September 19th, 2017

These Old Houses at South Shore Public Library

These Old Houses
An Introduction to Chicago’s Vernacular Residential Architecture

Tuesday, October 17, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
At the South Shore Public Library, 2nd Floor Meeting Room
2505 E. 73rd St. (at Exchange)
Free!

Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

LivingRoom Realty is pleased to present a panel discussion about the historic houses that make Chicago’s neighborhoods great.

Chicago is known for its masterpiece buildings by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe. But the city’s architectural pedigree isn’t limited to the Loop. The humble houses built by generations of anonymous Chicagoans across the city have an even greater impact on our day-to-day lives, and tell the history of the city and its people.

From worker’s cottages to bungalows, two-flats to greystones, this event is an introduction to the vernacular architecture that makes Chicago, Chicago. Architectural historian Elizabeth Blasius will discuss some of the city’s most iconic building types, their history, features, and neighborhoods where they can be found. We’ll also have Matt Cole, of Neighborhood Housing Service’s Chicago Greystone & Vintage Home Program to talk about the nuts and bolts of caring for and fixing up an old Chicago house. Finally, Susannah Ribstein, LivingRoom broker and architectural historian, will go over some things to look for and think about when buying or selling one of these Chicago houses.

Across the city, Chicago is losing its historic vernacular housing to the pressure of new development or to disinvestment, permanently changing the texture of our neighborhoods. Old homes are often well-built with quality materials no longer available, so they can be adapted to modern living for less cost and environmental impact than building new.

LivingRoom is particularly pleased to bring this event to South Shore, a neighborhood known for its high-quality residential architecture. The panel discussion will specifically look at the housing types represented in South Shore to help residents care for and appreciate their homes.

Whether you’re thinking about buying a home or not, this event is for all Chicagoans who want to know more about the city’s built environment and how to celebrate and care for it.

Please RSVP to susannah@livingroomrealty.com.

Participant Bios

Elizabeth Blasius is a Chicago-based architectural historian and heritage conservationist.  Ms. Blasius has worked extensively in the private sector consulting clients on following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as well as conducting traditional research on buildings and neighborhoods for National Register of Historic Places nominations, historic structure reports, printed publications and films.  She sits on the boards of the Recent Past Preservation Network, The Society of Architectural Historians Chicago Chapter, and Logan Square Preservation.

Matt Cole joined Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago in 2006 and over the past 11 years has played strategic roles in NHS’s Neighborhood Strategy, Redevelopment Corporation, and Construction Services divisions.  As NHS’ Program & Grant Administrator, Mr. Cole currently helps facilitate the implementation of more than $5 million in public and private programs that support homeownership and residential building rehab in Chicago.  He is also responsible for managing NHS’ Chicago Greystone & Vintage Home Program, a historic preservation and cultural heritage-based education and technical assistance program aimed at encouraging reinvestment in vintage homes on Chicago’s South and West Side.  Prior to joining NHS, Mr. Cole was a planning and development consultant for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he worked on community-based reuse strategies for Superfund, brownfield, and abandoned mining sites.  Mr. Cole received his Master Degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. More information about the Greystone & Vintage Home Program here.

Susannah Ribstein is a broker with LivingRoom Realty. She studied art and architectural history at the University of Chicago and has an MS in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to becoming a real estate broker, she worked in the art world as a gallery manager and non-profit director. She lives in South Shore.

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December 6th, 2017

Conventional Loan Limits Have Increased for 2018

On November 29, 2017, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac officially announced they would be increasing the conventional loan limits for 2018. We turned to mortgage broker Ben Deboer from Molitor Financial Group to find out a little more:

LRR: Can you tell us a little more about the specifics of this change?

Ben: The loan limit for conventional loans has been increased from $424,100 to $453,100 for single family home and condo purchases. This means that if you were on the cusp of needing a JUMBO loan that required a higher down payment, you now may be able to use a regular conventional loan allowing for a smaller down payment. Also, if you are thinking about purchasing a multi-unit building, the loan limits on those have also increased. The loan limit for two unit buildings are now $580,150, three unit buildings are $701,250, and four unit buildings are $871,450.

LRR: How does this benefit buyers?

Ben: Before this change, if you needed to take a home loan out that was above $424,100, you would be forced to do so with a JUMBO loan. JUMBO loans characteristically have higher interest rates, higher down payment requirements, and more stringent underwriting guidelines. The minimum down payment for most JUMBO loans is 10%. With this increase in the conventional loan limit to $453,100, buyers will now have more flexibility to take advantage of the benefits of a conventional loan. With a conventional loan, buyers can put down as little as 3% and take advantage of conventional loans lower interest rates.

If you have further questions you can contact Ben at bend@molitorfinancial.com or (219) 308-5687.

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October 31st, 2017

Landscape of the Housing Market for Buyers, Monday, November 20th!

Landscape of the Market for Buyers LogoLandscape of the Housing Market for Buyers
Monday, November 20th, 6:30pm-8pm

It’s time for another buyers class! Now is the perfect time to learn about the housing market if you’re planning to buy in the spring. Join us at LivingRoom Realty from 6:30-8:00 pm on November 20th as Real Estate Broker Susannah Ribstein, Mortgage Broker Ben DeBoer, and Home Inspector Mike Lamb guide you through the current landscape of home purchasing.

Topics to be covered will be:

– The pre-approval process and preparing your finances
– Step by step overview of home buying process
– Loan products available in today’s market
– What are closing costs and detailed breakdown
– How to decide on what type of property to buy
– What to expect from a home inspection
– What to look for in a building
– Tips for saving for home improvements

Food and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP at contact@livingroomrealty.com, so we can plan appropriately. We look forward to seeing you!

Susannah Ribstein, LivingRoom Realty
Ben DeBoer, Molitor Financial
Mike Lamb, Inspection Connection Inc.

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October 31st, 2017

New Listing! 1934 N Washtenaw #412

Sophisticated, urban Logan Square two bed, one bathroom true loft with soaring fifteen foot concrete ceilings. Wide views via northern floor-to-ceiling windows and large private balcony. The kitchen has 42″ cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and an island/breakfast bar. The second bedroom is large enough for a guest bed AND office. Actual laundry room with shelving and storage.

Heated garage parking included. Common roof deck with stellar views of the Chicago skyline. Walk to everything: the 606, blue line, Michelin star restaurants, great neighborhood gems, pie! Sought after building in Logan!

Offered at $299,000. Contact Listing Agent Elizabeth Dudek at 312-498-7378 with any questions.

Listing #09790174

Posted in: From the Listings, News
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October 4th, 2017

Skyler Rowe & Matt Jencik Live from NOPLACE

Monday, October 23, 2017
Doors at 7 PM // Music at 8 PM
$10 suggested donation

at LivingRoom
1530 W. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60642

LivingRoom Realty is pleased to present live music by Skyler Rowe & Matt Jencik on Monday, October 23rd from 7 PM – 10 PM. The event will be located at LivingRoom (1530 W. Superior St.) in the Noble Square neighborhood.

NOPLACE is an exhibition of new ​art​work by Christopher Michael Hefner. Hefner’s current exhibition includes drawings produced during a six-month stint based in Berlin, as well as drawings and a sculptural installation he has completed since returning to the United States. A suspended or shifting sense of place is the backdrop for a body of work concerned with the ways in which we construct and execute meaning, identity and desire; intricate systems of signifiers that serve to describe an imaginary path through an otherwise vast and opaque wilderness.

Doors will open at 7 PM, and music will begin at 8 PM.

$10 suggested donation to be split between the artists and a TBD
natural disaster relief effort.

Matt Jencik – https://mattjencik.bandcamp.com/
Matt Jencik is a musician based in Chicago who currently plays guitar in the band Implodes. Jencik has been performing and recording since the early 90’s.

Skyler Rowe is a drummer/percussionist residing in Chicago, IL. He performs in such outfits as Rash, Mute Duo, and Anatomy Of Habit. Since moving to Chicago he has been active in the experimental music scene. Improvising and pushing forms of drum and percussion work he continues solo pieces based on a slew of tribalistic, raw patterns and askew metallic concepts.

Follow Christopher Hefner on Instagram at @christophermichaelhefner and learn more at www.cmhefner.com.

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August 30th, 2017

​LivingRoom presents “NOPLACE” an exhibition of new ​art​work by Christopher Michael Hefner.

LivingRoom is pleased to present NOPLACE, an exhibition of new artwork by Christopher Michael Hefner, opening Friday, September 15th from 6 – 10 PM. The show will be located at LivingRoom (1530 W. Superior St.) in the Noble Square neighborhood. Guests are welcome to visit during gallery hours on Sundays through October 15th from 12 – 4 PM.

