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Chicago Real Estate Blog

A delicate balance for Chicago commercial real estate

Chicago has not been immune from the trickle-down effect of recent retail struggles. As large retailers close or downsize the brick-and-mortar sides of their corporations, commercial real estate owners across the country are left with vacancies. However, savvy investors are finding success by planning the right ventures in the best locations.

Property owners in areas with lower population are not succeeding like those in more densely populated areas. Likewise, those shopping centers that lease to retail establishments like clothing stores and electronics may struggle more than those with grocery stores or restaurants, which continue to thrive. Those with property to lease downtown or on the North Side may find themselves with fewer vacancies than those in the west suburbs.

Is a neighbor's overgrown tree scaring potential buyers away?

Buying a home can be a difficult and complicated process. People don't want to inherit baggage when moving into a new home. That could include needing to deal with an inconsiderate or difficult neighbor. If you have a neighbor who planted a tree on or near the property line, that tree could be a source of future issues. Will it produce fruit or flowers that will drop and cause a mess? Will leaves require regular raking? Buyers are concerned about future expenses, including property damage if a branch comes down on your porch or fence.

Trees can be a point of pride and even add value to a home. However, when a tree's branches or roots encroach on your property, it can cause issues if you want to sell. How can you hope to highlight your yard if it's completely overshadowed by limbs from a neighboring tree? Will buyers be able to visualize themselves enjoying time outside, or will they just move on to a place where they don't have to worry about overgrowth, spitting sap or even leaf drop in their yard?

Landlords can avoid many problems with careful tenant screening

Dealing with tenants is not always the frustration some in Illinois may think. Many times, landlords and tenants get along fine and may even develop friendships. It is likely that the landlords fortunate enough to have such relationships paid careful attention to their vetting process when opening a unit for rent. Relying on a good or bad vibe does not always translate to a positive rental experience.

A landlord, building owner or property manager has every right to carefully screen those who are under consideration for renting. Failing to do so can result in costly mistakes when tenants are delinquent with rent, damage the unit or place other tenants at risk. One way to gain useful information about potential tenants is to contact past landlords for details about any difficulties they may have had with the applicants.

Know what questions to ask during the home buying process

Buying a home is a difficult process, especially if you are a first-time home buyer. When you think about the cost of Chicago real estate, it is easy to see why you would need to ensure that you are making the best choice for your money.

There are certain questions that you can ask when you are considering a property. Make sure that you take the time to go through the list and get answers to any pertinent questions.

Preparing for a court hearing over eviction

If you rent property to tenants, you may find that eviction has become obligatory for one reason or another. At Bradford Miller Law, we know how upsetting these matters can be for landlords in Chicago, Illinois. For example, you may not want to evict your tenant but you might have no other choice. Whether they are disturbing the community or are unable to pay rent, there are many reasons why landlords find themselves in this position. If you are going to court over eviction, it is essential to prepare for the hearing appropriately.

As a landlord, you may have a wide variety of concerns and you could be short on time or stressed out. However, you should take all precautions to increase the chances of a successful outcome if you are going to court. For starters, you should organize all relevant records and documents, from rental contracts to payments and communication between you and your tenant. You should try to remain calm and present yourself well in court, having a solid understanding of the ins and outs of the situation.

Chicago building code violations may result from DIY repairs

A city with old buildings like Chicago must take care to keep its residents safe. Building code violations warn owners to make repairs or improvements that will prevent tragic accidents, such as fires, from taking lives. Such violations often carry fines, and owners not only have to come up with funds to pay the penalty, but finance the repairs, which are often costly. Owners or landlords who undertake the repairs themselves may save money, but they also run the risk of further violations if the work is improperly done.

Some common repairs that result in building code violations are electrical in nature. For example, failing to use a junction box to split wires not only places an owner at risk of a violation, but it also raises the chances of an electrical fire. The same can be said of omitting ground fault circuit breakers, which cut power off when moisture or other factors charge the current.

"PIN slamming" in Chicago residential real estate sales

Purchasing a home can be exciting and a little frightening. Despite careful budgeting and planning, there is always the fear that an unexpected expense will make residential real estate ownership a struggle, perhaps jeopardizing the owner's ability to keep up with mortgage payments and other costs. One woman in a town south of Chicago was shocked when just such an expense arose. However, the seemingly underhanded manner in which she accrued the expense may be a cautionary tale for others.

The woman purchased a home in 2014 and moved in with her seven children. All seemed well until her property tax bill arrived, and she realized her house straddled two separate plots of land. Synergy Property Holdings, LLC, the company that sold her the house, did not disclose that the house held two property index numbers, one for each lot, a questionable practice known as PIN slamming. Synergy insisted they had no legal obligation to disclose the second PIN.

Commercial real estate booming in Chicago

Chicago continues to draw foreign investors with its valuable properties and potential for development. Investors from across the world have spent billions of dollars on commercial real estate in the Windy City in the past few years, and while the numbers have dropped, sales and profits remain high. A recent exchange continues the trend of foreign investors banking on Illinois for their real estate success.

An American mall developer purchased a 24-story office building on the desirable Magnificent Mile. After paying about $71 million for the property, his intent was to link it to the chic retail-entertainment district, Shops at North Bridge. However, more than five years later, the property remains unchanged, and its owner has decided to sell it to a group of foreign investors.

How to prepare for a home closing

Buying a home is one of the most exciting things you can do. At the same time, this can bring quite a bit of stress to your life.

It's important that you learn the ins and outs of a home closing before the big day arrives. This will ensure that you are on the right track and able to prevent trouble that could prevent you from completing the transaction.

Evicting a tenant for drug-related offenses

As a landlord, you may worry about your property and the people whom you have rented it to for a number of reasons, whether you think that their animals will damage the premises or you are not receiving rent on time. Unfortunately, some tenants in Chicago violate the law by committing various types of drug offenses. If you know that a person renting your home or apartment is carrying out unlawful drug-related activities, you should look into your legal options and address the situation at once.

Whether your tenant is breaking the law or breaking the terms of the rental agreement which stipulate that drugs are not allowed on the premises, you should not be afraid to protect your property and defend your rights as a landlord. Sometimes, tenants manufacture drugs from an apartment or home, which can damage the building and, in some cases, may even result in the entire unit burning to the ground. Or, perhaps your tenant is selling drugs from the premises, which may attract dangerous people. For example, other tenants living nearby may be worried about the safety of their children due to the drug activity.