Chicagoland Area Real Estate Blog & News

Three Things Buyers Can Do in Today’s Housing Market

It’s clear the 2022 housing market has been defined by rising mortgage rates. With rates on the rise, it has become more costly to purchase a home. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“Compared to one year ago, the monthly mortgage payment rose to $1,944 from $1,265.”

This is an increase of nearly 54%that’s a massive increase for a monthly mortgage payment! If you’re thinking of buying a home in Chicagoland, it may be causing you to consider putting your plans for homeownership on pause. This rate hike is making homes less affordable, especially compared to the historic lows we saw over the last few years.

The good news is we are here to help you navigate today’s housing market and this rising rate environment. Here are three key things to consider when buying a home with higher-than-normal interest rates:

1. Expand Your Search Area and Criteria

If you’ve been looking for a home in the city center or a specific area in the Chicago suburbs that’s starting to feel like a stretch for your budget, you may want to try looking a little further away for a location that could be more affordable. Expanding your search location or re-prioritizing the items on your must-have list can open up opportunities...

Chicago Suburbs With the Best Downtowns

Chicago Suburbs With the Best DowntownsWhen deciding which Chicago suburbs you want to narrow your home search down, there are always a few factors that come to mind for what you want. So check out these Chicago suburbs with the best downtowns for potential places to settle down in the future. These suburbs are in no particular order, and each brings something unique to the table as a consideration for places to buy your next home. Some criteria to make it on this list include being walkable / bikeable, having a vibrant nightlife, plenty of shopping options, and a delicious food scene.

  1. Arlington Heights
  2. Evanston
  3. Oak Park
  4. Elmhurst
  5. Downers Grove
  6. Wheaton
  7. Hinsdale
  8. Geneva
  9. Lake Forest
  10. La Grange
  11. Plainfield
  12. Winnetka
  13. Aurora
  14. Naperville
  15. Joliet
  16. Park Ridge
  17. Mount Prospect
  18. Glen Ellyn


Why You Need a Real Estate Pro

Why You Need an Experienced Real Estate Team

If you're considering buying or selling a home, you'll want an experienced real estate team on your side. From contract negotiations to closing, we're here to assist you from start to finish, ensuring you have the best possible experience throughout your sale or purchase!

If you're considering buying or selling a home near Chicago, give us a call today!


Build Your Net Worth With Home Ownership

How Owning Real Estate Builds Your Net Worth

Investing in real estate is a significant milestone and both a financial and personal achievement to take pride in. The equity you build as a homeowner gives your net worth a big boost, and if you own multiple properties, you can look forward to monthly rental income as well. With interest rates and inflation at record highs right now, the link between owning real estate and building wealth is critical.

“On average some properties in the Chicagoland area have seen their values increase by 30% since 2019.  That means that a house that was valued at $300,000 in 2019 can be worth as much as $400,000 today.  The owner increased their net worth by $100,000 without doing anything other than owning the home. If they owned a rental property in addition to their primary residence, their net worth increase would have doubled to $200,000.” -Amy Kite

If you’re looking to increase your financial security and plan for the future, now is likely a fantastic time to start your journey toward homeownership and real estate investment.

Pro Tip: Owning a Home Is a Key Ingredient for Financial Success

It’s no secret that real estate is one of the first places financial pros recommend investing, but have you seen the data to back those recommendations up? A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) details recent homeownership...

Should I Sell My House Now or Wait?

It’s no secret that we’re seeing changes in the Chicagoland housing market as interest rates climb and buyer demand slows. Fortunately, there are benefits to selling in a slowing seller's market. We’ve put together our top reasons selling your Chicagoland home now may be a better option than waiting to see what happens in the new year.

Benefit: You Have Great Options For Your Move

We’ve all seen the growing housing inventory in Illinois and throughout the country this year, as rising mortgage rates slowed the post-COVID lockdown real estate frenzy. While this seems like a negative for anyone getting ready to sell a home, there are benefits waiting for you when buying after you sell your home.

If you’re selling your home due to an upcoming move, it means you’ll have a broader range of options when shopping for your next property. This offers you a great opportunity to find a home at a competitive price. So, if you have been waiting to move due to housing inventory shortages, it’s good to know that more options are available than last year, and the bidding wars have slowed dramatically. While you may have to wait a little bit longer to sell, you’re not going to be facing repeated disappointment and heavily inflated prices when moving to a new home.

Benefit: Inventory Throughout Illinois is Still Low

While the number of available homes for sale has increased this year, this is still considered a sellers’ market....

