If apple picking is a fall tradition for you, here are some options for a day trip or to include in your itinerary for your weekend about to Lake Geneva or Harbor Country. Predictions are that early October will make for good Fall Foliage road trips. [Read more…]
Now that September is here and temperatures are back down to the 70s, it’s time to start thinking about your favorite fall activities. One of our favorites is apple picking.
While there are no apple orchards in Chicago, there are plenty within a 1-2 hour drive from the city. Keep reading to find out which apple orchard is best for you and your family or significant other.
From Chicago: 40 miles southeast
Head southeast of Chicago and make your way to County Line Orchard. Over forty acres of U-pick apples await you here, but that’s not all. County Line also offers a petting zoo, the Moo Choo and a corn maze, perfect for the little ones.
To make the experience even sweeter, County Line offers a bakery with plenty of sweet treats and fresh-baked doughnuts. You can even bring your snacks out to the campfire for some s’mores.
Pro tip: Don’t miss the Barnyard Jams on the weekends!
From Chicago: 55 miles west
Located in Maple Park, Illinois, Kuipers Family Farm offers a hayride to the apple orchard, where you’ll have the opportunity to fill your basket with over 20 different varieties of apples.
After you’ve chosen your apples, the hayride conveniently drops you off at the general store where you can stock up on caramel apples and fresh-baked doughnuts.
From Chicago: 60 miles northwest
If you’re looking to really stock up on apples, look no further than Prairie Sky Orchard in Union, Illinois. This orchard is open daily and specializes in apples and Asian pears.
You can expect to walk away with at least a 10lb bag of apples, which is the minimum for a group of one to four people.
From Chicago: 65 miles west
If you head 65 miles west of Chicago, you’ll find Honey Hill Orchard. This orchard is conveniently located near Shabbona Lake State Park if you’re interested in making a day out of the trip.
Honey Hill offers more than a dozen types of apples to choose from. The apples aren’t the only draw here, as Honey Hill also offers a petting zoo and hay bales for children to climb.
From Chicago: 65 miles north
The apples are just one of many reasons people flock to this Sturtevant, Wisconsin orchard. Apple Holler has a 74-acre orchard, which features more than 30,000 select dwarf trees so no ladder is required to apple pick.
Aside from the apples, Apple Holler has a Farm Park that features a petting zoo, tractor-pulled wagon rides, a corn maze, pedal carts, and more.
Pro tip: Apple Holler also has a restaurant; you don’t want to miss it.
From Chicago: 80 miles northwest
With over 120 beautiful acres of orchard near the Wisconsin state line, Royal Oak Farm Orchard has over 17,000 apple trees and more than 30 varieties of apples to choose from.
Royal Oak also features the country’s first apple tree maze, Amaze N’ Apples, where you can meander through 1.5 miles of trails with 9 varieties of apples.
Did we miss your favorite orchard? Let us know in the comments and be sure to mention why it’s your favorite orchard!
It may still be summer, but if you’re even thinking about selling your home early next year, there are a number of things you should do now to prepare.
Here are a few tips to get your home market-ready before colder temps set in.
Order professional photos of your home’s exterior now
Photos are often a buyer’s first impression. That’s why great photography is an essential part of the real estate marketing mix.
If you plan to list your home before next spring, you should have professional photos taken now while the landscape is still green and leafy. A scenic backdrop puts your home in the best possible light for buyers.
Tackle outdoor repairs
Warm weather makes it an ideal time to take care of home improvement projects like painting, roof repairs and replacing windows.
You also may want to consider getting a pre-listing home inspection so you are aware of any other necessary repairs – both indoors and outdoors – and have ample time to get them fixed.
Declutter and get organized
Most homes could stand a little decluttering – and that’s especially true before they hit the market.
Of course, schlepping boxes to the self-storage is a whole lot less fun when it’s bitter cold and there’s snow on the ground, so the sooner you get started the better.
Here are a few ways to declutter before you sell your home to ensure your property is in tip-top shape when it comes time to list.
Request a comparative market analysis (CMA)
Your broker can perform a CMA, which will give you an initial snapshot of your home’s value.
Keep in mind that pricing and market conditions can change between now and the time you list, but knowing where you stand today will be helpful in planning both your sale and your next purchase.
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