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 If they’re out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is.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.

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Spring Home Buying Frenzy? North Shore Real Estate

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North Shore Spring-time home buying is fast approaching. The normal spring home buying season is typically March, April, May and June. The main reason for this time-frame is because many take vacations during July and August. Spring 2017 on Chicago’s North Shore is forecasted to be one of the best home sale seasons on record; and with mortgage interest rates at relative lows, many are paying close attention to Chicago North Shore real estate outcomes.

Be ready to jump on the North Shore home you want. Don’t be too indecisive. Don’t try to sleep on it. When you find it, make an offer. Here are other tips to help you navigate The North Shore home buying spring season:

  • Get preapproved by a local North Shore lender. It could be a local bank or a local mortgage broker, but don’t try to compete with an online lender approval letter or an out-of-area mortgage lender letter. Offers that contain a local lender’s preapproval letter will probably get top billing.
  • Focus on the house, not the owner. Don’t get overwhelmed on whether the home is a foreclosure, a short sale or owned by a traditional North Shore seller. Concentrate on location, location, location, and look for homes that meet your basic requirements. If a market is dominated by foreclosures and short sales, those prices will be the norm among traditional sellers.
  • Hire a North Shore neighborhood specialist. All real estate is local. A real estate agent who specializes in the area where you want to buy will be a wealth of information for you. Not to mention, that agent will probably be well-known and respected among the area specialist listing realtors. Working with an agent other agents like is a plus for you.
  • Be prepared to pay list. Some buyers focus on how much the seller is asking instead of on how much the home is worth. Ask your agent to show you a CMA of comparable sales to determine actual value. You can’t compare values by other homes on the market because sellers can ask whatever they want. If you are getting the home you want at a price you can afford, whether you pay $1,000 more or less makes no difference in the overall outcome.
  • Give the seller something other buyers won’t. There are many terms contained in a purchase offer. Negotiation is not always all about price. You can give the seller a benefit to take your offer without actually waiving your rights. Ask your agent to make suggestions for you. It could be something as small as giving the sellers an extra day to move out.

If you are new to town, you might want to spend a few weekends before the home buying season starts and get to know the Chicago-North Shore area. Talk to people in the street and at restaurants. Visit several real estate offices and interview a few North Shore real estate agents. Use the Internet to do some research. Drive or better walk the neighborhoods you like the best at different times of the day and, if you can, on different days of the week, see if they would fit your lifestyle. If you have children, review the North Shore school districts, or research upcoming things to do or activities like North Shore summer camps and spring/summer classes for 2017.

You can also stop by our Coldwell Banker office for help, guidance and questions on buying a home, selling a home or overall North Shore market conditions.  We are located in Glencoe, Illinois 60022- 640 Vernon Ave. We look forward to assisting you. More info HERE

Home Staging During the Holidays: Chicago-North Shore Real Estate

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Don’t let the thought of selling your North Shore home during the winter months dampen your holiday spirit. Create a festive, buyer-friendly environment with these 7 seasonal staging must do’s.

1. Before you start untangling your tinsel, make sure your holiday collection matches your current indoor decor.

2. Too many trimmings can be distracting, but the right accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features. As an example, try hanging a few (no more than five) tasteful ornaments from your mantel to highlight an elegant fireplace.

3. Go light on the lights outside…Leave the giant inflatable snowman in storage this year. One man’s “merry” is another man’s “tacky,” so tone down any over the top light displays.

4.  If you decide on adding a tree make sure the wide base won’t overwhelm the floor space.

5. Crank up the Heat! Cold temps present the perfect opportunity to create an inviting environment for potential home-buyers. Buyers will be grateful for a place to escape from the cold.

6.Offer accessible tasty treats..this is a great way to get buyers to stick around and check out your home.

7. The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to go without holiday cheer this year. But a few subtle touches like a pine cone centerpiece,  or even an evergreen wreath can add warmth anyone will notice as soon as they come through the door….CONTINUED

Gloria Matlin and team member Zack Matlin pride themselves on being top real estate resources; with Gloria’s experience with everything North Shore Real Estate for over 25 years.  Market trends, reports, lists of homes for sale, homes for rent, and general North Shore housing information is available 24/7 at  www.gloriamatlin.com or www.coldwellbankeronline.com. You may also stop into the highly awarded Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate office where Gloria Matlin calls home base – 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, IL; for additional assistance/guidance.

 

 

Thinking of Selling? Top 5 Musts Before Listing: North Shore Real Estate

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North Shore real estate is well within the 2016 spring buying and selling season.  North Shore realtors may often advise clients of five basic principles to get your home in top “list ready” condition. Buyers and sellers alike are out rightspring now (on-line and in-person) perusing real estate options on places like Zillow and Trulia. Using these tips can promote a competitive standing in the market and make buyers appreciate the thoughtful preparation.

1. Go crazy on the curb appeal. Spring and summer mean getting out and enjoying the weather. It also means every detail of the outside of your home is far more noticeable.  Just put yourself in a potential buyers shoes and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly displayed? Is the address clearly visible from where you are? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrances? Is the walkway free from debris and impediments?

2. Clean and Organize. Eliminate any clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large pictures or photos, out-of-season clothes, non-used kitchen items, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or even the basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, flooring, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house sparkle.

3. Collect needed replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out, out dated, or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace those things, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be a helpful guide for both parties when negotiations begin.

4. Know where to find your warranties. Collect the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other appliances or equipment that will remain with the house after it’s sold.

 5. A pre-sale home inspection is Key. Be ahead of the game by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good outline of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make needed repairs before an open house begins. The inspection may also be an additional guide for contact negotiation.

The top producing, high ranking  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office located at 640 Vernon Ave in Glencoe, Illinois-60022; is home base for Gloria Matlin . The office has been a sound performing real estate resource for the North Shore community for well over 4 decades.  Stop by today to discover how we can assist with home buying, home selling, home rentals, reports, or just to get info on Chicago’s North Shore area things to do/ places to go or eat!

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 Outcomes September2014: Chicago’s North Shore

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Monthly Market Update (Click to Play)

Monthly Market Update (Click to Play)

Inventory & MSI

The Total North Shore-Chicago Inventory of Properties available for sale as of September was up 1.5% from market action reporting last month and up 13.8% from ending real estate figures in September of last year. September 2014 Inventory was at a mid-range compared to September of 2013 and 2012.

A comparatively lower MSI is more beneficial for sellers while a higher MSI is better for buyers. The September 2014 MSI of 5.2 months was at a mid-range compared with September of 2013 and 2012.

Selling Price vs Listing Price

The North Shore Selling Price vs Listing Price reveals the average amount that Sellers are agreeing to come down from their list price. The lower the ratio is below 100% the more of a Buyer’s market exists, a ratio at or above 100% indicates more of a Seller’s market. The September 2014 Selling Price vs List Price of 95.3% was down from 96.0% last month and down from 96.0% in September of last year.

Property Sales

Chicago- North Shore September Property sales were down -8.6% from market action results noted in September of 2013 and lower than sales last month. September 2014 sales were at a mid-level compared to September of 2013 and 2012. September YTD sales are running -12.3% behind last year’s year-to-date sales figures.

GM-SeptMarketAction

Prices

The Median North Shore Sales Price in September was down compared to sales data in September of 2013 and down -15.7% from last month. The Average North Shore Sales Price in September was down -1.7% from calculated totals in September of 2013 and down -15.7% from last month. September 2014 ASP was at a mid-range compared to September of 2013 and 2012.

Inventory / New Listings / Sales

The summary view above of the Chicago North Shore market combines monthly inventory of North Shore Properties for sale along with New Listings and Sales. The graph shows the basic annual seasonality of the market as well as the relationship between these items. The number of New Listings in September 2014 was up 13.8% from last month and up 13.3% compared to September of last year.

The North Shore Fall season continues with a top tier real estate professional recently listed among the highest producing Realtors for the second quarter of 2014. Gloria Matlin maintains her optimally performing status by providing the highest quality service and focusing her attention on helping each and every client realize their Chicago- North Shore real estate dreams!  With over 25 years of keen real estate market insight, marketing savvy, and a friendly but tenacious approach, Gloria Matlin is the ideal real estate professional you want representing you this season and for all times. Her home office – 640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022-Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.

Glencoe-North Shore Market Trends: Update July-August2014

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North Shore Chicago experiences a real estate summer surge, just in time for August 2014 — Home prices continued to climb and marked the 22nd consecutive month of annual increases, according to recent market action reporting from the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. Illinois home sales reversed course in June with statewide home sales experiencing a slight year-over-year gain for the first time this year.

Within the Chicago North Shore region and throughout the state, home sales are thriving; a concrete sign of a strengthening real estate market.  Inventory is rising in several North Shore areas. Activity is picking up in the upper price tiers. Rents continue to climb in most metros. And interest rates are overall lower than a year ago. New Listings in the North Shore-Barrington region increased 21.0% to 1,522. Inventory levels rose 9.1 percent to 3,479 units. The Median Sales Price increased 1.5%. Market Times were down 27.8% percent to 81 days. The uptick in demand continues to challenge home supply. North Shore buyers are finding the home they want and in a shorter amount of time. Both Seller as well as buyer are in strong positions this summer season. Information provided and supported by Midwest Real Estate Data LLC and The North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors (Click to Enlarge): 

July-August-MarketUpdate2014

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central – Chicago North Shore region was 4.17 percent in June 2014, down from 4.18 percent in May, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In June 2013 it averaged 4.09 percent.

According to Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois – “The volume of sales over the next three months (July, August and September) is forecast to match those recorded in 2013. In addition, median prices are continuing to climb while the REAL Housing Price Index suggests a slightly more optimistic growth rate when housing characteristics are taken into account,” noted Forty-three (43) of 102 counties in Illinois showed annual home sales increases in June 2014. Fifty-five (55) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Cook, up 6.7%.

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 30 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of July 7, 2014 for the period June 1 through June 30, 2014 and continuing monitoring through August of 2014. 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.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose 41,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast atwww.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.

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