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

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Report – November 2014

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Report – November 2014

North Shore Chicago Market Data - November 2014
The North Shore real estate market has been quiet this fall, and, while market fundamentals are sound, we can say that the recovery is taking a breather. A decline in home buyer activity has driven an 8% decrease in home sales in November and a 9% decrease in the median price to %567,000. Market time, which has been steadily declining over the past year and a half, has leveled off at just over three months in November.

Housing supply is up 13% over November of last year and the months supply of inventory is up 29% to 6.7 months (meaning it would take 6.7 months for all the houses on the market to sell given the current rate of sale). Selling price as a percent of list price, which had increased to almost 97% earlier in the year, has settled back down to 95%. We are seeing more price reductions than we did during earlier in the year, and buyers are enjoying more negotiating leverage now than they did during the spring bidding wars.

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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Best Colorists on the North Shore


We know. Your social calendar is on overload right now, and you want to look and feel your best. Perhaps a little color is in order to freshen up your look. No need to trek all the way downtown, the North Shore has plenty of skilled colorists who are at the top of their game and will make you look like you’re at the top of yours.

J•stranD Salon
258 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-4111

J∙stranD for Hair, Body, and Soul is a beautiful and comfortable salon that offers a plethora of services in a professional but warm and welcoming environment. Each team member is dedicated to a particular service, so you have colorists that are dedicated to color and color only. And while you are in capable hands with any of the colorists here, you’ll hear many on the North Shore singing the praises of Vesna .

Paul Rehder Salon
952 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-501-4000

The opening of this new salon was eagerly anticipated by many on the North Shore. Although many love its sleek and urban feel (sister location downtown), it’s the devout following of Marissa and Priscilla, and their mastery of color, that has had people flocking to this new outpost.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Dec. 5 – 7

holiday fun

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has officially begun. Let’s hope we can all take some time to enjoy some of the many wonderful opportunities that celebrate the true spirit of the holidays! Here’s what’s going on this weekend:

Celtic Tenor Christmas
Dec. 5: 8 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Join the world-class Celtic Tenors for their musical celebration of Irish Christmas as they perform a wonderful mixture of Celtic, operatic and popular songs. For ticket info, click here.

Deerfield’s Winter Celebration
Dec. 5: 5 – 9 pm, Village Hall, 850 Waukegan Road, Deerfield
Dec. 6: 9 am – 3 pm, The Shops at Deerfield Square, 740 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield
Horse drawn carriages, live reindeer, roasted chestnuts, and entertainment followed by a day filled with activities at various merchant locations, plus a petting zoo and plenty of photo ops throughout.

“It’s Christmas Charlie Brown”
12/5 @ 6 pm, 12/6 @ 10 am, 12/7 @ 2 & 4 pm, 12/13 & 12/14 @ 10 am
Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette
Presented by the ATC Repertory Company. Come celebrate the Holiday with Charlie Brown and the gang as they discover the true meaning of Christmas. The show last 48 minutes and there is a family sing along after! Click here for ticket info.

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Why The First Offer On Your Home Is Often The Best Offer

yard_sign_desperate_sellerThere is a truism in real estate that the first offer you receive on your home is the best one you will get. And while that’s not true 100% of the time, our experience is that it IS true in about 85% of cases.

When a North Shore homeowner receives the first offer on their home and it isn’t close to their asking price, they tend to balk. Reluctant to even negotiate, their inclination is to hold out for another, higher offer.

While this is understandable, in most cases we encourage our clients to take a deep breath and try to work with the offer, reminding them that it’s not where you start in a negotiation but where you finish that counts. We have seen a lot of cases where the initial offer was low but ultimately got close to what was acceptable to the seller. There is absolutely no downside to countering an offer, even if it’s a small reduction. That signals to the buyer that you are willing to negotiate but are not willing to give away the farm. And the buyer’s response to your counter will give you a good sense of where things are headed.

But back to the reason that the first offer is often the best one.

Today more than 90% of all home buyers start their home search online. They supplement their online search with visits to Sunday open houses. By the time they are ready to make an offer on a house, they are well-educated about the market. They have looked at everything in their price range, comparing features and amenities and have a good sense of value. When a new house comes on the market, they can immediately assess how it compares to what they’ve seen and whether it’s worth the price. Their offer will reflect their perception of the home’s value vs. competing listings.

If they have lost a house (or houses) in a bidding war, they will move quickly and with a strong offer.

But once a house has been on the market for  few weeks, most of the showings you get will be from buyers who are in the early stages of their search. They are still doing research on the market and not yet ready to buy.

The longer the house is on the market the less sense of urgency buyers have. They think, “Well, no one has bought this house, so it must not be worth what the seller is asking.” or they think,  “Maybe there’s something wrong with it.” or even “Maybe I can get this house at a steal.” And that’s when the low-ball offers start to come in.

The more time that passes, the more likely you will end up accepting an offer that is lower than the initial offer you got.

My advice is to take the first offer you get seriously. Don’t be insulted by it. Try to work with it. You may be able to get the buyer to come close to a price that is acceptable to you, especially if you can compromise on other terms like the closing date. Don’t walk away from the deal until you have fully negotiated it. When you reach the buyer’s bottom line, you can decide if it’s acceptable or not. No one can force you to take it.

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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Best Family-Friendly Restaurants on the North Shore


Tired of cooking? Tired of leftovers? But still have family in town? Then it’s time to take the show on the road. Dining out with kids has its unique set of challenges, so we offer you this list where the kids will be welcomed but your taste buds will not have to suffer.

The Happ Inn
305 Happ Road, Northfield, 847-784-9200

The Happ Inn has become a neighborhood staple known for its inviting and dynamic atmosphere, fresh quality food, specialty craft beers and diverse wine list. This award winning restaurant is the perfect place to meet friends and family for a casual dinner or to grab a cold beer and quick bite while watching the game on a flat screen TV in the bar.

The Silo
625 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff, 847-234-6660
The Silo has been a landmark on the North Shore for over 43 years, serving famous pan pizza. In addition, award winning chili, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, dinner entrees, and a full service bar compliment the menu. Gluten free options now available plus they have a magician on Sunday evenings from 5 – 8 pm.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Nov. 28 – Nov. 30, 2014


Catch the holiday spirit along with Santa, Elsa (think Frozen) and live reindeer! Plenty of opportunities for holiday and family fun abound this weekend!

Lake Forest Annual Tree Lighting
Nov. 28: 3 – 7 pm
Market Square, 1 Market square, Lake Forest

31 years and going strong. This annual family tradition includes live ice sculpting, Santa meet and greet, and caroling with the Lake Forest High School Choristers.

The Mousetrap
Nov. 28: 8 pm; Nov. 29 2:30 and 8 pm; Nov. 30 7 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Agatha Christie’s masterful whodunit weaves an intricate plot filled with nerve-rattling suspense, all leading up to the ultimate final twist! For ticket information, click here.

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Best Toy Stores on the North Shore


As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, do you find yourself in state of panic about what to buy for the kids in your life? Don’t fret! The North Shore has many unique, independent toy stores that can help you find the perfect gift for children of all ages. If you’d rather skip the big box store madness, then this list is for you!


654 Central Ave, Highland Park, 847-432-8300

Beanstalk has all the toys, games, crafts, and books loved by newborns through 8 years. The also carry a great selection of baby essentials including strollers, bassinets, car seats and bath care. Known for the customer service and free gift wrap, customers delight in the store’s unique offerings and magical ambiance.

Village Toy Shop
807 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-446-7990

Owned by a mother/daughter duo, the Village Toy Shop is a beloved treasure in Winnetka. They provide exceptional customer service, awesome gift wrapping that includes fun little treats and are always loaded with great suggestions. Choose from a wide variety of board games, science kits, crafts, magic kits, books and more.

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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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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Nov. 21 – Nov. 23, 2014

wilmette tree lighting

The holiday season officially kicks off with some area tree lightings, holiday wine tastings and shopping opportunities. In addition, Evanston welcomes a new brewery and Suzanne Vega performs. And if that’s not enough, Barnes and Noble caps off a Discovery Week with two great parent workshops with tips on how to raise multilingual and global citizens! What a great weekend!

Wilmette Holiday Family Celebration
Nov. 20: Tree Lighting at Village Hall @ 7 pm
Nov. 21: Holiday Parade 10:30 am,
Visit with Santa & Sleigh Rides 11:15 – 1 pm
Starts at 4th and Linden and travels to Village Center, Wilmette

Celebrate the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting and Wilmette Holiday Parade. Thousands of friends and family gather along the parade route to watch bands, classic cars, clowns, performers, school groups, businesses, community and civic organizations and more. For more information:

Sketchbook Brewing Company Grand Opening
Nov.21, 4 pm – 8 pm
Sketchbook Brewing Company, In the alley behind 825 Chicago Avenue, Evanston

One year after Cesar Marron’s Grätzer recipe won the Sam Adams “Longshot” award, he and co-founder Shawn Decker will celebrate the Grand Opening of Sketchbook Brewing Company, offering up to six different times of brew at a time, including a gluten free option. For more information:

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Best Pies on the North Shore


When it comes to pies, we strongly believe you really can’t go wrong! But since it ‘tis pie season, we wanted to recognize some local favorites that truly stand above the rest. And if you are thinking about picking one up for Thanksgiving, place your order ASAP, as some places are already booked up! Now who’s ready for a slice?

Hoosier Mama Pie Company
749 N. Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-868-8863

This Evanston outpost is a joint endeavor of the Hoosier Mama Pie Co. in Chicago & The Dollop Coffee and Tea Co. The storefront boasts a large sunny rom to enjoy a slice and some coffee while watching the bakers and baristas ply their trade. Everything is made in house. There is always a tempting and varied selection of sweet pies to choose from and they also offer pie flights – 3 half slices of pie from their daily flight menu for under $8! Breakfast pastries, savory pie plates, sandwiches, and salads available too.

Sweety Pies
8042 Lincoln Avenue, Skokie, 847-213-0900

Sweety Pies is a family run business whose founders gave up their day jobs to follow their passion. Since opening in 2007, this bakery, cakery and café has become a Skokie landmark. When it comes to their pies, most of the recipes have been handed down from family and are baked by mama, Arden Kruger. The pie menu always features three staples: Apple Pie Crisp, Chocolate Cashmere and Crocodile Pie (their version of pecan pie with semi-sweet chocolate and a touch of rum in a buttery pastry crust). However, they are happy to accommodate special requests so just give them a call and enjoy!

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