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

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New Listings in Wilmette Worth Checking Out

It’s March, the weather has finally turned nice after a long, dreary winter, and there are A LOT of new houses on the market here on Chicago’s North Shore. And today is Tuesday,which is broker’s open day, so I had a lot of new inventory to see in just three hours. I saw some great homes in Wilmette today, each notable in its own way, and I wanted to share them here in case you are looking for something just like one of these.

Best Value

The 13 room home at 1226 Colgate St. is very well-priced, at $1,175,000. It’s ten years old but still feels like new, with all the features of new construction at a discounted price: deluxe kitchen that opens to a family room, mudroom, formal living and dining rooms, large master suite, huge basement with tall ceilings and attached two-car garage. It’s in a great location near Harper School and Thornwood Park. The yard isn’t huge, but with the park so near, who needs a huge yard?

1226 Colgate St., WilmetteFind out more about 1226 Colgate here.

Coolest House

The home at 1537 Washington Ave. definitely wins today’s prize for coolest house. Designed by Morgante-Wilson, it has four floors of living space, bathed in light from walls of windows and filled with exquisite architectural details. If you’re into model trains, don’t miss the third floor!

1537 Washington Ave living room

Find out more about 1537 Washington Avenue here.

Best Patio

This large, newer construction house at 163 Highland Ave. has lots things going for it, but the outdoor entertaining area is one of its best features. The picture below doesn’t begin to do it justice, but there is an outdoor kitchen complete with two grills and a seating area covered by a pergola that is perfect for entertaining on summer evenings.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.18.00 PM
Find out more about 1633 Highland Ave. here

Most Like a Country Home

Ok, so this house isn’t actually in Wilmette, but it’s a stone’s throw from Kenilworth Gardens and part of the Harper School district even though it’s technically in Winnetka. When I stepped inside it reminded me so much of the homes back east in Maryland horse country that I felt all warm and nostalgic. The rooms are grandly scaled, especially the formal rooms, and the house rambles on and on, with six bedrooms and four and a half baths. Although there’s plenty of chintz in the living room, at least the baths and kitchen have been updated in the last ten years or so. If your taste runs to vintage homes with gracious living spaces rather than cookie cutter new construction, this may be the home for you.

90 Indian Hill Rd. Winnetka IL

Find out more about 90 Indian Hill Rd. here

Best Case for Home Staging

If you had any doubts that staging works to sell homes, stop by 2233 Kenilworth Ave. This home-stager actually bought a dated 1940s Kenilworth Gardens house and remodeled it, choosing all the finishes herself. Once done, she staged it to highlight its best features and help buyers envision themselves living there. So much more appealing and inviting than a bland, empty house!

2233 Kenilworth Ave, Wilmette LR

Find out more about 2233 Kenilworth Avenue here.

Biggest Walk-In Closets

This four bedroom, four and a half bath house at 1049 Pontiac Rd. has terrific curb appeal and lots of nice features, but what spoke to me were the GREAT his and hers walk-in closets in the master bedroom. If you have more clothes and shoes that you have room for, this house is for you.

1049 Pontiac Rd., Wilmette
Find out more about 1049 Pontiac Rd. here

Best House if You’re a Swimmer

If you’re a serious swimmer you’ll want to consider this house at 1111 Sheridan Rd, not only because it has a lap pool in the basement, but also because of its location just a block from Lake Michigan (with Langdon Beach just to the north and Gillson Park’s beach just to the south).
Of course this solid brick home has lots of other great features, including large formal rooms, a serene master retreat with spa bath and totally tricked-out dressing room, home theater and work-out room in the basement. The only drawback is that the house is somewhat awkwardly wedged on a lot between Sheridan Rd. and Elmwood Avenue.

1111 Sheridan pool

You can find out more about 1111 Sheridan Rd. here

 You can search all Wilmette homes here.

Looking for something special? Tell us here or give us a call at 847-881-6657. We have access to all the homes for sale on the North Shore, even the ones that are not in the MLS or on Zillow.

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North Shore Real Estate Update: February 2015

North Shore Real Estate Update: February 2015 vs. Year Ago

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Data February 2015

The North Shore housing market is off to a slow start this year, at lease in part due to the nasty weather we’ve been having. The total number of single family homes sold in February is even with last February (which was down 3% vs. the prior year). Sales in most villages actually declined (Lake Forest, Winnetka, Wilmette and Highland Park), but these were offset by increases in Evanston, Glencoe, Kenilworth and Northfield). Last year it was largely a lack of inventory that was hampering sales growth. This year that is not the case. The inventory of homes for sale is up 18% vs. last February, and the months supply of homes is 9.4 months, the highest it’s been in two years. New listings were also up 31% this February over last year.

The number of days those homes sat on the market before selling increased by 60% to 144 days or 4.8 months. While this is a significant increase, the market time is actually low by historical standards. The average market time in a balanced market is 6 months.

Selling prices were up 13%, with most towns up over last February except Evanston and Glencoe. February’s sale price to list price ratio was 95.4%, down from 96.6% last February. More inventory, fewer bidding wars and longer market times means that buyers are not having to pay quite as much this year as last on a relative basis.

If your New Year’s Resolution was to buy or sell a home on Chicago’s North Shore, contact The Come Home North Shore Team at Coldwell Banker.  We’re North Shore real estate specialists and our knowledge & experience can save you time & money.  Call Anne West and Paula Weiss at 847.881.6657 or email us here.

If you’d like to find out how much your home is worth in today’s market, you can find out here.

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North Shore Real Estate Update: January 2015

North Shore Real Estate Update: January 2015

North Shore Market Data: January 2015

2015 got off to a slow start, despite the fact that we had a milder January this year than last. Home sales on the North Shore were down 3% vs year ago. The two bright spots were Winnetka (166%) and Highland Park (+42%). But Wilmette, which has been going gangbusters for the last couple of years declined 35% vs. a year ago.

And the declines have not been driven by lack of inventory as in recent past. The supply of homes for sale on the North Shore was up 11% vs. last year and months supply was up to 7.7 months from 6.5 months a year ago. And Wilmette went from 4.2 months supply a year ago to 6.8 months this January.

The median price on the North Shore was down 8% over year ago, and every town except Highland Park declined. It appears that, at least for the time being, the market has shifted from more of a seller’s market towards a more balanced market.  Now that the economy has improved and people have recovered some of the equity in their homes, more homeowners who were previously stuck can now go ahead and sell.

If your New Year’s Resolution was to buy or sell a home on Chicago’s North Shore, contact The Come Home North Shore Team at Coldwell Banker.  We’re North Shore real estate specialists and our knowledge & experience can save you time & money.  Call Anne West and Paula Weiss at 847.881.6657 or email us here.

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Guide to Outdoor Ice Rinks (Weather Permitting)

youth hockey players at Watts Ice Center

As a follow-up to our sledding hill round-up, we are pleased to offer you this guide to the North Shore’s outdoor skating rinks. Recently, we’ve seen pics of a few people on the East Coast trying to create their own mini rinks in their back yards. Lucky for you, living on the North Shore means you can skip the hassle since we have a plethora of outdoor options to choose from. However, with the recent “heat wave”, before heading out, it’s best to give these places to call to make sure there is ice.

Call us crazy, but we are kind of looking forward to the return of colder temps, because there’s something truly special about outdoor skating. Even if you hate the cold! And of course, if all else fails, there are plenty of indoor options too, but we all know it won’t stay this warm for long! So hold on to this list….Have you seen next week’s forecast?

Evanston
Dawes Park Lagoon, Sheridan Rd. at Church St. Call 847-859-7822 ext. 8

Baker Park, Forest Ave. at Keeney St. Call 847-859-7822 ext. 8

Wilmette
Gillson Park, Sheridan Rd. and Michigan Ave.
Lighted til 10:30 when usable. Recreational skating only- no hockey

Mallinckrodt Park, Elmwood and Ridge Rds. (Parking in north lot)
Lighted til 10:30 when usable. Recreational skating only- no hockey

Thornwood Park, Dartmouth Ave. and Thornwood Ave. Call 847-256-6100
Available for pond hockey as well as recreational skating Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Winnetka
Pond on the Green, 490 Hibbard Rd. (just south of Winnetka Ice Arena)
This newly refrigerated pond is open 4:00-9:00 pm weekdays and 11:45 am – 9:0 pm weekends, weather permitting. Click here for scheduling info.

Hubbard Woods Park, Green Bay Rd, west of train station
Rink is open 4:00 – 9:00 pm weekdays and 12 – 9:00 pm weekends, weather permitting.

