Monthly Archives: October 2013

10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

As much as we wish the warm weather would hold out just a little longer, it’s hard to ignore the cold weather outside. As we get ourselves ready for winter by digging out our warm coats, hats, and gloves, we need to get our homes prepared for the season as well. Save money on energy expenses, prevent costly water damage, and more with these 10 ways to prepare your home for winter.

1. Check your home for leaks and drafts. Use weather-stripping and caulking to seal any areas where heat may be escaping. Check around doors and windows. Replace old windows or use window insulation kits to prevent drafts.window insulation kit

2. Examine ducts, wires, and pipes, especially those that go through walls, ceilings or floors. Wrap exposed pipes with foam rubber sleeves or insulation for pipes from your hardware store to prevent pipes from freezing and exploding.Pipe Sleeves

3. Put foam insulation behind light switch and outlet plates to help heat from escaping.

foam gasket

4. Arrange to have your chimney cleaned. Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use to help keep warm air inside.

5. Set up an appointment with your heating service to inspect and maintain your system. Replace filters monthly. Make sure heating vents are not blocked by furniture or other items.

6. Have ceiling fans blow upwards toward the ceiling during the winter (and blow downwards during summer). Heat rises and is pushed back down into the room.

ceiling fan

7. Clean gutters and use a hose to test for leaks and blockages. Water can freeze in blocked gutters causing water to back up into the house.

8. Have salt handy for icy sidewalks and driveways. Dig out your snow shovel and the ice scrapers/snow brushes for your car. Have your snow blower checked out, and have some gas handy.

9. Shut off the water to all outdoor faucets. Allow them to drain.

10. While you’re taking care of all these winter chores, remember to take care of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, too. Check batteries and test systems.

The cost savings and peace of mind you’ll receive from taking these few steps to winterize your home will make the time and effort worthwhile.

For more tips about home care, be sure to subscribe to our blog. LW Reedy and our agents are happy to help you keep your home , your investment, maintained and protected.

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3rd Quarter Housing Recovery Update

This week’s Chicago Tribune Real Estate section featured an article about the progress of the housing recovery. The author, Mary Ellen Podmolik, noted that, while the recovery is not occurring as quickly as homeowners would like, it is happening nonetheless.

She reports that single-family housing starts in the Chicago area are predicted to reach or at least come close to 5,000 in 2014. While this is nowhere near the typical 18,000 to 20,000  starts, it’s better than was expected.

According to the article, the median price of homes sold in the Chicago area is up 16%. Low inventory in the Chicago area is helping to push those numbers up.  As noted in our June 2013 “How the Inventory Shortage Affects You” blog, one reason inventory is low is because many homeowners are underwater on their mortgages or are waiting until they can make more on their investments.

Podmolik reports that Chris Hucksteadt, the Chicago regional director for Metrostudy, a housing market research firm, predicts that housing starts will increase an additional 30% next year. While this is not one of the areas of highest predicted growth, there is expectation that it will be back to normal sometime in 2015.

LW Reedy’s calculations show significant growth in the Elmhurst area over the past year, comparing 3rd quarter of 2012 to 3rd quarter of 2013.

Number of single family homes sold Up 36%
Number of new listings Up 48%
Average sold price Up $54,119
Median sold price Up $36,500

While recovery is moving slowly, it is headed in the right direction. There is some concern over consumer credit scores and changes in law related to getting mortgages, but, despite those, the housing recovery continues.

What are your concerns about housing recovery? What’s holding you back from buying or selling today?

Talk to your LW Reedy agent to talk through the best timing for you and your family.

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The View from 101 York – October 2013

LW Reedy has been serving the Elmhurst community and surrounding areas since 1951. As the largest locally-owned real estate agency in Elmhurst, we have a passion for local news and events. Here’s our view of the community for this month, from our perch at 101 York in the heart of downtown Elmhurst.

This month LW Reedy is happy to provide you with information about fall fun and Halloween celebrations in Elmhurst and the surrounding communities.

Halloween Fun and Fall Festivals

Don’t miss pony rides, a petting zoo, moon jump, pumpkin carving/painting, and safe trick-or-treating at the Fall Fest this Sat, Oct 12 from 10am to 2pm at York and the Prairie Path (between the fountain and Safety Village). Sponsored by the York & Vallette Business Association.

Trick-or-Treat at LW Reedy and many more Elmhurst City Center businesses during Bootiful Saturday on Oct 25. Free movie at 9:30am. Trick-or-treating from 11am to 1pm.

ecc-bootiful13-webad

Visit Brookfield Zoo on Saturdays and Sundays from Oct 19-27 for BOO at the ZOO! This not-so-scary event features the Dino Track Corn Maze, spooky cookie decorating, Pumpkin Smasher, a haunted carousel, and professional pumpkin carving. Costume showcases at 1:30pm. Check the website for details about even more fun, including pumpkin feedings to the animals. pumpkin_smasher_logo

On weekdays in October, visit the Morton Arboretum‘s Beneficial Bats area in the Children’s Garden from 1 to 4pm. Learn about bats and make finger puppets.

Cantigny Park presents a Fall Festival on Sat, Oct 12 from 10am to 4pm with pony rides, inflatables, a candy dive, The Salt Creek Boys, and hay rides (special charges for some activities; see website for details). Super Stolie Children’s Concert, 2pm. For kids ages 3 to 5, enjoy the Boo Bash! at Cantigny Park from 10 to 11am on Halloween. Show off Halloween costumes, read Halloween stories, make crafts, and enjoy a special treat.

Is your little monster more into trains than skeletons? Check out Trains, Tricks, and Treats on Sat and Sun, Oct 19 and 20 from 10am to 5pm at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Trick-or-treat through the Model Railroad Garden, which will be decorated for Halloween. Children can pot a Halloween plant.

Check out local farms for apple picking and/or pumpkin patches for more fall and Halloween fun. Consider Kuipers Family Farm, Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, County Line Orchard, All Seasons Orchard, or Goebbert’s Farm.

Thinking Ahead to Thanksgiving

LW Reedy is proud to sponsor this year’s Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot. Not sure you can make it through the run? Join Fleet Feet’s No Boundaries program, a program created especially for people who do not consider themselves runners.  dangibbonsturkeytrot

Share Your News!

Have some events you’d like listed in next month’s View from 101 York? Contact debcasey@mac.com with details.

Subscribe to be sure to catch all the news on Elmhurst and surrounding suburbs! Check out LW Reedy’s Community Links for Elmhurst and surrounding area websites. Follow us on Facebook for more Elmhurst news.

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