Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Real Estate Market Graphs For Holland Michigan

Graph "A" shows the number of homes sold each month for 2009. Graph "B" shows a comparison of average selling prices for real estate in the Holland and Saugatuck area for 2008 and 2009.

Graph A:

Graph B:

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Home For The Holidays

Nationwide only about 10,000 homeowners received permanent loan modifications under the Obama administration's mortgage relief plan. Bank of America Corp, the nation's largest lender had only completed 98 modifications for the 160,000 borrowers who had signed up by the end of November. GMAC Mortgage had the most of any lender, just 7,100. Millions of borrowers are still being evaluated for the Obama administration's foreclosure prevention effort. States are also trying to delay the foreclosure process, temporarily lowering foreclosure numbers. Foreclosure filings were still up 18 percent from a year ago. Nearly 307,000 households, received a foreclosure-related notice in November, down 8 percent from a month earlier, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

The Commerce Department said construction of new homes and apartments rose 8.9 percent in November. The gain represented strength in all areas of the country although the increase was slightly lower than economists had expected. Also applications for new building permits went up, rising 6 percent.

Citigroup Inc. will suspend foreclosures and evictions for 30 days in a temporary break for about 4,000 borrowers. The suspension will run from Friday December 18 through January 17. It applies only to borrowers whose loans are owned by Citi. This suspension is speculated to help over 2,000 homeowners with scheduled foreclosures and 2,000 who have received a notice of foreclosures, this holiday season.

For more informtion on buying or selling a home contact the Andrea Crossman Group.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mortgage Rates Are An All Time Low

Qualifying for a loan is tough. The best rates are available to those with solid credit and a 20 percent down payment.

The average interest rate for a 30-year mortgage dropped to a record low of 4.71 percent, pushed down by an aggressive government campaign to reduce borrowing costs. The rate, published by Freddie Mac, is the lowest since the mortgage finance company began tracking the data in 1971. The previous record of 4.78 percent was set during the week ending April 30 and matched last week.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.19 percent, up from 4.18 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 4.25 percent from 4.35 percent.

For more information, contact The Andrea Crossman Group

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Housing Dominos Are Still Falling in West Michigan Nationally

The housing market will remain under pressure from the serge in home loan defaults, especially as unemployment keeps rising. Lost jobs, lay-offs, and unemployment are the main reason home owners are falling behind on their mortgages. Due to more homes falling into foreclosure and being bumped on the market we have not seen the end to the declining prices. The great number of foreclosures now for sale will continue to effect the developers as well.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has notified state departments to prepare for 20 percent cuts next year on top of 10 percent reductions this year. Also suffering major cutbacks were college scholarships, school aid, revenue sharing to municipalities and Medicaid health care for the poor and seniors. Contributing factors to fiscal crisis are: loss of state revenue, relative size of budget gaps, increasing joblessness, high foreclosure rates, obstacles to balanced budgets and poor money-management practices.

Michigan is trying to increase state income by promoting travel to boost tourism. Other efforts to diversify the economy included: the movie maker tax credits, business tax breaks, and credits for the advanced battery industry. Despite the housing crisis, there are cities where prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming years.

Here are the top 10 cites where analysts for Money Magazine expect price appreciation.
1. McAllen, Texas
2. Rochester, N.Y.
3. Birmingham, Ala.
4. Syracuse, N.Y.
5. Buffalo/Niagara Falls, N.Y.
6. New Orleans, La.
7. Scranton, Pa.
8. Grand Rapids, Mich.
9. Baton Rouge, La.
10. El Paso, Texas
Source: Money Magazine

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Real Estate News

Today seems to be a day of good Real Estate news across the country. Home mortgages are at all time lows, and sales of new homes are on the rise. Remember when I said I thought the market had hit bottom? Well all current signs seem to indicate I was right.
So, get out there and buy a home before you end up paying more than you have to! The Michigan Real Estate Market is ripe for the picking--on and off water.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Michigan's Federal Funds

There is so much federal money circulating around the state that many are unaware of how it is being spent. There are a few housing programs that this federal money is being spent on all over the state.

The state offers many programs to lower income households. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) is a federally funded program, administered by the MSHDA that provides money to help eligible low income households pay their rent. If you qualify and are accepted as a participant, the amount you personally pay for rent and utilities may vary, but generally your portion will not exceed 40 percent of your income.

