GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’re buying or selling a home in the Grand Rapids area, the news may not come as much of a surprise.
Trulia, a national online real estate listing website, says the Grand Rapids market is expected to be the second busiest in the nation this year.
Trulia looks at factors like job growth, availability versus demand, affordability, if there are more people moving into the market than moving out of it and the number of potential home buyers under the age of 35.
In Grand Rapids, those factors add up to a hot real estate market.
That comes as no surprise to Marney Davies, who is looking for a new home in East Grand Rapids.
“Nothing seems to be staying on the market very long. You’ve got to get in their quick and grab it,” Davies said.
And that seems to support what Trulia says has helped make Grand Rapids the second hottest market in the U.S., just behind Colorado Springs, Colo.
“It’s just a place where a lot of people want to be,” said Kevin McCarty, who is a realtor with Greenridge Reality.
While all this is good news for sellers, it’s made it tough on buyers.
While Trulia’s analysis includes the availability of affordable housing, the reality is there isn’t much left in the area.
McCarty says when they do go on the market, multiple offers often drive up the price; Alger Heights, for instance, has gone from prices in the low- to mid-$100,000s to the $200,000 to $215,000 range.
And the higher prices have created a bit of a moral dilemma for some agents.
“Letting a 24, 25-year-old pay $190,000 for something that, in my opinion, isn’t worth $160,000. A lot of agents feel that way, too,” McCarty said.
Of course, the market determines the price.
And while it remains strong now, anyone who tried selling a home during the Great Recession knows how soon the market can change.
Suddenly, you’re upside down on that house for which you had to outbid a dozen other potential buyers just a few years ago.
“I explain to them up front, this is kind of where we’re at, and if this is what you’re comfortable doing, just understand that this is what could potentially happen,” McCarty said.
If you’re looking for a home in the Grand Rapids market, veteran buyers say you need patience or the ability to avoid hesitation.
“You have to be willing to wait for what you want,” Davies said. “Or you have to be willing to jump quickly when you see something.”