There’s More Than One Kind of Renovation

I’ve always imagined buying an old old house that needed a complete gut renovation and diving in headfirst. I’ve never really considered any other kind of project. It would be an old house that hadn’t been updated or kept up for decades, and I would overhaul the whole space. That’s a pretty big project to undertake, even for an architect. And it’s a huge project to undertake as your first go round renovating a space on your own. That is most certainly still a dream of mine, and it will happen, but I think that dream is a little further…

Real Estate ~ The Weirdest Investment

I don’t really think real estate is a weird investment, not in a bad way anyway. But I do think it’s unique and unusual in the way that it’s our largest investment, and it’s really the only one that we can actually touch, feel, be inside, experience, and grow emotionally attached to. I mean, I guess you can be emotionally attached to your stock portfolio, but definitely not in the same way that people get attached to their house. People’s homes are their safety, their shelter, their haven from the outside world. It’s only natural that we have an emotional connection…

If I could buy anything ~ vintage highrise edition

There are so many amazing places that I would happily buy. So welcome to the first of who knows how many ~ If I could buy anything ~ posts. . . today’s debut edition is all about the vintage highrise {drool!!} Guys, Chicago has some AHMAZING vintage buildings, but one specific type that I’ve always been completely crazy in love with are the vintage high-rises. Seriously, breathtaking, stop you in your tracks beautiful, outside and in. The rooms are huge, I take that back, they are normal sized, you know, from the days when you had a dining room and a living room… and…

Sellers: Your Fall to-do list

The real estate market right now is great for sellers no matter what time of year it is. There continue to be far fewer properties than buyers, even during traditionally slower times of the year. But even in a market where it feels like you just can’t lose, the spring still remains the busiest and most ideal time of the year to sell your house. If you are considering selling your house next spring, there are some important things you need to get started on now. It might seem like you have plenty of time {it’s only September!}, but we…

Buying a Condo? Ten things you should know.

If you are a first time buyer and are considering buying a condo {if you are in Chicago that’s probably you!} congrats! Buying your first place is exciting {and sometimes stressful and terrifying}, it’s a big deal for sure. As a condo owner specifically, there are some important things to be aware of. I came across an article from the Chicago Tribune and thought it was a great resource, especially for first time buyers. Here are the top 10 facts you should know when buying a Condominium: Assessments Each condo unit owner pays monthly assessments to the association. These assessments…

But the stairs are gross | a cautionary tale to condo owners…

I was recently giving a client of mine a little bit of a hard time because she was completely dismissing a potential property because the carpet on the stairs in the main part of the building was old and overdue for replacement {kind of gross looking if we’re being honest… definitely less than fresh}. I teased her for being too picky, but she was onto something even if she didn’t realize it. How a building maintains it’s common spaces says something about how it approaches maintenance and upkeep in general. One challenge in living in a condo building is that you…

The Curse of the Cancelled Deal

Having a deal fall apart is kind of like the real estate version of the Scarlet letter. It’s a black mark that is most often perceived by other potential buyers {and agents} as a warning sign of something being wrong with the building or space that came up during the inspection. Back. Away. Slowly. But does a cancelled deal always mean that something is wrong with the building? In today’s market low inventory and high demand, it’s not always fair {or accurate} to assume that a cancelled deal means a big red flag. Yes, it very well might, but there…

Small Changes, Big Transformation

I love seeing the transformation of a space pre and post-renovation. And of course it’s always super fun to see a space that needs a major space lift and be able to go in and change everything. But you don’t always need to rip everything out and start over from scratch in order to have a big transformation within a space. Sometimes just some small adjustments  can make a huge difference, and lucky for you I just worked on this exact type of space! Here we started with an underwhelming condo, with a layout and size that worked, but bad real-estate beige…

How to be Successful as a Buyer

More contracts were written on properties this January than in the past nine Januaries. We’re still a few months away from spring, {or maybe not since it was 70 degrees in Chicago this weekend!} and it’s already very busy… I don’t know for sure, but right now it feels like there are even fewer places on the market than last year, or maybe there are just more early year buyers… either way, it means it’s even more competitive for buyers. That’s great for property values which continue to climb, but it can be really discouraging for people who want to buy a property and…

Sellers, let’s talk family photos

I’m in the middle of reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Part of the message is that you can’t have room for the new things, until you’ve gotten rid of the old things. Personally I think this is 100% true, but man it can be such a deal to let go of the old stuff! Am i right?! This could be happening in any area of your life, but few things epitomize this struggle better than the dreaded family photos in a property for sale. Especially when they are really big… and mounted in a very prominent place, like over the fireplace…