Archive | Buyers RSS feed for this section
4 Dec

Few people can buy a home for cash. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), nearly nine out of 10 buyers of Belleville IL homes finance their purchase, which means that nearly all buyers — especially first-time purchasers — require a loan.  The real issue with real estate financing is not getting a loan (almost anyone mortgagewilling to pay lofty interest rates can find a mortgage). Instead, the idea is to get the loan that’s right for you — the mortgage with the lowest cost and best terms.

Realtors routinely urge prospective buyers to get pre-approved for a loan before they even begin looking at Belleville IL homes. They also stress the importance of obtaining a letter of pre-approval rather than of pre-qualification.  Although many homebuyers use these two terms interchangeably, there are significant differences between the two.  Simply stated, pre-qualification lets sellers know that a prospective buyer of their Belleville IL home is likely to qualify for a loan, whereas pre-approval, although not an absolute guarantee, indicates that a loan officer has determined a borrower is credit-worthy and financially able to qualify for a certain loan.

The advantages of searching for a Belleville IL home with evidence of pre-approval in hand are many.  In essence, they include the following:

  • Mortgage preapproval is going to tell you exactly how much money you can borrow. This way, you will know how much your mortgage payment is going to be ahead of time.
  • You won’t waste time (or be sorely disappointed) by looking at houses you can’t afford.
  • Sellers and Realtors will take you seriously.  They are much more comfortable with the certainty that you can obtain a loan (and that the deal won’t fall through), and thus may be more willing to negotiate.
  • Once you find a home, the mortgage process can proceed more quickly because your lender will already have.

Although lender requirements for pre-approval may vary somewhat, be prepared to supply the following information:

  • Purchase Agreement
  • Social Security Number and Date of Birth
  • W-2/1040 Forms
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Bank account statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Debts and liabilities
  • Mortgage or rental histories
  • Investment properties
  • Employers
  • Asset statements
  • Personal property
  • Current and previous statements

Supplying all this information may seem like a time-consuming process, but in the end of your house-hunting journey, you’ll be glad you did it!

Search all Belleville IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Belleville IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Belleville IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Belleville homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

 

 

Best and Worst Remodeling Projects For Saint Clair County IL Homes

26 Sep

According to many experts in the building business, homeowners are ready to make 2012 a banner year for remodeling, and the latest cost-for-value research suggests that getting the most bang for every buck is more important than ever.  Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report for 2011-2012 found that the trend right now is replacement over remodeling—swapping out the old for the new rather than doing a total gut job, which can be much more costly. Exterior replacement projects—such as new garage doors or a new entry door—offer some of the best returns at resale, allowing owners of Saint Clair County IL homes to recoup close to 70 percent or more of the costs of the project at times of resale. Based on what home owners stand to recoup at time of resale, RISMediarecommends these mid-range projects:

hard hat1. Replacing the entry door to steel Estimated cost: $1,238 Cost recouped at resale: 73 percent

2. Attic bedroom Estimated cost: $50,148 Cost recouped at resale: 72.5 percent

3. Minor kitchen remodel (including new cabinets and drawers, countertops, hardware, and appliances) Estimated cost: $19,588 Cost recouped at resale: 72.1 percent

4. Garage door replacement Estimated cost: $1,512 Cost recouped at resale: 71.9 percent

5. Deck addition (wood) Estimated cost: $10,350 Cost recouped at resale: 70.1 percent

6. Siding replacement (vinyl) Estimated cost: $11,729 Cost recouped at resale: 69.5 percent

What projects should you avoid?  According to Bankrate and US News these six projects are not cost-effective:

1. Home office remodel: Property owners who remodel a home office recoup on average less than half of the project’s cost when they sell.

2. Sunroom addition: Brings in only about 51 percent of the project’s cost

3. Bathroom addition: Only about 60 percent of the project’s cost is recouped when Saint Clair County IL home owners sell their residence.

4. Backup power generator: Will bring on average a return of only 59 percent of the project’s cost.

5. Garage addition: Saint Clair County IL home owners who build a garage addition get back approximately 62 percent of the project’s cost when they sell their home.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

Saint Clair County IL Foreclosure Trends – July 2012

18 Sep

There were 2,011 Saint Clair County, IL homes in July 2012, according to RealtyTrac.com. The average sales price of a Saint Clair County, IL home was $131,263 in July, while the average sales price of a Saint Clair County, IL  foreclosure home was $48,000, a $82,263 savings.

Saint Clair County, IL Foreclosure Activity and 30 Year Interest Rate

The interest rate on a 30 year mortgage was 3.55% in July and there were 285 new foreclosures.

saint clair county il

Foreclosure activity is based on the total number of properties that receive foreclosure filings – default notice, foreclosure auction notice or bank repossession – each month. Interest rate is based on the average 30-year fixed rate from Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Saint Clair County, IL Foreclosure Geographical Comparison

Saint Clair County, IL foreclosures were 0.09% above national statistics and 0.1% below Illinois figures in July.

saint clair county il foreclosure

Saint Clair County, IL Foreclosure Activity by Month

Saint Clair County, IL  foreclosure activity is falling. The number of Bank-owned properties increased from 48 properties in June to 105 in July, while the number of Auctions increased from 11 to 19. Pre-foreclosure activity climbed from 102 homes to 161 homes.

saint clair county il foreclosure

Are you or someone you know behind on mortgage payments and facing a Saint Clair County, IL foreclosure? You do have options. A short sale may be the answer to saving you, your family and your home. Give me a call for a private consultation.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

Small Space Vegetable Gardening for Your Saint Clair County IL Home

4 Sep

Are you feeling the urge to get your hands dirty or have a yen for home-grown fresh veggies but are frustrated because you just don’t have the space at your Saint Clair County IL home to plant a real garden?  Just as the “grow your own produce” movement has taken hold, so has small space and/or container vegetable gardening.

Not sure how to get started?  Visit Vegetable Gardening Online for a free planning grid and planting advice—for a space as small as 1’ x 5’. Or click here for instructions on site selection, soil preparation, and space-saving techniques for your Saint Clair County IL home garden.  Efficiency gardening strategies include companion planting, crop rotation, succession planting, spacing, and vertical growing.  Who knew?

What will you need?  General requirements include soil, plenty of sunshine, and a water source.   Keep in mind, however, that while most vegetables do best in at least 6 hours of sunlight, there a few (spinach, lettuce, broccoli, e.g.) that can tolerate some shade, so don’t discount any potential garden spot.

What to plant in a small space?  Think tomatoes, lettuce, peas and beans, beets, carrots, and peppers.  Each of these vegetables will grow well in a small area, will not require extra care, and will contribute to delicious meals at your Saint Clair County IL home.

Remember, though, that you don’t need a plot of land to garden.  Many vegetables lend themselves well to container gardening. With some thought to selecting bush or dwarf varieties, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container vegetable gardens.  Containers for your vegetable gardens can be almost anything: flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes, nursery flats, window planters, washtubs, plastic bags, large food cans, or any number of other things.  However, no matter what kind of container you choose, it should have holes at the base or in the bottom to permit drainage of excess water. Another tip:  be careful when using dark colored containers because they absorb heat which could possibly damage the plant roots. If you must use them, try painting them a lighter color.Happy eating!

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

Saint Clair County Real Estate For Sale:920 Peony Drive Belleville, IL 62220

23 Aug

Saint Clair County Real Estate For Sale:

920 Peony Drive Belleville, IL 62220

MLS#4110703

Spacious living areas and numerous upgrades make this exceptional family home ready for move-in. A sun-drenched living room with gleaming hardwood floors and picture window views is the ideal place to greet family and friends. Wonderful kitchen space features cabinet and counter space galore, new wall oven, gas cook-top, dishwasher and refrigerator. The sunny breakfast nook with patio access is a great place to start your day. Step downstairs into the huge family room offering all the space you need for relaxing and enjoying good times. Three generously sized bedrooms with hardwood floors and large windows are perfect for a good night’s rest. Awesome backyard with mature trees and a covered patio for grilling and chilling will certainly make your next BBQ a hit. Pack your bags and come on over. We are sure you will want to stay.

Holly Norton has distinguished herself as a leader in the Saint Clair County, IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County, IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair County homes for sale.

Holly brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Saint Clair County, IL home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future – Holly will help make the most of your Saint Clair County, IL real estate experience. Give her a call today, 618-779-9966, and discover the difference she can make during your family’s move.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

A Garden For All Senses At Your Saint Clair County IL Home

20 Aug

Many of us select plants for the garden at our Saint Clair County IL home based on their visual effect—color, height, size of blooms, etc.  And so we should, as the sight of our plantings should be pleasing to our sense of sight.  As we plan our garden, however, we should also be aware of the other four senses—and include plants which appeal to each of them.

saint clair county il homeSMELL:  Aromatherapy is a powerful practice. With nothing more than a simple scent, the brain can be triggered to remember long forgotten memories, emotions, and feelings. With that being said, it is important to carefully select the flowers you want in the garden of your Saint Clair County IL home. With a few simple choices, you can create your own “memory lane’ or relaxing oasis.  In terms of fragrance, it’s hard to beat roses or lavender.  Wisteria and jasmine are scented climbers which can really enhance the sensory pleasure of a garden, and amaryllis belladonna and spirea both add pleasant scents.

SOUND:  Few of us associate the sense of sound with our garden, but the rustling of long grasses and the chirping of birds add a much-appreciated dimension.  To attract songbirds, use fruit-bearing understory trees like dogwoods and service berries and shrubs such as viburnums and hollies and introduce low growing perennials and dwarf shrubs like creeping juniper and cottoneaster. You can also plant vines, ground covers, and sunflowers to increase chirping and tweeting.

TOUCH:  Texture in garden design refers to the surface quality of the plant. Plant textures range from delicate and fine to coarse and bold. The feel of the foliage in your Saint Clair County IL home’s garden is not the only element of texture, however, as the texture can change with the play of light and shadow and even with viewing distance. Plants with thread-like leaves call out to be touched, so consider adding cosmos, baby’s breath, asters, and grasses.  In addition, iris and lamb’s ear will each provide softer tactile experiences.

TASTE:  The world of herbs is nearly without limits. Think about basil, chives, rosemary, chamomile, cilantro, mint, and parsley, to name just a few tasty garden additions.  Consider, too lowbush blueberries or ligonberries.  Lesser known, but equally valuable as salad additions are the flowers of the hibiscus shrub, columbine, and daylilies.

Some of the plants you have selected for your garden will serve more than one purpose and will appeal to more than one sense, so be sure to sniff, feel, taste, listen to, and view each of them!

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

Saint Clair County IL Foreclosure Trends – June 2012

14 Aug

There were 1,932 Saint Clair County, IL homes in June 2012, according to RealtyTrac.com. The average sales price of a Saint Clair County, IL home was $131,923 in June, while the average sales price of a Saint Clair County, ILforeclosure home was $72,284, a $59,639 savings.

Saint Clair County, IL Foreclosure Activity and 30 Year Interest Rate

The interest rate on a 30 year mortgage was 3.68% in June and there were161 new foreclosures.

Saint Clair County IL foreclosure

Foreclosure activity is based on the total number of properties that receive foreclosure filings – default notice, foreclosure auction notice or bank repossession – each month. Interest rate is based on the average 30-year fixed rate from Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Saint Clair County, IL Foreclosure Geographical Comparison

Saint Clair County, IL foreclosures were 0.01% below national statistics, 0.14% below Illinois figures in June.

Saint Clair County IL foreclosure

Saint Clair County, IL Foreclosure Activity by Month

Saint Clair County, IL foreclosure activity is falling. The number of Bank-owned properties increased from 20 properties in May to 48 in June, while the number of Auctions dropped from 13 to 11. Pre-foreclosure activity dropped from 146 homes to 102 homes.

Saint Clair County IL foreclosure

Are you or someone you know behind on mortgage payments and facing a Saint Clair County, IL foreclosure? You do have options. A short sale may be the answer to saving you, your family and your home. Give me a call for a private consultation.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.