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Illinois a Top State to Make a Good Living!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

There are many reasons to choose a state to move to. A great educational system, climate, and access to amenities are all important considerations when house hunting. One of the most important factors, though…..your ability to make a living. Personal finance website MoneyRates.com recently ranked the Top Ten States to Make a Living in 2016. We are proud to announce that Illinois made it to this elite group of states at #9!!


To find these rankings, MoneyRates.com compared all 50 states based on several key factors that help determine the ability for residents to make a good living. These factors included average wages, state tax rates, cost of living, state unemployment rate, and workplace safety.


Illinois made its way to the number 9 spot due to its above average wages, with a median income at $37,320, and low cost of living. That winning combination allows for workers to keep more of their income for other necessities. The state also did well with relation to workplace injuries, illness, and fatalities, ensuring that employees in Illinois have safe working environments.


If you’re thinking of moving to Illinois, the Fox River Valley is a great place to call home. With strong public school systems, access to great local amenities, and location just west of Chicago, there are many reasons to move to the area! Check out our Current Homes for Sale. Contact the Capital Asset Group  to help you find your dream home or visit our website at http://www.foxvalleyhomesearch.com/.

Strong Local Schools Increase Home Values by 77 Percent!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

Good schools help home buyers determine where they want to focus their property searches. Families want neighborhoods with an excellent quality of life where they can ensure their children receive the best education possible….BUT good schools are not just a benefit to those homeowners with young children! According to the recently released ATTOM Data Solutions 2016 Schools and Housing Report, homes in zip codes that contain at least one highly ranked elementary school have home values 77 percent higher than homes in zip codes without one!!!


To find these results, ATTOM Data Solutions examined almost 19,000 elementary schools across the nation in 4,435 zip codes. Elementary schools were defined as “good” if their 2015 average test scores were at least one-third above the respective state average. This data was then analyzed alongside the 2016 home values and price appreciation in the local area.  


As of July 2016, the average estimated home value was $427,402 in 1,661 zip codes with at least one good school. This is compared to the average estimated home value of $241,096 in the 2,774 zip codes without a good school. That’s a difference of 77%!


Homes in zip codes with good schools also provide a good long term investment for owners. The study found that homeowners residing in such zip codes had...on average...a 32 percent return on their investment! Over the past decade, home appreciation values have been far more volatile in those zip codes without any good schools.


Looking for a home in a neighborhood with a great school in the Fox Valley area?! With Illinois ranked as the #13 state with the best school districts in the country (according to website Wallethub)…..it’s incredibly easy to do!!


This statewide excellence carries over to three of our local districts that rank in the top 30 school districts in Illinois! All of these districts are recognized for their academic excellence, high graduation rates, top notch teaching staff, and access to a variety of clubs & activities:  

#14 Geneva Community Unit School District No. 304 (Current Homes for Sale in Geneva)

#20 St. Charles Community Unit School District No. 303 (Current Homes for Sale in St. Charles)

#30 Batavia Unified School District No. 101 (Current Homes for Sale in Batavia)


Let us help you find your dream home in one of these great school districts! Give Capital Asset Group a call today or visit our website at http://www.foxvalleyhomesearch.com/.


Resource: RISMedia


Plans Moving Forward for New Development Downtown Batavia

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

On August 1st the Batavia City Council set forth action on a development plan for the downtown area. Known as One Washington Place, the development will cover a city block and include apartments, retail spaces, and parking.


The building is planned to take up the space along East Wilson Street, Washington Street, and River Street. Several city owned businesses will be demolished in the process to make way for the site. The 2.25 acre site will house 300 parking spots, 171 apartments, and 14,645 square feet of retail space. The structure will be six levels above and below the street level.


The cost of the project will be $40 million dollars. It is being headed by Geneva based developer Shodeen Construction, who will invest $30 million dollars towards the project.


A Tax Increment Financing district (TIF) will be created to help cover some of the costs. This statewide incentive for development covers expenses related to public improvements, such as engineering, demolition, public utilities, and more. The proceeds from the district allow the city to repay debt that is incurred during the construction of the space.


One Washington Place is a truly exciting new development for downtown Batavia and will surely help initiate further economic growth in the area. We look forward to seeing more plans for the project as it proceeds.

Real Estate Health in the Fox Valley!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

 

If you’re interested in Buying or Selling in St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, or any of their surronding communities, give Capital Assets Group a call or visit our website at http://www.foxvalleyhomesearch.com/.   

