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Welcome Milena- Our New Team Member

We would like to welcome Milena DeMario into our team!   Milena comes to Enterprise Realty Brokers from another large agency where she has learned the real estate business and has worked with much success.   However, after learning about the value that Enterprise Realty Brokers provides to its clients and the goals and ambitions of our team, the match was inevitable.  We look forward to working with Milena in the years to come!

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Real Estate Prices Hold Steady in the First Quarter 2019

Average price of residential real estate property in the Chicagoland area in the first three months of the year remained unchanged in comparison to the first quarter of 2018- $220,000. While this is an increase of 7.3% over the same period in 2017, the real estate prices over the past 12 months have remained unchanged. There are still pockets of the Chicagoland where real estate remains attractive and prices continue to grow, but on average, market is holding steady.

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Are We Still in the Seller’s Market?

We are often asked by our clients about how long we think the home they are selling will be on the market before we receive an acceptable offer. While there is no surefire way to predict this metric for each individual property with absolute certainty, our agents use statistics and available data to provide our sellers with a good estimate they can rely on. One set of information we recently analyzed is the number of days it took to get a signed contract on properties in Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties over the past 12 months, conclusive with February 2019. The data showed that the sellers in DuPage County will receive an acceptable offer on their home the fastest- within 39 days, while the sellers in Cook County and Lake County can expect to receive an acceptable offer on an average within 45 and 54 days respectively. The analysis of this information also showed that the number of days it took to receive an acceptable offer improved in all three counties in comparison to the same period previous year. While the pace of decrease in the number of days has indeed slowed down, the fact that the homes are selling faster than the previous year is a good sign for all the sellers out there. Despite different headwinds the real estate market has been facing recently, we are still in the seller’s market.

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Welcome Julija- our new agent!

Welcome Julija! We are happy to announce that Julija Jovanovic is our new team member! Julija was recently licensed as a real estate agent and has decided to start her career by joining the Enterprise Realty Brokers team. As a resident of Brookfield Julija is an expert in the communities of Brookfield, LaGrange, Countryside, North Riverside, etc. We are excited to have Julija on our team and we look forward to seeing her help buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals.

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Four Surefire Things First Time Homebuyers Shouldn’t Overlook

Chicago, IL – January 21, 2019 – People often look for a new home if they recently got married and/or had a child. This is a good time to take the next big step in life: purchase a home.  They hire a realtor and start looking at homes that meet their criteria. Does it have a two-car garage? Is it in a good school district? Does it have an updated kitchen with granite countertops, new appliances and an island?

As any real estate agent who has helped many first-time homebuyers find their perfect home knows, the above criteria is the most common amongst this group of homebuyers.  Seldom does anyone ask about the age of the roof. However, it is the agent’s responsibility to educate the homebuyer on important facts like these.  A good real estate agent will always make sure that buyers find out the following:

  1. Age of the roof­– The roof is one of the single most expensive aspects of the home and replacing one is a big, expensive undertaking. Every homebuyer should have an understanding of the age of the roof even before the offer is made.  If the home needs a new one, the buyers can price its replacement into their offer and not have to worry about haggling with the seller for credit after the inspection. Roof replacement costs in Chicago range from $2.50/sf-$10.00/sf depending on the type of material used.  A tear-off roof replacement on a typical home will range from $5000-10,000.
  2. Water Heater– The typical life span of a good water heater is about 10 years. A bad water heater can leak and cause significant damage to a home, which is why understanding the age of the unit is important so a proper plan is in place for replacement. Many water heaters have a manufacturing date right on the label.  Otherwise, this is another question buyers should ask sellers.  Replacement of a typical 50gal water heater can range from $1000-1500.
  3. Heating and Air Conditioning– Furnaces and Water Heaters are typically next to each other in a home, so taking a look at both at the same time is an easy task. While furnace manufacture dates may be difficult to determine, there is often a maintenance log sticker on one of the vents next to the furnace that indicates when it was serviced, by whom and for what.  This sticker may also have the install date.  Older furnaces can go out at the worst time leaving a family without heat during cold winter days, so planning a proper replacement is crucial.  The air conditioning condenser is usually outside, next to the house.  If the unit is rusted and visibly older, it may be time to budget for a replacement in the near future.  While furnaces can last 20-25 years, the life of the AC condenser is shorter at around 15 years.  It is often recommended that when replacing one, homeowners replace both, but that may not always be necessary.  However, when replacement of both is needed, that job can cost between $4,000-10,000, depending on the brand, model and size of the home.
  4. Windows­– Windows are one of the biggest expenses in the home. A replacement of one typical white vinyl double hung window will cost anywhere from $350-500 per window.  This means that replacement of all windows in the house can run at least $5000 and up to $20,000, sometimes more.  When looking at the house with a realtor, check the condition of the windows in different areas of the house.  Try to open/close them to make sure they function properly.

While every homebuyer should have an inspection performed by a licensed home inspector, simply asking questions of the seller and working with an experienced realtor who can help buyers recognize some of these issues earlier in the process can save time and money.  A typical home inspection can cost $500 and this money is not refundable. If the buyers back out at any point, that money is lost.

Dan Cuckovic comments, “If you’re a first-time home buyer, always look for an experienced agent who will help you throughout the process. You need a professional voice in the background reminding you about roofs, water heaters, inspections, and surveys. A pretty home does not necessarily indicate a good purchase.  Making mistakes during the home buying process can be costly. As an agent, I always want my clients to have an excellent experience and I work to make sure that happens.”

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Happy New YEAR!

On behalf of the entire team of Enterprise Realty Brokers I would like to wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2019!  This year was a record-breaking year for Enterprise and this is all thanks to our clients who have put faith in us to handle one of the biggest investments of their life for them.   Thank you for your trust and we look forward to working with you again in 2019 and beyond!

Sincerely,

Dan Cuckovic

Managing Broker/Owner

Enterprise Realty Brokers

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Real Estate prices continue to grow

With 2018 nearly over and the stock market going through some rough time, we decided to look back and see how the real estate market has performed, relative to prices, this year. Despite the interest rate hikes and the stock market turbulence, 2018 will be a positive year for the Chicagoland’s real estate market.

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Happy Holidays from Enterprise Realty Brokers

2018 is almost behind us and we would like to wish all of our clients happy and safe holiday season.  This was a record year for Enterprise Realty Brokers and we look forward to working with all of you in 2019!

Sincerely,

Dan Cuckovic

Managing Broker/Owner

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Q1 Real Estate Market Update- Good time to be a seller!

The first three months of 2018 proved to be challenging for the Chicagoland real estate market.  While the economy and the job market continued to perform well, the lack of supply of real estate available for sale has reached new lows.  The real estate agents are blaming supply as the most important driver of the slowdown in the number of closed sales in the first three months of the year.  So let’s look at some of the data to see if this theory holds true.

Homes available for sale

At the end of March 2018 there were 33,412 homes available for sale in the region of the market covered by the Midwest Real Estate Data service (MRED), which covers approximately 19 counties of the Northern Illinois and surrounding areas.  This is approximately 16% less homes available for sale in comparison to the same period last year.  At the end of March 2017 there were 39,997 homes available for sale.  Additionally, the number of new homes hitting the market has dropped each of the first three months of the year in comparison to the 2017.

Market Supply

As a consequence of the lack of the new homes on the market, the “month’s supply” measure (indicating how many months would it take to sell out of the current inventory if no new homes are listed) at the end of the March 2018 was 3.1.  This number has been keeping steady since December 2017.  As a reminder, a good, balanced market, is when the “month’s supply” gauge is somewhere between 6-7 months.  The current measure of 3.1 indicates a strong seller’s market.

Average Home Price

In support of the number indicated above is the fact that the average sales price continues to climb up.  At the end of March 2018 the average sales price was $230,000.  This, in comparison to $220,000 the year before, yields a modest 4.5% increase in an average property value.  It is observed that the largest increases in the property values came from the lower priced homes, while the larger homes, particularly in Lake County, have seen stagnant, if not declining prices.  This is mainly due to very high property taxes which are driving away some of the demand for these homes. 

Interest Rates

When talking about the Q1 of 2018 it is difficult not to touch the topic of interest rates.  There was a lot of discussion about interest rates and how the FED has increased, and plans to continue to increase interest rates few more times this year.  While rate hikes by FED are not directly related to mortgage rates, a correlation can be made between the two events.  The mortgage rates have indeed increased and a conventional 30 year mortgage will now cost you somewhere around 4.25-4.5%, depending on the creditworthiness of the borrower.  According to the Freddiemac.com, the average 30 year interest rate at the end of March 2018 was 4.44%, with .5% points, while at the end of March 2017 this rate was 4.2% with the same point percentage.  Clearly, the interest rates are on the rise and this can be considered an impediment for the homebuyer.  However, it is important to note that despite this increase in mortgage rates, the rates are still considered to be some of the lowest in history, and as such, a good deal for the borrower.

