What Makes a Good HOA Board Member?

The People Behind the Scenes

Condo living has its advantages over single-family homes. Less maintenance, hassle-free living, access to great community amenities and common areas, and more. Yet while you’re enjoying those benefits as a resident, there’s another group of people working behind the scenes to ensure you and other residents can continue to enjoy those amenities. It’s the condo HOA board.

Oftentimes, board members aren’t compensated for their hard work. If they are, laws state that they can’t receive a discount on things like assessments, so the association must have a line item that specifies the amount of compensation. However, most board members don’t receive compensation.

Why Consider Being a Board Member?

While serving on an association board might seem like a thankless task, you actually get something more valuable in exchange for your service: the ability to make a difference for fellow residents as well as for yourself. But what makes a good HOA board member?

As a board member, your role will be very similar to a business leader. Depending on how responsibilities are assigned, you may be involved in financial duties — managing a budget, maintaining the association’s fund, making sure the building and its interiors are properly insured, and managing assessments. You may also be involved in legal tasks such as selecting an attorney for the association, analyzing association rules against local laws, enforcing rules, and ensuring that other board members with financial responsibilities are protected.

It’s a Responsibility and a Reward

That all might sound like work (and you already have a job), but there’s more. Being a board member means you also have a say in the future of the condo. You’ll have an opportunity to provide input on future renovations, improvements, and even expansion of amenities and services. And as a resident, you’ll be able to benefit from those as well.

Looking for a condo in Chicago? Start here.

What Are the Costs of Selling a Condo?

Getting Prepared to Sell

Whatever the reason may be, once you’ve decided that it’s time to sell your condo, it’s important that you prepare for the costs of doing so. While the costs of selling a condo won’t typically be as high a buyer’s costs, you’ll still pay a variety of fees and charges.

Most of these are connected with the financing process your buyer will initiate with their mortgage (which you and your agent will be informed of ahead of closing — don’t worry), but there are additional costs that you might incur personally in getting the condo ready to sell. Let’s explore the costs of selling a condo step by step.

The Costs You Incur Personally in Selling

Some of the costs of selling a condo that you’ll experience early on are expenses for getting it ready to be listed. These might include any repairs you need to make, upgrades to make the home more in line with current trends, or staging the home for sale.

If you don’t need to make any repairs, or if the home is being photographed with your belongings and furniture in it still (rather than being staged), then that’s less cost you’ll incur. But not every condo is in tip-top shape for listing. You may also have moved prior to selling your current condo, in which case an agent might recommend having the home staged to give potential buyers an idea of what it would like fully furnished.

The Costs Associated with the Transaction

The financing process can be complex, particularly for buyers. Sellers have their own share of steps to navigate, too, and each comes with a cost. But being informed will help you be prepared when the times comes to pay. Below are categories of the costs of selling a condo.

  • Commissions and fees. Commission structures vary between agents, but you can expect to pay 4 percent to 6 percent of the sale price, which may be split up between buyer and seller agents. Additionally, you’ll have a fee for an attorney to review your purchase and sales agreement and any other contracts or documents.
  • Mortgage fees and taxes. When you sell a home, your current mortgage is paid off, and you receive the difference between that principal balance and the value, known as equity. Depending on your loan terms, there may be an early loan payoff fee or penalty along with prorated interest. You may also have to pay title transfer taxes, title insurance fees, prorated property taxes or association dues, and a home warranty premium if you’re offering one.
  • Future costs. That might be a very broad term, but it’s still accurate. Just because you’ve paid the costs of selling your current condo doesn’t mean it’s over. You have to factor in what’s next. Technically, the money you’re paying here goes toward buying a new home. It’s not tied to selling your current condo. But they’re both connected in the big picture. You may even need the funds from selling your condo to use as a down payment on your next one. Again, these costs aren’t tied to the current sale, but they’re something to keep in mind.

And the Total Costs of Selling a Condo Are…

Roughly 8 percent to 10 percent of the sale price. As a seller, you’ll receive documentation detailing your overall costs, and they’ll be finalized on the Closing Disclosure for the transaction. Ideally, you want your costs to be less than that, but there will definitely be costs. Planning for the 8 percent to 10 percent will help you prepare for that final price tag when the time comes — and perhaps even leave you pleasantly surprised should it come in lower.

If you’re thinking about sellingtalk to us first.

Condo Association Responsibilities: What You Should Know

You’re Part of Something Bigger Now

Living in a condo means being part of a condo association. You’ll have reviewed your association’s requirements, rules, and procedures during the financing process, but it’s always helpful to revisit this information, so you understand what the condo association responsibilities are and what your responsibilities are as a resident.

Your condo association will be made up of a board, with each member having his or her own role and responsibilities. We’ll be covering what makes a good board member soon, but for now, understand that association boards exist to both serve the residents of the condo as well as maintain its overall financial and physical well-being. Here are some additional details on the responsibilities of your condo association.

What the Association Governs

Every condo association has documents and policies that specify the scope of the association’s powers, as well as the powers of its officers and/or board members. While it might not be the most fun read in the world, it’s important that you review these documents and understand the extent of the condo association responsibilities and how they impact you as a resident.

Some associations have a broad scope, such as dealing only with financial matters and maintenance duties. Other associations might be involved in services and features that residents use daily, such as a cleaning service, catering, transportation, and more. If you need a refresher, request the association’s governing documents from a board member.

How the Association Can Help You

The association doesn’t just exist to keep the building from falling apart — it also exists to serve you. The board is made up of residents just like you, who could just as easily experience frustrations and concerns. So, if you’re having an issue, first consult the governing documents to see what the condo association responsibilities are and how they can help you. Next, contact a board member.

For example, if a neighbor’s dog is barking endlessly, or if they’re staying up all night partying when everyone else has to be at work in the morning, the association may be able to help. Provided it’s within their reach. You should talk with your neighbor(s) first to see if you can come to a peaceful resolution, but if the problem persists (and the governing documents allow for intervention), you can contact the association board to see what they can do.

While that example was more interpersonal, other issues could arise that will definitely see involvement from the association. If a neighbor living above you recently put down new flooring and even a crumb falling makes your ceiling rattle, the association should verify whether the new floor is up to code and compliant with its policies. (A perfect example of why it’s important to talk to your association prior to any renovations.)

Having Problems? Start with a Conversation

Read the governing documents, so you understand the condo association responsibilities. If you can’t resolve the problem on your own, contact the association directly. This information is readily accessible on your condo’s resident portal. If you know any board members, reach out to them.

Questions about condo living? Our team is here to help.

Thinking About Selling Your Condo? Consider Renting It, Too

Which is Better

To say that Downtown Chicago real estate is hot would be the understatement of the decade. For the past several years, the residential offerings throughout our city’s neighborhoods have been expanding like wildfire — and are being bought just as quickly. So, if the time has come to move somewhere else in the city or outside of it, you might be wondering whether you should sell your condo or rent it out.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and what you decide will have an impact on more than just the days and weeks ahead. Here, we’ll outline the pros and cons of each avenue to help you decide whether you should sell the condo or rent it out.

The Pros and Cons of Selling

Let’s get the cons out of the way. First, selling your condo can take time. Depending on its location, condition, price, and features, your condo may or may not be as desirable as others. Eventually, the right buyer will come along, but when that happens is beyond your control.

Second, selling a condo has both immediate and future costs. Repairs might be needed, and you might need to stage the home. There are fees associated with being a seller in a real estate transaction as well, not to mention the down payment, mortgage fees, real estate commissions, moving costs, and furnishing/decorating costs of buying your next home.

Now, how about some pros? First, you might have to move. Maybe it’s for work or a new relationship. Either way, you have to do what you have to do, and buying a new home can feel like a fresh start or new perspective. That’s rewarding in its own right. You get to experience a new community, a new layout, and more — and that’s all great for the mind.

Financially, another pro is the money you’ll make on the sale of your condo. As you made payments on your mortgage, you built equity. And when you sell, you’ll get that equity back (minus fees associated with selling). That can be a nice chunk of change depending on the terms of your current loan and what you sell for.

Finally, selling your condo means it’s out of the picture. While it can be hard to say goodbye to your home, we all have times in life when we have to let things go to keep moving forward. Selling your condo instead of renting it out releases you from the obligations landlords have.

The Pros and Cons of Renting Your Condo

Let’s follow a similar process here — cons first. Get the bad stuff out of the way. Renting out your condo means you become a landlord with tenants. One of the reasons people rent is for a hassle-free lifestyle. They don’t have to worry about major issues because those issues are the responsibility of a landlord or property manager. And if you rent, they’ll be yours, too. Consider whether you’d have the time and resources to tackle major problems renters might have with your condo if you were to rent it out.

Renting out your condo also requires legal and financial planning. First, you have to determine whether the condo association will even let you rent it out. If they will, you’ll have to find or create a rental lease and rental application, hire an attorney to review those documents, obtain the right insurance coverage, discuss tax implications with a licensed tax professional, identify a rental price, and find a way to conduct background checks on potential tenants. Then, you have to market it to find those tenants. It’s a lot of work.

With that stuff out of the way, what about the pros? First and foremost, renting out your condo provides you with an additional source of income since the condo becomes an investment property. You’ll be able to continue paying the current mortgage and other fees while pocketing the difference. And by maintaining the existing mortgage, you’ll continue to build strong credit. (Note that you may need to contact your lender to discuss whether renting your condo will have an effect on your current loan.)

So, Should You Sell the Condo or Rent It Out?

It’s entirely your decision to make. One might be better than the other for your situation. Now that we’ve outlined the pros and cons of selling a condo or renting it out, weigh your options carefully. Remember, whatever you decide, we’re here to help you sell, find a new home, and even rent out your current condo.

This is What It’s Like Living in a Condo in Chicago

Welcome to the Windy City

Congratulations! You’ve purchased a downtown Chicago condo and have moved in. You’re going to love living in this city. Whether you already lived here, relocated for a new career opportunity, or just needed a change of scenery, Chicago is a place where you can live life to the fullest.

Living in a condo is part of the downtown Chicago lifestyle. Having a home that’s close to fine dining, exceptional shopping, professional opportunities, endless activities, and more are all part of the experience. (And if our teamassisted you with your condo purchase, thank you for your trust!)

Now that the dust has settled and you’ve moved into your condo, here are steps you can take to adjust to your new home.

Don’t Do Chicago Alone — Make Friends

Chicago is a bustling metropolis with loads of nightlife, daytime adventures, and recreational activities. So enjoy them with like-minded people! Thankfully, making friends in a new city isn’t as hard as you think. It just takes some proactivity on your part and a willingness to try new things. Here are a few ways you can get started:

  • Start with neighbors. Introduce yourself to people who live in nearby units. They’re the ones you’ll run into the most, so it will help if you know who they are. And make sure to use your condo’s common areas, especially those with pools, bars, and other gathering spots. Many condos will also plan events for residents, so be sure to attend and participate.
  • Explore. Go out and about! Chicago is a great place to explore — you’ll find a new restaurant, gallery, bar, or another type of hot spot each time you venture out. If you’ve started a new job, talk to your coworkers about fun things to do (and believe us, there’s plenty in Chicago!). Because communication is more natural between coworkers than neighbors, people will be more likely to share their ideas and even invite you along with them.
  • Use social sites. There are loads of popular sites and apps that allow you to meet people with similar interests and passions (and they’re not all for dating!). On Meetup alone, there are hundreds of different groups that gather to do everything from wine tastings to writing code. Facebook Groups also has a number of options to explore. Easiest of all, think about what you already enjoy doing. Like jazz? There are a number of festivals and clubs to try.

Understand the Responsibilities of Your Condo Association

Your condo association exists to serve you and other residents as well as to maintain the integrity of the condo building itself. When buying the condo, you should have reviewed the association’s governing documents and policies in depth. If not, get on it — they have a significant impact on your time in your new home.

Overall, condo association responsibilities can be broad or limited in scope. One association may only be involved in the high-level financial and structural management of the building itself, while others might manage services that residents enjoy on a day-to-day basis. These might include laundry or cleaning services, among others.

If you’re having a problem with a neighbor, the association may be able to assist if the issue is covered in the governing documents. For example, say a resident living above you recently put down new flooring, yet you’re experiencing more noise than ever. The association can step in to verify whether the new floor is up to code and compliant with its policies. If a dog next door is barking at all hours of the night, the association may leave it to you to resolve directly with your neighbor.

What Makes a Good HOA Board Member?

Since we’re discussing condo associations, it’s important to understand your association’s board and what makes a good HOA board member. At some point, you may consider getting involved with your board. Not only does this give you the opportunity to impact your own residency, but it also gives you the chance to make a difference for other residents and the building as a whole.

The association’s governing documents specify the responsibilities and scope of the association board and its officers. Their overall responsibilities might be limited to basic maintenance and finance, or they may be responsible for services provided to residents. Read your association’s policies and governing documents to understand what the board’s responsibilities are.

As a board member, your role will be much like that of a leader in a business. Depending on how tasks are delegated or assigned, you may be involved in financial matters such as setting and maintaining a budget, maintaining a reserve fund, ensuring the building has adequate insurance, and gathering assessments (more on these shortly). You may also be involved in legal tasks such as selecting an attorney for the association, analyzing association rules against local laws, enforcing rules, and ensuring that other board members with financial responsibilities are protected.

Ultimately, serving on your association’s board is a significant responsibility — and a meaningful opportunity. You’ll have the opportunity to serve your fellow residents and maintain a piece of Chicago architecture and history for the years to come.

Be Prepared for Condo Association Special Assessments

Much like living in a single-family home, living in a condo comes with certain fees that must be paid. Whereas owners of single-family homes typically have to pay a homeowners association (HOA) fee, condo owners have to pay condo association fees (also called assessments). These fees cover the costs of maintaining common areas and keeping up the building’s exterior and are typically paid monthly or annually, depending on your association.

However, a situation might arise in which the condo association needs additional funds beyond the standard dues. These are called condo association special assessment. Examples include the need to fix a damaged roof, repave the parking lot, fix landscaping ruined by a disaster, or cover shortfalls in the association’s budget.

In a perfect world, special assessments wouldn’t happen. But situations do indeed arise, and by living in a condo, you’ve agreed to pay these costs when and if they are required.

Keep in mind that you’re not alone when special assessments occur. Other residents are also being charged this expense, and you’re all in it together. Depending on your association’s governing documents, there may be limits on special assessments and how often they can be levied. If you’re hit with an assessment, don’t hesitate to contact your association to learn more.

How to Take Care of Condo Repairs

Now that you’ve moved in and are familiar with the ins and outs of your association, you can begin to enjoy downtown Chicago living. As time passes and you adjust to living in your condo, you may want to change things around a bit. Or, as with all homes, a repair or two might be needed.

Tastes change. Wear and tear is a normal part of owning a home. But knowing how to go about making these changes to your condo matters.

First, know whether it’s your responsibility. For smaller cosmetic changes like painting — yeah, it’s your responsibility. For major cosmetic changes, like moving a wall, remodeling a bathroom, or changing some aspect of the condo that could affect neighbors, discuss your plans with the association first. The governing documents might restrict what you can do or require you to use a specific contractor.

If condo repairs are required because something was incorrectly installed during construction or renovation prior to you buying the condo, you should also consult your association first. The original contractor may be liable for the work or required to make repairs under warranty. For minor occurrences, such as scuffing a wall or knocking a closet door off its tracks, you may be able to make the repairs yourself — provided you have the skills.

Start Your Chicago Condo Search Now

Our team is ready to help you find the perfect home. Search available listings or get in touch.

Ready to Move? Use This Guide for Selling Your Condo

Making the Right Moves — When It’s Time to Move

Moving is just a part of life — not just for owners of suburban single-family homes, but also for residents of downtown Chicago condos. People get new jobs, move in with a significant other, and upsize (or downsize) to a home better suited for their lifestyle. Whatever the reason may be, when the time comes to move, it’s important to consider the many details that must be navigated.

Apart from deciding where you’re moving to, one of the most significant considerations for a downtown homeowner will be selling your condo. To help you navigate this process and get a better picture of what’s involved, we’ve put together some insights on everything from the costs you could expect to whether you should just rent the condo out. Let’s dig in!

Should You Sell Your Condo or Rent it Out?

Downtown Chicago real estate is competitive. With ample professional opportunities, exciting nightlife, numerous educational institutes, and vibrant arts and cultural communities, living in downtown Chicago is a thrilling prospect for many — and many want to make it their home.

If you’re interested in selling your condo, you might find yourself facing a certain conundrum: should you just rent it outinstead? If you do, you’ll be able to continue making payments on that condo’s mortgage while building a strong credit history as well as making some profit off the rent. But first, you need to determine whether you’re even allowed to rent out your unit.

Every condo association is different, and you’ll need to check with your association board to see if this is an option. If it is, then you’ve cleared the first major hurdle and can start working on additional details, such as:

  • Obtaining a lease agreement and rental application
  • Securing an attorney to review your documents
  • Obtaining proper insurance coverage
  • Reviewing the impact renting could have on your taxes
  • Determining the rental price of your condo
  • Finding an avenue for tenant background checks

Once you’ve completed these items, you’ll be on your way to renting out your current condo and moving on to your next home. But keep in mind that selling your condo provides you with the equity you’ve built in it over the years (equity is the difference between its value and the balance of any mortgage you have on the property). Those funds can replace what you may have put down on your next home, supplement existing savings, or be used to make any upgrades to your new condo.

What Costs are Involved With Selling Your Condo?

If you’ve decided to sell, it’s time to consider the costs of selling a condo. A variety of fees and charges are applied to the sale of real estate. The agent representing you in the sale will be able to assist you in getting an idea of what your costs will be, and the final costs will be listed on your seller’s Closing Disclosure.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the costs you’ll be responsible for when selling your condo:

  • Commission for a real estate agent (4–6%, split between buyer and seller agents)
  • Loan payoff costs such as any prorated interest or potential prepayment penalties
  • Title transfer taxes
  • Title insurance fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Prorated property taxes or association dues
  • Home warranty premium (if applicable)
  • Bills for negotiated repairs

Finally, you should consider the costs that you incurred personally to prepare the home for sale. If your condo needed some repairs to get it into shape, that’s still an expense worth including in the tally. Overall (and very much in general), it’s safe to assume that you’ll pay anywhere from 8% to 10% of the sale price of the condo in fees. Of course, that depends on where you live, the sale price itself, your agent’s commission, and other negotiables.

Tips for Staging a Condo to Influence Buyers

Once you’ve considered the costs, you can begin the process of staging your condo for sale. Staging is an important part of the home sale process. It presents your home to prospective buyers in the best light possible, showcasing what the home looks like when furnished, decorated, cleaned, and so on. More importantly, it can help your condo sell faster than homes that weren’t staged.

With most buyers looking for homes online before seeing them in person, it’s important that you capture interest right away. Buyers are immediately drawn to photos before the fine details of the home, and staging ensures that your condo gives off a great first impression. When you work with an agent to sell your condo, they’ll make recommendations that appeal to prospective buyers.

Your agent may also suggest using the services of a local staging company. These types of companies and professionals can capture the feel of a home perfectly for prospective buyers to picture what the home would look like fully furnished. While the cost to stage a home can vary, the result is often well worth the price tag: the quick sale of your condo with potentially fewer concessions or low-ball offers.

Get the Word Out With These Condo Advertising Ideas

Once you’ve found an agent (perhaps one of these talented individuals?), have listed your condo, and perhaps even had it professionally staged, it’s time to let people know about it! Your agent will take full advantage of their professional marketing resources to share the property with potential buyers, but what about you? What can you do to spread the word? Here are some condo advertising ideas to get you started.

Make Full Use of the Web

While your agent will get your home onto popular real estate platforms such as Zillow, Realtor.com, and others, there’s plenty more that you can do — especially with social. Share your condo’s listing on all your social networks. Tell a story about it on Facebook. Create an Instagram collage or Pinterest board with the same photography as the listing. Do a live walk-through of your condo on Facebook Live or Instagram Stories.

Use Your Networks

Put your friends and family to work! Send them a link to the property online and ask them to share it. Encourage them to share it on their social networks and to keep an ear out for any coworkers in their professional spheres that might be interested in downtown Chicago condo.

Host Your Own Open House

While your agent may host an open house or broker open, one open house of your own could be all it takes. Invite coworkers, friends, family, neighbors, and so on. Provide light refreshments and snacks. Consider having your agent on hand as well should any specific questions arise.

How do Appraisers Choose Comps for Condos?

Once you’ve received an offer on your condo, the buyer will begin navigating the steps of the homebuying process. Ideally, you and your agent will have worked with a fully pre-approved buyer that demonstrated the ability to buy quickly. This ensured you were able to proceed with the financial process with minimal risk of the buyer’s financing falling out.

Toward the end of the process, the buyer will order an appraisal on the condo to determine its value. It’s worth knowing how this works because as the seller, you most likely won’t see your condo’s appraisal or learn its appraised value. The only time you might see the appraisal is if the value comes in under the agreed-upon sale price, in which case you can either challenge the appraisal or accept the new value.

Part of the appraiser’s job is to select and evaluate comparable home sales (aka, “comps”), which in the case of a condo, must be taken from both the neighborhood as well as the condo’s subdivision or project. A third comp will also be selected, preferably within your condo’s building since it’ll be closer to yours regarding style, layout, construction, etc. than others. The appraiser will evaluate characteristics of the comps, including the number of rooms, gross living area, style of the home, and its condition to determine a final figure.

Learn More About Selling Your Condo

Tell us what you’re looking to achieve, and one of our talented team members will be in touch.

4 Great Tips for Maintaining a Condo

Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Condo

Just like any apartment or single-family home, once you’ve closed on a condo, it’s your home. You need to maintain your condo not only so you can enjoy it now, but also so it maintains its value for potential future sale.

Maybe your job has you moving around every few years. Maybe this is a stepping stone to another condo or home down the road. Whatever your situation is, maintaining your condo, keeping it clean, and addressing any issues as they arise will help you reap the rewards of downtown Chicago living now and get your investment back should you decide to sell later.

How to Maintain a Condo

Here are few tips for maintaining your condo, so it retains its value, you remain a good neighbor and resident throughout your stay, and that future owners won’t have any hesitation buying it from you.

  • Keep it clean. Give your condo a good cleaning once a week or as often as you see fit. But consider doing a deep cleaning on a monthly basis. Wipe down registers, move furniture to clean the flooring beneath, address any pet stains or damage, wipe dust off baseboards, clean dirty or streaked windows and doors, wipe down the inside of your fridge and oven, clean grout, dust on top of cabinets, and so on. Use reliable cleaning solutions that kill bacteria while also preserving the sheen and luster of wood, ceramic, granite, and other high-end surfaces.
  • Make sure appliances are running smoothly. Regardless of whether your condo came fully furnished or if you purchased appliances, it’s important to keep them in good working order from the day you move into the day you move out. Clean them inside and out, test their functions, make sure plugs aren’t wearing down, and have them serviced as needed. Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and replace batteries if needed.
  • Watch out for pests. Just because you live in downtown Chicago doesn’t mean your building is free from common pests like rodents, spiders, or termites. If you see any droppings, webs, or other signs of infestation or other unwelcome guests, take action immediately to keep the problem from getting out of hand. Contact a pest control company to help resolve the issue.
  • Follow the rules. As time passes and your tastes change, you may want to customize your condo. It’s important to follow the proper procedure for remodeling a condo — particularly since your unit is closely connected with others. One wrong move and you could have a collapsed roof or floor, or water damage that causes issues for neighbors. Talk to your association if you want to make changes to see what you can and cannot do. Once you have permission, get estimates from licensed, insured contractors.

And Keep Up with Condo Association Fees

You may not enjoy having to pay them, but condo association fees go toward maintaining certain aspects of the building apart from your condo, like exterior spaces, interior common areas, security, valet parking, etc. These services ensure your downtown Chicago living experience remains enjoyable and meaningful.

Make downtown Chicago your new home. See what’s available now.

Moving into a Condo Soon? Make It a Stress-Free Process with These Tips

Preparation is Key for a Successful Move

You’ve done it! You’ve successfully closed on your condo. Time to start planning your move, right? Sure, except you’re going to be stressed out of your mind because you waited until the last minute. Since loan funding typically doesn’t take long, you probably already have the keys to your new condo. And who wants to waste time planning a move when they could already be moving in?

Just like moving into an apartment or a single-family home, preparation is key. The earlier you start, the less stressed you’ll be, the smoother everything will come together, and the faster the process will go when the big day comes.

So, first things first: make a binder for important notes and details. In that binder, you’ll want to include a moving checklist. Here’s one to get you started. Also keep itineraries, moving estimates and invoices, travel arrangements, and any other important information pertaining to the move.

And above all — keep up with it. Don’t let yourself get sidetracked or forget to check something off the list. Staying on top of things means less work ahead of you than behind you.

Step-by-Step Guide for Moving Into Your Condo

Two months prior: Take a look at what you own and identify things you can sell, donate, or throw away. Also, start eating up perishable foods. If your diet or tastes require certain foods, make sure you use up what you buy, so you don’t have to worry about packing it up. This is also a good time to start researching moving companies if you’ll be using one. Get estimates from at least three.

One month out: Pick a moving company and secure their services. Gather moving supplies (check Craigslist, Freecycle.org, or U-Haul Customer Connect for free boxes!) and contact your current utility providers to cancel services or set up transfers. Also, contact any new utility service providers to set up service and schedule any required installations. If you are moving from far away, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and ready for the drive.

One to two weeks out: Change your address with the USPS and confirm the moving date with your movers. You definitely want them showing up on moving day! You can start packing now, too — particularly valuables. Remember to group similar items together and by room, and to label boxes with great detail, so you know what’s what. As rooms get packed up, clean them thoroughly.

On moving day: Eat a healthy breakfast, so you have plenty of energy! Remember to be flexible. Situations may arise, but handle each one at a time. Remember to have some essentials handy in case things take longer than expected — extra clothes, hygienic supplies, etc. And when you’re all done, throw an epic housewarming party. Invite friends, family, and even neighbors if you’re comfortable doing so.

Done Moving into Your Condo? Pay It Forward

Remember to tip your movers for their hard work. A 15–20% tip should work well. If your family and friends helped you move, consider giving them some cash or covering meals for the day. Be there for them as best you can when they need help moving in the future.

Once your furniture is all set up, and everything is where it’s supposed to be, consider giving away your boxes and moving supplies. List them on Craigslist or, even better, offer them up on Facebook. People will definitely take you up on your offer, particularly since they know you.

Your new home is waiting. Start your condo search now.

Work With Us

Get in touch with Luxury Living Chicago Realty 's team of experienced licensed real estate brokers and take the first step in buying or selling a home in Chicago.