New Home, Same Stuff

After months of negotiations led by your hard-working real estate agent, the jitters of closing day, moving company decisions, furniture shopping or removal, a revolving assortment of paint swatches, carpet samples, and kitchen tile selection, and the actual move itself, you have arrived at your exciting destination: living your dream life in your fantastic new home!

Or that’s how you felt when you first moved. Now that the newness has worn off, you’ve unpacked the necessities and realized that there’s more tedious work to be done. Where did you get all this stuff? And where shall it go? What seems like a herculean feat can actually be broken down into more manageable steps.

• So fresh and so clean, clean

No matter the state of your unpacking, truly getting moved in is a process that will be made easier by starting with a clean slate.

Do a deep clean (or if possible, hire a cleaning service) so that your new rooms are off to a fresh start. If you don’t have time for an extreme clean makeover, simply vacuuming or sweeping before moving in new furniture will mean less mess as you get settled.

If you aren’t able to do a deep clean, designating items to be moved into storage, or organizing your basic needs like kitchen and bathroom items, can set you up well for bigger projects later.

• Make a list of short and long-term action items and goals

Even if your move was executed flawlessly, there will still be a lot to do. Scientific studies have found that getting the plans out of your tired brain and onto the page can make your workload easier to manage.

Instead of spiraling about the monumental tasks ahead, sort your ideas into short-term action items and long-term goals.

Setting aside time to daydream (and budget) for your long-term goals will be satisfying once you’ve gotten the most pressing work out of the way.

• Choosing a particular area to revitalize may unlock other design ideas for the rest of the home

While the modern go-to for decor reinvention is the handy Ikea hack, you don’t have to go all out with a design project to feel like you have refreshed a particular area of your home.

Consider rearranging the layout of an area by re-orienting furniture. Relocating certain pieces such as end tables and smaller shelves can create a new vibe, especially in small spaces.

If you like the current layout, redecorating in small ways can freshen up a room. Spring for a new rug, a house plant, or try new arrangements for surfaces like mantels and bookshelves.

• Moving things around will get your creative juices flowing

Make note of project ideas, rooms in need of some attention at a later date, or minor home repairs so they will remain on your radar.

While the desire to make everything perfect will be strong, realize that taking the time to clean spaces and get organized will be the earliest steps in a long process. Spending time to dream and plan for the future will make your hard work feel worthwhile!


Proud Partners – Freedom Mortgage

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

When looking for home financing, it’s important to partner with a company that specializes in mortgages above all else, and will focus on your particular home buying or refinancing needs, regardless of your unique circumstances.

For more than 25 years, Freedom Mortgage has been 100% focused on advancing American homeownership, looking to create avenues through which their clients can bring their home-buying dreams to life. A top-five mortgage lender offering loans in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, Freedom has office locations nationwide.

Their reputation for customer service is well earned. Through their years of experience, Freedom’s finance experts handle every aspect of the home loan from submission to closing, all while providing competitive rates and unparalleled industry insight. They are the leading VA vender in the Unites States*, and take great pride in ensuring that our service men and women achieve the American dream of home ownership.

*Inside Mortgage Finance, 3Q2017

 


Millennials Are Killin It’ At Home Buying

Photo by Matthew T. Rader on Unsplash.

News headlines constantly lament which industry the millennial generation is killing, be it diamonds, chain restaurants, or even dinner napkins. But several recent studies show that the news isn’t so bleak for millennials when it comes to real estate.

While millennials – generally defined as people born after 1980 – have major setbacks when it comes to the home buying, a recent National Association of Realtors survey found that buyers 36 years and younger represent the largest share of home buyers, at 34%. Another NAR study listed the median age of first-timers in the U.S. at 32. The majority (66%) of this millennial group are also first-time home buyers.

Student loan debt remains a problem for millennial buyers. A staggering 44 million borrowers collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in America. But that doesn’t mean that home buying is out of the question – just that lending trends are different for millennials than for their parents.

A survey by Realtor.com found that millennials now represent 42% of all new home loans. At the end of last year, the median price of a mortgaged home purchased by millennials was $238,000, compared to $264,000 for Baby Boomers and $289,000 for Generation X.

Compared to their parents, millennials are shifting their American dream and moving in together prior – or sometimes instead of – getting married. According to an end-of-year Bank of America survey, a majority of millennials prioritize homeownership (72%) over other major life events and goals, such as getting married (50%) and having children (44%.)

Millennials are also getting into the investment game. According to a 2019 Clever Real Estate survey, millennials are 52% more likely than previous generations to invest in a multi-family property, and 9% of respondents said they were interested in renting out new properties for passive income.

Saving for a down payment is a burden looming over the heads of most young buyers, but managing student loan debt is an essential first step. A Business Insider survey of millennial homeowners revealed a few key similarities among young buyers: many saved for years, lived with family members temporarily, and worked hard to pre-qualify for a loan.

Though millennial buyers face new obstacles compared to past generations, with some strategic planning and cost-cutting measures, home buying is feasible. Real estate professionals would do well to pay close attention to this up-and-coming, resilient generation of young clients.


The Time to Buy is Now

 

Looks like it’s becoming harder and harder to be a renter in the US.

The latest rent report from RENTCafe is in, and while the news is not so good for those who currently rent their home, it is very positive for those looking to own in 2019. The national average rent in March was $1,430, which is up 3.2 percent over the same period last year. That is an increase of $44 dollars a month on average, all across the country!

Rents are also up in 92 percent of the nation’s biggest 253 cities. That includes Chicago, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. Only 2 percent of these cities saw rents decrease over the year! In case you don’t like doing math (which we totally get, by the way), that comes out to…five cities. Yikes.

At d’aprile properties, we look to educate our clients, ensuring that they understand not only the home buying process, but all of the benefits of home ownership as well. Because the truth is, saving money is just the beginning.

 

PRIDE – A renter simply cannot experience the sense of pride and freedom that comes with home ownership. The homeowner has no landlord, no rent payments, and no one to answer to. A homeowner gets to decorate and maintain their home however they may choose, experience the joy of owning a pet, and relax in their own yard with a feeling of accomplishment.

PRIVACY – It’s hard to put a price on peace and quiet. As any renter will likely tell you, sharing walls with other tenants can be awkward at best, and downright annoying at worst. Plus, a landlord can at times have unfettered access to your living space. Owning a home provides safety and security, as well as peace of mind.

POTENTIAL – Perhaps the most significant benefit of homeownership is the opportunity to build equity. Keep this in mind: even if you’re currently renting, you’re still paying a mortgage. It simply belongs to someone else. Owning your home means that each month you’ll be putting money toward your own valuable investment, instead of in your landlord’s pocket.

We would love to be a part of your home ownership dream. Get started by clicking on our logo below. We’re here for you every step of the way.

 


Spotlight on Success – Jennifer Hawbaker, REALTOR®

Spotlight on Success was created to showcase the achievements of Top Producers within the d’aprile properties family, so that their ambition, work ethic, and integrity might serve as an inspiration to others looking for fulfillment in their professional and personal lives.

 

JENNIFER HAWBAKER, REALTOR®

2018 D’APRILE PROPERTIES DIAMOND KEY SALES AWARD WINNER

 

You had found success in this industry, and with this company, before 2018. What factors do you think contributed to last year being your best yet?

It was a combination of factors, really. The first is good, old-fashioned hard work and dedication, which has resulted in a flood of personal and professional referrals. They are my driving force – almost all of my business comes directly or indirectly from people I’ve worked with before. The second is a changing market; people are simply moving more frequently than they used to. Statistics show that home buyers become interested in moving after 7-10 years of their last purchase. That is easy math, because I’m in my 8th year in the business. Ryan D’Aprile told me from day one that building a business takes time and patience, and his words have always resonated with me. It was year five that my business truly took off, and it has just continues to build and build.

At this stage in your career, how do make sure that the personal and professional referrals keep rolling in?

Every potential client that I encounter knows at least a dozen real estate agents personally. Most have a close friend or family member in the business. Yet I find that I can still succeed in winning their business by simply being available. The sheer number of agents out there makes each of us disposable – if you don’t respond, your clients will find someone else to give their business to. That’s why I always answer my phone no matter the time of day, and no matter what I’m doing in that particular moment. If I am in a meeting, I will text the person back within 5-10 minutes to let them know that I’ve received their message, and will get back to them as soon as I can. My personal life always comes second because – for a home buyer – every minute that goes by means that the house they are interested in could be gone. For a seller, every day their home stays on the market feels like money out of their pocket. That’s why I always remain so vigilant about staying in constant communication.

I also don’t ever want the amount of referrals that I receive go to my head! When someone passes along a potential client to me, I of course thank them, and will always be grateful for their faith in me. But that is where their involvement in the process ends. It is my job to earn the business of the person being referred; I want them to meet me, and make the choice to partner with me all on their own. I take pride in my process, and I take pride in my presentation. My listing appointments usually run more than two hours. Why? Because you can’t make friends out of your clients, it just has to happen. You spend so much time together; you end up learning about their personal lives, their family routines, and what they’re going through outside of this little bubble that is the world of real estate. My absolute favorite day of the year is Mother’s Day, because you wouldn’t believe the number of texts and messages that I receive from past clients! The fact that they think of me at the holidays blows my mind, and motivates me to always provide the most personalized service that I can.