How Real Estate Can Help You Build Wealth

Everyone should invest in real estate if they can and here’s why. 

Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth, so it’s no surprise that I have a passion for it. I invest in real estate in pretty much every way I can, including flipping. However, I prefer to hold onto my properties.

Look at it this way. Housing appreciates by 4% every year on average. That means that if you invest in real estate, your wealth will double every 10 years.

As an example, I recently purchased a property for about $43,000. I put $15,000 into fixing it up and rented it out. However, I discovered I could no longer rent in this neighborhood because zoning laws had changed.

This may seem like a disaster, but real estate always has a plan B built into it. If you ever decide you no longer want a property, you can always sell. In the end, I sold the property for around $90,000 and made a nice profit.

When investing, make sure you always have a plan A and a plan B. If you have questions about today’s topic or anything else, please call or email me. I am always willing to help!


Best Chicago Suburbs for Families

Best Chicago Suburbs for FamiliesHaving a family often means that when you look for a place to settle, there are different criteria for the area. It needs to be more family-friendly to ensure your kids get the most out of their childhood. Some of the things considered for this list include great schools, diverse populations, plenty of recreation options, and other factors that make an area great for families of all sizes and ages. Here are some of the best Chicago suburbs to raise a family in no particular order.


Elmhurst, IL Is One of the Best Chicago Suburbs for FamiliesStarting off our list of best suburbs of Chicago for families, Elmhurst has an excellent school system. In fact, statistically, they have some of the best testing scores in the area. Elmhurst schools are the tip of the iceberg for those with inquiring minds, making this a great place to raise a family in the Chicago suburbs. Elmhurst offers museums, a symphony, and a library. Plenty of parks, a community center, pools, a golf course, and other outdoor entertainment round out this area’s family-friendly potential.

See Elmhurst, IL homes for sale

Hickory Hills

Cook County is home to several great suburbs, but Hickory Hills is one of the best Chicago suburbs for young families. Hiking, biking, and equestrian trails are perfect for those families that like to get outside...

The Importance of Wills and Trusts

If you haven’t written a will yet, there’s no better time to write one.

I recently had a family member pass, and they didn't have a will or an estate. The kids all have different ideas about what to do with the property, so there's a lot of bickering. None of this had to happen—it all could have been planned for and handled in a will.

Everybody needs a will, and if you own real estate, you also need a trust. You want to stay out of probate because that costs more than creating the will and trust. Having things planned out will also reduce stress during an emotional time. On top of that, establishing a set plan will avoid family members infighting and allow them to grieve together. 

Many attorneys will provide a free consultation over the phone to give you some options. If you need one, we're happy to get you in touch with somebody so you can save your loved ones that headache when you pass.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.


2 Main Things To Upgrade in Your Home

The market has shifted, and staging has become even more important.

Properties are no longer selling as quickly as they had over the past two years. Due to this slight slowdown, I often get asked, “Should I stage my home?” The answer is, "Yes, you should do things now to get your home in the best condition possible by spending money smartly and your time wisely."

The market’s not what it was a few months ago when people were buying regardless of what the property looked like. Homes that are in move-in condition can still get multiple offers. Paint and flooring are always the first two things you should revamp. Neutralize colors to something that would appeal to the vast majority of buyers and still avoid white as it is very sterile and buyers today generally don't find it appealing. Flooring should be consistent and also neutral. You may want to consider an LVP (luxury vinyl plank) or neutral carpet. Anything after those two should be discussed with your trusted real estate professional as you can spend more on additional upgrades than you can get out of them in the sale.

We are happy to provide information to contractors we trust in order to help you through this process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.


Your Summer 2022 Market Update

We’re still in a seller’s market, though things are slowing down a little.

June was a great month for our market! Today I’ll share our latest findings to keep you up to date with all the changes.

The average sales price in May was $409,000, but by June, it increased to $436,000. That’s an exciting change for potential home sellers, but a $27,000 increase in just a month isn’t sustainable. In fact, price jumps like that are one reason the Federal Reserve has been increasing interest rates—to slow down the market. Rates have already hit 6%, and we anticipate that they’ll have increased by another half point by the end of July.

"We’re still in a crazy seller’s market."

Around 20,0000 homes were added to the market last month, leaving us with around two months of supply. This is fantastic news for buyers who have been struggling to find options. 

Despite two more months' worth of inventory, we’re still in a crazy seller’s market. However, activity has slowed down due to rising interest rates pushing some buyers out of the market. The homes that are selling take slightly longer to leave the market than they did over the last couple of years.

