Friday, December 17, 2010

Property Tax Appeals Soaring

As U.S. home prices continue to fall, property owners in most major U.S. cities are demanding lower taxes, Bloomberg reported Dec. 8. Bloomberg reported specifically on states such as Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, California and Illinois.

Real estate values plunged 30 percent below their peak of April 2006, according to the third quarter S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities, released Nov. 30. Values may drop 10 percent more, Greg Lippmann, a founder of LibreMax Capital LLC, said Dec. 2 at the Hedge Funds New York Conference hosted by Bloomberg Link.

In the Midwest, Illinois may have 19,350 property appeals in 2010, 10 percent more than in 2009, Louis Apostol, executive director of the state’s Property Tax Appeal Board, told Bloomberg. The backlog amounts to about 35,000 claims, of which more than 80 percent come from homeowners and the board approves an average of 30 percent of them, he said.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicago Metro Zillow Home Value Index

According to a new report released today from the real estate website Zillow.com, home values decreased 6.6% year-over-year to a Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) of $189,600. Values also fell in the short-term, changing -1.1% from August to September. The ZHVI measures the value of all homes, not just those that sold in a particular period.

The online real estate tracker also reported that 12.4% of Chicago homes’ values increased in September, while 82.4% decreased.

A large percentage of all sales in September were foreclosure re-sales (REO sales). Nationally, foreclosure re-sales made up 20.1% of all sales.

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Chicago Metro Zillow Home Value Index

Sunday, October 10, 2010

36th Annual Historic Pullman House Tour

Sunday October 10th visit historic Pullman

One weekend each year, Pullman residents open their homes to the public for the annual Historic Pullman House Tour. These 120-year-old landmark homes range from executive mansions to 14-foot wide worker's cottages to multi-unit apartments, all with a charm and uniqueness that is part of the Pullman experience. Tour homes open 11:00am to 5:00pm.

Historic Pullman Visitor Center, 11141 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, IL

www.pullmanil.org

Friday, September 24, 2010

U.S. Double Dip Not Likely in 2010

A double dip occurs when home price growth slides back below previous lows after a period of growth.

Clear Capital, a provider of data and solutions for real estate asset valuation, investment and risk assessment, has some comments on the real estate market.

"We continue to see softening of home price gains, due in large part to the buyer pullback after the expiration of the tax credit," said Dr. Alex Villacorta, Senior Statistician, Clear Capital. "Overall, prices look poised to continue their deceleration with a likely drop into negative territory by the end of the year. But keep in mind, the price gains we experienced over the past two years are providing a cushion against prices going into double dip territory, meaning it is unlikely we'll see prices below their 2009 lows this year."

"As we head into the final months of the year it will be interesting to see how markets respond to an environment without any buyer incentives," added Dr. Villacorta. "We are observing local markets that are within a few miles of each other diverging in their response to the current housing climate—some are showing strong stable growth and others have yet to reach a price bottom. All of this points to the fact that recovery in the housing market will occur segment by segment in micro markets around the country."

"While local micro markets may face an eventual double dip, it’s important to note that both quarterly and yearly prices at the national and regional levels are still up, and price gains of the last year-and-a-half have created a buffer that will slow the development of a national double dip scenario. So, for a national double-dip to occur, prices would need to drop below their 2009 lows. This would be a complete direction change and decline of 11.7 percent from current levels. Barring a meltdown reminiscent of late 2008, we think it unlikely prices would reach new record lows anytime before spring 2011."

Des Plaines, Il - Current Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in Des Plaines, IL in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 329 active listings of detached single family homes as of 09/24/2010.

The median list price is $275,000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 34 closed sales.

The median sales price was $246,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 9.67 months of unsold single family inventory in Des Plaines. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hoffman Estates, IL - Current Housing Market

The chart shows the market activity in Hoffman Estates in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 225 active listings of detached single family homes as of 09/18/2010.

The median list price is $290,500.00

In the last 30 days there have been 23 closed sales.

