North Shore Views
Archive for the 'Real estate' Category
Many times I will recommend that a homeowner give their rooms a fresh coat of paint before listing their North Shore home for sale. After all, there is no single improvement or update that will give you a better return per dollar spent.
And if their target buyer is on the younger side, I remind them that Pottery Barn is the arbiter of all things young and fresh as far as decor goes. The more they can make their home look like a Pottery Barn catalog, the better. Easier said than done if all of your furniture pieces were inherited from your grandmother. But using Benjamin Moore’s Pottery Barn collection of paint colors is one way to breathe a little fresh air into your home.
If you are painting your home to sell, here are six of my fail-safe favorites from the spring collection:
Monroe Bisque (HC-26)
This is a sandy beige that is great for maximizing the space in your room. Paint the trim the same as the wall to add height to the room.
Hawthorne Yellow (HC-4)
A warm yellow that is neither too golden nor too lemony. Its slight gray undertone makes it work in any room, but it’s especially good in hallways and rooms that get little natural light.
Bleeker Beige (HC-80)
This is not a boring beige. It has warmth and depth and looks great with blues, greens and blue-greens.
Hazy Skies (OC-48)
This neutral is a beige with gray undertones that makes a great backdrop for any decorating scheme.
Buxton Blue (HC-149)
If there is such a thing as a neutral blue, this is it. It’s got both gray and green in it so it changes depending on the light, but it’s always cool and soothing.
Urban Nature (AF-440)
A sophisticated grayish-green that works well in bedrooms or living rooms.
- Painting Your House to Sell: Tips for Picking Paint Colors
- Top 10 Paint Colors to Sell Your North Shore Home
1. Listing a property without pictures. Buyers assume that there must be something wrong with the house.
2. Lack of transaction details. For example, a short sale listing that doesn’t address whether the lender has approved of the price.
3. Hyperbole. Buyers can be turned off by superlative claims like, “Best property on the market.”
4. Price too good to be true. Listing a home at a very low price can attract lots of buyers, BUT it can also attract UNQUALIFIED buyers looking to get a bargain.
5. The flipper. Phrases like “recently remodeled” sound good, but can actually be a red flag to those in the know. It can imply that this is a flip that may have been done without proper permitting or with shoddy workmanship and cut corners.
6. “As is”. These days those two little words can mean that the previous owners have taken everything out of the house that wasn’t nailed down (and some things that were, like appliances, cabinetry and bathroom fixtures).
You can read the full article here.
The other day I wrote about the housing inventories on Chicago’s North Shore and how they’ve declined in the last two years. While most towns on the North Shore still had at least a year’s worth of inventory as of the end of January, Wilmette stands out as the one market that has less than six months supply. In fact, at some price points there are actually not enough homes on the market to meet the demand.
Wilmette Active Listings and Odds of Selling
The chart shows how well supply and demand are balanced at specific price points. It also shows the odds of your house selling in the next six months based on its price. For example, in the $600,000-$699,000 range there are more than twice as many buyers as there are homes for sale, given that the number of sales in the last six months was 222% of the number of homes currently listed for sale.
The implication for buyers at this price point: if you see a house you like, you probably ought to go ahead and make an offer. If you wait, it may be gone.
The implication for would-be sellers at this price point: if you are trying to decide whether to put your house on the market right now, the answer is yes. If it shows well and is properly priced, it should sell quickly. If you are at the low end of the $700,000-799,000 range (where there are more listings than buyers), you may want to consider lowering the price to $699,000 so that you can fish where the fish are.
For a while there it seemed like every other house had a For Sale sign in the yard. Fortunately, things seem to be looking up for home sellers on Chicago’s North Shore. There are fewer houses on the market, so if you are a seller that means less competition for the buyers that are out there. It also means you will probably get your home sold more quickly than this time last year or the year before.
Almost every town had double digit declines in inventory, with Wilmette having the most dramatic decrease. In fact, Wilmette now has less than five months’ supply of houses, which is considered a balanced market (neither a buyer’s nor a seller’s market). So, if you live in Wilmette and are thinking of selling anytime soon, now might be a good time.
Three Year Inventory Comparison
Number of Houses for Sale
Not long ago I wrote about the North Shore’s Ten Priciest Properties for Sale. This post is about the ones that actually sold. I was going to go with the top ten biggest sales but thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Tony Rezko’s Wilmette home, which was number eleven on the list.
The homes sold for between $3,700,000 and $6,500,000. On average, they sold for 78% of the original list price. Three are in Wilmette, four in Winnetka and four in Lake Forest. Four of them are lakefront properties.
