tracy: SHOPPING FOR A HOME... - 04/26/09 07:55 PM
My wife and I packed up our two young girls this afternoon and did a little house shopping.
After what has seemed like an endless winter, my family has been suffering from a serious case of house coop. The dark and rainy weekend we had here in Naperville wasn't helping. We needed to get out...
We have been searching for homes online over the last month or so. Today was the day we would see them on the inside...
I made a few quick calls, set up three appointments, and we were off to search for a home. We would be seeing homes in Brookdale,
tracy: ADVICE TO A FRIEND... - 04/22/09 07:22 PM
I was talking with a friend of mine from the office recently...
He is a newer agent. He has been in the business for about a year.
He works part time as a waiter. He really loves waiting tables. He makes good money at it. He takes pride in his work...
He has been working as a waiter two days a week, in order to devote more time at the real estate office...
He currently comes to the office 4 days a week, but sometimes finds it hard to stay productive all those office hours.
Money is tighter than he would like, and without
tracy: "WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FOR SALE?" - 04/20/09 11:35 AM
I hosted an open house at my listing in River Bend on Sunday. The weather was fairly typical for an April day in Illinois. Wet and raw. Highs in the lower 50's...
Despite the inclement weather, the turnout was solid. Nine groups came through...
The comments were fairly consistent. Tons of space. Gorgeous windows. Love the neighborhood and the model...
"But why are there so many for sale?" many visitors asked.
"There must be 30 homes for sale!" said one very impressed yet concerned visitor.
"Actually, there are 15," I answered, knowing the conversation wouldn't stop there.
"Why so many for
tracy: OPEN HOUSE. SUNDAY APRIL 19TH. RIVER BEND TOWNHOMES. LISLE, ILLINOIS - 04/15/09 02:44 PM
I will be having an open house at my listing on 1116 Longwood Drive, Lisle this Sunday from 1-4 PM...
Stop by and see what River Bend has to offer. Lovely 2 and 3 bedroom townhomes priced in the mid to high $200s.
Great location. Close to highways, shopping, and golf. Just down the road from downtown Naperville...
A Realtor you can trust.
tracy: ARE YOU LINKEDIN???? - 04/08/09 09:00 PM
Are you LinkedIn? I never expected to be...
Sure, I had my LinkedIn profile, but I didn't promote it or take part...
My social networking schedule seemed full. I was already active with Facebook, Twitter, and ActiveRain...
A breakfast I had with my parents the other day changed my mind...
My father, who owns a Sir Speedy Printing in Villa Park, had just started with LinkedIn. He was excited by it's vast potential. He has 24 connections...
I told him all the reasons I wasn't taking part with LinkedIn. Too busy. Too many friends. Too old school...
I wasn't very convincing. These are the reasons I hear from people for not using Facebook, Twitter, or Active Rain...
tracy: SO YOU WANT TO BUY A HOME? I DO TOO... - 04/07/09 04:42 PM
So you want to buy a home? I do too.
My wife and I are hoping to purchase a home by the end of the year.
I am just getting excited...
Here are some of my reasons:
1. I am tired of renting. I have rented for three years, and I want to set some roots.
2. Mortgage rates are very low. They are currently under 5%.
3. Homes are cheap. Homes are selling at prices 20-30% below their peaks.
4. The tax credit. An $8000 tax credit is being offered to first time home buyers (or anyone else who has not owned a home for 3 years) who purchase a home
tracy: FATHER AND DAUGHTER... - 04/06/09 05:49 PM
tracy: WILL ANOTHER "BABY BOOM" SOLVE THE HOUSING CRISIS? - 04/02/09 03:20 PM
Is it just me, or is everyone having a baby?
OK, maybe not everyone. But many people I know are having babies.
Could it be the tough economy? Perhaps people have been looking for low cost recreational activities...
New babies often lead to new home purchases. A growing family is one of the top reasons people buy new homes.
Perhaps it is just my age. I am 40, and many of my friends were slow to the altar. They have gotten married in the last few years, and most of them are now having babies.
Although I haven't seen any stats to back up my theory, I am hopeful that
tracy: IF YOU DON'T GET PAID, CAN YOU STILL CALL IT WORK? - 04/01/09 09:04 AM
It's been just over three months since I had my last closing.
During the week of Christmas I was fortunate to have two closings in two days. It felt real good.
Two nice sized paychecks. BIG BUCKS!
Now it is over three months later, and no more paychecks. Ouch.
Too few and far between these days...
I was on my computer early this morning. Nicole, my wife, came out of our bedroom looking for me, and said, "Oh, working already..."
"This is not a job. I don't get paid. It's a hobby," I responded gruffly.
Since I rarely get paid, can I
tracy: ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A NICE TOWNHOME? CHECK OUT RIVER BEND IN LISLE, ILLINOIS. - 03/31/09 12:42 PM
Only 10 minutes from downtown Naperville lies one of my favorite towhnome communities.
River Bend, in Lisle Illinois ...
I am biased. I lived there with my wife Nicole for 5 very happy years...
Brick and siding. High ceilings and great windows. Brick paved driveways and sidewalks...
-A picture I took of River Bend on a snowy January day.
Nicole and I used to joke that "It is always sunny at River Bend." It's really quite nice.
The location is great too. Close to several major highways, Lisle is between Downers Grove and Naperville.
The homes are now priced VERY affordably...
The best units
tracy: "HEY KEN, I HEAR THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IS PICKING UP..." - 03/29/09 11:10 AM
I have had four or five friends say it to me in the last week...
"Hey Ken, I hear the real estate market is picking up."
I am not so sure. I just haven't seen it...
