Chicago Real Estate News & Neighborhood Notes

Streetcars to Museum Campus in Chicago

If you've ever been to the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, or even Chicago's famed Solider Field, chances are you found it somewhat difficult to even make it over to Museum Campus, let alone find parking, avoid congestion, and eventually find an easy way out.  

Earlier this week, Curbed Chicago reiterated Mayor Rahm Emanuel's desire to make it easier for tourists and locals alike to visit one downtown Chicago's top attractions, highlighting a unique and interesting proposal from a group called the Chicago Streetcar Renaissance.  

The idea, of course, revolves around brining back one of the primary forms of public transportation in major cities all over the world back in the 20th century—the Streetcar. Although the idea may sound a bit

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The World's 50 Best Bars

If you've lived in Chicago for any extended period of time, you probably already know how special the drinking and dining scene here can be, especially in neighborhoods like River North and the West Loop. Every now and then however, it's nice to see some of our local establishments get national, and even international, attention from renowned publications and media outlets—even if such accolades are somewhat arbitrary and subjective.   

Earlier this week, two of downtown Chicago's newer hotspots in Three Dots and a Dash and The Aviary were honored with a spot on The World's 50 Best Bars rankings—a list that’s voted on by a group of more than 300 cocktail industry professionals from all over the globe.  

Now in its 6th year, the annual

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Home Buying Truths | Chicago Real Estate

Last week we covered a number of different myths and false ideas relating to today's difficult and complex home buying process. Today however, we're offering one particular tip to home buyers that's absolutely true, and perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give, should you be in the market for a new home or condo in downtown Chicago.  

With so much information readily available online, searching available homes and MLS listings in the Chicago area really couldn’t be much easier. But while browsing through the dozens of property listings that may fit your individual criteria for a new place, remember that educating you about current market conditions, as well as what it takes to make an offer and secure a home you like is not only

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Home Buying Myths: Buying Real Estate Guarantees Appreciation

While it’s true the real estate market has bounced back in many parts of the country, including downtown Chicago, the housing landscape is certainly much different than it was just a decade ago. Prior to the credit crisis that started around 2008, homes in many parts of the U.S. were seeing appreciation rates of roughly 15% year-over-year, and in some cases, even higher.
 
Even in a recovering market, home values still aren’t dramatically increasing like they used to back in the 90s and early 2000s. With so much information available to today’s consumers, tracking home values and market statistics has become much easier for potential home buyers, making it much harder to skew a home’s value one way or the other.
 
In addition, home buyers aren’t staying put

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Home Buying Myths

In recent months, there’s been a fairly substantial increase in cash buyers and big-time investors buying up real estate all over the country, especially in larger cities like Chicago. For a lot of first-time buyers, hearing this kind of chatter can sometimes be discouraging and often lead to the assumption that if they have to secure a mortgage, they won’t be able to compete for the same properties.
 
There’s no doubt this influx of cash buyers has kept some would-be home buyers from ultimately making that leap from renting to home ownership, but if you’re someone who is still considering buying a home, it’s important to realize that cash isn’t always king in the real estate game.
 
The first thing you need to know is that cash buyers almost always expect

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Home Buying Myth: A Home Buyer Must Put 20% Down

We’ve all heard various claims about buyers needing at least 20% down in order to secure a loan for their new home or condo, and traditionally, this has more or less been the case. But like most things, the mortgage industry has changed significantly over the years, and as home values have continued to rise in recent years, the need for innovative and creative loan products has drastically increased.
 
A number of government-backed loans, such as those from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for example, allow for as little as 3% down, but can be somewhat more difficult to secure. Borrowers with a strong credit and income history are eligible for a FHA loan, but there’s certainly a few extra layers of terms and conditions before such loans are

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Home Buying Myths Explained

When it comes to buying a new home, an inspection can sometimes make or break any chances of getting a final deal completed. Many buyers will go into a negotiation thinking the seller has left room on the table for future price negotiations after the home or condo has been inspected, therefore assuming they too should also leave a little bit of wiggle room when first presenting an offer.  In theory, this approach might seem somewhat logical, but in reality, it’s one of the most common ways to lose out on a home you may really want.

Despite common assumptions about sellers, most go through all the necessary motions of getting their home or condo in tip-top-shape before going to market, helping ensure any possible transaction will go as smoothly as

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Home Buying Myths Explained: Myth 3-Spring & Fall Are The Best Times to Buy

Although the Chicago real estate market has traditionally been more active during the spring and fall seasons, that doesn’t necessarily mean those are the best times to buy if you’re in the market for a new home or condo. Prior to the days of the internet, activity surrounding the real estate market revolved around the school year, as most serious home buyers wanted to buy in the spring, move in the summer, and be all settled into their new home before school started back up in the fall.

In today’s home buying landscape however, so much more information is readily available online, and shopping for a new Chicago home can be done at any time of the day from the convenience of your own couch, resulting in more serious home buyers always being in the

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Homy Buying Myths - Chicago Real Estate

In a real estate market as active as downtown Chicago’s, it’s nearly impossible for home buyers to have an across-the-board strategy when it’s time to submit an offer. One common misconception buyers have about the home buying process is that full price should never be offered under any circumstances, which can often lead to those particular buyers missing out on a home or condo they really want.

One thing that’s important to recognize when making an offer is that market conditions are always changing, and how you go about submitting your offer should be based on a number of different factors that solely relate to the current state of the market, as well as each individual property.

In a hot sellers’ market for example, prices of homes and condos in

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Gold Coast Realty Home Buying Myths

In a world where so much information is accessible and available online, some home buyers mistakenly feel that the role of a buyer’s agent has greatly diminished. With photos and information relating to nearly every MLS listing now readily available on the internet, it’s easy to overlook how valuable a buyer’s agent can be during the long and sometimes complex home buying process.

Regardless of what some home buyers believe, the role of a buyer’s agent was never solely about getting home buyers access to home or condo that’s listed on the market. Instead, savvy home buyers should treat a buyer’s agent as a valuable resource who knows and understands the local real estate market, is aware of all the nearby comps, and can use superior negotiating skills

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