The distressed property… what it is, and what it means for you as a buyer.

So you think you want a distressed property… it can seem like an amazing deal, but is it really? Our team is selling a listing that is a bank-owned property {also known as an REO property}, so I thought it was the perfect time to talk about this type of sale. The house we are selling is listed at $739,000, it’s pretty big at about 6,500sf, and was built in 2006. And even though it hasn’t been especially well cared for over the past decade, it’s not in extreme {or obvious} disrepair, and it’s not an old house where you’re…

The ‘in-between’ space, and how it’s turning out to be a blessing for our real estate search AND my purge!

If you’re buying a house you might need an ‘in-between’ space. Maybe just for a few days, or maybe for a few months… Cue the panic. And the resistance. Noooooooooo!….. Often there is considerable stress about timing when it comes to real estate. People selling their houses are worried about being able to find something new, so they won’t put their house on the market until they’ve found ‘the one’. The trouble with that is that great spaces sell extremely quickly, and the market is competitive enough right now that most sellers also won’t accept a home sale contingency {that’s when…

The real questions you should be asking when looking at a potential house…

Quite often during a showing a buyer will ask “why are the sellers moving?” or “how long have they lived here?”. I am not really sure what prompts people to ask this and the more it happens I must confess, I’m starting to get a little annoyed at the question. Are they trying to figure out if the sellers are leaving because something is wrong with the house? Are they just nosy? Are they trying to find some leverage for their offer? Maybe. Maybe they are trying to get a feel for how motivated the seller is, always looking for…

New place news! {and some great reminders about non-judgment and non-effort}

It’s not new news that my manfriend and I don’t like our place. We’ve been planning to move since back in December when I moved in, and have been getting increasingly discontent with each passing month since. We even asked to be let out of our lease early, taking the stance with our landlord that he hasn’t been able to resolve our issues with noise, and a May renewal is more ideal than a July renewal {which is true}. But of course he said no. I wasn’t surprised, and decided that if we had to stay until the official, bitter…

Oak Park renovation ~ progress house tour!

Rebecca and Ryan have made a ton of progress on their house, and I’m excited to share a new video tour with you today! Right now it might not look like they’ve made as much progress as they really have, since all of the kitchen cabinets are still in boxes in the living room, but they have come a looong way since they started, and the project is just about at the point where all the sudden you blink and the space looks almost finished. I’ve even heard whispers that they are even scheduling movers for the end of the month!…

One big secret to a quick sale: preparation

Price is important when it comes to selling your house. It is definitely one of the most important factors in either attracting, or deterring, interest. But there is something else that is equally important that a lot of people underestimate, and that’s preparation. You only get one chance to make a first impression on a potential buyer, and if your space isn’t looking it’s best, people won’t trust that you’ll address small things that need to be taken care of, and they won’t come back. It’s a little more work up front, but it’s worth it to help get a…

A small project makes a big difference in this Logan Square house!

Last year we met with some clients, Carla and Andrew, who had bought a fixer upper back in the winter of 2014 and were just about ready to sell and get started on a new project. They wanted our input on a few potential projects and timing so that they could really get the house in tip top shape, and at it’s peak value, to be able to maximize their investment when they were ready to sell. Carla and Andrew are awesome people, and they are smart when it comes to their house.  They also have a killer sense of…

Some spaces are better to renovate while you live in them…

A couple of weeks ago I found the most amazing place that had just come on the market. It hasn’t been sold in 40 years! It’s a massive condo in a vintage three flat and is a massive 2400 square feet on one floor. A sprawling three bedroom two bath space with tall ceilings and gorgeous original trim, it even has a picture rails in the dining room {be still my heart}! And of course it needs a lot of updating {that’s part of what makes it so great, in my opinion anyway!}, but has all the vintage charm that…

If it’s not a hell YES, it’s a hell NO

It can be a tough market out there right now if you are a buyer. There isn’t always a ton of awesome inventory to choose from. It can be easy to think that it will take seeing 100 places in order to find ‘the one’. And depending on what you are looking for, it might very well take a little longer. But there is one thing I notice that tends to happen that not only hurts your search, but it can drain your energy and increase frustration, in what can already be a stressful time {they say moving is literally…

Video House Tour of the Oak Park Foursquare!

If you don’t follow my Haven by Design Facebook page you probably missed my LIVE video tour of Rebecca & Ryan’s new house, which is still very much in-progress. If you want a real live peek into a renovation by real humans, with full time jobs and kids and dogs, just like the rest of us {who might be thinking a renovation is too much to take on} then click here and see where they are now and learn a little more about renovations and as-is sales! I’ll share more mid-renovation pics this week, until then, have a great Sunday!…