Home Buying

Found 55 blog entries about Home Buying.

Orland Park real estate neighorsThis is part 2 of the Real Estate Neighborhood Expert series – click the link to see what started these posts.  In a nutshell, this series began from an article I read in Inman News.  The author was blasting agents that call themselves area experts.  His thoughts were that these so-called experts would take high priced listings because they weren’t keeping abreast of local market conditions.  I commented on his post and wrote my own response, which you can read using the above link.  That post is very long so I’m going to create some shorter posts to highlight specific things referred to in the Inman article.

You’re not an expert if you don’t know current market value in your area

Personally, I don’t see many, if any, agents in the southwest suburbs

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What Is a Real Estate Neighborhood Expert?

Orland Park real estate

Searching Google, here is the definition on the word "expert" from the online Merriam-Webster dictionary:  "having or showing special skill or knowledge because of what you have been taught or what you have experienced."

orland park condos for saleMany real estate agents are trying to rein in the large areas they cover.  They want to establish themselves as a real estate "neighborhood expert," or the "local expert" in their community. Some consider themselves the local expert in their subdivision or condo/townhouse association. Agents reducing their area of expertise to this kind of extremely specific, smaller area are probably the closest you'll get to a true neighborhood expert.

There is an agent I've read about in a popular

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Real Estate Portals

old town real estateRealtor.com used to be the #1 site for national real estate searches, but I believe it has been overtaken by Zillow and possibly a couple other real estate portals.  Of course, we always suggest using a local real estate site such as this one for the most accurate, updated listings, such as our Orland Park real estate page.  

What many people don't know is that websites like Zillow do not always have accurate information.  Even when an agent marks their listings as Sold they sometimes pop up again as Active listings at no fault of the listing agent.

Zillow and some other large real estate portals are also showing properties that are not for sale.  Zillow began what real estate professionals feel is a controversial practice of

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college graduates purchasing first homeAre you a recent grad thinking about buying your first home? Tread carefully. Although the historically low rates for a home may give reason to salivate, you want to take a closer look. With the FED’s plans to slow down the “quantitative easing” (QE3) over the next year as announced last month, we may soon see long-term interest rates going up. It may seem like a good idea to jump on the low interest rates before they go up. However, if you have student loan debt, it is critical that you consolidate your loans now. With that said, here are some considerations to ponder before buying your first home.


Just because rates are low, doesn’t mean you can afford it. You may not even qualify to receive a low

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Our main villages are listed below. Click on the links to access each village's main page that offers a list of that town's single family homes for sale along with current village real estate data such as amount of properties currently for sale and average, high and low prices.  You'll also get information about the towns with helpful links to local information.

Homer Glen
New Lenox
Orland Hills
Orland Park
Palos Park

These are basically border towns and we're based in Homer Glen and Orland Park.  As a family team, we are able to go outside of these areas and cover almost any Chicago suburb, so please contact us if you're interested in a city not on this list.  Jimmy Herter will also show Chicago real estate.  Also check our

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I was laughing out loud at an article I read about ABC News 20/20 interview with some real estage agents and their claim of "blowing the whisle on shady real estate tricks." I'm not saying this stuff is never done and there are bad apples in real estate like any other business.

Here is my personal response to some of the so-called tricks based on interviews with 2 reality TV real estate agents, Ryan Serhant, the star of a Bravo reality show and Sandra Rinomato, the former host of Property Virgins on HGTV:

Bait and Switch

Serhant, an agent in New York City (which I've heard does not utilize an MLS like we do in Northern IL), states that agents keep listings up long after they've been sold.

My response is that if an agent does that in our

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Although the Midwest doesn't usually show the same fluctuations as the west and east coasts, prices and sales have dropped substantially since the real estate bust. Some areas like much of Florida, Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ were hit hard, with more than 50% decreases in home values. Some southwest Chicago suburbs have shown double digit price decreases and when you add them up over the years since the bust, prices have plummeted drastically in some villages. Amount of annual sales have also decreased.

California showed decreases and popped back the quickest. Many areas in the state are back to a seller's market with decreased inventory and buyers wanting to still get a good price at low interest rates.

Low inventory across the nation is causing

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orland park homes for sale

Now that I have a 3 person family team we are able to go out of our normal service area which spans around Oak Lawn/Evergreen Park to the northeast, La Grange area to the near west, Lockport, Lemont and New Lenox to the southwest and Oak Forest to the southeast and everything in between. Those are just general parameters and we do go out of them regularly, but for this article we will stick to our smaller area. Here are the top 5 southwest suburbs that we work in with the most amount of single family home sales for 2012:

  1. Oak Lawn - 448
  2. Orland Park - 325
  3. Lockport - 294
  4. Frankfort - 275
  5. New Lenox - 265

Our Northern IL MLS used to be the largest in the nation and it is still up there. Some states are consolidating into statewide

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UPDATE:  Our current site offers responsive mobile browsing & you can also download a compatible app from this site here.  

This new website is completely mobile responsive, meaning you can easily create searches directly from this site on your tablet or smartphone.  It’s nice to have an app to go to directly, so you have a couple different choices.  But either way, you can pin the entire mobile responsive website or just the MLS search page.

I use this app when I’m out on the road, so the search function is robust.  In fact, it offers something my regular MLS does not. You have the option of searching around where you are located.  You can see all the homes or drill down to your own personal search parameters.

It’s also great when you’re out

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owning an orland park homeEveryone knows that prices continue dropping in many areas, including Illinois suburbs.  But those low prices couldbe good enough for buyers to consider making a purchase this year.  An easy way of figuring out if it's worthwhile purchasing a home vs. renting is to figure out what your mortgage payment would be compared to current rental prices.  You also need to take into consideration tax deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes for home owners, although they might not last forever.

There is More to it Then Just Monthly Payments

Even if your mortgage payment is more than a local rental, there is a completely different lifestyle in owning your own home vs. living in someone else's property and having to follow their rules.  Many

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