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April 2008 - Posts

OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - BEET SALAD WITH STILTON AND WALNUTS
KEEPING IN LINE WITH THIS CRAZY WEATHER! Of course, we had to go with a more fall recipe today because of this crazy cool weather. Besides, Stilton is a type of cheese in case you were wondering. Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Read More...
HOME PRICES DOWN NATIONALLY - But Chicago Fares Better Than Many Markets!
CHICAGO PRICE INDEX DOWN 8.5% SINCE FEBRUARY, 2007, WHILE NATIONAL INDEX DOWN 12.5%! Usually, at the end of April, the vibrant Spring Real Estate Market is in full swing, in Chicago and elsewhere across the country. In many areas of the country, however, Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - START SPENDING THOSE REFUND CHECKS!
SPEND THOSE REFUND CHECKS AND GET MORE OUT OF YOUR HOME WHEN YOU SELL! Tax refund checks start coming out this week, and, of course, many of you will want to save or invest. But the purpose of giving out the rebates is to stimulate the economy so let's Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - PRESENTATIONS FOR OUR BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
SOMETHING FOR THE BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS Sometimes in business we find that we need to share information and email just cannot handle the size of documents that need to be sent back and forth. Enter into the picture, Preezo . It's an open source software Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - April 28, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! More and more critics are saying "unfair" to lenders' proprietary lists of Metro Market Areas and Zip Codes they consider in decline. Those most vocal represent interests of minority and middle-income groups, whose Read More...
LENDER'S "DECLINING MARKET" LISTS - More and More Critics Crying Foul!
PURCHASING A HOME IN AREA LISTED AS "DECLINING" BY LENDERS MAY REQUIRE HIGHER CREDIT SCORES, HIGHER MORTGAGE RATES, AND MORE DOWN PAYMENT! Under a precautionary program instituted last year by several large U.S. Mortgage Lenders, Zip Codes and Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE BEARS GET A CHANCE TO ADDRESS THEIR VAST NEEDS IN THE DRAFT
CAN THE BEARS PUT TOGETHER A WINNING TEAM? As Bears fans wait in great anticipation, the Bears upper management team gets ready to see how they can address the many needs in this weekend's draft. Yes, a draft can make an immediate difference in a Read More...
Kimball Hill Homes, Based in Chicago Suburb of Rolling Meadows, Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection!
BUILDER LATEST CASUALTY OF REAL ESTATE MARKET WOES! Citing "challenges faced by the homebuilding industry," local builder Kimball Hill Homes has filed for bankruptcy protection here, but contends it will maintain normal operations while it restructures. Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - ART AND BULL-RIDING, WHAT A COMBINATION?!
Just last night while strolling down State Street, I was thinking what a beautiful evening it was. The weather was mild. The air was moist with the fragrance of spring rain, and the skyscrapers lit up my path. There is no better place to be than our fine Read More...
Short-Sale Transactions - The Current "Buzz" in Real Estate - Very Difficult to Pull Off!
SOME EXPERTS ESTIMATE LESS THAN ONE IN FIVE SHORT-SALES ACTUALLY CLOSE! Here in Chicago , and elsewhere across the country, there has been a lot of press coverage, and more than a few seminars, about how a real estate investor can make money, or a distressed Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Record-High Chicago Gas Prices = Fewer Dogs Driving with their Heads Out the Window!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Here's a picture of me during more affordable times - when Premium Gas in Chicago cost about $2.25/gallon! That seems like about a million years Read More...
REDUCED TO SELL! Roomy 3BR/2BA Portage Park Bungalow - Top, Convenient Location!
Portage Park, Chicago - REDUCED! Portage Park Bungalow is Roomy - 3 bedrooms + Office, 2 Full Baths, Large, Full Basement, Family Room. INCREDIBLE VALUE - Now Only $249,500! MLS ID 06781116 Property information Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - ROGERS PARK, LOOP, LINCOLN PARK, EDISON PARK, EVANSTON
ROGERS PARK Heather and her husband, Josh moved into their first home this winter. The new homestead came with a yard. Believe it or not but they had never owned a yard before. Even though it was small - this long rectangular strip behind their Rogers Read More...
BUYING A CONDO? It's Going to Get Tougher!
LENDERS, PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURERS TIGHTEN GUIDELINES! Here in Chicago , and in most other parts of the country, it used to be nearly as easy to buy a condominium as to purchase a new single-family home. However, increased lender risk, brought on increased Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - SHRIMP BOIL
It's almost beach weather. Travel is in the air and it's time for picnics, graduations, etc. What better way to get ready for the season than to try a new shrimp recipe? D ifficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: unlimited Read More...
ILLINOIS - 30% Drop in Home Sales in March, 2008, but Chicago Drop Less Severe!
IN CHICAGO, HOWEVER, MEDIAN PRICE ACTUALLY INCREASES YEAR OVER YEAR! According to data from the Illinois Association of Realtors , 8,509 single-family homes and condos were sold across the state, versus 12,075 in March, 2007 - a decrease of 29.5% year Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - LIGHTEN UP, IT'S SPRING!
Can you feel the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer? Spring ! At our home, we're cleaning up the yard, fertilizing the grass and planting flowers. If you're a true plant person (you grow your plants from seeds), your plants have Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - THE LATEST IN SATELLITE/CELL PHONES
NEW SATELLITE PHONE TECHNOLOGY Have you seen the Lost drama on TV? Now think ahead 1-2 years down the road. The satellite/cellular phone seen on the show recently is definitely in our future. There is a new, hybrid satellite/cellular phone that works Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - April 21, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Latest available Chicago Home Affordability Statistics indicate the median-priced home here still eludes many. In most neighborhoods and in many suburbs here, prices have fallen, attracting more potential buyers, but stricter standards Read More...
CHICAGO HOME AFFORDABILITY INDEX SHOWS MEDIAN-PRICED HOME HERE STILL ELUDES MANY!
CHICAGO AFFORDABILITY INCREASES, BUT MANY CANNOT AFFORD MEDIAN-PRICED HOME IN CITY, SUBURBS! Housing market analysts calculate housing affordability in a given area by comparing the median home price (50% of the homes priced higher, 50% lower than this Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - BASEBALL SEASON IS LONG, BUT MIGHT WE HAVE A SUBWAY SERIES IN CHICAGO?
WHO DOESN'T LOVE A CROSS-TOWN CLASSIC? C'mon, whether you're a Cubs or Sox fan, or maybe both, you have to wonder what it would be like if the two teams squared off in a World Series. Now, being a Cubs fan, I know I'm jumping the gun here Read More...
BEHIND IN YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS? You Still Have Several Options!
LENDERS OFTEN EAGER TO WORK OUT ALTERNATE PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS TO AVOID FORECLOSURE ACTION! When homeowners get into financial trouble, and can't make mortgage payments, several different thought processes play out in their minds. Most initially deny Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - THE BEST DOG IN TOWN
OH YEAH! That 70-degree day sure felt good the other day and woke up the "summer" beast in me. It's about time. I say good riddance to the "winter" beast -- it's time for it to hibernate! With the start of baseball season -- Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: You Hear About the COUGAR, on the North Side of Chicago?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! The news story has been all over the country - all over the world! Even Jay Leno joked about it on The Tonight Show Tuesday night. Last Tuesday Read More...
HONK WHEN YOU DRIVE BY - Chicago's Goose Island Brewery Closing Original Brew-Pub Location!
IN LINCOLN PARK SINCE 1988. CHICAGO'S FIRST BREW-PUB VICTIM OF RISING RENTS IN HIP NEIGHBORHOOD! Twenty years ago, in Chicago's North and Clybourn Neighborhood in which the original Goose Island Brewery is located, few thriving businesses existed. Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN PARK, WEST LOOP, LAKEVIEW, NORWOOD PARK, NAPERVILLE
LINCOLN PARK Who likes a free yoga class? Apparently more people are interested in yoga these day than was thought. At Lululemon Athletica's free yoga class downtown on a recent Wednesday night-just minutes after it started - it was so crowded that Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - SPRING FRUIT SALAD RECIPE
With all the recent weather changes for the better, it was time to get out the latest Springtime recipes. Enjoy! D ifficulty: Easy Prep Time: 25 minutes Set Time: 30 minutes Servings: 8 Sauce: 2 cups Cool Whip 1 pint of strawberry Sorbet 1/ 2 cup cream Read More...
GAS PRICES WAY UP - and so is the Annual Operating Cost for Your Car!
AVERAGE ANNUAL OPERATING COST OF YOUR NEW CAR COULD NEAR $9,100 - LIKELY MORE - IN 2008! The recent surge in gas prices is no news to anyone, of course. The likelihood prices will drop anytime soon - remote. But the spike in the average annual operating Read More...
HOME FORECLOSURES SURGE NATIONALLY - But Falling in Chicago and Illinois!
NATIONALLY, FORECLOSURES JUMP 5% IN MARCH - UP 57% SINCE MARCH, 2007 - IL DOWN 1.5%! Across the U.S., foreclosure filings continue their climb - especially in California, Florida, Nevada, and Ohio. Figures from RealtyTrac.com identifies 234,685 properties Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SPRING ROOF AND GUTTER CHECKS
Yes, the gutter pest is back. It is imperative that you keep your gutters clean and free flowing. Clogged gutters can cause water to splash up against the roof. This will cause damage to the shingles and cause the roof to leak. Use a ladder that extends Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - SOMETHNG BETTER THAN YOUSENDIT?
ANOTHER VERY COOL SERVICE Of course I absolutely love finding new and free things on the web so this week we're going to talk about doing a "drop." Just recently I was told about this new site where you can literally drop any information Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - April 14, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! There seems to be a growing, disturbing trend among those delinquent in their mortgages, facing foreclosure. Some simply walk away from their home! Most of those who consider this radical step have negative equity in their property, Read More...
THINKING OF WALKING AWAY FROM YOUR DELINQUENT HOME MORTGAGE? Think Twice!
NEW GUIDELINES COULD STOP FLEEING BORROWERS FROM OBTAINING A NEW MORTGAGE LOAN FOR FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS! There is a disturbing, fairly recent trend among those behind on their mortgages - especially where the balance of their mortgage greatly EXCEEDS today's Read More...
ARTS CENTER OR MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING? Debate Over Use of Logan Square Building -Vacant for 20 Years - Heats Up!
CHICAGO MAYOR DALEY SUPPORTS 28 AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS + ARTS CENTER, WHILE COMMUNITY GROUP DEMANDS MORE HOUSING! The Northwest Side Chicago Neighborhood of Logan Square has often been on the outskirts of housing development and renovation over the Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - BOTH CHICAGO TEAMS IN SECOND PLACE
The First Ten Games or So Lands Both Chicago Teams in Second Place The first 10 games are complete for the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox are just one game shy having played nine games. Both teams find themselves in second place with the Sox just Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS
While the weather outside is wet and rainy, why not take in an indoor activity. This weekend Reptile Fest is being held at the University of Illinois at Chicago P.E. Building, 901 W. Roosevelt Road. From 10 am until 5 pm; this event will feature 40,00 Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS ONE!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Sorry, I just missed your call! As you dogs all know - I'm an Equal Opportunity Dog! I very strongly feel we dogs should have the same rights Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN SQUARE, SOUTH LOOP, LAKEVIEW, PORTAGE PARK, NILES
LINCOLN SQUARE I call my Northwest Side neighborhood BungalOasis for a good reason, says Mazurka Wojciechowska, who has lived there for four years. As the nickname I gave the community implies, you can find many beautiful bungalows here. Some of these Read More...
LESS PAPERWORK WHEN BUYING A HOME? Stay Tuned!
PROPOSED REVISED FORM WOULD MAKE LOAN TERMS EASIER TO UNDERSTAND, BEFORE YOU SIGN! If you've ever purchased a home, you know that you often have to use the ink in more than one pen, and exercise your wrists to build strength for the task. The mountain Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - GREEK ORZO SALAD
WE JUST NEED TO START GETTING READY FOR RAVINIA This recipe comes from my Aunt Sandy and can also been seen in her daughter's book "Greektown Chicago." D ifficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: 8 Salad Ingredients: Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SPRING IS COMING
GET THE GRASS READY TO GROW At last, at last, some beautiful weather this weekend! Now is a good time to get out in the yard. First rake all the old dead grass up. This is also a good time to augment the soil. Throw down a couple of bags of top soil mixed Read More...
LAKE SHORE DRIVE, CHICAGO - Crumbling Pavement, Dangerous Potholes Forestall Seasonal Speed Limit Increase!
SPEED LIMIT ON ONE OF CHICAGO'S MOST SCENIC, MOST FAMOUS ROADWAYS TO REMAIN AT 40 MPH ALL SUMMER! Here on Chicago's Lake Front, Lake Shore Drive is one of the most scenic city drives anywhere. Famous Chicago Skyscrapers to the west. Beautiful Read More...
REDUCED! ALBANY PARK 2BR TOP-FLOOR CONDO W/ BALCONY - ONE BLOCK TO EL!
Albany Park, Chicago - Stunningly Renovated top-floor 2 bedroom condo w/ Private Balcony - quiet courtyard setting! Custom eat-in kitchen, and sunny living room! Lotsa Storage! Great, Convenient Location! NEW PRICE: $152,400! MLS ID: 06824664 Property Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - DIGITAL TV
DIGITAL TV AND ITS IMPACT Sure it's getting lots of press right now, but wait until the holidays! There are many questions surrounding this change-over and how it will impact those of us with televisions that may not be older than dirt but still don't Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - April 7, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Old-school methods of predicting responsible borrowing - including checking a prospective borrower's payment history on his utility bills, and his history writing bad checks - may play a larger part in evaluating creditworthiness. Read More...
CREDIT EVALUATION FOR HOMEBUYERS - An Old Standby Technique Making A Comeback!
ALTERNATIVE CREDIT SCORING COULD HELP THOSE WITH LITTLE ESTABLISHED CREDIT, OR THOSE WITH BORDERLINE FICO SCORES! For several years now, lenders considering the qualifications of potential homebuyers simply reviewed their Fair-Isaac Credit Scores. These Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - DIFFERENT YEAR, SAME OLD CUBS
You're a Cub fan and already you're saying this can't be happening. The Cubs favored by many to win the NL Central Division find themselves in last place after four games, four games that they are playing at home. It seems like they're Read More...
IN CHICAGO, THERE ARE TWO SEASONS - Winter, and . . . ROAD CONSTRUCTION!
WORK ON EDENS EXPRESSWAY, TRI-STATE TOLLWAY TO CREATE SUMMERTIME HEADACHES TO NORTHSIDERS, NORTH SUBURBAN RESIDENTS THIS SUMMER! That old season about there being only TWO seasons in Chicago - that is, indeed, old - my father said it to me when I was Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - OUR CITY'S FAVORITE PASTTIME, SPORTS!
LET THE GAMES BEGIN There doesn't appear to be much "doings & happenings" this weekend here in Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods other than the usual of grabbing something to eat and going to the movies, unless of course, you're Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Battle Over Children's Museum Site Highlights Why Chicago Politics is "One of a Kind!"
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! You know, I have lived my entire life here in Chicago - with the exception of my first eight weeks as a pup. I was born in Joliet Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN SQUARE, LOOP, EDGEWATER, NORWOOD PARK,
LINCOLN SQUARE T he only trouble with uncovering a secret spot to read in peace is of course the secret part. In any case, we wanted to share with you. One such local is the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square (4736 N. Lincoln Ave.). When you enter, turn left. Read More...
BORROWERS DEFAULT. LENDERS FORECLOSE, OWN YOUR HOME. Then What?
SURGE IN FORECLOSURES PUT LENDERS IN ANOTHER BIND! At the end of 2007, banks nationwide owned about $12 Billion worth of foreclosed property - double the amount owned one year earlier. Of this, roughly $6.6 Billion is Residential Property between one Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - GAZPACHO
With the summer months just kicking and screaming to get through, I thought I'd send out a great recipe for the change in the seasons. This recipe is adapted from the cookbook by Annie Roberts and Margrit Biever Mondavi. Bon appetit! Difficulty: Medium Read More...
SWEEPING REFORM TO U.S. FINANCIAL REGULATORY SYSTEM? Don't Hold Your Breath!
CRITICISM BY STATE REGULATORS, SMALL BANKS, LEGISLATORS MIGHT EQUAL LONG FIGNT AHEAD! Yesterday, at the Cash Room of the U.S. Treasury in Washington DC, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson presented the details of the Bush Administration's proposed changes Read More...
NEW PRICE! Albany Park 2 BR Rehabbed Condo - One Block to Brown LIne L!
Albany Park, Chicago - Newly Rennovated - stunning top floor 2 bedroom condo - quiet courtyard setting! Custom eat-in kitchen and sunny living and dining rooms! Now Only $157,400! MLS ID: 06824664 Property information Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - POWER WASHING BRICK
Early Spring is a good time to check out the condition of the brick exterior on your home. Examine the mortar for cracks. These can be filled with mortar repair . This comes in a caulking tube available at hardware stores and home centers and is super Read More...