Aging in Place Safely

Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as they age.

Of course, in order to do this, the home safety factors need to be address. One fall, for example, could result in a total loss of independence and force a love-one OUT of their home. Here are some ideas for making aging in place a safe option for your seniors:


for aging in place:

Flooring:  carpeting is preferable to area rugs, because it reduces tripping hazards and can cushion falls. If area rugs are used, make sure they’re secured to the floor.

Handrails: on stairways, add a second handrail along the opposite wall for improved stability. Footwear: to preent falls, non-slip shoes are preferable to slippers or socks. nonskid stickers help aging in placeNon-skid safety strips: adhered to the floor of a tub/shower, non-skid strips are preferable to removable in-shower bath mats. Bathroom grab bars: ideally, these should be anchored into the wall, but if that’s not possible, opt for a safety rail clamped onto the side of the tub. Quality step ladder: purchase a broad-based heavy-duty step ladder with a hand-hold bar across the top to safely reach items stored out of reach.sturdy step ladder for seniors Lighting: whether it’s making a bathtub brighter or installing motion-activated night lights in the hallway, better lighting can help prevent falls and make hobbies, reading, etc. more enjoyable.  Lighting improvements might be as simple as changing the bulbs (to higher wattages or to bulbs that mimic daylight instead of “yellow” soft lighting) or adding battery-operated units.


for aging in place:

Hand shower: convert a standard fixed shower head into a hand-held system with a flexible hose.

Raised toilet seats: no need to buy a new toilet- a removable seat can be added to most standard toilets.

Mail catcher: mail delivered via a mail slot ay be easier to retrieve than from a mailbox, especially if a narrow basket is mounted below the door opening so the recipient doesn’t have to pick mail off the floor.

Knobs: replace round door and/or faucet knobs with lever styles, which are easier to turn  Likewise, loop pulls can make drawers easier to open.

Eating: specially-designed ups and eating utensils can minimize food spills, including weighted options that help counterbalance shake-prone hands.

aging in place tips- Anne RossleyCooking utensils: lightweight and ergonomically-designed options are readily available now, may offering non-slip bright handles and bright, attractive colors.

Keep things handy: move often-used items to easy-to access locations

Eliminate excess “stuff”: having fewer items to store, sort, juggle and handle can make aging in place an easier and more enjoyable proposition.

You can count on your SRES
Anne Rossley
to guide you through the process of buying and/or selling your home,
making the transaction less stressfull and more successful!

Links for more tips and products for aging in place:

Single Family Home- Andersonville? Uptown? Ravenswood?

Just Listed

This great single family home at 4829 N Paulina  is NOT my listing – I just think it’d a great home in a small pocket location that is often overlooked.

4832 Paulina Chicago, IL Single Family Home for sale

4829 N Paulina

$ 849,000


  • Wide and deep lot – 33 x 163
  • 1898 home – renovated
  • Updated kitchen with newer cabinets and stainless steel appliances
  • hardwood floors on first floor
  • 3rd floor master bedroom
  • 3 bedrooms on second level
  • back deck and landscaped yard
  • Finished basement – large rec room!
  • Great location- steps from Metra, new Mariano’s on Lawrence Ave.

This pocket often gets overlooked — It’s north of Lawrence Ave, and the East Ravenswood historic district is SOUTH of Lawrence…  it feels more RAVENSWOOD than Uptown, yet it’s in the 8003 census tract – Uptown. It feels more Andersonville than Uptown, too, but that is generally known to start at 5200 North(Foster) – 8077 census tract.



This lovely section is quiet, charming, close to lots of great amenities, but because it’s not easily described, agents and buyers often don’t include it when looking in a specific neighborhood search.

Chicago Geography Lesson:

We have 77 communities, 50 wards, 85 zip codes, and (not surprisingly), these are NOT geographically the same!

Generally speaking, real estate agents search by zip codes, census tract areas, or by coordinates (# N/S and # E/W).

