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December 2008 - Posts

NEW PRICE! Gold Coast Jr. 1 BR - INCLUDES DEEDED PARKING - Complete Rehab!
Gold Coast, Chicago - Announcing a price reduction on 33 West Delaware Place #16E, Chicago . Sunny, Southern-Exposure Junior One Bedroom w/ Xlg Private Balcony! All-Amenity 24-Hour Doorman Building! NOW ONLY $199,500! - VALUE-PRICED - INCLUDES DEEDED, Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - UPTOWN, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, EDISON PARK, NILES
UPTOWN A line began to form hours before the The Peoples Church opened their door to offer Christmas dinners to the needy. "These are hard times . . . and a lot of folks just have nowhere else to go," said Isaac Barrantine, the meal coordinator Read More...
CONTINUED TIGHT CREDIT, RISING UNEMPLOYMENT, LOWER CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Continue To Leave Their Impact on Housing Market!
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX AT ALL-TIME LOW - CHICAGO HOME PRICE INDEX DOWN 10.8% VERSUS ONE YEAR AGO! Which factors keep the U.S. and Chicago Housing Markets from beginning to rebound? Fear, mainly! Fear over rising unemployment. Reduced confidence in Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - CARBON MONOXIDE DANGER
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas. The symptoms of exposure often mimic that of the flu or a head cold. The symptoms include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, etc. More than 500 people die each year from CO poisoning. Many thousands more Read More...
TIME TO PLAY TAPS FOR VHS VIDEO TAPE!
LAST VHS DISTRIBUTOR - CA BUSINESSMAN - NO LONGER SHIPPING MOVIES ON TAPE! In this age of DVD, Blu-Ray Discs, NetFlix, Video-On-Demand , and Online Streaming of Feature Films , it's hard to remember where this trend all began - with Video Tapes ! Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - MOVE OVER VISTA, MICROSOFT XP IS STILL KICKIN'
Microsoft XP continues to be a choice for your operating system, almost two years following the release of Windows Vista . By tradition, Microsoft tries to take old operating systems off the market six months after the release of a new one. Vista was Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - December 29, 2008
Good Morning! With the New Year - new foreclosure filings are expected to jump, as borrowers' Adjustable Rate Loans reset , some Loan Modification Agreements are not lived up to , and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lifts its Over-The-Holidays Moratorium Read More...
HOME FORECLOSURES LIKELY TO JUMP WITH NEW YEAR - Several Chicago Assistance Groups Stand Ready to Help!
HOLIDAY-PERIOD FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM BY FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC, OTHER BANKS EXPIRE IN EARLY JANUARY! For homeowners delinquent in their mortgage payments, January, 2009 will usher in a frightening time. Effective January 9th , the Fannie Mae and Freddie Read More...
WILD CHICAGO DECEMBER WEATHER MEANS MORE DANGEROUS POTHOLES FOR MOTORISTS!
POTHOLE COMPLAINTS NORMAL FOR DECEMBER - BUT WE'RE ONLY AT THE START OF THE SEASON! - CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Potholes - those axle-breaking, alignment-wrecking, hubcap-losing, nerve-jarring holes in area thoroughfares - have gotten a Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - THE CHICAGO BEARS CONTINUE THEIR PURSUIT OF THE NFL PLAYOFFS!
THERE'S A CHANCE THEY'LL MAKE IT, BUT THEY MUST WIN ON SUNDAY! The Chicago Bears will need help to enter postseason this year but they have made the last month rather interesting. They're not flashy, and sometimes they simply look inept, but Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - THE HOLIDAYS ARE STILL WITH US!
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE HOLIDAY SEASON IN CHICAGO, FROM SUE MOSS! Well, if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, you’re out of luck for 2008. You’ll have to wait until “Next Year”! Sound familiar? But just because Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Christmas in Chicago, 2008 - Canine Reflections on Some Tougher Times!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AN OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Merry Christmas, you dogs! I wanted to capture the mood of the Moss-Bartosiewicz Family Christmas, 2008, while the fragrant memories are still fresh Read More...
