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.

Aug. 13, 2017

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Aug. 18 – Aug. 20

For many, this is the last weekend before school starts and the rigors of schedules and homework begin! If you are looking for one last hoorah, this weekend will not disappoint. The Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival, one of the biggest and most entertaining art fairs of the season, has moved up its traditional September date to this weekend. In addition, for those looking to up their Zen before the stress begins, you can take in the Bonsai Show at the Botanic Garden or partake in some mindful kayaking.  For those looking for mindless fun, I suggest glow-in-the dark golf or Defending the Caveman. And finally, for those wanting to sharpen the brain power before the school year begins, you can test your skills at an escape room at the Lake Bluff Library!

 

Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival
Aug. 18: 4 – 9 pm; Aug. 19: 10 am – 9 pm; Aug. 20: 10 am – 5 pm
Downtown Evanston, 800 Church St., Evanston 

With a new date in August, Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival introduces a weekend-long celebration of local art and flavorful fare. The Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival will feature local fare, beer, and wine as live music fills the streets for even more fun! The festival will feature original high-end work from 130 artists that will be available for purchase, perfect for gifts or a signature addition to a personal collection. Traditional mediums such as painting, sculpture, and photography will be showcased alongside unique, usable art, including handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind furniture, and home accessories. For more info, including a schedule of acts and a list of participating artists, click here.

 

Mid-America Bonsai Society Show
Aug. 18: 12 – 5; Aug. 19 & 20: 9 am – 5 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe 

Enjoy a display of 200 bonsai trees judged by bonsai master, Kathy Shaner. Shop more than a dozen vendors for bonsai trees and supplies. Free demonstrations and lectures will be available. Also, workshops will be held throughout the weekend for bonsai enthusiasts of all skill levels. In addition, there will be an abbreviated display of cactus and succulent specimens as well as an array of cacti and succulents for sale. For more info, click here.

 

Locked in the Lake Bluff Library
Aug. 18: 8 – 9 pm
Lake Bluff Library, 123 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff 

Test your brain power at the Escape Room at the Library! In this program for teens and adults, puzzle your way through a series of locked rooms to solve a mystery. You’ll work as a team to try to escape before the clock runs out in this fun after-hours event! Limit 10 people per session, call the library to register. 847-234-2540.

 

Kayaking Mindfully with Infinity Foundation
Aug. 19: 9 am – 12 pm (Rain Date: Aug. 20)
Skokie Lagoons Boat Landing on Tower Rd (East of Edens Expressway and West of Forest Lane), Winnetka 

Kayaking is an opportunity to mindfully connect with nature, your kayaking strokes, and the present moment. Experience the joys of movement and adventure as you kayak for two hours in the Skokie Lagoons (expert instruction by John Lionberger precedes being turned loose). Meld with nature’s slower and gentler pace while you witness and engage in the beauty of the surroundings and wildlife. No experience is necessary. The program will run rain or shine unless there is lightning or exceptionally high winds. Please bring a good hat, sunglasses, sunblock, bug repellent, a bottle of water, sandals for the kayak, a plastic poncho in case it rains, and a towel. (Change of clothes to leave in the car is optional.) $75, includes kayak rental. To register: call John at 847-691-6727 or Infinity, 847-831-8828, if the weather is questionable that day. Advance registration only. Space is limited.

 

Glow-In-The-Dark Golf
Aug. 19: 8 pm
Glenview Prairie Club, 2800 W. Lake Ave., Glenview

Grab your clubs and a flashlight for the most fun you can legally have on a golf course after dark! Shotgun start begins at sundown. Includes all the “neon” you’ll need to navigate 9 holes. $25. Advance registration required. For more information, call 847-657-1637.

 

Defending the Caveman 25th Anniversary Tour
Aug. 19: 8 pm; Aug. 20: 3 pm
Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie 

Defending the Caveman is a hilariously insightful play about the ways men and women relate.  This prehistoric look at the battle of the sexes is full of wonderful scenarios that celebrate the differences between men and women, making it a perfect entertainment option for couples, or girls’ night out. The show has also been seen and recommended by thousands of marriage and family therapists and counselors, for its humorous look at the inherent differences between the sexes. Written by comedian Rob Becker over a three-year period during which he made an informal study of anthropology, prehistory, psychology, sociology and mythology, Defending the Caveman played for two and a half years on Broadway, making it the longest running solo play in Broadway’s history. Tickets: $50. For more info and to get a special code to save 50% tickets, click here.

 

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

Aug. 9, 2017

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Aug. 11 – 13

Another great summer weekend is upon us and it’s the perfect opportunity to try something new. Whether it’s partaking in a free lakeside yoga class, exploring the Armenian culture, enjoying the funky sounds of a great band or learning to make a kite (just to name a few), there’s plenty of ways to indulge yourself this weekend! 

Free Lakeside Yoga
Aug. 11: 5:30 – 6:30 pm (Each Friday in August)
Park Center Patio Lawn, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview 

Enjoy the tranquility of a beautiful lakeside setting for a blissful end to your week. Yoga classes are free and open to the public. Please bring your own yoga mat. For more information, call 847-724-5670.

