Is Illinois in a Seller’s Market?



Around this time every year at spring, you begin to notice the increasing amount of For Sale signs going up around your neighborhood and across your city. In the past you may recount seeing a large number of notices of homes for sale. In some areas it seemed like there was a for sale sign up every 5th home. But as the market has changed dramatically after the recession, there are fewer homes for sale across illinois to the point that we are currently in what is called a Buyer’s market. What does that mean for the shaky real estate economy exactly and how does it affect both sellers and buyers? We decided to sit down with the Sherbert Crew of Re/Max Professionals of Bolingbrook for some insight.

Thanks for joining us today. What is the over all report on Illinois and Chicago area real estate?

Stephanie: In the Chicago metro area, home prices rose about 0.8 % in March in comparison with march 2015.

The median home sales price went up about 4%, to $210,000 which compared to March 2015 which was $202,000. Prices of most single-family homes rose more than condos and the median residence for a single family went up 4.2% to $223,000.

On the flip side of that, condo sales prices creeped up about 2.2% at a price of around $185,000.

James: Yeah in Cook country we saw the median price of homes go up 2.9%,Will County had one of the biggest jumps at 6.7% but average sells fell to about 6%. Lake county home prices increased 1.4% and sales volume was up 6%.

What does that translate to for today’s sellers and buyers?

James: Well for one, we are definitely in a seller’s market throughout the Chicago Area. There are fewer homes on the market all around but a large pool of buyers looking to come into the market or upgrade their homes. I personally specialize in Bolingbrook Real Estate and I’m seeing lots of people who would like to sell but simply can’t because they built or purchased their home at the top of the housing bubble back between 2006 and 2008, or refinanced. That’s a huge chunk of homes that can’t be sold because home owners are underwater, meaning they owe more than their home is worth in 2016. With interest rates being as low as they are though, you’ve got a large number of buyers wanting to enter the market but finding themselves without much to choose from.

Stephanie: Or they are finding themselves in multiple offer scenarios which results in spending more than buyers planned on.

Gone are the days of a few years ago of buyers basically being able to steal a home, huh?
James: Oh there are still a few deals out there but they are few and far between. And as buyers understand this, you’ll see home prices across the board increase.

Stephanie: Buyers don’t have the luxury of spending lots of time to ponder a purchase like they could before and they don’t have as much to negotiate with.

So is it a bad time to buy a home in Illinois?

James: Not at all. Interest rates are at the lowest they have been in a very very long time. This just means that if you find the home you truly feel is meant to be yours, you have to come in very strong. In the end, if the home is within your comfort range and your budget, what matters is finding a house you can truly call a home.


Hanover Township is working to provide dental care for low income residents


The Hanover Township Dental Access Network program assists low income residents in obtaining needed dental services. The Township identifies qualifying residents and works with local dentists who provide services at a reduced fee. Since 2013, 33 residents have enrolled in the program.

This program was created in an effort to improve access to quality dental services locally. In order for residents to qualify for county assistance that can mean commuting into Chicago. This program allows residents to receive both preventative and restorative dental services within their community at a price that is affordable.

“We found that access to affordable Chicago dental care continued to be a gap in our community and this program aims to improve that,” said Brian P. McGuire, Hanover Township Supervisor. “We are optimistic with the residents who have already benefited from this program and are very grateful to our local dental partners who have agreed to participate in it.”

The Dental Access Network program is funded through the Hanover Township Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that raises funds to provide additional monetary support for the residents of Hanover Township. For the last three years, proceeds from the Township’s spring 5k run/walk event have gone toward the Dental Access Network. This year’s 5k event is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at the Izaak Walton Center, 899 Jay Street, Elgin.

For more information

The 2nd Annual Love Your Neighbor Design House and Artisan Market returns.


Join us for a unique shopping experience where you will be inspired and able to purchase items from seven rooms decorated by 12 different local designers throughout the newly renovated historic Serenade House. There will also be a amazing Artisan Market with dozens of local artisans.

All Proceeds for to Love Your Neighbor NFP whose Christian mission is to support local people in need by encouraging the sharing of love with others through beautiful design.

  • Catherine Connor and Barb Freeman of 610 Home, Geneva, IL
  • Amy Schmidt, Wheaton, IL – Amy Schmidt Designs (click on name for more info about Amy)
    My passion is creating a welcoming space that represents the daily life of a home.  Whether your season is small children with cheerios on the floor and a craft table for crayons or you’ve moved into the season of enjoying that quiet cup of coffee on peacefully mornings in your favorite chair, I strive to create spaces that will be used and loved by everyone in the household.
  • Amy Storm, Glen Ellyn, IL – Designstorms   (click on name for more info about Designstorms)
    Designstorms is an interior design firm offering design and decorating services.  We specialize in new construction, remodels, kitchen design, interior decorating and design and everything in-between.  All of the designers on staff hold a degree in Interior Design.  Amy , the owner, has been practicing design for 20 years and has been a licensed interior designer for 10 years.   This year, Designstorms will move from our at home office, into a space in Glen Ellyn, where our studio can continue to grow.  The furniture showroom will showcase a few lines of furniture that are higher quality and design, from what we find at retailers, with price points, however, that are not out of reach.  Our hope is that designers in the area will use it as a great resource for high quality furnishings, for their clients.
  • Patty Sorensen, Wheaton, IL – PS Flowers
    Distinctive silk florals, art, mirrors, accessories, accent furniture, in home consulting
  • Rachel Polly, DeKalb, IL – Urban Grace  (click on name for more info on Urban Grace)
    My passion for design led me to opening my own shop, Urban Grace, in downtown DeKalb. It’s there that I create, paint, and stylize. I specialize in finding one of a kind pieces for clients and customers.  Whether the one of a kind find is custom painted or left in its original condition, it will be a piece that tells a story. Design consultations and custom furniture painting are just a few of the specialties Urban Grace has to offer.
  • Leigh Bratta and Jennifer White, Naperville, IL – Nona Jo’s
    (click on name for more info about Nona Jo’s)
    We can help you make your house a home.  Why is it so easy to help a friend design her space, but when it comes to your own house you freeze up!!  We will work with  you make the right choices that fit your style. Whether you are building, remodeling or refreshing your house, we can assist you with everything from flooring, paint color, kitchen and bath remodels, custom furniture and window treatments to artwork, lighting and accessorizing.
  • Christy Gary and Stephanie Flatt, Glen Ellyn and Naperville, IL – Spiff it Up
    We were college roommates and always had a feel for decorating! We were the only college tenants who stenciled their kitchen! Eleven years ago we decided to start Spiff it Up, once our kids went to school full time. In the early days our business consisted of picking colors and adding accessories.  Over the years our business has evolved quite a bit. We now handle projects from beginning to end. We help with design in rehabs, cabinet selections, furnishings, and window treatments. Then comes our favorite part, the final touch…accessorizing!!!
  • Nancy Jackson and Cheryl Hildebrand, Wheaton, IL
  • Nancy Shepherd of Serenade Home, Wheaton, IL
    Nancy is an interior designer and owner of Serenade Home Interior Designs. In 2014, after nearly eight years
    in downtown Wheaton, Nancy closed the retail portion of her business in order to focus on the birth of Love Your Neighbor. Inspired by her faith, Nancy hopes to spread the warmth of God’s unconditional love to those in need using the gift of beautiful design.
  • Sandy Kozurek and Stephanie Dalton of Can’t ContainHer
    We create custom container garden design, installation and maintenance.  With over 20 years design experience Can’t ContainHer creates one of a kind 4 season designs
  • Shelley Amato of Adorn Design
  • Renovations being done by C. David Hook Construction, Wheaton, IL

  Love Your Neighbor Design House and Artisan Market

Thursday, May 5th 4pm-9pm
Friday, May 6th  9am-4pm
Saturday, May 7th 9am-2pm

Located at: Serenade House
129 N. West Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
Tickets are available at: EVENTBRITE (CLICK HERE)

The Healthy Lombard Foundation Wants to Recognize Healthy Heroes.

hea;thy lombard

LOMBARD – The Healthy Lombard Foundation is currently accepting nominations for their annual Health Heroes showcase and recognition celebration, which will honor individuals and families who make a considerable and noteworthy effort in improving their health and wellness during 2015.

The healthy individuals chosen for recognition as Health Heroes will be rewarded during the foundation’s annual Healthy Lombard Fitness February Fair this Feb. 27 at  the Yorktown Center in Lombard.

If you would like to nominate a Health Heroe, write a paragraph that explains what an individual or a family have done in 2015 to make strides for a healthy lifestyle and email it to:

Healthy Lombard’s

[email protected] by Feb. 5.


Key Auto execs will be at Chicago Auto Show.


CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The 2016 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview will open Thursday, Feb. 11 with the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) breakfast and feature a keynote from Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service Ford Motor Co. That afternoon, Alexander “Lex” Kerssemakers, senior vice president, The Americas region, and president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, will address the Economic Club of Chicago (ECC) Luncheon.

During the opening breakfast, MAMA President Patrick Olsen will present the MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year award and introduce Mark LaNeve, who is responsible for all marketing, sales, service, customer care and dealer relations for the Ford and Lincoln brands. His focus is on continuing to build the Ford brand through innovative new digital communications and transforming the retail experience for customers. LaNeve came to Ford after several years leading the company’s marketing and advertising agency, Global Team Ford, where he was chief operating officer since August 2012. In this role, LaNeve led not only Team Detroit, which services the Ford brand in the U.S., but also the agency’s operations in London, Sao Paulo and Shanghai, as well as Hudson Rouge, the Lincoln agency in New York City.

“The Chicago Auto Show is very important to Ford and its Chicagoland dealers,” said LaNeve. “We look forward to seeing the excitement this show generates as well as the automotive passion of all Chicagoans.”

“It’s an honor to have someone of Mark’s caliber to open the nation’s largest auto show,” said Colin Wickstrom, 2016 Chicago Auto Show chairman. “Ford has long supported the Chicago Auto Show with executive addresses, important product introductions and some of the largest displays it produces worldwide.”

