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Chicago Real Estate News

Apartment Holiday Decor Tips

December is in full swing and the city of Chicago is abuzz with holiday spirit. With Hanukkah commencing this week and Christmas following shortly thereafter, transforming your Chicago apartment or condo into a festive retreat is a must. 

For those living in an apartment or condo, outfitting your home for the holidays – without breaking the budget – is an option. Here are four ways to make your Chicago home dazzle in December:

Trim the Kitchen

Owning special dishware to entertain around the holidays is enticing, but storing extra sets of plates and glasses can be a hassle in a small apartment or condo kitchen. Instead of cluttering the insides of your cabinets, decorate your kitchen so that guests still feel the holiday vibes at your next

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Millennial Home Buyer

Every month since February 2015, the number of homes on the market (nationally) dipped lower than the year prior. Tight inventory may create stiff competition among home buyers while giving sellers definite leverage, but that doesn’t mean house hunters are completely forgoing their must-haves on the trek to closing.

According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017 released in late October, today’s median home buyer is 40-years-old, married or cohabitating and earning $87,500 per year. The typical home purchased is a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom for $200,000. Millennials, defined by ages 18 to 37, cover the largest segment (42 percent) of homeowners who’ve purchased in the last 12 months. Forty-three percent of all Millennial buyers

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Chicago Moving Guide

Moving to Chicago may be the best decision you’ll ever make. The Windy City has an illustrious history, a vibrant nightlife scene and passionate sports fans. Best of all, Chicago home prices are considerably lower price than other large coastal cities like San Francisco and New York.

Before you pack your bags and move to Chicago, there are a few things you should know to streamline the upcoming transition.

Forget Your Car

In Chicago, the public transportation system is very efficient. Attempting to get anywhere using your own car usually takes much longer than a taxi, the bus or the “L” train. You not only have to deal with traffic, but street parking is almost always a hassle. Sure, having a car would be nice if you ever wanted to move

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Chicago home prices cooled off well before warm temperatures subsided earlier this fall. Since our last Chicago real estate market update in July, condo prices fell in most of the major downtown neighborhoods – with a few exceptions.

Chicago Home Prices: September 2017

Avondale’s median condo price rose an impressive $44,250, or 13.8 percent, in only a two-month period. Lakeview and Lincoln Park condos also saw increases of $12,500 (3.38 percent) and $28,000 (6.3 percent), respectively. Meanwhile, North Center condo prices boosted 5.16 percent – or $21,499.

In terms of notable home price drops, West Loop condos sold for $28,250 less in September compared to July, illustrating an almost 7.5 percent dip. Logan Square prices similarly posted a steep drop of around 5 percent, while

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best time to buy a condo

Timing is a critical aspect of buying your first home. It takes years to save for a down payment, build your credit and prepare yourself for the financial and emotional milestone that is homeownership. However, your savings schedule isn't the only timeline to consider. A new study from Trulia shows that timing your actual house hunt opens up your search to more homes and could also help you save money on your first real estate purchase.

According to Trulia’s Q3 inventory report, peak home buying season for “starter” home buyers in the U.S. typically starts in the fall. From a national perspective, more starter homes tend to hit the market around this time of year. And, this boost in starter home inventory tends to soften home prices just a few

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How to Save for a Down Payment

Saving for a down payment is usually the most difficult part of transitioning from renter to homeowner. Even with blemish-free credit and little debt to your name, setting aside the money needed to purchase a Chicago condo while balancing student loan payments and life’s general expenses isn’t always feasible.

The first thing to do is determine how much you’ll need for a down payment. For a median-priced Lincoln Park condo of $445,000, expect to shell out nearly $90,000 upfront. That doesn’t include closing costs, which could tack on another $10,000 (2 to 5 percent of the purchase price) or more.

These figures assume at least 20 percent down, a general suggestion for an ideal interest rate, but not necessarily a firm prerequisite. You could put

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Benefits of Chicago New Construction Condos

Chicago reached another major new development milestone this week. With a total of 53 tower cranes in operation over the last nine months, 2017 is the most active high-rise construction year since the recession, according to an announcement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Buildings. Approximately 31 tower cranes are active at this very moment and another seven are awaiting installation. Not only is the city outpacing its previous post-recession record of 52 cranes reached in 2016, Chicago also has the most number of residential construction cranes of any major city in the nation.

Understandably, this massive wave of new development has led many Chicago home buyers (and renters) to weigh the benefits of new construction homeownership.

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Chicago Apartments vs. Condos: Which Should You Rent?

Chicago luxury apartments veer contemporary with clean lines and sleek finishes / Image source: Z Chicago

When it comes to renting, professionally-managed apartments and privately-owned condos tend to differ drastically. In fact, some Chicago lessees have a definite preference based on experience or recommendation. However, recent college graduates or seasoned renters who’ve lived in the same place for an extended period are probably less familiar with the disparities.

To fully prepare for your next rental search, consider a few of the differences between renting Chicago apartments versus renting from private owners.

Move-in costs

From a general standpoint, the initial costs of moving into a professionally-managed apartment complex are

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Rent to Own Chicago

The clear majority (80 percent) of American millennials plan to buy a home one day, according to a study from Apartment List. But, over two-thirds of them have saved less than $1,000 for a down payment. Nearly half (44 percent) haven't saved anything yet.

For aspiring homeowners who don’t have enough money to cover the upfront costs, or those battling a poor credit score, rent to own agreements are enticing. Before you start a rent to own search, consider the terms, advantages and potential drawbacks involved.

How Does Rent to Own Work?

There are two primary types of rent to own agreements. The most popular is called a lease agreement with an option to purchase. The tenant pays a fee at the start of their lease that gives them the opportunity

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Tips for New Chicago Homeowners

So, you’ve purchased your first home in Chicago – congratulations! Although those initial feelings of being a homeowner are unparalleled, don’t erroneously assume that the hard work is over just yet. Homeowners face a slew of additional responsibilities and considerations that apartment dwellers do not. But, preparing in advance is the easiest way to avoid emotional and financial stress as you make the exciting transition from renter to buyer.

If you're a new Chicago homeowner – or plan to become one in the near future – keep these best practices in mind: 

Budget for maintenance expenses

There’s more to owning a home than paying your mortgage. No longer can you rely on your landlord to pick up the bill for plumbing issues, electrical mishaps

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