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November 2008 - Posts

CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - December 1, 2008
Good Morning! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday , and your time off with your family and friends! Will lower mortgage interest rates, the result of FED Intervention by purchasing mortgage and other consumer-credit-backed securities last week, Read More...
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REBOUNDS IN NOVEMBER - But Still Near October's Historic Low!
FALLING GASOLINE PRICES A POSITIVE FACTOR, BUT UNEMPLOYMENT AND SLUGGISH HOUSING MARKET STILL WORRY CONSUMERS! There's a bit of optimism in recent economic numbers, but it doesn't really foretell an economic turnaround. The November Index by The Read More...
Will Lower Mortgage Rates Reverse U.S. Housing Woes? Most Likely . . . NO!
ONE-HALF POINT DROP IN AVERAGE 30-YEAR RATES SPARKED REFINANCING, BUT OTHER ILLS SUGGEST THEY AREN'T A SHORT-TERM FIX FOR HOUSING! This past week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced, with great fanfare, a plan to purchase $800 Billion of mortgage Read More...
SNOW IS COMING, CHICAGO! Remember City of Chicago Parking Bans on Major Streets!
ON CERTAIN MAJOR ARTERIAL STREETS, NO PARKING 3AM - 7AM, BEGINNING TONIGHT, DECEMBER 1ST! It's coming, Chicago! The season's first significant snowfall is predicted to dump as much as 3 - 6 inches in the city and suburbs through tomorrow, with Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - A TRIP TO MINNESOTA FOR OUR FIRST PLACE CHICAGO BEARS
The Bears travel to Minnesota for a prime-time match up against long-time rival, the Minnesota Vikings . Yes, the game is a battle for first-place with just four regular season games left after tomorrow. The Bears opened the season playing on Sunday night Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - CHRISTMAS SHOPPING OR SEASONAL ACTIVITIES?
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and didn't overstuff your turkey or yourself for that matter! And now starts the official Christmas shopping season. Do you hate shopping as much as I do? If so, come join in on some of Chicago's seasonal activities Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Are You Ready for Black Friday? How About a New TV?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Man, all this rich Thanksgiving food is making me sleepy! The turkey and gravy, the sweet potato casserole, the creamed spinach. A couple of pieces Read More...
"GIVE THANKS? THANKS TO WHOM?" "YOU GIVE THANKS FOR WHAT YOU'VE GOT!"
THIS THANKSGIVING DAY LEAVES SOME FEELING BLUE! BUT IT SHOULDN'T! From our family to yours - Happy Thanksgiving, 2008! You know, for a few years now, I have quoted today's headline from Barry Levinson's memorable 1990 film, "Avalon." Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKEVIEW, SOUTH LOOP, LINCOLN PARK, EDISON PARK, NAPERVILLE
LAKEVIEW The Gap is opening a handful of Chicago-area stores on Thanksgiving Day to get a head start on the traditional post-Thanksgiving Holiday shopping kick-off. This will be the first time Chicago shoppers will find a Gap open before they sit down Read More...
AS FED BAILOUT EXPANDS, Mortgage Rates Tumble!
FED DEBT PURCHASE HAS BROUGHT SOME 30-YEAR MORTGAGE RATES DOWN 1/2 POINT OR MORE! One of the key roadblocks to restarting the U.S. Housing Market, as well as other aspects of the economy, has been the availability of financing to businesses and individuals. Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - LEFTOVER TURKEY CASSEROLE
You're probably cooking away today and getting ready for the big day tomorrow. So what about the inevitable leftovers? Well a leftover recipe, of course. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Servings: 12 INGREDIENTS: 1 (6 ounce) package dry Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - MORE ENERGY SAVERS
Last week we talked about saving electricity in our home offices. This week let's discuss saving on heating . As we all know we have some of the highest natural gas rates in Chicago as well as electricity. Buy a programmable thermostat . It will keep Read More...
ACROSS THE U.S., Home Sales, Median Prices Fall in October - Chicago Sales and Prices Tumble as Well!
