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time to do a winter-end check - 02/28/12 10:12 PM
Rich Hofeld a respected House Inspector reminds while this winter has been a relatively mild one in many regions, it is probably several months since you last paid attention to any outdoor maintenance. So within the next month or so it will be time to do a winter-end check to make sure everything is in order and your home is ready to withstand those pending spring-time showers. One area that typically requires special attention at the end of the winter season is the roof. To identify possible roofing concerns, look for: Ceiling stains – A possible warning sign that your roof (3 comments)
Respected House Inspector Rich Hofeld helps us learn how to a correct squeaky floors, address foggy insulated glass windows, provide a vapor barrier for an old house, and get the maximum out of a house painting job. Q. Our house has beat-up hardwood floors covered by wall-to-wall carpets. The floors squeak badly. Is there any way to fix this problem from the basement, without removing the carpeting? Squeaking floors can be very tricky to repair, but if you can work from underneath the floor you have an advantage. The squeaks are often caused by floor boards rubbing against nails (2 comments)
Warning! The Mistake Many Sellers Make Relisting In The Spring - 02/25/12 10:46 PM
I get asked often by potential Sellers thinking of the right timing to put their home on the market, when is the best time to put our home on the market Dale? I tell them I have sold homes every month of the year. Now, I realize I can show them in my customized market plan for their home all the factual information of when the majority of homes sell in their immediate neighborhood. Below, Sharon shares some simple reasons why there are other priorities potential Sellers should consider rather than the timing of when to place their home on the market.... Via (5 comments)
" AS IS' Home purchase . What buyers should know . - 02/25/12 10:36 PM
"As-Is" - This is a delicate road Realtors travel along when serving Buyers. Delicate because Buyers struggle with accepting what "As-Is" really means, or how it relates to their options for negotiating the purchase of a desired home. Gita, below explains it well. As a pre-note, Buyers need to be aware some homes are located in towns with ordinances requiring a Purchaser to deposit a repair escrow to insure repairs are completed before allowed to take occupancy of the property after closing. Her comments below are very helpful to understanding what "as-is" really involves in a transaction. Via GITA BANTWAL, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI BUCKS (5 comments)
Ten things to remove before listing... - 02/25/12 10:21 PM
The home had great curb appeal. Upon entering the front door I knew it was a very salable listing in radiant Richton Park, Illinois, a far southern suburb of Chicago. Mrs. Seller had a very impressive collection of designer ceramic figurines. They were displayed on beautiful furniture giving eye appealing accents to various rooms. I thought how do I tell my gracious proud valued Seller she will need to store them away. I poundered how to do this as I toured the 2500 square foot foyered quad-level styled home with a great open floor plan whereby the kitchen overlooks the family room. I (8 comments)
fixer upper home there is certainly some risk involved - 02/25/12 09:29 PM
Lisa Hare a respected colleague in Florida shares when purchasing a fixer upper home there is certainly some risk involved, but for many, the benefits far exceed the risks. There are several things to consider first, some positive and some negative. Things to Consider When Buying A Fixer Upper Anytime that you purchase a home, whether it needs love or if it is move-in ready, you already need to be considering the resale of that home, no matter what your plans for the future might be. This will better enable you to make the right choices at the right time. Making (4 comments)
I become what is necessary - 02/25/12 08:50 PM
Very rarely do I introduce spiritual ideas when I'm serving my valued Clients when speaking with them. There is an old saying I found to be true when conducting business. The rules dictates to stay away fron God and politics when serving Clients. My Pastor Robb Thompson shared some insights on the law of covenant recently. Upon reading his remarks, I was reminded of how real estate is much like the law of covenant and the law of sowing and reaping. We sow marketing and great customer service to reap valued Clients and their referrals. Thus, when we do right by our valued Clients we operate in (0 comments)
Tracking Your Home's History - 02/25/12 08:03 PM
When a potential Seller contacts me to request I meet with them to present a marketing plan for their home, I ask them to get out a pen and paper because I have an assignment for them. I proceed to give them a list of chores. Among the list is I ask them to focus on the last five years of history living in their home. I have them to think of every improvement made and the year they made it, no matter how insignificant they think it might be. I do this to slow them down from desiring to interview (3 comments)
