Real Estate Archives

A Home in the Trees

Outgrowing your home but afraid you won't be able to sell in order to move up to a bigger home?  Perhaps you should look to the trees as a spot to create some additional living space.  Tree houses aren't just child's play anymore.  Check out this story from the Today Show, featuring TreeHouse Workshop's Pete Nelson, who says a few years ago, he built a treehouse that cost $360,000.  With a fireplace, kitchen and patio, one of these babies is kind of like a home away from home...Oh, and the kids might like it too.

Watch the video here.

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11 of the World's Most Unusual Apartments

MSN has put together a list of the 10 most unusual apartments in the world - from an apartment building made entirely of shipping containers, to a former state prison - check out some pretty interesting apartments.  (Oh, and I added one from my hometown of Mentor, Ohio!)

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Local Real Estate: The Safest Bets

Whether you're in the 'burbs or the city, chances are you're concerned about the value of your home - even if you don't intend to sell anytime soon.  And yes, the truth is that home values are hovering right around where they were about eight years ago.  Which is great if you're buying...not so great if you're selling something you bought just a few years ago.  But while times could be better pretty much across the board, there are definitely some neighborhoods that are faring better than others.  These are what Chicago Magazine's Dennis Rodkin calls "safe bets."  Every year, Dennis compiles the Annual Real Estate Chart to see how current sales compare to the previous year as well as 1994, when they began tracking the numbers. 

Take a look at the video below to see if you live in one of the six suburbs and city neighborhoods that Dennis considers a "safe bet."  If you're in one of these places, chances are, your home has retained plenty of value compared to other, not-so-lucky areas.



Find Hidden Space at Home

I'm not sure that I have ever met a person that complains of having too much space at home.  When it comes to our stuff, there are never enough places to put it.  The real estate market has forced a lot of people to stay in homes that they're rapidly growing out of, so getting organized has probably never been more important.  We recently got lessons from two local professional organizers about how to tackle different spaces in your home to create more space without feeling overwhelmed.

The first was an overstuffed closet (pretty common for the city) which we organized in a few hours with Molly Boren of Simplicity Works.  The second was a basement storage area that had become a catch-all over the years which we learned how to tackle with the organizers at B Organized.  Each space had its own challenges, but the principles were the same.  Take a look at the before and afters and then check out what we learned.


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Chicago Architecture: Top 40 Buildings

Chicago is a city known for its architecture (take a crash course by enjoying a 90-minute architectural cruise on the river).  That's why Chicago Magazine has compiled a list of the top 40 buildings in Chicago and we've been in quite a few of the residential beauties, touring some of the most beautiful homes on the market. 

Here are the tours - and see the full list at

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Side-by-side lakefront estates come with baggage...

This Chicago Tribune is reporting today that the late owner of a pair of lakefront estates, toured by HomesPlus last year, has left behind nearly $20-million in debt, stirring up a legal battle that centers around the 985 and 975 Sheridan Road properties.


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Over-the-Top Homes: Gorgeous or Gaudy?

I believe when we're little, we pretty much all imagine that we'll grow up and live in a castle of our own.  With pools and trampolines and horse stables and whatever else you imagine as the ideal when you're a kid.  Most people grow up to realize that a huge home isn't always the best home.  Others, however, prove that money does not buy taste and childhood dreams die hard.  Here are a few of the most ostentatious homes that have been on the market in the last few years...if you had the cash, would you buy them??

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Historic Chicago Rentals

Chicago has a rich history and naturally, so do its buildings. This city has been blessed with famed architects such a Frank Lloyd Wright , who have helped make the city and its neighborhoods both beautiful and unique. What people may not think about is that these historic homes have residents. Okay, this is where you come in. Historic rental properties in the area are more common than you might think and, if you so choose, you could find yourself living inside the same walls as someone involved in hunting down Al Capone or an apartment designed by Meyer Fridstein. Of course, the architecture is nice, but the thought of living somewhere that's seen it all is what really tickles us. Here are just some of Chicago's many historical rentals and a little bit of the history that makes them so great!

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For Sale: 5 Reasons Your Home Isn't Selling

We're on the downslope of Summer heading towards the Fall and Winter! Yep, it may be 90 degrees out, but I just said it. Doesn't make any of us happy. Not only because that means winter is coming, but also for home owners out there who are desperately trying to sell their home.

So why isn't your home selling? Is it because the market still isn't great, or are the reasons more personal? Are you doing everything possible to sell that home?

The Chicago Tribune recently described 5 reasons why your home isn't selling. And here at HomesPlus, we thought it would be wise to share those reasons. They may seem simple, but in today's market, they are extremely critical.

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Chicago Lawn Care Tips

It's summer in Chicago and that means lawn maintenance has moved back into our weekly routines.

We spoke to the good folks at Spring Green Lawn Care for some tips on getting your grass to grow and look great this summer. And if you're currently trying to sell your home, these tips are extremely important. Remember - first impressions mean everything to a buyer!



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Chicago - Median Price Heat Map

What's the price of your home? I know, many of us don't want to know. But if you're looking to sell or buy, knowing the median price of homes sold in a specific area is important.

The Chicago Tribune has an interactive heat map to show you the current median home price in your neighborhood, village or city.

It's a great tool if you're trying to buy or sell a home.

Click here for more on the heat map.

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