Down Home Charm: Yorkville

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Yorkville Dining Favorites

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Adam Baxa – Adam@TheBaxaGroup.com

Greetings Friends! Welcome to the inaugural blog of our new feature “The Baxa Group -Down Home Charm”. This series will highlight various local towns, dining, entertainment, events, neighborhoods and more.

Today, let’s chat about the Yorkville dining scene. Did you know there are several great finds in this wonderful town? I may be a bit biased, being a Yorkville resident, however, I truly feel some of our great dining options may fly under the radar for some.

Here are my top five favorite spots and why  I love them. I could have easily expanded this list but I think top five is a good amount to get you hungry for the day!

Not in ranking order…just five favorites from various categories!


1. Best Burger: Without a doubt – Rowdy’s. This is a bit of a “secret find” as the location is tucked neatly away along the downtown row. Cars zoom by Rowdy’s all day long – how many even know about this gem??!?! Often, as I’m enjoying my phenomenal hand packed burger, I feel a bit sad thinking about all who are missing out! While the size of the restaurant/bar is a bit on the smaller size – boy do they make up for it in service and delicious food!!!

The burger is beyond excellent and they even have a seasonal burger menu which is great to emphasize their quality ingredients at just the right time. They have expanded the bar area into an additional slightly separated dining room which is a great place for private parties or large groups of friends.

Bonus Fun Fact – Rowdys has a FUN selection of fish tanks that even our kids love to enjoy! These add to the unique atmosphere.

Bottomline – If you are in the mood for a cozy and friendly bar atmosphere with amazing servers and bartenders, give Rowdy’s a chance!  They are even family friendly – kids eat free on Tuesday’s and your kiddos might like the neat fish tanks like ours! Let me know what you think of my favorite item there – THE CHEESEBURGER!

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2. Best Dining Atmosphere – Yorkville has a few finer dining options. If I had to choose one, I’d go with Lakeview Grille. This place has both an excellent atmosphere and dining area! It’s great for a date night out or just anyone looking for an excellent meal! Don’t miss the wedge salad! It is super yummy! You can even upgrade to the wedge with your steak dinner. Everything here is awesome!

Bonus Fun Fact  This restaurant actually has a wonderful water view and nice patio area! #HenceTheName :-). The atmosphere is so different than most other options in Yorkville!

BottomlineFor a perfectly cooked steak that is close to home – check out Lakeview! They have daily specials and signature drinks that you will crave time and time again!

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3. Best Breakfast – So….it’s Satuday morning, the kids want pancakes, you want an omelette, your spouse wants french toast and you have forgot to go grocery shopping. Maybe order to-go from my favorite breakfast place – Southern Belles! That may or may not have been the way our last Saturday went! 🙂 They have a fabulous dining area too for breakfast, lunch or brunch!

Their portions enormous and you can truly taste the quality! Try their homemade soup and salad dressings! Yum!!! I feel like a broken record but I have never had a bad thing here! It’s all delicious! The service is impeccable. Calling to go orders in is a breeze, the phone is typically answered by a sweetheart that *may* know my voice when I call in because we frequent her phone line! 😉

Bonus Fun Fact – While this restaurant only serves breakfast and lunch – don’t be afraid to order a salad or soup for later. The quality of the ingredients is outstanding and even hours later you can pull from your refrigerator for a great meal!

Bottomline – Quality Food ✔️ Big Portions ✔️ Friendly Staff ✔️ Amazing comfort food✔️… all in Yorkville! Check this one out, you’ll be happy you did!!!

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4. Best Ice Cream – There are a few chain type of places to get ice cream in Yorkville but if you are in search of really good ice cream in a super cute atmosphere – check out Foxy’s! This adorable ice cream parlor is situated along the Fox River. We took our kids here last a few days before school started. The atmosphere was so friendly. We saw some really special random displays of great character. Talk about small events that make memories – the kids still talk about that night, the people we met and the sundaes we had! The staff is super friendly and the concoctions they “whip” up are sooo fun! You won’t be disapponted!

Bonus Fun Fact – They also serve hot dogs and pints to go! The pints to go are awesome for a treat later. Be sure to check out all of the fabulous flavors!

Bottomline – This is more than just ice cream, this place SCREAMS hometown pride! If you drive by on a summer night, you will see lots of locals enjoying the yummy ice cream and community feel – all over picnic tables. A perfect setting, you may even meet some new friends!

