August Activities!

August may be when Summer is wrapping up, but it’s also a fun time to get out and explore our awesome city.  Check out our August events highlights below!

August 2-19 sounds like a fun time for adults to relive the classic, and kids to enjoy live! Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure  is on our list for sure...Experience your favorite children’s story with a performance that looks like fun for the family! ($25)

Edge Fest August 4 - 5, Experience local bands, food and art near north Broadway.

August 11 8 P.M. is a pretty cool one...Check out The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show If you want to relive Whitney’s greatest hits will a full ensemble dance crew, be sure to check this one out! ($18)

Ginza Holiday  August 10 – 12 Experience traditional Japanese culture through dance, martial arts, drumming, bonsai, craftsmen at work, sushi, and teriyaki at Midwest Buddhist Temple (Donation only).

Chicago Air & Water Show  August 18 - 19, Love to see planes and jets doing daredevil stunts and other aerial demonstrations? See it from the waterfront near North Avenue Beach. Free!

For some great music, eats and drinks, check out August 19th for the South Shore Festival.


Midnight Circus in the Parks Aug 31 - Sep 2 Mckinley Park   Family Circus fun at a great price ($5)!

From the Big Easy to the Big City

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This adorable family of 4 (2 pups included) came to us with a goal to find a balance of somewhere in the city, with plenty of green space and square footage.  Since they were relocating, we started virtually and narrowed things down from there. 

They were so laid-back and kind through the process but were also quick decision-makers which expedited the process.  They also had purchased before (they were selling their home in New Orleans at the same time as house-hunting in Chicago), so the understood the in-and-outs of buying a home pretty well from the get-go. 

When buyers come to us from out of town, usually they pick a couple of days to visit and we line up a ton of showings to make sure they get the "lay of the land" and can see a variety of properties.  We saw everything from single-family homes in Avondale, to Oak Park mini-mansions, to condos and townhomes - they decided a walkable location in the city mattered most to them so we landed on a gorgeous 3 bedroom condo in one of the best areas in Lakeview. It's always fun to get to know clients this way, as when you spend 8-10 hours together exploring the city, it's always a good time!

Hardwood floors, an open-concept and spacious living area and a peaceful street that's still close-to-it-all was the winner.  We couldn't be happier for Rachael & Chris and are so grateful we got to be with them on this journey!

Top July Festivals 2018

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We only get a few month's of festival weather here in Chi-town, so getting out to enjoy a couple of them should be on everyone's to-do list who likes live music, good eats and drinks and everything else that comes along with the festival scene.  We've rounded up our top picks for festivals this July, with links to each one below.  Happy Fest Season!

JULY 4TH: NAVY PIER ; if you want a fun activity to watch the fireworks for not too much more than you would pay for parking at Navy Pier, try the FIREWORKS PADDLE ($69) which is sure to be a fun and unique experience! 

JULY 11-15: Taste of Chicago, Grant Park - prices can add up quickly for the "tasting" sized items, but we've never had a bad food there and it's a good time...it's usually pretty packed, but lawn seating for the concerts is free which is a huge plus if you're just wanting to stop by for a little. 

July 13-15: Windy City Smokeout is a MUST if you're a Country music fan.  This year's line-up includes Brett Young, Brett Eldredge, and Brothers Osborne - not the biggest well-known artists, but all amazing in their own rights!

July 14-15: Roscoe Village Burger Fest - Twelve of the city's restaurants will be competing for the best burger, and there's plenty of live music and a kids zone too!

July 14-15: Southport Art & Music Fest - Plenty of art, music and food to go around. 

July 20-22: Pitchfork Music Festival, Union Park is featuring Lauryn Hill and Fleet Foxes, among the headliners and compared to other festivals it's relatively a good price in terms of 3-day passes ($175). 

July 20-22: Taste of River North has some fun bands lined up (Rod Tuffcurls & the Benchpress is one of our fave local bands) and it's always got food for every palette. 

July 21-22: Chicago Craft Beer Fest, Lincoln Park features over 70 craft beers to sample, and is $35 for 15 tickets - each ticket gets you one sample of 3 oz. of beer (advance purchase; at the door is $40). 

July 21-22: Sheffield Music Fest & Garden Walk - two stages for music, plenty of eats/drinks and self-guided tours of over 100 gardens and select garden tours with guides. 

July 27-29: Wicker Park Fest was once dubbed "Chicago's best street fest of the Summer" and features over 50 bands on 4 stages, a kids area, local arts and crafts and more. 

 

 

Relocating via FaceTime

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Jamaal & Stequita were so energetic, fun and we are looking forward to double-dates in their new home that, thanks to technology, we toured via FaceTime!  

It was a journey that took us from the city, to Oak Park, and then back once they realized they wanted to be close to their new Doctor jobs (yes, they are two smart cookies and both doctors!).  We had fun touring several homes when they were in-town, and they just didn't find the perfect home that worked out for them.  So, fast-forward to a couple weeks after where we are offering on this new-construction home (um, do you see that KITCHEN?!) and it offers the space, proximity to the city and the features they wanted!  Plus, they are within walking distance to Kuma's Corner (dangerous...).  

Sometimes you CAN have your cake and "eat it too" and these two also got some of Chicago's finest cake creators on their closing date (Nothing Bundt Cakes, yummmm), which was actually the FIRST time they saw their home with their own eyes.  Fortunately, they loved it just as much as they did via FaceTime and we couldn't be more joyful for this fun-loving couple and their cute pup! 

Only Old Town

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Jill was referred to us by a dear friend of ours, and we knew from the get-go she was a woman who knows what she wants!  We quickly narrowed her neighborhoods down, and since she was already familiar with the city, she zoned in on Old Town.  We checked out a few properties that she liked, but when she walked into this property, her eyes lit up and we knew we would be offering soon. 

We landed her this condo for a great price and she plans to put her personal touches on it (paint, etc.) and we can't wait to see it when it's done!  This fun chica now has a new home and it's plenty big for entertaining (see you soon at the house-warming party Jill!). 

First-time's a charm

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Ali started her search early on - she came to us about a year out, which suited her perfectly since she looked into every property we sent her, understood what her criteria could get her and her likes/dislikes.  By the time we got her pre-approved for a mortgage and she was ready-to-go, she found her home almost immediately!

Sometimes, you just know when the property is a good fit for you and this property had it all: brand-new updates, hardwood floors, plenty of closet space and a great area.  We couldn't be happier for her and her adorable self!

Market Update: June 2018

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"Where is the market headed?" .... "What's going on, are we still in a Seller's market?"...

We seem to get asked these questions almost daily, so here are 3 quick food-for-thoughts:

-The market is still a Seller's market as of now but shifting.  What that means is we are in a low-inventory market still, and buyers are struggling to see a huge number of properties hit the market...however, we are slowly increasing the number of inventory available.  Right now, on today's date, we are at about 4 months of inventory available.  Real estate data experts state that once a market hits 6 months or more of inventory available that it is a Buyer's market.  

-Chicago is still at record-high for the last several years in terms of the dollar amount properties are selling for (at this time last year, prices were about 2.5% lower).  

-What we are seeing change slightly (and very slightly) is the amount of time properties are spending on the market.  There are a few days difference between this time last year and where we are presently - nothing significant, but again, making that slow shift towards a Buyer's market. 

To summarize the above, none of these are "good" or "bad" - it just means our market is evolving and changing and investors, buyers and sellers will have to recognize that to understand how that affects pricing and inventory. 

TOP 10 FREE Chicago Summer Activities 2018

Save your $ for a down-payment on a house (and of course we can assist with that purchase...#noshameinourgame)...From free wine to free tours & free museum days, see below for our list of 10 of our favorite FREE Summer activities (click on each activity for more information): 

1.       Art Institute: Every Thursday 5-8 p.m.

2.       Adler Planetarium: June 21 & August 27-31

3.       Children’s Museum at Navy Pier: First Sunday of every month

4.       Field Museum: June 20-22

5.       Shedd Aquarium: June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19

6.       LUSH Wine & Spirits (Roscoe Village, University Village & West Town): Every Sunday afternoon from 2-5 p.m. there is free wine tasting

7.       Millennium Park Workouts: Thursdays & Saturdays June 2 – September 1

8.       Madison Vine Wines West Loop: Free wine tastings 6-8 p.m. on Thursdays

9.       Visit the Anti-Cruelty Society (or another shelter) – this is a great way to get energized & make an animal’s day!

10.   Chicago Greeter Free Tours – This is an amazing way to explore our city with a guide, as if you were a tourist – trust us, you will learn something you didn’t know before!

To suburb or to city, that is the question....

When you're a #firsttimehomebuyer, its hard to know what to expect, in terms of what you get for your budget, how much space you truly need, and even what neighborhood vibe you're going for.  Briana & Adam knew they wanted to be close to shops/restaurants/the city, but the journey took us first from the North Side of the city to the lovely city of Downers Grove, that was named on the Forbes list at one point as "one of the friendliest towns in the country".  They both are so friendly and will fit in perfectly!...

When we walked into the house, it was evident it met their needs, in terms of having an updated kitchen that suited their tastes (it's even more beautiful in-person), a great space for entertaining, and also a home with a great layout that worked for them - something that can be challenging that many first-time homebuyers don't think of (square footage doesn't always = great layout, and you truly have to think through what YOUR needs are and what you want!). 

We're so grateful to help these two, and can't wait to see the place furnished!

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Great views ahead!...

Helping Juliana find her home was a process that needed to be detailed, timed perfectly and educational - she was relocating from New York, and would only be in town 2 days and we had to make the magic happen - which, it did fortunately!
 

The most beautiful 1-BR/1-BA top-floor penthouse unit in the heart of Lincoln Park was what she landed on and it is stunning.  I can't wait to see it decorated, our favorite part of finding people their homes is seeing it decorated to their liking!