Your Ultimate Guide to Real Estate on Chicago's North Shore

Best Toy Stores on the North Shore

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As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, do you find yourself in state of panic about what to buy for the kids in your life? Don’t fret! The North Shore has many unique, independent toy stores that can help you find the perfect gift for children of all ages. If you’d rather skip the big box store madness, then this list is for you!

 

Beanstalk
654 Central Ave, Highland Park, 847-432-8300

Beanstalk has all the toys, games, crafts, and books loved by newborns through 8 years. The also carry a great selection of baby essentials including strollers, bassinets, car seats and bath care. Known for the customer service and free gift wrap, customers delight in the store’s unique offerings and magical ambiance.

Village Toy Shop
807 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-446-7990

Owned by a mother/daughter duo, the Village Toy Shop is a beloved treasure in Winnetka. They provide exceptional customer service, awesome gift wrapping that includes fun little treats and are always loaded with great suggestions. Choose from a wide variety of board games, science kits, crafts, magic kits, books and more.

Hip Hip Hooray
840 Willow Road, Northbrook, 847-272-7459

With an emphasis on the creative and innovative, Hip Hip Hooray is a children’s toy store that also sells gift items, costumes, dress up, personalized items, party favors, a diverse selection of children’s clothing for newborns to tweens and more! From the same owners that brought you Hooray Array in Northfield; this new reincarnation continues to delight children of all ages. Free gift wrap.

Children’s Gift Shop
310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-5975

From classic to trendy, to infants to teens, the Children’s Gift Shop is your one stop shop for indoor and outdoor toys, books, games, crafts, construction, brain puzzles and more. Their toy experts have real hands-on experience that will help you find the perfect gift. Free gift wrap.

Snickelfritz Toys
208 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, 847-918-8160

A family owned and operated toy store offering thousands of products that engage, educate and promote creativity. Having trouble finding an item, chances are you will find it. Plus tons of other unique items that will not find anywhere else, and free gift wrap to boot!

Becky & Me Toys
620 Grove St., Evanston, 847-492-1030

Becky & Me Toys is committed to encouraging play that is real (not virtual), that is active and creative, and that is focused on the concerns, ideas and interest of children. All of the merchandise is hand-picked by the owners, a mother and daughter duo who both have backgrounds in education. They carry a wide selection of toys, books, games and more for babies through teens and happy to assist their customers in selecting developmentally appropriate toys.

Just Kids Store
798 S. Buffalo Grove Rd., Buffalo Grove, 224-676-1250

Geared more for babies and toddlers, this store has got it all. A huge selection of infant gear and essentials as well as educational toys, puzzles, crafts and did we mention shoes?

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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North Shore Real Estate Report – October 2014

North Shore Real Estate Report – October 2014 vs. Year Ago

Real estate data for nine North Shore communities

North Shore home sales were down 2% in October vs. year ago. Results were a mixed bag across towns, with Glenview, Glencoe, Evanston and Lake Forest showing growth, while Wilmette, Winnetka and Highland Park had negative trends.

On the plus side, median prices for the month were 13% higher than October of last year, with the biggest gains in Glenview (+35%), followed by Wilmette (+27%) and Highland Park (+22%).

Market time was about even with last year but Wilmette and Glenview days on market continued to decline to just over two months on average.

While inventories were very tight during spring and early summer, they have been steadily increasing, and in the $1,000,000+ range there is actually a glut of listings in the majority of towns. In Wilmette, Winnetka and Glenview the oversupply of listed homes starts at $1,500,000.

North Shore Views is the official website of the Come Home North Shore Team and the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Nov. 21 – Nov. 23, 2014

wilmette tree lighting

The holiday season officially kicks off with some area tree lightings, holiday wine tastings and shopping opportunities. In addition, Evanston welcomes a new brewery and Suzanne Vega performs. And if that’s not enough, Barnes and Noble caps off a Discovery Week with two great parent workshops with tips on how to raise multilingual and global citizens! What a great weekend!

Wilmette Holiday Family Celebration
Nov. 20: Tree Lighting at Village Hall @ 7 pm
Nov. 21: Holiday Parade 10:30 am,
Visit with Santa & Sleigh Rides 11:15 – 1 pm
Starts at 4th and Linden and travels to Village Center, Wilmette

Celebrate the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting and Wilmette Holiday Parade. Thousands of friends and family gather along the parade route to watch bands, classic cars, clowns, performers, school groups, businesses, community and civic organizations and more. For more information: holidayparade.wilmettechamber.org

Sketchbook Brewing Company Grand Opening
Nov.21, 4 pm – 8 pm
Sketchbook Brewing Company, In the alley behind 825 Chicago Avenue, Evanston

One year after Cesar Marron’s Grätzer recipe won the Sam Adams “Longshot” award, he and co-founder Shawn Decker will celebrate the Grand Opening of Sketchbook Brewing Company, offering up to six different times of brew at a time, including a gluten free option. For more information: sketchbookbrewingcompany.com

Suzanne Vega
Nov. 21: 7 pm & 9:30 pm
SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston
Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation and a leading figure of the folk-music revival, Suzanne Vega comes to town for two special performances.
For tickets, click here.

