A Local Housing Turnaround? Q & A with a Pro

Inspired by the recent appraisal of my home for a refinance, I was curious what is going on in the local housing market. If you’re like me, you really haven’t wanted to know your specific home value and how much equity you have lost the past few years as your house value has plummeted.

With that in mind, I have sought out one the very best realtors in the area, Kathy Quaid, of Quaid & Rooney.  Kathy worked for me back in the days when her two kids were in grade school.  She ventured off into real estate and hit the ground running.  Over the past several years, Kathy has become an expert in housing and has worked with a wide range of home prices in DuPage County.  I thought a Q&A format would work best and you can see Kathy’s answers to my questions below.

Q. Currently how would you rate the housing market in Glen Ellyn and Wheaton?

 These 2 communities are experiencing “the perfect storm” of real estate.  The demand is up, supply is down and interest rates are at a historical low.  Although many may think this is great news for buyers, this also benefits sellers as well.  Low inventory usually equates to less days on the market.
Glen Ellyn has experienced an increase in volume of 3% over the last 12 months.  Average Sale Price decreased 3% over the last 12 months.
Wheaton has experienced an increase in volume of 10% over the last 12 months.  Average Sale Price decreased 5% over the last 12 months. 

The average sale price in GE for the last 12 months was $413,999 and for Wheaton $401,554.

Q. If I am thinking of putting my house on the market in Spring 2013 what steps should I be taking?

  Contact an agent, may I suggest Quaid & Rooney, and have them do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your home.  The price may change between now and next spring, but it will give you the general idea of the price of your home.  Ask the agent if there is anything that should be done to the house to improve its marketability.  Do NOT assume that you should do things without asking.  Sadly, we have gone into homes that the seller has spent money needlessly on things that were not going to make a difference with today’s buyers.  Also, ask the agent what color to paint if painting is needed.  One of the most difficult things for people to do is change their house.  The way you LIVE in your house is not the way you SELL your house.  A good agent will help you through this process.

Q. How is the inventory of $1,000,000+ homes?

 VERY LOW!  Just had an agent from the North Shore call to tell me the inventory is so slim her buyer is coming this way and there is very little here as well.

I recently refinanced my home mortgage and was surprised that I received the good appraisal I got allowing me to do it.

Q.  How are appraisals holding up compared to home prices?

  We have not had a bad appraisal. Agents are not overpricing the homes.  We are very aggressive with our pricing and have plenty of backup comps to support our prices.  It is the agent’s job to make sure they are realistic in pricing.  We have turned down listings if the seller is unrealistic in their price.  We don’t want to get a contract on a home and have it fall apart because the appraiser cannot find comps.

Q. What about buying foreclosed properties around here? Is that something investors should consider?

If you want to dip your toes in the pool of property investing then Now Is The Time!  Get yourself an agent that will stay on top of those properties for you.  There have been some successful flips lately, but the best thing right now is to buy and rent these properties out. Very high demand for rentals right now.

As I have written previously, this is a great time to refinance.  While I do not look at a home as an investment, there are some “once in a lifetime” opportunities to buy investment real estate.  It may also be a great time to shop for a new home.  Kathy is a terrific person, realtor and resource.


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