Oak Lawn, IL Real Estate News

By Kevin Lanham, Chicagoland FHA Expert
(Pacor Mortgage Corp)
Mortgage markets worsened last week as the U.S. economy showed additional signs of strength; and global demand for mortgage bonds slipped. Conforming mortgage rates rose in Illinois and around the country for the fifth straight week. It's a streak that's been marked by volatile pricing that's rendered rate shopping difficult. Last week, lenders published as many as 5 rate sheets per day where, by comparison, over the past 12 months, lenders have averaged closer to 2 rate sheets per day. This week, with a bevy of data set for release and a Federal Open Market Committee meeting, expect volatility to remain high. Wall Street remains undecided on the future of the U.S. economy and there will be plenty on information on which to trade: Tuesday : Producer Price Index, Retail Sales Wednesday :...
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By Kevin Lanham, Chicagoland FHA Expert
(Pacor Mortgage Corp)
Fannie Mae rolls out new mortgage guidelines Monday. Therefore, if you're in the process of applying for a conforming home loan, consider giving your complete application by the close of business Friday. All Fannie Mae applications taken on, or after, December 13, 2010, are subject to the changes. As compared to mortgage guidelines updates of the last 3 years, Monday's roll-out is relatively small. There is no change to the maximum debt-to-income ratio, for example; nor is there an increase in the minimum FICO score requirement. Most mortgage applicants in Oak Lawn and nationwide will be unaffected. Others, however, will find getting approved to be more difficult. The most major change is with respect to revolving and installment debt. This category includes credit cards, charge cards, ...
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By Kevin Lanham, Chicagoland FHA Expert
(Pacor Mortgage Corp)
Last quarter, with home prices still relatively low and mortgage rates making new, all-time lows almost weekly, the cost of home ownership was extraordinarily low in Illinois and most U.S. markets. According to the National Association of Home Builders' quarterly Home Opportunity Index, 72.5 percent of all new and existing homes sold between June-September 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income. This ties the all-time high for home affordability, set in the first quarter of 2009. The data also underscores that, when compared to historical norms, it's a fantastic time to be a Chicago home buyer. Prior to 2009, the Home Opportunity Index rarely topped 65. The index has remained above 70 ever since. All real estate is local, though, and on a city-by-city basis...
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By Kevin Lanham, Chicagoland FHA Expert
(Pacor Mortgage Corp)
The Pending Home Sales Index surged 10 percent in October as low mortgage rates and low home prices spurred Chicago buyers into action. A "pending home sale" is an existing home under contract to sell, but not yet closed. The Pending Home Sales Index is at its highest level since April 2010 -- the contract deadline date for this year's federal home buyer tax credit program. The jump may also explain why home builder confidence is rising even as the number of new homes sold fades. Builders are seeing buyers' renewed interest in housing first-hand and expect the next 6 months to be dramatically better. On a regional basis, gains in October's Pending Home Sales Index varied as compared to September. The Midwest led the charge, and the West was the laggard. Northeast Region: +19.6% Midwest ...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
The Parade I'm glad my 7 year old granddaughter will be home tomorrow so she won't miss the annual Oak Lawn 4th of July parade, which starts at 1:00.  Last year she spent the day with her father and had to miss it.   The parade is conveniently located yards from our home.  It goes down 95th St. starting at 51st Ave. and going west to 55th Ct. The parade is always fun with plenty of candy being thrown out by parade participants.  You'll see a lot of sports mascots that also "shoot" t-shirts out to the crowd. There are horses, bands, floats, motorcycle shows and so much more.  It really is a fun parade and although it brings the residents out, you should be able to get a good seat lining 95th street.  Bring your lawn chairs and cameras. 4th of July in Centennial Park Starting at 11:00 a.m...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
UPDATE - This Oak Lawn home is sold, but click the link to see other homes currently available in this popular village. Click the photo if you're interested in finding an Oak Lawn home in a great location that is charming but full of updates.  It is located in "downtown" Oak Lawn on a dead-end street and is literally in walking distance of the train station, Freshline grocery store, banks, dining, shopping, bus stop, library, Oak Lawn village and more!  It's about a 5 minute drive to the I-294 interchange going north or south. The house itself has gone through 2 or 3 additions over the years, including the upper level.  It is now a 4 bedroom, 2 remodeled bathroom home with hardwood floors, a huge kitchen, quaint wood walk-in pantry, family room, huge deck, privacy fenced yard and a real...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
The chart below reflects supply and demand for single family Oak Lawn homes for 2009.  As you can see, there was a huge oversupply of homes for sale in Oak Lawn in every month of 2009.  There was a slight drop in inventory in February but it climbed through the end of the year.  On the positive side, sales and closings increased.  But as you can see, 2009 was truly a buyer's market for Oak Lawn homes for sale. When you see a market with such a huge discrepancy of available properties vs. those that have actually sold and closed, prices will continue to decline until a more balanced market occurs.  If you are trying to sell your Oak Lawn home and have been sitting on the market for a long time, your price is too high. Homes are selling and the chart reflects that.  But the homes that are...
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By Kevin Lanham, Chicagoland FHA Expert
(Pacor Mortgage Corp)
     Yes, reread that post title again and I’ll tell you why.  I remember a loan our company originated way back in 2005.  It was a for a young guy who was in a sales job.  He had a decent amount of money set aside for his down payment and made decent money. He had been at his job for a little over a year and was doing well. Except when you have a sales job you qualify based on your last 2 years AVERAGED together.  So if he was making $60,000 a year, we could only qualify him using $30,000 a year.  And that would be assuming he had no unreimbursed business expenses. But he did pay his bills on time and had an above average credit score. He also wanted to be smart with his money and realized a down payment would eliminate his entire life savings. So we got him a 100% stated income loan. ...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
Today there are 319 Oak Lawn homes for sale ranging in price from $84,900 for a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom ranch style home up to $649,900 for a 6 bedroom, 5 1/2 bathroom 2-story style home.  And there's everything in between. That is a lot of property to choose from and you can see that price ranges in Oak Lawn real estate start low enough for first-time home buyers and offer more expensive, upscale homes.  I have written of some great foreclosure deals I've been running into lately in the village. I currently have a beautiful 2-story Oak Lawn home located on a triple lot priced at $240,000 at 9549 S. Oak Park Ave. There is a virtual tour link on the listing so be sure to view it.  UPDATE: This home is sold! New Oak Lawn listing - 9418 S. 54th Ct. (SOLD!)  I live in Oak Lawn, Illinois and a...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
I recently wrote another article on this subject here regarding a different Oak Lawn condo for sale.  That listing was listed with no mention of the in-unit laundry room it offered.  And it was a nice sized laundry room that an owner could use a full-sized washer and dryer in.  But the listing agent did not show that this laundry room existed.  That is a huge thing! In-unit laundry rooms bring more money to sellers.  They are more desirable by buyers and can sell a property quicker.  This unit was priced well, but if the laundry room had been listed it would have been shown to many more buyers and could have garnered more and higher offers.  It is under contract but I bet the potential buyer got a terrific deal.  Today, I saw an even better deal (a steal) that was listed incorrectly I d...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
I was showing Oak Lawn condos for sale to a family recently and stumbled across a steal!  We were surprised to see that the Oak Lawn condominium had a large in-unit laundry room, as it wasn't listed on the MLS print-out.  It was priced OK without it, but it was a steal with this feature!  This agent made a huge mistake that will cost his seller money. This was a bank owned foreclosure and although I anticipated other offers, I figured by omitting the in-unit laundry, maybe not too many other bids would come in, if any.  But after we sent in our offer, we were informed there was another.  Then I received a call that there were now multiple offers. My seller was not emotional and when the bank came back with a counter-offer, my seller went up only $5,000 from his already low cash offer, k...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
I was happy to see that my hometown of Oak Lawn didn't do as badly as many other villages in the nation in the slowdown of 2008.  Everything has decreased from amount of properties sold to sale prices, but all in all the figures aren't too bad. Oak Lawn Single Family Homes for Sale In 2007 there were 303 homes soldIn 2008 there were 268 homes sold showing a decrease of 11.6% In 2007 the average sale price of homes in Oak Lawn was $268,994In 2008 the average sale price was $237,064, showing a decrease of 11.9% Oak Lawn Attached Properties for Sale - Condominiums, townhomes, duplexes, etc. In 2007 there were 286 attached properties sold In 2008 there were 175 attached properties sold showing a large decrease of 38.8% In 2007 the average sale price of attached properties in Oak Lawn was $1...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
Covington Grade School located in Oak Lawn, IL, held a mock voting program for their students.  My 6 year old granddaughter, Elle, attends the school as a first grader.  I wasn't sure if all of the children were allowed to "vote" or if it was for the older students.  I posted the article in Topix.com, where I am the editor for Oak Lawn, Illinois. As I was getting ready to go out and vote today Elle asked me who I was voting for.  She told me she voted for "the lady."  I explained that the lady wasn't the Presidential nomination but the Vice President.  I don't think she understood. I also told her that her vote won't count because she needs to be 18.  She wasn't happy about that and seemed disappointed that the voting held at her school wasn't real. I thought about the conversation as I...
