Cubs Win! Trump Wins! And Buyer Activity Down on the North Shore Housing Market!
While buyer activity has been very slow on the North Shore (and in the Chicago area) over the last two months, buyer activity is expected to pick up, possibly as soon as post-Thanksgiving. Interestingly but not surprisingly, world events do affect our local housing market. An analysis of activity before the World Series and the election show a significant drop-off in showings. Along with the showing slow-down, October home sales dropped 7.3%.
Foot traffic through local homes for sale plunged more last month than in any of the previous four Octobers, according to data gleaned from local real estate agents.
That includes October 2012, the last time a presidential campaign was going on.
“You have the election and the World Series distracting buyers, or making them nervous,” said the data provider, Paul Lazarre, a co-founder of Chicago-based real estate site Truepad. The site gathers data from about 25 percent of the region’s real estate agents.
Lazarre gauges demand using data that essentially compares the number of homes on the market to the number of showings buyers’ agents request. In the three weeks that ended Oct. 29 (a popular day for open houses), Chicago-area showings dropped about 30 percent, he said.
In the comparable period in the past four years, the drop was from about 3 percent to about 10 percent, Lazarre said. Data for years before 2012 is available but not quite comparable, he said, because the real estate market was so depressed.
Conlon/Christie’s International Real Estate agent Ryan Preuett said the data stack up with his experience this fall.
“Showing requests have certainly slowed down,” Preuett said. “There’s still activity going on, but it’s not like the velocity it was.” He also concurs with Lazarre’s data showing that past October falloffs weren’t as steep.
“It always cools off, but it’s been more noticeable this year,” Preuett said. Along with the World Series and the presidential campaign, Preuett said, buyers also may have been cooling their jets because of Chicago’s recent property tax increase and talk of another teacher strike.
Lazarre’s system collects data from a booking system for real estate agents to determine how many showings a home gets. While his model measures homes differently based on average foot traffic for listings in its neighborhood, a 300 essentially means a house is getting three showings a week.
By Oct. 29, homes were averaging about 3.2 showings over the course of the past three weeks, Lazarre’s data show, down from 4.5 in late September and early October. As well as being the biggest drop, the figure is also one of the two lowest in the past five Octobers. In October 2012, it was 4.7, followed by 4.3 (2013), 3.2 (2014) and 3.6 (2015).
The figures are approximate because of the weighting of different neighborhoods and other technical adjustments in Lazarre’s data.
After the election and the World Series, “we could be in for a change,” Lazarre said. In 2012, showings soared beginning right after Thanksgiving.
Here is the latest data on how average sales prices have fared among the various elementary schools in Wilmette. You’ll notice the bump in early to mid 2015 for Central School. This is partly the result of a majority of $2M+ sales occurring in Central School district between December 2014 and December 2015. One lakefront sale, alone, garnered $6.2M in February 2015. Additionally, a healthy portion of Wilmette’s new construction closed in Central School District in early to mid 2015 (8 sales total) compared to just 3 new construction sales over the most recent 12 months in Central School. Interestingly, new construction activity has been robust in Romona District thanks to the lower cost of land and the Wilmette Circle subdivision. 8 new construction homes have closed in Romona district in the last 12 months which has helped to elevate Romona’s average sale price.
If You Move Out of the City Move to Wilmette
There’s that cliché that once you get married and start having children, the days of city life are behind you. With better schools in the burbs, backyards and just more space to roam, Wilmette has all of the suburban qualities families are looking for while maintaining a small thread of city throughout the village.
Wilmette is one of the first technical North Shore areas, while some people consider Evanston the first North Shore neighborhood, others beg to differ. Wilmette offers simply spectacular views, has plenty of shopping, family friendly activities, plenty of parks and even a beach! The district has a rich history, stunning architecture and is home to the Baha’i House of Worship, recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois. The Village of Wilmette is also best known for its superior private schools and nationally renowned New Trier High School. In addition to its incredible school systems, Wimette has been awarded an AAA credit rating, the highest award proving the responsible financial management of its residents.
With a population of nearly 28,000 recorded in 2013, with only a little less than 6-mile radius, the village remains a very tight-knit and welcoming community. Personally I wouldn’t want to live in the suburbs, but I understand people’s needs change and sometimes the suburbs are the best alternative, but if I had to choose a suburb, I’d choose Wilmette. It has the cozy feel to it, while remaining relatively close to the city. (Sheridan connects you back to Lake Shore Drive and in turn the road back to the city.) With the Purple line ending in Wilmette at Linden, running express for daily city commutes, it’s possible to travel downtown in no time. This attracts me more than anything else, the fact that you are so separated, but if you so choose can have the city contact back in an instant.
In general I love a good farmers market, but Wilmette takes it to the next level with their French Market. Running every Saturday during the warmer months, the fun and vibrant French-style market gives you all the farmers’ market classics with a twist. You already know you’re going to find great cheeses and meats, but you will also be surprised with the quality of jewelry and craft items made available.
A true classic! Do you remember the ending of the movie “Mean Girls” when Aaron Samuels offers Cady Heron two gift certificates to the Walker Bros Pancake House? It’s because this place rocks and delivers quality, delicious food every time. Dutch babies, Belgium waffles, breakfast food galore. If you can dream of a breakfast fantasy, chances are Walker Bros is cooking it up. A serious breakfast staple on the North Shore, if you haven’t gone yet, what have you been waiting for? They have bacon pancakes, people. You’re welcome.
A unique concept, AO Sushi serves up fresh sushi for all of your to-go needs. Not a standard sit-down restaurant, AO strictly gives your orders to-go or delivers them. The pricing is extremely reasonable, the fish is fresh and the concept opens up a whole new world of potential sushi parties. Just order up and get your sushi on with your closest buddies without breaking the bank. Try the Godzilla roll for a truly monstrously delicious sushi experience.
Eclectic is one word you could use to describe the vibe at Rock House. With everything you’d get from a funky coffee house, you also can add music lesson space and small venue to the list of Rock House duties. You can hit all of your funky needs in one spot, start you afternoon with some coffee, take a guitar lesson and end the day with a live show in the small space while grabbing a beer. Oh, and don’t forget they sell candy here too. A true entertainment one-stop shop.
A beautiful park and beach in Wilmette that gets you stellar views, clean beaches and good fun. Like most North Shore beaches, Gillson charges a fee, but you do get free parking, cleaner beaches and on-duty lifeguards for added safety. Definitely worth the $6-8 fee, you get what you pay for after all.
Baha’i House of Worship
As previously mentioned, the Baha’i House of Worship is known as one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois. The truly spectacular building is breathtaking. You don’t have to be a member of the religion or religious at all for that matter to enjoy the beauty and marvel of the magnificent temple. This is the only temple of its kind in North America which is truly something to think about. Of all the cities and communities in the United States and Canada, Wilmette was chosen to house one of only eight Baha’i temples in the world. While in Wilmette it is absolutely essential to pay a visit, stroll through the gardens and take in everything.
Wilmette Hot Spots:
722 Green Bay Rd
Wilmette, IL 60091
Walker Bros Pancake House
153 Green Bay Rd
Wilmette, IL 60091
3217 W Lake Ave
Wilmette, IL 60091
1150 Central Ave
Wilmette, IL 60091
800 Gillson Park Dr
Wilmette, IL 60091
Baha’i House of Worship
100 Linden Ave
Wilmette, IL 60091
Pricing is Key! Even for Movie Stars!
Comedian Amy Schumer’s apartment in New York City has been sitting on the market since last November with no buyers. Here’s why.
Comedian Amy Schumer may know how to get the laughs rolling, but it turns out there’s one thing she’s not so hot at: selling real estate! Case in point: Her New York apartment has been sitting on the market since last November with no takers.
So what’s the problem?
For starters, it’s certainly not because the place is “tiny” as Schumer so modestly put it in (at least) one interview. Sure, it’s a one-bedroom unit, but it’s also a penthouse—the top floor of a gorgeous brownstone. It also has roof access and a fireplace in the living room and bedroom.
So, although the bona fide star comedian was probably overdue for a real estate upgrade, her poor-me-in-my-tiny-one-bedroom schtick is truly a laugh riot. Seriously, check out a pic of the interior below.
So what’s really the problem with Schumer’s apartment? Why hasn’t it sold yet? Allow us to elaborate on a few reasons why:
It was listed in November 2015 for $2,075,000. But just recently she switched real estate agents (neither of whom could be reached in time for comment) and slashed the price to $1,625,000. That’s a significant price cut, which suggests her original asking price was just too high for New Yorkers to stomach.
New Yorkers generally don’t blink an eye when they see a studio selling for millions. But what makes them quake in their Jimmy Choo heels is the thought of trudging up flights and flights of stairs, which is what they’ll have to do to reach Schumer’s penthouse apartment. In fact, her place is a fifth-floor walk-up. Hel-lo, my own building has an elevator, and it’s only four floors!
“Right off the bat, the five flights of stairs jumps out as a potential show stopper, especially in Manhattan where you’re competing with elevator buildings,” says Florida Realtor® Cara Ameer. “While a penthouse is nice along with having access to a rooftop deck and garden, you have to weigh the trade-offs The good news is you will be able to skip going to the gym in lieu of getting a stair workout each day!”
A co-op, or cooperative, for anyone lucky enough to be spared the hassle of learning its many intricacies, is a form of housing where you don’t just go and buy the place you want to live. That’s way too simple for New York! Instead, you purchase shares in a corporation that owns the building. This means that the home-buying process is a lot more complicated.
“The application process could be lengthy, and it usually includes the presentation of a board package with a lot of financial information and meeting in person with the board of directors of the building,” explains Chris Leavitt, Director of Luxury Sales for Douglas Elliman. Going co-op is often a fact of life in New York, since co-ops comprise roughly 75% of Manhattan’s housing inventory. But co-ops are on the wane, with most new buildings being sold as condos instead.
“This price point can get you far more space in a much nicer building in Brooklyn’s new developments,” says Emile L’Eplattenier, a real estate marketing and sales analyst at Fit Small Business. “The decision to live in Manhattan or Brooklyn has moved from a matter of pure economics to one of preference. Many people with Manhattan budgets are now choosing to live in Brooklyn.”
And let’s face it, it’s hard enough to get by in New York and trudge up a five-story walk-up you paid over a million for without a cute furry face to greet you once you open the door, right?
All of which adds up to five good reasons Schumer’s apartment may continue to sit on the market untouched—or perhaps five good reasons she decided to move out. Who knows? Maybe she was pining for a house cat to keep her company. And oh yeah, an elevator.
Source: Amy Schumer’s Apartment Isn’t Selling—Here’s Why ~ Realtor.com
An example of the power of wise real estate investment.
Lots of opportunities on the North Shore to invest in real estate – the fall and winter months can reveal some great deals too! Eve Plumb, better known as Jan Brady, just made 7,000% profit on the Malibu beachfront home she purchased as an 11 year old. Call me today to find your next real estate investment on the North Shore!
‘Brady Bunch’ star Eve Plumb sells Malibu home — see inside – TODAY.com
By: Jordan Mute, Today.com
“Here’s a story of a lovely lady” named Jan Brady who’s quite a real estate mogul these days.
The days of “The Brady Bunch” might have come and gone, but Eve Plumb who played Jan Brady in the hit show is still riding the wave of her early fame. The actress turned painter recently sold her home in Malibu for $3.9 million.
The 58-year-old purchased the beach house back in 1969, the first year of her role as Jan Brady, for $55,300, reports the Los Angeles Times. She was just 11-years-old. Talk about being wise beyond her years! The bungalow style home, which is located on one of Malibu’s picturesque beaches, includes three bedrooms and 1.75 bathrooms. The home was listed by Brian Linder and William Baker of Deasy/Penner & Partners. While slightly dated, the décor inside has a tropical feel, making it perfect for a beach retreat. Whitewashed wood gives the home a light and airy look.
“The most notable feature was, of course, the site on Escondido Beach Road, with one of the largest oceanfront parcels available in the area,” wrote J.J. Juarez of Deasy/Penner & Partners in an email to TODAY. “It was essentially a little cottage, with no heat or air conditioning, but a fabulous view on one of the best private beaches in Southern California.”
A wrap around deck allows for sunset cocktails on the beach. Sign us up!
And if the new owner isn’t interested in the home’s 50s style charm, there’s a sleek and modern rendering from Meis Architects of what the current 850-square-foot home could transform into with a little TLC.
Ever looked at a pair of shoes on Amazon then had that same pair of shoes follow you around the world wide web? You know the ones, taunting you, “Buy Me, Buy Me, Buy Me”! In all likelihood, you’ve succumbed, at least once. This style of advertising is called retargeting. It works to sell shoes and it works to sell homes too! I am proud to offer every one of my sellers a 3 week retargeting campaign as part of my service package in order to entice as many potential buyers as possible to come take a look at their home. My partnership with Adwerx, the largest retargeted marketing real estate company, allows my listings to appear on NewYorkTimes.com, Yahoo.com, USAToday.com, etc. If an individual located near one of my listings has also visited a real estate-related website, they will find my listing popping up as they cruise around the web. This keeps my listings top of mind for potential buyers and gets my sellers’ homes in front of the people most likely to buy or sell a home. With more than 7,000 impressions a week targeting local buyers with a demonstrated interest in real estate, my sellers receive every advantage in the marketplace. Embracing high tech solutions while incorporating traditional methods is not only wise, but also essential when marketing homes in this highly competitive marketplace. @Adwerx.
The Latest Trend in Home Design – Gorgeous, expansive outdoor decks and patios, with all of the comforts of your kitchen and living room!
The deck of Gaylen Byker’s Lake Michigan home isn’t just big. Measuring about 6,000 square feet, it’s got its own traffic lane.
The Brazilian ipe wood decks are perched on a dune overlooking the lake and include an outdoor kitchen, a resistance-swimming pool, spa, fireplace and lounge areas. The traffic lane is actually an adjoining steel deck, which is used by an electric cart to shuttle visitors across a ¼-mile bridge at the base of the property.
“It feels like you’re on a ship,” says Mr. Byker, 68, a retired natural-gas executive and former president of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He considers the deck a selling point of his 8,114-square-foot modernist home in Montague, Mich. He and his wife Susan, 67, are now listing the home for $10 million, saying they want a smaller home.
The backyard deck is having its moment in the sun. The size of decks and patios is rising, and architects are seeing renewed interest from luxury-home buyers—even in cold-winter markets. The shift, experts say, reflects what’s happening indoors: Walls are coming down, along with the notion of boxy, formal living spaces. Now, more developers are taking cues from the resort industry, where the outdoors shines.
Builders are leading the charge in waterfront Malibu, Calif., where outdoor living is the rule. Developer Crown Pointe Estates is selling a 13,814-square-foot contemporary home with another 10,000 square feet of decking and patios for $22.9 million. The home, which was designed by Burdge & Associates, opens to an infinity-edge pool flanked by two heated cabanas with TVs. A separate deck off the upstairs master-bedroom suite has a six-hole putting green. Down the hall, the gym opens to an outdoor yoga and massage room.
“If you don’t add that outdoor playground, you’re just getting it wrong,” says Scott Morris, the company’s director of sales. The home, completed in February, will be sold fully furnished.
Now the trend is moving east. Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers, one of the nation’s largest luxury-home builders, decided in June to begin offering options for decks and patios in all 19 states where they build, including Colorado, Washington and Minnesota. Previously the company offered outdoor rooms in fewer than half of those states.
Tim Gehman, director of design at Toll Architecture, says the company is responding to demand, as homeowners get savvy about new glass walls and finely woven screens that extend the use of outdoor spaces despite inclement weather.
In a national survey of more than 500 residential-architecture firms in the first quarter of 2016, the American Institute of Architects found that 69% of firms saw increased demand for outdoor living space, which is the second-highest response since the question was first asked in 2005.
“It seems to be coming back stronger than in the boom,” says Kermit Baker, the AIA’s chief economist, who attributes the growth to a cultural shift away from formal living spaces.
At the same time, the size of outdoor spaces is growing. Last year, the average size of decks on luxury homes was up across all regions of the country compared with 2014, according to a 1,300-builder survey by Home Innovation Research Labs, an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders. The sharpest growth was in the Northeast, where the average deck measured 406 square feet, up 53% from 2014.
Adapting that California dream can take some tweaking in colder markets. “I call it ‘mountain lanai,’ ” says Bob Bowden, an Aspen-based real-estate agent and developer describing a Hawaiian-inspired, 13,068-square-foot contemporary home he built in 2009 with more than 9,000 square feet of outdoor-living space. Chilly nights on the deck are offset by fire pits and heated floors.
“It was a gamble,” Mr. Bowden says, because the expansive covered decks were new for the market, and building up the outdoors meant sacrificing valuable interior square footage. The home sold for $24.5 million in 2010, near the asking price of $26 million.
Now he is selling a neighboring 14,000-square-foot home for $36 million, banking on outdoor features like a heated pool with a snowmelt deck and a covered commercial-grade kitchen. Infrared heating fixtures are buried in the lighting throughout the space.
In Montague, Mr. Byker’s expansive decking is central to the home. The 40-acre property’s steep slope and irregular shape make for expansive lake views, but difficult construction. The wood decks were devised to connect three detached sections of the home, each with its own outdoor amenities. The nine-bedroom, eight-bath limestone and copper home hews to a Japanese contemporary style, with 12-foot walls of sliding glass.
The couple’s favorite “room” is the 900-foot rooftop sun deck, with chaise longues, a fireplace and large juniper plants, overlooking the lake and more than 800 feet of private shoreline.
“It’s spectacular in the winter,” says Mr. Byker, who added that snowy decks aren’t a problem with a snowblower. The home was completed in 2011 for $10 million, including the cost of land—a third of which was spent outdoors, Mr. Byker says. The home was listed in May for the same price, but Mr. Byker says he never intended to turn a profit. He and his wife are considering building another home with an emphasis on the outdoors nearby.
While unique features can make for impressive homes, they can also limit the buyer pool. In a recent survey of 100 markets by Remodeling magazine, upscale deck additions resulted in a positive net-gain in only two cities: Columbia, S.C., and Santa Rosa, Calif.
The national average cost of a 320-square-foot deck with high-end composite materials was $37,943, but fetched a resale value of $21,877. The return on investment can vary greatly, depending on the market, said Craig Webb, the magazine’s editor in chief.
In Salt Lake City, Alan Lang, 68, and his wife Charlene Palmer, 48, built a 13,717-square-foot, European-inspired home on 51 acres in 2004. The five-bedroom, seven-bath home has 4,000 square feet of decking on four levels with lake and city views—an unusual amenity for an area that gets an average 51 inches of snow annually. Mr. Lang, who owns a crane and equipment business, built the home on spec and sold it in 2005 for about $5.5 million, he says. The new owner is now renting it back to Mr. Lang, who is building a new home nearby.
The home went back on the market in 2014 for $5.9 million with Linda Secrist of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and is still looking for a buyer. Ms. Secrist said there are no comparable homes in the area—the average luxury home is in the $3 million-range.
Douglas Burdge, who designed the Malibu home, says he was commissioned to create a California-style home in sweltering Houston. The client installed air conditioning on the outdoor veranda.
“They’re going to have a party, no matter what.”
Residential solar power spreads in Wilmette | The Wilmette Beacon
Reprinted from The Wilmette Beacon.
Ten years ago, Beth and Harry Drucker installed solar panels on the roof of their home on the 2500 block of Greenwood Avenue in Wilmette.
The Druckers are known around Wilmette for being a green couple. Beth Drucker co-founded Go Green Wilmette in 2006. They drive a Toyota Prius with “Reduce” on the vanity plate, though they ride their bikes when they can. They also have smaller-impact habits: turning off lights and unplugging electronics when they’re not in use.
And the solar panels were yet another way to be green — as well as to inform people about a lesser-known industry. While the Village of Wilmette does not have records that indicate the first residential solar panels installed in Wilmette, the Druckers’ home is believed to be one of the first.
“We wanted to put these things up to have conversations with people,” Harry Drucker said.
The Druckers’ panels, though undeniably noticeable, are quietly effective: Two solar thermal panels face the southern skies, transferring solar energy into heat that warms their water supply. Twelve solar photovoltaic panels face southwest and convert solar energy into electricity.
Heat and electricity production are at the highest during the summer, but the Druckers said the panels will provide half their warm water and electricity over the course of the year.
Since those panels were installed in 2006, similar installations have adorned Wilmette, notated by a detailed map maintained by the Druckers.
It shows most of the 27 residential installations spread across town as far west as New Trier Court and as far east as Michigan Avenue.
Regina Dominican High School and Highcrest Middle School also have solar photovoltaic panels.
Six new installations sprung up in 2015, the probable result of Solar Chicago, a short-lived program that pooled communities — including Wilmette — together to buy panels in bulk.
But increases like these, albeit progress, are still slow to come.
“A lot of us needed to start doing this stuff yesterday,” Harry Drucker said.
Solar in Illinois
Illinois ranks 18th nationwide in number of solar-powered homes, according to current data from The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to make solar energy more understandable.
Of the approximately 22,090 solar-powered homes in Illinois, Cook County ranks first in the number of individually installed solar arrays (the linking of several solar panels), with 127 as of December 2015.
But not all areas of Cook County are conducive to drawing solar energy.
“When you’re in an area like Wilmette, sometimes it doesn’t make sense [to have solar panels] because of tree coverage,” said Community Development Director John Adler, who helps permit residents who want to install solar panels.
While trees are a boon to property values, they present challenges to those wanting to benefit from solar power.
Bruce and Laurie Davidson live on the 100 block of 17th Street, a road with a smattering of mature trees.
About a year ago, they installed 10 panels on the north-facing roof of their home and eight panels on the south-facing roof. Electricity generation is more productive on the south roof, but Bruce said there was only room for eight panels there.
Paul Doughty and his wife, Kim Rode, live in a home enshrouded by trees and vegetation on the 1900 block of Lake Avenue.
They found installing 20 solar panels on the roof of their detached garage, where they grow vegetables in storage bins on the perimeter, was the most efficient. Their array has been in place since February 2015.
In 2014, the Village of Wilmette eased some regulations required of solar energy systems to make it easier for residents to install the systems.
But still, installation requires diligence.
“I wish the process were more turnkey,” Doughty said. “It’s not quite easy in Illinois yet.”
The politics of panels
Incentives for solar through the federal government are reliable: Residents can receive a 30 percent tax credit on qualified expenditures from their solar installations.
Incentives through the state are less forthright.
Last December, a bill was passed through the Illinois legislature to extend the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Solar and Wind Energy Rebate and Grant program through 2020.
But restrictive permitting and installation deadlines subsequently imposed on homeowners looking for rebates, along with a long waiting period to see whether a system is approved for a rebate, turns some off from the whole process, said Lisa Albrecht, a board member of the Illinois Solar Energy Association.
“People assume solar is a do-gooder decision, but in reality, the numbers have to be there or people won’t make the investment, so rebates were really important,” said Albrecht, who is a renewable energy specialist for Solar Service Inc., a Niles-based solar installation company.
Most of those installing solar systems are from the middle or middle-upper class, Albrecht said.
In 2006, the Druckers, who had Solar Service Inc. install their panels, paid $17,956 out-of-pocket for their 14 solar thermal and solar photovoltaic panels. They received both a federal tax credit and a state rebate.
Harry predicts it will take another five years for the panels to pay off.
The cost of Paul and Kim’s 20 panels in 2015 was $10,488 after a 20 percent discount for taking part in the Solar Chicago program was applied, as well as a federal tax credit and state rebate. They are waiting for the state to release funds for solar renewable energy credits, a program in which they enrolled last summer that is supposed to pay quarterly based on solar production.
Those looking to install systems now may not see as many incentives while funds remain intangible.
“Illinois’ policies have been very broken and they’ve been quite unreliable,” Albrecht said. “You never know if you’re going to get assistance in purchasing a system.”
The benefits of solar
But for those ready to dole out some cash — and patience — for these systems, there are benefits.
An electric bill of the Druckers’ in May totaled 68 cents for electric use — the lowest they’ve seen. At its highest, their bill has been $35.
Paul Doughty and Kim Rode installed their system when their daughter encouraged them to do so after she came home from a field trip with the fourth-grade class at Harper Elementary School to see the Druckers’ system.
“It was daunting at first to learn about this, particularly if you’re not of an engineering bend,” Doughty said. “But it’s a good investment for the home, and it makes it more attractive.”
“People are really curious about it,” Kim added. “Being able to tell others about it has opened a lot of people’s eyes.”
And of course, many value feeling green.
“We look everywhere and we see the opportunity to make clean, renewable energy,” Beth Drucker said.
Doughty suggested looking for those opportunities: “You can do more than filling up your recycling bin to call yourself green.”