Date Archives: October 2021

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October
29

Happy National Cat Day 2021: Wishes, Quotes, Greeting, Image, Pic – The  Star Info

National Cat Day – October 29, 2021

National Cat Day is celebrated on October 29. It was created by Colleen Paige to bring awareness to the number of cats that need to be rescued each year. Cats remind us that just when you think they've lost interest in you, they'll turn around and melt your hearts. When it appears they're too busy staring out at passing cars, chasing nylon mice, and sending tiny multi-colored balls to their under-the-refrigerator graves, they'll somehow let you know that their very world revolves around you. Just wait. It'll happen when you least expect it. Cats have their own timetable.

HISTORY OF NATIONAL CAT DAY

Lifestyle writer Colleen Paige has taken credit for establishing National Cat Day in 2005. Her stated mission: "To help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their lives for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us."

We categorically believe her. She appears to love all cats — domestic and feral — and we're certainly in favor of that.

Science magazine reports that cat domestication goes back 12,000 years. That encompasses a lot of toys and even more naps. The process appears to have taken place in the Middle East — think Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon. Domestication did not happen overnight. Cats did not go from wild beasts to softly purring pets — just, sort of, one day.

Per National Geographic: "DNA analysis suggests that cats lived for thousands of years alongside humans before they were domesticated. During that time, their genes have changed little from those of wildcats, apart from picking up one recent tweak: the distinctive stripes and dots of the tabby cat."

Another study from University of Rome scholar Claudio Ottoni reveals that ancient sailors would bring cats along to "help protect food storages on board by killing rodents. This allowed cats to spread across the world."

We're glad they spread. Like dogs, who get all the credit for being lovable, cats feel everything we do. They can gauge our moods and emotions — and act accordingly. They have also given up a lot of their natural cravings to live in homes and apartments. (Especially indoor cats.)

Take a moment on National Cat Day to appreciate all the love they bring. Yes, they're on the aloof side, but they've come a long way.

Here is a selection of animal-related holidays from throughout the world.

NATIONAL CAT DAY TRADITIONS

The main purpose behind National Cat Day is to recognize the number of cats in need of rescue each year and so it is tradition for people to try and raise awareness of the topic. As well as those cats in need of rescue, many choose to observe the day by showing some love to the cat or cats in their life. For those who want to buy their cat a treat, pet marketing agencies normally put some deals out there to make your cats day extra special, so it's worth searching online.

NATIONAL CAT DAY ACTIVITIES

  1. Adopt a Cat

    National Cat Day is all about raising awareness of shelter cats and reducing the number of unwanted cats that flood shelters every day. What better way to celebrate National Cat Day than by adopting a cat from your local shelter?

  2. Donate to Your Local Shelter

    Can't adopt a cat? You can still improve the lives of your local shelter cats. Consider donating food, blankets, or toys to your local shelter or other animal welfare organization. Those kitties living in shelters will feel a bit more comfortable while they're waiting for their forever homes.

Volunteer at Your Local Shelter

Shelter cats need love too. Stop by your local shelter and volunteer to play with the kittens, clean their spaces, scoop their litter boxes, and help with any other chores. Your visit is sure to be a bright spot in any shelter cat's day.

WHY DO WE LOVE NATIONAL CAT DAY

  1. Cats Are Easy to Maintain

    They can clean themselves, use a litter box, and don't need outdoor exercise. Cats can somehow adapt seamlessly to any home environment, from a small one-bedroom apartment in the city to a spacious cottage in the country.

  2. Cats are so chatty

    Although cats are primarily non-verbal communicators, they will talk to you — if you talk to them. The more you talk to your cat, the more she will respond back to you. You may both be talking about totally different things, but there's definitely a conversation going on there.

A Schnoz That's One of a Kind

Have you ever closely examined a cat's nose? Those bumps and ridges are exclusive to each individual cat and can be used as an identifier—just like a fingerprint can be used to identify a human.

