MSC MAG | February/March 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Exactly one year ago, I sent out the very first issue of MSC MAG. It was a lofty idea. I wanted to design, print and send my own magazine to 350 addresses. With the help of my office staff (will I ever learn how to make labels on Microsoft Word?) and my dearest friends (MSC MAG production night is no joke!), I successfully launched my little publication, and committed to sending it out through 2016.

It's 2017 now, and MSC MAG is back. On production night, I enlisted the skills of my boyfriend and cousin. We drank red wine and glue-dotted until our fingers hurt -- I cannot express how thankful I am for these two guys.

This issue features a very kind review from Will, a recap of 2016's top neighborhoods and an update on my year-to-date sales.

To subscribe, send me your email or home address.

SYWTBAC | WeWork Kinzie

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Last Thursday night, I went to WeWork Kinzie to teach So You Want to Buy a Condo once more. This was my first public event of 2017, and as always, I was beyond nervous. I've heard it said that public speaking is the number one fear amongst most people -- this is absolutely true for me. The best advice I've ever received is from my best friend: Take three deep breaths before beginning. One, two, three.

Three breaths later, I got through it, the night turned out to be a wonderful one. This was my first time speaking at the Kinzie location -- it has exposed beams, beer and cider on tap, and a bank of windows overlooking the River North neighborhood. Most importantly, the space allowed plenty of room for 50 potential homebuyers. Our guests filled up the main area, some sprawling out on comfy couches and others opting for chairs. It was our most-attended seminar yet.

Thank you -- from the bottom of my heart, truly! -- to those who came out, and thanks to WeWork for having us. Our next event is March 2nd at WeWork's National Building. Stay tuned.

Natalie + Jimmy

Monday, January 23, 2017

I knew Natalie at the University of Illinois, and we re-connected exactly one year ago. Natalie and her boyfriend, Jimmy, were ready to dive into homeownership. They make an adorable pair -- both Greek, both career-focused and smart, both exceptionally kind.

In the summer, N+J went under contract on a gorgeous condo in the West Loop. This place had everything: a front balcony, brand new kitchen and spectacular rooftop space (which looks especially spectacular on this dreary winter day). Sometime in between the signed contract and official closing, Natalie and Jimmy flew to Greece and got engaged. I remember asking Jimmy to tell me the story as we stood on the front steps of the building -- it was the sweetest thing.

They officially closed on a sweltering day in late August. There is so much on the horizon for Natalie and Jimmy -- I was very grateful for the chance to help them with this step in particular.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Akina and I met over iced teas at Dollop on a sweltering evening in July. Another friend had introduced us, and as it turned out, Akina needed to find a new home in a very short amount of time. We hit the ground running.

After a whirlwind of vintage showings, Akina fell for a spacious two-bedroom condo in Lakeview East. It truly was a gem-- a giant master suite, a bright living space and an awesome neighbor (another MSC client bought a place just a few floors above).

There was a severe thunderstorm during our inspection, but inside the home, it felt cozy and comfortable. I remember sitting across from Akina and complaining about the woes of dating. She laughed and told me stories from her own life. When we left, there was a double rainbow stretching across the parking lot.

She closed on her new home in September. I gave her a collection of beautifully-bound books to celebrate her accomplishment -- the condo was full of built-ins, and Akina had joked that she'd need books to fill the shelves. Now, she's got three of the classics.

Congratulations, Akina. Thank you for your kindness and trust.

MSC is Pleased to Report

Monday, January 9, 2017

I am a very sentimental person — exceptionally so at the end of one year and start of another. A lot can happen in 365 days, both in life and in real estate.

From January to December, I closed a little over $7,000,000 in sales volume and represented truly wonderful buyers and sellers. These relationships motivate me endlessly. To serve them in love is an indescribable experience.

I also found my niche in first-time buyer education. I’ve taught my seminar, So You Want to Buy a Condo, at a long list of companies (like Grubhub, Havas, mcgarrybowen). What’s more, I’ve brought the course to the public by hosting events at various WeWork locations in the city.

I spent 2016 as the communications chair for the Women’s Council of Realtors Chicago Chapter, a committee member for the Professional Development Advisory Group at the Chicago Association of Realtors, and a board member for the Small Business Advocacy Council Young Professionals Group. In 2017, I will advance to the board of directors for WCR Chicago.

Lastly, I'm thrilled to announce that I’ll be supporting 826CHI in 2017, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering creative writing in schools. I grew up writing, from school newspapers to special workshops, so this organization tugs at my heartstrings. I’ve committed to donating my time and a percentage of my annual commissions to 826CHI.

I love what I do and couldn’t do it without my clientele, family and friends. Thank you all so, so much.

A Gold Coast Christmas

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Growing up in Hinsdale, there was no season more spectacular than Christmastime. The town simply glowed during the month of December: white lights on Washington Street, wreathes on every door, a decorated tree in front of the library. The last day of school before Christmas break was always a joyous one. We'd watch holiday cartoons (think The Grinch and Charlie Brown) before the final bell rung, signaling a two-week vacation that seemed like an eternity. I'd spend the days leading up to the 25th helping my mom wrap presents, decorating sugar cookies and exchanging gifts with friends.

This year was a Gold Coast Christmas. I still went home to Hinsdale for the long weekend, but much of the season took place in the city. The time flew by, and now that Christmas has come, I want to remember as much as possible:

Decorating my condo with all things festive, like my beloved tree (I put this up on November 2nd!) and Madeline's Christmas and the sweetest Nutcracker glassware.

The lights on the mansions and buildings.

Writing and addressing 300+ MSC holiday postcards.

Coffee talk and gift-giving at the 3rd Coast, a café across the street from me.

Giving my December clients the most adorable Santa plates.

A festive dinner at the Four Seasons (the scene of many Stone family Christmas celebrations).

Lots of holiday parties and glasses of wine.

Attending "Lessons and Carols," a very special Christmas service at Park.

Gifts, dinner and an incredible Sofar Sounds show.

Watching White Christmas too many times.

Reuniting with my childhood best friend (&co.) at Restoration Hardware.

Getting together with old friends. Laughing because nothing's changed.

Visiting my Gold Coast bestie's childhood home in the suburbs. More laughter and more wine. 

A candlelit Christmas Eve dinner at home and lots of cousin catch-up.

Dancing to Amy Grant Christmas songs with my brother and grandma.

Praying with my brothers and parents before we opened gifts the next morning.

Presents. Lox. Three cups of coffee. A lazy, lazy Christmas day in pajamas.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

I've never been a party person. Growing up, I used to have meltdowns before high school dances and big events. I love people (really, I do!) and enjoy meaningful conversation, but there is something about the lead-up to social gatherings that throws me.

I spent much of last week worrying about installation. This is WCR Chicago's party of the year, and as an incoming board member, I would be a part of it. Since getting involved with the Women's Council, I've loved working with these leading ladies. They truly exemplify the term "girl boss" -- they put together fabulous, sold-out programs, unite the real estate industry, and somehow, still have time to run their own businesses. I admire them greatly, and as excited as I was to officially get sworn into the board of directors, I was ridiculously nervous about how the night would go.

On the evening of December 15th, I glued on fake eyelashes (oh, the agony), wore my prettiest Miu Miu shoes and ubered over to LondonHouse. After a few hours of set-up and preparation, the guests started rolling in -- lenders, attorneys, aldermen, directors, sponsors, realtors. Among them were some of my most cherished people. My lender sponsored and attended the gala. My managing broker brought a crew of my Coldwell Banker colleagues. My boyfriend was by my side (in a suit and tie!). It meant the world to me to have them all there -- my heart swelled in my chest the entire time.

This is a constant pattern in my life: stress out over event, attend event, end up having a ball at said event. I've got to learn my lesson and trust that God will carry me through (as He always has).

As for WCR Chicago, this group has stretched me and challenged me in the best ways. I'm grateful for these experiences, for the Chicago real estate community, and for the people in my life that came together to support me on installation night.

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