Elmhurst real estate blog archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 26

Elmhurst College Awards First-Generation Scholarships

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst College recently announced the recipients of its inaugural Elmhurst College American Dream Fellowship Competition, a scholarship contest that supports and celebrates first-generation college students.

The competition was launched last year as part of the college’s commitment to helping its students achieve the American dream. It was open to all first-generation college students who had been admitted to Elmhurst College for the fall of 2018. Applicants were asked to submit a video on the topic, “As a first-generation student, what would graduating from college mean to you and your family?” 

Scholarship applications came in not only from the Chicago area but also from across the country. On Feb. 19, winners were announced at a ceremony in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on campus with more than 500 people, including many family members, in attendance.

Lillian Rizo-Dubois, a Prairie Ridge High School senior from Crystal Lake, received first place. She plans to major in French with the goal of teaching high school. She received a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the college. Several other winners received awards ranging from four years’ room and board to a stipend covering the cost of books and materials.

In addition to the video, contestants and their families came to campus for in-person interviews and to hear from current first-generation college students, campus leaders, and alumni, before attending the ceremony later that afternoon.

Here at Gracik-Makinney, we congratulate not only the winners of the scholarships but also the college on its unwavering commitment to providing a quality, inclusive education for everyone.

For more information about life in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst Library gets national five-star ranking

by Thomas Makinney

The Elmhurst Library, with its deep selection of books and media, tall windows overlooking the park, amazing Makery makerspace, cozy fireplace, and coffee shop, has long been one of the jewels of Elmhurst. And the experts agree. The library just received a five-star rating in Library Journal’s annual national ranking of public libraries, one of only six libraries in Illinois to receive that rating.

More than 7,400 libraries across the country were rated, with only 259 of those receiving any star designation. This is the tenth year that LJ has rated libraries, which are measured in categories based on per capita measures of service output and budgets.  Elmhurst Public Library has received three- and four-star ratings in the past, but this is the first five-star review.

Ratings are based on data reported to the government—visits, checkouts, program attendance, digital materials, and public computer use per capita.

Elmhurst is in the top 10 public libraries in the country with a $5-9.9M budget (and the first in Illinois) with one of the highest visits and checkouts per capita.

The LJ article pointed out that the best libraries have welcoming facilities with well-targeted programs and collections with range and depth as well as strong technology features. That description fits EPL to a tee.

You can read the entire Library Journal article here.

Congratulations to the Elmhurst Public Library! We’re thrilled that such a beautiful and professional facility is getting the national recognition it deserves. If you’re interested in learning more about the library or any part of living in Elmhurst, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.

30 York musicians and singers perform in ILMEA All-District band

by Thomas Makinney

Congratulations to the 30 York High School students who were selected to perform in the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) All-District band, chorus, orchestra, and jazz band! More than 3,000 students auditioned from over 75 schools throughout northeastern Illinois.

The Senior Festival was held Nov. 18 at Elmhurst College. There was also a Junior/Senior Jazz Festival on Nov. 11 at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing.

The following York students were selected for the IMEA All-District I:

Nick Agliata, bassoon; Katharine Bartosz, soprano; Michael Bindeman, bass; Olivia Braun, trombone; Madds Buckley, alto; Grace Clarke, alto sax; Matt Dardick, alto sax; Emily Dow, cello; Kristen Drost, soprano; Audrey Fatheree, French horn; Danielle Fite, alto; Lauren Hund, flute; Rylan Johnsen, viola; Carina Kanzler, soprano; Helen Koczur, soprano; Erin Lee, soprano; Wilke Macariola, tenor; Bailey Maguire, alto; Lauren Makinney, double bass; Abigail Marianetti, cello; David Menichini, trumpet; Jackie Meyer, alto; Chuck Miller, tenor sax, concert band and jazz ensemble; Siena Olson, French horn; Nicole Polizzi, soprano; Sebastian Rohn, tenor; Erin Stone, alto; Cece Stumpf, trumpet; Tessa Vermeulen, flute; and Nick Villarreal, clarinet.

Other Elmhurst students who performed on Nov. 18 were Timothy Christian students Dana McAdam, soprano 2; and Jack Vandermolen, clarinet.

Gracik-Makinney would like to congratulate all the young musicians! We’re proud of the strong music programs that are supported by all of the Elmhurst schools. A vibrant arts community is one of the best parts of our town. To learn more, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.


Elmhurst District 205 ranked one of best in state

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst Unified School District 205 was recently ranked one of the top ten best school districts in Illinois. Coming in at number eight, the district received straight As for academics, teachers, clubs and activities, college prep, and health and safety.
The rankings were based on analysis of statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and parent/student reviews. Schools were rated and given grades in academics, teachers, culture and diversity, health and safety, resources and facilities, clubs and activities, and sports. Information was also analyzed from parent/student surveys.
Just ahead of District 205, Hinsdale Township District 86 came in at number seven, and Niles Township District 219 came in after us at number nine.
In high school rankings, York High School received an A+ and was ranked #32 out of 659 high schools in Illinois, private and public.
The top ten school districts in Illinois listed in order are: New Trier Township High School District 203, Community High School District 128 (Vernon Hills), Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, Glenbrook Schools District 225, Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204 (Aurora), Hinsdale Township High School District 86, Elmhurst School District 205, Niles Township Community High School District 219, and Community Unit School District 200 (Wheaton).
Information was compiled by Niche.com, a website that analyzes dozens of public data sets and millions of reviews to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards, and profiles for K-12 schools, colleges, and places to live. To learn more about the rankings of school districts, visit  https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-school-districts.
Strong schools are one of the main considerations that people take into account when buying a home, and we’re proud that Elmhurst schools have consistently ranked among the best. To find out more about our schools and our city, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com.

Elmhurst College Ranked One of the Top Online Colleges in Illinois

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst College is getting used to seeing its name at the top of national rankings. A recent survey by OnlineColleges.com ranked Elmhurst College among the top of colleges and universities in Illinois that offer online programs.

Elmhurst College received particularly high scores for its student graduation and retention rates, placing it in the top 15 statewide. Elmhurst ranked 23rd out of the 98 Illinois institutions surveyed.

Elmhurst offers graduate degrees, graduate certificate programs, undergraduate certificate programs, and degree completion programs.

According to U.S. News, the percentage of students enrolling in online programs continues to rise and is beginning to skew younger. Once the realm of for-profit schools, many accredited colleges and universities are beginning to offer online degrees for students seeking a less traditional approach.

U.S. News also reports that although online students are not bound to a geographic area, most students tend to enroll in local institutions with strong reputations.

OnlineCollege.com ranked more than 2, 500 accredited colleges and universities on factors including affordability, student services, and the availability of online programs. It is an independent resource that provides information about online colleges and degree programs and can help students find the right college and program.

We’re proud to have such a prestigious college right in the middle of our town. For more information on what makes Elmhurst a great place to live, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit our website, www.gmregroup.com.  

Elmhurst pools garner top honors

by Thomas Makinney

Elmhurst residents aren’t the only ones impressed by East End and Smalley pools. Besides offering a variety of aquatic activities—from slides and diving boards to water features and lap lanes—our lifeguards and facilities are getting national recognition.

Starfish Aquatics Institute, one of the premier lifeguard, swim instructor and pool operator certifying agencies in the United States, recently gave EPD lifeguards a 5-star rating, its highest honor.

Unidentified auditors, using methods similar to “mystery shoppers”, assessed lifeguards during June. Lifeguards were evaluated on scanning, attentiveness, and professionalism.

Auditors also conducted skill scenarios to assess how staff responded to drowning and emergency situations. And supervisory staff was evaluated for leadership and safety practices.

Altogether, more than 50 performance metrics were assessed, and EPD facilities not only met exceeded critical standards in each area.

The rating is impressive not only because it is difficult to achieve, but also because EPD pools have received the honor every year for more than five years.

Teamwork and communication were two areas where EPD lifeguards really stood out. Guards were recognized for the safety knowledge and ability to quickly respond to situations.

So the next time you’re at one of the pools, relax. You’re in good hands.

For more information about Elmhurst’s stellar park district and other benefits of our city, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com

York HS Reaches Pinnacle of AP Success

by Thomas Makinney

York High School and District 205 received excellent news from the College Board’s Advanced Placement program.
District 205 was recently named to the College Board’s 7th annual AP District Honor Roll. In 2017, only 433 school districts in the U.S. and Canada achieved the distinction and only 21 in Illinois.
This is the fourth time D205 has made the list (also in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016).
Additionally 33 York High School students and recent graduates earned National AP Scholar status based on exceptional achievement in last May’s AP Exams. An additional 163 were honored as an AP Scholar with Distinction, while another 52 were honored as an AP Scholar with Honors. In addition, 112 were named AP Scholars. A total of 327 Scholars earned an average score of 4.09 (out of a possible 5.0) on a total of 1,928 exams.

Those qualifying for the National AP Scholar award earned an average score of 4 or higher on all AP Exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on 8 or more of these exams.
In order to make the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll, districts must both increase access to AP courses for a broader number of students while also maintaining or improving the rate at which AP students earn scores of 3 or higher on an AP exam.
York saw an increase in students from 727 in 2014 to 832 in 2016.
Advanced Placement courses give high school students the opportunity to study at the college level and earn college credit while still in high school. More than 3,800 colleges and universities worldwide recognize AP scores, and a score of 3 or higher earns students college credit or advanced standing or both.
Additionally, AP courses signal to college admission officers that students have attempted a rigorous curriculum, and thus are capable of managing a heavy college workload as well.
District 205 and York High School regularly receive high marks and national recognition, and people repeatedly cite our excellent schools as a reason why they chose to move to Elmhurst. To learn more about our school system and the many benefits of living here, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit www.gmregroup.com.

District 205 receives top financial grade from Board of Education

by Thomas Makinney


Elmhurst School District 205 received a stellar report card from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Each year, the ISBE rates school districts in terms of their fiscal health. District 205 was put on the “Financial Recognition” list, the report’s highest rating. Subsequent ratings include “Review,” “Early Warning,” and “Watch”

The list takes into account fund balance and expenditure-to-revenue ratio, the days of cash on hand, and the percentage of remaining short- and long-term borrowing ability.

DuPage County has 42 school districts, and of those, 38 were given “Financial Recognition” designation. Bensenville SD2, Cass SD 63, and Hinsdale Township SD86 were given “Review” status while CHSD 99 was placed under “Early Warning.”

Illinois has 857 school districts, and 568 (66%) received the “Financial Recognition” designation, marking them as fiscally sound. Only 32 (4%) were put under “Financial Watch.”

The report noted that many schools are continuing to break even or are spending more than they are realizing in revenue. Many districts are increasingly borrowing and accruing long-term debt in order to sustain daily operations.

Illinois public school districts issued $307.2 million in long-term debt in fiscal year 2015 versus $356.5 million in fiscal year 2014. In 2015, 499 (58%) spent more money than they took in, borrowing or using taxpayer-provided reserves to cover the deficit.

To view the report, visit http://www.isbe.net/sfms/p/profile.htm. District 205 has also posted the State Report Card for the district, including information on each school, at http://www.elmhurst205.org/State_RCards.

To learn more about Elmhurst’s schools and what makes Elmhurst such a strong community, give us a call at (630) 441-5570 or contact us through our website, www.gmregroup.com.


@properties receives 2016 Merrick Momentum Award

by Thomas Makinney


We’re proud of what we do here at @properties, and it’s always gratifying when others recognize the hard work and innovation that we bring to the real estate world.

So we are both humbled and honored to be the winner of the 2016 Merrick Momentum Award from the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center and 1871 Chicago. The award celebrates entrepreneurs and recognizes innovators in Chicago’s tech community. Other finalists included SpotHero, Uptake, Learnmetrics, Rise Interactive, and Caremerge.

The Merrick Momentum Award is bestowed annually to a local company that shows momentum and is on track to be one of the next great companies to emerge from Chicago. Past recipients of the award include Avant, kCura, Braintree, GrubHub, Eved, and SAVVO among others.

@properties was established in 2000 and is already the largest independent real estate brokerage firm in Illinois, and one of the top 12 residential brokers in the U.S. We are locally owned and independent, and offer award-winning sales and marketing, industry-leading technology, and experienced, innovative brokers.

The awards were presented on Oct. 6 at the Radisson Blue Aqua Hotel in Chicago. Other honorees include Civis Analytics, which received the 2016 Merrick “Rising Star” Award; Comcast , which received the 2016 Corporate Champion Award; Impact Engine, which received the Chicagoness Award; and Jai Shekhawat, with the Entrepreneurial Champion Award.

To learn more about the award, visit the 1871 website. To learn more about our level of service and how we leverage our technology to guide you through the process of finding or selling a home, call us at (630) 441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com

U.S. News Ranks Elmhurst College as a Best Value School

by Thomas Makinney

Congratulations to Elmhurst College! U.S. News & World Report recently rated Elmhurst College high on three of its annual national rankings. The report, released on Sept. 13, looked at 115 colleges and universities across the Midwest.

The report ranked Elmhurst fourth in the Best Value category. Last year the college came in ninth on that same list. The ranking takes into account academic quality and cost. A high quality of programs combined with a reasonable price tag puts a school in the “best value” category.

In addition, Elmhurst College made the top ten for Best Regional Universities, a list comprised of institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s degrees but not doctoral degrees. The rankings take into effect student retention rate, faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation rates, and financial resources. 

The college also ranked tenth in the Midwest for Best Colleges for Veterans. Schools on this list must be in the top half of its Best Colleges ranking, have 20 or more students using GI Bill benefits for tuition and fees, and participate in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Elmhurst College is a four-year private liberal arts college that sits on 48 acres within walking distance to our downtown. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,840 and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

Having a quality college in our midst offers many benefits to our residents, including access to high-profile speakers, a myriad of cultural and sporting events, and the bonus of an idyllic campus, which includes an arboretum.

We're grateful to have Elmhurst College in our community. To learn more about the college and the city of Elmhurst, call us at (630)441-5570 or visit us at www.gmregroup.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 26