It's Time for the Kane County Fair!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

Head over to the Kane County Fairgrounds (525 South Randall Road, St. Charles) for 5 days of festivities at the great Kane County Fair and Festival! Our Fox River Valley community is an amazing place to live and there is no better way to celebrate our area than at this annual summertime event. 

 

From Wednesday, July 20th, through Sunday, July 24th, the Midway will be bursting with family fun activities! Whether its amusement rides, carnival games, live music at the Miller Lite Sound Stage, or delicious  festival food, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the fair. There are activities specifically for the little ones as well! The Grandstand has special events every day of the fair including a demolition derby and bull riding. Support local vendors and check out interesting exhibits about happenings in Kane County. We cannot wait to see you at the Kane County Fair!!!!

 

Ticket Information

$5.00 for regular admission (Wednesday and Thursday)

$10.00 for regular admission (Friday through Sunday)

FREE admission for children 3 and under!

 

For the full schedule of events and to buy tickets online, CLICK HERE!!

15 Native Plants for Gorgeous Midwestern Garden!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

After those long winter months, gardens are a great way to add a bit of color and cheer to your yard. You can ensure gardening success during the warmer seasons by turning to plant varieties that naturally grow throughout the midwest. As an added bonus, native plants require less maintenance. Here are the 15 top native plants for midwestern gardens!

SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia sp) – These perennials will blossom with three-petaled flowers in the spring. They can be placed anywhere throughout your garden, whether in the sun or the shade.

SWAMP MILKWEED (Asclepias incarnata) – Attract monarch butterflies to your garden in the summer with these pink beauties. As an added bonus, this resiliant plant can thrive in average growing soil.

COMPASS PLANT (Silphium laciniatum) – Growing up to 9 feet tall, this stunning plant blooms yellow, sunflower-like petals. Interestingly, the Compass Plant naturally aligns itself north to south allowing it to conserve water throughout the summer.

WILD ANEMONE (Anemone canadensis) – Add a lovely border to your garden in the spring with Wild Anemone. This plant grows easily in moist soil and will blossom with lovely, large white flowers.

PALE PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea pallida) – With pale pink petals and dark red cones this beauty adds color to your garden in the summer. It will naturally spread across areas of your garden due to the fact that it will self-seed.

BLOODROOT (Sanguinaria canadensis) – For shady areas of your garden, plant the Bloodroot. In early spring, there will be beautiful white flowers arranged in the shape of a pawprint. By summer, however, the plant's cycle has ended.

JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT (Arisaema triphyllum) – Since the Bloodroot goes dormant in the summer, plant Jack-in-the-Pulpit in the same area to maintain interest throughout your garden despite the season. Also thriving in shaded areas, this unique green flower is hooded and reveals little red markings inside. In the fall, red berries also appear for continued color.

BUTTERFLY WEED (Asclepias tuberosa) – This resiliant plant resists droughts, disease, and pests! Its beautifully bright orange flowers attract butterflies in the summer months.

LITTLE BLUESTEM (Schizachyrium scoparium) – This native grass will add beauty to your garden all year round! In the spring and summer, the foliage is blue-green. Starting in the fall and lasting throughout the winter, this plant turns a stunning purple-bronze.

POPPY MALLOW (Callirhoe involucrata) – A perfect addition to the front of your garden, this low growing plant blossoms with wine colored flowers. It can grow in dry soil, lasts several seasons, and resists pests!

PENSTEMON (Penstemon digitalis) – Returning every year to your garden in the summer, the Penstemon grows up to 2 feet tall and blossoms white flowers among its burgundy colored leaves.

COLUMBINE (Aquilegia canadensis) – Hummingbirds and butterflies will flit among your garden when you add this plant. These delicate yellow and red flowers will flourish in the shade or sun.

CULVER'S ROOT (Veronicastrum virginicum) – Make sure to always water the Culver's Root. These white flowers will grow in light shade and attract butterflies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLDENROD (Solidago sp) – Keep your garden looking lovely throughout the fall with this plant. The golden-yellow clusters of flowers need full sun and well-drained soil.

BLUE SAGE (Salvia pitcheri) – Add this perennial to your garden for a splash of lovely sky blue in the early fall. Blue Sage thrives in growing conditions similar to the Goldenrod. 

