Look What’s Happening in Georgetown Township (Jenison, MI)!

It’s finally happening!  After experiencing years of businesses, restaurants and store fronts leaving our area primarily to relocate closer to Rivertown Mall we are now beginning to see a new resurgence in business coming back into our community.

After a recent, strong public opposition that caused a new, planned Georgetown Township complex to be cancelled  8.1 Million Georgetown Township Complex Scrapped  the Georgetown Township Board is moving forward and now requesting from its community both their ideas and input in the development of 200 Baldwin St.. They would also like to hear the people’s opinion on more long term plans currently being directed towards the senior center and library.  Baldwin St. Development Ideas Sought

at home store in Jenison, MI

at home store in Jenison, MI

The first bit of good news came for me when I heard the empty Target Building would be the new location of an at home store.  New At Home Store in Jenison  This is the first of it’s kind in our area, carrying a great assortment of merchandise from home interior and outdoor items, garden and patio elements along with houseware items and much, much more.  If you haven’t already shopped there it should be a must on your Spring “To Do” list!

Another great piece of information came when I learned from the Georgetown Township facebook page that the long empty Perkins Restaurant has been sold and will be the new location for a Sophia’s House of Pancakes …there is no opening date as of yet but I’m sure our residents will be ready for a new place to relax and enjoy pancakes, waffles and a hot cup of coffee or two!

We are also lucky to have the addition of a new fitness studio called Get Empowered Fitness located at 666 Baldwin St. Jenision.  Please check out what they have to offer you here at Get Empowered Fitness Studio.  Another welcome addition to our community!

And finally, again from the townships facebook page….”Georgetown Charter Township has recently reached an agreement to purchase a home located at 111 Baldwin St. This property is to be part of the townships plan to create access for our residents to the Grand River for kayaking, boating and also a bicycle trail. I am incredibly happy to hear of this as I love the idea of our community finally getting an area of access to the Grand River and be able to enjoy a variety of water activities and a bicycle trail too!

I think it’s great that the township is now striving to keep this community informed and up to date on it’s current events, general information and topics of interest by way of facebook.  If you would like to keep “in the loop” too, please take a moment to check out and “Like” their page here… Georgetown facebook Page

Let’s Position Your Home as the New HOT Listing!

Are you looking to sell your home quick and at close or even above full list price?  

Curb appeal get's buyer's excited to step inside!

Let me tell you about easy steps you can take to present your house to buyers and position it as the new HOT listing!

1.)  Price – The proper pricing of your home is extremely important because more than any other factor the price affects how long it will take to sell your home along with how much you’ll eventually sell it for. There are many factors that assist in determining a competitive price, the condition, location, your property and what it has to offer, recent comparable’s, size, age and more. Be both optimistic and realistic when setting your price!

2.)  Presentation -  The way you sell your home is not the way you live in it!  Create a warm and well-kept feeling inside. Get rid of clutter (personal knick-knacks), clean out closets and cupboards, have kitchen and bathrooms sparkling clean.  Also, your homes curb appeal will be the first thing potential buyers see and forms the all important first impression. Remove clutter from your yard, clip shrubs, sweep walks and edge grass entice your buyers to want to come inside.  The better your home shows the more excited buyers will get, a bit of hard work will get you a quicker sale and a higher price!

3.)  Condition - Take care of all maintenance issues such as leaky faucets, burned out light bulbs, marks on walls etc.  If you were going to buy your home today…for top dollar…what are the things you would want to see fixed or changed? Homes that are in move-in condition will sell faster and for more money!

4.)  Showings - It can often be more than a little inconvenient to get your home ready for showings, but unless you show it, it’s almost impossible to sell it!  To be a successful seller you need to welcome showings, if you receive a short notice request to show your home always do your best to be accommodating.  This could be your best buyer!

If you are looking to sell in our current sellers market the above items are the keys to your success and you have just positioned your property to be the new HOT listing!

Please call Therese for the professional service you deserve!

 

Smith Regional Respite Services Product Drive & Fundraiser

Happy Child

Having some laughs!

Recently I became involved and joined a great group of ladies in Women’s Life Group Chapter 876.  We are simply a fun group who are always open and looking for ways in which we can help others and reaching out to those in need.  Learn about our group here…

The Smith Regional Respite Center came forward to us through a very good friend of mine whose daughter works there.  In hearing Stacey talk about these wonderful children she cares for, how much she enjoys them and all she is learning from them, I also learned they are always in need of help as their resources are limited.

About Smith Regional Respite – Smith Regional Respite is a 24 hour State Licensed, Nonprofit Respite Agency for children from the ages of 4 through 18 with developmental disabilities, offering a break to families who need that short bit of time to recoup and catch their breath, in order to continue to care for their child within the family home setting.    http://smithrespite.weebly.com/

Our Drop Sites….

1.  Alexis Designs
    4187 Chicago Dr. Suite 6
Grandville, MI 49418

2. Beaver Dam Christian School
5181 64th Ave.
Hudsonville, MI  49426

3. Gymnastics Unlimited
3400 Highland Dr.
Hudsonville, MI, 49426
(located by the Pinnacle Center) I-96 and 32nd.

4. Signature Design and Day Spa
1740 44th St. Suite 11
Wyoming, MI  49519
(Located in Chateau Centre)

5.  Exchange Financial
3243 East Paris Ave. SE
Kentwood, MI 49512

**Fundraiser Party on May 18, 2012 7:00pm to 9:00pm
at 7477 Sunfish Lake Ct.  Rockford, MI 49341.
Please bring own drinks, dish to pass and chairs for relaxing!
$10 donation suggested however ALL donations are GREATLY APPRECIATED!

**All monetary donations will go towards a Scholarship Fund for families in need at the respite center to be used towards additional care time for their child which they could otherwise not have afford. Please make checks out to Women’s Life Group Chapter 876.

Respite Center List of Needs – Please note:  Smith Regional Respite is in need of the specific brands of cleaning items included in list below. Thank you!!

1. Any brand toilet paper
2. Any brand paper towel
3. Baby wipes (any brand)
4. Gel Dish Detergent (Cascade or some off-brand equivalent)
5. Jet Dry for dishwasher
6. Proforce No Rinse Floor cleaner (from Sam’s Club)
7. Proforce Lemon Disinfectant (also Sam’s)
8. Lysol brand disinfectant cling toilet bowl cleaner
9. The Works Tub and Shower cleaner (comes in clear bottle with green label)
10. Equate or Softsoap Antibacterial Hand Soap refill
11. Suave Kids 2 in 1 hair smoother’s shampoo or any Sauve Shampoo and/or Conditioner
12. Purex or Surf laundry detergent (powder or liquid)
13. Any brand dryer sheets
14. New mop heads (we just have an industrial mop from Sam’s Club with the braided strand mop heads)
15. New bath towels and wash clothes would be great!
16. New kitchen towels and kitchen wash cloths would be great too!
17. New sippy cups with the no drip/spill
18. Non-stick pots, pans and bake ware
19. Pillow case protective covers (vinyl or cotton, it doesn’t matter)
20. Disney Sing-a-long Songs DVD’s (the kids LOVE these and we only have them on VHS except for the Lion King Circle of Life Sing-A-Long… as you can imagine, the VHS’s are starting to wear out from being watched over and over)

21. New mattresses for our beds as some have tears in them. We require the antimicrobial/anti-fungal fluid proof, crack resistant one (usually referred to as chemtick mattress that can be a little costly ($180 ea. for an extra long twin)

THANK YOU!!!!

Easy Home Safety Tips For Seniors

Sun Flower

Beautiful Sun Flower

When mom was still living on her own at home there was nothing more important to me than to be sure her home was safe and that she was able to remain as independent as she could for as long as she could.

I’ll just say my mom has always been quite “feisty” and this is just one of her many great attributes that I love about her!  She always wants to do things for herself (and does) as her Independence has always been extremely important to her and still is.

