Laurie Christofano, Chicagoland Realtor

Dishing up local info, buyer & seller tips, and more on instagram - check it out by clicking one of the pics below!

May 3, 2021

Should you buy and sell at the same time?

Both buying and selling a home are equally stressful, but what about when you are trying to coordinate both at the same time? There are a lot of moving parts, and the agents involved work together to insure the smoothest possible transactions for our clients.

If you are selling your home and want to close on a new home purchase at the same time, here are some things to think about to make your move as smooth as possible.

Selling & buying at the same time

Truly simultaneous closings are rare these days, especially when financing is involved. Regulations put in place to protect consumers have made simultaneous, or double, closings very difficult to pull off.

Concurrent closings occur when a party is selling and buying properties at about the same time, usually within a couple of days of each other.

If you wish to close on the sale of your home and the purchase of a new home back-to-back, the best scenario is to work with the same title company and escrow company for both transactions. Usually the sale of your home is closed first, your mortgage is paid off, then the purchase of your new home is closed.

Selling & then buying (the double move)

Selling your home ahead of buying is the most risk-free alternative, as neither transaction is contingent on the other. However, this requires your family to make an extra move and have a place to live while you wait to close on a new home, so in terms of convenience and expense, it’s not always the best scenario.

If you have the ability to secure a short-term rental, or to put your belongings in storage and stay with family, then you can enjoy the luxury of taking your time to look for and close on your new home.

One option that sometimes works out is to rent your home back from your buyers while you wait to close on your purchase. This works well when the buyers are not in a hurry to move in themselves and you can agree on a timeframe for you to remain in the home.

Buy, then sell:

Buying ahead of selling is a dream in terms of convenience. You can take your time moving, and maybe do some renovations or decorating before you move in.

But will you qualify for a new mortgage without a contingency on selling your existing home? If you can swing the mortgage, or are paying cash, it may be a great option for you. Remember to realistically consider how long you can afford to maintain two properties– with maintenance costs– in case it should take you longer than expected to find a buyer for your present home.

In this scenario, you may want to rent your new purchase back to the sellers, or list it as a short-term rental, while you wait to close on the sale of your existing home.

In summary...

Consider your buyers and sellers carefully when trying to coordinate a sale and purchase within a short amount of time. The last thing you need is a seller or buyer who is displaying signs of being uncommitted to the deal.

While no deal is guaranteed until all the closing documents have been signed, when you need a purchase or sale to coincide with your schedule, you should carefully evaluate who you sign a contract with.

A contract with contingencies on other deals going through, a lender expressing doubt about final financing approval, a low good faith deposit, buyers asking for unreasonable repairs or allowances, or sellers whose moving plans are questionable are red flags that your deal could fall apart.

Posted in News
April 27, 2021

Sold their condo, bought their dream home in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic

🥂🎉🐣 congrats to my long-time clients as they closed on their forever house within weeks of their due date 🤗

We were lucky enough to find this one on the private listing network before it went live on the MLS — and avoided a likely bidding war in the process!

From a cramped condo with a scenic pond view 👉 a spacious tri-level with a fenced yard for their furry crew 🐶🐈, this growing family took the leap of faith with me and we made their dreams come true. ✨

If you’ve been wishing for a patch of grass of your own, too, let’s make it happen!

Become a VIP Buyer: https://rem.ax/LCbuyer

Posted in News
April 26, 2021

The best calls I get to make...

“For $X, would you like this house to be yours?” I excitedly asked my buyers this weekend... (Equally as excitedly) “omg yes! It’s right in line with what we were hoping to get it for, and our monthly payments will be $50 less than we were budgeting for!!”

We had just beaten out FOURTEEN other offers 🦸 and secured my clients’ dream home 🏡 

Thru managing the multiple offer / bidding war process on the listing side over the years, I’ve learned lots of tips and tricks to help my buyers’ offers stand out and rise to the top of the pile — which is vital in today’s crazy market!

🙋‍♀️ who can I help next? ☎️ Call me 630.248.1976 for all your Chicagoland real estate needs!

Sept. 3, 2020

Full steam ahead into fall real estate market

Dear friends,

We are continuing to experience a strong sellers' market in many areas right now, with lower inventory than usual coupled with higher than normal buyer demand - fueled by crazy low interest rates and the pandemic exposing for many the ways in which their current homes were no longer functioning for them. It's a fantastic time to sell your house, so if you've been sitting on the sidelines, now is your chance to make your move a reality!

And buyers -- there's a glimmer of hope for you too -- I've successfully helped several clients close on great properties this year, many involving the dreaded bidding war. Don't miss out on your dream house because you're afraid to go after what you want. It's prime time to find your forever house and lock in that low interest rate for life!

Since heading into lockdown in March, I've personally closed on 17 homes with buyers & sellers, with an additional 10 under contract. I'm dedicated to my goal of helping at least 40 clients this year. Want service like this? Contact me!

 

Feb. 5, 2019

Homes & condos for sale in the Harrison Arts District of Oak Park IL

Harrison Arts District

The Oak Park Arts District (commonly called the Harrison Arts District) in Oak Park IL is a charming, vibrant neighborhood with a mix of single family homes, condos, townhomes, and multi-family properties. This area is popular because of its close proximity to public transportation (the CTA Blue Line can be accessed via Lombard Ave & Austin Blvd, and the Pace bus runs along Ridgeland Ave) as well as the unique blend of businesses found here.

Along Harrison Street from Ridgeland Ave to Austin Blvd you'll find numerous art galleries, shops, salons, cafes, and restaurants. Some notable hot spots include Happy Apple Pie Shop, Trattoria 225, The Buzz Cafe, Mora Asian Fusion, District Kitchen & Tap, and Eastgate Cafe. Click here to see all of the businesses in the Oak Park Arts District!

Thinking of buying a home in Oak Park IL? Check out all of the available single family homes for sale in the Harrison Arts District here!

Thinking of buying a condo in Oak Park IL? Check out all of the available condos and townhomes for sale in the Harrison Arts District here!

Thinking of buying an investment property in Oak Park IL? Check out all of the available multi-family properties for sale in the Harrison Arts District here!

 

Oct. 25, 2018

Is the local Chicagoland real estate market shifting?

Chicago’s Near West Suburbs: Market Quick Stats

As of 9am on 10/25/2018…

OAK PARK: Single family homes: 50 of 265 (19%) are under contract. Condos/townhomes: 58 of 168 (34.5%) are under contract.

RIVER FOREST: Single family homes: 7 of 69 (10%) are under contract. Condos/townhomes: 11 of 39 (28%) are under contract.

FOREST PARK: Single family homes: 9 of 40 (22.5%) are under contract. Condos/townhomes: 24 of 53 (45%) are under contract.

RIVERSIDE: Single family homes: 13 of 60 (22%) are under contract. Condos/townhomes: 1 of 6 (17%) are under contract.

BERWYN: Single family homes: 71 of 210 (34%) are under contract. Condos/townhomes: 6 of 14 (43%) are under contract.

ELMWOOD PARK: Single family homes: 24 of 93 (26%) are under contract. Condos/townhomes: 19 of 49 (39%) are under contract.

BROOKFIELD: Single family homes: 27 of 105 (26%) are under contract. Condos/townhomes: 1 of 11 (9%) are under contract.

The take-away here is that the lower % of under contract homes, the weaker the market. We are seeing a shift toward a buyer's market in at least a couple of these areas.

Now is the time for sellers to be pro-active about pricing their homes competitively to stand out, properly preparing their homes for sale, and presenting their homes in the best possible light. Let me guide you through the process of getting your home SOLD!

Contact me for more specific details or for info on the markets in other towns & areas!

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Are you looking for a LOW-PRESSURE agent in Chicago or suburbs?
Laurie Christofano with RE/MAX In The Village will help you find the information you are looking for to help you make the best decision for the future. It's always a NO PRESSURE situation when you contact me. So, feel free to ask me any questions you can think of regarding the Chicagoland real estate market.

Laurie Christofano
Realtor with The Pych Team
RE/MAX In The Village
630-248-1976 call or text me!
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April 13, 2018

Is your home ready for aging in place?

Guest Post by Claire Wentz, CaringFromAfar.com

Is your home as safe as it could be? Or are you awkwardly maneuvering mobility aids through doorways, stretching to reach your kitchen cabinets, and shuffling across slick flooring? While mobility changes are a part of getting older, your home shouldn’t be making life harder.

Remodeling for Aging in Place

Most seniors need to modify their homes in order to continue aging there safely. However, remodeling for aging in place requires more than grab bars and an entrance ramp. Here are some modifications to consider if you plan to live at home as you age:

  • Installing additional lighting throughout the home, including task lighting, and replacing light switches with rocker switches or motion-activated lighting.
  • Replacing long-pile carpeting and slick flooring with slip-resistant flooring.
  • Building an entrance ramp.
  • Installing an elevator for second floor access.
  • Increasing the width of doorways and hallways.
  • Installing lowered or adjustable-height kitchen counters.
  • Replacing kitchen appliances with more accessible models.
  • Installing a curbless shower, raised toilet seat, and bathroom grab bars.
  • Adding a first-floor bathroom.
  • Replacing door knobs with levers and cabinet handles with D-shaped pulls.
  • Lowering cabinets and adding pull-down shelving and roll-out trays.

While this list includes the most important home modifications, it’s not all-inclusive. For more ways to make your home safer for aging in place, see the National Association of Home Builders’ aging-in-place remodeling checklist.

Remodel or Relocate?

Your first instinct may be to remodel your current home. Especially if it’s the house you raised your family in, you might be reluctant to leave it. However, remodeling is costly, and the final bill can easily total in the tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes, it makes more sense to sell your house and purchase a home that’s more suited to your changing needs.

Seniors benefit from downsizing to a smaller home throughout their golden years. A more compact home is easier to navigate as your mobility changes and requires less upkeep than a large, multi-story home. You’ll also have fewer rooms to remodel for accessibility, so you’ll spend less time and money on home modifications.

If you decide to move, search for single-story homes that offer step-free entrances, open floor plans, and wide doorways and hallways. These are the bare bones necessities for accessible living, and purchasing a home that already has these features will save you money on remodeling. Search for ranch homes for sale here.

Before you start looking at homes, work with a real estate agent to figure a listing value for your current home. While the average sales price of Oak Park Illinois homes is around $450,000, yours may be worth more or less depending on its age, size, condition, location, and design. Get an instant estimate of your home's value by clicking here.

After you know what your home is worth, identify the changes you’ll need to make to a future home. Fully accessible homes are rare, so expect to make several modifications from the above list. Subtract the estimated cost of remodeling projects from your home’s listing price, and you’ll have an idea of what you can afford to spend on a new home. Now you’re ready to start reviewing listings to see what’s on the market in your target price range.

If you’re having trouble finding homes that meet your accessibility needs and your budget, consider whether it’s best to finance renovations now or budget them out over time. You can learn more about financing home renovations at This Old House’s website.

Remodeling your home is no small feat -- and it's not an inexpensive one, either. However, compared to the cost of living in nursing home or assisted living facility, aging in place is often the more economical choice. Whether you decide to modify your existing home or relocated to a downsized dwelling, you'll have the comfort of aging on your own terms.

Having trouble deciding whether to stay in your home or downsize? Let's talk about it! Call me anytime at 630-248-1976. I'm always here to help! ~Laurie Christofano, Realtor with The Pych Team at RE/MAX In The Village.

Nov. 25, 2017

Stunning Oak Park Property Remains Timeless

Art in architecture was truly perfected on Oak Park property by Frank Lloyd Wright. Examples of his stunning works are located throughout Oak Park and the greater Chicago area. Famous for his Prairie Style motif Wright had a vision of “organic architecture” with beauty in the details. Offered through The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust interested parties can discover the magic of Frank Lloyd Wright within multiple tours.

Treks Around Oak Park Highlight the Mastery of Frank Lloyd Wright

During the Wright Around Oak Park Tour participants spend approximately three hours immersed in the wonder of Frank Lloyd Wright. This historic walking tour focuses on prominent works around town. Originating at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, guests progress through the Oak Park dwelling learning all about what inspired the man as well as personal history. Expert docents lead the group around the home even allowing a sneak peak onto the exclusive studio balcony. Artist and architect, Wright often used this first home as an experimental base. Afterwards, it's off to explore the landscape of Oak Park property. Ten additional homes are on the route providing excellent examples of the Prairie Style period. The last structure on the tour is the Unity Temple which was constructed from 1905 to 1908 and symbolizes classic Wright design. Read more about this majestic building here.

