Chicago Real Estate Blog

Chicago Restaurants Receive AAA AwardsYou can’t do much better than the coveted AAA Five Diamond designation if you’re a restaurant or hotel, and now, four Chicago restaurants have earned the prestigious awards. With these ratings, Chicago is now home to the second-highest number of AAA Five Diamond restaurants behind New York City. The AAA Five Diamond award is the travel authority's highest and most exclusive rating.

Adds Brad Roeber, regional president of AAA Chicago, "Illinois' eight Five Diamond establishments all offer exemplary surroundings and service and reflect the characteristics of ultimate luxury and experience.” And none of them are new to the designation.

This is the seventh year in a row that Alinea has taken the top honors, while Arun's has earned it 11 years in a row,

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Chicago Real Estate Investment MarketThe Chicago real estate market is on the rise, especially if you’re talking about investment properties. As the stock market continues to fluctuate and news of the Fiscal Cliff went from bad to worse to finalized, many cash-rich investors have been looking for a place to put their money. Couple these factors with historically-low mortgage rates, and it’s easy to see why so many people are on the hunt for investment properties in Chicago.

After the downturn in the economy, many people have been forced to rent, giving investors an even larger incentive to purchase Chicago homes. They can rent them out, increase the return on their investment on a monthly basis while more and more interested buyers return to the market. In fact, so many people have flooded the…
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Across the board, the housing market in America has been steadily gathering steam. Nowhere has this been more apparent than with the super high-end home market. Around the country, 2012 saw some of the largest, record-breaking home sales to date, and the Chicago luxury real estate market was no exception.

Park Hyatt at 800 North Michigan AveWhile the east and west coasts have been a haven for real estate transactions, Chicago luxury real estate saw some impressive deals too. Take for example the Park Tower’s 66th floor penthouse that was purchased in November by Citadel founder Ken Griffin. He jumped on the home the day it was put on the market, and is now the owner of the 7,900-square foot unit with three bedrooms, four full baths, and five half baths. The penthouse also features a private…
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ORD rated top for layover People would probably not angle to get stuck at an airport, but as more and more airports add to the luxury amenities they offer travelers, suddenly, the thought is not so gut-wrenching. Chicago O’Hare is one such airport that is packed with first-class amenities like luxury shopping, superior restaurants with celebrity chef menus, exceptional designs, and more.

Traveler Marty Rapp at Chicago O’Hare’s Ice Bar notes, "It's classy, it's very classy...it makes you feel good about the layover." Rapp was imbibing in a large glass of red wine under the bar’s ice-crystal chandeliers, the bar’s namesake. Here, the decor is classy and refined, with softly reflective decor that gives sitting travelers the illusion that they’re in an igloo.

And O’Hare is not alone…
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Buying a chicago home five rulesWhether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re thinking about moving to a larger Chicago home or Chicago condo, the five-year rule is a good one to follow. It’s a simple question of how long you plan to stay in the home, and the answer can help you decide whether or not you should stay where you are or make the move.

For some, it has everything to do with the upgrade cycle. You purchase a smaller Chicago condo or townhome with the intention of staying there. Then, a few years later, you realize there’s not enough space and you need something larger. This upgrade cycle usually repeats itself until the buyer finally settles into a house that is big enough for their family. While great in theory, if you continually sell and purchase a Chicago home that

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Mortgage Rates for Chicago real estateThe buzz is all about low mortgage rates when it comes to Chicago real estate right now. In 12 of the 13 weeks from mid-April through mid-July 2012, long-term home loan rates matched or hit new lows. Prospective Chicago home buyers are coming off the sidelines like they haven’t in years in search of a new home thanks to record-low interest rates that will help keep their monthly payments low. But how do you take advantage of them?

First off, your credit matters big time here. Only those with the a credit score in the top tier will be able to take advantage of these historically low rates. It also pays to stay in the know with regard to how mortgage rates are fluctuating. That way, you can jump in when the time is right. Keith Gumbinger, a vice president…
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Trends in Decorating Chicago Luxury HomesIt’s rare for buyers to write a check for a home that has everything they have ever wanted. More and more buyers are looking for Chicago homes where they can do a bit of work themselves and make it a place that complements their lifestyle. There are a variety of amenities right now that are hot when it comes to luxury Chicago homes.

Here’s a look at what is piquing buyer’s interest!

  1. Fire Features: If you have a backyard, consider adding a fire feature. Whether it’s a fire pit for gathering around or standing urns that provide warmth and reflect off the water, this is a magical way to give your backyard a bit of character and pizazz. If you’re considering an outdoor makeover, popular outdoor amenities currently include pizza ovens, wet bars, and
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Tax Relief on Mortgage Debt

Tax Relief on Mortage DebtRealtors, mortgage brokers and homeowners have all breathed a huge sigh of relief that tax relief on mortgage debt was part of the “Fiscal Cliff” legislation. Although this law has only been extended it will nevertheless have a positive impact on the market since it limits tax liability from short sales and workouts involving forgiven, deferred and cancelled mortgage debt and provides the continuation of alternatives to foreclosure. a reduction in foreclosure inventory is positive for home values.

This tax relief is of special benefit to upside down homeowners. The Mortgage Debt Tax Relief Act generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage

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New "Fiscal Cliff" Tax Provisions Impact on Real Estate

Fiscal Cliff Deal Favors Housing RecoveryThere is good news for real estate in the new “Fiscal Cliff” tax bill that Congress finally passed after extensive debating sessions.

The main points of the legislation as they relate to Real Estate are outlined below:

  • Tax Relief for 1 year on Mortgage Debt forgiveness, deferment or cancellation.
  • Tax Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums extended through 2013.
  • Extension of the Energy Efficient tax credit for existing home till the end of 2013
  • Pease/PEP phase out for deductions
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Estate Tax

Tax Relief on Mortgage Debt

Debt relief on loan modifications, short sales and foreclosures became taxable at the end of 2012 when the previous law, which was voted to

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Lake Shore East Condo Market

Condo Market Trends Chart

This week I want to address the condo market recovery in the Lake Shore East community and look at the trends by price range. For those of you who have not read my previous blogs, the "Months Supply's Impact on Price" chart on the left, shows the relationship between the number of months of housing inventory and the pricing trend. It defines the type of market we are experiencing - sellers, even or buyers market. In a sellers market, inventory is low and sellers have the advantage, we will often see competing offers and a rise in prices. Whereas in a buyers market, inventory grows relative to demand and prices depreciate.

Lake Shore East Condo Inventory NOvember

To get a clearer picture of the condo market, I have segmented the Months of Remaining Inventory

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