Then, consider the financial and time cost, as well as the quality of life aspects of leaving Chicago for the suburbs:
1. Real Total Cost of Home Ownership
Suburban Property Taxes are usually higher than city homes of comparable cost. For example, Wilmette homes (in the $600’s) report property taxes of $8.1K – $18.7K/yr vs comparably priced Chicago homes — $5.5K – $11.1K.
Your REAL home cost for that $600K property may be $200/month higher in the suburbs!
2. Commuting – Money and Time Drain
30 minutes more each way – 48 weeks per year – 240 hours lost!
GAS — $120 per month+
30 more miles per day x (5 days a week) -x (48 weeks per year) = 7200 more miles/year
20 mpg means 360 more gallons per year and @ #4 per gallon you’ll spend
$120 more per month ($1440 per year)
This doesn’t include additional costs for car maintenance and depreciation due to miles driven
If you switch from CTA to driving, you need to put your car somewhere. How much would you have to pay to park?
$200? $300? $460?
Commuter Train Issues – Flexibility and Financial Cost
Giving up flexibility to follow a CTA schedule is a challenge for some. Would you walk to the suburban train station or do you need to wait for years to get a parking lot permit? How much does it cost to park in the train’s lot? This doesn’t include, of course, the cost of the tickets themselves (from Naperville-59 to the city, the monthly rate is over $100), an this doesn’t include transit to the station nor parking.
3. Quality of Life
Time away from Loved Ones
240 Hours+ per year just in commuting (see above)
Stress Level and Lifestyle
Do you get stressed in traffic jams? Is independence of schedule important?
Productivity – how important is your time? What could you do with the 240+ extra hours of commuting time?
Do you enjoy gathering with co-workers? Living far from work makes social flexibility difficult.
Benefits of raising children in the city – diversity, culture, education. I’ll write more of these in my next “Parenting in Chicago” post. This topic is worth a whole article (I’m very PRO-city for children!)
Don’t get me wrong – suburban living has it’s merits. I have many friends who are currently there, too. Many, though, are plotting their return. Others wonder why they didn’t consider staying in the city in the first place.
Whatever your choice, be sure to consider all the angles.
If you are interested in talking more about
The Chicago School Application Process,
Finding homes in Chicago Neighborhood Schools Districts,
Taking a tour of homes in the city and the suburbs to compare, or
Learning more about raising kids in the city —
Call me! I have 15 years experience navigating the Chicago private and public school systems – I would be delighted to be a resource for you!
Anne RossleyBaird & Warner773-620-5333Anne@Rossley.com
*homes in Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater
Two people have died, and 2 others are hospitalized this morning, apparently due to carbon monoxide poisoning, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago CO Ordinance
Chicago requires that all homes and apartment buildings have working carbon monoxide detectors (see city page with details), and on all my home inspections, we look to make sure they’re installed and in working order.
In 2007, Illinois passed the Carbon Monoxide Law:
Effective January 1, 2007, every Illinois home is required to have at least one carbon monoxide alarm in an operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes. Homes that do not rely on the burning of fuel for heat, ventilation or hot water; are not connected to a garage; and are not near a source of carbon monoxide (as determined by the local building commissioner) are not required to install carbon monoxide detectors. (Public Act 94-741)
Causes of CO Poisoning
According to the University of Chicago, non-vented heaters using kerosene or gas are the most common cause of carbon monoxide deaths. Other potential causes include:
malfunctioning cooking appliances
malfunctioning water heater
malfunctioning oil, wood, gas or coal furnaces
malfunctioning gas clothes dryer
wood burning fireplace, decorative fireplace, gas log burner, or any unvented space heater
appliances in cabins or campers, barbecue grills, lack of adequate ventilation, pool/spa heaters, ceiling-mounted heating units
Most of the deaths occur in winter.
Preventing CO Poisoning
By implementing routine home care procedures, we can all protect ourselves against carbon monoxide.
1. Check your carbon monoxide detectors today! If they’re not working, check the batteries, and get new ones if necessary.
2. Clean out your clothes dryer
3. Get your chimney cleaned
4. Do not use space heaters unless they’re properly vented.
5. Have annual check-ups for your boiler, furnace, hot water heaters.
The Illinois Dept of Health has other great suggestions for staying safe (see their article). Make it a habit to check your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors every spring and fall when we switch back and forth from Daylight Savings Time. Why then? No particular reason – it’s just a good habit to have!
Selective enrollment high school season is in full swing – eighth graders are taking their exams, revisiting the choices they made in their December applications, and crossing their fingers for a postive result – acceptance into a Chicago Public School of their choice.
Jones will be adding Pre-Law and Pre-Engineering programs to the school – the application for these recently added programs was January 15. CPS News Release Link
Acceptances/Rejections to Chicago Public Schools
February 18th – High school acceptances will be mailed during this week
March 18 – Elementary school acceptances will be mailed out
Chicago School School Rumors
One parent reported that she was banned from attending the Lincoln Park IB open house on Wednesday – she wasn’t “on the list” despite being in the attendance boundaries and having a child in the local IB Middle Years program.
Ogden’s IB program requires parents to attend an information session – a program for INVITED guests only – if you miss your night, you’re OUT! No second chances! No visit, no possible acceptance! (See this link for Ogden’s admission procedures)
Looking for Lincoln Park Homes for sale? Love vintage houses? Curious about historic districts? Read on to see great Chicago real estate- homes for sale under $ 1.5 MM.
