Author Archives: lwreedy

Summer fun for kids!

Looking for something fun to keep the kids active and engaged this summer? Local camps offer programs for kids with all kinds of interests whether they’re into sports, music, coding, animals or something else entirely. With over 65 years in Elmhurst, we know what’s going on in and around Elmhurst. Check out our list of summer activities today!

Academics, Arts and Tech

The Avery Coonley School
Downers Grove

Midwest Torrance Center for Creativity / The Center for Gifted
Camps offered in Elmhurst and other area communities

Center for Talent Development
Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy, Evanston

College of DuPage
Glen Ellyn

Elmhurst Art Museum
Elmhurst

Id Tech
Locations in and around Illinois

Project 2o17 (high school)
Elmhurst College, Elmhurst

Strauch Art School
Elmhurst

Dance, Music and Theater

DuPage Dance Academy
Elmhurst

Elmhurst College Summer Music Camps
Elmhurst

Music Together of Oak Brook and Elmhurst 
Elmhurst, Oak Brook

School of Rock
Elmhurst

Spotlight Youth Theater Summer Camp
40 different locations in Chicagoland area and WI

Scouts

Girl Scouts Summer Camp
Locations in and around Illinois

Boy Scouts of America
Locations in and around Illinois

Sports

Nike Summer Camps
Elmhurst College, Elmhurst

Elmhurst Lacrosse
Elmhurst

Elmhurst Rugby
Elmhurst

Addison Park District
Addison

Team Elmhurst Soccer Club
Elmhurst

Zoo and Nature

Brookfield Zoo Camp
Brookfield

Salt Creek Butterfly Farm
Countryside

Morton Arboretum Camp 
Lisle

Legos, More Sports, Outdoors, Preschool and More Summer Fun

Bethel Learning Center
Preschool in Elmhurst

Bricks 4 Kidz
Locations in and around Illinois

Courts Plus Camps Program
Elmhurst

Elmhurst Park District
Elmhurst

Elmhurst YMCA
Elmhurst

Spring Hill Camps
Locations in and around Illinois

Four Common Misconceptions about Real Estate Transactions: Part Four—Mortgage Down Payment Myths

Newlyweds Max and Samantha are hoping to buy their first home this year, but they find the idea of saving 20% for a down payment daunting. They want to invest their money in a home rather than having it slide away with rent payments. They have great credit and good jobs, but they don’t have 20% of a home purchase in their savings. Max thinks they should dip into their 401k so they can put down 20% now, but Samantha thinks they should just wait until they’ve saved the 20%. Who’s right? Maybe neither!! Believe it or not, there are many down payment programs that would allow Max and Samantha to purchase a home with a down payment they can afford now without sacrificing their 401k savings.

Samantha and Max are not alone in their concerns and misconceptions about mortgage down payment requirements.

  • According to a recent Zillow report, one out of five homebuyers consider saving for a down payment a challenge.
  • The Zillow report also states that a down payment of 20% is typically about two-thirds of the average annual income.  
  • Fannie Mae reports that 76% of Americans are either unaware (40%) or misinformed (36%) about current minimum down payment requirements.

Why shouldn’t they borrow from their 401k?

While cashing in a 401k helps the homebuyer now, they may regret using it when it’s time to retire and they do not have enough saved for retirement. Also, they should consider the impact of time on the value of money. The cost of the purchase is increased by rises in mortgage fees and interest rates.

Twenty percent down payments are no longer common

Conventional loans with lower down payments and no mortgage insurance fees are available for homebuyers with good credit, and FHA mortgage down payment assistance is also available as well as many other down payment assistance programs such as IHDA through the state of Illinois.

  • A Digital Risk survey of millennials who recently purchased a home shows that 64.2% put down less than 20%, and 43.8% put down less than 10%.

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  • According to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the median down payment for first-time buyers over the past three years was between 6% percent and 14% for repeat buyers.

