Can You Convert One Bedroom Into Two in Your Condo?

If you’re considering adding an extra room to your condo, don’t be too quick to begin construction.

Before any big remodel project, especially one that involves converting one bedroom into two, you must first receive the go-ahead.

 

Why you need HOA Approval

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are responsible for maintaining and managing condo communities. These associations have tight control over establishing rules that unit owners must follow, especially when it comes to remodeling.

Before beginning any renovations, including adding an extra room to your condo,  it is critical to examine your HOA’s condo renovation rules to see what is permissible. You can find these guidelines laid out in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs).

Many CC&Rs require board approval before moving forward with any structural remodeling.

Homeowners associations generally try to grant unit owners as much freedom as possible, as long as they don’t upset or violate the rights of community members. The rules are in place to keep the community as safe and peaceful as possible.

If you disregard or violate your HOA rules and regulations, be prepared to face fines or legal action.

 

What is Considered a Structural Change in the City

If condo owners want to add or remove a wall within their unit, they need permission from the HOA because this type of remodeling is considered a structural change.

So what exactly is considered a structural change in a condo?

In many HOA bylaws, when defining structural change, a standard clause reads, “Nothing shall be done in any unit or on the common areas which may impair the structural integrity of the building or which may structurally change the building.”

Essentially, these definitions mean that a structural change involves changing your condo unit’s original floor plan and knocking down walls.

Anytime you change your unit’s layout, you need to run your design plans by HOA to ensure the safety of your unit and the entire building. Many associations ask homeowners to file an architect’s plan for any alterations on a unit.

If you add an extra room to your condo, this will involve changing the original floorplan of your unit and knocking down walls, therefore this renovation constitutes a structural change.

While it is likely that your HOA will allow this type of structural change, they need to be in the loop of this process, especially if it will be a loud and possibly disruptive project.

If you are serious about adding an extra room to your condo, don’t delay speaking with your HOA. The quicker you can get approval, the sooner you can begin your dream home renovations!

What Are Condo Flooring Requirements?

When it comes to renovating a condo, be prepared for more restrictions than single-family home projects.

Because condos feature multi-family housing, the homeowner associations (HOA) have to take other residents and the building as a whole into consideration when implementing rules.

One of these HOA regulations includes condo flooring requirements. The Luxury Living team is here to share everything you need to know about understanding flooring rules and choosing the right floors for your home.

 

HOA Flooring Rules

Homeowner associations exist primarily to maintain and regulate a community. While the HOA doesn’t have a say in everything unit owners do, they do have a voice when it comes to flooring decisions.

Hard-surfaced floors can lead to noise nuisances and frustrations from the downstairs neighbors, so HOAs implement condo flooring requirements that help minimize noise complaints and keep residents happy.

Homeowner associations will typically include any restrictions on hard surface flooring in the rules and reference sections of the Code, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs). There may also be an adoption of guidelines as to what an owner can do to get approval for hard surface flooring if possible.

What happens if you ignore your HOAs flooring rules? Well, the board may subject you to fines, liens, or even legal action.

So if you have been considering tearing out that old carpet and replacing it with beautiful hardwood, be sure to run it by your HOA first before making any moves.

 

Best Flooring for Condos

Narrowing down the best flooring for your condo can be tricky.

While there are plenty of options, laminate tends to be a popular choice. This material looks just as beautiful as hardwood but comes at a more affordable price with soundproof qualities.

Vinyl also provides one of the quietest flooring option to ensure peace and quiet for you and your neighbors. Depending on the specific vinyl material you chose, this flooring choice can range anywhere from about $.40 per square foot for thin sheet vinyl, to $3.00 or so per square foot for luxury vinyl planks.

If you are looking for comfy and quiet, carpet is another safe route to take. This quiet flooring for condos is known for its sound-absorbing qualities from the fibers, as well as the mats the carpet installed over. Some HOAs may even require a certain percentage of condo floors to be carpet.

If you are teaming up with a contractor to spearhead your condo renovations, they are likely to provide good advice when it comes to choosing the best flooring for your condo. They also will have a thorough understanding of your condo’s CC&Rs to ensure the floor are compliant with the HOA’s rules and regulations.

Understanding and following your condo’s flooring requirements will help keep you, your neighbors, and your HOA happy during your next renovation project!

Can You Renovate a Condo?

Condo renovations can help transform a house into your dream home. These projects also have the potential to increase the value of your property drastically.

If you’ve questioned whether or not you can renovate a condo, then keep reading.

Whether you have experience with home renovations or this is a new venture, rest assured that the Luxury Living team is here to share how to remodel a condo and what you need to know beforehand.

 

Condo Renovations That Improve Your Home Value

Renovations have great potential to maximize your property’s worth. Improving your condo’s value can help ensure a return on investment if you decide to resell your property.

