Archive for June, 2014

Chicago Real Estate Market Trends for May 2014

June 26, 2014

All-cash offers are an unusual real estate tactic, but often times are a winning strategy at the negotiating table, and are presently on the rise. The National Association of Realtors® reports market share of all-cash purchases has risen and currently makes up 33 percent of the market. This is a unique trend, especially since the market has experienced a decrease in distressed homes and investor activity.

Economists point out many reasons for this popular trend. One is restrictive lending standards have caused many buyers, especially wealthy ones, to forgo a loan. Another is the aging baby boom generation, many of whom are trading down and paying for their purchase with cash accumulated from decades of equity. Some also point to foreign buyers; home purchases by foreign buyers in the U.S. are increasing and those buyers don’t have the credit history in the U.S. to qualify for a loan.

Take a look at sales figures in our local real estate market for May 2014.

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Detached Single Homes

The number of Chicago detached single homes selling in May 2014 decreased 23% for the month compared to May 2013. The average selling price decreased by 12% to $681,934 and the average market time decreased by 41 days. Homes sold for 98% of the listed price.

Neighborhoods included in these statistics are: Avondale, Albany Park, Edgewater, Irving Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Loop, Near North Side, Near South Side, Near West Side, North Park, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown, West Ridge, West Town.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

May 2014

155

$704,827

98%

51

May 2013

202

$806,265

97%

92

 

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Attached Single Homes

The number of Chicago attached single homes selling in May 2014 decreased by 1% for the month when compared to May 2013. The average selling price increased 13% to $397,145 and the average market time decreased by 16 days. Homes sold for 99% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

May 2014

1,083

$365,679

99%

63

May 2013

1,102

$321,424

98%

79

 

Chicago Real Estate Sales – 2-4 Flats

The number of Chicago multi-family properties selling in May 2014 decreased 28% from May 2013. The average selling price increased 21% from May 2013 prices, and the average market time decreased by 51 days. Homes sold for 99% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

May 2014

64

$472,843

99%

64

May 2013

89

$388,864

98%

115

 
Curious about the value of your home? Get your home’s value here!

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Assessing Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage

June 22, 2014

The news lately has been filled with reports of blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires, each of which has resulted in untold loss of lives, homes, and possessions.  As we watch with horror the impact these disasters have insuranceon those affected, it is only natural that we ask ourselves,” Would I be able to sustain such losses?  Would my insurance policy cover the costs of rebuilding my Chicago home?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)) recommends that you use your annual renewal notice or any improvements to your home as a reminder to touch base with your agent or insurer to recheck how much insurance you really need.  Do you have sufficient coverage for rebuilding and replacement? Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, a consumer advocacy group, urges homeowners not to blindly trust that their home insurer has all the bases covered.

With fluctuations in the Chicago real estate market, coverage equal to the current replacement cost (excluding land), is advisable.  The first step in getting adequate coverage is to establish your policy’s dwelling limit. Your target number is the full-replacement cost of your home and its possessions. The dwelling limit bears no relation to your property’s market value, its appraised value, or its assessed tax value. And don’t mistake the cost of new construction for the cost to rebuild, which is more expensive because of factors such as debris removal and higher demand for materials and labor after a catastrophe,

(You can get a pretty good idea of what it would cost to rebuild your home by using an online calculator, available at sites such as HMFacts.com ($7) and AccuCoverage.com ($8).

It’s a good idea to purchase guaranteed replacement coverage, meaning the insurer will pay whatever it costs to rebuild your home with materials of like kind and quality, without deducting for wear and tear. Avoid actual cash value coverage, which pays only the depreciated value of your home.

Check also on your need for flood insurance, even if you don’t live near a body of water, since policies vary in their coverage of many types of water damage.

And lastly, it goes without saying that you need to update the inventory of your possessions at least annually since it is not only a record of the contents of your house and their value, but also a good indicator of whether you have enough coverage.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

The 5-Year Rule For Buying A Chicago Home

June 14, 2014

There are many factors that go into the decision to buy a Chicago home. One of those factors is how long you expect to stay in the home. This applies whether you are a first time homebuyer or stepping up to a larger home. The length of time you stay in a home affects the financial outcome of that ownership.

