Wednesday, October 26, 2011

6 Tips for a Successful Open House for Your Evanston Home!

Selling your home this fall in Evanston may seem daunting as the current market is leaning in the favor of buyers.  However, selling your home is not impossible!  Our team of Prudential Rubloff Evanston Real Estate agents on our Shoreline Property Advisors team have helped many sellers navigate their way through the home selling process in a timely and efficient manner and their efforts have been met with the greatest success!
As a seller, your first step is to find a trusted Evanston Real Estate agent as they will be your greatest resource and advocate for getting the return on investment you’re hoping for.  However, we understand that sellers also want to play a role in selling their home and we are often asked what are some of the best ways they can help “sell” their home.
Besides making sure your Evanston home is in top condition and move-in ready, the open house can be a vital factor in getting your home sold.  Buyers want to see the home in person so they can get a better sense of the home and how they would fit in the home.  Having a stellar open house can make a great impression on buyers and will help make your home even more desirable.  Below are six key things you can do to ensure a successful open house!
1. First Impressions- Believe it or not, a nice doormat or attractive porch can really set the tone for the entire open house. If there’s an old doormat, chipped paint or nothing special about the entrance to your home, buyers may feel that you don’t really care. A welcoming setting from the start will instantly let buyers know that your home is cared for and that each area of your home is well-maintained.
2. Make it Generic- It’s great to make your home personal; however your pictures, children’s art or your “to do” list on the refrigerator can be a large distraction to potential buyers. They need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so putting away those personal items will help buyers picture their life in your Evanston home.
3. Clear Counters- Look at your kitchen or bathroom counters from a outsiders viewpoint. Do you have too many appliances cluttering your kitchen counter? Clearing this space will give the appearance of more room for cooking or their own storage. If your bathroom counters are filled with perfumes, toothbrush holders, etc… take time to put them in cabinets or drawers so buyers can see the actual size of the space.
4. Set the Table- This may not seem necessary, but having your dining room table set with nice place settings add a touch of class and can help the Evanston buyer envision hosting their own dinner parties.
5. Get to the Heart- The best way to appeal to the buyers’ heart is through offering something special when they walk in the door. Whether you bake fresh cookies, have coffee or hot chocolate for them on your counter, these added touches will set your home apart. Lighting a mildly scented candle and having your home appropriately heated for the day’s weather can make your home instantly feel comfortable to the Evanston buyer.  
6. Don’t Stick Around- While it may be tempting to want to hear what the potential buyers have to say, it can be awkward when the seller is present. They will feel that they can’t openly express their thoughts to the agent and will not feel as comfortable when looking throughout the home. Even if you take a walk through the neighborhood, being away from the home during an open house can make all the difference.
If your Evanston home is already listed on the Evanston Real Estate market, we hope these tips will help your next open house be your last!  
Still considering selling your Evanston home this fall?  Feel free to contact us!  We’d enjoy the opportunity to answer any questions you have about the Evanston Real Estate market and to help you get your Evanston home sold!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Enjoy these Upcoming Indiana Shoreline and Harbor Country Halloween Events!

