Do you want a new sidewalk in front of your property? Well TODAY is the day the City's shared cost sidewalk program opens to applicants. It won't be as beautiful as the sidewalks of Ipanema, but the City pays for half of it. ⠀
Join us for the next event Financing Your Cooperative in our Cooperative Housing Series,
Tuesday January 22nd, from 6:30-8pm
at LivingRoom Realty.
Are you ready to own your own home, but concerned about rising real estate costs? Do you want to plan for the future or have a built in community by sharing your home with friends or family? Want to buy a commercial building and share resources? Are you interested in combining the financial, environmental, and/or community/social benefits of communal living with the security of property ownership?
If so, LivingRoom Realty's Co-operative living Info sessions are for you! This new series of informal meet-ups is for anyone interested in learning more about how to successfully purchase, manage, and occupy co-operative real estate in Chicago. Join LivingRoom Realty brokers Annie Coleman & Susannah Ribstein, and Co-op Development Consultant, Corrigan Nadon-Nichols, for this informative event series.
This next event Financing Your Coop will feature guest speakers Michelle Bobart Senior VP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate and Kevin Truitt Senior Loan and Program Officer at Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF). Michelle and Kevin will walk you through the loan products available to meet your Cooperative Housing needs. Corrigan Nadon-Nichols will go over basics of how to prepare your finances. This will be an very informative event! Please RSVP to attend.
Future Series Events (More Details To Be Announced):
Date TBD - Living and working as a Community - Membership Process, Group Decision Making, Conflict Resolution and other topics to create and maintain a happy and healthy community.
Date TBD - Coop Case Studies - Meet Coop members of current Chicago Cooperatives and hear there story and we’ll also highlight some national examples.
Thinking about buying a home or investment property this Spring or in the next few years? Don’t jump in without being prepared. Winter is the perfect time to start learning about the process, your options and what you need to do to get prepared. Join us at the next Landscape of the Market for Buyers. LivingRoom Realty's Managing Broker Annie Coleman, Mortgage Broker Ben DeBoer, and Home Inspector Mike Lamb will walk through the process, share key information to help you prepare, and answer your questions. Topics we cover are:
- The pre-approval process and preparing your finances, including information for independent contractors and self-employed
- Step by step overview of key parts of home buying process
- Loan products available in today’s market
- Overview of current market conditions
- Helpful Information on how to decide what type of property to buy
- What to expect from a property search
- What to expect from a home inspection
- What to look for in a building
- What are closing costs and a detailed breakout
- Tips for saving for home improvements
Q&A at the end of class so bring your questions! Food and Drinks will be provided. Class is complimentary.
Please RSVP to attend so we can plan accordingly.
Meet Christen Carter of Busy Beaver Button Company
Busy Beaver Button Company, a thriving small business, was looking to grow their space, open a museum, and stay close to their original location on Armitage in Logan Square. With the help of Annie Coleman, Managing Broker of LivingRoom Realty, they purchased the perfect empty building sitting on a double wide lot a few blocks west of their original location on Armitage.
We asked them a few questions about their journey to expanding their headquarters.
LivingRoom Realty (LRR): Tell us about yourself?
Christen Carter (CC): I am a small business owner - Busy Beaver Button Co., and co-curator of the Button Museum. Right now, my life is mostly around buttons since I’m also working on a book about cultural history told through buttons.
I do love fixing up old buildings that need love and kinda like having property - it’s part of my retirement plan. I also like decorating and nesting into places, this has become a hobby of mine.
LRR: Tell us about your property?
CC: It’s a double-wide storefront with two apartments above. When I bought the building, it was just a blighted shell that suffered a couple of fires. But the beautiful yellow brick and personality were there! Plus, it has “good bones” as they say. The location is 3407 W Armitage, just west of Kimball. There’s also a big backyard and 3 car garage.
LRR: What were the deciding factors when choosing your area and property?
CC: We knew that we needed a place to expand, since I’m hoping this will be a 10+ year place for my company, Busy Beaver Button Co. And the big back yard will let us build out when we need to.It’s also walking distance from my house and close to the homes of many people who work here. And only a block away from our old location, so we wouldn’t lose any employees because of the distance. Being only a block away was very handy during construction - we could meet a tradesperson on a dime, since it took 2 minutes to walk from our previous location.
The two apartments above help pay the mortgage and give us a cheaper property tax rate, those two things really help! Plus, for security sake, it’s nice that people are here during the day and at night, too.
I feel connected to Logan Square having lived and worked here since 2004, so I wanted to stay nearby. Plus, I remember when this building had two separate fires, the building was empty for years and it needed some serious love.
LRR: What’s your favorite thing about your property?
CC: The feel is just so nice. It’s pretty spacious and can display the Button Museum and accommodate the visitors. My brother, Joel found all this beautiful salvaged doors and interior windows, people can hardly believe that this place was a burned shell before we got it. You can really tell in all the details that a lot of love and consideration was put into it - this is mostly because of my brother!
LRR: What would you tell someone who is embarking on the buying process for your type of building?
CC:I always tell people to expect the project to cost at least 50% more than quoted by a GC and also about twice as long. The city can take awhile and things always come up.
We had to re-zone but that was the easiest thing - we had a good lawyer. That’s the other big thing - the professionals that you work with must honestly respect you and what you’re doing - trust is key. Some of the people we worked with were great, but some really made our lives more difficult than it needed to be. I learned a lot and now have developed what a “trusted partner” is, this helps us recognize red flags to change course. Have a good idea of what's important to you in terms of property characteristics, but also keep an open mind about what's going to work realistically, and be honest about your lifestyle needs. Obviously, finding the right agent is also crucial!
LRR: Tell us about any improvements you made or plan to make and why?
CC: I’d love to expand out the back to make more space for the button production. I also want to fix up the garage, not exciting, but we ran out of money with everything being over budget. Hopefully all of this within the next 3 years!
Thanks to Christen and Busy Beaver Button Co. for letting LRR into their living room! Visit Busy Beaver Button Co. where you can order custom button, magnets and more. Do you have a button fan on your gift list? Consider picking up the Button Box which contains one hundred colorful postcards featuring over three hundred buttons from the collection of the Busy Beaver Button Museum.
To Save Money and Build Community
If so, LivingRoom Realty's co-operative living Info sessions are for you! This new series of informal meet-ups is for anyone interested in learning more about how to successfully purchase, manage, and occupy co-operative real estate in Chicago. Join LivingRoom Realty brokers Annie Coleman & Susannah Ribstein, and co-op development consultant, Corrigan Nadon-Nichols, for this informative event. Join us for our first meet-up
Thursday Nov 1st from 6:30-8:30pm
LivingRoom Realty 1530 W. Superior St.
Please RSVP at email@example.com
Come and see this 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo with a welcoming open floor plan, located right on beautiful Palmer Square Park in Logan Square. Professionally-managed and well-maintained classic brick and terracotta courtyard building. Warm cherry hardwood floors and quality finishes throughout. Living room with cozy gas fireplace and thoughtful built-in shelving open onto a dining area overlooking the peaceful landscaped courtyard. Bathrooms have granite counters and marble tile, with a whirlpool tub and shower in the en-suite master bath. Large closets and hardwood floors continue in the bedrooms. Convenient in-unit laundry. A charming haven on one of Logan Square's loveliest boulevards, with restaurants, parks, and public transportation right outside.
Offered at $300,000. Open House Saturday, September 15th, 2018 1 to 3 pm. Contact Susannah Ribstein at 708-207-6590 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and showing requests.
This is a rare opportunity to own this stunning 5 bedroom/4.5 bathroom limestone Tudor on an expansive 100'x125' lot in historic South Shore, blocks from the Lake. This home is a perfect combination of gracious vintage style with thoughtful modern updates. The welcoming foyer leads to a grand living room with marble fireplace, opposite a spacious dining room with original leaded glass windows. The eat-in kitchen is tastefully done with ample storage, granite, Viking & Bosch appliances. Updated entertainment room & brand-new full bath complete the ground floor. Two large en-suite bedrooms upstairs, one with a separate entrance. Master suite has a large bath with a tub. The original finished attic is perfect for a light-filled studio or rec room. Full semi-finished basement with gas fireplace is ready for your ideas. Professionally landscaped yard with patio and a 3-car garage with access for a roof deck. Just outside the front door: Metra, Lake Shore Drive, South Shore Cultural Center, Jackson Park, Obama Center site & more.
Offered at $485,000. Open House September 8th, 2018 from 12-2 pm & September 9th, 2018 from 1 to 3 pm. Contact Susannah Ribstein at 708-207-6590 or email@example.com for questions and showing requests.
Join us Wednesday, September 5th from 6:30-8:30pm at LivingRoom Realty as Real Estate Broker Susannah Ribstein, Mortgage Broker Ben DeBoer, and Home Inspector Mike Lamb help guide you through the landscape of home purchasing. Whether you are planning to buy a home this fall or in 2 years this class will help you get prepared. Topics to be discussed are:
– 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 incl. a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can plan appropriately. We look forward to seeing you!
“It is in the very limitations of shadows that we learn…It is in the gap between the object and its representation that the image emerges, the gap we fill in” - William Kentridge
You're going to love living here! Enjoy southern light & timeless finishes in this 3 bedroom/1.1 bath renovated home that is a wonderful mix of modern layout & classic Oak Park charm. Open concept kitchen & dining w/ large island, stainless farmhouse sink, white shaker cabinets, upgraded appliances, & pantry. Living room features built ins & electric fireplace w/ tasteful stone surround. French doors separate living room from lovely sunroom/office. A mudroom that leads to/from yard & 1/2 bath round out the main floor. The 2nd floor features 3 larger bedrooms & full bath. There is room in spacious master bedroom to add a 2nd bath if so desired. Finished attic is a perfect kids play area. The lower level has a family room, work & laundry area. Home sits on large lot w/ fenced back & side yard. Garage contains new 220 volt for electric car charging. Perfect Oak Park Location. 2 block walk to Longfellow. EZ walk to blue & green line, Harrison Arts District & Sugar Beet Coop & More.