Looking for a way to add value to your home? Give your landscaping and gardens a lift with some of these fabulous plants and add instant curb appeal and value to your home!

Resource: Better Homes and Garden July 2016

Top Things to Fix in Your Home Prior to Selling!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

You’ve decided to sell your home in the ­­­­­­­Fox River Valley area. After all the years of love in your home, though, you want to make sure that you get the most for it! All homes go through wear and tear that might not be noticeable to you over the years but will surely stand out to potential home buyers. It is important to go through each room with a critical eye and see what fixes need to be made. However, you don’t have to go through this process alone! A great Real Estate Team is there to help you sell your home and get the best deal. Ask your real estate agent to also inspect your home and make any recommendations for fixes.

There are several simple things you can do that won’t cost you a fortune and will help your home look it’s very best! Follow our suggested Top Things to Fix in your Home Prior to Selling!

Exterior Upgrades and Fixes

The first thing that potential home buyers see is the exterior of your home. You want to make a lasting first impression and ensure that buyers are excited to walk through the front door! The outside of the house suffers from wear and tear over the years, particularly from stormy weather. There are several simple fixes you can make, however, to ensure your home stands out. Add a fresh coat of paint and replace any broken siding. Make sure that any wooden features such as doors, shutters, porches, and fences are refinished. Clean out the gutters of any debris or plants that might be growing. Your lawn and landscaping should also be nicely maintained and inviting.

Interior Upgrades and Fixes

Now that the exterior of your home is putting its best foot forward, it is time to tackle the inside. Don’t panic! You do not need to remodel your entire home which will cost you an arm and a leg. There are several cosmetic upgrades that you can make to have your home attractive to potential buyers.

A simple and cheap upgrade in your home starts with the walls. Go through the rooms in your home and FILL IN NAIL HOLES AND CRACKS. After spackling and sanding these areas, add a fresh coat of PAINT. You do not need to paint every room in your home. Only focus on those rooms that really need it or where you had to spackle. For those that you are painting, you want to choose paint colors that will appeal to everyone. Stick with light and neutral colors. Finally, you might love the wallpaper in your home but buyers probably won’t. Provide them with a clean canvas by removing all wallpaper.

A room is more than just four walls. It’s time to look at the LIGHTING and FLOORING in each. Lighting can help maximize the appearance of space and make rooms more inviting. Ensure that there is adequate lighting in your home. Instantly make your house appear more modern by replacing outdated fixtures. Everyone loves sunlight so replace your drapes with light, cotton ones that allow for natural light. Hardwood floors are very attractive to buyers. If your home has them, examine which rooms have wear and tear. Refinish or polish these floors to give them an instant shine!

It is important to make sure that everything in your home is FUNCTIONAL for the potential new owners. Nothing shows a lack of home maintenance like appliances and fixtures that do not work. Appliances are an added bonus for buyers so ensure that all are working properly and provide your real estate agent with any warranties. There are also little things throughout the house that you want to make sure are functional. Check your doors and replace broken knobs, locks, and hinges. Ensure that your garage door opens and closes as it should.

The two most important rooms in any home are the KITCHEN and BATHROOM. Nothing can hamper a sale more than these two rooms not being properly maintained. Full renovations for both of these areas can put a pinch on your budget so do not feel like you need to make a complete overhaul. Focus on simple fixes that allow the spaces to appear brand new. In the kitchen, replace outdated or damaged fixtures. Paint or refinish the cabinets. If you are able to, update the counter tops to granite or marble. For the bathroom, start with a deep cleaning. Scrub or replace grout. Make sure that the plumbing is in total working order. For both the kitchen and the bathroom, staging is very important. Declutter these spaces and ensure that they are inviting.

For more helpful Home Selling Tips, give Capital Asset Group a call at (630) 369-4508 or check out our website at http://www.foxvalleyhomesearch.com/.

4th of July Events for the Fox Valley!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

It’s time to celebrate America’s 240th birthday! The 4th of July always offers a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, enjoy the summer weather, and show off your American pride! The Fox Valley has a ton of great free activities planned this holiday weekend that we wanted to share with you!

BATAVIA's fireworks show is such a spectacular event that they call it the 4th of July Sky Concert! On Monday, listen to musical performances by cover band We're Not and the Batavia Community Band in Engstrom Park. Marvel at the beautiful themed fireworks display which will celebrate the American flag's 100th birthday. 

Head over to ST. CHARLES for their 4th of July Concert and Fireworks. The festivities begin at 6:00 pm on Monday at Pottawatomie Park (8 North Avenue). Enjoy a concert by band Shout Out as they perform all your favorite classics and contemporary hits. Afterwards, find your favorite spot in the park to take in the fantastic firework show. 

AURORA kicks off their Independence Day celebrations at 10:00 with the Annual Fourth of July Parade throughout the downtown. Set up chairs along the route and watch patriotic floats and bands perform. At 6:15 pm that evening, bring the family to RiverEdge Park for the Fourth of July Celebration. Listen to American classics played by the Aurora American Legion Band and Fox Valley Orchestra before catching the fireworks display. 

Catch the Independence Day Fireworks in OSWEGO. The spectacular show begins at 9:00 pm at Prairie Point Community Park (4120 Plainfield Road). 

 

Head on down to one of our great communities for some live entertainment, kids activities, delicious food, and, of course, spectacular fireworks displays! 

Capital Asset Group wishes you and your family a very happy and safe Independence Day!

Geneva IL Presents the Swedish Days Festival!

by Capital Asset Group, Inc.

Come join us at the 67th Annual Geneva Swedish Days Festival!! This event kicks off on Tuesday, June 21st and continues through Sunday, June 26th. Enjoy this favorite community tradition in the Fox Valley with your friends and family. Experience six days of delicious food, musical entertainment, carnival attractions, a parade, and much more!

Celebrate all things traditionally Swedish at the Sweden Väst on Saturday (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) and Sunday (10:00 am – 3:00 pm)! Treat yourself to Swedish delectables, including salmon spread, meatballs, and lingonberries while learning about Swedish history and heritage through art, entertainment, and activities

Get active during the festival by participating in the inaugural Swedish Days Lopp 5k! This race will take place on Saturday, June 25th, 2016, at 8:00 am. The 5k will start and finish at Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve (719 S Batavia Ave, Geneva) and take participants along the beautiful Fox River. Show off your Swedish Days Festival pride by sporting Scandinavian theme attire! Race winners within each age group participate in the Swedish Days Parade on Sunday. Fuel up after the race with the pancake breakfast, featuring authentic, freshly made Swedish pancakes with a variety of toppings! Register today for this fun event!

We can’t wait to see you in Geneva this week for the Swedish Days Festival!

Did San Francisco's housing market finally peak?

by Kathryn Vasel

The country's hottest housing market might finally be cooling off.

Home prices in San Francisco declined last month for the first time in four years, according to real estate brokerage Redfin. The median home price in the area dropped 1.8% in March from last year to $1.04 million. Last year, prices in the market averaged 15% growth. "The sticker shock is wearing people down," said Nela Richardson, Redfin's chief economist.

Related: Here's the salary you need to afford a home in these 27 cities

Sales also took a hit, sinking 22% in March -- which normally marks the start of the busy home-buying season. "We might be in a market that will continue to contract," Richardson said. "When it looks like a market is contracting and getting smaller, especially with home sales being down 22% year over year -- that is big number and is worrisome."  Bidding wars have been common for a while in the Bay Area, with many sellers purposely under pricing their home to create more competition.  

But that's a risky tactic at this point, warned Richardson.

"We are hearing from agents that homes they expected to go for hundreds of thousands above list price are actually selling for not too much above " she said. In March, homes were selling at 7% above asking price. A year ago, they were going for 9% above.

Related: Manhattan rent prices finally dropped

While it's still a seller's market in San Francisco, homes are sitting on the market longer and inventory is up 4% year over year. "Homes used to be sold in less than a week, but now they are sitting on the market two to three weeks waiting for an offer." Wall Street's recent volatility could be eroding confidence in the housing market.

"The people who can buy in San Francisco are tied to these unicorn companies and a lot of their compensation is stock and equity based so they are sensitive to stock market fluctuations," said Richardson. Interest from foreign buyers, particularly from China, has also slowed, she added.

Related: San Francisco is first city to require fully-paid parental leave

The slowdown in San Francisco could signal the real estate climate is shifting. Nationally, home prices increased 4.7% in March as sales ticked up 1% -- the smallest rise in 16 months.

"This could mean that going forward, the strength in the housing market could shift away from the high-end superstar cities to the more affordable places with good economic growth," said Richardson.

 

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