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
There are 3 ways you can enter –
LIKE the Anne Rossley Real Estate Facebook page,
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Sign in to Rafflecopter using the links below or visit the Anne Rossley Real Estate Facebook Page and Select “Giveaway”
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.
The pre-listing time we share is critical – we will work together to stage your home, bring in a professional photographer. and develop the marketing materials that will make your home appealing.
3709 N Ashland – 3 Bedroom Duplex in Blaine School District
This is an example of one property I successfully sold in 2012.
You’ll see the property as it looked when I first met the sellers. They purposely didn’t clean or prepare for our meeting.
After listing the property, we worked together to stage the home.This involves de-cluttering, moving furniture, and cleaning. The seller did a great job preparing for this meeting, so we only needed to tweak a few things – we moved the crib in the 2nd bedroom, removed a few more items, and added items to the kitchen counters so they wouldn’t look like landing pads.
As is my common practice with real estate listings, I brought in one of my favorite real estate photographers. She uses the proper lighting and lens to get terrific photographs that show the properties to their best advantage.
Once the sellers moved out, I took another set of photographs.
You’ll see how important it is to keep furniture in your home during the selling period – vacant homes don’t show the space to its advantage. Rooms look smaller, and it doesn’t seem like all the furniture will fit in the space.
If properties HAVE to be vacant, we can rent/borrow furniture, or I have another trick I use that helps buyer visualize the space (one of my trade secrets!)
You’ll see, too, that my photographs are poorly lit, and they aren’t taken using a wide enough lens — the rooms look smaller.
If your home looks more like the BEFORE than the AFTER – don’t panic!
These changes were made without buying any new furniture!
We de-cluttered, moved furniture, hired a cleaning company, and a professional photographer.
My 5th grade band director told me to use elbow grease to better clean my trumpet, and I remember asking my mom what elbow grease was- I thought it was a magic potion. Alas, I learned that he meant I had to put some effort in – that’s just what staging your home for sale is about — ELBOW GREASE!
As posted in my monthly email newsletter, Pantone has released the color for this year…
THE OFFICIAL COLOR OF 2013
is Emerald Green!
Last year, tangerine was in, but today, it’s Emerald!
Pantone, a provider of color standards, has famously declared the ‘color of the year’ since 2000, influencing everything from fashion designers to car manufactures. The color company announced that the 2013 color will be emerald, and design themes have already begun to incorporate this rich jewel tone.Perfect for the winter months, emerald also makes a great transition into spring. There are many ways to utilize this new color to freshen your home. Here are a few ideas:
Shades of green are known to provide feelings of harmony, relaxation and balance. While an entire room painted in emerald may prove overwhelming, an accent wall is a great way to incorporate the color. To maintain the regal feel of the shade, incorporate dark but neutral pieces into the room.
Window treatments alone offer endless possibilities, coming in more shapes, sizes, patterns and colors than you can even count. Ditch those boring blinds and find a style that works for you and your home. A chevron pattern of emerald and white is very much on trend.
Adding emerald colored accessories is a great way to integrate this new trend without the hassle of a more permanent commitment. Throw pillows and rugs will give any room a regal yet inviting feel. You can get creative by adding pops of color with picture frames and wall art in a living room or table runners and vases to a kitchen or dining room.
The housing market is looking good for 2013, but there are many mixed messages and inaccurate predictions found in today’s market reports. Is now a good time to sell or should you wait? Industry data says that prices have hit bottom and we can expect small but steady increases over the next few years.
– It was recently reported by Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) that the Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) was up for the number of homes sold in October 2012 by 44 percent and the median home price was up 2.1 percent.
– Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of REATLORS® (NAR), predicts that the real estate market will see a slight pull back in the number of transactions and pricing in the next several months. However, 2012 will still finish strong with a one to four percent increase in home prices.
– Dr. Geoffrey J. D. Hewings predicted something very similar. Director and professor for the University of Illinois, Dr. Hewings is hired by IAR for monthly real estate forecasting. He estimates an average year over year increase of 3.5 percent.
With an expected pricing increase of 6 percent over the next two years, double digit increases will not happen in the near future. Interest rates are at an all time low, making it the perfect environment to meet with a real estate professional to access your needs and expectations.
Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, discusses the real estate market:
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The home at 4703 N Paulina was originally listed for sale at $899,000 in October, 2010. I toured it then, and I remember thinking it needed some cosmetic attention. After being off and on the market for some time (it was a relocation property), it hit its sweet spot of $ 679,900 on 7/5/12, going under contract 12 days later. It closed at $ 645,000.
The lovely 4647 N Paulina – a “gingerbread” Victorian built in 1886, just went under contract. Sitting on a 25′ wide lot, it’s deceiving in its size. It was renovated in 2005, so it includes terrific amenities, a deep lot, and a finished basement. It’s under contract at $749,000 – someone got a very nice home!
As reported in my monthly Chicago Real Estate Update newsletter,
JANUARY IS THE NEW SPRING MARKET
The article, which you can read below, spells out why now is such a great market – inventories are low and it will be a busy spring market… don’t wait to act!
The health of any Chicago real estate market can be measured in terms of inventory of homes — not just how many are for sale, but how many are for sale in relation to how many are selling and have recently sold. (Read the article below for more details…)
Chicago Real Estate Market…
As of January 3, there are 5511 homes for sale in Chicago, while an average of 1837 homes have sold over the last 3 months. That means that there are currently 4.6 months’ worth of homes for sale in the city – a very healthy number indeed!!
In my market area, the Chicago Real Estate area roughly extending from the Loop to Edgewater*, the numbers are even more exciting! Sales are moving at a terrific clip, and the inventory of homes is lower than the Chicago city average. The following numbers include both detached and attached real estate properties…
There are 2210 properties for sale vs.1853 sold over the last 3 months (617.7 sold/month).
This is a 3.6 month inventory!
What does this mean?
Generally speaking, it’s a sellers’ market,
If you are thinking of selling – NOW is the time to put your property on the market,
If you are looking to buy – you need a real estate agent who can sift through the properties to find that one special home for you,
Don’t think there aren’t enough homes to choose from, and you must therefore wait to buy.
The interest rate savings TODAY combined with lower purchase prices mean you can buy a bigger property
You can afford to make the few cosmetic improvements that personalize your home.
Don’t wait until rates are higher and prices rise again –
Here’s a reprint of one of the January, 2013 email articles…
To say the housing market has changed drastically throughout 2012 is an understatement. Buyer confidence has been on the rise throughout the year, providing vital movement in the market. While sellers have notoriously waited to list their homes until the busy spring market, many industry sources indicate that the time to sell is now.The monthly supply of inventory (MSI) is one such source, providing an excellent gage for the housing market. MSI uses simple math to indicate how long it would take for all the homes currently on the market to be sold based on current inventory and sale rate. A “normal” or neutral market is six months of inventory. In 2009, the height of the housing crisis, the MSI was over 17 months, a definite buyer’s market.
In November, the MSI was down to just over four months, indicating a lack of housing inventory and a potentially prime seller’s market. The lack of inventory has created pent-up demand, driving market time down by 10 percent and creating a sense of urgency with buyers to find the right home.
What does this mean for sellers? Declining inventory + compelling pricing = shorter market time and more ‘sold’ signs.If you are thinking of listing in the near future, it’s important to have your home ready to hit the market.
Contact me today if you are interested in selling your home. I’ll work with you to develop a pricing and marketing plan, as well as advise you on the steps you can take to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.If you are considering buying a new home during this time of historically low interest rates, please contact me for the latest available properties.
I will be happy to provide you with market information specific to your desired neighborhood so you can find a home that suits your unique needs.