Housing Bulletin

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…

2 years
ago

 

Real-Estate Data Offer Some Comfort, But Mashed Potatoes Are Better

Real-estate data has been getting dished up in the past few weeks as heartily as mashed potatoes get passed around the Thanksgiving table. And this year, for the first time in a while, the information provides some solace—though not nearly as much as the comfort food will…

2 years
ago

For Apartment Rents, the Forecast is a Four-Cast

Apartment rents have been rising and will keep going up for the near future—but at three different rates in three different strata of the market, according to speakers at last week’s Lincoln Park Builders Real Estate Forum ’12. In the fourth and bottom layer, they will remain flat…

2 years
ago

 

Deal Estate Flash: Lot Next Door to Obama House on the Market

One of the most controversial pieces of Kenwood property, the vacant lot next door to the house of President Barack Obama, went up for sale today. The sellers are asking $899,000. That’s 33 percent more than they paid for the 50-by-150-foot lot in March 2008, before Obama’s election presumably jacked up the value of properties near his…

2 years
ago

Fifty-Year Marina City Resident Reflects on Life in the Landmark Towers

In July 1962, Dr. Theresa Southgate had the then-eccentric idea that she ought to live within walking distance of her new job at JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, headquartered at Dearborn and Grand. “It was an awful neighborhood then, [with] nowhere to live,” Southgate recalls. But there was one big apartment project under construction four blocks south of the office, so she signed a lease…