Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Don't Miss the New Buffalo Winter Festival This Weekend!

In many cities, the winter months means staying in doors, bundling up and waiting for warmer weather to be active, but not on the Lake Michigan Shoreline!  Whether you live in Evanston, Chicago, the Indiana Shoreline, or along the coast in Harbor Country Michigan, you’ll find a long list of fun activities to beat winter boredom and experience these well loved communities.

In fact, if you’re searching for something to do and you don’t currently live along the Lake Michigan Shoreline, you’ll want to check out New Buffalo next weekend!  Each year, this quaint Harbor Country town celebrates the spirit of winter with the New Buffalo Winter Festival.  Here’s just an overview of this much anticipated winter event!

New Buffalo Winter Festival 
Downtown New Buffalo

Saturday, February 2 & Sunday, February 3

- This yearly event is a great opportunity to gather with family, friends and neighbors!  Events all day on Saturday offer a wide variety of things to do while the ball is a perfect way to end a day of fun.  Enjoy ice skating, free sleigh rides, ice sculpting demonstrations, shopping downtown and much more!

Bev’s Second Season Ball includes dinner and dancing, and a charity auction for $75 per person.  Begin your evening with free chocolate martinis and hors d’ oeuvres at 6:30pm followed by dinner at 7:30pm and decadent chocolate lovers desserts.  Dancing till midnight gives you a chance to mingle with friends and place your bids at the silent auction featuring vacations and cruise options!

The festival continues on Sunday morning with a Chocolate Chip Pancake Breakfast at local favorite, Michigan Thyme.  You won’t want to miss being a part of this highlight of the winter season in New Buffalo!  View more information about the event on the New Buffalo website

You’ll find there’s something for everyone that will make this New Buffalo experience well worth it!  Whether you live on New Buffalo’s shores year round, or you’re considering buying a vacation home or permanent residence in this charming town; taking part in this event will give you insight into the great lifestyle that New Buffalo has to offer.

Please feel free to contact our team of New Buffalo Real Estate agents and property advisors here at Shoreline Property Advisors at any time!  We are here to help with all of you New Buffalo Real Estate needs and look forward to serving you!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

10 Reasons to Work with a Chicago Real Estate Agent

You’ve probably heard that the national housing market is on the upswing and it looks as though it will continue to improve through 2013!  While this is great news, it’s still important to enter the market armed with knowledge, research and financial preparation.  

If you’re considering buying or selling your Chicago home or condo this year, you may be temped to do it on your own without the help of a trusted Chicago Real Estate agent.  While it may seem that it simply comes down to finding someone to buy your home, or you feel that you can find your next home in Chicago on your own; these things are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to real estate.

Here at Shoreline Property Advisors, we are committed to providing our clients with the best real estate advice and service.  Our Chicago Real Estate agents have years of experience behind them and are savvy when it comes to navigating the Chicago Real Estate market.  And trust us; you’ll want one by your side!  

Here are ten additional reasons you’ll want to work with a trusted Chicago Real Estate agent.

1. Education and Experience- Their years of training and experience in the market will be a great asset to you! You don’t have to put pressure on yourself to learn about the market or how to negotiate a deal since a real estate agent will be fully trained and know the ins and outs of the Chicago Real Estate market
2. Agents are Buffers- You won’t have to deal with multiple phone calls from buyers or other agents. Buying or selling a home can get personal and your Chicago Real Estate agent can act as your personal shield against pushy buyers or bad deals.
3. Area Knowledge- If you’re buying a Chicago home and are relocating to the area, your Chicago Real Estate agent will know the best places to search to fit your needs and lifestyle!
4. Price Guidance- Your Chicago Real Estate agent can guide you in what you want to offer on a home and help you come up with a price that works within your budget. They can also give you advice on pricing your home correctly from the beginning.
5. Market Condition Information- You’ll get an inside look into the Chicago Real Estate market such as what homes are currently selling for on the market or when a home is a good deal.
6. Professional Networking- Your Chicago Real Estate agent may already have a connection to an interested buyer for your Chicago home! They will also have contact with other agents and brokers and can get the word out about your home being on the market.
7. Negotiation Skills- Negotiating a contract can be tricky and your Chicago Real Estate agent will be able to navigate through this process to ensure you are happy with the deal.
8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork- There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into buying or selling a home. Your real estate agent will be able to take care of this for you and make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed!
9. Answer Questions after Closing- Sometimes there can be issues that arise during the closing or taxing authorities can get behind in their paperwork and call you months after closing. A good real estate agent will stick by you even after you close a deal to take care of any after effects.
10. Develop Relationships for Future Business- Finding a trusted Chicago Real Estate agent can be tough, but once you find one; you’ll want to develop a great relationship with them! Whether you are looking to buy or sell again in the future, you know that they’ll be your first choice so building that relationship is key!
We hope that, after viewing these ten reasons for working with a Chicago Real Estate agent, you’ll see the value of working with an experienced professional.  Buying or selling a home in Chicago is a large undertaking and we want to make sure you’re getting the attention and service you deserve!
If you have questions about what we can do for you, or you’re ready to jump into the Chicago Real Estate market; please contact us today!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weather Winter Storms in Your Harbor Country Home!

