Discover Cary Illinois and Cary Real Estate

Summer Fun for Kids in Cary
While driving home after a long day last week I turned the corner onto my street and suddenly had to come to a quick stop. There were at least twenty kids under the age of twelve playing in front of my house. It struck me how lucky a kid is to grow up in Cary IL . There is so much for them to do here in the summer. Cary is surrounded by nature and McHenry County has been smart enough to put aside a huge amount of preserved land. The park district here is incredible. They have so many activities for kids it is hard to decide what to pick. Horse back riding, swimming, drama, dancing, and soccer are just a few. Also, they have play groups for the younger kids and Mommy and me activities. If you are looking for a summer camp you can go to RRR Felpro conserved land where they have a camp with a pool that is surrounded by walking trails through the woods and a lake for fishing. The park district has a community pool located next to the Village Hall. It is a very popular spot as things heat up. I have even seen people water skiing on the Fox River. Cary and the surrounding areas have many playgrounds which most of them have been added recently with the boom of new construction. I think that it is safe to say that as we head into Summer there will be some happy kids in Cary.

If you are thinking about moving away from the hectic pace of a big city but still enjoy the relatively close proximity to Chicago and the airports, Cary is exactly what the doctor ordered. Home prices range from the $150s to the $400s making them extremely affordable for the area. The homes tend to be 10 to 15 years in age but there is also a surge of new construction going on. The schools are excellent with small class sizes and plenty of after-school programs. The Cary IL real estate market moves quickly but at a much more reasonable pace than the nearby market of Chicago.

To get started on your home search or just learn more about Cary, you need to start looking at the Illinois MLS. You can search for all types of real estate not just in Cary but for such markets as Arlington real estate or Schaumburg or even the greater Chicago area. Enjoy all that Cary Illinios has to offer – make your move to Cary today!

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Emerging Trends in Dubai Property Market

Dubai real estate is witnessing a number of changes in the commercial sector.

One of the emerging trends in the commercial property market is the conversion of warehouse space to office premises. Companies that require large open plan spaces, such as advertising or marketing companies have been seen to lease warehouse space and easily transform it into efficient office space. This provides a cost effective solution for businesses that need to be near the business centre but may not wish to pay the premium rates of prime location office space. Warehouse rental rates suitable for office conversions fluctuate between 40-65AED per sq. ft (warehouse space rent exclusively used for storage purposes averages 28-35AED per sq. ft), whereas rents in the Central Business District (CBD) may be 225-250AED per sq. ft.

The property market in Dubai is tight and therefore the concept of Split Offices has come into being. Many professional services firms, faced with the prospect of particularly high rents in prime locations tend to lease a small space suitable for client meetings in the Central Business District so as to boast an address on a prestigious location such as e.g. Sheikh Zayed Road, and move their operations to a secondary location where rents may be more affordable e.g. Garhoud, thus effectively saving on huge overheads.

Thus, supply of the real estate market in Dubai is shaping up to meet the property demand.

Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

As you should already know, a home inspection is a key part of the real estate process. Of course, your home inspection is only as good as your home inspector.

Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

If you are considering buying a property, you absolutely must get a home inspection. What most people don’t realize, however, is it can also be valuable to retain one before you sell a property to identify any problems before your accept an offer. Fixing such problems before hand makes a lot more sense than panicking in the middle of escrow.

Regardless of your particular position in the real estate process, the home inspection is only as good as the inspector. Frankly, some inspectors are less than credible when it comes to qualifications and their background. To bypass these individuals, the following organizations should be used as a resource.

The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. is located in Des Plaines, Illinois. Known as ASHI, it was founded in 1976 to create a resource and quality control atmosphere for home inspections. You can get referrals to ASHI inspectors in your area by contacting the Society at 800-743-ASHI. In doing so, you will avoid hacks calling themselves inspectors.

The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors is another credible organization. Located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the Association maintains both a code of ethics and strict standards of practice for its members. With over 9,000 members in North America, you can find an inspector in your area by calling 1-877 FIND-INS.

Another organization that stands out in the home inspection industry is the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the organization also requires members to abide by strict practice standards and a code of ethics, which should be comforting to you. You can contact it to find a home inspector in your area by calling 800-448-3942.

The old cliché is garbage in, garbage out. By using a credible home inspector, you can put this cliché out of your mind.

Flipping Properties for Profit

So, you want to get into the flipping game and make money or possibly you had a bad experience with flipping a property and want to learn how to flip a property and actually make money? First of all, let me say that I don’t believe in expecting a large return on a flip if all you do is sign your name on a closing statement and expect to turn it around quickly. It’s just not that easy.

What can happen though is that if you follow some of my techniques you can expect to earn a nice profit for yourself. There are five keys to success that I would like to discuss in this article. They are: (1) you must buy the property right, (2) you should be willing to shop for good deals, (3) you must not be afraid to get your hands dirty, (4) you must be reasonably handy, and (5) you need to do most of the work yourself.

How to buy the property right. Here’s where you need to either be a real estate agent or work with one. Knowing the market area is essential to getting the right house at the right price. Are prices in this area increasing? Are others improving their homes? Is the home’s sale price consistent with the repairs needed? Does the listing allow for an easy out of the contract should you learn something during the home inspection stage? It is my opinion that you definitely need a home inspection because you want to know everything that is wrong with this house before you start.

You should be willing to shop for good deals. First thing I always do is set a budget. It’s not iron clad, but it is a starting point. You know what you bought the home for and you know roughly how much you want to get out of it, so now work backwards. What needs to be done and how much money can you allocate to it? Be methodical, make a list and try to stick to it. Shop hard for sales, closeouts, and alternatives. Many of the home improvement stores put closeouts out front early in the morning. Swing by on your way to work. Check garage sales, newspaper ads, and even the internet. While you certainly should buy quality materials, you need to resist the urge to buy the nicer faucet or the prettier cabinet pulls. Always buy with price and quality in mind with a close eye on the budget. Over-spending is a common pitfall.

You must not be afraid to get your hands dirty. If a home needs to be remodeled, chances are it is pretty dirty too. Hiring a cleaning person is expensive and not necessary. Anyone can scrub. It’s good exercise too. The yard most likely is a mess since the previous owners probably neglected it. Some of the hardest work is done in the yard. Having the right tools is key, but you don’t have to buy them, most of them can be rented.

You must be reasonably handy and you need to do most of the work yourself pretty much go hand in hand. You should consider finding another hobby if you cannot do average repairs yourself or if you don’t enjoy it. If you get stuck and have to bring the professionals in for a botched job, your profits will quickly go down the drain. Labor is very expensive to pay someone for and should be used sparingly.

Freedom of Self-Employment Ownership

Many Americans dream about the freedom of self-employment ownership but aren’t quite sure how to go about starting their own company and then succeeding in the world of business. The freedom of self-employment ownership doesn’t have to be an empty dream. There are many ways to help maximize your possibilities for success in the world of business without taking a huge financial risk. One of the most popular ways that individuals are achieving the freedom of self-employment ownership is by a mortgage franchise with minimal investments. Working with a mortgage franchise can help you achieve the freedom of self-employment ownership while allowing you to get the best products, the best rates, get paid better than a broker, have the buying power to be your own boss with the power and back up of a huge company, and capitalize on an established and trusted name in the world of business. Working with a mortgage franchise with minimal investment helps you to have the security of working within a larger company framework and established and time-tested guidelines for business success without making a huge financial risk before you even open your doors for business. Working with a mortgage franchise helps you get a foot into the world of business by giving you ties to established client bases, marketing and training strategies, business practices, and many other necessary tools for financial success. Combining forces with an established mortgage company by working as a franchise can’t guarantee you success in the world of business, but it can give you a good start and a better chance of succeeding by mentoring you along the way in established successful business practices. Working with a mortgage franchise can help you achieve that dream of having the freedom of self-employment ownership without having to worry about investing everything you have into a company just starting out. Mortgage franchises with minimal investments can help to give you the tools necessary to creating a successful company and having the freedom of self-employment ownership while still having the safety net and help of an established company to help you make it good in the world of business.

For Sale By Owner Misconceptions

With the rising popularity of selling homes by owner, have risen some misconceptions that should be straightened out to clarify the process. The first thing that we should look at is how financing works in the FSBO world. One thing that occurs more often than it should is when buyers think that “for sale by owner” means that the owner is also offering financing. Most of the time this is not the case. This error is usually seen when people with little or damaged credit feel that it is in their best interest to avoid mortgage brokers & realtors. This is a huge mistake as individuals such as mortgage brokers are experienced and trained to deal with these individuals and to help them repair their credit and obtain a favorable mortgage.

Its a good idea to seek out a mortgage company that is experienced, even specializes in the financing of FSBO sales. These companies differ from most mortgage companies in that their services are more comprehensive than most. They have expanded their offerings to include many things not usually covered by traditional mortgage companies such as closing contracts, title issues and inspections. The closing of a home contract is one of the more confusing aspects of the purchase process and should be handled by a trained professional. Also take into account that most mortgage companies rely on realtors to bring them the bulk of their business, therefore they are ill-equipped to provide educated FSBO financing. This is why its good to find a FSBO specialist mortgage company when dealing with someone who is selling their home themselves.

