Monday, March 11, 2019 / by Restaino Homes
The festive holiday, known for the coloring everything Green - from local beer to the Chicago River, is just around the corner. To get you in the Irish spirit, here are some fun facts about Saint Patrick's Day that you might not be aware of, plus a yummy recipe for chocolate stout cupcakes to help you celebrate!
While Saint Patrick's Day commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick wasn't Irish. He was actually British, born to a wealthy Christian family. It wasn't until he was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16 that he began the journey that he is now famously remembered for - bringing Christianity to Ireland and converting the Pagan Irish to Christians.
The iconic shamrock associated with Saint Patrick's Day was reportedly used by Saint Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to his Pagan converts. The three leaves of the shamrock represented the three aspects of the Trinity.
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in ...
Wednesday, March 06, 2019 / by Restaino Homes
And The Good News Is...
With so much happening on the national and international political front, our long running real estate recovery seems to be taking a back seat in news headlines these days. That said, there remain many important items of note that we need to keep our clients and friends aware of.
Government agencies, and also our local MLS, report that existing home sales (closings) fell in January for the third straight month. We believe the main cause of this to be a function of low supply. A secondary, although far lesser cause, can likely be tied to the rise in interest rates we all experienced at the hands of the Federal Reserve Board last year. (Of course, rates are still at historically low levels!) The rate increases, coupled with rising home prices, began to bring affordability discussions into the mix around mid-year. Since that time however, interest rates have actually dropped, making home ownership a bit more affordable than in late 2018 and bringing more buyers ...
Friday, March 01, 2019 / by Restaino Homes
If you’re preparing to buy a home, the first consideration you’ll likely make is how you will come up with your down payment. Some first time home buyers are fortunate enough to have family to borrow from, or might even qualify for a down payment assistance grant. However, if you’re like the majority of prospective home buyers, you will be saving for a while on your own for your down payment.
Saving enough for a down payment on the average priced home can seem like a daunting task, so we’ve compiled some helpful tips that will help get you on your way to home ownership.
Take a second look at your savings account. Most people have the standard savings account that was “bundled” with their checking account when they first opened accounts at their local bank. That account might not have the best rates, and you want the money that you’re saving to earn respectable interest for you while it’s sitting in there. Check to see if ...
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / by Restaino Homes
Most buyers start the house hunting process by making a list of their "must have" and "would like to have" features when it comes to their new home. Depending on how flexible (or realistic) these lists are, some buyers can be left frustrated by the process. Nothing can kill the excitement that accompanies buying a new home faster than being let down after every showing - it can feel like the right home will never come along. Consider the fact that we are also facing an inventory shortage in our current market, and these frustrations can turn into realities for some buyers.
If you find yourself in this situation, you might want to look at the options offered by new construction. Building a new home might not be the right solution for everyone, but in some cases it makes more sense than buying an existing home. Check out the following considerations, and decide if exploring new construction might be right for you.
Building A New Home Might Be For You...
If your list of creatu ...
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 / by Restaino Homes
Nothing says "love" like putting effort into something that you create yourself - remember how your Mom's face lit up when you brought home your construction paper cut-out Valentines from school every year? Sadly, the bar raises as we get older, and your 8-year-old art projects are unlikely to win over many hearts as an adult - so put down the glue stick and make these amazing cookies instead!
Everyone loves a classic chocolate chip cookie, and these come highly recommended - Chef Tim Love recreated his Mother's cookie recipe for Food and Wine and it currently has almost five thousand five-star reviews online. These cookies are supposed to be a little crunchy on the outside, but soft in the middle, and are packed with milk-chocolate chips, instead of the usual semi-sweet ones. I'm willing to be that five thousand people can't be wrong - Enjoy!
What You Will Need:
2 1/2 Sticks of unsalted butter - softened
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 Cups light brown sugar ...