Archive for February, 2015

Looking For Peace Of Mind? Consider a Home Warranty

February 26, 2015

Both buyers and sellers benefit from home warranties! That is especially true when the sale/purchase involves an older home. RISMedia.com recently interviewed Mark Barry, with American Home Shield. He said, “New homeowners want to be confident that they made a smart home warrantypurchase and to know that they’re prepared for the unexpected” after they purchase.

But, what about sellers? Consider what a home warranty provides for both sides of a transaction, starting with defining “home warranty.” A home warranty policy is a little like an insurance policy, but different. Insurance typically pays out a predetermined amount of money if something goes wrong. Examples include an auto accident, a fire covered by homeowners insurance, and life insurance.

A home warranty covers breakdowns of home systems, such as heating and air conditioning components, and major appliances. It does not just pay out for a loss. It either repairs the component that failed or replaces it.

Home warranty companies have contracts with local repair companies. When something goes wrong with your home, a local contractor is sent to repair it. If it can’t be repaired, it will be replaced. The warranty policy defines deductibles and restrictions…so read the fine print!

Benefits to sellers are often overlooked. A seller can buy a home warranty policy in advance of putting their home on the market. Some benefits to doing that are…

  • Protection against the cost of breakdowns during the selling process
  • Prevention of a buyer opening downward price negotiations while under contract
  • The marketability of the property is enhanced with the added protection
  • The policy can be transferred to a buyer, making the property more attractive

Homebuyers, especially first time buyers, are looking for assurances. A home warranty gives them confidence that they’re not buying unforeseen problems due to their inexperience.

  • The home warranty can be transferred to the new owner
  • The buyer is protected against breakdowns for up to a year
  • The annual policy is renewable at the new owner’s option

In short, there is potential peace of mind for both buyers and sellers in your home sale/purchase. Do some research and make sure both parties have clear expectations. Make sure you understand what the policy does, and does not protect. And then rest easy that you are protected.

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

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!

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Chicago Real Estate Market Trends for January 2015

February 19, 2015

Even though most people start their New Year’s resolutions on January 1, some people add resolutions as the year progresses. For some, that goal is realizing the dream of homeownership. Beginning the process of buying a home can be daunting, but it is easy enough to begin working on the first step – saving for a down payment. According to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 65 percent of home buyers utilize their savings account for a down payment; however, buyers find many other ways to finance a down payment, including selling stocks or bonds, relying on gifts from friends or relatives, retirement funds or using the proceeds from another home sale.

Beginning to build savings should be a priority for potential buyers because it can take some time. According to NAR’s report, it took half of buyers a year or less to save for a down payment, while another 19 percent said it took between one and two years to build their savings account. Additionally, 29 percent said they needed more than two years to save.

Take a look at January’s real estate sales statistics.

January 2014 Real Estate Market Update

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Detached Single Homes

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.

The number of Chicago detached single homes selling in Jan 2015 increased 4.4% for the month compared to Jan 2014. The average selling price decreased by5.0% to $743,768 and the average market time increased by 20 days. Homes sold for 96% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

Jan 2015

85

$743,768

96%

89

Jan 2014

89

$783,245

96%

69


Chicago Real Estate Sales – Attached Single Homes

The number of Chicago attached single homes selling in Jan 2015 decreased by 3.2% for the month when compared to Jan 2014. The average selling price increased less than 1% to $352,007 and the average market time decreased by 2 days. Homes sold for 98% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

Jan 2015

473

$351,007

98%

90

Jan 2014

489

$349,991

98%

92


Chicago Real Estate Sales – 2-4 Flats

The number of Chicago multi-family properties selling in Jan 2015 decreased by 8.8% from Jan 2014. The average selling price decreased 3.2% from Jan 2014 prices, and the average market time decreased by 14 days. Homes sold for 97% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

Jan 2015

72

$412,527

97%

79

Jan 2014

79

$426,536

97%

93

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

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

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

2015 Real Estate Market Outlook

February 13, 2015

Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com, shared his predictions at our 2015 Real Estate Market Outlook. His presentation highlights the trends to watch for this year.

blue houseState of the Market

  • Housing price gains and low inventory continue to be the leading market trends.
  • In the new year, the current low inventory continues to restrict the housing market, and  we will look for supply to increase to bring relief.
  • Federal action to ease mortgage credit will help fuel renewed interest from potential buyers who previously were blocked by tighter lending standards.
  • Homeowners looking for a reason to sell now should be motivated by the current low rates, as rates are expected to creep up later this year.
  • In the coming year, we’ll continue to see progress in the housing recovery, as inventory continues to come online to create a more balanced market.

