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

Archive for the 'Real estate' Category

North Shore Market Update: 1st Quarter 2012 vs. Year Ago

Home sales on Chicago’s North Shore were up 16% over last year for the first quarter of 2012. Due to the mild weather the spring market started early this year and open houses have been very active since early February. At certain price points we are seeing good houses that are well-priced sell quickly and with multiple offers. In particular, there’s a shortage of inventory in the $700,000 to $1,000,000 price range.

Does that mean prices are on the rise again? Not yet. Median prices were down 20% vs. last year. But the fact that  we’re seeing multiple offers and improving sales price to list price ratios, suggests that the market has finally reached the bottom and is poised to turn the corner.

North Shore Market Update: 1st Quarter 2012 vs. Year Ago

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Data -1st Qtr 2012Source: MRED LLC – Data for single family homes. Deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Want to know what your home is worth in today’s market? Give us a call at 847-881-6657 and we’d be glad to provide you with a complimentary, no obligation, home value analysis. Or you can get a free, quick, over-the-net evaluation.

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Winnetka Colonial Home for Sale

149 Glenwood exterior

Here’s a great house in a wonderful neighborhood on the north end of Winnetka. This delightful brick home at 149 Glenwood has all the charm of a vintage house and all the modern amenities you’d find in a newer home. Listed for $739,000, it’s bigger than it looks from the street. Downstairs it has an elegant living room with floor to ceiling arched windows and a fireplace. The formal dining room opens to a cozy sunroom and to a comfy sunken family room. The eat-in kitchen has been recently updated with granite counters and stainless appliances.

On the second floor there’s a large new master bedroom and bath as well as two family bedrooms and bright and fresh hall bath. Up on the third floor is a fourth bedroom with sitting room/office and half bath, a perfect teenage suite.

Out back is a lovely shaded patio and a two car garage. Just across the street and down the block is a great little neighborhood park and playlot. You can get more info about this home here.

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Charming Glencoe Home for Sale

1025_Green_Bay Rd., Glencoe, IL

Come Home North Shore just listed this charming Glencoe home and, if you are looking for a three bedroom, two and one half bath house that’s been totally redone, this is the one for you!

With incredible curb appeal, the front porch welcomes you home. Sitting back from Green Bay Rd. on a lovely lot, the home features spacious and light-filled rooms and hardwood floors throughout. On the first floor there is a living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen with granite countertops, cherry cabinetry and top of the line stainless steel appliances. The family room opens out onto the pretty yard with bluestone patio and pergola. Upstairs are three delightful bedrooms, including a fabulous master bedroom with cathedral ceiling and skylights, as well as a luxurious bath. The finished basement has a big rec room, laundry room and plenty of storage.

Here are the best things about this house:

  • It’s been recently redone from top to bottom and has a fresh and young decor.
  • It’s close to town and train and right next door to the Takiff Community Center, which offers activities  for everyone in the family.
  • You will enjoy summer evenings entertaining on your patio.
  • A two car garage is steps from your back door.

Perfection! It’s ready and waiting for you to move in. Go here for more information about this adorable house.

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North Shore Market Update: February 2012

The market is hopping again! North Shore Chicago home sales were up 16% in February over last year. Six of the nine towns we track showed double digit increases, led by Wilmette and Northfield. The only town with declines over last February were Winnetka, Kenilworth and Glenview.

Despite the healthy sales trend, home prices continue to decline and the median price for the nine North Shore communities was down 23% from last year and about equal to 2002 levels. The only towns with positive trends were Evanston, Winnetka and Kenilworth. After decreasing steadily for the last couple of years, time on market has stabilized at six nd a half months, which is typical for a “normal” market.

North Shore Market Update: February 2012 vs. Year Ago

North Shore Market Update: Feb. 2012Source: MRED llc – Data for single family homes. Deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Want to know what your home is worth in today’s market? Give us a call at 847-881-6657 and we’d be glad to provide you with a complimentary, no obligation, home value analysis. Or you can get a free, quick, over-the-net evaluation.

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3 Fun Things To With The Kids On The North Shore: March 2-4

Recycled Circus 02Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus

March 2 at 7:30 pm; March 3 at 4:30 and 7:30 pm; March 4 at 3:00 pm
Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston
Featuring aerial acrobatics and live music. Tickets: $15 adults; $10 for children 12 and under. (800) 838-3006

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

March 2 and 3 at 10:00 am
Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire
Tickets: $15. www.MarriottTheatre.com

Seussical Jr.

March 3 at 10:00 am
Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette
Presented by the Actors Training Center. Tickets: $12 www.wilmettetheatre.com

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Michael Jordan Lists His Highland Park Home

Gate to Michael Jordan's house in Highland ParkI’ve written before about the North Shore’s most expensive homes, but they pale in comparison to this one.

Michael Jordan’s home at 2700 Point Lane in Highland Park came on the market yesterday, and it can be yours for a mere $29,000,000. Oh, and once you come up with the money to buy the house, be sure you can also afford the yearly tax bill of $165,224.

