Top 5 Winter Renovations That Pay Off Big-North Shore Real Estate Trends

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There is always something that can be improved upon. Now in 2016…When you spend a little time in your Chicago North Shore home on vacation or on the weekends, you are bound to find a improvement project or two that can keep you busy. And that’s usually what happens during the winter especially right at the start of a new year, people want their houses to look their best, and any indoor project that doesn’t require windows to be open or walls to be taken down are good ones to think about. More importantly it’s vital to think of the projects that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but will also get a big bang for your North Shore real estate investment buck in the long-term.

While doors and floors fit that category, be warned that any door that’s hung in the winter might be a bit of a tight fit in the summer, when humidity can expand the wood. So, be cautious of starting wood projects.

There are plenty of other home improvement projects that can keep you busy during the winter months. Here are the top 5 suggestions for high REO (return on investment) this season:

1. Install a programmable thermostat: It’s always a bit of a shock when you get that first utility bill in the colder months. If you haven’t already taken steps to save energy, an easy project, is installing a thermostat that allows you to automatically set the temperature for different times of the day. By having the heat programmed to go on when you get up in the morning, then off when you leave for the day, then back on when you arrive home, you can keep the temperature of your home constant. This type of project is an easy do-it-yourself project. It’s just a couple of low-voltage wires, so it’s really something anyone can handle, and some of them cost as low as $25. It can pay for itself in a month or two.

2. Insulate your water heater: Another way to save energy is to lower the temperature of your water heater, and insulate it. The ideal temperature is 120 degrees. It doesn’t cost you anything to turn it down, and by wrapping it in insulation, you can ensure that the water stays hot when it is not being used. You can buy insulation kits at your local North Shore-Glencoe hardware store.

3. Paint a room: This is the greatest winter project, it’s a great cure for the midwinter blues. And a $50 investment in paint can dramatically transform a room. When you are spending more time inside, you have more time to look at what needs to be refreshed. This is a quick, do-it-yourself project and a small investment can make a big difference.

4. Refinish the basement: Need a contractor for a project? Find one in the winter, contractors are slower in the winter, and one project that’s especially popular is refinishing the basement — you can often find someone to take this on. Of course, the ever-popular bathroom and kitchen remodels, are seasonless, and sometimes endless, can also be started in winter (as long as a wall doesn’t need to be knocked out).

5. Get organized: So many people resolve to get organized at the New Year and winter is a great time to actually take action on that resolution. There are so many great modular closet-organizing systems, a project like this is a great antidote to North Shore cabin fever. You can clear up the clutter in a room or a closet, and make it look like you have twice the space you did to begin with; a sure-fire way to attract potential buyers, a total sellers edge…MORE IDEAS

With sustained top producing, high ranking, client focused results, Gloria Matlin looks forward to making 2016 even better! Over 25 years of devoted service, and now partnering with son Zack Matlin, this team is sure to make Chicago North Shore real estate dreams come true once again.

 

Real Estate Resolutions in 2016-Chicago North Shore Real Estate

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When it comes to real estate, 2016 New Year’s resolutions may not immediately come to mind. But for prospective Chicago North Shore real estate sellers and/or buyers, this is the time as well as the year to generate ideas to put them on track for a change. Many times these ideas surface as a result of an oversight or misjudgment about the real estate market over the past 12 months.  The time to act is certainly NOW! Below are the top 4, 2016 resolutions to get you North Shore real estate market ready and prepared:

New Year’s Resolutions

 

Sellers: Resolve to Think of Your Home as a Commodity

Start clearing out old stuff now. If there are things deep in your closets that you don’t think you’ll use between January and the time you move, consider a storage locker or making space in the garage. Does your real estate agent suggest that the basement needs a paint job? Get some painting bids now. Have you always hated how the bathroom vanity takes up so much space? Consider changing it now so buyers will perceive your bathroom as bigger. This will also help you spread out the costs of home repairs and changes over several months.

Buyers: Resolve to Get Your Financial House in Order

Planning a home purchase takes time and effort, so you should consider meeting with a mortgage professional early in the year. Know your credit score and understand what your financial situation looks like from a lender’s perspective. If you have credit issues, identify what they are and the necessary steps to correct them. An experienced North Shore real estate agent can recommend local mortgage professional. Local is always important, because many real estate deals are made on relationships, and being able to meet face-to-face with your mortgage professional can be a big plus.

Sellers: Resolve to Understand Your Timing and Exit Strategy

One of the biggest stresses on a seller is trying to plan a purchase and a sale at the same time. Can you afford to close on the new home before selling? If so, for how long? Do you need to sell the property first? If so, will the potential sale price support a home purchase in the neighborhood you want to be in? If not, what other areas should you be looking in? Selling and buying at the same time brings up all kinds of questions. A seasoned North Shore Realtor should be able to guide you through these and other related matters with ease.

