Everything you need to be a good community member and neighbor. Here’s where you’ll find important information, like how to contact your alderman, report maintenance concerns to the city and more!

couple working on a home renovation

The Home Renovations That Will Bring You Joy – & ROI

Whether you’re doing a home renovation for your own pleasure, to update your space or to fix something that’s broken, home projects are always in demand. We’re breaking down the projects that bring the most joy to homeowners, and the ones that will make you the most money when you’re ready to sell.

Home Projects That Bring the Most Joy

Certain projects make you want to stay at home more, increase the enjoyment of your home or simply make a homeowner happy. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry(NARI), these are the projects that bring the most joy for homeowners:

  • Painting your home’s interior, either just a room or the entire home
  • Adding a home office
  • Refinishing hardwood floors
  • Closet renovations
  • Insulation upgrades

Renovations With the Highest Cost Recovery

When it comes to choosing a project for your home, there are some renovations that will have a bigger pay off in the long run compared to others. Here are the home renovations NAR and NARI say you will recover the cost of the project when selling your home.

  • Refinishing Hardwood Floors
    On average, this project costs about $3,400, and $5,000 is the estimated cost recovery, making it a 147% cost recovery.
  • New Wood Flooring
    Typically, new wood floors cost $5,500, and $6,500 can be recovered, a 118% cost recovery.
  • Insulation Upgrade
    On average, this project costs about $2,500, and $2,500 is the estimated cost recovery, making it a 100% cost recovery.
  • New Roofing
    Typically, new roofing cost $12,000, and $12,000 can be recovered, a 100% cost recovery.
  • New Garage Door
    Typically, a new garage door cost $2,000, and $2,000 can be recovered, a 100% cost recovery.

Comparable Sale: What It Is & Why It Matters

The burning question for anyone getting ready to sell their home is: “How much can I sell for?” First, it’s important to understand what a comparable sales price is and why it matters is valuable, which we’ve broken down for you below.

What Is A Good Comparable Sale Price:

comparable sales infographic

Why Does It Matter?

Evaluating the differences and similarities of surrounding properties on the market will give you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. This is also where your REALTORS’® expertise will come into play, as they’ve likely seen many homes in your neighborhood and know about comparable sales in your area, making them your greatest asset in the listing process to help adjust your price efficiently and effectively.

4 Ways to Price Your Home Like A Pro

Your home is a major investment in time, money and memories, so understandably, selling it can be an emotional process.

It’s important to lean on your REALTOR® for guidance. After all, this person is your go-to industry expert who is invested in helping you sell on your timeline and for the best possible ROI.

Still nervous about the pricing conversation? We’ve created four pro tips to help you through this process.

1. Higher Isn’t Always Better

Be strategic in your pricing and don’t list too high – that could scare away potential offers!

The longer your house sits on the market, the less likely you are to get your asking price. Buyers are more likely to negotiate a deal on a house that’s been listed for a significant stretch of time. A price-to-sell strategy will give you leverage, options and exposure to potential buyers.

2. Know The Local Market

How did similar homes in your neighborhood sell? These comparables (also called “comps”) play a big role in your own home’s price.

Your REALTOR® should run the average sale price for homes in your area. When selecting comps, REALTORS® generally filter properties within a one-mile radius of your home that sold in the past 90 days. Comparable homes will be similar in age, location, square footage and number of bedrooms/bathrooms.

Based on these results, they’ll pinpoint the differences and assess why price reductions did or didn’t happen. This nuanced understanding is invaluable, particularly when measuring the unique aspects of your home.

3. Upgrades Don’t Always Mean More Money

Buyers want a home they can:

  1. Picture themselves in, and;
  2. Easily make their own.

Help spark their imagination with neutral updates. Upgrades based on specific taste can sometimes devalue a home based on personal buyer taste and preference.

For example, just because you spent $40,000 to update your kitchen doesn’t mean you get to add an extra $40,000 to the listing price. Research from the National Association of REALTORS® states you might recoup 59% of your costs, based on the national average of kitchen upgrades.

Talk to your REALTOR® about what you can do, or have done, that positively affects your home value and listing price.

4. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Don’t let pride, sentiment and nostalgia mislead you!

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the wrong price can drastically delay your sale. That “fresh factor” tends to wane after just 30 days! Therefore, it’s important to listen to your REALTOR® about your pricing strategy.

Their unbiased perspective combined with knowledge of the market and real estate inventory will help you walk away from the closing table feeling confident in your transaction.

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60 Seconds Is All It Takes: Check Your Voter Registration

If you’re an American citizen, you have the right to vote. Voting allows you to sound off on issues of importance to you and your community by advancing public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment. Register to vote in Chicago – click here or fill out the form below to check your voter registration status.

“The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties.” – Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States

Other ways to get involved:

Learn the issues. Read up on political stances (both local and national) and figure out where you stand.

Use your platforms. Voice your opinions through avenues like social media or op-eds in your local newsletter.

Volunteer. Participate in phone banks, conduct door-to-door canvassing, write postcards or volunteer at campaign headquarters. Your work can help get candidates you believe in elected.

No matter your political party or beliefs, it’s important to exercise your right to vote – and that starts at the polls. Check your voter registration status today & register to vote in Chicago!