Market Activity

All this leads us to a measure of market activity (number of closed sales) for the Q1 of 2018.   Due to all the factors mentioned above, the market activity has indeed subsided in the first three months of this year in comparison to the same period last year.  The number of closed sales in the MRED region in the first three months of the year was 22,556, in comparison to 24,193 in the same period last year.  This yields a 6.8% reduction in closed sales.  While this number can be considered significant, the real estate agents are hopeful that the number of closed sales in 2018 will rebound and at least meet the number of closed sales in 2017.  Realtors are hoping for more seller movement at the end of the school year, which should help the buyers who have been looking for a while to find their perfect home.  And as the interest rates should not be changing significantly at least until June this year, the Q2 of 2018 should be a good time for both buyers and sellers.   

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2018 Real Estate Market Outlook

2018 Chicago Real Estate Market Outlook

by Dan Cuckovic, Managing Broker, Enterprise Realty Brokers

01-19-2018

Last year was a great year for real estate and the US economy overall.  Interest rates remained low, the job market continued to improve resulting in the lowest unemployment rate in decades, real estate sales continued to improve and the prices of homes continued to grow.  As the rental prices continued to remain high, the idea of homeownership appealed to many.  The biggest issue for realtors in 2017 was the supply of homes.

The question at hand; how is the 2018 going to look like?

First, the impact of tax reform

The new tax reform made several tax changes that directly impact the homeowner.  Capping the property tax deduction to $10,000 per year and reducing the level of mortgage on which you can deduct interest from $1,000,000 to $750,000 will definitely not sit well with the homeowners owning larger and more expensive homes.  Unfortunately, as Illinois is a state with a higher property tax structure, these changes impact many of the Chicagoland owners.  These changes may directly impact the prices of some of the more expensive homes and, at best, will slow down the value appreciation of those homes.

The impact of rising interest rates

According to Dr. Joe Kirchner, Senior Economist with Realtor.com, the average 30 year conforming interest rate in 2018 will be 4.6%.  Considering that the same rate at the beginning of the year is hovering around 4%, it is expected that, by the end of 2018, this rate will be near 5%.  The rise in interest rates will drive buyers to purchase more affordable homes, putting pressure on the high priced properties.  This will be offset somewhat by the fact that the tax cuts should produce a higher take-home income for the average American.

The impact of new construction

New construction is on the rise, but still far apart from the levels seen in the late 2000’s.  Furthermore, the new construction is generally taking place in high-end markets, and in the Chicagoland specifically, in the $600k+ market.   The answer as to why this is happening is simple; builders are trying to take less risk by building homes with higher profit margins.  However, it is expected that, as the market in the $600k+ market get saturated, builders will be forced to take on more risk with building lower priced new construction homes.

The impact of rental market

According to Realtor.com the rental market in general has been seeing stagnating price levels for some time now.  Rental prices have soared in 2014/2015 and early 2016, but have not moved much higher since.  The explanation to this may be in the fact that the wages have not followed the steep increase in housing costs.   Nonetheless, the Chicagoland area is still considered to be the market with a strong rental demand, mainly driven by millennials who are hesitant to enter into the homeownership.

The impact of supply

Supply of real estate remains the biggest issue for homebuyers and realtors in the market currently.  As the level of new constructions is still low and the prices of homes have increased over the last few years, the current homeowners are having trouble making a decision to move into a bigger home or a different area, leaving fewer opportunities available to the new homebuyers.

So, how is the 2018 Chicagoland real estate market going to look like?

–          The supply will remain an issue, particularly in the $600k or less segment of the market.  Acting quickly and making a fair offer may be your ticket to buying the home that you really wanted.

–          Buying early in the year may result in smaller portion of your monthly payment going towards the interest.  This will help you, the buyer, pay off that home sooner or give you an ability to buy the larger home you always wanted.

–          If you are a homeowner looking to get yourself a larger home, this may be a good time do to so.  The demand for your home will be high, while the demand for the higher priced homes is relatively stable.   This may give you a possible opportunity to get a bargain on a larger home while receiving a premium on your sale.

–          If you are still renting, you probably need to reconsider your options.  While there is nothing wrong with renting, owning a home is still more affordable in the long run.  Buying your next home before the interest rates go up may be one of the best investment decisions you ever made.

 

Dan Cuckovic, Managing Broker
Enterprise Realty Brokers
708-955-7950
[email protected]