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Illinois ranks third in seriously underwater mortgages

RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac today released its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the first quarter of 2014. Thirty percent of all Illinois homes with a mortgage were seriously underwater, i.e. had a combined loan amount secured by the property at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value. Illinois ranked third behind Nevada (34%) ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 17, 2014

Ask American Realty’s Dan Dantuma about his drug arrests

Dan Dantuma

American Realty’s Dan Dantuma had 135 repetitive ads on Craigslist as of mid-morning yesterday. More than 80% of them were for a single apartment, a junior 1-bedroom at Gold Coast Galleria, 111 W Maple. Reading the same ad over and over and over again prompted me to learn more about Dan, and an online search ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 11, 2014

State Street Properties’ amazing Craigslist apartment spam

State Street Properties

With just over 2,500 ads, State Street Properties isn’t Craigslist’s most prolific apartment ad spammer, but it ranks among the worst of them and shares some verbal tics with the typical Craigslist rental spammers. Landlords and management companies don’t typically resort to superlatives to describe their apartments. If you see an “amazing” or “awesome” or ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 10, 2014

Where have all the iMove agents gone, short time passing?

iMove Chicago

We’ve written repeatedly about iMove Chicago, a rental service that advertises frequently on Craigslist for new leasing agents and brokers. We had saved records of the names of 41 agents and brokers (other than Erickson Ocasio and Rusty Payton, the principals) who were employed at iMove Chicago between January 2012 and January 19, 2013: Andrew ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014

Craigslist spammer of the day: Andy Trejo and iQrentals

Facebook Trejo

We haven’t written about Andy Trejo before, but he’s been on our radar for well over a year, and his company names have been on our Chicago rental service do-not-call list. The LinkedIn screen cap on the left, above, dates to January of last year. The one on the right is current. The LinkedIn profiles ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 7, 2014

An update on Chicagoland Property Group’s spam-family Walker

SoNo East Walker Craigslist

In the coming months we’ll be continuing our efforts to make it easier for you to identify and avoid some of Craiglist’s worst apartment ad spammers. We’ll call them out by company and individual names and build a reference list. On Monday we questioned whether the more than 4,500 ads placed by Chicagoland Property Group ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 4, 2014

The Villas at Great House break ground at Sailrock, South Caicos

Sailrock South Caicos

Sailrock in South Caicos has begun construction on the Villas at Great House, the primary resort component associated with Sailrock. The first phase of the project, which will be completed In 2015, will consist of Beach Front Villas, Ridgetop Villas and the Great House. This low-density resort, set on 42 acres, embraces the spirit of ...

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Posted by sponsored post on April 2, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Illinois home prices and sales volume up in February

RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac released its February 2014 U.S. Residential and Foreclosure Sales Reportearlier today. Here are some of the metrics for Illinois: The number of homes sold in February rose 20.4% year-over-year. Illinois’ sales volume increase ranked 7th highest among the states. The median sales price increased 14% year-over-year to $152,500. Illinois had the 8th highest increase ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 27, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Redfin agents predict a competitive market

Redfin agent survey

Redfin recently polled 435 of its agents, and 65% of them expect the home purchase market this year to be more competitive than it was in 2013. The number of homes available for sale in the Chicago area in 2014 is 29% below the 2013 level, and agents foresee bidding wars. At the very least ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 26, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Examining the risk of another housing bubble

Aerial view Uptown

CoreLogic just released its March MarketPulse report (PDF). The report examines the risk of another housing bubble in light of large price gains in many markets in 2013, looks at the relationship between high-end home sales and the health of the financial markets, points out that this year is widely expected to be the trough ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 26, 2014
News & trendsArchitecture & design

Jeanne Gang, on building communities through architecture

Jeanne Gang

There have been recent rumors that architect Jeanne Gang may be involved in a new tower at Lakeshore East, where Aqua has made quite a splash. Last May Gang spoke at TEDx Midwest on the topic of how architecture contributes to building community. Her compelling presentation has flashes of humor, a focus on an expanded ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 24, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

The outlook for rental housing

JCHS

If you’re trying to understand the outlook for rental housing you’ll want to spend some time with the wealth of data and analysis provided in America’s Rental Housing (pdf), a report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. A brief summary from the report: By virtually all rental market indicators, the recovery from the Great ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 21, 2014

Meet the guys who wash your windows

Window washer

There are times when you see them almost nose-to-nose, but there never seems to be a way to get to know them. They’re the guys who rappel down your building to wash your windows, and you can meet them and learn a bit about their lives in this award-winning documentary video. Are they always guys? ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 14, 2014

Planned Property takes the Polar Plunge with #swimmyfallon

Jimmy Fallon at Polar Plunge

Chicago’s Polar Plunge benefitting the Special Olympics drew a record crowd this year, due in part to the participation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon. Planned Property raised funds for the benefit from its employees and apartment residents, and Planned’s Dan McDonough donned a penguin suit and plunged into the icy ...

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Posted by sponsored post on March 3, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

CoreLogic reports Chicago-area home price surge

CoreLogic HPI

CoreLogic is reporting that home prices nationally increased 11% year-over-year in December 2013, the 22nd consecutive month in which home prices increased year-over-year. Single-family home prices, excluding distressed properties, in the Chicago area rose 12.4% year-over-year in December, the fourth-highest percentage increase among the largest metropolitan areas. Including distressed properties, Chicago prices rose 12.5% year-over-year, ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 5, 2014

Know your condo manager, Prairie Shores Management edition

Sedgwick St

While reading a string of negative reviews on Yelp for Prairie Shores Management I locked in on the name of Richard Holtzman. Back in the 80s Holtzman was associated with a firm called Preservation Chicago Inc that had a number of failed investments in Uptown and, if memory serves (it may not), was very poorly ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 4, 2014

A day for honoring Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr video

As we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr, we might pause to consider how much has changed since he came to Chicago in 1966 to advance the cause of fair housing. Dr King described his time in Chicago, where he rented an apartment at 1550 S Hamlin Ave, as “a first step on ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 20, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Chicago-area sales, prices rise in December

RE/MAX December sales data 2013

The following market update arrived via a news release from RE/MAX Northern Illinois: During the final month of 2013, home sales in the seven-county metro Chicago real estate market totaled 8,053 units, 9 percent more than during the same month last year, while the median sales price was $178,000, an impressive 17 percent higher than ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 17, 2014
News & trendsNeighborhoods

Chicago’s five-year housing plan

Five year housing plan

Chicago’s fifth five-year housing plan was presented to the City Council on Wednesday for approval. According to Chicago Real Estate Daily, the 2014-2018 plan will have funding of about $1.1 billion, down from the nearly $2 billion funding of the previous plan. The plan will, in theory, result in the construction, preservation and rehabilitation of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 17, 2014
News & trendsMarket conditions

Chicago drops out of top 10 metros in foreclosure rate

Thumbnail image for Chicago drops out of top 10 metros in foreclosure rate

Miami had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation in 2013, with 3.93% of its housing units in some stage of foreclosure, according to recently-released RealtyTrac data. Among Metropolitan Statistical Areas with a population of more than 200,000, seven other Florida metros were in the top 10 in 2013 foreclosure rates. Rounding out the top ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 16, 2014