Category Archives: Chicago Real Estate Statistics

Spring 2019…Off to a Running Start-Chicago Real Estate

Despite the mild wind and cold weather experienced earlier this season, the Chicago real estate market continues on a warm spring 2019 driven path. The median Chicago home price surged with an annual increase of 12.1%. Interest rates remain attractive as the monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central- Chicago region was 3.32 percent in April 2019, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Buyers are already expelling pent-up action and are out in force. Sellers are seeing the benefits of listing NOW, as demand/ideal Chicago market conditions continue to benefit all parties involved. Don’t get left behind…Jump in now!

 

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group, reports that “everything we touch turns to SOLD”. So far this year, Ian and his team have sold over $50 million dollars in real estate units in the city of Chicago. As a recipient of Coldwell Banker’s International President’s Premier award, Ian and his team remain client centered, attentive, sincere, tenacious, and knowledgeable; with an end result of top producing, top performing, high-ranking Chicago residential real estate results. For more information on The Ian Schwartz Group visit HERE and HERE.

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 Reasons Why 2019 IS The Year to Make a Move – Chicago Real Estate Experts

Chicago….If you’ve been on the fence about buying a home, 2019 will be the year to take the plunge! See below on why:

1. Rents will still hurt

Celebrate 2019 with The Ian Schwartz Group – Coldwell Banker 

Rent prices are expected to continue to climb in the new year, which means in most cities like Chicago, buying will be cheaper than renting. Even though mortgages could get more expensive, buying might still be the better deal. Interest rates would need to rise to around 6.5% for the cost of buying to equal that of renting on a national level, according to housing economists at Trulia.

2. Home prices will finally calm down

Real estate values have been on the rise for a while, but are likely to slow their pace next year. Prices are expected to rise 3.5%, according to Zillow’s Chief Economist.

Buyers who’ve been stuck behind the wave of rising prices may finally get the chance to jump in. And that could lead to a flood of buyers, said chief economist at Realtor.com.

“We have the potential for about six million home sales just through the months of April through September; that is basically impossible to do,” he said. But not everyone will be in a position to take advantage. Despite the slowdown, Zillow still expects home values to outpace wage growth, which can make it tough to afford a home, especially for lower-income buyers. Plus, prices in the country’s hottest markets — like San Francisco, Boston and New York City — aren’t expected to pull back as much next year.

3. More homes will hit the market

The slowdown in home prices will prompt more owners to list their homes, Smoke said, giving buyers more choice. “Because of the price appreciation they have experienced, you will have more sellers put homes on the market next year,” he said.

Related: How to buy a home without a 20% down payment

The new home market is also expected to grow in the coming year with builders focusing more on the starter and middle-range homes, which will also boost inventory and make it easier for buyers.

With more homes on the market, bidding wars will become less common and prices could ease even more.

4. Dirt cheap mortgages could disappear

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to begin increasing interest rates soon, which means the window for record low mortgage rates is closing. While rates are expected to go up gradually, higher rates push up borrowing costs and monthly mortgage payments. More details can be found HERE.

With over $50,000,000 sold in 2018, Ian Schwartz with the Ian Schwartz Group is determined to once again surpass expectations in 2019! By providing outstanding, client-driven service, Ian and his team pride themselves on leaving no stone upturned until each and every real estate transaction are done earning trust, loyalty, and friendship of those they assist. See why in 2019…everything we touch turns to SOLD!

 

 

It’s 2019..How to Quickly Sell a Home in Winter Months-Chicago Real Estate

There’s typically a slowdown in shopping activity from Thanksgiving through New Year’s when people are focused on family and friends and holiday celebrations. But that’s not necessarily the end of the world for 2019 sellers.

Those left combing the market during December and January are typically more serious about the home hunt. They might include families relocating for job changes, first-timers ready to leap during a slow market, and those who’ve recently sold a home and need a new place to live.

