North Shore Views Blog

If you live on the North Shore or are thinking of moving here, my blog will be your go-to resource for anything and everything you want to know about the area: the communities, neighborhoods, schools, parks, beaches, things to do, and, of course, real estate.

April 11, 2018

North Shore Real Estate Report - 1st Quarter 2018

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Update - 1st Quarter 2018 vs. Year Ago

 North Shore market data 1st qtr 2018

Closed Sales

Closed sales for the first quarter were up only 1% vs. the first quarter of 2017. About half of the villages increased while the other half declined. Glencoe had the biggest increase (+72%), followed by Lake Forest (+60%), Northfield (+44%). Winnetka had the biggest decline (-30%), followed by Kenilworth (-25%) and Highland Park (-24%).

While market growth on the coasts has been dampened by lack of inventory, that is not the case in the Chicago metro market, especially the suburbs. Here we have plenty of inventory, especially in the higher price brackets. For example, there are 7% more listings over $2,000,000 than this time last year.

Why is our area experiencing such a different reality than other large metro areas? It's the confluence of three trends: slow employment growth, population losses (Illinois had the greatest net outflow of residents of any state) and higher taxes. This March 30 article piece in Crain's Chicago Business gives some good insight into this phenomenon:
https://bit.ly/2qrdJ6Y

Median Prices

While sales were weak, median prices were more respectable, rising 11% overall, led by Kenilworth (+82%), Glencoe (+25%) and Evanston (+22%). Wilmette was the only North Shore village where the median price dropped, declining from $769,000 to $737,500. Average sales price as a percent of list price was 91.4%, down -0.3% from first quarter of last year.

Market Time

Market time for homes that sold was 160 days or 5.3 months. Evanston continues to have the shortest market time at 94 days (3 months), while Lake Forest has the longest, at 250 days (8.3 months). Lake Forest continues to suffer as home buyers opt to stay in or close to the city rather than venturing out to remote suburbs.

Accepted Offers

Accepted Offers is one of the best indicators of market health, as it foretells what closed sales will be over the next couple of months. The fact that accepted offers overall are down 3% vs. last year does not bode that well for the spring market. Other than Evanston, Northfield and Lake Forest the trends are disappointing.

Accepted Offers March 2018 vs Year Ago

Accepted Offers March 2018

 

If you have any questions about the market or would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Anne West and the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657.

Wondering what your home is worth in today's market? You can get an instant value here.

What's My Hoe Worth

Posted in Market Statistics
April 3, 2018

Fun Things to do this April on the North Shore

Don’t let a few showers here and there spoil the fun. April is chock full events both indoor and out to help you transition from the dog days of winter to some fun in the sun (hopefully)!  This month features a great selection of children’s plays as well as some great opportunities to explore nature and the world around us and even take an archery lesson! Adults can also imbibe in a fresh spring cocktail demonstration and enjoy the musings of Kathleen Madigan! A fun month indeed! 

 

Simply Stirring
April 6: 5:30 pm
Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, 10 Marriot Drive, Lincolnshire 

Experience this interactive demonstration class that will teach guests how to create fresh spring cocktails sure to impress every palate. Mixologist Carlos Veigas will demo 5 featured cocktails to guests while they sample his fresh creations and enjoy artisan cheeses and crackers from the Resort’s Executive Chef Pierre Daval. $25 per person, space is limited.  To register: call 847-634-0100 and request reservations for the Simply Stirring cocktail class.

 

Family Archery
April 7: 1 – 2:30 pm
Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park 

A perfect family activity! Learn the basics of archery, then spend time practicing on the range! All equipment and instruction provided. Children (8+) must be accompanied by a paid registered adult. $10 per person. For information call 847-433-6901. To register, click here.

 

Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey
April 8: 11 am – 12pm; 3 pm – 4 pm
John and Nancy Hughes Theatre, Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Rd., Lake Forest 

Lightwire Theater is proud to present MOON MOUSE, a cosmic adventure about celebrating differences. Marvin the mouse wants to be popular. Constantly bullied and picked on by the “cool” mice, he is labeled as a loser and a geek. To get away from the continuous badgering, he retreats into his science books and a world of fantasy. He longs to have adventures, to be the hero. Join Marvin on the space adventure of a lifetime where he meets a strange cast of misfit creatures, learns of infinite peril and awesome beauty. $15 per person. For more info, click here.

