As we continue to adapt to this sudden market shift towards a low-inventory seller’s market, what we’re seeing more of is a sort of home buyer depression. I predicted this would happen in early spring as we saw what conditions were shaping up to be. As multiple offers become the norm and homes continue to sell within days of listing, more buyers are losing out on their perfect home. Eventually this leads to feelings of anger and depression that will drive buyers out of the market. One of our biggest concerns is combating this situation. Sometimes it’s unavoidable but in many cases, buyer depression and it’s cause – buyers losing out on homes – can be countered. Lets take a look at some of the reasons why this is happening and some of the steps we can take to prevent it.
1. Don’t lose your favorite homes. Sounds simple, right? The best way to prevent the problem is to avoid it in the first place. Yet we still have lots of buyers and agents out there contributing to the problem. Buyers not getting their ducks in a line for making an offer and buyer’s agents allowing their buyers to slack and still go see homes. I’ll tell you this straight: the market we’re in won’t be kind with the lazy or disorganized. Both buyers and agents need to be on top of their game – one day can make the difference between competing or being left out of the race. If you’re not in a position to see homes and get offers on the table within 24 hours of the house hitting the market, you’re with the wrong agent or are doing the wrong things (which also means you’re with the wrong agent).
In a surprise announcement just moments ago, Chuck Dinolfo and Ruta Susinskas, the owners of the Century 21 Pro-Team franchise, announced the company will be merging with the Century 21 Affiliated franchise to form a new LLC called Century 21 Affiliated Pro-Team. This merger is effective March 1st and effectively joins two of the largest Century 21 franchises under one roof. Century 21 Pro-Team has 8 offices throughout the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago and Century 21 Affiliated has 39 offices throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. This will be the largest merger of franchises ever in the Century 21 system – both are currently ranked in the top 20 Century 21 franchises nationally. Post merger, the new Century 21 Affiliated Pro-Team is expected to become the largest Century 21 franchise worldwide numbering over 50 offices, 1,000 agents and over $1 Billion (yes, Billion) in sales!
Century 21 agents with both the Affiliated and Pro-Team franchises are reacting with extreme optimism and excitement about the merger. Consolidation of two companies of this stature should bring about increased opportunities for all member agents. In many ways, real estate is very local – each agent participates in their own market niche. However, over the last few years, there has been an ever-growing trend of franchises consolidating and merging to form larger companies.
2012 was an excellent year for my business – in fact, one of my best years to date. I was able to add some exciting milestones and accomplishments to my curriculum vitae that I would like to share with you. The year started with me adding a new professional designation to my repertoire. I was able to receive training as an Accredited Distressed Property Representative and successfully passed a very rigorous test to be able to claim this designation. The training I received gave me greater understanding and tools to assist my buyers and sellers with foreclosures, short sales and all types of distressed property.
In the early part of 2012 I submitted an article about online marketing to Realtor Magazine, a publication for members of the National Association of Realtors. I’m happy to report that my article was accepted and published in the July/August issue and was potentially read by nearly a million of my fellow Realtors around the world. Since its publication, I have been contacted by many of my peers and have had the opportunity to discuss online marketing concepts and ideas.
Beautiful Lakewood Creek West Home – Ultra Clean and Move-in Ready
The time is right – we may have officially hit bottom in this market and buyers are out in force this spring. Because of this, inventory is way down in popular areas such as Lakewood Creek West. If you haven’t been out to look at homes, be prepared for less selection and more competition. For this reason, the good homes go fast. I feel this home located at 2804 Heather Lane is one of the ones that will go fast. Located south of Rt. 30 in Montgomery, this two-story home has a lot of positives. Fist, it’s priced extremely well. Second, it’s a traditional sale so no waiting for a lengthy short sale approval on this one. Finally, this is one of the cleanest homes you’ll ever encounter. It’s been lovingly maintained by its current owners and is absolutely move-in ready. The home feeds into the award-winning Oswego School District 308 and is walking distance from the elementary as well as the nearby park, clubhouse and pool.
This home is the popular Essex “C” model with some premium upgrades. The large family room on the back of the home includes vaulted ceilings and two skylights. The large kitchen features a pantry closet and all appliances are included. The laundry is located on the first floor just across from the basement door and 2804 Heather also includes both washer and dryer. There is a large formal dining room just off of the kitchen and you’ll also appreciate the large living room located just off of the foyer.
Montgomery Foreclosure – Bank Owned Townhome
It’s fairly common to find foreclosures in fair to good condition in this market, but only rarely will you find one this good. This beautiful townhome actually puts many regular traditional sales to shame with both condition and price. Loaced in Silver Springs – a community of attached homes located just north of Rt. 30 in Montgomery. This community is also a part of the much larger Fairfield Way subdivision that includes several beautiful parks, hiking/biking paths and several large stocked ponds. This townhome at 1944 Candlelight Circle feeds into the very popular Yorkville Community School District 115. Here are a few of the features that stand out about this beautiful townhome:
You’ll really love the location of this townhome. It’s an end unit, so you only have neighbors on one side and this particular home is located along the pond. You can enjoy beautiful water views from your private patio and the sun setting over the nearby fields is particularly picturesque. Visitors to this property are immediately impressed with the peaceful seclusion – the loudest sounds from your back yard are the chirping of song birds. The townhome is quite large – at 1688 square feet, it’s one of the largest models in Silver Springs. Inside, one of the top features is the large kitchen. With lots of cabinet and counter space, you’ll never run out of room. If you’ve seen foreclosures and short sales with either missing, trashed or basic appliances, you’re in for a treat. 1944 Candlelight Circle includes a high-end stainless steel oven, microwave and refrigerator. There is also a large breakfast room as well as a separate formal dining room with views of the back patio and pond.
Beautiful Oakhurst Home – Prime Location
It’s no secret that one of the most popular communities on the far east side of Aurora is the large Oakhurst subdivision near the intersection of Eola and McCoy. For years, families have been drawn to the large, well-built homes and acclaimed IPSD 204 schools. Oakhurst was one of the first large, master-planned communities in the area. It was designed with features such as an internal Elementary School and a central clubhouse, pool and tennis courts – somewhat common in subdivisions today but very forward-thinking at the time. The location of the subdivision is ideal – just minutes from Waubonsie Valley High School, a Metra station and the Fox Valley Mall. Honestly, if there is one negative about Oakhurst it’s that many of the homes were built in the early 1990’s and have systems like roofs, siding and windows that are reaching replacement age. Today, I’m featuring a brand new listing in Oakhurst that not only has an ideal location and size but also a new roof, siding and windows. 63 Westmoor Court is a wonderful single-owner home on a cul-de-sac lot. Here are just a few of the things that make this home great:
Perhaps one of the best features of this home is the ideal location and lot. I can’t say enough about how beautiful the back yard is on this home. Features include over 11,000 square feet, mature landscaping including lilacs and perennials and a large storage shed. This lot backs to a park and nearby pond so there are no back neighbors. There’s a baseball field, playground and hiking paths right outside your fence. You can enjoy this beautiful space from a large 20×18 raised deck with pergola that features magnificent water views of the nearby pond. Inside, this is a large home – nearly 2200 square feet by assessor’s records but there’s actually much more living space. The finished lookout basement includes an office, workshop and the ultimate man cave. You’ll find a rec room with space for a pool table, a media room for movies and a full bar.
Luxury Townhome – District 204 Schools
There are a few new townhome communities that have been recently constructed on the far east side of Aurora. One of the most beautiful and sought-after is The Plaza on New York located just a block west of Rt. 59 on New York. Just visit this community and you’ll see what attracts so many buyers – elegant landscaping and hardscape abound in this subdivision – the wrought-iron fences and dramatic brick-and-cedar exteriors of the townhomes lend a particular high-end feel to this beautiful community. Perhaps one of the best features of The Plaza on New York is the location – just steps away from the Fox Valley Mall – you can easily walk to premier shopping and dining destinations. An extensive system of buses are available that lead to many different locales including the Eola metra station. Another aspect of this community that is extremely popular with buyers is the excellent District 204 schools that this townhome feeds into including the very popular May Watts Elementary. Lets talk about some of the most popular features found in this townhome:
When you walk up to 417 Plaza Place, the striking exterior and wrought-iron fence accents the exterior. When you step into the townhome, you’ll immediately notice the great flow between the rooms. The family room, dining room and kitchen are all independent rooms but connected enough so that people in any one room can easily interact with people in the others. The kitchen in this townhome is a true gourmand’s delight. It’s everything a kitchen should be – beautiful cherry cabinets, full granite countertops and all-stainless steel appliances. It also features a corner sink and breakfast bar. There is also a large eating area perfect for a kitchen table and sliding doors lead out to the spacious, raised rear deck.
