The subzero weather shouldn’t prevent the US Postal Service from delivering 1st installment property tax bills to Cook County homeowners. Yours may have arrived in the mail by now, or it will shortly. The first installment of your 2013 property tax bill, due on March 4th, equals 55% of your 2012 tax bill. For more information, visit the Cook County Treasurer’s Office web site:
NEW LISTING! $235,000.
Spacious 17′ x 12′ Kitchen w/eat-in space + window onto Living Room.
17′ x 13′ Master Suite with track lighting.
17′ x 12′ 2nd Bedroom!
3 Walk-in Closets! Includes 1 parking space. Beaches, Northwestern Campus & Transit nearby. Pets welcome! 1-yearr Home Warranty included! For complete details, visit my web site at www.4salebyandy.com”
Check out some of the hilariously spooky entries to this contest, sponsored by my friend Beth Lewis! Imagine you’re a realtor listing one of these properties . . . how would you draw in traffic? Who would you recommend to your clients for potential inspectors?
Can You Sell This House | Sponsored by Beth Lewis of PERL Mortgage, 847.964.5533
Choose your favorite listing! One vote per entry.
1313 KRUEGER LANE. AMITYVILLE, NY: A wonderful place to put your roots down! Don’t miss this custom carved home by Herman Munster! This home has all the bells & whistles, screams & howls. Surprisingly spacious inside, the home features a cathedral ceiling eat-in kitchen with natural stone counter tops, Gothic cabinets, a wood burning oven and a concealed trap door to the spacious dungeon – perfect for your pets or in-laws! Go green and enjoy candle lit dinners (no electricity in the home so you can cut down on your electric bills!) in the separate dining room that easily seats a pack of your closest frenemies. 3 nicely sized bedrooms (2 with built-in coffins) and an fully-equipped outhouse are the final touches on this truly one-of-a-kind gem! And don’t miss the widow’s walk with great views of the nighttime sky! Agent fully discloses that pop-by visits from Bilbo Baggins are common.
GHOULISH, multi-level, untrimmed but fertilized single family home in highly sought-after Warlock County subdivision. Exposed and reinforced beams for hanging guests. New Pella arachnid-style windows and Hunter Douglas custom cobweb curtains. Master bedroom with expansive walk-in broom closet and Murphy bed of nails. Additional bedrooms with blackout shades and candelabra sconces. Spacious kitchen with extra large Viking cauldron, two- person carving center and custom crushed bone counters. Deluxe LG front loaders to accommodate extra large loads of cloaks and capes. Outside cobblestone patio with séance seating for 20, built-in Ouija Board, designer scarecrow, Jack-o-Lantern lighting and private cemetery. Freshly painted with Benjamin Moore Blood Red, Pasty White and Bat Black throughout. Partially finished dungeon. Popular and award winning Wizard school district. Last extermination done in 1902. LEED Certified. Move-in condition. Must close by October 31. Drive by for early preview…1313 Mockingbird Lane Dracula, Illinois or for private showings after midnight, please contact Hilda at email@example.com or 1.847.222.2BOO. Agent remarks: Please leave all stakes at the door during showings. Eye of Newt cookies for you and your clients!
JUST LISTED! Rarely available single family domicile attributed to celebrated architect Nar Lee Roote, an early disciple of famed artist Salvador Dali. In keeping with the surrealist themes, each angle of the house appears to naturally melt as though made of active, molten lava, hardened by time, to resemble a traditional Hobbit Hole. The property, originally owned by Lewis Carroll, is said to be a source of influence for his famous inquiry “Why is the raven like a writing desk?” The master suite includes full bath with a huge walk-in wardrobe and easy access to Narnia. Original custom windows will catch more than your eye in their web of design. The state-of-the-art kitchen is no child’s play but you could bake one in the oven! The home has been updated to include modern amenities. Such as LEED Certified central air and forced gas provided by the aviary of guano producing bats in the adjacent utility closet. Close to trains, tunnels, shires, and lochs! A must see! You will become unhinged over this house so don’t miss out on this insane deal! Open house Sunday with food provided by Beth Lewis at Perl Mortgage!
GHOSTLY HAUNTED HOME IN A SPOOKTACULAR LOCATION! 24 Great Goblin Lane. Now offered at a devilish price. Enter the frightening foyer at your own risk. Monstrous-size rooms and snakes on the floor throughout. Delightful “da-vines” with entangled design surround the home. Custom windows made by award-winning “web” designer. Ghastly kitchen features custom cauldron to please any discriminating chef. Leads to wicked graveyard, great for entertaining your bewitched friends. Closet space galore with skeletons included. Extra storage with bats in the belfry. Attached 3-broom garage. Located near scary shops and your choice of transportation. Don’t be ghoulish and miss out on this one!
BE-DAZZELING & DIFFERENT!! This dramatic forest retreat is a natural inside & out! Surrounded by nature and buried deep in the woods! Inside you’ll find a cozy sunken Living Room which overlooks the woodsy grounds, natural gardens and graveyard. High ceilings that soar to the sky… Numerous windows and sky lights let in the sunshine or keep it out! You’ll love working in the well-equipped Kitchen/Laboratory (complete with ghastly experiments) Hauntingly exotic décor and completely distressed wood through out. Enjoy exploring all the many secret rooms & hidden passageways that wind along. All these spellbinding features and so much more makes this hauntingly unusual abode a most unique home and the ultimate in “GREEN” living!! As an added BONUS- Why not let curious tourists pay your mortgage??!! Who wouldn’t want to peek inside this curious & quintessential tree house!!
700 YEAR OLD ENCHANTING TROLL HOUSE for Sale! Your fairytale home awaits, hidden in the trees. A small but beautiful and fruitful land beloved by its inhabitants. House accessible via “Troll bridge” (be careful when crossing, who knows what lurks belong) The landscape includes a deep valley with a small stream running through it. Comfy Living Quarters, not just any hole in the ground. 5 foot Dwarf ceilings throughout Back yard deck overlooks gigantic mushroom garden and views of “Habitat Trails”. Nearby shopping at Elf Village. Main water supply provide by nearby “Wishing” Well. Forest views (disclaimer possible haunted forest). Perfect home for those of you who believe in magic. Home comes with a constant supply of Fairy Dust brought in daily via rainbows.
LOCATION, LOCATION fly over to this rarely available Mugglishous model, in the Hogwart’s subdivision. It’s truly magical! Current owners have upgraded the Bat Rooms and added a whole house Spider web media system. Note to agents: house sold in broom clean condition. Note: this property is not insurable due to burning of trees on lot and many weird calls to authorities regarding slithering creatures. Another fine property brought to you by The Beware Team.
THE BAKERS DOZEN LOFTS!!! Located in a shady meadow, surrounded by acres of enchanted forest, this previously famous cookie factory has now been converted into 13 cute and cozy lofts! Good things do come in small packages, so this is the perfect opportunity for the vertically challenged, or anyone looking to really downsize. Featuring 15″ tall ceilings, tons of natural oak woodwork, spun sugar windows and shaved pecan in-laid flooring. What a great place to put down roots, so get ready to pack your trunk. Log-in to our website, or call listing agent Coco Keebler at our branch office. She is stumped these haven’t sold yet…don’t be a sap, act now!!!
LOVELY HOME IN THE SHIRE. This stately manor offers a natural setting allowing you to anchor your roots. Making a bold architectural statement, this original home is for a discerning buyers who appreciate the finer elements of design. This personal retreat will make you feel like you are in your own private forest. Home features include beautiful wood throughout and rain showers. The nontraditional space offers wonderful opportunities for the creative interior decorator. Insulation features natural organic materials. Geo thermal heating and cooling. Ornate wood work in kitchen cabinets and counters. A true Zen experience. Perfect for meditation and finding your inner chi.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY to own this unique two story home. Three bedrooms are all on the 2nd floor with moss carpets for barefoot comfort. Bathrooms have natural rain showers that are radar controlled through the roof. Kitchen has its own vegetable and herb garden at your fingertips for healthy meals. The exterior is fiber plate and never needs painting. Custom designed windows let in lots of light and air. Sitting on a cliff where your living room, with a hand carved front door, overlooks the sea, surrounded by gorgeous bougainvillea. Please contact me for a private showing by candlelight.
GNARLY HOUSE DUDES AND DUDETTES! Bring your board shorts, bikinis, surf boards and friends to this bitchin crib. Lot’s of party rooms with skeezy windows that will keep the Malibu breezes flowing throughout this wandering property. Previously owned by celebrity Marley Sheen. Organic in design with an organic ‘secret garden’ and from 9:40am to 4:20pm, the light shines just right to grow your favorite herbs. Rainbow hues from the ocean mist will blow your mind! This is your new ‘vibe’. Come down the garden path and pull the cord. The owner will show you your next house!!
RARE OPPORTUNITY! Never Before Offered! Gracious Living with Concierge Services in Exclusive Community. 16-unit Tiny Troll Condominium Complex Ready for Immediate Move-in! Now available: Completely rehabbed, Leed-certified units in attractive multi-family vintage building* with 16 fabulous units in prime location – each offering unparalleled living spaces and amenities for tiny trolls. Four residential floors with 4 gorgeous, spacious homes on each level. Each condo is filled with high-end features including: light-filled, whisper-quiet rooms with huge living/great rooms facing 5-story inner courtyard atrium, unique gossamer window treatments and central air, brand new fully equipped eat-in kitchens with breakfast bars, plus 2, 3, or 4 cross-ventilated bedrooms with private baths. Plenty of in-unit storage, plus 20×20 ft basement storage lockers. That’s not all! Top Floor Common Areas (featuring) 360-degree observatory with dining/party room, 3 massive stone fireplaces, and fully staffed 24/7 library and communal study & business center. On-site child troll care 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. M-F, and 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sat/Sunday. Concierge services and first floor coffee bar (6 a.m. – 10 p.m.) Cordon Bleu chef catering your dinners from 4 – 10 pm nightly Friday night Family Movies at 6 and 7:15 p.m. (popcorn included) 45-car garage and bike room connected via underground corridor and pedestrian ped-way (the moveable conveyers in airports?) Manicured lawns with year-round outdoor grilling and picnic/entertainment spaces.Your own victory garden plot in irrigated 4-acre organic farm adjacent to property. Perfect location just 1 block from shopping, dining, movies, and convenient public transportation hub “Jump-on-it-NOW”- priced for decisive buyers who meet our socio/economic screening criteria! Sturdy, earth-quake-proofed renovated construction with self-sustaining solar-heated water and heat. (Save the world’s resources while you save on utilities!)
The figures for Evanston residential real estate transactions from September 2012 through September 2013 validate the prevailing optimism that home ownership value is making a steady recovery. Four key indicators of positive market activity have been present over the past 12 months: Decreased inventory, increased sales, increased sales prices, and decreased market time. Despite the tendency of some sellers to price their properties more optimistically, the value of energy pricing is very evident. Sold properties in Evanston during this period yielded 96.4% of list price with no price reductions, as opposed to sold properties collecting only 85.1% of original price with one or more price reductions during the same period (Connect MRED MLS data courtesy of Agent Metrics).
Let’s examine each of these four market indicators in more detail as they relate to Evanston home sales in the past year.
Decreased Inventory / Increased Sales
These two market forces go hand in hand, and the positive direction our local market sustained over the past year is reflected in the supply and demand chart below.
In the past year, inventory in Evanston has dropped over 17%, while sales have increased a whopping 72%.
Increased Sale Prices
After suffering through a prolonged drought as our economic engine struggled to gain any movement, Evanston home prices are finally on the rise, signaling a gradual path toward stabilization. Over the past year, home prices rose an average of 3.12% per month, for a total growth percentage reaching an impressive 37.4%.
