Monthly Archives: July 2015

Tips for the Novice Home Buyer – Part 1

$259,900 in Elmhurst

The residential real estate market is set to hit it’s best year since 2006, according to But have no fear. This is the real deal and not a bubble. The increase is due to strong job growth across the country. Over one million jobs have been created for the 25 to 34 demographic, the typical age of first time home buyers. is seeing record traffic as people research all aspects of this important decision. Homes are selling quickly with the inventory of homes nationwide just 66 days, which is 8 days faster than last year.

Rents are increasing as well, sometimes making it cheaper to buy than to rent. With mortgage rates rising, people are purchasing houses at record levels, with new home sales up 26% over last year and pending home sales, new contacts on existing homes, up 14%. For more information on these statistics, please click here.

$199,900 in Villa Park

If you are thinking of taking the plunge, decide whether it is financially smart for you to purchase. Generally, you should determine if you can rent a similar house or condo for less than it would cost to buy. Consider the cost of your mortgage, maintenance, and property taxes. For a calculator to help you decide, click here.

Costs can differ significantly between neighborhoods in the same geographic area. For instance, two adjacent counties may have property taxes that differ by thousands of dollars. One block may make all the difference between an award winning school, and a school with an unacceptable reputation. Details are crucial in making the correct decision.

$275,900 in Elmhurst

$275,900 in Elmhurst

Choose a realtor with extensive experience in the area you are interested in. If your realtor lives in the area, even better. A knowledgeable realtor will be able to guide you towards properties that are an especially good deal while giving you tips that only an insider knows. To determine how much you can spend,  meet with a mortgage banker to discuss your options. Using a mortgage professional your realtor has worked with before  can sometimes make the process easier. There will be extra costs like moving, inspectors, closing costs and possibly extra money needed for essential repairs if the contract is “as is.” Don’t forget to include the cost of property taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance in your calculations.

When you know how much you can spend, the fun begins. Explore homes for sale online and then let your realtor know which ones you’d like to see. Once your realtor sees what homes you are targeting, he or she will be able to suggest homes that are similar. When you have found “the one,” your realtor will help you determine your first bid based on comparable properties in the neighborhood that have recently closed. Remember that with a hot real estate market like this, trying to low-ball your first bid comes with significant risks of losing the property. Once your bid is accepted, have an inspector check the house for problems.

We will publish Part 2 with more tips for the novice home buyer next month. If you just can’t wait,  check out this article.


Freewheeling Friday Coming to Elmhurst

Two exciting events will be happening in Elmhurst this Friday.

Starting Friday, July 24th, a trolley will be running from the south side of town to City Centre. The trolley will run North on York Street to 2nd Street and then loop down Addison to Cottage Hill Avenue to St. Charles Road. It will then head west on St. Charles to Spring Road, proceeding to Vallette, where it will travel east to York Street before heading back into town. Click here to see the trolley stops.

A discount coupon for participating Elmhurst merchants will be available for riders on the trolley so don’t forget to ask for it. The trolley will run on weekends through September 13th starting its first run at 6:00 pm on Fridays ending at 11:00 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the trolley starts at noon ending at 11:30 pm on Saturday and 5:00 pm on Sunday.

The trolley arrives just in time for the second exciting event in Elmhurst this Friday, The Superior Elmhurst Cycling Classic,cycling logo taking place in front of Wilder Mansion. The Elmhurst Cycling Classic is organized by the DuPage Cycling Foundation, founded by the Elmhurst Masters Competition Cycling Inc. as their primary fund raiser. The DuPage Cycling Foundation raises money for organizations in DuPage County that support community health and education through the creation and promotion of cycling related events.

Proceeds from the Elmhurst Cycling Classic support local charities, and over $21,000 has been donated in its first two years of operation. The proceeds from last year’s race allowed the City of Elmhurst to install a new Dero Bike Fix-It bicycle repair station in downtown Elmhurst. Other donations have gone to United Community Concerns, Yorkfield Food Pantry, Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation, Elmhurst Walk-In Ministry, and the District 205 Foundation.

family rideOlympia Chiropractic is sponsoring a FREE Family Fun Ride at 7:20 pm, so take the family over for a great way to squeeze in some exercise. There will be a free bike valet in the tennis courts, provided by the Elmhurst Sustainability Task Force so that you won’t need to wheel your ride around after you are done. You can register for the Family Fun Ride until July 23rd at Olympia Chiropractic at 533 S. York Road. On the day of the race, registration will be $5 per rider.

But there’s more than bike riding going on at the Elmhurst Cycling Classic. Aside from the playground and shade from the beautiful old cartrees, Wilder Mansion will be open with beer, wine and soft drinks until 10:00 pm, along with food vendors located near the start line. Superior Ambulance is one of the main sponsors of the event and will have a display of antique ambulances which are sure to delight your car enthusiasts. There will also be face painting and other fun activities for the kids.

The Elmhurst Masters Competition Cycling group will provide a cooling station, the Elmhurst Public .Library will be open for your reading pleasure and the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art is within steps of the park. If you can’t find anything from the food vendors to eat, there are restaurants and shops just a few blocks away. If you haven’t walked around Elmhurst College, take a stroll to see the changes they have been making to their campus.

The race will run around the outskirts of Elmhurst College and there are road closures, so before traveling in the area, be sure to check this map. Make sure if you bike over, you obey all traffic laws to set a good example for your kids. Or take the trolley! You can relax and enjoy the view while the driver takes the wheel.