Our Month in Review – September 2017

It was an eventful month. We appreciated the last days of summer and moved energetically into this final quarter of the year. Summer may be over but we are not slowing down at iCandy Homes, if anything we are staying up later, working harder and always getting smarter.

Here’s a peek at what we experienced and accomplished in September.

On The Flip Side

We have had a lot of activity on our renovating side of the business through the month of September. We were able to get 5 properties under contract, of which we closed on one of those! Additionally, we have been very active submitting offers on the MLS getting out about 30 per week on average. Let’s dive into the projects individually.

On the project that we purchased in August in Lansing we have had some great progress. All the demo work was completed, and cleaned out. We were also able to get the landscaping complete which completely changed the curb appeal! Finally, we are in the process of completing all of the rough mechanicals which will be inspected by the Village very soon. Drywall will begin soon, which means pictures will be looking much better! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updated pictures and videos!

Our most recent purchase was in Palos Heights and it is a nearly identical house to the one in Lansing. This will also be a full cosmetic renovation with a new roof and windows making the difference between it and Lansing. We are very excited to get this one going and heading out full steam ahead! We are scheduled to start in the first week of October with a completion scheduled for the end of November! Someone will be getting an amazing Christmas present!

All in all, we have noticed that we are finding success in continuing to do the actions we know bring results, such as offers on the MLS. It really proves that with consistency and persistence, any of the major marketing strategies in Real Estate can and will work for you if you are willing to put in the work.

Events & Education This Month

The September Chicagoland Real Estate Connections Club meeting was a success. Tony Spandrio was our speaker and taught the attendees how to start building a cashflowing rental portfolio. He gave a lot of insight from his vast experience and he also gave away some helpful free resources and websites to make our investing lives easier. Ultimately, we all learned how to grow our property portfolio quickly, predictably, and securely.

He also was gracious enough to teach it in an online class to give a second chance to all who missed the meeting. You can watch the replay of that mini class soon. I’ll post it this weekend so be sure to check back on the blog. All of the same resources and helpful websites he gave during the live session, are in this recorded training. I highly recommend you watch it if you’re interested in purchasing cashflowing investments.

As a team we are seeing incredible gains from the guidance of our coach Meir Ezra. We are getting better and more organized by the day! You can find more about what he teaches on his facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/meir.ezra < We recommend you check out the short videos he’s been posting.

That about sums up our progress.

See You Next Month! :)

Our Month in Review – July/August

So, this is our first update that is 2 months at once. The last couple of months have been packed with activity on our renovation side of the business! It’s been an overwhelming and incredibly exciting time for our team. In total, we have submitted around 80 offers, have a split-level under contract to close at the beginning of September and another that closed just over a week ago!

On top of ramping up our progress on the acquisitions side of our business, we also closed the chapter on our project in Downers Grove! The property has successfully closed and is now occupied by extremely happy homeowners. Let’s take a close look into each of our new and completed items.

Wrapping up our project on 4343 Elm St., Downers Grove was an amazing achievement for us. We have owned the property since 2015 and have run into some very interesting speed bumps through the renovation project, ranging from Village delays to a quitting contractor. It definitely tested our knowledge and ability as real estate investors and took some very creative work from all of our team to finish this one up.


At the end of the day, the house was a true gem. The open layout paired with the thoughtful selecting of our finishes made this house one of a kind. We only had a few minor items come up in the homeowners inspection of the house, which were handled immediately and caused no delays. Although the project took longer than we anticipated, there were many amazing lessons learned, new relationships built, and a finished product we were extremely happy to put our name on!

 You can check out the photo’s of 4343 Elm here: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4343-Elm-St-Downers-Grove-IL-60515/4563024_zpid/

Our newest acquired renovation is locate in the South Burb village of Lansing. It is a 3/2 split level on a nice quiet street. The house is in need of a cosmetic renovation that we will be starting on following the labor day weekend! We built an entirely new scope of  work and are going to be using some stylish new tiles, light fixtures and other finishes. We can’t wait to see how this one turns out. This is the first renovation we’ve purchase in months so we are incredibly excited to be working on something fresh. Stay tuned for more updates (and potentially a case study or two) on this property!

We’ll likely share progress updates on our facebook page. You can follow us here!

To wrap up our renovation side, we have ramped up our efforts on acquisitions with some strong goals ahead of us! Our first target to hit is 2 purchases per month, which we were nearly on track for in August (our second closing nearly missed the August date by 7 days!). By placing an actual number on how many purchases we wanted per month, we were able to work backwards on the equation to figure out how many offers needed to be made each day! By looking at that information, we have been successful in finding 2 new flips and many more potential opportunities.

Because of our huge ramp up in deal flow we have been doing a lot less event/education work.

