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September 2009 - Posts

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - GOLD COAST, LINCOLN PARK, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, EVANSTON
GOLD COAST Chicago is all abuzz with Olympic mania. Who knows what will happen with the Olympics 2016 bid this week, but it's definitely a time to get out with the locals and see the choice made by the Olympic Committee. If you are interested in attending Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDENT TIPS – FALL MAINTENANCE AROUND THE HOUSE AND YARD
Fall will be felt around the Chicago area this week. After a very mild September, we are seeing high temps maybe reaching 60 in the first part of the week. Now is a good time to check around the home for any maintenance jobs that need to be done while Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 28, 2009
Good Morning! Here in Chicago , sales of Single-Family Detached Homes are beginning to rebound. However, in most Chicago Neighborhoods, Condo sales are still declining. The reason? Lending rules are far tighter for condos, and supply is huge, far more Read More...
EISENHOWER EXPRESSWAY WIDENING PROJECT - Chicago Commuters' Next Big Traffic Headache!
ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECT, YEARS OFF, WOULD REDUCE CONGESTION ON EASTBOUND SIDE OF I-290, EISENHOWER EXPRESSWAY! It's been often said the City of Chicago has two seasons - Winter, and Road Construction . Well, a few years down the line, a major road Read More...
MAKING HOMES MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT - IL Gets $97 Million in Fed Money to Weatherize Area Homes!
STATE EXPECTS TO WEATHERIZE 22,000 HOMES WITHIN THE YEAR! Older, Brick Homes! They are a staple construction material for older homes here in the City of Chicago , and across the older suburbs. But, unfortunately, brick is not energy efficient. Often Read More...
CHICAGO CONDO SALES SLUMP 19.1%, Despite Rebound for Chicago Single-Family Home Sales!
TIGHTER MORTGAGE UNDERWRITING RULES FOR CONDOS, INCREASED FEES THREATEN TO SCUTTLE MANY DEALS! Here in Chicago , investing in condos, either as a live-in owner , or as a non-occupant investor , has become popular over the last decade or so, peaking along Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - GAMING IS GOOD FOR YOU?
I admit I'm not the savviest gaming person on the planet like I was in my youth. Take me to a Ms. Pacman console any day and I'd love it. What's an amazing new breakthrough for the Xbox 360 was introduced in the August edition of the Journal Read More...
VALLEY LO TOWERS - Immaculate Condo - Room and Value!
• 1,500 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bdrm - MLS® $272,400 Valley Lo Towers, Glenview - Convenient Valley Lo Towers Condo - Premium Greenspace View! Immaculate 2 Bedroom, 2 Full Bath, 1,500 SF condo offers room and value, in a quiet setting! Roomy Eat-In Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – It's Apple Picking Time . . . and MORE!
It's the last weekend in September already, which always conjures up memories of a special time of year for me - Apple Picking! Not only can one pick apples, but many orchards throughout Illinois also have a variety of fruits and vegetables to be Read More...
CHICAGO CAB DRIVERS' WISH LIST - 22% Fare Hike, Vomit Fee!
BOTH NOT LIKELY TO BE APPROVED BY CITY OF CHICAGO DUE TO TOUGH ECONOMY! In recessionary times, virtually every industry and profession takes some sort of a hit. Chicago Taxi Cab Drivers are no exception. They have seen their costs escalate, as the price Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Chicago Kiddieland Closing! Time Marches On . . . But Often Takes a Little Piece of You With It!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Writer's Block! It's a terrible thing! Even for dogs, you know! The word "Nostalgia." Look it up! It derives from the Latin "nostos" Read More...
SHORT SALE APPROVAL BY LENDERS! Does It Need to be Fixed? Or, Is It Broken By Design?
HOME PRICES FALL, OFFERS COME IN! BUT IMPATIENT BUYERS OFTEN WALK AWAY! Five years ago, as the Chicago Real Estate Market was rambling robustly, in Seller Market Mode, a colleague of mine in Cincinnati mentioned to me he was supplementing his own business Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – PORTAGE PARK, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, GOLD COAST, NAPERVILLE
PORTAGE PARK This Thursday, September 24, at 7:00pm Chicago Public Library will be hosting a free with guest lecturer, Dr. Antonio Delgado. The library is located at 6100 West Irving Park Road. Dr. Delgado will be discussing the rich and vibrant history Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDENING – FALL TREE PLANTING
Fall is here and a great time to plant trees. The tree will have time to establish before the ground freezes and will have a good start when spring arrives. Many garden centers will discount trees at this time of year to clear out their stock before the Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - MISSION IMPOSSIBLE COMES TO TECH
So I was watching Mission Impossible this weekend and I have to admit that they had some nifty little gadgets. Of course, there has been a fascination of mine to see if I can find those special little items that are unique or have that Sharper Image feel Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 21, 2009
Good Morning! Just as with Conventional Mortgage Loans, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is now tightening its loan underwriting standards. In recent years, FHA has taken an ever-growing share of home buyers with less-than-perfect credit, who have Read More...
