A Chicago Real Estate Blog

A blog about Chicago Real Estate market.

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Chicago Real Estate Questions - Get The Answers Here

January 7th, 2008 · No Comments

Many clients seem to be hesitant about asking questions pertaining to real estate if they are not currently working with a realtor. Now you have the opportunity to ask me real estate questions and receive timely answers.

Want to know about specific new construction projects, like the cost per square foot or the % sold? Just ask. Maybe you want to know what development has the best finishes for your budget? Or do you want to know why one town house is preferred over another ? Maybe the question relates to a certain developer’s product? Just ask. No cost for the information, so why wait, satisfy your curiosity.

I have been selling real estate for over 18 years so I should have answers to most of your questions and if there are ones I have difficulty answering, I will naturally research the answers.

I am look forward to receiving your questions. Just email them to me at [email protected]. Also get comprehensive information on Chicago real estate.

→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential

New Construction Update

January 6th, 2008 · No Comments

The St Clair at City Front Plaza is now 40% sold which equates to 95 units out of 253 in the building. The development is consistently selling well even in a market that the news media says is difficult. I believe that the reason for this is its superior location and my clients have commented about the wonderful finishes. And when you compare the development to other buildings, the cost per square foot is quite reasonable, especially when you see the upscale finishes in the model that are standard.

Indicative of the fact that the project is doing well is the breaking ground for this development which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2008. Permit applications are currently with the city. Completed building is now scheduled for 2010.

A studio model starting in price from $370,000 will be fully furnished and is be available to see in early February. The studio is perfect for executives who work in another part of the country and need to come to Chicago often for business. The apartment is “turn-key” so well designed furniture and window coverings is also provided. And what a location, on Illinois, east of Michigan Avenue in a cul-de-sac and virtually right across the street from Nordstrom’s.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential

The Internet Plays A Major Role In Selling Your Home

December 27th, 2007 · No Comments

Most clients I speak with when they decide to sell their home immediately ask how often will I do print advertising in the Tribune. But did you know that print no longer has the impact that it previously did when trying to sell residential real estate?

Yes, for maximim exposure of your property, the web is the place to be. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Buyers and Sellers study done in 2006, 83% of first-time buyers and 78% of repeat buyers used the internet to search for a home….isn’t that an amazing number. And although most people believe the internet audience is in the 21 to 35 age category I am finding the demographic for use of my site has included people 45 to over 60 years of age.

And this past year, my 45 to 60 year old clients have bought properties in the $700,000 all the way up to $1,150,000. In fact, 90% of my business was web initiated. So if you think the internet advertising is not important, think otherwise. And there is currently a large array of sites to consider.

Mls.com, Mapmls.com, realtor.com, chicagotribune.com, trulia.com, luxuryrealestate.com, zillow.com, searchchicago.suntimes.com, chicagojournal.com, relohomesearch.com, homeseekers.com, dailyherald.com and homes.com are some of the sites you should consider advertising on. And finally, don’t forget the individual realtor’s site and his/her company site.

Remember, when selecting a realtor with the thought of getting maximum exposure on the internet, check out the key words people will Google, like Chicago Condo, Chicago Townhomes, Chicago New Construction, Chicago Condos. If the realtor’s site appears on the first page, you will know that his/her site is getting maximum exposure, both for the individual realtor and your home when you put it on the market The more exposure, the higher the probabilty you will sell your home faster especially when the property is priced right.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential

The Ultimate Rental at 840 Lake Shore Drive - $35,000

December 12th, 2007 · No Comments

Now you can have a an incrediably furnished rental apartment at 840 Lake Shore Drive with over 4000 square feet for $35,000 per month and this apartment is just awesome to see. Done in the French tradition, the unit has stunning lake views. Everything in the unit is top of the line with two refrigerators and two freezers. Navy Pier & City views can be seen from almost every room.

You may not have the time to live in France, but in this apartment, you are sure to feel you are there. There already has been 3 showings of this magnificent apartment.

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→ No CommentsTags: Residential

A Guide to Purchasing Duplex Down Condos In 3 Flats or 6 Flats

December 11th, 2007 · No Comments

For the first time buyer or my clients who have experience purchasing property it seems that it is important for me to help them understand and point out the nuances of what they are considering purchasing.

It is my belief that it is critical for them to know what makes for an excellent resale and the upfront issues that may affect the property when it is time to sell, especially in a down market.

The first thing to notice is the difference between a duplex down unit in a 3 flat vs a 6 flat. The 3 flat is typically on a 25 ft x 125 ft lot while the 6 flat unit is on a 50 ft x 123 ft lot. Given that there has to be space for stairs you will notice that the six flat has a wider unit, hence, more space and value for resale.

The next thing to notice is the actual construction of either type of building. Nearly all these types of buildings have brick construction on the front, however, most resales have block Recently, many builders are now doing their entire buildings in brick thus eliminating the chance that there can be water leakage into a unit.

It is important to note, if you decide on a unit in a building with block, the building should be sprayed with a water retardant every couple of years. It is advisable for an inspector to check the block out carefully and inform you when this procedure should be done.

For duplex downs it is also important to check on the pitch of the water drains and check to see what pro-active approaches the builder has taken should there be a major rain storm given that part of the unit is below grade. In addition, has the developer installed any stump pumps should there be any torential downpour?

Height of the ceilings and light factors also play a role in the resale of these types of units. In a duplex down, pay attention to the ceiling heights and how the windows are architecturally done in the lower portion of the unit. Units with real high ceilings and lots of windows make you feel you are not below grade and for resale this is a plus.

Another critical point to consider is where the master bedroom is in comparision to the other bedrooms. I have found that a buyers should carefully consider lifestyle as well as their future plans about having a family. Most new Moms want their newborns on the same level as there master bedroom . If an additional bedroom is not on the main level, if it is a problem for you, it will probably be an issue when you decide to resell the property.

The duplex down is the perfect type of property for clients who want to max out on space and keep their assessments costs down. Typically, a duplex down has approximately 2300 square feet in the unit while the assessments are usually below $250 per month.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential

Chicago New Construction Trend Is Green

December 7th, 2007 · No Comments

I just recently sold a unit at 340 Randolph Street also known as 340 On The Park and was suprised to see that the hallways are all green. It seems that this is the color everyone is talking about since this building is Leed’s Certified. The Leed Rating System stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental design. All the finishes are environmentally appropriate.

The certification provides an independent review of a building, with a third-party verifying that the building project is environmentally responsible, profitable and a healthy place to live and or work.

In addition to the Leeds Certification,The 340 On The Park now has a number of resales on the market with units facing south that have the most spectacular protected views in the city.

It appears the green trend is being picked up my other developers as well. The Peshtigo & 9 West Erie, in Streeterville, which started marketing their respective buildings in October, all are planned to be Leeds Certified.

Another new construction green project, is Smithfield’s, who is planning to build a grocery store, strip mall, and bank on a 3.9- acre site on Ashland and Webster in Lincoln Park which would be Leeds Certified. The grocery store is slated to be over 250,000 square feet with a green roof and permeable-surface parking lot.The project moves forward once the City Council gives its approval.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential

New Construction - The Chicago Spire

November 30th, 2007 · No Comments

The Chicago Spire is sure to put Chicago on the world stage as the building, designed by Santiago Calatrava S.A. will be the tallest one in the United States and the Western Hemisphere. What is real exciting about the building is that there will be 1,200 residential units in the building with the most spectacular views in the city.

Even more interesting is the gossip amongst realtors who indicate the price for units will average about $1,500 per square foot and possibly as high as $2,000 a square, making the Spire the highest priced new construction building in the city.

Advertising for the property has already begun in the Wall Street Journal and although exact pricing information is currently not available, the ad in the Journal indicates the price range will be $750,000 for a studio to $40,000,000 for the penthouse unit.

It is my understanding that on January 2008 this new exciting project will begin taking reservations/contracts. As soon as floorplans are available for the Chicago Spire, I will let you know.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential

New Construction Single Family Homes In Bell School System

November 15th, 2007 · No Comments

If you have kids and want them to go to one of the best public schools in the city you should consider living in St. Ben’s within the respected Alexander Graham Bell Public School System. Bradley Place 2 is the place to be and the homes are within the enrollment boundaries of the school.

The prices start at $1.4 million and each home has a three car garage. And the homes allow for some new “tots” within your family as they feature five bedrooms, three and 1/2 baths, a great room, dining room, parlor, kitchen, breakfast area, entertainment room and family room. And this space adds all up to 4,500 square feet. And only 3 homes are left. I have seen the homes and have to say, Bradley Place is a great place for kids. They are all over the place.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential

Home Applicances for Rehabs or New Construction

November 8th, 2007 · No Comments

I just finsihed attending a meeting with David Drew of Drew Development, Inc. He has been responsible for developing high-end homes on the North Shore and major renovations in dowtown Chicago since 1993. What was very exciting about the meeting is finding out about new cutting edge appliances for the kitchen to be released in 2008.

Miele will have a steam oven. You will now be able to eat healthy with great tasting vegetables, salmon, shrimp and poultry. More than 900 automatic programs for cooking, heating and defrosting will be stored in its memory.

Aga will have a two oven cooker. Owning an Aga range is perfect for that vintage home or for a new kitchen with a vintage motif. Each Aga is cast in a foundry that has been in operation since 1709. The oven is then painstakingly enameled with three coats of vitreous enamel and repeatedly inspected by hand and eye to ensure the finest quality.

For a real class range, it’s the CornuFe. La Cornue CornuFe range, the newest range in the La Cornue family, maintains much of the popular styling of the traditional Chateau line while taking advantage of the affordability of manufacturing.

And then there is the Induction Cooktop. A magnetic field instantly tranforms your cookware into the heat source. But please remember you must use stainless, enamal or cast iron cookware. The heat is faster than gas or electirc. The Induction Cooktop will be available thru Viking, Wolf, and G.E. Monogram.

What is even more exciting about my meeting with David is his offer to get special ABT appliance pricing and warranties for clients working with him.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction

The Ritz-Carlton Residences

November 7th, 2007 · No Comments

Construction is to begin November 2007. Already, 40% of the units have sold. The ultimate in luxury and amenities, the units will have coved ceilings in the entry and foyers plus 10 to 12 foot ceilings in the units. There will be only 86 residences within the 40 floors.

The residences will be managed by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company so the ultimate in service is what this condo building is all about. You are sure to be pampered with in- home housekeeping, pet care, plant care, dog walking, limousine service plus laudry and dry cleaning are available for all residences.

And for owners who demand the best, and at a moments notice, there will be a conceirge on site, a porter, a valet, and security personnel. And for those senior executives and CEOs whose needs are even more special, there will be a club chef on staff, and he or she may be booked for private events. The Club will have a salon, wine celler, a billiard room, a fitness center, and a screening room. And for the ultimate in pampering, there will be a residents-only spa with treatment rooms and storage lockers.

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→ No CommentsTags: New Construction · Residential