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December 2009 - Posts

IN IL, Effective January 1st - No Texting While Driving!
BLACKBERRY ADDICTS: ONLY 13 MORE HOURS OF LEGAL TEXTING, EMAILING, AND WEB BROWSING WHILE BEHIND THE WHEEL! Don't text while you drive! Sounds pretty common sense, doesn't it? It stands to reason that distracted driving could cause traffic accidents, Read More...
IN CHICAGO, OTHER COLD-WEATHER CITIES, New High-Tech Traffic Lights Pose Winter Traffic Danger!
LATEST LED TRAFFIC SIGNAL LIGHTS PRODUCE NO HEAT, AND CAN BE OBSCURED BY SNOW! This holiday season, you may have spotted some of the ultra-bright LED Christmas lights placed on houses all over town. The LED bulbs are far brighter, last longer, throw off Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – PORTAGE PARK, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, OAK PARK
PORTAGE PARK Thank you Mary Edsey for "The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland," a book of local lore dedicated to the stories behind the holiday decorations connected with Chicago skyscrapers and churches, suburban zoos and riversides, Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – RECAULKING YOUR BATHTUB
The joint between your tub and whatever surrounds it is a critical part of the installation and needs to be maintained . If the caulk is stained, cracked, peeling off or mildewed, it's probably time to replace it. Sometimes old caulk can just be pulled Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CLEAN YOUR PC AND SEE IT RUN FASTER
CCLEANER 2.27 Every time I think about how much I need to protect my information, I'm reminded about using all sorts of different programs that will help keep my system running smoothly and efficiently. Of course, when I first get to this thought Read More...
NEW RESPA RULES EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2010 - Lower Closing Costs, Better Buyer Protection? Time Will Tell!
NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW RESPA RULES TO REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS, AND BIG CHANGE AS TO HOW CLOSING FUNDS MAY BE PAID IN IL! Often times, change, in virtually any form, is tough for some to take. Some constituencies always complain! Civil Rights Legislation! Fair Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Faith - The Secret Ingredient! Christmas in Chicago, 2009.
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Christmas Day in Chicago! Hard to believe, you dogs - another year is almost in the proverbial pooper scooper, so to speak. Yes, the Christmas Shopping Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - A POST-CHRISTMAS WRAP-UP!
This weekend, Christmas will be behind us for another year and now it's on to 2010! As you might have guessed, it will be somewhat of a low-key weekend. However, if you didn't get a chance to catch any of the Christmas theatre productions yet, Read More...
LOAN MODIFICATION MAY BE WORKING - Fewer Homeowners Defaulting On Their Modified Mortgage Loans!
SOME RE-WORKED BORROWERS DO DEFAULT AGAIN, BUT THOSE DEFAULTING DOWN NEARLY 38% VERSUS LATE 2008/EARLY 2009! Many have criticized President Obama's Home Affordable Mortgage Program for failing to bring Mortgage Loan Modifications to enough distressed Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – LAKEVIEW, LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, OLD TOWN, EVANSTON
LAKEVIEW Tonight is definitely the night to head out for a quick tour of the Wrigley Rink and then off to Rockit Bar and Grill. Every Wednesday, one of our favorite offerings is a complimentary brick oven pizza with the purchase of a pitcher of beer. Read More...
U.S. HOME SALES REBOUND! But What Happens After Fed Incentives End?
SALES OF EXISTING HOMES SURGE 7.4% IN NOVEMBER - FAR MORE THAN EXPECTED. HIGHEST LEVEL IN NEARLY THREE YEARS! Happy Days! Are they here again for the Housing Market, here in Chicago , and elsewhere across the U.S.? Or, will purchase fall back to earth Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – HOW TO CREATE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS
There are many extremely efficient windows on the market in many styles, unfortunately they can be costly. There is an inexpensive solution , covering the inside of the windows to cut drafts and prevent heat loss. Now before you dismiss this idea, remembering Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - MINORITY REPORT MEETS EATING OUT
It's the first day of winter and what better way than to celebrate at Morton's this afternoon between 5-6pm. Both locations (1050 N. State Street and 65 E. Wacker) are offering free mini-cheeseburgers in celebration in honor of its 31st anniversary. Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - December 21, 2009
Good Morning! There are a few Mortgage Insurance Companies - firms who insure mortgage loans with less than 20% down payment - who have relaxed their down payment requirements in some metro market across the U.S. In addition, one prominent national lender Read More...
SOME MINIMUM MORTGAGE DOWN PAYMENTS EASED - Positive Sign for Housing Market Recovery?
SOME LENDERS LOWER MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT TO 5% - HOPE TO COMPETE WITH FHA LOANS! Is increased lender confidence - key to a housing market turnaround, in Chicago and elsewhere - returning? In some markets across the U.S., that seems to be the case. Until Read More...
AROUND CHICAGO, Outlying Towns Look for New Ways to Trim Budgets, Save Money!
TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES, DEPLETED CITY REVENUES, LEAVE MANY CHICAGO SUBURBS STRAPPED FOR CASH! In the City of Chicago, reduced tax inflows from anything from the General Sales Tax to the hefty, but unpopular, Real Estate Transfer Tax , have forced the city Read More...
ANOTHER CASH INFUSION FOR FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC? With What Consequences?
INCREASING CURRENT $400 BILLION BAILOUT COMMITMENT BEFORE DECEMBER 31ST LIKELY EASIER, FASTER THAN WAITING UNTIL 2010! When the U.S. Credit Crisis gained steam in September, 2008 , it became clear that Giant Mortgage Investors and Guarantors Fannie Mae Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - WE’RE STILL GOING STRONG WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT!
Only seven days remain until Christmas but we're still going strong with Holiday spirit here in Chicago! Checkout this weekend's line-up -- This Friday is your last chance for Caroling at Cloud Gate at Millenium Park as the crowd gathers around Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Bah, Humbug! No Christmas Lights in Stock?
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Ho, ho, you dogs ! Are you enjoying the season? Has your Designated Human mixed Spiked Egg Nog in your water dish yet? If not , , , guess you have Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – NORWOOD PARK, LAKEVIEW, WEST LOOP, GOLD COAST, OAK PARK
NORWOOD PARK Sometimes you just never know what you're going to find as a hidden gem in your local neighborhood. Take Kouks Vintage Café for example. They offer not only a cozy home away from home where you can go and sip tea or coffee, but Read More...
SHORT SALE PROCESS TO BE STREAMLINED! But Perhaps Not Completely All Smooth Sailing!
FED PLAN COULD REDUCE APPROVAL TIMES, INCENTIVIZE HOMEOWNERS, SECOND LIEN HOLDERS! Whether you are a Home Buyer, Distressed Home Seller, or Real Estate Practitioner , if you have been exposed to the Short Sale Process , you know it is often fraught with Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – PREVENT CARBON MONOXIDE DANGER
We need to think of carbon monoxide detectors this time of year when using the furnace. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas. The symptoms of exposure often mimic that of a head cold or the flu. The symptoms include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS – HOLIDAY WEBSITES TO ASSIST IN YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
I'm usually a last-minute buyer when I do my holiday shopping. This year, I joined the throngs of Black Friday shoppers and am already done except for those one-offs that always seem to come in later. I've found all these sites are either fun Read More...
REDUCED! Immaculate 3BR/1.5 BA Glendale Heights Home - Quiet Street, Top Schools!
Glendale Heights - Announcing a price reduction on 36 Burgess Drive. Ultra-Clean 3BR/1.5BA - Quiet Street, Top Schools. Near Shopping, Transportaion, Park. Now Only $184,500 - REDUCED!!. Property information Read More...
IN CHICAGO, Number of Price Reductions on Listed Properties Falling! Market Rebound . . . or, More Realistic Sellers?
TRULIA.COM DATA: PRICE-REDUCED LISTINGS DROP 15% IN DECEMBER! Is the Real Estate Market here in Chicago beginning to rebound? As the old year ends and a new one can be seen just over the horizon, is the supply-demand nature of our local real estate market Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - IT’S HOLIDAY PLEASURE TIME!
Today is exactly two weeks until Christmas! There's still plenty of time to shop and get into the spirit of the Holidays without any stress. For example, here are a few "Holiday Pleasures" -- Billed as Chicago's largest, continuously Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Coupon Use Climb to Highest Level In 17 Years!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! Are you a "Clipper?" Do you clip out coupons to save money? Do you surf the web for coupon and promotional codes? Have Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – NORWOOD PARK, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, RAVENSWOOD, NAPERVILLE
NORWOOD PARK Norwood Park is a community that is staunched in so much history and now with the new Zitella Development Corp. development of a 16-space, pedestrian-friendly strip shopping center it's growth is sure to come. The rebuilding of this neighborhood Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – PICKING YOUR 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 are not eco-friendly. Choose a tree from a lot or go to your neighborhood Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS – IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR COMPUTER IN A FEW EASY STEPS
Anyone who spends a lot of time with computers knows when the performance of the computer isn't as good as it used to be. One thing that a computer user should regularly do is to free some disk space. This is easy to do. Just click on Disk Cleanup Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - December 7, 2009
Good Morning! Latest Unemployment Figures from the U.S. Labor Department indicate fewer U.S. Workers are out of jobs. In November, the Average Unemployment Rate Nationwide fell to 10,0%, from 10.2% in October. Jobless rates in Chicago and across IL are Read More...
CHICAGO PARKING TICKET REVENUE UP 26% OVER LAST YEAR!
STEPPED-UP PARKING ENFORCEMENT HAS PAID OFF FOR CITY - REVENUE UP $7 MILLION JANUARY-AUGUST VERSUS 2008! Do you drive in Chicago? Moreover, do you PARK in Chicago - in an on-street metered parking space. If you do, or if you have, you likely received Read More...
DOUBLE-DIGIT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE - Is It On The Way Down?
NATIONWIDE JOBLESS RATE FALLS TO 10.0% IN NOVEMBER - IL, CHICAGO UNEMPLOYMENT HIGHER THAN NATIONAL AVERAGE! There is an old saying in Real Estate - "If people are fearful on Friday that they might not still have their job come Monday, they are not Read More...
CONTROVERSIAL COOK COUNTY IL SALES TAX HEADED BACK DOWN, But County Board President Todd Stroger Contemplates Court Challenge!
VETO OVERRIDE BY COOK COUNTY BOARD ROLLS BACK CITY OF CHICAGO TAXES 0.5% - TO 9.75%! In Cook County IL, the county which includes the City of Chicago, general sales taxes could be on the way down. That will happen next July 1st - unless Cook County Board Read More...
FHA LOANS? They're Likely To Cost You More!
MINIMUM FICO CREDIT SCORE LIKELY TO ALSO INCREASE, AS WILL MORTGAGE INSURANCE COSTS. MAXIMUM SELLER CONTRIBUTION COULD FALL! FHA-Backed Loans! Until about two years ago, this source of mortgage funding for those with imperfect credit and low down payments Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS!
Take your pick - Friday, December 4 th 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m: it's the 14 th annual Southport Holiday Stroll at Southport and Belmont Avenues. Participating shops will offer discounts, special events and refreshments. Click here for a list of the Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - Chicago Proposal To Limit City Households to Five Dogs is Tabled!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Hey, you dogs! Back from my Annual Thanksgiving Hiatus - and shocked by what I saw in the papers when I returned. Here in Chicago, some City Aldermen Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – NORWOOD PARK, LINCOLN PARK, WEST LOOP, GOLD COAST, NAPERVILLE
NORWOOD PARK The holidays are in full swing and Norwood Park Historical Society is definitely celebrating. Starting tomorrow, you can attend Victoria's 21 st Annual Holiday Boutique & Café . There will be plenty of fabulous items to choose Read More...
PRICE REDUCED on 36 Burgess Drive in Sunrise at Westlake
Sunrise at Westlake, Glendale Heights - Announcing a price reduction on 36 Burgess Drive - a 3BR/1.5BA 2-story Split "Bi-Level" - Family-Perfect . Now MLS® $189,400 - REDUCED!!. Property information Read More...
KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – PORTABLE HEATER SAFETY
These heaters can do wonders to take the chill out of a room, or even warm entire spaces of your home. But choosing the right one for you and using it safely should be top priority. According to the Consumer Products Safety Council , portable heaters Read More...