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Hastings, MI Real Estate News

By Michael Delaware, REALTOR®, CRS, GRI
(North Sky Realty LLC)
I have a facination with old barns.  To me they symbolize endurance of americana in a very deep way.  Some are old and weathered, like this one in the photo.  It makes you wonder on its age, and the people who built it.  They always seem to last longer than residential houses, and some stand alone in fields without any connection to humanity sometimes.  This one was off by itself in a field with an tree growing into part of it.  If this building could talk, I would bet it has some interesting stories to tell.
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By Michael Delaware, REALTOR®, CRS, GRI
(North Sky Realty LLC)
I spend a lot of time driving around as a Realtor, and sometimes I am compeled to grab my camera that I keep next to me and take a few shots.  Sometimes I look back on them and see that I have captured something quite interesting or beautiful without knowing it.  Here is a shot I took of a winter highway I was driving on, and after I cleaned up the image with a little exposure adjustment it came out quite interesting.  I thought I would share this 'glow of a winter sky' image on my blog.
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Hastings Company Gives 50" TVs, 10% Cash With It's Double Hung Windows  Hastings JR Neely Offers Full 10% Cash Back Or A Free 50" Flat Screen TV With All New Double Hung Windows to it's customers in Hastings, Michigan   BY Ted Cantu January 17, 2014 Hastings, Michigan – Winter in Hastings, Michigan means one thing: Cold  temperatures, sometimes below zero. With those cold temperatures also  comes snow, ice, and the cold arctic wind. Many residents of Hastings,  Michigan are finding this post-holiday winter even colder, snowier and  more brutal than past winters. With the record cold termperatures and  snowfall in Michigan this year, residents have been expressing increased  concern about saving on their skyrocketing energy costs. One of the  biggest energy wasters, which many locals wou...
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By Michael Delaware, REALTOR®, CRS, GRI
(North Sky Realty LLC)
Today I traveled to Hastings, Michigan and hit a section of back roads that were still unplowed and snow covered.  The scenery along the way was quite beautiful, and I took some photos of a few barns. To me their peaceful settings remind me of something out of a Robert Frost poem.
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By Matt Mulder
(Keller Williams Realty)
$250,000 , 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 0 half baths, 1,696 square feet     Matt Mulder | Keller Williams Realty | (269) 207-4712 1855 W State Rd, Hastings, MI Ranch-14 acres-River Frontage-Open Floor Plan-Fireplace-Master Suite-Backyard Deck-Pole Barn-Pasture-Stables 3BR/2BA Single Family House   offered at $250,000 Year Built 1996 Sq Footage 1,696 Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial Floors 1 Parking 2 Car garage Lot Size 609,840 sqft HOA/Maint $0 per month DESCRIPTION Welcome to your new home! Located on Thornapple River-This Beautiful Ranch in Hastings sits on 14 acres and has 580ft of Private River Frontage. You'll love the Open Floor Plan between the Living Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen. Living Room features a Wood Burning Fireplace, Recess Lighting, Skylights, and Sliding Glass ...