You’ve only been with one real estate company. Why did you choose d’aprile properties from the beginning, and what has kept you here when so many others have tried to recruit you?

When I first met Ryan D’Aprile, I just gotten my license. Before that I was always buying and selling homes, flipping them. I had always had so much interest in the industry. Ryan and I sat down to talk about my goals and he was so energetic, so passionate. Here was this guy who saw something in me that he related to, and he was practically bouncing off the walls, so excited to share his vision with me.

I’ve never lost faith in Ryan, or in his positive and honest approach to the industry. No matter how successful I become, or how much d’aprile properties as a whole grows and expands, the personality of the company has always remained the same. Be a good person. Believe in yourself and in your potential. Think outside the box, and become more than an agent for your clients – become their advocate.

I’ve been with d’aprile properties since the beginning. The d’aprile style, it keeps the fire burning, keeps my hunger up. After that first meeting, I said to myself, “Ryan is going to do something big, something truly special.” Eight years later, and I’ve never lost my faith in him or in his approach, not one bit. I want to help him see that vision through, and can’t wait to see what direction he takes it in next.

 

JENNIFER’S WEBSITE

FIND HER ON FACEBOOK

 


Let Spring Into Your Home!

Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels

Is winter over yet? Officially, spring began on March 20th. While the weather is a little slow to catch up, it’s the perfect time to embrace the season and give our living spaces a little refresh.

Here are some things to consider when getting your home ready for spring:

Clean Things Up

You either love spring cleaning, or you dread it. Either way, it’s a great time of year to refresh your space by washing away the signs of winter hibernation. It doesn’t have to be all ammonia and baseboard-scrubbing; start with small projects like cleaning out the fridge or freezer, then move up to larger tasks like floors and windows. Breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces can help avoid feeling overwhelmed. Open a window for some fresh air and to vent out the smell of cleaning chemicals while you’re hard at work.

Decluttering is just as important as cleaning, and you’ll be amazed at how different a room can feel after getting rid of the things that don’t bring you joy. Similar to cleaning, break organizing down into smaller bits at a time. You don’t want to be done for the day, only to realize your bed is still covered with all the boxes of clothes you’re going to donate.

 

Long Days, Warm Nights

You’ve made it past daylight saving time – are you prepared for all the extra daylight that spring brings with it? Sunlight affects our circadian rhythm and is a factor that tells us when it’s time for bed. Darker mornings make it easier to stay in bed in the morning, and a little bit harder to fall asleep at night. Winter’s darkness gave us time inside to relax and decompress before bed, but the late sunset of spring can make it difficult to feel tired on time. If you find yourself staying up later with the extra sunlight, make sure you are still taking the time to unwind after a long day. A nighttime routine centered on relaxation can help give structure to the end of your day so you don’t find yourself lying awake at night.

With the temperatures beginning to rise, turning the thermostat down a few degrees before bed can actually help prepare you for a deeper sleep. If you are a hot sleeper, don’t forget to change out warmer sheets for a set that breathe well and keep you comfortable. If you still find yourself warm, a mattress that sleeps cool is worth the investment and will keep you enjoying sleep for seasons to come.

 

Bring the Outside In

Outside your home, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. But how do you bring the feeling of spring into your home? The simplest way to bring the outdoors in is to include some plants in your home decor. Easy-to-maintain options that will bloom this spring include violets, lilies, and hard-to-kill succulents. Plants are a great way to embrace the season and let some refreshing color into the home while on a budget. You can also use spring colors, such as pastel greens, sky blues, or sunshine yellows in your decor to really brighten up a room and give it a spring feel. The ultimate way to refresh your space and bring some color in, however, is to repaint. An accent wall is a simple way to change the entire feel of a room and use bold colors in your living space. If you choose a bold spring color such as yellow, make sure you will be able to tie your room’s decor to the accent wall for the rest of the year.

There’s no doubt that we welcome spring with open arms. Taking a little extra time to prepare your home for spring, however, can make a big difference in enjoying the season.

 

 

 

 


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Local Farmers Markets

Our very own Whitney Wasson is here with a 2019 Chicago farmers market guide! She’s here to tell you how to find fruit, flowers, sweets, and veggies all across this amazing city!

 

With an alluring spectrum of hues and textures, a tantalizing variety of scents, and the chance to hand pick your very own farm-fresh food – is there anything better than a farmers market on a pretty day?

