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The Market Is Moving. What Are Buyers Looking for In Their Next Homes?

The Market Is Moving. What Are Buyers Looking for In Their Next Homes?

For many people, spending more time at home over the past few months has provided a chance to think long and hard about what they truly want from their next space.

As a result, homebuyers are looking at housing “with a whole new set of eyes,” writes George Ratiu, Senior Economist with realtor.com®.

So, as we move forward, what features and updates will buyers be looking for as they kick off their home search?

Recently, realtor.com® conducted a survey of 1,300 consumers looking for a home to determine what features they want in their next space — as well as all the ways that sheltering in-place has changed their current lifestyle and how they view their living conditions.

Consumer preferences and buyer behavior are already evolving, Ratiu notes, with prospective buyers beginning to look for “larger homes, bigger yards, access to the outdoors and more separation from neighbors.”  (more…)

We didn’t let anything stop us from providing the best training of the year.

We didn’t let anything stop us from providing the best training of the year.

At the beginning of 2020, we promised to give our agents a year of training they couldn’t get anywhere else. And despite everything that’s happened, we never backed down from that promise.

While other brokerages scaled back, we knew that now more than ever, our agents needed training and support to see them through these difficult times. That’s why we got to work shifting from live in-person events to all virtual training sessions. Over the past three months, we’ve offered more than 30 virtual training sessions and events from in-house trainers and experts from companies like Tom Ferry, Keeping Current Matters, Ninja Selling and Tony Robbins, and Marques Ogden.

On top of that, our agents have even greater support from their non-competing managers, and access to our industry-leading toolkit, the ability to do their job without having to come into the office, and a collaborative culture helping them succeed.

Work for a brokerage that keeps its promises, no matter what.

Join us — it’s easier here.

Designing an Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area

Designing an Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area

Dreaming of adding an outdoor kitchen or dining space to your Chicagoland home? You’re definitely not alone. 

After all, what could be better than having the freedom to cook and entertain in the great outdoors? With a well-crafted outdoor kitchen or bar, you can enjoy some sun and fresh air, while making your biggest culinary dreams come true. 

Around the country, demand for outdoor kitchens is only growing. But while a perfectly designed outdoor space can help you make the most of Chicagoland’s warm summer nights, it can also be a big undertaking, with many different design elements and projects on the menu — from figuring out your budget, to designing the entertaining space that will best suit your unique lifestyle.  (more…)

When it comes to single family homes, we know them better than anyone else — and it shows.

When it comes to single family homes, we know them better than anyone else — and it shows.

Our first priority is always to help our clients achieve their real estate goals and make it easier in the process. That’s why knowing Baird & Warner is the No. 1 brokerage for single family home sales* means so much to us.

What’s so important about that? Single family homes have been trending at all time highs for the last four years, which means buyers in our market are actively seeking them — and our agents are selling more of them than any other brokerage.

It’s really no surprise that our agents are crushing it. Part of giving buyers and sellers the best real estate experience possible, is making sure our agents are prepared with everything they need to be their best. That means an industry-leading toolkit and the best training and support available anywhere to help guide their clients in any market.

So join a team that not only understands the market, but really gets what you need to succeed in it.

 

 

*Sales Pulled from MRED, LLC / MLS  06/01/2019 – 05/31/2020, Residential (Detached Single) homes in  Mc Henry, Lake, Grundy, Cook, De Kalb, Kane, Kendall, Will, Du Page

How Buyers Can Make the Most of a Virtual Home Tour

How Buyers Can Make the Most of a Virtual Home Tour

During the coronavirus outbreak, virtual open houses and tours have been a powerful way for homebuyers to continue pursuing their biggest real estate goals — without having to leave the comfort and safety of home. As in person open houses and showings start to ramp back up in Chicagoland, many buyers will continue to use virtual open houses and tours as a way to be efficient and stay safe as they look for a new home. 

For many buyers, virtual tours and open houses are a great way to discover properties that you can then see in person, following all safety protocols set down by state and federal health officials. 

