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Expert Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Market

Our mission at Yoder Real Estate is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Helpful Tips on Improving and Maintaining a Good Credit Score



There are many great Grand Rapids area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Helpful Tips on Improving and Maintaining a Good Credit Score

 One thing we get asked about a lot by prospective home buyers is  the importance of a good credit score. Having a good credit score is the starting point of getting a home because you want to take care of your financing first before anything else. Your credit history is a compilation of all the pieces of your financial history. It includes every credit card you have ever opened, all your debt, loans and debt repayment history. Other information that impacts your credit score includes whether you've payed back credit card companies on time, filed bankruptcy, if a court has ordered you to pay a loan, or a debt has been deemed noncollectable. All of this information stays on your credit history and affects your score. If you have had money problems, or have failed to pay back loans in the past, you are a greater risk to a lender and more likely to be denied a loan. If you have bad credit, or are just starting to build it up, here are 5 simple things you can do to improve your score.

1. Start small
 One small card or loan can get the ball rolling for you and start building your credit score.

2. Pay off your charges in full at the end of the month
  By doing this, you demonstrate to lenders that you are fiscally responsible and less of a risk in giving a loan to.

3. Make your payments on time
 This is one of the most important things you can do. By paying on time, you are showing the lender that you are disciplined and responsible enough to make payments on time.

4. Keep your total charges within their credit limit
 This is another demonstration of fiscal responsibility that will prevent you from overspending on your limit.

5. Regularly read your credit report
 One way to build a positive history is to make sure you know what information is being reported. We recommend you to visit the free, online service AnnualCreditReport.com once a year  so you can see how your credit score is being rated by the 3 big credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.

If you have any question at all about how to maintain or build your credit score, or any questions about real estate in general, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Grand Rapids Home Buying Guide



There are many great Grand Rapids area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Grand Rapids Home Buying Guide

When you are in the market for buying a new home, there is a simple question you need to answer. Do you want to purchase a pre-existing home in Grand Rapids or do you want to build a brand-new one?

This may be a simple question, but the answer is anything but. There are many different factors that go into this decision. Buying a new home is definitely a great option, but there  advantages and disadvantages to doing this that you need to know about first. Let's start with the disadvantages.

First, Money. While building a new home isn't dramatically more expensive than buying a pre-existing one, it undoubtedly comes with a higher price tag. You will need to also take into consideration that the cost of new carpet, paint, and fixtures will cost you more per sq ft. on a new home than in an existing one. A lot of people don't realize this before they make their decision. 

Another disadvantage to building a new home is the amount of time and effort you have to put into it. Not only do you have to purchase the land that your home will be built on, you also have to pick a house plan and hire an architect to do your design work. You will then need to go into great detail with all of the financial planning of the home so you know exactly what your money is going in to.

Building new homes is not all bad news. There are some incredible advantages to building your new home in Grand Rapids that you need to consider as well.

One key advantage is low maintenance. In theory, a brand new home should be perfectly functional and efficient when you move in, so it will require less maintenance and fewer fixes. 

Another key advantage is design. Nobody has lived in this home before so you can make it your own and design it to fit your personal style. You don't have to look through different homes in Grand Rapids that somebody else built, you can create your personal dream home if you build.

If you are thinking about building a new home or simply purchasing a pre-existing one, I would love the opportunity to talk with you about the process and how the Yoder Team can benefit you!

West Michigan Real Estate Market Update



There are many great Grand Rapids area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

West Michigan Real Estate Market Update

Here’s what is happening in our current market:

  • There are currently 2,439 homes for sale, accounting for a 13% decrease from last year when there were 2,900 homes on the market. We are seeing trends of very low inventory and very high demand!
  • In the first quarter of 2014, there were 1,895 homes sold which accounts for an 18% decrease from 2013 when there were 2,306 homes for sale.
  • The average time a home spends on the market in the first quarter of 2014 is 69 days, as opposed to 71 days in the first quarter of 2013. The slight 3% difference is normal and indicates a healthy market.
  • The absorption rate in the first quarter of 2014 was 25% - anything above 20% indicates a “seller’s” market.

The slightly lower sales are nothing to be concerned about – we faced a tougher than normal winter, which put sellers about 30 days behind from when they actually should sell. If interest rates remain in the mid-4% range, expect the market to break loose.

If you have any questions or would like further clarification, please feel free to call or email me. Thanks and have a great day!

Accurate Home Pricing Strategies for Your Grand Rapids Property



There are many great Grand Rapids area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Accurate Home Pricing Strategies for Your Grand Rapids Property

I get asked nearly every single day about pricing. Clients always want to know the best strategy to get their home priced correctly, so due to popular demand, I will now be revealing how this can be accomplished. 

A lot of people often get pricing wrong, and it's either due to bad advice from an agent or sellers want to start at a high price and reduce later on (which typically doesn't work). 

When your home is priced right from the very beginning, you capture the attention of more online buyers. Most online home searches have price brackets, so after you do a comparative market analysis or a competitive market analysis, you can find that perfect range that will attract buyers to your property.

If you've found the optimal price range for your home, it will do a few different things for you. 

