Keeping up with Chicago's North Shore Real Estate Market!

Contact Ann

call or text me: 847-691-1111 or email:

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

With all good wishes for the new year.  
Joy in 2013!

10 most expensive homes of 2012

These are the most expensive homes on the market in 2012... They're not necessarily massive; some are spacious New York penthouses without enough square footage to qualify as a mansion.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lending money to a relative?

"HOME buyers trying to scrape together enough money to cover the typical 20 percent down payment frequently look to relatives for help...."

To Givers of Down Payments
New York Times

Friday, December 28, 2012

13 Reasons to Look Forward to 2013

13 Reasons to Look Forward to 2013

Fiscal Cliff: What’s at Stake for Real Estate

Fiscal Cliff: What’s at Stake for Real Estate

Do you live in a floodplain area?

FEMA is launching a new way to submit a request to change your property's flood zone designation - with the Online Letter of Map Change (LOMC).  If you believe your property has been inadvertently included in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you may now request a change via the Internet. The SFHA is the area that has a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year; this area is also referred to by some as the 100-year floodplain.  All property owners, their designated representatives, or professional surveyors and engineers, can use this online tool to conveniently submit required documents, property information, and payment information all in one place.   
For more information, click here.  To receive updates about the Online LOMC and to be notified of the launch date sign, up for the Flood Hazard Mapping mailing list.  

Recycling the styrofoam

Courtesy of the Winnetka Environmental and Forestry Committee,  those bulky white blocks of Styrofoam can be recycled. Simply drop them off at the Winnetka Public Works Yards (1390 Willow Road) Monday thru Friday 7am to 5pm from December 26, 2012 thru January 11, 2013 - excluding Tuesday, January 1. 

Please note: This is for the white block Styrofoam only.  Packing "peanuts" cannot be accepted as part of this collection - but they can be recycled at all UPS stores.

2012 Real Estate Market Roundup

2012 Real Estate Market Roundup
Real Estate | Equifax Finance Blog

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Canoe Year

Happy Canoe Year! On January 1, 2013, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County will host the annual New Year’s Day Canoe Paddle down the North Branch of the Chicago River. Experienced paddlers are invited to participate in this free tradition, which begins below the Skokie Lagoons and finishes approximately 4 miles later in Linne Woods.

For more information contact the Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Case Shiller Index

It's so interesting to see how the news reported.  Here are four articles about the same data -- each article has their own slant of the news!

"The recovery in the housing market continues to pick up steam, as home prices posted the biggest percentage gain in more than two years in the latest reading of the closely followed S&P/Case-Shiller index."

CNN Money
Home prices post biggest annual jump in two years


"A closely watched index of local home prices fell significantly in October, its second straight decline.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of Chicago-area single-family home prices fell 1.5 percent from September to October after dropping 0.6 percent from August to September, according to a report released this morning.

The monthly drop was the biggest among the 12 cities in a 20-city index where prices fell. Prices rose in seven others and were flat in one. “Anticipated seasonal weakness appeared,” the report said in noting that 12 cities declined."

Crain's Chicago Business
Chicago home prices post second straight drop


"Home prices rose in October in only 7 of 20 cities surveyed for the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, but prices were up 4.3% in the latest 12 months, the survey says.

Home price increases are being driven by increasing demand, strong investor interest, a shrinking inventory of homes for sale and fewer foreclosed properties, which tend to sell at a discount to others...

Only New York and Chicago showed prices down from a year ago."

USA Today
Case Shiller: Home prices up 4.3% latest 12 months


"U.S. home prices ticked down in October on seasonal weakness, with 12 out of 20 cities seeing lower prices in the month, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index released Wednesday."

Market Watch
Home Prices Tick Lower in October

Recycling lights

The Village of Wilmette, in partnership with Elgin Recycling and the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), will be accepting holiday lights for recycling from Monday, November 26, 2012 through Friday, January 25, 2013.

Holiday lights can be dropped off at the Public Works Facility, located at 711 Laramie Avenue. The recycling boxes will be located in the visitor's parking lot, accessible 24 hours a day.

       The Village of Winnetka is also accepting types of holiday lights.  The last day for Holiday Light Recycling drop-off is Friday, February 8, 2013.

