Friday, March 27, 2015

Curb Appeal...Early Spring Lawn Care

Early Spring Lawn Care *

After such a long winter, it's wonderful to see that there is actually a lawn under all of that snow! Since your grass may have taken a beating, use these suggestions to give it a healthy start this year.
If your lawn has trouble absorbing water or if grass is compacted, aerate the yard. This allows air and moisture to enter the top soil and produces healthier grass. Apply an inch of water to your yard the day before you plan to aerate.
Apply Compost
Compost, organic materials that have decomposed, is the perfect material to give your lawn and gardens a helpful boost to wake up from winter. You can buy this from the hardware store, but you can also create your own compost at home.
Now that you've aerated and fertilized the yard, it's time to wait. Before you mow that lovely yard, give the grass time to grow three or four inches. Invest in a mulching mower and spread the clippings over your freshly cut yard. After the initial mow, you will need to trim the grass once every week or every other week so that you cut no more than a third of the grass.
*From my newsletter

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Understand Your Local Real Estate Market

A Simple Tool to Help You
Understand Your Local Market
"Real estate is a constantly changing marketplace, and knowing how your neighborhood is performing will keep you on top of the action. Baird & Warner's Market Insight allows you to see all of the real estate activity in your specified area. Select the area that you are interested in learning more about, and you can choose to receive emails that provide you with all of the real estate transactions and details specific to that selection. This interactive report charts such data as sold homes, properties for sale, inventory levels and even days on market. Please contact me if you'd like to sign up

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This is Why Home Prices are Rising

This is Why Home Prices are Rising 
We're off to a busy spring season, and experts are already predicting that home prices will increase by year's end. But do you ever wonder where these predictions come from? How do they know what homebuyers and sellers will do for the entire year when it's only March?

Millennials --- those born between 1980 and 1995 --- were hit hard by the economic downturn, prompting many experts to declare this a generation of renters and the end of the American Dream of homeownership. Fortunately, 2014 proved that this is not the case. According to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, Millennials comprise both the largest share of homebuyers at 31 percent and the largest share of first-time homebuyers at 76 percent.
There are a number of factors that industry leaders look at when it comes to housing forecasts. For example, The Conference Board, a not-for-profit research organization, puts out a monthly Consumer Confidence Index that provides an inside look at how consumers are feeling about the economy. Valuable information like this provides the foundation for economic predictions.
When it comes to rising home prices, here are a few major points that the experts consider:
Lower Unemployment Rate
The Illinois unemployment rate dropped to 6.2 percent in December, the lowest it has been in almost seven years. When consumers have job security and more spending money, just about every facet of the economy gets a boost --- including housing.
Increased Confidence in Housing
Fannie Mae's January National Housing Survey showed that consumer optimism toward the housing market has gained momentum since December. The number of consumers surveyed who said that they would buy rather than rent rose five points to 66 percent, the first increase since September 2014.
Fewer Foreclosures
Last year, the number of homes that received foreclosure filings dropped by 26 percent from 2013, and total foreclosure activity in the Chicago area fell to a seven-year low in 2014. This means that homeowners looking to sell won't have to compete with cheaper bank-owned properties.
Now is the time to think about your real estate goals. Whether you're looking to buy, sell or simply want to hear more about the market, please contact me today.