Michigan's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a federally-funded, low-income residential energy conservation program. The program provides free home energy conservation services to low-income Michigan homeowners and renters. These services reduce energy use and lower utility bills, thus creating more self-sufficient households.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is created from Title III of Division B of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. States, cities, and counties will receive a total of $3.92 billion to acquire, rehabilitate, demolish, and redevelop foreclosed and abandoned residential properties. Funds were allocated to states and local governments under a formula developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

In Grand Rapids the offer the Housing Rehabilitation Program by the Housing Rehabilitation Division. This program offers affordable loans for home repairs. The Program also offers assistance to qualified homeowners that includes the following: Help determining what repairs are needed and how the work should be done with priority given to exterior Housing Code orders. The program aids in emergency repairs and environmental issues (lead paint), as well as help selecting a contractor and getting a fair price, and help to ensure the repairs are complete and of good quality.

Grand Rapids also offers the Rental Rehabilitation Program through the Community Development Department by the Housing Rehabilitation Division. The Program offers assistance to Landlords to make substantial improvements to their rental properties. This program including Housing Code required repairs on the interior and exterior, environmental hazards including asbestos and lead based paint. The program also offers energy and water efficiency improvements, alterations to improve accessibility in the units, and livability and "rentability" improvements.

Also beginning July 5, 2009, Michigan Law requires all lenders to work with homeowners to avoid foreclosure.
If you have missed one or more payments, follow the steps below:
1. Open all mail from your lender. You will receive a notice in the mail stating your RIGHT to work with your lender and a housing counselor.
2. Call a certified, non-profit housing counselor or your local legal aid office as soon as you receive the notice. You will have 14 days from the date the notice was mailed to contact a housing counselor or your local legal aid office: ALL homeowners will receive free help, regardless of income level. Agencies providing assistance in the state includes: State of Michigan Save the Dream, HOPE Hotline, United Way, MI Foreclosure Prevention Project
3. Once you’ve contacted a housing counselor, you will have 90 days to work with your lender to work out an agreement on your loan. (The law determines eligibility. There will be homeowners who are not eligible for a modification under the law because they just don't have enough income.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended, and Expanded

The new legislation extends the existing $8,000 first-time home buyer credit beyond its scheduled Nov. 30 expiration date. Now home buyers must sign a contract before April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010 to take advantage of the credit. The bill made more homeowners eligible to claim the tax credit. First-time buyers who have not owned a home in the past three years qualify for an $8,000 rebate. The credit was extended to now include existing homeowners who sell their current property and purchase a primary residence that costs $800,000 or less. These people who have owned and occupied a residence for at least five years can claim a $6,500 tax credit. Home buyers who qualify must maintain the new home as their main residence for at least three years or they will have to repay the credit. The bill also increased the income levels to couples earning as much as $225,000 a year and individuals earning up to $125,000, compared to the current income levels of $75,000 limit for individuals and $150,000 for couples.

Unemployment Extension

The fourth extension of unemployment benefits to the longtime jobless will be offered in all states. The law provides a additional 14 weeks of unemployment benefits to all out-of-work people who have exhausted their benefits or will do so by the end of the year. Those in states where the jobless rate is 8.5% or above get an additional six weeks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Undervaluation of Homes due to Economic Situation

Many new home buyers took advantage of low mortgage rates and the $8,000 tax credit that is coming to an end at the end of this month. New home buyers must close by Nov. 30 to take advantage of this tax credit. Continued concerns about the housing market still prominent, Congress is considering several proposals to extend the tax credit for first-time buyers through June 30, and possibly expand it to include all home buyers.

Looking forward contracts signed for pending home sales in September rose 6.1 percent to 110.1 from 103.8 in August. This is 21.2 percent higher than September 2008 when the rate was 90.9. This is the largest annual increase on record, marking eight consecutive monthly gains. The index is at the highest level since December 2006 when the pending sales index was 112.8.

Home prices appear to be stabilizing. The median national home price today is about $174,000, this is an estimated 30 percent from its peak in years past. Housing prices are justified by the fundamentals of the economy and may even represent an undervaluation. In determining valuations housing prices continue to be dragged down by foreclosures and short sales, where the mortgage exceeds the sales price.

It is estimated that about 50 percent of homes sold today are foreclosures and short sales. Nearly 88,000 homes in September were repossessed, up from about 76,000 a month earlier. "The foreclosure crisis affected nearly 938,000 properties in the July-September quarter, compared with about 890,000 in the prior three months, according to a report by RealtyTrac Inc". The consequences of these missed projections are significant. Lenders are avoiding refinancing mortgages of otherwise creditworthy households because the mortgage exceeds the value of the home due to the market distortion. Unemployment is forcing many into foreclose and this is overwhelming federal programs. This is adding to the poor economic situation causing the housing market to climb up slowly.

