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June 2008 - Posts

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - GREEN TECHNOLOGY
So I'm sitting here at the local Caribou and have had quite a difficult time finding a plug for my computer, which got me to thinking about solar power. I did some research and there is a company called Voltaic which has the answer to this growing Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 20, 2008
Good Morning! It's hard to imagine, but 2008 is one-half gone! The past year has been a tough one here in the Chicago Real Estate Market, and in the surrounding area. In the Chicago Metro Area, home sales have dropped 29 percent for the one-year period Read More...
CHICAGO AREA HOME SALES PLUNGE SINCE 2007, But Recent Picture Here Improving!
IN CHICAGO METRO AREA, HOME, CONDO SALES UP 13.7% APRIL-MAY, 2008! Is there a bottom in sight to the 2007-2008 downturn of the Chicago Real Estate Market? Perhaps, say some experts, but they do not predict a fast turnaround. Overall, combined sales of Read More...
SURF IN THE SKY - American Airlines Introduces Web Access Aboard Select Flights!
TEST BEGAN LAST WEDNESDAY ON AMERICAN AIRLINES - FLIGHT-LONG ACCESS TO COST $9.95 TO $12.95! Accessing the web from an airplane in flight? The technology has been around for some time, but airlines have been slow to offer it on domestic flights. Yes, Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE CUBS SHOW SIGNS OF WEAKNESS
For diehard Cub Fans, the last week is a sign of possibly more questionable times for the short-term future of the first place Cubs. Yes, they have a terrific record and a pretty formidable offense but in the last week to ten days despite a home sweep Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - “GRAND DADDY” IS HERE !
For those of you not familiar with Chicago tradition, the "grand daddy" of all summer festivals has arrived here in Chicago, which opens its gates to the public today. The 28 th Annual Taste of Chicago will continue through Sunday, July 6 th Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Where Can a Dog Find a Good Donut in Chicago?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Woof, you dogs! Going on vacation next week - gassing up my little Buddy Mobile (nearly 50 MPG), and leaving Chicago to visit some close friends Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - GOLD COAST, UPTOWN, LINCOLN PARK, LOGAN SQUARE, EVANSTON
GOLD COAST Our city's outdoor feast, Taste of Chicago , will set up it's grills for the 28th year. There will be at least 287 menu items and 65 vendors serving up good food beginning at 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through July 6 in Grant Park. Among Read More...
FED ENDS RATE CUTS - How Will This Impact Mortgage Rates, Home Buyers?
FED FUNDS BENCHMARK RATE REMAINS 2% - CONCERNS ABOUT INFLATION PREVAIL! In an effort to spur the economy, head off a possible economic recession, jumpstart business investment, and possibly improve the housing market in the U.S., the Federal Reserve Board Read More...
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS - Suit by IL Attorney General Puts Exclamation Point on Sub-Prime Lending Crisis!
81-PAGE LAWSUIT ALLEGES UNFAIR, DECEPTIVE CONDUCT IN LENDING PRACTICES! Countrywide Home Loans is the biggest Mortgage Lender in the U.S. Now in the process of being acquired by the mammoth Bank of America, the lender has another headache today. Yesterday, Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - CREAMY ICE MILK
This week it's going to be hot and muggy. What better way to cool down than some Ice Milk. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Set Time: 4-5 hours Difficulty: Easy Ingredients: 4 cups milk 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 piece lemo zest 2 egg whites Ground Read More...
HOME PRICES ACROSS U.S. DOWN OVER 15% SINCE APRIL, 2007 - CHICAGO FARES BETTER!
HOME PRICE DECLINES, SOARING ENERGY PRICES DROPS CONSUMER CONFIDENCE TO LOWEST LEVEL IN 16 YEARS! Apparently, the Real Estate Market nationwide has not turned around - yet! According to statistics compiled by Standard & Poors, in their Case-Shiller Read More...
BEHIND IN YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS? FACING FORECLOSURE? New Website Says - "Just Walk Away!"
$995 FEE CLAIMS TO PROTECT DEFAULTING HOMEOWNERS FROM FURTHER HARASSMENT. AND, YOU CAN STAY IN YOUR HOME FOR AS MANY AS EIGHT MONTHS - FREE! The homeownership process, at one time, involved saving and responsibility . Saving - for the original down payment, Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - MORE SUMMER RECIPES
Veggie Pasta Salad 16 oz. Rotini Pasta cooked aldente and rinsed until cool 8 oz. your favorite Bottled Italian Salad Dressing. I use Good Seasons. You can customize it according to your own tastes using different vinegars and oils. ½ cup chopped Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - THE OLYMPICS GO MOBILE
NBC announced today that you will be able to watch the Olympics within about 12 hours after an event ends. The service is called NBC Olympics on the Go. It's a great program. You can select the sports you're interested in. When the latest updates Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 23, 2008
Good Morning! Today, many with somewhat blemished credit, and low down payments, turn to FHA loans to finance their new home purchases. FHA-backed loans offer fixed term, and competitive interest rates. Seller assistance on closing costs is permitted, Read More...
NEW HOME BUILDERS, FINDING INCENTIVES LESS EFFECTIVE, TRY HAVING A PARTY!
BIG-SCREEN TV'S, TRIPS TO HAWAII NO LONGER DRIVE BUYERS, SO BUILDERS HOST ELABORATE CATERED PARTIES, HOMEOWNER SEMINARS - MORE! It's tough selling new homes these days, in the Chicago area, and elsewhere across the country. Last year, as the market Read More...
NEW FHA MOVES COULD STOP SELLER CONTRIBUTIONS TO BUYER'S DOWN PAYMENT!
"THIRD PARTY" PAYMENT OF SELLER DOWN PAYMENT CREDIT WOULD END THIS YEAR - FHA COMMISSIONER! Many experts agree that a good portion of today's mortgage and housing market crisis involved buyers outspending their ability to pay future house Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - CHICAGO CROSS-TOWN CLASSIC EXCITES FANS WITH FIRST GAME
If you didn't know better, you would think that yesterday's Cubs/Sox Game was a playoff game. What an atmosphere at beautiful Wrigley Field. Both teams came in as playoff contenders and the buzz around the park was so evident that even if you Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SUMMER'S HERE AND SO ARE THE FESTIVALS
Well this weekend will officially kick-off the summer season. A great and time honored way to celebrate the city and the season is the go to The Chicago Summerfest , located at 2000 N. Clark @ Armitage. This year will be a two day celebration with live Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Be Careful, You Dogs - Canine Flu Confirmed in IL!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! We dogs need to be a bit concerned! A few weeks ago, a 4-year old Yellow Lab, also named Buddy (no relation) was taken to an emergency Chicago vet Read More...
$4.00 A GALLON GAS? $4.25? $4.50? One Pricey Chicago BP Station Now Offers Gas for $5.00/Gallon - Nearly!
LOYALTY! IT'S OFTEN A HIGHLY-VALUED TRAIT! BUT WILL IT EXTEND WHEN A GALLON OF REGULAR COSTS NEARLY $5.00? Very few full-service gas pumps exist anymore - in Chicago or its suburbs. Most of those old "Clean Your Windshield, Check Your Oil" Read More...
EMERALD ASH BORER - First Tree-Destroying Bug Found in Chicago!
AFFECTED TREE IDENTIFIED, REMOVED AT 29TH AND STATE STREETS, ON SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO! City of Chicago Bureau of Forestry officials felled the first tree they believe to be infected by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer Thursday morning. The tree was in a Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKEVIEW, LOOP, LINCOLN PARK, WRIGLEYVILLE, EVANSTON
LAKEVIEW Non-drinkers face ordering non-alcoholic drinks when entertaining themselves around town. Many groups, including your designated drivers, health and calorie conscious people, Alcoholics Anonymous members, adults with next day early-morning obligations, Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - COOKIES AND CREAM FREEZER CAKE
Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 12 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Servings: 12 Ingredients: 100 gm ready-to-eat vanilla pudding, or 1 cup 3 cup Cool Whip Lite Whipped Topping, or similar product 9 oz Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers, or similar product (should Read More...
NEIGHBOR NEXT DOOR DRIVING YOU CRAZY - WHAT DO YOU DO?
IN CHICAGO, "CRAZY NEIGHBOR" COMMON FOR MANY CONDO, HOME OWNERS - AND RENTERS, TOO! The upstairs neighbor with the sub-woofer on his hardwood floor who likes old "Terminator" movies. The guy next door in the construction trades, who Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SUMMER SALAD RECIPES
Eggy Potato Salad 4 lbs Idaho Potatoes 8 Hard boiled Eggs 1 cup chopped celery ½ cup chopped onion (sweet preferably) ½ to 1 cup Miracle Whip (substitute mayo if you prefer) 11/2 teaspoons salt ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper 1 Read More...
REDUCED TO SELL! 0.36 ACRE + SINGLE-FAMILY HOME IN PALATINE - WALK TO METRA!
Northwest Highway & Wilke Road, Palatine - DRIVE BY ONLY - DO NOT DISTURB! Huge 2BR Ranch in need of Upgrade and Repair! Large Rooms, Sunroom, Deck. Value in the Land! 0.36 Acre Parcel, Incorporated Palatine. 3 Blocks to METRA Arlington Park Station. Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - COUPON WEB SITES GAIN TRACTION IN LIEU OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURNS
This article was written shortly before the recent news of the floods in the Midwest, especially Iowa. If you would like to assist our neighbors in Iowa click here . With recent consumer concerns around food prices going up, I thought summer would be Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 16, 2008
Good Morning! Many in the press are indicating the bottom of the real estate price tumble, and equilibrium between supply and demand, may be near! However, after analyzing both behavioral and statistical trends of buyers, sellers, and properties over Read More...
STATISTICS, BEHAVIOR Indicate Chicago Real Estate Market Has Not Yet Reached a Bottom!
BUYERS STILL WAIT ON THE SIDELINES, SOME SELLERS DENY REALITY, AND STATISTICS STILL SHOW HIGH LEVELS OF HOME INVENTORY! In some areas of Chicago, the Real Estate Market appears to be stabilizing - even improving. In many other Chicago Neighborhoods and Read More...
IN CHICAGO, CTA, METRA, PACE RIDERS ASK - Will Higher Fuel Prices Lead to Higher Fares?
FOR NOW, CHICAGO TRANSIT AGENCIES SAY NO - BUT MASS TRANSIT IN OTHER AREAS CONSIDERING FARE INCREASES! Here in Chicago , the price of a gallon of regular gas approaches $4.60/gallon in some neighborhoods. In an effort to save money, many city residents Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE CHICAGO BEARS CUT TIES WITH CEDRIC BENSON
It's hard to imagine that Cedric Benson is no longer a Chicago Bear . After being a highly touted first round pick in 2005. Benson never amounted to much for the Bears and had amassed only 1593 yards in three seasons with a yards per carry average Read More...
COOK COUNTY IL PREDATORY LENDING DATABASE PROGRAM Begins July 1, 2008!
CERTAIN BUYERS REQUIRE SPECIAL COUNSELING EFFECTIVE NEXT MONTH - NEW COOK COUNTY FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL MORTGAGES! Stricter lending requirements will begin in Cook County IL effective July 1st, for first-time homebuyers of most owner-occupied property. Read More...
YOUR BID ON THAT NEW HOME - How Low Can it Be?
As a home buyer, intuitively, you might think there would be incredible bargains galore here in Chicago . Average prices have fallen, and inventories and market time has risen all over the city, and in most suburbs. Wouldn't sellers be desperate to Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - HAPPY FATHER’S DAY AND MORE!
Yeah, summer is in full swing here in Chicago! The outdoor festivities just keep on coming weekend after weekend, rain or shine. Not to mention that this weekend is Father's Day as well. So let's take a look at what's happening around town. Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Stress Often HIGH for Humans in Debt!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! I'm in a VERY GOOD MOOD today! My beloved Chicago Cubs won another game at Wrigley Field today - their 11th straight at home! Yes, it is way Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKE VIEW, LINCOLN PARK, GOLD COAST, PORTAGE PARK, NILES
LAKEVIEW Madagascar is the largest producer and supplier of vanilla today. They control 80 percent of the worldwide market. As a result, those beans are the least expensive. They cost $1.89 each at The Spice House in Chicago and suburbs; the Mexican beans Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - PLANNING A GREAT PICNIC
I think it's summer, FINALLY! I decided this week why not put together a great picnic and spend time with family or friends. Probably the most important thing when planning your feast is a good food chest or cooler. Now if it's just you and a Read More...
RENTERS - When Their Building is Foreclosed Upon, They Often Have to Leave!
AN ESTIMATED 2,800 APARTMENT BUILDINGS ACROSS CHICAGO FORECLOSED IN 2007 - LEAVING MANY TENANTS WITHOUT A HOME! Here in Chicago , and elsewhere across the U.S., renters are becoming the unheralded victims of the foreclosure process. Often times, when Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN - FIXES FOR A STICKY DOOR
With the humidity coming into play full force, now is the time to check your doors and seals. Testing the fit: Start with one area at a time. Sprinkle powered chalk on the top or edge of the door. Slowly close the door until you feel the door start to Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - NEW APPLE I-PHONE UNVEILED!
Finally, patience pays off and the prices are going down. The new Apple iPhone 3G was announced today with an anticipated July release here in the States. The new phone is slimmer, sells for hundreds of dollars less ($199 for an 8GB), and has GPS. Here Read More...
HOME EQUITY LINES FROZEN OR REDUCED - As Lenders Fear Declining Home Values!
LENDERS FREEZE OR REDUCE LINES WITH LITTLE NOTICE! Not too long ago, here in Chicago and elsewhere, it was easy for many homeowners to draw loans against the equity in their homes. Many lenders offered credit lines, with cash as easy as a check away, Read More...
REDUCED! STEPS TO THE LAKE, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY, RED LINE "L" AND SHERIDAN ROAD BUS!
Rogers Park, Chicago - Open floorplan in a classic courtyard building featuring 2 spacious and bright bedrooms. Beautifully updated and restored in 2004. In unit washer/dryer is an added bonus! Location Plus Value - Near the Lake!! Now Only $142,400! Read More...
REDUCED! CONVENIENCE, LOCATION AND TOP APPOINTMENTS IN ALBANY PARK!
Albany Park, Chicago - C ompact-yet-stunning top floor 2 bedroom home was renovated in 2004 - Quiet courtyard setting! Custom eat-in kitchen, sunny living and dining rooms. High Ceilings, loads of light! Hardwood flooring throughout! Large, private balcony Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 9, 2008
Good Morning! More distressing real estate news, we're afraid! At the end of the First Quarter, 2008, 6.35% of U.S. Homeowners were at least month behind in their mortgage payments. This figure is up 9% from the Fourth Quarter, 2007, and is the worst Read More...
CTA ROUTES ON MOBILE PHONES - Google Maps To Offer CTA Travel Option in Chicago, Other Major Cities!
TRAVELING BETWEEN CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOODS, BY MASS TRANSIT, SOON WILL BE EASIER! Let's say, for example, your enjoying your Sunday Afternoon at the Lincoln Park Zoo , near the Lake, on the North Side of Chic ago. You want to bring your family to a Chicago Read More...
FORECLOSURES, MORTGAGE DELINQUENCIES WORST IN 29 YEARS!
NEARLY 10% OF U.S. HOMEOWNERS FELL BEHIND IN THEIR HOUSE PAYMENTS DURING THE FIRST QUARTER, 2008! According to a report released last week by the Mortgage Bankers Association , the rate for late house payments and new foreclosure filings increased to Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - CHICAGO CUBS BOAST THE BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL
Although the Cubs fell to the Dodgers last night, they go into today's action with the best record in baseball. Having followed the team through this road trip, I've come to the conclusion that the Cubs, despite their record, have some question Read More...
REDUCED! GREAT 3 BEDROOM, 2 BATHROOM HOME IN FANTASTIC PORTAGE PARK LOCATION!
Portage Park, Chicago - REDUCED! Spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow is located on a quiet street in a great neighborhood! Updated eat-in kitchen, formal dining room, sunny living room with adjacent music room or office, plus light-and-bright 3-season Read More...
ATM FEES TO RISE AGAIN IN CHICAGO! You Surprised? (Didn't Think So!)
BANK OF AMERICA NON-CUSTOMER SURCHARGE RISES TO $3, EFFECTIVE JUNE 23RD! Last month, banking giant Bank of America became the second largest bank in the Chicago area. On May 5th, it completed the purchase and re-branded all former La Salle Bank branches Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - WEEKEND FESTIVALS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Downtown Chicago is going to be filled with activities this weekend with two major events. The first is the ever popular Chicago Blues Festival . This weekend will mark it's 25th annual anniversary. It will be held in Grant Park, June 5-8, 2008 and Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Chicago Now Has A Better Chance of Landing the 2016 Summer Olympics!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Woof! Am I pumped! A decision made this week by the International Olympic Committee puts Chicago one step closer to getting the 2016 Summer Olympic Read More...
YOUR HOME, CONDO WON'T SELL? CONSIDERING RENTING IT OUT? Read This First!
MONTHLY RENT CAN COVER HOME EXPENSES, BUT YOU MUST ACCEPT RISK, RESPONSIBILITY! In the recent weakened housing market here in Chicago , and in our nearby suburbs, several sellers have asked us if they should rent out their home, rather than selling it Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN SQUARE, SOUTH LOOP, PORTAGE PARK, LAKEVIEW, NAPERVILLE
LINCOLN SQUARE Some boys dream of being an astronaut, or hitting a home run as a major league ball player. Peter Strazzabosco has dreamed of arranging hot dogs, Italian beefs, and gyros sandwiches next to each other and comparing them. A little bizarre, Read More...
CHICAGO SPIRE - Ultra-Luxury Condo Project On The Lake - Crosses 30% Sold Benchmark!
BREAKING SALES THRESHOLD INDICATES AMBITIOUS PROJECT LIKELY TO GO AHEAD! Situated near the Chicago Lakefront, Navy Pier, and the trend-setting, forty-year old Lake Point Tower Condominium , The Chicago Spire will feature 1,194 high-end units , many featuring Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - A LITTLE SOUTHERN FLAVOR
A little something from Patty Keller (my southern sous chef). Feel free to email her for other southern delectables. SMOKED SALMON AND SOUR CREAM FRITTATA Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15-20 minutes Servings: 4 Ingredients 16 oz fat-free Read More...
HSBC FINANCE, Chicago-Based Mortgage Lender, Offers Loan Restructuring, Modification to Stave Off Possible Foreclosures!
METTAWA IL BASED HSBC HAS MODIFIED OR RESTRUCTURED 22% OF ITS MORTGAGE LOANS SINCE 2006! Since early 2007, many sub-prime mortgage lenders - those who wrote the bulk of their mortgage business to those with lower credit scores, undocumented income, and Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SPRING CLEAN!!!
Before the weather gets too hot it's a great time to do some heavy duty cleaning around the house. Walls, Woodwork, Interior doors, etc. Murphy's oil soap (also known as flax soap ) is great for this. It is gentle and effective. Always remember Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - FASHION AND TECHNOLOGY MERGE
Fashionistas, now is the time to be on the lookout for something new from Christian Dior . Yep, Dior is going high tech with a new cell phone for the low, low cost of $5,000. That is not a typo, the cost is $5,000. Dior's plan is to branch out into Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 2, 2008
Good Morning! One of the saddest statistics in today's weaker Real Estate Market, here in Chicago and elsewhere, is the spike in the number of property foreclosures . The process of Short Sale , where the distressed homeowner sells his home, with Read More...
TODAY, AS MORE HOMES HEAD TO FORECLOSURE, BANKS SEEM MORE WILLING TO ACCEPT SHORT SALES!
HERE IN CHICAGO AND THE SUBURBS, ONE ARIZONA RESEARCH COMPANY PROJECTS A 380% IN PROPERTIES SOLD SHORT IN THE PAST YEAR! As we at Dean's Team look for new homes or condos for our buyer clients, we are simply stunned by the number of homes selling Read More...
HERE IN CHICAGO, Many First-Time Buyers Wait it Out - and Carefully Weigh Their Options!
MANY FEEL WE HAVEN'T HIS BOTTOM IN HOME PRICE MARKET YET - OTHERS, TIRED OF RENTING, NOW DECIDE TO BUY! As a matter of instinct, you might think the current Buyer's Market here in Chicago and in other parts of the U.S., would have many would-be Read More...