Posts Tagged ‘Karen elia’

Chicago Dining Awards: best pizza, burger and more

March 29, 2016

Chicago Dining Awards: best pizza, burger and more

Dining Awards: Chicago’s best pizza, burger and more — picked by you.

These awards have been given by the Chicago Tribune, however, we have been to most of these restaurants.  I guess they’re the favorites for good reasons!  Make sure you try at least a few of them.

Best fine dining: Blackbird

Best classic Chicago restaurant: Gene & Georgetti

Best breakfast: Lou Mitchell’s

Best doughnuts: Glazed and Infused

Best deep-dish pizza: Lou Malnati’s

Best thin-crust pizza: Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria

Best coffee shop: Intelligentsia

Best BYO: Tango Sur

Best bakery: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

Best food spot where you least expect it: United Center

Best ice cream shop: Margie’s Candies

Best burger or burger shop: Kuma’s Corner

Best fried chicken: Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Best patio: Moody’s Pub

Best brewpub or taproom: Revolution Brewing Co.

Get more info on the winners and view the photo gallery here and for the winners of our Critics’ Choice awards, go here.

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!

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6 Tips For a Stress Free Summer Move

July 18, 2014

Each year around 65% of all household moves take place between May and September, so obviously you need to plan ahead if you’re moving to a new home this summer.

stressWhile the act of relocating to a new place can certainly be exciting, there are, of course, challenges to be met, especially during a hot, busy summer season.  Although there are no foolproof ways to make the experience totally stress-free, there are, thankfully, actions you can take to make your “adventure” a more positive one.

Sage advice to heed includes:

  1. Plan ahead!  Contact moving companies or truck rental firms at least six weeks in advance if possible. Try to schedule your move for a weekday and at a time when traffic is less heavy.  Make prior arrangements for the care of young children and pets on moving day—for their sake and yours!  Line up commitments from friends and family if you’ll need their assistance for the move.
  2. Be strategic about packing.  Gather necessary supplies and start packing early.  Whether it’s one room, one cabinet, or a drawer at a time, weed through what may be years of accumulation.  Decide what to donate to charity, give to a friend, recycle, trash, pack now, or keep handy until moving day.  Label boxes as to contents and intended room in the new home.
  3. Take care of logistics in advance.  Ideally, you should contact your future utilities provider at least two weeks before you move regarding turning on your electricity, gas, phone, cable, and internet before your arrival, if possible.  Contact any new school for a list of documents needed for registration.  Do not pack these materials away it’s better to hand carry them for easy retrieval.  If you’re going to need to spend a night in a hotel, make those arrangements early.
  4. Make life simple.  Keep all small parts labeled, in plastic bags, and all together in one box.  Likewise, take pictures of electronic hook-ups for future use.
  5. Consider the heat.  Dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and refrain from placing certain items in a hot truck—candles or wine, e.g.  Click here for tips on packing cleaning products and toxins.
  6. Stay calm.  Relax, whistle, smile, and anticipate the pleasure of living in your new home. 

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!

New Condo Project For Ukrainian Village

July 11, 2014

The Chicago Architecture Blog has reported a Chicagoland developers plans to turn a Ukrainian church building and school into 20 condominiums. Read the story here…

A Chicagoland developer is expected to get a thumb’s up on his plan to turn a Ukrainian Village church building with an attached school into 20 condominiums.

Alex Troyanovsky bought the former Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (913 North Hoyne Street) in February of last year. A month later, the city named the Henry Worthmann & John Steinbach-designed buildings a city landmark. Worthmann & Steinbach designed at least 30 churches in Chicago.

When the Commission on Chicago Landmarks meets this week, it’s expected to vote in favor of the residential conversion, with certain conditions:

  • ulrainian villageThe stained glass windows must be preserved
  • Walls can’t end at an exterior window
  • New windows must have a historic looks, similar to the existing windows
  • The rooftop addition must be dark in color

The developer also wants to punch a series of skylights into the roof of the building, but the landmarks commission wants proof that they’re necessary first.

It’s been a rough life lately for the church.  It was built between 1905 and 1906 by German immigrants, though the congregation and school trace their history back to 1867.  Eventually (possibly in 1974?) the original congregation left this building.  It was later occupied by several other churches over the years.

By 2002, when it was known as the Central Hispanic Church, an engineers report noted significant structural movement.  Enough so that in places the floor had separated from the walls.

ukrainian villageIn 2005, the interior was stripped bare, with all of the pews and other furnishings removed.

In 2009 a city water main broke and the basement was flooded with gushing water for months before it was discovered and stopped.

Scavengers have ripped out all of the building’s plumbing and wiring, causing extensive damage in the process.  They also made off with some of the stained glass windows.

With the church is such terrible condition, it’s easy to understand how the city would allow it to be converted into residences.  Let’s hope the new owners are able to reverse what age, thieves, and neglect have done to the buildings.

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 Real Estate Market Trends for May 2014

June 26, 2014

All-cash offers are an unusual real estate tactic, but often times are a winning strategy at the negotiating table, and are presently on the rise. The National Association of Realtors® reports market share of all-cash purchases has risen and currently makes up 33 percent of the market. This is a unique trend, especially since the market has experienced a decrease in distressed homes and investor activity.

Economists point out many reasons for this popular trend. One is restrictive lending standards have caused many buyers, especially wealthy ones, to forgo a loan. Another is the aging baby boom generation, many of whom are trading down and paying for their purchase with cash accumulated from decades of equity. Some also point to foreign buyers; home purchases by foreign buyers in the U.S. are increasing and those buyers don’t have the credit history in the U.S. to qualify for a loan.

Take a look at sales figures in our local real estate market for May 2014.

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Detached Single Homes

The number of Chicago detached single homes selling in May 2014 decreased 23% for the month compared to May 2013. The average selling price decreased by 12% to $681,934 and the average market time decreased by 41 days. Homes sold for 98% of the listed price.

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.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

May 2014

155

$704,827

98%

51

May 2013

202

$806,265

97%

92

 

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Attached Single Homes

The number of Chicago attached single homes selling in May 2014 decreased by 1% for the month when compared to May 2013. The average selling price increased 13% to $397,145 and the average market time decreased by 16 days. Homes sold for 99% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

May 2014

1,083

$365,679

99%

63

May 2013

1,102

$321,424

98%

79

 

Chicago Real Estate Sales – 2-4 Flats

The number of Chicago multi-family properties selling in May 2014 decreased 28% from May 2013. The average selling price increased 21% from May 2013 prices, and the average market time decreased by 51 days. Homes sold for 99% of the listed price.

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

May 2014

64

$472,843

99%

64

May 2013

89

$388,864

98%

115

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

Assessing Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage

June 22, 2014

The news lately has been filled with reports of blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires, each of which has resulted in untold loss of lives, homes, and possessions.  As we watch with horror the impact these disasters have insuranceon those affected, it is only natural that we ask ourselves,” Would I be able to sustain such losses?  Would my insurance policy cover the costs of rebuilding my Chicago home?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)) recommends that you use your annual renewal notice or any improvements to your home as a reminder to touch base with your agent or insurer to recheck how much insurance you really need.  Do you have sufficient coverage for rebuilding and replacement? Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, a consumer advocacy group, urges homeowners not to blindly trust that their home insurer has all the bases covered.

With fluctuations in the Chicago real estate market, coverage equal to the current replacement cost (excluding land), is advisable.  The first step in getting adequate coverage is to establish your policy’s dwelling limit. Your target number is the full-replacement cost of your home and its possessions. The dwelling limit bears no relation to your property’s market value, its appraised value, or its assessed tax value. And don’t mistake the cost of new construction for the cost to rebuild, which is more expensive because of factors such as debris removal and higher demand for materials and labor after a catastrophe,

(You can get a pretty good idea of what it would cost to rebuild your home by using an online calculator, available at sites such as HMFacts.com ($7) and AccuCoverage.com ($8).

It’s a good idea to purchase guaranteed replacement coverage, meaning the insurer will pay whatever it costs to rebuild your home with materials of like kind and quality, without deducting for wear and tear. Avoid actual cash value coverage, which pays only the depreciated value of your home.

Check also on your need for flood insurance, even if you don’t live near a body of water, since policies vary in their coverage of many types of water damage.

And lastly, it goes without saying that you need to update the inventory of your possessions at least annually since it is not only a record of the contents of your house and their value, but also a good indicator of whether you have enough coverage.

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!

The 5-Year Rule For Buying A Chicago Home

June 14, 2014

There are many factors that go into the decision to buy a Chicago home. One of those factors is how long you expect to stay in the home. This applies whether you are a first time homebuyer or stepping up to a larger home. The length of time you stay in a home affects the financial outcome of that ownership.

Here’s a summary of some thoughts from moneyning.com and the 5-year rule for buying a home. There is a tendency for younger buyers to go through 3-year upgrade cycles. Why? Newer and younger buyers typically experience significant increases in income in their younger years.

homebuyersAs income increases their ability to afford a larger mortgage increases and the desire for a larger house sets in. There seems to be an assumption that buying is more cost effective than renting. Click here for a perspective on ownership costs vs. rent. That thought process occurs, on average, every three years.

The 5-year rule states that generally you should plan to stay in a home you’re buying for at least five years. That is for two primary reasons…

  • The first reason is closing costs. Every time a home changes hands both the buyers and the sellers put money on the table just to make the transaction happen. These costs can easily add up to thousands of dollars. Those dollars provide no real financial benefit to the buyers or sellers except to allow the transaction to happen.
  • The second reason is the payment of interest on the mortgage. A mortgage payment has two components – payback of the principal of the loan borrowed and interest on the amount borrowed. Because typical mortgage payments remain the same during the life of the loan the proportion paid on the two components changes. In the early years the payment is almost all going to pay interest and very little to principal. As the principal is gradually paid down the portion going to interest diminishes and the portion going to the principal increases.

According to author Thursday Bram “it isn’t until you’re about five years into paying down your mortgage that you’ve made enough progress on the principal to make it a better deal than paying rent each month.”

Here’s how to beat that average…don’t buy the biggest house you can just because a lender tells you what you can afford. Instead, consider buying smaller and then adding extra money to your monthly payments. That extra money will go entirely to paying down the principal loan – that means you will pay less interest over the life of the loan and you will create more equity in your home because you are diminishing the principal balance faster.

However, if you’re not going to stay in your Chicago home five years you should probably consider renting.

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!

How Chicago’s Neighborhoods Got Their Names

June 2, 2014

It is often said that “Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. ” This may seem redundant, isn’t every city a city of neighborhoods? – but Chicago really is a big amalgamation of unique enclaves. Where do all these names come from? Nick Greene with the website ‘Mental floss” decided to find out. Here are his findings.

chicago neighborhoods

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!  Call us today!

Mortgage Rates Hit 6 Month Low

May 23, 2014

I am often asked if now is a good time to buy and my answer is always a resounding “Yes!” for various reasons. One is the Chicago real estate market is rebounding causing prices to climb. It is in a buyers’ best interests to take advantage of the lower prices.

Secondly, mortgage interest rates have been declining in the past few weeks….something that we usually don’t see in the spring. Interest rates historically rise during the busy spring buying season. But not this year.

mortgage interest rates
Ready to take advantage of relatively low prices AND low interest rates? Contact us today and we’ll show you how!
freddie mac survey

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!  Call us today!

Chicago Condo for Sale: It’s All About The Finishes!

March 13, 2014

Chicago Condo for Sale: It’s All About The Finishes!

2210 W Addison St #2, Chicago IL 60618

MLS# 08555987

2210 w addison st

When it’s all about the finishes, look no further! Lovely and bright, this Roscoe Village second floor simplex on an oversized lot with southern exposure features custom finishes including trey ceilings, wainscoting, beveled granite counter tops, honed marble backsplash and hearth surround, Brazilian cherry floors, Jenn Aire and Bosch appliances and solid core doors. The stone master bath features a separate steam shower, steeping tub, radiant heated floors, and cherry cabinetry. The second bedroom adjoins the second marble bath.  Both bedrooms have walk in closets.  Storage is ample with in unit as well as a separate storage locker.  Included is a private deck and garage parking. Walk to the brown line el, Starbucks, yoga, Trader Joes and all Roscoe Village locations.  Don’t miss this one!

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!  Call us today!

Chicago Condo For Sale: Sleek And Sophisticated!

March 12, 2014

Chicago Condo For Sale: Sleek And Sophisticated!

550 N St Clair St #1903, Chicago IL 60611

MLS# 08554537

550 n st clair

Brininstool + Lynch designed sleek and sophisticated glass tower in the dynamic Streeterville neighborhood. Light filled 19th floor SE corner unit with striking city views features three fully enclosed bedrooms plus three full luxury baths. Only six units per floor on these higher premium levels.  11’ ceilings, floor to ceiling windows and Brazilian cherry floors throughout.  High end kitchen with European designer cabinetry, granite island, and a Subzero and Bosch appliance package.  Master suite features two large closets, and a full marble bath with European shower and steeping tub. Second bedroom has ensuite bath perfect for guests.  Large adjoining terrace and separate laundry room.  Heated, deeded garage parking is an additional $45,000.  Building amenities include 24 hour door staff, on site management, exercise room, storage locker, bike room, indoor pool and saunas. Superior location ½ block from Magnificent Mile and three blocks from the lakefront.

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!  Call us today!