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Karen Breen Elia

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Why Invest In a REIT

by Karen Breen Elia

Investment alert:  According to RISmedia, the most significant innovation to hit the residential real estate market in decades occurred in 2012 to little fanfare: A first single family REIT (real estate investment trust) went public. For the first time in history, everyday people can now own shares of the American Housing Market, one share at a time. REITNot since the creation of the 30-year fixed mortgage can so much capital flow into the single family market as will flow into it in the next ten years, via single family REITs.

And what, you may ask, is a REIT? The letters REIT stand for real estate investment trust, which is sometimes called "real estate stock." Essentially, REITs are corporations that own and manage a portfolio of real estate properties and mortgages. Anyone can buy shares in a publicly traded REIT. They offer the benefits of real estate ownership without the headaches or expense of being a landlord.

Howstuffworks.com advises that investing in income-generating homes can be a great way to increase your net worth. But for many people, investing in real estate is simply out of reach financially. But what if you could pool your resources with other small investors and invest in real estate as a group? REITs (pronounced like "treats") allow you to do just that.

As well as providing a tax benefits for investors, single family REITs provide a path to homeownership to everyone with a minimum down payment of one share. In this way, it is lowering the barrier to homeownership – to $100.  Imagine if, instead of buying a $200,000 house with 20 percent down, a family opted to lease a $200,000 home and put the $40,000 into the REIT that owns it. They would then own shares in a portfolio of thousands of houses, including their own. Their down payment money would be in houses, including their own, and be completely liquid.

Simply put, real estate investment trusts (REITs) give investors a chance to invest in real estate without the added risk of buying real property.  Single family REITs offer a way for people to get in on the institutional investment of homes for conversion into rental units. The collapsed U.S. housing economy and accumulation of distressed homes has given large-scale investment firms an opportunity to buy in bulk, and now many are looking for public funding through REITs.  Click here for more info.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

 

Elia Receives New "Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®)” Designation

by Karen Breen Elia

Professional negotiation skills are necessary for all real estate agents
in helping home buyers and sellers, especially in the current market

Karen Breen Elia has been awarded the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designation from the Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI).  The CNE is earned by real estate professionals after successfully completing formal certified negotiation expertnegotiation training over two days.  Agents who receive this certification are among the top agents in the country in negotiation skills.

With professional negotiation skills, agents are able to help clients obtain better results in the sale or purchase of their home.  CNE agents have a higher skill level which enables them to 1) communicate more effectively to uncover desired information, 2) help clients understand their options, 3) work collaboratively with others, and 4) resolve deadlocks.  CNE agents have a thorough understanding of how to negotiate effectively to help achieve their client’s goals.    

The Real Estate Negotiation Institute is the leading negotiation training and coaching company in the real estate industry.  Collectively, the Real Estate Negotiation Institute’s instructors have over 300 years of real estate and negotiation experience.  Tom Hayman, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, asserts:  “Any Buyer or Seller who hires a CNE agent can feel confident they have one of the best trained negotiators in real estate.  They should achieve superior results and have better resolution of all issues when represented by a CNE agent.”

For more information visit www.theRENI.com.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

4 Tips To Avoid Common First-time Homebuyer Mistakes

by Karen Breen Elia

First-time homebuyers owe it to themselves to do a lot of research about the finances of buying a home. Here are four first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid.

homebuyer1. Spending the maximum amount on a mortgage a lender will loan.

Lenders often qualify buyers based on incomes and debt-to-income ratios without considering how much the borrowers spend on other budget items.

Financial experts recommend that consumers decide how much they want to spend each month on housing before meeting with a lender. It’s up to you to know your budget and to not just jump at a mortgage amount that a lender says you can afford.

2. Not getting pre-qualified.

This should be the first step toward homeownership. Many first-time homebuyers wait until they are ready to start house hunting before contacting a lender.

