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!

 

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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

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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.

 

Holiday Home Prep-Less is More: Chicago North Shore Real Estate

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The time is almost here! Relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, all potentially gathering in your Chicago North Shore home for the 2017-18 holidays. Commonly, the appropriate gesture may be to get or give a gift. For those planning to list their North ShoreHolidayCurbAppeal home in the months of November, December, even January, your house becomes the gift! As silly as it may seem, you’re presenting a rather large gift to potential buyers. One of the first things to attract attention is the overall packaging. The goal: First impressions mean everything. You want buyers to take in the scene and say “this is it, this is the house!” The plan: 6 Curb appeal tips that get you ready for your North Shore holiday festivities, which will make all of your guests (including potential buyers), say “WOW”:

1. A Tidy Lawn Whether there is snow covering your lawn or not; be sure to keep your lawn free from any leaves, twigs, etc… that may have blown through with the harsher winds. Just because your North Shore lawn is not expected to be as lush as the summer months, doesn’t mean to ignore the state of its appearance. Keeping it cleaned up will show thorough care.

2. Winter Weather Greenery Hearty plants and Evergreen trees, appropriate for season can withstand the winter months while adding  huge visual appeal to the outside of your North Shore home. Evergreen Holly will add a splash of color with its red berries and can stand up to the cold weather.

3. Refined Decorations and Lighting While you can have fun with the season’s bright lights and characters of the holidays, it can be easy for some to get carried away. Try small white lights around your North Shore homes’ bushes or front porch post, a simple wreath and garland to enhance your home’s appearance without being overly distracting. The use of lights can really make your home stand out with the shorter winter days. Since there is more time without the suns rays, using a variety of lighting can give your home a warm and inviting glow. Indoor window lights in each room provides a comforting appeal, while lights along the pathway up to your home, a bright porch light and tasteful holiday lights are all huge but not too fussy ways in which to enhance your North Shore homes’ curb appeal.

4. Remember Safety You may have friends and family planning to visit soon, so you’ll want to put safety at the top of the list! Be sure your driveway, sidewalk and front porch are cleared of debris, ice or any snow. It’s always better to be on the cautious side and put down salt, as even rain can freeze and make walking up to your home dangerous.

5. Touch Up Paint Your North Shore home is more visible in the winter months as trees are free from their leaves and your home’s condition is more exposed. Touching up chipped or faded paint is a great way to help your Chicago Northern Shore home look refreshed.

6. Clear Gutters It’s not too late to make sure your gutters are free from leaves and other debris. You’ll want these cleared so that melting snow or rain that can easily run through the gutters will not cause damage. More information HERE

Have a happy, safe, and prosperous pre-holiday season. This time of year is beautiful on Chicago’s North Shore.  The sparkling lights and presence of well-manicured North Suburban homes bring a warmth and charm to this already distinct area. Feel free to stop into the top performing Glencoe Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate office for information on upcoming holiday events, things to do, places to go or community/real estate market performance reports for the North Shore communities.  640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022; in the heart of the downtown village district.

New Generation of Real Estate-See Top 2017 Changes-Chicago North Shore Real Estate

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A lesson just in time for back-to-school….Ever changing and evolving technology, the flow of information, the global economy and a shift in societal structures have altered the real estate landscape on Chicago’s North Shore and around the world, forever. Times have changed since the real estate boom of the early 2000’s. This isn’t our parents’ real estate market. And some of the strategies that were put to use in the ‘80s and 90’s, if implemented today, would cause financial harm or result in missed opportunities — or both. Before venturing into the vast world of North Shore real estate, contact a trusted North Shore real estate professional. In addition, here are five tips to consider as you explore North Shore buying or selling in this current and next generation of North Shore real estate:

1. Technology speeds things up: But don’t rush a real estate purchase

Not unlike most industries, technology and the Internet have sped up the processes of looking for, transacting or selling a North Shore home. A great new listing could hit a buyer via a text from their agent, an email alert from the local MLS, a notification from Zillow on a mobile device and maybe even an old-fashioned phone call from the buyer’s agent. The actual real estate transaction process has been sped up as well. Clients can sign contracts or review property inspection reports and disclosures on a mobile device during their beach vacation. Even so, no matter how quickly we move or how much technology can make our world efficient today, buying or selling a home should never be rushed.

2. The real estate agent’s role has shifted: But a good agent still matters

Before the Internet and online listings, some people believed the real estate agent’s only value was to provide access to the listings. It’s always been a highly emotional and financial decision, and a good, experienced, local North Shore agent likely did more than just open doors in the 1980s. Today, an additional part of the agent’s role is to make sense of the information. Data alone is meaningless without color. A good local North Shore agent, living and breathing their market, will add more value than ever. Finally, in many parts of the country, where attorneys are not involved in real estate transactions, the agent is the center of the transaction. Don’t settle. If you are not impressed with your agent, find another. The right agent can make all the difference.

3. Often a seller-beware culture today: Do your homework

Search is in the DNA of millennial or Gen Y buyers today. They simply won’t take anyone’s word for anything. They will search, research and double-check everything. A smart seller today needs to be armed and get one step ahead of the buyer. Today’s buyers have much more at their disposal, and so it’s the seller who needs to beware. Not knowing what the buyers are seeing or staying one step ahead of them can affect your bottom line when going on the market today. Leverage today’s resources and technology and think like a buyer before going on the market. Once you go live, there’s no turning back. If you aren’t completely ready to sell, don’t list.

4. We have evolved: Owning might not be for everyone

The typical home buyers of last generation got married in their early 20s, moved to a single-family home in the suburbs, got a 30-year fixed mortgage and planned to pay it off. Buying a home happened once, maybe twice in a lifetime.

It’s no longer standard practice to live in your hometown after high school or college. In fact, it’s more common for today’s professional to take a job in Denver, Dallas or even Dubai. Additionally, that stable long-term job, with access to a pension after retirement, has all but evaporated. Buyers change jobs more often than ever. The flexibility granted by renting has provided a different picture of today’s American Dream for many.

5. Know all of the loan options available today: Choose carefully

Access to dozens of loan products didn’t exist just 15 years ago. Banks have developed new products to evolve with the times. The acceptance and use of some of those products, for some people, led to a steady stream of foreclosures years later. When I bought my first home, my father suggested I get a 30-year fixed mortgage. I thought he was crazy. I didn’t know what I’d be up to in five years, much less 30. A buyer today needs to spend some time researching loan options and consider them in the context of their personal situation. Work closely with a good local mortgage professional to help decide which type of loan makes sense for you – now and in the future.

Special Tip: It’s emotional — and that’s not likely to change

No matter the decade, the changes in consumer behaviors, or the type of home, real estate transactions will always be more personal than any other. Add to this the changes in technology and the access to information, and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Unlike buying a new flat-screen TV or selling a used car online, buying or selling a home will always be an emotional purchase. A home is where people have made some of their most important memories, a place that has been constant through the ups and downs of life. While the world may be speeding up on what seems like a daily basis, it’s always a good idea to take it slow when buying or selling a home. More information HERE.

With over 25 years of dedicated client focused results, top producing, high-ranking , top performing outcomes, Gloria Matlin and partner Zack Matlin are the consummate Chicago North Shore real estate representatives. Sustained North Shore community insight, and a passion for making North Shore real estate dreams a reality, look to them for questions on marketing, technology options, area conditions, or simply to discover things to do and places to go on Chicago’s Northern Shores.  640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois-Coldwell Banker residential real estate office is where Gloria Matlin has called her home office for over 2 decades.  Feel free to stop in today!

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