Thursday

RELOCATING TO EDWARDSVILLE?


I had the great pleasure of helping Pam and Patrick move to Edwardsville this spring. They were kind enough to send me the following recommendation, which made my day, month and year! 

"RELOCATING TO EDWARDSVILLE? Nancy is probably the most assessible, patient, and personable agent we have ever worked with - AND she's a smart cookie! It doesn't get much better than that when you need an agent to look out for your best interests (whether buying or selling). This gal knows her stuff!!!!!!! We bought a house through Nancy...probably looked at 50 houses in the process...and she stuck with us patiently through the whole process - she made sure certain things were in the contract that in our best interest and made the whole process easy - this is REALLY important when you are moving from another part of the country and need to rely on someone else to help you made a housing decision!"
Relocating to Edwardsville IL

HOMES FOR HEROES IS NOW IN EDWARDSVILLE

There's exciting news for Edwardsville, IL area home buyers and sellers.

The nationally known Homes For Heroes program is now available in the Edwardsville area.

As the Homes for Heroes Realtor in the region, I offer real and substantial savings on home purchases and home sales to community Heroes in the following categories:
  • Teachers/Educators
  • Medical Professionals
  • Active Duty Military
  • Veterans
  • Firefighters
  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • EMTs
  • First Responders
Taking advantage of Homes for Heroes couldn't be easier for Edwardsville area home buyers and sellers. I can add you to the program - or you can go online to HomesForHeroes.com and sign up. 

That's it. No difficult forms. No red tape. No hassles. 

At closing, Heroes will receive a 25 percent rebate on my commission toward the bottom line on their side of the transaction. It's that simple.

Homes For Heroes allows me to say "Thank You" to the men and women who serve our community and our country every day.

Lenders, home inspectors and other service providers also are Friends of Heroes and are ready to help add to the savings. 

How did Homes For Heroes get its start? The program was founded after September 11, 2001 as a way to give back to those people who give so much to all the rest of us. It started as a great idea at a Minnesota real estate brokerage and now it has spread to Realtors and Brokers all across the nation who have become Homes For Heroes affiliates. 

I am proud to be your Edwardsville area Homes For Heroes Realtor.  If you're ready to buy or sell a home and would like to use the Homes For Heroes discount program, just get in touch with me to get started or dial 618-791-8007.

You also can follow us on Facebook at Homes For Heroes -- Edwardsville & Glen Carbon. 

Wednesday

Lake Homes for Sale in Edwardsville IL

Imagine sitting on your dock enjoying a beautiful afternoon at your own lakeside paradise -- Kayaking, fishing, bird watching and simply getting the best out of life.

Or would you like to stroll around a smaller neighborhood lake on a warm summer night? (That's charming Leclaire Lake to the right.)

This can all be yours if you choose a lake house as your next home in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Click here to see lake homes for sale in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Thursday

Video of the Historic Leclaire Neighborhood in Edwardsville

One of the most sought-after historic areas of Edwardsville is the charming and affordable Leclaire neighborhood.

Founded by industrialist N.O. Nelson as a company town to support his manufacturing business, Leclaire was a model community where workers could live in single-family homes and families had amenities such as parks, schools and recreation.  Leclaire was originally an independent town, but has long been a part of the city of Edwardsville.  Its homes are part of the acclaimed Edwardsville School District.

Today Leclaire is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many homes are built in the classic American Craftsman style with broad front porches and original woodwork lovingly preserved inside.  The centerpiece of the neighborhood is Leclaire Lake, which is a prime spot for a little recreational fishing, a nice walk or a visit to the playground.  Generations of Edwardsville High School students have had their prom pictures taken in the scenic park.

Click here to see homes currently for sale in Edwardsville's Leclaire neighborhood. And, if you've never had the chance to see Leclaire in person, click on the video below for a brief look. See something you'd like to tour in person? Give me a call at 618-791-8007 or email Nancy@NancyMilton.com and we'll find the home of your dreams in Leclaire.

Monday

Wildey Theatre Reborn in Edwardsville, Illinois

Wildey Theatre Edwardsville IllinoisOne of the many great things about life here in Edwardsville, Illinois is the vibrant downtown.

Now the restored and reopened Wildey Theatre is adding a lot of evening events to the community's already active social calendar.

Like many single-screen older movie houses, the Wildey closed its doors in the early 1980s (the last first-run film to play there was "The Big Chill" in 1984).

After many starts and stops at preservation over the ensuing 27 years, the city acquired the property in 1999 and this year has given us back this civic gem.

Opened originally in 1909 as an opera house and a meeting site for the International Order of Odd Fellows (note the I.O.O.F. in the friezework at the top of the building), the Wildey has held a firm grip on the hearts of Edwardsville residents over the years.

Through its history, the Wildey has hosted musical performances, vaudeville shows, silent films, dance recitals and all manner of events. The facility graduated to "talkies" with Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" in 1927. Read more about the history of the Wildey here.

