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Chicago Real Estate and Five Major Trends for 2021

By | Agents, brokers, home buying, Property Management, real estate, Real Estate Investment

Finance Guru’s Five Real Estate Trends for 2021

Dave Ramsey is a standout among media finance coaches. It’s hard to disagree with his brand of commonsensical counsel that eschews shortcuts and paths to riches that depend on newly concocted strategies. Chicago real estate investors, potential homeowners, devoted readers and listeners who rely on his consistently risk-averse advice learn to avoid high-interest debt while building a solid financial base—a footing typically anchored by the equity most real estate investors and homeowners build through their greatest investment, their home.

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As the old year came to a close, Ramsey’s website laid down five trends that are likely to emerge in the coming year. Chicago homeowners and investors who have been tracking the national real estate crosscurrents would not have been surprised by any of the five—but would likely be reassured by the continuity they exhibit:

  1. In the coming year, inventories of homes for sale will continue to be thin. As a result, buyers may need to be more flexible than usual in the features and locations they can insist upon—while sellers may find themselves increasingly in the driver’s seat.
  2. Prices should continue to rise, which would make the conservative ‘Ramsey Rule’ (house payments should not exceed 25% of take-home pay) difficult to follow, were it not for—
  3. The continuation of ‘nice and low’ mortgage interest rates, which markedly moderates the effect of the first two trends.
  4. Online and virtual services will continue to expand what you can accomplish via mouse-clicks rather than actual, in-person activity. Ramsey does have a warning for sellers about the advisability of resorting to cut-rate virtual services: “Your home is your biggest asset, and you get what you pay for!”
  5. Likewise, increasingly popular “Risky Buying Options” (like down payment loans or overly expensive rent-to-own offers) rate his one-word review: “beware.”

The Ramsey vision for 2021 is also in line with a projection voiced by government-sponsored Freddie Mac—continuing price rises make a real estate market crash unlikely. Both foresee that sellers in previously less-popular neighborhoods can expect an uptick in buyer interest.

When future trends are continuations of those already in evidence, it’s not particularly earthshaking. More beneficial is the final Ramsey note on how to take control of the trends: “Partner with a top-notch professional real estate agent.

We couldn’t agree more!      

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Looking Back: How did 2020 Fare for Real Estate?

By | Agents, brokers, home buying, Property Management, real estate, Real Estate Investment

New Year’s Retrospective Cheers Chicago Real Estate Watchers

Gather ‘round, people: it’s The Year in Review time again—the week when columnists and TV talking heads line up to chatter and lament over the year’s record-shattering advances and failures. From Washington to Hollywood, Wall Street to Silicon Valley, 2020 provided as rich a trove of talking points as any year in memory.

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Closer to home, for Chicago homeowners and investors, the year in real estate was no exception. When news of COVID-19 first broke, it looked as if the pandemic’s spread might claim Chicago real estate as an early casualty. Yet, despite the persistence of distressing developments in a host of other areas, local real estate watchers watched a much different picture being painted across the nation.

Here’s a selection of a half dozen highlights from The Year that Was in U.S. real estate:

  • The complete numbers aren’t in yet, but as of October, existing-home sales grew by a “spectacular 26.6% compared with last year” (according to reuters.com).
  • 2020 ends the year on track to register 102 straight months of year-over-year median home price increases.
  • For house flippers, the median gross profit per flip increased to its highest in two decades—$73,766—according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
  • The year ends with pending home sales up 20%, buyer traffic up 32%, and mortgage applications up 27% over 2019—signals that, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, “…this winter may be the best ever for the housing market.”
  • By October, median existing-home prices had risen 15.5% compared with a year ago.
  • In a reversal of past age groups’ preferences, 55% of millennials (they outnumber all other generations) are not only stock market skeptics but “are now interested in investing in real estate,” according to realwealthnetwork.com.

For Chicago real estate watchers, those are results that justify putting a bottle of the bubbly in the fridge to chill for seeing in the New Year. And for all our Chicago neighbors, here’s hoping 2021 can hold a candle to this year, real estate-wise—and that it’s a whole lot better where everything else is concerned!

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One Overlooked Issue for Chicago Home Workplaces

By | Agents, brokers, home buyer, home buying, Property Management, Property Managemnt, real estate, Real Estate Investment

For those who might be dubious about flexjobs.com’s contention that 75% of employees “are less distracted at home,” a survey from Atlassian, a developer of team productivity software, offers some common-sense confirmation: “Seventy-six percent prefer to avoid the office when they need to concentrate on an important task.”

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Naturally, the rising tide of Chicago home workers creates a corresponding surge in the need for Chicago home workplaces—areas fully or partially given over to business activity. We have already seen an increase in the interest that prospective buyers are expressing (and Realtor® Magazine predicts that home offices “will become a hot amenity for the long term”).

All this points to at least one wrinkle that hasn’t as yet been given much attention: workplace safety. The requirement for things like smoke detectors, adequate lighting and ventilation, and unobstructed walkways are second nature to human resource professionals—but few Chicago home workers have probably given them much thought. The immediate need for a strong Wi-Fi connection and comfortable seating are more likely to have drawn their attention. Yet, according to the government’s telework.gov website, ensuring workplace safety is the remote worker’s responsibility. Given the number of hours now being spent in Chicago home offices, that is worth treating seriously.

At Lofty Real Estate, it is our job to track the latest ins and outs of the everchanging Chicago home marketplace—and to share them with our clients that are buying, selling, and/or looking for property management for their real estate investment.

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When to List: Controversy in This One-Off Year

When to List: Controversy in This One-Off Year

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

Sometimes, the timing for when to list your Chicago home is pretty much dictated by circumstances. Whether they be personal or professional changes that call for a move, when to list is (as politicians say) "baked in." When to list can't be rescheduled.

When that isn’t the case—when the timing is solely up to you—there are two ways to look at the decision. One of them is controversial.

Controversial: timing by season. Although many commentators do seem to come down on the side of listing for real estate’s busy season, there are reasonable arguments that counter it. Statistics do prove that the majority of transactions are initiated during good weather. During the spring and summer months, when the sun shines the longest, buyers tend to have more optimism (and possibly energy, although that’s debatable). There are definitely more prospective buyers during the peak real estate season—and they’re out in the neighborhoods house-hunting.

Yet from the seller’s point of view, it’s also true that there is more competition from other Chicago homes for sale. The peak season nay-sayers can also argue that prospective buyers who do their house-hunting in poor weather are demonstrably highly motivated—making for fewer looky-loos and more committed prospects.

Non-Controversial: listing when you’re ready. If 2020 has demonstrated anything, it is how ignoring the traditional real estate calendar can sometimes work out nicely. This year, the “peak” for national home sales has taken its sweet time getting here. It has been on its own schedule—one that nobody could have predicted a year ago. What hasn’t been debatable is what knowledgeable financial commentators have long recommended: when your house no longer fits your lifestyle and/or your financial circumstances indicate that a move will be advantageous—that’s the calendar you should pay attention to.

After the sale is completed, in retrospect, the right time to list your home will have been when your ultimate buyer was looking for a house like yours. That might be more likely when more shoppers are active—yet the persistent fact that many sales seem to be finalized toward the end of the year argues otherwise. The truth is, when you are ready to move on, emotionally, and financially, it’s always the right time to list your Chicago home. It’s also the right time to give one of Lofty’s real estate agent a call!

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Benefits & Drawbacks of Raising Rent

Buying Multi-Units Vs SFH as Investment Properties

By | Agents, home buying, Property Management, real estate, Real Estate Investment

Real estate in Chicago is a pro’s game. The dilemma of making a decision to buy a multi-unit or a single-family home is not strange to most property investors. Placing the merits and demerits side by side, and considering what works best for you and your investment goals is key to making the right decision.

Investing in Chicago real estate requires a solid discernment of the real estate scene. It’s easy to stare at a few numbers and just decide that single-family homes are better than multi-units and vice versa.

To completely figure out what represents a better real estate investment decision, let’s look at the two types of properties. Then we’ll do a compare and contrast and let you be the judge.

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Single-Family Units- Merits of Investing

A single-family home (SFH) is a property with only one family (unit). It’s a multi-unit when there is more than one family or tenants living in different units of the building.

There are many benefits of investing in Chicago real estate. and even more when you go with a single-family unit. Let’s look at these for size.

1. Ease of Selling Off

It’s easier to sell off a single-family home. This, in fact, means that you can quickly make a profit on the sale of a SFH than when your property is multi-units. There is also less stress in finding interested buyers when you’re trying to sell a single home.

 2. Faster Appreciation of Property

Single-family units appreciate quite faster than multi-units. Although the difference is often not so large, it’s not negligible either. The appreciation value is a reason you might want to consider when buying a single home because you’re likely to sell (if you decide to sell it) for a considerably higher price than you purchased it.

This also depends of course, on the duration between when you purchased and when you decide to sell it off.

3. Lesser Tenant Issues

With a single-family home, you’ll get fewer phone calls about maintenance and issues going on at the house. You may also not bother employing the services of a Chicago property manager. Since you have only one family on your property, you can self-manage on your own. Collecting rent monthly will also be easier.

4. Less Strenuous Maintenance

There is usually less wear and tear in single-family house units, (well, except the tenants are out to destroy you). In a single-family home, it’s easier to track damages and ensure the house in great condition.

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Merits of Investing in a Multi-unit

Multi-units are also profitable, with some advantages over single-units. Let’s see the merits here.

1. Better Security with Covering Operation Costs

With a multi-unit, you have better chances of having all the fees covered by your tenants. The rent from multiple tenants will cover operational costs. With more people, and a better security management system in place, you are less likely to have theft or crime issues.

2. Regular Cash flow

With more than one tenant paying rent and bills every month, you have a regular cash flow. With excellent maintenance and tenant welfare, you stand a chance of never having a unit in your house empty for any long period of time.

3. Less Charges from Property Manager

Chicago property managers give discounts on every unit in a multi-unit property. At the end of the day, you’ll pay less fees to your property manager per unit than you would in a SFH (single family housing unit). That’s because the discounts you enjoy on multi-units are not extended to SFH.

4. Larger Pool of Tenants

When it’s time to put a new tenant in one of your units, Chicago brokerage companies can help you do a good and swift job of filling up your multi-unit. It’s easier for them to handle than SFH because more people are interested in renting a unit in a building rather than a single-family house.

Multi-unit Vs Single Family Home

To make an intelligent decision free of sentiments, let’s compare them under the following headings, using cold hard facts:

  • Investment risk
  • Expansion
  • Tenant Issues
  • Cash flow
  • Sale
  • Maintenance
  • Appreciation
  • Renters pool and Brokerage

Investment Risk

Single-family units are sometimes highly risky as a tenant can vacate any time. If this happens and you can’t find someone to replace them immediately, you’re going to bear all the costs of mortgage, taxes, and maintenance all by yourself.

There’s a certain comfort in knowing that with a multi-unit, you’ll always have someone living on your property and the rent will cover the costs of the mortgage, maintenance, utility, and so on.

Expansion

Expanding a single-family unit is easier. With a multi-unit, you’re more or less stuck with the original architecture forever. Except, of course, you’re ready to bear the cost of nearly tearing the building down and starting again.

Tenant Issues

Issues with tenants are more frequent in a multi-unit. Because there are more people living there, there’s a greater possibility of clashes and the need for conflict resolution.

Cash flow

Cash flow in multi-units is more frequent and dependable. If your property is well managed, you’ll hardly find yourself bearing the costs of maintenance by yourself. In single units, you may not have that level of security. It’s only one tenant paying and that’s it.

Sale

It’s easier to get a large pool of buyers for single-family homes than for multi-units. This means you can find more reasonable Chicago brokerage fees with SFH. Multi-units may not attract 100% brokerage since there’s more work in finding your buyers and keeping up with payment of rent.

Maintenance

For SFH, it’s usually higher. As for Multi-unit properties, due to the fact that more people live in your multi-unit property, maintenance costs may also rise. In fact, you’d have to employ the services of a Chicago property management company to help you keep up with this. A good choice would be Lofty property management company.

Appreciation

Appreciation rates in Chicago real estate have been different over the years. Of course, SFH appreciates slightly faster. But in any case, if your multi-unit is well maintained, it can appreciate just as well. Note however that if your SFH’s location is bad, you may run into serious debt.

The verdict: Single Family Home or Multi-unit?

This is not a clear-cut choice. In a busy location, you may want to trust multi-units more. There’s every chance that the units will always be occupied at every point in time.

Before buying a SFH, consider if you will be able to foot the bills of taxes, electricity, mortgage, and the rest in case there’s ever a long duration between when a tenant leaves and when another comes.

In Conclusion

There is no clear-cut winner. Depending on the location of the property, SFH may be a better option. The merits of multi-units are obvious as well, but if tenant issues and maintenance costs are not for you, you may just be better off with SFH. Either ways, there’s always one that’s more suitable in a particular situation.

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Why Buying and Owning Rentals is Always a Good Investment

By | Agents, home buying, Property Management, real estate, Real Estate Investment

Owning a rental is always good; you get paid for being the landlord. It's a really profitable slice of the Chicago real estate investment market. This is mainly because of two things; the first being the steady stream of passive income it provides, and the second being the opportunity to get tax write-offs.

Of course, owning a real estate rental in Chicago is not an easy feat. The rewards are potentially huge only if you have a keen eye for details, proper preparation, and a sound Chicago property management company in charge of your property.

Managing rentals on the Chicago real estate scene can be done all by yourself, but like most people you may get overwhelmed over time. At this point, you can use the services of a Chicago property manager, such Lofty Real Estate Chicago.

Investing in rental properties is always a good idea, once you know the things you need to know, which we will be discussing.

Buying Rentals: Need to Know

Of course, when buying rentals in Chicago, you can either do it yourself or you can use a Chicago brokerage company. Asides from this, it is usually a sound policy to calculate your expected cash flow on the rental property before you purchase it. Think of it as a business; no one goes into a business to make a loss.

For you as a rental owner, the cash flow your property generates is your profit, so to say. Because of this, your cash flow should be at least at break-even point, when you factor in your expenses on the property.

Buying a property with an expected cash flow level that is below the amount you’d spend on expenses such as monthly mortgage payments, depreciation, etc, is not a good idea, and  we do not advise it.

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What are the Advantages of Owning a Rental Property?

There are a lot of advantages of buying and owning a rental property over other forms of investment (we won’t compare, don’t worry), and they are;

1. Diversification of Investment Portfolio

Investment, no matter the amount of probable gains, always involves a risk. Because of the inherent risk in the world of Investment, it is unwise to put all your money into one investment portfolio, especially stocks.  An unforeseen switch in the market dynamics and all your money might be gone with the wind. Owning a rental real estate property helps you mitigate greatly against the inherent risk involved with the investment. Once you have done your due diligence, your rental property will always be a source of income for you – one you can rely on to a very great degree.

2. Getting Tax Write-offs

The tax system favors owning rental properties a lot, and that’s another perk of buying and owning a rental property.  Owning a rental property means you don’t get to pay tax on your rental income. Owning a rental property means there will be depreciation and other property related expenses.  It is a usual practice to deduct the depreciation and other expenses from the federal income tax, and so this leaves the rental income completely free of any deductions.

3. Steady Stream of Passive Income

Owning a rental property is one of the safest ways to earn a steady stream of passive income every month. It’s your job (or your property management’s job) to ensure you keep renters who pay their rent promptly.

The “steady” in the income hinges on a lot of factors including doing a background check for prospective renters, so you can easily weed out those with a history of causing trouble for their landlords.

The best part is that you do not have to get involved in the background checks exercise or even get involved in the day to day running of the property before you get your passive income. You can simply leave your property to a Chicago property management company and focus on other areas of your life, whilst they manage the property and ensure your passive income keeps rolling in.

4. The Chance to Sell at a Premium

The usual industry practice is that you should try to hold your rental property for at least 10 years, but that rule doesn’t always work for every situation.

Owning a rental property in an area that increases the value of your property means you can sell off the property and make a gain on it at any time.

Even if the market dynamics change and the prices of property plummet, you can still rent out your property and make a rental income that will cover the costs of owning the property. You can do this till you’re ready to sell, and you would not lose any money.

Also, real estate market values generally appreciate over time, and the real estate market is usually one of the first to bounce back in case of a recession. So, the chances of losing money on your rental property investment over time are very low.

5. Growing Your Equity

Growing your equity is a goal for everyone, and owning a rental is a good way to do this. It is always good practice to purchase a rental property with a mortgage. Once this is done, you’ll have to start paying up on the mortgage payments, and you can use the rental income to pay for your mortgage.

This would be especially easy if you’ve accurately calculated the amount of cash flow to expect from owning the property. It would basically be as though your tenants are paying your mortgage for you, and over time, your debt will shrink and disappear, and your equity will start to rise steadily.

Conclusion

Buying and owning a rental property is one of the best ways to not just earn stable, passive income, but to also grow equity. By understanding and calculating just how much you can expect with regards to cash flow from the property, you can forecast how long it will take you to pay off your mortgage and start growing your equity.

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Leveraging Property to Buy Property: A Full Guide

By | Agents, brokers, home buying, Property Management, Property Managemnt, real estate, Real Estate Investment

Is Leveraging a Good Idea?

The unofficial cardinal rule of investing in real estate is that you invest, or buy real estate with someone else’s money, not yours. This is the basis of leverage in the Chicago real estate investment market; by using someone else’s money to invest in real estate, you are making gains from your lender’s money.

Leverage is a well-known strategy in the Chicago real estate market, and it is the most widely used way to acquire real estate. There is a drawback though; when real estate values rise, it is to your advantage. But when they fall, you are at a disadvantage. This is why it is crucial to do your due diligence about a property when you want to use leverage to acquire it.

Leveraging Your Way to the Second Mortgage

Simply put, a second mortgage is a mortgage taken out when you still have a mortgage in effect on your first property. Doing this is only possible if you have enough equity on your first mortgaged property since a second mortgage is a riskier endeavor than the first.

The usual practice is that your first property is used as collateral for the second mortgage, and most lenders will only agree to a deal if you have enough equity on your first property. This is the big risk with leveraging property to buy the property.

The second mortgage can be used for anything, including using them to service personal expenses.

Types of Second Mortgages

There are basically two types of second mortgages available for use in the Chicago real estate market. They are;

  1. Home Equity Loans
  2. Home Equity Line of Credit (also called HELOC)

1. Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans are a type of second mortgage in which you can borrow a certain amount of money in a lump sum, payable over a period not exceeding 15 years at a fixed rate of interest.

Basically, you are using the amount of your home you own (i.e. the amount of mortgage you’ve already paid back on your home) to back up your credit. If you fail to pay, your house is liable to be foreclosed by the lender.

Home equity loans are best for investors looking to leverage their property to buy a rental property, as rental properties usually require a significant amount of down payment.

2. Home Equity Line of Credit

Popularly called HELOC, this type of second mortgage is different from regular home equity loans in that they are payable with adjustable rates.

HELOCs are the credit cards of second mortgages, and they work in a similar manner; there is a credit pool you can repeatedly draw from, it has a set limit and some lenders even give you an actual credit card. HELOCs have draw periods in which you can draw from the credit pool as you need the money, without having to pay back. This draw period is between 5 to 10 years.

HELOCs also have repayment periods, wherein you pay back all the money you have borrowed at adjustable rates, as mentioned earlier.

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How Do You Leverage One Property to Buy Another?

There are two ways to do this, put simply. They are;

1. Leverage Rental Property to Buy Another

A rental property is a good investment if bought properly. Managing it yourself might not be easy, which is why we advise that you use a Chicago Property Manager, or a Chicago property management company, such as Lofty Real Estate.

Using your rental property as leverage to get another property is the easier of the two ways of leveraging property to buy another property. This is because the rental income paid by tenants can be used to pay up the mortgage on the rental property and gain some equity.

Using a rental property as leverage for buying another property would involve using the rental property as collateral, as mentioned earlier. A second mortgage would also involve higher interest loans than the first, so you have to be absolutely sure your primary property has enough equity to cover the expenses associated with taking a second mortgage.

2. Leverage Your Primary Residence to Buy Another

Another way of leveraging property to buy property can be this scenario; using the equity on your primary residence to get another mortgage. It can be another house or even a rental property. Doing this will mean your primary residence will be at the mercy of the lender if you default on the second mortgage payments.

Requirements for Leveraging Property to Buy Property

Building up a good level of home equity and a great credit score are central to the success of your chances when taking out a second mortgage.

How to Get A Second Mortgage

1. Know How Much Equity You Have

Knowing how much equity you have will help you make a quick decision on whether or not to go for a second mortgage and leverage your property to buy property. The more equity you have, the more your chances of success when it comes to your application for a second mortgage.

2. Check Your Credit Score

This is also another key part of the process. An excellent credit score will also improve your chances of being approved. If you’re interested in leveraging your primary property to buy another property, then you have to possess a credit score to match.

3. Pick out Your Preferred Second Mortgage Option

There are two options for you here, either you go for a HELOC or a home equity loan. Each option has its own peculiarities and benefits, so be sure to pick one that suits you. If you’re leveraging property to buy another house, going for a HELOC might be best. On the other hand, if you’re leveraging property to buy a rental property, then going for a home equity loan where you’ll get a lump sum might prove to be the better option.

4. Look Around

Once you’ve carried out these three steps, then it’s time for you to find out the options you have with regard to lenders and their rates. Check out the terms of each second mortgage very well, and ensure you don’t sign until you’re convinced it’s the best deal for you.

In Conclusion

Leveraging property to buy property is a smart way of acquiring more property, especially if you have the required equity.  With our guide, you have all you need to know about leveraging property to buy property.

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Chicago’s Real Estate Market in 2020

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

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

Escrow

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.

Closing

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.

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where to eat wheeling

Neighborhood Guide: Wheeling

By | home buying, Neighborhood Guides, Property Management

Welcome to the town of Wheeling!

FACTS

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.

EATS

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.  

Saranello’s
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.

Superdawg
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!

Tuscany
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.

DRINKS

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.

Spears
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.

PARKS AND INTERESTS

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.

HIGH SCHOOLS

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.

TRANSPORTATION

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.

Airport

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!

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