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

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Green Tips - 4 Ways You Can Go Green and Save Money

Thought this was worth sharing!

"Want to go green and save money? Remodeling your home with a few key features could improve its energy efficiency and increase its value over time."   Read on...

4 Ways You Can Go Green and Save Money

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sparking joy in your closet

Believe it or not, one of the things I "discovered" only last year was streaming television.   Despite my technology background, and while I had heard about it for years,  I just wasn't all that interested in learning more... My Amazon Prime membership prompted me one day to check it out.  After I discovered The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I wanted to find more.

Recently, I came upon the new Netflix show,  Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Have you seen it yet?

I was spellbound watching the show as the author of the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo, goes through people's closets and drawers to help them declutter and find joy in their lives.    

What I found unreal was how much stuff some people have.   One guy had over 100 pairs of sneakers - some he had never worn.  Some that were falling apart because they were so old, even though they had never been worn.   Amazing.  

I'm not sure I agree with Kondo's folding technique, but clearly it works for her.  

 I think I'm going to tackle my clothes closet again.   I cleared a lot out last year, but the show definitely motivated me to clear more!  

Thinking about selling your house this year?  Decluttering is the first step.

If you're ready to begin your spring cleaning, check out the show.    I think you'll find it very motivating! 

Recent New York Times article,  How to Sell, Donate or Recycle Your Stuff

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

5 Smart Upgrades That Boost Your Home’s Appeal

From money-saving gadgets to devices that provide an extra level of security, it’s easy to see why smart-home technology is becoming more and more popular. In fact, it can even increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers should you plan to sell.

Here are five smart upgrades that can potentially add value to your home and make life a little easier in the process.

Thermostat – You’ve heard that you can adjust the temperature of your home from your smartphone, but the technology doesn’t stop there. The newest thermostats will go so far as to learn your habits – when you’re usually at home and at what times of day you change the temperature – so they can make adjustments automatically.

Lighting – Control your home’s lighting from your phone or voice control device (looking at you, Alexa) with a smart lighting system. Philips Hue is one of the most popular systems, giving you full control over every aspect of lighting so you can create the right mood for any moment. By simply replacing your existing light bulbs with Philips Hue, you can do everything from change colors to set timers that control the lights remotely so it seems like someone is home.

Doorbell – Gone are the days of “ding-dong-ditching” thanks to smart doorbells. With video cameras and intercoms, these gadgets allow you to see who’s ringing your doorbell through your phone. While most smart doorbells have two-way talk functionality and motion detectors, others like the Nest Hello take it a step further with facial-recognition technology.

Keyless entry – Can’t find your keys? We’ve all been there – and that’s why products like the August Smart Lock come in handy. Automatically lock and unlock your door as you leave or approach your home, and keep track of who’s coming and going with a 24/7 activity log. You can also give your guests keyless entry through the August app so you never have to hide (or lose) another key under the doormat again.

Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors – Homeowners rarely test smoke alarms as often as recommended, but that’s not a problem with smoke/carbon monoxide detectors like the Nest Protect which do all the work for you. The Nest Protect not only performs tests automatically, but also alerts your phone to tell you if there’s danger and lets you use hush those irritating false alarms when you’re cooking dinner.

For more advice on how to prep your home for sale or increase its marketability, click here to read more on @properties blog or check out the posts about selling your home on my blog.  

source: @properties blog

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

How's the Market? End of Year Recap as of January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!  

2018 was certainly a year to remember, if for no other reason than the news coming out of Washington DC.   I hope your 2018 was a year of blessings and much happiness.

Events in the world seem to be a bit more uneasy with extreme weather disasters, fluctuating stock market swings, Brexit negotiations, trade tariffs, and, not to forget, unpredictable national leaders.  This article highlights - Biggest Housing Stories 2018: The News That Rocked the Real Estate World.

As I read the article, it reminded me that all real estate is local and we were spared from some of this.  That said, we’re not completely immune from national and world events.  It makes things interesting coming into 2019.

Once again, I am writing my end of the year recap for our local housing market on the North Shore ...These charts present data as of January 1, 2019.

Just a caution: sellers often take their homes off the market in December, so inventory levels are generally lower during the winter months and start to go back up in the Spring. These numbers are absolute and not seasonally adjusted to reflect this reality.

(source of data for the charts: Midwest Real Estate Data.  To see a chart more clearly, click on it to enlarge.)