 

Funkadesi
Aug. 11: 8 pm
Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston 

The 6-Time Winner of The Chicago Music Awards, Funkadesi is capturing the attention of the U.S. and the rest of the globe. Funkadesi has been hailed by Time Magazine, and even caught the attention of President Barack Obama, who said: “Funkadesi really knows how to get a crowd fired up! There’s a lot of funk in that desi!” With their not-to-be-missed live shows and visible racial and musical diversity, the band is ideally suited for festivals world music concerts. Funkadesi’s one-world sound and positive vibe makes the band a unique and compelling musical force. To purchase tickets, click here.

 

Armenian Fest
Aug. 11: 6 pm – 11 pm; Aug. 12: 5 pm – 11 pm; Aug. 13: 12:30 pm – 7 pm
Armenian All Saints Apostolic Church, 1701 N. Greenwood Rd., Glenview 

Enjoy Armenian food, pastries, beer and wine, dancing, plus activities for kids, and an exciting raffle. In addition, there will be a Belote tournament and cigar bar on Saturday as well a grape blessing ceremony on Sunday. For more info, click here. 

 

Kite Festival
Aug. 12 & 13: 10 am – 3 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

The Kite Festival will take place in the meadow west of Evening Island. (Visitors can walk there or take the free tram.) Enjoy soaring stunt-kite performances set to music by members of the Chicago Fire Kite Team and members of the Kite Society of Wisconsin & Illinois. But don’t leave all of the fun to the professionals. Bring your own kite to participate in public fly time, or make a kite to fly at the kite-making workshop. Plus, sign up for the Kids’ Mad Dash - the first 30 kids to register will receive a kite to build and fly in the competition. Visitors can walk there or take the free tram. Ice cream, beverages, and many lunch options will be available for purchase on-site. For more info and a schedule of events, click here.

  

Lincolnshire Art Festival
Aug, 12 & 13: 10 am – 5 pm
Village Green, Milwaukee Ave & Olde Half Day Rd., Lincolnshire 

The Lincolnshire Art Festival offers art enthusiasts the opportunity to peruse and purchase exceptional artwork from a distinguished group of more than 100 celebrated artists. Throughout the weekend, festival-goers will enjoy live music and great food from on-site and neighboring restaurants. Art activities for kids make the festival a destination for art lovers of all ages. For more info, click here.

 

Robert Klein
Aug. 12: 8 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie 

For more than forty years, Robert Klein has entertained audiences, and he continues to have an acclaimed career in comedy, on Broadway, on television, and in film. Tickets: $32 - $48. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

 

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.

Aug. 8, 2017

Top 10 Most Expensive Homes on Chicago's North Shore

The North Shore has some of the most exquisite and unique upper bracket homes in the Chicago area, with price tags to match. This year's top ten most expensive homes for sale range in price from $7,950,000 to $14,855,000, with a median price of $9,600,000.

Seven of them are lakefront homes and one is new construction. Four are located in Winnetka, three in Highland Park, two in Lake Forest and one in Wilmette.

All but one of these properties were on the market this time last year. Most have had significant price reductions, so if you are looking for "bargain" luxury real estate, there are some great opportunities available.

Search all upper bracket homes for sale on Chicago's North Shore

 Here's our 2017 top ten list, from lowest to highest price:

#10. 1869 Crescent Court, Highland Park  -   $7,950,000

1869 Crescent Ct., Highland Park

This contemporary home designed by Tony Grunfeld sits on 3.8 acres overlooking Lake Michigan. The 16 room house goes on forever, with room after room of huge windows and spectacular views. Even if you don't like modern architecture, you can't deny that the grounds are incredible. The expansive tableland allows for a large lawn, a pool, lighted tennis/sports court and gardens, with 408 feet of private beach at the bottom of the bluff. You can see more photos and info here.

The price has been reduced almost $5,000,000 since it first came on the market last year, so it does represent a bargain, especially since the lot is sub-dividable into at least two parcels. You can defray some of your acquisition costs (and the hefty property tax bill) by selling part of the property and still keeping the house and a nice chunk of beachfront.

Foyer 1869 Crescent Ct. Highland Park

 

#9. 1601 Conway Road, Lake Forest       -     $8,000,000

If a country estate is what you're after, this property fills the bill. The lovely Topsfield Farm was built in 1930 and sits on 27.5 acres of pasture and conserved land on the edge of the Conway Farms Country Club. It has only had four owners (hence the incredibly low property taxes of $37K) and each has updated and expanded the home, as well as adding amenities like a 4-stall barn, indoor and outdoor pool, tennis court and caretaker's cottage.

1601 Conway Rd., Lake Forest

 fields at 1601 Conway Rd.

1601 Conway Rd. stable

See more photos and information about Topsfield Farm here.

 #8. 15 Linden Avenue, Wilmette      -     $8,499,000

15 Linden Avenue Wilmette IL 60091

Craving the lakefront lifestyle but want to be close to the city? Located in the southeastern part of Wilmette, this home is just a quick (ok, 30 minutes) drive straight down Sheridan Road to the city. Imagine being able to leave work and be out on your boat in less than an hour!