If you have any questions about what’s going on in the market or how it will affect your plans to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.


This Market Is Turning Around for Fatigued Buyers

Buyers are starting to get a wave of relief from increased inventory.

Have you been struggling to find a home in this market? If so, here’s some exciting news: We're starting to see an increase in inventory, meaning you’ll have more options to choose from. More inventory will also likely lead to lower prices and more negotiating power. Buyers should have their credit checked to verify that they’re qualified so they can start looking in the neighborhoods they’re interested in.

Interest rates have stabilized for the time being, but we don't know what they'll do in the coming weeks and months. However, with them being stable at the moment, now is a great opportunity to go find the dream home you've been looking for. It’s still a great time to invest in real estate. On average, if you buy a property today, it will be worth 50% more in 10 years.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.


Don’t Miss This Chance To Buy a Home

Now is a great time to invest in real estate.

Are you struggling to find a home in the market right now? I have great news for you! We are starting to see an increase in inventory, so you’ll have more options when choosing your home. You can negotiate more easily, and you won’t feel like you’ve overpaid.

Buyers should get their credit checked to verify what they qualify for. Start looking at neighborhoods you’re interested in. Interest rates have stabilized recently, and with inventory increasing, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to find the dream home you always wanted.

Now is still a great time to invest in real estate. If you buy a property today, it will be worth 50% more in 10 years. If you need more help with your real estate concerns, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I look forward to hearing from you.


It's Always a Good Time To Buy

Here’s why it’s never really a bad time to buy in real estate.

One of the biggest questions we are asked in today’s market is, “Are we in a real estate bubble?” Back in 2007, home values dropped after the last bubble burst. However, current prices are higher than they were before the last crash.

That’s my key point for you today. If you buy real estate as a long-term investment, your value will increase to a higher level than it is today. It doesn’t matter when you buy; over time, values increase. That’s why real estate is considered such a great investment. 

So should you buy right now? Absolutely; rates are slightly higher now, but they will come down eventually and allow you to refinance. 

If you have any questions about buying a home or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Is It Still a Good Time To Buy and Sell?

Here’s what buyers and sellers need to know about our housing market.

The latest numbers from April just came in, so today, let’s take a look at them to see what’s going on in our housing market.

The average sales price in March was $395,000. In April, that number climbed to $412,000. Meanwhile, the average number of days on market decreased to about 40 in April. This is a normal trend for this time of year. 

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that interest rates continue to increase. This means it’s becoming more expensive each month to buy a home. 

Is it a good time to buy or sell? The answer is still yes. Sellers should list their properties before rates get too high and buyers’ purchasing power decreases. For the same reason, you should buy as soon as you can. The higher rates get, the less home you can afford. 

If you need help buying or selling or have any questions, please call or email us. Our team is always willing to help!


Questions You Should Ask in Agent Interviews

Four great questions to ask when you’re interviewing listing agents.

If you’re interviewing agents to sell your home, what questions should you ask? Of course, you want to ask about what’s important to you in an agent, but there are a few ideas you might not have considered.

One of the most important questions is, “How many homes have you sold personally?” New agents are trained to say how many homes the office has sold instead of their personal count. You want to figure out whether you’re working with an experienced agent or not.

Another great question is, “What’s your average list-to-sales price ratio?” If someone has a low ratio, that means they’re listing your property too high and selling it for too little. The average list-to-sales price ratio is 97.4%, so if they have a ratio of 95%, for example, that means their pricing strategy is less than ideal.

"Experienced agents will always get you more money."

You should also ask, “What type of marketing will you do to sell my home?” Most agents just put your home on Zillow or social media, but understand that these methods are pretty basic. You’re looking for someone who will do more to help drive people to your home.

Don’t forget to ask, “Who will I communicate with?” You won’t always connect with the person you’re hiring, and you might not always communicate as often or in the way you would like. Ask about who you’ll...

What’s Happening in Chicagoland Real Estate?

Here is your march 2022 Chicagoland real estate market update.

Let’s talk about the March 2022 real estate market in Chicagoland.

Our average sales prices went up significantly last month, almost 10%. The peak last month was $395,000. In February, the average sales price was $368,000. Our highest ever sales price was just over $400,00 in June 2021, so we are almost back to that same number.

This increase might seem weird since our interest rates just increased so much. However, understand that this average sales price is from properties put under contract 30 to 60 days ago, so they weren't affected by the increased rates. We anticipate that the average sales price will fall over the next few months.

