Archive for December 2011

New construction on the border of Wilmette and Evanston is open Sunday

Isabella St defines a large part of Wilmette’s southern border with Evanston. On the north side of the street west of Green Bay Rd, in Wilmette, there has been quite a bit of teardown activity and new homes built over the past decade. On the south side of the street, in Evanston, there’s been nowhere... Read more »

Wilmette budgets for a slow year in 2012 home sales

The State of Illinois and Cook County impose transfer taxes on the sale of real estate, as do a number of municipalities. The Village of Wilmette’s transfer tax is $3 per $1,000, and it’s the responsibility of the buyer – although, like everything else in a real estate transaction, who actually pays it is negotiable.... Read more »

Is this the best deal in Lake Forest?

Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) has just acquired and is offering for sale a 3-bedroom, 2-bath farmhouse at 863 N McKinley Rd in Lake Forest. The price is $180,000, which is $70K less than what CPAH paid for it less than a month ago, and about half of the $349K it sold for in... Read more »
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Lot for sale on site of Lake Forest's fabled Villa Turicum

One way to view Lake Forest’s Villa Turicum is as one of the nation’s most costly debacles in private residential real estate. Completed nearly a century ago at a reported cost of $5 million, Edith Rockefeller McCormick’s storied 44-room Italianate mansion on more than 250 lakefront acres was abandoned, fell into disrepair and sold for... Read more »

Rental spotlight - Winnetka coach house for $1,000

The room dimensions are, as real estate agents often phrase it, “cozy.” The bedroom measures 10′ x 8′, the living room 12′ x 14′, and the kitchen 6′ x 8′. The compact size of the 1-bedroom coach house at 181 Sheridan Rd in Winnetka might easily be outweighed by the steps-to-lakefront location, the beautifully landscaped... Read more »

A brief look at Evanston's Bookman's Alley

The Chicago Tribune recently carried the sad news that Bookman’s Alley, an Evanston treasure, will be closing soon. The above video opens with a brief look at the exterior of this widely-known used bookstore. I’d arrived at the spot with Andy Kiener from Grand Bend at Green Bay before the store’s noon opening, so we... Read more »
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Spacious Northfield home with indoor pool at 20% below 2001 price

The 6-bedroom, 5 ½ bath home at 2456 Hedge Row in Northfield sold for $1,237,500 in June of 2001. When I shot the above video, in November of last year, the home was listed at $1,150,000. It just came back on the market at a list price of $949,900. The home has unusually large rooms... Read more »

Ignore rental listings with no address

If you’re looking to rent a home or apartment on the North Shore your best bet is to search listings at one of the large, reputable brokerage firm sites. You’ll occasionally find a listing that has an undisclosed address. More often than not these listings are placed by sleazy rental services and are simply bait-and-switch... Read more »

Is this Evanston condo rental a bargain or a booby trap?

The rent is just $1,000 a month for the just-listed 3-bedroom, 2 ½ bath condo in a 6-flat at 820 Dobson in southeast Evanston. According to the listing copy, Unit 3E has all the bells and whistles: central air, hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, in-unit washer / dryer and fireplace. Parking is included... Read more »
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Wilmette's Santa Claus house

The Christmas display in the 2000 block of Wilmette Ave isn’t the most elaborate in town, but it’s certainly the one that evokes the fondest memories for many Wilmette residents. The Warren A. Perkins Memorial Christmas Display traces back to the 1940s when it was built by Warren Perkins and his father at their home... Read more »