Holiday Light Recycling
Public Works Yards 
1390 Willow Road
7:00 am - 5:00 pm (weekdays)

The recycling program will accept all holiday string lighting (all colors and lengths); includes:
Mini-lights (or Italian lights)
C7 lights
C9 lights
Rope lights
LED lights
Extension Cords

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Put your best facade forward

"Individual sellers can learn a great deal from mass-market homebuilders.
Take curb appeal, for example. There's a good reason builders skip every other lot when putting up model homes. Or leave out lawn-gobbling driveways. Or build models uphill from the street, never downhill. All these tricks of the trade are designed to make their homes loom as large as possible."

Put your best facade forward
Chicago Tribune

Home for the holidays

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Turning the corner

2012 will probably be considered the year that a sinking housing market finally hit bottom and began to rise again. Home prices, home sales and new home construction all substantially increased amid shrinking inventory and record-low mortgage rates. 

Real Estate 2012: The Year the Housing Market Turned the Corner

Mortgage deduction benefits some 28% of Illinois taxpayers

Mortgage deduction benefits some 28% of Illinois taxpayers

Chicago-area home sales jump 36 percent in November

Chicago-area home sales jump 36 percent in November

Friday, December 21, 2012

Median prices going up?

"Sales of existing homes beat expectations in November, with Realtors reporting a surprisingly modest effect in the Northeast from Superstorm Sandy. An even bigger surprise was a huge gain in activity among higher-end homes. Sales of homes priced above $750,000 jumped 50 percent from a year ago, as sales of the lowest-end homes (largely distressed) fell 4 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The change in the mix of homes selling pushed the median home price nationally (median defined as half selling higher and half selling lower) to $180,600, a 10.1 percent increase from November of 2011. This is a far higher jump than other so-called "repeat" sales indices have shown, because a median measure does not compare the sale prices of homes selling now to similar homes selling a year ago, but the median of all sale prices nationally, which is skewed to which types of homes are selling. Still, the shift to more activity in higher price ranges is important...."

Higher-End Homes Selling Again

How does Santa arrive?

"How does Santa Claus deliver gifts to houses that don't have chimneys?

Only 40.3% of homes in the U.S. have fireplaces, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, meaning Mr. Claus must find an alternative entry into about 60% of homes on Christmas Eve..."

Santa's Secret Entry
Wall Street Journal

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Staging the bedroom

Q. What sort of bedding looks best for showings?

Market Ready
New York Times

What should happen in the front yard?

"Gardeners aren’t generally known for their civil disobedience, yet in the last couple of years several have run afoul of local officials for tending vegetables in their front yards..."

The Battlefront in the Front Yard
New York Times

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dress Your Home for Sale This Holiday Season

"Don't let the thought of selling your home during the winter months dampen your holiday spirit. Create a festive, buyer-friendly environment with these seven seasonal staging tips."

Stage the Halls: Dress Your Home for Sale This Holiday Season

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tips for the holiday

"Right before the holiday season arrives is the perfect time to declutter, organize, and ditch your extra stuff. You’re not only about to receive a lot more stuff, but decluttering your home will also help keep some of that holiday-induced stress at bay. And decluttering before the end of the year could also help you with a tax deduction in April."

Tips for the Holiday Season: Decluttering and Donating

"Although gathering with family and friends is the highlight of the holiday season, even the most perfectly planned dinner party will fall flat if your house burns down. 
Here's how to disaster-proof your home..."

How to disaster-proof your home for the holidays
Money Watch

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Movie Homes

"Grab your eggnog and gather around the television! It’s that time of year for caroling, cold weather and, of course, holiday movies. Whether you prefer slap-stick comedy or a heartfelt flick, we’ve rounded up some of the most-loved holiday films and their filming locations."

Ho-Ho-Holiday Movie Homes

Answer some questions...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Beauty on one level

"They were once all the rage in a post-World War II America. Affordable, single-story homes called ‘Ranchers’ were renowned for simple, elongated floor plans, low rooflines and folksy design touches like wagon wheels. By the 1950s, nine out of every ten new houses were of the ‘Ranch’ variety. But by the 1970s, the suburban staple fell quickly out of favor, dismissed as too kitschy and plain."

9 Stunning Single-Story Mansions

Minimizing garbage at Christmas

Garbage volumes inevitably increase around the holidays due to gift giving and holiday parties. Typically around 25% more garbage enters the waste stream. The following ideas from SWANCC will help you create a minimal amount of garbage this year.

Winter Wonderland

House prices jumping?

"Home-price forecasts for 2013 are on the rise.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. expects U.S. home prices to rise 3.4% in its base-case estimate and up to 9.7% in its most bullish scenario of economic growth. Standard & Poor’s, which rates private-issue mortgage bonds, on Friday said it expects a 5% rise in 2013."