Wondering what that $29 million will buy you? 32,683 square feet on 7+ acres, enough bedrooms for all your friends, even more bathrooms 15.4 (!), all MJ’s furniture, a pool, tennis court and a full indoor basketball court.

The contemporary house was custom built in 1995 north of Half Day Rd. MJ hasn’t spent much time there of late and is now buying a mega-home in Florida.

Michael Jordan's house

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A Tale of 3 Home Buyers (and Why Picking the Right Real Estate Brokerage Matters)

success_failureOnce upon a time there were three young families looking to move from the city to the North Shore.

The first young family decided to hire an agent from a discount brokerage. They did not think they needed the help of a full service agent to help them find a house. They thought they could find it themselves on the internet and were looking forward to getting a rebate back from their agent when they closed on their new house.

The second young family hired an agent who was good at self-promotion and was very busy. They thought she must be the best because she advertised so much.

The third family hired an experienced agent from the biggest brokerage in town, and they relied on her to counsel them about the market, the neighborhoods and home values and to network with her fellow agents to find out about houses that might be right for them.

Now, it just so happened that all three young families were looking for a house in the same price range. And it just so happened that there were very few good houses on the market in this price range. So when the agent for the third family went to her office meeting on Monday morning, she was listening carefully as the other 100 agents announced what new listings they had. She heard about a new listing coming on the market that sounded perfect for her clients and she immediately asked if they could preview the property even before it was in the MLS. When her clients went to see the house they fell in love with it and decided to buy it. The day it came on the market they put in an offer and within a day they had the house under contract.

The first family with the discount broker and the second family with the busy agent also loved the house, but by the time they got to see it, it was too late.  The third family (with the Coldwell Banker agent) had already snapped it up. They moved into the house of their dreams and lived happily ever after.

The moral of this story: the real estate brokerage you select to help you buy your home really does matter, especially in a busy market. It can mean the difference between success and failure in finding and closing on your dream home.

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Fabulous Family Home in Kenilworth Gardens

2347 Greenwood, Wilmette

This House Checks All the Boxes on Your Wish List

The Come Home North Shore team just listed this classic center entry colonial house at 2347 Greenwood Avenue in Kenilworth Gardens.  Listed for $849,900, it’s a great value for a house this size in such a desirable location. Here’s what we think is so special about this home:

  • A large eat-in kitchen with a two-sided fireplace it shares with the adjacent family room.
  • Five bedrooms, which is not typical of Kenilworth Gardens houses.
  • Updated decor and freshly painted.
  • French doors leading out to a lovely blue-stone patio in back
  • Less than a block to Harper School and Thornwood Park
  • An easy walk to the Kenilworth Metra station.

You can get more info and see photos here. We’re having an open house this Sunday, February 26th from noon to 3:00 pm so please come see this wonderful home. Or call us to schedule a showing  at 847-881-6657.

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Is Customer Service Important to You? There’s an App for That!

on holdIf you’ve ever tried calling Comcast and spent an eternity on hold, you will love this nifty new app for your smart phone.

It’s called Fast Customer. If you need to reach the customer service department of a company and want to talk to a real live human being, here’s all you have to do:  1) download the Fast Customer app onto your phone (it’s free). 2) Send a text message with the name of the company you’re trying to reach to 936-225-5757. 3) Wait a few minutes and you’ll receive a phone call from a customer service representative from that company. That’s it. No more phone tree or endless loops, no more waiting on hold. No more “Please stay on the line. Your call is important to us.” You can just get on with your life until a live customer service rep calls you.

Even if you don’t have a smart phone, you can use Fast Customer’s service through your Internet browser.

Of course, when you want to reach us at Come Home North Shore, you don’t need a fancy app. Just call us at 847-881-6657 and one of us will always answer your call. Now that’s customer service!

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Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

Given all the challenges homeowners have faced in the last few years, we often forget about all the benefits to owning your own home. Among the benefits are the tax deductions for those who qualify. Here are six of the top tax advantages of home ownership,courtesy of Buffini and Company:
house made of money

  1. Write off the interest you paid on a mortgage of up to $1 million, as long as the property is your main or secondary residence. This deduction really pays off during the first years of owning the home, when interest accounts for most of your payment, also known as home acquisition debt.
  2. Deduct the interest you pay on home equity loans of up to $100,000, so long as you are not subject to the alternative minimum tax or AMT (unless you use the loan for home improvements).
  3. Deduct your state and local property taxes from your federal income taxes, where applicable.*
  4. Deduct your home buying expenses, including loan origination fees, prorated interest on a new loan or prorated property taxes.*
  5. If you sold your home in 2011, you may not have to pay federal income taxes on the earnings from the sale, up to $250,000 for single filers or $500,000 for joint filers, as long as you used the home as a primary residence for at least two of the five years prior to selling.
  6. Rent your home out for up to 15 days and keep the income generated – it’s not taxable.

* Not an eligible deduction if you are subject to the AMT.

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