 

Alice in Wonderland
April 14: 1 – 2pm
John and Nancy Hughes Theatre, Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Rd., Lake Forest 

Travel down the rabbit hole and enjoy PASTA’s performance of Alice in Wonderland! The ever-curious Alice’s journey begins innocently enough as she chases the White Rabbit. Her adventures become increasingly stranger as she races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, chats with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game! Admission: $5. For more info, click here.

 

49th Annual Art Fair
April 14: 10 am – 6pm; April 15: 11 am – 5 pm
North Shore Unitarian Church, 2100 Half Day Rd., Deerfield 

Indoor art show featuring more than 50 artists exhibiting their original work in a unique and beautiful architectural setting. Open to the public. Free parking. Food from Pizzeria Deville available for purchase.

 

Love, Loss and What I Wore
April 19th – June 3rd
Oil Lamp Theatre, 1723 Glenview Rd., Glenview 

From the writer of Sleepless in Seattle comes an intimate collection of stories about women and their lives. A play of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes and memory covering all the important subjects—mothers, prom dresses, mothers, buying bras, mothers, hating purses and why we only wear black. Based on the bestselling book by Ilene Beckerman. Adults: $35; Students: $20. BYOB Venue. Admission includes complimentary corkage fee and complimentary fresh baked cookies! For more info, click here.

 

The Aristocats Kids
April 20 – 29; Fridays at 7:00pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Rd., Wilmette 

The Mini’s division of the Wilmette Children’s Theatre (WCT) brings a fun and furry adventure to the stage with the upcoming production of Disney’s THE ARISTOCATS KIDS. Maintaining the central storyline and incorporating the most popular songs, THE ARISTOCATS KIDS is a 35 – 40 minute live version performed by actors in 1st – 3rd grade and perfect for first time theater patrons. Tickets: $10. For more information call 847-256-9686 or click here to  purchase.

 

Emily Oaks Nature Center 30th Anniversary
April 22: 12 – 4 pm
Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie 

Join in reflecting on decades of memories, and making new memories at Emily Oaks, as you participate in engaging activities along the Nature Center trails. Earth-friendly foods will be available for sale as well as native wildflowers and grasses ready for planting.  For more info, click here.

 

Unearth Science Festival
April 21 & 22, special event on April 20
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Blvd., Glencoe 

There’s no better way to learn science than to do science. This new event at the Chicago Botanic Garden on Earth Day weekend will showcase the many ways science is celebrated here every day. The Unearth Science festival will feature an abundance of hands-on activities and demonstrations for the entire family to enjoy. For more info, including events that require registration, click here.

 

Winnetka Community Bike Sale
April 28: 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Winnetka Community House Front Lawn, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka 

Whether you want to buy, sell or have your bike appraised, you will get your chance at this annual bike sale. A Wilmette Bicycle Shop representative will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m. to evaluate the condition of your bicycles and suggest repairs. A 25% service charge, based on sale price, will be donated to the Community House. The Bike Sale will be held rain or shine on the Community House Front Lawn. Bicycle Appraisal (sellers): 8:30–9:30 AM Bike Sale (buyers): 9:30–10:30 AM. For more info, click here.

 

Malott Japanese Garden Spring Weekend
April 28 & 29: 10 am – 3 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe 

Celebrate spring by writing a seasonal haiku and making a cherry blossom hanging scroll, plus try other hands-on activities like a suminagashi demonstration. Enjoy traditional storytelling and a koto harp performance, and take a walk in the Japanese Garden. New this year, the Urasenke Chicago Association will serve a traditional tea. The tasting is free, but availability is limited. For more info and a schedule of events, click here.

 

Kathleen Madigan – Boxed Wine and Bigfoot
April 28: 8 pm
North Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie 

For twenty-eight years, comedian Kathleen Madigan has been touring 250 nights on the road and squeezing in hour-long filmed specials and performances on every late-night show ever made. Her most recent special Bothering Jesus is her fifth hour-long standup special and will be her third special to be available on Netflix. Enjoy a night of big laughs and fun! Tickets: $38.50 - $48.50. For more info, click here.

Thinking of selling your home?

If you would like to schedule a seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657 or send us a note here. We'd love to show you what we do differently to get our clients' homes sold!

March 26, 2018

Easter Egg Hunts, Doggy Hunts & Bunny Photo Ops

Let the games begin! Egg hunts apparently come in all shapes and sizes so hopefully your kids (and in some cases, pups) have completed their training and are ready to take on one of these area egg hunts! Fingers crossed for good weather! 

 

Thornwood Park Egg Hunt
Mar. 31: 10 am
Thornwood Park, 2400 Thornwood Ave., Wilmette 

Bring your baskets and your camera for photos with the Easter Bunny at this intimate, annual egg hunt. Hunt starts at 10:00 SHARP, so don't be late! FREE!

 

45th Annual Egg Hunt
Mar. 31: 10 am – 11 am
West Elm Park, 1155 Elm St., Winnetka
Rain out location: The Skokie School Gym, 520 Glendale Ave., Winnetka 

Join the fun and excitement of hunting for goody-filled eggs in Winnetka’s annual egg hunt. After the eggs are all cracked, stick around and have your child’s picture taken with “EB” the bunny. Other fun activities include inflatables, interactive DJ, balloonist, and a live petting zoo! Children under three can participate in the egg hunt by visiting the “Bunnies-in-Training” pen where they can safely explore unfilled eggs. All participants must bring their own basket to collect eggs. 8 and under. Free!

 

Doggy Egg Hunt
Mar. 31: 12pm – 1 pm
West Elm Park, 1155 Elm St., Winnetka 

Dogs may not eat eggs, but they do enjoy the treats inside! March with your best friend during the egg hunt parade, challenge the doggy obstacle course, and scour for treats hidden in plastic eggs. The Doggy Egg Hunt will immediately follow the regular Egg Hunt. Those registered before March 28 will be guaranteed a goody bag for their dogs. Those registered after this date will receive goody bags while supplies last. Please remember that dogs must be leashed at all times. Aggressive behavior by dogs and humans will not be tolerated. $11 residents/$15 non – residents.

 

Eggstravaganza
Mar. 31: 10 am – 11 am
Park Center, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview 

Children of all ages will have a hopping good time at an old-fashioned egg hunt. Everyone is welcome to this free event. The event will be held in the main gym. No registration required. For more information, call 847-724-5670.

 

Spring Egg & Doggie Treat Hunt
Mar. 31: 10 am – 11 am
Watts Park, 305 Randolph St., Glencoe
In case of inclement weather: Takiff Center. For Special Event weather information, please call (847) 258-9050. 

Bring your basket and get ready for an egg hunt! Eggs filled with surprises will be hidden throughout Watts Park. After the hunt, enjoy crafts and photos with the Spring Bunny. Please be punctual, as each hunt will start on time! For a schedule of hunts by age, click here. Dog hunt at 10: 45 am.

 

Family Egg Hunt
Mar. 31: 10 am – 11 am
Sunset Woods Park, 1801 Sunset Rd., Highland Park 

Gather colorful eggs filled with toys and fun surprises. Children are divided by age groups: 3 years old and under, 4-7 years old, and 8 years old and up. Each age group will have special prizes. Check your eggs for tickets to claim your prize! One special egg will hold a family pass to Hidden Creek Aqua Park for Summer 2018! Be sure to keep an eye out for an “Egg-stra” special guest! Bring your camera for a post-hunt photo op with the Bunny! Plan on coming early!  The event begins promptly at 10:00a. The hunt will be over in a flash! Free! There will be additional entertainment and coffee and donuts from Beaver’s Coffee for purchase.

 

Eggstravaganza
Mar. 31: 10:30 – 11 am
Clarkson Park, 1950 New Willow Rd., Northfield 

Visit with the bunny, plus airbrush tattoos. Hunt begins promptly at 11.