Chicago Census Tract Map

chicago zip codes (from

Chicago Ward Map
Chicago Map of 50 Wards - Effective 2015

We agents can draw maps around areas, such as school boundary areas and historic districts, but when you hear “Uptown” and “Edgewater”, these specifically refer to census areas, not just neighborhoods.


Edgewater Census Tract Map 8077

Edgewater Chicago Census Tract 8077

Uptown Census Tract 8003

Uptown Census Tract 8003

Lincoln Square Census Tract Map 8004

Interested in learning more about Chicago’s neighborhoods?

Contact Anne Rossley

Baird & Warner

Lincoln Square Census Tract Map 8004 - Chicago

Empty Nester Choices in Chicago


Today was an empty-nester real estate day.

Empty Nester Buyers

I took clients out to look at condos — they’re thinking of selling their historic home to move into a vintage condo on Lake Shore Drive – probably in Lakeview. Here’s what we saw…

2920 N Commonwealth, Chicago2920 N Commonwealth

1.  2920 Commonwealth – 3 bedroom right behind St Joseph’s –

  • Lovely east view of Lake Michigan, if you don’t mind looking at the hospital parking lot
  • Great condition, if you like the fake stone around the doorways- added to remind you of the original stone in the building
  • Parking garage in the building, however it will be at least one year until the new owner gets to park in the building, since there aren’t as many parking spots as total units

2.  433 W Briar — Just south of Belmont and east of Sheridan Road — 2550 square feet

  • Front of the building, but north facing unit can feel dark, especially on the 2nd floor
  • Again, parking not available in the building
  • Doesn’t have the grand feel of the Lake Shore Drive condos

3.  3500 N Lake Shore Drive  9D – co-op building 4 blocks north of Belmont

  • East facing 3 bedroom unit- lovely views of Belmont Harbor
  • Totally renovated with painstaking detail – to the point of removing, stripping, and replating hardware!
  • Gracious unit – 2400 square feet, but one bedroom short for my clients

We’re going out again tomorrow — stay tuned!

Want to see what’s available in vintage condos and co-ops near Lake Michigan in Lakeview?

Select this link for currently available properties!

Empty Nester Sellers

At Mariano’s, I ran into one of my favorite clients, who sold her home to move into The Admiral. 

admiral on the lakeadmiral on the lake-chicago, il

She’s been there 2 years now, and reported that she’s thrilled that she made the move. This was particularly good to hear, given she’s one of those people who’s spry and young at heart – some might think she jumped the gun a bit.

The only thing she said she misses a bit is her kitchen – she did have a glorious Crown Point-high end kitchen!

Her advice to all – “Don’t die in your house! This is way too much fun!”




I truly enjoy seeing clients who are happy with the moves that they’ve made!!

Check out your choices for being an empty nester!

Get advice in helping your parents decide where to go next!


Anne Rossley

Baird & Warner


Anne Rossley Chicago Real Estate Broker

CPS High Schools – Which Schools do Top Students Choose?


Chicago has 5 Selective Enrollment High Schools who score among the top 10 schools in the state.


Are these schools truly the best, or are they just attracting the best students?

WBEZ posted a great article that graphically demonstrates the relationship between student EXPLORE scores and their eventual high school choice.

WBEZ voices the concern:

Is the city’s school choice system actually creating better schools, or is it simply sorting certain students out and leaving the weakest learners in separate, struggling schools?

Chicago Public Schools

There were 104 kids who scored a perfect 25 on the EXPLORE exam. One hundred of them — 96 percent — enrolled in just six of the city’s 130 high schools (Northside, Whitney Young, Payton, Lane, Lincoln Park, and Jones).

See how student achievement relates to high school choice in an interactive chart linking each score in 2012 to a school.  Sort schools by type, demographics or location, and explore and compare the distribution of scores at each school.


