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

5 myths about buying a home

There are many ways to receive information in 2013. This can make searching for information on home buying scary. Let us clear up some of the myths you may have you feeing Leary about home buying.

1. High Down Payment

Most people hear that they need 20% for a down payment on a home. This is completely false. And luckily so since this can mean easily having to put away thousands upon thousands of dollars before even considering buying a home. There are many conventional loans that would only require 3% or even 0.

2. Must Have Great Credit

This myth is actually false. Due to recent years of high unemployment rates lenders have taken these hard times into consideration when approving loans. Even with a low down payment it is possible to buy a home with less than perfect credit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

5 Fun Things To Do On The North Shore~ October 25-27, 2013


“I see a fun filled weekend lies ahead~ thanks to the North Shore Views team! Arrrrgg…”

Friday, October 25th

The Horror of Dracula
Wilmette Public Library From 7-8.30pm
1242 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette
Come to the screening of this film classic from 1958 (rated PG). Then join us at the overview program on horror on October 27 at 2 pm. For more info contact Nancy Wagner @ 847.256.6935

Halloween Happening
Wilmette Park District from 6-9pm
1200 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette
Filled with chills and thrills, this family-friendly event features carnival games, a magician, a fortune teller, a moonwalk, arts and crafts, face painting, a mummy’s Tomb and pony rides. Don’t miss the Theater of Terror and the Traveling World of Reptiles! Pizza dinner is included, along with a goodie bag and a visit to the Pumpkin Patch. Wristbands will be issued and will be required to participate in all activities. This event takes place at the Community Recreation Center. All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more info visit:
Read the rest of this entry »

How NOT to Find a Buyer For Your North Shore Home

An agent in my office told me a story the other day about a listing presentation she went on that highlighted one of the misconceptions North Shore homeowners have about real estate advertising.

She was talking to the homeowner about her marketing and about the benefits of listing with Coldwell Banker. The homeowner pulled out the local newspaper and opened it up to several consecutive pages of ads from a competitive brokerage and said, “Look at them. They do more advertising than your company. Why shouldn’t I list with them?”

My agent friend proceeded to show him the NAR (National Association of Realtors) research about where home buyers search for properties: 90% of them search on the Internet, while less than 30% look at print ads.

Use of Internet to search for homes


Then she showed him the graph from, an independent source that tracks website visits across the industry. The graph shows that is far and away the most visited site by home buyers in our area (blue line in the graph). That other company’s numbers were way below, with only 6% of the traffic of Coldwell Banker’s local site.


She asked him whether he would rather his home be where buyers are searching or where other home sellers are looking.

He got her point.  And she got the listing.

You see, there are two main reasons why real estate agents advertise their listings in local newspapers and magazines, and neither of them have anything to do with selling your house.

One reason is to appeal to their client’s ego. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a picture of their home in print? It’s almost as gratifying as seeing your child’s picture in the paper. And, besides, a print ad is tangible evience your agent is doing something to market your house.

The other reason is self-promotion for the agent. She advertises her listings in the local paper. Other homeowners see the ads and think, she must be successful. I should list my house with her. There’s nothing wrong with self-promotion. Realtors have to eat too.  But that kind of advertising is doing nothing to sell your house.

Because the people who are NOT seeing those ads are the people most likley to buy your house.

So, if you want to sell your home, make sure you hire the agent that markets it to home buyers, not to other home sellers.

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.


Tags: , , ,

A Joyful Noise Preschool

Many of our clients are families with young children who are moving from the city to the North Shore. As they shop for homes, they are typically drawn to the communities with the best schools. Even those with toddlers are already thinking about which high school they want their children to attend. As for elementary school, most have scoured the sites with school rankings to make sure their children are in the schools which will prepare them best for high school.

Preschool usually isn’t a factor when choosing a community, but once a family has bought a house they set about finding a preschool that will get their little ones off to a great start in their education. Fortunately we have a lot of terrific preschools on the North Shore, and which one you choose depends on which best fits your child’s temperment and your own philosophy about early childhood education.

