Spring is Here …. Along with Leaky Roofs and Flooded Basements!

Spring is set to arrive in Michigan in all its glory, which includes snow melt, heavy rain, and a slow thawing of frozen ground.  This is the time of year that many homeowners encounter the joy that is a flooded basement and leaky roofs.  A little preparation can reduce or eliminate major damage to your home.  If your home is equipped with a sump pump, make sure it is in working order by pouring a bucket of water into it and verifying it is discharging properly.  A battery back-up can also ensure the sump keeps running when you are not at home and can be purchased at local hardware or home improvement retailers.  Check your downspouts to make sure they are free of ice and snow build-up that can back water up against your foundation.  Push snow and ice away from basement windows and window wells to prevent seepage.  Gutters should be free of leaves and debris that build up in late fall and can cause water to back-up onto the roof surface or overflow the gutter into poor draining areas around your home.  If you should encounter a major problem, your REALTOR can recommend basement or restoration contractors to return your home to good condition.

To help answer all your real estate questions or to search Homes for Sale, contact a RE/MAX United agent today at (616) 866-5800 or visit our website at http://www.REMAX-Rockford.com.

Finding the Right Property to Build Your Dream Home

Question – – “We are planning to build our dream home and have our plans set except for the land.  What do we need to be concerned about in finding the right property?”

 REALTORS have heard this question many times over the past few months as a low supply of existing homes for sale has prompted more prospective home buyers to consider building a new home to fit their needs.  When selecting a building site there are two distinct avenues to go down:  a platted development lot or privately owned land.  In considering a developed lot your process becomes much simpler as the developer has done much of the necessary work for you.  The developer will have selected suitable building sites and surveyed the boundary lines, determined location of utility and water/sewer lines or proper location of well and septic systems.  A developer can also offer guidance on particular lots that will accommodate the type of floor plan you have in mind, as an example, if you had selected a walk-out plan would a particular lot work best for that type of construction.  When considering a privately owned property all of the above responsibilities shift to the buyer.  To accomplish proper site selection and suitability for construction a land buyer should enlist the assistance of a Realtor and a builder or excavator with knowledge of soils, gas/electric/cable/water/sewer availability, as well topography. A REALTOR will assist in determining any local zoning restrictions that may affect your building project and if the land is subject to any easements, gas or oil leases, and establish a proper value for the land and negotiate a fair price.  Often times land buyers have a vision for a piece of property that can’t be realized without proper due diligence.

To help answer all your real estate questions or to search Homes for Sale, contact a RE/MAX United agent today at (616) 866-5800 or visit our website at www.REMAX-Rockford.com.

RE/MAX United REALTORS Talk Real Estate

A steadily improving housing market has RE/MAX United REALTORS optimistic for another good year in local real estate.  Low interest rates for mortgages combined with more reasonable credit standards contributed to a strong market in 2014 and local REALTORS see more of the same for 2015.

North Kent County’s most productive real estate brokerage posted a 23% gain in closed sales at just shy of $75,000,000 and is projecting sales to rise to $100,000,000 in 2015.  Homes priced under $200,000 continue a multi-year run of high demand while higher price ranges are generating more and more interest.  Strong demand for new construction homes is also driving sales to higher levels in 2015.

RE/MAX United owner Tom Rich sees several factors influencing the real estate market in early 2015.  “A mild winter as compared to last year, lower gas prices, and continued low mortgage rates have helped sales stay steady through a traditionally slow November to January period.  In 2014 the devastating cold and snow put a deep freeze on the market and pushed many property listings months later in the year” said Rich.  “The impact of lower gas prices could have a big impact on rural housing demand in 2015.  Driving an extra 5, 10, or 20 miles to communities like Cedar Springs, Kent City, Greenville, and township areas further out from employment centers is more desirable at $2.00 a gallon than at $4.00 a gallon.  Having a few extra dollars at the end of the week helps consumers feel more confident and optimistic.”

Housing developments that had additional phases to build out but remained stagnant through the recession began adding new homes in 2014 and will continue to add more homes in 2015/16.  Local production builders like KBH Homes, Sable Homes, and Allen Edwin Homes are doing everything they can to keep up with demand.  Custom homes builders like Nugent Builders are seeing strong demand across all price ranges including the high end home market.  The new inventory is critical to filling demand according to Rich.  “From 2007 to 2012 builders faced incredible challenges and did not build enough homes to meet future housing demands – population growth happens no matter how the economy is performing and there is simply not enough housing choices right now.  The next generation of potential home buyers is here and they are having difficulty finding acceptable housing.  By adding new homes choices to the market, those home owners that haven’t found a satisfying option from their current home.  If we can offer existing home owners new choices than we can free up homes for first time home buyers, and those in their first home that are ready to move up.”

RE/MAX United projects existing home prices to rise about 5% in 2015.  Rich says that price increase comes with a friendly reminder:  “If you are waiting for your existing home to rise another 5% before you sell, just remember, your next home is likely rising by the same amount.”

Tom and Tracie Rich, RE/MAX United Named Broker/Owner of the Year

Tom and Tracie Rich of RE/MAX United have been named RE/MAX of Michigan’s Broker/Owners of the Year for 2014.

The RE/MAX of Michigan Awards Gala and Conference recognizes brokers and realtors of RE/MAX franchise offices throughout the State of Michigan.  The event was hosted by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort and attended by more than 500 REALTORS, staff, and sponsors.

The Broker/Owner of the Year Award is the highest honor a RE/MAX franchisee can achieve at the event as it recognizes market performance, growth, innovation, and dedication to the brand.  The Rich’s were honored in the Medium Density Market category which is determined by the size of the population area the brokerage serves.  The award is also given to brokers in High and Low Density market areas.

Tom & Tracie also received the award in 2013 as well as being selected New Franchise of the Year in 2012.  Co-owner Tom Rich was happy to receive the award for 2014. “Honestly, we were as surprised to win as we were the year before.  The competition for the award in our market size is intense and there are many excellent RE/MAX offices throughout the state.  Winning it once is something to be proud of and winning it twice makes us want to work even harder – it sets a baseline for us.  We have many of the finest agents in the marketplace and how they represent RE/MAX United and their clients allows Tracie and I to be recognized.  We know this is an award earned not just by the owners but by the agents, staff, and our vendors.  It takes a strong team to achieve big things.”

Welcome to the RE/MAX United Blog

RE/MAX United is a community focused, customer driven, business minded real estate brokerage deeply rooted in the fabric of West Michigan. We are passionate about playing an active role in building strong neighborhoods throughout our community. Our mission is to help guide each and every client through the home buying and selling process to ensure they make wise, informed real estate investments. Our commitment to these principles have made us leaders within the RE/MAX system and in the communities we support.

We personally recruit the most dedicated and accomplished agents in the field who share our mission and love of everything West Michigan. We operate as a small business, nimble and efficient, while proudly being backed and supported by all the cutting edge technology and tools that only REMAX offers their clients.