Roxann and Your Home Team News
We receive a weekly report from one of our local mortgage companies which often brings a good chuckle in a difficult housing market! This lender has a great gift for sharing information; and although the news is not all positive, it is on target. In this week’s note, he shared the following advise:
If you like watching the news, DON’T. If you like reading the newspaper or surfing the internet, DON’T. Because nothing positive is currently being written or reported on the current market. Nothing! Why? The Jobs Report for May was released and it was horrible. Expectations were for the unemployment rate to hold steady and for the report to show 150,000 jobs created for the month. The reality, however, is that the unemployment rate went up for the first time since July, 2011 and the report only showed 69,000 jobs created last month. This isn’t good. However, on the positive side:
1) The stock prices of companies that make paper and ink should go up because it is more likely now that the government will start printing more money as a result of more Quantitative Easing.
2) At least U.S. economy did not lose jobs.
3) Mortgage interest rates are set to go even lower!
Now is a great time to purchase a home with the low interest rates and number of homes available to pick! So call today to set up a time to consider an upgrade from your current property or to be a first time home buyer! My team has a lot of experience working with first time home buyers and the experienced buyer. Let’s us help you find your new home! Plus we know some terrific lenders to get you started in the home buying process.
I have always been a firm believer in education — no matter what the profession! As I come upon my twentieth year in real estate business, I still believe that education and communication are the keys to success in real estate!
In fact, this week I am attending a seminar so that I can continue to carry my Real Estate Instructor’s license. I have been an instructor for the Real Estate Association of Southern Illinois (RASI), our local board, and the Illinois Association of Realtors since 1997. As a real estate instructor, you have to take continuing education classes in order to maintain your license. It is just crazy, however, that I have to go all the way to Chicago to do so! Too bad it’s not in some place with a beach (although, technically, Chicago does have a beach!).
Here’s a fun fact, there are only three local real estate professionals in our Board that have their Real Estate Instructor’s license. There are currently over 600 active real estate brokers in our Board which includes agents from Belleville, O’Fallon, Swansea, Fairview Heights, Shiloh and other surrounding Scott AFB communities . Stay tuned for more fun facts and all my adventures in Chicago!
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated this past month in our bi-annual FREE shredding event. It was a huge success and we donated over $500 in food and monetary donations! Thank you — the O’Fallon food pantry was so excited to see me drive up with my van full of goods!
I have had the pleasure of doing real estate in the O’Fallon, Belleville, Fairview Heights, Swansea and other surrounding Scott AFB Illinois communities over the past 20 years and this is just a small way for me to give back to the community that has given me so much! I love this community and it’s giving individuals! It has been my pleasure to serve many buyers and sellers during this period. Thank you!
I have fallen a bit behind in posting, so my apologies! The response we have for applicants of Your Home Team Real Estate was overwhelming! Our judges had a tough time in picking this year’s winner, but we have a Winner! Courtney Lewis is this year’s winner of the Home Team scholarship! Courtney is a graduate of Althoff High School and will be attending Qunicy this fall to pursue a career in nursing.
Congratulations to Courtney and to all the local graduates of Althoff, Belleville East, Belleville West, and O’Fallon high schools. We wish you all much success as you pursue your secondary degree!
For anyone who knows me or follows my website, you will know that education is very important to me. Real Estate continues to evolve and so it is vital to stay in tune to the latest and greatest.
The Realtors Association of Southern Illinois recently offered a class to our members to obtain their BPOR designations. What is BPOR you ask? Broker Price Opinion Resource — this was an excellent class that will help improve my overall review of the market in determining an accurate sale price when helping my sellers list their home or buyers purchase a property.
So for all your real estate needs in the O’Fallon, Swansea, Shiloh, Belleville, Fairview Heights — or any of the Scott AFB area – be sure to contact me. Let me put my class to the test for you!
Every year we offer a $1,000 scholarship to one of our graduating senior of the local high schools that we serve — Belleville East and West, Belleville Althoff, and O’Fallon. We just passed the deadline and had an overwhelming response. Thank you to all who participated!
Over the next few weeks, we will have three judges review the applicants and their essays to determine this year’s winner. We will be announcing the winner on May 11 so be sure to visit our site again to see who the winner is!