Indian Hill Park, 131 Wilson Street
4:30 – 8 pm weekdays, 2 – 7 pm, weekends weather permitting, unsupervised.
Call 847-501-2052

Northfield
Clarkson Park, 1950 Willow Rd.
Call 847-604-1893

Northfield Park, 240 Lockwood Ave.
Call 847-501-2052

Glencoe
Watts Ice Center, 305 Randolph St.
There are two refrigerated, lighted rinks at Watts so warmer weather is usually not a factor. Call 847-835-3030 for more info.

Glenview
Flick Park, 3600 Glenview Rd.
Lighted til 10:00 pm. Call 847-724- 3337 ext. 26 for conditions.

Johns Park, 2101 Central Rd.
Lighted til 10:00 pm. Call 847-724- 3337 ext. 27 for conditions.

Roosevelt Park, 2200 Grove St.
Lighted til 10:00 pm. Call 847-724- 3337 ext. 28 for conditions.

Highland Park
Sunset Woods Park, 1801 Sunset Rd.
Rink is lighted/open til 9 am – 9 pm daily. Call 847-432-4303 or check online : http://rainoutline.com/search/extension/8475799008/52

Lake Forest
West Park, Green Bay and Woodlands Rds.
Monday – Thursday 3:30-9:00 p.m.
Friday 3:30-10:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00-9:00 p.m.
Call 837-234-6702, ext. 5

Northbrook
Meadowhill Park, 1479 Maple Ave.
Monday – Friday 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. (Kids)
6:30 – 9 p.m (Adults)
Saturday 12 – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday 12 – 6:30 p.m.

Tower Rink, 1225 Cedar Lane
Monday – Friday 4:30 – 8 p.m.
Saturday 12 – 8 p.m.
Sunday 12 – 6:30 p.m.
Call 847-291-2985, ext. 3

Deerfield
You can check ice status online for any Deerfield rinks at http://www.deerfieldparks.org/ice-rink-status/

Jewett Park, 836 Jewett Park Drive.
Lighted family rink and hockey rink, lights operate 5 – 9:30 pm daily

Jaycee Park, 1026 Wilmot Rd.
Lighted family rink, lights operate 5 – 9:30 pm daily

Pine Street Park (Patti Stryker), Pine & Hackberry

Briarwood Park, Greenbriar Dr. & Eastwood

Skokie
Ice Rink at Old Orchard Mall, 4905 Old Orchard Center (Skokie Blvd. & Old Orchard Rd.) Lower level by Bloomingdales
Mon-Fri: 5 – 8 pm
Sat: 1 – 8 pm
Sun: 1- 5 pm
Rink will close when temperatures are above 50 degrees, or less than 17 degrees, or if wind chill is below 5 degrees. Weather Hotline at 847-929-7999.

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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Winnetka Housing Market Trends: 2007-2014

Winnetka Housing Market Trends

Winnetka’s home sales fell 32% from 2007 to 2009. Sales reached a record high in 2014 (+18% vs. 2007) before drifting back down to 2007 levels.

Market time has moved inversely with home sales,  reaching a high of 229 days in 2009 before starting a steady decline to 93 days in 2013. The current average market time of 118 days, while higher than 2013’s level, is still significantly shorter than what we see in a “normal” market.

Home prices didn’t reach their lowest point until 2011, when the median selling price fell 26% from 2007 and the average price fell 25%. While we’ve seen steady gains since then, 2014 median and average prices are still 9% and 13% lower than 2007, respectively.

Related Articles:

If your New Year’s Resolution was to buy or sell a home on Chicago’s North Shore, contact The Come Home North Shore Team at Coldwell Banker.  We’re North Shore real estate specialists and our knowledge & experience can save you time & money.  Call Anne West and Paula Weiss at 847.881.6657 or email ComeHome@cbexchange.com.

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Wilmette Housing Market Trends: 2007-2014

Wilmette Housing Markt Trends thru 2014

People are always asking me if the real estate market has fully recovered after the meltdown. The answer is that it depends. It depends where you live, whether you’re talking about home sales or prices and what price range you’re in. Last week I wrote about eight-year housing market trends on Chicago’s North Shore. Now I’m going hyper-local to take a look at the individual communities, starting with Wilmette.

In Wilmette sales hit bottom in 2009 and then started to turn around. Except for a slight dip in 2011 there were steady gains and in 2014 sales were actually 17% ahead of 2007’s pre-meltdown level.

Market time was also longest in 2009, at 169 days, and then began steadily shrinking. Wilmette homes now sell more than twice as fast as they did in 2007 (59 days). This is the lowest of any North Shore market and driven by the Wilmette’s popularity and relatively low levels of inventory available.

Prices have not fully recovered, though they are definitely on the upswing in the last couple of years. While Wilmette home sales hit their lowest level in 2009, prices did not bottom out until 2012 (falling 26% from 2007). Although we have seen nice appreciation in 2013 and 2014, the median selling price is still 10% lower than 2007 and the average price is 11% lower.

Now that we are seeing prices appreciate again, are you wondering what your North Shore home is worth? You can get a quick and easy over-the-net home valuation by just giving us some basic information about your house. Just go here to submit your info and we’ll send you your home valuation within 48 hours.

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North Shore Chicago Housing Market Trends: 2007-2014

North Shore Housing Market Trends 2007-2014

You hear and read a lot about what’s going on with the housing market recovery, but it’s almost always based on national numbers. The fact is that the recovery is unfolding very differently from one market to another and also from one price band to another, with certain markets and price bands recovering much more rapidly than others.

The graph above shows what’s going on here on Chicago’s North Shore. The data is for single family detached homes in nine North Shore villages (Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glenview, Glencoe, Highland Park and Lake Forest). In subsequent posts, I’ll break it down further, to show you what’s going on in each individual village.

Since the high in 2007, the number of homes sold declined to a low point in 2009, and then started to climb again, surpassing 2007 levels by 38% in 2013, before drifting back down 10% in 2014.

Prices, however, actually didn’t hit bottom until 2012. While they have been on a healthy upward trajectory in the last two years, the median price is still 19% below the 2007 high while the average price is 23% below.

Market time reached its high in 2009 at 212 days. Since then it has been steadily declining to 91 days in 2014. This is half the time we typically see in a balanced market, and is driven by the low availability of housing inventory the North Shore has experienced in the last two years.

Now that we are seeing prices appreciate again, are you wondering what your North Shore home is worth? You can get a quick and easy over-the-net home valuation by just giving us some basic information about your house. Just go here to submit your info and we’ll send you your home valuation within 48 hours.

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North Shore Chicago Real Estate Report – 2014

North Shore Real Estate Report – 2014 vs. 2013

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Report - 2014

Despite an improving economy, 2014 home sales on the North Shore were down 10% vs. 2013. This was driven by low levels of inventory as well as continued tight lending standards for home mortgages. Every village was down double digits except Wilmette and Northfield, which increased 2% and 5%, respectively. Kenilworth and Highland Park had the greatest declines, but they were the two villages that had enjoyed the greatest gains in 2013.

While sales were down, prices were up a healthy 6%, slightly higher than predicted at the beginning of 2014. Every village appreciated except Northfield (-6%) and Lake Forest (-1%). Kenilworth gained the most, followed by Wilmette, Winnetka and Highland Park.

Average selling price as a % of list price reached almost 97% early in 2014 when inventory was low and bidding wars were raging. Later in the year as more inventory came on the market it drifted back down to 95.2% by the end of the year, which was even with December of 2013.

As predicted this time last year, housing inventory increased vs. 2013 and ended the year up 13% over December of 2013. Months supply of inventory increased 11% to 5.6 months, which is very close to the 6.0 months supply typical of a “balanced” market. (Months supply is the number of months it would take to sell all the listings currently on the market if no new houses were listed).

Now that we are seeing prices appreciate again, are you wondering what your North Shore home is worth? You can get a quick and easy over-the-net home valuation by just giving us some basic information about your house. Just go here to submit your info and we’ll send you your home valuation within 48 hours.

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Weekend & New Year’s Eve Fun Dec. 26-31

new year eveThe party is just getting started! From magic and opera, to one of the North Shore’s most beloved holiday traditions, the weekend is filled with lots of fun ways to wind down 2014. And then get ready to wind back up with a variety of festive events to ring in 2105. We wish everyone a wonderful holiday celebration and a healthy and happy new year!