Check out some of the best condo upgrades to improve your home value:

  • Kitchen: According to real estate experts, the kitchen is the most significant upgrade. Many new home buyers rank ‘modern kitchen’ as a top priority in their house hunt. Invest in refitting this area with brand new quartz countertops, refitted cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.
  • Hardwood Floors: Floors are also a major selling point for your home. While hardwood floors may cost more out of pocket, they prove to be a worthwhile investment by helping units sell faster and for higher prices. There’s nothing worse than bad, outdated carpet.
  • Bathroom: The bathroom speaks volumes to potential homebuyers. It is worth your dime to upgrade the cabinets and other features throughout your bathroom. Good news is that these upgrades tend to run at a much lower cost compared to kitchen renovations.
  • Paint: Even a fresh paint job can work wonders for increasing the value of a condo. Play it safe and stick with a neutral color scheme. Whites and off-whites remain the top-selling interior colors and appeal to most homebuyers.

 

What You Need to Know About Condo Renovation Rules

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are responsible for managing condo communities. These associations have tight control over establishing rules that unit owners must follow, especially when it comes to remodeling.

Condo owners are often under many more rules when it comes to remodeling a unit than single-family homeowners.

Before beginning any renovations, it is critical to examine your HOA’s condo renovation rules to see what is permissible. You can find these guidelines laid out in the CC&R (covenants, conditions, and restrictions).

Condo owners considering remodeling often inquire if they can remove a wall in a condo.  Generally, the answer is ‘yes.’ However, the unit owner must first go to the HOA board for approval.

Unit owners require permission to remove a wall is because it is considered a structural change.

So what exactly is a structural change in a condo?

In many HOA bylaws, when defining structural change, a standard clause reads, “Nothing shall be done in any unit or on the common areas which may impair the structural integrity of the building or which may structurally change the building.”

Essentially, a structural change involves changing your condo unit’s original floor plan and knocking down walls.

Anytime you change your unit’s layout, you need to run your design plans by HOA to ensure the safety of your unit and the entire building.


How to Use Condo Remodeling Contractors

Teaming up with condo remodeling contractors helps optimize the outcome of your home renovations. It also saves you time and stress associated with home improvement projects.

However, before moving forward with a contractor, you need to find a good fit.

Narrowing down a suitable contractor involves finding one who you trust and one who fits into your condo renovation budget.

Do some research beforehand and get recommendations. Speak with local real estate experts or friends to help find someone with a good track record. If no one in your circle of friends has a referral, check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of reliable members in your area.

If you think you’ve found your potential hire, meet for an in-person interview to be sure the contractor is a good match before making anything official.

Once you’ve secured the right person for the job, ensure that the contractor is up to speed with your HOA’s renovation rules and regulations.

The final step before contractors can begin residential contractor condo work is putting everything in writing.

Write up a contract that details every phase of the project: payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; specific materials and products to be used; and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers.

 

What Are Condo Flooring Requirements?

Homeowner associations often implement condo flooring requirements to minimize noise complaints and keep residents happy.

Hard-surfaced floors can lead to noise nuisances and frustrations from the downstairs neighbors.

Therefore many HOAs include restrictions on hard surface flooring in the rules and reference sections of the CC&Rs to ensure quiet flooring for condos. There may also be an adoption of guidelines as to what an owner can do to get approval for hard surface flooring if possible.

If you are considering tearing out that old carpet and replacing it with beautiful hardwood, be sure this condo renovation follows the HOA’s guidelines.

Laminate makes one of the best floorings for condos. This material looks as beautiful as hardwood, but is more affordable and know for its soundproof qualities.

Vinyl is another popular option that tends to provide the quietest flooring option.

Before moving forward with any home improvement project, be sure to understand and follow your HOA flooring rules to avoid conflict and complaints.


Can You Convert One Bedroom Into Two in Your Condo?

If you want to convert one bedroom into two, be sure to check out your condo HOA’s CC&Rs. Odds are you will need to get approval from the board before moving forward with the remodeling, especially since it is a structural change.

When examining what is considered a structural change in a condo, it is clear that if you add an extra room to your condo you will be changing the original floorplan of your unit and knocking down walls.

Before making any structural change, remember that you need to run the project pass your homeowners association to avoid fines or court. Many associations ask homeowners to file an architect’s plan for any alterations on a unit.

While it is likely that your HOA will allow this structural change, they need to be in the loop during this process, especially if it will be a loud and possibly disruptive project.

Homeowners associations generally try to grant unit owners as much freedom as possible, as long as they don’t upset or violate the rights of community members.

Renovating a condo provides an exciting opportunity for homeowners to bring their dream house to life. Begin your property’s transformation today!

How to Work With an Interior Designer for Condos

Interior designers for condos help ease and enhance your home makeover.

If you are looking to decorate a new space or spice up your current home, consider teaming up with an interior designer to take the reins on your condo interior design plans.

Why do I Need an Interior Designer?

Teaming up with an interior designer is always a worthwhile investment if you have extra room in your budget.

Not only do interior designers bring expertise to the table, with education and experience, but they also have the creative eye to bring your decorative vision to life.

It’s like second nature for these designers to find condo interior decorating ideas to help create beautiful condo interiors.

