Archive for June 2017

What Happens To Earnest Money When A Real Estate Contract Falls Apart?

What Happens To Earnest Money When A Real Estate Contract Falls Apart?
In all the years we’ve been in business we’ve done hundreds of real estate transactions so we’ve seen our share of deals fall apart. In the Chicago market I estimate that 15 – 20% of all contracts written die on the vine and I believe our own experience is relatively consistent with that. Out of... Read more »

Case Shiller: 4% Chicago Area Home Price Gains Kinda Sad

Case Shiller: 4% Chicago Area Home Price Gains Kinda Sad
When the 20 metro areas covered by Case Shiller average a 5.7% year over year gain in single family home prices it’s pretty sad when the Chicago area can only eke out a 4% gain. That’s the lowest year over year gain in 5 months and once again Chicago finds itself 4th from the bottom... Read more »

Chicago Foreclosure Activity: Shadow Inventory Declines Yet Again

Chicago Foreclosure Activity: Shadow Inventory Declines Yet Again
ATTOM Data Solutions (the parent of RealtyTrac) did not release a May Foreclosure Market report this month but they did update the data on their site so let’s take a look at what it tells us about Chicago foreclosure activity. I’ve updated the graph below with their data and it shows that May had the... Read more »
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Chicago Tribune Exposes Screwed Up Cook County Property Tax Assessments

Chicago Tribune Exposes Screwed Up Cook County Property Tax Assessments
Last Thursday I posted on the new Cook County property tax rates for the suburbs and Chicago for 2016 which are rising about 10%. But there is a more sinister issue underlying property taxes in the county that I’ve often wondered about in past blog posts. For instance, I’ve often highlighted on some of the... Read more »

2016 Cook County And Chicago Property Tax Rates Released

2016 Cook County And Chicago Property Tax Rates Released
A couple of days ago the Cook County Clerk’s office released the 2016 property tax rates for Chicago and the suburbs and it was another double digit increase primarily driven by…no surprise…an urgent need to fund the city’s deficient pension funds. And this is despite an increasing tax base in the county. All because previous... Read more »

Home Price Forecast: Experts Raise Their Outlook Once Again

Home Price Forecast: Experts Raise Their Outlook Once Again
A couple of weeks ago Zillow and Pulsenomics released their 2nd quarter Home Price Expectations Survey for the nation and their panel of more than 100 real estate experts have gotten more optimistic since they released their last survey. I don’t think they really had much choice given that the year over year home price... Read more »
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Chicago Real Estate Market Update: May Home Sales Eke Out Small Gain

Chicago Real Estate Market Update: May Home Sales Eke Out Small Gain
According to the recent see saw pattern of alternating high and low home sale months the Chicago real estate market was due for strong sales in May. But it didn’t happen. Instead we got a mere 3.0% increase over last year, though it was the second highest sales month in 10 years. You can’t really... Read more »

Fighting Gentrification In Chicago Is Like Fighting Gravity

Fighting Gentrification In Chicago Is Like Fighting Gravity
The fight against gentrification in Chicago has really heated up in the last couple of years – or maybe it’s always been a hot topic and I just never paid attention to it before. The two neighborhoods where the debate seems to be the hottest right now is Pilsen and West Bucktown (I actually hate... Read more »

Just How Accurate Is Zillow's Zestimate?

Just How Accurate Is Zillow's Zestimate?
I think I already made it clear that I’m no fan of automated home valuation models and Zillow’s Zestimate in particular. Apparently quite a few other people aren’t either. Just last week I posted an article on how some Chicago area builders and their attorney (also a home seller that feels burned by her Zestimate)... Read more »
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