Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Taking a Hit on the Sale May Mean a Steal on Your Buy!
8:22 pm cdt
I don't know how many clients I've had this discussion with, but I found it interesting the Crain's
Chicago finally had an article discussing the phenomenon we call "The Buyer's Market". Look, either way, you are
going to take a hit. Either you're going to over pay on your buy or take a bath on your sale. You won't come out well on both
ends. I've been telling hesitant sellers who want to buy and upgrade that now is a good a time as any to make that leap (provided
you still have equity in your home!)
The subject couple (Pete and Leah King) of the article
sold their Glen Ellyn home in May at 23% below the original listing price, but more than made up for it on their purchase.
They sold the first home for $250,000, which was $75,000 less than the original $325,000 listing price.
HOWEVER....They paid $495,000 for their new home, which Ms. King calls their "forever home". The
home was originally listed for $575,000 and they had written it off at being out of their range. Because of the $80,000 reduction
in price and the low interest rates, they were able to put themselves into a fantastic home.
Sellers, don't get down about the market! Get out there and look for those deals! They are still out there!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Is Your Condo Association the Victim of 'Kickbacks' to your Management Company?
8:58 pm cdt
The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, a community group whose members are mostly condo
owners, have discovered that condo management companies are getting paid by more than just their condo associations. Apparently
it is common practice for management companies to receive a "procurement fee", or 'kickback' from contractors they
hire to work in the buildings they manage.
Industry insiders say that the payments often
range from 10 to 15 percent. Joe Armenio, president of Sudler Management Services, was quoted in a Sun-Times article as saying
that they maintain a list of preferred vendors, but they payments "aren't that high."
way, condominium owners may be angry that this practice is one of the reasons why their management company fees, and in turn,
their assessments, are so high.
Another condo manager, Wolin-Levin, has a similar program
to Sudler in which they maintain a "strategic relationship" with vendors who in turn get a guarantee of buiness,
and provide discounts no condo board can get on its own. They assert that they produce all bids for condominium boards, and
they only work with vendors who will give their clients the best service.
Wolin-Levin has a deal with Union Bank for 2 percent interest on the condo association's money market accounts - more than
the going rate, and in exchange Wolin-Levin receives "a copule of basis points" for bringing in the business. It's
a typical arrangement, they say, and it is disclosed up front.
Management companies who
do not engage in the practice include the Building Group and Habitat Co.