Evanston Rocks for July 4th – Activities and Events Abound

Submitted by the City of Evanston

mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Evanston, the City of Evanston is partnering with the Evanston 4th of July Association to bring residents an expanded array of activities for this   year’s Independence Day celebration.

Nine locations around Evanston will be set up to entertain   the young and young at heart. In addition to the playground games and activities, there will be a Kids Fun Run as part of the festivities.

The half-mile Kids Fun Run will be held at 12:45 p.m. on July   4 at Ackerman Park, located at the corner of Central St. and McDaniel Ave. The event is available to children 12 years of age and under. A $10 registration fee includes a t-shirt to the first 300 kids registered plus   finish line refreshments. Proceeds benefit the Fourth of July   Association. Register online here>>> or on race day at Ackerman Park   from noon to 12:30 p.m. This event is part of the “Let’s Move! Race Series.”

The award-winning parade will kick-off at 2 p.m. on Central St. at Central Park Ave. and travel east to Ryan Field at Ashland   Ave. Lawn chairs may be placed along the Central St. parade route beginning   at 6 a.m. on July 1 in accordance with the city ordinance.

The Palatine Concert Band will perform from 7:30 to 9:00   p.m. at Dawes Park, Sheridan Rd. at Church St.

Lakefront fireworks will be at 9:15 p.m. with a Musical Extravaganza! Tune your radio to 90.5 FM. Fireworks are   visible from most lakefront parks.

Playground games and activities will include frisbee, 25 yard race, 40 yard race, 60 yard race, penny scramble, jump rope, pie eating   contests and more. To learn more about these games and age levels, visit www.cityofevanston.org/july4games. Locations and times   for the games are: Lincolnwood School, 2600 Colfax St., 9 a.m.–noon; Willard   School, 2700 Hurd Ave., 9 a.m.–noon; Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St., 9   a.m.–noon; Kamen Park-east, South Blvd. & Asbury Ave., 9-11 a.m.; Baker   Park, Forest Ave. & Keeney St. , 9-11 a.m.; Raymond Park, Chicago Ave.   & Lake St., 9-11 a.m.; Elks Park, Callan Ave. and  Mulford St., 9-11   a.m.; ML King Lab School, 2424 Lake St., 9-11 a.m.; and Fleetwood-Jourdain   Center, 1655 Foster St., 9-11 a.m. (roller skating only & refreshments).

The Evanston 4th of July Association is seeking volunteers   for this year’s Independence Day events. This year marks the association’s   92nd celebration. Each year, a group of association volunteers organizes and   produces the Independence Day events in Evanston. To register to volunteer,   visit www.volunteerevanston.org.

City Holiday Schedule & Closures

The Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center will be closed July 4-7   for the Independence Day holiday.

The Evanston 3-1-1 Call Center will be open July 4 with   the extended hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Call Center will be open on July   5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All Evanston Public Library facilities will be closed July   4-5.

The Chandler-Newberger Center, Ecology Center and the   Noyes Cultural Arts Centers will be closed July 4. On July 5, the buildings   will be open for programs.

Fleetwood-Jourdain Center and Robert Crown Center are   sites for family activities the morning of July 4, but the offices will be   closed. On July 5, the buildings will be open for programs.

The Levy Senior Center will be closed July 4-5.

The City of Evanston summer food program will not be held   on July 4.

Now people can access the Evanston IL Public library with a smart phone application

Access Library With Mobile App
Submitted by the City of EvanstonWant to renew a book or place one on hold? Now there’s an app for that. Library hours or locations? There’s an app for that. Find information fast? Register for events? There’s an app for that, too.We’ve just launched a mobile app that puts the Evanston Public Library at your fingertips. From any mobile phone or tablet connected to the Internet you can instantly tap into Library resources, anytime, anywhere. You can search the catalog, check your account, ask a question, find events and more. Searching the catalog with the mobile app is especially easy. Then, once you find the title you’re looking for, you can place it on hold right from your phone. To access the library’s mobile app, search Evanston Public Library in your phone’s app market or go to epl.org/mobile and download the app.

“It’s important for the library to be easily accessible whenever and wherever people need access to our expertise and rich resources,” says Karen Danczak Lyons, Director of Evanston Public Library. “Our mobile app puts library information in your pocket or purse – just one click away. I hope everyone with a mobile phone takes advantage of this new way to use the Evanston Public Library by downloading our app.”

