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Does Your Elmhurst Home Have the Right Insurance?

by Thomas Makinney

When it comes to disasters, some are region-specific, while others are equal opportunity destroyers.  The specific risks for your area determine the kind of insurance needed to protect your Elmhurst home and belongings.

Take some time to review the insurance on your home against the following threats, and remember that supplemental insurance may be necessary for complete coverage.  While not all of these issues are common, they do happen, so it’s worth knowing and covering your risk.

Flooding - Pretty much every region has a flood risk.  You’re even more susceptible if you live in a low-lying area, near a pond or lake, or downstream from a dam.  Flood damage is not covered by most regular insurance policies, so check with your insurer about extra coverage.  On average, flood insurance costs $540 per year—a lot less than the average flood claim of $33,000 without it.  If you’re in a high-risk flood area, know that your coverage could cost more.

Earthquakes – Although Elmhurst, IL is not a high-risk area, earthquakes are still possible since fault lines run through most U.S. regions.  Check with your carrier for coverage and cost options.

Tornadoes – Opinions differ, but most folks consider Illinois part of Tornado Alley, and peak tornado season is around the corner.  Tornadoes are usually covered in a general policy, but check with your agent to be sure.  Living in a high-risk area, Elmhurst residents might pay more for this specific insurance.

Wildfires – This disaster can affect everyone. In 2008, homes in every state but Hawaii had wildfire damage from flames, soot, smoke, and water.  Most standard policies cover fire, but verify your specific coverage regarding cleanup costs and replacement values.  Price varies by region.

Mines – This one is not often addressed but is worth checking out.  It deals with homes built over or near abandoned mines where, if the ground shifts, homes can suffer structural damage.  Though generally not part of a homeowner’s policy, this coverage is available through state-sponsored pools.  Where you live determines cost, so check with your insurer.

Once you have the right coverage for your area, create your home inventory list and store it somewhere other than your house.  It’s also a good idea to have both a family evacuation plan and an emergency kit with supplies of food, water and other items to keep you going if you’re in a shelter.  Good insurance and solid preparation can help you better handle any disasters that come your way.

We’ll help you find that place of peace and safety.  If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Elmhurst Illinois Open Houses for Sunday, April 1, 2012

by Thomas Makinney

Address:110 W Butterfield Rd Unit 510S

City: Elmhurst

Price:$126,900

Scheduled for: 03/31/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:110 W Butterfield Rd Unit 207S

City: Elmhurst

Price:$139,750

Scheduled for: 03/31/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:0S600 Old York Rd Unit 303

City: Elmhurst

Price:$195,900

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:0S600 Old York Rd Unit 202

City: Elmhurst

Price:$204,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:842 S Hillside Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$242,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:365 N Elm Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$274,900

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:286 Oneida Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$299,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 AM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:822 S Euclid Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$442,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 AM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:161 W Jackson St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$475,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:112 N Clara Pl

City: Elmhurst

Price:$499,900

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:459 E Allison St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$524,900

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:147 S Grace Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$585,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:361 W Alexander Blvd

City: Elmhurst

Price:$590,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:408 Hill

City: Elmhurst

Price:$599,000

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 AM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:730 N Howard Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$669,900

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:318 S Fair Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$759,900

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM

 

Address:318 N Elm Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$919,900

Scheduled for: 04/01/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

Avoid These Slip-Ups to Sell Your Elmhurst Home

by Thomas Makinney

While the housing market is definitely improving, buyers still hold the upper hand.  This means that your Elmhurst, IL home must be kept in the best possible condition to attract a buyer.  Below are five mistakes that can prevent you from getting that longed-for offer. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced seller, these are worth your attention.

Removing Your Furniture – If you need to move out quickly, whether for a new job or some other reason, try to leave your furniture behind until the house sells. It’s been proven that an empty house takes longer to sell, and owners get less than their asking price. Empty houses look bigger, but often they can seem gloomy.

Rejecting a Home Stager – Professional home stagers are trained to make your Elmhurst property look its very best—and worth a lot more than you’re asking.  Studies show that about 95 percent of professionally staged homes sold within 33 days, while on average non-staged homes took 196 days.  Non-staged homes also stay on the market 83 percent longer.  If you can’t leave your furniture in the house, definitely consider using a home stager.

Pets and Pet Smells – Cat, dog, or bunny, your pets—and their smells—should be out of the house for a showing.  Remember that many people have pet allergies, and a potential buyer won’t see much while sneezing.  Removing the pets is the easy part; the smells can be more challenging. Steam clean your carpets, furniture, and any pet bedding.  Ask your agent for additional advice on how other clients have handled this.

Clutter and Dirt – If all of your stuff is lying around—even somewhat organized—buyers can’t picture their stuff in the house, and this can be the key to a sale. Dirty kitchens and bathrooms will also send buyers out the door. You must clean and de-clutter for every showing.

Overly-High Asking Price – Work with your agent to properly price your Elmhurst real estate. This should be an amount that makes sense in the current market, not what you think the home is worth or what you’ve decided you need.  Priced too high, the home won’t sell no matter how beautiful and fresh-smelling you’ve made it.

While not a complete list, these are some of the critical things that can help secure an offer sooner rather than later.  And in today’s market, sooner is definitely better.

We know how to spot and correct any issue that affects your real estate transaction.  If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Elmhurst Illinois Open Houses for Sunday, March 25, 2012

by Thomas Makinney

Address:964 S Kent Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$383,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:788 S Fairfield

City: Elmhurst

Price:$775,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:130 Haven Rd Unit G

City: Elmhurst

Price:$169,900

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:254 E Crescent Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$215,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:496 N Howard Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$274,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:282 E Crescent Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$324,900

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:549 N Indiana St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$349,900

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 12:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:133 S West Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$359,900

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:212 Berkley

City: Elmhurst

Price:$399,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM

 

Address:425 E May St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$449,900

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:510 E Park Manor Ct

City: Elmhurst

Price:$450,000

 

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:161 W Jackson St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$475,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 AM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:165 N Elm Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$577,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:132 S Linden Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$599,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:251 N Highview Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$625,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:318 N Elm Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$949,900

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:341 S Kenilworth Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$1,399,000

Scheduled for: 03/25/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

Questions for an Informative Elmhurst Open House

by Thomas Makinney

When shopping for a home, you can’t go wrong attending an open house. It’s a great way to get information on a potential Elmhurst, IL home and to learn about the pros and cons of your would-be new neighborhood.

And knowing the right things to ask can help you learn more than just the basics. Here are some key inquiries for you (or your agent) to make at the next open house you attend.

  • Any offers yet? Asking this lets you know if you have competition for the home. If offers were made and rejected, try to find out why so you can come up with an offer the sellers will likely accept.
  • Has the house been under contract? If yes, ask some follow-up questions to get more details. Was there an appraisal issue? Was something major found during the home inspection? If you plan to make an offer, review the inspector’s reports so you know what issues to follow up on.
  • How long has the house been on the market? The sellers might be ready to accept a lower offer if the Elmhurst property has been listed for a long time. To gain a bit more bargaining power, ask if/when there’s been a reduction in the selling price and by how much.
  • Why are you selling? You might not get much of an answer to this, but whatever you learn can help you choose your offer price. Ask several times in different ways to see what might slip out.
  • Does the property have any liens? This would include construction liens, tax liens, or other claims from unpaid debt that you don’t want to get stuck with.
  • Will the home meet my lender’s appraisal expectations? Even though the market is improving, you can’t assume the appraisal will be at selling price. Have your agent check on pending sales so you don’t end up losing the money you’ll spend as part of the offer process.
  • Are there any other associated costs?  You want to learn this before the closing, not after. If the Elmhurst real estate is a condo or part of a closed community, ask about dues for the homeowner’s association and any other assessments. Be sure to contact the homeowner’s association to decide whether you can abide by their rules for pets, parking, etc.

Even if you like everything you hear, get the answers in writing. Your agent can follow up with the listing agent for this. And plan to have your own home inspection done regardless of what you were told. Home buying is sort of like marriage—it’s better (and easier) to break off a bad relationship before the vows are said, so the more information you get beforehand the better.

No matter what your situation, we have the knowledge and expertise to make your open house a positive experience. If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

 

Elmhurst Illinois Open Houses for Sunday, March 18, 2012

by Thomas Makinney

Address:234 N Addison Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$615,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:788 S Fairfield

City: Elmhurst

Price:$775,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:139 Fellows Ct Unit 139

City: Elmhurst

Price:$189,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:585 S Washington St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$225,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:505 S Berkley Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$255,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:295 N Ridgeland Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$289,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:862 Cedar Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$289,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:771 S Mitchell Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$335,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:177 S York Rd Unit C

City: Elmhurst

Price:$349,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:777 S Parkside Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$389,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:375 S Berkley Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$390,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:212 Berkley

City: Elmhurst

Price:$399,000

 

Address:468 W Montrose Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$474,900

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:230 Addison Ave Unit 230A

City: Elmhurst

Price:$550,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:321 N Highland Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$579,900

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:361 W Alexander Blvd

City: Elmhurst

Price:$590,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:388 Holly Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$595,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:508 S Hampshire Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$649,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:465 S Kenilworth Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$659,900

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:130 N Walnut St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$750,000

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:318 N Elm Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$949,900

Scheduled for: 03/18/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

Gracik Makinney Group Cannot Be Thankful Enough!

by Thomas Makinney

Not only is Elmhurst, IL a great place to live, it’s also a great place to run a business. And no one appreciates this more than the Gracik Makinney Group.

