What’s New in the Chicago Real Estate Market

chicago-real-estate-chartHomes for sale in Chicago have risen in value when comparing home prices now versus last year, but the rise is a modest 10.8 percent. Condominiums have done slightly better at 16 percent, but for many this is a restoration of value that saw big plummets earlier in 2013. Many will take the news for what it is, positive progress, albeit a slow one.

Median pricing for properties varies considerably by location, no surprise, sitting in a current range of $229,000, up from $195,000 a year ago. From an inventory perspective, the number of listings has increased since the beginning of the year, with a 5 percent jump over February 2014. That said, part of the picture still includes the same level of foreclosures and distressed sales as well.

With the weather warming and Spring arriving, many in Chicago are gearing up for the prime Chicago real estate season again, with the buyers coming out as the weather warms and summer arrives in a few months. The hope is that the current gains stick and continue to move upward, with “moderating gains” as the national experts like to say.

In terms of buyer types, Millennials are being seen as the major players for 2014. So sellers should be gearing their inventory to this group as the predominant market for the Chicago area.

Overall, the current picture looks positive for a Chicago realtor as well as buyers and sellers. How the market sustains itself through the year will be key to further progress.

Chicago Agents Snapshot Broker, Erin Ward

No two Chicago neighborhoods are alike, and that’s precisely why Related Realty broker Erin Ward loves her job. Chicago Agent recently profiled Erin for its “Agent Snapshot” series, and Erin talks about her experiences as a member of the sales team for Related’s South Loop Luxury condo collection. In the piece, Erin also shares how she went from a wannabe FBI agent to a real estate broker and reflects on her first real estate deal (with some very familiar clients). You can check out the full story here. And if youre considering renting or buying a home in Chicago, be sure to reach out to Erin or one of our other experienced Related Realty brokers to learn more about the Chicago real estate market and all that the citys neighborhoods have to offer.

Real Estate: Wild West

It’s no secret the West Loop is one of Chicago’s hottest areas. With an influx of new businesses attracting professionals who want a neighborhood where they can live, work and play, its not a surprise this neighborhood continues to grow. The Chicago Sun-Times Splash explored the West Loop’s real estate possibilities in its latest issue and highlighted Related Realty broker Juany Honeycutt’s listing at 106 N. Aberdeen. Juanys property provides a terrific example of the authentic loft style the neighborhood is known for. Check out the story here, and if you have questions about West Loop Chicago condos for sale or Chicago real estate in any of this city’s great neighborhoods, contact one of our expert Related Realty brokers.

Understanding Real Estate Terminology

chicago-real-estate-termsThinking about moving to Chicago? If so, know that youll be moving to one of the best cities in the world. Alive with entertainment 24/7 and full of great jobs, Chicago is a great city to relocate to.

When you start your search for a home in the Windy City, youll find it easier to pick out the best residence when you acquire services from a professional Chicago realtor. Whether youre looking for a three-story home or Chicago condos, a realtor can help you find the perfect place. A realtor can also help you understand real estate lingo.

Appraisal: When you find a home that you are interested in purchasing, before a bank will lend you a mortgage loan, you will first have to get it appraised, meaning an assessment will be carried out to determine the true value of the home. Much of the assessment will take into consideration homes that are nearby.

Foreclosure: When a person defaults on his or her home loan for an extended period of time, the bank will eventually foreclose the home, meaning it will take possession of the home. As a result, it will generally try to sell the home for a much lower price than what its actually worth. Foreclosed homes are great investment opportunities.

Private Mortgage Insurance: If you take out a loan to purchase your home and you owe more than 80 percent of the total loan value, you will most likely be required to pay private mortgage insurance. In the event that you default on the loan, protection is provided to the lender for the financial loss.

Happy St. Patricks Day Chicago!

Happy St. Patricks Day, Chicago! As we all know, Chicago is the place to be in America on this most Irish of holidays. In fact, its often been said that everyone in Chicago is Irish on March 17 (the date on which the holiday falls every year). The city certainly goes out of its way to make this true.

This is a day when the city comes together to celebrate. Theres something to appeal to everyone of all ages, too. Its not just about drinking, as some people might believe. In Chicago, St. Patricks Day is a family-friendly holiday that everyone can enjoy. Have you ever wanted to see an entire river turned a lucky leprechaun green in color? You can see it when the Chicago River is dyed green on St. Patricks Day each year. Kids love it!

There is also the famous Chicago St. Patricks Day Parade, followed by the St. Patricks Day festival. Both events have Irish music, dancing, gifts, and food available and are must-attend events with locals. They also draw in a large number of visitors to the Windy City each year.

However youre planning to celebrate St. Patricks Day in Chicago this year, keep your Chicago realtor in mind. Your realtor can help you find the perfect homes for sale in Chicago that will allow you the easiest access to St. Patricks Day events while maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere. Theres plenty of Chicago real estate available that is perfect for families with children. To find out more, contact us today!

Congratulations to the Related Realty Top Producers!

We had a great time celebrating their success last night at the annual Chicago Association of Realtors® sales awards. The event was hosted by CAR at The Drake hotel and was sponsored by Related’s South Loop Luxury and our lending partner, Wintrust Mortgage. Congratulations to our ten Related Realty agents who were named 2013 Top Producers!

We are incredibly proud of the Related Realty team and their dedication to providing the highest level of client satisfaction. To schedule a meeting with one of our agents, contact us today. The Related Realty team looks forward to fulfilling your real estate needs.

“Your Guide to St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago”

One of the many perks to living in the great city of Chicago is taking advantage of the exciting events that take place in the city each weekend. This is especially true around holidays like St. Patricks Day, when the Second City transforms into the Emerald City for a few days in March each year. From the green river to green beer and a rich Irish heritage to back it all up Chicago has become the go-to destination for St. Paddys Day revelers. Panning to take part in this years festivities? Here are five events you wont want to miss:

Irish Pubs of Chicago Trolley Tour Thursday, March 13, 7 p.m.

Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.

Take a trolley to some of Chicagos famed Irish pubs, where a tavern historian will discuss the history of each establishment and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Chicago River Dyeing/Downtown Parade Saturday, March 15

Catch the annual dyeing of the Chicago River at 10 a.m., followed by the St. Patricks Day Parade at noon. The event starts at Balbo and runs north on Columbus to Monroe.

St. Patricks Day Cruise Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave

Learn how the Irish helped shape modern-day Chicago on this 90-minute cruise of the (freshly dyed) Chicago River. Each tour features a cash bar and traditional Irish buffet with favorites like corned beef and cabbage and bread pudding.

South Side Irish St. Patricks Day Parade Sunday, March 16, 12 p.m.

Celebrate the Irish heritage of Chicagos Beverly neighborhood with this South Side tradition. The parade steps off at 103rd and runs south along Western to 115th.

St. Patricks Day Festival Saturday, March 15 to Monday, March 17

Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave.

Enjoy live music, dancing, food and childrens activities on Saturday, followed by more family-friendly fun on Monday. Adults can also stop by Sunday for a pint, live music and a traditional Irish menu (21 and over only).

Be sure to check these out and some of the other exciting events taking place around the city this month as you explore all that Chicago real estate has to offer. You can also visit our neighborhood page to familiarize yourself with different parts of the city. Connect with one of our experienced Related Realty brokers if you have any questions about buying or selling a home this spring. Happy St. Patricks Day!