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What is going on with the West Michigan real estate market? A better question would be, what is not going on in West Michigan? Let’s look at this from a property management perspective. Compass Property Management was only founded in 2007, on a little card table in a basement in Kentwood, MI. There was already a great need for property managers at this time. Houses were foreclosing, owners needed a way to cash flow their properties while they waited for an economic recovery. Back then, it felt like it may never come. But it did come, and it has been epic. Renting out the single family homes became an easy way to pay two mortgages for families moving out of state, or country, for those downsizing, or needing a bigger home. There are many reasons to move but not too many options if you can’t sell the house. Renting it out makes sense. It provides someone with much needed housing, and if done correctly, can be a great investment. (Hint hint: Property Management isn’t free, but it can make you money). Mark’s small business grew from managing 40 units to nearly 1000 in a short 7 years.

Back in 2007, our founder, Mark Troy said he would never sell real estate. Well, that changed. As the market recovered, our clients were able to get out from under their homes. They came to Compass, and said sell our house. We said, we’re property managers. They said so. Compass said okay, and we started Compass Realty. We’re not afraid of change. We embrace it. Business has continued to boom. Houses started selling but not only to the traditional buyer looking for somewhere new to live. Investors started coming out of everywhere. Local investors, then some from the east side of Michigan, then other states, and eventually from all over the world. Compass has the pleasure of serving a large international clientele, as well as a local one. But investors aren’t just looking for single family homes, they are purchasing multi-units such as side-by-side duplexes, small apartment complexes and more. We created a team approach to help our investors make the best possible choices. Our property management team knows the rental market, and realty division has honed in what it takes to invest in West Michigan. The more properties that are bought and sold, the more we see that renters are looking for quality. An influx of millennial renters, jaded by the housing crash, are not looking to buy yet. They want to rent. They want to rent nice homes, and are okay paying a premium for it. That 3 bedroom house an investor just bought in Eastown for $35,000 needs some work before a highly qualified renter will live there. Here comes Compass Remodeling. New kitchen and bath needed? No big deal. We can do it for you. Grand Rapids is filled with large beautiful properties that just need a little TLC. We can give that.

These are the reasons Compass Property Services has been able to survive and thrive during the housing crisis. We were prepared for the flood of investors coming to our city. Click here to read more about why Investors flee volatile real estate markets for opportunity in West Michigan. This is a great article and this sentence sums much of it up: “We continue to see capital from elsewhere come into West Michigan. People can’t find deals in major markets — that trickles down into a market like Grand Rapids,” said Colin Kraay.

If you’re interested in learning other reasons why Grand Rapids rocks, check out this page from our website, Investment Opportunities in Grand Rapids. It’s easy to see why we have a lot of pride in this town. West Michigan has so much more to offer than a fantastic real estate market for investors. It’s an exiting time to live and work in the Greater Grand Rapids area. We welcome real estate investors.

Thanks for reading, and look for more blogs in the future.
Emma Persons – Director of Business Development – epersons@compass101.com

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