Population in Chicago dips again – But is that the whole story?


As many media outlets have shared over the last few weeks that for the second consecutive year the Chicago area leads the United States in population loss with over 19,000 residents choosing to live elsewhere. In fact, among the top 20 cities with the largest populations, Chicago was the lone city with a population deduction. Taken at face value these figures would indicate that the city isn’t thriving, but a deeper dive into the information suggests quite the opposite.


While it is true that Chicago’s overall population figure has dipped, the population density has increased. Population density, measured by the number of people within a defined unit of area. For these particular studies the neighborhoods in Chicago that were used include: Wicker Park, West Town, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Old Town, and River North amongst others. Chicago’s population density has increased by 1.2% – a figure that is the second highest of all major U.S. cities with only Seattle seeing a higher percentage. While Houston (the closest city to Chicago in terms of overall population) has seen immense overall growth, with 59,483 new residents over the past two years, the city has also seen the population density decrease at a -3.8% rate; the fourth largest decrease in the U.S.



Another reason that Chicago has seen a sizable boost in population density is that fact that many major corporations have moved into the city. Major corporations such as McDonald’s, Agricultural Manufacturing giant Caterpillar, Dyson Electronics, spirit manufacturer Beam, and First Midwest Bank are just a few of the corporations that have announced moving their headquarters to the city of Chicago. These moves are responsible for 1,000’s of high paying jobs and residents that will be investing into the city’s real estate market.


Yes, the overall population in Chicago is dipping but overall the downtown and surrounding areas are growing at a rate only matched by one other city in the United States. So while the dip is something to monitor in the long term, it’s just that. There is no reason for Real Estate owners to panic.

Coming Soon to Bucktown – $1.69M Single Family Home with a Rare Double Lot


This Off-Market, custom $1.69M Single Family home features the best of both worlds: an expansive interior including 5 spacious bedrooms and 5.5 baths, a stunning spiral staircase, and countless spaces to entertain your friends and family all while being situated on a rare double lot with plenty of outdoor space. Located in a prime Bucktown area within walking distance to hot spots such as Small Cheval, Margie’s Candies, the blue line, and numerous botiques.


Home Highlights

  • Wide open floor plan with soaring ceilings, exposed brick, and a kitchen that walks out to the private, massive yard and patio

  • 2 Private Guest Suites
  • Large formal dining room with over-sized windows and a barrel ceiling
  • A Master suite that includes a steam shower, marble tile spa-like bathroom, huge walk-in closet, and a private balcony to enjoy your morning coffee.

  • 3 Luxurious fireplaces
  • A lower level with radiated heated floors, a multi-functional game room, living space, an office, and a wine closet
  • Attached two car garage with additional space for 3 outdoor parking spaces
  • 3 Large decks



Two Chicago Luxury Listings! What you can get for around $1.6 million

Recently our group has had the good fortune of representing two amazing properties! Residing in different neighbors, one new construction and the other a gut rehab that spared no expense. These beautiful homes got us thinking about the extensive features in both. So, to make it a little easier we compiled a list! Please see below for what to take note of while touring the exceptional listings at 2734 N Marshfield & 2139 W LeMoyne.


2743 N Marshfield


  • New construction chic 5 bedroom/4.1 bath single family home in Lincoln Park
  • Exquisite brick and limestone exterior
  • Tasteful paneling, molding, & millwork throughout
  • 2 interior fireplaces with custom mantels & tile floors
  • Designer selected finishes and lighting plan w/recessed small cans throughout
  • Oak hardwood floors throughout main and upper floor levels
  • Stylish wood tiles and radiant heat throughout the living areas in the lower level
  • Wet bar in lower level w/cabinetry, quartz counter, shelves, sink and beverage center
  • External wood burning brick fireplace & deck off living room/kitchen entertaining area
  • Lounging area on house roof top deck made out of composite wood with views
  • 2 car garage



  • Gourmet kitchen and island with custom white shaker cabinetry upgraded to ceiling
  • 1 ¼” Exotic Quartz Counters
  • Stunning marble backsplash with decorative inlay
  • Large gray colored center island w/quartz counters, storage and sitting included
  • Farmhouse Sink
  • Sub-Zero Refrigerator 48” Side by Side
  • Bosch Dishwasher
  • 48” Wolf Range w/hood and vent
  • Panasonic Microwave
  • ¾ horse power garbage disposal
  • Grohe Chrome Faucet
  • Designer pendant lighting over the island
  • Butler’s pantry w/wine fridge and sink



  • Double white vanities w/ ¾” Quartz countertops
  • 2 under mount sinks w/chrome faucets
  • Oversized steam shower w/bench and glass enclosure
  • Elegant hand painted floor tiles and subway stacked wall tiles
  • Dual shower heads
  • Freestanding soaking tub w/polished chrome fixture and pull out spray
  • Handpicked chandelier & wall-mounted lighting above the vanities
  • Radiant heated floors
  • Dual flush toilet



  • Custom cabinetry in grey, ebony or taupe
  • ¾” Quartz countertops
  • Porcelain tile floors
  • Polished chrome Grohe faucet
  • Dual flush toilet



  • Lux French doors open to outdoor area
  • Raised back terrace
  • Wood burning fireplace



2139 W LeMoyne


  • All brick 2 flat built in 1889 fully renovated into green single family home in 2007 Designed by Fisher & Crowl of Chicago Architecture firm fc Studio
  • 4+ bedrooms, 4.5 baths 4442 sq feet of livable space-1100 below grade w/10 foot ceilings
  • Sits on an oversized Lot – 163’ x 26’
  • Exterior includes a built-in patio with outdoor kitchen & lower level yard with fire pit
  • Two car detached garage with reinforced rooftop



  • Mesquite wood floors through all first and second floors
  • Heated Italian Porcelain in Master Bathroom, Kitchen, and Basement
  • Reclaimed wood features throughout (stairs, shelving, sliding doors)
  • Skylights in hallways and bathrooms
  • Custom wood built-ins in all closets
  • Lux kitchen features Corian countertops w/ Wolf range/ oven with induction stove top, Miele microwave/ speed oven & Liebherr fridge
  • Contemporary bathrooms with natural stone countertops
  • 2 master bedrooms with en-suites
  • Secret passage between kids’ rooms
  • Finished basement with tv area, Poliform shelving unit, climbing wall, kids play area, and full bathroom
  • Built-in sound system throughout main floor & security system
  • Electrolux frontload efficient washer/ dryer, upstairs near bedrooms



  • Geo exchange heating and cooling. Geo exchange is an extremely efficient, environmentally friendly, comfortable, and low maintenance



  • HVAC system and whole house exhaust fan
  • High efficiency insulation. Walls specified to have R-19 insulation, roof & ceilings specified to have R-38 Insulation.
  • Windows (Kolbe, Ultra Series, R-19)
  • Fleetwood retractable sliding door system
  • Flood prevention overhead ejection sump pump system and waterproofed foundation with full exterior French drain


CURBED! Another great article about our listing @ 2139 W LeMoyne – Check it out!

Family-friendly Wicker Park rehab with indoor climbing wall lists for $1.6M

The remodeled historic home features large, open living spaces and reclaimed wood from the original structure

Just Listed! 2139 W LeMoyne – As featured in CRAIN’S Luxury Home of the Week


Wicker Park two-flat conversion: Climbing wall included

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Featured in Crain’s! Our new project in UK Village 2016 W Rice

February 23, 2017

A condo building that changes colors

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Having a pro by your side can make all the difference – Benefits of purchasing with a Realtor

Buying a home is expensive and most likely the largest purchase most people will ever make, so it makes sense that our natural inclination is to cut corners wherever possible. Today, with the explosion of websites like Zillow, Trulia and, there is an influx of information. But is it valid and useful?

