home buying

Lofty Real Estate

Chicago’s Real Estate Market in 2020

By | Agents, brokers, home buyer, home buying, real estate, Uncategorized

Lofty Real Estate

If you’re planning to sell a home in the area, you might need to pack your patience. Recent data shows that Chicago is one of the “slowest” housing markets among the major metros when based on median “days on market.”

Despite losing residents at a high rate, Chicago is still America’s third largest city and the economic driver of the Midwest. Although there is not a negative impact of buying a house in 2019 versus 2020, it is strongly advised by experts to purchase a house next year. In 2020, the largest group of Millennials will turn 30, which will be good news for an industry that may need it.

Lofty Real Estate

The National Association of Realtors’ annual home-buyer profile has recorded an average home-buying age of 30 that has stood for decades.

While young people have flocked Downtown, bringing with them corporations seeking skilled workers, Millennials will likely turn back to the suburbs when it comes time to buy. But because so many jobs have moved from the suburbs to Downtown, Millennials will likely look for housing in inner-collar suburbs that have urban amenities like public transportation and walkability.


The year 2020: where inflation and financing qualification could hurt prospective buyers. According to Zillow, rising mortgage rates are encouraging homeowners to stay put and discouraging would-be buyers.

Higher interest rates should eventually slow the intense pace of home value appreciation that we have seen over the past few years, a welcome relief for hopeful buyers. Overall, home prices aren’t expected to grow much, and market crashes are highly unlikely. That should make it a safer purchase for buyers and more difficult for sellers to get the best price possible.





Lofty is a full service real estate brokerage

What To Expect Throughout The Buying Process

By | Agents, closing on a home, home buyer, home buying

Whether it’s your client’s first home, or they’ve been through this process before, every experience is different. However, top real estate agents know the core elements of what to expect during a buying process.

Determine housing needs

In order to deliver the best service to your clients and make the home buying process as enjoyable as possible, it’s important that you get to know them very well. Ask the right questions to find out their motives for buying, what they’re looking for, and what they truly need to be happy in their new home. This will not only help you find them homes to show, but it will also help you tailor your efforts to their needs and wants and create a trusting relationship.

Set a clear budget

It’s important for your clients to know their numbers. As an agent, you never want to put your client in a position of buying a home that they can’t afford and vice versa. You want to be able to show them all the options for homes that they can afford. Show them how to determine the cost of homes they can look at by accessing their financial situation and taking into consideration their current debt and bills etc. If they haven’t already, make sure they are pre-approved for a mortgage.

Begin the home search

Once all the prep work is done and you have a clear understanding of your client’s needs and expectations, let the home search begin! While seeing homes, take note of what they love and what they hate. This will help you narrow down the homes you show in hopes of finding the right home, faster.  Top real estate agents say that their client will know within the first 30 seconds of entering a property if they’re interested or not. Pay attention to your clients during those critical moments. If clients are interested in a certain property, make the extra effort to do repeat tours at different times of the day so they know what the neighborhood is like at night, and they can see the lighting at peak daytime. For pre-construction homes, check the floor plans and get to know the reputation of the developer.

buying a home in Chicago

The offer

Use your expertise as a real estate agent to guide your clients in negotiating a fair offer that they’re happy with and is comparable to homes in the same neighborhood.


The hardest parts are over! The offer was accepted and your clients are ready to start getting excited. The home is now in escrow, the period of time it takes to complete all remaining steps in the home buying process.

Home inspection

It’s common for offers to be contingent on a home inspection of the property to ensure there are no signs of structural damage or to take note of things that may need fixing. As a real estate agent, you should have developed trusted contacts who you can refer to your clients to conduct the home inspection. Work with them to schedule the inspection within a few days of the offer being accepted by the seller. Keep them well informed during this process and review the inspection in person with them if possible. Explain to them the power behind the contingency and how it protects them by giving them a chance to renegotiate or withdraw their offer without penalty if the inspection finds any substantial damage. Also, review with them if there’s anything that they want to ask the seller to fix before closing. Once everything is agreed upon, you will do a walk-through with your clients as one last chance to confirm any repairs that were requested. Make sure the seller / previous owner has vacated. If you or your client does find an issue, you’ll need to bring it up to the sellers as soon as possible.


To avoid any delays, it’s extremely important to properly prepare your clients on what to bring and what to expect during closing. Remind your clients that they must bring proof of homeowners insurance, a copy of the contract, home inspection reports, government-issued photo ID

and the down payment. Make sure that you explain that a personal check will not work and it has to be a wire transfer or a cashier’s check. It’s also common for most lenders to require a title search of public property records to make sure there aren’t issues with transferring the property to your client’s name. There will be lots going on that day and lots of signatures. Set the correct expectations for your client, but also let them know that it’s not uncommon for things to go wrong like a missing document or a misspelled name. As a real estate agent, take all precautionary measures to make sure everyone is prepared and the day goes by as painless as possible.

Wondering if a switch might be right for you? Give us a shout and learn more.


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where to eat wheeling

Neighborhood Guide: Wheeling

By | home buying, Neighborhood Guides, Property Management

Welcome to the town of Wheeling!


Wheeling was home to the video game company Jaleco USA and to the American branch of Taito Corporation.

Some notable residents include:

Actor (Bones) John Francis Daley; opera singer, Deborah Voigt; singer/songwriter and comedian, Haley Reinhart.


Bob Chinn’s Crab House
393 S. Milwaukee Avenue
A Wheeling institution since 1982. For over 30 years they have been serving some of the freshest seafood from locations around the globe like Alaska, Hawaii and New Zealand. While seafood is their specialty, Bob Chinn’s is also known for their wet-aged prime steaks that are comparable to some of the best steakhouses in the suburbs and Chicago.  

601 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Inspired by Executive Chef, Mychael Bonner’s Italian travels, the menu features a broad selection of Italian fare, utilizing the freshest ingredients to create the fullest flavors! They bring homemade, hand-crafted pizzas and pastas, as well as prime steaks and fresh fish dishes to the table. Enjoy the casual atmosphere while dining in a rustic setting.

333 S. Milwaukee Avenue
What started out as a hot dog stand in 1948 has grown into the old-fashioned Chicago-style hot dog mainstay, and one of the few remaining places offering carhop service! There is also a diner-style inside seating area, for those that prefer not to eat in their car.

Joe’s Pizzeria
57 N. Wolf Road
Family-friendly parlor known for its signature thin-crust pies and other Italian specialties, since 1966.

Tortorice’s Pizza
217 W Dundee Rd
While technically in Buffalo Grove, don’t let the funny name fool you—the folks here take pizza seriously. One of a handful of family-owned locations throughout the Chicago area, Tortorice’s is truly a magnificent ode to pizza. Take your New York visitors here for the Chicago-style deep dish and watch them melt like buttah.

The Original Granny’s
831 W. Dundee Road
A warm, inviting, neighborhood gem serving hot and tasty breakfast items. Come hungry, leave happy!

550 S. Milwaukee Road
Neighborhood Italian venue featuring pasta dishes & wood-fired pizza in a bright space.

Chicago Bagel & Bialy II
260 S. Milwaukee Avenue
Longtime homemade bagel specialist with outdoor seating featuring breakfast, lunch & deli items.

Rammy’s Sub Contractors
834 Wheeling Road
With owner, Mike Hrametz’s background in construction and studies in food service, he came up with a concept that was like no other. The Rammy’s Sub Contractors brainchild is a unique, construction-themed shop that serves unbelievably great food.


PS Pub
771 W. Dundee Road
Their extensive beer list includes a large selection of imports and domestics, while boasting their craft beer selection. They offer 12 lines of craft beers that are constantly changing. Also on the drink menu are an eclectic selection of shots. Don’t see one you like? The bartenders are happy to make a drink according to your recipe. Also featured are video slots, open mic Wednesdays, karaoke Fridays and live bands on Saturday.

Old Munich Inn
582 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Authentic German dive bar serving cold beer and cocktails only. Occasionally a tray of lunch meat and bread gets passed around to help soak up the drinks being consumed.

723 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Bourbon and beer drinkers unite. Enjoy cocktails prepared by incredibly knowledgeable bartenders who know all about the process of making, mixing, and drinking your next high quality beverage. Spears has American roots where the best Bourbon, Burgers, and Beer meet and await to delight you!

The Ram Restaurant & Brewery
700 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Brewpub chain featuring rotating house beers & easy-going American grub in family-friendly environment.

Cooper’s Hawk
583 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Combines a working winery, a tasting room and an upscale casual restaurant serving New American fare paired with house-label wines in a contemporary setting.


Community Recreation Center (CRC)
333 W. Dundee Road
The CRC is open to the public and houses most Wheeling Park District programs including preschool classes, camps, arts and crafts, sports, adult and youth classes, indoor walking/running track, Arctic Splash indoor pool, Fitness Center, and the Guest Service Desk.

Arctic Splash
333 W. Dundee Road
A family friendly indoor pool that features a zero-depth leisure pool, Petie the Polar Bear toddler slide, mini lazy river, four lane – 25 yard lap pool and interactive water structures.

Family Aquatic Center
327 W. Dundee Road
The place you want to be during the summer months! A family friendly seasonal outdoor pool featuring Tsunami Splash (a water playground with large tipping bucket), Lily Pad Lagoon (a splash pool with water basketball and monkey bar activity pad), Volcano Valley (tube and body slides), Paradise Falls (two drop slides), Willie the Whale Toddler Slide, Aloha Beach (zero- depth entry main pool), lap lanes, Kona Courts (sand volleyball), grassy tanning area, Willie’s Coconut Café, a picnic area, diving board and Keiki Island (sand-play area).

Heritage Park
222 S. Wolf Road
Covering 97 acres, Heritage Park is the largest park the Wheeling Park District maintains. Encompassing the CRC and the Aquatic Center, the park has five baseball/softball fields (one with lights), tennis courts, soccer fields, play equipment, and a running/walking/bike path. There are shelters, picnic tables, drinking fountains, and an ice skating rink set up during the winter months. The park can be accessed from Wolf Rd. or via the CRC.

Husky Park
1100 Lee Street
Various slides and climbing apparatus, as well as swings and individual play pieces, accommodate both two- to five-year-olds and five- to 12-year-olds.  The individual play areas are sheltered by sail-like shade structures. The soft safety surface is constructed in circular shapes with contrasting colors.  The old basketball court was removed and replaced with a larger, full-court. Bike racks, new trash/recycling receptacles, and landscaping were added.

Chamber Park
251 N. Wolf Road
This park consists of 13 acres and is home to the Chamber Church, Carriage House, and the Wheeling Historical Society Museum. The church is said to be the second oldest church in Wheeling and as recently as the 1970s held services on Sundays. The Carriage House was moved to the park in the 1980s and the Museum was moved from Milwaukee Road., where it served as the original Wheeling police station. In the 1970s, the park had an outdoor and “kiddie” pool, shuffleboard courts, a large fountain, and an ice skating rink. Today, Chamber Park boasts play equipment, picnic tables, a sheltered gazebo, a dedicated flower garden area, and basketball hoops for informal play. The park also hosts Santa and Mrs. Claus when they come to town every December for Lollipop Lane.

Chevy Chase Golf & Country Club
1000 N. Milwaukee Avenue
A championship, 18-hole golf course set amid rolling greens and grassy fairways proves a challenge to players of all skill levels. Play a peaceful round early on a weekday morning, compete in a fun-filled scramble, or join a league to make new friends.

To meet your needs, golf carts come with GPS and provide a full-service golf shop stocked with brand name clubs and apparel. Finish your game at our 19th  hole, the Gable Room Bar & Grill, for delicious food and cold drinks.


Wheeling High School
900 S. Elmhurst Road
This high school boasts a culturally diverse student body, and draws its strength from embracing the rich multicultural community of students and staff. Wheeling High School is a four-year, comprehensive, public high school that offers all students a 21st century focus in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). US News and World Report recently recognized Wheeling as one of the best high schools in the state of Illinois.

Buffalo Grove High School
1100 W. Dundee Road
Buffalo Grove High School is recognized as a Blue Ribbon High School by the U. S. Department of Education and was named one of the top high schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek magazines. In addition, Chicago magazine most recently named Buffalo Grove as one of the top 20 high schools in Cook County in the state of Illinois.


The Metra

The North Central Service line Wheeling stop is located at 400 Town Street. The northern most stop is Antioch and southernmost stop is at Union Station in Chicago.

Proximity to Downtown

Obviously there is a bit of fluctuation depending on where exactly you live within the city, but Wheeling is approximately 30 miles from Chicago’s Downtown Loop. Driving (without traffic) would yield about 40 minutes taking I-90 East. If traveling via the Metra, allow approximately 55 minutes.


Chicago Executive Airport, a busy general aviation airport, is located in Wheeling and Prospect Heights and jointly run by both villages. Formerly known as Palwaukee Municipal Airport, it is the third busiest airport in Illinois, after Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.

Surrounding Areas

Buffalo Grove, Prospect Heights, Arlington Heights and Northbrook are your closest neighbors. These cities, while close in proximity, each offer unique vibes and help to make the Chicago suburbs a great place to live or visit!