Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Way We Are Helping in the Community

"When RE/MAX was founded in the early 1970s, we were among the few major networks welcoming women into the real estate business. And now, after 30+ years of growth, much of what we've accomplished would not have been possible had it not been for the women of RE/MAX.

So when RE/MAX joined forces with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2001, it was a natural fit. It was a way for us to say "thank you" for all that women have done for us. The fight against breast cancer hits close to home for the RE/MAX family. More than a few of our members have faced the disease - and sadly, some have lost the battle. And as a breast cancer survivor myself, I know full well how it forever impacts those afflicted, as well as their families, friends and colleagues.

Lives are saved each day because of the work by Komen for the Cure. And it indeed warms my heart to see the thousands of RE/MAX Affiliates donating their time, effort and money to support such a noble cause as the Komen organization."

-- Margaret KellyCEO, RE/MAX International, Inc. (SOURCE)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Living Here is a 'Bang!'

Looking for ways to celebrate the Fourth of July? Well, look no further than here. Our office is located in Rolling Meadows, and we are happy to report that there are a myriad of activities and firework displays that will light up the sky in a town near you!

Arlington Heights will hold their annual Frontier Days, a tradition that dates back to 1976! The festival kicks off with a parade at 10:00 a.m. and the Arlington Racetrack will open at 11:15 a.m. Reserve your seat for the evening's firework display, presented by LaSalle Bank, for five dollars or come and find seats for free at your leisure. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

The City of Rolling Meadows will also begin their festivities with a parade, as well. The parade will begin at 11:30 a.m., and the grand marshall will be Iraq war veteran and local war hero, Bryan Anderson. Fireworks will light up the sky over Salk Park.

Navy Pier in Chicago will also hold their annual firework display. As always, admission is free!

Now you have no good reason to celebrate the Fourth of July. There is a bevy of celebrations across the Chicagoland area. Visit CBS 2 for more information and a comprehensive list of towns and addresses for the various fireworks' displays.

Remember, celebrate safely!

Friday, June 22, 2007

You Want Our Two Cents Worth?

We know that with gas prices increasing, the last thing our clients want to do is pay two more cents for their postage. Each month the Basel Tarabein clients receive a newsletter, and sometimes they contain goodies! They recently received several two cent stamps. It is just another way we say thank you to our clients. Do you want to experience the Re/Max difference? Call our office, Re/Max At Home, today at (847) 255-1000. Let us go to work for you!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why You Should Choose Us!

Did you know that if you list your home with the Basel Tarabein team that you will have your home posted on at least seven websites?! We try to maximize your exposure as much as possible. We know how stressful it can be to have your house on the market, but we also know that our customer service and superb knowledge of the market will ease that stress. Feel free to visit our personal websites:

And as always visit Re/Max!

Our marketing efforts don't stop at the web. We send out postcards to the surrounding area alerting them of the beautiful home just listed in their neighborhood. Additionally, we will create a custom brochure for potential buyers and other real estate consultants.

To inquire more about what we can do for you, please call us at (847) 255-1000.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What is a Miracle Home?

Some may not know that our office sells Miracle Homes, which means that a portion of every transcation goes to help support the Children's Miracle Network. The Children's Miracle Network aids children through health care funds, as well as, raising awareness through programs that benefit children.

According to the Re/Max website, Re/Max has been the exclusive real estate partner with the Children's Miracle network and agents have raise more than $75 million since 1992. Additionally, the website adds that, The Miracle Home® Program, allows a RE/MAX Associate to donate a portion of every transaction to Children's Miracle Network. The partnership underscores Sales Associates’ involvement in the communities where they live and serve. Re/Max At Home is proud to sell Miracle Homes! To view some of these homes please visit the following websites:

Or by calling our office at (847) 255-1000! We would love to show you any of our listings!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Join Us This Weekend

We are finally moved in and ready to have people over! Our office, RE/MAX At Home, will team with the Rolling Meadows Police Department to present the 4th Annual Fingerprinting Identification Day for children. The event will be held at our brand new location:

3215 W. Algonquin Road
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. and last until 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, June 9th.

Our fingerprinting event presents a great opportunity for you to also visit our new location and take a tour of our office. Our friendly agents would be more than willing to give you a personal tour.

Also, we will be providing lunch (hot dogs, chips, ice cream and refreshments). Additionally, we will keep your children busy with temporary tattoos, face painting, and the Rolling Meadows' Fire Department's "Safe House."

Have you ever wondered what the RE/MAX balloon looks like up close? Well, wait no more as we will have the 36 foot hot air balloon on hand for the event!

Won't you join us for this fun, fantastic, FREE event? We would love to see you there!

Friday, May 11, 2007

We're In!

RE/MAX At Home is pleased to announce our recent move to our new office at 3215 W. Algonquin Road. While we are still in the process of unpacking and arranging furniture, we are looking forward to posting some professional photos in the near future.

In the meantime, feel free to stop in and see the new facility!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How 2007 Stacks Up

Compare Housing Cycles

The current housing figures are actually quite respectable when compared to the past few decades. In the 39 years NAR has tracked housing data, home prices have gone up every single one of them. 2006 posted a 1.1% increase over 2005, and we can look forward to another increase this year.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Move Date

RE/MAX At Home is excited to announce our big move date will be Wednesday, May 9. We will relocate from our current address at 2849 Kirchoff Road to our newly renovated building at 3215 Algonquin Road (less than 3 miles away!). While it will take some time to move in and get reorganized, we are looking forward to giving all of our clients the grand tour!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Agents to Introduce

We have to apologize that so much time has lapsed since our last post. Preparing for our move has become our main concern, and we are excited to announce that we will officially be moving during the second week in May! We cannot wait to introduce to you (either in person or through photos) our new office.

Over the last couple weeks, RE/MAX At Home welcomed three new agents to our office. Here is a brief introduction for each of the exceptional agents:

Born and raised in Palatine, Amy Adams is very familiar with the immediate area and conducts her business throughout the northwest suburbs (stretching all the way out to Algonquin). Licensed in 2001, Amy reflects that her favorite part about the real estate industry are the contacts and relationships she builds with her clients. She says, "I have had some great experiences, which have developed into lasting friendships."

Donna Crespo, originally from Chicago and now residing in Elgin, entered the real estate business in 1984. Twenty-three years later, she credits her loyalty to work to the opportunity to interact with people on a daily basis. Gratification for her comes from the level of client satisfaction that she achieves, which allows for future opportunities. Donna especially appreciated having the flexibility to put her family first during her child-raising years. And now she continues to approach work with the same enthusiasm as she did when she began.

Viji Devarajan started her real estate career with RE/MAX in Atlanta, GA. After four years in the industry, she moved to Chicago in 2004. She considers this area a wonderful place to reside, and specializes in working in the northwest suburbs. Viji also speaks five languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, and Marathi. Viji says, "Homes all have one thing in common - people living in them, and people are my specialty."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Home Fast!

SmartMoney.com published this article by Stacey L. Bradford on March 30, 2007 naming the top 5 ways to sell a home fast in today's market. Here are the top 5:

"1. Price it right
It's stressful trying to sell your home when new home sales are slowing and prices are falling. Home prices across the nation fell nearly 1% in January from one year ago, according to the Standard & Poor's housing index. Growth hasn't been this slow since 1994. So setting the right price for your home is more important than ever....By shaving just a few thousand dollars you can generate more foot traffic and create a buzz.

"2. Make it inviting
There's no faster way to turn off a potential buyer than to overwhelm him [or her] with a home stuffed with kids' toys, family knickknacks and a stinky kitty litter. Even stodgy furniture can make a property more difficult to unload. That's why many high-end real estate agents employ professional home stagers when they want to guarantee a quick sale...For anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, these folks will do everything from remove clutter and rearrange furniture to rent all new furnishings.

