What to Know About a Condo Association in Chicago

What to Know About a Condo Association in Chicago

If you are in the process of finding a condo property to own, it’s essential to understand why condo associations exist and how they operate.

Regardless of how comfortable you feel around this topic, the Luxury Living team is here to break down everything you need to know about condo associations in Chicago.

What is a Condo Association

As soon as you purchase a condo unit, you automatically become a member of a condo association.

By definition, a condo association is a formal group of unit owners in a condominium building. 

This association is run by an elected board of directors, which handles the maintenance and repair of common areas, disputing among unit owners, and enforcement of rules and regulations, and condominium fees.

The ultimate goal of a condo association is to help maintain the quality of life for community residents and protect their property value.

Condo associations take a significant burden off residents by keeping up with community maintenance, including snow and garbage removal, as well as building repairs and maintenance.

Not only does this maintenance help alleviate resident’s stress and responsibilities, but it also helps ensure community curb appeal. The condo associations help keep condominium communities in pristine condition, promoting a desirable location for potential buyers and an enhanced environment for residents.

Condo associations also help maintain the upkeep of community amenities, such as a pool or fitness center.

While condo associations take care of a significant amount of maintenance, owners are still held accountable for keeping the community in good shape through rules and fees. The rules restrict residents from trashing the outside of their units, and the fees provide funding for external maintenance.

How Condo Associations are Created

When new communities are developed, new homeowner associations also come into existence.  

While the process for establishing a homeowner association may look different depending on the location, there are standard procedures.

Upon the creation of a new condo community, the developer establishes a business structure by forming an LLC or nonprofit corporation. The shares of the association are allocated as the developer sells units. 

Once formed, the condo association is responsible for creating covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that describe how the association will operate and what rules unit owners must abide by. During this process, a procedure for future modification of the CC&Rs is implemented and rules and regulations are written, putting the CC&Rs into easy-to-understand language for community residents.

The next step involves drawing up governing documents, such as articles of incorporation and bylaws (which outline meeting frequency, voting guidelines, the election of HOA leaders and other operating procedures).

Finally, the association must elect qualifying officers and board members to manage the association’s operations. This board generally changes on an annual basis and requires voting among the entire association.

Condo Association Dues

To effectively operate, condo associations need funding. Where exactly does this funding come from? The answer is from the condo owners. 

When someone buys a condominium unit, they become an automatic member of that community’s homeowner association; and with this membership comes unavoidable monthly or annual dues. 

The bulk of these fees help fund community amenities and provide services. A smaller portion of these funds goes towards the association’s administration, including legal, accounting, and management services.

It’s important to know that different condo associations have different policies regarding what services they will provide the community. That’s why you want to investigate exactly what your prospective condo association offers residents before securing a purchase.

So what happens if you do not pay those association fees? While the repercussions may vary depending on the association, there are basic penalties that are likely to be put into action.

First, be prepared to receive a letter reminding you of your outstanding debt immediately. The condo association may also add on a fine and/or interest on that missed payment.

Often, the association may also revoke homeowner rights. This may include taking away your privileges to vote on condo association matters or utilize common areas, such as a gym or pool.

To avoid these consequences, it is critical to keep up with association fees; and if you do happen to miss a payment, make sure to keep open communication with your association’s board to resolve the issue and minimize penalties.

Condo Association Rules

Upon establishment, every condo association creates rules and regulations for residents to follow, but the formal organization is also expected to follow certain guidelines.

While some local laws and ordinances dictate how condo associations need to be formed and operated, generally the associations have a large amount of freedom.

Each condo association can create their own covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that owners are expected to follow. These CC&Rs cover expectations regarding resident behavior, architecture, and common responsibilities.

Many common condo rules and regulations revolve around financial responsibilities, pet regulations, rental guidelines, and maintenance standards.

Whatever the CC&Rs may be, they are not voluntary. Residents have a legal obligation to follow these condo HOA rules or they may face fines and/or legal action.

Do Condo Associations Have Insurance?

While condo owners are responsible for ensuring the inside of their units, associations are also required to obtain their own insurance policies to keep the organization protected.

Homeowners associations must have hazard and liability insurance for specific areas of the condominium development, often including common areas, like stairwells and pools, and some exterior elements such as the condo’s roof. 

While this insurance takes some of the financial and liability burdens off of the unit owners, a portion of the owner’s condo fees helps to pay for the policy.

Frequently, condo associations will also have what is called a “master policy”. This type of policy generally covers damages and personal injury. The damages covered by a master policy involve damages to the shared property, which may be a result of storms, fires, criminals, etc. General liability insurance covers the costs of any lawsuits for medical expenses filed by people injured in the common areas of the property.

It is also important for condo associations to have directors and officers insurance to ensure financial protection to the people running the association. This specific type of insurance covers both legal defense costs and damages if a homeowner decides to sue its association. This policy does not cover intentional misconduct. Employee theft insurance can protect the association if a director, officer or property manager embezzles association funds.

Finding a Condo in Chicago

Now that you have a better understanding of condo associations in Chicago, it may be time to find a property of your own.

Regardless of what you are looking for, the Luxury Living team can connect you with an experienced broker to help streamline the hunt for your dream home.

Find your perfect condo in the Windy City today!

Can You Convert One Bedroom Into Two in Your Condo?

If you’re considering adding an extra room to your condo, don’t be too quick to begin construction.

Before any big remodel project, especially one that involves converting one bedroom into two, you must first receive the go-ahead.

 

Why you need HOA Approval

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are responsible for maintaining and managing condo communities. These associations have tight control over establishing rules that unit owners must follow, especially when it comes to remodeling.

Before beginning any renovations, including adding an extra room to your condo,  it is critical to examine your HOA’s condo renovation rules to see what is permissible. You can find these guidelines laid out in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs).

Many CC&Rs require board approval before moving forward with any structural remodeling.

Homeowners associations generally try to grant unit owners as much freedom as possible, as long as they don’t upset or violate the rights of community members. The rules are in place to keep the community as safe and peaceful as possible.

If you disregard or violate your HOA rules and regulations, be prepared to face fines or legal action.

 

What is Considered a Structural Change in the City

If condo owners want to add or remove a wall within their unit, they need permission from the HOA because this type of remodeling is considered a structural change.

So what exactly is considered a structural change in a condo?

In many HOA bylaws, when defining structural change, a standard clause reads, “Nothing shall be done in any unit or on the common areas which may impair the structural integrity of the building or which may structurally change the building.”

Essentially, these definitions mean that a structural change involves changing your condo unit’s original floor plan and knocking down walls.

Anytime you change your unit’s layout, you need to run your design plans by HOA to ensure the safety of your unit and the entire building. Many associations ask homeowners to file an architect’s plan for any alterations on a unit.

If you add an extra room to your condo, this will involve changing the original floorplan of your unit and knocking down walls, therefore this renovation constitutes a structural change.

While it is likely that your HOA will allow this type of structural change, they need to be in the loop of this process, especially if it will be a loud and possibly disruptive project.

If you are serious about adding an extra room to your condo, don’t delay speaking with your HOA. The quicker you can get approval, the sooner you can begin your dream home renovations!

What Are Condo Flooring Requirements?

When it comes to renovating a condo, be prepared for more restrictions than single-family home projects.

Because condos feature multi-family housing, the homeowner associations (HOA) have to take other residents and the building as a whole into consideration when implementing rules.

One of these HOA regulations includes condo flooring requirements. The Luxury Living team is here to share everything you need to know about understanding flooring rules and choosing the right floors for your home.

 

HOA Flooring Rules

Homeowner associations exist primarily to maintain and regulate a community. While the HOA doesn’t have a say in everything unit owners do, they do have a voice when it comes to flooring decisions.

Hard-surfaced floors can lead to noise nuisances and frustrations from the downstairs neighbors, so HOAs implement condo flooring requirements that help minimize noise complaints and keep residents happy.

Homeowner associations will typically include any restrictions on hard surface flooring in the rules and reference sections of the Code, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs). There may also be an adoption of guidelines as to what an owner can do to get approval for hard surface flooring if possible.

What happens if you ignore your HOAs flooring rules? Well, the board may subject you to fines, liens, or even legal action.

So if you have been considering tearing out that old carpet and replacing it with beautiful hardwood, be sure to run it by your HOA first before making any moves.

 

Best Flooring for Condos

Narrowing down the best flooring for your condo can be tricky.

While there are plenty of options, laminate tends to be a popular choice. This material looks just as beautiful as hardwood but comes at a more affordable price with soundproof qualities.

Vinyl also provides one of the quietest flooring option to ensure peace and quiet for you and your neighbors. Depending on the specific vinyl material you chose, this flooring choice can range anywhere from about $.40 per square foot for thin sheet vinyl, to $3.00 or so per square foot for luxury vinyl planks.

If you are looking for comfy and quiet, carpet is another safe route to take. This quiet flooring for condos is known for its sound-absorbing qualities from the fibers, as well as the mats the carpet installed over. Some HOAs may even require a certain percentage of condo floors to be carpet.

If you are teaming up with a contractor to spearhead your condo renovations, they are likely to provide good advice when it comes to choosing the best flooring for your condo. They also will have a thorough understanding of your condo’s CC&Rs to ensure the floor are compliant with the HOA’s rules and regulations.

Understanding and following your condo’s flooring requirements will help keep you, your neighbors, and your HOA happy during your next renovation project!

Condo Renovations That Improve Your Home Value

If you are considering selling your condo be sure to first maximize the value of your home.

Renovations provide an excellent opportunity to upgrade your space and improve the worth of a home.

The Luxury Living team is here to share some worthwhile condo renovations that increase home value and optimize the return on your investment.

 

How Renovations Increase Value of Condos

Home improvement projects prove to be one of the best ways to boost home value.

By remodeling your condo, you can improve the functionality and beauty of your property, which ultimately increases the selling price of your home.

If you can list your condo at a higher price than what you purchased it for, you may be able to pocket a significant amount of money once the deal closes.

However, to ensure a return on investment, it is critical to chose your renovations wisely. You want to be sure that the cost of enhancing your property will pay off when you resell.

 

Best Condo Upgrades

When deciding on remodeling projects to pursue, you want to consider the desires of prospective purchasers.

Here are some of the best condo upgrades to entice potential buyers and  improve your home value:

 

  • Kitchen: According to real estate experts, the kitchen is the most significant upgrade. Many new home buyers rank ‘modern kitchen’ as a top priority in their house hunt. Invest in refitting this area with brand new quartz countertops, refitted cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.
  • Hardwood Floors: Floors are also a major selling point for your home. While hardwood floors may cost more out of pocket, they prove to be a worthwhile investment by helping units sell faster and for higher prices. There’s nothing worse than bad, outdated carpet.
  • Bathroom: Similarly to the kitchen, the bathroom speaks volumes to potential homebuyers. It is worth your dime to upgrade the cabinets and other features throughout your bathroom. Good news is that these upgrades tend to run at a much lower cost compared to kitchen renovations.
  • Paint: Even a fresh paint job can work wonders for increasing the value of a condo. Play it safe and stick with a neutral color scheme. Whites and off-whites remain the top-selling interior colors and appeal to most homebuyers.

 

Should you Renovate?

For any homeowner planning to resell, renovations may be the key to increasing your condo’s value.

If your condo unit is looking outdated or in need of a structural change, then renovating may be a no brainer.

Even if your condo is in good condition, simple changes, such as a fresh paint job, or new appliances may lead to greater interest and higher asking prices.

Consider meeting with a local real estate expert or contractor to get advice on which renovations are right for you.

Now that you have insight into remodeling and renovations that improve home value, it may be time to begin a project of your own today!

Can You Renovate a Condo?

Condo renovations can help transform a house into your dream home. These projects also have the potential to increase the value of your property drastically.

If you’ve questioned whether or not you can renovate a condo, then keep reading.

Whether you have experience with home renovations or this is a new venture, rest assured that the Luxury Living team is here to share how to remodel a condo and what you need to know beforehand.

 

Condo Renovations That Improve Your Home Value

Renovations have great potential to maximize your property’s worth. Improving your condo’s value can help ensure a return on investment if you decide to resell your property.

Check out some of the best condo upgrades to improve your home value:

  • Kitchen: According to real estate experts, the kitchen is the most significant upgrade. Many new home buyers rank ‘modern kitchen’ as a top priority in their house hunt. Invest in refitting this area with brand new quartz countertops, refitted cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.
  • Hardwood Floors: Floors are also a major selling point for your home. While hardwood floors may cost more out of pocket, they prove to be a worthwhile investment by helping units sell faster and for higher prices. There’s nothing worse than bad, outdated carpet.
  • Bathroom: The bathroom speaks volumes to potential homebuyers. It is worth your dime to upgrade the cabinets and other features throughout your bathroom. Good news is that these upgrades tend to run at a much lower cost compared to kitchen renovations.
  • Paint: Even a fresh paint job can work wonders for increasing the value of a condo. Play it safe and stick with a neutral color scheme. Whites and off-whites remain the top-selling interior colors and appeal to most homebuyers.

 

What You Need to Know About Condo Renovation Rules

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are responsible for managing condo communities. These associations have tight control over establishing rules that unit owners must follow, especially when it comes to remodeling.

Condo owners are often under many more rules when it comes to remodeling a unit than single-family homeowners.

Before beginning any renovations, it is critical to examine your HOA’s condo renovation rules to see what is permissible. You can find these guidelines laid out in the CC&R (covenants, conditions, and restrictions).

Condo owners considering remodeling often inquire if they can remove a wall in a condo.  Generally, the answer is ‘yes.’ However, the unit owner must first go to the HOA board for approval.

Unit owners require permission to remove a wall is because it is considered a structural change.

So what exactly is a structural change in a condo?

In many HOA bylaws, when defining structural change, a standard clause reads, “Nothing shall be done in any unit or on the common areas which may impair the structural integrity of the building or which may structurally change the building.”

Essentially, a structural change involves changing your condo unit’s original floor plan and knocking down walls.

Anytime you change your unit’s layout, you need to run your design plans by HOA to ensure the safety of your unit and the entire building.


How to Use Condo Remodeling Contractors

Teaming up with condo remodeling contractors helps optimize the outcome of your home renovations. It also saves you time and stress associated with home improvement projects.

However, before moving forward with a contractor, you need to find a good fit.

Narrowing down a suitable contractor involves finding one who you trust and one who fits into your condo renovation budget.

Do some research beforehand and get recommendations. Speak with local real estate experts or friends to help find someone with a good track record. If no one in your circle of friends has a referral, check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of reliable members in your area.

If you think you’ve found your potential hire, meet for an in-person interview to be sure the contractor is a good match before making anything official.

Once you’ve secured the right person for the job, ensure that the contractor is up to speed with your HOA’s renovation rules and regulations.

The final step before contractors can begin residential contractor condo work is putting everything in writing.

Write up a contract that details every phase of the project: payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; specific materials and products to be used; and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers.

 

What Are Condo Flooring Requirements?

Homeowner associations often implement condo flooring requirements to minimize noise complaints and keep residents happy.

Hard-surfaced floors can lead to noise nuisances and frustrations from the downstairs neighbors.

Therefore many HOAs include restrictions on hard surface flooring in the rules and reference sections of the CC&Rs to ensure quiet flooring for condos. There may also be an adoption of guidelines as to what an owner can do to get approval for hard surface flooring if possible.

If you are considering tearing out that old carpet and replacing it with beautiful hardwood, be sure this condo renovation follows the HOA’s guidelines.

Laminate makes one of the best floorings for condos. This material looks as beautiful as hardwood, but is more affordable and know for its soundproof qualities.

Vinyl is another popular option that tends to provide the quietest flooring option.

Before moving forward with any home improvement project, be sure to understand and follow your HOA flooring rules to avoid conflict and complaints.


Can You Convert One Bedroom Into Two in Your Condo?

If you want to convert one bedroom into two, be sure to check out your condo HOA’s CC&Rs. Odds are you will need to get approval from the board before moving forward with the remodeling, especially since it is a structural change.

When examining what is considered a structural change in a condo, it is clear that if you add an extra room to your condo you will be changing the original floorplan of your unit and knocking down walls.

Before making any structural change, remember that you need to run the project pass your homeowners association to avoid fines or court. Many associations ask homeowners to file an architect’s plan for any alterations on a unit.

While it is likely that your HOA will allow this structural change, they need to be in the loop during this process, especially if it will be a loud and possibly disruptive project.

Homeowners associations generally try to grant unit owners as much freedom as possible, as long as they don’t upset or violate the rights of community members.

Renovating a condo provides an exciting opportunity for homeowners to bring their dream house to life. Begin your property’s transformation today!

Modern Condo Interior Design Ideas

If you live in a contemporary condo, it is critical that your unit’s decor reflects the modernity of the building.

To help you with this task, the Luxury Living team is sharing some modern condo interior design and decorating ideas to help optimize your urban space.

 

Modern Condo Interior Design

There are plenty of modern condo interior design ideas to magnify a contemporary space.

The colors you chose to incorporate in your condo can make a huge impact. Consider going with a white color palette throughout your unit. Not only does this neutral color palette create a sleek space, but it also helps make your condo feel larger. However, don’t be afraid to add some pops of color here and there with some fun accent pieces.

Urban spaces also call for a dramatic focal point, especially in your living area. Investing in a large, sleek centerpiece can enhance the overall look and feel of your space.

 

Modern Condo Decorating Ideas

Modern condo decor is a must if you want to maintain a contemporary look and feel.

Here are a few modern condo decorating ideas to add character and chic to your condo:

  • Dramatic light fixtures: Featuring unique light fixtures in your condo can immensely enhance the modern vibes. Try finding metallic sconces, either slightly elongated or round ones to go with your space.
  • Artwork: Contemporary art is a must for any modern condo. Imaginative pieces featuring metal, glass, or ceramic can provide a pop of color and add a fun touch to your place.
  • Natural elements: Consider bringing some life into your condo by adding some greenery or driftwood throughout your space.

 

Team up With a Professional

Hiring an interior designer to help modernize your condo unit not only eases the design process, but it also enhances it. These decorating professionals have the experience, time, and eye to transform your place.

Keep in mind that home improvement projects do not happen overnight, despite what HGTV may have led you to believe. Be sure to have a feasible budget and timeline when you meet with your interior designer.

Before selecting your interior designer, do some research. Look into your potential hire’s portfolio to check out some of the designer’s styles and quirks.

Throughout the entire design process, it is critical to discuss your needs and expectations with your designer openly. This allows you and the designer to stay on the same page.

Bring these modern condo interior design ideas to life and begin your home’s transformation today!

Condo Decorating Ideas for Your Living Room

Your living room can say a lot about you and the rest of your home. Generally, this is the first space guests see and gather.

To ensure a good impression and a space you love, check out these condo decorating ideas for your living room.

Furnishing a Condo Ideas

While there are many factors to consider when finishing a home, furnishing may be the most essential aspects to consider when decorating your living room. Choosing and arranging your furniture wisely improves the overall look and feel of your space.

So how do you make the right choice when it comes to picking out your living room furnishings?

Most importantly, chose furniture that speaks to you, falls within your budget, and fits in with the overall feel of your condo.

Let’s say you are going for a rustic look throughout your condo; In that case, you would want to find furnishings that define this look, such as a natural looking wooden table or a dark leather couch.

Along with choosing fitting furniture, the placement of your furnishing is also critical. Arrange your living room to create a focal point for and conservation areas that allow for socializing and easy traffic flow.

Complete your living room area with some fun artwork or wall decor. Be sure all of your additions stay cohesive with the rest of the room.

Condo Living Room Layout Ideas

The layout of your living room is also crucial for good flow and space. Regardless of your living room design or size, you want to arrange your furniture so that your place feels inviting.

If your condo unit features an open floor plan with no distinct living room, you will need to create this space. You can do this by adding a large area rug complete with furniture over it to help define the separate area. Also, consider keeping the space symmetrical using large pieces of furniture help create a balanced look.

Condos with limited space require a bit more problem solving to create a more open feel.

Small Condo Living Room Ideas

If you are working with a small living room, don’t worry. Limited space doesn’t have to mean limited decorating possibilities.

Here are some easy solutions to maximize the space in your living room:

  • More mirrors: Incorporating multiple mirrors into your living area can open up your space, making a small room feel larger and more inviting. Plus, mirrors help reflect light to brighten your place up.
  • Keep the floor clear: With limited space, you don’t want to cram your floors with stuff. Go for floating pieces, such as wall shelves and hanging plants to help minimize clutter.
  • Wall lights: Add a stylish touch and brighten up your space by installing scones or wall lamps.

With new inspiration and condo decorating ideas for your living room consider transforming your space today!

How to Start Decorating a Condo

Whether you are in the middle of moving into a new condo or wanting to spice up your current space, it’s always beneficial to learn tips on how to decorate a condo unit.

The Luxury Living team is here to walk you through the exciting process of decorating a condo in hopes of helping you create your dream home.

 

Where to Begin

Before decorating a condo, you want first to find inspiration. Doing research beforehand can help create a vision and plan for your space.

A great place to hunt for some decorating ideas for a condo is online. Sites like Pinterest and Apartment Therapy provide great visuals and articles to help point you in the direction to take your condo decor. Be on the lookout for styles or ideas that catch your eye.

Once you have a good idea on the look or vibe you want for your condo, the next step is to plan out your vision. Make a list of all of the decorations and furnishings you will need and then map out how you want to arrange your room.

 

Executing the Vision

After the plan is complete, you are ready for execution- the final step in the decoration process. Execution is bringing your vision to life and transforming your house into a home.

The first stage of execution is shopping. Check online sites or nearby stores to find the perfect furnishings for your condo. Homegoods and Wayfair are great places to start.

Once you’ve purchased all of the essential decorations, it is time to assemble and arrange everything.

 

Consider an Interior Designer

Consider teaming up with an experienced professional to help ease and enhance your house transformation.

Interior designers have the experience, time, and eye to help bring your vision to life.

If you decide to take advantage of an interior designer to implement your condo interior decorating ideas here are a few tips:

  • Set realistic expectations: Unfortunately, many home improvement projects do not happen overnight. Be sure to have a feasible budget and timeline when you meet with your interior designer.
  • Take time to find the right fit: Before selecting your interior designer, do some research. Look into your potential hire’s portfolio to check out some of the designer’s styles and quirks. You may even want to interview him or her to ensure a good match.
  • Communication is key: Throughout the entire design process, it is critical to discuss your needs and expectations with your designer openly. This allows you and the designer to stay on the same page.

Now that you’ve gained valuable insight into decorating a condo, it is time to turn these ideas into a reality and transform your home today!

Condo Decorating Ideas to Create a Space You’ll Love

There is great power in decorating. With the right decorative direction and execution, you can transform any house into a beautiful home.

While the task of decorating may seem daunting, the Luxury Living team is here to reassure you that with the right insight decorating a condo is a plausible and exciting adventure.

 

How to Start Decorating a Condo

Before decorating a condo, you want first to find inspiration. Doing research beforehand can help create a vision and plan for your space.

A great place to hunt for some decorating ideas for a condo is online. Sites like Pinterest and Apartment Therapy provide great visuals and articles to help point you in the direction to take your condo decoration. Be on the lookout for styles or ideas that catch your eye.

Once you have a good idea on the look or vibe you want for your condo, the next step is execution. This involves finding the right shops to purchase what you need and putting everything into place. Keep in mind that the more specific plan you have in place, the easier the execution.

Depending on your space and vision, there are many directions you can go with your condo decorating.

 

Condo Decorating Ideas for Your Living Room

The living room may be one of the most important spaces to decorate. This is the room where visitors gather and is often the first room people will see when they enter your condo.

To ensure an inviting living area that gives guests a great first impression, here are some condo decorating ideas for your living room:

  • Furniture placement: The arrangement of your furniture may be one of the most essential steps of furnishing your living room. Be sure to choose a focal point for your furniture and create conversation areas that allow for easy traffic flow.
  • Area rugs: To make your living room space pop, consider investing in a large area rug. A suitable rug can add character and dimension to a room. Make sure all of your furniture sits on the rug and try to leave 10-to-20 inches of bare space between the edge of the rug and the walls of the room.
  • Artwork: Find some neat artwork to spice your living room and fill empty walls. Be sure the art is cohesive with the rest of your space. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to empty your bank account for fun art pieces. Check out local vintage shops to find some affordable and eclectic pieces.

 

Small Condo Decorating Ideas

Limited space doesn’t have to mean limited decorating possibilities. If you’re trying to maximize a small space, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help decorate a small condo.

Here are some small condo interior design ideas to make the most of your area:

  • More mirrors: Incorporating multiple mirrors into your living area can open up your space, making a small living room feel larger and more inviting. Plus, mirrors help reflect any and all light to brighten your room up.
  • Keep the floor clear: With limited space, you don’t want to cram your floors with stuff. Go for floating pieces, such as wall shelves and hanging plants to help minimize clutter.
  • Wall lights: Add a stylish touch and brighten up your small space by installing scones or wall lamps. This type of lighting is also a great way to avoid taking up valuable floor space.
  • Floor-to-ceiling draperies: Hanging up long curtains right where your wall meets the ceiling will instantly add height to your condo and make your living room feel more spacious.

 

Decorating Ideas for Your Open Concept Condo

One of the advantages of living in a condo with an open floor plan are the endless opportunities to arrange and decorate your space.

If your space features spacious floor plans, take advantage of these open concept condo decorating ideas:

  • Create distinct areas: With one large open room, it is important to divide this space into multi-functional areas. Consider creating a cozy corner or arranging your furniture to create separate spaces, such as an office space, dining room, and living area.
  • Use area rugs to help divide spaces: To help create distinct areas of your condo consider using large area rugs throughout your space. This also adds a fun touch to your condo.
  • Incorporate symmetry: With expansive areas, keeping the space symmetrical using large pieces of furniture helps create a balanced look. The symmetrical look also helps bring order to a large room.
  • Use a monochromatic color scheme: As you begin decorating, pick one color that you want to incorporate in your space and won’t get sick of. Then feature this color in a variation of shades and tones throughout the space.

 

Modern Condo Interior Design Ideas

If you live in an urban condo building and want to optimize your contemporary space, modern condo decor is a must.

Check out these modern condo interior design ideas before you begin transforming your space:

  • A white color palette: Not only does a white color palette create a sleek space, but it also helps make a small modern condo appear larger.
  • Intense focal point: By incorporating an obvious focal point in your room, you can help enhance the overall look and feel of your space. Consider investing in a sleek centerpiece.
  • Pop of color: Find a fun bright color to add a little excitement to your modern space. While you don’t want to detract from your focal point, you do want to brighten up your condo a bit.
  • Dramatic light fixtures: Featuring unique light fixtures in your condo can immensely enhance modern feel. Find something funky that goes with the feel of your space and adds a fun touch.

 

How to Work With an Interior Designer for Condos

Consider teaming up with an experienced professional to help beautify your condo. Hiring an interior designer may alleviate stress or fear associated with decorating your space. It helps take some pressure off and allows an expert’s eye to help create a beautiful condo interior design.

If you decide to take advantage of an interior designer to implement your condo interior decorating ideas here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Set realistic expectations: Thanks to the reality home design shows, many of us may have some unrealistic expectations when it comes to decorating a home. Unfortunately, many home improvement projects do not happen overnight. They can take months and also may require more money than anticipated. Therefore, be sure to have a feasible budget and timeline when you meet with your interior designer.
  • Take time to find the right fit: Before selecting your interior designer, do some research. Look into your potential hire’s portfolio to check out some of the designer’s styles and quirks. You may even want to interview him or her to ensure a good match.
  • Communication is key: Throughout the entire design process, it is critical to discuss your needs and expectations with your designer openly. This allows you and the designer to stay on the same page in order to successfully execute the vision for your space.

Now that you have insight into decorating a condo unit, it may be time to begin your home transformation. If you are still in need of finding that perfect condo to decorate, contact an experienced broker today!

Here’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Condo in Chicago

While there may not be a magic formula to determine the perfect time to invest in a property, an understanding of the real estate market and the Windy City seasons can help suggest the best time of year to buy a condo in Chicago.

With years of experience and a thorough understanding of the Chicago market, the Luxury Living team is here to help you decide on when you should start looking for a condo.

Best Time to Buy a Condo

Why is the timing of your condo purchase so important? The time of year that you chose to house hunt can impact various factors of your purchase- from the number of listings to choose from to the price of your desired property.

By understanding the seasonal market trends, you can better make a strategic and worthwhile investment.

Based on the Chicago market, every season has its own set of advantages for potential buyers.

For young home buyers, or anyone looking to save money, the winter months, specifically January and February, may be the best time to make an offer. Numbers show that average condo price drop around $6,000 in the winter, compared to the late spring and summer.

If buyers are more concerned with options rather than price, springtime offers Chicagoans with the highest number of housing listings to choose from. Just keep in mind that with more competition on the market, spring tends to increase the price of listings.

Best Time to Buy a Home in Chicago

While condos are a hot housing option in a large city, you may still be considering buying a single-family home in Chicago. If this is the case, keep in mind that the seasons affect the market similarly for both condos and homes.

Since many families occupy homes in the city, it is common for these families to chose to move around the summertime, before the new school year starts, especially if they are changing school districts. Therefore, this is a promising season to house hunt if you are looking for a large selection of listings on the market.

How Long Does it Take to Buy a Condo?

Once you are ready to pull the trigger and buy a property in Chicago, keep in mind that this journey may take a while. The entire process, from beginning the house search to closing on your purchase, can take anywhere from three to six months; or even longer if issues arise.

While the house hunting period depends largely on the efficiency of the buyers and agent, the average closing period in Chicago hovers around 45 days.

Make sure to keep up with these seasonal market trends and team up with an experienced broker to help you narrow down the best time of year to buy a condo in Chicago.

What is an HOA Resale Package?

If you are in the process of purchasing or selling a condo, be prepared for lots of paperwork. There is a great deal of information the buyer needs to be aware of before obtaining the title to a property.

Among all of this paperwork involved in condo sales, HOA resale packages are critical for any prospective buyer to receive.

Overview of an HOA resale package

When a buyer is ready to purchases a condo, the homeowners association generally administers a resale package. This package is prepared by the HOA, within seven to ten days of the initial offer. This package is a packet of critical information, including a complete set of record documents that govern the association.

Regardless or not if a state requires HOA’s to provide resale packages, buyers should always obtain these documents before finalizing a transaction.

While information within these packages may vary depending on the state, they commonly include the following documents:

  • Annual Financials
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Budget
  • Bylaws
  • Covenants, Codes, & Restrictions (CC&Rs)
  • Insurance Declaration Page
  • Regular Meeting Minutes
  • Resale Certificate/Demand
  • Reserve Report, Rules and Regulations

Generally, it is the seller’s responsibility to obtain the resale package for the buyer. However, if you do not receive an HOA resale package following your offer on a condo, your licensed real estate broker should be your first point of contact.

Why You Need to Get One

As a condo buyer, it is crucial to obtain and carefully review all documents within your HOA resale package before moving forward with the purchase.

This package discloses information about the community and whether or not the seller is current in their financial obligations to the association. All of this information could impact a buyers decision to close on the listing.

Knowledgeable and trustworthy brokers can point out any restrictions in the resale certificate that may lead a buyer to walk away from a deal.

HOA resale packages also protect both the buyer and the seller from potential disagreements and litigations and minimize financial risk for the association.

How it Makes the Buying and Selling Process Easier

The HOA resale package eases the buying and selling process by laying out important information all in one place. The buyer does not have to worry about going back and forth with the agent or seller to sort out details regarding the transaction.

This paperwork enables transparent transactions and keeps buyers fully informed before investing in a property.

Both sellers and buyers will find that HOA resale packages offer vital information and peace of mind during a transaction. Keep this in mind before moving forward with your next condo purchase.

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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.