If you live in Oak Park or River Forest, chances are you know Laura Maychruk. As the owner of the Buzz Café, she’s been an integral part of the Oak Park Arts Districts for almost 25 years.
As the mother of four children and a River Forest resident, she’s been active in the community, lending out her home and her organizing skills to charitable causes. For years, she also worked in both communities as a part of David Gullo’s real estate practice.
This year, Maychruk decided to ramp up her real estate business and created an independent company, Laura Maychruk Real Estate. Maychruk had her first job in real estate in 1993. For her, the 30-year mark made a great time to go out on her own and grow her business.
Another catalyst was being listed as an agent in Crain’s Notable Agents issue. The recognition is based on volume, and meeting that milestone told her that she was ready to make the leap.
She readily admits that she has a lot on her plate but says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Having kids is a full-time job. So is the Buzz Café. So why not just add one more thing?” she said.
The local real estate market was in a lull during the holidays, but Maychruk sees it picking up. Her lenders are reporting more activity, and open houses are full.
“I think people are getting used to mortgage rates, and there’s always reasons people need to move,” Maychruk said. “There’s not a lot on the market right now, and I’m feeling very optimistic.”
Maychruk hit the ground running with handful of listings. A stately contemporary home in River Forest, at 1349 Thatcher Ave. was built in 1987 by Jane Levy, who would go on to create Levy Custom Homes.
“The quality of the construction is great,” Maychruk said. “She wanted it to feel like an old River Forest house that has been remodeled. It’s a really well-built house.”
A townhouse she listed in Forest Park is already under contract, and she has a listing in Elmwood Park, a private listing in Oak Park and a handful of others waiting in the wings.
She says a few listings will be hitting the Private Listing Network soon. Part of the Multiple Listing Service accessible only to other brokers, the PLN allows home sellers to quietly shop their homes without fanfare.
In busy times, the PLN can be used to help sellers get an offer without ever having to open their houses up to hordes of viewers via the internet or open houses.
Maychruk says her private listings will be showcased on her website maychrukrealestate.com, which she says is a great way for clients and prospective clients to get to know her and her practice.
“I’m using my website to educate clients about what we have to offer here in Oak Park and River Forest,” she said. “I call this a place where we have ‘block party culture.’ I think it’s magical.”
Her website includes links to schools, parks, local governments, childcare and local Facebook and social media pages of note. She also plans to highlight her favorite local businesses.
As the longtime president of the Arts District Association, Maychruk’s real estate office is above the Buzz Café. Being a deeply rooted part of the community is the key to both her work and personal life.
“I regularly tell people that I live in this rectangle from Thatcher to Austin; from North Avenue to Roosevelt,” Maychruk said. “It’s where I live, work, entertain, shop, bank. It’s where my kids go to school.”