Clothes Dryer Fires

Fire Prevention Every year in the United States there are over 15,000 clothes dryer fires.  These fires have caused at least 15 deaths and over $100,000,000 in property damages.

Horrified by the potential for a fire, I am sharing this information after a personal experience, with the intention of preventing a catastrophe.

Recently, a new roof was installed on the condos in the community in which I live.  Unaware of the danger, the roofer left screens on the newly installed roof dryer vents.  Shortly after my roof was installed, I noticed that my dryer was taking longer to dry my laundry.  Important to note, this is the first warning sign that the dryer vent is becoming clogged with lint.  I had had my dryer vent cleaned routinely, so I mistakenly did not think that was the cause.  Months later, it was determined that the screens were preventing the normal escape of the lint, causing an excessive lint buildup in the dryer vent system, creating extremely dangerous conditions for a fire.

IT IS A FACT! The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them.

Doing laundry is most likely part of your every day routine. But did you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home? With a few simple safety tips you can help prevent a clothes dryer fire.

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry.
  • Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Keep dryers in good working order.  Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Dryers should be properly grounded.
  • Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by snow.
  • Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing, etc.
  • Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

Here are some additional links for your information:

National Fire Protection Association

You must clean your clothes dryer vent!

Dryer Fires Video

Let the National Fire Prevention Association be your source for all your safety information!
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In my own little corner of the world, I know that peace begins at home.

May peace be yours this Holiday Season and throughout the New Year…



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Thanksgiving 2014

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Happy Halloween 2014

Last weekend I was blessed to be reunited with 5 of my childhood girlfriends.  I didn’t think that they would mind, so I have attached a photo of these great ladies!



The Maplewood Girls plus One

The Maplewood Girls plus One


What fun we had catching up and reminiscing!  One of the topics we hit on was Trick-or-Treating in our south Chicago neighborhood in the 50’s.  What a blast we had then, running all over and out after dark.  Yes, those were the good-old-days when children were safe on an old-fashioned Halloween night.

Back to the present…and just a reminder about Halloween safety for our children and grandchildren.

As are all Chicago area communities, the City of Aurora, where I now reside, is asking residents to adhere to its official trick-or-treat hours, which are 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31, and to make safety a top priority when collecting and distributing Halloween candy this year.

Parents are asked to accompany their children and encouraged to trick-or-treat while it is still light outside.

Just wanted to share these Halloween safety tips:

  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, look for labels clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If out after dark, carry a flashlight and wear costumes that are bright or reflective so that you can be seen.  Putting reflective tape on costumes is a good option.
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
  • Stay on the sidewalks and look both ways before crossing the street, using established crosswalks wherever possible.
  • Check to make sure swords, knives or other props are made of soft or flexible material.
  • Collect candy from homes only where a front porch light is on, and never enter homes unless you are with a trusted adult.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats and avoid homemade ones unless you know the cook well.
  • Bring a cell phone in case of an emergency.

and last, but not least…

  • Parents should verify addresses of sex offenders living in your neighborhood by visiting prior to trick-or-treating.

Wishing you a happy, fun and safe Halloween!

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June Chicagoland Real Estate Market Update

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Existing Home Sales Heat Up in May

Home Prices on the Rise

Home Prices on the Rise

May’s homebuyers had more homes to choose from, but they may have had to pay more to get the home they wanted, as prices rose 5.1% last month.

Homebuyers battling tight inventory, tough lending standards, and competing offers from all-cash buyers got a bit of a break in May as more sellers put their homes on the market.

May’s 4.9% month-over-month gain in the number of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops for sale was the highest monthly rise since August 2011 (5.5%).

Despite that growth in the number of homes for sale, the median U.S. existing-home price continued to rise, reaching $213,400 in May. That’s up 5.1% from a year ago, data from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® show.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said current sales activity is rebounding after the lackluster first quarter. “Homebuyers are benefiting from slower price growth due to the much-needed, rising inventory levels seen since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Moreover, sales were helped by the improving job market and the temporary but slight decline in mortgage rates.”

Having more existing homes for sale might slow the pace at which home prices are rising, depending on how many new homes are built, said Yun. “The amount of homes for sale is still modestly below a balanced market. Therefore, new home construction is still needed to keep prices and housing supply healthy in the long run,” he added.

Earlier this month, NAR reported new-home construction activity is currently insufficient in most of the U.S. Some states could face persistent housing shortages and affordability issues unless housing starts increase to match up with local job creation.

At the current sales pace, it would take 5.6 months to sell the 2.28 million existing homes currently for sale. That’s down a bit from the 5.7-month supply of homes on the market last month. By comparison, there were 2.15 million existing homes for sale at this time last year.

Fewer Distressed Sales

The proportion of home sales involving distressed sellers (foreclosures or short sales) dropped quite a bit in May. Only 8% of May sales were foreclosures and 3% were short sales, where a home was sold for less than what was owed on the mortgage. Combined, the 11% of sales that were distressed last month is much lower than the 18% of sales that were distressed in April.

Distressed sales influence home sales prices. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18% below market value in May, while short sales were discounted 11%.

First-Time Buyers to Benefit from Larger Inventory

Housing fundamentals are showing slight improvement in markets across the country, said NAR President Steve Brown.

“Many potential buyers were left on the sidelines beginning last summer as affordability declined amidst rising home prices and interest rates,” he said. “The temporary pause in rising interest rates and more homes for sale is good news — especially for first-time homebuyers — who likely have a better chance in upcoming months to make a competitive offer that’s in return accepted by the seller.”

How Long are Homes Taking to Sell?

Home Type                  Median Number of Days on the Market

  • All homes                                                47 days
  • Short sales                                               125 days
  • Foreclosures                                            57 days
  • Non-distressed                                       44 days

41% of homes sold in May 2014 were on the market for less than a month.

Regional Existing-Home Sales

               May 2014 Sales Volume       Median Price  Compared to May 2013

  • Northeast                Up 3.3%                       $256,700                  Down 0.9%
  • Midwest                   Up 8.7%                       $165,900                  Up 4.0%
  • South                        Up 5.7%                       $184,800                  Up 4.4%
  • West                          Up 0.9%                      $297,500                  Up 8.4%

Existing condo and co-op sales remained unchanged in May from April (as well as from May 2013) at an annual rate of 590,000 units. The median existing-condo price was $212,300 in May, which is 6.6% higher than a year ago.

June 23, 2014 from the National Association of Realtors

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As we pause and remember…

Memorial Day To all our brave women and men who have and do serve our country so honorably, we especially remember you today and acknowledge our gratitude to you and your families!

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Feeling very grateful!

Congratulations, Shannon & Keith!

Congratulations, Shannon & Keith!

A very grateful “Thank you” to Shannon and Keith for letting me represent you in the process of purchasing your new home!

And yet another example that it is “always something” that happens along the way in a Real Estate purchase or sale.  Two weeks after their “supposed to close” date, their lender could not supply them with their financing.  Not through any fault of their own, but because of (I guess you could call it) a glitch.

I sent an SOS out to Jim Francis of Key Mortgage, who picked up the pieces within minutes and saved the day for Shannon & Keith.  Two weeks later, they were in their new home.

It does seem to always be something, so be sure you are working with a “Team” of professionals.  Grateful today for the Team of professionals that I work with and for all the clients that benefit from their services.

Thank you to everyone involved in this purchase!  Grateful and looking forward to our next transaction.





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Illinois Helping Home Buyers


I just cannot tell Illinois homebuyers enough about these great programs!  Many of my past clients have taken advantage of them.   Shouldn’t you be inquiring about how they can benefit you?

IHDA’s (Illinois Housing Development Authority) First-time Homebuyer program offers safe, fixed interest loans at affordable rates. Qualified homebuyers can receive down payment and closing cost assistance. These programs are ideal for borrowers who need extra flexibility or who have limited funds for down payment and/or closing costs, yet have the financial means to maintain monthly mortgage payments.


Here is a list of what IHDA has to offer:

IHDA’s flagship mortgage program, SmartMove, offers first-time homebuyers an affordable 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and up to $6,000 for down payment and closing costs. SmartMove is the perfect solution for borrowers who have limited funds for down payment, yet have the financial means to maintain monthly mortgage payments.  SmartMove Flyer

The Illinois Welcome Home Heroes program provides critical financial support to men and women who have honorably served in our armed forces.  Veterans need not be 1st time homebuyers.  Welcome Home Heroes Flyer

SmartMove Plus is for buyers who currently own a home and want to refinance or buy a new home.  SmartMove Plus Flyer

SmartMove Trio is for 1st time homebuyers and includes a Federal tax credit that reduces income tax liability by up to $18,000 over the loan life.  SmartMove Trio Flyer

Illinois Building Blocks is a program which will help strengthen the communities of Belleville, Berwyn, Blue Island, Champaign, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Lynwood, Melrose Park, Maywood, Park Forest, Peoria and South Holland by turning  vacant homes into valuable homeownership opportunities.  Illinois Building Blocks Flyer

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I am a Realtor®


I am a Real Estate Broker and beyond that, I am a Realtor®.  As a member of the National Association of  Realtors®, I abide by The Code of Ethics and follow the “Golden Rule”: Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.

As I was compelled to write this post, I realized that we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics.

For a century, the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics has served as a vital benchmark for conducting business the right way.

I realize that few (if any) will bother to read click on the link to read The Code of Ethics when the Golden Rule says it all.

A good rule for all of us to live by, don’t you think?

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