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 If they’re out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is.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

 

The Importance of Seasonal Curb Appeal-North Shore Real Estate

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Spring starts off with a bang on Chicago’s North Shore!  Home prices are on the rise and inventory levels are decreasing. This may be one of the best times in history to sell,  invest or go on vacation for spring break…you decide the order. To help get your home in tip-top shape, below are 4 easy ways to make your home stand out from the rest. Your property should get noticed for all the right reasons the moment someone passes in front of or past the threshold:

1. Focus on your front door: Updating your door’s handle and deadbolt set with a modern-looking option is a great visual upgrade, and it can be a practical improvement, too. While you’re at it, see if your doorbell, light fixtures and the door’s kick plate could be replaced. And be sure to glance up to check for cobwebs on the front porch.

2. Be the visitor: Stand at the end of the driveway and try to view the home as a buyer or visitor would. Are there oils stains in the driveway? Is there mold on the mailbox? Grime on the front door? Thoroughly clean your home’s exterior. Clean your siding, foundation, patio, walkways, driveways, stairs, decks and porch. Take a bucket and scrub brush to your front door, mailbox and any other areas that need gentler cleaning.

3. Don’t forget your fence: A homeowner may get used to looking at the back fence and not notice discoloration from water and sun. Give it a glance and plan for an update in paint or materials if needed.

4. Use plants, pots, or wreaths in cool colors, and keep them low-maintenance: People will react in a visceral, emotional way to hot colors, such as reds and yellows, it’s best to stick with a cool palette. Use blues, purples, light pinks and whites. Those colors will also make the home look cooler in warmer weather.

More information HERE

Home Renovations That May Reduce Value: North Shore Real Estate

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North Shore Spring break, vacations, and time off……optimal times for North Shore real estate renovations.  But beware, not every renovation promotes a return on investment. That old adage for North Shore  home renovations, furnishings and additions — is all well and good while you sleep under its roof, but if you plan to sell, your efforts could decrease rather than boost selling potential. The detail below will outline what may or may not be in your best interest for North Shore home renovations:

Headaches to look out for

A bright pink paint job and lawn cluttered with gnomes and flamingos is going to offer little in the way of optimal curb appeal. That koi pond you love so much may be just a headache for a new North Shore home owner.

Swimming pools can be a bonus in the minds of some North Shore home buyers, but for others, a pool can be a negative.

“Swimming pools and landscaping can both backfire,” says Brendon DeSimone, a Realtor® in California and New York and blog contributor for online real estate database Zillow who has been featured on the HGTV television shows “Curb Appeal,” “Bang for Your Buck” and “My House is Worth What?

“They are nice to have because they show really well and will lure buyers in,” he explains. “But when buyers are assessing pros and cons of the home or comparing it to other homes, the upkeep — or safety, in the case of the pool — will factor in. Some people just may not want to sign up for having to do landscaping or pay the landscaper. So while a swimming pool or beautiful manicured lawn might reel in potential buyers, eventually those things could turn them off. Gardening and over-the-top landscaping is for a very specific buyer.”

There are always exceptions to be had if the right buyer comes along. A pool in warm-weather Arizona or Southern California is certainly more attractive than one at a home on Chicago’s North Shore where it gets only a fraction of the annual use.

Jacuzzis and whirlpools are other luxuries that can be a hit or a miss for sellers. A young couple may love the additions; a family with small children may see them as a waste of space and potential safety hazard.

Be careful when changing or updating rooms

Renovating your basement, attic or garage into an additional room? That man cave or spare bedroom may fit your lifestyle, but Chicago’s North Shore buyers may lament the lack of storage space and place to park their car. A basement or dormer apartment may run contrary to local zoning and be a red flag during a home inspection. Converting a bedroom into an office may appeal to a work-at-home buyer, but eliminating that bedroom in the eyes of local assessors will decrease your home’s value.

External additions can be problematic if your bigger and better house is out of character with the surrounding neighborhood in size and North Shore style. It can be even worse if your do-it-yourself project lacks professional polish. Even more modest improvements — such as doors, windows or awnings — can hurt if they don’t match your home’s architectural style.

The National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine surveys remodeling and exterior replacement projects as part of its annual Remodeling Cost vs. Value report.
Overall, the 2011-12 report estimates that homeowners would recoup an average of 57.7 percent of their investment in 35 different improvement projects, down from an average of 60 percent last year.

Returns for decking and additions can vary depending on which region of the country where the home is located. SOURCE: formanconstruction.com

Guess which has more BANG for your buck?

According to the report, seven of the top 10 most cost-effective projects — nationally, in terms of value recouped — are exterior replacement projects. It deemed fiber-cement siding replacement as the project expected to return the most value, with an estimated 78 percent of costs recouped upon resale.

  • Vinyl siding projects were expected to return more than 69 percent of costs.
  • Steel entry door replacement was the least expensive project in the report, costing little more than $1,200 on average, and was expected to recoup 73 percent of costs.
  • Garage door replacements have seen prices fall more than 15 percent nationally and can be expected to return more than 71 percent of the cost.
  • A “midrange attic bedroom” is expected to return 72.5 percent of costs upon resale, in part because it is “the least expensive way to add a bedroom and bathroom within a home’s existing footprint.”
  • A minor kitchen remodel (budgeted at roughly $20,000) is expected to recoup 72.1 percent of costs.
  • A wood deck addition is expected to make back 70.1 percent of its price tag.
  • Among the least cost-returning projects are a sunroom addition and home office remodeling, both estimated to recoup less than 46 percent of what they cost. More info HERE

Feel free to stop by the North Shore’s top producing real estate office for guidance on homes for sale, homes for rent, housing statistics or reports. We can be found in downtown Glencoe, Illinois 60022. Coldwell Banker residential brokerage and mortgage services. The best in North Shore realtors.