The Freedom of Home Ownership


When was the last time you gave thought to the concept of the American Dream?

For generations, the idea was built around one simple concept: opportunity. Every man and woman born in this country — or who managed to find their way to it — was given a promise. Work hard, never quit, and you can secure wealth and build a life of your own, regardless of your station. Owning land and/or property represented freedom at its most pure, and the pursuit of happiness would often end at a white picket fence, surrounding the perfect home in the middle of a quaint, suburban paradise.

We all hoped, with absolute sincerity, to someday be kings and queens of our own little castle. 

But times, inevitably, have changed. Today, a quick online search of the term “American Dream” brings up headlines filled with sarcasm, pessimism, and outright negativity.

“Fool’s Dream.”

“Outdated Concept.”

“Dead and Gone.”

At some point along the way, the bright-eyed optimism behind our collective drive to succeed, and to create quality and comfort for those we love, has become a concept often frowned upon. Many now see the American Dream as a pursuit of the material, a selfish and outdated attempt at social mobility.

We at d’aprile properties must — respectfully — disagree. We believe that the American Dream is alive and well. As a society we have seen our motivations change and adapt over time, but as individuals we all still want the same thing: the freedom to choose how we live. We strive not only to improve our own lot in life, but to make sure that those that follow us can begin their own journey, with hope and optimism for the future.


As a real estate company, we will never apologize for promoting the benefits of home ownership, and the many freedoms that come with it. Be it an apartment in the city, a two-story Cape Cod in the suburbs, or a vacation getaway along the coast — coming home means safety and security. It offers peace of mind in a place that you humbly call your own, but proudly welcome others into. It means being wealthy in spirit. It’s about being part of a community. 

We wish you a safe, and spectacular Fourth of July holiday. Celebrate your independence, in whatever form it may take.




Hey Gen Y — Why So Serious??

Welcome to our Mortgage Minute series, where our partners over at Midwest Lending break down the particulars of home financing, and bring a personal touch to the lending industry, as only they can.

Did you know that the Millennial generation represents the largest group of homebuyers in America? It’s true: Gen Y makes for 37% of recent home buyers in this country. Gen X is next, albeit significantly behind at 24%. In fact, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 2019 will be the sixth consecutive year that millennials led the U.S. home buying charge.

So why are millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) often criticized for living too long with their parents, or only being interested in renting, when the statistics clearly paint a different picture?

The source of this unfair reputation may be answered through the results of another report, this one by Clever Real Estate. It seems that millennials are twice as likely to be stressed about homeownership than Baby Boomers, and are also much more likely to experience buyer’s remorse than older generations. This uncertainty toward ownership is sending adult children back to their parents’ homes, either out of necessity or an attempt to save money.

So what is causing this panic and confusion? The NAR stats mentioned earlier point to the following as some of the most serious millennial concerns:

  • Mortgage payments are too high (41%)
  • Additional maintenance after moving in (33%)
  • Their property has depreciated in value since purchase (21%)
  • High interest rates (17%)
  • Location isn’t ideal or poor quality of school districts (14%)

Other outside factors, from student loans to financial instability, only add to the anxiety. For some, the responsibilities of homeownership are simply a bit more than they bargained for. But for this particular generation — and those that will follow — it is important to keep things in proper perspective. Yes, the stress that comes with buying a home is very real, and millennials should not overextend themselves to make a home purchase. But they should not fear the possibility, if properly educated on the process.

Many buyers today never speak with a real person when it comes to home financing, preferring to handle everything online. This can only result in a less educated home buyer, and an even less confident home owner. They need to speak with someone who has the expertise and the integrity to show them the reality that comes after being handed a set of keys. That is why speaking with an expert such as your Midwest Lending mortgage pro is so essential.

Millennials shouldn’t fear home buying — for those who are stable in their careers and ready to set down roots, homeownership can be the key to emotional and financial security later in life. They simply need to take the time to know what they are getting into, with a devoted professional by their side.

Midwest Lending is a residential mortgage broker, committed to providing their clients with the highest quality home loans, combined with some of the lowest mortgage rates available. 







