Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Glimpse of Spring: First Impressions (Part 2)        

Spring has officially arrived. As the real estate market heats up now is a good time to get the house ready for showings. In my experience, other than price, the showability and condition of the house are the most important aspects of obtaining an acceptable offer in a reasonable period of time.

As the old saying goes, “You only have one chance to make a good first impression” In today’s digital world that first impression is generally online.

Here are some ideas/suggestions that I have shared with people over the years:

§  A spring cleanup is beneficial, either by yourself or a landscape professional. The yard is neat, the grass is cut, and by now flowers are blooming. Fresh plants and mulch are generally inexpensive.

§  Wash the windows and the screens. (See below)

§  Open the drapes and/or blinds. Sunlight helps convey a happy feeling.

§  Clean the house and declutter. It’s spring cleaning time. Go through each room and edit items that are no longer needed or wanted. We will help you do this.

§  Pay special attention when cleaning the spaces around electrical outlets, light switches and baseboards.

§  Dust the furnace, hot water tank, and a/c unit.

§  Replace all burned out light bulbs and faulty switches. LED lights may be an option.

§  Plumbing: replace leaky faucets and toilets.

§  Garage: Clean out unwanted “stuff” and reorganize.

§  Closets: Remove off-season and excess clothing.

§  Counters: Remove items. We will help you stage with minimal items.

§  Open the windows: Breezes cool the house and also generally provide a fresh smelling interior.

§  Fresh paint, and/or replace old carpeting and/or refinish flooring. Ask us current trends in colors and finishes.

Through our experience, we know the reasons people do not buy, as well as the reasons that they do. Our job is to help you prepare your home to give the best first impression. We will go through your home room by room as part of our service.

Let us take you on a tour of the spring market to help you sell or find your dream home, or if you just want to know the sale price of your neighbors’ home. For over twenty-five years, we have been the Realtors of choice from Chicagoland to Dairyland!

To contact us:             Eve: 847-409-1550

                                    Mike: 847-409-0850


Ciao! Ciao!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Chicago and North Shore Real Estate and Neighborhoods:

A Glimpse of the "606"

What better way to connect the ever booming Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park neighborhoods, than with a repurposed abandoned train line turned trail.  Opened in 2015, the 606 has captured our attention, and brought an excitement and vibrancy to the neighborhoods that didn't exist before! The trail runs 2.7 miles from  Ashland  and Bloomingdale on the east, to Ridgeway on the west.
Milwaukee Avenue Bridge
"The ConAgra Mural" by muralist Jeff Zimmerman
There are on and off ramps about every quarter mile with accessibility to all. Mike and I started the trail at Damen, walked  to the western border at Ridgeway, then turned around to head back to the beginning at Ashland.  We have driven to areas all over Chicago, and have sold properties in neighborhoods throughout, for years, and haven't seen anything that comes close to the "606"... The trail is an exciting addition to the city. It gives you an intimate peek into the neighborhoods, and you really feel the pulse of City! The elevation of the trail lends itself to peering down the streets of  typical residential neighborhoods without having to worry about the stress of traffic. You can see the recent commercial development, the new condos and townhomes, old homes, historic homes along Humboldt Blvd., renovated properties, art projects , native plants, trees, parks,  and perennials, The "L" rustling by, empty manufacturing buildings ready for rehab, and crowds of people on and off the trail enjoying the day in every way possible!
"Brick House" Sculputure of Recycled Rubber Tires, Rubber and Steel, by Chakaia Booker 
"Declaration" Temporary exhibit created by artist Gwendolyn Terry and about 1,000 neighborhood elementary students

When we were done, we headed over to The High Noon Saloon on Milwaukee Ave. for lunch with our two adult children, and then walked over to Reckless Records to wander the aisles. We ended our day at Miko's Italian Ice on Damen, and a quick stop at our @properties Bucktown office down the street! We could have eaten at a number of other places, including Dove Luncheonette, or Publican Anker, or popped in to  Stan's Donuts, or stopped for beer,  Juke Box, and pool at The Gold Star Bar on Division, but there is only so much time in a day! 
 After all, it is springtime in Chicago, and we have buyers and sellers that need us!!!
Speaking of buyers and sellers, if you want to know what the market is doing in your neighborhood, or you would like to find your dream home in Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square, or Humboldt Park, please contact me for a tour! There are so many new places to eat and drink around here,  let's meet at your favorite place, and start your tour! For over 25 years we have been the realtors of choice from Chicagoland to Dairyland. Call 847-409-1550 or email: delmonte@delmontehomes.com www.DelMonteHomes.com


Friday, April 7, 2017

Chicago to North Shore Real Estate and Neighborhoods, A Glimpse of Wilmette, Part 1

Wilmette has always been about its schools, lakefront,  park district, and close proximity to the city! Every neighborhood, regardless of price range, shares in the benefits of  top quality schools, Gillson Park, The Wallace Bowl, the gorgeous beach and lake front, Centennial Pool and Ice Rink, the "L" train, the "Metra", and the beautiful view of the B'Hai Temple. Prices range from $235,000 to 3.2 million +

My old house, 2017
Part one begins in West Wilmette. Why? When I was a mere 4 years old, my parents told me we were moving to Wilmette. We joined the many newcomers to the new house boom in West Wilmette.  Many first time homeowners were able to buy a house in one of the best school districts in Chicagoland, maybe the state! We were west of the Edens Expressway, as far west in West Wilmette as you could go without crossing the tracks to Glenview. The houses and neighborhood have changed little. The houses are primarily 3 bedroom split-levels or ranches with 1 bathroom, and no garage. Minor additions over the years have included detached garages, 1/2 or full baths in the basement, dishwashers, air conditioning, and general updates and landscaping. Because of the smaller than average lots, there has not been a lot of tear-down activity.
My house, "The Big Snow" 1967
We lived in the middle of Laramie, across from the landmark of the west side of town, "The Tank",  (water holding tank for the Village of Wilmette).  

Behind "The Tank" stood an abandoned building filled with stray cats, and beyond that were the railroad tracks. As kids, the three blocks between the tracks and the expressway was our neighborhood. Summers weren't structured like they are now. We would ride our bikes, or walk around the neighborhood until sunset. In front of the "The Tank" was "The Field" (currently the site of the Public Works building). In summer, "The Field" was converted to a makeshift baseball diamond, and the tracks were for exploring, looking for wild raspberries, and occasionally putting a penny on the tracks and taking the flattened piece home for a souvenir. In winter, "The Field" would often flood and freeze, creating a wonderful natural ice rink. Our house across the street posed as our warming shelter and snack bar!
West Park, a block north on Laramie, was added later, as an attempt to lure the kids away from "the field"  to a proper playground! We had metal monkey bars, a metal slide, and an assortment of swings and equipment. It was great fun. There was also a metal taboggan slide off to the corner, which I never tried due to parents' warnings that there would be immediate death or horrific injury upon use! Latest changes to West Park: Playground equipment now conforms to modern safety standards to avoid cuts, bruises, broken bones from falls, and burned skin from metal slides! There is a Paddle Ball court, a community garden, and an artificial turf baseball diamond (I heard on good authority that back in the day, kids actually poured gasoline on the grass to burn the diamond and

When I was about 5 or 6 years old,  I was allowed to walk a few blocks to the Dairy Queen at Lake and Laramie. It still looks and tastes as it did long ago! The charm of Wilmette lies in what remains the same, despite the changes!!

When I was the seasoned age of about 8, I was allowed to walk east on Lake Ave, past Loyola Academy, on the sidewalk over the Edens Expressway, to Edens Plaza. The overpass was a fun spot to wave to Truckers below....What a thrill when they beeped to say hi! Edens Plaza was, and  still is, a favorite destination and hang-out for kids east and west of the highway. Many friends had their first job at Edens Plaza!  Carson Pirie Scott is the only original store left in the mall. Woolworths, (and the lunch counter with their awesome french fries),  Stineway Pharmacy, The Music Store,  the original Schmitt's bakery, Phillip's Shoe Repair, are all distant memories now, replaced by Walgreens, Bed Bath & Beyond, Starbucks, etc....!!! Anyone that shopped at Carson's in the 70's to the mid 80's might even remember my mom, Marilyn Chesler,  one of the most helpful and friendly saleswomen in Blouses, Junior Sportswear, and the Men's Dept.!!!

No discussion about Wilmette would be complete without mentioning the Wilmette Public Golf Course west of Laramie, on the north side of Lake. It had many incarnations in that last  90+ years, from public course, to private, back to public course, from fire damaged to renovated, and a great place for a wedding or other private party!

Last but night least, is Meiers Tavern....technically in Glenview, but visited by many Wilmette residents when I was growing up because bars were not permitted in Wilmette at the time!  It was the go-to-place for  adults,  made famous partially because of their delicious burgers and tator tots, and partially because it was the only place to grab a beer!!! As they say in real estate, Location, Location, Location!

Contact me if you would like to know what is selling in your neighborhood, or if you want to take a tour of Wilmette to find your dream home. Then we can stop for a burger, tots, and a DAB on tap at Meier's Tavern!  847-409-1550  delmonte@delmontehomes.com www.delmontehomes.com
For over 25 years we have been the realtors of choice from Chicagoland to Dairyland.