Independent Female Buyers Increase in Chicago Market

We work with numerous single female buyers who are purchasing a home on their own. “In 2019, 17% of homebuyers were single women, while 9% were single men.” Read the article below from the Chicago Tribune with what can be driving this change in the market.
Victoria Kent, 37, began house hunting in August, on the advice of her accountant sister. Within a month, she'd found a home that fit her needs in Avondale. Kent is among a growing cohort of single women buying their own homes.
Victoria Kent, 37, began house hunting in August, on the advice of her accountant sister. Within a month, she’d found a home that fit her needs in Avondale. Kent is among a growing cohort of single women buying their own homes.(Jeffy Mai)

The news that more single women are buying homes comes as no surprise to Chicago real estate broker Julie Harron.

Over the course of her 27-year career, the Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty vice president of sales found that even when working with couples, women are often the driving force and decision-makers.

“I have worked with women who have lost spouses or are divorced,” Harron said. “And I think younger women who know where they are in their careers and are financially stable are making concrete property decisions.”

A new study from real estate agency Compass and mortgage lender Better.com named Chicago one of the top cities for single women to buy property, due to the high percentage of women applying for loans through Better.com.

Chicago ranked No. 3 on the list, with Atlanta and Los Angeles nabbing the top two spots. Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Houston and Oakland, California, rounded out the top 10.

Across the U.S., 1 in 5 homebuyers are single women, according to the study, which surveyed Compass agents and analyzed Better.com mortgage data. Even women who aren’t single — a cohort increasingly out-earning their partners — are securing loans without their spouses or listing themselves as the primary source of income.

Nationally, 58% of real estate agents surveyed said the majority of their clients were women. More than 80% said they have seen this number increase within the last five years.

Among the most dramatic shifts, single women of color are taking out mortgages far more frequently than a year ago, Better.com reported. Three-quarters of surveyed real estate agents said they are seeing single women entering the housing market earlier than their male counterparts as well.

Data from the National Association of Realtors suggests the same. In 2019, 17% of homebuyers were single women, while 9% were single men. A LendingTree.com study found that single women in Chicago own 312,997 homes, while single men are behind by about 100,000.

Kate Waddell, lead agent of the Compass-affiliated Kate Waddell Group, said about 10% of her clients are single women. She said while she doesn’t have concrete numbers, she thinks there has been an uptick specifically because of the city’s great job market.

“I think we are in a time where you don’t need a partner to buy property,” Waddell said. “A lot of women who have successful careers can do better for themselves with owning and not renting. I think today, women are a lot more bold, so they’re willing do things that, 10 years ago, women weren’t doing. I think it’s awesome.”

Victoria Kent, 37, recently bought a house in Avondale. Her sister — who also handles the publicist’s accounting — suggested buying property as a good investment. So Kent started looking in the late summer and ended up signing much sooner than she anticipated.

“I saw on this house on Zillow and after that, things snowballed from there,” Kent said.

She saw the house online on a Friday in August. The next day, she saw the house in person with her mother and a real estate agent, who also owned the condo where Kent was living at the time.

Within hours of seeing the house, Kent was pre-approved for a loan online through Guaranteed Rate — a recommendation of her real estate agent. By that Sunday, she put in an offer and signed the contracts. One month later, she moved into her home.

“I saw the house and it was what I was looking for — a single-family home with a yard,” Kent said. “I was looking online on what a house could be. This house was in my price range and was move-in ready. I realized that houses like this aren’t coming up often, and I knew I had to move fast on it.”

Kent describes her house hunting as smooth and virtually problem-free. She said she learned about the process by picking the brains of her parents and friends with home-buying experience. Her real estate agent also shared a handy graphic outlining the home-buying process.

“I am proud of being a homeowner — I never thought I would do it,” Kent said. “I wish I would have known the process wasn’t as scary as I thought, because I would’ve started sooner.”

As part of the study, Compass and Better.com offered tips for women who are entering the housing market for the first time. Look for agents who have recently closed on properties similar to what you’re looking for and lenders who can provide a pre-approval letter to strengthen your offer. Keep closing costs in mind when setting a budget, and factor in mortgage-related tax deductions before making an offer.

First-time homebuyers in the Chicago area can take advantage of coaching programs and down payment grants to ease the process, which can be difficult for millennials to weather when finances are bogged down by student loan debt and the market suffers from low inventory.

Kent says having the means to buy a home and a good credit score can move the process along. She said finding a real estate agent you trust is also key, because they can provide recommendations for getting the best rate possible.

Having gone through the experience, Kent is able to keep tabs on the market to further improve her situation as a homeowner.

