Real Estate Information Archive


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Home Interior Pictures - The D'Amico Group

by Denise D'Amico



The D'Amico Group on Pinterest

Can Color Help Sell Your Home?

by Denise D'Amico


Can Color Help Sell Your Home?



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3 Things You Can't Afford a "Wait & See" Attitude About

by Denise D'Amico


3 Things You Can't Afford A
"Wait & See" Attitude About in 2014



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Entryways Can Create Big Impact On Home Buyers

by Denise D'Amico


Real Estate News and Advice
Brought to You by Denise D'Amico




If Your'e Under 30 You May Not Get This

by Denise D'Amico


If You're Under 30, You May Not Get This


Vacation Property: Dream Responsibly

by Denise D'Amico
Vacation Property: Dream Responsibly


It happens a lot. The dream vacation on the beach, on the golf course, at the lake or on the ski slopes suddenly morphs into a dream of buying a piece of paradise.

A number of people are considering buying a house with vacation in mind, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2013, 80 percent of investment buyers were motivated to purchase a new property primarily as a family retreat.

If you're motivated to do the same in your dream getaway area, here are some preparatory steps you can take as you embark on your property search:

  • Decide whether you want the place to be primarily for your use or also serve as a rental property.
    If you will try to recoup some of the purchase and maintenance costs through renting, the property you purchase should have a broad appeal, include popular amenities and maybe even be professionally managed. 
  • ​​Speak to your accountant about potential tax advantages or obligations involved with your vacation property.
    Second homes and rental properties are subject to specific tax rules, so be sure you know what's expected and what you can deduct.
  • ​​Think about location, location, location.
    Yes, it's a cliché, but no less true for vacation properties than for other real estate. Homes near beaches or mountains tend to attract the greatest number of interested buyers or renters. Check out all four seasons in your targeted area because the atmosphere can change dramatically based on busy or slower seasons. Finally, if you plan to use the place often, consider something within a few-hours drive or flight. Anything much farther tends to discourage frequent visits.
  • Consider renting first, then buying.
    This will give you time to get to know the development, the area and the turnover rate among your future neighbors. All these factors are crucial to your enjoyment of the place – and its resale potential.
  • Call Denise D'Amico. She can connect you with a RE/MAX agent who knows the area and the second-home market.
    Working with an expert who lives and works in or near your targeted community is your best bet. In addition to advising you on each location's pluses and minuses, your RE/MAX agent can also discuss the property's rental and resale potential and year-round character – key factors to consider in your property search.

5 Tips for Buying A Home in A Seller's Market

by Denise D'Amico
5 Tips for Buying in A Seller's Market

In many metro housing markets these days, you’ll find low inventory, rising prices, bidding wars above the asking price, and fewer sellers willing to negotiate terms, because – quite frankly – they have the upper hand. In a seller’s market, buyers have to know what they want and be willing to act quickly to get it. If you’re looking to buy, it’s still a good time to do so (interest rates are at record lows and homes are very affordable). Here are five tips for buying in a seller’s market:

1. Get your financial house in order – Tighter lending restrictions and requirements mean that potential borrowers need to have a strong credit score, a solid credit history and a decent amount of cash in hand for a down payment, especially for conventional loans. FHA and VA loans require smaller down payments, and they’re attractive loan options for first-time or low-income borrowers who don’t have at least 10 percent to put down.

2. Get a pre-approval letter – After your finances are in order and you’ve narrowed down your home search, ask your lender for a pre-approval letter. Having this document in hand when you’re looking at homes gives you stronger credibility as a buyer, because a seller will see you can make good on your offer. Plus, it indicates to all parties that you’re serious about buying.

3. Act fast – If you or your agent see a property come on the market that’s close to or exactly what you’re looking for, don’t wait until the weekend to preview it; request a showing as soon as possible. In many markets, low inventory is causing bidding wars and, in some cases, houses are off the market within hours of being listed. Time is of the essence in a seller’s market, and delaying even a day to look at a property and write an offer can put you at risk of missing out on the home of your dreams.

4. Be prepared to offer your ‘highest and best’ – You might hear your agent use this phrase, because it’s a common chorus being repeated by real estate agents nationwide. Some buyers might offer full – or even more than – asking price, which creates a bidding war. Other buyers might have an upper hand because they can bring a larger down payment to the table and have more skin in the game than a buyer relying on 100-percent or FHA financing. Your highest and best offer helps eliminate the back-and-forth that might prompt a seller to move on to another offer.

5. Request concessions that are necessary – In a situation with multiple offers, the proverbial ball is in a seller’s court. If you start asking for concessions for things like money toward an older (but functioning) air conditioning unit or carpet replacement because the color's outdated, the seller might put your offer at the back of the pile. It’s best to ask for concessions on structural or hazardous issues that come up in the inspection process – and avoid haggling over aesthetic issues that are much more easily addressed down the road as you make your home your own.

Ready to get started on your home search? Click here.

Schools Matter When Buying A Home

by Denise D'Amico
Schools Matter Even If You're Not A Parent

There’s a lot to consider when buying a house: location, price, bedroom count, taxes, and a slew of other items everyone and your uncle will remind you about, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer.

Here’s yet another item you shouldn’t forget: Educating yourself about local schools. Whether you have a full house, you’re an empty nester looking to downsize, or you're years from starting a family, the quality of schools should factor into your home search.
According to the National Association of Realtors, schools will affect:

  • The sale price: Homes in the best school districts sell for more, on average, than similar houses in areas with lower-rated schools.
  • The number of people looking at the same homes you are: In a 2012 National Association of Realtors report, 25 percent of buyers listed school quality as a deciding factor in their purchase.
  • The resale value of your home: Home values in sought-after school districts often fare better, even in a down market, than similar homes in areas with less reputable schools.

So how do you find out about schools if you’re new to the area? Search online for school district websites. Many of them post test scores of individual schools and comparisons to other schools statewide.

You can also explore, which features data, school “report cards” and comments from parents and students. Or check out U.S. News & World Report rankings that track the nation’s top high schools. 

If you’re a parent, keep in mind that school boundaries change. Call the local district to verify that the home you’re looking at is still within the bounds of the schools you like. 

Of course, nothing beats firsthand information, so ask residents in your targeted areas about local schools and other educational options.

Call me today at 847-551-9290 for more information regarding our schools, or email me.

Chicago's Best Places To Live - Chicago Magazine April 2014

by Denise D'Amico


Chicago's Best Places To Live

4 Corey - The Glen of South Barrington

by Denise D'Amico

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 21