Proud Partners: Barrister Title

We’d like to take the time to thank Barrister Title, our partner, and 2019 Summit Event Sponsor.

It’s all about the closing. As real estate agents, we know that with Barrister Title, we are guaranteed to experience a professional closing that enhances our productivity, while allowing us to properly leverage our client relationships. Barrister ensures only the highest level of personal services, saving time with their team-oriented approach, the latest technology, and seamless document preparation.

Barrister’s national department provides services in all 50 states, expediting closings for both commercial and residential real estate transactions. At each stage of the process, highly skilled, experienced experts will assist you. Their proven track record for building and maintaining strong relationships with underwriters provides unlimited resources for serving their customers’ needs. They believe in the value of long lasting relationships based on trust and mutual understanding.


What To Do In Wisconsin This Summer

Photo by Emre Kuzu from Pexels

While there’s fun to be had in Wisconsin year-round, spring and summer are particularly action-packed. Whether you’re in town for beautiful beaches, family fun in the Dells, or you’re a full-time resident looking for something new to try, check out our curated guide to summertime festivals and special events, all coming soon to Wisconsin.

June 22-23
Cedarburg Strawberry Festival
This 34th annual festival celebrates the strawberry, with live music, arts and crafts vendors, wine and beer tents, live music, and strawberry-centric food. The Cedar Quacker Race pits 500 rubber ducks against one another and is held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Washington Avenue in Cedarburg, WI.

June 22
Midsummer Fest
A festival honoring the earliest immigrants to Southwestern Wisconsin, this event includes demonstrations of blacksmithing, rope making and others, plus traditional Norwegian food, horse and wagon rides, scavenger hunts, and hiking. Norskedalen Nature Heritage Center in Coon Valley, WI.

June 28
Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan is a three-time Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, two-time New York Times best-selling author, Emmy-winning top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He is known around the world for his unique brand of humor, which largely revolves around his observations on life. Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

June 27-29
Wisconsin State Button Show
Whether you’re looking for arts and crafts ideas, costuming or sewing materials, or you’re a serious button collector, this three day event at the Sheraton Madison Hotel offers vendors, educational displays, and even a juried button competition. Madison, WI.

June 28-30
Wisconsin Comic Convention
Featured exhibitors will display collectibles, magazines, anime, cosplay, apparel, and of course comic books at the Wisconsin Center. Stars like Sean Astin (Sam) from The Lord of the Rings, Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) from Star Trek, and Ray Park (Darth Maul) from Star Wars are the featured guests. Milwaukee, WI.

July 4
Fontana Fireworks
The Village of Fontana ignites their annual fireworks display over Geneva Lake. Spread out a blanket and find a perfect spot to watch at The Abbey Harbor lawn. Fontana-on-Geneva Lake, WI.

July 11-14
Elkhorn Ribfest
This national rib competition includes four days of rib sampling, an artisan vendor area, carnival rides, live music, and an opportunity for you to weigh, too, via the People’s Choice Award ballots, available in the t-shirt booth. Elkhorn, WI.

July 18-21
Country Thunder
This year, Chris Stapleton headlines Wisconsin’s premier country music festival. Other big names include Jake Owen, Tim McGraw, and Lonestar. Twin Lakes, WI.

July 20
Jimmy Buffett
Are you a Parrothead? If not, here’s your chance to get a taste of “vitamin sea” when Jimmy Buffet sets sail at the Alpine Valley Music Theater. Lawn and VIP seating available. Elkhorn, WI.

July 20-21
Maxwell Street Days Flea Market
More than 650 vendors display their crafts, produce, plants, tools, and more. Mukwonago, WI.

July 26-28
Shake the Lake
This three day music festival at Lake Lawn Resort also features a bags competition, food trucks, activities for kids, and headlining bands Who’s Bad (a Michael Jackson tribute band) and Journey Recaptured, a Journey-inspired band. Delavan, WI.

