Lighting Trends 2016

Thinking of buying some new lighting for your home in 2016? Excellent! It’s a great upgrade to any home whether you are thinking of selling soon or not. Changing your lighting can enhance the whole look of your room. In particular, in the kitchen it can modernize and bring a kitchen up to date with the latest trends giving it a much younger feel. Here’s a look at what’s hot right now:

 

sputnik lighting 1

The ‘sputnik’ design as it is best known is everywhere! It’s hugely popular with millennials and brings a cool, modern, architectural element to any room. You can find it in brass which is also a trend right now, as well as a shinier chrome finish, bronze etc. I recommend it for a dining room pop! Also above are the chrome and glass look sconces for bathrooms. This is a big trend for baths right now: chrome- or believe it or not:  gold is back! But not the gold from 10 years ago – a more modern brushed finish. Take a look at any pottery barn or home goods and you’ll see what I mean!

 

lighting trends 1

Metallics are also on trend. Copper, brass, silver, with the industrial edge.

lighting trends 2 industrial

Speaking of industrial- you’ll see a mix of industrial styles in all major retailers! Think Mid Century Modern. Reclaimed wood and greys in every room mixed with these old timey funky fixtures.

lighting trends 4Spherical chandeliers have been popular for a few years now so fore warning it’s a trend that may be on the way out soon. However, they look gorgeous and still incorporate some of that more architectural look. If traditional style is more your thing you might look into finding a sphere for your space!

Q

seminar

Buying your first home can be a little daunting. ‘Where do I begin?’ ‘What can I afford?’ ‘How do I do all the math?!’cartoon-stressed-out-man

 

The best thing to do first is gather your team together to help you. Find a real estate broker and a mortgage broker you like and trust to get you through the beginning steps. Here’s what they look like:

Step 1- Get pre-approved! Browsing late at night on housing websites looking through pictures for hours is lots of fun but you run the risk of falling in ‘love at first sight’ with something that isn’t in your budget. The pre-approval that you get from a licensed mortgage broker gives you an idea of exactly what you can afford while taking into account mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and assessments if any.

Step 2- Armed and Dangerous / Make a list- You’ve been supplied with your pre-approval. You’re armed with the letter and ready to pull the trigger on the first house you see. STOP! You still have to decide what you want!!! Take the time to write out your wish list. Order it according to priority of your ‘must-haves’ first, and keep in mind how long you plan to own your first home and what will fit your lifestyle during that period. I.E. Will you have pets during that time? Adding a spouse? Adding a roommate? Adding a child? You want to be sure your house has room to grow with you if your life might be growing in that time that you live there. Ask yourself questions like – “Am I willing to remodel or do I want new?” These types of questions help you narrow your focus from the start and have a more productive search.

Step 3- Virtual Showings- Ok now you are ready to browse to your hearts content online. Use whatever site you like best to search homes in the areas you like. However, be sure you like the site before you give your email address because you will end up on the e-mailing list until the end of time!  In addition, reach out to your Realtor with your list and have them be looking for pocket listings and homes not yet on the mls or online. This is especially helpful in competitive markets to be ‘in the know’ and the first through the door.

These are just a few of the steps to home buying. I want to invite anyone who might be considering their first purchase to my first time home buying seminar. Details below. And if you are not able to attend, don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally and ask any questions you like. I am always here as a resource to help you get started!

 

Cathy Kozlarek FTHB Seminar Postcard

North Shore Luxury Homes

The North Shore of Chicago has some of Cook County’s most beautiful luxury homes. This week I want to take a look at how the market is looking within the Shore communities. Communities included for this graph were as follows: Evanston, Glencoe, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and Winnetka

Homes sold over $800,000

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 2.59.40 PM

One of the most important things to note about the current luxury market is that this is the highest MSI (month’s supply of inventory) in 3 years. A high MSI is great news for buyers. It suggests a strong buyer’s market and if you’ve been waiting to buy that luxury home in the North Shore NOW is the time!

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Looking for some ideas for New Year’s Resolutions that don’t have to do with dieting? Making some resolutions for your home improve your health, wealth, and lifestyle all in one!

Here are some examples:

Resolution #1 – Reduce Clutter

The most common thing I see when touring homes is clutter. We all have it, even if it’s just the ‘junk drawer’ or the unorganized shoe shelf. Every time you look at it, it can stress you out! Take a day for yourself to go to the Container Store or Hobby Lobby and pick up some great baskets for organizing the closets and shelves. Target also sells some wonderful drawer dividers so you can see your tools and items more easily and make sure that everything has a place.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 8.11.34 AM

Resolution #2 – Spot Checks

It’s easy to put off that furnace service and fireplace cleaning. They’re those not fun expenditures that no one wants to make. But they’re so important to keeping the home functioning well and avoiding more costly problems later on!

chimney sweep

Resolution #3 Re-fresh 1 room

Tackling a whole house remodel can be daunting. Make a budget (even if it’s tiny), do some browsing on sites like Houzz and Pinterest to get some ideas for your room, and go ‘smart shopping.’ Look on Craigslist, at resale shops, or your favorite stores, if you have the budget for it, and give one room a makeover. It will improve the value of your house and give your Winter blues a kick in the pants!

living room