Thank You For Your Support!

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About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago area. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confident, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

Ready to buy or sell? Call or text me today:
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step!

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In many markets across the country, the amount of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well. I can put you in touch with a lender! Call or text me today!

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confident, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy or sell? Call or text me today:
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

How Supply & Demand Impacts the Real Estate Market

201660826-stm-eng-1046x1641Some Highlights:

  • The concept of Supply & Demand is a simple one. The best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low & demand for that item is high!
  • Anything under a 6-month supply is a Seller’s Market!
  • There has not been a 6-months inventory supply since August 2012!
  • Buyer Demand continues to outpace Seller Supply!
About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confident, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy or sell? Call or text me today:
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

Four Reasons to Buy This Summer!

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Summer is here! The temperature isn’t the only thing heating up right now, so too is the housing market in many areas of the country! Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 5.9% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.3% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next 5 years.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. TheMortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home. 

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confident, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy or sell? Call or text me today:
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

Sales at Highest Pace in 9 Years!

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Some Highlights:

  • Sales of existing homes reached the highest annual pace in over 9 years at 5.29 million.
  • Inventory remains below the 6-month norm and prices are still on the rise.
  • Interest rates are at a historic low of 3.48%.
About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confident, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy or sell? Call or text me today:
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

Tips for Surviving Moving Day

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Got a new job? Work relocating you? Or maybe you just want a change of scenery–whatever the reason for your upcoming move, make sure to follow these handy tips so you can stay one step ahead AND keep your sanity.

Use it or lose it

Get a jump-start on packing in the months leading up to your move by employing a “use it or lose it” mentality. In addition to forcing you to identify your must-keep belongings, it helps you use up a lot of excess items like frozen foods, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, toiletries and other items that don’t pack well. This is also a good method to keep in mind as you sort through clothes, handbags, bedding and other things that have been forgotten.

Pack by room

It may be tempting to put all your pictures into one box, but experts say people keep track of their belongings best by remembering where they were in the house. Utilize this same memory trick and box your home according to room. Another helpful trick is to color code boxes using bright moving stickers so you can immediately identify which boxes belong to which room. This will also help you stay organized, especially in the aftermath of moving.

Not all boxes are created equal

Choosing the right box is crucial to moving efficiently and ensuring your possessions stay safe over the long journey. Heavy things like books should go in smaller boxes with sturdy sides and edges. This makes them more manageable to carry. Lighter items like clothes, bedding and pillows should go in large boxes. Use medium-sized boxes for things like kitchen appliances, toys and electronics.

Moving with pets

To ensure their safety, put animals in a blocked off area (using a baby gate) so they become a spectator of the action yet safely out of the commotion. Putting them in an isolated room could cause them further stress since they know something is happening and can’t see it. Make sure they have food, water and, of course, their favorite toys to keep them occupied.

Hopefully these tips will minimize the stress for everyone involved.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confident, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy or sell? Call or text me today:
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

Thinking of Selling? The Market Needs Your Listing!!

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The housing market is really heating up and buyer demand is dramatically increasing as we enter the spring season. However, one challenge to the current market is a major shortage of inventory. Below are a few comments made in the last month by industry experts.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of NAR

“Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new listings quickly replacing what’s being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers. Without adequate supply, sales will likely plateau.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com

“Low inventories and tight credit will limit the gains we will see in 2016. However, given the level of pent-up demand evident in web activity and stated buyer intentions for 2016, we should see this spring materialize as the busiest season of sales since 2006.”

Rick Sharga, Ten-X’s EVP

“Inventory is too low to support much higher sales. There’s virtually no inventory available at the entry level, and single family housing starts and permits continue to languish at levels far below where they should be at this point of the recovery.”

David Crowe, Chief Economist – National Assoc. of Home Builders

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.”

Freddie Mac

“Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets.”

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen: I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confidant, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy or sell a home? Call or text me today!
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner

 

Top Three Reasons To Make Your Move

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The spring season has kicked off, and we are full steam ahead into the strongest real estate market in nearly a decade. If you have been on the fence about buying or selling your home, here are some important points to consider:

For Buyers

1. Increasing Prices. Home prices in Illinois have increased steadily every month for the past 41 months, and experts expect this trend to continue for the rest of 2016.

2. Historically Low Rates. Mortgage rates are around four percent right now, providing buyers with an incredible opportunity to keep monthly payments to a minimum.

3. Rents are Rising. RealtyTrac’s 2016 Rental Affordability Analysis found that buying is more affordable than renting in Cook County. The higher rents go, the more difficult it becomes to save for a down payment.

For Sellers

1. Less Competition. The number of homes for sale in Illinois in January declined 12.6 percent from January 2015, meaning there are even fewer homes to meet the incredible demand.

2. Shorter Market Time. Because demand is so high, available properties are seeing multiple offers after spending fewer days on the market.

3. Positive Price Appreciation. Homeowner equity, generally your largest source of wealth, has increased across Chicagoland due to the consistent increase in home prices.

If you are considering buying or selling in 2016, let’s set up a time to meet. We can discuss your specific needs and the conditions in your local market to develop a plan that’s right for you.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you can live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen: I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy, sell or rent? Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

 

The Top Reasons Why Americans Buy Homes

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Last week, the inaugural “Homebuyer Insights Report” was released by the Bank of America. The report revealed the reasons why consumers purchase homes and what their feelings are regarding homeownership.

Consumer Lending Executive, D. Steve Boland, explained:

“Homebuyers today are motivated by both emotional and practical reasons. Nearly all want more space, but a majority of homebuyers, especially those purchasing their first home, are also looking for a place to call their own, put down roots and make memories. They value the emotional benefits of owning a home as much as the financial ones.”

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Boland went on to say:

“The path to homeownership is a journey and can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. For many people, this is the single most significant financial transaction they will ever make.”

This was evidenced in the report when they asked today’s homebuyers to define homeownership. Their answers tell the whole story:

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Bottom Line

Homeownership has always been a part of the American Dream and survey after survey confirms this will always be the case.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you can live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen: I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choice and decisions, and guide you your through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Are you ready to buy, sell or rent? Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

 

 

Over Half of Americans Planning on Buying in the Next 5 Years

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According to the BMO Harris Bank Home Buying Report, 52% of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said that they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would average a 21% down payment. The report also included other interesting revelations.

Those Looking to Buy

  • 74% of those looking to buy a new home will consult with a real estate agent
  • 59% said they will visit online real estate websites
  • 37% will seek recommendations from friends and family
  • 78% plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home

 Those Who Already Own

  • 75% of current homeowners set a budget before looking for a home, and 16% ended up spending less while 13% went over their budget.
  • 63% of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.
  • 8% bought their home without participating in an active real estate search – or even any plan to buy at all – because a specific property caught their attention.

The last point is very interesting: Of those who purchased a home, 8% bought “without any plan to buy at all”. A property caught their attention and they acted on it.

Why Are More People Not Planning Their Next Move?

Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? An article by Fannie Mae reveals evidence that a large number of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains that:

“Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from applying for mortgages, selling their homes, and buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

Perhaps it is time to sit down and talk with me to determine the actual equity you have in your house and to take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move-up, move-down or buy that vacation home your family has always wanted.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen: I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy, sell or rent? Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217