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Where are the Appraisers??

For the better part of this year, I’ve had a recurring conversation with appraisers: there aren’t enough of them! I was pleased to see major media coverage of this over this past weekend, when the Chicago Tribune’s real estate section tackled this burgeoning issue on the cover of this section.

(Read the story here:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/ct-re-0918-kenneth-harney-column-20160913-story.html )

Here’s the scoop: the appraisal industry isn’t growing and has actually been steadily shrinking since 2007 (down about 20%). The predominant cause of this, I think, is the strict barrier to entry that appraisers face. To join the industry, one must earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree with a focus in appraising, followed by a 2 year apprenticeship. When I learned the requirements, I was shocked! As a real estate broker, I had to have a high school diploma and take 45 hours of class (today, that requirement is 90 hours in Illinois).

So how is it that the appraisers – one of the key pieces of our home sales process – are required to do so much?

What is most troubling to me is that in the current framework, there is no incentive for appraisers to join the industry. And, seeing as how a large portion of those in the real-estate related fields enter them as 2nd or 3rd careers, the steep requirements are likely to cause major backlog in the future.

We’ve seen the backlog this year – appraisals taking much longer to be scheduled, and then take place, and then get reports back to the underwriters. It easily takes a week longer than it used to several years back. As a consumer, that means potential additional rush charges for a short turnaround on a closing, or worse (and more likely) closing delays.

Here are a few other articles written these past few years that I also found that shed light on the situation:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-number-of-real-estate-appraisers-is-falling-heres-why-you-should-care-2015-11-18

 

http://blog.mckissock.com/the-truth-about-the-appraiser-shortage

 

http://www.mortgageorb.com/the-appraiser-shortage-what-can-be-done

Realtor Looking Around Vacant New Property

date:  Sep 20, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Where are the Appraisers??
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  Uncategorized Read More

Expanding Our Team: Top Producing Real Estate Team Seeks Buyer’s Agents

My team is expanding and we are hiring!  We’re seeking 2 Buyer’s Agents! See our job advertisement below, and please share with any qualified, licensed Realtors.

Do you thrive in a fast-paced environment?

Do you enjoy satisfying and delighting your clients?

Do you dot your I’s and cross your T’s?

Are you willing to work nights and weekends?

Are you willing to put client needs ahead of your own?

Are you able to juggle multiple projects and clients all at once, where everyone needs your attention at this very minute, at the same time and you want to pull your hair out??

Good. Then keep reading.

Words that describe you: driven, fast thinker, creative mind, well-dressed, organized.

Top-producing real estate team at Banker seeks full-time Buyer’s Agent. We run a fast-paced team where client service & responsiveness are paramount. Can’t keep up? That’s OK – it may not be the right job for you.

But if you’ve got what it takes, then keep reading.

We’re looking for someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment and brings a ‘can-do’ attitude, strong organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple projects (prioritizing their immediacy, turning on a dime).

 

You:

  • An Illinois licensed real estate broker with at least 5 years experience, and in good standing with MRED, CAR, IAR and NAR. We will consider those with fewer years experience or even brand new agents if you can impress us and want to learn and succeed.
  • Understand that Real estate is a lifestyle, not a job
  • Have sold at least $3M in real estate sales volume or conducted 10 closed transactions in the past 12 months, with a desire to grow your business (Waived for newer agents with experience who show promise)

 

The Role:

Working with home buyers, you’ll handle their purchase from first steps/consultation to the closing table. You’ll do the same with renters too! Represent our team by showing our listings, attending inspections, final walk throughs and closings. Take part in our monthly marketing & prospecting plan. Mentoring and training as you build your business along with a top residential real estate broker. Follow our plan and be successful with us!

Please note: this is not a salaried position. Commission based sales per designated team pay/split structure. Broker is responsible for their own additional lead generation and building their own client base in addition to this, in a team environment where training and development is a focus. You bring the passion and drive and we’ll help you fulfill your potential. The sky’s the limit!

This position is based in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Applicants must have a cell phone and a working vehicle that is suitable to drive clients around in. Applicants must be in good standing and hold an active real estate license with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

 

 Why Work With Us

1)We’re successful

2)We’ve got systems in place that most brokers don’t have, can’t afford or don’t have the time to develop. That’s administrative support/transaction coordinator (no more paperwork!), a fully developed marketing program that you can seamlessly integrate into, and on going coaching.

3)Unlimited earning potential. If you follow the plan, work the plan, work hard and plan to succeed, you will!

 

More Info/Qualifications:

Experienced candidates preferred, but all qualified candidates considered.

