Open House Line-up for the Weekend of November 15 & 16 2014!

Sunday November 16, 2014  1:00 – 2:30

4956 N. Quail Crest Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546


Forest Hills Condo – 3 Bed / 2.5 Bath – Open Floor Plan. Large Kitchen w Plenty of Counter & Cabinet Space. All Newer Appliances to Stay. Snack Bar Seating. Open to Formal Dining Room & Great Room w Fireplace & Lovely Arched Ceilings. Beautiful Maple Hardwood Floors Throughout. Main Floor Laundry. SPACIOUS Main Floor Mast w Sitting Area & WIC. Master Bath Boasts Double-Sinks, Jetted Tub & Over-Sized Shower. 4 Season Porch Main & Lower Levels. Daylight Walk-out Lower Level Holds 2 Additional 14′x16′ Bedrooms, Full Bath, Fitness Room, & Den/Study. 2-Stall Attached Garage.

Sunday November 16, 2014  3:30 – 5:00

51 Rockview Dr. NE Rockford, MI 49341


Most Desirable Rockford Location on the River– Ranch Style – 4 Bed / 3 Full Bath Walkout on Almost an Acre – Walking Distance to Downtown! Close to Valley View Elementary School! Great Room w High Vaulted Ceilings & Attractive Gas Fireplace. Sliders to Over-Sized Deck. Kitchen Offers Plenty of Cabinet & Counter Space – Unique Granite Counter-tops, Tile Floors & Plenty of Recessed Lighting. All Appliances to Stay. Master Bed w Double Closets & Gorgeous View of River Frontage through Sliders. Attached Bath w Jetted Tub. Two Additional Nice-Sized Bedrooms w LARGE Closets. Main Floor Laundry. Lower-Level Features Nice-Sized Fourth Bed, Spacious Family Rm/Media Center. Additional Full Bath. Over-Sized Slider to Patio & Bon-Fire Pit in Private Backyard. Plenty of Storage Space.  Garage w Epoxy Floors, Hot/Cold Running Water w Heated Storage/3rd Stall Behind Garage. Invisible Fence (w 2 collars) & Underground Sprinkling.

By Appointment Only

1927 S Collingwood Avenue Wyoming, MI 49519


Wyoming Schools – 2 Bed / 1.5 Bath 2-story. Living Room w Neutral Colors and Over-Sized Windows Open to Dinning & Kitchen w a Great Room Feel Newer Kitchen w Laminate Floors & Newer Appliances to Stay! Full Bath. Upper Level Hosts 2 Large Bedrooms w Plenty of Closet Space & Bath w Marble Sink. Full Basement Complete w Laundry Room. Fenced Front & Back Yard. Spacious Side Patio! Storage Shed! Detached Over-sized 1-Stall Garage w Additional Off-street Parking! Sits back off Road, On Private Setting! Easily Appeals to Investors and Residents Alike. Current Certificate w City! New Garbage Disposal, New Furnace & Central Air – 2004, New Roof – 2011, New Carpet – 2012!

9501 Vergennes Street SE Ada, MI 49301


Superior Ada Location – 4+ Bed/ 1 Bath – 2-Story Farm House On 2+ Acres – Exuding Charm and Character! HUGE Updated Kitchen with Double Cabinets, Over-sized Pantry, Gorgeous Wood Floors, Plenty of Cabinet and Counter Space! New Sliders to Deck & Vast Backyard. Kitchen Opens to Formal Dining Room with Impressive Chandelier! 2 Main Floor Bedrooms. Newly Updated Bath with Corian Counter tops and Tile Floors. New Mud/Laundry Room. Den/Bedroom. Upstairs Hosts Two LARGE Bedrooms with WIC. Full Basement Provides Adequate Storage Options! New Attached 2-Stall Garage. HUGE Backyard Features Storage Shed & Chicken Coop with Raised Garden Beds. Move-In Ready! Picture Perfect and Close To Ada. This Immaculate Home Displays Pride Of Ownership.

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MSHDA has reduced their rate on the Down Payment Assistance Program to 4.25%!

