Avondale Park ImagePhoto credit: MtHunder58 via Wikimedia Commons

Looking to live in one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city of Chicago - and maybe in the entire country? Then Avondale is the spot for you.

Avondale has been named one of the nation's hottest "up-and-coming" neighborhoods by travel media company Lonely Planet, whose writers vibed with the area's "scruffy, artsy, lived-in magic."

Those are their words, but we think they ring true. Avondale has long been a spot that's welcomed artists, families, and foodies of all stripes. Though the neighborhood has changed from the days when it was the center of Polish life for the city, Avondale has always been, and always will be, unique, unpretentious, and totally Chicago.

Boasting a unique combination of industrial architecture, classical cathedrals, and generously-sized homes, Avondale is home to some of Chicago's coolest haunts, including Honey Butter Fried Chicken, the pierogi-dispensing Red Apple, and, of course, Kuma's Corner, a world famous spot for burgers, beer, and heavy metal (yep, you read that right).

Officially, Avondale is bounded by Addison Street to the north and Diversey Avenue to the south, with the Chicago River on the east and Pulaski Road to the west. It is one of 77 officially-designated community areas in Chicago.

For more information on this eclectic, welcoming - and quickly growing - spot, we encourage you to check out some of these handy resources:

Ready to buy a house or condo in this charming neighborhood? Here are the current market statistics for Avondale:

According to NerdWallet’s “Down Payment Reality Report,” a staggering 44% of potential homebuyers see “a lack of down payment savings” as their biggest stumbling block when it comes to purchasing a home.

This is huge – and it reflects just how much the down payment means to the home buying process. In a lot of ways, your down payment is closely connected to your purchasing power in the short term, and the total amount you will pay over the long. It’s also tied to your mortgage loan in a few crucial ways.

For all these reasons, it’s important that you get your down payment right. So why are there so many myths and misconceptions out there, pointing would-be buyers in the wrong direction?

Ready to approach this important home buying step with greater peace of mind? Let’s break down five common, scary, and totally misleading myths about down payments:

1.) “You Have to Have a 20% Down Payment”

For years and years, a 20% down payment was considered to be the gold standard when purchasing a home.

What Are the Current Real Estate Market Conditions in Portage Park? (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Looking for a home with easy access to parks, a quick commute to plenty of local businesses, and winning views of some iconic Chicago sites? Then it's time to start looking at Portage Park, which boasts all of these features and more. 

Located on the northwest side of the city, Portage Park is bounded by Jefferson Park and Forest Glen to the north, Irving Park to the east, and Belmont-Cragin to the South. In addition to its beautiful homes, Portage Park also offers a ton to see and do, including its namesake park, a 36-acre area that once played host to the Pan-American Games, as well as Chopin Park, named for the famous Polish pianist

If shopping is more your style, the area also contains the iconic Six Corners shopping district, located at the intersection of Irving Park Road, Cicero Avenue, and Milwaukee Avenue. Portage Park also plays home to some amazing glimpses into the past and future of Chicago, including two iconic old movie palaces in the Portage Theater and The Patio. 

For more neighborhood information, we'll leave that to the neighborhood association and local guides:

Ready to give this charming and historic slice of Chicagoland a look for yourself? Here are the current market statistics for Portage Park:

Photo credit: Alanthebox via Wikimedia Commons

Why Lakeview?

Lively and accessible, Lakeview is the perfect blend of everything Chicago has to offer. Not only is the neighborhood home to the legendary Chicago Cubs baseball team and their iconic ballpark, Wrigley Field, but it's also the spot for a wide array of nightlife and entertainment.

For those looking for something scenic, Lakeview lives up to its name, offering residents gorgeous views of Lake Michigan with easy access to the Lakefront Trail. It's also host to Chicago's annual LGBTQ Pride Parade, and Lakeview's chunk of Halsted Street is home to numerous LGBTQ resources and support centers.

Lakeview is the second largest ward in the city, with a population of more than 98,000 folks - a group that once included Charlie Chaplin, among other famous film and music stars. Here are a few handy resources for learning more about Lakeview:

If you're looking for a new home, you should also be looking into Lakeview for not just its abundant charms, but its vibrant housing market! Whether you're looking to buy or sell a condo or a single family home, Lakeview's market is worth a look this year. Here's what to know right now:

Lakeview's Current Condo Market 

1. The Average Sales Price of a Lakeview Condo is Balancing Out After Historic Highs

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