chicago real estate news alert: GOOD NEWS? CHICAGO HOMES-FOR-SALE INVENTORY DROPS IN NOVEMBER! - 12/14/08 10:23 AM
Hey, folks!
If you're in the Northeast tonight, hope you're fairing well after the ice storms.  Those without power - let's hope they find adequate warm shelter.
In the opinion of many Real Estate Practitioners, one of the problems preventing a resurgence in Real Estate Sales is the continuing high levels of homes-for-sale inventory (high supply), combined with lowered buyer interest (low demand).  It appears, however, that these inventory levels are beginning to fall somewhat, both here in the Chicago Metro Area, in other markets, and, in aggregate, nationally.
According to Chicago Area MLS Data compiled by, homes-for-sale inventory (a figure … (2 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: MAKING A COMEBACK - Rent To Own Options Made Popular in the 1980's! - 12/11/08 01:30 PM
Hey, folks - hope you're keeping warm tonight, while those of us here in Chicago are reaching for another blanket!
Some may remember those double-digit, near 20-percent mortgage interest rates in the early 1980's.  For some buyers back then, rates over 16% were considered attractive, and these loans came with steep monthly payments.
Looking for creative ways to sell their properties, when buyers willing to pay such high interest rates were comparatively rare, many sellers and their Real Estate Agents tried to offer a Rent to Own Option.
Today, with fewer options for those with challenged credit and low down payment, Lease … (4 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: VENERABLE CHICAGO BUILDER - KIMBALL HILL HOMES - Set To Liquidate! - 12/09/08 11:20 AM
In a story that has become all to familiar in many housing markets across the U.S., one major homebuilder with roots in Chicago is poised to close its doors.
Kimball Hill arrived here as an independent home builder in the early 1950's, expanding Chicago Suburbs and building affordable homes for returning World War II and Korean War Veterans and their families. 
In 1952, Hill built his first small, three-bedroom, one-bath, on-a-crawl ranch home in an subdivision about 25 miles northwest of the City of Chicago.  That then-remote patch of farmland became the Suburb of Rolling Meadows IL, as Hill named it.  It is now … (5 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: As Economy Continues to Sputter - Consumer Borrowing Takes a Tumble in October! - 12/07/08 07:20 AM
Good Afternoon, folks!
Fear over potential loss of their jobs and their rising debt levels may have been the impetus for American Consumers to curtail their borrowing in October, according to the most-current Federal Reserve Report on Consumer Credit.  Outstanding credit held by consumers dropped $3.5 Billion in October, to $2.578 Trillion - a decrease of 1.6%.
In prior months, Consumer Outstanding Credit actually rose in September by $6.7 Billion, after an August decline of $6.4 Billion.
It appears obvious that consumers have cut their spending dramatically.  The latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures indicate that consumer spending fell by the … (0 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: SOME BUYERS STILL FIND 100% FINANCING - Even Today! - 12/07/08 03:23 AM
Good Morning, Everyone!
We woke up here in Chicago to another chilly morning - only 15 degrees now.  What, you say - you woke up in Southern California, or Florida, or Hawaii this morning?  You went out golfing this morning, in 65, or 75, or 80 degree warmth?
This might seem a bit difficult to understand, but the latest NAR Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers - 2008, based on data compiled through responses from 10,000 home buyers and sellers through last June 30th, indicates there is still a sizable percentage of home buyers purchasing with NO MONEY DOWN!

