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

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Green Tips: How to reduce your carbon footprint

From the New York Times:
"Climate change can be overwhelming. The science is complex, and when it comes to future impacts, there are still a lot of unknowns. While real solutions will require action on a global scale, there are choices you can make in your day-to-day life to lessen your personal impact on the environment. This guide will walk you through some of them."

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer on the Shore

It may be late in coming, but summer is here and there is nothing better than the North Shore for summer fun.   So many things are happening, that it would be impossible to list everything... Ravinia is kicking off another season; the Chicago Botanic Gardens are as beautiful as ever and our lake is indeed pretty special... here are a few other things to consider for summer fun.

Bring a lawn chair or spread a blanket and participate in parades, entertainment, food, and fun for the whole family. 


Wednesdays in the Woods
Wednesdays in the Woods at Hubbard Park: On Wednesdays throughout June and July a summer concert series! The Grand Food Center will be on-site selling hot dogs, brats, burgers, chips, candy, beverages and Chef Tim’s Specials from 6:00–8:15 pm. Adults can enjoy a beverage at the Winnetka Park Foundation’s Beer and Wine Garden from 6–8:30 pm.

Hubbard Woods Park in Winnetka
1065 Gage St
Winnetka, IL
(847) 501-2040
Winnetka Music Festival
June 15, 2018 - June 16, 2018

Winnetka Music Festival is a free, 2-day immersion of high quality music in the Elm Street District. New music will be offered around every corner, including local restaurants, food trucks, retail, parks. Also a children's stage, street musicians and craft beer trucks. Music will be performed across two main outdoor stages and two indoor stages as well as a Family stage. 

Winnetka's Elm Street District
Elm Street between the west and east side of Green Bay Road
Winnetka, IL
Father's Day Brunch
June 17, 2018

Celebrate the male rock star in your family this year by bringing your father to Tower Road Beach for the annual Father’s Day Brunch. Participate in our Inaugural Speed Baggo Tournament, take pictures with the entire family in the photobooth, test how fast you can throw your world famous fastball, and eat some delicious brunch brought to you by the Grand Food Center!
Tower Beach Road
Located at Tower & Sheridan Road
Winnetka, IL
(847) 501-2040
Bahá’í House of Worship Choral Festival
June 14, 2018 - June 17, 2018

Each year more than 200 singers from diverse backgrounds and faiths come from around the globe to attend the Bahá’í House of Worship Choral Festival. Since its start in 2006, the annual Bahá’í House of Worship Choral Festival has attracted singers and sacred music lovers from around the world. 

Bahá’í House of Worship
100 Linden Avenue
Wilmette, IL
Custer Fair
June 17, 2018 - June 18, 2018

Custer Fair: Over 300 local and regional artists, craftspeople, and commercial vendors come together over Father's Day weekend to exhibit and sell paintings, ceramics, pottery, photographs, jewelry, graphic arts, wearable art, country and home craft, antiques and collectables.
Begins at Chicago Avenue
Chicago Ave. and Main St. to Washington St.
Evanston, IL
(224) 714-7085
Downtown Sip and Stroll
June 21, 2018

Sip, shop and stroll your way through downtown Evanston on the fourth annual Downtown Sip & Stroll (formerly called the Wine Walk)! Stop in at businesses to sample a range of wines (or other beverages) and take advantage of special sales and promotions.

Downtown Evanston: Wristbands at Vinic Wine or 1509 Chicago Ave
Pick up wristband at Bottle & Bottega Evanston at 1016 Davis St
Evanston, IL
Movie in the Park: Jumanji
June 22, 2018

Movie in the Park: Jumanji— Welcome to the Jungle. Once a month throughout the summer at one of Winnetka’s lovely parks to enjoy a new or classic film. All movies will begin at dusk with food and beverage available through the Grand Food Center.

Elder Lane Beach
239 Sheridan Rd
Winnetka, IL
(847) 501-2040
Tuesdays, June 11, July 9, August 13
Do you play an instrument or read poetry? Are you involved in dance or a play and need a relaxing, comfortable environment to practice in front of others? Whatever your talent, come and join us for Open Mic Nites at the Fire Circle in a beautiful beach setting.

Forest Park Beach
Lake Forest, IL

Thursdays, June and July
Bring a lawn chair or spread a blanket and enjoy musical entertainment, food, and fun for the whole family. Concerts will feature the best musical talent the Chicagoland area has to offer.

