Joanne Metz

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(708) 502-2127

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Why Work with a Real Estate Pro

Posted On: November 18th, 2018 8:06PM

 

So… you are ready to buy or sell a home and not sure if you should go it alone, or bring on a professional real estate agent to assist you? As a REALTOR®, I’ve had this conversation with many clients.

Here are a few great reasons to use a professional REALTOR®

Access to the MLS

The MLS is the most up-to-date database of all homes for sale. Having your home listed on the MLS is also important because the thousands of agents in that same MLS have exclusive access to your home’s information. The MLS is their go-to, daily resource for finding homes for their buyers.

You need to reach as many potential buyers as possible. For sale by owner listings do not get as much online exposure a home in the MLS does.

Marketing

Great online and offline marketing ensures that your home gets noticed by buyers that are searching for the amenities your home has to offer. Taking quality photos, promoting your home’s best features, and tapping into a variety of marketing avenues takes time and energy. Also, networking and word-of-mouth is still very powerful. Real state pros network all day, every day. Realtor.com, a top home search site on the web, only advertises the homes listed on agent-access only MLS.

Questions and Negotiation

It’s inevitable you will have questions that only a knowledgeable and experienced real estate pro can answer. What a time-saver! Looking out for your best interests is what a REALTOR® does, so going to bat for you when a buyer is asking for concessions comes natural to us.

Guidance and Follow-Through

Guidance comes in many forms, from helping you correctly price your home, preparing it for showings, understanding the nuances of local market conditions, to making decision during the negotiation process. Getting successfully to the closing table means relying on your REALTORS® trustworthy advice.

Great communication with all parties, and follow-thru on the dozens of small (and big) tasks that accompany selling a home is crucial. You most likely have a full-time job. Can you really dedicate the time required to prepare, price, market, show, negotiate, schedule appointments, monitor, return calls, and overall keep your home sale on track?

There are many more reasons why working with a pro like me makes great sense that I’d love to share with you. Let’s visit about your real estate needs soon if you are contemplating a home purchase or sale in the Chicagoland area.

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Moving State to State? Relocation Tips

Posted On: October 23rd, 2018 1:36AM


Moving State to State? Relocation Tips

Relocating to another state? This can be an extremely stressful time so make sure to plan every detail in advance for a smoother transition.

1.Know where you are going

Find out as much as you can before relocating by taking a trip and getting to know the area and what it offers. If moving with children, check out the schools and which areas are most suitable to live in.

2.Your best advisor is your REALTOR ®

Before planning the move see a local real estate agent for advice on whether it’s best to buy or rent and which areas are most suitable to your needs. I serve the Chicagoland area!

3.Moving your belongings

Ensure that the moving companies approached are licensed with the Department of Transportation and check on-line for reviews. Get quotations from at least three after giving exact details of the items to be moved. Remember, moving insurance is vital.

4.Pack early

 Planning on packing your personal belongings yourself? Make sure that you start well in advance. Begin with items least used and clearly mark all boxes. Your most essential items should be packed on the day of the move.

5.Important documents 

Collect all school and medical records. Place these and all other important documents together in a safe place.  On the day of the move, make sure you have them with you at all times. 

6.Notify your postman and utility companies 

Let all utility companies know when you are leaving your old place and when you will be arriving at your new home. Give your new address to your bank and insurance companies and remember to leave a forwarding address with the postal service. 

7.Transportation papers and receipts

Do not lose the papers that the movers hand over to you. Upon arrival, check that all your belongings are off-loaded. The receipts from your move will be used for any reimbursement due to you from your company or as a tax deduction.

8.Avoid nasty surprises

Make sure that your driver’s license is valid in the state that you are moving to, otherwise organize to have it reissued. Remember to claim any relocation benefits that your company has promised.

Whether you are moving to our exciting Chicagoland, or away… I offer years of proven experience and can help make your home sale or purchase a smooth transition. Let’s talk soon if you have questions!

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The Future of Home Prices: What’s in Store?

Posted On: September 22nd, 2018 5:55PM

The Future of Home Prices: What’s in Store?

Housing prices have continued to increase over the last few years, caused by a shortage of available homes; real estate inventories of existing and newly constructed homes have continued to be low.

The second quarter of 2018 saw a slight increase of inventory, but the supply of new homes is still relatively low, except in some of the largest metro areas. 

The general concern was that the gradual hikes in interest rates would negatively impact home prices, but this has not happened, nor does it seem likely that future hikes will affect them in the near future.

