The Best Tips For Seniors Thinking Of Buying A Home In Chicago

This week we welcome Jim Vogel, co-founder of ElderAction, is passionate about promoting senior health and safety. He focuses on helping ensure seniors are able to thrive throughout their golden years by sharing pertinent resources and information.

If you’re a senior who has recently decided to buy a house in Chicago, you might be thinking about how to downsize or how to find a home that will be more accommodating during your golden years. Depending on where in the city you’re looking to relocate, it may be difficult to find something that has everything you’re looking for, so it’s important to have a good plan in mind before you make any decisions.

Though it’s a big city–the third largest in the U.S., in fact!–decently-priced homes can still be found in Chicago’s best neighborhoods. It also has a ton of great parks and communities full of people who look out for one another, which makes it a wonderful choice for those looking for a place to spend their golden years. Here are some of the best tips on moving to the Chicago area:

  •       SET SOME GOALS

One of the most important things you can do when looking for a home is to figure out what you want from it. If your current home has stairs that will become hard to traverse every day, or a lawn that’s too much to take care of, put those on the list of things you don’t want. Think about your health and the wellbeing of your spouse or other loved ones; will it be affected by the layout of the new home? If so, it will be important to focus on that first.


You’ll want to do some research on the homes that fit your needs to find out what the price ranges are, how well-kept they are, and whether the neighborhood is right for you. If you don’t live in the area, there are plenty of online forums that can help you narrow down your search, but it’s always best to take a visit and explore in person, in part because it will allow you to see for yourself what amenities the home has and what types of repairs may need to be done.

 It’s also important to look into any state laws regarding home ownership and how the transfer of deeds is handled. Different states have their own laws where this is concerned and it will be extremely helpful to be well informed on them.

  •       SET A BUDGET

Many seniors live on a limited income, which can make it difficult to secure financing for a home. But there are some options: 

  •       Option 1: You can sell your current home and use the profits as a nice down payment, living in a rental during the time between the sales
  •       Option 2: You can ask a family member to cosign on a loan
  •       Option 3: You can borrow the money from a friend or loved one or ask an adult child to put the home in their name.

Keep in mind that Chicago offers many different homes for many different budgets, and it’s also relatively walkable with the “L” train system making public transportation an efficient way to get around and plenty of businesses and stores within most neighborhoods. 


It’s important to find the right people to help you move when the big day comes, especially if you have special needs, such as a company that can handle extra large furniture. Do some research to find the best movers for the job. Keep in mind, too, that now is a good time to downsize. While you’re packing up, consider whether some items could be sold, donated, or sent to storage. Keeping your new home organized and free of clutter will make it more livable and easier to navigate.

Remember that buying a home is a big decision, and you should never feel pressured to enter into a deal that you don’t feel comfortable with. Talk to your family before making any major decisions and make sure you’re completely happy with the final outcome; after all, you’ve earned it!

For more information regarding, visit their website HERE.

Cutting the Ribbon!

They say that you can BE a good neighbor only if you HAVE good neighbors.  

On Wednesday May 31st, d’aprile properties celebrated the Grand Opening of its newest office location in downtown Park Ridge, IL.  Mayor Marty Maloney was on hand to conduct the ribbon-cutting ceremony, sponsored by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce.  Our agents and staff joined together for a toast, as local business owners, vendors, and residents stopped by to officially welcome us to the neighborhood.


This city has shown us nothing but kindness and generosity since we began construction.  We couldn’t be more proud or excited to be a part of this Uptown community, and we look to continue to bring our unique culture and work ethic to the local real estate market.

On behalf of each and every one of our agents, as well as our founder and Co-CEO Ryan D’Aprile, we would like to personally thank the citizens of Park Ridge for their incredible hospitality.  We look forward to making you proud.

So if you’re looking to buy or sell – or if you’d just like to see what we’re all about – we’d love for you to stop by and see us at 145 S. Vine Avenue!  It’s time to find out what makes d’aprile different.

