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Elmhurst Continues to Attract New Developments, Retailers

by Thomas Makinney


The booming real estate trend in Elmhurst is showing no signs of slowing down, and that is partly due to the vibrant and bustling downtown, which is seeing a virtual renaissance of multi-resident units close to the action.

Mayor Steve Morley made his annual State of the City address recently and addressed the number of residential units that are popping up in the downtown area as well as the planned replacement of the Metra train station.

The downtown will see three large development projects in the next two years—a six-story high-end apartment complex at Addison and First Streets, a luxury apartment complex at Addison and Second Streets, and a 23-unit condo development at the long-vacant site at Cottage Hill and Park Avenues.

Morley was quick to point out that the city has been working with consultants to ensure that the growth isn’t too fast or large for the city’s infrastructure to handle. Experts believe that the city can actually accommodate double the amount of what is being built. Given the two-year timeframe for the three large developments, the city is confident that the absorption will be more gradual than it might appear.

The developments are likely to appeal to young professionals who commute to Chicago and retirees/empty nesters who want to downsize but stay in Elmhurst.

In other good news for the city’s real estate, the building department issued 97 new home permits in 2018, which is four times more than last year, and more than 3,000 overall permits.

Morley also announced that Metra station has obtained $16.4 million for improvements, and he said he was confident they would reach the $18 million mark. The train station is the busiest stop on the Union Pacific West Line, however, having been built in the 1960s, it has become outdated in terms of services it can offer. It also has accessibility issues, a crumbling infrastructure, and heavy congestion in the drop-off lanes.

Here at Gracik-Makinney, we’re thrilled to see the market continue to boom with people who recognize what we’ve always known: Elmhurst truly has something for everyone. It’s the best of big city living in a small town. Reach out to us to find out more. Call (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.

 

 

 

 

Chicago Ranks at Top of List of Best Cities in the World and the U.S.

by Thomas Makinney

Congratulations to our eastern neighbor Chicago, the city of big shoulders, which was recently recognized as the seventh best city in the world and the second best city in the U.S.!

Resonance Consultancy, a global advisor for tourism, real estate, and economic development, ranked cities across the world and the U.S. as a way to help cities understand their strengths and gaps. The U.S. survey looked at housing affordability, job opportunities, diversity, economic prosperity, art scene, culture, restaurants, and nightlife.

Chicago has an impressive amount of museums, national teams in every major sport, vibrant neighborhoods, two airports, and a variety of public transportation. It also boasts impressive higher education institutions, an enormous convention center, and world-renown architecture.

The city came in second (to New York) in U.S. cities for programming (shopping, nightlife, culinary, and culture). In global rankings, it finished sixth in the product category (infrastructure) and ranked #22 in the world for its food scene.

The top 10 U.S. cities are ranked as: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego, Houston, Miami, Seattle, and Boston.

The top cities in the world are listed as: London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Barcelona, Moscow, Chicago, Singapore, Dubai, and San Francisco.

 

Elmhurst’s proximity to Chicago (15 miles as the crow flies and a variety of highways and public transit options, including a direct Metra train line) makes it the perfect community for people attracted to the vibrant culture and job opportunities of the city but who also want a more suburban lifestyle with good schools, parks, and amenities.

 

Living in Elmhurst means easy access to the vibrant city scene of Chicago. We’re proud of both cities. To find out more about what makes living in our area so remarkable, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

“Surban” millennials find Elmhurst the perfect hometown

by Thomas Makinney

Millennials are hitting the housing market and their unique needs and desires mean good news for cities like Elmhurst.
 
A recent article by the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/brand-connect/nar/millennials-go-surban/) coined the term “surban” to describe the type of town that is attracting millennials who are ready for the suburban life but don’t want to give up the amenities of an urban area.
 
They’re moving to the suburbs for the same reasons as other generations (less expensive housing, room to raise a family, good schools and parks) but they’re looking for more than a sleepy bedroom community: They want walkability, public transportation, ethnic restaurants, coffee shops, unique stores, and gourmet grocery options.
 
With our lively downtown, excellent school system, and prime spot on the Metra, Elmhurst is quickly rising to the top of Chicago suburbs for this generation.
 
The article points out that “surban” towns almost always have a college or university nearby (check!) along with quality daycare centers and upgraded playgrounds (check and check!). Other popular millennial amenities that we have include summer festivals, farmers’ markets, and a growing selection of microbreweries and wine bars.
 
