Welcome back to school!
Everyone’s back in school now, and we’re all looking forward to a great year!
If you have an 8th grader in the CPS system, this is a big week. It’s time to get moving on the Chicago High Schools application process!
There’s a big change in the selective enrollment process this year – the ELIGIBILITY LETTER. The CPS OAE site reports:
Eligibility Letters for CPS and charter school students will be distributed to students through their school counselors the first week of school. Eligibility Letters for non-CPS students will be mailed to their homes after the student takes the NWEA MAP.
I’ll be curious to hear if these letters went out last week, if it went smoothly, and how parents are feeling about this change. Add your comments to this post and let me know your experience!
For those who are eligible, they may now begin prepping for the Dec/Jan entrance exams, the 3rd piece of the entrance requirements.
I’ve never been a fan of this process – what stress! However, test prep CAN help some kids. Here are some class/tutoring options you might want to check out:
How are Chicago High Schools’ Selective Enrollment Students Chosen?
Selective Enrollment High Schools base their enrollment on a 900 point system (and their address – see the map)
1. NWEA test scores , previously the ISAT test scores (see article about the switch) – 300 points
2. Grade point average – Core subjects- English, Math, Science, Social Studies (300 points)
3. 8th Grade Selective Enrollment Test Scores (300 points)
Here are the score results from last year’s 8th grade class, using the NWEA tests:
Mean/Minimum Test Scores for each Chicago Selective Enrollment High School
Select this link for a step by step accounting of how students can enroll in a Selective Enrollment High School.
How do you apply for Chicago Selective Enrollment High Schools?
This Week If your child is eligible, he/she will receive a letter at school (if they currently go to a CPS elementary school).
Sept 19 You can open your CPS account (select this link)
Oct 1 Begin the application process – choose a test date
Oct 1 – 12/12 APPLY — you have to go BACK after you’ve scheduled the exam to make the formal application.
Visit the High Schools This Fall!
Many parents/students like to visit the schools before making their final preferences on the CPS high school application. See this list of fall open houses, and be sure to visit!
CPS Selective Enrollment High School Open Houses
Articles and links of note:
Is all this CPS HIgh School Stuff Stressing you Out?
Contact Anne Rossley
to find out how you an live in a
great CPS neighborhood high school
get more information on the Chicago High School Options!
What historic/vintage homes have sold this week?
Five historic (vintage) single family homes closed during the first week of September in Chicago*.
You can check them out, with interior photos, by selecting this link:
Here’s the snapshot:
1463 W Sunnyside
99% list price – sold in 6 days
2102 N Fremont
99.4% list price — sold in 6 days
5426 N Lakewood
101% list price – sold in 14 days
Reported to be the oldest home in Lakewood Balmoral Historic District – it will be renovated by its new owners.
2131 N Sedgwick
93.1% list price – sold in 12 days
5507 N Wayne
96.5% FINAL list price
This property in the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District was originally listed for $ 1,590,000 in March. After 2 price reductions, the home finally sold at 96.5% of the final list price. In all, it was on the market for 147 days.
As you can see from the 4 previous homes, when a home is listed AT the right price, it will sell almost immediately.
If it’s priced too high, not only does it sit, but once the right list price is reached, it still takes longer to sell
Note to sellers:
Price your home at the right price from the start!
Remember — these are NOT my listings – I’m merely reporting what’s happening in the market.
My goal is to price every listing to sell FAST at the highest price possible – make sure to read recent client recommendations:
Happy Senior Citizens Day!
I became a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) several years ago, and I’m finding this designation to be very helpful in my real estate practice.
As I became older, and as my mother began making choices about where to live after age 75, I saw the importance of incorporating the specialized training and resources necessary to help clients of 50 and older with their real estate choices.
I’m finding the expertise beneficial all the time – for friends who are trying to help their aging parents. and as they, themselves, are beginning to plan for their retirement.
Whether aging in place, downsizing, or moving to an active senior community- an SRES Realtor is best equipped to help clients make a smooth and successful real estate transaction.
The SRES Website describes the benefits this way:
A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® is experienced and knowledgeable in meeting your specific needs and that can make all the difference in the world.
