Essential Numbers, Links and Resources for Living in Chicago


As a Chicago real estate agent, I love making my clients’ lives easier. Not only is important to me to provide you with education and support during every step of the home buying and selling process, but I also want to give you handy resources that you can access when needed. That’s why I’ve put together this list of important numbers, links and resources for you. Bookmark this page or print it out for a handy guide to living in Chicago!

Important Chicago Numbers and Websites 

* Police/Fire Emergency - 911 

* Non-emergency Reports/City Service Requests - 311 or 312-744-5000 

  • File a non-emergency police report or talk to police personnel in your district 
  • Report water in the street or basement 
  • Request dead tree removal 
  • Yard waste removal 
  • Request garbage carts
  • Report stray animals 
  • Report abandoned vehicles 
  • Report street lights outages 
  • Request graffiti removal 
  • Complain about rodents 
  • Shelter request 
  • Building violation 
  • Pot hole in street 
  • Abandoned vehicle complaint 
  • Clean vacant lot

* ComEd - 1-800-Edison-1 (1-800-334-7661) 

* Peoples Gas - 866-556-6001 

* Water and Trash Pick up Bills - Normally, condo owners do not pay for their own water or trash pick up. If your house or building is not metered, fine out more about it HERE!

* Water Quality and Conservation


* Customer Service for Chicago Utility Billing

* Cable/Internet Service 

* Department of Streets and Sanitation - 312-744-4611 

* Chicago Recycling Service Hotline – 312-744-5702 

Links and Resources for Living in Chicago

There are a few things that everyone living in Chicago will need to do from time to time. I’ve pulled together a handy guide of links and resources helpful for both new residents and life-long Chicagoans. 

* Buy a Ventra Card and Add Money – Avoid the scramble for exact change when riding the CTA “L” trains or buses!

* Download the Chicago Transit App – Find out when the next train or bus is coming so you can plan accordingly

* Update Your IL Driver’s License – You have 90 days to update your information and get a new driver’s license after moving 

* Register Your Vehicle - If you're moving to IL and bringing a car, you have 30 days to register it with the Secretary of State 

* Register to vote or update your voter registration – Don’t forget to update your voter registration with your new address so that you can vote in the upcoming elections 

* Find Your Alderman and Your Ward Information – The City of Chicago is divided into fifty legislative districts or wards and each is represented by an alderman. You can obtain your street parking permits at their office or ask about zoning issues or local businesses. Find out who yours is. 

* View the Street Sweeping Schedule – Don’t ignore the street sweeping signs or you WILL get a ticket! 

* Contest or Pay Vehicle Tickets - #&$^#)@#&*#

* Towed or Booted Vehicle Information- #(@&@)$#&*#$$)#$&($(&%($%&$%(#$* !!!!!!!

* Find Something Fun To Do – Chicago has so many amazing things to do in all seasons! 

* Graphic by Shannon Boyle in OVER

Chicago Resource Guide New Home Owner Guide Chicago Moving Guide Moving to Chicago Chicago Real Estate Real Estate Chicago Chicago Life Chichago Utilities Chicago Activies

3 Reasons to Buy or Sell in Chicago This Fall


Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks – an event which marks the unofficial start to fall! Now that the busy summer season is drawing to a close, it may seem like the real estate market in Chicago is also slowing down. Well – it is! But that’s not a bad thing. Fall is a wonderful time to buy or sell - and not just because you can use pumpkins and fall wreaths to add to your curb appeal! Here are 3 main reasons to buy or sell your home in Chicago this fall.

1. For sellers, there’s less competition in the market

The market in Chicago always surges in the summer, and the buying/selling process can be a bit frenzied. In the spring and summer, new listings are popping up every day, and house hunters may miss your listing in the shuffle. As the temperatures start cooling down and school starts again and there’s a dip in inventory. That means there’s less competition and there’s a better chance of your home standing out and catching the interest of a potential buyer.

