Wheaton, IL Real Estate News

By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
The housing market has become much more competitive. Many communities are beginning to see homes remain longer on the market and the bargaining pendulum swing in favor of the buyer. This is called a buyer's market, as the number of available homes outnumbers the buyers. As a seller, your challenge is to turn a buyer's market to your advantage. The right price is vital, because overpricing your home can cause you to eliminate potential buyers and lengthen the time that your home stays on the market. But equally important is making sure that you give your home a competitive edge by giving it eye appeal. Many homeowners make the mistake believing they are selling "their home," but once on the market your home is actually a product. You need to create an environment the buyer can't resist....
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
According to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), depending on the current debt ratio, most people can typically afford to pay 29 percent of their gross monthly income for mortgage payments. For example, if you earn $50,000 annually, then your monthly income is $4,167. Twenty-nine percent of that is $1,208. Although this provides you a starting point for budgeting for homeownership, don't forget the other housing expenses you'll incur when determining if you can afford the house you want to buy. Utilities The most obvious of additional housing expenses are utilities--gas, electricity and water. But don't forget about telephone, trash collection, and cable or satellite bills. Taxes As a property owner, you are responsible for property taxes. The rate will vary from city-to-city. You...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
For some, purchasing a second home is a financial strategy to help them grow and protect their wealth -- and certainly vacation getaways may provide rental income opportunities to help savvy boomers offset the expenses of second home ownership. Others may be motivated to buy a second home because it can be used as a "family retreat," to be later transformed into a residence after retirement, and then handed down as a family legacy. Because technology affords the freedom of telecommuting and "working where you play," the decision to own a second home or resort property has been made easier than ever before.If you are planning to use your second-home as a vacation retreat, make sure you consider your needs. Are you looking for a secluded location in the woods or somewhere with an active c...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Maybe it has something to do with a childhood home we fondly remember. Many of us long for old homes built with unique architecture, quality craftsmanship and beautiful details. We recall the hand carvings, plaster walls and eyebrow dormers of homes we've known. On the other hand, how do the old homes we admire compare with newly minted models--and what should we consider before deciding which to buy? Location. Typically, old homes sit on generous plots of land in or near town. The neighborhoods are established and usually more central to schools and shopping. Mature trees and plantings provide shade and beautify the property and neighborhood streets. New homes are generally found in new developments outside of town and homeowners who buy into an early can expect to contend with dust a...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
It's hard to believe our little town has so many famous and influential people as part of its history.   Jim Belushi -  actor, ABC sitcom According to Jim John Belushi - actor, Saturday Night Live, The Blues Brothers, and Animal House Joe Birkett - DuPage County State's AttorneyDennis Dugan - actor and director, Can't Buy Me Love, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, and Problem Child Kent Graham - NFL quarterback, finished his career with the Washington Redskins.Red Grange - NFL running back, aka “Wheaton Ice Man” and the “Galloping Ghost: Edwin Hubble - astronomer, the Hubble Space Telescope is named after himChuck Long - NFL quarterback, current coach at San Diego State University Robert R. McCormick - President of the Chicago Tribune in 1911Grote Reber - astronomer, inventor of...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
The history of Wheaton began with the vision of three men, Erastus Gary and Jesse and Warren Wheaton.  The three claimed hundreds of acres of property just West of Chicago between 1837 and 1838. In a strategic move, the Wheaton brothers gave away 3 miles of land to an up and coming railroad company.  They also gave away land adjacent to the station; the only stipulation was you had build on the land immediately.  The rail road workers posted a sign, “Wheaton Depot;” thus naming the town.In 1859 Wheaton incorporated with the State of Illinois and Warren Wheaton served as its first president.  Generosity of land didn’t stop with the railroad or commerce.  As president, Warren donated a large parcel of land to the Illinois Institute.  They renamed it Wheaton College in his honor; 150 years...
