5 Criteria For Pricing A Home

When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Processed Foods and Your Microbiome

We all know what highly processed foods are. Just look at the ingredient label on most snacks and prepared foods. The list of ingredients is long and confusing. That’s a hint right there. The more ingredients, the worse for you it is. The ingredients, whether naturally derived from food (like modified starch) or synthesized in laboratories, make these foods very palatable.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating Dads This Father’s Day!

This Sunday is Father’s Day already! And in true Chicago-style, this weekend’s events were planned with Dads in mind. Let the celebrating begin!! There’s no better way to celebrate Dad this Father’s Day weekend than with world-class ribs at the 21st annual Ribfest Chicago on Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) in the North Center neighborhood at 4000 N. Lincoln Avenue (Lincoln/Damen/Irving Park).

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Make your reservations now for Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s Paella Cooking Demo! On June 18 from 6 to 8 pm, you’ll enjoy an interactive how-to demonstration with Executive Chef Eric Jorgenson. There will also be a delicious five course dinner with pinxtos, tapas, paella, and dessert- all paired with Spanish wines.

Summer Series- Festa Pasta Vino

This Father’s Day weekend, take dad to celebrate in a totally new way! Onesti Entertainment presents: Oakley Festa Pasta Vino- Italian Block Party 2019! This weekend is ALL about the food, featuring a plethora of tasty treats from Chicago’s best and most authentic Italian restaurants. The festival is on Friday June 14 from 5 to 11 pm, Saturday June 15 from 12 pm to 11 pm, and Sunday June 16 from 12 to 9 pm.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Random Cleaning Tips

Run lemon rind slivers through the garbage disposal then run cold water. This really freshens and cleans greasy insides. Here’s another citrus tip! Add a cut up lemon, lime, or orange to 1 cup water in a large glass bowl. Add a ¼ cup vinegar and place in microwave. Boil the water and let sit for several minutes. Wipe clean.

Consider This: When To Refinance

Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners consider at least once throughout the lifespan of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your previous loan by applying for a new one that has better financial advantages. While there are many good reasons to refinance, here are five common ones.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Summer Festivals Kicking It Up A Notch!

You can’t beat summer in Chicago! Although it would be nice to have some steady summer weather around here. But weather aside, this June weekend is kicking it up a notch with the following summer festivals and then some!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Edgewater, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Get ready for Ra Ra Ra at the Hideout Theatre! Ra Ra Ra is a podcast for everyone who is ready for a divine awakening, anyone that has felt disconnected from a sense of purpose, a sense of connection to life, anyone ready to bask in laughter, to allow themselves to feel rage.

Summer Series - Pop-Up Art Party

Join ACTIVATE for a pop-up art party that will kick your summer into high gear! ACTIVATE is an annual series of pop-up arts programs launched in 2014 by Chicago Loop Alliance. They transform alleys and other unexpected locations into creative exhibition stations.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – The Right Way to Vacuum

Many people have all hardwood floors these days, but some of us still have the majority of our floors carpeted. We’ve all been vacuuming since we were young and we don’t think much about how we are doing it. Here are a few tips to increase your proficiency, make your rugs stay cleaner, and last longer.

These 6 Things Can Cause Water Damage in Your Home

Water might be a necessity in life, but it can also wreak havoc in your home when it's not properly contained. Water can cause mold, mildew, and major damage to surfaces in your home. It can even compromise the integrity of your home's structure.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – City’s Neighborhoods Taking It to the Streets!

As Chicagoans welcome in June on a weekend, the city’s neighborhoods are taking it to the streets for this summer festival season!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lakeview: Do you love Turner Classic Movies? So does the Annoyance Theatre! Join them for Improvised Turner Classic Movies on Thursday evenings at 9:30 pm. The show opens on June 20 and runs every Thursday until July 18.

Summer Series- Friday Night Flights

Welcome to our new Summer Series! If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we usually feature a Restaurant Review on Wednesdays. From now until Labor Day, we’ll be featuring a weekly Summer Series.

What's the Purpose of a Building Permit When Renovating Your Home?

Improving your home is a great way to not only improve its aesthetics and functionality, but it's also an effective way to add value. Certain projects can bring in a high ROI, adding more value to your property compared to what you spend on the actual project itself.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Start a Garden

I like to talk about beginning gardening this time of year. In the Chicago area, we will be planting the garden soon as the threat of frost is all but over. We are in zone 5 so our planting date is May 15, but I’ve had to cover plants too many times to plant that early. So that’s the first thing to do: find out your zone and frost date.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend 2019!

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 has finally arrived! It’s the unofficial start of Chicago’s summer season as neighborhood celebrations take over the streets with music and food festivals popping up every weekend. Come join us!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Get down to the Dean Theatre for the Reddy Freddy Films Sci-fi Showcase! This Friday May 25, for just $7, the evening will include synthy beeps and boops from musical guests, space-themed short films, and the complete premiere of Dustin Puehler’s The Depression Trilogy.

Restaurant Review – Julius Meinl

I love a new coffee shop! Especially one that has delicious food. This week took me to Julius Meinl, a quaint coffee shop in the heart of Southport Corridor. The cafe has a large outdoor patio, ample indoor seating, and a relaxed vibe. The space is open and has a very easy going atmosphere, perfect for a solo brunch on a Tuesday.

What Are the Different Liens That Can Be Found on Title?

There are plenty of terms to agree to when you sign a real estate contract to purchase a home. But one thing you likely would never agree to take over are liens on title. Unfortunately, liens can derail real estate deals and cause headaches for both buyers and sellers.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Picking Perennials for Your Landscape

I’ve noticed many garden centers have perennials on sale now. Perennials are great for bringing color and interest to your landscape with minimal upkeep. Follow the planting instructions and you'll be rewarded with many years of beautiful flowers and foliage.

Turning An Ordinary Bedroom Into A Luxurious Bedroom

For most of us, our bedroom is little more than a place to sleep and relax. However, just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean that we have to settle for drab and dreary.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – MOVING ON TO SUMMER!

Enough already! It’s time to move on to summer with its myriad of outdoor festivities and warmer temps. And this weekend promises to do just that- at least with the festivities! Who knows what mother nature will do?

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Edgewater, Oak Park

Lakeview: Mark your calendars now for Namaste Rose Monthly Yoga at wineHouse! The first Saturday of every month, there will be an all-levels yoga class at this boutique wine shop. This all-levels vinyasa-style yoga class is designed to energize, detox and restore; it will both support and challenge beginners and experts alike.

Restaurant Review – Gideon Welles

Gastropubs are all the rage right now and I am absolutely on board. I love the relaxed atmosphere of a pub, with a slightly upscale menu, great craft beer, and delicious cocktails. This week took me to Gideon Welles, located at 4500 Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Which Down Payment Strategy Is Right For You?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Growing Microgreens at Home

I often talk about gardening in my weekly blog, but I realize that some people don’t really have the space, not even a balcony. Microgreens only need a sunny windowsill to grow! In this small space, they’ll produce enough greens to augment your salads and make a great garnish for many dishes. They are very nutritious- and it’s great fun to grow them too!

How To Become A Morning Person

Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

This Weekend In Chicago- Celebrating Moms!

The weather may not be as warm as we’d like, but this weekend is still extra special! It’s Mother’s Day Weekend! We’ve got the best activities to help you celebrate Mom in style- Chicago style, that is!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Kick off rooftop season with the Terrace Kickoff Party at WhirlyBall! On Wednesday May 15 from 5 to 8 pm, you’ll enjoy games of ping pong, giant Connect 4, Jenga, and bags; passed appetizers; and a refreshing Virtue Cider tasting.

Restaurant Review – Roti Modern Mediterranean

I LOVE Mediterranean food! Generally, it’s cheap and healthy; two things I’m always on the lookout for. This week took me to Roti Modern Mediterranean, a fast casual restaurant with locations all over the US; in DC, the greater Chicagoland area, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Virginia. I went to the location in Lincoln Park.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Tips for Spring Jobs

You might want to get a few jobs around the house done before the real heat sets in. Even inside jobs seem more fun when you can throw open the windows and enjoy the spring weather! Water plants early in the day before the summer heat.

What To Negotiate When Buying A Home

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – It’s Time for a Fiesta and Summer’s Kickoff!

Wow, what a weekend we have in store for us! Not only are Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby on the same weekend, but Chicagoans are also kicking off summer!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, River North, Chicago Loop, Oak Park

Lakeview: The Retrospect Vintage Modern Fashion Market takes place from May 2 to May 5. The market features beautifully preserved clothing for women, men, and children from the 1890s to 1990s. The event kicks off Thursday, May 2 with a showing of Funny Face at the Music Box Theatre at 7 pm.

