Just Listed -716 Sycamore Ln., #Glencoe.

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Just Listed -716 Sycamore Ln., #Glencoe..Floor to ceiling windows,bright,light & open space!See Tour! http://ow.ly/i/LWUr http://ht.ly/cfXOE


5 Tips for Buying and Selling at the Same Time: North Shore Real Estate


A common North Shore occurrence….clients who buy a home and sell at the same time; it can be done, stress free! The all too important element that makes the North Shore real estate process seamless is using an experienced agent that can guide you through a well thought out plan.

There are hundreds of variables and the possibilities, depending on your local market and your personal and financial status.  The main thing is to do as much of the buying and selling due diligence as you can up front. An experienced realtor can help with this.. Your agent can further ensure multi-transaction success by discussing these 5 tips:

1. Finances should be reviewed inside and out. You need to know not only what you can afford to buy, but also, what your house is worth before you even get started. Talk to your North Shore real estate agent and consult a mortgage banker or broker for loan pre-approval.

2. Ready? List it! Depending upon your situation, you might want to list your property toward the higher end of its value range, once you’re actively in the market. This can buy you time while you shop for your next home. And who knows? You may get the home sold at a higher price point.

3. Do the fixes needed to do to sell your property. Is your kitchen right out of the 1970s era? Do you have a faucet that constantly runs? If so, get busy fixing the things that could cause your home to sit on the market longer than necessary or worse, affect your home’s value.

4. Start now– learning the market, begin house shopping.  Use your North Shore realtor as your guide. Start going to open houses and seeing what’s out there. Begin the process of elimination and take note of what you want: the must-haves and the deal killers.

5. Start packing. Start boxing up stuff you don’t need easy access to. Get rid of all the things you won’t need until you’ve moved into your new home. This will help make your home show better and starting the packing process now will make it that much easier to move later. You may need to rent a storage unit temporarily for your stuff.

Our North Shore Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office located in Glencoe’s downtown area (640 Vernon Ave, 60022), can assist with buying and selling real estate questions. We also provide mortgage service resources and options.  Visit us online 24/7 or stop by our office to speak with Gloria Matlin or any of our top ranked North Shore realtors.

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: education.com.
  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.

Does a Housing Upgrade Make Sense..Now?-North Shore Real Estate Trends

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Despite aspects of sluggishness in the Chicago-North Shore real estate market, one group continues to be active and thriving : buyers or sellers with or without families, who are bent on upsizing for space, walkable communities, and better school districts.

The following questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a North Shore home that’s larger or in a more desirable area. If you answer yes to the majority of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready for a move.

  1. Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The Chicago-North Shore neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for the long-term. For example, you may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job, life style conveniences or live in a better school district.
  2. Are you comfortable moving in the current  North Shore housing market? If your area is showing continual progress in home sales, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.
  3. Have you built significant equity in your current North Shore property? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.
  4. Has your income or financial status improved? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving and moving up.
  5. Is there a reason why you can’t remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your city doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best next choice.
  6. Do interest rates look attractive? A low mortgage rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.

For information on moving up or down in this market click HERE and HERE

Visit http://www.gloriamatlin.com for community comparison and market snapshot data. You may also stop by our North Shore Coldwell Banker office for information on mortgage rates, loan options, market reports, data and outcomes statistics..640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, IL 60022

Signs of a Great Real Estate Investment: North Shore Market Trends

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Investing in Chicago’s North Shore real estate can mean different things to different people. With that said, how can you be sure you are making the right decision? It helps to have an experienced real estate agent who demonstrates he/she has an established pulse on market conditions. Otherwise, below are a few tips that can shed light based on individual preference or circumstance:

A Personal Residence

1. if you are not planning to own on the North Shore for at least five years you will most likely not be getting positive returns on your investment. The longer you own it, the better the chances for appreciation in value and wealth building.

2. a good personal real estate investment is one that will increase your net worth over time. you need to look at how much you are paying in housing expense versus how much that amount would be if you were just renting someone else’s property. So the overall question again is, “Is your wealth going to improve by owning the property?”

As proof positive on this, find someone who has owned real estate for 20, 30, 40 years and ask them what is a good real estate investment? It is generally easy to find them, they are retired, living comfortably, and usually happy to tell you about the properties they bought years ago!

Investment Properties

1. your returns are part cash flows and part appreciation in value. For example, if your property rental income minus expenses produced $250 per month positive ($3,000 per year); and your invested cash equity was say $50,000, that’s a cash on cash return of 6.00% ($3,000/$50,000). And that is a pretty darn good deal in real estate.

2. some investment properties my not be worth a second look! Often, unconventional property such as a boat house or beach front cabana on an island no one can pronounce are ones to stay clear of. Purchase something like that and expect the net rental income to be low compared to the purchase price, usually resulting in  projected negative cash on cash returns. So if you buy a fancy property with negative (4.0%) cash on cash returns, even if it appreciates 2.0% per year, you are typically at a 0.0%, or worse, return on your equity cash investment. And that isn’t a deal most experienced investors would take. Will January or 2012 be your time for real estate investing?

See additional North Shore real estate investment information and investment/mortgage calculators HERE and HERE

Buying Your First Home-North Shore Real Estate Trends

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With a new year comes new opportunity. Like many other investments, however, real estate market prices can fluctuate considerably, and timing can be a key factor. If you aren’t ready to settle down in one North Shore spot for a few years, you probably should defer buying a home until you are. If you are ready to take the plunge, you’ll need to determine how much you can spend and where you want to live. If you are ready to make Chicago’s North Shore your long-term destination, and you are buying for the first time, below is a guide that can take you from prospective buyer to homeowner:

1. Worth Repeating–Don’t buy if you don’t plan to stay .

If you can’t commit to remaining in one North Shore place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner – even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it’s an even worse proposition.

2. Start by confirming and double checking your credit.

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover. Your credit can also determine the interest rate rolled into a mortgage.  Rates are currently low, but ideal credit ratings are required to take advantage of substantial savings.

3. Before starting to house hunt, get pre-approval.

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

4. Get professional real estate guidance.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to Chicago’s North Shore home listings and property sale information, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional realtor. Look for an exclusive buyers real estate agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. Having someone with extensive real estate market experience and insight on community resources/trends will benefit you most.

5. Aim for an affordable home.

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you’ll do better to use one of many expense calculators available online to get a better picture on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford. See a sample affordability calculator HERE

6. Putting 20% down is ideal but not always necessary.

There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price. Each year incentives present themselves for first time buyers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be sources to depend on for program options.

7. Buy in an area with great schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you don’t have school-age children. Reason: When it comes time to sell your North Shore property, you’ll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.

8. Choose carefully between points and rate.

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points — a portion of the interest that you pay at closing — in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time — say three to five years or more — it’s usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run. Additional information can be found HERE

For questions or a guide documents on buying a home, our North Shore office can help.  We are located in Glencoe, Illinois at 640 Vernon Ave. Coldwell Banker has been a trusted name for North Shore real estate for over 4 decades. Our expert reports, trends, analysis, community involvement and superior customer service are legendary.


Recenly Reduced North Shore Gem: 1708 Northfield Square

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During this Halloween weekend (October 29th & 30th), you may want to make time to see this immaculate 2BR/2Bath Condo with a recent price reduction..Priced for a quick sale within a great North Shore location– Northfield, Illinois. The property includes 1 car garage.  A bright unit with wonderful North Shore real estate possibilities. Sliding doors with southern exposure from Living Room and Master Bedroom. Kitchen has juliet balcony. “SOLD AS IS”.  CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE THE VIRTUAL TOUR

Contact Gloria Matlin with Questions or to Request a Showing!