Wednesday, September 28, 2011

5 Tips for Moving with a Pet and a Great Lake Michigan Shoreline Resource!

For many of us, our pets have become a part of our families and an important part of our lives.  Whether you’re a cat person, love dogs, or enjoy the morning songs of your bird, we all try to provide the best environment and home life for our animals.

Yet, oftentimes, when it comes to moving into a new home or relocating to a new area or state, we get so caught up in the buying, selling and moving that we can forget some of the needs our pets will have during this time.

Animals have a very keen sense when there are changes that are taking place, and an ever growing mound of boxes or trips to your new location can put stress on your animal.  Even though you may be excited about moving to your new Lake Michigan Shoreline home and everything seems to be moving along seamlessly; it’s imperative to give a little extra attention and tlc to your pet during this time.  Below are some key ways that you can help your pet have a smooth transition and to ensure they’re enjoying their new Lake Michigan Shoreline home in no time!

1. Appoint a Person- As part of your moving plan, appoint one person in the family that will be in charge of your pet.  This will eliminate any confusion as to who has responsibility and will help ensure your pet gets the extra attention they need.
2.  Schedule an Appointment- Be sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian a few weeks before your move for a check up.  Be sure to get your pet’s veterinary records so they can be given to your new veterinarian.  Make sure you obtain any permits or registrations as well.

3.  Prep Your Home- Prep your new Lake Michigan Shoreline home for your pet.  They may be frightened or confused in their new surroundings.  Choose a room that you can set up for them with all their familiar items such as toys, food, bedding, etc... Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away.

4. Moving by Car- If you’re moving your pets by car, be sure to plan for several stops along the way.  Some pets may find car travel extremely distressing and stopping for fresh air and breaks can help.  Don’t forget any medications your pet might need as well as a leash.

5. Allow for Discovery- Dogs especially will need time to discover their new area.  Be sure to locate the nearest park or outdoor area to your new Lake Michigan Shoreline home where your dog can run.  Give them time to discover their new area and even allow them to make new friends.  

We hope these tips are helpful to you as you consider moving to your ideal home along Lake Michigan’s Shoreline!  
Of course, one of the best resources or places for pet rescue if you’re looking to help an animal in needs is PAWS Chicago!  This fantastic establishment, founded in 1997, is Chicago’s largest no kill, humane and adoption organization.  A  bunch of our Shoreline Property Advisors friends have pets that they’ve adopted from PAWS Chicago and we’re proud to be a part of helping out their great cause!

We’ve recently donated money to PAWS Chicago through the help of our loyal Facebook fans!  In efforts to bring awareness and support the loving option of adopting these animals, we’ve donated $5 for every new “like” we’ve received on our Shoreline Advice Lifestyle and Real Estate Facebook page and with your help, we've reached our $500 goal!  

So, whether you’re considering buying or selling a home along the Lake Michigan Shoreline or just have a soft spot in your heart for animals; we’d love to get to know you!   Feel free to let us know how we can help with your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate needs or share with us pictures of your pet or what they mean to you!
We hope to hear from you soon!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Your September Checklist for Your Lake Michigan Shoreline Home

Whether you live in Evanston, along Chicago’s North Shore, the Indiana Shoreline or one of the charming Harbor Country communities; you’re probably enjoying the cool fall weather, vivid blue skies and the changing leaves.  It’s a beautiful time of year along the Lake Michigan Shoreline and it’s easy to see why so many flock to live and vacation along its shores.
If you currently own a Lake Michigan Shoreline home, there are a few things you’ll want to do to ensure your home stays in great shape throughout the coming colder months before autumn rains and snowfall take their toll on your home.  Below are seven ways to get your home ready for fall! 
1.  Add weatherstripping to doors and windows- Weatherstripping can be plastic, foam, felt or metal; its job is to seal small gaps, keeping moisture and cold air outside where they belong.  Newer, energy-efficient windows generally don't require added weatherstripping, but if your windows are older, weatherstripping can keep drafts at bay and energy costs down.

2.  Check storm windows- If you have storm windows that are cracked or dirty, repair and clean them now; prior to autumn installation.

