Elmhurst real estate blog archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12

What's Ahead in 2012 in Elmhurst?

by Thomas Makinney



Who knows what lies ahead? 

Getting married? Having a baby? Relocating? Upsizing? Downsizing?

No matter what 2012 brings, we stand ready to assist you with your real estate needs.

The Gracik Makinney Group wishes you a very Happy New Year.

Tom, Maria, Gina, Mary, & our Staff


Are you wondering where to go with that burned-out string of lights?  This year, you don’t just have to chuck them into the garbage. Elmhurst has joined other communities in DuPage County in a great recycling program. The whole community will be involved in this project which is both ecologically and economically beneficial to the city.

Throughout the city, there are bins placed as drop-off points for the lights. Certain schools will accept them from their students, so you don’t even have to make a special trip. Once the lights are out of your hands, SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Composting and Recycling Education) will be sure that they go to Elgin Recycling.  And get this – the city will be paid for the dead lights!

Elgin will pay for the copper content in each strand of lights. They will have the copper separated by another company with a piece of machinery called a chopper. The copper will not make the city rich by any means, but it will be worth the effort to save it—especially to keep it from just being dumped in a landfill. This is a very easy way to help your community and to preserve the environment.

Besides helping the community, there is an advantage to replacing your Christmas lights.  The newer light strands are made with LED lights, which use about 10% of the electricity that older lights use. Also, they don’t burn as hot, which is a safety feature. Those are good incentives to head to the decorating store and drop off your old lights on the way.

The park district and the schools are both cooperating with (and benefiting from!) this effort. Elmhurst is a large community, so our joining the recycling program will significantly increase its effectiveness. With the addition of the Elmhurst area it’s estimated that over 25,000 pounds of lights will be collected this year.

The city of Elmhurst is a place where you can join with neighbors to the benefit of all. If you’re looking for property in the DuPage County area, just call me, Tom Makinney, at our home office, (630) 567-5902, or check out my website.


Have a very Happy and Safe New Year, everyone!


Holiday Greetings from Elmhurst, IL

by Thomas Makinney


Merry Christmas from the Gracik Makinney Group.

May you and your family have a wonderful holiday

as you enjoy the time together

and the beauty of the season.

Thank you for your business in 2011.

Tom, Maria, Gina, Mary , & our Staff

Elmhurst, IL November 2011 Real Estate Trends

by Thomas Makinney


Year-To-Date November 2011 vs. Year-To-Date November 2010, the average price in the Elmhurst Area is down 4.17%.  The YTD average price is down from $395,022 to $378,554.  As for November 2011 vs. November 2010, the average price in the Elmhurst area is down 21.44%, from $387,821 to $304,660 according to MRED.  The YTD median price decreased .4% from $318,500 to $317,250.  As of December 19, 2011 there are 350 active listings in the MLS representing a 10.1 month supply of inventory (MSI).  Remember, 5.5 months is considered a "balanced" market by most.  Good news for sellers:  Year-To-Date average Days on Market (DOM) is down from 141 in November 2010 to 139 in November 2011.

  New Listings / % Change Closed Sales Avg. Price / % Change Median Price Days on Market
November 2011 49 / -32.88% 28 $304,660 / -21.44% $250,000 200
November 2010 73   26 $387,821   $275,000 125
Year-To-Date 2011 976 / -4.41% 401 $378,554 / -4.17% $317,250 139
Year-To-Date 2010 1021   365 $395,022   $318,500 141




The statistics presented in Market Tracker are compiled monthly based on figures and data generated by MRED for detached single family and attached single family properties. Due to possible reporting inconsistencies, Days on Market (DOM), average prices and rates of change should be used to analyze trends only. Property and statistical data sourced from MLS is solely for your personal, non-commercial use in buying or selling a property and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be verified. All representations and warranties regarding the information are disclaimed. Reproduction or any other use is prohibited.


If doing some home improvements is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, contracting for them now to begin early next year is a great idea. Many contractors are slow during the winter, so you may be able to see your repair completed in less time (and for less money) than in the other quarters of the year. If you are thinking of moving in 2012, make sure to contact us at the Gracik Makinney Group for some tips on what improvement costs you can recoup when selling and where you most likely won’t see much return. Hint: Modest kitchen and bathroom remodels usually pay off.



Winter is one of our favorite times of the year!It's often easy to overlook your home's needs with so much going on. Here is a simple checklist of items that can save you money through the winter:

  • Check for leaks and drafts around the house. Replace weather stripping and re-caulk around doors and windows. Drafty doors and windows will cool off the house and cost you money in heating bills.
  • Inspect your attic's insulation. Heat rises so adding good insulation can keep the heat from escaping.
  • Check your heating system. Sometimes something as easy as replacing your filter or having simple maintenance done can save on heating costs.
  • Consider changing from standard light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Winter uses a lot of your electricity so even saving a little here and there will help.

In the upcoming brisk Illinois winter, take this opportunity to inspect your home systems. You'll be money ahead in the long run!



Elmhurst Merchants Use Scandinavian Art to Decorate Windows

by Thomas Makinney


https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0O8_KVOcz88lqNvQgiSLU_zSx1GtYenF3Uj5hcpBIIetQBbD38ASome Elmhurst businesses are getting into the holiday swing by having their windows painted in an unusual style.  It’s a Scandinavian folk art style called Norwegian Rosemaling.  That sounds romantic, doesn’t it?  It is, rather.  

The Illinois Norsk Rosemalers Association (INRA) brought instructors all the way from Europe to teach the technique to local artists.  Two of these local artists, Catherine Coy and her sister, Rebecca Cleghorn, came up with the idea of using the Norwegian style to decorate storefront windows. 

The two sisters studied the technique for 16 years with European artists in the Elmhurst area before opening their business, Two Sisters Window Painting.  They approached area merchants, offering to add a touch of class to their store windows.  They now are charged with keeping windows beautiful for some two dozen or more businesses in the DuPage County area.

Norwegian Rosemaling is a technique that uses a lot of graceful C and S strokes to create delicate patterns using leaf, floral or other motifs.  The result is a blend of folk art and French rococo.  It is used to decorate almost anything that can be painted.  Plates are a popular venue, as are wood furniture, jewelry boxes, picture and mirror frames and even fabrics.  Once you begin to use your imagination, the possibilities are virtually endless.

To learn more about this fascinating art form, you can contact the INRA for further information.  They even publish a newsletter.  You can see samples of the technique on the windows of local DuPage County merchants, such as Cafe Amano and Flight 112 Wine Bar, where Two Sisters Window Painting work year round.  During the holiday season, don’t miss the many other samples on display right downtown.

If you are interested in living in a community that takes art seriously, Elmhurst may be the place for you.   If you’re looking for property in the DuPage County area, just call me, Tom Makinney, at our home office, (630) 567-5902, or check out my website

The Gracik Makinney Group wishes you the happiest of holidays.

Elmhurst Illinois Open Houses For Sunday, December 18, 2011

by Thomas Makinney


Address: 695 W Alexander Blvd MLS #:07860820

City: Elmhurst

Price: $170,000

Scheduled for:  12/18/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00


Address: 327 N Elm Ave MLS #:07859465

City: Elmhurst

Price: $248,000

Scheduled for:   12/18/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00


Address: 405 E Church St

City: Elmhurst

Price: $399,000

Scheduled for:   12/18/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Address: 465 S Kenilworth Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $659,900

Scheduled for: 12/18/2011 from 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

As always, we would be happy to arrange a private tour of a home of your choice should it not be on Sunday's Open House List

Elmhurst Library Among the Stars!

by Thomas Makinney


http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSnSTnnSSVhB7999Tv09nCS6I-_FhVLZkY9Ql_HlRvWXc0XPIxD3AIf you are considering a move to Elmhurst, it may interest you to know that the Elmhurst Public Library has, for the second year in a row, received 3 out of 5 stars and a national ranking in the annual review by Library Journal.  Only 262 libraries (of the 7,513 reviewed) merited this rating.  The Elmhurst Public Library placed 23rd in the nation, and 6th in Illinois in the $5-9.9M category.

In a flagging economy, a good and up-to-date library can be a huge aid to a wide range of people.  Students can do a lot of research that may not be available if they can’t afford a computer at home, or if the sources they need are only available in hard copy.  This applies to students of all stages, from elementary school through college, and even graduate school.  It also helps if a student has a computer, but is away from home and needs Wi-Fi.  The same benefits can be reaped, of course, by people in business, homemakers, seniors, etc.

Now that many people choose to read on Kindles, Nooks, and other electronic devices, the Elmshurst library offers downloadable ebooks, audio books, and videos. Anyone with a library card can use the services right from home. You can check the library website for all the particulars.

Young children can be brought to a love of reading and learning with a judicious use of library facilities.  At the same time, older siblings and parents can take advantage of a large collection of books, recordings, movies and other resources.  You can probably find self-education materials on almost any subject.

When Johnny or Janie come home and wails, “I have to have this project on Cookie Cutter Sharks done by day after tomorrow!” you’ll know right where to go.  While you’re there, don’t forget to pick up the latest book on your favorite subject.  Whether it’s a murder mystery, a comic book or the latest technology in rocket science, you can find it at the Elmhurst Public Library.

Come check out our Public Library, and see if you want to live in beautiful Elmhurst. To see what’s available in the DuPage County area, just call me, Tom Makinney, at our home office, (630) 567-5902, or check out my website.

Elmhurst Illinois Open Houses For Sunday, December 11, 2011

by Thomas Makinney

Address: 454 Ida Ln

City: Elmhurst

Price: $264,900

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Address: 207 S Poplar Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $395,000

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Address: 375 S Berkley Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $399,900

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Address: 161 W Jackson St

City: Elmhurst

Price: $490,000

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 04:00


Address: 215 E St. Charles Rd

City: Elmhurst

Price: $599,000

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM 


Address: 147 S Grace Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $619,000

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Address: 508 S Hampshire Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $665,000

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 12:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Address: 473 S Kenilworth Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $699,000

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Address: 473 S Kenilworth Ave

City: Elmhurst

Price: $699,000

Scheduled for: 12/11/2011 from 01:00 PM to 03:00



Announcing the Addition of Mary Riva to Gracik Makinney Group

by Thomas Makinney


Gracik Makinney Real Estate Group is proud to welcome the esteemed Mary Riva to our group. A former beauty salon owner in Oak Park, Mary is a 30 year veteran of the real estate industry, and has been a top producer in the Elmhurst area for a majority of that time. Her experience extends throughout DuPage County, where she has sold all types and styles of new and resale homes. As a generation of family, friends, and clients can attest, it is Mary’s inherent determination and huge heart that have assisted her to become the consummate professional. We invite you to reconnect with Mary Riva, or meet her for the first time, and see for yourself why Gracik Makinney Group is overjoyed to have her part of our company. 


Young People in Elmhurst Learn Empathy through Charitable Activities

by Thomas Makinney

http://avidityfitness.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/charity-boxcar-children.jpgThe Elmhurst area participated in an annual project for the homeless that is unique in its approach.  Over 1500 people, teens and children as well as adults spent the night of November 5th outside, using tents, boxes and cars for their only shelter in the Sleep Out Saturday Night fundraiser sponsored by Bridge Communities.  This event, begun in 2003, not only helps to raise money for the homeless, but builds empathy for them through the experience.

There were Sleep Out sites in 75 locations throughout the DuPage County area.  Teens especially seemed to awaken to the many aspects of being homeless because of their experiences on the Sleep Out.  They were urged to continue their normal activities the next day instead of using it to catch up on the sleep they most certainly lost by trying to sleep outdoors.  This way, they can see how people who have lost their home through foreclosure may have to cope.

In an article by Carol Pavlik in the Elmhurst Patch, Joyce Hothan, executive director of Bridge Communities, indicated that the stereotypical homeless person (drug-addicted, alcoholic, etc.) doesn’t apply nearly as much as it did a few years ago.  “With the rise in home foreclosures,” Hothan said, “more families are coming for help.  Last year, Dupage County saw a 20 percent increase in foreclosures and ranked nine out of 102 counties in the number of foreclosures.”

Bridge Communities is helping homeless families in other ways also.  They are sponsoring an Adopt a Family program for the Christmas season.  You can help a family have a Christmas they would not be able to enjoy otherwise.  One creative way to teach your children about giving of themselves is through the “Giving Party” program.  With the help of the Bridge Communities personnel, you can have a party (Birthday, Christmas, etc.) for your child at which all the participants bring a gift for the poor instead of (or in addition to) gifts for each other. 

The success of these programs is indicative of the generosity of the American home-owner in general, and specifically those in the Elmhurst area.  This generosity is, through these various helping and fundraising programs, being encouraged in the youngsters; a very hopeful sign for the future.  In economic downturns such as we are experiencing, it is important for communities to pull together for the benefit of all.

If you are interested in living in a community that cares, Elmhurst may be the place for you.  If you’re looking for property in the DuPage County area, just call me, Tom Makinney, at our home office, (630) 567-5902, or check out my website

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12