Wheaton, IL Real Estate News

By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
For many, retirement is a time when people shift priorities and put their own needs first. One of the most important choices they need to make is where to live in retirement. Choosing the right community and home is an important and challenging decision.Ask yourself, do you want to:Remain in the home you occupied before retirement? Remain close to your present community, but move to a different home? Move to another county or state, or to a different climate? Move into your present vacation property?Where to LiveIf you lean toward moving to another region, start reviewing options based on general climate, seasonal changes, lifestyle, and proximity to family and friends. For example, the Southeast is becoming a popular destination. It has more temperate climates than the Northeast, and g...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
The old saying about making a good first impression couldn't be truer than when you are selling your home. That first impression has to create interest from the moment a buyer drives up to your home. Curb appeal is that subjective, intangible quality that entices buyers to think emotionally rather than logically. Perhaps it's the way the home sits on the property, or the mix of clapboard and fieldstone. It may be the expanse of grass carpeting, the stately columns, or the boisterous symphony of greenery and brilliantly colored flowers. In any case, it's love at first sight.How can you tell where your home registers on the curb appeal scale? One way to find out is to take pictures of your property from various angles. Show them to friends, family, colleagues, anyone known for providing p...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
When you're in a seller's market or vying for a hot property, the competition can be fierce. You need to make your offer stand out from your competitors' offers. To increase the likelihood that a seller accepts your offer, consider adopting one or more of these strategies:Price. Obviously, price tends to be the primary consideration for sellers. In a hot market, when buyers outnumber inventory, offers often come in at full price or above. When you're competing for a home, to get an edge, think about adding a clause stating that you will beat the highest offer by "x" dollars up to "x" amount. Cash offers can be more attractive to sellers as well. Although sellers will receive their money at closing whether buyers pay with cash or take out a loan, cash offers don't require lender approval...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
When you are buying a home, there are many problems that the seller is obligated to disclose. For example, in most states, it is illegal to withhold information about major physical defects on the property, but, these disclosures don't always paint the entire picture of the home. Here are six questions you may want to ask that can offer additional insight about the prospective home before you make a final decision.1) Why is the seller selling the house?This question may help you evaluate the "real value" of the property. Is there something about the house the seller does not like? If so, you may be able to adjust the purchase offer accordingly.2) How much did the seller pay for the home?This question can, in some instances, help the buyer negotiate a better deal-maybe even get the selle...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Technology has changed the way consumers do business. The real estate industry is no exception. In fact, 77 percent of homebuyers use the Internet during their property search. (The 2005 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers) However, most agree that when it comes to buying or selling a home, a transaction of this magnitude requires the guidance of a professional. In the same study, 90 percent of buyers and 87 percent of sellers use a real estate professional during the process.Whether you're buying or selling a home, you'll want to interview two or three real estate professionals. To locate a pool of potential candidates: Ask family, friends, and business associates for referrals.Attend open houses. If the sales professional or broker impresses you, ask fo...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
The market is ripe for buyers right now. Interest rates, although slightly higher than this time last year, are still at an all-time low, and the National Association of REALTORS® predicts that 2006 will be the third all-time best year in real estate. So naturally you should be telling your landlord goodbye and saying hello to your dream home, right? Not so fast. Certainly, owning your own home has its benefits. But, is the dream of homeownership really one you should pursue? It all depends on your circumstance and needs.Buying a home is such a large investment, possibly the largest purchase you'll make. So, careful deliberation should be made when deciding which is better for you: rent or buy.The advantages to being a renter is that your monthly costs are fixed. There's little to no re...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
You've found your dream home, the seller has accepted your offer, your loan has been approved and you're eager to move into your new home. But before you get the key, there's one more step--the closing.Also called the settlement, the closing is the process of passing ownership of property from seller to buyer. And it can be bewildering. As a buyer, you will sign what seems like endless piles of documents and will have to present a sizeable check for the down payment and various closing costs. It's the fees associated with the closing that many times remains a mystery to many buyers who may simply hand over thousands of dollars without really knowing what they are paying for.As a responsible buyer, you should be familiar with these costs that are both mortgage-related and government impo...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
The media has been full of stories about the slowing housing market --and although this kind of market normalization is commonplace in the real estate industry, there is no question that in many parts of the country, houses are currently on the market a little longer and there is more competition for buyers.Hire a ProfessionalIf you want to sell your home fairly quickly, now is not the time to go at it alone. You want to make sure that your home gets the maximum exposure and the best marketing strategy. When you work with a qualified real estate professional, your home will be listed on a MLS database that other real estate professionals can access. In addition, you get the benefit of an experienced marketer and negotiator who is familiar with real estate issues in your community.When s...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Thinking about remodeling your home? You're not alone. Rising home values and favorable interest rates over the last decade have allowed homeowners to tap into equity in order to upgrade their property. Within the four quarters, homeowners spent over $160 billion on home improvements, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.So where do you begin? Here are a few things to consider.First, determine the motivation behind your remodeling. Is it to add more space, modernize, improve energy efficiency or increase your home's resale value? Perhaps it is all of the above.Once you decide what you want to accomplish, prioritize your project list. Start gathering ideas by looking at magazines and Web sites. You can even get ideas by watching episodes of home improve...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
The property you buy will be much more than a house; it will be your home. The following questions can help you describe the things that are most important to you in your ideal home and neighborhood.1. How far along are you in the homefinding process (just thinking about the possibility of buying a home, or definitely committed to making a move)? How long have you been looking for a home? 2. Why are you contemplating the purchase of a home at this time? 3. What is your time frame? Is there a definite time by which you must be settled in your new home? 4. Who will be included in the homefinding and buying decisions? 5. Have you ever purchased a home before? If so, how many, and how recently? 6. Thinking of previous homefinding experiences, what were the most positive features of those ex...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Should you buy or sell first? There are many schools of thought on this subject. Ultimately, it depends on you and your situation. For instance, can you afford to pay two mortgages in the event your previous home does not sell by the time you move? Would you consider a bridge loan (a short-term, high interest loan that let you borrow against the value of your old home to covers the bills until you secure the new, larger loan)? Are you willing to move twice to find the home of your dreams if you sell first and can't find the dream home fast enough? This is where the advice of a real estate sales professional is invaluable. Real estate sales professionals know the current market conditions. They are trained and experienced in working with home buyers and sellers to determine an ideal time...
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By Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL
(Prudential Rubloff )
Pricing matters. When you decide to sell your home, one of the most important decisions real estate seller's make is your initial listing price. Of course, you want to get as much for your home as buyers may be willing to pay. However, when determining the price, don't make the mistake of overpricing. It's an understandable mistake, but one that could prove costly if it slows down the sale and/or makes other homes look like a good value by comparison. One trap many sellers fall into when deciding a price is basing it on emotion. After all, your home has been special to you and your family. You've perhaps made changes and improvements over the years. But you need to ask yourself: how important are those changes to a potential buyer? How up-to-date are the improvements? It is easy to thin...
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