Summertime is a fun time for most of us. Summer means longer days, warm weather, festivals, farmer’s markets and road trips. One of my favorite things to do in summer is to check out community festivals. I love to check out the variety of food, art work, local wines and brews, etc. Each year I try to go to at least two new festivals to help expand my horizons but I admit, I have favorites that I look forward to going to each year.
As you visit your favorite spots this summer, take a few moments to check out the neighborhoods and local parks. Get off your phones and talk to people. You’d be surprised by how much people love to talk about their community. This is a great way to find the best places to eat and sites to see in their town.
If you find yourself drawn to a certain area, feel free to check out some open houses while you’re there. Open houses are a great way to casually check out homes in an area. The real estate agent hosting the open house will be happy to talk to you about the home prices in the area, property taxes, and the school districts. Even if you’re not thinking of moving in the near future it’s a good way to compare it to where you live now.
Here are some great apps that can be helpful while you’re out and about this summer:
Spot Crime – Spot Crime is one of my favorite mobile apps that allows you to see crimes, within an area, that has been reported to the police. You can type in the location that you’re interested in or it can pull up information based on your current location. www.SpotCrime.com
Chicago Houses Online – There are many housing websites to choose from but ChicagoHousesOnline.com is a local website that allows you to search for homes in Chicago and its suburbs. The housing information is pulled from a direct feed from Chicago’s local MLS so you can comfortably search knowing that the information is accurate and up to the minute. The app is available now for Android and will be available soon for Apple. www.ChicagoHousesOnline.com
NW Indiana Houses Online – This housing website is the same as ChicagoHousesOnline in that it provides housing information for homes in the NW Indiana area. It is also a local website and provides accurate information from the NW Indiana’s MLS. The app is available now for Android and will be available soon for Apple. www.NWIndianaHousesOnline.com
Yelp – Yelp is a great place to find out local restaurants and shops. Most people are familiar with Yelp and use it often. I suggest that you read both the good and bad reviews to see why it was rated the way it was rated. Keep in mind, some reviews could have been written by friends and family. I suggest you stay objective and check it out for yourself. www.Yelp.com
Written By: Shena Omotola, Dream Home Specialist & Broker Owner of Skyward Realty – Skyward Realty services Chicago, Suburbs, and Northwest Indiana
P.S. Feel free to email me any questions. I’m always here to help. Check out my recent resources for first time home buyers and sellers.
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