CHICAGO HOME SALES DOWN 17.7% VERSUS OCTOBER, 2007 - NATIONAL SALES DROP 1.6% YEAR OVER YEAR! Amid a continued slide in real estate sales nationwide, the Chicago Metro Area , including the City of Chicago, continue to suffer through substantial median Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CAN YOU DIGG IT?
So I've been using this community on and off for a little while and thought it would be good to share the wealth if you haven't used it. The site is called Digg . It's a collective of all of us who like to surf the Internet and ultimately Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - November 24, 2008
Good Morning! As we all may surmise, the value of a piece of Real Estate is determined at the LOCAL LEVEL. More precisely, it is subject to negotiations between specific buyers and sellers, repeated again and again throughout specific neighborhoods, subdivisions, Read More...
YOUR HOME'S VALUE - It's a Local Matter!
NATIONAL, METRO-AREA INDICES MISS THE MARK IN PREDICTING THE VALUE ON AN INDIVIDUAL HOME! The noted S & P/Case Shiller Index of relative home values indicates over a 15% drop in the composite home value within the Top 20 Metro Markets across the U.S. Read More...
FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC - Foreclosures Suspended During the Holidays!
TEMPORARY FORECLOSURE SUSPENSION IMPACTS 16,000 BORROWERS - NO SALES OR EVICTIONS THROUGH JANUARY 9, 2009! Even as giant U.S. Loan Guarantors and Investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac put the finishing touches on their own program to modify the loans of Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - ARE THE HAPLESS RAMS THE CURE FOR OUR CHICAGO BEARS’ WOES?
Our Chicago Bears go into tomorrow's game with a .500 record - 5 wins and 5 losses. So far, the record is good enough to keep them in first place in their division sharing the spot with both the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers . Unfortunately, Read More...
Illinois Unemployment Rate At 7.3% - Will This Dampen Housing Market Recovery Here?
FIFTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH FOR UNEMPLOYMENT RISE - NOW OVER U.S. AVERAGE! Although I have no scientific evidence to back this up, it would seem that those concerned about losing their job may be a bit hesitant to write an earnest money check for their new Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - HOLIDAY SEASON KICK-OFFS
With Thanksgiving around the corner, the traditional Christmas shopping season will soon begin. Whether you want to get a head start or see what's in store, why not head downtown this weekend. There is so much to do and see. The Chicago Toy and Game Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - A Few Tips On LOST PETS IN CHICAGO!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! I've just switched off my cell for the night. If you need to reach me, leave me a voice mail, and I'll get back with you first thing tomorrow Read More...
CTA Exploring New Way to Pay - "Smart Cards!"
USING YOUR SMART-CHIP VISA OR MASTER CARD TO PAY FOR CHICAGO MASS TRANSIT MAY BE AVAILABLE IN ABOUT A YEAR! It's already in place in Hong Kong and in London. It's being tested on the New York City Subway System. The process involves a smart chip Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKEVIEW, UPTOWN, LOOP, EDISON PARK, NILES
LAKEVIEW With the economy strained as it is, the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce is offering a great opportunity for you to discuss with their panel of experts about Making Sound Financial Choices in an Unpredictable Market. Please bring your questions regarding Read More...
REPORTERS BEGAN TO NOTICE A HOUSING BUBBLE IN MAY, 2005 - But Nobody Really Listened!
MAY, 2005 WSJ SURVEY - 81% OF REPORTERS SAID WE'RE IN A HOUSING BUBBLE! The main issue on the so-called bubble in the housing market is not whether there was one, and that it may have burst. It's that policymakers may have seen the bubble growing, Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
This particular casserole has a special ingredient that makes it really sweet. Can you guess what it is? Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: 10 INGREDIENTS: 5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 2/3 Read More...
Builders of Luxury Homes Not Immune to Realities of Housing Market Slide!
HIGH-END BUILDERS OFFER LESS-COSTLY FINISHES TO CUT COSTS! Do you think wealthy owners building custom homes are not being impacted by the housing market as much as their far-less-affluent counterparts? Not really! Plunging stock portfolios and retirement Read More...
De-Mystifying REVERSE MORTGAGES - Any Benefit Here? Risk?
REVERSE LOANS ALLOW EQUITY DRAW WITHOUT IMMEDIATE PAYBACK - BUT AT A COST! Option ARM Loans! Short-Term Adjustables! Growth Equity Mortgages! Interest-Only! Interest-Rate Buy-Downs! Piggyback Home Loans! Many of these loans seemed like very cutting-edge Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - HOME OFFICE ENERGY SAVINGS
Since many of us are working out of the house these days, I thought I would talk about saving energy . In the Chicago area we have some of the highest utility rates in the country , so this is even more important. A computer monitor can account for half Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING GET IT DONE EARLY
The good news is you can start planning for Black Friday now. The bad news is not all the deals are published yet. In our family it has been a tradition to go out and buy the newspaper on Thanksgiving. After all the festivities, we shoppers sit down at Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - November 17, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Does it make sense to consider refinancing your home mortgage loan today? For a sizable number - the answer may be yes , and the best rate and terms may be a lot closer than you think! Read more via our post today at BlogChicagoHomes.com Read More...
HOME TURF OF PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA NOW ATTRACTING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION!
FORMERLY-QUIET CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOODS OF HYDE PARK AND KENWOOD NOW ABUZZ WITH CURIOUSITY! On the South Side of Chicago , beside Lake Michigan , the ethnically-diverse Hyde Park and Kenwood Neighborhoods have long boasted 1890's mansions, down the street Read More...
REFINANCING YOUR HOME LOAN - Does It Make Sense Today?
MANY HOME-GROWN LENDERS OFFER BETTER TERMS TO THOSE WITH GOOD CREDIT, HOME EQUITY! You’ve read the news stories about the Mortgage Meltdown. Consumer Credit is harder to come by. Underwriting Standards for home loans have been considerably tightened. Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - THE CLASSIC RIVALRY: THE CHICAGO BEARS VS. THE GREEN BAY PACKERS
For die-hard football fans, it doesn't get any better than watching two rivals battle it out. The intensity and in this case the balance of power in the NFC North plays out tomorrow in Green Bay, Wisconsin as our beloved Chicago Bears will visit their Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - CHICAGO’S TOP ATTRACTIONS!
The other day it occurred to me that I haven't blogged about some of Chicago's top attractions, and it wasn't intentional either. It's just that I live here in Chicago and really don't frequent these places as visitors to our great Read More...
LIL’ BUDDY’S BLOG – Getting a Job Within the Obama Administration Will Be Tough – Even for a Little Dog!
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 writing from the road today. Hope all is well for you, and you are having no trouble finding new trees to mark. But for many Read More...
AS LENDING BUSINESS GETS TOUGHER, Many Independent Mortgage Brokers Exit!
SOME PREDICT THE EVENTUAL DOWNFALL OF THE INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE BROKER! Not all that long ago, folks were envious of those who made their livings brokering home mortgages. That seems not to be the case these days! According to the Illinois Department of Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - EDGEWATER, LOGAN SQUARE, WEST LOOP, EDISON PARK, OAK PARK
EDGEWATER If it were you, you would like that Viet Bistro is full all the time. Chef and owner Dan Nguyen ought to have a chain of these bistros scattered about the city and suburbs. But there is just the one Viet Bistro. It's a quaint bar and dining Read More...
FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC, NOW CITIGROUP Willing to Modify Some Mortgage Loans. Should They?
MANY DEBATE WHETHER FED SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN LOAN MODIFICATION, WHETHER BANKS SHOULD MODIFY VOLUNTARILY, OR WHETHER BORROWERS SHOULD BE HELPED AT ALL? As the number of distressed homeowners, and those actually facing foreclosure, continues unabated, Read More...
PRACTICALLY NEW AND ULTRA-CLEAN CONDO AT THE GROVE!