First thing to know is the commission for the buyer’s Realtor is paid for by the seller. As the buyer, you are employing an experienced agent at no cost to guide you through the process, reduce stress and hopefully save you a lot of money. The 1-2.5% a buyer stands to possibly re-coup by representing themselves or employing a discount Realty group, they could likely make up with the knowledge and negotiation skills of an experienced Realtor. This coupled with all the other perks a professional advocate provides, make hiring an experienced professional an excellent option for all buyers.

As your Realtor, they have a fiduciary responsibility to you at all times. Listed below is a breakdown of some of the many services agents provide their clients during a transaction:

Explain Agency
Explain Closing Costs
Provide Needs Analysis
Discuss Attorney Role
Setup Property Search
Refine List of Properties
Conduct Due Diligence
Explain Contracts and Disclosures
Discuss Market Conditions
Revisit Needs Analysis
Prepare CMA for Preferred Property
Review Closing Process

Discuss Market Protocols
Outline Counter Offer Strategies
Outline Negotiation Strategies
Review Seller Disclosures
Present Counter Offer Positions
Oversee Home Inspection Negotiation
Review Market Analysis
Set Price Limit
Prepare Offer
Present Offer
Negotiate Contract Terms
Oversee Home Inspection Negotiation

Follow-up on Due Diligence
Review Negotiation Issues with Attorney
Follow-up on Contract Contingencies
Facilitate Final Walk-Through
Coordinate Home Inspection
Oversee Home Inspection
Oversee Attorney Communication
Oversee Inspection Repairs
Provide Purchase Agreement to Attorney
Follow-up with Mortgage Originator
Review Closing Costs
Attend Closing
Manage Closing Details

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or on your third purchase, without proper guidance buying a home can be a time-consuming and confusing process. Your Realtor is there to keep you on track and help you focus on the next step while keeping in mind the big picture. The reality is that much like the stock market, real estate is an active, ever-changing market that fluctuates based on the economy, season and a host of other factors. These circumstances are why it is essential to consult with a full-time agent who has their pulse on the market and can educate you on future developments and changes in area neighborhoods. This insight and knowledge assists greatly in procuring great opportunities to help clients find the best home for their lifestyle.

For more information about the purchasing process or to sit down for a buyer’s presentation, please contact us at or give us ring at 312-391-5655. We are happy to explain the process step-by-step! To check out a little more information about The Dowell Group, see below for links to our Zillow reviews, Facebook & Instagram.

On the Buy vs Rent fence?

With rental prices increasing every year, we’ve recently had many first-time buyers looking to convert their monthly payments into personal equity. Buying a home has many steps and with this blog we aim to provide practical information and user friendly resources for the lending process. Below, Jim Colucci and his team at Guaranteed Rate answer questions most every buyer has at some point. A great read for those of us contemplating purchasing, but limited time to research.

I think I want to buy a house, but how do I know if I am financially ready?

This comes down to running the numbers. Here is a link to our buy vs rent calculator. It’s an excellent tool to give you an estimate of how much your monthly expenses would be as a homeowner vs renting. It also calculates how much money you would be saving long-term by purchasing.

Link –

Current buyers are also benefiting from record low interest rates and avoiding annual rental increases that have gone up steadily in the past few years. Other advantages are potential tax benefits, building your own equity and the freedom to increase property value from renovations or décor changes.

I’ve decided to stop renting and purchase. What documents will I need to secure a loan and how far in advance should I gather them?

You will need 2 month’s pay stubs, 2 month’s asset statements, 2 years of federal tax returns and the HR contact person for your employer. Further documents will likely be required throughout the loan process, but this is a great start. Because the documents need to be current, you should gather them right when starting the application process. A good first step is using our Digital Mortgage application to obtain your free credit scores, pick your loan program and receive a loan estimate. From there we will contact you, answer any questions and make sure you are picking the loan that is best for you.

Link –

My friend told me I shouldn’t make any big financial changes when trying to obtain a loan. What are some of the things I should do to ensure a stress-free process?

Good credit is critical to procure the best interest rate and terms on a mortgage, so do continue to pay all bills on time. One late payment can compromise approval when trying to obtain a loan. Also, continue to use your credit like you presently do. A change in pattern could cause concern and lower your score.