chicago real estate news alert: MORE BAD NEWS - Mortgage Delinquencies Expected To Double Next Year, and Fed Chairman Bernanke Proposes Quick Action! - 12/04/08 01:56 PM
Hey, folks - hope you're well, and WARM!  It's mighty cold here tonight on the North Side of Chicago!
Foreclosures are skyrocketing.  Mortgage delinquencies are projected to rise substantially in 2009.  And Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke wants to see more aggressive action to stem the tide!
According to TransUnion LLC, one of the three Major Credit Bureaus, based in Chicago, the percentage of consumers at least 60 days behind on their mortgage payments will hit 7.17% by the end of next year.  That would be the highest level of mortgage delinquency since 1992, when the firm started tabulating statistics.
Much of … (5 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: NOVEMBER CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REBOUNDS - But Still Close to Historic Lows! - 12/03/08 01:07 AM
Good Morning!
Over the past 30 days, gas prices have fallen.  So have mortgage interest rates.  Have consumers become more confident about the future of the U.S. Economy, and the likelihood of turnaround for the U.S. Housing Market, as a result?
A little bit . . . YES!  But, still, overall consumer confidence hugs the 34-year-old low reading from last October.
The November Index by The Conference Board, a private research group, was 44.9, up from the record-low 38.8 reading in October, but still the second lowest index of overall consumer confidence since the index began 34 years ago.
The Present Situation … (2 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: LOWER MORTGAGE RATES - Will They Cause The U.S. Housing Market to Quickly Rebound? - 11/30/08 05:04 AM
Hope you're enjoying your last day of the Thanksgiving Weekend, folks!  Back to reality tomorrow, Monday, I'm sorry to say.
Over the last few months, some real estate detractors have contended that high mortgage interest rates are placing a drag on housing market recovery.  These so-called "high" rates, however, were in the mid-six-percent range - still, by historical standards, quite low.
But will a drop in interest rates, with or without government intervention, create a turnaround in the Housing Market?
By itself - NO - say many Real Estate Experts and Practitioners!
This past week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced, with … (7 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: GOOD NEWS FOR HOME BORROWERS - Yesterday's Fed Action Brings Down Mortgage Rates! - 11/26/08 08:01 AM
Good news on home mortgage rates, folks!  They've headed down, in the past 24-hours alone!
Sorry . . . no improvement yet on the massive inventories of distressed homes available for sale here in Chicago and in many communities across the U.S., and underwriting and credit standards are higher to get these now-cheaper loans. Thousands of jobs have been lost over the last few months, here in Illinois and elsewhere. 
But amid a sea of gloomy housing news over the past few days, this favorable interest rate news is certainly welcome!
As we know, one the key problems recently standing in the … (4 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: THE BEAT GOES ON - U.S., Illinois, Chicago Home Sales Continue to Fall in October! - 11/25/08 03:17 AM
This is getting very old, folks - and although many hope for an end to U.S. Housing woes, statistics indicate we might have more of a road to travel before things in the Housing Market brighten up.
Amid a continued slide in real estate sales nationwide, the Chicago Metro Area, including the City of Chicago, continue to suffer through substantial median price and units-sold declines. 
Within the city, home sales declined 21.6% since October of last year, to 1,535 units sold (combined single family home and condo sales).  The median price for a home or condo within the Chicago City Limits … (0 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME - It's a LOCAL Issue! - 11/24/08 02:30 AM
Mornin', Folks!
Looking in the online Wall Street Journal today, median home prices nationwide continued their slide in October.  But that doesn't mean EVERY HOME, in EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD is falling in the same pattern.
As you may guess, national indices of home prices miss the mark - often, by a wide margin - as a means to predicting prices for individual homes, at the Local and Neighborhood Levels.
Take, for example, the highly-followed S & P/Case Shiller Index of relative home values.  The index suggests a 15% drop in the composite home value within the Top 20 Metro Markets across the U.S. … (0 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: Housing Bubble Began to Form Over Three Years Ago, But Few Did Anything About It - WSJ Reporters! - 11/19/08 11:09 AM
Hey, hey, gang!
You've heard the too-oft-used term, "The Housing Bubble," or "The Bubble Burst." 
The main issue on the so-called bubble in the housing market is not whether there was one, when it truly began, and that it may have burst.  It's that policymakers may have seen the bubble growing, and potentially bursting, but did little to stop it several years ago.
Although home prices in the Chicago Area did not peak until 2006, according to S & P Case Shiller Index Data, housing activity as defined by sales of new homes nationally hit a peak in July, 2005.  At … (2 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: New REVERSE MORTGAGES Offer Benefits to Many Seniors! Any Downside? - 11/18/08 11:44 AM
Hey, folks!  Greetings from Chilly Chicago IL!
Do you remember . . . Option ARM Loans!  Short-Term Adjustables!  Growth Equity Mortgages!  Interest-Only!  Interest-Rate Buy-Downs!  Piggyback Home Loans!
Many of these loan products seemed very cutting-edge when introduced during more buoyant years in the housing market.  But each has been subsequently discredited in today's environment, where appreciation is low or negative, and leverage remains high or over market value.
The same is said by many about Reverse Mortgages!
Detractors say these loans prey upon the elderly and the poor, and may remove years of accumulated equity which would go to the owner's estate … (17 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: LUXURY HOME BUILDERS AVOIDING HOUSING SLUMP? No! - 11/18/08 09:33 AM
Sales of new homes in many areas of the country have plummeted about 15% since 2007.  Prices have fallen as well - but CONSTRUCTION COSTS are actually UP, about 13% on average!  All figures according to Ken Simonson, Chief Economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, as well as several Chicago Area Custom Home Builders interviewed.
So how are many builders in the Chicago Area responding?
They are building their new homes more economically, with subtle cost-savings they are forced to pass on to their customers.  Importantly, these cost-saving moves do not impact structural integrity of the home, or even … (0 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: Is Refinancing a Viable Option Today? - 11/16/08 11:54 PM
Many of our clients ask us if they should refinance their mortgage today.
As you know, as we stand here in November, 2008, Consumer Credit is harder to come by.  Underwriting Standards for home loans have been considerably tightened.  Many Interest Rates are higher than they were as recently as one year ago.
But for many, refinancing their current home loan is a logical step.  This is especially true for home borrowers who have good credit, increased income versus when your loan originated, and above-average home equity.
For those with Adjustable Rate Mortgages about due for an interest-rate reset, refinancing the loan … (0 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: IN TODAY'S MORTGAGE MARKET, Many Long-Time Brokers Leave the Business! - 11/13/08 05:38 PM
Hey, folks - another late night posting!  Sue and I are not in Chicago today - we're in Los Angeles for our annual Jumpstart Workshop with our Business Coach, Patti Kouri.
You know, not all that long ago, folks were envious of those who made their livings brokering home mortgages.  That seems not to be the case these days!
According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the ranks of Independent Mortgage Brokers have dwindled 31% since the boom days.  Since September, 2005, the number of identified, and recently licensed, IL Mortgage Professionals has fallen from 2,308 to 1,593.