No matter where you live in Chicago, there is a wealth of farmers market opportunities for you to try this spring. Here is a list of markets, sorted by day of the week.

MONDAYS

Maxwell Street Market. A Chicago tradition of bargains with an international flavor. Desplaines Street and Taylor Street. Year-round. 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Bronzeville City Market, 332 East 51st at Boxville. July 7. 12–4 p.m.

 

TUESDAYS

Columbus Park City Market, 500 South Central Ave. July 9. 2–7 p.m.

City Market at Federal Plaza, 50 West Adams Street. May 14. 7 a.m.–2 p.m.

Lincoln Square Farmers Market, Western Avenue and Leland Ave near the Western Brown Line Station. June 4. 4-8 p.m.


WEDNESDAY

Andersonville Farmers Market, Berwyn and Clark Avenue. May 9. 3–7 p.m.

LaFollette Park City Market, 1333 North Laramie Avenue. July 10. 2–7 p.m.

Pullman City Market, 11100 South Cottage Grove Avenue. July 10.

Roseland City Market, 200 W. 109th Street. August 28.

Green City Market in Lincoln Park, Clark and Lincoln Avenue. 7 a.m.–1 p.m.


THURSDAYS

Austin Town Hall City Market, 5610 West Lake Street. July 11. 2–7 p.m.

City Market at Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington Street. May 9. 7 a.m.–2 p.m.

Lincoln Square Farmers Market, Western Avenue and Leland Ave near the Western Brown Line Station. June 4. 4-8 p.m.

South Loop Farmers Market, Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 Michigan Avenue. June 1. 4-8 p.m.


SATURDAYS

Englewood City Market, 1219 West 76th Street, at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Roller Skating and Bowling Center. July. 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Division Street City Market, 30 West Division Street. May 11. 7 a.m.–1 p.m.

Green City Market in Lincoln Park, Clark and Lincoln Avenue, 7 a.m.–1 p.m.

Printers Row City Market, 700 South Dearborn Street. June 15. 7 a.m.–1 p.m.

West Humboldt Park Market, 3601 West Chicago Avenue. June 29. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

 

Times and dates subject to change. Most city farmers markets will accept SNAP/Link cards for purchases.

 


Spring Has Sprung

 

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

It’s finally here! The spring season is upon us. The gray gloom of winter has been cast aside, as the flowers begin to bloom and the sun lingers a little longer in the sky. The power of change is never more evident than at the onset of the spring.

The desire to make changes is all in your mindset. When you really think about it, New Year’s Day arrives at a rather unfortunate season for those of us sitting west of the Prime Meridian! In January, all we want to do is start over, to break out of our post-holiday doldrums. Unfortunately, committing to a change in lifestyle is so much harder when faced with bad roads, sub-zero temperatures, and two feet of snow.

 

That’s why we can be forgiven for our almost mad obsession with April’s approach, and its promise of warm weather walks and late bedtimes. Of course, in the real estate industry, spring makes up the beating heart of our season, when those looking to buy or sell their homes are poised and ready for their own dramatic transition.

Lucky for you, d’aprile properties agents began ramping up their own efforts long before the ice melted! Our dedicated team members have spent months studying the market, and fine-tuning their marketing plans for success right out of the gate. If 2019 is going to be your year, get in touch with your d’aprile properties agent now – they’re poised and ready to help you realize all of your real estate dreams!

 


Making Our Own Luck

This past Saturday, March 16, our Naperville Agent Team proudly participated in the West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the fourth consecutive year! Our ‘Parade Mobile’ was all decked out, and our Canine Captain, Sydney, lead the way!

 

The parade attracts over 3,000 participants and more than 15,000 spectators, annually. It is a fantastic family event enjoyed by all ages, in celebration of Irish heritage and culture. 

 

We’d like to thank all of our agents and their family members who came out to make this another great event for d’aprile properties in the western suburbs! A special shout out to Martha Harrison, REALTOR®/Expert Truck Driver, whose skills behind the wheel allowed us to highlight our various real estate services.

A special thank you as well to Sue Liston and Operation Support Our Troops – America for their wonderful partnership (and generous candy donation)! We can’t wait until next year!

 


Ryan D’Aprile – Coaching Moments: Your Prospecting Questions Answered!

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! Apparently one hour on Lead Generation just wasn’t enough! If you listened to last month’s episode, you know that Ryan spent a full hour on the subject. But our good friends over at Keeping it Real had such an overwhelming response from their listeners that this month Ryan spent another full hour answering their questions!

Don’t worry if you missed the last episode – you can jump right in with this one!

 

Ryan D’Aprile

Founder, d’aprile properties

ryan@daprileproperties.com