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
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
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)
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.
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.
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!
Chicago Sources for Antique Restoration Hardware:
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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.
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?
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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 expects 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.
At 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!
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
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
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!
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
Your Historic Chicago Homes Specialist!
Chicago Historic Districts
The Villa Website
Maps of Chicago Historic Districts
Villa Historic District Neighborhood Photos