The Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

It’s something we’re sure at one time or another, you’ve imagined. You take a house, a house that many would see as decrepit and decaying, and turn it into something extraordinary. You’ve seen it done on countless shows on the always entertaining HGTV channel. You might have even had first-hand experience on how a drastic interior renovation can be successful. But no matter what first might have introduced you to this concept, one thing is certain: people’s love and fascination with buying a “fixer-upper” home are not going away any time soon.
But sometimes, a television show, or one person’s successful project, doesn’t necessarily guarantee success for your own “fixer-upper.” Any number of unforeseen complications can arise with any large undertaking, and unfortunately, big complications often translate into big expenses. Many homeowners like you, or those considering purchasing a “fixer-upper” may be asking themselves, “is all that trouble really worth the end result?
Here are the Pro…

Why You Need a Home Inspector on Your Side

Buying a new home is one of the most costly — if not the most costly — purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s a big decision, and the process itself can be stressful for homebuyers. That’s why it’s important to have good, knowledgeable professionals in your corner, like your realtor and a reputable home inspector. Working with a home inspector is kind of like hiring a house doctor to perform a checkup. The home inspector will examine the house from roof to foundation and everywhere in between, paying special attention to major systems such as plumbing, electrical, and heating. Here are a few reasons you should work with a home inspector:
Ensures Safety A quality home inspection can detect potential safety issues lurking in your new home, such as radon, carbon monoxide, and mold. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that releases naturally front the ground, sometimes in dangerous amounts. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking. If too much radon is detected …

Questions Every Homebuyer Should Ask Their REALTOR®

Buying a home can be exciting, overwhelming, and stressful all at once. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have done this before, you’re likely to have at least a few questions for your REALTOR® regarding the process. Here are just a few of the essential questions to ask your REALTOR® before you sign on the dotted line.

How old is the roof?You should ask as many questions as possible about the condition of the home if that information hasn’t already been offered up. Asking about the roof is one of the more important questions to ask. Knowing how old the roof is will give you a good idea of how soon you may need to get it repaired and replaced, and that is something you should factor into your budget if the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.
What’s the history of the house?There are potentially a lot of things that could have happened to a home over the course of many years. Ask your REALTOR® whether the home you’re looking at has ever had a pest infestation, such as termites…

2017 Illinois Sales and What to Expect in 2018

When it comes to the housing market, numbers can be confusing, which is why your trusted REALTOR®, Nancy Hibler of Karges Realty, is here to help you understand what 2017 looked like, and what you can expect in 2018.
What We Saw in 2017 Illinois ended the year on a positive note, ending in positive marks in both sales and median prices. However, the problem we saw all too often was the market being affected by the lack of available inventory. December 2017 home sales showed a slight decrease from the year before, going from 11,803 in December 2016, to 11,488 in December 2017, a 2.7% drop. Even though the amount of sales slightly dropped, the statewide median home price ticked upward, going from $174,000 in December 2016, to  $185,000 in December 2017. This median is a typical market price where half the home sold for more and half sold for less. “The Illinois housing market posted a solid performance in 2017,” said Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI, president of Illinois REALTORS® and broke…

Preparing Your Home to Sell

Whether you're downsizing, a soon-to-be empty nester, or relocating to another state, the task of selling your house can be challenging.  Although it’s a huge undertaking,  strategic and pro-active planning can help speed the process. Here are some tips to help navigate your house selling approach.   

Detach.   Take your personality out of the house. While this can be painful, the sooner you decide on it the better,  giving the potential buyer an opportunity to let in their personality.   Curb Appeal.  Landscaping is the foundation to making a good impression.  You will need to mow the lawn, prune bushes, and weed. Spruce up the front with some potted plants. Prospective buyers need to have an uncluttered view of your lawn before they enter your house.

Clean up the Outside. Don’t forget about the exterior of your house and buyers first impressions.  This is a good time to rent a pressure washer for the sidewalk and to clear the gutters.
Repairs. If your house shows broken windows, le…

Tackling the Age Old Debate of Renting vs. Buying a Home

As young adults move out on their own, they start to look for a place to call home. For some, that means renting, while others are looking to put down more permanent roots. Both options have their merits. If you are trying to decide what is right for you it is important to ask yourself some really important questions. These will help you choose the next logical best step.
Are you planning to stay in the area? For some people the thought of settling down is the furthest thing from their mind. Others are ready to find a place not just to live, but to call home. If you intend to stay in your location for a considerable time, you might want to purchase a home. If you are just not sure where the wind will take you, renting is a better option. Can you grow with a home? Many people purchase their first home assuming it will be a starter home only to stay longer than they originally anticipated because the market was not as kind on their investment as they had hoped. It is important to keep your …

The Best Time to Buy or Sell a Home

You’re thinking about buying or selling a home. Eventually. But you know timing matters when it comes to such an enormous, and potentially life-changing, event. Which begs the question: When IS the best time to buy or sell a house? And does such a moment exist?
If You’re Buying...
The Best Month? January
This is especially true if you are buying in an area with a cold, winter climate. There is less competition from other buyers during this time which leads to sellers being more motivated. However, this month holds true no matter where you’re buying due to the sheer fact that people tend to overspend during the holidays and can become financially insecure. A fact that can work in your favor as a buyer.
The Best Day? The 1st Tuesday Why the first Tuesday? It makes perfect sense when explained. The seller no longer wants the home that he or she is continually writing mortgage checks to pay for. Those payments are usually due at the beginning of the month. Open houses or home viewings predomi…