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Great article in today’s Trib about Shodeen’s very recent sale of a great apartment complex in Geneva.  Could it be that Shodeen sees the market turning around? Maybe he thinks the halcyon days of renters galore are coming to an end and the joys of home ownership are going to be enjoyed by more Americans in the very near future?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/batavia_geneva_st_charles/community/chi-ugc-article-sale-on-brittany-court-apartments-in-geneva-2013-02-28,0,7908667.story

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There could be a few first time home buyers in here that need a great Realtor!

I am just going to tell myself that the Shodeen’s did not call on me to list these buildings because they know my true passion is single family homes in Geneva, in case you are wondering!

THINK SOLD!

Teresa

 

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Greetings to all! This post has been a LONG time coming. In 2012, I sold almost $9 million in homes! Some were my listings (YAY!!) and some were sales to buyers. All in all, I did keep a log of all the homes I showed in 2012, and the grand total was 169 homes! That’s a LOT of inventory. As you can imagine, I get to see a lot of “interesting” stuff. Some illegal, some unusual, some just plain downright vile. 

It never ceases to amaze me, when I am out showing property, how some Realtors have presented their listings for the public to see. Even if the seller is distressed or has picked up in the middle of the night and left, there are certain things a Realtor can do when preparing a property to go into the MLS. Number ONE on that list is… wait for it…. TAKE DECENT PHOTOS. Come on people! We all know that people love to look at homes online. Take a look at the following photos and let me know if you think the listing agent has represented their seller’s best interests…. I’ll be looking forward to your comments!( Important to note before viewing: I copied and pasted these photos straight from the MLS, I didn’t take them with my phone or camera. This is how they are truly presented online for everyone in the world to see.) Let me know which is your favorite!

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Perfect for someone with a really bad neck perhaps?

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You won’t see this one on Pinterest.

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I guess if I was the listing agent I would have moved the garbage cans before I snapped this shot. Just sayin.

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I love this one! It’s so cool to leave the toilet seat up so that buyers can see the inside of the toilet. Also cool to make sure you are in the photo that you take!

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The listing agent billed this one as “farm style.” I disagree.

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Lazy listing agent couldn’t even move the BIKE out of the room? Come on.

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You are kidding me. In 23 years of selling homes, I have never had a buyer tell me they are looking for a home with a bucket and a lot of floor cleaning supplies. If someone does tell me that this year I will know right where to go with them.

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I would not recommend this organization strategy

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This one might work if the buyer is totally into St. Patrick’s day? Or maybe is a leprechaun?

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Again, a listing agent who would actually like to SELL this property could have tidied up a little before the photos were shot.

Leave your comment below to let me know which one is the biggest loser! Until next time,

THINK SOLD!

Teresa

 

 

 

 

 

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Downtown Geneva’s NUMBER 1 real estate office for 2011 AND 2012!! Stone Tower Properties was recently named as one of 2012’s highest producing offices in Kane County!

Happy 2013 to all! After a crazy year of putting a team together at the office, growing my business, putting out fires every single day in the real estate world, being a mom to three busy kids and a wife to my husband, I have re-committed myself to getting back to my blog. Expect to read more about the Geneva real-estate market, its’ trials & tribulations, an occasional rant, and, I suppose, a few observations perhaps. It is my hope that you will subscribe to this blog, share it with others and enjoy it.

We local Realtors have high hopes for a good year coming up. 2012 left us winded and out of breath, for good reason. The market seemed to be busier for all. There were 334 single family Geneva homes closed through the MLS in 2012. All said and told, it amounted to exactly $112,637,470 in home sales. When you pause for a moment to think of all of the folks that are associated with a real estate transaction (attorneys, home inspectors, radon testers, loan officers, Realtors, moving companies, utility companies, school districts, salesmen from Lowes & Home Depot, relocation companies) you will soon see that a busy real estate market can really stimulate a local economy.

After taking a few days to analyze the data from the sale of Geneva homes in 2012, here’s what I have to offer up in the way of analysis:

  • Out of 334 sales of single family homes, 77 were distressed sales               (distressed= court ordered, foreclosures, or short sales)  77 out of 334 equals 23%!! YIKES!! That number makes me sad and gives me a stomach-ache. Too many of our neighbors and fellow community members are losing their homes, still.
  • The lowest priced home that closed in Geneva sold for $54,100
  • The highest priced closing in Geneva was $850,000
  • 57 homes closed for less than $200,000! There were some pretty great bargains in that category.(If you are in the market for an income property or a small rental, now would be the time to get off the fence and get your checkbook out!)
  • As of 7 pm on January 7, there are 125 active properties on the market in Geneva. The lowest price on the market at this time is $100,000. The highest price on the market is $1,250,000.

