Real Estate Wisdom From Dad-North Shore Real Estate

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In the spirit of Father’s Day on Chicago’s North Shore and real estate near and far; advice that may come from Dad regarding life, money and real estate investing..

Do the math. Then do it again.. home purchase prices, various appreciate rates and rental income scenarios, interest rates, opportunity costs, vacancy buffers, landscaping and maintenance, insurance — every single line item goes into the hopper.

Have an exit strategy — and your backup A,B,C plans — before you buy. If you’re buying a North Shore home or any home to live in, Dads might say not to even start your house hunt without knowing how long you expect to be there and what your next move will be. In this way, you can be sure to buy a home that will work at least as long as your plan A is in effect. Of course, even the best-laid plans can be foiled by forces beyond your control, so Dads are big on putting plans B, C and on down the alphabet in place upfront, and not making the buy until you have accounted for these various outcomes.

Buy it right. Whether you’re hoping to buy a personal residence that appreciates over time or you’re investing in the market, Dads may say to buy at a price you can afford.

You won’t win them all. Striving for a perfect investment record of profits on top of profits is great, but it belies the reality of life that little is perfect. The more mature approach, a Dad’s approach, is to be grateful for the lifestyle of a homeowner and the returns of a real estate investor, understanding that the occasional investment may not go as planned. Having a seasoned real estate professional as a guide will help. More info HERE

Happy Fathers Day!

Top 7 iPhone Apps For Your Home: North Shore Housing-Technology Trends

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Just in case a North Shore home improvement project was on your list of 2012 New Year’s resolutions, these apps can help you with everything from cleaning the drapes, remembering home related tasks, to refinishing your floors:

 

1. Color Capture and ColorSnap
Download: Color Capture from Benjamin Moore for iPhone and ColorSnap from Sherwin-Williams for iPhone
Price: Free

Repainting your bedroom? Maybe even the whole house? Choosing a color to paint your walls can be pretty intimidating — there are thousands of options! And what if you already have a color in mind but aren’t sure how to find it in the paint aisle at the hardware store? Maybe you want to paint your bathroom walls to match a certain color towel or paint your living room to match the sofa.

These apps can help. Using your phone’s camera, you can take a picture of anything you like, and the app will analyze the colors in the photo and show you the closest match in its color line. Color Capture is available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android phones; ColorSnap is available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. Both apps are free.

2. iHandy Carpenter
Download: iHandy Carpenter for iPhone
Price: $1.99

With this app, $1.99 buys you 5 essential tools for home improvement. There’s a plumb bob, a surface level, a bubble level bar, a steel protractor, and a ruler. While it probably won’t replace the real thing if you want to be absolutely certain that your walls are straight or your measurements are accurate, it’s very handy for quick estimations.

3. HomeSmarts
Download: HomeSmarts for iPhone
Price: Free

This free app is designed to help you remember all the tasks that go into maintaining a home. HomeSmarts starts with a short survey to gather basic information about your home, including the type of heating and cooling system you have, whether or not you have a pool or a garage, and so on. Once it has this information, it will create a yearly schedule of items that need your attention, and you can adjust how you receive alerts.

The developers of this app have quite a sense of humor, making you smile with messages like “shoveling coal into the servers” and “charging the flux capacitor” as it’s loading up your items.

4. Home Maintenance
Download: Home Maintenance for iPhone
Price: $4.99

Much like HomeSmarts, Home Maintenance helps you keep track of home maintenance tasks. This app costs $4.99 but includes a much wider range of features and capabilities. You can add more than one house and note facts like the date it was built, date purchased, purchase price, and appraised value. For each house, you can then add custom tasks or choose from predefined lists such as chimney cleaning and deck maintenance. You can even add photos for any item and email yourself a complete maintenance record.

5. Chore Pad
Download: Chore Pad for iPhone
Price: $2.99

Finding it hard to motivate yourself to get those chores done? Finding it hard to motivate your kids to get their chores done? Chore Pad can help! Add the members of your household, then add as many chores as you want, assign them to different people, and set up their frequency. You can also set up rewards, and as you complete tasks, you collect stars that you can then turn in for rewards. Get your kids to clean up their rooms by bribing — er, motivating — them with, say, a trip to the ice cream shop. At $2.99, this app is both affordable and useful.

6. HandyMan Sidekick
Download: HandyMan Sidekick for iPhone
Price: $1.99

This highly recommended home improvement app does it all. Whether you’re painting or wallpapering a room, putting mulch in your garden, or trying to figure out how much drywall you’ll need, just plug-in the dimensions of your space, subtract any doors and windows, and figure out exactly how much you’ll need. There’s also a handy metric-to-imperial (and back) converter and a flashlight so you can see in those small, dark corners of the house.

7. Handy Man DIY
Download: Handy Man DIY for iPhone
Price: $1.99

Much like HandyMan Sidekick, Handy Man DIY offers calculators to help you figure out how much paint, wallpaper, flooring, or trim you need to complete your project. You can also create shopping lists (or choose from prebuilt options), store-room dimensions for later use, create lists of tasks for each project, or check seasonal reminders of home maintenance tasks for various times of the year.

PLEASE let me know if you are aware of any other great apps..let’s share!!

Now you have no excuse to get cracking on that to-do list! Except perhaps that it’s a gorgeous day and there’s fresh iced tea in the fridge… but at least with these handy apps, you’ll be able to get your chores done sooner and thing of the coming spring on Chicago’s North Shore additional North Shore real estate Tips

If you need additional market resources for your North Shore home, feel free to come by my office located at 640 Vernon Ave, downtown Glencoe, Illinois.  I or one of our top producing brokers can assist you.

Just Listed-840 Sheridan Rd.,Glencoe-North Shore Home For Sale

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THIS NEWLY LISTED NORTH SHORE PROPERTY FOR SALE HAS GRACIOUS ROOMS AND STUNNING ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS INCLUDING HARDWOOD FLOORS, MOLDINGS AND ORIGINAL WINDOWS.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE AN UPDATED KITCHEN, 4 CAR ATTACHED GARAGE AND YOUR OWN PRIVATE PARK WITH POOL AND POOL HOUSE–THE NORTH SHORE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

See the VIRTUAL TOUR or visit: 840sheridan.info

 

Coldwell Banker North Shore-Glencoe Office:640 Vernon Ave

Top 8 Reasons to Buy or Sell in Winter Months-North Shore Trends

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Chances are, buyers looking for a North Shore home during the winter holiday season are serious about buying and not simply shopping around. Showing off some of the home’s finer features isn’t easy covered in a blanket of snow, but there are a number of things sellers can do to attract buyers:

 1. Less competition. In the winter season, there are fewer homes on the market, so your home will have less competition. Encourage buyers by offering attractive pricing and incentives.

2. Interior focus. Providing photographs from the summer months is important, but now is the time to highlight the inside of your home. North Shore realtors know, furnished homes and those that are organized have more appeal, so make sure the beds are made, the furniture is well placed, and the counter tops and closets are clear of any clutter.

3. Exterior demands. Snow can alter the look of the overall property. Shovel and de-ice all paths and doorways. The driveway should be plowed, along with the sidewalks. Make sure that all outside lights and doorbells work. Consider more lights that could be installed to effectively highlight the best areas of the house.

4. Winter warmth. The holiday season is a time for being at home and enjoying family. You can stage your home to showcase winter warmth with such sights and smells as crackling fires, scented candles and holiday wreaths to appeal to buyers and make them feel like your home could be their own. The key–don’t over do it though!

 FOR BUYERS

1. Lenders also usually have fewer loans to process and less paperwork to deal with (though this can change quickly if rates fluctuate). With lenders less hassled, you can expect a smoother process to get approved for a mortgage.

2. Winter has fewer buyers in the market. Fewer buyers means less North Shore real estate property competition.

3. The winter season has fewer units on the market, and sellers tend to need to move from their property. You can use that to your advantage to get a favorable deal.

4.The negatives that turn off both buyers and sellers in winter can create a bargain hunter’s dream. For the clued-in home buyer such negatives can lead to a real gem of a deal. The motto that could put some serious money in your pocket between now and spring, is this: Imagine the future, and don’t let winter pull your strings! More INFO

For a view of homes available on the North Shore, or to get market status/housing reports, analysis, trends, or open house lists, feel free to stop by our North Shore Office at 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, Illinois.  Gloria Matlin works out of one of the North Shore’s top ranked realtor offices.  847-835-0236 or direct at 847-835-6058

www.gloriamatlin.com

Top Tips to Consider-Buying or Selling a North Shore Home Now?

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First let’s tackle selling your North Shore home. The response to that question is based on what your families’ goals are. If you don’t need or want to move for a few years it might make sense to wait for the housing industry to recover and prices to appreciate. However, if you wish to move within the next six to eighteen months, it is probably better to sell sooner rather than later. Here are 4 reasons why “now” may be best:

1. Distressed Properties Will Impact Prices

Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) on the market will increase this fall and winter. This will put tremendous downward pressure on prices for at least the next 12-18 months. Get your home sold before they become your competition.

2. Mortgages Will Become More Difficult to Attain

Lending standards are continuing to tighten. There is legislation currently being considered that will make it even harder for buyers to qualify. Less demand will equate to lower prices.

3. It is the Perfect Time to Move-Up

With prices where they are and interest rates at all time lows, there may have never been a better time to move-up into your dream home.

4. You Get to Move On with Your Life

Probably the most important reason to sell is so you can get on with your life. You are considering selling for a reason. Do not allow a less-than-stellar housing market prevent you from reaching your goals as an individual or as a family…MORE

Last but not least, let’s address buying a North Shore home. Market indicators suggest now is the time to do just that. Some will say realtors highlight this fact to create transactions and commissions. Because of that, listed below are supported quotes from individuals outside of the real estate profession who offer sound financial advice. Take note of the 3 quotes:

1.“It’s an excellent time to buy a house, either to live in for the long term or for investment income…Houses aren’t the magic wealth creators they were made out to be during the bubble. But when prices are low, loans are cheap and plump investment yields are scarce, buyers should jump.” It’s Time to Buy That House-WSJ

2.“The previous declines in house prices and the more recent drop in mortgage rates to record lows have created an unusual situation in which the median monthly mortgage payment is more or less the same as the median rental payment.”

3.“Even with a dismal 1% growth rate over 30 years, a $300,000 property would appreciate well over $100,000 giving the homeowner an additional nest egg for retirement… At a time when retirement is becoming much more challenging, an extra $400,000 (or likely more) can make a major difference not to mention the impact of NOT having to pay a mortgage.  How much less would you have to save for retirement if you didn’t pay the mortgage?” …MORE INFO

In the end, when real estate professionals, a trusted financial newspaper and an iconic financial magazine say that it now makes financial sense to purchase or sell a house, perhaps it is time.

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