Chicago realtor encourages going green in the city

Chicago realtor encourages going green in the city

When Angie's List member Nathen Grigsby sought to buy a house in a historic Chicago district, he turned to Lee Diamond, co-owner of Big Shoulders Realty in Chicago - not only for his impeccable reports, but his intimate knowledge of the area.

"I really liked his sense of community and how he was into preserving the aesthetics of the neighborhood," Grigsby says. "I was impressed by how he encourages people to buy old structures and refurbish them into environmentally friendly dwellings."

Diamond and his partner, Carrie Weston, founded Big Shoulders in 2006 after several years working for a larger real estate company. Angie's List members have rewarded their dedication to sustainable service with a perfect grade and two Super Service Awards. "We decided we wanted to do it our own way," he says. "We wanted to encourage a certain acknowledgement of living in the city and how to live better in the city."

The company engages in many green practices: They offer monthly architectural bike tours, travel to showings in bikes or hybrid cars, use as many recycled or sustainable materials in their office as possible, and strongly encourage renovating old buildings rather than tearing them down.

"You can retrofit these old buildings and make them fantastic, energy efficient and durable," he says.

Diamond says he's been environmentally conscious since he was young. He also loves the beauty of old architecture - another reason he works hard to preserve it.

The company's website offers a specialized search engine that allows clients to find homes with green qualities, such as placement near public transport or bike routes. "We want to give people options and try to take this approach as deep as possible," Diamond says.

Grigsby ultimately decided not to buy a home, but says Diamond's service was nonetheless flawless. "He helped guide me as a first-time homebuyer," he says. "When the time is right to buy, I'll be coming back to him."


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