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With the Grand Rapids Art Prize voting finally totaled last night, we know that most of 1262 entries didn’t win, any money, that is.  The Top Ten will now compete for:

  • 1st Place – $250K
  • 2nd Place – $100K
  • 3rd Place  – $ 50K
  • 4th-10th -   $  7K


Not exactly small change when it comes to art.  I imagine most of us don’t have anything close to a $7000 piece of artwork in our homes.

The Top Ten Entries are all worthy and I will have to check them all out before I cast my final vote for the winner.  I really enjoyed the thumbs up, thumbs down voting for all the artists.  It was really great to be included in something this big and this important to our community.


But I digress, I want to talk about one of the Art Prize entries that didn’t win:

The Red Ball Project:Grand Rapids.  We have friends in Heritage Hill who have served as hosts for 2 artists in this event. They provide housing and a home base while the artist puts up, installs, paints, or whatever they have to do to enter their art work.  We were fortunate enough to meet the young artist of the Red Ball Project, Kurt Perschke and his wife Kate, while we were touring Art Prize.

This Art Prize entry is a large (15 ft diameter) red inflatable ball that is placed in strategic and well known places to tickle the senses and make you look again. Did I just see a large red ball there?  Kids  love to punch it and jump into it…..have fun with it.  The Red Ball has been all over the world since 2001, Sydney Australia, Portland OR, Chicago IL, Korea, Rome Italy and Barcelona Spain, just to name a few of the spots it has visited.

GR  Kids meet Red Ball


Red Ball installed


 Will Red Ball move?

MM Kurt Perschke Red Ball Project


Kurt and Kate are newlyweds and they are experiencing the Grand Rapids  Art Prize together.  They have been in Grand Rapids for at least 12 days and yet I doubt they have had time to see much beyond the venues of their Red Ball placement in major downtown venues.

They noted that the citizens of Grand Rapids seemed to take their voting responsibilities quite seriously, carrying notebooks and colored markers to note their reactions to different Art Prize entries.

So even though Red Ball didn’t win the art prize Grand Rapids was a winner. We got exposure to art work that never would have found our city without sponsors or a paid venue.  So, thanks Kurt and Kate. It was a fun experience for all of us in Grand Rapids!


Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids Real Estate

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved


The Residences at Watermark are located on Watermark Golf Course  just

south of Cascade Road.   Yes, I play Watermark golf course every chance

I get.  Watermark is a premier course with friendly players.

It  has an excellent grounds staff and a great pro shop staff, as well.

Watermark single family homes and condos make this a very attractive

place to live. Quality built homes with access off Cascade Road and

Spaulding Drive, you are close to the airport, 28th Street shopping,

I96 expressway and close to Cascade, Ada, and Forest Hills

schools and shopping areas.

watermark residences entrance grand rapids mi

                              Watermark Residences

                 May 2009 Real Estate Market Report

For Sale: 7

There are 7 active Watermark Homes  currently on the market.

The median Watermark Homes current active price is $ 579,900

The average Watermark Homes current price per sq ft is $ 267.15

The average days on the market for active Watermark Homes is 216

The high price is $ 2,700,000 and the low price is $ 369,900.

Sold: 1

There has been 1 Watermark Sold Homes since Jan 1, 2009.

The average Watermark Sold Home price is $ 440,000

The average Watermark Sold Homes price per sq ft is $206.57

The average days on the market for Watermark Sold Homes is 73.

Pending: 0

Expired: 6

At the current rate of sales, we have a 35 month Absorption rate at the

Watermark Residences.  This means that it will take 35 months for the

current listed homes to sell based on the current rate of sales.

Watemark buyers don’t seem to be interested at the present prices.

The listed avg. price/square foot is about $60 more than the only sale

so far this year.  The $2.7 million home does inflate the figures a tad

but price/sq ft should be similar.  Summer may see more activity but

I see overpriced homes and buyers just aren’t buying overpriced homes.


Additional articles about Watermark Residences:

Watermark Residences March 2009 Market Report

Watermark Residences December 2008 Market Report

Watermark Residences October 2008 Market Report

Watermark Country Club ~ Pool Time


If you would like further information about Watermark Residences

Cascade or Forest Hills Homes, please contact me directly:

1-888-240-1968 ext 0

Grand Rapids – Ada Real Estate  – Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009  All rights reserved

photo of Watermark Residences Entrance by Bonnie Westbrook

Kentwood Michigan Real Estate Market Report ~ May 2009

Kentwood Michigan is a large suburb of Grand Rapids with a population

under 50,000. It has manufacturing, shopping centers, and lots and lots

of residential housing. Kentwood Public Schools are one of the largest

school systems in the area with over 9000 students and 16 buildings

within a 24.25 square mile area.

Kentwood high school kentwood mi

Kentwood home sales are still on a general downward trend

in price. Over 1/3 of Kentwood Homes Equity has dissolved in

the last 3 years, according to the current stats.

We are still seeing a small price erosion from last month’s figures,

again this month, though the spring activity is high.  Foreclosures are

still affecting the average market price here as Grand Rapids has seen

jobs disappear.

The homes under $ 150K in Kentwood are seeing 5-6 times the

sales of the homes over $150K.  The homes over $150K may be

priced too high for today’s timid buyers (many of them think prices

will erode still further) or it could be condition.  Your list price has to

be close to the sale price or your home just doesn’t get serious

buyer activity.  And if you still have the light blue carpeting,

you will need to upgrade or lower your price if you want to see a

sold sign this year.

In 2006, Kentwood has 495 home sales:avg sold price:$159,788

In 2007, Kentwood had 434 homes sales: avg sold price:$151,009

In 2008, Kentwood had 722 home sales:avg sold price: $115,127

In 2009, Kentwood has had 335 home sales: avg sold price:$97,340


Home sales for Kentwood$70,000 to $149,999 price range:

142 Active Listings with Avg price $ 126,875

77 sold since January 2009

38 Pending sales

Avg sold price $70K-150K  $110,473

Avg Days on Market – 88


Home sales for Kentwood$150,000 to $400,000 price range:

86 Active Listings with avg price of $ 182,999

12 sold since January 2009

6 Pending Sales

Avg sold price $151K-400K  $176,707

Avg Days on Market – 129

50 Expired Listings with Avg DOM of 129 days


Kentwood Absorption Rate for this price range is 8.5 months,

at the current rate of sale (which means if no new listings come

on the market, it will take 8.5 months to sell the active listed

homes). This is down from last month, which is good news.


Real Estate is always hyper-local. If you have questions about

a specific Kentwood home, please contact me:

phone: 1-888-240-1968 ext 0

or email:

Grand Rapids Real Estate ~ Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

It is spring and the home improvement train is chugging along.

Especially for people that are staying in their home, by choice

or economic necessity.  A home improvement project can be top on

the list of things to do.  So, how do you determine if it is a

cost that is reasonable for your budget or even a smart thing

to do?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ball park figure before

you call the contractor.


905 N Ottillia frt


As usual, the web is here to help you.

HGTV has a Local Cost estimator for home improvement projects

that will estimate a project in your local area.  Costs do vary by

location, so remember this is just a guess-timate.  If you want

marble tile or $500 faucets, the cost of your new bath can

escalate quickly.

Here is another site that might be helpful in your process of

home improvement decisions.  The DIY Network has a remodeling

Budget Estimator that covers frequently asked questions.  It

is always helpful to get as much information as possible to aid

in your decision making process.

Viewing these home improvements from a Realtor’s viewpoint,

some projects will make your home more attractive but will they

make it more valuable to a buyer?  Check out Realtor Magazine’s

                          Cost vs Value 2008 Report

to see if that new bath will add to the value of your home before

you spend your hard earned money.


It might be worth while to you as a family no matter what the

payback if you sell your home in the future.  It might not, too.

For example, if you know that your job will probably be

transferred in a year or two, do you really want to put $40K in

a new bathroom?  Will you get any payback for this when you


The Top Five Remodeling Project Paybacks:

1. Upscale fiber cement siding (86.7%)

2. Midrange wood deck (81.8%)

3. Midrange vinyl siding (80.7%)

4. Upscale foam-backed vinyl (80.4%)

5. Midrange minor kitchen remodel (79.5%


Exterior projects that improve curb appeal are leading the list.

What will your home improvement project be this summer?


Westbrook Realty ~ Grand Rapids Michigan

Copyright 2009     All rights reserved

Grand Rapids Photos


August 2019
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