3.  Insulation speculation- This is a good time to check the condition of insulation and see if you need more, especially if you live in an older Lake Michigan Shoreline home. You can purchase un-backed or loose-fill insulation if you are just beefing up what is already there. If your walls lack insulation, consider having a professional install blown-in insulation foam. The energy savings will probably offset the cost of the procedure in a couple of years.

4.  Check gutters- Do a quick visual check to make sure gutters are clear — they'll be performing double duty soon with rainstorms and falling leaves.

5.  Keep mice out- September inspires nesting in mice as well as humans. Mice are looking for a winter home now, and that newly insulated attic would be just the spot. Mice can squeeze through 1/4-inch openings. Make sure all exterior vents are screened, and that there are no gaps underneath garage doors.

6.  Caulk exterior- Think of caulk as weatherstripping in a tube. Any gap on the outside of your home can be a candidate for caulking. Look at transition spots: corners, windows, doors, areas where masonry joins siding, or places where vents and other objects protrude from walls. Carefully read manufacturer's directions to make sure the caulk you buy will work where you plan to use it, and don't forget to purchase a caulking gun. Early fall is a good time for this task because caulk becomes difficult to apply when the temperature falls.

7.  Inspect your roof and chimney- If your roof isn't too steep, and isn't covered with slate or tile, you may be able to carefully walk on it on a dry day. Look for broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged flashing and seals around vent pipes and chimneys, and damage to boards along the eaves. Also peer down your chimney with a flashlight to make sure no animals have set up house in it. If you can't get on your roof, perform this inspection with a ladder around the perimeter.   Some patches and roofing cement now can prevent thousands of dollars of water damage later in the winter.
As the Shoreline Property Advisors team, we’re committed to providing the best advice possible for those who are buying and selling on the Lake Michigan Shoreline, as well as those who already reside in one of the beautiful Lake Michigan Shoreline homes.   We hope these tips help you as you prepare your home for fall!
If you have questions about living along the Lake Michigan Shoreline, would like more information about the Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate market, or are ready to buy a vacation home or permanent residence along this stunning shoreline; let us know!  We’re here to help you in any way possible and look forward to working with you!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

10 Tips for Selling Your Lake Michigan Shoreline Home this Fall!

Last week we talked about how to deal with offers on your Lake Michigan Shoreline home that are less than favorable, and we hope this information was helpful for those of you who are in the midst of selling your home in the Chicago North Shore, Evanston, the Indiana shoreline or Harbor Country!  
But what if you’ve only been considering selling your home and haven’t taken the leap into the Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate market?  As the Shoreline Property Advisors team, we want to be sure that you’re fully prepared to enter the market to ensure a successful home sale.  
Selling in today’s buyers market can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible!  We’ve gathered ten key tips that will help you navigate through the Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate market and get your home sold!  
1. Focus on curb appeal- Selling your Lake Michigan Shoreline home during the fall certainly comes with one advantage: the season's beautiful foliage which can automatically make your home more attractive for showings. However, you still need to do your part to keep your home looking its best. Start by sprucing up your lawn, keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking and patch up any brown spots in the grass.
2. Appeal to the senses- As the weather cools down along the Lake Michigan Shoreline, make your home a warm, welcoming space where buyers will want to stick around. If you encourage them to stay awhile during showings, you give them more time to admire your home's best features.
3. Flaunt your fireplace- A warm, inviting fireplace is a great selling point as the weather gets cooler. Highlight this fall-friendly feature by arranging your furniture to make your fireplace a focal point. Place a mirror, artwork, vases or other tasteful decor on top of the mantel to make it even more prominent.
4. Update your listing photos- If your Lake Michigan Shoreline home was listed last winter or spring and then taken off the market, talk with your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent about updating your home’s marketing with brand new fall shots. Pictures from the previous season make your listing seem dated.
5. Think like a buyer- Fall house hunters are looking for great deals on homes along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, so be prepared for lowball offers and possible non-serious buyers. Manage your expectations and negotiate accordingly, depending on your motivation.
6. Hire a reliable real estate professional- As if selling your home isn't stressful enough, you're probably thinking ahead for the holidays or helping the kids ease into a new school year. During this hectic season, you definitely want a great Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent to take some of the pressure of selling your home off your shoulders. If you are still searching for an agent; we’d love to help you sell your Lake Michigan Shoreline home
7. Price it right- If you want to grab the attention of Lake Michigan Shoreline buyers in this competitive market, you need to price your home correctly from the start - possibly slightly lower than comparable homes in your neighborhood. Setting your listing price just right could lead to a bidding war, resulting in a higher sales price for you. Work with your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent to price your home correctly.
8. Watch your timing- Put your Lake Michigan Shoreline home on the market well in advance of looking for a new home. And don't place an offer on your next home until you have solid offers on the one you have to sell now. The last thing you want to do is juggle two mortgage payments.
9. Beware of TMI (too much information)- Buyers think most sellers these days are in dire straits, so don't do anything to add to that perceived advantage and lower your potential selling price. For instance, if you are moving from the area due to a job transfer, it's best not to offer up that information or at the very least, downplay the urgency. While you are obligated to disclose everything about the property's condition, you aren't obligated to disclose your personal situation.
10. Be flexible- We are currently in a buyers market, so be willing to work with buyers to help your chances of making a quick sale. Offer to pay for closing costs or repairs, and be adaptable when it comes to showing your home and holding open houses. If you really need to sell your Lake Michigan Shoreline home, you need to accommodate buyers' busy schedules as well. This might mean opening your home on weeknights and weekends. Be flexible!

