My Blog

One Home or Two?

After landing early morning Monday from the Los Angeles trip, Christopher and I had to hit the ground running.
The week was busy but eventful and delightful.

Terri and I got together for our usual dinner, and she invited me to two mortgage events that her branches were having at BMO Harris. I was delighted to speak at the events!

I was not there to sell my services but to answer questions people have about real estate. There have been so many new regulations, policy and procedure changes, lengthening of timelines, and so many different detours in the home buying process, people are unaware of them, even if they recently bought a home, so they will not understand some of the new hoops they must jump through in order to close on the sale of their home. I was there to educate the bank’s clients. With all of the recent changes in the mortgage and real estate industries, it is important to understand how this affects you, as the consumer. Additionally, the Federal Reserve just raised the rate, and this will affect the home buying process. If you’re curious how this raise will be involved in your life as a current homeowner, (because it may affect you) or if you’re thinking of buying and selling, send me an email: Luis.Mota@BairdWarner.com

 

Three Nights in La La Land

Over the past two weeks, I have been feeling homesick for Los Angeles for the first time, since moving to Chicago. I am not sure why, but I was, plus I have been longing to see my friends and my parents, who I miss. Christopher and I packed up the fur babies (minus my kitty) and headed off to LA for a quick 3-day weekend trip to take care of business, errands, and social obligations.

The first day of my trip involved interviewing at three LA-based brokerages. No, I am not moving back, but I am getting my California Real Estate License in the forthcoming months. It has been a dream of mine for the past few years, and I finally had the push to do it. I purchased my classes over a year ago and needed to complete one more before they expired or lose all of my credits. I finished quickly, now just waiting to take the exam. Plus, I was able to finish my ePro certification, work on my GREEN and GRI designations.

Friday was packed with the interviews, but since I was in the area, I decided to surprise my longtime college friend and dear friend, Anna.

Later on in the day, I went to see my amazingly and loving friend Kathleen. We went to dinner, chatted over wine, and talked some more.

I wasn’t sad to leave Los Angeles but was somber to leave the friends and family I left behind. Visiting Southern California is great, but it is also nice to go.

Saturday involved some errands and meeting a new friend as well as an old friend, Andrew. He understands the trials and tribulations of cross country moves. The week I moved to Chicago he moved to LA from New York.

Saturday ended with fun, laughs, treats, and happy times with my beautiful friend, Ronit Falevitch of Exclusive Skin care Beverly Hills. Ronit is one of the most celebrated, accomplished and raved about aestheticians in Los Angeles, and I am honored and grateful to call her a loving, great, and amazing friend. We had lunch and some delicious treats while she peeled, exfoliated, and treated my skin to turn back the clock and clear it up. Plus, she does my favorite non-surgical procedure Organic Orange Treatment, where thousands of volts of electricity are funneled through an orange to inject thoughts of units of vitamin C into my skin for anti-aging, brightening, and hydration. And no, it doesn’t hurt. It feels amazing!

Sunday was bittersweet, but it felt the time to take off and go back to our home in Chicago. Christopher and I had lunch with my parents. Leaving them was hard. They have been there for me my entire life and are the best parents anyone can ask for, but I needed to leave to grow, spread my wings, and start and build a life that is my own. Due to changes in the environment, Christopher and I couldn’t do that comfortably living in Los Angeles. The last day ended with seeing Jen, Paul, Mocha, and Molly and bringing my mother along to have dinner and wine at Ronit’s before our flight. She made delicious Mexican food, which I did not take pictures of, since I was enjoying my time with her. She is family and I love her and her sons. When we got into the car en route to LAX, it felt right to leave. I was excited to go home to Chicago. I am visiting again in the coming weeks for a longer stay, but it is merely a visit and one that will be peaceful and enjoyable. But like the most recent trip, I will be happy to leave for home in Chicagoland.

Midnight In Chicago Times Deux

This past week was the Annual Baird & Warner All Company Event and was held for the first time at the Bridgeport Art Center in Downtown Chicago. Since this is my first company all company event with Baird & Warner, I had to attend and see how cool this company is. The event was fabulous. The theme was 1920s speakeasy or “Speak Easier, ” and it was filled with fantastic food, costumes, and attendees. The venue was an excellent selection, too.

I went with my co-broker, Lesley Soto and ran into a lot of co-workers and met new friends, including a broker who is leaving the City and moving to Puerto Vallarta! How cool is that?!

This weekend Christopher had to go to his native St. Louis to assist his mother in her move across town and pick up the belongings he had stored there in her basement, including his MBA from Washington University. Since he was out of the city, our friend Chris N. invited me out to a private concert in Lincoln Square, since his husband, Emilio, was out of town in Puerto Vallarta.

The show was performed by Martino-Hagemann , Matt, Daniel, and Kendall were phenomenal! Matt and Daniel are the band members, and Kendall is their manager and wife of Matt. Great music, company and a fun way to spend the Saturday night! The imitate setting, sound, and beats of the music, and audience engagement and interaction provided a relaxing atmosphere and a gentle, upbeat vibe. Living on the North Shore is beautiful and readily available for day-to-day living, but it was incredible to get down to The City and enjoy some culture that was not too chaotic.

Many of the men that are part of the Lambda Car Club of the Lake Michigan Region Chapter, were also there that night, and it was great to see them again! They put on great events devoted to car enthusiast of all types, but specifically classic cars.

Plus, I made a new friend. We all know about my obsession with cats, fat cats in particular, so it was natural that I gravitated towards this little guy most of the night.

Moving Like A Cyclone

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, in the best way possible! The spring market is heating up and everyone is coming out of their winter hibernation and being social. Plus, I have been decluttering our home, planning a visit to see my mother and father in Los Angeles, and nursing a sick future husband, which is why this post is so late!

Last week, I attended the monthly Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce. I adore this chamber, what they do for the community, and the ladies that run the organization. On the 15th of every month the Chamber hosts a business networking breakfast that allows members to meet other local business owners. I look forward to getting together and meeting new people. I never met the business owners of a local decluttering and organization business, All In Order. If you need help with organization, they are great!

To end my week off last week, Christopher and I ventured out of the North Shore and into Roger’s Park for DELICIOUS Korean food. Susie’s Noon Hour Grill is a gem!! Chris Smith, Managing Broker, recommended this little shop if I am in the mood for Korean breakfast or lunch. The restaurant is one woman shop! Susie is the owner, hostess, waitress, cook, table busser, and everything in between. For less than $20 dollars you and a guest will walk out well-fed and with leftovers. She is hilarious too and her restaurant reminds me of a local breakfast place I used to go to in Los Angeles, Ilamarada.

Minus Barbadian Beaches and Relaxation and add one kitty=Surprisingly Great Weekend

This past weekend was filled with both sadness, happiness, and sheer excitement.

Thursday night was supposed to be the night I flew to Miami to see a dear friend of mine. From there we were scheduled to take an early flight on Friday morning to spend the weekend in Barbados. I planned this for her birthday since we love to travel and we have been friends for 14 years, so it felt appropriate.

However, on Thursday afternoon we had a call and decided it was best to cancel/reschedule the trip. Since I had a lot going on and was stressed, it felt right to not go on so she and I could both take care of personal matters at home. Plus, I just moved into my new home in Fort Sheridan and wanted to nest and get things done, which I did.

Since I was no longer going to the Caribbean; I told my fiancé that we should attend the art gallery opening for Vivid in Winnetka. Christopher and I didn’t make it to that either. But not for a wrong reason.

While I was supposed to be on a Barbadian beach enjoying the sun, sand, and water, he was going to have a cat delivered! I am a BIG fan of cats and very much enjoy their company. Growing up I was never able to have a cat of my own because my mother is deathly afraid of them. Why? I would like to know too…

Christopher coordinated with a cat rescue in Roger’s Park, Hi Kitty Kitty to have our baby delivered.

This is a photo of Sophia (below), and she is a year and a half year old. She was thrown away by her previous owners, who rescued her from the same sanctuary. Luckily she is micro-chipped, so they were able to find her. She was so scared when we met and when she was brought home to us, but within minutes she was eating as if nothing happened and was demanding love, affection, and cuddles from me. She knew she had me at “meow.”

I am glad she was able to walk into our lives and become part of our happy family.

 

Antiquing

Christopher and I love to go antiquing. Since we moved to Chicago, we are finding the treasures here to be abundant! Growing up in Los Angeles there were never many antiques and if there were findings, they were absurdly overpriced.

Christopher and I ventured to North Lake County, Arlington Heights and Naperville to find these lovely items. We stumbled upon original 1890 Chinese buffet and wine cabinet, plus authentic Pullman sofas from the 1930s, and a 100-year-old Singer sewing machine! We paid less than a car payment for everything. If we bought all of this in Los Angeles it would be more like a mortgage payment.

We are going to reupholster the Pullman items with navy silk and Mohair, sand and refinish the 1930s dining table and Singer sewing machine, and swap out the lamp shades.

Over the upcoming months, I plan to dig into Highwood, Highland Park, Winnetka, Glencoe, and Lake Forest for wonderful estate sales, since I have heard they are to die for.

When the Summer months hit, we will venture to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.