Glen Carbon Homecoming, June 17-18, 2011

It's time for the annual Glen Carbon Homecoming, Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18, 2011.

The festival takes place along Main Street in Old Town Glen Carbon, opening Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.  Festivities will end at midnight on both nights.

Friday night the Well Hungarians will perform under the Covered Bridge beginning at 8 p.m.  Saturday, the Smash Band will rock downtown beginning at 8 p.m.
Glen Carbon residents and visitors will enjoy carnival rides and games, a variety of food vendors, games of chance, pony rides and much more.
For the grownups, a beer garden, wine bar, Margarita stand and craft beer vendors will be on hand.

On Saturday, the Homecoming Parade kicks off at 5 p.m. and winds through Old Town Glen Carbon. Fireworks light up the night over the village's iconic covered bridge starting at 10 p.m. 

Discounted carnival ride tickets are available at Sweeties (at the intersection of Glen Carbon Road and Glen Crossing Road) and the Glen Carbon Village Hall on Glen Carbon Road until 3 p.m. on June 17.


Glen Carbon Home Buyers: Can Your Realtor Help You Get Pre-Approved for the Right Home Loan?

Thanks to my blogs, websites and some very selective advertising, my phone rings with calls, beeps with text messages or dings to lets me know when an email query from a new buyer has come through.

On a good day, it can be a real symphony of sounds squawking forth from the Blackberry.

Ring! Beep! Ding! I love days like that.

Today was one of those days and one new buyer -- I'll call him Mike -- emerged at the head of the pack because he's already done what I asked him to do -- talk to one of my preferred lenders about a mortgage loan.

After a new customer and I first make contact and chat for a while about their real estate goals like Mike and I did today, I ask if they have seen a lender to find out what kind of loan would be best for them.

Very often the answer is, no, they haven't talked to a lender yet. Mike admitted that he -- in his own words -- was "clueless" about how to go about getting himself and his wife and kids a place to call their own.

I  gave him the name of a lender who I trust to do a great job making a decision about the best loan for his situation. Before the day was over, the lender called to let me know that Mike had talked to him and they are meeting tomorrow to go over the process.

So, in a sense -- yes -- as your Realtor, I can help you get pre-qualified and pre-approved for that mortgage loan you need to become a homeowner. I do it by making sure you talk to a good lender who I trust to give you the best possible advice.

"My" lenders (I get proprietary about people who do a great job for my clients) know about:
  • Grant programs in Madison County and St. Clair County, Illinois (the two counties in which I do most of my work) to get money for closing costs and other pre-paid items for my buyers who meet certain income levels
  • VA loans for military veterans
  • FHA loans with small downpayment criteria
  • USDA Rural Development loans for buyers who are considering homes outside of the cities
  • 203K Loans for both the purchase and rehab of a home
  • Credit repair -- for free -- for buyers who are on the edge of qualifiying for a loan
  • They even have conventional loans with 3 percent downpayments as I write this post
Folks, a good lender will have a smorgasbord of choices and will match your needs and circumstances to their offerings.

Conversely, if a buyer has too many credit problems to allow them to become a homeowner right now, these good lenders will tell them to wait a while and just rent for the time being while they work on bringing their debt to income ratio into balance.

If you're in the market for a home in Glen Carbon or anywhere throughout Madison, St. Clair and Macoupin counties, and you need to take the first step -- getting a good loan -- call or text me at 618-791-8007 or email to talk about it.

Together your lender, your Realtor (that's me) and the most important person in this process -- you -- will make a great team to get your loan done, get your next home selected and get you to a smooth closing.

Another Glen Carbon Home Sold by Nancy & Kristina at Goshen Realty Group

During the snowy spring that we thought would never end, another Glen Carbon home was successfully sold by Nancy & Kristina of Goshen Realty Group at RE/MAX Preferred Partners.

When this Ginger Creek neighborhood home re-entered the market in February, it attracted a lot of attention and was under contract in less than 10 days, closed in less than 60 days in April.