NATIONAL CAT DAY DATES

Year Date Day
2021 October 29 Friday
2022 October 29 Saturday
2023 October 29 Sunday
2024 October 29 Tuesday
2025 October 29 Wednesday

October
27

7 Tips for First Time Home Buyers in 2021

What's the Best Loan for a First-time Home Buyer? - NFCC

Here are some ways you can prepare if you're about to take the plunge as a first time home buyer

1. Determine if you're ready to commit to a loan

The typical term for a mortgage loan is 15 to 30 years – and even if you're not planning to stay that long, buying a house is still a major commitment.

There are three fundamental questions that you should ask yourself to know you're 100% ready, according to Quicken Loans:

  • Am I willing to commit to this home and city for at least five years?
  • Do I have an emergency fund that can cover at least three months of expenses?
  • Do I have a stable source of income?

"If the answer to any of these questions is 'no,' you may want to hold off for now. Keep saving. Keep researching," says Quicken Loans.

2. Know the first time home buyer privileges that you qualify for

If you check the definitions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), you will learn that the term "first time" includes more people than its name suggests.

For instance, you belong to this group if you haven't owned a principal residence for the last three years.

You also qualify as a first-time buyer if you are a "displaced homemaker who previously owned with a spouse" or you own a mobile residence not affixed to a permanent structure, according to HUD.

These would-be borrowers can get help from state programs, tax breaks, and government-insured loans. Moreover, they may be eligible for lower down payments and less stringent credit requirements.

3. Review your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

Mortgage lenders need to see a healthy credit record as proof that you can make monthly payments reliably.  That being the case, you must have a decent debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and FICO credit score.

These would-be borrowers can get help from state programs, tax breaks, and government-insured loans. Moreover, they may be eligible for lower down payments and less stringent credit requirements.

3. Review your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

Mortgage lenders need to see a healthy credit record as proof that you can make monthly payments reliably.  That being the case, you must have a decent debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and FICO credit score.

4. Find the type of loan that suits your housing needs

Do your research on the types of mortgage loans that best matches your financial situation. As a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for government-backed loans that require lower down payments.

For example, an FHA loan has lower upfront costs and can be granted to borrowers with a credit score as low as 580 and a down payment of 3.5%.

On the other hand, you can get a USDA loan if you want to buy a property in a rural area or qualified suburban location. Depending on your income, you can get a USDA mortgage with zero down payment.

Lastly, you can get a VA loan with 0% down if you are a veteran or an active member of the armed forces.

Just remember to ask your lender about the types of loans that they offer and programs available for first-time homebuyers. You can also consider using a mortgage broker, but this will entail additional costs.

5. Settle past-due accounts while building your rainy-day fund

This part can be challenging yet essential in improving your credit score and getting a new home. You will have better chances of getting mortgage financing when you've paid the majority, if not all, of your existing debts.

Even after you submitted your application, avoid getting new loans and last-minute purchases because these could hurt your DTI ratio and alert your underwriter for possible disqualification.

Instead of incurring new debts, try your best to accumulate three to six months' worth of emergency funds. Your monthly mortgage payment may be cheaper than renting an apartment, but you will solely be in charge of your house's upkeep and maintenance.

Additionally, maintaining a good financial standing may be advantageous in case you consider refinancing your mortgage at more favorable terms in the future.

6. Save money for a down payment and closing costs.

Repayment terms for conventional loans is usually 30 years, but you have to save up for down payment and fees that you need to pay upon signing the mortgage.

For instance, lenders are more likely to approve your application if you can afford a down payment worth 20% of the prospective property. It is also the minimum amount required to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance.

You should also prepare for closing costs that cover application fees, the attorney, your credit report, property appraisal, and homeowner's insurance, among others. These can easily amount to 3% to 5% of the home's purchase price.

American homebuyers pay an average of $5,750 for closing costs, according to real estate data company ClosingCorp. The amount can be significantly higher in some locations like the District of Columbia ($25,800) and New York ($12,850).

7. Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan

After saving up and preparing documentary requirements, it can be tempting to jump right into house-hunting and skip pre-approval. Don't miss this step because it has significant benefits to offer.

A pre-approval from the lender lets you know how much exactly you can afford. It indicates the maximum loan you can get based on your W-2 income, bank statements, and credit standing.

Additionally, the seller will know from the pre-approval letter that you can afford their home. In turn, you can make a stronger offer and reduce the risks of last-minute surprises with your lender.

October
25

With chilly fall weather in the air, these Holland coffee shops and cafes will keep you warm this season.

As a place to sit, relax, work, or socialize, coffee shops make for the ultimate community gathering place. Every fall and winter, our real estate agents love spending weekend mornings at cozy, local coffee shops with their favorite warm caffeinated beverage. Luckily, you're never far from a great coffee shop in Holland.

If you're looking for the best way to start your day or simply need a comfortable place to catch up with friends, these great Holland coffee shops are the perfect destinations:

Click Here to Read More...

October
20

tips for a first-time home seller: stage your home, ask about your agent's commission, have professional photos taken, host an open house, and review your listing online.

Real Estate Tips for a First-Time Home Seller

Selling a home is very different from buying a home. Buying a home generally involves emotions and feelings, but selling a home typically centers on what listing agents like to call maximizing profit potential. The tips here apply to first-time home sellers, or any seller needing a real estate refresher.

A reputable listing agent can help you here. Don't choose your cousin's sister-in-law who only dabbles in real estate. You'll fare much better if you select an experienced real estate agent who sells a fair number of listings, preferably in your neighborhood.

Home Staging Boosts Selling Power and Appeal

Ask your agent to advise you on preparing your home for sale. Most homes show better with about half of the furniture removed. If a buyer walks in the door and wonders if anybody lives in the house, you've done your job correctly. Consider home staging to boost your selling power and appeal.

The Best Day to List Your Home

Choose the best day to list your home. This time period will vary depending on your local community, the weather, time of year, and a host of other factors, including the state of your present real estate market. You basically get one chance to present your home in its best light on the first day on the market.

Ask About Your Agent's Standard Real Estate Commission

If the agent's standard real estate commission seems reasonable, consider the big picture and benefits to you to hire this individual. Check track records for performance. Don't expect a full-service agent to discount. Getting into a contract is only the beginning; you need to make it all the way to closing.

Your home will not sell itself, despite what you may read or hear or the propensity of real estate websites to make the process appear as easy as the click of a mouse. It's not. You don't know what you don't know. To get the most money from the sale of your home, you will most likely rely on the professionals you have hired to sell your home. Do not try to pit agents against each other to compete for a commission or you'll increase the chances you'll end up with a weasel. You don't deserve a weasel.

Be Flexible With Home Showings

Be flexible with showings. If home showings are too much of an imposition on your life, consider going away the first weekend your home is on the market. It can feel a bit intrusive to allow strangers to trek through your home and check out your soft-closing drawers in the kitchen.

Host an Open House

Allow an open house if your home is conducive to an open house. Not every home is a viable candidate for an open house. If your home is located in an area close to major traffic, that is generally indicative of a reasonable expectation the open house signs will pull in visitors. Ask your agent if they advertise the open house online. Many a home buyer has had no desire to buy a home until they spot an open house and subsequently fall in love.3

Insist on Professional Photography

Of course, if you have hired a top-notch listing agent, your agent most likely already provides professional photos. It's not enough to just get the angle right in the photo.

Review Your Listing Online

Look at your home listing on various websites to make sure the information conveyed is accurate. Agents do their best to ensure accuracy, but since it is your home, you know the details better than anyone. If you spot a feature that is missing, contact your agent immediately and ask for an inclusion.

