Keeping up with Chicago's North Shore Real Estate Market!

Contact Ann

call or text me: 847-691-1111 or email:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Foreclosure activity falls

"Completed foreclosures in the U.S. fell 25% year-over-year in July, according to the latest data from CoreLogic. July’s completed foreclosures totaled 49,000, down from 65,000 actions in July 2012.

On a monthly basis, completed foreclosures fell 8.6% from the 53,000 actions reported month earlier..."


Cash buyers driving recovery

"More Americans are buying homes in all-cash deals, according to several recent studies. But real- estate experts say this increase may not be a good sign for the health of the housing market.

All-cash purchases accounted for 40% of all sales of residential property in July 2013, up from 35% during the previous month and 31% in July 2012..."

Market Watch

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Home prices up

Home prices up for 8th straight month

Chicago-area single-family home prices were 7.3 percent higher in June compared with the same month last year, the eighth straight year-over-year increase in a closely watched index.
A national 20-city index rose even more, up 12.1 percent compared with June 2012, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller indices released today.
For May, however, Chicago prices were up more compared with April and with May 2012.
“National home prices rose more than 10 percent annually in each of the last two quarters. However, the monthly city-by-city data show the pace of price increases is moderating,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.
Chicago-area prices rose 3.3 percent in June compared with May, according to the indices, the second-highest monthly increase among the 20 cities.
In the 20-city index, prices rose 2.2 percent from May to June, down from 2.5 percent from April to May.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices rose 0.3 percent from May to June in the Chicago area and 0.9 percent in the 20-city index.
Local prices are down about 28 percent from their peak in September 2006, according to S&P/Case-Shiller data.

Source: Crain's Chicago Business

Friday, August 23, 2013

Plant a tree

Fall Tree Planting Applications Are Now Available in the Village of Wilmette.

Apply for a tree through the Village Cooperative Tree Planting Program for the fall of 2013. If there was an ash tree removed from the parkway adjacent to your home, use this application. If any other type of tree was removed from the parkway adjacent to your home, or if you would like to inquire about supplemental planting in the parkway, use this application. The deadline is September 13, 2013 and supplies are limited!

Celebrate Summer in Winnetka!

Last Blast of Summer

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Best month in 7 years for home sales

Sales of Chicago-area homes surged more than 36 percent in July, posting the strongest month since the market's peak.
In the nine-county area, 11,897 single-family homes and condominiums sold last month, up 36.1 percent from 8,744 sales in July 2012, the Illinois Association of Realtors said today.
The sales total marked the busiest month since August 2006, when 12,192 homes sold.
"Buyers are clearly comfortable enough with the way the economy is progressing to make a big purchase, and sellers are getting off the sidelines as they see prices begin to erase losses sustained during the recession," Michael Oldenettel, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, said in a statement.
The average listing time for area homes also fell last month, to 61 days to closing compared with 83 days in July 2012. The median sale price increased 18.3 percent last month, to $201,075 in the nine-county area, up from $170,000 in July 2012.
In the city of Chicago, 2,838 homes sold last month, up 31.1 percent from 2,164 sales over the same period last year.
The Realtors group's sales figures include new and existing homes. Its nine-county Chicago area consists of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

Affordable housing in Lake Forest

"Lake Forest city officials have begun formulating a wish list for development at a downtown site, emphasizing their desire to see a project that could bring more affordable housing.

The city's plan commission met recently to discuss a 10-acre city-owned property on Laurel Avenue that would serve as the proposed site for future development—a project that would ideally include affordable housing units..."

Lake Forest discusses plans for affordable housing downtown
Chicago Tribune

Family Fun Fest in Lake Forest

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Home price growth slowing down?

"The breakneck pace of home price growth from earlier this year appears to be slowing—and that’s not necessarily bad news for the housing market...."

Why Home-Price Growth Will Slow
Wall Street Journal

Kenilworth Traditions

The Kenilworth Historical Society will be open on August 18th and September 15th from 1:00PM until 4:00PM --- see their exhibit "Kenilworth Traditions: Old & New."

Must say, I looked at this exhibit with a video with a bit of nostalgia -- I was in Scamper Night and marched often in the Memorial Day Parade....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Millennials Are Increasingly Positive About Real Estate

Prudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC company, today released results of its second quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating that millennials are increasingly optimistic about residential real estate. A full 80% of respondents ages 25-34 said their perception of the housing market is “favorable” or “somewhat favorable,” representing a 9 percentage point increase from the Q1 study. 

Among all respondents, the national survey also found that confidence in real estate and home values jumped sharply, reaching 83% vs. 77% in Q1 study and 73% at year-end. Confidence is highest in both South and West regions at 84%. 

“Young Americans, like the majority of survey participants, are feeling much better about homeownership,” said Earl Lee, chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates LLC and president of Prudential Real Estate. “People are looking optimistically at housing for all right reasons – a place to feel secure, build a future and raise a family.” 

Among all respondents, 70% said that finding the right home and community is crucial to family happiness. Millennials were even more emphatic about the emotional side of homeownership: 93% favor a home for “more space for my family,” while only 75% view it as “financial security to borrow against.” 

“Consumers are mindful of the challenges faced during the real estate downturn,” added Lee. “Though homeownership makes a solid, long-term investment, a home should never be considered a siding-clad ATM.” 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

3rd time is the charm

There's a saying amongst real estate brokers, that goes something like this:

"If you could have your way in this world, you would be the first born child, the second wife and the third real estate agent."

Maybe you need to be a realtor to fully appreciate the humor in this statement.
The advantage of being the first realtor is this: if the house sells, you reap the rewards of the sale.  The disadvantage: you take the brunt of the home owner's frustration and disappointment and lose substantial time and money, when the house doesn't sell.

I have found as a listing agent, that there are two types of sellers: 
  1. Those who really want to sell their house.  
  2. Those who want to someone to buy their house.
See the difference?  

The ones who really want to sell their house do everything right.  They de-clutter, stage, organize, paint -- anything to make their house sing and stand out.  I've even had clients put in new bathrooms and put on new roofs in order to get their houses sold.  But more importantly, they recognize the strategic importance of pricing correctly.    

These sellers have the wisdom to think like the buyers will think -- they're realistic about the shortcomings of their house and listen to negative feedback with objectivity.  They respond quickly to market conditions.  In short, they understand that it's a competition out there and they want to compete!   

The sellers, who want someone to buy their house, tend to be inflexible about the price and are unwilling to do what it takes to make their house more marketable. They love their decorating and the rooms of their house just the way they are.   They love where they live and assume everyone else will feel the same way.  (I had one potential seller, who thought living less than a block from the expressway was so convenient, and felt every buyer would agree!)  

These sellers want someone to come along pay the price that they want them to pay.   In short, they think like sellers and lack the empathy to see things from the buyer's perspective

As an agent, you're lucky, when your clients are Type 1's.  But when it comes to Type 2's, I would much rather be the second or third realtor.   The first realtor has to work twice as hard! 

It all reminds me a bit of Elsabeth Kubler-Ross's 5 Stages of Grief.
  1. Denial -- I love my house.  My house is perfect; the price is just right and the problem is that there aren't enough ads in the paper.  You aren't doing your job. 
  2. Anger -- Why did that house sell?  My house is so much better!   My location is much better!  My price is fair!
  3. Bargaining - Let's just leave the price the way it is.   If somebody likes the house they will make me an offer so there is no reason to lower the price.  Just bring me an offer!
  4. Depression - I can't stand this any more.  I am so tired of showings.  Why me?  (Check out House Selling Blues ... it's a great blog for those folks in stage 4 of house selling.)
By the time a seller gets around to using a third broker, they have finally come to stage 5:  Acceptance.  

They just want you to tell them one thing: 

“Tell me what to do to get this house sold!"
  • They now have a pretty realistic understanding of the true value of their home.
  • They have heard the same feedback over and over again and it has finally sunk in:  it is about price, location and house condition.  
  • And finally, they understand:  It's not about how much they love their house -- the house is just a commodity that needs to compete with all the other houses on the market!
I wish I could save every seller the pain of going through these five stages of grief.   

A word of advice...
The most important question sellers need to ask themselves before they go through the time, effort and expense of putting their house on the market is this:
"Do I really want to sell my house?"    
If the answer is yes, then save yourself a lot of time and aggravation.  Hire a respected agent and accept their guidance.   

Treat your first real estate agent as if they were the third one!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hip and Middle-Aged

Hip, Urban, Middle-Aged

Baby boomers are moving into trendy urban neighborhoods, but young residents aren't always thrilled.

Wall Street Journal

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kite Festival this Weekend

Kite Festival

Enjoy soaring stunt-kite performances set to music, try a kite-making workshop, and fly your own kites, August 10 and 11 at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Ice cream, beverages, and many lunch options will be available for purchase on the west meadow.