Tag: government programs

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 »

What Exactly Is The Problem With The Lincoln Yards TIF?

What Exactly Is The Problem With The Lincoln Yards TIF?
It’s been more than 11 years since I first posted about the absurdity of a steel plant located in Lincoln Park: Why Finkl & Sons Is In Lincoln Park. So I was pretty happy when word first got out that Sterling Bay was going to put something more logical on that prime real estate. Of... Read more »

Where Does Chicago's TIF Money Go?

Where Does Chicago's TIF Money Go?
A couple of weeks ago I provided an overview of how Chicago’s TIFs work – or at least how they are supposed to work. At the time I was unable to find a source of information on exactly how the money was being spent. However, upon further investigation I did find it and the accounting... Read more »
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Understanding Chicago TIFs

Understanding Chicago TIFs
TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) have received a ton of coverage in the news recently because of the recent debates about two of Chicago’s largest ever planned real estate development projects: Lincoln Yards and The 78. These two developments will benefit from up to $2.4 B in TIF money, which has been one of the more... Read more »

How Chicago Real Estate Investors Can Benefit From Opportunity Zones

How Chicago Real Estate Investors Can Benefit From Opportunity Zones
As part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act congress created tax advantaged Opportunity Zone investments in order to encourage investment in economically distressed communities. Basic information on how this program works is readily available but if you want to get down to specifics – e.g. what kind of Chicago real estate investments would... Read more »

Fannie Mae: Responsible Mortgage Lending Or More Homeownership?

Fannie Mae: Responsible Mortgage Lending Or More Homeownership?
You remember the subprime mortgage crisis, right? Skyrocketing homeownership levels, assuring everyone in America that they could become wealthy by participating in the American dream? And the ever popular narrative of evil bankers, forcing people to take on mortgages that they couldn’t afford to pay back? Soaring home prices, followed by a crash? Banks taking... Read more »
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The One Compelling Argument For Home Ownership Tax Deductions

The One Compelling Argument For Home Ownership Tax Deductions
As you might imagine the various realtor organizations are apoplectic over the possibility that the government will take away handouts for homeownership – specifically the mortgage interest tax deduction for large mortgages and the deductions for state and local taxes, including property taxes. You can see what the NAR has to say about it here... Read more »

Realtor Support For National Flood Insurance Program May Be Misguided

Realtor Support For National Flood Insurance Program May Be Misguided
Recently the Illinois Association of Realtors sent out a Call For Action in an effort to gain support for reforming the National Flood Insurance Program. The National or Illinois associations periodically send out these Call For Actions regarding some political initiative for which they want realtors to contact their representatives for support. Often these initiatives... Read more »

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 »
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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 »