Hefner’s current exhibition includes drawings produced during a six-month stint based in Berlin, as well as drawings and a sculptural installation he has completed since returning to the United States. A suspended or shifting sense of place is the backdrop for a body of work concerned with the ways in which we construct and execute meaning, identity and desire; intricate systems of signifiers that serve to describe an imaginary path through an otherwise vast and opaque wilderness.

Follow Christopher on Instagram at @christophermichaelhefner, and learn more about him and his work at www.cmhefner.com.

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Posted in: Events, Our Artists
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August 28th, 2017

Roof & Porch Repair Grant Available

via Alderman John Arena’s website

The Roof and Porch Repair Program (formerly known as the EHAP program) provides grants from $5,000 to $30,000 for low to moderate income owner occupants of one to four-unit residential buildings. The program is limited to the repair and/or replacement of roofs or porches. A property can receive service one-time only.

The 2018 roof and porch registration takes place from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 14. On this day, residents can initiate the registration process online or by calling the city’s 311 service line.

Applicants will be selected via a lottery process on Tuesday, October 31, at 9:00 AM in Preston Bradley Hall on the third floor at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street.

Eligible owner-occupied properties must be located in the city of Chicago, in habitable condition, consist of one to four residential units, and not be at risk of foreclosure. Condominiums, commercial, and mixed-use units are not eligible for the program. Properties that received assistance in the past under the program (formerly known as EHAP) are ineligible to participate again.

Household earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) are eligible to participate in the program. If the property is jointly owned, the total gross income of all owners will be included in this figure and cannot exceed the 80% limit.

For more information on the program and to apply for the grant, visit the Roof and Porch Repair page on the Department of Planning and Development’s website.

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July 31st, 2017

For Sale – 3100 N Leavitt

Architecturally unique converted storefront with care of craftsmanship, attention to design, & artistic details everywhere you look. 3100 N Leavitt spacious living room is flooded with light with a curved mosaic glass block wall and large skylight. Other features include exposed brick & timber beams, custom built-ins & a modern suspended fireplace. A coved gallery hallway leads to the dining room, den, & kitchen area w/ wide planked pine floors, custom kitchen cabinets, upgraded appliances including Sub-Zero wine fridge, & granite counters. Open staircase from the kitchen/dining area takes you to a spacious roof deck with built-in benches, perfect for entertaining. Peaceful Master bedroom & bath includes cedar built-in closets, stained glass door, skylight, deep soaking tub, & rain shower. The back gallery hallway with extensive built-in storage leads to 2 back bedrooms and an attached garage. Beautiful tree-lined corner make this home truly special.   Contact Annie at 312-371-9293 or Susannah at 708-207-6590.

3100 N Leavitt Front3100 N Leavitt Living Room3100 N Leavitt Master Bedroom

 

Posted in: Events, From the Listings, Recent
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June 12th, 2017

These Old Houses: A Panel Discussion on June 28th

Chicago architecture, Photo by Elizabeth Blasius, @blaservationsPhoto by Elizabeth Blasius, @blaservations

These Old Houses
An Introduction to Chicago’s Vernacular Residential Architecture

Wednesday, June 28th , 6 – 8 pm
At LivingRoom Realty, 1530 W. Superior
Light refreshments served
Free!

LivingRoom Realty is pleased to host a panel discussion about the historic houses that make Chicago’s neighborhoods great.

Chicago is known for its masterpiece buildings by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and more. But the city’s architectural pedigree isn’t limited to the Loop. Although we sometimes take them for granted, the humble houses built by generations of anonymous Chicagoans have an even greater impact on our day-to-day quality of life, and tell the history of the city and its people.

From worker’s cottages to bungalows, two-flats to greystones, this event will provide an introduction to the vernacular architecture that makes Chicago, Chicago. Architectural historian Elizabeth Blasius will walk through some of the city’s most iconic building types, their history, features, and neighborhoods where they can be found. We’ll also have Matt Cole, of Neighborhood Housing Service’s Chicago Greystone & Vintage Home Program to talk about the nuts and bolts of caring for and fixing up an old Chicago house. Finally, Susannah Ribstein, LivingRoom broker and architectural historian, will go over some things to look for and think about when buying or selling one of these special Chicago houses.

