Marina City Construction

Marina City is most likely my favorite piece of architecture in Chicago.  Bertrand Goldberg who came about during Mies's reign on the Chicago architecture scene, broke free from the confines of Mies's minimalist design, and explored shapes within nature, much like his contemporary Buckminster Fuller, another one of my favorite 20th century architects and thinkers.  River City, his other large Chicago project, was never completed, therefore does not fully function as envisioned, and Northwestern knocked down one of his other significant projects, the Prentice Women's Health Building, against protests, and which the new addition to Rush sort of mimics.. 

4 Predictions for 2015

1. Millennials will ‚Äúdrive two-thirds of household formations over the next five years." The cohort aged 22-25 are expected to start family formations which will lead to a change in housing types they are seeking.

2. Millennials will continue to demand housing in dense urban (expensive) areas.  This is sort of contradictory to prediction one, because this will translate into apartment/condo living which will be affected by prediction 3 and prediction 4 mortage rates and their effect on home affordability. 

3. Mortgage rates will rise.  They said this last year, the economy worldwide will have to get on much better footing for this to happen, and if millennials are pursuing renting over buying banks will be looking to entice more people into borrowing.

4. Home Price increases expected to fall off, and home affordability will decline.  This is dependent on mortgage rates rising, and how quickly the Fed wants to put the brakes on growth.

Read the full story at http://fortune.com/2014/12/09/housing-market-2015-predictions/

Staging Your Home for Sale

Realtor.com posted "Secrets of Professional Home Stagers," looking at ways to get your home ready for sale.

The skinny (what Shannon thinks is essential):

  • Curb Appeal:  Look at your home like a buyer, if it doesn't grab you from the street, ask what is detracting from overall appeal.  Clean, well cared for is what you are looking for, so do some green work ASAP, paint where needed, make it look fresh.
  • Declutter:  Get rid of 3/4 of your personal items including most of your furniture.  Most people have way too much, especially for a home on the market.  Want your home to look bigger get rid of the things taking up space that are not essential.  Do not suff items in closets, if you must keep rent storage.
  • Broken? Fix it.  This is a no brainer.  Think about getting an inspection done 1st thing.  You can give it to buyers to help alleviate fears, and you can get the punch list done before it becomes a negotiating point during attorney review.  Would you buy a car with a flat tire, and a squeal coming from under the hood?
  • Clean, Clean, and Clean:  Seriously folks, this is about the cheapest thing you can do to add value at closing.  $50 in detergents and a saturday marathon can get most places in tip top shape.  You'll feel good when it is done too.  Think about high contact area, like switch plates, counters, light fixtures.  Clean the vents, especially if they look like a Gremlin is starting to grow out of them.

The Fat:

Read the full article here: http://www.realtor.com/advice/secrets-of-professional-home-stagers/