• 850 sq. ft., 1 bath, 1 bdrm single story "4th Floor Unit" - MLS® $187,500 - Great Value! The Grove, Forest Park - Residences at The Grove! Practically NEW, and ultra-clean 850 SF Resale One Bedroom in quiet suburban community, yet Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - SWEET POTATO PIE
Time to get ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving fun! Besides, who doesn't like to eat dessert first? Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 1 hr 50 min Servings: 8 Ingredients: 1 (1 pound) sweet potato 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup milk Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FALL HOUSE CLEANING
Since the weather has decided to become more fall like as we usually expect around Chicago, I've decided to do some major fall cleaning next week. Window Cleaning Mix two or three tablespoons of vinegar in a gallon of cool water - the best cleaner Read More...
A BOX OF LETTERS FROM A VETERAN!
NO MATTER YOUR POLITICAL OR PERSONAL VIEWS, IT IS IMPORTANT WE ALL SUPPORT THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED, AND SACRIFICED, FOR OUR COUNTRY! It's been a couple of years now. My mother called me over to her condo, about 6 miles from Sue and me, in the Northwest Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - THE BLACKBERRY BOLD REVIEWED
The following is adapted from Engadget . We've been playing with AT&T's just-launched BlackBerry Bold for a few days now, and once we got past the absolutely gorgeous display (seriously, it's mesmerizing), we wanted to find out what else Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - November 10, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! As you might imagine, regional and national homebuilders that have a presence in the Chicago Metro Area are drastically scaling back their construction plans for 2009. National Builders Ryland Homes and Pulte Homes , along with Read More...
IN TODAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET, Greedy Sellers Turned Down by Prospective Listing Agents!
AN ESTIMATED 10% OF AGENT INCOME GOES TO MARKETING COSTS - NOT WORTH IT FOR AGENTS TO INVEST IF HOME NOT LIKELY TO SELL! Over the past year, according to a recently-completed survey by online home valuation website Zillow.com, 74% of U.S.Homes have lost Read More...
CHICAGO AREA NEW HOME BUILDERS TO DRASTICALLY SCALE BACK PLANS FOR 2009!
PROJECTED HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, UNCERTAIN CREDIT MARKETS, HIGH FOR-SALE INVENTORY AND SKYROCKETING FORECLOSURES WILL TEMPER NEW PROJECTS NEXT YEAR! While the sales of existing homes has tumbled nearly 15 % here in the Chicago area within the past year, many Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - THE CHICAGO BEARS FACE THEIR TOUGHEST OPPONENT
Tomorrow, our Bears welcome the Tennessee Titans to Chicago and this should prove to be a heckuva game. The Titans come in with a perfect 8-0 record boasting a dominating defense and a very good running attack on offense. Meanwhile, our Bears will be Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - "Jennifer's Best" List
THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO GO, FUN RESTAURANTS TO DINE AT- AS CHICAGO WINTER ARRIVES! Here in Chicago, even as the weather turns from Autumn to Winter, there is a lot to do. Here are a few from my own "Best" List. GET AROUND TOWN! 1. Chicago's Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Who's Gonna Be The Obama's FIRST DOG?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, hey, you dogs! Well, we've got a New President of the United States - and he's from CHICAGO . Wooof!!!!! How cool! You know, final Read More...
HELP FOR DISTRESSED HOMEOWNERS - BUT ONLY FOR SOME OF THEM!
NEW FEDERAL AND STATE PROGRAMS OFFER HOPE - BUT NOT EVERYONE CAN BENEFIT! Several new government programs are designed to help homeowners behind on their mortgage payments, possibly facing foreclosure. But help is not universal. Lenders have to agree Read More...
MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES? BE CAREFUL ON THIS ONE!
DEPRESSION-ERA MOVE HAD NEGATIVE REPERCUSSIONS! I'm far too young to remember The Great Depression and the 1930's. But I do remember high rates of inflation during the 1970's. Richard Nixon, then President, attempted to stymie inflation with Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, EDGEWATER, ALBANY PARK, OAK PARK
LINCOLN PARK According to Mike Miller, Delilah's is more than a great beer and whiskey bar; it's a staple in the community where patrons may enjoy rock music, paintings from local artists, a movie, and perhaps even learn something. "We're Read More...
