Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Open Frame


Hey -- here's a neat-o idea the Mother Ship turned me on to...check out the video! Made in America, too!

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Home is calling.
Can you hear it?
I sure can. 
I sell houses but more importantly I find homes.
That mythical, magical, wondrous haven that awaits at the end of your work day.
The place where, as George Carlin said, “You keep your stuff.”
We all need the safety of four walls, a roof that doesn't leak.
A place to kick back and relax, kick up our heels in celebration, fall to our knees in times of the most blessed bliss, overwhelming gratitude, and, yes, deep regret.
Where our key fits the door
with which we can shut out the world.
Where our imagination designs the rooms where we live.

Home is calling.
 Call me and I can help you find
that magical place.
That place you can call:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Another new listing, priced to sell!


This one is perfect for one or two or three...first time home buyer, the new couple, the downsizer couple or the single parent. We have it priced to sell and it has tons of potential.

In Herrin, in this price range, there are six homes on the market. Call me for a tour and you'll see why this one is...home.

Weekends where made for looking


Time to call the realtor!

As the weather warms up, the calls start coming in. I really, really, really enjoy this career when the sun is shining. Spring fever hits the real estate market with people itching to move. Renters want to move into something they can own and build equity in. Put down roots and spread out. Get their own slice of the American dream.

The Mother Ship gives me all kinds of stats surrounding home ownership. Like kids raised in houses purchased not rented do better in school. I think this comes from added security and stability. We have so many kids out there with issues like not enough food and homelessness! ((If you haven't seen it -- try and catch HBO's American Winter))

But enough politics.

Topics on this blog is real estate and how to acquire some of your own to own and that's easy: Call me. 618-438-1900. Texts are good, too.

I can tell you the inventory is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down in SoIL so when a new, remodeled and affordable home comes on the market it will not last long.

If you haven't been pre-approved for a mortgage: Do it. Online or call me for a list of financial guys/gals who will take your info on the phone and set you on the road to ownership.

If you have your pre-approval: Call me so we can start looking for your house.

I promise. Home is out there -- I can help you find it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Listing!!

First day of Spring! We are into the 2013 Selling Season!!

Listings are starting to sprout up and here's my newest offering: 1100 square feet of totally remodeled space in West Frankfort, Illinois. Forgive me for a lapse into The REaltorese but: This one will pass Rural Development Direct, people!!

MLS 317134

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Buyers Market?

If you are thinking of listing your house, do it now. Buyers? If you find a house that meets your needs? Put in an offer or be prepared to lose it.

Waiting will not be moving the market in your favor: "Listings of existing homes for sale were down 14% year-over-year in the first two weeks of January, according to Realtor.com, which tracks 146 markets nationwide."

Don't want to believe me? Then you should believe USA Today, Realtor.com, Coldwell Banker Mother Ship? How about Census figures on new builds: "New home construction is still weak. In each of the past three years, builders completed fewer than 500,000 single-family homes. That's less than half the number built annually between 1993 and 2007, according to the Census Bureau."

Low supply is feeding bidding wars in some parts of SoIL. In Carterville, Waltonville, Woodlawn or Sesser/Valier school districts desirable turnkey, RD, FHA or VA qualifiers will test the limits of bidding. These are "hot" school districts: remember saleability of property has an unbreakable first rule: it is location, location, location. The second rule becomes price...what's the bang for the buck? Remember -- in these locations young families are buying starter homes and established homeowners are moving up to their dream properties.

What will the market bear? Those markets listed above? They will support first time home buyers and those looking for the second, and, even third tier (luxury home with land) homes. Why? Because these are locations within easy commute from major employers in the region. Also the proximity to family, friends... then there is what I think of as the "coming home" factor. Folks who left to pursue career elsewhere come back to the familiar stomping grounds of youth.

Lots of those returning can and do fuel the upper market homes. These folks want to be the "landed gentry" of the area. So, perhaps, they want enough land to hunt without obtaining a license or they want private fishing/picnic/4-wheeler heavens/havens. For serious land deals we have to travel further south and those homes abutting the Shawnee National Forest become the featured paradise of dreams. I could sell a house with four or more acres a little outside of town with 3+ bedrooms and 2+ baths with a heated/cooled 30x30 pole barn in turnkey condition listed for under $120,000 every day of week plus two on Sunday. I'm telling you right now...it ain't gonna happen for ya. Not in those school districts, it ain't. For that price you'd better be willing to put some sweat or money or both into the house or build your own pole barn. I guarantee you it will need work, not just a coat of paint.

