Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago - Brigitte Blair

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Waiting to buy in Chicago could mean higher mortgage payments


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With the change brought on from the pandemic, more people working remotely and most of the restaurants and bars being closed in Chicago it seems like everyone is wanting to relocate to the suburbs. Charming towns like Hinsdale, Oakbrook, and Downers Grove are giving families more space, bigger yards and overall, becoming more appealing than being cooped up in their downtown condos. With the appeal of the suburbs growing stronger it has made the competition a little stiff and inventory low, making us lean towards a seller’s market. Should buyer’s take this as a sign to hold off? I certainly don’t think so. With interest rates so low giving more buying power now would be the time to act.


According to Chicago Agent Magazine, waiting to buy in Chicago could mean higher mortgage payments


We live in uncertain times and clients these days, perhaps more than ever, are asking themselves if now is the right time to buy.

Fence-sitters beware, though, says a new study from Zillow, which notes that waiting could mean a much higher mortgage payment down the road.

The online brokerage notes that at a 30-year mortgage with a 20% down payment, rates are at a 50-year low. That’s right. The last time it was this good of a deal to buy a home was in 1971.

With interest rates at 2.68%, the monthly payment on a typical U.S. home was $862 in December, but that number is projected to jump to $952 by the end of 2021. And while interest rates could drop lower, those savings on borrowing could get wiped out by rising home values.

“Low interest rates are helping keep down monthly payments while price appreciation is working in the opposite direction,” the study noted. “While it’s good news for folks looking to rely on these lower rates today, it will take more time and money to save up for that initial down payment. There are also additional costs that offset some of the benefit of these low rates.”

In Chicago, with the current interest rate at 2.68%, the average mortgage payment is $836, but that increases to $941 if interest rates go to 3% and home values appreciate by 8%.

Under the scenario that home values rise to 12% and interest rates increase to 3%, the monthly payment would be $976.

That mortgage payment would be $1,040, if interest rates increase to 3.5% and home values appreciate by 12%.

“Rates are near historic lows, and we expect rates to hover near current levels through the first quarter of 2021. Although we expect rates to slightly increase as the economy recovers from Covid-19, it remains to be seen when that recovery truly gains traction. While these rate fluctuations may seem like small changes, when homeowners do the math it is clear how lower rates can significantly reduce monthly payments for the life of the mortgage,” Zillow senior economist Chris Glynn said in a press release. “Like with any consumer decision, it is important to be informed, research the market and shop around to find the best deal possible. Qualified mortgage professionals can help individual consumers identify the loan rate, repayment term, and structure that meet their needs.”

by Timothy Inklebarger
February 03, 2021

Posted In: Current Market DataLocal News

Tags: Zillow


How To Restore a Kitchen While Keeping the Original Cabinets



Whether you are buying a fairly new home in Downers Grove or plan on a finding a "fixer upper" in Oak Brook or Hinsdale, remodeling a kitchen is something that most people plan every now and then. Not without reason, too; a kitchen is a unique room that deteriorates quite fast, and at the same time, it is the focal point of each house, with family members gathering to eat, talk, laugh, and spend time together. 

However, typically kitchen remodels are quite costly: they require changing the cabinets entirely, very often replacing the flooring, and many other significant changes. Unfortunately, not all of us have the money or an option to have such a massive makeover.

If you, too, don’t have an easy cabinet refacing company or simply want to keep your kitchen’s general outlook but change a few details, there’s excellent news. There are a few tricks that you can use to restore your kitchen without even touching the cabinets at all. Read more to find out how!

Change the Cabinet Details

You might feel like your cabinets don’t require additional sanding or repaint, as they already serve you well. What you might do instead is upgrade your cabinet’s details, such as pulls, hinges, and knobs. Those parts of cabinets are often used, and thus they easily get worn off; at the same time, they are extremely easy to replace with new hardware. 

Before you make this change, consider your options and make sure the hardware will fit the existing cabinets’ general style. Choose the right material, considering its durability and your unique preferences.

New Paint Color and Curtains

To change the style and feel of your whole kitchen, you might repaint the walls. The difference doesn’t have to be major: typically, you might just change the tone to achieve the effect of fresh and modern space. Importantly, remember to compare the new paint sample with the items in your kitchen that you won’t be replacing, such as cabinets, to ensure no item will stand out. You can also repaint your kitchen doors to eliminate all the possible scratches or stains.

While choosing the right colors, consider what effect you want to achieve. If you would like to create an illusion of a bigger space, choose a lighter tone. Or perhaps you’re thinking about making the room feel more cozy and warm? In such a case, choose a paint with yellow or orange undertone. 

Notably, colors directly affect body and mind: if you’re spending a lot of time in your kitchen, consider how you might respond to each color. For instance, green undertones typically relax the body and mind, whereas red might be a bit too overwhelming.

Upon changing the paint color, consider purchasing new curtains to fit the new theme. In the kitchen, typically it’s the curtains that catch all the smoke and smells, so changing them will also be very healthy and hygienic. 

Declutter Your Space

Sometimes the problem of an outdated kitchen doesn’t lay in its cleanliness or old furniture but in the abundance of items lying around. 

We can all agree that the kitchen is the room that requires a lot of storage space. Unfortunately, with the years, its capacity seems to be visibly diminishing due to new devices purchased for the house and unnecessary items that somehow blend in with the rest of the room. 

To fix that situation, spend some time decluttering your kitchen: put all the unnecessary or unused items in the box, and move them to the garage. Cleaning your shelves will help create an illusion of a light-weight and spacious room. 

You can also experiment with your shelving by installing new floating shelves, both trendy and modern. If you spend some time searching the web, you can even build them yourself without spending tons of money.


At times the best solution to a dull kitchen that you got used to is changing the lighting. That might mean installing a new lighting fixture. 

For instance, new under cabinet lighting will dramatically change the whole space’s outlook. A new over-the-table lamp will become the room’s primary focus and catch the guests’ attention instantly. You may also consider modifying the light color to a warmer or more dim one, as well as changing the light switch.


As you can see, sometimes you don’t have to make a dramatic renovation to achieve an effect of a refreshed space. In fact, a small DIY makeover doesn’t even require you to change kitchen cabinets or to purchase brand new items. As the best interior designers say, the devil is in the detail. So just look around your kitchen critically, and try to assess what parts of it really need changing. Possibly, updating them won’t be either costly or very demanding and will make a huge difference.

In search of inspiration, we recommend looking up refreshed kitchen ideas on webpages such as Pinterest. Who knows, maybe a completely new idea for a project will catch your attention there? When it comes to kitchen renovation, the ideas are endless, and the only thing that is limiting you should be your own creativity. 

Malgorzata Koch

Maybe all of this is too much to take on? Another option would be hiring a professional company.  

There are many local companies that service the western suburbs including:
La Mantia
20 E. Ogden Ave.
Hinsdale, Chicago, Illinois 60521

Normandy Remodeling

RoseNexus Development
@rosenexusconstruction  · Construction Company
(630) 417-7430

Also, if you need recommendations for painters, handymen, contractors that's what we are here for! Just ask

Just Sold on Lakeshore Dr- Do you Know the Difference Between a CO-OP and Condo?


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When I first got into real estate I didn’t really realize the difference between a typical condo and a co-op. Well let me tell you, BIG difference. In case you are not familiar, when you decide on cooperative housing it is a truly unique housing experience. Rather than owning a specific unit you are buying shares of the corporation based on the relative size of the unit. While New York has a ton of them, we don’t see them all that much in Chicago. If you are deciding between the two, I think the biggest advantage of a co-op is that you are really joining a community rather than just buying a place to live. To be able to purchase the shares and become a part of that “community” there is a strenuous vetting process. Everyone in the building gets to read your bio, know your background and ultimately the board will make the final decision.


Being the listing agent for this gorgeous pre-war building, 3750 North Lakeshore Dr was an exciting opportunity and a fun process! One thing I can be sure of, the buyer is going to LOVE being a part of this building. The door men are like family, you know your neighbors and there is a feeling of security like non other. The unit itself was gut rehab with remarkable space & top of the line finishes you would typically only find in luxury properties over a million. Stunning kitchen features a solid Italian Marble slab, soft close cabinets, Sub-zero refrigerator, Bosch Dishwasher, Wolf gas Range w/ Convection oven, and infrared broiler - luxury living at it’s finest!


Not only is the building and the unit stunning, the location is also incredible! Right on North Lakeshore with views of the lake the new buyer will be able to walk to Wrigley Field, the lakefront bike and running trail, tennis courts, & golf course. Montrose Beach is also a hop skip and a jump away.


If you are thinking about selling your home, curious what you can get for it or just have questions about the process, let’s chat! I truly love what I do and it’s an honor to help my clients weigh all the information so they can make the best decisions possible.


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