In addition to their qualifications, interior designers also have the time to invest fully in your condo’s renovation. This will save you extra time and stress. While you still get to provide input in the design process, you get to leave it to the professionals to tackle the more difficult tasks.

 

Finding the Right Interior Designer

Like any hire, you want to find an interior designer who is a good fit.

When it comes to choosing the ideal designer for condos, you want to take time to research beforehand.

Look into designers in your area and check out their portfolios. You can tell a lot about a designers’ style and quirks through his or her past work. You may also want to see if they provide their pricing online to ensure that they fall within your budget.

If you think you may have narrowed down a potential hire or two, consider setting up an interview. An actual conversation may provide you better insight into the designer and help you determine if he or she is a good match.

 

What to Expect Working with a Designer

If you decide to partner with an interior designer, there are a couple of things to keep in mind during the process.

First, set realistic expectations. While reality television shows have led some of us to believe that home improvement projects are a breeze, the truth is that these projects don’t happen overnight. They require time and money. That is why it is crucial to establish a feasible timeline and budget with your designer beforehand.

Throughout the entire design process, it is also critical to maintain communication, especially regarding your needs and expectations. Open dialogue allows your and the designer to stay on the same page. This is critical for successfully executing the vision for your space.

Decorating a condo is an exciting, but often demanding project. Take advantage of an interior designer for condos to help successfully transform your house into a home today!

Modern Condo Interior Design Ideas

If you live in a contemporary condo, it is critical that your unit’s decor reflects the modernity of the building.

To help you with this task, the Luxury Living team is sharing some modern condo interior design and decorating ideas to help optimize your urban space.

 

Modern Condo Interior Design

There are plenty of modern condo interior design ideas to magnify a contemporary space.

The colors you chose to incorporate in your condo can make a huge impact. Consider going with a white color palette throughout your unit. Not only does this neutral color palette create a sleek space, but it also helps make your condo feel larger. However, don’t be afraid to add some pops of color here and there with some fun accent pieces.

Urban spaces also call for a dramatic focal point, especially in your living area. Investing in a large, sleek centerpiece can enhance the overall look and feel of your space.

 

Modern Condo Decorating Ideas

Modern condo decor is a must if you want to maintain a contemporary look and feel.

Here are a few modern condo decorating ideas to add character and chic to your condo:

  • Dramatic light fixtures: Featuring unique light fixtures in your condo can immensely enhance the modern vibes. Try finding metallic sconces, either slightly elongated or round ones to go with your space.
  • Artwork: Contemporary art is a must for any modern condo. Imaginative pieces featuring metal, glass, or ceramic can provide a pop of color and add a fun touch to your place.
  • Natural elements: Consider bringing some life into your condo by adding some greenery or driftwood throughout your space.

 

Team up With a Professional

Hiring an interior designer to help modernize your condo unit not only eases the design process, but it also enhances it. These decorating professionals have the experience, time, and eye to transform your place.

Keep in mind that home improvement projects do not happen overnight, despite what HGTV may have led you to believe. Be sure to have a feasible budget and timeline when you meet with your interior designer.

Before selecting your interior designer, do some research. Look into your potential hire’s portfolio to check out some of the designer’s styles and quirks.

Throughout the entire design process, it is critical to discuss your needs and expectations with your designer openly. This allows you and the designer to stay on the same page.

Bring these modern condo interior design ideas to life and begin your home’s transformation today!

Decorating Ideas for Your Open Concept Condo

Open concept condos provide plenty of space to work with when it is time for decorating.

The Luxury Living team is here to fill you in on essential open concept condo decorating ideas. Take notes and prepare to completely transform your home!

 

Furnishing an Open Concept Condo

Open concept floor plans allow you to create distinct areas within one multipurpose space. The way you arrange your furniture is critical to dividing these different sections and keeping a nice flow to your home.

Section off cozy corners and lay down large area rugs to separate areas, including a living room, office space, and dining area. Then arrange appropriate furniture on top of the rugs. Select rugs that flow with the color scheme and vibe of the rest of your condo.

Be sure to incorporate symmetry in your open space. With expansive areas, keeping the space symmetrical using large pieces of furniture helps create a balanced look and brings order to a large room.

 

Open Concept Decor

Once your furniture is set up, it is time to bring your space to life with the decor.

The decorations you chose can help bring your condo together and transform your house into a home with character.

As you begin decorating, try picking one color that you want to incorporate in your place and won’t get sick of. Then feature this color in a variety of shades and tones throughout the condo.

With an open concept floor plan, don’t be afraid of large decorative pieces. Try finding expansive artwork for the walls or sizable plants for the floor.

 

Team up with an Interior Designer

If the idea of decorating an open concept condo seems a bit overwhelming, consider hiring an experienced professional. Interior designers can help ease the process by providing their experience, time, and eye to transform your space.

Keep in mind that home improvement projects do not happen overnight, despite what HGTV may have led you to believe. Be sure to have a feasible budget and timeline when you meet with your interior designer.