As we age, we demand specialists in our health needs, so why not in our housing and equity needs as well? An SRES® brings:
- A customized approach to your situation, working to fit your living situation in with your overall life plan
- Expertise and patience throughout the transaction
- An awareness of options and a network of solid, reliable referrals to help you in the process
- A variety of choices to reduce out of pocket expenses, gain cash, or create or defer income streams to either stay independent or obtain financial assistance
A recent New York Times Article explains the specialty in their recent article, “Real Estate Agents for Older Adults are Part Broker, Part Therapist.” (an aside- I believe this is true for all real estate transactions, not just for older citizens!) Mentioned in the article are the following points:
- The huge emotional experience of selling one’s lifetime home (this often creates an identity crisis of sorts),
- The senior’s denial of the need for supervision/health care, due to illness, memory challenges, and/or frailty,
- Today’s popular desire for “aging in place,” where seniors live in their own residences independently, and
- Family relationship stresses – adult children wanting to help, often from miles away- with senior parents unwilling to take the “suggested” next steps.
I have helped several seniors as they sort through belongings, sell their lifetime home, and move into the next phase. It’s an honor to help my friends’ parents, my neighbors, and new senior clients as they navigate this transition.
If you have any questions about your own situation, or your parents’ future move, please call me and let’s talk!
This week’s Old and Sold has some terrific Chicago single family homes of note!
Here are some photos:
2029 N Seminary
2319 N Cleveland
2236 W Carmen
1941 W Addison
1761 W Devon
Virtual Home Tour
To see a tour of these homes (map and interior photos)
Select this link
Vintage / Historic Homes For Sale
See Vintage – Historic Homes for Sale Today!
To see homes currently for sale,
How’s the Chicago real estate market? How are single family home sales in the 60640 zip code of Chicago? Often, we track by neighborhood – Andersonville, Lakewood Balmoral, Edgewater, Uptown… For this article, I’d like to use 60640. It incorporates the southern Edgewater/Northern Uptown/Eastern Lincoln Square Neighborhoods, and I think it makes sense for single family home buyers who’re looking just north of Lakeview and Lincoln Park.
See homes for sale with Anne Rossley –
And, to see a SNEAK PEEK home tour with interior photos of homes currently for sale, select this link!
The market time for selling a home in 60640 is lower than the any time in the last 6 years. Right now, homes average 69 days on market.
Median Sales Price
Median sales prices are up! The highest median sales price recorded in this area was $740,000 – achieved both in April and October of 2009 (yes — higher than in 208!). Last month, sales hit $727,500 — 60640 has come back strong!!!
Yes — inventory is LOW! That’s what’s helping to drive prices up, of course. Lots of traffic and demand, but little inventory. In August, 2009, 13.9 months of homes were on the market. For the last 12 months, there have been less than 3 months worth of homes on the market – compared to a “stable” market of 6 months.
What this means for you…
If you’re buying –
- Pick and choose your home carefully. It’s not the percentage off list price that matters, but the price you pay compared to the 3 most similar recent sales within 1/2 mile of your house.
- Use property alert systems to see when homes go on the market – be ready with your mortgage pre-approval ready to go.
- Don’t wait, as much as you may be afraid that the good values are gone… THEY’RE NOT! Appraisers can’t make you pay OVER the value – prices may be inching up, but they’re still great in general.
- Pick an UGLY house! Homes that need a little cosmetic care – new carpet, paint, kitchen makeovers go for much less than shiny new pennies. Check out IKEA hacks for ways to cleverly redo a kitchen – a little “sweat equity” goes a long way to improving your investment!
- Interest rates are still LOW, and they’re projected to rise. Since your monthly payment is largely due to the interest rate, take advantage of buying TODAY if at all possible.
If you’re selling –
Pricing Notes: You still need to price your home AT the market, not over. This is critical for 2 reasons:
1. The appraiser will only allow the bank to loan based on appraised price, not the amount you hope to get (or a buyer is stupid enough to offer). As they say, pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered! Enticing a buyer to overpay by a large amount only results in cancelled contracts, angry buyers, and longer market times because the property has to be re-listed.
2. By pricing AT the market, you may get buyers into a bidding war. This gives you a chance to get not just a great price, but a chance to negotiate the terms of your contract – the closing date you want, a quicker inspection time, and fewer requests for credits after the inspection. A happy buyer makes for a smooth transaction!
3. Pricing your home at a fair market price means your home will sell quickly. I just sold a home in Sauganash where the sellers thought they’d have to get rid of the family bunny to stage their home. They were on a waiting list to give the bunny away, but VOILA! We sold the home in one day, to very excited buyers. While bunny went on a weekend visit to Michigan, she’s now safely ensconced back home and blissfully waiting to move to her new home. Selling quickly can save lots of headaches!