Some buyers simply thrive in a more relaxed environment, with fewer competitors for top properties and more attention from agents. Holiday season buyers are typically motivated and financially ready.

Hoping for a signed contract in your stocking? Follow the rules of holiday/winter home selling and you could capture the interest of one of these serious buyers:

1. Deck the halls with restraint. Holiday decorations make homes festive and buyers merry. But too many ornaments, wreaths, and garlands can obscure views, make rooms feel smaller and distract buyers from their true purpose: deciding whether or not your home is right for them.

2. Basic principles of home staging take on added importance during the holiday season. They include these tenets: Anything more than five is a collection and should be packed away. Keep tabletop decor to no more than three objects.

3. Think twice before displaying decorations specific to your religious or cultural heritage, since it makes it more difficult for others who don’t share your background or beliefs to envision themselves living in the space.

What, then, is appropriate?…… MORE INFO

Fall 2018 Home Maintenance Checklist-Chicago Real Estate

Is fall home maintenance as important as spring cleaning….absolutely!  The air on a brisk 2018 autumn morning inspires us to dutifully button up the home in preparation for cooler days and longer nights, right? Below is a quick reference guide full of safety inspired tips to sharpen up a Chicago home or any property for that matter:

Give the roof and chimney a look-over
Assuming your roof isn’t too steep, and isn’t covered with slate or tile, you may be able to carefully walk on it on a dry day. Look for broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged flashing and seals around vent pipes and chimneys, and damage to boards along the eaves.  Tip: Also peer down your chimney with a flashlight to make sure no animals have set up house in it. If you can’t get on your roof, perform this inspection with a ladder around the perimeter.

Weather-stripping to doors and windows a must
On doors, make sure the bottom seal is working properly — there are many sweeps, gaskets and thresholds designed to seal this gap. Doors generally need weather-stripping in their jambs as well.    Weather-stripping can be plastic, foam, felt or metal; its job is to seal small gaps, keeping moisture and cold air outside where they belong. Tip:  Look around your doors and windows: Is the weather-stripping torn or missing? This can become expensive if ignored. Adhesive-backed foam pads are easy to install for this purpose. Newer, energy-efficient windows generally don’t require added weather-stripping, but if your windows are older, weather-stripping can keep drafts at bay and

Don’t forget the gutters
they’ll be performing double duty soon with rainstorms and falling leaves—Do a quick visual check to make sure gutters are clear.

Exterior caulk is key
Carefully read manufacturer’s directions to make sure the caulk you buy will work where you plan to use it, and don’t forget to purchase a caulking gun. Early fall is a good time for this task because caulk becomes difficult to apply when the temperature falls. Think of caulk as weather-stripping in a tube. Tip: Any gap on the outside of your home can be a candidate for caulking. Look at transition spots: corners, windows, doors, areas where masonry joins siding, or places where vents and other objects protrude from walls.

Speculate Insulation
This is a good time to check the condition of insulation and see if you need more, especially if you live in an older home. You can purchase unbacked or loose-fill insulation if you are just beefing up what is already there. Tip: If you are adding batted insulation to a spot that has none, remember that the foil-backed side is the vapor barrier, and it must face the heated area.

For example, if you are laying fiberglass insulation in an unfinished attic floor to keep heat in the living room below, you should see pink when you’re done — not foil. If your walls lack insulation, consider having a professional install blown-in insulation foam. The energy savings will probably offset the cost of the procedure in a couple of years.

Ok on wood?
Wood piles attract insect and animal pests, so stack wood away from the house. Wood dries best when it’s protected from rain and has air circulating around it, so under the roof of a wall-less carport would be an ideal wood storage spot. If you have a wood stove, it’s not too early to lay in a supply of firewood. Tip: Though most of us buy whatever’s local, bear in mind that softwoods like fir and cedar burn faster and create hazardous creosote in the chimney, thus requiring more system maintenance and more wood. Hardwoods such as oak, hickory and maple are slow, hot, clean burners.

Remember the dryer vent
This is another one of those tasks that should be on your to-do list every six months. Scoot your clothes dryer away from the wall, unplug it, and vacuum behind it. Tip:  (If it’s a gas dryer, turn off the gas supply to the dryer at the appliance shutoff valve.) Unhook the tube that leads to the vent and clear as much lint from the tube as you can. Grab a shop vacuum, go outside, and tackle the outside dryer vent as well. More information HERE

October 2018 – Top producing, client-driven Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group takes joy in over $50,000,000 sold so far this year; as well as outstanding testimonials such as: “This is where Ian really shines and his mental rigor as a former lawyer came into play. He is a masterful and brilliant negotiator. For this reason alone, it would be a mistake not to hire Ian if you are looking to purchase a new house. Ian does not stop working for you until you have the deal closed, keys in hand and are fully happy. I have the highest regard for his capability and would highly recommend him”.

Find out why Ian and his team say: everything we touch turns to SOLD!

 

Top 10 Winter Moving Tips: Chicago Real Estate

Winter weather can potentially pose some challenges during the moving process, but those who want or need to assume a new residence during cold weather months have options to prevent problems from affecting their relocation. I have helped countless clients with relocation that include buying or selling a home. As a preferred USAA Movers Advantage realtor, I assist by sorting out real estate matters that can easily become an overwelming process.  Keep the following 10 tips in mind before the big day:

1. Make sure your moving paperwork is organized.Create a move file to store information and collect expense receipts.

2. Get  in-touch with your new community.Contact the local chamber of commerce or visitors’ bureau for your new community. See if they can send you a telephone directory and newspapers.

3. Confirm school schedules and enrollment requirements.Arrange to pick up school records or have them sent to the new schools.

4. Protect your items.Obtain appraisals for high-value items. Call USAA at 1-866-398-7537 to obtain coverage for your possessions while in transit or storage. Contact your homeowners insurance company at least 24 hours before you release your belongings to the mover (For USAA, call 1-800-531-8111).

5. Don’t leave your car out.Take care of auto maintenance and repairs. Call USAA at 1-800-531-8722 to get an auto insurance quote for your new location.

6. Switching your utility services. Notify your utilities and local services of disconnect dates. Order utility services for your new address, including Internet, cable, home phone, electricity and natural gas through the Utility Marketplace.

7. Update address info.Get change-of-address cards from your post office. Aside from friends and family, make sure you provide your new address to medical facilities, schools, magazines to which you subscribe, and USAA.

8. Lighten your load..have a garage sale.Donate anything that isn’t sold to charity. (Don’t forget to keep receipts for income tax deductions.)

9. Remember cleaning.Properly dispose of flammables such as aerosol cans, cleaning fluids, paint, ammunition, weed killer and acids. Drain oil and gas from your lawn mower or other power equipment. Clean the refrigerator and the freezer; allow them to dry one or two days with the doors open. Remember to block the doors to keep them from closing if you have small children or pets.

10. Travel well prepared. Separate items you don’t want to pack, such as suitcases, and store in an empty closet. Pack prescriptions and immediate necessities in an easy-to-access suitcase. If you are traveling by air, do not check this bag. If you have children, compile a list of traveling games for the car or plane ride. MORE INFO

Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group looks forward to making 2016 a year of more top performing, high ranking, client focused, accolade producing results. See why he and his team are known for…everything we touch turns to SOLD!

 

5 Reasons the Market Will Rock in 2015-Chicago Real Estate Trends

PredictionsThe Chicago real estate market is expected to build momentum across the board in 2015, mostly because of a forecasted strengthening economy.

Nationally, after a slight slowdown in the market in 2014, housing analysts and economists have high hopes for this new year. Here’s a recap of some of the real estate predictions for 2015:

Rent rises to outpace home-value growth: Rents likely will continue to rise in the new year, and an increase in rental costs in 2015 could outpace annual home-price gains. Expect the rental market to remain a “landlord’s market” in 2015, with vacancy rates expected to stay below 5 percent in the new year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That should lead to demand pushing rents up even higher and keeping them above inflation, notes NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. Apartment rents are projected to increase 4 percent in 2014 and 4.1 percent in 2015.