Home Prices Could Jump 9.7% in 2013, J.P. Morgan Says
Wall Street Journal

Friday, December 14, 2012

Attention first time home buyers!

"If you are a first-time home buyer who has been looking for the perfect opportunity to buy a new home, then the time is now. The current real estate market is perfect for everything from buying a new home to investing in the real estate market, which is why first-time home buyers and investors have been going head to head and competing for the best real estate on the market."

The Perfect Real Estate Market for First-Time Home Buyers
Business Insider

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Best Buyers’ Market Is ...

Chicago is the top housing market for home shoppers, according to recent rankings of 30 of the largest U.S. metro areas released by Zillow. This is the second year in a row the Second City has nabbed the top spot.

To arrive at its rankings, Zillow analyzed selling prices versus list prices, the number of days a listing appeared on its web site, and the percentage of homes in a market with a price reduction.

Here are some of the top markets for home buyers, according to Zillow’s list:
New York, N.Y.
Baltimore, Md.
St. Louis, Mo.
Columbus, Ohio
Charlotte, N.C.

Meanwhile, the top housing market for sellers is San Jose, Calif., according to Zillow.

Source: “The Top Buyers’ and Sellers’ Markets for American Homes,” Business Insider (Dec. 12, 2012) and “Chicago Again Named Best Housing Market -- for Buyers,” Chicago Tribune (Dec. 12, 2012)

Illinois third for foreclosures

Using light colors

Q. Our dining room is painted dark gray, but I’ve read that light neutral colors are better when you’re selling your home. Should we repaint it?

Market Ready -- The New York Times

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tips for Lighting Your Christmas Tree

View more videos at:

Considering a ranch house?

"More and more, people are starting to crave the practicality of one-story living.

That’s why more one-story homes are being built, new two-story homes often come with a master bedroom on the first floor and even older ranch homes are getting a second look."

Why 1950s-style ranch homes are all the rage again
Market Watch

Small bedroom?

"When painting a bedroom for yourself, any color that makes you feel relaxed is appropriate...."

The Best Colors for Small Bedrooms
San Francisco Chronicle

What's happening in Glencoe?

Glencoe Chamber: Saturdays of the Season! December 15 & 22

Come to Glencoe's Business District for holiday fun, treats, music, activities and more during the four Saturdays in December. While you're enjoying the festive atmosphere, be sure to do your holiday shopping right in town. The stores will be stocked with everything you need for your holiday gift-giving and entertaining needs. Remember, If You Want It, Glencoe's Got It!


9:30am - 12:30pm: BMO Harris Bank Continential Breakfast and Food Drive. Please come for a Continental Breakfast and participate in the BMO Harris "Days of Caring" by bringing a variety pack box of oatmeal for the Grayslake Community Care Center Food Pantry.

10:00am - 12:00pm: Meet Santa Claus in uptown Glencoe; He'll have candy canes for the kids! 

10:00am - 12:30pm: North Shore Community Bank, Hot Chocolate; 

10:00am - 2:00pm: Glencoe Public Library "Technology Petting Zoo". Demo presentation at 10am and Petting Zoo from 11am-2pm. For gift-giving ideas, come learn about the latest electronic products and try them out! 

10:00am - 2:00pm: Olly, Olly Play Cafe, 319 Park, Holiday Crafts, Hot Chocolate and Cookies; Free with admission; 

11:00am - 3:00pm: Books on Vernon, Fresh Hot Baked Pretzels (small charge); 

1:00pm - 4:00pm: Salvation Army Youth Band, Northeast corner of Park and Vernon;


10:00am - 12:30pm: North Shore Community Bank, Hot Chocolate; 

11:00am - 3:00pm: Books on Vernon, Fresh Hot Baked Pretzels (small charge); 

1:00pm - 4:00pm: Salvation Army Youth Band, Northeast corner of Park and Vernon; 

Lake Forest neighborhood named to National Register of Historic Places

Lake Forest neighborhood named to National Register of Historic Places

Does moving to a smaller home solve everything?

"The McMansion generation is in downsizing mode.

Millions of Americans age 50 and older are looking around their spacious homes and are deciding they don't need all that room anymore. The kids are gone, maybe a spouse, too. And they could really use the money from a sale to bulk up their retirement funds."

The Wall Street Journal
Everybody Says You Should Downsize. Everybody May Be Wrong.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday events in Lake Forest

from the Chamber of Commerce

Holiday Events in Lake Forest
There's no place like home this holiday season!