The things to not do are a bit more plentiful. Here is a quick rundown of the major ones to avoid:


Apply for new credit/co-sign for a loan – Every time your credit is pulled you will lose points from your credit score. This also applies for co-signing for a loan or credit card.

Max out credit cards/Consolidate your debt – While you might get a lower interest rate, consolidating onto one or two cards will likely push you above 30% of your available limit. Keeping the balance below 30% of your available limit on credit cards is essential.

Close active credit card accounts – Closing credit card accounts negatively impacts your credit. Keep those open even if they aren’t being utilized.

Payoff collections – This can be done through escrow when closing.

Withdrawal or deposit large amounts of money – Avoid this whenever possible and consult with your lender.

Change jobs – Don’t change jobs. Even if the new job brings in more income it could negatively affect your loan process. Consult your lender should this arise.

Make major purchases – This correlates with many of the above. Don’t: open new lines of credit, max out your current credit card or withdraw large amounts of money. Wait to purchase new furniture until after you have the keys to your new home.

What are closing costs and will I know how much that amount is before signing a contract to purchase?

Closing costs are everything from attorney fees to transfer tax. We go over each item with our clients, but also provide a wealth of information on our website to help our clients that are more comfortable researching solo in the beginning. As the closing of your homes nears will we be able to give you exact figures and let you know the amount you will need to bring to the closing.

Link –

Once I have signed a contract on a home how long will it take to close?

We estimate our loan process at 30-45 days. Of course, there are some transactions that might differ due to extraneous circumstances.

For more information on making the transitioning from a renter to a homeowner, please feel free to contact Danielle @ or 312-391-5655. 

For all your lending questions or to review more valuable data about the loan process, Jim Colucci & his team at Guaranteed Rate are happy to provide any additional. Contact Jim @ or 708-302-4000.






Whether you’re looking to purchase in a high rise downtown or just interested in checking out the unique churches, museums, hotels or any of the other 200+ buildings this city wide event has to offer, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s annual Open House Chicago is your perfect opportunity!

On October 15-16 from 9am-5pm (times for certain locations vary), an amazing collection of residential and historical structures are open to the public to take a behind-the-scenes peek.

This event is a great way to get to know Chicago for those new to the city and a chance for long-time residents to take a look inside the buildings they have passed by for years. With open house locations spanning the entire city and into the suburban areas as well, this is an entertaining & educational way to kick off the Fall season without even leaving your neighborhood!

Why Buy Now

The Benefits of Purchasing.

Increases in rental prices.
Rental prices in Chicago have increased around 8% in the last 2 years, making the standard practice of saving to become a homeowner while renting increasingly difficult. New buyer programs are introduced regularly, one just recently for just 1% down! (contact me for details) Programs like this and others, could be the difference between paying your landlord for another year of rent or building your own equity.

Investing in your future.
For most, purchasing a home is the biggest investment you will ever make. However, unlike most investments a place to live is something you will have to budget for regardless. Most people don’t realize they are actually ready to purchase because they don’t have the information easily provided through a few quick conversations. We will happily breakdown the steps of purchasing a home and get you moving in the right direction. In many situations, renting really is throwing your hard earned money away when you could be stacking it.

Tax Benefits.
Deductions make us happy! Getting a pat on the back from the IRS for investing in you is an added bonus of becoming a homeowner. Taking advantage of this is just another way to be money smart.

Pride of Ownership.
Financials aside, there is something to be said for walking into your home where you have the creative freedom to renovate, paint or change anything that you wish. Creating a comfortable environment that will only give back to you when it is time for the next journey. Pride of ownership is a real thing and it feels great!
More questions? Please send them our way and let us help you find your new home! Choosing the right team is essential. Whether buying or selling we are there for our clients to walk them through every step of the process and provide seasoned referrals for all of your needs. If you are a buyer are services are complimentary! Want to do a little Google research and see for yourself? Check out our reviews on Zillow.