Realistic Expectations: Don’t think that everyone will buy your home just because there are fewer properties on the market. Today’s buyers are savvy and educated. Every property is different, and like always, the first 3 weeks your home is on the market is CRITICAL. If it doesn’t sell then, have a serious talk with your agent – something is wrong. If you don’t get a contract in the first 3 weeks- your price is wrong, you’re not well staged, or something else is preventing you from enjoying a successful sale. In this market, if a home’s still available after 60 days, buyers think something is tragically wrong with it, and they may avoid even showing your home.
Here’s a list of homes sold in the 60640 zip code during the 3 months ending August 17, 2014
| ||Address||Date||List||Sold||SF||Rms||BR||Lot Size||Rehab?
|1701||Farragut||6/23/14||$449,900||$449,900||1800||8||6||31 X 53||No
|1946||Berwyn||7/9/14||$474,500||$474,500||0||4||9||25 X 125||No
|1922||Summerdale||7/15/14||$475,000||$460,000||1068||20||8||25 X 126||No
|4890||Paulina||6/19/14||$769,000||$745,000||4828||310||12||40 X 165||Yes
|1916||Farragut||8/8/14||$819,900||$808,000||3100||18||9||25 X 125||No
|4889||Hermitage||6/13/14||$889,000||$850,000||0||22||8||33 X 165||Yes
|4722||Paulina||6/19/14||$939,000||$975,000||0||6||10||38 X 183.3||No
|1352||Winona||5/23/14||$1,200,000||$1,163,000||4000||117||11||30 X 125||Yes
Along the Way –
a new type of post – some of the humorous and interesting things I come across when showing property. This was found while showing vintage condos and co-ops last week in the Gold Coast/Streeterville neighborhoods.
For the first in our series…
Best Toilet Seat Contender!
This toilet seat stands out as an amusing focal point in the otherwise charming and original details of this 1920’s vintage bathroom.
Aside from the radiator, which needs to be painted, the remainder of the room is in immaculate condition – a lovely historic scene.
When did they offer these retro toilet seat gems?
Did you or anyone you know sport one in YOUR throne room?
Send me your best toilet seat photos –
vintage, retro, or otherwise!
Today’s search option – vintage condos in Streeterville
Select this link to find treasures in Streeterville vintage condos – currently for sale
and to see them,
Baird & Warner
See Vintage Co-ops in Chicago
Vintage Condo Buildings in Chicago
Here’s the August Lakewood Balmoral Real Estate Update- to see homes for sale TODAY in this Andersonville historic district, select this link: Homes for Sale Today
Lakewood Balmoral District
Homes for Sale and Homes Sold
Lakewood Avenue in Andersonville
See photos of homes in a CMA Tour by Selecting this link:
Lakewood Balmoral Historic District Tour
Homes for Sale
1339 N Catalpa
5221 N Wayne
5427 N Magnolia
5333 N Lakewood
5320 N Wayne
5507 N Wayne
List Price- $ 1,399,000
5426 N Lakewood
Get more information by viewing the table below,
Select this link for more details: LAKEWOOD BALMORAL August 2014
|Stat||Street #||Str Name||List Price||Sold Pr||BR||BA||Lot Dim
|A/I||5507||Wayne||$1,399,000||4||3.1||37.5 X 123
|PEND||5320||Wayne||$1,100,000||4||2.1||37.5 X 125
Social Security Anniversary – August 14, 1936
In a time when we wonder if Social Security benefits will be available for our children, I find it interesting to review the historic documents and “sales pitch” made to get Americans to take advantage of the Social Security benefits. Sometimes we forget that the depression/soup kitchen environment of our parents made the Social Security Administration a popular notion for supporting our aging Americans.
I strongly believe that we should act courageously to update the system for today’s economic times — this is NOT the America of 1936. The Act needs to be updated for the 2020’s and beyond!
This anniversary special is brought to you by your Seniors Real Estate Specialist,
“On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act established a system of old-age benefits for workers, benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped.”
Taken from the National Archives
Historic Social Security Facts – 1965
Historic Chicago Soup Kitchen
“During the Great Depression preceding the passage of the Social Security Act, “soup kitchens” provided the only meals some unemployed Americans had. This particular soup kitchen was sponsored by the Chicago gangster Al Capone.”
First Social Security Poster – 1936
This is a picture of a few of the hundreds of cardpunch operators SSA employed throughout the late 1930s and into the 1950s to maintain Social Security records in the days before the advent of computers.
