Irving Park Single Family HomeIRVING PARK MARKET REPORT as of April, 2016

The market is shifting in Irving Park. According to Midwest Real Estate Data, the average sales price of 4 bedroom, 4 bath homes in Irving Park is $610,000. There are many more rehabbed homes coming on the market this year, including two new or rehabbed homes just put on the market in the mid to upper $500K ranges.

The overall observations and feedback from recent showings and open houses in the neighborhood.

Competition: Very recently buyers are seeing more new or newly rehabbed homes for sale, and we are seeing price reductions on those homes. While these homes may be slightly smaller or on smaller lots, they do offer the most current features and finishes. This goes beyond paint color, into cabinetry, amenities such a master baths with dual sinks and separate whirlpool tubs in addition to showers. Buyers viewing these homes begin to develop a taste and preference, and it may become their new standard. Here is a recent home for sale in the neighborhood.

A recent article in Illinois Association of Realtors quotes a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, stating that Millenials prefer modern or farmhouse styles, while boomers prefer traditional. Both groups prefer white cabinets, grey walls and stainless appliances.

Closed Properties: In studying those homes most recently under contract or closed, the trend is for buyers to choose homes that although slightly smaller than the subject property, rehabbed with new front elevations/porches, and current amenities and features, as well as finishes and color schemes in white, grey and blue. Common elements are expanded master baths as well as stainless appliance kitchens with glass tile or subway tile back splashes, some with high end appliances, and white cabinetry as the new norms.


We’re a few months into the year and many potential buyers and sellers are wondering, is this a good year to get into the market? Many current homeowners are thinking about the value of their homes, even if they’re not thinking of listing anytime soon.

The information for March provides an overview of what’s in store for the American real estate market this year based on expert predictions and current price and sales data. These forecasts provide insight into current trends and paint a picture of what may happen this year. However, while our market may appear similar to the national market, local and regional factors may play a role in specific forecasts for our market.

If you’d like to know more about our local market, want to know how much your home is worth or are thinking of buying or selling, give me a call. I’d love to discuss the market with you and assist you with all of your real estate needs.

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Tax time is right around the corner. While many people wait until the last minute to complete tax returns, it may pay off to get started now, especially if you plan to itemize.

This month’s information outlines several deductions you may be able to claim on your taxes if you qualify. These deductions, including writing off sales tax and your mortgage interest, allow you to reduce the amount of taxes you owe and help you maximize your savings. Page two helps you get organized for tax season by providing a list of tasks to tackle now.

Tax time can be stressful for many people. The more you prepare, the less stressful the process will be.

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Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this year, or know someone who is? Whether it’s your first time dipping your toe in the real estate world or your fifth, it’s important to have an agent you trust by your side to help you through the process and serve you after the sale.

This month’s information outlines nine reasons to enlist the aid of an experienced real estate professional, like us, to guide you through buying or selling a home. Eliminate the confusion and frustration of trying to understand the real estate process on your own and give us a call with your questions and concerns. We’re more than happy to discuss your unique situation, as well as give you an update on our local market.

And below are tips for you while navigating through the process:

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Many sellers have the impression that in order to sell a home, you just have to list it. While listing is certainly part of the process, there’s quite a bit of preparation to undertake before your home’s listing goes “live” on the MLS.

This month, I’m sharing information about the steps to take when you’re thinking of selling your home. Selling is an emotional process, whether you’ve lived in the home for one year or 20 years. In addition to packing and making repairs and upgrades to get the home ready to view, you may also be busy looking for a new home to rent or buy. Page one offers general tips for sellers as well as tips targeted toward sellers who are trading up, that is, selling a smaller home in order to buy a larger one. Page two offers tips for the seller who is downsizing, or selling a large home in order to buy a smaller home.

Whether you’re upsizing, downsizing or buying a similar home in another neighborhood, give us a call! We can address all of your questions and concerns and offer our expertise to help your home stand out in our market.

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Stage Your Home to Sell


If you’re like many people, you’re always looking for ways to save money on your monthly water and utility bills. You turn off the lights when you leave the room, turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth and only wash full loads in the dishwasher. What else can you do?

This month’s information outlines six simple home improvements you can make to help you save on your utility bills. From upgrading your fixtures to applying weather stripping to drafty windows, these simple suggestions are sure to save resources and money.

Do you want to improve the value of your home? Page two outlines three projects that will help you boost its value, whether you’re thinking of listing it now or in the future.

Below are tips to keep in mind when pricing your home for sale. If you’re thinking of selling, give me a call at 312-261-0077!

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How to Get Your Home Sold


Happy New Year!

Here’s something to think about in 2016. How does housing impact the economy?

Buying a home not only offers you potential benefits, it also positively impacts the local and national economies. How so?

This month’s information delves into the positive impact of a healthy housing market on the national and local economies. Page one gives the scoop on the impression housing has on the local economy, specifically the impact of new homes. Page two goes into the influence of housing on the national economy and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Housing is sure to be a hot topic in the coming months, as the election takes center stage in the media. If you’d like to learn more about how this benefits you, don’t hesitate to give me a call.

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Housing Outlook 2016


5540 Glenwood LR“It happens all the time,” David Painter said. “I stage the property on Wednesday, and by Friday, it’s sold. And then there are also a bunch of times where a property was on the market for six to eight months, a year, and then I go and stage it and it sells in a week.”

Painter and Bradley Walworth are co-founders of Exit Stage Right, located at 626 ½ W. Barry Ave., 2S, in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The team of experienced creative professionals has staged more than 50 properties with values from $180,000 to $6 million throughout the Chicagoland area.

They have vast experience in home staging, model home staging, redesign service, move management, professional painting, residential and commercial interior decorating, kitchen and bathroom finishes, furniture design and lighting selection.

Painter said transitional design trends seem to work best. “This means it’s between modern and traditional,” he said. “The reason that it works for staging is that staging should really be middle of the road and really not a definition of the house. You are trying to make people notice the house and not notice the furniture.”

He advises sellers to declutter their homes and remove personal photographs before they put their homes on the market. Furniture and other belongings that would be best to be removed before showing the house can be placed in temporary storage or the home of a friend or family member. All the projects that sellers meant to do but never started or completed, like painting the front door, or cleaning up a closet, should be taken care of.

Sometimes it can be difficult to explain to sellers why their personal objects should be removed. “I just simply say to them, ‘Are you selling these items with the house? Then why are they are important to be there? Your house is a product that you are putting on the market. Everything that I’m telling you to do will help you sell it quicker,’” Painter said.

Exit Stage Right offers different types of staging. If it’s a vacant property, then Painter stages it with his own furniture and accessories that he owns. If someone is living there, “then we try to use their items as much as possible,” he said. “Some things just don’t work, like Dad’s old beat-up recliner. So I will need to bring something in there that will match the other furniture in their home.”

“When you are staging, one thing not to do is declutter too much, where you basically devoid your house of everything,” Painter said. “You do need something to add warmth to the room, like tossed pillows and a little accessory there. Don’t forget about the outside of your house. If you live in a condo situation or you live in a single family home, you need to make sure that the outside of your house looks as good as the inside because it literally is the first impression. So take care of everything, because people do see things subliminally that they don’t catch onto (the first time), that they can’t verbalize as to why they don’t like it.”

Painter also said it’s best that sellers not be at their house or condo when prospective buyers are coming to see it.

The end of summer is a busy time of year for Exit Stage Right. Painter said he is scheduled probably two months out. When it’s not this time of year, he is usually scheduled out a week in advance.

When a potential client contacts him for staging work, he visits the property, makes suggestions on what should be improved and/or changed, and then, once those changes are made, sets up the staging area.

Clients can sign either a three-month or six-month contract. At the end of the contract, if the home hasn’t been sold, then the client has the option of re-signing the contract on a month-to-month basis if they choose to use the furnishings.

“If the home goes under contract and they clear all of their contingencies and the attorney review, then the agent will give me a call and it’s time to pick up the furniture,” Painter said.

For more information, visit, call Painter at 773-329-8837 or email him at

Victoria MartyVictoria Marty has written for newspapers and magazines for more than 15 years and recently moved to the Lincoln Square, Chicago area. A frequent runner who loves learning and exploring new places, she has perfected the art of getting lost while simultaneously finding unique landmarks, boutiques and out-of-the-way nooks worth writing about. Her blogs are geared toward the newly transplanted who want to learn as much about Chicago as they can, as quickly as possible.


Are you in the market for a new home, thinking of selling your current home or are just curious about the market?

This month’s information will give you the scoop on what’s going on in the national market. Is now a good time to buy or sell or both? Who’s driving household formation? Will there be an increase in new homes built? What’s the deal with home prices? This month’s information answers these questions and more to give you a better view of the real estate market at the national level.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that these statistics may not reflect what’s going on in our local market. If you want to learn more about the local market, give me a call! I’m never too busy to answer your questions about the local market. If you have family or friends who are thinking of buying or selling, pass this information on to them.

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The Home Seller's To-Do List


As temperatures rise and we begin to spend more time outside, it’s important to make sure that our families remain safe. It may be nice outside, but summer can be a dangerous time of year around the home.

This month’s information is designed to help you keep your family safe this summer. Page one is all about pool safety. Whether you and your family swim in a private pool or in your community’s public pool, these tips will help to ensure that they stay safe. Page two offers tips to help you find and mitigate the common hazards found around your home and yard.

Pass this information along to your family and friends to help them stay safe this summer.

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How to Childproof Your Home