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March 2019 Real Estate News...

REAL ESTATE NEWS
  Brought to you by Ann Pancotto
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 How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood
  By David Hakimi
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 Location, location, location. Half of buying a home is finding where you want to live. You may have found your dream house, but it might not be in your dream location.

 Here's how you can find the perfect neighborhood:

 Neighborhood Sidewalk  Check It Out Online
 Look up what people are saying about the neighborhood you're interested in. Do people actually enjoy living there? What do they like and dislike about it?

 Google the crime statistics for the area; safety should be top of mind. If you have kids, look up schools in the area. How are they rated? Social media platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor also offer a great window into the ins and outs of your potential neighborhood.

 Scout It Out
 Literally. Do drive-bys, and do them at different times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood. Is there a soccer field or baseball diamond close by? You'll want to know before it's too late whether cars will be lined up on your street every weekend. What's that nearby intersection like during rush hour? Is there a grocery store close by? The more questions you can answer before moving in, the more confident you’ll feel when it’s time to put down an offer.

 How Far Is Your Potential Home From Your Job?
 A long commute has the potential to become an everyday stressor. If you take the bus, look up the route and times. If you drive, check out the route during your normal commute times on Google Maps.

 Do Your Research on Property Taxes
 Property taxes greatly differ from one region to the next and could majorly impact your cost of living. Do your due diligence and make sure you can afford the area you want to live in. Check out other costs of living while your at it—think utilities and food prices. 
 How Marie Kondo Is Fueling Our Thrifting Goals
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Second Hand Dishes  Whether or not you’ve bought into Marie Kondo’s wildly popular method of tidying up, there’s no denying that the current decluttering trend has had a significant impact on one industry in particular—thrift stores are bursting with donations. For the uninitiated, Marie Kondo is a Japanese “tidying consultant” who employs a method of purging items from your home that do not “spark joy.” Between her New York Times Best Seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, her KonMari method is in full effect, and what doesn’t spark joy for others, might spark joy for you. Here are some great items to look out for:

 Books
 Gently-used, vintage children’s books are common in many thrift stores. These and uniquely-colored books can be great to use in decorating.

 For the flippers out there, good-condition, used box sets like the Harry Potter series can sell for around $30 to $50 on eBay. Other popular box sets include The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and Little House on the Prairie. 

 Wood furniture
 Thrift stores are a great place to score solid wood furnishings at bargain prices. Even if you don't end up finding your vintage dream piece, items that look more “grandma” than Mad Men can be transformed with a little paint, varnish, and fresh fixtures.

 Dishes and Glassware
 Vintage dishes can be particularly valuable, so do a little research when you’re out thrifting. Glassware lovers enjoy vintage Pyrex cookware, as well as glass in different shapes and colors, so keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.

 Mirrors
 Mirrors make your space feel bigger, so they are the ultimate accessories for your walls. New mirrors can be expensive, however, so you can save big bucks by finding one at a thrift store. 
 QUESTIONS? VISIT Https://PancottoRealEstate.com
 
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Ann Pancotto CRS,SFR
 Broker
 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
 
 630-479-4393

 annpancotto@gmail.com 
 Https://PancottoRealEstate.com
 Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation.  

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January 2019 Real Estate News

 January 2019
 REAL ESTATE NEWS
  Brought to you by Ann Pancotto
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 Becoming a Home Maintenance Pro: Tips for Homeowners
  By Dixie Somers
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 Many homeowners don't think about home maintenance until something breaks, but that's not the best way to take care of your home. Whether you’re a new homeowner or have been settled for years, it’s never too late to cultivate some home maintenance habits. Here are three tips to help you protect your investment and keep your property in good shape for years to come:

 Lawn Cross Section  Create and Follow a Home Maintenance Schedule
 A good place to start is by following a home maintenance schedule. Just as your car needs to have an oil change, your home and yard will need some regular maintenance. Home maintenance schedule apps such as HomeZada and Centriq are an easy way to get yourself on track.

 You'll need to mow your lawn, clean your gutters and perhaps even top your trees from time to time. For pest control, you may need to spray or have ground treatment performed a few times a year, too. When it comes to appliances, make sure to send in any warranties and follow the maintenance recommendations in your owner’s manual. For older appliances, many documents can be found online.

 Don't be afraid to do some research and speak with professionals about maintenance specific to your location.

 Have All of Your Home Systems Checked Regularly
 It's important to get your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems checked annually to keep them in good shape. Some of these tasks can be done yourself; for instance, you might need to clean your air filters, remove debris from the vents and flush out your water heater.

 For more technical inspections, check customer reviews on Yelp, Angie's List, Google, Facebook and the BBB when searching for a new company. Always go with one that is experienced, licensed, bonded and insured.

 Follow a Cleaning Schedule
 Home maintenance often focuses on repair work, but keeping your home clean can be just as important. In addition to once a week tasks such as vacuuming and dusting the shelves, deep cleaning every month or so can save you big in the long run. Moving furniture around, pulling out the washer and dryer to clean behind them and clearing out the garage gives you a chance to inspect for pest problems, water damage and similar issues that can quickly escalate into expensive repairs.

 Being a homeowner is very rewarding on many levels, but homeownership comes with a great deal of responsibility. As long as you put in some effort on a regular basis, you should have no problem keeping your home in good repair. 
 Homeowners: Look Out for Utility Scams
  By John Voket
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 Utility Worker As we make our way through the winter season, utility companies want customers to be reminded about common utility scams. According to Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a growing number of gas, electricity, water and communications consumers are getting calls and visits from imposters out to steal personal and financial data.

 A common utility con involves a caller posing as a utility billing representative claiming that you have an overdue bill, and in order to avoid an immediate shut-off, you must provide a credit card number or prepaid debit card.

 Sadly, scammers are meeting with great success using this tactic. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the median loss for a utility scam victim is $500.

 Here are a few reminders to keep yourself and your data protected:
  • All UUAS-affiliated utility employees carry photo identification.
  • Field workers generally wear clothing with the company logo and drive company vehicles. When in doubt, do not allow them in - and if they persist, call 911.
  • UUAS utility representatives never demand instant payment in person or over the phone.
  • Utility representatives from UUAS companies do not require the use of prepaid debit cards (such as Green Dot MoneyPak, MyVanilla or Reloadit).
  • UUAS reps will never request customers meet them at a payment center, such as a department or grocery store, to make a payment.

 

The Utilities United Against Scams website provides more information on how to protect personal information and avoid becoming a victim of utility scams. 
 QUESTIONS? VISIT Https://PancottoRealEstate.com
 
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Ann Pancotto CRS,SFR
 Broker
 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
 
 630-479-4393

 annpancotto@gmail.com 
 Https://PancottoRealEstate.com
 Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation.  

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October 2018 Real Estate News

Brought to you by Ann Pancotto.
Real Estate News October 2018
 Thinking About Moving to a New City? Here's What You Need to Know
  By Eliot Ward
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 Perhaps you recently accepted a job offer in a new city, or you just needed a change of scenery and decided now was the time to make that change. Uprooting your life isn't an easy feat—yet, it's exciting and new. You'll get to explore a whole new place and all that that new place has to offer! There'll be new activities, new restaurants, new friends, new parks, and more.

 ruler  What should you know about your new hometown? What research should you do ahead of time to ensure you relocate to a place you'll be comfortable living in? Here's what you need to know:

 Do Your Research Before Buying (or Renting) 
 The area you live in makes your home what it is. Check out Google Maps before your big move. Maybe even make a list of the advantages and disadvantages to each area you research—it can help make the decision easier.

 If your kids are in school, you'll likely want a school facility close by. Do you want them to attend a private or public school? Is there one close by? What about grocery shopping? Is it easy to get to? Do you like to have a gym you can walk to? Are there parks? Ask yourself these questions ahead of time. Determine their importance to you and your family.

 Research the Local Big Activities and Events
 With a new city comes a new list of annual events and festivals. Find out what big attractions take place. If your family is into skiing or mountain biking, look to see if there is a place close by to partake in these activities. Plus, finding activities and fun events to look forward to can lessen the impact of a move, such as moving far away from friends and family. It's exciting, but it can also be really tough. Make the best out of it!

 Research the Costs of Your New City
 This is a big one. Cities come with different price tags. Make sure you know what you'll be spending before you commit.

 Even grocery prices tend to change. Calculate what you can expect to spend in your new city—does it work for your budget? The worst thing that could happen is you move and find out you can't afford your new city. Financial planning makes all the difference, and it can help you avoid future panic or crises. 
 Top Benefits of Installing a Tankless Water Heater
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Tankless Hot Water Heater  As is the case with most household appliances, modern technological advancements can result in massive improvements. Here are the top benefits of installing a tankless water heater in your home: Save Money on Your Energy Bill
 With a conventional water heater, hot water is stored inside the tank. In theory, this keeps a ready supply of hot water on hand for immediate use, but the fact is that the hot water just sits around when not being used. This is not only a complete waste of energy; it also costs you extra money at the end of the month on your energy bill.

 Tankless Is Better Than Conventional
 A tankless water heater does not store hot water for later use. Instead, a tankless water heater only produces as much hot water as a person needs. In other words, when the hot water faucet is turned on, the tankless unit provides the exact amount of hot water dispensed until the faucet is turned off. With the installation of a tankless unit in your home, you never need to worry about running out of hot water again during a shower.