Something you have to consider: in large urban areas people can and do commute an hour or more into the city. Here in SoIL those commuters are coming from  rural areas or small towns into "urbanish" centers like Mt Vernon, Carbondale, Marion. Commuters drive into CT, Walgreens, National Rail, any of a half dozen medical centers, banking, law, state jobs like prisons, schools/colleges/universities, publishing and businesses (corporate to small mom & pop) to support the population. I am in this last group:  I am a small business! I hang my license with a Coldwell  franchise; for this privilege, I pay dues/expenses/fees on a quarterly basis. I work "for" my clients. Listing property? Those sellers? They pay commissions that I split with the franchisee and the mother ship -- again:  paying for the privilege of hanging my broker's license in that shop. Rents, if you will, for the privilege of ownership of my own business with a Coldwell Banker mother ship and a franchisee in Carterville.

That's why it is important you get to know me. That you call my cell (618-438-1900) and you actually know that I am working for you whether you are buying or selling. My buyer/seller is my skin in the game -- I get nothing until I get you to the closing table.

That trip to the table can be a saucy jaunt down the Yellow Brick Road with flying baboons ((yeah, I saw the new OZ movie)), biting water fairies, nasty witches, soldiers with battle axes and broken china. It is my mission to try to limit the surprise factor; make sure it is not your dream that gets shattered like so much pottery.

It falls in my lap to explain the facts of (real estate) life to you. Please believe me when I speak...I have no joy in bursting your bubble. Because facts, those pesky things, do tend to bring the party back down to earth and sales of property? They are perking up. If you have a house to sell? Clean it, paint it and make sure everything works. Make sure it shines like a new penny and be ready to help a buyer buy it. If you don't then be prepared to price it lower!

Buyers? Get your finances in order. Don't be surprised if you have to overlook flaws. Know your limits and be prepared to paint, clean, move walls and add baths. And be prepared to offer more!!

Questions? Good! I got answers!

Let's hope they match.

Call me or text anytime: 618-438-1900

I am building a real estate practice and I need your business.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March in

 March is, supposedly, in like a Lion this year. What with snow, wind, sleet -- general mayhem, pathos and chaos nationally and internationally. What's interesting, too, with all that's going on around the globe, real estate has begun to get poppin'.

I believe this has to do with the Dow Index topping out:  people's portfolios are doing very well. Lenders are making money so are more willing to lend. It does have a lot to do with Wall Street being bullish. Lots of mergers, lots of action, lots of...bull... there means a little bit of breathing room for the little guys just looking to find four sturdy walls on a stable foundation and non-leaking roof.

Some trends in real estate, I believe from watching comings and goings in SoIL, happen because people just get sick of waiting. The more chaos in D.C., the more stable common folk want to feel -- and buying a house means stability.


People need stability. Lack of it is the stuff of nightmares, panic attacks and acting out in bad behavior. Stressy times call for calm and steady with soothing crock pots burbling in airy kitchens. Four walls on a sturdy foundation with good plumbing and a roof that don't leak.

March Madness. It is more than just a ballgame. In some ways it is the whole ballgame of life. The weather is wacky in March. The end of winter, the beginning of spring is in March.

I share my birthday with Dr Seuss, a freethinker if ever there was one. March Madness leaking out of March birthday holders?

People get "itchy" in March. Longing for winter to end or trying to squeeze in as much winter fun as possible. Lots of winter festivals start in February and end in March. Anchorage, Alaska has Fur Rondy and today the Iditarod sled dog race begins: 1049 miles from Anchorage to Nome. If anything, this race has all the appearances of mushers trying to out-race spring because along the route, those sled dogs will have to paw across frozen rivers and, if possible, across the frozen waters of Norton Sound.

People are "itchy" in March. On the lookout for signs of spring: the first lilies, daffodils, crocus pushing up and bravely starting the blooming show. All the seed catalogs start to arrive. Lettuce is planted under plastic and tomato plants are started in greenhouses, attics, warm laundry rooms.

Itchy, twitchy, 'gotta-get' feelings bubble up, stir up, shake up. The ending is near, the beginning awakening -- the longings start, pressing those buttons. Ahhhh, March....I love this month.