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By David Spencer, Show Me real estate in Kansas City
(Keller Williams Northland)
The table below lists single family detached and single family attached home presently active on market for Wheaton, IL. The data is broken into price point ranges and gives average time on market for properties in each range.For more detailed information on properties available in a given range, use the contact information listed below. Active ListingsList Price Range# ListingsAvg. Days on MktLess than $149,9998131$150,000 - $199,99919152$200,000 - $249,99925122$250,000 - $299,99945137$300,000 - $349,99935143$350,000 - $399,99931160$400,000 - $449,99915173$450,000 - $499,99918109$500,000 - $549,99918156$550,000 - $599,99918119$600,000 - $699,99922153$700,000 - $799,99919185$800,000 - $899,99920164$900,000 - $999,99910219$1,000,000 - $1,999,999992  Active Listings Summary# UnitsAvg. MTM...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
I had a good friend come over to pick up some local real estate information for her parents.  After a few minutes talking at the door about kids, school, what's for dinner - really anything but real estate, my friend said, "I tried to get my mom to come in with me, but she doesn't want to feel pressure to buy a home from you."  Remember, we weren't even out looking at houses, we were in my entry way!  I can't even image her perception of REALTORS if she'd rather sit in the car than come in my house.  I'm sure she just had a bad experience once - it only takes one pushy sales person to give us all a bad name.Here is my theory on "selling" houses to buyer clients.  I don't.  I provide clients with ample information: current market conditions, community issues, property history, and school...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Wheaton was a stop on the Underground Railroad during it's height between 1835 and 1861.  There was high antislavery sentiment all over DuPage County.  Wheaton was progressive even then...Wheaton resident John Quincy Adams dedicated the first library in the memory of his late wife in 1891.  More recently, the Wheaton Public Library has made the top ten list of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (for the 4th straight year in a row).Whittier Elementary School had the highest average reading and math scores for public schools in the state of Illinois in 2005 (2006 scores aren't out yet).Celebrating its 77th year, the Wheaton Municipal Band is a 92-piece symphonic band.  It is funded completely by the City of Wheaton.  They perform free concerts under the Memorial Park Bandshell all s...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Downtown Wheaton Association has already published a calendar of events for 2007.  Here's a quick sample of just some of the fun to be had in Wheaton.March 31 Celebrate Spring, Celebrate Easter Memorial Park & Downtown April 28 - October 28French Market ShoppingMain and LibertyMay 28Memorial Day ParadeAmerican Legion - Post 76June 1 - Sept. 7Vintage Rides - Antique Cars Front StreetJune 2 Cream of WheatonMemorial ParkJune 7Summer Concert Series - Wheaton Municipal Band Memorial Park BandshellJune 7 - October 28Farmers MarketWheaton Public Library Parking LotFeel free to check out the Downtown Wheaton Association website for more details and times.   
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Congratulations!  Danada East, Farnham and Fairway Estates neighbors donated over 300 food items to the People's Resource Center in Wheaton in Novemeber!Established in 1975, the People's Resource Center Food Market is the largest countywide Food Pantry. They serve residents throughout DuPage County. Ninety-eight percent of their clients are extremely or very low income, yet the majority are working families.Critical Needs ListPeanut Butter & JellyCerealCoffeeCanned JuiceTunaCanned FruitsCake MixesCanned FrostingCanned VegetablesRiceDried PastaSpaghetti sauceBaked beansLarger Diapers size 4, 5, 6Baby FoodBaby FormulaThe People's Resource Center is located at 201 Naperville Road, Wheaton. They accept food and clothing all year long.
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
I love watching real estate shows on television.  You never know what you are going to learn; both good and bad.  So far, this is what I have learned from some flip remodel programs:Buying a home in distressed condition and fixing it up using material comparable to the neighborhood will make you money. Landscaping is just as important as the updated kitchen. Buying quality, discontinued materials will save you money. Painting woodwork and cabinets is okay - this particular technique makes Kevin cringeNothing is as easy as it looks and to budget for unexpected issues.  Going with the cheapest contractor isn't always the going to save you moneyCommon sense, maybe, but good advise non-the-less.  However, one common thread among some of these shows and the one TV producers spend a lot of ti...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
The Illinois Department of Transportation has funded a traffic enforcement grant program in Wheaton called IMaGE.  Between December 18, 2006 and January 1, 2007, the Wheaton police conducted a traffic campaign focusing on seatbelt use, child restraint laws, speed violations and drunk driving.  The campaign was successful and yielded the following results:4 DUI arrests4 alcohol related, non DUI citations156 seatbelt violations1 child restraint violation1 arrest for an invalid driver's license1 zero tolerance arrest108 speeding violationsIt's good to know that our law enforcement personnel are our keeping our streets safe. 
