Spectacular setting! Priced below market! 1 of the best locations on Bohners Lake w/102′ of sand/gravel frontage perfect 4 swimming/boating! Btfl cstm home surrounded by loads of perennials & mature trees! Warm & inviting LR w/fieldstone FP & bay picture window! Bright eat-n ktchn w/dbl Frnch dr 2 LR! Sep frml DR! Stunning bthrm w/porcelain tile, dual head glass shwr & air bath jacuzzi tub! Lwr lvl FR w/cozy FP & bay wndw walks out 2 oversized patio! Gorgs mstr suite w/dbl Frnch dr 2 private deck w/unbelievable views! 2nd bdrm w/hemlock fir hdwd flrs & breathtaking views! Convenient 1st flr lndry! Lrg 2-1/2 car garage & sep driveway to large shed great 4 storage! Octagon bath house at lakefront! Meticulously maintained thru out! Very private and serene! Best lake frontage on this lake!
by Calculated Risk on 11/26/2022 08:11:00 AM
The key report this week is the November employment report on Friday.
Other key indicators include the 2nd estimate of Q3 GDP, the September Case-Shiller and FHFA house price indexes, October Personal Income & Outlays (and PCE), the November ISM manufacturing index, and November vehicle sales.
Fed Chair Powell speaks on the economic outlook, inflation and the labor market on Thursday.
—– Monday, November 28th —–
10:30 AM: Dallas Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for November. This is the last of the regional Fed manufacturing surveys for November.
—– Tuesday, November 29th —–
9:00 AM ET: S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for September.
This graph shows graph shows the Year over year change in the seasonally adjusted National Index, Composite 10 and Composite 20 indexes through the most recent report (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).
The consensus is for a 14.4% year-over-year increase in the Composite 20 index for September.
9:00 AM: FHFA House Price Index for September. This was originally a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index. The 2023 Conforming loan limits will also be announced.
—– Wednesday, November 30th —–
7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.
8:15 AM: The ADP Employment Report for November. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 200,000 jobs added, down from 239,000 in October.
8:30 AM: Gross Domestic Product (Second Estimate) and Corporate Profits (Preliminary), 3rd Quarter 2022. The consensus is that real GDP increased 2.7% annualized in Q3, up from the advance estimate of 2.6% in Q3.
9:45 AM: Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for November.
This graph shows job openings (black line), hires (purple), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.
Jobs openings increased in September to 10.717 million from 10.280 million in August.
10:00 AM: Pending Home Sales Index for October. The consensus is for a 5.0% decrease in the index.
1:30 PM: Speech, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Economic Outlook, Inflation, and the Labor Market, At the Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C.
2:00 PM: the Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.
10:30 AM: (likely) FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile, Third quarter.
—– Thursday, December 1st —–
8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 235 thousand initial claims, down from 240 thousand last week.
8:30 AM ET: Personal Income and Outlays, October 2022. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in personal income, and for a 0.8% increase in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.3%. PCE prices are expected to be up 6.2% YoY, and core PCE prices up 5.0% YoY.
10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for November. The consensus is for 50.0%, down from 50.2%.
10:00 AM: Construction Spending for October. The consensus is for 0.3% decrease in spending.
The consensus is for 14.9 million SAAR in November, unchanged from the BEA estimate of 14.9 million SAAR in October (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).
This graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967. The dashed line is the current sales rate.
2:00 PM: the Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.
—– Friday, December 2nd —–
8:30 AM: Employment Report for October. The consensus is for 200,000 jobs added, and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 3.7%.
There were 261,000 jobs added in September, and the unemployment rate was at 3.7%.
This graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms.
The current employment recession was by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms. However, as of August, all of the jobs had returned and, as of September, were 804 thousand above pre-pandemic levels.
When the madness of Black Friday shopping simmers down, consumers are often encouraged to “shop small” on Saturday, which is also known as Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is an initiative started by the American Express credit card company in 2010 to encourage local shopping during the holiday season. The day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
In 2011, the Small Business Administration cosponsored the event and has each year since.
According to the 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by American Express, reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $23.3 billion.
Consumers can find a list of small businesses to shop locally on the American Express website.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Danville Area Community College has had a hand in helping people in Vermilion County who are interested in creating their own small businesses.
Director Earle Steiner said he brings his past experience as a small business owner in the restaurant industry to his current role and works with people from different areas of the county who want to start their own businesses.
