Winnetka, IL Real Estate News

By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
 Things are looking up!   Sales for Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth and Glencoe are definitely higher than  comparable sales in May (see May Market Report.) But if sales are up, what about prices?  I've including something different in this report - the percentage of sale price to  original list price.  Some of these homes came on the market pre-market downturn and are now selling at remarkably lower prices.  New homes coming on the market now will not reflect the same % of list/sale price that these numbers reflect.   Winnetka - 21 Sales!  (7 sales in 2008) 624 Willow               $350,000  (81% of original asking price) 929 Tower                 350,000  (61%) 1491 Asbury              460,000  (79%) 1107 Tower               520,000  (95%)  on market for 9 days 329 Rosewood           5...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
It's time again to celebrate our nation's Independence Day on Saturday, the Fourth of July.  This federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 which declared independence from Great Britain.  Since that day, Americans have hosted parades, fireworks, picnics, and barbecues. In Winnetka on the the 4th of July: 10:00 am:  The parade begins near the corner of Glendale and Elm streets and proceeds  east to the Village Green.  Anyone can participate and is encouraged to join in.  Watch the parade along Elm Street and see bagpipes, marching bands, and floats. 11:00 am:  Events on the Green will include a flag-raising ceremony plus races and events for all ages. 6:30 pm:   At Duke Childs field, before the fireworks, children can enjoy face-paintin...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Winnetka has landed on Business Week's list of "Most Expensive Suburbs to Live In," for the second year in a row along with Atherton, California and Scarsdale, New York.  Is this a blessing or a curse?  Winnetkans know what a wonderful community we have and we are well aware of local house prices and a tax base that affords us one of the best school districrts in the country. But I'm wondering - why Winnetka and not Kenilworth or Lake Forest (Kenilworth was chosen in 2007)  - on average, their home prices are higher than Winnetka.    They have a formula, explained in the link to the article,  The Most Expensive Suburbs to Live in 2009, that basically looked at mortgage and utility payments, clothing, food, beverage, property taxes and health care.  Based on those statistics, Winnetka ha...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Many people feel that having bought a house around the time of the "bubble" ensures that they made a huge lifelong financial mistake.  Clients have lamented that they will "never be able to get out what they put in."  It's true that if you were a renter or first time buyer who purchased a home during the peak, then it would be fair   to say that you've lost "real" money in your home.  But for everybody else who sold something to buy something else, then I would argue that there is parity. I purchased my home in Winnetka  in 2004 and then decided to make it even better.  Lots of people put money in their homes, right?, because it was a known fact that you would get it all back.  In fact, lots of people borrowed money against those same homes because there was just so much candy coming ou...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Another month, new data!  Have things picked up yet - let's see.  Please check my previous post April Sales to see how the numbers compare. Winnetka Closed Sales - 6 Total (2 April Sales)                               988 Elm               $834,000 369 Hawthorn       $880,000 324 Rosewood      $925,000 106 Longmeadow  $1,000,000 704 Park              $1,350,000 1310 Scott            $1,470,000 Wilmette Closed Sales - 12 Total (11 April Sales) 618 Lacrosse        $250,000 3216 Hill              $375,000 221 Locust            $398,900 2214 Old Glenview  $400,000 441 Locust            $450,000 1053 Linden          $499,000 3211 Wilmette       $656,000 315 16th               $705,000 1046 Pawnee         $1,000,000 245 Vista               $1,115,000 1230 Gregory         $1,700,000 1301 Chest...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
  Every week Time Magazine runs a feature called "10 Questions" and last week the                 questions were asked of Jim Cramer, former hedge-fund manager and host of television's Mad Money.  Here is the question and answer: Q:  Is it safe to start reinvesting a small portion back in stocks again, or are we better off investing in real estate? A:  I think that real estate is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because there are no competetive buyers.  Mortgage rates are the lowest in my life.  Affordability is the best in my life.  Clearly, real estate is much better than stocks right now.  Touche!  Jim Cramer is controversial and not always right (Bear Stearns anyone?)  But he is so right about this.  To conjure up a trite real estate phrase:  "Opportunity is knocking."  More to the...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
The controversial mixed-use project proposed by New Trier Partners to rebuilt the old Fell Building and property along Elm Street was approved by the Winnetka Village Council.  Crain's News Release reported:The Winnetka Village Council last week approved a 167,835-square-foot retail and residential development at the site of the former Fell Co. clothing store in the affluent north suburb's downtown. Construction of the $50-million project won't begin until at least 2010, as developer New Trier Partners LLC still needs financing. The plan for the one-acre site, near Lincoln Avenue and Elm Street, east of Green Bay Road, consists of retail space and 31 condominiums, which would start at $800,000. Lincolnwood-based New Trier can't demolish the existing buildings until it has financing and ...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