These ten key tips will give you a good foundation and insight into getting your Lake Michigan Shoreline home sold.  As always, we’re here to help!  Our knowledgeable Shoreline Property Advisors team and our Prudential Rubloff Real Esate agents have the experience and tools to sell your home in today’s market.
We’d love to answer any questions you have or begin walking with you through the home selling process!  Feel free to contact us today!  We look forward to working with you!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

6 Tips for Dealing with a Low-Ball Offer on Your Lake Michigan Shoreline Home

Selling your Lake Michigan Shoreline home can be an emotional and sometimes overwhelming process.  Just when you get a few interested buyers, they find another property or your home has been sitting on the Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate market for a while without any interest. 
While we are currently experiencing a buyers market, finding the right Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent can make a huge difference in getting buyers interested in your property.  Whether your home is in Chicago, Evanston, the Indiana shoreline or Harbor Country; you want an agent who’s willing to walk with you through each step and drive traffic to your home.
Another frustration some sellers are facing is that, since buyers know the market is leaning in their favor, they tend to make low offers that aren’t anywhere near the asking price.  So, what’s the best way to deal with these low-ball offers?  These six guidelines should help you navigate through this oftentimes tricky situation.
1. Consider the terms- Price is paramount for most Lake Michigan Shoreline buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.
2. Counter the purchase offer- Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers on your home along Lake Michigan’s Shoreline, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay, or they want to test your limits.
A counteroffer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counteroffer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.
3. Get the agents together- If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counteroffer would make sense. Also, ask your agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel freer to reject the offer.
4. Review your comps- Ask your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.
5. Consider the buyer’s comps- Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comparables. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counteroffer information about those homes and your own comps that your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent provided for you when you first decided your asking price. If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps.
6. Don’t signal desperation-Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer. If you can remedy the situation, maybe by renting furniture or asking your Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate agent not to mention in your home listing that you’re motivated, the next purchase offer you get might be more to your liking.
We hope these tips help you prepare for how to deal with this issue when it arises, because chances are; it will!  As the Shoreline Property Advisors Team, we enjoy advising clients in every aspect of real estate.  We know it can get confusing at times, and want to be sure you know exactly what’s going on throughout the entire home buying or selling process.
If you’re hoping to sell your Lake Michigan Shoreline home and aren’t quite sure what the next step is to take, feel free to contact us!  We can answer your questions and the Prudential Rubloff Real Estate agents on our team can ensure your home gets sold!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff