You think you’re having a tough time looking for a place to buy in this market? Try renting one! Grand Rapids is currently at nearly 100% rental occupancy, the lowest rental vacancy rate in the US. Home prices have been back to pre-crash levels for about a year now, and the market is increasingly competitive if you are looking to purchase. No surprises here!
So, what’s the best route to go? You’re putting all of this effort in…should you rent or buy? Lets take a look at typical scenario in a great rental area, Eastown, a popular Grand Rapids neighborhood near downtown, where there is a high demand and quantity of both rentals and purchases.
The Eastown Comparison:
52 homes recently sold
(What’s currently for sale in Eastown? Glad you asked.)
Average sale price: $131,780
Average #BRs: 3.5
Avg SQFT: 1743
Average Rent for a 3-4 BR 1750 sqft home in Eastown: $1400/month.
Here’s how it looks, running this scenario through the Realtor.com calculator:
Looks like buying in Eastown quickly pays for itself, comparing $1400/month rent to a purchase of a $132,000 home. But what if you’re already leasing a home in that price range, but you’re ready for an upgrade and/or increased square footage. You want a home with a nice bit of land, an entry-level home in East Grand Rapids, maybe a distinctive spot in East Hills, or something in an historic district. Your lender says you can afford a $230,000 purchase price. Here’s how that looks:
Try out your own scenairo! Here’s a tool from Realtor.com:
The BetterBuildings for Michigan program has launched and it’s coming to Eastown! This three year, $30M American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) supported program uses a community approach to deliver energy efficiency improvements for homes and businesses by providing access to incentives and affordable loans.
>>note updated Meeting Dates and times: It’s now January 13 and 20 at 6 p.m., January 15 and 22 at 10 a.m.
The program was developed by a multi-stakeholder group including the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG); Michigan Saves; the City of Grand Rapids; the Economic Development Corporation of the city of Detroit; and the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office. BetterBuildings for Michigan will leverage each dollar of the federal funds available within the program with a minimum of five dollars from other investments, thereby leveraging over $150M in private and public funding.
Here’s the link to the Detroit article.
The objective of the BetterBuildings for Michigan program is to create
- a sustainable energy efficiency market by providing outreach and education to increase demand,
- a skilled energy efficiency workforce to meet that demand, and
- the tools for lenders to make ongoing investments in energy efficiency in residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings.
The City of Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Eastown Community Association (ECA) will be performing outreach in a portion of Eastown. Those within the outreach target area have access to $1050 in basic energy efficiency upgrades as well as a comprehensive home energy assessment. Based on the assessment, a resident may decide to upgrade to other energy efficiency measures that may be supported by attractive financing up to $12,500. More information can be obtained by contacting the West Michigan Environment Action Council at 451-3051.
Additional information on Eastown Sweep
The targeted neighborhood in Eastown is outlined between Fulton, Fuller, Lake, and Wilcox Park/Aquinas College and includes an estimated 429 homes. This neighborhood will be receiving advance notice of the program and events starting the week of January 3rd this may come in the form of a direct mailing, door2door invitation, or door hangers.
The official program kick off in Eastown starts on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Residents will not be able to officially sign up for the program until January 12th.
Information Meetings will be held at St. Thomas Church in the basement community room.
Program sign up meetings:
January 13 and 20 at 6 p.m., January 15 and 22 at 10 a.m.
Door-2-Door Canvassing Events: WMEAC will be canvassing the neighborhood the week of January 17-22 for program information and sign up. Deadline for resident sign up is
February 12th, 2011
Also, starting on January 12th, the WMEAC office at 1007 Lake Drive SE & the ECA Office will become home bases for the neighbors to visit, get more information, and sign up during normal business hours of both offices.
The program website should be available by the official program kick-off on January 12th.
That site will be www.betterbuildingsgr.org
Questions from residents about the program can be directed to WMEAC.
Outreach Project Manager