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Elmhurst Open House List for July 15-16

by Thomas Makinney

 

We are hosting 206 Kenmore on Sunday from 1:00pm - 3:00pm.  Stop by to say hello!

 

206 Kenmore

 

 

Street # 

CP 

Str Name 

Sfx 

City 

Start Date/Time 

End Time

LP/RP 

444

N

Ridgeland

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$329,900

337

W

Fremont

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 12:00 PM

3:00 PM

$334,900

583

N

Kenilworth

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 12:00 PM

2:00 PM

$344,000

412

E

Huntington

Ln

Elmhurst

07/15/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$375,000

422

E

Webster

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 02:00 PM

4:00 PM

$395,000

928

S

Fairfield

Ave

Elmhurst

07/15/2017 12:00 PM

3:00 PM

$416,000

947

S

Fern

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$449,900

947

S

Fern

Ave

Elmhurst

07/15/2017 12:00 PM

2:00 PM

$449,900

474

W

Third

St

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$518,500

410

E

Schiller

St

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$549,900

475

N

Maple

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$674,000

822

S

Hillside

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$774,900

299

W

Claremont

St

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$849,000

206

S

Kenmore

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$875,000

208

E

Columbia

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$875,000

444

N

Walnut

St

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$899,000

601

S

Cedar

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$915,000

106

E

Oneida

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$950,000

280

S

Prospect

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$975,000

260

E

Elmhurst

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$999,000

117

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/15/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,129,000

117

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,129,000

148

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/15/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,139,000

148

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,139,000

144

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/15/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,189,000

144

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,189,000

325

S

Prospect

Ave

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

4:00 PM

$1,199,000

236

E

South

St

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 01:00 PM

3:00 PM

$1,289,000

160

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/16/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,389,000

160

 

Joanne

Way

Elmhurst

07/15/2017 11:00 AM

4:00 PM

$1,389,000

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


Despite the influx of internet articles and do-it-yourself books on selling a home, the real estate industry is not only thriving but booming. And with good reason: A real estate agent is still one of the best investments you can make when you choose to buy or sell a home. 

If you’re wondering how a good agent adds value to your process, read on:

Experience – Not only are realtors educated on the many complicated aspects of real estate transactions, but chances are they’ve experienced some of the unusual scenarios even the most seemingly simple transaction. Buying and selling property can involve bullying tactics, bidding wars, counteroffers, all-cash offers, and tight competition. Realtors know how to handle these situations without losing their cool.

Neutrality – Sometimes a buyer falls in love with a house that is overpriced or needs more work than they realize, or they fail to explore possibilities outside of their comfort zone. Similarly, some sellers hold out too long for a higher offer or are afraid to disclose something about the house. A realtor is a neutral party who can help clients navigate the often tricky line between expectations and reality.

Neighborhood Knowledge – One of the biggest mistakes that Sell-By-Owners make is to overvalue the worth of their home, leading to extra days on the market and more money spent. A good realtor will be able to recommend a listing price for your home competitively so that you get the most money and sell quickly. Similarly they’ll be able to tell you if a home you’re interested in purchasing is priced competitively for the neighborhood. And they usually know about homes not yet on the market or ones that aren’t being actively marketed, very helpful if you’ve honed in on a specific neighborhood.

Selling tips – Buyers often make their decisions within minutes of first seeing a home. For sellers, this means they need to do everything they can to make a good impression. Real estate agents can help sellers determine what work should (or shouldn’t) be done to their house before putting it on the market. Not sure if granite counters or real hardwood floors are worth it? Want to keep photos of kids and grandparents on the wall? A realtor can give suggestions, offer resources, and hire a professional photographer so that your home looks bright and inviting when buyers view it on the web.

Buying tips – A real estate agent can walk buyers through costs and issues to turn a home into a dream home. They’ll be able to estimate the cost involved with a new roof or knocking down a wall or re-doing a kitchen. They can also tell you local variances that would affect putting up a fence or raising chickens in your backyard.

Vendor recommendations – Most realtors have a handy list of service providers they have experience with and recommend. They can’t tell you whom to choose, but if you need a home inspector, general contractor, electrician, etc, chances are they have a list of names and companies along with some background to help you choose.

Legal paperwork – Real estate transactions today typically run ten-plus pages, and that’s not including the federal- and state-mandated disclosures. Someone with experience in the industry can make sure that the contract works in your best interest and that you are fully aware of everything you are signing.

And remember, realtors are dependent on referrals in order to make a living. It’s in their best interest to have a good relationship with their buyer or seller in order to get glowing recommendations for the next transaction that comes their way.

At Gracik-Makinney, we have a combined 40-plus years of experience helping buyers find their dream home, and sellers receive top dollar on theirs. Reach out to us for a free consultation or for more information, (630) 441-5570 or 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.

Tips for avoiding wire fraud

by Thomas Makinney

It can happen to the best and brightest people. You receive an email or phone call asking you to transfer money or make a payment. Often, the request seems legitimate — maybe it comes from a company you do business with or a charity you support or even someone you know.

We see this happen all the time. Before you send money or give out personal information in response to an email or phone call, STOP. Electronic communication is neither secure nor confidential, and scammers have gotten very sophisticated at hiding their true identity. You need to verify the person or institution before you respond to an unsolicited request.

To verify an identity, do some due diligence.

  • Call the company using a phone number that you look up, not a phone contained in an email or given over the phone.
  • Look at the email address of the sender.  Reputable companies will have a professional address with their company name embedded, and it will not end in gmail.com or yahoo.com or other server names.
  • Don’t believe caller ID. If you recognize the company or person making the call, ask to call them back before you give them any information.
  • If the request comes from a company you do business with, go into your online account and verify that the request is there as well.

Any time you receive an electronic communication with wire instructions for the transfer of funds, even if that communication appears to be from @properties, your real estate agent or your attorney, do not initiate a wire transfer unless you have verified the source.

Making sure that your assets and funds are secure and in the right hands is important to us. We want to help you reach your goals. If you have any questions about wire fraud, or about how @properties will communicate financial transactions, please call us at (630) 441-5570 or contact us through our website, www.gmregroup.com    

Rent Your Chicago Condo and Move to the Burbs!

by Thomas Makinney

So you're ready to make the move to Elmhurst from Chicago, but you're having a hard time selling your city condo. Where some might look at this as a setback causing you to put your plans on hold, more and more Chicago homeowners are finding a hidden opportunity in this circumstance.

forrent.jpeg

Holding out for a good price on your home is understandable, and many young families who are ready to sell have seen a decrease in their property value from the time they purchased. You don't want to stall your future in a new town, but you also don't want to walk away from your investment right now. 

Enter the renters!
Chicago is full of high-earning and reliable young professionals who aren't quite ready to buy, but still value having a nice place to live, and want more than just an apartment. 
The city is having its peak year for condo rentals signed, with more renters signing condo leases in the first quarter of 2014 than any quarter in the past ten years.  This frees up the homeowners to break even or turn a profit on their city dwelling while they make their move.

If you feel like you're not equipped or up to the task of becoming Mr. Roper, fear not, there are property management companies who specialize in acting on your behalf and serving as the point of contact for your tenant.  Don’t let your current home stop you from moving forward.

Are you ready for a single family home, a yard, a garage, and friendly new neighbors? If you’re ready to make the move from the city to Elmhurst, The Gracik Makinney Group is at your service! Give us a call at 630-441-5570, or visit us on the web at www.gmregroup.com to check out our available listings!

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

by Thomas Makinney

Buying or selling your home is not only one of the biggest investments you can make in your life, it also can be one of the biggest hassles, or worse yet, nightmares. Many are the stories of buyers looking for their dream home, thinking they have found it, only to lose out on an offer, or find out their new home needs more repairs than they can manage. You can find an equal number of sellers trying to get what they put into their house back in their selling price, only to find their house remain on the market much longer than the average listed house at too high a price. Often these scenarios occur when there is not a Real Estate agent involved.

People look for ways to save money, including forgoing a real estate agent. They believe that they will save money on commissions or fees, when in reality they most likely will end up spending more money, especially in time and energy.  Think about it, would you decline to go to a doctor for a serious ailment or injury to save money?  No, you would not, as doctors and hospitals provide a vital service where their education, experience and procedures help you get better. 

Working with a real estate agent is much the same. There are so many details when it comes to buying or selling a house. Anyone without an agent can quickly become overwhelmed with the terms and processes involved in buying a home. From finding a mortgage lender, to knowing the current options for buying and selling home, an agent can simplify even the most confusing details. When you work with an agent, you become the grand master of your home buying or selling experience.  Your agent is working for you.  It is in their best interest to make the complicated process go smoothly so you can reap the rewards. 

Agents also know the details beyond what house is for sale or what an average price is for your neighborhood.  They know what works well to help sell a home and which areas offer what you need or want in a new home. Real Estate agents take the mystery and complications of buying or selling a home and allow you to focus on what you want to accomplish in the large scheme of things.  Their service is a real benefit to which you can use to sell your home with ease or find the home of your dreams. 

There are services in life that are worth use of a professional, and Real Estate is one of them.  Save yourself time, money, aggravation and frustration by working with an agent today.

Let the experience of The Gracik Makinney Group work for you. Whether you are buying or selling your home, our team is prepared to make the process easier for you. Drop by the office at 190 North York Road here in Elmhurst, or give us a call at 630-441-5570.

Elmhurst Open House List for Dec. 14-15

by Thomas Makinney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address:  648 Swain Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 2 pm

Price:  $899,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address:  627 Sunnyside Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 2 pm

Price:  $950,000

 

Address:  274 E Crescent Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 1 pm

Price:  $339,900

 

Address:  368 N Myrtle

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 1 pm

Price:  $375,000

 

Address:  393 W Van Buren St

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 1 pm

Price:  $389,900

 

Address:  967 S Chatham Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 1 pm

Price:  $390,000

 

Address:  754 N Geneva Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 12 pm

Price:  $599,900

 

Address:  771 S Washington St

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 12 pm

Price:  $774,900

 

Address:  481 W Second Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 12/15, 1 pm

Price:  $995,000

Elmhurst Open House List for Nov. 23-24

by Thomas Makinney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address:  648 Swain Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 2 pm

Price:  $899,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address:  627 Sunnyside Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 2 pm

Price:  $950,000

 

Address:  100 W Butterfield Rd

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Saturday, 11/23, 1 pm

Price:  $119,900

 

Address:  931 S Hillcrest Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $275,000

 

Address:  212 E Crestview Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Saturday, 11/23, 11 am

Price:  $275,000

 

Address:  119 E Columbia Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $314,900

 

Address:  787 N Willow Rd

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $329,900

 

Address:  837 Prospect Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $349,900

 

Address:  967 S Chatham Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $399,000

 

Address:  315 N Oak St

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $399,900

 

Address:  730 N Howard Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Saturday, 11/23, 12 pm

Price:  $599,000

 

Address:  754 N Geneva Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 12 pm

Price:  $599,900

 

Address:  249 E St Charles Rd

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $649,900

 

Address:  296 E Van Buren Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Saturday, 11/23, 1 pm and Sunday, 11/24, 12 pm

Price:  $659,000

 

Address:  594 W Babcock Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Saturday, 11/23, 1 pm

Price:  $749,900

 

Address:  481 W Second Ave

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/24, 1 pm

Price:  $995,000

Elmhurst Open House List for Nov. 16-17

by Thomas Makinney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address:  648 Swain Ave.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 2pm

Price:  $899,000

 

Address:  931 S Hillcrest Ave.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 1pm

Price:  $275,000

 

Address:  136 N Pine St.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 2pm

Price:  $345,000

 

Address:  837 Prospect Ave.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 1pm

Price:  $349,900

 

Address:  315 N Oak St.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 1pm

Price:  $399,900

 

Address:  605 S Fairview Ave.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 12pm

Price:  $435,000

 

Address:  730 N Howard Ave.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Saturday, 11/16, 11am and Sunday, 11/17, 10 am

Price:  $599,000

 

Address:  296 E Van Buren Ave.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Saturday, 11/16, 1pm

Price:  $659,000

 

Address:  771 S Washington St.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 12pm

Price:  $774,900

 

Address:  490 S York St.

City:  Elmhurst

Scheduled for:  Sunday, 11/17, 1pm

Price:  $1,025,000

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