Before selecting your designer, do some research. Look into your potential hire’s portfolio to check out some of the designer’s styles and quirks.

Throughout the entire design process, it is critical to discuss your needs and expectations with your designer openly. This allows you and the designer to stay on the same page.

Open concept decorating is an exciting process for new or veteran decorators. Take advantage of these open concept condo decorating ideas to create a multi-functional and inviting home.

Small Condo Decorating Ideas

Many condo units, especially in a big city, are not so generous with space. While this may deter some house hunters, rest assured that with the right small condo decor you can make any space feel larger.

The Luxury Living team is here to share small condo decorating ideas so that you can maximize your space and create your dream home.

 

Small Condo Interior Design Ideas

Limited space doesn’t have to mean limited decorative possibilities.

Here are just a few small condo interior design ideas to make the most of your area:

  • More mirrors: Incorporating multiple mirrors into your living area can open up your space, making a small room feel larger and more inviting. Plus, mirrors help reflect light to brighten your place.
  • Keep the floor clear: With limited space, you don’t want to cram your floors with stuff. Go for floating pieces, such as wall shelves and hanging plants to help minimize clutter.
  • Wall lights: Add a stylish touch and brighten up your small space by installing scones or wall lamps.
  • Floor-to-ceiling draperies: Hanging up long curtains right where your wall meets the ceiling will instantly add height to your condo and make your living room feel more spacious.

 

Get Practical:

There’s a way to combine decorating with functionality. To make the most of your decorations and your space, creative storage options are essential.

Finding furniture that is dually functional will come in handy living in a small condo. Invest in a fun ottoman or bench that flows with the feel of your space and provides extra storage.

Wall shelves also offer excellent small condo decor and practicality. They add a fun decorative touch and provide an additional spot for more of your stuff.

 

Consider an Interior Designer:

Teaming up with an interior designer can help bring these small condo interior design ideas to life. These experienced professionals have the experience, time, and eye to work with your space to bring your vision to life.

Keep these tips in mind if you plan on hiring an interior designer:

  • Set realistic expectations: Keep in mind that home improvement projects do not happen overnight, despite what HGTV may have led you to believe. Set a feasible budget and timeline when you meet with your interior designer.
  • Take time to find the right fit: Before selecting your interior designer, do some research. Look into your potential hire’s portfolio to check out some of the designer’s styles and quirks.
  • Communication is key: Throughout the entire design process, it is critical to discuss your needs and expectations with your designer openly. This allows you and the designer to stay on the same page.

Take advantage of these small condo decorating ideas to optimize your space today!

Condo Decorating Ideas for Your Living Room

Your living room can say a lot about you and the rest of your home. Generally, this is the first space guests see and gather.

To ensure a good impression and a space you love, check out these condo decorating ideas for your living room.

Furnishing a Condo Ideas

While there are many factors to consider when finishing a home, furnishing may be the most essential aspects to consider when decorating your living room. Choosing and arranging your furniture wisely improves the overall look and feel of your space.

So how do you make the right choice when it comes to picking out your living room furnishings?

Most importantly, chose furniture that speaks to you, falls within your budget, and fits in with the overall feel of your condo.

Let’s say you are going for a rustic look throughout your condo; In that case, you would want to find furnishings that define this look, such as a natural looking wooden table or a dark leather couch.

Along with choosing fitting furniture, the placement of your furnishing is also critical. Arrange your living room to create a focal point for and conservation areas that allow for socializing and easy traffic flow.

Complete your living room area with some fun artwork or wall decor. Be sure all of your additions stay cohesive with the rest of the room.

Condo Living Room Layout Ideas

The layout of your living room is also crucial for good flow and space. Regardless of your living room design or size, you want to arrange your furniture so that your place feels inviting.

If your condo unit features an open floor plan with no distinct living room, you will need to create this space. You can do this by adding a large area rug complete with furniture over it to help define the separate area. Also, consider keeping the space symmetrical using large pieces of furniture help create a balanced look.

Condos with limited space require a bit more problem solving to create a more open feel.

Small Condo Living Room Ideas

If you are working with a small living room, don’t worry. Limited space doesn’t have to mean limited decorating possibilities.

Here are some easy solutions to maximize the space in your living room:

  • More mirrors: Incorporating multiple mirrors into your living area can open up your space, making a small room feel larger and more inviting. Plus, mirrors help reflect light to brighten your place up.
  • Keep the floor clear: With limited space, you don’t want to cram your floors with stuff. Go for floating pieces, such as wall shelves and hanging plants to help minimize clutter.
  • Wall lights: Add a stylish touch and brighten up your space by installing scones or wall lamps.

With new inspiration and condo decorating ideas for your living room consider transforming your space today!

Buying a Home in the Summer? Use These Tips

Any Chicagoan will agree that there is nothing like a Chi-Town summer- from the sunny Saturdays spent lounging on the beach to the constant energy felt among the city streets.

Not only does the city come alive during this sunny season, but the real estate market heats up as well.

Take advantage of the hot Chicago market and consider buying a home in the summer.

