July 25, 2019

Welcome to the Neighborhood – Logan Square

Chicago is the third-largest city in the country, and in a large place like this, there are so many places to live. And if you are looking to buy a home in Chicago and wonder where in this large, diverse city you should live, look no further than the Logan Square neighborhood. Logan Square is just one of the many vibrant and diverse neighborhoods that make Chicago a great city to live in. And if you are feeling the itch of living in the urban jungle of Chicago then I can happily say that Logan Square is a neighborhood that I think you should check out.

In Logan Square, the powerful neighborly connections are seen all around, from landmarks to lounges, from monuments to markets. Logan Square is a great place for homeowners to search for a home and one of the great historical neighborhoods in the city. As I said, Logan Square is a very diverse neighborhood and boasts a large Hispanic population, several Eastern European ethnic groups and African Americans living in this ever-vibrant neighborhood.  Another great thing among Logan Squares diversity is the many attractions of Logan Square which are various and worth partaking in as well.

One such attraction is the unofficial landmark of the Logan Theatre that is outfitted with a large neon sign that lets you know where you are and what you will benefit from when you live here. An old school theatre outfitted with modern updates. If you are a Spring, Summer and Fall type of person and enjoy the sight of fresh produce that’s outside a grocery store you will love the Logan Square Farmers Market, which is shared with other neighborhoods, like Belmont-Cragin, and aptly named after the neighborhood itself. And speaking of historic Logan Square is home to Chicago’s 56th Mayor and it’s first female African American LGBTQ mayor.

And this is just a taste of what Logan Square has to offer, a population of 73,702 people with multiple diverse backgrounds. The median home value is $339,000 and median rent at an average of $990 dollars. It’s a great place to live especially if you want to live somewhere that has plenty to do, very diverse and is a staple of the Chicago experience. Logan Square is ranked #27 as the best place for young professionals in Chicago and #66 as the most diverse places to live in Chicago. There is no place in the city or nation that feels like Logan Square and when you experience Logan Square it feels like home.

Posted in Real Estate
July 17, 2019

3 Ways to Make Your Home Stand Out from The Crowd

The Summer of 2019 is heating up and so too is the real estate market here in Chicago. But just because we are in the dog days of summer doesn’t mean you can’t get the most out of selling your house or that it’s too late to put your house up on the market. The summer brings out two unique groups of buyers in full force because the weather is perfect, and they have so much time on their hands. Those two groups are Parents, who may want to find a new place to live that is closer to better schools in preparation for the school year and People with expiring leases. These two groups are prime reasons you shouldn’t get lazy during the summer season, they’re here and they are hungry to buy. And to help you with staying in the game we’ve listed 3 of our favorite ways to make your home stand out from the crowd.

1.       CLEAN & KEEP IT THAT WAY

When you are selling your home obviously you should have it nice and tidy for potential buyers who come and check it out. But some of us aren’t as adamant when it comes to keeping a clean home and sometimes, we let cleaning slip, especially If we aren’t getting lots of looks. But that doesn’t mean that you should just let things slide. Stay on top of the cleaning of the home and remember to de-clutter anything that doesn’t make your home as appealing as it could be. Stay persistent and keep things clean.

 

2.       GIVE EVERY ROOM A DEFINING CENTERPIECE

Each room should have a defining piece that draws the eye and attention of any buyer that comes to look at your home. Wherever the eye goes the heart tends to follow and if a buyer has something that catches their eye it may be enough for the home to catch their heart. Plan a focal point for each room in the house, no room is exempt and shouldn’t be. You should give a room that one feature or item that makes it an eye-catcher for any potential buyer.

 

3.       LISTEN TO YOUR REALTOR

One of the last things that you can do to make your home stand out from the crowd is listening to your realtor. Your realtor is there to aid you in selling your home. They have all the knowledge to guide you properly to a successful sale. Sometimes sellers believe they know how to properly sell their home because they know what makes their home so appealing. And while that may be true, you may know your home better than them, having a guiding hand to help can also be an incredible asset and lead to good results. So, listen to your realtor and consider all the advice they give you and I guarantee that your home will stand out in any crowd.

Posted in Real Estate
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.

MYSTERIES, SECRETS AND ANSWERS

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.

YOUR VISION VS. PRESERVATION

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.

INSURANCE AND INCENTIVES

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.

HANDLE THE “I’M JUST LOOKING” BRUSHOFF

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.

HANDLE THE BUYER MISCONCEPTIONS

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: www.bankrate.com, 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!

1.    CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

·        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.

 2.     A COOLING 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.

3.     MILLENIALS WILL DOMINATE THE MARKET

·        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