Am I a Negative Ninny? Perhaps.
But I do watch the real estate market here in Naperville very closely. I have yet to see the turnaround...
Yes, I heard the news. Home sales were up in February versus January. But they were still way down year over year. Prices were way down too.
Yes, I also know the stock market has rallied 1500 points in the last
tracy: HOW IS YOUR BUSINESS PLAN COMING? DELIVERING KEN'S RIVER BEND AND CARROLWOOD VIEW... - 03/27/09 05:16 PM
How is your business plan coming?
Do you have one?
I did. Ken's 6 month business plan. It was simple, yet it kept me on track. Focused. I completed "the plan" about a month ago.
I have yet to put a new one together...
I am still working hard. Open houses. Delivering newsletters. Blogging. Showings. Listings...
Yet I don't feel quite as confident because I am no longer "on plan".
Hopefully succesful, but who really knows?
So how is your business plan coming?
Do you have one?
If you don't, why don't you try making a ONE MONTH PLAN...
Keep it real simple.
tracy: WIDGETS. HOW MANY IS TOO MANY? - 03/26/09 12:38 PM
I recently gave my blog a bit of a hair cut...
Those who have read my posts before may notice that the right side of my blog looks different.
Gone are the layers of neon that used to litter my blog in the form of widgets...
I have minimized to what is most important to me, marketing myself...
With that in mind, I am down to just my Facebook Badge, my Twitter "Follow me" link, and the map of the world from Clustrmaps.com (I still think it's pretty cool).
I think my blog is now streamlined. Like my shaved head, aerodynamic...
tracy: THE REAL ESTATE MARKET HAS CHANGED... - 03/25/09 05:36 PM
The real estate market has changed...
This morning, as I was going through today's real estate activity in Naperville, one transaction caught my eye...
728 Chateaugay had just been sold.
This was one of the first homes that I ever showed...
It was three years ago. My first clients. They loved the neighborhood (Hobson Village), the trees, the lot, the layout...
The home needed a bit of updating. A remodeled kitchen would have been great...
They liked the home enough to make an offer, the first of my career...
My clients lost out to another bidder (again, this was three years ago). The seller was asking
tracy: "THE FENCE SITTERS": THE NEW NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NAR) COMMERCIAL... - 03/22/09 02:32 PM
Have you seen it?
It's being run during the NCAA basketball tournament:
A family is sits on a fence, in front of a home that is FOR SALE...
"Why are we sitting here?" the wife asks...
"I am not sure exactly," the husband replied. ""They" said we should wait."
"It looks so nice," says the wife.
"I want one, Mom," chimes in the daughter.
"Me too Sweety. Me too..."
It makes me chuckle.
Usually, I find the National Association of Realtors (NAR) commercials pretty cheesy...
But I liked this one.
It makes people think.
Think of their Realtor...
A Realtor you can trust.
tracy: INTERNET EXPLORER 8... - 03/21/09 07:16 PM
Have you downloaded it yet?
When I posted on Facebook I was downloading, I was warned...
"Don't do it!"
Well I have only had it for a day, but I have had no troubles so far...
I was told of compatibility issues with certain sites. The only trouble I did had was on the Facebook site. A quick fix...
Click on Tools, click "compatibility", and my problem was gone.
I have heard it is roughly twice as fast? Maybe. It is certainly not slower...
Everything is cleaner.
No regrets here. I say give it a shot...
UPGRADE TO INTERNET EXPLORER 8.
Anyone else have any thoughts?
tracy: OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY MARCH 22 1-4PM-GORGEOUS 2 BEDROOM CONDO-NAPERVILLE-NEAR TRAIN AND DOWNTOWN - 03/20/09 05:49 PM
I am having an open house this Sunday at my new listing in Essex Place.
The building is near the corner of Washington and Ogden Avenue in Naperville.
The address of the property is 104 E 11th Street #202. MLS # 07110612
Cool building. Cool condo...
The open house is Sunday from 1-4PM. We just lowered the price from $324,900 to $299,900.
If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello.
tracy: LOWBALL OFFERS... - 03/17/09 09:51 PM
Can an offer be so low that it is offensive?
I received an offer on one of my listings last night. A real nice two bedroom condo near Naperville's train station and downtown.
The condo is beautiful. It shows great. We've only been on the market 19 days...
Anyway, we received the offer last night. They bid $200k. We are asking $325K...
I must say I was surprised. In my three years as an agent, I haven't had an offer near this low.
Does this seem odd?
It seems strange to me...
We will sell this home. But not for 62% of our asking price after only 19 days
tracy: REALTORS, DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE PAID A SALARY?? - 03/10/09 12:05 PM
I just read Jason Crouch's post questioning the Realtor business model.
In it, he asked why agents work on commission, versus a more consistent hourly or salary model. I was surprised by all the supportive comments...
I like the way Realtors are paid.
We work on commission. We are only paid at the closing table, after seeing our client through the whole process.
Yes the real estate sales cycle is longer than most other sales cycles. We have to work with prospects for several months before we are "paid".
That is OK. It just means we have to be good at what we
tracy: STOP BASHING OBAMA, FOX NEWS! - 03/06/09 04:41 PM
How do they get away with calling Fox News news?
I think the channel is dangerous. They don't run a "news" story without bashing Obama...
And he hasn't even been in office two months...
I consider myself a slightly right of center independent. I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries, and for Barack Obama in Novemeber.
I do believe in small government, so I don't like much of the spending in Obama's budget...
But he is not the reason the stock market has been cut in half...
Our economy is facing serious problems.
Houses are selling 30% from their peaks just three years ago.
There is no easy