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 2018…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 2018 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.

 

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Real Estate Resolutions in 2018-Chicago North Shore Real Estate

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When it comes to real estate, 2018 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, 2018 resolutions to get you North Shore real estate market ready and prepared:

 

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 2018. Nationally and locally recognized as a high ranking, top performing luxury real estate resource, she and partner Zack Matlin are trusted professionals with over 30+ years of North Shore Real Estate insight and experience. Look to them for help with relocation, downsizing, up-sizing, 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 team.

Holiday Home Prep-Less is More: Chicago North Shore Real Estate

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The time is almost here! Relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, all potentially gathering in your Chicago North Shore home for the 2017-18 holidays. Commonly, the appropriate gesture may be to get or give a gift. For those planning to list their North ShoreHolidayCurbAppeal home in the months of November, December, even January, your house becomes the gift! As silly as it may seem, you’re presenting a rather large gift to potential buyers. One of the first things to attract attention is the overall packaging. The goal: First impressions mean everything. You want buyers to take in the scene and say “this is it, this is the house!” The plan: 6 Curb appeal tips that get you ready for your North Shore holiday festivities, which will make all of your guests (including potential buyers), say “WOW”:

1. A Tidy Lawn Whether there is snow covering your lawn or not; be sure to keep your lawn free from any leaves, twigs, etc… that may have blown through with the harsher winds. Just because your North Shore lawn is not expected to be as lush as the summer months, doesn’t mean to ignore the state of its appearance. Keeping it cleaned up will show thorough care.

2. Winter Weather Greenery Hearty plants and Evergreen trees, appropriate for season can withstand the winter months while adding  huge visual appeal to the outside of your North Shore home. Evergreen Holly will add a splash of color with its red berries and can stand up to the cold weather.

3. Refined Decorations and Lighting While you can have fun with the season’s bright lights and characters of the holidays, it can be easy for some to get carried away. Try small white lights around your North Shore homes’ bushes or front porch post, a simple wreath and garland to enhance your home’s appearance without being overly distracting. The use of lights can really make your home stand out with the shorter winter days. Since there is more time without the suns rays, using a variety of lighting can give your home a warm and inviting glow. Indoor window lights in each room provides a comforting appeal, while lights along the pathway up to your home, a bright porch light and tasteful holiday lights are all huge but not too fussy ways in which to enhance your North Shore homes’ curb appeal.

4. Remember Safety You may have friends and family planning to visit soon, so you’ll want to put safety at the top of the list! Be sure your driveway, sidewalk and front porch are cleared of debris, ice or any snow. It’s always better to be on the cautious side and put down salt, as even rain can freeze and make walking up to your home dangerous.

5. Touch Up Paint Your North Shore home is more visible in the winter months as trees are free from their leaves and your home’s condition is more exposed. Touching up chipped or faded paint is a great way to help your Chicago Northern Shore home look refreshed.

6. Clear Gutters It’s not too late to make sure your gutters are free from leaves and other debris. You’ll want these cleared so that melting snow or rain that can easily run through the gutters will not cause damage. More information HERE

Have a happy, safe, and prosperous pre-holiday season. This time of year is beautiful on Chicago’s North Shore.  The sparkling lights and presence of well-manicured North Suburban homes bring a warmth and charm to this already distinct area. Feel free to stop into the top performing Glencoe Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate office for information on upcoming holiday events, things to do, places to go or community/real estate market performance reports for the North Shore communities.  640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022; in the heart of the downtown village district.

Benefits of Year End Real Estate Investing: North Shore Chicago

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Here on Chicago’s North Shore, next to spring, fall is often the busiest real estate time of the year. Although you can buy and sell houses at any time, the fall North Suburban real estate market offers abundant benefits to home buyers, including year-end tax breaks, pleasant weather conditions for moving, commonly a wider selection of houses, and the beautiful presence of mother-nature all FallScene-2around!

To further provide examples of the North Shore home buying advantages you can enjoy during the autumn months, below is a more detailed look into the benefits of looking for and purchasing a home in the autumn 2017 season.

Mortgage loan year-end tax breaks

By October and November, people are already reviewing year-end tax breaks they may be eligible for. Fortunately for home-buyers, owning a home can yield immense dividends in tax returns. For example, both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from gross income. In addition, if you have prepaid ant interest before the due date of your first payment and you close your loan before the year’s end, that amount will also be deducted. Consult a tax professional for specific details and guidelines.

Often more home buying choices

Given that North Shore home buying and selling is at a peak during the fall season, the real estate market often becomes a highly competitive arena. While there may be additional pressure to buy due to the quicker turnaround of houses on the market, at the same time you also benefit from the wider selection of homes available during the fall season. In fact, between the months of September and December, you may be fortunate enough to visit several North Shore open houses in a single day. Therefore, to make sure you don’t miss out on finding your dream house, it’s a good idea to examine on-line ads often since the listings are updated frequently.

Getting ahead of mother mature

Buying a North Shore house in the winter may not be very appealing to most home buyers. Low temperatures and poor weather conditions can potentially make moving more difficult. But by moving in early, mid, even late autumn, you gain the added benefit of eluding the sweltering summer heat.

Fall home buying TIP:  Taking into account that fall is the second busiest season of the year for buying and selling houses on the North Shore, you may be tempted to put a bid on a home for fear that another buyer will better your offer or snatch it up before you. Carefully assess your financial situation ahead of time and before your feet hit the pavement, know what your ceiling is and stick to it. More info HERE

The North Shore real estate Fall 2017 forecast calls for ongoing top tier results, high ranking top producing performance, and sustained elite service from Gloria Matlin and partner Zack Matlin of Matlin Residential Real Estate. With over 25 years of trusted real estate professionalism, she and Zack are the consummate guides on Chicago’s North Shore. Look to them for assistance with relocation, buying, selling, investing, or to inquire about local communities, they can help make North Shore real estate dreams a reality. Gloria’s home office is located within the top brokerage firm on the North Shore-Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate office. 640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois 60022.

 

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 Fall 2017 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 2017 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.

Top 3 Perks to Buying a Home During Autumn 2017-North Shore Real Estate

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Yes, it’s common to hear people talk about Chicago North Shore real estate trends for the fall season. The cyclical nature of real estate is usually associated with autumn-home-john-loreauxfluctuating interest rates, changing incentive packages, and other economic factors. But were you aware that the real estate market is also influenced by the time of year, also known as the seasons?

A close second to spring, fall is the busiest North Shore real estate selling and buying time of the year. Although you can buy and sell houses at any time, the North Suburban Shores’ fall real estate market offers certain benefits to home buyers, including year-end tax breaks, pleasant weather conditions for moving, often a wider selection of houses, to name a few benefits.

To give you an idea of the home-buying advantages you can enjoy during the beautiful Chicago North Shore months, here is a more detailed look into the perks of buying a home during this time-frame:

1. Getting ahead of nature

Buying a house before the deep freeze of winter sets in is very appealing to most home buyers. Low temperatures and poor weather conditions may make moving a little more difficult. Furthermore, by wintertime most kids have settled into school, established friendships, and become involved in extra-curricular activities. By moving in early autumn, not only do you avoid interrupting your children’s schooling (or higher educational pursuits in the case of teen and adult family members), but you gain the added benefit of eluding the summer temps.

2. Important first time buyer tip

Given that fall is the second busiest season of the year for buying and selling houses, you may be tempted to put a bid on a home that is out of your price range for fear that another buyer will better your offer or snatch it before you. Carefully assess your financial situation ahead of time and before your feet hit the pavement, know what your ceiling is and stick to it like glue. Remember: Just as there are many fish in the sea, there are many houses in the real estate market now and certainly in the future.

 3. Year-end tax breaks to keep in mind

Come September and October, people are already starting to think about what year-end tax breaks they may be eligible for. Fortunately for homebuyers, owning a home can yield great dividends in tax returns. For example, both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from gross income. Furthermore, if you have prepaid some interest before the due date of your first payment and you close your loan before the year’s end, that amount will also be deducted. Don’t miss out on finding your dream house; it’s a good idea to examine the classified ads more often since the listings are updated more frequently. More info HERE

With top ranking results and personalized service no matter the season, Gloria Matlin along with partner Zack Matlin are ahead of market trends and understand the benefits of selling, buying or both during this season. Over 2 decades of high sales/production results and exceptional client centered performance, Gloria Matlin is a consummate expert within the Chicago North Shore real estate profession.  She calls Glencoe’s Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate office home-640 Vernon Avenue, 60022….The center of the downtown district.

New Generation of Real Estate-See Top 2017 Changes-Chicago North Shore Real Estate

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A lesson just in time for back-to-school….Ever changing and evolving technology, the flow of information, the global economy and a shift in societal structures have altered the real estate landscape on Chicago’s North Shore and around the world, forever. Times have changed since the real estate boom of the early 2000’s. This isn’t our parents’ real estate market. And some of the strategies that were put to use in the ‘80s and 90’s, if implemented today, would cause financial harm or result in missed opportunities — or both. Before venturing into the vast world of North Shore real estate, contact a trusted North Shore real estate professional. In addition, here are five tips to consider as you explore North Shore buying or selling in this current and next generation of North Shore real estate:

1. Technology speeds things up: But don’t rush a real estate purchase

Not unlike most industries, technology and the Internet have sped up the processes of looking for, transacting or selling a North Shore home. A great new listing could hit a buyer via a text from their agent, an email alert from the local MLS, a notification from Zillow on a mobile device and maybe even an old-fashioned phone call from the buyer’s agent. The actual real estate transaction process has been sped up as well. Clients can sign contracts or review property inspection reports and disclosures on a mobile device during their beach vacation. Even so, no matter how quickly we move or how much technology can make our world efficient today, buying or selling a home should never be rushed.

2. The real estate agent’s role has shifted: But a good agent still matters

Before the Internet and online listings, some people believed the real estate agent’s only value was to provide access to the listings. It’s always been a highly emotional and financial decision, and a good, experienced, local North Shore agent likely did more than just open doors in the 1980s. Today, an additional part of the agent’s role is to make sense of the information. Data alone is meaningless without color. A good local North Shore agent, living and breathing their market, will add more value than ever. Finally, in many parts of the country, where attorneys are not involved in real estate transactions, the agent is the center of the transaction. Don’t settle. If you are not impressed with your agent, find another. The right agent can make all the difference.

3. Often a seller-beware culture today: Do your homework

Search is in the DNA of millennial or Gen Y buyers today. They simply won’t take anyone’s word for anything. They will search, research and double-check everything. A smart seller today needs to be armed and get one step ahead of the buyer. Today’s buyers have much more at their disposal, and so it’s the seller who needs to beware. Not knowing what the buyers are seeing or staying one step ahead of them can affect your bottom line when going on the market today. Leverage today’s resources and technology and think like a buyer before going on the market. Once you go live, there’s no turning back. If you aren’t completely ready to sell, don’t list.

4. We have evolved: Owning might not be for everyone

The typical home buyers of last generation got married in their early 20s, moved to a single-family home in the suburbs, got a 30-year fixed mortgage and planned to pay it off. Buying a home happened once, maybe twice in a lifetime.

It’s no longer standard practice to live in your hometown after high school or college. In fact, it’s more common for today’s professional to take a job in Denver, Dallas or even Dubai. Additionally, that stable long-term job, with access to a pension after retirement, has all but evaporated. Buyers change jobs more often than ever. The flexibility granted by renting has provided a different picture of today’s American Dream for many.

5. Know all of the loan options available today: Choose carefully

Access to dozens of loan products didn’t exist just 15 years ago. Banks have developed new products to evolve with the times. The acceptance and use of some of those products, for some people, led to a steady stream of foreclosures years later. When I bought my first home, my father suggested I get a 30-year fixed mortgage. I thought he was crazy. I didn’t know what I’d be up to in five years, much less 30. A buyer today needs to spend some time researching loan options and consider them in the context of their personal situation. Work closely with a good local mortgage professional to help decide which type of loan makes sense for you – now and in the future.

Special Tip: It’s emotional — and that’s not likely to change

No matter the decade, the changes in consumer behaviors, or the type of home, real estate transactions will always be more personal than any other. Add to this the changes in technology and the access to information, and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Unlike buying a new flat-screen TV or selling a used car online, buying or selling a home will always be an emotional purchase. A home is where people have made some of their most important memories, a place that has been constant through the ups and downs of life. While the world may be speeding up on what seems like a daily basis, it’s always a good idea to take it slow when buying or selling a home. More information HERE.

With over 25 years of dedicated client focused results, top producing, high-ranking , top performing outcomes, Gloria Matlin and partner Zack Matlin are the consummate Chicago North Shore real estate representatives. Sustained North Shore community insight, and a passion for making North Shore real estate dreams a reality, look to them for questions on marketing, technology options, area conditions, or simply to discover things to do and places to go on Chicago’s Northern Shores.  640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois-Coldwell Banker residential real estate office is where Gloria Matlin has called her home office for over 2 decades.  Feel free to stop in today!

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