North Center is Hot! Hot! Hot!

North Center is Hot! Hot! Hot!

Chicago’s North Center neighborhood

has been a terrific investment over the last 5 years!


During the last 5 years, families have moved into North Center to take advantage of great CPS neighborhood schools:

alexander bell elementary schoolAlexander Bell  (website)

coonley elementaryAvery Coonley (website)

audubon elementaryAudubon (website)

Statistics about home sales

in North Center:

    • # of Home Sales (2015) are up 62% since 2010
    • Median Sales Prices (2015) are up 39% since 2010
    • In June, July and August, 2016 alone, 246 homes closed vs 227 in 2015!!!
    • Their average price was $1,201,975 in J/J/A 2016
    • The average % sold to list price was 98.8% in J/J/A 2016

Click on the Graph Below to see prices throughout the last 5 years…

Thinking about buying in one of these school districts?

Check out homes in each of the elementary school districts…

Click on the photo or link below to find homes for sale in Bell, Audubon, and Coonley Elementary School Districts

Homes for sale in Bell District

Homes for Sale in the Bell School District

Homes for sale in Audubon District

Homes for Sale in the Audubon School District

Homes for Sale in Coonley District

Homes for sale in the Coonley District

Thinking of Selling your North Center Home?


Here are some options for learning about your North Center home’s value…
Resources for CPS Families – PIN by 11/28, application by 12/9/16:
If you would like to be put in contact with a parent from a particular school,
I would be happy to make an introduction- 
email me today!

Contact Anne today to learn more about North Center Homes for Sale!

Email her today!

Chicago Parent “Shorts”


I came across this great article on helicopter parenting around the world – “A Cure for Hyper-Parenting”

Apparently, it’s not just Americans who are hyper parents!

helicopter parenting

In short, here’s what the NY Times article by Pamela Druckerman instructs us about good parenting:

1. Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti say intensive parenting springs from “rising inequality, because parents know there’s a bigger payoff for people with lots of education and skills.” Maybe – I haven’t done a lot of thinking on this. I read that this phenomenon is creating an even greater gap between the “haves” and “have nots” who can’t afford tutors, test prep, private sports coaches….

2.  People around the world are breeding later in life, when they’re richer and more grateful, so the whole parenting experience becomes “hallowed”. Makes sense – it also stands to reason that having kids after “achieving” in the workplace means there’s one more place to show off our “achievement-driven” sensibilities…


Here’s the advice Ms. Druckerman gives in the article- many of which are cited from other sources. She did a great job of putting gathering some useful nuggets:

  • Keep Calm and Parent On — expect more from your kids – even though it can be messy
  • Kid parties should be DROP-OFFS – use the time for yourself! Between the mid-1990s and 2008, college-educated American moms began spending more than nine additional hours per week on child care; this came directly out of their leisure time.
  • Enjoy the MOMENT- don’t always push for a Harvard degree. Said a better way: “total commitment to the process, total equanimity about the outcome.”
  • Most parenting crises are caused by exhaustion – try sleeping more and attacking issues when calm and rested.
  • Have less stuff-  the more you have, the more you have to organize, take care of, repair, and think about.
  • Work-life balance is nearly impossible to achieve- FORGIVE YOURSELF!
  • Teach emotional intelligence to your kids- and live it yourself- size up the other individual before you care what they think of you!
  • Enact the Mandela rule – “You can get what you want by showing people ordinary respect.”

Curling Parents

I love this:

Scandinavians complain of “curling parents,” a reference to the sport in which you frantically scrub the ice to let a stone glide across it.

curling parent

Maybe even a better analogy than a helicopter?!?!



Chicago High Schools – Selective Enrollment Process

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?

CPS tiers for selective enrollment   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:

walter payton college prep

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!

Anne Rossley


Chicago Selective Enrollment High School Admissions

I don’t know how many applications have been entered into the system for the CPS selective enrollment freshman class of 2018 – I’m sure, though, it’s a new record. This past Saturday, January 25, was the last date for 8th graders to take the exam, 1 of 3 criteria used in the admissions process. (Select this link to get FAQs on the CPS Selective Enrollment Process)

chicago public schools

The selective enrollment high school experience is the finest education opportunity in the state of Illinois.

As many of you know, I’m the Chairperson for the Friends of Jones parent organization. I’m a huge fan of Chicago Public Schools, and more specifically, the teachers and administrations who go above and beyond to provide a great educational experience for our kids.

