Edwardsville, IL Real Estate News

By Bob Ashauer
(RE/MAX Alliance)
So where are we heading?  Will my home be worth more or less in two years?  Should I wait or do it now? Advising clients on the future of our housing market so they can make good decision is part of my job as a Realtor.  Keeping informed is a challenge because the factors affecting our future, both economic and political, seem to change quickly.  Filtering solid information from the news is critical.  My clients often see headlines and news broadcasts where interpretations of exactly the same data or event vary extremely.  "The market is back!" to "Here comes the second crash!"  The news is often misleading and aggravating.  It is safest to only focus on near term market conditions, but helping clients make decisions based on a realistic view of the future is part of the job. OK, it's c...
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By Bob Ashauer
(RE/MAX Alliance)
  Interest rates for mortgages are really, really low at the moment.  Will they go up sometime?  Sure, of course.  Should that affect your decision to buy now?  You bet.  For my younger generation of potential home buyers, let me take a short trip down memory lane, along with others who remember:  First, look over the graph below showing the history of mortgage rates.  Let’s go back just a few years to the 70’s with a personal reflection:  I was mobile, like a lot of families – pretty much knew I would have to move to and from somewhere in the country every 3 or 4 years.  Real estate was an important part of the game plan.  Many of us bought homes; let’s say mine was for about $180,000 with a VA loan at a decent interest rate in 1976 – maxed out with very little down – leverage, right? ...
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By Bob Ashauer
(RE/MAX Alliance)
  Meet Dave – my team at RE/MAX Alliance has.  I seldom post outside articles, but  we are proud of the role our Chairman has taken to help America recover from the housing mess consumers face.  He knows and speaks the plain truth about our market, and works tirelessly with government and industry leaders to make changes that will lead to real improvements.  And they listen!  Dave’s message to Realtors is simple:  Become an expert on the market and learn new tools to best serve our clients.  And at RE/MAX, we listen, too.  Meet Dave: Editor’s Note: The following is a Feb. 10 press release from RE/MAX International. RE/MAX Urges Lenders to Release PropertiesRecord Foreclosure Numbers Need to Be Tackled Head On   (Denver, CO, February 10, 2010) – Dave Liniger, RE/MAX International Chairma...
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By Bob Ashauer
(RE/MAX Alliance)
Or - “Why do I need a Realtor to find a home – one more time!  ”Self-searching for a home on the Internet has become the rage! Well I, for one, think that’s great. It whets the appetite for potential buyers, and besides, it’s just a whole lot of fun – better than reading e-mail jokes all day! There are so many great sites with so much information, and they are growing more useful every day. Wait to you see what is coming this year on Realtor.com; home values, market trends, transaction records – Our National Association of Realtors is bound and determined to “out-do” the non-Realtor sites like Zillow, Trulia, Google, Yahoo and the many Find-All-Homes-But-I-Want-The-Name-Of-Your-First-Born-Child.com. Ha! We individual Realtors try to compete, of course, with our own search sites – everyo...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
Spice Up Dinner with a Visit to L & N International Market in Edwardsville. We had Callaloo (Jamaican Spinach) and Hot Garlic Noodles as part of our dinner tonight thanks to one of Edwardsville's newest stores -- L & N International Market. This small-but-powerful food lover's paradise is located at 1719 Troy Road in Edwardsville. Operated by Nnenna Mba-Tucker (pictured here) and her husband Larry Tucker, L & N opened for business in December 2009. Since then, foodies from all across St. Louis' Illinois suburbs have been discovering the market. Nnenna (pronounced similarly to the name "Nina") grew up in the African nation of Nigeria and has been in Madison County for 17 years.  She and other international immigrants have always had to shop at the global markets in Missouri to find rice,...
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You've never found the home you've always wanted, with just the features, style and location for you.  Oh, some have come close, but not at a price you would pay!  When the other owner has your great taste, they know it - and they have priced that jewel way up there when they sell.  Besides, close is just not good enough at the prices you've seen.  After all, you don't really have to move - it's just a dream!  But you've keep your eyes on the market for years - maybe someday!Well, wake up from your dream state; it may be time to take a closer look at the market in 2010!  Your dream home may be sitting there on the market this year as a nightmare for someone else!  Selling prices are down, interest rates are at the bottom for now, and many people do have to sell those jewels, for any num...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
Do you have real estate or Madison County, Illinois questions? We love to answer them here on the blog, so send yours any time. Got this question recently:  "Hey, Nancy, What the heck are those things pictured on your Illinois real estate blog's mastehead?" You mean these things?   This is the legendary Piasa Bird. (That's pronounced Pie-ah-saw.) Today its image is painted on a limestone bluff over the Mississippi River just upriver from downtown Alton, Illinois. Its a favorite picture spot for visitors or locals on eagle watching (winter) or biking (spring, summer fall) trips along the Great River Road. The original image was an ancient carving that was noted by French explorers Pere Marquette and Louis Joliet during their trip down the Mississippi in 1673. Marquette described the beas...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
Yes, you can find homes for sale in Edwardsville, Illinois for less than $150,000. (That's Edwardsville's lovely Leclaire Park pictured here.) At the height of the market a few years ago it was more of a struggle to get into Edwardsville at this price point, but as of today, there are more than 50 properties that fit the bill. Some are in great move-in ready shape and others are going to need a lot of work. Most are somewhere in between those two poles. It's safe to say that there is something that should suit everyone who is looking in this affordable price range. And here's a bonus: Get in contract on your new home before April 30, 2010 and you can take advantage of the federal tax credit of up to $8000 for first-time or $6500 for repeat buyers. Take the following steps and you can ea...
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By Kristina Pratt, REALTOR - SFR - GoshenRealtyGroup.com
(St. Louis' Illinois Suburbs - RE/MAX Preferred Partners)
If you're thinking of selling your home in Edwardsville, this information is really interesting.  For the past three months, the following price ranges have seen the biggest number of closed transactions. $125,000 and under - 62 homes sold with an average listing price $95,213 of and average of 112 days on the market. $126,000 - $175,000 88 homes sold with an average listing price of $148,097and an average of 144 days on the market. $176,000 - $225,000 69 homes sold with an average listing price of $201,842 and an average of 146 days on the market. $226,000 - $275,000 52 homes sold with an average listing price of $252,548 and an average of 222 days on the market. $276,000 - $350,000 29 homes sold with an average listing price of $313,777 and an average of 193 days on the market. And, j...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
The Goshen Gourmet welcomes Peel Wood-Fired Pizza to Edwardsville, IL. Tucked away in the new development called The Park at Plum Creek on Plum Street (the new IL-159, which runs parallel to Troy Road), Peel is a welcome addition to the region. The creative menu and casual yet-upscale ambiance set the restaurant apart immediately from the other pizza offerings in Madison County. In the wooded setting, the prairie-style, lodgey building is more  reminiscent of a high-end ski resort than a Midwestern pizza joint. But how is the food? The Goshen Gourmet and friends admit they have not made their way through Peel's extensive menu yet (it opened on December 15, 2009).  But, in GG's opinion, one can get a good idea of the quality of any restaurant with the word "pizza" in its name by ordering...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
As I told a friend of mine today, I leave my trees up until January 6 -- Epiphany -- not because I celebrate the feast or as an homage to my dear Orthodox friends, but because I just hate to see my own home decorations get packed up for another year. (Or I am just lazy about taking them down.) Here in Madison County, Illinois, you'll find plenty of ways to dispose of your real trees any time you like by using the county-wide recycling program available now through January 18. For details, you can call the recycling hotline at 618-296-6647 or visit the Madison County Recycles web site. If you love old-school aluminum trees like I do, just put them back in the box for next year.  But if you had a real tree, like a normal person, take it to one of these free drop-off locations where it wil...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
We've talked about the characteristics of Illinois home buyers in 2009, now let's take a brief look at what sellers reported about their transactions during the year. According to the Illinois Association of Realtors' (IAR) 2009 Profile of Illinois Home Buyers and Sellers, recent sellers sold their homes for 95% of the listing price on average.That figure holds true in my territory in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs in Madison County. More than half of sellers -- 58 percent -- reported they reduced the asking price for their home at least once before it sold. Incentives played a role in nearly half of the sales in the state. Forty-five percent of sellers reported offering extras to attract buyers, including home warranties or help with the buyer's closing costs. Before selling, the typical ...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
The Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) told us officially today what many of us knew from our personal experiences this year: more than half of home buyers in 2009 were first-timers and the vast majority of buyers used a real estate agent to help guide them through the process of aquiring a home.  The IAR attributes the rush of first-time buyers in 2009 to the one-two punch of the Federal tax credit and increased affordability of homes. The 2009 Profile of Illinois Home Buyers and Sellers survey, which was released today, found 51% of Illinois buyers were first-timers, compared to 47% nationally. Since 2001, the nationwide first-timer percentage has been closer to 40%. Forty-six percent of first-time buyers said it was just the right time when asked why they bought in 2009. “2009 ha...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
Like me, you might not have been overly excited when you saw the latest Asian restaurant under construction in Edwardsville. With the name Oriental Spoon, it seemed as if it would be the same old thing -- some nice fried rice, chow mein and all the usual quick service fare. Well, we were wrong. Oriental Spoon is a Korean restaurant, something lacking in our diverse college town. With Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville attracting a wide variety of students from different ethnic backgrounds, this should be a natural fit. The restaurant is operating on a limited menu for the next few days with a soft opening until January 11, 2010 when its full menu will debut. My companions and I didn't think the smaller menu was missing anything -- especially flavor. We started by sharing two o...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
New Year's Eve is celebrated in many different ways here in the Land of Goshen -- St. Louis' Illinois suburbs. For several years in a row, I've snuggled up on the sofa with the Twilight Zone marathon playing on the SciFi Network. Not the most exciting of activities, I'll admit. This year, I'm suggesting a visit to Glen-Ed Last Night. Held at the YMCA Meyer Center, 7348 Goshen Road in Edwardsville, the celebration of the last night of 2009 is a family-friendly, alcohol-free party that benefits some of the area's most deserving charities. Last year's Glen-Ed Last Night raised $10,000, so the organizers would love to see an even bigger turnout from the community. The recipients of the 2009 event's proceeds are: the Glen-Ed Pantry, Habitat for Humanity and the Metro East Fellowship of Chris...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
This week we had one day of lovely winter wonderland scenery here in Edwardsville, Illinois. I happened to be driving near the 1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House just after the snowfall stopped and snapped this idyllic picture. You might think things would be quiet for the historic home in the winter, but just the opposite is true.  The house is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. Docents in period costumes interpret Illinois life in the 1820s inside the two-story, Federal-style house. The home's four rooms have period furnishings, original woodwork and original fireplaces. It's the oldest brick home in Madison County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Colonel Benjamin Stephenson lived from 1769 until 182...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
Early last year my partner and I met a potential buyer during an open house we were holding at one of our listings. He and his wife and kids came through the house, looked around a bit and left. He signed in and provided his e-mail address, so we sent them a thank you note for coming to the open house, put their names on our monthly newsletter list and didn't think too much about them afterward. They just hadn't struck us as a family that was actually ready to buy a new house at the time. AS IT TURNS OUT, WE WERE RIGHT. This morning -- not quite a year later -- I received a call from the same buyer. I was in the shower, so the call went to voice mail and the message went something like this: "Hi, this is JOE BUYER. I want to look at a house on PLAIN STREET in Edwardsville today between ...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
If Edwardsville's American Legion Tacos aren't already  legendary, they should be. Tuesday is Taco Night at Legion Post 199 in Edwardsville, Illinois. We had noticed the lighted sign designed to lure motorists along IL-157 across from Lincoln Middle School but had never ventured up the winding drive at the edge of the Legion's golf course to the "On the Hill Lounge" to try them for ourselves. (The last time I was at the Legion was on a golf outing with my uncle Marvin. I had never played, but on the first hole I smacked the ball across the fairway and onto the green. The ball rolled gently and fell to rest just inches from the cup. I tapped it in and...I think that was the day that Marvin gave up on the game.) But I digress. Back to the Tacos. A charming young man named Grant is the bar...
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By Nancy Milton Holtzscher, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
(RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs)
From the moment you enter the door at Maggie's Primitive Cottage in Edwardsville, you know you're in a special place. The soft lights, beautiful fragrances and warm greeting are all part of the experience at this one-of-a-kind retailer here in the Land of Goshen. Not that there's anything wrong with shopping at the mall or in a big box store, but his time of year I like to talk about some local retailers who offer merchandise that can't be found everywhere. When you shop with local merchants, you'll find unique gifts and you'll be supporting the economy in Madison County. Maggie's is located in a charming house-turned-shop at 441 East Vandalia in Edwardsville. Regular business hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 to 5 and Saturdays from 10 to 3. During the holiday season, the stor...
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Edwardsville, IL Real Estate Professionals