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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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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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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 – Oct. 24 – 26, 2014

Make sure you get plenty of rest this week because the weekend is jammed pack with Halloween haunts for kids and adults, plus a whole lot more. We’ve expanded this week’s list to include as many events as you could handle!

Halloween on North ShoreBoo Bash
Oct. 24, 6 pm – 7:30
Northfield Community Center, 401 Wagner, Road, Northfield
This favorite Halloween event returns for the younger set. Children 3-8 will enjoy free carnival games, balloon artists, craft, treat bags and cookie decorating. There will also be a special train ride around Willow Park. For more information, click here.

Halloween Happening
Oct. 24, 6-9 pm
Community Recreation Center, 1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
Filled with chills and thrills, this family-friendly event features carnival games, magician, fortune teller, moonwalk, arts and crafts, face painting, mad scientist’s lab and pony rides. Don’t miss the Theater of Terror and the Traveling World of Reptiles! Pizza dinner is included, along with a goodie bag and a visit to the Pumpkin Patch. Wristbands will be issued and will be required to participate in all activities. $15 resident/$20 non-resident. Sign up early here.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Affordable 4 Bedroom Home For Sale In Wilmette

339 Lamon Ave., Wilmette

339 Lamon Avenue, Wilmette , IL 60091

This adorable and affordable 4-bedroom split level home at 339 Lamon Avenue in Wilmette is coming on the market tomorrow. It’s on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Romona School District and convenient to shopping, the expressway and the Wilmette Community Rec Center.

On the main level is a living room, dining room and updated kitchen. Upstairs are three bedrooms and an updated bath. On the lower level is a wonderful family room along with a fourth bedroom, a full bath and laundry room.

Out back is a large and private yard, patio and an oversized two-car garage with workshop.

The home is offered at $459,000. If you are looking to get into District 39 schools and/or New Trier, this might be a great option for you.

If you would like to schedule a private showing give us a call at 847-881-6657. We’d be happy to show it to you. Or come to our open house on Sunday, October 26 from 2:00-4:00 pm.

339 Lamon living room339 Lamon dining room








339 Lamon kitchen339 Lamon master bedroom








You can get more information about 339 Lamon Avenue and see more photos here. You can search all the homes for sale in Wilmette here.

We are North Shore 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.

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Dos and Don’ts for Expediting Your Home Mortgage Approval

Mortgage applicationBack before the housing market meltdown it was easy to get a mortgage. Now, not so much. There are many more restrictions, a lot more paperwork and the process is slower. Getting a pre-approval is just the first step. Getting a mortgage these days can be a frustrating process and often both buyer and seller (and their agents!) are on tenterhooks right up until the day before closing, wondering if the deal is going to close.

Here are some dos and don’ts for making sure your loan gets approved in a timely fashion, courtesy of Betsy Hanrahan of PHH Home Loans:

DO provide your lender with any requested information or documentation immediately. Not only will this avoid delays in the processing of your loan, but will enable your loan officer to flag and help you address any potential issues as early as possible.

DO be prepared for the possibility that your lender will ask for additional documentation or explanations, even at the last minute.

DO assume that your credit will be re-pulled immediately prior to closing, so don’t do anything that could affect your credit score. (I recently heard about a guy who quit his job two days before closing. Needless to say, the closing didn’t happen).

DON’T apply for additional credit.

DON’T incur any additional debt (including increases in credit card balances). I know you really want to order that new dining room table and chairs that will look perfect in your new home, but WAIT until you close before you buy it.

DON’T close or open any accounts, transfer any balances or sign up for any additional charge cards. ANY changes to your credit profile could lower your credit score, which could result in higher rates, higher costs or invalidation of your loan approval.

DO maintain a paper trail. Your lender will require proof of the source of any unusual deposits (basically any deposits that are not payroll from your employer). When in doubt, retain copies.

DON’T deposit gift funds into your bank account if they will be used for closing. Your lender will give you instructions and outline the necessary steps for receiving and documenting the gift.

DO ask the real estate agent or seller whether the property you are buying is in a flood plain, as you may be required to obtain flood insurance from FEMA as a condition of your loan (and it is not cheap!). When in doubt, you can always find out from the Village Hall in the community where you are buying.

It may seem that getting a mortgage is a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be if you work with the right lender. There is more to choosing a mortgage company than who quotes you the lowest rate. You want to make sure that you choose a loan officer or mortgage broker who is experienced and responsive and who has a track record of getting his or her clients to the closing table. What good does the lowest rate do if you never get the loan?

Ask your Realtor for some recommendations. We know which lenders are good to work with and which ones are difficult or unresponsive or make you jump through endless hoops. Our team always gives names of at least three lenders that we know will take good care of you, and you can choose the one that feels like the best fit for you.

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Who Answers The Phone When a Buyer Calls?

yard-signs If you’ve ever looked closely at a For Sale sign in someone’s yard, you’ll notice there’s a phone number to call if you want more information about the house.

In most cases this is the general number for the real estate brokerage that the home is listed with, but sometimes it’s the real estate agent’s direct number. When a prospective buyer calls the number on the sign, one of two things typically happens:

1) Someone at the brokerage working “floor duty” answers and will look up the listing online or in a big binder they have on the floor duty desk. (Floor duty is what agents do for a couple of hours at a time to try and drum up business from people who call in. Usually they are newer, less experienced agents who do not have many clients yet).

In most cases the agents on floor duty have never been inside the house and can only provide information that is on the listing sheet – which is the same information you can get yourself on any real estate web site: asking price, number of bedrooms and baths, etc.


2) The call goes to the agent’s voice-mail and if you leave a message you may hear back from the agent later that day or the next day …or never.