Cornucopia Holiday Gift Show 2014
Nov. 21: 5 pm – 9m; Nov. 22: 10 am – 5 pm, Nov. 23: 12 pm – 4 pm
Woman’s Club of Evanston, 1702 Chicago Avenue, Evanston

Annual gift show featuring nearly 60 local and regional artisans selling apparel, accessories, home décor, gourmet food and more. New this year: a young artisan fair featuring products from children ages 10 -18. Proceeds benefit local charities. Purchase tickets at the door. For more info. and to see a list of vendors: http://cornucopia.wcofe.org/

8th Annual Thanksgiving Grand Cru Wine Tasting
Saturday, Nov. 22: 1- 4pm
Grand Cru Wine Merchants, 840 S. Waukegan Road, Suite #104, Lake Forest

Join Kurt from Cream Wine and Sean from Wilson Daniels who will be pouring wines perfect for your holiday table. A representative from GlenRothes Scotch will also be on hand for those who prefer something a bit stiffer. As in years past, they’ll have turkey and all the trimmings to snack on. Visit gcwines.net for more info.

Highland Park Holiday Tree Lighting
Nov. 22: 3 pm – 5 pm
Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave, Highland Park

Join Mayor Rotering and other city officials as they kick-off the holidays and officially light up downtown Highland Park for the 2014 holiday season. There will be plenty of family friendly activities including the Holiday Scavenger Hunt, where participants have a chance to win great prizes, plus live entertainment and a visit from ‘Ol St. Nick himself! Click here for details.

Raising Children to be Global Citizens
Nov.22 @ 3 pm & Nov. 23 @ 3 pm
Barnes & Noble, 728 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield

Join Language Stars staff and Chicago Now bloggers for two informative workshops that will teach you how to raise multilingual children who are also global citizens. At the same time, kids can partake in a Chinese story time during the workshop on Saturday. Fore more info, click here.

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore

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Best Pie on the North Shore

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When it comes to pies, we strongly believe you really can’t go wrong! But since it ‘tis pie season, we wanted to recognize some local favorites that truly stand above the rest. And if you are thinking about picking one up for Thanksgiving, place your order ASAP, as some places are already booked up! Now who’s ready for a slice?

Hoosier Mama Pie Company
749 N. Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-868-8863

This Evanston outpost is a joint endeavor of the Hoosier Mama Pie Co. in Chicago & The Dollop Coffee and Tea Co. The storefront boasts a large sunny rom to enjoy a slice and some coffee while watching the bakers and baristas ply their trade. Everything is made in house. There is always a tempting and varied selection of sweet pies to choose from and they also offer pie flights – 3 half slices of pie from their daily flight menu for under $8! Breakfast pastries, savory pie plates, sandwiches, and salads available too.

Sweety Pies
8042 Lincoln Avenue, Skokie, 847-213-0900

Sweety Pies is a family run business whose founders gave up their day jobs to follow their passion. Since opening in 2007, this bakery, cakery and café has become a Skokie landmark. When it comes to their pies, most of the recipes have been handed down from family and are baked by mama, Arden Kruger. The pie menu always features three staples: Apple Pie Crisp, Chocolate Cashmere and Crocodile Pie (their version of pecan pie with semi-sweet chocolate and a touch of rum in a buttery pastry crust). However, they are happy to accommodate special requests so just give them a call and enjoy!

Bent Fork Bakery
333 Waukegan Avenue, Highwood, 847-926-4438

This adorable, family-run bakery tucked away in Highwood is one of the North Shore’s best kept secrets; although word is spreading and there is a reason why. You really can’t go wrong in this small batch, all butter, everything made from scratch bakery. There is always a fresh selection of fruit and cream pies to choose from. Current holiday offerings include: Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Caramel Apple Crostata, Cranberry Apple Crostata, Southern Pecan Pie and a variety of Fruit Pies (Door County Cherry, Granny Smith Apple, Peach or Mixed Berry). Holiday orders must be placed by Saturday, Nov. 22 at 2 pm.