For more information on purchasing your new home contact Andrea Crossman Group

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Holland Real Estate Market Statistics

For the area North of the Holland Channel, along the Lake Michigan coastline and North lake Macatawa areas, 2009 compared to 2008 home sales from January 1st-October 19th. In 2008 there were a total of 268 homes sold in this area, with an average sale price of $224,007. In 2009 there were 275 homes sold, with an average sale price of $182,698, representing a 18% drop in average sale price year over.
It's nice to see that number of listings selling is up year to date, but that 18% drop is not an encouraging sign for sellers. It seems that short sales are having a huge impact on the market these days, as they have been becoming increasingly more en-vogue. I think the announcement of the new jobs coming to the area should temper the slide a bit, and possibly level things off for a while to come.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2058 Ottawa Beach Road Holland, MI

MLS #2914749.Lake Macatawa waterfront home built & architecturally designed by two of the best in the area (Jerry Mannes & Chuck Posthumus) Great curb appeal,, fantastic views & very close to the Holland State Park beach. Quality built 2X6 construction, Certainteed shingle siding (vinyl), zoned heating & cooling, central vac, 30 year roof & large lakeside deck. You'll enjoy the nice lawn, beautiful perennial gardens, sandy beach area never seawalled. Dock negotiable. All four bedrooms have lake views that are unparalleled. Well designed with main floor master suite, large walk-in closet, a great desk/work room that can be closed off, 9' ceiling heights & open concept living/dining & kitchen. Impressive 2-story entry.

For more information on this home and many others visit Andrea Crossman Group.

1907 South Shore Dr. Holland, MI

MLS #2834985. Lake Macatawa home with nice remodeling, fabulous views & great location in area of fine homes. Close to the Piper Restaurant, Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, & the channel. Large main floor master suite opens to a four season room. You'll love the spacious kitchen and dining area that take in those great views. The upstairs has and office & family room, and there's a finished walkout lower level with another family room. 2 fireplaces. A great value for this location.

For more information on this home and many other contact Andrea Crossman Group.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

12945 Wilderness Trl Grand Haven, MI 49417

MLS: #2914648 Great Lake Michigan community with very large well-built home that has a large lakeside deck - newer lakeside sunroom addition, a 2 story fieldstone fireplace in the great room. Awesome beach with both stairs and electric tram, medium bluff. 6 to 7 bedrooms with chalet or lodge feel. Could use some updating but price has been reduced $450,000 to allow for improvements. 2006 new boiler/heat system ($7,000) plus sunroom and master bath with corian. 107' of wide sandy private beach in gated community of 40 homes with 120 acres of gorgeous woods and trails, association tennis courts. Very close to Grand Haven Schools, town and restaurants.

For more information on this home and many others please visit: Andrea Crossman Group

31755 E Tourist Rd Drummond Island, MI 49726

MLS: #2919989 Looking for that great Cabin/Cottage up north on Drummond Island ? Here it is. This wonderful cabin has many places for enjoying the Bay of Potagannissing in Lake Huron . Enjoy the views from the screened in gazebo, large deck, waters edge or sitting area in the cabin. You can see the lake from any place in the main living area, kitchen, living room, dining area, sitting area or fireplace as well as the master bedroom. The home has be totally renovated recently sided with half log and cedar shake roof, new windows, hardwood flooring, tile kitchen with a center island, 2 full baths and 3 bedrooms and much, much more. There is 150 feet of frontage on Lake Huron/Potaganninssing Bay with views of Bay Island , Ashman Island , Grape Island and James. The property is nicely wooded to give you lots of privacy. Potagannissing Bay is very well known by fisherman for its great fish.

For more information about this listing or others like it visit Andrea Crossman Group

2413 Eagle Dr Holland, MI 49424

MLS # 2924402 Great summer vacation home or year round home. Fully booked as weekly summer rental for 2008 (2,400 per week) in Eagle Crest Association with deeded Lake Michigan beach just a few doors away (at top of Eagle Dr). This well kept home is being sold furnished & turn-key. Eagle Crest Association has shared beach on Lake Michigan plus association tennis & basketball courts & playground nearby. You'll love the open living area with masonry fireplace, skylights & solarium. New well & roof in 2005. Nice wooded lot. Underground sprinkling. Located between Holland's State Park & Tunnel Park with bike paths all around & lots of activities for all ages.

