Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How is the current market in Cary, Illinois?

Cary, IL Market Conditions (Cary is located in both McHenry and Lake Counties in Northern Illinois

How is the current market in Cary?

As of this morning, per MLSNI, for the past 3 months:

(This home is SOLD-no wonder...it sure was cute!)

We currently have 249 Single Family homes on the market in Cary that are active and available.

They have been on the market for an average of 191 days.

The average list price is 347,814.

During the past 3 months, 17 Single Family homes have successfully closed with the help of their Realtors. This only represents 40% of the market that have had success. They took an average of 200 days on the market to get SOLD.

The average list price of the SOLD Single Family homes is 282,447 and the average SOLD price is 269,162.

<--This home in Cambria in Cary is already SOLD, but there are many others!

We currently have 61 Attached homes on the market in Cary that are active and available.

They have been on the market for an average of 185 days.

The average list price is 202,625

During the past 3 months, 4 Attached homes have successfully closed in Cary with the help of their Realtors. This only represents 31% of the market that have had success. They took an average of 110 days on the market to get SOLD.

The average list price of the SOLD Attached homes in Cary is 174,925 and the average SOLD price is 167,562.

So, on the average Attached homes in Cary have been getting an average of 96% of their list prices, with the help of their Realtors.

We are still experiencing a Buyer's Market in Cary.

If I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to call or email me!

Wauconda Waterfront Restaurant-Lindy's Landing

The new Lindy's Landing in Wauconda is FABULOUS!

I have dinner once a week with my Father, who lives in Port Barrington and my Sister, who also lives in Cary. We all live on the Fox River so really enjoy going to establishments on the water and enjoy trying different places. We just tried the new Lindy's Landing, and I must say we were all very pleasantly shocked at the changes. It used to be a very casual place and we had been there in the past for burgers...my Dad's favorite meal! It was nothing fancy but had pretty good food and great views of the water.

The metamorphosis of this place is phenomenal! The building is gorgeous, with a cape cod kindof feel....huge white pillars, stone accents and a huge front porch complete with Adirondack chairs to enjoy when the weather gets a little better. Inside, they have a welcoming lobby complete with friendly hostesses, a beautiful bar area with an abundance of large screen TV's....(would definitely be a great place to watch a Bears game!) and a magnificent dining area with volume ceilings, stone fireplace and floor to ceiling windows overlooking Bangs Lake. Gosh, it sounds like I am describing one of my listings! I can't wait to go back in summertime to enjoy the large outdoor deck area. They even have a sand beach, plenty of boat parking, and slip rentals. I hear there is already a waiting list for the boat slips!

Service was excellent and I regret I do not remember our waitresses name, but she was a definitely a pro. She has been there from before the renovation as well, so was full of interesting information. They have many vintage pictures on the walls that give a glimpse of the local history. The food also did not disappoint. I had the Flatiron Steak Sandwich which was delicious and my sister had the Grilled Ahi Tuna, which was a very thick tuna steak and she loved it. Our favorite was the mashed sweet potatoes. And my Dad, who is THE Burger EXPERT, said the black Angus Burger was one of the best he has ever had and that is BIG coming from him!

They also offer catering and private parties, a Friday fish fry and Sunday brunch.

I'd highly recommend paying them a visit or two or three or four.....

You can reach me direct at 847-516-6760.

I am looking forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs!

Search over 120,000 listings at:
http://www.debrakukulski.com/ or http://www.mchenrycountyproperties.com/
Or http://www.foxriverproperties.com/
Re/Max Unlimited Northwest
My designations and what they stand for:
A.B.R. (Accredited Buyers Representative);
RECS (Real Estate Cyber Specialist);
G.R.I (Graduate Realtor Institute).;
e-PRO (e-Professional)
If you have a friend or family member looking to buy or sell a home please
pass their name and number along to me and I will give them the same great
service I give to all of my clients. I can also help you find a Realtor
nationwide! Your referrals are VERY important to me. Thank YOU:-)
Licensed in Illinois

Barrington Event: Free Native Plant Workshop at Barrington Library

Free Barrington Workshop Coming Up!

Looking for some new GREEN landscaping ideas? Why not use native plants which are not only beautiful to enjoy all year round, but also support our local wildlife, reduce pollution and help our environment?

Barrington's Citizan's For Conservation is putting on a workshop at the Barrington Area Library on March 29th, 2008 from 9:30a.m. to 11:00a.m.

The event is free but donations are accepted and very much appreciated at the door. Please RSVP:-)

Click Here: For more information on the event and to RSVP

Click Here: For More Barrington Library Events


Health Insurance for Realtors-Or Any Other Small Businesses, Individuals or Self-Employed. Are There ANY Good Options?