Foodstuffs
2106 Central Street, Evanston, 847-328-7704
338 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-835-5101
1456 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-832-9999
225 E. Westminster Avenue, Lake Forest, 847-234-6600

With four locations throughout the North Shore, Foodstuffs has been providing quality gourmet food to Chicagoland shoppers for more than 30 years. Modeled after the European Market concept , they offer a full menu of items including homemade appetizers, soups, entrees, salads, sauces, breads and pastries as well as pates and cheeses, fresh seafood, quality meats, build your own salads and sandwiches and unique shelf products. There is always a rotating selection of fresh baked goods on site, but if you have a particular pie in mind, you will have to place an order. Their current holiday offering includes: Pumpkin Pie, Harvest Lattice Pie, Laura’s Pecan Pie, Mom’s Apple Pie, and Triple Berry Pie. Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Sunday, Nov. 23 at 5 pm.

Deerfields Bakery
201 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove, 847-520-0068 (café too)
813 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield, 847-520-0068

Deefields Bakery has been serving the North Shore for more than 40 years and it has truly become an institution. It is owned by the Schmitt family whose tradition of baking actually goes back more than 5 generations. They are known for their wide assortment of cookies and custom cakes but you certainly can’t go wrong with one of their baked or whipped cream pies. With 20+ varieties to choose from, the only problem is choosing which one to order!

Long Grove Confectionary
220 Robert Parker Coffin Road, Long Grove, 847-634-0080

The closing of the Long Grove Apple Haus a few years back left many North Shore residents in a state of dismay. By thankfully, those who still yearn for those famous Uncle Johnny’s Brown Bag Apple pies, can get their fix at the Long Grove Confectionery where the pies are now sold fully baked, but frozen. Just let one of these beauties defrost for 8 hours and then bake for approximately 1.5 hours and you’ll be instantly transformed back to your childhood.

*Brown Bag Apple Pies from Elegant Farmer in Mukwango, WI can also be found at area Sunset locations. Please check with your local store for details.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Congratulations to Anne West

Five Star logoWe are proud to announce that our very own Anne West, co-founder of Coldwell Banker’s Come Home North Shore Team, was once again chosen by Five Star Professional as one of the Chicago area’s Five Star Real Estate Agents for 2014. Less than 7% of Chicago-area real estate agents are selected for this special award which honors exceptional service to clients. Anne was featured, along with other award winners, in a special section of the October issue of Chicago Magazine which partnered with Five Star Professional in in the selection process.

Anne WestThe Five Star Real Estate Agent award program is the largest and most widely published real estate agent award program in North America. Agents are measured using an objective, in-depth research methodology with significant focus on customer feedback and overall satisfaction. Five Star Professionals research is extensive, with more than 10 million consumers, peers and other stakeholders contacted each year.

This is the fourth year in a row that Anne has been selected, proving once again that you are in great hands with Anne and the entire Come Home North Shore team! Join us as we congratulate Anne on a job well done!

Come Home North Shore is one of the top real estate teams on the North Shore. We are experts at marketing, negotiation and correctly pricing homes to sell and are experienced in the sale and purchase of new construction, lakefront and luxury homes. If you are thinking of buying or selling in the following communities: Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Evanston, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Forest, Northfield or Glenview, give us a call at 847-881-6657.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Nov. 14 – Nov.16, 2014

wizrd of oz

Prepare to be entertained this weekend with a wide range of performance offerings, including a crowd pleasing mentalist, a beloved family classic and acclaimed classical music. And for those looking for a little indulgence for the home and self, check out the Vintage and Design Weekend Market.

The Wizard of Oz
Nov. 14, 10 am; Nov. 15, 10 am (playing through Jan. 3)
The Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire

Relive the classic tale of four unlikely friends on the adventure of a lifetime! Join Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow (and little Toto too) as they journey down the yellow brick road to the magical Emerald City. The Wizard of Oz will remind you that there really is “no place like home”. A special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages! Followed by a Q&A session with the cast. For ticket information, click here.

Best Friends and Mind Mysteries of Bill Gladwell
Nov. 15; 7:30 pm – 10 pm
Mohr Student Commons at Lake Forest College, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest

Experience the mind blowing talent of Bill Gladwell, a master manipulator of thoughts, behavior and brain-based improv, during a special appearance as part of the 11th annual Brain Awareness Week at Lake Forest College. Free event.

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Lake Forest Book Store – A True Gem on the North Shore

lake forest book store

Since 1949, this quaint, independent book store has been a town favorite. Despite its small size, it boasts a large selection of books that serves the needs of the town and surrounding communities. Known for its knowledgeable staff and exceptional customer service, the store has perfected the art of recommending books based on customers’ interests. And, should there be a book you’d like that they don’t carry, they are happy to track it down and place a special order for you.

The staff’s passion for books extends beyond the storefront as they are often hosting author and book events at the store and throughout the community. There is also a monthly book club that meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the store. All are welcome to join.

Lake Forest residents have grown up coming to the Lake Forest Book Store. If you haven’t discovered it for yourself, we strongly suggest you do!