It’s a beautiful time of year in Harbor Country as we see snow falling and look out over the undisturbed white blanket that seems to wrap up nature in a peaceful setting.  And, while many of us love the snow and the activities of the winter season, it’s important to remember the impact that these conditions can have on your Harbor Country home.

As a team of experienced Harbor Country Real Estate agents and property advisors here at Shoreline Property Advisors, our goal is to provide the top Harbor Country Real Estate market information, as well as tips for your Harbor Country home and lifestyle.  Today, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk about ways to ensure your Harbor Country home can weather any winter storm that comes our way!

1. Protect your roof-  Preventing snow from piling up on your Harbor Country home’s  roof can keep your roof from collapsing and costing thousands of dollars in damage.  Most roof can support about 20 pounds per square foot, which is about 4 feet of new snow before becoming distressed.  However, you don’t want to wait until that happens to do something about it.  Using a roof rake with an extra long handle after a snow storm will keep the distress on your roof to a minimum and will protect against collapses.   

2. Prevent ice dams- While hanging icicles may look nice, these can be a sign that you have ice dams building up under your roof.  This happens when heat from inside your house causes water to melt in the middle of your roof and then refreeze near the edges, creating a dam that can lead to leaks in your roof and damage your ceilings, walls and roof.  To prevent this, keep your attic no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than outside temperatures which can be done by cracking a window in your attic.  

3. Bundle up your pipes- To prevent pipes from freezing (one of the most common insurance claims in the winter), wrap attic, basement and crawl-space pipes in insulation, which costs as little as $1 per six feet.  You can also open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to flow around the pipes, and let water drip slowly from faucets.

4. Do some quick maintenance-  There are a few minor things you can do to keep issues at bay during the winter months.  Keep trees trimmed, clean gutters and downspouts, and install weather stripping to seal drafty windows and doors. If you have extra time, make sure your landscaping is graded so runoff from rain or melting snow moves away from the foundation. 

5. Keep an emergency kit in your home- Being fully prepared in case of a power outage or being snowed in is something you can do with an emergency home kit.  The Red Cross recommends stocking an emergency preparedness kit with basic supplies, including a three-day supply of food and water for each person in your household, flashlights, extra batteries, a weather radio, a first aid kit, and a seven-day supply of medications and medical supplies. Don't forget to have extra food and supplies for your pets! Also keep printouts of your insurance and emergency information (so you're not dependent on a computer if the electricity is knocked out), as well as cash on hand. 

6. Install a home generator- A lot can go wrong when your electricity goes out and having a home generator can prevent things like pipes freezing, losing light and heat and much more.  Whether you choose an automatic generator or a portable generator, make sure they are properly installed by a professional and that you read all safety information before using. 

7. Stay warm safely- Carbon monoxide poisoning can be one of the largest winter dangers in a home.  This is caused by improper ventilation of furnaces, generators, charcoal-burning or propane-burning devices, or wood-burning stoves. Have a carbon monoxide detector on all floors of your home. If you have a chimney in your Harbor Country home, be sure to have your chimney cleaned every year to avoid flammable creosote buildup, buy a sturdy screen to keep sparks in the fireplace, and dispose of ashes in a metal container.

We hope you’re able to enjoy getting out in Harbor Country for some of the fun winter activities, or take the opportunity to soak in the warmth and comfort of your Harbor Country home.  These tips will help ensure that you can rest at ease this winter knowing your home is in great condition and can stand up to winter in Harbor Country.

If you have questions about your Harbor Country home or are interested in learning more about living in Harbor Country; please contact us today!  We would love to talk with you about this beautiful Lake Michigan location.

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What NOT To Do When Making an Offer on an Evanston Home

A few weeks ago, we talked about the outlook for the 2013 national housing market and provided tips for preparing to buy a home this year.  It’s an exciting time for us as Evanston Real Estate agents and the team here at Shoreline Property Advisors as we see the market continue on its upward climb! 

If you’ve already been online searching for your dream home in Evanston, or you’re still debating on whether or not to buy this year, we hope you’ll let us know how we can help you along in the process.  Buying an Evanston home is a large financial decision and we understand the importance of weighing your options carefully.  That’s why we believe our property advisors would be a great help as you consider buying a home in Evanston.

You may, however, already have found your ideal home in Evanston and are ready to make an offer.  Losing the home would mean starting your search over, so we wanted to provide a few tips on what NOT to do when making an offer on an Evanston home.

1. Don’t Be Nosy- While you may be curious how much the sellers paid for their Evanston home when they bought it; it should not make a difference in what the fair market value is for the home today.  The homes past selling history is not indicative of what the home is worth in today’s market. If you want to discuss the homes’ history on the market, ask your Evanston Real Estate agent and they will be happy to talk about it with you, as well as what type of offer is an acceptable one.
2.  Don’t Disregard the Seller- There may be special requests, time issues or other various aspects that will come into play for the seller.  Don’t disregard these requests if they are fair and reasonable.  Ultimately, waiting  a little longer or closing early is not worth losing the home over.  Discuss the requests with your Evanston Real Estate agent and be willing to be flexible with the seller and their needs.
3. Don’t Lowball the Seller- If the Evanston home is fairly priced, it’s not necessary for you to make an unreasonably low offer.  Your Evanston Real Estate agent will go over the comparable homes in Evanston and help you determine a fair offer.

4.  Don’t Get Too Attached
- While you may feel strongly that this is the Evanston home for you; it’s not yours until the offer is accepted. Be patient with the process and realize that the offer could be refused.  Be prepared and have a backup plan.
5.  Don’t Become a Stalker- If you’ve made your offer, sit back and let the seller consider your offer and their timetable.  Don’t stalk them by going to their open houses, taking time to drive by the home, or contact the listing agent.  Direct any questions to your Evanston Real Estate agent and remember that patience is key!
These five tips should prevent you from making any unnecessary mistakes when making an offer on an Evanston home.  Your Evanston Real Estate agent will also be there each step of the way and will keep you well informed of the progress of your offer.
If you don’t currently have an Evanston Real Estate agent and are ready to take the next step in buying a home, or you have further questions about the market, please contact us!
We look forward to working with you!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Discover New Buffalo with These Upcoming Events!

It’s the start of a new year and an exciting time as 2013 lies before us with endless possibilities.  For many, this year will bring about changes to your job and even where you live!  As a team of experienced New Buffalo Real Estate agents and property advisors, our goal here at Shoreline Property Advisors is to ensure the transition you make to a new home is as smooth and stress free process.

If you’re considering relocating to New Buffalo or are dreaming of buying a vacation home along its’ beautiful shores, you’ll want to take some time to get to know the area!  We understand the importance of feeling a part of the community in which you’re buying a home and visiting the area is a great way to start to feel at home.  

Whether you are relocating this year to New Buffalo, or you currently live here and are looking for something to do within the next few weeks to keep winter blues at bay, here are a few great events you won’t want to miss!

4th Annual Birdhouse Auction 
Marina Grand
600 Water St, New Buffalo
Friday, January 11 from 5-8pm
- The Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative is presenting this creative event that features 50 unique artist designed birdhouses.  The birdhouses will be auctioned off to raise funds to benefit the purchase and installation of public art.  Admission includes two drinks and appetizers.  This is a great way to support the arts in the New Buffalo community!  View more information on the Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative website.  
New Buffalo Yacht Club Chili Cook-Off
New Buffalo Yacht Club
500 West Water, New Buffalo
Saturday, January 12 from 1-5pm
- The New Buffalo Yacht Club, which was established in 1956 has been a great addition to the New Buffalo community!  Throughout the year the club hosts events and, if you’re a member or interested in becoming one, the Chili Cook-Off is one you won’t want to miss!  Membership to the New Buffalo Yacht Club includes use of the bar and restaurant , the clubhouse that overlooks the New Buffalo harbor, private club parking and much more!  Learn more about the New Buffalo Yacht Club on their website or find out more about the Chili Cook-Off by calling 269-469-9808.
We hope you’re able to take part in one or both of these events within the next few weeks in New Buffalo!  You’ll find they’re a great way to interact in the community and get a feel for the New Buffalo lifestyle.
Our team would be happy to meet with you at any time to discuss your New Buffalo Real Estate needs!  Please feel free to contact us today!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff