Chicago, IL Real Estate News

By Geno Petro
(GenoPetro.House)
I was recently referred to as an 'anecdotal' writer by a Commentor on another blog to which I occasionally post. Actually, she didn't even refer to me as a 'writer,'...just 'anecdotal.' And she didn't mean it in a nice way, either I don't think. I was informed that bloggers in general are not 'journalists' at all but rather, individuals who base their subjective 'spewings and conjecture' on, are you ready?... "personal observation or random investigations rather than systematic scientific evaluation...of the treatment of subject matter in representational art...pertaining to the relationship of figures or to the arrangement of elements in a scene so as to emphasize the story content of a subject...." Especially real estate bloggers, she added. In closing she mentioned (in kind of a sno...
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By Geno Petro
(GenoPetro.House)
For the first seven years of my life I was an only child. Both parents had careers and my mom continued working (as she had for the 10 years of marriage before I was born) until then. When my first sister popped onto the scene in 1963 the Petro family dynamic would change forever in our new, single income home. And while on one hand I had newly found seniority over another living creature other than the dog, Shatzie, I likewise learned to accept my reduced share of cherished parental attention (yeah, right...it was the 1960's. Let's be real) with dignity. A few years later, 'sis' number two came along and instantly, it was an oligopoly--which, if Econ 101 serves me correctly, is at least one more than a duopoly and two or more than a monopoly. In other words, I no longer ran the entire ...
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By Russ Msrtin, Residential Mortgage Advisor
(Perl Mortgage)
One of the things that always bugs me about the main stream media is that they often leave out key facts or make statements that often makes things seem worse than they really are.   I think there really needs some perspective on foreclosures and sub-prime mortgage lending.  Now before someone goes all ballistic and on some rampage about predatory lending, evil mortgage brokers, and how it is all George Bush's fault, let me just state for the record that foreclosures are bad.  Foreclosures suck for lenders.  They suck for borrowers.  And they also suck for neighborhoods. Foreclosures are in no ones best interest except maybe for a hand full of investors looking for properties on the cheap.So let's exam some of the numbers.  Now I don't have a full data set, but I found enough doing a qu...
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By Michael Hutchins - Consumer Advocate, Chicago
(Michael Hutchins Ent.)
So a few weeks ago I went down to Navy Pier in Chicago with my daughter and her classmates.  I've been to Navy Pier a few times before, but I had never ventured to the end of the Pier, nor seen everything that the Pier has to offer.  Yes, it's a typical tourist trap with overpriced food, activities & souvenirs.  However, I didn't realize how many things there we're to do at Navy Pier.Most people know about the giant Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier, which is definitely recommended on a nice summer day or evening.  However, Navy Pier also offers everything from hotel accommodations, to boat rides, to museums and rides, to theatres (Imax and The Shakespeare), to shopping, restaurants and bars.  You could probably spend an entire day there and not see everything Navy Pier has to offer.  Navy Pier...
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By Abe Loper
(Nobility Partners, LLC)
Hey guys! I wanted to shoot you all a quick blog about renting out rooms and condos (I don't know if this will work with single family homes). If you live near a college campus or in a larger city, you have an even better opportunity to take advantage of this advice. Sometimes, those of us who own rental property have trouble getting people into our rental units/houses. In my case, it's a condo. I've found that, at least in my case, there's a sure-fire way for me to fill the unit in a matter of days. What I do is pretty simple. I offer the unit as "month-to-month". I don't ask them to stay long term. The lease is month-to-moth and I tell them that if they want to leave, I need 30 days notice and that I'll give them 30 days notice if I want them out. In return for this great feedom that ...
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By Charles Dobson
(Real Living Helios Realty)
First impressions are the most important when it comes to real estate because most buyers get a "feel" for a home when they walk through the door.  If your home does not give a perspective buyer a welcoming feeling, then it will make the sale of a home more challenging. A simple remedy is to utilize the services of a professional home staging person.  He/she will make suggestions of how to decorate your home using your current furniture so that your home captures a buyer's attention rather than turning him/her off.  I provide this service free of charge to my selling clients and it gives the seller the impression of new home because it will have a slightly different look once it has been staged. Staging will entice buyers to your home, make it easier to market and bring the seller a hig...
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By Abe Loper
(Nobility Partners, LLC)
The following is a clipping from a much longer article that can be found at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-070504mole,1,5235800.story?track=rss.  As a loan officer, I think it's great the government is out there, watching us, and making sure that the "snakes" are caught.  They're watching out for the consumer and eliminating some of my competition.  Which, in a way, is a reward to those of us who do things right.  TRIBUNE INVESTIGATIONDeveloper was mole for fedsDealmaker led double life amid financing probeBy David JacksonTribune staff reporterPublished May 4, 2007, 11:37 PM CDTJohn Thomas bought and sold downtown office buildings and helped other property developers secure multimillion-dollar mortgage loans.But the high-living dealmaker had a double life.Thomas, who was con...
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By Abe Loper
(Nobility Partners, LLC)
For those of you looking to enrich your knowledge of history and current chicago markets, these events may prove helpful.  AbeThe Survival of Yerkes ObservatoryWhat: Part of the Eric R. Multhauf Lunchtime Lecture Series, you'll hear from Carol JH Yetken, CYLA Design Associates, Inc. and Walker C. Johnson, Johnson Lasky Architects.Who: Chicago Architecture FoundationWhere: The John Buck Company Lecture Hall Gallery, 224 S. Michigan Ave.When: May 2, 12:15 to 1 p.m.Cost: Free and open to the public, no RSVP requiredContact: 312-922-3432 ext 252Web site: Chicago Architecture Foundationbrown bag luncheonWhat: Palmer House renovation. Will include history of the Palmer House and review of design plans.Who: Friends of DowntownWhere: Millennium Park Meeting RoomWhen: May 3, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.Co...
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
Who wants to be a Ravenswood Millionaire? Ravenswood is a North Side neighborhood in Chicago experiencing it's share of growth and appreciation.  Six miles from downtown, Ravenswood offers many amenities you would like... public transportation, tree lined streets, parks, retail/restaurants, and a good mix of housing stock.The historical boundaries are North Clark Street to the east, the Chicago River to the west, Foster Avenue to the north, and Irving Park Road to the south.  Those new to Chicago generally do not have much knowledge of this area ...even though it's home to million dollar plus homes and half million dollar condos.As an owner of a duplex condo in Ravenswood, I like to know how much gets you what on the street... and why. Not only as an agent, but as a guy looking for the ...
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
  The Balcony: Condo Association or Owners? "Who's line is it anyway?" is a terrific comedy improvisational television game show that features "players" making up lines and actions depending on one theme. Say you throw out "new home buyers in Chicago" and the players make up a hilarious scene of bumbling through the home buying process. Maybe Al Capone is your Realtor... you get it? Hilarious.But when it comes to common areas, limited common areas and your condo unit's repairs and maintenance you don't want to hear; whose line is it anyway? As an owner, you want to know who has the responsibility, what are the resolutions, who are the players when it comes to issues concerning your condo building.I recently listed and sold a re-sale condo in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood. When gathe...
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
Three bedroom condos with all the features you want? Must see Ravenswood and Bowmanville In a city like Chicago, as in most city I suppose, there is only so much you can get in certain neighborhoods.  Renting a one bedroom and want to buy a three bedroom?  Here is a common scenario I run into when meeting upwardly mobile, but first time buyers, in Chicago.Recently, I have been working with several clients looking to move up into a three bedroom home. These particular clients have lived in the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods for the past several years. Now, they would like a place in the city where they may start a family, or, at least a home they know they won't out grow in less than five years time.Does this sound familiar? "We'd like a three bedroom, two bath condo with at lea...
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By Abe Loper
(Nobility Partners, LLC)
In the aftermath of the recent storm of foreclosures, I've heard and read a lot of people sharing their thoughts on who is responsible and what caused the problems, how to fix the problem, how not to fix the problem, etc.  More often than not, it's lenders and adjustable rate mortgages that take the brunt of the blame.  And, certainly, in many cases, that is absolutely the case.  But, I want to introduce a new perspective to the mix.    Though I agree that 30yr loans are best, and that there ARE "slick" and "greedy" lenders out there, it's important to note that ARMs have been around for a long time and are not inherently bad.  They are NOT good for everyone and they are NOT a way to avoid fiscal responsibility.  However, they are incredibly useful if you are a medical resident, or if y...
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By Abe Loper
(Nobility Partners, LLC)
  Let's face it.  Everyone on here says that Customer Service is their primary focus.  If you've been in our industry long enough to earn your stripes then you know that, statistically, that's just not anything close to true.  I don't know who's lying or just mistaken, but there are too many bad experiences in our industry to support a 100% claim to prioritizing Customer Care.     It's my guess that many of the Loan Officers on here would define customer service as getting a job done, well, and with a smile.  There's nothing wrong with that.  I'm learning, however, that my standards are far higher.  As I close more loans, I have more and more real estate agents wanting to partner with me.  Many of them the seller's agents that I meet at my client's closing table.  Here are two very shor...
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By Bob Elliott, Chicago Property Inspection
(Elliott Home Inspection)
Some one contacted me today while I was at work by E-Mail after seeing my blog on Active Rain.I came home tired and just thought ,a quick check for clients on my site before retiring to a nice evening in front of Heros, which is one of the shows I enjoy on TV.The letter went on to request help regarding what appears to be a slumlord.I went on to gather info which may be of help,and now feel very good about myself thanks to having a spot on Active Rain.Maybe I missed Heros but now feel like one. There is something else to look forward to opening my E-Mail for. 
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By Bob Elliott, Chicago Property Inspection
(Elliott Home Inspection)
I seem to be spending far to many friday nights at home lately,but at least this time it is not my fault.One of my lady friends invited me over for a night of dinner,and sitting down to a Chicago Bulls Playoff Game(now that they are on the verge of finishing off last years world champion and worth watching).after I hit the garage door opener There was a bang that shook me up for a second.Turns out an bracket that supports one of the door tracs broke.Soon as I jumped out I pulled the plug on the opener and found a piece of 2x4 to prop it up,then pulled my van forward in case it collapsed.Next I went thru the phone book and was suprised to find that these guys come out on emergency basis.Makes sense tho as who wants to leave a normaly locked area open to the public.Any way to make a long ...
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By Russ Msrtin, Residential Mortgage Advisor
(Perl Mortgage)
With very little fanfare the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wachovia Bank in the Watters vs. Wachovia case last week. The case was about whether a subsidiary mortgage company of Wachovia Bank should be governed by state laws or federal law. Most of the big mega banks we are all familiar with (WAMU, BofA, Wells Fargo, Citibank, etc) are regulated by federal laws under the National Banking Act and enforced by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) which means they are generally exempt from state banking laws. The case in question was about whether a subsidiary of these companies should be regulated at the state level or federal level. Basically the Court 's ruling said that any subsidiary of federally regulated banks are exempt from state laws. What does this have to with mortga...
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By Bob Elliott, Chicago Property Inspection
(Elliott Home Inspection)
Hi... for those of you who have been   following  my series building a house and have an interest in more questions and answers regarding those photos I'm posting, then this is for you and would like to announce that I will be concurrently and coincidingly  running them on the NACHI message board.For those of you not in the know NACHI stands for national Association of certified home inspectors.I do not believe you need to be a member in order to follow our message board as it is open to all. Also please see my blog style website at chicagoland home inspection You may be able to log on as a guest and ask questions I'm fairly certain as the Gremlins in this forum seem to think that I'm not a nonmember.(corrected)I'm sure that problem will be taken care of soon and I simply request no neg...
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By Bob Elliott, Chicago Property Inspection
(Elliott Home Inspection)
Well here we went and demolished the house so what is next?Time to pour what is Known as footings,which is the very bottom part of the stucture or foundation.How important is it to keep this level.?did you know this is normaly twice the width of the cement foundation that will sit on top of it?Why do you think they pour cemment for this seperate from the walls that will sit on top of it?Why is there a line going down the middle?Any body Know?Com "on guys put your knowledge too good use other than cut and paste for points! Sure beats doing it with a shovel Wonder what the gravel is for? Note; The footprint of the footings.They tell a story  Why is it two different colors?Guess they will not need that any more
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By Bob Elliott, Chicago Property Inspection
(Elliott Home Inspection)
Hi... today I begin something different one of my neighbors has bought the home across the street in order to tear it down and build new.This began last week and I thought I would begin taking photos for my own  personal documentation, but it occurred to me this be a perfect opportunity to share and educate anyone who has an interest in seeing how a home is built from the ground up. Personally I do not know of any website that has ever done this before so perhaps it will be the first.  If you have seen any other website attempt this please let me know I have not found it.I welcome clients, real estate professionals, home inspectors, contractors and anyone who are interested in helping to create captions for these photos and discuss what they see in order to educate others to please cont...
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By Suzanne Willems
(Willems Realtors)
Why not take the train to work from a new Indiana Home? Get more house for your money and great schools. Their our many Northern Indiana Train Stops. The Metra has train stops in nearby Illinois from Schererville, St. John and Dyer Indiana. Train Number 10210410610811012112212Station AMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMSouth Bend*      6:35  Hudson Lake      f5:55  Carroll Ave* 4:024:555:435:506:036:206:43 11th St 4:075:00------5:556:086:256:48 Beverly Shores ------f5:10------------f6:17------f6:58 Dune Park* 4:225:166:04------6:236:417:05 Portage/Ogden Dunes 4:315:26------6:166:326:507:15 Miller 4:375:32------6:246:396:567:21 Gary Metro Ctr* 4:455:40------6:326:487:047:297:57Gary/Chicago Airport# f4:51f5:46------f6:38f6:55------------f8:04East Chicago* 4:575:53------6:467:037:147:408:10Hammond* 5:025:586:...
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