Wednesday, March 18, 2020

What to Do While Stuck in Your North Shore Home

North Shore Home Improvement Tips
Many of us are responsibly practicing social separation by staying in our North Shore homes until coronavirus blows over. If you find yourself already getting cabin fever, consider now a great time to accomplish some of the projects you’ve been wanting to do around the house! As your North Shore real estate agent, allow me to offer you some ideas, before you go stir crazy.

Declutter. Now is the perfect time to declutter your North Shore home. After all, no one likes spending time in a cluttered space, and clutter is found to increase anxiety, which none of us need right now. Grab some boxes or garbage bags and go through each closet, drawer, cabinet, etc. one at a time, removing anything you no longer need or use. Separate the unwanted items into piles to donate, sell, recycle or toss. You’ll feel so much better once this is done, and if you want to sell your North Shore home this spring or summer, you’ll be one step ahead of the crowd by getting this done now!

Spring clean. Once you declutter the home, take it one step further and get your spring cleaning done! Whether you usually spring clean your home, or it’s just something on your wish list every year, this year is the perfect chance to actually make it happen. Take one room at a time. Dust, vacuum, scrub, organize. Give each member of the family a list of chores, then reward all of you at the end. Clean your windows well so you can enjoy the spring sunshine and outdoor views while stuck inside. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry of expired food and condiments so everyone knows what’s safe to eat and what’s not. Again, house cleaning is another important step to the home-selling process, if this is on your future to-do list.

Home improvement. Now is also a great time to work on some of the home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. You might not want to head to the store for supplies, but see what you can order online, such as updated cabinet and drawer handles, modern lighting fixtures, or window treatments. If you have leftover paint stored in your house, consider giving your rooms a paint refresh. Do some DIY projects around the house. House Beautiful shared a great list of 27 DIY options for when you’re stuck in the house. If you’ve been wanting to turn a room into a guest room, or office, make the switch now. 

If you want to sell your home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, or other North Shore communities, keep up with housing market statistics and get in touch with me. If you want to buy, organize your documents for a mortgage preapproval, start browsing listings and give me a call. As your North Shore real estate agent, I am here to help! I am still working full-time to make your North Shore real estate goals a reality this spring, so don’t hesitate to give me a call and let’s see what we can do!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Remove Common Odors from Your North Shore Home

Odor-removing tips for North Shore homeowners
If you are selling your North Shore home soon, working ahead on your spring cleaning, or planning for guests to visit for spring holidays or spring break, now is a great time to combat house odors! Often, the most common types of house odors are undetected by the homeowners. We get used to the smells we’re around all the time. But when someone else comes into the house, they might notice them. Getting rid of these odors is key, especially when selling!
As your North Shore real estate agent, here are some tips for removing some of the most common house smells:
Pet smells – If you have pets, you most likely have a pet scent going on in your house, whether subtle or not. Most pet owners worry about urine smell the most, but odors could also come from pet hair, ears, slobber, pet toys, etc. To remove the odors, first clean the pet! Give them a good DIY cleaning, or make an appointment. Vacuum not only your floors, but couches, pet beds, throw blankets, etc. Use a crevice tool to get in tight spaces. Use baking soda on the carpet, or if there are urine spots, use baking soda with a half-water, half-vinegar solution. Wash pet toys.
Must/mildew – Even if your nose is blind to these smells, your eyes aren’t blind to the sight of them! If you have a basement, crawlspace or anywhere you suspect mold or mildew, inspect the area for gray or white splotches. If you find any, use household cleaners on mildew. If it’s fuzzy, it may be mold and you may want to call in professionals. Prevent it from coming back with a dehumidifier in the basement, running the fan during showers in the bathroom, and improving air circulation. Deodorize these rooms in a pinch by setting out bowls of vinegar, baking soda, or even half an onion.
Old mattresses – It’s not your fault if old bedding has a smell to it. Every person sheds dead skin and body oils when sleeping, so these are going to build up no matter what. The easiest way to clean a mattress is to sprinkle baking soda over it, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum it up. Add a couple drops of an essential oil to the baking soda for a lasting good scent. Wash your sheets and bedding regularly. Use this trick on pillows if they can’t be washed, or run in washing machine if they can.
Kitchen odors – These are the most common types of odors, especially if you cook often. Take the trash out regularly, and put some baking soda or fresh coffee grounds at the bottom of a clean trash can to soak up smells. Clean out the fridge/freezer of spoiled food and clean the insides and all of the shelves. Open the windows/doors to help strong food smells escape faster.
For more odor tips, check out this House Logic article. When ready to sell and/or buy in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, or other North Shore communities, give me a call! As your North Shore real estate agent, I am here and ready to help you accomplish your North Shore real estate goals as soon as you are!
Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Pre-Mortgage Application Checklist for North Shore Buyers