The app offers additional features, including BookCheck so patrons can check out books, CDs or DVDs from anywhere in the library, and BookLook Mobile that lets you scan an ISBN barcode anywhere you are to see if the library owns the title. “This is an amazing feature,” says Danczak Lyons. “If you’re at a bookstore you can just scan the ISBN, see if we own it and—if we do—place a hold on it right from your phone.”

For more information on the library’s new mobile app, visit epl.org/mobile. Patrons, please note: *Sign-up on EPL’s online catalog required to activate. Already done that? You’re good to go. If not, you can sign up at epl.org/login or call the library for help. 847-448-8630. it’s worth it!

The library’s mobile app was developed by Boopsie Inc. More than 250 libraries and universities use Boopsie to increase campus and community visibility. Easy to implement and affordable for all size libraries, Boopsie solves the problem of unwieldy website viewing on a small screen.

Can You Afford to Finance a Remodel?

As per MSN Money

People who dream of renovating a home — or just redoing the kitchen or bathroom — might wonder how other homeowners finance a home remodel that can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Paying for a home remodel sometimes involves a new loan. But more often, homeowners have cash on hand from other sources, says Steve Klitsch, owner of Creative Concepts Remodeling, a home-remodeling company in Germantown, Md. Klitsch says that most of his customers in 2012 used cash from personal savings to pay for remodeling projects, though two families received substantial gifts from their parents and two others refinanced their mortgages and cashed out some of their equity to finance a home remodel.

People who spent their own money to finance a remodel typically were more frugal and asked more questions about labor, materials and warranties than those who received gifts or refinanced their mortgages, Klitsch says.

Among those who had saved up were dual-income couples whose children had recently completed college, ending years of education expenses

“There’s a relationship between working couples [or] life partners who have children who’ve completed college and within a very short period after that … say, ‘Wow! Look at the money we have,'” Klitsch says. “They’re not paying tuition, not buying books. They suddenly have thousands or tens of thousands of disposable income they can put into their home.” A 2012 survey by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, of Des Plaines, Ill., also says that many remodeling customers have adequate savings.

Cash out to remodel
Homeowners who tap their equity to remodel will be limited to the lenders’ maximum loan-to-value ratio. Most lenders won’t allow a homeowner to borrow more than 80% of the home’s value, says Stephen LaDue, senior loan officer at Prime Lending, a mortgage company in Brookfield, Wis.

“If you have a $250,000 house, 80% is $200,000,” he says. “If you want to do a $50,000, remodel and you owe $175,000, you only have $25,000 to work with.”

Shopping around might turn up a local lender or credit union that will step up to 90%, LaDue says.

“Be a smart shopper and ask upfront: ‘What are your loan-to-value limitations? Can I go up to 80%? Can I go up to 90% with a second mortgage?'” he says.

A second mortgage might be especially difficult to get because second-mortgage lenders were among those who “took it on the chin the worst in the housing crisis,” LaDue says.

Still, some homeowners can pull out enough cash for a modest remodeling project that makes a house they’d planned to sell more comfortable for a longer stay, says Rob McAllister, a mortgage broker at West Seattle Mortgage in Seattle.

 “People are refinancing, taking the low rate and pulling out $20,000 or $30,000 to get the house to where it needs to be for them to stay there longer than they’d anticipated,” McAllister says.

An informal NARI poll in April 2012 found that quite a few homeowners planned to keep their home longer than they had intended.

  • 28% planned to stay an additional one to five years.
  • 23% intended to remain another six to 10 years.
  • 10% added 11 to 15 years.
  • 26% planned to stay 16 to 20 years longer.
  • 13% said they hadn’t extended the time they expected to live in their home

Although the survey was not scientific because those polled were self-selected and searching for information about remodeling, it offers a snapshot of homeowner behavior.

Unlimited funds
Some homeowners can remodel with little concern about funds, says Jim Bateman, owner of Bateman Custom Construction, a remodeling company in Fairfax, Va.

“Some people have more money than they know what to do with,” he says. “I’d like to have all those customers, but that’s not the case.”

Others factor energy-efficiency rebates or savings into their calculations. Making a home more energy-efficient during a remodeling project involves upfront costs but can pay off over time, says Gary Henley, president of Henley Homes, a remodeling company in Liberty Hill, Texas.

“It costs you less every month to make the house more energy-efficient while you live there, so why not do it while the kitchen or bathroom is torn to pieces, instead of coming back and making another mess later?” he says. “You’re getting a quick payback, so it makes it affordable.”