chicago real estate news alert: SHOULD FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC, AND BANKS SUCH AS CITIGROUP Step Up Loan Modification Efforts? - 11/12/08 12:31 PM
Hey, folks!
I was scanning today's online Wall Street Journal today, and spotted a post by Emily Friedlander on the "Developments" blog discussing plans by Giant Loan Investors and Guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (now government entities), as well as financial giant Citigroup. 
These organizations have proposed to offer modification programs to dozens of home borrowers across the country who have either defaulted on their home mortgages, or would soon be likely to default.
Recently, Bank of America agreed to modify many of the risky Option ARM Loans originally written by its recently-acquired Countrywide Home Loans business by reducing … (4 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: MORE AND MORE, Sellers Wanting Unreasonable Prices Turned Down by Prospective Listing Agents! - 11/10/08 07:44 AM
Good Afternoon, folks!   It's very sunny, but quite chilly, here in Chicago today!
A recent survey by Real Estate Marketing Company Quantum Digital estimated that Listing Agents, on average, spend 10% of the income they earn from the sale of a property on marketing costs.  This percentage DOES NOT INCLUDE the agent's time needed to market a home, and make sure a sale closes.
As the Real Estate Market has slowed over the past year, here in Chicago and elsewhere, and selling a listed property has become a longer-term proposition, the costs of marketing a listed home or other property have … (12 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: IN CHICAGO, ELSEWHERE - Home Builders Drastically Scaling Back 2009 Construction Plans! - 11/09/08 01:44 PM
Hey, folks, from Cold and Windy Chicago!
It's no surprise that home resales have slowed in many areas of the U.S.  Sales of new homes have slid even farther within the past years, with many home builders here in the Chicago Metro Area reeling from 50% or greater sales drops versus 2007.
New home inventory remains high here, although many builders have had to resort to heavy discounting and price incentives to move their inventory and reduce their carrying costs, no matter the price.
But everywhere you turn in the Chicago Area, some noted home builders are trimmed all of the fat they … (3 comments)

chicago real estate news alert: IN CHICAGO, AND ILLINOIS - Mortgage Help is Coming . . . But Not for Everyone! - 11/06/08 03:20 PM
Hey, folks!
Over the last few months, several new government programs have been created to help homeowners behind on their mortgage payments, possibly facing foreclosure.  But help is not universal. 
Lenders have to agree to participate, for one.  And, those in distress do need a provable stream of income to qualify - little is available for those unfortunate enough to have recently lost their jobs.
Here is a summary of a few of the assistance programs currently in place.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and The White House are considering other options as well, but the details of these plans … (0 comments)

Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) Rainmaker large

Dean Moss

Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

Chicago, IL

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