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March 2009 - Posts

KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – START A VEGETABLE GARDEN
With our recent economic downturn many folks have decided it's a great idea to grow their own vegetables. If you don't already have the tools it can get pricey. If you start small and are realistic in your goals, it can be both rewarding and money Read More...
NEW FICO MORTGAGE SCORE MAY BETTER PREDICT HOME PAYMENT BEHAVIOR!
NEW BEACON SCORING MODEL COULD BETTER PREDICT LIKELIHOOD THAT BUYER WILL GO DELINQUENT! Credit scores! These three-digit numbers, and how high they are, often spell the difference between being able to buy a home, and not qualifying for one. Between getting Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS – MORE NEWS FROM THE TWITTER FRONT
Okay, I am definitely a Twitter addict. I have the ability to send notes from my cell phone. I use TweetDeck and am not ashamed to say I also enjoy the new capabilities of feeding Facebook in there too. So imagine my surprise when I just read about this. Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - March 30, 2009
Good Morning! An old scam is beginning to target a new group - "Reluctant Landlords." These are home or condo owners who unsuccessfully tried to sell their property, and then turn to trying to rent it. Unfortunately, Internet scammers are using Read More...
AN OLD SCAM TARGETS A NEW GROUP - Reluctant Landlords!
CHECK-CASHING SCAM PROMISES LEASE IN EXCHANGE FOR "CASHING" A BIG CHECK! You have seen coming over the Internet before? Into your email Inbox -yes? Nigerian businessman seeking investors. Well-known banks asking for account number or social Read More...
TO SAVE MONEY IN A TOUGH ECONOMY - Many Internet Users Returning to Dial-Up!
COST-CONSCIOUS CONSUMERS, LURED BY LOWER ONLINE COST, CAN SAVE $300 IN INTERNET COSTS! Remember dial-up Internet? That often-slow, noisy-buzz login? The slow download times? The searching for a local dial-up number compatible with your ISP? As reported Read More...
After NBC-TV Series ER Season Finale Airs This Week, Many Will Miss Its Chicago Backdrop!
SERIES BASED, SHOT HERE SINCE ITS DEBUT IN SEPTEMBER, 1994! Since the hit TV Series ER began its trend setting run nearly 15 years ago, the producers and cast have come to Chicago three to four times each year for seasonal shots - 54 visits in all. Although Read More...
COLLEGE TRAIL - GRAYSLAKE - Bargain Priced Three Bedroom Home!
College Trail, Grayslake - This “bargain priced” two-story contemporary home, in an incredible neighborhood, features three large bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen with great cabinets and counter space, and 1 ½ baths. Huge yard with patio Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - NEW PLACES IN TOWN!
Looking for something "new" to do this weekend in Chicago? Well, you're in luck! Several new restaurants have recently opened their doors, in fact, some just these past few days. So, if you're adventuresome, or just plain bored, get Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Speed Enforcement Cameras On The Way to IL?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, hey, you dogs! A show of paws, please! How many of you dogs are careful drivers? You know what I mean - you slow up when you see humans crossing Read More...
U.S. Plan to Attract Investors for Bad Bank Assets - How Will It Work?
TREASURY WOULD INVEST UP TO $100 BILLION TO LURE PRIVATE INVESTORS TO BUY UP TO $1 TRILLION IN BANKS' "TOXIC ASSETS"! Representing Billions and Billions of dollars in devalued assets, banks in IL and across the U.S. are holding defaulted Read More...
A BIT OF GOOD NEWS? Nationwide, Sales of New Homes Up 4.7%!
NEW HOME SALES RISE - BUT AT A FAR LOWER MEDIAN PRICE! SALES STILL LOW COMPARED TO YEAR-AGO! Across the U.S., it appears that sales of new homes is on the rise! In February , sales of new homes rose 4.7% versus January, to an annualized rate of 337,000 Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – WRIGLEYVILLE, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, OLD TOWN, OAK PARK
WRIGLEYVILLE Wrigley Field is set to officially announce a new restaurant concept that will be attached to the park via a turnstile for those who have a ticket to the game. Local residents are unsure they like the concept but the reality is that the Cubs Read More...
ACROSS IL, 230 Banks Still Get 5-Star Ratings!
FLORIDA-BASED RATINGS COMPANY IDENTIFIES ITS TOP-RATED IL BANKS! Don't believe all the doom and gloom! Despite a shifting Real Estate Market here in Chicago and across Illinois , many banks across the state still receive high rankings. According to Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – SPRING IS HERE!
It's time to get outside and get the lawn and garden ready for the summer season! First let's tackle the lawn . If you want to make a really big difference in your lawn you can power rake . This is probably the most important thing you can do Read More...
DESPITE REBOUND IN HOME SALES NATIONALLY, Chicago Home Sales Off Considerably Versus Year Ago!
CITY OF CHICAGO HOME SALES DOWN 40.4% IN FEBRUARY, 2009 VERSUS FEBRUARY, 2008! MEDIAN HOME PRICE OFF 27.4%! Amid some encouraging news at the national level, local home sales numbers seem to paint a far different picture. According to the National Association Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - LATEST iPHONE RUMOR
First let me say that is strictly rumor. I found a statistic that states this is rumor number 5,432,938. Yes, iPhone does like to share information that just does not come to fruition, but this one appears to be relevant and true. Some of the better rumors Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - March 23, 2009
Good Morning! Are Average 30-Year Fixed Home Mortgage Rates heading below 5% long-term? According to many experts - Not Likely! Please read our post from Sunday at BlogChicagoHomes.com to find out why not. Here's our updated Chicago IL Real Estate Read More...
MORTGAGE LOANS FAR LOWER THAN 5%? Many Experts Say, "Not Likely!"
UNTIL RECENTLY, SUB-5% MORTGAGE LOANS HAVEN'T BEEN SEEN SINCE THE 1950'S! Have you noticed? Home Mortgage Interest Rates are down! Way down! For those with the best credit scores and high down payments or equity, quoted rates touched 4.75% last Read More...
IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO, Developers of New Condo Units Struggle with Incentives, Deep Discounts!
AS MANY AS 9,000 CONDO UNITS ADDED TO LOOP, SOUTH LOOP HOUSING MARKET BY END OF 2009 - MANY NOT SELLING! It's a dilemma faced by the builders and developers of many new and converted condos in the Chicago Loop and South Loop. Faced by an inventory Read More...
ROOM + VALUE - 2BR REHAB CONDO FOR SALE!
Albany Park, Chicago - Near Ravenswood Manor - Sun-filled 2BR Rehab Condo! Large top-floor unit INCLUDES AVAILABLE GARAGE SPACE, steps from the building! Gourmet Eat-in Kitchen features Granite Counters, 42” Maple Cabinets, Premium Stainless Appliances, Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - What's Going On At Wrigley Field?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! Or, should I say, in the words of immortal old Chicago Cubs Broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, "Hey, Hey!" Have you seen what's Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - MARCH MADNESS, WILL YOU BE CHEERING OR SHOPPING?
Things are a little quiet this weekend here in Chicago while we recover from last weekend's St. Patrick's Day festivities. However, if you're still green, I suggest you see a doctor! Anyway, if you're a big fan of NCAA basketball then Read More...
IS CHANGE GOOD? For Chicago Parking Meter System, Now Privatized - Not Yet?
NEW 75-YEAR METER PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM LEAVES DRIVERS CONFUSED! An incredible sum - $1.2 Billion , up front - with a portion going to bridge the City of Chicago budget gap right away. But the transition of roughly 36,000 Chicago Parking Meters from municipal Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – PORTAGE PARK, LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, OAK PARK
PORTAGE PARK Early voting for Rahm Emanuel's seat in Congress started March 16 th . The early voting goes through April 2 nd with the special election occurring on April 7 th . The current runners for this position are Democrat Mike Quigley , Republican Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - March 16, 2009
Good Morning! ( ED. NOTE: We apologize for the delay in posting this week's Chicago IL Market Stats. I was knocked out of commission earlier this week with a bad cold! Normal Chicago Stats Posting Schedule - every Monday Morning - resumes next week!) Read More...
POTHOLES IN CHICAGO - Uneven Funding Makes Them Unlikely to Disappear!
THOUSANDS OF POTHOLES LINE CHICAGO STREETS - BUT WINNING THE POTHOLE BATTLE TOUGH, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE! Potholes! Bone-rattling, brain-jarring, tire-flattening potholes! Every Spring in Chicago, the seemingly-endless Freeze-Thaw Cycle endemic to our weather, Read More...
CURTAIL MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION? Not Likely!
"SACRED" MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION UNLIKELY TO GO AWAY! Against a backdrop of mounting Federal Debt are plans to reduce the deficit through new taxes to certain high-income tax payers. The Obama Administration has proposed tax increases, along Read More...
