This wonderful Tudor-style Craftsman at 656 Lake Drive SE marks the entrance of Historic Fitch Place and Windsor Terrace, abutting Heritage Hill. This well-built grand three-story home features site-cut white oak flooring and trim throughout. The main living area has been opened up a bit to create a nice flow from kitchen to dining room to living room for entertaining guests. The luxurious double-sized second floor bedroom used to be two rooms. The third bedroom nestled into the third floor surrounded by a bonus workshop is also quite large and comfortable. Two off-street parking spots and a small garage are a rarity and a special advantage. The current owners will find the tight-knit neighborhood feel and the famed annual Halloween street party tough to leave behind.
Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids MI. This beautiful piece of local history in Grand Rapids’ first neighborhood was built for the local dentist, where he practiced from his small brick office on the side of the home. Nestled among the mansions of former lumber barons and mature tree-lined streets, this Arts & Craft style home hosts a large bath with 4 nice bedrooms upstairs, allowing for an open flow on the main floor. Out back you’ll find the rare pairing of an attached garage with a large, manicured back yard. The gorgeous original oak floors have just been professionally refinished throughout, complemented nicely with original trim and built-in bookcases, fully intact. Seize the opportunity today to invest in this desirable location just outside of downtown GR while it is still affordable.
In 1998, I purchased my very first home with an interest rate just over 7% and I was thrilled. It is a 2-unit, I still have it as an investment, and I refinanced just this past week to an non-owner-occupant rate of 4.5%. Being a numbers guy, I calculated that with no re-fis, I would have paid $96,353 in interest until now. If I’d had an original rate like I received this week, my to-date interest would have been $58,377. That’s a difference of $38 Grand!
When I think about it, it is astounding how great the buying climate is today for buyers. You’ve heard that home prices are at a long-time low, but money is also very cheap. This is a wicked combination! I’m focusing on interest rates only for this post. Here is a chart of interest rates, from when I personally started purchasing until now:
Bringing it Home
What does this mean for you, a buyer in today’s market? Here’s an example:
You qualify now for a $100,000 mortgage. All factors the same, we warp you back to 1998 with 7.1% interest rates. You are now qualified for a $77,000 purchase.
Lets modernize this. Say you qualify in Fall 2011 for a $100,000 mortgage at 4% interest. You wait awhile and interest rates go back up to 5.85%, a rate we saw a couple of years ago. You are now qualified for a purchase price of just over $85,000 with the same down payment and loan terms.
Lets flip it around:
You purchase a $100,000 home and put $3,000 down. Here’s how much interest you pay over the life of the 30 year loan:
7.1% (like 1998): $137,674
4.0% (like right now): $69,713
5.85% (like…the future): $109,007
$100k will get you this home in West Michigan, or one of many others:
Buyers, I have news for you: Now is the time!
Time to make a choice!
Pete Bruinsma is an Associate Broker at Grand Rapids Realty in West Michigan. © www.PeteBruinsma.com
THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2011
ThisOldHouse.com touts Grand Rapids’ historic Heritage Hill neighborhood as one of the top 12 “old house neighborhoods” in the country for sustaining a sense of place in a storied residential area, and the best Old-house neighborhood in Michigan.
Why Buy Here?
Though short sales and foreclosures haven’t hit Grand Rapids (long the center of the office-furniture industry) as they have Detroit and other automotive cities, the down market hasn’t overlooked Heritage Hill. Today, you can grab the former castle of a lumber baron or wealthy judge—and walk from home to work in the city’s center—for what amounts to pocket change in other places.
Read the complete story here.