Monthly Archives: June 2013

Summer on a Budget

You’ve been to the pool every day this summer and are getting sick of the smell of chlorine and the daily rinsing and drying of swimsuits and beach towels. If you don’t find something new to do with the kids, you’re all going to go crazy! But everything is so expensive! Or is it? One of the many benefits of living in Elmhurst and the surrounding communities is the proximity to Chicago and to many local suburbs with a great deal of free or low-cost attractions.

Museum Adventure Pass 

Did you know you can get free passes or discounts for local attractions through the library? Simply check out the Museum Adventure Pass at the Elmhurst Public Library. There are limitations, of course, like date restrictions and a one-pass-per-family rule. Check out the rules online.  Your Adventure Pass gets you these great deals:

Passport to Adventure

Check out the Passport to Adventure program. Passports provide details about local museums and attractions. They can be picked up at the library. Children can have their passports stamped and will receive prizes from some of the participating locations. The passport provides details about the venues, including hours and costs. Many of the locations are free and many others simply request a small donation.

Free Places to Go

  • Bartlett Depot Museum. This museum is a great destination for young train enthusiasts. In addition to learning more about trains through hands-on activities and exhibits, children can also play with the train table, read railroad books, and assemble train puzzles.
  • Red Oak Nature Center, Batavia. Located in a forest on the Fox River, the nature center features exhibits about local plants and animals, including live animals and a new turtle pond. Use the hiking and biking trails to reach Devil’s Cave.
  • Elmhurst Historical Museum. The museum is currently featuring Shutter to Think: The Rock & Roll Lens of Paul Natkin, the music scene from the 1970’s to today. Check out the air guitar mini-stage, kids’ activity guide, and more.
  • Elmhurst Art Museum. This award-winning modern museum has art galleries, an education center, and outdoor sculpture. Only Fridays are free.
  • The McDonald Farm, Naperville. The Conservation Foundation offers a free self-guided tour of their educational site. They feature water, butterfly, and rain gardens, rain barrels, and rainwater harvesting systems to model onsite sustainable landscaping and water-conservation techniques.
  • Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, Hinsdale. End your hike through the forest preserve in the child-friendly, hands-on exhibit area featuring DuPage County wildlife.
  • Sumner House Museum, Roselle. The Sumner Houes features a general store, barbershop, blacksmith shop, old toys, military room, and Children’s Discovery Room.
  • Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, St Charles. This nature area features hiking trails, an indoor turtle pool, interactive murals, and live animals.
  • Creek Bend Nature Center, St Charles. End your hike through the trails at the discovery area where children can assemble puzzles, read books, and put on puppet shows.
  • Centreville School, West Dundee. Show the kids what it was like to go to school in 1884 by visiting this restored one-room school house.
  • William L Gregg House, Westmont. Recreate the toys from years past at this interactive historical site.

Free Days for Chicago Atttractions

Put the swim suits and beach towels away for a day and see the sites before the kids are back in school! And check out LW Reedy’s Community Links for links to all the sites in Elmhurst.

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How the Inventory Shortage Affects You

You’re considering moving and hear that there’s an inventory shortage. What does that mean? And how does it affect you?

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of homes for sale nationwide between March and April was 13.6% below the level of a year ago. Comparing homes for sale in Elmhurst, we’ve seen a 25% decrease in volume between the 12-month period ending May 2011 and that ending May of 2013. Simply put, that means when you go out looking for houses, there are less available to you than in recent years. Fewer homes are listed, and they move off the market more quickly.

What does that mean for buyers and sellers in the Elmhurst community? In many ways, this is a perfect time for current home owners to move. Prices are still low for buying but are much better for sellers than over the past few years.  At LW Reedy we help our buyers and sellers understand that inventory shortage affects your preparation process, whether you’re looking for a new home, selling your home, or both.

In a market with an inventory shortage, buyers feel the pressure of the time crunch.

  • Homes are staying on the market for less time. If you find a home you like, be prepared to make a decision quickly before another buyer comes in with an offer faster than you.
  • Inventory shortage also creates multiple offer-situations. Be prepared to go in with your best offer.
  • Educate yourself about pricing before you’re ready to buy. Visit multiple homes with your LW Reedy realtor.
  • Research home improvement costs. With the buying process going quickly, you may not have time to call in a contractor to give you an estimate for a new kitchen or flooring. Having some general costs in mind can help you make a wise decision.
  • In general, an inventory shortage affects the market with increases in housing prices and mortgage rates. Take advantage of the current house prices and mortgage rates now before they go up.

Sellers need to be prepared for the unique selling situation of an inventory shortage as well.

  • Sellers need to be well educated on pricing in the area. While prices are increasing overall and overtime and you can get more for your home than last year at this time, there is a tendency to overprice in this situation. Overpricing creates difficulty for the seller because you lose time and you lose leverage with buyers, especially as the market time (number of days on the market) increases. An increase in market time makes buyers wonder why it’s not selling, if there’s something wrong with the house.
  • Be ready for your house to sell quickly. Make sure you have a plan in place for your new home and are getting ready for your move.

The best first step if you’re thinking of buying or selling is to find a Realtor. Our LW Reedy Realtors know the market in Elmhurst and the surrounding area and can be sure you’re well-educated and ready to buy and sell with confidence in this inventory shortage market. Check our listings to get a feel for the houses on the market, and contact us to set up a time to discuss your needs.

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MLS Monday: Homes for Sale!

DuPage County is offering three different types of homes for sale. There are over three-thousand homes up for a traditional sale. There are over six hundred REO (Real Estate Owned Property) currently available, as well as over twelve hundred short sales. Inventory may be down, but properties are still out there! Do not lose hope in finding your dream home!

 

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Rates Thursday

Rates for a 30 Year Fixed Mortgage have risen this week to 4.000% and 15 Year Fixed at 3.125%. Lock in these rates quickly!

 

 

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The View from 101 York

LW Reedy has been serving the Elmhurst community and surrounding areas since 1951. As the largest locally-owned real estate agency in Elmhurst, we have a passion for local news and events. Here’s our view of the community for this month, from our perch at 101 York in the heart of downtown Elmhurst.

Spring Cleaning in Elmhurst Last chance for Spring Clean-Up! Have your items at your curb this week on your regular garbage day. Check the city website for acceptable items and other details.

Wondering how to keep the kids reading this summer?

Sign up for Dig Into Reading, the Elmhurst Public Library’s summer reading program for kids. With prizes geared toward every age range, there’s more than enough inspiration to keep the kids reading. Remember to check your school’s website for summer reading lists.

Looking for some live music?

Elmhurst’s City Center’s Block-to-Block Party rocks Elmhurst with live music every Wednesday and Saturday night. Follow LW Reedy on Facebook to find out which musicians are playing in which locations!

Check out Music at the Gazebo June 20 on Spring Road in Elmhurst.

Don’t miss Simone and the Elmhurst College Jazz Band for the June jazz event. June 15, 6:30pm, College Mall. Bring your picnic basket and some lawn chairs. Free music and fun!

Kids getting bored yet?

The Jaycees Charity Carnival opens Thursday, June 13 at 6pm. Buy passes in advance! Visit the Special Kids Carnival Day website for details about a day for special needs children and adults, along with their families,  to ride free.

Classic Cinemas Wednesday Morning Movie Series starts Wednesday, June 12 at 10am. Doors open at 9am. Be sure to arrive early to meet movie characters and get your seats. Tickets are $1 per person. Movie schedule available online.

Summer Yum!

The York & Valette Farmer’s Market is back! Be sure to visit York & Vallette on Wednesdays between 7am and 1pm to get the freshest produce around.

Learn from the best! Chef Marco of Cafe Amano is teaching the Wilder Mansion Culinary Series Wednesday evenings this summer. Topics include Tapas of Spain, Parisian Delights, and The Islands of Greece.

Father’s Day Events

Looking for something special to do on Father’s Day? Check out the special Father’s Day BBQ at Brookfield Zoo. Or combine the Morton Arboretum Father’s Day BBQ with a family bike ride. Arlington Race Track also offers a special brunch with fun activities to celebrate dads on their special day.

Share Your News!

Have some events you’d like listed in next month’s View from 101 York? Contact debcasey@mac.com with details.

Subscribe to be sure not to miss news on Elmhurst and surrounding suburbs! Check out LW Reedy’s Community Links for Elmhurst and surrounding area websites. Follow us on Facebook for more Elmhurst news.

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MLS Monday

The average sale price in Elmhurst is now over $400,000. Overall, the rise in Elmhurst pricing this past year has been seven percent. Compared to 2010, the Elmhurst sales prices has risen by $22,000.

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Rates Thursday

Guaranteed Rate is offering a 30 Year Mortgage rate of 3.875%. Rates are increasing, but homes are still selling, will the rates increase kill the small housing boom? According to the Washington Post, nope. The reasons behind not buying is issues of credit and lack of job security, not a lack of confidence in the market itself. So homes will still sell!

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MLS Monday

In DuPage County the month supply of inventory is now only at six months. Compared with last year, inventory was at eleven months. Supply of on the market homes has decreased more than forty percent in 2013. This is another sign of the bouncing back real estate market.

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