Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Stage Your Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield IL Home for the Holidays

Did you know that homes tend to show better during the holiday season? It's true! The cozy feelings you feel over these chilly winter months can actually help you sell your home as North Shore buyers feel them too!

But how can you be sure you make an impact and take full advantage of everything the holiday season has to offer home sellers? As your North Shore real estate expert, I've included a few ways to successfully stage your home for the holidays below:

Stick to a color scheme
The holidays may tempt you to overdo it on the decor, with flashing colored lights outside, white lights on the tree and a variety of different ornaments, but don't get carried away. Sticking to a color scheme like metallics or reds or greens inside your North Shore home can feel festive without coming across as showy or busy.

Skip the outlandish outdoor decor
Does your neighbor have a giant, inflatable Santa towering over your yard? Or perhaps a swirling snow globe featuring Frosty himself stares at you from across the street? No matter, if you're selling your home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook or the surrounding areas, you will want to skip these large displays as they can turn off buyers.

Set the table
The holidays are a time for hosting, entertaining and gathering— many times over the table! Set your table with a simple holiday centerpiece like a garland table runner and adorn it with candles. Buyers who visit during this time will be able to envision themselves hosting future holidays and could just fall in love!

Make the mantel merry
A fireplace is an excellent focal point for your North Shore home and what's more, a selling point for local buyers! If you have one, consider an elegant garland draped across the mantel or again, stockings hung in a monochromatic color scheme. This is a great place to add holiday magic, but resist the urge to make it too complicated.

If you have more questions about selling your home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook or the surrounding Chicagoland areas this time of year, I am here to help! Give me a call today!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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Locally or across the country, think of me as your national connection. I can help you with all your real estate needs anywhere in the United States. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What to Do When Visiting Open Houses in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Highland Park, Northbrook IL

You've just started house-hunting on Chicago's North Shore and you're likely browsing available homes online, clicking through listing photo after listing photo. Once you've found a property that grabs your interest, you will either arrange for your real estate agent to set up a showing or you will make plans to visit an upcoming open house being held at the home. But that doesn't mean you can just walk in and act like you own the place!

There are a few etiquette rules to follow when visiting open houses in the area and I've included the most important below:

Use open houses to learn the ropes
Just because you're visiting an open house in the area doesn't mean you're obligated to buy. In fact, open houses are a great time to get a feel for the market and what you can get for your money in a given location. Feel free to visit open houses to get a sense of what you're in for as you begin to navigate the market.

You don't have to sign in
Many real estate agents will set out a sign-in sheet for attendees at open houses, but you do not need to give away your information. Of course, it is always courteous of a buyer to greet the agent and introduce yourself, especially if you're interested in the home. This could come in handy later if you make an offer!

Ask questions
Do not be afraid to ask questions as they arise! You can ask questions like "Why are they selling?" or "Have you had a lot of showings?" to get a feel for the interest in the home. You can also ask how long the home has been on the market. The seller's agent should always be willing to answer these common questions!

Watch the other buyers
You can also gauge interest in a North Shore home by watching the other buyers at an open house. Seeing a lot of people walk in and leave quickly? That could be a sign there is something wrong with the property. Are buyers sticking around to ask questions or speak with their spouses in private? That could mean the property won't last long!

Contact me today for more information about available homes in the Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Highland Park, or Northbrook areas. With mortgage rates still hovering around historic lows, now is a great time to purchase your dream home on the North Shore!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
View North Shore Listings
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Local Expert... with National Connections!

Locally or across the country, think of me as your national connection. I can help you with all your real estate needs anywhere in the United States. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Your Guide to Saving Energy in Your North Shore Chicago Home This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has arrived on Chicago's North Shore! It's time to start prepping your turkey, setting your holiday table and welcoming friends and family inside for the big Thanksgiving feast. But as you begin to bake and roast and sauté the long weekend away, there are a few adjustments you may like to make in order to keep energy costs down.

As your North Shore real estate expert, I'm sharing the following five tips for saving energy in your Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Highland Park, and Northbrook area home this Thanksgiving:

Keep the oven door closed
You may be tempted to peek in on your pumpkin pie time and time again, but every time you open that oven door, the temperature is reduced by as much as 25 degrees! Instead, consider using the oven light and you may just find you're able to plate your feast just a little sooner.

Turn down the heat
All of your holiday baking and cooking over the next few days will put off more heat than you know in your North Shore home. Head to the thermostat to turn down the temperature as your oven will do the job of warming up your guests and you can save on energy costs!

Use glass or ceramic pans
Did you know that these types of dishes retain heat so well that they will continue to cook your food even after they're out of the oven? By sticking to these when preparing your Thanksgiving meal, you can turn down your oven by up to 25 degrees and still see the same results!

