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The Helen Oliveri Team Blog

Chicagoland Real Estate

By Helen Oliveri | Broker in Hawthorn Woods, IL
  • Give the Gift of a Home - 3 Ways to Fit it in your Budget

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Financing, How To...  |  December 18, 2014 10:11 AM  |  5 views  |  No comments

    Crowdfunding the gift they really want.

    This time of year we are all struggling to think of creative gifts for our loved ones.  Instead of the crazy tie or slippers, why not give them what they really want.... a home. More specifically, the down payment for your house. Being realistic, you're not going to be writing a big fat check for 3.5% of the purchase price of a home and put it under the tree!


    Currently society has wants that are pretty costly.  Whether it's Christmas, Birthday, or a Wedding, crowdsourcing is making big purchase gifts a reality.  Here's 3 great ways to make it happen.

    Hatch My House

    Hatch My House is an online gift registry that is free to use and allows anyone to give funds toward the registrant's down payment. The size of the gift is up to the gifter, and Hatch My House can also be used for home renovations in lieu of or in addition to down payments.

    Down Payment Dreams

    Typical wedding registries filled with housewares are seeing competition from sites like Down Payment Dreams, created as "a unique wedding gift registry that gives couples an opportunity to collect down payment funds for a new home." However, Down Payment Dreams does not require registrants to be engaged couples. Anyone can create a registry as long as they are willing to pay the $50 registration fee.

    Feather The Nest

    Feather The Nest brands itself as a place to "fund your home improvement dreams," but this new player in the real estate crowdfunding game is also a place to build a nest egg to buy a house. Feather The Nest offers enhanced social media accessibility, with shareable pages including pictures and videos, and updates when funds are added.

    If you're planning to build a registry for a down payment, make sure you look into what your loan allows, said Interest.com "Depending on the type of mortgage you apply for, there are different rules for applying gift money to the down payment," they said. "With FHA and VA loans, all of your down payment can be from gift money, but with a conventional loan, you can only use part of the gift money if you put down less than 20%."

    If you're looking for more information on these restrictions or how to set it up, call Helen today at 847.967.0022 or email helen@helenoliveri.com.




  • Should You Stay or Should You Go?

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Home Ownership  |  December 16, 2014 2:17 PM  |  9 views  |  No comments

    With home prices increasing, the equity in your home is rising as well.  Many homeowners are now seeing opportunities for refinancing, remodeling or even moving.  If you're not sure what's right for you, review the tips below.

    Analyze your home. Make a list of all the things you love about your home.  Make an adjoining list of all the things you don't like or wish you could have.  Take your time and really think about every aspect from the basement to the bedrooms and the attic to the yard.  Do you love the area?  Is the home to big or small?  Can a remodel fix the issues?  Do you want to retire here?

    Do your research. This applies to both sides of the coin.

    What is the cost of the remodels you want?  Explore Angie's List or reference good contractors in the area.  Does the city allow the changes that you want or will you need a permit?

    Is there another neighborhood you may want to move to? Be sure to check out the homes, churches, schools, and shops in the area.  Is it going to be a longer commute? Are there any gains to offset additional expenses?

    Get your finances in order. Regardless of which direction you go in, having your financial records easily accessible is vital. You'll need these documents for both situations. Knowing what upgrades you've already done to the home will help when it comes time to sell. And, having your tax documents and other financial information on hand will help you if you decide to remodel using financing.

    Evaluate the process. Talk to the experts.  Make sure that you know what to expect and all the steps.  Find out what the pitfalls may be.  Learn about the whole process and what you will be dealing with every step of the way. Take your time and pay close attention to all the details. Both selling and renovating a home are major decisions. Make sure you give the decision-making process ample time as well as compiling a considerable amount of research to make your final decision.

    Need more help or to review the process?  Call Helen today at 847.967.0022 or email helen@helenoliveri.com.

  • What’s happening in the Long Grove real estate market? See below!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Long Grove, Home Buying in Long Grove, Home Selling in Long Grove  |  December 16, 2014 10:43 AM  |  12 views  |  No comments

    Looking to buy or sell in Long Grove? Keeping up on the market is important when you’re preparing. The value and time on market of other houses in your area will help determine what you will pay or sell your home for and how long you can expect to be on the market yourself.

    Long Grove Real Estate Market Statistics for December 2014

    Active Listings

    Detached Single
    Bedrooms# ActiveAvg. PriceAvg Market Time
    5 or More44$846,727261


    Sold Listings

    Detached Single
    Bedrooms# SoldAvg Sold PriceAvg Market Time

    Data Courtesy of Midwest Real Estate Data LLC. Info deemed reliable but not guaranteed.


    Want to see a more detailed report of your Long Grove home values? Signup for a instant market snapshot here.

    View our Long Grove, IL Real Estate Community page to learn more. You can also view current Long Grove homes for sale here.

  • Helen does it again…. Another one SOLD in Hawthorn Woods Country Club!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Hawthorn Woods, Home Selling in Hawthorn Woods, In My Neighborhood in Hawthorn Woods  |  December 15, 2014 1:15 PM  |  16 views  |  No comments

    78 Tournament Drive N – Hawthorn Woods, IL. 60047
    $607,000 – 97% of the list price in only 13 days on the market!

    Way to go Helen and congratulations to our happy clients!

    Looking to get sold in the shortest amount of time for the most money? Call Helen today at 847.967.0022 or email helen@helenoliveri.com.

  • Don't Miss Out On This Great Deal - New Low Price On Helen's Beautiful Glenview Listing!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Glenview, In My Neighborhood in Glenview, Investment Properties in Glenview  |  December 12, 2014 1:27 PM  |  26 views  |  No comments

    924 Glenwood Rd – Glenview



    ***APPROVED SHORT SALE***Expansive custom home featuring 4,546 square feet of living space and 6 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 2 car attached garage. Lovely attention to detail encompasses this home with a stunning kitchen including high end stainless steel appliances, granite counters, 42' cabinets and an enormous kitchen island. Lovely butler's pantry with granite counters, maple cabinets, hardwood floors and huge pantry closets. The first floor features level hardwood floors & a vaulted family room with skylights and dual view fireplace. Master bedroom has volume ceiling, custom fan and plush carpeting and is spacious with spa like bath, dual granite vanity, granite surround on tub, custom light fixtures, large soaking tub, separate shower and skylight. All bedrooms are spacious and have ample closet space and bright windows. This home has an open floor plan perfect for entertaining. Home has oversized hot water tanks, dual zone HVAC and A/C units and is well-kept. Set on a lovely tree-lined street in sought after East Glenview location with New Trier Schools makes this a home that is just perfect for all lifestyles. You don't want to miss this great value in Glenview.

    See all the photos and details at: http://bit.ly/12WKEl1
  • Home Buyers Should Have Agents

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Tech Tips, How To...  |  December 11, 2014 9:53 AM  |  33 views  |  No comments

    85% of sellers use an agent to market and sell their homes.  Home buyers who use a real estate professional have a higher success rate as well.  In today's market getting to the closing is complex.  Buyers face many more hurdles including stricter financing and a confusing marketplace of listed homes, for-sale-by-owner homes, foreclosures and short sales.  With current low interest rates, high inventory, and low prices you need a sales professional to help you close the deal.

    A good real estate professional knows the market, has a vast network, and can give you the best advise on locating and making an offer on the perfect home.   Searching online isn't going to get you the best homes today.  You need someone with contacts who knows what's going to come on the market before it hits the internet to give you that edge.  Many homes are sold before the sign even hits the yard.

    Here are some tips on how to work with your own agent:

    •  If you want great service, show appreciation and commitment. Get prequalified with a lender by sharing your financial records so you know exactly how much home you can buy.
    • Work with only one agent. If it's customary in your area, sign a buyer's representation agreement.
    • Stay in contact. If you want to look at open houses or builder homes, invite your agent to come along. If she's not available, show your loyalty by telling the salespeople you meet that you are already represented.
    • Don't hide pertinent information from your agent, or she will be in the dark about key issues that could impact your transaction negatively.

    Finding your dream home is only half the battle.  After that begins the negotiations, loan approvals, disclosures, inspections and repairs.  Your agent will help you navigate these events and ensure that you get a better deal that goes smoothly.  Take advantage of all a real estate professional can offer in your transaction.

  • Check Out Helen's New Lovely Glenview Listing!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Glenview, In My Neighborhood in Glenview, Investment Properties in Glenview  |  December 10, 2014 2:46 PM  |  43 views  |  No comments

    305 Nora Avenue - Glenview, IL - $449,000

    Expanded ranch with 2nd floor addition featuring 3 beds, 2.5 baths and 1 car detached garage. Situated on a lot with a side drive and lush landscaping, this home is located on an interior tree-lined street. This home has a flowing open floor plan connecting main living areas for easy living. Tastefully updated home with lovely refinished hardwood floors throughout, 2 sided fireplace in the living room and dining room along with sliders to an oversized deck, make this home a great opportunity. All light fixtures have been upgraded and the decor is pleasant and engaging. Gorgeous Cook’s kitchen with newer stainless steel appliances, ceramic floors, granite counters and an entertainers island. Lovely updated baths, bright windows and generous rooms sizes make this home perfect. Retreat to your oversized yard and enjoy! With all of today’s conveniences, this one of a kind opportunity is not to be overlooked. Terrific home located in sought after Glenview school district. Conveniently situated near shopping, expressways, transporation and entertainment to satisfy every need.

    See all the photos and details at: http://bit.ly/1vEAht2
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