Winnetka, IL Real Estate News

By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
  July on the North Shore was good for home sales with a spike in closed sales for all communities listed here.  The sales are also an improvement over 2008 before the recession started.   Winnetka Winnetka had 30 sales in July, an improvement over June which had 21 sales.  The sale prices ranged from $380,000 for a 50 x 160 lot on Scott St. to $4,350,000 for a lakefront home on Hoyt.  The average sale price was $1,434,260 and the median was $1,100,000.  Wilmette Wilmette's housing turnover improved with 26 sales in July, compared to June where 23 houses sold. The range was from $200,000 for an REO property on Illinois up to $1,665,000 for a 6-year old home on Forest.  The average sale price was $813,000 and the median price was $643,000. Kenilworth 5 sales in Kenilworth - a great impro...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Hubbard Woods Winnetka Homes for Sale and Open Houses for Sunday, July 26 - I am amazed to say that there are 47 listings just in the Hubbard Woods area of Winnetka!  There are a total of 234 homes for sale in all of Winnetka! There is something for everybody here starting at $459,000 all the way up to a lakefront estate for $10,750,000.  Let's take a look at some of the homes:' $459,000 - 1065 Chatfield is being sold as a teardown on a 50 x 150 lot.  It's just steps from Hubbard Woods School and is priced at $100,000 less than the current seller/builder paid for it in 2007! $819,000 - 1054 Tower is on a very busy street . . . but the house is perfect inside.  It was rehabbed and redecorated and you would never know the street is just outside.   $1,145,000 - 1430 Edgewood has a 90 x 200...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
UPDATED 2019 Getting a great education in Hubbard Woods, Winnetka IL is the goal of all parents with school age children.  My experience with buyers, particularly out-of-town buyers, is that any house they purchase must be in an excellent school district.  Here on the North Shore, including Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, and Glencoe all elementary, middle and junior high schools feed into New Trier High School, one of the top high schools in Illinois.  All these feeder schools are rigorous in maintaining standards that are conducive to success at New Trier High School. Hubbard Woods has two schools that serve elementary grades - the public school Hubbard Woods School, (which is kindergarten through fourth grade) and the private Catholic school Sacred Heart.  A historical record of Hubb...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
Updated 2019 Hubbard Woods in Winnetka is close to everything you need, including schools, shopping, the Metra line, Edens Expressway, forest preserves, Lake Michigan beaches, and did I mention great houses for sale.  Hubbard Woods was named for Gilbert Hubbard who arrived in Winnetka in 1872 after the Chicago fire.The charming area of Hubbard Woods is in the northern end of Winnetka with Tower Road along the north border, Green Bay Road on the east, Forestway Drive along the west and roughly Pine Street on the south side. There is no shortage of design, clothing, and gift stores in Hubbard Woods, including Material Possessions,  Creme de la Creme, Mattie M, Skandal, and many smaller art print shops, antique stores, and boutiques.  Locally, everyone knows that during Winnetka's Sidewalk...
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By Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
(Baird & Warner Real Estate)
What is a Jumbo loan and why is it so hard to get?     The historically low interest rates that we have been seeing in the last few years apply only to "conforming" loans, or those less than $417,000.  If you need to borrow more than that amount, your are applying for a "jumbo" loan.  In Winnetka and other North Shore communities (Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe) where house prices are high, jumbo loans are more necessary to secure but are also more expensive and difficult to obtain. In general, jumbo loans require a 20% to 25% downpayment and 6 to 12 months in reserve (PITI) and qualifying has become so much more difficult.  The National Association of Realtors recently did a study:      "The research reveals that limited availability and higher interest rates in the jumbo lo...
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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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