Archive for June 2015

Case Shiller: Chicago Home Prices Just Puttering Along

Case Shiller: Chicago Home Prices Just Puttering Along
The April Case Shiller Home Price Index data just came out from the Dow Jones Index folks and it was kind of…meh…Sure Chicago home prices still went up from March but that tends to happen at this time of year and they are up year over year – but nothing like last year when they... Read more »

Here's A Preview Of Your 2014 Cook County Property Taxes

Here's A Preview Of Your 2014 Cook County Property Taxes
In case you forgot…you still don’t know what your 2014 Cook County property tax bill is yet. All you’ve paid thus far is a rough estimate of the first half of the bill for 2014 and you’re waiting for them to come up with your balance due based upon their calculation of your total bill... Read more »

Options Trader Selling Full Floor Waldorf Astoria Condo For $13.9 MM

Options Trader Selling Full Floor Waldorf Astoria Condo For $13.9 MM
There sure seems to be a lot of 8 figure homes on the market in Chicago these days – 13 to be exact, 2 of which are currently under contract. #4 on that list just hit the market on Thursday. It’s a full floor condo on the 52nd floor of the Waldorf Astoria at 11... Read more »
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RealtyTrac Market Report: Chicago Foreclosure Activity Has Really Flattened

RealtyTrac Market Report: Chicago Foreclosure Activity Has Really Flattened
I think the decline in Chicago foreclosure activity has really run it’s course. RealtyTrac released their May Foreclosure Market report this morning and I’ve updated my graph with their data below. There has been a lot of volatility in the numbers lately but May is basically flat to last year – actually it’s down by... Read more »

What Explains Chicago Public Schools' Test Scores

What Explains Chicago Public Schools' Test Scores
If you look at enough Chicago Public school report cards you will start to notice a pattern in the test scores. It looks like schools with a lower percentage of low income students tend to have higher test scores – or, more precisely, a higher percentage of students that meet or exceed the standards. That... Read more »

Chicago Expensive Homes: Former Playboy Bunny Mansion Listed At $14.5 MM

Chicago Expensive Homes: Former Playboy Bunny Mansion Listed At $14.5 MM
This gold coast mansion at 1336 N State Parkway was once home to the Playboy bunnies in residence and was attached to the original Playboy mansion. It sold in November 2013 for $7.125 MM. 1 1/2 years later, after renovations, it is back on  the market as Chicago’s third most expensive home currently listed. The... Read more »
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The Real Reasons You Actually Need A Real Estate Agent To Buy A Home

The Real Reasons You Actually Need A Real Estate Agent To Buy A Home
I have conversations with current and past home buyers all the time during which they describe a desire to not use a real estate agent to help them buy their home. Frankly, their logic for not using a real estate agent is usually not very well thought out and the reason they’re talking to me... Read more »

Chicago Real Estate Market Update: Home Sales Still Steaming Ahead

Chicago Real Estate Market Update: Home Sales Still Steaming Ahead
Posting my Chicago real estate market update on the 8th of the month last month seemed to do the trick. My numbers were spot on with the Illinois Association of Realtors’ number that came out 2 weeks later so let’s try this again. Home sales for the month of May were significantly higher than last... Read more »

This Prediction Market Lets You Legally Gamble On The 2016 Election

This Prediction Market Lets You Legally Gamble On The 2016 Election
Yeah, this is another one of those posts that have little to do with real estate but it’s about a favorite topic of mine that is really cool. One of the best ways to put a value on something is to put it on the market. You’ll find out soon enough what it’s worth. Similarly,... Read more »
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Why Real Estate Commissions Are So High: The Cost Of Friendship

Why Real Estate Commissions Are So High: The Cost Of Friendship
I was talking to Harry (not his real name) the other day. Harry is buying a house in Chicago and as part of his agreement with us he is going to be pocketing a real estate commission rebate of around $26,000 at closing. That money is coming from our commission but don’t feel sorry for... Read more »