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

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!

Chicago Real Estate Market Snapshot – Dec 2014

February 6, 2015

Chicago Real Estate Market Snapshot for Dec 2014

  • chicago real estateIn December 2014, 7,971 homes sold in the Chicago PMSA. This marked a 3.7 percent decrease from December 2013 sales of 8,278 homes.
  • The median price in December 2014 was $184,000, up 4.2 percent from $176,500 in December 2013.
  • Listings in December averaged 66 days until sale, a slight increase from 65 days in December 2013.
  • Chicago saw a 6.8 percent decrease in year-over-year home sales in December 2014 with 1,992 sales, down from 2,137 in December 2013.
  • The median price forecast still indicates steady annual increases in median prices for January, February and March compared to a year ago. In the Chicago PMSA, the forecast is 5.3 percent in January, 8.2 percent in February and 5.8 percent in March. The sales forecast for January, February and March 2015 suggests positive year-over-year growth and milder monthly downtrends. In the Chicago PMSA, the change will range from 8.8 percent to 11.5 percent.
  • In December for the Chicago PMSA, the percentage of foreclosed sales (e.g. REOs) among the total sales was 20.6 percent, higher than the 19.2 percent last month. A total of 6,214 regular sales were made, up 11.3 percent from last month.

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

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!

Chicago Real Estate For Sale: 1511 W Walton St #1

February 6, 2015

Chicago Real Estate For Sale:

1511 W Walton St #1, Chicago IL 60642
MLS# 08831406

Enjoy High End Finishes!

1511 w Walton St


Awesome duplex with high end finishes in outstanding Noble Square location. All brick construction. Sunny great room with front balcony, wood burning fireplace, hardwood floors and room for a dining table. 42” walnut cabinets, glass back-splash, stainless appliances, granite counter tops, large breakfast bar. Master suite with walk-in closet, whirlpool tub, and separate over-sized rain shower with body sprays. Huge family room with granite wet bar, refrigerator, high ceilings & gas fireplace. Hardwood floors and crown moldings throughout.   Three full natural stone baths. In-unit laundry, excellent closet and storage space. Rear deck, yard and garage. Walk to Division Street and blue line el.

Map
Neighborhood
Restaurants

1511 West Walton Street

Walker’s Paradise

Explore Noble Square on Walk Score

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!

How To Use Your IRA Funds To Invest In Real Estate

February 5, 2015

You probably already know that you can invest your IRA money in stocks and bonds and even in mutual funds if you so desire, but did you know that you can also invest those IRA funds in real investing-iraestate? Doing so, however, is a bit complicated, and IRS rules concerning such purchases must be followed to the letter.

Usually, when you take money out of an individual retirement account before you reach age 59 1/2, the IRS considers these premature distributions. In addition to owing any tax that might be due on the money, you’ll face a 10 percent penalty charge on the amount. This is not the case, however, when you use the money to buy your first investment real estate. (Note: Technically, you don’t have to be purchasing your very first home or building. You qualify under the tax rules as long as you, or your spouse, didn’t own a principal residence at any time during the previous two years.) You can use up to $10,000 in IRA funds toward this purchase. If you’re married, and you and your spouse are both first-time buyers, you can each pull from retirement accounts, giving you $20,000 to use.

The restrictions are many (and perhaps time-consuming) and include the following:

  • You will need to find an IRS custodian who handles these investments (and the options are currently limited). Generally banks and brokerage firms do not handle IRA distributions for real estate transactions.
  • Only the custodian may handle your IRS funds.
  • The type of property you buy must be for investment only and may not be used by you or by relatives.
  • All proceeds from the investment will go back into your IRA fund. Likewise, however, all expenses must be paid from that fund, so you must have enough liquidity in your IRA to cover such costs.
  • You must let the IRS know that you used the retirement money early for a tax-acceptable purpose by filing Form 5329.
  • You must use the IRA funds within 120 days of withdrawal to pay qualified acquisition costs. This includes the costs of buying, building or rebuilding a home, along with any usual settlement, financing or closing costs.

The above information applies only to traditional IRSs. To learn about the procedure for an Roth IRA, click here.

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!