Karen Breen Elia, ChicagoCityHomes (ChicagoCityHomes - RE/MAX 10 Lincoln Park) Real Estate Broker/Owner



Karen Breen Elia
location_on Chicago, IL — ChicagoCityHomes - RE/MAX 10 Lincoln Park
RE/MAX International Inc.
Get to Know Karen Breen Elia



Chicago is a city of neighborhoods.  Beyond the exciting downtown that tourists and business people love to visit, the city is an interesting mix of ethnicity and culture that offers those who live here a variety of places to call home.  A Realtor who knows the neighborhoods, as well as real estate law and practice is the one who is best equipped to help clients find the perfect house or condominium in the perfect neighborhood.  At ChicagoCityHomes, we translate our love and knowledge of the city and our profession into the type of customer service that earns us clients for life.

We are real estate consultants, unlike most agents who are real estate salespeople. Our policy is to counsel our clients so they can attain their personal goals regardless of our personal gain. We will take them through the step-by-step process of selling their property to get them the most money possible or buying the home they want, at a price they afford. We use our extensive experience and training in finance, contracts, negotiating, and marketing to their best advantage. Our mission statement is "MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES." We hope that every client will profit personally and financially from our representation. Our commitment to our clients is enduring.


That is why we are consistently ranked in the top half of one percent of the 15,000 members of the Chicago Association of Realtors.  We specialize in single-family homes, condominiums, and multi-family housing.  To better assist our clients,  Karen has earned multiple designations including Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer Representative  (ABR), Graduate of the Realtor Institute  (GRI), Senior Real Estate Specialist  (SRES), and Certified Negotiation Specialist (CNE). Most recently, we received the RE/MAX Platinum Club award  for 2014. Louis M. Elia, brings 35 years of professional service that  includes  management and  brokerage sales experience plus several years as an instructor for real estate licensing for the State of Illinois.  He is an expert in Chicago's housing market, laws, and neighborhoods.

We have thorough knowledge of Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Gold Coast, River North,  West Loop, Bucktown, Streeterville, Lakeshore East,  Wicker Park, River West, South Loop, Lincoln Square, Roscoe Village,  Edgewater, East Village,Old Town, Ukrainian Village, Buena Park, Galewood, Ravenswood, West Town, Avondale, Craigin, Humbolt Park, Independence Park, Irving Park, Old Irving, Jefferson Park, Montclare, North Center,  Portage Park, Printer's Row, Rogers Park, Sheridan Park, St. Ben's, and other Chicago north side areas.

In the words of a recent homebuyer, here's how we work together for client as a team ...

"Karen and Lou are the home buyer's dream team. They want you to be happy, so they work toward that end. I can't say enough about how responsive, available, and considerate they were while working for us. All the horror stories I'd heard about home buying and the dreaded closing just did not happen for us. We had a very positive experience. We started out with an interview with Karen where she asked us many questions about lifestyle, locations, and the specific details we wanted in a property. Then she contacted us about only those properties that met our requirements. She never tried to "sell" us on a property or push us in any way. We only looked at those places we wanted to see. When we did find the place we wanted, Lou negotiated for us in a sensitive situation with a renovator/seller acting as his own agent. Due to Lou's knowledge of building renovations and his expertise as a realtor, he was able to negotiate a new roof and glass block windows around the foundation at our offering price. Subsequently, we developed a good relationship with the seller, who was extremely helpful to us in the year following our purchase. Recently, two friends spoke to me about the possibility of buying, so I immediately sent them information on Karen and Lou. Because I applaud their mission and have experienced their work ethic, knowledge, and expertise, I recommend the Breen-Elia team enthusiastically and without reservation."

Chicago is our city and we are very proud to be a part of it.  We are thoroughly familiar with the many neighborhoods that give the city its strength, beauty and diversity. We know the city transit system which will get people to their work and recreational activities. We can find clients a home in sight of Wrigley Field, in earshot of Soldier Field or in walking distance to the Museum Campus. Browse our website for lots of information about Lakeview, Lincoln Park, the Near North Side, and West Town, Chicago!


1988 Licensed as an Illinois real estate agent
1993 Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI)
1994 Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)
1994 Illinois Broker License
1995 Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
1995-2002, 2007-2008 RE/MAX Platinum Club
1997 Chicago Assoc. of Realtors Gold Transaction Award, Silver Volume Award
1997 RE/MAX Hall of Fame
2000 Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
2000 At Home With Diversity
2002 Chicago Association of Realtors, Bronze Volume & Transaction Awards
2004 Chicago Association of Realtors, Bronze Transaction Award
2007-10 Chicago Assoc. of Realtors Government Affairs Committee
2007-08 Chicago Assoc. of Realtors Professional Standards Committee
2007-10 HomeGain Advisors Council
2008 #8 Agent in RE/MAX Northern Illinois
2009 Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
2010 RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement
2014 Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)
2014 RE/MAX Platinum Club


1995-1997 Sponsor, Bell Park Girls Softball League
1987-2010 Executive Committee, Nordica Avenue Block Club



Ruth Zurich
I had almost given up hope of selling my condominium when Karen Breen Elia of Chicago City Homes came along. I was an out-of-state owner, and trying to sell property long-distance was a difficult matter. Karen's knowledge of real estate in general and the local market in particular enabled me to seal the deal. She is a professional, friendly, and hard-working broker who takes a personal interest in the buyer and the buyer's needs and wishes. I felt as though I had known her for a long time. Not only did she do her job well, she went beyond expected in terms of service, handling many small details so that I wouldn't have to travel to get the job done. I would not hesitate to recommend Karen Breen Elia to anyone wishing to buy or sell property. Thank you!
Susan Teller Marshall
Karen and Lou managed to sell our Logan Square two flat in a depressed economy and for a great price. This didn't happen by serendipity - they worked hard for us for many months nonstop. I know they had many more clients, but whenever we communicated about their listing of our place, they made us feel as if we were the only clients they had and that they valued our business above all. They prepped us well so that our expectations were based on market analysis instead of our own ideas. They kept the potential buyers coming and were always on top of things. A 100+ year old building is always a work in progress, and Karen & Lou helped us decide what would be an effective way to improve the property while it was listed versus what was a rather wasted expense. Service doesn't get any better than this!
Mazen Ghalayini
Karen knows the Chicago market very well, and between her and Lou, they have a strong handle on the different neighborhoods, where the best values and deals can be found and which ones align the best to what you are looking for. They both made themselves readily available, they were very patient and overall a great experience working with both of them.
Phillip Lowe
We had the pleasure of working with Karen & Lou hunting for a single-family home in Chicago last year after my sister-in-law recommended them.. They were both so genuine & truly made the entire process so easy for us. We were first time buyers, so it was a learning experience for us as well. Karen really took her time educating us about the whole process, the various neighborhoods, & helped us find that perfect property. We've recently celebrated one year in our new home & couldn't be happier. If you're in the market to buy or sell, do yourself a favor & contact Karen at Chicago City Homes.
Kimberly Spears
Karen Breen Elia is absolutely the best! My grandmother referred me to Lou and Karen because I was trying to sell my home and was not happy with the real estate agent who sold my home to me. Upon meeting them, they were very warm and down-to-earth, which made me feel comfortable, as this was my first experience in selling a house. Karen was very compassionate as I was also going through a difficult time, grieving from the recent loss of my fiancé. Even though I was her client, she made me feel like a close friend. As Karen was determined to help me, she explained my options in detail and provided me with the necessary steps to sell as quickly as possible for the best price. The pictures that were taken of my home and the listing description were amazing. I was very pleased with the professionalism of the listing. Karen was always in communication with me and kept me informed about the showings and offers. She was very accommodating to my work schedule and provided excellent advice on the offers received. We closed on the sale of my property in April 2015. My expectations were exceeded by Karen's diligence and I can't thank her enough. I will definitely tell everyone I know who is in the market to buy or sell a home about my wonderful experience with Karen Breen Elia, Lou Elia and ChicagoCityHomes.com.
Stefany Sit
Karen and Lou are great! We were first time home buyers and Karen and Lou helped us throughout the entire buying process. They were easy to get a hold of via phone, email, and text. They went above and beyond to get us in to see units as soon as possible and gave us expert advice on neighborhoods and building associations. With Karen and Lou, buying a home was straight forward and thoroughly explained. We couldn't be happier with the service we were provided.
Michelle Kaffko and Joel Ebner
Karen and Lou have helped me through 2 purchases and 1 rental and I've recommended them to anyone I know looking to buy, sell, or rent in Chicago. For my condo purchase - my first ever home buying experience, Karen talked me through the whole process in plain English and made it easy to understand. She explained each step way before it happened so I knew exactly what to expect during the purchasing process, which minimized surprises and stress and made it as easy as it could be. She is incredibly patient with first-time buyers and sellers and spends as much time as necessary explaining everything. She answers phone calls and emails with lightning speed and never rushed me through anything, always taking as much time as I needed for each step in the complicated process. For my second purchase- a new construction townhome with my significant other- Karen and Lou lived up to my expectations from my first purchase experience. They took the time to explain the differences between a new construction purchase and existing buildings, buying alone vs. with another person, and made sure I was set up with the best inspector, attorney, and other vendors needed who have more experience with new construction. Their vendor recommendations have always been spot-on and their attention to detail with each type of purchase has never let me down. Karen also handled the listing for my condo when I rented it out and had to find a tenant, and also made that process easy as pie- handling all of the leasing paperwork and explaining my rights and duties as a new landlord, all of the showings, and helping me find the best possible tenant. It was rented literally 3 days after she listed it! I can't recommend Chicago City Homes enough- especially for first-time and new homeowners, sellers, and renters. Their knowledge base and experience is second to none and I won't trust anyone but Karen and Lou with my real estate questions and concerns. Thank you Karen and Lou!
Clare and Scott Fauke
We bought and sold our condo, and later bought our "forever" house with the help of Karen and Lou. We sold in a buyers' market, and bought in a sellers' market, and definitely couldn't have done it without them! Every time something unexpected came up, their experience was crucial to keeping the sale on track. They are quick to respond to questions and were able to provide lots of advice both before and after the sale. I highly recommend Karen and Lou.

MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES. Karen Breen Elia & Louis M. Elia, REALTORS®, are brokers for homes, condos, and multi-unit properties on Chicago's North Side