ACG News

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Like so many other things in 2020, the water levels throughout the Great Lakes were at unusual levels, hitting record highs not seen in more than 30 years.

Many of the people who live and own family homes along the Michigan Lakeshore are all asking the same question. Will water levels begin to recede?

The answer is Yes, water levels are forecasted to drop. Already in 2021, there has been a reduction in water levels. The levels are currently five inches lower than recorded last year and are projected to continue dropping. For the summer of 2021, water levels in West Michigan are expected to be 12 inches less compared to last summer.

The Great Lakes levels are governed primarily by the natural rates of precipitation and evaporation. Greater

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Winter’s Coming – Time to Prep your Home for Cold Weather | Andrea Crossman Group Realty

Although the last few days felt more like Spring than November in West Michigan, winter is definitely on its way. It won’t be long until the chilly temperatures and lake-effect snow begin to affect the residents along the Lake Michigan coast.

With the weather staying above freezing for the time being, it’s a great time to prepare your home for the breezy and frigid Great Lakes winter. With so many homes perched along the shores of Lake Michigan and other bodies of water like Lake Macatawa, the winter winds can have a harsh effect on your utility bills too.

Here are some important steps to take that will help protect your home and keep your winter costs down too.

1. Inspect your Heating System

Your heat and cooling system needs to be

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One of the biggest barriers to passing a cottage to your children is affordability and more specifically property taxes. If transferring a cottage isn't done in certain ways, the property taxes will be adjusted to the current value (or "uncapped" as we call it). This could result in a small change, but it more often will lead to a massive tax increase. I've worked with clients who would have otherwise seen property taxes increase between 200% and 1,100% upon their passing.

These are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid this property tax increase and make the cottage affordable for your children:

1.  Avoid Planning with an LLC. When the Michigan legislature changed the property tax laws, it didn't make the LLC a favorable entity to use. When the

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Working from Home Drives New Home Buyers | Andrea Crossman Group

Although the appearance of Coronavirus, or Covid-19, has had some impact on the real estate markets, home sales in many areas of the country such as West Michigan are still strong.

With interest rates at record lows, homes have spent less time on the market and bidding wars have been common. In fact, according to Zillow, homes are selling at the fastest pace in more than two years.

The low interest rates have also driven new mortgage applications to rise more than 30% over the same week in 2019. As job losses slow and economic recovery steadies, buyer confidence also increases.

Home buyers desires have shifted since the appearance of Covid-19, prompting more buyers to seek out homes with space for a home office. As the number of people

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West Michigan has one of the most beautiful shorelines in America. With its soaring dunes, clear waters, and some of the most incredible sunsets anywhere, the Michigan Lakeshore has something for everyone.

The Lake Michigan coastline is also dotted with towns ranging from big and vibrant, such as Holland and Muskegon, to small and quaint like Saugatuck and Pentwater. Each one has its own personality, molded by the communities that call them home.

Located just north of Grand Haven, the village of Spring Lake has some of the prettiest waterfront properties in West Michigan. Wrapped around the 1,000 acre body of water that bears its name, Spring Lake lies on the Grand River just two and a half miles from its exit into Lake Michigan.

With 25

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Lake Michigan Waters |Andrea Crossman Group

West Michigan has seen quite a bit of rain so far this year, with late April downpours breaking local records up and down the Michigan Lakeshore. However, the record precipitation along with the affects of Covid-19 on the West Michigan housing market, have done little to dampen homebuyer’s spirits.

With the rise of virtual open houses and 3D home tours, waterfront real estate buyers are still showing a great deal of interest in offerings from South Haven to Manistee and beyond.

The heavy rains have brought some flooding concerns, and with the flooding, attention has returned to the high Lake Michigan water levels. Water levels in the big lakes set record levels in 2019 and are expected to do so again.

Although Lake Michigan and Lake Huron,

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The nightly news and big papers have been predicting a course correction in the housing market since the beginning of the year. With the unexpected appearance of COVID-19, the future of the housing market has become hard to guess. 

However, some shifts in the housing market have begun to take place and have little or nothing to do with the market’s financial stability, interest rates, or most other common indicators. Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has affected other aspects of the home buying and selling process aside from financial concerns. 

Some recent studies predict a shift in purchasing from the cities back to the suburbs, where a little distance between families may be a good thing. Whether the virus is directly responsible for this trend is

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Holland, Michigan - West Michigan’s Big, Beautiful Small Town | Andrea Crossman Group

In the past decade, Michigan has received much recognition as the Best or Most Beautiful in several categories such as Most Beautiful Beach or Best Place to Live. In 2011, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which includes Glen Arbor, was even judged the Most Beautiful Place in America by ABC’s Good Morning America.

However, the Holland, MI, area has also been recognized repeatedly for its own individual attributes from sources as big as Forbes Magazine, who judged Holland to be one of the Prettiest Towns in America. A Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index marked Holland as Number 2 on its list of Happiest, Healthiest Places to Live in America.

Holland’s cost of living index is also lower than many other states, and lower than the US average in

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West Michigan Real Estate and the Lake Michigan Water Levels  | Andrea Crossman Realty

This week on the Andrea Crossman Group real estate blog, we’re featuring another video with Andrea Crossman herself.

Tune in as Andrea discusses the recent Erosion 2020 presentation sponsored by Coldwell Banker Realty in Holland, MI., as well as the high water levels that were the event’s focus.

The Erosion 2020 forum featured 9 experts on the subject of high Lake Michigan and Lake Huron water levels. Event speakers included John Allis from the Army Corps of Engineers, Grand Valley State Professor Kevin Strychar, Nick Bonstall from the Ottawa County Office of Emergency Management, and Greg Weykamp with waterfront engineering firm, Edgewater Resources,

During the nearly 2 1/2  hour discussion, which also featured answers to questions posed

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Welcome back to the Andrea Crossman Group blog. This week, we would like to discuss a few concerns about the effects of coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the West Michigan housing market.

Although Michigan, like every other state, has now seen a number of coronavirus cases, the housing market along the Lakeshore is still strong for buyers and sellers alike. With interest rates at a low that has not been seen in years, it is still a great time to sell or purchase a home as low-interest rates present buyers with great opportunities.

Spring is also one of the best times of year to sell your home. As the weather warms, buyers are more likely to visit available homes in search of their dream house. Although the market is still strong in South Haven,

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