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December 2007 - Posts

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - COMMUNICATE WITH FAMILY
PRESTO! I was at a friend's house today and we were talking about how his mom is not the most computer savvy. Then, he told me about this machine that is designed for the non-computer literate person in your life. Here's how easy it is. You send Read More...
CONDO OWNERS/BOARD MEMBERS - IMPORTANT NEW RULES FOR 2008!
CHICAGO FACADE RULES RELAXED, ILLINOIS ELEVATORS MUST BE REGISTERED, GREEN ROOF INCENTIVES, MORE . . . I spotted an article in the Chicago Tribune over the weekend, by reporter Pamela Dittmer McKuen , discussing some important new condo rules and requirements, Read More...
CHICAGO REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - DECEMBER 31, 2007
Good Morning, Everyone! Wow - just one more day left in 2007 - didn't the year fly by? The Real Estate Market took a hit in the media this past year, much attributable to the credit market turmoil, property inventory near record-high levels in Chicago Read More...
PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE TAX DEDUCTION EXTENDED!
LENDER-REQUIRED INSURANCE FOR THOSE WITH LESS THAN 20% DOWN PAYMENT STAYS DEDUCTIBLE THROUGH 2010! Congress has extended a law, originally signed in 2006, to allow many home buyers who leveraged their home to over 80% of its value to continue to deduct Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS SEEK TO MAKE HISTORY
TIME TO RECOGNIZE THE GREATNESS OF THE PATRIOTS I know I typically blog on the topic of our beloved Chicago teams. However, I'm inclined to recognize the inevitable greatness of the 2007 New England Patriots and their pursuit of an undefeated season, Read More...
TIME TO PLAY THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - FROM SUE!
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! If your Holidays found you stressed with no quality time to spend with your family or just relax, may I suggest -- It's FREE - the City will be bringing the playground inside this weekend, December 28 th through December 30 Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - SMOKE FREE ILLINOIS BECOMES LAW ON JANUARY 1, 2008!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hope you enjoyed your Christmas, folks! Way too much rich food for me. If I eat one more scrap of Prime Rib, man, I'll bulk up to 14 pounds! Read More...
JENNIFER'S CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS YOU CAN USE! CHICAGO, ROGERS PARK, LAKEVIEW, HARLEM & IRVING, EVANSTON
NEIGHBORHOODS UPDATE - ART DESIGN, HEART HEALTH & MORE! CHICAGO The winner of the city's Vehicle Sticker Art Design Contest is Patsy Diaz of Jones College Prep High School. Her artwork will be displayed on approximately over I million windshields Read More...
CHICAGO HOME PRICES DROP - BUT BEAT NATIONAL AVERAGE
3.2% DROP IN CHICAGO AREA - 6.7% ACROSS U.S. IS WORSE SINCE 1991! For the tenth consecutive month, average resale home prices trended downward across the country for the month of October, 2007. according to the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - GRANDMA'S BANANA BREAD
GRANDMA'S BANANA BREAD Recipe Summary Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Yeld: 12 serves Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter 2 cups sugar 2 eggs 3 bananas mashed 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ cup nut meats Preparation: Read More...
COMING TO CHICAGO - GREEN ALLEYS?
PROGRAM WOULD DIVERT MUCH WATER FROM CITY OF CHICAGO SEWER SYSTEM You might not realize that the City of Chicago has more miles of alley than any city in the world. In all, over 1,900 miles of alleyway parallel the Chicago street system. These alleys Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - HOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT SELLING TIME
HOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT SELLING TIME Of course everyone knows the number 1 home improvement that buyers are looking for in new homes is updated kitchens and baths, or is it?? According to averages, in the Chicago area the highest cost Read More...
MERRY CHRISTMAS, FROM OUR FAMILIES, TO YOURS!
All of us at Dean's Team wish you the Merriest and Most Blessed of Christmas Days! May you receive what you wished for, spend all the loving time with your family and friends that you've waited for, and return safely from your journey to be with Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - ELIMINATE YOUR CATALOG CLUTTER!
ELIMINATE YOUR CATALOG CLUTTER! It's that time of year when we all want to simply stop getting so many catalogs in the mail. Can you say clutter?! Well, there are a couple different things that can be done with those catalogs, first of which is to Read More...
CHICAGO REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - DECEMBER 24, 2007
Good Morning, Everyone! It seems as if the average percentage of equity homeowners enjoy in their homes has declined - an average of 10% since 2001. This has been fueled by the predominance of high-leverage home mortgages, and the proliferation of easy-to-obtain, Read More...
HOME EQUITY! IS IT SLIPPING AWAY?
AVERAGE HOME EQUITY PERCENTAGE SLIPS 10% SINCE 2001! It is often easy to tap home equity. For several years now, most lenders heavily promote lines of credit against the equity in your home. (Equity is defined as the current appraised market value of Read More...
CONDO NIGHTMARE IN SAUGANASH NEIGHBORHOOD - CHICAGO'S NORTHWEST SIDE
WATER LEAKS, DEFECTIVE WINDOWS, IMPROPERLY INSTALLED FLOORS, BAD GARBAGE CHUTE, CO-MINGLED UTILITIES HEAD THE LIST! If you've ever invested in a condominium that is part of a new development, you know that every new building has annoying "punch Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE BEARS SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN TWO WEEKS
TIME FOR THE BEARS TO RE-BUILD Yes, this dismal Bears season comes to a close in just two short weeks but they could wind up being two very important weeks for a few reasons. Number One: We're playing the Green Bay Packers tomorrow and it would be Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM JENNIFER - CATCH A MOVIE!
THE MALLS ARE PACKED, THE KIDS ARE OFF SCHOOL - ESCAPE TO A SHOW! Yeah, I know, you still have SO MUCH shopping to do, SO MUCH preparation for your Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner, SO MANY gifts to wrap. Who has time? There is just TOO MUCH to do in Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - ALL RIGHT, GENTLEMEN - YOU CAN BEGIN YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING NOW!
THE CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! OK, you dogs, my favorite day is almost here - Christmas Eve! Every year, at least for the two Christmas Eve's I've been around, that's Read More...
JENNIFER'S CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS YOU CAN USE! CHICAGO, LINCOLN SQUARE, LAKEVIEW, NORWOOD PARK, SKOKIE
NEIGHBORHOODS UPDATE - SANTA, SCRABBLE & MORE! CHICAGO - It was learned on Friday by local business owners and community members and groups that the CTA called off a planned one day strike which was schedules to begin on Sunday night and continue Read More...
U.S. FORECLOSURES - HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS, AND THE BAD NEWS!
FORECLOSURES NATIONALLY DOWN 10% IN NOVEMBER . . . BUT UP 68% FROM NOVEMBER, 2006 Figures complied by RealtyTrac.com , and summarized in today's Chicago Tribune by syndicated reporter Alex Veiga, show mortgage foreclosures down 10% in November versus Read More...
IWONA'S IN THE KITCHEN BLOG - MOUSSAKA
MOUSSAKA Recipe Summary Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Yeld: 12 serves Ingredients: 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups hot milk 4 eggs, beaten 2 pounds ground beef 3 medium onions, chopped 3 tablespoons Read More...
OUR SHORT SALE JOURNAL, 2007 - SOME TRIUMPHS, BUT SEVERAL HEARTACHES!
SLOW-TO-ACT LENDERS SCUTTLE THREE DEAN'S TEAM PENDING SHORT SALE TRANSACTIONS THIS YEAR Put in layman's terms, a "Short Sale" is one where the seller's lender agrees to a release a mortgage lien on a property even if the house is Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - MAKING YOUR HOME MORE HEAT EFFICIENT - PART 2
MAKING THE HOME MORE HEAT EFFICIENT WITH LOW TECH SOLUTIONS - Part 2 Seal duct joints and pipes If you have a forced air heating system you need to make sure that the ducts that carry the heat are sealed at the joints. Much heat can be lost this way. Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - DO YOU QUALIFY FOR A FREE COLOR PRINTER?
I'M NOT KIDDING. XEROX IS OFFERING FREE PRINTERS There are so many color printing options out there these days, but to know that you could be eligible for a free one?! Now that's news. The printer currently being offered is the Xerox 8560 DN . Read More...
EMINENT DOMAIN HITS HOME IN CHICAGO!
ALDERMAN SOFTENS STANCE IN CHICAGO'S LINCOLN SQUARE NEIGHBORHOOD Eminent Domain is the process by which local or state governments may acquire property owned privately for the public good. The process involves condemning the property, and paying a Read More...
CHICAGO REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - DECEMBER 17, 2007
Good Morning, Everyone! Want the best return for your home improvement investment in today's Chicago real estate market? Side it! According to a recent survey in Remodeling Magazine, posted on costvsvalue.com , premium or mid-grade siding yields an Read More...
WHICH HOME IMPROVEMENTS CAN PAY FOR THEMSELVES IMMEDIATELY? THINK CURB APPEAL!
PREMIUM SIDING PROVIDES ALMOST A 100% IMMEDIATE RETURN IN CHICAGO AREA! Check out the website costvsvalue.com. Here, you can download a fresh survey, conducted by Remodeling Magazine, as to which home improvements will yield the fastest, highest dollar Read More...
YES, WE ARE OUT FOR BLOOD - YOURS!
Just an announcement - Our Associate, Tom Rice , at the Lincoln Square office of Keller Williams Fox, here in Chicago IL, wanted me to remind you of our Office Blood Drive , in partnership with LifeSource, Chicagoland's Blood Center. YOU NEVER KNOW Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - CUBS SIGN RIGHT FIELDER FUKODOME FROM JAPAN!
CUBS ADD LEFT-HANDED HITTING KOSUKE FUKODOME Well Jim Hendry , Cubs General Manager, pulled the trigger this past week by signing Japanese sensation, Kosuke Fukodome . Fukodome is a left-handed hitter who is just what the doctor ordered for a Cub lineup Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SUE'S SANTA SIGHTINGS!
IS IT A BIRD, A PLANE - NO IT'S SANTA CLAUS One of my fondest memories of the Holidays was going to visit Santa so I could tell him what I wanted for Christmas seeing as how I was always a little angel at that time of year! I could hardly wait until Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - THE LITTLE WHITE DOG'S GUIDE TO HOLIDAY SEASON NETWORKING!
THE CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Aahh, Chicago around the holidays! The sights, the sounds - the smells! (This year, this little dog learned what Rumaki is - whoa - heaven!) Here I Read More...
JENNIFER'S CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS YOU CAN USE! MORTGAGE INFO, SANTA CLAUS & THE ARTS
MORTGAGE INFO, SANTA CLAUS & THE ARTS CHICAGO - People wishing to buy or refinance who cannot afford a substantial down payment and whose FICO credit scores are less than 680 may have a difficult time getting a new mortgage, and will face higher fees. Read More...
IWONA'S IN THE KITCHEN BLOG - CHICKEN STEW WITH GREEN OLIVES
CHICKEN STEW WITH GREEN OLIVES Recipe Summary Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours Yeld: 4 serves Ingredients: 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 1 onion, sliced 1 clove garlic, minced Read More...
FED RATES FALL - BUT YOURS MAY NOT!
MANY ADJUSTABLE, SUB-PRIME HOME LOANS TIED TO LIBOR BENCHMARK On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Board dropped the rate it charges overnight to banks - the Fed-Funds Rate, 1/4 point, to 4.25%. A drop in the Fed's benchmark Discount Rate is also predicted, Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - MAKING YOUR HOME MORE HEAT EFFICIENT - PART 1
MAKING THE HOME MORE HEAT EFFICIENT WITH LOW TECH SOLUTIONS - Part 1 With heating costs rising, people are eager to heat their homes without breaking the bank. But despite newer technologies that detect energy loss, many people waste energy because they Read More...
AS CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET SLOWS, SELLERS CONSIDER RENTING - NOT SELLING!
FORMER "LAST RESORT" NOW BEING RELUCTANTLY CONSIDERED BEST OPTION! Over the last 18 months or so, home sellers have seemed to change their attitudes toward the Chicago Real Estate Market. As recently as mid-2006, many sellers were pricing their Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - SHARING WEBSITE LINKS JUST GOT EASIER
SENDING INFORMATION VIA EMAIL CAN GET LONG Have you ever sent an email to someone with this great link (URL) and it gets cut off or cut in half? It especially happens to me when I'm responding to an email. I send the website link. The link doesn't Read More...
CHICAGO REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - DECEMBER 10, 2007
Good Morning, Everyone! Even borrowers with what was once thought to be "great" credit will begin paying higher loan fees and surcharges. Dean's Team Preferred Lending Partner, Rich Bira, of First Capital Mortgage , broke the bad news to Read More...
EVEN HOME BORROWERS WITH STRONG CREDIT SCORES FACE HIGHER FEES!
THOSE WITH FICO SCORES OF 680 OR LESS, WITH LESS THAN 30% DOWN PAYMENT, COULD PAY $5,000 MORE! I met with one of Dean's Team Preferred Lending Partners , Rich Bira of First Capital Mortgage , last week during our Monthly Business Networking Group Read More...
U.S. REP EMANUEL'S PLAN WOULD BENEFIT MANY MIDDLE-INCOME HOMEOWNERS!
BILL INTRODUCES STANDARD TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR HOMEOWNERS WHO DO NOT ITEMIZE Under a plan introduced by U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL, 5th), new standard deductions of $250 for single taxpayers , and $500 for those filing a joint return , could Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - WHERE IS THE TEAM?
NO GROSSMAN, NO BENSON, NO COACHING, NO FUTURE . . . WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR SUPERBOWL BEARS? It's hard to believe that this past February, our Chicago Bears were preparing to face the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. The Bears lost that game and Read More...
NEW PRICE! 3BR/2BA CLASSIC CAPE COD - NEW KITCHEN, HUGE YARD. 2 BLOCKS TO GAGE'S LAKE!
Wildwood, Grayslake - PRICE REDUCED on 33051 Battershall Drive - Three Large Bedrooms/2 Full Baths, Gourmet Kitchen w/ Maple Cabs! Now Only $227,500! Incredible price for Lake-Access Property - only 2 Blocks to Beautiful Gage's Lake! MLS® #06691310 Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM JENNIFER - HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
THE HOLIDAYS ARE FAST APPROACHING! SOME HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS ABOUT TOWN, FROM JENNIFER! It barely seems as if it can truly be December already, yet here we are. There are many fun festive and holiday events happening in and around the city this weekend. Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - CRUISIN' WITH JENNIFER - CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS YOU CAN USE!
THE CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs ! Don't you just love putting on those four snowshoes, and heading outside this time of year? I love to leap across the drifts - Read More...
PRESIDENT BUSH, TREASURY SECRETARY PAULSON ROLLOUT SUB-PRIME RATE FREEZE PLAN
PLAN COULD HELP IN EXCESS OF TWO MILLION BORROWERS It is expected that over 1.5 million adjustable-rate mortgage loans, many with special low introductory, or "teaser" rates, will reset to far-higher interest rates in 2008. Many borrowers with Read More...
IWONA'S FAVORITE RECIPES - HEALTHY FOOD FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON
GRILLED FISH WITH FRESH FRUIT! Recipe Summary Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 minutes Broil Time: 6 minutes Yeld: 4 serves Ingredients: 1 large peach or 1 small mango 1 cup medium prepared salsa 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tbsp fresh lime juice 1 tbsp honey pinch Read More...
WHICH CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOODS SHOW HIGH FORECLOSURE RATE INCREASES?
THE NUMBERS MIGHT SURPRISE YOU! Mortgage foreclosures, it appears, are not limited to the historically less affluent neighborhoods in the City of Chicago. Many very affluent North and Northwest Side Chicago neighborhoods are feeling the foreclosure sting Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - KEEPING YOUR WOOD FURNITURE LOOKING GREAT
DON'T LET YOUR VALUABLE FURNITURE GO TO WASTE! If you dust your wood furniture often with a slightly dampened lint free cloth containing a small amount of furniture polish , you won't have to polish as frequently. No matter what type of polish Read More...
FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1982, INDEX OF CHICAGO IL HOME PRICES DROPS!
INDEX DROPS 0.1% FROM 2ND - 3RD QUARTER, 2007 - BUT STILL UP VERSUS 2006! Statistics from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight indicate the Housing Price Index in the Chicago Metropolitan area actually dropped a slight bit going into the Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - MOBILE INTERNET SITES (.MOBI)
THE LATEST INTERNET CRAZE ARE MOBI SITES The other day I was discussing being able to see a website on my friend's iPhone . Of course, part of that conversation turned to the new websites that contain .mobi as an extension. I have to admit that it's Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - DECEMBER 3, 2007
Good Morning, Everyone! With greater frequency in recent months, many of our home seller clients, unable to sell at the price they may have thought when they listed their homes months ago are entering "panic mode." Some are blaming our Team, Read More...
SELLING A HOME IN TODAY'S CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET - NOT AN EASY AFFAIR!
Spotted a syndicated article in last Thursday's Chicago Tribune, written by Ellen James Martin of the Universal Press Syndicate. It had some relevance to me, as a Real Estate Team Leader here in Chicago and in the suburbs. In fact, it was the subject Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE BEARS TURN TO ADRIAN PETERSON!
BEARS WOULD REACH .500 WITH A WIN – CAN THEY MAKE THE PLAYOFFS? In a must win game for the Chicago Bears this Sunday, the Bears will be without starting running back Cedric Benson who sustained a season-ending ankle injury in last week's game. Read More...