Keeping up with Chicago's North Shore Real Estate Market!

Contact Ann

call or text me: 847-691-1111 or email: ann@rannjones.realtor

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Challenges of Spring Cleaning

After a season of record snowfalls and lengthy cold spells in many parts of the country, homeowners are finding their houses and landscapes unusually battered.
Read
Recovering From a Wicked Winter's Wreckage

Shadow inventory shrinks but threatens to linger

The inventory of distressed homes lingering in the shadows of the U.S. real-estate market shrank slightly in January, but these properties will remain a major drag on the housing market, industry data provider CoreLogic Inc. said Wednesday.

Read more in MarketWatch....

5 Things Home Buyers Do That Turn Sellers Off (and Kill Deals)

... But buyers, take note – there is a minefield of seller turn-offs you can trigger that hold the potential to keep you from getting the home you want at the best price and terms, or to unnecessarily complicate dealings with your home’s seller.

Read more in Trulia.com....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Video from Market Watch

local revenues weighed down by a sluggish housing market. January housing sales figures ignited fresh fears of a double-dip recession

Chicago-area home price index falls to lowest level since 2001

An index of local home prices fell in December for the fifth straight month, hitting its lowest point since the summer of 2001.  The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of Chicago-area single-family home prices declined 1.8% from December to January and was down about 7.5% from year-earlier levels, according to a report released Tuesday.


Read more in Crains....

Foreclosure Aid Fell Short, and Is Fading

Officials unveiled a $1 billion program to offer loans to help the jobless pay their mortgages until they could find work again. It was supposed to take effect before the end of the year, but as of today, the program has yet to accept any applications.

Read more in the New York Times....

U.S. Housing Prices Fell Again in January

The housing market remains mired in trouble, with plummeting prices and slumping sales. First-time buyers are fleeing, sellers are frustrated, builders are depressed and lenders are skittish about making new loans.

Read more in the New York Times....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home ownership

Realistically, if you make buying a home solely about the dollars and cents, you might not ever buy. Instead, I believe the only reason it’s worth buying a home is because you believe just that: it’s your home....

Good article in the New York Times...

Ready to do some spring cleaning???

The term “spring cleaning” probably conjures images of retro housewives in aprons and handkerchiefs, scrubbing the grout with toothbrushes. These days, we often use the phrase in reference to a variety of things, from clearing out the garage to going through your work inbox....

Read more in Money Crashers...

Real estate: It's time to buy again

Forget stocks. Don't bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing...

read more in Fortune....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hiring A Good Roofer And Knowing When To Replace Your Roof

Time to inspect your roofs after this challenging winter... want some tips?
see this article...

The Realities of Real Estate: What is my house worth?

Just read this article on web and thought it was very good.
The Realities of Real Estate: What is my house worth?
In the end, a house is worth what someone is willing and able to pay for it. We add the word 'able' because even if a buyer is willing to pony up a big number, unless he has cash, the sale is unlikely to take place. Most people get a mortgage to purchase a house, and more than ever, lenders are being very tight about making sure they don't become partners in a bad buy. So, if you're trying to figure out the value of your house, just make sure you stick to justifiable comparisons, and above all, try to be as objective as possible.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kitchen Designs That Make Home Cooking Fun

A Housing Market Cycle Different From Others

But there is a large number of used homes available. The National Association of Realtors estimates that almost two of every five used homes sold in February were on the market because the previous owner was in trouble. It says 26 percent of sales were from foreclosures, and an additional 13 percent were “short sales,” in which the lender agrees to allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the outstanding balance of the loan. Sellers often have little say in the timing of such sales, and are in a poor bargaining position.

Interesting read in the New York Times...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Foreclosure vote could rock the banks

The big banks face fresh scrutiny of their handling of the mortgage mess – from their own boards, no less.  Shareholders at Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) could vote this spring to compel their audit committees to investigate the banks' mortgage and foreclosure practices, and report back by fall.

Read more in Fortune....

Kitchens getting cozy



Read the related article in the Wall Street Journal

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New rules for first-time home buyers

Without a house to sell , first-time home buyers have had a field day in the depressed housing market. Until recently, anyway. A series of new rules, regulations and policies have changed the landscape, making buying that new home harder and more expensive.

Not long ago, first-time buyers accounted for 40% of home sales. Now they're down to 29% and falling, experts say, as first-time buyers confront a steady accumulation of rising fees, costs, and rates. This month, fees on most new mortgages will rise by up to 0.50%. In April, fees on small-down-payment mortgages, a first-time buyer favorite, will spike. Meanwhile, more lenders are requiring larger down payments, and new proposals from the Obama administration call for mortgages to become more expensive and limited in size.


Read more: New Rules for First-Time Home Buyers - SmartMoney.com  


Spring market tips

Thinking about selling.  Ilyce Glink has some thoughts worth sharing...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ready to do some spring cleaning???

Before you put things in the trash, consider recycling...
Check out SWANCC and SWALCO

some tips from Consumer Reports...
 

Stop Overpaying Property Taxes

As many as 60% of properties in the U.S. are assessed higher than their current value, according to the National Taxpayers Union. That's because local governments assess properties, on average, once every two to three years. As we've seen, home values can fall a lot over that period of time. So if your property's value hasn't been assessed since it tumbled, you're probably paying too much in taxes.Read more in Kiplingers

6 Things To Do Before You Call A Real Estate Agent

Some good tips from Investopedia.com....

6 Things To Do Before You Call A Real Estate Agent

Sunday, March 6, 2011

9 Projects to Spruce Up Your House

And another article from Kiplinger's Personal Finance!  Read More....

Going Green Pays Off

If you made energy-efficient home improvements last year, such as installing insulation or replacing exterior doors and windows in your primary residence, you probably smiled all winter long as brutal storms battered much of the country. But now you get an added bonus: You can share the cost of those upgrades with Uncle Sam when you file your 2010 tax return.
Read more in Kiplingers...

TODAY: Make Your Real Estate Bloom This Spring


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Remodeling Now to Avoid Accessibility Problems Later

Good article in the New York Times...
"About 80 percent of Americans age 45 and older prefer to “age in place” — that is, to remain in their current homes and communities, according to a recent AARP study. Manufacturers and contractors are responding with new products and technologies."