For more information about this listing or others like it visit Andrea Crossman Group

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2225 Crescent Walk Macatawa, MI 49434

MLS: #2910741 Macatawa Hills beach cottage or year round home. Great lake views are yours from this 7 bedrooms, plus a cute lower level bunk room will be cherished for years to come. Just one cottage up the hill from Lake Michigan and 1,000+ feet of huge beach south of the channel (thru membership in Macatawa cottage's Assoc.) optional tennis membership in active tennis club. 4 floors of living space, uppermost floor was added 8 years ago. 1993 cottage had a total rehab except the den/bar area. Indoor & outdoor speakers were just added. You'll love the multiple large decks that surround the home and offer sun or shade and great lake views. Any very importantly, there's room to park about 7 cars. Parking spots have been selling for $50,000 per spot in recent years in this beachside community that has been a haven to many since the late 1800's.

For more information about this listing or others like it visit Andrea Crossman Group

895 South Shore Dr Holland, MI 49423

MLS: #2900811 This regal Lake Macatawa estate located on Millionaire's Row will sweep you off your feet. With more than 6,000 sq. ft. of living space, the 1970s landmark White House on South Shore Dr. offers exquisite artisan features from around the world. Classic landscaping with equally impressive accommodations for four boats & up to 10 cars. A two-story rotunda entry, split curved stairway & many extraordinary architectural details create timeless character. The spacious tile patio overlooks a manicured lawn, tiered gardens & lake to facilitate gracious entertaining while a lower level game room, complete a soda fountain, ensures weather never dampens the fun. Along with these amenities, craftsman construction, 5 bedrooms, 3 fireplaces and elegant living spaces allow you to enjoy the best in Midwest lifestyles. The home's world-class furnishing may be negotiated & include a 1920's dining set belonging to the former president of Mexico, a Steinway piano & Baker furniture pieces.

For more information on this home or others like is visit Andrea Crossman Group

Monday, August 3, 2009

1584 Waukazoo Holland, MI 49424

Totally redone beautiful estate on premier 1.4 acre setting on Lake Macatawa. Winding private drive with state of the art lighting brings you to this gorgeous contemporary home. Updates include; All new exterior cedar shake shingles with copper flashing, 2 thick cedar trim & siding. Front entry, rear patio decorative arbors. Dredged out 160 ft. dock with 60 amp power. New landscaping & patio. Redesigned kitchen which includes new granite counter tops, custom painted & glazed cabinets, stainless steel appliances & large center island with Jenn-Air cook top. All new woodwork throughout, new 6 wide hickory hardwood floors, beautiful crown molding throughout entire home. All redone bathrooms, security system, Crestron home automation system. New lighting, hardware, air conditioning, furnace, see through fireplace, and much more. 118 ft. of frontage, looking directly down Holland Channel. Great sunsets from back redone patio. MLS#: 2912092

For more information on this home and many others please visit: Andrea Crossman Group

5191 Rosabelle Beach Holland, MI 49424

Private wooded Lake Michigan setting with great beach on Holland's northside. Brick walkout ranch home with beautifully remodeled main level. Gourmet kitchen with new cabinetry, granite counters & lighting. Sub-zero appliances. French doors on large lakeside deck and new beach stairs (about 58 stairs to beach). Lots of light with help of skylights. New stereo wiring. Full Lake Michigan beach rights (you own to the water's edge). Newer roof, well, furnace & windows. MLS#: 2912645

6418 144th Ave, Holland, MI

$150,000 PRICE REDUCTION, APPROX. $54,000 IN RECENT RENOVATIONS! Serenity, luxury, and quality describe this large 4 bedroom/4 bath Laketown home just minutes from gorgeous Lake Michigan beaches, and perfectly located between Saugatuck and Holland. This year round residence, or vacation home is situated on 6 wooded acres with private pond and spectacular gardens, with underground sprinkling and privacy galore. Enjoy the move-in ready convenience this home offers, featuring 2 fireplaces, a fully finished walk-out lower level complete with wet bar, hard wired for sound throughout, large decking, and stainless steel appliances. Many high end, new upgrades round out this home, including: Travertine flooring and granite counters throughout, new carpet, custom installed cable, and fresh paint. The only thing missing is you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009