May 8, 2019

3 Historic Home Ownership Must Knows

A red bricked two-floor flat in the Park Manor neighborhood of Chicago on the city’s south side sold for $226,000 last month. An impressive price and double what the asking price was at $109,000. So, what is it about this south side home that was listed for so much and sold for double the price? Well this 2,280-square-foot two-floor-flat that sits at 7244 S. Prairie Avenue, built in 1909 and designated as an official landmark in 1989 is the family home to non-other than the infamous Chicago mobster Al Capone!  Now while owning a piece of history would be cool to anyone on the surface, let’s take a closer look into what it means to be involved in historic home ownership.


Owning a historic home sounds very fun. There are so many questions that you’ll be able to answer. What was it like for that historic figure to wake up in the morning in this home as a child? What the view from their room must have looked like from back then? Standing in the same spot they could have stood in at the time of their living there. What secrets could this place hold? And with the home of Al Capone just sold, you know the place must have some hidden mysteries and secrets. And while that can be exciting that can also be very terrifying. Not all mysteries and secrets of past figures are good and finding something you don’t want to find in Al Capone’s home could very well happen.


Say you are lucky enough to purchase a landmark home. The home is the right price for you and right where you wanted your new home to be. The outside or the inside look of that home is not exactly what you envisioned, and you want to change things up a bit. For a regular home that you buy off the market, you can change whatever you like about the home to fit the exact look you are looking for. But for landmark homes there are some serious rules that you would have to follow. If you wanted to make major changes that fundamentally alter the home, that’s a no-go from the landmark association who want to see some of the looks of the home as well preserved as the day it was appointed a landmark. Minor things surely can be changed.


Buying a historic or landmark home is very expensive. As you can tell from how much Al Capone’s home was listed for and was bought for. However, it doesn’t have to be all bad as you might get some financial benefits from it. Some state and local governments may offer you a tax incentive just to purchase and preserve these homes. And if you ever want to leave, chances are the property value of such a landmark sight will go down. On the flip side of that your insurance may sky rocket. And if it’s an old home with structural damage your insurance rates could go even higher.

Owning a landmark home is exciting. The history that are in those walls just make them a special place to be and something truly to enjoy. Even if it’s the home of a 1930’s Chicago mobster. But remember as much of an upside it is to own and live in a piece of history, there are also downsides. DSn’t let that ruin your fun, just know what you may get when you move inside.

Posted in Real Estate
April 18, 2019

Getting the Most Out of Initial Lead Conversation

Conversation is the main building block for the creation and the maintaining of any relationship. It is the gateway to getting what you want from the person you’re interacting with, if you can properly navigate through it and avoid major pitfalls along the way. You may think that starting a conversation and it being a productive and informative should be, on the surface, easy. Well you’d be wrong. Whether it’s the beginning of a new friendship, relationship or, as this is about, business relationship getting the most out of the initial conversation can be very difficult. What exactly do you do, you want to build rapport, but you don’t have anything to use to start the conversation and keep them interested enough to continue and get information from them? Well, here are some things you can do in order to get the most right from the start.


We all know the “I’m just looking” response. We want more information from the lead to help them better look for a home, but they dismiss us with this single response. There is a wealth of knowledge you have and want to share but you can’t because “they’re just looking”. So how do you handle such a brushoff response so you can get more information out of them? One good way is to turn it into a general conversation starter. People love to talk, especially about themselves. Respond with something along the lines of “That’s good to hear. You should always look thoroughly before you buy anything. Out of curiosity, what type of home are you looking for.” This works because you address their statement. Validate their statement as a good decision and make yourself look more interested in what they want.


No matter what it is, Buyers will have misconceptions about everything. Your job is to dispel those misconceptions and bring the facts of the process to the floor. This helps get more out of a lead because the more knowledgeable you come off, the more that person trusts you enough to continue through the process. One misconception is that a you don’t need a broker. Now yes, it is possible to buy a home without a broker but why would you? You’d be going into the home buying process blind. A broker can handle all the stress and paperwork you’d have to put yourself through making your homebuying experience as smooth as possible. And there are a lot of situations that can occur that you would not be able to handle that a broker could. Once you shower them with the knowledge about what a broker can do for you, they may start singing like a bird and give you all the information you need to better assist them in the home buying process.

Posted in Real Estate
April 3, 2019

Welcome to the Neighborhood

In a city of nearly 10 million, if you are looking to buy a home in Chicago and wonder where you should live, look no further than the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Chicago is the home to nearly 178 (200 if you ask others) vibrant and diverse neighborhoods and the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood is no different. If you are feeling the pull of living in the city and experiencing the life of Urban dwelling, Belmont-Cragin offers that social and cultural amenities for a great Urban experience that you’ve been looking for.

