Sunday, February 28, 2010

When selling your home, provide a floor plan

I'm amazed how many home sellers and their representatives do not provide a property floor-plan on line (including $500,000 and up properties). I think the majority of properties on the MLS do not have a floor plan to view.

Let's just say a floor plan would be helpful. No?

As part of my listing package I have a professional floor-plan measured and converted to photo file and Pdf file (unless for some specific reason). These are put on the property brochure and uploaded to the MLS.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lincoln Park Open House: Three bedroom town home, Sunday 2/28 from12PM to 4:30PM

1806 N LarrabeeLincoln Park + Abraham Lincoln School = Great Home!

Open Sunday, February 28th from 12PM to 4:30PM.

-Three bedrooms up!
-Two and one-half baths
-Private Garage
-Huge Family Room
-Storage, Storage, Storage
-Great Elementary School


Thursday, February 25, 2010

High society for less in Gold Coast

We were in the Gold Coast yesterday "re-packaging" a vintage condo for sale at 60 E Scott. We reduced the price to $229,900, which make this a very attractive option (we think). New photos will be up at the end of next week.

Here's a few shots I took while walking the neighborhood prior to my appointment.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lincoln Park: It's all about the details for relocating clients

I'm working with clients relocating from New York City. Naturally, they will call Lincoln Park their new home in the near future. It was a very vintage Lincoln Park weekend as they stayed in the Belden-Stratford Hotel/Apartments...a perfect location on the park just steps to the lake, easy to downtown and close to top line restaurants such as North Pond, casual upscale Riccardo Trattoria, and fun family casual like R.J Grunts.

We took in this 1890s brick and limestone beauty at 435 W St. James on one of our stops. Visit the link for photos... really awesome. It is offered for rent at $3900 a month for a huge three bedroom plus den.

The glass tile on the fireplace was stunning.

Relax in the custom built den... with wet bar.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Ravenswood condo listing: 4847 N Wolcott asking $269,900 and steps to Metra

It's one goal of mine to help as many of my Ravenswood neighbors list and sell their properties. My partner and I are about to roll out several new, very affordable listings this early spring. Check out another neighbor's condo for sale at the photos and links below.

4847 N Wolcott Unit G, Asking 269,900

Features include:
Two bedrooms
Two baths
True dining
Master Suite with walk-in closet and master bath
Exterior storage and bike area
Massive kitchen with extra freezer

Call/email for more details on an MLS listing sheet or a showing.

Modern lobby at Lake Point Tower; 505 N Lake Shore Drive

We visited friends the other night at 505 Lake Shore Drive and sat for a moment in the remodeled lobby. I love this building and recently represented a buyer on a nice deal here. What fun.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Realtor Eric Rojas appears on HGTV House Hunters; Monday February 22nd at 9PM

In case you missed it the first time, I'll be on HGTV's House Hunters this Monday February 22nd at 9PM Central time. Check your local listings for your HGTV station.

It was hard work coordinating the sites with the production crew, lining up properties for filming, getting releases and making sure there were no delays to affect filming. However, it was also really fun and a terrific experience working with the director and crew.

Thanks again Kurt and Kelley for being such great clients! You looked awesome on the show. And thanks to my family and clients for helping me to the TOP 5% of all Chicago Realtors in 2009!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Three Wilmette single family home deals under $500K

Want a family house but can't bear leaving the city? Don't have a million bucks laying around? Wilmette may offer the best bang for the buck on the North Shore in 2010... not too far from the city, close to Evanston's down town, close to the lake and a top school system all for under $500,000? It can be a great move-in ready house. And yes, well east of the Edens Expressway!

Here's my favorite and best located four bedroom home closings in the last six months that may have made us jump ship.

529 Pinecrest: Closed at $417,000

702 Illinois: Closed at $441,000

2722 Birchwood: Closed at $492,000

If you are genuinely interested in purchasing a single family home in Wilmette for under $500,000, please contact me about these closings and to view available homes for sale.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tough day house hunting

Ryne was a sucker for house hunting in Norwood Park...

...while Molli crashed in Sauganash.

Are mortgage rates going up soon?

Did I scare you yet?

The Federal reserve (Fed) has confirmed their position that it will most likely stop purchasing mortgage backed securities at the end of March. The FED has been buying the securities since January 2009 which kept the housing market from sinking to lower levels than it has. Because of the Fed's actions interest rates have been held at historic lows during a very critical time for the housing industry. With the FED backing out of securities business there is no question that rates will begin to rise, but to what extent?

Most experts are trying to decide how much the rates will increase. Using the 30 year conforming rate as the guide we're hearing anywhere from 5.75% - 6% and fairly quickly. Most experts expect the rates to fluctuate between these two points through the fall and then another potential increase after that. Regardless, rates will begin to go higher and soon.

Here is what we do know; Interest rates today are GREAT, housing prices are lower than in years and the government is proving tax credit incentives for first time home buyers as well as qualified move up buyers. If you're in the market for a purchase this year I would strongly consider moving a little sooner than later to take advantage of today's great rates. I would not however, make a decision to stretch on a property and payment that isn't right for you due to incentives alone. As always, make sure you stay in your financial comfort zone.

Home Mortgage Consultant Kenneth B. Dickerson can be reached at:
RWF Mortgage, LLC
MAC M3241-011
2663 N. Halsted Street
773.572.6540 Tel

Best single family home deal in Old Irving Park

4043 N Kenneth in Old Irving Park is a great value at the asking price of $450,000 considering all the important updates. Trust me, I'm a professional.

My wife and I checked out this single family home for sale in Old Irving Park last Sunday. It looked like a nice deal online and we were not disappointed.

It's a tough gig to get a real solid, updated move-in family home in Old Irving Park for under $500K... that's not up against the highway of course. A middle residential block location well off the busier streets is very desirable.

We generally like mid-century modern designed homes but both of us recognized the charm of this place. Every room was bright and functional. The kitchen extension was terrific. We loved the space. The asking price of this true four bedroom house would allow us to make further improvements... such as adding a large bath for the two bedrooms on the top floor. The lack of a top floor bathroom is really the only minus to this home at it's asking price. If there were a master-type bath up there, asking would be closer to $489K.

The top two reasons to leave our tricked out duplex? Yard and garage!

For some reason, we don't give Old Irving Park the regular looks that I do Sauganash or even the North Shore in Wilmette. Old Irving Park would make the most sense for my career (easy drive to all the neighborhoods I work in) and it's pretty easy on my wife's commute to Lincoln Park (and soon, she may be taking the train downtown). The amosphere is just not quite doing it for us yet... to jump to the single family home, we may need a little more leafy, winding road seclusion that I feel in the above mentioned areas. The schools are a little bit of an issue for us as well (depending on purchase price of the home, we'd go private in this location).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Reading Chair

An essential to any sophisticated home; the reading chair. Even if you're "reading" a coloring book.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Single family home sales in Ravenswood Manor

Rare recent new construction goes prairie style in Ravenswood Manor...fits right in!

Here's a few representative single family home shots along West Wilson Avenue in Ravenswood Manor after an early winter dusting. I would love to be out in the neighborhood today taking photos with the sun illuminating and the terrific contrast of the tile roofs and white snow.

About 8 single family homes have sold over the last 6 months in the Ravenswood Manor borders... with a low of $392,000 for a two bedroom home (not bad shape!) up to $1,375,000 for a new construction, fully "green" home at 2924 W Wilson. There is a dilapidated brick bungalow on the river under contract now for $325K... remains to be seen what the final sale will be on that, but it's a big project to bring up to neighborhood standards. A wonderful historical estate (where Charlie Chaplain once lived according to the Internet) is the only home to close so far in 2010 for $1,340,00.

Gingerbread House!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow man looks at Ravenswood Gardens real estate sales

Ravenswood Gardens pricing has stayed pretty stable during the past five years. Some of this can be attributed to the buzz of popular Waters Elementary. It's a small, but distinct, area. Let's take a look.

Only three single family homes have traded hands in the last 12 months in Ravenswood Gardens (4400 North to 4800 North and 2400 West to the Chicago River).
-2444 W Eastwood for $375,000 (small,dated, backed up to the train).
-4715 N Campbell for $600,000 (This look like a great deal on a large converted two flat).
-4737 N Rockwell for $672,500 (Very attractive home, beautiful lot... the Zillow link has the price wrong).

Condos can very greatly here... from a $160,000 two bedrooms garden unit (at the bottom, no pun intended) to a $465,000 three bedrooms top floor new construction home at the top of the market for the last 12 months. 40 transactions took place in the Gardens over the past year.

Special vibe in Ravenswood Gardens

Notice the "RG" for Ravenswoods Gardens!

It still surprises me how many "Chicagoans" and anonymous Internet pundits have no idea that Ravenswood Gardens and Ravenswood Manor exists... let alone being a very desirable area to live. It waaaaaay far from the "City". Is it even in the City? You have to pass Western (gulp)!? If you like tree-lined streets, rivers, cute local businesses, interesting architecture and great neighbors... oh and transportation, well, check it out.

Just west of the popular Lincoln Square retail and dining district, Ravenswood Gardens runs from North Western Avenue to the Chicago River (2400 West to 2600 West) and West Montrose to West Lawrence (4400 North to 4800 North). Not a huge area, but it's picked up by four square blocks of Ravenswood Manor at the Chicago River going west to Sacramento (2600 West to 3000 West) and again Montrose to Lawrence.

Here's a few shots in Ravenswood Gardens on a sunny Wednesday morning. Recent clients offered on a home on North Rockwell Street.

A river runs through it...

Cute tudoresque homes perfectly framed by the snow.

The real estate here was mostly built prior to World War II... almost no new construction!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No (snow) stopping our Lakeview town home hunt

Our diligence has paid off. Tuesday night's blizzard did not stop us from seeing a town home on it's first day listed. The client's offered on the place that night... and it was accepted.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Lincoln Park Open House: Town home in Lincoln School District, Mid-Century Modern flair

1806 N Larrabee, Lincoln Park, Chicago

Asking $529,900
Open House Saturday 2/6/10 12PM to 4PM

I'll be hosting an open house for our new listing on Saturday 2/6/10 from Noon until 4PM. We already have over a dozen inquries for showings this first week, so the open house will be very busy. Traffic for homes in the best Chicago elementary school distrcts, and for three bedroom homes in general, has been really outstanding.

View more photos and 360 degree shots here:

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Howe('d) they do that? 2002 N Howe, Lincoln Park staged and sold

Here's an example of an outdated, but beautiful vintage, Lincoln park condo staged and sold. As Realtors, my group makes recommendations for repairs and staging homes prior to selling. We handle the whole process and actual stage the home too... relatively "cheaply"!

This two bedrooms plus den, two baths home was staged and sold less than two months market time in the tough summer market of 2009.

Before in the bedrooms...


Click the link for all the photos here: