Elmhurst real estate blog archive


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Drone Technology for Real Estate Marketing?

by Thomas Makinney

drone.jpgWe don’t yet have hoverboards or power shoelaces, but the McFly version of the year 2015 is not terribly off.  Amidst a list of the ‘Back to the Future’ franchise promises that never became a reality, the hovering camera is here.  Though the FAA has strict regulations against using drones for commercial purposes, the National Association of Realtors would like to amend the ban to allow aerial shots to be taken via drone for the purpose of enhanced real estate marketing.  

Lifting the ban could create potential issues with privacy, abuse of the technology, and other industries appealing to lift the ban for their business uses.  The new regulations that are expected to set new parameters and give a timeframe for the possibility of an allowance for drones is expected within the next few weeks.


With the year 2015 nearly upon us, there is a short list of Back to the Future predictions that have actually come to fruition, and there is still time for more.  (Cubs fans, don’t hold your breath on that 2015 World Series win prediction!)

When selling your home, marketing is key.  Contact the Gracik Makinney Group at 630-441-5570 for more information on our comprehensive marketing plans for your next home sale.

Find Your "Homespiration" with these Design Sites

by Thomas Makinney

 Could your digs use some updating? Lacking inspiration?



Home design sites like Houzz and Dwell can help you find your new color scheme, teach you how to optimize space with clever storage methods, and even build-out nooks or entire rooms.

With over three million photos and products to browse, your next DIY project will feel more like you have a team of experts helping you along.

If you want a “country kitchen” look but don’t know where to start, you can easily browse photos, ideas, materials, and articles that can point you in the right direction.  Join in a discussion forum to ask questions or share your own home renovation experiences. Helpful advice and guidance is right at your fingertips!



If you’ve wondered what exactly goes into “Contractor fees,” there’s an article for that. Or how about creating a natural bird habitat in your garden? Yes, they’ve covered the “how-to’s” there as well.

If you’re like us, you love getting a look inside unique or updated homes, and these sites give you VIP access to thousands of real deal dwellings throughout the world.  Check out farmhouses, villas, Victorians, urban duplexes, ranches, and more.  Find out what products the experts are using, and which furniture to use to complete your home’s new look.  Did I mention Houzz has an APP? You can take it with you to the store while you’re trying to match your newly found inspiration.


Whatever style appeals to you, you can find the blueprints for your next project with these great resources.  If you’re looking for help with buying or selling, the Gracik Makinney Real Estate Group is happy to answer your questions, feel free to visit us on the web or call us at 630-441-5570. 


Will the Jetsons Come to Elmhurst?

by Thomas Makinney

It’s almost a no-brainer that technology will continue to occupy an ever-expanding space in our future, but what could this mean for homeowners – and home builders – here in Elmhurst? The Microsoft Corporation recently unveiled its updated “Home of the Future”, now christened the Envisioning Center. Interactivity is everywhere. Here are some examples of what the tech giant thinks we can expect to see in our homes in the coming decade.

The new Center offers insights into how Microsoft thinks about the development of its products. The “home” is focused on bringing people together, helping us learn, and uses natural gestures, speech and touch to accomplish tasks. For example in the kitchen, via a digital whiteboard, an interactive chef walks you through preparing a stir-fry for dinner, right down to alerting you that you’re using a pan that’s too small for the task. In the living room, Grandma is reading an interactive story with her grandchild in her own living room six states away. In the office, you work on a draft document on your tablet, and then move it to appear on a huge interactive wall screen so that you can collaborate simultaneously on it with someone halfway around the world. Spaces are more open and flexible letting us move seamlessly between tasks and recreation. Natural user interface (NUI) and machine learning are key components of the home, as is the ability to synthesize huge amounts of data.

This new Microsoft facility is not open to the public, but the corporation did hold an open house for the media. You can see video of it from the BBC below. The facility is a bit of a double-edged sword in that it does offer a glimpse of the technological possibilities to come, but it is also a showcase for the products and services that Microsoft wants you to buy. Craig Mundie, Senior Advisor to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, spoke of the likelihood that the technology on display here will actually come to pass. “We never guess completely right. But we were probably closer to right than wrong in each succeeding generation.” He also referred to the digital picture frame, which was a feature displayed in earlier versions of the home that has since come into widespread use.

A home is probably the single biggest investment many of us will make, and it’s not surprising that we wonder what innovation is on the way that will potentially increase its value and make it more suited to our individual lifestyles. In the meantime, all of us here at The Gracik Makinney Group are ready to help you find a property that suits your needs today. Stop by the office at 190 North York Road here in Elmhurst, or give us a call at 630-441-5570, and let’s get started on your real estate future.

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Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3