“I really love when people reach out and say (they want to start a food business),” Steiner said. “That’s what I did for so many years (and) it’s really easy for me to pivot into that.”
However, he said he loves helping each person who wants to start a small business, no matter what type of business it is. While he may have the experience with food businesses, he said there are more than 30 Small Business Development Centers throughout Illinois and he can reach out to someone who may specialize in another industry for guidance if needed.
The normal calls he gets are from someone who is wants to start their own business, but they want to know where and how to start.
“We can help them with all of those details, because there’s a lot,” he said. “I mean, there’s nothing here that’s totally complex, but by the same token there’s a lot coming at you at one time.”
The SBDC essentially helps those people get their ducks in a row. Steiner said they talk about the legal designation of the business, financial management and developing a business plan, among other things.
Each year, the SBDC also recognizes standout small businesses with the Small Business Awards. In 2022, AWEBCO won Entrepreneur of the Year, Newtons Cleaning and Restoration LLC won Legacy Small Business, Owens Excavating and Trucking LLC won Small Business of the Year and It’s In Your Head won Small Business Start-Up.
Steiner said the awards help recognize the businesses for their work and motivate them to continue.
As for Small Business Saturday, Steiner encouraged local consumers to participate because it helps the community they live in.
“If you give back to the area, give back to the community, give back to these small businesses … that’s what Small Business Saturday’s all about,” Steiner said. “It’s a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities … and realize that they’ve had a tough time.”
The pandemic hit small businesses especially hard in 2020, and since then, owners have had to navigate, retool and pivot from their prior business practices, Steiner said.
Steiner also suggested consumers keep the “shop small” mindset not only through the holiday season, but throughout the year.
“It’s our community, so we want to make it better every day,” he said.
Today marks another Small Business Saturday, and it gives area residents an opportunity to show how much they appreciate local businesses.
As the name implies, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to spend their money in local shops. With trucks zipping along city streets delivering boxes from online stores, the day helps remind everyone about how valuable local stores are to our communities.
For every $1 spent in a local business, experts say 67 cents of it stays local. That money not only creates jobs and helps pay salaries for workers and business owners, it adds to the quality of life in many ways.
Local businesses support such things as youth sports leagues, arts organizations such as DLO Musical Theatre, Red Mask Players, the Danville Symphony Orchestra and many others.
Local business owners also help organizations such as the United Way of Danville Area, the Festival of Trees, local festivals and fairs, and special events such as the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Men’s National Basketball Tournament at Danville Area Community College.
The dollars spent in local stores also help employees and owners pay local taxes, which spreads the fiscal burden over more people, according to a study by Michigan State University. That lessens the demand for tax dollars on everyone else.
Those tax dollars also allow local government to invest in such things as streets and clearing away blight.
Shopping locally saves time. Customers don’t have to wait even a day to take home their purchase. According to experts, buyers from local businesses also help the environment because fewer of those delivery vehicles will be rolling around emitting toxic fumes.
Local shops also offer shoppers a wide variety of unique items that their big box competitors don’t stock. A trip through Danville’s downtown illustrates the kind of special places people can visit to find just the right holiday gift for that special someone.
And customer service usually is more effective when the customer and the store employee are face to face instead of communicating via email or by phone.
Spending even a few dollars on Small Business Saturday can go a long way in supporting local businesses. Instead of doing any online shopping today, head out and visit some of the area’s great small businesses. They will appreciate your business, and you will appreciate the wonderful things they have to offer.
by Calculated Risk on 11/25/2022 10:38:00 AM
Today, in the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter: Case-Shiller, FHFA House Prices Indexes and Conforming Loan Limits will be released on Tuesday
Last week, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported that median house prices were up 6.6% year-over-year (YoY) in October. This is down from the peak growth rate of 25.2% YoY in May 2021.
Last month, Case-Shiller reported that the National Index was up 13.0% YoY in August, down from a YoY peak of 20.8% in March 2022.
The median prices reported by the NAR are for the most recent month only, so the prices are very timely. However, the prices can be distorted by the mix of homes sold.
Case-Shiller is a repeat sales index (they compare the current price of home to the previous sales price), and it a three-month average. So, the most recent report (for August), was actually for homes closed in June, July and August.
Although median prices can be distorted by the mix and repeat sales indexes (like Case-Shiller and the FHFA) are more accurate measures of house prices, the median price index might provide earlier hints on the direction of prices.
The following graph shows YoY price changes for the NAR median house prices, Case-Shiller National price index, and the FHFA purchase-only index (Fannie and Freddie loans only).
Most of the time, the NAR median price leads the Case-Shiller index, and even though the Case-Shiller September index will show a solid YoY gain, I expect house price growth to decelerate further in coming months and turn negative YoY soon.
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Traditional financial advice typically tells savers to put retirement first — even before homeownership. That’s because over the long-term, the stock market tends to outpace real estate and there are tax advantages to putting money in a retirement account.
But retired homeowners are in a much better financial position than their peers who have rented. So it might make more sense to encourage younger savers to prioritize buying a home, despite the very real challenges of high home prices and interest rates.
Millennials have higher average 401(k) balances than Generation X did when they were the same age, but they’re not any better off financially, says Craig Copeland, director of wealth benefits research at the Employee Benefit Research Institute. A lot of that has to do with being less likely to own a home. That doesn’t bode well for later on.
“The benefits of homeownership can’t be overstated in retirement,” says Copeland.
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For older homeowners and older renters with similar incomes, there’s a significant gap in net wealth. A big portion of that is due to home equity, but homeowners also have more non-housing wealth, too. Homeowners age 65 and over in the highest income quartile had a net wealth of close to $1.3 million compared to $334,150 for renters, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (and this was based on 2016 data, before the big run-up in home prices).
For the majority of Americans who haven’t put enough money aside for retirement, a home has often been their saving grace. The elderly poverty rate is around 10%, but would be much higher without the robust rate of homeownership among older Americans, says Chris Mayer, a real estate professor at Columbia University’s Business School. A home gives you a roof over your head, and you can always sell it if you really need cash.
Then there’s the budgeting stress that can come with renting. Studies show that housing accounts for a much bigger chunk of total expenditures for older renters than for owners. This is even more apparent for low- and middle-income households. In turn, older renters tend to have more credit-card and health-care related debt, and less cash savings, than homeowners.
Plus, the unpredictability of rent increases can wreak havoc when retirees are on a fixed income. Sure, homeowners may have to deal with property taxes and maintenance, but those seem relatively minor considering the double-digit jump in rents during the past year. (Some cities, such as New York, offer rent stabilized apartments, but that isn’t the norm in much of the country.)
Even before the pandemic, about 55% of rental households headed by someone age 65 and over were cost-burdened, meaning more than 30% of their income went to housing costs, data from Harvard’s housing center shows.
No wonder retirees who rent report lower levels of retirement satisfaction.
Given the importance of homeownership to a secure retirement, it’s especially worrisome that the homeownership rate among older people has been declining, and even more precipitously among people of color. In 2004, 81.7% of households headed by 50-64 year-olds in the U.S. owned a home. That number was just 75% as of last year, setting this group up to enter retirement age with lower homeownership rates than those of the previous generation at the same age, according to Senate testimony by Harvard’s Jennifer Molinsky.
Still, there are some caveats. You need to save at least some money for retirement even while you’re prioritizing a down payment. If your employer offers a 401(k) match, make sure you contribute at least enough to take advantage of that free money.
It’s also important to remember that the benefits of homeownership in retirement are greatest for those who have paid off their loans. Homeowners who enter retirement still paying off a mortgage — something more retirees are doing than in previous years — tend to spend more each month on housing costs than renters. (At least it’s a fixed expense, provided it’s a traditional mortgage.) So trying to pay off your mortgage before retiring should still be the goal.
But that’s all the more reason to focus on saving that down payment. The typical age of a first-time homebuyer is now 36, the oldest on record, according to the National Association of Realtors. The older you are when you buy, the more years you’re missing out on those home equity gains.
For many prospective buyers, rising mortgage rates and high home prices are delaying homeownership. Given how crucial a home can be to a secure retirement, let’s hope today’s sidelined buyers don’t give up on it completely. Maybe that means buying a smaller home, or even borrowing from your 401(k) — but it’ll be worth it.
Alexis Leondis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering personal finance. Previously, she oversaw tax coverage for Bloomberg News.
Aqua reminds customers that they play a role in ensuring their local wastewater system operates properly, from the pipes that run from their homes and businesses to the treatment plant itself.
This holiday season, Aqua encourages customers to watch its new video featuring easy tips for the proper disposal of fats, oils and grease. Recommendations include:
- Never pour cooking grease down sink drains or into toilets.
- If homeowners have leftover cooking grease, carefully pour the warm, not hot, grease into a metal can, wait for it to cool and dispose of it in the trash.
- Keep strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids.
- Scrape food scraps and grease into a trash can.
Garbage disposals do not keep fat, oil and grease out of plumbing systems or prevent clogs. While these items go down the drain as liquids, they solidify and, over time, can completely block pipes and cause raw sewage backups in homes and overflows in streets.
Aqua also reminds customers to dispose of wipes, even those labeled flushable, in the trash instead of flushing them. Wipes, tissues and napkins do not break down and can cause backups in household plumbing and larger blockages in wastewater collection systems.
Aqua’s water and wastewater utilities serve more than 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information or follow @MyAquaAmerica on Facebook and Twitter.
Aqua is part of Essential Utilities, one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater service and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5.5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit http://www.essential.co.
Lake Geneva officials have agreed to sell about $6 million worth of bonds to a Minnesota company to help pay the cost to purchase the former Hillmoor Golf Course property.
Members of the Lake Geneva City Council unanimously approved Nov. 14 to sell $6.07 million worth of general obligation park and public grounds bonds to Piper Sandler & Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
City council members unanimously approved to authorize the bond sale Oct. 10.
The city is set to pay back the bonds within 20 years. The cost to taxpayers will be about $9 million with the city budgeting about $450,000 per year to pay back the bonds.
City officials initially approved to sell up to $6.15 million in bonds, but Joseph Murray, senior municipal advisor for Ehler’s Public Finance Advisors, said they were able to reduce the sale to about $6.07 million, which will save both the city and taxpayers money.
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“So you’re saving $75,000 because the underwriter is not taking as much compensation as we had structured in the deal,” Murray said.
The owner of a $370,000 home initially was set to pay an additional $98 to $51 a year in additional taxes, for a total of about $1,500 over 20 years. However, Murray said the owner of a $370,000 home will now pay about $105 less during that time period.
“This issue will wind up saving them $105 over the 20-year life of this issue,” Murray said. “So it’s all very good news.”
Five other companies submitted a bid to purchase the bonds including:
Hilltop Securities of Dallas, Texas for about $6.28 million
Baird Financial Services of Milwaukee for about $6.216 million
Northland Securities, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota for about $6.18 million
Bok Financial Securities, Inc. of Milwaukee for about $6.152 million
TD Securities LLC of New York, New York for about $6.4 million.
“We were showing good interest and people wanting to buy City of Lake Geneva debt,” Murray said.
Members of the Lake Geneva City Council unanimously approved, Sept. 26, to purchase the former Hillmoor Golf Course property for about $6 million from White River Holdings LLC and to settle litigation with the company.
The city is set to close on the property by the end of 2022.
Expensive homes on the market in Lake Geneva
4 Bedroom Home in Burlington – $1,195,000
4 Bedroom Home in Fontana – $639,900
WOW-Paradise awaits you! Awesome location in prestigious Country Club Estates. The association beach, swim pier, and lakefront are within walking distance. Lovely corner lot backing up to conservancy, One block to the 18th hole of the golf course. Upon pulling in the circular drive, you will enjoy the privacy it engulfs. Entering the foyer, you will see the open floor plan from living & dining room. 2 Main flr bdrms, Kitchen has stainless steel appliances & eat in area or take your entertaining into the three-season room with the beautiful fireplace overlooking the private backyard. The upstairs has two good size bedrooms with a full bath. Don’t miss the two-car garage with the ”secret” staircase to the spacious loft area. This house has it all for year round living or weekend getaway
4 Bedroom Home in Lake Geneva – $895,000
Situated on 13 acres of rolling farmland just minutes from downtown Lake Geneva, this modern farmhouse will delight anyone seeking a calming country escape. The classic covered front porch welcomes you home where heated wood floors and nostalgic light fixtures add rich warmth throughout. The newly renovated kitchen features an island with deep sink, double oven, breakfast bar and sliding doors to the private fenced yard with patio and fire pit. A stylish primary suite is on the main floor, with two more large bedrooms, a den and full bath upstairs. The family room with bar and fireplace opens to an outdoor patio. You’ll love the fenced pasture with versatile pole barn for horses, goats and chickens or a workshop and toy storage. All of this just minutes from downtown Lake Geneva.
3 Bedroom Home in Fontana – $799,000
Many a painter, poet and writer have found inspiration in small stone cottages tucked away in a quiet landscape. When 553 Sioux Drive was expanded in 2008 with renovation by Scott Lowell, the distinct charm of this stone cottage brilliantly blended with modern lake house architecture. Impressive stone fireplace & hardwood floors. Updated kitchen with granite counters opens to the dining room for easy entertaining. Four season room with heated floors extends your outdoor season. Just a short stroll to the private association park where buoys are available for next summer. Enjoy all that Fontana has to offer from this picture perfect Indian Hills lake house.
4 Bedroom Home in Twin Lakes – $799,900
This custom home impresses with quality and attention to detail in every room. Enter into a bright, two-story foyer. Straight ahead as you walk in is a 2-story great room accented by an impressive 1.5-story window wall and a stone-wrapped fireplace. The great room is open to a dining area that can access the (future) deck and a modern, updated kitchen sporting a Thermidor commercial-style range, sueded granite counters, spacious island perfect for food prep and casual dining. Off the kitchen, you’ll find a mud room, powder room, and walk-in pantry. The luxurious owners’ suite with coved ceiling, a bathroom with 5’x5′ walk-in marble tiled shower, and soaking tub complete the main level. This impressive home sits on over 2 acres of land with a 3-bay attached garage. Photos virtually staged.
5 Bedroom Home in Johnsburg – $539,000
Welcome to this stunning custom home in the desirable Dutch Creek Estates. Beautiful 5 bedroom 4 1/2 home with full finished walk-out basement and 3 car garage featuring quality craftsmanship throughout. The open floor plan is functional for every day living plus entertaining while also lending itself perfectly for the work at home lifestyle. Inviting two story foyer with dramatic staircase. Bright and open kitchen featuring 42″ cabinets, granite counter tops with spacious island, pantry, stainless appliances including double oven & huge eating area, access to deck with pergola and open to family room and heated sun/Florida room. Family room features vaulted ceilings and charming brick fireplace as a focal point. The multi functional heated sun/Florida room is perfect for extra space for the kids or creating your own retreat. French doors off the foyer open to the office featuring built-ins and coffered ceiling. There is also a first floor powder room and laundry. Now up to the second floor! Elegant master suite with 2 large walk-in closets, custom tray ceilings and spa style bathroom with double sinks, whirlpool tub and separate shower. There are 3 additional bedrooms on the 2nd floor. The 2nd bedroom is accented by vaulted ceilings and a private bathroom. Bedroom 3 and 4 share a Jack and Jill bathroom. But wait! There is more! There is a full professionally finished walk-out basement with an extra 33×26 storage room under garage, rec room with custom bar area including microwave and mini fridge, sitting area with fireplace and sliders to expansive patio, full bath, 5th bedroom and a few more storage areas! There is also a staircase from basement to garage for easy access. New cedar roof in ’15 and new windows in ’19. Gleaming hardwood floors on most of first floor. Beautiful yard! Mature landscaping.
4 Bedroom Home in East Troy – $514,900
Stunning 4 Bedroom Ranch is like new construction & ready for you to just move w/your finishing touches! Inviting foyer flows into open living space. Large bright kitchen has lots of storage, walk-in pantry, stainless appliances, granite counters, & oversized island w/seating. All this overlooks LV & DN rooms w/great views of the big back yard from large windows & patio doors. Cozy up to fireplace when chilly or enjoy warm weather on your custom stamped concrete patio flowing into your low maintenance yard. Master suite has walkin closet & Deluxe bath w/dual sinks in marble counter & linen closet. 2 other great size bedrooms, full bath & spacious laundry room round out the main floor. Custom LL boasts amazing rec w/wet bar, 4th bed & another bath. Large unfinished area for workroom/storage
3 Bedroom Home in Lake Geneva – $649,900
Hurry! Ranch homes like this are hard to find! Former model shows pristine! Oversized corner lot w/partial lake views of Geneva Lake! Large 3 car side load garage! Welcoming covered front porch! Open flr plan concept! Btfl eat-in ktchn w/custom 42” white cabinetry, subway tile backsplash, large breakfast bar island, granite c-tops & upgraded GE SS appliances! Separate eating area w/tons of windows & direct access to large screened porch! Gorgeous great room w/cathedral clngs & cozy FP w/cstm white mantle! Wide plank engineered wood flooring thru out! Spacious mbdrm w/luxury bath w/raised dual sink vanity & walk-in shower w/seat! Gracious size secondary bedrooms! Huge unfinished basement w/bath rough-in & sep small fin flex room! Irrigation system! Mint condition! Close to downtown!
4 Bedroom Home in Mukwonago – $633,900
New Construction! Completion estimated approx. December 2022. Upgrades galore in this home! The kitchen features a Quartz countertop with plenty of cabinetry, a walk-in pantry and prep island, a morning room for casual meals, a great room with a gas fireplace, a formal dining room for large family gatherings, a home office, and a mudroom featuring a large closet and bench for everyday items. The second-floor rounds out this home with three secondary bedrooms, a hall bath, and a conveniently located laundry room. Very convenient for all schools! Shopping and conveniences are within a 3-minute drive while a neighborhood park gives you plenty of open space. Easy 35 min commute to Milwaukee area.
5 Bedroom Home in Lake Geneva – $1,950,000
Prestigious Trinity Mt Estates New Construction Home On 5.4 Acre Parcel w/Exclusive Gated Entrance. Foyer & Great Room w/18′ Ceilings, Floor To Ceiling Stone Fireplace + Built-in Shelving. Grand Kitchen w/9′ Island, Quartz Counters, High End JennAir Appliances: Double Oven, 36” Range & 38 dB Dishwasher. Custom Home Office w/11′ Ceilings & Floor To Ceiling Windows. Dining Rm Set Up As Perfect Playrm or 2nd Office. Master Suite w/Vaulted Ceilings & Private Deck ~ Master Bath w/10′ Vanity, Kohler Heated Whirlpool Tub. Main Level Laundry w/Highest Capacity LG Washer & Dryer. Upper Loft + 3 Additional Bedrms. Finished Daylight Lower Level w/Rec Rm, Game Area & 5th Bedrm Or Perfect Home Gym/Theater. 36′ X 32′ Heated Garage w/Built-in Lockers. Numerous Construction & Mechanical Upgrades,See List
4 Bedroom Home in Mukwonago – $604,900
NEW CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED! This two-story home has plenty of everyday living space with the kitchen, morning room, and great room positioned in an open-concept format. The formal dining room and home office are located at the front of the home with an elegant switchback staircase. The upper level is home to three secondary bedrooms with a compartmentalized hall bath and a master bedroom that includes a large walk-in closet and bathroom with dual vanity, a five-foot shower, and a private water closet room. Very convenient for all schools! Shopping and conveniences are within a 3-minute drive while a neighborhood park gives you plenty of open space. Easy 35 min commute to Milwaukee area.
4 Bedroom Home in Mukwonago – $629,900
NEW CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED! This two-story home has plenty of everyday living space with the kitchen, morning room, and great room positioned in an open-concept format. The formal dining room and home office are located at the front of the home with an elegant switchback staircase. The upper level is home to three secondary bedrooms with a compartmentalized hall bath and a master bedroom that includes a large walk-in closet and bathroom with dual vanity, a five-foot shower, and a private water closet room. All of this with a walkout basement and deck! Very convenient for all schools! Shopping and conveniences are within a 3-minute drive while a neighborhood park gives you plenty of open space. Easy 35 min commute to Milwaukee area.
4 Bedroom Home in Mukwonago – $649,900
New Construction! Completion approx. December 2022. Upgrades galore in this home! The kitchen features a Quartz countertop with plenty of cabinetry, a walk-in pantry and prep island, a morning room for casual meals, a great room with a gas fireplace, a formal dining room for large family gatherings, a home office, and a mudroom featuring a large closet and bench for everyday items. The second-floor rounds out this home with three secondary bedrooms, a hall bath, and a conveniently located laundry room. Very convenient for all schools! Shopping and conveniences are within a 3 minute drive while a neighborhood park across the street gives you plenty of open space. Easy 35 min commute to Milwaukee area.
4 Bedroom Home in East Troy – $523,900
New Construction Home! It’s not just a home…it’s a Lifestyle! A lifestyle of Freedom! Stress-Free from repairs, remodeling, and/or the anxiety of your time needed on the weekend working on the house. Come and see our Taylor Floor Plan. A spacious gathering room is open to a generous kitchen & dining area are that will be the envy of all that enter. The kitchen features Stainless Steel appliances, granite counter tops along with a walk-in pantry and a prep island and doubles as a snack bar. A mud room is nearby which provides plenty of storage, large closet, cabinetry and bench for everyday items. The second floor completes this home with a primary bedroom which features a large walk-in closet and a dual vanity and five-foot shower. Open-concept Nine foot ceiling throughout first floor.
Inflation hasn’t left the building, but it may be starting to look for the exit.
In October, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent — the same increase as in September. Over the last 12 months, the all-items CPI increased 7.7 percent. Not only is this less than what most economists had expected, it’s the smallest year-over-year increase since January 2022.
Perhaps the Federal Reserve’s efforts to slow inflation are finally bearing fruit. So far the Fed has raised interest rates five times this year with a sixth expected after the December meeting. The current slight cooling has led to experts anticipating a smaller hike in December — perhaps a 50 basis point increase versus the 75 basis points hike the previous five times.
But it’s not all good news — especially on the housing market front.
What’s happening in the housing market now
For one thing, the Fed’s interest rate hikes have increased mortgage rates to more than 7 percent. For another, prices for shelter in the CPI continued to rise — the rent index rose 0.7 percent and the owners’ equivalent rent index rose .6 percent last month — and in fact were “the dominant factor” in the monthly all-items index’s increase, contributing to over half of it, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Nationally, home prices rose 11.4 percent year-over-year in September, CoreLogic reports. While that represents a slowdown, it’s still high by historical standards. In a persistent trend, both homebuyers and sellers feel less optimistic about their prospects, according to Fannie Mae’s latest index.
In fact, only 16 percent of people surveyed feel it’s now a good time to buy a home. Those who believe now is a good time to sell a home decreased sharply from 59 to 51 percent in October.
“The HPSI [Home Purchase Sentiment Index] reached an all-time survey low this month, in line with expectations that the housing market will continue to cool in the months ahead,” said Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, in a statement.
“Consumers are increasingly pessimistic about both homebuying and home-selling conditions. Amid persistently high home prices and unfavorable mortgage rates, the ‘bad time to buy’ component increased to a new survey high this month, while the ‘good time to sell’ component continued its downward trend,” he added.
Should you wait for inflation to come down more?
With inflation still weighing on the economy and housing market, should you buy a home now? What about selling your home now?
If you can’t make the numbers work, it’s OK to wait things out instead of buying a home today to beat increased prices and rates, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. While you’d be putting off building equity, you might find you’re in a better position to buy in the future, when the market cools and your income potentially has had an opportunity to grow.
“Even when inflation does come down on a consistent basis, it doesn’t mean prices falling; it just means prices not rising as fast,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate. “For homebuyers, a more modest pace of appreciation or even a period of stagnant home prices can allow for incomes to grow further. Rather than stretching too much now, you may be able to buy a bit more comfortably in a couple of years if your income growth outpaces home price growth. But there are no guarantees, and rents have certainly spiked in the meantime.”
That said, the circumstances of your life might require you to buy a home now, and that’s as acceptable a reason as any. Because you’re buying at the peak or near-peak of the market, be prepared to stay in the home for a while if you want to come out ahead when you sell.
For sellers, the tides are turning. Depending on where you live, you could find fewer takers, or need to come down on price. Let’s not forget what happens on the other side of the transaction: When you go to purchase your next place to live, you’ll be competing for a limited number of available properties — and now likely obtaining a new mortgage at a higher rate, to boot.
Tips for buying in an inflationary environment
If you’re set on buying soon, you can try stretching your dollars by:
Putting your down-payment savings in a high-yield account — One upside to inflation and the Fed’s response: higher interest rates on savings accounts. If you aren’t already, put your down payment contributions in a high-yield account. Just make sure the account allows you to access your money easily when it comes time for closing — some online savings accounts take three days to deliver your funds when you withdraw.
Considering a mortgage lender with low or no fees — While it might be more convenient to get a mortgage at your bank, banks typically charge an origination fee, often 1 percent of the amount you borrow. Many non-bank and online lenders don’t, so if you can find a no-fee lender with attractive rates, you’ll keep more money in your pocket.
Locking in your mortgage rate — When you find a lender and are applying for a loan, ask about locking in your rate. Now’s not the time to take a chance on the size of your monthly mortgage payment suddenly soaring, right before you’re set to close.
The CEO of Gershman Commercial Real Estate has bought the long-time industry mainstay, becoming the first person outside of the Gershman family to run the company.
Chris Fox, who was named president and CEO in late 2019, bought the company from the Gershman family. Solon Gershman founded the company in 1948.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale does not affect Gershman Mortgage or Gershman Investment Corp., which are each separately owned and unrelated to the operation of the real estate company.
Fox is the sole shareholder of Gershman Commercial Real Estate but plans to expand the ownership group to include partners in the future. Fox, in an interview with the Post-Dispatch, said his takeover is “not designed to be Chris Fox Inc.”
Question • How did this deal come about?
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Answer • Bettie Gershman, the wife of our founder, Solon Gershman, and matriarch of the Gershman family, died in April of 2020. The family didn’t have to sell the company but agreed that the longevity of the firm may best be in the hands of those that are active in the business. The only active family member in the business was and is Tom Stern, Solon’s son-in-law. Tom was serving as our executive chairman and after over 50 years serving the company, his focus was really around the family’s owned real estate. The day-to-day operation had already been turned over to our executive team. So we agreed that would be the best path. We successfully closed the transaction Sept. 30th, and I am the sole shareholder for now. Over time, the ownership group will expand to include partners/principals that play a critical role in revenue generation or company leadership.
Q • How was it taking over as CEO when COVID-19 hit?
A • I transitioned into the president & CEO role in October of 2019. We entered 2020 with big strategic plans. It was a surreal time. COVID was an experience that affected everyone on the planet, literally. So if there was any comfort, it was in numbers. You knew every industry and every person, professionally and personally, was trying to adapt to our circumstances. We, like everybody, had to adapt first by learning how to communicate effectively with each other and with our clients. It was an open process while also working with a lot of the regulatory restrictions. We had to be there to serve our clients while also recognizing the concern for our own employees’ safety and well-being.
Q • Did COVID change how you operate as a real estate company?
A • Like all industries and businesses, we realized that we’re going to have to settle into a new normal. We also needed to manage some leadership succession planning, so we decided to organize the company differently around our key service lines: brokerage (tenant/buyer representation, sales and leasing), property management, accounting, maintenance and engineering and project management. Before, our executive team tried to lead each service line. Now we have layers of leadership under that executive team. We now have a more hierarchical structure while still remaining very collaborative.
Q • Commercial real estate firms CBRE and JLL have announced nationwide layoffs. How does your firm navigate market challenges, given you’re a small company?
A • Being independent allows us to have a better real-time grasp of the expense side. We try to be nimble and get out ahead of change, so we don’t have to respond to big shocks. We also like the fact that we can be as flexible as we need to be to capture opportunity. We’re always looking at efficiencies that we can bring into our business. We pride ourselves in making those adjustments as we go and continuing to invest in the firm. We work hard to avoid the big swings and large-scale expense reductions we are seeing now from our larger competitors.
Q • How did the St. Louis office market come out of COVID? Where do you see it going, with several companies announcing they’re downsizing or selling their offices here?
A • It’s been very fascinating to watch and be part of. If you think about office occupancy, the last 30 years were designed around trends of creating and using the office to facilitate culture. All of that went out the window in 2020. We all recognize that commutes are very unproductive, and St. Louis is a commuter town. Working from home or a hybrid schedule is going to be part of the workplace culture for the foreseeable future. There’s no standardization, that I see, to how a business gets individuals back in the office.
The more public the business, the harder it is for them to adapt to how they want to occupy space, how they should occupy space. For almost two years, because business didn’t know what would happen, they kept their space. The difference now is, because they don’t know, they’re vacating their space. The challenge with that is there’s really no demand for the space that’s coming on the market. Because if one large company or a corporation doesn’t know how to use it, there’s not necessarily another large corporation that’s figured out how to use it. They’re all trying to adapt to the same thing.
Private businesses seem, on average, much more intentional about bringing employees back to the office more frequently. I think a lot of public companies would like to do that. They just have no idea how, so there’s a struggle there. For now, we’re just in a bit of a limbo state.
What we continue to see is an overall flight to quality. Well-located, improved (real estate) is capturing the demand that is in the market and achieving their targeted rents.