Here's a little holiday cheer from my hood. Most condos on North Winchester between Lawrence and Foster in Ravenswood come with life size snow globes.
Have a good one.
Let this be known as the shot heard around Giddings Square.
In case your new to "Da Nort Side" some entitled meatheads (and Mrs. Meatheads) feel they can secure, save, reserve, and basically claim a parking spot in the public way because they dug their car out of the snow.
I find this practice so idiotic that I almost ruined Christmas two years ago arguing with an Auntie In-Law about its merits; she in the pro, me in the con. In a past life, in a past condo, on a past street, I tossed the furniture into one entitled neighbor's front yard who also thought they owned the street in front of his/her building.
What kills me is that this is many times perpetrated by homeowners that own parking spots, be it the garage and/or a drive way. So let me get this straight: We all pay taxes. We all park on public Chicago streets. We all get snowed on. We all shovel our cars out. But you have “rights” to that spot?
As a home owner, parking space owner, and continued street parker I implore you to quit this practice. Get your furniture out of the street.
Merry Christmas. Dummy.
On the northwest corner, you'll bump into Fiddlehead Cafe. This place has stuck and it seems people enjoy it. We have not sampled yet, but one day when Ryne can sit still in a restaurant... It has a somewhat more refined feel and seems to draw the families visting their kids who live in the city. I'd like to hear more about it.
And how can you have a great corner without Starbucks? That's on the southeast corner. Gotta love the huge bathroom to change the kid. The Old Town School of Folk Music students and staff definately call themselves regulars. And top notch baristas as usual.
And this has been great corners in Lincoln Square
2. Price. Each owner took my advice on where to price the unit. Most owners want a higher price than I suggest... feeling that their home should get it and people will make offers no matter your price. What they are really afraid of is leaving money on the table or having no room for negotiation.
This is not the case in this market. One must create value and urgency... steps one and two combined will accomplish this goal. If you are priced correctly, leaving emotion out of it, the home will sell close to asking price. No need then for much negotiation on price.
3. Access for showings. This comes in play with today's busy buyer. When a home buyer NEEDS to buy, they will buy in that moment of realization. Job transfer, lease is coming up, school will start, wedding is coming up, or they have one week to look between major work assignments or travel. When it is decison time, we need to have access to show.
I've talked about my own NEED to BUY NOW. I just received a contract on our condo, my wife was six months pregnant and we needed to be in a new bigger place and settled before the baby came. I saw something that struck a chord and bought it two days after I had my sale under contract.
This process is the most difficult in my client-Realtor relationship. If the Realtor is good, he/she will insist on these steps. It will be contentious at times as the property owner will doubt the work needs to be done or think the price is too low. No one knows the property like the owner, but know one knows how the property will sell than someone who represents over 20 buyers a year... and knows why they buy.
Photo by Leo Reynolds
I know... lame. But I just had a conversation today with a client. They took their listing off the market this month and will bring it back in... March. March.
Of course, I feel this is a big mistake. Oh, I don't have the listing. How can that be you ask? I am representing them on the buy side, but they chose a discount broker on the sell side. First, they have sold a couple places prior and second, they have a "crazy" dog which would make a Realtor useless for showings. So there you go.
But I feel waiting until March is a mistake. I guess I should back-track here. They have had slow traffic as of late (and they have told me some of this was due to the discount broker not relaying showing requests or even having a working appointment system). The last time this discount company was used years ago, it went well. This time, not so good. Problem is, who is accountable?
It's not unusual to take your place off going into the holidays. But it's not always the best thing to do. For one reason, inventory is at it's lowest, so you may stand out if your place is looking good. Secondly, there are transfer buyers coming in, serious buyers who have not found a place yet and new buyers looking to close before March leases are up all out there NOW.
Many leases come up March 1st...and even March 31st. And, it usually takes a minimum of 30 days to close. Mostly 45 plus days. You follow? Basically, you can miss a large part of the spring market by waiting until March to list your property.
