Real Estate Blog

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Here Is What You Need To Know As A Foreigner Buying Real Estate In The U.S.

It is abundantly clear that we are now, more than ever, living in a global economy. America will likely always be a desired destination for the international entrepreneur or multinational employee. Thus, it is good to have some familiarity with basic concepts of immigration law and some general visa types that may be suitable for the global buyer. 

In this brief introductory guide to U.S. visas, we outline some commonly used visa options that might be applicable to international buyers. Please note that the information provided in this guide is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please

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Welcome to "How's The Market?"

Halloween in Gold Coast

This month in the news: The U.S. unemployment rate hit its lowest mark since December 1969, at 3.7 percent. The economy continues to show healthy signs of growth and the Federal Reserve has recently reacted by raising the benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point, which was the third time it did so in 2018.

However, according to Chicago Crains Business News, home sales in the Chicago area in September took their biggest downturn in 7 years. 

According to the data reported by Illinois Realtors, sales of homes in Chicago were down 16.6 percent in September from a year earlier. That's the steepest decline in sales of any month since May 2011, when sales were down 17 percent. The decline in Chicago is

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Welcome to "How's The Market?"

Astor Street Chicago

 

This month in the news: Natural disasters, changing demographics and income levels, fluctuations in the financial markets, all affect residential real estate markets. Home prices in Seattle and San Francisco have skyrocketed due to the growth of e-commerce and the explosion of technology, while markets are suffering in areas hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

This month, we are reminded by hurricane Florence, of the impact that such events can have on local markets. But from Katrina to Sandy to Harvey to Maria, experience shows that housing markets were bent but not broken. 

Here is a snapshot of Chicago neighborhood statistics for the month of August. 

According to statistics by the Chicago

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Insurance and replacement Costs

How can you make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage for your home and its contents? Your lender may require you to have a basic policy that covers your dwelling, but you are responsible to figure out how much coverage is right for you for everything you own.

A replacement cost is the amount it tales to rebuild your home or repair damages with similar materials and quality. If you live in a condo or coop, the association carries insurance to replace the building in case of a total loss, or, and that happens more frequently, repair damages to the common elements of the building. You are only responsible to have insurance for everything within your demising walls of your unit.  This usually includes all built-ins such as bathroom fixtures,

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Are you ready to sell?

So you have decided to sell your home and figured out some strategies that you think will yield the highest price and shortest time on market. Your real estate agent might not necessarily agree and in fact, will most probable tell you that these techniques may well be hurting your chances of selling the house quickly and at for the most money possible.  

“I’m not making any repairs.”  Today's buyer prefers to buy a new home or a home that was recently renovated and is in perfect move-in condition. Many buyers don't have the time or patience to go through a renovation project. It pays for the seller to make all necessary repairs and possibly some remodeling to bring their house in top shape before listing it. 

"My home has to be worth more than

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Welcome to "How's The Market?"

Lincoln Park in Summer

National overview: The U.S. housing market is becoming more and more regionalized. High priced markets in the West are experiencing a slow-down with fewer showings and sales. The Midwest appears to be stable with increased listings and sales, while inventory is slightly growing. Many Northeast markets have had trouble keeping pace with the overall U.S. economic recovery. And the South is experiencing more showings and sales than the rest of the nation. 

Here are some highlights in the Chicago region:

  • 2,776 properties were sold in the City of Chicago in July; a 2.9% increase from July 2017
  • The median sales price was $305,000, up 1.7% from the same time last year
  • Days on market from listing to contract
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Welcome To "How's The Market!" 

Chicago how's the market

If you have been following my weekly market updates, you notice that today's report has a different format. I think this format is easier to understand as it gives you a snapshot of whats going on in different neighborhoods. Today we start with an analysis of three areas - Near North (Gold Coast, Streeterville and River North), Lincoln Park and Lake View. I hope you enjoy reading and I would love to hear your feed back!

Market  Overview:

You may hear some talk about another real estate pricing bubble. While there are some indicators that might point in that direction, they are weak and any prognosis is premature.  As prices continue to rise and inventory is still tight, while wages don't rise as quickly, we

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What contingencies are typical in a purchase contract and what do they mean for buyer and seller?

 

purchase contingencies

When I work with buyers looking for homes for sale, they often send me listings they saw on-line but are not available. Why? Because the listing status is "contingent", meaning that the contract includes one or more contingencies which have not been met. For the buyer a contingency is a protection from a condition that may not be met and it gives the buyer a way to get out of the contract. For the seller, some contingencies in a contract are not a problem, while others can make an offer very weak because the contingency is likely not to be met. 

As a buyer, a home purchase is one of the largest financial commitments you ever make and you want

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Welcome To Market Updates!

Here you will find a weekly update of housing market trends in different Chicago neighborhoods.

This week, we are looking at River North, zip code 60654

The median list price for townhomes and condominiums for this week is $519,000.

Inventory has been decreasing lately but the Market Action Index is falling, too. With days on market climbing, these appear to be market-slowing conditions, but it is at least partially due to seasonal fluctuations. 

Market trends River North July 25 2018

 

Supply and Demand

  • While prices have recently plateaued, this is a buyer's market and the supply of homes listed has started to increase relative to demand. 
  • This indicates that prices could resume a downward trend, however these are also seasonal
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How Foreigners Buy Real Estate In the US

 

International home buyers have been pouring billions of dollars in the US housing market in the last few years, to take advantage of the lower prices and the weaker dollar. 

But many foreigners find it difficult to understand and navigate through the home buying process, as it can be confusing and different from state to state. The fact that most foreign buyers are negotiating from abroad, doesn't make the process any easier. 

Most foreigners who buy a home in the US pay cash. However, since the US mortgage rates are generally lower than in their home country, more and more buyers are interested in obtaining financing for their second - or third - home in the US. Some lenders have specific programs

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