Maintaining and Cleaning Drains

As homeowners we take our sewer system for granted, because typically there is not a problem. Home sewer maintenance is not high on our list. However, everything we flush down the toilet, dispose of down our kitchen sinks, etc. ends up in the public sewer system. The responsibility of the homeowner is the proper maintenance of the pipe (often called a house lateral) that leads from our home to the public sewer system.

 So we need to be careful about what we dispose of, because it can cause a backup in this house lateral, or pipe that bridges our home to the sewer system. Unfortunately, a minority of people dispose of things down our toilets and garbage disposals that can clog up this house lateral. As homeowners we need to know that things such as kitty litter, grease, motor oil and coffee grounds can clog up our sewer line.

Most cities have hazardous disposal facilities that you can bring old motor oil to. You should also bring other harsh chemical substances such as turpentine, paint, anti freeze, or any other heavy duty household solvents to these facilities as well. Do not flush these compounds down the toilet or kitchen sink. They can damage your pipes and cause clogs as well.

Even some common kitchen by products can cause problems with your sewer drain. Do not put egg shells or coffee grinds down the disposal. Also, dispose of old grease in garbage bags and not the disposal. Do not put any thick paper items such as paper towels or diapers down the toilets.

Any of these compounds or materials can clog, damage or even crack the lateral pipe between your home and the main sewer line. This is a very expensive problem to fix and so we should take precaution in what goes down our house drains.

Public sewer problems are often caused by an accumulation of improper materials, by homeowners, into the system which affects its capacity or efficiency. Let’s all be conscience of our actions.

Thanks to American Vintage Homes

Dropping home prices, available inventory lead to increased demand among Evanston homebuyers

I 100% quote the “Daily Northwestern and Edward Cox here. I do so out of self satisfaction because he interviewed me and other Realtors and mentioned my name.

January 27, 2013

Longtime Evanston resident Dorothy King had lived in her spacious four-bedroom home for about 20 years and was ready to move to smaller living quarters.

King’s home was snapped up in six days last spring, and buyers wanted to move in quickly, giving King only a few months to find a condominium.

“The building went out so fast that I thought, ‘There can’t be much trouble in the real estate industry,’” King said.

Real estate brokers serving Evanston and the Cook County region at-large agree that the housing market is starting to recover from the fallout of the housing bubble’s late-2007 burst. Since 2008, the median home price in the region has declined by nearly a fourth, according to Midwest Real Estate Data.

The data aggregator reports that the combination of a decrease in home inventories and falling median prices have sparked demand for homes from investors and first-time buyers.

“We’re so hot right now everything coming in is selling … rates are low and prices are low,” housing broker Mary Summerville said, adding Evanston’s real estate situation is greatly impacted by the comings and goings of Northwestern faculty and students.

Several North Shore-area home brokers similarly said people’s feelings about the housing markets have changed. Homebuyers are cautiously but steadily competing for property, convinced the prices of homes on the market have already hit rock bottom.

The December 2012 median sales price for Evanston homes fell by 20 percent compared to December 2011, according to a Coldwell Banker report, accompanied by a similar increase in rising closed home sales.

Martin Walsh, chairman of the North Shore-Barrington association of the Illinois Association of Realtors, said first-time homebuyers are returning to the market, contributing to a “cascading effect” where buyers’ move to cities prompts sellers’ move to suburbs such as Evanston.

“(The market) is a lot less scary now, and first-time homebuyers are competing with investors,” Walsh said. “First-time homebuyers really drive the market, they’re the ones who buy the condominiums and townhouses in the city … and enable people who are married and have kids to move into the suburbs.”

In Evanston, typical sellers include “empty nesters,” families whose children have moved out, as well as people who have transferred jobs, Coldwell Banker agent Noah Seidenberg said. First-time homebuyers and investors hoping to rent out their properties are among those moving in.

“Evanston is a good place to move because it’s so close to the city and it does not have the suburban feel,” Seidenberg said. “People decide to move to Evanston to start a family.”

And if consumers feel cautious after the economic downturn, one broker said they may feel more attached to their homes.

Broker Hasani Steele (McCormick ’99), who is involved in home development, said clients are willing to pay moderately-high prices for a recently refurbished home.

“If someone has something that they really love, they are going to fight to keep it,” Steele said.

