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By Robert Pratt | Broker in Chicago, IL
  • Glassy and Classy Streeterville Apartment Tower Nearly Complete

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chicago, In My Neighborhood in Chicago, Moving in Chicago  |  July 15, 2013 6:13 PM  |  763 views  |  No comments
    Streeterville is getting a classy and glassy new residential building.  The new construction in Chicago, named “Optima Center,” is located in the heart of Streeterville, one of the best Chicago neighborhoods.

    The 325-unit apartment tower’s clean and classic design is nearly complete.  Standing out from its run-of-the-mill surroundings, developer and architect David Hovey’s design uses translucent, metallic, and black glass to give the tower an “impressive beauty.”

    The interiors hold a striking design motif as well.  A strong aesthetic is established in the lobby and carried throughout the hallways and recreational spaces.

    Units utilize bamboo flooring, neutral finishes and porcelain title to convey a soft and warm vibe.  The Chicago luxury rentals also include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, in-unit washer and dryer and floor-to-ceiling windows with supreme Chicago views.  The Optima Center will offer studios and convertibles as well as one to three bedroom and penthouse floorplans, now available to lease.

    This Chicago luxury rental didn’t forget about providing the cushy amenities Chicago residents have come to desire and expect.  Tenants of the new development will enjoy a premium living experience with a fitness and aquatic center including a 15m pool, sun terrace overlooking Lake Michigan, morning coffee and tea service, grilling stations, and even a hydro-therapy spa and steam room.

    If you’re ready to call the ritzy Optima Center home – it comes at a price, and a steep one at that.  One bedroom units’ start at $1,800 month and the penthouse ranks in at a hefty $10,000.

    If you like what you hear, but not ready to sign up at the leasing office, you’ll be excited to hear news of a second construction site.

    In the adjacent plot of land to the first tower, Optima is expected to build a sister apartment building by 2017.  The sister development will sit nearly 20 stories higher than its neighbor and is expected to host 400 apartment units, a 200 room hotel and 60,000 square feet of single-user retail space. 
  • Yahoo! for Sweet Home Chicago

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Chicago, Curb Appeal in Chicago, Moving in Chicago  |  February 14, 2013 7:39 AM  |  445 views  |  No comments
    Need reassurance that Chicago is an awesome city to call home? Yahoo recently released a survey that lists the Windy City as one the top 10 moving destinations in the United States.

    It certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded of why we love this metropolis while we’re caught in Mother Nature’s bone-chilling clutches of winter.

    Chicago is a world class city that boasts every luxury of the “developed” world, minus the pretense. Whether you’re a theatre buff, amateur foodie, night owl, ravenous sports fanatic, music critic or art aficionado, you’re proud to call Chicago home.

    Now factor in the unbelievable accessibility, miles of beachfront and the laid back Midwestern mentality, and Chicago is truly one of the greatest cities in the world.

    With a median home sale price of $190,000, Chicago also represents extremely affordable big city living. The average price per square foot comes to $154 dollars (representing a 17% year-over-year increase from the same period last year), giving every Chicagoan more bang for their buck. While average listing prices continue to increase, the total number of sales climbing and interest rates at historic lows Chicago real estate is certainly on the rebound.

    Sold yet? Now before you whip out your grandma’s folding chairs to claim your personal street parking spot, you’ll need help navigating the impressive collection of Chicago homes for sale. Here are a couple of attractive listings to get you started!

    1617 N. Campbell #3 Chicago, IL 60622 (Bucktown)
    This two bedroom/two bathroom penthouse in Bucktown features hardwood floors throughout, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a balcony, a parking spot and a fireplace. Woah, let that sink in a minute, okay. The master bath features both a jacuzzi tub and separate shower and the open layout helps maximize functional living space. Combine this with easy access to the El and that makes this Bucktown condo a dream.

    1739 W. Newport Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

    This spacious single-family home is located in the heart of Lakeview near Wrigley Field. With four bedrooms and three bathrooms this is an ideal home for a growing family. Equipped with a furnished basement, screened back porch, and backyard there is plenty of space to escape for both parents and kids alike. A two car garage provides extra storage and a separate laundry room helps with organization. There are hardwood floors throughout and each floor features its own full bath. Close proximity to the El and Wrigleyville night life really help sell this property.
  • How to Avoid Moving Scams

    Posted Under: How To... in Chicago, Moving in Chicago  |  October 3, 2012 1:05 PM  |  502 views  |  1 comment
    The physical act of moving your belongings from one Chicago home to another can overwhelm even the most organized individuals. It seems that regardless of how much planning you do and how well-crafted your exit strategy may be, that unknown variable rears its ugly head and causes chaos.