Install a dimmer switch
You will likely be spending many hours in your Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Highland Park, and Northbrook area dining room this holiday season, so consider installing a dimmer switch on the main light fixture. This is an inexpensive project and can double the light bulb's lifespan just by dimming its brightness by 10 percent!

Use the dishwasher
Did you know that hand-washing your dishes uses more water than your dishwasher? Stick to hand-washing only the dishes that cannot be placed in the dishwasher and always make sure you have a full load before pressing start on that wash cycle. You can also leave the door open to let your dishes air dry and save the energy used during the heat cycle.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And as always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about buying or selling a home on Chicago's North Shore!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
View North Shore Listings
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Local Expert... with National Connections!

Locally or across the country, think of me as your national connection. I can help you with all your real estate needs anywhere in the United States. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Real Estate Terms Every North Shore Buyer and Seller Should Know

No matter if you're buying a home or selling your property on Chicago's North Shore, you will undoubtedly run into a few real estate terms that you may not be familiar with. You could hear these used by your lender, your real estate agent or any of the parties involved in the real estate transaction.

But not to worry! As your local North Shore real estate expert, I'm happy to define a few of the essential terms you will hear throughout the process of buying and selling a home. Take a look through the glossary below and keep them in mind as you navigate the market:

APR
Stands for annual percentage rate and refers to the interest rate associated with your mortgage in Northbrook, Glencoe, Deerfield, Winnetka, Highland Park and the surrounding areas.

ARM
Stands for adjustable rate mortgage and refers to the type of loan whose rate changes after a specific amount of time or as market conditions change.

DTI
Stands for debt to income ratio and refers to the figure that many lenders will use to determine a buyer's eligibility for a mortgage. You can calculate your DTI by weighing all of your monthly debts, including credit cards and auto loans, against your monthly income.

PMI
Stands for private mortgage insurance. This applies to those North Shore buyers who put down less than 20 percent on a new home in Northbrook, Glencoe, Deerfield, Winnetka, and Highland Park.

HOA
Stands for homeowners' association. Homes and condominiums found within these communities typically have monthly dues or fees that cover maintenance, landscaping and snow removal.

Fixed Rate Mortgage
A fixed-rate mortgage unlike an adjustable rate mortgage that we discussed earlier has one rate that applies throughout the life of the loan. This type of mortgage does not have a rate that changes with market conditions.

Escrow
A third party is often involved in larger purchases to manage the funds associated with the transaction. Your money for a real estate purchase is held in an escrow account to show the seller that the funds are available.

Equity
If you're a homeowner on the North Shore, you've likely heard this term which refers to the amount of ownership you have in the property. You can find this figure by calculating what you owe on your mortgage and subtracting from its market value.

Appraisal
This is the process through which the value of your home is determined. Many lenders will want to know this figure before they determine how much to loan you via your mortgage to ensure the loan amount does not exceed the value.

Closing Costs
These costs include appraisal fees, real estate agent fees, loan origination fees, escrow fees, credit check fees and more. Typically paid by the buyer, a portion or all of the closing costs can sometimes be negotiated to be paid by the seller.

Have you heard other real estate terms that you're unsure about during your home buying or selling journey thus far? Want more information about the current real estate market on Chicago's North Shore? Give me a call today!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
View North Shore Listings
Visit My Website


Local Expert... with National Connections!

Locally or across the country, think of me as your national connection. I can help you with all your real estate needs anywhere in the United States. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Winnetka Real Estate Market Stats for October 2016

City Active Listings: There are a total of 188 properties actively on the market with the average price of $1,860,592 in Winnetka.

City Sold Listings: 10 properties closed last month in Winnetka with an average sales price of $1,183,200. The average time on market for these properties was 84 days. 



To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Winnetka market statistics

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
View North Shore Listings
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Local Expert... with National Connections!

Northbrook Real Estate Market Stats for October 2016

City Active Listings: There are a total of 312 properties actively on the market with the average price of $754,750 in Northbrook.

City Sold Listings: 51 properties closed last month in Northbrook with an average sales price of $515,331. The average time on market for these properties was 69 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Northbrook market statistics

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
View North Shore Listings
Visit My Website


Local Expert... with National Connections!

Highland Park Real Estate Market Stats for October 2016

City Active Listings: There are a total of 329 properties actively on the market with the average price of $938,497 in Highland Park.

City Sold Listings: 41 properties closed last month in Highland Park with an average sales price of $509,693. The average time on market for these properties was 81 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Highland Park market statistics

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
View North Shore Listings
Visit My Website


Local Expert... with National Connections!