If the property is in the city limits of GR the rate is 3.625%.

MSHDA also has a down payment program for buyers that are NOT 1st time buyers.

Interested? Have Questions?

Call Scott DeWolf with Mortgage One – 616-560-3397!

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We Moved!!!!

group cropped

The Sold Home Team has moved to a new location! Come see us…

We are located off of Knapp St. between the East Beltline and Leffingwell. Our address is 2052 Celadon Dr. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Look for the yellow door!

Front of Building

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Characteristics of Home Buyers

  • Thirty-three percent of recent home buyers were firsttime
    buyers, which is still suppressed from the historical
    norm of 40 percent among primary residence buyers.
  • Thirteen percent of buyers purchased a multi-generational
    home due to cost savings, children over the age of 18
    moving back into the house, and health and caretaking of
    aging parents.
  •  The typical first-time buyer was 31-years-old, while the
    typical repeat buyer was 53.
    The 2013 median household income of buyers was
    $84,500. The median income was $68,300 among firsttime
    buyers and $95,000 among repeat buyers.
  •  Sixty-five percent of recent home buyers were married
  •  For 24 percent of recent home buyers, the primary reason
    for the recent home purchase was a desire to own a
    home, while nine percent purchased due to a job-related
    relocation or move, and eight percent bought for the
    desire to be in a better area or a change in family situation.
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Did You Know…

The National Association of Realtors States When Home Buyers are Performing Home Searches 45% are Using Open Houses as a Source of Information.  Having an Open House Increases Your Market Advantage and Allows our Team of Experts to Guide Potential Buyers Tangibly through Your Home.


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Quantitative Easing (QE) is Over

training wheels

It’s the end of an era for the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s massive bond buying program of the six past years is finally about to conclude.

The decision reflects how much the economy has improved since the recession. It’s akin to taking the training wheels off of a child’s bike.

The Fed’s announcement was overall positive, says Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at market research firm BTIG in New York.

“It’s in response to the Fed acknowledging the improvement in the economy, the improvement in the labor market and the diminished risks on the inflation side of things,” says Greenhaus.

The 12 members of the central bank’s committee also voted to keep its key interest rate near zero. This means people with savings in the bank get little to no interest, but the low interest rates spur people and businesses to spend and invest.

When will interest rates rise? In its statement today, the Fed kept in the closely watched statement that it will maintain interest rates at the current low rates “for a considerable time.” The Fed has given indications that it will likely raise the interest rate in 2015.

Rates will likely rise by next March, says Paul Ashworth, chief economist at research firm Capital Economics.

“We still believe that the Fed will begin to raise rates sooner than generally expected,” Ashworth wrote in a note. He added that the Fed’s relatively optimistic language about inflation and the labor market was a “hawkish,” or positive, move.

Many economists and traders expect the Fed to begin raising rates in the summer of 2015.

The bank started its bond program, known as quantitative easing or “QE”, in November 2008 to aid the economy and the crippled housing market. It became the flagship program of former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s term in office.

Improving economy: The economy has come a long way in six years. The unemployment rate is now 5.9%, its lowest mark since QE began. There are over 8.5 million more people employed now than in November 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the announcement Wednesday, the Fed said the job market is improving.

“On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources is gradually diminishing,” the statement read.

Current Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has often cited her concerns this year about the sluggish job market, but it appears the Fed’s views have shifted somewhat.

The Fed also wants inflation to stay consistently above 2%, which it has not since the Fed lowered interest rates.

The total number of housing starts, an important measure of the health of the real estate market, has almost doubled since its low point shortly after QE began, according to the Census Bureau.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down around 20 points just before the Fed’s announcement. The Dow dropped further after the statement came out to around 70 points down.

With the economy still on the mend, there are many arguments for and against the Fed’s historic policy decision to buy bonds.

“We’re going to be debating the efficacy of the quantitative easing programs for the next 100 years,” says Greenhaus. “Its legacy is undetermined because the war isn’t over.”

