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Steve Cohen and Desmond Clark's Weekly Real Estate Market Moment!

by The "Stick With Steve" Team

Why Buy Now?

by Kandace Conn, Team Leader/Transaction Manager

There may have never been a better time in real estate past to purchase a home based on rising rents, list prices and mortgage rates. Below you will read about the reasons that we believe you should buy now.

Starting off, the supply of homes on the market is decreasing. So, with inventory declining, finding your dream home could be more difficult than you expected going forward. Don’t be surprised when there is no longer a huge collection of homes to choose from. But with that being said, the finest homes in the best locations are going to sell first, so you won’t want to miss the chance to get your chance to buy your dream home.

The housing market is slowly but surely picking itself back up, so price increases are on their way. The median price is a record low of $154,600 according to the National Association of Realtors. Many pricing catalogs are reporting that prices will continue to rise, so now is the time to buy.

In this current market, it is less expensive to buy rather than rent. Statistics show rent is supposed to increase by 3.2% on an annual basis. This past year Trulia reported that rents this year have increased by 5.4% instead and are projected to rise by 4% for the next two years. So with home prices being at record low, buying a home is now more within reach for middle income families.

Mortgage rates are at record lows and projected to rise to 4.4% by the end of 2013, which is an increase of roughly one point of what the current rates are. With mortgage rates where they are now, it has helped push housing affordability better. 

15 Year Old Purchases Second Home!

by Kandace Conn, Team Leader/Transaction Manager, The

While searching the internet for an stimulating topic to write about, I came across a story that hits home for us in the real estate industry. There are many rumors going around the industry as to whether it is the right time to purchase a home or if you can afford it.   This fascinating story is about a remarkable 15 year old named Willow.

When Willow was 14, she purchased her first home with her mother, as partners, from the money that she had saved up from selling items that she herself fixed up. I am excited to announce that she just purchased her second home and her goal is to purchase 10 homes by the time she is 18. Now how about that for ambition? This story was covered by ABC News last week. 

Real Haunted Houses in America!

by Kandace Conn, Team Leader, The Stick With Steve Te

Creaking flooring, mysterious cold drafts and peculiar sounds usually don’t top the list of dream home features. Most people wouldn’t dare to put in an offer on any of these ghostly homes that I am about to briefly summarize. So let’s get in the Halloween spirit and let me tell you about some of the most haunted houses in the US!

Let’s start off in San Jose, California where the Winchester House resides. Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Winchester (founder of Winchester rifles), held séances seeking guidance from the spirits and her dead husband in order to achieve the home’s design. According to the stories, Sarah was told by a medium that there was a curse on her family and that she must keep building the house in order to stay alive, which lead to it taking 38 years to build. Twisting and turning hallways, dead ends, secret panels, a window built into a floor, staircases leading to nowhere, doors that open to walls, upside-down columns and rooms built, then deliberately closed off is the end outcome of this baffling structure. 

Moving on to 716 Dauphine Street, New Orleans is home to the Gardette-LaPrete House. This home was the location to one of the ghastliest murders in New Orleans’ history. A Turkish mercantile, whom rented this home, was buried alive in the backyard whilst his associates executed. This home is still said to be the site of the mercantile wanderings, some night’s unusual music and incense from old parties waft from the home.

The next historic home, 507 E. Saint Julian Street, Savannah, Georgia, was moved from its original site to said location in Savannah by a restoration professional. Whilst working on this home, peculiar noises were described along with the presence of an unknown male. A crypt was discovered on the building location partially occupied with water, but it was then closed off. This home was finished, in spite of the hearsays of hauntings and was last on the market in 2011.

Making our way back to New Orleans, we stop at LaLaurie House located at 1140 Royal Street. The horrific story of the LaLaurie was that this was owned by a doctor and his socialite wife. This house was the reported site for brutal cruelty against their slaves. Unbeknownst to the community, it was said that the slaves were exposed to torturous medical trials that were only exposed due to a fire that broke out and help came they discovered horrific scenes of torture. Madame Delphine fled and never to be seen again. Throughout the years, this home has passed through many owners (including Nicholas Cage, who lost the home in 2009 to foreclosure), who claimed to hear mysterious cries and see ghosts of the tortured slaves.

Out in San Diego, you will find the Whaley House, which Thomas Whaley purchased at staggeringly low price because of the hangings which were once held at this property. Whaley ripped down the gallows and constructed a Greek Revival brick home which after him and his family moved in, they started hearing hefty footfalls moving around the house. Currently, this home is a museum which is open for tourists to explore themselves.

Cleveland is home to the Franklin Castle which was built in 1864. The disturbing past  history of this home counterparts the gothic-style exterior which includes a stone tower and turrets, gargoyles and wrought-iron fencing.  Also mentioned to be heard are the echoes of babies crying, footsteps and doors slamming.

Our very own Alton, Illinois is home to the McPike Mansion, but also Alton claims to be one of the most haunted towns in America. Residents and visitors alike have said to be embraced by an unseen woman, see puzzling hazes and balls of light and hear the laughter of kids about. 

There you have it, some of the most haunted houses in America. Would you be interested in buying any of these homes, probably not!? But if you are in the market to sell or buy a home, call The Stick With Steve Team and we would be happy to help you in your real estate transaction! 

Steps To Find The Perfect Handyman!

by Kandace Conn

Are you ever overwhelmed by the amount of things that need to be done around the house that you just can’t seem to find the time to get them done? For example: that leaky pipe under the sink, noisy furnace, creaky stair - these could all be fixed by a handyman if you could just find the right one. Is it possible to find a jack-of-all trades that you can really rely on? The answer is absolutely yes, provided that you know what types of tasks to delegate and where to look.

First, you must settle on what types of chores you are going to be giving to the handyman. After that, start to tap into your personal network of friends, family & colleagues. Typically, general contractors don’t want to trouble with small tasks or fixes, so if you have a good relationship with one – or know someone who does - he may be able to refer you to someone he knows who would be eager to take the job. If you do not know a general contractor, tap into you local networks. For example, family, friends, church, local schools, etc.

Contractors characteristically name their price upfront, but with small fixes, it is not always as straightforward. A handyman will usually charge you for the materials they use and the time that they spend doing the job. But always ask for an estimate to be sure that you know the range. Remember to start small and give them an audition and if all goes well, lock in that handyman because the great ones are hard to find!

So let’s recap. Know the tasks that you need completed, tap into your network and give them a test run! If you get lucky and find a good one – tell your friends! Good luck!

Displaying blog entries 11-15 of 15

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