#daprilecares – Help Us Support Misericordia!

Through our #daprilecares campaign, we proudly sponsor charitable programs throughout the Midwest. We are a reflection of the communities we serve; and being a part of a community means looking out for one another, in any way that we can.

Each year, we also choose one organization to partner with on a twelve month, multi-channel fundraising campaign. By utilizing the collective volunteer strength of our entire team, we can be agents of real change for a worthy cause.


But the question is: how do you choose? Here in the Chicago area, we are surrounded by countless amazing and tireless organizations, all looking to better the circumstances for a group of people other than themselves.  How do you decide on one in particular?

Simple – with so many worthy candidates, you choose one that hits close to home.   

For 2017, we have partnered with Misericordia, a not-for-profit corporation who seeks to improve the quality of life for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities.  They not only provide housing, employment, and medical assistance to those in their care, but also strive to help them find purpose and meaning in their everyday lives.


Many of our agents and staff members have family or friends whose quality of life has been dramatically improved through the efforts of this amazing facility.  A real job, healthcare, and a place to live and interact with friends and family?  There are some things you can’t put a price on.  

We hope you’ll join us in support of Misericordia.  Should you wish to donate, please visit our FirstGiving page, and help us in our goal of raising $50,000 in 2017.

#daprilecares #agents4change2017 #charitybeginsathome 


Proud to Call Park Ridge Home

What does the word community mean to you?

At d’aprile properties, we define a community through the character of its people – a combination of work ethic, pride, and spirit that brings everyone together, in a place they happily call home.  That’s why we are excited to announce our first office opening in Park Ridge, right down on Vine Avenue overlooking Hodges Park!

As an organization, d’aprile properties prides itself on it’s collaborative approach to real estate.  Our agents truly work as a team, sharing their expertise and their wealth of experience, in an effort to better the company as a whole.  That’s why Park Ridge is such a perfect fit: a close-knit community where everyone seems to know everyone else, on a first name basis.  The charm of Park Ridge lies in its ability to feel both exciting and modern, while never losing the small-town hospitality of its residents and businesses.

Park Ridge’s commitment to growth, as well as its pride in the accomplishments and heritage of its people, help it stand out amid the myriad of neighborhoods and villages that make up the Chicagoland area.  It mixes the working-class attitude of the city, while providing a safe and clean environment in which to raise a family.

At d’aprile properties, we are a reflection of the communities we serve.  We are real estate agents, but we’re also husbands and wives, mothers and fathers.  We are members of one family, and being a part of a family means looking out for one another, in whatever way we can. 

It is a privilege to be a part of this incredibly unique and diverse community.  We couldn’t be more excited to call Park Ridge home.  

Luck O’ the Irish…On a Boat!

d'aprile properties and Gage Marine

There’s an old Irish blessing, one that always hits close to home with us here at d’aprile.  It goes like this:

Whenever there is happiness 
Hope you’ll be there too, 
Wherever there are friendly smiles 
Hope they’ll smile on you, 
Whenever there is sunshine, 
Hope it shines especially for you 
to make each day for you 
as bright as it can be.

Sigh – sometimes it seems like that kind of positivity and good cheer is in small supply.  Good thing it can almost always be found by joining hands with your friends and neighbors, and supporting the community that surrounds you!  

d'aprile properties and Gage Marine

On Saturday, March 11th, d’aprile properties proudly took part in the Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Agents and staff – along with their families – braved cold temperatures and joined the nearly 10,000 people on hand to celebrate the holiday.  With our own office right down on South Washington Street, we felt it was our duty to help bring some good luck and cheer to this fantastic downtown neighborhood.  

Starting at 10 AM, children and adults of all ages lined the parade route, most decked out (appropriately) in all-green attire.  But everyone was wearing a smile as they partied throughout the afternoon, watching as more than 100 lively and colorful floats passed them by. 

d'aprile properties and Gage Marine

d’aprile properties partnered with Gage Marine of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on our own float for the festivities, looking to bring a little bit of that “Lake Life” attitude to the suburbs of Chicago.  Gage provided the boat (a Bennington Pontoon), and d’aprile created the promotional design  With the spring season well underway, we wanted to show the crowd that now is the perfect time to turn that dream of a home on the lake into a reality!

Gage Marine is a one-stop shop for boat sales, pier services, lake tours, and fantastic food & drink.  We here at d’aprile are proud to partner with Gage in our mission to show Chicagoland all the beauty and family fun that a life on Geneva Lake can bring.  

Let Gage Marine and d’aprile properties help you and your family Get On the Water this Summer!

Staging to Sell: Tips from Interior Stylist Kelly Hurliman

Kelly Hurliman, former fashion stylist to Oprah Winfrey, now a professional interior stylist located in Chicago.  

The spring market is about to hit full speed, and getting listings to look their best is on the minds of realtors and sellers alike.  Between Pinterest and Instagram, beautiful interior images are all around, and home staging has become even more important to prepare for sale.  There are different levels of staging and whether you go for it on your own, use a realtor’s help, or hire a professional, it’s well worth the effort!  


1. Your Home Will Sell Faster – The Association of Property Scene Designers states that staged homes sell 43% more quickly than unstaged homes.  The cost is usually minimal in comparison to the increase in sale price and reduced time on the market.  Sure it costs some money up front, but not as much as your first price reduction!

2. Get the Highest Price for Your Home – A well-staged home makes the interior look inviting, comfortable, and clean.  One recent NAR survey revealed that a 1 – 3% investment on home staging yields an 8 – 10% return.  

3. Better Photos – Another recently conducted NAR poll found that 90% of potential home buyers start their property search on the internet. Staging your home increases on-line visibility, and can make it stand out in a saturated market.

Photo by Studio D Home 

4. City Folk – For suburban markets many new buyers are coming from the city.  Their age and demographic can be an insight into what they’re looking for, and it’s usually not decor stuck in the 90’s.  Staging and styling can modernize a home to appeal to this growing consumer base.


5. You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression – I say, “Do it right the first time.”  Buying a home is an emotional decision, and how a perspective buyer feels in the home is important.  Over 81% of buyers find it easier to visualize the property as their future home when it’s staged.* 


  • Editing:  

You’ll be moving and packing anyway, so time to declutter!  Any personal items, knick-knacks, family photos, or accessories should go.  You’ll be amazed at how much better a space looks just by organizing and editing. 

Photo by Staging to Sell 
  • Re-styling
A stager, stylist, or realtor can rework a space with the existing furniture, add accessories, suggest repainting, light remodeling, and bring in new decor to help freshen the home.  This is what I like to do best, and a little styling can go a long way.  The results below were accomplished with a fresh coat of paint, new art that I custom painted to replace family photos, and a few accessories. 
  • Full Staging:
There are many companies now that offer full staging services that can furnish and accessorize full rooms. This is a great option for listings where the owners have already moved out, or where the furniture and decor are very outdated. 
Photo by Elite Home Staging
  • New Construction:

Even a beautiful new home can be difficult for a buyer to visualize how they might furnish or utilize the space. Bringing in key pieces of furniture and a bit of styling can help neutralize buyer concerns and bring the design of the house to life. 

Remember, don’t take the suggestions of a  realtor or stager personally.  Everyone has their own style, but hiring a professional or realtor’s expertise helps achieve the end goal -which is to sell your home! 

Kelly Hurliman is an interior stylist who also does home staging.  She was recently listed by Chicago’s Splash Magazine as ‘Who to Watch’.
Follow her on Instagram @khurliman1

Get on the Water with Gage Marine!

Welcome to d’aprile digs – a blog series where we highlight business and organizations that celebrate local color and character.

Have you ever taken a moment to imagine a life on the lake? The apparent wind, filling your sails as you head out towards the horizon. Ice cold drinks on the deck, set to the soundtrack of laughter from family and friends. A summer sun, slowly setting over sparkling blue water. A life on the lake is one spent with a smile, at peace.

At d’aprile properties, we strive to help our clients achieve their dream, in whatever form it may take. And our office location in Fontana on Geneva Lake provides us the opportunity to do just that – help Chicagoland residents realize their goal of a life on the water. But lake living goes way beyond property – it’s a lifestyle, an opportunity to getaway for rest and relaxation in a place that feels like home. And no one embodies all of the character and culture that Geneva Lake has to offer quite like Gage Marine.

Just two weeks ago, d’aprile properties was a proud part of the Chicago Boat, RV, & Strictly Sail Show, which took place at McCormick Place in the heart of the city. We partnered on a booth with Gage Marine and owner Bill Gage, in order to ensure attendees that – whether they were interested in moving to the lake or simply visiting – they could rely on this partnership to help them see it through.


No one knows the history of Geneva Lake quite like Gage Marine, who can trace their roots back to 1873 and the launching of the original Lady of the Lake. Back then, there was no road system along the shore, in order to provide access to the area’s lavish resorts and beautiful lakefront homes. Instead, visitors and residents alike relied on Gage, and their fleet of excursion boats, to reach their getaway and take advantage of all the amenities that life on the water had to offer.

In keeping with this proud tradition, anyone who stopped by the ‘All Things Gage’ booth at the Chicago Boat Show were quickly introduced to what a full-service marina is truly capable of. First and foremost, they sell boats – from Whalers and Chris Crafts, the modern sleek of the 2017 Master Craft to the classic beauty of the ‘62 Streeblow, Gage has it all. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…



But Gage isn’t content with simply selling you a boat. They’re selling an adventure, an all-encompassing experience of class and customer service that is second-to-none. From custom-built piers and in/out valet service, to the best maintenance and mechanical services available, they ensure that you’ll make the most of your substantial investment.

Now, maybe you’re not quite ready to own your own boat.  No problem! Simply take advantage of the Gage Marine Boat Club, where all you need is a reservation and a desire for some fun in the sun. You and your family can jump right into the clean, fully-fueled boat of your choice, and spend a day on the water anytime you like.

But let’s face it – in the end, lake living is all about spending time with loved ones, and Gage Marine offers a wide assortment of family-friendly activities.  The Wake Experience offers fully interactive lessons in wakeboarding, surfing, or skiing – ideal for individuals or the whole family.  Sign the kids up for Summer Camp, where they will spend a full week learning how to live on the water, while you enjoy a little peace and quiet.  Or simply head down to Pier 290, Lake Geneva’s only lakefront restaurant farm-to-table, for “Good Food, Good People.”

As you can see, the term ‘Lake Living’ means more than just a house along the shore.  In Geneva Lake, it’s a state of mind – an opportunity to immerse yourself in a community who takes immense pride in its location, its lifestyle, and its people.  Trust d’aprile properties to help you find the perfect lakefront property to call home, all throughout the year.  Then allow Gage Marine to start you off on your adventure, providing your family with enough cherished memories to last a lifetime.

Looking Forward

Another year has come and gone.  Did you make it count?  

As 2016 comes to a close, we can’t escape the tune playing in our heads – Auld Lang Syne.  

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”

The meaning of the song’s lyrics will always be up for debate, but the title of the Scottish tune simply translates to “times gone by”.  And it’s easy to get caught up in this old habit, reflecting back on the year that was.  The highlights that made us smile and laugh.  The setbacks that kept us up at night.  The good times that we want to relive again and again, and the hard lessons that we can’t forget, no matter how urgently we try.  

It is in our nature as human beings to dwell on moments that have already passed by.  We strive to make better choices, and avoid repeating the same mistakes over again.  And of course, it’s important to learn from the past – as long as we treat it as such.  The past, done and gone.  