The 15 room home sits on a secluded .93 acre lot and has all the amenities you'd expect from an upper bracket property: chef's kitchen, luxurious master suite, lower level theater and exercise room, 3rd floor retreat with office, elevator, sauna and separate in-law suite. Virtually every room has a sweeping view of Lake Michigan. But what makes this home special is the property. The expansive tableland, lush landscaping, patios and stone paths leading down the the lake and the boat dock make this an idyllic setting.

This property started at $10,900,000 a year ago and has been reduced $2.4M (22%).

15 Linden Ave. from lake side

master bedroom 15 Linden Ave., Wilmette

Imagine waking up to this view!

See more photos and information about 15 Linden Avenue here.

#7. 2445 Woodbridge Lane, Highland Park   -   $8,900,000

2445 Woodbridge Lane, Highland Park, IL

Built in 1928, this home has the steep slate roof, half timber facade and turret characteristic of French Normandy architecture. Perched on a bluff, the house is designed to take full advantage of its location, and almost every room has a view of the lake. The wide lawn features a pool, and the private beach at the foot of the bluff is spectacular.

2445 Woodbridge view of Lake Michigan

This property has been reduced $900K from the original list price of $9,800,000. One of the positives of this home is its relatively low (for a lakefront home) taxes of $76,663/year.

See more photos and information about 2445 Woodbridge Lane here.

 #6. 405 N. Mayflower Road, Lake Forest  -  $9,450,000

405 N. Mayflower Rd., Lake Forest, IL

The historic Schweppe Estate is one of the most architecturally significant homes on the North Shore. Built in 1917, it has 28 rooms and 12 bedrooms, all crafted with incredible finishes and attention to detail: plaster-relief ceilings, carved wood paneling, beveled mirrors, leaded arched windows and 11 marble and limestone fireplaces. Upon entering the home you feel as if you've been transported to one of the Royals' country estates in Great Britain.  In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were once guests here.

The house has an interesting history. After sitting vacant for over forty years it was extensively restored during the 1980's by over 70 European craftsmen.

If the house is magnificent, the property is more magnificent still. Five and a half wooded acres and 450 feet of lake frontage with a private sandy beach make this one of the most sublime pieces of real estate in the area.

On and off the market for several years the price of this estate has been reduced dramatically, down 47% from the original price of $18,000,000.

living room 405 N. Mayflower

Schweppe Estate dining room

See more photos and information about the Schweppe Estate here.

 #5. 1215 Whitebridge Hill Road, Winnetka   -  $9,750,0001215 Whitebridge Hill Rd., Winnetka, IL

One of the newer homes in our top ten, this 15,000 square foot brick and limestone villa was built in 2001. While perhaps not as timelessly elegant as some of the others, it does offer the total menu of luxury amenities: 12-seat theater, spa with steam and massage room, indoor pool, six fireplaces, grand foyer with double floating staircase and wood-carved bar.

One of the smaller properties (.89 acre), it nevertheless has 150 feet of private beach.

It's been on the market since February of 2016 and has not had a price reduction.

Bridal staircase 1215 Whitebridge Hill Rd Winnetka

See more photos and information about 1215 Whitebridge Hill Road here.

Search all upper bracket homes for sale on Chicago's North Shore

 

#4. 68 Locust Road, Winnetka      -      $11,900,000

68 Locust Rd., Winnetka, IL

If Donald Trump lived on the North Shore, this is where he would live. Every room of this 26,500 square foot house is a study in over-the-top opulence. It cost $36,000,000 and took four years to build. Just three years after its completion, it was listed for sale.

Designed by Richard Landry ("architect of the stars", including Eddie Murphy, Rod Stewart, Wayne Gretzky and Tom Brady), this 2.25 acre estate has every conceivable bell and whistle, and then some: wine cellar with tasting room, a hotel-style spa and salon, De Giulio kitchen, theater, state of the art security system, 10-car heated garage, elevator, pool, covered loggia, two-story rotunda, 11 fireplaces and even a gift-wrapping room!

Master bedroom 68 Locust Rd Winnetka

wine cellar 68 Locust Rd Winnetka

It has been on the market for seven years and is now on its fifth real estate agent. Originally priced at $28,000,000, it has been reduced a whopping 57% ($16.1M). Why hasn't it sold before now? For one thing, it's not on Lake Michigan, but it's taxed as though it were. At a jaw-dropping $207,733 per year it wins the award for highest property taxes among our top ten priciest properties.

See more photos and information about 68 Locust Road here.

 #3. 735 Sheridan Road, Winnetka     -    $12,900,000

735 Sheridan aerial view

The oldest of our top ten, this neoclassical style beauty dates back to 1905. Set on almost three acres between Sheridan Road and Lake Michigan, the home has 17 rooms and 7 bedrooms, as well as a matching coach house. Beautiful terraces lead to the pool with its four cabanas and then down to the sandy beach.

This is the latest of the top ten to hit the market (in February 2017), and one of two listings that has not had a price reduction.

 

735 Sheridan Rd., Winnetka, IL 60093

735 Sheridan great room

pool 735 Sheridan Rd Winnetka IL 60093

See more photos and information about 735 Sheridan Road here.

 #2. 1035 Sheridan Road, Winnetka    -    $13,700,000

1035 Sheridan Rd., Winnetka IL 60093

Built by Heritage Luxury Homes, this new construction home has a total of 19,000 square feet of living space (including the lower level) and sits on 1.3 acres of lakefront property with 130 feet of private beachfront. True to the Heritage "formula" the 17 room home offers everything a luxury buyer is looking for: lavish entertaining space, gourmet kitchen, elevator, oversized pool, fire pit, media room, wine cellar, exercise room, sport court, two wet bars and even a golf simulator.

See more photos and information about 1035 Sheridan Road here.

#1. 2700 Point Road, Highland Park    -    $14,855,000

 Are you looking for a private estate of 7+ acres with a 9 bedroom contemporary home, regulation-sized basketball court, circular infinity pool, putting green, tennis court, cigar room and every other conceivable amenity? Then this might be for you.Michael Jordan's house 2700 Point Ln Highland Park IL

This is Michael Jordan's home, custom-built by Jordan during his Chicago Bulls heyday. It is one-of-a-kind, designed specifically for its owner, which probably explains (along with the price tag) why it has been on the market for over five years. It was originally listed for $29,000,000 back in 2012 and has been slashed by almost 50% since then, so some would consider it an incredible bargain at this point.

Micahel Jordan's house at 2700 Point Lane
See more photos and information about Michael Jordan's house here.

Are you looking for a special home on Chicago's North Shore? I can help! Give me a call at 847-687-595 or Contact Us . We can discuss your needs and priorities and I will help you find that perfect property. I am familiar with all of the luxury listings in the area, including those that are "exempt" (not on the MLS).

Search all upper bracket homes for sale on Chicago's North Shore

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

What's My Hoe Worth

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Posted in Real Estate
Aug. 7, 2017

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Report - July 2017

 North Shore Real Estate Report - July 2017 vs. Year Ago

July 2017 Market Data North Shore Chicago

Closed sales were up 10% vs. July 2016. Most of that growth was driven by Lake Forest (+71%) and Wilmette (+43%).

Only Evanston and Winnetka saw sales declines this month. Lake Forest's growth was helped by the plentiful supply of homes for sale (a 7.3 month supply) and by sellers' willingness to accept lower offers (Lake Forest had a 89% sale price to list price ratio, the lowest on the North Shore).

Evanston's sales decrease was in part driven by low availability of homes for sale, as it has only a 2.4 month supply of inventory and 15% fewer new listings than last year. Evanston also has the highest sale price to list price ratio - 96%.

Winnetka's decline was partially driven by the fact that so much of its inventory is in the higher price brackets. The average list price for a home in Winnetka is $1,966,000.

Median price was flat vs. last year for the North Shore as a whole, but half the villages saw median price increases for the month while the other half had decreases.

Days on market was up 22% overall and most villages are seeing lengthening market time. Evanston, the hottest North Shore market, continues to have very short market times for listings - less than two months on average - due to higher demand than supply.

 Accepted Offers July 2017 vs. Year Ago

Accepted offers July 2017

While closed sales are the result of purchase contracts from the prior 2-3 months, accepted offers are a better indicator of buyer activity over the past month.

Accepted offers for July were down 2% vs. July 2016. Winnetka was the most active in July, with accepted contracts 47% higher than July 2016. Wilmette had the largest decrease, down 30%. However, Wilmette had a big June while Winnetka did not, and the two months taken together show a lower overall decrease for Wilmette and and lower increase for Winnetka.

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 or email us at ComeHome@cbexchange.com.

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

What's My Hoe Worth

  

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Posted in Market Statistics
Aug. 2, 2017

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Aug. 4 – 6

As we head into the first week of August, you might think things will start to slow down. But not on the North Shore! The weather is still warm and that means there is plenty more summer time fun to be had! This weekend, don’t miss: the ever-popular Northbrook Days, as well as Art at the Glen, a chance to find out the value of antiques and family heirlooms, a unique staging of the The Who’s Tommy, an outdoor production of Romeo & Juliet and a fair dedicated to all things kids! See? We weren’t kidding around!

 

Northbrook Days
Aug. 2 & 3: 6 – 10 pm; Aug. 4: 6 – 11 pm; Aug. 5: 12 – 11 pm; Aug. 6: 1 – 9 pm
Village Green Park, 1331 Shermer Rd., Northbrook 

An exciting festival for residents of Northbrook and surrounding towns. The fest includes rides, games, live music, food, beer & wine, and much more! It's been a summer tradition at the beautiful Village Green Park in downtown Northbrook for decades. For more info and a complete list of events, including a time designated for those with special needs only, click here.

 

Art at The Glen Art Festival
Aug. 5 & 6: 10 am – 5 pm
The Glen Town Center, 2030 Tower Dr., Glenview 

Rated as one of the top 30 shows in the United States by Sunshine Artist Magazine, Art at the Glen will line the streets showcasing the work of 185-juried artists from across the country in a variety of mediums, including paintings, photography, ceramics, furniture and jewelry. In addition to supporting the arts and viewing incredible artwork available for purchase, festival guests will be able to have one-on-one conversations with artists through booth chats. Kids can enjoy a special area designated just for them with interactive games and activities, including art scavenger hunts throughout the weekend. Free and open to the public, guests can look forward to hearing live music. Restaurants in The Glen Town Center will be open for business, serving up summer favorites. For more info, click here.

 

What’s It Worth? With Gary Piattoni
Aug. 5: 11 am – 3 pm
Secret Treasures Antiques, 605 Dempster St., Evanston 

Bring a special antique, family heirloom, or flea market find to Secret Treasures and discover how special your treasure is by expert art and antique appraiser Gary Piattoni. Known from TV’s Antique Roadshow and guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Mr. Piattoni will offer verbal appraisal and help you distinguish sentimental value vs. potential monetary value. Limit 2 items per guest. For more info, click here.

 

The Who’s Tommy: In Concert
Aug. 3 – 5: 7:30 pm; Aug. 6: 2 pm
Ethel M. Barber Theater/Northwestern’s Wirtz Center, 30 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston 

Northwestern alumnus Geoff Button returns to direct a unique and electrifying concert staging of this acclaimed musical that will rock all of your senses! Tickets: $25, discounts available for senior citizens, teachers and students. For more info, click here.

 

Outdoor Theatre: Romeo & Juliet
Aug. 4 - 6: 7 – 8:15 pm
Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, 21850 N. Riverwoods Rd., Riverwoods 

Enjoy the beauty of nature as Citadel Theatre actors perform the classic Shakespeare masterpiece, Romeo and Juliet, on Brushwood Center’s beautifully landscaped lawn! Wonderful for all ages! Bring a blanket & picnic to get comfy while you take in the performance! Tickets: $15/$10 members. For more info, click here.

 

Highland Park Kids Fair
Aug. 5: 10 am – 1 pm
Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park 

Ballet Makkai is proud to host Downtown Highland Park’s second annual Kids Fair. The fair will showcase “SuperKids” in Downtown Highland Park, with arts and crafts, dance and music classes, shopping, food, your favorite Spider and Wonder Woman superheroes, and loads of superhero-themed entertainment for the whole family. For more info, click here.

 

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.

July 27, 2017

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: July 28 – July 30

It’s all about art, shopping and imbibing this weekend. There are two great art festivals, two great sidewalk sales that include lots of activities for the kids (touch a truck in HP), a great wine tasting and one of my personal faves – a Bloody Mary festival! Also not to be missed, the Chicago Open Figure Skating Championship!

 

Chicago Open Figure Skating Championship
July 28 - July 30
Glenview Ice Center, 1851 Landwehr Rd., Glenview 

A thrilling U. S. Figure Skating Competition that draws 200+ participants from the Midwest and beyond. Free for spectators. For a full competition schedule, click here.

 

Downtown Evanston and Main-Dempster Mile Sidewalk Sale
July 28, July 29 – 30: 11 am – 5 pm
Downtown Evanston, Sherman Ave., between Davis & Church Streets/Main St & Dempster St., Evanston 

Independent retailers and national chains will set up shop with too-good-to-resist deals on the sidewalks throughout downtown. Find great deals on apparel, shoes, one-of-a-kind accessories and decorative arts, including the best in specialty and hand-crafted goods. In addition, there will be fun, free entertainment throughout the weekend as well as free pedicab rides on Saturday from 11 am – 3 pm to shuttle shoppers to and from each location. For more info, click here.

 

Kids, Rigs & Heroes – Part of HP Sidewalk Sale (July 27 – 29, 9 am – 5 pm, click here for more info about sale)
July 29: 11 am – 2 pm
Central Avenue East/S Parking Lot, one block east of St. Johns Ave., Highland Park 

Come and meet our community heroes and explore some of their cool vehicles, cars and trucks. The Highland Park Police Department, Highland Park Fire Department, CERT, Highland Park Department of Public Works, the United States Marine Corps, and KEYTH Security will have vehicles for the children to explore and personnel onsite to meet and greet the children. Check out a Fire Truck, Police Cruiser, Police Ambulance, Humvee Gun Trucks, Construction Vehicle and Superhero Vans! For more info, click here.

 

Glencoe Festival of Art
July 29 & 30: 10 am – 5 pm
Downtown Glencoe, Green Bay Rd. at Park & Vernon Avenues, Glencoe 

Free and open to the public, the Glencoe Festival of Art will showcase the work of more than 110-juried artists from across the country in a variety of mediums, including painting, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and wood. In addition to the incredible artwork available for purchase, attendees will be able to interact with artists through demonstrations and booth chats. Kids will also have the opportunity to participate in art scavenger hunts throughout the weekend. For more info and a list of participating artists, click here.

 

Glenview Summer Art Fair
July 29 & 30: 11 am – 5 pm
Lyons School, Lake Street & Waukegan Rd., Glenview 

Glenview’s 64th Annual Summer Art Fair 2017 hosts fine art and fine crafts in a beautiful setting. Enjoy children’s activities such as face painting, delicious food from a local food vendor, as well as wandering musicians! For more info, click here.

 

Taste of Good Grapes
July 29: 7 – 10 pm
Good Grapes, 821 Chestnut Ct., Winnetka 

It’s the wine tasting event of the season - the 8th Annual Taste of Good Grapes! Sample 50+ wines under the stars while raising money for Kohl Children's Museum. Tickets: $35 per person. If Good Grapes cancels the event due to weather, the ticket value can be used for in store purchase. For more info, click here.

 

Bloody Mary Fest
July 30: 10 am – 5 pm (rain or shine)
Everts Park, 130 Highwood Ave., Highwood 

Mixologists from near and far will shake up their special recipes and compete for the title of the Best Bloody Mary in the Midwest. Judged by a panel of “celebrity experts” and “the people,” contestants will be evaluated on a combination of categories ranging from taste, presentation, garnish and more!  Attendees will have more than 22 different Bloody Mary vendors to choose from. For more info, click here.

 

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.

 

July 19, 2017

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: July 21 – 23

In my opinion, one can never have too many tacos or too much ice cream. If you feel the same way, then this weekend has got your name written all over it! Indulge yourself at Highwood North Shore Taco Fest/Highwood Days, or enjoy a few scoops at two area ice cream socials/family fun days.  Still room for more? Head on over to Greek Fest, take in a tour of Ragdale and then dance the night away at Winnetka’s Centennial Celebration Party!

 

North Shore Taco Fest & Highwood Days
July 20: 4 – 10 pm, July 21: 4 – 11 pm; July 22: 11 am – 11 pm, July 23: 11 am – 9 pm
Everts Park/ Highwood Metra Station, 130 Highwood Ave., Highwood

 

This year marks the 49th anniversary of Highwood’s oldest festival. Complete with carnival rides, funnel cakes, live music and tons of food from local vendors – this is the most traditional festival and will not disappoint! In addition, there will be a beer and margarita garden and the North Shore Taco Fest where we the region’s best taco-centric restaurants, caterers and food trucks will offer a wide range of mouth-watering taco creations. Want to burn some calories before the fest…don’t miss the North Shore Taco Run 5K at 9 am. For more info and line up of events, click here.

 

Glenview Greek Fest
July 22 & 23: 1 – 9 pm
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 1401 Wagner Rd., Glenview 

Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Glenview Greek Fest. For the first time in 10 years, the festival is back outside and features live music, dancing and expanded children’s activities. Traditional Greek favorites – including pork souvlaki, Athenian chicken, gyros and spanakopita – will be served, as well as delicious, sweet loukoumades and homemade pastries. For more info and complete entertainment schedule, click here.

 

Ice Cream Social
July 22: 1 – 4 pm
Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood St., Evanston 

Enjoy an afternoon of cool summer fun! Come listen to music, watch Kevin Kelly’s hilarious and entertaining magic show, enjoy a serving of Andy’s Frozen Custard, and enjoy free admission to the Dawes House! This is a summer favorite for kids and adults and it is entirely free! For more info, click here.

 

Centennial Celebration Party
July 22: 6 – 11 pm
Winnetka Gold Club, 1300 Oak St., Winnetka 

Replacing the Annual Party on the Pier, adult celebrants (21 years and older) can enjoy a fun evening of open bar, food and music by the Breakfast Club, the ultimate 80’s cover band! Trolley service available throughout the event with drop off at all three train stations (Hubbard Woods, Winnetka and Indian Hill). Tickets: $72, through July 21, Day-of: $90 per person. For more info, click here.

 

Ragdale Tour
July 22: 10 am (Additional date: Aug. 19 & Sept. 23)
Ragdale, 1230 North Breen Bay Rd., Lake Forest

Ragdale, the nationally acclaimed artists’ retreat offers monthly, docent-led tours from June – September. Located on the former country estate of Arts and Crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, a Ragdale tour includes: the historic Ragdale House, visual artist studios, exquisite gardens, an introduction to the Shaw family history and the artists’ residency program that serves over 150 artists and authors each year. Admission is $10/person and online reservations must be made in advance. For more info, click here.

 

Family Day on the Farm
July 23: 2 -4 pm
Elawa Farm, 1401 Middlefork Dr., Lake Forest 

Help Elawa Farm celebrate its 100th anniversary with a day full of family fun activities and an ice cream social! Tickets $10; under 2: FREE! For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

 

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.

 

July 13, 2017

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: July 14 – 16

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to dry out by now! And if you are in the market for some new items (perhaps a kayak to get around town), you’re in luck. This weekend there are few sidewalk sales as well a high-quality rummage sale (items have been vetted) where you can be sure to score some sweet deals! Other fun events include a water carnival, skating expo (just to remind that Winter is always just around the corner), and the FREE World Arts & Music Festival in Evanston! 

 

Winnetka-Northfield Sidewalk Sale
Northfield: July 12 – 15; Winnetka: July 14 & 15
East Elm, West Elm and Hubbard Woods Business Districts, Winnetka/Northfield

 

As visitors from previous years can attest, the annual Winnetka-Northfield Sidewalk Sale offers incredible deals on the finest merchandise from our distinctive local retailers! Shopping will be abundant as you hop through the East Elm, West Elm and Hubbard Woods business districts.   Area merchants will set up on the sidewalks along with a number of hand-selected, specialty vendors.  Along with specialty merchandise, shoppers can browse food vendors, charity organizations, and other professional services as they enjoy the day. The street fair atmosphere will also include a children’s “Kid-entrepreneur” section, in Hubbard Woods Park, that will feature items made by local children, such as: duct tape wallets, face painting and crafts. There will be music in the streets to liven up the sale. For more info, click here.

 

Central Street Sidewalk Sale
July 14: 10 am - 6 pm; July 15: 10 am – 5 pm, July 16: 12 – 4 pm
Central Street, North Evanston 

The 1700–2200 blocks of Central Street in North Evanston will offer deals, discounts, food and other delights. There will be terrific discounts between 20-70% at many of the retail establishments. There will also be live entertainment in Independence Park, (located directly across from 2100 Central Street), as well as strolling performers throughout the Shopping District. For more info and a list of participating businesses, click here.

 

Summer Figure Skating Exhibition
July 14: 5 - 7 pm (expo); 7 – 9:30 pm (family skate)
Glenview Ice Center, 1851 Landwehr Rd., Glenview
 

Enjoy this free exhibition by figure skaters from the Glenview Ice Center’s skate school and the Blades Synchronized Skating Team as they perform their competition routines. Stay for a free Family Skate Night following the exhibition. Fore more info: 847-724-2800. 

 

Water Carnival & National Hot Dog Day
July 15: 10 am – 12:30 pm
Tower Road Beach, 899 Sheridan Rd., Winnetka 

Hot dog! It’s the annual free Water Carnival and they’ve added a new favorite holiday: National Hot Dog Day (observed). There will be games and activities available for all the kids along with FREE hot dogs. Be prepared for the water balloon toss and then subsequent water balloon fight beginning at 12:00 pm! For more info, click here.

 

Takiff Express Train Day
July 15: 10 am – 12 pm
Takiff Center, 999 Green Bay Rd., Glencoe 

All Aboard! Everyone’s favorite useful engine and friends will be visiting Glencoe! Ride the express trackless train, jump in the caboose bounce house, and play with model trains. Advanced registration required; $8/10 per person. To register, click here.

 

World Arts & Music Festival
July 15 & 16: 12 pm – 7 pm
Dawes Park, 1700 Sheridan Rd., Evanston 

Evanston’s lakefront will be transformed into a Global Village for the World Arts & Music Festival, a two-day celebration of global diversity. This free event features art from an abundance of countries, family crafts activities, international cuisine, and live music and dance performances. Attendees will enjoy continuous performances throughout the weekend at two venues. For more info and a full schedule of events and performances, click here.

 

High Quality Rummage Sale
July 15: 7 am – 1 pm
Kenilworth Union Church, 211 Kenilworth Church, Kenilworth 

Come shop to your heart’s content, getting great bargains and wonderful merchandise, at this annual event dating back 70 years! A team of more than 100 volunteers sort and vet donated items prior to placing them in the sale showrooms, which are categorized into more than a dozen departments. Highly desired items include: antiques, collectibles, vintage items, artwork, frames, mirrors, designer, regular clothing, coats, books, bicycles, jogging strollers, buggies, China, glassware, relatively new electronics, furniture, jewelry, rugs, toys and sporting goods. Cash or personal check with a state issued pictured ID only. For more info, click here.

 

Family Campout
July 15 – July 16: 5 pm – 8:30 am
Maplewood Park, Clay Court & Hazel, Deerfield 

Join Deerfield Park District for this annual family event. Registration opens at 5:00 PM. Movie in the Park will begin at dusk. Please stop by and register at the pavilion to receive campout rules, sign form/waiver, and receive campsite number. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. You may bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Activities and games will begin at approximately 6:00 PM. Sports equipment and grills will be available. All tents and belongings must be removed by 8:30 AM. This is a free event. For more info, click here.

 

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.

July 9, 2017

Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Home on Chicago's North Shore

Home Sweet HomeI know what you're thinking.

Oh yeah, right. Real estate agents always say it's a good time to buy (or a good time to sell if you're a home owner).

But it's true. Now really is a good time to buy and here are three reasons why you should believe me:

1.  Interest rates are still low, even after the Fed's recent rate hike, but economists are warning that mortgage rates should rise a quarter of a point with the Fed's next increase (likely in December). The consensus among economists is that by this time next year the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage will be between 4.9% and 5.2%, a full point higher than it is right now.

That may not sound like much, but it will have an impact on what you can buy, assuming you will get a mortgage. For every one percentage point that mortgage rates go up, you lose 10% of your purchasing power. In other words, if you can afford to buy a house worth $800,000 today, next year you may find that you can only afford a $720,000 home, if rates rise as predicted.

2.  There is plenty of inventory here on the North Shore, particularly in the higher price ranges and/or in the northernmost villages (Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highland Park). For example, while there are only 126 single-family homes for sale in  Evanston (less than a two month supply), there are 316 in Lake Forest (a nine month supply). If you don't mind the trek to Lake Forest you can get a lovely home on a larger piece of property than you can in closer-in (and more popular) Evanston or Wilmette.

Search for homes on the North Shore

3.  Prices are coming down, as desperate sellers chase the few buyers that are out looking this time of year. July and August are normally dead months for real estate. Most buyers who wanted to move into their new house before school starts have already bought. If you don't have to worry about the school year calendar you can snag a house at a great value.

And if you are shopping in the upper brackets you can get an even better deal. There are 96 homes over $3,000,000 on the North Shore, which equates to a 19 month supply. So much supply chasing too little demand is putting tremendous pressure on prices, and price reductions of $400,000 to $500,000 are not uncommon. If you're lucky enough to be in this price bracket you can search for a luxury home here.

Related Articles:

If you would like to schedule a buyer consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, call us at 847-881-6657.

Are you relocating to Chicago's North Shore? We'd love to familiarize you with the area and help you find the perfect home for your family. Ask me about our "Tour of the Shore." Whether you're looking for new construction or an existing home, we'd be happy to guide you through the process.

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Posted in Real Estate
July 8, 2017

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Report - June 2017

If you've been reading the national news you've probably read that the real estate market is hot and that the persisting shortage of housing inventory is driving strong price increases.  But anyone who has their home for sale on the North Shore of Chicago is probably saying, "That's not MY real estate market." And they're right, the markets the national news is referring to are in California, Colorado, Seattle, Boston, not the North Shore of Chicago.

Here the market is healthy enough overall, with modest gains in both sales and prices.  June saw a 4% increase in closed sales over last year and a 12% gain in median price. But the picture is very different across individual villages and price points.  Not every village enjoyed that growth and some who experienced an increase in sales saw a decrease in median price (Winnetka, Glencoe), and vice versa (Evanston, Lake Forest).

North Shore Market Update - June 2017 vs. 2016 North Shore Market Update June 2017

And, although the market tends to slow down beginning in June, this year activity continued to be brisk, with accepted offers up 13% over last June, and down only 5% from May. Glenview, Evanston and Wilmette continued to chug along, while the big gains came in Highland Park and Lake Forest, both of which have been languishing over the past couple of years.

Open house traffic continued to be strong for new listings indicating that buyers are still out there. However, these buyers are cautious and waiting to get the best possible value. They have seen everything available and are well-educated about relative values, so only those homes that are priced right are getting offers.

Accepted Offers - June 2017 vs. 2016

Accepted Offers in June  North Shore Chicago

One month does not a trend make, so now that we have six months of data under our belts let's take a look at the year-to-date numbers to get a better feel for the underlying strength of the North Shore market. Overall, closed sales are up a robust 8% over last year, while the median price increased a modest 3%.

At lower price points (<$800,000) homes are selling quickly and supply is limited. Between $800,000-$1,500,000 sales are robust but prices are not increasing from last year. In the upper brackets there is abundant inventory and few buyers. There are currently 96 homes on the market over $3,000,000, which amounts to a 19 month supply. This means that it would take 19 months for all of these houses to sell at the current rate of sale, if no additional homes came on the market. 42 of these are over $4,000,000, which represents a three and a half year supply!

1st Half Market Update - 2017 vs. 2016

North Shore Market Update - 1st Half 2017

Megatrends affecting North Shore real estate

We're seeing a fundamental change in consumer attitudes following the recession. People are leery about over-spending on housing and taking on too much debt. They are buying more based on "need" than "want," and much of the housing inventory on the North Shore falls into the "want" category. Even in the lower price ranges buyers are very cautious and they are doing careful research to find the best home at the best value.

Another trend affecting the market is that many city dwellers don't want to move to the suburbs. And, if they do, they want to stay close in to the city, and so are more likely to choose Evanston over Lake Forest.

These buyers also want "new." They are accustomed to their shiny new city condos with granite and stainless, and are not interested in older homes that need work. If they do buy an older home it has to be one that has been updated or remodeled. Many are choosing the western suburbs where there is more new construction and where taxes are lower.

The upshot of all of this for North Shore homeowners who want to sell is they need to price realistically from the get-go. Buyers will only pay top dollar for the best homes. They have a keen sense of relative value and will not overpay. There is no "wiggle" room for negotiating. Many sellers say, "Why don't they just make an offer?" But we have found that, in general, people will not offer much under 90% of the list price, so if a home is listed at more than a 10% premium over its true market value, it will not get offers.

And if your home has not been recently updated you will need to adjust your expectations about your sale price. Buyers will calculate the cost of desired updates and determine if there is a good return on that investment.

If you have any questions about the market or 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 email us at ComeHome@cbexchange.com.

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

What's My Hoe Worth

 

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Posted in Market Statistics