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August 2008 - Posts

CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 1, 2008
Good Morning! Despite signs that we might be nearing a bottom to the housing market, here in Chicago and across the U.S., ever-tightening mortgage approval rules could be putting a big damper on a housing turnaround in the short term. In our blog post Read More...
DESPITE POSITIVE SIGNALS, Falling Prices - Tighter Lender Requirements Keep Many Buyers Away from the Closing Table!
UNSOLD INVENTORY DROPS, BUT FEWER BUYERS QUALIFY HERE IN CHICAGO, OTHER METRO AREAS! It's true - median home prices are falling! Since June, 2007, Chicago Median Home Prices have fallen 9.5% . The median decline nationally - 15.9%. But the PACE of Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - BOTH CHICAGO BASEBALL TEAMS REMAIN IN FIRST PLACE
That's right baseball fans, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox are in first place and we're only two days away from September. Although the Cubs have the more comfortable lead, the Sox have shown they have the team to compete with the Minnesota Read More...
AS BARACK OBAMA OFFICIALLY BECOMES DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE, Security Around Obama's South Side Chicago Home Tightens!
NEIGHBORS UNDERSTAND, BUT SOME COMPLAIN ABOUT INCONVENIENCE ADDITIONAL SECURITY CREATES! If you were to drive down the 5000 Block of South Greenwood Avenue, off Hyde Park Boulevard, in the Kenwood Neighborhood of Chicago , you'll see a beautiful 1898-vintage Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - LABOR DAY FUN
This weekend promises to bring plenty of sunshine for the traditional Labor Day BBQ's and parades. If you like to add a day of entertainment then why not check out the Jazz Festival this weekend at Grant Park, located at 300 S. Columbus Drive, in Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Many Would-Be Pet Owners Screened Out by Overly-Aggressive Shelter Employees!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! Hope you're ready for the big Labor Day Holiday. As for me, and my new Lil' Pup Reporter, and the newest Dean's Team Read More...
CHICAGO MARKET HOME SELLERS STUBBORNLY PRICE HIGH, While Buyers Wait and Wait for "Bargains!"
CHICAGO METRO AREA REAL ESTATE SALES DOWN, AVERAGE MARKET TIME UP, COMPARED TO 2007! Throughout 2008, our Team has seen the pattern repeat many times. Buyers considering a home purchase delay, thinking prices will fall further. At the same time, many Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKE VIEW, ROGERS PARK, UPTOWN, EDISON PARK, OAK PARK
LAKEVIEW It's summertime and the Weiss beers go down easy. Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, (literally "cloudy wheat beer") was developed in Bavaria and brought to Germany in the early 1500s. This is one of the first and one of the best classic Read More...
Logan Square - Roomy Top Floor Loft With Fabulous Views of the City Skyline
• 1 bath, 3 bdrm single story "Top Floor Loft" - MLS® $317,400 Logan Square, Chicago - True 3BR Top-Floor Loft on a quiet street in Logan Square – INCLUDES HEATED GARAGE PARKING - Two Blocks to Blue Line L! Roomy, bright layout Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - BACK TO SCHOOL SNACK
We found this recipe for the kids to enjoy as an afternoon snack or you can make for lunch snacks. Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 minute Servings: 6-10 Ingredients: 1 stick (4 ounces) butter or margarine 1 cup peanut butter 1 pound box powdered sugar Read More...
CAN I BUY YOU A COCKTAIL? Not After This Friday, on Chicago METRA Commuter Trains - Rolling Bar Cars To Close!
NEW YORK LONG ISLAND RAILROAD TO BE LAST U.S. COMMUTER LINE WHERE YOU CAN BUY A HARD DRINK ON A COMMUTER TRAIN! Years ago, when I was working at the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency in Downtown Chicago IL , I would always visit the Bar Car on the Chicago Read More...
NATIONALLY, HOME SALES RISE! But High Inventory, Interest Rates Keep Housing Market Sluggish!
DESPITE PLENTIFUL INVENTORY, MANY BUYERS CAN'T GET APPROVED FOR FINANCING! Here's the good news, and here's the bad news! Sales of existing homes rose 3.1% for July, 2008, versus June - to an annualized rate of 5 Million Units, from 4.86 Million Read More...
Appraisers Still Pressured to "Hit Target Numbers!"
DESPITE NEW FEDERAL BAN ON ATTEMPTING TO INTERFERE WITH APPRAISALS, PRESSURE STILL EXISTS . . . BUT IT'S MORE SUBTLE! Many experts contend that inflated home prices , made possible in part by inflated property appraisals , were at the core of the Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - CONSERVING WATER IN THE HOME AND GARDEN
If you cover your sidewalk with a porous material, such as pavers or gravel instead of solid cement or asphalt, rainwater will be able to soak into the ground slowly and avoid water running off into the sewer. Collect water in rain barrels for use in Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - INTERNET CONNECTIVITY LIMITS PORTEND BIG BILLS FOR PHONE COMPANIES
Guy Distaffen from upstate New York switched Internet providers three months ago. His phone company offered one year of free service with the traditional two-year contract. Then his phone company, Frontier Communications Corp., updated its policies stating Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - August 25, 2008
Good Morning! For many homeowners, their drop in Home Equity - the amount their house is worth versus their outstanding loan balance - has been devastating! It's even more disastrous for those with Pay Option ARM Loans , popular as recently as a couple Read More...
FHA LOAN APPLICATIONS SURGE, As Sub-Prime, Piggy Back Loan Option Dries Up!
NEW CHICAGO METRO AREA FHA CEILING OF $410,000 FOR SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES, UP TO $788,000 FOR FOUR-UNIT MULTI-FAMILIES OPENS DOOR TO MORE POTENTIAL BORROWERS! It''s interesting how quickly - and dramatically - consumer lending preferences have changed Read More...
IN CHICAGO AND ELSEWHERE, Equity Crunch Strains Borrowers with Adjustable Rate Loans!
THOSE WITH "OPTION ARMS" OFTEN HIT THE HARDEST! So-called "Option ARM's" were the highly-advertised darling of the housing boom for many home borrowers. In essence, each month, the borrower can either pay a specified minimum payment Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - IT'S FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT TIME
For the diehard football fan there's nothing like the fantasy football draft that many fantasy leagues will be conducting this weekend. The anticipation of drafting a team of players that can compete for your league's championship means bragging Read More...
CHICAGO CYCLISTS, BE CAREFUL - City to Strengthen Enforcement of Bicycle Traffic Laws!
STRICTER ENFORCEMENT PROMPTED BY INCREASE IN CHICAGO BICYCLISTS, AND FOUR RECENT BIKE-CAR FATALITIES! Bike riding. Let's face it, when you were a kid, it seemed easy - once you learned to ride, of course. Stop signs, red lights, one-way streets, riding Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVALS!
SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVALS ABOUND THIS WEEKEND! Enjoy the Summer Music Series , presented by Chicago's Art Institute and the Old Town School of Folk Music! It will be held on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 to 8:45 in McKinlock Court in the Art Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Here's Gracie . . . My New Pup Reporter & Dog Friday!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Here at Dean's Team Chicago World Headquarters , in a basement on Western Avenue , in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of Chicago - there's Read More...
IN CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD REZONING ISSUES - Money Apparently Talks Louder Than Neighborhood Concerns!
CHICAGO DEVELOPERS, ZONING ATTORNEYS MAKE POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS - ALDERMEN ADVOCATE THEIR PROJECTS, CITY COUNCIL JUST GOES ALONG! In theory, the Chicago system for approving Zoning Variance is a good thing. It creates an opportunity for neighbors to Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - SOUTH LOOP, ROGERS PARK, LAKEVIEW, NORWOOD PARK, NAPERVILLE
SOUTH LOOP For quite some time, the corridor of Wabash Avenue under the "L" tracks was ridiculed as being an alley between State Street and Michigan Avenue. It's a noisy semi-cave flanked by shabby offices and empty storefronts. People would Read More...
Old Enough to Vote. Old Enough to Fight. But NOT Old Enough to Have a Beer - LEGALLY!
SEVERAL MAJOR UNIVERSITIES SUGGEST RECONSIDERING 21 YEAR OLD DRINKING AGE, WHILE OTHERS SAY "NO!" The debate has gone on across the U.S. for many years. How old should the minimum age for drinking alcoholic beverages be? Eighteen? Twenty-one? Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - AN UNUSUAL ONION RECIPE
YA GOTTA BE KIDDING ONIONS This is a more unusual recipe that I have been wanting to try out and so fabulous. Once you try this you'll want to make this for friends and family. PREP TIME: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 15 hours (overnight chilling) SERVINGS: Read More...
BAD NEWS, BAD TIMING - Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Increase Loan Fees for Many!
THOSE WITH LESS THAN 720 FICO SCORE, LOW DOWN PAYMENT TO PAY HIGHEST FEES! Many home borrowers will be hit with "adverse market" surcharges on loans guaranteed by financially-strapped U.S. Mortgage Giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . Officially, Read More...
THE FRAME OF MIND OF TODAY'S COLLEGE FRESHMAN!
BOOMERS - THIS WILL BLOW YOU AWAY! Ever get up in the morning and feel real old? Assuming you're over thirty, read Beloit WI College's annual Freshman Mindset List . It's written from the frame of reference of the college Class of 2012, most Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - PRESERVING SUMMER PRODUCE
By now I'm sure you have been harvesting many delicious fruits and veggies from your garden. Soon an over abundance of especially tomatoes will try your patience. Friends, neighbors and co-workers can only eat so many. The simplest way to preserve Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - EMPLOYERS CAN NOW CONTROL FACEBOOK USAGE
We at Dean's Team are Facebook users and have to admit that it can be very addicting if you don't monitor yourself. Most people understand the need for Facebook in the scheme of business but with all the plug-ins/add-ins it can take away from Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - August 18, 2008
Good Morning! HOMESELLERS: Do you really save money by selling By Owner? This is an old subject, being asked more and more by those trying to sell - as Chicago home inventory and days on market rise, and median prices fall. Despite the fact that home Read More...
OLD DEBATE IS RENEWED - As A Homeseller, am I Better Off Going it Alone - FSBO?
WITH CHICAGO AREA HOME PRICES DOWN 9.4% WITHIN THE PAST YEAR, MANY CONSIDERING SELLING THINK THEY WILL SAVE MONEY WITHOUT A REAL ESTATE BROKER. BUT . . . WILL THEY, REALLY? In the decade and a half I have been selling Residential Real Estate here in Chicago, Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE CHICAGO CUBS SEEM TO BE PUTTING EVERYTHING TOGETHER
The Cubs are playing terrific baseball now and have won nine consecutive games on the road blazing their way to 28 games above .500 easily having the best record in the National League. What's interesting about this latest win is that the Cubs are Read More...
CTA SKOKIE SWIFT TO ADD OAKTON STREET STATION IN DOWNTOWN SKOKIE - NEW EVANSTON STATION MAY FOLLOW!
OAKTON STATION DESIGN TO BEGIN LATER THIS MONTH - POSSIBLE EVANSTON STATION UNDER CONSIDERATION! Look on the web under Chicago & North Shore Railroad , you'll find, as recently as the early 1960's, the line now know as the CTA Yellow Line Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - AIR & WATER SHOW
It is that time of the summer again. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and pick out a spot on the beach on the lake front for this years Air & Water show. This years show will celebrate 50 years with three days of daring thrills in the air and on Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: It's Official - Higher Gas Prices Have Reduced Miles Driven by Americans!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Let's Face it, You Dogs! Would you say, truly, you've attempted to drive fewer miles this summer, with the price for a gallon of regular-grade Read More...
CITY OF CHICAGO BUDGET GAP WILL GROW - Are City Employee Layoffs Far Behind?
ESTIMATES CALL FOR 1,800 LAYOFFS - CHICAGO ALDERMAN GEORGE CARDENAS, 12TH WARD)! Preliminary estimates from the Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's office peg the projected shortfall in the 2009 City Budget at $420 Million. State of Illinois Law requires Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - SOUTH LOOP, UPTOWN, LINCOLN PARK, LOGAN SQUARE, EVANSTON
SOUTH LOOP Great jazz pianists have always been easy to come by in Chicago, but one of the best has a new home. The recently reopened Jazz Showcase, in the South Loop, lately has been showcasing top Chicago artists in ongoing performances. One deserving Read More...
COMING TO CHICAGO - FATBURGER!
ICONIC WEST COAST HAMBURGER STAND TO OPEN UP ORLAND PARK IL LOCATION - OTHER CHICAGO AREA LOCATIONS TO FOLLOW! If you've traveled to the West Coast, you may know that region has some iconic hamburger restaurants - a few of which haven't made it Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - FIVE MINUTE ICE CREAM
I found this recipe at All Recipes and just had to share. Hope you enjoy it! A fast way to make delicious ice cream without compromising quality. Use any frozen fruit in place of the strawberries. This is a quick recipe to WOW company who drop by. PREP Read More...
CHICAGO HOMEOWNERS - Purchase Your Home Recently, with Little Down? Most Likely, You're Upside Down!
OF 2006 HOME BUYERS, 37.8% NOW OWE MORE THAN THEIR HOUSE IS CURRENTLY WORTH - ZILLOW.COM STUDY! We know that Real Estate is local, not national, in its scope and effect. However, recent numbers compiled by Real Estate Homesite Zillow.com should offer Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - KEEP YOUR TREES HEALTHY AND THRIVING
A newly planted 8 foot tall tree needs 20 gallons of water a week. Larger trees can usually go three weeks without a deep watering but older trees' water needs should also be carefully monitored. People are often more concerned about leaf growth when Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - WI-FI IN THE SKY
Delta Airlines announced last week that they will be offering Wi-Fi on all domestic flights by the middle of next year. The plan is to add Wi-Fi to the fleet of 330 airplanes which is about 60% of Delta's seats. If you are flying smaller planes seating Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - August 11, 2008
Good Morning! For many months now, lenders have suggested contact them early, in anticipation of financial hardship possibilities ahead. However, many lenders are simply not responsive to their borrower clients unless they are already several months in Read More...
THE LATEST TREND IN HOME STAGING - A Hired Occupant/Stager!
NASHVILLE TN-BASED STAGING COMPANY CONTRACTS RESIDENT MANAGERS FOR HIGH-END HOMES TO INCREASE CHANCES FOR QUICK SALE! Most selling or buying real estate these days have heard of the concept of "Staging" a property to sell. The process involves Read More...
HOMEOWNERS? Running Into Possible Financial Trouble? Contact Your Lender! But They Won't Likely Listen, Let Alone Help!
LENDERS OFTEN TURN DEAF EAR UNLESS YOU'RE SEVERAL MONTHS IN ARREARS! Want the cold water of reality splashed right in your face? Contact your bank, and ask them what the procedure would be if you foresee trouble paying your monthly mortgage payments Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - THE BEARS DON’T LOOK A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT
Yes, Bears fans, it's a different year but I don't think we can expect too much to be different and improved vs. last year. I know it's tough to gauge after just one preseason game but the Bears looked awful in key areas and now have their Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - BIG WEEKEND IN CHICAGO!
Now that Lollapalooza is behind us, we have yet another big, and I mean BIG, weekend in Chicago. I bet you're wondering what could be bigger than Lollapalooza. It's the Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals series this weekend! Yes, those pesky Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Saudi Arabia Bans Us Dogs & Cats in Public, Because We're "Chick Magnets!"
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Boy, am I glad to be a Lil' Dog living here in Chicago, rather than in some other part of the planet. Here in Chicago, we have dedicated Dog Read More...
2007 MORTGAGE DEFAULT SURPASSES 2006 FIGURES BY A WIDE MARGIN!
RATE OF DEFAULT NEARLY TRIPLES FOR 2007-ISSUED MORTGAGES - FDIC DATA, APRIL 30, 2008! Recent data, prepared by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC ) for the Wall Street Journal kernalizes the mortgage meltdown we have experienced since early Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - WEST LOOP, ROGERS PARK, UPTOWN, NORWOOD PARK, OAK PARK
WEST LOOP Enjoy a Rush Hour Concert this Tuesday at 5:15 PM. The entertainment is free and offered at St. James Cathedral. It is located at 65 E Huron Street. This year's summer series was designed for the busy schedules of Loop and Michigan Avenue Read More...
GAS PRICES IN CHICAGO! As They Fall, Will Wasteful Behavior Return? Or, Are Things "Different" Now?
INTEREST IN FUEL-EFFICIENT TOYOTA PRIUS DECLINES WITH RECENT GAS PRICE MODERATION! Here in Chicago , the average price for a gallon of regular gas has fallen 28 cents since its record high of $4.35/gallon set on July 16th, according to data available Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - CRANBERRY GELATIN SALAD
It's time for another cool and soothing fruit-based salad for the summer. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Set Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes INGREDIENTS: 1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce 1 (16.5 ounce) can pitted dark sweet cherries, Read More...
CHICAGO AREA HOMEOWNERS - PROPERTY TAXES TOO HIGH? File an Appeal!
DESPITE SLUGGISH CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET, ASSESSED VALUES LIKELY TO INCREASE! Median property prices are down, in Chicago and Cook County , over the past year. Why, then, do Property Taxes , tied to the Assessed Value of the property , increase in Read More...
MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVED? SURPRISE - No Mortgage For You!
TOUGHENED CREDIT STANDARDS, DOWN PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS SOMETIMES KILL DEALS AT THE 11TH HOUR! You've applied for your mortgage loan. You have good credit, 10% down payment. Stable job, never a late payment. Getting that home mortgage should be a slam Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - BATHTUB RECAULKING
The joint between your tub and whatever surrounds it is a critical part of the installation and needs to be maintained. If the caulk is stained, cracked, peeling off or mildewed, it's probably time to replace it. Sometimes old caulk can just be pulled Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY BUSTRACKER
If you are a city commuter, like me, knowing when the bus or an El will arrive sure makes it easier to plan your day. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) introduced CTA Bustracker about a month ago and so far this service has proved to be great for commuters. Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - August 4, 2008
Good Morning! Is there a silver lining in the Chicago Real Estate Market these days? If you own residential rental property, there might be! Although hard-and-fast statistics have not yet been compiled, there seems to be strengthened interest for rental Read More...
HOUSING MARKET DOLDRUMS TRANSLATE TO A STRONGER MARKET FOR RENTALS!
MANY CHICAGO LANDLORDS SEE A RESURGENCE IN INTEREST IN RENTALS - AND HIGHER RENTS! Two years ago, virtually every family who wanted to found themselves "qualified" to purchase a new home. (In retrospect, perhaps that should NOT have been the Read More...
THE INTERNET, Plus Lots of Property Photos, Help Spell Success for Home Sellers!
84% OF HOMEBUYERS START THEIR SEARCH ON THE WEB, ACCORDING TO NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS - MOST WANT PHOTOS, TOURS, VIDEO! Selling your home in or around Chicago these days? You better get tons of web coverage, and showcase lots of properly-staged Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - COULD THE CHICAGO BEARS MAKE A PLAY FOR BRETT FAVRE?
As a Bears fan, could you have ever imagined Brett Favre wearing a Chicago Bear uniform? Yes, the changing times in professional sports have teams exploring options that would never have been imaginable. Although there is very little resolution to the Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - LOLLAPALOOZA
Everyone ought to know there is simply just one thing to do this weekend, and that of course is Lollapalooza at Chicago's Grant Park! This weekend's gigantic music festival begins Friday and runs through Sunday. It is expected to feature 139 performances Read More...