Market Square in Lake Forest will celebrate the holidays with visits from Santa at Baytree's Winter Garden in the Courtyard, a winter Farmers Market at the Market Square train station, and carolers.  

Dates and times are as follows:

Saturdays, Dec. 15 & 22
11-2 p.m. Santa visits Baytree Bank's Winter Garden in the Courtyard
12-3 p.m. Farmers Market at the Market Square train station

Sat., Dec. 15
11-2 p.m. Santa visits Baytree Bank's Winter Garden while his reindeer graze in Market Square

Sundays, Dec. 16 & 23
12-3 p.m. Sundays in the Square, free horse & carriage rides courtesy of the Market Square Merchants

Friday, November 30, 2012

Join the Kenilworth Community

Gather to Light the Kenilworth Tree 

Join the neighbors for the 3rd annual holiday tree lighting and caroling celebration at the Village fountain on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.  This Kenilworth tradition will be held at the south-east corner of Richmond Road and Kenilworth Avenue.  Hot cocoa and cookies will be served at The Kenilworth Club immediately following the tree lighting. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's a wonderful life in Lake Bluff

It's a wonderful life in Lake Bluff

...a day-long celebration in the traditional holiday spirit brought to you by the Lake Bluff Downtown Merchants.

Saturday, December 1 - 10:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Story Time with Santa

Story Time with Santa
Story Time with Santa

Hosted by the Associate Board of Lake Forest Open Lands

Saturday, December 1st
1 - 3:00 p.m.
350 North Waukegan Road, Lake Forest

Enjoy an afternoon of holiday cheer at this family fun event! Ride a horse-drawn wagon through the preserve with jolly old St. Nick, listen to live holiday carolers and craft a winter wildlife ornament. Have a family portrait taken and indulge in delicious treats. A wonderful winter tradition!

Winnetka Tree Lighting Events

Usher in the holidays on November 30 at 6 PM at the annual Winnetka Tree Lighting at Station Park, 754 Elm Street, across the street from Village Hall. Festive carolers in Victorian costumes will lead the carols, and hot cocoa will be served after the lighting ceremony.
Prior to the tree lighting, at 5 PM, children of all ages are invited to the Book Stall, 811 Elm Street, to hear Robert McDonald read holiday stories.

Saturday, December 1  
From 1 - 3 PM welcome Santa Claus to Hubbard Woods Park gazebo. Warm up with some hot chocolate and bring your camera to take your picture with Santa. This is also a perfect opportunity for your child to hand-deliver their Santa letter to the man in charge!

Sunday, December 2 - Holiday Sale
Local Winnetka merchants will offer discounts, specials and personalized service for shoppers along with many wonderful gift choices for the holiday season. Participating merchants offer refreshments and discounts from 10% to 40% off on fantastic items. See more from the Chamber.

Also on Sunday, December 2:  A Historical Holiday at the Schmidt-Burnham Log House   
Visit the Winnetka Historical Society's Schmidt-Burnham Log House from 1 - 3 PM on December 2 and experience the holiday season circa 1853. Costumed docents will represent members of the household as it was when the Schmidt family lived in it and will share details of a German immigrant family's celebration of Christmas.  
           Children ages 4 to 10 can participate in holiday crafts, and all visitors are invited to enjoy traditional holiday treats. The Schmidt -Burnham Log House is located on Willow Road in the Crow Island Woods. There is no charge for this event.  Please visit the Historical Society for more information.      

Where are the first-time home buyers?

"Current homeowners are finally moving up, and distressed sales are making up less of the overall market—all signs of much-needed improvement in housing...."

Housing Recovery Is Leaving Behind First-Time Buyers

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Couples Driving the Real Estate Market in 2012

Every year, NAR surveys recent home buyers and sellers to learn more about their experience with the process: what motivated them to make a transition, where they found their agent, and how it worked for them. The result is the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and the 2012 edition was released last week during the annual conference. 
Here's some of the most interesting points: 
  • 39 percent of recent home buyers were first-time buyers, a slight rise from 2011, but closer to the historical norm of 40 percent.
  • 65 percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001. Conversely there was the lowest share of single buyers since 2001.
  • For 52 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was taken online.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes—a decline from 12 homes in prior year, which speaks to the tightened inventory in many areas.
  • 89 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, similar to last year’s report—a share that steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
  • 88 percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Only 9 percent of recent sellers sold via FSBO sale. Among FSBO sellers who did not know the buyer prior to the sale—20 percent sold via FSBO because the buyer directly contacted them.
Source --
Heather Elias
Director of Social Business Practice at National Association of Realtors

New developer revives Lake Bluff plan

New developer revives Lake Bluff plan

Case Shiller report released

"In another sign of a housing market rebound, home prices posted the biggest percentage gain in more than two years in the third quarter, according to the closely followed S&P/Case-Shiller index.