The Merry Widow
Dec. 26 @ 2 pm; Dec. 27 @ 8 pm; Dec. 28 @2 pm; Dec. 31 @ 8 pm
Light opera Work’s Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston

Everyone’s after her money and Hanna, the saucy widow, knows just how to make them dance to her tune! The famous lost fan, constant flirting and mistaken identities create the most popular Viennese operetta of all time…filled with waltzes, can-cans and dreamy melodies. www.lightoperaworks.org/Widow.html

The Magic of Bill Blagg
Dec. 27@ 7:30 pm, Dec. 28 @ 3 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Find out why the Chicago Tribune calls The magic of Bill Blagg “Simply Amazing!” Bill Blagg has astounded audiences nationwide with mind-blowing illusions, such as the world’s only hoverboard illusion. He also brings ordinary objects to life, makes volunteers from the audience levitate in mid-air while others vanish in a millisecond. Everyone is left rubbing their eyes dumbfounded. Go see for yourself! Click here for tickets.

Wonderland Express
Daily Through Jan. 4, 10 am – 6 pm (closed Christmas Day)
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Wonderland Express is one of the North Shore’s top holiday “must-sees,” and a family-friendly, made-for-memories experience. If you haven’t visited the exhibit yet which is filled with Chicago landmarks, hurry before it shuts down for the season. Kids can look out for Thomas the Tank Engine, while the rest of the family searches for aerialist Nik Wallenda on a tightrope between the Marina City towers! www.chicagobotanic.org/wonderland

NEW YEAR’S EVE:

For the Kids:
Itty Bitty New Year
Dec. 31: 10:00 am -12:00 pm
Oakton Community Center and Exploratorium, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie
Get transported to a mini Times Square at this kid-friendly bash with crafts, treats, DJ and balloon drop at noon! skokieparks.org

Dec. 31: 11:00am -12:30 pm
Watts Ice Center, 305 Randolph St., Glencoe
Kid-friendly bash with outdoor skating, crafts, treats, DJ and balloon drop at noon! glencoeparkdistrict.com

For the Family:
First Night Evanston
Dec. 31: Kids events: 1-4 pm; Evening events:7 pm –
Various locations throughout Evanston

This family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration features live music by an astonishing array of performers, wonderful children’s and teen entertainment, social dancing, and general merriment. The venues surround Raymond Park in downtown Evanston. A single admission button (worn on your coat) gets you into all the venues. www.firstnightevanston.net/

News Year Eve at Pinstripes
Dec. 31
Pinstripes, 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook

All the fun of Pinstripes (bowling, bocce, food & drink) plus live music, champagne toast, party favors and two balloon drops at 8 pm and 12 am. No cover charge. For more information, click here.

For the Adults:
Feast & Imbibe’s Pop-Up New Year’s Eve
Dec. 31: 6 pm – 4 Course Tasting Menu, 8 pm – 12:30 am Cocktail Party
1601 Payne, Evanston

One of the hottest tickets in town brought to you by two of Chicago’s top culinary stars. The night features two separate pop-up events: a luxurious, sit-down, four-course dinner with champagne pairings and a festive cocktail party featuring passed hors d’oeuvres, a red carpet photo shoot and fire dance performance. Choose one or both! Click here for ticket info.

New Year’s Eve Swing Soiree
Dec. 31: 8 pm
The Crystal Ballroom & Lounge, 529 Davis St., Evanston

Swing in the New Year with a four-course steak and lobster dinner, piano music, live big bands and more. For 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.

Anne West Earns International Designation for Luxury Home Marketing Expertise

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist logoWe are proud to announce that our very own Anne West, co-founder of Coldwell Banker’s Come Home North Shore Team, has earned the prestigious Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® designation in recognition of her experience, knowledge and expertise in the luxury home market.  “Anne West is an example of a real estate professional who has worked to develop market knowledge and the special skills and competencies necessary to provide exceptional service in the fine homes and estates marketplace,” said Institute President Laurie Moore-Moore, upon announcing West’s designation.  “Affluent buyers and sellers can turn to sales professionals who have this designation and be confident that they have special expertise and experience in the luxury home marketplace.”

“I am committed to providing outstanding service to my clients,” said West. “The Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® designation is evidence of my ability to meet the needs of affluent buyers and sellers.  My membership in The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing also provides me with marketing tools and networking capabilities that benefit my clients.”

Another job well done, Anne! For current information on the upper bracket market on Chicago’s North Shore, contact West at Coldwell Banker’s Winnetka office (847.881.6657) or e-mail Anne.West@cbexchange.com

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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