Living along Lake Michigan’s Shoreline offers a wide variety of opportunities to explore and take advantage of what each of its shoreline cities has to offer!  With the fall season well underway, we hope you’ve been enjoying the stunning views of the changing leaves and all of the fall festivities that have been taking place.
One of our favorite parts of our job as the Shoreline Property Advisors team is letting people in on what makes each city along the Lake Michigan Shoreline so unique.  With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we’d focus on the Indiana Shoreline and Harbor Country Michigan and highlight a few of the upcoming events around the area!  Take a look!
Ghost Ride at Hesston’s Steam Museum
1201 E 1000 North, LaPorte
Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23 from 1-6pm
- Embark on a haunted train ride aboard the Flying Dutchman Railroad!  This is a trip that you won’t soon forget as your train is haunted by many ghoulish creatures. Watch out for the Mad Lumber-Jack that haunts these woods! The Ghost Train is frightening fun for everyone, and appropriate for even small children.  View more information on the Hesston’s Train Museum website.  
New Buffalo Halloween Parade
Downtown New Buffalo
Sunday, October 30 from 1-4:30pm
- You don’t want to miss the annual New Buffalo Halloween Parade and Trick of Treat!  This fun, family event is filled with a costume contest at 1pm and followed by the parade at 2pm.  Kids can trick-or-treat from 2:30-4:30pm, so come prepared to have a great time and get your candy fix!
Boo at the Zoo!
Washington Park Zoo
115 Lakeshore Drive, Michigan City
Saturday, October 22 from 5-8pm
- This is one trick or treat you won’t forget!  Children can come dressed in their costumes and enjoy collecting candy while viewing the animals at the zoo! This is one of the largest celebrations in La Porte County, so gather family and friends and enjoy Boo at the Zoo!
We hope you are able to take advantage of one, or all, of these events!  Whether you’re visiting the Harbor Country or Indiana Shoreline areas within the next few weekends, or are a permanent resident, you’ll find these events will give you a great feel for the communities and what makes each town such a great place to vacation or call “home!”
If you have questions about the Harbor Country Real Estate market or about living or vacation along the Indiana Shoreline, please feel free to contact us today!  Our experienced Prudential Rubloff Real Estate agents would be happy to show you around the area and help you find just the home you’re looking for!
We look forward to hearing from you!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

8 Key Elements to Look for in Your New Lake Michigan Home!

Last week we talked about ten ways that you can easily navigate through the Lake Michigan Shoreline home buying process.  We know it can be exciting to think about the possibilities of buying a beautiful home along Lake Michigan’s shores, and being fully prepared to do so will help the process run smoothly.  

As the Shoreline Property Advisors team, we want to help you find the home of your dreams, whether it’s a vacation home on Lake Michigan or a permanent residence in Chicago, the North Shore, the Indiana Shoreline or Harbor Country.  We gathered the top eight key elements you’ll want to think about when searching for your Lake Michigan Shoreline home.  These should help you quickly narrow down your search to the top homes that fit your needs, lifestyle and budget!
1. Location- No matter how tired we get of hearing it; this is one of the most important things! You can always make changes to the interior and exterior of your home, making it look exactly as you would like, but you cannot move your home to a new location. Be sure that the location you choose matches your desires for things such lake access or close proximity to work or daily activities.
2. Situational Factors- Other than the location of the home, be sure to check out the other details of the location. Is the home on hill with a view of Lake Michigan? Do your windows look directly into the neighbors’ home? Is the yard good for pets, children or a garden?
3 Curb Appeal- Be sure to consider the home’s condition and determine whether you are willing to put in extra money if updates are needed. Reflect on the style of the home to see if it is in line with your style. If gardening is not something you like, be sure to consider the maintenance of the lawn and foliage.
4. Size and Floorplan- Although you want the most space for your money, buying a home that’s too large may not be in your best interest. Know your goals for the home, whether it’s a permanent home or a vacation getaway that you’ll use for hosting family and friends. Floor plan, along with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, play a role in how comfortable and efficient your home is for you.
5. Kitchen- The kitchen is the “heart of the home” so you want to know you enjoy the space! Remodeling is always an option, but is a huge undertaking and can become very costly.
6. Closets and Storage- Check out the closets and storage space to see if you can live with it and it will fit any additional gear for enjoying Lake Michigan.  Do you have alot of outdoor gear for biking, camping, canoeing or even boating?  You’ll want a home that can easily fit all of your things.  There are always options of wardrobe’s or other creative ways to get more storage space in a room, but determining your storage needs first is important.
7. Windows and Lighting- Consider the amount of windows or light available in each room. Most homes directly on Lake Michigan have many windows that offer stunning lake views!  If you enjoy taking in the scenery, making sure the home you choose has plenty of sunlight and windows is important.
8. Finishing Touches- Look at those special details that make the home stand out. While this is minor, it is still what makes a home feel pulled together. If you absolutely love the home you’ve found in Chicago, Evanston, the Indiana Shoreline or Harbor Country; buy it. You can always make additional updates later!
We understand there are a wide variety of things to consider when buying a home, so we hope that this information will help you hone in on the things you’re really looking for in your next home purchase.  
As always, we’re here to help in any way possible!  Whether you have questions about the Lake Michigan Shoreline Real Estate market or what neighborhood would be suit your needs; we’d love the opportunity to talk with you!
Feel free to contact us anytime to get started!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Streamline the Chicago Home Buying Process with These 10 Tips!

