Tag: dumb ideas

Chicago City Council Chops Up Neighborhoods In New Ward Map

Chicago City Council Chops Up Neighborhoods In New Ward Map
On Monday the Chicago city council finally approved a new Ward map as required in the wake of the latest census. If you’ve been following this story you’ll know that it was a knock down drag out fight in true Chicago fashion with lots of back room dealings and back stabbing – otherwise known as... Read more »

Chicago And Illinois Politicians Pretend They Can Create Affordable Housing

Chicago And Illinois Politicians Pretend They Can Create Affordable Housing
Over the last few months politicians across Chicago and Illinois have been working overtime pursuing the impossible dream, trying to wave their magic legislative wands to conjure up affordable housing out of thin air. While it will probably succeed in getting them the votes they’re after it will ultimately fail, as it always does, in... Read more »

Bernie Sanders' Fairyland Housing Plan

Bernie Sanders' Fairyland Housing Plan
Over the past few weeks Fareed Zakaria*¬† has given his take on Bernie Sanders’ “Magical Thinking On Climate Change” and his “Scandinavian Fantasy”. This has inspired me to take a look at Bernie’s Fairyland Housing Plan. Now, believe it or not I do try to avoid getting too political on this blog. I might criticize... Read more »
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Chicago Mayor Blocks Aldermen's Crazy Plan To Stop Gentrification

Chicago Mayor Blocks Aldermen's Crazy Plan To Stop Gentrification
Two Chicago aldermen,¬†Roberto Maldonado (26th) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), have been concerned for some time about gentrification in their wards, driven by the success of the Bloomingdale Trail. They’ve come up with a few different ideas for stopping the inevitable and apparently none of them are working. Who would have seen that coming? So their... Read more »

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 »
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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 »

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 »
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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 »