North Shore Home-Buying Tips
If you are gearing up to purchase a North Shore home this winter or spring, what do you think is the first step to beginning the home-buying process? Starting to search the internet for a home? Before you do that, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage loan, as sellers will take you more seriously, the process with run faster and smoother, and you’ll know exactly what your budget is.

However, applying for a mortgage loan is also not the first step. There are a few steps you should take BEFORE you apply, and as your North Shore real estate agent, I am here to share these with you:

1.  Check your credit score. Your credit score has a huge bearing on what mortgage interest rate you’ll be offered. The higher your score, the lower your rate. Your credit score is a summary of your credit history. If your score is lower than you’d hoped, check your credit report for errors, and spend time paying off debt, paying bills on time, and lifting that score up. This takes time, so the sooner you start, the better!

2.  Get your documents together. Once you apply for a mortgage loan, you’ll have to bring in a lot of financial documentation. By finding these ahead of time and making copies, you’ll be more prepared for the process. For online mortgage applications, scan these documents onto your computer. Items you will need are tax returns from the past few years, W-2s or 1099s from the past few years, bank statements from the past few months, copy of driver’s license and social security card, employer contact info, pay stubs and so on.

3.  Shop around for mortgages. Before you apply, ask around for recommendations from your real estate agent and from friends/family who have recently bought homes. Check out online reviews. Apply for mortgages from a few different sources. As long as these applications are done within a two-week period, they count as a single credit pull, so more than one won’t hurt your credit any more than just one. Studies have found that buyers who shopped around for a mortgage saved thousands of dollars during the life of their loan! It’s worth the extra time and effort if it saves you money, right?

If you have any questions, or you’re looking for recommendations on mortgage lenders, give me a call! As your North Shore real estate agent, I can answer your questions and get you started on the home-buying process. Whether searching in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, or other North Shore communities, I can help you find the home of your dreams!

Winter is the new spring when it comes to buying. Data shows that February is the busiest month for listing clicks online. Therefore, there’s no need to wait! If you’d like to buy, start today. If you’d like to sell, competition is low and buyers are eager! Give me a call for all of your needs in the North Shore real estate market this winter!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Winnetka Real Estate Market Stats for December 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 77 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $1,833,372 in Winnetka.

City Sold Listings: 17 properties closed last month in Winnetka with an average sales price of $961,412. The average time on market for these properties was 51 days. 



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

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 December 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 224 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $653,015 in Northbrook.

City Sold Listings: 40 properties closed last month in Northbrook with an average sales price of $498,235. The average time on market for these properties was 52 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
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Highland Park Real Estate Market Stats for December 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 224 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $879,402 in Highland Park.

City Sold Listings: 43 properties closed last month in Highland Park with an average sales price of $433,904. The average time on market for these properties was 83 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
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Local Expert... with National Connections!

Glencoe Real Estate Market Stats for December 2019

City Active Listings: There are a total of 55 properties actively on the market with the average listing price of $1,649,208 in Glencoe.

City Sold Listings: 11 properties closed last month in Glencoe with an average sales price of $893,555. The average time on market for these properties was 125 days. 


To view the complete report including additional detailed data, charts ad graphs, please view the Glencoe 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!