CPS high school sort

Tell Governor Quinn to veto SB 2664!


Note from Ald. Michele Smith — I wholeheartedly agree, and ask that you take a moment to tell Governor Quinn that you’re opposed to this bill.


Anne Rossley-Baird & Warner

Oppose Senate Bill 2664

          Legislation under review by Governor Quinn will prohibit condominium associations from including special assessments, chargebacks, and limit a condominium association’s ability to collect late fees, attorney’s fees or court costs, from third-party purchasers following a foreclosure. The total amount that can be collected may never exceed 9 months of regular assessments. The end results in most cases would have associations receiving less repayment than under the current statutory scheme. Less repayment means more fees for unit owners.


 Gov Pat Quinn         The bill passed the House and Senate and now awaits the signature of Governor Quinn. I’ve spoken with the Governor to voice my objection to this legislation, and I encourage you to do the same.  For those buildings with units in foreclosure, this bill will bring about higher costs to the remaining unit owners, which I cannot support.


Click here to send an email to Governor Quinn to voice your objection to Senate Bill 2664

My wacky real estate marketing idea…

My Wacky Real Estate Marketing Idea

brought smiles and joy

to Drake Theta Chi party-goers last month…

Drake Relays Rest Room Marketing

My husband, Tom, is co-chairing the Theta Chi Fundraiser at Drake University.  They’ve just about reached their $ 1,856,000 goal to build a new fraternity house, and the old house is being torn down this summer.

Relays 2014 Blow the House Down

To celebrate the house coming down, over 100 alumni brothers, daughters, family members and friends partied on the front lawn on April 25-27. This “Blow the House Down!” was  a  great time!

Relays 2014 - Blow the House Down

And, I’m glad to have provided a “Helping Hand…”

Tom asked me what would make the party more enjoyable for me — he was trying to make sure everyone would have a good time.

My answer?

Decent bathrooms! What woman hasn’t avoided a dirty bathroom in a college setting? Don’t we all despise the restrooms in dive bars? We’d rather go home than have another cocktail, if it means visiting the porta-potty that’s been used for the last 36 hours…

Tell me I’m wrong — that’s right… you can’t!

A little digging and we found the King’s Throne – a local “portable facilities” company in Iowa. As luck would have it, a new trailer was arriving mid-April.  It was a 24 foot gem – 3 stalls for the women, 1 for the men (with 2 urinals) and it had never been used !!!

We brought in the THRONE…

On Friday afternoon, April 25, our sparkling silver trailer arrived at the house in Des Moines. We adorned it with the sponsor poster — created just for the event. Not only was it clean and shiny, but it had bright lights, and music was piped in!

Let me tell you – this potty was the hit of the party!

Here’s my sign up close:

drake theta chi relays

The ladies stayed late! I had never been thanked so frequently nor so enthusiastically for my bathrooms!

We all had a great time, and hopefully, it will have been marketing dollars well-spent!

If you like this idea- just think what I can do to sell your house!

Contact me!



Antique Hardware – It’s in the Details!


front door hardware

Having original hardware in one’s historic home is the “icing on the cake” for me. Visually, it makes a huge difference, although buyers don’t always recognize why they’re so entranced with an older home, often the details are the difference!

We’re fortunate to have all our original door knobs in our 1908 Foursquare. (With one exception- the back door)

vintage door knob - 1908

Here’s an example of our front door hardware (on the inside of the air lock). Oily hands have kept the knob shiny while the decorative escutcheon is darker and more aged.

The outside of the front door is pictured to the right.


Reproduction door knob

We recently replaced the 1960’s plain jane knob when we replaced the door. Rather than searching out a vintage knob, we found a basic rubbed bronze model at the building supply center. (There it is to the  right.)

This month, Old House Journal provided information on vintage door knobs, hinges, and locks. (See the post here) They also provided a guide for stripping hardware that’s been painted over — basically boil in water (with dishwasher soap) and then use a cloth/brush to remove the softened paint.

Design Sponge offers another great article on cleaning your antique hardware- check out their post here: Cleaning Vintage Metal Hardware

I my research of antique hardware information, I came across a terrific article –   The Magic of Antique Door Hardware, which includes great photographs of door knobs from the Victorian era to today.

antique hardware


These are examples of  interior door knobs in our house.

Want to create our own reproduction hardware?

Check out this video on how to make your hardware look antique!



For more antique – vintage – old house tips, subscribe to this blog!
Have a question but don’t know who to ask?  
Post it here — I’ll find an expert to get you an answer!
For everything vintage, contact

Anne Rossley

Your historic property specialist!


Anne Rossley

Anne Rossley Chicago Real Estate Broker

Chicago Historic Property – 3500 Janssen – On the Market AGAIN

The renovated historic home at 3500 N Janssen is for sale again – this time it’s listed at $ 2,650,000. This Chicago historic property has been listed multiple times since May, 2012, and the quest to sell began at $ 2,950,000. As of 3 days ago, it was listed by a new real estate agent, Tim Salm, of Jameson Real Estate.

3500 N Janssen

The City of Chicago Landmarks Commission includes 3500 N Janssen in its list of architecturally significant properties in the city. It  was designed by H. C. Call.

Chicago Historic Property 3500 N Janssen - Chicago Rea Estate

Features and Amenities of this Chicago Historic Property:

  • Wide lot — 42 x 124
  • Brick Exterior
  • Recently renovated – Marshall Morgan Erb design
  • Twelve Rooms – 6 bedrooms
  • Gorgeous library on second floor
  • Roof deck over garage
  • Popular Hamilton Elementary School District – See Test Scores Here
  • Lower level includes family room, guest bedroom, and catering kitchen
  • Amazing wine cellar!
  • Gorgeous professionally designed landscape

Are you interested in finding your historic Chicago home?

Check out homes for sale now —

Specialty Searches set up by Anne Rossley

Chicago Historic Districts 

Find Homes for Sale in Landmark Neighborhoods

Historic Homes for Sale


 Make an appointment to see great old houses-

Contact Anne Rossley

Your Chicago Historic Property Specialist


Anne Rossley


CPS High School Admissions Results – Selective Enrollment and CTE


The CPS Office of Access and Enrollment is feverishly finishing the selection process for this year’s Chicago 8th grade students.

Letters are to be mailed this Friday by the central office, letting 8th grade students and their parents know which selective enrollment high school, if any, they will be attending in the fall.

In addition, special program invitations will also be mailed.

For Jones College Prep, 390 “offers to attend” will be sent for selective enrollment seats. The class size should be about 350, so OAE Jones College Prepexpects around 40 students to decline the opportunity to enroll at JCP. For the 75 CTE slots, 75 letters will be mailed.

CPS has cross-referenced the selective enrollment and CTE  applications – if a student applied to both selective enrollment AND CTE at Jones College Prep, and he/she qualifies for the selective enrollment program, he will be slotted into that group. No one should receive an invitation to both programs at Jones College Prep.

This year, 4000 applications city-wide were submitted for the 75 CTE slots at Jones College Prep.   Last year, there were 1000 applications. For Jones, CTE is the pre-law and pre-engineering program that is geared to neighborhood students. Students are not separated from the selective enrollment students – they take all the same honors classes as everyone else. They have, however, a pre-law or pre-engineering  class each semester that relates to their particular interest.

After the selective enrollment assignments are made, the process for CTE selection begins.  OAE has 2 pools of applicants – a)  neighborhood, and b) outside the JCP boundary.  These applications are placed in order, beginning with the highest score. Students FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD are offered CTE slots first, in order of their scores. As seats are assigned, and the scores drop, eventually an application will have a score 150 points below the tier 1 cutoff for Jones (a number that’s not published as of this writing).  At that point, the selection process moves to the OUTSIDE – BOUNDARY students, and begins at the top. As previously mentioned, these 75 invitations will also go out in the mail on Friday.

We don’t know the ratio of “neighborhood” to “outside-boundary” applications, so it’s impossible to tell what any particular student’s chances are of getting in to this new and popular CPS program. This is only the 2nd year for the program, so historic numbers aren’t indicative of the program’s current popularity. Parents may remember that the program was recently announced that many didn’t even know of the program last year. That was last year! This year, based on the success of the program and the new building’s debut, the four-fold increase in applications isn’t surprising.

One fact remains — there are not enough seats available for students who want them, or for that matter, deserve them.

Great CPS school choices for B students are nil, and as the popularity increases for programs like Jones’ CTE (pre-law, pre-engineering), more private school elementary students will migrate to the Chicago Public School system for high school, leaving even fewer options available to students who grew up in the CPS elementary school system.

Once these admission letters are mailed, each high school will follow up with an information packet to their students. This packet will provide information on the school, as well as procedures for accepting the offer to attend. In the case of Jones College Prep, packets will go out right away, including an invitation for Freshman Welcome Night – March 4 and 5 — when students and parents can turn in their acceptance forms and learn about the registration process.

chicago public school admissions letters arrivingAt this writing, Jones College Prep does NOT have the list of accepted students from OAE.  They may not have the list until Friday, so the packets are now being stuffed to wait for the lucky winners’ address labels.

I’ve gone through this process 3 times, and my heart goes out to the Chicago families who are waiting to hear if they got into the selective enrollment high school of their choice. It’s a very stressful time. I wish you all the best!

Did anyone warn the mail carriers that Chicago parents will be stalking them on Saturday?!?!

If you have a question about navigating the Chicago Public School system,
and you’re looking for a parent who can give some insight or direction,
please give me a call!

I can’t promise I know every answer, but I can point you in a more helpful direction!

Anne Rossley


Anne Rossley

Historic Chicago Properties – 3634 N Avers


This historic Chicago property has just been listed-  3634 N Avers in The Villa Historic District. Located between Irving Park and Addison near the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94), it’s a hop, skip, and jump for every important location in Chicago!

Historic Chicago Property


The Villa Historic District

 OPEN SUNDAY – 2/16  

12 – 3 pm

3634 N Avers3634 N Avers


Make An Appointment Today!

The vintage details are spectacular!
  • Oak hardwood floors
  • Craftsman fireplace flanked by bookcases
  • Original stained glass windows in Living Room over bookcases
  • French Doors (2 sets!) with 12-light design connect Living Room to full-width Sun Room
  • Formal Dining Room with original built-in hutch
  • Grand crown moldings – Tiger Birch and Oak


3634 N Avers The VIlla Historic DIstrict
Features and Amenities not found in Typical Chicago Homes:
  • Sited on 50′ wide lot on parkway boulevard
  • Newer Kitchen with stainless steel appliances, custom cherry cabinets
  • Breakfast Room overlooking lush back yard
  • One-way street – slow traffic and quiet!
  • Four season Front Sun Room offers idyllic view of tranquil neighborhood!
  • Master Dressing Room offers additional space and storage
  • Reconfigured staircase to basement means comfortable access, ready for your rec room finishes
  • Tall attic ready for your finishes – perhaps a simple gable addition?
  • New copper returns between radiators
  • Steel beam support – solid home for years to come!

 3634 N Avers Kitchen

Interested in learning more about The Villa Historic District?

Select this link!

View The Villa in a larger map

To see homes that have sold in The Villa —

Select this Link —

Computer Format (pdf)    –    Tablet Format

For more, contact

Anne Rossley

Your Historic Chicago Homes Specialist!


Anne Rossley

Other Links:

Chicago Historic Districts

The Villa Website

Maps of Chicago Historic Districts

Villa Historic District Neighborhood Photos


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