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February 2008 - Posts

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - WINTER FUN
DON'T LET AN EXTRA WINTER DAY BOTHER YOU! Here we are in leap year with yet another obstacle keeping springtime in Chicago at a distance. The recent weather has certainly not been an indication that spring is around the corner. On the bright side, Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: This Winter is SNOWY . . . But is it near Record here in Chicago?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG. Face it, folks! Don't I just have the cutest little eyes you've ever seen on a dog? And, chicks really dig me, too! Man, it has snowed a Read More...
FORECLOSURES ACROSS U.S. JUMP IN JANUARY, but Chicago Foreclosures Drop!
CITY OF CHICAGO FORECLOSURES SLIDE 8%, COOK COUNTY FILINGS FLAT! According to Realty Trac, the Irvine, CA firm that compiles foreclosure statistics nationwide, foreclosures jumped 57% across the U.S. last mpnth, compared to a year ago. In total, 233,001 Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - ROGERS PARK, GOLD COAST, LOOP, SOUTH LOOP, NAPERVILLE
AIR TRAVEL, YUMMY EATERIES, RED LIGHT CAMERAS! ROGERS PARK In September, the Morse Theatre will be reopened with the spirit of jazz. Currently due to it being abandoned and neglected, the theater is a shell of its old self. Three devout music lovers made Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - A WARM BOWL OF PASTA
PENNE WITH PEAS AND PANCETTA A favorite direct from Italy! This makes a great first course or serve with some garlic bread and a nice crisp green salad for a comforting complete meal. Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: Read More...
HOME IMPROVEMENT, REHAB INVESTMENTS SHRINK with Sluggish Housing Market!
HOME DEPOT, LOWE'S EARNINGS DROP 27.5, 30.0 PERCENT IN 4TH QUARTER, 2007! Old-school "common sense" would suggest that a strugling housing market would improve the outlook for companies catering to the "Do It Yourself" home-improvement Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - PREPPING FOR A PAINT JOB
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION, AND ALL THAT! There is still time to spruce up the house with some new paint. Painting is the least expensive way to change the look of a room. It can be fun and fairly easy if you do your prep work first. 1. Move out as much furniture Read More...
CHICAGO, U.S. HOME SALES FALL SUBSTANTIALLY IN JANUARY!
REGIONALLY, MIDWEST BUCKS NATIONAL TREND - BUT CHICAGO AREA SALES OFF 34%! For the sixth month in a row, U.S. Home Sales fell in January , as did the national median home sales price. January, 2008 figures for units sold fell 0.4 percent over year-ago Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - SEND REMINDERS DIRECT TO YOUR CELL
I absolutely love it when I stumble on something that is just useful and easy to use. The latest I've found is called remindTRON . Of course, channeling my youth, seeing the word TRON brings back fond, movie memories. The steps are basic and you do Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - February 25, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Buy NOW, or Wait? That's the quandary for many home buyers today, unsure if prices will fall further on homes they are considering. Mortgage rates remain low, however, and many homes and investment properties previously out Read More...
BUY NOW? WAIT? What's a Home Buyer to Do?
MANY WAIT - BUT THEY ARE MISSING BIG OPPORTUNITIES IN TODAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET! Currently, our Team is working with three comparatively-serious couples considering buying a small home or condo in the City of Chicago, or in a suburb close-in. Each Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - RECENT ROSTER MOVES BY THE BEARS SIGNIFY MAJOR CHANGE
The Bears have made some interesting moves of late and it points to a possible rebuilding era although Head Coach Lovie Smith denied that notion just a couple of days ago. The Bears have decided to not place the franchise tag on wide receiver, Bernard Read More...
EVANSTON CONDO EXPLOSION - Old-School Suburb Grows by Reshaping it's Downtown!
SUBURB ALONG CHICAGO'S NORTHERN BOUNDARY HAS ADDED 1,584 CONDOS SINCE 2003! If you ask many in real estate about a continuing condo success story, they will point to the extensive redevelopment happening in Downtown Evanston. Others may say the glut Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM SUE - AND, THE WINNER IS...
AND, THE WINNER IS .... March is right around the corner and with any luck our weather will break towards more mild temps. As of this writing, that seems to be the general consensus of our weather folk, at least for this weekend, so get out and do something Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Pets Are Worth Saving - A Good Idea, Worth Considering!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Tomorrow morning, folks - 8:00AM! That's the time Single-Game Tickets go on sale for the Chicago Cubs 2008 Season. Went to Wrigley Field today Read More...
PRICE PROTECTION for Chicago-area New Home Buyers!
NEW POLICY FROM SEVERAL BUILDERS WOULD COUNTER 'FENCE SITTERS"! Here in Chicago and nearby, mortgage interest rates are near historic lows. Prices for many types of residential property has fallen in recent months, to levels far more affordable Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, GOLD COAST, LINCOLN PARK, EDISON PARK, & EVANSTON
POPE JOHN PAUL II, THE OSCARS & SQUIRRELS! LOOP The man previously known as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, a little-known Polish cardinal was in Chicago in 1976, when he had visited a Northwest Side. By the fall of 1979, he had become John Paul II, the first Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - KEEP WARM WITH THIS YUMMY FAVORITE
WHITE BEAN SOUP WITH SMOKED HAM Just a little something we found from Williams Sonoma, Seasonal Favorites (appropriately Winter). Hopefully this will keep you warm during these extremely cold days. Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 2 Read More...
ANOTHER FORECLOSURE CASUALTY - The Elderly!
DESPITE LIVING IN THEIR HOMES FOR DECADES, SENIORS SOMETIMES UNWISELY TAP HOME EQUITY FOR LIVING EXPENSES! Most of the stories dealing with home mortgage default and foreclosure these days have to do with young families who over-extended themselves to Read More...
UNLIMITED CELL MINUTES FOR $100 - Cell Phone Wars Heat Up!
DATELINE: OCTOBER 13, 1983. AT SOLDIER FIELD IN CHICAGO, SPORTS ANNOUNCING LEGEND JACK BRICKHOUSE CALLS A VERY SPECIAL FOOT-RACE - WHO WOULD BE THE FIRST COMMERCIAL MOBILE PHONE CUSTOMER IN THE U.S.? It's been over 25 Years since those old, shoe box-sized, Read More...
CHICAGO CONDO BUYERS - BEFORE YOU BUY, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
TODAY'S GUEST POSTING COMES FROM CHICAGO REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY, RON HAYDEN If you're in the market to purchase a condominium on the North Side of Chicago, your research may have taken you across the recent, sudden closing of Regent Realty. Regent Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - CONTROLLING INDOOR POLLUTION
DUST, DUST EVERYWHERE!! There are about 5,000 or so possible ingredients that make up dust. Dust mites feed on the skin cells that we and our pets shed every day. Tiny particles of soil and sand join fibers from clothing, carpet, drapes and furniture. Read More...
HOME EQUITY - No Longer an Instant ATM Machine!
TIGHTER LOAN REQUIRMENTS = NO "READY CASH" ANY TIME YOU NEED IT! Back in the day - I mean, way back - early 2006 - it was fairly easy to receive a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) from every lender in town - and out of town, for that matter. Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - BEWARE OF GROUPLY
ANOTHER IDENTITY THEFT THREAT! I'm a Yahoo Group user. It's a great way for me to stay in touch with the many organizations where I'm a member. So I got this message from one of my Group Moderators and wanted to share it with you because this Read More...
Chicago IL Real Estate Stats Pack - February 18, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Tighter credit underwriting rules are affecting all potential borrowers - even those with top credit histories. A recent Federal Reserve Board survey of large banks nationwide indicated that 50% are tightening lending rules for Read More...
GOT GOOD CREDIT? You'll Still Feel The Squeeze!
MORTGAGE-LENDING STANDARDS GETTING TIGHTER - FOR EVERYONE! Last Summer, when the sub-prime crisis was just simmering to a boil here in Chicago, and across the country, we noticed a few of our credit-challenged buyer clients having difficulty obtaining Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT TO CAMP
BASEBALL TALK IS BACK! Yes baseball fans the season has arrived and although we have to endure the spring training rhetoric, interviews, injuries and rumors of possible deals, opening day will be here sooner than we think. In six weeks, the Cubs and White Read More...
CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CONDO INVENTORY GROWS, While Sales Continue to Fall!
NEW CONDO UNITS DOWNTOWN ARE DOUBLE 2005 FIGURES! In 2007, 3,783 condos were sold in the Loop, South Loop and West Loop Neighborhoods of Downtown Chicago - down 24.6% from 2006 figures, and nearly 54% from 2005 high sales. Only the West Loop showed a Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM JENNIFER - CELEBRATE ROMANCE
CELEBRATE WITH LOVE The weekend following Valentine's Day is upon us. How can we spend this weekend in Chicago in the spirit of love? Well I found many activities for everyone to enjoy: Best for: Couples on a budget that enjoy spicy comedy. Are you Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Chicago's Famous Buckingham Fountain to Get a Facelift!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! We'll, I'm back from Atlanta, and Keller Williams 2008 Annual Family Reunion Conference. What a great time, with great people - in a company Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, WEST LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, PORTAGE PARK, NILES
VINCE VAUGHN'S COMIC TOUR, CTA CHANGES AND MORE! WEST LOOP Owners of restaurants have to deal with patrons bringing in coffee and other beverages when they sit down to order a meal. Customers "walking in with a super grande drive me nuts!" Read More...
PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS STIMULUS PACKAGE!
TAX REBATE CHECKS, BUSINESS TAX BREAKS, INCREASED JUMBO LOAN LIMIT ON THE WAY! WILL THEY HELP? Beginning this May, more than 130 Million U.S. Taxpayers who file their 2007 Federal Income Taxes will receive rebate checks of between $300 and $1,200. The Read More...
"PROJECT LIFELINE" - President Bush's Initiative to Help More Homeowners Facing Foreclosure - Will it Help?
EARLIER RELIEF EFFORT FOR SOME SUB-PRIME BORROWERS DRAWS LACKLUSTER RESULTS! Under a new program unveiled by the President yesterday, dubbed "Project Lifeline," distressed homeowners, behind 90 or more days in their mortgage payments, could Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES! MORE FOR TWO
Lime-Cilantro Chicken with Polenta and Plantains Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: Servings: 2 Ingredients: 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts Juice from about 4-6 fresh limes Salt, Pepper & Olive Oil Cilantro Instant polenta Heavy cream Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FREE FLOWING GUTTERS
GET THOSE GUTTERS FLOWING! It's a good idea to take advantage of any warmer weather to get your gutters free of ice and flowing again. When the sun beats on the roof you have water flowing to the gutters. Unfortunately, the gutters and downspouts Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - STOP JUNK MAIL
ELIMINATE JUNK MAIL & PRE-APPROVED CREDIT OFFERS! Stop Junk Mail - If you want to reduce unsolicited mail you can register with the Direct Marketing Association , which makes a list available to its members as well as businesses that request it. Written Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - February 11, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! City of Chicago Home Buyers will be taking a bit of a hit, effective April 1st, as the Chicago Real Estate Transfer Tax will increase by 40%. Early last week, the Chicago City Council increased the Transfer Tax by $3.00, to $10.50 Read More...
WARNING FROM COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT - Deep Cuts Without Big Tax Increases!
PRESIDENT TODD STROGER PREDICTS CUTS TO HEALTH CARE, OTHER SERVICES! For several months now, the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Todd Stroger , has predicted dire consequences if the board fails to pass adequate tax increases to cover Read More...
BEARS LINEBACKER UNDERGOES SURGERY
CHICAGO BEARS LINEBACKER, BRIAN URLACHER, HAS NECK SURGERY Bear fans got word this week that the heart and soul of their defense, Middle Linebacker, Brian Urlacher had minor surgery on his neck to take care of a problem that was affecting the curvature Read More...
PRICE DROP - $10,000! Roomy 3BR/2BA Portage Park Dormered Bungalow!
Portage Park, Chicago - Announcing a price reduction on 5754 West Warwick Avenue , a 2 bath, 3 bdrm 1 1/2 story "Dormered Bungalow!". REDUCED - $287,400! - Great Price + Value!. Property information Read More...
READY, GENTS - Drool! The 2008 Chicago Auto Show is HERE!
OVER A DOZEN CARS INTRODUCED THIS YEAR, INCLUDING THE ALL-NEW DODGE CHALLENGER - MORE! Ladies, you can have your chocolate! Us MEN will take the MUSCLE - if you please. There are a few of us around old enough to remember the muscle cars of the early 1970's Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM SUE - AUTOS & CHOCOLATE - WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON?
CHICAGO AUTO SHOW & CHOCOLATE FEST! How appropriate is it that the weekend after Super Bowl the 2008 Chicago Auto Show rolls into town!! I guess we don't want you fellas to be bored, or some of you gals for that matter - including me. This year's Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Pothole Explosion in Chicago - Far Worse in '08 - Ooooh, My Aching Butt!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! I'm not sure if I sent you my Official Christmas, 2007 photo yet. That's me with my Human Mom, Sue. Santa Claus was taking Read More...
CITY OF CHICAGO REAL ESTATE TRANSFER TAX UP 40% - City Home Buyers Foot the Bill!
SOME SENIORS EXEMPT FROM INCREASE - BUT MANY WILL PAY! The Chicago City Council yesterday passed a widely-expected 40% increase in the city's Real Estate Transfer Tax, bringing the fee to purchase real estate in Chicago to $10.50 per $1,000 of purchase Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - STREETERVILLE, LINCOLN PARK, UPTOWN, NORWOOD PARK, NAPERVILLE
HOUSING MARKET INFO, MAGNET SCHOOL LOTTERY, AND MORE! STREETERVILLE In today's difficult housing market, the downtown home buyer is a coveted and rare creature, much sought after, but cautious. As the selling season starts, developers continue to Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES! DINNER FOR TWO
HORSERADISH-CRUSTED SALMON, CAULIFLOWER PUREE, SAUTÉED SNOW PEAS Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Servings: 2 2 Filet's of Salmon - skin off Plain Breadcrumbs Raw Prepared Horseradish 1 Egg Salt & Pepper Head Read More...
REDLINING MAKING A COMEBACK? Critics Cry Foul in New Lender Requirements in Certain Counties, Zip Codes!
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, OTHER LENDERS, MAY HIT CHICAGO BORROWERS WITH A 5% INCREASED DOWN PAYMENT REQUIREMENT! Years ago, many lenders and insurance providers quietly practiced "redlining" - charging higher fees or premiums in areas thought Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FREEZING PIPES
HELP WITH FROZEN PIPES! I had a clogged sink last week and called my plumber. He said he couldn't come for a few days since he had so many emergency calls due to frozen and burst pipes. This made me think of a few hints to prevent this from happening. Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - MICROSOFT, YAHOO, GOOGLE
CAN WE TALK? MICRO-HOO, SERIOUSLY? So let's discuss this latest and greatest event in Microsoft history. And let's face it, this is all about Microsoft. Microsoft has stated in no uncertain terms that they want to purchase Yahoo . Specifically, Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - February 4, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! More and more borrowers with sub-prime loans are escaping costly rate resets by re-financing into conventional, fixed-rate loans. Here in Illinois, a CA industry expert predicts that between 25 and 30% of sub-prime borrowers either Read More...
SUB-PRIME BORROWERS - There May Be a Way Out!
RE-FI MAY BE AN OPTION IF YOU DON'T SELL! In Chicago, and across Illinois, when sub-prime lenders shut their doors, many borrowers with these loans are often left holding the bag. One way out, other than selling your property, may be to re-finance Read More...
ARE YOU COMING TO CHICAGO? Watch Out for those Red-Light Cameras - City and Suburbs!
HUNDREDS NEW RED-LIGHT CAMERAS COMING TO CITY, SUBURBS THIS YEAR! A week or so ago, I went to a City of Chicago Traffic Facility to appeal a parking ticket. I got the ticket in front of my office in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of Chicago. I WAS VINDICATED! Read More...
SUPER BOWL XLII – THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS. THE NEW YORK GIANTS
I KNOW WHO MY VOTE IS FOR! The Super Bowl has been a part of Americana for over four decades. Football fans of all types will tune in on Sunday as these two teams battle for supremacy. Fans following the season know that the Patriots also are seeking Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO FROM JENNIFER - SUPER BOWL HOT SPOTS
SUPER BOWL FESTIVITIES! OK, so neither our Chicago Bears nor the Packers made it to the Super Bowl this year. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the game. If you’re not interested in huddling in your living room around your TV set, why Read More...
Where Have All the BUYERS Gone? PESSIMISM May Be the Culprit!
FEWER BUYERS MEAN HIGHER HOME INVENTORY. THAT DEPRESSES PRICES, WHICH COULD LEAD TO INCREASED LEVELS OF FORECLOSURES. THEN, EVEN MORE PESSIMISM! This might be a too-simple explanation of the state of the housing market, or perhaps it is exactly true. Read More...