August 1-4
U.S. Open Chainsaw Sculpture Competition
Top competitors from Tennessee, Minnesota, Alabama, Japan, and Germany will show off their chainsaw skills. Beyond the matches, there will be demonstrations, social hours, bounce castles, and family-friendly fun at the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum. Eau Claire, WI.

#daprilecares – 2019 Flagship Foundation – Bear Necessities

Grief exists alone among human emotions, in that it is born of both loss and of love. It never fades completely, but it does evolve. At times it comes in waves, threatening to crush our spirits and weigh down our hearts forever. But with the right mindset it can also inspire us over time, lifting us up to achieve things we never thought possible before.

On January 9, 1993, Kathleen A. Casey lost her son Barrett who, for five and a half years, had courageously battled Wilms Tumor, a form of pediatric cancer. Barrett, or ‘Bear’ as he was known to friends and family, had faced his circumstances with the kind of positivity and grace that seemed impossible for an adult, let alone a child of his years. As he endured countless hospital stays and painful medical procedures, he remained focused not on his own prognosis, but on the well-being of the other child cancer patients he encountered daily.

Early in this journey, Kathleen and Bear would come to realize that in the fight against pediatric cancer, the current system was losing the battle on two key fronts. First, there was an astonishing lack of research dollars being allocated for child forms of cancer. Despite being the number one cause of death by disease for children, less than three percent of funding went toward child cancers. And second, almost none of that money went directly to the children or their families, even as they sacrificed everything — emotionally and financially — in the face of almost insurmountable odds.

Prior to his passing, Barrett would spend hours with his mother discussing the formation of an organization, one that would reflect Bear’s own fighting spirit and desire to help others. This foundation would specifically fight pediatric forms of cancer, and streamline its efforts toward the children themselves, as well as the family members who never leave their bedsides.

Today, Kathleen is both Founder and CEO of the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, named after the bravest and most inspiring soul she had ever known. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year alone, Bear Necessities’ efforts funded more than $300,000 toward cutting-edge research. They also carried out 424 individual child/family experiences — known as Bear Hugs — looking to brighten the lives of afflicted children in whatever way they can.

Kathleen Casey and Bear Necessities have made their mission very clear: to forever fight, and someday eliminate, pediatric cancer. It is fair to say that, in many ways, Kathleen’s grief has defined her. She simply hasn’t allowed it to defeat her.

Through our 2019 #daprilecares campaign, d’aprile properties has pledged to stand beside her. Each year, our agents choose one philanthropic organization on which to focus our annual campaign. Through the combined efforts of our individual real estate agents and staff, we hope to do whatever we can to help these phenomenally brave children rediscover their childhood.

Charity begins at home. If you would like to join us in this fight, please visit our fundraising page HERE, or email today.


Grand Opening Alert — d’aprile properties Has Come to Lake County!

On Thursday, May 30, d’aprile properties proudly hosted a Grand Opening ceremony for our two newest office locations, at 5101 Washington St. in Gurnee, and at 1850 E. Grand Ave. in Lindenhurst.

The Grand Opening ceremony for both took place at the Lindenhurst location. Mayor Dominic Marturano was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which was followed by a reception that included past clients, local agents, vendors, and community advocates.


Lindsay Miller (CEO), Ryan D’Aprile (Founder), Deb Attiah (Agent), Alex Attiah (Managing Broker)

d’aprile properties remains devoted to serving clients throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We strive to provide exceptional service to our clients, and to advance the individual careers of their team members. Over 50 Gurnee and Lindenhurst local-area experts will immediately offer d’aprile properties’ unique blend of client service and community support to Lake County residents, current and future.

Lindsay Miller, CEO of d’aprile properties, summed it up best when asked why Gurnee and Lindenhurst were a natural fit for the unique culture of d’aprile properties: “Lake County has it all! More than 30,000 acres of beautiful, peaceful landscape. Idyllic residential communities. A thriving commercial center that draws in working professionals and tourists by the thousands. We knew right away that the excitement of Gurnee and the serenity of Lindenhurst provided us the perfect dual platform to deliver a wide variety of personalized real estate services to each and every one of our distinguished clients. It is a privilege to now call this area home.”

For four years running, has included d’aprile properties on their annual list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Our growth and impact on the industry have also been publicly recognized by Colorado-based Real Trends, who included d’aprile properties in its national ranking of the top 500 brokerages in America. We have been recognized by The Chicago Tribune as one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces, and were recently named one of the nation’s Top-Producing Brokerage Firms in RISMedia’s 2019 Power Broker Report.


National Garden Week: Chicago’s Horticultural History

Happy National Garden Week! This week-long celebration was founded by the National Garden Club, whose first club in America was founded in January, 1891. The objectives of the earliest clubs remain to this day: to promote beautification, educate on environmental efforts, and engage the community. Once nicknamed “Urbs in Horto,” meaning “City in a Garden,” Chicago has a long and fascinating history with plant cultivation.

According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, early gardening efforts in the city centered around orchards, which were reliant on traveling tree salesmen who were headed east. At that time, methods of transporting healthy specimens of exotic species proved very difficult, so local farmers began to focus on regional nurseries. This interest in cultivating local nurseries helped jumpstart Chicago’s interest in gardening.

One of the most important figures in Illinois’s history is Dr. John A. Kennicott, a physician, horticulturist, and a long-time contributor and editor of the popular Prairie Farmer, a farm newspaper. In 1836, he established his home, The Grove, on a prairie northwest of Chicago, or modern day Glenview.

Dr. Kennicott helped organize the Illinois State Agriculture Society in 1853, the Illinois State Horticultural Society in 1856, and aided in the creation of federal land grants. Kennicott, along with Prairie Farmer founder, John A. Wright, believed that gardening should be more than a pastime for American high society. We are here,” Kennicott told Horticultural Society members, “not so much for our own pleasure and profit, as the good of the entire rural population of the State, and the whole Northwest.”

Kennicott’s The Grove Nursery (in Glenview) still exists today as a National Historic Landmark and nature preserve. The Kennicott Brothers Company, founded in 1881 by Dr. Kennicott’s sons, Flint and Amasa, remains a major florist supplier for the Midwest and South.

From WTTW’s Chicago and Its Botanic Garden: “Following the Civil War, consensus grew around the creation of public parks for health and recreation, culminating in 1869 legislation that established three park districts for Chicago’s North, South, and West Sides. Frederick Law Olmsted, the premier landscape architect of the day, was commissioned to prepare a design for the South Side parks in 1870.” Many of these conservatories, in particular Lincoln Park and Garfield Park, continue to serve as lush, tropical oases within the city, even in the winter months.

Thanks to its innovative design, Lincoln Park Conservatory remains toasty even in the winter.

Forever in the shadow of New York, Chicago’s blooming interest in gardens was partially fueled by a desire to set the new city apart. Thus, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition was a perfect opportunity to establish Chicago as a booming metropolis, not a fledgling prairie town.

The 1,000-foot-long, domed pavilion of the Horticulture Building was a striking landmark at the fair’s entrance. The massive hall displayed thousands of plant varieties from all over the world. Outside, Olmstead’s unusual, naturalistic lagoon set the scene for future projects by renown Prairie School architects like Jens Jensen. Jensen, unlike many visiting landscape architects who hated the local fauna, liked the challenge of working with flat land and dense prairie foliage.

From The interior of the Horticulture Building at the 1893 World’s Fair.

The Garden Clubs of Illinois –– now comprised of around 7,000 members in 163 clubs –– was founded in 1925. A charter member of the Garden Club, the Garden Clubs of Illinois have an additional 12 affiliate plant societies, arboretums, and related organizations.

With so many gardening achievements, Chicago continues to be a destination for all kinds of plant lovers. Whether you want to learn more about the sprawling flora of the Chicago Botanic Garden, explore the exotic plants that thrive within the city’s conservatories, or if you’re simply a home gardener who wants some tips on what to try this year, visit the The Garden Clubs of Illinois for some suggestions on how to celebrate National Garden Week.