Buying a Home in the Summer

Summer house hunters are bound to find plenty of listings on the market to choose from. While the number of listings dwindles a bit from the springtime, this means that many buyers will see price drops or sellers will be more likely to negotiate for a better deal.

If you have a family, summer makes for the ideal time to move, before the new school year starts up. It allows kids to adjust to a new home and relax before classes are back in session.

Additionally, many leases tend to end at the beginning of summer, providing the perfect window of opportunity for first time home buyers.

Selling a Home in the Summer

While spring is known as the peak season in the world of real estate, the summer is still a great time to sell. According to Realtor.com, the summer months account for 50 percent of homes sold.

Although the real estate rush slows down after May, rest assured that there are still plenty of house hunters on the market during the summer. Furthermore, many of those buyers are serious and extremely motivated to close before the end of summer, before the cold and school start up again.

Summertime weather also ensures high-quality photos and much better showings than the gloomy seasons. The constant sunshine and landscaping in full bloom always help with the presentation.

Summer Moving Tips

The Luxury Living team has compiled a few pointers to keep in mind if you plan on moving during a toasty Chicago summer:

  • Hire a professional agent– To fully take advantage of the summer market, utilize an experienced broker to help narrow down the best housing options and secure the best possible price.
  • Move in the middle of the summer– The beginning and end of summer consistently prove the busiest times to move. Avoiding the craziest times will alleviate the stress of finding available moving trucks and empty elevators.
  • Prepare for the heat– During the moving process, be prepared for high temperatures and intense sun. Dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and layer on that sunscreen.

If you are ready for a new place and think you can handle the heat, consider buying or selling a home in the summer. Don’t let this hot summer selling season pass you by.

Tips for Buying or Selling a Home in Spring

Flowers are not the only thing in full bloom during the spring; the housing market also flourishes during this season of new beginnings.

Spring continually ranks as the busiest time of the year to buy or sell a property. With buying and selling a home in the spring proving to be a popular move, consider taking advantage of this busy real estate season.

Spring Selling Season

Why is the spring selling season so busy in the world of real estate? Well, there are various incentives that motivate sellers to list during this season

Here are a few advantages of selling your home in the spring:

  • Warmer weather: After a long, chilly Chicago winter, sellers are eager to put their homes on the market once the weather starts clearing up. Sunshine and higher temperatures attract more buyers, increasing the odds and profitability of a sale. Additionally, better weather naturally improves marketing efforts and showings.
  • Competitive pricing: Sellers tend to have the upper hand during the spring. With so many properties for sale, sellers can list their house for the highest and best dollar
  • Quicker Sales: According to a study conducted by Zillow, homes listed between mid-March and mid-April sell 15 percent quicker than homes listed any other time. Many buyers are eager and ready to purchase as fast as possible after the winter and before the summer hits.

Buying a Home in the Spring

Spring home buying season is just as busy as spring selling season.

Buyers love the abundant listing options available on the market during the springtime. This array of choices allows buyers to be more selective in narrowing down their dream home.

While buyers have the advantage of a wide selection, they also have to prepared to pay more competitive prices. Don’t expect to be the only one making an offer for your home of choice.

If you end up finding a home during the spring, make sure to work closely with a licensed broker to help find a suitable property in your budget and negotiate a worthwhile deal.

Spring Moving Tips

If you are seriously considering buying or selling a home in the Spring, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t delay– Since springtime is such a popular time to move, it is wise to get a head start and begin the house hunting and listing process as soon as possible.
  • Hire a professional- Team up with a licensed broker to help to help make your move as efficient and effective as possible.
  • Figure out your mortgage– Unless you plan on purchasing a house with cash, you will need to apply and qualify for a mortgage. A loan prequalification calculator is a great tool to figure out how to qualify for a loan.

During the busy spring selling and buying season, it is critical to understand how to take advantage of this time of year. Now that you have insight into buying a selling a home in the spring make the big move today!

Why You Should Consider Selling or Buying a Home in the Fall

Fall is a season of change-  temperatures dropping, leaves falling and sweaters making an appearance.

Among this time of transitions, consider making a big move of your own by selling or buying a home in the fall.

Selling a Home in the Fall

The fall season, including dates between September 1 and November 30, often makes for a promising time to sell a home.

Naturally, selling a home during any season comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Here are a few pros and cons to be aware of if you plan on selling your home in the fall:

Advantages of selling a house in the fall:

  • The fall tends to bring in serious buyers. Fall house hunters are often motivated to purchase quickly- before the winter hits and the busy holiday season begins.
  • After the summer, there are fewer listings on the market. This means less competition for sellers and more opportunities to get close to or over asking price.

Disadvantages of selling a house in the fall:

  • Fall is considered an off-peak season, which means sellers won’t see as many prospective buyers as the springtime.
  • As the weather declines during the fall, this has the potential to hinder showings and curb appeal.