The Worst House We Ever Saw... Or Smelled. - 02/25/12 07:36 PM
There are certain smells you just don't forget. Upon entering the front door we were greeted by a dozen cats. Cats were in every room, every nook, every cranny. I counted four more in the kitchen. Each had their special place on the counter top, table, floor, and even on top of the refrigerator. All three bathrooms had their designated resident. I noticed in the dining room there was a wire allowing the owner to open the window as cats requested an exit. I saw one climb out and followed the wire to a open basement window leading to a chicken-wire-like enclosure (9 comments)
The Federal Reserve announced that short-term interest rates will likely stay near zero for nearly three more years, a move that is expected to spillover to long-term mortgage rates for home buyers and home owners. In August, the Fed had made a rare move to say it would keep rates near zero until at least mid-2013. The Fed said Wednesday that the economy still needs more help and it will now extend that period to 2014. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a news conference that the Fed isn’t happy with the modest economic recovery and that the Fed may (0 comments)
Karen's story below reminds me of when I was selling my first home. It was a saturday morning and my spouse felt like making homemade yeast rolls. These rolls are so great you'll eat one and before your know it you'll eat four. The glorious smell filling the home just makes you want to eat even more. We had a few showings schedule for late morning and early afternoon. I told my spouse just watch, we'll get offers today just because the house is filled with the smell of freshed baked homemade handmade rolls lovingly prepared by you right out of the oven. My spouse left (2 comments)
After all my marketing efforts on my listings the telephone rings, or I get a text, or an email and it is a Buyer requesting to tour a home. The first question I must ask is always an awkward one, "have you qualified with a Lender?" The answer I primarily get is, "no, I'd prefer to see if I like the home before I get pre-qualified." This answer opens the door to another awkward conversation with me explaining to them, if they are really serious about purchasing a home, the first thing they want to do is get pre-qualified. I tell them they (3 comments)
When we Realtors get together at Brokers Luncheons we have the opportunity to share some of our transaction challenges. Ginny, below uses the term "credit-bumps!" Her story reminds me of the time I was supporting a valued First-time Buyer at a closing. Everything was going very smoothly. We got near the end and the Closing Officer checked her list and discovered she had one last question to ask the Buyer. "Are you currently employed?" My valued Buyer Client replied, "No!" The Closing Officer then said, "I'm sorry to inform you I have to stop the closing now." I said, "HOLD IT, (2 comments)
Borrowers who faced foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 may be eligible for a free independent review - 02/24/12 12:21 PM
Government Extends Period to Request Review of Foreclosure Handling to July 31 Borrowers who faced foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 may be eligible for a free independent review of their foreclosures and they now have until July 31, 2012 to make a request for that review. The reviews which were ordered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve in April of 2011 cover foreclosures handled by most major loan servicers. They are intended to determine whether borrowers suffered financial injury due to improper handling of the foreclosure action and, if so, how much compensation (0 comments)
valuable ideas, suggestions, and concerns - 02/22/12 10:26 PM
Renee Kosel, Assistant House Republican Leader and Illinois State Representative asked me to participate in a online legislative survey so she could gather a wide range of valuable ideas, suggestions, and concerns. Below is the feeback she received reflecting the opinions of all who participated in the survey. Please review and see if there are some similar concerns in your state? This may be information you may want to share with your local State Representative? Online Legislative Survey Results – Winter 2012 1. What issue is most important to you?Jobs / Economy 22.2% Balance state budget/unpaid (0 comments)
Recently I was touring homes with a Valued Buyer Couple. They mentioned how much they enjoy watching HGTV. We discovered we are mutual fans. They ask me if Realtors naturally put a positive spin on negative things Buyers point out about homes? Without really giving it much thought the first thing I thought and commented on was over 25 years have taught me I really don't sale homes. Meaning, the homes really sell themselves. Buyers buy for two main reasons, they fill a need and they feel good about filling the need. Retail stores figured out this secret a long (2 comments)
heal the battered housing market - 02/21/12 09:06 PM
Nick Timiraos has discovered the share of homeowners behind on their mortgages fell to the lowest level in three years during the fourth quarter of 2011, offering the latest sign of how recent job-market gains could help heal the battered housing market, according to a report released Thursday. But the share of loans in foreclosure remained near the highest levels of the crisis, which means several housing markets could still face continued pressure as banks take back and resell homes. The survey, released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, showed that 7.6% of residential mortgages were at least 30 days past due (2 comments)
want it all and are finding good deals - 02/21/12 08:47 PM
Small-Home Trend Reverses as More High-End Buyers Enter the Market Single-family home starts were at a 40-year-low in 2011, with just 429,000 homes built. That’s also a 75 percent decrease from a peak of 1.7 million starts in 2005, Multimedia Web Producer Erica Christoffer discovers at the builders show. But today’s new-home buyer may surprise you. Let’s start by looking at a few builder and consumer statistics presented during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando Thursday. The average start size increased from 2,381 square feet to 2,522 square feet and the average sales price rose from $264,900 to $274,400 in 2011. (3 comments)
chic ideas to make to most of an interior space - 02/21/12 08:38 PM
8 Quick, Hot Design Tips From the International Builders’ Show Looking for quick, easy ideas to bring a home to life, add value, or prep for sale without spending a lot? Learn from the pros! Erica Christoffer, a multimedia Web Producer shares Designers who presented at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando last week had a plethora low-cost, chic ideas to make to most of an interior space. 1. Transform closets: Consider turning a smaller, awkward closet into a built-in with cabinetry and shelving, or if there’s enough space, even a desk nook. Add dramatic dimension with disc lighting on each (4 comments)
Mick Rothblott, Mortgage & Construction Loan Planner informs us the Administration has released the budget for the next fiscal year and included in this budget is a soon to be announced increase in insurance premiums for Federal Housing Administration mortgage loans.
In the last few years, FHA has become the fastest growing source of financing of home purchases and FHA has been a popular choice for refinancing as well. One reason for this popularity is the fact that FHA requirements are more lenient than conventional loans in several respects. In addition, this past year Congress extended (2 comments)
“Back on market because of Buyer jitters” --- entry on the MLS - 02/19/12 10:59 PM
The "Old-School" term is "Buyers-Remorse!" I call it the "Dream Killer!" The one way I try to help my Valued Buyers avoid this experience is by having a conversation with them about trusting in their own ability to make the right decision for their future. I encourage them to follow the peace within their own heart when they're in their quiet time thinking about making an offer on a home. I help them to consentrate on the most powerful tool they have at their resources, more powerful than anyone else's opinion or advice. I remind them to think about a major decision (0 comments)
Military Discounts for Active, Reserve, and Retired Vets - 02/16/12 02:59 AM
Illinois Heroes are Facing Financial Hardships – Helping Our Heroes is Here to Help Helping Our Heroes™ is a program sponsored by the MORe Charitable Foundation dedicated to raising money to help active duty Illinois Military Personnel, Veterans, Fire Fighters, and Police Officers facing residential-expense related hardships. Many Illinois Military and Public Service personnel face financial difficulties, including foreclosure and eviction from their residences. Though loved ones are trying to help, the expenses are often beyond that level of assistance. Who qualifies for Helping Our Heroes™ assistance? Illinois Active Military Illinois Firefighters Illinois Police Personnel Illinois (0 comments)
increase your success Buying Foreclosures - 02/16/12 02:07 AM
One of my greatest challenges when working with Buyers wanting to invest in foreclosures, is helping them to fully understand what "as-is" really means. It means the only negotiation a bank may participate in is price. It is important for Buyers to not only budget for the amount they may be willing to pay for the home, they should also budget for repairs, plus a possible required Village repair escrow. Some communities have ordinances affording the Municipality to require a repair escrow to insure the Buyer will make repairs before the Village will allow occupancy of the property. 5 Tips to increase your (7 comments)
Earn $100 Cash for every person you refer - 02/15/12 12:26 PM
Several years ago I gave this business opportunity to my Mom as a gift. She has discovered so many amazing travels deals affording her to travel several times year. What I loved about sharing this gift was she could travel often very cheaply, not be obligated to sell anything, or recruit anyone, and earn an income for traveling. This business afforded my Mom the ability to have an internet base business whereby she could acheive all of her travel credentials and serve numerous clients without the requirement to prospect for them, resulting in additional income. For years she had been organizing groups of friends to join (0 comments)
We've all heard horror stories about fraud - 02/14/12 08:53 PM
A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:1.Do not sign the back of yourcredit cards. Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the completeaccount numberon the 'For' line. Instead, just put thelast four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a (4 comments)
pilot program targeting vacant and foreclosed properties - 02/10/12 04:39 PM
Here is a great example of our Public Leaders working with Realtors to improve communities! New pilot program targets vacant, foreclosed properties in six Cook County communities. Representatives of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® were on hand Friday in Berwyn as Gov. Pat Quinn announced a pilot program targeting vacant and foreclosed properties in six Cook County communities. Called the Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program, the effort provides $40 million in Illinois Jobs Now capital funding and an additional $10 million in aid from Cook County. The money will be used to help acquire and rehabilitate property in (2 comments)
trend right now is replacement over remodeling - 02/10/12 04:30 PM
2011-2012 Cost vs. Value: Which Remodeling Projects Pay Off the Most? Melissa Dittmann Tracey, of REALTOR® Magazine reports when tackling home remodeling projects, you’ll find some projects pay off more than others at times of resale. Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, recently released findings of its annual Cost vs. Value report for 2011-2012, revealing which remodeling projects offer the biggest bang for your buck. Overall, the trend right now is replacement over remodeling–swapping out the old for the new rather than doing a total gut job, which can be much more costly. This year’s Cost vs. Value report found (2 comments)
slowdown in consumer mobility is affecting the overall housing market - 02/10/12 03:51 PM
I must admit I am reluctant to share forcast information because it is like predicting a future none of us know may become reality. I do respect research combined from a lot of resources. This information primary reflects on the overall Illinois marketplace. Non-Illinois residents, this may help you to understand what to anticipate in your community. Please let me know if what Dr. Hewings shares also relates to your state or town. At the recent Illinois Association of REALTORS® Public Policy Meetings, Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois, presented his 2012 Economic Forecast. Watch these (0 comments)
Some Home Rule policies have posed some serious difficulties for property owners - 02/10/12 03:33 PM
Potential Pitfalls for REALTORS®, Property Owners with Home Rule Mike Scobey a highly respected Government Affairs Director for the Illinois Association of Realtors reports the Illinois March 20 Primary Election fast approaching, it is time again to pay attention to the candidate races and the issues that affect the real estate industry. One issue that comes up in every election cycle is Home Rule. Pursuant to the Illinois Constitution, a municipality can seek to become a home rule unit if the voters approve it in a referendum. A municipality automatically becomes a home rule unit when its population reaches 25,000. With (0 comments)
Rules of the short sale - 02/10/12 07:33 AM
Joseph Alfe reminds us, One of the most neglected, and yet, most important part of a successful short sale is getting both buyer and seller on the same page. This may stem from the traditional way of thinking on a traditional “retail” sale: It’s “Us against them.” This does not apply to short sales, and if you can over come this mentality, your closing success will skyrocket. Getting the short sale approval is only part of your responsibility; the other part is getting your buyer to the closing table. This is how I do it: Locking the Buyer Down: The StickAs (2 comments)
need for short sale specialists - 02/09/12 03:07 AM
My respected colleague Mike who serves the Baltimore marketplace shares some important facts to remember about short-sales. <!-- End Shareaholic LikeButtonSetTop Automatic --> How Long Will It Take For Short Sale Approval? The concern of how long will it take for short sale approval to be received or handed down is actually something that is very hard to answer categorically. The main reason is that you would need to look closely at the situation of the lending bank along with a host of other factors that can affect the entire approval process. The timeline for approval of a short sale transaction can (0 comments)
US economy is recovering - 02/03/12 07:07 PM
Loan Officer Mick Rothblott reports it may not feel like it but the US economy is recovering. We know this from the numbers and numbers don’t lie (or do they?). The non-farm payroll numbers for January was another in a series of better (still not great) economic indicators.
Non-Farm payrolls rose 243,000 in January with another 183,000 in revisions from last year adding a total of 2.1 million new jobs created in 2011. Add it all up, and there are now 163 million people in the United States on payrolls, the highest number since February of (4 comments)
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