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

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Green Tips - Go Green This Holiday Season

It’s easy to make your holidays a little greener—for the health of our planet. We all have the power to make small choices that, together, can add up to big impact that does our planet good.
Here’s 7 simple steps you can take today!
    1. More Fun, Less Stuff. Think about giving people on your list experiences like concert tickets or restaurant gift cards or even donating to a cause you love!
    2. Reuse Your Wrap. Reuse alternatives to traditional wrapping paper like magazine pages, old maps or calendar pages and help reduce the estimated 4 million tons of waste from wrapping paper and shopping bags during the holidays.
    3. Opt For A Real Tree. Most plastic trees aren’t biodegradable or easily recyclable, so choose a real tree if you can. Tree farms give back to the planet by providing wildlife habitat, keeping soil healthy, and absorbing carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen for cleaner air. If a real tree isn’t an option for you, choose a plastic tree that you’ll be able to use for 10+ years — that’s the amount of time it’ll take to even out the carbon footprint impact created.
    4. Keep It Local. The farther you transport a tree or greenery, the more likely a new invasive pest could be along for the ride. Choose locally sourced holiday plants to avoid introducing new pests to your neighborhood.
    5. Showcase Simple Beauty. Instead of store-bought d├ęcor, use simple natural touches like extra branches from your tree, a bowl of pine cones or local plants to bring nature’s calming influence inside.
    6. Invite More Veggies to Holiday Meals. Incorporate more plant-based foods into your meal traditions—it’s good for your health and good for lowering your carbon footprint.
    7. Cut Food Waste. Even if mom taught you to make 5 pounds of sweet potatoes per person, control how much food you buy and don’t let it go bad. Every year 30% - 50% of food produced gets wasted, along with the water, energy and labor it takes to make it.
Whether you put one tip in action or do them all, every step you take makes a difference.
Source: The Nature Conservancy

Thursday, November 8, 2018

5 Updates to Consider Before You Sell Your Home

One common theme among today’s homebuyers is that many are looking for a home that’s move-in ready. If you’re planning to sell, here are a few updates that can help give your home an updated look and make it more attractive to buyers:

Paint Your Home 
A fresh coat of paint can instantly enhance the appearance of your home and is one of the most cost-effective things you can do. Start by focusing on high-traffic areas like main hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. In terms of color, go for something more neutral to ensure your home appeals to largest number of potential buyers.

Light grey or light beige tones are popular among brokers and stagers when they work with sellers to neutralize and update the look of homes. “Greige,” a tone that can give the appearance of either light grey or beige, is a great choice.

Kitchen Improvements for Your Home
You don’t have to completely gut your kitchen to give it a move-in ready look. For a minor remodel, consider refacing or repainting outdated cabinets and drawers or installing new hardware with a modern design. Cabinets are one of the first things people notice when they walk into a kitchen, and this is a simple way to change their appearance without replacing them entirely.

While everyone has different preferences, converting cabinets to white tends to yield the most positive reaction.

You can also give your kitchen a facelift by upgrading the light fixtures and appliances, replacing the countertops, or adding a new backsplash.

Bathroom Modifications for Your Home
While plumbing and electrical upgrades can be costly, smaller bathroom upgrades can still make an impact.

If a quick makeover is in order, consider new paint or shelving. Other common upgrades include replacing the vanity, tile, light fixtures and countertops.

Flooring for Your Home 
Hardwood floors top many buyers’ wish lists due to their appearance and durability. If you already have hardwood floors, refinishing them can quickly elevate the look and feel of your home. Homeowners who want to replace their carpeting have a variety of options, from real hardwood to less expensive alternatives like laminate or engineered wood flooring.

Exterior Improvements for Your Home 
Curb appeal can have a significant impact on how many buyers will be enticed to take a closer look at your home. Attractive landscaping enhances curb appeal and makes a lasting first impression on potential buyers. After all, it’s the first thing buyers will see in person and probably in photos, too.

According to Remodeling’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, other updates to the exterior of the home such as replacing garage doors and front entry doors can offer the greatest return on investment.

It is important to start the conversation with your broker before you are ready to list your home so you can get their advice and ensure that you are making the best first impression when entering the market.

source: @properties blog

Thursday, November 1, 2018

How's the Market? As of November 1, 2018

November already?   Where did the year go?   

It was a quiet October, with some very interesting high end sales.   The ultra-luxury market looks a lot stronger than it did a few years ago.    With a few exceptions the number of sales slowed down a bit.    There was an interesting article in Crain's this week, which points this out.  Home price growth slowed in Chicago...

So how was the market in October?  These next charts show units sold and the median prices. 

The months of inventory is the best way to determine the health of the housing market.  Anything less than 6 months is considered a sellers' market -- anything more than 8 months is considered a buyers' market. The level of inventory has not deviated much over the last few months. There continues to be a shortage of inventory in Wilmette and Evanston with a surplus in Kenilworth and Lake Forest.   The rest of the North Shore is in great shape with a balanced market. 

In the next chart, I show the high-end sales for each community. The highest sale this month was in east Glencoe: a mid-century modern, one story home on 1.5 acres on the lake.   

There are currently 170 houses for sale on the North Shore that are priced greater than $2M. During the month of October, 9 houses closed in this price range:

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

Nice month for high-end sales!

As the holiday season begins, I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!