Chicagoland Real Estate Market Update

Market Update courtesy of Steve Budzik managing broker of iCandy Realty

 Steve Budzik Headshot

As we move in to spring of 2017 the real estate market is heating up in most markets, while we see a slow down or even a decline in others. Markets like Lincoln Park are actually declining based on the amount of inventory and I’m sure the recent tax hike has a play on this.

We also see a decline in distressed inventory which leads to more competition for investors when looking to buy properties listed off the MLS. This does not mean there are no deals to be had on the MLS but you have to be more aggressive with your terms and quick to pull the trigger, great deals are gone within hours of hitting the MLS. This has lead more investor to start looking for off market properties by networking with wholesaler or doing marketing for sellers themselves.

2017 will also be interesting to see what happens with the interest rates as this will have an impact on how much a buyer can afford. The days of 3.75% rates are gone, currently we are seeing rates between 4.25%-4.50% depending on the type of financing and terms of the loan. The federal reserves have stated that they will raise the rate in 2017, we shall see where the rate ends up by the end of the year. Keep in mind rats in the mid to high 4% are still below the average which is 6%.

A new wave of retail buyers has entered the market about a month ago and with inventory low, homes that are priced right and marketed correctly have been receiving multiple offers as these buyers have been looking for the last 3 months and very little has hit the market. These areas are not typically the high end markets as stated above we are seeing a decline in some of these markets or longer days on market with more competition from their neighbors as they look to sell.


In my opinion 2017 will be a great year for rehabbing and selling homes, just be sure to know the market that you are working in. The residential rental market is also strong with rents at all time highs and home ownership on a slight decline from 2016, this telling us that more people are renting then buying. Knowing your market is again just as important or even more important based on your strategy or length of hold time.

The question you have to ask yourself is: Are you going to rent to a section 8 voucher holder or not. If you are, I would advise you to educate yourself on the process.

As you know, there are pros and cons to everything and the same is to be said about renting section 8 voucher holder.

Things to consider:

-        You will have annual inspections

-        Section 8 may pay more

-        Communication delay when dealing with section 8

-        Rent can be negotiated once you submit your paperwork to section 8 office.


This is usually based off the what other units or SFH are selling for in the area. You will also want to become aware that section 8 is divided into to, HACC (Housing Authority Cook County and CHA Chicago Housing Authority. HACC is responsible for all properties that are within Cook County outside the City limits and CHA is responsible for all properties within the City limits. They have classes that you can take as a landlord to become more knowledgable.

The agents at iCandy Realty are truly top-notch. They are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. If you’re looking for a realtor, we highly recommend this team.


Our Month in Review – March

What an amazing and interesting month (and first quarter) it has been, both in business and in weather! Going from having snow to an 80 degree day is something you won’t find many places around the world. Although this month has been a bit slower for us on the renovation side of things, many other exciting things are happening for us.

On the Flip Side

To kick it off this month with our main attraction; 221 10th St. Wilmette, IL has finished! We have finally completed this amazing renovation that took us just over a year to complete, and what an amazing product it ended up being. We have the property currently listed on the market at $1.25 million and we are getting many showings and great feedback.

A wonderful surprise for us as we wrapped up this project was that the contractors were masters at the finishing details. *Breath of relief* On a $1 Million+ property this is muy importante.


Typically we have found that contractors tend to have the most difficulty on the craftsmanship of the finishes, additionally this phase tends to take them the most time. On top of that, when finishes are done poorly, the punch-list at the end of the project is 100 items long! It was exactly the opposite of normal with the contractor and crew we had this time! They were even more picky than I was! It is no wonder the product turned out so beautifully.

To showcase this renovation and help our fellow investors, we hosted a live case study. During the case study we let everyone tour this massive beautiful home and we had a short presentation to discuss this projects details and most importantly the things we learned from this project.

To find out about our upcoming Case Studies you can subscribe to our event notifications here.


Another major win for our team was getting one of our other high end renovation sold in Barrington Hills! In our February month in review, we had mentioned that it was under contract to sell and this month it officially closed. This property was another $1 Million+ renovation in the books and we are happy to have it SOLD.

However it did sit on the market awhile and we have some take-aways regarding that. The issue that we had in selling the home can be summed up to two factors;

1.) The curb appeal of the home was lacking. We had decided that we would keep the existing siding on the home and update the color scheme which did not appeal to most of the buyers.

2.) When we purchased the home, there were very few properties on the market in the area. When we listed the property, the market had been flooded with homes and there were around 20 other listings in this area where every property has 5 acres of land.

All in all, the lessons to be learned with this property was that the lack of stunning curb appeal cannot always be outweighed by an amazing interior and when investing in areas where there are very few properties in a 1 mile radius, be aware that sales could be much more difficult than you think!

Back to Basics

While completing the final things needed to wrap these two big properties up, we spent quite a bit of time this month re-focusing on our investor relationships and networking.

We realized more than ever how important it is to continue to keep attention on your relationships, particularly with those on your power team.


As you all know, your goals continually evolve while you and your business grow, and so do the goals of those other professionals you work with. So, it is important to realize that your relationships should also evolve and to recognize when a relationship is no longer creating mutual growth. Perhaps an issue can be resolved but you may need to find another professional to continue to move forward with! And that is truly okay.

Our overall realization around this was, the game doesn’t really change when you’re an experienced investor. To keep growing your business you must grow your network and build new relationships as a seasoned investor just like you did when you first started and went to a thousand networking events!

>> Meet new people and don’t lose your creativeness once you’ve found a strategy that works, because the market is always changing.

You may already know that we run the Chicagoland Real Estate Connections Club but we also made an effort to get out to other groups this month and we even spent an evening out playing CASHFLOW 101. It was fun and truly enlightening.


Speaking of Relationships:

We had an awesome REIA this month discussing how to start using Tax Laws/Incentives as part of your strategy. If this isn’t something you’ve thought about before I challenge you to have a look.

Once taxes become part of your overall investment plan instead of something you need to protect yourself from every year you start to set yourself up to really win. You may be able to avoid paying a small fortune in taxes by making just a few small tweaks to your strategy.

On top of the great content provided by Erica Bartz, we had a great audience. The club goers this month asked phenomenal questions and stuck around to make new connections.

Quality Control

During March with fewer projects under-construction, we put more time into something which is easily forgotten; the quality control of your business.

We let our inner OCD take over and began to analyze what we had done in the past, what results we received from those actions, and how to better move forward to get an even better result on the next quarter.

We laid all of this data out and broke it down on spreadsheets which can be a grueling task, but my gosh, it is eye-opening. When you can have an honest look at the inside operations of your own business you open the door for real improvement. You start to see what is actually going on instead of what you think is going on.

As a business owner this can be one of the hardest activities to make time for. The importance of regularly organizing and then evolving based on your findings is often overlooked, and underestimated

If you have questions about tackling this leave us a comment!

-juliette-leufke- edited

BONUS: Market Update

Steve Budzik of iCandy Realty offered up his insight to give you a market update! We are experiencing the exact shifts he’s described and we hope his elaboration helps you adapt to this ever changing real estate market.

That is our full update for this month. If you have any questions on what we discussed, leave a comment below or post your comment to the iCandy Homes LLC facebook page and we’ll answer you as soon as we can!



Mind of a Multi-Millionaire: Live Webinar


The 90-9-1 Rule Continued…

We spent 2 hours on the originally scheduled webinar The 90-9-1 Rule and it was incredible.

However, Meir has more he wanted to share with us and he agreed to spend another exclusive session with us this coming Thursday.

That means YOU still have an opportunity to learn about the 90-9-1 Rule for Wealth and take a look inside the mind of a multi-millionaire.

Even if you missed the first two hours you’re welcome to join us on one of the next live webinars.

12:00 PM Central Class:

7:00 PM Central Class:

Seats are limited so if you want in register it now!

As you know, you cannot create better results with the same mind that created your current results.

This training will help you create a major shift in your mindset that moves you from old habits of self-doubt, worry and confusion, to new habits of positive expectancy, confidence and success.

Less Learning, More Doing.

Meir is about cutting through nonsense and learning how to only use efficient, proven means of achieving business and personal goals. No guesswork, just results.

Spring Clean Your Business!

TGIF and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Seeing the snow melt again and this festive holiday has me dreaming of spring.

There are so many things I love about this time of year but one of my favorites is Spring Cleaning.

It’s a great time to think about reorganizing and decluttering not only the abandoned areas in our home, but also our business!

Wait What?

Yes, I’m talking about spring cleaning IN your business.

Spring Cleaning Your Business

There are tons of studies that show that having a clean work space increases productivity, focus and even creativity.

Since I have been applying these reorganizing strategies I have noticed a new surge of motivation and I’m so thrilled to be working on some new things for our club members and iCandy Homes students.

My mind is clearer, I’m noticing fewer distractions, and I’ve been more efficient with my time.

I’ve put together some checklists to help you bring new life to your work below.

spring Cleanup Your Virtual Office

You can also download both checklists here.
At Home or In Your Office

Getting through the above lists can be tedious process but I know that you’ll find it to be highly rewarding.

You can get some amazing results by properly purging these seemingly small things that are quietly derailing your progress.

I think you’ll be relieved at how simple and effective it is.

After you’ve applied these steps let me know how it’s impacted you!

I’d love to hear about it. :)

~  Tressa

Our Month in Review – February 2017

Can you believe February is over already!? Which means, it’s time to recap again, and fill you in on everything we have been up to and just as important, what we’ve learned this month! If you missed out on January’s month in review post which was our first in this series, you can check it out here.


On The Flip Side:

Let’s jump right in! This month has been a great month for us on our sales side of rehabbing! Three of our properties that had been sitting on the market went under contract, with one of them already closed! We’ve noticed, like most investors and home sellers, that sales have slowed down through the winter months. The happy forever owners of iCandy Homes renovations got great deals on stunning homes and we are happy to be closing.

This year, just like last year, picked up again toward the end of January and beginning of February. (Thankfully for us)

Following suit to our success on the sales side of the business, we are also at the very end of our second million-dollar renovation! The project presented us with many problems through the course of the renovation, but the result is exquisite!


Our biggest take away from this project is that planning is everything. And we mean EVERYTHING! Through the course of the project and due to a lack of proper planning, we lost somewhere between 3-4 months of time! Which as you know, when you’re paying interest on the money that was used for the renovation, that much added time can quickly turn even the best of deals into a loss. The craziest part about the delay is that each of the items that were not planned only cost us a couple of days! It wasn’t major items that set us back, it was many short delays that added up to a somewhat dramatic set back.  All in all, this house is going to be a wonderful project that taught us many things.

You can watch the video series we did via facebook live here to see the developments as they were happening and get a true inside look at what this renovation entailed. This project was a dramatic second story addition transformation that has been exciting to watch. On March 11th, you can come see the home for yourself at our live case study. Official announcement with details on the case study coming soon!!

There are some great photos of the finishes here but we promise it’s even prettier in person.

We have two large scale projects that are also getting started, one being a new construction! At our new construction, we were able to get the foundation in place and pass all of our permits. We now have one last thing to do before we can backfill (put all the dirt back around the foundation) and then start construction!

I’ve started a facebook live series for this project as well so if you haven’t already, like the iCandy Homes LLC facebook page to follow our progress on this one. Our other large renovation with second floor addition will be getting its exterior siding and trim put up in the next week with interior mechanicals following very soon!


Event Highlights:

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Bootcamp

During the second weekend of February we had 14 individuals dedicated to starting or growing their real estate businesses join us in Naperville for a 3 Day Class. We taught them everything we could fit into three exciting days!


There is a very short Facebook live video on our profile to give a peek at the content we taught in class. We gave an overview of our entire business system and did all we could to make sure they left without questions. These students are sure to become some of the best wholesalers in our area. The MVP award goes to Janelle for delivering the majority of our content and keeping 3-month-old Jaina happy the entire weekend. #Bossmom

Overall it was amazing to serve this group of ambitious new investors. What a great way to spend the weekend, right?

We also had a phenomenal Chicagoland Real Estate Connections Club meeting in Oak Brook on the 21st. We brought in Kirby Atwell and Jon Hamilton of Federal Savings Bank to share with us some of the best financing options for real estate investors.

This meeting was amazing and it was very insightful, particularly around 203k loans. If you are interested in making money through renovating in the safest way possible, reach out to Kirby to learn more about this type of loan. Kirby is also a certified VA loan specialist. There are some incredible opportunities for investing and growing your net worth using bank funding.

Feb CRECC Collage


This month we revved up our activity online. Over the past few months we have found that the only way to win on social media platforms is through having relevant, valuable content, consistently. We also found after increasing the value on our platforms that only a few mediums are truly worth pushing. (For us, our heavy hitter is Facebook)

We recommend you track the results you’re getting from each and have an honest look at which marketing activities are really serving your business. The rest are just wasting your time and so I ask you please, After you have analyzed the results, Do Not be afraid to drop the activity.

Stop doing what ever it is that is not producing the result you are after. It’s your job as an entrepreneur to recognize opportunity and maximize it! We maximize when we drop wasted activities from our already demanding schedules and put our time and effort toward things that matter!

Wrapping it Up:

This month has had a lot of growth. The entire team has been improving on the way our jobs are done, by organizing and executing more! One of the last key take-aways is, that nothing improves in your business unless you make it so. Meaning, if you want to see something grow you must put attention and energy there and expect that your result will be proportional to the change in your activities. This applies to everything.

Lastly, to best serve you and your business we’ve asked our coach to join us on a webinar March 1st to talk about a special formula for success (specifically net worth): The 90-9-1 RULE.

This is the next best thing to having coffee with a multi-millionaire.

It’s a free, live session. It will be interactive. You should prepare your questions and don’t forget your notebook.

What a way to kick off the new month!


Thanks for being part of our February and CHEERS TO MARCH!



The 90:9:1 Rule – Free Live Training with a Multi-Millionaire for Entrepreneurs

We’re sure you’ve already heard that our coach Meir is incredibly successful. In fact, he embodies most entrepreneur #goals.

But, instead of just sharing with you what life looks like today, He’s going to show you how he got here.

Meir found, after many entrepreneurial endeavors, that there was a pattern that resulted in his continually successful businesses. After further analysis he narrowed it down to the 90-9-1 RULE.

On March 1st, he’s graciously agreed to share it with you…

AND answer all of your questions about how to use it.

This is a big deal.

For coaching with Meir it can cost up to $45,000 per day.

We’re bringing him to you for FREE.

The catch is, there will be only 100 seats!

You better grab yours if you want it.


This training is for entrepreneurs who have big goals and a determination to grow their business this year.

The biggest gains in business happen when you figure out what to focus on. That’s exactly why we asked him to do this exclusive webinar for you.

Meir helped us get crystal clear on our goals and how to reach them — and that’s exactly what he can do for you IF you show up.

Save Your Seat Here

This is a FREE, action-oriented online workshop designed to help you get more done in less time so that you can increase both your impact and your income.

What would your life (and your business) look like if you had a rock solid strategy that allowed you to save time and get more done?

Sign up to find out…