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home prices in Chicago increasingChicago home prices continue to climb. According to recently released figures, single-family home values in the Chicago area rose more than 12-percent in January of this year compared to a year earlier.

That makes the ninth straight month of double-digit increases in home prices and the longest string in about 30 years. The data from Case-Shiller goes back to the late 1980s, and since that time there’s never been this long of a string of double-digit price increases.

Even in late 2013 and early 2014, prices only rose by the double digits for seven consecutive months. During the housing boom of the early 2000s, prices hovered around a nine percent increase for 13 months. Only once during that time did it top 10-percent.  

The news, of course, is…

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Tax Hikes Expected To Increase Apartment Rents in Chicago With large tax increases expected to impact landlords, renters in parts of Chicago should probably brace for some significant apartment rent hikes in 2022. The large tax increases are being blamed on a couple of things.

First, over the course of 2021 the entire city was reassessed. That assessment level is 10-percent of a residential property’s market value.

Landlords should expect to start seeing the assessment increases from 2021 on their property tax bill in summer of 2022. Recently, the Chicago City Council approved a budget for 2022 that includes an automatic property tax increase of more than $76 million for the first time.

Higher market-value increases on properties in Chicago means higher assessed values. Analysts are already predicting that could…

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Working From Home Housing DemandLast year was a year of changes for many, and perhaps most notably among homeowners who are now working from home. With many employers opting for remote scheduling during the duration of the pandemic, employees have started reevaluating where and how they live, and according to some statistics, nearly 40% of those workers still don’t know if they’ll be gong back to the office any time soon.

As a result, workplace flexibility has become a top priority for many of America’s workers, which not only gives them the freedom to live where they want but also an opportunity to move to a place where they’re happy and more productive.

It’s because of the new work from home phenomenon that many housing markets across the country are booming, creating serious supply…

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Things to think about before buying a Chicago home

Buying a home is an expensive investment, so make sure you go into the process prepared. Before you begin, it’s important to be able to answer these three questions:

Why is owning a home important?

To begin with, ask yourself why it’s so important for you to own a home. Sure, owning a home may be your goal, but why? According to a recent survey, Americans seek out homeownership because it provides:

  • A life milestone
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • Safety
  • Stability
  • Personal pride
  • A stake in the community

Will the low mortgage rates last?

It’s also important to have at least a partial understanding of mortgage rates. Ask if the low mortgage rates we’re seeing right now are going to last. Although we’re not expecting huge gains…

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What to expect before putting an offer in on a home

If you’re ready to make an offer on a new place to call home, you’re in for some strong competition. Housing inventory is low right now, and demand is high. That’s why you need to come into the process prepared.

Use a professional

To start with, you’ll want to make sure you have a real estate professional on your side. Local agents have the knowledge and experience to help you through the process. They’ll be able to give you some advice on making your offer look more attractive.

Get pre-approved

You also want to know from the start how much house you’re able to afford. It’s important to get with a lender and get pre-approved early on. It shows sellers you’re serious about buying a home and may even give you an edge.

Make a strong offer

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If you're a first time home buyer looking for a condo in Lincoln Park, there are lots of different possibilities to consider. So to help get your search started, we've highlighted 4 unique buildings in the Lincoln Park neighborhood that might be a perfect fit, both in terms of lifestyle AND budget.

2600 N. Southport

2600 N. Southport is an awe-inspiring brick facade condo building  in an unbeatable location. The property is close to all that Lincoln Park and the Southport Corridor have to offer, including transit, fine dining, entertainment, shopping, theater, green parks, and so much more! The property built in 1978 has only 65 units varying in size which provides exclusivity and boutique style living at its finest.

345 W Fullerton

Located at…

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Buying a home or condo with 20 percent down is easier said than done, especially in a major market like Chicago. But the good news for active home buyers is that more and more Americans are finding other ways to purchase a home that doesn’t involve spending a decade or more saving for a down payment.

According to a recent survey mentioned in Business Insider, the majority of Millennials are planning to put down less than 20 percent when buying a home in 2020, and the National Association of Realtors also found that a whopping 76 percent of Americans who bought a home in December also put down less than the previous norm of 20 percent.

There’s no doubt we’re seeing a shift in how real estate purchases are financed and if savvy home buyers can secure…

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If you’re in the market for a new home this year, there’s good news to report. The new year began with a drop in mortgage rates. Rates recently fell to their lowest level since October.

The average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate now sits at 3.69-percent. The rate drop came as buyer sentiment remained strong at the close of last year.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index comes out monthly. It hit an all-time high in 2019 and stayed close to that to finish the year.

While many people believe it’s a good time to buy, housing demand also remains high. According to CoreLogic, national home prices increase about 3.7-percent annually in late 2019.

Some economists say a drop in mortgage rates is helping support a gain in sales activity and a gain in home prices.…

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Preapproval mortgage tips Getting preapproved for a home loan can make or break your home or condo buying experience. To sellers, it’s a signal that you’re a serious buyer, and getting preapproved also helps give you a one-up over other buyers who might be interested in the same property you’re considering.

If you’re smart, you’ll start your home or condo buying experience with getting pre-approved. But before you apply, here’s a quick look at several tips to keep in mind that will also go a long way in securing the new home or condo you truly want…

Work on raising your credit score

Even if you already have a strong credit score, it doesn’t hurt to maximize it any way you can. The better your score, the better your rate.

Improve your DTI

By default, improving your…

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Chicago First Time Condo BuyingBuying your first condo in Chicago should be a fun experience, but it can also be scary and stressful too if you’re not fully prepared and put yourself in the best possible position when it comes time to make some serious decisions. So if you’re planning to be in the market for a new home or condo and also happen to be a first-time home buyer, here’s our shortlist of missteps to avoid.

Start shopping for a condo before you’ve applied for a mortgage

We get it—looking around at available condos for sale is exciting and probably the most enjoyable part of the whole home buyer process. But if you aren’t already pre-approved, chances are other buyers will be and you’ll ultimately miss out on what could be your dream place. Plus, you never really know how…

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