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Lynn Fairfield's Blog

By Lynn Fairfield | Agent in Libertyville, IL
  • Great Spaces: Come Enjoy the Irish Countryside

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Celebrity Homes  |  June 11, 2014 12:23 PM  |  100 views  |  No comments

    Great Spaces: Come Enjoy the Irish Countryside

    By Zoe Eisenberg

    You know a home has something special when it comes with its own named identity. This incredible 4,484-square-foot Georgian home, known as Brookvale, is located in Blackrock, Ireland.

    Set in South Dublin’s most sought after location, the five-bedroom home spans 0.57 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.

    Originally built in 1846, but beautifully refurbished, Brookvale boasts incredible Georgian architecture laid out over three stunning levels.

    A grand, sweeping staircase and stunning formal room greet you upon initial entrance. A myriad of bay windows overlook the gardens and fill the space with an abundance of natural light. An open fireplace provides aesthetic appeal and comfort. A gourmet kitchen provides the perfect atmosphere for a big Irish breakfast.

    Upstairs lays a serene sitting area looking out onto the Dublin Mountains, as well as the master bedroom suite and two additional bedrooms with accompanying full bathrooms ensuite.

    Listed for: $3,967,149 

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

  • Carpet Cleaning Tips

    Posted Under: General Area in Grayslake, Home Selling in Grayslake, How To... in Grayslake  |  May 8, 2014 1:24 PM  |  117 views  |  No comments

    7 Carpet Cleaning Tips from the Pros

    No matter how hard you try to keep your carpet clean, a certain number of spills, spots and stains will invariably find their way to it. Country Living Magazine interviewed carpet cleaning experts in San Antonio, Texas to come up with some top carpet cleaning secrets:

    Blot stains, don’t rub – Rubbing any cleaning solution into the carpet will grind it into the fibers. Dabbing a bit of cleaner onto the stain and blotting gently from the outside inward will best soak up the stain.

    Use club soda – For fresh wine stains, pour a little club soda over the stain and blot gently. If that doesn’t do it, spray on a mix of half water and half white vinegar. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then blot.

    Try shaving cream – For most stains, apply the cream directly on and let it set for 30 minutes. Blot it away with a dry white cloth. Apply a half and half vinegar-water mix and blot it up with another dry cloth.

    Freeze away dried gum
     – If you’ve tracked gum onto the carpet, freeze it off by applying ice cubes to it for 30 seconds. Once the gum is frozen, use a spoon to lift up the glob and cut a few strands of carpet as close to the gum as possible.

    Heat up wax stains – Candle wax drip on the carpet? Place a white cloth over your iron, then put the iron on top of the wax for no more than 30 seconds. Scrape off the wax with a butter knife. Finally, lay a paper towel over the surface and iron the paper for a few seconds. The last of the wax should bind to the paper, though it may take a couple more applications.

    Clean pet stains organically – Use an organic cleaner, like Eco-Spot (available for about $10 in a spray bottle). Spray the pet stain and scrub gently. Then wipe up with a cloth or towel. These cleaners can also help remove coffee stains.

    Remove crushed candy with a knife 
    - Scrape the candy with a stiff brush or butter knife. Using a sponge, apply water mixed with a mild soap to get the sugar out. Once the candy is removed, dry the spot by blotting it with a cloth or towels. 

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

  • Why Are New Homes Getting So Big? Look at Who's Buying Them

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Gurnee, Home Selling in Gurnee, Home Ownership in Gurnee  |  March 16, 2014 7:16 PM  |  220 views  |  No comments

    Why Are New Homes Getting So Big? Look at Who's Buying Them


    Preliminary data provided to NAHB by the Census Bureau on the characteristics of homes started in 2013 show the trend toward larger homes continued unabated last year, as did the share of new homes with 4+ bedrooms, 3+ full baths, 2-stories, or 3-car garages. The average size of new homes started in 2013 was 2,679 square feet, about 150 square feet larger than in 2012 and the fourth consecutive annual increase since bottoming out at 2,362 square feet in 2009.

    New homes started in 2013 were also more likely to have additional features: nearly half, 48 percent, had 4 or more bedrooms; 35 percent had 3 or more full bathrooms; 22 percent had a garage for at least 3 cars; and 60 percent were 2-stories. The share of new homes started with these features has been increasing consistently for 3 or 4 years, and the most obvious question is “why?” Why are homes getting this BIG?

    To get an answer, just take a look at WHO is buying new homes. The typical new home buyer in recent years has been someone with strong credit scores and high levels of income. To the first point, the average credit rating of all US consumers has remained rather flat over the last few years, while the average credit rating of mortgage borrowers took a dramatic jump after 2007. By 2013, the gap between the two measures was 58 points, compared to 33 points in the early 2000s.

    To the second point, there has been a rising trend in new home buyers’ income in recent years. In 2005, the median income of new home buyers was $91,768. By 2011, it had increased by more than 17 percent to $107,607. It is not too surprising, therefore, to see home size and features continuing to trend upward, given that those buying new homes are precisely the kind of buyers who generally purchase large, feature-loaded homes.

    View this original post on the NAHB blog, Eye on Housing.

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

     

  • 2 big reasons to market your real estate listings using open houses - See more at: http://www.inman.com/next/2-big-reasons-to-m

    Posted Under: General Area in Grayslake, Market Conditions in Grayslake, Home Selling in Grayslake  |  March 6, 2014 7:15 AM  |  232 views  |  No comments
    2 big reasons to market your real estate listings using open houses - See more at: 
    http://www.inman.com/next/2-big-reasons-to-market-your-real-estate-listings-using-open-houses/
  • Meeting Buyer Demands in a Seller's Market: Top Trends for 2014

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Grayslake, Curb Appeal in Grayslake, Design & Decor in Grayslake  |  February 28, 2014 10:10 AM  |  284 views  |  No comments

    Meeting Buyer Demands in a Seller's Market: Top Trends for 2014

    (BPT)—With many real estate industry watchers predicting 2014 will be a seller's market, you may think you won't need to do much to sell your home this spring. Not so fast—while more buyers are likely to be competing for homes, that doesn't mean they're willing to settle for less than perfect. In fact, coming out of the real estate crash of a few years ago, buyers have learned the importance of getting the maximum value for their home investment.

    While home prices are expected to rise in 2014, buyers continue to have high expectations. Homes that meet buyers' lists of "must-haves" and "would-love-to-have" features will be positioned to sell more quickly and closer to—or above—list price, experts say. So what are homebuyers looking for in 2014?

    Whole-home, beautiful energy efficient features

    In the earliest days of the efficiency trend, many buyers would have settled for a house that reduced heating and cooling costs through good insulation, or cut electricity bills with energy-sipping appliances. Modern buyers, however, are interested in homes that take a holistic approach to energy efficiency. That means supplementing energy savings with more thoughtful features like daylighting and natural ventilation through energy-efficient skylights, using solar-powered water heaters, and employing intelligent controls for skylights, other lighting and heating/cooling systems.

    Buyers want energy-efficient upgrades that also offer high aesthetic appeal in addition to functionality, making features like ENERGY STAR-qualified skylights particularly popular. In fact, 55 percent of homebuyers in a National Association of Home Builder's survey says skylights are desirable or essential. Skylight manufacturer VELUX America notes that installing no-leak, solar-powered fresh air (venting) skylights not only enhances indoor air quality, but can boost energy efficiency, working in concert with windows. Add remote-controlled, solar-powered blinds and skylight energy performance ratings can improve as much as 45 percent. And solar powered skylights and blinds, as well as the installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent Federal tax credit.

    Smarter size and space

    While buyers will always look to get the most bang for their buck, many are deciding that "bang" does not necessarily mean "bigger." The great recession saw many families downsize into smaller homes - with more manageable mortgages. Even with the economy moving again, many homeowners have found they like the efficiency and utility of smaller, more purposeful spaces.

    The functionality of a room is now as important as its size. Buyers will continue to embrace rooms that make the most of the space available, such as compact kitchens that maximize storage, smaller bathrooms that optimize lighting efficiency and privacy.

    Aging-in-place potential

    As more baby boomers approach and enter their golden years, homebuyers are looking toward the future and seeking homes that offer the potential of allowing them to age in place. In demand are home features that not only look good now (such as an open floor plan or larger bathroom) but that can be easily adapted for older occupants who may face challenges with mobility, vision and other age-related issues.

    A range of home features fit the bill, including ground-floor bedrooms, ample natural lighting to enhance vision, open floor plans that minimize obstacles to mobility, larger bathrooms that can easily be fitted with grab bars, kitchens with age-friendly features such as touch faucets, and smaller yards with lower maintenance requirements.

    While higher demand and less inventory are likely to make 2014 a better year for sellers than buyers, if you're selling your home, knowing what buyers are looking for can help ensure a faster, more rewarding sale—in any market. 

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

  • Q: What Should I Do to Prepare My Home for Sale?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Selling, Property Q&A  |  October 14, 2013 10:54 AM  |  159 views  |  No comments

    Q: What Should I Do to Prepare My Home for Sale?


    A: Start by finding out its worth. Contact a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties. Or get a certified appraiser to provide an appraisal.

    Next, get busy working on the home’s appearance. You want to make sure it is in the best condition possible for showing to prospective buyers so that you can get top dollar. This means fixing or sprucing up any trouble spots that could deter a buyer, such as squeaky doors, a leaky roof, dirty carpet and walls, and broken windows.

    The “curb appeal” of your home is extremely important. In fact, it is the first impression that buyers form of your property as they drive or walk up. So make sure the lawn is pristine – the grass cut, debris removed, garden beds free of weeds, and hedges trimmed.

    The trick is not to overspend on pre-sale repairs and fix-ups, especially if there are few homes on the market but many buyers competing for them. On the other hand, making such repairs may be the only way to sell your home in a down market.

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

  • 6 Winter Moving Tips and Tricks

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Gurnee, Home Selling in Gurnee, Moving in Gurnee  |  October 14, 2013 10:40 AM  |  273 views  |  No comments

    6 Winter Moving Tips and Tricks


    With the Farmers’ Almanac predicting winter to be piercing, bitterly and biting cold, two-thirds of the country is bracing for a colder-than-normal season. Just the thought of having to move house in these conditions sends a shiver down the spine, but as the housing market is on the rebound and with Americans moving at least 8.2 times in their lifetime, the dreaded task of relocating is one that many will be faced with during this cold winter.

    Here are some moving tips if you’re planning on moving during the coldest season of the year:

    1. Pack items as usual with one caveat. Make sure any temperature sensitive items (plants, anything that can freeze, etc.) are well protected and kept from exposure. Most trucks are not temperature controlled so special care and thought should be given to protecting these items in transport if they will be in transit for long periods.

    2. Dress appropriately. You'll be back and forth, in and out of cold weather, and probably breaking a sweat regardless. Wear layers that can be easily added or removed as your temperature fluctuates throughout the day.

    3. Prepare for the elements. Icy sidewalks and steps, poor driving conditions and the elements in general can make moving a box across the street a challenging adventure. Be prepared with the proper attire and footwear, or even rock salt and sand to cover icy areas. And don't forget to put down mats by the door of your home to help reduce the dirt and snow tracked in.

    4. Monitor and be flexible. Some natural events cannot be avoided – and an unexpected blizzard may force you to reschedule your move. Staying on top of the weather forecasts and staying in communication with your moving company (or moving help) will help you prepare for any last minute changes you might require, including rescheduling a move in advance.

    5. Keep warmth within reach. Pack a separate box or bag of cold weather gear – including extra blankets and warm clothing. Make sure to have your car checked if you will be moving long distance so you can avoid any breakdowns in the frigid middle of nowhere. And make sure to contact all the utility companies to ensure you'll have properly functioning heat and hot water when you arrive at your new home. You don't want to spend your first night shivering.

    6. Pack and organize extra early. The more organized you are, the more efficiently you will complete your move. Why spend more time outside than necessary?

    Source: FlatRate Moving

    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

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