Are you relocating to the North Shore Area of Chicago? Uprooting yourself from your home is not easy. What if you have to go into short-term housing? How will you get that set up and how long would you need to commit for? If you can afford to purchase and then sell, do they need to happen quickly? Are there things you can be doing in your current home so that once your new home closes, you’ll be ready to list? It’s a lot to think about and plan for, and it helps to have a strategy in place well before you have to take action and use your North Shore real estate professional as a guide.

Buyers: Resolve to Start Feeling Out the North Shore Market Early

You may think you only need to go to open houses once you’re ready to buy. But in reality, a buyer needs a couple of months learning the market, understanding home values, the prices per neighborhood and the areas in general. Going to open houses in the neighborhoods where you want to buy will allow you to start feeling out the market.

Once you engage a North Shore agent, you may make several offers before you get into your dream home. Having your North Shore agent along for the ride will allow you to compare and contrast homes you’ve visited to the home you eventually buy. The homes you see and your experience feeling out the market will serve as the building blocks toward becoming an informed buyer and making your best offer.

Gloria Matlin….Committed to optimal, top performing, client focused real estate service, Gloria Matlin will strive to maintain her consummate dedication to North Shore real estate in 2016. Nationally and locally recognized as a high ranking, top performing luxury real estate resource, she is a trusted professional with over 30+ years of North Shore Realtor insight and experience. Look to her for help with relocation, downsizing, upsizing, buying, selling, investing, renting or to obtain additional detail on real estate data, reports, outcomes and/or history within the Chicago North Shore areas of Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette, Glenview, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest, and Highland Park. More information HERE and HERE on this dynamic real estate professional.

House of The Week!…..#Glencoe #Chicago

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House of The Week!…..#Glencoe #Chicagorealestate #NorthShoreChicago #ChicagoNorthShore #Chicagoluxury: http://ht.ly/W0bjG

 

Holiday Buying and Selling Benefits: North Shore Real Estate

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As with the rest of the nation, the 2015 holidays are upon us on Chicago’s North Shore. Places like Northbrook, Glo-2015ReviewDeerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Northfield, Riverwoods, Wilmette, Winnetka, as well as Lake Forest; will be buzzing with good cheer, places to go, things to do, holiday events and festivals all around. But, real estate still has its place in the hustle and bustle of the season. Now may be one of the best times to buy or sell a North Shore- Chicago home. The benefits, hows and whys are outlined below:

 

Tis’ the season for BUYERS during the holidays

Commonly there’s a wider selection of homes to choose from. A peak season for the real estate market, buyers will find there are many more beautiful homes to choose from during the fall and holiday season. There’s no better time to find your dream home! Utilize vacation time to act on your desire to research online or even visit Chicago North Suburban open houses.

Don’t forget year-end tax breaks. Buying property before years’ end yields some great benefits; including property taxes and mortgage interest, both deductible from gross income.

 For SELLERS, the season brings good things

Beautifully decorated homes are certainly more appealing to potential buyers. What is more beautiful and inviting than a North Shore home that’s elegantly decorated for the holidays? The warmth and spirit of the season makes many homes seem even more stunning during this special time of year. With that comes more exposure for your home. Many people enjoy hosting holiday parties for friends, family and co-workers. When you have a “for sale” sign in your yard, it will likely grab the attention of those who are visiting your neighbors or attending holiday parties, including  yours. Usually the serious buyer will shop for a home during the holidays. The fact is if someone is interested in your home during one of the busiest seasons of the year, chances are they are serious. If your home is priced appropriately, the likelihood is high for getting an offer!

Another year of good tidings, client centered happiness, and high ranking results… all examples of North Shore real estate at its best is summarized in the photo attached below. Feel free to contact Gloria Matlin for assistance buying and/or selling this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

Click the image to view:

Experts Not Worried About Rising Rates – North Shore Real Estate Trends

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Mortgage rates would have to be higher than 6% to discourage prospective fall and even winter home-buyers from

FiveStar-GloriaMatlin-2buying a home. While the jury is still out on what the Federal Reserve is going to do about the Fed Funds rate increase, there is certainty that it will happen at some point in the near future. The lack of consensus stems from mixed signals coming from various components of the economy and the financial situation abroad. The good new is:

How Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Will Impact the Housing Market?

When the Feds decide to raise rates, any increase will be nominal and gradual. The anticipation is that the initial increase will be only 25 basis points (e.g., from 3.75% to 4.00%). This is still about 50 basis points lower than the high reached in the summer of 2013 when the Federal Reserve first announced that it would start fading out of its easy monetary policy.

Nonetheless, Americans are well aware of the anticipated mortgage rate increase that’s coming up: 42% of Americans think mortgage interest rates will increase over the next six months, while 20% believe the rates will stay the same. A third (32%) of Americans, and almost 4 in 10 (38%) Millennials, are still unsure about what will happen to the mortgage rates, with Millennials are not as likely as other generation to think that rates will increase at all over the next 6 months.

