The Real Estate Corner with Rick Seese: February Edition

After 30 years of real estate management and teaching the business to hundreds of agents, I now focus solely on helping my clients buy and sell homes.  But now, I also have time to share my experiences, knowledge and insight with the readers of Lowell’s First Look, on a monthly basis.  I invite your ongoing questions, whether you are planning on purchasing your very first home or your next home, or your last home.  Just email me your questions at [email protected].

February 2021 Edition Contents

Secret Drawing Results, Stats, Home Inspections

Secret Drawing Results

Congratulations to Kevin Anderson for his winning text from the January article.  I had 47 qualifying texts and Kevin’s name was drawn to be the winner of the Lowell restaurant gift card of his choice.  He chose Big Boiler Brewery.  Watch this article in the future for further drawings!

2021 Statistics Kick-Off

                                         Average Sale Prices – Year-To-Date Through January 2021

School District Average Sale Price
Forest Hills $445,912
Caledonia $433,773
Rockford $383,396
Lowell $367,688
Saranac $274,620
Lakewood $233,065
Belding $152,479

                             Statistics courtesy of GRAR is the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors. 

 This is early in the year.  These numbers are a bit skewed, as the total number of sales are lower at the beginning of the year and could include an abnormal number of higher or lower than average sale prices.  Interest rates are expected to remain very low and demand is expected to remain high.  

                                           Market Inventory – At the End of January 2021

Location/School District Homes Currently for Sale Months of Supply
Entire MLS – GRAR* 2,985 1.0
Rockford 59 .8
Forest Hills 43 .6
Caledonia 35 .9
Lowell 18 .7
Lakewood 11 .9
Saranac 4 .6
Belding 3 .2

*MLS is Multiple Listing Service.  GRAR is the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors.  Coverage area includes all of Kent and Ionia Counties, northern Barry County (inclusive of Gun Lake) and southeastern Ottawa County.  Statistics courtesy of GRAR is the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors.

“Months of Supply” refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace.  Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months’ supply tends to push prices up more rapidly.   Lack of inventory has been the market theme everywhere for the past few years.  Low inventory means less choices for buyers.  Extremely low inventory and above average demand causes escalating prices and multiple offers on desirable new listings.

Yes, we are at a seasonal low point, but these numbers are much lower than normal.  The total MLS has more Months of Supply than Lowell or any of our surrounding market areas.  The demand for eastern Kent County and western Ionia County continues to be above average.

Why Home Inspections Matter

Our West Michigan Regional Purchase Agreements have a large paragraph that addresses Home inspections.  Buyers have a period of 10 days to perform and investigate any and all building components, zoning questions, etc.  During the 10-day inspection period, a buyer may hire a home inspector to perform an abundance of inspection tasks and concerns.  The normal plumbing, heating, electrical and structural inspection process takes about 3 hours and has an average cost of around $300-$400.  A radon inspection will cost around $125 and requires a 48-hour monitoring with a radon device.  A termite inspection may cost between $75-$125.  During the home inspection, I always recommend that buyers attend at least the last portion of the inspection, so the home inspector can not only explain the results but also show where problematic areas of the inspection may be.  The home inspector can also point out what areas to monitor for future maintenance.

Buying a home will most likely be the most expensive purchase during anyone’s lifetime.  It makes sense to ensure that a buyer is aware of the condition of all the components in the home and understand how soon you may need to begin budgeting for any major replacements, such as an older furnace, roof, or hot water heater.  A home inspection will also point out any health or safety problems, such as a furnace leaking carbon monoxide, fire hazards with the electrical system or mold problems.  Just the mere detection of an excessive reading of radon gas can make the cost of the home inspections worthwhile.  Most health and safety problems are not detected or known by the seller, which they are usually willing to remediate, once found and proven in a report.  Additionally, health and safety items are certainly concerns to the safety of whoever occupies the home.

During the 10-day inspection period, the buyer may simply accept the results of all the inspections and move toward closing the transaction or attempt to negotiate desired repairs or replacements that are needed.  In extreme cases, the buyer may also simply terminate the transaction, if the results are too extreme.

The same 10-day inspection period is also important to make sure that zoning and restrictions will allow for the buyer to use the property for their intended use.  There are usually zoning restrictions set forth by the municipality and its ordinance.  There could also be additional deed restrictions as set forth by the development and/or the Homeowner’s Association.  A buyer that wants a horse or two, a pole barn, a stockade privacy fence, a collection of dogs and cats, an extra garage to establish an auto repair business, or conduct any kind of business, should check with necessary approvals first.  Your Realtor can help you walk through your current and future needs, as well as potential future uses for the property.  Title Insurance will help sort out any pertinent recorded documents, such as deed restrictions, rules and regulations in a condominium master deed, or any additional use restrictions for the property.

Another Drawing

Let’s try this again.  Text your name to me at 616-437-2576 and say February Real Estate Corner Drawing, no later than 3/1/2021.  I will throw all of the entries in my hat and draw a winner for a $25 gift card to the Lowell restaurant of your choice!

Rick Seese works with buyers and sellers of residential, commercial and industrial real estate.  He is an Associate Broker with Greenridge Realty, Inc. and has been licensed full-time for 44 years.  If you’re interested in reaching out to Rick for more information, or have a question for the monthly article, you can contact him via email ([email protected]), visit his website at or Facebook page at ( Seese), or call/text him at 616-437-2576.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.