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Archive for January, 2008

Monday morning market…….

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Well….. Monday morning market on Tuesday afternoon is going to have to be good enough this week……. It’s been a crazy January in the Stone Tower Properties office in Geneva! It is this Realtor’s honest opinion that the buyers are finally shaking loose! Could it be that the interest rates were so low last week(for about 4 hours on Tuesday morning, there were 30-year fixed rates available for 5.125 %!!!TRUE!) that some folks decided to finally get off the fence and buy something? Or could it be the end-of-the-year bonuses, the upcoming election, or the choicest inventory we have seen in years?? Whatever it is, we have been enjoying a very lively month, which is why I didn’t post an analysis for last week! So, here goes………

  • 5         = the number of homes that went under contract in Geneva in the last 8 days (3 of those were under the $250,000 range)
  • 214     = the number of active listings for single family(detached) in Geneva right now…. priced from $159,900 to $1,950,000
  • 125     = the number of townhomes/condos available in Geneva, right now….. priced from $139,900 (Yes, it’s true! Would make a great investment for a rental!!) to $589,000. I saw the neatest townhome right downtown Geneva this week…. had an elevator! OUTSTANDING location!
  • $89,905 = the largest price reduction I saw in Geneva on the MLS this week!! From $659,728 to $569,823!!
  • 5.75%      = the rate for a 30 year fixed loan right now, very easy to find!
  • 630-2328846 = the phone number for a Realtor in Geneva who knows this market like the back of her hand!

I am not a loan officer, nor do I play one on TV, but here’s a helpful hint…. call YOUR loan officer if you have a current mortgage that’s 6.5% or higher….. you could probably re-finance now and save yourself a pretty fair amount of money each month….If you don’t like to save money, disregard my helpful hint. If you need the name of a good lender, just email me. I have a few that I work with regularly and I feel they would be fair with their fees and timely with their performance.

Last but not least, the photo above was taken at our beautiful railroad trestle bridge over the Fox River, at Island Park in Geneva~ photo credits go to Mr. Roger Brown, amateur photographer extraordinaire. Wait until you see his spring "duckling" photos…. not to be missed!

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me for any of your real estate needs. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

THINK SOLD~

Teresa Keenan, Broker/Owner

Stone Tower Properties

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Featuring…. Monday Morning Market!!

September_06_shots_misc_193_2 With Mother Nature’s somewhat ruthless tease last week, I guess I am in the mood to stroll Third Street again, baby in a stroller and big kids eating Graham’s ice cream by the cone-full!

The harsh reality is that I don’t dare take baby Myles out while the snow is swirling around today, and the big kids would probably choose to have some Graham’s 318 hot cocoa! Oh well, only a few more months to go….

In the meantime, I will be as ruthless as Mother Nature while I analyze our local real estate market! Listings sold, buyers under contract, listings on the market…. you name it, I can get the numbers for it! It is my goal to post a "Monday Morning Market" each week to keep you real-estate junkies current on your quest for local information. So, for my first Monday Morning Market, here goes:

  • 1,555,000= the highest price paid (in $$$) for a residential property in the Geneva zip code, in 2007
  • 149,000   =  the lowest price paid (in $$$) for a residential property in the Geneva zip code in 2007
  • 408         =   the number of residential properties closed in the MLS in 2007, in Geneva!
  • 358         =   the number of active,available properties as of 01/14/2008, in Geneva!
  • 5.875      =   the interest rate available RIGHT NOW for a 30 year fixed mortgage! NOT BAD!!!
  • 232-8846 =   the local phone number for a great Realtor in your area!!

The market is still dynamic…. properties are moving and buyers are calling. Investors are out sniffing around for great deals, which there are PLENTY of. Transferees are out and about as well, looking to move into our outstanding little community. All in all, there is still plenty going on around us. Please remember to call me if you have any real estate needs that you would like help with! I’ll do my best to get you going in the right direction!

THINK SOLD!

Teresa Keenan

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RESOLVE to improve your credit score in 2008!

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For many, the commitment to a resolution fades just a few weeks into the new year.  Whether you kept your vow to eat healthier or broke your resolution the second day, there is one goal you should try to keep this year- improving your personal finances!If you are in the market for a new home or simply looking to pay less in interest annually, understanding your credit score can be the first step in saving money in 2008!

Credit is a determining factor to whether a client can obtain financing and at what cost for the purchase of a new home. Lenders consider credit scoring when determining the risk associated with any loan application, especially for home buyers.

The first step in improving your credit rating is to know where you currently stand. Your credit records have been reduced to three-digit scores commonly known as a FICO (Fair Isaac & Co) score. Assigned to you by each of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax), your score shows how likely you are to pay back a loan on time- the higher the score, the lower your presumed risk of default. By law, you may obtain one free report annually from each bureau online at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.  My tip here is to access your information one agency at a time, so you can obtain your report 3 times per year and really keep current with your credit!

The U.S. average credit score is 678 according to Experian’s National Score Index. Credit scores can range from 400 to 900 and are based on the length of your credit history, the mix of credit you already have, and your number of recent credit applications.

Once you obtain your FICO score you can work toward improving it. When it comes to something as important as your credit score it can take some time. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME. Your payment history, including late payments and foreclosures, can count for one-third of your credit score. Accounts more than 60 days past due will be indicated on your credit report. As the length of your on-time payments increases, so too will your score.
  • CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT FOR ERRORS. Removing errors, especially those negatively reflecting late payments or unpaid credit, is one of the easiest ways to improve a credit score. Look for expired negative records and file a dispute online if neccessary.
  • REDUCE YOUR BALANCES. One-third of your FICO score depends on the total amount of balances you owe versus your total credit limit. Try to keep your balances less than 80% of your credit limit to maximize your score benefits. Start with those credit cards that are closest to their limits, and pay them down.
  • KEEP OLDER CREDIT LINES OPEN. Having a long history of active accounts shows that you are a good credit risk. It also accounts for 10% of your credit score. Try to use your oldest cards regularly for small purchases and pay balances each month.
  • USE CREDIT…. RESPONSIBLY! This includes having credit cards and installment loans with timely payments. Accounting for 15% of your score, a balanced account including a mortgage payment can help homeowners boost their score.
  • AVOID NEW CREDIT. Opening new credit will lower your average account age. In addition, the number of new applications counts for 10% of your score. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may limit "preapproved" offers by removing your name from nationwide lists. Apply in moderation and take on new credit only when you need it.
  • CHECK REGULARLY FOR IDENTITY THEFT!! Agencies may only provide your information to those with a valid need, such as a creditor or insurer. In addition, you must give consent for this information to be seen by an employer.

For most, credit is a way of life. Installment payments and credit cards can be useful financial tools if they are kept under control, but many let credit control them.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS has many financing resources for consumers, all available at www.illinoisrealtor.org. Providing specialized loan programs and credit resources are just a few of the way Illinois REALTORS are working to help Illinois residents achieve the dream of property ownership!

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