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March 2019


March is here.  February was one of the most brutal winter months in decades so I'm glad that it is in the rear view mirror.  

I'm asked regularly about the spring market.  In fact, I have an article below about it.  While there was a slowdown in January and February, the demand for houses still outpaced the supply.  The West Michigan area is in high demand so the local market forecast doesn't look the same as the national.   So if you or someone you know is looking to sell their home, please let me know.  Also see the special below for new listings.

Steve Katerberg
Realtor   |   (616) 447-7028

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HD Video Tour or HD Virtual Tour... Your Choice

If you list your home with me, I am offering a choice of a either a FREE: HD video tour or 3D Matterport tour of your home. Buyers will be able to experience your home in amazing detail. 
As always, if your home doesn't sell, you will owe me NOTHING.


Terms and Conditions

Promotion ends March 31st.  If your property is currently listed with a Realtor, please disregard this offering. It is not my intention to solicit the offerings of other Brokers.


More Social, Less Media

Have you noticed that social media ads "coincidentally' reflect what you just searche? Or how you get generic email from people telling you how much they appreciate you.  Do they really want to wish me a happy Groundhog Day?  While I understand it, I'd much rather communicate one on one.  Or as the founder of our company used to say, "get belly to belly". 


One of my goals in 2019 is to communicate with more people face to face.  I plan to meet 3 Facebook friends a month who I've never met or haven't seen in 10 or more years. While email and texting have their place, they don't replace human to human interaction.  We don't need to be Facebook friends.  Let's just have a cup of coffee.  I'm also open to other beverages.  :)    


Poor Rain Drainage Can Drain Your Equity

As a new homeowner, you may not know much about drainage, but rainwater that isn’t properly drained away from your home and yard can result in high repair costs and mold remediation that can deplete your equity quickly.

So what can you do to avoid drainage problems? Drainage issues are typically manmade and can be easily fixed. Watch how your home performs when it rains for clues.

Check gutters. Rain gutters are designed to route rain into drain spouts that carry water away from your foundation and home. A gutter blocked with leaves and dirt will produce a gush of water that doesn’t reach the drain properly. Preventive maintenance like keeping gutters clear of debris can help prevent damage to the siding and structure of your home.

Look for yard erosion. Puddles, gullies and pools caused by rain are exacerbated by yards without poor sloping, eroding topsoil, missing downspouts and catch basins, and breaks in underground drains. Where the rain collects can tell you what action to take, from rerouting drain spouts, to installing decorative “dry” creek beds of rocks and stone, to installing additional drains under the soil.

Look for basement puddles. A yard that slopes toward the house, clogged gutters, cracks in the foundation, and inadequate landscape drainage can lead to puddles in the basement. If there are stains and mildew near the ceiling, then it’s a drainage issue. If they appear near the floor, there could be broken drainage pipes under or near the house.


Slowing Market Good for Both Buyers and Sellers

Experts are predicting that the housing market will slow down in 2019. But, that’s not such a bad thing. A slower market is more stable and offers advantages for both buyers and sellers.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45% in mid-January 2019, according to Freddie Mac. While rates were nearly half a point higher than they were a year ago, they’ve since pulled back, making homes a little more affordable for homebuyers heading into spring.

Existing home sales in December 2018 were the lowest since November 2015, more than 10% lower than year-ago levels, reflecting sensitivity to rising interest rates and prices, according to The National Association of REALTORS. NAR chief chief economist Lawrence Yun explained that softer December sales reflected homes under contract at higher mortgage interest rates.

NAR also reported that the median sales price was $253,600, 2.9% higher than a year ago. While gains have been higher in previous years, prices are still rising – a benefit to home sellers. economist Danielle Hale told that 2019 will bring less competition for homebuyers as the inventory of homes increases on the market. The forecast for 2019 is a 2% decline in home sales volume and a 2.2% rise in home prices from 2018.

These statistics are national averages, and market conditions could be very different in your area. Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can share important local data with you that will improve your ability to buy or sell a home.

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3000 East Beltline N.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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