The July Chicagoland Real Estate Connections Club was a great success. James Turner of iGotRehabs did an outstanding job showing our members and new attendees of the evening the secrets to his success wholesaling real estate deals with a full time job! We received positive response from many in attendance saying that it was exactly what they needed to get their own real estate business started OR if it was already started they found what they were missing to really get off the ground!

Those types of successes are the only reason we host events so we were incredibly pleased!

In August we normally host a summer party but a variety of factors prevented us from doing that this year.  We’ll definitely find a way to make it up to our members though! ;)

All-in-all it’s been a very successful 60 days. Each member of our team is stepping up in their ability and responsibility and the results of that are showing.

That sums up our progress for the time being, we’ll have more for you in September!!


The iCandy Homes Team

Our Month in Review: June 2017

Half the year is officially gone! June is coming to a close and we’ve got so much to fill you in on…

On the Flip Side:

Wilmette is now back on the market. Property details and photos are here > http://icandyrealty.com/listings/homes-for-sale-in-wilmette/

Elm The buyers for this property got their home under contract which is very exciting for us since the purchase of this renovation does have a home sale contingency. We are still pushing to have this one complete by the end of July. You can see where exactly this project is at by watching it’s facebook live series here > https://www.facebook.com/pg/iCandyHomesLLC/videos/

Pratt We were able to finish the backfilling of the dirt as well as the underground plumbing in Evanston which is another step in the right direction. We are continuously learning from this new experience with New Construction and the different types of challenges that come along with it. We had some delays in getting those items completed as we had to pump water out from inside the foundation and then wait for it to dry enough to place the underground plumbing.

New iCandy Homes Flips: We’ve found that things are competitive for both off market and on market real estate deals right now. This month we really upped our game submitting cash offers. Almost all of our offers were for off market leads.

Currently the majority of our off-market leads are coming from our website form. Our second highest lead source is wholesalers.


As we mentioned last month we’ve started yellow letter marketing campaigns again and we’re starting to see results from that. As the campaign continues we’ll keep you updated on it’s performance!

To sum this up we increased the intensity of our deal search, and had a lot of property visits but nothing is headed to the closing table yet. Regardless, every handled lead and property visit is getting us closer to the next iCandy Homes deal.


Education and Events:


Case Study at Elm – This month we let new and experienced investors tour through this Renovation in Downer’s Grove to learn more about investing real estate. It was a toasty morning/afternoon without A/C in this rehab but, luckily we had cold beverages and cookies to make up for it. We met a lot of new people and made connections that we believe will have strong potential in the near future.


How to Start & Run a House Flipping Business with Park Place Property Group – This month the Chicagoland Connections Club brought in local House Flipping experts Matthew Mesick and Ricardo Rodriguez.


About 20 local investors joined us that evening listen to Matt & Ricardo’s expertise. The partners gave a very detailed presentation on how they started and grew their house flipping side gig into a full-time business. As it turns out growing a real business is just as hard as getting that first flip…

But lucky for us, Matt and Ricardo shed some light on what needs to be done if your dream is to attain freedom through real estate.

They are very smart local investors and you can keep up with them and attend their future events by joining their facebook group The Chicago Real Estate Mastermind Group.

If you’re looking to learn more about Flipping Houses we’ve started a new series for you: Mini Class Mondays

This Facebook Exclusive Series has just started you can watch Episodes 1 & 2 here > https://www.facebook.com/pg/iCandyHomesLLC/videos


Be sure to hit the ‘Like’ button if you want to see this series live every Monday!

Other Growth:

You might think that for a business that’s been around 5+ years that we have everything figured out, but as I hinted at last month, our systems have started to dramatically change this month.

We are in no way ashamed of that. In our opinion, your business should always be evolving. We’re not suggesting that you should run your business like it has ADHD, in other words, do not jump from one shiny idea to the next. You should however, be willing to regularly look at how to improve the viability of your systems, products and relationships.

In order to do that ourselves, we did a lot of digging into which actions were working for iCandy Homes and which ones were not during May. We started dropping the activities that were not contributing to growth for our business. (Which should be done often!)

Because of this we’ve found that our day-to-day activities have shifted. You may find, like we did, that you need to adapt and reorganize your business model to reflect these operational changes.

Pro-Tip: You cannot improve your business like this if you are not measuring the results of your actions! It’s very important to measure what you’re doing so that you can improve the efficiency of your business. (AKA: Make more money in less time and with less effort) << That’s the goal.

Final Thoughts:

Just for perspective one of the biggest growing opportunities for us recently has been being able to recognize how much we’ve improved during this first half of this year.

It can be defeating when you’re not getting the exact results you’re shooting for but, those goals are much more likely to be reached if you’re willing to get excited about the progress you’ve made.

The Solution: If you ever find yourself with this kind of frustration I challenge you to sit down and write a list of all the things that you’ve improved on or completed that have pushed you toward the achievement of your goal. It’s very helpful to see your progress on paper when you’re feeling stuck!!