“People should look now, because interest rates are dropping,” she said. “I am currently refinancing to get a lower loan rate.”

Green Home Upgrades That Make You $$$$

Thinking of doing some home renovations? Check out this article I was quoted in for upgrades that make you money.

Posted by the Washington Post, By Michele Lerner on March 4, 2020

Home renovation projects often begin as a solution to ongoing problems, such as fixing dysfunctional bathrooms or as ways to brighten your living space by adding wallpaper, fresh paint or new kitchen counters. But sometimes it makes sense to focus on spending your money on things that can improve the quality and functionality of your home as well as provide an environmentally friendly bonus.

Danielle Dowell, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Chicago, shared a few tips via email to help homeowners increase the functionality of their homes while also adding value.

Dowell’s recommendations include:

Invest in environmentally friendly upgrades. Prospective buyers are increasingly willing to pay more for homes that incorporate health and resource-efficient elements such as mold- and fume-reducing VOC paints and eHVAC systems. The term “clean living” has even been qualified by the National Association of Realtors’ MLS listing service, which recently introduced environmentally friendly designations to highlight energy-efficient, high-performance home features that reduce energy bills in the short term and increase return on investment over the long term. Examples of these projects include:

  • Installing tankless water heaters.
  • Replacing gas-heating systems with radiant heat.
  • Updating roofs with composite materials or adding solar panels.

Embrace the great outdoors. Outside areas can enhance curb appeal while also being sources of fun and wellness. Consider incorporating environmentally friendly and functional elements. For example:

  • Synthetic lawns give homeowners the perks of a yard without the work. Improved manufacturing and technology have made artificial grass look and feel more authentic. These lawns can be installed with drainage systems that redeploy rainwater to nurture natural planting areas, and they also eliminate carbon emissions and noise pollution created by maintenance equipment.
  • Stone structures and patios add durability, natural textures and functionality to outdoor spaces. They can be constructed with recycled materials and require little upkeep.

Make sure to get annual inspections. Easy maintenance and timely inspections are critical for the environmental safety and system efficiencies of your home. These simple fixes can save you thousands of dollars while also adding home sale value and return on investment as buyers, appraisers and inspectors evaluate the overall condition of your property. On their prescribed basis, be sure to:

  • Change air and water filters to remove particulates and maintain a clean home.
  • Have professionals do yearly inspections of HVAC, roofs, gutters and water systems.
  • Install LED lighting.

Original article here. 

Contact us today for more information on money making renovations you can do at your home.

Green Home Upgrades That Make You $$$$

Thinking of doing some home renovations. Check out this article that I was quoted in for tips on upgrades that will make you money.

March 4, 2020 at 4:30 a.m. CST

Home renovation projects often begin as a solution to ongoing problems, such as fixing dysfunctional bathrooms or as ways to brighten your living space by adding wallpaper, fresh paint or new kitchen counters. But sometimes it makes sense to focus on spending your money on things that can improve the quality and functionality of your home as well as provide an environmentally friendly bonus.

Danielle Dowell, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Chicago, shared a few tips via email to help homeowners increase the functionality of their homes while also adding value.

Dowell’s recommendations include:

Invest in environmentally friendly upgrades. Prospective buyers are increasingly willing to pay more for homes that incorporate health and resource-efficient elements such as mold- and fume-reducing VOC paints and eHVAC systems. The term “clean living” has even been qualified by the National Association of Realtors’ MLS listing service, which recently introduced environmentally friendly designations to highlight energy-efficient, high-performance home features that reduce energy bills in the short term and increase return on investment over the long term. Examples of these projects include:

  • Installing tankless water heaters.
  • Replacing gas-heating systems with radiant heat.
  • Updating roofs with composite materials or adding solar panels.

Embrace the great outdoors. Outside areas can enhance curb appeal while also being sources of fun and wellness. Consider incorporating environmentally friendly and functional elements. For example:

  • Synthetic lawns give homeowners the perks of a yard without the work. Improved manufacturing and technology have made artificial grass look and feel more authentic. These lawns can be installed with drainage systems that redeploy rainwater to nurture natural planting areas, and they also eliminate carbon emissions and noise pollution created by maintenance equipment.
  • Stone structures and patios add durability, natural textures and functionality to outdoor spaces. They can be constructed with recycled materials and require little upkeep.

Make sure to get annual inspections. Easy maintenance and timely inspections are critical for the environmental safety and system efficiencies of your home. These simple fixes can save you thousands of dollars while also adding home sale value and return on investment as buyers, appraisers and inspectors evaluate the overall condition of your property. On their prescribed basis, be sure to:

  • Change air and water filters to remove particulates and maintain a clean home.
  • Have professionals do yearly inspections of HVAC, roofs, gutters and water systems.
  • Install LED lighting.