April was another nasty-weather month and I wonder how much it affected the sales of homes.  Certainly, the Spring Housing Market has gotten off to a slow start.   Here are some closed sale stats for the month:  Winnetka:  2 closed sales        265 Poplar $740,000        331 Linden  $1,250,000 Wilmette:     10 closed sales        3123 Wilmette  $380,000        2149 Washington   $421,000        3217 Greenleaf   $530,000        807 Forest    $650,000        305 16th   $655,000        119 Sterling    $690,000        2147 Thornwood    $750,000        1501 Washington    $767,000        222 Woodbine    $983,500        905 Osage    $1,400,000 Kenilworth:  1 Closed Sale        206 Cumberland    $2,256,250 Glencoe:  7 Closed Sales        351 Washington    $435,000        475 Jackson    $830,000 ...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
  Finally!  I was so pleased to hear that the Village of Winnetka is now accepting all that little junk that we don't know what to do with.  We know we shouldn't throw that stuff in the garbage - so we stick it in a drawer or box and years later, it's still there.  What stuff am I talking about?  Used cell phones, digital cameras, DVD's, game consoles, ink cartridges, and laptop computers.  The Village now accepts these items for recycling through an accredited recycling company.  These items can contain compounds that are harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly.              The Village of Winnetka has partnered with Recycling Avenue who has contracted with Avenues to Independence in Wheeling which is run by (and for) people who are physically and developmentally challen...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
I'm still wondering where all you buyers are. . . a few of you have stepped up and bought a home, taking advantage of the large inventory and deflated prices.  The majority of homes on the North Shore (Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, and Glencoe) are competitively priced to sell with new listings coming on the market everyday.  Good prices, lots to choose from - who can argue with that? Here are recent sales for the month of March: Kenilworth - no closed sales (currently 58 single family homes for sale) Winnetka - 8 closed sales (currently 214 single family homes for sale)       861 Foxdale $637,500 1271 Asbury  $892,250 645 Maple $1,485,000 (torn down) 1189 Oakley  $1,550,000 100 Longmeadow  $2,650,000 675 Locust  $3,150,000 700 Ardsley  $4,050,000 919 Hill  $6,200,000 Good news for up...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
A lot has happened since April 22, 1970.  That was the first time a day of awareness was dedicated to our small pebble, the Earth.   I try to live my life as sustainably as possible and set an example for others who struggle with this idea.  But why is it a struggle? It's so much easier to live the "throw it away" lifestyle.  It amazes me that people still throw glass bottles or old newspapers in the garbage.  I know some municipalities don't have recycling, but here in Winnetka, we do, but yet not everybody cares enough to do it.  It's all about living with a small footprint - an image that I just love.  There are so many of us that I think tiny footprints would be a good thing. Here's a few things you can do this Wednesday, April 22, 2009 to celebrate Earth Day: Buy the best canvas sh...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
2009 First Quarter In this year's first quarter, there were 71 sales of single family homes in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, and Glencoe. The breakdown above is shown in the number of units sold by price range.  I think this is interesting because although it shows a 67% decrease in the total sales from the same period in 2008, the biggest decrease in sales has been in the $0-500,000 price range as shown below. 2008 First Quarter I think this is indicative of the struggles that buyers in the lower price ranges are having with credit and obtaining mortgages.  Rose Sears, Baird and Warner's in-house mortgage broker told me that fully 50% of the people she talks to do not qualify for a loan.  Back in the good old days, she qualified about 19 out of 20 people! At the other end of the spec...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Last month I wrote a post (http://activerain.com/blogsview/923418/Market-Stats-for-Winnetka-Kenilworth-Wilmette-IL) about closed home sales for Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth and Glencoe.  I found it interesting that even in the current economic climate, sales were exactly the same (22 single family homes) for January 2008 as for January 2009. Guess what?  Closed sales for February 2009 were exactly the same as one year ago only the number was slightly lower than the January stats - 19 closed sales.  So, North Shore Real Estate is holding steady as far as individual units sold. Prices of homes, as an average, are lower however, coming in at 87.5% of last year's total numbers.  So with the number of sold units the same . . . but the total sales volume is lower . . . . it's a great time t...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
 Beautiful French Country Manor home designed and built in 2000 by Donald Beemer.  Elegant architectural elements come together to create a home both spacious and livable, with 15 rooms, 7 bedrooms, 8 full baths, and 2 half baths. Everthing from the grand foyer to the butler's pantry has been conceived perfectly for today's lifestyle.  The exterior is constructed of lannon stone and stucco, with custom divided light windows and stone sills.  The facade is enhanced with a stunning cedar roof adorned with copper roofed dormers, cupola and spires. This house is perfectly situated on 1 1/2 acres with beautiful perennial and vegetable gardens and built-in salt-water swimming pool.   Call me for more information and to schedule a private showing of this elegant home.                  