Respond Promptly to a Purchase Offer

Try to respond promptly to a purchase offer. Many purchases offer to contain a date by which the offer expires. Notwithstanding, it can drive buyers crazy if they are forced to wait for a seller to decide whether to accept their offer or to issue a counteroffer. Remember, if you are selling because you need to buy a new home, you are no different when you are a home buyer yourself.

Line Up Movers Early

Line up your movers early. If you are thinking about moving at the end of May, for example, which is the busiest time of the year for movers, you might find it is impossible to locate movers for the day you want. You can start packing before your home hits the market, which will give you a head start on the process. It will also give you peace of mind to be prepared. Selling can be stressful enough.

October
18

Parents and children pose for a photo in downtown Holland during the city's annual trick-or-treating event.

Top 10 Halloween events in Holland and Zeeland

HOLLAND — Fall is coming fast in West Michigan, and that means municipalities and organizations are announcing plans for spooky events.

Below are 10 local options for Halloween fun:

Fell in love with Farm's Tails and Treats

When: 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16

Where: 6364 144th Ave. in Holland

Details: Farm tour, trail walk, boat rides, and more. Nine dachshunds will wear their costumes in the Wiener Wonderland Playard. Receive treats from animals in different pastures and pens. Costumes are encouraged. The donation recommendation per person is $5.

Harbor Humane's Howl-o-Ween

When: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23

Where: The Shops at Westshore, 12331 James St. in Holland Township

Details: Trunk-or-treating, dozens of vendors, live music, a pet costume contest, hayrides, games, a trunk decorating contest, and adult beverages. Behavior managers will be on-site to certify pups as "good canine citizens" for $15. For details on bringing a "trunk," email marketingdirector@harborhumane.org. 

Ottawa County Fairgrounds' Fall Fun

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23

Where: 1286 Ottawa Beach Road in Park Township

Details: Free event at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds, with early trunk-or-treating for kids, a community campfire, food vendors, and "creepy fun" music.

Outdoor Discovery Center's Treats and Trails

When: 2-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23

Where: 4214 56th St. in Holland

Details: Wildlife encounters, games, and candy. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. All nature trails are wheelchair, stroller, and wagon-friendly. The entire event covers 1.2 miles of trails. No registration is necessary. The cost is $10 per family, with no admission after 6 p.m.

PineHaven Stables' Memorial Open House

When: 2-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29

Where: 11145 Polk St. in Olive Township

Details: To thank community members for pitching in after the farm lost five horses in a devastating barn fire, PineHaven Stables invites the public for a chili bar, hayrides, face painting and fun. Costumes are encouraged.

Trick or Treat on Main Street

When: 3-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29

Where: Participating businesses on Main Avenue in downtown Zeeland

Details: Cider and donuts, trick-or-treating at participating businesses and photo stations.

Velo Kids' Wheelie Scary Bike Ride

When: 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30

Where: Riley Trails, 16300 Riley St. in Park Township

Details: Biking in costumes, with a bike course set up for little ones. All ages are welcome, and the Velo Kids Bike Library will be available to borrow bikes and helmets.

Downtown Holland Trick-or-Treating

When: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30

Where: Downtown Holland

Details: Families are invited to wear their costumes and trick or treat at nearly 50 participating businesses.

Critter Barn's Boo at the Barn

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30

Where: 9275 Adams St. in Zeeland Township

Details: Decorations, costumes, candy, and visits with animals. Includes a "Spook-tacular Barn Trail." Tickets are $5 each, or $20 per family of five or more. Children under two enter free.

Traditional Trick-or-Treating

When: Varies by the municipality. Holland Township and Zeeland recommend trick-or-treating 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, while Holland recommends 6-8 p.m. Saturday and Park Township recommends 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. Zeeland Township does not have recommended times. It's likely all municipalities will see trick-or-treaters both days.

Where: Participating homes with exterior lights on.

— Contact reporter Cassandra Lybrink at cassandra.lybrink@hollandsentinel.com. Follow her on Instagram @BizHolland.

