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January 2008 - Posts

LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - UNSUNG VICTIMS OF FORECLOSURE - Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Look Closely! Very Closely! See those eyes with a Lil' White Dog attached? That's me, in my locally-famous pose a couple of winters ago. Read More...
TRIED TO LIST & SELL YOUR HOME, BUT COULDN'T, LAST YEAR? Might be Tough to Re-Fi This Year!
SOME LENDERS PROHIBIT RE-FINANCING IF HOME WAS LISTED FOR SALE IN LAST 12 MONTHS! Here in Chicago, and elsewhere, some property owners facing possible increased ARM rate resets try to sell their homes or investment properties, and re-size to different Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS! – GOLD COAST, WEST ROGERS PARK, EDGEWATER, JEFFERSON PARK, OAK PARK
NEW DEVELOPMENTS, GREEN PROJECTS, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND MORE! GOLD COAST Brand new posh hotels are in the works for downtown Chicago. Hoteliers Ian Schrager and Marriott International Inc. just announced their new boutique brand, named “Edition,” Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - NOW THAT'S A SUPER BOWL CHICKEN
BEER CAN CHICKEN What could be more Super Bowl than beer and chicken? Okay, so we decided against the traditional chili option, and we're certain you'll like our chicken too! SUMMARY Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 Read More...
SMOKE FREE ILLINOIS Builds Business for Manufacturers of "Smoking Shelters!"
HUTS CAN COST UPWARDS OF $5,000 EACH! When Smoke Free Illinois, which prohibits lighting up in public buildings, workplaces, workplaces and taverns, and sports venues, took effect the beginning of this year, it meant good news for manufacturers of the Read More...
ZONING VARIANCES IN CHICAGO - "Connections" Increase Chances for Success!
CHICAGO MAYOR RICHARD DALEY DEFENDS LONG-TIME UPZONING PROCESS! Those of you not from Chicago - you might scratch your heads on this one - but this is the way it works here! Let's say you want to build a new house for yourself. Or, perhaps, you're Read More...
NEW PRICE on YOUR PLACE BY GAGE'S LAKE - Wildwood, IL. NOW ONLY $214,500!
Wildwood/Grayslake, Lake County IL - Announcing a NEW PRICE on 33051 Battershall Drive , Wildwood, IL a 3 Bedroom/2 Bath 1 1/2 story Cape Cod on Large Lot - New Kitchen - ROOMY! - Steps to Beautiful Gage's Lake - conveniently located to shopping, Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SUPER BOWL!
EASY SUPER BOWL SNACKS! Super Bowl would not be the event it is without yummy snacks. I've always had a lot of compliments on my Guacamole recipe. Enjoy! 3 ripe Hass avocados ( they should give to gentle pressure, but not too soft) 1 medium tomato Read More...
BANK DEMANDS INFLATED APPRAISALS - Appraiser Refuses, Lawsuit Follows!
VETERAN APPRAISER IN CA REPRIMANDED FOR DESCRIBIING "DECLINING" VALUES! It's been no secret, for many years now, that some appraisers, under pressure from banks who want a successful loan closing, sometimes inflate the value of properties Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!
SOME HELPFUL HINTS TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT! So I'm having a grand time this weekend. I went out to a great dinner at Mirai Sushi - which by the way if you love sushi, you MUST go! I went out to a fun concert with some friends. The night was still Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - January 28, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Average 30-year Mortgage Rates are at their lowest levels since 2004 - some fixed rates below 5.50%! However, loan qualification standards have gotten far more stringent recently, in light of turbulent seas in the credit markets. Read More...
WHITE SOX KICK OFF THEIR SEASON
IT'S TIME FOR SOXFEST! The White Sox are in the midst of their annual Sox Fest at the Palmer House Hilton. This weekend will begin the buzz for the upcoming baseball season for so many loyal Sox fans. Kenny Williams , White Sox General Manager, has Read More...
MORTGAGE RATES ARE DOWN! Have you noticed?
30-YEAR RATES AT LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2004 - BUT WILL YOU QUALIFY? Mortgage rates for new home purchases and home refinances have dropped into the mid-5% range within the last week. But some who seek these low rates are finding it more difficult to obtain Read More...
PORTAGE PARK CHICAGO! Roomy 3BR/2BA Bungalow - Near Park, Schools, Shopping, Transportation!
Tons of Room - Great Neighborhood! • 2 bath, 3 bdrm 1 1/2 story "Dormered Bungalow!" - MLS® $297,400 - Price + Value! Portage Park, Chicago - JUST LISTED! Very roomy 3 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow on a quiet street, great neighborhood! Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM SUE – OUCH! THAT’S COLD!!
THAT ARCTIC BLAST JUST DOESN'T WANT TO LEAVE! I don't know about anyone else but I'm still thawing out from last weekend's arctic blast. Although it appears that this weekend will be a little more tolerable, we'll probably be thawing Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - What's Happening At Wrigley Field is Driving This Dog CRAZY!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Woof, Woof - you dogs! You know, next to my Human Dad, Dean's Team Leader, Dean Moss , I am probably the world's biggest Chicago Cubs fan Read More...
EXISTING HOME SALES FALL IN DECEMBER, BUT HIGH INVENTORY LEVELS FALL!
NORTH SIDE CHICAGO SEES SUBSTANTIAL UNITS-SOLD DECLINE IN 2007, BUT AVERAGE SINGLE FAMILY, CONDO PRICES INCREASE! Nationally, home resales fell to a 4.89 million projected annual pace in December - dropping 1.8% from Wall Street projections of 4.98 million Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS! - ROGERS PARK, LINCOLN PARK, LINCOLN SQUARE, NAPERVILLE
HISTORY, PARK DISTRICT INVOLVEMENT, AWARDS AND MORE! LOOP Polar Adventure Days, a Chicago Park District-sponsored event was held Saturday afternoon. Despite the frigid temperatures, park district officials estimate that 600 people attended the second Read More...
CHICAGO NORTH SIDE WATER MAIN BREAK Points Up Cracks in City's Infrastructure!
THREE-FOOT DIAMETER, 100-YEAR-OLD PIPE BURSTS IN CHICAGO'S EAST RAVENSWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD - NO WARNING! This photo from yesterday's Chicago Tribune, taken by photographer Nancy Stone , shows the damage created by a burst water main in the middle Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - BRIE & CRANBERRY PHYLLO TRIANGLES
HOW ABOUT SOME YUMMY APPETIZERS FOR YOUR NEXT SOIRÉE! When having guests it's always fun to have something different as an appetizer. I received this recipe recently and somehow it appeals to the Greek in me - probably the phyllo! RECIPE SUMMARY Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - LET’S START GETTING ORGANIZED NOW! Part 3
TEDIOUS CHORES CAN BE MADE EASY! Bill paying is always a pain. As soon as a bill comes in the mail, sort according to due date. Write the due date on the right lower corner of the return envelope. Stack these with the dates facing up in a place where Read More...
FED CUTS RATES 3/4 PERCENT - Will it Ease Financial Markets? Help Home Borrowers?
BOLD MOVE THIS MORNING DROPS FED FUNDS, DISCOUNT RATES TO 3.5%, 4.0% RESPECTIVELY! In emergency response to a broad selloff in foreign markets yesterday and overnight, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board made the recently-unprecedented move of dropping two Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - DE-CLUTTERING YOUR PC
TUNE UPS ARE NOT FOR CARS ANYMORE! I've been trying to keep my PC running at full speed without issue. Some of the most annoying are computer freeze, program conflicts and data fragmentation. While doing research I came across an interesting software Read More...
CHICAGO REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - January 21, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Inflation increased at an annualized rate of 4.1% in 2007, and 0.3% for the month of December, 2007 - the highest projected annual increase since 1990. Despite this heightened threat of inflation, however, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Read More...
HAVE A SMOKE? In Many Rental Apartments in Chicago, Illinois, Elsewhere - NO!
AS OF 2008, 2,671 MUNICIPALITIES, AND 23 STATES, HAVE SMOKING BANS OR RESTRICTIONS! As a smoker, can you legally be prohibited from lighting up in your own apartment? The answer - yes, depending on local and state laws, and the terms of your apartment Read More...
NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS BRING A GOOD DEAL OF EXCITEMENT TO FANS!
IT'S TIME TO START CHOOSING A WINNER! Well, it's championship weekend for all NFL fans. Funny, how one year makes such a difference. All four teams in this weekend's finals weren't in this position last year. It looks as though the NFL Read More...
TRANSIT CRISIS AVERTED - BUT AT NO SMALL COST FOR CONSUMERS, CHICAGO HOME BUYERS/SELLERS!
FREE RIDES FOR SENIORS, BUT SALES TAX WOULD INCREASE TO 9.5% IN CHICAGO - TRANSFER TAX FOR REAL ESTATE UP 40%! After nearly a year of wrangling, the Illinois State Legislature yesterday passed a Mass Transit Funding program that will avert massive service Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM SUE – BE SURE TO BUNDLE UP!!
ARCTIC BLAST ARRIVES - BRRRR!! It's the third weekend of January 2008 already, and true to form here in Chicago, it's guaranteed to be an "arctic" weekend with temperatures plunging to the single digits and wind chills below zero. Now, Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - LESSONS FROM MOOSE - A DOG'S GUIDE TO LIFE!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! I was the hit of the party as 40 honored guests from The Floyd Wickman Master Sales Academy came over for breakfast to our house on the Northwest Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS! - ROGERS PARK, UKRAINIAN VILLAGE, NORWOOD PARK, EDGEBROOK, PARK RIDGE
NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATE - CELEBRATIONS, SMOKING BAN AND MORE ROGERS PARK Garry Becker of West Rogers Park turned 100 years old on January 10, 2008. "I just passed my driver's license test. The gal said I did very well. She couldn't believe I Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - SOMETHING FROM JASPER WHITE
SOMETHING BASIC AND MUCH MORE YUMMY THAN MAYONNAISE! Aioli is one of my favorite sauces. For garlic lovers it can be used like mayonnaise, as a saucE for cold meats and fish, for sandwiches, and for dressing pasta and other salads. It can also be used Read More...
INFLATION RISES - BUT LIKELY NOT ENOUGH TO FORESTALL FED RATE CUT!
DESPITE 0.3% INCREASE IN CPI, MANY PREDICT MINIMUM 1/2 POINT FED FUNDS DROP! According to the U.S. Department of Labor, consumer prices increased 0.3% in the month of December, 2007, down from the 0.8% CPI increase in November. The Core CPI figure - which Read More...
REDUCED TO SELL! CLASSIC 4BR BRICK COLONIAL - SKOKIE FAIRVIEW NEIGHBORHOOD!
Skokie - Fairview - Announcing a price reduction on 4934 W. Lunt Avenue - immaculate 4 bdrm Home. TOP SCHOOLS! REDUCED TO SELL - NOW ONLY $449,000! MLS® 06704113 Property information Read More...
CAN'T FIND FINANCING? MANY INVESTORS, SOME HOME BUYERS LOOK TO "HARD MONEY" LENDERS
RATES, FEES ARE HIGHER - BUT MONEY AVAILABLE HERE! For many years, some investors have looked to private investors to finance their purchase, rather than conventional banks and other lending institutions. These "Hard Money" or "Private Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - LET’S START GETTING ORGANIZED NOW! Part 2
NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TO TEACH THE KIDS! Very young children can learn to keep their room tidy. Of course, we need to make it a little easier for the small ones. My grandchildren are two and three years old, yet they pick up their toys and clothes. Read More...
VOTE EARLY, THROUGH JANUARY 31ST, ACROSS CHICAGO, THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS!
EARLY POLLING CENTERS OPEN MONDAY-SATURDAY, INCLUDING MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY! Voting before the Illinois Primary on February 5th is a new option for voters across Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois this year. Those registered voters desiring Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - REDUCE YOUR EMAIL
KEEPING IT ALL ORGANIZED! I absolutely love this new technology I found over the weekend. I don't know about you, but I am on several (at last count 9) list serves . Most of them are through Yahoo and Google . I like to get my information in digest Read More...
CHICAGO REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - JANUARY 14, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! The proposed sale of Countrywide Financial, the nation's largest residential mortgage lender and servicer, to Bank of America may solve one problem relative to the recent sub-prime market struggles. But is it the right answer? Read More...
BANK OF AMERICA TO BUY COUNTRYWIDE FINANCAL - WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS?
$4,000,000,000 DEAL COULD CLOSE BY FALL, IF APPROVED In recent months, California-based mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corporation has been at the heart of media coverage on the collapse of the home mortgage market, in Chicago, and across the U.S. Read More...
CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY FUNDING - POLITICAL GAMESMANSHIP THREATENS FUNDING PROPOSAL!
IL GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH - LET SENIORS RIDE FREE. CHICAGO MAYOR DALEY - WHY BRING THIS UP NOW? A long-running funding battle came to an unexpected crisis point this week over funding for Mass Transit in Chicago - especially affecting the Chicago Transit Read More...
STEROIDS IN SPORTS! HOW DO YOU REACT - AND HOW WILL THE PUBLIC RESPOND?
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY OWN THOUGHTS ON PERFORANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS AND ATHLETES WHO USE THEM! The most recent saga surrounding steroids has again brought the topic of performance enhancing drugs to the forefront of conversation everywhere. The stories that Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM JENNIFER - CHICAGO'S BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE
CHICAGO BESTS! The beginning of a new year is a fun time to take a look at some of the "best" attractions our great city has to offer. So I am going to give a brief rundown of some of the "best" that would make a nice addition for Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - THIS DOG SEES A SILVER LINING!
THE CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG Hey, hey everyone! Well, now that the Chicago Bears have bitten the dust, there's little to do but wait for Baseball Season. You know that favorite Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS YOU CAN USE! - PORTAGE PARK, LAKEVIEW, LINCOLN PARK
NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATE - TREE RECYCLING, CUBS HISTORY, AND MORE! PORTAGE PARK Residents of Portage Park can trade in their Christmas trees. Community members are being asked to hang onto their fresh trees in order to support a valuable cause. Don't throw Read More...
AGGRESSIVE RATE CUTS POSSIBLE - BEN BERNANKE, FED CHAIRMAN!
SPEECH SUGGESTS WEAK ECONOMIC GROWTH BIGGER THREAT THAN INFLATION! Federal Reserve Board Chariman Ben Bernanke , speaking in Washington today, acknowledged growing concern over weak financial markets and poor employment numbers, and suggested that "substantive" Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - ITALIAN THREE BEAN SOUP
ITALIAN THREE BEAN SOUP! This is a hearty, healthy soup that will keep you warm on those cold days.This soup also freezes well, and I usually freeze half in individual serving sized containers for those nights when I have limited time or am too tired Read More...
CHICAGO MAYOR DALEY ASKS FOR EARLIER CURFEW FOR TEENS
CURFEW WOULD BEGIN AT 10 PM WEEKNIGHTS, 11 PM WEEKENDS FOR THOSE UNDER 17 Speaking at a news conference on the South Side on Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has proposed the city's curfew be strengthened to require children and teenagers under Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - LET’S START GETTING ORGANIZED NOW!!!!!! Part 1
LET'S START GETTING ORGANIZED NOW!!!!!! Part 1 With the New Year, I am going to start a series on organizing the house . Streamline cleaning, sorting and storing things around the house. I want to make our lives easier and free from chaos. Let's Read More...
SOME CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET PREDICTIONS - THROUGH 2008, AND BEYOND!
CONTINUED PROCRASTINATION, YOUNGER BUYERS, MORE RENTERS EXPECTED! We would each have one billion dollars if we can accurately predict the near and mid-term future of the Chicago Real Estate Market! As reviewed in an article by Anne Brennan in yesterday's Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - NEW YEAR, NEW PASSWORDS
IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! The New Year is always a time of rejuvenation and planning. We put out resolutions and we think about what we did last year and what we'll do this year. I'd like to recommend one thing to you that is very near Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - JANUARY 7, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! ILLINOIS VOTERS? Have you registered yet for the February 5th Illinois Primary Election? The registration deadline is Tuesday, January 8th. Click on our post on BlogChicagoHomes.com for more information on how to register, and Read More...
VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR IL PRIMARY - TUESDAY, JANUARY 8TH!
EARLIEST-EVER ILLINOIS PRIMARY ADVANCES VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE! Here in Chicago, and across Illinois, the deadline to register for the Illinois Primary is THIS COMING TUESDAY, JANUARY 8TH. This early registration deadline comes with the advancement Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE CHICAGO CUBS AND THE SHORT TERM
WILL THE CHICAGO CUBS BE SOLD THIS YEAR? Things get more interesting as time passes. The latest buzz in Cubdom has centered on when the Chicago Cubs will be sold and whether or not Wrigley Field will be included in such a sale or sold separately. It's Read More...
NEW YEAR/NEW LAWS IN ILLINOIS - LET'S REVIEW THE CHANGES FOR 2008!
NO SMOKING, TAXED BOTTLED WATER, MORE STRINGENT TEEN DRIVING HEAD THE LIST Here's a summary of New Laws in Illinois, effective January 1, 2008. See Pat Butler's article in January 2nd edition of The Lakeview Booster for more information. 1. "Smoke Read More...
CONTRACTOR DOWN PAYMENTS - HOME OWNERS BEWARE!
NO RULES IN ILLINOIS - BUT OTHER STATES RESTRICT DOWN PAYMENTS TO HOME CONTRACTORS Homeowners: do you have horror stories about contractors you hire requiring considerable down payments before they start work? Then, once they have your money, they take Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM JENNIFER - ONLINE SHOPPING & TV!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's 2008 already! With the extreme cold weather and end of the holiday season, things around town are sort of quiet. So this week for my entertainment suggestion, I am going to recommend staying indoors and having some fun. Why not Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - KEEP CERTAIN FOODS AWAY FROM US DOGS!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Was that you who called? Man, I hate when I can't get to the phone quickly enough when it starts ringing! Hope you had a very Happy New Year. Read More...
JENNIFER'S CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS YOU CAN USE! CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, LAKEVIEW, LINCOLN PARK, OAK PARK
NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATE - HEALTHY AIR, EARNING MONEY, YUMMY EATS AND MORE! CHICAGO Hopefully you didn't throw away those old items you find laying around the house belonging to grandpa. They could be valuable. There are so many collectibles that are worth Read More...
FED: MORE RATE CUTS POSSIBLE!
DECEMBER FED MINUTES SEE CONTINUED EROSION IN HOUSING, CREDIT MARKETS! In last month's meeting of the Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee meeting, the Fed decided to lower the Federal Funds Rate, or the rate at which banks lend money to each Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - WARM COMFORT FOOD
PASTISTO! Again, you have to thank my Greek heritage for this yummy family favorite. Aunt Estelle would be so happy I'm sharing this with you. It's the Greek version of lasagna, but oh so much better. This one is fabulous! Recipe Summary Difficulty: Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SAVE MONEY ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
SAVE MONEY ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL I've recently become aware of a program offered through ComEd that can save you money. By using energy at times when the price for Kwh (kilowatt hours) is sometimes substantially lower than peak time prices. You must Read More...