Here’s a summary of some thoughts from moneyning.com and the 5-year rule for buying a home. There is a tendency for younger buyers to go through 3-year upgrade cycles. Why? Newer and younger buyers typically experience significant increases in income in their younger years.

homebuyersAs income increases their ability to afford a larger mortgage increases and the desire for a larger house sets in. There seems to be an assumption that buying is more cost effective than renting. Click here for a perspective on ownership costs vs. rent. That thought process occurs, on average, every three years.

The 5-year rule states that generally you should plan to stay in a home you’re buying for at least five years. That is for two primary reasons…

  • The first reason is closing costs. Every time a home changes hands both the buyers and the sellers put money on the table just to make the transaction happen. These costs can easily add up to thousands of dollars. Those dollars provide no real financial benefit to the buyers or sellers except to allow the transaction to happen.
  • The second reason is the payment of interest on the mortgage. A mortgage payment has two components – payback of the principal of the loan borrowed and interest on the amount borrowed. Because typical mortgage payments remain the same during the life of the loan the proportion paid on the two components changes. In the early years the payment is almost all going to pay interest and very little to principal. As the principal is gradually paid down the portion going to interest diminishes and the portion going to the principal increases.

According to author Thursday Bram “it isn’t until you’re about five years into paying down your mortgage that you’ve made enough progress on the principal to make it a better deal than paying rent each month.”

Here’s how to beat that average…don’t buy the biggest house you can just because a lender tells you what you can afford. Instead, consider buying smaller and then adding extra money to your monthly payments. That extra money will go entirely to paying down the principal loan – that means you will pay less interest over the life of the loan and you will create more equity in your home because you are diminishing the principal balance faster.

However, if you’re not going to stay in your Chicago home five years you should probably consider renting.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

6 Lessons For Serious House Hunters

June 7, 2014

While reading the RE/MAX Blog this week I came across an article that is great advice for all serious buyers to keep in mind during their home search

home buyerI recently lived the adventure that is house hunting (under a tight deadline and in a competitive market with low inventory, but that’s another story). Here are some lessons I learned during my home search that I’d like to share with fellow homebuyers:
  • Dress appropriately. The serious house hunter should have slip-on shoes that can be taken off easily and frequently. And layering clothes is a big help, especially when there’s no telling whether homes you’re touring will be heated or cooled.
  • Bring tools. Don’t guess whether your king-sized bed or piano will fit, whip out the tape measure, or your tablet or smartphone and use apps like Photo Measures or MagicPlan. They let you take snapshots of interiors and include measurements and room specs. Many smartphones also have a flashlight feature – very helpful in dark basements.
  • A lot of art is a lot of holes in the wall. Yes, they may look impressive, but the owners’ expensively framed oil paintings will leave behind a lot of big holes you will be patching when they move out. Which also means you’ll likely have to repaint, too. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it’s good to think about in advance.
  • Remember your pet peeves. It’s easy to fall in love with a house if you’re desperate to find one, but remember to stick to your guns and your key must-haves. My pet peeve is a lack of natural light. Hollow, faux-wood doors annoy my husband. If we had bought a house that had them, I know he would have insisted on costly door replacements.
  • Start packing. If you’re serious about moving, get serious about packing. Start collecting boxes now, because you never have enough boxes. Make a point of packing every day, consistently, little by little, room by room. Don’t save anything for the last minute because at the last minute there’s always more to do than you have time for. Trust me on this.​
  • House hunters deserve treats. A sure way to stay cheerful during house hunting is to reward yourself afterward with a fortifying happy hour. Or a visit to a bakery, ice cream shop or spa. You can always justify your treat by chalking it up to the process of getting to know the area. And it will make the prospect of next weekend’s house-hunting excursion that much nicer. 
Take it from one who’s just been through this: You can never, ever underestimate the expertise, community connections, patience and steady calm your real estate agent will bring to the table – especially in a market where every advantage counts.
Ready to buy a Chicago home? Check out what is for sale here!

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

How Chicago’s Neighborhoods Got Their Names

June 2, 2014

It is often said that “Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. ” This may seem redundant, isn’t every city a city of neighborhoods? – but Chicago really is a big amalgamation of unique enclaves. Where do all these names come from? Nick Greene with the website ‘Mental floss” decided to find out. Here are his findings.

chicago neighborhoods

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties

2951 North Lincoln Avenue

Chicago IL 60657

Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago!  Call us today!