Market Square
Lake Forest, IL
Art in the Village
June 23, 2018 - June 24, 2018

The village had added more businesses and restaurants to the area and they are excited to expand the spaces within the park to offer both artists and patrons a wonderful experience.

Hubbard Woods Park
Green Bay Road
Winnetka , IL
Evanston Chamber Artisan Summerfest
June 24, 2018 - June 25, 2018

The Evanston Chamber Artisan SummerFest, formerly known as the Fountain Square Art Festival, returns to Downtown Evanston for the 38th year. The North Shore's largest and oldest fine arts fair will have eclectic works of more than 150 juried artists.
Downtown Evanston
Intersection of Sherman and Church Streets
Evanston, IL
(847) 328-1500
Glencoe Sidewalk Sale
June 29, 2018 - June 30, 2018

Head to downtown Glencoe for great merchandise, great prices, food, fun and most importantly, bargains galore!

Downtown Glencoe
Park Ave. & Vernon Ave.
Glencoe, IL
Evanston Made PopUp Shop
Through June 30, 2018

The Evanston Made's Pop Up Shop is located in the lobby of the Evanston Art Center, June 1-30, and features works for sale by Evanston Creatives. Vendors must live or work in Evanston to participate.

Evanston Art Center
1717 Central Street
Evanston, IL
(847) 475-5300
Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival
June 30, 2018 - July 1, 2018

Stroll and shop among 100 juried artists on the Esplanade. This one-of-a-kind art festival brings botanic-themed and botanic-made photography, paintings, ceramics, cement, metal, fiber, wood, jewelry, and other pieces to the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL
Fourth of July Celebration
July 4, 2018

Come on out and show your patriotic spirit! Watch and support local organizations and fellow neighbors as they march in Winnetka’s annual Fourth of July Parade along with orchestras, pipe bands, the Dixieland Bands, jugglers, Uncle Sam on stilts, and so much more!

Starts:Intersection of Elm Street & Glendale Avenue
Ends: Village Green, 525 Maple Street
Winnetka, IL
Lake's Bluff Annual Fourth of July Celebration
July 4, 2018

Not be missed – the annual 4th of July celebration -- one of the most talked about events is the 4th of July Parade.  Even young adults and people who have moved out of the community return to attend the Lake Bluff 4th of July Parade.  Everyone loves the marching bands and performing units. 

Village Green, Lake Bluff
Winnetka Sidewalk Sale
July 13, 2018 - July 14, 2018

Shop 'til you drop as you score great shopping deals around Winnetka's Hubbard Woods, East Elm and West Elm shopping districts.

Various Locations
Winnetka, IL
Central Street Sidewalk Sale
July 12, 2018 - July 16, 2018

The merchants of Central Street move outside for one summer weekend only! Find great products, amazing deals, and delicious food at their annual sidewalk sale!

Central Street
Central Street
Evanston, IL
World Arts and Music Festival
July 21, 2018 - July 22, 2018

Evanston’s lakefront will be transformed into a Global Village for the World Arts & Music Festival, a two-day celebration of global diversity. This free event features art from an abundance of countries, family crafts activities, international cuisine, and live music and dance performances.

Dawes Park
Sheridan Road at Church Street
Evanston, IL
(847) 448-8264
Family Camp Out
July 28, 2018

Enjoy games, a movie, refreshments, and the sounds of the lake overnight while you camp out on the beach. All participants will receive a coupon for a free hot dog, bag of chips, and a soft drink. Grills will be available for those families interested in bringing and cooking their own food.

Tower Beach Road
Located at Tower & Sheridan Road
Winnetka, IL
(847) 501-2040
Downtown Evanston and Main-Dempster Mile Sidewalk Sale
July 27, 2018 - July 29, 2018

Evanston Chalks: Creating an Outdoor Community Chalk Art Gallery The Downtown Evanston Sidewalk Sale is celebrating its 18th year! This annual shopping tradition takes place the final weekend in July and is a great opportunity for stores to clear out their inventory and shoppers to take advantage of deep discounts.

