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June 2009 - Posts

CHICAGO RIVERWALK - A Revival Plan That Still Has A Long Way to Go!
CONTINUOUS STATE-TO-LAKE MICHIGAN RIVERSIDE WALKWAY TO BE COMPLETE BY END OF SUMMER, 2009! Roughly a century ago, Chicago Visionary Architect Daniel Burnham envisioned one large, beautiful stretch of public recreational parkland along the Chicago Shore Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – LIGHT IT UP!
Lighting is a key element in the staging of your home whether it's for sale or simply for comfort. Here are some tips that will help showcase the beauty of your home or personal space. The average sized room needs four or five light sources . If you Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CHICAGO'S GREENEST HOME AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
There are times when we native Chicagoans forget how much our great city has to offer. One place I haven't been in a while is the Museum of Science and Industry . This is the place where some of us techies like to go for a history lesson on how far Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 29, 2009
Good Morning! Reverse Mortgages? Will these recently-revived and heavily promoted lending products, which allow Senior Citizens over aged 62 to draw equity out of their homes without repaying until they sell, move away, or die, offer benefits to those Read More...
CHICAGO LIBRARY CIRCULATION UP 30% - One Silver Lining Amidst Recession Dark Clouds!
CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY CIRCULATION UP 30% OVER LAST YEAR! Looking for some good news amidst the savage jobless figures, falling home prices, sliding retail revenue numbers? Despite the recession, circulation of Chicago Public Library books and other materials Read More...
REVERSE MORTGAGES - Will Unwitting Seniors Become Victims, or Reap Benefits?
MANY EXPERTS WARN MANY SENIORS MAY FALL VICTIM TO PREDATORY LENDING PRACTICES WITHOUT REGULATORY CONTROLS IN PLACE! The Reverse Mortgage! Just like low-interest, low-down-payment loans were several short years ago, Cable TV is loaded with dozens of pitches Read More...
NEW JOHNNY DEPP BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE "PUBLIC ENEMIES" - Will It Stir Romance for Chicago and It's Stubborn-To-Lose Gangster Past?
BIOGRAPH THEATRE STILL STANDS - AREA TOURS, MUSEUMS CELEBRATE POPULAR PUBLIC ENEMY #1! GOOD FOR CHICAGO? Here in Chicago , it is hard to deny our past reputation as a haven for Famous 1920's and 1930's Mobsters . Even to this day, our association Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - CHICAGO’S HEAVY HITTERS IN TOWN!
WOW -- what a weekend we have in store for us! Not only is the Crosstown Classic taking place but the City's annual 10-day extravaganza kicks off later today. Crosstown Classic The Chicago White Sox will be hosting the north side Chicago Cubs at U.S. Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - In Chicago, Swanky Digs for Us Dogs, Cats While Are Humans Are Away!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! I'm back again, you dogs, with my Human Dad Dean! Hope you're enjoying the summer weather. Here in Chicago , uncharacteristically cool weather Read More...
California Home Prices Rise for Third Straight Month - Any Relevance to Chicago?
CA MEDIAN PRICES INCREASE 4.2% IN MAY VERSUS APRIL - BUT STILL NEARLY 31% DOWN FROM MAY, 2008! According to many Real Estate Experts, what happened to the Real Estate Market across the state of California foretold the downward spiral of home prices, and Read More...
CHICAGO HOT DOG GIANT, NYC WEINER WANNABE Slug it Out in Court!
LONG-TIME CHICAGO STYLE HOT DOG STAND SUPERDAWG TAKES NEW YORK FRANKFURTER PURVEYOR TO COURT! Been to Chicago? Or, do you live in Chicago? Chances are, if you have been to the Northwest Side of Chicago , near the corner of Devon and Milwaukee Avenues Read More...
ROB ROY - IMMACULATE TOP-FLOOR UNIT!
