House Flipping Becomes Hot Again – More Signs of a Housing Recovery

The number of “flipped” homes in Illinois increased by 38 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year, and by a whopping 309 percent from 2011. A total of 5,388 homes were flipped in Illinois – homes purchased and sold again within six months – in all of 2013, according to a report from RealtyTrac. ... Read more »

How much do you need to earn to buy a home in Chicago?

With nationwide interest rates on the rise,  inventory at historic lows and home prices rising in Chicago, housing affordability has once again become a hot-button topic. took the National Association of Realtor’s third quarter data for media home prices and their third-quarter average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to determine how much money... Read more »

Chicago’s Top 3 Hipster Zip Codes

RealtyTrac on Thursday released a report called the “Top 25 Hipster Zips for Returns on Rental Properties” – places where investors interested in investing in the rental market should place their bets. Three Chicago zip codes – 60625, 60647, 60642 – made the list. Realty Trac said it analyzed zip code data to identify established... Read more »

The New Real Estate Crystal Ball

I am in real estate media. I eat, sleep and live the topic. It’s what people corner me about at dinner parties, the gym and the dog park. Because of my work, I track several high-tech real estate indicators and indices, all of which profess to know where the housing market is headed. But, I’ve... Read more »

So, You Accidentally Bought A Meth Lab

Imagine finding your dream home – then finding out that the home was used as a meth lab by its previous owners. No, this isn’t an idea for Breaking Bad to live on after its series finale in 2013; it actually happened to Jonathan Hankins. Jonathan Hankins started a campaign on after learning that... Read more »

Pretty on the Inside? That's Not Enough!

When it comes to listing your home, effectively staging your property for sale can be the difference in getting the price you want versus a disappointing offer; however, there is a key misconceptions about staging that can cost home sellers. Most of us think good home staging focuses on the home’s interiors – a fresh... Read more »

REOs: Great Deal or Pain in the Ass?

A big reason there’s still so much inventory out there is the amount of REO property on the market. Real estate owned or REO is a class of property owned by a lender—typically a bank or government agency—after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction. REOs can be a great deal – they are typically... Read more »