Although autumn can be one of the busiest seasons for Chicago real estate and current homeowners, it’s also the best time to take advantage of the moderate weather to repair any damages before the first frost sets in. Here are some home maintenance ideas that will keep your Chicago home running in peak condition all the autumn season long in 2019.
Check foundation for cracks and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping. “Caulking and sealing openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs,” says Michael Hydeck, Hydeck Design Build, Inc., Telford, PA, and National President, National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). “Openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold build up,” he says. “Regardless of whether you live in a cold or warm climate, winter can bring very harsh conditions resulting in water or ice damage. A careful check of the outside structure combined with inexpensive maintenance can save you money in the long run.”
Install storm windows and doors and remove screens. Before storing, clean and repair screens, spray with a protective coating and place in a dry area of the basement or garage.
Slideshow: 10 Fall Home Maintenance Tips
Examine your pool cover for damage and replace if necessary.
Weather-strip your garage door. Make sure the seal between your garage door and the ground is tight to prevent drafts and keep out small animals.
Inspect your driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer.
“Heating and cooling amount to 47% of the energy costs in your home. Proper sealing and insulation can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs, or up to 10% on your total annual energy bill,” says Katie Cody, spokeswoman for Lowe’s. “Air leaks from windows and doors are easy to find by moving your hand around the frame. Applying weather stripping and caulk to these areas will help cut down on drafts.” More information HERE…
September 2019-Get all your Chicago real estate needs completely met with Ian Schwartz and The Ian Schwartz Group this autumn season. With over 15 years of top-ranking, high producing, nationally recognized performance, Ian and his team combine forces to ensure an outstanding, client-centric experience from start to finish. Buyers and Sellers alike, no stone will be left unturned until the transaction(s) are completed with experienced ease.
Chicago….If you’ve been on the fence about buying a home, 2019 will be the year to take the plunge! See below on why:
1. Rents will still hurt
Celebrate 2019 with The Ian Schwartz Group – Coldwell Banker
Rent prices are expected to continue to climb in the new year, which means in most cities like Chicago, buying will be cheaper than renting. Even though mortgages could get more expensive, buying might still be the better deal. Interest rates would need to rise to around 6.5% for the cost of buying to equal that of renting on a national level, according to housing economists at Trulia.
2. Home prices will finally calm down
Real estate values have been on the rise for a while, but are likely to slow their pace next year. Prices are expected to rise 3.5%, according to Zillow’s Chief Economist.
Buyers who’ve been stuck behind the wave of rising prices may finally get the chance to jump in. And that could lead to a flood of buyers, said chief economist at Realtor.com.
“We have the potential for about six million home sales just through the months of April through September; that is basically impossible to do,” he said. But not everyone will be in a position to take advantage. Despite the slowdown, Zillow still expects home values to outpace wage growth, which can make it tough to afford a home, especially for lower-income buyers. Plus, prices in the country’s hottest markets — like San Francisco, Boston and New York City — aren’t expected to pull back as much next year.
3. More homes will hit the market
The slowdown in home prices will prompt more owners to list their homes, Smoke said, giving buyers more choice. “Because of the price appreciation they have experienced, you will have more sellers put homes on the market next year,” he said.
The new home market is also expected to grow in the coming year with builders focusing more on the starter and middle-range homes, which will also boost inventory and make it easier for buyers.
With more homes on the market, bidding wars will become less common and prices could ease even more.
4. Dirt cheap mortgages could disappear
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to begin increasing interest rates soon, which means the window for record low mortgage rates is closing. While rates are expected to go up gradually, higher rates push up borrowing costs and monthly mortgage payments. More details can be found HERE.
With over $50,000,000 sold in 2018, Ian Schwartz with the Ian Schwartz Group is determined to once again surpass expectations in 2019! By providing outstanding, client-driven service, Ian and his team pride themselves on leaving no stone upturned until each and every real estate transaction are done earning trust, loyalty, and friendship of those they assist. See why in 2019…everything we touch turns to SOLD!
There’s typically a slowdown in shopping activity from Thanksgiving through New Year’s when people are focused on family and friends and holiday celebrations. But that’s not necessarily the end of the world for 2019 sellers.
Those left combing the market during December and January are typically more serious about the home hunt. They might include families relocating for job changes, first-timers ready to leap during a slow market, and those who’ve recently sold a home and need a new place to live.
Some buyers simply thrive in a more relaxed environment, with fewer competitors for top properties and more attention from agents. Holiday season buyers are typically motivated and financially ready.
Hoping for a signed contract in your stocking? Follow the rules of holiday/winter home selling and you could capture the interest of one of these serious buyers:
1. Deck the halls with restraint. Holiday decorations make homes festive and buyers merry. But too many ornaments, wreaths, and garlands can obscure views, make rooms feel smaller and distract buyers from their true purpose: deciding whether or not your home is right for them.
2. Basic principles of home staging take on added importance during the holiday season. They include these tenets: Anything more than five is a collection and should be packed away. Keep tabletop decor to no more than three objects.
3. Think twice before displaying decorations specific to your religious or cultural heritage, since it makes it more difficult for others who don’t share your background or beliefs to envision themselves living in the space.
What, then, is appropriate?…… MORE INFO
During the 2018 holidays or any holiday no matter the year, your curb appeal needs to not only spread holiday cheer, but attract the right message to guests and potential home buyers. If the outside of your home is not appealing, you may leave a not so great lasting first impression before anyone even experiences what the inside has to offer. Many real estate professionals and home stagers have found that hints of holiday colors and decorations on the outside of your home can create a warm and inviting atmosphere for all that cross the threshold. With so many poor examples of proper outdoor decorations, it is hard to know what is appropriate for decorating the exterior of your home. REALTOR® Magazine provides guidelines to create holiday curb appeal the right way:
1. For a classic exterior look, home stagers recommend twinkling clear, white lights.
2. Hang a festive wreath at the front door that will look great and create a nice smell when buyers enter your home.
3. Add some seasonal flowers to your front entryway to add some holiday color.
4. Show off your windows with battery-operated candle lamps at primary windows.
5. Leave outdoor lights on after 5:00 p.m. to give all a clear pathway as they enter your home.
6. Think winter and not a specific holiday…avoid placing religious-themed decorations outside your home.
7. Make sure your home is in home staging shape with nicely trimmed bushes, fresh house paint, etc.
Since your home will be looking its best, take a photo that you can use to create a special holiday card or flyer to be used as marketing material through the holiday weeks. With these tips, you will be on your way to leaving good vibes with visitors, guests, and potential home buyers.
2018-Back to School and Pre-Autumn Advice-5 Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes: Chicago Real Estate
Are you a first time Chicago home buyer this 2018 fall season…enthusiastic and ready to get into the real estate market? It’s certainly that time of year when individuals consider moving whether for work, school, to reduce costs, better lifestyle access, the list is endless; but are you aware of the common pitfalls associated with taking the plunge? Listed below are the top 5 tips to consider before making the “move”:
- They don’t ask enough questions of their Realtor and/or lender and end up missing out on the best deal.
- They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
- They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the home buying process.
- They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
- They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for five years or less
A long-standing resource with over 15 years of experience, Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group has enjoyed representing both first time home buyers and sellers as a top performing Licensed Broker/Real Estate Associate in Coldwell Banker’s high producing Lincoln Park Plaza office, one of the top five ranking Coldwell Banker offices in the Country. Ian and his team will have all your bases covered. They combine forces to ensure that your overall real estate experience will be exceptional. They are located within the Lincoln Park Plaza office
While many Chicago buyers may be swayed by a home’s appearance, financing, and location, a recent article in U.S. News & World Report lists tips for those often-forgotten aspects of home ownership that ring true for buyers across the country and also here in the Chicago-Lincoln Park area:
Remodeling Rules: Purchasers who are looking to have a house grow with their family’s needs through the years may want to investigate any such rules beforehand to make sure that they’ll be able to add onto their home as needed. Many community associations may set limitations on what you can do to property, particularly if the buyer ever wants to make exterior changes like adding a garage or guest house.
Stay Informed, Ask Questions, Test Your Knowledge: Keeping abreast of the intricate details and considerations of buying a Chicago home can make or break your home buying experience. Are you fully informed? Do your homework and take the financial literacy quiz to test your knowledge when it comes to making important decisions regarding your money. Ultimately, having the patience to carefully weigh these considerations and improve your education surrounding mortgages, negotiations, real estate language helps to create peace of mind on this big-ticket purchase. Above all, using your Chicago top selling realtor as a guide to save time and help you avoid costly mistakes.
Lifestyle Amenities: While some may not seem outwardly important at first, they contribute to heightened housing market values in the community and affect whether you’re satisfied with your home purchase. Choosing the right kind of amenities for your present and future plans can impact future savings in terms of convenience and commuting costs, especially if the prospective neighborhood is lacking in that facet. Exploring neighborhood amenities such as schools, public transportation, recreational parks, and proximity to entertainment are additional things to consider when buying a house. More info HERE
Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group has been representing both buyers and sellers as a Licensed Broker Associate in Coldwell Banker’s Lincoln Park Plaza office, one of the top-five-producing Coldwell Banker offices in the United States. Ian has sold over 500 million dollars of real estate, including sales in excess of 55 million dollars in 2015 and sales in excess of 50 million dollars in 2014. He is consistently in the top 1% of agents in the Chicago Association of Realtors and in the top 1% of Coldwell Banker agents nationally. Look to Ian and his accomplished team to find out why…everything we touch turns to SOLD!
Winter weather can potentially pose some challenges during the moving process, but those who want or need to assume a new residence during cold weather months have options to prevent problems from affecting their relocation. I have helped countless clients with relocation that include buying or selling a home. As a preferred USAA Movers Advantage realtor, I assist by sorting out real estate matters that can easily become an overwelming process. Keep the following 10 tips in mind before the big day:
1. Make sure your moving paperwork is organized.Create a move file to store information and collect expense receipts.
2. Get in-touch with your new community.Contact the local chamber of commerce or visitors’ bureau for your new community. See if they can send you a telephone directory and newspapers.
3. Confirm school schedules and enrollment requirements.Arrange to pick up school records or have them sent to the new schools.
4. Protect your items.Obtain appraisals for high-value items. Call USAA at 1-866-398-7537 to obtain coverage for your possessions while in transit or storage. Contact your homeowners insurance company at least 24 hours before you release your belongings to the mover (For USAA, call 1-800-531-8111).
5. Don’t leave your car out.Take care of auto maintenance and repairs. Call USAA at 1-800-531-8722 to get an auto insurance quote for your new location.
6. Switching your utility services. Notify your utilities and local services of disconnect dates. Order utility services for your new address, including Internet, cable, home phone, electricity and natural gas through the Utility Marketplace.
7. Update address info.Get change-of-address cards from your post office. Aside from friends and family, make sure you provide your new address to medical facilities, schools, magazines to which you subscribe, and USAA.
8. Lighten your load..have a garage sale.Donate anything that isn’t sold to charity. (Don’t forget to keep receipts for income tax deductions.)
9. Remember cleaning.Properly dispose of flammables such as aerosol cans, cleaning fluids, paint, ammunition, weed killer and acids. Drain oil and gas from your lawn mower or other power equipment. Clean the refrigerator and the freezer; allow them to dry one or two days with the doors open. Remember to block the doors to keep them from closing if you have small children or pets.
10. Travel well prepared. Separate items you don’t want to pack, such as suitcases, and store in an empty closet. Pack prescriptions and immediate necessities in an easy-to-access suitcase. If you are traveling by air, do not check this bag. If you have children, compile a list of traveling games for the car or plane ride. MORE INFO
Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group looks forward to making 2016 a year of more top performing, high ranking, client focused, accolade producing results. See why he and his team are known for…everything we touch turns to SOLD!
Ok, so you’re thinking that you plan to sell soon, and you’ve already chosen your Top producing Chicago agent. You are in the middle of cleaning, painting and prepping the home. As the listing period approaches, it is time to dig deeper into the final pricing, sales and marketing plan. The ultimate list price or go-to-market strategy may change based on inventory levels and the competition. As you get closer to finalizing the listing, there are some questions you’ll want to ask your real estate agent:
Based on our list price, how long can I expect to wait before receiving an offer?
Coming up with a list price should be a transparent and ongoing discussion. Your price will determine how long it takes to receive offers. If you chose to price it low, expect to see offers within the first few weeks, if not days. If you go for the high-end of the price range, expect six weeks — maybe longer — and also plan for a potential price reduction along the way.
What is the open house and broker’s open house strategy?
Every market is different, so what worked for your Uncle Bob in San Old Town may not work in your smaller suburban city in another other part of town. But find out what does work. Agents should have at least one broker’s open house or broker’s caravan and a few Sunday open houses in the beginning.
Many agents will tell you that open houses don’t work. Others will advocate for them every weekend. Find out what other sellers are doing by studying the market yourself. One-size-fits-all may not be the best approach.
What’s the highest price my home could attain given its size, location and space?
You can’t up and move your house to a different location. And a fourth bedroom or a second bath isn’t going to appear magically. So there will be a limit based on your home’s layout, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, as well as the lot size. Better understanding what a fully renovated home with broad market appeal would sell for will help inform your price, and you can work backwards from there. More information and tips can be found HERE.
May 2015-With over $20,000,000 SOLD so far this year, Ian Schwartz with The Ian Schwartz Group wonders, will you be next? With a client centered approach to high ranking, top performing, dedicated service, this optimally producing Chicago real estate group wants to continue to prove….everything we touch turns to SOLD!
What does “HOME” mean to you? With a brand new year, now is one the best times to sell or buy Chicago real estate. Rates are low and inventory is surging up. With the Ian Schwartz Group you will have every base covered. Relocating to Chicago? Thinking of moving to a larger property or even downsizing? Are you a first time home buyer? Do you have an interest in or maybe would like more information about, Gold Coast, Old Irving Park Old Town, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Roscoe Village, , Wicker Park, Streeterville, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Andersonville, River North, River East, , North Center, Logan Square, West Loop, South Loop, Loop, Lakewood Balmoral, Edgewater, River West, Uptown, West Ridge, Rogers Park, or Evanston? With over a decade of premier, top performing, nationally recognized client centered service, Ian Schwartz has been the number one agent in Resale Sales Volume in the Lincoln Park Plaza office, averaging more than 25 million dollars in top ranking sales performance per year. He and his team ensure that your overall real estate experience is outstanding. He and his high performing Chicago real estate group call Coldwell Banker’s Lincoln Park Plaza office (1840 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois 60614-5881) home base.
If 2013 might be your year to sell your Chicago property, start planning, engaging solid real estate professionals and doing as much of the legwork as soon as possible. You only have one chance to be “Just Listed” in this new market. More than ever, you’ve got to put your best foot forward when presenting your home to motivated buyers. Having an experienced Chicago Realtor, can take a great deal of the burden away and make the process seamless. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Know the comps
One of the first people you’ll want to reconnect with is your Chicago real estate agent. They are your “feet on the street” and have their finger on the market’s pulse. Real estate agents generally pick up on trends or shifts in your particular neighborhood or market before the press or the bloggers.
So get on your agent’s radar as soon as possible. Start going to open houses to see what’s selling and to get a feel for values and how homes are being presented. Likely a home you see at an open house in February could sell by the time you list in May or June. Future buyers will probably use this home as a “comparable” sale. Having seen the “comps” yourself puts you in the buyers’ mindset. It enables you to get ahead of the curve or learn from the mistakes of other sellers.
2. Hire a designer or stager
Your real estate agent should have a good designer or stager they like to work with — someone who can help you start to view your home as a product to be marketed. This should be someone you reach out to once you have the place inspected and know the property’s condition.
Many people think a designer means big money or a wasted expense, but this isn’t always the case. Many designers charge by the hour. It could be as easy as hiring a designer for two hours to help you decide on colors to paint a room or two; a stager to help you declutter or decide which furniture to move out to make some rooms show better.
Based on your real estate agent’s feedback, you may decide to engage the designer on a minor kitchen or bathroom remodel. An old kitchen with linoleum countertops, knotty redwood cabinets and avocado-colored appliances can easily be updated with an inexpensive cabinet makeover and new stainless steel appliances.
3. Have your property inspected
The buyer, after they have a signed contract on a home, is supposed to pay for an inspection, right? While that’s true, you can beat them to the punch and know what needs to be repaired before you go on the market.
Imagine if you list your home and have a great offer from a solid buyer. But the buyer finds out through the inspection that the roof needs replacement and the deck has dry rot. That excellent offer may not seem so great if you have to negotiate thousands of dollars in credits with the buyer.
Having your property inspected months in advance will allow you time to make a plan to get the big (and small) things repaired. If you can identify the problems upfront, you can fix them for a lot less money than those repairs would get negotiated for down the road. Or, you can price your home factoring in the needed repairs. Plus, a home with a clean bill of health can be advertised as such. Many buyers are looking for a home in “move-in” condition, free of any needed repairs or fixes. More info HERE