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By Anthony Mosley
(Van Dyk Mortgage Corporation)
Annual Percentage Rate What is the Real Cost of Financing?   Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a tool that consumers can use as a starting point to compare loan programs. However, it's important to keep in mind that APR is not a perfect system, and not all lenders calculate APR in the same way. While the Federal Truth-in-Lending Act does require any mortgage broker or lender to disclose APR to the consumer, there is no rule written in stone for calculating this number that each and every lender agrees upon. The point of calculating APR is to let the consumer know what the actual cost of their financing is in the form of a yearly rate. APR factors in certain closing costs and fees associated with the loan, and spreads this total over the life of the loan along with the actual note rate. T...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Ever hear someone say I will only do that if hell freezes over!  I have a relative that is in her early 70's and said the same thing about Facebook. Technology has been creeping into every sector of our lives whether we want to join in or not.  Some people have entered the technology age kicking and screaming.  Real estate agents had done the same thing.  Bare bone websites or only a information page their broker provides.  Brokers that are progressive leaders have viewed the Internet with an eye on cost versus return, knowing they have no choice but to engage sellers and buyers on-line. Well yesterday "Hell Froze Over", my cousin joined Facebook!  We had a great laugh when I called and reminded her of that statement.  She said it was one of the ways to keep up with family that she hadn...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Should your property tax be a tax relief item? For most of us the ability to write-off our property tax payments on our income tax filing is very important.  What isn't part of the discussion is the impact of the proposal to eliminate the housing property tax write-off, some are saying it could save the economy. I tend to read and listen to as much information concerning our future as possible.  One of my media imputs, without a plug, is my XM Radio.  I can listen between appointments, change to various news media outlets and get a more well rounded spin on the propaganda! The currently proposed elimination of this deduction is for those with a million dollars or more in taxable value.  That takes 99% of the American Tax Payers out of the discussion, from losing the deduction.  If the d...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Roller Coasters have a lot in common with todays houseing market when it comes to financing.  The ride can be smooth and fast or it can be hair raising causing people to scream and lose their breath. Today the financing issues that sellers face are much different than a few years ago.  In advertently in trying to correct a loose credit system the checks and ballances have tiped the scales the extreme.  It is now the borrower that is under the spotlight.  The lender certifications and predatory practices where not considered the leading problem for the collapse of the housing market. I represent buyers that have the right credit score.  They have the expected amount down...they even have residential status without question.  They have been approved by a reputable lender (conservative too...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Many times we create a blog thinking it is going to promote whatever our goal was to create the blog. Blogging has to be informative and create content that brings people back or you blog.  If not your blog will die a natural death with no following or readership. Blogging can be more or less influential toward your goal depending on your direction.  Professional blogs such as ActiveRain offer a unique opportunity.  The chance to expose your skills in whatever discipline you have registered.  The opportunity to also share your personality through your words and posts. Unlike a journal that is personal and private, blogging is viewed by the world...your audience.  How you prepare your new world with information about you or your skills will determine your success in achieving your goal. ...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
This weekend was the National Open House Weekend with it being reported that nearly 800 homes were help open by local real estate agents. The normal weekend is less than a third or that number based on the counts set as open houses on our local MLS system. My open house was well attended and met several couples that are looking for a lifestyle change.  They are retirement ages and my clients condo fits the bill.  Others were there because they have busy lives and reducing the maintenance and lawn care was thier reason for coming. Each buyer has a specific reason why they buy and look at specific areas, locations and property types. How was your open house attendance?  My time limitations help focus buyers and allow me to host more than one open house one the same day. As buyers your sel...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Investment Opportunities they aren't always as they seem. That was the opening line from a client I had just met. Mr. Handyman as it turns out has had a few bumps in the road.  Haven't we all? His deal wasn't a one of a kind, it wasn't the first time I had been offered it either but I must say it was different than I had anticipated when we first met. He decided that it would be a great opportunity for me to buy him a home "of my choice" let him fix it and live in it while making the repairs.  Then we could split the profits once completed and sold. I have to say it was a novel approach for me to spend my money and get less at the same time. I also must say, I actually mulled the prospect of doing this over until his credit report came back.  He has more paper attached to his name than ...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
