Property Management Blog

Winterization Tips From CL3 Property Management

The CL3 Team - Tuesday, December 8, 2015

With winter fast approaching it’s time to start preparing.  A little bit of your time can help prevent frozen pipes, lower energy costs and keep your apartment or home warm throughout the winter’

When extreme temperatures hit:

  • When you are away from home remember to keep your thermostat set between 55-60 degrees to avoid pipes from freezing.
  • When temps drop below zero leave the faucet (both cold and hot) running at a slow drip to keep water running through the pipes. 

Below are a few interior tips you can do very quickly:

  • Check doors for drafts.  A cheap way to prevent door drafts is by using a draft guard, or other product, that slips under your door threshold. 
  • Your next step should be to check the inside windows edges for a draft.  Although it may not be aesthetically pleasing a window insulation kit will help prevent window drafts. 
  • Another great way to reduce your energy bill is by using a programmable thermostat to reduce the heat while you are away.  Just remember, you should not shut off the heat completely since this can lead to frozen pipes and other problems. 
  • Contact an HVAC technician to service your furnace before the winter season starts to make sure the unit is running effectively and efficiently.  Change your furnace filter on a regular basis.

Below are a few exterior tips you can do very quickly:

  • Make sure any exterior water lines are shut off and drained as soon as the weather starts to dip below freezing.  Forgetting to do this can cause the water insides the pipes to freeze and potentially crack the pipe. 
  • Do a quick check of the exterior windows and caulk around any gaps between the siding and frame.  
  • It is also important to check your gutters and clear them of any debris.  Making sure your gutters are clear will help any melt water run off before freezing and creating ice dams.
  • Another way to help prevent ice dams is to make sure that your attic is properly insulated.  Not only will you lose heat if the attic is not insulated, but that heat can melt the snow on your roof which can then run off and freeze leading to the formation of ice dams. 

These are only a few steps you can take to help prepare for another winter.  Being proactive now will help save you time, money, and future headaches. 

4 Secrets To An Easy Condo Rehab

The CL3 Team - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Here Are The  Upgrades That Will Guarantee the Highest Returns

Part 1 of our blog series where we explore maintaining and updating your investment property

If you've been pondering the idea of remodeling your rental units but haven't been able to pull the trigger, we are here to tell you that it doesn't have to cost as much as you thought. Plus it will pay for itself in just a short amount of time. CL3 Property Management just finished a 3-unit rehab project in the West Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, and we're ready to share some of our secrets to giving your properties a new makeover that will enable you to demand a higher rental rate while not going over on your budget.

Stainless Steel: Worth Its Weight In Gold

Most people know that stainless steel looks great on kitchen appliances. It adds depth, doesn't suck up light like darker appliances (looking at you, black fridge), and doesn't have the dated look of all-white. Now, we don't have a problem with white appliances, but they can get dirty easily and, if you don't buy a quality brand, they can yellow over time. And with stainless steel, you don't necessarily have to buy a fully stainless steel appliance. 

Many respected manufacturers make appliances that have a stainless steel front-wrap while using less costly materials on the rest. When it comes to stoves, dishwashers, and microwaves, they are most likely set within the cabinet area, so you won't be seeing anything but the face anyway. Look for a company that has a great reputation for appliances and they most likely will have a line of products that utilize the stainless steel wrap. GE, Frigidaire, and Kenmore all make great-looking appliances that are easy on your wallet but look stunning when installed. Plus, with names that have been around for as long as they have, you can trust that the appliances are built to last. 

Hardwood Brings in Hard Cash

Not only is hardwood flooring popular in Chicago, it's extremely popular in other parts of the country as well. But because Chicago is such an old city,it has hardwood floors in many residential units. And you have carpet throughout your home, you might be surprised to find that there is beautiful wood just underneath it. But, please, make sure you have reason to suspect there is wood flooring underneath before you start pulling up corners of your carpet. Carpet was generally extremely cheap to purchase and install in the 70's and 80's and added a nice clean feel to your feet when you came home, so many people decided to have it put in. In the Midwest, this also added some warmth for when you got up on those freezing cold winter mornings and didn't want to hassle with finding and putting on slippers. But today, with more efficient insulation along with double-paned windows, wood floors don't get cold or let in drafty cold any longer. The great look of wood can absolutely make a room. It comes in many different grains so you can match your style with whatever depth of color you prefer. One of the most popular woods that CL3 uses is a red oak that’s 3 ¼”  in size and comes directly from a local flooring warehouse. Try not to get your wood from a liquidator if you can help, as often times you are getting substandard floors and you don’t want to skimp on something that will help you boost your rent for the foreseeable future.

Fans Are Cool 

Do you have a globe light in the middle of your living room that brings good light, but looks out of place and a bit dated? The good thing is that, because it's running electricity to it, you can replace it with a stylish fan that also offers ight. This takes care of a few things: it visually heightens the room by bringing your eyes to a nice fixture on the ceiling, it has a light, and, most importantly, it will help cool and even warm a room, saving you on energy costs.

We're sure you understand how a fan will cool you when it's hot, and thus you do not need to run your air conditioner as much. But did you know that many manufacturers have a built-in setting from which you can reverse the fan's rotation? Switching your fan to run clockwise helps push the warm air from the ceiling downward, helping it circulate more evenly throughout your room. This means your heating system won't have to work as hard or run as long to warm your home. Even better news is that fan blades come in many different styles! If your preference is a dark wood versus a lighter wood, you can find them. Maybe you prefer a larger palm-style fan that matches your décor? They make those also. CL3 has specific vendors that we use; however, definitely take a look at your local Menards or Home Depot to get a good idea of what you want, and then go from there.  

Get the Spa Treatment

When we do find time to go on vacation, one of the things we look for in a hotel is that they have a nice, spa-style bathroom where you can get away from getting away from it all. Besides all the great accessories that you can add to bathroom countertop; L'occitane soaps, scented candles, framed photos of old rail cars, etc., one of the things you can do to make the bathroom have a fresh look to it is adding subway tiles and backsplash. The latter has many options out there, so we suggest that you head to your nearest hardware store or design center and browse the countless choices. Glass tiles are extremely popular right now due to its price point and the various colors and looks that it comes in.  We suggest you also ask the contractor for any suggestions, most of the time they'll have some great ideas of what looks and works best. With their simple classic look ceramic subway tiles are an excellent addition to your bathroom. While they do cost a little more than most tiles, the return you will get on your rehab will make it well worth the cost. Installation can be tough, but as long as you have the right contractor to do the job, it shouldn't be much of an issue.

These are just a few tips to updating your unit in order to increase your profit from rent.  Contact us for further information on full remodeling, from start to finish, and we can also suggest the best in contractors for any work that needs to be done.

3 Easies, Questions With An Expert

The CL3 Team - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Meet Andrew, CL3's Newest Property Manager

You moved from Boston- is there a myth you heard about Chicago before you moved here? 

The closest thing I can think of is when people would tell me that living on Lake Michigan is like living next to the ocean.  I always thought it was hyperbole but thankfully it was not.  I had been to Chicago once before but it was in the winter and I wasn’t able to see the Lake Michigan shoreline in full swing like I have this summer.  I must say, it is just like the ocean: no land on the horizon, the sands hot and the waters cold.

Have you noticed any differences in property management here as compared to Beantown? 

I’ve found that Boston and Chicago are very similar in terms of property management.  A lot of tenant/landlord obligations and protections overlap or are very similar.  The major difference I’ve seen is with the buildings and the overall age of the product on the Chicago market.  Boston is a historic city, and with that come a lot of historic (old) buildings.  With that said, Boston has ramped up new construction the last several years, and more is coming, but compared to Chicago it still has a ways to go.   

Have you found any favorite places to eat yet? 

That’s a tough one.  My girlfriend, Meaghan, and I love to go out to eat so we’ve been slowly eating our way through the city.  One restaurant that has stood out though is Chicago Q.  The BBQ and Whiskey flights are great and the restaurant just has a friendly atmosphere to it.  However, if I had to say a favorite place to eat I’d have to tip my cap to Dirk’s Fish and their awesome spicy crawfish sandwich.

Welcome To Our New Website

The CL3 Team - Thursday, August 27, 2015

We are excited to introduce you to the new website and our blog. Over the last several months CL3 Property Management has been working to redesign our website with improved navigation, more information, and more ways for our tenants and property owners to interact with us. Our blog will serve as a great resource for Chicago property management and real estate investment advice and information.  We will share relevant information on the latest market trends, Chicago real estate industry and neighborhood news and events, property upkeep advice and tips, proactive maintenance and property improvement ideas, important notices, and anything we feel will be of benefit to our clients and their investment properties. 


Our new site has also been optimized for use on mobile devices, so it’s easier to keep up with us when you’re on the go. Tenants can easily pay rent and make repair requests online and property owners can access their account statements. We’ve added some social buttons on our homepage, so don’t forget to connect with us on social media pages at LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.

We hope you enjoy the fresh new look to our website along with improved navigation that will allow you to access the information you need more quickly and easily. Bookmark this page and come back regularly to see what we’ve posted about the Chicago property management and real estate market.  We’re sure you’ll find something of interest.


CL3 Property Management

Chicago | Luxury | Living | Leasing

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