Buyers need to get pre-qualified early enough in the process so that they can make changes if they need to or correct errors on their credit report. Some first-time buyers may need to spend up to a year saving more money, increasing their incomes or cleaning up their credit before making an offer on a home.

3. Underestimating the importance your credit score.

While most consumers know it's important to have a high credit score, not everyone understands how costly a low score can be. Mortgage lending is done with a tier of interest rates and terms based on consumer credit scores. Learn about credit scores the minute you start working. Many websites provide information about how to improve your credit score.

And remember, even after a mortgage approval, you must avoid applying for new credit or taking on new debt, because a second credit check is now often required before settlement.

4. Choosing the wrong mortgage product

Many first-time homebuyers opt for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage only because it is an industry standard. Alternatives to a 30-year-fixed sometimes make more sense. For example, buyers certain they will be relocated by their companies within five years may find a 5/1 ARM could be a much better mortgage.

Homebuyers eager to build equity in their homes or who are older and want to live mortgage-free in retirement should consider a 15-year fixed-rate loan or even a 10-year mortgage to reach their goals.

Do your homework and don’t jump at a mortgage because it will buy you a bigger home.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Ways To Pay Off Your Mortgage Sooner – And Why

by Karen Breen Elia

According to a DexOne Corporation survey, as reported by CT Power Team, “42% of Americans say that their mortgage is the debt they most want to eliminate.” That is a completely understandable goal when you consider the savings. The important question is "How can I do it?” Here are some examples…

  • mortgageIncrease your monthly mortgage payments simply by adding a fixed amount to your required payments. The easiest way to do this is to use an increase in your income from time to time to increase the amount of your mortgage payment. Doing that does two things for you...
  1. It decreases the amount of principal owed by a larger amount each month.
     
  2. The following month, after making an increased payment, you pay less interest because of the larger decrease in the principle. The combination of the above two changes results in paying off the mortgage in less time than originally scheduled and you will pay significantly less total interest.
  • Make additional payments on the principle at any time if you can’t increase your regular monthly payment. You can do this anytime you have a little left over at the end of the month, or you get a bonus at the end of the year, or you receive a gift. No matter how much, or how little, you pay extra it will decrease the time it takes to pay off the mortgage. That means you will save interest.
     
  • Refinance with a shorter-term mortgage if you see the interest rates come down. Just keep in mind that refinancing means spending money on loan closing costs. Only consider this if the interest rates are lowered enough to justify paying closing costs. Otherwise, you can always choose to keep your original mortgage, but increase the monthly payment as outlined above.

Here’s just one example of how paying off early works…

Let’s assume you are paying on a 30-year mortgage for $200,000 at a 5% interest rate. If you pay off the mortgage in 30 years, you will pay $186,512 in interest. If you pay off that same mortgage with even payments over 20 years, you will pay as little as $116,779 in interest. That’s $70,000 that stays in you pocket.

Visit bankrate.com for more in-depth information. Also, use their online mortgage calculator. You will never regret paying off your mortgage sooner then planned.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

 

Chicago Foreclosure Trends for Sept 2014

by Karen Breen Elia

In September, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Chicago was 2% higher than the previous month and 19% lower than the same time last year, according to RealtyTrac.com.

Chicago Foreclosure Activity

In September, the number of Auctions decreased 6.4% from the previous month and 19.0% from the previous year. Bank-owned properties decreased 7.5% from the previous month and 33.5% from the previous year. Pre-foreclosures increased 18.4% from the previous month and dropped 6.1% from the previous year.

chicago foreclosure


Chicago Foreclosure Geographical Comparison

Chicago foreclosures were 0.05% higher than national statistics, the same as Illinois figures, and 0.03% lower than Cook County numbers in September.

chicago foreclosure

Chicago Foreclosure Status

The current distribution of foreclosures based on the number of active foreclosure homes in Chicago.

