The Rivalry of a Lifetime

Photo Courtesy of SportsInteraction.com

d’aprile properties proudly serves clients in both Illinois and Wisconsin — so we’ll TRY to stay unbiased here. But some serious interstate calamity is about to go down.

Historically, your typical NFL season kicks off with a contest featuring the defending Super Bowl champion, which would be the Patriots. Again. However, 2019 begins a season-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the NFL. So the league passed legislation in order to allow for a one-year exemption to do something new and exciting for this unique season.

The Chicago Bears will play host to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7:20 p.m. CT, at Soldier Field. That means that the oldest — and arguably most intense — rivalry in all of sports will once again rock the football world. Bruising will ensue. Tears (of at least one fan base) will be shed. And another chapter of this 100-year saga will be written, adding to a story that has taken some thrilling and often odd twists and turns throughout the last century.

Photo Courtesy of acmepackingcompany.com

Things Are Pretty Even Steven: This will be the 199th game that these two pigskin powerhouses have played since their inaugural faceoff in 1921. The Packers have won 97 games, the Bears have won 95 games, and there have been 6 ties. Yet, despite almost 200 battles across a literal century, there have only been two playoff contests. And yes, as you can imagine, that record stands at 1-1.

Same Journey, Different Paths: Despite the fact that the two teams have been playing for 100 seasons, the Bears and Pack have only reached the playoffs in the same season on four separate occasions. In both instances where the two clubs didn’t end up playing each other in the postseason, they were eliminated in the same round in 1994 and 2001.

The Packers Rule the Air: When it comes to high-flying football, Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers is nothing short of a Bear Killer. In fact, he’s won 16 of the 21 games he’s started against Chicago, throwing for 5,156 yards, 45 touchdowns, and just 10 interceptions.

But the Bears Own the Ground: The Bears lead the series in rushing yards by a significant margin, but no one did it like Sweetness. Walter Payton rushed for 2,484 yards and 19 touchdowns against the Packers in 24 career games, with the Bears going 17-7 in those contests.

With these two teams so evenly matched over the years, it’s impossible to say who will come out on top. No matter the final outcome, it is safe to say that the 2019 season will get off to a wild start!


Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?

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.

You’ve found the perfect home, and are looking to settle in what looks like the quaintest community this side of Mayberry. Your future neighbors wave as you pull in the driveway. The house is mere blocks from a great school that the kids can walk to. And the property taxes! So low you can afford to take an extra weekend vacation this year!

Thus represents the average amount of research that most new homeowners put into their potential new ‘hood. You think about the kids, you think about your wallet. But there is so much more to your community than good schools and friendly neighbors. The area you live in needs to be as perfect a fit for your family as the four walls that surround them while they sleep at night. After all, your home more than just the property you live in; it’s a collection of the people and the personalities that make up your entire neck of the woods.

So what else should you be looking at? How do you find the facts you need to settle on the right area for you and your family? Think of it like playing a game of Monopoly: you’ve chosen the Thimble piece, got your cash in order, and picked up the dice. It’s time to take a look at the rest of the board. And you can do it without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go: No matter how nice a given area looks, crime can be lurking just around the corner. A fairly quick search on sites like crimereports.com or spotcrime.com can give you all you need to know about violent crime statistics in the area, and offer access to police blotter aggregators. Heck, a “Google Street View” sneak peek can give you a quick glance at the feel of the block. But if you really want to feel safe about your future neighborhood, reach out to the local police department and ask them for a crime report — they’ll be happy to oblige.

Pennsylvania Railroad: The kids might have a short walk to school, but did you think about your work commute? What about your proximity to the freeway, or your nearest hospital? Quiet, peaceful neighborhoods tend to be located in slightly more isolated areas, which often reduces the amount of public transportation options. Make sure that you have ease of access to all of the activities that make up your life, from your office to Home Depot. A little time spent on sites like walkscore.com could go a long way towards making every day life accessible to you and your family.

Community Chest: Last but not least, what about the culture that makes up your new ‘burb? Does the neighborhood value diversity and take pride in its local businesses? Are you going to be overrun by baby strollers, or kept up at night by singles looking to party till dawn? Research income, racial diversity, age, and relationship status stats on sites like city-data.com. Your lifestyle is an important part of the place you call home; make sure that you and your family FEEL like a part of the community.

Of course, your d’aprile properties local area expert can help you find the perfect place to settle. But by taking the time to do a little homework upfront, you’ll know ahead of time exactly what you’re looking for in a community.  

It’ll be better than winning 2nd Prize in a Beauty Contest…



Dancing in the Streets!

All photos courtesy of Alex Santos

The corporate headquarters of d’aprile properties sits at 1732 W. Hubbard St., on the west side of Chicago. Two years ago, it might have seemed like a seemingly inauspicious central location from which to operate a thriving full-service real estate firm.

Nestled among faceless factories and towering industrial edifices, it may seem like the most unlikely place to drive foot traffic toward your business. So what do you call it when that West Town manufacturing neighborhood that you call home suddenly morphs into the jewel of the Chicago beer-brewing industry?

Lucky?

Our signature location now rests comfortably amid what is now unofficially dubbed as the Chicago Brewing District, comprised of Goose Island, Great Central Brewing Company, All Rise Brewing, Finch Beer, and of course, our next-door neighbor and GABF-winner, On Tour Brewing Co.

How times have changed! On August 3rd and 4th, d’aprile properties happily took part in the 2nd annual Dancing in the Streets Festival. The brainchild of our good friend and On Tour Brewing Company founder Mark Legenza, this one-of-a-kind craft beer and live music family event is co-sponsored by the West Town Chamber of Commerce and Chicago’s Brewing District.

The d’aprile properties booth was run by agents and staff alike, and featured a t-shirt tie-dying station. All proceeds benefited our 2019 signature charity, the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

The streets were packed with Chicago craft beer enthusiasts and jam-band fanatics alike. Festival attendees were treated to a surplus of savory taco trucks, local artwork, crafts, and games for all ages. Those who came for live music were treated to 10 eclectic Chicago bands over two days, including Terrapin Mountain, Paradise Waits, and Mr. Blotto.

Needless to say, a good time was had by all! We are already looking forward to next year’s event, as we continue living and loving our amazingly vibrant neighborhood home.


Never Too Late for the American Dream

When you meet the unassuming and uniquely awesome Ms. Diane Mowrer, you can’t help but be pulled in by her enthusiastic spirit. An avid cook, decorator, and self-proclaimed ‘neat freak’, her personality and sense of humor crackle with energy. She constantly wears a broad, genuine smile and is quick with a joke – even if it’s directed at herself.

A former executive assistant with Chase Bank, this mother of five is a DIY-kind of girl. Spontaneous and creative, she prefers tackling remodeling projects head-on, and getting her own hands dirty. Having recently become a homeowner for the very first time on her own, she now has the opportunity to begin a new chapter in her life, on her terms.

All at the tender young age of 79. (Don’t worry, she gave us permission to tell!)

For 25 years, Diane had been renting an apartment in the Western Suburbs. She labored up and down flights of stairs daily, and had no choice but to constantly clear snow from her uncovered car come winter. But perhaps the biggest burden to bear was the lack of opportunity to turn her living space into a real home, forced to stare at drab paint colors and dated fixtures chosen by someone other than herself. Creativity needs a canvas, after all.

Diane hadn’t been actively looking to move, but like so many others she often passed time looking at properties online with a curious eye and an open mind. One day she realized a condo that had previously caught her attention had come back on the market in Lombard. As luck would have it, her granddaughter Sara Press just happened to be a highly-skilled d’aprile properties real estate agent, so after breakfast one morning in the area, Diane asked if Sara could show her the property. Before they left, she was ready to make an offer on what would soon become her new home.

Sara guided her through every step of the home buying process, and even brought in a little help from Erin Stojakovic – a mortgage professional with our good friends over at Midwest Lending. That’s how on August 8th – just a couple of months shy of her 79th birthday – Diane found herself sitting at the closing table, being handed the keys to her very own home.

After almost eight decades, you would think she took some time to relax, and savor the moment. But no, not when there was so much she could do, without anyone’s permission but her own! Walls and cabinets were soon painted, countertops and carpeting were replaced. And a stand-alone cupboard will be custom built for the kitchen, after she drops the ceiling and installs canned lighting. But reluctantly, she admits that these can wait until after the holidays. She has cookies to bake, after all. And she already knows where she’s putting her tree.

Diane once lived paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. But with patience and some strategic saving, she realized that homeownership was well within her reach. When asked if she had any advice for other seniors looking to start over, she simply said, “Never give up. With the right people beside you, it’s easier than you think.”

If only all of use could be so positive, so young at heart. Thank you Diane, for letting d’aprile properties be part of your story. It has many more chapters to come.