Quincy, IL Real Estate News

I just finished reading the book “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews and it had a profound impact on me.  This simple little book describes the journey of a man who travels back through history to learn important lessons from historical figures such as Christopher Columbus and Abraham Lincoln.  As I read the book, I couldn’t help but think about how these same lessons apply in my life and business.  The subtitle of the book - Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success - refers to these seven lessons.   The first decision was explained by Harry Truman and the lesson is that “The Buck Stops Here” or in other words, we all must take personal responsibility for where we are.  Andrews writes, “I am where I am today -- mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially --...
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By Greg & Paige Mitts
(Vision Quest Virtual Tours)
At Vision Quest Virtual Tours, we photograph all of our tours using High Dynamic Range imaging or HDR.  HDR provides an incredible level of clarity and detail that is not available in traditional photography.  For each individual image, we photograph 9 different exposures and then blend these together to provide an image that shows both the dark and bright areas equally well.  To see the difference that HDR makes, take a look at this tour...http://rtvpix.com/BU-0966-L16DVB-01?h=500&w=700 We photographed 350 tours in 31 states last year and drove 39,000 miles to shoot tours.  We photograph a wide range of virtual tours and our prices range anywhere from $100 to $2,500 depending on the size and scope of the job.  I read a Facebook comment earlier today from a photographer that said that ...
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Land Prices Soar at Auction - Illinois - Missouri - Iowa  Over the last 12 months or so good agriculture land in West Central Illinois, Northeast Missouri & Southeast Iowa have soared to prices never before seen. The land prices seem to be following the crop prices, up. It starting to make a person wonder, will this ever stop. Just when you think you cant go any higher you hear about another record sale. Over the last 60 days in West Central Illinois there has been over 380 acres sell in three different auctions. In McDonough Co. Illinois 80 acres sold recently topping out at $10,800 per acre. Next up was 162 acres selling in Adams Co. Illinois. This farm was divided in 4 tracts and bringing $16,000 per acre, $15,000 per acre, $13,000 per acre and finishing up at $12,000 per acre. When ...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
With the develoipment of the internet, cell phones and laptop computers, a REALTOR has the ability to provide instant information to a client.  Clients using the internet expect that.  Speed converts prospects into clients.  However, it also means that a REALTOR can never totally get away from his business and recharge his batteries so to speak. During a recent out of town trip, I packed up my laptop making sure I had a power cord, my book with clients, laser mouse, extra batteries, phone numbers of current clients, and plent of papaer and a pen.  I also had to make sure I took my charger of my cell phone.  When I booked a hotel, I also had to make sure that it had wireless internet.  After spending the day doing the family vacation thing, I still had an hour or so of work each night to...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
Some of the older agents believe that there is too much information provided free on the internet relative to real estate.  The fear that with all the free information, a buyer or seller does not need an agent. I take a different view.  It is true that as many as 80% of the buyers start their home search on the internet and many of the sellers research the value of homes and the selling process on the internet and then attempt to price their house and sell their house on their own.  As far as the latter, most of the sellers that try to sell their houses on their own eventually list with an agent.  The primary reason is probably exposure.  Once listed with an agent in the Multiple Listing Service, a house is immediately seen by all the agents in the area.  Most real estate offices also s...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
With all the information about homes available on the internet, the question has to be "Do I really need a REALTOR"?  Many of today's buyers start their search on the internet and research the buying process.  They go to various web sites and find several homes that they like and can afford.  They may even drive by the homes and call the agent that has the home listed.  Showing home is only a small part of what a REALTOR does.  Finding the right home is only the first step in the process of buying a home.  Once the home is located, then the process of negotiating a price and terms takes place.  This may reguire several rounds of negotiating and as a buyer, you want to make sure that you have a professional opinion as to the price and what you should ask for.  Once a contract is acceptab...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
There are so many buyers today that purchase a home and do not properly maintain it.  When they get ready to sell, they are surprised when a buyer has inspections done and come up with a long list of items that need to be repaired. I have a neighbor that purchase his home a couple of years ago.  The previous owner was in the construction business and the home was a excellent condition.  The current owner has done nothing.  Shrubs and other landscaping have not been trimmed, a shutter has blown off and just lays on the deck.  The gutters are plugged up and during rains, water overflows and comes down next to the foundation.  Eventually this could lead to water problems in the basement.  Tree limbs are hanging down and damaging the shingles.  When he decides to sell, this owner will have ...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