Health Insurance for Realtors-Or Any Other Small Businesses, Individuals or Self-Employed. Are There ANY Good Options?

As far as I know, there really are not any good and affordable options out there for self employed people or small businesses like us. I could go on a big rant about this but I will try not to!

When I looked around a few years ago and did some research, I found the only option for GROUP insurance under the current laws which restrict our associations from forming a group like any corporation can, was through NASE-National Association for Self Employed.

This was the only GROUP policy I could find at that time. Does anyone know of any others? It is expensive, like any insurance, but at least it does not keep going up by very much each year like it does with an individual policy. They (MEGA), like most insurance companies, try to not pay out as much as possible, so that can be a hassle. But I felt the fact that they can not single you out and cancel your policy like an individual plan could was a HUGE plus. Can you even imagine getting ill....and it would already be a hardship not to be working because if we do not work, we have no chance of getting paid.....but then your insurance company decides to cancel your health insurance ***because they can***...and then you not only have no income, but no health insurance and NO insurance companies willing to take you on because now you have a pre-existing condition? And it happens all the time!

I am also wondering if anyone knows of a good Dental Policy let me know, because this one is the pitts...it hardly covers anything!

Does anyone else think this is outrageous that we can not form a group through our associations?

Has anyone else seen Michael Moore's movie about this, called Sicko?

It is a sick situation, for sure! So stay positive and stay healthy:-)

Stimulous Package Tax Relief Check Schedule

Well, Happy Saturday (at least it is very sunny in Cary, IL!) and we already have an update to this information which I posted yesterday.
Thanks to Jo Soss | Bremerton WA Real Estate who was kind enough to point this out to me and also give me a link directly to the IRS page where this information is posted. I would advise you check there for updates before you start counting on your stimulus check. I really hope this *stimulates* more buyers to come off the fence which will *stimulate* some big smiles from our sellers!

Stimulus Payment Schedule for Tax Returns Processed by April 15

Economic stimulus payments will be issued according to the last two-digits of the main filer's Social Security number. People who use direct deposit also will be among the first to receive the payments starting May 2. Paper checks will be put in the mail starting May 16.

DIRECT DEPOSIT Last two SSN digits: Payment will be transmitted:
00 through 20 May 2
21 through 75 May 9
76 through 99 May 16

PAPER CHECK Last two SSN digits: Payments will be mailed by:
00 through 09 May 16
10 through 18 May 23
19 through 25
May 30
26 through 38 June 6
39 through 51 June 13
52 through 63 June 20
64 through 75 June 27
76 through 87 July 4
88 through 99 July 11

People who file a return after April 15 will receive their economic stimulus
payment, but probably about two weeks later than the schedule shows. A return must be filed by October 15 in order to receive a stimulus payment
this year. See the online calculator for an estimate of the amount you will

Related Item: IR-2008-44, IRS Announces Economic Stimulus Payment Schedules, Provides Online Payment Calculator

Return to Economic Stimulus Payment Information Center

I hope this information is useful for you! If I may be of assistance with your Northern Illinois (McHenry County, Lake County, Kane County, Cook County) real estate needs, please do not hesitate to contact me:-)

Happy Easter Weekend!

It is a GREAT time to Buy or Move-up in Northern Illinois!

It is a GREAT time to Buy or Move-up in Northern Illinois!

Our market has been equalizing........

That's GREAT NEWS for about 75% of current homeowners and those who want to be homeowners. Here's why . .

If you have a home and have been thinking of moving up, this is the best real estate market for you. For example, consider your home is worth $300,000 based on recent sales, but with a high inventory of homes for sale and a sluggish market, we need to price and/or accept $15,000 (5% lower) to get the property sold. Your immediate reaction would be that you lost $15,000 and you say to yourself , "I should have sold last year when the market was hot for sellers!". But you really didn't lose. In fact, you gained because you are moving up. For example, if you are buying a $500,000 home, that seller may be faced with the same sluggish market we may have faced when we sold your home. You may now be able to also buy the $500,000 home for $475,000 (5% lower). Although you sold for $15,000 less, you bought for $25,000 less so you benefited by $10,000.

In an opposite market where houses sell fast and often for more than the asking price, you can lose money when moving up. Also, and more importantly, this is the best market for us to find the "best house for you" because we have more time to shop and the inventory of homes for sale is larger, so there is more to choose from, also.

In a sellers market, you may end up "settling" for a home because the choices are slim and you are pressured to buy quickly before values keep rising. Buyers have so many choices now of very well priced properties and motivated sellers.

If you are a first time buyer with a small or zero down payment, this is the best time to buy. Sellers now will be more likely to welcome buyers with low or no down payment and some sellers may even help pay your closing costs. In an opposite market, the sellers usually won't even consider any offers unless there is a high down payment which prohibits most first time buyers from buying.

If you are a long term real estate investor, now is a great market to buy. The higher inventory of property allows us to find the ideal rental property that meets your investment criteria. Also, we will be more likely to negotiate excellent terms with the help of your Realtor, me:-)

Please do not get me wrong....this is not a depressed market and some local markets may differ quite a bit from each other. We call it "equalized". We just have been coming off the very long stretch of being a sellers market.

Everyone wants to buy low and sell high but it's virtually impossible to time markets. This is called speculation. If you view real estate as a long term investment, 5 to 10 years minimum, you will more than likely catch a "wave" of appreciation. Remember, you will never catch the wave unless you are in the water.

Have a great weekend!

Debra Kukulski, Realtor
A.B.R. (Accredited Buyers Representative);
RECS(Real Estate Cyber Specialist);
G.R.I(Graduate Realtor Institute).;
‘Re/Max Unlimited Northwest
847-516-6760 Direct

If you have a friend or family member looking to buy or sell a home, please pass their name and number along to me and I will give them the samegreat service I give to all of my clients! I can also help you find a Realtor nationwide! Licensed in Illinois

Spring Migration on the Fox River in Cary, IL

Spring Migration on the Fox River in Cary, IL

I am fortunate enough to live on the Fox River in Cary, IL. Besides being able to go boating in the summer, all the way up to the Chain of Lakes, there are beautiful views and nature to enjoy year round.

I have lived on the Fox River for over 16 years, and over the past couple of weeks I have been getting glimpses of a duck I have never seen before. We do get the biggest variety of birds and waterfowl in spring and summer, when they are migrating through. Well, I have been trying to get a good enough look at this duck for a couple of weeks and usually by the time I get down to my pier with my binoculars, they move up the river just enough that I can't get a good enough look to identify them. They are small, black and white and definitely diving ducks, so several times when I had them in view, they would just disappear under the water and re-appear later in a different spot. I have been seeing a group of 6-8 near my home over the past couple of weeks. Last Saturday, as I drove over the Rawson Bridge in Cary for an appointment in McHenry, I saw about 20 of them swimming around by the Broken Oar. I could not stop then but on the way back to Cary, I saw them again and stopped for a minute .....trying to zoom in on them with my digital camera. Still not close enough!!

On St. Patrick's Day, we went to the Broken Oar on the Fox River in Cary for the traditional corned beef and cabbage....which was delicious by the way! It was amongst the BEST cabbage we have ever had, in fact, I would love to know their secret! But the Broken Oar, although it is very casual, does have good and very reasonable food, so check it out if you have never been there. Great views of the Fox River, too!

Anyhow....as we left to go back to the office, I saw 20-30 of them and had my binoculars with so was able to get a good enough look to identify them, and I am pretty sure they are Buffleheads, which I have never seen here before. If you live on or near the Fox River, try to get a glimpse of them, they really are beautiful! They are mates for life and nest in tree cavities made by Northern Flickers, one of the most colorful local woodpeckers we see here. They dive for food and eat while underwater. They are actually the smallest diving duck in North America! If you live on or near the Fox River, try to get a glimpse of them before they continue their journey north. They really are beautiful!

Here is a link to some detailed information: Bufflehead Duck

If you are looking to buy or sell a waterfront property, please contact me DEBRA

Monday, March 17, 2008

Short Sales, REOs, Foreclosures and Pre-Foreclosures:" What Are They and How Do They Work?" Asked My Buyer......

Short Sales, REOs, Foreclosures and Pre-Foreclosures:" What Are They and How Do They Work?" Asked My Buyer......

If only there was an easy and accurate answer to that question, right? Usually we, as the Realtors, can and do help our clients navigate through a plethora of different scenarios in the buying process. It is one of the many ways we bring value to the transaction. We have been through many different situations before and from experience, can help to guide our clients through them. However, as John MacArthur states in his blog post, All that appears short....is not a short sale......, the situation is always different and there really are no industry standards regarding these types of sales. Each situation seems have it's own set of challenges, the biggest, as I see it, being the ability to communicate effectively with someone at the bank or asset management company that is both organized (meaning, for example, they do not lose the paperwork so you have to start over almost every time you call!) and able to make a decision in a timely manner. Whether you are representing the seller or buyer, this seems to be the place where everything stalls, or in some cases, even comes to a screeching halt! You would think, with all of the properties they need to get off their books that they would be motivated to not only review but also respond to offers in a timely manner so that this can be accomplished. But the sad and maddening truth is they usually do not!

I was fortunate enough to represent an excellent seller to work with on a REO property recently that actually had a contact I could pick up the phone and talk to, or email, and was able to get a quick response. This seller, with my help, was able to procure a contract within the first two weeks on the market, yes, even in THIS buyers market. We even had two competing offers for this property. It is amazing what we can accomplish when there is cooperation and communication! This situation was definitely the exception to the "rule". In another case I know of, there has been an offer on the table almost two months, that the lender has yet to respond to.....BECAUSE NO ONE IS ASSIGNED TO HANDLE THE SALE AT THE BANK!!! There was also a second offer as well, so they had two to pick from, but those buyers got weary of the wait and walked away. And that was a higher offer, too, that they lost out on by not responding.

So, my buyer asks me, what is a short sale and what is the process? After defining what a short sale is, which usually means they are selling for less than what is owed....we get to that maddening "process" part of the question. And my most honest and accurate answer is that if, as a buyer, you want to consider purchasing a short sale, REO, foreclosure or pre-foreclosure property, you most importantly have to have the luxury of patience and plenty of time.

*If you want to close on a certain date, this may not be for you!

*If you have to coordinate your selling and purchase closing dates so you are not homeless in-between, this may not be for you!

*If you have the type of personality where you get easily frustrated or like fast resolutions, this may not be for you!

*If you are not a risk taker, and let your real estate attorney explain this to you, this may not be for you!

I have put in offers for buyers that have been responded to in a week to a couple of weeks (this is the GOOD scenario), to as long as three months just to get an answer from the seller. You would not believe how thrilling it can be to get a "heartbeat" from the other side after so much time has passed! Do you really want to put your home search on hold for an indefinite amount of time while waiting for a response to your offer?

There are SO many GREAT opportunities in this market for buyers. This is the BEST buyer's market I have seen in 15 years, so do get out and buy! Short Sales, REOs, Foreclosures and Pre-Foreclosures are not the only "good deals" out there. We have an abundance of both motivated and realistic sellers to also work with that actually respond to an offer on their property and can even get to the closing table, sometimes in less time that it even takes for a lender to even respond.

I am not saying that you should not consider these sales, especially since they are a substantial part of our inventory today, not only in Mchenry, Lake, Kane and Cook Counties in IL, but thoughout the country. I am just giving a bit of caution. There really is no way, in my opinion, for the Realtors to standardize this process until the banking industry gets control of it themselves. In the meantime....let your personality and time frame be the key to if you should consider these types of properties and let your Realtor guide you through the buying process, so you can successfully get to the closing table in a time period that meets YOUR needs.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

10 New Tax Laws You Need To Know!

April is approaching fast. It's TAX TIME! While you are getting your tax preparations ready, I thought this link might help! Here are 10 New Tax Laws You Need to Know!

Lawmakers were busy in 2006, so be sure to check out these tax code changes. They might save you some money!


Ready for that new home? This is the time to buy! If you or anyone you know is considering a new home, please provide me with their daytime phone number and I would be happy to follow up with them!

See my website for details! Good luck with your taxes and MAKE it a great day!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My 15 Minutes of Fame!

I was quoted in Crain's Chicago Business this morning! For your convenience here is a direct link to the article.


It is a shame what happened with this developer. I just wish the reporter also quoted what I kept stressing to him.... the wonderful opportunity in this market...."it is a GREAT time to buy"!

For further Real Estate Information and News, visit my

Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day! ~Debra

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Real Estate CyberTips!

To my valued friends,

I am pleased to be sending you our special Real Estate CyberTips
E-Newsletter, which, in very concise form, will provide you with monthly
Cyber tips and tricks along with our pointers to Internet places of special
interest to real estate owners, investors and related professionals.

Please click the link below to access your copy of the March Issue of
"Real Estate CyberTips"

RE CyberTips

This month's issue includes the following Tips:

* People Detective Extraordinaire -- On the Deep Web
* Switch Tasks With Ease!
* See The World Your Way With Virtual Earth!
* Energy Savings from Uncle Sam

I hope you enjoy "Real Estate CyberTips". Please let me know at any time
if I may be of help with any of your real estate needs. To contact me via email just click on my name below. Or, you can always call me at 847-516-6760.

Kindest Regards,

Debra Kukulski

Debra is a licensed Illinois Realtor with Re/Max Unlimited Northwest.