"Fortunately, there are some inexpensive things homeowners can do on their own to attract a buyer. Whether you live in a cozy Cape Cod or a 4,000 square foot McMansion, make your space feel as open and clean as possible. Get rid of clutter, organize the closets and remove all personal items that may make it more difficult for someone to imagine living in your house, says Michael Corbett, author of 'Ready, Set Sold!'

"3. Minimize surprises
A home that's in good working order will always sell faster than one that needs pricey repairs. That's why Corbett recommends having your property inspected before you put it on the market. The benefits are twofold. First, it's always cheaper and faster to make your own repairs rather than having a buyer drag out the negotiating process to accomodate any necessary work. Second, you'll also avoid any nasty last-minute surprises that could derail a deal should the buyer's inspector discover you need, say, to replace the roof.

"4. Get the word out
...80% of people start their real estate searches online, according to the National Association of Realtors. While it used to be enough to simply slap up one or two blurry photos, buyers now prefer a slew of pictures so that they don't waste their time touring a home that doesn't meet their requirements.

What should your listing include? If you really want to stand out from the competition consider hiring a professional photographer or finding a broker who uses one. [Basel uses one!]

"5. Throw in a little something extra
As home sales have stalled, we are once again seeing motivated sellers offer traditional incentives, including paying for closing costs or points on a mortgage, says Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. Such tactics are especially attractive to first-time shoppers who can afford mortgage payments but struggle to come up with the down payment and closing fees. Here are a couple more ideas. If you installed a 40 inch plasma TV with a surround-sound stereo system in the living room, offer to include it with the house. Chances are you won't be able to take it with you anyway. If you're selling a second home on the water, throw in the jet-ski and dock rights. If you pad the asking prices by just a couple of thousand dollars, you'll still come out ahead, says Corbett."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Chicago Housing Market Shows Signs of Strength!

There was an increase in home sales in the suburban communities and Chicago neighborhoods in January and February of this year when compared to the same two-month period in 2006. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois regional office released these results based on research from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (MLSNI).

114 out of 207 monitored suburban areas revealed equal to or greater sales in January and February 2007 than the first two months of 2006. The suburbs with the most improvement were located in northern Cook County and Lake County, including Libertyville-Green Oaks, Grayslake-Hainesville, Wauconda, Calumet City, Lemont, Huntley and Yorkville.

The city of Chicago reported 32 of 77 neighborhoods with home sales equal to or greater than last year. The biggest gains were reported in the Loop, Kenwood, Logan Square and Uptown.

Additional positive news this February was that average sales prices were up 3% when compared to the same month last year. Unfortunately, the total number of homes sold decreased by 13.3%.

When comparing the months of January and February 2007, the length of market time for homes increased in February. The average amount of days was 135 for detached homes, and 121 days for attached (including condominiums and townhomes).

RE/MAX Northern Illinois Regional Director Jim Merrion reflected that, "The cold weather that set in at the end of January and held on into early March probably has slowed the market a bit for the moment. However, given the geographic broadening of the market that we see occurring, I believe there could be a real improvement in sales activity this spring."

Merrion added that, from a buyer's perspective, the selection of homes available on the market has not been better in years.

In other words, if you are looking to buy, your timing could not be more perfect!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fresh Faces

In the past six months, Basel welcomed several new agents to our office. The fresh faces are a mixture of brand new agents and experienced professionals from other offices. The agents include Brian Binetti, Daniel Grkovich, Michael Krug, George Papadopoulos, Patrica Patrick and Bernice Spiller (pictured). They each bring unique skills and backgrounds, and it is our pleasure to add them to our roster of talented agents.

Once the new office opens, we look forward to adding several more agents to our office. The new office will have the office space and technology to accomodate over 75 agents. Interviews are currently being conducted and agents have the choice to postpone their move until we are in our new building. If you or someone you know would be interested, you can reference our office website at www.RethinkYourFuture.com, or contact Basel directly at (847) 255-1970 to arrange a confidential meeting.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gain in Home Sales

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly gain in existing home sales from January to February 2007 was the highest increase the market has seen since March 2004. NAR attributes the gain to a combination of lower home prices, better gas prices, and all-time highs for the stock market.

