Creating a Life Plan to Secure Your Children’s Future – North Shore Chicago Real Estate

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Image credite:Pixabay:jairojehuel

Image credite:Pixabay:jairojehuel

It’s never too early to start thinking about your children’s future. You’ve already made big decisions about the house or area your children will live in or even what school they will attend, and creating a life plan can make it much easier to think of any contingencies that may arise down the road. You owe it to your children to map out your future goals for yourself and in ways which will affect their lives also, so start thinking about it now, even if your children are still very young.

Draw Up a Will

Everyone wants to live to a good old age, but you cannot guarantee this will happen. You never know what’s round the corner, so it’s best to plan your estate now rather than later. Here are some reasons you should make a will now:

  • A will gives you the opportunity to state who will care for your children in your absence.
  • You can use your will to name an executor for your estate.
  • A will allows you to select a trustworthy guardian for your children’s finances.
  • Your will can be a vehicle to enable you to name someone to take care of property for your children.

You can also state clearly who gets what in your will, and provide for any children that may have special needs.

Get Life Insurance

You already probably have life insurance for yourself, and if you’re in a stable financial position, it’s a good idea to invest in life insurance for your children. The main reason you should do this now, is in case your child develops an illness later in life, which could make her ineligible for life insurance. Heaven forbid you should outlive your children, but if this does happen, a life insurance policy will enable you to pay for their funeral expenses.

Save For Your Children’s College Education

College education is not cheap. For the 2016-2017 school year, the average cost of public college was $9,650, it was $33,480 at private colleges. There are several ways you can save wisely for your kid’s college fund.

Evaluate Your Real Estate

Perhaps your 1,300 square foot townhouse works perfectly well for you, your spouse, and toddler, but adding another child or even a pet into the mix could necessitate purchasing a larger home, or at least finding a home with a more flexible layout. Regardless of whether you are adding children and pets, got a job promotion, or suddenly came into some extra money, it may be time to re-evaluate your living situation if your quality of life is suffering.

A 529 Plan

A 529 plan is a savings plan with tax advantages, which is operated by a state or educational institution.  Such a plan can be used to pay for the cost of college education nationwide. In general, the state which your savings plan is from, does not affect your choice of school. This means you can live in Georgia, invest in a plan in California and send your child to school in Michigan. You can check here to see if your college is eligible.

Coverdell Education Savings Account

This is a type of trust account designed specifically for your child’s college education. The advantage of a Coverdell account is that it’s not just for college, you can use your savings to pay for K-12 education tax-free. The main disadvantage of this type of account is that you cannot deposit more than $2,000 per year.

UTMA and UGMA Accounts

These are custodial trust accounts. This means that if you have annuities, bonds or stocks, or cash that you wish to reserve for your children, you can put them into one of these accounts. This is the best option if your child will not need to apply for financial aid.

Creating a life plan is an essential part of securing your children’s future. Don’t let the prospect overwhelm you. Break it down, and build on it gradually. You will also need to review it from time to time and make any necessary changes or updates as your children grow older. When your children are getting ready to leave home and move on to the next stage of their lives, you will be glad that you had everything planned in advance.

Gloria Matlin along with partner Zack Matlin continue to be North Suburban real estate experts with an unparalleled record of top producing, high-ranking accomplishments that span 25+ years. Her keen awareness of the Northern Shore communities and his extensive marketing as well as mortgage consulting knowledge are what make Gloria and Zack Matlin an elite high performing team with a sincere and personalized style they offer each and every client. Gloria Matlin and Zack Matlin educate, tenaciously perform and make Chicago North Shore real estate dreams a pleasant reality! Look to them for guidance on real estate and related matters this summer season 2017!


Happy Holidays, Happy New Year-North Shore Chicago

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From our family to yours….

Seasons Greetings-Matlin-2013


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Glencoe Garage Sale 2012-Visit our North Shore Real Estate Office for Details!

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Glencoe, Ill will be the location for the annual Chicago North Shore garage sale, Sunday September 9th between 10-am to 4pm. Sign up by September 5th to reserve a garage sale kit!  Sign up will be done at 640 Vernon Ave- Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate office. Call 847-835-0236 or 847-727-8700 for additional details!

Remember these top 5 garage sale tips:


Tip 1:

Garage sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter and earn a little extra — especially before buying or selling a home.

Tip 2:

Don’t wait until the final hour. Depending on how long you’ve lived in the home and how much stuff you have to sell, planning a garage sale can demand some prep and setup time.

Tip 3:

See if neighbors want to help or join in. You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and lure more shoppers if you team up or talk with your neighbors.

Tip 4:

Create an organized display. Lay out items by category, and display neatly so customers don’t have to struggle to find goods. They will appreciate the thoughtfulness and may return in kind with multiple items to purchase.

Tip 5:

Have  bags and newspapers handy. People who buy many small items will appreciate a bag to carry their goods. Newspapers are ideal for wrapping fragile items.

The Importance of Home Inspections:North Shore-Glencoe Real Estate


Especially in today’s North Shore real estate market with various purchase options available and access to immediate information via the internet; before you buy or sell a home, one of the things that should be done is throughly confirming the homes status with an inspection using a licensed inspector. Buying a home is an investment, and selling real estate requires du diligence. The added expense can save thousands if not millions in the long run for both buyer and seller. Below is a list that covers the what, whys and hows when it comes to home inspections. (If  this is your first time buying a home, be sure to take note of these valuable tips):

For Sellers:

Resist the impulse to make quick, cheap repairs before an inspection. You may raise a question that produces undue concern with buyers

10 Tips to Prepare for a Home Inspection 1. Clean debris from gutters and roof 2. Caulk around windows and doors 3. Seal asphalt driveway 4. Clean HVAC filters 5. Seal basement walls 6. Clean the chimney 7. Replace burned out light bulbs 8. Have all documentation on hand for recent repairs and inspections 9. Remove firewood from contact with the house 10. Clear access to attic, crawl space, and garage.

10 Most Common Home Inspection Issues 1. Faulty wiring—open junction boxes, amperage mismatches, no wire nuts on wires. The cure: Fix junction boxes; upgrade to at least 100 amps. 2. Poor grading and drainage—spongy soil around the foundation, signs of leaking in basement. The cure: Regrade so that grounds slopes away from house for 10 feet; remove porous material around foundation. 3. Faulty gutters—clogged or bent gutters, water not channeled away from house. The cure: Preventive maintenance; gutters of adequate size, splash pans to divert run-off. 4. Basement dampness—water stains, powdery residue on walls, mold or mildew. The cure: Repair gutters to channel water away from house; apply waterproof coatings to basement. 5. Roof problems—brittle or curled shingles; broken or missing flashings. The cure: Apply new shingle, or tear off if needed (usually after three re-roofs ); replacing flashings, especially around chimneys and other protrusions. 6. Foundation flaws—cracks in foundation, sloping floors, sticking doors or windows. The cure: Fill cracks with silicon caulking or epoxy; apply waterproof coating to exterior. 7. Poor upkeep—needs repainting, worn carpeting, cracked driveway. The cure: Give the house a minor facelift. 8. Faulty plumbing—inadequate water pressure, slow drains, signs of leaks on ceilings. The cure: Clean and rout drains; reseat toilet with new wax ring, repair leaks. 9. Poor ventilation—extreme heat in attic, vapor condensation. The cure: Ensure that roof soffits are not blocked; install additional roof vents; vent bathroom and kitchen fans outside. 10. Defective heating—cracks in the heat exchanger or water tank; carbon monoxide leaks. The cure: Reseal chimney flues; replace sacrificial anode in water heater.

For Buyers:

Buyers can get extra protection and piece of mind by purchasing a home warranty insurance policy. Such policies may also be a way for sellers to protect themselves from post-sale claims by buyers for defects undetected in home inspections.

Your North Shore realtor can be a source to find a reliable and trusted inspector as well as home warranty policies.

10 Questions to Ask the Home Inspector 1. What are your qualifications? Are you a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors or National Associaton of Home Inspectors? 2. Do you have a current license? Inspectors are not required to be licensed in every state. 3. How many inspections of properties such as this do you do each year? 4. Do you have a list of past Chicago’s north shore clients I can contact? 5. Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance? May I have a copy of the policy? 6. Do you provide any guarantees of your work? 7. What specifically will the inspection cover? 8. What type of report will I receive after the inspection? 9. How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to receive the report? 10. How much will the inspection cost?  More HOME INSPECTIONS TIPS FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS..HERE

For a list of  North Shore real estate resources, feel free to visit our Coldwell Banker Office located at 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, Illinois

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.

Top Ways to Refinance Investment Property: Real Estate Market Trends

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Is it possible to refinance a property if you don’t live in it?  


But even with mortgage rates as low as they are, for some people, “it just doesn’t make sense” for them to refinance a rental property, or they are being told they can’t refinance an investment property.

How can this be?

In today’s mortgage market, quite a few home loan programs for investment properties are available through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac — but there are still portfolio lenders offering investment property programs that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don’t offer.

Translation: Just because one lender tells you it isn’t possible to refinance your investment property, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible.

For those people who have recently heard that it wasn’t possible to refinance their investment property, it is likely that they were given one of two common reasons: MORE

Must Have Apps for the Real Estate Savvy:Market Trends

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Whether you’re a first-time home buyer , foreclosure hunter, mortgage calculating junkie, renovation snob or shopping around for your retirement home, the latest real estate apps for mobile devices put the marketplace at your fingertips — literally. Here’s a set of basic apps that are great downloads for active house hunters. While many big-name real estate companies have useful, well-organized mobile property searches, we found this set to be particularly devoted to the needs of the user and blissfully free of any built-in bias. Inexpensive (several are free) and easy to use.

Do you have a favorite real estate mobile app? See if our savvy list matches yours..SEE LIST HERE

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