RPOA Member Spotlight: James Eerdmans
What happens when James Eerdmans of American Realty buys a shell of a home with a derelict and tragic past in the heart of the Historic District of Heritage Hill? He changes its stars. James Eerdmans is well known in the area for his passion of working on historic homes.
James’s latest project, 426 Lafayette Ave, SE, Grand Rapids, is no exception. When American Realty purchased the home two years ago it was a shell–literally down to the studs. In fact, if you compare historic photos of the home with photos in the early 1990’s, the home would be almost unrecognizable. The home was originally built in the 1890’s. There are only a handful of original details still visible because of a fire that ravaged the home in 1994, but what original aspects of the home could be kept and/or salvaged make the home stand out. The first thing you notice is the front door. This is an original door to the home and stands out with its artistic craftsmanship. Some of the flooring on the second level was preserved and not burned in the fire. The basement has original stone walls. The combined look of the historic renovation with updated and modern fixtures, updated kitchen and a few extras, make this a unique and rare find. In a word…stunning.
James Eerdmans, founder of American Realty Property Management (ARPM), a division of American Realty, prides himself on providing quality rental housing for his tenants and unparalleled property management services for the properties ARPM manages. His right hand man is Jared Behrens who is the General Manager of ARPM and oversees the ARPM staff and operations of over 300 rental units.
James has been in the real estate investment business for 20 years. His first memorable investment moment was when he purchased his first 4 unit on Knapp Street which was later developed adding 12 more units. He has bought and sold hundreds of properties over the years and as a result has overcome his greatest obstacle… the unknown. When we asked James how the RPOA has helped him over the years and why he would encourage other investors to become members, he said, “They [RPOA] are a great resource for landlords in maintaining compliance and supporting their daily operations. The RPOA promotes synergies with other likeminded landlords and investors and represents landlords’ interests effectively with local municipalities.” American Realty has been an RPOA member since 2003.