Come Home North Shore Yard SignThe Come Home North Shore Team has a Google Voice number that rings simultaneously on each of our phones. The first one to respond takes the call. Usually that’s Paula, because her cell phone is an extension of her hand and she has lightening fast reactions. Sometimes, if she’s in the shower or on another call I will be first to answer. In any case, the good news if you’re the seller of that house is that someone who knows the finer points of your home is taking the call and can talk up the house and at the same time determine if the buyer is a serious prospect.

And if you’re a prospective buyer the good news is you will actually reach a human being who can tell you what you want to know about the house…immediately.

We are North Shore 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. We would love to help you!

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Getting Rid of Old Paint on the North Shore

old paint cansA couple of weeks ago at a final walk-through of one of our listings, the buyers were surprised to see that there were several paint cans left in the garage after our client had moved out. Some of the paint was relatively new, since our client had re-painted a few rooms to freshen them up before putting his home on the market. He assumed the buyers would want the paint for touch-ups. But they didn’t. They wanted it gone. All of it. They were planning to repaint the entire inside of the house a different color.

That was at 7:00 pm the night before the 9:00 am closing. My client had already moved and was not in a position to deal with the problem. Paula and I had to get rid of that paint and bring a photo of the clean (paint-less) garage to closing. Paint is not one of those things you can just chuck in the garbage. If it’s oil based it’s considered hazardous waste and must be taken to a collection site where it will be dealt with in an environmentally safe way. If it’s latex, it will need to be completely dried out before it can be thrown out.

Most people keep old paint around because: 1) they think they may need it sometime; or 2) they don’t know how to dispose of it. That’s why there are usually 10-20 cans of paint in everyone’s garage or basement.

If you are planning to sell your house in the future, you should be aware that most buyers do not want your old paint. So you might as well make a plan to use it up or dispose of it. You could give some rooms a fresh coat of paint. You could donate it to a local charity, theater group, school or church. Otherwise, here’s what you can do:

Oil-based Paint

You can’t thow it out. You must take it to an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency collection center. The closest collection center to the North Shore is in Gurnee:

Solid Waste Agency of Lake County
By appointment only on second Saturday or fourth Monday of each month
1311 N. Estes Street, Gurnee
(847) 336-9340

Or, you can wait for one of the one-day collection events that take place from time to time on the North Shore.

Latex Paint

Leave the paint can open in a well-ventilated area until it dries out. Then you can put it in the garbage- but leave the lid off so your garbage collector knows it’s dry. To expedite the drying-out process you can mix kitty litter or sawdust in with the paint. Even shredded up newspaper will work…anything that will absorb the paint. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this, you can take it to a local hardware store (see list below) and, for a fee, they will take care of it.

North Shore Hardware Stores That Take Latex Paint

  • Millen Hardware, 1219 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette.   (847) 251-3060
  • Skokie Ace Hardware, 5035 Oakton St., Skokie. (847) 673-0700
  • Weiss Ace Hardware, 1560 Waukegan Rd., Glenview  (847) 724-3444
  • Craftwood Lumber and Hardware, 1590 Old Deerfield Rd., Highland Park  (847) 831-2800

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North Shore Real Estate Report – September 2014

North Shore Market Report – September 2014 vs. Year Ago

North Shore Market Data - September 2014

Home sales on the North Shore were down 16% in September vs. year ago and down 36% from August.  Glencoe had the biggest loss (-42%) followed by Highland Park and  and Wilmette, which were both down 19%. Only Lake Forest posted a gain (+7%).

The median sales price was down 2% overall, but the results were mixed across towns. Half were down and the other half were up this month over last year.

Market time continued to decline to under three months (six months is what we typically see in a “normal” market). The months supply of inventory has risen to 6.4 months, which is in the normal range, but this varies widely across prices ranges, with larger than average inventories in the upper bracket segments.

Want more data? You can get all the North Shore real estate stats your heart desires right 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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Why It’s A Good Time To Buy A Home On Chicago’s North Shore

couple in front of homeWe real estate agents tend to be positive and optimistic people, always looking on the bright side of things. To us, it’s always a good time to either buy or sell, and I guess we sometimes lose credibility with the general public because of our unceasing optimism. But I am telling you, right now really is a great time to buy a home on Chicago’s North Shore.

Here’s why. The spring market got started late this year due to the (excessively) long and cold winter. But once it got going it heated up overnight and buyers were whipping themselves into a frenzy to get a new home under contract so they could move before the start of the school year. Bidding wars ensued, driving prices up and market times down. But when late summer rolled around the market screeched to a halt. While fall has brought a small surge of activity,  the market this year is slower than normal and slower than last fall. Showings are down over 20%. Sales were down 14% in August and 16% in September from 2013.

This is not great for sellers but it is a good thing for buyers. Prices have stabilized and good houses are actually staying on the market longer than a couple of days. Interest rates continue to be low. Sellers are more willing to negotiate. Deals can be had.

Case in point: some clients of ours had looked and looked for a new home on the North Shore, but due to busy work schedules they were never able to drop everything to come up from the city to see a great house that had just come on the market. By the time they were able to make it up on the weekend, the house had gone under contract, often with multiple offers. Every house they liked sold within days and prices were rising out of their price range, leaving them frustrated and disheartened.

Finally, now that the market has slowed, there have been some great houses for them to see when they have come up on the weekends, and recently they were able to negotiate a good deal on one of those houses. And, they were able to lock in a low interest rate, which they may not have gotten if they had given up and waited until next year to buy. Looking back, they are happy things turned out the way they did, as they got a better house for the money than they would have last spring.

Are you looking for a home on Chicago’s North Shore? The Come Home North Shore Team can help you! Give us a call at 847-881-6657 or send us a note here. Take our Tour of the Shore to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, amenities and real estate.

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