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Downers Grove Real Estate Blog


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When Buying A Home You Should Do This

Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions and life events for most people. Before beginning the home search, it is important to meet with your Realtor and discuss what is important to you in the home you now want. With this information in hand it is easier to make a decision on whether the home you are viewing fits your wants and needs. When you finally find the home which you feel may be "the one," be sure to schedule a second or third showing before writing an offer. Watch the video above where I explain how a second showing saved my clients from possibly making the wrong decision.

Downers Grove Real Estate Market Review 2018 | Outlook For 2019

by Slav Polinski

How Is The Real Estate Market?

This is a question I am asked all the time! My response almost always is, "which real estate market are you referring to?" It's difficult to give a blanket explanation for an entire market because there are many sub-markets in every community. Condos and townhouses will very from single family homes and in each one of those the markets in specific neighborhoods and price points will very as well.

In the video below, I break down our local market into several categories and provide you with an overview of how we did in 2018 and what the expectations are this year in 2019. Enjoy the video and contact me for a more detailed analysis of your home or area.

Slav and Laurie Polinski and the Slav Polinski Homes Team were awarded the "World Class Customer Service" recognition at The Best of 630 Awards Show on September 12, 2018.

A key trademark of the Slav Polinski Homes Team is that they continue to strive for ways to make sure their clients' experience is better than expected and more than they are looking for.  They do this by interacting with the highest level of professionalism and respect for their needs, while always keeping in mind that buying or selling a home is a very important, life-changing decision for their clients. 

To get the fastest sale, at the highest price for their clients, they provide professional staging, photography, videography, and sometimes cleaning services at no charge to their clients.  They also make a habit to contact each client every 3 months after their purchase or sale of their home to continue to be a resource and let them know they are valued beyond a transaction. 

To show their gratitude for their clients, Slav and Laurie host two high-level Customer Appreciation Events each year. Congratulations to Slav and Laurie Polinski and the Slav Polinski Homes Team!


Winter is just around the corner and while most of us are eagerly anticipating the cold weather and the holiday season, now is also the best time to get our homes ready.

We all know how important it is to make the necessary preparations and repairs because the last thing you need is to spend the holiday season stressing over problems you could have avoided from happening if you did your due diligence.

Getting our homes prepared as early as possible will not only save you from inconvenience, it will also allow you to save money on unnecessary repairs and avoid health issues.  Below are a couple of fall maintenance tips you may want to get started with.


Clean your gutters

One of the first things you need to check is your roof gutters because having a clogged one come winter time can spell disaster of huge proportions.   Clogged gutters can prevent the water from draining properly through the downspouts.  Instead of spilling over to the sides, it can get into your home's foundation. 

Another potential problem it presents is that the water may freeze up and block your downspout and eventually, clog up the entire gutter.  When the ice gets too heavy, it can damage your gutters altogether which means more expenses and headaches so bring out the ladder and start clearing out all those leaves and other debris before it's too late.


Check the roof

Nothing can make life more miserable during winter than a leaky roof so do the necessary and have it checked while the weather is still friendly.  Have bent, cracked, and missing shingles replaced as early as possible and if the roof needs to be replaced, do it.

It's better to shell out some cash for preventive measures than spend a lot more money at a time when repairs are already difficult to accomplish.


Disconnect your outdoor hose

Another primary concern during winter is your outside pipes because water freezing can make those pipes crack, leak, or burst, a major inconvenience at a time when you should be enjoying the indoors.

To keep this from happening, make sure to disconnect your garden hoses because there is still water left inside the hose even when the faucet's off.  If winter comes and the hose is still connected, that remaining water will freeze and damage your pipes.


Bring outside furniture inside

Cold weather and snow can easily damage some of your outside furniture especially if they're not built for it so make sure to bring your lawnmower and other stuff inside the house or the garage until winter is over.


Have your heating system checked

You naturally need more heat to fight the cold during winter so it goes without saying that your heating system should be fully functional during that time.  The best way to ensure that happens is to have it inspected before the cold weather comes.

Make sure to check all your heating ducts and vents for dust build-up and replace the air filter on your furnace if needed.  Stock up on spares if you have to just to be sure.  


Watch out for drafts

A warm home on a cold season is ideal, but it won’t amount to anything if you’re losing heat due to poor insulation.  Though drafts in door seals and windows may seem insignificant, totally ignoring them is a huge mistake so make sure to seal any cracks you see as early as possible so you don’t have to worry about it come winter.


Check the fireplace

If there was any other time the fireplace is most needed, it’s definitely during the cold season, and it’s up to your to make sure that it performs its duties come winter time.  Just make sure it still works by doing a test run anytime during the fall just to make sure that it’s working properly.  This will also give you time to call for help in case it doesn’t.


Final Thoughts

Just like everything in life, prevention will always be better than cure.  It’s worth it to spend some time doing the preparations mentioned above than risk going into winter totally unprepared.  Not only will the potential damages make you feel inconvenient, but it will also milk your budget heavily.  Why risk all that when you have the chance to keep all these things from happening? 

Home Selling Tips: Do Sellers Need to be Present on Closing Day?

by Slav Polinksi

What Happens on Closing Day?

If you're selling your home, closing is probably the day you most anticipate.  This is, after all, the day when you'll finally be transferring the property, paying off mortgages, and receiving the proceeds from the sale.

It's the day when all the important transactions are settled which is why you can't afford to miss this day, or can you?


Do Sellers Need to be Present?

In my years in the real estate industry, I've seen how things have changed particularly when it came to closing.  Years ago, buyers and sellers were always present in the closing table. 

Their presence was required so they can sign documents for a good hour or two but if there are unexpected circumstances or complications, both parties may be there for three to four hours, maybe, even more, depending on the complexity of the situation.

Fast forward today, things have become much different.  In fact, almost 90% of sellers today are no longer present on closing day.  What people usually do nowadays is pre-sign the documents ahead of time so they can do other things on closing day than spend hours waiting in an office room.

Here at Slav Polinski Homes, we understand how busy life can be especially for sellers who may be busy making arrangements to move into their new home or those who are from out of town.  It's not going to be easy to come down and travel hundreds of miles just to sign a few documents.

What we can assure you is that we are always present on closing day ready to give you a call if there are things that need to be ironed out.  We try to do whatever we can to settle things without getting you to come to the office to join us because we know how inconvenient that can be.


Is it safe not to be there on closing?

It definitely is because, for any table or conventional escrow closing, deeds and other transfer documents are allowed to be pre-signed by a seller, unlike buyers who need to be there to sign original loan documents delivered by the lender.  It is for this reason that you, as a seller, may or may not be present during closing.

You also have the power to give your attorney a power of attorney to sign documents on your behalf.  Your sales proceeds can then be wired straight to your bank account.  This can all be done without having the need to fly or drive back and forth.

Escrowees and attorneys may, of course, have different opinions regarding a seller's presence come closing day but given the scenarios above, you're really not risking anything big by not being there.



Gone are the days when buyers and sellers both need to be in the same room come closing day.  With people living busier lives and having more important matters to attend to, arrangements and considerations are being made within the real estate community to accommodate such needs.

Trust plays a big factor in making this happen and with Slav Polinski Homes, you are rest assured that you don't have to worry about anything if you can't make it to closing.  Just do whatever it is you have to do and we'll just call you when it's done!

Enjoy the Month of August at the Morton Arboretum

by Slav Polinski

Technology has gone a long way and with our busy lives spent in front of computers and gadgets that we can't seem to live without, it's nice to get back and reconnect with nature from time to time.

If you're ever in the Downers Grove area this August, you're in for a treat because one of Chicago's best places to visit, the Morton Arboretum, is holding a number of activities that will surely make your stay worthwhile.

When we say worthwhile, we mean nature, food, wine, live music, and dancing.  Sounds exciting? 

Below are some of the things my family enjoys which I hope you will too.


The Troll Hunt

Founded in 1922 by salt magnate Joy Morton, this 1,700-acre beauty is home to 6 giant trolls made out of reclaimed wood.  A project specifically designed for Morton Arboretum by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, the Troll Hunt has become one of the place's primary attractions.

Whether you go on foot or ride a bike looking for these 15 to 30-foot creatures, there's no question that adults and kids will enjoy this fun activity that reacquaints you with nature and gives you some much-needed cardio in the process.  

I would recommend going on foot so you can flex those muscles and get the kids away from their tablets and video games for once. 

This Troll Hunt will be available throughout 2018 and may still be viewable until 2019 depending on how they fare with the changing weather conditions.  For more details, you can visit the Morton Arboretum website via this link:​

There's no better way to spend those bright sunny days than going on a troll hunt don't you think?


Arbor Evenings

Evenings are equally magical at the Morton Arboretum especially on Wednesdays when you can relax and unwind with family and friends over delicious food, refreshing beverage, lawn games, live music, and dancing among others.

When was the last time you spent summer evenings mingling with friends with live music playing in the background?  Nights like this don't come often so bring the family along and have a wonderful evening all Wednesdays of August.


Wine and Art Walk

Taking a stroll around the beautiful Meadow Lake is already fun on its own but doing it with a glass of wine in hand while enjoying live music and shopping for nature-themed art takes it to a whole new level.

This one-of-a-kind art show features some of the best artworks in the field of photography, jewelry, woodturning, ceramics, fused glass, and digital and traditional paintings made by some of the Midwest's finest artists.

This is definitely one walk you can't afford to miss!


Farm-to-Table Dinner

It's not every day that we get to experience elegant outdoor dining, especially one where you're surrounded by nature's gifts.  

Well, Morton Arboretum can make it happen with its "Farm-to-Table Dinner" where you'll get to experience some of the most sumptuous meals that use fresh local ingredients surrounded by nature under the White Pine Pavillon.

This relaxing night is not limited to great food only, however, because they also come with some of the exquisite local craft spirits provided by Whiskey Acres Distillery and as well as beers from Lake Effect Brewing.

The events mentioned above are just some of our favorite activities at Morton Arboretum.  These are just the tip of the iceberg though since there are still dozens of activities we haven't covered in this blog post that you will surely enjoy.

Make the most out of summer and have fun with nature only at Morton Arboretum.


cadence kitchen

Being a resident of Downers Grove comes with a lot of perks.  The sights, the sounds, the history, you name it, you got it!  More importantly, there's great food in just about every corner you find yourself in.  

I've had the privilege of dining in one of the hottest places in the Downers Grove area today.  The place is called Cadence Kitchen and Co. and I've got to tell you, the food they serve in that place are just some of the best I've ever had.

Situated at the intersection of Burlington Avenue and Mochel Drive,  this stunningly beautiful bar and restaurant has been creating quite a buzz with its unique but tasty food, relaxing atmosphere, and its friendly and ever approachable staff.


The Place

I guess what makes Cadence Kitchen so appealing is the breath of fresh air it brings to the table.  Looking past its amazing food and wine menu, the place combines the coziness of a sports bar and the elegance and class of a fine dining restaurant, giving everyone the kind of place to hang out on and spend the evenings after a long day at work.

With house music and large LEDs hanging by the bar, adults and kids alike will surely enjoy the unique dining experience apart from the cool, city vibe the place exudes.


The Food

Going through the Midwest-inspired menu will make you feel both pain and pleasure.  While the food and wine you’ll find on the list are all totally exquisite and delectable, picking one can be excruciating because all of them are really good!

Some of the entrees I tried were the chorizo rolls (which were really awesome), brussel sprouts, steak sandwich, grilled octopus, and mushroom risotto just to name a few, and I really liked how tasty each one of them were.

There are still some items I haven’t tried like the mushroom tacos, whipped ricotta, and that shrimp and polenta which I heard was legendary.  I’ll definitely go back and try that.


The Events

Cadence Kitchen is more than just a bar and restaurant.  The place offers three huge, private event spaces and exceptional service where you can hold birthday parties, conferences, team dinners, or family get togethers.

It’s more than just a place to bring a date or catch the game.  These function rooms are spacious enough to hold over a hundred guests.

You’ve got the EP Room that is capable of hosting a maximum of 70 guests, the more private Riff Room that can house 40 guests with its comfortable chairs and outside patio, and the Full Buyout which can accommodate a maximum of 100 people and comes with its own HIFI bar.


The Owners

Cadence Kitchen Co. is the brainchild of Chefs Tim Canning and Todd Davies who both worked for Chef Steven Chiappett’s popular chain of restaurants like Rhapsody, Mossant Bistro, and Mango.

After taking different paths and working under some of the most celebrated chefs on the east and west coasts, they decided to come back and combine those years of experience by opening Cadence Kitchen which, based on people’s response, was a really good move considering the popularity the place has gained since it opened back in May.

If you haven’t tried dining in to Cadence Kitchen, I would definitely recommend it.  Bring the whole family along and enjoy this terrific restaurant right at the heart of Downers Grove.





When Buying a Home is Better Than Renovating or Renting

by Slav Polinski

Ever wondered why nobody ever asks if now is a good time to renovate or rent a home?

Aha! Rarely does anyone ask that instead, people want to know if now is a good time to buy a home in Downers Grove and my answer has always been:


Anytime is always a good time to own your dream home.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against renting or renovating a home. Good gracious, no. All I’m saying is before you make that decision you may want to know when outrightly buying a home is a better choice.

1. Does your budget look good?

For people looking to rent a new home, you might want to consider that the median rent since the past decade has steadily increased and has shown no signs of slowing down.  In fact, the Census Bureau in their latest report puts it at $950 as at 2018. What this means is that your housing expense may continue to climb if you fail to lock it in by buying a home instead.

