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September 2nd, 2014

Is now a good time to buy?

You work hard for you money, shouldn’t you let your money work for you? If you are in the market to buy a home, you should be taking advantage of these historically low rates & have your money work for you! The KCM chart below is based on a $200,000 mortgage amortized over 30 yrs…on Friday, rates were 4% for a conventional loan up to $417,000 and 4% on Jumbo loans of over $417,000…

KCM Rate comparison

I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!

August 28th, 2014

Shop Lincoln Park Local!

On Thursday, September 4th support your community by shopping local at Lincoln Park Local! From 4pm – 7pm join Swirlz Cupcakes and Johnny’s Beef at the 700 block of Belden.

At  Shop Lincoln Park Local, enjoy free samples from local businesses, including cookies from Insomnia Cookies, milkshakes from Edzo’s, wine and spirits, cupcakes, savory goodies from Johnny’s and Rickshaw Republic, coffee and pastries from City Grounds, and more!

Raffles and prizes will also be available, including a chance to be on the court during a DePaul basketball game, a custom art piece, and gift cards, goodie bags, and fitness club freebies.

 

This should be a lot of fun AND you’ll be supporting neighborhood businesses! I hope to see you there.

November 29th, 2010

Home Depot and Lowe’s Recognize Military Service With 10% Discount

I found out something interesting this weekend, which will be old news for some, but was new and lucrative to me.  In an effort to recognize military service both Home Depot and Lowe’s have generously extended a 10% discount to all purchases made by veterans.  To take advantage, a veteran needs to provide proof of service at the register at checkout and the discount is applied.  This can amount to a good amount of money on larger projects and purchases.

June 23rd, 2010

Chicago Rate Lock Advice 6/23: No Change

If closing in:

  • 5-7 Days: I recommend FLOATING as markets a currently favorable to secure a better rate, but I recommend close monitoring of the market to take full advantage.
  • 7-15 Days: I recommend FLOATING on weak economic data that does not support a continued rally.
  • 15-30 Days: I recommend FLOATING
  • 30 or more days: I recommend FLOATING, overall economic weakness supports long-term rate opportunities

Click here for more information or to discuss your real estate deal in greater detail.

September 14th, 2009

Is Your Lincoln Park Home for Sale in a Walk-able Neighborhood?

If you have a Lincoln Park home for sale or you’re thinking about buying a home to flip it, here’s something to keep in mind: walking distance. Why? Because a new study commissioned by CEOs for Citiesshows that homes within walking distance of amenities sell for more. And after all, isn’t that a large part of the reason for living in an urban market – accessibility to all the wonderful neighborhood amenities!

More & more people are going green! More people are walking or taking public transportation whenever possible and trying to avoid driving. However, not all urban homes are convenient to the neighborhood amenities. So, if there is a Lincoln Park home for sale within walking distance to schools, parks, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries and shopping areas, it’s more likely to be snatched up…and at a higher price than other less conveniently located homes.

This is true even in the current economy. “Walk-ability,” says Joseph Cortright, the man who analyzed the data, “adds value to residential property just as additional square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and other amenities do.”

In many places, walk-ability can lead to a sales price of as much as $34,000 more than in areas where you can’t get around without a car. Of course, this isn’t true for every city. In Las Vegas, more walk-able areas correlated to places with lower housing cost. Bakersfield, California, didn’t show any difference at all.

Why is being able to walk around such a big deal? Several reasons:

  • The more walk-able neighborhoods usually have better mass transit systems.
  • People living in walk-able areas generally weigh less, by at least seven pounds.
  • Less money is spent on gas.
  • Car owners don’t need to drive as often, and when they do, they don’t have to go as far.
  • Quality of life

What does this mean for you, the homeowner? If you live in a walk-able neighborhood and have a Lincoln Park home for sale, you have an excellent selling point. Make sure you tell your real estate agent how easy it is to get around. With this knowledge, they can market your house towards all those people looking to use a little bit more leg power and a little bit less engine power. What’s your walk score?

September 8th, 2009

4 Options You Can Negotiate When Buying Newly Constructed Lincoln Park Home

Are you looking to buy new construction?  Many people are, but just as many aren’t aware that their newly built Lincoln Park home comes with options and add-ons.  In addition, they see a handsome price on new construction and think they’ve stepped into an unbelievable deal, not understanding that the price they’re looking at is for “bare bones.” 