11. 1250 Chestnut Ave., Wilmette - $3,701,000
Winner of a Historic Preservation Award, this magnificent 1930′s home is located in the prestigious CAGE area of East Wilmette. It has 30 rooms, 7 bedrooms and 9.3 baths in 8300 square feet of living space. Formerly owned by developer and fast-food entrepreneur, Tony Rezko, the house was auctioned in 2010 by Bank of America to recoup some of the imprisoned developer’s past-due $5,150,000 mortgage. Rezko was found guilty of federal fraud and money-laundering charges.
10. 714 Park Lane, Winnetka - $3,800,000
This 16 room, 10,576 square foot home was built in 2005 and has state-of-the-art whole house Creston technology. Located near the lake and just blocks from town, the home is on two thirds of an acre of lushly landscaped grounds with pool and spa.
Now that over 90% of home buyers start their search on line, most real estate agents understand how important great listing photos are. But some just don’t get it. Here are some doozies that scream, “DON’T BUY MY HOME!”
Believe it or not, this home has been on the market 1507 days. Hmmm. Not exactly a motivated seller.
Oh, by the way, none of these listings are foreclosures or REOs.
We understood that a house we could afford would need some TLC: a fresh coat of paint, some repairs and some updates. We did not expect granite counter-tops (or even Corian, which was the granite of the day) or stainless appliances or a walk-in shower for two. In fact, the house we ended up buying had metal kitchen cabinets, red Formica counters and a vinyl floor. One bathroom had pinkish tile and the other was blue from floor to ceiling. But it had potential. And it was what we could afford.
Today’s first-time home buyer is different. Spoiled by the current market conditions, they are able to take advantage of low prices, great mortgage rates and the wide selection of homes for sale, and they don’t have to sell a current house in order to move forward with a purchase. That’s why first-time buyers accounted for half of the market in 2010.
A recent Coldwell Banker survey revealed that, because of market conditions, first-time buyers were able to buy a home sooner than they had expected (67%), found a home in a more desirable neighborhood (50%), got more space (40%) and at a lower price than expected (61%). In this market, the first-time buyer is in the driver’s seat. They can be choosy. They will look at more homes before they buy and they are less likely to make compromises about what they want.
- 78% said that the home had to be in an area convenient to shops and services.
- 75% said it was important to be close to work.
- 66% said they needed to be near “highly-rated” schools.
- 87% said that finding a move-in ready home was important to them.
The implication for sellers: your buyer has different expectations than you did when you bought your first home. They want it all, and you need to take that into account as you position your house for sale in today’s market.
- Home Staging Works. Here’s Proof
- Selling Your Home? The First Week is Critical
- The 5 Pitfalls of Overpricing Your House
- How Photos Can Prevent Your Home from Selling
- How Do Interest Rates Affect How Much Home You Can Afford?
- 12 Ways to Make a Small Room Feel Bigger
- It is light and bright with a comfortable floor plan. It has a private master suite with a full bath and spacious walk-in closet. It’s even got a workshop in the garage, so if you’re a tinkerer, it might be the home for you.
- It’s the least expensive single family home in the Harper district, so if you want or need to live in this area and are on a budget, this could be a great option for you.
- It’s conveniently located just steps from the PACE bus route and walking distance to both Harper School and Highcrest Middle School.
The downside? The house has no basement, but it does have plenty of storage in the attic and in the garage.
The listing agent is Maureen Spriggs. You can see a virtual tour here. If you’d like to see it in person, just let me know. Maureen or I would be happy to show it to you.
Yesterday the Illinois Association of Realtors released December numbers for home sales and prices. The data illustrates that old truism that all real estate is local. Here’s a comparison between the State of Illinois, the Chicago Metro area and the North Shore.
Normally I use data for single family detached homes, but in this case I have included attached homes (condos and town-homes) as well, in order to compare apples to apples. My definition of the North Shore is made up of nine markets, including Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Glenview, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park and Lake Forest.
2010 Home Sales Comparison
Illinois experienced declines in both sales and median price for the year, though December’s sales were up 11.1% from November, an encouraging sign, particularly given the time of year.While the Chicago Metro area’s sales were off slightly vs. 2009, December’s sales were up 15.2% vs. November. Both sales and median prices were down for Illinois and Chicago Metro for December 2010 vs. 2009. You can read more here.
The North Shore fared significantly better, with double digit growth in home sales and modest growth in median price vs. 2009.
Wilmette’s Romona neighborhood had strong sales activity in 2010, up 19% over 2009. The median prices was up 3%. As the most affordable neighborhood in Wilmette, 74% of homes in Romona sold for under $600,000. 23% sold for between $600,000 and $1,000,000 and only 2% sold for over $1,000,000. There were four short sales in Romona in 2010.
Romona Neighborhood Home Sales Statistics
You can see what individual homes sold for on your street or in your neighborhood to get an idea of your own home’s relative value. Or go here to request a quick, over-the-net home evaluation from us.
- Harper Neighborhood Home Sales
- McKenzie Neighborhood Home Sales
- Central School Neighborhood Home Sales