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My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.A group of real estate professionals have come together to create a service that is giving back to those who serve the public in the Grand Rapids area.

"U Deserve" has brought together several professionals who are dedicated to lowering costs associated with buying, selling or refinancing a home for active military members, veterans, firefighters, police officers, EMS providers, health care professionals and educators.

“Growing up with a father who served in the National Guard and as a police officer, I was able to see first-hand how much public service individuals give back to their communities,” said Kevin Wildman, founder of U Deserve.  “U Deserve is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those individuals.”

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- Consumers in West Michigan are more optimistic about what 2015 will bring.

In fact, consumers in this market are the most optimistic in the region, according to a new study released by Huntington Bank.  The financial firm found local residents say they are much more likely to buy a new vehicle this year; 17 percent said they plan to purchase a new car, compared to just four percent in 2014.

Home improvement stores may also be busy; 47-percent of West Michiganders surveyed for the Huntington Bank Midwest Economic Index said they were planning some home renovations for 2015, compared to 32 percent in 2014.

Elzinga & Volkers Reports Strong Results, Announces New Hires, Outpaces Industry Growth

Elzinga & Volkers (E&V), a leading provider of construction management services, announced today strong growth for the first three quarters of 2014, driven by an increase in rising demand from a range of industries and building on the Company’s continued focus on delivering the highest quality construction management and consulting services to its customers. 

Through the third quarter of 2014, Elzinga & Volkers has grown 36.9 percent compared to the same time period last year and new construction and renovation projects have grown 53.3 percent.

My Town: How to find and hire the “get it done" agent

My Town: How to find and hire the “get it done" agent

If you are considering selling your home, finding the right real estate agent is critical.

You want to find the “get it done” agent in your area – the type of agent that lives and breathes real estate and has an intimate knowledge not just of your neighborhood but also with the surrounding community.  This agent will leverage his or her knowledge and expertise to maximize the sales price and educate prospective buyers on why your home and community is the right place for them. 

Finding the "get it done" agent takes a little investment on your part,  but the payoff is huge.  You deserve a high level of service, investment and communication from the agent representing your most valuable asset – your home.  When you hire an agent they become a unique contractual extension of you, so you need to make sure the fit is right. 

Determining your home's value before selling

Determining your home's value before selling

Knowing the value of your home is critical before putting it up for sale.

There are several ways to determine the value of your home.  Online resources such as Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will provide you with an estimate of the value of your home or your local market overall.  Here are the links to these calculators:

Sun Title: Why 2014 is a great year to sell your home

Sun Title: Why 2014 is a great year to sell your home

With home prices rising more than 10 percent on average last year and inventory levels at historical lows, this is a great year to sell your home and maximize your value.  The current turnaround in housing is being attributed to a number of factors:

My Town: More houses on display during Spring Parade of Homes

My Town: More houses on display during Spring Parade of Homes

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—From toxin-free to maintenance free, dozens of West Michigan homes will be open to the public this Memorial Day Weekend as part of the Spring Parade of Homes.

Even more houses and condominiums will be on display this year- 78 homes from West Olive to Ada.  The homes will be on display through June 7.  They range in price from $100,000 to more than $1 million. This year’s listings include homes in Ada, Alpine Township, Allendale, Alto, Belmont, Byron Center, Caledonia, Cascade, Coopersville, East Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Kentwood, Lowell, Plainfield, Rockford, Walker, West Olive and Wyoming.  For a complete list of homes, click here.