Where Should Buying a Home Fit in Finance Priorities

Buying a home, especially homes for sale in Gold Coast, is a big up-front cost. Over time, Gold Coast Chicago real estate home ownership will save you money compared with the costs of renting an apartment or condo. When deciding to work with a Gold Coast Chicago realtor, rethink your financial priorities before you go house-hunting.

Setting a budget

First, evaluate your finances. Talk with your local bank about mortgage pre-approval. When you know the amount of personal and mortgage funds you can access, you can set a budget for homebuying and determine what level of risk you want to take on with a mortgage.

How much your Gold Coast Chicago real estate should be a financial priority

This largely depends on your life circumstances, personal preferences, and the size of your family. In general, plan to budget for these expenses before you take on a mortgage:

  • Current debts such as student loans or credit card bills
  • Savings for the future, e.g. retirement and rainy day funds
  • Cost of having/planning for children (including college costs)
  • Insurance (life, health, liability, auto)

These expenses represent everyday and future planning necessities. Once you can afford these, youre ready to commit to a monthly mortgage payment.

To find out more, contact us today.

Jeanine McShea Joins Related Realty as Vice President-Managing Broker

Jeanine Black and White headshot

It is with much pride that we announce Jeanine McShea, a veteran of Chicago’s real estate market, has joined Related Realty as vice president-managing broker. Jeanine will be drawing on her 25 years of experience in the industry as she oversees our operations, manages our broker team and leads our recruitment and training programs. Read more about Jeanine, her background and her new role with our firm in this article from Chicago Agent Magazine.

Welcome to the team Jeanine!

Related Realty Celebrates First Anniversary with Top-Producing Team

We are incredibly proud to mark an exciting milestone for Related Realty this spring: the first anniversary of our launch in March 2013. In the last year, we’ve brought together an incredible team of market-leading brokers who are experts in Chicago real estate, and established a unique culture based in elevating the residential brokerage experience for clients and agents alike. Looking ahead, we’re eager to continue to growth as we deliver an unprecedented level of service to our clients. Read more about our first-year accomplishments in this story from Chicago Agent Magazine, and also check out photos from our anniversary celebration below!

What to Look for When Choosing a Home in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago, can be a great place to live. The area has one of the best 100 high schools in the United States and has some great tourist attractions such as Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago History Museum and various well known restaurants and music venues.

While there are plenty of homes for sale in Lincoln Park Chicago, finding the right one can be a challenge. Following are three points to consider when choosing which exact part of this suburban area is best to live in.


Safety is paramount when choosing a home. While this part of Chicago has been rated as being exceptionally livable, some areas of town are safer than others. If possible, choose a home that is located in close proximity to a police station and/or fire station, doing so will not only help keep your family safe but also lower home insurance costs.

Proximity to Work/School

Proximity to work and/or school should also be considered when choosing a home. Gas prices are on the rise, so choosing a home that requires only a short commute could save you a lot of money in the long run.


Cost is yet another important factor to consider. Lincoln Park Chicago real estate is pricey; even so, some areas are pricier than others. Go over your budget carefully to ensure that you are not spending more than you can afford.

Buying a home is a big investment, which is why working with an experienced and competentLincoln Park Chicago realtor is always a good idea. If you have questions, need assistance or simply want to look over your options, feel free to give us a call.

Differences Between Buying a Home and Buying a Condo

Anyone interested in purchasing Chicago real estate will want to know the nuances of various types of property, such as condos and houses. Many professionals enjoy the convenience of condo ownership, which has some significant advantages.

Property Ownership

Single family houses include exclusive property ownership rights to the interior and exterior of the structure and the land between the boundaries. Chicago condo ownership is limited to exclusive ownership of the property within the structural walls of the condo unit. Common areas in the buildings and on the grounds are maintained through the homeowners’ association.

Repair Responsibility

Yard maintenance and external building maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowners’ association. All owners pay annual dues to cover these costs, such as property insurance and annual upkeep. Cleanliness of the common areas falls within the responsibility of the HOA. Issues are addressed through prescribed channels.


Homeowners have the freedom to modify any aspect of the structure or yard within the terms of zoning ordinances. In stark contrast, the condo owner must comply with covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs set forth by the homeowners’ association. Noncompliance with these rules will not be tolerated. Even interior changes to the condo can be limited to the terms in the contract.

An experienced Chicago realtor will guide the interested buyer through the choice between various condo property CC&Rs, by-laws and articles of incorporation. Owners will want to find the agreement that is suited to enjoying the property while retaining the property value for future resale.

To find out more about condo ownership, contact our Chicago real estate office today!

5 Signs Its Time To Sell Your Home

While you shouldnt sell until youre ready for making a move, there are some common signs that the market can support your efforts. Watch out for these five indicators its a good time to sell Gold Coast Chicago real estate.

Receding Inventory Levels

Check local inventory reports and try to hold off until the number of homes for sale in Gold Coastshrinks back to get a quick buyer.

Out Of Space

When you find out youre expecting a third child and your current two already share a room, its likely time to make a sales listing.

Renovation Nation

Someone else may find the idea of replacing the flooring and restoring the ceilings quite attractive. Dont be afraid to offload an older home in need of repairs to a younger couple ready to renovate.

Neighbors Moving In

If you asked a Gold Coast Chicago realtor for a quiet property on the edge of the city a decade or more ago, you may now lie well within the metro area. Move back out once again with a timely sale.

Empty Rooms

Too much space after adult children move out is another indicator its time to switch houses. Get rid of those empty bedrooms and find a place that fits.

No matter what signs are prompting you to consider selling, contact us today to discuss your options for buying and selling real estate in the Chicago area.