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By Pete Bruinsma | Broker in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Grand Rapids MI Debuts at Number 2: Farmers Insurance Most Secure Big Cities

    Posted Under: General Area in Grand Rapids, Crime & Safety in Grand Rapids, Home Buying in Grand Rapids  |  July 6, 2013 7:59 AM  |  171 views  |  1 comment

    Farmers Insurance Study Ranks Grand Rapids MI Second Most Secure Large City in US

    Full article at ClaimsJournal.com

    "In this year’s large city category of the 'Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S.' study, Farmers Insurance Group has rated Bethesda, Md., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Pittsburgh, Pa., as the most secure large metropolitan areas (population of 500,000 or greater).

    "Farmers annually ranks hundreds of U.S. communities based on safety and security. The study of large metropolitan areas, compiled by researchers at Sperling’s BestPlaces, took into consideration a number of criteria, including economic stability, crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities, and employment numbers.

    "Grand Rapids made the Farmers Insurance top 20 for the first time, while this is the sixth consecutive year that Pittsburgh has appeared in the annual Farmers rankings."


    Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)

    1.Bethesda–Gaithersburg–Frederick, Md.
    2.Grand Rapids–Wyoming, Mich.
    3.Pittsburgh, Pa.
    4.Austin–Round Rock, Texas
    5.Cambridge–Newton–Framingham, Mass.
    6.Omaha, Neb.–Council Bluffs, Iowa
    7.San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara, Calif.
    8.San Francisco–San Mateo–Redwood City, Calif.
    9.Portland–Beaverton, Ore.–Vancouver, Wash.
    10.Dallas–Plano–Irving, Texas
    11.Boise City–Nampa, Idaho
    12.Madison, Wis.
    13.Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, Minn.
    14.Raleigh–Cary, N.C.
    15.Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine
    16.Essex County, Mass.
    17.El Paso, Texas
    18.Honolulu, Hawaii
    19.Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, Calif.
  • Grand Rapids Home Values Up 16 Percent After Healthy Spring Market

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Grand Rapids, Home Buying in Grand Rapids, Home Selling in Grand Rapids  |  May 14, 2013 9:13 AM  |  177 views  |  No comments
    With the Spring Market well underway in Grand Rapids, its time to look back and see if the ecomonists favorable yet conservative predictions from 2012 have come true.  After the big and constant decline over the past few years, I'm happy to say that Real Estate is trending upward, probably faster than we were expecting.

    Comparing January-April 2012-2013, the numbers are looking great. Here are a few facts that point to a recovering market:

    Heritage Hill & surrounding historic district, Grand Rapids:

    In 2012, 42 homes in the surveyed downtown area were sold from the beginning of the year through April, as compared to 43 homes sold during that same period in 2013. The average sale price was $189,000 in 2012, and $215,000 in 2013. That is a healthy increase of around 14% from last year to this year.

    Other neighborhoods of note:
    Grand Rapids Downtown Historic District: up 14%
    Grand Rapids Northeast: up 11%
    Walker: up 15%
    Northwest Neighborhoods: up 17-27%
    Northeast Side: up 5-38%
    East Grand Rapids: up 20%
    Southeast Areas: up 2-23%
    Wyoming: up 15-23%
    Grandville: up 9%
    Kentwood Neighborhoods: up 9-13
    West Side: up 8%
    Grand Rapids Township: up 26%
    Cascade: up 25%

    Overall, the Greater Grand Rapids area has had a similar number of listings and sales in Spring 2013 as compared to Spring 2012, but the average sale price this year is $132,688 as compared to least year's Spring average of $114, 626. That's an almost 16% increase across the Greater Grand Rapids area.

    Right now, consumer confidence is up and foreclosure listings are down. Over the next 2-3 years, the banks will be selling the rest of their Shadow Inventory, which are the foreclosures that remain from the dark period we just experienced. Still, there are far fewer foreclosure listings now than there have been in recent years, and the confidence of home sellers continues to grow along with sale prices.

    With inventory this low and lots of buyers out there, the market seems to favor the seller. Still, there are some foreclosure listings in the mix, which jostle the recent memory of a heavily-weighted buyers market. Right now, it is a great time to engage in this Real Estate market, whether you plan buy or to sell. Buyers are faced with historically low interest rates coupled with low prices. Sellers are experiencing the most success since prior to 2008. These are good times.
    All statistics courtesy of Grand Rapids Association of Realtors
  • Fannie Mae Home Path Rehab Loan

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Grand Rapids, Financing in Grand Rapids, Foreclosure in Grand Rapids  |  August 30, 2010 7:39 AM  |  731 views  |  2 comments

    Wow, its really tough to find a lender for Fannie Mae Home Path renovation loans! Ive spent all morning trying to find someone.
    If anyone knows of a lender who provides this service, please call.

    Pete Bruinsma, GRI

    Assoc. Broker, GR Realty


    616.293.5731 (mobile)

    616.272.3223 (fax)

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