2. For buyers, there can be better deals on homes

By the time September rolls around, many homes that were listed in the prime summer season have been on the market for several months with little-to-no action. These sellers are ready to reevaluate their asking price and are more inclined make a deal – which works in favor of the buyer.

3. Both buyers and sellers are motivated and serious to close quickly

Fall buyers and sellers are often motivated to close before winter truly sets in – no one wants to move during a Chicago snow storm! Buyers who started their house hunt in the summer but didn’t make a purchase are finally ready to start making offers. And with holidays approaching, buyers and sellers either want to be settled in their new homes or want to spend one last holiday together at their existing home. So both parties may be willing to negotiate on move-in dates, etc.

Are you ready to list your home now that the summer is drawing to a close? Or are you ready to start making offers? Give me a call and let’s talk more about the pros and cons of listing or buying this season.

*Photo by Natalia Fogarty on Unsplash


Must-Have Apps for Living in Chicago


Moving to Chicago? Life in Chicago primarily revolves around 3 things: the weather, transportation, and events. Here are some of my favorite (and most useful!) mobile apps that will help you live your best life in Chicago – so that you’re never caught in the snow, miss a bus or sit inside on a beautiful summer day!

312Go (iPhone only, free)
I love a good architecture story or finding out juicy tidbits about buildings and areas I walk by every day.  312Go combines the knowledge of hundreds of Chicago tour guides, architects, historians and local experts into one mobile app. The app is a map with specific spots around Chicago marked. When the app is activated, and you’re near one of the marked locations, 312Go’s guide will share stories and facts about the things you pass and the sights you see. It’s a great way to explore the neighborhoods of Chicago and learn more about the city’s history. Even if you have lived in an area for a while, you might be surprised what you find out!

Chivvy (iPhone only, free) 

With this app, you can easily check bike and dock availability at Divvy stations and obtain safe biking directions to your destination. You can also save your favorite stations to quickly check their availability. Chivvy was built by an active Divvy rider in Chicago. She was tired of switching between a maps app and a Divvy map on her phone to figure out how to get around Chicago so she made Chivvy.

Chicago Works (Android/iPhone, free) 

Need to report a pothole or a clogged sewer grate? Call 311 or use the Chicago Works app to make service requests to 311 and track issues as they are addressed.

Dark Sky (Android/iPhone, .99)
Ever make a quick dash outside in a downpour and just as you get to your door the rain stops?  Since the weather in Chicago largely defines our life here, it's good to have a tool to help with the fluctuations. Better to be prepared with Dark Sky app.

My Chi Parks (Android/iPhone, free)
The Chicago Park District has a vibrant and diverse lineup of events and they are at the heart of Chicago neighborhood life. Find information about more than 1,000+ Night Out in the Parks events, taking place in all 77 community areas, throughout the year.

Park Chicago (Android/iPhone, free)
Pay for Chicago parking with your phone instead of using the boxes and extend your time remotely from your phone. That means you never have to run out of a bar, restaurant or event to feed the meter again!  Plus, if you must contest a wrongful ticket, the app is very easy with historical records of your meter usage.

SpotHero (Android/iPhone, free)
SpotHero is a parking app that allows you to reserve a guaranteed parking spot at a discounted price near a specific destination. Just search for parking on the app before you arrive, choose the space that works the best for you, and book it.

Transit Tracker – Chicago (CTA) (Android/iPhone, free)
Commuting in Chicago is part of life. This application covers the entire Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus, train (‘L’) and Metra rail. It tracks upcoming departure times for all nearby transit lines, shows the closest bike-share stations, and lets you request a car sharing ride in the app.

Transit Stop: CTA Tracker (Android/iPhone, free)
A simple, super useful app, this gives you quick access to bus and train (‘L’) arrival time estimates for your favorite Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stop. It includes arrival time estimates in minutes (e.g. 4 minutes) and time (e.g. 12:14pm) along with the route name, bus ID or train run number, and more. You can also save stops – so that you quickly and easily access your most frequently used stops while you're on the go.

WAZE (Android/iPhone, free)
I do a lot of driving for showing listings and doing buyer tours, and I don’t know what I would do without WAZE!  Well, I do... I would be late more. The app is based on crowd-sourced traffic data that is fed real-time from active app users.  Other users can indicate potholes, construction closures, police (hidden or visible), and report gas prices to help fill up at a cheaper gas station on your route. If you can’t use public transit, you can discover some pretty nifty routes using WAZE.

OverDrive (Android/iPhone, free)

I don’t know about you, I love physical books, but the e-reader is quite addicting and so easy to carry with all the travel and commuting I do.  I still went to my local Chicago Public Library for Audiobooks, Movies and various events, but less frequently for physical books. But now with the OverDrive app, you can borrow eBooks, audiobooks and stream video from the Chicago Public Library (provided you have a library card) to your smart device or e-reader. As a bonus, titles are automatically returned when they’re due – eliminating the worry of late fees!

These apps are great for new Chicago transplants – or for existing residents who are looking for a few city hacks. Am I missing one? Be sure to leave your favorite app in the comments.

Photo by Saulo Mohana on Unsplash

Chicago Living in Chicago Mobile Apps

Buying a Home in Chicago? Get to know the neighborhoods


Chicago is a city made up of distinct neighborhoods. Each one has its own personality, culture, and events, and some are even known for a certain type of food, shopping or theater. That’s one of my favorite things about this amazing city! As a real estate agent in Chicago, I try to get out and experience the unique attributes of each area so that I can better assist my clients in finding a home that suits their needs and budget. One of the best ways to get to know the neighborhoods in Chicago is to check out the community events or festivals. If you’re buying a home in Chicago, here’s a few activities that you can do to get to know a potential neighborhood or area. 

Garden/House Walks 

Chicago Garden and House Walks are a long-standing tradition in many neighborhoods. For a small ticket fee or donation, you will receive a self-guided walking tour of neighborhood gardens, backyards, or home interiors. These are private residences, but don’t worry! They have volunteered to open up their spaces for the public to view. This is a great way to get to know a neighborhood where you might want to buy a home. You may run across the homeowners during the walk and are sure to strike up conversations with the community volunteers and residents! Some Walks events also have music and performances scheduled throughout the day or weekend. I have been a volunteer docent on the Historic Palmer Square house walk and my history major side comes out when I get to talk about the unique characteristics and what makes that home special. 

Festivals - Music, Art and Food... oh my! 

Chicago loves its festivals – and we try to cram as many as possible into our summer season. Every weekend there’s at least one or more food, art, music, or craft festival taking place all over the city. If you’re considering buying a home in Chicago, it’s a good idea to get to know the neighborhood and the number and types of festivals that are scheduled there annually. 

Food Crawls 

This culinary trick-or-treat for adults can showcase anything from food, wine, or beer depending on the characteristics of the neighborhood. Food crawls in Chicago are often organized by the neighborhood Chamber of Commerce. Ticket holders get to walk around a neighborhood and sample cuisine (or drinks!) from the local participating restaurants. You will leave with a full belly, potentially a buzz, and a greater appreciation for the neighborhood and local businesses where you are considering buying a home. 

Farmer’s Markets 

Another great way to get to know a neighborhood is to visit the Farmer’s Market. When the weather allows, many communities in Chicago use a park, side street, or green space for local farmers and vendors to sell their wares. Strolling through the farmer’s market will give you insight into the community and will give you a chance to interact with other business owners and residents. One of my favorite Farmers Market discoveries was when I found the Chicago Honey Co-op (I love local honey!!!). Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations over some heads of lettuce! 

Parks & Rec 

Every neighborhood in Chicago has a local park. These green spaces are used for various events, sporting activities, playing with your dog, performances, movie showings, etc. It’s an entertaining way of getting to know a neighborhood – events truly run the gamut from wrestling to Shakespeare! For a list of events in Chicago Parks, visit https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/

Buying a home in Chicago is about more than just the house - you’re buying into a neighborhood and community. As a real estate agent in Chicago, I appreciate the unique aspects of every neighborhood, and I encourage my clients to explore different areas and start building relationships before they even put an offer in on a home!

