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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Thanks to all my clients, family, friends and more for making 2012 a very successful year.  

I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with great people in my job and enjoy every second of my career!!  

Thanks and I look forward to continuing the trend in 2013!!! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Taking the Mystery out of Real Estate Appraisals

Appraisals are meant to help buyers avoid a potentially bad real estate investment. It's meant to help the lender determine how much money they will lend (both purchasing and refinancing).

There are other types of appraisals, too - those that determine the assessed value of your home for property tax purposes or determine how much replacement coverage an insurance company will place on your home. 

Arriving at an appraisal is no easy task. For example some of the major factors have more to do with the neighborhood, such as:

  • Type of area? I.e. Housing development? Acreage? Condo/Townhome?
  • Recent sales prices of other homes in the area
  • The amount of time between when it's listed and when it's sold
  • The distance to schools, shopping, fire and police services
  • the condition of other homes in the neighborhood
Now, for the home itself. After determining if the home is in good condition (or not), here are some of the factors the appraiser will take into account: 
  • Total square footage of living space
  • Other buildings such as garages, storage barns, etc.
  • Age of the home
  • Size of the lot or acreage
  • Number of bedrooms, baths
  • Unusual features (like 2 kitchens)
  • Extras (like fireplaces, sound system, swimming pools, etc.) 

And the final step is putting it all together by comparing your home, to OTHER homes that have sold. Since no two homes are EXACTLY alike, the appraiser makes "adjustments:. If your home has 2 bathrooms, and the home down the street has 2 1/2 baths, the appraiser will make a dollar adjustment because you have 1/2 a bath less than the other property.

That's where local knowledge, understanding of value adjustments, and unbiased judgment by the appraiser makes the difference. And yes, tax assessors basically use the same criteria when determining the value for tax purposes.

The cost of the appraisal varies, depending upon how complex it is. If you have any further questions regarding appraisals or are in the market to buy or sell your home. Please don't hesitate to call me



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Roscoe, Illinois Real Estate Update ~ Homes from $300,000 & Up

Here is a quick snapshot of how things look in the Roscoe/Rockton/South Beloit Real Estate market right now for homes worth $300,000.00 or more

Right now there are 17 homes on the market in the area mentioned above, of those 17 homes all but 3 have been on the market for more than 150 days with-out selling.  

In the past 6 months there have been 6 homes that have sold,  4 of those 6 were on the market less than 50 days. 

Most importantly all but one of the six has sold for $less than $10,000.00 off the list price and not one of the six were foreclosures. 

Bottom line, if you have a home that you think might be worth $300,000.00 or more that is in great shape, shows well and has somewhat of an open concept floor plan, now might be a good time to re-visit the idea of selling.  

I'm happy to assist in any of your real estate needs. Feel free to call me at 815-978-0788 - Thanks, Mark

Friday, March 1, 2013

Is There a Window of Opportunity for Sellers Right Now?


Is There a Window of Opportunity for Sellers Right Now?

by The KCM Crew on February 25, 2013 · 0 comments
One of the most interesting revelations of the latest National Association of Realtors (NAR) Existing Home Sales Report is the shortage of housing inventory being reported throughout much of the country. At the same time, buyer demand is dramatically up over last year.  Here are some key points:
  • Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 4.9 percent to 1.74 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace.
  • This represents the lowest housing supply since April 2005 when it was also 4.2 months.
  • Listed inventory is 25.3 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.2-month supply.
  • Raw unsold inventory is at the lowest level since December 1999 when there were 1.71 million homes on the market.

What Does This Mean if You Are Selling a Home?

The price of anything is determined by supply and demand. According to NAR’s report, inventory is at its lowest level since the real estate boom eight years ago. At the same time, demand is up. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, reveals:
“Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady. In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country.”
Does that mean you should sell your house now? Or should you wait to see if prices increase? Nobody knows for sure. However, some feel that there may be a pent-up inventory about to come to the market because, as prices increase, it will free up some sellers who have been locked in a negative equity situation (where the house is worth less than the remaining mortgage).
The Zillow Negative Equity Forecast predicts:
“The negative equity rate among all homeowners with a mortgage will fall to at least 25.5 percent by the fourth quarter of 2013, freeing more than 999,000 additional homeowners nationwide.”
If these homes come to market, the supply/demand ratio will begin to balance out and lessen the opportunity a seller now has.
Calculated Risk, a well respected blog which analyzes the economy:
“With the low level of inventory, both in absolute numbers and as a month-of-supply, and the recent price increases in some areas, it would seem likely more inventory would come on the market.”
Lawrence Yun agrees:
“We expect a seasonal rise of inventory this spring.”
Yet, Yun is quick to add:
“It may be insufficient to avoid more frequent incidences of multiple bidding and faster-than-normal price growth.”
Probably the most interesting comment on this comes from Calculated Risk:
“I need to think about this…This will be an interesting issue all year.”
This is an issue that is important to every seller. Make sure that you are working with a true professional that is dedicated to keeping current on what matters in the real estate market so he/she may provide you with the best advice possible as this situation becomes clearer.