Downtown Evanston and Main-Dempster Mile, Evanston
Evanston, IL
Glencoe Festival of Art
July 29, 2018 - July 30, 2018

The Glencoe Festival of Art takes place in the prestigious Frank Lloyd Wright influenced community of Glencoe, blocks from Lake Michigan on Chicago's famous North Shore area. The Glencoe Festival of Art will showcase the work of more than 110-juried artists from across the country in a variety of mediums, including painting, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and wood.

Downtown Glencoe
Green Bay Road and Park Avenue
Glencoe, IL
Beer Garden Concert
June 22, 2018 - August 22, 2018

Beer Garden Concert: David Chiriboga Spanish Guitar Duo. 
 Enjoy dinner and music at the Rose Terrace Beer Garden the fourth Friday of every month. Concerts are from 4 to 7 p.m.  

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL
(847) 835-8392
Beer Garden Concert
August 24, 2018

Beer Garden Concert: Silver-Rose Flute and Guitar Duo. Enjoy dinner and music at the Rose Terrace Beer Garden the fourth Friday of every month.

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL
(847) 835-5440
Butterflies and Blooms
Through September 3, 2018

Butterflies & Blooms is a butterfly exhibition where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of live butterflies.

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL
Biennial 2018
August 31, 2018 - September 30, 2018

Evanston Art Center: Opening and Artists’ Reception is August 31, 6-8pm. Our Biennial is one of the Midwest’s largest and most prestigious juried exhibitions.
Evanston Art Center
1717 Central St.
Evanston, IL

Monday, June 4, 2018

How's the Market as of June 1, 2018

June is sure busting out all over... my peonies are in full bloom and I'm loving this weather! 

And how about real estate on the North Shore? The first report shows units sold, the second presents the median prices. Sales were fairly brisk this month, although maybe not as great as last year. 

The months of inventory on the first chart is a better way of measuring progress. Anything less than 6 months is considered a sellers' market -- anything more than 8 months is considered a buyers' market. Inventory levels changed very little from April. So while we had more sales, we also had more listings come on the market. Evanston and Wilmette continue to have a shortage of inventory, while Lake Forest continues to have a bit of a surplus.  The other communities are fairly balanced. 

The highest sale this month was a newer home in Winnetka on the lake with over 5,500 square feet of living space.

There are currently 223 houses for sale on the North Shore that are priced greater than $2M. During the month May, 12 houses closed in this price range:

Sold This Month
# for Sale
Highland Park
Lake Forest
Lake Bluff

Looks like things are moving well in the North Shore real estate market.

Here's to a wonderful summer!
Source: MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data) Multiple Listing Service

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Green Tips - summer suggestions

As summer comes, here are a few tips from the EPA:

Lawn and Garden
A beautiful and healthy lawn is good for our environment. It can resist damage from weeds, disease, and insect pests.
Here are some tips to follow

  • Develop healthy soil. Make sure your soil has the right pH balance, key nutrients, and good texture. 
  • Choose the right grass for your climate. If your area gets very little rain, don't plant a type of grass that needs a lot of water. 
  • Longer is Better. Make sure the lawn mower blades are sharp. Grass that is slightly long makes a strong, healthy lawn with few pest problems. Weeds have a hard time taking root and growing when grass is around 2½ to 3½ inches for most types of grass.
  • Water Early. It is time to water if footprint impressions stay in the lawn and do not spring back. Water early in the morning and only for short periods for time so the soil may absorb the water. Longer grass has stronger roots and retains water better.
  • Use manual tools. Tools that don't require electric or gasoline engines are especially handy for small yards or small jobs. 

Using and Storing Gasoline
In the summer, lots of portable containers are used to store and transport fuels for lawnmowers, chainsaws and recreational vehicles. These portable containers can emit hydrocarbons; in addition, spills can leak into ground water. Here are some tips to follow to reduce these concerns:

  • Use Proper Containers - Use only containers approved by a nationally recognized testing lab, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). 
  • Store Carefully - Store as little gasoline as possible and be certain to keep your gasoline container properly sealed. 
  • Avoid Spills - Avoid spilling gasoline on the ground, especially near wells. If a small spill occurs use kitty litter, sawdust or an absorbent towel to soak up the spill, then dispose of it properly.
  • Dispose Properly - Do not dispose of gasoline down the drain, into surface water, onto the ground, or in the trash. 

Have a great summer!

