Experience Real Estate...The Way It Should Be!!!

Real Estate Agent with Lake and Lodge Realty LLC

Experience Real Estate...The Way It Should Be!!! has been one my most frequently used tag lines since becoming a Realtor several years ago. When I first became an agent my office was by the up desk at a different Brokerage and I was forced to hear how real estate shouldn't be quite often, so my mission was to open and run a client friendly office with the clients needs always a priority.

With Big Rapids, MI being our location, Ferris State University Students are always looking for help finding housing. Here is what one might expect when the hunt is on and we represent you.

While a series of well thought out emails can get the ball rolling I always like to meet in person to go over expectations and current situations to tailor the house hunt to each student. Things like how many kids will be living in the home, how many years will we be living there and how mechanically inclined the buyers feel they are all play into the hunt. This will dictate what area to look and if "fixer uppers" are in or out of the search.

The very first step for any hunt is a great guide. The same way a guide will help you through the wilderness without you ever feeling lost, a good agent that is both familiar and proficient with student housing is invaluable. The journey begins. Keep in mind Ferris has rules about who can and can't live off campus so knowing that will always help.

One of the early on hurdles we must face is zoning. This is where the initial chat plays as some students want to live alone and have no intention of others staying. For those students Zoning is easy as even R1 areas allow a single person and even one extra not on title so even two people are good. For the majority of the 14,000 students who attend FSU yearly the dream is to find a cheap home, rent rooms out to their friends and then resell after school making a boat load of profit. The fact that there are 13,999 other people with that same dream makes it a touch tougher. Zones R2 and R3 both allow up to 4 students per unit so those are our primary focus when searching for multiple student housing.

Once zoning has been determined we have to deal with parking. The City of Big Rapids has a Parking Ordinance for rentals where you must have 1 parking space per bedroom and 1 for a guest so a 4 bedroom home needs 5 spaces. A space must be a minimum of 180 sq. ft. (9x20 or 10x18) and can NOT be from the face of the house to the street. Parking there will land you a $75 fine. Good to know.

By now we know what area and if parking is an issue so we have narrowed it to a select few homes and need to think about rent certificates. If the home we want is not already a rental we need to apply for a rent certificate which involves a rental inspection. We need to do this before closing so if there are issues we can ask Seller to remedy prior to close. This is also a great time to check title work and make sure nothing is in there that will make life uncomfortable. These are all steps I take in narrowing it to the one we offer on. We offer, they counter we may re-counter until we get the price and terms we want.

The next phase is financing. Your lender and I will work side by side putting out little underwriter fires until we have it ready to close. Setting up inspections and appraisals are on my to do list and should be done while the underwriter is working his magic. Once again if any issues are brought out in either of these stages we renegotiate with seller to make necessary repairs. Soo... we have checked on zoning, parking, title work, did our appraisal, inspections and renegotiated and issues and are ready to close. Closing goes smooth because we were diligent with our prep. This is where we say our good byes, right? Wrong. This is where our post closing relationship begins. Now I switch from a guide position to a support position. Where is the best deal on fencing? How do I get utilities turned on in my name? Where is there a great burger? These are all questions I answer daily from previous clients in my role as support and when school is done and you are ready to sell....you guessed it, we can help there too. Now it's time to Experience Real Estate...The Way It Should Be!!! as a Seller.

I hope this shows the value of using Lake and Lodge Realty in your next home search and I truly look forward to working with you. Best of luck in all you do and thanks for reading.


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As always if you think the Big Rapids area is a place you would like to live give us a call (231) 796-5253 or check out either link below and we will help you find a house so the Big Rapids area can be your home too. Thanks for reading. 

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Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty
107 N. Michigan Suite B
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 796-5253


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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I hope you are having an outstanding week.

Jul 24, 2012 05:12 AM #1
Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365
Frankly Real Estate Inc. - Manchester, MD
Specializing in Carroll Co., MD

Randy ~ It's interesting how different each states rules are. I believe you are showing great value. Keeping in-touch after closing is SO important. Great post!

Jul 24, 2012 06:44 AM #2
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Randy Ostrander

Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI
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