If you’re been considering buying a home along the Lake Michigan Shoreline, this fall is a great time to do so!  As the Shoreline Property Advisors team, we enjoy helping people all along the Lake Michigan Shoreline make those crucial decisions when it comes to real estate.  Whether you’re in Evanston, Chicago, the Indiana Shoreline, or Habor Country Michigan; we can help you through each step along the way.
Let’s say you’ve been thinking about buying a home in Chicago.  You know that it’s currently a buyers market with low interest rates, home prices and a wide range on homes on the Chicago Real Estate market. However, you may be worried that you missed your opportunity and it’s now too late in the season to begin the process.  
We have great news!  There is actually still time to find your ideal home in Chicago and go through the home buying process so that you can be settled into your new place just in time for the holidays.  Sound impossible?  We’ve gathered ten tips that can help streamline buying a home in Chicago; take a look!
1.  Start Your Search Online- Instead of spending your time perusing neighborhoods for open houses or for sale signs, get online to streamline your search.  There are many great homes available in Chicago which you can view online.

2.  Get Pre-Approved- Finding the home of your dreams and then shopping for a loan is a risky move, as most home sellers won't even look at an offer that's not accompanied by a pre-approval letter.  Getting pre-approved ensures you know your exact budget and can save you from a bidding war if many are vying for the same home.

3.  Look for Motivated Sellers- Again, this shouldn’t be hard to find motivated sellers in the fall since they’re more than likely wanting to sell before the holidays.  Don’t settle for sellers who aren’t willing to budge on a home at the top of your price range; there are too many other great Chicago home out there that will have motivated sellers.

4.  Prioritize Your Housing Needs- Finding a home fast means being flexible.  The longer the list of requirements, the harder it will be to find a home.  Keep your list short and to the point.  Focus on the key elements you’re looking for and let the extras fall as they may.

5.  Find a Great Agent- This may seem easy, but finding an agent that truly knows the Chicago Real Estate market and can show your properties that are right in your price range and meet your style and needs can be challenging.  Of course, we’d love to help you in your home search and know that our experience and proven success will make the home buying process an easy one.  Bottom line?  Do your homework and really research local agents. 

6.  Steer Clear of Short Sales- While short sales seem to be flooding the market across the country; if you’re looking for a quick buy, short sales are not the way to go.  There is a long process involved with these homes and complications are almost always in the cards.

7.  Try a Real Estate Auction- While not common, auctions make the purchasing process quick and streamlined.  In many cases, you tour the property beforehand, make your bid, and close in 30 days if you're the highest bidder.

8.  Negotiate Repairs- If an inspection reveals that the home you want to buy requires repairs, taking the responsibility off the seller can help you close the deal quicker. After obtaining estimates, ask the seller for a credit rather than asking them to complete the repairs themselves.

9.  Have Cash Ready for Closing
- You don't want to be scrambling for funds at the last minute, so be prepared for this important date. A day or two before closing on your Chicago home, you'll get the final settlement statement, detailing the terms of your loan and all the closing costs. Be sure to get a certified or cashier's check made out for the total amount you owe at closing, including the down payment since you can’t use a personal check.

10.  Have a Plan B- Because not every transaction goes smoothly, be sure you have a property or two as a backup; you don’t want to have to start from scratch!
Ready to get started?  Our team of experienced Prudential Rubloff real estate agents will be able to show you some of the beautiful homes currently on the Chicago Real Estate market.  If you have questions about buying a Chicago home or still aren’t quite sure where to start, please feel free to contact us!
We’re here to help and look forward to helping your find your new Chicago home!
Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff