121 Gillick, Park Ridge

121 Gillick

Park Ridge

121 Gillick was a beautiful four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home in Olde Park Ridge. This location in Park Ridge is special because of its easy access to absolutely everything. It’s less than five minutes from the Canfield exit, and is walking distance to both Uptown Park Ridge and Edison Park.

This was very important for my clients because they were moving from the city to the suburbs, and although they enjoyed the calm of the suburbs they knew they would still miss some of the hustle and bustle of the city. So, you can understand why they’d take comfort in knowing they could still walk to places like Zia’s, Moretti’s, Edison Park Inn, Don Juan’s and Cafe Touché to experience a slightly more exciting atmosphere on a Friday or Saturday night.

This experience was certainly a favorite for me. The family who purchased this home was one of the nicest families I’ve ever met. It was such a pleasure being able to accompany them on showings, inspections, the closing and everything in between. I’ll never forget the conversations we had about the pros and cons of a public or a private school, and which their children would like better, or the great talks we had about neighborhood block parties and our favorite restaurants. It was a wonderful experience and a truly beautiful home.

2300 W. Wabansia

2300 W. Wabansia

Wicker Park

What a journey this condo hunt was! For some people, finding their dream home is quick and easy. Something like love at first sight. For others, it’s not quite so simple.

My client and I started the search for his future condo pretty casually. At first, we were just going out so he could see what was available. He wasn’t sure which neighborhood he wanted to be in so we alternated between his top three: Wicker Park, Roscoe Village and Lincoln Park. The search began in February. They closed in September. Throughout the course of their search they offered on four different condos. As they’d tell you now, though, the one they closed on was absolutely meant to be. In fact, it was written in the stars.

Like me, my client was really into astrology and horoscopes. Not that it ruled his day-to-day operations or anything like that, but when in doubt he’d check out his horoscope because sometimes it’s pretty interesting. I’m a Pisces, and I thoroughly believe I have the majority of Pisces traits so trust me when I say, I pay good mind to horoscopes, too.

I’ll try to be as brief as I can, but this search spanned seven months so forgive me if this is a bit longer than usual:

The first unit my client had interest in was in a building in receivership. On top of the purchase price, he would have had to pay his share of upwards of $300,000 if he wanted to proceed with the purchase. Because he is a sane human being he said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ That was in June. Ironically, his horoscope said not to think long on difficult transactions. On to the next.

The second unit quickly turned into a multiple offer situation. The sellers decided to accept a higher offer but it ended up falling apart and so they came back around. After much deliberation, my client decided he didn’t love the area after all and so he said his offer was no longer on the table. Ironically, his horoscope had indicated that he should not sign any important documents on the exact date of the proposed closing. On to the next.

In late July, my client was very excited because his horoscope said that he would find his dream home on the very day we were set for our next round of showings (honest to God, I saw it myself. And this was not a real estate horoscope. Just a regular monthly one. Weird, right?) He ended up really loving one of the properties he saw and decided to offer. Unfortunately, the two parties were simply too far apart so it never worked out. On to the next.

The fourth property was perfect. Great location, a lot of space, huge balcony, plenty of natural light. It was a dream. My client offered. It was accepted. He was thrilled! …for a time. The inspection came and went and as far as he was concerned, the unit that he loved was in a building that was practically a sponge. It’s never a good idea to continue with a purchase when there’s a very good chance that once a year you might say, “Well, a vacation would be nice but I really much prefer paying these special assessments.” On to the next.

Would you believe that the agent representing the seller for the third property my client offered, but couldn’t reach a deal on, contacted me shortly after that? This was the place that my client’s horoscope eerily predicted would be my client’s future home weeks before! It turned out that the seller had a change of heart and wanted to put a deal together. They closed 30 days later.

Is that a great story or what?

Tango Sur


3763 N. Southport

There are two thing that I just flat out love in a dining experience: BYOBs and steak. So it should be no surprise to those of you who have been there that I LOVE Tango Sur. For those of you who have not been there – stop reading now and go. I’m not kidding.

There are few places in Chicago where you can get huge portions of exceptional cuisine and indulge in a bottle or two of wine without breaking the bank. Tango Sur is one of them. Bring your own favorite bottle of wine, whiskey, vodka, tequila, or whatever spirit you most gravitate towards and get ready for an amazing culinary experience. I’ve tried the majority of their menu, so I could tell you all about it but that would take too long. Instead, I’ll just tell you what I usually order:


Empanadas and Provoleta – Amazing, amazing, you must indulge.


El Filet – I get this almost every time. You could easily split it because it’s huge. Every steak is great, I just happen to like filets. I must note though that ‘El Pez’ (Chilean salmon) is also delicious.

I know, I only named four things. But you have to understand that the portions are so big that there is not really room for anything else in one sitting! If you want to know more about the menu, you have to check it out. I’ve never met anyone who left disappointed. *Word to the wise, prepare to wait. It’s mostly walk-ins only. They only take reservations for large parties and even then it’s tough unless you make your reservation well in advance. Enjoy!

Remembering 918 W. Schubert

918 W. Schubert, #3

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This was one of my most memorable deals, I have to admit. I always say that I love what I do because I get to work with friends, family, and friends of friends or new acquaintances who are sure to work their way into my heart. In the case of 918 W. Schubert, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with one of my closest and oldest friends.

Her partner was looking for a condo in Lincoln Park, and being from out of state he really wasn’t sure exactly what he was looking for or where he was looking to find it. So, we had a meeting of the minds and between him, his girlfriend, and his family we were able to narrow down the perfect grid for him to really focus his search on.

We determined that Lincoln Park had everything he was looking for. This particular location, near Sheffield and Diversey, had easy access to public transportation, was walking distance to a seemingly endless number of restaurants and bars, and had great street parking. But most importantly, the block felt warm and welcoming.

It was just one of those situations where they knew as soon as they walked in. He was home. A month and a half later he was all moved in. Since then, the two of them have done an exceptional job of making the condo their home. Every time I go to visit I am more and more impressed with how beautifully they’ve decorated. With any luck I’ll get my friend to let me feature her in a home decor post! I’ll keep you posted!

3732 N. Clifton

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New Listing! 3732 N. Clifton

Enjoy this luxuriously redesigned gem by RR Construction & Development. 3732 N. Clifton is a beautiful and thoughtfully built luxury home in desirable Lakeview in the Blaine School District. Located just a few steps from Wrigley Field, restaurants, cafes, parks and Lake Michigan. Living here, you can enjoy Wrigleyville recreation on Clark Street or spend your mornings running along Lake Michigan.
This breathtaking Victorian features a redesigned facade, high level of craftsmanship throughout, spacious and stylish kitchen that opens to an oversized family room with coffered ceilings, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and an amazing layout that is perfect for entertaining.

With a thoughtfully designed floorplan by EKI Architects and gorgeous finishes by InHabit Your Space, this 4,000 sq. ft. home is both expansive and livable. The main level is ideal for both living and entertaining. It features a spacious living room with gas fireplace, a functional kitchen with breakfast area and top quality Thermador and Bosch appliances.
The second floor offers three bedrooms and two full baths, plus a conveniently located washer/dryer. Enter your spacious master bedroom through a beautiful private foyer with lighting behind dropped crown molding. There you’ll find an enormous walk-in closet that is second to none. The master bathroom is exceptional, offering heated floors, a double bowl vanity, Jacuzzi tub and separate shower with body sprays, elegant cabinetry and marble countertops.

The top floor level offers a bedroom and bath with wet-bar area and a private walk-out rooftop deck with spectacular Wrigley Field and skyline views skyline views sure to jump start any conversation and impress at parties. The lower lever recreational room offers heated floors, a spacious bedroom with private access to a full bathroom, laundry room w/ sink, utility/storage. Need parking? This home comes with a two car garage plus parking pad.
Getting around town is easy with access to the Kennedy Expressway just a few blocks away and a modest walk to the Red Line “L” station.
If you think this home might be right for you, please call or email me. SellWithGrace@Gmail.com

Lucky’s Sandwich Co., 1635 N. Milwaukee

When I went to Lucky’s, I was in the mood for a low-key bar where I could just kick back, relax and open a beer with zero risk of aggressive music, massive crowds, long lines, etc. It was a little later on a Friday night (like 11:00pm) so I was skeptical that I’d find this kind of place in the heart of Wicker Park. But I did!

Stellas at Lucky’s Sandwich Co.

Lucky’s was everything I was in the mood for. Their beer selection was pretty good, though I ended up going with my go-to, Stella, instead of trying something new. What was more awesome was the fact that their kitchen was open until 1:00am. I couldn’t believe my luck! It had been a long, busy day and I had been so preoccupied that I had forgotten to eat dinner. So, the fact that I could order anything on the menu at a cool place (versus the late-night drive thru’s or pizza places that I loathe) was pretty sweet.

Sports Bar
Definitely would come back for something like Monday night football. Sammies, big TVs and brewskis. What else does one need?

The server was really cool and the service was quick. Then again, it’s not like it was packed so who knows what it’d be like on a busy night. Anyway, I got wings and my friend got a pastrami sandwich. Personally, I wasn’t crazy about the pastrami sandwich but that’s probably because I’m just not a fan of pastrami. The wings were awesome. I did half buffalo and half cajun. The cajun was amazing. I highly recommend it.

Cajun wings on the right side. So good.

If you’re out in Wicker Park looking for that perfect low-key, late-night eatery, I’d say this spot is worth a visit. It’s a fun place to just hang out and be yourself. I enjoyed it.

1416 S. Prospect, Park Ridge – Sold Before Print

In my last post, I spoke about one of my closed listings – 1215 Talcott (a Barnett Capital, LLC project) – and all of the activity it stirred up when it came on the market. This was fantastic for my clients, but not so great for the buyers who missed out.

Except for one particular couple.

This couple was represented by a fellow Coldwell Banker agent (She was fantastic. I hope to work with her again!) who called me after 1215 Talcott went under contract.

“Is 1215 Talcott really off the market?” she asked. “Do your clients have anything similar coming on soon?”

Well, as luck would have it, they did.

1416 Prospect was their next project. It was going to be an 1800 sq. ft., 4 bed, 3/2 bath with all new finishes – very similar to 1215 Talcott except for its size.

These are the ‘Before’ photos:

“We’ll take it!”

With inventory flying off the shelves, the buyers didn’t want to risk losing another Barnett Capital project. They put in a full-price offer and a few months (and quite a bit more construction) later, they had the keys to their dream home.

These are the ‘After’ photos:

1215 N. Talcott, Park Ridge

What a transformation! This was a listing I’ll never forget.

1215 N. Talcott was another gorgeous rehab by Barnett Capital LLC. It took months and months of hard work to get this five-bedroom home to its potential, but by the time Barnett Capital had completed it, it was spectacular.

The kitchen had been expanded, the stairs were moved, a pantry was added, fireplaces were completely redesigned, doors were sealed off, and new ones were added. Brand new oak floors were put in, new electric, plumbing, windows, appliances… I could go on forever but I think you get the picture. You name it. They did it! They took it all down to the studs and basically rebuilt it.

After the holiday season, once the home was finished and listed, market activity went through the roof. Open houses were packed and the showings were nonstop.

Everyone appreciated the level of craftsmanship that Barnett Capital put into this project. Their attention to detail was unparalleled. Everything from the lighting to the molding and the color of the stain on the floors pulled in compliments like you wouldn’t believe. It wasn’t long before the offers came rolling in.

It all happened at once, as it so often does these days. Before my clients had time to think, they were in a multiple offer situation. They went with the highest and best and never looked back. The inspection went wonderfully, the buyers were happy and Barnett added another completed project to their list. I’ll never forget how beautiful they made this home, and I was grateful to have been able to be a part of it.

DIY Home Painting

So, you’re thinking about painting at home, are you?

Well, that’s fantastic! Whether you’re thinking about it because you want to sell, or just want to mix it up a little, a fresh color is a great way to make your home feel new again.

If this is an avenue really want to explore, I have one piece of advice for you:

Hire A Professional Painter

Seriously. Professional painters have all the tools, expertise and time that it takes to perfectly execute a gorgeous paint job without slopping color all over your fabulous hardwood or raining paint droplets onto your furniture. So there, I said it. Hire a professional.

However, if you’re like me and occasionally refuse to use good sense because you think you can do JUST as good of a job (if not better!) than the pros, I have some advice for you. But remember, my first bit of advice was to hire a professional.

That being said, there’s a few things you need to do before you get started:

Tape. Tape. Tape.


The only thing standing between you and your precious trim, light fixtures, corners and floors is one thin line of tape. So you better make sure you do a phenomenal job taping. Otherwise, it’s going to look like a four-year old with a sugar fix went to town on your walls. Yes, it’s a HUGE pain, but it’s also a necessary evil. Go to Home Depot, grab some blue painter’s tape and get to work.

Once you’ve taped off and laid down some tarp or heavy painting paper, you’ll want to prime. Actually, you will NOT want to prime but you really should. Technically, I guess you can get away with doing a paint & primer combo, or just skipping the primer altogether and hope that maybe, just maybe, it’ll turn out fine. But why risk it? Especially if the color you are covering is a dark one.IMG_1296

After you’ve taped and hopefully primed, you’re ready to get to the fun stuff. Color. Hopefully, you’ve picked a color that’s going to look fantastic with the new chaise lounge you bought off  Overstock or picked up at Pottery Barn, but there’sa great way to double check if it’s going to match.

Most of the big paint companies out there (Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc.) have applications on their websites where you can upload a picture of your own room and digitally alter it to see how it would look with a different color of paint. I highly suggest checking this out before you buy your Navy Blue, Regal Eggshell from Benjamin Moorebecause let me tell ya’, it’s not cheap.

Anyway, use one of the complimentary can openers they give you, crank that container open and start painting. Rollers are best for the majority of the space, but angled brushes work wonders for the corners. Two coats is definitely the way to go if you want an even color. Let it set in between applications, and then I’d wait for it to dry overnight before you even think about removing that tape.

The next morning, remove your tape (slowly!) and voila! You’ll have painted a masterpiece of a wall that you can proudly tell all of your friends (who wouldn’t help you because they’re not insane) that you did it all by yourself!

…Or, you’ll have a speckled mess that will sap hours of  your precious time to remove with paint thinner. And if that happens, I say:

I definitely told you to hire a professional.