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Real Estate Tales

From housing’s front lines, here are eight stories—about fraught-filled foreclosures, diminishing home values, development downturns, souring investments, and unlikely bargains—that track the perils and pluses of today’s residential real-estate market


House Prices 2009 »
Our annual survey of home prices in 288 Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs

It’s been a bumpy ride down from the heights of the real-estate market. Falling prices, short sales, foreclosures, troubled condo buildings—the stories circulating today are far different from those told five years ago, when housing values were shooting straight up. On the following pages I have gathered a set of tales from housing’s front lines that track those changes in the local real-estate market. They include personal stories from homeowners, developers, and an investor—and all of them had skin in this game. Some of them got skinned, but others came out on top. Read on to see who made the best of a bad situation.

Investing in Condos

Slowed Development

Finding a Bargain

Sinking Value

Stuck in Mortgage Limbo

Buying at Foreclosure

A Quick Sale

Condos Go Rental
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