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
UPDATE:  Topix no longer allows outside editors on their site. Thanks to Bill Gassett's post about becoming an editor on Topix, Judy Orr, a long-time resident of Oak Lawn,  has become the editor for Oak Lawn, IL.  There were no editors for the village so Judy jumped in (even though multiple editors are allowed).  Judy already added one of her local blog posts about a quaint Oak Lawn restaurant called Millie's Ice Cream Shoppe and Deli.  She will continue adding local blog posts and articles for the Oak Lawn page. Judy invites you to view the Oak Lawn Topix page.  Just visit Topix.com and put Oak Lawn's zip code in (60453) to view the page.  Prior to Judy's involvement, a roboeditor selected news topics, some of which Judy deleted because they weren't really on topic. Judy looks forward ...
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By Greg Wilson
(1st Cornerstone Realty)
I was browsing the internet and came across this interesting link about Oak Lawn. It contains a snapshot of real estate sales, based on deeds transferred and it basically gets compiled from public records. Median Price means that half the homes sold for more and half for less. The location of this information is at: http://chicagotribune.public-record.com/realestate/marketpulse/details/cook/oak-lawn
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By Susan Miller
(Ravinia Realty & Management LLC)
Oak Lawn Market ConditionsOak Lawn is a large community located in Cook County, IL. It is a Southwest Suburb of Chicago and approx fifteen miles from the City. It offers many Recreational Facilities, Community Festivals, Farmers Markets, and Summer Concerts. Housing Options for Home Buyers is very diverse & plentiful. From Starter Homes to Newly constructed 2 Story Homes - Home Buyers have a variety of housing price ranges, styles & age homes to choose from.We continuously monitor the local real estate statiscis to keep our clients informed and ahead of the real estate trends of the area. Below you will find Oak Lawn Real Estate Statistics for the Week of July 7, 2007Single Family HomesTotal # homes available for sale                     367# of New Homes on the Market                  ...
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By Samer Haleem
(Appraisal Logistics, inc.)
I have been working on some appraisal files lately where the lender calls me after recieving the appraisal. I have already completed it and signed it! This lender asking me for active listings in the subjects market area. I MEAN I HAVE NO PROBLEM WORKING FOR FREE!! But sometimes these lenders are really out of hand these days! I always try my best to close my clients deals when possible. What I don't understand is this guy is sitting behind a computer screen in California or New York telling me my value is not justified. I then have to prove to this inexperienced underwriter that I am right and he is an IDIOT! Sorry people it just gets aggravating. Doe anyone really know whats going on in these communities where the appraiser does not know and the outa-state underwriter does.  
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By Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
(HomeSmart Realty Group)
Although I've lived in different Cook County towns, I've spent the most time in Oak Lawn and I currently reside in Oak Lawn now.  In fact, I just left my long-time Oak Lawn brokerage that I was with for 22 years to work in a better company with offices in Chicago and Orland Park. I have built up a following for Oak Lawn real estate and continue working in my home town.  One of my most recent transactions was an Oak Lawn condo for sale.  Another agent in my office found the buyer so we were able to sell the Oak Lawn property in-house. I attended 6th grade through high school in Oak Lawn.  My husband was also raised here although we did not meet until 8 years ago!  His family business still resides in the village. Why did we choose Oak Lawn once again to live in?  I was really excited abo...
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