Beautiful High-end Townhome With First-Floor Master Suite
On Aurora’s far west side, there are several subdivisions that have been built since 2000 that include both homes and townhomes with modern and stylish appointments. Perhaps one of the prime examples is Westwind Oaks near Orchard Road and Indian Trail. This small subdivision of perhaps 50 townhomes is well-known for featuring some of the most beautiful properties in the area. 1288 Oakleaf is an outstanding example of everything Westwind Oaks has to offer. Start with an ideal location just minutes to I-88 – this property is also located right next to the popular Vaughan Athletic Center so a quick 2 minute walk through a nature preserve gives you access to high-quality strength and conditioning equipment, an aquatic center, track, basketball courts and much more. The subdivision features an excellent community where the residents know each other and hosts several free events each year for residents. 1288 Oakleaf is actually one of only a few ground-level townhomes with a first-floor master bedroom. Located in the perfect spot, the property backs to a large pond and nature preserve. You can’t get better than this at this price. Lets talk about some of the most popular features found in this townhome:
Perhaps the most striking feature of 1288 Oakleaf is the exterior. With 3/4 brick construction, the exterior incorporates natural stone and an impressive elevation to make the home particularly appealing from the curb. The entry features a small courtyard with garden and this home also includes a private patio with views of the pond and preserve. When you enter the home, one of the first things you come to is the kitchen. The large kitchen includes premium maple cabinets and a large center island with breakfast bar. All appliances stay with the home and include refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and above-the-range microwave. The kitchen leads directly into the dining room. With enough room for even the largest dining room table, a bay window also leads out to the private patio.
Gorgeous Executive Home Backs to Nature Preserves
Many of today’s high-end homebuyers are looking for fairly similar features – a larger home with well-appointed interior in a location that’s both near everything yet provides privacy and seclusion. Many homes and areas provide one or a few of these but rarely all. One community that does is Verona Ridge Subdivision on the far west side of Aurora. These semi-custom homes built by Orleans Builders are located in the perfect area – with easy access to I-88 and prime shopping destinations. Yet the community is tucked back in acres of nature preserves. A gentle stream winds its way through the community and hiking trails crisscross the area and interconnect with miles of other nature trails. If this sounds like a setting you appreciate, continue reading to learn more about one of my newest listings at 833 Verona Ridge Drive.
When you pull up to 833 Verona Ridge Drive, the first thing that strikes you is the ideal location – on a cul-de-sac and just a couple minutes walk to the nearby Orchard Valley Golf Course. The home is located up on a small rise that overlooks the tranquil nature preserves it backs to. The way the home sits and the fact that there are no back neighbors gives this home an overall feeling of peace and seclusion. The exterior of 833 Verona Ridge is quite striking with a beautiful upgraded elevation and front porch. The 3-car garage is a side-load so the front of the home looks tidy. The home sits on nearly a half-acre lot – perhaps one of the best in the entire community. In the back, the home features a raised cedar deck and a walk-out basement.
Completely Updated Ranch Home Near Downtown Geneva
If you’re shopping for an absolutely move-in ready home in an ideal location in the Tri-Cities area, look no further. This stunning ranch home has been completely redone and is truely something special. I know you’ve seen re-habs in the past and have been dissappointed with cut corners and cheap materials – that’s not the case here. The seller has really gone the distance to provide the next owner with a superior living experience. Plus a lot of work has been done “under the hood” to make sure this property is going to be worry-free. One of the big draws of this home is, of course, the location. Within walking distance of Downtown Geneva makes this property perfect for owners that enjoy the scenic downtown and all the festivals that occur throughout the year. Combine this with a large lot with mature landscaping on a quiet street that’s set back in the woods and you’ve got an absolutly ideal location.
I’m sure when you look at a home, one of the most important things is the kitchen. Having a kitchen with enough space and in a location that allows you to cook and entertain at the same time are features that many buyers prize in a home. This kitchen has been completely re-designed with this in mind. Start with new high-end cabinets with built-in soft-close technology and tons of storage space. Next, this home has been furnished with brand new stainless steel appliances and here’s another area where this home really stands out. Where most rehabbed homes provide you basic-model appliances, the seller has really gone the distance to provide high-end appliances. The oven is a higher-end model with cast iron burners and the side-by-side refrigerator/freezer includes a built-in icemaker and water dispenser. You’ll also find full granite countertops with a built-in breakfast bar and stylish glass tile backsplash. Where this home exceeds expectations is in the little details – for example, the under-cabinet lighting system. This all-new kitchen is the centerpiece of the home and ties in perfectly with the dining room and a pass-through allows you to entertain guests in the family room while you prepare meals.