Stronger economy leads to greater confidence: A stronger economy will likely lead to more demand for housing in 2015. “Overall, the economy finally appears to be gaining enough momentum to help provide the support that the housing market has needed for stronger recovery,” Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, notes in the company’s 2015 Housing Outlook. “The combination of stronger employment growth and especially Millennial job growth makes for solid footing for the real estate market.

Millennial force: Younger professionals are having more luck in the job market, which is expected to help more of them jump into home ownership in the new year. Overall, employment is on the rise, but jobs for Millennials — particularly those aged 25 to 29 — has risen by 3 percent. That’s one percentage point above the nationwide rate. According to some forecasts, Millennials are expected to drive two-thirds of household formations over the next five years.

New-home sales rebound: Single-family new-home starts barely budged in 2014 compared to 2013, and new-home sales remain far from normal levels. But that could finally turn around in 2015. Sales of new homes are expected to rise 25 percent as single-family construction picks up traction in 2015. The National Association of REALTORS® projects single-family housing starts to rise to 820,000 in 2015.

Drop in oil prices will boost housing: Oil prices have plunged 45 percent since June, which could inadvertently provide a lift to the housing market. “Households in the U.S. spend more than $1,800 on energy-related costs annually, and 22 percent of that energy consumption is due to residential real estate,” according to CoreLogic’s 2015 Housing Outlook. “So while the drop in oil prices typically has been linked to a reduction in driving-related expenses, it clearly also reduced energy-related expenses for residential real estate.” More insight seen HERE

January 2015- A new year creates a greater motivation for Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group to exceed top producing, high ranking results seen in 2014 with even better real estate performance this year. With a client centered approach, Ian and his team members Jenna Plakas, Victor Elting, Wendi Gordon Shelist, and Michael Shin combine talented forces to ensure that your overall Chicago real estate experience is outstanding.  If you are a buyer, no stone will be left unturned to find you the perfect home. If you are a seller, Ian and his team will pour their hearts and souls into effectively marketing your home internationally online and in print to have it seen by the largest audience possible. Happy New Year Chicago! #CBRocks!

Stats are In..Buying Beats Renting in 2012:Chicago Real Estate

Until Recently, home ownership may not have been seen as the winning situation compared to renting, but not anymore. With a reduction in home prices, a serious plunge in mortgage rates and a national 15% rise in rents to start off the new year, the scales have tipped to the tried and true home ownership. Currently, the median monthly mortgage payment has fallen to about the level of a median monthly rent check. If mortgage rates keep falling and rents keep rising, which they are on track to do, the equation will tip even further toward buying a home.

Although, much of the decision to purchase Chicago real estate still rests on your personal finances and preferences, your career or family life, or level of financial security.

But if you’re comparing just the cost of owning and renting, buying a house may soon be the better choice…here’s a few reasons why:

1. Renters have to think about broker fees and future rent hikes. Chicago home owners deal with closing costs, maintenance, insurance and property taxes, tax savings from mortgage deductions, gains or losses from home equity, among other factors. In the end, both have to make assumptions about future trends in housing prices and rents.

2. With all those factors in mind, someone who plans on staying put for seven years would come out ahead by about $9,000 if they bought a median-priced Chicago home rather than being a tenant in non-fixed price rental. Projections show that rents keep rising by about 3 percent a year and that house prices should stay flat in 2012 and 2013 and begin rising in 2014 at about 3 percent a year.

See for yourself, see the buy vs rent calculator link HERE and more information on the statistics HERE.