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  • Foxy’s
  • 131 E. Hydraulic Street
  • Yorkville, IL 60560
  • http://www.foxysicecream.com
  • Open 3:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Hours vary – please call or check their website)

5. Best Sports Bar – At first thought, this was a
bit difficult to nail down as there are some nice sports bar options in Yorkville. But when I thought a little more, Mike and Denise’s was the clear choice. Their dining and bar areas are  very clean and laid out nicely. They even have a little game room for the kids! The menu is enormous and soooo many yummy choices. HUGE PORTIONS!

I love the fried pickles! They are gigantic slices that are breaded, fried up and served with ranch. Shockingly from a “sports bar” my absolute favorite is their chopped salad. Everything is good here! Want to watch a game and M&D’s? You are in LUCK my friend – the bar area has so many large TVs making this a perfect viewing location for all of you favorite teams.

Bonus Fun FactPopcorn with your beverage?!?!?! This place a neat fresh popcorn machine near the bar. The kids loved this feature. I know it is a simple gesture but it’s a friendly and warm one – nice touch!

Bottomline This sports bar has such a friendly vibe. It’s a great place to meet with a big group or after a local sporting event. The foot is really good! Options for everyone! The staff is phenomenal. Check this place out – if you like fried pickles, give those gigantic beauties a try!

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Welp, that’s it for today friends! We hope you enjoyed this feature and look forward to articles to come. Please share with friends and comment or like if you enjoyed reading. If all this food talk makes you hungry and eager to give Yorkville a chance to be “home”, we at The Baxa Group Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, would love to show you some Yorkville houses that you just might like!

We service Kendall, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, Dupage, DeKalb, Will and MORE! Whether you are buying, selling, renting or just have questions about the process – give us a call or text 630-234-4472 or check us out on Facebook or the web http://www.TheBaxaGroup.com.

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Breaking into Home Ownership – Finding a Fixer Upper (Even in a HOT Market!)

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With the housing market becoming more expensive, buyers must look for the best way to find an affordable home. A fixer upper is a great way to affordably buy your first home in the greater Chicago housing market. Counties such as Kendall, Kane, Grundy, LaSalle, DuPage, DeKalb, Will and surrounding are seeing a surging market with high demand and low supply of homes. However, that being said – fixer uppers still exist!

If you are in the market for a new home, but do not want to spend tons of money or just can’t afford today’s rising home costs, you may want to look into buying a fixer upper. By purchasing a home in less than perfect condition you will be able to save yourself a lot of money. If this sounds like something you are interested in, you are in luck. There are thousands of homes available all over the suburbs waiting to be restored to beauty. All you need to know is where to look.

Listed below are the three most common ways that you can find a fixer upper in your area.

1. The most traditional way of finding a fixer home is simply getting in your car and scouring the neighborhoods that interest you. By doing this you may not come across a lot of properties, but you may find the one that really catches your eye. If you do happen to find a fixer upper this way, make sure that you take down the address and provide that information to your favorite real estate agent (preferably Adam Baxa :-)).

2. Finding a home to restore can also be done by searching the classified ads, Facebook groups or sites like Craigslist. This is also a more traditional method of finding a new home. The best thing about searching for a fixer upper this way is that you will be able to search by location and price without ever having to leave home.

3. And of course you can search for a fixer upper online. There are two ways to do this: you can either search a site that offers listings from a variety of different real estate agencies, or you can visit the site of each independent agency – check my page out http://www.AdamBaxa.com. Either way, you will be able to find a lot of details on any lower priced homes that may catch your eye. These sites offer information on pricing, as well as pictures of both the exterior and interior when available. By searching for a fixer upper online, you will ensure yourself of coming across the largest number of properties available in your area, and save yourself some time too!

However, it also pays to use an experienced realtor that can spot major issues, advise you on what extra inspections you might want to consider and also will have a good contact list for reliable contractors and others you may want to consult with. I am more than happy to help you understand how to purchase an auction home, foreclosure, short sale or just a traditional sale that needs some work. I can set you up on an MLS search that will automatically email you new properties the day they hit – let’s talk!

Overall, finding a fixer upper can be done in a number of different ways. Instead of overlooking this option, why not give it a try? It does not cost anything to look, and you may find out that a fixer upper is your ticket into the housing market or a way to gain a dream home. A little sweat equity can really help you get into a place that you can make all your own, while gaining equity through your work.

imageAdam Baxa has excellent experience in the real estate market and his web site http://www.AdamBaxa.com also allows full MLS access for searching for homes available in the Chicago suburbs. With five star reviews on Zillow and Facebook – Adam works hard to ensure each of his clients are extremely happy with the buying and/or selling process. Adam can help find fixer uppers EVEN in the current busy housing market.

 

Adam Baxa

Call or Text 630-234-4472

http://www.AdamBaxa.com

http://www.Facebook.com/JustAskAdamBaxa

Not Exactly Average….And That’s OK!

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It hit me the other day…. my “look” may not necessarily be the first thing people envision when considering hiring a real estate agent. And…to be honest with you… I think I’m quite OK with that. Let me give you a couple of stats from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that might give some insight as to why someone like myself may not be the first flash in some people’s minds:

  • The typical REALTOR® is a 53 year old white female homeowner with some college education.
  • 62% of all REALTORS® are female, and the median age of all REALTORS® is 58. 

[https://www.nar.realtor/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics]

Perhaps the first few sentences may make a bit more sense as to why a Realtor® such as myself is not always the expectation that people may envision. A few days ago, I emerged from my closet wearing a casual “popular sport brand” polo shirt and khaki cargo shorts. I was meeting new clients for the first time at a pretty affluent home. As I approached my wife, I remember asking…. “Does this look like a decent outfit for today?” (for some unknown reason, this actually crossed my mind). She paused and kind of gave me a puzzled look. I went on to mention that it may not be dressy enough and that since I was meeting new people – it may not be a professional *enough* look. Her response to me was….”Babe, you look great! Besides, you are WHO you ARE…own it”. Her saying that brought an instant smile to my face. She was right. I gave her my thanks for the reminder and told her that I really needed to hear that feedback.14322341_10207004132963971_206354131357506344_n

Through my 60+ sales transactions, hundreds of showings and other real estate interactions, I have met so many amazing people. The comments on my approach, my look, my style… all have been so enlightening to me. I was once told by a client displaying a sweet coy smile that I was “very recognizable”….God only knows if she meant this in a positive or negative connotation! 🙂 Some have mentioned that they love my down to earth no pressure style, others say that I’m the type of person that they’d love to have a beer with and several have said that my somewhat casual and laid back style has made them feel more comfortable through a process that can seem so scary. This is all perception and feedback of others – perhaps you should find out for yourself! 🙂

I will personally say that I feel my biggest role is to serve as as a trusted advisor and someone who will always put your interest above my ability to earn a dime. My whole career has been spent serving others. From the time I started working at Edward Hospital in Naperville at age 16 to the years I spent in law enforcement – I have always had such a strong desire to help others. While buying or selling a house is not a life threatening illness or an instance when you need the help of law enforcement – it is indeed a stressful situation. My goal is to always guide you through to the end result – a successful closing.

If the house doesn’t feel right or if I’m noticing hesitation in my buyers – I’ll always be the first to ask just the right questions to help you articulate your thoughts. Sometimes, I’ve been known to ask bigger picture questions just to play devils advocate so that no stone is left unturned. Hell, this has even meant that buyers who were ready to write an offer have either passed on the house or took additional time to contemplate. Guess what?! I only get paid IF I sell houses… so in those scenarios…no money for Adam but sometimes they are a good pause or skip point for the buyers in what is undoubtedly the biggest investment one can make. I’ve always lived by the mantra – it is the right thing to do. Not just in business but in life. Doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest but is always the best.

16426292_10104242015703550_2133043781893725970_nWhile so many comments, jabs, laughs have been had – at the expensive of my non-traditional real estate agent “look” [AKA 6’2″ thirty something male with a beard that loves his sports, beer and having fun] …. I can honestly say that I would not have it any other way. I say this because at the end of the day – my honesty, integrity and customer focused approach is always peaking throughout the experience for my client. Starting with a hmmmm…. this isn’t the type of agent I expected to damn…. this is *the exact* transition from a “typical” agent that I have always wanted.

My wife and I are constantly teaching our children about perceptions as well as treating people the right way. With that, I remind you…. always evaluate the type of service you are receiving when pursuing buying, selling or leasing real estate – not if the agent fits the mold of what your idea of an agent should look like.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new age of real estate and this guy will be here to disrupt the stigma of who is available to help you buy or sell your next house. Let’s get going on finding your new house or selling your current one ….who’s ready to see how much fun a real estate transaction can be?!?!?!

I’m more ready than ever to be the go to “I gotta guy” when anyone you know brings up the topic of real estate. BRING IT!!!!

Adam Baxa, Broker, The Baxa Group

Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell

Cell: (630) 234-4472

http://www.AdamBaxa.com

http://www.Facebook.com/JustAskAdamBaxa

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Do you have any comments or questions to share with Adam? Are you interested in talking to Adam about buying, selling, leasing or any other real estate topic? Please fill out the information below for a quick response. Thanks!

5 Ground Rules for Home Buying Success

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There are few purchases in life that carry the financial and psychological weight of buying a home. Whether you are buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing your home and your life after the kids have gone, it is important to understand the ground rules for success in the world of buying a home.

Making the wrong decision in buying a home can have devastating and long lasting effects, while making a wise decision in home buying can greatly enhance the overall value of the investment. It is necessary to learn all you can about the world of home buying and mortgages before setting out to purchase the home of your dreams.

While there are plenty of web sites designed to help first time homeowners learn all they can, most financial experts say that there is no substitute for the good old one-on-one learning. Fortunately, most mortgage lenders, home inspectors and real estate agents will be able to provide this kind of one-on-one learning.

When buying a home it is often best to use a systematic approach as this is often the best way to be sure that all decisions are based on information and reason, not on impulse or emotion. Buying a home can be an emotional process, nevertheless it is imperative to keep your emotions under control and not let them cloud your judgment.

There are five basic ground rules when it comes to buying a home and shopping smart, and they are:

#1 – Get your financing before you get your home

There are few things in life as disappointing as losing out on the home of your dreams due to not being able to secure funding. While the desire to get out there are search for that great home is understandable, it is vital to line up the financing you will need before you start shopping for a home.

Getting the financing ahead of time has a number of important advantages, including knowing how much you can buy and gaining more respect from the listing agents. By knowing how much home you can afford before you shop you will avoid wasting your time looking at unaffordable properties, and the listing agent will be more than willing to show you the homes in your price range.

It is also important to take a good look at the various types of mortgage on the market before getting started in the home buying process. These days, mortgages come in far more choices than the typical 15 or 30 year. For that reason, potential home buyers need to understand how each type of mortgage works, and to gauge which mortgage is the best choice for their needs.

#2 – Look at the community, not just the home

It is a good idea to look at the entire community, instead of focusing on a single home. This can be a particularly important thing to consider for those moving to a new metropolitan area, as these buyers will be unfamiliar with the local climate and lifestyle. It is crucial to determine the areas of town that are most desirable, and to consider things like distance from work and local shopping opportunities.

We have all heard that location is the key consideration when it comes to real estate, and that is certainly the case. Buying a house in the wrong area can be a big mistake, and it is important to choose the location as well as the home. Potential buyers can learn a great deal about the nature of the various neighborhoods simply by driving around town, as well as by talking to other residents.

#3 – Be fair with your first offer

Trying to lowball a seller on the first offer can backfire, as can paying too much. It is important to carefully evaluate the local market, and to compare the asking price of the home with what similar houses in the neighborhood have sold for.

Comparing the sales of comparable homes, what are known as “comps” in the industry, is one of the best ways to determine what is fair, and to make sure that you neither overpay or underbid on the property.

#4 – Always get a home inspection

Always investigate the home for any possible defects before making an offer. Compared to the cost of the average home, the price of a quality home inspection is virtually negligible. Hence, get a good home inspection done before you buy.

To find the best home inspector, it is a good idea to seek out word of mouth referrals as many of the best home inspectors rely on word of mouth advertising.

#5 – Do not alienate the sellers of the home

Many real estate deals have fallen apart due to the personal animosity of the buyer and the seller. It is important to avoid alienating the seller of the home during the process, and to avoid nitpicking every little detail during the sale.

Keeping the good will of the seller will help the transaction go smoothly, and it will provide the best environment for seller and buyer alike.

 

5 Major Reasons Why You Should Buy a Home Instead of Rent

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There are times when it is better for a person to rent, but most often home ownership has many more benefits and advantages. In Kendall County and surrounding counties – rent prices are incredibly high! My wife and I own a rental unit in Fox Hill in Yorkville and when we have listed it for rent, the response rates are overwhelming. This totally shows the demand for rental units are incredibly high.

How can buying be better?

1) More Stable Housing Costs
Rent payments can be unpredictable and typically rise each year, but most mortgage payments remain unchanged for the entire loan period. If the taxes go up, the increase is usually gradual. This stable housing cost especially important in times of inflation, when renters lose money and owners make money.

2) Tax Savings
Homeonwers can be eligible for signifigant tax savings because you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal income tax, as well as many states’ income taxes. This can be a considerable amount of money at first, because the first few years of mortgage payments is made up mostly of interest and taxes.

3) Debt Consolidation
If you need to, you can refinance a mortgage loan to consolidate other debts (an opportunity you don’t have if you are renting.) And the interest on this is also tax deductable.

4) Equity
Instead of payments disapearing into someone elses pocket, home owners are building equity in their own home. This is often one of a person’s biggest investment assests. Each year that you own the home you pay more toward the principal, which is money you will get back when the home sells. It is like having a schelduled savings account that grows faster the longer you have it. If the property appreciates, and generally it does, it is like money in your pocket. And you are the one who gets to take advanatge of that, not the landlord. You can then use this equity to plan for future goals like your child’s education or your retirement.

5) It is Yours!
When you own a home you are in control. You the freedom to decorate it and landscape it any way you wish. You can have a pet or two. No one can pop in and inspect your home and threaten to evict you.

Buying a home is an important decision. It is often the largest purchase a person makes in his or her life. Home ownership also comes with some increased responsibilities, and isn’t for everyone. There are some disadvantages to homeownership that you should take into account.

1) Increased Expenses
Your monthly expenses may increase, depending on your situation. Even if the monthly payments are the same, home owners still have to pay property taxes, all the utilities, and all the maintenance and upkeep costs for the home. Often you need to supply appliances that were furnished with a rental.

2) Decreased Freedom of Mobility
Homeowners can’t move as easily as a renter who just has to give notice to the landlord. Selling a house can be a complex and time consuming process.

3) Risk of Depreciation
In some areas with overinflated prices, there may be a risk that the house will depreciate instead of increase in value, if the prices go down. In our area, this really isn’t typically the case. If you then sell the house, you may not get enough money from the home to pay back your mortgage, and you will still owe the mortgage company money.

4) Possibility of Foreclosure
If for some reason you are unable to make your payments, you risk having the lender forclose on your propety. This can result in the loss of your home, any equity you have earned, and the loss of your good credit rating.

When considering home ownership, you need to weight the advantages and disadvantages for yourself. If you are like most people, you will find that homeownership is worth the risks and disadvantages.

The 3 Main Reasons Adam Thinks it’s the Time to Sell in 2016!

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Hello World! Have you tossed around the idea to possibly sell your house in 2016? Are you scratching your head wondering if the time is right? Here are five considerations I think you should know:

  1. Timing! By shear nature spring is a very popular time to list your home for sale. Buyers are emerging more and more as the weather warms up and green begins to reappear! Happy days abound! Some buyers are also timing out their move with the end of the school year. Take advantage of this influx of buyers!
  2. Inventory! Boy, inventory sure does stink I our area right now! I literally have about a dozen buyers ready to write an offer if a house comes on the market to meet their needs. These are serious and preapproved folks that are just waiting for the next “new listing” to appear in their inbox!
  3. Prices! Sales prices continue to rise! The days when foreclosures and diluted values are totally slipping away. Do you know what your house is worth? Do you have any idea what the check would be if you were to list and sell your house? I can help you with those estimates. To simplify, here is the typica process if you were to reach out to me to inquire about listing your house. I would gather some basic information (size of house, year built, location, amenities, etc.). I would also obtain an estimate from you on how much you owe. I would then get to work on my “homework”! This means reviewing comparables, crunching numbers and preparing a report just for you. I would bring that with me during the final step – a meeting in person to check out your home.

One thing you will find is that I am not a salesy type of person. I can’t stand being pressured or nagged when I am trying to decide or purchase something myself. Heck, I have even met with people who have inquired about selling and told them that selling buy owner or waiting might be better due to the number crunches!

At the end of the day, your home is one of your biggest expenses and assets – any decision made about your home should never be taken lightly!

If you would like to briefly chat about your current home or one you are considering purchasing, please reach out to me via phone/text at 630-234-4472 or email adam@adambaxa.com.

Talk to you soon! Adam