Decreased Market Time
For residential properties in Evanston in the past year, the average number of days to sell a homes plummeted by 48%, down from 136 in Sept. 2012 to just 71 through Sept. 2013, with many home selling in a week or less. This spells good news for home sellers, while causing potential headaches for home buyers who may be in competition with other would-be buyers. Many Realtors are reporting significant increases in multiple offers on their listings.
Evanston homeowners can sleep a little better at night, with the reassurance that our local market is gradually moving in the right direction. The main question is whether or not home sales will continue to remain strong through the winter and into the spring, when a resurgence of new inventory and sales activity should develop.
Stabilization of interest rates and a continuation of a variety of mortgage programs will be key factors in sustaining momentum in the housing market. Regarding interest rates, one way to gain some perspective is to look at the average interest rates over the last few decades. I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad it’s not 1983 . . .
As I write this, I am downloading the Realtor.com Mobile Collaborative Search app for Android. It’s been about 45 seconds now and it’s 11% done, but I’m in no hurry. On the contrary, I’m patiently awaiting the chance to explore what looks like a very robust, user friendly home search tool that not only purportedly delivers the goods in terms of data on residential properties, but nicely facilitates and encourages interaction and exchange of data and notes between clients and Realtors.
Since there is such an array of choices today which allow home buyers and sellers to customize search criteria, Realtors can often lose sight of what their clients are seeing out there. While an agent may have an MLS property search set up for a home buyer, it would be unwise to assume that the client isn’t evaluating the same properties and others on Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and a host of real estate sites where anyone can mine for intel on a possible future home.
Fostering Client-Agent Collaboration
In one respect, this free search tool operates similar to Linked In; the idea is for Realtors to invite clients and friends to join and install the app on a mobile device. The app allows home buyers to keep more detailed notes on potential candidates, and also allows agents to see notes and exchange comments. This concept is nothing new to agents sharing notes via an MLS search. Realtor.com, however, takes it a step further by allowing real-time chat capability between client and agent. Now those random thoughts that run through your head in the grocery store can now be magically transformed into actual communication that’s stored and easily retrieved.
Not Just ‘Cause It’s Free, Go Get It. Now. Right Now. Really.
Whether you are a Realtor, a Home Seeker in search of the perfect space, or a Home Seller sifting through comparable properties, you really need to download and try out this incredibly versatile, share-friendly app. Realtors: Invite clients and friends; that’s the only way they can gain access. Clients: If your Real Estate Professional hasn’t clued you in to this valuable search asset, please remind him or her that Technological Determinism propels us ever forward; you might as well adjust to it and get on board.
So . . . Happy Searching and Connecting!
The One Evanston Condo building at 1570 Elmwood Avenue in Evanston (formerly The Winthrop Club) is experiencing a surge in sales that parallels the improving climate for home sellers in Evanston.
Despite a great deal of advertising in the construction phase and first few years as Evanston’s first Silver LEED certified condo building, it was an uphill battle for this development and many others in the area during a very challenging economic slide.
In the past year, however, it’s been an altogether different story as this sleek, modern, environmentally friendly 96-unit building has established a base of ownership that should help guide its condo association into the future.
According to MRED Connect MLS figures, there have been 32 units sold at One Evanston in the past 12 months, with an average sale price of $449,000. Of these 32 units, 22 — nearly 70 percent — have sold in the past 6 months. Fifteen units — nearly 50 percent — have sold in the past four months, and 10 (with three more pending) sold in the past two months.
This trend certainly serves a barometer for hi-rise condo sales in the downtown Evanston area, and reflects the general trend of increased sales for Evanston condos.
It’s encouraging to look at this building at night whenever I pass by, with more lights on, more activity, and more of a community forming where once there were random lights illuminating the odd window, with the others remaining ominously dark.
Despite slow sales in the past, I look forward to the day that this building has 100% occupancy!