Monday, March 21, 2016

Grand Rapids, Michigan: A Great Place To Visit or Buy A Home

Did you know that Grand Rapids, Michigan was recently named as one of the hottest emerging cities in America? How about one of the best places to raise a family? Forbes Magazine raved about Grand Rapids in a recent article and people are listening.

grand rapids mi downtown

Grand Rapids is the perfect blend of city living and a calm Midwestern lifestyle. Situated on the western side of Michigan, it is a short drive away from Lake Michigan and so much more. Just hop in your car and you can be 30 minutes away from beaches, shopping, historic sites and everything else that the beautiful state of Michigan has to offer.

If you are a fan of green living then Grand Rapids is one of the hottest places to visit and live. In fact, it was recently named the country's greenest city by Fast Company magazine. Companies across the city boast LEED-certified buildings and tourists and residents alike are loving the green lifestyle. If you want to connect with your community even more, you can visit the Downtown Market to meet local vendors, enjoy lunch on the rooftop bar and watch your kids play in the child-friendly demonstration kitchen.

Each year more people are moving to Grand Rapids for all of the benefits that it has to offer. I had the chance to speak with a Grand Rapids realtor recently and he told me that the Midwestern lifestyle emphasizes hard work, community and friendly people, all of which can be found in Grand Rapids. After Denver and Houston, Grand Rapids is third in the country for economic growth. Business is booming and even more businesses are set to open their doors in the coming years. A steady job market and affordable living make this city a great place to live and to visit.

Like any great city, Grand Rapids has a convenient public transit system to help you get around. Also known as "The Rapid", the local public transportation system is award-winning and helps visitors and residents access all areas of the city. Feel like walking? Within a 20 minute walking radius you can easily find museums, restaurants, bars, shopping and much, much more. Of course, you can always bring your own vehicle to explore Grand Rapids at your own pace.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring into Action with Home Improvement
Spring is everyone's favorite time to start something new. Whether it's small decor additions, a new garden, or a complete renovation, house projects are a great way to make your home feel like new. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Southwest Home Décor

Tips On Creating A Southwest Decor In The Master Bedroom

A master bedroom is the most personalized area in a house. So what colors can be used to create a stunning Southwest Decor and provide a relaxing master bedroom area?
Kim Boldt, at Premier Tucson Homes in Tucson Arizona, suggests letting the colors you love be part of your southwest interior design. However, keep these guidelines in mind for your master bedroom.

Master Bedroom
In southern Arizona homes, master bedroom suites tend to be typically larger than the other bedrooms in a home. The extra space will make most southwest decorating ideas easier.

Space means the bedroom decorating ideas can use more color options. Using multiple color combinations and layers will create a distinctive southwest home with your personal touch.

Master bedrooms with an on suite and a sitting area give you lots of space. A useful tip from Tucson interior designers is to create a color plan for all the space in total. Don't break the space up by using conflicting colors.

That doesn't mean the paint colors for the bedroom and bathroom southwest decor must match.  However, the color choices must complement one another.

Incorporate the accent colors from one room into an a joining space. This creates a southwest decor with a unified look.

Consider the feeling you want to set within your master bedroom. The focus for Tucson design is to create a space to be a tranquil retreat with soothing colors.

That doesn't mean that a bright or dark color has no place in southwest decor. A palette of neutral shades will create a great look and the opportunity to add color that “pops” with bed linens, pillows, lamps and other accessories.

Looking for a home or winter retreat in the southwest? Take a close look at Tucson Arizona.

Posted by Kim Boldt – Premier Tucson Homes - Tierra Antigua Realty – Tucson Arizona

Monday, March 30, 2015

Advantages of New and Refurbished Furniture

When furnishing an office, you have two options: either buy new or refurbish your old furniture. Both options have their advantages and the decision is ultimately one only you can make. Here are the benefits of both sides, hopefully to help you decide which road to take for your own, personal office space.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Top 5 Home Design Trends for 2015