A Joyful Noise is a school that consistently gets high marks from its parents for its play-based curriculum, experienced and nurturing teachers and strong parent community. Many parents make life-long friendships with the other parents in the school.

A Joyful Noise is one of two preschools in Kenilworth and is affiliated with Kenilworth Union Church. You don’t have to live in Kenilworth to attend and you don’t have to be a member of the Church. But the school is based on the principles and values of the Christian faith, and there is a faith dimension to the curriculum.

There is a Moms & Tots (<2 years) program one day a week, and programs for two year olds and three year olds, as well as Junior Kindergarten.

Here’s what’s special about A Joyful Noise:

  • It’s a play-based curriculum whose purpose is development of the whole child and which is based on current research on best practices in early childhood development.
  • It has a wonderful play-space that no other school can match: a huge lot behind the church with playground and garden that the kids enjoy year-round.
  • The teachers are very experienced and have long tenure at the school.
  • There is a strong community of parents who are very involved in the school, and fellowship is an important part of the experience. My neighbor, Chris, gave me a great example of this: when her second child was born the school families prepared and delivered six weeks of meals to her family!

If you would like to consider a preschool that incorporates Christian principles, you should check out A Joyful Noise. If you don’t live in Kenilworth, don’t worry. Only about 20% of kids at A Joyful Noise live there. The rest are from all over the North Shore: Wilmette, Winnetka, Glenview, Northfield, etc.

A Joyful Noise Preschool is located at 211 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, IL 60043. For more info or to schedule a tour of the school call (847) 853-2100 or visit

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.

Related article:


Tags: ,

6 Fun Things To Do On The North Shore~ October 18-20, 2013

image “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz visits the North Shore for one more weekend!”

Friday, October 18th

Wilmette Children’s Theater Presents: The Wizard of Oz October 18th @ 7pm, October 19th @ 2 & 7pm October 20th @ 7pm Auditorium of the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Rd., Wilmette Tickets: $8.50/person Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

Donate Your Old Bikes to Pedal Power

Nicki Basil

I just received an email from my friend Mike Basil reminding me that it’s Pedal Power time again.

Pedal Power collects used bikes once a year and donates them to Chicago kids who can’t afford to buy a bike. The bike drive was started in 2007 by Nicole Basil, then 9 years old, and is still going strong six years later. Although it started out in Wilmette, it has expanded to other Chicagoland towns and suburbs. Intrigued? Then ask yourself these questions:

Do you have outgrown or unused bikes in your garage?

Do you want to encourage kids to do well in school?

Do you want a tax deduction?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you should bring your bikes to the Pedal Power bike drive on Saturday, November 2nd, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. The bikes are donated to students in the Chicago Public Schools as a reward for good grades.

You can donate working, gently used bikes at several locations in the northern suburbs:

1. WILMETTE – McKenzie Elementary School, 649 Prairie Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091
2. WINNETKA – Green Bay Cycles, 999 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, IL 60093
3. HIGHLAND PARK – Higher Gear, 1874 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL 60035
4. NORTHBROOK – George Garner Cyclery, 1111 Waukegan Road, Northbrook, IL 60062
5. PALATINE – Mike’s Bike Shop, 155 N Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067
6. GLENVIEW – Glenview Cycle, 1011 Harlem Avenue, Glenview, IL 60025
7. EVANSTON – Home Depot, 2201 Oakton, Evanston, IL 60202

Your donations are tax deductible, you will motivate and reward a deserving child, you will have a cleaner garage, and you will give that bike a new purpose.

If you have questions, you can visit, or email

Related Articles:


Tags: , ,

Halloween Fun On The North Shore ~ 2013


Celebrate this Halloween season with all things that go “BUMP IN THE NIGHT!”

Scream Scene

October 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 & 31
From 7-10pm @
Skokie Water Playground
4701 Oakton St. Skokie
Not recommended for kids under 10.

