Anyone know the best way to relocate from an old, but paid off house in super prime location?

Asked by RT, Chicago, IL Fri Jan 30, 2009

Currently I live in Old Town, Chicago in a very old and outdated house from then the neighborhood was still ungentrified. The house is paid off but due to the high property tax and evolving family, I am considering moving to a multi family house in a less pricey neighborhood. I am certain that my current house is worth a good sum due to its prime location on a tree-lined, family oriented type of street with nearby schools. I do not have the luxury of time to rehab this house so therefore considering selling and moving. Any advice on how to make this a painless process without getting fleeced? Is moving away from this prime location a good idea in this bad economy?

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Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Fri Jan 30, 2009
Hi RT,
Old Town is certainly a very good location...
Which will help your negotiations and your final sale price.......
Of course you are looking for a specific buyer, either someone who wants to update the property or tear down and rebuild....The allowances for what one can do with the property because of building codes and area regulations will influence also who may buy your property and for how much.

You need to truly do two things: a) get a market evaluation for your existing property
b) then you need to connect with a Realtor tell him or her what you would be looking for, you mentioned a three flat, would you want to live in one unit and rent the others, what are you thinking, and where would
you buy, in the Chicago area still

So once you know what your current property may sell for and what the new property will app. cost you in the size and style you are looking for, then you can make an educated decision if you want to make the move
at this time. Sometimes your personal needs for moving are more important than whether it is the right time considering the market. Old Town should still be a good sell, but of course I do not know your property, its size or exact location...

If you like contact me with your home address and I will do some research on your behalf and send you
some initial information and if you tell me a little more in detail what you are looking for, I will e-mail you what is available in your desired price range and locations. Do you want to stay within the city of Chicago or move to the suburbs? Not sure what you are thinking at this time, and I may have some input and some ideas, once I hear from you what you are thinking.
Feel free to e-mail me with some more details and I will get back to you with some more detailed information ----
YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northshore and N and NW Illinois Expert
1 vote
Dp2, , Virginia
Sat Jan 31, 2009

I'm going to approach this from a different angle: an investor's perspective.

First, while it might be nice for you to obtain a CMA, you'll need to place greater emphasis on the appraisal--because your lender certainly will--provided you intend to finance any portion of your next purchase.

Second, you mentioned your house is old, outdated, too small for you and your family, and too costly to maintain. Although your house is in a desirable location, most retail buyers won't get past the fact that your house is outdated, and it needs to be rehabbed--especially since there are so many other properties for sale that are already marketable. Basically, you should consider targeting investors, but note that they don't think or operate like retail buyers. Although they'll look past the needed repairs/updates, they'll also ignore the "tree-lined" and "prime location" descriptions.

Third, you mentioned you'd like to sell your property "without getting fleeced"; I'll assume you meant you'd like to sell your property for as much as you can get. However, you need to decide whether it's more important for you to sell quickly or to sell the property as close to your ideal sales price. If the time is more important to you, then you'll need to be more flexible on your price and terms. Similarly, if the price is more important to you, then you'll need to be more flexible on your terms and marketing (including repairs/updates and staging). For example, I (as an investor) might present you an offer to purchase your property at your sales price if you were willing to do the deal as a wrap (aka a subject-to mortgage or all-inclusive trust deed), with a broker's commission rebate of $30K, with an abatement of the first 3 months of payments, with a 5-year balloon, and with no pre-payment penalty. And let's say you didn't like that offer, so I countered with the following terms: I'd purchase your property at its current market value with a wrap, with the first 3 months of payments deferred, with an 18-month balloon, and with no pre-payment penalty.

The point is there are lots of ways to do what you're trying to do, and the more flexible you are, the quicker you'll sell your house.
2 votes
Art Berkwitt, Agent, Park Ridge, IL
Fri Jan 30, 2009
I would suggest you have a real estate professional come in and give you an estimate of its value, as far as is it a good time to move, I believe everyone knows the market is down right now, so the new property you purchase should also be able to be purchased at a lower value. If you wait, of course the new property's price will be higher also. Remember just because the market is down, doesn't mean every house is priced correctly, there are many many over priced properties are the market too. Make sure you have any property you consider value confirmed by a professional.
Art Berkwitt
Keller Wiliams Realty
1 vote
Tom McCarey, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Jan 30, 2009

Meet with several real estate professionals who are conversant with listing and selling properties in this environment and have them analyze what the market value of your home is. Old Town is funny - lots are small, it is landmarked (so getting permits to do work can be tricky), some places don't have parking. But at the end of the day this segment of the city is most similar to parts of Europe and manifests a distinct and delightful flavor.

One thing I hope you will bear in mind, though, you have indicated that your residence is aged and outdated. This, combined with the current economy, may deflate the "good sum" you have in mind. But the best manner in which to determine what the true sum will be is to meet with a qualified and competent real estate agent who has a cohesive and thoughtful plan to market and sell your home.

The final part of your question related to whether you should move from this prime location in this economy. The answer to this question is entirely subjective. You mentioned that the size of your family and current taxes are a motivation possibly compelling this move. Another element that might trigger this move is that right now your buying dollar is especially long because mortgage rates are down as are asking prices.

Best of luck making this decision. At the same time, best of luck in selecting the best and most professional realtor to assist you to list and sell your residence while working with you to find and negotiate the purchase of your new home.

Thomas McCarey
Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
Accredited Buyers Representative
@properties with The Real Estate Lounge Chicago
1 vote
Maria Thanas…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Jan 30, 2009
Hi RT: Good question. I live in the Old Town area too!! My suggestion is to do a little investigating. First have an appraiser or a real estate agent give you a market analysis. This will be very accurate given the fact that you can only go back 6 months. It sounds like it would be the land value only and you would sell it "as is".
Then find a location where you would like to go, whether it is here in Chicago or relocating. Look at the price,taxes, and assessments (if any). You will know from the appraisal/market analysis what price you should get from the sale of your home minus the closing costs and commissions (if any) for your budget. As a seller, location is the most important factor. People always want to live in a desireable location. Just make sure you know all the zoning allowances, have a plat of survey, and if you are in the Old Town Triangle area that you know and disclose all of the rules they have when rehabbing homes. I know of people who have purchased in this area not knowing all the details and not being able to rehab the way they want to. If you would like please contact me for further discussion.
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1 vote
Jeffrey Kropp, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Jan 30, 2009
One way to avoid getting fleeced is using an exclusive buyer agent for the purchase and a traditional agent for the sale. Exclusive buyer agents (like me) don't work both sides of the fence, and are the best forum of representation for buying a home (Consumer Reports, Newsweek, and tons of other sources agree).

The central question is whether an agent refuses listings, instead focusing on buyers only- if you have listings you don't qualify. Some agents will disagree as to the benefits of this form of representation, usually because we are a threat to the existing way that large traditional firms do things. Any way, at least you know their are alternatives out there, feel free to visit for more info on exclusive buyer agents (there are not many in Chicago).
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1 vote
Eric Rojas, , Chicago, IL
Fri Jan 30, 2009

You will simply need an evaluation of your home to priced for someone willing to do a renovation or priced for the land. It sounds like you are in a good location and for the right price, developers and those looking to build a home will still make good offer.

I had an associate with a recent listings on Halsted that was overpriced by about $150,000 in our estimate. Yet, two developers made market price offers for the land (they could build a mixed use building on the lot).

Thanks... it sounds like you are in a good position. Two of my Realtor partners live in Old Town and love it... lots of my clients too.
1 vote
Jim Gramata, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Jun 30, 2010
I would not recommend selling at this time unless you absolutely have to because prices are at their lowest in more than 10 years in your area. Sell high and buy low. If you have little to no debt I would start with your lender and talk to them about the possibility of purchasing a home while keeping your current Old Town property. Then if your buying goals could still be met that would be the best option since now you be getting the least return. There is a strong continued risk of prices declining which would also need to be taken into account but your area has been relatively strong compared to others on declining prices.

Contact me to discuss your goals further by phone or email anytime. Good luck

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0 votes
Evan Kane, Agent, Highland Park, IL
Fri Jan 30, 2009
Hi RT,

You are asking some very good questions. My recommendation is to sit down with a good real estate agent (like me) who will sit down with you and explain all of your options.


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