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
A new Illinois law mandates that Carbon Monoxide Detectors be installed in all residences as of January 1, 2007.  Between 200 - 300 people die in the United States each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  The Carbon Monoxide Alarm must be placed within 15 feet of every bedroom.  This new law allows for 3 different types of alarms.  The alarms that meet the requirement are battery powered; plug-ins with a battery back-up and ones wired to an AC power line with battery back-up.  All alarms must meet the State Fire Marshal requirements.  Look for the UL symbol on the box."Carbon monoxide is a silent killer - you can't see it, smell it, or taste it," said Gov. Blagojevich.  "I signed a law earlier this year that requires carbon monoxide detectors in homes.  The detectors are invaluable ...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
As of January 2, 2007, Wheaton, Illinois has passed a new citywide ordinance banning smoking in public places and workplaces. Smoking is prohibited in Wheaton in the following locations: Enclosed public places and workplaces Within 25 feet of public entrances Within 25 feet of open air public dining area All outdoor events and venues including Adams and Memorial Parks These areas all need to be smoke free beginning January 2, 2007. Wheaton bowling alleys have until June 1, 2007 to meet these requirements. A fine of $75 will be issued to individuals who break these rules and $150 for owners/managers. Sherry Spengelhttp://www.dupagedreamhomes.com/ 
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
One of my favorite websites is Flylady.net.  She is a true inspiration.  I don't know if it is because she helps bring order to my hectic and unpredictable life or if it's the wonderful tips I can pass along to my clients and friends.  I guess it's a combination of both. Her section on Moving Tips makes you think she was a Realtor in a past life.  She talks in depth about removing clutter.  It's a topic some Realtors shy away from, "I don't want to offend my client."  I think about it as a door to talk about value, and the value potential buyers will see in a clean, non-cluttered, well maintained home. Her first suggestion is "Don't move anything you don't love."  I try to use this when I am talking with my sellers and trying to convince them to remove some of the clutter and very perso...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
 The Illinois Prairie Path is a multi-use nature trail for public use that spans approximately 61 miles in Cook, DuPage and Kane Counties.  In Wheaton, the Prairie Path cuts diagonally across the northwest portion of the city and then runs parallel to the railroad tracks.  The Prairie Path can be used for running, walking, bike riding, and even horse back riding.  For your comfort, along the path you will find restrooms, drinking fountains, benches, parks, playgrounds, gazebos, informational showcases, and trash containers.Cosley Zoo is located at 1356 N. Gary Avenue in Wheaton and is made up of 5 acres of land.  At the zoo you can see a large variety of domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife.  The zoo also features a historical train station and railroad caboose and a large...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Wheaton - Population: 55,000+Wheaton, with its strong reputation as a family-oriented community, has recently gained even more notoriety as it has been chosen as one of "50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family," in a book by Lee and Saralee Rosenberg.  Wheaton has also been named "the healthiest of Chicago's largest suburbs" in a recent survey evaluating the public health, safety and environment of several suburban communities.  Wheaton incorporated as a village in 1837 and became the DuPage County government seat in 1867.  As one of the top Illinois communities for residential and commercial construction, Wheaton has done a wonderful job of preserving its history with the recent renovation of the downtown district, while still recognizing the demand for growth, progress and expansion t...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
According to a January 2006 Javelin Strategy and Research report there were over 8.9 million adult identity theft victims in 2006.  The total amount of fraud was a whopping $56.6 billion dollars.  The average victim lost $6383.  Ten states have made great efforts to protect the identity theft victims and potential victims.  California, Texas, Louisiana, Vermont, Washington, Nevada, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, and Colorado have allowed consumers to freeze their credit report.  Freezing your credit report will stop anyone from opening credit with your name.  This means your lenders, insurers or employers can not get access to your information either.  The three credit bureaus will give you a pin number and only you can life this freeze.  Each state has special rules and fees.If you live...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Farnham is located in the heart of Wheaton, surrounded by the best Wheaton has to offer.  To the South is Seven Gables Park; a 66 acre retreat with walking paths, ponds, playgrounds and ball fields.  To the West is the country’s first 18 hole golf course: Chicago Golf Club was just named the 7th most prestigious private club in America according to Golf Connoisseur Magazine.  To the North is Whittier Elementary School, the state’s #1 public elementary (rated by ISAT Illinois State Achievement Test scores).   2006 Sold Properties205 Thompson     $527,000122 Dickinson      $546,000110 Thompson     $725,000108 Dickinson      $825,000 Current Listing1560 Wadsworth  $759,000 2006 AveragesBedrooms# Sold% SoldAvg LP (Sold)Avg SPSP:LP RatioAvg MT (Sold)All5100%$654,640$624,60095%5643100%$624,46...
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