After selling her home, King had her eye on a cozy two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium on Central Street that she initially lost to another woman in a bidding war. Three weeks later, however, the transaction fell through and she bought it.

“It seems like there’s not enough houses to show people, I think things are loosening up,” King said of the housing market. “I may be sorry I sold when I did, but I think things are looking much better.”

– See more at: http://dailynorthwestern.com/2013/01/27/city/dropping-home-prices-available-inventory-lead-to-increased-demand-among-evanston-homebuyers/#sthash.eerXuypw.dpuf

My First Day as a Realtor Scared as Can Be In Evanston Illinois

I remember how excited I was to become a Realtor. This was in the good old days and homes sold themselves. I thought I could just jump in there and become an instant success. Boy was I wrong. I had previous sales experience and was over confident.

I studied the classes we had to take and asked a lot of questions. It seemed more like a business law class then how to be a Realtor now that I look back. After the class was over I did the practice tests for the licensing again and again. I was over kill because when I went in I wiped through the test and was the first person to finish and passed. I had really taken my time doing so, I have this problem of being a perfectionist or maybe it’s OCD?

I was referred to Coldwell Banker in Evanston Illinois by the wife of a fellow I worked out with at the health club, I was going at least 5 times a week. This turned out to be a great experience because the manager and I hit it off and she took me under her wing as far as procedures and asking questions. That gave me even more enthusiasm for starting the work.

The day came where I started work. Coldwell Banker made us go through a 2 week all day courses called “Quick Start”. There were many motivational speakers there and other successful realtors telling their stories of how they made zillions of sales. I enjoyed the class.

Then came the first day of work. I was given a desk and then left on my own. I saw everyone on the phone and I used my friends and business associates to announce that I was now selling homes but it didn’t click all that easy at first. The scary thing was floor duty. We had a desk up at the front and as the calls came in during your 2 hour shift you had to service their needs. I was slow at first and I remember the front desk woman telling me as I was on the phone that there were multiple calls holding and then she finally gave me a list of who to call back. We had floods of calls and sometimes 2 people at once needed for floor duty.

I got a few successful sales through floor but finally figured it out and did things my own way. I used computers, the internet and this was before many people even knew what that was all about. It is funny to me that now most everyone does this. The stereo-type of being a pillar of the community was not the only way to get business.

I have good days and bad but I have had many many happy clients (a few unhappy) but I still love my work and will do it until I am unable to walk or talk.


Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker Evanston
Toll Free (800) 858-7917
Office (847) 316-8529
Fax (847) 939-5636
On the web:
Real Estate Specialist Chicago-land and Suburbs
Licensed Illinois real estate broker

Great Experience with a buyer

Lets start the day with a good story.

I had a buyer who called me up and was moving from the east coast. The couple looked at listings I sent them from the MLS for 6 months and I was beginning to wonder if it was for real. The wife did all the commenting but they did view online. You never know.

Then one day she called me up and said “we are ready to move to Evanston Il and are coming in 2 weeks can you give me the weekend to tour?’ I was glad to help and she sent me a list of what they wanted to see and some of them were not on the search I set up for them. I used their criteria they gave me so I do not consider it to be my fault.

There was 15 houses on the list they wanted so see that Saturday. I called her and said I think that is too many and you will have trouble remembering every property. She responded with “I have moved 3 times in 5 years and I know what I am doing”. So I said I aim to please and if that is the way you want to do it lets go.

We went out and saw all 15 homes and hit it off in a great way. We were laughing and having a good time riding around in my car all day. I always give the client print outs from the MLS and a pen (wsith my info on it) to take notes but they did not use them. By the end of the day they were talking about every house like someone with a great memory.

On Sunday we saw about 5 houses from the group they said they liked. The following weekend they flew in from Boston and wrote a contract on a house in North West Evanston Il which is a great area. During that time they were telling me stories about other realtors they had in the past and how controlling they were and how the last one lied to them and had an inspector lie about the condition of the home they bought leaving all the choices up to the realtor who set everything up and it turned out to be a bad experience.

A month later they came back and closed using my choice of inspector and attorney. As we were walking to the car at the end the wife said to me “Noah you ae a fantastic realtor, you let me drive this deal and you never said no or we have to do it my way”. I love the home we bought and how you never pushed us”. She hugged me. The husband who was always quiet said “I agree this was great I think you are the best and I love the area”. He handed me a gift card to a great food store and I drove back to the office with tears in my eyes.