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

4 Fun Things To Do On The North Shore, March 21-23, 2014


It’s never to early to teach your children the importance of helping others. Volunteers are welcome to the Winnetka Community House this Saturday, “kids against hunger.”

Friday, March 21st

From 7-8.30pm
At the Greenbriar Gym
1225 Greenbriar Lane, Northbrook
Help restock the Northfield Food Pantry!
Join a dance fitness party with free admission
& a donation of two non-perishable items.
Monetary donations will be accepted, too.
All ages welcome! Prizes and giveaways!
Questions? Call 847.291.2995

Saturday, March 22nd

Kids Against Hunger
Winnetka Community House
Beginning at 8.30am
Please join us at Winnetka Community House on Saturday, March 22 and help the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club, The Volunteer Center and Winnetka Community House package 100,000 highly nutritious meals for starving children in Nicaragua. For more info call: 847.446.0537

Brew your own Kombucha

1640 Chicago Ave, Evanston
Learn how to brew your own kombucha at the Whole Foods Market Evanston South Kombucha Workshop! All ages welcome. $5 suggested donation to Whole Planet Foundation.
To reserve a spot email

Sunday, March 23rd

Symphonies in C
Sheely Center for the Performing Arts
(on the campus of Glenbrook North High School)
2300 Shermer Rd, Northbrook
Three remarkable symphonies side-by side, one from each of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. And even though all are written in the majestic key of C Major, their sound is vastly, fascinatingly different. To order tickets follow this link…

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.

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Where To Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day On The North Shore

St. Paddy's DayWe may not have a green river or an Irish parade, but we do have some fun ways to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day on the North Shore:

1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook

Wear green for free bocce and bowling. Deals include $4 green draft beer and $14 Irish dinners all day.

The Curragh
1800 Tower Drive, Glenview

The newest of four Irish pubs of the same name, Curragh just opened in the Glen last week and is located on the south end of the Glen Town Centre, next to Flight. The pub is named for the famous Ireland racetrack and has five different rooms each with unique Irish themes.

In celebration of St. Paddy’s Day, there will be live bands, Irish dancers, bagpipers, beer specials and authentic Irish food, like Shepard’s Pie, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Stew and Irish Boxty (stuffed Irish potato pancakes).

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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.

Related articles:

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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4 Fun Things To Do On The North Shore, March 14-16, 2014


“You and the whole family can take a magical trip to Neverland with Wilmette Theatre’s Presentation of Peter Pan”

Friday, March 14th

Village Follies Annual Variety Show, “Once Upon a Time”
at the Winnetka Community House
620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka IL
From 7.30-10pm
Tickets are $20/person
The annual variety show will run two consecutive weekends: Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15; Thursday, March 20 through Saturday, March 22. For more info call: 847.446.0537
Or register online at:

Wilmette Children’s Theater
Presents: Peter Pan
Grades 4 – 10
Performances: March 14-16 & 21-23
Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.
Where: The Auditorium of the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Rd., Wilmette.
Tickets are $8.50 per person and can be purchased online. Click here to purchase tickets online. Tickets are also available in person at the front desk of the Community Recreation Center or call 847.256.9686.

Saturday, March 15th

Chicago Botanical Gardens Orchid Show
1000 lake Cook Rd. Glencoe
Adults: members/nonmembers: $8/$10
Seniors 62+: members/nonmembers: $6/$8
Children 3 to 12: members/nonmembers: $6/$8
Children 2 and under: Free
Parking fees apply for nonmembers.
For safety reasons, tripods will not be permitted in the exhibition.

Sunday, March 16th

Family Fun Fest
@ the Glencoe Park District
999 Green Bay Rd, Glencoe
From 1.30-4pm
This is a free event with a bounce house, story times, gym games, arts, crafts & activities. For more information visit:

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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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Going Green Matters: It’s Time to Go Green!


Join Go Green Wilmette today (Sunday, March 9, 2014), from 1 -5 pm at The Woman’s Club of Wilmette for an afternoon of fun activities around healthier living and a healthier environment.

This is an annual event that keeps getting better every year. There are  interactive nature exhibits for children and adults. You can get advice about gardening and native landscaping, and even start your first seed of the season. You’ll find out what’s in your cleaning products and your dinner. You can get answers to your questions about Water Quality, Storm Water, Conservation and Recreation. You can try your luck at the raffle. And, importantly, here’s a chance to recycle your old electronics, Styrofoam, shoes, textiles and bicycles (recycling from 12-4 pm only).

Here are some of the highlights of the event:

  • Examine eight of the latest electric and hybrid cars and the newest hybrid electric commuter bikes.
  • Attend demonstrations on a wide variety of environmental topics including cooking demonstrations by Farmhouse Restaurant of Evanston.
  • See an actual solar hot water system at work and learn how you can harvest the sun.
  • Find tips about growing your own food, reducing your home energy use, native plant and sustainable landscaping, and making smart water choices.
  • Enjoy the expanded interactive “Eco-Zone” on the lower level.
  • Join “Talk it Up: Conversations about Water” with area policy makers and experts.
  • Relax in the complimentary Go Green Café.
  • Recycle from 12 – 4 at nearby Central School, collecting textiles, bikes, shoes and electronics.

This is a family friendly event and it’s FREE! Bring your friends and take home a short list of great things you can easily do to help the planet.

When: Sunday, March 9, 2014 from 1-5 pm

Where: Woman’sClub of Wilmette, 930 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette

Find out more at

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Ravinia 2014

Let’s talk music for a moment… Did you know image
that Ravinia is the oldest outdoor music festival
in the United States? Ravinia has been the summer
home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936.

This summer it will host more than 130 events from
June 5th to September 14th! This includes 4 premieres
and 47 artist debuts that range from conductor Susanna
Malkki to ZZ Top.

So which artists will you be seeing this summer?

Click here for the entire Ravinia 2014 lineup!

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3 Fun Things To Do On The North Shore~ Feb. 28, March 2-3, 2014


Don’t miss The Preschool @ NSCI’s epic magic show & bake sale! Your children will laugh hysterically and have you to thank for all of the fun! Win Win! See you there…


Friday March 28th

Sleep Myths: What is a good night sleep?
A. Perry Homes
564 Lincoln Ave. Winnetka at 2pm
This event feature lesson expert Dr. Neil Stanley.
Light refreshments will be served.
Call 847.440.5400, for more info.

Saturday March 1st

Kiddie Gras
Glenview Park District
Park Center 2400 Chestnut Ave.
Must register! $9/child $7/adult
Marci Gras games & crafts
Bouncers, mini ball drop & Cajun refreshments and music
To register visit:

Sunday March 2nd

Magic Show & Bake Sale
North Shore Congregation Israel
1185 Sheridan Rd Glencoe
From 3-4.30
Tickets in Advance: $10/child $5/adult
At the door: $15/child $10/adult

For more info call or email Ellen at: 847.835.0724 or

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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:

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5 Fun Things To Do On The North Shore February 21-23rd, 2014


“Get a grip on your swing before golf season springs into action!”

Friday the 21st

Wilmette Park District Presents:
101 Dalmatians Kids & Peter Pan
The Auditorium of the Community Recreation Center
Located at 3000 Glenview Rd., Wilmette.
Performances going on all weekend!
Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday/Sunday, 2 p.m.
Tickets are $8.50 per person and can be purchased online. Click here to purchase tickets online: Tickets are also available in person at the front desk of the Community Recreation Center or call 847.256.9686.

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