you are single and living in a one bedroom or studio apartment and you’re soon to be a newlywed, you may be ready for your first home with more living space and a yard. That’s rightsizing.

You may be having your first, second or third baby and need even more space in that neighborhood you’ve always wanted to live in. That’s rightsizing.

Your youngest child is now off to collage and you’re ready to sell the 4 bedroom, 3 bath home for a smaller home. That’s rightsizing.

You may be retiring and traveling more, having health issues or just ready to be in a ranch style home or condominium community where all of your essential living is on one floor. That’s rightsizing.

So how do you plan for any of this and start taking the first steps? Discuss your money situation with your financial adviser, if you have one. If you’re young and haven’t really thought you needed to plan so soon, think again. You will find time goes by in the blink of an eye and you don’t want to find yourself at 50 or 60 with “should have” “would have’s” in your financial vocabulary. No time like the present to lay out your blueprint for your plans and dreams.

The next step, regardless of what chapter you are in life, is committing to a Realtor who has YOUR best interests at the top of their agenda, one who’s there to help you evaluate what kind of home best suits your lifestyle, who will find a home in your price range, and look ahead to your future. If she or he can’t say a particular home you’re considering is a great option for you, if she can’t say “if you call me in two or three years because life changed again and you have been transferred, are expecting triplets, or need to move to a senior living center, I think we will be just fine in selling this property”, you are working with an agent who has set THEIR financial needs ahead of YOURS. Of course that also takes some partnering up on your part, maintaining and improving your soon to be new home as time passes.

And finally, your third step is connecting with a trusted mortgage lender. Any Realtor will tell you that calling endlessly to seek out the lender who will save you pennies on the dollar for your new loan is not your only priority. We have years of experience in working with lenders. We know who will pre-qualify you properly, who knows how to process your loan in a timely manner, who isn’t going to drop the ball and let the sale blow up midway down the track to your closing. We all have horror stories from years past where lenders aren’t committed to a great experience with their customers, and if things don’t work out well, they are just on to the next loan. Trust your Realtors advise.

Once you have taken these three crucial steps, you are ready to start looking at your options and narrowing down your search for your new home, your new chapter in your life, your new lifestyle in a community. Enjoy the process, then look back and say it was worth every minute to prepare.

Call me if you want to discuss your own plan for rightsizing, if you need a trusted lender, financial advisor, or have suggestions for a new topic of discussion.

Meet Anna Grgurich, Photographer

Our featured Crystal Springs business is Anna Grgurich.  Anna is a photographer who enjoys every aspect of her work. She has had a passion for photography for as long as she can remember. As a          child, she was delighted in how a moment could be captured through the lens of a camera, and how time stands still within the frame of a photograph. Now she has the joy of bringing that same happiness to others. She photographs newborns, children, seniors, maternity, engagements, weddings, family portraits, as well as sports, recreational, and landscape photography. These are some of the questions I asked her and her response.

It’s High School Senior Picture time, is that one of your areas of expertise? Do you have an in-home studio or some special areas where you like to go, and what is your turn around time? I LOVE senior photos! I’m an advocate for natural light photography, and will travel anywhere within a 30 mile radius for photos (further with an added fee). I also have a studio space that I rent out for those that desire indoor photos. The studio space is in an old warehouse building with so much character! I usually try and have photos edited and released to my clients within 2-4 weeks, if not earlier.

How much lead time do you need for bookings and how do our neighbors get ahold of you?
I can be reached through my Facebook page Anna Grgurich Photography or my Instagram page @agrgurich.photography Depending on my availability, I can book photo sessions within just a few days of being contacted. I try to remain as flexible as possible for my clients because I know how busy all of our schedules can be.

Do you offer special promotions? I run several different promos throughout the year, but I am currently offering a 10% discount on all photo sessions for Crystal Springs residents.

Anything else you’d like to share? I look forward to working with everyone who is in need of photos! I try to make all of my photo sessions as enjoyable as possible for all of my clients, and want to make sure they are satisfied with their photos.

So now you have a “LOCAL FIRST” source to go to for any of your photography needs. Think of Anna for your family photos and support your neighborhood business. Cheers!!

 

 

Ignoring your side yard?

When getting your house ready for sale, or just sprucing up your landscaping, don’t forget your side yard. So often, people put their lawn clippings and yard waste where they think buyers won’t notice. They do, and your neighbors notice it, even though you think its out of sight because of a fence. Resist the “easy way out” urge and find some ideas to make your side yard look as great as the rest of your yard!

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