Wildey Theatre Edwardsville IllinoisIf you go to the Wildey, you can buy tickets up to an hour in advance of the show at the box office (located in the Art Deco ticket booth in front of the theater at 250-254 North Main Street in Edwardsville, IL 62025. Or, you can order tickets online at this link.  

Tickets cost $8 for adults, $6 for students (children, high schoolers and college students with valid student ID) and seniors (age 55+).

Concerts at the Wildey are open to students age 16 and up, but under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Infants and children under one do not require a ticket if they are in their parent's lap.

My family recently saw Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" during a double feature that also offered Hitch's "Vertigo" on the bill. It was wonderful to see a favorite film the way it was meant to be experienced. Jimmy Stewart's character was more helpless in his wheelchair. Grace Kelly was more beautifully luminous. Character actress Thelma Ritter's wisecracks cracked wiser. And Raymond Burr's killer was more menacing on the Wildey's big screen. Audience members gasped at some of the more shocking moments just like moviegoers in 1954 when the film was first released.

Coming up at the Wildey as I write this blog post are the Mel Brooks classics "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles," concerts from Erin Bode and Alvin Jett & the Phat NoiZ, an appearance by storyteller Bobby Norfolk, Roland Johnson and the Voodoo Blues Band, "It" starring silent film queen Clara Bow, and a coffee concert featuring Gershwin tunes. Whenever you're reading this, there's bound to be something you'll want to attend.

See the full list of current Wildey bookings here. 

Next door the Encore Wine Bar has opened, giving Wildey patrons a place to sip before and after the show. A wine tasting and movie event featuring the Meryl Streep movie "It's Complicated" is scheduled for June 30 at 6:30 p.m.

To contact the Wildey staff, click here.

To paraphrase from another of my favorite classic movies, "Casablanca," I think the reborn Wildey and a new generation of Edwardsville residents are at the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I'll see you at the movies!

Saturday

Pool Homes for Sale in Edwardsville, IL

If you've been making do like the folks on this page, instead of enjoying an inground pool of your own, maybe it's time to look at pool homes in Edwardsville.

And, it's hot outside.  Which is the best excuse I know for wanting a new home with a beautiful, cool pool.

Click here to see all of the pool homes currently for sale in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Note that this link to my website presents the most expensive pool homes first. If you'd like to see the most affordable pool homes first, scroll to the bottom of the page.

If you're ready to take the plunge into a pool home of your own, call me at 618-791-8007 or email Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com.

Home Values in Edwardsville: Prices are Up, Sales are Up, Days on the Market are Down

Leclaire Lake Edwardsville IL Home SalesHow are home sales in Edwardsville, Illinois?
 
As you might imagine, this is a question I get all the time.

If you look at the national media, you might be forgiven for thinking that everything in real estate is still bad news here during the nation's slow recovery. So let's take a deep, cleansing breath and look at the image of lovely Leclaire Park at the right and then peek at the real Edwardsville numbers for a dose of truth:

In 2012, 374 homes were sold in Edwardsville.  The average home stayed on the market 152 days, and sold at an average price of $218,758.

Look back to 2011 and we see that 294 homes were sold in Edwardsville at an average price of $211,272.  Those homes also stayed on the market a little longer -- an average of 168 days.

So, year over year comparing 2012 to 2011, home sales rose in Edwardsville by 27 percent and home prices rose by 3.54 percent in 2012.  As you might expect, days on the market dropped by 9.31 percent in 2012.

What does all of this mean?  To me it says that buyers are back, making quicker decisions and getting into contract. If you need or want to sell your Edwardsville home in 2013, it can be done efficiently if you have kept it in good condition and if you price it right from the very beginning using your Realtor's in-depth research on comparable, recent sales as a guide. Currently there is less inventory on the market, so it's a great time to list without as much competition getting in the way between your home and the next buyer.

More questions about Edwardsville real estate? You can reach me at Nancy@NancyMilton.com or follow the market on my sites at www.NancyMilton.com or www.GoshenRealtyGroup.com.

Tuesday

Edwardsville Home Buyers: Can Your Realtor Help You Get Pre-Approved for the Right Loan?

Thanks to my blogs, websites and some very selective advertising, my phone rings with calls, beeps with text messages or dings to lets me know when an email query from a new buyer has come through.

On a good day, it can be a real symphony of sounds squawking forth from the Blackberry.

Ring! Beep! Ding! I love days like that.

Today was one of those days and one new buyer -- I'll call him Mike -- emerged at the head of the pack because he's already done what I asked him to do -- talk to one of my preferred lenders about a mortgage loan.

After a new customer and I first make contact and chat for a while about their real estate goals like Mike and I did today, I ask if they have seen a lender to find out what kind of loan would be best for them.

Very often the answer is, no, they haven't talked to a lender yet. Mike admitted that he -- in his own words -- was "clueless" about how to go about getting himself and his wife and kids a place to call their own.

