About us

Homeward Bound is your guide to Chicago's residential real estate market. Here, you'll find articles, photos, and videos about life and how it's lived in all 77 of the city's community areas.

Who we are

The Homeward Bound staff has more than 20 years of real estate marketing and editorial experience, having been involved in online media marketing since the rise of the Internet and social media since the launch of YoChicago in early 2005.

An Arkansan by birth, Joe Askins attended the University of Missouri - Columbia before making his first move to Chicago in 2003. He returned to Arkansas the following year to work at a news and entertainment reporter for his hometown paper, but the call of the Windy City was too great -- in 2007, he moved back to Illinois to serve briefly as a content specialist for the Sun-Times News Group, and eventually settled in Chicago's Bucktown upon taking a job as YoChicago's managing editor.

Joe Zekas is a long-time resident of Chicago and the North Shore, having lived in the city, Kenilworth and now Wilmette for decades. He is the chairman of YoChicago.com's parent company, Data Based Ads, and regularly contributes editorial content to YoChicago.

Our local correspondents

Our local correspondents are long-time insiders on the Chicagoland real estate stage. They will include some of the industry's most accomplished luminaries, savviest veterans and fastest rising stars.

They've all been at their profession long enough, and intelligently enough, to make the critical judgments that matter to home buyers, sellers, investors and renters, Informed, considered judgment is what sets them apart as experts in their profession.

Our conflicts of interest

Many of our local correspondents are affiliated with clients of Data Based Ads, a firm founded by Homeward Bound contributor Joe Zekas. Those clients include Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Koenig & Strey, and Prudential Rubloff, some of the largest real estate brokerage firms in Chicago and the North Shore.

Our client base also includes numerous local home builders and other real estate brokers. We do our best to maintain an independent take on real estate despite our client ties and believe those ties enable us to bring you more, and more credible information. You will, of course, have your own take on that.

Data Based Ads has a long-standing and highly valued relationship with the Tribune Company, as an ad agency for local real estate clients, and as a supplier of Internet ad order entry systems and other services to Tribune newspapers throughout the country.

Our other sites

We also publish the YoChicago, HousingNewswire and NewHomeNotebook sites. You can see our thousands of neighborhood videos through the YoChicago YouTube channel.