It’s 2015, a new year, and you want to show off to your friends and family that you know how to keep up with today’s hottest trends. Being hip starts at home, so here’s a look at what’s coming so you can hop on the trendy bandwagon.
1)      Libraries as décor
Many people are now adding a study or library room to their home. Not only does a library preserve memories and knowledge of books, but it double functions as a wholesome and quiet environment to relax. This old fashioned serenity is making its comeback as people struggle to find time away from the outside world. To find inspiration and ideas, check out this home improvement guide with do it yourself tips.
2)      Floors galore
The traditional carpet isn’t cutting it anymore; people want cork, bamboo, porcelain, and tile. In high traffic rooms, it’s good to choose a sturdy but appeasing material. One of the trending materials right now is cork flooring. The nicest thing about cork flooring is that it’s one of the easiest surfaces to repair, clean, and redesign. It’s also sustainable, comfortable, and durable. It is tricky to install but professionals like Carolina Services Inc. are perfecting the art of home construction cork flooring. Here are some more reasons to make the switch!
3)      Fireplaces & Fire pits
Another trend this year is adding fireplaces and fire pits both indoors, and out. Of course the biggest benefit of a fireplace is its warmth, and it’s countdown on heating costs. In addition to that, adding a fireplace also increases the value of your home! According to the National Center for Real Estate Research, fireplaces increase the value of the average home by 6-12%. And the fireplace brings a soul-soothing calming effect and truly can bring a room together. And with outdoor patios and porches on the rising trend list as well, outdoor fire pits are becoming more of a household product. This collection of fireplace ideas might help spark the flame.
4)      Keyless Doors
That’s right. The future is here. New technology has paved the way to let you open your door in different ways without the use of your keys. Now you can use a keypad, your phone, or even your fingerprint!  Not only is this more convenient, but it adds security to your home. You can now pick and choose the people that can enter your house. This trend is also catching on with other devices like your car; you bank account, your phone and more. Gokeyless has dedicated itself to creating and innovating keyless technology for your home, office, and other venues.
5)      Customization & Smart Technology
The last hot trend is the customization of household appliances like toasters, ovens, refrigerators, and more. You can now equip your boring household items with the latest and greatest technology. You can now control your washer/dryer, fridge, oven, thermostat and more with your phone using Bluetooth and Wireless technology. The biggest industry leader right now is Samsung and Whirlpool partnering up to design this technology. To learn more about the how to control everything in the palm of your hand, check out these smart appliances.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tips For How to Negotiate a Commericial Property Lease a new business can be overwhelming and challenging, and one of the most difficult parts can be finding an affordable office space. If this is your first business the process of finding a lease that works for you and your business can seem daunting, but there are a few questions and things to consider before jumping into a lease.

Setting the Term of your Lease

The term and rent of your location is the first point that needs to be negotiated. The trick to this is to not over commit if you are a small business. It's recommended that small businesses negotiate one to two year leases with the option to renew. You will also want to discuss and negotiate rent increases over the term so you are not unexpectedly hit with a rent increase with no warning from your landlord.

Be prepared for your landlord to push back, they may try to lock you into a longer agreement by offering deal sweeteners. It is helpful to bring a broker to negotiations, as they know about the local market and what sweeteners to look out for.


Like residential leases, landlords often tack on extra expenses like maintenance fees, upkeep fees and so on. Make a point to ask the necessary questions during negotiation: what about utilities? how are these extra charges measured? Also look into the "hidden fees" and policies and inquire about the average costs of previous tenants.

Maintenance and Repair

Unlike residential leases where the brunt of the maintenance and repair responsibilities fall on the landlord, commercial leases are different. Commercial leases vary in their approach to this, some stipulate that it is the tenant that is responsible for all the property upkeep while other specify that the tenant is only responsible for certain repairs etc.


Often businesses get closed down due to defaulting their lease. In order to protect your interests and your customers, it is important to know exactly what defaulting terms you are agreeing upon upfront. Talk with your landlord and decide if you will be locked out immediately or if you will be granted a grace period. Will you be able to negotiate for more time for yourself if you default? All of this information is important as it can save you  and your business money.

Read Your Lease

It goes without saying that you should always read and reread your lease carefully and completely to make sure you fully agree with and understand all of the terms and clauses.

About the author: Mary is a guest contributor from The Lansing Economic Area Partnership or LEAP, a coalition of area leaders committed to initiating Lansing, Michigan economic development.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Easy DIY Home Improvement Projects to Attempt This Winter

Just because it's cold out doesn't mean you have to stay cooped up and bored in your house all winter. Instead of wasting away behind the TV or computer you can improve your living space and be guest ready by the time spring gets here. Here are some easy do it yourself projects that you can do to improve your home, save money, and avoid being bored.

Put Insulation on Your Water Heater

Add a thick blanket or insulation around your water heater in order to ensure that the water within the heater will stay hot even when it's not in use. This is a great way to save energy, and of course money, during the winter and throughout the year. Insulation kits can be purchased at most local home improvement stores.

Put in a Programmable Thermostat

Your utility bills in the winter can be overwhelming, but turning down the thermostat can be uncomfortable. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can set it to change temperature throughout the day, such as keeping the house cooler during the day while everyone is out and warmer at night when you're sleeping. This will save tons of energy and money and is an easy installment. The installation process includes hooking up a few low-voltage wires and most programmable thermostats come with instructions to help you with the set up. Most of these thermostats run around $25 and are available at most hardware stores.

Refinish Your Basement

Big, indoor projects are perfect for down time during the winter and refinishing your basement is no small feat. You can do a lot of the work on your own without a contractor, such as installing new flooring or carpet, painting walls, or dry walling. You will have a pretty basement ready for entertaining by the spring!

Paint the Walls

Spend your time inside not only repainted your finished basement but also the rest of your house. Painting can be a large task to tackle, so take your time and spread it out. You can really revamp a room with a just new shade of paint. Change the feel of the whole room or just add an accent wall to liven  it up a bit. You can get paint advice and tips from your local home improvement store employee.

Organize Drawers and Closets

While you're hibernating inside, why not be productive by dumping out those drawers and donating some of the stuff that you haven't used in ages. You can spend your winter decluttering your life and your home. You'll be feeling organized and light when the spring sun shows up.

Spend your winter months doing something productive and try one of all five of these easy DIY home improvement ideas!

About the Author: Valerie is a guest contributor from Coldwell Banker Hubbell Briarwood, Lansing, Michigan's premier real estate company.