October
15

Enjoy Dutch Experiences in Holland, Michigan

Enjoy Dutch Experiences in Holland, Michigan

Throughout the history of Holland, the city's Dutch heritage has been preserved and celebrated. You'll have an opportunity for a true Dutch experience in the spring as millions of tulips bloom throughout the city. You'll see it in the Dutch architecture downtown, you'll taste it in the Dutch delicacies found in local shops and eateries, and you'll experience it at our Dutch attractions and events - like the Dutch Winterfest and the Tulip Time Festival. 

So whether touring DeZwaan Windmill, learning how to Klompen dance at Nelis' Dutch Village, tiptoeing through the tulips at Veldheer Tulip Farm, or exploring the history of Holland and its Dutch art collection at the Holland Museum, you'll see how Holland celebrates its Dutch heritage.

Ready to start planning? View our list of Dutch attractions.

October
13

6 Things To Do Before You List A Property

What to Consider Before Selling Your Home

When you decide it's time to sell, it can become a mad rush to get your home out into the market. But you should catch your breath first.

Here are six things to check off before you list your property:

1. Research & plan

Before you consider selling, research the market, focusing on properties in your area. Is it a good time to sell? Where do you intend to move next? What's your budget, including moving? You don't need all the answers, but you should develop a clear set of goals and have a realistic view of your finances before you invest time and money into preparing for sale.

2. Secure & maintain

If your property needs major repairs, ensure these are taken care of before you look to tempt prospective buyers. Make sure your home can pass inspections with flying colours. Don't neglect smaller items, like replacing fixtures, patching holes, locks on windows, or leaky taps. It's the details that often make or break a home.

3. Spit & polish

If you've been putting off that big clean-up, now's the time. You'll need a thorough, head-to-toe scrub to get an accurate assessment of what your property is worth and have the best chance of enticing a buyer. Wash, buff, wax, freshen up with paint, and remove unsightly wear and tear. Remember the importance of curb appeal. Spruce up the garden for optimal first impressions.

4. Make the emotional break

Arguably the most important step before selling your property is being able to bid it farewell and no longer see it as a home. Focus on your future rather than the past, and make peace with your property as a product to be marketed and sold. How will you channel your insights into a targeted campaign for a new owner?

5. Find a great agent

A great agent makes all the difference to your listing, and ultimately, your sale. Ask around and find a reputable agent you're comfortable with, who understands the market nuances of your area. Flattery is lovely, but you want an agent who's committed to frank, realistic dialogue about the market and your needs.

6. Dress for success

Presentation, presentation, presentation! Get rid of clutter and overly personal items so buyers can picture themselves in your property. Invite as much light as possible, and remove unpleasant smells (like traces of pets). Get a second opinion to make sure you haven't missed anything. Your agent and a professional home stager can offer an objective review before your home hits the limelight.

October
12

Pumpkins only come around for a short time each year, so you want to make the most of them. Try out these creative projects for using your fall pumpkins.

October means pumpkin season. Everywhere you go, there are pumpkins: food, decor, and crafts, and they seem to be everywhere, from shops to front porches. You're sure to spot some while touring beautiful Holland homes for sale. If you want to go above and beyond with your pumpkins this year, our real estate agents have put together a list of some novel ways you can use pumpkins this fall. Sourced from bloggers, designers, decorators, and artisans, these ideas bring out the best in those lovely pumpkins, gigantic or mini, you're bringing home this year.

Click Here to Read More...

October
11

The Park Theatre is a fiscally sustainable event and performance lab that celebrates culture in the heart of Holland.
Upcoming Events
October
4

Buying and Selling a House at the Same Time: Where to Begin

Buying a new home at the same time as you're selling your old home is all about timing — and some luck, of course. And while you can't control everything that happens during the complicated buying and selling process, there are some things you can do to set yourself up for smooth closings — maybe even on the same day!

Consider this key information on how to buy and sell a house at the same time.