Because it is so easy to let ourselves drown in the negative.  To be so afraid of failing, that we simply stop trying in the first place.  Rather than getting excited about the endless possibilities that every single day of our lives presents us, we fear what might be lurking around any given corner.  Just waiting to push us backward and stop our momentum.  And the mere thought of that hurdle keeps us from truly giving our all towards our relationships, our careers, and our lives.

But ask yourself this: if you aren’t failing every now and then, can you honestly say you’re even trying?  Without mistakes and wrong turns, your world can’t change.

So this New Year, spend the holiday in anticipation of all that 2017 will bring, rather than waiting desperately for 2016 to come to an end.  After all, the past year may have introduced us to you.  Looking forward, we are excited to build on that relationship, while we strive to forge new ones.

Have a safe, and Happy New Year.  The best is yet to come.


Make the Most of Your Mantle

Kelly Hurliman, former fashion stylist to Oprah Winfrey, now a professional interior stylist located in Chicago.

I love Christmas, but when it comes to decorating for the season I tend to think more winter over traditional holiday. It has longer staying power than the typical red & green. I also like when seasonal decor fits with the feel of the house. So when asked to work with the same neutral fireplace, I wanted to give some simple ideas on styling a mantle that can last beyond the 25th!

-Layering white and cream can go with any palette and has a clean look that doesn’t scream holiday.

-Fresh greens are inexpensive, and worth it not to have to bring anything fake inside. Plus nothing beats the scent!

-Changing the focal point will give your mantle design an instant new look.

-Art can be easily changed out for the seasons. What’s on your mantle doesn’t need to stay stagnant- change it out to give your room a new feel.

-If color is your thing, pinks are a nice alternative to traditional red!

-I love vintage wire brush trees and now you can find them anywhere. Layer with frosted pine cones and fresh greens for a simple mantle design.

-A mix of metallic, creams, stone, and white give off a wintery feel that will last until spring.

Happy holidays, and happy decorating!


If you’d like to work with Kelly. find her at her website, Instagram, or Facebook link below.

May We Introduce: Courtney Rioux, Clarity Coach

At d’aprile properties, our purpose is to create experiences that inspire growth from within, and the confidence to dream.  In turn, we ourselves are galvanized by creativity, by compassion – and by those individuals who not only embody these principles, but practice them daily, and share their individual experiences with us.

Courtney Rioux is an actor, a teacher, and Clarity Coach; born in St. Charles and currently residing right here in Chicago.  Her teachings have been featured by SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity, Vagabond School of the Arts, The Acting Studio Chicago, The Green Room Chicago, Artistic Strategies and Creative Social Media. Her goal is simple – she strives to make her clients happy, in work and in life.  

d’aprile properties would like to take a few minutes and introduce you to Courtney, one of our sources of inspiration.

Hi, I’m Courtney Rioux! I’m a Clarity Coach and I’m here to help you go from stuck and unhappy, to empowered and joyful.  And all the while, making it feel fun and easy. It’s like therapy without the therapy. Whether you’re having trouble in your real estate business or in your family life at home, I can help!  

Clarity equals power.  Clarity equals success.  Clarity equals happiness. Gain clarity on what you actually want, define what’s going on to block that, and how to get unstuck – and then move forward in the life and career that you want. What’s amazing is that NOTHING has to change in your outside circumstances for your whole life to turn around. The answers are all right there, in you!

From time to time, I’ll be checking back with you here at the d’aprile properties blog, in order to share my thoughts and experiences in the hope that – together – we can get you unstuck.  And beyond that, to help you feel empowered, make more money, feel happier, rid anxiety, gain clarity and focus, and communicate better with others.

When you change your mind, you change your life. So the question is: are you willing to change your mind? Are you willing to see things differently? If you are, get ready for dramatic shifts in a short period of time! Get ready for business growth, for peace of mind, and confidence in yourself.

Start with an introductory clarity session to get clear on what’s keeping you stuck, and how to move forward. 

See you soon.

For more information, visit Courtney’s website below, or check out her social media pages at: