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Could Buying A Home in Lake Forest Lower Your Tax Bill?

By | Press Release

Any talk of the real estate market in Illinois these days often leads to at least a cursory mention of property taxes. Yes, it’s true. Illinois has some of the highest property tax rates in the country. And according to an April 2019 study by Attom Data Solutions, good old Lake County has one of the highest effective tax rates in Illinois.

But, it’s important to know that even within a county, tax assessments can vary. That’s why many North Shore homebuyers are often surprised to learn about Lake Forest.

“Best Kept Secret on the North Shore”

“Lake Forest property taxes are among the lowest in the Chicagoland area relative to home values, because its school districts are well-funded, and the area has a high assessment basis,” says attorney Robert H. Rosenfeld, whose eponymous Chicago-based firm has specialized in property tax appeals for more than 30 years.

Specifically, Rosenfeld estimates that, “a $1 million home in Lake Forest, in the Kelmscott Park taxing district, would have an annual tax bill of around $17,666. By comparison, a million-dollar home in Glencoe (Cook County/New Trier Township), would have an annual tax bill of around $25,000,” he says.

“There’s a heightened focus on total cost of ownership today, and property taxes are an important piece of that puzzle,” notes Keri Cook Falls, vice president of brokerage services in the Lake Forest office of @properties. “Lake Forest’s low effective tax rate is one of the best kept secrets on the North Shore. When you factor in the school districts, lake access, a vibrant downtown, and the ease of getting to the city and O’Hare, it really adds up to a great value in the luxury marketplace.”

Appeals & Exemptions

Even with lower effective taxes than many neighboring North Shore and Lake County municipalities, Rosenfeld still stresses the importance of property tax appeals.

“We have been enormously successful in obtaining reductions in Lake County,” says Rosenfeld, noting that attorneys such as himself work on contingency, so, “if there are no tax savings, there are no attorney’s fees.” In other words, it doesn’t cost you anything to try.

Meanwhile, being a part of a homeowners association such as the one at Kelmscott Park, may have other advantages when it comes to appealing property taxes.

“When you appeal taxes as an HOA vs. individually, the process is streamlined, and the costs are generally shared among all participants,” says Rosenfeld.

Homeowners should also make sure they are taking full advantage of available exemptions, such as the homestead exemption and exemptions for senior citizens and veterans, Rosenfeld notes.

Property taxes may be a cloud over Illinois today, but Lake Forest remains a bright spot for those seeking a luxury home and lifestyle with taxes that are reasonable by comparison.

Reach out to our team today to discuss the available options at Kelmscott Park.

Meet the Designer

By | Press Release

Kelmscott Park tapped interior designer Cheryl Souder for the design of the model single-family home and common areas within the condominiums. Cheryl has an impressive background with projects and clients across the US, in Chicago and on the North Shore. Drawn to Chicago’s energy, architecture and art scene, Cheryl now spends most of her time in hospitality and residential design focusing in downtown Chicago, Evanston and the North Shore. We recently sat down with the designer to learn about her process and the inspiration behind her designs at Kelmscott Park.

How did you get into interior design?

Interactions with the natural world, shelter, and the arts continually intrigue me. Of particular interest is engaging with these through experiencing interiors of built spaces. Practicing interior design offers me the opportunity to appreciate the synthesis of these and other diverse fascinating elements.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love the process of discovery with my clients. Design projects have distinct timelines; but also flashes of perception, order, and collaboration among participants that are extremely rewarding.

What made you want to be part of this project?

Having worked with Focus on several projects I have seen their consistent commitment to quality design and construction that enhances the communities where they build. Together we have enjoyed a shared interest in creating inviting interiors that reflect the architecture and offer warm places of gathering for the people who will live there.

What was your vision and inspiration for designing the model single-family home at Kelmscott Park?

Focus and Booth Hansen chose the English Arts and Crafts movement as inspiration for Kelmscott Park. Artists and architects, craftsmen and publishers of the period provided a rich tradition of lifestyle and design that continue to enchant. This home has aspects of the period brought forth into 21st Century living. Outdoor views are framed to capture a lovely landscape. High-touch materials of wood, textiles, and ceramics are skillfully combined to recall customs of hand crafting. Spaces are arranged to share experiences among family and guests with the addition of furnishings styled to be traditional but relaxed and welcoming.

What interior design trends are you seeing in suburban new construction residences? How is that reflected in these homes?

  • Living spaces are combined or directly adjacent allowing enhanced interaction.
  • Greater window areas open interiors to day light and views to the outdoors.
  • Technology through smart home automation and smart appliances make coordination easy.

How would you describe your design style?

Designs are curated to express the interaction of elegant forms, materials, and palettes that help express the interests and lifestyles of my clients. Though based upon the tenets of modern design my style has been influenced by exposure to other times from 17th Century America through contemporary French and Italian interiors.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Walking by water. A beautiful and lived in home. Traveling locally and abroad. Challenging painting. Music with that painting. Books of other times and places.

What design trends are you most excited about?

  • Design blogs and Instagram posts can be overwhelming; however, they suggest new permutations and combinations. Judicious editing recommended!
  • Light fixtures as fine-tuned lighting accents and sculptural forms bring depth to create layers in the interior.
  • The use of color to create an entirely separate sense of place.

What is one piece of design advice you could give to the new homeowners at Kelmscott Park?

Homes are complex and loaded with meaning. They need layers and warmth. Bring communication, patience, and vision to your design process. Then enjoy the journey!

Resident Lounge

Bonjour Jean & Terry

By | Press Release

French wine collectors call Kelmscott Park home

Location was at the top of their list when Jean and Terry decided to down-size in Lake Forest. Luckily for them, Kelmscott Park offered an ideal in-town location as well as space for their growing wine collection. Avid travelers, Jean and Terry loved the idea of a turn-key maintenance-free residence with access to urban amenities like restaurants, boutiques and open green space. We recently sat down for a glass of wine with the couple to learn what made the condominiums at Kelmscott Park stand out, as well as what they’re most excited to experience as new residents.

1. What were your motivations for moving into a condominium at Kelmscott Park?

It was time to downsize. The cost of perfection to maintain a 4-bedroom house and garden exceeded the utility of enjoyment after so many years of homeownership.

2. During your home search, what were the must-have features and amenities on your list?

We wanted a walkable downtown location with a Metra train station, grocery and specialty food stores, fine restaurants, library, a small-town neighborhood feel, and close to good bike trails.

3. What made you decide to buy a condominium at Kelmscott Park?

We love to cook so the 6-burner Wolf range and stove sold us! Plus the perfect in-town location and promise of high-quality new construction was very appealing.

4. Which floor plan did you choose and why?

We chose a two-bedroom plan with the larger patio on the ground floor. We have taken downsizing seriously and are moving toward the goal of “Travel Light in Life”. We found it convenient to convert the den off the kitchen into a walk-in pantry with space for our wine collection.

5. What are you looking forward to most about living at Kelmscott Park?

Biking, taking the Metra downtown, walking to restaurants and stores, meeting new friends, and most of all: worry free traveling –– just lock the door and go!

6. What do you like to do in your spare time?

What is “spare time”?  We love to hike, bike, cross country ski…and travel. We often visit Norway to see relatives. We also enjoy cooking and fine wine –– therefore, we love to entertain.

7. Lastly, what’s your favorite restaurant in Lake Forest?

Now that is a hard question!  MLG is literally across the street, so it is often a fait accompli. Francesca’s has always been good Italian. An afternoon on the patio at Market House is relaxation defined. Grab a pizza at Ferentino’s and take it home to a fine bottle of Chianti Classico Riserva for a night at home. Egg Harbor for brunch is a must. Although not a “restaurant”, walk down to Sweets for chocolate, ice cream and the best malts in the area.

Take the next step and tour the available units at Kelmscott Park today, book an appointment that fits in your schedule.

New Condominium Model Boasts Light, Space and Luxury Finishes

By | Press Release

Introducing the new condominium model at Kelmscott Park. Designed by Booth Hansen with interiors by Toms-Price Home Furnishings, the home features a 2,271 square foot contemporary floor plan with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.

A formal entrance opens to a large dining area with the living room just beyond. Bright light flows through two exposures with large windows and stunning French doors that open to a private patio perfect for entertaining. The contemporary kitchen features luxury finishes including a Sub-Zero/Wolf appliance package, custom floor-to-ceiling frameless cabinetry and Taj Mahal quartzite countertops. The grand master suite boasts a spa-inspired bathroom with Daphne White marble tile, Crestola quartz countertops a large free-standing soaking tub and separate walk-in shower. The model also includes a second bedroom with space for a queen size bed, a den that can easily be converted to a third bedroom, a proper mud/laundry room with space for side-by-side washer and dryer and ample storage space.

The model home located at 1155 Kelmscott Way is open for tours Wednesday through Friday, 9am – 5pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 5pm.

Click here to schedule a tour.

Park Luxe

By | Press Release

By Sherry Thomas

May 1st, 2019

Chicago-based real estate developer Focus has announced the opening of a new condominium model at Kelmscott Park—a master-planned com- munity in Lake Forest. The model highlights one of the only maintenance-free, new-construction condominium developments on the North Shore.

Located at Laurel and Western avenues, four blocks north of Lake Forest’s bustling downtown district, Kelmscott Park offers 42 condominiums, 12 single-family homes, and 111 luxury rental apartments. Floor plans in the recently completed condo building feature two to three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and 1,528 to 2,565 square feet. Prices range from $679,000 to $1,059,000. Sales are being conducted by @properties, and condominium homes are available for immediate delivery.

The model, designed by Toms-Price Home Furnishings, showcases a three-bedroom, 2.5-bath layout with 2,271 square feet. Priced at $970,000, the open-concept plan gives the residence a contemporary feel, while still bringing in elements of a spacious North Shore home.

A formal entry opens onto a large dining area, with the living room beyond. French doors lead out onto an expansive patio. The kitchen is built around an oversized island that seats four. The model’s master suite has two walk-in closets and an en suite bath with a separate shower, soaking tub, and two vanities. The third bedroom/den features pocket doors that can open the room up to the home’s living areas.

“The idea was to make this plan feel like a single-family home,” says Tim Anderson, president and CEO of Focus, which has been building con- dominiums on the North Shore for three decades. “It has a lot of the features North Shore homeowners are used to, like the separate kitchen, den, large master suite, and even a mudroom. The difference is a little less space and a lot less cost and upkeep.” All condominiums at Kelmscott Park feature a balcony or terrace, underground temperature- controlled garage parking, and separate storage. Homes have 9-foot ceilings and high-end finishes such as Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Asko kitchen appliances, custom cabinetry, wide-plank oak flooring in kitchens and living areas, stone countertops, along with Kohler kitchen and bath fixtures.

Kelmscott Park also offers four customizable single-family floor plans ranging from 3,072 to 4,465 square feet. Priced from $1.4 million, homes feature three to five bedrooms, with select plans offering a first-floor master suite. Each home has an attached two-car garage, brick patio, den, and full basement.

Kelmscott Park’s architecture and landscaping are inspired by the English Arts and Crafts movement. Chicago-based architecture firm Booth Hansen incorporated elements of historic Lake Forest architecture into homes and floor plans designed for contemporary living. Meanwhile, Lake Bluff-based Mariani Landscape created a series of greenways, gardens, and tree-lined bou- levards that give Kelmscott Park the feel of a com- munity that has been in Lake Forest for decades.

“The community has come together in a way that exceeds expectations,” says Cyndy Salgado, executive vice president of development sales for @properties.“Everyone has a picture of Lake Forest in their mind, and then you drive into Kelmscott, and it’s like a storybook you can live in. It’s beautiful.”

Kelmscott Park is located within walking distance from Market Square, shopping, restaurants, and the Lake Forest Metra station. The condominium and single-family model homes are open Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information and to schedule a showing, visit kelmscottpark.com or call 847-234-1800.

Read the original article in the Daily North Shore.

Members Only: The KP Club

By | Press Release

Kelmscott Park offers residents a variety of recreation and lifestyle conveniences.

Situated only 10 minutes from the lake and blocks from downtown Lake Forest, you don’t have to go far to enjoy yourself. As a resident of Kelmscott Park, you are offered exclusive access to The KP Club. The club includes access to a tech café with conference room, for those meeting you need to take from home. Complete with fireplace and 24/7 coffee service, you won’t want to head into the office any time soon.

Host with the most.

Rent the beautiful event space in The KP Club and entertain guests with the help of the caterer’s kitchen. Host cocktail hour in the lounge area and then move into the private dining space for dinner.

These common areas in the club open onto the large outdoor patio, which is the perfect spot of gatherings. Stay warm near the fire pit, become a grill master on the grilling stations, or enjoy a quiet stroll through the luscious private gardens.

Convenient fitness at your fingertips

Members also have access to the KP Fitness Studio, which is conveniently located in the KP Club. Featuring a variety of cardio machines and free weights, residents don’t have to go far to meet their daily goals.

Location, Location, Location

By | Press Release

 

Home buyers seeking suburban comforts and urban amenities should look no further than Kelmscott Park. Located a short walk from Market Square in Downtown Lake Forest, residents at Kelmscott Park have coveted access to the best Lake Forest has to offer. No Matter where your interests lie, Kelmscott Park and Lake Forest have something for you!

The Beach

Only a 5 minute drive from Kelmscott Park the Forest Park and Lake Forest Harbor have something for all lake front lovers. Enjoy the sun on the sandy beaches or snuggle up to stroll the lake front at sunset. This natural gem is only one of the beautiful features Lake Forest has to offer.

The Metra

Only a 10 minute walk from Kelmscott Park, the UP North Lake Forest station is readily available to all KP residents who want to take a trip downtown to enjoy all that Chicago has to offer.

Onwentsia Club

A quick 5 minute drive from Kelmscott Park, members at Owentsia Club enjoy a whole host of activities for the summer and the colder months.

Whatever your hobby may be, Kelmscott Park offers you the luxury and comfort that a  suburban lifestyle affords with the urban accessibility which ensures that everyone can find something fun nearby.

Kelmscott Park Wins Multiple 2018 Key Awards

By | Press Release

Kelmscott Park Wins Multiple 2018 Key Awards

The homes at Kelmscott Park won several awards at the 2018 Key Awards hosted by the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC). The 46th Annual Key Awards, one of the building industry’s most important events, was hosted on November 15th and recognizes excellence in housing design, architecture design, interior design, community design, landscape architecture and remodeling. Peers in the industry visit the project sites to analyze the developments which are judged by the quality, craftmanship, and design.

Award winning home design

The single-family home “Beckett” model at Kelmscott Park received the first-place Platinum Award for best single-family semi-custom home and the apartments won the Gold Award for best multi-family development. Both the single-family homes and apartments took home the Crystal Award which is given to the best of the best within each specific category for innovation and creativity.

The Beckett single-family home features 3,690 SF of living space and will be a part of a larger community built by Orren Pickell with architecture by Booth Hansen. Inspired by William Morris and Kelmscott Manor, the homes utilize the themes from the Arts and Crafts movement to create modern, open spaces. The three apartment buildings at Kelmscott Park range from 700 to 900 SF and feature a brick and stone façade. They are organized around a central courtyard, which features and outdoor patio with a fire-pit and grills as well as curving walking paths which connect each building.