 

Originally posted by the Washington Post, here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/04/these-home-upgrades-can-be-good-environment-your-wallet/

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group Named the #1 Large Company Top Workplace in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group Named the #1 Large Company Top Workplace in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune

See Original Press Release Here

Chicago real estate brokerage, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group has been named the #1 Top Workplace in Chicago for 2019 by The Chicago Tribune. Executives Diane Glass, Mark Pasquesi and Joe Stacy attended the Top Workplaces event at the United Club at Soldier Field on November 7th where the award winners across a number of categories were announced. In the Large Company category, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices ranked #1. The recognition speaks to the firm’s exceptional real estate culture, management team and agent support.

Being named the #1 Top Workplace in Chicago in the Large Company category by the Chicago Tribune is the latest jewel in the crown of an exceptional year. The company was also one of the Chicago Tribune’s Businesses to Know, Crain’s named more than 30 BHHS brokers and the firm’s general counsel on their Most Notable lists, and Chicago Magazine’s first top real estate issue included more than 60 BHHS agents and teams.

“We are incredibly honored to be ranked the #1 Top Workplace for 2019 out of 150 companies in the Chicago metro area,” said Diane Glass, Chief Operating Officer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group. “It is immensely gratifying that our agents and employees feel a sense of belonging and family here. In hundreds of surveys, they detailed the support and collaboration that exists among our agents, managers and staff. And that represents a gold standard for real estate that is invaluable in serving our clients.”

“We recognize the importance of a strong, positive culture to an organization’s health and success and are very pleased to receive this award as a great indicator that we’re on the right path,” added Mark Pasquesi, the firm’s president of brokerage. “In fact, one of our Wildly Important Goals is to foster a joyful workplace. As part of our ongoing effort to create better real estate, we’ve created a People and Culture Department to focus on this very important facet of our work lives.”

“We congratulate each and every BHHS agent and employee on receiving this recognition.” added Joe Stacy, Senior Vice President and General Sales Manager. “This Chicago-based award is a perfect complement to the awards given to our parent company and global network, and to the many awards given to our agents and teams.”

Parent company HomeServices of America was recognized by RIS Media as the number one brokerage in the US, based on 2018 transaction sides, and the BHHS global network has repeatedly garnered Harris Poll and J.D. Power awards.

The Top Workplace list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, connection, and more.

ABOUT BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES KOENIGRUBLOFF REALTY GROUP

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group is a full-service real estate firm with nearly 1,500 real estate professionals and staff in 25 offices serving customers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, the North Shore, West Suburban communities, Southern Wisconsin, Northwest Indiana, and Harbor Country, Michigan. Deep local roots are complemented by the extensive global reach of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the top real estate brand in the nation. Affiliated and ancillary services in the form of Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, Fort Dearborn Title, and HomeServices Insurance complete the comprehensive services offered to clients. Visit KoenigRubloff.com.

Congrats Danielle! Agent’s Choice Award Winner

AGENTS’ CHOICE
Best Dressed: Danielle Dowell
by Chicago Agent November 06, 2019
Founder of The Dowell Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff

Known for her sophisticated sense of style, Danielle Dowell is not afraid to inject bold color palettes or patterns into her wardrobe. Having been a licensed broker since 2006, she’s been providing her clients with a firsthand, thorough education of the city and its many neighborhoods for over a decade, and founded The Dowell Group in 2015.

Style and branding play a big role in how Dowell manages listings. She’s a strong believer in the importance of well-executed marketing. Dowell utilizes these resources both within Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff and from outside sources to build unique, interest-generating platforms for each property her team represents. The ultimate goal is to convey her excitement and create the momentum needed to receive the most desirable effect for her clients.

Dowell said real estate professionals don’t need to spend a lot of money to look good; they just have to be true to themselves. “I believe that style should be fun, reflect your personality and not be too expensive. After all, when you look good, you feel good — confidence is key,” she said, adding, “Thank you to everyone who voted for me.”

Finalists: Nicholas Colagiovanni, Baird & Warner; Chris McComas, @properties

Original Article from Chicago Agent Magazine Here

Vacant Land Ready to Develop, Bring Your Ideas.

2221 W Oakdale, Chicago - Vacant Land for Sale

Vacant land on the river ready to be developed. 1.84 acres with skyline views on an “L” shaped lot. Previously zoned for PD single family homes and townhomes. Close to Midtown, many groceries stores, Target, tons of restaurants. Environmentals completed. Bring your ideas!

 

Listed at $6,500,000