The combination of our fantastic customers and our all-out commitment to excellence has brought us much success. It’s also helped us to be the proud recipient of the Koenig and Strey 2011 Platinum Production Award for sales excellence. 

This is the highest award presented to agents of Koenig and Strey, and it means that we put our customers first in all we do. Whether you’re buying or selling an Elmhurst, IL home, we at Gracik Makinney Group will make it a stress-free and successful experience. 

We love being a part of the Elmhurst community and hope to be here for years to come. Thank you again for helping us to be the best in serving you!

Choose an award-winning agency for your next real estate transaction. If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Elmhurst Illinois Open Houses for Sunday, March 11, 2012

by Thomas Makinney

Address:826 S Fairfield Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$310,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

 

Address:257 E South St

City: Elmhurst

Price:675,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:110 W Butterfield Rd Unit 510S

City: Elmhurst

Price:$126,900

Scheduled for: 03/10/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:110 W Butterfield Rd Unit 207S

City: Elmhurst

Price:$139,750

Scheduled for: 03/10/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:963 S Hillcrest Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$219,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:15W604 Victory Pkwy

City: Elmhurst

Price:$220,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:762 S Fairfield Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$269,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:286 Oneida Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$299,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:165 S Rex Blvd

City: Elmhurst

Price:$299,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:165 S Rex Blvd

City: Elmhurst

Price:$299,000

Scheduled for: 03/10/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:801 S Fairfield Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $304,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:251 S Fair Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$379,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:207 S Poplar Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$395,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:212 Berkley

City: Elmhurst

Price:$399,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:259 Schiller St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$450,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:822 S Euclid Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$469,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:468 W Montrose Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$474,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:161 W Jackson St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$490,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:285 W First St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$499,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:268 Highland

City: Elmhurst

Price:$515,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:215 E St. Charles Rd

City: Elmhurst

Price:$599,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:508 S Hampshire Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$649,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

 

Address:757 S Berkley Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$744,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:521 E Park Manor Ct

City: Elmhurst

Price:$774,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:318 N Elm Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$949,900

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:267 E Vallette St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$1,199,000

Scheduled for: 03/11/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

Elmhurst Illinois Open Houses for Sunday, March 04, 2012

by Thomas Makinney

Address:101 N Pine St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$220,000

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:422 E Berteau Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$580,000

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

 

Address:953 S Cedar Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$305,000

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 12:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:300 E Oneida

City: Elmhurst

Price:$359,000

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:212 Berkley

City: Elmhurst

Price:$399,000

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM

 

Address:468 W Montrose Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$474,900

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM

 

Address:161 W Jackson St

City: Elmhurst

Price:$490,000

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:881 S Chatham Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$498,500

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:714 Benton Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$515,900

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

 

Address:261 N Glade Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$539,000

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:757 S Berkley Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$744,900

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

 

Address:592 Kearsage

City: Elmhurst

Price:$769,900

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM

 

Address:294 Berteau Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price:$799,900

Scheduled for: 03/04/2012 from 12:00 PM to 03:00 PM

Oscar Winner Credits Elmhurst Upbringing for Success

by Thomas Makinney

As hometowns go, residents of Elmhurst, IL know theirs is among the best for raising families and imparting sold Midwest values to those brought up here.

It also happens to be the hometown of Gary Rydstrom, a winner of seven Oscars for his sound effects work on the movies “Terminator 2,” “Jurassic Park,” “Titanic” and “Saving Private Ryan.”  This year he was nominated for two more Academy Awards for his work on Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse.”  (He lost out to the sound editor for the movie “Hugo.”)

Rydstrom loves his work and attributes his Midwest upbringing for getting him his big break.

While at the USC film school, Rydstrom met a professor, Ken Miura, who happened to know “Star Wars” director George Lucas.  When Lucas asked Miura for someone to help with sound editing for “Return of the Jedi” in 1983, Miura passed along Rydstrom’s name.

Rydstrom is convinced that his low-key Midwest personality got him the recommendation.  He stated, “Honestly, I think he recommended me because he thought I wouldn’t embarrass him, that I wouldn’t get too crazy going to George Lucas’ place.”In Rydstrom’s opinion, “a Midwest personality is less showy, less self-promoting.”  He also believes being raised in an Elmhurst, IL home taught him great values and a strong work ethic—all of which have worked in his favor many, many times.

Along with his Oscar wins, Rydstrom is also famous for his work with a very familiar logo.  He created the sound for the lamp that jumps on the “I” in the PIXAR logo at the beginning of their movies.  On helping to craft this well-known symbol he said, “I feel like I created the MGM lion roar for Pixar.”

Not every person living in Elmhurst will attain such fame, but they will have the kinds of values and work ethic (the Midwest kind) to make them successful in whatever they choose to do.  It’s just one more of the many reasons to live in a place like Elmhurst.

Come live in a place where values matter.  If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

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