GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For more than 20 years, House Hunters have taken us all over the world as potential home buyers search for their next property.
HGTV recently made a pitstop in Grand Rapids as a longtime Michigander was looking to downsize, but still wanted enough room to entertain her friends and her dog.
“So we did film what they call the decision scene here in this room where we talked about all three options and the pros and cons of each,” Five Star Real Estate Leaders Realtor Kim Southwick said.
Kim was tasked with finding Amelia Brussow her home.
Kim and Amelia toured several homes in Greater Grand Rapids trying to track down the right fit. The show of course only featured three homes.
The first was a home in East Grand Rapids, a great location, but with older finishes and not the open concept she was looking for.
The second home was a high rise condo, with updated finishes, great entertaining potential, but not super dog friendly.
Finally, the hunt took the pair to Belmont where a stand alone condo with an open concept and nearby park awaited them, but lacked storage.
After weeks of shooting, and take after take, Amelia ultimately settled for the suburban condo in Belmont.
“The filming took a couple of weeks, and during the hottest point of the summer,and a couple of the homes did not have air conditioning, ” Kim said.
“It was a great experience and it was a lot of fun.”
Amelia’s price point was in the $500 thousand dollar range, which Kim says is really the sweet spot these days for families to get what they want in West Michigan.
House Hunters has filmed several times in West Michigan, but the landscape for buying a home is drastically different than when the area was last featured in 2017.
“If no other home were to enter the market right now, in less than two months, we would sell out of every home that's for sale,” Kim says.
For starters, options are extremely limited right now and sellers really have the power.
The bidding wars are starting to level off a bit as the rise in home prices has slowed.
In the last few years buyers were having to bid $20-$30 thousand dollars over asking price to get what they want. Now winning bids are only typically $5-10 thousand dollars over asking price.
And with inventory remaining low, priorities are shifting for a buyer’s must have.
“You can't change location, so a lot of people want a home that's really updated, move-in ready,” Kim said.
“You can really save some money by buying a home that isn't all updated, and you can come in and make those cosmetic changes.”
The episode aired Sunday, November 12th.