Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Listing: 555 Grand St. Saugatuck, MI MLS#:12010895 Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Unseasonably Warm Weather Warms Up The Real Estate Market

Unseasonably warm weather in many parts of the country has given home sales a welcome boost this winter, a trend that will likely continue as the employment outlook improves and housing affordability remains at record levels, according to a new report.

Across recent months we have seen rising existing home sales and a decline in the number of months of unsold inventory. More existing homes are being bought and sold and our inventory stands at just over 6 months worth of sales at the present rate -- so it could be and has been worse in the housing markets. Credit for some improvement is due. 

However, we have seen celebration and planning for a return to normalcy get significantly out in front of economic fundamentals -- again. We continue to see underwhelming sales levels, falling median prices and huge market share for distressed properties. The middle class continues to lose its castles. Growing communities of renters and investment buyers define single-family real estate. This looks like a recovery -- long-delayed and mild because the middle class is largely left out of it.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) defines distressed properties as foreclosures and short sales. In January 2012, 22 percent of sales were foreclosures and 13 percent of sales were short sales. All of this is to say that over a third of sales came from folks who could not keep or afford their homes. A significant portion of the middle class cannot afford to keep or get into historically middle class housing. In addition, some folks who can afford the homes simply don’t see the value in taking the plunge and taking on all that debt and risk.

National Association of Realtors attributes more deals breaking down because houses are getting appraised at lower levels and mortgage lenders are tougher on applicants. On the bright side, the total number of home sales is climbing, boosted by an improving job market.

Pending home sales are on an upward trend, which has been uneven but meaningful since reaching a cyclical low last April, and are well above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December and is 8.0 percent higher than January 2011 when it was 89.8. The data reflects contracts but not closings. The January index is the highest since April 2010 when it reached 111.3 as buyers were rushing to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said this is a hopeful indicator going into the spring home-buying season. “Given more favorable housing market conditions, the trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year. With a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory, this would bring about a broad price stabilization or even modest national price growth, of course with local variations.”

“Movements in the index have been uneven, reflecting the headwinds of tight credit, but job gains, high affordability and rising rents are hopefully pushing the market into what appears to be a sustained housing recovery,” Yun said. “If and when credit availability conditions return to normal, home sales will likely get a 15 percent boost, speed up the home-price recovery, and thereby significantly reduce the number of homeowners who are underwater.”

Monday, February 27, 2012

NEW Price: 1584 Waukazoo Dr. Holland, MI. MLS# 11014468. Lake Macatawa Waterfront . Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:
New Listing: 388 S. Lakeshore Dr. Holland, MI MLS#:12010215 Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Listing: 375 Big Bay Dr.. Holland, MI MLS#:12008905 Lake Macatawa Waterfront! Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:
New Listing: 729 Browne Ave. Muskegon, MI MLS#:12008852 Mona lake Waterfront! Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Listing: 509 S. 168th Ave. Holland, MI MLS#:12008662 Lake Mac Assocation Access! Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Listing: 7625 Margaret Ave. West Olive, MI MLS#:12007932 Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Listing: 6476 Wildcreek Dr. Holland, MI MLS#:12007509 Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

Monday, February 6, 2012

With videos: Michiganders coming back home to growing economy

With Michigan leading the nation in new job growth and the Federal Reserve projecting Michigan is on track to lead all other states in job growth over the next six months, a growing number of Michiganders are seeing the opportunities of coming home.
MSNBC this week trumpeted the state’s economic growth during an interview

with Gov. Rick Snyder who addressed Congressional panels with Michael Finney, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. They appeared before Congress to testify on job creation and how Michigan can serve as a role model for other states.

Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing all recently ranked in the top 10 for growth in manufacturing and other sectors. Just last week, President Obama similarly touted Michigan’s national leadership in advanced manufacturing and research and development. Bloomberg Businessweek also spotlighted the state’s growth.

They also said spoke of unleashing “the Era of Innovation” by empowering talented people through the ‘Three Cs: Connecting, Collaborating and Creating.’

Michiganders who left the state and were drawn back by Pure Michigan opportunities are featured in a new Pure Michigan MiAdvantage video out today.

“I am who I am because of the education in this state, growing up in this state,” notes Jonathan Seyferth, a Central Michigan University graduate who moved to Wyoming and was recently drawn back. “I wanted to make sure that if I had the opportunity to have a positive impact, I was going to take advantage of that.”

