Archive for October 2014

The Art And Science Of Refinishing Exterior Doors

The Art And Science Of Refinishing Exterior Doors
Exterior wooden doors in Chicago take quite a beating in this weather, what with the driving rain, snow, salt, and beating sunlight. And unfortunately, most exterior wooden doors have not been properly refinished so homeowners find themselves completely redoing the work every year or two or just resigning themselves to living with crappy looking front... Read more »

Case Shiller: Chicago Home Prices Barely Eke Out Gains In August

Case Shiller: Chicago Home Prices Barely Eke Out Gains In August
Case Shiller just released their August home price index for Chicago and 19 other metro areas and it continues to show ever smaller home price gains – especially for this time of the year. The national index for single family homes showed a gain of only 0.2% for August while Chicago gained 0.4%. The Case... Read more »

Too Much Time Shopping For A Mortgage Can Cost You That Home You Want To Buy

Too Much Time Shopping For A Mortgage Can Cost You That Home You Want To Buy
Let’s say you’ve been shopping for a home for a few months and you finally found one you like. You’ve negotiated the purchase price and you are now under contract. You probably think it’s all downhill from here and you have nothing to worry about. All  you need to do now is finish shopping for... Read more »
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An Appraiser Responds To My Post On Bad Real Estate Appraisals

An Appraiser Responds To My Post On Bad Real Estate Appraisals
My post last week on Bad Real Estate Appraisals And The Appraisers Who Create Them got a lot of interest among appraisers and generated a ton of comments from them (go figure!). However, I received one particularly long and well articulated comment from one appraiser who ran into technical difficulties trying to post his comment.... Read more »

Realty Trac Market Report: Chicago Foreclosures Remain Flat

Realty Trac Market Report: Chicago Foreclosures Remain Flat
RealtyTrac released their September Foreclosure Market Report this morning and it shows continued flattening of foreclosure activity for both the nation and the Chicago area. In the graph below Chicago foreclosure activity has not changed much in the last 3 months. In fact, as I noted last month, overall volatility of these numbers is way... Read more »

Bad Real Estate Appraisals And The Appraisers Who Create Them

Bad Real Estate Appraisals And The Appraisers Who Create Them
Every so often a real estate transaction can be a bit like Alice In Wonderland – especially when it comes to real estate appraisals. You see, in order for a buyer to get a mortgage his/ her lender has to appraise the property to ensure that it will provide adequate collateral for the mortgage. The... Read more »
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My Family's Unfortunate Experience With The Dallas Hospital That Dropped The Ebola Ball

My Family's Unfortunate Experience With The Dallas Hospital That Dropped The Ebola Ball
By now you’ve probably heard the one about the Dallas hospital that dropped the ball with America’s first Ebola patient. Unfortunately, it’s not a joke. The patient “was released from the hospital even though he told staff he had traveled from Liberia.” That hospital is Texas Health’s Presbyterian Hospital, one that my own family has... Read more »

September Chicago Real Estate Market Update: Home Sales Still Soft

September Chicago Real Estate Market Update: Home Sales Still Soft
As has been the case almost all year, the Chicago real estate market continued to show signs of weak sales in September. But I still believe that the market is fundamentally strong for the same reasons I’ve been pointing out in previous blog posts. Chicago home sales fell by 7.2% from last September, which is... Read more »

Ben Bernanke And The Bizarre World Of Mortgage Qualification

Ben Bernanke And The Bizarre World Of Mortgage Qualification
In case you missed the big mortgage news today Ben Bernanke, former head of the Federal Reserve Bank and the most powerful financial guy in the world, can’t refinance his home. And the story has become a symbol of the crazy mortgage qualification standards that are in place in the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown.... Read more »
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Are Chicago Home Prices Really Heading Down?

Are Chicago Home Prices Really Heading Down?
With Tuesday’s release of the July Case Shiller home price indices, including Chicago, we saw a continuation of year over year price increases but at a slower rate than we have seen in the last 20 months. But that’s OK, right? As long as prices are still going up. But maybe there’s some evidence of... Read more »