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Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2018

by Devon Thorsby, U.S. News

Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2018

Housing markets should remain tight this year, but 2018 may be a great time to profit as a home seller.

 By Devon Thorsby, Staff Writer, U.S. News and World Report |Jan. 12, 2018, at 12:14 p.m


Homeowners looking to sell should consider 2018 an opportunity to cash in.

If you haven’t given much thought to selling your home this year, you might want to think again.

Real estate information company Trulia commissioned a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted by Harris Poll, to get a feel for expectations and plans for housing and homeownership in 2018. The survey results show 31 percent of respondents expect 2018 to be a better year for selling a home than 2017 – and just 14 percent expect it to be worse.

Despite the enthusiasm, only 6 percent of homeowners surveyed plan to sell their home in 2018.

Real estate information company Zillow echoes these sentiments in its predictions for 2018, expecting inventory shortages to continue to drive the housing market. With too few homes on the market to meet buyer demand, prices increase and would-be buyers can’t afford the price or down payment needed to submit a winning offer.

If you’re a homeowner and have been thinking about selling, what are you waiting for? You may not consider 2018 to be your year to sell, but here are four reasons why selling in the next 12 months could be more beneficial than you think. Buyers are chomping at the bit. Eager homebuyers have been frustrated over the last few years, experiencing low inventory in most major markets, which is pushing them to start home shopping earlier in the year to try to beat out the competition and ensure they’re not missing out on any available properties.

Even before the clock struck midnight on New Year’s, people were already getting a head start on looking at buying or selling a home in 2018. Real estate information company HomeLight saw a 25 percent traffic spike on its website on Dec. 26, with continued high rates of traffic through the first part of the new year.

“Folks have generally turned their attention away from the holiday and time with family and friends, and moved onto the new year and what they want to accomplish,” says Sumant Sridharan, chief operating officer of HomeLight. “And for many people, that tends to be where they want to live.”

The best time to sell your home is traditionally between March and June, Sridharan notes, while warmer climates may see a longer time frame because they’re not restricted by weather. But cold weather isn’t keeping interested buyers from starting their home search at the start of the year. The fact that buyers take the day after a major holiday to start looking for new home means the traditional selling season could be even hotter.

And while the last couple years have proven beneficial for sellers, seeing many homes sell for asking price or above, it won’t last forever. Zillow predicts home builders will begin looking to construct more entry-level homes to meet demand later this year. If you wait too long to put your home on the market, you may find yourself competing with new builds that haven’t been a part of the market in large numbers since before the recession.

Interest rates are low … for now. For both the buyer of your home and your own next home purchase, low interest rates can help make a transaction possible. In the second week of January, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.17 percent, according to NerdWallet. Mortgage rate averages reached more than 4.4 percent in 2017, but closed the year out just below the current rate.

While mortgage rates aren’t expected to spike significantly this year, they are forecast to increase overall. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will rise to 4.6 percent this year, and it expects rates to rise to 5 percent in 2019 and 5.3 percent in 2020.

While increasing interest rates are a sign of a good economy, they can squeeze out some potential homebuyers from the market. The current low rates can serve as a catalyst for many potential homebuyers to get moving sooner rather than later. But as interest rates continue to rise, you’re less likely to see as many bidding wars – which is welcome news for buyers but not sellers.

You can move to find cheaper property taxes. The passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017 means a few significant home-related tax policy changes for the 2018 calendar year: Mortgage interest rates are only deductible up to $750,000 in debt and property taxes are only deductible up to $10,000.

While these limits don’t affect all homeowners, people who live in counties and cities with high property taxes are likely to feel the financial hit when they file taxes in 2019. If your household is going to struggle without the deductions you’ve had previously, it might be time to look elsewhere.

“For most of the world, I think it really creates a consideration of where I want to be and how I want to be there,” says Cody Vichinsky, co-founder of Bespoke Real Estate, based in Water Mill, New York.

Vichinsky expects housing markets in coastal states to be most impacted by the tax reform – and more specifically in the counties or towns with high-ranked school districts because their property taxes tend to be higher. While homeowners with school-age children may see the education factor weigh heavier than the financial burden, “You’re going to see an exodus out of these neighborhoods for people who don’t need to be there anymore,” he says.

You certainly shouldn’t have a hurried reaction to a policy change with an asset as large as a house, but also keep in mind that if you’re looking for the maximum price on your home, the longer the new tax law sinks in, the more likely it is to change feelings toward pricier neighborhoods in coastal markets.

“We do expect, potentially, in the longer term there may be lower demand at the higher price points because the tax [incentives] just aren’t there,” Sridharan says.

Renovations today won’t come back in full next year. Zillow’s 2018 predictions include the expectation that most homeowners will focus on renovations and updates this year rather than selling. If you’ve got remodeling on your schedule for the year, be sure it’s an update for you because it’s unlikely that renovations will have a 100 percent return when it comes time to sell.

“You’re going to get one shot at this,” Sridharan says. “Ultimately the additional money you’re going to spend to make your home look amazing is going to be far less than the amount of money [a buyer will pay].”

The key to taking advantage of the seller’s market this year is not taking the tight inventory for granted. Buyers will still expect effort from sellers in preparing a property for sale. While they may be willing to overlook a dated kitchen, it's the clutter, deferred maintenance and lack of curb appeal that can still kill a deal. If you do decide put your house on the market, take the process seriously, and you’re likely to see ample interest.

Upcoming October Events in St. Louis!


Looking for some great activities around the St. Louis area?  October is  full of exciting events & festivals!

Are you a history buff?  Being presented for the first time in North America at the St. Louis Science Center is the world renown Discovery of King Tut exhibition!  Exhibit starts September 27th, going through October 16th.

Artists and art lovers will appreciate The American Arts Experience St. Louis. From September 29th – October 15th, the American Arts Experience will be all over St. Louis in various places sharing a range of art from music to the visual arts.

For the foodies we give you the Q in the Lou: St Louis BBQ Festival! All over the country chefs will be packing up their grills and smokers to bring you a taste of their homestyle BBQ right to you. One of the most celebrated BBQ Cities in the nation. Mind blowing taste is going to happen here from September 29th – October 1st.

For a more complete list of upcoming events visit this link.

Find the Best Places to Eat in Belleville


​If you own a home in or around Belleville and enjoy great restaurants, then you're in luck.  Belleville is chocked full of amazing places to eat. has rated the best places to eat in Belleville. Here's a few of the top picks from the list.


Leave it to a BBQ restaurant to top the list of best restaurants in Belleville.  BEAST Craft BBQ also is winner of "Favorite BBQ in St. Louis" in 2017 by GO! Magazine and in 2016 by the Riverfront Times. And it's easy to see what all the fuss is about with their hand-crafted approach to BBQ,

Papa Vitos

For the best pizza and hot wings in town, Papa Vitos tops the list.  They make pizza the old fashioned way, with fresh ingredients and sauce.  Papa Vitos is also in list of highest rated pizzarias in the St. Louis area.

Tavern on Main

For a good time and a great burger and a drink, Tavern on main is the perfect place to unwind in Belleville. Whether you want to watch the game at the bar or dine in the enclosed brick courtyard, there's something for everyone here.

What Is Your Home's Value?


Do you know how much your home is worth?  If it’s been over a year since you’ve determined your home’s value, you may be in for pleasant surprise.  The latest edition of CoreLogic’s Home Price Index shows that nationally, home prices have appreciated 6.7% over the last year and 0.9% month-over-month. In general, there’s a higher demand for homes.  That means home prices have increased.

The latest Equity Report by CoreLogic shows that nearly 79% of homeowners with a mortgage in the US now have significant equity in their homes.  But not every homeowner knows how much the value of their home has appreciated.

The question then is, do you know how much your home is worth? We can help you with a free home valuation.  Click this link to start the process now!

Home Maintenance Tips For September


As summer comes to a close, it's time to make sure your home is ready for fall and winter.  By performing just a few chores, you can make sure you're ready for the colder months and have less problems during the winter season. Here's a few tasks that are fairly painless and will help you avoid major repair costs when you least expect them.

Make Sure Windows are Sealed

If you have double or triple pane windows, there is an inert gas between the panes that insulates the window.  If you notice the window is foggy, that means the seal has failed. Try ashing in on the warranty if you can. If you can't, call a pro that can reseal them.

Sweep the Chimney

It's important that your chimney is clean before you use it during the winter. If soot builds up it can increase the risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. You need to call a pro to handle this one.

Change Air Filters and Tune Up Furnace

This should really be done monthly, but certainly every year. You can replace the filters yourself easily. You can also call in a professional to do a tune up on your furnace.

Want some more tips for maintaining your home? Check out the full list of September maintenance tips here.


Have Fun This Labor Day Weekend


Are you ready to have fun this Labor day weekend?  Being close to St. Louis means there's plenty of great things to do to bring in the end of summer. The St. Louis and O'Fallon area has a number of festivals and events to celebrate the weekend. Here's a few to look forward to:

Midwest Wingfest | September 1-2, 2017 | Fairview Heights

St. Nicholas Greek Festival | September 1-4, 2017 | St. Nicholas Church Central West End

The Great Godfrey Maze | September 1-4, 2017 | Godfrey, IL

Big Muddy Blues Festival | September 2-3, 2017 | Laclede's Landing

Check out more fun events!

Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!

Are you looking to buy a home near the base, but looking for a unique community with easy access to both Scott Air Force Base and St. Louis? If that's the case, the “Beautiful City” of Belleville may be the ideal solution.  The word Belleville is French for “Beautiful City”, an accurate description of this fine community.  Whether or not you work at Scott Air Force Base, you'll find this city has an ideal blend of qualities that make it an ideal location to call home.

The architecture reflects a unique mix of cultural influences.  There was a large influx of German residents who built what are called "row houses", which are simple brick cottages.  Other styles came into play later in the form of Victorian, French Second Empire, and other styles.  The historic district is a great place to see many of these styles.

And you won't have any problem finding great places to shop and dine.  The historic downtown area alone has a number of local boutiques and food venues.  The parks system in Belleville also offers a wide range of facilities and trails for your relaxation and exercise needs.

Visit our Belleville Illinois Real Estate and Community Information page for more details about this "beautiful city" of Belleville and search for your dream home today!

Millennial Homeowners - Is It Time to Sell?


Despite what many people believe, Millennials are not a generation of renters. 34% of homes in the US were purchased by Millennials last year, and the most recent census report shows that the homeownership rate among Millennials is rising. In 2010 when housing prices crashed, many Millennials took advantage of the situation and purchased homes. If you're one of these people, now might be the time for selling your home for several reasons.

1. Equity Buildup

Home prices have been rising since the beginning of 2012, and your house may have appreciated by more than you think. According to ATTOM Data Solutions:

“…homeowners who sold in the second quarter realized an average price gain of $51,000 since purchase — the highest average price gain for home sellers since Q2 2007, when it was $57,000.

The average home seller price gain of $51,000 in Q2 2017 represented an average return of 26 percent on the previous purchase price of the home, the highest average home seller return since Q3 2007, when it was 27 percent.”

2. Projected Home Price Increases

If you've just gotten married or found that you're about to become a parent, you may have plans to move out of your house into a bigger home and maybe into a different area. If you wait to buy a more expensive home in this market, that probably wouldn't make sense. The home price expectations survey projected that home prices will increase by nearly 5% over the next year. So your house is price will increase, but not as much as homes currently valued higher than yours.

So if you're lucky enough to be one of those Millennials who bought a home in 2010 or even, later now might be the perfect time to move up to the home of your dreams


Find the Top Schools in O'Fallon


It's almost time for school to start again, and if you're planning to buy a home in O'Fallon soon, you no doubt want to send your children to the best schools. has rated the top schools in O'Fallon, and 8 of them received a score of over 7 our of 10!  Schools are rated according to test scores, parent reviews, and more.  

Here's the top 4 schools on the list.  Click on a school name to see the full review:

O Fallon High School
600 South Smiley St, O Fallon, IL 62269
Score: 10/10

J Emmett Hinchcliffe Sr Elementary School
1050 Ogle Rd, O Fallon, IL 62269
Score: 9/10

Fulton Jr High School
307 Kyle Rd, O Fallon, IL 62269
Score: 8/10

Delores Moye Elementary School
1010 Moye School Rd, O Fallon, IL 62269
Score: 8/10


The Best Eats for Less in O'Fallon


It's not always easy to save money and eat great food at the same time.  That's why its a good thing we have resources like to find the best places to eat in O'Fallon on a budget. Here's a few of the top places to eat in O'Fallon that won't bust your bank account.

Daddy Ray Burgers

The reviews are in, and people are saying this is the best burger in town. And what would a great burger be without a fantastic shake to wash it down.  All this comes with fast friendly service.

Firehouse Subs

If you're looking for the best subs in O'Fallon, Firehouse doesn't disappoint.  They have all the toppings you could want, along with healthy choices.  You can even save more money by completing an online survey.

88 China

Why pay more for great Chinese cuisine when you can come to 88 China?  They offer your classic Chinese food selections all at reasonable prices.

There are more great places to eat for less in O'Fallon. View the full list here.


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 45

Contact Information

Photo of The Ellerbrake Group Real Estate
The Ellerbrake Group
RE/MAX Preferred
1668 Windham Way
O'Fallon IL 62269
Office: (618) 632-0001
Direct: (618) 791-8773
Fax: (984) 222-6820