Lincoln Park is still the “go-to” neighborhood for many single family home buyers in Chicago. From new construction to Victorian, rowhouses to McMansions, the eclectic properties stand side by side, creating a vibrant architectural quilt.
My favorites are the vintage homes – brownstones, graystones, quaint clapboard cottages and historic row houses, all in various states of rehab. The stories those walls could tell!
Historic Lincoln Park Homes for Sale
I’m writing this post in honor of them. In doing the research, I found a row house that I sold years ago (see below), an historic home in the Bissell District, a gorgeous home in the McCormick District, and other lovely DePaul, Old Town, and Lincoln Park historic homes.
474 W Deming
Tour Vintage Lincoln Park, DePaul, Old Town Homes
If you wish to take a virtual tour of vintage homes for sale and have sold (Under $ 1.5MM) in the last 3 months, select the link below:
2650 Lakeview, built in 1972 and converted to condominiums in 1979, is one of the premier condominium buildings overlooking Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan.
It’s a full-amenity building, offering the following*:
1 indoor pool
3 fitness center
4 3 sundecks
5 tennis courts
6 attached garage
7 hospitality room with panoramic views of Lake Michigan
I recently sold a one bedroom facing north – the seller had been relocated but had previously purchased 3 units in the building over the years. Three bedrooms don’t become available very often – they are sometimes sold “in-house” as owners just post “For Sale” signs on the community bulletin board
* 2650 Lakeview has a no pet policy.
To get today’s list of condos for sale at 2650 N Lakeview, select this link:
Lakewood Balmoral Historic District has had some turnover in the last 6 months. Select this link to take a virtual tour and see the interiors of the homes that are listed or have sold recently:
Lakewood Balmoral Tour
New Listings in Lakewood Balmoral
5313 N Lakewood
While it’s new to the MLS in 2013, this home was listed for 190 days in 2012. The charming home is situated on a 37.5′ wide lot, and while the facade is charming and historic, the rear of the home has an addition which creates a kitchen-great room. Download floor plans by selecting this link.
Under Contract in Lakewood Balmoral
5248 N Wayne
The eclectic vintage/contemporary 5248 N Wayne is under contract. The home has some interesting architectural details. A four bedroom 2full/2half bath home with updates is rare at this price!
Seniors, like all of us, need to be prepared for disasters. In Chicago, we’re not as concerned with hurricanes, tornadoes (to a lesser extent!), but storms with their accompanying flash floods and power outages are of great concern. In addition, today is COLD (!) and we should all be ready for the problems that extremely cold weather creates.
The Red Cross has mobile apps (some for Android and Iphones, some only in Itunes format) for first aid, shelter, fire, earthquake, and hurricane…
Click on the photo below, or go to Itunes or GooglePlay stores to download….
Chicago is on the cutting edge of technology, and this winter, I expect that the ChicagoShovels.org website will help neighbors – not only Chicago Seniors – but all Chicagoans have a safe and secure winter season.
Please view the video below to find out
How to track the Chicago snow plows,
Claim a sidewalk to shovel,
Find your car if it was towed for snow plows, and
Volunteer to shovel a sidewalk for a Chicagoan in need
There are several opportunities in Chicago for Seniors to get benefits and be prepared. Below is a map of Chicago Senior Centers.
Click on the map and then the location for more information:
Find what streets have overnight parking restrictions and are on the 2″ snow route
Was your car towed because of snow? Find it by using this app!
Next week: We’ll discuss Walk Scores in Chicago and how these can be used to choose your next home!
No matter what size your home is, being stuck inside all winter can make anyone claustrophobic. While this isn’t the best time of year to build room additions, there are simple steps you can take to make any space seem larger.Do use mirrors. The best and least expensive way to make smaller rooms appear bigger is to decorate walls with mirrors. Choose locations where the mirror will reflect the light back into the room to add warmth and depth.
Home Staging Tip #1: Don’t neglect lighting.
Lighting is crucial when it comes to opening your space. Maximize any natural light available by getting rid of heavy draperies. Add more lamps at varying levels to give the room a glow, and install track lighting to make sure every corner is well lit.
Home Staging Tip #2: Do choose a lighter color scheme.
Pale, cool colors will reflect the light and make the walls appear farther apart. Add visual impact to your space by separating the walls into blocks of color using gentle tones.
Home Staging Tip #3: Don’t get hung up.
Your wall art should be hung at eye level or about 60 inches from the floor. Hanging items too high will make your ceiling seem lower.
Home Staging Tip #4: Do space things out.
Instead of pushing your furniture against the walls, give pieces some breathing room by playing with interesting angles. You can also choose one large statement piece – like an armchair or coffee table – and fill in gaps around it.
This is a terrific book for both first time buyers and time-tested real estate investors. It’s not limited to Chicago Real Estate – the information on buying and selling real estate is applicable to everyone who’s considering a real estate purchase.
The fantastic book includes chapters on
The New World of Mortgage Finance
What Can you Afford to Buy?
Fixing Your Credit History and Credit Score Forever
Down Payment and Reserve Money – Where to Find it
Identifying Amazing Opportunities
Savvy Real Estate Investing
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Winners will need to either pick up the book or provide a mailing address for the book to sent to you by January 31, 2013.