Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How to Make Your Home the One North Shore Buyers Want

When the time comes to sell your North Shore home, you need to remove your homeowner hat and put on your buyer hat. Acting, and viewing your property, like a buyer will allow you to see the home in a whole new light and thus, identify how to make it stand out from the rest.

It may be difficult to set aside all of the memories and feelings you have associated with the house, but North Shore homeowners who begin to view their home as a product may just find that they sell quicker, and for more money. Below are three ways you can make your home into the one buyers want in Glencoe, Winnetka, Deerfield, Northbrook, Highland Park and the surrounding areas:

Focus on the kitchens and baths
These two areas of your North Shore home are the most popular and when updated well, can be what sells the property. If your kitchen or bathrooms are feeling outdated, you may like to consider a few renovations that can improve both your home's value and your chances of selling.

Easy updates in the kitchen include painting old cabinets in a bright, fresh color like white or another neutral, replacing fixtures like lighting and faucets, swapping out old cabinet hardware for new and installing new countertops in a stone like quartz, granite or marble.

Focus on the features
If you live in a Craftsman-style home, have custom features like barn doors, or sought-after design elements like subway tile, you will want to draw attention to them! These are all in high demand among North Shore homebuyers this spring and showing your home has them may be one way to attract buyers and close the deal. As your North Shore real estate agent, I am also able to share insight into what other details North Shore buyers are looking for this year.

Show off the outdoor space
Does your home in Glencoe, Winnetka, Deerfield, Northbrook or Highland Park have a beautiful backyard, updated landscaping, new deck or luxurious patio? Homebuyers are interested in homes with outdoor space, especially during the spring and summer seasons. Staging these areas to highlight their entertaining potential may be a lucrative idea if you're planning to sell within the next few months.

I have years of experience in helping North Shore homeowners showcase their property's best features to the many buyers in the market. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about selling your home, homes for sale in the area, or the current real estate market. I'm here to help!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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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, April 20, 2016

5 Places to Enjoy Spring on Chicago's North Shore

Spring has sprung! The weather is warming, the flowers are blooming and the event schedule on the North Shore is only beginning to pick up for the busy months ahead. But that doesn't mean you cannot stop to enjoy a beautiful spring day in Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, Highland Park, Winnetka or the surrounding areas!

Below are five places on Chicago's North Shore where you can enjoy the season and all that the local communities have to offer:

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd
Glencoe IL

A wonderful place to explore no matter the season, the Chicago Botanic Garden features a waterfall garden, cross bridges across glistening lakes, a Japanese Garden, English Walled Garden, trestles, art exhibits, tours by both train and foot— and so much more in their 26 gardens!

Glencoe Beach
999 Green Bay Rd
Glencoe IL

This North Shore beach is one of the most beautiful in the area! There are daily lifeguards on duty, a sprayground for kids, concession stand, volleyball courts, paddle boards, kayaks, sailboats and lessons in all of the above! What a great place to spend a spring day!

Ladd Memorial Arboretum 
2024 McCormick Blvd
Evanston IL

The Ladd Memorial Arboretum stretches along a 3/4 mile segment of McCormick Blvd on a 23 acre piece of reclaimed land. It is a hub of natural beauty and recreation and is open year-round for all to enjoy!

A.C. Neilsen Tennis Center
530 Hibbard Rd
Winnetka IL

A part of the Winnetka Park District, the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center has 8 indoor and 12 outdoor courts, a nursery and complete pro shop. The Tennis Center also holds group and private lessons for all ages and abilities.

Northbrook Park District
545 Academy Dr
Northbrook IL

The Park District of Northbrook offers more than 1,000 recreational programs and facilities including outdoor aquatic centers, Sportsman's Country Club (with 27 holes of golf and lighted practice range!), the Northbrook Sports Center, Anestsberger Golf Course, Ed Rudolph Velodrome (for bicycle racing!) and more!

And remember, as your local North Shore real estate expert, I am always on hand to answer questions about the market, buying or selling a home! Do not hesitate to reach out!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert


North Shore Real Estate
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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, April 13, 2016

North Shore Curb Appeal Projects That Pay Off At Resale

When it comes to impressing homebuyers, one area you will want to focus on this spring and summer is your outdoor space. Buyers are looking for a place to relax outside and if your North Shore home has just the place, don't miss your opportunity to play it up!

