Glencoe-North Shore Market Trends: Update Feb-March2012

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The good North Shore real estate news remains consistent! Illinois-North Shore saw a 16.1% increase in home sales. This is the strongest Illinois Association of REALTORS®. January home sales data since 2007!

Statewide home sales including North Shore-Cook County (single-family homes and condominiums) in January 2012 totaled 6,435 homes sold, up 16.1 percent from 5,543 home sales in January 2011. The statewide median price in January was $122,500, down 9.3 percent from $135,000 in January 2011. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in January 2012 totaled 4,447 homes sold, up 15.7! The city of Chicago median home sale price for January 2012 was $149,000, down -0.7 percent compared to January 2011 when it was $150,000.

Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® stated “Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, there are positives to this data. He continued by saying that “After years of standing on the sidelines, buyers are finding this is the right time to get into affordable housing. While sellers may not be getting all of the money they want for a house, they are getting traffic and interest at levels that haven’t been seen in several years.” “Motivated buyers and sellers moving in what has been a mild Chicago winter has helped move both distressed and traditional properties.

Based on the current North Shore market report, the month of January gave 2012 a solid surge in North Shore real estate home sales as well as the city of Chicago. The average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the Chicago North Shore region was 3.92 percent in January 2012, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year’s commitment in January averaged 4.80%. History has shown that low mortgage interest rates, low property prices, along with a consumer and employment gains in the month result in strong North Shore real estate home sales.

North Shore home sales and property price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 31 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards including Chicago’s North Shore and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of February 7, 2012 through to March of 2012–for the period of analysis for January 1 through January 31, 2012. The Chicago PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

For more information on this information visit: housing statistics data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at

or visit


Top 9 Pros and Cons of Going Condo-Chicago-North Shore Homes for Sale

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For many searching North Shore real estate or buying a home on Chicago’s north shore, condominiums/townhouses are downgrade worthy and potentially a more affordable option to single-family homes in several North Shore markets. They’re ideal for those who appreciate a maintenance-free and convenient lifestyle. But before you consider buying a North Shore condo or townhome, make sure you do your legwork. Listed below are some of the highly valued elements to consider:

  • Security access. Keyed entries and even doormen are common in many condos. You’re also closer to other people in case of an emergency.
  • Association or condo rules. Although you have a vote, the rules of the condo association can affect how you use your property. For example, some condos prohibit certain indoor upgrades. Others prohibit pets, or don’t allow owners to rent out their units. Read the covenants, restrictions, and bylaws of the condo carefully before you make an offer.
  • Perks-Amenities. Many North Shore condo properties have swimming pools, fitness centers, indoor stores and other facilities that make living more comfortable, especially in winter months.
  • Built in community-neighbors. You’re much closer to your neighbors in a condo or town home. If possible, try to meet your closest prospective neighbors.
  • Storage. Some condos have storage lockers, but usually there are no attics or basements to hold extra items.
  • The space outdoors. Yards and outdoor areas are usually smaller in condos, so if you like to garden or entertain outdoors; this may not be a good fit. However, if you dread yard work, this may be the perfect option.
  • Overall maintenance. Many condos have onsite maintenance personnel to take care of common areas, do light repairs in your unit, and let in workers when you’re not at home — good news if you like to travel.
  • Funds reserved and fees. Although fees generally help pay for amenities and provide savings for future repairs, you will have to pay the fees decided or changed by the condo board, whether or not you’re interested in the amenity.
  • Resale. The ease of selling your unit may be dependent on what else is for sale in your building. Units are often fairly similar. Planning ahead on any upgrades can give you an edge, but approval may be required.

For a list of North Shore Condos for Sale or North Shore homes for sale visit the following sites:

Search the North Shore-Chicago MLS

Is Your Home High Tech Ready?-North Shore Real Estate Trends

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According to a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders, many home seekers including North Shore real estate buyers are looking for high-tech and low maintenance homes. Homes that provide convenient  living with technology built-in. In fact, many builders are incorporating this theme not only in their homes but into community planning efforts as well.

Is your Chicago-North Shore property high-tech ready? Below is a list of recent “must have” technology or entertainment options, which are often requested by buyers:

  1. Is the home pre-wired for home theater or multiroom audio/video conditions/setup?  Are there in-wall speakers?
  2. Does the North Shore home have multizoning heating and cooling controls with programmable thermostats?
  3. Does the North Shore home have multiroom lighting controls, window-covering controls, or other home automation features?
  4. Are there enough jacks in each room for cable TV and high-speed Internet hookups?
  5. Are their ample telephone extensions or jacks?
  6. Does the Chicago-North Shore property have a local area network (LAN) for linking computers?
  7. Does the  North Shore home already have wiring for DSL or another high-speed Internet connection?
  8. Is the home wired with multipurpose in-wall wiring that allows for reconfigurations to update services as technology changes?

To further rate your north shore home on its technological sophistication, see the link for the Consumer Electronics Association’s Tech-Home checklist:

Feel free to stop by Coldwell Banker, North Shore residential real estate office in Glencoe, IL 60022-640 Vernon Ave. We can help determine your homes worth, provide community reports, market conditions, or answer any questions regarding north shore real estate for sale/rent. Our customer service is legendary.  With over 4o years of experience, our North Shore real estate agents/brokers look forward to assisting you.

North Shore Real Estate-10 Ways to De-Stress Homebuying

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Buying North Shore real estate should be fun, not at all stressful. If you are in the process of searching for your dream home, keep these 10 tips in mind for making the process as peaceful and enjoyable as possible.

  1. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy or sell. If you find a home now, don’t second guess, wait on interest rates or the housing market — you may risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The North Shore housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price and a great home won’t stay on the market for long.
  2. Find a North Shore realtor you connect with. Home buying is not only a hefty financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the real estate agent you select is both highly skilled, experienced, and a good fit with your personality.
  3. No house is ever perfect–accept this fact. If it’s in the ideal Chicago-North Shore location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the boiler needs repair. Make a list of your top “must haves” and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
  4. Your home won’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get too caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room sizes, kitchen finishes, etc. — that you overlook important issues as noise level, location to conveniences, and other aspects that can have a big impact on your lifestyle.
  5. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a final decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the property.
  6. Choose a home first because you love it; then consider appreciation. A home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live. U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002 and are projected to continue to do so, well into the future.
  7. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is certainly a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on an offer may cost you more in the long run. Negotiation is about give and take.
  8. Plan for the future. Don’t procrastinate or wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, researched home insurance, or setup a schedule for your move. Also, presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved circumstances will make your bid far less attractive to sellers.
  9. Don’t forget maintenance/repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself without a plan “B” or worse, let your home deteriorate.
  10. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the very first time, is a big financial step. The great plus is that yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to purchase a home and what made you fall in love with your selected property in the first place.

If you need additional guidance or tips on buying a home, renting a home, North Shore homes for sale, or even to review housing market conditions for North Shore real estate, feel free to visit our office located at 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, Illinois 60022. Our Coldwell Banker real estate branch has been a trusted community resource for over 40 years.

Valentine’s Day-Restaurants, gifts, ideas, places: Chicago’s North Shore

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That time is almost here…Valentine’s Day. Does your heart flutter or maybe not?  Below are a few options that may help plan a special North Shore event, party, dinner, reservations or select a special gift on or around that day. Make it great!

Guanajuato –Glencoe (847-242-0501) Special menu items available for Valentine’s Day. They will feature a special Cornish Game Hen with garlic spinach, black beans and smoky red salsa to share for $24.95. For
a unique Valentine’s Day dessert, try Guanajuato’s delicious Strawberry Flan made with real roses for $9.95. Even those not partaking in the special Valentine’s Day options will enjoy a sweet treat the chef has prepared for each diner. A date night at Guanajuato would not be
complete without one of their legendary margaritas. Guanajuato is featuring their amazing Prickly Pear Margarita and a Blood Orange Margarita, each for $10. The restaurant also will have live music on Valentine’s Day and be open until 10 p.m. To treat your Valentine an authentic, romantic trip south of the border while staying on the North Shore, make sure to visit Guanajuato.

Wildfire -Glenview (847-657-6363) Offering a special Valentine’s Day 4 Course Menu for 2 for $80/couple from Friday, Feb 10th through Tuesday, Feb 14th, along with our regular dinner menu on Valentine’s Day starting at 3:00p.m.

Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar –Glenview (847-729-9463) Let your love soar with our Valentine’s Day offer: 2 tickets to the Laughing Chameleon, 2 salads, a shared appetizer, 2 entrees and a romantic chocolate fondue! $100/couple.

Convito Cafe and Market Wilmette (847-251-3654) Delicious specials inspired by romantic film couples, from comedies to epic films like Casablanca our Chef had great fun matching dishes with film locations.

Restaurant Michael –Winnetka (847) 441-3100) A three-course dinner includes pan-roasted diver scallops, roast rack of New Zealand lamb and Grand Marnier chocolate truffles. $75. RSVP required

North Shore Gift Ideas:


Choosing the right bubbly

Around the Net & in the stores

For more gift ideas and places to go and see check out info HERE and HERE

Top 6 Ways to Find the Perfect Neighborhood-North Shore Real Estate

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Your neighborhood can have a huge impact on your lifestyle. Using these tips, can help you find the perfect Chicago-North Shore community to call home.

  1. Observe and make personal notes. Once you’ve narrowed your focus to two or three neighborhoods, go there and take a walk around. Do the homes have curb appeal and appear well maintained? Are streets quiet? How does it feel? Pick a mild day if you can and strike up a conversation with people working outside or passing by.
  2. Take a close look at the school district. This is especially important if you have children, but it also can affect value at resale. The Department of Education in your ideal area can most likely provide information on test scores, class sizes, percentage of students who attend college, and special enrichment programs. If you have school-age children, visit schools in the neighborhoods you’re considering. Also, visit the site:
  3. Check return on investment. Ask a local seasoned North Shore real estate agent-REALTOR® or call the local REALTOR® association to get information about market appreciation in the area. Although past performance is no certain guarantee of future results, this information may give you a sense of how good of an investment your home will be. A REALTOR® or the government planning agency also may be able to tell you about current or planned developments as well as other changes in the neighborhood — like a new school, highway, stores — that may have an effect on property values.
  4. Will it be close to your required places? Make a list of things you like to do, places you frequent and general activities — movies, health club, church, etc. —  The functions you engage in regularly and stores you visit often. See how far you would have to travel from each neighborhood you’re considering, to engage in activates or complete tasks.
  5. Check on neighborhood safety. Ask the police department for neighborhood crime stats. Consider not only the number of crimes but also the type — such as burglaries or armed robberies — and the trend of increasing or decreasing crime. Also, is crime centered in only one part of the area, such as near a retail spot?
  6. Determine the neighborhood’s Stability. Check with your local city economic development office to see if income and property market values in the neighborhood are stable or rising. What is the percentage of homes to apartments? Apartments don’t necessarily diminish value, but do mean a more transient population. Do you see vacant businesses or homes that have been for sale for a long period of time?

View a helpful video guide HERE or find more tips and lifestyle search HERE and HERE

Our North Shore Coldwell Banker Office can provide you with local guides, resources or general information on buying and/or selling a north shore property. Stop by our office located at 640 Vernon Ave in downtown Glencoe, Illinois 60022.  Our North Shore real estate agents/brokers pride themselves on providing exceptional service past our 45 years of real estate performance history.

Real Estate Outcomes January2012: Chicago’s North Shore

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Property Sales

As of February 2012 market reports, January 2012 North Shore Property sales were 8, down -27.3% from 11 in January of 2011 and -27.3% lower than the 11 sales last month. January 2012 sales were at their lowest level compared to January of 2011 and 2010. January YTD sales of 8 are running -27.3% behind last year’s year-to-date sales of 11.


The Median Sales Price in January was $737,500, down -23.4% from $962,500 in January of 2011 and up 3.6% from $712,000 last month. The Average Sales Price in January was $1,562,813, up 31.8% from $1,185,973 in January of 2011 and up 95.3% from $800,136 last month. January 2012 ASP was at highest level compared to market history within the range of January of 2011 and 2010.

Inventory & MSI

The Total Inventory of Chicago’s North Shore Properties available for sale as of January was 88, up 3.5% from 85 last month and down -17.8% from 107 in January of last year. January 2012 Inventory was at the lowest level compared to January of 2011 and 2010.
A comparatively lower MSI is more beneficial for sellers while a higher MSI is better for market buyers. The January 2012 MSI of 11.0 months was at a mid range compared with January of 2011 and 2010.

Market Time

The average Days On Market (DOM) shows how many days the average North Shore or Cook County Property is on the Market before it sells. An upward trend in DOM tends to in show a move towards more of a Buyer’s market, a downward trend a move towards more of a Seller’s market. The DOM for January was 117, up 33.0% from 88 days last month and up 2.6% from 114 days in January of last year. The January 2012 DOM was at a mid range compared with market data from January of 2011 and 2010.

Inventory / New Listings / Sales

‘This last view of the market combines monthly inventory of Properties for sale as well as New Listings and North Shore property Sales. The graph shows the basic annual seasonality statistics of the market as well as the relationship between these items. The number of New Listings in January 2012 was 21, up 200.0% from 7 last month and up 5.0% from 20 in January based on last year’s historical data.

Our Coldwell Banker office located at 640 Vernon Ave., Glencoe,IL 60022 is available to help with all of your housing questions and concerns. From North Shore homes for sale or rent, to mortgage rates, market action reports, data, analytics or even neighborhood stats; we are here to help!

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