Monthly Archives: January 2014

The View From 101 York – February 2014

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.

Running Through This Month

Ice Skating at Eldridge Park

ice skatingAs long as the green flag is flying, you can get some exercise ice skating at Eldridge Park at 363 Commonwealth Lane in Elmhurst. The Polar Vortex has had one good result: at least 8 inches of ice on the lagoon. So pull out your skates, dress the kids warmly, and hold your own Olympic event.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Light Opera Workshop at Elmhurst College

Elmhurst College students will present music from opera and musical theater that will delight people of all ages. The concert is free at the college’s Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on the beautiful Elmhurst College Campus at 3:00 pm.

Sunday, February 3, 2014

Grand Mardi Gras Celebration with the Elmhurst Garden Club

The Elmegc-logo-ds-png-155x130hurst Garden Club’s regular meeting will be held at Wilder Mansion at 211 S Prospect in Elmhurst. Club members will host lunch at 11:30 and the regular business meeting will begin at noon.

After the meeting, horticulturalist and garden designer Lynn Baralt of Baralt Landscaping Co. will present The King is in the Cake, the Queen is in the Garden. Everyone is welcome and the event is free to the public. For more information, email ntfarrell@comcast.net.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Take a Romantic Night Hike in Fullersburg Woods

Wander hand-in-hand with your sweetheart through a lantern-lit self-guided walk through the woods and then cuddle up in front of a cozy fire at Fullersburg Woods with a hot cup of cocoa and roasted marshmallows. The lanterns will be lit from 7:00 to 9:00 and the walk is open to adults only and costs $10 per couple. To register, call (630) 850-8110.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Family Open Swim at York High School

Take this opportunity to splash and play in the pool at York High School, 355 South St.Charles Road, between 1:00 and 4:00 pm. Lap swimming, open swim and diving boards will all be open for Elmhurst residents. If you can’t make it on the 16th, the pool will also be open on the 23rd.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Doubtful Abbey, Murder and Mayhem at Fussworthy Manor

This production takes place at Angelo’s Ristorante at 247 N. YorkGreenman for five weekend performances between February 21 and March 2, 2014. Pick up clues about the crime portrayed within the show while mingling with cast members at a pre-show social hour with a cash bar and enjoy a delicious meal while watching the show. All tickets must be reserved and paid in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets may be reserved by calling the box office at 630-464-2646 or by visiting the GreenMan website. Tickets are $50 per person.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Elmhurst Choral Union: Medley of Melodies

Enjoy a lively mix of choruses and solos from Opera, Broadway and the Great American Songbook. The concert begins at 7:00 pm at First United Methodist Church at 232 S. York in Elmhurst. This is a free event, and good will donations will be taken. Tickets are not required and proceeds will benefit Elmhurst Choral Union’s programs. The Elmhurst Choral Union is an auditioned choir performing all types of music from Classical and great choral music of all eras. Click here for more information.

Monday, February 27, 2014

Lambing at Kline Creek Farm

Learn about the role of livestock on an 1890s farm while looking at some cute and cuddly newborn lambs on the Kline Creek Farm at 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. If the weather is bad on the 27th, click here to see other dates. The lambs are accepting visitors between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

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Elmhurst’s Cherry Farm Grew Real Cherries

Elmhurst is made up of many different neighborhoods, some developed over a century ago. Here is the first in our new series, “Elmhurst Neighborhoods” that will look at some of these neighborhoods and how they contributed to the rich tapestry of Elmhurst’s diverse history.

ImageToday we will look at one of the oldest neighborhoods, Cherry Farm. In the 1830s, St. Charles Road was one of the busiest Illinois thoroughfares of the time. Travelers would ride horses or take coaches from their country homes in Galena on the Mississippi to Chicago. In 1849, the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad made its first trip west from Chicago making a stop at York Road. An enterprising Gerry Bates had traded the right-of-way with the railroad for locating a depot on his property. And thus Cottage Hill, later to be called Elmhurst, was born.

In 1851, John R Case, Sr. purchased 80 acres of land south of St Charles Road along York Street. In 1860, he moved to his new property, planted over 1000 Cherry Trees, and named his estate Cherry Farm.

From 1870 to 1880, Cherry Farm was a real working farm. During blossom time, people would come from miles around to spend the day admiring the flowers that fell like snow from the trees. At harvest time, German women would bring their children and pick cherries for 50 cents a bushel. Men would load the cherries onto horses, leave around midnight in order to arrive at South Water Street by 5:30 in the morning, just in time to sell their crops.

As the railroad grew, wealthy people moved into the area looking for a country setting away from the unpleasantness of the city. Sales brochures of the time spoke of a healthier atmosphere, better water and open spaces. The gentry that already lived in the area often encouraged friends and associates to get out of the city and move to Cottage Hill.

This time has been referred to as Elmhurst’s Gilded Age, where owners of the great estates of the day entertained prominent families from both Elmhurst and Chicago at garden parties, musicales, balls and amateur dramatic productions. One of these prominent estate owners was John R Case, Jr., who built “Orchard House,” named because of the apple orchards that had been planted.

Eventually the cherry farm closed and in 1907, John R Case, Jr laid out the Cherry Farm subdivision, south of St. Charles and east of York. Some of the original homes remain to this day as a testament to the glorious beginnings of Elmhurst.

There are currently six properties, with an additional two under contract, available in Cherry Farm. With prices ranging from $449,000 to $1,799,000, there is something for everyone. Here is the link to our new MLS Mapping Search tool if you’d like to see for yourself. Or contact an LW Reedy Agent for information on Cherry Farm or any of Elmhurst’s wonderful neighborhoods.

Residents of Cherry Farm are in the award winning Elmhurst School District 205 and would attend Edison Grade School, Sandburg Middle School and York High School. Click here for more information on those schools and links to school reports and more.

We want to gratefully acknowledge all of the time and assistance the good people at Elmhurst Historical Museum provided in researching Cherry Farm. They were, and will continue to be, an invaluable resource for this series.

Great Expectations in 2014

As we move into 2014, we have so many things to look forward to. Improvement in the real estate market is just one of them. Last year brought many challenges, including houses that were under water, difficulties getting mortgages and a waning supply of houses for sale.

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In January of 2012, there was an 11 month supply of houses in Elmhurst. In 2013, the supply was just seven months and starting in 2014, we are down to below five months. This translates into higher prices for the houses that are selling because supply is so constricted.

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In fact, house prices at the beginning of 2012 averaged just under $380,000. At the beginning of 2013, they had climbed to just under $390,000. The average price of a house in Elmhurst as we enter 2014 is just under $410,000. That is almost 8% higher at a time when there is virtually no inflation and other adverse economic conditions persist.

The number of sales also grew surprisingly well in 2013. While sales in 2012 were rather slow, growing only 17% after losses or stagnant growth the previous years, in 2013, we started the year at 525 and ended in December at 680, a 30% increase. The number of home sales are expected to continue rising through 2014, absent any other surprises in the general economy.

# of closed units(over last 12 months-Elmhurst

Here is what the Chicago Agent is predicting for 2014.

House prices will continue to rise, although slowing as inventory picks up. This rise will move people who are currently in negative equity positions into positive territory and allow them to finally get off the fence and list their homes. As housing inventories continue to rise and general market conditions improve, mortgage rates are also likely to rise.

The Federal Reserve has already indicated it will start reducing the amount of bonds they are purchasing to keep interest rates low. Without that infusion of money into the economy, interest rates are almost guaranteed to rise affecting home affordability.

As home prices and mortgage rates rise, affording a house will start to be more difficult. In 2013, home affordability had fallen to a five year low. While credit standards are expected to loosen a little in 2014, an increase in mortgage rates and the prices of homes will make it harder for those who may be on the cusp of being able to afford a home to purchase one. Now is the time to consider purchasing and the perfect person to help is one of the experienced realtors at LW Reedy.

If you want to buy a new home, the numbers seem to indicate you will have a happier new year if you make your move now.