 

Habitat Park Egg Hunt
Mar. 31: 10 am – 3 pm
Kohl Children’s Museum, 21—Patriot Blvd., Glenview 

Colorful eggs will be hidden all over our outdoor Habitat Park exhibit. It’s up to sharp-eyed little guests to find them all and discover special gifts inside, from candy to gift cards, even 1-year memberships to the Museum! Additional tickets required. May be rescheduled due to inclement weather. Colorful eggs will be hidden all over our outdoor Habitat Park exhibit. It’s up to sharp-eyed little guests to find them all and discover special gifts inside, from candy to gift cards, even 1-year memberships to the Museum! Additional tickets required. May be rescheduled due to inclement weather. Regular admission applies; plus $6/non-members, $5/members. For more info, click here.

 

Glenview New Church School (GNCS) Easter Egg Hunt
9 am – 9:30, 10:30 am
GNCS, 74 Park Drive, Glenview 

For kids in the greater Glenview community. There are two different Easter Egg Hunts: 9am:  Toddling Tots Easter Egg Hunt for 1 - 4 years old. This early egg hunt is done with EMPTY EGGS to avoid any choking hazzards, and each child can turn in his or her LOT of collected eggs for ONE single toy. Over 1,000 eggs are hidden on a 3-acre field. 10:30 am: Traditional Easter Egg Hunt for 1 - 14 years old. ALL eggs with contain candy. Over 8,000 eggs are hidden on 15 acres of the school's campus (the inside circle). Discounted pricing for church and school families when tickets are purchased in advance. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for church and school families if bought in advance. Easter egg bags are provided, baskets and personalized bags should be left at home. For more info, click here.

 

Bunny Photo Op
Mar. 30 & 31: 12 pm – 4pm
ABT, 1200 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview 

Meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy face painting and coloring activities too!

 

Thinking of selling your home?

If you would like to schedule a seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657 or send us a note here. We'd love to show you what we do differently to get our clients' homes sold!

March 17, 2018

It's Time to Appeal Your Property Taxes In New Trier Township

Property tax appeal

New Trier property owners: you have until April 19, 2018 to appeal your property taxes.

Once that's done, you then have until April 29 to provide supporting evidence for your appeal.

Each year the Cook County Board of Review opens each township for property tax appeals. The appeal window is open only for a month at a time and only a few townships are open for appeal at any given time. There's no master schedule published showing when each township will be open. You have to stay on top of it or you will miss the opportunity to appeal. New Trier Township is open for appeals until April 19.

Here's what you need to know:

The grounds for an appeal and supporting evidence needed are:

  • Lack of uniformity with similar properties
    The comparable properties you use should be in your neighborhood and be of similar size, construction and age to your home.

  • Error in square footage of the home or lot
    A survey is required as proof, based on measurements of the exterior of the house, excluding basements, garages and unfinished attics or porches.

  • Overvaluation
    An assessment that is more than 10% of the current market value proven by a recent appraisal or open market purchase (i.e., not a short sale or foreclosure).

There are three ways you can file an appeal:

  1. Go to the Cook County Assessor's website (www.cookcountyassessor.com) and file your appeal online.
  2. Go to the New Trier Township Office at 739 Elm St. in Winnetka and ask for assistance - they are super helpful.
  3. Hire an attorney who specializes in property tax appeals. Contact us for names of recommended attorneys.

And while we're on the subject of property taxes, you can still affect your 2017 tax obligation by making sure you have filed for all the exemptions to which you are entitled:

- Homeowner

- Senior Citizen

- Senior Freeze

- Disabled Persons

- Disabled Veterans

- Returning Veterans

Go to www.cookcountyassessor.com to file for these exemptions. All exemptions will appear as deductions on the second installment tax bills in 2018. You can visit the Township website for more information on these exemptions and how to qualify.

Keep in mind that the Homeowner Exemption is the only one which will continue to renew automatically once established. All the others must be filed for on an annual basis.

Thinking of selling?

If you would like to schedule a seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657 or send us a note here. We'd love to show you what we do differently to get our clients' homes sold!

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Posted in Real Estate, Sellers
March 14, 2018

St. Paddy’s Day Fun & More on the North Shore: Mar. 16 – 18

Time to get your lucky game face on because when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday, you know it’s going to be a BIG weekend!  There are fun options for all ages so no excuses!

 

2018 Village Follies Review
Mar. 16 & 17: 7:30 pm (Doors open at 7 pm)
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka 

A long-held tradition in Winnetka, the Village Follies began in the 1930s as the Winnetka Woman’s Club annual talent show. Over the years, the popular fundraiser has expanded to include male and female amateur performers from the North Shore and neighboring communities. The variety Show is like an indoor “Ravinia” where people can bring food and drink, as well as host picnics” at their tables. The Show is written, choreographed, directed and produced by the Follies members, and is made up of songs, dances, and comedy sketches. Tickets online: $20; at door: $25. For more info, click here.

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March 7, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Mar. 9 – 11

The old saying goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  I can’t predict how Mother Nature will behave but I can say that this weekend is certainly roaring with endless possibilities for fun! Whether you want to do a little baking, a little crafting, a little golfing (yes, I just wrote that), a little history learning, a little wine tasting, a little reptile petting, a little exercising, a little laughing or hear some great music, this weekend has got it going on!

 

Family Fun: Just Desserts
Mar. 9: 4 – 6 pm
Sur La Table (Old Orchard), 4999 Old Orchard Center, Suite L12, Skokie 

Move over Game Night—this fun family adventure starts and ends with dessert. Everybody will love making and filling cookies inspired by classic PB&J. Plus, we’ll show you how to caramelize fruit and make a spectacularly simple cake that’s packed with chocolaty goodness. For ages 7 and up (children under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. $55 per person. For more info, click here.

 

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Feb. 28, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Mar. 2 – 4

There was a time when weekends were meant just for rest and relaxation.  But in today’s overscheduled, 24/7 access world that isn’t always the case.  So, this weekend wouldn’t it be nice to go a little rouge and claim your weekend back? As luck would have it, there are a variety of options to help you mentally escape the stress of a long week. Choose from a sculpt & sip class, a craft beer festival (hmmm, I see a theme here), a mah jongg tournament, an improv night or a performance of a children’s classic just to name a few….

 

The Emperor’s New Clothes
Mar. 2: 8 pm; Mar. 3: 10 am (Additional dates thru May 12)
Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire 

The incomparably imaginative creators of Seussical, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, bring one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved tales to life. Fourteen-year-old Emperor Marcus the Third is nervous to take the throne. Deciding that he can only gain confidence by dressing in the finest attire, Marcus commands his Royal Clothesmaker to fashion him in the most royal wardrobe. Taking advantage of Marcus' uncertainty and immaturity, a Swindler promises to make magic clothes that are "invisible to fools, liars, and anyone you should ignore," for a large and hefty price. Only Arno, the simple-hearted mop boy, can help Marcus out of this royal mess and teach him an important lesson about outward appearance. This is a special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages. All performances followed by a Question & Answer session with the cast. Tickets: $15.23. For more info, click here.

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Feb. 26, 2018

Best Breweries on the North Shore

Whether it’s a hot day, cold day, long day or frankly any day, it’s always the perfect day to enjoy a nice cool beer with a friend or two.  And whether you enjoy a place that’s off the beaten path or more of a mainstream locale, the North Shore is brimming with plenty of great breweries to choose from. And just like their beer, each has its own distinct personality.

Kings & Convicts Brewing Co.

523 Bank Lane, Highwood
224-707-0117

www.kingsandconvicts.com

King’s & Convicts Brewing Co. is a small craft brewery purposely located in Highwood, a town that Teddy Roosevelt (the toughest President in America) once called the “Toughest Town in America”. In addition to their love of all things Teddy, the owners also pay homage to their roots by naming their beers after English royalty and the convicts who were sent to Australia. Each of their craft ales and pilsners utilizes hops and malts from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand or England and comes with a back story usually involving a character that stood up to authority.  Their beers are brewed “with a sense of freedom, freedom from the shackles of normalcy or the sneer of an Overlord, the love of travel, great experiences and the brotherhood of beer.” They usually have 6 standard brews on tap with additional seasonal beers mixed in. It’s a great place to enjoy a pint or two in an intimate, friendly atmosphere complete with board games. Outside food welcomed. Outdoor seating available weather permitting.

Half Day Brewing

200 Village Green, Lincolnshire
847-821-6933

www.halfdaybrewing.com

Half Day Brewing is a large, full scale restaurant and brew pub. It’s a great place to catch a game, gather with a group and when weather permits, enjoy their large outdoor patio. In addition to their unique selection of hand-crafted in-house brews (usually around 8 on tap); they also feature a rather extensive list of 40+ premium craft and standard beers on tap, in addition to another 40+ bottles and cans.  So, regardless of personal preference, you are bound to find something you’ll enjoy here.  While the food does not get as high of a rating as the beer, the menu is varied and certainly tasty enough to wash down your brews with! 

Sketchbook Brewing Company

821 Chicago Ave., Evanston
847-584-2337

www.sketchbookbrewing.com

A true neighborhood gem, Sketchbook Brewing Co. runs a 7-barrel brewhouse; small by most standards, but the size also gives them flexibility. Their taproom features a rotating selection of up to 16 core, seasonal and one-off brews with a variety of tastes sure to please every beer drinker.  Sketchbook is a community supported brewery with over 400 active members.  Membership is not required but offers savings on beer, merchandise, and invitations to exclusive member parties. The taproom features several sizes to encourage sampling, growler and howler fills, cold cans to go, a light snack menu with a friendly bring your own food policy, craft sodas, lazy lunch happy hours, free wi-fi but no TV’s just conversation, an eclectic décor, and live acoustic music most Tuesdays. Coaster doodling is encouraged. Kid friendly but no pets. The staff is very welcoming and knowledgeable, the environment is warm and cozy. You seriously can’t go wrong!

Temperance Beer

2000 Dempster St., Evanston
847-864-1000

temperancebeer.com

Although a bit hard to find, once you find it, you’ll be happy you did. The atmosphere is industrial yet friendly – think picnic table style seating both inside and out – so be prepared to share space; although there are ample tables available. Boards games, shuffle board and corn hole make it kid friendly (until 8:30 pm.) Limited food menu but outside food is welcomed and food trucks sometimes make a guest appearance. They offer tours and a yoga & beer class.  And, now for the beer specifics. The tap room features approximately 15 beers on tap. Some are available year-round, while others only on an occasional or limited basis. The beer is available in flights of 5-ounce tasters, half pints, and pints. They also sell 64-ounce and 32-ounce growlers. You can bring growlers & howlers back into the tap room to be refilled if they are cleaned thoroughly. Simply put, it’s a fun place to chill and sample some delicious ales!

Macushla Brewing Company

1516 E. Lake Ave., Glenview
847-730-5199

www.macushlabeer.com/welcome

Irish for “my pulse, my lifeblood," and "my darling", Macushla is definitely a relatively new darling to the North Shore brewery scene. Located next to the legendary Hackney’s on Lake, where you can order food from, this brewery offers a wide variety of unique, fresh staple and seasonal brews – usually around a dozen to choose from. All the beers are brewed on the premises. The decor is simplistic, a tad rustic with a great outdoor space. A small snack menu and pizza slices are also available. Not sure what to get? They offer free samples before you commit!

Beer Bars

They may not brew their own, but if beer is what you want, a great selection of beers is what they’ve got, plus friendly knowledgeable staff to help you make the best selections for your palette.

The Humble Pub

336 Green Bay Rd., Highwood
847-433-6360

A great, local hangout with the friendliest staff in town and fun events to boot.

The Art of Beer

552 Sheridan Rd., Highwood
847-423-8638

An unpretentious place to buy and drink beer with an ever-evolving list of 24 artisanal beers on draft as well as hundreds of bottles and cans. Drafts are delivered via a custom built premium draft system that provides an unmatched level of quality and authenticity. Friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Check out the Best of the North Shore: our favorite restaurants, stores and service providers all in one place!

  

If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657 or send us a note here.

 

Feb. 25, 2018

12 Best Paint Colors To Sell Your North Shore Chicago Home

 12 Best Colors To Paint your North Shore home

Ask any home stager where you'll get the biggest bang for the buck when preparing your house to sell and they'll tell you to give your walls a fresh coat of paint.

Good advice, as far as it goes. Paint is relatively cheap and can have a huge impact on the way a buyer reacts to your home.

Where it gets tricky is trying to figure out which best paint colors work best. Stagers and real estate agenBut what, exactly, does that mean? White? Beige?

To shed some light on this question, Zillow recently did a study to identify the best colors to use and to quantify the positive or negative impact of different wall paint colors on the sales price of a home.

Based on the research they concluded that the best colors to paint your home to sell were:

  • Light blue or periwinkle for bathrooms (+$5,440 price impact)

  • Slate blue to pale gray blue for dining rooms (+$1,926)

  • Light cerulean blue to cadet blue for bedrooms (+$1,865)

  • Light blue or gray-blue for kitchens (+$1,809).

slate bue dining room wallslight blue bedroom walls
 Slate blue dining room                                                           Light blue bedroom

The study also indicated which colors would actually have a negative impact on the sales price.

  • White or off-white paint in the bathroom was a negative (-$4,035).

  • Brick red or terracotta, once fairly common in dining rooms, is definitely not a value add these days (-$2,031).

  • Yellow tones like straw gold or marigold for a kitchen are also out (-$820).

Bad wall paint colors

While many of these findings are broadly on target, I don't think they actually give you much guidance in choosing what specific color to paint your walls. After all, Benjamin Moore alone has over 300 shades of blue in its line and 200+ shades of gray.

There are also a couple hundred shades of off-white. And some of them ARE good for selling a house. But which ones?

Chicago Area Home Stagers Share Recommended Paint Colors

I decided to go straight to the experts and find out what SPECIFIC paint shades work best to sell a house on the North Shore of Chicago. This is what my panel of home stagers and designers said:

Julea Joseph, home stager and interior stylist of Reinventing Space advised carrying the same color throughout the main rooms of the house to make it feel more open and more cohesive.

Her go-to wall colors are Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter (HC- 172) and Edgecomb Gray (HC-173), which are both from the Historic Color collection.

She also likes Sherwn Williams Colonade and Modern Gray. These are all warm grays which can be used in almost any room or any style of house.

Revere Pewter walls       Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (HC-172)

Although gray has been popular with younger buyers for the past 2-3 years, Julea cautions against going with a cool gray (blue undertones) if there is a lot of oak trim or cabinetry in the house, as the warm tones of the wood will fight with the cool paint tones.

Speaking of oak cabinets, she warns that these are definitely NOT what today's buyers want and advises sellers to paint them a fresh white. Benjamin Moore's White Dove (OC-17) is her favorite color for painting cabinets as well as trim throughout the house.

white dove kitchen cabinets       Benjamin Moore White Dove cabinets (OC-17)

Audrey Gourguechon, of Staging North Shore, also likes White Dove for trim because it's creamy and soft, not too bright or stark.

She agrees with the Zillow study that you shouldn't use white on the walls. It feels cold, empty and uninviting.

Instead, she says, go for "greige" or a warm neutral gray that can work well with either gray or beige tones in the room. She recommends Revere Pewter. Edgecomb Gray is her choice if there are a lot of yellow undertones in the furniture or decor, as it reads more beige than Revere Pewter, and won't fight with the yellower tones.

Edgecomb Gray dining room        Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray (HC-173)

If a room's decor has more cool tones in the upholstery or curtains, then she opts for Wickham Gray, which has a slight blue undertone. Stonington Gray is a good choice for someone who wants a true gray without warm undertones.

wickham gray walls

        Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray (HC-171)

Audrey's final advice to home sellers: get rid of accent walls, especially reds and purples, as they limit the number of people who will respond positively. For example, only 10% of people like red in their home decor, so a red accent wall will limit your home's appeal. And that's definitely not the objective!

Shani Abrams and Jane Berlowe of Shani and Jane Design in Skokie recommend taking the room's exposure and amount of light into account when choosing paint color.

They like Revere Pewter, but caution that it can come across as having a green undertone if the light in the room is too yellow. It's also not ideal for dark rooms or hallways. Wish (AF-680) from Benjamin Moore's Affinity Collection is very similar to Revere Pewter, but without the slight green undertone.

Ballet White (OC-9) is a nice neutral for those who prefer an off-white.  Glass Slipper (1632) works well for bedrooms and baths, because it is serene and calming.

   Bedroom painted in Glass Slipper                   Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper (1632)

For trim, they recommend either Super White for more contemporary homes or White Dove for more classic styles.

Anne Fitzpatrick of Chestnut and Scott says that your paint choices should help buyers notice and appreciate the home's architectural features instead of distracting from them. That means keeping it neutral but warm, not stark looking.

Like the rest of the experts she favors Revere Pewter because it can morph into either gray or tan depending on the light but it doesn't stand out too much as one or the other.

She also likes Benjamin's Moore's Wheeling Neutral (HC-92). It's less gray, more tan than Revere Pewter, but still provides a nice contrast with white moldings.


Wheeling Neutral walls       Benjamin Moore Wheeling Neutral (HC-92)

She recommends that sellers with wood-toned kitchen cabinets paint them a soft white for a classic and timeless look.

DiAnn Hillesland a home stager in Winnetka says that, while Revere Pewter is a staple color for home stagers, her favorites are Pale Oak (OC-20) and Balboa Mist (OC-27), which look great with dark wood floors and furniture. She also likes Sea Pearl ( OC-19), which is a warm off-white.

 

Pale Oak walls       Benjamin Moore Pale Oak (OC-20)

Balboa Mist in kitchen       Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist (0C-27)

Consensus Among Local Stagers - But Not With Zillow

It looks like there's quite a bit of consensus among local staging experts about the best colors to use to appeal to today's buyers. Interestingly, they mentioned a lot less use of blues than the Zillow study suggested, and a lot more use of grays and "greiges."

Which just goes to show that paint color preferences are local.

Among our panel, Revere Pewter is the most popular wall color and it works in almost any situation. Other warm grays mentioned include Wish, Pale Oak and Edgecomb Gray.

For a cooler gray, use Wickham Gray or Stonington Gray.

For a color that goes more towards tan, Wheeling Neutral.

For bedrooms and baths, Glass Slipper.

White Dove is the color of choice for trim, as well as painting wood cabinetry.

Here are the twelve best colors, side-by-side, so you can compare:

The 12 Best Paint Colors To Sell Your North Shore Home

12 Best Paint Colors to Sell Your North Shore Home

Thinking of selling? Wondering what to do to prepare your house to sell? I can help. Call 847-687-5957.

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Posted in Real Estate, Sellers
Feb. 21, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Feb. 23 – 25

The dog days of Winter are upon us. We are way past any post-holiday buzz and Spring is still an eternity away because, well, we live in Chicago.  But that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun still to be had. This weekend, don’t let the grey skies hold you back. Choose from a wine & beer tasting, an evening of intuitive readings, a new Tap Grill grand opening party, a performance by the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and a kids themed flea market!  And for those in need of a real boost, the camp expo at Northbrook Court should definitely get you thinking of brighter and warmer days ahead!

 

Wine & Beer Tasting
Feb. 23: 6:30 – 9 pm
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka 

An amazing opportunity to sample over 80 unique wines from around the world such as Bruno Giacosa, Cambria, Freemark Abbey, Orin Swift, Matanzas Creek, Willakenzie, Ram’s Gate, Penner Ashe, Jackson Estates, Sojourn, and many more. Craft beer selections include microbrews such as Allagash Sixteen Counties and Delerium Tremens. Plus, enjoy an expansive array of heavy hors d’oeuvres and sweets and substantial discount for wine purchases. NEW this year is a tasting of “Whiskeys of the World”! Substantial discount for wine purchases. Tickets: $75 in advance (deadline 2/22) or $85 at the door. For an additional cost, attendees can participate in the exclusive Reserve Tasting and sample 35 premium wines, plus blind wine tasting with prizes and champagne saber demonstration. Not ready to go home at 9:00 PM? Continue the fun at the After Hours Party serving cash bar wine, beer, and a specialty cocktail. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

 

An Open Evening of Intuitive Readings
Feb. 23: 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Infinity Foundation, 1280 Old Skokie Rd., Highland Park 

Join Mel Doerr, a renowned psychic, for a fun, spontaneous, open evening of intuitive readings. You will be able to pose at least two questions to Doerr, who will do a mini-reading for everyone who attends. This is an evening not to be missed. Space is limited. Cost: $45. For more info, click here.

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