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

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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

Summer 2018 Home Buying Benefits – Chicago North Shore Real Estate Experts

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Across the country as well as here on Chicago’s North Shore March through September are the most popular months for buying a house. In the spring and summer, you’ll often find a large selection of homes for sale.

Reasons to Buy a Home in the Summer
Do you have kids in school? If so, you probably want to sell your house and move into a new one before the next school year starts. Moving over the summer lets kids finish the term at their old school, as well as explore the neighborhood and make friends before the first day at their new school.

Be Ready to Close
If you determine that summer is the best time for you to buy, be prepared to make an offer quickly, . Make sure you know your limits: Which home features are must-haves, and what is the most you are willing to spend? Also, keep in mind that even if you’re pre-approved for a loan and are ready to push paper, it may take weeks or a couple months to close on the home. If you want to move in midsummer, you may need to start house-hunting in spring.

To get a glimpse of the properties for sale on Chicago’s North Shore, see the videos and images below or click HERE and HERE for a complete list of details and/or tips.

https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/gloria-matlin-glencoe?select_biz_video=2EfetbXpsXlayKF4wUARhA

With top producing, top performing sales volume results for over 25 years, Gloria Matlin has been a Chicago North Shore, Illinois real estate expert representing Coldwell Banker’s top ranking Glencoe office. She and partner Zack Matlin, proudly serve North Suburban Winnetka, Wilmette, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Northbrook, Deerfield, Northfield, Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Glenview, Skokie and Glencoe communities. As a seasoned North Shore Realtor, she is a trusted resource, and maintains national top 1% performance success with grace and tenacity. Look to her and Zack for all things real estate on the North Shore of Chicago this summer season, 2018!

 

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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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

Spring 2018, will be one of the Best Times to Buy….Know Why?

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With today’s 2018, Chicago North Shore market conditions, now is one of the best times to find your perfect home at the price you want. If you wait, prices and interest rates will rise and you may find yourself on the outside looking in.

Choices are out there. In the past, the amount of homes on the market was very low and selection was poor. In today’s market, a buyer is able to find the right home without compromising any needs or wants.

Take your time in researching your new home. Shop around. Look at multiple homes and compare. In previous years, the seller’s market rushed buyers to make offers without thinking about their decision. Now; you can afford to give your decision the time and consideration it requires.

Make sure your home is in the best condition. Practice due diligence and schedule home inspections and appraisals on the property that you are interested in. No longer do you have to waive these contingencies with the fear that you may lose the home to another offer. Also, submit any repair requests that you may have to the seller before purchasing the home.

Reliable and trustworthy financing is available. The re-emergence of fixed rate mortgages and the rapidly disappearing adjustable, sub-prime loans make this a great time to buy your new home!

Contact us today, we assist! Gloria and Zack Matlin…Matlin Residential Real Estate.

 

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.

 

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