    You can do nothing about a driver who gets lost or an item that gets broken, but both occurrences can severely alter your move from manageable to frustrating. But even worse than simple negligence, is a growing trend of mover fraud.

    They’re called “rogue movers” and they’ve caused a considerable amount of havoc for consumers. In fact, Ed Magedson, the founder of RipOffReport.com has seen and heard thousands of these types of complaints. His website offers consumers a forum to file complaints on everything from corrupt lawyers to bogus moving companies.

    One popular scam? A disreputable moving company that holds possessions for ransom in return for a higher fee than originally agreed upon. Consumers moving cross-country are the most susceptible to this type of scam. Companies will intentionally overcharge or ding consumers with indisclosed fees. Surprisingly, many consumers just pay the mark ups and move on.

    With a little due diligence and consumer research, moving scams can be avoided. The most common rip-offs include: the estimate, getting it in writing, insurance fraud and the fumbled handoff.

    Don’t ever settle on an estimate online or over the phone. This will result in an uneducated guess and you’re no moving expert. Once the truck shows up and loads your belongings, he’ll conveniently let you know that you grossly underestimated the size of the load, which of course results in a couple hundred dollars that you didn’t anticipate paying. It’s advisable to have a company rep take a look at the load prior to signing anything. The rule of thumb is to obtain at least three estimates in order to gauge the true market price.

    Get the offer in writing, include all of the specifics: size of the packed truck, starting time, cost and incidental fees. Once you have it in writing, negotiate from there. If a mover shows up late, appears to be in a hurry and doesn’t have a signed contact in hand, you’re better served to send him away.

    Many moving companies offer hollow insurance to protect their loads. Get insurance from a third party or consult your homeowner policy. Most moving companies are licensed to sell insurance.

    There are some moving companies that contract jobs out to local operations. That means a third party will be handling your items and the chances of something being “lost” or damaged increases exponentially. These companies are hiring day laborers and minimum-wage employees, not moving professionals, thus accidents can and often do occur.

    You’ve already conquered your search through Chicago real estate, made the deal and packed your belongings—the hard part should be over. So don’t let a moving scam deflate the excitement of the process.
  • Green Moving

    Posted Under: Going Green in Chicago, How To... in Chicago, Moving in Chicago  |  January 28, 2011 10:07 AM  |  1,174 views  |  2 comments
    With the emphasis on eco-friendly living these days, it’s no surprise that the green movement has spread to the moving process as well. Green moving means transferring your things while creating the least amount of waste and causing the smallest amount of environmental damage possible.

    People who are moving nowadays are not only concerned with the cost to their bank account, but also with the impact their move will have on the environment.

    Here are some tips to have a greener move:

    Before You Go

    A green move encompasses three things: The sheer amount of items you move, the level of waste generated by the move and the vehicle emissions into the atmosphere that result from moving your belongings from your current home to your new home. To reduce the impact of your move, simply begin going through what you own to make sure that everything you move will actually be used in your new home. Now is a great time to clean out your closets, go through your book shelves and purge any materials you haven’t looked at in years and get rid of any cleaning or kitchen supplies that are past their expiration dates. The less you move, the less of an impact you will make.

    Don’t buy all-new boxes, petroleum-based plastic bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts, as all three can wreak havoc on the environment. If you know a move is imminent, start holding onto any cartons or boxes you typically have around your home, and stop by your local grocery store or liquor store to reuse their boxes for your move. Consider substituting durable storage containers for cardboard boxes, reuse items such as bath towels or newspapers to wrap valuables in and use bungee cords in place of tape to hold larger bins in place.

    Consider the Moving Company
    Go online and research environmentally-conscious moving companies. You’ll find a variety of options they offer, from firms that simply provide plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes to companies that offer the full gamut of go green services, from using biodiesel trucks and reusable packing material to planting trees for every move.

    Whether it’s a small step such as wrapping an item in newspaper or a larger effort such as contracting with a moving company that only uses biodiesel fuel, you’ll be helping to reduce the overall impact of your move on the environment, making for a brighter, greener tomorrow.

    Click for more information on green Chicago real estate from Chicago's Dream Town Realty
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