The median sales price was $240,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 9.78 months of unsold single family inventory in Hoffman Estates. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

This Month in Real Estate : September 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Edgewater House Walk September 19, 2010

This Sunday the Edgewater Historical Society will be having its 22nd annual house walk. Homes built from the 1890s thru the 1910s will be open for viewing in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood.

On the walk will be one of the Gauler Twin Houses shown in the photograph. These are two identical Prairie style houses built in 1908 by architect Walter Burley Griffin. They were designated a Chicago Landmark on June 28, 2000

The tour begins at Granville United Methodist Church, 1307 W. Granville Ave.from 12 noon until 4 p.m. The cost is $25.00, for more information go to: www.edgewatwerhistory.org

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Green condominiums in Evanston

Going Green in Evanston is easy at the new Winthrop Club Condominiums.

This 96 unit complex was designed to meet the stringent LEED standards of the U.S. Green Council. L.E.E.D. (LEED) stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The goals of building green include the efficient use of energy, water, and other resources, the protection of occupant health and improvement of employee productivity, and the reduction of waste, pollution, and environmental erosion.

More than 35 different credits were obtained at Winthrop Club in LEED's five rating categories, which include sustainable site measures, water and energy conservation, characteristics of materials, resources and indoor environmental quality.

The building features: High performance glass windows, a Green roof system to reduce heat absorption and help keep surrounding areas cooler and Managed storm water runoff while collecting water for irrigation. In addition its downtown Evanston location makes a low impact on the environment with easy walking access to shopping, Metra train and CTA bus stations.

Increased awareness of environmental issues such as the BP Gulf oil spill is expected to drive growth in green building. According to environmental trade publication EL Insights, the total U.S. green building market is projected to increase from $71 billion at present, to an estimated $173 billion by 2015.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Foreclosures a blight on market

In Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times David Roeder has an artical about foreclosures with a few quotes from appraiser Michael Walsh.

Check out the article Foreclosures a blight on market

Friday, July 30, 2010

Darien, IL 60561 - Current Housing Market

The chart shows the market activity in Darien in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 108 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/29/2010.

The median list price is $342,450.00

In the last 30 days there have been 4 closed sales.

The median sales price was $281,500.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 27.00 months of unsold single family inventory in Darien. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Short Sale designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright usually don't come to mind when you are talking about Short Sales, but the condition of the economy is affecting property in all price ranges.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mary Adams House in Highland Park, IL. is a "Prairie Style" home built in 1905.

Priced at $589,000 it's located one block from Lake Michigan. For more information contact listing agent Bryan Firth at 847-951-1233

Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 - Current Housing Market

The chart shows the market activity in Clarendon Hills in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 91 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/29/2010.

The median list price is $549,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 9 closed sales.

The median sales price was $450,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 10.11 months of unsold single family inventory in Clarendon Hills. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

People’s Choice Best Real Estate Blog Award

Chicago Real Estate

Voting has begun for the Zillow-sponsored “People’s Choice Best Real Estate Blog Award” in Chicago, and the Chicago Real Estate Blog is among the nominees!

Here’s how it works: Visitors can click on the badge above and vote for their favorite real estate blogger. Anyone can vote once per 24 hours. Voting ends at noon (PDT) on Aug. 11, 2010. Once the voting is over, the blog with the most votes will be declared the winner in each city. You can vote for the Chicago Real Estate Blog by selecting citywide.blogspot.com at Zillow

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright house listed in Oak Park


The George Furbeck House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has been listed for sale. This Oak Park home was built in 1897 at a time when Wright was experimenting with different architectural styles. The asking price is $1.1 million. Check out the listing for photo's of the interior.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ernest Hemingway's Last Oak Park, Home

This was Ernest Hemingway's final Oak Park Home. The family lived in this house from 1906 to 1920.

Hemingway lived here while he attended Oak Park and River Forest High School from 1913 until 1917.

After leaving high school he went to work for The Kansas City Star as a reporter. In 1918 Hemingway became a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy.

Hemingway Interim House

One of the tests to see if a home is historic is who lived there. Ernest Hemingway lived in this house for a short time in 1905 and 1906 while the family awaited completion of their new house a few blocks away.

Known as the Hemingway Interim House, this Oak Park home is a good example of historic preservation at work.

The house was located on the site of what is now the new Oak Park Library and was going to be torn down. The current owners thought it worthy of preservation, bought the house for $1.00 and moved it to a new site.

Ernest Hemingway's Oak Park Home

The village of Oak Park is rich in history and was the boyhood home of author Ernest Hemingway.

In this Victorian, Queen Anne style house Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899.

The house was built around 1890 for Ernest Hall, Hemingway's grandfather. The Hemingway's lived in this house until 1905.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Signs of Life: Housing

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Money Magazine - “100 Best Places to Live”

Money Magazine's annual “100 Best Places to Live” list is out and four Illinois towns were selected. Chosen for their healthy job markets, excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, low crime rates, and recreational opportunities, Bolingbrook #43, Naperville #54, Mt. Prospect #56 and Arlington Heights #59.

Bolingbrook and Joliet were listed in the Top 25 “Places Where Homes are Affordable.”

In the list as destinations for the rich and single Oak Park #13 and Evanston #16 have singles making up more than 30 percent of their overall population.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unincorporated Leyden Township, IL 60164 - Current Housing Market

Property in the unincorporated area use a Melrose Park address and the Northlake zip code 60164

The chart shows the market activity in Unincorporated Leyden Township in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 57 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/18/2010.

The median list price is $188,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 6 closed sales.

The median sales price was $108,500.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 9.50 months of unsold single family inventory in Unincorporated Leyden Township. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

River Forest, IL 60305 - Current Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in River Forest in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 96 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/17/2010.

The median list price is $750,000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 15 closed sales.

The median sales price was $565,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 6.40 months of unsold single family inventory in River Forest. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Lustron house

Lustron houses are prefabricated enameled steel houses developed after World War II. They were usually built on a concrete slab, with enameled steel panels inside and out, steel framing and a steel roof.

The pre-fab pieces were brought to the site in a Lustron Corporation delivery truck and constructed by a team of workers who were supposed to complete a house in 360 man-hours.

The Lustron Corporation was based in Chicago. In 1949 they were selling these little homes for an average of $10,500. The homes were popular and can be found in many Chicago suburbs. This one with the "Maize Yellow" exterior is located in Downers Grove, IL.

The Lustron Corporation declared bankruptcy in 1950. About 2,000 Lustron homes are still in existence in 36 states.

Downers Grove, IL 60515, 60516 - Current Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in Downers Grove in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 414 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/16/2010.

The median list price is $399,000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 49 closed sales.

The median sales price was $337,500.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 8.45 months of unsold single family inventory in Downers Grove. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Lombard, IL 60148 - Current Housing Market

The chart shows the market activity in Lombard, 60148 in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 286 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/09/2010.

The median list price is $274,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 24 closed sales.

The median sales price was $243,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 11.92 months of unsold single family inventory in Lombard. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Maywood Historic Home House Walk

This Queen Anne is the Jacob Bohlander House built in 1884 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bohlander House will be part of the Maywood Historical House Tour this Sunday July 11. The walking tour will have (5) houses open for viewing, and the trolley tour will include (18) exteriors. The starting... point for the tour will be 1st Congregational Church at 400 N 5th, Maywood, Il. (corner of 5th and Erie),time will be 1-5PM and cost $15.

http://www.nomco.org/

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Addison, IL 60101 - Current Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in Addison, IL 60101 in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 196 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/06/2010.

The median list price is $282,725.00

In the last 30 days there have been 24 closed sales.

The median sales price was $217,500.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 8.17 months of unsold single family inventory in Addison. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Maywood Historic Home House Walk

The North Maywood Community Organization will be hosting it's 5th annual Historic Home House Walk next Sunday July 11 2010. New on the walk this year is the George Stahmer House, built in 1913 and shown in the photo. The Stahmer House is a Prairie School design by architect William Drummond. Maywood has 17 houses on the National Register of Historic Places with more eligible, some of which will be open for interior viewing. The starting point for the tour will be 1st Congregational Church at 400 N. 5th (corner of 5th and Erie), time will be 1-5PM and cost $15. This should again be an exciting year for those interested in historic homes and architecture and a great opportunity to view an often overlooked community.

Hinsdale, IL 60521 - Current Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in Hinsdale in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 274 active listings of detached single family homes as of 07/06/2010.

The median list price is $939,000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 37 closed sales.

The median sales price was $670,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 7.41 months of unsold single family inventory in Hinsdale. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!! God Bless America!


This is Austin Town Hall, located in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, its a replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Happy 4th of July.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicago Landmark - The John & Clara Merchant House

This Second Empire-style house is a Chicago Landmark located in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. The John and Clara Merchant house was built around 1872. The design for this house was purchased mail-order from Woodward's National Architct and includes a mansard roof, oversized window hoods, carved cornice and window brackets. Designated a Chicago Landmark on October 8, 2008.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicago Landmark - The Sydney A. Kent House

This Queen Anne mansion is located on Chicago's Near South Side. The Sydney A. Kent House was designed by Burnham & Root architects and built in 1883. Kent was one of the founders of the Chicago Union Stockyard Company. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, designated a Chicago Landmark March 18, 1987.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chicago Landmark - The Hitchcock House


The Hitchcock House is located in Chicago's Austin neighborhood. One of the oldest houses in Austin, it was built in 1871 for Charles Hitchcock, an executive of a railroad parts manufacturing company. With tall windows, a low hipped roof, and large porch the Hitchcock House reflects the Italianate style, which was inspired by the architecture of Italian country villas. It was designated a Chicago Landmark on July 7, 1992.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sun-Times reports - Local home sales surge;

This morning the Sun-Times has an article on Chicago area home sales. The article states "The median home price fell 4.8 percent to $190,500 in the Chicago area. But in the city of Chicago, prices grew 2.2 percent from May 2009, to $230,000."

Now I always wonder where they get these numbers. I run a market analysis on Chicago property every day, and if it was increasing I would know about it.

So I did my own analysis using data from the MRED MLS, I selected all of the MLS areas for the city of Chicago so that I could see market activity for the city only. First establishing median price for the year ending May 31, 2009 and then for the year ending 2010. Here is what I found:

Single Family Detached Homes
The median sales price for the year ending May 31, 2009 $163,500
The median sales price for the year ending May 31, 2010 $149,900

The median price for single family detached homes declined in Chicago overall -8.31 percent.

When I saw that number I thought their calculations must have included something more than single family homes so I recalculated using both detached and condominium and here is what I found:

Single Family Detached Homes & Condominiums
The median sales price for the year ending May 31, 2009 $260,000
The median sales price for the year ending May 31, 2010 $220,000

The median price for detached homes & condominiums combined declined in Chicago overall -15.38 percent.

I still can not find that 2.2 percent increase. So I tried one more possibility and combined single family detached, condominiums & two-four unit buildings and here are the results:

Single Family Detached Homes, Condominiums & Two-Four Unit Buildings
The median sales price for the year ending May 31, 2009 $240,000
The median sales price for the year ending May 31, 2010 $197,000

The median price for detached homes, condominiums two-four unit buildings combined declined in Chicago overall -17.91 percent.

So, based on this analysis I can tell you that property in the city of Chicago is still declining. Now, I will be the first to say that this is a very general way of looking at the market. Property values in Woodlawn and Austin are changing at different rates than property in Lincoln Park or Lakeview. That is why its hard to look at meaningful data on the city as a whole.

When median prices in Chicago really increase 2.2 percent in a year, that will be great news, and Sun-Times, put it on the front page.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Villa Park 60181 - Current Housing Market



The chart shows the market activity in Villa Park in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 141 active listings of detached single family homes as of 06/22/2010.

The median list price is $238,500.00

In the last 30 days there have been 20 closed sales.

The median sales price was $203,750.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 7.05 months of unsold single family inventory in Villa Park. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

The Emery House by Walter Burley Griffin


The Emery House is located in Elmhurst and was designed by Prairie School architect Walter Burley Griffin. In 1903 when the house was built, Griffin was still working for Frank Lloyd Wright and did this house as a side job. The Emery House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and currently listed for sale with the MLS for $1,975.000.00.

Wheaton, IL 60187 - Current Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in Wheaton in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 429 active listings of detached single family homes as of 06/22/2010.

The median list price is $389,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 59 closed sales.

The median sales price was $323,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 7.27 months of unsold inventory in Wheaton. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Walser House by Frank Lloyd Wright


The J.J. Walser Jr. House was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1903. Located in Chicago'a Austin neighborhood this Prairie Style house was one of FLW design experiments with inexpensive residences.

Illinois Housing Makes the Top 10 List

The 10 states with the greatest annual price declines during April in CoreLogic's home-price index were:

1. Idaho (-7.2 percent)
2. Illinois (-5.8 percent)
3. Nevada (-4.6 percent)
4. Maryland (-4.3 percent)
5. Washington (-3.7 percent)
6. Pennsylvania (-3.7 percent)
7. Mississippi (-3.7 percent)
8. Florida (-3.5 percent)
9. Alabama (-3.5 percent)
10. Oregon (-2.6 percent)

This is one list I wish we were not on. To read the entire article go to Inman News

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chicago's Dunning Community Area #17 - Housing Market



The chart shows the market activity in Dunning in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 243 active listings of detached single family homes as of 06/17/2010.

The median list price is $269,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 38 closed sales.

The median sales price was $187,500.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 6.39 months of unsold inventory in Dunning. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This Month in Real Estate June 2010


This Month in Real Estate looks at the decrease in foreclosure filings, and how an increase in short sales might be playing a role in the number of foreclosures filed. The short sale timeline is examined and a sample of how the short sale process works is presented.

Chicago Landmark - DuPont-Whitehouse House.

The DuPont-Whitehouse House is located in Chicago's McKinley Park neighborhood . This Italianate style house was built between 1875 & 1876 by the DuPont explosives company for Junot Whitehouse, the superintendent of its gunpowder plant. In 1920, the house was moved one block from its original location at 36th & Western. Designated a Chicago Landmark on April 16, 1996.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chicago, 60608 - McKinley Park - Housing Market



The chart shows the market activity in McKinley Park in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 21 active listings of two-four unit buildings as of 06/15/2010.

The median list price is $289,000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 4 closed sales.

The median sales price was $207,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 5.25 months of unsold inventory in McKinley Park. This level of inventory is considered a small over supply.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chicago Landmark - The Bachman House


The Bachman House is located in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. The original frame house was built in 1889 and remodeled using an exterior cladding of brick and corrugated aluminum in 1947. Designed by architect Bruce Goff for recording engineer Myron Bachman. It was designated a Chicago Landmark on December 9, 1992.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicago Landmark - The Wheeler-Kohn House



The Wheeler-Kohn House is located on Chicago's Near South Side. This Second Empire style house was built in 1870 for banker Calvin Wheeler. It survived the Chicago fire, commercial & condominium development in the immediate area and is now the Wheeler Historic Hotel.

Designated a Chicago Landmark on February 5, 1998 and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Chicago's Near South Side - Housing Market

The general boundaries of Chicago's Near South Side, Community Area #33 are Roosevelt Road on the north, Lake Shore Drive on the east, 26th Street on the south and an irregular line with the South Branch of the Chicago River at one point on the west.

The neighborhood is predominantly comprised of attached homes & condominiums.




The chart shows the market activity in the Near South Side of Chicago in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED MLS.

There are currently 1,101 active listings of attached homes & condominiums as of 06/11/2010.

The median list price is $402,500.00

In the last 30 days there have been 77 closed sales.

The median sales price was $330,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 14.29 months of unsold inventory in the Near South Side. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Elmwood Park, IL 60707 - Housing Market



The chart shows the market activity in the Village of Elmwood Park in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 152 active listings of single family detached homes as of 06/10/2010.

The median list price is $265,000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 18 closed sales.

The median sales price was $177,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 8.44 months of unsold inventory in Elmwood Park, this level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Melrose Park, IL 60160 - Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in the Village of Melrose Park in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 86 active listings of single family detached homes as of 06/10/2010.

The median list price is $199,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 4 closed sales.

The median sales price was $122,500.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 21.50 months of unsold inventory in Melrose Park. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Cicero, IL 60804 - Housing Market


The chart shows the market activity in the town of Cicero in the last 30 days based on information from the MRED Multiple Listing Service.

There are currently 184 active listings of single family detached homes as of 06/09/2010.

The median list price is $119,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 22 closed sales.

The median sales price was $87,375.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 8.36 months of unsold inventory in Cicero. This level of inventory is considered an over supply.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Tips on How to Avoid a Loan Scam

Fraud is on the rise and loan scams are not always easy to spot. The following list contains some warning signs of loan modification scam artists:

  • You are asked for a fee in advance to work with your lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage.

  • The company only accepts payment by cashier's check or wire transfer

  • A company guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified.

  • You are advised to stop paying your mortgage company and pay them instead.

  • They instruct you not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit or housing counselor.

  • A company pressures you to sign over the deed to your home or sign any paperwork that you have not had a chance to read or do not fully understand.

  • They tell you to sign documents with blank lines and spaces.

  • They offer to complete paperwork for you.

  • They encourage you to sign over your title in order to "lease" your home now and buy it back over time.

  • A company claims to offer "government-approved" or "official government" loan modifications.

  • Someone you do not know asks you to release personal financial information online or over the phone.

  • They offer to give you a "second opinion" on a denial of your loan modification application, for an upfront fee.

If you think that you have been scammed, report it! call 1-888-995-HOPE

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Learn about foreclosure scams

Here are some foreclosure scam red flag warnings from the Nevada Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce that all homeowners should be aware of before they seek foreclosure assistance.

Be suspicious of anyone that: Guarantees to stop foreclosure, Pressures you to sign or pay, Tells you NOT to contact your lender, Wants to charge you up-front, Tells you to make payments only to them, Offers to fill out all the paper work for you, or Tells you foreclosure ‘scams’ aren’t real.

There are reputable groups who can help and you will not be charged for their services. But before you do anything else visit these websites to educate and protect yourself: http://www.preventloanscams.org/ , http://www.loanscamalert.org/ , http://www.stopfraud.gov/

Nevada residents can also visit the Nevada Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce online at: http://www.fightfraud.nv.gov/ or call 702-229-HOME to find a local HUD approved housing counseling agency.

If you need assistance with your mortgage and would like to talk to a HUD Approved Housing Counselor call: (800) 569-4287 or 888-995-HOPE (4673).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

25th Annual Oak Park River Forest Kitchen Walk

One Day April 24, 2010 - 10 Kitchens

Parenthesis will be having their annual Kitchenwalk an opportunity to tour 10 remarkable kitchens in Oak Park & River Forest. See how contemporary character is blended with historical arichitecture. Tickets are $45 the day of the walk or $40 in advance.

For more information call Parenthesis at 708-848-2227

Monday, April 12, 2010

Revealing Ridgeland - East Oak Park Housewalk

The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest will be having their housewalk Saturday April 17th from 10am to 3pm. The walk will consist of 8 homes in the Ridgeland Historic District. Some of the styles featured include Victorian, English Gothic, Arts and Crafts and two Prairie Style homes designed by E. E. Roberts and Henry Fiddelke.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the walk. For information call 708-848-6755

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Economy Cools Migration to Cities in the Sun Belt

According to the New York Times, southern and western U.S. cities that attracted waves of newcomers after 2000 expanded less rapidly or lost migrants to other markets in the wake of economic recession and a popped housing bubble, according to new census data.

As an example, only two other cities -- Detroit and Youngstown, Ohio -- registered a higher rate of population decline than Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Fla., which logged the fastest growth during the bubble in the middle of the decade.Other once-popular metro areas that lost more residents than they gained include Las Vegas; Bakersfield, Calif.; and Manhattan.

Demographers say mobility was affected by the recession, because there were no jobs to entice workers to relocate. Moreover, many seniors were stuck with homes that they could not sell or were forced to put off retirement because of eroded savings. "These new data show that the migration slowdown continues and may not let up in the foreseeable future," stated Brookings Institution demographer William Frey.

Friday, January 29, 2010

AVM, CMA, BPO, Appraisal - What's the difference?

In the valuation of real estate lenders have several options to obtain an opinion of value on a piece of property. The difference is the scope of work, speed, accuracy and price. Here are some of the differences and benefits.

1.) The AVM or Automated Valuation Model
This is a computer generated product that is based on your homes information in public record. Lenders generally use AVM's for low loan to value home equity lines of credit HELOC's. An AVM is real fast, real cheep and not very accurate. The lender's attitude is if the borrower has good credit, and its a low loan to value transaction, who cares about accuracy! That works sometimes if the lender is responsible and uses it for that purpose.

Problems with AVM's is that they are based on public records. So if you have recently done some modernization or a recent addition, it will not be picked up. Or if the house was recently destroyed in a fire it will not pick that up either.

www.Zillow.com is similar to an AVM and its free, Zillow uses this to sell advertising on their site.

2.) The CMA or Competitive Market Analysis
Another computer generated service, this time performed by a real estate broker or salesman. A sales agent will perform a CMA prior to listing a house to determine the asking price and give the seller an indication of what it will sell for. You can get a CMA free from an agent, they want to list your house.

The problem with the CMA is that sales people want your business. Some sales people tell you whatever they think you want to hear. So how accurate is the value of a CMA?

3.) The BPO or Brokers Price Opinion.
These are used a lot by lenders with REO or "Real Estate Owned" work. REO's include foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, Short Sales and Bank Owned properties.

The BPO is not computer generated and is reported on a form similar to an appraisal. So why use a BPO instead of an appraisal. Lenders use them because they can get a BPO faster and cheeper than an appraisal. Its important to note that BPO's are not an appraisal.

Lenders still worry that the broker's opinion is influenced by a potential listing.

4.) The Appraisal
An appraisal is an opinion of value given by a licensed or certified professional. Most appraisals for lending purposes are used to determine "Market Value".

Market Value is defined as: The most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition are the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: (1) Buyer and Seller are typically motivated; (2) Both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their best interests; (3) A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market; (4) Payment is made in terms of cash in U.S. dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and (5) The price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.

Licensed or certified appraisers perform their work under the Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice or "USPAP". These standards determine the "Scope of Work" that will be used to complete the appraisal. USPAP does not require the appraiser to make a physical inspection of the property, however, many appraisals will include one.

The accuracy of an appraisal is in part determined by the "Scope of Work". It is important to note that as the scope of work changes the accuracy of the appraisal changes as well.

Based on a minimal scope of work the appraiser can perform an assignment as a "Desktop Appraisal". For this assignment information about the subject property can be obtained from public records or a prior appraisal. This type of assignment is generally performed for lenders on HELOC work.

The "Drive-By Appraisal" is performed under a different scope of work. Generally used by lenders for HELOC or low loan to value refinances, the benefit of performing a drive by is that the appraiser can see the outside condition and the lender knows the improvements are still there.

Most appraisals for purchases or refinances are performed as what is considered a "Complete Appraisal". With this scope of work the appraiser will perform an on site walk-thu of the subject property to determine its size, appeal and overall condition. The appraisal process will consider "the Sales Comparison Approach" and if applicable "the Cost Approach" and "the Income Approach". The results of the appraisal are reported on a standard form. This type of appraisal provides the most accurate opinion of value.

It is important to note that the appraiser is a disinterested third party and provides their opinion of market value for a fee. The appraiser is not trying to list your house and does not benefit from the outcome of the appraisal. For this reason the FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require appraisals performed by state licensed or certified appraisers.

There are many reasons that property owners will require the services of a professional appraiser. Many will obtain a pre-listing appraisal prior to the sale of a home, its also smart to obtain your own appraisal prior to making an offer to purchase. The IRS often requires "Date of Death" valuations to settle estates. The appraiser is often called as a Expert Witness in a valuation for divorce, partnership, taxation issues etc. All of these require a well supported, professional appraisal that is defensible in court. For these assignments I recommend a complete appraisal with an interior inspection.

Citywide Services provides residential appraisals in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Our appraisers are certified by the State of Illinois. We have experience with all types of residential property and appraise single family homes, townhouses, condominiums as well as small residential income properties. When you need an appraiser in the Chicago area contact Citywide 312-479-5344

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Loan originations to decline says the MBA

Predicting that interest rates would rise later this year, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said in a report this week that it expects total mortgage originations to decline from $2.11 trillion in 2009 to $1.28 in 2010 as refinancing drops off.

Monday, January 18, 2010

the External Obsolescence blog

I started a new blog dealing with external obsolescence on Blogspot at http://externalobsolescence.blogspot.com/

The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal defines external obsolescence as: "An element of accrued depreciation; a defect, usually incurable, caused by negative influences outside a site."

External obsolescence causes a loss in value to your property caused by forces that you can not control like the current condition of the world economy. That's what it means when its says "usually incurable", you cant fix it and just have to live with it.

The type of external I will deal with in the blog is "Locational Obsolescence" in other words a bad location. This is another thing you can't fix, if you buy a bad location, you are stuck with a bad location.

In my travels as a real estate appraiser I find some real good examples of bad locations. It should be noted that none of the examples shown in the blog are any of my clients property.

So check out the External Obsolescence blog

Friday, January 15, 2010

Downser Grove, IL 60515 - Housing Market

According to the Northern Illinois MLS there are currently 309 active listings of single family detached homes as of 01/15/2010.

The median list price is $379,900.00

In the last 30 days there have been 19 closed sales, 63 new listings, 27 listings have expired, and there were 13 price changes.

The median sales price was $310,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 16.26 months of unsold inventory in Downers Grove, Illinois

Corrosive Drywall



Now found in 42 states, Chinese Drywall is becoming a major concern of homeowners. Many in the Chicago area have never heard of it, and few if any know what to look for, or know the dangers of owning a home that has defective drywall.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pending Home Sales Plunge in November

Pending home sales in the Northeast and Midwest were down 25.7 percent.

The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales fell 16.0 percent in November, hitting their lowest level since June. Remarkably, this decline appeared to surprise many analysts. It should have been entirely predictable.

In the prior three months, there had been a sharp surge in home sales. This surge was obviously driven by the desire to close on a sale before the expiration of the original first-time buyers tax credit at the end of November. Because it depended on the closing date of a sale, buyers had to sign contracts by mid-October to ensure that they would qualify for the credit. This was before they knew that the credit would be extended.

Read the entire article by Dean Baker

Skokie, IL 60076 - Housing Market

According to the Northern Illinois MLS there are currently 216 active listings of single family detached homes as of 01/12/2010.

The median list price is $347,250000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 18 closed sales, 32 new listings, 17 listings have expired, and there were 10 price changes.

The median sales price was $306,500.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 12.00 months of unsold inventory in Skokie, Illinois 60076

Monday, January 11, 2010

HUD to assist with problem drywall

Temporary relief available to make home repairs affordable for at-risk borrowers

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that FHA-insured families experiencing problems associated with problem drywall may be eligible for assistance to help them rehabilitate their properties. In addition, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program may also be a resource to help local communities combat the problem.

FHA is reminding its approved lenders that they are to offer special forbearance for borrowers confronted with the sudden effects of damaging drywall products in their homes including the financial hardship associated with related home repairs.

“We’re instructing our FHA mortgage lenders nationwide to extend temporary relief to allow these families time to remove problem damaging drywall and repair their homes,” said FHA Commissioner David Stevens. “We want to remove additional pressures for these families as they find solutions to allow them to return to a safe, decent and sanitary home."

Deerfield, IL 60015 - Housing Market


According to the Northern Illinois MLS there are currently 121 active listings of single family detached homes as of 01/11/2010.

The median list price is $569,000.00

In the last 30 days there have been 8 closed sales.

The median sales price was $530,000.00

At the current rate of absorption there are 26.50 months of unsold inventory in Deerfield, Illinois 60015