Archive for August, 2015

Chicago Real Estate Market Trends – July 2015

August 28, 2015

Take a look at July’s real estate sales statistics.

Chicago Real Estate Market Trends – July 2015

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Detached Single Homes

Neighborhoods included in these statistics are: Avondale, Albany Park, Edgewater, Irving Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Loop, Near North Side, Near South Side, Near West Side, North Park, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown, West Ridge, West Town.

The number of Chicago detached single homes selling in July 2015 increased 11.4% for the month compared to July 2014. The average selling price increased by 10.i% to $897,698 and the average market time increased by 11 days. Homes sold for 97% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average
Sold Price

SP:LP

Average
Market Time

July 2015

253

$897,698

97%

63

July 2014

227

$815,185

97%

52


Chicago Real Estate Sales – Attached Single Homes

The number of Chicago attached single homes selling in July 2015 increased by 13.8% for the month when compared to July 2014. The average selling price increased 0.8% to $407,141 and the average market time increased by 8 days. Homes sold for 98% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average
Sold Price

SP:LP

Average
Market Time

July 2015

1,559

$407,141

98%

62

July 2014

1,369

$403,839

98%

54


Chicago Real Estate Sales – 2-4 Flats

The number of Chicago multi-family properties selling in July 2015 increased by 3.5% from July 2014. The average selling price increased 18.1% from July 2014 prices, and the average market time increased by 12 days. Homes sold for 97% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average
Sold Price

SP:LP

Average
Market Time

July 2015

117

$573,160

97%

60

July 2014

113

$485,108

99%

42

Curious about the value of your home? Get your home’s value here!

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties

Origin of Chicago Neighborhoods

August 24, 2015

Neighborhoods are what make Chicago so special.  The diversity of our city creates a richness rarely seen in American urban landscapes.  Each area has an individual style, both architectural and cultural.  Here is an interesting article on the origin of many of our neighborhoods.

chicago neighborhoods

 

Although this article is good source for identifying many of our neighborhoods, some notables are conspicuously absent:

Albany Park, Avondale, Belmont Craigin, Bowmanville, Budlong Woods, Chinatown, East Village, Fulton Market, Galewood, Little Village, Mayfair, Montclare, Old Irving, Oriole Park, Ravenswood Manor, River West, Schorsch Village, South Loop, Tangletown. The Villa, West Loop and West Ridge. 

A more comprehensive list of Chicago neighborhoods can be found at ChicagoNeighborhoods.com which includes interesting graphic designs for each neighborhood.

For more information on any of our wonderful neighborhoods, please contact us.  We have a combined 69 years of experience in the Chicago real estate.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Navigating the Home Inspection

August 21, 2015

Property inspections can be the bane of any real estate transaction.  Here is an intelligent article outlining a sensible, realistic approach to real estate inspections for both buyers and sellers:

The old Latin phrase caveat emptor — let the buyer beware — is most certainly true when it comes to purchasing a home.

home inspectionThus, home inspections are a common part of today’s residential real estate transactions, with more than three quarters of U.S. homebuyers ordering an inspection prior to purchasing their new home, according to a joint survey by the National Association of REALTORS® and the American Society of Home Inspectors. Among these homebuyers, 81 percent had a contingency plan for the inspection and 79 percent attended and participated in the home inspection.

Typically, a home inspector is hired by the buyer once the buyer and seller enter into a contract, which may be dependent on the home inspection. The inspector then conducts a rigorous examination of the property and submits a detailed report of the findings, which may include any areas of concern about the property, such as mold, structural issues and general wear and tear. What happens next can make or break the deal, says Debra Cahill, CRS, broker associate with Success Real Estate in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, who serves the market area from Braintree to the bridges of Cape Cod.

“There are home inspectors who scare the daylights out of buyers. They think that’s their job. Then there are home inspectors who educate and say that there’s no perfect home out there and help buyers understand the reports,” Cahill says.

REALTORS® can also be an important part of this education process, helping buyers and sellers understand what to expect before, during and after the home inspection. In doing so, they can make the process smoother and less likely to disrupt the transaction.

WORKING WITH INSPECTORS

Over the past several years, the home inspection process has changed, says Dan Steward, president and CEO of Pillar to Post, a home inspection franchise company based in Tampa, Florida. The “HGTV effect,” referring to television shows like House Hunters or Flip or Flop, where buyers and experts comb over home conditions, have left more buyers educated about what to expect, he says. As a result, consumers are asking for more information beyond just an evaluation of the structure and systems. They want to know about air and water quality, safety issues and other factors.

New technology has also made a big impact on the home-inspection industry. Steward says that his company’s inspectors use infrared thermography to detect areas of heat, which may indicate hot spots in wiring — often the result of a do-it-yourself wiring job that could be dangerous — or moisture, which may indicate leakage or potential mold issues, he says.

Veteran inspector Peter Daniele, founder of Professional Inspection, Inc., a home inspection company in Brick, New Jersey, says that many inspectors are more educated, as well. Good inspectors regularly take continuing education classes to stay up to date on current construction and energy-efficiency trends, he says. In addition, more inspectors are including additional services, such as testing for mold and radon.

“You want to look for that commitment to continuing education, along with good references and a steady background of being in the business full time,” he says.

WORKING WITH SELLERS

It’s a good idea for REALTORS® to prepare sellers prior to the home inspection, says Linda Kangrga, CRS with RE/MAX 100 in Columbia, Maryland. She advises them to review any structural problems or issues they’ve noticed with systems, such as flickering lights or leaky fixtures, prior to the inspector’s arrival. In addition, it’s likely an inspector will flag major wear and tear or cosmetic issues. If there are systems that are nearing the end of their life span — such as a furnace or roof that is near the end of its warranty — it’s a good idea to make those disclosures upfront. If sellers are not willing to make any repairs, that needs to be disclosed as well, indicating that the house is being sold “as is,” Cahill says. That manages expectations upfront for everyone involved.

Daniele says that sellers should contact their municipalities and see if any certificate of occupancy requirements have changed since they took residence. Some towns will require particular inspection of electrical outlets, smoke detectors, windows and other features. It’s important to make sure any repairs necessary to meet those requirements are made prior to the inspection, he says. Sellers should begin working a few months in advance. For example, clear out gutters and make sure water drains properly away from the house to ensure that the inspector doesn’t note a possible problem with foundation drainage.

Cahill says that even minor things can add up to deal-breakers for anxious buyers. She recommends repairing issues like tubs that don’t drain properly, poor lighting, and loose tiles, toilets and doorknobs. You can take some of the expense out of big jobs such as replacing a furnace or installing energy-efficient windows by taking advantage of tax credits, she says. Steward adds that structural and integrity issues such as foundational cracks and rot are important to address, along with “anything that’s obvious,” like missing handrails, which can present a safety issue.

Once the issue is documented in a home inspection report, the buyer may require that a licensed contractor be hired to complete the repairs, which can add to the expense, she says. In addition, the more problems the report documents, the greater the tension that can arise between buyers and sellers.

“The problem with things you know are wrong showing up on the home inspection is that when we find major things wrong that the seller should’ve known about, it causes the buyer to start wondering what else is wrong with the house that the seller didn’t take care of. It shows poor maintenance,” Kangrga says. “And those things can cause sellers to get their feelings hurt, especially people who think they’ve taken very good care of their house. I try to lay the groundwork there and explain to them that things happen to your house that you don’t necessarily see.”

WORKING WITH BUYERS

At the same time, buyers need to be reassured that not every item in a home inspection report is cause for panic, Cahill says. She says her favorite home inspector tells buyers that even if he was inspecting a brand new home, he could find something wrong with it. For example, most homes have mold, which often panics buyers, she says. The key is to understand what is dangerous or what might lead to a big expense and address those issues with the seller, either by having the seller fix the issue or through price concessions on the sale price of the home, so the buyer can have them fixed after moving in.

Steward says that his home inspectors print out the home inspection report on-site for the buyer so they can address any questions. His inspectors encourage the buyers to attend the home inspection or, at least, meet with them during the last 15 to 30 minutes of the inspection so the inspector can show the buyer the issues to which the report refers, and answer any questions.

“My job is not to give your house a rating on a scale of one to five, or 10 stars. My job is not to tell you whether you should buy the house or not, my job is not to tell you whether it’s worth the amount of money you’re paying for it — those are all your judgments. My job is to give you objective information, so ask as many questions as you want. I will tell you about all those things,” he says.

WORKING TOGETHER AFTER THE INSPECTION

Once the report comes back, the buyer may want repairs made or concessions to the selling price so he or she can make the repairs after taking over ownership of the home. This is where all parties need to work together if the deal is going to move forward, Cahill says.

“For my buyers, I typically recommend that anything that’s a hazard be fixed before they take residence. For things that might not be pleasant — like a window that’s foggy — then we may ask for a little off the selling price to free up some of their cash so they can do it themselves,” she says.

Daniele warns that buyers should be careful about how they use the home inspection findings as leverage. Of course, if there are major issues, they need to be addressed. However, in markets that are heating up again, being too nitpicky about report findings can backfire.

“In markets such as here in New Jersey, where there is not that much inventory, good houses are getting involved in bidding wars where there are back-up offers right behind the buyer whose bid was accepted. I often tell buyers not to get too picky with the small stuff. Every house is going to have issues — don’t ask for everything. If it’s insurmountable, move on to the next house,” he says.

Steward says that transparency is key to determining if the deal is still a good fit. Some buyers are very skilled at repairs and not afraid of reports that are full of them. Other buyers are strapped for cash and can’t afford to be facing down a five-figure roof replacement within a few years. But when the seller makes thorough disclosures about the house condition and the buyer is clear about what he or she will or will not accept, then the negotiations to determine whether the deal will close or whether the house and buyer are not a good match will move forward more smoothly, he says.

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Skokie IL Condo For Rent: 9244 Gross Point Rd #107

August 21, 2015

Skokie IL Condo For Rent:

9244 Gross Point Rd #107, Skokie IL 60077
MLS# 09017154

Lovely and Spacious Condo!

9244 gross point rd

Virtual Tour

Lovely, spacious condo in Gross Point Towers with panoramic view overlooking the golf course. Includes heated garage parking and in-unit laundry hook up. Open living room/dining room. Kitchen has separate eating area opening to 21′ balcony. King size master bedroom with dressing area, and walk-in closet. Unit features excellent closet space including a pantry, linen closet and double closet in second bedroom. Ceramic tile baths. Building has outdoor pool, sundeck and coin laundry.

Marketed by Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Chicago Loft For Rent: 2418 W Bloomingdale Ave #C2

August 20, 2015

Chicago Loft For Rent:

2418 W Bloomingdale Ave #C2, Chicago IL 60647
MLS# 09017143

This One Is Special – Don’t Miss It!

FRONT1

Virtual Tour

True New York style live/work loft directly opposite a 606 access ramp in great Bucktown location! 1,333 sq. ft. of sunlit open space in Bloomingdale Arts Building. Huge south facing windows, textured concrete floors, high end granite and stainless steel kitchen, high ceilings. Free street parking outside your door. Can be residential or commercial use with direct lobby access. The unit opens to the landscaped courtyard. Walk to the blue line el and all Bucktown/Wicker Park hot spots. Building features laundry, private storage locker, bike storage, free exhibit space/community room, and work room. Pets allowed with additional non-refundable pet deposit. Credit report, background check and non-refundable move in fee. This is a special unit. . . don’t miss it!

Marketed by Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

10 Aerial Views In Illinois That Will Leave You Mesmerized

August 12, 2015

I just discovered the Only In Your State website. It got some really fun and interesting post about living in Illinois. Take a look at ‘These 10 Aerial Views In Illinois Will Leave You Mesmerized…”

Illinois is beautiful enough from street level. But if you ever get the chance to see it from the sky, you’ll say “Wow!” We’re taking a look at some beautiful aerial shots of Illinois.

Karen Breen Elia

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Tips for Raising Your Credit Score

August 7, 2015

We have all been there before, getting ready to buy a house and then suddenly something of a negative nature pops up on our credit score that poses to keep us out of our dream home forever. There are ways to make sure you DO NOT end up in this sort of predicament however. Hopefully, the following tips for raising your credit score will be beneficial to you so that you can find your new home and move in before the holidays!

  • credit scorePay credit card bills before the statement date. Many times folks wait until the due date to pay a bill but if you are willing and able to pay them before the statement date, your credit score is likely to improve.
  • If you can afford to make multiple payments on your credit balance throughout the month, this will also show favorably on your credit score. Check with your credit card company to make sure you are allowed to do this before beginning because some do not allow it.
  • If you only have a couple bad marks on your credit, you can ask for a “good will deletion” . Of course if you are late over and over again you will not be able to reap this reward but if you can show that you otherwise have paid your bills on time you may be able to get those couple nasty marks off your credit and therefore raise your score!
  • If one of your accounts has recently gone into collections you may be able to pay it off and have it removed from your credit report as a result. Be sure to get any type of promise to delete in writing so that you can be sure it will be taken off once you pay.

Credit issues can be hard to deal with especially if you are looking to purchase a new home in the near future, but take it from someone who knows….it CAN be done and you CAN have the house of your dreams maybe sooner than you had imagined! Keep working at it and you will succeed and come out the other side ready to move forward into your future!

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago’s North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467  Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!