Restaurant Review – Jerry’s Sandwiches

I absolutely love finding new favorite restaurants. This week, I found what is sure to be a staple in my monthly restaurant rotation: Jerry’s Sandwiches. Jerry’s boasts making “Curious, Thoughtful Sandwiches Since 2002”. Well sign me up! Jerry’s has two locations, one in Andersonville and one in Lincoln Square.

4 Repairs To Make Before You List Your Home

When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Lawn Turn Around

So you bought a new house and the lawn looks like it’s been neglected for years. It’s full of weeds with no good grass in sight. Your first thought might be to call the landscaper and have them replace the old lawn with new sod. This is a great idea- if you have a few thousand dollars laying around.

IS IT TIME TO UPSIZE YOUR HOME?

Unfortunately, our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Spring-Like Temps Taking a Dip!

After enjoying warm, spring-like temps this past Easter weekend, we would be so lucky to have them again this weekend. That’s not going to happen though! However, there’s still a great lineup of activities to keep us in a spring frame of mind— despite temps taking a dip!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Club Lucky is hosting their 29th Annual Mother’s Day Brunch! From 10 am to 2:30 pm on Sunday May 12, they will have a 29 item buffet. The buffet will feature well-known Club Lucky classics including fried calamari, chicken marsala, chicken vesuvio, along with scrambled eggs, a vegetable frittata, applewood smoked bacon, French toast, and more.

Restaurant Review – Fork

Brunch was the name of the game this week! I visited Fork, a gorgeous farm to table restaurant nestled in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The space is beautiful; with exposed brick walls, long velvet drapes, and lovely teakwood tabletops.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Sump Pump Maintenance

April showers bring May flowers, so the saying goes. If you live around Chicago, it can bring snow too! But along with that comes the dreaded basement flooding. “No problem!”, you say. “I have a sump pump, so I’m protected! It even has a back-up battery in case of a power outage.”

Create An Evacuation Plan For Your Pets

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Keeping the Kids Busy this Easter Weekend!

Easter Sunday is this weekend and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep the kids busy! Here are just a few of the family-friendly events happening in Chicago and the suburbs throughout the weekend!!

EASY LANDSCAPING DIY PROJECTS

Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features. Whether it's as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are our top five easy landscaping projects!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Old Town, Edgewater, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: From owning your own business to climbing the corporate ladder, you’ll find inspiration and practical professional advice at Sharing Success: Women in Business! This panel and networking event will be held on Wednesday April 24 from 8-10 am at the Greenhouse Theater Center and is open to anyone interested in boosting their career.

Restaurant Review – DS Tequila Co.

Weekends are for brunching- and this weekend…. I brunched! I went to DS Tequila Co., located in Boystown at 3352 N. Halsted. We had a group of 15 people, so I made a reservation in advance. We were seated at a long table in the greenhouse, glass enclosed patio. The patio is heated during the winter, which was perfect for a chilly April Saturday.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Caring For Your Wood Floors

Wood floors need special attention that’s not necessary for vinyl or ceramic. Most hardwood floors are protected with a polyurethane finish that can become dull and damaged from improper cleaning. First: no steam cleaning! Save this for other hard surfaces like ceramic.

Should You Test For Radon in Your Home?

Imagine something dangerous lurking in your home that you can't see, smell, touch, or taste. That's what radon gas is, and it can be hazardous to your health and that of your family. But it's virtually impossible to detect without the proper tools.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – TIME TO HOP TO IT!

It’s that time of year again when Chicagoans hop to it with a variety of pre-Easter festivities! Brooklyn Boulders Chicago (100 S. Morgan St.) in the West Loop is hosting their BKB Kids – Eggstravaganza this Saturday (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). This event is open to kids ages 5-12 (adult supervision required) and is a vertical egg hunt.

Should Sellers Bother Staging a Vacant Home?

There's a lot to do when it comes to getting a home ready for sale, and staging it is one of them. Obviously, a home that's properly furnished with pieces that are appropriate for the size of all rooms and decorated with tasteful accessories and neutral colors will show a lot better than a home that looks disheveled.

Restaurant Review – Atwood Restaurant

Having a friend in town is the perfect excuse to find a…

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Spring Air Conditioner Maintenance

Now is a great time to check out your air conditioner. If you do need a repair, you’ll have ample time to find a professional before really hot weather arrives when finding someone could take much longer and cost you BIG Bucks! This is the first item on your list: schedule your HVAC professional for your yearly clean and check-up.

Are You Subject to Paying Capital Gains Taxes When You Sell Your Home?

There are so many perks to homeownership, including certain tax breaks. For instance, if you own a home, you may be eligible to deduct interest expenses on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt, which can save you some cash come tax time.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – TIME FOR EASTER YET?

We have a bit of a lull in Chicago this weekend as we await the arrival of Easter and all its fun activities. No worries though, as the following events will help us bide our time until then!

How to Ensure a Vacation Home Purchase is a Good Investment

If you've been thinking about investing in real estate and buying a property to rent out over the long haul, you might want to consider a somewhat unique investment opportunity: vacation rentals. In fact, renting out vacation properties has become all the rage lately thanks to sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: The Chicago Cabaret Professionals present “Cabaret Goes to the Movies” at Victory Gardens Theatre on Monday April 29 at 7:30 pm. Chicago’s most popular concert and cabaret singers will present your favorite and most iconic tunes from the movies, including hits like Over the Rainbow, Ol Man River, High Hopes, and even a Bohemian Rhapsody salute.

Restaurant Review – Dylan's Tavern

I rarely find myself eating in The Loop, but this week was an exception! I went to Dylan’s Tavern and Grill, located at 118 South Clinton, near Union Station. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual and the interior is beautifully decorated, with a large wooden bar and mahogany tables. The menu is sizable, but not overwhelming.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Cleaner Dishes With a Cleaner Dishwasher

People don’t think about cleaning appliances that clean things; like clothes washers and dishwashers. However these workhorses deal with the grimiest of the grimy and need special attention to ensure they function properly and have a longer life. I’ve written about clothes washers previously and today I’ll focus on dishwashers.

Should You Buy the Best House in the Neighborhood?

A gorgeous house in a great neighborhood is definitely something that will catch buyers' attention. And the best house on the block will certainly stand out from the rest. But is purchasing the best house in the neighborhood a sound investment? It's safe to say that many buyers want a home that's move-in ready.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – WHERE IS SPRING?

This weekend, the door is closing on another March here in Chicago. However we haven’t seen, or really felt, much of spring since its arrival on the 20th. So until then, perhaps some of these events will get you into a spring frame of mind!

These Home Improvements Could Hurt Your Home's Value When You Sell

Every seller wants to snag the highest possible price for their home when they sell, which is why certain measures should be taken to prep a home and craft a solid listing for buyers to see. And one of the recommended things that sellers should consider is making improvements that will help garner more attention from buyers.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Andersonville, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Pork & Mindy’s and Easel Art Studio are teaming up for a children’s art class! Bring your kiddos for an afternoon of painting and get creative, all while munching on complimentary treats. Participants will be painting a “Candy BLT” masterpiece. Guests are welcome to order from Pork & Mindy's full family-friendly menu, too.

Restaurant Review – Monk's Pub

I love a good old fashioned pub- especially when they have delicious food! This week took me to Monk’s Pub, located at 205 W. Lake St. in the Loop. We came in on a Friday night around 6:30 and it was packed! The after work crowd was bustling and the restaurant was full of energy. We had to wait for about 30 minutes, so if you’re in a rush, I’d suggest coming a little later or on a weeknight.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Dust Bunnies and What They’re Made Of

For those of us with allergies, dust bunnies can be very irritating. They’re often made up of insect fecal matter, mold, and fungal spores. But they can also contain scary things like lawn chemicals and heavy metals like lead and arsenic!

Should You Refinance Your Home?

If you own a home and have some equity built up in it, you may have the opportunity to refinance your current mortgage. And there may be some good reasons why may want to consider refinancing, depending on your situation.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – WINTER FADES AS SPRING ARRIVES!

According to the calendar, spring has arrived. But Chicagoans know all too well that winter fades slowly around here. Hopefully this weekend’s spring activities will help us shed our winter blues!

