Archive for December 2011

Chicago budget anticipates little pickup in home sales activity

The State of Illinois and Cook County impose transfer taxes on the sale of real estate, as do a number of municipalities, including the City of Chicago. The Chicago transfer tax is $3.75 per $500 of the transfer, and it’s the responsibility of the buyer – although, like everything else in a real estate transaction,... Read more »

Bankruptcy judge blasts plan for site near McCormick Place

Back in late October Crain’s reported on an Arizona developer’s plans for a troubled parcel of land just north of McCormick Place. I looked at the developer’s website and had the following reaction: I can’t spend much time on Winners Development’s website without gagging on what strikes me as a mound of undistilled BS. I’ll... Read more »

Bill Healy introduces some of Auburn Gresham's wonderful people

Kudos to Bill Healy and WBEZ for taking an extended look at Auburn Gresham, and introducing some of the people who contribute to the character of the neighborhood: It’s not completely a tale of poverty and dysfunction, and it’s not completely a tale of success and excellence. And perhaps one of the reasons the neighborhood... Read more »

Midwest new home sales soar in November

The US Census Bureau reports that November new home sales (pdf) were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000, a 1.6% increase from the October rate, and a 9.8% increase from the November of 2010 pace. As is often the case, the national numbers mask sharp variations among regions. Sales actually declined sharply in... Read more »

$49M in HUD funds for Chicago homelessness programs

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced yesterday that more than $49 million in funding has been renewed for 172 existing Chicago-based programs to aid the homeless. In a news release, the grants were described as “a critical part of the Obama Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.” Illinois programs received... Read more »

Investigate parking carefully when moving to the suburbs

Chicagoans are used to assuming that parking may be a hassle or prove expensive when they’re looking for their next apartment. Cheap, convenient parking is sometimes one of the factors that lead to considering a move to the suburbs. If you’re moving to the suburbs, don’t take parking for granted. The availability of convenient parking... Read more »

Rapid-fire price cuts on Jackson Park Highlands home

You don’t often see price reductions like this. The 5-bedroom, 3-bath home at 6710 S Euclid Ave in Jackson Park Highlands came on the market 17 days ago at a list price of $400,000. It was reduced to $300,000 on December 10th and reduced again to $225,000 on December 12th. The home is being sold... Read more »

Live in an Old Town Triangle high school for less than the 2001 price

When St Michael’s High School converted to condos about 30 years ago the developer turned its bowling alleys into parking spaces. That was an easy call, given how tight parking was, and remains, in the Old Town Triangle. The building’s walk-to-everything location remains popular, but that popularity hasn’t translated into price appreciation over the last... Read more »

Is downtown Chicago headed for a glut of new apartments?

Quite a few real estate developers and lenders apparently don’t think a glut is on the horizon. Their confidence has been buoyed by the rapid absorption of the half-dozen new rental towers that opened for occupancy within the past two years, by favorable demographic trends and by a perception that downtown Chicago is becoming an... Read more »

A character-laden South Loop loft with a roof deck

When you think of a loft you conjure sunlit sprawling spaces with high ceilings, exposed brick, and a lot of character. Too often all you find is a dark space with all the character of a bowling alley. The 3,000 square foot, 3-bedroom, 3-bath top-floor loft at 1617 S Michigan Ave is likely to satisfy... Read more »