Real Estate Information Archive


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Welcome New Executive Todd Couture to the Cornerstone Family!

by The Rick O’Connor Group

The Rick O'Connor Group and Realty Executives Cornerstone are proud to announce that we now have a new Executive joining our team. Todd Couture has become the newest member of our bustling agency as of April 2015. A graduate of ISU, Todd is an Illinois native with strong ties to the McHenry County community as a whole. He was born and raised in Woodstock, where his parents still live, and his father, Fred Spitzer recently retired from a position with the Woodstock Police Department. Todd, his wife Jennifer who works as a nurse practitioner, and their nearly 9 month old daughter, Mika, now live in Huntley.

Todd, who studied economics and English while in school, has proven his ability to adapt in a small business environment and is looking forward to tackling the real estate realm. He has a strong background in sales and is hoping to apply that in this booming industry. Todd expects to use his existing business knowledge, paired with the real estate experience of our office, to launch his career as a broker at full-speed during the spring market.

Beyond work, Todd enjoys spending time with his family and keeping up with community events. He founded two social media pages on Facebook and Twitter called Huntley 360. Todd says the goal of these pages is "informing Huntley and the surrounding areas about what is happening: from sports, kids in the community, places to go, and community updates to home values and market information." Growing up with five siblings, Todd has an excellent understanding of the importance of a sense of community and intends to try to convey that in his real estate endeavor.

"I chose Realty Executives because of Rick O'Connor," Couture explained. "Seeing his success over 30+ years intrigued me. I know if I can be mentored by defining what success is on all levels of Rick's experience, I want to be a part of that," he stated. We are very excited to add Todd to our Realty Executives family and know he will find success in this industry. When asked what drives him, Todd explained "my passion is about relationships in the community. I want to help build the community as a whole." 

"We are all very excited to have Todd join our team of Executives,"  explained Rick O'Connor, Owner and Managing Broker of Realty  Executives Cornerstone. "He has already demonstrated a strong desire   to be a study of the marketplace and to become one of the area's top   real estate professionals. He will make a great addition to our  Cornerstone family." Welcome aboard Todd Couture!


by The Rick O’Connor Group

Congratulations to Realty Executives Cornerstone team members on their outstanding achievements in the industry for 2014.


Larry Lang, team buyer's agent, was awarded GOLD for his sales in 2014.

Team High, comprised of Mitch and Tara High, brokers out of our Algonquin office, were awarded SILVER for their sales in 2014!

Yolanda LaLuz, also based out of our Algonquin office, received SILVER for her sales level as well! 

Rick O'Connor, Managing Broker/Owner, was named to the Realty Executives International Circle of Excellent for 2014 for his outstanding level of support, growth, and dedication to his Executives and their business! 


by The Rick O’Connor Group


by The Rick O’Connor Group

          Realty Executives Cornerstone was amongst the top ranking offices to be honored at the annual Realty Executives Great Lakes Region awards evening last month on February 26th. The formal evening event recognizes the achievement of each office on an annual basis, as well as the individual Executives, Executive Teams, and Office Administration involved in day to day operations of the brokerage(s), was held at Maggiano’s in Oak Brook. A total of 176 individual Executives and four Executive Teams were honored in addition to seven offices receiving top awards.

            Realty Executives Cornerstone, which operates locations in both Crystal Lake and Algonquin, received its' third consecutive Executive Administrative Professionals Circle of Excellence Award. REO Manager Victoria Suthers accepted the award on behalf of the office. In order to receive the award, offices are held to a series of requirements varying from administrative procedures to continuing education. Realty Executives Cornerstone was one of seven offices to receive the award for 2013.

            One of the two teams associated with the Cornerstone brokerage, Team High (consisting of the husband/wife duo of Mitch and Tara High), received a Top Team award for 2013. Team High was ranked 2nd amongst the region in number of listings taken throughout the year and 3rd in both dollar volume of listings and number of closed transactions. In addition to Team High’s award, 7 additional Executives were acknowledged for their contributions in 2013. Yolanda LaLuz received the Bronze Award for closing transactions up to $2 million in volume, Tim Lisack, Tammy Mrotek, and Michelle DeLaughter each received Silver Awards for closing between $2 and $5 million in transactions on the year, and Larry Lang, Laura Hastings, and John Milazzo each walked away with Gold Award honors, tallying between $5 and $10 million each in 2013. Broker/Owner Rick O’Connor is extremely proud of the continued success of his Executives. “It is truly a blessing to be working beside such a hard-working group of Executives. I am thankful to have them on my team,” O’Connor expressed following the event.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by The Rick O’Connor Group

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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Contact Information

The Rick O’Connor Group
Realty Executives Cornerstone
7115 Virginia Rd.
Crystal Lake IL 60014
Cell: 815-790-7200
Fax: 815-459-1112