Chicago Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 31, 2013

Cupcake ATM in the Gold Coast?

I realize that I may be coming late to this info but I recently was introduced to the ‘Cupcake ATM’ on Oak Street at Sprinkles cupcakes (50 E. Walton between Michigan and Rush St.). I needed cupcakes for an open house I was hosting the next day but by the time I arrived the store was closed. That is when I noticed the cupcake ATM. They have a whole menu of cupcakes, you just pick your flavor, swipe you credit card and the machine dispenses a boxed cupcake! You can even get a cupcake for your dog. I believe the flavor is called ‘doggy cupcake’. Really, what will they think of next? Pizza ATM?
Next time you have a craving for peanut butter chocolate, chocolate marshmallow or key lime and it is 2 AM, walk over to Sprinkles Cupcakes.

To view condos near Sprinkles Cupcakes in the Gold Coast see below:

May 30, 2013

World’s Largest Block Party Returns

The World’s largest block party returns to Old St. Pat’s in the western end of Downtown Chicago’s loop. The dates are June 28th and 29th and tickets are $75 for a 2 night ticket or $40 each day general admission. Tickets to this event almost always sell-out so it is best to buy them now here.

There is also a VIP lounge, tickets are $80 and include event entry, elevated area near main stage with bar and food catered by West End Grill and private port-o-lets.
The entertainment this year is:

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with Blues Traveler on Friday night and Phil Vassar with Gretchen Wilson on Saturday night and Michele McGuire.

The pot o’ gold raffle also returns this year, tickets are $100 and the 1st prize is $25,000!

There is a general raffle, tickets are $20 for 5 and the top prize is 1 year free rent at Presidential Towers or round trip airfare for 2 to Ireland.

Some facts about the block party:

You must be 21 to enter

Drinks – Beer, win, soda and water, There will also be local celebrity bartenders

Food – Connie’s Pizza, Quang Noodles, Nicholas Quality Meats, brats, hamburgers, and much more!

The hours for both nights are 5:30PM – 10:30PM.

Parking is extremely limited so public transportation is always a good choice.

After party at Dugan’s 128 S. Halsted.

The World’s largest block Party is located in front of Old St. Pat’s Church W. Madison St & N. Des Plaines St in Chicago.

See below – ‘homes for sale’ near Old St. Pat’s in Downtown Chicago:

Posted in Blog
May 29, 2013

Chicago’s real estate market escalates for 2013

Chicago homes prices upChicago’s real estate market is on the up and up, according to Chicagonow.com. In April, home sales in the city soared 32.5 percent compared to last April. People are buying homes here and the city has become a hot market. 

The last time our home sales were up this high was in 2007. On top of that, demand for Chicago homes will most likely further increase over the next 12 months.  

The median price of a home sold in April was $271,600, the highest level on government records going back to 1993, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Steady job creation and near-record-low mortgage rates are spurring more Americans to buy homes.

Foreclosures are also trending downward in Chicago, and April hit the lowest level in five years, Chicagonow reports. But there is still a critical shortage of good home inventory in Chicago, making it extremely difficult for buyers to find anything decent. Single-family home and condo inventory as dropped. However, sellers and their agents are selling properties in record times.

May 25, 2013

Being a Landlord in downtown Chicago

Lease AgreementEven if you’re not in the market for a move and are happy just where you are, Chicago’s current real estate market is enticing more and more to become landlords. Real estate investors. People who buy real estate not to flip but to hold long term for appreciation and having someone else pay your mortgage for you. Have you thought about investing in Chicago real estate and if so, what are some of the considerations?

Cash Flow. There’s no reason to buy real estate for the long haul if you’re going to have to spend more money each month than you get back. Occasionally that will happen at some point if your property is currently “in between” tenants but there’s enough on someone’s plate other than being upside down on a rental house. The first consideration is whether or not you’ll cash flow each month after your purchase, and with interest rates where they are today, that’s easy to do.

Management. One aspect of being a landlord is that you’re, well, a landlord. You can remember when you rented your first apartment and the garbage disposal quit working? Or there was no hot water? Of course, you called the landlord. When you own property and manage real estate, you will at some point be asked to fix something. Yet that’s not a feature unique to a rental; every home at some point needs maintenance. However, if you’re not in the mood to fix a tenant’s shower over the weekend, you can always hire a management company that will take care of everything from vetting tenants to unclogging drains.

Property Type. Rentals aren’t immune to various types of property, location and function. Is a downtown condo a good idea for you? How about a loft near one of the universities? Do properties near an eL line command more rent than others?

As with any real estate purchase, there are a myriad of considerations. If you’d like to know if you’d make a good landlord, call me. Let’s talk about the possibilities.  With the combination of real estate prices bottoming out while mortgage rates are still low, it might be the best time ever in Chicago to become a landlord.

May 6, 2013

Watch Your Mortgage Expiration Dates

Mortgage ExpirationYou pay attention to expiration dates, don’t you? When you visit the grocer and buy a carton of milk, you look at the expiration date, right? And when listing your home and you receive an offer, do you also get a buyer’s preapproval letter from a lender? That letter has an expiration date, too. And it’s an important one.

Dates matter, and when it comes to mortgage loans, it’s no different. The buyer has to obtain financing before a certain date in order to close on time. The appraisal has to be performed before a certain date in order to ensure a timely closing, allowing the lender enough time to review the loan application.

The date on your buyer’s approval letter is also important. And if it’s more than 30 days old, you need to exercise a bit more caution. Why?

First, mortgage rates can change daily, sometimes even during the course of a single business day, depending upon market volatility. If someone is approved at 3.50 percent but rates have moved over the previous few weeks to 4.50 percent, is the buyer’s preapproval letter still valid?

Further, if the date is beyond 60 days out, that leaves plenty of time for critical financial information to change. Has the buyer’s income dropped since they first applied for a home loan? What about credit, are the credit scores still worthy? And speaking of credit, you never know if a buyer has made a major purchase and borrowed additional money after the preapproval letter was originally issued.

It happens. Loan officers can tell you stories about how a couple didn’t pay attention to the loan officer’s advice to simply “stand pat” during the home loan approval process and avoid buying anything or even applying for additional credit until the loan is closed.

Usually this won’t be an issue, especially if the buyers are working with a buyer’s agent. Yet if you receive a preapproval letter with an old date or even no date at all, ask for an updated letter. Dates on preapproval letters mean things; make sure the date isn’t expired.

May 4, 2013

The Residences at River Bend – 333 N. Canal

The Residences at River Bend in the popular West Loop area of downtown Chicago are some of the most luxurious condos for sale in this neighborhood. 333 N. Canal is located on the Chicago River offering some pretty spectacular views. Every unit in the entire building faces east so each unit, even on the lower floors offer a city and a river view.

Just across the River from 333 N. Canal (River North) are many shopping areas as well as restaurants. The building also has a transit score of 100. The el train is just 2 blocks away (green and pink line). Union station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center are also a short walk and the the famous East Bank club is a practically across the street.

333 N. Canal is 11 years old (in 2013) There are 149 units, 4 of those homes are 3 and 4 bedroom town homes. The amenities include an exercise room, sauna, sundeck, dry cleaners, bike room, conference room, 24 hour doorman, and party room. The cable service at this time is AT&T U-verse. The parking in the building is valet only and you can call ahead when you need your car.
Every home has a fireplace, most have balconies, and high-end finishes such as granite counters, marble baths, and stainless appliances.

View the homes for sale at The Residences at River Bend 333 N. Canal below:

May 1, 2013

Top 5 highest priced Chicago condo sales April 2013

April was an amazing month for luxury condo sales with 26 homes closing above $1 million dollars in the downtown Chicago area neighborhoods.. The top 5 sales in the month of April included 1 new construction condo, at the Ritz Carlton Residences. The price point is also slightly higher with the lowest priced of the top 5 coming in at $2 million dollars. There were actually 2 tied for the $2 million dollar spot, 401 N. Wabash (The Trump), and 340 E. Randolph (Randolph on the Park). If you are looking for a luxury Chicago condo the 5 buildings below are worth a 2nd look. Here are the top 5 highest priced condo sales for April 2013:

 

1. 199 N. Lake Shore Dr. #6W Chicago, IL 60611 This is a Benjamin Marshall Coop building. This home features a grand entry foyer, formal dining room, and a master suite with two dressing areas. East Lake Shore Drive has long been a prestigious area with spectacular homes in the downtown Chicago luxury condo market. 179-199 N. Lake Shore Drive available condos   3 bedrooms, 3.1 baths, sq. ft. not disclosed. Sold Price $3,000,000 Monthly assessments: $5553.00/month, Taxes $25,533

 

2. 118 E. Erie #35E Chicago, Illinois 60611 The Ritz Carlton Residences Is one of the premier new construction luxury condo buildings in downtown Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Now that closings have started the Ritz Carlton building is creating a lot of buzz in the realtor community who are struggling to show clients new construction high-end condos as they are selling as fast as they are finished. The Ritz Carlton Residences availability.   2 bedrooms/2.1 Baths, 4008 sq. ft. Sold Price $2,680,000 Monthly assessments: $2285/month, Taxes $15,684

 

 

3. 900 N. Michigan Chicago, Il 60611 The Residences at 900, adjacent to the high-end mall at 900 N. Michigan Avenue, this boutique building of 47 homes features high-end finishes with floor to ceiling windows, amazing views, oak hardwood floors, state of the art technology, and in unit laundry. Full amenity building. 900 N. Michigan available condos   2 bedrooms/2.1 Baths, 2940 sq. ft. Sold Price $2,475,000 Monthly assessments: $2661/month, Taxes $25,271

 

 4. 10 E. Delaware #33B Chicago, Il 60611 This was the last remaining penthouse at 10 E. Delaware. Designed by renowned architects Lucien LaGrange & Darcy Bonner. 10 E. Delaware features the finest finishes featuring Poggenpohl cabinets, Kohler, Miele, Subzero, and Wolf. This perfect location an State St. and Delaware only has 4 remaining brand new units and is a full amenity building including an outdoor pool. 10 E. Delaware condo availability   3 bedrooms/3.1 Baths, 2940 sq. ft. Sold Price $2,385,000 Monthly assessments: $1860/month, Taxes $NEW

 

 5. 340 E. Randolph #4403 Chicago, Il 60601 340 E. Randolph offers commanding views where ever you look, this home faces Millennium Park and Grant Park and boasts views to 3 different states! State of the art building and an A+ location make this the perfect city home! 340 on the Park condos available 4 bedrooms/3.1 Baths, 2750 sq. ft. Sold Price $2,000,000 Monthly assessments: $1371/month, Taxes $11,375.96

April 25, 2013

Chicago Real Estate – Home Sales Up

More and more people are buying homes in the Chicagoland area, and now is a really good time to buy. And due to steady progress in the housing segment of our seven-county Chicago real estate market, home sales soared last month, DailyMarket.com reports.

To be precise, the number of homes sales have increased 18 percent from March of 2012 to March of 2013, the site pulled from a DailyMarket.com.

DailyMarket.com found that as of April 9, Chicago home sales reported for March totaled 7,793 units, up from 6,591 last year. That’s 1,202 more homes that were sold in Chicagoland from last March to now! The median prices did increase though, from $153,800 to $155,000 a year earlier.

 The DailyMarket.com analysis also found that the amount of homes on the market are shrinking, which also gives housing a boost. In fact, there were 50 percent less homes for sale last March than there were this year. It’s easier for buyers to speed up their decision-making process when there are less options to choose from.

 So the housing market is looking good, and many predict it is only going to get better. If you’re thinking about that home you always wanted in Chicagoland, buy now while the market is in good shape!

April 24, 2013

The Chicago Marathon will go on

Despite the tragic bombings that inflicted the Boston Marathon this year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will still go on this fall as planned, NBCChicago.com reports.

Directors of the Chicago Marathon say they are ready to address security concerns head on. They offer their full support to the Boston Athletic Association and the City of Boston as they work through the horrible events that took place.

The Chicago Marathon kicks off on Sunday, October 18, and will facilitate more than 37,000 runners and millions of spectators. Participants this year will come from more than 100 countries and all 50 states. There will be a total of 7,777 international runners, according to ChicagoMarathon.com

The course is 27 miles and starts in Grant Park at Columbus Dr. and Monroe Dr. The route travels north on Columbus to Grand Ave., west on Grand to State St., south on State St. to Jackson Blvd. and loops all the way around on Halsted and back to Michigan to the finish line.

This year 10,000 participants are running on behalf of 190 charity partners. Last October the Chicago Marathon set a record when charity runners raised $13.4 million. Since 2002, Chicago Marathon runners have raised more than $85 million benefitting local, national and international charities.

The Chicago Marathon has come out with a public safety alert system that everyone is encouraged to become familiarized with:

Participants and spectators can refer to the website, which will have updated information on the current alert system status, but there will also be public address announcements and color-coated flags at the start and finish lines and all along the course on race day.



Now posted on the marathon’s website is a special message from executive race director, Carey Pinkowski:

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with our colleagues at the Boston Marathon, and with the spectators, participants, volunteers and loved ones who were affected by Monday’s tragic events.”

“We want to reassure those registered for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the family members, friends and volunteers who plan to support them, that we are in constant communication with the City of Chicago, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication, the Chicago Police and Fire Departments regarding the security plan that is implemented at the Chicago Marathon. As our top priority, we work in lockstep with these agencies to ensure the safest possible event for everyone involved.”

Sources: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/Chicago-Marathon-Will-Go-On-As-Planned-203190031.html

http://www.chicagomarathon.com

http://assets.chicagomarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/7_Course-Information.pdf

http://assets.chicagomarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1_Media-Information-and-Fast-Facts.pdf

April 21, 2013

Slim pickings at The Trump Tower Chicago condos

If you have your heart set on brand new construction, the choices are slim everywhere in the Chicago, but in the downtown Chicago real estate market the Trump Tower is your only choice and they are selling very fast. The choices for a new condo from the developer are becoming a thing of the past with only about 11 brand new units left. There are a total of 36 units for sale in the building, 25 are re-sales.

The amenities at the Trump Tower are second to none with amazing work out facilities, luxurious spa, indoor pool, 2 restaurants, meeting and party rooms, and concierge service. This and more awaits you in the most exciting, residential, urban living environment that has made The Trump buildings famous. From the moment you walk-in the 2-story glass lobby you will know this is a place you want to call home.

Right outside the Trump Tower Chicago is the famous Magnificent Mile for shopping, a few blocks to the lake for swimming or boating and many well known Chicago restaurants such as Spiaggia’s, RPM Italian, Del Frisco’s and Mastro’s Steak House to name a few.

So lets take a look at a few of the brand new units that are still available at Trump Tower Chicago:

Unit 68D. (floor plan) This home is 2022 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms and 2.1 baths with beautiful panoramic views of the city and north Lake Shore Drive. Home features a gourmet kitchen, fireplace, and a spa-like master bath. $1,500,000 + $65,000 for deeded garage parking.

Unit 58E. (floor plan) This home is 2746 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, plus den and 3 baths with beautiful unobstructed views to the south, east, west, city, lake and water. Snaidero cabinets and spa-like baths. Stunning home. $2,200,000 + $65,000 for deeded garage parking.

Unit 38A. (floor plan) This home is 3437 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, plus a media room, family room & 4 baths with beautiful panoramic lake and river views. This home follows the eastern curve of the building. Breathtaking Trump Chicago home. $3,000,000 + $65,000 for deeded garage parking.

If the listings below are gone, they are sold. Contact me for an updated list of new homes available at Trump Tower Chicago.

All 3 of these homes have been sold!