Across the city, Chicago is rapidly losing its historic vernacular housing stock, permanently changing the fabric and texture of our neighborhoods. In addition to providing a valuable window into the city’s past, these homes are often well-built with quality materials, so they can be adapted to modern living for less cost and environmental impact than building new.

Whether you’re thinking about buying a home or not, this event is for all Chicagoans who want to know more about the city’s built environment and how we can all celebrate and care for it.

Food and drinks provided by Eddie Cisneros from Guaranteed Rate.

Guaranteed Rate Logo

Please RSVP to contact@livingroomrealty.com.

Photos by Elizabeth Blasius, @blaservations

Participant Bios

Elizabeth Blasius is a Chicago-based architectural historian and heritage conservationist.  Ms. Blasius has worked extensively in the private sector consulting clients on following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as well as conducting traditional research on buildings and neighborhoods for National Register of Historic Places nominations, historic structure reports, printed publications and films.  She sits on the boards of the Recent Past Preservation Network, The Society of Architectural Historians Chicago Chapter, and Logan Square Preservation.

Matt Cole joined Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago in 2006 and over the past 11 years has played strategic roles in NHS’s Neighborhood Strategy, Redevelopment Corporation, and Construction Services divisions.  As NHS’ Program & Grant Administrator, Mr. Cole currently helps facilitate the implementation of more than $5 million in public and private programs that support homeownership and residential building rehab in Chicago.  He is also responsible for managing NHS’ Chicago Greystone & Vintage Home Program, a historic preservation and cultural heritage-based education and technical assistance program aimed at encouraging reinvestment in vintage homes on Chicago’s South and West Side.  Prior to joining NHS, Mr. Cole was a planning and development consultant for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he worked on community-based reuse strategies for Superfund, brownfield, and abandoned mining sites.  Mr. Cole received his Master Degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. More information about the Greystone & Vintage Home Program here.

Susannah Ribstein is a broker with LivingRoom Realty. She studied art and architectural history at the University of Chicago and has an MS in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to becoming a real estate broker, she worked in the art world as a gallery manager and non-profit director.

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June 12th, 2017

Envision Unlimited: Places & Spaces Closing Tea on June 18th

Places and Spaces 2Please join us for the last opportunity to see the show: Places & Spaces at a closing tea on Sunday, June 18th from 12 – 4 PM. The show will be located at LivingRoom Realty (1530 W. Superior St.) in the Noble Square neighborhood. Places & Spaces is presented in partnership with Envision Unlimited and The Weaving Mill

Places & Spaces is inspired by the universal human desire to find and celebrate one’s home, whether it’s a city, a building, a community of people, or all three. The artworks in the exhibition show spaces and places and people and faces, looking backward, moving forward, stopping to see the windows, the doors, the dresses, the floors. Built from pencil, from paper, from cardboard, from toothpick—these works lift off the ground and touch back down, they roll around in their own material and trajectory.

Places & Spaces invites viewers to remember and recapitulate, see the city through someone else’s eyes—the places and spaces that stick to their ribs, the spaces and places that make up a solid world surround us.

The artists included in the exhibition are: Tim Allen, Illuminada Bernardo, Marvin Young, Timothy Jackson, and Lawanda Blake.

Sales proceeds from the exhibition will go directly to the artists and to support the Envision Arts Studio program.

The exhibition was curated by Emily Winter and Matti Sloman of The Weaving Mill and Susannah Ribstein of LivingRoom Realty.

Places and Spaces Close Up

ABOUT

Envision Unlimited is a non-profit social services organization with centers across the city. Its mission is to provide quality services to persons with developmental disabilities and other special needs by promoting choice, independence and community integration. Established in 1964, Envision now serves approximately 1,200 individuals and families with services including day programs, employment services, community living programs, arts and craft studios, and more. www.EnvisionUnlimited.org

The Weaving Mill is an industrial weaving studio run by textile artists Matti Sloman & Emily Winter which is housed within Envision Unlimited’s West Town Center. In addition to their own creative work and their collaborations with other artists and designers, TWM provides textile education workshops for adults with developmental disabilities, and hosts an experimental artist residency program designed to give artists working in diverse media access to studio space and to encourage collaboration between visiting artists and the artists of Envision Unlimited. www.TheWeavingMill.com

LivingRoom Realty is a boutique real estate firm located in Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood. www.LivingRoomRealty.com

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