Short-Term or Long-Term Amortization Periods: Which One is Best For a Mortgage?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a particular mortgage product. While the interest rate and fees associated with a home loan are certainly important factors to consider, so is the amortization period.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Spring has almost sprung here in Chicago! Mark your calendars for the Chicago Wine Fest on Saturday, April 27 at the Lincoln Park Zoo. You’ll experience an elevated wine tasting experience, great food, and live musical performances. There are three separate sessions to choose from: noon, 3:30 pm, or 7 pm. VIP tickets include early access, which means more time to sample delicious wines and chat with representatives.

Restaurant Review – Rojo Gusano

I’m always in search of the next great taco! If you’ve been reading this review for any length of time, you know that I LOVE tacos. And this week, I found some great tacos. Rojo Gusano is located in Ravenswood, at 4217 N Ravenswood Ave. The atmosphere is immediately welcoming, with gorgeous hanging planters, rustic wood tables, cozy couches with colored throw pillows, and warm lighting.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Spring House Check

Now with hints of warmer weather coming, we can get outside and see how the house survived the long winter. Before you know it, summer will be here and many other things will take up your time; so take advantage of the time you have now!

8 Best Paint Colors For Your Front Door

Curb appeal speaks volumes. It not only creates a welcoming vibe to your home, but it also plays a key role in its value, too. Given this, it's important to keep up with your home's curb appeal and spruce it up if need be.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – WE’RE GOING IRISH!

From pub crawls to parades, there’s nothing quite like St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago! In fact, we’re all going Irish for the weekend!! For over 40 years the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers have turned the Chicago River an emerald green, kicking off the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

6 Ways to Boost Security in Your Condo, Even Without a Concierge

All homeowners want to take measures to make sure their homes are secure and that all occupants within their homes are kept safe at all times. When it comes to condos, there is usually an added level of security in the form of a locked main entrance, security cameras, or 24-hour concierge.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Logan Square, Evanston

Lakeview: Looking for a great way to spend a weekend day with your kiddos? Emerald City Theatre is concluding it’s 2018-2019 season with the Chicago premiere of “Corduroy”, based on the classic book by Don Freeman. A small bear’s quest for a missing button leads to the friendship of a lifetime!

Restaurant Review – Cafe Orchid

Do you have a restaurant that you’ve walked by a thousand times but have never been to? I sure do! And this week I finally went to mine. Cafe Orchid is an unassuming Turkish restaurant, located at the corner of Lincoln and Addison. We went in around 2 o’clock on a Friday afternoon and there were just a few tables.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Early Spring Yard Clean-Up

This winter has seemed never ending, but is finally showing signs of relenting. There are more animals out and about (mostly skunks) but the hawk has been seen feeding on a stray pigeon or two. This is usually a good sign that spring is just around the corner.

How Do Appraisers Determine the Value of a Home?

Sellers are obviously interested in knowing the value of their homes so they can figure out roughly how much they can potentially sell for. But buyers also want to know the value of homes they're interested in and may put an offer on, as it will help them determine an appropriate and competitive offer.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – AWAITING SPRING & THE GREAT OUTDOORS!

Awaiting the arrival of spring and the great outdoors can be a daunting task here in Chicago. But this weekend in March not only brings us Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, it also brings us a little tease of what’s to come!

What is "Virtual Staging" All About?

There are a handful of important steps that should be taken when you list your home for sale, and staging is one of them.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Urbanbelly and Wicker Park neighbor One Strange Bird are teaming up for a children’s art class! One Strange Bird is an event space and art studio on Division Street that offers unique apparel, accessories and gifts from local and national designers.

Restaurant Review – Kai Sushi

I was majorly craving sushi this week! Luckily I happen to live around the corner from a sushi restaurant. Kai Sushi is located at 3819 N Southport. The restaurant is very intimate, with just a handful of tables and booths. There is a gorgeous sushi bar at the back of the space, lit with hanging industrial fixtures. Of course, they have beautiful fresh fish displayed in a glass case. The menu is small, but packed with delicious options.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Food Safety at Home

I recently heard a public service ad about food safety. I’m sure we think we’re as safe as can be when we shop for, clean, and prepare food for our families; but it’s a good idea to periodically give ourselves a quick lesson. Food safety is divided into 4 categories: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Do You Know How Much Your Home is Worth?

Every homeowner wonders exactly how much their home is worth at some point, whether they're planning to sell or not.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – MARDI GRAS TIME – CHICAGO-STYLE!

I just got back from spending 8 days in NOLA and now it’s Mardi Gras time – Chicago-style that is! Here’s a quick low-down of this weekend’s Mardi Gras events. Are you ready for one of the wildest pub crawls of the year?

How to Get a Mortgage When You're Self-Employed

Getting a mortgage is a real financial feat, especially with the stringent mortgage lending criteria that borrowers have to meet these days.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Gold Coast, Evanston

Lincoln Park: Celebrate your St. Patty’s day right with the original “You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning” party! For 23 years, this green and gold clad party has christened the Irish morn with a Massive Breakfast Buffet and plenty o booze. At the buffet, you’ll find scrambled eggs with herbs, corned beef hash potatoes with spices, biscuits and gravy, fruit trays, Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers, and Green Beer.

Restaurant Review – Parson's Chicken and Fish

I’m a fried chicken junkie- so when I heard that Parson’s Chicken and Fish opened a new Lincoln Park location, I had to go! Located at 2435 N Halsted St., the new spot is adorable. It has a huge outdoor patio, which is sure to be very popular come summertime. The tables feel like a dressed up picnic spot, with white shiplap benches and maple tabletops.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for many, many years. It is purported to have many health benefits. ACV contains 17 amino acids as well as potassium, manganese, and phosphorous. It also contains B1, B6, and B12. The malic acid in ACV is attributed to cleaning clogged arteries, lymph nodes, and organ tissues; detoxifying the whole body and reducing inflammation. It can bring out-of-whack cholesterol levels back into a normal range.

Open House Etiquette For Buyers

If you're actively in search of a new home or are just mulling over the idea of making a home purchase, open houses present an ideal opportunity to visit homes that have recently been listed on the market.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - IT’S A WONDERFUL, WINTERY WEEKEND!

We have a wonderful, wintery weekend ahead of us here in Chicago! Check out all our cool (and cold!) city has to offer: Get your kiddos excited about science with Science Night Out! You can enjoy an evening out while your kids learn in a hands-on environment at The Laboratory. Each Science Night Out includes a pizza dinner too!

Tips For Investing in Student Housing

When it comes to investing in real estate, location is everything.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lakeview: The Chicago Composers’ Big Band is showcasing their take on the Billboard Hot 100! The concert is on Wednesday February 27 at 8:30 pm. Each piece in the program is an arrangement of a tune that has been #1 on the Billboard Charts.

Restaurant Review – Poke Burrito

I’m always in search of healthy, cheap, and most importantly, delicious food! This week took me to Poke Burrito in North Center, located at 4301 N Lincoln Ave. Poke Burrito has two other locations in the city, one in the South Loop and one in Oak Park. They boast fresh, healthy, ingredients that allow you to customize your meal.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Planning Your Summer Garden (While the Snow is Still Around?!)

Yes, I know it’s still February and it’s cold and dreary. Here in the Chicago area, we have been in a snowy, cold pattern. It snows anywhere from 2-6 inches, then we have a few really cold days. We might get a nice day in there somewhere, but then the pattern just repeats.

Open House Etiquette For Sellers

Open houses provide sellers with a great opportunity to showcase their home to the general public in hopes of finding a willing buyer to put in an offer.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – LOOK OUT – LOVE MAY BE IN THE AIR!

A little birdie told me there’s a good chance love may be in the air this weekend in Chicago! Here’s why: This Saturday (12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.) be a part of Cupid’s Undie Run taking place at Sluggers Sports Bar (3540 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Brave the cold for a “brief,” mile(ish) fun run that takes place in the middle of a BIG party!

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Most Affordable Places to Rent in the US

Rent doesn't come cheap in many centers across the US, particularly in places like LA, San Francisco, and New York City where rent is well over the $2,000 mark.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Edgewater, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Join Chicago Detours on March 22 for “Badass Women in Chicago History”, a second annual storytelling event celebrating Women’s History Month. Chicago Detours is committed to bringing people to explore stories and places they wouldn’t otherwise know. The characters presented are Chicago heroines on the peripheries of history.

Restaurant Review – Scofflaw

This week took me to a new neighborhood! Logan Square is full of adorable (and delicious!) restaurants. I found myself at Scofflaw, a gin-focused cocktail bar. In addition to cocktails, they also serve small plates that “go well beyond bar food”, as their website states.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Clothes Dryer Tips and Dangers

Upwards of 17,000 fires annually are caused by washers and dryers. More than 90% of these are dryer related. With a few simple steps, you can minimize and avoid dryer fire danger. Keep an ABC fire extinguisher in the laundry room and make sure it is operational.

8 Things Buyers Should Know About Buying a Fixer-Upper

While many buyers tend to look for turn-key homes that they can just drop their belongings in and not have to worry about any extra work, others like the idea of having the opportunity to fix up the home as they see fit while adding extra value to it.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Another Fun-Packed Weekend for Us All!

No big thaw or polar vortex planned for this weekend! However, it’s still winter in Chicago with another fun-packed weekend for us all! The city is celebrating the Chinese New Year by ringing in the “Year of the Pig” with a variety of cultural, musical and culinary events.

Condo Requirements For FHA Loan Approval

Plenty of homebuyer hopefuls turn to condos as a way to get into the real estate market, and for good reason.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Andersonville, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Celebrate local flavors at Chicago’s indoor neighborhood food festival: Savor Lincoln Park! On Wednesday, February 20 from 6-9 pm, you’ll enjoy great food and great views at Theatre on the Lake. Participating restaurants include Blue Door Farm Stand, Broken English Taco Pub, Oyster Bah, Geja’s Cafe, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and more.

Restaurant Review – Jin Thai

I absolutely love Asian food. This week took me to a new spot (well, new to me!): Jin Thai. Jin Thai is located at 5458 N Broadway, in the heart of Edgewater. I loved the space immediately. The dark wood furniture, industrial light fixtures, and brightly colored cushions simultaneously feel upscale and cozy. The restaurant is small, but has large, gorgeous windows, offering most tables a view outside.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Habits of People with Well-Kept Houses

Keeping a clean house doesn’t need to take all day- or sap all your energy! Check out these habits learned by people that have tidy and well-kept houses. There are a few things you can do every day to keep your house looking ship shape. They won’t take long and once you create a habit, it will get even quicker.

Buying and Selling at the Same Time? Follow These Tips

If moving is on the horizon for you sometime soon, then you've got plenty of decisions to make. And one of these important decisions is whether to sell or buy first.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – THE BIG THAW!

The weekend is finally here! Chicagoans will be celebrating “The Big Thaw” in more ways than one!! It is only fitting that after this past week’s polar vortex, Groundhog Day will be celebrated this Saturday with two events! First up is the 7th annual Groundhog Celebration at The Leigh Gallery (3306 N. Halsted St.) in the Lakeview neighborhood from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

What Exactly Do Your Condo Fees Cover?

Condo living is pretty popular among buyers who are looking for something more affordable than traditional freehold homes.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Join HealthSource of Wicker Park at Easy Bar for a morning of Sip and Savasana! Renee Krystek will teach a one hour vinyasa yoga flow and then the first round is on HealthSource! Bring your own yoga mat and they’ll supply the rest! The class is Monday February 11 at 7 pm and tickets are just $5.

Restaurant Review – Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market

This week took me to a Chicago staple: Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market. Fahlstrom’s is a unique experience from start to finish. On the right hand side of the restaurant is a fresh fish market, offering 16-18 varieties of fresh fish each day.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Severe Cold Weather Tips

Here in the Midwest, we’re used to very cold weather but it’s still important to think about what we need to do and take care of during an extremely cold spell.

6 Tips to Choosing the Best Mortgage Lender

The purchase price of the home you agree to buy will obviously have a direct impact on your mortgage payment.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Plenty of Warmth Despite Arctic Blast!

Well, we’ll be closing out the last weekend of January 2019 with an arctic blast! Not to worry though, there’s plenty of warmth coming your way!!

How to Snag a Low-Interest Rate on Your Mortgage

Out of all debt payments that you may have on the books, a mortgage payment will likely be one of your biggest.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Edgewater, Logan Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to learn how to whip up a three-course dinner for your loved ones! Mark your calendars for A Feast for Sore Eyes: Valentine’s Day Three Course Dinner Class with Green City Market.

Restaurant Review – Pockets

I’m always on the lookout for a healthy (and cheap!) restaurant. This week, I hit the jackpot with Pockets. Pockets website says "we specialize in providing customers with a large assortment of fresh, healthy ingredients… we hope to work our best to please the community and create a healthy option for all."

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Battling Dry Indoor Air

Those of us with forced air furnaces are confronted every winter with dry air. Every time the furnace runs, it sucks out any moisture in the air. Dry air is responsible for many ailments from dry skin, aggravated allergies, and bloody noses to colds and the flu. Here are a few ways to naturally bring moisture into your home this winter.

9 Things NOT To Do When Staging Your Home For Sale

If you want your home to stand out from the crowd and entice buyers to put in an offer, you'd be well advised to have it staged.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – SUMMER FUN IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER!

It’s a snowy weekend forecast here in Chicago! Another typical, winter weekend in January. Not for Chicagoans though! We’ll be taking in some baseball and heading to the beach. Come join us!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Lakeview: Start your New Year right with a calming Meditation Workshop at the Japanese Culture Center. The workshop is this Saturday, January 19 from 12-2 pm. Zazen, the practice of meditation is a transformative process that aims to deepen our connection to the mind and body. With regular practice, meditation and breath training can significantly reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and cultivate a well-grounded state of awareness.

8 Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

There are plenty of real estate agents out there, which can make choosing just one seem like a daunting task.

Restaurant Review – Lena Brava

This week took me to a swankier spot than usual! I found myself at Lena Brava, one of Rick Bayless’s restaurants. Rick Bayless is an American chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern flair. We booked our reservation months ago, but had a coveted 7:30 pm slot on Saturday evening.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Downsizing

At the end of this month, I will be turning 60. My husband and I have decided to move closer to our grandchildren. It’s not a long distance move by any means (only 40 minutes away) but we are moving into a decidedly smaller house. We’re going from a two story, four-bedroom bungalow to a small one-story ranch.

8 Tips to Baby-Proofing Your Home

Babies are innocent, but they still manage to get themselves into trouble when they become mobile.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – IS IT VACATION TIME YET?

After completing a full week of work, I bet most Chicagoans are ready for a vacation! As usual, the city has us covered this weekend! Here’s two great shows to get us started!!

INFOGRAPHIC: Expected Trends For Buyers and Sellers in 2019

In 2019, many buyers may be priced out of the market with rising prices and mortgage rates, though there will be more inventory and less competition.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Edgewater, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Craft hand-lettered valentines for your loved ones this Valentine’s season! Hand-lettering guru Cristina Vanko presents a workshop as par of 826CHI’s Fresh Ink Community Series! Held on Saturday February 2 from 2-3:30 pm, this workshop for adults and teens of all experience levels will explore different hand lettering techniques.

Restaurant Review – Millie's Supper Club

“Family, friendly, fun, big portions, comfort foods, doggie bags, great cocktails, comfortable, woodsy atmosphere… all adjectives that can be used to describe real supper clubs. They are happy places where people go to gather with family or friends and that is our plan for Millie’s Supper Club.”

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Get Out the Blue Dawn

Original Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid is a great biodegradable grease cutter and works for so many cleaning jobs around the house. Remember all these tips are using original Blue Dawn. It’s the one with the cute duck on the label— it’s used for cleaning wildlife after oil spills as it’s gentle and effective.

7 Advantages of Living in a 55+ Community

When you reach a certain age, your needs and tastes may be different than what they may have been in your younger years, and that includes your housing arrangement.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Temps May Dip, But City Heats Up!

In case you haven’t noticed, winter is upon us! As usual, Chicagoans never let a little cold cramp their style! In fact when the temperature dips, the city heats up with outdoor activities, dining deals, free events, and more! Here’s what’s up this first weekend of 2019!!

How to Sell Your Home During the Off Season

The holiday season can be a bit of a challenge for sellers considering all the vacations that families tend to take while the kids are off school.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Lincoln Park: 2019 promises to be an exciting year! Learn more about what’s happening at the local level directly from the source! 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack, and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith will be hosting a panel discussion on Tuesday, January 22 from 8 am to 10 am.

Restaurant Review – Dante's Pizzeria

Sometimes, you just have to have pizza. This week took me to Dante’s Pizzeria in Ravenswood, located at 1964 W Lawrence Ave. Dante’s is totally unassuming from the outside, located in a small strip right off the intersection of Damen and Lawrence.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Post Holiday Letdown

All the parties are over and every present has been opened and marveled over. Houseguests are gone and the last leftovers eaten. A fun time was had by all; so why are some of us so depressed? Some of us spent too much money, so our bank accounts are wanting.

Are You Ready to Go From Renting to Buying?

Making the leap from "renter" to "homeowner" status is a big deal, for obvious reasons.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Closing Out Another Year!

Not only is it the last weekend of December but it’s also the last one of 2018! And here in Chicago, we’ll be closing out another year in grand style with a variety of festivities!!

Mortgage Versus Rent: What's the Real Difference?

Whether you rent or own, you still have monthly expenses to pay in exchange for a place to live.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Andersonville, Portage Park

Lakeview: Haven’t solidified your New Year’s Eve plans yet? Ring in 2019 at ComedySportz Theatre! There are 3 shows- at 5 pm, 7 pm, and 10 pm. General admission tickets are $35. Tickets include the 90-minute show, a countdown to midnight (for London at the 5 pm show, Reykjavik at the 7 pm show, and Chicago at the 10 pm show), a champagne toast, a fabulous photo booth, and candy!

Restaurant Review – Pasta Al Gusto

This week took me to the most charming lunch spot, Pasta Al Gusto. Located at 3737 N Southport Avenue, this gem is tucked right next to the popular Music Box Theatre. We came in at about 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon for a late lunch. They have an awesome lunch special- just $8.99 for your choice of a salad, panini, or pasta dish.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Change Your Life in this New Year

New Year’s Eve is coming next week. Everyone will be in a rush to decide what their “New Year’s Resolutions” will be. For many people, that means getting a gym membership. But they usually give up before January ends. Salad bar business and veggie sales skyrocket. Steps are counted on the Christmas Fitbits.

9 Surprising Things That Can Affect Your Credit Score

Thinking of applying for a mortgage any time soon?

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – ALL SET – BRING ON CHRISTMAS!

All set in Chicago – bring on Christmas! Well, most of us are set. But for those who aren’t and need to do their holiday shopping this last weekend before Christmas – good luck!! The rest of us will kick back and enjoy some holiday entertainment!!!

7 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Before Buying a Home

When it comes to buying a house and getting a mortgage, you need to be in healthy financial shape.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Celebrate your New Year’s in style at the J. Parker rooftop! Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the downtown Chicago skyline. This year’s theme is Purple Rain- so get ready to party like it’s 1999! Tickets are $125 and include a premium open bar from 9 pm to 1 am, passed appetizers, desserts, late night snacks, a midnight champagne toast, and 80s and 90s jams spun by DJ Kareem!

Restaurant Review – Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

This week took me to a whole new brunch experience: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. We came in on a Saturday morning (afternoon?) around 12 pm. The atmosphere is immediately welcoming, with a large exposed kitchen, full sized couches, tables set into a cozy window nook, and large communal dining tables.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Use Your Fireplace Safely This Winter

Having a fireplace is awesome in the winter! It can make any room cozy and warm. But there is so much more to do than throw some logs in and light them up. Fireplaces can cause fires and fill the entire house with smoke.

7 Hazards in a Home For Buyers to Look Out For

Buying a home always comes with inherent risks.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES FOR ALL TO ENJOY!

Don’t look now, but the holidays are fast approaching! As usual, they’ll be here and gone before you know it. So during this hectic season take some time for yourself, family, and friends to enjoy the holiday festivities around town!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Edgewater, Chicago Loop, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: It’s time to make your New Year’s Eve plans! Join TUKO Cantina for a rockin’ NYE party! There will be a hosted bar from 8 to 9 pm, DJs spinning tunes, complimentary party favors, and delicious tacos by Executive Chef Chris de la Cueva! Early bird tickets are just $20 and general admission tickets are $25.

INFOGRAPHIC: 15 Easiest House Plants to Care For

Houseplants are one of those things that breathe life into a home and add a natural element of decor.

Restaurant Review – Steingold's

This week took me to my first ever Jewish deli! Steingold’s of Chicago is located at 1840 W. Irving Park Rd., just steps away from the Irving Park brown line. The space is gorgeous, with white subway tile, colored chalkboard menus, and ample seating. We came in on a Saturday around 11:30 am and it was hopping!

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Tools for Christmas

Of course, you think of tools for that handy guy you know for Christmas. But what about those kids in their first apartment or home? Every house needs a basic set of tools for everyday fixes.

7 Tips to Stage Your Home For the Holidays

During the holidays, it's hard for homeowners to resist adorning their homes in festive decor.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Ugly Christmas Sweater Time!

It’s that time of year again! Yep, it’s Ugly Christmas Sweater time. So, dig out & dust off last year’s sweater (or purchase another one), get out there this weekend, and wear your sweater proudly!!

Buyers: 9 Smart Tips For Negotiating a Home Purchase

All homebuyers are looking for a deal, which is why the negotiating process in a real estate transaction is so important.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Mark your calendars for Thursday, December 16! Lincoln Park’s neighborhood pizzeria, Stella Barra, is hosting an Ugly Sweater Party! Start off the evening at Happy Hour from 4 to 6 pm, featuring $3 beers, $4 wines by the glass, and more. Then enjoy dinner from 6 to 10 pm! The menu includes tasty starters, salads, handcrafted pizzas, and seasonal specials, such as Butternut Squash & Prosciutto Lasagna!

Restaurant Review – Gather

This week took me to Gather, a charming farm to table restaurant in Lincoln Square. The website says “When you walk into Gather, you walk into our home. With our friendly and knowledgeable staff, open kitchen design, and approachable wine list, we’ve created an atmosphere perfect for celebrating every day.” If that didn’t get me excited, I don’t know what would! We came in for brunch on a Sunday morning.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Kid and Pet Safety During the Holidays

Many of the dangers around the holidays affect both kids and pets. They are both quite excitable and everything seems to end up in their mouths! So keeping an eye on our decorations is important. Remember there are many choking hazards around decorations. AT holiday parties we often leave out nut and candy dishes, but these can be a choking hazard for young children and pets (not to mention they can cause upset stomachs).

8 Key Components to Successful Home Staging For a Quick Sale

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to what buyers think of a home they're visiting.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – ‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY!

‘Tis the season to be jolly…. so what are you waiting for? This weekend is packed with jolliness for kids and adults alike!! Still need to work off that Thanksgiving dinner? Or perhaps you’re a Christmas lover and enjoy overplayed holiday music! Then come and experience the magic of the Santa Hustle 5K this Saturday (9:00 a.m.) at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop.

7 Things to Know About Being a Landlord

Becoming a landlord can be a great way to earn an income and build wealth over time, especially if you've chosen the right properties and filled them with the right tenants.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Chicago Loop, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Are you in need of a few laughs this holiday season? Get yourself to “Funny Ha-Ha: The Reason for the Season!” at The Hideout Theatre. This is Chicago’s favorite long-running literary humor reading series. Performers will read stories, show Powerpoints, and film!

Restaurant Review – Grassroots

This week, I found a true gem! The best part? It’s across the street from my house! I visited Grassroots for the first time this week, located at 3747 N Southport Ave. I came in for an early Sunday brunch, at 10:30 am. We had a large party (6 people), so I had made a reservation, just in case. There was no need; we were one of two tables in the restaurant for the first hour we were there!

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Keep These Toy Safety Guidelines In Mind

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) works to keep us all safe by regulating imports of toys and other products that could be harmful. They also handle recalls of toys that are found to be dangerous. They report that well over 150,000 emergency room treated injuries every year are toy related.

7 Things Buyers Should Know About HOAs

There are so many great reasons to buy into an HOA.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Enjoying the Spirit of the Season!

Now that we have Thanksgiving behind us, Chicago will focus on some post-Thanksgiving assistance and pre-holiday events so we can continue enjoying the spirit of the season!

9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Appear Larger

Not everyone is blessed with ample space in their kitchen.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Square, Edgewater, Portage Park

Lakeview: Join Lux Cantorum, Chicago’s premier sacred choral music ensemble, to celebrate the holiday season with songs of light from across the globe! Catch their performance of Light of the World on Thursday, December 13 at 8 pm at Saint Luke Church Chicago. This concert will feature holiday favorites, as well as music that may be new to you.

Restaurant Review – Corona's Cafe

I love local coffee shops. There’s just something about the coziness of a warm coffee shop on a cold winter’s day! This week took me to Corona’s Cafe, located at 909 W Irving Park Rd. The shop is very intimate, with just a few tables. They do have an outdoor patio that would be lovely during the summer, but you won’t find me out there in 30 degree weather!

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - All New Thanksgiving Leftovers

The big dinner is over and of course (if you are like me) you have more leftovers than you know what to do with. I buy disposable containers to send food home with guests, but I still have a lot of leftovers.

5 Open House Myths, Debunked

Open houses have long been a part of the real estate process for sellers.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Pulling Out All the Stops To Welcome The Holiday Season!

I’ve been warning you and now they’re here! Chicagoans will be pulling out all the stops this weekend to welcome in the holiday season! Chicagoland’s favorite holiday tradition since 1996 returns to the Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) in The Loop with Christkindlmarket Chicago 2018!

INFOGRAPHIC: NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report For September 2018

September saw a dip in existing-home sales across the US from the month before, likely a result of rising interest rates.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Andersonville, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: The holiday season is fast approaching! Mark your calendars for December 5 and get yourself to Theater on the Lake for an evening of red wine, great food, and holiday fun! Theater on the Lake is completely renovated and is partnering with Jackson Family Fine Wines for an evening of walk-around tasting of cabernets, red blends, and pinot noirs.

Restaurant Review – Uncommon Ground

This week took me to a charming new spot: Uncommon Ground. Uncommon Ground is a huge, multi-facetted space, located at 3800 N Clark St. in Lakeview. Not only are they a restaurant; this location also houses Greenstar Brewing, the first certified organic brewery in the state of Illinois.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Thanksgiving Meal Planning

Yes, it’s that time of year already! This year seemed to fly by! I guess the older you get, the faster time goes. A lot of people get really stressed this time of year, especially if they are doing the BIG DINNER. Relax!

7 Must-Do's When House Hunting

House hunting is an exciting time. When you're finally ready to buy a home, the next logical step would be to scope out different homes on the market in order to find the one that you fall in love with and meets all your needs.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Getting Closer to the Holiday Season!

What do Chicagoans do before the frenzied holiday season is upon them? They take advantage of non-frenzied weekend events before the big gobble day arrives in all its glory!! We’re getting closer to the holiday season (less than two weeks away).

Tips For Selling a Home on a Busy Road

There are so many attractive features that a property can possess that will help it sell quickly.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, River North, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: The holidays are just around the corner! The Den Theatre presents “Yippie Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A Die Hard Musical Parody!” The show opens on December 1 and runs through January 12. Ticket prices range from $35-$45.

Restaurant Review – Coalfire Pizza

I have been craving pizza for weeks— and this week I finally got it! Coalfire Pizza, located at 3707 N Southport Ave, is a perfect weeknight date spot. We came in on a Tuesday evening around 6, which was apparently the perfect time!

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Winter Care for Pipes

Although we have yet to get a hard freeze, it’s time to close off our outside water sources and prepare them for winter. These can freeze in the winter and cause all sorts of troubles. Water expands when it freezes and can break pipes and faucets.

5 Reasons You're Having a Hard Time Getting a Mortgage

After finding a great home that you're willing to spend the big bucks on, it can be really disappointing and disheartening to be turned down for a mortgage.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – ENJOYING A BRIEF LULL IN THE ACTION!

Before moving on to the usual hustle and bustle of another holiday season, Chicagoans can enjoy a brief lull in the action this weekend at a variety of events!

8 Questions to Ask Your New Roommate Before Moving in

Let's face it: even the best of friends can get under each other's skin when they live together, so cohabiting with a complete stranger and adapting to each other's habits can be tough.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Edgewater, Chicago Loop, Portage Park

Lakeview: The Chicago Printers Guild holds its 3rd Annual “Chicago Printers Guild Publishers Fair” on Saturday, November 10 from 11 am to 6 pm. Over 30 printmakers will be present at this special one-day-only event. Framing of purchased artwork will be available on site from The Frame Shop.

Restaurant Review – Butcher and The Burger

Having family in town is the perfect excuse for finding a new restaurant! This week took me and my mom to Butcher and The Burger, located at 1021 West Armitage. You would never guess the size from the outside; there are just a few tables and a counter with stools running the length of the restaurant.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Cool Weather Crockpot Meals

It’s not quite winter yet, but damp days in the 50s are cold enough for me to get out the crockpot. Crockpot meals are the best thing for super busy people! It’s a meal in a pot that’s ready right when you get home. Here are three quick and easy crockpot meals anyone can do!

5 Other Pros You Need (Besides an Agent) When Buying a Home

When it's time to buy a home, the most obvious professional you'll likely think to hire is a real estate agent.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – COME CREEP YOURSELF OUT!

Let the spook begin! Chicagoans will be celebrating Halloween this weekend with some frightful (and not so frightful) happenings for everyone. So — come creep yourself out!!

Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Your offer on a home has been accepted - congratulations! While this is a very exciting time, the work is still not done. I

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, River North, Lincoln Square, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: It’s time to get WEIRD! Remedy Chicago presents Weird Wednesdays: Halloween Edition: Heroes vs. Villians. On Halloween (Wednesday, October 31) from 7 pm to 4 am, join Remedy for a Halloween Mask DIY. Make your own mask and become a hero or a villain- it’s your choice! Supplies are provided by Remedy (while they last), you just have to show up and get creative!

Restaurant Review – Diner Grill

As the weather starts to get chillier and chillier, I start to crave comfort food. And one of my absolute favorites? Breakfast. So this week, I decided I needed breakfast for dinner. And what better place to go than the Diner Grill? The Diner Grill is a historic diner, located at 1635 W. Irving Park Rd.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Halloween Safety 2018

It’s that time of year again…. Halloween! While parties are a good idea, it’s still customary in many areas to trick-or-treat. While the majority of children will come home safe and injury free, it’s still smart to remind ourselves of some basic safety tips.

Can You Get Rid of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

The actual mortgage payments that you're responsible for making when you purchase a home are only part of the overall cost of buying real estate.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Gearing Up for the Spookiest Season of the Year!

It’s time to gear up for the spookiest season of the year. These pre-Halloween weekend events are sure to do the trick! After all, Chicagoans love Halloween!! Come celebrate Halloween at the Pumpkins in the Park 5K on Saturday (4:00 p.m.) at the South Fieldhouse (1800 N. Stockton Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Run on a beautiful course through the neighborhood sporting your premium goodie bag.

5 Things Buyers Should Know About Purchasing a Vacation Home

The thought of having a place of your own to retreat to whenever you feel like getting away sounds nice, doesn't it? That's the beauty of having your own vacation home.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Edgewater, Logan Square, Evanston

Lincoln Park: Want a little nature with your Halloween fun? Supper with the Snakes at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is for you! On Friday, October 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, don your best Halloween costume and come for an evening of scrumptious treats, slithery friends, and silly games.

Restaurant Review – Goose Island Brewpub

Chicago has no shortage of breweries; in fact, we’ve got almost 200 between the city proper and surrounding suburbs. With so many choices, it can be overwhelming when looking for a place to grab a craft beer and dinner. So I decided to start with a big one: Goose Island Brewpub.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Late Fall Maintenance

Mid October is here and soon winter winds will be blowing. Around the Chicago area, the change from summer to fall to winter often happens in just a few weeks. The first week in October, we had temperatures in the 80s. Now in the middle of the month, we already have frost. It’s time for some late fall maintenance!

6 Tips For Screening Tenants For Your Rental

Choosing the right property is an important part of the equation when it comes to investing in real estate. But if you're going to fill the property with sub-par tenants, your investment income can potentially suffer.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Capturing the Spirit of October’s Offerings!

With fall pretty much settled in here, Chicagoans will be capturing the spirit of October’s offerings this weekend! Join in the celebration as Chicago VeganMania 2018 celebrates its 10th anniversary at Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway St.) in the Edgewater neighborhood on Saturday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Things Buyers Should Never Say at an Open House

Going to an open house? Mind what you say, as you can inadvertently sabotage your position if the wrong people are listening in.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Gold Coast, Lincoln Square, Portage Park

Lakeview: Compass Creative Dramatics, an emerging children’s theatre in Chicago, presents “Peas & Harmony: The Princess & The Pea Remixed”. Join them at Beat Kitchen on Monday, October 15 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm for this 5th annual fundraising event.

Restaurant Review – Pasta Palazzo

This week took me to a charming Italian restaurant in Lincoln Park- Pasta Palazzo. It’s just steps away from the hip Armitage Avenue shopping district, but if you weren’t looking for it, you might miss it. It’s much smaller than I expected, with high and low-top tables arranged closely, creating a communal dining atmosphere.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Beginner Painting

Now that the weather is getting a bit cooler, it’s time to think of some indoor projects. Around Chicago, we’ve had some rainy weekends- perfect for tackling that room that could use a new coat of paint or a color change.

How Long Does Mortgage Refinancing Take to Complete?

Are you looking to get a lower interest rate for your mortgage?

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Amazing Autumn Fun Awaits!

Welcome to Chicago’s first October weekend where amazing autumn fun awaits us! The popular West Town Food Truck Social again pairs up with the annual West Town Art Walk on Noble Street between Chicago and Chestnut Avenues in the West Town neighborhood on Friday (4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Saturday (11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.).

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Andersonville, Chicago Loop, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: Want to Sunday Funday AND give back to your community? Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 14 and Sunday, October 21 (from 10 am to 6 pm)— it’s Sunday Funday: Brunch, Shop, and Give! Throw on your favorite flannel and head over to Halsted & Armitage for a day of fun!

How Does Your Debt-to-Income Ratio Affect Your Ability to Secure a Mortgage?

Getting a mortgage involves a lot more than just filling out an application and waiting for approval.

Restaurant Review – Red Hot Ranch

Sometimes, you just have to have a burger and fries. And when you’re on the hunt for Chicago’s best burger, you have them a little more often! This week took me to Red Hot Ranch, a Chicago favorite with two locations- one in Lakeview and one in Wicker Park.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Easy Fall Decorating

Check out the grocery store first for decorating items. Large and small pumpkins are available, as well as squashes of all colors, shapes, and sizes. You will also find so many varieties of apples and pears. From red to gold and green- they’re all fall inspired! Gather several different colored pears and apples to display in bowls for a centerpiece.

These 10 Things Are Compromising Your Lawn

You've got a lot of tasks to tend to when it comes to maintaining your home, and lawn maintenance is one of them.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Embracing All Things Fall!

Chicagoans close out yet another month! This last weekend in September, we’re embracing all things fall! Opening the fall art season each September, Expo Chicago will host more than 135 leading international galleries from 27 countries and 63 cities for one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Ave.)

How Can Buyers Tell if a Seller is Willing to Negotiate?

Every buyer wants to get a deal on things that they buy, and real estate is no exception.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, River North, Logan Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Already planning for Halloween? Look no further than the Macabre Masquerade at Violet Hour! On Wednesday, October 31 at 8 pm, put on your mask and stop by the gorgeous, candlelit lounge for an evening of cocktails, herb lore, and mystery.

Restaurant Review - Prost

This week transported me to Germany- right in the middle of Chicago! I found myself at Prost, a fantastic bar and restaurant in the heart of Lincoln Park. The space is gigantic, with long rows of beautiful wooden tables and benches. We came in after seeing a show, around 10 o’clock on a Friday evening, and had no problem being seated right away.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips - Now is the Time to Plant Trees

You may think that springtime is the best time to plant trees, but it’s actually fall. Of course you can plant trees any time of year but fall planting will give the tree more time to establish while temperatures are cooler.

Is Selling With a Lien on Your Home Possible?

Plenty of issues can slow down, delay, or even kill a real estate transaction, and liens are one of them.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Celebrating Chicago’s Change of Season!

Yep, it’s here! The first day of autumn is this Saturday. Here’s how Chicagoans will be celebrating its change of season!!

Is Buying Before Selling Too Much of a Risk?

It's the age-old question that buyers and sellers ask themselves when they're ready to make a move: should I buy first or sell first?

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Square, Edgewater, Portage Park

Lakeview: Applications are now open for The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival! Now in its 18th year, this festival runs from January 10-20, 2019. It celebrates the best in local, national, and international sketch comedy! Applications may be submitted through October 15, 2018 here.

Restaurant Review - Publican Quality Meats

This week took me to a fantastic restaurant: Publican Quality Meats. The sister restaurant to The Publican, this charming spot is a butcher shop, cafe, bakery, gourmet market, and private dining room all rolled into one. Their website says “The highly seasonal menu and chef-curated retail offerings include house-made charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked breads, specialty coffee drinks, rustic soups, and sandwiches”.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips: Fall Maintenance - Lawn and Garden

Fall is right around the corner! It’s a good time to take advantage of the cooler temperatures to do some maintenance jobs in the garden and lawn.

How Long Does it Take to Sell Your Home?

When sellers list their homes on the market, they're usually concerned with two main things: how much they can sell for, and how long it will take to sell.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Fall-Related Festivals with Summer-Like Temps!

Even though fall-related festivals are taking place this weekend (and autumn officially begins next Saturday, September 22nd) Chicagoans will be basking in summer-like temps again!

Protecting Your Home Against Wildfires

The latest string of wildfires in California have torched over 688,000 acres and destroyed more than 2,000 structures.

INFOGRAPHIC: Most Challenging Tasks For FSBO Sellers

Here are some of the most common issues that FSBOs have when attempting to sell on their own, prompting them to end up seeking the help of a real estate agent to finish the job.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Andersonville, River North, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: It’s time for the 7th Annual Wicker Park Bucktown Fall Dinner Crawl! The event is on Tuesday, September 25 from 6 to 9 pm. Calling all foodies to taste small bites and signature appetizers from participating restaurants, while also exploring Wicker Park and Bucktown!

Restaurant Review - I Dream of Falafel

I’m always on the lookout for a healthy, fast-casual restaurant. This week, I found my new obsession. IDOF, short for ‘I Dream of Falafel’ is quick, Mediterranean heaven. With eight locations in the Chicagoland area, clearly other people think so as well. I popped into the Lakeview location- at 851 W. Belmont.

Kathy's Home & Garden Tips – A Few Fall Cleaning Hints

Fall is right around the corner. Even though I’m sure there are still hot temps in the picture, cooler temps are coming. Take advantage of the cool temperatures before winter to throw open the windows and do some fall cleaning.

10 Practical Uses of White Vinegar in Your Home

Vinegar is not just reserved for your salad dressing.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – STILL IN SUMMER MODE!

Back to reality -- the kids are back in school, cooler temps (and rain) are moving in, but we have a weekend that’s still in summer mode! Check out all the festivals!!

6 Things You Can Negotiate on Your Lease

Advertised rent rates aren't necessarily written in stone.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Lincoln Park: Find your favorite new wine at Lincoln Park Uncorked: A Lincoln Avenue Wine Stroll. It’s time to kick off fall at one of Chicago’s premier neighborhood wine tasting events! Lincoln Avenue will be transformed into a wine lover’s paradise featuring samples of the season’s best red and white wines.

Restaurant Review - Stella Barra

I’m often wary of a buffet- especially for brunch- but this week changed my mind. I found myself at Stella Barra Pizzeria, located at 1954 N Halsted St. First of all, the space is magnificent. The restaurant is lit with industrial fixtures and Edison bulbs, giving it both warmth and an edge. The dark hardwood flooring is beautiful and the center bar is a sight to behold.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Keep the Dust Down

There are thousands of ingredients that make up dust. Dust mites feed on the skin cells that we and our pets shed every day. Tiny particles of soil and sand join fibers from clothing, carpet, drapes, and furniture.

7 Crucial Steps to Closing a Real Estate Deal

After a real estate deal has been negotiated between a buyer and seller and an agreement is reached, it's time to go through the steps to actually close the deal.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Labor Day Holiday Brings Summer’s Last Hurrah!

The Labor Day holiday weekend has arrived in Chicago! This usually signals summer’s last hurrah. But, as usual, Chicagoans aren’t ready to throw the towel in yet!! So, here are a few of the must-sees and dos for your Chicago Labor Day Weekend!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, River North, Edgewater, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Meet People Chicago presents Board Game Night! On Friday, September 7, you can go back to the days of college with a good old fashioned game night. Meet People Chicago will provide board games and you can bring your favorites as well.

What All Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Easements

When you buy a home, it's exclusively yours to use, right? Not always.

Restaurant Review - Salone Nico

This week took me to the fabulous Thompson Chicago hotel. Inside the hotel is the gorgeous Salone Nico, a cozy wine bar and cocktail lounge. This was the perfect spot for a late Saturday dinner. There’s a large wooden bar and a number of small tables, couches, and comfy chairs spread around the lounge.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Check Those Drains and Gutters

Around the Chicago area this summer we’ve experienced every kind of weather possible. We started out in late spring and early summer with more rain than usual. We didn’t need to water at all early this year! Then we had some weeks with temperate weather and normal rain.

10 Home Maintenance and Repair Skills All Homeowners Should Be Familiar With

It might be easy to change a light bulb or tighten a loose cabinet handle, but there are several other tasks that will need to be done around the house over time.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Dog Days of Summer Still Hanging On!

With each passing weekend, we’re inching ever closer to the fall season. But this weekend, the dog days of summer are still hanging on and so are us Chicagoans!

Can You Get a Lease if You've Never Rented Before?

There's a first for everything, including renting your first apartment. But given all of the information and history that landlords typically like to see from tenant applicants, is it possible to get a lease if you've got no references or credit to back you up?

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Evanston

Lakeview: Mark your calendars for the 2018 Midwest Sing & Stomp! This fabulous event is on Saturday, September 1 at Second Unitarian Church (656 W Barry Ave). This is an annual celebration of folk music and dance, highlighting the many vibrant traditions that have taken root in Chicago and the Great Lakes region.

Restaurant Review - Chop Shop

Sometimes, you just need to feel a little fancy! So, this week took me to Chop Shop, located at 2033 W. North Ave. The restaurant is located inside a 100-year old former auto body shop and is Chicago’s only sustainable butcher, deli, restaurant, and bar. It also houses a 6,000 square foot event space and concert venue.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Too Many Tomatoes?

A few weeks ago, I never would have thought that. Each ripe tomato coming in from the garden was precious and eaten simply with a little salt to relish in their fresh, delicious flavor. But those of you with vegetable gardens know that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Today, I’m going to share two ways to preserve your tomatoes: fresh sauce and freezing.

7 Tricks Real Estate Agents Use When Negotiating

While you might not necessarily be doing any of the wheeling and dealing at the negotiating table when buying or selling a home, it's still interesting to know how your real estate agent handles these talks in order to get their clients the best deals possible.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Summer Winding Down – But Not In Chicago!

Well, the kids are out in droves preparing for the start of another school year, which can only mean one thing – summer is winding down! But not here in Chicago! We’ll be taking it to the air, the water, and the neighborhoods!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Andersonville, Chicago Loop, Portage Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Grab your furry best friend and get ready to celebrate National Dog Day with “For Paw’s Club”! The event is Sunday, August 26 from 1 to 4 pm at Bucktown Pub. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Live Like Roo, a volunteer run 501c3 organization committed to providing support and financial assistance to families whose pet face a cancer diagnosis.

INFOGRAPHIC: NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report For June 2018

June sales across the country dipped from the same time last year, but prices are on a steady climb.

Restaurant Review - The Piggery

I’m always on the hunt for a new brunch spot! And this week, I found The Piggery. Located at 1625 W Irving Park Road, The Piggery is a large, sports-themed restaurant. They have a huge inside seating area, a large outdoor bar, and a rooftop deck!

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Study Tips for Back to School

Yes, it’s that time of year. Back to school! While Chicago schools don’t go back until after Labor Day, many of the surrounding suburbs start this week and next. The days will be getting shorter too. Daylight time is now getting one minute shorter every day.

5 Things Buyers Should Know About Earnest Money Deposits

While you won't be expected to dish out the full sale price when you buy a home, you will have to put up a certain amount of money to seal the deal, and an earnest money deposit is part of it.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – STILL SUMMER – FOR NOW!

Even though another school year is quickly approaching, there’s no shortage of weekend activities for the entire family. After all, it is still summer – for now!

What's it Like to Have Your Home Improved on a Reality TV Show?

You've probably watched your fair share of Trading Spaces, Fixer Upper, or Love It Or List It. And you've probably learned a thing or two or have at least been thoroughly entertained by them.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Chicago Loop, Edgewater, Oak Park

Lincoln Park: It’s time to get buggy! That’s right- it’s Bugapalooza 2018 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum! Stop by the bug zoo on Friday, August 17 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm to interact with live critters, both native and exotic species. Nerd out with their entomologist and learn how to pin an insect specimen with the museum collections staff.

Restaurant Review - S&G Restaurant

This week took me to a classic Chicago diner- S&G Restaurant. Sam & George’s (S&G) is a family-run restaurant that has been serving the Lakeview neighborhood for over 60 years! I came in for lunch on a Monday. The restaurant is deceptively large, so I had no problem being seated right away.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Grocery Shop Like a Pro

I was shopping this morning and I noticed “Wow, there aren’t so many people in line today!" Of course, it was 8:30 in the morning. Yes, shopping early in the day or later at night is best. I thought it would be helpful to pass along a few grocery shopping hints so you can shop more efficiently.

9 Tips to Getting Rid of the Smell of Cigarette Smoke From Your New Home

When you're on the prowl for a new home, the last thing you want to walk into is a home that reeks of cigarette smoke.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – LOLLA’S BACK!

Yes, Lolla’s back! That is Lollapalooza -- a huge festival held in Grant Park. However, if you prefer a smaller crowd than Lolla, there’s plenty of neighborhood festivals to whet your appetite!

INFOGRAPHIC: 12 Listing Keywords That Can Help Get More Attention From Buyers

Your listing's description plays a key role in attracting buyers and piquing their interests.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, River North, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Lakeview: It’s time for the 7th Annual Chicago Women’s Funny Festival! This event features a melting pot of comedic genres, including everything from highbrow musical improv to relatable stand-up to character driven sketch.

Restaurant Review - Corridor

I love a local brewery! This week, I found myself at Corridor Brewery & Provisions, located at 3446 N Southport. Every time I’ve walked by around dinner time, the patio is full and the inside of the restaurant is bustling with people. We came in for dinner around 8 on a Monday night and had no problem being seated right away.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – West Nile Virus

We are hearing around Chicago of the first reported cases of West Nile Virus. This is a mosquito borne illness that can be very serious, especially in the elderly community. About 1 in 5 people bitten by an infected mosquito will show symptoms.

How to Sell Your Home in a Bad Location

When it comes to real estate, location is everything, hence the adage, "location, location, location." You could have a fabulous home, but if it's in a bad location, its value can definitely suffer.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Top Drawing Fiestas Take Center Stage!

As we close out our July summer weekends here in Chicago, some of the city’s top drawing fiestas (or festivals) take center stage!

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Real Estate Buying Hacks All First-Timers Should Know

Buying your first home can be overwhelming, but going into the process prepared and armed with information and the right people can help ensure a smooth, streamlined process.

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Bucktown and Wicker Park, Logan Square, Andersonville, Portage Park

Lincoln Park: One of summer’s best festivals is just two short weeks away! Chicago Hot Dog Fest 2018 is here! The festival is from August 10-12 and this year marks its 6th year. Celebrate the 125th anniversary of the World’s Colombian Exposition by indulging in bunches of hot dog offerings and cold beer.

Restaurant Review - Francesca's

I have been craving Italian food something fierce. This week took me to Francesca’s, a charming spot tucked away in the Edgewater neighborhood. The restaurant is deceptively large, with ample seating around the wooden bar, a generous number of tables and booths, and a private dining space in the back.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Make Your Backyard a Bird Haven

We have enjoyed all the birds coming to our backyard year-round for many years. We started with one feeder and now we have several. I like to blog about this every year as it’s a great pastime for young and old alike.

8 Home Improvement Jobs No Homeowner Should Tackle on Their Own

Some homeowners are pretty handy, which can be very convenient when a light bulb burns out or a door hinge needs to be tightened. But no matter how good you might be around the house, there are certain jobs that you should think twice about taking the DIY route for.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Savoring Our Remaining Summer Weekends!

It’s already the third weekend of July, which means we need to savor what’s left of our summer weekends! Here’s what the city has in store for you!!

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, River North, Edgewater, Oak Park

Bucktown and Wicker Park: Meet People Chicago brings you the “Division Street Bar Crawl”. Hop on board as they hit the best bars Division Street has to offer! The crawl includes Fifty/50, FatPour, InnJoy, Easy Bar, and Bourbon on Division.

What Do HOA Fees Cover?

Condos and homes that are located in an HOA community come with a certain set of perks that you won't find in your traditional home.

Restaurant Review - Clark St. Dog

If you live in the city, you’ve got to have a go-to for late night food. Well this week, I found mine. Clark St. Dog is a hidden gem, but apparently only to me; it’s been around since 1977! Since then, the Velliotis family has been serving up delicious Chicago-style food and drink.

Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Lawn and Garden Do's and Don'ts for Hot Weather

Do’s and Don’ts for Lawn and Garden During Hot Spells. You can get through summer hot spells with a few tricks and tips! Here are the do’s...

Buying a House With Bad Credit? Here's What You Need to Know

Credit scores are crucial little numbers that play a key role in your financial health.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Summer Scorcher Hosts Popular Food Festivals!

Although another summer scorcher is on the way, this weekend is packed with Chicago’s most popular street food festivals of the season! It’s sure to be an unforgettable good time in Chi Town!

Common Reasons Why Homeowners Insurance Claims Are Rejected

You pay good money to have your home covered with a homeowners' insurance policy, so when damage is done to it, you expect your claim to go through and a check to mailed to you soon after.