Good luck to everyone who submitted an application for this year’s Your Home Team Real Estate Scholarship!
Happy Spring! As our tax deadline comes quickly, so will our bi-annual shredding event — Saturday, May 5, 2012. So, if you have cleaned out your files as you prepare for April 15 be sure to come by Your Home Team’s office at 813 W. Hwy. 50, O’Fallon, IL for the FREE shredding event.
As a sign of appreciation to our past clients and customers as well as a Thank You to the communities of O’Fallon, Belleville, Fairview Heights, Shiloh and Swansea, we host this bi-annual FREE shredding event. We hire a professional shredding company out of Columbia, IL to come in from 9:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon on that date.
For your privacy, you must be here — absolutely no drop offs with a limit of five copier boxes maximum per household. We also request a donation of 2 can goods to help benefit the local food pantry.
To ensure you are served, you must Email us to confirm your participation — email@example.com or call 618-624-1985.
Again, the shredding event is Saturday, May 5, 2011 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon, at Your Home Team’s offices located at 813 w. Hyw. 50 in O’Fallon, IL.
See you then!
It is still wishful thinking across much of the country, but the lure of budding trees and blooming flowers has many green-thumbers pressing their noses against the window panes. However, this past weekend was a big surprise in O’Fallon with a couple of inches of snow??? Who would have guessed the last week of March! But I guess in the St. Louis Metro East area this happens!
The good news? It’s never too early to start planning your garden. In fact, I hear Seipp Lawncare of O’Fallon, IL outside my window this morning giving us our lawn its first haircut for the Spring!
When planning to plant, you first want to establish what “zone” you live in. Knowing your zone will tell you when to plant what. You can find out your zone by visiting garden.org. If the risk of freezing is over in your zone, you might be able to start getting your hands dirty!
Draw out plans and pick out colors. Many flower buffs prefer to group like colors together. I have found over the years, some beautiful gardens in our surrounds towns such as Belleville, Fairview Heights, Shiloh, Swansea and O’Fallon, IL. They will have a pink annual garden one year and a yellow the next!
Other gardeners focus attention on larger projects, such as decks, pathways, and patios. If this is your intent this year, start your research now. Garden books and magazines are full of inspiration and how-to books can even lead you down the do-it-yourself path. You can also get pricing estimates from local home improvement stores and lumber yards.
Spring is also a time to prepare your soil. This means checking the pH to see if it needs balancing, as well as prepping the soil with compost to ensure it is full of nutrients. Compost works especially well when you add it prior to planting, and it’s a natural organic way to make your garden just that much better.
You can also take this time to prune bushes and hedges, clean dirty bird feeders, and service your lawn equipment. If you hire a landscaping company to handle the heavy work for you each year, then now would be a great time to interview potential companies and decide upon a service plan. We have some great companies and garden shops in the O’Fallon, Swansea, Shiloh, Fairview Heights, Belleville and surrounding Scott AFB towns.
Above all else, be sure to enjoy the process of planning and caring for your garden. It really is a rewarding hobby that keeps on giving for years to come! And if you are considering resale of your home, it is also great for curb appeal!
Enjoy — Spring is just around the corner!
Are you thinking of refinancing your mortgage? Today’s low interest rates make it very enticing and refinancing continues to be a hot topic. Many homeowners who are planning to stay in their homes for the long term are trying to find ways to lock in record-low interest rates.
Some borrowers are running into qualification issues for the first time in their lives. They are discovering they do not have enough income to refinance the home they have occupied for the past several years — even though the new loan comes with a lower interest rate than their current loan.
Loan representatives are reporting that their biggest challenge in the past 15 months has been explaining to existing customers that they “can’t even qualify for a mortgage under 5 percent.”
Others are upset because they are facing prepayment penalties on existing mortgages even though they have a flawless payment history and a terrific credit score.
A different wrinkle surfaced recently when a reader brought up an issue that we have not explored for years. She had purchased a home with the proceeds from her previous home plus a small balance that was financed by the owner.
She had planned to pay the small balance off within three years and save some interest money but was shocked to discover the loan structure — “the rule of 78s” — did not allow any savings.