However, not everyone's green spaces are picture perfect. Many North Shore homeowners would agree that their yard could stand to be cleared of weeds, branches and leaves and their landscaping could use a spruce— in fact, the projects may already be on your to-do list!

So before you boost your home's appeal from the curb this season, take into account those projects that will both impress buyers and pay off at resale. I have decided to share a few with you below:

Tend to your current landscaping
That means pruning trees and trimming hedges, shrubs, bushes and any overgrown landscaping that is bringing down the outward appearance of your North Shore home. Take extra care removing weeds from garden beds and yards as this is one of the simplest tasks you can do that will have a major (and immediate) impact! You can also re-mulch around your existing landscaping if it's looking outdated or worn or flip it with a rake if it's able to be salvaged.

Plant trees
Did you know a mature tree can add anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your home in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, Highland Park and the surrounding areas? According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, planting a tree is one of the best returns on investment you will see in the long run!

If you are planning to stay in your home for a while, you can plant inexpensive saplings that will grow large and tall over time, but if you're planning to sell within the next few years, consider planting larger trees to see the effects earlier.

Create an outdoor living space
Outdoor living spaces are one major selling point for buyers on the North Shore this spring! If you don't already have one, group together patio furniture in a way that promotes entertaining and conversation, add pavers underfoot and consider installing a fire pit.

Listing your home may be the best decision you ever make this spring and I am happy to help you move on and find your next dream home! Give me a call today to discuss your current home's value and your goals for a future property on the 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. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Debunking Common Real Estate Myths on Chicago's North Shore

Whether you're thinking about buying a home on Chicago's North Shore this spring or selling your current property, you likely have a few reservations in the back of your mind or ideas about the real estate market that are holding you back. However, there are dozens of real estate myths floating around that are entirely untrue!

As your local real estate expert in Glencoe, Winnetka, Deerfield, Highland Park, Northbrook and the surrounding communities, I have sharing a few of those myths below and debunking them so you can feel free to take advantage of the excellent opportunities available for buyers and sellers this spring!

1. Myth: You Need 20 Percent Down to Buy A Home
Perhaps one of the most common real estate myths is regarding the down payment. No longer do you need 20 percent down to purchase a home! It is true that lending requirements have been strict in past years, but now you can even obtain a mortgage with as little as 3 percent down!

Do keep in mind there are other factors that will allow you to do so, like your credit score and verifiable income, but this common misconception should not keep you from purchasing a home on the North Shore this year!

2. Myth: You Don't Need A Real Estate Agent to Sell
Many homeowners on the North Shore are motivated to sell their own properties simply to avoid paying a real estate agent's commission, but that should not be all you consider in making that decision!

There are numerous parties involved in the sale of a home—from the inspector to the appraiser to the buyer and their agent—that you will be required to negotiate and correspond with throughout the process. You will also be responsible for the marketing strategy of your home! With an agent, you don't have to worry about any of the above! In fact, homes sold with a real estate agent sell for more money on average than those sold by the owner.

3. Myth: Spring Is the Only Time to Sell 
Spring is indeed the beginning of the busy real estate season, but it is not the only time to successfully sell your home. Summer and even winter can be equally as lucrative for North Shore homeowners! If you have questions about the best time to list in Glencoe, Winnetka, Deerfield, Highland Park, Northbrook and the surrounding communities, it is always best to consult your agent!

Do you have a question about the real estate market that isn't listed here? Do not hesitate to contact me! I am happy to walk you through the process of buying or selling a home on the North Shore this year!

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, March 30, 2016

Why You Should Not FSBO Your North Shore Home This Spring

If you've been thinking about selling your home on Chicago's North Shore, spring is the perfect time to do so! Many buyers, both first-time and seasoned, are beginning to enter the real estate market in search of their dream home, but are being met with less inventory than there has been in the past.

North Shore home sellers are in high demand, but you may be contemplating the best route to take— FSBO (For Sale by Owner) or work with a real estate agent? The perks of working with an experienced agent are numerous and if your motive for considering FSBO is simply to save money, you might like to think again!

Your agent will do the negotiating
Think of all of the parties involved in a North Shore home sale, from the buyer and their agent to the appraiser and inspection company. There are dozens of parties to negotiate with and if you choose to go the FSBO route, you will be responsible for this all on your own. Remember that your real estate agent has done this before and they know how to interact with the many different parties involved with the sale.