"The 3.6% increase from a year earlier is more than three times the rise in the previous quarter and was the biggest jump in prices since the second quarter of 2010. But that 2010 rise was much more of a temporary blip caused by a homebuyer's tax credit of up to $8,000 on homes purchased in late 2009 and early 2010."

CNN Money
Home prices: Biggest rise in more than 2 years


"A closely watched index of local home prices fell in September, its first decline after five consecutive increases.

"The S&P/Case-Shiller index of Chicago-area single-family home prices fell 0.6 percent from August to September, according to a report released this morning."

Crain's Chicago Business
Chicago home prices slip after 5 straight gains

"The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index found that area home prices in September fell 0.6 percent from August and were down 1.5 percent on an annualized basis. Chicago and New York City were the cities among the 20 studied where pricing was worse than their year-ago comparisons."

Chicago Tribune
Chicago housing recovery lags other major cities

"Home prices increased in September in most major U.S. cities — more evidence of a housing recovery that is providing a lift to the fragile economy — but Chicago was one of only two cities to post a decline."

Chicago Sun Times
Home prices increase in most U.S. cities — but not Chicago

For more detail:

Wall Street Journal
A Look at Case-Shiller, by Metro Area

Friday, November 23, 2012

Strong Signs in Housing

October showed gains

"The Chicago area's housing market last month regained the momentum it lost in September, resulting in more homes being sold than in any October since 2006.

Sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums in the nine-county Chicago area totaled 8,326 properties in October, according to figures released Monday by the Illinois Association of Realtors. While below some of the monthly sales totals recorded earlier in the year, the volume was an increase of 11.3 percent over September and 44.1 percent higher than the 5,776 homes sold in October 2011."

Chicago-area home sales have best October in 6 years
Chicago Tribune

NAR Review of Buyers and Sellers 2012 Trends

To see the full size screen -- click here

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The 5000 square foot kitchen!

See the whole article in the Wall Street Journal
The Kitchen That Ate the House

Lake Forest Tree Lighting

The 29th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony\will be held on this Friday -  November 23rd in Market Square and on Western Avenue by the train station.

There will be an ice sculpting performance beginning at 3 p.m. For children there will be a special visit by Santa Claus at 4 p.m.  Hope everyone will stop by our office at 778 N. Western for cocoa and treats -- and to meet the elves.   A caroling concert by the Lake Forest High School Choristers begins at 4:45 p.m. with the lighting taking place aftwards -- It's a wonderful time in the square.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting the chimney ready for Santa?

"Here’s one for the annals of homeowner negligence: as of last month, my chimney had gone eight full years without being inspected, much less cleaned. For all I knew, a few generations of squirrels had summered in my bricks before fleeing at the first scent of smoke."

 New York Times - Smoking out Chimney Problems

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

An interesting thing happens when you write a blog... 
I get emails pretty often from other blog writers asking me to post their articles.  Often they don't make sense, but every once in a while a request comes along that sounds kind of fun.... like this morning.  I heard from blogger Maria Wells.   To get into the spirit of Thanksgiving, here's her article...

5 Ways to Use Cranberries in a Centerpiece for Your Thanksgiving Table

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tree Lighting Ceremonies this Weekend

Evanston Holiday Bash and Tree-lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 16
4:00 – 9:00 pm
Fountain Square (interesection of Sherman Ave., David St. and Orrington Ave.)

Wilmette Holiday Parade and Festivities
Saturday, November 17 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Parade starts at 4th and Linden and travels to Village Center

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lake Forest Hospital Boutique

Come to the 
2012 Holiday Boutique
Women's Board of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Annual Holiday Boutique!
Enjoy the spirit of the season while shopping unique gifts from dozens of vendors—including designer jewelry, purses and accessories, specialty foods, clothing and books, handmade ornaments and exquisite gifts.
Preview PartyWednesday, November 14, 2012: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Registration now available!More details below.
Holiday BoutiqueThursday, November 15, 2012: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday, November 16, 2012: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 17, 2012: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Lake Forest Recreation Center
400 Hastings Road
Lake Forest, Illinois
General admission tickets are $10.00 and include unlimited free admission. All proceeds benefit the extraordinary healthcare provided by Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. 

