West Michigan waterfront homes in Holland Michigan. CariniRealtors.com

West Michigan waterfront homes in Holland Michigan. CariniRealtors.com

West Michigan waterfront homes in Holland Michigan. CariniRealtors.com

Carini & Associates, Realtors
Holland Michigan


There are 183 Journal Items in 23 pages and your are on page number 1

Buy A Vacation Home...

Great Reasons To Buy A Vacation Home

They provide another investment that includes a mortgage-interest tax deduction.

Whether you rent it out or not, you can deduct the mortgage interest as long as you use the home more than 14 days or more than 10% of the number of days the home is rented annually at a fair rental, whichever is longer.

Qualified second homes include houses, condominiums, cooperatives, mobile homes, house trailers, boats or similar properties that have sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities.

Here's an interesting twist on the mortgage interest deduction: If you take out a home equity loan on your first home and use the funds to acquire your second home, the interest on the home equity loan is also deductible. That's three mortgage interest deductions off your tax return!

Consult IRS Publication 936 for a complete discussion of how mortgage interest for a second home is deductible.

You can purchase your future retirement home now, at today's prices.

Though your second home may be a vacation home now, if you buy right you can convert it into your principal residence later.

They can produce their own income.

Renting out a second home occasionally or often can help you pay for the property with OPM (other people's money). Check with your tax advisor about how much of the upkeep and management expenses are deductible against your income.

Buying Tips From The Experts

Buy something within a reasonable distance.

Be sure you can get to your vacation home in a short amount of time. Before you make a final decision, travel the distance on a typical Friday afternoon to see whether the drive will be too much to deal with after a long work week.

Rent in the area several times before you buy.

If you really like a particular area, check it out during different seasons. This way you get to know the climate, people, pests, traffic patterns and other regional particulars first-hand.

Consult other owners.

Check with owners of nearby properties about public and private facilities, special maintenance required due to location or weather, the social climate, local development plans and prevalence of crime. Learning about the lifestyle of the area may help you narrow down your choices.

Think home first, investment second.

Although you may be able to generate rental income from your vacation home, it may not cover your ownership costs. (If you want to try real estate investments, give us a call to look at properties in the local area.)

Consider different styles of properties in a vacation area.

To minimize upkeep and have a more secure environment, a condo may be preferable to a single-family home. If you plan on converting it to a retirement home, consider what type of home you'll want as a full-time residence.

Posted by Curt Carini on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 09:37

The Connected Home
Technology is infiltrating every aspect of our lives. Twenty years ago, who could have predicted weíd have the Internet in our pockets? Or a refrigerator that tracks our purchases? There are so many choices when it comes to connecting your home and finding fun ways to let technology make your life easier. But which new tech tools are really worth the cost?

Smart ovens.
GE has come out with a range of connected appliances. Smart ovens can be turned on to preheat while youíre still driving home from the grocery store, and you can also change the temperature or get a notification that dinner is done right from your phone, too.

Smart fridges.
According to thewirecutter.com, theyíre just not worth it ó yet. GEís Wi-Fi enabled fridges, due out in fall 2015, will let you know when the water filter needs changing or if the door has been left open. One day your fridge will be able to order more milk when youíre running low and check youíve got all the ingredients for pasta primavera. Currently, though, fancy refrigerators mostly play music and post notes for the next person nearby to buy that milk. Plus, thewirecutter says, the software in general canít be upgraded. Wait until these things have developed further.

Smart dishwashers.
Huh? Do you really need an alert when your dishwasher is done? Personally I set mine to run either overnight or in the morning before I leave for work. I find itís usually done by the next time Iím in the kitchen

Kwikset, a pretty well-known maker of locks, has developed an ekey system. You can share a key with anyone, so no more fake rocks in the yard or placing a spare above the front door (or sending your five-year-old through the doggy door, ahem). Keys can be assigned to multiple people and can be revoked right from your phone. Know when your door is opened when youíre not home. You can even create a ďscheduledĒ ekey that only allows access on certain days at certain times. Pricey, but super-convenient for key losers, especially if your car is also keyless.

Connected thermostat.
The Nest is still the top pick for most people when it comes to home technology. The Nest Learning Thermostat is not only attractive, itís smartóit can learn your preferences, and your daily schedule, and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly. So it saves you money as well as helping to keep you comfortable. Its interface with your phone is considered the best of all the smart thermostats out there, as well.

Smart lightbulbs.
Control color to suit your mood, turn lights on when youíre out late or away on vacation, or schedule lighting changes from your phone or tablet. Cree, GE, and Belkin make smart LED bulbs that get pretty good reviews.

The Hub.
Of course, you canít really hook up your smart home without a hub. Hubs help you get all of your smart devices controlled under one app, making life easier, which is really the ultimate goal of a smart home, right? PCMag recommends the SmartThings Hub and devices from IControl, and Logitech. Thereís also the Wink Connected Home Hub, Appleís Homekit, and the Insteon Hub to turn your Wi-Fi enabled home features into remotely controlled smart accessories that you access on the go. If youíre working on a budget, the Quirky Pivot Power Genius is a smart power strip that you can use to control plug-in items you already have in your home.

Our lives are getting easier ó or are they getting more complicated? Either way, these smart, connected home appliances and features can help you take care of your home with the touch of a few buttons, and soon these tools will be taking care of us!
Posted by Curt Carini on Thursday, July 09, 2015 at 08:41

Preparing Your Home for Hot Weather

As warm weather rolls across most of the country, itís time to start thinking about how to protect and care for your home when the mercury soars. What can you do to ensure the summer sun doesnít cause damage to your home?

Heat stays out, cool stays in.
Thatís the general idea, right? Check the weather stripping around doors and windows to make sure you donít have a leak where your air conditioning can escape. This is a good time to assess the state of your insulation as well. Many power companies also offer home energy-efficiency assessments ó often at no cost ó to help you pinpoint places where the heat is creeping in, and often theyíll supply solutions too.

Perform an A/C checkup.
Donít wait until you really need the air conditioning to make sure it's working properly! If something goes wrong at the height of summer, it could be weeks before repairs can be made. Replace your HVAC unitís filters, and consider having your air ducts and vents cleaned out and the seals checked.

Turn it around.
Your ceiling fan, that is: Many types have a way to reverse the direction they spin. In summer, the blades should rotate counterclockwise in order to maximize the fanís beneficial effect on your homeís temperature.

Scout the perimeter.
Most people spend more time outdoors when temperatures rise. Check the boundaries of your property for damage to fences, security lights, and gate locks. Clear away any long grass that may have grown up next to fences as they can harbor fleas and ticks. Reset timers on sprinklers and outdoor lights in consideration of the longer hours of daylight.

Paint: Itís not just for looks.
Although we generally think of a new coat of paint as a cosmetic indulgence, it actually helps to protect the home from the effects of strong heat and sun. While youíre at it, check the deck to see if it needs a fresh coat of sealant as well. Washing the windows will ensure you can enjoy the summer sunshine. And speaking of windows, check screens and shutters for damage too.

Prepare to party.
If you love to entertain outdoors, or you want to live off barbecue for the next few months, your summer fun equipment will need a good once-over. Hose down patio furniture and check cushions to see if they would benefit from a good wash and a chance to dry in the fresh air or if theyíll need to be replaced. Clean off the bbq and fill the propane tank [or stock up on briquettes].

Scale the heights.
Before it gets too hot, an inspection of the roof and attic is a great idea. Check outside for missing shingles or other signs of damage. Trim back tree branches that could be used by local critters as stepping stones to get onto and then under your roof. Check out the gutters while youíre up there too. Then head inside to examine the attic for leaks, holes, and signs of animal trespass.

We may think of summer as a time for vacations, but we never really get a vacation from taking care of our homes. I hope these tips help you have an enjoyable summer!
Posted by Curt Carini on Monday, June 15, 2015 at 07:24

Signs of a Neighborhood on the Rise

A neighborhood on the rise offers things you definitely want: a great space at a good price, and the promise of improvement (and rising home equity). But how do you know when a neighborhood is getting ready to take off? There a few signs to look for that can steer you to the next hot zip code. (Remember, Brooklyn was once considered highly undesirable!)

Itís near another hot spot
Location, location, location! If you canít afford the prices in the currently desirable metro area, then look at the neighborhoods adjoining. Itís likely the amenities youíll find there will be creeping into the adjoining neighborhoods, and yours could be next.

