A restored walk-to-train catalog home in Brookfield

Brookfield is one of the close-in western suburbs that doesn’t garner as much attention as Riverside, La Grange, Western Springs and its other, pricier neighbors. Except, that is, for its zoo. It’s been nearly a year since we looked in on what was then the highest-priced home in Brookfield, listed at $449,900. It sold shortly... Read more »

Should a photo make the lawn green when it isn't?

Home buyers will probably not agree, but some Realtors and photographers consider it acceptable practice to doctor a photo by making a lawn look green when it isn’t. A large photography company is even advertising a September special of 20% off on “Enhancing Your Listings’ Lawn with a Green Grass Upgrade!” Is that deceptive advertising... Read more »

Are strategic defaulters facing jail time?

Thinking about strategically defaulting on your mortgage, and seeing how long you can live in your home without paying? Long enough to save up a down payment for your next home? Long enough to pay for that first-class flight to Cabo? Think about what Heath Wolfe, a government official has to say in Lew Sichelman’s... Read more »

Is buying 50 percent cheaper than renting?

That’s the thesis advanced in this post at Trulia’s blog, with obvious differences among housing markets. In the Chicago metro area, for example, Trulia estimates the monthly average cost of ownership at $821 and the monthly cost of renting at $1,628 – a 50% difference. Trulia’s approach is based on what appears to be, on... Read more »

A 1920s Dutch Colonial in Hinsdale

The Robbins Park Historic District is one of the prettiest and most sought-after areas in Hinsdale. A 4,266 square foot, 5-bedroom, 3 ½ bath home in the Dutch Colonial Revival style just came on the market, priced at $1,995,000. The home, at 711 S Washington St, lies just beyond the historic district boundaries and two... Read more »

Buyer beware of Bellwood's baleful state

Bellwood’s location, just 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop, and its proximity to I-290 and I-294, should make it attractive to residents and to industry. Its location notwithstanding, Bellwood lost 7.1% of its population between 2000 and 2010 and has been losing businesses. According to a Sunday Chicago Tribune story, conditions in Bellwood appear poised... Read more »

Rent a dorm room at NIU or buy a home in Sycamore?

It’s not a choice that many parents consider, but when you look at the cost of student housing at Northern Illinois University (NIU), you have to wonder why they don’t set their son or daughter up as a landlord in a single-family home in nearby Sycamore. A recent Tribune article on New Hall, the first... Read more »

An Elmhurst Cape Cod and a market update

The dormered Cape Cod-style home is popular throughout the United States, and common in Elmhurst. The 4-bedroom, 2-bath Cape Cod at 328 Hillside has an uncommon feature — a large family room addition with patio doors leading to a nicely landscaped yard. The home has a recently-remodeled kitchen, a fully-finished basement and better storage than... Read more »

A home on 2.4 acres near Naperville subdivisions

Naperville is justly known for its more than 300 subdivisions, some of them built out to a density nearly as high as you’ll find in parts of the City of Chicago. Finding a home with acreage in Naperville is unusual, and more so in an area where relatively dense subdivisions prevail. New to the market... Read more »

Mies van der Rohe's McCormick House in Elmhurst

The Robert McCormick House in Elmhurst is one of only three single-family residences designed by Mies van der Rohe in the United States. Built in 1952, it’s celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, but not as a home. In 1994 it was taken apart and reassembled at Wilder Park in Elmhurst as part of the... Read more »