How many warnings will it take before we believe that these low interest rates can't last forever? We haven't seen a big jump in rates but the little ups and downs will keep nudging rates upward.  The rates will have to rise as the feds change the discount rate charged to lenders.  As the lender rate rises so will the interest rates charged to mortgage borrowers. The time table for the rates to rise will be slow but sure over the end or the third and forth quarters of this year. This will be driven by the need to decrease the national debt.  This will also reduce the number of available buyers, based on the changes in lending practices.  What impact will this have on the local economies, your business and sales?  None of us have crystal balls...but the future of real estate sales and se...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
I live in a subdivision...but my home is one of three on a cul-de-sac with 2 acres of privacy.  The other two homes face away from me and minimal angles of viewing to my backyard. I also look over a valley on homes below, some 400 hundred plus yards away.  A lot was recently sold down in the valley street.  Neighbors with land adjoining the new neighbors lot started scurrying to create privacy once the builder started construction.  One neighbor put in a invisible fence so their dog won't do his duty in the old field area that is now the neighbors new construction site. Another neighbor planted trees along the lot line to make sure the new neighbor knew where his property ended. The builder has made several issues with people along the lot line which has become a subject of debate.  For...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Stress, Inspections For Buyers & Sellers There is a real push nationally for licensing inspection companies and inspectors. Like any industry under the microscope some of the national organizations that offer certifications, continuing education and compliance standards based on national construction and building codes, have flourished.  It doesn't mean that all inspectors or companies abbide by these guidelines or care about the national building standards.  Some are simply in it for the money. Here is a perfect reason why this issue in gaining steam.  This week an inspector, (unlicensed, none required in Michigan), determined a furnace had a major CO2 leak.  The problem....it didn't.  He put in writing that the CO2 readings were dangerously high.  He also scared the buyer so bad that ...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Labor Day travel can be a joy and peril all at the same time. Some families travel hundreds of miles to meet with their families once a year.  Others stick close to home and avoid the highways. I have done both.  I love meeting with the families and seeing people that I rarely have regular communications with during the year and sometimes longer if they don't make the reunion trip.  This gives us time to catch up with each other lives. We have started using these rotating venues to stage a weekend getaway.  The locations vary and usually involve a park or camping site of some type.  FYI, my wife's idea of camping is the Holiday Inn! Traveling on busy holiday weekends can be a trip of patience.  Many people are pulling boats and trailers for the end of the summer last hurrah.    This mea...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Every heard a term and wonder what it meant? Real estate is full of terms that can leave you with the question, "What the heck does that mean?" So on our new website, www.flexitrealtymichigan.com I have incorporated a glossary so you can look up real estate terms.  It is simple to use because it is arranged in alphabetical order and has the first letter displayed to click on to make your search easier.  Click on the link below to access directly to the dictionary. Anytime you wonder what a real estate term means click on the link below.  Save the link to your favorites.  That way you always have a great source at your finger tips. Here is an example of a term to look up.  "ABSTRACTION METHOD" do you know how this phase can influence your property appraisal value? Have a great day, enjoy...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Most times people are asked to place a deposit along with the offer to purchase.  Also known as the purchase agreement. This deposit is know as the earnest deposit.  In Michigan we place earnest deposits into escrow accounts which are governed by state law. I have an article on my website that explains the process of the earnest deposit and goes into more detail. The more you know about the real estate process the better the decision you can make when you decide to purchase or sell. The series of articles on my website can help you sort through many of the technical areas of real estate.  Should you still have questions you will know what questions to ask when seeking professional advice. Click on the link below for this article. http://www.flexitrealtymichigan.com/What'sEarnestMoney If...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
Projects and Preparations for the spring/summers months--recreational.  The first checkup would be vehicle maintenance.  Hot summer months are coming upon us, have you given your vehicle a checkup..Air conditioner..fluid level checked, tire pressure? Giving your vehicle the once over is more than preventative maintenance.  You could be making the difference between having a great time on a weekend excursion and sitting on the side of the road stranded.  Those may be memorable memories but I will bet they won't be categorized as fun.  Fan belts are the #1 item overlooked as a car ages.  If it works don't mess with it.  In the case of a fan belt...if it breaks your car overheats and could cause significant damage to your engine.  The cost of a fan belt has a wide range.  Depending on the ...
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By Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust!
(Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions")
My 2 cents worth... Monday, May 11th is the day the postage increases from .42 cents to .44 cents.  Although I am griping and complaining along with everyone else that we are experiencing yet another postage increase, is this going to affect my mailings and advertising?  Nope.  I believe in direct mail and always get solid leads and sales and that increases my business. Will it change the quality of service I get from Uncle Sam's delivery system?  No...in fact it may get worse! Can I use more email to get the message out?  Absolutely.  I try very hard to use email instead of the post office.  Me and millions of others have shown that email is more effective and the personal touch can be just as effective as a written letter. My true feeling is I thing the post office should be privatize...
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