In other cases, buyers have found and purchased properties based entirely on their virtual experiences. A survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), for example, found that a quarter of REALTORS® reported that their clients put contracts on homes “without seeing the property in person” during one week of April 2020. 

Another consumer study cited by the NAR suggests that 24 percent of people surveyed would be willing to buy a home without seeing it in person, while 30 percent would be willing to rent one.  (more…)

10 Summer Landscaping and Gardening Projects

10 Summer Landscaping and Gardening Projects

Summer in Chicagoland usually means sunny days, warm nights, and plenty of chances to go out and work on your home’s landscaping. 

Whether you are looking to take on projects that can help get your home ready to sell, or simply want to invest some time in the space you already own, summer is a great opportunity to start thinking about your home’s lawn, garden, and outdoor living spaces. 

Research shows that the “curb appeal” of a home can be a make-or-break factor for potential buyers. Taking some simple steps to improve your landscaping can also help you make the most of your home’s outdoor space, all summer long — particularly important when you want to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine during our current era of social distancing. 

Looking for some outdoor inspiration? Here are 10 summer landscaping and gardening projects to try around your Chicagoland home this season: 

1.) Protect Your Lawn

With hot, dry days on the horizon, now is a great time to turn your attention to your lawn. There are lots of simple steps you can take to protect your yard during the summer months. Adopt wise watering practices — turning on the hose or sprinkler about once per week, and doing most of your watering in the early morning hours. Summer is also a great time to treat your lawn for weeds, pests, and diseases, and get in the habit of mowing regularly, maintaining a grass height around 2.5 to 3 inches. 

Looking for more practical summer lawn care ideas? Give your yard a boost with our helpful guidelines, available here. 

2.) Add Mulch to Your Flower Beds and Garden

Incorporating mulch into your home’s landscaping is a great way to keep your favorite plants and flowers healthy, all summer long. As Better Homes & Gardens explains, spreading a thin layer of mulch over the soil in your garden helps blanket the ground and shield the soil from the sun — which helps keep the ground cooler, prevents moisture loss, and makes your plant roots a whole lot happier. Mulch can also help prevent weeds from taking over your beautiful garden. 

Interested in learning more about the benefits of mulch, and what types may work in your Chicagoland garden? The Spruce has a great guide on “Different Types of Mulch and Their Advantages.”

3.) Help Draw In Local Wildlife

Are you a certified nature lover? This summer, try opening up your garden to the incredible flora and fauna that make the Chicagoland area so special. There are lots of ways to help attract beneficial native wildlife to your yard, from installing bird feeders, to adding specialized plants that may help attract butterflies, bees, and backyard birds. 

Looking for some ideas? 

4.) Give Your Plants a Haircut

Have you ever gotten a haircut at the beginning of the summer, to help yourself stay cool and comfortable during the dog days? Pruning your plants works in a similar way, allowing them to thrive and experience healthy new growth, all year round. 

As This Old House explains, pruning can help provide “thicker foliage, more flowers, and healthier plants.” Curious about how to get started? Savvy Gardening recommends clearing up overgrowth on annuals and trimming back perennials, including cleaning up seed pods and dead flower spikes. 

5.) Brighten Up With Summer Colors

A pop of color can be a great way to breathe new life into a space, both indoors and out. The bright, warm months of summer can be a prime time to start experimenting with vibrant new colors. Get creative, and add summertime accents and colors throughout your outdoor spaces. Try putting out vibrant door mats; repainting your patio furniture; swapping out your exterior pillows, tablecloths, or rugs; or even adding a bright new coat of paint to your fence. 

6.) Spruce Up Your Hardscaping, Deck, Patio, and Walking Paths

Have the elements started to take over your deck or patio? This summer, focus on making your outdoor living spaces as comfortable, accessible, and safe as possible. Check the safety of your deck, and make any repairs or fixes it needs — like replacing rotted floorboards or adding a new handrail. Clean your deck or patio with a broom and a good rinsing, and consider re-finishing and sealing your deck or patio to protect it from the elements. Clear away overgrowth and weeds, to help make sure your hardscaping and walkways are always clean and ready to use. 

