Is Chicago the new Silicon Valley?

Chicago beat the tech industry giant to come in third nationwide in technical job growth in 2015.  Now, thanks to a new public school program spearheaded by Mayor Emmanuel, the city is working to move further up that list by encouraging Chicago youth toward a possible career in technology.

After a unanimous vote by the Board of Education late last month, Computer Science is now a graduation requirement for all Chicago public high schools.  Currently, only 25% of schools across the nation even offerthe course. 

By ensuring that today’s students are exposed early on to the possibility of a career in computer sciences, we can help guarantee that future generations of Chicagoans are fluent in the language of the 21st century. 

For more on how Chicago is spearheading this trend, see the link included below.

Companies Like Facebook Should Pay Attention To What’s Happening In Chicago


Granny’s Got a Brand New Pad

The Real Estate industry is always in motion, following the undertow in a sea of generational trends.  First came the ‘Man Cave’, a fortress of solitude for the Y chromosome.  Stocked with snacks and covered in sports paraphernalia, it served as a getaway for men to escape the responsibilities of adult life.  Naturally, the She-Shed was born some time later.  This trend allowed women to retreat into the peaceful solitude of their own private space, and finally relax in the style and comfort level of their choosing.

But a real struggle facing the ‘Sandwich Generation’ – people who have the responsibility as caregiver to their own children as well as their parents – is not where to escape, but rather how to make room for more.  Enter the latest trend: the MEDCottage, also known as the ‘Granny Pod’.  A self-contained miniature house, it fits in most backyards.  While only encompassing 288 square feet, it boasts a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom – and that’s just the beginning.

Assisted living facilities can be extremely expensive, and don’t allow for easy contact with family members.  The Granny Pod sits mere feet from the main house, and offers up several high-tech features such as video monitoring systems, smart toilets, and virtual companions to help residents manage their medication or communicate with the main house.

Granny Pods start at a mere $55,000!  Considering that the average retirement facility costs anywhere from five to fifteen thousand dollars more than that annually, Granny Pods look to become a popular alternative in the years to come.

For more info, follow THIS LINK.


GET OFF MY LAWN!! How Millennials are Modernizing Real Estate

Millennial Homebuyers

In the world of real estate, we belong to an industry that is constantly evolving.  What was important to an average buyer or seller just a few years ago may not apply today, as society finds itself riding an ever-changing tide of style and opinion.  Young professionals, some right out of college, are transitioning into first-time homebuyers faster than ever, and bring with them a new perspective on how to research, interact, and review the real estate professionals they choose to do business with.

Largely referred to as ‘Millennials’ (or Generation Y), this group is considered to be made up of individuals born anywhere from the 1980s to the early 2000s.  Most have spent almost their entire lives with a computer in the palm of their hand, and studies show that more than 50 percent search for homes on their phones, through the use of apps such as Zillow or Dwellr. 

Conversely, according to a recent NAR study, the average age of a real estate agent in the United States is 57 years old.  This would suggest that there is a fairly significant age difference between client and broker across the country – one which could potentially cause parties standing on different sides of a generational gap to lose sight of one another. 

At d’aprile properties, we know that the constant modernization of our own business is essential to success.  Whether that is as simple as ditching a phone conversation in lieu of an update via text, integrating social media into our communication and marketing plans, or by leveraging real estate apps and embracing online technology to deliver a seamless and paperless service delivery – our agents can meet the needs and desires of every generation.

 


Inc.’s 5,000 Fastest Growing

We’re honored to be one of The Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.! 

Since January 2015 , we’ve welcomed 60 New Agents, 10 New Support Staff Members, and we’ve had several record breaking months! We’re thankful to our clients, team members, friends, and family for all of the support! The best is yet to come! 


Cross Selling with a Unique Interstate Approach

This summer over 25 d’aprile team members from Chicago, and it’s suburbs traveled to the shores of Michigan City Indiana. Michigan City is home to some of the most beautiful lake homes in the MidWest, several of which d’aprile properties has the privilege of listing.

Our Michigan City Agent’s showed off the exquisite lake area homes while providing information for second home buyers represented by Agent’s from our other regions. 

Our interstate approach allows us to connect sellers and buyers in a unique way. To learn more about our Michigan City listings, click here. 

4 states | 8 Offices | 1 Company 


Congratulations to our Q1 + Q2 Top Producers

            

         Congratulations to our Team Members who have “Capped” in Q1 + Q2! 

       

      Erik Litviak – Burlington, WI. Office

    

     Tania Forte -Arlington Heights, IL. Office  

     

   Donna Larson-Hinsdale, IL. Office 

      

     Carly Stein-Chicago, IL. Office 

                         

      Lindsay D’Aprile-Hinsdale, IL. Office

             

   Mark Koehler-Hinsdale, IL. Office


A Million A Day

 

The d’aprile properties team closed an average of $1,000,000 in transactions everyday for over 60 days!  In June we closed $42,000,000 worth of real estate transactions. 

Our rapid growth is due to our focus on our bigger purpose which is to create experiences that inspire growth from within, and the confidence to dream!


Something Wicked This Way Comes…

Photo Courtesy of cubshq.com

It has been an October unlike any other for Northside Chicago baseball fans – at least, those under the age of 108.  In 2016, our beloved Cubbies have flipped a century-old switch, and brought this city wildly to their feet time and again since Opening Day.  Gone are the Lovable Losers of decades past.  Here to (hopefully) stay are Madden’s Marauders, restoring the faith of an entire fan base, and striking a blow for cursed sports teams everywhere.