Another misconception deals with the fact that the buyer is saving money by dealing with an FSBO situation. The truth is that usually the seller is the one trying to save money on agent commissions. If they have subtracted the price of the agent from their asking price, it is possible to save some cash.But this is hardly ever the case. Most FSBO sellers are listing their homes at market value as if an agent was selling the home. Then they attempt to do everything themselves and pocket the cash that would normally go to the agent.

Educated Consumers Can Save Money on Mortgages

Not only is owning a home an integral part of the American dream, but our home is likely the biggest purchase we will ever make and the biggest asset – or liability – we will ever have. Until about a year ago, of course, no one would have imagined that a home could be a liability. That’s when housing prices started to drop and relatively new homeowners realized that it was only a matter of time before their adjustable rate mortgages would skyrocket.

Experts agree that house values haven’t yet reached their nadir and that many homeowners are poised on the precipice. While some people might find it easier to stick their heads in the proverbial sand, smart homeowners and homebuyers see the current market as an opportunity to either take a second look at their existing mortgages or to shop around for new mortgages. Either way, it’s important to learn all that you can about different ways to finance a home before you take the plunge. Here are a few scenarios that illustrate some of the choices available today.

Nine years ago, Sam and Jenny Thompson bought a home that was ten years old. They were savvy enough to buy their house just before prices went through the roof. They have well over $100,000 of equity in their home, but their home is showing signs of wear. It’s time for a new roof, a new heating and air conditioning system, and they know that they need to have some dry rot repaired and have the house painted. They don’t have much in savings, though, and want to borrow money so that they can get the repairs done.

Sam and Jenny have a few options to pay for home improvement. They can refinance their home and get cash out for the repairs, they can get a home equity line of credit, or they can get a second mortgage. Which option is best depends largely on that status of their current mortgage. If they have a low interest, fixed rate loan, it probably doesn’t make sense to refinance. If they’re planning on staggering their home improvement over the next two years, it probably doesn’t make sense to get a lump-sum second mortgage. Instead, a home equity line of credit might work best. On the other hand, if they have an adjustable rate mortgage, it might be financially prudent to refinance to a fixed rate loan and cash out part of their equity to make their home repairs.

Cynthia and Bill Williams have owned their home for five years, but are concerned that Bill might be laid off in the next six months. They have quite a bit of money in savings, but have racked up considerable credit card debt. Because they’re paying a high interest rate on their credit card debt, they may want to use a home equity line of credit for debt consolidation purposes, and to have a cushion in case Bill does lose his job.

When Rebecca Richards bought her home two years ago, she thought housing prices would continue to soar and interest rates would go down. She bought her house with an adjustable loan and is terrified that, when the loan adjusts later this year, she won’t be able to make her payments. In this scenario, Rebecca needs to meet with her lender now, rather than wait for the other shoe to drop. If possible, she should convert her adjustable rate home loan to a fixed rate loan.

The bottom line is that, whatever your circumstances, you need to learn all that you can about the options available to you. Thankfully, there are resources on the Internet that not only have a library of informative articles on mortgages, but that also provide the calculators and tools you need to find the answers to your questions. The best sites even offer a variety of loan programs and will prepare a personalized quote for the types of mortgages that you might be interested in.

Foreclosure Investing – The Pros And Cons Of Investing In Foreclosures

Investing in foreclosures is no doubt one of the best opportunities to make money in today’s economy. As with any type of business venture, there are risks involved. Investing in foreclosed properties offers great opportunity to buy homes significantly under market, but there are some risks such as considerable research, under lying lien problems, long-term carrying costs and several others. If you are willing to take the chance on a property or two you may prosper in the end.

Foreclosed homes can be purchased at several stages. First is the pre-foreclosure phase, then the auction phase and finally the REO phase each of these presents their own set of pros and cons. Familiarize yourself with each of these different types of foreclosures, weigh the pros and cons for each, you may be able to avoid a costly mistakes and headaches through the process of investing in home foreclosures.

Take a look at the possible pros and cons at the various stages of a foreclosure:

Pre-Foreclosure Phase
This is the stage where the homeowner is still in control of the property. Although the loan is in default and the pressure from the lenders is just beginning. The homeowner is usually in a position to sell the property quickly and avoid the foreclosure process all together. This means hue savings and large potential profits for you.

