Talia Ramos | Chicago Real Estate

Professional Real Estate Investor in IL, PA, FL, NJ, and WI.

3 Lessons in Real Estate from Chip & Joanna Gaines

3 Lessons in Real Estate from Chip & Joanna Gaines

Talia Ramos Lessons From CJ

For those that watch HGTV and are up to date on the latest home improvement trends, you’ve probably heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines. This thriving couple based in Waco, Texas took television by storm with their quirky personalities, transparently strong relationship, and most importantly their incredible ability to flip a house. Turning an empty eyesore into a stunning piece of real estate are their specialty. These real estate experts have taught us everything we need to know demolition day to modern, sleek designs. Here are a few takeaways everyone can use as guidelines for renovations in real estate.

Color and Lighting are Everything

A known trend of Joanna Gaines is painting everything white. Shiplap? Paint it white. Brick? White wash it. Walls? Those are white, but sometimes you can add color. White (or off-white) is a popular interior color because of the light it reflects. The more light in a room, the bigger it appears. Brightness has an opening effect on rooms and can make an area look more appealing. Among all things Joanna paints white, she does know how to add pops of color. From bold stripes to flawless, industrial materials, we can all learn how to combine white with stunning accents.

Always Get Insurance

When buying a home you intend to renovate, insurance is a must! You can’t rely on an inspector to see things beneath the flooring, behind the walls, and more. Having insurance for things in your home will not only save you thousands of dollars should anything go wrong with the home, but it will give you peace of mind.

A Fixer-Upper Takes Time & Preparation

When looking for a renovation home, the top three things people look at are location, layout, and price. While you can’t change the location of a property, you can change the layout and negotiate the price. In that process, it takes time and preparation.

There are a lot of hidden aspects to renovation that you have to be prepared for. As we have learned from Chip Gaines on demolition day, you just don’t know what’s behind the walls, where support beams may be hiding, or where water damage (if any) is hiding until you find it. Going into any renovation you have to be prepared for the unforeseen situations.

With time and preparation, fixer-uppers require flexibility. You may not be able to knock a wall down you intended to, but you can always work with what you’ve got for the better! In the end, you’ll love the project if you remain open and flexible.

Are You Ready to Take On a Renovation?

Are You Ready to Take On a Renovation?

Talia Ramos Renovation Projects


Every homebuyer has their wishlist. Every feature they could have ever dreamed of or hoped for packaged into one building with walls and windows– and they call it “home”. A house is more than just that, walls and windows. It’s a sanctuary of comfort, where you cook your food, where you sleep, and generally where you spend most of your time. When most homebuyers look on the real estate market, they’re looking for a home that has everything on their checklist. Unfortunately for many, a move-in-ready home with all the features and amenities simply isn’t affordable. Instead, homebuyers are finding homes in their price range that may require a little work– a full on renovation.

Taking on a renovation project is easier said than done. Most homebuyers assume that if they hire a team, everything will be a smooth process. If you’re considering a renovation project, ask yourself these questions to see if you’re ready for it!

What Skills Do You Have in the Realm of Home Renovation?

The first thing you need to determine is what you are capable of completing yourself, and what projects you need to hire an outside team to do. If you have an eye for design, you may not need an interior designer to help you choose colors, textures, furniture, and more. Keep in mind that while there is a tutorial for everything you can imagine on Youtube, you might not be able to put up drywall correctly on your own if you’ve never done it before. Completing projects on your own will save you money, but it could take longer if you don’t know exactly how to do it right. When it doubt, always higher an expert to avoid catastrophes down the road.

Can You Handle a Long-Term Project?

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, so your renovation won’t be finished overnight. For anyone who’s ever watched Fixer Upper, you know that there is a process. Your new layout and designs must be in compliance with the general structure of the home. You should also check your township to see if you need permits in order to go forward with any structural changes to the house.

After getting the permits and consent for your new renovation plans, you then have “Demo Day”, known as the day where the demolition begins. Tearing down walls, taking out old appliances and cabinets, and getting rid of old flooring are all typical Demo Day tasks. While this all sounds fun and exciting, demolition day tends to bring up issues. When tearing things down from a reno-project, contractors often find mold, electrical problems, support beams, and more that could change plans. In any fixer-upper project, you could run into issues that extend the timeline to your finished home.

Are You Financial Prepared for This Project?

No matter what home you buy, there are often hidden costs buyers don’t think about. Taking on a renovation project is something you need to budget for. The process of renovating a home will take time, effort, and money as well. Those who aren’t financially prepared could run out of money if they don’t budget for unaccounted scenarios. You’ll want to set a spending limit, reach out to contractors for quotes, determine which areas are priorities, and then set an allotted amount of savings for the unknown.

Once you’ve walked yourself through this guide, you can then decide whether your not you’re ready for a renovation project.

The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

Talia Ramos Hidden Costs for Homeowners

There’s no question about it– buying a home is no cheap process. Saving up for a downpayment is one major factor that most prospected homebuyers dread. It’s easy for homebuyers to feel in over their heads with savings, bank accounts, applications, and more.

In a 2016, consumer reports shared data showcasing percentages of generations among homebuyers. Generation Y (better known as Millennials) made up 35%– the largest percentage out of all generations. To the millennial generation, owning a home means freedom to paint the walls to your liking, knocking down walls for open-floor concepts, and not having a landlord to deal with.

Despite the fact that buying a home comes with numerous benefits, homebuying also comes with hidden costs. If you plan on buying a home in the near future, don’t worry– you don’t have to drown in a penny pinching home. Use this guide to familiarize yourself with the hidden costs so you know what to expect when it’s time to seal the deal.

Property Tax

While many assume that a 20% downpayment, and a simple mortgage payment and utilities are all they have to budget for when buying a home, property tax often comes as a surprise. Property tax is based on the value of the property including land. The rates of property tax are based on local government and can be different between townships, and even neighborhoods.

Homeowners Insurance

To insure your home from the unexpected such as accidents, fires, or any other events that would damage your home, you need homeowners insurance. Beyond covering the cost, homeowners insurance also covers the liability, meaning you’re not legally responsible for damaged caused to others by you, your family, or your pets. However, in addition to homeowners insurance, you should also acquire flood insurance and/or earthquake insurance depending on the area in which you live.


Just like renting, when you own a home you need to pay for utilities. This means you’ll have water, electric, trash removal, cable, and more bills to budget for. Beyond that, standard homes require about 1-2% of the home’s value in repairs each year. From painting to yard care, these small factors add up to a large, required budget.

The decision to rent or buy breaks down to a few things: your mobility, your flexibility, and your budget. While there are hidden costs to both living situations, it’s ultimately up to you to weigh out your pros and cons. The true costs of owning a home are eye-opening, but are they worth it to you? More importantly, are they affordable? Those answers can help you come to a final decision for your next move.

About Talia Ramos

Talia Ramos entered the industry of real estate in 2008. While Ramos was paying her way through college, she met top REO broker Jason Shapiro, who opened the doors for her career. From Shapiro, Ramos learned the market and quickly advanced her career within the real estate industry. She gained management experience, learned buying and selling techniques, and how to best represent buyers & sellers while passing her real estate brokers exam in 2013. Talia went on to advise people on fiscal solutions. In 2014, Ramos became a strong investor, taking part in neighborhood stabilization, rehabbing and renting assets in high level distressed areas.

Like most Real Estate investment professionals, one of the biggest challenges in Talia’s career occurred during the stock market crash. While many people saw the crash as a financial nightmare, Ramos took a more positive approach – she took this time as an opportunity to grow a business rather than to give up. Many distressed, non-performing properties/loans were up for grabs giving Talia the perfect opportunity to become successful. From this experience, she has learned to find opportunity through adversity and now has her own investment LLC.

Talia also works hard to give back to her community, helping inner city children. She knows the importance of after-school and social programs for youth because this played a large role in her childhood and teenage years.

Growing up in the inner city of northern Chicago, Ramos attended public schools where she was a member of the Boys and Girls Club as well as a number of other local non-profit organizations. These programs were a big part of what helped Talia thrive, so she knows how much these programs matter especially to inner city youth who endure more lifestyle hardships . She had her first job working at a non-profit organization as a summer youth camp counselor . She was also a homework tutor and a youth mentor. After college, she worked part time with the same non-profit organization to help them obtain a grant and funding options.

Ramos’ community service involves hosting annual holiday food drives, winter coat drives as well as donating food to the Chicago Depository. The clothing she collects goes to a local charity called Care for Real, a company that helps homeless and low income families find job placements. The organization provides food, clothing and counseling services to those in need through on site distribution and deliveries to the homebound. Other local organizations that Ramos has been strongly engaged in include the following:

  • Care For Real
  • Chicago Food Depository
  • Surge for Water Fundraiser in Uganda
  • Morgan’s Mission
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • JDRF
  • The Miracle Center
  • Human Appeal
  • Taleef Collective

Talia has many aspirations within her real estate career. One of her biggest career plans is to improve the rental market not just locally but nationally. Ramos has noticed a trend indicating that millennials are not investing or buying homes at the rate of previous generations. That being said, the rental market is still on the rise. Because of this, Talia believes that this change will stop lower income families from experiencing foreclosure and being forced to live in distressed areas.

When she is not working at her real estate business or helping her community, Talia likes to watch sports and to travel. She is huge basketball fan, rooting for the Chicago Bulls. She loves to travel to warm countries in Central and Southern America.

Contact Talia Ramos today if you want a top-notch investment advisor.

Real Estate Investor in:

  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Florida