AL CAPONE HOUSE IN CHICAGO FOR SALE - Need One More Christmas Gift?
CURRENT OWNER OF 7244 SOUTH PRAIRIE AVENUE, CHICAGO, TO SELL HOME WITH NOTORIOUS HISTORY THIS SPRING! Merry Christmas, to you and your family! Perhaps you're the one who has everything - and everything else all lined up under the Christmas Tree this Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKEVIEW, LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, NORWOOD PARK, AND NAPERVILLE
LAKEVIEW Even in a slowing economy, nothing will dim the spirits of the aggressively cheerful holiday sweater . This festive garb has launched an event of its own: the ugly sweater party . Folks young and old, urban and suburban, gather together with Read More...
HOME RESALES TUMBLE IN CHICAGO, ACROSS IL, U.S. - Will Lower Mortgage Interest Rates Spur Housing Rebound?
DESPITE MODERATION IN MORTGAGE RATES, CHICAGO HOME SALES OFF 41.3 PERCENT VERSUS NOVEMBER, 2007! The drumbeat of decreasing home sales, along with declining median home prices, continued both locally and nationally during November, according to figures Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - COLD WEATHER CHECKLIST FOR PIPES
Cold Weather Checklist for Pipes: 1. Disconnect outside water hoses. Water in hoses will freeze and expand causing faucets to freeze and break. 2. Inspect outside faucets. Repair if leaking before a hard freeze. 3. If your home is equipped with interior Read More...
LOAN MODIFICATIONS TOUGH TO COME BY! Should This Be A Surprise to You?
STRICT LOAN MOD GUIDELINES PROVE MAJOR STUMBLING BLOCK FOR MANY SEEKING BETTER LOAN TERMS! Your $400,000 house purchased two years ago, putting down 10% of the purchase price, now has a market price of only $370,000. The initial adjustable rate has reset Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS – INTERNET EXPLORER SECURITY FLAW
Last week, Microsoft announced a major flaw in its Internet Explorer versions IE5 through beta IE8. This flaw, currently being used to steal online game passwords, has security experts recommending that all Internet Explorer users stop use of the software Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - December 22, 2008
Good Morning! Mortgage refinances took off as mortgage rates have fallen to near-historic loans in the past two weeks. However, not everyone who wants to refinance today can get a loan. And, those who are able to refinance into a lower rate and lower Read More...
ECONOMIC RECOVERY - IN HOUSING MARKET AND IN GENERAL - May Prove Elusive in 2009!
ADJUSTING FOR INFLATION, AVERAGE WAGES FOR MEN IN THEIR 30'S NOW LESS THAN THEY WERE IN 1970'S - UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO POLITICAL ECONOMIST! For many, the year 2008 has been a cold slap in the face as compared to so many prior years of unending Read More...
AS MORTGAGE RATES FALL BACK, Home Refinancing Takes Off - But Borrowers More Cautious, Not Everyone Qualifies!
30-YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATES FALL BELOW 5.25% FOR SOME - LOWEST AVERAGE LEVELS SINCE 1971! Average mortgage interest rates have fallen in recent weeks, as the Federal Reserve Board has brought down its benchmark Fed Funds Rate to historically-low levels. Read More...
CONDITION OF MANY FORECLOSED HOMES SCARE AWAY PROSPECTIVE BUYERS!
DESPITE SURGING FORECLOSURE RATES, HUGE SAVINGS - MANY BUYERS DON'T WANT THE HEADACHE! Here in Chicago and across the country, the sheer number of home foreclosures is intimidating! Despite the fact that foreclosures across the U.S. declined 7% in Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - CHICAGO BEARS MUST WIN FOR CHANCE AT 2008 NFL PLAYOFFS!
ATTENTION: DIE HARD CHICAGO BEARS FANS! An important weekend of NFL football begins with Saturday night's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys. It's a crucial match up for both teams. Bears fans want the Ravens to win and also Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - Festive and Fun Activities for the Family
With the holiday season in full swing, it may be nice to take the family to some festive and fun activities this weekend. Among some of my family’s favorite are: Macy's 41st Annual Animated Christmas Windows Growing up we would hop into the Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Got Plastic? Sure You Do! It's About to Become Fairer for You!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! You dogs DO carry Plastic, don't you? You know what I'm talking about! Visa. Master Card. Discover. Am Ex. I consider myself a responsible Read More...
IT'S 3:00 THURSDAY AFTERNOON - Do You Know What Your MORTGAGE RATE Is?
MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES TUMBLE IN RESPONSE TO FED RATE CUT, BUT HAVE SINCE BOUNCED BACK A BIT! Last Tuesday afternoon, action by the Federal Reserve Board to cut it's benchmark Fed Funds Rate to a maximum of 0.25% had a near-immediate, positive impact Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, EDGEWATER, LINCOLN PARK, LOGAN SQUARE, OAK PARK
LOOP Railroad reconstruction crews rebuilt a nearly century-old curve along the CTA Loop elevated tracks in about five minutes. The recently completed work replaced about 1,000 feet of track, rail ties and train signals at Wabash Avenue and Lake Street Read More...
SELLING YOUR HOME IN TODAY'S CHALLENGING MARKET? Here are Ten Important Tips!
SHIFTING CHICAGO REAL ESTATE MARKET POSES CHALLENGES - BUT HOUSES CAN STILL BE SOLD! It is likely that the year 2008 will go down as one most friendly to home buyers with good credit and solid down payment funds. Here in and around Chicago , and in many Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - CHOCOLATE THUMBPRINT COOKIES
While I was having dinner at Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville with a friend of mine, we were talking about our favorite holiday dessert. These are my absolute favorites!!! Hope you and your family enjoy them. Psst, be sure to add a glass of cold Read More...
FANNIE MAE HOPES TO SET A TREND - No Tenant Evictions in Foreclosed Properties, For Renters in Good Standing!
INITIATIVE WOULD ONLY BENEFIT SMALL SEGMENT OF MARKET - FREDDIE MAC CONSIDERING SIMILAR MOVE! Long-standing policy allows lenders who take back foreclosed property to evict any tenants who remain - often, with little notice, so long as the PRIOR OWNER Read More...
FED CUTS KEY INTEREST RATE TO HISTORIC LOW! IMPACT ON HOUSING MARKET? NONE . . . YET!
FED ACTION MOVES KEY FED FUNDS RATE TARGET TO BETWEEN 0 AND 0.25% - POISED FOR MORE ACTION TO RE-START SLUGGISH ECONOMY! Being an armchair economist myself - one armed with little or no knowledge of sophisticated economic strategy - I often watch moves Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SIMPLE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
Decorating at Christmas time needn't be time consuming and can be easily artistic . To create a simple centerpiece , drape pine boughs in an oval shape. Intertwine a short string of clear lights. Add mini red ornaments and pine cones. Place a dozen Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - SHARING HOLIDAY MEMORIES
As the holidays draw closer, it's time to start thinking about how you are going to share all your memories from time spent with family and friends. I know some of you may decide to share through social networks like Facebook and MySpace , but here Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - December 15, 2008
Good Morning! Homes-for-sale Inventory in Chicago , and elsewhere, appears to be retreating, even more than the Winter Season would predict. According to many Real Estate Experts, lower home inventory levels is an important prerequisite to turning the Read More...
IN CHICAGO, Home Price Decline Makes Houses More Affordable - Statistically, That Is!
ECONOMISTS' REPORT SHOW CHICAGO SINGLE FAMILY HOMES NOW UNDERVALUED BY 3.4%! BUYER OPPORTUNITY! If you believe statistics just compiled by IHS Global Insight , in their "House Prices in America" report, you'll find that median single-family Read More...
NOVEMBER HOME INVENTORY SHRINKS IN CHICAGO, ACROSS U.S.!
CHICAGO METRO AREA SINGLE FAMILY + CONDO INVENTORY DROPS 4.7% LAST 30 DAYS, 12.4% SINCE NOVEMBER, 2007! In the opinion of many Real Estate Practitioners, one of the problems preventing a resurgence in Real Estate Sales is the continuing high levels of Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - HOCKEY AT WRIGLEY FIELD
The Chicago Blackhawks will be making Wrigley Field their own “Friendly Confines” on New Year's Day at noon when they host the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL ’s second outdoor Winter Classic . Team President John McDonough had been Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ANYONE? NOT!
If you’re not in the Holiday spirit yet, do I have a weekend lined up for you! Are you ready to get started? Let’s go – Caroling at Cloud Gate -- Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph). Today at 6:00PM why not partake in a 50 minute holiday Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Which Fast Food Hamburger is America's Most Unhealthy?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Here in Wintry Chicago, with lotsa snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing for what seems like a week, my lil' mind wanders back Read More...
RENT TO OWN OPTION Regaining Popularity!
HOME BUYING STRATEGY LAST POPULAR DURING DOUBLE-DIGIT INTEREST RATES OF EARLY 1980'S MAKING A COMEBACK! For those with a small down payment, home buying in today's Real Estate Market is often tough. FHA Guaranteed Loans offer buyers a financing Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, WEST LOOP, UPTOWN, EDISON PARK, NILES
LOOP Caroline Walker-Ireland is finding if difficult to pay for food, utilities and other essentials for her two daughters and three foster children. As a result, this year she could not afford a Christmas tree. On Saturday, Walker-Ireland and her family Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - BBQ PORK FOR SANDWICHES
It's getting colder out there and now is the time for what I like to call comfort food. This recipe comes to us from Allrecipes . Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes Servings: 12 INGREDIENTS: 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth 3 pounds boneless Read More...
KIMBALL HILL HOMES - Storied Chicago Home Builder - Set to Liquidate!
CONTINUED-BLEAK HOUSING OUTLOOK SCARES OFF POTENTIAL INVESTOR! Way back in 1952, a builder named Kimball Hill built his first small, three-bedroom, one-bath, on-a-crawl ranch home in an subdivision about 25 miles northwest of the City of Chicago . That Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - PICKING A FRESH CHRISTMAS TREE
I believe buying and recycling a fresh Christmas tree is more eco-friendly than an artificial tree. The chemicals used in an artificial tree along with the fuel used to move them around go against everything green. Choose a tree from a lot or go to your Read More...
IN 4TH DAY, Worker Sit-In at Republic Windows and Doors, Chicago Attracts Support from IL Governor, Top Pols!
IL GOVERNOR TO SUSPEND STATE BUSINESS WITH REPUBLIC'S CREDITOR, BANK OF AMERICA, UNTIL COMPANY CREDIT LINE REINSTATED, JOBS RESTORED! Here on the North Side of Chicago , in the Old Town Neighborhood , a worker sit-in for a shuttered company is drawing Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - FACEBOOK WORM/VIRUS
Yes, I'm a Facebook user. Once I heard all about the virus (actually worm ) that is going through this popular forum, I wanted to share with you some of the latest information out there. Most of this is adapted from TechWeb , but be sure to update Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - December 8, 2008
Good Morning! Figures from the Federal Reserve Board, released last week, show non-mortgage Consumer Borrowing actually decreased in October. The news comes on the heals of the latest U.S. Labor Department statistics on escalating unemployment across Read More...
CONSUMER BORROWING DECLINES, On Heels of Faltering Economy, Rising Unemployment!
OUTSTANDING CONSUMER CREDIT FALLS 1.6% IN OCTOBER, COUNTERING SEPTEMBER, 2008 GAINS! Fear over potential loss of their jobs and their rising debt levels may have been the impetus for American Consumers to curtail their borrowing in October, according Read More...
ZERO DOWN PAYMENT FINANCING? Despite Its Scarcity, Some Still Find It, According to NAR Survey!
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS - "23% OF ALL HOME BUYERS BOUGHT WITH 100% FINANCING WITHIN PAST YEAR"! Today's headline seems impossible to believe, due to considerably-tightened loan underwriting standards, and the requirement for top Read More...
JEFF'S SPORTS BLOG - A BASEBALL LEGEND IS ABOUT TO RETIRE
I was surprised to hear that long-time starting pitcher Greg Maddux is going to announce his retirement at Major League's general manager winter meetings on Monday. Maddux is a four-time Cy Young Winner and ranks eighth on the all-time wins list with Read More...
NEW PRICE! Forest Park Extra-Large One-Bedroom Condo - Steps to Blue Line L to The Chicago Loop!
Residences at The Grove, Forest Park - Quiet suburban community, yet incredibly convenient to transportation, schools! Sun-filled, south-exposure living room/dining room – large adjoining private balcony. Gourmet, contemporary Island Kitchen with Read More...
GOLD COAST JR 1BR CONDO - PERFECT LOCATION!
Gold Coast , Chicago - Looking for space - WITH DEEDED PARKING INCLUDED - and the ideal Gold Coast Location? Look no further! Immaculate Junior 1 Bedroom - 2007 Rehab - features New Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances, Maple Cabinets, Granite Counters Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - HOLIDAY SEASON HAS BEGUN
The office holiday season has begun, and there is so much to do and see. Here are a few that might interest you. On Sundays this December, the Odyssey Cruise Ship off Navy Pier will host a two-hour holiday cruise, complete with all the trimmings. Enjoy Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Thousands of IL Humans Between 50 and 64 Don't Have Health Insurance!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! It's just me - Gracie Moss! It's my turn to post this week. Buddy, quite frankly, has a bit of a headache. Why? Well, this Read More...
MORTGAGE DELINQUENCIES PROJECTED TO DOUBLE NEXT YEAR - Fed Chairman Proposes More Action!
FED CHAIRMAN BEN BERNANKE PROPOSES LOWER INTEREST RATES, MORE LOAN MODIFICATIONS COULD HELP! According to TransUnion LLC, one of the three Major Credit Bureaus, based in Chicago , the percentage of consumers at least 60 days behind on their mortgage payments Read More...
CHICAGO COMMUNITY NEWS - UPTOWN, EDGEWATER, LINCOLN PARK, LOGAN SQUARE, EVANSTON
UPTOWN Wilmette Rotary considered a book drive for Chicago's inner-city schools, although some wondered whether it would work in the Internet Age. Many years later, the book drive has become a huge success. Currently there's a shortage of space Read More...
DO YOU PARK IN CHICAGO? Bring More Pocket Change! Meter Rates to Increase January 1st!
MOST METER RATES TO QUADRUPLE IN MOST CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOODS - WILL EVENTUALLY HIT $6.50/HOUR DOWNTOWN! Within the last twelve months, we Chicago Residents have endured many tax increases. The Sales Tax in Chicago - now 10.25%, the highest in the U.S. Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - MISS HILDA'S POPCORN CAKE
This is definitely something for the kids, but aren't we all kids at heart? I found this recipe courtesy of Good Morning America. Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 3-4 hours Servings: 12-16 INGREDIENTS: 2 teaspoons plus ¼ cup vegetable oil 12 Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - DRY INDOOR AIR
As soon as you seal up your house in the winter dry air can cause problems for you and your house. Unless you are one of the fortunate ones with a hot water heating system, most of us in and around Chicago have forced air furnaces. The arid warmth feels Read More...
CHICAGO REMEMBERS ONE OF ITS BIGEST FIRE TRAGEDIES - 50 Years Later!
OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS SCHOOL FIRE KILLED 92 STUDENTS, 3 NUNS - DECEMBER 1, 1958! The tragic fire in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago didn't have to happen. Or, it could have happened again and again, at dozens of other older schools across Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CYBER MONDAY IS HERE!!!!
I'm not exactly the person who likes to go out in the throngs of people on Black Friday to stand in lines, possibly fight for the last item available and get up pre-dawn for a deal. So today we're getting to my favorite shopping day after Thanksgiving, Read More...