Pros
20-40% discounts on the estimate value
Low or no down payment, due to the built in equity
Research and inspection opportunities
Sales agreements that are flexible

Cons
Home owner may not be reachable
Fierce competition, many investors are trying to buy these type foreclosures
Time to research documents and court filings
Undisclosed or underlying liens against the property

Auction Phase
Possibly the most profitable stage of a foreclosure. Auctioned properties usually offer the best potential profit when buying foreclosures. An auctioned property is sold during a public auction to the highest bidder. If you have done you, research these types of properties are sometimes sold way under market value.

Pros
Greater discounts can be as high as 35-50%
Great ROI, return on investment
Greater potential profit

Cons
Property inspection is generally not available
Postponed auctions mean valuable time lost and research wasted
Large down payments that must be paid at the time of auction
Incomplete research can cost you a lot of money
You may not win the auction at all

Descriptive Terms in Real Estate Ads – Yet More Definitions

If you are buying or selling a home, the chances are good you struggle with the meaning of descriptive real estate terms. Here are explanations and definitions for more terms.

“Plantation Shutters”

Refers to interior shutters with large, moveable louvers that can be used much like Venetian blinds. Often they’re used only on the bottom half of the window.

“Palladian Window”

A tall window that is rectangular except for an arched top and has wooden muntins separating the panes of glass. It is based on a revived classic style of architecture and the work of Andrea Palladio. Builders often use them as the window over the front door in homes with two story entrance foyers.

“Pocket Doors”

Doors that open by sliding into a slot in the wall much as a serving tray fits into a vertical slot built into a kitchen cabinet. It leaves wall space unaffected by opening and closing doors. I’ve seen them on bathrooms in modern houses. I’ve also seen them used in pairs that meet in the middle when closed as they were in older houses. Between a living room and dining room might be a good place. My grandmother had one between the front and back parlors in her home in Richmond, Virginia. Now that was a neat old house. It could always expand to accommodate one more family member or friend.

“Fireplace,” “Wood Stove,” “Wood Stove Insert”

A fireplace can burn wood, coal, or gas (natural or propane). If gas, it may or may not be vented to the outdoors. It is generally thought to be dangerous to have a non-vented gas fireplace in a bedroom and is against “code” in many areas. A wood stove burns wood, is free standing (on a non-flammable surface), and is vented to the outside. A wood stove insert is generally fitted into an existing fireplace designed to burn wood or coal. Preferences have to do with perceived beauty, convenience, heat production, and safety.

Well, those are some of the terms frequently seen in real estate listings and advertisements and their usual meanings at this writing. I hope you find it useful.

Double Good News on Spanish Property Prices

There was double good news for Spanish property buyers when Spain’s biggest valuation survey reported prices of resale homes went up by 16.6% in the first three quarters of 2005.

That was the good news for UK residents who have already purchased their properties in the last year or so and there was further good news for investors and buyers planning to buy in the next few months – the survey showed equity growth was down 3% for the same period last year, resulting in ownership for less and with a good equity growth.

The Spanish Real Estate Association (Tasaciones Inmobiliarias -TINSA) said the average price of a ‘used’ or second hand house per square metre (psqm) was EUR 1,772. This meant home prices had risen 16.6% in the past year to September. In larger cities, the price was higher, with the average being EUR 2,304 psqm – a 16% rise.

But TINSA, the firm who will be providing valuations for the SIPPs in Spain pension property owners, said in its report that despite these rises, the deceleration of house price increases in Spain was continuing. A year ago, house prices had risen 19% during the previous 12 months. TINSA carried out a study of 190,000 homes, many in favourite second home areas favoured by buyers from the UK and northern Europe, to produce the report. Ildefonso Ortega, TINSA president, said there had been a “smooth fall” in house prices and predicted the next yearly rise in prices would be between 5 –10%.

SIPPs in Spain spokesman, Alberto Linares welcomed the TINSA report, saying: “Our Spanish banking partners predicted a 12% increase for this year and the same for next year. While it’s good news for those who have bought property in Spain already, its also good news for the many SIPPs property pension purchases planned for next year when UK tax breaks will encourage second home investment because prices are likely to be lower than in previous years.”

The SIPPs in Spain grouping includes 50 leading Spanish banks and developers, PropertyInSpain.Net, Mortgages In Spain, Travelex, TINSA, Siemens Smart Homes and specialist SIPPs providers who have put together a one-stop, buy-manage-rental package for SIPPs property purchasers and their financial advisors. More than 2,500 carefully selected apartments, penthouses, townhouses and villas are on offer currently with a further 7,000 likely from next year.

As expected, the European Central Bank increased the base bank rate by 0.25% to 2.25% – the first increase in the five years. Experts say the increase will have little impact in booming Spain. Spanish mortgages rates can be half the UK interest rate.
Spanish Property News