Your agent has a strategy
An experienced agent, especially Your North Shore Real Estate Expert, has a strategy for selling homes in Deerfield, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Northbrook and beyond. And since the majority of buyers start their home search online, it is no longer as easy as placing a sign in your front yard or an ad in the paper. Your real estate agent knows where the buyers are looking and how to catch their eye.

You will net more money with an agent
Studies have shown working with a real estate agent can help you sell your home for more money than if you choose to do so without. For instance, a house sold by a homeowner sells on average for $210,000, while the house sold by an agent sells for $249,000. In terms of securing the best deal, working with a real estate agent makes more financial sense.

If you are thinking about selling your home on the North Shore this year and have questions about how I can help you achieve a successful sale, do not hesitate to reach out! I am happy to help you move on to your next dream home in Deerfield, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Northbrook or the surrounding area.

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, March 23, 2016

5 Features to Ignore When Shopping for North Shore Chicago Houses

Now that spring has officially sprung and homebuyers are heading out in waves to begin searching for the perfect property on Chicago's North Shore, excitement is running high! And with the whirlwind of house-hunting, it can be easy to let certain home decor features cloud your judgment and force you to pass on what would have been the best home for you.

As you begin browsing homes in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, Highland Park and the surrounding areas, remind yourself to look past these five features— you can fix them later!

Paint color
Perhaps one of the easiest cosmetic flaws to fix and yet, the one that can get in the way of North Shore buyers seeing a home's true potential. The same goes for wallpaper or paneling! Keep in mind that you can change these in a single weekend and typically for under $50.

Ceiling texture
You've found a home that could be the one, but then you look up to find popcorn ceilings. This texture of the past can be found in older homes, but can also be scraped (either as a DIY project or by a professional) to restore the ceilings to your preferred, clean look.

Carpet or flooring
Once you step inside a home, you might be distracted by the odd-colored carpeting or outdated tile. But remember, you can easily pull up carpeting (at time, finding hardwoods underneath!) and replace tile with your desired flooring choice.

Older fixtures
If what is turning you off about a home is simply the old light fixtures or countertops, look past them at the big picture of the property. Does the floor plan work for you? Does it have your desired amount of bedrooms and bathrooms? If so, remind yourself that light fixtures can be swapped out in a matter of minutes.

Kitchen cabinets
Unlike countertops, kitchen cabinets in good shape can always be painted! With just a few hours of your time, you can give them an updated look with new paint and updated hardware.

Ready to buy a home on Chicago's North Shore this spring? Give me a call! I have years of expertise in assisting buyers find their dream property in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, Highland Park and the surrounding areas.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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, March 16, 2016

Your Guide to 2016 Easter Events on Chicago's North Shore

It's officially time to start thinking spring as we set the clocks ahead, don green for St. Patrick's Day and jot down Easter egg hunts to visit around Chicago's North Shore. There are dozens of spring-centered events to attend this year and as your North Shore real estate expert, I've selected a few to share with you!

If you're planning your Easter weekend or festivities, you will want to consider the following taking place in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, Highland Park and the surrounding areas:

Community Easter Egg Hunt
March 19, 2016; 9:30 AM to 11 AM
Northbrook Covenant Church
Northbrook IL

Glencoe Spring Egg Hunt
March 19, 2016; 10 AM
Watts Park
Glencoe IL

Biscuits, Bones and Bunnies: Hound Hunt
March 19, 2016; 11 AM
Watts Park
Glencoe IL

Glenview Park District Eggstravaganza
March 19, 2016; 10 AM to 10:30 AM
Glenview Park District
Glenview IL

West Ridge Egg Hunt
March 19, 2016; 11 AM to 11:45 AM
West Ridge Center
Highland Park IL

LEGO Easter Egg Hunt
March 21-26, 2016; 10 AM to 9 PM
The Lego Store Northbrook Court
Northbrook IL

43rd Annual Egg Hunt
March 26, 2016; 10 AM to 10:30 AM
West Elm Park
Winnetka IL

Doggy Egg Hunt
March 26, 2016; 12 PM to 1 PM
West Elm Park
Winnetka IL

Questions about calling the North Shore your home? I would be glad to hear from you! Give me a call today to discuss available properties in the area, selling your home or purchasing your first in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook or Highland Park.

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.