Make Every Hour Count!

Ernest Hemingway once said, “I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”

We can relate. We LOVE sleep. Life for your average go-getter is inherently busy, and the idea of falling into your warm bed to drift off into a heavy sleep will almost certainly always draw a smile.

That’s why many people aren’t looking forward to March 10, the dreaded ‘Spring Forward’ of Daylight Savings Time. How DARE they take away an hour of our beloved z’s?

You could look at it that way. But glass-is-half-full kind of folk instead circle the 10th of March on their calendar with a bright red marker, knowing that they will have one extra hour of sunlight (or at least daylight) in their day.

Spring is inching closer – what will you do with that additional hour? We have a few suggestions:

  • Go for a Run: The average person can make it 2-4 miles in 60 minutes.
  • Watch Two Episodes of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross: ‘Cause if happy little trees don’t make your day, we’re not sure we want to know you.

Photo Courtesy: Biography.com

  • Get/Give an Hour Massage: Treat yourself, or treat your significant other!
  • Listen to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin 15 Times: You might want to sing it note for note…

  • Take a Hot Bubble Bath: For a better experience, add wine.
  • Build a Fort with Your Kids: Because it will make their weekend.

Photo Courtesy of: Healthy Gallatin

  • Try a new recipe: No longer winter, not quite spring…might we recommend some BFD (Breakfast for Dinner)?
  • Learn a Magic Trick: Make people think you’re a wizard. And always have an ice breaker at the bar.
  • Watch the Sunset with Your Spouse: Because it no longer takes place at 4:30 PM.

Photo Courtesy of: imgur.com

No matter what you do, change your Spring Forward mindset, and make the most of the time you’ve been given!

 

 


Top Tips for Converting Your Home into a Vacation Rental

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

Please welcome back Suzie Wilson, the creator of happierhome.net, and today’s guest blogger! Suzie has a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes, a talent she has crafted over 20 years as an interior designer!

Are you thinking of turning your home into a money-maker? Creating a place that is the perfect getaway can be a smart solution, not only boosting your income through renters but also preparing it to be more sellable at some point down the road.

Here’s how to make changes that catch travelers’ eyes and give you great ROI. 

Welcoming Interior

When it comes to making guests feel at home, think along the lines of an interior with broad appeal. Steer clear of immensely personal style, do some decluttering, and decorate in colors that reflect what might be drawing visitors to the area. For instance, if your property is on the shoreline, sandy beiges accented with cool blues might provide the right atmosphere. A cabin, on the other hand, could warrant earthy browns and greens. Choose decor that fits the environment as well, such as airy textiles in a lakeside property, or woolly blankets for a cozy cabin. At the same time, a depersonalized and uncluttered home are keys to selling; should you put your property on the market later, you’re already one step ahead. 

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

 

Stay Abreast of Issues

If you decide to list your home in the future, give it the proper upkeep it needs to be move-in ready. At the same time, your guests will feel most welcome if you put forward a spotlessly clean, well-kept presentation. Some people elect to hire a housekeeping service for some or all of the chores, although you can do it yourself with smart cleaning strategies. Gather effective cleaning supplies so you can whiz through with minimal effort. Start by investing in a quality vacuum, and research reviews from How to Home to ensure you’re getting the best one for the job. Fill a tote with wipes, sponges, an all-purpose spray, and some hard-hitting basics like vinegar and baking soda. As you go through the property, note any maintenance concerns and make sure you tackle them before the next guests arrive. 

Make Some Upgrades

A few changes here and there can boost your property’s appeal to renters as well as buyers. Bathrooms tend to be key points in both areas, so consider some upgrades that give you a good bang for your buck. Todd Whittaker Drywall suggests certain alterations provide especially good ROI — such as Universal Design elements and new fixtures — and they are smart additions in terms of making your place more rentable as well as sellable. Top off your refreshed bathroom by assembling a welcome basket. Consider putting together some breakfast goodies or locally made soaps and lotions. For a personal touch, add a note with any quirks about the property, as well as information about the area. Include things to do and anything unique to your locale, such as a great deli, your favorite historical sites, or the location of a must-see vista. 

Photo Courtesy of: Kiddie Holidays

 

Safe and Secure

Many people feel a little off-kilter in a strange place. In order to feel at ease, rather than a traditional key, a keyless lock gives both you and your guests some advantages. You can change things up between visitors, and there is no worry about a key or card getting lost or stolen. If your property might stand vacant for lengths of time, your main residence is far away, or you just want to bolster peace of mind, adding a smart security system is also a plus. It could raise your home’s ROI all the more should the time come that you’re ready to sell. 

 In order to impress guests, you want your property to be well maintained and inviting. At the same time, this can be a step toward raising your home’s value, should you elect to sell at some point down the road. For the best results, aim for a great experience that will not only provide optimal ROI, but it will also make your visitors want to keep coming back.

** Suzie Wilson is proud to announce that her debut book, The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House, is COMING SOON to online retailers and bookstores near you! Filled with tips, tricks, and other advice based on her 20 years of experience in interior home design, the book will set you and your home up for success.


Ryan D’Aprile – Coaching Moments: Lead Generation

 

Our Founder, Ryan D’Aprile, has begun a monthly podcast series for Keeping It Real, the only podcast made by Chicago real estate brokers for Chicago real estate brokers. You can check out the podcast in its entirety HERE.

Welcome once again to Coaching Moments! As the driving force behind d’aprile properties, Ryan’s primary focus is to personally provide one-on-one coaching to the 300-plus agents who make up the d’aprile properties team. He is focused on providing for his agents and staff through his impassioned motivational skills, dynamic teaching style, and his dedication to lifelong training. He has built a collaborative organization based on a foundation of culture, character, and community.

In today’s podcast, Ryan spends the entirety of the hour on lead generation – the most important component of a broker’s business.

 

Ryan D’Aprile

Founder, d’aprile properties

ryan@daprileproperties.com


And the Oscar Goes to…

Green Book, probably. Or Roma.

Personally, we’re pulling for Black Panther, because WAKANDA FOREVER!

But this post really isn’t about this year’s movies. No, in honor of Oscar Week – cause, you know, we dig homes – we thought we might put together a list of our favorite homes in recent film history. No garish mansions or sweeping castles on this list – simple residential real estate only.

Gone Girl

Sure, Neil Patrick Harris’ sleek lake house was (cough)…killer, but it was Nick and Amy’s suburban Missouri rental that truly caught our eye. Of course, Amy was a deranged sociopath with rather impressive knife skills for a homemaker, but you can’t deny that she had a chic sense of style.

 

Photo Courtesy of: The Movie District

Father of the Bride

Admit it – you watch at least part of this gem of a Steve Martin rom-com every time it comes on TBS. The Colonial Revival House that served as the site of the big wedding sold in 2016 for a cool $2 million. Looks like a steal if you ask us!

 

Photo Courtesy of: CBS News

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Despite the snow and the Chicago-setting of the script, the Griswold house is actually an exterior set on “Blondie Street,” a suburban block created specifically on the Warner Brothers back lot in Burbank, CA. The house has been featured in several films (including American Beauty and Pleasantville) and if you look closely, you can see the Murtaugh’s house from Lethal Weapon next door. We can certainly imagine having a big family holiday in this charming two-story.

Just don’t light a match anywhere near the storm sewer…

 

Photo Courtesy of: Hooked on Houses

The Money Pit

“THE STAIRS ARE OUT!!” Tom Hanks’ facial expressions alone are enough to recommend this underrated gem of a comedy. But the titular ‘pit’ is actually a stunning, eight-bedroom masterpiece with its own name: Northway. Located in the village of Lattingtown along the famed Gold Coast of Long Island, it went back on the market in 2018.

It can be yours for a cool $5.9 million.

 

Photo Courtesy of: Zillow

The Holiday

Cameron Diaz’s LA mansion was the very definition of modern style (for 2006, anyway), back when automatic shades were the hi-fi! But we’re not interested in Cali-chic: give us Kate Winslet’s fairy tale English cottage any day. From the (extremely) long walk up to the brick wall that lined the property, it seemed like something straight out of a painting. Which, to be honest, is not far off – the filmmakers could not find the perfect cottage for their seasonal flick, so they built one – in just two weeks.

Sadly, the interior was filmed separately, as the cottage itself was just a shell. 

 

Photo Courtesy of: Bustle

Something’s Gotta Give

Maybe our favorite on this list, Diane Keaton’s Hampton’s Beach House is simply striking. Maybe it’s the killer kitchen complete with large island, stainless-steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, and a Wolf range. Maybe it’s her character Erica’s bedroom alcove, with a desk situated right in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows, creating the perfect writing spot. But no, honestly the real selling point here is the amazing beach access, complete with a beautiful twisting staircase leading down to the surf.

No wonder Jack shed tears.

 

Photo Courtesy of: PICTURESMO.COM

Home Alone

We finish off with a local landmark. The Winnetka wonder that plays home to Macaulay Culkin’s mini-mastermind, Kevin McCallister, is a red-brick Georgian-style Colonial. Known at the time for its spacious foyer and fantastic master staircase, the home has since seen a complete overhaul. Now it boasts a beautiful white kitchen and a serene screened-in porch. Considering that the home sold in 2012 for over one and a half million, and the fact that he paid for a Parisian vacation FOR FIFTEEN PEOPLE, we still can’t help but wonder what Kevin’s dad did for a living (COUGH)mafia accountant(COUGH).

 

Photo Courtesy of: AOL

What did we miss? What is your favorite movie home? Sound off in the comments! 

 


Enjoying the View From the Top

On January 26, d’aprile properties celebrated its fifth consecutive Summit event at the Chicago Downtown Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel. The year-end gala was sponsored by our dear friends and partners at Midwest Lending. This all-day event is truly the highlight of our year, where our agents, staff, and loan officer partners come together across four states to not only celebrate each others success and achievements, but also spend time together as a family.

The day portion began with a champagne toast and vendor expo, where attendees got to network with some of our most important business partners.

The audience then received a “State of the Company” presentation from our founder, Ryan D’Aprile. It was an opportunity to recap the company’s 2018 successes, while simultaneously getting a look at what the organization has in store for the future. He was followed by James Madejczyk, VP of Sales for our presenting sponsor, Midwest Lending, who provided an inside look at the mortgage industry in 2019. 

In the evening, it was time for everyone to let their hair down and have a little fun! A cocktail hour offered the chance for old friends to catch up…

…and an elegant dinner was followed by our annual awards ceremony, where agents were lauded for their sales achievements, their leadership, and their teamwork.

We want to take this moment to congratulate each and every one of our worthy award winners.

The entire event culminated in a silent auction whose proceeds were donated to Homes For Our Troops, our 2018 flagship charity organization, and one of America’s Top-Rated Veterans and Military Charities.

We cannot wait until next year!