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Grand Rapids : Real Estate Advice

  • All393
  • Local Info30
  • Home Buying147
  • Home Selling17
  • Market Conditions10

Activity 217
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Kevin Olson, Jessica Laude answered:

This is going to be more complicated, and I suggest (don't always) using a Realtor in this scenario. Having a buyers agent in your corner should not cost you any money, and they will be able to provide you with the best guidance and representation in this situation.

Good luck
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Sat Oct 30, 2010
Mark Brace answered:
I'm not sure what your question or answer is here, but if you are looking for a Realtor to assist you with this I would be more than happy to help you find a place that meets your needs. Please let me know what criteria you are looking for at: or contact me directly. ... more
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Sat Jul 31, 2010
Chip Andis answered:
As an investor Buyer’s Agent I assist my clients with all the registrations and other requirements for rental properties that each community may require.
Each community can be different in their certifications.

Financing of investment properties will require 25% down and perhaps up to 30% depending on the property.
As the multifamily borrower you still must meet credit minimums, possible cash reserve requirements, and other restrictions to ensure you have a good cash flow.
If you own other investment properties, they will each be evaluated.

For real estate questions check the web site below, or contact:

Chip Andis
Cell (248) 931-0084

34 S. Telegraph Rd
Waterford, MI 48328
Office (248) 886-0000
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Wed Feb 9, 2011
Scott Myhre answered:
If you are working with an agent, the agent can set up the search for you and only show you the new listings. If you are on the public side, i don't believe you have that option. I would suggest working with an agent to customize your search. Let me know if you need any help... I would be happy to assist you with your home search.

Scott Myhre
Leading Edge Realty
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Fri Oct 22, 2010
Michelle Gordon answered:
Good morning Nichole,
It is still a good choice, with many good deals on the market and claims of more. If you have a Realtor, I suggest you work with them before purchasing. As many factors go in to the buying decision. I have had many investors to call me to list, but never contacted an agent before purchasing - just bought the home because it was cheep. sometimes there is a reason for that "cheep" house. Buyer beware and do your homework. If you are not already working with a Realtor I suggest you interview some. ... more
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Fri Jul 9, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
The two are very similar. Often, in Michigan, the structure is a land contract. In many other parts of the country it's rent-to-buy or lease-option.

Briefly, here's how it works. Keep in mind, though, that it's all negotiable, and there are dozens on variations depending on your needs and that of the seller.

The tenant-buyer rents a property and has the option to purchase it. There are two separate factors (and often two separate documents . . . more, really, when you get done with the paperwork). First, there's a lease. Generally, it's a fairly standard lease. Second, there's the option. The option is a document that gives you the right to buy the property at some point (often 2-4 years from now), usually for a set price. That price is often around, or slightly above, the property's current market value.

It's a "unilateral" agreement. That means you have the right (but not the obligation) to buy the property. The owner must sell it to you if you want to buy. (A lease-purchase is a "bilateral" agreement in which both you and the seller are obligated to conclude the sale.)

Often--but again, it's all negotiable--the numbers work like this: When you sign the option agreement, you pay a non-refundable up-front option fee. The amount varies, but it's often around 2%-4% of the purchase price of the property. It is NOT a downpayment. It's a fee that gives you the right to buy the property in the future. The option fee usually will be credited to the purchase price if you exercise the option and decide to buy.

Then there's the monthly rent. Usually the amount you pay is slightly above current fair market rent. A portion of what you pay is also credited to the purchase price if you buy. Example: Fair market rent is $1,000. You'd pay maybe $1,200, with $300 a month credited toward the purchase price. Often, the amount credited is around 20%-25% of the total rent . . . but it's all negotiable.

So, let's plug some numbers in. Let's say the property today is worth $200,000. You might pay an up-front non-refundable option fee of $5,000. And fair market rent is $800. You might pay $1,000 a month, with $250 credited to the purchase price. The option is for 3 years for a purchase price of $210,000. At the end of the 3 years (or, depending on how the option is written, at any point before the 3 year mark) you can buy the house for $210,000. However, that purchase price has been reduced by your option fee of $5,000 plus your $250 a month rent credit, or $9,000 total. So your purchase price would be $196,000 ($210,000 minus $5,000 option fee plus $9,000 rent credits).

If you wanted to buy, you'd go out, get a mortgage, and buy the property.

If you didn't want to buy, you'd just walk away at the end of the lease. You would not receive your up-front option fee or your rent credits back. However, if you'd put down a security deposit as part of the lease, you would receive that back.

So that's how it works.

Here's a blog I wrote on how to find lease-option properties:

Hope that helps.
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Mon Jun 28, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
You need to speak to your agent and make sure the property is priced on target--review comps--recently sold similar properties in the immediate area--if the data suggests a price drop, do consider adjusting accordingly; also review with your agent all marketing strategies, make sure you have maximum exposure--in today's market pricing and marketing are paramount. If unsatisfied with your agent after your chat, do contact the broker owner or office manager of the realty company and ask to be assigned another agent--then go from there. ... more
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Wed Jun 30, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
You may wish wish to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate, have all related paperwork reviewed, and see what options you have; protect any other assets as well--most professionals do offer a free consultation. ... more
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Thu Oct 25, 2012
Looking For A Deal! answered:
I'm guessing you are preparing to appeal your taxes . . . My husband and I appealed ours 3 years ago. We consulted with attorneys, etc. but decided to fight on our own. My best advice is to build your case by first going to the township or city and receive your property card. Make sure that everything is accurate - - ie. measurements, etc. Next, we requested the property cards of neighboring homes with similar features and made comparisons. It took us two years, but we successfully had our taxes reduced. After we were denied at the township level, we appealed to the state tax tribunal. There was a terrible back-log in cases, so it took over a year before the tax tribunal ever scheduled a hearing. As the hearing approached, the township assessor contacted us to settle, which we did. We had purchased the house (which was a foreclosure) for $100,000. The township taxed us based on the value of $177,000, which they claimed the house was worth. As I stated, we reduced the taxable value to $57,800.

It was a tough and stressful battle, but definitely worth it!
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Mon May 24, 2010
Mark Brace answered:
I have 2 homes listed right now that the sellers will entertain a lease to own. please contact me and I can get you the details. One Lease option or lease to own is in Kentwood, MI, and the Other lease option or Lease to own is in Greenville, MI. ... more
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Wed Jan 4, 2012
Ruth and Perry Mistry answered:
Hi Dale:

Right the good ones dont have the time to chase Asset Managers.

Also Asset Managers dont know what it takes to sell a home, quite a few were brought in from
other fields and were entrusted with disposing of hundreds of millions of dollars worth
of assets.

Best Regards

Best Regards
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Sun May 16, 2010
Diane asked:
month for the last year and then May YTD....does anyone have that info? Or can you direct me where to locate it?
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Thu May 13, 2010
Roger Danielski answered:
Fri Apr 30, 2010
Lola Audu answered:
Approval of a short sale by the lien holder can vary. There are many factors which can impact the process. These include: incomplete documentation, the skill and speed of the processing department for the mortgage servicer and the number of liens on the property (including 2nd & 3rd mortgage liens, mechanics liens, tax liens etc) We've witnessed the short sale approval process take 45 days and in another instance 7 months. ... more
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Mon Apr 5, 2010
kl answered:
If your contracted with a real estate agent, he/she can provide you with that information. It's not something typically broadcast because the seller doesn't want everyone to know. ... more
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Sun Jul 21, 2013
Cicely Brookover answered:
A qualified maybe. Speak with a mortgage person. Remember your mortgage will also be based on your ability to repay -so presume you have a stable job and have reported income correctly on your taxes. ... more
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Thu Apr 1, 2010
Roger Danielski answered:
The Heritage Hill Association at heritagehillweb,org, has been instrumental in the historic preservation of one of the largest historical areas in the U.S. It is on ther Federal registry for Historic Districts and a homeowner must abide by the requirements of this designation.

Contacting the HHA should answer most of your questions and will help you to determine if this neighborhood is right for you.

It adjoins the "Medical Mile". This is the hottest opportunity for the city and a tremendous opportunity for the Heritage Hill community.

My office adjoins this
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Tue Aug 10, 2010
Robert Young answered:
Hello Richard,

Here are direct links to the pages on my website that discusses property taxes. They lack much information about the east side of the state however (although the calculations are the same):



Robert Young
Associate Broker, ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI
Midwest Properties
616-248-0000 Direct Office
866-559-4373 Direct Fax
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Fri Mar 19, 2010
Michelle Gordon answered:
Contact Jack Viersen at 616-214-0949, I think he is very good and does not have the over head cost as some builders do, so very affordable.
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Wed May 16, 2012
T.J. Malkasian answered:
I personally would stay away from Alger Heights. Your best bet is to contact a local real estate professional and discuss what you are looking for. I would recommend contacting my real estate agent, Bethany Bratt, to find a home that will suite your needs. You can contact her at: CELL: 616-915-9208. She is with Blu House Realty, which specializes in that part of Grand Rapids.

If you have any questions regarding financing, please let me know as I am a local mortgage banker here in GR and would love to assist you with your purchase.

TJ Malkasian
P: 616-433-7066
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