As far as the year went, it was rough. There are still hiccups in the short-sale process. That system is getting better each month, but it’s still not good. The foreclosure process is still a horrific scare for any homeowner going through it. I have seen senior citizens go through it, investors go through it, and young families go through it. In a word, it is awful. There’s no more to say.

So, there it is, in a nutshell. If you are in need of more in-depth information on our market, please contact me. I am passionate about real estate in Geneva, and I can guarantee that there are very few out there who have seen as much inventory as I have. I’m happy to share my knowledge. Stay tuned in the upcoming days for Teresa’s “Biggest Loser” stories from 2012, the “Mysterious Ways of Realtor Tour Days”, and the “Top 10 BEST WAYS TO NOT SELL YOUR HOME.”

Last, but not least, I will be revealing the identity of Geneva’s Top Realtor for 2012…feel free to leave your guess below!

Until next time,

THINK SOLD!
Teresa Keenan

630-917-2717

When I got into real estate, 22+ years ago, the old-timers would always tell me, “the first offer you get on a listing will usually be the best offer.”  In reality, I think what they meant to tell me was that the first offer would likely come from the most interested buyer.  Right now, in this incredibly uncertain market, I believe that old adage to be truer than true!

There is so much inventory out there right now. Each seller needs to carefully weigh the benefit of having a SOLD home vs. trying to wait on the next buyer. Guess what? None of us truly knows when the next buyer, with money, might show up! Within the last 6 months I had a listing that was listed at $398K. It was vacant and the seller had moved on and purchased another home. SO… this seller was paying two mortgages. We had a buyer who brought a low offer and eventually he came up to a price of $360K. I encouraged my seller to take it!! It was fall, winter was around the corner, and there were other homes in the subdivision that were available. If we didn’t take this joker, one of the other sellers would. And they did! My seller turned down the offer, the buyer bought the home down the street for way less money, and whammo! We had another comp in the neighborhood that was lower in price than ours was!! An appraisal nightmare….The seller ended up carrying that house all winter and closing on it in March, for $332,500!! Another compelling tale would be this one: I saw a home get re-listed in the MLS today for $829,000. This is a property that has been on the market off and on since November of 2007!!! YEP! It started out at an exceptionally unrealistic price of $1,900,000. When the market started its’ record setting downward spiral, the price started dropping. At some point, it went into foreclosure. When I wrote an offer on it over 18 months ago, my client offered $900,000!!!! At that time it was in “short sale” status and some very intelligent banker made the executive decision not to take our offer. (I forgot to mention here that the home had LIVE termites in it, and the basement was leaking like a sieve all 3 times my buyer looked at it!) So, here it is, over a year and a half later, listed for $829,900. When I quickly add up the carrying costs of that particular property, it just blows my mind. The bank had to pay the real estate taxes for the last couple years, utility bills to keep pipes from bursting, attorney fees to foreclose etc, etc, etc. I am guessing that Mr. Banker now wishes he had taken our offer and ran far, far away with it in order to stop the bleeding.

So now that I am an “old timer,” I find myself counseling the agents in my office, and my sellers, on the merits of getting an offer on a listing. Buyers just are not making emotional purchases anymore! They want to have bragging rights, and they have more choices than ever before. If your home is on the market, and you are fortunate enough to have a buyer who has picked your home out of the plethora of choices in front of him, you better weigh the pros and cons very carefully. It could be months before you see another offer on your property. Call me if you are in a jam and I will give you my sound advice!

don't let this happen to you.....

Until next time,

THINK SOLD!
Teresa

If ONLY I could have one dollar for each time I am asked that question…. if that were truly the case, I would be posting this blog on a Macbook, from a sunny room overlooking the shores of the Yellowstone River in Montana.  However, that is NOT the case, so I have accepted that fact and moved on from a temporary (but ever so recurring) little dream.

Yellowstone River in Gardiner, Montana! Husband fly fishes while wife chases kids.

Yellowstone trip, August 2008..The husband gets to fly-fish while I wrangle the children.... lucky!

Keeping track of the numbers this year has been very humbling. The volume is down, as are property values in many, many neighborhoods. By this point in 2010, there had been 87 closings for detached homes in Geneva. So far for 2011, we have had 65 closings in total in all of Geneva. Out of the 65 homes that have closed, 20% have been distressed sales (Realtor lingo for “foreclosed” or “short sales”) NOT GOOD!

The other interesting statistic that I pulled from the chart below is this: 82% of the closings that have occurred so far this year have been under the $417,000 limit. This is an important figure ($417,000) because it happens to be the maximum FHA loan that can be obtained in Kane County. FHA loans do not require 10% down, or 20% down, so they are still achievable for most buyers. SO…. that’s what many buyers will get.  Not to overgeneralize, because there are still some buyers out there who will obtain conventional financing, but if I were to comb through the MLS and look at the financing code on every one of the closings for this year, I believe a vast majority of them would be FHA buyers.