IN ILLINOIS, INCOME TAXES, AND OTHER FEES, LIKELY HEADING UP - SUBSTANTIALLY!
INCOME TAX RATE WOULD JUMP 50% - TO 4.5% FOR INDIVIDUALS, 7.2% FOR CORPORATIONS! Taxes! Typically, they don't fall, on a regular basis, anyway. Here in IL , to close a projected $10.5 Billion projected budget shortfall by 2010 , a hefty 50% income Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - PROPER TOOLS MAKE PAINTING EASY
Painting is the one do-it-yourself project where a modest investment can get you the same high quality tools that the professionals use. Brushes You can buy a brush that can last you forever. Look for a natural bristle brush from a good manufacturer. Read More...
TECHNOLOGY BLOG – A NEW SOCIAL APP FOR FREELANCERS (TWITTER, LINKEDIN AND YELP COMBINED)
Yes, it's another social networking site, but my job is to keep you informed. This one takes a unique twist on an old concept . The name of the network is called Blellow . The main premise behind this application is to help freelancers find work, Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - CHICAGO IS GOING “GREEN”!
This weekend in Chicago is sure to bring out the Irish in you, if only for a few days. The City, as usual, will be hosting a variety of traditional events in honor of St. Patrick's Day , which happens to officially fall on Tuesday, March 17 th . One Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Chicago Sears Tower Getting A Name Change!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Sorry about the delayed post, you dogs! You see, Team Leader Dean and I just completed the Floyd Wickman School of Speaking and Training in the Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - PORTAGE PARK, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, NAPERVILLE
PORTAGE PARK On March 28th, the Monkeys and More Exotic Animal Rescue is hosting a fund-raiser at the Portage Theatre located at 4050 N. Milwaukee. Owners, Annette and Ed Parzygnat, offered to bring "Lisa Marie, our chimpanzee, if it would help to Read More...
IL UNEMPLOYMENT RISES AGAIN - Now Stands at 7.9% Statewide!
ACROSS IL, EMPLOYERS TRIM ANOTHER 29,300 WORKERS IN JANUARY! Rising Unemployment, and its continued negative ramifications for the Real Estate Market in Chicago and Across Illinois , appears unabated, according to figures released yesterday by the Illinois Read More...
What Will FED Do Next to Revive U.S. Economy?
WITH BENCHMARK FED FUNDS RATE NEAR ZERO, WHAT NEW ACTION CAN FED TAKE TO REVIVE THE ECONOMY? Mortgage Interest Rates are among the lowest they have been in decades. Yet, still, the U.S. Economy is faltering, Federal Debt is growing, and the U.S.Credit Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - USE PAINT TO CHASE AWAY THE WINTER BLUES
Paint is the most inexpensive way to spruce up a room . New colors can give a dark room a new lease on life. Today we are going to talk about trends new to décor and other choices for us to make when deciding what direction we want to go in. Next Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - PEEK MOBILE EMAIL DEVICE, SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE
I have to admit that I have not used this particular device as yet. I get some great deals emailed to me every week from Costco and I've seen the Peek on there now for the past two weeks. I decided before I even look into purchasing this device, it Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - March 9, 2009
Good Morning! Despite an over-$1 Trillion infusion of Federal Money in recent months, U.S. Credit Markets still appear frozen to many Businesses and Consumers. The result: less money for mortgages, business loans, and consumer installment loans. Thus, Read More...
INSURANCE AGAINST HOME PRICE DEPRECIATION - An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
EQUITY INSURANCE WOULD COMPENSATE HOMEOWNERS SHOULD PROPERTY VALUES TUMBLE - TO A CERTAIN POINT! Potential Home Buyers sitting on the fence! Have you seen it? We in the Real Estate Business have - time and time again, over the past couple of years. Many Read More...
CREDIT MARKETS REMAIN TIGHT - Funds Availability for Business and Consumer Spending Hard to Come By!
CONCERN ABOUT GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM KEEPING MONEY TIGHT! Since last fall, the U.S. Government has earmarked Billions, perhaps over One Trillion Dollars to shore up our Credit Markets , and hopefully jump start business, consumer, and mortgage lending. Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SPRING IS COMING TO CHICAGO!
This weekend in Chicago will continue to keep you in the warm-weather mode. While our 50 to 60 degree temperatures will be leaving us, there will be several flower shows in town. The 2009 Chicago Flower and Garden Show opens this Saturday, March 7 th Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Desperate for Money? Which of Your Personal Things Would You NEVER Sell - No Matter What!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Am I wiped today, you dogs! Gracie and I, we both got GROOMED! Sure tires a dog out, yes? But we both smell like Vanilla Musk, and are each wearing Read More...
OUT OF WORK? If You Have a Home Loan with Citigroup, Mortgage Relief May Be Available!
FOR SELECTED BORROWERS NOW UNEMPLOYED, CITIGROUP MAY REDUCE MONTHLY PAYMENTS TO $500 FOR A THREE-MONTH PERIOD! In a novel move, major U.S. Lender Citigroup will reduce the monthly mortgage payments for many of its home borrowers who have lost their jobs. Read More...
PRESIDENT OBAMA HOUSING RELIEF PLAN TO HELP SOME, But Many Others Likely Left Out!
IN CHICAGO, MANY HOMEOWNERS HAVE SEEN THEIR VALUES FALL MORE THAN THE 5% VALUE THRESHOLD TO QUALIFY! On the surface, the President's new plan to help many homeowners at the doorsteps of foreclosure seems promising. Unfortunately, however, many more Read More...
NEW SUPER-AFFORDABLE PRICE! Gorgeous 2BR Brick Home - Quiet, Yet Convenient, Chicago Neighborhood!
Dunning Neighborhood of Chicago! Dean's Team Chicago is proud to announce a NEW REDUCED PRICE on 4118 N. Pontiac Avenue , on the Far Northwest Side of Chicago. Immaculate Brick Georgian-Style Home - big yard, 2-car garage! Near Shopping, CTA, Parks, Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, RAVENSWOOD, PORTAGE PARK, EVANSTON
LINCOLN PARK We commuters know the importance of the CTA here in Chicago and how well it gets us from Point A to Point B in a timely manner. A couple years ago, the Chicago Transit Authority started the Brown Line expansion project to accommodate the Read More...
SHOPPING MALLS ON A DIET? Recession Means Subtle, and Some Not-So-Subtle, Cost Savings!
ECONOMIC DOWNTURN MAY HAVE SOME MALLS SCALING BACK THIS YEAR! Shortened Shopping Hours! Lower Temperatures! Fewer Seasonal Plants Outside! Energy-Efficient Lighting! Even Scaled- Back Christmas Decorations! In a bid to trim expenses in the face of one Read More...
YOU KNEW THIS ONE WAS COMING - IL Ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich to Write Tell-All Book!
SIX-FIGURE DEAL WOULD HAVE BLAGO WRITE ABOUT "THE DARK SIDE OF POLITICS"! I have lived in Illinois , and in the Chicago Area , my entire life. But, this story about disgraced ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich has me scratching my head. Again! According Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS
Lemon juice is a wonderful deodorizer and cleaner. Squeeze on stains on the countertop, let sit for ½ an hour. It has a natural bleaching action. The acid in the lemon will gently fade stains . It's also great for keeping cut fruits and vegetables Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - A GREAT NEW APP FOR OUTLOOK
A lot of times when I'm trying to set up a time to meet with friends or clients, I have to run through two to three different windows to get to my Outlook Calendar. It's more annoying than anything for me, but I recently found this application Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - March 2, 2009
Good Morning! According to an Associated Press/GfK Poll conducted last month, consumer anxiety over possible job loss, loss of retirement income, and the inability to pay ongoing bills, has begun to predominate their lives. Many fear it will be a while Read More...
CHANGING FACE OF REALTOR'S ROLE - Now Helping the Distressed, Rather than Fulfilling the American Dream!
SHORT SALES. FORECLOSURES. DEBT CONSOLIDATION. FORBEARANCE. HOW LONG WILL THESE CONTINUE TO DOMINATE A REALTOR'S DAY? Real Estate seems to have changed quite a bit since 2005! Back then, here in Chicago , encouraging conversations of selling your Read More...
FOR MANY, Economy Spawns Fears About Retirement Savings, Loss of Job, Inability to Make Ends Meet!
NEARLY HALF OF THOSE SURVEYED IN ASSOCIATED PRESS-GFK POLL FEAR THEY WILL LOSE THEIR JOB! A long time ago - back in the 1970's or so - growing up on the North Side of Chicago , my brother Randy and I had a way to greet each other, as well as our friends Read More...