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September 2008 - Posts

PRICE REDUCED! ROOMY 3BR HOME IN BELMONT HEIGHTS IS MOVE-IN READY!
Belmont Heights, Chicago - Ultra-Quiet, Yet Convenient, Belmont Terrace! This roomy 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home has been fully updated – Move Right In! Lower level has been completely finished, with Entertainment Room, Full Bath, Exercise Room, and separate Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FALL REMINDERS
Summer is over and our thoughts turn to fall and winter. Below is a checklist to get you started on your way to preparing for Fall. Seed the lawn . Cooler weather is optimum for grass seed. Remember to keep it moist until germination. The rest of the Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - TIME FOR SOME PC-CLEANING
It's that time of year again when the PC gets a little sluggish and seems to move at a snail's pace. The most important thing to remember is that if you are not comfortable at all with doing any of these tips, then get a professional in to do Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 29, 2008
Good Morning! With all that's happening on Wall Street, and with the U.S. Congress putting the finishing touches on a $700 Billion Financial Bailout Package for the nation's lending institutions , is now a good time to refinance your home loan? Read More...
JP MORGAN CHASE TAKEOVER OF WASHINGTON MUTUAL will have Chicago Ramifications!
HERE IN CHICAGO AREA, CLOSURE OF SOME OF THE 117 WA MU BRANCHES HERE LIKELY - CHASE! The Federal Government Seizure of Washington Mutual last week, with its over $300 Billion in assets , was the largest such bank takeover in U.S. History. It's near-immediate Read More...
RE-FINANCE YOUR MORTGAGE! Is the Time Right . . . NOW?
NEW RULES ON REQUIRED HOME EQUITY, MINIMUM CREDIT SCORES, MAKE LOAN APPROVAL TOUGHER! You've owned your home for several years, and have no plans to sell anytime soon. You've heard mortgage rates are down. Is it the right time to refinance to Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE CUBS ARE IN AND THE WHITE SOX CONTINUE TO BATTLE
Here are we are Chicago baseball fans. It's the last weekend in September and the Chicago Cubs have solidified their spot in the playoffs with home-field advantage throughout the National League Playoffs and the Chicago White Sox will have to find Read More...
HERE IN CHICAGO - WILL THE ECONOMY, HIGH GAS PRICES Halt Suburban Expansion?
FAR-FLUNG SUBURBS BECOME LESS DESIRABLE AS GAS PRICES RISE, CLOSER-IN NEIGHBORHOODS BECOME MORE AFFORDABLE! During the peak of the Housing Boom here in Chicago a couple of years ago, many families began fleeing the city and closer-in suburbs. They wanted Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - TIME FOR OKTOBERFESTS
Summer is now officially behind us. That means that Oktoberfest celebrations are surely underway. Celebrate autumn with a little German culture this weekend. Oktoberfest ... Beer, Bands, & Brats are on the agenda. Here are a few options around town. Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Wanna See The Cubs in The Playoffs? Grab Your Wallet!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! "Go, Cubs, Go! Go, Cubs, Go! Hey CHICAGO, What Do You Say, the Cubs are Gonna Win Today!" Just practicing the Cubs Victory Theme Song Read More...
TROUBLING STATISTIC FOR CHICAGO HOMEOWNERS - More Are Spending Too Much of Their Income on Housing Costs!
HERE IN CHICAGO, 35% OF HOMEOWNERS PAY MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF THEIR INCOME ON HOUSING COSTS! In October, 2005, we acquired some first-time condo buyers, in search of a mid-priced, updated condo in the Albany Park Neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - UPTOWN, LAKEVIEW, EDGEWATER, ALBANY PARK, EVANSTON
UPTOWN Come and sample a $25 three course tasting menu. You will experience foods from India's northern state of Punjab in this three-course meal special that features such dishes as braised ground lamb dumplings, stir-fried Indian eggplant and slow-cooked Read More...
CHICAGO METRO AREA HOME SALES DIP 30% IN AUGUST!