Our sellers were able to move to their new home on the west coast without having to worry about leaving a home on the market here in Glen Carbon.

We wish them all the best in their new lives and hope the buyers will have many happy years in this terrific Ginger Creek home.

Click here to see homes currently for sale in Ginger Creek where residents have acres of common land, a pool and clubhouse, tennis courts and a stocked lake for fishing.


Glen Carbon Short Sale Successfully Closed by Nancy & Kristina at Goshen Realty Group

Glen Carbon Short Sale Successfully Closed by Nancy & Kristina at Goshen Realty Group
If you're a homeowner facing possible foreclosure, please read this success story carefully. You do have options. Don't let the lender foreclose without first exploring a short sale of your property.

In a short sale, we will market your home to potential buyers at a price that reflects current market conditions and we will ask the lender to accept an offer that is less than the amount you owe on your current mortgage.

A short sale can be a long and complicated process, but it is worth it. A short sale minimizes the damage to the seller's credit rating that a foreclosure or bankruptcy could cause. A short sale can let you move on with your life.

Today we closed on this home (pictured) in the popular Savannah Crossing neighborhood of Glen Carbon, IL. It was a beautiful four-bedroom, three-bath home with more than 2,500 square feet of finished space. The sellers had purchased the home at the height of the market and unfortunately experienced significant hardship in their lives.

In negotiating this short sale with Citimortgage, we worked to bring the price in line with current market conditions in the expanding neighborhood. We also disputed the original BPO (that stands for Broker Price Opinion) that the lender used in valuing the home and received a second BPO that lowered the comparable value on the house to a level that would attract buyers.

We helped the sellers put together all of the paperwork their lender needed to advance the sale -- authorization letters, federal documents, tax paperwork, paycheck stubs and many other items that were needed to successfully close this Glen Carbon short sale.

If you've had a hardship in your life and can no longer afford to stay in your home, please call 618-791-8007 or email Our team has the SFR Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource designation.

We can help make this process work as smoothly as possible and give you a new start.


Glen Carbon Homeowners: Want to Know What Homes Are Selling For in Your Neighborhood?

Glen Carbon Homeowners: Would you like to know what homes have been selling for in your Glen Carbon neighborhood? Just fill out the following form and we'll get back to you with information on recent comparable sales in your area.

Buying a Short Sale Home in Glen Carbon, IL

Buying a Short Sale Home in Glen Carbon, Illinois

If you're interested in purchasing a short sale home in Glen Carbon, Illinois, there are currently some good choices for the right buyer.

Many Glen Carbon short sales are located in some of the area's most sought-after neighborhoods.

The number of short sale properties available in Glen Carbon is subject to constant change, so for a list of those on the market as you're reading this post, email me at and put Glen Carbon Short Sale List in the subject line.

So who is the right buyer for a Glen Carbon IL short sale? It's you if you have:

1.) Patience -- Short sales can take time and the lender is in control of the timetable. If you can't live with this, don't try to buy a short sale home.

2.) Focus -- Knowing what you want and need in a home at the beginning of the search will save you time and effort. I have a series of questions you should ask yourself before buying a short sale or conventional property.

3.) No Time Sensitivity -- If you don't have to be out of your apartment, rental home, parents' house, friend's sofa, or hotel room on a certain date, you might be perfect as a short sale buyer. Or if you don't have to sell your existing home to be able to buy your next home, that's even better. Lenders will not take offers that are contingent on the buyer's current home selling. Because of the lender controlled timetables mentioned above, you must be flexible in your closing/moving arrangements.

4.) Commitment to the Process -- Your short sales purchase may take longer than you think it should, but I am here to tell you that is normal and if you want that particular home you must be committed to sticking with the process.

5.) Lender Pre-Approval -- Don't bother to look at short sales if you are not pre-approved for your loan to purchase. It will waste your time. Need a lender? Call me and I will give you a list of good, local lenders who have closed transactions with my buyers this year and can issue quick pre-approvals to qualified individuals.

