Archive for October, 2009

Iphone photos October 2009 207 This week's photo isn't much of a challenge, but it is one of my favorite stops along the shopping circuit downtown Geneva…..

If you are from Geneva, you will know this location. Chances are, your friends/family and out of town visitors will know it well too! Please email me at teresa@stonetowerproperties.com if you think you have the answer… once again, thanks for checking out our "Front Door Friday". Today's lucky winner will receive a gift card from the establishment featured in the photo!!

Stay dry and be sure to have a spooky weekend in and around Geneva……


Teresa Keenan, Stone Tower Properties


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RISMEDIA, October 29, 2009—(MCT/The Wall Street Journal)-The Senate has reached a compromise on extending and expanding the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, a boost the housing industry believes will help it pull out of its two-year-old downturn.

While its passage remains uncertain, the agreement would extend the existing credit for first-time homebuyers, worth up to $8,000, while offering a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing homeowners, Senate aides said. The reduced credit would be available to all homebuyers who have been in their current residence for a consecutive five-year period in the past eight years. Lawmakers in Washington also raised the qualifying income limits to $125,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for joint taxpayers, from the current $75,000 and $150,000, housing-industry sources said. Under the Senate compromise, buyers must have sales agreements in hand by April 30, but they will have until June 30 to go to settlement, said the sources. The measure still faces votes in the full Senate and the House.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan are in full support of the Senate’s proposal to both extend and expand the first-time homebuyer tax credit and called on Congress to approve key housing measures that include the tax credit. "We welcome efforts taken by Congress to extend the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit for a limited period. This credit has brought new families into the housing market and contributed to three consecutive months of rising home prices nationwide," said Secretaries Geithner and Donovan. "In extending the credit, we urge Congress to include strict measures to combat tax fraud and protect responsible homeowners.”

The current tax credit did little for the new-home market in September, the Commerce Department recently reported—news that took many industry analysts by surprise. Sales fell 3.6% from August and 7.8% from September 2008. Industry observers had expected a fifth consecutive monthly increase in new-home sales, believing that the tax incentive for qualified first-time buyers—credited with 357,000 sales of previously owned homes so far this year—would do the trick. Instead, sales of typically more expensive newly built houses slipped. "The decline in new-home sales seems to us to be more a function of the attractive pricing available on resales in the current environment than a reflection of weakening demand," said Michael Feder, president of Radar Logic in New York, which tracks the market.

"Since hitting rock bottom in March, demand is up 20 percent," said Joel L. Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisers in Holland, Pa. For Naroff, the robust rise in existing-home purchases—9.2% year over year in September—indicated that the housing market was not faltering. "Maybe the issue is supply, which fell to its lowest level in 27 years," he said. "Builders, at least those left standing, have been making sure they don't have any houses sitting around, and they have been very successful in controlling inventories."

IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport echoed that, noting new-home inventories "sank for the 29th straight month to their lowest level since November 1982." Naroff maintained housing has recovered enough to stand without the tax credit, but Newport said that if the credit were not extended and expanded, housing demand would take a hit, and home sales would drop.

The new provisions are aimed at broadening availability of the credit beyond first-time buyers and giving the weakened real estate market a bigger boost while preventing real estate investors from benefitting. While Senate lawmakers appear to have reached a deal on the substance of the tax credit, they are still at odds over how it would be brought to the Senate floor.

(c) 2009, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


Teresa Keenan

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This estate has been renovated with modern luxurious amenities, and received the Preservation Award from the Lafourche Heritage Society on 2006. The magnificent detail begins as you step thorough the grand entrance where you embrace this 5 bedroom, 6 bath, 8998 HSF home. The estate boast beautiful copper ceilings, heart pine, and Turkish marble floors throughout, cypress cabinets, granite counter tops, Viking stainless steel commercial grade appliances is a chef's dream. The master suite is an incredible 3,200 foot retreat in itself, featuring stain glass, 2 marble fireplaces, a parlor, study, exercise room, guest bath, laundry, and a stunning master bath and venation plaster walls that give an old world look!!

Located in Thibodaux, Louisiana…. if you are interested, please call Teresa right away! I will assist you in registering for the auction, then I will visit you for spring break 2010!!


Teresa Keenan


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Iphone photos October 2009 031  

Welcome to…….