There is a tendency to look back to the housing crisis of a decade ago and to how it happened due to the downturn in the economy. Economists and other experts who have predicted another recession within the next 18 months have also forecast that housing prices will most likely not be affected and that we will continue to see appreciation, even though at lower figures than now.

Experts agree that the determining factor on the direction which housing prices will take is mainly dependent on supply versus demand.  With over 5 years of demand exceeding supply, we have seen an average annual appreciation of 6%, almost double to the 3, 6% of the period before the boom.

Price appreciation will slow as housing inventory increases and the predictions are that we will be seeing an average growth of 5, 1% over the next 12 months. 

Even though there are likely to be further increases in mortgage rates and construction costs as we approach 2019, indications are that as we head into a worldwide recession by 2020, the U.S. economy will stay stable and it is expected that there will be increased job opportunities for our citizens. 

All indications point to the continuance of the seller’s market we are in for some time to come.

Curious about the future of your local home prices? I have access to data for your area, let’s talk soon.

 

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Owning a Home is a Good Investment

Posted On: August 30th, 2018 3:52PM


Owning a Home is a Good Investment

The debate about homeownership versus renting has continued over many decades and there is always a consistent winner – homeownership. Even with a continual annual rise in the prices of most average US homes, the consensus is that it is still cheaper to buy rather than to rent; with differences ranging from 20% to 50%, depending on the suburb, city or state, making for a nationwide saving of 37.7%.

To get the most benefit from homeownership, you would have to own your home for at least seven years. Of course, the cost of a mortgage would have to be at reasonable levels, like they have been for a number of years.

Building equity is one of the essential reasons for preferring to purchase over renting, and it is a sure hedge against rising inflation. For most people homeownership is the closest they will ever come to having a savings account.

Besides saving on rental inflation, owning your own place also allows you to have the upper hand on how you maintain or renovate to suit your family’s needs.

A large portion of the money saved will come from the following tax benefits*:

  • On a loan of $1 million or less, the interest paid on your mortgage may be deductible
  • Property taxes, except for payments into your escrow account, may be deductible
  • Your insurance premium may be deductible according to your family income
  • Energy- saving improvements come with a 10% tax credit of up to $500
  • Capital gains tax exemption on the first $500,000 for married couples, and $250,000 for singles

*Consult with your tax advisor on the above scenarios.

I am a 30+ year REALTOR® serving home buyers and sellers in the Chicagoland area. Reach out for proven expertise and representation.

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Real Estate Advice: Rent or Buy a Home?

Posted On: July 20th, 2018 1:38PM

Real Estate Advice: Rent or Buy a Home?

Americans have always dreamt of owning a home of their own, believing that the investment offers them both security and financial growth.  The recent turmoil within the property market has once again sparked the rent vs. buy debate.

As a REALTOR®, I continue to see the pros and cons of homeownership vs renting every day. Here’s some food for thought if you are grappling with this decision in your life.

The determination of which solution best suits your pocket will depend on several factors:

  • Your finances
  • Your future long-term plans
  • The state of the real estate market in your area

When should you opt to rent?

  • You have just moved into a new town or area and want to get to know it before committing
  • Your job necessitates that you move often
  • Your income is sporadic, and you have no credit record
  • Your credit record is bad
  • The responsibility of maintenance is something you want to avoid
  • Your rental includes most utilities
  • You don’t want to pay property tax

Bear in mind that you will have regular increases in rental over the years and that you will not be able to make any structural changes to the property. When you initially move in you will have to pay a large security deposit.

When should you opt to buy?

  • You are in a permanent job in a fixed location
  • You want to build equity to fund other major expenses and are eligible for a mortgage
  • You want to own a property and to watch it appreciate
  • Tax deductions on mortgage interest and property taxes are an incentive
  • You want the freedom to add special features and implement changes to your living space
  • You don’t mind spending toward maintaining your home (you might even be good at DIY)

Home owners have watched the value of their homes increase steadily over the years in most areas of the US. The costs involved in purchasing your own home are approximately 1% of the purchase price and the cost of yearly maintenance is also estimated to be at 1% of the purchase price. When buying, you will have to make a down payment toward the mortgage which is usually between 5-20% and you will only be eligible to pay capital gains tax on its resale if you make a profit of $250 000 or more.

The decision to purchase or rent is entirely up to you and your needs. It’s a good idea to compare the figures on a price-to-rent ratio tool. Use this tool then give me a call to discuss your specific housing situation, https://www.realtor.com/mortgage/tools/rent-or-buy-calculator.

 

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