Volvo’s Kerssemakers will later keynote the ECC Luncheon. Kerssemakers was appointed to his current position in 2014. He has a fundamental understanding of product strategy, purchasing and sales and marketing. He has led international teams in the U.K., Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. Kerssemakers has served under Swedish, U.S. and Chinese ownership, aligning shareholder and customer perspectives.

“Volvo has a great story to tell on several fronts,” said Dave Sloan, Chicago Auto Show general manager. “Not only has the brand re-established itself a luxury automaker with the introduction of the XC90 and S90, but Volvo has important news on the safety and autonomous fronts as well.”

The ECC Luncheon at the Chicago Auto Show is a cornerstone event of the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, boasting past speeches from Bill Ford, Jim Press, Henrik Fisker, Ralph Gilles, Jonathan Browning and Yoshi Inaba. Last year, José Muñoz, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and chairman, Nissan North America, Inc., was the Luncheon’s guest speaker.

Founded in 1927 to serve as a forum for Chicago’s business community, the ECC is one of Chicago’s finest business groups and has had a decade-long association with the Chicago Auto Show. The ECC has grown to become a premier institution, providing elite members of the business world a platform to express and discuss economic, business and social issues.

Doors open for the MAMA breakfast at 7 a.m. Feb. 11. Valid media or exhibitor credentials are required for admission. The ECC Luncheon begins promptly at noon on Feb. 11. Ticket and proper business attire are required for admission. For more information on the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, media credentials and ECC luncheon ticket, please visit

About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show on the continent, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept, and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North America vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity raises more than $2 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2016 public show will be February 13-21. For more information, visit or

About The Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is the nation’s oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. It is comprised of more than 400 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group’s dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit

The ROI on Basements for Chicago Home Owners.

Thinking about your problem. Handsome young male carpenter with tool belt holding hand on chin and looking at camera while standing against white background

Thinking about your problem.

How Much do Chicago Homeowners pay for basement finishing

Leo: The cost of finishing a basement definitely varies depending on where you go, your negotiating skills and just how much of the job you are willing to do yourself. A build can cost the average home owner from $20 to $25 per square foot according to the  national average.  Other factors regarding the cost would  depend on whether or not according to code, are required to do a substantial amount of waterproofing, adding a door to the outside or if you want additional windows that give additional lighting to your new living space. Let’s say you want to add a wet bar, or a bathroom or even a kitchen to the mix. Then your costs will definitely increase quite a bit. This is when it’s nice to have a licensed friend or family member provide some of the work for you. But remember that you want your Chicago basement contractor to be licensed.

But what about the appraisal exactly, Leo?

One of the things you have to keep in mind is whether or not you plan to live in your home long enough to get the full enjoyment. After all you may spend anywhere from $15-$60k on your basement project. Just how much  equity you will receive in return will depend on how your home compares to other properties in your immediate vicinity or general area. Real estate brokers and appraisers will calculate and quantify your home’s square footage. If the majority of your home’s square footage is in your basement,it’s not very likely things will go in your favor if space in neighboring properties are all above the grade. In The end though let’s be realistic and frank. A home will always sell better if there is a finished basement rather than not.

How much can we expect back, leo?

The national average of a Chicago finished basement as well as the national average, is about 66%. Location will surely play a huge part in this though. Hinsdale basement remodelers and Frankfort, Il basement remodeling contractors have reported that basement builds fetch upwards of 80% of a return on investment whereas the average Basement remodeling plainfield Il contractors say a build can fetch anywhere between 60% and 80% depending on whether or not the home is considered a luxury property.

For more information, contact your  local basement remodeling pros  at


Naperville Sales Tax Increase – has it curbed your shopping?


The city council approved the increase in September as part of an effort to fill a budget gap, pay down debt and add to dwindling reserves.

On Monday, it appeared many shoppers were either unaware of the new tax or unconcerned.

W.B. Washington of Naperville said he was aware of the new tax, which the city is levying for the first time under its authority as a home-rule municipality. But he said he thought the sales tax was increasing by a whole percentage point instead half of one.

“Any time taxes go up, I’m in that group that thinks it’s not always the best thing,” Washington said. “But I understand it. Sometimes it’s a necessary thing.”

Lisa Rose of Naperville knew her hometown’s sales tax is lower than those charged by many neighboring towns, citing Bolingbrook’s rate of 8.5 percent. But she wasn’t initially aware of the recent increase.

“What isn’t going up?” she said. “I’m not happy about it.”

Even at 7.75 percent, Naperville’s sales tax remains below the rates charged in Cook County suburbs, such as Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg, which now charge 10 percent. Rosemont and Chicago taxes are even higher at 10.25 percent.

Chirico said the difference shows the half-point increase preserved Naperville’s competitive business advantage, but Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce leaders said it diminished their edge.

The tax will be charged for two years, expiring Jan. 1, 2018, unless council members vote to extend it. This year, it’s estimated to bring in $6.4 million, and next year it could bring in up to $8.5 million. – More