Home Buying Chicago Real Estate Chicago Buyers Chicago Neighborhoods

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Sellers in Chicago

Home Improvement

Even though spring officially sprang back in March, it’s just now getting around to Chicago! Summer – our busiest buying season - will be here before you know it. If you’re considering putting your house on the market in the next few months, a good spring-cleaning is just what the real-estate agent ordered. 

Many sellers believe that they need to make major home repairs or renovations before listing their home on the market. Do you want to know the truth? Undertaking major repairs before listing your home is often unnecessary and will just cost money that you may not get back in the purchase price. Before you undertake those bigger projects, consider starting with a deep spring cleaning. To make this process a little easier, I’ve pulled together this spring cleaning checklist with some tips for preparing your home for selling. 

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Sellers in Chicago 

1. Make An Entrance 

We know that first impressions matter with buyers, so start your spring cleaning with your porch or front entryway. The key is to make the entrance to your home cheerful, neat and inviting. 

  • Sweep/mop your entrance, front walkway, stairs, and porch. 
  • Clean and polish the doorknob and fixtures, and make sure there are no cobwebs or bugs in your exterior lights. 
  • Don’t forget to wash/clean your railings, windowsills and door jam. 
  • If your doorbell/buzzers are broken or worn out, do your best to fix or replace them. 
  • After everything is neat and tidy, consider adding some seasonal flair. Perhaps a new doormat, wreath or some potted flowers would make your entrance more inviting. 
  • If your front door or shutters are looking dingy or worn out, consider giving them a fresh coat of paint. 

2. Cleanse the Kitchen 

Buyers make a beeline for the kitchen during showings. Ensure that yours is clean and organized. It shouldn’t feel dark, cramped or messy. 

  • Start by cleaning off your kitchen counter. Stow away appliances that you never use, and make sure the ones you keep out are free of grime or residue. 
  • Organize your cabinets and remove any extraneous glassware or dishes. Your cabinets should feel spacious and orderly, so clean out or store anything you don’t use daily. 
  • Clean the sink and make sure there are no unpleasant smells coming from the drain or inside the dishwasher. 
  • Clean the microwave – both inside and out. And make sure the clocks show the correct time! 
  • Make sure your refrigerator smells fresh and looks clean. Remove all magnets and extraneous notes from the exterior. Don’t forget to clean off the top and refrain from storing things here! 
  • Wipe down all handles and surfaces – including the backsplash and the wall behind your oven. 
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries in them, if necessary. 

3. Blitz the Bathroom 

The condition of your bathrooms can make or break a sale. You want to make sure that your bathrooms are absolutely pristine. 

  • Clean the room from top to bottom – including the walls all the way up to the ceiling. 
  • Polish all of your fixtures and remove any calcium or lime buildup. 
  • If you’ve spent the winter jiggling the handle on your toilet to make it stop running, take a look in the back and replace any faulty parts. 
  • Replace your shower curtain liner or clean the one you have so that it looks brand new. 
  • Dust the vanity lights and replace any burned out bulbs. 
  • If you have a whirlpool tub, clean by filling with hot water and add 1/2 cup of bleach then run the jets for 10-15min. If it hasn’t been used in a while there could be black residue that shoots out when first turned on. 
  • Examine the grout between your tiles and clean it until it looks bright and fresh. 
  • If the caulk around your tub looks dingy or has mildew spots, consider re-caulking the tub. 

4. Lighten Up Your Windows

After our long Chicago winters, our drapes and windows might have accumulated a lot of dirt and grime. Buyers are attracted to warm, natural light, so make sure your windows are worthy of showing off! 

  • Wash all the windows in your home (inside and out), clean the windowsills, and dust or wash your blinds. 
  • Replace any missing or ripped screens. 
  • Clean your curtains and shake out any dust. If your curtains are heavy or dark, consider replacing them with lighter fabric that will filter the light instead of blocking it. 