7.) Add Some Summer Lighting

Looking for a quick and easy home project you can take on in a weekend? Add some new outdoor lighting elements. After all, the warm nights of summer are a perfect invitation to hang out in the great outdoors. Make sure your next evening outside is perfectly illuminated by adding accent lights around your paths or walkways; stringing fairy lights or bulbs across your deck or balcony; or strategically placing lanterns on your tables and railings. Get creative, and see what works around your home! 

8.) Invest in Local Plants

Looking to grow plants that will be able to stand up to a hot and muggy Chicagoland summer? There are lots of plants — including veggies, flowers, and greenery — that positively thrive during summer in the Midwest. Looking to add some local color? 

9.) Build the Perfect New Accent

Want to get creative and flex your DIY muscles? This summer, look around your home for old household materials that you can upcycle into incredible landscaping elements. HouseBeautiful, for example, suggests using old sinks and tables as “quirky planters,” or adapting old pallets and boards into “planters, bug hotels, or compost bins.” Outside of recycling, look for fun and useful projects you can take on to spruce up your outdoor space — such as building a stone wall; constructing a quick trellis for ivy or hanging plants; or installing a sustainable rain barrel to collect and save water. 

10.) Get Crafty, Indoors and Out

Looking for things to do with all the amazing plants and veggies in your garden? This summer, why not bring a little bit of the outdoors in? Getting creative and sourcing craft ideas is a great way to get the whole family involved in a project together. You can use leaves or branches from your garden as fun art materials, or make wreaths for your doors. Try cooking with the veggies and herbs you grew outside, or working together to build nifty new planters or hanging baskets with materials you already have around the house.

Want some inspiring ideas to get you started? MidwestLiving has a great list of “15-Minute Garden Projects” to try this summer. Gardening Know How recommends “Fun Plant Crafts For Kids.” 

How Are You Making the Most of Your Time at Home?

This is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, and the bonds that tie us together. Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, our home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855. We are here for you, no matter what. We understand that you still have important real estate decisions to make, and our mission is to make achieving those goals easier.

Virtual Resources to Help Make the Most of Summer in Chicagoland

Virtual Resources to Help Make the Most of Summer in Chicagoland

The days are getting longer, flowers and lawns across the area are blooming to life, and the weather is warming up. Taken together, this all means only one thing: Summer is settling in over Chicagoland. Are you ready to make the most of it? 

While this summer may be a bit different from the norm, there are still plenty of fun opportunities and events that can help you truly enjoy this special time of year. 

Whether you want to soak up some sun, give your little ones a break from e-learning, or start exploring our region’s active real estate market, here are some ways to experience the best that summer in Chicagoland has to offer — and all from the comfort and safety of home:

Open Houses and Home Tours

Summer is typically a busy season for real estate, and many signs show that 2020 will be no exception. The market is still moving, and if you’re ready, now is a great time to start down the path to achieving your real estate dreams.

Whether you’re hoping to sell your current property or kickstart the search for your dream home, we’re here to help — while making the process easier and safer at every step of the way. 

At Baird & Warner, our hyperlocal experts are adapting and innovating to find new, safe ways for buyers and sellers to move forward with their real estate plans, including virtual showings and open houses. What’s more, our one-stop shop means that you’ll also be able to get the support of Key Mortgage and Baird & Warner Title Services, who are committed to using every resource available to help you get where you want to be. 

Want to start exploring Chicagoland’s best open houses — right from the safety of your living room? You can launch your search for virtual open houses and online real estate events right here. 

Summer Camps

What’s a summer without summer camp? While many traditional camps are on hold right now, there are still lots of fun online options that can help the young students in your life relax, learn, and broaden their horizons. 

To get your search started, the Chicago Tribune has a list of virtual summer camps worth checking out. The New York Times also has a great guide on “How to Host Your Family’s Own Personal Summer Camp” from home. 

Interested in finding the camp that’s right for your kiddo? There are lots of local and national options for kids who want to… 

Performances and Live Shows

From the city to the suburbs, Chicagoland is one of the entertainment capitals of the world. This summer, you can recreate the feeling of a movie or play in the park at home. 

Museums and Exhibitions

Spending a day wandering through the halls of one of Chicagoland’s legendary museums is a classic summer pastime. This year, you can enjoy the collections of many of the Chicago area’s best museums and cultural institutions, right from your couch. 

Many Chicagoland museums offer resources and digital tours through Google Arts & Culture. You can also find a great roundup of virtual museum events and exhibits here, via Choose Chicago, or here, courtesy of Curbed Chicago

So, what’s in store at some of Chicagoland’s top museums and institutions? Here’s just a sampling of what you can expect this summer: 

Exploring the Great Outdoors

From the city to the suburbs, Chicagland is a nature lover’s dream. Want to experience the area’s most incredible parks and wildlife from the comfort and safety of home, all summer long? 

Working Around the House

The summer months make for a great time to tackle your home to-do list — especially those outdoor projects you may have put off over the frosty winter and rainy spring. Looking for some inspiration on what to do around the house this summer? 

Enjoying Summertime Food and Drinks

For food lovers, summer is one of the best times of the year. While lengthy brunches and foodie beach parties may not be possible this year, there are still lots of ways to savor the best of Chicagoland’s culinary scene from home. 

How Are You Making the Most Of Your Time at Home?

This is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, and the bonds that tie us together. Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, our home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.

We are here for you, no matter what. We understand that you still have important real estate decisions to make, and our mission is to make achieving those goals easier. We will continue to provide the most updated information and guide you through this extraordinary time with a calm and steady hand. We know how resilient our Chicagoland community is — and we’re confident we’ll get through this together, stronger than ever.

7 At-Home Projects That Can Help Move Your Sale Forward

7 At-Home Projects That Can Help Move Your Sale Forward

The COVID-19 crisis has had far-reaching impacts here in Chicagoland and around the world. As we all do our part to practice proper social distancing, it’s important not to lose sight of your real estate dreams. Despite everything going on, the market is still strong, and there are still plenty of ways to keep your real estate plans on track — including moving forward with the sale of your home. 

In fact, spending more time at home can be a perfect opportunity to get busy with small projects that can help get your property ready to sell, whenever the time is right. This way, you can stay busy and active while staying safe at home — and keep working toward your goals, at the pace that’s right for you. 

Looking for easy, at-home projects that you can safely tackle right now? We’re here for you. Here are seven projects that can get your home ready to sell:  (more…)

10 Calming Hobbies You Can Pick Up at Home

10 Calming Hobbies You Can Pick Up at Home

It’s easy to start to feel a little cooped up or even anxious as we all adjust to our temporary “new normal” at home. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now, and many people are feeling some extra stress. Fortunately, there are lots of relaxing and rejuvenating hobbies that people of all ages can use to step away and decompress when cabin fever starts to settle in.  (more…)

Investors 101: Everything You Need to Know To Work With Investor Clients

Investors 101: Everything You Need to Know To Work With Investor Clients

The fourth episode of Your Competitive Edge with Baird & Warner is live now and features Heidi Rogers, the assistant managing broker of our Oak Park office. In this episode, Heidi shares her expertise on working with investment buyers versus traditional homebuyers —  how to find them, what they need from an agent, and what skills and training resources Baird & Warner can provide. 

When it comes to setting agents up for success, we don’t just have the best tools and resources —  we have the best people. That’s why we’re highlighting leaders and experts within our company in a 12-part video series with Inman. Each video will feature individuals from our company covering everything from training, culture, technology to sales strategies and our one-stop-shop approach.

Work with people who can help you really succeed. Join us. It’s easier here.

 

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