Here are just a few of the options and upgrades you might want to have your real estate agent talk about with your chosen builder:

  • Flooring – The “standard” for flooring is cheaper carpet and thinner padding.  If you’re going for hardwood floors, you also may not get what you envision.  An important thing to keep in mind is that most builders make their money on the upgrades and options.  While they may offer upgrades for high quality flooring, it may actually be cheaper for you to buy it yourself later than through the builder.  Do your research and either have your real estate agent try to negotiate down to a price closer to what it would cost you, or have the builder use the cheapest material possible and ask them not to glue or tack it down.
  • Plumbing and fixtures - Whether you want improvements or additional plumbing and fixtures (such as for a wet bar or a different location for the washer and dryer), these are easier to do before the Lincoln Park home is finished.
  • Appliances - Check to see what brand and model cooking appliances the builder expects to use as well as what your refrigeration options are. Most times, your real estate agent can negotiate a better model, if not your preferred brand.
  • Value added goodies - steam showers, wine cellars & refrigerators, surround sound & whole house audio/video wiring, heated floors in the lower level and under all stone floors, to name just a few.

Make sure you understand your options, upgrade packages and deals for your new Lincoln Park home before signing the contract! And most importantly, keep in mind that most builders would rather “give” you upgrades than negotiate the price!

 If you’re thinking of buying new construction, let me negotiate the best price, and all the details, for you.  Call me before you start shopping for your new construction home. The best ways to reach me are via my mobile – 312.953.8685 – or email –   Doug@LincolnParkLiving.com.

October 22nd, 2008

4 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Chicago Historical Home

With their original floor plans and fascinating histories, historical homes can make interesting places for your family to live. However, buying a historical home can be different from buying a traditional home. You have to consider more than just the neighborhood and home features. Before you buy a Chicago historical home, be sure to ask these four questions.

  1. What are the local historic district regulations? Historical homes are usually registered with a historical building organization, such as the National Registry of Historical Homes, that sets standards for what qualifies as a historical home. These organizations have rules that specify everything from what paint colors you can use to acceptable window upgrades. Make sure you can live with these rules. While the National Registry provides some excellent information, The Chicago Landmark Ordinances provides in-depth local information.

    Historic Old Town Triangle Row House

  2. Will the home need any renovations or restorations? Home repairs for a Chicago historical home can be costly. Not only will you have to find specific materials and follow specific guidelines, you will also have to find workers who are skilled enough to complete work on delicate properties. The costs for the renovation/restoration should be taken into consideration when preparing an offer to purchase a home of historical significance. For additional reading, check out Historic Chicago Greystone renovating
  3. Can the home be repaired or restored with appropriate materials? Historical homes are subject to standards that govern the home’s appearance, and this can limit the work you can do on the home. For example, if you want to paint your home’s exterior, you may be required to use certain colors to maintain the historical designation.
  4. Will the home retain its value? Your home is probably your most significant financial investment. Chicago is an old housing market and has an abundance of homes with historic or architectural significance. So when buying a Chicago historic home, while there are no guarantees of appreciation, the chances are better that they will maintain their value over some of their newer counterparts. It’s still prudent to look at the neighborhood and the values of other homes in the areas so you are making the best possible financial decision. Just because a home has a notable history doesn’t mean it will hold its value over time.

If you’re looking for a unique home for your family, a Chicago historical home may be right for you. No matter what type of home you’re looking for, I can help you find the perfect home to meet your needs.  Call 312.953.8685 or email me at Doug@LincolnParkLiving.com today to discuss how I can help you.

May 27th, 2008

Avoid the long lines for you city sticker!!

In the May/June issue of the 43rd Ward Alderman Vi Daley News, staffers remind us that on Saturday, June 7th (9am-12:30pm) and Monday, June 23rd (10am-5pm) Chicago City Clerk Miquel del Valle’s staff will be at Alderman Daleys offices (735 W. Wrightwood) selling city stickers and residential permit parking stickers.

Easier still, if you have received your renewal notice from the City, go to www.ChiCityClerk.com. You will need the ‘application’ numbers on the notice and a major credit card in order to process your renewals. The entire process took me less than 5 minutes and my sticker and residential Zone permit should be here within 10 days.

December 4th, 2007

Lincoln Park Zoo lights

If you’re in the neighborhood any evening during the holiday season, Zoo Lightsyou have to check out the lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I went during Thanksgiving & had a wonderful time. They’re open from 5:00 to 9:00pm everyday thru 1 Jan but not on 24 & 25 Dec. While you’re there, consider becoming a member and help support a great FREE zoo.

 

 

December 16th, 2006

Wine & Champagne events

1) ChicaGourmets! and Chicago Cultural Center Proudly Present

Winter’s Song Madrigal Dinner

Preston Bradley Hall
77 East Randolph, Chicago
Sunday, December 17, 2006, 2:00 P.M.
$75.00 per person

Illinois State University Madrigals celebrates its second annual event in Chicago. With each trumpet fanfare you will experience a musical and visual celebration in the Renaissance style of Merrie Olde England. Join the King and Queen, Court Jester, and the Wench for a holiday feast, while you are serenaded by seventeen Lords and Ladies singing traditional holiday madrigals.

Special thanks to Judith Hines & Brad Thacker, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ChicaGourmets! Host Don Newcomb

The Whitehall Executive Chef Virginia Benke’s Menu

Hot Cider, Red & White Wine & Iced Tea

First Course
Salad of Mixed Greens

Entrée
Queen Elizabeth Chicken Wild Rice Wellington
With celery root puree and roasted root vegetable medley

Dessert
Royal Figgie Pudding
English Tea or Coffee

E-mail: donaldnewcomb@comcast.net
Web Site: www.chicagourmets.org
Tel: 708-383-7543 Fax: 708-383-4964

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2) Alpana Pours at Schaefer’s

Join us on Saturday, Dec. 23, 11:00-2:00, as Alpana Singh comes to Schaefer’s to taste some seasonal favorites and sign her new book, Alpana Pours: About Being a Woman, Loving Wine, and Having Great Relationships. Perfect for last-minute gifts, Alpana Pours is a unique lifestyle book with wine as the centerpiece.

As the youngest woman to be a member of the exclusive Court of Master Sommeliers, Singh brings her extensive knowledge of wine to a new generation of wine drinking women. Singh’s quirky writing makes reading about the correct wine and food pairing more fun than it should be, with titles like, “Wine Tasting Your Way to Mr. Right,” “Shoes You Never Wear and Wine You Never Drink,” and “White Flight,” about men’s avoidance of white wines. “From the Alpana Files,” periodically interrupts the shop talk and traces Singh’s personal history of her love of wine, including how she broke her career decision to her very surprised mother (she expected Singh to pursue medicine).

Alpana is uniquely qualified to talk about wine, contemporary women and relationships. She spent five years as sommelier at the world-famous four star restaurant Everest, where she closely observed the sometimes humorous, sometimes absurd, social interactions between men and woman at all stages of their relationships. Since American women purchase and consume more wine than American men, 77% and 60% respectively, her voice is a wonderful addition to help women (and men) understand that their busy professional and social lifestyles can be well paired with wine.

Schaefer’s is located at 9965 Gross Point Rd. (at the corner of Gross Point and Old Orchard Roads), Skokie. Free parking is available. For more information, call 847-673-5711.

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3) ChampagneFest at Schaefer’s

A festive event that has become a holiday tradition on the North Shore will take place again on Thursday, Dec. 28, when Schaefer’s Fine Wines, Foods and Spirits hosts its 26th annual Champagnefest.

Between 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Schaefer’s will open one bottle of every sparkling wine they stock, and guests are welcome to stop by and sample the more than 100 bubblies, ranging from Cava to Dom Perignon. The wines are from France, Italy, Spain and the U.S., and include a number of top-rated French Champagnes that sell for more than $100 a bottle.

The tasting allows guests to learn more about Champagne and sparkling wines from around the world, and it’s a fun way to decide just what the right bottle is for New Year’s Eve and other special occasions.

Schaefer’s gourmet Food Department will offer a variety of caviars, cheeses, patés and hors-d’oeuvre to complement.

Champagnefest is a way for Schaefer’s to say “thank you” to everyone who shops at the store during the year.

There will be a $10 donation for this year’s Champagnefest, with 100 percent going to the Skokie Fire Department Benevolent Fund to help needy families in the area. The Schaefer family is proud to support its community and is aware that the holiday season is a special time to reach out to those less fortunate.

Schaefer’s is located at 9965 Gross Point Rd. (at the corner of Gross Point and Old Orchard Roads), Skokie. Free parking is available. For more information, call 847-673-5711.

Courtesy of Patrick Fegen and the Chicago Wine School, wineschool.com

Lincoln Park News

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