June is National Safety Awareness Month

“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment.” –Nelson Mandela

 

Observed every year throughout June, National Safety Month is focused on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. With the proper education, and a general awareness of the space and people around us, we can help protect not only ourselves, but ensure the well-being of those who matter most.

We are constantly reminded of the importance of adequate safety measures at work. But how many of us can honestly say that we have done all that we can to prevent accidents in the home? After all, home is where you go to feel safe, where you can exhale after a long day, and get away from the hustle and bustle that life often brings with it. But it is also where you likely spend the majority of your time, and the familiarity you have with it can cause you to let your guard down, and miss potential hazards that are right in front of your eyes. 

According to The National Safety Council, 169,936 Americans died in preventable, injury-related accidents in 2017 — and more than half of those occurred in the home. Perhaps even more troubling is that the number of nonfatal, preventable injuries in the home — those that required medical attention — grew to 47.2 million in 2017. That is roughly one out of every seven individuals who live in these United States.

At d’aprile properties, we know a thing or two about the sense of security that comes with home ownership. So in the spirit of National Safety Month, we offer some simple tips, in order to create awareness about potential risks that may exist within your household. For more information, head over to the NSC’s Home Safety page. You can also find an abundance of eye-opening information over at rospa.com, maintained by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

  1. Fire Safety: Keep portable heaters and candles away from furniture and curtains. Position them in a safe spot where they cannot be knocked over.
  2. Electrical Safety: Never overload an electric socket, and have your wiring installation checked at least once every five years by an approved contractor.
  3. Heating Safety: Be sure to keep your fireplace and chimney properly cleaned and inspected, and routinely check the pilot on gas cookers and water heaters to make sure it has not gone out.
  4. Safety with Medicines and Cleaners: Keep medicines in their original containers, clearly labelled, and consider keeping all in a lockable cabinet.
  5. Garden Safety: Wear appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes, and protective eye cover when mowing or gardening, and always stay on the lookout for plants and berries that may be poisonous or can cause an allergic reaction.
  6. DIY Safety: Be realistic and don’t tackle a job unless you really have the ability. A competent, qualified person should always carry out gas and electrical renewal or repair work.

This June, make sure that your home will always remain a source of safety and contentment for you and your family.


Proud Partners: Chawla & Ravani, P.C.

We’d like to take the time to thank Chawla & Ravani, P.C., our partner, and 2019 Summit Event Sponsor.

A celebrated boutique law firm with years of experience and expertise, Chawla & Ravani, P.C. offers a unique blend of legal services without ever losing sight of the people that matter most – their clients. Lauded by both the bar and the bench, they handle a multitude of legal matters for their clients, including small business, corporate, commercial, real estate, and litigation. They provide straightforward, realistic, and practical legal advice, both domestically and internationally.

The attorneys at Chawla & Ravani, P.C. practice law with skill and an artful mastery of their respective concentrations, but also with a level of personal and professional integrity that has solidified their reputation as one of the premier boutique law firms in Illinois. As they navigate their clients through complex legal matters, they vow to identify, develop, and implement effective litigation strategies, all while efficiently managing exposure and costs. Chawla & Ravani, P.C. act as true advocates, controlling the outcome for their clients without leaving anything to chance.

 

Chawla & Ravani: Quality legal services with large firm results!


May 18 is Armed Forces Day

 

Memorial Day is fast approaching. A national holiday that results in a three-day weekend, we are easily and readily reminded each year to honor and remember those who have fallen in the line of duty while protecting their country. 

But the third Saturday in May often comes and goes without much fanfare, despite the significant effect on our personal freedom that this day on the calendar represents. Saturday, May 18 is Armed Forces Day, dedicated to the men and women currently serving in all branches of our military. In 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced that Armed Forces Day would take the place of other individual branch celebrations, so that our country might unite in support and recognition of our military members and their families.

Each year, Armed Forces Day centers on a unique theme designed to highlight the hard work and dedication of our service members. The theme for 2019 is “For the Nation. For the People.”

Many choose to show their respect through small acts of kindness, such as a thank you card or a bouquet of flowers sent to someone they know who has dedicated their lives to protecting our independence. Others choose to volunteer by spending time with veterans in retirement communities. Yet some choose simply to adorn their front porch with an American flag, or plant red, white, and blue flowers in planters on their front steps. No matter how you choose to show your respect and admiration, the smallest act could have an enormous impact on the men and women serving our country.

At d’aprile properties, we proudly support our military, and wish to say thank you to all our military personnel for the sacrifices you make every day for our freedom!

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Her Special Day

“Mother Love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” –Marion C. Garretty

Here’s to Mom—the one who brings joy, security, and stability to our lives. Our mothers wear so many different hats—when we’re children, they are the Readers of Bedtime Stories and the Kissers of Ouchies. As teenagers, they become our Favorite Teachers, our Gourmet Cooks, and our Shoulders to Cry On. And in adulthood, as we raise families of our own, they become the Voices of Reason, and the Spoilers of Grandchildren.

No matter what stage of life, they will always be Our Favorite. We can never repay them for all they do for us. The least we can do is show them how much we care.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. We all know that what Mom really wants is to spend some quality time with us. See below for a list of the best Mother’s Day brunches in all of Chicagoland.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS: Arlington Race Track – Bloody Mary’s and Pony Rides. For adventurous Mamas only! 

CRYSTAL LAKED’Andrea Banquets – Cheese Blintzes? Quiche Lorraine? A complimentary glass of champagne? Consider us there.

LAKEVIEW: Coda di Volpe – Strawberry cheese danishes and lobster Benedict for brunch, you can’t do much better than that!

NAPERVILLECity Gate Grille – Once Mom is done with the made-to-order omelet station, there’s always the chocolate fountain to satisfy her sweet tooth.

OAKBROOKEl Tapeo at Le Meridien – This modern Spanish kitchen will be offering a chef’s market table, and a complimentary glass of delicious sangria to all Moms.

ROSEMONTCarlucci Rosemont – An authentic Italian Mother’s Day brunch, complete with favorites like Italian eggs Benedict and Tuscan toast. Ciao Bella!

WEST TOWN: BLVD – Show her a little fancy with the likes of salmon toast, sourdough Johnny cakes, and croque madame. A meal fit for a queen.

 

To all the mothers out there, we wish you a wonderful weekend spent with those you love the most!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.


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.