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Listing

Check out my new listing at 660 Morningside Drive, Lake Forest

click here

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


She tentatively let me into her home. While she had called me to come over, there was a fearfulness about letting a stranger into her space. I looked around – it was a lovely home. It really was. That said, it felt like it should be nestled in the Berkshires with other saltbox houses. It felt somehow out of place situated in a neighborhood of post-WWII colonials.

She had accumulated hundreds of things. They were everywhere: brass candlesticks; gorgeous earthenware; ceramic figurines, antique trivets, lovely watercolors, chairs and more chairs, quilts and woven cloths not to mention an attic full of dust-covered, unopened boxes.

She pronounced that she wanted to downsize to less than half of much space. She was considering continuing care facilities and was trying to figure out what to do before she moved. We talked about taking down wallpaper, updating fixtures, and all the other things sellers can do to prepare their house for the market.  

When I asked which things, she was going to bring with her, she became flustered and overwhelmed. I’m not sure she realized that things from a four-bedroom house rarely fit comfortably into a two-bedroom apartment. 

I had touched a nerve. As much as I tried to reassure her, I think she was genuinely surprised, that she was going to have make choices. But how does one choose from a lifetime of accumulated items?   It was like her things were a part of her being and letting go of a chair would be like amputating an arm.

Sadly, in my work, I have seen many families fight over things as the house gets dismantled. It's almost as if, things are what binds them to the person who is gone -- or worse, the person made the possession of these things somehow equivalent to their love.

I had an epiphany about things, when my mother died.  

One moment she was with us – the next moment she was gone. In her wake were so many things. And not one of her things could even begin to fill the void created by her death.  Mother was such a loving, powerful presence in our lives, that her things seemed so insignificant and meaningless.  They were such a poor substitute for the loss in our lives. 

Mother wasn’t protective of her things. I can remember the casualness of how we might rummage in her bedroom dresser for a hair clip or piece of jewelry to wear.  She never complained or made an issue out of it.   She wasn’t much of a collector or even anywhere close to being a hoarder.   Sometimes she would generously gift an admired item to the admirer.  

But Mother was sentimental and had a great eye for beautiful things. She had carefully saved all the baby shoes and handmade dresses my grandmother had stitched for me as a child. Her jewelry box contained bracelets and charms with mysterious initials on them. We reached into the back of her closet and pulled out a shoebox wrapped in string. With some fearful hesitation, we opened the box and were shocked to find a porcelain doll, we’d never seen before. 

In a basement closet, stored carefully in hanging bags were four outfits: her going away suit
Mom in her Girl Scout uniform at 
annual Kenilworth Pancake Breakfast
from her wedding; the bright green dress she had worn at my brother’s wedding, the soft pink dress she had worn at my sister’s wedding and her Girl Scout uniform from when she led the village Girl Scouts. 

I wanted to ask Mom so many questions. Why this doll? Why these dresses? All the things that were left behind meant something to her – but she was gone and took with her the code of what they all meant. What memory or place or person was intertwined with that thing? Were we supposed to get rid of these things -- things she had felt were important enough to keep?

the basement
My basement is now filled with things.  It's ironic, when I moved into this house I vowed I would put nothing in the basement.  That vow lasted about ten years...

Then my sister asked if she could store some furniture in the basement.  And thus the creeping began.  With my parents passing, I became the storage locker for the family “things.” It all crept up on me until now my basement is filled with the old photo albums, historic family pictures and scrapbooks, boxes of Dad's treasured genealogy research, generations of Christmas decorations, reels of home movies, Great-Grandmother Mean’s butterchurn and Great-Grandfather Woodbury’s handmade furniture, Mother and Dad's Sheraton chairs... 

I know some of the code – but not all of it. I know enough, that I feel responsible. These things -- they meant something to someone at some moment in time. Am I going to be the one who drops the ball?

My nieces and nephews don’t want these things. They want to live in a sustainable manner. I laugh. Don't they realize that sustainability would be "shopping" in my basement? 

I want less and yet I find it hard to part with my own things… a little key chain reminds me of the friend that gave it to me; the pottery statue of the Lady of Bath reminds me of my exploring Rye, while living as an expat in the UK; every little trinket box in my box collection has a story or a place or a person or a time in my life … Even as write this, in front of me on my desk are four paperweights. I use none of them, but parting with even one of them is a painful thought. I know the moment. I know the people. I know the place. I know the code. 

We spend our youth in acquisition and then as we approach the last few chapters of our life,  we have to think about divestiture.   
How do we end up with so much stuff – so many things? 

It’s a question that I have been asking myself lately.  I have no good answers. 

I realize this is an existential crisis that many of us are facing right now.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The (First) Price Is Right

When it comes to selling a home, the backbone of any successful marketing strategy is proper pricing. That’s because the highest volume of potential buyers see your home within days of it hitting the market. So if your home is perceived as overpriced right off the bat, you’ve already missed a huge opportunity.

In fact, Chicago homes that required one or more price changes sold on average for 90% of original asking price in 134 days last year, whereas homes that did not require a price change sold for 98% of original asking price in just 60 days.

The same is true for luxury homes in the city. Among homes priced at $1 million and above, those with one or more price changes sold on average for 88% of original asking price in 201 days, while those that were priced accurately sold for 96% of original asking price in 120 days.

As the numbers indicate, setting the right listing price is paramount to a faster, more lucrative sale.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, you can ensure you land on the right listing price by asking a broker to prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

This resource helps you accurately gauge pricing and market activity in relation to your home, and ultimately determine the appropriate list price – the first time!

Of course, pricing is just the beginning. In order to achieve the best possible results for our clients, we also leverage cutting-edge sales and marketing programs that give you a competitive advantage.

Source: @properties blog

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How's the Market as of May 1, 2018?

Hello May.   I feel like we've skipped spring this week and went straight to summer.    After such a longggg winter, it's nice to see the greenery appearing, albeit quickly!  

And how about real estate on the North Shore?  The first report shows units sold, the second presents the median prices.   Only Winnetka and Northfield saw a decline in sales this month.   The other communities had more sales.   Median prices are all over the place, so it's hard to see any kind of trend.

The months of inventory on the first chart is a better way of measuring progress. Anything less than 6 months is considered a sellers' market -- anything more than 8 months is considered a buyers' market. Inventory levels changed very little from February. So while we had more sales, we also had more listings come on the market. Evanston and Wilmette continue to have a shortage of inventory, while Lake Forest continues to have a bit of a surplus.  The other communities are fairly balanced. 

The highest sale this month was a Winnetka new construction home on the lake with 1.3 acres and approximately 19,000 square feet of living space.

There are currently 212 houses for sale on the North Shore that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of April, 6 houses closed in this price range:

Sold This Month
# for Sale
Highland Park
Lake Forest
Lake Bluff

Looks like things are moving well in the North Shore real estate market.

Have a beautiful spring!
Source: MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data) Multiple Listing Service

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Announcing a New Blog Just for Baby Boomers

Our Next Chapter event on April 21 was a success.   The top three things I learned that day...
  1. Consider a combination long-term care/life insurance.   It seemed like a very interesting product to have.  Read more at Ordering the Combo: Life Insurance with Long-Term Care Benefits
  2. When preparing ones' estate, have a plan for digital assets.  Read more at Estate planning for your digital assets
  3. Keep your property "sale ready."   Consider doing a home assessment checkup.  
To keep the dialogue going, I have set-up a separate blog for Baby Boomers on the move.   Check it out:
The Next Chapter

Also I am going to be sending out a periodic newsletter.   If you have any interest in subscribing click here.

Green Tips: How to get rid of unwanted mail

Sometimes when I pick up my mail, I stand over the recycle bin and dump items right into the container.   It feels great that the paper never made it inside my house.   I discovered Catalog Choice a few years ago and it has been a godsend. 

Here's a good article in the New York Times that provides tips to eliminate snail mail:  How to Cut Down on Unwanted Junk Mail

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Questions answered about REALTORS.

Despite what people think, REALTOR® is not a job title.   The terms broker, real estate and REALTOR® are often used interchangeably.   However, in Illinois there are more individuals with real estate broker licenses, than there are REALTORs®.

A REALTOR® is simply a member of the National Association of Realtors. (NAR). Every year the NAR releases a membership report. Here are some statistics from that report:

There are 1.22 million members nationwide.

63% of all members are women.

The median age of members is 53 years old.

82% own their primary residence.

Median years of experience for members is 10 years.

4% of members are under 30.

30% of members are over 60.

In 2016, the typical agent had 12 transactions, which is up from 11 transactions in 2015.

The median gross income is $42,500.

More than half of the members, who have less than two years of experience, earn around 10K a year.

51% of member agents are affiliated with independent firms.

People often ask me, how many licensed agents there are in along the North Shore? 

I did a lookup in MRED - our local multiple listing service.   Based on office location, these were the results:
Evanston - more than 500
Wilmette - 50
Kenilworth - 2
Winnetka - more than 500
Northfield - 39
Glencoe - 93
Highland Park -278
Highwood - 4
Lake Forest - 267
Lake Bluff - 63


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What's your credit score?

Not too long ago, I was working with some folks who wanted to lease their property. Before a landlord accepts a tenant, they ask for two things - references and the potential tenant's FICO (or credit) score. As agents, we need to run the credit score with a third party that solicits the information from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. After the recent data breach incident with Equifax, citizens are pretty aware of the types of sensitive information that these agencies collect.

There are various ways of calculating credit scores. The FICO score (the name comes from the corporate name: Fair Isaac Corporation, who developed the score) is the most commonly used type of credit score in the US. 

FICO scores are also used by mortgage lenders to determine the possibility of whether a borrower is a good risk for lending. If you want to get any kind of financing (appliances, cars, etc.), this three-digit number is one of the most important numbers of your life. It signifies your creditworthiness and it can make or break your ability to get a loan. Credit scores generally range from 300 to 850, with higher credit scores being the best of all.

As of April 2017, 20.7 percent of Americans have a FICO score above 800, according to data from FICO. This makes a record high percentage of people with credit scores over 800 and correlates directly to lower delinquency rates.

Since payment history makes up 35 percent of the credit scoring calculation, there's a strong relationship between having a high credit score and a lower amount of late payments.

After we get a credit report, we need to share it with the landlord and then they make a determination, whether they want to rent the property to these particular tenants. A great score is anything over 750. A lousy score is anything less than 700. The highest score I've ever seen was 878 -- impressive. I won't tell you the lowest.  Let's just say, my landlord client had zero interest in renting to those particular people. 

With the recent financial collapse, people's credit scores took a hit and renting became really challenging for folks, who had lost their homes. Tenants were having to pay 6-12 months rent upfront in order to get the property.

That's actually what happened with this recent situation. The potential tenants had a credit score in the low 600s. My clients were unwilling to rent to, what appeared to be, wonderful tenants.  They just happened to have a poor FICO score. Eventually we were able to secure the lease -- but the tenants had to pay for the full year of rent up front. Ouch.

There are tremendous benefits of having a credit score over 800.

You're more likely to have your applications approved. I recently rented a car - my score is good and it was smooth sailing -- they were very excited to lease to me.

You'll qualify for lower interest rates. Your credit score helps determine the interest rate on loans. Having an 800 credit score will allow you to qualify for lower interest rates and save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. This can be a significant difference with mortgage interest. 

Anyone who manages their credit properly can get an 800 credit score. Here are some tips from the experts:

Pay everything on time.

Maintain lower credit card balances. People with best credit scores use less than 10 percent of their credit limits.

Avoid too many credit checks. Each time you make an application that requires a credit check, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit report. These hard inquiries are 10 percent of your credit score.

Monitor your credit and act quickly to clear up errors. There are sources where you can request your score for free. After the Equifax debacle, I signed up for LifeLock -- they send me my credit score every month. But some other sites to consider:,,,, and If you see something wrong, get it fixed immediately.

Any negative information will eventually age off your credit report. It may take a while, but you too can get your score back over 800.

So what's your credit score -- it's a number to remember!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Hope you'll join us on April 21!

Are you one of the 76.4 million babies that were born between 1946 and 1963? Are you thinking about the next chapter of your life and trying to make decisions about the future?

The Next Chapter is the event just for you!  Susan Kelsey and I are bringing this unique program of local experts together to help us plan and answer some of these looming questions: Retire or keep working? Downsize or age in place? Trying to understand Social Security or Medicare? So many decisions – so many options.

Luncheon speaker is Sunny Morton, award-winning writer and popular genealogy speaker whose lectures share a unique brand of warmth, humor, expertise and industry knowledge. She is the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites and Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy.

Date: April 21 morning

Venue: Gorton Community Center

For more details, speaker bios, and to register for this complimentary event go to: