Please take a moment to consider National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16. As your Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I try to offer information and programs that are of interest to those of us who are in our 50’s, and those who are advising their elderly parents. This Health Directive Initiative is one of those programs worth considering.
What we Say is NOT What we DO
I was very surprised about the disconnect that exists between what people want and what they do about managing their own health care.
US News Money reports the following polling data about aging and health:
1. Although 60 % of people say making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important,” 56 % have not communicated their end-of-life wishes
2. About 70 % of people say they prefer to die at home, but 70 % actually die in a hospital, nursing home, or long-term-care facility.
3. Roughly 80 % of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care, yet only 7 % report having had an end-of-life conversation with their doctor.
4. Finally, 82 % of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing, but only 23 % have actually done it.
Here are some forms and articles that seniors might like to review to make sure their loved ones know their wishes:
It’s not easy to talk about the end of your life. However, it’s one of the most important conversations you can have with your loved ones. Whether you’re a senior or young adult – it’s never to young to begin talking about this.
This Starter Kit will help you get your thoughts together and then have the conversation.
This isn’t about filling out Advance Directives or other medical forms. It’s about talking to your loved ones about what you or they want for end-of-life care.
Whether you’re getting ready to tell someone what you want, or you want to help someone else get ready to talk, we hope the Starter Kit will be a useful guide.
We want you to be the expert on your wishes and those of your loved ones. Not the doctors or nurses. Not the end-of-life experts. You.
Aging with Dignity’s Five Wishes
The Five Wishes Program makes putting your directives in writing a very simple matter. The following video explains how Five Wishes allows your loved ones to know how to make decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to speak for yourself.
As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, it’s my pleasure to make sure my clients are aware of this program.
401 E Ontario is a terrific East Streeterville building, and I saw a terrific loft-like condo there last week that sold (twice) almost immediately.
The building was built in 1989, and 394 studios, 1,2, and 3 bedroom units are found on the 50 floors. It’s a full amenity building – get information on the amenities by selecting the links toward the bottom of this post.
It’s a gorgeous building in a fabulous location – views from units can be wonderful, however that wasn’t the point of this condo – it was the flexibility of space and high ceilings/windows that aren’t found in most Streeterville condos, combined with the beautiful finishes that make it a very special property.
This unit(note – it’s not my listing – I was representing the buyer)isn’t like most of the units in the building, but it enjoys the same amenities! My buyer passed on it, reluctantly, for personal reasons. We both loved it, though, and we aren’t surprised it was snapped up immediately.
Check out some of the photos here:
In this market, make sure you work with an agent who’s constantly on the prowl to find units that meet your needs.
Sign up for search alerts on agent websites so you have instant access to new listings the moment they become available.
Often, it’s not how much off the listing price that matters- it’s the value compared to other similar properties that have SOLD and how the property compares to your individual needs.
The appraisal must be high enough in price qualify for your loan, but that number isn’t derived from the listing price, either.
Right now, on Chicago’s near north side*, there are 25 2-flats for sale under $1 Million.
With the current low prices and low interest rates, buyers are coming out of the woodwork to invest in Chicago multi-units.
In the last 6 months,121 of these properties have sold or gone under contract!
*** FLASH ***
Lakeview Brick 2-flat will be listed next week at $550,000 — contact Anne Rossley today for details!
The lowest priced building is 2428 W Winnemac, listed for sale today (3/18) at $375,000. It’s for sale “as is”, and if you select the picture or address below, you can see photos of the inside of the property.
Chicago Condos – when you buy one you’re buying the building as much as the unit.
Yes, you live IN the home, but you use the common areas, and you’re one of several owners who agree to abide by the condominium rules and regulations. The assessment you pay is controlled by the condo board (with a management company’s advice), so you are therefore not the only king of your castle.
Condominiums offer opportunities to
Share in building maintenance costs (roof, windows…),
Share in building amenities (pool, fitness, doorman…)
Obtain support in maintaining systems (plumbing, heat/air, hot water…)
Enjoy more free time, since you don’t have to do the maintenance, snow shoveling, etc…
Gain security and privacy (with doorman, valet parking…)
Enjoy easy access to services (often dry cleaners, mini-marts, package
Chicago Condo Lifestyle…
For those who work long hours, condominiums are a terrific choice.
After 12 hours at the office, you pull in to the building garage, thereby avoiding the sleet that’s raining down on the pedestrians outside. You’re greeted by a friendly doorman who makes sure you safely enter the building and elevator. You see the note which was tucked under your door, describing the leak that the building engineer fixed in your absence. You set down the package that the receiving room that came while you were away, then you open fresh hot soup, purchased in the building’s mini-mart. Click on the TV, whose cable was discounted in a building group-buy, and you gaze out at the restful twinkling city lights. Serenity in your sky-high crib!
Yes, it’s a nice picture.
HOWEVER… A Different Scenario Could Await You…
(Hear the Psycho theme song in the background?)… Eek Eek Eek Eek….
Potential pitfalls to look out for…
surprise special assessments ($10,000… $20,000 +) because the condo building didn’t have enough money in reserves to fix (roof, windows, facade, heat…)
too many investor-owners – making it difficult to a) get condo financing, b) spend for needed building improvements, c) keep elevators for passengers-the throng of tenants moving in/out can seem never-ending!
litigation against the building (condo owners)
too many condo owners in arrears for paying their assessments
rules and regulations that affect your sale – can you rent your unit out in case you lose your job? Can Fido move in?
Extra costs – do the pool/fitness area cost extra? How much to move in?
These are just some of the possible problems. Having an experienced real estate agent is an important part of making sure you enjoy the positive lifestyle described above.
Our Foursquare is traditional 1908 – not exactly Craftsman – not MacIntosh –it’s considered “Transitional”, according to Thom Green of Greene & Proppe. Our highest priority is to make the kitchen as “historic” as the rest of the house, so it should include traditional style – inset cabinets. We have to work within a 14 x 13′ space, so we’re limited in our options.
The Southampton Kitchen with antique white stain looks more like a butler’s pantry – I’m a big fan of this one (forget the island – that’s NOT part of the look I’m going for!)
The Oak Park Cabinet is too stylized for us.
I think the Craftsman kitchen is too stylized, too.
The traditional cabinet doesn’t look right, either.
Tom and I have been fans of this cabinet for a long time! We started our journey by touting the quartersawn cabinet, but I think it’s not “soft” enough for us.
Walk Score is the new scale by which home buyers calculate the closeness of amenities to their potential new property.
The scale, ranging from 0 – 100, ranks how easily you can conduct your life on foot:
90 – 100 Walker’s Paradise – daily errands do not require a car
70 – 89 Very Walkable – most errands can be accomplished on foot
50 – 69 Somewhat Walkable – some amenities within walking distance
25 – 49 Car-dependent – a few amenities within walking distance
0 – 24 Car-dependent – almost all errands require a car
The site (select this link) can be accessed on its own, or within listings you find while searching online. Walk Score gives Chicago a 74 – “VERY WALKABLE” — making it the 4th best city nationwide for walking.
My home scores an 86 — most errands can be accomplished on foot. It’s not the highest score, obviously, but it made me ask the question –
Is it possible to have too high a Walk Score?
After a quick search, I decided that for some, the answer could definitely be YES.
My office is located at 737 N Michigan Avenue. If you’re not familiar with Chicago, let me paint a picture…
The Nieman Marcus Building/Olympia Centre condominiums…
Entrance on Chicago Ave – across the street from the famous historic Water Tower of Chicago.
Walgreens is on the corner, chic dining and shopping are steps away, and Northwestern Hospital is on the next block.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is one block east.
Believe it or not, a track, softball field, and tennis courts are a block and a half!
And yes — Lake Michigan is a mere 3 blocks east of us.
Yes- I could live in Olympia Centre or 777 N Michigan Avenue. I could brag about my 98 Walk Score, finding food, clothing, prescriptions, and anything I can imagine within a few yards of my doorman’s station.