Are you mooting the idea of renovating your home for one reason or the other, have you checked-in with your budget? Would it be better to downsize or step up to an entirely new space?

If the cost of your home renovation is more than half of your total mortgage you might want to consider making a home upgrade or downgrade.

2. Time to move on

Change is inevitable. Whether you’re changing jobs, profession, relationships or just want a new you, these types of changes often come with a need to renovate or change spaces.

I know how hard it is to let go of your beloved homestead and to admit it’s time to move on, especially because of what you have invested to date. But sometimes it’s best for your budget, stress levels and perhaps new status.

Why? Because your home is suddenly more (or less) full and you may find it difficult to keep track of too many repairs. For instance, if your family is expanding, you don’t have to be scared of the looming reorganization your home would need. You might as well begin to see yourself and the entire family in a new space.

Perhaps it is about that time when the children are out to spread their wings and you’re thinking of maintaining a home that will never be more than half full. It is probably about that time to move on and downsize.  

One last thing...

Despite the general upfront costs that come with paying a deposit, legal and mortgage set up fees, mortgage repayments are generally similar in size to rent.  And as rent size has continued to increase, it is better to own a home for the long term. Besides, you will be gaining equity and reducing your monthly outgoings each month as your monthly repayments will get smaller as you get closer to finishing your mortgage repayments.

In any case, knowing when it is better to buy a home than to rent or renovate an old home is best. Not sure if you should buy a home or if you're able to buy now? Call Slav Polinksi at (630) 624-9615 to determine if you're able to buy a home now.


Real Estate Tips | Are Open Houses Necessary and Effective

by Slav Polinski

Why Are Open Houses Important?

There is a debate among Realtors on whether open houses are necessary or even effective in selling homes. In the video above, I reveal what I have been noticing lately in our real estate market.

Today's home buyers differ from the buyers of 5 or 10 years ago. Many of today's buyers have busy and complicated schedules and though they will view homes with their Realtor during the week, many times they prefer a more relaxed schedule on Saturday or Sunday. What I have noticed is more and more buyers who are already working with Realtors are attending my open houses. They are either previewing the home to decide whether they want to see it again with their Realtor or they are following up a second time to get a better look at the home and open houses allow them to do so without being rushed. If you are selling your home or considering doing so, take advantage of the opportunities open houses hold.

Selling your home is such a tough decision and it sometimes feels like you are about to give your home out for cheap.


You’re not alone. For most home sellers the first question that comes to mind is “what is my home worth”?


That’s where you need a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA is strange to many first time home sellers looking to list their homes.

But not to worry, here are top 3 questions you’d likely have about the CMA before you list your home.


1. What is Comparative Market Analysis?

A CMA is a report of the caparison of your home alongside other properties – closed, active and pending “comparables” – based on variables like location, property features, market times, and price changes.


This is done by your real estate professional to help determine how much your home is worth.

2. How do you get a Comparative Market Analysis?

A CMA is traditionally given to you as a paper or electronic handout by your broker and comes with limitations.

For instance, if a new home is listed near yours tomorrow how would you get the information instantly? How would you keep track of the ever-changing real estate market with a paper CMA?

That’s why forward-thinking realtors offer digital CMAs to help you get up-to-date information. All you have to do is enter your home address you would get up-to-the-minute accurate price valuation.

Our CMA report, customized for you would include information such as...

  • an overview of your home,
  • active, pending, and sold listings that are similar to your home,
  • key property information,  
  • the latest market trends
  • A complete pricing analysis
  • And an option to receive Email alerts when your home value changes.


3. Why do you need a Comparative Market Analysis?

It is always best to price your home correctly right off the bat when it is listed so that the large pool of first responder buyers can see it and make a purchase decision.

Importantly, you need to do a CMA before listing so that you’ll have the information you need to arrive at the right listing price and expose your property to the highest number of buyers likely to purchase it.

This helps to get your house sold — hopefully for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.

Also, a CMA helps you know if the market conditions are favorable to get the value you want from your home before listing. This is because if your listing price is too high, you may need to wait longer before your house is sold and in some cases, you may need to withdraw the listing until market conditions improve.

And with a CMA you can be reassured and confident knowing that you are getting the fair market value of your home.

Generally, with a CMA report, you may want to price your home at the very top of the fair market range or sometimes above it.

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Contact Information

Slav Polinski
Slav Polinski Real Estate
920 York Rd.
Hinsdale IL 60521