 

How to Apply
Send resume (in PDF format) plus voice note (maximum 60-seconds) explaining why you would be a good fit for this job, via email to: scott@scottcurcio.com, with “Buyer Specialist” in the subject line. Applications are rolling and will be reviewed until qualified candidates are extended an invitation to join our team. Start date is negotiable. We will only be contacting those applicants we are interested in. Please, no calls or emails with questions. All applications will be kept confidential.

 

date:  Sep 11, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Expanding Our Team: Top Producing Real Estate Team Seeks Buyer’s Agents
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  buyer's agent, hiring, join our team, Real Estate News Read More

2016 Chicago Mid-Year Market Report

2016 is half over, and that means it’s time to look at our real estate market and how we are performing. Below, you’ll find a summary (by property type) of how homes have been faring. Most notable is the growth in our multi-family home market, with double digit growth in average sales price.

While the overall picture painted by the media of Chicago is that things are extremely robust, not all signs point to that. The single family home appreciation rate is a little bit high and gives me concern on the overall market and whether or not we are heading towards a bubble. The condo appreciation, however, is much more modest city wide, and that helps to pull back our overall picture. That said, we are moving a little fast right now, and I’ll be watching our appreciation rates closely as the 2nd half of the year plays out.

Single Family Homes

Average Sales Price: $332,585

8.2% Increase over 1st Half 2015

Number of Units Sold: 5,374

4.7% Increase over 1st Half 2015

Condos & Townhomes

Average Sales Price: $371,288

1.79% Increase over 1st Half 2015

Total Units Sold: 8,788

3.79% Increase over 1st Half 2015

2 to 4 Units

Average Sales Price: $268,655

13.78% Increase over 1st Half 2015

Total Units Sold: 1,938

2.9% Increase over 1st Half 2015

date:  Jul 18, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on 2016 Chicago Mid-Year Market Report
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  2016 home sales, buying a home in chicago, Chicago Housing Report, Chicago Mid Year Housing Market, Chicago Real Estate, Real Estate News, Real Estate Perspective Read More

Coming Soon – 3736 W. Eddy Street

Coming Next week, I’ll be listing this beautiful 4 Bedroom, 3.5 Bathroom single family home for sale in Avondale for $689,900

We’ll be hosting an open house on Sunday June 5th (time to be announced). Here are some details about the home:

  • 4 Bedrooms, 3.5 baths
  • Large home (approximately 3,800 SF) with great light
  • Huge master suite with cathedral ceilings, skylights, dual walk-in closets, balcony and bath with separate shower/whirlpool tub and extra wide vanity with double sinks.
  • Truly open main floor (no walls dividing kitchen/family room), with sunken family room and flexible layout
  • Lower Level with bonus workshop (hidden by custom pocket doors) and patio
  • Built in 2007
  • 2nd Floor Laundry with side by side, front-loading washer & dryer
  • Hardwood floors throughout 1st and 2nd floors.
  • Fully fenced yard
  • 2 car garage
  • Quiet, 1- way street with lots of well maintained homes

 

3736 W Eddy_004
Dining Room
Kitchen
Kitchen
Master Bathroom
Game Room / Family Room
Back Deck
Living Room
2nd Floor Bathroom
Master Bedroom
2nd Bedroom
3rd Bedroom
Workshop
Family Room
4th Bedroom

 

date:  May 27, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Coming Soon – 3736 W. Eddy Street
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  Avondale, Chicago Real Estate, For Sale, Home Buying Read More

Spring Market 2016: Land of Multiple Offers And Escalation Clauses

Chicago’s Spring 2016 Housing Market has been 1 of the busiest I’ve ever been a part of. With aggressive buyers watching the market daily and pouncing on the best homes, any buyer should expect that they will be in a competitive bidding situation at least once.

This has given rise to the usage of escalation clauses on offers. An escalation clause is an addendum to a buyer’s purchase offer, and stipulates that a buyer will pay a higher price than other competing offers, up to a certain price point.  For example, a buyer of mine recently won a multiple offer by writing that they would pay $1,000 above the next highest offer, up to a set purchase price. The strategy worked and they got the house for $4,000 less than the price they would have paid.

There is some discord in the industry about the use of an escalation clause. Brokers and sellers alike sometimes feel they aren’t fair, or pose the question “If the buyer can buy to X price, why don’t they just pay that?” If you are writing an offer and considering using an escalation clause, be smart about it – ask the seller or listing realtor if it’s something the owner would be open to. If they aren’t, just go to your highest and best number during the negotiation. Remember…you are trying to win the seller’s affection.

Lean on your buyer’s broker for their best advice on whether or not to use the escalation clause in your offer!

date:  Apr 26, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Spring Market 2016: Land of Multiple Offers And Escalation Clauses
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  bidding war, buying a home in chicago, Chicago Real Estate, escalation clause, first time home buyer, Home Buying, Multiple Offers, Real Estate Perspective, The Savvy Buyer Read More

Just Sold: 1941 W. Warner

I recently sold this tear down / land opportunity in North Center’s popular Coonley School District! The lucky buyer – who won the home in a multiple offer – paid over asking and will no doubt be developing this into a brand new luxury home. Keep an eye on it as you’re driving in the neighborhood!

1941WWarnerAve_Hi-Res_57
1941WWarnerAve_Hi-Res_103
1941WWarnerAve_Hi-Res_571

date:  Apr 26, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on Just Sold: 1941 W. Warner
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  buying a home in chicago, Chicago Real Estate, Luxury Homes, Real Estate News, Sold Homes Read More

The Return of the Jumbo Mortgage

For as long as I can remember, the term “jumbo mortgage” was a bad word. Time and time again buyers would scrape and scrape together money to  increase their down payment enough to meet the $417,000 conforming conventional loan maximum.

But in an interest turn of affairs, the jumbo mortgage may very well be coming back in popularity. You see, right now, it’s actually sometimes *cheaper* to take out a jumbo mortgage and borrow more money.

Let me repeat that: It’s sometimes cheaper to take out a jumbo mortgage.

Let me give you a recent example from clients of mine. They were looking to purchase a $450-475,000 house with 15% down payment.  That would have been a conventional loan and since they were putting down less than 20%, they would have been assessed private mortgage insurance, or PMI – a monthly fee that is assessed until a buyer has at least 20% equity in their house.

Conversely, their lender informed them that if they purchased a house for slightly more – $491,000 to be exact – in a jumbo mortgage with 15% down payment but no PMI – they would be paying $200 less per month.

So, they could afford more house and lower their payment. The only increase was in down payment. For reference, that difference between their down payment at $475K and $491K was $2,400.

So for all of those buyers who are having trouble finding what they want – especially those seeking 3 bedroom condos/townhomes in the ever-popular Chicago neighborhoods of Lake View, Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Loop and Logan Square – may I suggest you look towards a jumbo loan? It really could make all the difference in getting the house you want!

To learn more, for a referral to a qualified loan professional who could walk you through options with a jumbo mortgage, or for questions about buying a home in Chicago, contact me: scott@scottcurcio.com.

date:  Feb 15, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on The Return of the Jumbo Mortgage
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  buying a home in chicago, Buying Up, Chicago Real Estate, home loans, how do I lower my monthly payment, jumbo mortgages, Mortgage, Real Estate News, Real Estate Perspective Read More

The Return of the Jumbo Mortgage

For as long as I can remember, the term “jumbo mortgage” was a bad word. Time and time again buyers would scrape and scrape together money to  increase their down payment enough to meet the $417,000 conforming conventional loan maximum.

But in an interest turn of affairs, the jumbo mortgage may very well be coming back in popularity. You see, right now, it’s actually sometimes *cheaper* to take out a jumbo mortgage and borrow more money.

Let me repeat that: It’s sometimes cheaper to take out a jumbo mortgage.

Let me give you a recent example from clients of mine. They were looking to purchase a $450-475,000 house with 15% down payment.  That would have been a conventional loan and since they were putting down less than 20%, they would have been assessed private mortgage insurance, or PMI – a monthly fee that is assessed until a buyer has at least 20% equity in their house.

Conversely, their lender informed them that if they purchased a house for slightly more – $491,000 to be exact – in a jumbo mortgage with 15% down payment but no PMI – they would be paying $200 less per month.

So, they could afford more house and lower their payment. The only increase was in down payment. For reference, that difference between their down payment at $475K and $491K was $2,400.

So for all of those buyers who are having trouble finding what they want – especially those seeking 3 bedroom condos/townhomes in the ever-popular Chicago neighborhoods of Lake View, Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Loop and Logan Square – may I suggest you look towards a jumbo loan? It really could make all the difference in getting the house you want!

To learn more, for a referral to a qualified loan professional who could walk you through options with a jumbo mortgage, or for questions about buying a home in Chicago, contact me: scott@scottcurcio.com.

date:  Feb 15, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on The Return of the Jumbo Mortgage
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  buying a home in chicago, Buying Up, Chicago Real Estate, home loans, how do I lower my monthly payment, jumbo mortgages, Mortgage, Real Estate News, Real Estate Perspective Read More

2016 Spring Listings

I hope your 2016 is off to a roaring start! 

With the spring market almost here officially, I wanted to share our Spring 2016 properties coming on market.  As you meet with your buyers, please keep my client’s homes or needs in mind. I hope we can make a match and do a deal together in 2016!

2016 Spring Listings_Curcio_JQ

date:  Feb 02, 2016 comments:  Comments Off on 2016 Spring Listings
by:  yourexecutiveneighbor category:  Uncategorized Read More