FHA LENDING REQUIREMENTS TO TIGHTEN FURTHER!
FHA SUPPLEMENTARY RESERVES FALL BELOW MANDATED MINIMUMS - STRICTER RULES WILL, IN PART, HELP BUILD RESERVES BACK UP! Within the past 18 months or so, home loans underwritten by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have grown exponentially in their Read More...
IN CHICAGO, Natural Gas Prices Lowest in Seven Years - Great News, Great Savings for Homeowners This Winter!
HIGHER PRODUCTION, WEAKENED DEMAND DRIVE DOWN HEATING COSTS IN CHICAGO, NEARBY! As the owner of a nearly-80-year old, fuel-inefficient Chicago Style Bungalow on the Northwest Side of a usually cold, windy city, my wife, Sue, and I know all about high Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - WELCOME TO AUTUMN!
If you haven't noticed, take a closer look. There are signs of autumn everywhere with this weekend being no exception. Check out some of these fall festivities as we "welcome autumn" to Chicago - officially on Tuesday, September 22 nd . Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Chicago Leads U.S. With Highest Number of Green Buildings!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Happy Friday, You Dogs! Here in Chicago , our sometimes quirky, always offbeat mayor, Richard M. Daley , once boasted he would single-handedly make Read More...
HOUSEHOLDS ACROSS U.S. REGAINING WEALTH! But HOME PRICES May Still Be Trending Downward!
HOME PRICES REBOUNDING - BUT STILL, ON AVERAGE NATIONWIDE, 30% OFF MID-2006 PEAK! Are home prices bouncing back? Here in Chicago , according to an article by Jeannine Aversa in today's edition of The Chicago Tribune , they seem to be coming back up Read More...
SWINE FLU VACCINE To Arrive in IL - Mid-October!
STATE OF IL TO RECEIVE 1.5MM DOSES, CHICAGO 500,000 DOSES OF H1-N1 VACCINE INITIALLY! Currently, more than one-half of the counties across Illinois have reported confirmed cases of the H1-N1 Flu - the influenza previously referred to as the Swine Flu. Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – LOGAN SQUARE, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, GOLD COAST, EVANSTON
LOGAN SQUARE This is just too humorous not to share with everyone. Coming this Friday night at the Congress Theater is Nacho Libre and Mucho Burlesque aka L.A.'s Lucha VaVoom. Offering a combination of masked Mexican wrestling (in Nacho Libre form), Read More...
EVOLUTION IN MOVIE RENTAL - Blockbuster Video to Close 20% of its Stores!
ONCE-MIGHTY VIDEO CHAIN CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE AGAINST MORE-AGILE COMPETITORS! I'm old enough to remember the early days of video rental! Back in the early 1980's , it was such a thrill to rent a movie and watch it on your schedule. These were Read More...
CHICAGO, IL MORTGAGE CLOSING COSTS - Among the Cheapest in the U.S.!
IL RANKS 43RD OUT OF 49 STATES SURVEYED FOR AVERAGE CLOSING COSTS! When you close on a new home, or refinance your current home, do you know what all of those little fees are for? Here, $500 . There, $765. What the heck, these fees go with the territory Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 14, 2009
Good Afternoon! A bit late for this week's update on Chicago IL Real Estate Market Statistics - but let's catch up! Those Closing Costs and Fees when you buy your new home! Likely, they will add up to thousands of dollars. Yet, few complain about Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN – FALL IS COMING!
Yes summer is about over and our thoughts turn to prepare the home and garden for winter weather. The reports of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are turning up in test areas, so even though hot weather is over there is still danger from West Nile. Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - A RECAP OF FREE AND INEXPENSIVE TECHNOLOGY
Since I've started posting with Dean's Team, I've tried to provide areas where you can find free or inexpensive technology that assists you in maximizing your experience on your computer. Below are several technologies that I continue to reference Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - MAY BE OUR LAST SHOT!
This weekend may very well be our last shot at getting outdoors before the weather decides to become nasty. Not to mention that the summer neighborhood festivals are starting to wind down as well. But not so this weekend! Friday's line-up is - The Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Barking Dogs in Chicago Might Draw Fines - $250!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Watch your mouth, you dogs! If a new law proposed by Chicago Aldermen Pat O'Connor of the 40th Ward , and Richard Mell of the 33rd , goes into Read More...
TOP CHEF, RICK BAYLESS, HAILS FROM CHICAGO - And Has Just Opened His Third North Side Mexican Restaurant!
ONE OF TV'S TOP CHEFS LIVES AND WORKS HERE - AND THE OPENING OF HIS NEWEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT HERE BECOMES A LOCAL EVENT! Just by looking at him, you wouldn't know that local restaurateur and chef Rick Bayless has become an international celebrity. Read More...
FAILED LENDER Causes Uncertainty for its Customers - Fewer Funding Options for Some Home Borrowers!
MORTGAGE BANKER NOT A HOUSEHOLD NAME - BUT A KEY FUNDING SOURCE FOR MANY FHA LOANS! Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker. The average home buyer has no idea who they are. Change that . . . were! But their August demise has left many holders of FHA Loans the Mortgage Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – LINCOLN PARK, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, GOLD COAST, NAPERVILLE
LINCOLN PARK So what's your sign? Gemini Bistro will be opening today in Lincoln Park. It's the brainchild of chefs Jason Paskewitz (formerly of the Pump Room and Wave) and Ryan O'Donnell (Keefer's). Dishes include new tastes on old favorites. Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDENING – KEEP YOUR TREES HEALTHY AND THRIVING
A newly planted eight-foot-tall tree needs 20 gallons of water a week. Larger trees can usually go three weeks without a deep watering but water needs for older trees should also be carefully monitored. People are often more concerned about leaf growth Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - JING-LE ALL THE WAY!
No it’s not Santa but it sure sounded like Rudolph dropped in for a visit. PSSSST – don’t miss the exciting news below about Google . One of the things that I find I want to do when I get images or have to share information is crop out Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - September 7, 2009
Good Morning, folks! Enjoy the Labor Day Holiday! The IRS Credit for Fist Time Homebuyers - currently $8,000, not required to be repaid - has saved thousand of homeowners across the U.S., and 13 buyers our Team has served - considerable money this year. Read More...
FED $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit - Using it Fraudulently Can Land You In Trouble!
IRS - TWO DOZEN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS OF TAX FRAUD UNDERWAY RELATING TO THE TAX CREDIT! Are you a First Time Homebuyer? You have just under three more months to take advantage of a special $8,000 Income Tax Credit , without repayment, when you purchase Read More...
FOLKS BEING RUDE! UNCARING! DEMANDING! All Becoming More Common?
FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE TO COLLEGE CAMPUSES, PEOPLE WANT IMMEDIATE RESPONSE, AND OFTEN BRISTLE WHEN THEY DON'T GET IT! The Internet! Wasn't it supposed to make life easier? Give everyone more information, whenever they needed it? More leisure time, Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - LET’S JAZZ IT UP!
Oh, Oh! It's Labor Day Weekend already. How the heck did it get here so fast? I feel as if I lost a month somewhere. I'm just not ready to let summer go yet and neither is Chicago! There's quite a line-up for this three-day weekend. Well, Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Often Times, We "Little Guys" Don't Even Stand A Chance!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Summer's still here, and the time is still right, you dogs! For hanging out! Perhaps, for drooling! We "Little Guys." Those of us Read More...
TAX, TAX, WHAT MORE TO TAX? IL, Chicago Taxes on the Rise Once Again!
NEW TAX HITS CARBONATED BEVERAGES, CANDY - EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1ST! Chicago is beginning to be known for its high taxes. Already, the Cook County General Sales Tax hits City of Chicago Residents the hardest - with a 10.25% tax on general merchandise, Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – PORTAGE PARK, LAKEVIEW, WEST LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, OAK PARK
PORTAGE PARK Despite the current economic climate, pet owners continue their doggie doting. As a member of the family, pet owners show their affection for their pups with pampering like oatmeal-aloe vera baths and professional blow dries. Lenette DiCiaula, Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – TAKE CARE OF THAT SUMMER HARVEST
We all know this summer season has not been all we hoped it would. Though no fault of our own, the cool, wet spring followed by an equally cool summer has caused no end of problems in the garden. From fruit not setting at all to green tomatoes sitting Read More...