Historic Photo – Signing the Social Security Act
August 14, 1936
1. Rep. Jere Cooper (D-TN). Cooper was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and would go on in subsequent years to become something of an expert on Social Security topics and he was a major force in Social Security legislative developments during the 1940s to the mid-1950s. Mr. Cooper also rose to the position of Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee during the Eighty-fourth and Eighty-fifth Congresses.
2. Rep. Claude Fuller (D-AR). Fuller was a member of the Ways & Means Committee and was generally opposed to the Administration’s bill. During Committee consideration he made motions seeking to strike key provisions of the legislation. But when his efforts failed, he compromised with the Administration and joined in voting for passage of the bill.
3 . Rep. Robert Doughton (D-NC) was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. As such he was the principal official sponsor of the legislation in the House.
4. Rep. Frank Buck (D-CA) was a second-generation industrialist and fruit grower from California. He was a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, which had jurisdiction of the bill in the House. He graduated from Harvard Law School and served five terms in Congress, from 1933 until his death in 1942. (Representative Buck has often been misidentified in photos of the signing as being Edwin Witte. Witte, in fact, was not in the signing photographs.)
5. Rep. John Boehne, Jr.(D-IN) succeeded his father as a representative from Indiana. He was first swept into office in the 1932 elections with President Roosevelt and strongly supported FDR’s programs. At first, he was against the Social Security bill and wanted to exempt industrial employers with their own pension systems.
6 . Sen. Robert Wagner (D-NY) was born in Germany, immigrated to New York City, attended law school and was elected to the Senate in 1926. He served four terms. He was a close associate of Frances Perkins and helped draft several early New Deal measures. Wagner introduced the bill into the Senate. His son, Robert F. Wagner, was mayor of New York City for 16 years.
7 . Sen. Alben Barkley (D-KY) was a seven-term Congressman before being elected to the Senate in 1926. By 1937, he was Senate Majority Leader and a decade later, Vice President of the United States. He was an ardent New Dealer and helped shepherd the Social Security Act through the Senate. He argued for “a universal and uniform program in general.” He didn’t want to exempt certain private groups merely because they already had pension systems, as was proposed by some conservatives in the Congress.
8 . This individual is presently unknown.
9 . Sen. Robert LaFollette, Jr., (PROG-WI) was the eldest son of Robert LaFollette, a progressive Senator from Wisconsin and one-time presidential candidate. When his father died in 1925, Robert Jr., then only 30 years old, was appointed to succeed him. Initially elected as a Republican, LaFollette changed his party affiliation to the Progressive Party in 1934. LaFollette served on the House-Senate conference committee that drafted the final version of the Social Security bill. He served in the Senate until 1946, when he was defeated by Joseph McCarthy. In 1953, LaFollette committed suicide in Washington, D.C.
10 . Rep. John Dingell, Sr. (D-MI). Rep. Dingell was a member of the House Ways & Means Committee. He was a prominent leader in Congress in sponsoring social insurance legislation and teamed with Senator Wagner he authored a couple of important precursor bills to the Social Security Act. (Several authors have identified Dingell as “unidentified man” in some versions of the signing photo.)
11. Sen. Augustine Lonergan (D-CT) was a native of Connecticut and a graduate of Yale University. Although he was a four-term Congressman, he served only one term in the Senate. During the discussions on the Social Security bill, Lonergan gave information about various private insurance annuities to show how they compared to the social insurance program that was being proposed.
12 . Frances Perkins was appointed Secretary of Labor in 1933, making her the first woman to hold a cabinet-level position. Like FDR, she was a child of privilege, but became a strong advocate for the poor and working class. She began her career in New York City as a social worker and held several responsible State government jobs. She served as head of Roosevelt’s Committee on Economic Security, set up in 1934. The Social Security legislation sprang from this committee.
13. Rep. Frank Crowther (R-NY) was a Republican member of the House Ways & Means Committee;
14. Sen. William H. King (D-UT). King was a conservative Democrat and member of the Senate Finance Committee. King expressed persistent opposition to many features of the bill as it was being considered, and his support of the legislation was in doubt until the last possible minute. In the end, he voted for passage of the Social Security Act. (Senators King and Harrison have often been confused in the signing photos, including,we are embarrassed to admit, in SSA’s own OASIS magazine. Clue: King has a bowtie, Harrison has a regular long tie.)
15. Rep. David J. Lewis (D-MD) was a member of the House Ways & Means Committee and was probably the leading expert on social insurance legislation on the Committee. It was Lewis, a former coal miner and self-taught lawyer, who introduced the Social Security bill into the House on January 17, 1935. However, Chairman Doughton, exercising what he took to be the Chairman’s privileges, made a copy of Lewis’ bill and submitted it himself. Then he persuaded the House clerk to give him a lower number than Lewis’ copy. Newspapers then began calling the bill “The Wagner-Doughton bill.” When Lewis found out, he sputtered and swore, then went to work to understand every sentence and master the arguments in favor of the bill. And when David Lewis walked down the aisle of the House to debate on the bill’s behalf, he received a standing ovation–a subtle rebuke to Chairman Doughton’s high-handed treatment.
16 . Sen. Byron Patton “Pat” Harrison (D-MS) was a Congressman for 8 years before being elected to the Senate in 1918. In his book “The Development of the Social Security Act,” Edwin Witte gives Harrison credit for his “adroit” handling of the Social Security bill in the Senate Finance Committee. According to Witte, Title II would not have been approved by the Committee without Sen. Harrison’s help. Harrison went on to serve in the Senate for the rest of his life and was elected President pro tempore 6 months before his death in June 1941. (In other versions of the signing photo, Sen. Harrison can be more clearly seen wearing a white suit and tie and holding his trademark cigar.)
17. Sen. Joseph Guffey (D-PA) was 65 years old at the time the Social Security Act was passed, although he was only a first-term Senator. From Pennsylvania, he served two terms before being defeated in 1946. His vote on the Social Security bill was in doubt until the final roll call.
18. Senator Edward Costigan (D-CO), a member of the Finance Committee.
19. Rep. Samuel B. Hill (D-WA) was a member of the House Ways & Means Committee.
20. Rep. Fred Vinson (D-KY) was a member of the House Ways & Means Committee. He would go on to serve as Secretary of the Treasury and as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
21 . President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
NOTE: For more biographical information on any of the members of Congress see the U. S. Senate Biographical Directory of the United States Congress on the Senate website
These historic/vintage homes sold last week –
From Lincoln Park to Edgewater, these properties are over 100 years old.
Which one would you have liked to purchase?
Select this link to see photos of these homes – inside and out
5359 N Bowmanville
5822 N Winthrop
2109 W Bradley
4330 N Leavitt
4252 N Hermitage
865 N LaSalle
Below is a table with information about these homes.
To download the information as a .pdf, select this link: Old and Sold Aug 12, 2014
|Street #||Str Name||Closed||List Price||Sold Pr||ASF|| ||MT||# Rms||Beds||BA||Cars||Yr Blt||Lot Dim||rehab?||Bsmt
|5822||Winthrop||8/6/14||$735,000||$717,000||3700||$193.78||44||14||5||3||4||UNK||50 X 150||Yes||Unfinished
|4330||Leavitt||8/5/14||$1,099,000||$1,065,000||3250||$327.69||4||13||4||3.1||2.5||1901||37.5 X 125||Yes||Finished
|865||LaSalle||8/8/14||$1,299,800||$1,260,000||4000||$315.00||468||8||3||3.1||2||1891||16.86 X 138||Yes||Finished
Top 10 Things to Consider
when Choosing Senior Living Facilities
For those who are considering retirement communities instead of aging in place, Elizabeth O’Brien, in her NextAvenue article, recommends you do significant research, and beware the 10 things that these communities won’t tell you:
1. They’re hard to tell apart – there are “want-driven” active communities, and then there are the need-based facilities, with independent, assisted, and nursing care step-up programs.
2. There’s no “doctor in the house”.
3. Look beyond the fresh facade- e.g. what’s staff turnover like, what do the halls look like when it’s not “tour day?”,
4. Prepare for price increases and add-on services,
5. Realize that you may not be the ultimate decision-maker about when it’s time to move on – when you’re too frail to stay, they’ll give YOU notice!
6. Be careful not to become responsible for your parent’s bills (unless you’ve decided to take this on),
7. They prefer NOT to take Medicaid,
8. It’s hard to find TRUE quality ratings on these facilities- there’s not a great “Consumer Reports” or “Yelp!” for seniors (perhaps a new business venture?!)
9. Since “every night is “Saturday night”, STD rates are climbing at active senior developments- there’s more to do than just golf and bridge- just make sure to get regular health screenings!
10. Some of the fees may be tax-deductible – if they’re legitimate medical expenses, be sure to claim them on your tax returns.
This is not, of course, a comprehensive list. I think it’s a great article, however.
If you have other revelations to help find the perfect home for your aging parent, please leave your comments here.
For all issues relating to
senior real estate, aging in place, or
finding your empty-nester dream home, contact