Monthly Archives: June 2014

Elm Estates: Your Wisest Investment

ElElm Estate Mapmhurst is made up of many different neighborhoods, some developed over a century ago. Our sixth in the “Elmhurst Neighborhoods” series explores Elm Estates, conveniently located between Butterfield Road and Madison Street with Spring Road to the west and York Road to the east.

Elm Estates was advertised as the final prestige area to be developed in Elmhurst. “Over 320 happy families agree: your wisest investment is assured in Elm Estates Elmhurst.” Paved streets, curbs, walks shaded by 30-year-old trees, city water, separate storm and sanitary sewers were all must- have features of the time. Also mentioned in sales literature were two elementary schools, a new junior high school and two new churches including the Christian Reformed Church and Christ Methodist Church of Elmhurst, which was described as an “architectural gem.”

The homes included ranches, bi-levels and colonials developed by MacDougall Builders, Inc. and cost between $26,950 and $45,000. MacDougall was a prolific home builder in south Elmhurst in the 50′s and 60′s with a reputation for building well-built and well-designed homes. MacDougall started assembling parcels of land in 1952, resulting in the subdivisions Elm Estates, Stratford Hills, Atwood Estates and the Royal York Apartments (now Condominiums).

The schools were a huge selling point to the post-war families escaping the noise and dirt of the city. Timothy Christian High School was just opening in 1962, with their junior high opening in 1970 and the elementary school in 1972. Across the street, Bryan Junior High at 111 W. Butterfield had just been built. Named after Thomas Barbour Bryan, the Father of Elmhurst, the school memorialized this Harvard educated attorney who was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and was ultimately responsible for changing the city’s name from Cottage Hill to Elmhurst in 1869.

Just like now, location was so important. An excerpt from a report by land planners Carl L. Gardner and Associates, said, “Elmhurst is located in a most strategic spot in relation to the three-way junction formed by the network of freeways and expressways serving all of northern Illinois. After completion of this expressway system, no part of Elmhurst will be more than one-half to three-quarters of an hour from any center of employment in the entire Chicago metropolitan area.”

Residents of this neighborhood are in the award winning Elmhurst School District 205 and would attend Jackson Elementary School, Bryan Middle School and York High School. Click here for more information on those schools and links to school reports and more. If you are interested in viewing homes in Elm Estates, use LW Reedy’s new MLS Mapping Search tool or contact a LW Reedy Agent for information on this, or any of Elmhurst’s wonderful neighborhoods. LW Reedy currently has a number of beautiful Elm Estates properties just waiting for the right family to move in.

We gratefully acknowledge all of the time and assistance Nancy Wilson at Elmhurst Historical Museum provided in our research. She is, and will continue to be, an invaluable resource for this series. Graphics are used with permission of the Elmhurst Historical Museum.

2014 Real Estate Review and Forecast

real estate growthThe economy is finally showing signs of life and real estate is following suit. Let’s take a look at what the real estate experts projected at the recent Realtor® Party Convention & Trade Expo.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors started with challenges facing the real estate market. The population in the United States has been growing steadily, but job creation has not, and sales of houses in relation to population have also been below normal since 2008.

Limited access to credit, fewer houses on the market, and most recently, home price increases with higher mortgage rates have subdued the real estate market. But the rise in home equity has also had a positive impact,  pushing 3.5 million homeowners above water, nationwide according to Inman News. The median gain to home equity is expected to be $40,000 over three years.

Much of the success of the real estate recovery will hinge on the participation of young first time home buyers who are having a really tough time in this economy. Yahoo recently looked at the problems facing these young people in  Why jobless millennials are killing housing. Aside from employment issues, many people aged 24 to 35 have credit scores hurt by student loan defaults which have impacted their credit scores. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports default rates have nearly doubled from just over six percent in 2003 to almost 12 percent last year. The good news, however, is nearly 25% of people under the age of 35 have no outstanding debt.

couple in front of houseThere are some glimmers of hope in our economic future. Growth in the Gross Domestic Product was slower in the first quarter, but with no signs of another recession on the horizon, Mr. Yun estimates GDP might grow by 3% in the second quarter. Employment is improving with the recent news that the United States economy has replaced all of the jobs lost since 2008. Job growth is expected to rise 1.6 percent in 2014 and 1.9 percent in 2015, which should cause consumer confidence to rise as well.

Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, agrees. “Growth in the stock market and the recovery in housing, along with pent-up demand, are major factors driving the economy.”

Prosperity Take advantage of this new era of prosperity by making your next big move. With interest rates and house prices rising, now may be the perfect time to take advantage of the current favorable conditions. is the perfect place to get started, or call one of our experienced real estate agents. No one knows real estate in Elmhurst and the western suburbs like LW Reedy.