With a renewed focus on attracting and retaining talent, the MEDC Talent Team is looking to attract talented former residents in hard-to-fill or growing fields to MichAGAIN. The next event is slated for next week in Orlando, Fla.

Amy Cell, MEDC Vice President for Talent Enhancement, calls MichAGAIN a way to connect this valuable pool of talent to employers who are currently seeking to fill critical jobs.

Through partnerships with universities and alumni associations, the MichAGAIN program seeks to appeal to former residents, educating them on growth opportunities.

The MichAGAIN team also has plans to be in Austin, Texas March 9-13 and San Francisco May 8-10.  For a complete listing and up to date information visit them at

Other upcoming talent-focused events and initiatives highlighting great Michigan opportunities are also in the works, including:

MiVirturalCareerFair:  The very first state-sponsored virtual career fair aimed at filling the hottest IT and high tech positions.  On February 15, job seekers will have the opportunity to interact with Michigan businesses, actively recruiting highly-skilled candidates through a live, 3-D virtual environment. Search jobs, submit resumes, and network from the comfort of your own home or office. Register today!

LiveWorkDetroit:  Detroit is one of the hottest places in the country to live and work.  LiveWorkDetroit gives college graduates and young professionals the opportunity to see it in person.  Hear directly from employers eager to hire the best and brightest.  New events are scheduled nearly every month, find out more at

Opportunity Spotlight:  Features a list of in-demand jobs, rapidly hiring employers and key training programs for people in transitions, provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Workforce Development Agency.

Pure Michigan Talent Connect:  Featuring nearly 80,000 current jobs along with career exploration tools. The site serves the gateway for employers to find talent and job seekers to find new career opportunities.  Begin your search at

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership serving as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, focuses on helping grow Michigan’s economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Listing: 1244 Waukazoo Dr. Holland, MI MLS#:12006531 Lake Macatawa Waterfront! Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back On The Market: 300 Rath St. Ludington, MI. MLS#:12006354 Waterfront Condo! Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:
New Listing: 295 Silver Ridge Dr. Holland, MI MLS#:12006347 Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit:

National Association of Realtors Survey Results

The National Association of Realtors® surveys homebuyers and sellers each year to uncover housing trends and monitor changes taking place in the industry. This year's report highlights a number of trends that haven't been seen in years. Here are just 11 highlights from the 2011 report.
1. In 2011, 37% of homebuyers were first-time buyers - which was down from 50% in 2010.

2. Last year, 88% of homebuyers used the Internet to search for a home. That number was down slightly from a high of 90% in 2009.

3. The typical homebuyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 12 homes.

4. The number of buyers who purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker climbed to 89% - a share that has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

5. Nearly 1 out of 4 buyers said the application and approval process was "somewhat more difficult" than expected…and 16% reported it was "much more difficult" than expected.

6. About half of home sellers traded up to a larger and more expensive home…and 60% traded up to a new home.

7. The top 3 factors influencing neighborhood choice were: the quality of the neighborhood, the convenience to job, and the overall affordability of homes.

8. The typical seller lived in their home for 9 years. That number has increased from 6 years in 2007.

9. Although 61% of sellers said they reduced their asking price at least once, the average home sold for 95% of the listing price.

10. Only 10% of sellers sold their homes without the assistance of a real estate agent. Of those people, 40% knew the buyer prior to the sale.

11. The typical "for sale by owner" home sold for $150,000 compared to $215,000 for the average agent-assisted home sale.

All Contents ©2012 The National Association of Realtors®.

Lake Macatawa Real Estate Market Statistics

Lake Macatawa Sales are robust.  Currently on Lake Macatawa there are 16 homes or condos for sale ranging from $425,000 to $1,895,000 in price with the average listing price of $856,169. And the good news is there are currently 7 sales pending, a closing in the near future, and the average list price of those seven sales is $599,686.
In the past 12 months there were 15 Lake Macatawa homes or condos that sold with an average sales price of $653,667.  They ranged from a condo at $275,000 to $1,125,000 with 3 of the 15 sales at or above $1 million.

The market seems to be responding nicely to the interest rates.  I am in the process of doing a few refinances on investment properties and got a 3.25% rate (with all closing costs rolled in at that rate) for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage.  30 year rates and Jumbo loans (over $417,500) are a bit higher.  Lots of good buys still out there!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NEW Price: 39532 Wilderness Dunes Ln. Covert, MI. MLS# 11016572. Lake Michigan Waterfront . Call Andrea Crossman Group today for more information 616-355-6387 or visit: