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Celebrating Easter in Chicago

April 18th, 2014

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, Easter weekend usually marks the beginning of spring and therefore warm weather, festival season, and many of the best times to be living in or visiting Chicago – regardless of whether or not you are lucky enough to live here or just doing the tourist thing.

Chicago Easter

Celebrating Easter in Chicago

All the amazing decorations and flowers blooming make just walking around downtown the city’s various parks wonderful, of course, but there are lots of activities for all ages as well.

Easter brunch is a classic tradition around the world, of course, and many of Chicago’s best restaurants offer fantastic brunches with a variety of classic dishes along with unique signature options that make celebrating Easter in the Second City so amazing.

Metromix has a wonderful guide to Easter brunches in Chicago, including the classic option of Easter Brunch at the Drake Hotel. There are plenty of choices for Easter dinner downtown as well, if you would prefer to celebrate the holiday over dinner.

For parents (or and aunt and uncles), if you want to take the kids out for an Easter egg hunt in the Chicago area, here are some of the best options in the city – and perhaps the city’s biggest Easter Egg hunt takes place in Soldier Field, just south of Lakeshore East. There’s also the Easter Egg-Stravaganza at the Lincoln Park Zoo. In addition, here are some other choices for Easter activities with the kids downtown and throughout the rest of the city.

There are plenty of ways for grown-ups to have fun on Easter as well, as the Sun-Times illustrates. The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo also occurs the weekend after Easter – in case geeky Chicagoans need something to look forward too, and there are plenty of dinner cruises on the holiday itself as well. There’s no better way to experience the holiday than to see the city’s amazing skyline along with a remarkable meal.

Want to move downtown and join in the fun next year? Check out our Chicago real estate listings today. And Happy Easter from the team at Magellan Realty!

Chicago Spring Summer Festivals – Our 2014 Guide

April 11th, 2014

Like nearly every one else in Chicago, our real estate team loves all the festivals that occur in the spring and summer – they make dealing with the winters worth it!

Here are some of our favorites, all conveniently located only a short walk or cab ride away from downtown Chicago and Lakeshore East.

Summer in Chicago

Enjoying summer in Chicago.

Do-Division is one of the city’s best places to discover new local artists, fashion designers, musicians, and more. Local shopping and great tunes – what could be better? Plus plenty of the Near West side’s best restaurants set up booths and special tasting menus for the occasion. Later in the summer, the Chicago Fashion Fest and Fashion Chicago in Millennium Park give local fashionistas something to look forward to as the weather continues to warm up.

The Old Town Art Fair also provides a showcase for a variety of Chicago and the Midwest’s best artists – and there are a variety of juried and more informal art fairs all over Chicago and the surrounding suburbs throughout the spring and summer.

While there are many nationally recognized music festivals that occur in Chicago every year (Lollapalooza and Pitchfork anyone?), residents know that North Halsted’s Market days and Wicker Park Fest both have some of the best indie bands – as well as a wonderful atmosphere, excellent food, and all sorts of other vendors selling local crafts. The Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park is one of the best times to hear live blues in the city (and really, the whole country) as well.

Also located in Grant Park/Millennium Park is Chicago’s SummerDance series with live music and instructors teaching various styles of dance ranging from classics like the waltz and fox trot to swing and salsa. The multi-venue World Music Festival and the Millennium Park based Chicago Jazz Festival also happen every summer in the same area.

For gearheads and anyone who enjoys a day along the lake, the annual Air and Water show is an amazing way to see the skills of some of world’s most amazing air and water craft (and the talented pilots who make it all happen) right along Chicago’s lakefront.

Ribfest is a Chicago classic – and anyone who considers themselves to be a bona fide carnivore will enjoy it. All of Chicago’s best rib joints in one place competing to create the most delicious ribs? Fantastic. What’s more, the Taste of Randolph also allows for a variety of delicious food from local restauranteurs, along with plenty of live entertainment. And the Taste of River North is equally delightful for foodies. The Chicago Craft Beer festival is another great choice for foodies – especially those who are beer aficionados, with plenty of great food and drinks (naturally) for everyone. Last but not least, we have to mention the Taste of Chicago – one of the premier food festivals in the world!

And we can’t forget all of the amazing celebrations of the diverse culture in Chicago. For instance, the Chinatown Summer Festival celebrates Asian culture in the Windy City with music, performances, food, and more, while the Taste of Latin America honors Central and South American culture in Chicago in a similar way.

And least but not least, we can’t forget the annual Spring Half Marathon that starts and ends with a post-race picnic at the Park at Lakeshore East.

Want to experience the best of Chicago’s spring and summer right from the comfort of your own condo or townhome? Check out our latest listings today.

Selling Your Downtown Chicago Condo

March 28th, 2014

Selling a luxury condo can be just as complex as purchasing one, if not more so. Here are our Chicago real estate team’s top tips and advice for staging your condo:

 

Staging a condo

The interior of one of our Lakeshore East condos for sale.

 

1. De-Clutter! This doesn’t only include the obvious things likes clearing off counters and tabletops, but closets, cupboards, and any other storage spaces as well. It will make everything look more spacious and neat, which is always more appealing.

2. Scent is Important. Cooking odors, pet smells, and heavy air fresheners or perfumes can all be a turn off to potential buyers. Even if they know the place will be thoroughly cleaned before they take possession of it, first impressions are important and the way a place smells can make a powerful impact. However, burning a candle or two can be helpful, as long as the scent isn’t too overpowering.

3. Keep pets at bay. While you love your dog or cat, potential buyers may not. Take your pup for a walk and consider confining your cat to a single room (just for the duration of the visit). This includes other types of pets as well – ensure they won’t be disruptive to visitors is essential.

4. Set the stage. Use flowers, plants, (real or high quality fakes), candles, or other accessories to accentuate your condo and make it feel more inviting. Even consider setting the table with coordinating place settings so prospective buyers can imagine sitting down to a meal at the table or entertaining guests.

5. Let the Light in. Open the curtains and consider swapping out heavy curtains for sheers. Also, you can add brighter light bulbs or more lamps in order to bring light into smaller rooms or dark corners (this is especially important if your place is being shown on a cloudy day or during the evening).

6. Add Some Extra Luxuries. Nice matching fluffy towels, fancy soaps, and plush pillows and bedding will add some extra appeal to your condo – even though you’ll be taking them with you when you move out.

7. Make Minor Repairs. Even small things like chipped paint or a clogged drain are red flags to anyone viewing your place – and most minor fixes are easy to make yourself (or if you live in a condo with on-site maintenance, get any necessary work done before you start letting your agent show your place).

8. Get Rid of Grime. Along with other dust and debris. This is particularly important in the bathroom and kitchen, where unkempt surfaces can be a major turnoff. Consider getting a new shower curtain (and liner!) and hiding away any sponges, brooms or cleaning items in the kitchen.

10. Let the Real Estate Agent do the Talking. Ideally, you should be out of the house when your condo is being shown to potential buyers, but if that can’t be arranged, make yourself scarce. It is hard for prospects to discuss and honestly assess a home with the current owner hovering about!

Follow these tips and hopefully selling your Chicago home will be a breeze! And if you are currently looking to sell your condo, townhome, or other Chicago real estate, contact our knowledgeable agents today.

 

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View our video of the Lakeshore East neighborhood.