Housing Bulletin

2 years
ago

Battling over a Moldy Oldie in Beverly

Last August, David McClain and Sanaa Hachem paid $475,000 for a 106-year-old house in Beverly. They knew the place was in bad condition, but they expected to spend about $175,000 and six months restoring the home. “We were excited to do this renovation,” Hachem said….

2 years
ago

 

Chicago Fares Poorly in National Real-Estate News

If your Twitter feed is anything like mine, it seemed to be in two moods on Tuesday morning. Shortly after the release of the latest monthly data from the S&P/Case Shiller Index, the tweeting started—“Home Prices Continue to Rise: Housing is Now Economic ‘Bright Spot’” was the tone of the national news…

2 years
ago

Are Chicago Sellers Just Tired of Losing?

The year-end real-estate data has been rolling in for the past week or so, and much of it is encouraging. But there’s something that bugs me—and, I believe, a lot of sellers or potential sellers…

2 years
ago

First-Time Landlords Provide a Lesson for Other Would-Be Investors

Last year, Chris Thompson, a 29-year-old IT consultant based in the south suburbs, told his grandfather, Don Clinkert, he was thinking of getting in on the foreclosure-to-rental investment scene. Clinkert said he’d been considering doing the same…

2 years
ago

Why Are Pilsen and Bronzeville Redeveloping at Different Speeds?

Chicago’s Pilsen and Bronzeville neighborhoods have a lot in common. They are both near the Loop, have lots of public transportation, and, after decades of disinvestment, offer plenty of residential and commercial buildings ripe for renewal…

2 years
ago

Group Turns Around Distressed Properties—and Peoples’ Lives

Houses and condos that lenders take over in foreclosure often need a lot of help getting turned around into habitable places again. For one Skokie-based not-for-profit, cleaning those homes provides an opportunity to repair something else at the same time: the lives of its employees…

2 years
ago

 

Chicago’s Midrange Homeowners Taking the Hardest Hits

When Zillow announced last week that Chicago is the country’s number one market for homebuyers, I snarkily replied on Twitter that, by the same token, Chicago is the number one place where sellers are taking it in the shorts. Two reports out that same week backed me up…

2 years
ago

Winnetka’s Maverick House Back on the Market

One of the quirkiest houses on the North Shore—with light fixtures carved from wooden salad bowls, a Western-themed mural above the living room, and a distinctly offbeat fence—came back on the market this month, five years after it went up for sale for the first time since it was built more than 90 years ago…

2 years
ago

 

Push Is on to Extend Tax Forgiveness on Foreclosures, Short Sales

Part of a distressed sale—a foreclosure or a short sale—or a loan modification entails the mortgage lender forgiving some or all of a homeowner’s debt. Formerly, tax laws counted that forgiven amount as taxable income. But in 2007, President George W. Bush signed legislation that temporarily exempted forgiven mortgage debt from taxable income. That law expires December 31—unless Congress acts to extend it…