The existing home sales rose 3.9% in February with a rate of 6.69 million units, up from 6.44 million in January. The increase between months was the biggest monthly rise in three years. (Back in March 2004, sales also rose 3.9%.)

NAR's chief economist, David Lereah, speculated on some of the reasons for the gain. "Some of the rise in home sales may be from mild weather that brought out shoppers in December, but fundamentals have improved in the housing market and buyers see a window now with historically low mortgage interest rates and competitive pricing by sellers," he said. "Even so, winter storms last month [February] discouraged shopping, and buyers were chilled with the third-coldest February on record. These unusual weather patterns mean home sales that close in March may decline before rebounding later this spring."

The positive report is a fresh change among recent "gloom and doom" news relating to the real estate market.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

2007: A Transitional Year for New Homes

This March, the National Association of Home Builders released a new report predicting 2007 home sales for new construction. The study revealed that the U.S. housing markets who experienced the biggest booms in 2004 and 2005 will be the last to resume normal levels of sales activity. The areas in the U.S. where growth was less dramatic will recover to normal levels sooner.

"The earlier boom in housing can be attributed largely to excess demand generated by historically low interest rates coupled with aggressive mortage lending practices, a combination that made homeownership more affordable but also attracted investors and speculators into many markets," the report said. "These factors put inordinate upward pressure on sales, prices and production. Major downward corrections occurred in housing markets during 2006, and further adjustments have extended into the early part of 2007."

The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) Chief Economist David Seiders believes that the boom and correction cycle was largely based on national rather than local factors, causing most regions to experience some degree of "overheating and correction." He said, "We expect 2007 to be a time of transition in most regions, with housing starts bottoming out in the early part of the year before transitioning to gradual recovery paths."

For this year, the NAHB predicts new single-family hoem production at 1.2 million units, 30.2% down from the all-time high in 2005, which was 1.72 million units. They are more optimistic about 2008, when they forecast single-family home production to be 1.31 million units (only 23.8% down from 2005).

By 2008, the NAHB believes the inventory overhang will mostly be absorbed. They feel areas that were not overbuilt during the 2004-05 boom will return to normal levels of production.

The study revealed the future is something to look forward to for new home sales.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Our New Office

Springtime cannot come fast enough for RE/MAX At Home this year as we anticipate moving into our new office. Months and millions of dollars in renovations have turned the old building we bought on 3215 Algonquin Road into a state of the art real estate office. The transformation will be worth the wait!

The move is scheduled for April, as only a handful of projects remain until the office is move-in ready. We will welcome our clients and business partners for an official tour of our new home with a Grand Opening. (Details will follow as we get closer to the move-in date.)

The #1 business of our new office will be, of course, our real estate business. However, with the opening of the new office, Basel Tarabein (broker/owner) will launch six additional businesses. Two of these are currently with us - our attorney's office (Attorney Michele Ohlson) and our lender (Platinum Mortgage).

The brand new business ventures will consist of a real estate school, a builders design center, a real estate investment trust and property management company, and a custom home building and design company. The unique concept will be beneficial to everyone involved, creating a cycle of leads for our agents as well as providing a "one-stop shop" for our clients. The Grand Opening will give us an opportunity to share more in-depth about each of these businesses.

We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When the RE/MAX Times dedicated an entire article about Blogs in the “Technology” section of the December issue of their newspaper, our office realized it was time to embrace the newest wave of Internet usage! RE/MAX International is the number one real estate company in our industry, and partly because they have always stayed at the forefront of information technology and eBusiness. Our broker, Basel Tarabein, thought it would be a good idea for our office to follow suit and start a blog.

So, welcome to our blog! We hope to provide valuable news regarding market trends, community information, buying and selling tips, and our office. Feel free to interact by posting your own comments – we’d love to hear from you! We feel this blog will become a convenient way for you to stay in touch with our office happenings and keep informed of industry news.