As a buyer you have an option to have inspections conducted once you have reached an agreement with the seller on price and terms.  You can either have individual inspections, such as electrical, plumbing, structure, roof, etc or have what is called a whole house inspection.  With the latter, a licensed inspector will look at all the components of a house and point out and potential problems.  Generally the inspector is not an expert in each an every aspect of the house, but can give you a good idea of the condition.  If the inspector feels that there is a major problem, he may recommend that the buyer obtain an detailed opinion from someone that is an expert in that particular area, such as the furnace. As an agent, I can make a recommendation to the buyer with some named of inspectors...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
As I show homes to buyers, many look only at exactly what is there.  If the house is messy, that is all they see.  If the house has family pictures, they spend time looking at the pictures.  No home is perfect.  As a listing agent, I make suggestions to a seller of the items they need to do to put their house in the best light.  If that means removing extra furniture to make the rooms look bigger, then so be it.  If it means removing some of the family pictures or painting a wall, so be it. If I am representing a buyer, a try to get them to look for the potential in a home.  Look at the room layout and sizes.  Are they good?  If so, the flooring can be changed, the wall color can be changed.  Lot for the potential and you could find a diamond in the rough.
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
When a property owner is considering selling his house, many times they will have an appraisal done to set the value of the property.  This can be a mistake.  If an appraiser submits a value, the owner would naturally think that the house should be listed for at least that amount.  At this point, the appriaser does not have an offer to work with and simply uses past sale that are up to 6 months old.  In the current changing market, that method may result in the owner listing the property for more than what a buyer is willing to pay.  If it is over priced, the house may sit on the market for a while as the owner continues to think that he should receive at least the appraised value.  After a while, the showings on the property stop. I ususally recommend that the owner not get an appraisa...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
Earlier this week there was an auction of a large home in our Historic area.  The auction was conducted by a local auctioneer that advertises selling a house in 30 minutes.  Well, even though there were a lot of potential buyers at the auction, it apparently did not sell.  Apparently, the owner did not get the price they wanted.  Actually this is the situation in more cases than you would think.  As I said in a previous Blog, auctions seem to work for the seller for farm land, but do not work for selling a house.  And yet the auctioneers continue to promote that auctions provide top dollar for the seller.   So then the question becomes what does a seller loose if they try the auction route.  Usually the seller pays for all the advertising up front, pay for flyers to promote the sale and...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
If you are considering selling your house, you probably are at least thinking about selling it yourself.  For some it works just fine.  However, according the the National Association of REALTORS, nearly 80% of the people that try to sell themselves eventually list with a REALTOR.  Why is that?  Afterall, the primary reason would be to save the commission that REALTORS charge. Selling your house yourself is not as easy as you might think.  First of all there is preparing your house to sell and doing what you think is necessary to make your house salable.  You are making decisions without the advice of a professional REALTOR.  Then, you have to decide what price to ask.  To make sure that you have the right price, you would need to do alot of homework by going to open houses, searching t...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
The outside of the home is the first that a buyer sees and it is very important that it makes a good impression.  However, appearance in important once the buyer gets into the house as well. If you are thinking about placing your house on the market, I am sure you have asked yourself many questions.  Should I replace the old tile counters in the bathroom?  Should I replace the wallpaper in the dining room with something more modern?  Do I need to replace the 25 year old roof that is curling?  Should I paint all the interior walls or just touch up the bad places?  Should I replace the carpet? These and many more questions will come up.  In general and depending on the value of the home, I will suggest that some things that are cost effective be done.  As an example, paint is relatively c...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
As I go out to talk to people about listing their home, I will give the seller suggestions on how to make their home show better.  There is only one chance to make a good first impression and that impression starts with the yard.  In our area, it has rained about every other day and the grass just keep growing.  I have been cutting my own yard twice a week.  Yet many sellers don't think that keeping the grass cut is important.  Believe me it is.  The front of a house is what a potential buyer sees first.  It should be in the best possible condition.  That means grass cut, bushed trimmed, no visible pealing paint, and basically very tidy.  It does take some time and effort on the part of the seller, but in the long run, the seller will receive more money for their house if it looks good....