FHA mortgage down payment assistance is also available for those with less than stellar credit. While this will allow the homebuyer to purchase their home sooner and with a lower down payment, the homebuyer should plan to stay in the house for about five years to maximize the investment value of the home. This will help recoup the additional mortgage premium and insurance fees incurred with FHA mortgage down payment assistance.

Down payment assistance programs are not just for first-time home buyers

Most potential homebuyers assume that they will not qualify for down payment assistance if they have previously owned a home. However, the majority of programs define first-time homebuyers as a homebuyer who has not owned a home in three years. In addition, there are some programs that do not have any qualifications dependent on previous or current home ownership status.

Max and Samantha are closer to their first home than they think. By taking the time to interview a few lenders and find one who can help them determine the best mortgage down payment assistance program, they can be on their way to a new home in months rather than years.

To learn more about whether or not you may qualify for a down payment assistance program, contact your loan officer or local bank. An LW Reedy real estate agent can talk with you about working with one of our approved lenders.

The View from 101 York – March 2017

Spring is in the air! Our March edition of The View from 101 York has many fun ideas for things to do for adults and kids alike.

For Kids and Teens

Rockin’ Jewelry for Kidsteen-job-fair
March 11
Lizzardo Museum

Free Family Open Swim
March 12
York High School

Teen Job & Volunteer Fair
March 22

York High School

 

Performances

Elmhurst Children’s Theatre: Spring Musical – CATS!screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-1-03-18-pm
March 17, 18, 19

Bryan Middle School

The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra
March 19

McAninch Arts Center-College of DuPage

The Burnt Part Boys
March 9-11

Elmhurst College / Mill Theatre

Foodie Fun

Restaurant Week
March 2-12

Elmhurst City Centrescreen-shot-2017-03-01-at-12-56-18-pm

Five-Course Wine Dinner
March 9

Meson Sabika-Naperville, IL

Adult Cooking Class
March 24

Maggiano’s Little Italy-Oak Brook, IL

Local Lecture

Tweets, Speeches and Storytelling:
Messages from the 2016 Election

March 9

Elmhurst College / Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel

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.

If you have questions about Elmhurst and the surrounding suburbs and real estate in these areas, we’re your go-to people. Contact us today!

Navigating Multiple Offers

REAL ESTATE concept. Many hands want to get the key, reaching ou

When you find the home of your dreams and make the decision to make an offer, the last thing you want is to discover that you’re in competition with another buyer for that home. But it happens, especially during the busy spring market season. Despite what your thermometer is telling you, the spring market for real estate has arrived. Traditionally, we see the most market activity—new listing and homes under contract—during the months of February, March, April and May than any other four-month period in a given year. In 2016, 290 homes went under contract during the spring season in Elmhurst, accounting for 42% of all homes going under contract for the entire year. When a fast-moving, competitive market occurs at the same time as low inventory (Elmhurst’s inventory is currently at 4.4 months, the lowest it has been since the market recovered) it is not uncommon for a buyer to be involved in a multiple-offer scenario.

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All data from MRED. Data deemed reliable but not guaranteed. InfoSparks © 2017 ShowingTime.

Defining Multiple Offers

  • Multiple offers occur when a seller has received offers on their home from two or more unique buyers at or near the same time.
  • The seller has several options on how to proceed including accepting an offer, negotiating or rejecting all offers.

  • One common response for a seller is to request a “highest and best” offer from all parties. Highest and best is the highest price the buyer is willing to pay along with the best terms (earnest money, closing date removal of contingencies) they are willing to offer.

Preparing for the Multiple Offer Scenario

  • Work with a professional Realtor who will look out for your best interests and keep their pulse on the market.
  • Start your search months before you plan to move. It is not uncommon for multiple offers to occur on new listings that are aggressively priced.  If you’ve done your homework, you’ll be able to recognize such a property and act faster than your competition.
  • Choose your team wisely.  Along with your real estate pro, have your preapproval from your lender and have your real estate attorney, inspector and loan officer on call. If you are in a multiple offer situation, you’ll rely on your team from offer-writing through closing.
  • Have a plan to leave work early, take a long lunch or have childcare on alert. When your Realtor tells you a great property hit the market, be ready to drop everything to go see it.
  • Craft a perfect offer. Based on the market trends and recent comps, present the seller the highest price you are willing to pay.  Be ready to consult with your advisors (your Realtor, lender, attorney and friends and family) about the benefits and risks associated with negotiating terms. Terms (the other components of your offer) include increasing earnest money, being flexible on the closing date, letting a seller keep certain fixtures or keepsakes, or removing the protection of a mortgage loan contingency along with numerous other factors.
    .

