Archive for January 2011

Follow Up On The Mysterious Burnham Park Plaza Condos

Someone recently asked if there was any follow up on the weird goings on at the Burnham Park Plaza Condos at 40 E. 9th St. in the South Loop. I originally wrote about the apparent fraud and resulting short sales there back in April. The numbers were staggering and the story definitely deserves a follow... Read more »

University Village About To Get Additional School Choice?

As of today the educational options are looking much better for the residents of University Village. Dissatisfied with the performance of Smyth Academy for some time, the parents of University Village have been pressuring Chicago Public Schools to provide an alternative for their children. According to a story posted earlier this evening by the Chicago... Read more »

Chicago Home Prices Reach New Low

It was inevitable. With Chicago home sales at a standstill and 40%+ of all sales distressed the price declines continue. Case Shiller released their home price index for Chicago and other metro areas today and Chicago hit a new low – at least for single family homes. Condo prices are almost at a new low... Read more »

ZipRealty Refocuses Strategy

As I know first hand, it’s not easy being a full service, discount real estate brokerage. Just ask the folks at ZipRealty who recently announced a major strategic shift in their real estate brokerage model. Here are some of the highlights: They are pulling out of 11 markets They are cutting overhead by 25 –... Read more »

Did You Just Miss The Lowest Housing Costs In 23 Years?

All the news stories and even this blog tend to focus on either home prices or mortgage rates. But in reality what we should be focusing on is the cost of owning a home, which combines the effect of both the price of a home and the cost of the mortgage on that home. So... Read more »

When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

  I’ve always wondered what kind of data exists to provide a recommendation to home sellers as to when the ideal time is to try and sell their home and to tell sellers how much of a difference timing makes. It would not be trivial for me to come up with this analysis on my... Read more »

Distressed Home Sales A Huge Part Of Chicago's Housing Market

After several months of noting significant discrepancies between RealtyTrac’s foreclosure sales numbers for Chicago and those coming out of the MLS I’ve decided to stop reporting the RealtyTrac numbers. I’m replacing their data with my own data on the percentage of home sales that are distressed – either short sales or foreclosures. What the MLS... Read more »

Is Chicago's Real Estate Market Getting Less Bad?

Well I can’t exactly call a 20% decline in home sales from last year a turnaround, can I? But -20% is the number that the Illinois Association of Realtors is likely to report on Thursday for December home sales in Chicago relative to the prior year. But when you compare that to the recent 40%... Read more »

Are Foreclosures Really Getting Worse In Chicago?

Late last week the Tribune ran a story with the following headline Chicago area foreclosures soar 20% in 2010. While their story is based upon the same data source that I use (RealtyTrac) I’m not sure the story sends the right message. First of all it’s based upon foreclosure data for a very large area... Read more »

Additional Thought On Remodeling Your Home Before Selling It

In response to DarkAngel’s comment on my last post about redmodeling your home before selling it I wanted to follow up with one additional thought. In that previous post I made the case that it wasn’t worth remodeling in order to increase the value of your home. If you do you’re going to typically lose... Read more »