City of Aurora's official kickoff to the holiday season offers something for everyone! Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive during the 6:30pm parade which culminates with a fireworks display over the river. Pop up shops, costumed characters, food trucks, live reindeer are all awaiting you and your family!
When: Friday, November 17th
Times: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Where: Downtown Aurora, Downer Place & Stolp Ave, Aurora, IL
Christmas Walk is a long standing tradition in Oswego! This year's Christmas Walk sponsored by Jewel-Osco is promised to be the biggest yet! Begin your evening watching Oswego's Christmas tree come to live at the Village Hall followed by a silent fire truck parade, inflatables, food trucks, train rides, and meetings with Santa!
When: Friday, December 1st & Saturday, December 2nd
Times: Friday, 5pm - 9pm, Saturday 8am - 11am
Where: Downtown Oswego, IL Main St., and Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill, Oswego, IL
Courthouse Square kicks off the annual Geneva Christmas Walk weekend with their tree lighting, first candy cane of the season, and the arrival of Santa! The weekend festivities include Graham's Candy Cane Parade (Starts at 318 Coffeehouse, 318 S. Third St.) Holiday House tours (ticketed event), hot cocoa, holiday treats, and specials in most of the shops! My suggestion is to check out the detailed PDF I've attached to review the entire schedule for the weekend.
When: Friday, December 1st
Times: 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Admission: Free (except Holiday House Tours)
Where: Begins at Courthouse Square, Downtown, Geneva, IL
Holiday Homecoming has been entertaining area residents for over 17 years! Seasonal music, holiday movies, sleigh rides, live window displays, and the parade are sure to dazzle your whole family!
When: November 25th
Times: Live window displays 1:00pm - 5:00pm, Parade at 5:30
Where: Main St. between 6th St. & 4th Ave. Downtown St. Charles, IL
Enjoy an evening of brightly lit floats, music, and of course Santa! I recommend claiming a good spot early for the parade and making dinner reservations for before or after the parade if you plan on eating downtown. Maybe get some of your Christmas shopping done in the fabulous stores too!
When: December 2nd
Times: 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Where: Downtown Naperville, IL
Three choices this year to enjoy the Christkindlmarket! Downtown Chicago, Naper Settlement in Downtown Naperville, or the Park at Wrigley are all hosting one of my favorite things to do during the holiday season! My family and I love the food, shopping, and overall ambiance of this very popular German Christmas market. Beautiful authentic German ornaments, bakery, and of course the popular unique souvenir mug filled with hot Christmas wine are only a few of the wonderful things you will find at Christkindlmarket! If you visit Naperville, you can make a whole day of fun by visiting the market first, stroll through the Naper Lights (also in Naper Settlement), and then stay for the December 2nd Little Friends Holiday Parade! A whole day of Christmas events to kick off the season!
When: Chicago, November 17th - December 24th, Naperville November 24th - December 24th, Wrigley November 24th - December 24th
Times: Vary by location - see link above and choose location on the drop down menu
Where: Chicago - Daley Plaza, Naperville - Naper Settlement, Wrigley - Park at Wrigley See link above to choose location and get directions.
When my kids were little, they thoroughly enjoyed visiting Blackberry Farm during every season of the year! The magical holiday train takes you on a ride around Lake Gregory and the farm's 3.5 miles of beautiful lights! Storytelling, reindeer food bar, hayrides and more will entertain everyone in your family!
When: Dec. 2-3, Dec. 8-10, Dec. 15-17 (8 days only!)
Times: Fridays 5pm - 8pm, Saturdays 2pm - 6pm, and Sundays 2pm - 6pm
Admission: $5 (to avoid lines, advanced ticket purchase is recommended)
Where: Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Rd., Aurora, IL
This is a Chicago Tradition! The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is annual even celebrated in Chicago on the weekend before Thanksgiving. An estimated on million lights on 200 trees brighten the city's Michigan Avenue - also know as the "Mag Mile".
When: November 17
Times: Starts at 4pm. Be sure to arrive EARLY that day!
Where: 401 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60611
If you need to find Santa, this is THE "Must Visit" website! Malls, festivals, Santa breakfasts, pets' pictures with Santa, you name it, it's listed here! I just thought it was a good addition to my list considering Santa is a pretty important guy at this time of the year! After all, you want him to know how good you've been all year, right?
Presented by the Rotary Club and City of Aurora, this more than one-mile free drive through display is sure to delight all ages!
When: Day after Thanksgiving through the day after Christmas
Times: Fri & Sat 5-10pm, Sun-Thurs 5-9pm
Admission: FREE (but Rotary Club is accepting donations for local charities)
Where: Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora, IL
This is a must see! Not only do you get to enjoy the 1.8 mile lighted route with more than 80 lighted displays to view, you might also have the chance to visit with Santa and enjoy cookies & hot chocolate on certain evenings! Please know that all admission proceeds will be directed to Mooseheart’s operation budget and provide for the high quality residential care and academic/vocational training that our children need. This includes food, clothing, shelter, books, computers and recreational activities.
When: November 24 – December 31st
Times: 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Admission: $10 per car (yes it’s worth it, and proceeds support Mooseheart!)
Where: Mooseheart Child City & School, Inc., Mooseheart, IL 60539
The entrance to Mooseheart is on IL Route 31, two miles north of I-88 marked by a flashing yellow warning light.
Who has 20,000 lights, animals, hot chocolate, Christmas tree sales, and holiday gifts? Cosley Zoo, that’s who! Feel the love while walking around enjoying the displays and visiting with the animals!
When: November 24 – December 30
Times: Zoo Hours 9am-9pm daily, lights come on at 3:00pm
Admission: Free but donations are greatly appreciated!
Where: Cosley Zoo 1356 North Gary Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187
Get your shopping done and enjoy 250,000 LED lights sparkling and dancing to music every night! 16 songs make each show different!
When: November 12 - December 31
Times: Shows on the hour from 5-9pm (last show starts at 9:00)
Where: 631 East Boughton Rd. Bolingbrook, IL 60440
We have been members of the Brookfield Zoo for 18 years since our daughter was born! I’m pretty sure we’ve visited Holiday Magic every year! Now she is at SIU studying Zoology! My two cents…get to the zoo by midafternoon to avoid the 4pm rush, enjoy the animals, get a bite to eat, and then be amazed at the more than 1 million twinkling LED lights, ice carvers, carolers, and much more! We love it and I know your family will love it too!
When: Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, and Tuesday-Sunday, 26-31
Times: Zoo open 10:00am – 9:00pm, festivities begin at 4:00pm
Admission: Free for Zoo members (best deal if you will visit the zoo more than once per year)
Adults: $19.85 ($18.85 online)
Seniors 65 and Over: $14.50 ($13.50 online)
Children 3 to 11: $14.50 ($13.50 online)
Save $1 per ticket when you order online!
Tickets must be used within a 12-month period.
Where: Brookfield Zoo 8400 31st St. (1st Ave. & 31st St. Brookfield, IL)
This is a very unique and lovely story of a residential community in Aurora. My family will be visiting for the first time this year! Eventful.com describes the Lehnertz Ave story as follows….After WWII soldiers returned to the US to build their homes and their families. Upon their return this community committed themselves to leave a legacy to their children that included the biblical Christmas story. This drive-through display where residents each display a part of the original Christmas story includes lights, sound and all the biblical characters: wise men, camels, shepherds, sheep and manger scene. Peanuts characters with Charlie Brown follow on Lehnertz Circle. All lighted and all free! (Lehnertz is recognized as the oldest, totally free traditional Christmas display in Illinois.) Crib Blessing scheduled 6:30 pm on the second Sunday of December. Enter Lehnertz Avenue via Sheridan Street, follow through Lehnertz Circle and exit via Ohio Street.
When: December 9th – January 1st
Times: 5pm – 10:30pm Daily
Admission: Free drive through event
Where: Lehnertz Ave. & Lehnertz Circle in Aurora
This long time Naperville family owned business has been providing trolley tours for years! The Holiday Light Tours offer multiple times and a choice of the 1 hour Southern Tour or 1 hour Northern Tour. If you’re really feeling festive, you can go for the 2.5 hour combo tour! The routes are not determined until Thanksgiving weekend when homes start to light up! Trolley drivers will be out looking for the best homes to add to the tours which begin on December 1st. Enjoy your tour and then visit downtown Naperville which is filled with restaurants, bars, and shopping!
When: December 1st – December 26th
Times: Vary – see schedule on website
Admission: $18 per person, all ages
Where: Pickup locations vary
Amazing! Must see this in person to get the full experience! The Larsen's were the winners of the 2013 ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight! Beautiful light show choreographed to a variety of music.
When: Begins 5:00pm Thanksgiving Day - January 1st
Times: 5-10:30 Mon - Thurs, 5-11:30 Fri - Sun or 11:30 (sometimes they extend the hours if it's busy)
Where: 42W891 Beith Rd. Elburn, IL 60119
Lincoln Park Zoo bursts into holiday splendor with lights and holiday festivities! Photos with Santa, ice carving, musical light show, shopping, holiday treats and more! Wonderful free family friendly event!
When: November 24-26, December 1-3, 8-23, 26-31; January 1-7
Times: 4:30 - 9pm
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614
View the trees of the Morton Arboretum dressed up and alive with lights! Enjoy the one-mile walking tour stretching through the 50 acre collection of trees. Concessions and fire pits are available along the way to enjoy a snack and warm up! This event requires advance purchase tickets. Popular dates/times sell out fast!
When: November 17th - January 1st
NOTE: Illumination is closed on Mondays, except for January 1. It is also closed on the following holidays: Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23), Christmas Eve (Sunday, December 24), and Christmas Day (Monday, December 25).
Times: Vary from 4:30 - 9:30pm depending on your ticket
Admission: Ranges from $7 - $22 depending on age and whether or not you are a member of the Arboretum
Where: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rt. 53, Lisle, IL 60532
I know this post is about lights, but if you're going to visit Naper Lights, you need to visit the Naperville Christkindlmarket which is also located in Naper Settlement. Two family friendly fun events in one place! Christkindlmartket offers authentic German cuisine, shopping, and holiday desserts. Once you have your shopping done and tummy full of warm food, stroll through the beautiful lights display presented by the Naperville Sunrise Rotary and Naper Settlement.
When: November 24th - December 23rd
Times: Thurs 4:30-7:00, Fri - Sat 4:30 - 9:00, Sun 4:30 - 6:00, Special hours Dec 18-21 4:30 - 8:00
Admission: Free but donations are accepted
Where: Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, IL 60540
Contractors We Highly Recommend
We are often asked for referrals for contractors. We have compiled a list of recommendations below to make your search easier!
Attorneys - Real Estate
Attorneys - Divorce
Sr. Loan Officer
O: (630) 457-4962 | C: (630) 546-5262
Sr. Loan Officer
Preferred Property Inspection Services, Inc.
Handyman / General Contractors
Heinz Home Services
Mr Handyman of Naperville
DuPage Quality Home Repair
Guardian Radon and Electric
Chris Bice - Handles Radon & Electrical Work
Trinity Electrical and Radon Mitigation Services, Inc.
Phil Solecki - Handles Radon & Electrical Work
Brian Joseph Painting
Andersen Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Radon - Mitigation & Installation
Guardian Radon and Electric
Chris Bice - Handles Radon & Electrical Work
Trinity Electrical and Radon Mitigation Services, Inc.
Phil Solecki - Handles Radon & Electrical Work
Radon - Testing
DuPage Radon Testing
Amy Sue Murphy
Best of Roofing
HVAC - Service or Installation
GEM Services HVAC
Air Wizards HVAC
630 336 9129
Basement Crack Repairs
O: (630) 777-0539 | M: (630) 777-5049
Crack Attack Team
Landscaping & Lawn Care
Amy's Cutting Edge Lawn Care
Gullickson's Chimney Cleaning
Naperville Chimney Sweeps
Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration
Envirosafe Pest Management, Inc. - also handles termite inspections in our area
Orkin Pest Control
Window Repair & Replacement
Glasshopper Schor Glass
A Touch of Glass & Mirror
A Mirror Image
1) We promise to tell you the truth about your property. We will give you our honest assessment of what your home is worth. We won’t mislead you about its value in order to get your listing or make you feel good.
2) We promise to disclose all our relationships in the transaction. We don’t perform Dual Agency (representing BOTH Buyer and Seller in the same transaction), but there are other kinds of relationships that may influence our business together. If it interferes, we will tell you that, too.
3) We promise to respect your confidences. During the course of our working together, you may share personal, financial, and other confidential information with us. We will not disclose this information to ANYONE, nor will we use it to gain any kind of advantage in a transaction (before, during or after the transaction).
4) We promise to give you good advice. We deal with lenders, home inspectors, appraisers, attorneys and countless other professionals on a daily basis. We can provide you solid recommendations about these matters, if you need them. If we think you might be making a bad choice, we will tell you that, too.
5) We promise that you will understand what you are signing. Any real estate deal involves a mountain of paperwork. You will be asked to sign all kinds of documents. We will explain them all and make sure you are comfortable every step of the way.
6) We promise to tell you the truth about ourselves. We will provide you with information about our background, education, designations and experience as a Realtor and Managing Broker. We won’t make any false claims. We will discuss our fees and any other compensation we might receive as a result of our transaction.
7) We promise to follow through and follow up. We don’t list and leave. We will discuss with you exactly how we work and what you can expect. We will communicate regularly and you will know everything that is going on as soon as we know it. Even after we close the transaction, we will keep in touch, to be sure you are still happy with the way things turned out.
* Now updated to reflect 12/31/16 final sales.
Everyone knows that a large number of homes sell during the spring buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off putting their home on the MLS until that time. The question is whether or not that is a good strategy going forward.
Last year I wrote an article about what was the BEST MONTH to list a house for sale. I analyzed all the Oswego and Aurora IL home sales for the prior 6 years and determined MARCH was the best month to list your home for sale.
That changed in 2017! RIGHT NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO SELL!
Home for Sale Inventory is at a 10 Year LOW! << Look at that Chart! Down more than 20% Year over Year! Some towns have even less inventory!
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed which months and days of the year most people LIST their home. Here is a graphic showing the results:
The circles represent the ten most popular listing DATES in 2014. We can see that all ten days are in the second quarter of the year. The months in red represent which months most people put their home on the market. Again, the three months in the second quarter are most active for listings. This graphic represents a national number, by the way.
With the job situation improving and mortgage interest rates projected at record lows today, but set to rise later in 2016, buyers are not waiting until the spring. They are out looking for a home RIGHT NOW.
If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you are putting your house on the market at a time you will have the greatest competition for your buyer. It may make sense to beat that rush of housing inventory to the market and list your home today.
RIGHT NOW is the best month to list a house for sale! Ready to hire the best Realtor in Oswego, IL?
Rich Ayers is a licensed Real Estate Managing Broker in Illinois and lead real estate contributor for The Oswego Patch. He also writes a monthly real estate column for Inside Oswego magazine. Rich was selected as Oswego’s Favorite Realtor by the readers of Glancer Magazine! Ayers Realty Group has EXPERIENCED Brokers who specialize in Residential and Investment real estate in Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield and the surrounding suburbs of Chicago. Visit our website at www.AyersTeam.com or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Trulia, or Zillow.
Not so long ago home inspections were viewed as something that only buyers requested. In recent years, however, inspections ordered by sellers before their home goes on the market have gained in acceptance and popularity.
Pre-listing inspections benefit all parties involved, and they are gaining in popularity. Here are six benefits to a pre-listing home inspection:
Time - Listing Agents and Sellers have more time to work on a repair or upgrade BEFORE the house is even listed. Sellers aren't put under the gun to complete repairs in short order and over-pay for rush services which could lead to a delayed home closing if not completed in a timely manner.
Options - Sellers can choose who they want to perform the inspection and assist in providing details of equipment maintenance, supply dates of improvements and explanations for current conditions.
Accurate pricing - A pre-listing home inspection helps the agent set the seller's price expectation and can be used to substantiate a higher asking price.
Enhanced marketing impact. Prospective buyers are likely to find a pre-inspected home more attractive because the "what if" factor is not as great. Their comfort level is increased. Therefore mentioning the completion of a pre-sale inspection when marketing a home can boost interest levels of both buyers and real estate agents with qualified prospects. It can even tip the scales in the seller's favor if buyers are looking at similar homes and the competing properties do not have the benefit of a pre-sale inspection report.
No surprises - Agents will have fewer issues to negotiate at the 11th hour, and buyers may even waive their inspection.
Greater negotiating leverage. Having the details of current property condition is an important advantage. Sellers discover any issues that might delay or derail the transaction and can make advance repairs, thus heading off potential price concessions sought by buyers. Even if the seller elects not to make repairs, disclosing any defects upfront and pointing out that the price is adjusted accordingly can deflate buyer's objections.