[ • 1,165 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bdrm condo - MLS® $217,400 - Value Priced! Rob Roy Country Club Village, Prospect Heights - In Quiet, Wooded Rob Roy Country Club Village – Immaculate Top-Floor Unit offers Eat-In Kitchen with Newer Appliances, Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – LAKEVIEW, LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, GOLD COAST, OAK PARK
LAKEVIEW As you may or may not know, this is Pride Month. This weekend culminates in the 40 th Annual Pride Parade, celebrating the contributions and culture of the GLBT community. This year the parade is dedicated to all those who were a part of the Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – AND NOW WE PAINT
Before starting be sure to cover glass and areas adjacent to where you're painting with masking or painter's tape . Instead of plastic drop cloths, which can be dangerously slippery, use newspaper. Lay it down with six inches of overlap, taping Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - GOOGLE SUPPORTS OBAMA VOLUNTEERISM INITIATIVE
Using the power of the web is one of the main facets of President Obama's success with this past year's election. One of the new initiatives that he has launched is Serve.gov . First Lady Michelle Obama introduces the site here . What Google has Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 22, 2009
Good Morning! Who do you supposed would be better at acquiring, rehabbing, and then reselling distressed, bank-owned properties - private investors, or city and state agencies? New proposals from lending giant Bank of America would make it easier for Read More...
IN LUXURY SEGMENT, RECESSION NOT ONLY IMPACTING SALES OF HIGH-END HOMES!
SALES OF HIGH-END CONSUMER GOODS ALSO DOWN CONSIDERABLY - BUCKING HISTORIC RESILIENCE DURING TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES! High-end Retailer Barney's New York needed a cash infusion from its Middle East Parent Company. Nieman Marcus is stocking more lower-end Read More...
STATES, CITIES To Get First Crack at Bank-Owned Foreclosed Homes!
NEW BANK OF AMERICA PROGRAM WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR MUNICIPAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO ACQUIRE, RE-SELL DISTRESSED PROPERTIES! As home foreclosures surge in many Chicago Neighborhoods , and across the U.S., opportunistic investors have appeared hoping Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - “FEST”IVE PACKED FATHER’S DAY!
Not only does summer officially begin on Sunday, but it's also Father's Day! There is so much to do this weekend you might have to catch up on your sleep during the week. THEY'RE BACK - Movies in the Parks . This weekend brings us - Friday, Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Women? Men? Who Make Home Design Decisions Most Often?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! Gracie Ella Moss here this week. Our usual Friday Blogging Doggie, Buddy Holly Moss, called me after witnessing an incredible come-from-behind Read More...
UNTIDY LAWNS - Many Chicago Suburbs Crack Down!
TIDE OF FORECLOSURES LEAVES MANY HOMES ABANDONED, YARDS UNKEMPT, ACROSS CHICAGO SUBURBS - SPURRING NEIGHBORS' CONCERN! Foreclosure is a growing tragedy. It robs previously-confident homeowners of their dignity, as well as their ability to purchase Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – PORTAGE PARK, LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, OLD TOWN, NAPERVILLE
PORTAGE PARK The Burgundy Restaurant is local place that's really a unique find. It's one of those all-American diners where you get lots of food and the true neighborhood feel. This place has been in the neighborhood for at least 15 years and Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN - SELECTING PAINT FOR INDOOR USE
Latex Paint Latex paint applies easily with a brush or roller. The cleanup is easy with water and soap. They aren't flammable and have a relatively mild odor. Latex is appropriate for walls, ceilings, and trim in any situation where moisture isn't Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - DTV GOES LIVE IN CHICAGO AND METRA GOES ONLINE
This past week was a technology festival and we at Dean's Team just could not decide what was more important so we had to share both. DTV has gone live . For those of you who missed the "Big Switch," antenna televisions no longer work without Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 15, 2009
Good Morning! Looking for a little help on closing costs and other expenses on your next home purchase? For some, checking with their employer may pay out - many Chicago Area Employers offer some form of Homebuyer Assistance to their employees. The catch Read More...
GOOD NEWS FOR THE ECONOMY - Bad News For Mortgage Interest Rates?
OFTEN TIMES, GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS RESULTS IN NOT-SO-GOOD OUTCOMES - IMPROVED UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS DRIVE UP RATES! This *&^%($#@#@*&* Recession! When will it be over? Man, I long for the days of EZ Mortgage Loans, Low Inflation, High Employment, Read More...
HITTING THE ROAD TO FIND YOUR NEW HOME? New Technologies Provide Instant Home Information!