- Gillespie, P. (2014, October 29). Fed Ends 6-year Effort to Stimulate Economy. In CNN Money. Retrieved October 31, 2014, from

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A Little Insight Into the World of Lending…

Loan-to-value ratio

The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is a financial term used by lenders to express the ratio of a loan to the value of an asset purchased.

The term is commonly used by banks and building societies to represent the ratio of the first mortgage lien as a percentage of the total appraised value of real property. For instance, if someone borrows $130,000 to purchase a house worth $150,000, the LTV ratio is $130,000 to $150,000 or $130,000/$150,000, or 87%. The remaining 13% represent the lender’s haricut, adding up to 100% and being covered from the borrower’s equity. The higher the LTV ratio, the riskier the loan is for a lender.

Loan to value is one of the key risk factors that lenders assess when qualifying borrowers for a mortgage. The risk of default is always at the forefront of lending decisions, and the likelihood of a lender absorbing a loss increases as the amount of equity decreases. Therefore, as the LTV ratio of a loan increases, the qualification guidelines for certain mortgage programs become much more strict. Lenders can require borrowers of high LTV loans to buy mortgage insurance to protect the lender from the buyer default, which increases the costs of the mortgage.

The valuation of a property is typically determined by an appraiser, but a better measure is an arms-length transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Typically, banks will utilize the lesser of the appraised value and purchase price if the purchase is “recent” with in 1–2 years.

Low LTV ratios (below 80%) carry with them lower rates for lower-risk borrowers and allow lenders to consider higher-risk borrowers, such as those with low credit scores, previous late payments in their mortgage history, high debt-to-income ratios, high loan amounts or cash-out requirements, insufficient reserves and/or no income. Higher LTV ratios are primarily reserved for borrowers with higher credit scores and a satisfactory mortgage history. Full financing, or 100% LTV, is reserved for only the most credit-worthy borrowers. The loans with LTV ratios higher than 100% are called underwater mortgages.

In the United States, conforming loans that meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting guidelines are limited to an LTV ratio that is less than or equal to 80%. Conforming loans above 80% are allowed but typically require private mortgage insurance. Other over-80% LTV loan options exist as well. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures purchase loans to 96.5%, TD Bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank’s U.S. unit, which on Friday April 18th 2014 began accepting down payments as low as 3% through an initiative called “Right Step,” geared toward first-time buyers and low- and moderate-income buyers (97% LTV), and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and United States Department of Agriculture (RD) guarantee purchase loans to 100%.

Properties with more than one lien, such as stand-alone seconds and home equity lines of credit (HELOC), are subject to combined loan to value (CLTV) criteria. The LTV for the stand-alone seconds and Home Equity Line of Credit would be the loan balance as a percentage of the appraised value. However, in order to measure the riskiness of the borrower, one should look at all outstanding mortgage debt.

In Australia, the term Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) is used. An LVR of 80% or below is considered to be low risk for standard conforming loans, and 60% and below for a no doc loan or low doc loan. Higher LVRs of up to 95% are available if the loan is mortgage insured.

In the UK, mortgages with an LTV of up to 125% were quite common in the run-up to the national / global economic problems, but today (November 2011) there are very few mortgages available with an LTV of over 90% – and 75% LTV mortgages are the most common.

Combined Loan To Value: (CLTV) ratio

Combined Loan To Value (ratio) (CLTV) is the proportion of loans (secured by property) in relaxation to its value.

The term “Combined Loan To Value” adds additional specificity to the basic Loan to Value which simply indicates the ratio between one primary loan and the property value. When “Combined” is added, it indicates that additional loans on the property have been considered in the calculation of the percentage ratio.

The aggregate principle balances of all mortgages on a property divided by its appraised value or Purchase Price, whichever is less. Distinguishing CLTV from LTV serves to identify loan scenarios that involve more than one mortgage. For example, a property valued at $100,000 with a single mortgage of $50,000 has an LTV of 50%. A similar property with a value of $100,000 with a first mortgage of $50,000 and a second mortgage of $25,000 has an aggregate mortgage balance of $75,000. The CLTV is 75%.

Combined Loan to Value is an amount in addition to the Loan to Value, which simply represents the first position mortgage or loan as a percentage of the property’s value.

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