DOGGONE IT, Time to Move

OK, if you’re the type of person who hates change, raise your hand.

Look, we get it.  Major life changes carry with them a level of uncertainty, and uncertainty can fray your nerves, and cost you precious sleep.  Let’s face it – nothing causes upheaval in your life quite like moving day. Your home, that sanctuary of calm and safety, draped in a blanket of cellophane and stuffed with Styrofoam peanuts. It’s enough to make even the most poker-faced among us twitch.

But think about this — if it causes YOU that much stress, what effect is it having on the furriest of your family members?  Whether you realize it or not, your pet is constantly pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down; they read your emotions better than any mood ring. You’ve prepped your human children for the big day, so why would you neglect Mr. Fluffy?

Let us give you a few tips:

Don’t Procrastinate — Pulling an all-nighter to pack the day before is a surefire way to stress your pet out. Pack over time, keeping things as normal as possible. Make sure to leave their bed, water bowl, etc. until the very end. Also, don’t make drastic changes to their routine; feed and walk them as you normally would. And remember to keep their toys, treats, and medication off of the moving truck, and with you for the journey.

Plan Ahead — There’s going to be a lot of traffic in your new home over the first couple of days, which could mean a lot of open doors and windows.  It can be easy for a jittery pet to sneak out, so be sure to update your pets tags with your new address and/or phone number.  Just to be safe, keep a photo of your pet on hand, to show neighbors just in case they choose to hightail it out of there (bad pun intended). 

Help Them Settle, GretelIt’s going to take everyone time to acclimate to their new surroundings, so now is not the time to trust your pets to always make the right choice. Use a leash when exploring their new territory, and try to return home the same way, at least in the beginning. A little routine can go a long way to making them feel comfortable.

By thinking ahead and keeping a positive attitude, you can ensure that everyone – including your favorite furball — settles into your new place quickly and easily.  Let the shedding begin.


How to “Win” National Garage Sale Day

Celebrated across the U.S., National Garage Sale Day takes place each year on the second Saturday of August. Many households take advantage of the holiday to purge their homes of unwanted clutter, from furniture and antiques to old toys and clothes. Often, residents of certain neighborhoods — and even entire towns — will launch community-wide sales, in order to satisfy the hunger of casual shoppers and yard sale aficionados alike.

Anyone who has ever lived in the suburbs knows how hectic a neighborhood can suddenly become once people see a well-placed Garage Sale sign. So how do you beat the crowds and ensure that you get the best bang for your buck? Glad you asked!

  • Plan Ahead and Make a List: Forget driving around looking for signs — today’s savvy shopper knows that the best way to scope out the best sale spots are through apps like  YardSaleTreasureMap and Nextdoor. Also, remember that there is danger ahead: low garage sale prices cause impulse buys! Don’t buy things you don’t need, treat it like a trip to the grocery store. Know what you want to buy ahead of time and stick to your list!
  • Be Nice: Many people think that in order to be successful at a garage sale, you need to be a cutthroat negotiator or “haggler”. Remember, sellers are often nostalgic, so show genuine interest in important items, and be sure to voice your appreciation of their quality. You may end up with more negotiating room, or find yourself the victor in a bidding war by tapping into the seller’s sentimentality!
  • No Price Tag? Make an Offer: The most overused sentence at any garage sale? “How much do you want for the (insert item here)?” Don’t be aggressive, but do be assertive. Don’t give the seller the chance to pad the price, simply ask, “Would you take $5 for this?”
  • Know When to Walk Away: You show up on Saturday morning, and the seller refuses to budge on an overpriced item that you desire. Don’t cave — it’s better to walk away than overpay for someone else’s throwaway item. But if you just can’t let it go, come back late on Sunday and see if the item is still there. You may find that the seller is more motivated to negotiate before they close up shop.

Now you have all the tools you need to become a garage sale superstar! Happy Hunting!


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.

 

 

 


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.

 


Happy National New Home Owners Day!

How well do you remember the home you grew up in?

When you were a child, the square footage didn’t matter; the size was just right. When you went to bed at night, you felt comfortable and safe. There was a wonderful sense of familiarity – you could probably walk the halls with your eyes closed, and never stub your toe. And when your own personal journey made it necessary to leave that home behind, a small piece of yourself remained within its walls.

That’s what truly makes a house a home. Not paint colors or patio furniture, not backsplashes or bathroom fixtures. No, the place that you call home exists in the feeling you get when you step inside the door, and exhale after a long day. It lives in that space where you welcome friends and family, with a sense of satisfaction and self-worth. And it will always remain in the memories you make with those closest to you – visions that never seem to fade, not even with time.

The first of May is National New Home Owners Day, celebrating that special feeling that comes with being handed the keys to a new home. It doesn’t matter if you purchase a single-family residence, apartment, condo, or town home; the pride of ownership is uniform for us all. Each of us is looking for stability – solid ground on which we can begin to build a sense of lasting welfare and well-being. Through homeownership, you are not only creating safety and security – you are making an enduring investment into your financial foundation.

At d’aprile properties, we understand that buying a home may represent the single greatest investment you will make in your lifetime. The real estate process itself can be one of the most exciting, yet emotional experiences you can go through. That’s why it is so important to have a dedicated expert on your side, who not only knows the ins and outs of today’s sometimes volatile market, but who can easily empathize with what you and your family are experiencing as you start this new chapter in your lives.

That’s where we come in. Call us today. It’s time to find out what makes d’aprile properties different.


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.