This is the third straight year that millennials comprised the largest group of buyers (35 percent of all buyers), more than the combined number of younger and older boomers (31 percent) and more than Generation X (26 percent).
 
And while millennials are looking for a more urban-feeling suburb than past generations, they’re still relying on realtors for guidance and purchases. Todays supply shortages, strong competition, and conflicting internet information means a real estate agent is more valuable than ever.
 
We’re here to help buyers from any generation find the perfect home. To learn more about why Elmhurst may be the perfect place for you to put down roots, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.

Millennials sticking with realtors when buying a home

by Thomas Makinney

Millennials are quickly heading into the real estate scene, with an impressive 56% planning to purchase a home in the next two years. (For more on this, see our previous post.)

But contrary to their heavy online presence, they remain decidedly traditional when it comes to buying a home. A recent survey found that 75% of millennials would rather work with a local real estate agent than use an online one, and 71% would choose a local mortgage lender rather than going through a website.

This shouldn’t be surprising, despite the proliferation of online services. As any homeowner knows, buying your first home can be overwhelming and daunting. And no website can provide the experience and expertise (and yes, peace of mind) that a real person can.

We like to joke that our job is half real estate agent and half therapist, but it’s true that buying and selling a home is an intensely personal and often emotional experience. And we don’t see that ever changing.

Of course, the internet plays an important part in anyone’s real estate transaction these days. It’s an invaluable resource for researching neighborhoods and a town’s amenities and schools.  However, when it comes to actually making a decision or working out financing, a personal touch is irreplaceable.

The best way to find a realtor is through referrals, and we have loads of happy clients. If you want to find out more about the full range of services we provide (including hand-holding), call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com

Flipping houses back on the fast track

by Thomas Makinney


Anyone who watches HGTV knows that flipping houses is once again a lucrative way to make extra money. The concept of buying an outdated home, renovating it, and then selling it for profit caught on big about 15 years ago but came to an abrupt halt when the market crashed in 2008.

Now the market is rebounding, and Chicago is a good place to be.

The Chicago area ranks as the 20th-most profitable market in the country right now. The gross profit for homes flipped is $81,162—not too shabby.

Wilmette and Avondale top the list of the most lucrative places in our area for home flippers. In both towns, flippers grossed profits of more than $200,000.

The gross profit figure is the difference between the purchase price of a home and the sales price of the home post-flip. It doesn’t account for all the costs spent on the rehab.

According to Crain’s Business Report, flippers' gross profits nationwide were $62,624, which is the highest going back to 2000, the earliest year for which it has data.

Elmhurst is definitely seeing an uptick in the once-popular flipping area. If this is something you’d like to try, contact us to find a condo, townhouse, or house to flip! Reach us anytime at (630) 441-5570 or via our website, www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst Open House List for March 11-12

by Thomas Makinney

Come visit us on Sunday at 

396 S. Berkley Ave., Elmhurst from 1:00-3:00

235 S Pick Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$219,900

123 S Pick Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$265,000

714 S Berkley Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$329,000

750 S Bryan St

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$349,500

331 W Hillside Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$399,000

886 S Bryan St

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$439,900

901 S Fairfield Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$439,900

415 N Larch Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$449,000

396 S Berkley Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$500,000

156 N Clinton Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$519,000

835 S Poplar Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-4:00 PM

$539,900

397 S Holly Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$540,000

474 W Third St

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$559,900

454 S Sunnyside Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$590,000

240 N Michigan Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$599,900

293 W Winthrop Ave

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$650,000

293 W Winthrop Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$650,000

262 N Bonnie Brae

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$669,000

460 W Third St

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$724,900

551 W Third St

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

12:00-4:00 PM

$729,000

115 N Highland Ave

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

11:00AM-1:00 PM

$850,000

183 S Lawndale Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$889,000

444 N Walnut St

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$939,000

444 N Walnut St

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

12:00-2:00 PM

$939,000

576 S Saylor Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$939,900

299 W Claremont St

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$999,000

104 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,039,000

104 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,039,000

116 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,049,000

116 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,049,000

105 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,169,000

105 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,169,000

101 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,189,000

101 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,189,000

260 E Elmhurst Ave

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

1:00-3:00 PM

$1,199,000

125 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/11/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,289,000

125 Joanne Way

Elmhurst

03/12/2017

11:00AM-4:00 PM

$1,289,000

Chicago’s tech boom great news for Elmhurst market

by Thomas Makinney

Good news for Elmhurst’s housing market: Chicago has been named THE top city in the U.S. poised for tech boom. Why does this benefit the Elmhurst market? Located only 15 miles from the city and right on the Metra line, Elmhurst makes the perfect hometown for people in the tech job market who want to live in the suburbs.