We’ll have a few exciting things happening in July that we aren’t quite ready to announce. Keep an eye out for your incoming invitation!

That’s it for this month’s review!




The iCandy Homes Team

Our Month in Review: May 2017

Summer has just begun and things are heating up at iCandy Homes. We are fired up and May helped inspire a lot of changes you’ll hear about soon in our June update. But, before we get ahead of ourselves, we’d love to fill you in on what we did and learned in MAY.

On The Flip Side

The projects that we have been working on over the past few months (and one stalled) have all begun to pick up speed as we push toward completion! It has been an interesting journey and many things have come up for us to learn from during this process.

For our property in Evanston, we had been stalled due to a problem that was caused to the neighbor’s foundation during the digging and pouring of our foundation. It took us nearly 5 months to come to a resolution that would allow us to move forward! We came to a mutual agreement regarding repairs between us and the neighboring house, they repaired the issue, and we are now back on our way!

Staying up in the North Shore area, we were able to get our $1.2 Million house in Wilmette under contract! This was definitely exciting for us to get this one under contract to sell. The buyers have done their inspection and sent over a list to us of the items they want, so we are waiting on the finalization of those items and we will be on our way to the closing table at the beginning of July.

We have also had noteworthy success with our property in Downers Grove.


iCandy Realty got this property pre-listed for us, pre-listed meaning, it was posted for sale before completion to shorten our hold time. We already have this property under contract and we haven’t even hung the drywall yet! iCandy Realty did an amazing job pulling this off by:

  1. Working with an interested buyer from the start.

  2. Showing the buyers the exact finishes that were going into the house.

  3. Presenting an example of work previously done by our contractor did (which was our project in Wilmette).

  4. And iCandy Realty worked with these buyers to help them make a few changes to the house to better match their dream home wishlist.

Pre-listing is a strategy that iCandy Realty is very good at and it’s been beneficial for us and for our home buyers. This marketing method allows us to have less hold time, allows us to pass along a discount to the buyers because of that shortened time-line and the buyers have an opportunity to make some changes to fit their wants and needs.

We’re hosting a live tour & learn event at this property Sunday June 11th @ 11:00 am! Join us for free to see the property yourself, ask questions, and learn how to flip properties in your own market successfully.

May Events:

May REIA with Mike Fisher – Turn Key Investing

Mike surprised us all with his energetic presence at May’s Meetup. Mike shared his insights on this somewhat mysterious investing strategy and the audience asked wonderful questions. We had some very knowledgeable attendees this month which made for brilliant side conversation at the end of the night.


If you’d like to join us for our Summer meetups join our free facebook group here


Follow us on instagram. Tag us in your networking event snapshots @creccinvestors.

Other Business Developments in May:

Just like every other investor in our area, we are on the search for our next deals. To aid in that hunt, at the end of May we kicked off a new yellow letter campaign. We are starting off by sending 1000 letters out each week for four weeks to our mailing list. Our goal is to show them that we are serious buyers interested in helping them in any way that we can.

Our teammate Tressa passed her real estate license exam this month! This is incredibly exciting for our team, since she’s about to start applying her marketing skills to help iCandy Homes find more flips!

Lastly, John and Janelle attended a course in Toronto with our business coach Meir and learned about some incredible ways to increase our efficiency, improve our focus and boost our profitability as a company. We met as a team to discuss new improvements that could be made based on this class, so that we can grow together which is very exciting for all of us.

^ Continuing our education has been of key importance to each of us for our business and personal success!

That about wraps up our highlights for May.

If you have any questions about the topics we covered in this blog post or other questions about our business leave us a comment below!

Thanks for reading. I hope you’re just as excited about this next month as we are!

Best wishes for June,

iCandy Homes Team


Our Month in Review: April 2017

April proved to be full of progress for us at iCandy Homes, and we’ve got a lot to share with you.

Let’s switch things up and start with events first shall we?

Funding Hacks 2.0

At the beginning of April we hosted an online presentation with Home Bridge lenders Greg Stech and Juan Loya to discuss the Fannie Mae Home Style Renovation Loan. It’s a bank lending opportunity for investors to fund their flips that doesn’t have the same home-owner occupancy requirements as the more widely known 203k renovation loan. It was a very informational short webinar and the audience added to it with some great questions.

If you’d like to know if this loan might work for you, you can listen to/watch the replay here.


Fix and Flip Million Dollar Property Tour

As a result of consistent networking we were invited by CREKhomes to co-host a property tour featuring our Million Dollar Flip in Wilmette and CREKhomes’ new project that will be very similar to ours when finished. It was a lot of fun for us to be a part of, both to help teach, and to network with other investors on a gorgeous Saturday.

Key Take-Away: Everyone has something to offer. Find out how you can create value in every connection, even if they seem like direct competition.


Rehabbing Expert REIA


Our very own Dustin Hatfield was the speaker at the Chicagoland Real Estate Connections Club at the April Meeting. His topic was How to Become an Expert Rehabber. He shared some really helpful insight as to how he became so knowledgeable when it comes to estimating and managing rehabs in just a few short years with no previous real estate/construction background and only ONE real estate seminar under his belt. It was a high-energy group and we stayed late networking that evening. If you’re interested in joining us for our May Meetup register here. We’d love to see you there!

Join the community on instagram or join the facebook group.


On the Flip Side:

We’re Back in Action!

Our project in Evanston has finally gotten to a point of movement! We have been held up due to issues with the neighboring houses foundation that was disturbed due to the digging of our foundation. This had led to a long, drawn out process of coming to an agreement on how to fix the problem which would allow us to proceed. The village was unwilling to allow us to move forward until this problem was resolved. In the final week of this month, we were able to come to an agreement with the neighbor, which means we can finally start making progress on our first new construction again!

We’ll be doing a facebook live series at this project on the iCandy Homes LLC page. Hit the like and follow button to learn about this deal in real time.


Design in Downer’s Grove.


We got to more exciting things on our project in Downers Grove this month, as we met to finalize our choices for tile and for our light fixtures! Typically this is done at the start of a project, not after renovation has begun. However, on this particular job we had created the scope of work nearly a year ago, so we felt it was necessary to meet and update the scope again. It was a detailed process with our contractor (who was previously a production home builder) and the specialists we chose. But it was a fun time and we’re sure we’ve picked the best possible finishes and patterns thanks to our expert help.

Key Take-Away: Involve experts. They’ll help you make the most of your finishes not just pick expensive materials to drive value.

Chicago Renovation.. almost, but no go.

We had a property come very close to working for us in Chicago this month. We did a pre-analysis of the property which included briefly scanning the comps in the area and doing a quick estimate from the pictures. Those two items seemed to check out initially. We then visited the property in person to verify the renovation number which seemed to be good as well. The final step was for us to finalize the ARV so that we could propose this to a lender as a deal. Upon further investigation of the comps provided by the wholesalers agent, we found that they weren’t comps at all! The ARV that was used by that agent’s comps was strictly based on price per square foot which does not work in our market! It was a very good reminder for us for how important it is to do your own due diligence as we were nearly $50k off on the ARV!

If we had believed the first realtors ARV we would have gotten ourselves into a low or even no-profit renovation.

When your numbers are already tight be sure that they are as accurate as possible. This aggressive market demands that you are not overly optimistic nor too conservative. and accuracy in your numbers will improve with each property you analyze.

Key Take-Away: Importance of a knowledgeable power team and, when numbers are tight, a second opinion.


Contractor Bidding


The final thing on the renovation side of this month’s’ review had to deal with contractor bidding. We have a rental property that we are looking to have some work done to so that we can get all of the units back in shape and perfoming. So, we sent out a request to 12 contractors asking if they were interested in the job. Some were new, some were old, and some were people who we had not yet had a chance to work with. Of the 12 that were asked, only 4 responded, 2 of which declined the offer, and 1 of the remaining 2 did not show to the bid meeting they agreed to. This definitely stresses the importance of developing relationships with your contractors as well as continuing to search for better people to work with.

Key take-Away: Always be networking.


Growing As a Team

We all have challenged ourselves to more growth this year and some of that is being realized. After lots and lots of study hours (and coffee) team member Tressa is in the final stages of getting her real estate license. This will be a major advantage for our team’s ability to improve deal aquisitions here in Chicago.

There are more developments coming but we won’t share them too soon.

We hope you got something valuable from this month’s review.

As always, we love your feedback! Leave your comments below and let us know if there is anything in particular you’d like to know more about in our business.


The iCandy Homes Team

Wilmette Luxury Home!

221-10th-Print-1 resized

Absolutely stunning and professionally designed home located in East Wilmette. This transational style home is 3 stories with 5 bed rooms and 5 bathrooms. Walking distance to the train, downtown, shopping and more. Step inside and fall in love with these hand selected light fixtures, plumbing fixtures & perfect color scheme make for an inviting and warming home. Gleaming wide plank hardwood flooring runs throughout the entire home, over sized windows allow for tons of natural light. You will love cooking in your kitchen filled with Thermador appliances, 42″ cabinetry, wet butlers pantry and over sized island w/breakfast bar. Head upstairs to your large master suite and enjoy your over sized soaking tub. Guests can stay on the 3rd floor that has 2 addition bedrooms and a full bathroom with double bowl vanity. Your full finished basement is great for a family gathering or just to relax.

Call Paul Gorney with Coldwell Banker @ 773-914-0023 for a private showing of this Wilmette, IL luxury home