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The Latest Trends We’re Seeing in the Downtown Condo Market

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Today, we are back again with the latest Chicago Home Info condo report for the downtown area for September 2015. The “downtown area” has boundaries of Lincoln Park to the north, the lake to the east, South Loop to the south, and West Town to the west. Here are the latest numbers for the condos downtown:
  • There were 1,195 new listings that came on the market in September, a 9% reduction from this time last year. 2-bedroom condos saw a 15% reduction! 
  • There were 579 sold condos in the month of September, a 6% decrease from last year. However, we did see a 4% increase in 2-bedroom condo sales.
  • There were 2,304 active condos on the market in September, which is a 12% reduction from last year. 2-bedroom condos saw a 15% decrease.

  • The median sale price went up slightly by 1% to $372,000. For 3-bedroom condos, the sale price was up over 3%.
  • The 62 days on market average we saw in September was also down, but that's a good thing. 1-bedroom condos saw an 11% decrease.

Overall, the majority of these key numbers are negative when compared to last year, but there were 609 condos under contract, which is up 20% from last year. That is signaling some good momentum as we head into fall and winter.

If you have any questions for us or are thinking about buying or selling yourself, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Your Guide to Buying a Condo with an FHA Loan

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Are you a buyer that wants to use an FHA loan to buy a condo? Or a condo owner who wants to sell, and make sure that potential buyers can purchase your condo with an FHA loan? Today I am going to share with you how a building qualifies for an FHA loan.

To get a mortgage with the lowest rates and fees, you want a loan that can be sold to Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae will only buy loans for condos if it’s on its list of approved buildings and developments. Here are the requirements that a building needs to qualify:

  • Commercial space can take up no more than 25% of the building’s square footage.
  • At least 10% of the association dues have to be deposited in reserves.
  • Less than 15% of association dues can’t be more than 30 days late.
  • At least 51% of the units in a new building have to be owner-occupied.
  • The building must be properly insured.
  • There can be no current litigation on the building regarding safety, structural soundness, or functional use.
  • No single entity can own more than 10% of the units except in the buildings with 5-20 units, where a single entity can own 2 units max.

Shopping for a Fannie Mae approved condo is the first step towards buying with confidence. If you have any questions for us, or are looking to buy or sell and are curious if your building qualifies, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

How Can You Stage on a Budget?

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If you are looking to sell your home, your goal is to get the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. One of the best ways to add value and appeal to your home is through home staging. There are a lot of options for how you want to go about it. You could hire a professional staging company, but that comes with a hefty price tag. Most of the time, a few simple fixes is all it takes to transform a living room.

Today, I want to share a video from HGTV that can help you stage your home when you go to sell. Tiffany Brooks recommends her favorite inexpensive home staging tips for you. We hope these will help you save both time and money when it comes time to sell your home.


A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea. Neutral, warm colors work best for highlighting the natural light in your home. This will make it easier to punch up the room with some colorful accessories and pull everything together.

A common design problem facing many homeowners is that they have no real entry way, as their front door opens up to the living room. To fix this, you can add a table, some lighting, and a rug to "fake a foyer" and make it feel like the living room and entryway are two different spaces.

A patterned rug, some pillows, or bright curtains add a ton of texture and an eclectic layer to the space, which is essential to a well-designed room.

In some cases, a "make-under" is just what you need. In the case of most fireplaces, taking some accessories and clutter away enhances the look and feel of the room greatly.
You could spend well over a few thousand dollars with a staging company, or you could do these fixes yourself for around $500. That's a small investment considering the value that you add to your home by adding those pieces.

If you have any questions for us about staging your home or anything else real estate related, give me a call or send over a quick email. I'm always here to help, and would love to hear from you!