Top 4 Spring 2019 Prep Tips Before Listing: North Shore Real Estate

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Chicago North Shore real estate is settling into the 2019 spring buying and selling season.  North Shore Realtors may often advise clients of four basic principles to get your home in top “list Springchecklistready” condition. Buyers and sellers alike are out right 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 by doing the following:

1. 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. Having a garage sale may even be an option if time permits.

2. 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?

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.

 

Now for April 2019-The North Shore-Chicago Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office located at 640 Vernon Ave in Glencoe, Illinois-60022; is home  to Gloria Matlin and partner Zack Matlin. The office has been a high performing real estate resource for the North Shore area for well over 40 years.  Stop in today to discover how this elite team can assist with home buying, home selling, home rentals, market action reports, or just to get info on Chicago’s North Shore communities and things to do/places to go!

Top 8 Reasons to Buy or Sell in Winter 2018-North Shore Real Estate Trends

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Chances are, 2018 buyers looking for a Chicago North Shore home during the late fall into winter season are serious about buying and not simply shopping around. Showing off some of the home’s finer features isn’t easily covered in a potential blanket of snow, but there are a number of things sellers can do to attract buyers:

 1. Less competition. In the winter season, there are fewer homes on the market, so your home will have less competition. Encourage buyers by offering attractive pricing and incentives.

2. Interior focus. Providing photographs from the summer months is important, but now is the time to highlight the inside of your home. North Shore realtors know, furnished homes and those that are organized have more appeal, so make sure the beds are made, the furniture is well placed, and the countertops and closets are clear of any clutter.

3. Exterior demands. Snow can alter the look of the overall property. Shovel and de-ice all paths and doorways. The driveway should be plowed, along with the sidewalks. Make sure that all outside lights and doorbells work. Consider more lights that could be installed to effectively highlight the best areas of the house.

4. Winter warmth. The colder months can create times at home enjoying family. You can stage your home to showcase winter warmth with such sights and smells as crackling fires, scented candles and eye-catching, but tasteful wreaths to appeal to buyers and make them feel like your home could be their own. The key–don’t overdo it though!

 FOR BUYERS

1. Lenders also usually have fewer loans to process and less paperwork to deal with (though this can change quickly if rates fluctuate). With lenders less hassled, you can expect a smoother process to get approved for a mortgage.

2. Winter may have fewer buyers in the market. Fewer buyers could mean less North Shore real estate property competition.

3. The winter season has fewer units on the market, and sellers tend to need to move from their property. You can use that to your advantage to get a favorable deal.

4. The negatives that turn off both buyers and sellers in winter can create a savvy real estate hunter’s dream. For the clued-in home buyer, such negatives can lead to a real gem of a deal. The motto that could put some serious money in your pocket between now and spring, remember this: Imagine the future, and don’t let winter pull your strings! More INFO

For a view of homes available on the North Shore, or to get market status/housing reports, analysis, trends, or open house lists, feel free to stop by our North Shore Office at 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, Illinois.  Gloria Matlin works out of one of the Chicago North Shore’s top-ranked realtor offices. Son/partner Zack Matlin, works both in suburban and Chicago area Coldwell Banker locations. 847-835-0236 or direct at 847-835-6058

www.gloriamatlin.com

Are You in the Right House? Questions to Ask Yourself this Fall2018-North Shore Real Estate

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Here on Chicago’s North Shore we are seeing a steady volume of homes for the 2018 market at amazing price points, with enticing rates. The variables have created an influx of ready buyers and sellers prepared to list. So the question presents itself to both groups…Are you in the right house?

Below are five indicators that a particular home you’re viewing might be “The One” – the property on which you’ll want to place an offer or know to look for during a search:

You lose interest in seeing any other homes.  When you find “The One,” continuing the house hunt planned for months, even years, starts to seem silly, like a waste of energy for some buyers or sellers. Sometimes your intuition just calls out, and you know when you’ve found the perfect North Shore property.

Almost instantly, you feel possessive about it. Not only can the winning home bring a smile to a buyer’s face, that immediate need to start the buying process or work on the offer paperwork may be the sign. If you walk through a place and leave wondering how quickly you can get your offer in, how much you’d offer to beat someone else out, or what you can do to lock it down quickly, it might be “The One.”

You start to envision your own, furniture, decor, daily activities or remodeling choices in/to the home.  They say that the best staging helps prospective buyers envision their own idealized lives taking place in the staged home.  But whether or not a property is staged, if you find your mind’s eye Photoshopping a given property to insert your own living style and favorite wall hangings into place in the dining room, and your daily meditation process in the all-season room  –– it’s possible that the home you’re in could be “The One”.

You start to rationalize obvious flaws.  Train tracks 10 feet from the bedroom window? Next door neighbor that runs a pigeon-sitting service? Okay – an awful exaggeration. But if you find yourself viewing a home with traits that you would normally deem undesirable or as deal-killers, yet you like the place so much that you instinctively compile a mental list of reasons those traits seem minimal, you might have found “The One.”

The bathroom and kitchen are appealing.  Generally speaking, other people’s kitchens and bathrooms may hold gross-out potential.  There’s just something about what goes on in those rooms that seems exceptionally intimate and even unsanitary.  So, if you happen to find yourself falling in love with a home’s slate shower floor or swooning over the pot-filler over the stove and the built-in cookbook stand on the countertop, that’s a sign that you’re falling head over heels with a North Shore home that might just be “The One.”

We can help find the house “The One” property that will make all your North Shore real estate dreams come true.  Visit our Coldwell Banker North Shore Residential Real Estate office, located at 640 Vernon Ave in downtown Glencoe, Illinois 60022.  Let Zack and I show you why Chicago’s North Suburban area is a source to find “The One”. More info HERE  and HERE

Your Homes’ Honey-Do List for July 2018

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This summer-2018, let top producing, high ranking, optimally performing real estate professionals, guide you through the sought after North Shore area of Chicago. Gloria Matlin and partner Zack Matlin have been assisting with North Shore real estate dreams for over 25 years. They pride themselves on being consummate professionals with a stellar reputation for thorough, sincere, friendly, and tenacious service. Located in the award-winning Coldwell Banker residential real estate office of Glencoe Illinois – 640 Vernon Avenue, 60022. more information HERE and HERE

Contact Info:
We proudly serve Chicago, Chicago’s north suburban area including Glencoe, HighlandPark, Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northbrook, Deerfield, Northfield, Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Skokie, Evanston, and Glenview.

 

Tri-Valley Real Estate Buzz

With summer around the corner, the days are getting longer…and so is the honey-do list. To help you out, we’ll be featuring a “Honey-Do List” at the beginning of each month to make sure you stay ahead of those around-the-house projects.

Here is your to-do list for the month of June:

1.  Prep your guest room for summer visitors.  

Summertime means vacation time, which sometimes means you run a bed & breakfast from your spare bedroom. When creating a serene retreat for out-of-town guests, it’s all about the little touches. Stock a bookshelf with great reads, leave a water pitcher and glasses on the nightstand, and add fresh flowers to brighten up the space. An extra blanket and a set of hotel-size toiletries make any visitor feel at home. Want to make sure your house guests don’t extend their stay? Start enlisting their help on the chores on your…

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Preparing Your Home to Sell This Summer 2018-North Shore Chicago Real Estate

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While several Chicago North Shore homes may be sold each week, the process may not be as easy for sellers as it was five or 10 years ago. Surviving in today’s real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as online real estate marketing, relocation savvy, financing options, negotiating and closing, the very expertise available from local North Shore-Chicago real estate professionals. Millions of existing homes are sold each year and, while each transaction is different, every owner wants the same thing: the best possible deal with the least amount of hassle and aggravation.

Are You Ready?Sold

The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It’s necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.
Ask yourself: If you were buying this home, what would you want to see? The goal is to show a home that looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers as possible.

When Should You Sell?

As with several locations across the country, the North Shore Chicago marketplace tends to be active in the summer because parents and/or young adults want to enroll in classes at the beginning of the school year (usually in August). Summer is also typically when most homes are likely to be available.
Generally speaking, markets tend to have some balance between buyers and sellers year-round. For example, a given North Shore community may have fewer buyers in late December, but it’s also likely to have fewer homes available for purchase. As a result, home prices tend to rise or fall due to general patterns of supply and demand, rather than the time of year. Look to a skilled, North Shore Real Estate professional can be a sound decision to assess local real estate market activity and trends.

From providing an in-depth view of luxury North Shore-Chicago real estate markets in 2018, to examining and providing an accurate seasonal gauge on North Shore’s rental trends; Gloria Matlin along with partner Zack Matlin continues 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 makes 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! More info HERE

Spring 2018-May Means Mother’s Day Month – Chicago North Shore

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Spring 2018 well wishes, and happy Mother’s Day Month from Gloria Matlin and Zack Matlin. With over 25 years of dedicated Chicago North Shore real estate experience, personable, driven, top producing, high ranking real estate professionals with a client centered focus for making real estate dreams come true; look to this dynamic team for an elite level of North Shore real estate service on the North Shore of Chicago:

The Mash Team Blog

Home is where Mom is, so why not give Mom a piece of home this Mother’s Day?

Don’t forget Mother’s Day is May 10th this year! As we discovered last year, Home is Where Mom is.  So, why not give Mom a little piece of home this Mother’s Day? These 5 unique homemade Mother’s Day Gifts are guaranteed to show her how much you care.

Lemon-Sugar-Scrub-DIY-CraftLemon Sugar Scrub via Living Locurto – Mom deserves a little R&R. Give her a spa day at home with a DIY lemon sugar bath scrub and then leave her alone long enough to take a nice relaxing bath.

CoastersTile Photo Coasters – Give mom a gift that’s worth a thousand words and serves a practical purpose. These tile photo coasters are an easy do-it-at-home Mother’s Day Gift that will make Mom smile every day over her morning coffee.

Chalkboard Flower PotsChalkboard Flower Pots via Learning, Creating, Living –…

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Top 6 Home Tax Deduction Mistakes: North Shore Real Estate

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Across the nation and of course here on the North Shore of Chicago that time is upon us….tax season-2018!  For North Shore real estate homeowners, home sellers, or prospective first time North Shore home buyers, having a basic understanding of tax guidelines can potentially shield you from Taxbreaksfinancial heartache and can help to ensure you’ll benefit from many of the exceptional tax benefits of property ownership. Below are the top 6 tax deduction misconceptions.

Note: Due to the various restrictions and conditions regarding real estate tax benefits, it is important to consult with one’s financial advisors or accountants to fully understand the benefits and opportunities of tax benefits to those who own North Shore real estate. The tips provided give general information about tax laws and consequences, but shouldn’t be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice; tax laws may vary by jurisdiction or location.

See a list of available North Shore tax preparers and financial advisors HERE . Or, let us know who you recommend for tax preperation on Chicago’s North Shore!

Schedule A is the part of Form 1040 commonly used to list myriad deductions, and the more details, the more prone someone may be to misinterpretation with their taxes. To save time and money, four tax experts weigh in on the following 6 most common Schedule A concept mistakes homeowners may make.

Concept #1: Line 6 – real estate taxes

Your monthly mortgage payment often includes money for a tax escrow, from which the lender pays your local real estate taxes.
The money you send the bank may be more than what the bank pays for your taxes, says Julian Block, a tax attorney and author of Julian Block’s Home Seller’s Guide to Tax Savings. That will lead you to putting the wrong number on Schedule A.
Example:

  • Your monthly payment to the lender: $2,000 for mortgage + $500 escrow for taxes
  • Your annual property tax bill: $5,500

Now do the figures:

  • Your bank received $6,000 for real estate taxes, but only paid $5,500. It may keep the extra $500 to apply to the next tax bill or refund it to you at some point, but meanwhile, you’re making a mistake if you enter $6,000 on Schedule A.
  • Instead, take the number from Form 1098—which your bank sends you each year—that shows the actual taxes paid.

Concept #2: Line 6 – tax calculations for recent North Shore buyers and sellers

If you bought or sold a North Shore home in the middle of 2013, figuring out what to put on line 6 of your Schedule A Form is tricky.
Don’t simply enter the number from your property tax bill on line 6 as you would if you owned the house the whole year. If you bought or sold a house in midyear, you should instead use the property tax amount listed on your HUD-1 closing statement, says Phil Marti, a retired IRS official.
Here’s why: Generally, depending on the local tax cycle, either the seller gives the buyer money to pay the taxes when they come due or, if the seller has already paid taxes, the buyer reimburses the seller at closing. Those taxes are deductible that year, but won’t be reflected on your property tax bill.

Concept #3: Line 10 – properly deducting your points

You can deduct points paid on a refinance, but not all at once, says David Sands, a CPA with Buchbinder Tunick & Co LLP. Rather, you deduct them over the life of your loan. So if you paid $1,000 in points for a 10-year refinance, you’re entitled to deduct only $100 per year on your Schedule A Form.

Concept #4: Line 10 – HELOC limits breakdown

If you took out a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you can generally deduct the interest on it only up to $100,000 of debt each year, says Matthew Lender, a CPA with EisnerLubin LLP.
For example, if you have a HELOC for $200,000, the bank will send you Form 1098 for interest paid on $200,000. But you can deduct only the interest paid on $100,000. If you just pull the number off Form 1098, you’ll deduct more than you’re entitled to.

Concept #5: line 13 – Private mortgage insurance

You can deduct PMI on your Schedule A Form, as long as you started paying the insurance after Dec. 31, 2006. Unless Congress acts to extend the PMI deduction, however, 2011 is the last year for which you can take this deduction. (Also, this is also a good time to review your PMI: You might be able to cancel your PMI altogether because you’ve had a change in loan-to-value status.)

Concept #6: line 20 – casualty and theft losses

You can deduct part or all of losses caused by theft, vandalism, fire, or similar causes, as well as corrosive drywall, but the process isn’t always obvious or simple:

  • Only deduct losses that are greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income (line 38 of Form 1040).
  • Fill out Form 4684, which involves complex calculations for the cost basis and fair market value.  This form gives you the number you need for line 20.

Bottom line on line 20: If you’ve got extensive losses, it’s best to consult a tax pro. “I wouldn’t do it myself, and I’ve been dealing with taxes for 40 years,” says former IRS official Marti.

Get more tax tips HERE

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