Ministries at the First Baptist Church of Chicago

Chicago-based Sergio Garcia has built a successful career as a sales manager at Chicago Real Estate Leaders. Beyond his responsibilities as a real estate agent, Sergio Garcia supports the First Baptist Church of Chicago’s charitable initiatives.

Established in 1833, the First Baptist Church of Chicago provides a wide variety of services to both city residents and parishioners. In addition to missions and weekly sermons, the church offers worship-based ministries aimed at facilitating a strong sense of faith and community among people of all ages.

Each week, the First Baptist Church of Chicago offers music ministries to its regular members. Adult members may join the First Baptist Adult Choir, which meets every Saturday. The church also provides a Children’s Choir ministry to members between the ages of 5 and 15. Throughout the year, the choirs perform on religious holidays and fifth Sundays.

In addition, the church holds several children’s ministries, including its American Baptist Girls program and regular Sunday school classes. During the summer, the church runs children’s camp activities through its Vacation Bible School and Camp Grow.

The First Baptist Church of Chicago maintains a dedication to the wider Chicago community through its Prison Ministry program. For the last 35 years, it has supported former inmates with shelter and clothing. Throughout the holiday season, the church also sponsors gift ministry Angel Tree, which provides presents to children whose parents are incarcerated.


Dos and Don’ts of Rehabilitating Real Estate

Real estate professional Sergio Garcia has sold more than 2,500 properties in the last 27 years. Since beginning his career by purchasing and rehabilitating his childhood home, he has transitioned into acquiring and improving foreclosed properties. As many of these properties require extensive repairs on a limited budget, real estate professionals like Sergio Garcia keep certain key ideas in mind during renovations.

Do hire licensed contractors: Professional contractors can help prevent serious damage to a home’s major systems, such as the plumbing, heating, and wiring. Additionally, providing tenants with quality work can help property owners avoid costly future repairs.

Don’t underestimate cost: When it comes to calculating the cost of a home’s rehabilitation, don’t be conservative. It may be in a property owner’s best interest to hire a professional estimator to help establish a budget for the project to avoid surprises and monetary losses.

Do match the outside and inside: Some professionals put a lot of time and energy into making the inside of a home immaculate, but forget simple outdoor fixes. A fresh coat of paint on the outside of the home, along with a manicured lawn and new mailbox, will contribute to a potential buyer’s first impression of the property and may increase the purchase price.

Three Myths about Foreclosed Homes

Experienced in buying and selling both residential and commercial properties, Sergio Garcia serves as sales manager of Chicago Real Estate Leaders. Sergio Garcia brings more than two decades of real estate experience to the role, which involves selling foreclosed homes throughout the nation.

The term foreclosure is subject to many misconceptions. The following are a few myths about foreclosures and what homebuyers should actually expect.

1. Buying a foreclosed home can offer massive discounts upwards of 50 percent. While discounts can be expected, a person should realistically anticipate the discount to be less than 25 percent because the reduction is based on the current market value of a home and comparable properties in the area.

2. A foreclosed property requires a lot of work and money. Bank-owned homes will have flaws, large and small, but many are cosmetic and inexpensive to repair. Likewise, the imperfections are often ones homeowners typically look to customize anyway, such as paint and carpet.

3. Inspections are not allowed when purchasing a foreclosed home. On the contrary, nearly all bank-owned homes are sold as-is. To reduce future liabilities, a bank is likely to encourage a buyer to complete a home inspection, so he or she is fully informed about a home prior to completing the transaction.