Front Door Fridays”…..in an effort to support our awesome local merchants, I will be posting some of my favorite “front doors” on Fridays. Most of the time the doors will be photos of the merchant’s doors… sometimes I will throw in a favorite home I have sold or something fun that catches my eye! If you are the first person to email me with the identity of the mystery photo, I will send you a gift card!! Now, let’s just manage expectations here…. The gift card will:

· Not be for $1000

· Be something you should enjoy immediately at said merchant locations!

· Be provided by Stone Tower Properties… it won’t be something I will be asking the merchants to donate!

· Be sent via US Mail, so when you email me, include your address!

I will announce the winner each week on the THINKSOLD site…..Once again, thank you for reading/subscribing to my blog, and thank you for your continued support of the best real-estate firm in Geneva!

So, for our first ever "Front Door Friday", who knows which charming little retail shop this front door belongs to?? Good luck and I hope to hear from you SOON!


Teresa Keenan, Broker/Owner of Stone Tower Properties

115 Campbell St, suite 201

Geneva, IL 60134


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216 Old Montauk Highway While in the Hamptons this summer for a little R&R with the family, at the summer home of my sister-in-law, the whole community was abuzz about who would be listing the Montauk beachfront home of the illustrious Bernie Madoff.

Since I am obsessive about all things real-estate related, even while I am supposed to be on vacation, I took the liberty of logging on to GODADDY.COM to see if any of the local Realtors had reserved the address of big, bad Bernie's weekend retreat. To my surprise, www.216OldMontaukHighway.com was still available! A quick $50 or so later, I was the proud owner of a web address for the famous "weekend at Bernie's" beachouse. Oh boy, I had it all figured out… one of those fancy-pants Hamptons Realtors would be contacting me any minute to offer up some big bucks for my site, since they would need it for their marketing campaign!! Little did I know that they would list the property for a cool $8.75 million, and it would sell in about 14 hours to some "undislcosed" buyer, for $9.41 million!!

 What the heck??? Nobody even NEEDED my website address….. what a let-down that was!! I guess some Mr. and Mrs Moneybags showed up to purchase the home without ever seeing it online… surprise, surprise! (NOT!) Anyway, all's well that ends well, and it was fun while it lasted!

In the meantime, Mr. Terry Keenan (aka my husband) laughed long and hard more than one time, thinking that his wife was quite probably the last American who lost money to the Bernie Madoff scheme!!!


Teresa Keenan

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Monday Morning Market….

Happy Tuesday to all…. Sorry the Monday Morning Market was not posted yesterday, but it was a crazy Monday for this Realtor! Negotiating contracts for 2 local buyers, putting out fires for an agent in the office, and trying to get a couple of listings SOLD…..

 I am here to report the stats for last week….

Back by popular demand, here is the ever-so-poplar Monday Morning Market for Geneva real-estate junkies!! Keep in mind this is for single-family, detached homes in our area for the last 7 days….. Here goes:


· Active listings

o   197, ranging from $135,000 to $1,795,000

· Under contract in last 7 days=    

o   5 listings, ranging from $224,900 to $3,499,000!! That’s right, $3,499,000!!4 out of 5 of the properties under contract came in under $400K

· Price changes=  

o   12,  with the greatest reduction going from $$329,000 to $299,000    

· Closed=    

o   6 , from $180,000 to $541,000….4 listings out of 6 sold for under $400K


A couple of observations from me to you….

Week after week it is easy to see that the market for buyers under $400,000 is the strongest market out there right now. If you need to sell your home, I feel confident that the best price range to be in, as a seller, is that “under $400,000” market. It’s all about pricing right now, especially for the upcoming winter season. Typically, even in a vibrant market(which this market is NOT!) we definitely see a slow-down at this time of year. It could be a brutal winter for any seller out there who does not have their home positioned to catch a buyer right now.

We have definitely enjoyed an upturn in the market in the last few months. While I am in no way going to call a press conference and announce that the real estate market is cured, I do have renewed hope that we are turning the right way. Maybe we will coast along the bottom for a while longer, since the snow will be flying soon, but I feel as if the numbers are showing us now that the buyers are moving around and purchasing some of this inventory in greater numbers than they were last year at this time. At least, that’s how I am reporting it from the captain’s chair in my office…. (Terra lets me sit in the captain’s chair when she’s not here! HA!)


That’s it for today… as always, please let us know if we can help you in any way with your real estate needs! Remember, if you have a first-time buyer in your family/office/neighborhood, there are only 41 days to utilize the $8000 tax credit for first-time buyers……unless our esteemed leaders decide to renew that particular program.

Have a great week everyone!



Teresa Keenan

Stone Tower Properties


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