  • You will attract more buyers: The more eyeballs on your home, the better. This increases showings, which will hopefully increase the amount of offers on your home. If all of these things happen, you have a great chance of getting top dollar on your home. 
    • If you price incorrectly, buyers will pass on your home and it will become stale. People will typically think that something else is wrong with the property because it's been on the market for so long. This is a death blow to your home selling endeavor, because once this happens you are very unlikely to get a good price for your property. 
    • Also, your overpriced home will act as a justification for buyers to purchase another home.Because your home is badly priced, when they see a property that is priced well they will likely buy it. So in this case, by pricing your home incorrectly, you have helped to sell another person's property. 
  • Pricing your home high to begin with and then going low lacks velocity: What I mean by velocity is that you want your home to make a splash on the market when you list it for sale. It needs to be priced attractively to draw people's attention. If you price it too high it will hit the market flat and you will have missed your big chance to draw lots of buyer interest. 
  • Don't forget about appraisals: If you have managed to get a buyer to put down an offer for much more than what your property is worth, don't forget that you still have to appraise it. If your home doesn't appraise right, you could lose a sale. This is why it is important to consult with a realtor on how to accurately price your home. 

When you are priced attractively, staged correctly, and marketed aggressively, then you have the perfect formula to sell your home at the highest price possible in the least amount of time. Ultimately you should view your home's price as its most important marketing tool. You can attract buyers with a good price and then make them fight over your home, which should then drive up the price.

If you would like to learn more about how I can help to sell your Grand Rapids home for top dollar using my other strategies such as staging or marketing, feel free to contact me. I am always here to help you.

Now is the Perfect Time to Invest in Real Estate



There are many great Grand Rapids area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

 Is Now a Good Time to Invest in Real Estate?

A lot of my clients have been asking me this, and I think I have a few great reasons for you to invest in real estate.

  1. Low Home Prices & Low Interest Rates: Interest rates are lower than ever, and so are home prices. These two factors are almost never both so low. Usually you see high prices and low interest, or vice versa. This is why now may be the best time ever to become a real estate investor.
  2. The Economy is Turning Around: The economy is on the rise, so if you have the financial wherewithal to invest right now you will be glad that you did in 5 years' time when home prices have shot back up. Also, it will be tougher to invest in the future when the market is saturated with heavyweight investors. 
  3. Money is cheap to borrow: As I said before, interest rates are extremely low right now. With the combination of low home prices and low interest, it's hard to tell you a reason not to invest in real estate.
My Advice for First Time Investors:

Really what I would tell anyone to do would be to find an experienced real estate agent and have them find you some promising properties. Find a relational broker that you can refer to again and again for more leads and more properties. Finding someone that you can align yourself with and also who knows what they're doing in the investing arena can really take you pretty far in the business. 


Once again, if you have any questions about this or any inquiries about Grand Rapids real estate, then feel free to contact me. You can call me at (616) 942-2449 or email me at kevin@yoderteam.com

Selling in the Winter: List Now and Face Less Competition and Increase Demand for Your Home!



There are many great Grand Rapids area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

 Is Now a Good Time to Sell Your Home

Today we are going to discuss whether or not you should sell your home in the winter or wait until spring. When people decide to sell, whether that is in the winter or spring, it is all a matter of timing for the individual. Most sellers only think that they can only list exclusively in the spring and because that’s the truth, most people wait. The result of this is that very few homes hit the market between 
January and March creating a low inventory environment.

If you’re a seller that is ready and has everything lined up, it would be a great strategy to get ahead of the market. On the contrary, sellers who list in the spring may have nicer weather, but also face more competition. This could be 2-3 times more active listings that they would be competing with! By listing your home in the winter, you have less competition to face which in turn increases demand for your home.

There are personal preferences that may also factor in when the right time would be to sell your home. This could be certain features of your home that show better in the spring or waiting until school gets out, just to name a few. There is really no bad time to be on the market!

If you are thinking about selling your home at some point in 2014, give us a call at (616) 942-2449 or send me an email at kevin@yoderteam.com. Thanks and have a great day!

What You Can Expect from the Spring Grand Rapids Real Estate Market



There are many great Grand Rapids area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Today I wanted to give you an update for the Grand Rapids real estate market. Before I begin, I wanted to point out some links on our blog that could be very useful to you. There is a free home seller value report along with a free MLS home search. If you have a few minutes, take a look at them! I hope you find a lot of value in them.

The market is Grand Rapids is weighed more towards the favor of the sellers. We can tell the status of the market by looking at the absorption rate. If the absorption rate is anything higher than 20%, we are definitely in a seller’s market. Anything under 20% would be a buyer’s market. How we find the absorption rate is done by calculating how many homes are sold in a particular amount of time and divide that by the number of homes that are for sale at the end of the particular amount of time. The absorption rate gives us a great baseline of where we are in the market.

Current inventory levels in Grand Rapids are at about four months.Interestingly enough, this same time last year we saw the same levels of inventory. What we saw heading into the year was a very early spring market. Inventory levels dropped into the three month range combined with favorable interest rates made for a strong spring market.

With everything available to real estate agents today in terms of tracking and trending, we expect to have another strong spring market as well. If interest rates remain favorable, this will allow inventory to drop and give us a strong start to spring 2014. This is very exciting!

If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a home in the West Michigan area, give us a call at (616) 942-2449 or send me at email atkevin@yoderteam.com. Thanks and have a great day!