Real Estate Market

In The Loop: Real Estate Chicago Style

August 2014 Market Update

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!

Fall projects to make your home sensational

fall projectsThere still is time to complete your unfinished outdoor projects. Follow these tips to make your home's exterior shine.

  • Smooth over concrete surfaces. In order to prevent trips or falls, now is a good time to fix and patch those cracks in the driveway or garage.  Be sure to fix them now before they get larger and you could incur larger repair costs. It will also help prevent any future accidents. Small cracks can be fixed with concrete caulk while large cracks require a patch. Make sure to clean out the crack before applying either of these substances.
     
  • Repaint the deck. Improving your deck, patio or porch is the seventh most popular home improvement project and it's easy to see why. When you picture yourself outside, you probably picture yourself sitting on the deck. So, make your deck stand out with a fresh coat of paint. Your deck needn't be brown and sullen. Infuse your backyard space by selecting whatever color you want. Your deck will be the toast of the neighborhood.
     
  • Give your old patio furniture a new look. If you're going to reinvent your deck, why stop there? Why not refresh your patio furniture to complement your deck's new color, too? With a simple coat of paint you can transform tables, chairs, and anything wicker in any hue or shade you desire.
     
  • Caulk around windows and any exterior joints, including doors. Many people think of this as a preventative project for winter, but a fresh application of caulk will protect cool air conditioning from escaping when you need it most.
     
  • Make your home's exterior sparkle. If your home suffered any damage during the winter, now is the perfect time for repairs that will make your home look great again. Walk around your home and look for damaged or missing siding. Replace these pieces and then use a pressure washer to clean and wash away excess dirt and grime. Using a special detergent appropriate for cleaning your home will give you better results. Once you're done with the siding, don't forget to grab the window cleaner and make those windows sparkle.

Each of these projects can return between 67 and 112 percent of their value to your home, according to DiGiorgi Roofing and Siding, not to mention the added joy you'll receive from these home improvements. So get out there and get to work. The sooner you finish your project, the sooner you'll be able to enjoy the rest of the year in style. (BPT)

6 tips for finding more affordable, better coverage during Medicare Annual Enrollment

medicareAre you among the 54 million Americans currently receiving health insurance through Medicare? The Medicare annual enrollment period (AEP), running from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, means you have the opportunity to change plans, and possibly find cost savings or better coverage.

Seniors and people with disabilities who receive their health care insurance through Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans can make changes to their plans during the AEP. They have a lot to consider this year.

More than 200 new prescription drug plans arrived in the Part D market this year and more than 2,000 Medicare Advantage plans were available nationwide.

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans also continues to increase - nearly 16 million people in 2014 - which indicates that more people like the benefits of using these health care plans. Many Medicare Advantage plans also have provider networks that mirror the type of coverage beneficiaries had through their employers while working.

But people may have dozens of Medicare plans to choose from, depending on where they live. This really opens the door to finding Medicare plans that are a better fit for you and your health care needs.

Here are some guidelines for when it might be worth exploring other Medicare plans:

1. You're paying too much for your monthly premium. Perhaps you've been with the same plan for several years and each year the cost goes up a little bit more. Shop around; there may be a number of other plan options where you live that could provide the same or better coverage at a lower cost.

2. You're paying too much out of pocket after you receive medical treatment. The costs with Medicare go beyond the monthly premium and include co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. If you've been surprised by the costs you must pay for medical treatment after the fact, you may want to talk to a Medicare plan selection specialist about your options and to ensure you know what to expect.

3. You can't use your preferred doctors with your Medicare plan. Some Medicare plans can change the networks of doctors and hospitals you can see. If you're finding it more and more difficult to see the doctors you would like to because of network changes, you could benefit from revisiting the Medicare plans in your area.

4. Prescription drug costs and coverage issues are causing you financial problems. The costs of medications today can be financially crippling for people with chronic health issues and those requiring specialized treatment. Some plans change their drug formularies from year to year, which can affect the cost of the drug you take or your ability to get coverage for a specific prescription medication.

5. You had a life change in the past year or expect big changes next year. If your income changed dramatically, you experienced a life-changing health issue, or you moved or plan to move, it could be vital for you to re-examine the scope of your Medicare coverage.

6. You were notified your plan will no longer be available in 2015. Sometimes Medicare plans leave the market. This can happen because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) determine that some of the plans are too similar and are no longer necessary, or there may be quality concerns or other reasons.

Medicare participants can find important information for annual enrollment through the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and the Evidence of Coverage (EOC) that they receive from their insurance providers. Watch the mail for these important notices.

Don't ignore the information you get from your Medicare plan providers in September because they may be telling you about premium changes and other provisions that will change your health care services next year. Take a close look at those materials, and consider reaching out to a Medicare plan selection specialist to help you review your options.

Visit Medicare.gov for more information about your options for 2015. (BPT)

Get your home's value here!

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