Elmhurst real estate blog archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 21

“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.

Chicago named one of top creative cities in U.S.

by Thomas Makinney

If you appreciate the creative flair of Chicago, you’re not alone. Chicago was named one of the top 25 most creative cities in the U.S. in a recent survey using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s probably no surprise to anyone living in Chicagoland. And Elmhurst residents are perfectly positioned to take advantage of all that the city has to offer: We’re only 12 miles from the Loop, with train service and highways easily linking us to a myriad of venues, schools, and jobs.

The study, compiled by RIS Media, defined creativity as original work within four factors: the person, the process, the environment, and the created product. Data was categorized into four metrics: creative jobs, creative schools, performing arts companies, and motion picture and video companies.New York City took top place as the most creative city in the country. Although the city didn’t win top seat in any of the specific categories, its overall scores reflected its combination of jobs, schools, venues, and opportunities for creative types. Other top five cities include San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis (yes, really.) Chicago ranked in 15th place.

Los Angeles rated highest for city with the most creative jobs. Not surprising considering it has the most artists and film-related jobs than any other city per capita. San Francisco ranked at the top of the list for having the most creative schools. Chicago placed a solid #15 on the creative schools list, ranking above Los Angeles and Miami.

Nashville is home to more performing arts companies per capita than anywhere else in the country. In fact, it has almost double the amount of the second highest city, San Francisco.  Not surprisingly, Chicago scored high on this list, ranking above New Orleans, Boston, and Washington.

As expected, Los Angeles was found to have the most motion picture and video companies per capita (approximately 6,000 in all), followed by San Francisco and New York. But what might be surprising is that St. Louis came at the top of the pack in fourth.

One of the aspects of Elmhurst that we love most is how easy it is to access the variety of offerings that Chicago has to offer. And our excellent schools and parks make Elmhurst the perfect complement to city living.

To find out more about all that Elmhurst has to offer, call us at 630-441-5570 or visit www.gmregroup.com

Millenials starting to embrace home ownership

by Thomas Makinney

It’s the beginning of a new era as millennials emerge onto the home buying scene. This group, roughly comprised of 28-35 year olds, is getting older and wealthier and is increasingly seeing real estate as a sound investment option.

But in true younger-generation style, their tastes and preferences are different from those of other eras.

Many want to live somewhere with a more urban feel, even if they’re not in an actual urban area. They’re less likely to want or need parking, and instead are drawn to public transportation and ride-sharing services. They also value a neighborhood feel and a sense of community when considering location.

This is good news for Elmhurst, which is right on the Metra line and offers an abundance of housing options, both multi-unit and single family, near transportation, restaurants, and shopping. In fact, we’re the perfect fit for millenials who want to get out of the actual city but may not be ready to commit to a large riding lawn mower.

In addition to the newer condos and townhouses encircling downtown, Elmhurst still has a wide variety of homes in the entry-level price range. And our excellent schools and parks (to say nothing of the numerous fitness clubs) make Elmhurst the perfect landing spot for millennial buyers.

Of course, interest rates are rising, which could impact how many millenials will be able to buy. After an initial rate hike in December, sales for that age group dipped, even though the rates remain at historic lows.

The reality is, however, that inventory for first-time homebuyers is also at a low point. And with the Federal Reserve indicating a possibility of two or three more hikes in 2017, millenials are expected to overcome their financial jitters and remain a force.

For more information about what it takes to purchase a home or condo, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com. We’re always available to talk Elmhurst real estate!

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.

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.

2015 Real Estate Tax Assessments: Were you surprised?

by Thomas Makinney

York Township recently completed its 2015 real estate tax assessment and homeowners should have already received the results through mail. Many residents will see a significant increase in their property taxes, which although bad news, means that the market is getting stronger.
 
Every year the assessor’s office estimates the market value of more than 46,000 parcels of property with York Township. Each property is then assessed at one-third of market value. Prices are based on sales that have occurred in the previous three years, meaning that the assessments will always lag behind the marketplace. When property values and sales are decreasing, it takes a few years for those changes to be reflected in assessments. Similarly, when values and sales are rising (as we’ve been seeing for the past few years,) the positive growth takes a few years to catch up to assessments, which is why the increase often takes homeowners by surprise.
 
The good news is that the economy appears to be stabilizing and real estate values are continuing to rise after the market downturn.
 
If you wish to appeal your assessments, you have until November 30, 2015 to do so. For more information, visitwww.yorkassessor.com/York and www.dupageco.org/SOA/1486
 
Thinking of contesting your assessed value? We can provide comparables to help you review the market. We’re here for all your real estate questions about buying and selling. Call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Holiday Season Home Sales

by Thomas Makinney

For our first installment of a new blog series ‘Real Estate in the Real World,’ we’d like to share with you a common misconception surrounding holiday home sales.