CHICAGO SENDS ONE OF ITS OWN TO THE WHITE HOUSE!
SURREAL CHICAGO NIGHT - DEMOCRAT OBAMA PICKS UP 85% OF CHICAGO VOTES, 67% IN SUBURBAN COOK COUNTY IL! America spoke loudly yesterday! After an increasingly bitter presidential campaign that few thought would ever end, the historic presidential election Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - GRILLED TRI-COLOR PEPPERS WITH WHOLE WHEAT CHICKEN & PROSCIUTTO RAVIOLI
I know it's a mouthful to read, but how yummy!! I hope you enjoy this weeks recipe. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: 6 INGREDIENTS: 2 yellow bell peppers 2 red bell peppers 2 orange bell peppers 3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic Read More...
UPDATED PORTAGE PARK HOME ON QUIET ONE-WAY STREET!
• 1 bath, 2 bdrm 1 1/2 story - MLS® $189,500 - Great Value! Portage Park, Chicago - Ultra-clean Portage Park home on quiet one-way street – great sunlight from Northern Exposure! New Island Kitchen with Granite Countertops, Maple Cabinets, Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FALL TO-DO LIST INSIDE
Go through your house and purge, purge, purge. Go room by room looking for things that can go. Donate them to charity and get a nice tax write off . Make a few bucks by having a garage sale or sell them on E-bay . Some items can function as new items Read More...
CHICAGO SKYLINE FROZEN - Credit Crisis Delays Completion of New Downtown High Rise Buildings!
IN-PROCESS STRUCTURES TO STAND IN PLACE FOR A WHILE, NEW CHICAGO SKYSCRAPERS LIKELY ON HOLD HERE! Around the world, the Chicago Skyline is one of the things that makes our city famous, and instantly recognized. If you're traveling abroad, and see Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - WINDOWS 7 ANNOUNCED
Well, Bill Gates is at it again. Microsoft Corp unveiled the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system on Tuesday. The new Windows operating system will replace Vista in January 2010 . Microsoft Windows 7 features a customized task bar to let users store Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - November 3, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! The most historic U.S. Election is tomorrow! Please, take time to vote - if you haven't taken advantage of early voting. A recent study of several economic trends, including home price data, aggregated to the state level, seems Read More...
STATE-BY-STATE REAL ESTATE TRENDS Indicate 2008 Presidential Preference!
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE OBAMA LEADS IN MOST STATES SHOWING PRICE DECLINES 2007-2008! During the home stretch of this historic Presidential Election Campaign, we all know the U.S. Economy has become the key issue on most voters' minds. Unemployment rates Read More...
WHICH NEIGHBORHOODS SHOW GREATEST APPRECIATION POTENTIAL? A Common Question Here in Chicago, Suburbs.
AS REAL ESTATE MARKETS BEGIN TO REBOUND, MOST DESIRABLE AREAS WILL LIKELY REBOUND MOST QUICKLY! As our Team shows our clients homes, condos, and investment properties in all Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs , one question predominates, especially on Read More...
FOR 3 MILLION HOMEOWNERS Feeling the Pinch - Help is Coming!
PART OF $700 BILLION U.S. RESCUE PLAN, GOVERNMENT WOULD SHARE PORTION OF BANKS' LOSS IN LOAN MODIFICATIONS! In some parts of Chicago we serve, the Homes-For-Sale Inventory exceeds 15 months. Those selling because the HAVE TO - mainly, due to the fact Read More...
JEFF’S SPORTS BLOG – THE CHICAGO BEARS FACE A WEAK DETROIT LIONS TEAM
The Chicago Bears vs. the Detroit Lions has been a classic rivalry for decades and the game is extremely important to the hopes of the Bears winning their division. The Lions come in winless and have gone through a rough path to get where they are. General Read More...