Treks are limited to parties of 10 and under allowing for more intimate discussions with the tour guide. Plenty of breaks make time for reflection and shopping opportunities are also given. An overlay of general history concerning the Oak Park real estate region is given in addition to the contributions added by Frank Lloyd Wright. Advanced reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling 312.994.4000. Spontaneous add ons are welcome when space in the group is available. Dressing in layers with appropriate footwear is recommended. Tours are not suggested for those under eight years of age.

 

Posted in News
Nov. 24, 2017

Wild Times Await on Chicago Property

Hear the roar of the lion and the growl of the bear right on Chicago property. In the midst of the bustle of the city sits a refuge for the world’s animals. At the Lincoln Park Zoo animals from A to Z call Chicago home. Amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles all have their own space. Free to one and all it is easy to come and get to know the critters.

Families who frequent the zoo can often be heard arguing over which animal to see first. Everyone has their favorite from slithery snakes and creepy, crawly lizards to curious monkeys and whimsical meerkats. Solutions are sometimes as simple as following the map or drawing straws. Others rely on memories over whose turn to choose was next. Either way the animals await.

Popular polar bears and black bears maintain a high spot on the list for visitors. With their faces full of character, it’s hard to believe they are predatory animals. Large cats also seem fairly domestic. Resembling cuddly kittens left at home, these massive kitties are mesmerizing all on their own. Big cats include African lions, Snow Leopards, Pumas and Amur Tigers. The most laughs are found by the monkeys and chimpanzees. These fun filled creatures enjoy their day swinging high and low in their enclosures. Nearby Western Lowland Gorillas seem deeply immersed in thought. More at home in the water than on land, Harbor and Gray Seals slip eagerly into their pools to swim and splash around.

Learn All About Exotic Animals Calling Chicago Home

Dedicated to conservation and education various science centers carry out the goals of the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Urban Wildlife Institute considers the impact society has on natural habitats. Population Management is studied at the Alexander Center, and Lester E. Fisher Center focuses solely on apes. Learn more about science centers and additional resources employed by the zoo.

From armadillos to zebras, the Lincoln Park Zoo found on Chicago property has it all and is open every day all year long. Hours are seasonal so check the website before heading over.

 

Posted in News
Nov. 24, 2017

Find Peace on Oak Park Property

The wonder of nature comes to life on Oak Park property at Austin Gardens. Often referred to as the “secret gardens” the landscape is filled with peaceful serenity. Located at 167 Forest Avenue hundreds of trees provide a tranquil spot for relaxation and contemplation. Splashes of color catch the eye as wildflowers bloom and thrive. Walking trails are great to meander along when needing moments of quiet repose. South of Lake Street this small space of just under four acres truly seems like a special hideaway.

Classic Theater Comes to Life on Oak Park Real Estate

Open spaces are made for frolicking and play. Green grasses are filled with picnic lunches and games of frisbee, tag and flag football. During the summer months the stage is set for performances from the Oak Park Festival Theatre. Declared as the “oldest classical theatre in Illinois” quality Shakespeare productions highlight master material. Held on the grounds of Austin Gardens the community is treated to amazing performance art masterpieces. Year round performances are also held by the company. When winter comes, an outdoor ice rink is ready for recreators. Skaters swirl and twirl turning frosty weather into fun filled times. This family tradition finds many laughing and bantering on the ice.

In the Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center a love for nature is nurtured. Area youth flock to the Oak Park property for a variety of classes, workshops and camps. Adult educational programs are also available onsite. A state of the art building contains sustainable features proudly designed to support of the environment. Energy efficient settings regulate heating and cooling. Other accents include stormwater harvesting and a “green roof”. Additional features can be learned about here.

From sunrise to 10 p.m. get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life at Austin Gardens. Breathe deep and inhale the beauty of the majestic landscape on Oak Park real estate. Go for a walk, take in some theater or attend an ongoing workshop.

 

Posted in News