Monday, May 30, 2016

FHFA: Home prices increase again, rise 1.3%

FHFA: Home prices increase again, rise 1.3%: While home prices only increased a meager 1.3% in the first quarter of 2016, it’s added onto a long string of increases; 19 consecutive quarterly price increases to be exact. According to FHFA Supervisory Economist Andrew Leventis, there is at least one unique factor in this quarter.

Neal Paskvan is a full time Realtor specializing in Downers grove, Darien,Woodridge, Westmont and Du page county Real Estate

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tilling a Garden in Springtime at Menards®

Are you tired of spending money on store-bought fruits and veggies? Or, maybe you just want to rejuvenate your flower beds? Well, if you've reached a crossroads with your garden, you should try tilling it. Since all great gardens start with fertile soil, spring tilling will help make yours a successful one! By cultivating the soil in the spring, you'll not only loosen and enrich your soil, but you'll allow your new plants' roots to thrive.

Tilling a Garden in SpringtimeBefore you start tilling, you have to make sure that your soil is both dry and warm.

You can examine the moisture of your soil by picking up a handful and squeezing it. If the soil stays together, even when you poke it, it's too wet and isn't ready for tilling. However, if the soil crumbles and falls apart, it is dry enough for you to proceed.

To check the warmth of the soil, simply stick your finger into the soil. If you're going to plant seeds, stick your finger down 1–2 inches in depth. And, if you're going to plant transplants, stick your finger down 4–6 inches in depth. Keep your finger in the soil at the suggested depth for a minute; if you are able to do so for the full minute, your soil is warm enough and ready for tilling.

TIP: Since soil temperatures can vary significantly between night and day, you should check your soil temperatures at night as well as during the day. This extra precaution will ensure that your plants' health will not be affected by the night's cooler temperatures. Repeat this step for three consecutive days/nights.


Neal Paskvan is a full time Realtor specializing in Downers grove, Darien,Woodridge, Westmont and Du page county Real Estate

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dos and Don'ts of Appraiser Communication | Realtor Magazine

Dos and Don'ts of Appraiser Communication

Forget the rumors that you have to keep silent. But that doesn’t mean your communications still can’t get you in trouble.
Real estate professionals and appraisers both play an essential role in the process of buying or selling a home. It is critical that these two parties work together to ensure that an appraiser provides an independent, impartial, and objective opinion of value that accurately reflects the marketplace. However, we often hear from brokers and agents that they’re unaware of how much interaction they may have with an appraiser, what they’re allowed to say, and what information they can provide. Some incorrectly believe that they are prohibited from speaking to an appraiser at all.
In reality, qualified and competent appraisers welcome any information that helps them do their job. In fact, we at The Appraisal Foundation encourage brokers to actively communicate with appraisers in a professional and productive manner. Real estate professionals should feel empowered to supply relevant materials, including the terms of the sale, applicable comparable sales, and any evidence of notable renovations done to a home that might affect its value. Additional useful data could include records that categorize maintenance and upkeep done to a home, such as regular inspections or replacements of major appliances. These materials will help an appraiser arrive at an opinion of value that accurately reflects the market value of a home.
However, real estate professionals are legally barred from any communication with an appraiser that is intended to unduly influence the outcome of the appraisal. While it might be obvious that coercing an appraiser is off-limits, it is always a good idea for agents and brokers to make sure an appraiser or regulator couldn’t interpret their communications as an attempt to improperly influence an appraisal. An example of improper communication would be asking an appraiser to provide a valuation that matches the asking price of a particular home. Another example could be telling an appraiser he or she will not receive future assignments if the appraisal does not facilitate a transaction.
And communication between appraisers and real estate professionals doesn’t have a specific cut-off point, either. A broker or agent who has questions or concerns about an appraiser’s final report may take formal steps to communicate those concerns and ask for reconsideration of the appraisal report. For instance, a broker can submit additional comparable sales through the lending institution for the appraiser to consider. A broker can also request that the appraiser correct any errors in the report, such as the miscalculation of the number of bedrooms in a home or the total square footage. The appraiser can be asked to provide additional detail explaining how he or she arrived at certain conclusions and the ultimate opinion of value. However, a broker cannot dispute an appraisal simply because he or she is not pleased with the outcome.
At the most basic level, it’s important for real estate professionals to recognize that it’s the duty of competent and qualified appraisers to provide credible opinions of value for homes. Any information that assists an appraiser in that objective is not only allowed, it is welcomed. 

click here for the rest of the story by David s bunton

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How To: Choose a New Roof for Your House - Bob Vila

How to Choose a New Roof - Asphalt Shingles
Photo: CertainTeed
Whether you are building from scratch or choosing a new roof for your existing home, a wide range of materials are readily available and worthy of consideration. These include asphalt, wood, and composite shingles, as well as slate, concrete, and clay tiles. Style is an important factor, but it’s not the only one. Product cost, material weight, and installation requirements should also influence your selection. Here’s what you need to know:
The Square
Before we talk materials, let’s talk terminology. Roofers don’t usually use the measure “square feet.” Instead, they talk in squares. A square is their basic unit of measurement—one square is 100 square feet in area, the equivalent of a 10-foot by 10-foot square. The roof of a typical two-story, 2,000-square-foot house with a gable roof will consist of less than 1,500 square feet of roofing area, or about fifteen squares.
A number of considerations will affect the cost of a new roof. The price of the material is the starting point, but other factors also must be considered. One is the condition of the existing roof if you are remodeling a house—if old materials must be stripped off, and if the supporting structure needs repair, that will all cost money. The shape of the roof is another contributing factor. A gable roof with few or no breaks in its planes (like chimneys, vent pipes, or dormers) makes for a simple roofing job. A house with multiple chimneys, intersecting rooflines (the points of intersection are called valleys), turrets, skylights, or other elements will cost significantly more to roof.
Not every roofing material can be used on every roof. A flat roof or one with a low slope
may demand a surface different from one with a steeper pitch. Materials like slate and tile are very heavy, so the structure of many homes is inadequate to carry the load. Consider the following options, then talk with your designer and get estimates for the job.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

4 Things to Know Before Buying a Home in a Homeowners' Association

So you want to purchase a home in a community with a homeowners’ association. Many homebuyers love the idea of enforced community appearance, included maintenance like snow removal, recreational amenities, and association management, but here are a few things you should consider when planning to purchase a home within an HOA.