Falling houses with percent symbol on sky background

How Do Americans Feel About Rising Mortgage Rates?

Interestingly, for Americans who are looking to purchase a home this year, mortgage rates are not the primary concern. Among Americans who would ever buy a home, most worried about being able to get a mortgage and if they could find a home that they would like. Raising mortgage rate is only the third concern, followed by fears that home prices would increase before they buy a home. But, for millennials aged 18-34 years old, simply being able to get a mortgage is the biggest and marginally larger concern than for all Americans in general. Millennials also worry more about finding a home they like and home prices rising before they worry about raising mortgage rates.

Long story short, an increase in rates would not turn people off from buying a home, but it may slightly lower the price range in which they are looking to buy. Also, the impact is quite dependent on the price range in which the prospective buyer is looking to buy. – See more mortgage rate details HERE

2015-November: For a second year, Gloria Matlin has earned the esteemed Five Star Real Estate award for 2015. This honor is one of many that confirms her standing as Chicago North Shore’s  client driven, top performing, highly trusted real estate professional.  On The Go?…Move with Glo this autumn season.

Top Tips for Fall Upkeep-Curb Appeal Still Rules: Chicago North Shore Real Estate

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No matter the season…If your home’s curb appeal makes a great first impression, everyone — including potential home-buyers — will want to see what’s inside. Your home’s appearance has a psychological effect on anyone that sees it. If the exterior of the house and yard is well-maintained, people enter the home with positive feelings believing the interior will measure up to the standards set outside. If the exterior looks poorly maintained, one may enter the home with a negative mindset, specifically looking for problems.
Check out these simple, low-cost improvements that you can do in a day, a week, or a month.

In a Day: Create perfect symmetry

Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s also the simplest to arrange. Symmetrical compositions of light fixtures and front-door accents create welcoming entryways. This door is flanked by two sidelights. The black lantern-style sconces not only safely guide visitors to the door, but also coordinate with the black door and urns.

In a Day: Replace old hardware

House numbers, the entry door lockset, a wall-mounted mailbox, and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home’s exterior. If they’re out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is. These elements add the most appeal when they function collectively, rather than as mix-and-match pieces. Oiled-bronze finishes suit traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more contemporary ones.

In a Day: Dress up the front door

Your home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a blast of color with paint or by installing a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob, and use metal polish on the door fixtures. Your entry should also reflect the home’s interior, so choose a swag or a wreath that reflects your personal style.

In a Day: Do a mailbox makeover

Mailboxes should complement the…MORE

With over 25 years of Chicago North Shore real estate expertise, Gloria Matlin gains pride in making dreams come true for fall 2015 and every other season forthcoming. Her award-winning, client focused service is second to none. With top producing, high-ranking, exceptionally performing results, she provides sound guidance with the use of proven experience and expertise. Confidently look to her and partner Zack Matlin for all things North Shore Chicago real estate related.

Seasons Change Means Opportunity Arises: North Shore-Chicago Real Estate Trends

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School has begun, days are getting shorter, and the networks are eagerly trying to gear us up for football. And home sales are still brisk—despite historical four-seasons-layered-croppedseasonally adjusted outcomes we’re used to seeing.

Seasonal adjustments help make data that are inherently seasonal easier to compare month to month. You can’t get a good picture of whether it’s a good or bad year by comparing typically slow January with typically busy July. But they also lull us into a false sense of reality that all months are similar, or merely go up and down based on the strength of the market.

The raw data tell us that real estate follows a clear seasonal pattern. Inventory peaks in the summer. Sales peak in the summer. Real estate Web traffic peaks in the summer. Notice the trend?

But each local market has its own cycle. The school calendar plays a big role since families with kids prefer to move while school is out. And not all schools start at the same time.

Looking at existing-home sales data at the national level over the past several years, June averages almost twice the volume of sales as January. But inventory doesn’t vary quite as much. The typical peak for inventory is in July, but the inventory in July is usually only about 25% higher than in December. The discrepancy between the variation in sales and the variation in inventory presents an opportunity for buyers.

When sales are slower due to the season, the age of inventory rises. We monitor the median days on market of active listings, which typically bottoms in June and peaks in the winter months of December and January.

As the age of inventory increases, buyers could gain more leverage. That’s why prices are also seasonal, often peaking each summer when demand is highest and the age of inventory is lowest.

So take heart, would-be buyers! If you can resist the herd and ignore the school calendar , you will face less competition in the off-season. And if you can find a home that fits your needs, you will have more bargaining power! More info HERE

2015, September: With more than 25 years of top producing, high ranking, client focused performance, Gloria Matlin remains the consummate real estate professional for Chicago’s North Shore. Dedicated to making dreams come true and providing the highest quality service for each and every client, Gloria Matlin is the real estate resource you want for every season. See introduction HERE

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