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 2018…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 2018 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.


Holiday-New Years Events-Gift Ideas: Chicago’s North Shore

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holiday scene-North ShoreA helpful guide of things to do, places to go, things to see and experience on the North Shore of Chicago this holiday season.  Need last-minute gift ideas? We’ve got you covered.  Need things do or see with the kids/guests while on holiday vacation or through the weekend(s)?  Check out the top lists below. How about a list of North Shore or Chicago New Year’s Eve celebrations….sure thing, that’s listed here too!


Gifts for adults

-Gifts for kids or families



-General Area Family Fun


-New Year’s Ticket Events


4 Ways to Give and Share on the North Shore-Happy New Year!

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I have pledged to continue supporting the community that has given back to me many times over. I volunteer for various North Shore village events and am proud to be associated with such organizations as the Glencoe Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and Josselyn Center for Mental Health.

Below are various ways and sources to contribute to the North Shore community, marking the end of a year and/or the beginning of a new:

1. Find a cause that speaks to you- Emily Marshall, President of Junior League of Evanston-North Shore suggests to start by donating to causes to which you have personal connections—an issue that affected a loved one or an organization that helped them/you in the past. You will find plenty of groups that focus on everything from homelessness to the environment to women’s equality, working right here on Chicago’s North Shore. Marshall reminds donors not to forget smaller community organizations. “Since 2008, the changes in economy have impacted smaller non-profits, which rely heavily on individual donations,” Marshall says. Small organizations usually don’t have big budgets to create a brand image like a large not-for-profits such as Red Cross, but many are doing meaningful work right in our own backyard. For a comprehensive listing of local non-profits, Marshall recommends The Volunteer Center.

2. Do a little charity due diligence- Treat your charitable contributions like your investment portfolio. That means that once you identify not-for-profits you want to help, you should research them. Begin by checking organizations’ websites, then research them on sites like and, watchdog groups that evaluate non-profits’ on metrics like financial health, leadership and program effectiveness.

3. Roll up your sleeves- The best way to make sure your money is being put to good use is to become actively involved with the organization(s) you’ve selected. Match your dollars with some sweat equity. Volunteer, join the board of directors, or consider donating your professional “know-how” like legal or accounting services on a pro bono basis.

4. Don’t forget Coldwell Banker– Some may only associate our local Glencoe Coldwell Banker office with North Shore homes for sale, North Shore homes for rent, North Shore real estate or the latest housing report, analysis, data list or high-ranking performance award; but we are also a contributor to several charitable foundations that include places like Ronald McDonald House. Below is a list of other charities we help to raise funds for to provide financial assistance to housing-related causes that directly benefit the needs of the people and communities we are privileged to serve:


The Glencoe-North Shore Coldwell Banker office can be found at 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, Illinois nestled within the town’s downtown area. We serve Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Northbrook, Deerfield, Northfield, Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Glenview and Skokie communities.  Feel free to stop by.  MORE INFO HERE