Evaluate the local housing market

The state of the real estate market in your area is often the biggest factor in timing your home purchase and sale correctly. Knowing what kind of market you're in is important whether you're just moving across town, or if you're moving across the country. If you're selling in one market and buying in another, you'll need to factor that into your timing. The length of time it takes to buy and sell can vary dramatically depending on the local real estate scene.

What is a buyers market?

In a buyers market, there are more homes available than people looking to buy. In a buyers market, you'll likely have an easier time finding your new home than you will be selling your old home. Sellers may be willing to accept a contingent offer, which means you agree to purchase their home contingent on selling yours first — more on that later.

What is a sellers market?

In a sellers market, there are more buyers in the marketplace than there are homes available. In a sellers market, your current home will likely sell more quickly than you'll be able to find a new home. Consider asking your buyers to do a rent-back after closing to allow you time to find your new place.

If you're in a…                       What to do
Buyers market Make an offer with a sale contingency
Buyers market Request an extended closing
Sellers market Make an offer with a settlement contingency
Sellers market Ask for a rent-back agreement

Choose an experienced real estate agent

Buying and selling at the same time can be complicated and at times overwhelming, so it's helpful to have a pro by your side. An experienced local agent will not only be able to help you determine the market value of your home, but they'll be able to talk you through timing, strategy, and negotiation.

An agent can guide you to a listing price

In addition to answering questions about process and helping you negotiate, one of the most important roles your agent plays is to help you find the perfect listing price — one that will help you sell on your desired timeline and for enough money to help you take that next step. They'll use their local market expertise and comparables to inform the price.  

Remember to interview

Don't just go with the very first real estate agent that comes your way. Especially when you're buying and selling at the same time, it's important to give your business to a true professional, one who can really help you make smart decisions. And, if you're buying and selling in the same market, consider using the same agent for both transactions to help streamline communication.

Understand your financials

After you've chosen an agent and gotten a feel for your local market, it's time to know your numbers. Reach out to both your mortgage lender and your financial planner to see what's feasible based on your financial situation. The amount of liquid cash, the amount of equity in your home, and the loan products you qualify for can all factor into which path you take.

Determine your home's likely resale value

Part of researching your equity is knowing how much your house will reasonably sell for in the current market. Consider completing a pre-inspection so you know how much work needs to go into your house before selling, or the types of concessions you'll have to make to a buyer to cover those repairs.

Know how much equity you have in your home

If you're selling a house with a mortgage, do some initial research to find out how much equity you have — meaning the amount left over when you take the current market value of your home and deduct what's remaining on your mortgage. Also, consider if you'd be able to purchase without tapping into that equity. Remember, the equity you have in your home won't be accessible until after the sale closes.

Buying a house before selling

If you choose to buy a second home before selling your current home, here are some ways to make it happen:

Make an offer with a sale contingency:  In this scenario, you'll focus on finding a new home before you list the old one. Once you find a house you love, you'll submit your offer with a sale and settlement contingency, which means you'll buy the home only if you can successfully sell your existing home. Typically, the sellers of the home you're buying are still allowed to seek other offers. Contingencies typically work best in buyers' markets, when the seller is less likely to get another offer.

Request an extended closing: If you're confident that your existing home will sell in a short period of time, you can request to extend the closing date of your new home, past the standard 30-45 days. This will give you enough time to sell your current home and use your home equity to buy another house. Just like with contingent offers, you're more likely to have success with this strategy in a buyers market.

Purchase with savings: If you're in the financial position to do so, the simplest route is to use your savings to pay your new down payment, then sell your old home after the dust settles. Keep in mind that you'll also need money to cover closing costs, inspections, and moving expenses.

Purchase with a HELOC: A HELOC, or home equity line of credit, allows you to borrow against the equity in your current home. If you qualify, you could use a HELOC to access money for your down payment, then pay it off when your home sells.