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
The national new media almost daily reports on record foreclosures in the nation.  Foreclosures, like real estate is local.  The Quincy area has seen some foreclosures, but not to the level that is reported nationally.  There will always be some foreclosures.  Perhaps the owner ran into some major health issues that put them behind in mortgage payments.  Perhaps the economy has has caused a work force reduction.  Perhaps the owner bought more house that what they could really afford.Generally speaking, the Quincy lenders are conservative in nature.  They did not make the risky loans that other lenders did in other parts of the country.  However, when the national news media continues to hammer away at the record foreclosures, the general public will eventually believe the story to be tr...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
Mortgage rates are very good by historic standards.  They may have been lower in 2005, but were over 14% in the 80's.  Lower rates mean that a buyer can afford a bigger and better home and build strong long term equity.  In most cases, a home is a person's biggest asset.  Why not start now to built that long term value.  Lenders have a variety of products available and each lender offers different products.  Some are for first time buyers and some are for buyers that have downpayments.  It is best to check with you local bank.  You may be surprised at the price of home you can afford.If you are seriously thinking about buying a home or upgrading to a larger home do to a growing family or need to downsize becasue all the children have left, talk to a REALTOR and see what is available and...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
Real Estate auctions seem to be very popular these days.  From personal experience, auctions seem to work very well for farm ground.  However, for a home in town, sometimes it works, but many times it does not.For farm ground, there is only a fixed amount of ground that is either tillable or in timber.  That seems to drive the price up and the seller benefits.For homes in town, a buyer is out for a cheap deal and if it does not work out for that house, there is another one very similar down the street.  As a REALTOR, we have heard of homes that some at auction for only a fraction of the price that it would bring if it was listed.  In one recent case, a house sold at auction for $125,000.  The buyer did a little painting, listed it with a REALTOR and had an offer within a couple of weeks...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
The numbers are in for the first 4 months of 2008.  All numbers are for the period of January through April of each year.  Total closings in Quincy and Adams County to date for 2008 was 192 compared to 251 in 2007 and 216 in 2006.  Total value of closings to date in 2008 was $19,500,000 compared to $28,200,000 for 2007 and $23,500,000 for 2006. Now the question.  Do the above number reflect a slow down in the local market?  Are they somewhat weather related ( This winter was rougher than some in the past).  Is a slow down the result of national news media talking daily about the housing troubles?Probably the answer lies in a combination of all the above.  Buyers are still looking, but maybe a little more picky.  It seems to me that part of the problem is that there are not a lot of home...
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By Alan VanDeBoe
(C 21 Awerkamp & Hays)
The national news media continues to talk about the housing slump, the bubble has burst, record foreclosures and other negative term.  Real Estate is local.  There are certainly problems in the housing industry.  Much of the problem is in California and Florida and some other locations where homes appreciated at a double digit pace for several years.  Some locations, such as Quincy did not see that type of appreciation.  Over the last 5 years or so, homes in this area increasd in value , but only in the 5% range.  We did not see the spikes, but we are not seeing the valleys either.Our market is not as active as it was a year or even two years ago.  Some of the slower pace is due to the national news continuing to hammer that the real estate market is in the hole.  Some is do to tighteni...
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By Chris Elsie-Higdon
(RE/MAX Real Estate Pros)
Adams county Rural Development is definitely worth checking out. It may surprise alot of you what would qualify for it. Hickory Grove Sub., some of Spring Lake, it goes on and on.
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