Thursday, July 28, 2011

If you follow this blog, you will see some common threads. One of these is that we are always looking for new ways to make our customers' experience better. Today, unfortunately, most of our buyers are concerned with the sale of their existing home. As you see from our previous posts, the BJ Armstrong Sales Team is doing an excellent job of making sales work in this tough market. In order to make it better, we would like to announce a new system that we are implementing. Here is the deal:

Ever tried to see what open houses are available in Bloomington/Normal on a given day? It is nearly impossible! Now, you can go to
This single site will now direct you to open houses hosted in Bloomington/Nomal. The really cool part is that you can also search the database for price range, day open etc. Check it out today to see the most current offerings. Realtors may choose to add their open houses late, so check back often.

We look forward to many features on BNOPEN.COM that will enhance its usability in coming weeks. Thanks to all the help and support from Cybernautic Design! If you are ever looking for an amazing web designer, call Chad Parker.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How is the real estate market?

That question has replaced “how are your girls doing?” as the question I am most often asked. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, people always want to know about the real estate market.

These are some of the headlines from just yesterday regarding the market:

“A Bright Spot in the Housing Market”
“Why the Drop in Foreclosures IS NOT Good News”
“Optimism in the Housing Market”
“Housing Market Could Take a Generation to Recover”
“Freddie Reigns in US GDP View, but See No Double Dip for Housing”

Whether they are trying to sell more newspapers, get more viewers for their TV shows or increase the hits on their website, everyone has an opinion on the housing market. Here is mine.

The question is which market are we talking about? Real estate markets are local down to a very narrow area. Central Illinois real estate didn’t ever get as hot as Las Vegas or Phoenix, and as a result we have not had the level of “correction” they are going through now. We build primarily in Peoria, Bloomington and Champaign. I am constantly amazed at how different those markets are in both good and bad times. Within those communities, certain subdivisions sell better than others. We spend a lot of time and effort making sure we are building the right home in the right subdivision in the right town.

Ask the family in Las Vegas who spent $600,000 on a home that is now worth $400,000 how the market is. Then ask a recent client of mine who had multiple offers on his home in Morton in the first ten days on the market. You will get two completely different answers, both of which are right.

We believe there is always a market for high quality, fairly priced homes. That combined with excellent customer service is what we strive for. While things are generally slower than they were a few years ago, we are still busy. We continue to build and have had time to catch our breath and look at all aspects of the business going forward. We have added staff, worked with our suppliers and sub-contractors, and looked at ourselves to see what we can do to become the best custom home builder we can be.

And my girls, they are great. Olivia is nine and starting fourth grade. Campbell is six (and a half she will tell you) and starting first grade. They keep us busy with soccer, golf, dance, and everything else. They don’t know or care how the real estate market is…

Friday, July 15, 2011

It is a Great Time to Buy

BJ Armstrong Inc has made some exciting changes to our Real Estate Division. We have added Courtney Monaco to our team, enhancing our ever so important client support staff and I am now working as a Buyer's Agent. I have enjoyed transitioning into my new role and have helped some amazing people find their Dream Home.

Despite what you may hear in the news, we continue to see the market in a positive light at Keller Williams with a 4% increase in sales over last year. It is a great time to buy as there are many homes to choose from and the interest rates remain low. Which means it is a competitive time to sell with so many buyers out there looking for the most value for their Dream Home dollar.

We pride ourselves on providing outstanding service before, during and after your Real Estate experience. If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling their home, please consider allowing the BJ Armstrong Team the opportunity to discuss how we can assist in the process. Referrals from our valued customers and/or friends still remain as our number one source of business. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to building on our relationships.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Hi! My name is Courtney Monaco and I'm the newest member to the BJ Armstrong Team. I recently moved to Bloomington from Chicago. My husband and I purchased a home when we relocated and had a wonderful realtor, Emily Almeida. A few months ago, she became an agent at Keller Williams and introduced me to BJ. The first time I met BJ and his team, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. The BJ Armstrong Team is simply amazing. The morale is incredibly high and the team camaraderie is nothing short of impressive.

The past few months have been an exciting whirlwind of new people, situations, and ideas. The growth I have experienced is tremendous. I am excited to see how my career will develop and cannot wait to conquer new projects/challenges. Over the next few months I hope to provide some insight on what it is like to work on a team that specializes in real estate development and sales. As my career advances, so will my knowledge and that is something I would be honored to share.

The first bit of information I would like to highlight is the importance of finding the right realtor. My husband and I met over 10 realtors before finding the right one. Within 5 minutes, we knew that we had found the realtor that understood us and would find us the perfect home. Buying a home is an exciting and emotional experience, so having the right realtor is imperative. Shop around and find the realtor that 'gets you'!

Please do not hesitate to contact us to help you find or build your dream home!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Software

Have you ever looked at a two-dimensional drawing of a house and struggled to visualize how that would look once constructed? Well, BJ Armstrong Custom Homes is excited to announce that we recently got new, state of the art design software that allows you to see your new home or remodel in full color 3D before construction even begins!

The software is called Chief Architect. Some of the features of this software include: 3D, realistic views, interior walkthroughs, and a materials library with hundreds of pieces of furniture, lighting fixtures, etc.

Contact us today for a presentation of how we can utilize this software to benefit you and your home!