Items mark parking dibs in late November 2018 on Chicago's Northwest Side after an overnight snowstorm.



Welcome one and all to the year 2021. This is Charles McShan from Century 21 Universal It is wintertime in Chicago. We have had some snowfall but not enough of the snow to put operation Dibb in effect. If you live in Chicago, you know what operation Dibb means. If not, it simply means that you will go out onto your side street when it snows heavily in Chicago, where your car is parked completely covered with snow. You will then get your shovel out, dig out the spot your car is located. When it time for you to leave, you drive your car out of the spot, and you place a chair, a cone, or some other object in that space to imply this is my spot. I dug it out, and you better not park your car here or—-.That is Chicago in the wintertime when it snows. Do they do this where you live? 

What’s going on in our local World?

        I hope it does not snow heavy enough to put that rule into effect But let’s get back to the here and now. This is blog-post covers the latest Chicago Housing Information for certain parts of the city and suburbs. We will cover the homeowner looking to sell and the home buyer looking to purchase. But first, let’s do some reflection. Last year at this time, we heard reports about a virus outbreak in China. That virus has completely changed the world. One year later, the corona-virus is still causing death and misery worldwide. It has affected every form of business, whether large or small. The housing market was no exception. Homes on the market for sale are just like interest rates; both are at an all-time low. But as we well know people for various reasons have to move. Like in 2020, home buyers are still in 2021  looking to maximize their buying power. Normally the rental market is slow in January, but people are looking to move despite the cold weather.

   Joe Biden has replaced Donald Trump as President of the United States. His administration has promised to help people get through these severe economic and medical crises with a cash infusion. Millions are still out of work and are behind in rental and mortgage payments. Evictions moratoriums are extended so people will not be thrown into the streets during the winter months. Some local schools are open; some are not. All the local museums are still closed. The Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls are trying to regain winning form. The Chicago Bears season is over, as usual. As of this writing, the city of  Chicago, restaurants, and bars are still under severe restrictions while other state parts are relaxing their restrictions. 

Neighbor Real Estate reports


The coronavirus impact on the Chicago housing market is reflected in the number of homes bought and sold. Here is the Chicago housing report for the year 2020. Please click here if you like reading charts.>>

Locally here is the report for the

1:West Ridge

2: Rogers Park

3: Edgewater 

4: Lincoln Square

5: Uptown      

6: Albany Park

7: Chatham     

8: Beverly        

9: Austin           


The Home Owner!

  Looking at these numbers, you can see that sales of homes were at an all-time low. Why? Maybe the virus and job loss and reductions in salaries played a major part. But on the other hand, the homes that were price right when place onto the market last year sold quickly. A lot of these homes had multiple offers. Some homes did not sell, why those homes became expired or canceled listings, the reasons vary, but a lot of time comes back to the asking price. On the other hand, some homeowners were still leery of letting strangers come into their homes because they could be carrying the corona-virus. They chose to cancel the listing and wait for another time. 

Thinking of selling your home? Please follow these  5 suggestions!

1:   Suppose you are planning to place your home on the market this year congratulations. What should you do to prepare yourself for that day? Here is one article that you should read; even though it was published over 2 years ago, it is still relevant. Please click the link below

Always remember you are planning to move to another location. You should keep that future location of that home front and center in your mind. To do that, you must separate yourself mentally from your present home. In other words, you must divorce yourself mentally from your present home. If you can do that, you will allow yourself to see your home ask a home buyer will see it. That means removing family photos and personal items throughout the house. With it being winter and the virus going strong, I do not know how you can do a yard sale, but you must clear out all unnecessary clutter and old furniture. I suggest reducing clutter by placing your additional furniture and other personal items in an off-site storage facility.

     A home buyer must look at your home and envision themselves and their furniture in your home. This is very important! The hardest home to sell is the home you live in with your family, engaging in everyday activities if a realtor comes into your special space, your home, and says. “For your home to sell, you must de-clutter your home.” You get mad; you get offended. If you are one of those persons, this video is for you. It is are lengthy, but its conclusion is simple Selling your home is like getting a divorce. You must unattached yourself emotionally from your home for it to sell. Click here >.



2:  Another way you must divorce yourself from your home is to watch what you cook. A lot of us love to spend time in our kitchen preparing family recipes. You love to see the smiles on family and friends when they sit down and eat.  If you are a cooker of foods with powerful aromas that linger, then remember this. Many of these ethnic dishes’ aromas are absorbed into the fabrics, draperies, and carpets of your homes. People who know you are used to those smells. For them, they know that is your trademark, that is a good thing. But now, you want to sell your home. You must be honest with yourself, will the homebuyer like the smell of your home when they open your front door? Please do not take this personally; when you make up your mind to place your home on the market, you must also change your cooking habits. Limit your cooking to milder, less offensive smelling dishes and leave the powerful dishes you enjoy restaurant dining. Secondly, you must sanitize your home to eliminate those past food odors.               

3:   Speaking of odors, homeowners who have dogs and cats also have a unique situation. Your pet is part of the family. But once you decide to sell your home, you must realize that homebuyers who come to inspect your home come not only with their emotions, but they also shop with all their senses, and that includes their noses. If you think food orders turn off, homebuyers think about the smell of pets. Some homeowners have gotten used to the smell of their pets. 

In reality, certain parts of some homeowners’ homes reeked of cat or dog urine. Pet hair is everywhere. Some have urine or poop stain floors or carpets. The outside front or back yard has brown spots because of urine. If your home has these smells and stains and odors of your favorite pet, you will have to make some serious decisions. I am just telling you like it is. I have seen and heard of homebuyers entering a home and were driven out by the pets’ smells. You and your family must address that issue of what to do with your pets beforehand or watch home buyers not chose your home. If you price your home right, you can place your pet in a kennel, your present  home will sell quickly, and you can move your pet into your new home in a period of weeks

4:  If you have lived in your home for more than 6 years, you know what needs to be repaired or replaced. You could always hire a home inspector but beware of some of the DIY or do-it-yourself projects that many say increase your home’s value. If not done correctly, some of these projects can backfire and cost you additional money, which you will not be able to recoup. This article here talks about the added costs many have paid for good intentions gone bad. Please click  the link below

Yes, to get your home from the planning stage to the closing stage takes time and effort but if you do it correctly, you will be financially rewarded. As I wrote earlier, many homeowners are afraid of trying to sell their home during this coronavirus pandemic, but you can sell your home. Read this article below and prove it to yourself.


5: For more advice, please feel free to read the digital copy of my book  entitled “Insider Secrets To Get Top Dollar For Your Home” Please click the link here>>

Yes, when you decide to sell your home, you need a Real Estate Broker who is prepared to handle the many problems that come up during the course of a transaction. As a licensed professional who receives yearly training, my job does not stop once you are under contract. As many people well know, problems do occur between the contract and the closing, and these problems will always eventually be handled by the Real Estate agent. I would like to be that agent who represents you in the sale of your home. My commitment to you is this

1: I will always listen to your needs.

2:We will establish clear expectations.

3: I will design a plan to deliver on those expectations.

4: I will deliver on my commitment to you by getting the results you wish.

The Home Buyer! Answers to your questions.

Yes, mortgage rates and interest rates are down, way down. This is a good time to become a homeowner. There is still a low inventory of homes on the market, so you must do your homework.  Yes, buying a home for most people is a big financial and emotional decision. that involves asking questions, for example.

1: How many bedrooms, bathrooms do you need? What style of home will fit your needs?  Are there any disabled members in your family with special needs? What about public transportation or easy access to the expressways? We cannot forget about the schools, places of worship, and recreational activities.  Yes, all those questions above are what every home buyer must ask themselves, and here is that question. Those are your necessities. I need all those(fill in the blanks); otherwise, I do not want to see that house. Those are your necessities; you got to have them. 

Secondly, you must create a wish list, or a better word is features. If my new home can also have these features and the necessities, great, but if the price of the features is too high, I can live without them. So from the start, create that list and try to stay within a budget. Last year I linked an article that addresses what steps all home buyers should follow. Here is that link again for your benefit.  >>

As an additional benefit to you, future homebuyers click this line. You can watch 8 episodes of certain individuals as they went throughout the home buying process and always someone by their side—a licensed professional Real Estate Agent. Also included is access to other articles. In other words, you can never have enough information when it comes to buying a home. Please share this information with anyone you know will benefit from it.

Financial Assistance


2: I need financial assistance? Who can help me? There are many first-time homebuyer assistance programs out there. For the state of Illinois homebuyers, here are some homeowner assistance programs. Please click the link below.

Locally here is the available homeownership loans and programs for the city of Chicago and the county of Cook; please click the link here >>>

3: Will I be able to find the home of my dream in the area of my choices?Good question. Because of this pandemic, some homebuyers would prefer to leave Chicago and purchase a home out in the suburbs, but people out in the suburbs realize they have a good thing, and many are not looking to move. Like the city, there is a low inventory of single-family homes on the market throughout the 6-county region. In these challenging times when you find a single-family home, you must move quickly with your highest and best offer. This is not the time to low ball. If you do not see the home in the area you desire, be patient, your agent will always be the lookout. We received updated information constantly.

How is the Condo Market?

4: Ok, how is the Condo market? Good question, On the other hand, there are plenty of Condominiums and Co-ops for sale. I wrote a blog about the many forms of homeownership. If you wish to read it, please click here >> apartment dwellers purchase a Condo and make the mistake of thinking that they are still in their former apartment way of living. How wrong they are. If you reread the above blog-post on condo/townhome living, you now understand that an association board will govern your life with board members. You will have to pay assessment fees monthly, and those fees will increase over time.

  Unlike a single-family home where you are king/queen of the castle in a condo, you must accept decisions made by others who have the task of managing and maintaining the common property. Regulations or amendments can change. Do you understand the term common property? That means everything outside of your unit. The elevators, hallways, stairways, lawns, bike rooms, swimming pools, recreation halls, parking lot, hallways, etc.  All those common areas are maintained by you and everyone else living in that structure or structures. They are maintained by paying your monthly assessment fees. Those fees also cover the salaries of every employee that works for your complex. Unlike your mortgage payments due to repairs and special assessments, your assessment fees will increase. What breaks down in your building must be fixed right then and there. The board must maintain the building for the benefit of the present and future owners. You will pay your fees for the common areas, or the board can take legal action against you. 

So what are you, the condo owner responsible for? You are responsible for everything starting from the drywall inwards into your unit. Any damage to your unit is on you unless the condo owner above you or beside you did something to cause damage to your unit, and you must prove it. If you presently live in an apartment complex, you are accustomed to the noise of a multi-family unit. On the other hand, if you are downsizing from the quiet life of a single-family home to a multi-family condo complex, you must decide if you can live with the added sounds of a multifamily building with people of all sorts of backgrounds and cultural ways of doing things. You must learn to adapt and live within the boundaries of your four walls, as they say. If you say you can adjust to this sort of lifestyle, great. If you are a pet owner living in Condos, you must control your pet. You do not have a back yard, and you could be fined. But think it thru.  Condo/townhomes living is a special way of life. It is not for everyone. There are many rules and restrictions. This is not an apartment lease. Once you buy it, you own it!

 5: What is the advantage of owning a single-family home? 

That same blog-post also talks about the single-family home. If you can afford it, it is the best way to go. The restrictions are few, and the benefits are many; unless local ordinances restrict it, you can do the following. You can park your truck or as many cars on your driveway as possible. You can grow vegetables or fruits in your backyard. You can put up your choice of fencing. You can paint the exterior of your home in the colors you like. You can do so much more with this type of homeowner because you are the boss within those property lines. As the boss with this form of ownership, you must maintain, and you alone must fix what breaks down. With the Condominium form of ownership, routine maintenance and emergency repairs are spread out to be paid by every homeowner living within that complex.


So whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a home buyer wishing to upsize or downsize, you have thought it out. You know the type of home you want along with its location. Now is the time to put your thoughts into action. No matter what type of home you are looking to buy. I would like to represent you as your buyer’s agent. I promise to give 100% of my time to finding you the home of your dreams.  For those out there who still have questions about buying a home, please read the digital book entitled “The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Home”  click the link below, and if you like what you read, please contact me.

My Office!

The above photo is my office at Century 21 Universal. Its location is 7300 N.Western Ave. in the West Ridge area of Chicago Ilinois. Within this office is over 60 agents who dedicate their time to helping their clients with their real estate needs. We are essential workers, so we will be at our posts to serve you. Real Estate Brokers/Agents do a lot  to keep the the economy rolling. For those who might not know it. I posted a blog on what real estate agents do last year.  If you wish to read it, you can do so by clicking this link>>

Our office has a strong presence in West Ridge, Rogers Park, Lincoln Square, Albany Park, Uptown, and Chicago’s North Park areas. We are also on the South and West sides of the city and all the surrounding Suburbs. The year 2020 was not a good year for most of humanity, but we made it. This year still has all the tensions and unrest of last year, along with the coronavirus. All we can continue to do is to take it one day at a time. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. There will be better times ahead in the short term and the long term for humanity.


    We all need a place to live and lay our heads at night. The majority of us, sooner or later, will have to move to another location. When that day comes for you, whether you are a homeowner or a person/couple looking to buy a home, it will be a privilege and honor to help you with that task. Thank you for taking time out of your life to read this blog-post.I hope to hear from you soon. West Ridge, Rogers Park, Lincoln Square, hang in there, stay strong. May God bless you, and please continue to be safe in this new year. 

P.S. Yes, it is January 26th, 2021, wintertime in Chicago. We are in the middle of our first major snowstorm. As I bought out in the first paragraph and the cover photo, some of us in Chicago will dig out a place for our dar on the side street, and since we dug out that spot, we will claim it as our own until the snow melts. Whether right or wrong is a time honor tradition in Chicago, please keep in mind. If you find someone has removed your cones, chairs, or whatever you placed in that spot, you dug out and parked their car there, what are you going to do? The year 2020 had its fair share of violence and unrest; we still have a lot of tension as it is. Do not do something dramatic that can affect you and your family for the rest of your lives. Remember, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Make that the golden rule of 2021, and we can make it to the winter of 2022.                                      

                                                                Charles McShan