Offered at $549,000. Open House May 5th from 11am-1pm. Contact Annie Coleman at 312-371-9293 or email@example.com for questions and showing requests.
Thoughtfully updated and charming 3 bed/2 bath home. Spacious layout, thoughtful design, awesome yard, and convenient location. The current owner has done many updates including new electric wiring throughout, new boiler & upstairs central air, new roof and windows, stylishly renovated bathrooms and more. Other features of the home include original hardwood floors, tall ceilings, large eat in kitchen, and awesome organic perennial and vegetable garden planted and maintained by certified master gardener. Conveniently located near shopping, blue line/the Kennedy expressway, and a quick commute to the restaurants and nightlife in Logan Square and Avondale. Don't miss your chance to see this gem!
Offered at $415,000.
Please contact Annie Coleman at 312-371-9293 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and to schedule a showing.
First Showing and Open House Saturday 4/14 from 11-1pm.
Sunny open floor plan one bedroom condo right in the heart of Logan Square. An extra-wide living room with large bay windows flows into the light-filled multipurpose dining area.
The open kitchen has granite countertops, peninsula bar, and stainless appliances.
Bathroom has ceramic tile and rain shower. The quality finishes are well-maintained throughout.
This is a great home base for exploring all that Logan Square has to offer, right outside the door: Unity Playlot, Elastic Arts, Aloft, Dill Pickle Food Co-Op, The Logan Theater, Blue Line, buses, and much more. Self-managed and well-maintained building.
Offered at $229,500. For questions or more information, contact Annie Coleman at (312) 371-9293 or email@example.com.
Rarely available spacious and sunny 4 bedroom/2.1 bath home in Ukrainian Village. Main level features an open floor plan living room and dining room with wood burning fireplace and newly refinished maple floors.
Eat in kitchen with island, hardwood cabinets, and stainless appliances flows to a large back deck perfect for entertaining.
Second floor features three bedrooms and a luxurious bathroom with glass surround shower, deep soaking tub, and double basin infinity sink. Listen to music from built in speakers in bathroom and/or in the large master bedroom.
The lower level has a family room, fourth bedroom, full bath and extra kitchen. The lower level can be closed off easily with side entrance for a private in-law quarters. Yard and 2 car garage round out this beautiful home. Awesome location 1/2 block to Talcott School, Easy walk to shopping and restaurants on Chicago Avenue and everything that West Town has to offer.
Offered at $740,000. For questions or more information, contact Sarah Frier at 773-860-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open House this Weekend Saturday (3/17) from 12pm - 2pm Please RSVP to email@example.com
Gorgeous 5 bedroom/4 bathroom greystone on an oversized lot in the heart of Logan Square. This lovingly cared-for home has a wide floor plan and is a beautiful blend of original craftsmanship with modern amenities. The main level has a large foyer, sunny living room with wood burning fireplace, dining room with original stained glass built-in hutch, large bedroom or office, full bath, and sunny eat-in chef's kitchen.
The kitchen features include an abundance of cherry cabinets, high-end stainless appliances, wine fridge, pot filler, extra prep sink and granite counters. The upper level has total of 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths, including a master suite with private balcony, an open den area, and laundry. Original unpainted trim and hardwood floors throughout adds to this home’s charm.
The lower level features radiant floors, a large family room/playroom, wet bar, bathroom, laundry and a large storage area that could be converted into a guest bedroom if desired. The wide yard is professionally landscaped with native perennials and raised beds for growing vegetables. A central location in Logan Square makes for an easy walk to shopping, restaurants, farmers market and public transportation. This is truly a beautiful home.
Offered at $1,099,000. For questions or more information contact Annie Coleman at 312-371-9293 or Susannah Ribstein at 708-207-6590.
Open House this Weekend Saturday (3/10) from 1pm - 3pm Sunday (3/11) from 12pm - 2pm Please RSVP to Susannah@livingroomrealty.com
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 February 15th as Real Estate Broker Liz Dudek, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org so we can plan appropriately. We look forward to seeing you!
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 email@example.com or (219) 308-5687.
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.
These Old HousesAn 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
In partnership with the Arts Studio program at Envision Unlimited, LivingRoom Realty is pleased to present a new art show: Places & Spaces, opening Friday, May 19th from 6 - 9 PM. The show will be located at LivingRoom Realty (1530 W. Superior St.) in the Noble Square neighborhood. Not to worry if you can't make the opening reception, we'll be hosting open hours on Saturdays May 27th and June 10th from 12 - 4 PM, as well as a closing tea party on Sunday, June 18th from 12 - 4 PM. 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.
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