Real Estate Blog

Home values continue to rise nationwide and many are wondering whether we are heading towards another bubble. Zillow recently reported that "National home values have surpassed the peak hit during the housing bubble and are at their highest value in more than a decade."

That is a correct statement but we must understand that just comparing prices of a decade ago does not mean we are at bubble numbers.

Here is a graph of median prices as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

It shows that prices rose during the early 2000s, fell during the crash and have risen since 2013.

For comparison, let’s assume there was neither a housing bubble or a crash and that home prices appreciated at normal historic levels (3.6% annually)

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If you are thinking of selling or buying a home, the most important decision to make is to hire the right real estate agent. Most agent are familiar with the process and can show you homes, but you should expect much more from them. Truly understanding the market is much more difficult as it seems, as we have all learned from the housing crisis. A real estate agent's job is to educate you so you can make the right decision for your needs. 

Here are a few questions you should ask your agent before you hire him or her: 

How does a change in mortgage interest rates affect buyer demand and seller's supply? 

As home prices are increasing briskly, is there a danger of another housing bubble?

Do you need a minimum of 20% down payment to purchase

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Some experts are wondering wether the number of homes currently being sold can continue at the same rate. The concern is that with a record number of people buying houses, we are heading towards another bubble and ultimately a crash. 

Let's take a closer look at the numbers: 

When you look at the last four years of home sales and compare them with the three years preceding the last bubble, there may be reason for concern. However, if you look further back in history, it is evident that the pace of sales is quite natural and healthy, as shown in the graph below: 

Bottom Line:

The current pace of home sales is normal and appears to be maintainable in the future. 

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Story by Alby Gallun of Crain's Chicago Business.

Bringing new meaning to the term "long-term hold," a Chicago family has sold a 48-unit apartment building in Lincoln Park a century after building it.

Newcastle, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm, said it paid $18.7 million for the seven-story building at 325 W. Fullerton Parkway. Property records identify the seller as Joseph R. Swanson, whose grandfather, Joseph E. Swanson, developed the apartment building in 1917. You won't find too many properties passed down like a family heirloom through three generations. Many developers these days cash out as quickly as they can, especially in today's hot apartment market.

"But it's not unusual for us to come across properties that are being sold

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Easter and Passover

 are - like many other holidays - associated withe special food. Most holiday foods are seasonal treats and the Easter cake is no exception. When I did a search for Easter cakes, I came up with a large variety of very different recipes, mostly defined by geographical origin. I consider myself a very open minded and forward thinking person, but when it comes to Holiday treats, I stick with tradition. Due to my Swiss heritage, I am partial to that country's version of Easter cake, but that is just because there isn't a better version anywhere else in the world! In Switzerland this cake is as popular as Easter eggs, the only debate is whether it's prepared with rice or semolina. 

When it comes to personal preferences, real

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Photograph by Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

Eleven Madison in New York won the number one spot in the world's 50 best restaurant awards. This is the first time since 2004 that a US restaurant has won the top spot.

As reported by Richard Vines/Bloomberg, the winners were announced in a ceremony at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. The list is decided by a panel of more than 1,000 chefs, food writers and other experts from 26 geographical regions.

When Copenhagen restaurant Noma first won in 2010, 100,000 people tried to book online the following day. And after El Celler de Can Roca’s 2013 victory, its website received 12 million hits. Three extra employees were hired to turn  down requests for tables, and the waiting list grew to one year,

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According to an article in Crain's Business, a new residential project with about 700 apartments and condo units could be built on a parking lot across from Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago's River North area. 

According to the article, Chicago-based JDL Development confirmed that they are in talks with the Archdiocese of Chicago to acquire the site across the Cathedral. The site is now being used as a parking lot. 

The site is located in one of the most expensive and thought after neighborhoods in River North, just a couple blocks away from Michigan Avenue and surrounded by luxury hotels and condominium buildings. 

We have long wondered when this site would be developed and what type of project would be built. According to the Crain's article, the

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According to the March 2017 Home Survey conducted and published by the National Association of Realtors, a majority of respondents feel that now is a good time to buy or sell a home. 

Of the 72% of the respondents who said that now is a good time to buy, 47% believe strongly that now is a good time to  buy a home. 

Interestingly, a majority of respondents also feel that now is a good time to sell. Of the 69% who feel that way, 19% strongly believe now is a good time to sell. 

To read the full report, visit

Would you like to discuss why it may be a good time for you to buy or sell a home now? 

Contact Andreas Holder for more details.


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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group Broker

Andreas Holder Named Consulate Liaison to The Federal Republic of Gemany for Illinois REALTORS®


CHICAGO, IL – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group has announced that Andreas Holder was named by the Illinois REALTORS® as one of a select few members who will work with foreign consulates to promote the state’s real estate business.


Holder was selected to represent the association as it works to build ties with The Federal Republic of Germany. The partnership is through the association’s Consulate General Liaison program, which matches members with experience in international real estate with foreign consulates.


“Increasingly, the business

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Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market. Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right. Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers

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