RESALES IN ILLINOIS FALL 27%. NATIONALLY, RESALES DROP 2.2%! As prospects for a fast recovery in the Chicago and Illinois Real Estate Markets seem to dim in light of the historic financial turmoil on Wall Street, sales of existing homes here dropped once Read More...
FINANCIAL BAILOUT! Most Agree It Has to be Done - But Few Like It!
55% OF TAXPAYERS SAY "NO!" TO BAILOUT - LA TIMES/BLOOMBERG POLL - BUT FED PREDICTS "DIRE CONSEQUENCES" IF NOT ENACTED! Senators and Congressmen don't like it. Main Street American Taxpayers don't like it. Even advocates U.S. Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - CHICKEN CHUTNEY WRAP
Not only is it healthy, but it's easy to make and quite yummy! Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons chutney 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise 4 low-fat tortillas (8-inch diameter) 4 large red-lettuce leaves 2 Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - INDOOR POLLUTION
Most people don't pay a lot of attention to indoor air quality. Of course there are those expensive machines costing hundreds of dollars. Way too rich for my blood! I've used scented candles or sprays thinking they are harmless, not so! Scented Read More...
RENTING IN CHICAGO? Landlord's Foreclosure Could Result in Your Eviction!
2,500 CHICAGO RENTERS MAY BE DISPLACED BY LANDLORD'S FORECLOSURE IN 2008! Do you rent your home or apartment? Feel you're protected from the effects of foreclosure in today's depressed housing market here in Chicago? Think again! Often, property Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - SANDISK TO INTRODUCE SLOTMUSIC
The music industry is now introducing a new initiative called slotMusic. It's a partnership between SanDisk and several major retailers. The entire concept revolves around ease of use. Essentially, the user buys a 1GB card with preloaded music and Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 22, 2008
Good Morning! A historic, turbulent week on Wall Street now leads to debate in the U.S. Congress on the Housing Bailout Plan proposed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Most agree this measure, which will allow the Fed to buy as much as $700 Billion Read More...
FINANCIAL BAILOUT IN U.S. - Likely, But Not Without Wrangling!
FED TO ASK CONGRESS FOR UP TO $700 BILLION THIS WEEK; SOME CONGRESSMEN WANT "CONDITIONS" ADDED TO BAILOUT! A dramatic week on Wall Street moves to the next level this week, as the Federal Government is asking the U.S. Congress for the authority Read More...
LET'S CURE BREAST CANCER - Please Help Us!
JOIN DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO IN OUR ANNUAL "WALK FOR HOPE" - SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5TH, GLENVIEW IL! We have a special request today, and hope you can help. Just over a year ago, one of our dear colleagues and close friends, Cheryl Hardy, succumbed Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - THE CUBS CAN CLINCH TODAY
Yesterday's Cub game wasn't what the Cubs and their fans were hoping for as Cubs' ace right-hander, Carlos Zambrano took the mound after his brilliant no-hitter in Milwaukee earlier in the week. Unfortunately, Zambrano didn't have it and Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - DON'T LET GO YET!
Fall is just around the corner but I wouldn't count summer out just yet! It looks as though this weekend in Chicago will continue to have a "variety" of things to do for whatever strikes your fancy. And, I do believe, the temps around here Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Chicago: Stress Capitol of the USA? Huh?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Woof, everyone! Our Team Photographer snapped this candid earlier this week of me, along with our new Pup Reporter, Gracie Moss, during a quiet Read More...
DESPITE RECENT CHICAGO-AREA HOUSING WOES, Latest Cook County Property Taxes To Stay High!
REAL ESTATE TAX YEAR 2007 BILLS FOR COOK COUNTY PROPERTY TO BE MAILED SEPTEMBER 30TH - DUE NOVEMBER 3RD! Extreme levels of housing inventory for sale. Falling property values. Many homeowners close to foreclosure. These developments would seem to point Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN PARK, GOLD COAST, ROGERS PARK, LOGAN SQUARE, NAPERVILLE
LINCOLN PARK Bratwurst flavored with a burst of chipotle from the local butcher shop is a sure hit on the grill. Enjoy the end of summer with this spicy link (look for them at Gepperth's Market in Lincoln Park) which takes on an extra dimension when Read More...
LONGSTANDING U.S. BELIEF - "Everyone Deserves to Own a Home!" Is it Being Re-Thought by Obama, McCain?
OBAMA, MC CAIN CHALLENGE LONG-STANDING NOTIONS OF "HOME OWNERSHIP FOR ALL!" Does every American family deserve to own their home? A few years ago, if you asked President George Bush , the answer would be a resounding "YES!" "I Read More...
HOUSING MARKET BOTTOM NEAR? Worst New Home Construction since 1991 Suggests "No!"
6.2% DROP IN AUGUST - NEW HOME BUILDING AT LOWEST LEVEL IN 17 YEARS! In this week of ongoing financial turmoil, the August Housing Start s figures did little to brighten up the party. Construction of new homes nationwide fell to a seasonally-adjusted Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - PIZZA BURGERS
SOMETHING THE KIDS ARE SURE TO LOVE Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS 1 pound ground beef 1 (14 ounce) can pizza sauce 4 hamburger buns 4 slices shredded mozzarella cheese DIRECTIONS Place ground beef in a large, deep Read More...
HOMEOWNER DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS - The Fight Goes On!
TOTAL BAN ON SELLER CONTRIBUTIONS TO A BUYER DOWN PAYMENT WILL TAKE EFFECT OCTOBER 1ST, UNLESS CONGRESS ACTS NOW! Down Payment Assistance Programs have long been controversial. Such programs allow home sellers or builders to actually contribute all, or Read More...
FED LEAVES KEY RATE UNCHANGED - But What are they Really Saying?
FED FUNDS RATE REMAINS AT 2% IN UNIFIED VOTE, BUT FED LEAVES OPEN THE POSSIBILITY OF ACTION BETWEEN MEETINGS! The bankruptcy of venerable Investment Bank Lehman Brothers over the weekend. The sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. The crisis at American Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FLOOD TIPS
Most of the flood water you encounter in your basement will contain at least some sewer water. Never walk into a flooded basement without footwear. Waterproof rubber boots are best. Always wear heavy duty rubber gloves if you are going to handle any wet Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - APPLE ANNOUNCES NEW IPOD NANO
You may have seen the commercials over the weekend. Guess what?! Apple has introduced an updated version of the iPod Nano . The new Nano, introduced through iLounge , will now have a slimmer design, larger screen and be taller. The screen is set at 1.5-to-1 Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 15, 2008
Good Morning! More stringent lending and underwriting requirements , coupled with the need for a 20% or better down payment in many cases, is making it tougher for some to buy condos in Chicago. Purchasing a couple of years ago, when the market was at Read More...
CHICAGO CONDO BUYERS: For Many, Tighter Lending Requirements Keep Them From Their New Home!
MOST LOW-DOWN-PAYMENT PROGRAMS HAVE VANISHED - FHA RULES PRECLUDE MANY CONDOS FROM APPROVAL! By definition, a "Buyer's Market" is a time when home buyers should BUY! But for many looking for a new condo, today's new, more stringent lending Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - THE BEARS LOOK TO GO 2-0
The Bears play their second consecutive road game against a tough opponent when they visit the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. Both teams enter the game at 1-0 and feature a good defense. A strong defensive line that features two large defensive tackles Read More...
SELF-EMPLOYED? LONELY? Perhaps a Coworking Site is For You!
MINIMALIST OFFICE SPACES BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN WORKING AT HOME AND WORKING IN A TRADITIONAL OFFICE! They're springing up all over! Here in Chicago. In New York City. In San Francisco and Los Angeles . Small, spartan office suites, some with little Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - DIVERSIFIED NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS RICH IN CULTURE, HISTORY AND THE ARTS
12th Annual Celtic Fest Chicago is located in Grant Park. This two-day festival in celebrates the music, dance and traditions of the 7 original Celtic Nations: Ireland; Scotland; Wales; Isle of Man; Cornwall; Galacia, Spain; and Brittany, France. Admission Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Chicago Dog-Friendly Parks - A Great Destination this Late-Summer Weekend!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Every day, I still root, root, root for the Chicago Cubs, despite their recent ten-day slump. Often, however, our Team Leader and my Human Dad Dean Read More...
CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO SELECT HS FRESHMAN; Earn an "A" Grade, We'll Spot You $50!
EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM AT 20 SELECT CHICAGO PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS - "B's" WOULD EARN $35, "C's" - $20! Cash for making good grades! Even a few bucks for making an average grade! Crazy concept - yes? But it's about to become Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - ROGERS PARK, LAKEVIEW, LINCOLN PARK, ALBANY PARK, EVANSTON
ROGERS PARK Asian cuisines combine exotic flavors and techniques that are accessible to the home cook. Dan Nguyen, who is the owner and a chef of Viet Bistro in Rogers Park, said that the toughest thing for home cooks who want to cook and prepare Asian Read More...
FAMED MAXWELL STREET MARKET IN CHICAGO - On the Move, Again!
FAMOUS CHICAGO STREET MARKET MOVING ONCE AGAIN - BUT WILL IT'S "CACHE" REMAIN? What - or Where - is Maxwell Street? If you have ever lived or spent time in Chicago you would know the answer to that one! It is a city street, or, more accurately, Read More...
CITY OF CHICAGO TO OFFER HIGH-TECH EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION - YOU CAN GET A TEXT!
NEW CHICAGO EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM ADDS TEXT MESSAGING TO EXISTING PHONE VOICE MAIL PROGRAM! If there is an emergency in the City of Chicago - hazardous materials spill, flood or tornado, snowstorm or heatwave, fire, and the like - the city already Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - GARDEN FRESH TOMATO SOUP
Now that tomatoes are in full bloom and the weather is getting a little cooler, why not try this easy to make soup. Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: 6 INGREDIENTS 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes 1 slice onion 4 whole cloves 2 cups chicken Read More...
FANNIE/FREDDIE TAKEOVER PART 2 - Housing Market Problems Remain Unchanged!
MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES WILL FALL . . . BUT UNDERWRITING STANDARDS, FOR-SALE INVENTORY REMAINS HIGH! Last Sunday's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac takeover by the U.S. Treasury Department has indeed boosted confidence, both at home and abroad, that the Read More...
LOGAN SQUARE PRICE REDUCTION - DON'T MISS OUT!
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! Now Only - $309,500! MLS ID - #07004572. Property information Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - LANDSCAPING TIPS
Do you need an edge for a finished look? The edge can be simple plastic or more expensive stone. It is important to have a distinctive line between lawn and other plantings. Did you know there's more to mulch than meets the eye? Mulch is primarily Read More...
CHICAGO HOME OWNERS - For Some, A New Way to Tap Home Equity! But it Can Cost You, Down the Line!
THREE FIRMS OFFER CASH TO HOMEOWNERS WHO OFFER A PERCENTAGE OF FUTURE APPRECIATION! Read housing market news on the Internet, and you'll find that traditional Home Equity Lines of Credit are hard to come by these days. Many individual homeowners have Read More...
FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC TAKEOVER BY U.S. - How Will It Help Housing Market, and Home Owners?
U.S. STOCKS, DOLLAR UP ON TREASURY DEPARTMENT ACTION, MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES PREDICTED TO DROP! In a move widely applauded by the President Bush and both major U.S. Presidential Candidates , as well as investors around the world, the U.S. Treasury Department Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - GOOGLE'S NEW WEB BROWSER
Google is at it again! You would think that Google is going after Internet Explorer but their sights have been set much higher - Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The new browser is called Chrome and is supposed to be the new wave for businesses Read More...
CHICAGO REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 8, 2008
Good Morning! Foreclosures, and homeowners past due in at least one mortgage payment, continue to increase. Aside from the obviously negative emotional and economic impact on these homeowners, what will be the affect on market prices for homes in the Read More...
CITY OF CHICAGO Entices Buyers to Buy City-Invested Homes!
CHICAGO "FIND YOUR PLACE" PROGRAM OFFERS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR THOSE BUYING CERTAIN HOMES IN PREVIOUSLY-FINANCIALLY-TROUBLED NEIGHBORHOODS! The City of Chicago is starting a new program aimed at selling a couple of hundred new homes, in which Read More...
ONCE AGAIN, Foreclosures, Past-Due House Payments Increase! Will They Impact Housing Prices?
ILLINOIS FORECLOSURE RATE HIGH - BUT STILL LOWER THAN CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, OTHER STATES! According to the latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association , as of the end of June, 2008 , nearly one in ten homeowners were either behind in their mortgage Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - WHAT A DIFFERENCE ONE WEEK MAKES
The Cubs and Sox are still in first place but with the developments of this past week, can either team really feel that confident about their chances for the rest of the season? In a rather unusual turn of events, the Cubs lost two of their best pitchers Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SUMMER IS STILL HANGING IN THERE!
Now that Labor Day is behind us and the kids have gone back to school, summer is supposedly "unofficially" over even though autumn doesn't officially begin until September 22 nd . However, I believe we still have some great summer weather Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - More First-Time Home Buyers Pass on "Fixer-Upper" Homes!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! I'm keeping the cell phone close - expecting an important text message from one of my Buyer Clients, a first-time buyer Pomeranian named Dulce Read More...
TAKING CHICAGO MASS TRANSIT? Get Ready for a Rough, Crowded Ride!
SURGING RIDERSHIP ON CTA, METRA, PACE IN CHICAGO BUTTS HEAD-ON WITH AGING EQUIPMENT, AND TOO-FEW SEATS! More than in many other major North American Cities, we in Chicago have come to depend on our Mass Transit System. CTA Buses and El Trains, METRA Commuter Read More...
ONLINE RESOURCES ABOUND! So Why Do I Need To Hire A Real Estate Agent?
DESPITE DOZENS OF ONLINE REAL ESTATE SITES - MOST FEEL THE RIGHT REALTOR IS STILL KEY! Looking for a new home? Or, looking to sell your current home? Chances are, you'll start the process online . According to a July, 2008 Study of Home Buyers and Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, WEST LOOP, NORWOOD PARK, EVANSTON
LINCOLN PARK Subsequent to halting the private Latin School from building a soccer field in Lincoln Park, a strong neighborhood opposition of residents was unable to stop the Chicago Park District from completing the project on its own. A Cook County Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - ALASKA SALMON BROCCOLI-CHEESE PASTA
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS 2 (4.8-ounce) packages pasta with 4-cheese sauce 1/2 cup milk 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli 1 (14.75-ounce) can Alaska salmon, drained and chunked 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper Read More...
FULLY UPDATED HOME IN ULTRA-QUIET BELMONT TERRACE!
• 2 bath, 3 bdrm 2 story - MLS® $269,500 - Great Price! Belmont Heights, Chicago - Ultra-Quiet, Yet Convenient, Belmont Terrace! This roomy 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home has been fully updated – Move Right In! Sunny Living Room with Gleaming Hardwood Read More...
WHAT DID CHICAGOANS DO ON THEIR SUMMER VACATION? Most Stayed Close to Home!
MODERATING TEMPERATURES, HIGH GAS PRICES, AND TWO FIRST-PLACE BASEBALL TEAMS KEPT MANY FROM TRAVELING ON VACATION! Sue and I made the decision early in the year. Gas prices were up, the Chicago Real Estate Market was sluggish, and air fares and hotel Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - PRE-FALL HINTS FOR LAWN AND GARDEN
Now is a good time to add seed to the lawn. Make sure you always add topsoil when you seed. It will really help the seed to germinate and grow. Grass always does better in cooler weather, hopefully we'll get some. Water the seed lightly every day Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - ANNOUNCING THE NEW IPOD REFRIGERATOR
Yep, you read it correctly. Gorenje signed a license agreement with Apple for the use of their technology in Gorenje refrigerators. Boasting the "Made for iPod" logo, this new freezer-fridge was launched at IFA 2008 in Berlin. This latest technology Read More...