Outdoor Entertaining Inspiration

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The weather is finally warming up and our fellow Chicagoans are finally starting to come out of hibernation! With all of this sun and seventies temperatures coming our way, our favorite way to celebrate is to get outside. We have rounded up a few of the best outdoor spots for enjoyment and entertaining featured at our listings. Whether you can’t contain your excitment to get outside or you’re looking for some outdoor inspiration: here you go.

Let’s start with a glorious sunset view from the patios of 42 Brinker Road in Barrington Hills. Just imagine heading out from your personal pier for some twilight boating…

 

Raining on your parade? Have no fear with this beautiful enclosed sun room at 308 S Cook Street in Barrington, complete with a grill! The best news: it leads to a spacious outdoor patio!

 

A hot day calls for a cool dip in the pool. This large pool at 61 Brinker Road in Barrington Hills looks like just the spot! Bonus: after the pool, enjoy the beautifully designed men and women’s changing rooms in the basement.

 

If you’re looking to get a sweat in, 1626 Dublin Court in Inverness has a tennis court in the backyard! When you want to take a break, though, good luck choosing between the screened in porch, the hammock on the deck, the beautiful patio, or the shaded gazebo…

 

Speaking of shaded, this massive deck at 28367 Heritage Oaks Road in Barrington has the perfect opportunity to get some relief from the sun while still being outdoors. The large yard is surround with mature trees!

 

The patios at 14 Longmeadow Drive are the perfect place to host a dinner party al fresco. And what to serve for dinner? How about some veggies from the large vegetable garden in the side yard!

 

Let’s finish this round up with a view of the grounds at 70 Round Barn Road in Barrington Hills. If you are exhausted from swimming in the pool, grab your fishing pole and head over to the pond!

 

We hope this compilation has gotten you into a happy Spring mood! If you are interesting in seeing any of these listings, please contact John Morrison at 847.409.0297.

Decorating Your Home with Color

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When it comes time to sell your house, here at Morrison Home Team of @properties, we always recommend a few things to be done prior to listing it. For example, cleaning up the curb appeal because first impressions are lasting impressions. Or decluttering the entire place to make the space seem larger. Another thing we encourage our sellers to consider: the color of the rooms in their home.

Subconsciously, color evokes emotions that could play a role in how potential buyers feel when they walk into your house. If you are thinking about making some changes in your décor, consider incorporating the following colors:

White:

Everyone loves a white kitchen, but why are we so attracted to it? White invokes feelings of cleanliness and goodness, and it usually reflects light well which makes the space look even brighter.

748 Prairie Avenue, Barrington

Silver/Light Grey:

This color is often associated with a feeling of glamor, grace, and sleekness. It is why we see the trend of popular grey scale homes lately. We also see it go hand in hand with white, because the two colors play off each other so well, like in this kitchen at our listing at 748 Prairie Avenue.

50 Hillburn Lane, North Barrington

Blue:

Blue is considered a serene color, most likely because it’s association with water. Blue subconsciously makes people feel at peace, which is exactly what you would like buyers to feel in your home! This guest room at 50 Hillburn Lane is exactly the type of room we would like to stay in while visiting.

603 S Summit Street, Barrington

Yellow:

While decorating with yellow can sometimes be intimidating, this color often makes people feel energetic, warm, and happy. We think this is related to its association with the sun. If you don’t want to use it on the inside, our listing at 603 S Summit Street is a great example of a beautiful shade of yellow used to welcome everyone who drives past the home!

82 Paganica Drive, Barrington Hills

Green:

Because there is so much green in the environment, this color makes spaces feel fresh and grounded. It is also one of the easiest colors to match several shades together. This calming shade of green used in the Great Room at our listing at 82 Paganica Drive brings a breath of fresh air to the space.

2 Far Hills Road, Barrington Hills

Pink:

While pink is usually associated with being quite feminine, it also encourages feelings of happiness, compassion, and playfulness. We love how this shade energizes this dining room at our listing on 2 Far Hills Road in Barrington Hills.

We hope this mini color guide and psychology lesson taught you a little something, and as always, if you are thinking about buying or selling your home, reach out to John Morrison at 847.409.0297.

What to do This Spring (While Your House is Being Shown!)

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Trying to figure out what to do while your house is being shown during the busy Spring Market? While here at Morrison Home Team, we won’t leave you hanging! Here are a few of our favorite Spring events coming up, perfect to allow you to enjoy the time spent out of your house while it is being shown! (Disclosure: if your house isn’t on the market, you can still enjoy these activities).

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, until March 24.

Photo courtesy of: Chicago Botanic Garden

This yearly event is best enjoyed while it is cold and dreary outside so you can better relish in the warm temperatures of the green house and the brilliant colors of 10,000+ orchids in bloom! Don’t have time to go during the day? Stop by for Orchids After Hours on Thursdays and enjoy tropical drinks and light bites while you explore the show. More information about the event here: https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid

Ice Skating in Millenium Park and Maggie Daley Park, until March 10.

Because sometimes during March in Chicago, it’s not warm enough to run around in the parks…For another week, the ice skating rink at Millenium Park and ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park are still open! If you’re looking for a beautiful view of the city, something to do with the kids, and hot chocolate nearby, stop by these venues before the weather warms up.

Wndr Museum

Photo courtesy of: Time Out Chicago

This science and art themed, innovative pop up museum exhibition has completely enraptured the city (you have probably seen some photos on Instagram). The idea is to get you to interact with everything and you will have fun doing it! We recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time, which you can find here: https://wndrmuseum.com/https://wndrmuseum.com/

Barrington Celtic Fest, March 15-17  

If you are in the Northwest Suburbs, take the weekend of St. Paddy’s Day to enjoy Barrington’s Celtic Fest just outside of McGonigal’s Pup in downtown Barrington. For the free admission you can expect live music, Irish goods being sold, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and plenty of food and drinks! See more information here: https://365barrington.com/events/barrington-celtic-fest-march-15-17/

If you are interested in learning about events going on every weekend, contact claire@morrisonhometeam.com to receive our Weekend Roundup every Thursday in your inbox!

Key Things to Keep in Mind When Buying and Selling Your Home

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When it comes to buying or selling a home, here at Morrison Home Team, we are experts. Our goal is to help our clients get as much value for their dollar. Below, we outlined a few things to keep in mind in order to get there whether you are buying or selling your home.

You can find this gorgeous home at 28436 Heritage Oaks, listed by Liz Sincox

Things to Keep in Mind While Buying a House

Get Your Finances in Order

Obviously buying a home is a big financial decision. Before you even start looking, your Morrison Home Team agent can refer you to a trusted mortgage lender who can help you figure out your budget based on several financial factors. Using this knowledge, you can focus on looking at houses that you can comfortably afford. Another tip we recommend is not making big purchases prior to buying a house because it could result in your lending ratios changing. Therefore, try to avoid buying a new car or signing as a cosigner on anything that could really affect your debt and credit level.

Be Open Minded

This is something that is always easier said than done when it comes to house hunting. That is why you need a Morrison Home Team agent to be able to see the diamond in the rough (aka the house’s potential). This principle also is important when figuring out what you are looking for in a house. We suggest creating a list of “must haves” and “want to haves”. Make sure to keep your non-negotiable “must have” list brief but specific, otherwise your MHT agent will have a hard time narrowing down homes for you to look at.

Consider Resale Value

This is an aspect of selling that we always recommend to our MHT clients. Whether you are buying a temporary home or your forever home, at some point, these homes will go back on the market. Our goal is to get you as much bang for your buck as possible. That being said, we always tell our clients to consider things such as location or floor plan. Location concerns factors such as is the property situated on a busy road or is it near transportation. We suggest considering the floor plan to make sure that while the home may be perfect for your family, will it be perfect for others as well? Finally, if an area is desirable, it means that more people will want to buy your house in the future, hopefully allowing for a higher resale value.

This home at 748 Prairie Ave in Barrington is in a prime location walking distance to schools and downtown Barrington! Contact John Morrison for more information.

Things to Keep in Mind While Selling Your House

A great example of a beautifully staged home that shows off the size and versatility of the room. Contact Liz Sincox to see this house on 141 Pheasant Trail in Deer Park.

Stage Your Home to Sell

We are big believers in the power of staging your home prior to listing it. As part of our services here at MHT, we recommend professional stagers who will help to clear away clutter, brighten up the space, make it appear larger, and ideally, help the house sell faster. If you want more information on staging your home, check out our other blog posts on the topic: MHT’s Show-Ready Checklist & Staging Your Home to Sell

Be Flexible with Selling Times

The best way to sell your house is to allow people to come see it! It is also important to note that a lot of people look at houses during inconvenient times such as after work or on weekends, since that is when they are free. While they could really get in the way of schedules, we recommend being as flexible as possible. The more people who see your home, the higher the probability that someone will buy it! At MHT, we always suggest our clients keep their homes show ready at all times, so they can be available at a moment’s notice. We understand that this can be hard with pets and children at home, so we have written a blog post about this as well: How to Stage Your Home With Pets

Be Willing to Negotiate

While your Morrison Home Team agent is an expert negotiator, it is important for our clients to be willing and open to it. We recommend having a bottom line in mind and keeping a short list of non-negotiables handy. After that, though, be willing to stretch your negotiation limit to fulfill what the buyer is looking for. The end goal is to sell your home and we can’t get to that goal without reaching a mutual agreement.

Looking for a stunning, unique home in Barrington Hills? Contact John Morrison for more information about his listing at 2 Far Hills Road.

We hope that this advice has helped anyone looking to buy or sell their home! Do you know someone going through this process currently? Please pass this post on to them!

Morrison Home Team of @Properties in Barrington. For business inquiries, contact John Morrison at 847.409.0297 or via email at john@morrisonhometeam.com.

How to Review Morrison Home Team Online

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We appreciate your help while we build our online presence! If you are so kind enough to fill out reviews on all four platforms, we will send you a $5 Starbucks giftcard as a thank you!

Here’s how to do it:

Google

Here is the link to fill out a Google review for Morrison Home Team: Google Review

Follow these steps:

  • Click on the link above
  • Wait for the box to pop up
  • Please provide a star review and a brief comment
  • Click “post”

LinkedIn

Here are the links for each of the Morrison Home Team team members:

John Morrison LinkedIn Review
Elizabeth Sincox LinkedIn Review
Crystal DiDomenico LinkedIn Review
Lisa Moeller LinkedIn Review

Follow these steps:

  • Connect with your agent on LinkedIn
  • Go on to your agent’s home page on LinkedIn (linked above)
  • Under the top section of the page, where it states your agent’s and their photo, select “More”
  • Scroll down and click on “Recommend”
  • Please select “Client” as your relationship to your agent
  • Please select “Real Estate Broker at @properties” under the “Position at the time” tab
  • Write your recommendation
  • Click “send”

Zillow

Here is the link to recommend us on Zillow: Zillow Review

Follow these steps:

  • Click on the link above
  • Scroll halfway down the page 
  • Select “Write a review”
  • Fill out all of the fields and write a review
  • When finished, select “Submit Review”

Facebook

Here is the link to recommend us on Facebook: Morrison Home Team

Follow these steps:

  • Click on the link above
  • “Like” Morrison Home Team on Facebook
  • Scroll partway down the page to where is says “Do you recommend Morrison Home Team?”
  • Provide your answer
  • Write a brief summary of your experience working with MHT

We appreciate your time!

Tidying Up with Morrison Home Team

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On the heels of the wildly popular Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, we thought it would be very beneficial to go over a few ways to declutter your home while it is on the market. These things will not only help your home look well cared for, but will also help your packing process prior to moving! Here is what we suggest:

Go Through Personal Items

A depersonalized home doesn’t have to mean a boring one! These sellers at 239 W Russell street still made the space their own while still allowing space for buyers to visualize themselves in the home.

We often tell our clients that the more they are able to “depersonalize” their home, the easier it is for prospective buyers to visualize themselves in it. Take this as an opportunity to go through photos that are on display on walls or refrigerators and take down extra photo frames on shelves to make them appear larger. These are just a few ideas on how to not only make the place look cleaner, but also allow buyers to feel more at home in, hopefully, their future home!

Declutter Your Décor

This neutral, but stunning decor at 42 Brinker Road helps guide the focus to the space and the view to the outdoors.

It’s time to implement the “less is more” rule. Take a walk through your house and decide where you can take away decorative pillows on beds and rid the room of too many patterns. We often suggest our clients also neutralize their color palates by decorating and painting in greys and whites so the décor does not take away from the beauty of the home. This is a great way to make the entire space feel light and airy upon entering.

Clear Off Your Counters

Even with all of this counter space at 26360 Glenbarr Lane, it is still beautifully clear of clutter!

This may seem like an obvious step to cleaning your home, but sometimes “tidy” and “clear” are two different things. Tidy is, perhaps, your toothbrushes on the bathroom counter in a cup. But if you want the space to seem larger and cleaner, we suggest putting the toothbrush cup in a cabinet. The same goes for pencils on a desk, even salt and pepper shakers on a kitchen counter. People want to see what the space looks like without distractions and going around with a fine-toothed comb is a good way to do it.

We hope these quick clean up tricks have sparked some ideas (and joy!) on how to better prepare your home to sell. If you know anyone currently going through the home selling process, please pass this information on to them!

If you are in need of home buying or selling services, please contact John Morrison with Morrison Home Team at 847.409.0297.

Home Buyer Vocabulary

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Calling all first-time home buyers! Or anyone who hasn’t bought a house in a while! Or anyone who wants to learn anything new about buying a house! We know the process can get confusing, but here at Morrison Home Team, we want to dispel as much of that confusion as possible. To do that, we made a list of vocabulary words to help you understand the home buying and closing process! No, we won’t make you spell it, give us the form of speech, and use it in a sentence on your next test…but we think it will aid your entire process!

Showing off a few of our listings that are available to buy! This sweet ranch at 244 Elm Rd in
Jewel park is beautiful! Contact: John Morrison

Offer: a little bit self-explanatory term, but this is where you make a bid on a house that you want to purchase. After this happens, there is usually a negotiation process before an agreement is reached between you, the buyer, and the seller to purchase the home.

Contingent: When the offer has been accepted, but the finalized sale is based on certain criteria. Usually this is the appraisal, home inspection, and mortgage rate approval. Both the buyer and the seller can set these criteria.

This private listing at 131 W Station is just steps from downtown Barrington! Contact John Morrison

Home Inspection: We always make sure to hire a professional inspector to come around to the house and make sure every little thing is in pristine condition. As that is not usually the case, your Morrison Home Team agent will help you determine the cost of fixing the things that might need to be improved, and you can include that in your final negotiation before signing the contract.

Appraisal: Speaking of appraisal, this is when a professional appraiser comes by to determine the value of the property you are purchasing. The selling agent will pull comparison homes that have recently sold in the area and the appraiser will consider those and everything else from how the home has been taken care of to the improvements that have been made recently. The goal is to have the value of the home match your offer.

Another village beauty! Contact Elizabeth Sincox to see this recent remodel of a historic home at 126 Raymond Avenue

Closing: Congratulations! You made it over all of the hurdles and you are officially going to own your new home! The closing is when you will be signing the papers for the property in your name. This is when you finally get the keys and can begin your move in process!

We hope that helped explain a bit of the home buying process, but of course, if you have any more questions, please contact your Morrison Home Team agent!

Do you know anyone starting the home buying process? Please forward this on to them! For more information, contact John Morrison with Morrison Home Team at 847.409.0297.

MHT’s Favorite Weekend Getaways

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Here at Morrison Home Team of @Properties, we love Chicago and we love the Chicago suburbs, but sometimes you just need to get out of the hustle and bustle for a bit.

We polled around for our favorite weekend getaways from Chicago and are excited to share them with you! Looking for the perfect place to relax or bring kids? Read on!

John: Our favorite place to go with the family is Lake Geneva, WI. The town is quaint, quiet, and beautiful and as much fun for my daughters as it is for my wife and I. In the winter, we go up for Winterfest and make sure to check out the Ice Castles. You can look up the dates that they are open online! In the summer, our favorite thing is to rent a boat in Williams Bay and drive the lake for a little while before stopping at Pier 290 for dinner.

Liz: Both of our kids attended Iowa State University for college, so my husband and I have become HUGE Cyclone fans because of it! Even though they have both graduated, we still make time every fall and winter to go back and watch a football and basketball game at their alma mater. It’s a fun family getaway, and we all get to pretend like we are back in college!

Huge win for Iowa State this past season resulted in a field storming!

Lisa: We are also big Lake Geneva fans! It’s less than an hour from Barrington, so it makes for the perfect place to spend some time–even if it’s just a day. My daughter and I love the year round activities like skiing, boating, and kayaking. If we are looking for a more relaxed visit, we head to the annual art festivals and the Oktoberfest celebrations!

Crystal: My family and I often visit Union Pier, Michigan. It’s a really easy drive at just 60 miles from Chicago. Right next door, New Buffalo has awesome shops and restaurants! We rent a house along the beach (in the summer especially) and enjoy a relaxing weekend to recharge.

Hopefully these have inspired you to get out and around this year!

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell their house, please contact John Morrison at 847.409.0297.

How to Stage Your Home with Pets

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Here at Morrison Home Team of @Properties, we know you love your pets and we understand that they are another member of your family. But we also know that there are some people who don’t always understand that: Potential buyers. Therefore, we recommend hiding evidence of your pets while your home is on the market. To help make this task seem less overwhelming, we have made this list to help streamline the process and make sure everything is show ready when the time comes to sell your home. We have also provided cute pictures of puppies and kittens to make it more enjoyable.

Get rid of any stains or damages from pets

First impressions are important, which is why eliminating stains and repairing damages is the first step. Stains, especially carpet stains from puppy accidents, can lead to odors, which can deter potential buyers from wanting your home. On top of that, damages to furniture or baseboards (from puppy teeth) can make it look as though the house isn’t cared for. Feel free to ask your MHT agent for a reliable carpet cleaner or contractor to get these tasks checked off.

Clean, clean, clean!

This is obviously vital to making sure your home is show ready whether or not you have pets, but a few extra steps should be taken if you do. We recommend vacuuming the floors and furniture every day to make sure there is minimal evidence of shedding. If you dedicate just 15 minutes daily, then you will always be ready for a last-minute showing! Another area to check often: air vents. Pet hair can get trapped and built up in there, which makes it a great spot to clean them out whenever possible. Finally, if you have an adventurous cat, it would be worth it to dust of shelves frequently.

Tidy up after your pet

Since we can’t tell our dogs and cats to put away their toys, we recommend finding a hiding spot for them during showing times. This will also help your home to generally look less cluttered. A basket next to a crate or hidden in the laundry room is the perfect place to get these toys out of sight and mind.

Be a Super Pooper Scooper

Pick a day, perhaps twice a week, where you venture into the backyard and clean up after your pup. Nothing ruins a day, or the opinion of a home, than if potential buyers decide to walk through your backyard and step in a sizable…present…left just for them!

Air out the house

Sometimes you get used to the scent of having a pet around, but that is the first thing that will hit potential buyers when they walk through your door: the smell. Since we’ve already agreed that positive first impressions are necessary for a positive experience, why not make it a neutral or enjoyable smell? Open up the windows to bring in some fresh air, invest in odor neutralizers, and even bake some fresh cookies if you know that you have a showing later! Taking these measures will ensure that potential buyers have a positive experiences when viewing your home.

Finally: remove the pets for the showing

When the time comes to show the house, do everything in your power to get your pets out of the house. This will eliminate the possibility of a dog barking throughout the showing. Or even worse: if someone is allergic to dog or cat dander, this will eliminate the risk of them breaking out into an allergic reaction! Hopefully this will provide some bonding time with you and your pets while you’re out with them!

We hope this checklist will help eliminate some overwhelming feelings about making sure everything is perfect with a pet while your home is on the market. If you or anyone you know is currently experiencing this, please share this post with them!

 

MHT’s Holiday To-Do List

By | Community News, Morrison Home Team News, Neighborhood Focus | No Comments

While the weather outside might be frightful…it’s still the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the season for ice skating, hot chocolate, bright lights, and spending time with friends and family! We love all of the excitement that the holidays bring, so we are sharing some of our favorite things to do this time of the year:

 

John

Our favorite thing to do as a family is go downtown to Michigan Avenue to see the Christmas Tree and the lights. My daughters are always mesmerized by all of the lights and I love the memory that they will have of all of us seeing it together as a family. They also love walking past the window displays at Macy’s on State Street and going inside to see the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room.

Liz

Ok I have two things. The first is going to Chessie’s Restaurant in Barrington for dinner during the holidays—the decorations are incredible in the bar area! It really puts me in the holiday spirit. The second is driving to 8 Wescott Drive in South Barrington, and parking out front to watch their Christmas light show! This family decorates their home with over 85,000 lights every other year (it’s on this year!) and puts on a 15-minute show synced up to music. It is so much fun to dress in pajamas, make some hot chocolate, and go watch from the warmth of the car. Just make sure to tell the guard at the gate that you are coming to see the Kazmier Family, you don’t want to miss this!

Lisa

We head into the city too! It’s most magical when we are window shopping on Michigan Ave or State Street and the snow starts lightly falling. When we get tired of the cold, we head over to Fado for an Irish Coffee to warm ourselves up again!

Crystal

My family and I always make it a point to grab dinner in the basement at Kelsey Road House during the holiday season. They go to such great lengths for their incredible festive décor, it is crazy!

Other Fun Holiday Activities:

Winter Wonderfest:

Until January 6 at Navy Pier. Festivities include: indoor ice skating, rides, giant slides, holiday decor, climbing walls, mini golf, and cookie decorating! This is a ticketed festival, but you can buy them online for $20!

Christkindlmarket:

Until December 24 in Daley Plaza. Shop handcrafted goods, enjoy traditional German food, and don’t forget you mug of spiced wine!

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights:

Until January 6 at Lincoln Park Zoo. Watch the zoo transform into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights and displays, and even a light show set to music!

Ice Skating in Chicago:

Skate at Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Wrigley Field (also known as Gallagher Way).

Long Grove Vintage Holidays:

Saturdays and Sundays until December 22 in Downtown Long Grove. Festivities include: Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, Mr. and Mrs. Claus visits.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

-The Morrison Home Team

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