Archive for December 2015

Case Shiller: Chicago Home Prices Gaining Ground But Still Dead Last

Case Shiller: Chicago Home Prices Gaining Ground But Still Dead Last
The picture is brightening a little bit for Chicago home prices according to this morning’s release of the Case Shiller home price index for October but when compared to the other 19 metro areas Chicago is still in last place for year over year price gains. I believe that makes this the second month in... Read more »

The Future Of The Real Estate Agent Can Be Seen In The Stock Brokerage Business

The Future Of The Real Estate Agent Can Be Seen In The Stock Brokerage Business
If you want some idea of what the future of the real estate agent looks like all you have to do is examine what has happened to the stock brokerage business over the last 35 years or so. It wasn’t that long ago that the “savvy” investor patted themselves on the back for having a... Read more »

No Signature Guarantees: Just Another Reason To Hate Bank Of America

No Signature Guarantees: Just Another Reason To Hate Bank Of America
Yeah, this has nothing to do with real estate but I like to also keep people informed about important financial matters and this is one of them. First some background: In case I’ve never mentioned it before Bank Of America is the worst. Apparently I’m not alone in this belief because all you have to... Read more »
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Chicago Property Taxes Are Some Of The Highest In The Nation And Heading Higher

Chicago Property Taxes Are Some Of The Highest In The Nation And Heading Higher
Since I’m personally staring at a 45% property tax increase for 2015 I’m spending far too much time thinking about Chicago property taxes. I already tried to appeal mine myself but made little headway at the first level so I’m bringing in professional appeal attorneys to take it to the next level – the Cook... Read more »

Home Price Forecast: Experts' Outlook Inching Down

Home Price Forecast: Experts' Outlook Inching Down
Once again the housing experts have pontificated on their national home price forecast for the next 5 years and once again they have throttled back their optimism…very slightly. The 4th quarter 2015 Home Price Expectations Survey released by Zillow/ Pulsenomics last week shows a consensus forecast of 17.9% cumulative appreciation from 2014 to 2019 vs.... Read more »

RealtyTrac Market Report: Not Much Progress In Chicago Foreclosures

RealtyTrac Market Report: Not Much Progress In Chicago Foreclosures
Given all the signs of improvement in Chicago foreclosures you would think that the foreclosure data would reflect the positive trends. Nevertheless, the Chicago data from Thursday’s release of RealtyTrac’s November Foreclosure Market Report does not look so exciting and it’s hard to figure out why. Look at the graph below and you’ll see that... Read more »
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The Federal Reserve Is Not Raising Mortgage Rates This Week

The Federal Reserve Is Not Raising Mortgage Rates This Week
The Federal Reserve starts their Open Market Committee meeting tomorrow and the futures markets are basically giving an interest rate hike a 79% probability (as of last night). So, “interest rates” are going up and that means mortgage rates are going up and that means people will have to buy cheaper houses and that means... Read more »

Those Home Value Estimators Really Suck

Those Home Value Estimators Really Suck
It seems like everyone has them now – those automated home value estimators that can tell you exactly how much your home is worth in an instant without ever looking inside your home. Obviously, the condition of your home, your layout, room sizes, closets, gizmos, and the level of finishes simply don’t matter. All that... Read more »

Picking A Real Estate Agent Is Like Getting A Tattoo

One of the first blog posts I wrote was about how to choose a real estate agent. Half way down the page I write about avoiding some common pitfalls and the first one is friends or relatives in the business, which I was reminded of when I found this on Facebook this morning. And people... Read more »
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Chicago Real Estate Market Update: November Another Down Month

Chicago Real Estate Market Update: November Another Down Month
It looks like the Chicago real estate market turned in another disappointing month in November. Home sales were down 1.6% from last year. Of course, the Illinois Association of Realtors will see it even more negatively in about 2 weeks when they report a decline of 2.0%. However, I’m thinking that these estimates might be... Read more »