I  gave him the name of a lender who I trust to do a great job making a decision about the best loan for his situation. Before the day was over, the lender called to let me know that Mike had talked to him and they are meeting tomorrow to go over the process.

So, in a sense -- yes -- as your Realtor, I can help you get pre-qualified and pre-approved for that mortgage loan you need to become a homeowner. I do it by making sure you talk to a good lender who I trust to give you the best possible advice.

"My" lenders (I get proprietary about people who do a great job for my clients) know about:
  • Grant programs in Madison County and St. Clair County, Illinois (the two counties in which I do most of my work) to get money for closing costs and other pre-paid items for my buyers who meet certain income levels
  • VA loans for military veterans
  • FHA loans with small downpayment criteria
  • USDA Rural Development loans for buyers who are considering homes outside of the cities
  • 203K Loans for both the purchase and rehab of a home
  • Credit repair -- for free -- for buyers who are on the edge of qualifiying for a loan
  • They even have conventional loans with 3 percent downpayments as I write this post
Folks, a good lender will have a smorgasbord of choices and will match your needs and circumstances to their offerings.

Conversely, if a buyer has too many credit problems to allow them to become a homeowner right now, these good lenders will tell them to wait a while and just rent for the time being while they work on bringing their debt to income ratio into balance.

If you're in the market for a home in Edwardsville or anywhere throughout Madison, St. Clair and Macoupin counties, and you need to take the first step -- getting a good loan -- call or text me at 618-791-8007 or email Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com to talk about it.

Together your lender, your Realtor (that's me) and the most important person in this process -- you -- will make a great team to get your loan done, get your next home selected and get you to a smooth closing.

Saturday

For Sale By Owner in Edwardsville? Know the Numbers.

Edwardsville For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

We've been talking with a lot of homeowners in Edwardsville lately who have been trying to sell their homes as FSBOs -- For Sale by Owner.

Many of them have been frustrated by the process and are asking us why more prospective buyers aren't viewing their homes.

While I respect their decision to try to sell on their own, we're finding that many homeowners we meet with aren't aware of the success and failure rates in the process.

A recent survey conducted by HomeGain.com again proves that sellers have a much greater change of getting their home sold using a professional.

In the survey, 83 percent of homeowners said they used an agent to sell their home, whereas 17 percent said they tried to sell it themselves. This closely aligns with results from the annual Profile of Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors, which found 88 percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent and 83 percent of buyers bought their home with the services of an agent.

Of the 83 percent of homeowners surveyed who used a listing agent to sell their home, nearly 60 percent were successful. Of the 17 percent who tried to sell on their own, just 39 percent surveyed achieved a sale. That's a 50 percent higher closing rate for Realtor-based attempts to sell.*

“It is especially striking that home owners fare significantly better in selling their homes using a REALTOR®  than selling on their own,” says Louis Cammarosano, general manager at HomeGain. “Due to that relative success, the level of satisfaction in the home selling process is also higher for home sellers utilizing the services of a REALTOR® than those who try to sell their homes on their own."

Other findings in the For Sale by Owner vs. REALTOR® survey include:
  • 88 percent of home owners who sold their homes using a REALTOR® said they would use a REALTOR® again.
  • 24 percent of FSBOs eventually contacted a REALTOR® to help sell their home.
Homes for Sale Edwardsville We also took a look at the success/failure rate of the biggest flat fee MLS listing service in our area by comparing their listings to their expirations over the past year. Our research found that sellers using the flat fee service in our area had just a one in five chance of achieving a successful sale.

Remember that this flat fee listing service takes the seller's money up front whether the property sells or not (as opposed to a full-service listing in which the seller pays from his proceeds only when the home successfully closes).

With this flat-fee service, homeowners pay extra for changes in the MLS or additional photos during the listing period or a variety of other extras. Homeowners using the flat fee service also have to conduct their own showings and open houses, which means a disruption in personal schedules. They also must handle their own negotiations on price and terms and inspection negotiations, often against an experienced buyer's agent. (The flat fee service also suggests that the home seller hire an attorney to review the contract before it is signed -- another expense.)

The seller also has to pay a fee to the cooperating brokerage at closing if the buyer is represented by an agent. So when you consider the time and money spent by this point, why not use a full-service agent to make the process easier on yourself and to achieve a higher rate of success?

When we list your Edwardsville home for sale, we'll conduct a complete market analysis on your property to help you place it in a highly competitive position in the local market. We'll market your home aggressively to the widest possible pool of buyers. We'll negotiate with buyers and their agents on your behalf. And we'll negotiate any inspection responses to watch out for your best interest. We'll handle the dozens of details that come up to get you to a successful closing.

In short, we understand why someone might try to sell on their own or with a flat fee service, but if you've tried it and it doesn't work out for you and you still need to sell, please get in touch with us at Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com or 618-791-8007 for help.

Source: “HomeGain Survey Finds Home Sellers Fare 50% Better in Getting Their Homes Sold Using a REALTOR® Than Selling on Their Own,” HomeGain.com