I have included a table which breaks down the price ranges and statistics for you real-estate junkies out there. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about anything in your neighborhood… I’d be happy to share my observations and my experiences. If you leave a question or comment below, I will be sure to respond!

As always, please email me if there is anyone you know who might be inclined to make a move to, or from, Geneva! Enjoy the day,

THINK SOLD!

Teresa Keenan

I am thinking that my relationship with my new buyer is strained, to put it very kindly….. I have neither the patience, nor the intestinal fortitude, to spend another day with this joker…..PLEASE, leave a comment if you believe (as he does) that the sign of a very well maintained home is indicated by the ability to graze your fingers along the top of each doorway, in every home, and find no dust when you check your fingertips….

image by Now and Zen Photography

For once, this post is not real-estate related in any way, shape, or form! Since we have finished the birthday season in the Keenan household (all three of our kids have their birthdays within a 3 week span!!) I thought I would take a few observations from my life as a parent and lay them out here, for those of you who ask me all the time, “how do you do it?”

Over the last 5+ years of having a baby with Down Syndrome in our family, we have learned quite a few things! About Down Syndrome, of course, but also about human nature, parenting, probability & statistics, and faith. Here is my top 10 list for those of you who are interested:

1. People say stupid things. Period. This includes physicians. If you are unable to forgive and forget, you will be miserable. And lonely. I guess this can apply to all situations in life, not just parenting a differently-abled child!

2. The word “RETARD” takes on a whole new (very ugly) meaning. It should only be used when talking about the slow growth of seeds perhaps… (“Those sunflower seeds seem to have had their growth retarded for some reason”…) You should do whatever is in your power to eliminate that word from your vocabulary, and encourage your kids to do the same. It’s offensive. And intellectually backwards. And small-minded. And hurtful. And discriminating. And harsh. And over-used. And…. well, you get the picture.

3. “Different” shouldn’t mean something “bad” or something “good”…. it just means that something is not the “same” as something else. Our family embraces “different” and it works out for us. It gives us a greater appreciation for things that might go unnoticed by many. It also helps us to be more compassionate, and it REALLY assists with the, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” mentality! Imagine a world where everyone was the same… NO THANKS.

4. For those 80%+ folks in  the world who choose to terminate a pregnancy based upon a prenatal diagnosis of having a Down Syndrome baby on board, YOU MISSED OUT!

5. Some folks are luckier than others! We get that… we feel as if we are the luckiest humans!! Our little Myles is so healthy and so high functioning. He is the darling of the neighborhood and the scamp of the cul-de-sac all at the same time. He can brighten your day or drive you to distraction,exactly like his siblings before him did. We know not everyone is as lucky as we are. We have met parents whose children arrive with an extra chromosome and plenty of other worries as well. We are eternally thankful that we have been blessed with this tiny boy!

6. If you have a baby when you are 40, you should expect to be WORN OUT…. all the time.

7. People will laugh at your kid! You should laugh loudest, and first, so that they know it’s okay!! Laughter is still the best medicine. Surround yourself with the people  you trust to carry you through your life, the people you know who will laugh along with you. Without the core group of friends that we have had for many, many years, we would not have made it. That is the honest truth. Those are the people who lift us up, who celebrate with us, and who listen to us when the days are long and complicated. They are the Godparents, the Grandparents, the aunts,  the namesakes and the keepers of the gates. The fiercest protectors and the loyal compadres. Our lifelines.

8. Prepare to be delighted by the milestones along the way. I don’t know why the expectations for these kids are not higher, because certainly they can (and do!) achieve.  My husband and I decided early on, when I was pregnant with Myles, that we were not going to waste precious time worrying about what he would NOT be able to do… We decided to invest our energy into giving him every opportunity we could to have a great life, and to celebrate his accomplishments accordingly. Myles can work an Ipad, turn on Dora on the television, put on his shoes, make a smoothie almost entirely by himself, and open every door in our home and throughout our community and run like hell once he opens it! He has mastered the art of doing hopscotch with the neighborhood kids, and he lives to see us toss a Frisbee into the tree! Don’t even try to butter his bagel at breakfast or you will hear some feedback immediately!

9. Don’t let someone hold your kid back because there is a diagnosis on his “file”….. period. We expect our kids to work hard and be accountable like everyone else. If there is someone on your child’s team(doctor, educator, neighbor…) who does not have those same expectations, set them straight and get them on board. Pave the way.

10. We love extra chromosomes!! What were we so scared of ? We have been blessed beyond belief by all three of our kids. Not one of them is like the other two, and we love that. IT’S DIFFERENT!!!

That’s it from the pulpit today~I’m better at writing about real estate than I am at writing about Down Syndrome. Obviously. Enjoy your day today!

THINK SOLD!

Teresa