Belmont-Cragin is in an area where everything that is good about Chicago and all the features that make it Chicago are not far away. If you enjoy the nightlife, then you’ll be happy to know that Belmont-Cragin is a host to great bars and lounges such as Stereo Night club that plays a variety of music to the Martini Club that in addition to being a bar, they have a small restaurant up front. The schools are good, the daycares in the area are affordable and certified. So, you know that your children will be taken care of by the best. Taxes are in the lower side of high in Chicago. It is a diverse area that is primarily Polish/Latino dominate but, still a very diverse area in the city.

If you love Chicago for its downtown area and the lake, know that those hot spots are only 20 minutes away on by taking the express, you won’t be far from the heart of the second city. And if you are an avid shopper or just want more options there are 2 to 3 malls 15-20 minutes away. And on your way, stop by the very popular Wicker Park and Logan Square farmers market nearby.

This is just a taste of what Belmont-Cragin has to offer, a population of 79,956 people with half of them owning their own home, with a median home value of $220,824 or renting with the median rent being $982. It’s a tight-nit neighborhood that is inviting, takes care of their own and supports others at every step. Ranks 57 out of 94 in the ranking of the most diverse places in Chicago and 61 out of 94 for the best neighborhoods for Young Professionals in Chicago to get their start. There is no place in the city or the nation that feels like Belmont-Cragin and when you experience Belmont-Cragin it feels like home.

Posted in Real Estate
March 27, 2019

Do you need a Real Estate Broker?


Thinking about entering the housing market to purchase a home?

With home buying season upon us, new & current homeowners will be on the hunt soon for a new home. And with the market currently in transition we have entered into a buyers’ market thanks to lowering interest rates.

As you enter the market to buy a home you will need a real estate broker to negotiate sales agreements and manage the documentation required for closing real estate transactions.

But do you need to hire a real estate broker to enter the market? The answer is Yes. Especially if you are a new home buyer.

Searching for a new home alone can be a long and tough job, even with the help of the internet the process is still tough. Real estate brokers have the education and credentials in order to ensure a smooth process when it comes to home buying. They get the information that will be needed and help with the negotiating, handling a ton of paperwork so you don’t have to. While they don’t make a salary, they do make commissions off the real estate that they sell.

Brokers take on a lot of responsibilities on your behalf. These responsibilities include reviewing contracts and overseeing the transfers of escrow money and other financial transactions. They have a wealth of knowledge to make sure everything needs to take place when it’s supposed to and that it done correctly.

Again, yes, you do need a real estate broker to buy a home because they oversee the real estate agent you will need in order to get into the home buying process.

 So, if you are looking to purchase a home, start this home buying season off right and find yourself a real estate broker to help you find the right home for you.


Source:, Real estate broker vs. agent: What’s the difference?

Posted in Real Estate
March 27, 2019

3 “Need To Knows” About The Real Estate Market This Spring


Spring is the time that the real estate market usually begins to really pick up steam. Home buyers are checking the listings for that new home they hope to fall in love with. And sellers are putting on the finishing touches to the home they are prepared to sell. The market has truly been on fire for the past few years. But no matter if you are looking to buy or sell a home this year, you should probably know what you’re up against this season. So, I’ve put together a list of things everyone needs to know about the real estate market for spring 2019!


·        In the start of 2018, the market saw a 10-year high of housing starts. A housing start is the point in which construction has officially began on a property. Nationwide 1.33 million housing units began in January of that year. And with the market holding firm, look to see some of those units completed or near completion this spring. If you take a look at Chicago, three new apartment complexes and other housing properties will be completed or within completion in the next few months creating an increase in inventory on the market.


·        Out of the pains of the great recession, a renewed housing market was born. Still under the ever-watchful eye of every analyst over the past few years the market has been hot. But now we are entering a cooling off period in the market. Interest rates increased 4 times in 2018, the highest they’ve been since 2011 and look to increase a couple of times in 2019. But rising interest rates is no need to worry, even as buyers and sellers become a little cautious.  The strengthening of the economy is most likely the reason for increasing interest rates but there does not seem to be any danger on the horizon with the market cooling.


·        Sorry baby boomers and Gen Xers but it looks like Millennials are going to be taking over the homeowner leaderboard this season. We have seen many reports out there over the past few years that Millennials just weren’t entering into the market as past generations have. Opting to continue to live at home with their parents or live together with 3-4 people to a unit. But as the economy continues to strengthen, Millennials have seen their income increasing, have been finding more stable jobs and the fact that they are getting older. A perfect storm has pushed them into the area predicting to make up 45% of the 2019 market, followed by Gen Xer’s and baby boomers. So, home sellers study up on what homes will best attract millennials, remember low-maintenance lifestyle, location, quality and easy online shopping.  And homebuyers put on your boxing gloves and expect a lot of competition for the home that you want. Because a lot of millennials may just want the same thing.


Posted in Real Estate