When planning to buy a new home, don't be intimidated by these common myths!

Uptown Benjamin Marshall

"The first step is to look for a house"

Before you start browsing for new homes, you have to do some homework. To know the true price you can afford, talk to a mortgage lender and get pre-approved. A lender will break down he monthly payments so that you know what you can comfortably spend. That will translate to your target purchase price. 

Once you are pre-approved, you can focus your search in your price range. When you find a house you like, you are prepared to make a strong offer with your pre-approval letter. Many home sellers will nit even consider an offer that does not include a pre-approval letter. 

During the mortgage approval process, the lender will…

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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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More foreign buyers chose Chicago for their real estate investments

International Flags

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash

To buy and own real property in the United States continues to have a strong International appeal. According to the National Association of REALTORS’ 2016 Profile of International Activity, residential real estate sales in the U.S. to international buyers accounted for $102 billion between April 2015 and March 2016. 

Buyers bought mainly in the five following states: Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and New York. Latin Americans, Europeans and Canadians mostly bought properties in Florida and Arizona. California and New York attracted mostly Asian buyers. 

The Mid-West – and that means mostly the city of Chicago – is gaining in…

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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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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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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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Last month I talked about relaxing in the post holiday season and clearing body and mind from all the stress by taking long walks and eating healthy.

With some major International sports events currently going on, our focus is on the action and the year is off to a great start. Superball Sunday may be behind us but the sport getting our attention for the next two weeks is the Ski world championship taking place in St. Moritz, Switzerland. As a Swiss and avid skier, this is one of the most exciting events for me to follow.

Sports is like real estate. Everybody has different tastes and interests, and budgets. Major sporting events such as a World championship are all about racing and winning, be it as an individual or as a team. But an event of that…

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There is a myth about home buying and selling that we need to throw away with overdue Thanksgiving meal leftovers. The myth is that the holiday season is a bad time to buy or sell a home. Not true! It is one of the best times!

Here are four reasons why the most experienced real estate buyers and sellers know now is the best time of the year to make a a great deal:

1. Get serious: during the winter months, sellers are serious about selling and buyers are serious about buying. Quality is better than quantity, and you'll get a real, no-nonsense experience from November through February.

2. Own your schedule: Because there is less volume of traffic (because you've weeded out the Sunday browsing crowd), sellers are in better control of their…

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According to an article by Chris Matthews in Fortune Magazine, the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union cold mean higher home prices in the U.S.

It may seem strange that a political decision in the U.K. could have any impact on American housing prices, but such is the nature of an increasingly interconnected global economy. 

First, one of the immediate effects was to send yields of the 10-year Treasury falling, which is going to put downward pressure on mortgage rates, though slowly and not by much yet. Mortgage rates typically move with delay, especially in the way down. But eventually, lower mortgage rates means higher home prices because low rates enable homebuyers to afford a more expensive home with the same income. 


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Chinese buyers continue to play a major role in International Real Estate. It appears that the Chinese continue to invest heavily in properties in The United States, Canada and the U.K. For the Chinese, investments in Europe and North America are moderate risk, high-return business ventures. 

China's manufacturing output is the largest in the world. It has an economy that's built on exports and a fast growing population. A vast amount of people are moving from rural areas to cities every day, to the extent, that a new high rise building is completed every five days in major cities! However, the economy is not as strong as it once was. That creates a dilemma for wealthy Chinese: Should they continue investing in business ventures at home or put their…

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