According to RIS Media, cities with jobs in growing fields draw incoming residents in drove, with tech being the current in-demand industry.

Chicago was ranked number one in cities likely to experience large growth in the tech job sector, according to the survey, conducted by Modis, an IT staffing services provider. In fact, Chicago is more likely to attract young professionals who have worked in technology for five years or less than any other city. This is even better news for the Elmhurst market, as young professionals are the most likely to move to the suburbs to raise a family.

The survey ranks the top five markets for technology jobs as:

  1. Chicago
  2. Houston
  3. Boston
  4. Denver
  5. Philadelphia

Elmhurst offers easy access to the city via train or car and our vibrant downtown and excellent school system make it a natural landing place for people who live in the city.

Let us know if you want to talk more about the allure of our city and its great location. Call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com

Home Improvements That Offer The Most Value

by Thomas Makinney


Thinking of doing a remodel or upgrading a room? It’s no surprise that some projects are more lucrative than others when it comes to selling your home.

While you know best what your home really needs, it’s helpful to keep in mind which projects give you the best return on your investment. Is it better to do a minor kitchen remodel or go all out with a major remodel? Will you recoup the cost of a deck when you go to sell?

Remodeling Magazine just released their Cost Vs. Value Report for 2017 and tracked 24 projects that that offer the highest and the lowest value when you go to sell your home. They looked at 99 markets nationwide and checked out the average cost of popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later.

Just to note, curb appeal projects continue to garner a higher ROI than work done inside the home. So changing out the front door, replacing windows, and updating siding are better bets investment-wise than remodeling the interior.

Top 5 projects with greatest ROI in the “midrange” cost category nationwide:

  1. Attic Insulation (Fiberglass) (107.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,343
    Average Resale Value: $1,446
  2. Entry Door Replacement (steel) (90.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,413
    Average Resale Value: $1,282
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer (89.4% ROI)
    Average Cost: $7,851
    Average Resale Value: $7,019
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel (80.2% ROI)
    Average Cost: $20,830
    Average Resale Value: $16,699
  5.  Garage Door Replacement (76.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,749
    Average Resale Value: $1,345

Top 5 projects with greatest ROI in “upscale” cost category nationwide:

  1. Garage Door Replacement (85.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,304
    Average Resale Value: $2,810
  2. Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) (77.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,276
    Average Resale Value: $2,550
  3. Window Replacement (vinyl) (73.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $15,282
    Average Resale Value: $11,286
  4. Window Replacement (wood) (73.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $18,759
    Average Resale Value: $13,691
  5.  Grand Entrance (fiberglass) (70.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $8,358
    Average Resale Value: $5,855

Top 5 projects with the lowest ROI in the “midrange” cost category nationally:

  1. Bathroom Remodel (64.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $18,546
    Average Resale Value: $12,024
  2. Master Suite Addition (64.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $119,533
    Average Resale Value: $77,506
  3.  Backyard Patio (54.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $51,985
    Average Resale Value: $28,546
  4.  Backup Power Generator (54.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $12,860
    Average Resale Value: $6,940
  5.  Bathroom Addition (53.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $43,232
    Average Resale Value: $23,283

Top 5 projects with the lowest ROI in the “upscale” cost category nationally:

  1. Major Kitchen Remodel (61.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $122,991
    Average Resale Value: $76,149
  2. Master Suite Addition (59.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $250,687
    Average Resale Value: $150,140
  3. Bathroom Remodel (59.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $59,979
    Average Resale Value: $35,456
  4. Bathroom Addition (57.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $81,515
    Average Resale Value: $46,507
  5. Deck Addition (composite) (56.4% ROI)
    Average Cost: $39,339
    Average Resale Value: $22,171

We find that these statistics hold true for Elmhurst too, with the best investment returns from mid-range kitchen and bath remodels. Elmhurst homes also get a high ROI from mid-range finished basements and tear-off roofs.

