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North Shore Real Estate Update – 1st Quarter 2014

North Shore Real Estate Update – 1st Quarter 2014 vs. Year Ago

home sale data for nine North Shore Chicago towns

The spring market has gotten off to a slow start in 2014. Despite an improving economy, home sales on Chicago’s North Shore declined 4% in the first quarter vs. last year. The weather has been so nasty for so long, that most people just hunkered down and didn’t do anything. On the positive side, prices appreciated a healthy 18% over last year, fueled by pent-up demand on the buyer side.

Sellers have also been watching prices rise and many have held off listing in hopes of getting more for their homes down the road. That, combined with the bad weather, has led to a continued lack of inventory. Some towns on the North Shore, most notably Wilmette, are down to less than a three month supply of homes. In Winnetka, while there is more inventory on the market, much of it is in a higher price range than what most buyers are looking for (under $1,000,000).  Over 80% of the active listings are above $1,000,000, whereas only 54% of the homes that sold in the last twelve months were over $1,000,000.

Want more data? You can go here to get more market statistics for the North Shore. If you are trying to figure out what your home is worth in today’s market, we can provide you with a competitive market analysis based on sales of similar homes to yours in your own community and neighbohood. Just give us a call at 847-881-6657.

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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What Will $520,000 Buy You On Chicago’s North Shore?

The median purchase price of a single family home on the North Shore of Chicago was $520,000 in February, 2014.

So what will that actually get you? Well, it depends where on the North Shore you are looking. All real estate is local, and even here there are many local markets within the larger North Shore. In Glenview, Highland Park or parts of Lake Forest, you can get an older four bedroom, two and a half bath house. In Wilmette, a three bedroom split level. In Winnetka, Glencoe or Kenilworth, not much.

Here’s a sample of homes currently listed for sale around that price:

1633 Elder Ln, Northfield1633 Elder Lane, Northfield – $524,900

This home, built in 2003 has nine rooms, four bedrooms and two and a half baths. Its kitchen has cherry cabinets, granite counters and stainless appliances. One thing that makes this newer home so affordable is that the fourth bedroom is on the main floor (though that could be a plus for some) and the family room is in the basement.

660 Northmoor Rd., Lake Forest660 Northmoor Rd., Lake Forest – $525,000

This charming Tudor style homes dates from 1938. It has six rooms, three bedrooms and two and a half baths. Come summer, its gardens are absolutely stunning. The drawback is that it needs updating. The kitchen and baths are all “vintage.”

 2145 Grey, Evanston2145 Grey Ave., Evanston – $525,000

This NW Evanston Dutch Colonial house has seven rooms, three bedrooms and one and a half baths. It has potential but could use some updating.

 1773 Winthrop Rd, Highland Park1773 Winthrop Rd., Highland Park – $519,900

This four bedroom, two and a half bath home was built in 1960 and still has the original kitchen and baths.

2439 Happy Hollow2439 Happy Hollow, Glenview – $500,000

Another 60′s house, this one also has four bedrooms and two and a half baths. Its best feature is its large, wonderful sun-room that overlooks a big backyard.

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.

Real Estate Hidden Gems You Should Be Marketing When Selling Your North Shore Home

Ever wonder what the real hot buttons are for the prospective buyers of your house? Some things are obvious, like a recently remodeled kitchen. But there are the not-so-obvious things that could, quite possibly, put more money in your pocket if your agent were to focus more on them in the marketing of your house.

Based on a survey of 1500 agents around the country, this infographic highlights the most desirable features and which ones are the hidden gems that are often over-looked when pricing the house.

How would this infographic look if the survey were focused on North Shore Realtors only? I suspect that schools and neighborhood quality would score even higher, since these are the main reasons people move to the North Shore in the first place.

Amazing views would be less important, except to the few people who can afford lakefront property. On the other hand, a second floor laundry, which only scored 19% in the national survey, would certainly be higher here. And, after this past dreadful winter, I’m pretty sure that an attached garage would be pretty high up on the list, too. While this feature is taken for granted in many areas of the country, relatively few older houses here on the North Shore can boast that “hidden gem.”

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.

Data provided by ActiveRain.com.

ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs, and get free education from the industry and their peers.

North Shore Real Estate Update – February 2014

North Shore Real Estate Update – February 2014 vs. Year Ago

Feb 2014 Mkt Data

The spring market is off to a slower start this year due to the cold and snowy weather here on the North Shore (as well as everywhere else!). Home sales were off 3% in February vs. last year, mainly because of the low inventory of homes for sale. There continues to be pent-up buyer demand and the houses that come on the market are selling quickly if they are priced right and in good condition. Bidding wars are pushing prices up, and the February median price was 6% ahead of last February, while market time declined 44% to under three months.

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.

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. – See more at: http://northshoreviews.com/2014/02/08/north-shore-real-estate-update-january-2014/#sthash.SeFTL8jk.dpuf

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The Real Reason You Can’t Find A House To Buy On The North Shore and What To Do About It

Frustrated hoe buyerLast February I wrote about why the inventory of homes was so low on the North Shore of Chicago. Well, a year later we still have the same problem, which is incredibly frustrating for the people who want to move here. Some of them have spent the last year scouring the Internet, trolling the Sunday open houses and making offers on homes that they only just kind of like, only to lose out in a bidding war. I’ve heard of buyers who have put in offers on as many as ten houses, without any success.

Yesterday I had a call from a potential home buyer who was tearing her hair out. She and her husband had been looking for a home on the North Shore for over a year. Every time they found something they liked, it was already under contract.

A little digging revealed that she was relying on Internet searches combined with the services of a discount buyer broker (the ones who rebate back to you part of the commission). What she didn’t realize was that many of the houses are being sold before they even go into the MLS, often within the listing agent’s own company.

Here’s what happens: most brokerages have their office meeting on Monday morning. One of the topics of the meeting is “scuttle,” which is where everyone announces what listings they have coming on the market over the next few weeks. The rest of us are all listening for a house that will meet the needs of our buyer clients, and when we hear about one, we jump on it. We get our client in to see the house when it is still “exempt” (not in the MLS) and often our client will put in an offer then and there. The offer is negotiated and the house goes into the MLS as “sold before processing.”

The problem with using a discount buyer broker in a hot market is that they don’t have access to this early warning system. They don’t list properties and they don’t have offices on the North Shore, so they are actually the last ones likely to hear about a new listing.

The way to win in this environment? Work with an agent with one of the big brokerages. The more agents the company has and the more listings it carries, the more likely your agent is to get a heads up about a home coming on the market that is perfect for you, and you can snag it before it goes “live” in the MLS.

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If you are frustrated because you haven’t been able to find and buy a home on Chicago’s North Shore, we can help! Give us a call at 847-881-6657 or send us a note here. We have access to lots of exempts and one of them may be right for you.

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Home Price Projections For 2014 and Beyond

After five years in the doldrums, housing prices finally showed some healthy gains in 2013. homeowners are anxious to know two things: 1) will prices keep rising in 2014 (and is this a good time to sell?)  and 2) when are prices going to get back to 2006-2007 levels?

Here is the best available thinking on that subject. The charts below are courtesy of Keeping Current Matters, and illustrate the collective wisdom of 118 economists, industry analysts and real estate experts.

Some Historical Perspective

This first chart shows that average annual price appreciation before the housing market Bubble was a slow and steady 3.6%. During the period 2002 to 2007 that doubled to 7% per year. For the next five years of the Bust the average price decline was 5.2% per year. Coming out of the recession, with so much pent-up demand from buyers, prices started increasing at a rate of 4.7%.

Historical home price appreciationGoing Forward

Going forward the consensus is that increases will be a healthy 4.5% in 2014 and then begin to moderate as the market returns to normal.

Projected home price appreciationNow, of course, it’s not like all 118 economists and experts actually agreed on a number. No, each provided his or her own projections, with some being more optimistic and some on the pessimistic end of the spectrum. While all of their  projections were combined into a “best estimate” in the chart above, the chart below shows a “best case” scenario taking the optimists’ projections and a “worst case” scenario using the pessimists’ projections. The good news for homeowners is that even the pessimistic Bears see prices appreciating almost 11% by 2018.

Cumulative home price appreciationTo answer the question about when prices will return to 2006-2007 levels, it will likely be sometime around 2020 before we see prices reach those levels again.

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Moving Up? Is It Better To Do It Now or Later?

Best Time to Move up-Now or LaterNow that the North Shore housing market has rebounded and prices are on the rise again, lots of people are thinking of making a move.

According to a recent study by Lending Tree 71% of people who own a home say they are considering moving in the next 12 months! Some are downsizing, some are planning to relocate to another (presumably warmer) climate and some are looking to move up to a larger home.

In fact, another study shows that 75% of the homeowners planning a move will be in that last category: move-up buyers.

If you fall into that category, price and interest rate projections should be a major factor when deciding when to make that move. To give you an idea of the impact of these changes, here’s what happened to those who waited to buy from last year until this year:

The cost of waiting to buy a home.21.15 AM

Assume they had a home worth $300,000 and were looking at a home for $400,000 (putting 10% down they would get a mortgage of $360,000). By waiting, their house appreciated by 13.8% over the last year (national average based on the Case Shiller Pricing Index). Their home would now be worth $341,400. But, the $400,000 home would now be worth $455,200 (requiring a mortgage of $409,680).

Prices are projected to appreciate at least 4% over the next year, while interest rates are projected to increase a full percentage point. Even though rates will still be low by historical standards, the increase will have a big impact on what you will be able to afford. Every percentage point increase in rates reduces your purchasing power by 11%.

If the timing makes sense, buying sooner rather than later may save you a substantial amount of money over the long term in lower mortgage payments.

We are North Shore real estate specialists and one of the top Realtor teams in the area. If you would like to consult with the Come Home North Shore Team about buying a home or getting your home sold, please call us at 847-881-6657 or send us a note here.

We are North Shore real estate specialists and one of the top Realtor teams in the area. If you would like to consult with the Come Home North Shore team about getting your home sold, please call 847-881-6657 or send us a note here. – See more at: http://northshoreviews.com/2013/11/23/what-to-ask-before-hiring-a-listing-agent/#sthash.21hIZOEY.dpuf

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A Snowy Tour of Wilmette’s Kenilworth Gardens

Normally I make most of my videos in the summer when the North Shore homes and communities are looking their best. But I realized that it’s a lot easier to see what the houses look like when there aren’t any trees or shrubs in the way, so I decided to make a video of Kenilworth Gardens in all of its snowy glory.

If you’d like to see the homes currently for sale in Kenilworth Gardens, you can go here.

If you’d like some help finding a home in this or any other North Shore neighborhood, please give us a call at 847-881-6657. We’d love to help you!

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North Shore Real Estate Update – January 2014

North Shore Real Estate Update – January 2014 vs. Year Ago

North Shore Real Estate Update - Jan. 2014Despite our unusually cold and snowy weather, people have been buying houses! North Shore home sales were up 19% in January vs. a year ago. The strongest gains were in Lake Forest (+111%), which is one of the markets that has been slowest to recover after the housing bust. It seems to be benefiting from the low inventory of homes in communities to the south. Home buyers frustrated with the lack of homes in Wilmette and Winnetka are ending up in Lake Forest, where homes are more plentiful.

Median home prices also jumped 25% from last year, with every one of the nine North Shore communities trending up, most with double digit appreciation.

Market time has continued to decline to 123 days, or 4 months, which is below the 6 month market time we see in a balanced market. Wilmette continues to have the shortest average market time, at 53 days, or 1.7 months, driven by extremely low inventory levels.

The key takeaway: the market is back. People are buying houses. Homeowners are recovering some of the equity lost during the meltdown. If you have been thinking of selling, now may be the right time.

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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Wonderful Wilmette Townhouse For Sale

Wilmette Townhouse for Sale1829 Wilmette Avenue, Unit A, Wilmette

This spacious and sunny Wilmette townhouse at 1829 Wilmette Avenue is perfect for anyone who wants a carefree lifestyle. On cold winter days (like today) you can pull into your own two-car attached garage and be in your cozy warm home without having to shovel the driveway or trudge through the snow.

The townhouse has tons of living space, ample rooms sizes and plenty of storage. The main living floor is perfect for parties.  The bright and open living room has a fireplace and hardwood floors and flows right into the dining room and kitchen.

The kitchen was recently updated with granite counters, Wolf cooktop and oven, GE Profile refrigerator and Miele dishwasher.

There are two bedrooms on the top floor with an updated master bath and a hall bath. The third bedroom is on the first floor and can double as an office. It also has its own full bath. The newer LG washer and dryer, also located on the first floor, makes doing laundry easy and convenient.

And for bonus living space, head down to the lower level where you’ll find a rec room that can work as a family room, play room or exercise room.

1829WilmetteAve_LR1

1829 Wilmette Ave_kitchen This 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath home is being offered at $499,000. Showings begin Monday, February 3.

Go here for more information about 1829 Wilmette Ave. If you’d like to arrange a private showing, give us a call at 847-881-6657. We’d be happy to help you!

 

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