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
I am the listing agent for a beautiful luxury home in Winnetka, IL.   Recently a potential buyer bemoaned the fact that he must be crazy for considering writing a contract. . . no one else is buying, right?  He thought he must surely be the only one, especially in the high-end market.  Well, I went to work and checked the handy Multiple Listing Service.  During the past six months (from October 2008 to present) there have been 3 homes that closed in Winnetka from $4 million to $5 million.   Exactly one year ago, during the same time period, there was just one in that price range.  So no, Mr. Buyer, you're not alone.  And not only that, the more interesting figure is that there were more sales this year than last.  We realtors have always known  that the luxury market can  withstand most...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
It's not news that Chicago's tony north shore suburbs of Kenilworth, Winnetka, Wilmette and Glencoe have been seeing a number of foreclosures.  We always thought we were immune and somehow protected from the greater ravages of the economic downturn.  But slowly, the MLS is revealing some disturbing area news.  Recently, a home in east Wilmette (less than a block from the beach) was foreclosed and sold for $610,000, with an original list price of $1,049,000.  This house was bought by the seller in May of 2002 for $854,000! Now this:  a home in Wilmette on the market today for $250,000.  $250,000? On a 61 x 158 lot!  Is this for real? Not located on a busy freeway or near a nuclear dump.  Just a really decent house in the middle of Wilmette for sale for $250,000 - a fraction of what it sh...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Today I attended a company seminar with all the usual rah-rah, updates, and praise for top producers.  I liked everything I saw - especially the soon-to-be debut of Baird & Warner's new consumer friendly website, www.bairdwarner.com. We also had a special speaker, real estate coach and trainer Rich Casto, who's been in the real estate industry for many years, give some interesting predictions.  Obviously, the best trained economists with multiple Ph.Ds couldn't see this mess coming and Rich acknowledged that.  But he was excellent at explaining in very simple terms how we got here (stupidity, of course!) Here's what else he had to say today: Only 1/5 of the foreclosures have hit the market at this point Unemployment is typically the final state in an economic downturn and we are well in...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
This January we had 22 closed sales for single family homes in Winneta, Kenilworth, and Glencoe.  After checking that statistic, I asked my husband how many homes he thought sold during the same period last year (January 2008.)  He answered 60.  You would have thought so, but . . . exactly the same number sold last year as this:  22.  Now let's look behind the numbers.  January 2009 Closed Sales (22) High price: $5,299,000   Sold price:  $5,000,000      (841 days on market, 94% of list) Low price:  $379,900      Sold price:  $375,000        (172 days on market, 98.6% of list) Average price:  $1,337,430  Sold price:  $1,217,731    (105 days on market, 91% of list) Median price:  $998,250      Sold price:  $902,500       (101 days on market, 90% of list) January 2008 Closed Sales (22) Hig...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
First, this bill has not passed Congress yet - just the Senate.  But what a hopeful sign for potential homebuyers.  This is a real tax credit not a loan and is not limited to first-time buyers (as the recent $7500 "credit" was.)   Here' the bill At A Glance: Buyers would get 10% of the purchase price up to $15,000 applied to their tax bill It applies only to primary home purchases (to deter speculators) Anyone who buys a home within 1 year of the bill's signing would qualify If you've already completed a purchase, this bill won't apply There is no income restriction You can file the purchase on your 2008 income tax return You must live in the house for at least 2 years The credit applies to houses or condos This bill is part of the larger stimuls package that was introduced by Presiden...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
I know that my open houses have been very slow lately- but when I have to go with a snow shovel in hand, I know I'm in trouble.  Nobody wants to slog through the snow, slush and cold to look at houses right now and it's doubly true here in Chicago where we have not been above freezing in several weeks.  Our beleaguered weathermen have had to tell us night after night that it's the coldest winter in 15 years. Yikes!  I think I knew that. But our traditional "spring" market which usually revs up in January is slow in coming.  Yes, I think I see a few signs of buyer revival, but it's not very tangeble.  This deep freeze not only hurts our bodies, it's definitely affecting housing sales.  First it's just snow.  Then it snows again, then again.  Then a bigger storm and school is canceled and...
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