Magnolias for Tax Season

Magnolias for Tax Season

One of my favorite early signs of spring is the blooming of the magnolia trees. I love the way the buds appear one day and a couple days later there are flowering trees everywhere.

As we approach the end of tax season (April 15 – don’t forget the deadline!), I hope you’ve taken some time to get out and enjoy the extra daylight, and perhaps take a few photographs of your own.

First-Time Home Buyers Checklist

Are you or someone you know a first-time home buyer? (Please feel free to forward this email to friends who might be in the market to buy.) There are many things to consider when you buy your first home, but it needn’t be stressful or complicated. (Although it probably will be a little…you are buying your first house, after all!) To jumpstart the process, here is a checklist of important tasks that will guide you as you take this next big life step.

Have you…?

  1. ___ checked your credit report for errors?
  2. ___ reduced your debt as much as possible?
    (if you haven’t started this, talk to me before you do)
  3. ___ calculated how much you can afford and are willing to pay for a new home?
    (I provide this service for FREE to my customers)
  4. ___ calculated your down payment?
  5. ___ received pre-approval for a mortgage?
    (this is what we’ll work on together)
  6. ___ picked two to three neighborhoods where you would like to live?
  7. ___ investigated the school quality and crime rates in those neighborhoods?
  8. ___ chosen a real estate agent?
    (if you haven’t, I know some great ones)
  9. ___ visited homes for sale and evaluated the asking prices with your agent?
  10. ___ written your Offer to Purchase?
  11. ___ completed all of your mortgage loan application requirements?
  12. ___ hired an inspector to review the property?
  13. ___ agreed on repairs to be made before purchase?

This list seems long, but you won’t be doing all of these things at one time. I am ready to discuss when you are. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions!

April Through The Lens

In Chicago, April presents the first real chances for spending more time outdoors, which also gives you an opportunity to take some vibrant photographs. Here are some events that you might want to attend with your camera at the ready.

Buckingham Fountain
This beloved, majestic Chicago landmark finally begins spouting again in April, and includes the colored light shows after the sun goes down.

Towers of Flowers
From now until April 10, Macy’s State Street presents its annual flower show, including demonstrations of gardening, cooking, and other art. You’re sure to find some great ideas for home as well as some colorful snapshot opportunities.

Record Store Day
April 16 is Record Store Day, a celebration of all things local, independent, and vinyl. When was the last time you went to a record store and looked through records and CDs? Use this store locator to find your local record store, and let your inner hipster out for the day.

Untouchable Tours
Everybody knows a little bit about Chicago’s gangster days, and the Untouchable Tours give you a chance to visit and photograph those historic locations where the organized crime empire left its biggest marks.

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