Fox 17 Lead Story May 12, 2021: Open houses generating more interest in Grand Rapids

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Grand River Realty Broker Pete Bruinsma was interviewed on Fox 17 news this week after his Instagram photo generated mixed feelings, displaying lines out the front door of a Saturday open house on a sunny afternoon along Riverside Park. While Mr. Bruinsma never mentioned a housing boom or lack thereof, the interview touched on a few points of interest:

  • Sustained and increased demand is fueling the market with unparalleled competition.
  • Markets in which prices are doubling and tripling are the outliers. For example, Colorado resort towns are experiencing a boom due to some absolutely stunning market shifts fueled by the super rich.
  • Grand Rapids prices are rising quickly, but this is not connected to the “insane” figures coming from outlying “exceptions.”
  • Median prices for single family homes in Grand Rapids have increased by 12.5% in the past 12 months from $189,000 to $212,000. This is explainable, and not part of a “bubble” like 2008’s lending-fueled Great Recession.
  • The median sales price for the same period the preceding year was close to 8% (from about $176,000 to $189,000).

Why does this housing market favor sellers so heavily?

  • Millennials are the largest living generation and are currently more ready than ever to make big, long-term financial decisions.
  • 2020’s COVID restrictions disallowed many buyers from entering homes, with Real Estate activity nearly halted temporarily. Even long open house lines outside of a home make many onlookers uncomfortable, after Michigan has achieved a 50% vaccination rate.
  • New home starts are behind pace in such a demand-rich environment, due in part to supply chain and labor shortages making it very hard for new construction.
  • Grand Rapids is a desirable place to live, with home prices often still priced below the cost of leasing.

Fox 17 Post

Home prices recovered from 2008’s crash and have been increasing since 2009. People’s memories of the trauma stemming from the foreclosure flood and sustained shadow inventory, are all too fresh. Here’s an article Mr Bruinsma wrote in 2015 when many people were worried about sustained housing appreciation.

Median single family home prices on the rise in the City of Grand Rapids are currently on a sustained rise:

Link to Fox 17’s blog post about the open house photo:

Congrats Nika!

Nika took a temporary break from ownership and that’s when she and Pete met. She rented Pete’s Heritage Hill apartment for a couple of years while life happened. As a therapist who is working more and more from home in this COVID climate, Nika decided to purchase another home. She chose this cozy just-renovated spot right near Mulick Park. It has room for her pup, her car, and a garden. What a joy working together, thanks Nika!

Congrats Denise and Nate!

These Colorado transplants found the confines of Fulton Heights to be just what they were looking for in Grand Rapids. And we got it $25k under list price!

[Sold] 1338 Orville SE – Boston Square, Mulick Park | Grand Rapids, MI

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Congrats to our client Nika for picking this beauty up during a very tough time to acquire a property!

[Listing and Photos Courtesy of Josh May Group]
Amazing new listing in Mulick Park hits the market! You will fall in love with this two story that features beautiful hardwood flooring throughout, fireplace in living room, formal dining, kitchen with eating area, recently finished basement, vinyl windows, new water heater, fenced back yard, and two stall garage! Just a short walk away to parks, schools and more! Come see this great home today!

[Sold] 2028 Godwin – Garfield Park

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2028 Godwin – Garfield Park

Here’s a nice success story. Pete assisted our buyer Shanee in purchasing this home in 2016. We’d been outbid maybe 10-15 times on other homes due to our FHA financing, the search was starting to feel a little demanding on time and resources. This home had some issues with peeling paint and overall appeal, but it had the potential to be a great home. Because of that, they hadn’t received any initial offers and we were able to receive offer acceptance, with the understanding that we as buyers would handle any FHA concerns that came up. Pete called Tig Painting and helped coordinate the soffits being painted and the home passed the FHA appraisal inspection. Due to unforseen circumstances two years later, the home had to be sold. We worked together through a list of light improvements to prep the home for sale, and we are able to sell within 2 years and minimal updates for a gain of $25,000.

1345 Sherman – Eastown

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1345 Sherman – Eastown

This is a great example of how Life Cycle Property Management and Grand River Realty work well together as sister companies.

Pete found this home, in foreclosure at the time, for the Dayley family in 2012. They were new to the area and first time buyers. We won the REO bid at a price of $54,729. A few years later the family relocated to Washington state for a job. Life Cycle managed the property for about 5 years, keeping great tenants and making improvements to the home that increased its appeal each year. In 2019, Grand River Realty & Pete were hired to sell the property. Pete put together a list of several improvements and upgrades to be made as well as a professional staging contact, and Life Cycle implemented the upgrades. The home sold in 2019 for $200,000.

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Congrats Zac and Elliot!

Spectacular Custom Home for the Crowes