All signs point to a strong real estate market in 2017. If you find yourself ready to put an offer in for your dream house, you may find that you’re not the only one dreaming of that home. Be in for the win by being prepared and working with your team of professionals. Contact us today to learn more.

Welcome LW Reedy’s New Neighbors!

We feel a bit like the old man on the block, having been here in Elmhurst for 65 years. We’ve watched Elmhurst change quite a bit over these past 65 years. But today, we’re excited to welcome our new neighbors.

Just around the corner, we welcome both Red Arrow Tap Room and Gloria Jean’s Coffees. How convenient to have a place to stop for coffee on the way to visit us in the morning AND a place to stop for a beer or some BBQ to celebrate after your closing! Gloria Jean’s took the place of the uptown Elijah’s Specialty Coffee and Tea (Elijah’s south Elmhurst location is still operating) while Red Arrow moved in right next door to the old Uptown Shop location. Red Arrow offers a unique drinking experience with 48 self-serve taps featuring independent craft beer from the Midwest.

 

 

Our next door neighbors are not the only new restaurants in town. We’re also pleased to welcome more new dining establishments to Elmhurst, some are already open, others coming soon:

 

 

We’re excited to see the changes being made to Bok Cho Asian Kitchen, formerly known as Wok ‘n’ Fire, and to Doc Ryan’s.

As the old man on the block, we are excited to see changes abound in Elmhurst. New restaurants attract new buyers to our wonderful town, increasing the value of homes for our Elmhurst homeowners. Check out our new neighbors. And be sure to let us know what you think!

The View from 101 York – February 2017

Love is in the air! Are you looking for some unique ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Or simply some fun activities to fill the time when it’s still so cold outside? From fun events for kids to fun for you and your friends, there’s plenty of things to do listed in our February edition of The View from 101 York.  

Valentine’s Celebrations

Valentine’s Day with Tannins – with dark chocolate sampler or warm lava cake
February 11 and 14
Tannins Wine Bar, Elmhurst

Drury Lane Valentine’s Dinner 
February 11
Drury Lane, Oak Brook

Morton Arboretum Valentine’s Dinner 
February 12 and 14
Morton Arboretum, Lisle

Brookfield Zoo Valentine’s Brunch 
February 12
Brookfield Zoo

Wine Ed: Chocoholics Anonymous 
February 12
Lynfred Winery, Roselle

Fun for Kids and Teens

 

Rock and Mineral Identification
February 4, 25 and March 11
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

Rockin’ Jewelry for Kids
February 4 and March 11
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

Elmhurst Rugby – Informational Meeting
February 7
Elmhurst Public Library

FREEze Day – Free Admission at Brookfield Zoo
February 12
Brookfield Zoo

Performances

 

Frank Sinatra – A Musical Journey
Feburary 10
Belushi Performance Hall – College of DuPage

 

The Illusionists – Live From Broadway
February 21 to 26
Oriental Theater, Chicago

 

The 50th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival
February 23 to 26
Elmhurst College

Art Around Town

 

Watercolor Workshop with Judie Anderson
February 11
Elmhurst Art Museum

Artist Talk: Alberto Aguilar
February 16
Elmhurst Art Museum

Art from Elmhurst College’s Jazz Festival
February 18 to April 30
Elmhurst Art Museum

2016 Market Recap

The 2016 housing market in Elmhurst showed continued steady, healthy growth, extending the stable improvements we’ve seen over the past 3 years and consistent within national MLS data.

Average sales prices continued on a steady rise, which tells us that we have a strong Elmhurst market, a place people want to buy homes and live. Elmhurst’s average sales price increased 9.2% from $459,300 to $498,947 over the previous year, which was a significant amount higher than 3.8% achieved by the MLS as a whole.

average-sales-price

The number of closed sales in Elmhurst is down 5% compared to 2015, which is consistent with the national housing market. While there is a slight decrease, the number of closed sales per 12-month period has been steady at around 700 for the past 3 years, which indicates a stable market. 

closed-sale

The Months Supply of Homes for Sale and Average Market Time data indicate strong demand for homes in Elmhurst.

months-supply-of-homes-for-sale

average-market-time

As we wrap up a strong and healthy housing market in Elmhurst in 2016, we look toward the coming year. What can homeowners expect in 2017? Here is what some of our favorite experts foresee:

  • Illinois Association of Realtors shares predictions from Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois: “Supply continues to be a problem, but prices of both regular and foreclosed properties increased, and the forecasts suggest that these trends will continue into the first quarter of 2017.”
  • According to the Realtor.com 2017 forecast, “the 2017 housing market will be a year of slowing, yet moderate growth, set against the backdrop of a changing composition of home buyers and a post-election interest rate jump that could potentially price some first-timers out of the market. Inventory is currently down an average of 11 percent in the top 100 metros in the U.S. The conditions that are limiting home supply are not expected to change in 2017. Median age of inventory is currently 68 days in the top 100 metros, which is 14 percent – or 11 days – faster than U.S. overall.”
  • Realtor.com predicts moderate growth in sales and average sales price for the Chicago Metro area.
  • According to Crain’s Chicago Business,  “Baby boomers heading into their sixties and millennials in their late twenties and early thirties are the “bookend generations, who together can make a big difference in how Chicago’s housing recovery goes this year,” said Jonathan Smoke, the chief economist for RealtorDOTcom, after speaking at a recent Chicago Association of Realtors market outlook event.”

What do we think? Well, despite some modest reports for the real estate industry in Chicagoland, Elmhurst continues to see healthy appreciation, which we expect to continue in 2017.  Elmhurst’s unique blend of strong schools and parks, vibrant downtown and accessibility to O’Hare Airport and Chicago continue to attract buyers of all ages and needs and that should continue in 2017. Be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook to receive our quarterly market updates.

Four Common Misconceptions About Real Estate Transactions: Part Three—Home Insurance vs. Home Warranties

What’s the difference between home insurance and home warranties? Do you need both? Let’s find out. At first, many homeowners think a home warranty is an unnecessary expense and believe they are already covered by their home insurance. However, while both types of protection help you in the event of loss or damage, they cover different issues.

homeinsurancevwarranty1
The difference between home insurance and home warranties becomes clear when thinking through examples of various kinds of peril and damage that can occur to your home and to the items within your home. Here are some examples:

homeinsurancevwarranty2
Understanding the differences between home insurance and home warranty can help you prevent unnecessary expense when the unexpected occurs. With both home insurance and a home warranty, you’re covered.

Wrap-Up

Look for the final installment in our series on four common misconceptions about real estate transactions next month. Next up: understanding earnest money. To learn more, contact us today. We would love to help. To keep up with important housing market updates, follow us on Facebook.

The View from 101 York – January 2017

The holidays are behind us and a new year has begun. What fun winter activities do you have planned? Princess day for your daughters? Foodie fest for date night? Discover fun events in and around Elmhurst in our January edition of The View from 101 York.  

Free Family Fun

Free Days at Museum of Science and Industry free
January 10-12, 16-19, 24-26 and 31
Museum of Science and Industry

Free Family Open Gym
Sundays, January 8 to February 19
Churchville Middle School

Free Family Open Swim
Sundays, January 8, 22
York High School

 

Elmhurst Museums

elmhurstartmuseum
Fossil Day

January 7
Lizzadro Museum

Painting Tour: Sense of Place with Tony Abboreno
January 14
Elmhurst Art Museum

 

 

Chicago Events

2017 Cubs Conventioncubs
January 13-15
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers

2017 Chicago Ale Fest – Winter Edition
January 28
Nacy Pier Aon Grand Ballroom

Chicago Polar Bear Plunge
January 28
Oak Street Beach

More Area Fun


Bite Nite – A Foodie Fest Eventbitenight

January 27
Nineteenth Century Club in Oak Park, IL

Crazy For You
Through January 8
Drury Lane Theatre

Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra Concert: 1-2-3-4 Baroque
January 22
Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church

Princess Day at Wilder Mansion
January 29
Wilder Mansion in Elmhurst, IL

 

 

 

 

Elmhurst Then and Now, Celebrating 65 Years

When Larry Reedy, Senior, opened the doors of LW Reedy Real Estate 65 years ago, he probably had no idea that someday his name would be on a Pokémon stop, his grandson would be running the place, and real estate prices would be 20 times what they were that day. Then again, those who knew Larry, Senior may say that he knew it all along.

Larry, Senior knew everyone in town, and everyone knew him. You’d see him cheering on the York cross country team, handing out silver dollars at retirement homes, and tipping his hat to a stranger on the street. His business was built on caring about the people of Elmhurst, a tradition that holds strong with LW Reedy agents today.

While Larry’s legacy of caring about Elmhurst’s residents continues on, much has changed both in Elmhurst and in the real estate industry, and LW Reedy has changed along with it.

Just look around town. Here’s how a few places have changed from when Larry, Senior opened LW Reedy Real Estate in 1951 to today.

  • There used to be a High-Low Foods on St Charles Road just east of Route 83, right about where Whole Foods stands today.
  • Where Buffalo Wild Wings serves up wings and burgers, a clothing store called Ruby’s Family Fashions used to blast Madonna videos to attract teenagers.
  • Back in 1951, if you were shopping for toys, hardware, home décor, appliances or really pretty much anything, you’d stop over at Soukup’s Hardware Store. What’s there now? It’s near the new construction just south of York Classic Cinemas.
  • Can you believe we used to have a Sears on the northwest corner of York and Second Street where Unique Travel Service is now? In 1951, the Elmhurst Sears store had 35 employees and served a 25-mile radius. It closed in the mid-1960’s when Oak Brook Shopping Center opened it’s own Sears.
  • Where you may sit down for a tasty Kung Pao Beef at Red Dragon Restaurant, the Lions Club used to meet for lunch every Monday. Those days, the space was occupied by Cottage Hill Restaurant. When Cottage Hill Restaurant opened in 1929, it served a daily business lunch for just 50 cents! It closed in 1982.
  • There was no skirting the train tracks using the underpass back in 1951. It didn’t exist! How’d you get around the train? You didn’t. You just had to wait it out.

Just like Elmhurst, LW Reedy has changed quite a bit over the past 65 years.

  • Back in 1951, there were just a few people joining Larry, Senior at LW Reedy. These days, LW Reedy serves as a broker for over 90 agents.
  • LW Reedy agents used to meet with buyers and sellers at the office or in their homes to have them sign contracts. These days, most documents are signed via Docusign over the Internet.
  • The MLS launched in the 1950’s. At the time, it was regional and only accessible to real estate agents. As a buyer or seller, the only way you could get information on a home for sale was to talk with a real estate agent. Now national sites like Realtor.com mean basic information about homes for sale can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection.

What hasn’t changed? Well, in Elmhurst, Hamburger Heaven still serves double deck hamburgers and root beer in the same place it stood when it opened its doors in May of 1948. And at LW Reedy, we still stand for the same values as Larry, Senior did when he opened our doors in 1951. We are grounded in tradition and inspired by innovation. We are a family to our agents, our clients and our community. We can just picture Larry, Senior handing out silver dollars to Pokémon Go players at his Pokémon stop on the Prairie Path just west of Pioneer Park.

Help us celebrate our 65th anniversary by sharing stories about your history in Elmhurst.

Thank you to the Elmhurst History Museum for a website full of information about Elmhurst businesses.