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 Welcome to MW Real Estate Solutions and Olivia Homes!

 

Welcome to Midwest Real Estate Solutions and Olivia Homes, where we are not your typical real estate company.  What makes us different is simple.  We are committed to helping you, and your family in a very timely manner.  We work with homeowners that may be up against strict timelines, and may need to sell their property quickly.

 

Best of all, there are no surprises, just sound advice and professional service, backed by our commitment to excellence.  On top of that you will receive personal attention at each step of the process.

 

The biggest mistake we see homeowners make is that they do not explore all of their options and simply run out of time due to pressure and stress.  Pick up the phone and call us immediately to set up an information only appointment.

 

Call Midwest Real Estate Solutions and Olivia Homes at 1-800-HOPE-DAY

 

Our Mission

To better lives and communities through real estate education and proven real estate solutions.

 


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Recent Posts

Why Neighbors Matter

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Why Neighbors Matter

While you may see your neighbors eccentricities in terms of how they keep up with their home and property as harmless, a potential buyer may see the neighbors home as something they don’t want to live near even if your home is quite appealing. Think about it, a buyer looks at your home, then across the street to a neighbor that clearly doesn’t care about the appearance of their property. That image will be what they take of your home as well. Neighbors matter when it comes to selling your home, so you will need to take a few steps to ensure that they do not interfere with your sale. Be Friendly It pays to be friendly to your neighbors, even if you do not intend on selling your home. They do not have to become your best friends, but you should be friendly to them right from the start and work with them when you can to maintain good relations. This is because when you are considering selling your home and the neighbor is having issues with theirs, they will be far more willing to listen to you when help is needed. So, get to know those immediately next to your home and start building good relationships with them. Pitch in on Improvements A good way to help keep your neighbor’s property looking good is pitching in when they need improvements. You do not have to spend a great deal of money, but every little accomplishment can really add up when trying to sell your home. For example, if you are having a professional lawn care crew come by your home, go to your neighbor and ask if they want the same service. They may be open to the suggestion or hesitant and remember, you cannot bully them into getting their home fixed up to make yours look better. However, it’s generally easier to convince a homeowner to have someone else mow the lawn or pull weeds on your dime so they don’t have to do the work themselves. Let Them Know About Selling Your Home Once you’ve decided to put your home on the market, let your neighbors know about it first. Most neighbors, even the ones who are not nosy, want to be in the know when it comes to sales in the neighborhood. By giving them early notice, it can be easier to ask for assistance later if you need it. However, don’t tell them and then ask for help right away. Just let them know that you are selling, emphasizing that you wanted to inform them first before putting up a sign, and leaving it at that. They may offer their help at that point or not, but it still makes it easier to ask for assistance later. The bottom line is that neighbors matter when it comes to selling your home, so it pays to act sooner than later if you need some assistance. The neighbors home can be an important selling point, so you want to make sure it is a positive one that gives you the best chance at a good...

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Why Curb Appeal is Important

Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Why Curb Appeal is Important

The old saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression is certainly true when it comes to selling your home. The impression that potential buyers get when they first see your property is one that will stay with them all through their visit. So, you can see why curb appeal is important. Here are a few tips that will help you improve the appearance of your home and property so you can get the best first impression possible. Clean Up Your Yard The first thing that a potential buyer will see is the front yard to your home. So, you will need to make some simple landscaping improvements so that your property is more presentable. Remove all the clutter Remove all weeds Remove all trees or plants that create an eyesore Trim the bushes Mow the grass and keep it green Add a few flowers or plants where appropriate Most of these improvements take little in the way of expenses. You can even hire a professional landscaping crew to clean up your property and make it look neat all in a few hours. Improve Walkways If your sidewalk and walkway to your home is cracked, outdated, or just plain ugly, there are certain things you can do to improve its appearance. You can use bricks, pavers, or stones to edge the walkway which will improve its appearance. You can also have the holes, cracks, and other issues addressed so that it looks neat. If the walkways are severely damaged, you will want to replace them. Fresh Coat of Paint There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint on the home to give it a like-new presentation. If you have siding, cleaning it up and repairing any damage will provide the same appearance. If your home has been painted recently, then address any chipped or cracked areas so that they are properly covered. A new coat of paint should have a neutral color which offers the widest possible appeal will help you better sell the home to potential buyers. Dress Up the Garage Not every property has a garage, so you’ll need to take advantage of yours if you want to help improve the curb appeal. Because of the large door, the garage is one of the first places that potential buyers will look after viewing the landscape. So, you’ll want to give the garage door a fresh coat of paint and clean it up so that it stands out. You should also replace any rusted or broken handles, especially if the handle is outdated. A good, functioning garage door carries a considerable amount of appeal and will help solidify the first impression that your home makes on the potential buyer. Understanding why curb appeal is important helps you to sell your home. It’s amazing how doing the little things that do not cost much money can make the right impression that helps you sell your property for the best...

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Choosing the Best Offer

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Choosing the Best Offer

For home sellers that are facing multiple offers, choosing the best offer may be difficult depending on the circumstances. The biggest issue for many in selecting the right offer is they fear that another, better offer is being overlooked. Once you have made your choice, there is no going back. So, you need to make the best choice possible when purchasing a home. Here are a few tips that will help you choose the best offer and provide some peace of mind so that you are not worrying about missing a better deal. Advantages & Disadvantages One way to start telling the differences between offers is creating a list of benefits and potential detriments to each one that you receive. The main differences will usually be between those that offer a higher buying price and those who can close the deal faster. Cash offers are always good, but those who have yet to be pre-approved for mortgage deals may not be that attractive. You should have the language in the contract looked over as well. However, the easier the transaction process, the more attractive the offer will be. Know What You Want The best deal for you starts by knowing what you want from the sale. Everything begins with what is most important to you. For many, it will means taking the highest offer while for others it means getting an offer that comes in quickly to avoid a short sale situation. If you are moving because of taking a new job for example, then time and not the amount of the offer may be more important. You’ll want to write down what you find most important from an offer and keep that near you for reference. Being Flexible The right buyer is one that will be flexible to reach a good deal. They will try to work with you so that they can reach a place that is more to your liking. Flexibility is important because even a really good offer can break down once the contract process gets going. The normal give and take needs to be there if the deal is going to go through. So, look for buyers that seek to work with you and are flexible on some of the terms. Looking for Concessions All too often, sellers look for the highest bid rather than look over demands of the buyer. A high bid doesn’t do you any good if the deal will be difficult to close. If the buyer is asking for a lot, you may be better off passing on them and looking for someone that will concede on certain issues in order to push through the deal. After all, it’s not so much what a buyer offers, it’s how much the home will sell for that is important. You’ll want to take enough time to consider the multiple offers on your home. However, once you have made your choice, you should move on it quickly. The secret to choosing the best offer is knowing what you want, seeing the potential benefits and complications, and being flexible enough to work with the buyer.    ...

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Identifying Good Real Estate Brokers

Posted by on Apr 30, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Identifying Good Real Estate Brokers

For investors, the most important step that you should take is finding the right people who can help you succeed. At the top of the list are real estate agents or brokers who can help you find the best deals. While there might not be the perfect real estate broker, there are those who provide the resources you need to succeed. That’s why identifying good real estate brokers may be the most important step you take in your investing career. Knowledge A good real estate agent understands the investing business which means that they will know essentially what you are looking for and where to find it. They may not know everything, but the point is that the real estate agent you want will have a good understanding of investing and the criteria it demands compared to standard real estate investing. This is perhaps the most important aspect of what you want from an agent, so do not settle for one who does not understand the investment side of real estate. Calls Back Quickly Of course, any good real estate agent will be able to answer your call or respond to your email quickly. This is because you may see a deal in the morning that might be gone in a few hours, so having a real estate agent who can move quickly to your needs will be most important. Of course, you’ll have to keep in mind that real estate agents have lives just like everyone else, so your expectations should be limited to the hours in which they work. Accepts Smaller Deals On average, the amount of commission a real estate agent gets when working with investors is smaller than standard residential sales. However, an agent experienced with investors will know that they can expect more deals, sometimes bigger deals, and often less work is required at least in terms of the financial aspect. So, if a real estate agent you contact balks at the idea of lower commissions, then you might want to search somewhere else because this is a part of real estate investing. Good Negotiator Part of identifying good real estate brokers is their ability to negotiate good deals. Your real estate investor should be a good fighter for your team so that you can get the best deals possible. Every dollar they can shave off the deal means more profit for you, so be sure that you have a proven negotiator that will fight for you on deal after deal. Good Patience This is an important aspect that you want from your real estate agent because they are by nature managers who want to control every aspect of the deal. When they are working for you, they will need to exude patience because there are some aspects they cannot control. A patient real estate agent will be most helpful when it comes to landing the right deal and letting you and your team get everything ready. By identifying good real estate brokers who can work with you and your team, you can take advantage of great deals in a timely fashion. When Selling Your Home Invests in Professional Photos People make a split decision on the internet whether they want to click to see more photos or schedule a showing.  If your photos are...

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Getting the Best Mortgage

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Getting the Best Mortgage

Spring is the time when many people go looking for houses. So naturally it’s also the time when lenders see an increase in those who want mortgages. Getting the best mortgage during a time of great demand can still be accomplished if you know what to do and how to make the best possible deal. What follows are a few tips that will help guide you to obtaining the right mortgage for your needs. Save Up a Large Down Payment The larger the down payment, the better off you will be in getting the right loan for your needs. For example, FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, but if you can put back 5%, you can qualify for additional lending programs that may considerably reduce your monthly payments to the lender. While saving up a large down payment may seem difficult, it can pay tremendous dividends over the long run when you qualify for the right loan. Credit Score It cannot be overstated how important your credit score is for getting a mortgage. You will want to know what your credit score is and how it can be improved so you can get the best deal possible. Start by obtaining your current credit report and look for information that is out of date or incorrect. You can have these removed which will raise your credit score. Look Over Your Budget There is a difference between what you can be pre-approved for in terms of your mortgage and what you can pay. Just because you qualify does not mean that you should search for the most expensive home that it covers. Instead, you should set a limit based on your budget that includes some breathing room so your monthly payments can be made comfortably. Keep in mind that your pre-approval will affect all parts of the transaction process. This means that when you find what you need, having a pre-approved mortgage that is considerably higher will help speed up the purchasing process. Search Out the Best Deal While spring is a tough time to find the best deals because of the competition, they are still out there if you look for them. Keep in mind that even if you find the perfect deal, you should not stop until you have looked at all the available possibilities. Remember, you do not have to overturn every stone in your search, but you should set reasonable parameters that can be met in a short amount of time so that at least you covered the territory. Too many homeowners have regretted not spending a little more time searching when they find out about the deal that got away. So, know what you have, what you can pay for, clean up your credit report, and mark boundaries when searching for a new home. If you do it right, you’ll wind up with a home that you’ll be happy to live in while paying less over time. In getting the best mortgage, you will need to be as prepared as possible before meeting with lenders. That way, you’ll be in the right position to take advantage of great deals when they happen....

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New Construction Home Trends

Posted by on Apr 16, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

New Construction Home Trends

Every year brings new construction home trends to the forefront. Some of the new construction design ideas are new, but many are variations of established trends that have happened years, if not decades ago. While home construction is more stable in terms of trends compared to interior design, there are still changes that take place which put some interesting ideas to the forefront. Barn Door The barn door is most often associated with 19th and 20th century doors that allow for livestock to pass into and out from the barn which most people living in urban and suburban areas do not own today. However, the barn door has become a growing trend in large part because when used for interior rooms they have a smaller profile that makes them more accessible. They are also used to hide TV sets or pantries which makes them a popular design trend. Charging Stations Electric cars have only recently become practical thanks to the longer drive times that they now provide. However, they do require a special outlet so that they can be charged from the home. Because of their increasing popularity, there are now more charging stations included in new construction design projects. The cost ranges from $300 up to $3000, but the trend is only growing as more people are using electric vehicles. New Energy-Efficient Windows Improved window designs have been around for a couple of decades, but only recently has the combination of increased interest in energy savings and the overall lowering of the cost for installation has made energy-efficient windows one of the new construction home trends. New coatings and film reduce the transference of heat and cold from the outside, glazing increases privacy while still letting in the light and other new advances are making energy-efficient windows a trend that is here to stay. The Smart Home There are popular cartoons from the 1940s that predicted the coming of smart homes and while today they may bear little semblance to what was envisioned nearly 70 years ago, they are becoming a trend that is taking hold. Thanks to new innovations in technology, advanced control systems, and more money being pushed into investing in smart homes, the trend has really taken off. The main thrust is the energy-efficient home that uses Wi-Fi enabled technology to better control temperature at a lower cost in electricity. Solar Panel Roofs Solar panels have been around for decades, but only recently have they become more than a niche trend thanks to improved designs and government subsidies. With local governments, power companies, and investors who have a real interest in protecting the environment being behind this push, there are more solar panels being installed on homes every year. The future may include solar shingles being pushed by Tesla and other innovations that are just starting out in the industry. The new construction design trends for this year are only expected to grow in the foreseeable future. While some may change eventually with new technologies becoming available, it is safe to say that for this year at least the new construction home trends are here to stay....

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Renovating a Home for Baby Boomers

Posted by on Apr 9, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Renovating a Home for Baby Boomers

Considering that there are 76 million baby boomers that represent a large portion of the American population, the needs they have for their homes have changed considerably over the past decade. This is because baby boomers are now over 50 with many having retired or close to retiring. With their children all grown up, they have no need for such a large home. So, renovating a home for baby boomers is fairly easy if you focus on what appeals to them. For those with smaller homes to sell, there are certain things that you can do to make it more appealing to baby boomers. The obvious features include a main-floor bedroom and easily-accessible shower, but there are other aspects that you can add to your home that will help catch the eye of baby boomers. Top-Flight Features Baby boomers tend to be a little more selective and are looking for a home to spend the rest of their lives. So, items that add to the long-term quality of home are a must. Here are some basic features that you should consider; Granite Countertops Wooden or Tile Floors Stainless Steel Appliances Added Insulation & Energy Efficient Windows All these features appeal to baby boomers who are looking for a place to settle down for the rest of their lives. Space One appeal that baby boomers love is having extra space, such as a spare bedroom, den, or area that they can claim for their hobbies. If you have space that you use for storage, perhaps a bedroom for the kids, or other type of room, you can clean it up so that it provides a place for the potential buyer to dream about what they can do with the space themselves. Transition For baby boomers who are making the transition from work to retirement, many of them have started working from home. Therefore, a home office is an excellent addition that you can add to your property without major changes. You’ll need a spare bedroom or den that can be set up as an office which means having enough electrical outputs and perhaps direct phone line connection. Less Stress In addition to making the home more energy efficient, you’ll want to make it more convenient for them by having features that require less work. Single-Story Home Easy to Maintain Yard Open Floor Plan Modern Appliances & More Anything you can do to make your property less stressful to maintain, that will help its appeal to baby boomers. The easy to maintain yard is arguably the best attraction, so you may want to add a patio or hardscape a portion of your lawn which will cut down on the yard maintenance. Renovating a home for baby boomers is not difficult, but you will need to keep in mind their needs and expectations. So, focus on making your home and yard easy to maintain, upgrade certain features so that they are long lasting, and provide extra space so they can use it for their...

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Designing Your Dream Home

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Designing Your Dream Home

Everyone has a dream home in mind, but getting it from your brain to paper may not be as easy as it might sound. Designing your dream home takes time, planning, and determination, but it can be done and soon you’ll be living where you want to be. Here are a few steps that you will need to take so you can turn your dream into a reality. Clear Idea of What You Want From small renovations to full-scale construction, you’ll need to know exactly what you want so that the builder can make it a reality. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to hand the builder your ideas on paper without saying a word and they will know exactly what you want. Plus, what you want will need to be realistic. A freestanding bathtub is an excellent addition to your home, but if you do not have the right plumbing it will not work. If you use an architect, they will want to know what you want from the home so they can help you design the right one for your needs. Get the Right Builder You’ll want the right people putting together your home. So, you will want to fully check out the builder to ensure that they are right for the job. They will need the following qualifications; Licensed & Insured Experienced in Constructing Custom Homes Stellar Reputation Excellent Communication Quality Portfolio Once you narrow the list to two or three, check out their current construction projects to see them at work. If you would like a bid on your new construction project and you live in the Chicagoland area, contact Juan at 708-846-8340. Keep Asking Questions If something is not clear, be prepared to ask questions so you can get what you want. It helps to know that the builder can do exactly what you want from the start, but other questions you should ask include the following; How Long Will It Take? Is an Architect Needed? What will Require Payment? These simple questions will go a long way towards designing your dream home. Stick to Your Budget Your budget is what keeps you heading towards a dream and not a nightmare. This means that you need to get the costs up front from a respected and reliable builder. The last thing you want to do is start expanding beyond what you have budgeted for the job. So, once you have set your budget and worked it out with the builder, do not add things. Otherwise, you might find yourself deep in debt and wondering why exactly you decided to purchase things you didn’t want in the first place. Designing your dream home should be fun. But it also will be challenging, so be sure to keep your eye on the details, communicate effectively with the builder and others who are essential to getting your dream home complete, and be decisive about what you want. By doing all those things, you can have the dream home that you have always...

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Landscaping New Construction

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Landscaping New Construction

One of the first reactions that many people have when they buy a home is to make it their own by redoing the landscape. However, that green grass is hiding many issues such as the wires, conduits, and pipes that crisscross the property. Therefore, landscaping new construction will need to be planned properly so that you don’t risk making a terrible mistake which might cost you plenty. Here are five tips that will help you landscape properly so that you get what you want without doing something you don’t want. Inspect the Land First You’ll need to get the lay of your landscape first before making any changes. This means if you plan on having a garden, choosing the sunny side of the property is a must along with proper drainage. You start by drawing out what you want and looking over the property at different times during the day to see where is the best location for your garden. What Do You Want? Once you know what you have, the next step is planning what you want. You’ll want to picture yourself five years from now looking over the landscape new construction and seeing what you want it to be. This means prioritizing what you want and adding changes every so often so that it meets your needs. Keep in mind that turning your entire backyard into party place may seem groovy now, but 10, 20, or 30 years from now you may want something else. Also, consider its sale value as part of your calculations. Ditch Unwanted Building Planting Builder plantings are one of those items that look great when you put them in, but not so great when you see someone else has done the same. Once you rid your property of the unwanted ones, you should only add new ones for trees that need root support or when set further away from the home. If you can avoid using them, do so. However, you may want to have one or two if they are well-suited to the task. Adding New Topsoil Naturally, you’ll want to improve the soil that you have by making more rich and fertile. The obvious solution is adding more compost, but you may not have the clippings, chips, weed rot, or leftover produce to create enough of what you need. You’ll probably have to purchase some bagged cow manure or if you live near the zoo, if they have some composted manure available. Cover & Mulch One of the best ways to get rid of weeds is to cover the area in mulch or groundcovers. Mulch is best because it keeps the soil underneath from drying out. However, after a couple of years mulch starts to work against the soil by pulling away the nutrients. So, you’ll want to switch to groundcovers which are less expensive and work against insidious weeds such as Japanese forest grass, mondo grass, and creeping phlox. A little planning and preparation means that your yard can look the way you want thanks to landscaping new construction in the right...

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Pros and Cons of Student Housing

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Pros and Cons of Student Housing

For those interested in cash flow properties that are located near universities, student housing offers the possibilities of making a considerable amount of money on a reliable basis. However, as a rental property goes, there are many pros and cons of student housing that you will need to be aware before pushing ahead. You will need to know if offering student housing is right for your needs and worth the effort. Pros New Tenants: A good property will have plenty of potential tenants, especially if it is within walking distance of the campus. If you can develop a good word of mouth about your property, you will only need to do some basic advertising such as planting a sign in the front yard and you’ll get plenty of interest. Simple Accommodations: Because students will bring a considerable number of furnishings from home, you do not need to go overboard in preparing the property. Just make sure it is clean, repaired, and have some basic furnishings and appliances. By reducing the maintenance costs, you can use the extra money to update the furnishing and appliances when needed. Raising Rents: Arguably the biggest advantage that student housing offers for you is the ability to raise the rent on a frequent basis. This is especially true for properties that are within easy walking distance of campus. Such properties mean that you can raise the rent for new tenants from 10% to 25% or more on an annual basis. Because many colleges have encouragements, if not outright requirements that the underclass must be housed on-campus, you can still get juniors who may stay on your property for two years. Parents Often Back the Lease: If for some reason the students back out of the lease, you should be able to track down their parents who often back it with little issue. Cons Noise: If you’ve ever been to college, you understand that noise is a big issue. While the noise itself does no damage to your property, it can really annoy the neighbors and that spells trouble for keeping your property licensed in the city. Of the many pros and cons of student housing, noise is the one that can prevent you from renting your property again. Property Damage: Let’s face it, your rental property will be filled with 19 and 20-year-old kids which means that damage is going to happen. You will most likely need a property manager who can deal with what has happened and take the replacement money out of their security deposit. Plus, instruct your tenants that if anything happens, call the property manager quickly so it can be taken care of ASAP. Hidden Damage: In addition to the obvious damage, there is also the hidden damage that students may not be aware of or fully understand that can cost you money. A running toilet for example can cost you hundreds of dollars in utility bills, yet get overlooked by teenage students who don’t fully understand what a running toilet means. Damp basements where mold might grow or the early signs of parts wearing out on the washing machine or air conditioner that get overlooked may cost you hundreds of dollars as well. So, you must decide if student housing is the right option for...

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