Friday, March 21, 2014

March madness special! Adj. Price to fit your bracket..Gold Coast..4000 sqft. urban oasis and compl.renovated classic Chicago rowhome. Open Sun 1-3 for private viewing..Carpe Diem.This is living!

865 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60610
3 BR/ 3.5 Ba
Gold Coast living in this completely renovated classic Chicago rowhome. 4000 sqft urban oasis incl: Radiant htd flrs, top chef kitchen, stately Professor's library/family rm w/beautiful millwork, 3rd flr master suite w/3 walk in closets, lush backyard & gardens. The home is flooded w/natural light & charm.  Carpe Diem.
Adj to the best restaurants, shopping, transportation.
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Ron Goldstein
MBA, EcoBroker, QSC

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

LinkedIn recommendation!

Details of the Recommendation: "This is the second time I've used Ron's services. I was pleased with his determination and creativity in helping me sell my property. He helped price the property correctly, and his patience and guidance in the negotiation stage of the process were invaluable. I will definitely hire Ron again."
Service Category: Real Estate Broker
Year first hired: 2003 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What's HOT in kitchen design now?

What's hot in kitchen design now?
From tile to pantries, local designers weigh in on the top trends for the most-used room in your house.
For a recently completed kitchen in the Trump Tower for Adam Dayan, founder of Consumer Law Group LLC in Chicago, Scott Dresner used high-gloss Parapan, a solid acrylic made in Austria that can be produced in 20 colors. He chose Alpine White. "It looks like white lacquer," says Mr. Dresner, who handles 30 custom kitchens per year, sourcing materials from Europe. "It doesn't yellow, scratch or chip. And it's as white as white can be."
Trimless spotlight cans are "the coolest," says Mr. Dresner, who specified them for Mr. Dayan's kitchen. "It looks clean." To create tension between modern and traditional, Rebekah Zaveloff, founding principal at Kitchen Lab in Chicago, hunts for unique, vintage fixtures. A fabulous light fixture in a kitchen is a must, she says. Wall sconces are showing up in kitchens, notes Susan Brunstrum, owner of Sweet Peas Design Inc. in Libertyville and the Gold Coast. "I'm seeing them over the sink, on either side of the window or beside the stove and hood. Interesting, because they were always (only) in hallways and foyers."
Clients are asking for fewer upper cabinets and more drawers, says architect Joan Craig, whose Lichten Craig Architecture & Interiors has offices in Chicago and New York. Without cupboards, "rooms are opened up with shelving and artwork," she says. "Back splashes extend to the ceiling; it's often a major design feature with natural stone or beautiful tile." So where does all the stuff go? Larger pantries. And for easier access, drawers now hold microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers.
Though Mr. Dresner has used a lot of gray-toned oak the past five years, he determined that Mr. Dayan's kitchen was bright enough to warrant varnished black ebony. "There's a ton of light in that kitchen," Mr. Dresner says. "Half the house is windows." Hard surfaces need the warmth of wood, Ms. Zaveloff says. In white kitchens, she uses wood for floors and brown, orange or red accents in a countertop trim or in bar stools.
"People are getting a bit more daring: Granite has been around forever," Ms. Brunstrum says. She's using quartzite, "a natural stone that has a wonderful depth to it." Too, she's seeing quartzite slabs cut horizontally, which produces a striated effect. Elsewhere, Ms. Craig is using lava stone hand-extracted from Auvergne quarries in France for a client's kitchen. "Incredible colors!"
A kitchen table is built into the island in Mr. Dayan's space, creating a split- level piece. "I hate clutter," says Mr. Dayan, 38 and single, who founded and heads two other legal and banking businesses in Chicago as well, Community Tax Relief and National Funding Group. He uses the microwave and refrigerator but cheerfully admits he hasn't cooked even one meal in his dazzling, high-in-the-sky kitchen. Still, he appreciates its unfussy layout and chic design. "It's quite functional and indestructible."
Forget the six-burner cooktop and the double-wall oven: Stainless or enamel ranges with big knobs are all the rage. "It's a statement piece," Ms. Zaveloff says. "It's the heart of the kitchen; it speaks to something so basic." She steers clients to ranges with a colorful enamel to add interest to an otherwise neutral space. For cooking use, designers look to ranges that offer both steam heat, for healthier meals, and convection, for browning and roasting.
There's a move away from standard running-brick tiles, Ms. Brunstrum says. In vogue: circle, zigzag and large-format tiles. "It's fresh," she says, "a way to update a kitchen quickly." Tile pattern and color are "the fingerprint" homeowners put on an otherwise white kitchen, Ms. Zaveloff says. "People are taking more risks with tile. They'll use turquoise and red accents: very vintage."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Buying a Home? 4 common mistakes to avoid....

Buying a home should be a positive, exciting experience. To keep that happy feeling, it's particularly important for first time (and even second and third time) buyers to watch for potential mistakes. Here are the top four things to watch out for.

  1. Looking for the one perfect home: You could search endlessly and never find a home that has everything you want. Remember things like paint colors and carpeting can easily be changed. A home that is in less than perfect condition could be a bargain, if you can handle repairs. And if appliances aren't included, you can always provide your own. Keep in the mind that the home's location is permanent and you won't be able to increase its size without considerable effort unless there's extra space you can finish. Think about where you're willing to make compromises and where you're not, to make the decision process easier.

  2. Being in a hurry: While it may be tempting, try to avoid hastily making an offer on the first house that captures your fancy.  Go over your list of wants and needs (or make one) and be sure the home you’re considering fits your criteria as closely as possible.  Make proper arrangements beforehand, including getting your credit in order and arranging for financing.  And always work with a qualified, professional representative.  A responsible, trustworthy real estate agent who is working for you will save you time and money.  We are aware of the pitfalls that can be associated with buying or selling a home, and can offer guidance every step of the way.  Let us help you make your experience a happy and positive one!

  3. Overbuying: Remember when Mom cautioned that your eyes might be bigger than your stomach? That cautionary remark applies to many things. Don't become house poor. If every dime goes to your house payment, you'll have nothing left over for anything else. This can quickly become stressful, and can lead to problems if things go wrong. Leave a little breathing room.

  4. Nixing the inspection process: You may save a few hundred dollars by going without the inspections. And you could get your cousin or best friend to poke around in the house looking for potential problems. But it could cost you much more down the line. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Professional inspections are worth their weight in gold. You'll get an extensive list on the condition of everything in the house, including mechanicals, appliances and the roof. Many inspectors also provide a list of repairs that will need to be made sooner rather than later. This information will help you budget because you'll know the lifespan of these items.

Plush upgrades that won't break the bank...

Carpe Diem...Real Estate Update
6 Plush Upgrades

A little luxury goes a long way toward making your home truly your castle — and more marketable when it’s time to sell.

Every remodel should add value to your home; that’s our mantra. But HouseLogic knows that some luxuries just make your home life sweeter and easier — and there’s terrific value in that, too.

Here are some of our favorite remodeling splurges that are great for your life now and someday may pique a buyer’s interest.

Central vacs store dust in a collection bin that's usually in a basement or garage (aka away from you), a feature much appreciated by allergy sufferers. Image: Karen Bertelsen

1. Central Vac (aka Whole-House Vacuum)

What: A super-suction, built-in vacuum system that features convenient inlet ports throughout the house where you plug in 25-to-50-foot lightweight vacuum hoses. The collection bin is usually located in a basement or garage.

Why: No more dragging heavy vacuum cleaners up and down stairs and throughout the house. With central vacs all you need to schlepp is a lightweight hose fitted with a power brush.

Central vacs have up to five times the suction power of portable vacuums, and they store dust far away from where it’s collected — great for allergy sufferers. Some high-tech systems have retractable hoses that disappear into the wall.

Tip: Make sure you have enough ports — at least one for every 500 sq. ft.

How much: $1,500-$2,500 to retrofit a house; add about $500 for retractable hose.

Up the relaxation factor by turning your shower stall into a steam room. If you're building from scratch, slope the ceiling so the condensation runs off. Image: Case Design Remodeling Inc, Bethesda

2. Steam Shower

What: A sealed shower attached to a steam generator that turns the stall into a steam room. You can build a steam shower from scratch or buy a prefab fiberglass unit.

Why: Steam relaxes, opens sinuses, soothes muscles, and cleans pores. Installing a steam shower is a major project that includes wiring for the generator; vapor-proofing walls, floors, and ceiling; installing a tightly-fitting door; and having a bathroom fan outside the shower to suck up the extra humidity.

Tip: A sloped ceiling in the shower room ensures that condensation runs off.

How much: Fiberglass unit: $1,000-$5,000; framed-in unit and generator: $7,000-$10,000.

Thin radiant mats can be installed under bathroom tiles to pleasantly heat the floor -- a dream come true for many homeowners, especially in the middle of winter. Image: Warmboard

3. Heated Bathroom Floors

What: Thin, thermostatically-controlled electric radiant mats that install under tile.

Why: No more cold tootsies when stepping out of the shower in the morning. Many systems come with timers so warm bathroom floors await you each morning.

Tip: Heated floors help stem mold growth in humid places.

How much: $15.59/sq. ft. for material and installation (not counting cost of tile or adding 20-amp GFCI dedicated circuit with 110 volts, $97-$245).

A skylight in a bathroom provides plenty of natural light while maintaining much-needed privacy. Image: Batim Studio

4. Super Skylights

What: Roof windows that let sunlight in. Upscale models feature insulated glass, solar-powered shades, and rain sensors that’ll automatically close an open skylight in bad weather.

Why: Nobody likes dark, dreary rooms and hallways. Skylights let the sun shine into areas you can’t brighten with windows — hallways, interior rooms, even closets. Skylights save you money on heating, cooling, and lighting bills.

Tip: If you plan to open and close skylights, order screens to keep out bugs and roof debris.

How much: $500-$3,500 (depending on size, glazing, and complexity) installed.

When Kimberly of Serendipity Refined designed her master bath, she treated herself to a towel warming drawer, which she says is especially nice during Chicago winters. Image:  

5. Towel Warming Drawer

What: A stainless steel, heated drawer that slips into cabinetry, plugs into an outlet, and warms towels.

Why: Because there’s nothing more snuggly than wrapping a warm towel around you after a bath or shower.

Tip: Towels take time to heat up — some people say as much as 45 minutes — so you’ll have to plan ahead to have a toasty one ready when you are.

How much: $1,700-$3,400.

6. Whole-House Electrostatic Filters

What: Also called “electrostatic precipitators,” these dust-removing wonders are incorporated into your HVAC ductwork. They charge polluted air with a high-voltage current, and then collect particles on plates with the opposite charge. Great at removing tiny particles that slip through regular fiberglass filters.

Why: Whole-house electrostatic filters remove smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and dust, improving air quality and health. But they also create ozone as a byproduct which is a lung irritant, so the health benefits could be a wash.

Tip: The filters last indefinitely, but you’ll have to clean the plates, some say as often as once a week; others advise every 2-3 months.

How much: $600-$1,000 installed.
Article from by Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Ron Goldstein,MBA
Certified Luxury Broker@KoenigRubloff-Berkshire Hathaway affiliate
Principal, Silver Professionals
(o)312-264-5846 (c)312-771-7190 (f)312-264-5746

Offices in Chicago and St. Petersburg

Connecting people w/ jobs & homes!