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

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Year in Review

As a blogger, I like to see what people enjoy reading.   It's always a bit of hit and miss -- I'm often surprised at things people love versus the posts that have little readership.  I thought I would do a scan on the stats and highlight my top posts for the year!

10.  30 online resources as you move to Chicago's North Shore - a guide to some of my favorite websites

9.  Check the Pockets - some thoughts on exempt or  pocket listings.

8. Name that Colonial Home - a quiz about our founding fathers' residences

 7.   It's the Little Things - Easy things to keep your home in tip top shape. 

 6.  Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder - thoughts on clutter

 5.  Announcing a new Blog for Baby Boomers - notes about my Next Chapter Blog

 4.  8 things to consider about your front door

 3. Green Tips - Looking for zero-waste tips - more ideas on reducing your consumption. 

 2. Things - My existential crisis on downsizing.

 1. Collectively, my monthly, "How's the Market reports" score the top hit!

Stay tuned.   I'll be getting you my end of the year recap for 2018 soon. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Green Tips - the eco-friendly Christmas

It's that time of year when consumerism and waste seems a little much.   Here are some tips from Friends of the Earth for a more eco-friendly Christmas:

21 eco-friendly Christmas tips

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

10 Festive Events in Chicago This Month

Festive events in ChicagoIt’s time to break out that Michael BublĂ© album and immerse yourself in the magic of the holidays. Fortunately for us, nobody does holiday fun better than Chicago. With that in mind here is a list of 10 of the most festive events in Chicago this holiday season.
Randolph St. Market Festival | Chicago Plumber’s Hall (West Loop) | December 15th & 16th
Head to the Randolph Street Market Festival to find the most unusual and stylish mix of vintage and modern fashion, jewelry, decorative objects, housewares and hostess gifts available.
Memorable and exciting treasures in all price ranges await you at the Randolph Street Holiday Market.
Frosty’s Christmas Bar | Goose Island | Until January 6th
If you’ve ever dreamed of grabbing a drink with Santa, then here is the bar for you. Frosty’s pop-up Christmas bar in Goose Island is the ultimate destination for festive fun, and lively libations, featuring wall-to-wall decorations across three levels, a holiday themed soundtrack and Singing Santa shows every hour on the hour.
Put on your favorite holiday sweater, grab a festive holiday punch from one of the four bars and get ready to dance the night away.
Plan your trip to Frosty’s here.
37th Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party | Art Institute of Chicago | December 9th
Learn about select works and enjoy an array of family-friendly activities as you visit five stops within the museum’s galleries and the Ryan Learning Center.
Your tour will culminate with a stop by the historic Stock Exchange Trading Room for a tea party featuring delicious refreshments, live entertainment, and a gift bag for each child.
Head here for more information.
Ugly Sweater Party/Beginner Salsa Dancing | Duet Dance Studio | December 14th
If you’re looking to burn some calories, check out Duet’s Ugly Sweater Party to wear your ugliest holiday sweater and get your salsa dance on.
The event includes a 45-minute beginner salsa class, Duet’s student and teacher performances, as well as open dancing and mingling. Guests must be 21+ for this event.
Head here for more information.
Christkindlmarket | Daley Plaza (Chicago Loop) | Until December 24th
There are few events that evoke the holiday spirit more than the annual Christkindlmarket in the Chicago Loop. Shop iconic German items like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and hand-blown ornaments.
Along with traditional toys and holiday-themed items, you can find a bevy of delicious authentic German cuisine like sausages, potato pancakes, beer, and assorted sweets.
Head here for more information on Christkindlmarket.
A Christmas Carol | Goodman Theater (Chicago Loop) | Until December 30th
If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit via theater, this is the event for you.
Head to Chicago’s Goodman Theater to catch the annual run of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This is an event for the whole family, with a message of hope, charity and kindness towards others.
Head here for more information.
ZooLights | Lincoln Park Zoo | Until January 6th
A tradition in Chicago, Lincoln Park ZooLights is something you do not want to miss this wintertime. This is a family-oriented holiday celebration, so you’re sure to enjoy at any age.
Enjoy the luminous displays as well as the holiday-season activities throughout the zoo. ZooLights is free, but be sure to check the schedule before you plan your visit since some nights are special themed events that may require a ticket.
You can find the schedule here.
Christmas Around the World | Museum of Science and Industry | Until January 6th
This holiday season head to the Museum of Science and Industry to explore holiday traditions from around the globe. The museum’s annual celebration features a four-story grand tree surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures across the globe.
On the weekends you can even enjoy live holiday performances and photos with Santa.
Head here for more information on the exhibit.
The Polar Express Train Ride | Chicago Union Station | Until January 1st
If you’re looking to recreate the magic of The Polar Express, look no further. This holiday season, head to Chicago’s Union Station to board The Polar Express Train Ride.
This is a magical one-hour trip through the neighborhoods along the Chicago River that includes all the bells and whistles. Literally, as each passenger gets to take home a keepsake sleigh bell.
For more information on The Polar Express Train Ride, head here.
Winter WonderFest | Navy Pier | Until January 6th
The ultimate destination for indoor family fun, Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest is a favored Chicago holiday tradition spanning across 170,000 square feet of attractions for the whole family, with rides, giant slides, ice skating, and lots of festive decor.
Buy tickets online or at the Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest box office until January 6, 2019.

Head here for more information on Winter WonderFest.
Source: @properties blog

Saturday, December 1, 2018

How's the Market as of December 1, 2018

It's so hard to believe another year is coming to an end.   Where does the time go?  I was just watching the news about the death of GHW Bush and realized how much time has gone by since he was president -- so many tumultuous events have happened since then.... from the impeachment of a president to 9/11 to the financial meltdown to tribal politics.  His tenure as president seems like a another era, when civility and humility were the norm.    Time sure marches on.

And so it does with people creating families, selling and buying homes, and celebrating our holidays together.  I look forward to another Christmas with my family as the market cools down and goes into a somewhat of a hibernation over the holidays. 

There was a disappointing article, "Back to the bottom" for Chicago in Crain's this week, which points this out that Chicago continues to lag the rest of the country in terms of real estate sales.   But all real estate is local, so I tend to focus on each community before I make a global statement about the real estate market. 

So how was the North Shore market in November?

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 a Jerome Cerny home situated on the lake in Winnetka.

There are currently 153 houses for sale on the North Shore that are priced greater than $2M. The numbers tend to go down as people take their homes off the market during the holiday season.  Regardless, during the month of November, 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 joyous time both now in the in the coming year.   Stay tuned for next month's end of the year market recap report.   

Happy Holidays.