snow street in chicago il

I'm sitting in my home with the heat cranked up so high my skin is dry and my hair is full of static. We're going to have record low temps tomorrow for the southwest Chicago suburbs. I was born in the wrong state. As an update in 2020, Illinois is one of the top states that residents are fleeing from.

I'm cold all of the time. My friends make fun of me and my family knows better. In winter I either wear a robe or a blanket wrapped around me at home. If I get tired of that & I’d slip on a pair of long underwear under loose pull-on pants and wear a thick sweatshirt. I’m sure my husband always thinks I've put on a few pounds because of all the clothes I wear.

As a child, it didn't bother me as much

Although I'm not very athletic I did enjoy…

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remodeling cost vs value for your scottsdale home for sale

As a licensed Scottsdale REALTOR® I have a subscription to REALTOR® Magazine, a comprehensive publication provided by the National Association of REALTORS®. One of my favorite issues is the annual issue featuring a real estate Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report compiled for the current year (2006).  Read the report here.

I like to save this article to bring along on listing presentations to help back up some items sellers might think are worthwhile expenses to sell their Scottsdale home when I feel they won't get their money back. In my opinion, this is one of the most informative articles the magazine puts out every year.

You Can't Always Get Back What You Paid

One seller insisted that he wanted to add the $5,000 onto the market value of his…

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scottsdale real estate is on an upswing during the holidays

Most years I pretty much have a vacation the weeks prior to the winter holidays. However, I have had an influx of Scottsdale real estate showings right up to the Christmas weekend. That's a good sign.

For buyers, you still don't have a huge amount of competition and if you're thinking of buying a house soon, you really should be out there looking. Some good Scottsdale homes, condos, and townhomes have been on the market for a while and sellers are getting anxious. If you wait until Spring to buy you might not get as good a deal as you could now.

Use the free MLS search for properties in your price range and with your amenities. Even better, sign up for the Automated Home Finder Search that will send daily updates to your e-mail. Search once and…

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judy orr published in real estate article in newspaperI was published again in the Southtown Star in the November 12th, 2006, issue in the Real Estate section. The title of the article was "Be Wise When Making Your Next Move." The story was about how you should prepare before moving, especially if you have a property you need to sell first. Most of the articles I've been interviewed for have been online on the Daily Southtown's site but I couldn't find an online version of this one.

It's a tough decision on what should come first, the sale of your current property or the purchase of the new place. Personally, I would want to sell my home first or at least prepare some kind of contingency financing, which is what I did when I moved 3 years ago.

Maybe it's because I lost my "dream home" (at the time)…

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young family of first time Scottsdale real estate buyers

For a time in my long career, I was helping a lot of first-time home buyers. Lately, it has been mainly move-up buyers but I recently got a call from a hesitant first-time buyer just starting the process of possibly purchasing a home. It reminded me of the days when new buyers were the largest segment of my home buying clients.

I've always enjoyed working with first-time buyers, whether they were very excited to buy a property or if they were nervous and hesitant. I never push buyers and want to make sure they're well informed and are comfortable with their decision.

Even some experienced buyers need updating to the current Scottsdale real estate market because many things have changed since when they bought previously.  For example, many…

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graph showing scottsdale real estate on a downturnAs a seller in today's market, you might be questioning whether the news about the real estate downturn is a bunch of hype that gives your agent an excuse for your home not selling. I subscribe to a newsletter by an Association of REALTORS, of which I am a member.

In one of the articles, it states "Second quarter home sales are down 6.1 percent."  That doesn't seem like a big number, but it's never good when sales are down for Scottsdale real estate in any month from the prior year.

This just reiterates the fact that as a seller of Scottsdale real estate, you need to make sure your property is priced correctly for today's market and it needs to be at top condition in that price range. Why? Because with fewer buyers looking and more homes on the…

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princess the german shepherd found a new homePrincess has found a home! When I made the prior post trying to find a loving home for Princess, the German Shepherd that was home alone in a house after her owner passed away and I had the house up for sale, I had hopes for success but was pretty doubtful.

Thanks to the tip from Bern (since switching my website the comments are gone) telling me to post an ad (it was free) on I really didn't have much faith as there were so many ads. Also, as I am a fan of tiny dogs. I just didn't think there would be much interest in a 4-year-old German Shepherd.

Lo and behold, I got a phone call soon after from a wonderful woman who offered to adopt Princess although she already had 2 large dogs and I wasn't sure if Princess would get along with…

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woman searching for scottsdale real estate on her laptop

I've been so busy I haven't had much time to post in this blog.  All of my Scottsdale real estate listings have sold as the market in the area is very active.

If you currently have a Scottsdale home for sale that is priced in the median price range or less for your area and you still haven't received any offers then you need to rethink your price.  However, price isn't always the answer.

If your agent has made some suggestions on cosmetic fixes/repairs that would make your property more appealing you might want to tackle some or all of those items.  I can't tell you how many times a Scottsdale home seller could have received more money if they just made some cosmetic changes.  Even with the changes they would have sold quicker and netted more…

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UPDATE: Princess has been rescued! Thanks for the inquiries and read the story here.

I was called by a friend and prior client that I needed to get a house listed where the owner passed away.  I found out that there was a German Shepherd living in the house.  I have a fear of big dogs, so I wasn't excited about this idea and I immediately knew I had to help find a home for her.

princess the german shepherdMeet Princess, the sweetest German Shepherd I've ever met. Although I love animals, German Shepherds were never dogs I would have considered bringing into my home. However, if I didn't already have 3 dogs (2 Pekingese and 1 Dalmation), I would certainly take Princess in if we couldn't find someone.

She is currently home alone as her owner died recently. She has a friend…

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Four out of every 10 real estate transactions were second-home sales for vacation, part-time living, and/or investment purposes, according to an annual report put by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). These types of sales hit records in 2005.

Las Hadas Villas in Scottsdale Arizona

Two surveys showed that 27.7% of properties purchased in 2005 were for investment purposes and 12.2% were vacation homes. Many second home purchases are not really a 2nd home, but a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or more because of good investment returns. What I found interesting is that the median distance of a vacation home was 197 miles from the primary residence, and 47% were less than 100 miles away while 43% purchased 500 miles or more away.

In Arizona, a lot of people in the valley, like Scottsdale, will…

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