Purchase with a bridge loan: A bridge loan is a short-term loan offered by a bank to cover your down payment, just until your sales close. Make sure to talk to your banker about this option early in the process, because not all banks offer this product and it can be hard to qualify.

Rent out your first home: If you don't need the money from your first home to make your down payment on the new home, you could always find renters for your old home, which would allow you to cover the mortgage costs while delaying the need to sell at the same time as you're buying.

Sell your house with Zillow Offers: The Zillow Offers program makes it possible for you to sell your home quickly and with less hassle. If you've already made an offer on a new home, Zillow Offers can be a great option, as you can receive a competitive all-cash offer in less than 72 hours. You can also choose your closing timeline, making it easier to close the sale on your old home in time to apply your equity toward your new purchase. Plus, you may be able to save thousands if you're eligible for the Zillow 360 program.

Pros of buying before selling

  • You have somewhere to move right away.
  • You only have to move once, which allows you to save money on storage units or temporary housing costs.
  • You're less pressured to make quick buying decisions, as you can always stay in your current home a little longer if you don't find a property you love.

Cons of buying before selling

  • You may feel rushed to sell, which may lead you to take a lower offer than you would otherwise.
  • Contingent offers are less competitive, especially in fast-paced markets.
  • You may not have enough cash to make a competitive offer if your money is tied up in your current home.
  • If you decide to rent out your current home, being a landlord isn't always a walk in the park. And, when you do decide to sell, it can be a challenge to sell while tenants are living in the home.

Selling a house before buying

If you've decided to sell your current home first, here are some steps you can take to make the process a bit smoother.

Make an offer with a settlement contingency: In this case, you'll list your house first, then once you have an offer in hand (but before closing), you start looking for your new digs. When you find a house you love, you'll submit an offer with a settlement contingency, which means you'll buy the home contingent on the sale of your existing home closing. This works best in a seller's market, where you can expect to receive offers on your existing home fairly quickly.

Find a temporary rental to live in: Yes, you'll have to move twice, but sometimes closing one sale before starting another one can be the least stressful option, as it takes the pressure off the timing and gives you the time to find a home you really love.

Sign a rent-back: A rent-back provision is when you go through with the sale of the home, with the agreement that you can rent the home back from the new owners (and keep living in your home) for one or more days. This option can give you more time to shop for your new home, while still giving you access to the money from your sale. Keep in mind that this option works best in a seller's market, where buyers have to be more flexible with contract terms in order to get the home they want.

Pros of selling before buying

  • You know exactly how much equity you'll have available to put toward your new home.
  • You can easily roll your existing equity into the new purchase.
  • It can be less stressful to close the book on one chapter before focusing on your next move.

Cons of selling before buying

  • You'll likely have to find a temporary living situation.
  • Storage and double moving costs can add up.
October
1

Holland Pumpkins

Fun Pumpkin Picking, is here just for you at Bethke Farms. Just a short drive from Holland. You will find the perfect pumpkin waiting for you to be picked right off the vine, then you bring it back to Holland for Halloween fun

To get to perfect pumpkin picking territory drive north on US 31 to M-45 (Lake Michigan Drive) turn right or east for 4 miles to  136th ave. Then North just 1.5 miles to a pumpkin farm loaded with beautiful pumpkins.

You will drive past a pile of pumpkins at the corner of m-45 and US-31, (Green Acres Farm Market).  The fun pumpkin picking is at Bethke Farms where the farm has been in the family for over 100 years.

There is the fun of all kinds with a play area for the kids a 20-minute hayride and Halloween fun for the entire family. We invite you to get in your car and take a leisurely drive From Grand Rapids to Bethke Farms and find the perfect pumpkin.

Hours

Open For Fun This Fall

Sept. 25 - Oct 30

Friday thru Sunday
10am - 7 pm


Monday -Thursday
4 pm-7 pm 

The Corn Maze operates during our open hours. 
 

Your personal check is gladly accepted. We also accept all major credit cards.

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