Something we can all do to help our seniors remain safe and independent for as long as they can is to ensure their home is as safe as possible and do what we can to help eliminate any potential issues that may cause them harm.

Please see below a list of suggestions….

-Post Emergency Phone Numbers that are easily readable (large print) and place on or near the telephone.  Be sure to include 911 but also have numbers for family members, friends and/or neighbors who can be easily reached, including the Poison Control, Fire and Police Depts are always a good idea too.

-Check medications.  All medications should be in the containers they came in and easily readable. All Prescriptions Meds should be clearly marked with name, doctors directions, contents and expiration date. Dispose of all outdated medications.

-Have at least one fire detector on every level of the home.  Be sure to read and follow carefully directions for installation.  Note: Some Fire Depts will provide assistance in acquiring and installing smoke detectors.   *Remember to test and check batteries every few months.

-Eliminate the use of candles if at all possible to prevent potential fire hazards. Replace them with new battery operated candles which are attractive and can be set to automatically turn on and off.

-Develop an emergency exit plan and practice every now and then.

-Be sure all exits and passage ways are kept clear of obstructions. Rearrange furniture if needed to open up traffic flow areas and passageways for easier entry.  Remove any obstructions such as boxes and clutter.

-Be sure hallways, passageways between rooms, and other heavy traffic areas are well lit.  Use night lights for all areas commonly used during nighttime such as hallways, bathrooms, even the kitchen area.

-Keep operating flashlights easily accessible in most commonly used areas of home in case of power outage.

-Be sure all lamp, extension, and telephone cords are placed out of traffic flow areas.

- For the stairways, check  handrails, the condition of the steps, coverings and also lighting.

-Be sure garage and basements have easy access to light switch and have unobstructed  pathway areas.

-Small rugs and runners must be slip-resistant.  I personally think all area rugs and runners should be taken out of the home for the potential trip and fall hazard is so great.  If however your seniors are opposed to this then please see following suggestions.

1.Remove rugs and runners that tend to slide.
2.Purchase rugs with slip-resistant backing.
3.Place rubber matting under rugs. (Rubber matting that can be cut to size is available.)

-Have a good step stool easily accessible that is sturdy and in good repair.  Get rid of any stools or ladders that are broken, unsteady or unsafe.

-Bathtubs and showers should have non-slip mats or even better, abrasive strips on these slippery surfaces.

-Bathtubs and Showers should have at least one grab bar as they can help with balance while getting into and out of the shower or tub preventing slips and falls.  Check existing grab bars to ensure they are stable and repair or replace if needed.

-Place grab bar next to the commode in bathrooms to assist with balance getting up and down,  this will also help prevent falls.

Many people over the age of 65 will suffer avoidable injuries that are associated with products in their own home which they are exposed to and use everyday.  Countless injuries to our seniors can can be avoided by the simple measures mentioned above, all of which are very easy to correct.

I hope you find this list to be informative and helpful.

Mom and Me at Fenn Valley Winery

Therese and Joyce

PLEASE NOTE:   These are suggestions for things easily remedied…there are many other things that can prove to be hazardous for our seniors.  Always seek out advice from Senior Care Professionals for instructions specifically tailored for your seniors own care.

 

I very much enjoy working with our seniors and assisting them with their real estate needs.  Always feel free to call me with any questions or anyway I can help at all.  :-)

Condo Living in Jenison MI!

Stoney Creek Condo's

Jenison Area Condo's

If condo living is something you are now considering the Jenison, MI area is teeming with a host of possibilities for you!

Condos are no longer considered to be just for seniors looking to downsize, eliminating the need for upkeep and maintenance.  It is also now a way of living that many of our First Time Home Buyers are taking advantage of as they find themselves too busy and not wanting all the added responsibility owning a home entails.

What will help you determine which condo association is to be the best fit for you will depend not only on price range and location but also on what you require from the association.  For example…..

-Are you looking for something fresh and new or would an older condo in need of a little work and polish be of more interest?

-Do you have a pet you want to bring along?  If so, you need to be sure the condo association you are considering will allow pets, for many do not.

-Is having a attached garage important?  Depending on the association this may or may not be available.

-What is the cost of the monthly association fee and what does this include?  Every association is different as to what this fee is and what it will cover.

-What are the Association By-Laws?  Be sure to look these over carefully and
get any questions you may have answered to ensure you find the association rules and guidelines acceptable.

In regards to the pricing of condos in Jenison you will find they can begin as low as the $40,000 +/- price range and go all the way up into the $300,000+ figures.(Prices and availability of course are always subject to change)

To assist you in your search for Jenison Area Condos please refer to the below list for a number of Condo Associations located here.  Please Note: Condos are randomly listed in no particular order.

Allen Springs            Georgetown West              New Amsterdam Village

Boulder Bluff             Stoney Creek                     Wallinwood

Glen Eagle                Park Side                           Pine Brook

Cedar Grove             Glen Eagle Moors              Ridgeview

Water Front              Cottonwood Forest

Grand Village            Pine Grove

Fairway Estates       Green Meadows

*If you have any questions at all regarding condos in our area please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help you.

Jenison, Hudsonville and Grandville MI, Real Estate Help for our Seniors.

IS NOW THE TIME FOR YOU TO MOVE?

Many seniors choose to stay in their homes which they have lived in for many, many years and are very happy and satisfied to be there. Others may find themselves thinking of a whole, new easier way of life and quite possibly just a smaller place to live.  Then some, they will live in their family home for years while planning to move towards assisted living when their needs require it.

Determining whether or not it is time for a change is often a very difficult decision for our seniors to make and many families find it incredibly challenging to even broach this subject with them.  Discussing thoroughly and determining the lifestyle and/or living needs of our senior family members is extremely important and oftentimes very stressful.

There are many factors for seniors and their family to consider to assist in determining if now is the time to make a move and exactly what that move should entail.  Our “first generation” retirees may be looking to downsize to a smaller home to be able to take advantage of their golden years…less maintainence, work and upkeep will allow them more free time to enjoy their favorite pastimes.  For our “second generation retirees” the driving force may very well be the need for more support and care services.

Here are a few things you should take into consideration while making this very important decision.

IS YOUR HOME TOO BIG?  Do you feel like to are just rattling around a big ole’ house feeling overwhelmed by it’s upkeep and maintenance?  Too much work, too many expenses and simply too much house for you to care for?

IS YOUR HOME FINANCIALLY AFFORDABLE?  Are you having a hard time maintaining your home financially?  Have the typical expenses such as taxes, utilities, lawn care etc….become a financial burden? Has retirement involved a reduction in your income and would a smaller-lower priced home or even a condo offer you more financial freedom and flexibility?

ARE YOU READY FOR A LIFESTYLE CHANGE?  If you are looking to spend the winter in warmer climates, just want to be closer to family, friends or have the ability to travel at your leisure, a “turn key” home may be a very good fit for you.  Something smaller, financially affordable, requiring little to no maintenance and allowing you the financial freedom to travel and come, go, do as you please.

DO YOU WANT TO BE CLOSER TO YOUR FAMILY?  Do you find yourself longing to be closer to your children and grandchildren or other close family members?  Not only would this allow you to enjoy more fun family times (that you may have otherwise missed), you will also have family close by in case an unexpected need should arise.

DO YOU HAVE PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS IN YOUR HOME – IS IT SAFE?  Has your home become unsafe for you?  Does your home have too many levels or stairs?  Are you in need of handicap accessibility such as wider doorways, a step in shower, safety hand bars etc…?  There is truly nothing more important than your safety and well being.

Planning ahead and receiving knowledgeable, financial advice by an expert is vital to your successful move.  Please be sure to connect with a good financial adviser and/or accountant early on, to help assess your needs and set a sound financial plan for your future.

I thoroughly enjoy working with our seniors!  Always feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  We can work together in setting a plan in motion to make your move as stress free as possible while meeting your current desires or needs.

Grand Rapids MI, ArtPrize 2011 is COMING SOON!

The time for ArtPrize is almost here and so many from our Grand Rapids MI area City of Grand Rapids are excitedly anticipating the chance to be able to spend some time meandering around our beautiful city, taking in exceptional diverse works of art from so many, many talented and creative artists! 

This is already our 3rd year for ArtPrize and the very first year it was held my most favorite thing about it was that it was not only held in the main center of the city but is very much spread out all over. This way everyone has a chance to get a true sense of our diverse community, see how much we really have to offer and even come across places you may never have known of if it hadn’t been for ArtPrize literally taking you there.

Yes Here it is!!

Visitors to this event will find Art Work displayed veritably all over our city in locations that sometimes may seem just a bit crazy ….out on the sidewalks, in parks, on the outside of walls of some of the cities buildings, in the museums, at businesses, on lawns, on top of bridges, in warehouses and even in the Grand River! It is truly incredible and even amazing be part of and see. 

Please come and experience for yourself a Grand Rapids adventure that you, family and friends are sure to enjoy….it’s truly FANTASTIC!! 


Our ArtPrize Event is due to begin Sept 21,2001 and will run through Oct 9, 2011.


ArtPrize hours are:


Opening Day, September 21, 2011, 6 PM-10 PM
Monday-Thursday 5 PM-8 PM 
Friday & Saturday Noon-10 PM 
Sunday Noon-6 PM

Looking for more information about ArtPrize? Please feel free to visit the below link: 


ARTPRIZE

A Little About Me…..


I grew up in Jenison MI just 15 minutes southwest of Grand Rapids and only 25 minutes east from the lovely shores of our wonderful Lake Michigan!


When my parents moved to the Jenison area I was 6 months old, our home was the 3rd one built on the Street, cost my parents $14,000.00 and was considered to be out in the “Boondocks.” How times have changed!!


As kids we spent literally hours running around outside catching grasshoppers in the fields, rode our mini motor bikes all through the trails, caught tad poles at Charlie’s Dump, mini biking in the warmer months and then sledding in the winter…so much fun!


I have now raised my own children here in Jenison, 2 boys Troy now 18yrs and Corey 24yrs of age, how the years have flown by!


I began my Real Estate career 5 years ago after having been a Customer Service Manager in the Automotive Quality Industry. Having had the opportunity to be in Customer Service has definitely made my transition into Real Estate much smoother than I had anticipated. It provided me with numerous experiences in working with so many different and unique people then learning how to work together in achieving a common goal. I can now put these “tools” to great use as I continue to build my career on the many opportunities that have come my way.


I find the best part of my profession as a REALTOR is having the pleasure to be able to work with both Home Owner’s and Home Buyer’s, learn from them what their needs, goals and desires are then working together to fulfill their aspirations and dreams.


My primary focus is to always listen and put my client’s needs first, be responsive to their calls and questions and to ultimately make their real estate experience as pleasant as possible for everyone I may have the good fortune to work with.


If you are currently looking for a REALTOR who has grown up in the wonderful Greater Grand Rapids Area, is familiar with the surrounding communities of Jenison, Hudsonville, Zeeland, Jamestown, Grandville, Wyoming and Kentwood areas….always feel free to call, text or email me at your convenience, for I am always happy to help!

I Never Thought I’d Be Paying Someone to Buy My Home……


Were the words a client of mine had just said as I presented an offer on their home.   

Seller’s have a lot of competition on the market as they list their homes for sale and most are already aware of this, as Realtor’s we do our best in preparing them for what to expect as the offer(s)come in.  However, even if prepared when the offer is presented and Seller Concessions have been requested…many Seller’s still will find this a hard pill to swallow.

Unfortunately, Seller Concessions typically have a very negative connotation attached to them when quite the opposite should now be true In our current market Seller Concessions are often times used by First Time Home Buyer’s as a means to be able to purchase a home.  Our First Time Home Buyer’s must prepare to purchase by saving enough money not only to make a down payment but also to take care of associated closing costs and earnest money too.  Many are often not aware of the added expense of the earnest money and closing costs as they make contact with their lender (and this is usually where Buyer’s will learn of the option to request seller concessions as a means to purchase their first home).

The Seller Concession is simply a way to help our Buyer’s get into their first home and without it we would definitely lose many.  This in no way makes them a “weak” Buyer as they have already met the Lender’s Pre-Approval requirements.  What the Seller Concession does, is it allows an opportunity to enable a sale (by rolling approximately 3% of the closing costs into the mortgage) thus getting more homes SOLD.

What should really be most important to our Seller’s is what they will NET from the sale not whether or not concessions have been requested.  If the concessions bring the Seller’s NET to below a level the seller is happy with, the good news is…there is always the possibility to negotiate up in price.  (The Buyer increases their purchase price to compensate the Seller for the concessions)

We must realize our Seller Concessions allow more Buyers to purchaseturning potential non prospects into strong and able Buyers. This in turn allows the Seller to SELL still achieving the “NET” they are looking for and quite possibly bringing forward a quicker sale with fewer or even no price reductions…and that’s a win/win for both sides!

Happy to be Realtor Number 3, 4 or 5….

Okay I confess, not typically, but sometimes I really am.

Recently, I had a very difficult decision to make in regards to taking a listing for a home of a very good friend of mine. We had talked much about what her wants and needs were and I had developed a wonderful marketing plan especially tailored to fit her home…for this was a lovely historical home. Where we hit the “snag” was when we began talking Listing Price. I had spent much time on the comps for this home (hours, truly) due to the fact that it is a historical home in an area containing few others and is in a neighborhood of homes that just do not compare.

As it ended up, my very ‘high end’ price to list.…was her very ‘bottom line’ price
to sell. And in putting much thought and consideration into this, I decided it would be better for both of us, if she were to be a little disappointed in me now (for not taking the listing) than upset with me later (for her home not selling). We parted ways still very good friends and I wished her the best of luck in the sale of her home.

I have also been watching a couple of other homes over time in which I did not get the listing, due to my comps and suggested pricing. For both of these homes the listing appointments went very well however we had rather large gaps as to where the Sellers wanted to list and where my comparable’s came in. The Sellers for both of these homes were not in financial trouble and could easily have come down in price and still come out well ahead. Their price was based on what they felt their home was worth and/or what they wanted to get out of it. One of these homes fell into the $200,000 +/- price range the other in the $300,000 +/- price range and we had a gap of $20,000 and $40,000 dollars respectively. They both ended up listing with other agents who listed at the price they wanted and here is where they are now at…..

Home #1 is now on their 4th REALTOR (R) over a 2 year period and is currently listed in the price range I had originally suggested. Unfortunately, this price is now too high (2 yrs have passed by) and they have been languishing at this same price since March of 2011.

Home #2 was listed in April of 2011 also at the price the owners wanted. They have taken no price drops and are now languishing also.

I understand these are not easy times for many of our Sellers however I do not go to my listing appointments to randomly throw out a number and tell them what they must list at. I do my best to provide strong market information and comparable’s to help Sellers make a confident pricing decision for themselves. Most often, the Sellers will take the information provided and make very good decisions in their pricing…..sometimes however this just doesn’t happen.
So, I have to admit, it was extremely difficult to not take the listing of my friend as she truly is a wonderful lady with a lovely home… and I was more than a bit disappointed when I learned I did not get the listings for homes #1 and #2…. however I have now learned, sometimes it really is better to be Realtor number 3, 4, or 5. Then I can come in when the seller is serious about selling, is willing to listen, we set a good strong price, sell their home quickly and I am able to make them very happy!

**I do sometimes feel a bit sorry though for what Realtor # 1 and #2 or even #3 and #4 had to go through to pave my way. But then again….isn’t this what often happens when an over priced listing is taken?