In September, Pre-foreclosures accounted for 39.2% of the foreclosures activity, Auctions accounted for 38.1%, and Bank-owned properties 22.74.9%.

chicago foreclosure

 Are you or someone you know behind on mortgage payments? There are options to Chicago foreclosures. A short sale may be the answer to saving you, your family and your credit. Contact us for a private consultation. We can help!

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Chicago Condo For Rent: 2418 Bloomingdale Ave #210

by Karen Breen Elia

Chicago Condo For Rent:

2418 Bloomingdale Ave #210, Chicago IL 60647
MLS# 08762332

The Best Of Bucktown

2418 w bloomingdale ave

The Best of Bucktown and steps to 606- Bloomingdale Trail!  Awesome top floor heavy timber loft for rent in a rare live/work building.  1,080 sq. ft., 1 bedroom, 1 bath with 9.5’ ceilings, huge custom closets, large skylight, 25’ of windows, hardwood floors and central air conditioning.  An upgraded kitchen features granite counter-tops, farmhouse sink, stainless steel appliances and embossed tin-style back-splash.  An assigned parking space is included in the rental.  The building features an elevator, laundry room, landscaped courtyard, grape arbor, mail room, community room (free for resident use), workshop, storage lockers and bike storage.  Walk to blue line el, and all Bucktown/Wicker Park attractions.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Chicago Real Estate Market Trends for September 2014

by Karen Breen Elia

Forget a sea view mansion. CnnMoney.com reports in Hong Kong, parking spaces are some of the hottest properties on the market.

Hong Kong is a densely populated city and eager have pushed prices for parking spaces to record highs in recent months with prime spaces now selling for far more than the luxury cars that park in them.

In May, a single space in a residential neighborhood on Hong Kong Island went for 4.24 million Hong Kong dollars ($547,000), making it the most expensive parking space ever sold in the territory.

Knowing what mere parking spaces are selling for in Hong Kong certainly puts our own real estate market into perspective.

Take a look at September’s real estate sales statistics.

September 2014 Real Estate Market Update

Chicago Real Estate Sales – Detached Single Homes

The number of Chicago detached single homes selling in Sept 2014 decreased 4.1% for the month compared to Sept 2013. The average selling price increased by 14.1% to $854,987 and the average market time decreased by 6 days. Homes sold for 97% of the listed price.

Neighborhoods included in these statistics are: Avondale, Albany Park, Edgewater, Irving Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Loop, Near North Side, Near South Side, Near West Side, North Park, North Center, Rogers Park, Uptown, West Ridge, West Town.
 

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

Sept 2014

185

$854,987

97%

56

Sept 2013

193

$749,208

96%

62

 
Chicago Real Estate Sales – Attached Single Homes

The number of Chicago attached single homes selling in Sept 2014 decreased by 6.7% for the month when compared to Sept 2013. The average selling price increased 7.7% to $393,425 and the average market time increased by 5 days. Homes sold for 98% of the listed price.
 

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

Sept 2014

1,114

$393,425

98%

66

Sept 2013

1,195

$368,816

96%

61


Chicago Real Estate Sales – 2-4 Flats

The number of Chicago multi-family properties selling in Sept 2014 increased by 9.7% from Sept 2013. The average selling price increased 19% from Sept 2013 prices, and the average market time decreased by 11 days. Homes sold for 96% of the listed price.
 

Date

Sold Listings

Average Sold Price

SP:LP

Average Market Time

Sept 2014

124

$509,349

96%

87

Sept 2013

113

$427,937

96%

76

 
Curious about the value of your home? Get your home's value here!

Information courtesy of Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

Your Personal Open House Invitation

by Karen Breen Elia

OPEN HOUSE:

Sunday, October 26, 2014  - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sunday, November 2, 20141 p.m. – 3 p.m.

5323 N Kenmore Ave #1, Chicago IL 60640

Exceptional Space In An Exceptional Location!

Exceptional space and storage in an exceptional Edgewater/East Andersonville location!  Rare duplex up in Kenton Court on a charming, leafy street steps from the lake, the park, Bryn Mawr Historic District, Mariano’s, and the red line el. 

  • 5323 n kenmore ave1,588 square feet
  • 2-3 bedrooms
  • Re-done baths
  • Gas fireplace
  • Office/study
  • Laundry storage room
  • South facing patio
  • Private deck
  • Outstanding storage
  • Assigned, secure onsite parking included

Don't miss out on this opportunity to view an exceptional home!

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

4 Tips for Raising Your Credit Score

by Karen Breen Elia

We have all been there before, getting ready to buy a house and then suddenly something of a negative nature pops up on our credit score that poses to keep us out of our dream home forever.  There are ways to make sure you DO raise credit scoreNOT end up in this sort of predicament however. Hopefully, the following tips for raising your credit score  will be beneficial to you so that you can find your new home and move in before the holidays!

  • Pay credit card bills before the statement date.  Many times folks wait until the due date to pay a bill but if you are willing and able to pay them before the statement date, your credit score is likely to improve.
     
  • If you can afford to make multiple payments on your credit balance throughout the month, this will also show favorably on your credit score.  Check with your credit card company to make sure you are allowed to do this before beginning because some do not allow it. 
     
  • If you only have a couple bad marks on your credit, you can ask for a "good will deletion" .  Of course if you are late over and over again you will not be able to reap this reward but if you can show that you otherwise have paid your bills on time you may be able to get those couple nasty marks off your credit and therefore raise your score!
     
  • If one of your accounts has recently gone into collections you may be able to pay it off and have it removed from your credit report as a result.  Be sure to get any type of promise to delete in writing so that you can be sure it will be taken off once you pay. 

Credit issues can be hard to deal with especially if you are looking to purchase a new home in the near future, but take it from someone who knows…it CAN be done and you CAN have the house of your dreams maybe sooner than you had imagined!  Keep working at it and you will succeed and come out the other side ready to move forward into your future!

Information provided by Chicago Realtor Karen Breen Elia.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Chicago Home For Sale: 5323 N Kenmore Ave #1

by Karen Breen Elia

Chicago Home For Sale:

5323 N Kenmore Ave #1, Chicago IL 60640
MLS# 08752317

Exceptional Space In An Exceptional Location!

5323 n kenmore ave chicago il

Exceptional space and storage in an exceptional Edgewater/East Andersonville location!  Rare duplex up in Kenton Court on a charming, leafy street steps from the lake, the park, Bryn Mawr Historic District, Mariano’s, and the red line el. 

The condo features 1,588 square feet with 2-3 bedrooms, two full newly redone baths, two private outside spaces and assigned secured parking.  The floor plan is tailored for today’s multi-functioning spaces, and provides privacy as well as outstanding storage.  

Enter the living room, with gas fireplace, which opens to the private, south facing patio.  An adjoining office/study expands the living area on the first floor.  The open kitchen and dining room creates ease for entertaining and family time.  There is a full bath and two huge walk in closets on the first level.

Upstairs are three bedrooms (one is tandem) and a shared master bath. The master bedroom has two separate closets, and the second bedroom has another huge walk in closet.  There is a full laundry/storage room, as well as a private deck.  Additional closet space in the third bedroom, as well as a coat closet and utility closet and separate storage locker accommodate all storage needs.

Marketed by Karen Breen Elia, Chicago IL Realtor.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side.

ChicagoCityHomes, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue 
Chicago IL 60657
Toll Free: (866) 404-3585 Fax: (773) 938-1467 
Send An Email

We know Chicago Real Estate!  Call us today!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 139

Contact Information

Photo of ChicagoCityHomes Real Estate
ChicagoCityHomes
RE/MAX Exclusive Properties
2951 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
Cell: 773-230-4294
Toll Free: 866-404-3585
Fax: 773-938-1467