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

Contact Ann

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chicago-area home prices jump in May

Chicago-area home prices jump in May


"(Crain's) — A closely watched index of local home prices jumped in May, the highest increase among 20 metro areas the report tracks.

The Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index of Chicago-area single-family home prices rose 4.5 percent from April to May, according to a report released this morning. Prices here were up 1.2 percent from March to April, the indices showed...."

Listing, Selling or Dual Agency?

"We saw this house online and fell in love with it. So, we called the listing agent and went to see it. She asked us if we were working with an agent and we said no. We called her again a few days later to show it to our parents. Now we want to buy the house and found a different agent to write the offer for us. Our new agent said we should not have called the listing agent. I don't see why not. What is wrong with calling a listing agent to see a listing?"

See the answer in:
What's the Problem With Calling a Listing Agent to See a Listing?
About.com

Lake Forest Day!!!



Tuesday, July 31st:    ·
Family Night 6pm – 10pm

Wednesday, August 1st:  
Parade Starts at 10am
Carnival hours 11am – 11pm

Monday, July 30, 2012

Home Sales are being strangled

"Negative equity, lack of consumer confidence, frozen foreclosures and a shaky economy all have received their share of blame for the dearth of sellers and buyers that keeps the housing recovery in low gear and vulnerable. No factor, however, has been as devastating to the housing economy and as difficult to improve as the inability of buyers, especially credit worthy buyers, to get financing..."

Real Estate Economy Watch
How Tight Credit is Strangling Home Sales

Buying a home?


"The housing crash has changed the rules for home buying.
The 2008 financial crisis that caused the housing bubble to burst still has markets reeling and slowly digging their way out of depressed home values, foreclosures and shadow inventory. But other markets have been able to bounce back more quick and bidding wars are breaking out...."

Read more in Fox Business5 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying a Home


Another read for those buying a home in Money Crashers:
7 Common Mistakes Made by First-Time Home Buyers

Is principal reduction the answer?


"Policy makers are wrestling with a dilemma about the overhang of mortgage debt from the housing bust: to forgive or not to forgive?"

Wall Street Journal
How Forgiveness Fits in Housing-Fix Toolkit

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Home

the Giant at Rosebud
Ah, the summer home… 

I’ve been lucky – both my friends and family have invested in summerhouses, and I’ve been able to be their guest on more than one occasion… Michigan has been a favorite haunt: Crystal Lake, White Lake, Northport Point, Munising, Hazelhurst Camp, Lakeside… I’ve got great friends. I’ve also been to some less than memorable spots in Wisconsin. Once I spent a weekend at Laguna Beach, CA (I think they call them weekend homes.)  My childhood spot was Rosebud in Montana… at Dewey's cabin in the mountains.  Can you see the Giant sleeping in the picture of Rosebud?  


I asked my parents once why we didn’t get a summer home. Their answer was pretty practical… why do we need a summer home? We live by a lake. I think my folks liked to see new places. I was lucky in that respect as well. We camped in the mountains in both Canada and the US; we canoed through the Canadian boundary waters, and we toured fascinating National Parks. As we got older, we eventually saw Europe as a family.   

I kind of feel sorry for the kids today.  They fly everywhere or miss the scenery by watching their videos in the car.  We REALLY got to know each other on those long car rides to go visit grandparents and see new sites.  We sang songs and made up games and kept lists of state license plates.  My dad taught me how to calculate miles per gallon and how to read road maps on those trips.  I became his personal assistant in that regard.

Last weekend I was up in Leelanau Peninsula visiting family and friends and attending a good friend’s wedding. As always, it was fabulous to be in that part of the world. The weather was a wonderful relief from the sweltering heat wave we have been enduring.

I stayed at two different summer homes. Interestingly enough, both owners are artists – and both homes reflect their owners. One is wildly colorful, whimsical and relaxing. The other is stunningly subdued, but gorgeous. Both homes have been magnificently situated to enjoy glorious vistas of their respective lakes… the artists’ need to create a studio within the home.

And the details… they both have outdoor faucets to rinse the sand off ones feet. They both have easy exterior access to boating and bathing paraphernalia… they both have wonderfully large and decorated windows to showcase the lake views. They both have kitchens that open to main living areas, so the cook isn’t removed from the family and guests. I know the two artists didn’t see each other’s plans, yet both knew intuitively what it would take to create perfect summer homes. 

Yes, I’m lucky. 

Are you thinking about that summer home?
Money Crashers: Buying a Second Vacation Home – Pros & Cons, Things to Consider

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chicago-area foreclosure activity jumps 28% in first half

Is This What a Housing Bottom Looks Like?

"Another housing report shows that market activity is up considerably from one year ago but easing off of the levels set by a surge of transactions earlier this year."

Home Sales in June

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 350 thousand. This was down from a revised 382 thousand SAAR in May (revised up from 369 thousand). Sales in March and April were revised up too.
Read more at Calculated Risk

Sidewalk Sale in Highland Park

From the useful to the unique, the shops of Highland Park offer bargains galore during its annual Sidewalk Sale Days.
The 2012 Sidewalk Sale will be held on Thursday, July 26, Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 (Sunday, July 29 is optional). 

June results

"Sales of new homes recorded the biggest drop in more than a year in June, and prices resumed their downward trend, dealing a setback for the budding housing market recovery."

New York Times:
Decline in June Home Sales Reinforces Uneven Recovery


NPR:

Clean homes sell faster

"Q. Is there a particular cleaning regimen we should follow before opening our home to buyers?"


Market Ready - New York Times



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Do Buyers Want in a Home? | Equifax Finance Blog

What Do Buyers Want in a Home? | Equifax Finance Blog

New tax explained

There has been a lot of questions and confusions about the new tax related to Obamacare...
It is explained well in Kiplingers.

New Tax on Windfall Home-Sale Profits

Recycling Event in Glencoe



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Glencoe SE Commuter Parking Lot
Park Avenue and Green Bay Road

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Only the following electronics will be accepted: Computers, DVD Players, DVR/Cable Boxes, Fax Machines, Mobile Phones, Monitors, MP3 Players, PDAs, Peripherals (mice, keyboards, zip drives), Printers, Scanners, Televisions , VHS Players and Video Game Consoles.

This event will also offer document shredding free of charge. Typical documents that can be shredded include medical records, bank statements, personal files, retired tax forms, etc. Staples and paper clips are acceptable, but binders should be removed. Residents will be limited to six banker-sized boxes of documents per event. IDs will be checked for proof of residence.



     

Mom in the basement?

At the bottom?

"The local housing market hit its bottom in the first quarter this year, according to real estate information company Zillow Inc.

In a report today, Zillow says U.S. home values “have reached a bottom,” saying the 0.2 percent year-over-year rise in its Home Value Index was the first increase since 2007.

Across the Chicago region, however, prices were down 5.8 percent in the second quarter compared with last year and are projected to dip another 0.5 percent over the next year."

Luxury Sales are Lagging

The local housing market may be picking up steam, but high-end homes are selling like it's 2010.

Read more in Crains Chicago Business 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Supply down, Prices going up

"Home sellers are staying on the sidelines this summer, which is helping to firm up prices in more U.S. housing markets."

FICO confusion

"What did the housing bust, financial crisis and ensuing wave of foreclosures and layoffs mean for the country's credit scores? Almost nothing, it seems.

The average FICO score—the number most lenders use to gauge a potential borrower's credit-worthiness—stood at 690 in April, according to data released last week. That is roughly in line with both last year's average score and the average in 2007, before the market meltdown and recession wiped out many Americans' wealth."


Interesting read in the Wall Street Journal
Americans' Credit Scores Coast While Their Finances Crumble

Monday, July 16, 2012

Improve energy savings

"Homeowners expect to get a bill from their utility company each month, but opening one for a particularly expensive month can be a real shocker.

If your bills seem consistenty higher than what they should be, it's time to look for hidden energy drains and consider some changes that can make a huge difference."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good for some - bad for others...

"This is a great time to buy a home in many parts of the country. There are signs that the downward price spiral is bottoming out. Mortgage rates are at historic lows.

The next few years could well be remembered as the best opportunity for Americans to buy homes since the postwar baby boom.

But one group's opportunity is another group's problem...."

Wall Street Journal
Yea! Home Prices Hitting Bottom. Now, the Bad News.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

SWANCC Electronics Recycling

One-day Combined Electronics Recycling and Document Destruction Events
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Evanston Township High School
1600 Dodge Avenue
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Saturday, July 28, 2012
Glencoe SE Commuter Parking Lot
Park Avenue and Green Bay Road
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
 
Only the following electronics will be accepted: Computers, DVD Players, DVR/Cable Boxes, Fax Machines, Mobile Phones, Monitors, MP3 Players, PDAs, Peripherals (mice, keyboards, zip drives), Printers, Scanners, Televisions , VHS Players and Video Game Consoles.
View information. 
 
Typical documents that can be shredded include medical records, bank statements, personal files, retired tax forms, etc. Staples and paper clips are acceptable, but binders should be removed. Residents will be limited to six banker-sized boxes of documents per event. IDs will be checked for proof of residency.

Lake Bluff on Today Show

"The village of Lake Bluff will be featured in the fourth hour of NBC's "Today Show" Friday morning (July 13), according to Joanna Rolek, executive director of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce."

Read on in Patch Lake Forest

Housing bust is over?

"The housing market has turned—at last.

The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing "experts" that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing.

Nearly seven years after the housing bubble burst, most indexes of house prices are bending up. "We finally saw some rising home prices," S&P's David Blitzer said a few weeks ago as he reported the first monthly increase in the slow-moving S&P/Case-Shiller house-price data after seven months of declines."

Wall Street Journal
Housing Passes a Milestone

Monday, July 9, 2012

Closer to a bailout?

"The mortgage market appears to finally be stabilizing -- as long as you ignore loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.
Increasingly, FHA-insured loans are falling into foreclosure or serious delinquency, moving in the opposite direction of loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or those held by banks, which are all showing signs of improvement."

CNN

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Color it dated

"When you move into a home, more often than not you'll be inheriting a few (or more) decor flaws and outdated paint jobs from the previous homeowners. While some of these can be fixed -- like swapping out that faux Tiffany lamp for a more modern pendant -- others can prove to be a little more challenging to switch out. And by challenging we're referring to garishly-hued stucco walls, old wallpaper from the 1980s that's still intact and full-on pink bathrooms..."
Huffington Post

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Art Festival in the Garden

Art Festival
Friday – Sunday, July 6 – 8, 2012
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival is returning to the Garden. Guests can stroll and shop among the 100 juried artists on the Esplanade who will be selling photography, paintings, ceramics, cement, metal, fiber, wood, jewelry, and much more, all with a botanic theme or made from plant materials. Artists will give interactive demonstrations and booth chats throughout the weekend.

Common Mistakes with Interior Design

Design Faux Pas: Avoid 7 Common Mistakes in Interior Design
Think of it as "What Not to Wear" for your house.

Read on in Make It Better....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Independence Day on the North Shore

Celebrate the 4th of July 
on the North Shore... 
for schedules of the festivities in each town...

Evanston      Wilmette     Winnetka