It's what Sharon Shumate calls one of her home's greatest assets. For the last five years, she's groomed this garden and now, she's trying to say goodbye.
Shumate put her home up on the market about a month ago. And while that's not too long compared with the average 3-months it takes to sell in Rockford, Shumate says she's getting worried.
"It makes me nervous, I have to sell," Shumate says.
Shumate's three relatives recently moved out, and now she's left with 27-hundred square feet to sell. But it's going to be tough. Not only is the market down 11-percent from this time last year, there's more people trying to sell.
Currently just over 29-hundred homes are listed in Rockford, 27-percent of that is new construction. But Shumate says she thinks her home will stand above the rest.
"Once they come in, they'll appreciate the size and all it has to offer," she says.
But there's other issues riding on whether Shumate sells with ease, such as the upcoming Rockford Schools referendum.
"If it were to fail at this point we would find that the schools would deteriorate in quality and the housing market would literally crush and deteriorate," says Jim Barbagallo, the President of the Rockford Area Association of Realtors.
Barbagallo says if it fails, housing prices would continue to be slashed, which Shumate says she's prepared to do, If she doesn't sell by December First