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Chicago condo smoking bans and more

2626

The smoking ban at the 2626 N Lakeview condominiums is old news by now, but you’ll get an expanded look at some of the legal backdrop in the latest issue of the Chicagoland Cooperator. The publication focuses on issues relevant to local condos and co-ops. The June issue of the publication has a roundup of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 14, 2014
ChicagoNorth Side

An updated look at a sold-out Montana Row

Montana Row

New construction homes in viable neighborhoods by builders with a track record have been selling before completion during the past several years. When we last looked in on Montana Row, 25-foot wide rowhomes in the 1500 block of Montana in Lincoln Park, only one of the fourteen homes remained available for sale. All of the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 7, 2014

Are you paying real estate taxes on personal property?

Barrington kitchen

A number of real estate websites include the sales history of a listed property and include both the price reported in public records and the price reported in the Multiple Listing Service. Those prices are often, surprisingly, identical. I say “surprisingly” because the value of personal property included in a real estate purchase should be ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 20, 2014

Rising prices and thin sales volumes spell danger

Aerial, East Garfield Park

If you’ve been an observer of Chicago’s real estate cycles for an appreciable amount of time, you’ve seen the current script played out repeatedly. Call it Apocalypse Tomorrow: it begins as an action adventure movie and frequently ends as a horror show. The protagonists are affluent, young, would-be home buyers who can’t afford the home ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 28, 2014

Are websites increasing racial and economic segregation?

Homefacts

It’s been 10 years since journalist Bill Bishop began writing about “the big sort” and five years since the publication of his book. Amazon summarizes Bishop’s thesis: Armed with startling new demographic data, he made national news in a series of articles showing how Americans have been sorting themselves into alarmingly homogeneous communities — not ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 24, 2014

Chicago real estate video shootout – YoChicago vs Crain’s and Chicago Magazine

YouTube

YoChicago’s YouTube channel has taken you to more Chicago places and inside more Chicago spaces and introduced you to more of the faces that shape Chicago real estate than any other source. We think we’re the clear leader in Chicago real estate video, and YouTube’s metrics strongly support that claim. Chicago Magazine and Crain’s Chicago ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 28, 2014

Chicago passes energy use benchmarking ordinance

1K Fulton

The Tribune reports that the City Council, by a 32-17 vote, passed a controversial ordinance that requires buildings larger than 50,000 square feet “to disclose how much energy their buildings use and how they measure up against their peers.” The ordinance was opposed by BOMA Chicago. The group suggested that the ordinance would disadvantage older ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 12, 2013

Lake Forest chapel converting to walk-in closet

Lake Forest chapel

Over the years I’ve been in a number of homes that had attached private chapels, several of them capable of seating dozens of people. The chapel pictured above is far smaller than many a walk-in closet that I’ve seen. According to a real estate agent quoted in Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily, the buyers plan ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 6, 2013

These developers are liars, cheaters and scammers

4300 block S Michigan Ave

The following comment has been sent to our trash bin: “Avoid Avoid Avoid! [Name redacted] are liars, cheaters, and scammers! Run away!” The comment came from someone with the screen name “Beware” and was posted with an email address that doesn’t resolve to a valid account. We have, of course, no way of knowing whether ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 6, 2013
Tips & adviceHome inspection

Why real estate agents don’t like Tomacor

Tom Corbett

Find out why agents don’t like us is one of the menu items on the website for Tomacor, a local home inspection firm. A few of the reasons listed on the site: Pompous, arrogant, patronizing. This guy is a jerk! He couldn’t find a problem if it bit him in the ass. He sucks! I’ve ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 4, 2013

Navigating Chicago’s northwest suburban real estate market

Beth Repta

Chicago’s northwest suburban real estate market has been hot recently, with a limited number of homes for sale and many of them becoming involved in multiple offer situations. What can buyers and sellers do to have a competitive edge in this fast moving market? Coldwell Banker’s Beth Repta serves up some tips for buyers and ...

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Posted by sponsored post on August 15, 2013

Is your selling agent getting a referral fee from your buyer’s agent?

Volo water tower

Realtors like to boast that they “specialize in residential properties in the city and suburbs,” but that’s a hollow claim, often a silly one. It’s simply impossible for an agent, with rare exceptions, to know city and suburban markets well enough to provide competent representation to a client on both a city sale and a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 2, 2013

Are international investors buying up Chicago?

Aerial view of Gold Coast

A post at HGTV’s FrontDoor site has this headline: “Trending: International Investors Buying Up Chicago.” International house hunters, according to FrontDoor, represent “a smoking trend” and they’re reaching out to an obscure Chicago firm rather than one of its internationally-known ones to seal the deal. My take: there’s more smoke being blown than trend to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 11, 2013

Check out the cribs and ignore the chatter

Sabrina at CribChatter performs a useful service for real estate buyers by diligently searching out and spotlighting interesting new listings, and revisiting ones that have lingered on the market for a while. Sabrina recently suggested in a comment that s/he’s “thinking about shutting the site down:” CribChatter’s traffic is at 5 year lows. People want ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 11, 2013

Relocation therapy can help you reclaim your life

New York High Line

According to census experts, the average American moves an estimated 14 times during his or her lifetime. People move for a variety of reasons such as job transfers, better school districts and to gain proximity to restaurants and shopping. In addition, some people change their residence due to a feeling of restlessness and a desire ...

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Posted by Ken Torrino on March 7, 2013

YoChicago “honored” as top Chicago real estate website

Movoto badge

We place the “honored” in quotes based on the nature of the site that selected YoChicago as one of the top 6 real estate sites in Chicago, and the only site to receive the highest score on each of the factors considered in the selections. Movoto is a real estate search engine whose business model ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 6, 2013

Will you be living in a lakefront NORC?

Aerial view, north lakefront

The New York Times recently focused on the changes that changing demographics have wrought in some Upper West Side buildings: When the co-op conversion wave began in New York City in the 1960s, singles and young married couples flocked to the Upper West Side hoping to get a piece of the action. Some of those ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 20, 2013

How to win a North Shore home in a multiple-offer scenario

Kardas, Wilmette Harbor

Anne West’s North Shore Views paints this picture of a changed market: It seems like just yesterday that it was a buyer’s market here on Chicago’s North Shore: lots of homes to choose from, plenty of time to consider the options, the ability to negotiate hard with desperate sellers, the possibility of scoring a deal ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 18, 2013

Occupy Our Homes vs Fifth Third Bank

Thumbnail image for Occupy Our Homes vs Fifth Third Bank

Almost a year ago we wondered whether Occupy Chicago was using the homeless as cannon fodder by encouraging them to occupy foreclosed homes. A California attorney has just been disbarred for, among other acts, encouraging clients to break into and occupy their former home, which had been foreclosed. A group billing itself as Communities United ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 21, 2012

Housing affordability worsens for young renters, improves for young owners

River North Chicago

Fannie Mae recently published its latest Housing Insights report (pdf). Among the report’s findings is a divergence in housing affordability between young renters and young homeowners: One common method for analyzing housing affordability compares a household’s monthly housing costs, including utilities, to its pre-tax income to determine if the ratio surpasses a maximum affordable level. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 16, 2012