SEE A HOME FOR SALE? GET INSTANT INFO VIA TEXT, OR AUTO VOICE RESPONSE, ON YOUR CELL PHONE! Ahhhh . . . 2009! You've got a question about something? You want an answer NOW! Not twenty minutes, or an hour from now! RIGHT NOW! Well, if you are house Read More...
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS - A Little Help Towards Closing Costs From Your Employer?
COMPANIES ACROSS THE CHICAGO AREA OFTEN OFFER A BIT OF HELP TO THEIR EMPLOYEES WANTING TO BUY A HOME! Since the beginning of the year, as the Housing Market in Chicago has continued to muddle through, many first-time homebuyers have expressed interest Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - VARIETY PACKED WEEKEND – YOUR CHOICE!
So, you haven't been invited to a graduation party this weekend. Not to worry. The City and its neighborhoods have a big weekend planned with a variety of events. Into the Arts, well, you're in luck with these - 35 th Annual Wells Street Art Festival Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Here's a Dog Story With a Very Happy Ending!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! It's Summer , you dogs! Have you gassed up? Ready to hit the road? I am! But amidst all the depressing Chicago Real Estate News - rising foreclosures, Read More...
HOUSING MARKET RECOVERY? Rising Mortgage Rates Might Stall It!
AVERAGE 30-YEAR FIXED INTEREST RATES CLIMB NEARLY 16% IN TWO WEEKS! Most Real Estate Practitioners agree any rebound in the housing market will be quite fragile at first, impacted by breaking news and vacillating mortgage rates. The foothold of recovery Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – LINCOLN PARK, LAKEVIEW, WEST LOOP, GOLD COAST, EVANSTON
LINCOLN PARK Spring has come to Chicago (fingers crossed)! It's a time when everyone starts getting out more, does that run with the dog, etc. Speaking of dogs, Joe's Bar on Weed Street is now offering a Doggy Happy Hour for singles. That's Read More...
AFTER EVANSTON IL PIZZA DRIVER MUGGING, Good Samaritan's Action Spurs Worldwide Contributions!
FUND-RAISING ACTION OF EVANSTON MAN GENERATES THOUSANDS TO HELP ROBBED, BEATEN DELIVERY PERSON! It happened last Tuesday, June 2nd. Pizza Driver Stephen Walker of Papa John's Pizza was delivering pizza to to an apartment building on the South Side Read More...
IN CHICAGO, Groups Debate Completely "Free and Open" Lakefront from Indiana to Evanston!
PROPOSAL WOULD MAKE ESTIMATED FOUR MILES OF PRIVATE LAKEFRONT LAND PUBLIC DOMAIN! The Lake Michigan Lakefront! Those of us living in Chicago sometimes take it for granted. The expansive beaches. The lovely parks. Magnificent harbors. Unlike in many U.S. Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – PAINTING 101: BRUSHES AND ROLLERS
BRUSHES Buy the best brush you can, it will last for years with proper care and will make your painting projects easier and more professional looking. One way to judge the quality of a paintbrush is to examine the bristles for split ends known as "flags." Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - THE COMPETITION CONTINUES BETWEEN PALM AND APPLE
The technology world is all abuzz with all the latest releases over the past few days. Here is some of the latest news for you. According to TechCrunch, Apple's iPhone now has 50,000 applications available for download to use with their technology. Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 8, 2009
Good Morning! Effective May 1st, a new Home Valuation Code of Conduct went into effect. It provides more stringent oversight for Residential Real Estate Appraisers, and, according to the measure's proponents, will make the appraisal process more impartial. Read More...
NEW APPRAISAL RULES LIKELY TO COST - AND COMPLICATE THE HOME APPRAISAL PROCESS!
HOME VALUATION CODE OF CONDUCT, EFFECTIVE MAY 1ST, AIMS AT MAKING HOME APPRAISALS MORE OBJECTIVE! WILL IT WORK? Many a finger has been pointed to Mortgage Loan Originators, and their past practice of choosing the appraisers who put a value on properties Read More...
Across the U.S., Pending Home Sales Jump! Are Further Price Cuts Likely?
INDEX OF PENDING HOMES SALES UP 6.7% IN MARCH, THIRD MONTHLY JUMP IN A ROW - NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS! Here in Chicago , and, apparently, across the U.S., the number of homes going under written contract, pending closing, has been on the rise! Read More...
