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First, my best wishes for you and your family this holiday season! Second, I want to tell you this is a great time to think about whether you want to take the step to buy or sell your home soon, because 2018 is a really good time to do it.

At Baird & Warner, we’re all about making that choice easier for you, and I want to share some insights from our top leaders about where interest rates, home prices, and inventory are headed next year.

Prices and Interest Rates

Laura Ellis, president of residential sales and executive vice president of Baird & Warner, says interest rates are still at a good place but are starting to trend up. There’s also movement with prices. Ellis predicts modest appreciation of up to three percent on average for the Chicago area.


Inventory was tight in 2017, so a more balanced market in 2018 would be a good thing for everyone — offering more choices for buyers and more sales for sellers. But inventory will only loosen up if people take the step to put their home on the market. Have confidence in your home sale — I know I do!

Financing Opportunities

The good news for buyers — whether it’s your first home or you’re a seasoned pro — is that there are plenty of affordable financing options to meet your needs. Steve DiMarco, president of Key Mortgage Services, Inc., Baird & Warner’s mortgage arm, says the FHA program in 2018 will become more competitive for borrowers in a number of ways, creating more options and increasing credit access for buyers. For those who want to play it safe, buying and refinancing sooner rather than later could be prudent in light of discussions on tax code changes.

One-Stop Shop

In case you forgot, Baird & Warner is a one-stop shop for all your buying and selling needs. As Baird & Warner President and CEO Steve Baird notes, the trend of making real estate transactions easier will continue in 2018 — and that’s where I come in. Baird & Warner offers a full-service model of residential sales, so I can put you in touch with mortgage and title experts and make your buying or selling experience seamless.

Bottom line is, the end of the year is actually a really great time for buyers and sellers, so reach out today so I can help you end 2017 on a high note and make it easier to reach your 2018 goals.


I love Chicago with all my heart, but there’s no denying our winters can be harsh. But the cold weather gives us an excellent reason to cozy up to a fireplace. Here are five great restaurants where you can bask in the warmth and glow of a fireplace while dining.

Bahama Breeze (Schaumburg)

The open-pit fireplace at this Caribbean-themed restaurant is the perfect setting to escape the chill and daydream about sunnier seasons.  

Caffe de Luca (Forest Park)

A walk up a staircase with wrought-iron rails at this Italian spot leads past a porch to the second floor, which has a large skylight, suspended Venetian lanterns, and an indoor-outdoor fireplace.

Chief O’Neills (Chicago)

A portrait of this Irish haunt’s namesake is perched above the hearth at this popular family-friendly Northside establishment. Take time for this authentic pub experience.

The Drawing Room/Chicago Athletic Association (Chicago)

Grab a seat near one of the three grand fireplaces in the recently renovated Chicago Athletic Association’s expansive lobby, which is actually on the second floor of this historic building. It’s the perfect place to warm up after ice skating across the street at Millennium Park.

Elske (Chicago)

Everyone knows Scandinavians do winter well. For example, check out the fireside seating area here before or after you dine and take advantage of the assortment of blankets and pelts at this Near West Side place.

Jeff Coros  
Jeff Coros
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