The Skinny on Appraisals in 2012-Chicago Real Estate

Many have asked me what are appraisals and how do they work regarding buying or selling a home.  Well, the definition of an appraisal is: the process of valuing real property. The value usually sought is the property’s Market Value. Appraisals are needed because compared to, say, corporate stock, real estate transactions can occur infrequently. Not only that, but every property is different from the next, a factor that doesn’t affect assets like corporate stock. Furthermore, all properties differ from each other in their location – which is an important factor in their value.

So let’s jump to a real-life scenario..imagine that you’ve found a home you really love. You and the seller have come to terms on a fair market value. You’ve had the property inspected from top to bottom and reviewed all of the seller’s disclosures. You’ve submitted every last piece of financial data to your mortgage broker, and you’re already picking out new paint colors because you think it’s a done deal.

Then, you get an unexpected call from your mortgage broker, saying the property didn’t appraise at or even near the fair market value. This turn of events could easily scare a first-time buyer from going through with the purchase. For a more experienced buyer or seller, it becomes, at a minimum, a major kink in the process.

What Buyers and Sellers can do:

Buyers: Most banks have a process by which you can dispute an appraisal if it comes to that. This generally requires the buyer or their agent to supply other comparable sales and explanations as to why they think the appraiser’s value is off. The review takes some time and can go either way. If it fails, you may or may not have options. The other options:

  • If both parties still want to move ahead, the best plan is to extend all time frames and switch to a new lender.
  • Another option is to reduce the purchase price, if both parties agree.
  • The final option, depending on the deal, is for the buyer to bring more money to close.

It makes the most sense for all parties to work together to keep the deal going.

Sellers:If you’re a seller or a listing agent and you get a call from an appraiser to set up the appraisal appointment and they have an out-of-town area code, that might be a red flag. Ask them on the phone if they’re familiar with the area, if they’re a member of the local MLS, and how many appraisals they’ve done in the area in the past six months. If you feel the appraiser isn’t experienced, you can ask for another.

Also, come to the appraisal prepped with knowledge of recent comparable sales.  If you, as the seller or listing agent, are active in the local market, you can shed light on certain comparable sales for the appraiser. The listing agent and the seller have likely been physically inside all of the most recent sales, while the appraiser has not. You might point out that one comp didn’t have a…..CONTINUED

The Chicago Real Estate Market is Changing-Don’t Miss Out!

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday that home prices increased in August from July in 10 of the 20 cities tracked. That was the fifth consecutive month that at least half of the cities in the survey showed monthly gains.The biggest price increases were in Washington, Chicago and Detroit. The greatest declines were in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

The August figures provide proof that some areas may have bottomed out and could be turning around, said David M. Blitzer, chairman of S.& P.’s index committee. He noted that cities in the MidwestChicago, Detroit and Minneapolis — had shown some strength since May. In Minneapolis and Chicago, fewer homes are being put on sale, leading to..MORE INFO

Don’t Overlook Distressed Properties?-Chicago Real Estate Trends

Chicago Housing Market News: September 2011

Thinking of buying a distressed property? It’s very different than a standard real-estate transaction. Here are some
pointers:

  • Distressed-property listings can be obtained from local real-estate agents, classified ads and Websites such as RealtyTrac.com, Foreclosure.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com,as well as bank Web sites.
  • Work with experienced real-estate agents and brokers with special training in foreclosures and short sales.
  • Get pre-approved by a lender, or certify that you have sufficient cash available, before bidding onproperties. Auction buyers must be prepared to put down a cash deposit of 5 to 10% cash and pay the balance within 30 days in many states—and in some states,
    on the same day.

  • Get a thorough inspection by a qualified professional inspector or home-inspection engineer prior to auction or sale.
  • Arrange for a thorough title search and title insurance.
  • Be prepared for a long wait to hear back from the bank on a short sale, but be prepared to move quickly on a foreclosure; banks often set strict timetables on foreclosures.
  • First-time buyers with minimal cash and little time or aptitude for repairs probably should avoid foreclosures, and inexperienced purchasers should avoid auctions. MORE INFO