Holiday Boutique Preview Party
The Women's Board of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital invites you to the Holiday Boutique Preview Party.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Lake Forest Recreation Center
400 Hastings Road
Lake Forest, Illinois
This event will include a preview of the gifts available at this year's Holiday Boutique—including designer jewelry, purses and accessories, specialty foods, clothing and books, handmade ornaments and exquisite gifts.
Register online to join us for this special evening! Tickets are $50.00 in advance or $60.00 at the door, and valet parking is available.
For more information, please contact the Office of Philanthropy at 847.535.6111

Hope to see you there -- I'll be selling delicious Harbor Sweets candy... all profits will go to the hospital!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

"If you live in one of the nation’s largest cities, you might be wondering why foreclosures are getting worse in your real estate market than they are nationwide despite the encouraging headlines reporting that foreclosures are finally on the decline.

The truth is that the national foreclosure picture today is a tale of two cities. In the majority of markets, even many of those in Florida and the West that were hit hard for years, foreclosures are down from last year. According to RealtyTrac, third-quarter foreclosure... "

Foreclosures Are a Tale of Two Cities Foreclosures

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Five Great Excuses For Not Staging Your Home

Five Great Excuses For Not Staging Your Home

from one of my favorite blogs....
House Selling Blues

Delayed financing?

"Pay cash for your next home or get a mortgage? Some wealthy home buyers are choosing both.

It’s called delayed financing, in which buyers pay cash for a home and then take out a mortgage soon after closing. Rarely used even two years ago, experts say it has picked up over the past 12 months..."

Market Watch
New real-estate fad: the all-cash head fake

Who's going to be the future homeowners?

"The length of the foreclosure crisis—it’s been going on for nearly six years now—is raising an interesting question: How many of those borrowers who lost their homes in the first wave of foreclosures will become homeowners in the coming years?

It’s not going to happen quickly, according to a paper from researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In fact, the paper says that former homeowners who defaulted on their mortgage during the recent housing crisis are likely to return to homeownership at a slower pace than previous cohorts of defaulters.

Because millions of Americans have defaulted on their mortgages over the past five years, these “boomerang buyers” could represent an important slice of housing demand in the coming years...."

The Wall Street Journal
Study: ‘Boomerang Buyers’ Unlikely to Return Quickly

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Do you love modern homes?

"Fans of 20th-century architecture now have a Web site that can direct them to important houses anywhere in the world. provides a map of more than 100 unique structures and extensive visitor information."

Read the article in the New York Times -- or just go straight to the site.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Home equity delinquencies fall here, but top national rate

"Chicago-area homeowners are more likely than most to regret using their homes like ATM machines.

Homeowners here who took out home equity loans have defaulted on the debt more often than borrowers elsewhere, a reflection of both the region's ongoing economic challenges and the state's slow foreclosure process."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Making the White House a ‘Home’

"Leading a nation is tough work. When the president of the United States goes to his private residence at the end of the day, he undoubtedly yearns for the comforts of “home.” But what does that home look like?"

Making the White House a ‘Home’

Presidents transforming communities

"Having a U.S. president live in your community boosts property values, brings in tourists and makes your town a household name, often long after the leader has left office."

Monday, November 5, 2012

The housing situation in battleground states...

"Depressed housing values, foreclosures, underwater mortgages. These terms barely touched the candidates’ lips in this presidential campaign. Even so, many voters will head to the polls on Election Day with the financial pain from the housing crisis still fresh on their minds.

For some, rising home values in 2012 may be reassurance enough that a housing recovery is in motion. For others, those modest gains may be too little, too late.

Nowhere does this matter more for President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney than the nation’s so-called battleground states. Here’s a snapshot of the state of swing-state housing...."

Battleground States and Their Housing Situation

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hot tub or not?

Q. Would an outdoor hot tub increase the resale value of my home?

Market Ready -- The New York Times

Impact of Dodd-Frank

"Pending mortgage regulations could lock today’s tight lending standards in place and result in nearly 20% fewer mortgages being issued in the coming years, restraining home sales and construction, according to a new study.

The paper concludes that if lending standards that are in place today don’t moderate to the 2001 baseline level, there would be roughly 14% to 20% fewer loans originated over the coming three years. That decline, they estimate, would reduce total home sales by 9% to 13%, depending on the ability of all-cash buyers to pick up any slack.

The decline in home sales, in turn, would reduce housing starts by 1.01 million through 2015 and GDP growth by 1.1 percentage points."

Study: New Mortgage Rules Could Shrink Lending by 20%
Wall Street Journal