Many worry about the market time. Fine, you take the place off in December, list in January and show the market time from the last year. Big deal. If your place is well located, say in Lincoln Park or Gold Coast, and looks good... no self respecting Realtor is going to pass it up.
I was also asked by a family friend if they should list now (it was the end of November) because they found another house they wanted to buy. Again, my answer was not based on the season, but based on how well their house will stack up against the competition. Will your house look great? Will the marketing be great? Will you price right?
The ban, for key arterial streets, begins Saturday Dec. 1st at 3 a.m. It remains in effect until April 1, according to a city Department of Streets and Sanitation release.
Cars parked on critical arterial streets with a posted seasonal overnight restriction will be ticketed and towed between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., whether or not there's snow on the ground, the release said.
Motorists should also refrain from parking on designated "Snow Routes" when two or more inches of snow has fallen. During a heavy snow, cars parking on "Snow Routes" could receive a ticket and possibly be relocated, the release said.
Sun-Times News Group Wire -- Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2006
Photo by yochicago.com
I have been looking at many single family homes on the North Side for under $700K and feel you can get a solid home on a nice sized lot in the Edgewater Glen area (located along side of Andersonville and Lakewood-Balmoral) for under $600K. There are a couple homes in the $550K range that will need about $50K in professional renovation (or really good self help handy work) to be very pleasant. The area of Edgewater located roughly 5600 N to 6400 N and 900 W to 1400 W really supports updates and structual improvements when looking to re-sell the home.
Your local Red Line stop would be W Bryn Mawr at N Broadway.
Edgewater includes the following neighborhoods: Andersonville, Edgewater Beach, Edgewater Glen, Edgewater Triangle, Highlands of Edgewater, Lakewood Balmoral, Magnolia Glen and Rosehill.
ZIP codes: 60660, 60640
This isn't flip your house material. Just a great place to buy a single family home to live on the North Side and add value.
Photo by www.yochicago.com
If you can't make fun of Realtors, who can you make fun of? I recently sent a listing on Division Street in Wicker Park to a client, in which the remarks... well... remarked:
"Luxury condo on most elegant street in town".
Really? Look, Divison is cool but if I wrote that, I'd make fun of me too.
On a beautiful spring day called May 1st, 1991 I was randomly selected to be a Chicago Cubs bat-boy. Actually it wasn't so random as the long time clubhouse manager Yosh Kawano hand picked me early before the game because I looked like I'd fit the uniform.
I did fit into it thankfully, as there was 17,000 plus fans there to watch me step onto Wrigley Field. At fifteen years old, a baseball player and big fan, it didn't get any better. There I am suiting up with Mark Grace, Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux, Rick Sutcliff, and of course, Ryne Sandberg. In fact I sat next to Sandberg's locker.
The day quickly got better as I played catch with then third baseman Gary Scott and stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the game's best, hat over heart, listening to the National Anthem. Then it was to work as I collected bats, sunflower seeds, gum and Gatorade for the players. Batter up! I took my seat in the dugout next to Sutcliff and Mike Bilecki as the starting Cubs took the field and future Hall of Fame picher Greg Maddux took the mound. While the Cubs were batting I sat on the field.
I have a million stories from that day. None cooler than meeting Grace, Sandberg and Dawson at home plate after Dawson's three run homer, giving high-fives and trotting into the dugout with three future Hall of Fame players (Grace and Dawson are not in yet, but will be). Maddux has been my favorite pitcher from the day he started with the Cubs.
Fifteen years or so later, my first son is born. Somehow my wife under the influence of considerable drugs from the labor, agrees to name our son Ryne. Although not entirely the reason for the name, I grew up watching Ryne Sandberg play baseball day in and day out. Watching those games was a joyous and important part of my childhood. Besides, we wanted an interesting name with a positive connotation. You could do worse than Sandberg and we hope our little Ryno enjoys the connection to a Chicago icon.