Jones College Prep has become one of the premier selective enrollment schools, indeed, one of the best schools in the state of Illinois. (It’s the first CPS school to win the Dept of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award.) When the new Jones College Prep building was under construcxtion this year, the South Loop neighbors raised concerns about local education opportunities, and Mayor Emanuel answered by creating the CTE program for engineering/law. Students apply for 75 seats in the freshman class each year that offer pre-engineering/pre-law educational experiences – in addition to the honors-only college prep classes in this world-class facility.

Jones College PrepHaving worked closely with department chairs Chuck Trott (engineering) and Christy Gerst (law), I cannot image finer leaders and educators for the talented and fortunate students who are selected into their programs. Students won’t learn until March if they’re accepted, but I want to say, “Congratulations!” now to those who will soon learn that they have been accepted into this fine program.

I understand that over 4000 applications were submitted for these 75 slots. WOW!!!!

jones college prep - best kept secret

Granted, most have probably ALSO applied for the general selective enrollment seats, but I’m delighted that Chicago is already recognizing what an amazing program Jones is offering.

Jones College Prep used to be the best kept secret in Chicago education, but it’s a secret NO MORE!

Want to find homes for sale in the Jones CTE Boundaries?

homes for sale - Jones College Prep High School

Select this link!

The selective enrollment process is very stressful, and perhaps not the best method for assigning 8th graders to a Chicago High School (there’s probably no PERFECT method for all–  but let’s keep trying!!!!) .  I’m sending a virtual hug to all parents with a message, “Hang in there! It’s going to be okay! It truly does work out in the end!!!”

amundsen high school vikingsI applaud Chicago residents who are leading grass roots efforts to improve  neighborhood high schools — kudos to Amy Williamson who’s leading the charge at Amundsen, and others who are working to make their local high schools a viable option for Chicago students and parents.


Today, more people are choosing to live in Chicago and raise a family. It may not be simple, but I sincerely believe it is a magnificent opportunity for raising our children to become the finest adults anywhere. They’re independent, flexible, aware, open-minded, confident, and unflappable. They go to college with color-blindness, street smarts, AND a great education.

When asked where they’re from, they say, “Chicago!”, and they clarify that it’s the CITY – not a suburb.  Their new friend is envious and awestruck that our child has climbed the highest mountain – he/she has a great education, a great social experience, and world-class cultural upbringing. These Chicagoans are  truly accomplished, well-rounded, and confident. They have the world by the tail.

chicago public schools 8th grade graduate


I’m so glad I chose to raise my kids in the city!

Good luck, Chicago 8th Graders –
May the odds be with you!

Catholic High School Exam Date Looms


Chicago School OptionsSaturday, January 11, is the date many 8th graders will be taking the Chicago Catholic High School Entrance Exam.

While CPS offers several dates to take the public school exam, the parochial test is only offered on January 11, 2014.  Eighth graders and their families decide which school to go to on that date – students may only test for one school.

Here are links for several popular Chicago Catholic High Schools:

Find Chicago Catholic High Schools

Select this link to find a Chicago Catholic High School

Chicago Public School applications for high school (selective enrollment, IB, CTE, and magnet) were due in December, 2013 for enrollment in August, 2014. Two more exam dates are available  – January 11 and 25, 2013.

For information about CPS high school enrollment options, select this link

Notifications for CPS high school admissions will be mailed no later than February 21, 2014, according to the Office of Access and Enrollment.

Catholic School acceptance letters go out February 14.

Find Out More about Schools in Chicago

School Selection and Real Estate go hand in hand, but parents often don’t know how to find real estate agents who have extensive experience in how the Chicago school systems work.

If you have questions about how Chicago schools work,

or if you’re interested in finding homes near particular schools …

Contact Anne Rossley

Call Anne Rossley

by phone (773-620-5333) or email (

Email Anne Rossley

Anne will take the mystery away and

help you find the home and neighborhood that’s right for you!



It’s School Fundraiser Season!

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 forsilent auction

I don’t know you, but will you donate?!

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:

chess table

  • 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:

  • Wine Tastings
  • 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
  • Silver earrings
  • Signed baseballs (yes — Sox, too!)

hawthorne quilt

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,

bookmark our site – it goes “LIVE” 2/22 –

Bidding for Good – Friends of Jones online auction

Thanks to the wonderful people who’ve responded to my call and donated items. You have no idea I grateful I am!!!

Wheelan Book


These are just a few of the amazing items you can buy online.

And yes,

you’ll have to fight to outbid me for the loop parking space this year!



Reasons to Stay in Chicago and NOT move to the Suburbs

Chicago Schools – Can we live in the city or must we leave for the suburbs?

This is  the time of year when young Chicago parents are worried about whether junior will get in to a gifted program, a magnet school, a selective enrollment high school….

Chicago Schools Status

jones outsideSelective Enrollment/IB Notifications go out around 2/18
Elementary magnet and cluster school notifications will be mailed during the week of March 18

Everywhere in Chicago, potential buyers ask …

Should I  leave Chicago and Move to the Suburbs?

What should I consider as I think about city vs suburbs?

First, take a tour of these homes, currently for sale in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service and see if they are appealing.

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!

Financial Cost

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

City Parking

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 —

Chicago Real Estate - Anne Rossley of Baird & Warner

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!

chicago real estate Anne Rossley Baird & Warner
Anne Rossley
Baird & Warner







*homes in Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater

Chicago Parent Updates

Chicago Parents – it’s that time of year!

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.

Chicago School Updates

As far as CONFIRMED news…

jones colleg prepJones College Prep will be increasing its enrollment, making use of the old building that was previously scheduled for demolition. Select this link for news article

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)


For more information about Chicago High Schools,

Select this link for the New CPS SEARCHABLE GUIDE

CPS Searchable Guide

Other Links

Cut-off Scores for Selective Enrollment High Schools
(Cut-of scores for Selective Enrollment Schools )
CPS Calendar for 2013-2014
(CPS School Calendar )
Chicago Real Estate - Anne Rossley of Baird & Warner
For more information about NEIGHBORHOOD school options, please call me!
Anne Rossley, CRB, CRS, SRES, RSPS
Baird & Warner

Chicago Elementary School and High School Applications Due Soon!

CPS Selective Enrollment School Application Deadline-Dec 14 for Elementary and High School Choices

Dec 7 — Deadline for getting your pin number (if applying online)

Standard Elementary School Application     School Codes
Selective Enrollment Elementary School Application
Standard High Schools Application
Magnet High Schools Application
IB Programs Application
Selective Enrollment Schools Application

Dec 14 – Deadline for both paper and online applications

When I first navigated public school choices 13 years ago, I toured several magnet schools, completing a separate application or each one. I dutifully checked the box for ethnicity, sex, and added a quick prayer before handing over the simple form to the school’s secretary, hoping it would find its way to the lottery box without getting lost, and that (should I be lucky enough to win), the mailman wouldn’t lose my letter of acceptance. I was unnerved!

Times have changed — now parents can apply online, prioritizing their choices, feeling confident that the system won’t lose their application and their opportunity for winning the lottery.

When I searched for schools, there weren’t the fantastic options for neighborhood schools that there are today. As a result, I’ve put together some searches for parents who are considering living in a Chicago Public Elementary District. This list is growing, so if you don’t see what you need, please call me.

Some of the Chicago Neighborhood Elementary School Districts in which I’ve been asked to search for homes:

Navigating school choices can be daunting – please let me know if you have friends who would like information on Chicago schools.

If they’d like to speak with a parent in an elementary or high school, I would be happy to put them in touch with those who can help provide more information.


Helpful Links for Applying to Selective Enrollment Schools:

Blogroll and Other Links about Searching for Schools in Chicago:


Chicago Real Estate -The Time to Buy and Sell is NOW!

Wondering when you should get in the Chicago real estate market?



Whether you’re buying for the first time, selling and buying, or downsizing ….


Interest Rates

Rates are the lowest in over 30 years — Freddie Mac reported September average rates at 3.38%!

Prices have stabilized – in some places, they’re reporting increases. Yes, prices dropped between Jan 2008 and July 2011, but prices are now showing a stabilization.

This chart shows average prices on condos/homes on Chicago’s North Side:


Consumer Confidence
is up again in November – 3.8%, but here in Chicago, properties are flying!

Inventories are low – while at one time, condo listings represented 24 + months of inventory, today there are only 3.8 months’ worth of units on the market. (Lenders use 6 months as a benchmark for determining market health.)

On a personal note, I have been helping clients find investment property. We are having to put in offers immediately – 6 properties have sold within a week, sometimes with multiple offers.


Don’t wait to read this in the newspapers – by then it will be too late to take advantage of the opportunities

Expect the following:

  • Declining inventories between now and Feb 2013
  • Increasing demand around Feb 2013
  • Mar-May 2013 — prices will rise &  inventories will remain low — but where will interest rates be? Ad 1% difference on a $250K loan means more than $49K in payments over the life of the loan (and $1647.48 more per year!)


      If you’re thinking about buying or selling, call or email me right away!


Need to Find a home in one of the Chicago Neighborhood Elementary School Districts?


Search for homes in the districts most often requested by buyers over the last year:


These are not the only neighborhood searches available – email me for other school districts or CPS elementary school information in general.

And, if you’re participating in the selective enrollment lottery, remember the December 14 deadline — good luck!



Pin It on Pinterest