Upcoming Events:

Author Luncheon with Renee Rosen at The Grille on Laurel (181 E Laurel Ave., Lake Forest)
Luncheon with Renee Rosen, author of What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age
Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 11:30 am; Tickets $35
Click here, for more information.

“Opening Yoga to Everyone” with Matthew Sanford, author of Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence
Hosted by Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) and Forever Om Yoga
Nov. 21-23
Three day workshop taking place at Forever OM Yoga and Lake Forest Country Day School both in Lake Forest, includes special keynote speech and reception and book signing.
For more information, visit: http://www.glasa.org/yoga/

Indies first: Small Business Saturday
Local authors will join the book store throughout the day recommending books.
Saturday, Nov. 29; 9:30 am – 5 pm
Register at Lake Forest Book Store at 847-234-4420

Allison Pataki, author of the Traitor’s Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America
11 am

Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and her new book Lizzie & Jane
2pm

Upcoming Book Club Selections
Nov. 18: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Katherine Abbott
Dec. 16: The All of It by Jeanette Haien

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Glencoe Housing Market Trends

Glencoe Housing Market Trends

If you read the news about the housing market, you’re likely to end up more confused than well-informed about what is really going on.  Is the market getting better or not? Have prices recovered or not?  You can read five articles on the same day which draw diametrically opposing conclusions. How can that be?

One explanation is that real estate really is local, and anything in the press about national housing market trends is not likely to reflect what is happening in your state, much less the community where you live. And that’s all you really care about, isn’t it?

So, if you live in Glencoe, here’s a graph showing the trends that matter to you. It tracks homes sold, median selling price, average selling price and market time for single family homes in Glencoe IL from 2007 to 2014 (all data is for the period January- September).

What it shows is that, after the housing bust, home sales declined their lowest point in 2009, and then turned around, increasing at an average rate of 20% through 2013. In 2014 sales stopped increasing (at least temporarily) and are actually down 20% for the first nine months vs. the same period of the previous year.

Market time reached its highest point in 2009 and declined steadily through 2013. It’s up 6% to 123 days or four months in 2014. But this is still below the six months we see in a “normal” market.

Prices took longer to bottom out, hitting a low point in 2011 when the median price declined to $846,000 (37% below the 2007 high).  It wasn’t until 2013 that prices started improving. For the first nine months of 2014 the median price of $1,244,005 is up 21% from 2011 and the average price is up 17%. Of course, that number doesn’t even include the most expensive sale EVER in Glencoe (and maybe even the entire Chicago area), a $19,500,000 private sale (outside the MLS) of a four acre lakefront property.

We are Glencoe real estate specialists and one of the top teams in the area. If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, please call 847-881-6657 or send us a note here.

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Nov. 7 – Nov. 9, 2014

Lots of good ‘ol fashioantiques logon family fun going on this weekend. However, those seeking a little more sophistication should definitely consider a stop at the Winnetka Community House for the Antiques + Modernism Show. Enjoy!

Honk Jr. 

Nov. 7 @ 7 pm, Nov. 8 @ 2 pm & 7 pm, Nov. 9 @ 2pm
Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette

Children of all ages will learn that it’s okay to be different when they take in this musical based on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved story, “The Ugly Duckling.” More than 30 fourth-through-eighth graders round out the cast in this Wilmette Children’s Theatre production. Click here to purchase tickets. $8.50 per ticket.

Antiques + Modernism Show
Nov. 7 – 9
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka

This highly anticipated event, presented by the Woman’s Board of Winnetka Community House, will feature esteemed dealers from across the country showcasing fine examples of American, British, French and Asian antiques, as well as pieces from the Arts and Crafts, Art Nou¬veau, Art Deco and Mid-Century design movements. The exhibition and sale offers furniture, silver, ceramics, jewelry, garden antiques, lighting, rugs, textiles, fine and folk art, architectural artifacts and more. For more info. and to purchase tickets visit winnetkacommunityhouse.org.

Old-Fashioned Campfire
Nov. 7; 6 – 7:30pm
Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park

Take a short hike with a naturalist along the trails, play games with family and friends and enjoy marshmallows roasted over the campfire! Children two and under are free. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. $8 per person. Click here to register.

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Best Tailors on the North Shore

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Have you ever purchased a fabulous new item then never get to wear it because the alterations went astray? Or have you spent hundreds on altering a bridesmaid’s dress that still does not fit you right? When it comes to picking a tailor, it’s all about trust and craftsmanship. Luckily, we found several tailors throughout the North Shore that you can rely on to deliver the goods.

Haute Couture
1920 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-724-0262

Yes, it is a bridal shop, and Joanna is fantastic with bride and bridesmaid alterations (whether your purchased the dress from her or not). However, she also offers alteration services for any type of clothing, including men’s, and designs custom pieces, all at reasonable prices. By appointment only.

Anthony’s Tailoring
2226 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, 847-926-9440

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