When my kids are out of the house, and my arthritis makes cleaning this 3-story balloon-frame dustbowl more than I can bear, then trust me — I’m cashing in for the 98 walk score.
Until then, though, I’ll keep my 86 Walk Score. I’ll enjoy the Clark Street retail – Andersonville shops, and Dewey and I’ll walk the Bryn Mawr/lakefront loop.
I enjoy the thrill of driving south on Lake Shore Drive with the city skyline beckoning me to my office.
Your walk score is a number – something to be considered but not coveted. My brother in Colorado wouldn’t trade his 42 Walk Score in Winter Park for anything!
We all have our own definition of “Living Well in ….. “
Chicago multi-units – 2-4 flats … 6-flats … so many options for investing in real estate these days!
I helped out a colleague yesterday – while she’s recovering from back surgery, I showed 2 listings to her client.
I was tickled by the first one – I had actually showed this 6-flat near the United Center several years ago to a buyer. He didn’t buy it then, but someone else did. Now it’s on the market again!
When I saw it in 2007, it as listed for $850,000. My buyer passed on it, but some lucky soul picked it up for $ 450,000.
It was listed again in 2009, starting at $ 920K. It was then reduced to $770,000 before someone bought it for $ 730,000.
Today’s it’s listed for $799,000, and it’s been for sale for 60 days so far.
There are 6 units in the building, generating $71,546 per year in revenue. A boiler provides heat to the units — after expenses the net income per year is approximately $44K. Currently. no income is derived from parking – the garages are boarded up and provide additional income opportunities.
The building is near I-290 and the Blue Line, and it’s in the shadow of the United Center.
Chicago Parents are now busy with “spring fundraiser fever” – that time of year where we’re racing around the city begging businesses to donate goods and services that we can place in our auctions. Whether online or at a live event, we’ll all elbow our way around, looking to bid “just enough” to win certificates, services, tickets. and baskets to enjoy, while the proceeds benefit our kids’ schools.
Chicago Elementary and High Schools – Public and Private alike…
This year, I’m working on the Jones College Prep fundraiser- Friends of Jones is what we call our Parent Organization – and we’re raising money our CPS selective enrollment high school. I have commiserated with friends who are working for
In my enthusiasm, I’ve embarrassed myself by calling in favors from people I have no right to approach. God Bless Charlie Wheelan (Naked Economics, Naked Statistics…), who’s a first class gentleman and responded with positive enthusiasm, though he’s never met me!
He’s one of several friends, acquaintances, businesses and strangers who have generously supported Jones by contributing items to our auction. Others throughout the city are doing the same for their schools, and harried mothers and fathers are working overtime to organize these gala events.
I’ve been involved in these activities since my kids were at Hawthorne, where we first raised $ 250,000 10 or so years ago. Back then, class projects pitted parent against parent – I’ll never forget Uncle Fun coming into the basement to outbid us for a kindergarten project (he spent $1500!)
I’m proud to tell you that I still have my winning:
Hawthorne Third Grade Mosaic Chess Table and Clay chess pieces (Thomas, now 18) – Thanks, Haleh!
Third grade reading class quilt (Lizzie, now 15) – Alisa, your talent astounds me!
Gary Gantert – produced class poster – gorgeous! (Michael, now 16)
various class books, videos, and posters that are either displayed or safely stored for the kids
I’ve purchased and enjoyed:
Bastille Day Party
Sox tickets (SOX???? Yes, this Cub fan sacrifices for her Sox-fanatic son!)
Personal Training Sessions
Parking in the loop for a year – yes – that was my best bargain purchase!
Dinners at restaurants I wouldn’t have visited otherwise
Signed baseballs (yes — Sox, too!)
These school fundraisers are a great way to support the education of our most precious resource/our children ( yes, Charlie Wheelan – we MUST invest in HUMAN CAPITAL!–I’m with you!). This is probably the best way that we parents get to know one another.
If you’re interested in bidding online for some of Jones’ great items,