Winnetka, IL Real Estate News

By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
December Closed Sales in Winnetka,Wilmete, Glencoe, Kenilworth, and Northfield   In December, sales were moderate in Wilmette, Glencoe, Northfield and Kenilworth while Winnetka had a big jump.  Here are the numbers: Winnetka - 19 Closed Sales Wilmette - 14 Closed Sales Glencoe - 11 Closed Sales Northfield - 6 Closed Sales Kenilworth - 2 Closed Sales   Graph of original price vs. final selling price for December:                                 Graph of Average Days on Market          
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
New Trier High School in Winnetka - To Renovate or Not?    A volatile subject sure to raise hackles in the coming 2 months is not whether New Trier needs a renovation, because most residents believe it does.  The issue is just how much renovation it needs and at what cost. One proposal early on called for the complete rebuild of the school with an accompanying price tag of $400 million which was denounced as too expensive and too intrusive to the community.  Other ideas called for enlarging the Northfield campus, rebuilding just the west side, or just continuing to make repairs as they were needed. What ultimatley has been proposed is replacing the:                     Cafeteria Gates Gymnasium Tech Arts Building Music/Performing Arts Building This work is estimated to take 2 1/2 years ...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
I was curious to see how much the tax credit would affect sales in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth and Glencoe.  As it applied to first time home buyers (or buyers who had not bought for three years) and with income restrictions I did not think it would have much of an impact. Basically, I was right, with the exception of Wilmette which posted 32 sales for the month of November. Here's how everything panned out for November closed sales: Winnetka 8 sales Total $ Volume:  $8,083,500 Median Price:  $871,250 Average Price:  $1,010,438   Wilmette 32 sales Total $ Volume:  $24,798,050 Median Price:  $620,000 Average Price:  $1,585,000   Kenilworth No sales   Glencoe 8 Sales Total Dollar Volume:  $6,023,471 Median Price:  $584,736 Average Price:  $752,934   Northfield 4 sales Total Dollar Volu...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
A bit of native prairie is returning to Glencoe at Shelton Park near the corner of Green Bay Road and Harbor.  I was pleasantly surprised one morning while jogging through the park to see a new sign announcing this exciting development.  In a land where tallgrass prairies once ranged as far as the eye could see and as tall as a horse, this approximately 1/2 acre plot may not seem like much, but believe me, it is! It takes a long time and a lot of patience to establish a native prairie - prairie plants have extremely long roots that are fire and drought resistant.  It may seem like the weeds have won the battle in the first 2-3 years, but ultimately the prairie plants will dominate and their dense root system will not allow weeds to grow.  Rick Bold, Glencoe Park District manager for thi...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Winnetka's Annual Holiday Sale is this Sunday December 6.  Many shops throughout town participate in this event and offer storewide discounts of up to 20%.  The sale is always scheduled on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving and many stores offer treats as well.  Let's support our village by shopping locally! Here is a list of participating vendors: Hubbard Woods Creme de la Creme E Street Denim Hastens Beds Marigolds Material Possessions Mattie M Simon's Boutique West Elm All She Wrote Bleacher's Sports Ellen's on Elm Frances Heffernan/Frannie Grand Foods Gray Noah's Ark Pet Supply Rosemary Shugar S'Agaro Sunday Afternoon Gallery T. L. Fritts Sporting Goods The Book Stall Valentina Village Toy Shop Vose-Sanders Bootery East Elm Conney's Pharmacy Davis Miller Marion Michael Orrington Je...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Winnetka Historic Homes - Italianate Style Victorian homes were being constructed in this country between 1840-1890 and the most popular of them was the Italianate style.  Although an American original, they were generally inspired by Italian villas and farmhouses and could be as simple as a two-story home or an elaborate mansion. There are several features that distinguish this style but the most prominent is the elaborate cornice.  The eaves are deep set with rows of brackets along the underside.  The homes are usually irregular in shape and stand two to three stories high or even higher.  Many of these homes have spacious porches. bay windows, and hipped roofs (where all sides are sloped.)  An original feature that has been lost on most of these homes is the cupola. The Italianate st...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
TOP TEN HOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT BENEFIT SELLERS   Getting top $$ for your home is the target of a real estate agent- and the best way to hit the center mark is to make sure your home is in the best conditon you can make it.  I always go through a seller's home to assess the minimum that should be done to achieve this goal and it does not have to be expensive or labor intensive. The home valuation company, HomeGain polled 1000 real estate agents to come up with a list of the most important, least expensive, and most value intensive improvements that sellers can do to prepare their home for the market.  Since they started the poll in 2000, the #1 task has been . . . decluttering the house.  How cheap is that?  Labor intensive, maybe, but the most important thing you can do is simply put th...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
It's been drilled into our heads:  LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.  A desirable location can add real value while living on a busy street, across from commercial buildings or noisy areas can greatly decrease the value of your home.  But here's an interesting concept I came across:  your "Walkability" score, or your home's proximity to desired amenities such as coffee houses, grocery shopping, cafes, schools, parks, libraries, etc. A recent report, "Walking the Walk:  How Walkability Raises Home Values in U.S. Cities," was put together from transaction data from Zip Realty and scored on the basis of your home's nearby amenities.  The score ranges from 0 to 100 with 100 having the best score and anything over 70 indicating that it's possible to get around without a car.  The study was commiss...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Today's Chicago Tribune (November 24, 2009) front page headline proclaims:  "Home Sales Surge in Area."  Is it true in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe and Northfield? Have prices plummeted as the article claims? Well, in a word, no.  And how much of this increase can be attributed to the First Time Home Buyer Credit.  Is real estate local?  First the numbers: OCTOBER 2009 Units Sold:  54 Average Market Time:  259 days Median Price:  $677,500 Average Price:  $917,573 Total Volume:  $49,548,952 OCTOBER 2008 Units Sold:  48 Average Market Time:  185 days Median Price:  $620,600 Average Price:  $884,253 Total Volume:  $42,444,125 OCTOBER 2007 Units Sold:  62 Market Time:  126 days Median Price:  $866,500 Average Price:  $1,233,568 Total Volume:  $74,481,238 OCTOBER 2006 Units Sold: ...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
UPDATED 2019 Winnetka's Original Log Home - the Schmidt-Burnham Log house is thought to be Winnetka's oldest home.  Some fine homes are still standing that were built as early as the 1890s, but this simple design was built by the earliest settlers in the vicinity.  This log house is slightly more sophisticated than the humble one-room log cabin and was intended to be permanent, having two or more rooms plus a second story. The logs were closely fitted with a complicated system of notching.  Sticks and stones were placed between the logs and covered with mud to help weatherize the home.  Interestingly, the windows and doors were cut out after the home was built!Finnish and Swedish immigrants originally introducted this simple construction style to America and this home ihas more German i...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield October Home Sales - homes sales are down for the month of October compared to September and August.  But that's not unusual, given the usual end of the year slowdown.  Prices continue to dip and houses on the market for the longest period of time sustained the greatest loss.  But prices are just beginning to stabilize I think, or at least the decline has markedly slowed down. Winnetka - 12 total sales - Average Sale Price:  $1,318,750 1487 Tower, $480,000 sold price, 86 days on market, 84% of asking price 1010 Oak, $565,000 sold price, 420 days on market, 76% of asking 1146 Cherry, $680,000 sold price, 64 days on market, 91% of asking 206 Green Bay, $700,000 sold price, 872 days on market, 78% of asking 1025 Elm, $1,145,000 sold price, 153 day...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
After reading about the tragic death of a young folk singer in Canada from an attack by two coyotes, I am reminded that these wild animals should be treated with caution and never, ever fed.  These amazing animals have been thriving in our urban/suburban environement.  Because they look like the famiily dog, well-meaning people can sometimes forget that coyotes need to be left to fend for themselves.  This is for their protection as well as ours. Experts say this this type of attack is extremely rare.  In order to keep facts in perspective, there are 4.7 million  dog bites every year - with 1000 people every day needing treatment in emergency rooms.  Meanwhile, some other statistics about coyotes: about 1 person per year is bitten by a coyote in California between 1993-1997 seven people...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Every buyer I have ever worked with has asked me to explain the Cook County system of property tax assessment.  Explain?  How could I adequately do this when the Civic Federation  says this on their blog: "The Cook County property tax system is so complex that it is impossible to predict exactly how the new tax rates will affect an individual property owner’s bill." And in today's Chicago Tribune, in an excellent article by Eric Zorn, he writes: "Just about everything having to do with property taxes is convoluted and every explanation is filled with jargon, acronyms and more math than most of us are used to doing." But of course, I try to explain it - as I will again now.  Especially in light of the fact that Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth and other North Shore communities have seen dr...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
