Spring Home Buying Frenzy? North Shore Real Estate

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North Shore Spring-time home buying is fast approaching. The normal spring home buying season is typically March, April, May and June. The main reason for this time-frame is because many take vacations during July and August. Spring 2017 on Chicago’s North Shore is forecasted to be one of the best home sale seasons on record; and with mortgage interest rates at relative lows, many are paying close attention to Chicago North Shore real estate outcomes.

Be ready to jump on the North Shore home you want. Don’t be too indecisive. Don’t try to sleep on it. When you find it, make an offer. Here are other tips to help you navigate The North Shore home buying spring season:

  • Get preapproved by a local North Shore lender. It could be a local bank or a local mortgage broker, but don’t try to compete with an online lender approval letter or an out-of-area mortgage lender letter. Offers that contain a local lender’s preapproval letter will probably get top billing.
  • Focus on the house, not the owner. Don’t get overwhelmed on whether the home is a foreclosure, a short sale or owned by a traditional North Shore seller. Concentrate on location, location, location, and look for homes that meet your basic requirements. If a market is dominated by foreclosures and short sales, those prices will be the norm among traditional sellers.
  • Hire a North Shore neighborhood specialist. All real estate is local. A real estate agent who specializes in the area where you want to buy will be a wealth of information for you. Not to mention, that agent will probably be well-known and respected among the area specialist listing realtors. Working with an agent other agents like is a plus for you.
  • Be prepared to pay list. Some buyers focus on how much the seller is asking instead of on how much the home is worth. Ask your agent to show you a CMA of comparable sales to determine actual value. You can’t compare values by other homes on the market because sellers can ask whatever they want. If you are getting the home you want at a price you can afford, whether you pay $1,000 more or less makes no difference in the overall outcome.
  • Give the seller something other buyers won’t. There are many terms contained in a purchase offer. Negotiation is not always all about price. You can give the seller a benefit to take your offer without actually waiving your rights. Ask your agent to make suggestions for you. It could be something as small as giving the sellers an extra day to move out.

If you are new to town, you might want to spend a few weekends before the home buying season starts and get to know the Chicago-North Shore area. Talk to people in the street and at restaurants. Visit several real estate offices and interview a few North Shore real estate agents. Use the Internet to do some research. Drive or better walk the neighborhoods you like the best at different times of the day and, if you can, on different days of the week, see if they would fit your lifestyle. If you have children, review the North Shore school districts, or research upcoming things to do or activities like North Shore summer camps and spring/summer classes for 2017.

You can also stop by our Coldwell Banker office for help, guidance and questions on buying a home, selling a home or overall North Shore market conditions.  We are located in Glencoe, Illinois 60022- 640 Vernon Ave. We look forward to assisting you. More info HERE

Home Renovations That May Reduce Value: North Shore Real Estate

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North Shore Spring break, vacations, and time off……optimal times for North Shore real estate renovations.  But beware, not every renovation promotes a return on investment. That old adage for North Shore  home renovations, furnishings and additions — is all well and good while you sleep under its roof, but if you plan to sell, your efforts could decrease rather than boost selling potential. The detail below will outline what may or may not be in your best interest for North Shore home renovations:

Headaches to look out for

A bright pink paint job and lawn cluttered with gnomes and flamingos is going to offer little in the way of optimal curb appeal. That koi pond you love so much may be just a headache for a new North Shore home owner.

Swimming pools can be a bonus in the minds of some North Shore home buyers, but for others, a pool can be a negative.

“Swimming pools and landscaping can both backfire,” says Brendon DeSimone, a Realtor® in California and New York and blog contributor for online real estate database Zillow who has been featured on the HGTV television shows “Curb Appeal,” “Bang for Your Buck” and “My House is Worth What?

“They are nice to have because they show really well and will lure buyers in,” he explains. “But when buyers are assessing pros and cons of the home or comparing it to other homes, the upkeep — or safety, in the case of the pool — will factor in. Some people just may not want to sign up for having to do landscaping or pay the landscaper. So while a swimming pool or beautiful manicured lawn might reel in potential buyers, eventually those things could turn them off. Gardening and over-the-top landscaping is for a very specific buyer.”

There are always exceptions to be had if the right buyer comes along. A pool in warm-weather Arizona or Southern California is certainly more attractive than one at a home on Chicago’s North Shore where it gets only a fraction of the annual use.

Jacuzzis and whirlpools are other luxuries that can be a hit or a miss for sellers. A young couple may love the additions; a family with small children may see them as a waste of space and potential safety hazard.

Be careful when changing or updating rooms

Renovating your basement, attic or garage into an additional room? That man cave or spare bedroom may fit your lifestyle, but Chicago’s North Shore buyers may lament the lack of storage space and place to park their car. A basement or dormer apartment may run contrary to local zoning and be a red flag during a home inspection. Converting a bedroom into an office may appeal to a work-at-home buyer, but eliminating that bedroom in the eyes of local assessors will decrease your home’s value.

External additions can be problematic if your bigger and better house is out of character with the surrounding neighborhood in size and North Shore style. It can be even worse if your do-it-yourself project lacks professional polish. Even more modest improvements — such as doors, windows or awnings — can hurt if they don’t match your home’s architectural style.

The National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine surveys remodeling and exterior replacement projects as part of its annual Remodeling Cost vs. Value report.
Overall, the 2011-12 report estimates that homeowners would recoup an average of 57.7 percent of their investment in 35 different improvement projects, down from an average of 60 percent last year.

Returns for decking and additions can vary depending on which region of the country where the home is located. SOURCE: formanconstruction.com

Guess which has more BANG for your buck?

According to the report, seven of the top 10 most cost-effective projects — nationally, in terms of value recouped — are exterior replacement projects. It deemed fiber-cement siding replacement as the project expected to return the most value, with an estimated 78 percent of costs recouped upon resale.

  • Vinyl siding projects were expected to return more than 69 percent of costs.
  • Steel entry door replacement was the least expensive project in the report, costing little more than $1,200 on average, and was expected to recoup 73 percent of costs.
  • Garage door replacements have seen prices fall more than 15 percent nationally and can be expected to return more than 71 percent of the cost.
  • A “midrange attic bedroom” is expected to return 72.5 percent of costs upon resale, in part because it is “the least expensive way to add a bedroom and bathroom within a home’s existing footprint.”
  • A minor kitchen remodel (budgeted at roughly $20,000) is expected to recoup 72.1 percent of costs.
  • A wood deck addition is expected to make back 70.1 percent of its price tag.
  • Among the least cost-returning projects are a sunroom addition and home office remodeling, both estimated to recoup less than 46 percent of what they cost. More info HERE

Feel free to stop by the North Shore’s top producing real estate office for guidance on homes for sale, homes for rent, housing statistics or reports. We can be found in downtown Glencoe, Illinois 60022. Coldwell Banker residential brokerage and mortgage services. The best in North Shore realtors.