Chicago, IL Real Estate News

By John Marlow, John Marlow
(Foxhall Investments)
The south end of Lincoln Park, toward downtown, is known as Old Town. It contains quiet tree-lined residential streets with some of Chicago's finest and most expensive homes: impressive greystones, brick townhomes; and charming row houses and tucked-away coach homes. Further north are the Wrightwood and Sheffield neighborhoods with a mix of mansions, two-flats, apartments, condos and frame homes.West of Sheffield Avenue is the DePaul neighborhood, with stately single-family and multiple-unit housing, and original Chicago row houses with richly ornamented Victorian facades. There are also handsomely restored greystones and newer homes designed by the world's top architects.Over the years, urban dwellers have taken churches, old schools, warehouses, stores and factory buildings and conver...
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By John Marlow, John Marlow
(Foxhall Investments)
Of all the under-rated neighborhoods that have not really received their just recognition, River North is the most underappreciated.Perhaps it's a combination of being overshadowed by its neighbor the Gold Coast, or maybe it's a 'tainted by association' label it has for being located next to the infamous cabrini green.Whatever the reason, it is the hip of the hip Chicago neighborhoods for those who can afford to live there. The restaurants and night life scene is never dull. There is no shortage of art galleries. Best of all, despite its convenient proximity to the loop traffic is no problem.http://rivernorthcondos.blogspot.com/ 
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By John Marlow, John Marlow
(Foxhall Investments)
For those of you who have an ear tuned for web speak, you have probably heard the term "web 2.0" thrown around with increasing frequency. It seems basic enough, the newest version of the web, but what does it mean exactly?In it's essence it is the popularization of UGC or User Generated Content in mainstream websites. It is now very commonplace for a website to engage its visitors to enter in their own opinions or to post their own media for free.This paradigm shift has occurred for two major reasons. The first is a change in the way search engines rank websites. For instance, blogs or a website that has a blog within it will almost always be rated higher than a similar website with static content. Google, Yahoo! and others are constantly checking and rechecking websites to see which on...
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
The great thing about Chicago real estate is the variety of housing stock.  Highrise, bungalow, condo, mid-rise, multi-units.  Depending on the tide, you can spread your purchase dollars around.The Chicago Tribune Real Estate section ran a story about buying multi-unit buildings for investment. The gist is, rents are pretty good again so multi-units offer a good way to invest in real estate. Several local real estate heavyweights were tapped for advice (somehow I must have missed that call).I was pleased to read this advice... if you are not handy and will not do the work, it will be hard to make the numbers work on the investment. Everyone with real estate dream forgets this little fact. Also, unless your planning to leverage more than 20% in Chicago, it will be tough to make the numbe...
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The South Loop of Chicago has seen an increase in popularity, driven by its proximity to the loop, transportation, shopping, the lakefront, and Grant Park. Many loft conversions, luxury new construction buildings and the new Soldier Field have drawn much attention to this rapidly growing neighborhood. Most of the area south of the Congress Parkway and east of the Chicago River are considered to be part of the South Loop.  The definition of the exact borders is rapidly changing as new developments include South Loop as part of their description.  The most recent accepted definition would state Lake Michigan as the eastern border, Cermak the southern border and either the Chicago River or Canal Street to the west. The South Loop includes the historic Printer's Row, Dearborn Park I and II,...
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By Eileen Landau, ABR, CRS, e-PRO
(BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE)
Yesterday, I posted both here and on my other blog about the change of name that our association was implementing. Today, I get the following:The Association would like to begin by thanking you for your valuable feedback. Just like all of our members, your feedback is important and it's how we grow as an Association.We have been many many different names throughout the years as we have continued to grow into the accessible and trusted, member-driven association we are today. Of course through most of those name changes, we have merged with other Associations to a now more than 14,000 member strong Association.Over the past year, the Association launched a campaign to increase member awareness on the many opportunities available to our members through education, events and services. I'm ...
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"Buying real estate is not only the best way, the quickest way, the safest way, but the only way to become wealthy." -Marshall Field (1835-1906) "Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth." -Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) "Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world." -Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
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Our friends at Chicago Agent Magazine and Miami Agent Magazine are pleased to announce that they will host a WINTER DESTINATIONS 2007 REAL ESTATE SHOWCASE, on Feburary 15, 2007.  This exclusive event will enable leading condominum develeopers in Florida to showcase thier properties to over 200 of Chicagoland's top realty professionals.  I personally will be in attendance to learn and meet new people.  Location:    Park Hyatt ChicagoDate:         2-15-2007 Time:         6:00pm to 9:00pmCatering:   by NoMI SPONSORSHIPS:    1. Affiliates Sponsorship - $1500        - Highboy table for your display        - Sponsor-provided brochure & print ad placed in giveaway bags        - 3 tickets to event   2. Freinds of Chciago Agent Magazine - $500        - Sponsor-provided brochure & print ad placed...
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By Robert Darrow
(Keller Williams Realty Professionals)
It's Tuesday and I'm finally getting around to catching up from the weekend. The past two weeks have been SLOW (Bears in the playoffs and few people doing real estate.) Next weekend the Bears are in the Super Bowl - so nothing will be happeing in Chicago. Given all that - EVERYONE was out shopping this past weekend.What kills me is that both selling agents and sellers just don't seem to get it. There are many truths to real estate; two of which surely are 1) in order to sell your home you have to show your home, and 2) the person bringing the money (ie- the buyer) gets to say when.(See our previous post on the unique nature of Chicago real estate showings.)Here's my experience last weekend:Wednesday 8am - Start making phone calls to set up Saturday appointments. 10 requests for a mornin...
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By Larry Vecchio
(CondoDomain)
Today is Oprah's 53rd Birthday.  Happy Birthday! Oprah Winfrey neighbours in the exclusive Water Tower Place Complex, in Chicago, have been causing a fuss because they fear Oprah's dogs will run riot around their condominium building. Oprah Winfrey has spent a lots of money connecting 4 separate condos and now other residents are complaining about her furry friends. Residents have complained to the management, worrying that their luxury condo homes will be overrun with Oprah's 5 dogs, and the building has a strict 1 pet/unit  policy.   The building manager insists the Water Tower residents are making a big fuss over nothing because she has already spoken to Oprah about the dog issue. Does Oprah really have time to take care of and enjoy 5 dogs?See more Chicago Condos!
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
Albany Park... Not so Hot Crain's featured a short little story about neighborhoods that haven't "popped" and heated up as thought. Albany Park was on that short list which is a little upsetting... guess where I live people. Anywho, I really hate those hit and run articles... so let's add a little context here. Albany Park owners have been pleased with an appreciation of 10-12% a year on the average during the housing boom. As a Realtor, I can honestly say I'd get at least 15K more for my unit than I paid for it a over two years ago. Crime is down, green space up and access to transportation, universities and the highways are eye openers. Plenty of local stores, restaurants and ethic flavor... if your into that kind of stuff. Real close to Ravenswood Manor and my wife and me (I?) walk t...
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
Find a bar, restaurant, theatre... bar! Interactive map I was perusing the Chicago blog scene and came across this interactive map at the Chicagoist site. The map allows you to select an "L" stop for a drop down list of amenities. Really cool. I'd be wary of the updating, but gives you a great sense of what type of neighborhood straddles each stop.It's like that guy on PBS who travels Chicago by the "L"... expect you don't have to watch the whole part about Chicago's meat packing history to find a bar in the West Loop. Just click away.
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
The West Wilson Corridor: Chicago's North Side What's in a name?  In Chicago the short answer is:  Everything.  People identify themselves not only by their neighborhood, but by their block... and their street... and their building!  You just don't live in Lakeview, you live on Seminary Street, or Halsted or on Lake Shore Drive.  Not just downtown, but in the "Legacy". Names of neighborhoods have been broken down into mini communities... sometimes within the same four block radius.  One good example in Chicago is an area in western Uptown from Montrose running north to Wilson.  "Malden" and "Beacon" streets have a sub-community within Uptown where a Chicagoan would know exactly what they are referring too.  It's like saying "Michael" in Chicago... only one guy comes to mind (if I have t...
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By Robert Darrow
(Keller Williams Realty Professionals)
During 2006, and reinforced repeatedly in the first few weeks of 2007, buyers decidedly made their preference known for new, newer and more new.Last year, my buyers purchased new product 50% of the time. Add in buyers that purchased fixer-uppers and renovated to new condition before move-in, and the percentage was more like 75%.Listings that were new flew off the market, and there was demand for condo conversions in vintage buildings as long as there were all new finishes inside. The dark clouds in inventory last year were condos with perfectly servicable kitchens and baths from 10 years ago or longer.We clearly saw buyers willing to travel out to up-and-coming neighborhoods for new or rehabbed, rather than purchase the listings in Premium neighborhoods but with tired (or worse) fits an...
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By Robert Darrow
(Keller Williams Realty Professionals)
I've been caught a couple times this weekend by prospective buyers and Realtors from outside Chicago looking to see properties very quickly.Here are a few pointers to help you get into the properties you want to see, or to help your Realtor plan his or her weekend:Realtors in Chicago don't use lock-boxes very often. This odd habit started years ago, and the practice survives today. The listing Realtor will come to show the property for sale most of the time. If you are using the services of a Realtor to show you homes, your Realtor will be juggling his or her schedule for the weekend between showing his or her own listings as well as trying to take buyers out on tours. The Realtor who has the listing will be doing the same thing. Homebuyers in Chicago don't always have their homes or th...
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By Brian Ortiz, Chicago Real Estate Broker
(RE/MAX Vision 212)
3 Bedroom / 3 Bath Duplex Condo in Chicago's Southport Corridor - NEW PRICE - $529,000By Brian Ortiz, Realtor, Chicago ILChicago Real Estate         New price on this beautiful property in one of the best locations in the city.  Price reduced to $529,000.  In addition to the 2500 sq ft of space this property has and room to park two cars, this property also boasts brand new carpet throughout.  Please review this property again.  You do not want to miss it.  If you have not taken a look at the online visual tour already, please do so from my website.  Go to http://www.BrianOrtizProperties.com/, and click on the Addison property under my featured homes on the main page.  Once you select the Addison property, you can login and see the visual tour of this fantastic home.  Please contact Bri...
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By Eileen Landau, ABR, CRS, e-PRO
(BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE)
If you live in the Chicago area, then you know how important our sport teams are. Especially, if they're heading for a play-off or a championship game. And, if you are new to the area, or considering moving here, you'll need to understand that our common language revolves around our sports teams. And, right now, we're living in Bears-ville! Our TV and newspapers are filled with stories about the coach and the players. In fact, in Naperville, we have a small factory that is producing thousands of Bears tee shirts and sweat pants. And, there's even a bridal gown in navy blue with an orange B for just under $5000! Now, that's truly for the dedicated fan. The city supports two baseball teams: The Cubs (Cubbies) and The Sox. Many northsiders support the Cubbies. We call them optimist. Souths...
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By Brian Brass
(Brian Brass - Guaranteed Rate)
The Illinois Legislature's recent attempt to curb predatory lending practices, HB4050, was suspended after only five months.On 1/19/07 the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued a directive canceling the Predatory Lending Database Pilot Program.  The statement indicated "the Secretary received and reviewed information that suggests that the prior designation may be detrimental to the pilot program's purpose, namely to curb predatory lending practices in areas with high rates of foreclosure on residential home mortgages".   The Pilot Program required various Borrowers to submit to State regulated financial counseling for properties located in 10 designated zip codes in Chicago.  The counseling requirements caused great uncertainty for prospec...
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Open House- This Saturday 01/20/07 - 3br/3ba Duplex Condo in Wrigleyville / Southport Corridor - 12p - 3pBy Brian Ortiz, Realtor, Chicago ILChicago Real EstateLooking for a great Chicago condo?  Come to the Open House this weekend located at 1338 W. Addison, Unit #1.  This 3 bedroom and 3 bathroom duplex condo is in GREAT condition.  This property is in one of the top housing locations in the city, on Addison, near Southport Avenue.  Priced at $569,000.   The Open House will be this Saturday, January 20, 2007.  Time will be from 12pm - 3pm.  Please read my online blog to learn more about this property.From my website, please select the Featured Property located at 1338 W. Addison.  You will find all the specifics on the home, can also login to see up to 13 pictures of the property, AND ...
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By Eric Rojas
(Rubloff Residential Properties)
Discover Chicago's Northwest Side The above title sounds innocent and pedestrian enough, but you should know me better.The Chicago Tribune ran a story concerning the religious epiphany many soon to be buyers/home owners are having; there is a Northwest Side to the city. However, the story misses the boat on where it is really happening and hops to some neighborhoods that will be a tough sell to a Lincoln Parker or Lakeview aficionados. These of the home buyers the author seems to be suggesting are moving to the "sticks".The author of the story more realistically alludes to the corridor of West Irving Park Road west of North Western Avenue (say that three times fast!). The story mentions a few developments. Several at the not- very-far -out locations sprawling from the 2700 block West Ir...
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