Homes for Sale in Glen Carbon IL with Acreage, Land

Search Homes for Sale in Glen Carbon IL with Acreage, Land

My territory in Southwestern Illinois is very close to the major metropolitan area of St. Louis, Missouri. We're a bi-state region.

When I talk with friends on the Missouri side of metro St. Louis about their homes and how they decided where they were going to live, many of them tell me they moved "so far out," in their words, because they wanted to have a little bit of land. They end up in far St. Charles County, Washington County or Lincoln County to the north or south in Jefferson County and beyond. That's a lot of driving to get to attractions, dining, shopping or, most important, your job.

They should have thought about Illinois. Their commute would be closer and they would be living in a vibrant small town community with all of those big city amenities of St. Louis much easier to reach.  Glen Carbon is a 25-minute commute to downtown St. Louis or north and mid-county workplaces in St. Louis County.

In the village of Glen Carbon, Illinois, named to CNN/Money's list of Best Places to Live in America, offers a number of homes for sale on one acre or more of property. And, there are more than a dozen parcels of land of one acre or more listed for sale as I write this post. To see a real-time updated list of these properties, click the links below:

Here's a link to homes for sale in Glen Carbon IL with acreage.

Here's a link to land of an acre or more for sale in Glen Carbon IL.

Want to see real estate for sale in Glen Carbon for yourself? Talk with me about your real estate goals and we'll set an appointment to take a look at homes with land or undeveloped lots and acreage that meet your needs.


Sweeties Confections: Sweet Things Are Happening in Glen Carbon, Illinois

Sweeties, an adorable candy shop (and much more), is located in the Miner Square mall at the intersection of Glen Carbon Road (Main Street) and Glen Crossing Road in the heart of Glen Carbon.

The historic mining village of Glen Carbon, Illinois, is one of CNN/Money magazine's Top Places to Live in America with lovely neighborhoods, shopping, dining, great highway access for commuters and a long list of attributes, not the least of which is a bundle of interesting small businesses like Sweeties.

I caught owner Gina Wilkinson (that's her dressed in jelly bean pink to the left) while she was closing up shop one day this week.

We chatted about her best sellers -- which include the rainbow selection of Jelly Bellies flavors that greet visitors as soon as they come in the door -- to creamy cones of gelato and bags of gourmet popcorn drizzled with chocolate, caramel and other decadent flavors.

Gina told me she's always getting something new in the store. This week they stocked clever drink mix bags that come packaged with cute accessories like tiny whisks and spoons. They're perfect hostess gifts for those pool parties or hot summer get togethers when you don't want to arrive empty handed.

Old-fashioned candy jars filled with traditional favorites line the shelves behind the counter, and individual chocolate candies in the case can be combined into special boxes of your favorite treats. They're often used for corporate incentives, birthday presents or -- in my business -- house-warming gifts.

Gina's shop has branched into an unexpected direction recently with the addition of customized Sweeties Candy Buffets to her services. They're perfect for bridal showers or weddings and can be created in specific colors or themes. The buffets are set up in attractive displays and the party's guests can scoop up treats into little bags and enjoy a tasty and memorable souvenir of the occasion.

Learn more about Sweetie's at their website, or call them at 618-188-7650.


Green Market Glen Carbon Each Wednesday, Spring Through Fall

If you'd like to buy and eat more fresh and local foods, you're in the right place -- Glen Carbon, Illinois.

The Glen Carbon Green Market is in full swing through the growing season at Miner Square in Old Town Glen Carbon.  (Miner Square is where Sweetie's Confections is located at the intersection of Main Street -- Glen Carbon Road -- and Glen Crossing Road.)

Join local farmers, foragers and chefs for the best in-season food items in the St. Louis region. The list of vendors at Green Market Glen Carbon will change each week, so stop by to see what's fresh every Wednesday evening from April through October from 5 to 7 p.m.

Check the map below for the Green Market Glen Carbon location.  See you there, Spring through Fall!

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