 The Single Biggest Flaw of Conventional Tank Water Heaters
 One of the biggest problems with conventional tank water heaters is leakage. No matter how fancy of an electric water heater you buy, the unit will start leaking as time takes its toll. After all, these are constantly filled with water day in and day out for a period of years. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, doesn't store water, and, therefore, will never leave you a big mess to clean up—because there's nothing to leak! 
 QUESTIONS? VISIT Https://PancottoRealEstate.com
 
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Ann Pancotto CRS,SFR
 Broker
 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
 
 630-479-4393

 annpancotto@gmail.com 
 Https://PancottoRealEstate.com
 Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation.  

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Brought to you by Ann Pancotto.
Title: 6 Reasons Chicago is a Perfect City for Seniors


Chicago is a world-class city that’s home to a population of more than 2.7 million people. Greater Chicagoland, which includes the city’s many suburbs, is home to millions more, including seniors aged 60 and older who constitute about 17 percent of the population. Filled with all the amenities, attractions, and services that seniors look for in a hometown, Chicago is a city that features a senior-friendly environment.

1. Plentiful and Diverse Housing Options

As one would expect in a large city, there is a wealth of housing options available in Chicago. While the cost of living in this major city is about 11 percent above the national average, it should be noted that housing costs range immensely from one neighborhood to the next. Chicago features many housing categories that seniors are seeking — single floor homes, new constructions and gated communities that require very little grounds or property maintenance.

In addition, Chicago is an ideal destination for seniors who are searching for assisted living options. As with other aspects of the city, senior living facilities feature a diverse range of options and amenities and suit a wide array of budgets.

2. World-Class Medical Facilities

It’s no secret that Chicago is home to outstanding research hospitals and medical centers that are revered throughout the country and the world. Some of the city’s most renowned medical centers include Rush University Medical Center, University of Chicago Medicine, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Advocate Christ Medical Center. Many of these hospitals feature branch medical centers and clinics in Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. In fact, some even have branches as far as Northwest Indiana.

These acclaimed facilities and other area hospitals and clinics offer care and treatment programs that specifically address the needs of geriatric patients and seniors. Seniors who require specialized medical care will be hard-pressed to find better facilities with more medical experts and specialists than there are in a major city like Chicago.

3. Many Public Transportation Options

Chicago boasts an extensive public transportation system that extends into the suburbs. Trains, elevated trains, and buses are the main modes of public transport in the city. Downtown Chicago is home to Union Station where trains headed to other major cities around the country depart. Chicago is also home to O’Hare Airport, one of the busiest airports in the nation. The numerous train and bus stops, airports and taxis ensure that transportation is seldom a problem in this city. It should also be noted that seniors can expect to pay reduced fares for riding public transportation.

4. Numerous Cultural Attractions

Chicago is world-famous for its many attractions and is home to renowned museums like The Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute of Chicago that are popular with seniors. Seniors can take advantage of the city’s local libraries, many of which offer group trips to these and other attractions. Additional attractions that have proved popular with seniors include the Lyric Opera, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden and Orchestra Hall. Many of the city’s senior centers offer trips to these venues, particularly when they offer events or programs of special interest to seniors.

5. Plenty of Parks and Public Spaces

Chicago's famous beachfront on Lake Michigan has attractions of its own like yacht clubs and, most notably, Navy Pier. Chicago also is home to well-known parks like Grant Park, Lincoln Park and Millennium Park which is a major tourist destination and forms part of Grant Park. Aside from their well-kept garden beds, fountains and strolling paths, these parks also offer entertainment attractions that are popular with seniors. Throughout the warm months, these parks host festivals like the Taste of Chicago (a must for foodies) and outdoor concerts like Blues Fest.

6. Amenities

Chicago has no shortage of amenities and, with convenient access to public transportation, most are easy for seniors to reach. Downtown Chicago’s most famous shopping and dining areas are in (and just off) its Magnificent Mile. Water Tower Place is the city’s most celebrated shopping center, but throughout Chicagoland, there are numerous malls and stores of every type imaginable.

Not surprisingly, Chicago also features a wide array of restaurants and food shops that are cuisine-specific. And while you might expect to pay a fortune for a quality meal in a major city like Chicago, it must be said that even its moderately priced establishments offer renowned eats that are revered by locals.

Other amenities in Chicago include fitness centers with programming geared for seniors, continuing education facilities, golf courses and clubs, local women’s and men’s clubs, gardening clubs, senior centers, coffee shops, places of religious worship and so much more.

If you long for city life in a place that experiences a dazzling four-season climate, the Windy City is just right for you. From its stunning architecture to its senior-friendly attractions, amenities and public spaces, this city has much to offer seniors looking to relocate here.


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