Category: Dumb Ideas

Is Government Interference In The Real Estate Market Such A Bad Idea?

Is Government Interference In The Real Estate Market Such A Bad Idea?
It looks like real estate populism is alive and well in Chicago and Illinois with growing support for the government to step in and “fix” the real estate market here. You know…stop bad things like rising rents and high home prices through rent control and affordable housing requirements. Never mind that Chicago is probably already... Read more »

Transfer Taxes On "Expensive" Homes Is Not The Solution To Chicago's Problems

Transfer Taxes On "Expensive" Homes Is Not The Solution To Chicago's Problems
In case you’ve missed the news over the last few years Chicago has a lot of problems that are going to cost a lot of money to fix. So everyone is trying to figure out where all the money is going to come from. Well, a few aldermen and special interest groups have an answer... Read more »

Chicago's Affordable Housing Quagmire About To Get Deeper

Chicago's Affordable Housing Quagmire About To Get Deeper
Chicago has a long standing love affair with the notion of “affordable housing” – not CHA built housing but privately developed housing that people below various income limits can afford to buy or rent and are granted access to this housing by the city. But it’s not clear if they really love affordable housing or... Read more »
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The No Down Payment Mortgage Is Back With Free Government Money

The No Down Payment Mortgage Is Back With Free Government Money
Late last year I wrote about a lender giving away free money – up to $20,850 – to home buyers in certain areas around Chicago. It was indirectly related to government interference in the housing market. But late last week one of our lenders – Russ Martin of Perl Mortgage – reminded me of a... 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 »

Free Money: Lender Giving Away Up To $20,850 To Each Home Buyer

Free Money: Lender Giving Away Up To $20,850 To Each Home Buyer
Seriously. I kid you not. Free money. There is some lender out there giving home buyers up to $20,850 each! And you better believe that the government is almost certainly behind this. I was contacted by one of our mortgage bankers the other day with news of this incredible program and it is indeed for... Read more »
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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 »

Why Should You Pay For Highways When You Buy A House?

Why Should You Pay For Highways When You Buy A House?
I really hate politics. In fact, I find the government so frustrating that I can’t even watch House Of Cards because it upsets me too much (OK, it’s fiction but a lot of how it depicts Washington is accurate). And I’m no fan of lobbying either so when the National Association of Realtors sends me... Read more »

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 »
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Pocket Listings: The Tighter The Real Estate Market, The Worse The Idea

Pocket Listings: The Tighter The Real Estate Market, The Worse The Idea
Back in January I posted on Pocket Listings: The Growing Fad To Sell Homes “Not On The MLS” and how it’s a really bad idea for sellers and really isn’t very good for buyers either. In a nutshell, why would you offer a home for sale to a limited pool of buyers and run a... Read more »