Fall Moving Tips

To ensure a smooth and successful fall move keep these tips in mind:

  • Begin the search or sale early- Typically the real estate market stays pretty strong, until about October when it starts to slow down. Therefore, if you are considering listing your home in the fall, don’t delay to increase the odds and timeline of a closing.
  • Photograph ASAPThe earlier you can take those professional house photos, the more promising they will turn out. Not only is the weather more likely to cooperate, but you are also more likely to still have some pretty landscaping intact and better lighting for the photo-ops.
  • Hire a professional agent– Teaming up with a licensed broker helps ease the buying and selling process, and also promotes closing the best deal. Brokers understand the local real estate market and have insight into maximizing the city’s season for a successful sale.

Best Time to Buy a Condo

If you are a new or younger buyer in the market for a condo, fall remains a great season to shop.

According to Trulia’s Q3 inventory report, peak home buying season for “starter” home buyers typically begins in the fall. With more homes listed during this season, buyers not only receive more options to choose from, but will also see the prices of homes soften.

If condo buyers are on a tight budget, winter may be a wise time to buy. This season generally guarantees the best deal on a purchase. However, be aware that there tends to be a limited array of listings on the market during this time.

Before it gets too cold or too busy, team up with an experienced broker who can make selling or buying a home in the fall the best decision of the season.

Here’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Condo in Chicago

While there may not be a magic formula to determine the perfect time to invest in a property, an understanding of the real estate market and the Windy City seasons can help suggest the best time of year to buy a condo in Chicago.

With years of experience and a thorough understanding of the Chicago market, the Luxury Living team is here to help you decide on when you should start looking for a condo.

Best Time to Buy a Condo

Why is the timing of your condo purchase so important? The time of year that you chose to house hunt can impact various factors of your purchase- from the number of listings to choose from to the price of your desired property.

By understanding the seasonal market trends, you can better make a strategic and worthwhile investment.

Based on the Chicago market, every season has its own set of advantages for potential buyers.

For young home buyers, or anyone looking to save money, the winter months, specifically January and February, may be the best time to make an offer. Numbers show that average condo price drop around $6,000 in the winter, compared to the late spring and summer.

If buyers are more concerned with options rather than price, springtime offers Chicagoans with the highest number of housing listings to choose from. Just keep in mind that with more competition on the market, spring tends to increase the price of listings.

Best Time to Buy a Home in Chicago

While condos are a hot housing option in a large city, you may still be considering buying a single-family home in Chicago. If this is the case, keep in mind that the seasons affect the market similarly for both condos and homes.

Since many families occupy homes in the city, it is common for these families to chose to move around the summertime, before the new school year starts, especially if they are changing school districts. Therefore, this is a promising season to house hunt if you are looking for a large selection of listings on the market.

How Long Does it Take to Buy a Condo?

Once you are ready to pull the trigger and buy a property in Chicago, keep in mind that this journey may take a while. The entire process, from beginning the house search to closing on your purchase, can take anywhere from three to six months; or even longer if issues arise.

While the house hunting period depends largely on the efficiency of the buyers and agent, the average closing period in Chicago hovers around 45 days.

Make sure to keep up with these seasonal market trends and team up with an experienced broker to help you narrow down the best time of year to buy a condo in Chicago.

What’s the Best Time of the Year to Buy a Home?

Timing is crucial- especially when it comes to buying a home.

While there are plenty of factors to consider when purchasing a property, timing can drastically affect the market, which directly impacts your purchase.  

The Luxury Living team is here to help provide insight into determining the best time of year to buy a home.

Here’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Condo in Chicago

If you are considering purchasing a condo in the Windy City, it is vital to figure out the best time of year to begin your house hunting to ensure a strategic and worthwhile investment.

While there is no perfect formula for timing your condo purchase, there are certain seasonal trends that help indicate the ideal time to buy.

For young home buyers, or anyone looking to save money, the winter months, specifically January and February, may be the best time to make an offer. Numbers show that average condo price drop around $6,000 in the winter, compared to the late spring and summer.

If buyers are more concerned with options rather than price, springtime generally proves to be a better time to house hunt. This season tends to offer Chicagoans with the highest number of housing listings to choose from. Just keep in mind that with more competition on the market, springtime tends to increase the price of listings. March through May are the months that homes find themselves selling for record high prices.

While condos are a hot housing option in a large city, we can’t forget about the single-family homes. If you’ are curious when the best time to start browsing for this home type, the rule of thumb is generally the same as condo purchases.

Once you are ready to pull the trigger and buy a property in Chicago, keep in mind that this journey may take a while. The entire process, from beginning the house search to closing on your purchase, can take anywhere from three to six months; or even longer if issues arise.

While the house hunting period depends largely on the efficiency of the buyers and agent, the average closing period in Chicago hovers around 45 days.

How to Go About Buying or Selling a Home in the Winter

While the Chicago winter is a time of holiday hustle and bustle and frigid temperatures, don’t let this deter you from buying or selling your home.

With the wintertime proving to be a wise time to buy a home, consider using this season to find your dream home.

While buying a home in the winter is often the most affordable time to purchase a property, keep in mind that listing options are not as abundant during this season. The smaller pool of homes helps keep the listing prices down but also limits your selection.

The winter is also an excellent time for people looking to sell their property, especially because of the tax benefits. Buying and selling in the winter allow both parties to apply credits or claims on taxes before the new year.

Moving during the Chicago winter is a wise financial move, but it may also present some challenges.

To alleviate some of the stress associated with the Windy City winters here are a few moving tips:

  • Hire professional movers- We promise this is an investment that will prove worth it. Save yourself the time, trouble, and cold by allowing moving experts to take on the task.
  • Keep an eye on the forecast- Monitor the weather leading up to moving day to make sure there is not an unexpected storm on the way. If the radar isn’t looking very promising you may want to adjust your moving schedule.
  • Find an experienced broker– Teaming up with a real estate and Chicago expert can help ease and speed up the process.

Why You Should Consider Selling or Buying a Home in the Fall

The fall season is another promising time to consider selling or buying a home. During this time the normal market typically sees a second “rush” of buyers, especially as many leases come to an end, schools start back up, and people want to buy or sell before the winter comes.

Typically the real estate market stays pretty strong, until about October when it starts to slow down. Therefore, if you are considering listing your home in the fall, be sure to begin the sale early to increase the odds and timeline of a closing.

If your home has a nice amount of outdoor space, keep in mind that as the season begins to approach winter, your landscaping may start to die. You want to try and capture buyers attention while your outside is still pretty.

Tips for Buying or Selling a Home in Spring

Springtime in Chicago often proves to be a busy time in the world of real estate. Many sellers like to wait for the winter to pass until they list their property. Vice versa, many buyers also hold off searching for the dream house until the weather clears up and more listings pop up on on the market.

The main appeal for home buyers to shop in the spring is the listing options. This season tends to boast a variety of housing options, providing house hunters with endless choices and the opportunity to be more selective.

While buyers have the advantage of a wide selection, they should also be prepared to pay more competitive prices. If you end up finding a home during the spring, make sure to work closely with a licensed broker to help find a suitable property in your budget and negotiate a fair closing cost.

While these higher listing prices may deter some potential buyers on a budget, this competitive market tends to entice sellers. With so many properties for sale, sellers can list their house for the highest and best dollar. The nicer spring weather also enhances properties’ curb appeal and online pictures, which further helps attract potential buyers.

Buying a Home in the Summer? Use These Tips

There is nothing like a Chi-town summer. Not only is this the perfect time to explore Chicago, but it also makes for a great season to buy a home for yourself.

Summer house hunters are bound to find plenty of listings on the market to choose from. While the number dwindles a bit from the Springtime, this means that buyers will likely see price drops or sellers will be more willing to negotiate.

To fully take advantage of the hot summer market, be sure to utilize a broker to help narrow down the best house options and ensure you get the best possible price. Don’t forget that during this season you are likely to pay less than the asking price.

The summer is also a suitable time to put your house on the market if you are ready to sell. While your home may not sell as fast as it would in the Spring, the likelihood of a contract is still very high. Just be prepared for interested buyers to negotiate during this time of year.

As a seller, also keep in mind that the beautiful summer weather helps ensure better quality photos and better showings than during the gloomy seasons.

With a greater understanding of the Chicago seasons and how they impact the housing market, hopefully you feel more confident determining the best time of the year to buy a home.If this season is right for you, contact an experienced broker to help you find your dream home today!

Is a Home or Condo a Better Investment?

Potential investors commonly inquire if homes or condos are a better investment. The truth is that the answer is not black and white. While the answer depends entirely on the buyer’s needs and the local market, condos prove to be a beneficial investment for many.

Why Condos are a Good Investment

If you are looking to invest in a large city, specifically Chicago, it is safe to say that purchasing a condo is a wise move.

Financing a condo allows for easier entry into the housing market at a relatively affordable cost, which is especially appealing to new or young investors.

Plenty of investors have profited on condos either through monthly rental income or reselling.

Since the end of the housing market crash in 2007, condos have only been increasing in resale value. Condos have also proven to sell fairly quickly, regardless of the state of the market.

If you chose to rent your condo for extra monthly profit, buyers have an opportunity to take advantage of impressive tax deductions, as well as equity growth.

How Condos Compare to Homes

Finding affordable single-family homes in a big city tends to be unreachable for new or young buyers, with many of these properties reaching the millions. Condominiums, on the other hand, tend to offer a more practical purchase for these types of buyers.

However, prospective condo owners should be prepared to pay monthly or annual homeowner association fees associated with ownership.

Although these fees may dissuade some potential buyers, it is critical to remember that they provide condo owners with an added convenience that homeowners don’t receive. Instead of worrying about keeping up with the yard or dealing with building repairs, condo owners can leave these additional concerns in the hands of the HOA.

Another perk of owning of investing in a condo is the resale rate. Research has shown that condominiums tend to sell quicker than single-family homes, even in the down market.

Where to Find Great Condos and How a Broker can Help you Find Them

Securing a worthwhile investment also involves aligning your needs as a buyer with the perfect property. This requires a thorough knowledge of the market as well as your expectations.

For new and experienced investors, licensed brokers can help support prospective buyers’ needs and streamline the search process.

Experienced real estate professionals understand the local and national market and can help point out hot or up-and-coming neighborhoods that will attract future tenants or buyers. They can also help you negotiate prices and ensure that all of your needs are met.

Additionally, agents can help examine HOA documents with a critical eye to ensure that you don’t miss any rules or regulations that may make rentals or resale difficult.

Don’t let the opportunity to invest and build equity pass you by. Team up with an experienced broker and find the perfect condo today!

10 Tips to Know Before Buying in Chicago

Luxury Living Chicago Realty’s brokers are here to help with your home search every step of the way. Every team member is dedicated to providing personalized, professional, and prompt service. Our experienced agents share insights and recommendations of proven partners, including lenders, inspectors, and attorneys. We’ll ensure exceptional service for all your real estate needs. If you’re just getting started with the buying process, we’ve rounded up 10 helpful tips from our team:

Getting Started

#1) “Start early and take your time. Chicago’s housing market has limited inventory and if you’re trying to time a lease you could get stuck with a home you either don’t love, or worse, have to move into your parent’s basement. While overlapping rent and mortgage can pose a short-term challenge, the long-term benefits are almost always worth it.” – Jake Tasharki

#2) “Make sure you speak to a lender first and foremost.  It’s imperative to speak to the “financial part of the equation first.”  Ask someone you know what lender they have used.  Ask your current real estate agent who he recommends.  I’d recommend comparing both lenders; your friend/family referral and your agents’ recommendation.  Tell the agent in layman’s terms your ideal plan because  not everyone is destined for 10% with a 30 year loan.  Lenders also have first-time buyer programs and they view you as a long-term client.  Get a feeling for pricing and budget and then go to your real estate agent.  Much easier if you tell your real estate agent your budget then them telling you what it should be.” – Sam Kahn

#3) “Don’t let a large down payment scare you from becoming a homeowner. Many people are unaware that you can buy a home with a down payment of less than 20%. There are lenders that offer loans with down payments of 5% or less. It is important to discuss your budget and goals with your lender to see all of the loan options available and determine what will work best for your situation. If a buyer puts less than 20% down they will be responsible for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which is an additional expense that certainly needs to be considered, but even with PMI the numbers will often make sense for buyers that would otherwise be priced out.” – Riely Joosten

Remember the Big Picture

#4) “Make your mark. Remember that this will be your own home, so little cosmetic things can be changed to your liking: paint, counters, cabinets, doors, flooring etc. can become a statement of your personality and taste so do not let a bright or ugly color deter you from a solid investment opportunity.” – Spencer Terry

#5) “Be realistic. Take a deep look into your long-term financial and personal goals to see if buying makes sense. Your first home purchase will most likely not be your last and while it doesn’t need to be your dream home, make sure you are planning ahead with a home that will suit your needs 3-5+ years down the road.” – Travis Smith

#6) “Don’t write off small improvements as large and costly projects. No home is perfect and everyone has different tastes. If the home is very appealing to many buyers you can bet you’re going to pay a premium. Part of the fun in being a homeowner is putting your stamp on your own home. Don’t pay for someone else’s upgrades, which you may not care for in the near future anyway. Things like paint, hardware, and flooring are often low cost for high impact/return.” – Jake Tasharki

Find a Team You Can Trust

#7) “Shop around and ask questions. Talk to multiple mortgage companies and real estate agents. You want to make sure you can connect on a personal level, as trust and communication are paramount when you take on the biggest purchase of your life.” – Travis Smith

#8) “Trust your resources.  A lender specializes financing.  A real estate attorney specializes it contract, disclosure, document language.  A real estate agent specializes in finding you the best home that suits your needs.  Many times my clients love working with me because I have like-minded individuals that specialized in their craft working alongside me. The more you can narrow down what information you get from certain partners throughout this process, the better.  Go to Sam for finding the home.  Go to Mike for the numbers.  Go to Adam to make sure everything legally is covered for you.  That way you can focus on falling in love with a home.” – Sam Kahn

#9) “Home-buying is a massive investment and huge undertaking so it’s important to not let your emotions take hold. Partner with a broker who will take the time to sit down with you 3-6 months ahead of time to outline your goals, the entire buying process, and current climate of the market. It’s critical to align and refine realistic parameters and a sensible budget ahead of time; otherwise you are setting yourself up for headache and heartbreak. Extra points in finding a broker that will be candid about their professional opinion even if it’s not necessarily what you want to hear.”  – Jake Tasharki

Making an Offer

#10) “When you’ve found “the one” and are ready to make an offer, consult with your broker to determine a fair opening bid. This should be based on what you believe the property is truly worth and what you can afford. Many buyers’ first instinct is to submit an offer far below market value. This strategy often offends the seller and will not work when inventory is low.” – Vanessa Kanavos

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