People who move to Chicago for the first time often find themselves taken aback by the sheer variety of housing available. From spacious single family homes to cozy condos, from gleaming skyscrapers to humble two-flats, there’s a home for every taste and budget in the city.

But, for many, that dream home isn’t always easy to find – particularly when it comes to finding the ideal size. Plenty of Chicago homes offer gorgeous finishes, a convenient location, or top-of-the-line amenities – if you’re willing to settle for a little less space in some rooms.

But a home with a few particularly snug spaces doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker! In fact, there are countless tricks that you can use to make a small or awkward room feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting, without shelling out big bucks for renovations.

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Hiring a real estate professional you trust is no easy feat. Even asking friends and family for recommendations can leave you with a list of 20+ names. Where do you go from there?

Narrowing down the list can be a challenge, but it is a necessary process. Your real estate agent performs all negotiations on your behalf. You want an experienced and respected negotiator on your side, who similarly is able to articulate the process for you and thoroughly answer any questions you have.

Your vetting process can easily help determine these. Before you shake hands and start signing paperwork, ask your prospective agent these seven questions.

1. How long have you been in the real estate business, and how frequently do you conduct business?

You may be able to glean this information from websites like Zillow or from your prospective agent's website, but this is important information to know. Work with an agent with full-time experience upward of a year.

We emphasize full-time, as many agents can hold on to a license without much real-world experience. Valuable real estate experience is only earned through actual transactions and activity in the field. Don't put your transaction in the hands of "part-time" or "occasional" agents.

Chicago's Near North Side, Market Conditions

Why the Near North Side?

Located north and east of the Chicago River, the Near North Side is one of the most iconic and picturesque areas in the city, and is the home of countless great restaurants, theaters, and museums. 

Comprised of famous sub-neighborhoods like Gold Coast, Old Town, Goose Island, River North, and Streeterville, the Near North Side is home to some of Chicago's most legendary sites, including the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier, as well as some of the most famous skyscrapers in the country. Of Chicago's downtown community areas, Near North has the largest population, along with the highest number of skyscrapers. 

For more on this bundle of great Chicago neighborhoods, here are a few resources worth checking out:

Home to great shopping, easy access to public transit, and thriving nightlife options, the neighborhoods of the Near North Side have all of the assets that make Chicago a prime destination for buyers. Whether you're looking to buy or sell in the area, here are the current stats for Near North's condo and housing market that you need to know now:

Near North Side's Current Condo Market 

Although many Chicagoans thrive in the winter (with a few who even dip into our icy Lake Michigan waters during the chilly months), most of us are thrilled when spring finally arrives.

Well, patio dwellers and 606 runners, it’s time to celebrate. The days are getting longer, and the temperatures are starting to rise into the 40s and 50s. Spring is finally coming to Chicago!

If you’re pretty keen about the housing market, then you know how important timing is for the spring. In fact, conventional wisdom is that you should start paying attention before the real spring even hits.

If you’ve kept up with our blog, then you know that we think of the Super Bowl -- that big game positioned in early February -- as the actual date when the real estate market really starts to bloom. It’s during this time, in late February and early March, that the market starts to get that springtime pep in its step once again.

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Chicago, IL 60614

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