You can get there from here
Excellent public transportation and freeway access generally mean young people moving in, which in turn leads to Ö

Independent business and trendy shops popping up
A young demographic in a neighborhood generally attracts bars and restaurants that are chasing millennial dollars. Look for store and restaurant trends that youíll find in the already hot neighborhoods ó farm-to-fork, wine bars, even vape bars. And of course an uptick in the number of hardware and home improvement stores is always a good sign.

Upscale chain stores are also encroaching
These businesses spend a lot of money tracking demographics and conducting market research before they begin to move into an area. Let them do some of the groundwork for you. Stores catering to a higher income clientele, such as Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and of course Starbucks are the ones to watch.

Homes are selling faster and faster in the area
If you notice a lot of houses undergoing renovations or new home construction, and more For Sale signs, itís time to ask your real estate agent the average time a home in that area spends on the market. As the number of days on the market declines, the housing market in the area will be heating up. If you can get in at the beginning of this trend, youíll probably get a great price on your new property.

Crime rates are declining
Rising crime is an obvious indication that a neighborhood is going south, so it makes sense that a declining crime rate is a sign of gentrification and growth. If you see an area where a city is starting to pour in money, itís a good bet it thinks the place is worth the attention. Improving school scores and a property tax thatís staying stable are also signs to look for.

Looking for a neighborhood on the rise is always taking a chance. Thereís no guarantee youíll be getting in on the next most desirable place to live in your area. But by looking at the signs listed above ó and having a great real estate agent who knows the area and can offer guidance ó you could be getting a great place for a much lower price.

Posted by Curt Carini on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 05:45


Grand Rapids was named one of the Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care, by Livability.com, a national website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America's small and mid-sized cities.

Grand Rapids was named the "Most Sustainable Midsize City in America" by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Civic Leadership Center and the Seimens Corp.
The Brookings Institution named Grand Rapids one of the 20 strongest-performing American metropolitan areas in MetroMonitor: Tracking Economic Recession and Recovery in Americaís 100 Largest Metropolitan Areas.
Forbes Mazagine forcasted Grand Rapids to be the most likely place to find jobs in the article The Best and Worst Cities for Jobs this Summer.
Fortune Magazine rated Grand Rapids as one of the "Top 10 Best Cities for Business."
Anderson Economic Group cited Grand Rapids as "Number one for best overall business climate."
Industry Week Magazine ranked Grand Rapids second on the "World Class Communities" list among cities of similar size.
Grand Rapids has also been cited as one of the "top five" metro areas for its number of entrepreneurs and for manufacturing growth.
The United Nations University has designated Grand Rapids as a Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development.  Grand Rapids is the only city in the nation, and one of 30 worldwide, to receive this award.  (Michigan DEQ, March 2007)
Eight companies in Grand Rapids have been designated by the DEQ as Clean Corporate Citizens, the most of any city in the state. (Michigan DEQ, March 2007)
Grand Rapids has more LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings than any city in the United States other than Seattle. (Michigan DEQ, March 2007)
Greater Grand Rapids is the fastest growing region in the upper Midwest, outpacing all of our 11 peer communities in the areas of manufacturing, job creation, and wealth creation.

Posted by Curt Carini on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 05:52

Staging Your Home to Sell
In a manner of speaking, staging your home is putting its best foot forward: you're setting up each room to look inviting to prospective buyers of all types. Showcase your homeís best features, and minimizes any flaws.

Clean and clear
Ideally, youíd start with a completely empty home, painted in neutrals and perfectly clean. In reality, you get as close to this ideal as you can by boxing up personal items, clearing out closets and stacking everything neatly in your tidy and [now] organized garage and attic. Items that must stay out in the open need to go in bins or baskets to keep your home free of clutter. This includes toys and kitchen and bathroom items you need to use daily. And of course everything must be dusted and cleaned of fingerprints and footprints!

Start the staging
Your rooms should look inviting, but they still need to have the minimum furnishings possible so buyers can imagine their own belongings in there more easily. Play to the strengths of each room by accenting its best features. Create conversational groupings in common areas.

Light it up
Bright lighting make the room look warm and welcoming. Chase away dark corners by using both ambient lighting and accent lights.

Head outside
Your patio and yard should also be selling features. Clean up the furniture, make sure the cushions arenít sun-faded, and get the garden in shape. If you donít have a green thumb, large potted plants can dress up the exterior.

Make every space count
Dress up a Spartan guest room with a comfy chair and pretty lamp to create a cozy reading spot. The guest room should be obviously a guest room; the same goes for the office. Ambiguity in a roomís purpose can be confusing to home shoppers. Make it clear what each room is for. If you have an oddly shaped landing, or a little nook in the living room, donít ignore it: show its potential.

Keep up daily
This can be the hardest part! But while your home is on the market, you need to keep the garbage empty, the laundry folded, the pet toys out of sight, and the cap on your toothpaste.

Itís hard to show your home while youíre still living in it, but you need to think about what a new homeowner will be looking for: a fresh start and a place for their family and their belongings. You want your home to appeal to the most number of people possible. Keep these tips in mind to help your home sell quickly and for more money!
Posted by Curt Carini on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 14:15

Get Ready for Spring March 2015

The first day of spring arrives on March 20, and while some parts of the country may not be feeling it yet, you can still prep your home for the warmer weather and get ready to start working on your spring garden.


Spring cleaning:

This is usually what we think of first when we talk about getting ready for spring, so letís start there. As the temperature rises, it will be great to open the windows, wash the curtains or blinds, clean the carpets and dust off the ceiling fans. Giving your home a power wash or even a fresh coat of paint can brighten your siding ó and your spirits! Itís a good time to wash the windows too.


Sorting and organizing:

The change in weather can give you a dose of energy, so turn that into productivity and consider giving your storage areas a good sort out. Organize the pantry with baskets and containers; take a scrubbing brush to the fridge and freezer; junk the items in the junk drawer that havenít been used in the past year.



Your heating and air conditioning will need some attention. Change or clean filters, test the A/C before you really need it, and donít forget to clean the chimney.


Outdoor storage:

The tool shed can use a clean-up as well. Scrub the rust from tools with steel wool. Lubricate moving parts with oil. Sharpen your secateurs. Move your snow shovels and ice scrapers behind the mower, hoses, and gardening tools.


Yard and patio:

When you can do more outdoors, turn your attention to your yard and patio. Wash out your trash and recycling bins and get the gutters cleaned. Examine your outdoor furniture to see what needs to be replaced: will new cushions be enough, or do you need to replace the lounge chairs themselves? You can also check the driveway and patio for cracks that need to be repaired.



Homeowners with green thumbs can turn the soil over in the garden to prepare for planting. If your perennials, tulips, and daffodils are sprouting, youíll know itís time to check the quality of your soil and add plant food and fertilizer. Plant your new perennials any time now ó but wait until youíve been frost-free for at least two weeks (and there are no more freezes predicted for your area) before putting in your annuals.


Start preparing now and when the warm weather comes youíll be ready to relax and enjoy it!

Posted by Curt Carini on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 06:32

Size matters when buying or selling...

Looking for Luxury? How to Upsize Your Next Home Without Upsizing Your Costs

Size matters when you are buying a new home. Whether you plan to expand your family, need more room for your stuff, or are concerned with resale value, you want to get the most space for your money. Also, if you want to add a feel of luxury to your home, one of the best ways to do it is to create open spaces rather than cramming all your furniture in rooms so tiny you can barely walk around without knocking something over.

Traditionally speaking, the larger a home is, the more it costs. If there are two newly built houses side by side in a subdivision, the bigger one is likely to cost more. However, there are some tricks to finding spacious houses that are affordable.

Choose Emerging Neighborhoods
Houses in this yearís trending neighborhood are at their peak prices. Clever buyers look for neighborhoods that are in the process of being gentrified, buying at the bottom rather than the top of the market, to get more house for their money.

Fix It Up
Houses in perfect condition, that show well, sell for a premium. If you want to get more house for your money, choose something that needs a bit of TLC. A house that has pink walls and orange shag carpet might appear just too ugly to consider when you first view it, but it might just need a few coats of paint and some new carpet to become a spacious dream home.

Do Some Finishing
Unfinished areas such as attics and basements can be finished to create additional living spaces. The basement could become a family room and the attic an extra bedroom or study. An unfinished space can become the extra bathroom you need to make morning more manageable.

Consider an Addition
Contractors can add rooms to a house. If you have a large lot, you can build an extra wing. With a one story ranch house, it may be possible to raise the roof and add a second story.

The more stuff you have, the smaller your home appears. Reduce clutter and invest in smaller condo size furniture to give even the smallest home the appearance of spaciousness.

Posted by Curt Carini on Monday, March 09, 2015 at 07:55

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