Yeah, it’s easy to see why so many feel the team is cursed.  All because of that #$@&%*! billy goat.  Then there was the black cat in ’69.  Bartman in ’03.  And most recently, Daniel Murphy in ’15 (name of the original cursed goat?  Murphy!).  Time after time, the more talented rosters for our Boys in Blue have been tripped up by what seems like a rather cosmic form of good old-fashioned rotten luck.

Photo Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

But what if it’s not a curse at all?  What if there is something far more nefarious, and dare we say, supernatural at work here?  Could it be that neither the team, the organization, or the players themselves are cursed – but that their home is?  What if Wrigley Field, one of the most beloved, iconic sports venues in the history of everything, is actually…haunted?

DUM DUM DUM!!!!

Sure, go ahead and laugh.  But over the years, countless staff members and visitors alike have reported ghostly sightings, and more than a fair share of macabre moments.  In fact, the tales became so widespread that at one point Cubs ownership eventually hired paranormal researcher/author Ursula Bielski and her team, Chicago Hauntings, Inc., to complete a thorough investigation of the ballpark.  And Mickey Bradley and Dan Gordon, authors of Haunted Baseball and Field of Screams, named Wrigley Field the most haunted ballpark in the country.

So just who are these horribly restless spirits?  Why do they frighten and torment the hallowed hallways of our cherished ‘Friendly Confines’?  Well, actually, you might just recognize a few of them.

Former Cubs Player & Manager, Charlie Grimm

Grimm, who managed the Cubbies during that fateful, goat-ridden season in 1945, is rumored to have had his ashes buried in a box in left-center field.   Numerous security guards have reported hearing ‘ole Charlie’s booming voice calling out their names in an otherwise vacant stadium.  And the janitorial staff may hear the telephone ringing from the player’s empty bullpen in the middle of the night, where rumor has it a ghostly Grimm is still trying to make a pitching change to this day.

Steve Goodman

Don’t recognize the name?  The Chicago born folk singer-songwriter is perhaps best known today for writing “Go, Cubs, Go” – a fan favorite tune that still breaks out in Wrigley’s parking lot after every Cubs win.  After his untimely death from leukemia, Goodman – a lifelong fan and season ticket holder – requested that his ashes be scattered near his seats at Wrigley Field.  He apparently doesn’t like to deal with Lakeview traffic though, as many people have reportedly witnessed his ghostly figure still sitting in the stands behind home plate.

Harry Caray

Photo Courtesy of Indystar.com

Now if that name is unfamiliar to you…then why in the name of Santo are you still reading this?  One of Chicago’s most beloved and recognizable voices, quintessential Cubs broadcaster Caray passed away back in February of 1998.  The rumors of his haunting ways stem from numerous fan reports of unexplained mists in the press box.  Is it his ghostly presence, still trying to call the play-by-play from the afterlife?  Is it the spray of countless Budweisers as he delightfully slurs his way through an endless version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”?  The city may never know.

If you take a minute to think about it, these sporting specters seem far more good-natured than ghastly.  Not since Casper The Friendly have a group of ghouls come off as harmless and cheerful as Wrigley’s resident wraiths.  So maybe they’re not here to haunt, after all.  Maybe they simply represent the ‘never give up’ attitude of Cubs fans themselves, whose entire life (or death) would be forever altered by witnessing their treasured Northsiders pop the champagne.

So this year could bring more than just a championship.  Maybe, just maybe, these incredibly loyal souls can finally leave behind the iconic ivy of Wrigley Field, and rise toward eternal peace on a chilly November evening, with a grateful smile on their face, and a familiar song in their hearts.


Brexit…Stage Left

Boy oh boy, that escalated quickly.  

Two weeks ago, we’re betting that 8 out of 10 people in the U.S. had no idea what the term ‘Brexit’ meant. It sounded like one of those pills advertised on daytime television that lowers your cholesterol, while simultaneously causing 18 horrible-sounding side effects. But as of this past weekend, it’s caused a global frenzy, and become the hot topic for almost every online media outlet.

As for those who were in the know about the impending Brexit referendum and its potential repercussions, many considered it posturing — a way for the British Prime Minister to get himself out of a domestic political jam. Then the vote took place over the weekend, and (for many theorists) the unthinkable happened: by a thin margin, Great Britain elected to withdraw from the European Union (EU).

By now you’ve seen countless reports and online articles about how this move could potentially affect economies across the globe. Immigration and trade between European nations could dry up. The EU might collapse altogether. Adele will cancel her U.S. Tour! 

(Ok, probably not that last one.) 

But d’aprile properties is a real estate company after all, so allow us to be a little selfish. What effect, if any, will Brexit have on the U.S. real estate market? If you take one thing away from reading this blog, let it be this: NO ONE knows for sure. Not global economists. Not Wall Street prognosticators. And certainly not your neighbor who gets all of his financial news by turning on CNN on for 90 seconds during his morning cup of coffee. There are theories, there are opinions — but at this stage, that’s all they are. 

But as we live in an age of immediate reaction, let’s take a look at two of the potential positive results of the vote:

1.)  Brexit will Decrease Mortgage Rates – The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury has fallen fast, resulting in a significant drop in rates. This is great news for potential home buyers. As of Monday, a 30-Yr. Conventional mortgage was averaging around 3.5%, and has resulted in a surge in mortgage applications since the week began.  

2.)  Brexit will Result in Higher Home Prices – So what’s good for the home seller’s side? Well, Brexit may help home prices rise. If past U.S. housing trends are any indication, low rates allow home buyers to afford a more expensive home on the same income.

May we offer a little advice? Despite these potentially positive movements, it is important to remember that the American market is fluid, constantly moving in one direction or the other. Today’s gain may be tomorrow’s loss, so be wary, rather than reactionary.  Be sure to speak with your dedicated real estate agent and/or mortgage professional before making any final decisions.  

And keep watching the news. Who knows what will happen next week?