5. Focus on the Floors 

Buyers pay close attention to floors during showings, so it’s important that they don’t attract attention for the wrong reasons. 

  • Vacuum all carpets. For higher traffic areas or places with spots and discoloration, try steam cleaning or sending the rugs out for a professional cleaning. 
  • Clean and polish hardwood floors so that they gleam. 
  • Wash all the baseboards (don’t forget to move your furniture and clean behind them!). 

6. Fluff the Bedrooms 

Bedrooms should feel calming, open and fresh. 

  • Wash your comforter or duvet cover, all bedding and the bed skirt. When placing it back on the bed, be sure to shake it out to eliminate any clumps. Iron your duvet cover if it appears wrinkly.
  • Dust and wipe your bedframe down; if it’s fabric, use a handheld vacuum to remove any dust/allergens. 
  • Clean out and organize your closets. Store any winter items away to make as much space as possible in your closets. 

7. Liven up the Living Room 

  • Clean all surfaces and furniture in your living room. Polish furniture if needed. 
  • Wipe down your television and use disinfectant wipes on your remotes. 
  • Use a vacuum to clean your sofa cushions. If cushion covers are removable, toss them in the wash. Turn the cushions over and fluff them to give them new life. 
  • If your throw pillows look worn, consider replacing them with bright stylish accents. 

8. Stage your Outdoor Space 

Chicagoans love their outdoor spaces, so make sure yours looks nice and inviting. 

  • Cut the grass and make sure your landscaping looks sharp. 
  • Cut bushes and foliage back 6-12 inches from all exterior walls. 
  • For single-family homes, a couple inches of foundation should be visible. Dig out over-filled areas so the foundation can be properly inspected. 
  • Remove any weathered or worn out furniture, toys or décor. 
  • Power wash and re-stain the deck, if needed. 
  • Add potted plants to your patio to create an inviting space. 

If you complete this Spring Cleaning Checklist, your home is sure to look fresh, clean and inviting to any potential buyers – no expensive renovations needed! Have a question about prepping your house for sale? Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

sellers Spring Cleaning Tips for Sellers home improvement
1 Comment

5 Simple Staging Secrets That Make a Big Difference During Showings


As a real estate agent in Chicago, I’ve seen it all when it comes to staging. Even for the neatest individuals, the way you live in your home is generally not the best way to present it to a potential buyer.  I have shown thousands of properties in my career, and I have seen the good, the not so good, and the "what are you thinking?!?!?".  

I’m here to tell you that sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference when your home is being shown to potential buyers. In my experience, Chicago buyers typically develop a positive or negative feeling about a home within 30 seconds of entering and this greatly effects if they are truly interested in purchasing it. So it’s up to you to make sure that your home makes a good first impression. Of course, there are some big staging tactics you should use when putting your home on the market, but there are also some simple actions that are often overlooked. If your house is on the market here in Chicago (or is about to be), here are 5 simple staging secrets that could be the difference between a pass and a sale.

Simple Staging Secret #1: Put Down the Toilet Seat

You’d be shocked at how many people forget to put the toilet seat and the cover down before leaving the house for showings. It’s a small thing, but buyers DO notice. A closed and covered toilet presents a much nicer, cleaner, and refined impression at first glance.

Simple Staging Secret #2: Remove Magnets and Paper from Refrigerator

The key to successful staging is to reduce clutter and this is also true when it comes to your refrigerator door. This may be a place where you display magnets from memorable vacations or store pictures/invitations/artwork/bills, etc. When potential buyers enter your kitchen, you don’t want anything to distract the buyer from considering selling features of the kitchen. 

Simple Staging Secret #3: Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

Chicagoans love their outdoor spaces, and it is often an important selling point of the property. Don’t forget to spruce up your patio or deck when you’re staging your home. The key here is balance – no dead plants, but no patio jungles either. Be sure that the space looks inviting and that it has proper furnishings. If your grill is too big for the space, consider moving it until the home is sold.

Simple Staging Secret #4: Remove All Coats and Shoes from Entryways

Remember, buyers get a sense for a property in the first 30 seconds. Which means a sale can hinge on the impression that your entryway presents. If it’s too crowded or messy, that may set the stage for the rest of the showing. As a seller, you’re better off removing most or all of the coats (leaving one or two at most) and all shoes from the entryway. 

Simple Staging Secret #5: Clean Up the Common/Public Spaces in Your Condo Building

The Chicago real estate market is full of fantastic condos, which means the common spaces in the building can make or break a sale. If there’s a spot on the carpet or scuffs on the walls leading to your unit, notify your condo association and ask for a cleaning or consider doing it yourself.  If the building looks run down or dirty, that can hurt the value of your property. Another quick fix? Before a showing be sure no ads, mail, or newspapers are strewn about in the building entrance. 

These are just a few of the simple things you can do to present your property in the best possible light to potential buyers. Chicago is my home and I love helping homeowners prepare their house for sale. If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, give me a call and we can come up with other staging strategies that will help you make a sale in no time!

Staging Staging Secrets Chicago Real Estate Seller

You Are Beautiful--What’s the Story of All Those Signs?


If you’re in Chicago, you may have noticed some big signs with a three-word message throughout the city. They simply read: You Are Beautiful.


These public art works with a positive message began as a little idea that blossomed into an international art project. Chicago artist Matthew Hoffman designed his first “You Are Beautiful” stickers in 2002. He printed 100 stickers, and stuck them in various places around Chicago for strangers to find, in hopes of brightening their days.


Hoffman built a simple website where people could get the stickers. The message resonated, and soon people were leaving the little messages of positivity all over the world.



The project has grown from stickers to large public installations, with neighborhood groups, city institutions, and schools commissioning work. Chicago has several “You Are Beautiful” installations, including in Andersonville, Uptown, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Beverly, Chinatown, and at the Oakwood exit of Lakeshore Drive.


Whether you find a sticker or a billboard, the idea is the same. The project exists to “make life a little better.” It’s about a community of encouragers, giving each other a little boost and making the day a bit more special. We could all use a reminder that we’re doing okay, and bringing something important to the world.


Hoffman hasn’t stopped at “You Are Beautiful.” While he continues as custodian of the You Are Beautiful Project, his public works also include other positive messages,  like “What You Do Matters,” “Go For It,” “More With Less,” “Let’s Be Human To Each Other,” and “Find Everyday Adventures Everyday.” These works can be found around the country, and around Chicago, including in Roscoe Village, Englewood, Pullman, Humboldt Park, Bucktown, and Edgewater.


Have you spotted an installation in the wild? Is there one in your neighborhood?


You Are Beautiful Project Public Art Chicago Public Art Chicago Artist Matthew Hoffman

Fall Festivals In Chicago


Chicago summer festivals get a lot of love, but the fun doesn’t stop in the fall. This month is packed with autumnal activities across the city.

Fall Fun For Families

Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest is every weekend in October, and features both free and ticketed activities. Zoo admission is free. There will be animal talks, a pumpkin carver, music, and a corn maze, among other activities.


Chicago Parks Pumpkin Patches bring lots of fall fun. Check one out on October 22 at Horner Park, Sheridan Park, and Kennedy Park, October 29 at Dvorak Park, and October 30 at Veteran’s Memorial Park.


Harvest Fest at Indian Boundary Park is on October 23, and includes a pumpkin patch and fall activities.


The Halloween Gathering Festival and Parade takes over the Chicago Cultural Mile on October 22, from 2-8 p.m. The daytime festival, and evening Spectacle parade celebrate Halloween as an “artists holiday” and feature various Chicago cultural institutions, arts groups, and artists.


Clark Street Spooktacular is on October 30, from 1-4 p.m. Activities include trick-or-treating at participating businesses, and a costume contest (2-4) as well as a chance to check out Scarecrows on Parade in storefront windows.


Halloween at Navy Pier is on October 22 and 23, and October 28-31. Activities include trick-or-treating, Halloween movies, and a haunted maze. Special Halloween fireworks will be displayed on October 29 at 9:30 p.m.


Autumnal Activities for Adults


Stammtisch Oktoberfest is October 21 at the Dank Haus in Lincoln Square. It includes live entertainment.


Chili Fest Chicago is October 22 and 23, featuring a showcase of chili vendors, with plenty of football to watch, in an outdoor party atmosphere.


If horror movies are your thing, you’re in luck. The Music Box Theatre, Logan Theatre, The New 400 and Patio Theatre are all presenting horror movie festivals this month.


The Monster Dash offers runners (kids, too!) a chance to get a little goofy and dress up in costume while running a 5k, 10k, or half marathon.


The Northalsted Halloween Parade has activities throughout Halloween weekend for families and grown ups alike, including a seriously competitive costume contest, a zombie bar crawl, and of course, the Halloween parade itself.


There’s always something to do in Chicago--have a great October! 

Photo Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo

Fall Festivals Things to do in Chicago

10 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home


Your home may be great on the inside, but how does it look from the street? Would someone house shopping in your neighborhood be charmed enough to make an appointment to look at yours? Follow our checklist to create curb appeal and put your home's best face forward.



1. Mow lawn and trim bushes

Are things getting a little wild in your yard? Make sure your lawn and bushes are neat and tidy.


2. Edge gardens and walkways

Edging your gardens and walkways makes them look instantly sharper.


3. Weed and mulch

Weeds are not attractive—get rid of them! Adding mulch to your flower beds and under your bushes will provide a polished appearance and reduce weed growth.


4. Sweep walkways and driveways

When was the last time you swept your driveway? Get a big push broom and rid yourself of accumulated dirt, leaves, twigs, and other debris.


5. Add color and fill in bare spots with plantings

You don't have to have to be a big gardener to get the benefit of plants, even a few spring annuals will perk things up. Consider how your plantings look from the street—are they too small to notice? Do they catch your eye?


6. Remove outdoor furniture that is not in good condition

Beat up wicker, rusty porch swings, ancient picnic tables—get them out of there!


7. Repair broken windows and shutters

Broken windows and shutters say “serious fixer-upper” at best, and “this house might be abandoned” at worst. Either way, not enticing.


8. Replace torn screens

Torn screens are a small thing with a big visual impact—they make things look shabby fast. New screens don't draw attention to themselves, but add to the home's appeal.


9. Hose off exterior wood and trim, replace damaged bricks or wood

A nice fresh exterior will look welcoming.


10. Clean outside lighting fixtures and light walkways and replace any burnt-out bulbs

Your home should be bright, safe, and well-lit no matter when someone is looking at it.


With these ten things checked off your to-do list, you'll have the most appealing home on the block, sure to appeal to buyers. 

Real Estate Curb Appeal Home exterior Front entry Yard Entry Drive way Sidewalk Seller Buyer

Spring has Sprung: Maintenance Tips Inside and Outside the Home


Springtime has arrived! The birds are chirping, crocuses are popping up in flower beds, and...all of the grime of winter is now visible on your home. Time for some spring-cleaning, inside and out, especially if you're putting your home on the market.


Whether you're a dedicated DIY-er, or would rather bring in a professional, make sure you check off the following items from your spring maintenance list




Clear Gutters and Drains

When snow melts or rain falls, all that water has to go somewhere, and if your gutters are full of leaves and twigs, it will run over them, falling directly onto your home's foundation, and quite possibly damaging the siding on its way down. Clear out the gunk! If you're comfortable on a ladder and don't mind getting a little messy, it's not a complicated task to do yourself. Follow a step-by-step process, and your gutters and drains will be clean in no time, ready to route all that springtime rain away from your house.


Inspect Your Roof and Chimney

Take a look at your roof from all angles, keeping an eye out for loose or missing shingles, big patches of moss, or other damage. Make sure your chimney's cap is still on, and that no neighborhood birds or squirrels have taken up residence. If you have a fireplace, spring is a good time to inspect it as well.

Wash Your Windows and Storm Windows

Washing your windows inside and out will instantly brighten your view. When you remove your storm windows for the season, clean them as well. To keep everything straight, number each storm window and its corresponding window frame with a small label. That will make it easier to put them all back in the fall.


Check Your Window Screens

Examine your window screens for holes and tears, so you can repair them before the summer swarms of insects arrive.


Paint or Wash Your Home's Exterior

Are things looking a little shabby? Perhaps it's time for a new coat of paint. If you're preparing to sell, check out this report on colors that make houses more appealing to buyers. If paint isn't an option for your home's exterior surfaces, a warm spring day is ideal for washing it.




Clear Your Clutter

Do you have sweaters you didn't wear all winter? A stack of Christmas cards on your kitchen counter?  A pair of boots that won't make it another year? A broken sled? Toss out or recycle everything that is unrepairable or unshareable, and donate or give away the rest. Don't let it clutter up your space now, and certainly don't move it to another house!


Clean Your Home

You don't have to do it all at once, but make a list of deep cleaning tasks and work your way through them. Banish the dust bunnies, get in the corners, and pull out the furniture. Your home will sparkle, making it appealing to buyers and nicer to live in while you still live there.


Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Follow the manufacturers instructions to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace them if they are not working correctly. Put in fresh batteries if necessary.



Whether you're selling or settling in, with this checklist, you'll be ready for a fantastic spring. 

Spring Maintenance Spring Cleaning Gutters Smoke Detectors Window Washing

Selling Homes In the Winter


No matter what time of year, there are always buyers who want to buy a home.  
Whether a buyer is transplanting into your city for a job or they didn’t find the right home in the Fall inventory, there are motivated buyers who want to see quality and well priced homes. For my listings, I like to use the cold and wintery conditions to boost the marketability of the condo or home. Here are some tips for Winterizing your home for a successful showing:

1. Keep walkways and stairs clear.  Shoveling and salting your walkways and driveways makes a buyer feel secure and safe as they approach and leave your home.

2. Clean the clutter. Move boots, shoes, coats, and winter apparel to an organized closet. 

3. Replace or clean entry rug. A rug to wipe shoes will indicate to buyers to clean or take off their shoes. Also a clean entry rug leaves a positive first impression.

4. Decorate with soft and cozy details.  Fold a thick throw blanket over the bottom of your bed or the couch. Make sure it looks intentional not that it was forgotten.

5.Light a fire or focus attention on the fireplace.  If you have a gas log, have it ready to turn on and give the room instant ambiance. With a wood burning fireplace, keeping logs arranged makes the space look ready to light.

6. Turn on the lights. With a shorter amount of daylight, good lighting is very important.  Replace any burnt out bulbs and have all the lights on (inside and out).  Also, be sure to clean blind and drapes are clean and open even if it is dark outside.

7. Keep the heat comfortable.  Energy savings while you are at work is important but if your home is too chilly when a buyer enters in the middle of the day, they won’t stay as long or feel as comfortable. Keep in mind; buyers don’t always take off their coats so you don’t want to sweat them out either.

If you are interested in selling your house or condo, don’t hesitate to call me in any season.  

I will create a warm and inviting atmosphere that a buyer can’t resist to settle into.

Winter Home Sales Sellers Tips Shannon Shows Chicago

Buy the home of your dreams!

Search for property HERE.
Property Search Shannon Shows Chicago Northside Chicago

Title of your posts.
By Author's Name

January 1, 2030

Category: Category Name

This is where the post content will show up. The font color, font size, line-height, and other styles related to the font, as well as stroke, corner radius and backgroung color / image can be styled. Simply use the text / color / stroke panel to style any of these elements! You can also change the spacing by clicking on the top right arrow near this field. Again this is a sample text and will be replaced with the content of each post.


Tags: Tag Link


Category Name

John Smith     January 1, 2030

This is the comment text. It can be long and break into several lines.



©2015 Shannon Shows Chicago

 Website By SDigital Strategies