Low Mortgage Rates - Are They History?
RATES RISE AFTER WEEKS OF FALLING, POTENTIALLY STALLING A REAL ESTATE RECOVERY! Roughly two months ago, the U.S. Government, through the Federal Reserve, set monetary policy to drive mortgage interest rates down. The Fed began buying aggressively mortgage-backed Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - IT’S GREAT TO BE OUTDOORS AGAIN!
Sure, it's great to be outdoors again, but will the weather cooperate this weekend. Even if it doesn't, I wouldn't let it stop me nor should you for that matter. After all, we do live in Chicago, and as the saying goes, "if you don't Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: It's Summer! For Us Smaller Four-Pawed Flyers, Here Comes Cheaper Airfares!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Here Comes Summer! Wow, you dogs - don't you like those ole' summertime songs. I don't know about you, but I have over 50 downloaded Read More...
ONE STEP BACKWARD - Mortgage Rates Rise for the First Time in 90 Days!
MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES CATCH UP TO INCREASE IN LONG-TERM BOND YIELDS! In the past week, Average Mortgage Interest Rates seemed to jump higher than the price of a gallon of Unleaded Regular on the North Side of Chicago! As reported in an Associated Press Read More...
WANNA BEAT CHICAGO PARKING METER VIOLATION CITATIONS? Fight 'Em!
NUMBER OF PARKING VIOLATIONS SKYROCKET, BUT THOSE WHO APPEAR TO CONTEST CITATIONS OFTEN BEAT THE RAP! If you live in or near Chicago , you know how to raise the ire of those who drive quite a bit within the city. Simply say the words "Parking Meter Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - PORTAGE PARK, LAKEVIEW, WEST LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, NAPERVILLE
PORTAGE PARK We have not done this in some time, so we decided it was time to take a little food tour of our favorite eateries in Portage Park. If you are looking for a great place that's affordable, good for the family and has amazing steak tacos, Read More...
In Chicago . . . Curtains for "The Bucket Boys?"
58.4% DON'T LIKE 'EM - UNSCIENTIFIC CHICAGO TRIBUNE ONLINE POLL! Have you seen musicians like this in your town? They're on the street - on the curb, actually - usually young, and wiry. Here in Chicago , outside of Wrigley Field after a Chicago Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - PAINTING 101
Painting and wall repair is something we believe everyone should know how to do especially in this current trend of the do-it-yourselfer. We're are starting a series on basic painting skills. Before you start to paint you need to prepare the walls Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS – GOOGLE MAY JUST HAVE SOME COMPETITION
Last week Microsoft announced a new search engine specifically designed to compete with Google . Like several Microsoft announcements of late, it was met with a lot of skepticism and actual negativity. "Bing stands for But It's Not Google" Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - June 1, 2009
Good Morning! Here in IL - Sales Taxes and Personal Income Tax Rate remain unchanged, despite considerable last-minute budget wrangling in the IL Legislature before the midnight deadline last night, May 31st. A "Makeshift Budget" avoided feared Read More...
NO INCOME TAX HIKE FOR IL RESIDENTS - Not Yet, Anyway!
IN DOWNSTATE SPRINGFIELD IL, STATE LEGISLATURE FAILS TO PASS 67% STATE INCOME TAX, SALES TAX HIKES! "TEMPORARY" STATE BUDGET NOW IN PLACE! Do you live in Chicago? Downstate Illinois? Worried about new, higher 5% State Income Tax Proposal needed Read More...
CHICAGO: READY FOR TRANSITION TO DIGITAL TV? Locally, Nationally - Many Still Not Prepared!
RECENT DTV TEST DREW 1,310 CHICAGO INQUIRY CALLS - OVER 55,000 ACROSS THE U.S.! Digital Television! It is clearer, reliable, available in wide screen Hi-Def - and may STILL take many clinging to their old analog, non-cable-connected sets completely off Read More...
NO SURPRISE? Customers Grow Less Satisfied With Their Own Banks!
OVERALL SATISFACTION LEVEL FALLS 14.6% SINCE 2007 - J.D. POWER SURVEY! Less money available for businesses and consumers. Far-tightened mortgage loan underwriting requirements. Longer lines, and fewer tellers. Less service, and higher fees. All of these Read More...