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October 2019

Fall in West Michigan is special... Cooler temperatures, changing leaf colors, pumpkins, corn mazes, and apple cider.    

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate
Steve Katerberg
Realtor
(616) 447-7028
yrent@grar.com
www.SteveKaterberg.com

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HOMEBUYERS’ ADVICE

Should You Buy a “Haunted” House?

Spooky houses look like they haven’t seen a living occupant, gardener or handyman in years. Many so-called haunted houses are so dilapidated they look occupied by ghosts, or they’ve been on the market so long, buyers suspect there’s a skeleton hidden in the closet. But that house for sale that gives you the creeps may actually turn out to be a good investment. 

So what makes a house seem haunted? It could be the tumbleweed landscaping,

paintless trim, broken steps or crooked roof—, material problems that can easily be repaired or replaced. But a house can also carry a stigma (which has nothing to do with the home’s structure) that evokes fear or repulsion, including a history of death within the home from murder, suicide or suspicious circumstances. The house could previously be occupied by an unsavory hoarder, drug dealer or occultist.  Or, there could be a real ghost. MMMMWWWWAAAA!

Would you be able to look past a home’s creepy appearance or scary reputation? According to Realtor.com, nearly half of homebuyers wouldn’t touch a haunted house, but one in three buyers would purchase one if they could get a lower price.  

That spells opportunity, especially if the home is in a nice neighborhood. If your low offer is accepted, get an inspection and renovation estimate from a local contractor. If the total costs are lower than or equal to the other home values in the area, you could end up with the friendliest bargain on the block.

HOMEBUYERS’ ADVICE

Super Sleuth Your Next Home

You’re ready to make an offer on a home. You’ve got the seller’s disclosure of material (physical and environmental) defects, but is that all the information you need to move forward? Before you sign your purchase offer, do a little quick research.

Get a loss history report. The Insurance Information Institute advises homebuyers to obtain a loss history report from the seller. This LexisNexis free service tracks hazard insurance claims. You’ll learn when the roof was replaced from hail damage but also if there have been any water leaks or other damage. During the home inspection phase, you can see how the damage was corrected.

Check Housefax.com. – Your first Property History Report is free and includes property details and building permits, among other information, so you can learn whether that room addition was done by professionals.

Visit DiedinHouse.com. For $11.99, you’ll receive an instant report that reveals if there’ve been any deaths in the home, because in many states, anything that isn’t a material fact doesn’t need to be disclosed to you. You’ll also learn if there’s been any fire damage, and whether the property was ever used as a meth lab. It also alerts you to nearby sex offenders.

Ask for an updated CMA. Steve Katerberg can provide you with an up-to-the-minute comparable market analysis (CMA) report. You’ll soon know if there’s been a change in the marketplace, such as new listings or solds that can help you decide how much money to offer.

autumn fun

Visit a Farm

October is a great time to visit a farm.  There are many activities in addition to buying your produce directly from the farm.  Hay rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, bakeries, cider mills, or maybe some locally made wine or hard cider.  

HOME IMPROVEMENT ADVICE

Five Improvements that Scream Cheap

If you’re a seller refreshing your home for resale or an investor selling a remodeled home, you should know that some updates won’t impress today’s homebuyers. Inexpensive updates in lieu of the more durable and sustainable materials that buyers prefer may scare buyers into wondering where else you cut costs.  

Single coat paint – Single coats can leave a ghost of the previous color that peeks through, nor do they deliver the rich color and texture of carefully applied second coats.

Peel and stick tiles– Nothing says cheap like peel and stick tile for floors or backsplashes. Yes, you can remove them, but the real thing wears and looks better.

Faux Granite – What makes granite beautiful and the focal point of a kitchen or bath is the natural veins and spots of color. While some laminates and quartz closely copy granite, you’re better off choosing a solid color countertop replacement and putting the wow factor somewhere else, like a decorative tile backsplash.

Acrylic one-piece shower/tub— It may look clean and new, but you don’t want your bathroom to look like it belongs in a motel. Spend the money for a new tub, fresh grouted tile and a contemporary glass door.

Painted cabinets – Paint eventually chips and doesn’t really update worn, outdated cabinets. It doesn’t make up for the lack of easy sliding drawers, pull-out shelving and hidden hinges that are standard features of modern cabinets. New factory-painted doors could be an inexpensive update that will look and wear better.

MI Lic #: 6501253663
3000 East Beltline N.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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