It’s not unusual, and this year is no exception, for our clients to have hesitations about trying to sell a home during the holiday season.  Should they hold off on listing it?  Should they temporarily take their home off the market until after the new year?  We've listened to our clients concerns, and we’d like to share with you the real life factors that sellers have to consider.
winterhome.jpgSellers fear that their home will sit on the market with no activity because buyers are busy, the days are shorter, or they worry about arranging showings when they are busy with seasonal festivities, and the landscaping doesn’t quite shine like it did a few months ago.

 

We understand the concerns, and of course we want what is best for our clients and their successful home sale.  Without pressure, we present the flip-side facts about selling. Believe it or not, November is an ideal time to get your home sold.

Since it is such a common inclination to hold off or suspend the listing this time of year, many sellers DO give in to the temptation of taking a vacation from their home sale, decreasing the competition in your local market. Excellent! Suddenly your home is the best on the block because other comparable properties go unshown, and unsold.  Remember, you have a 100% chance of not selling if your home is not on the market.

househunting.jpgSure, it can
be somewhat inconvenient to show your home during the holidays, but you’ll find the buyers to be highly motivated.  When buyers are out there touring homes in the snow and in between shopping trips or prepping for holiday parties, chances are, they are ready to purchase as soon as possible. Not only are you more likely to get an offer from this type of buyer, you’re more likely to get an offer closer to asking price than you would when your competition rears back up in the Spring.  So while the quantity of showings may decrease, the quality goes up.  At the Gracik Makinney Group, we do our very best to give as much advanced notice for showings as possible, and we only want what is best for our clients.  

 

Listing or suspending your home during the holiday season is a decision that our clients and many sellers face in the real world, and we hope we’ve provided some helpful feedback to guide you in future.  Give us a call at 630-441-5570 or visit us on the web at www.gmregroup.com for more information.

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!

Elmhurst Real Estate Update, December 2013

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst Market Statistics for November

November property sales were up 30.6% over the same time last year, from 36 in November 2012 to 47 homes sold this year. November YTD sales are up 37.6% at 652 vs. 474 for last year. November YTD average sales price increased 7%, from $382,850 in 2012 to $409,618 in 2013. The November Average Sales Price was up 3.5%, from $437,075 to $452,541. The November 2013 vs. November 2012 median price increased 40.8%, from $300,000 to $422,500. The November average Days on Market (DOM) were down from 59 in November 2012 to 51 in November 2013.

                 
Profile & Trends Month LM L3M PYM LY YTD PriorYTD PriorYr
Median List Price: All $409,450 2%   14%        
Average List Price: All $527,081 1%   13%        
Nov Median Sale Price $422,500 46% 31%
41%
39% $337,000 11% 11%
Nov Average Sale Price $452,541 24% 11% 4% 18% $409,618 7% 7%
Total Properties for Sale 202 -19%   -21%        
Nov No. Properties Sold 47 -20%   31%     38%  
Nov Average Days on Market 51 -14% 0% -49% -41% 60 -30% -30%
Asking Price/Sq Ft $215 -4% 0% 10% 8% $216 8% 8%
Nov Sold Price/Sq Ft $205 11% 4% 11% 11% $195 5% 6%
Nov MSI 4.3 1% 1% -40% -44% 4.3 -44% -44%
Nov Sale vs List Price 93.7% -2.6% -3% -1% -0.6% 96.1% 1.8% 1.9%

 

Inventory & MSI

The November 2013 MSI of 4.3 months was at its lowest level compared with November of 2012 and 2011. A comparatively lower MSI is more beneficial for sellers while a higher MSI is better for buyers. Remember, 5.5 months is considered a “balanced” market by most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selling Price vs. Listing Price

The Selling Price vs. Listing Price reveals the average amount that Sellers are agreeing to come down from their list price. The lower the ratio is below 100%, the more of a Buyer's market exists; a ratio at or above 100% indicates more of a Seller's market. The November 2013 Selling Price vs. List Price of 93.7% was down from 96.2% last month and down from 94.8% in November of last year.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Today’s Homebuyer Needs a Real Estate Agent More Than Ever

Teresa Boardman, Inman News contributor

Last summer I got an email from a local real estate attorney who wanted to buy a house. He’d just gotten engaged and wanted to save some money by representing himself.

This attorney wanted to do all the work an agent would do to find and buy his first home, and get paid a commission for his work. I explained to him that the commission is payable to the listing agent who agrees to pay a portion of it to the Realtor representing a buyer.

Usually, if there’s no buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent gets the entire commission. Some agents will accept a reduced commission for representing both parties. The seller saves some money that way. Sometimes the savings get passed along to the buyer.

I get several emails each year from homebuyers, usually first-timers, who want to know how they can get a real estate license so they can save money on the purchase of a home. They find me through my blog, and apparently decide that I am too scary to work with, but not so scary that they can’t ask me a question or two.

Read more here…

Happy Holidays from The Gracik Makinney Group!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 21

Syndication

Categories

Archives