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival

October 17-19
Or 847.432.6000

Things That Go Bump In The Night

October 18 from 6.30-8.30pm
Emily Oaks Nature Center,
4650 Brummel St Skokie
847.674.1500 ext 2500

Spooky Pooch Parade

October 19 from 11am-1pm
Chicago Botanical Garden,
1000 Lake Cook Rd Glencoe
or 847.835.5440


Corn Harvest Festival

October 19, from 10am-4pm
Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Rd
Or 847.657.1506

Halloween Party

October 26, from 1-3pm
Northbrook Court
Lower level near Macy’s
Costume contest, music, dancing,
Activities & treats!

Tags: , ,

Marketing vs. Pricing: What’s More Important When Selling Your North Shore Home?

home-aloneOne of the first questions homeowners will ask when we sit down to talk about listing their house is, how are you going to market my home?

Now, being an ex-marketing executive, that’s music to my ears. I love marketing, and Paula and I are always looking for the best ways to maximize exposure for our clients’ homes and make them stand out from the competition. Marketing is critical.  The more exposure a property has, the the better its chance of getting top dollar.

BUT…all the marketing in the world won’t work if the house is not correctly priced.

The best example I can think of is the “Home Alone” house, the house that starred in  the 1990 hit movie.

The house, a gorgeous Georgian located on Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, came on the market in May 2011, at a list price of $2,400,000. The owners knew they were selling in a bad market, but said that the house’s celebrity status would get them exposure. And boy did it!

When the house hit the MLS it was THE story on every TV and radio station and every newspaper in the greater Chicagoland area. Real estate bloggers and Hollywood bloggers wrote about it. The house got more exposure than any normal home could ever hope to get.

But it didn’t sell.

By August the price had been reduced to $1,950,000 and in November it was taken off the market.

It came back on the market in March of 2012 and sold for $1,585,000, 33% below the original list price.

A word to the wise: get the price right first and then worry about the marketing.

Now that we are (finally) starting to see 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.


Tags: , ,

5 Fun Things To Do On The North Shore~ October 11-13, 2013


Find your “Great Pumpkin” this Saturday in Glencoe!

Friday, October 11

Fall Harvest Fun
from 5-7pm @
Lake view center in
Gillson Park, Wilmette

Make & Take Craft
From 3.30-4.30pm @ the
Winnetka Public Library (Lloyd room)
Drop in for a fun craft!
Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , ,

Hibbard Gardens Sold Out

Hibbard Gardens

Hibbard Gardens, Northfield, IL

If you’re like me you are trying to avoid the construction on Willow Road at all costs. (This has actually saved me money due to less frequent trips to Target). When I do have to go west, my chosen route is Winnetka Avenue to Waukegan, so I drive past the site of the old Hibbard Road Gardens Nursery pretty often. It kind of made me sad to see the old nursery go. I’ve bought lots of plants and Christmas greens there over the years and my kids always liked feeding the visiting reindeer in December. Now it’s just a big pile of bulldozed dirt, just waiting for construction to begin on the new homes that will be built there.

The land is being developed by Edward R. James Partners and will have six single-family “cluster” homes in a maintenance-free community called Hibbard Gardens.  (In case you’re wondering, a cluster home is a detached home which is close to the neighboring houses in its cluster and has very little yard). The homes are 3560 to 4060 sq. ft and priced between $1,514,000 and $1,579,000.

The homes are targeted at empty-nesters and downsizers. They each have a first floor master suite with two bedrooms and two baths plus a loft upstairs. The downstairs public spaces include a cook’s kitchen, family room/breakfast room, great room or living room, study and a patio (which can be upgraded to a screened in porch). Each unit has a two car attached garage. There’s a pond running along the back of the property so all the residents will enjoy a water view.

All six units have been pre-sold. If you were looking for something like that, let us know. We can help you find something just as nice, even if it’s not quite as new.

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.  

Tags: , ,