If you’re considering doing a remodel or an addition, check with us first. We’re happy to advise you on ROI value for homes in Elmhurst. Call us at (630) 441-5570 or contact us via our website www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst Named a Top Chicago Suburb

by Thomas Makinney

 
What we all know has now been confirmed: Elmhurst is officially one of the best places to live in the Chicago area.
 
Crain’s Chicago Business looked at more than 200 suburbs and 77 Chicago neighborhoods and ranked the Top 10 Best Suburbs and Top 8 Best City Neighborhoods. No surprise to us, Elmhurst garnered the #2 spot for Best Suburb, behind only Hinsdale.
 
Crain’s rankings were based on good school systems, low crime rate, and ease of transportation. In addition, they made sure that home values in all places were going up.
 
They took into account class sizes and test scores in schools, crime rates, and the time it takes to reach the Loop by car, CTA and Metra. They looked at teacher salaries (the higher the better the town scored) and racial diversity index (again, the higher the better.)
 
Suburbs were weighed against suburbs, and city neighborhoods against city neighborhoods.
 
About Elmhurst, Crain’s said:
 
A wave of new construction 
continues to remake Elmhurst's housing stock, as it had started to do in the housing-boom years and which began anew as recovery took root in the past four years. 
One in seven homes sold in Elmhurst in the past year was new. It's the epitome of an infill suburb: a walkable, historical town with strong schools, parks and transportation—with a college and museums to boot—where newer, larger houses replace homes built to a smaller norm in the decades after World War II. Six of Elmhurst's eight elementary schools score 10 out of 10 at GreatSchools, and 
so does its high school, York. 
Median sale price: $415,000
Change since Jan. 1, 2016: 9.7%

 
Top 10 Suburbs in Chicago:
1.     Hinsdale
2.     Elmhurst
3.     Oak Park
4.     Lake Bluff
5.     Riverside
6.     Buffalo Grove
7.     Wilmette
8.     Palos Hills
9.     Bolingbrook
10. Skokie
 
Top 8 Chicago Neighborhoods:
1.     Hyde Park
2.     Forest Glen
3.     Mount Greenwood
4.     Uptown
5.     Edgewater
6.     Norwood Park
7.     Garfield Ridge
8.     Jefferson Park
 
 
Anyone who lives here knows that Elmhurst is a special place. To learn more about our city, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.
 

Chicago’s winter market already heating up

by Thomas Makinney


Although outdoor temperatures may be chilly, Chicago’s real estate is feeling toasty warm.

The end of 2016 marked an upswing in Chicago’s real estate market, and all signs point to a continued rising path in 2017.

Chicago’s rising numbers bodes well for Elmhurst sellers in 2017, since most new buyers in Elmhurst move from Chicago to the suburbs

The other good news for sellers is that inventory of homes has remained low, and when buyers have fewer options, they tend to be willing to pay more.

In Chicago, 33% more homes went under contract in December of 2016 than they did in a comparable period in 2015, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors.

Data compiled by Crain’s showed that Chicago’s six-county surrounding area also saw a rise in homes under contract. December 2016 saw a 17% uptick from December 2016.

November 2016 was a similarly strong month, with double-digit increases in both the number of homes sold and the median sale price, for both city and suburban sales.

Experts point to rising interest rates for a 30-year mortgage, which make buyers feel a sense of urgency. Research also indicates that consumers are feeling an increased confidence since the November election. Zillow reported that interest rates in Illinois for a 30-year mortgage rose more than half a percentage point from 3.57 before the election to 4.12 in the last week of December.

Although a half-point change doesn’t represent a huge increase in monthly payments, any time rates start rising, buyers like to lock in before they get too much higher. This is particularly true now when combined with the uncertainty of the months ahead.

Another speculation as to the recent upswing in Chicago’s market is that buyers may have been distracted by the Cubs playing in the World Series run and the intense presidential election.

Whatever the reason, buyers appear to be ready to end the long recovery process. And with low inventories of homes for sale in Elmhurst and strong demand from Chicago buyers, poised to purchase in the suburbs, this spring 2017 market should be great for Elmhurst home sellers!

If you’re ready to make the plunge, either selling or buying, call us today! We’re happy to guide you through all the steps and make your dreams a reality. Call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 37

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