"Our market should adjust over the next few months. "

The average days on the market went down to 58 from 66 in February. This is normal; the days on market always increases in January and February and decreases in March. It will probably continue decreasing as we head into summer.

The number of homes for sale is just over 12,000. A year ago, that figure was about 18,000. We have about a third fewer homes for buyers to buy. 15,000 new homes went on the market, and just over 12,000 properties went under contract. We’re putting inventory on the market, and it’s almost all selling immediately. Right now, we’re living in a low-inventory market, but that should change soon. There are fewer buyers because of our interest rates,...

Buying and Selling at the Same Time

Here are six options when buying and selling a home at the same time.

Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of sellers are excited to sell their homes, but they’re less enthused to buy. Since inventory levels are so low, I understand the concern. Don’t worry; if you’re looking to sell your home and buy a new one, you have options, and I want to go over a few of them with you today: 

1. Negotiate a long closing with your buyer. Instead of a typical 30-day close, try and have a 90-day one. In this seller’s market, many buyers are willing to accommodate this need. With such a long close, you should have plenty of time to find a new home.

2. Use a reverse contingency. In this scenario, you would insert a clause into your purchase agreement that makes your sale contingent on finding another home to buy. This is very convenient, but some buyers may not be interested in a house with one in place.

3. Negotiate a rent-back agreement. In this situation, you close on the house as normal, then rent the property back from your buyer while you look for a new home. These are increasingly popular, but some mortgages limit the amount of time you can rent the property from your buyer.

"Each option has its pros and cons. "

4. Find temporary housing. After your home sale, you could rent for a year and give the market time to settle. This option is popular with people who don’t know if they want to stay in their area since there is little commitment.


How Has the Pandemic Affected Us?

Comparing the market from before the pandemic to the current situation.

Have you forgotten what the market was like pre-pandemic? Let's talk about what's changed over the past couple of years and how those changes benefit you.

Before the pandemic, interest rates were higher. At one point, they were as high as 5%. Today they're still down in the 3% range, although we anticipate that they will go up this year. Interest rates during the pandemic have been fabulous. At some points, they were in the 2% range. The average sales price has gone up 24% since January 2020. The $293,000 house you bought is now worth $363,000. Appreciating $70,000 in two years is huge!

"Interest rates are still low, but they will likely increase soon."

The amount of time it takes to sell a home has decreased. Before the pandemic, it could take as long as 100 days to sell a home. Since then, days on market has gotten as low as 35 days. Right now, it’s about 60 days.

In terms of pre-pandemic inventory, there were 30,000 homes for sale in our area. Now there are only 15,000. With 50% less competition, you can expect more money when you sell. That's exactly why prices were driven up during the pandemic.

If you have any questions or are interested in buying or selling, I'd love to help you. Reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.


Your February 2022 Chicagoland Market Update

Let’s take a look at the market stats for our February 2022 market.

Today I’m going to go over what happened in the Chicagoland real estate market in February 2022:

  • The average sales price last month went up 2% to about $370,000. If we compare February 2021 to February 2022, sales prices have gone up 10%. That’s great for sellers.
  • The average days on market went up to 66. This is normal; we usually see the days on market increase between December and February. Next month, we should see this number drop.
  • The average number of home sales is down 33% from February 2021 to just under 12,000. There aren’t a lot of homes out there to buy, but great buyers are still winning properties. It’s a good time to look for a house before interest rates increase.
  • The list to sales price is up to 98.5%. That means when a property is listed, it sells for 98.5% of its asking price on average. Keep in mind that this only applies if you price your property reasonably.

If you have any questions about these stats or real estate in general, feel free to call or email me. I would love to help.


How Our Commission Rate Works

How is an agent’s commission determined on the Kite Team?

People often ask us how our commission right works—I mean, who wouldn’t want to know? Today I’ll quickly cover a couple of things to note about commissions here at the Kite Team.

We can help you sell your house starting at a 1% commission rate that increases based on the services you want. We only charge 1% commission in cases such as when you find your own buyer (like a tenant or family member) and you just need us to walk you through the contract, disclosures, etc.

For the listing side, the commission covers professional photography for your home, signs, and other services to expose your listing to the most possible buyers. Remember that there is a commission for marketing on the seller’s side as well as for the buying side. Agents and sellers need to be mindful about what they tell buyers concerning the commission rate because that can affect the number of showings you receive.

If you have any questions or would like to speak in more detail about our commission rates, don’t hesitate to call or email us. We’d love to have a conversation with you.