New Trier High School in Winnetka is hoping that the school board will vote to set a referendum for next February to allow voters to decide on going ahead with plans to refurbish portions of the campus.  The estimated cost of renovations is $185 million which translates into approximately $300 additional in residents' tax bills.  Earlier this year the district nixed more expensive plans, including a $400 million rebuild that voters said was too expensive. If approved the project would commence in the summer of 2010 and be completed in two years.  The school has not had a proper renovation in decades and the swelling population has only magnified the issues.  The plan includes state-of-the-art renovations such as 40 new classrooms, new spaces for science, performing arts, visual arts, p...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Summer wasn't so hot.  Fall has been cloudy and damp.  But then today happened - warmer temperatures and the sunshine just made the fall colors sparkle like rubies and garnets. Here's my take on today:  
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
No Dairy Queen for Winnetka! Winnetka residents waited all summer long for Dairy Queen to open up on the corner of Elm and Lincoln streets.  The windows to the old Depot restaurant were papered over and a hopeful sign there said Dairy Queen was doing the renovations. Month after month went by and the brown paper in the windows started to look bedraggled and the permit vanished.  Nary a workmen showed up.  I started to worry when I called Dairy Queen last spring inquiring about the opening date and was told there were no plans to open one in Winnetka. Now it's confirmed.  The head of business development for the Village of Winnetka told me this week that the company has canceled its plan.  Why?  The original store was to serve only ice cream and treats - then someone at the corporate off...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Just a few years ago, the  bewildering words "short sale" were starting to pop up in our realtor meetings. No one really bothered to learn much about them since things like that didn't happen on the North Shore.  Maybe in Evanston, Chicago, or the south suburbs.     Not so today.  Realtors have had to listen and learn about the implications of short sales, pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, auctions, and other distressed properties.  Certainly the North Shore has not been immune.  While recently showing condo properties for a friend on the North side of Chicago, fully 90% of these units were distressed.  The North Shore is not seeing numbers approach anything close to that, but enough to raise heads and have people calling and asking about them.       Here's how the numbers look:          ...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Another month, another set of stats.  Sales are still below average (what is average nowadays, anyway?)  Sale prices have continued with downward pressure - except when priced properly.  As I've shown month after month, competitive price = quick sale and more profit.  It's really that simple. Winnetka - 12 closed sales (20 in August) 1035 Elm  $569,500   161 days on market, 82% of asking price 1257 Scott  $575,000   33 days on market, 87% of asking price 1413 Tower  $590,000   398 days on market, 66% of asking price 910 Spruce  $647,500   428 days on market, 82% of asking price 437 Chestnut  $730,000   401 days on market, 69% of asking price 756 Lincoln   $742,500    397 days, 68% 1264 Forest Glen  $751,500    138 days, 86% 1088 Mt. Pleasant  $758,000   80 days, 82% 511 Willow   $1,100,...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Winnetka Historic Homes - An Introduction     Winnetka historic homes have been a hot topic lately - and not just in Winnetka, but Wilmette, Kenilworth and Glencoe as well.  But this article is not about the outrage over teardowns or about property rights, but about Winnetka's historic homes themselves. According to "Winnetka Architecture:  Where Past is Present" published by the Winnetka Historical Society, almost every building style is represented in Winnetka:   Log House Italianate Victorian Gothic Queen Anne Shingle Style Prairie School Arts & Crafts Bungalow American Foursquare Classical Revival Colonial Revival Georgian Revival Federal Revival Dutch Colonial Revival Tudor Revival French Revival Spanish Colonial Revival Art Deco Early Modern Architecture Post War Trends The first...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
The August real estate sales for Winnetka,Wilmette, Northfield, Kenilworth and Glencoe have dipped and jumped like a roller coaster.  From month to month there is no steady increase or decrease that I can make any predictions about.  The one thing I noticed in Winnetka is that 2/3 of the sold homes were over $1,000,000 - probably just an anomoly but interesting nevertheless.   Winnetka - 19 closed sales 781 Locust  $528,000 611 Lincoln  $685,000 520 Meadow  $700,000 1175 Hamptondale  $725,000 1004 Elm  $760,000 1560 Asbury  $900,000 170 Birch  $1,000,000 1173 Cherry  $1,025,000 1270 Asbury  $1,035,000 555 Arbor Vitae  $1,320,000 377 Provident  $1,338,000 95 Indian Hill  $1,400,000 1036 Oak  $1,500,000 480 Willow  $1,800,000 110 Evergreen  $1,830,800 15 Old Green Bay  $1,950,000 1149 Lau...
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