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Evanston, IL Real Estate News

By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
  There's a local show, here in Chicago, that's kinda taken public television by storm.  It's called "Check Please", and it began quite unnoticed in 2001, but soon took off.  Today, we often check the Check Please website, before choosing a new restaurant... and I know that there have been spin-offs in other areas of the country as well. The show is successful, because the concept is simple, straightforward and elegant.   Three normal Chicagoans, each week, would choose their favourite restaurants in the Greater Chicagoland area, and all three would review the restaurants, while sitting at a table, often drinking wine with Alpana Singh (Check Please's personable host, and professional sommalier). When the show was brand new, he realized he needed willing guinea pigs to appear on the sho...
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
Yesterday was a bone-chilling MINUS 6°, with a wind-chill of  NEGATIVE 25° BELOW ZERO, here in the Chicago area... we have a bout 6-8 inches of the white stuff on the ground... (okay, in the city, it's now more like the grey and dirty stuff... but give a brutha a break... it's the holidays!!) (for those of you in non-wind-chill states, that's when the weather is cold, but the wind is blowing so hard, that the -6 degrees, FEELS on the skin like -25°...  and it's such a common occurrence, that they call it the wind-chill factor on the nightly weather report... oh, and by the way... for those of you, right now, reading this from "non-wind-chill areas".... pttthhhhp!.... sorry, couldn't help myself.) So... where was I? .... Oh, yes, ... yesterday was -6°.... but today... is a balmy 11 degre...
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
Welcome to Politics, as usual, here in Illinois. It was just announced this morning, that sitting Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic (pronounced Blah-Goy-Oh-Vich) has been arrested (Along with his chief of staff, John Harris) as part of a probe into charges that he conspired to benefit financially (as the Governor) in the appointment of a U.S. Senator to fill the vacancy left by Barack Obama as he left to become president elect. Yes, that's right... arrested in the wee hours of the morning at the Governor's mansion, and taken away in handcuffs.  The chief executive of the state of Illinois As per a federal criminal complaint, Blagojevich has been charged with threatening to hold state funds from the struggling Tribune company, in the sale of Wrigley field. In return for state help, the go...
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
The Best Deal  in Town One Sunday afternoon a couple sees an ad in the paper. They can't believe their eyes. There is a house in the paper for $1000 that is in the nicest part of town. We are talking about a Highland Park mansion for $1000. They think this has to be a misprint, but decide to call anyway. They say to lady who answers we saw your ad, and realize it is a misprint correct. She tells them no it's not & you are actually the first ones to call. They decide to go look at the house. They race over as fast as they can. They pull up to the most beautiful house on the block. In front of the house is fountain that cost at least $30,000. They ring the door bell & the lady answers. She starts showing them the house. They realize this house is over 5000 sq ft and it is obvious that exp...
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
Well, our little Gus Gus, awoke this morning to Chicago's first measureable snowfall for the season (and the first measurable snowfall in his little lifetime).  He's almost a year old (born Dec. 20th), but was so tiny last year, at under two pounds, that he didn't really have any interest in doing anything outside except shivering. This morning, he's a lot more interested in the snow.  Gus is a Havanese (you know, like from Havana) where this breed was designed to herd Chickens.  There were no chickens in the snow, but it sure seemed like he was trying to herd invisible chickens as he ran circles in the fresh snow, stopping only occasionally, to leave a deposit. Since he's not really designed for winter weather, he came back indoors... with clumps of snow and ice attached to his coat, ...
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
During the past 12 months 13,750 new visitors have visited my other real estate blog and I am happy to report this blog has  now  reached a new milestone of 25,000 visitors. I want to thank all of those who have visited the site this year and hope you will visit us in 2009.
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I just finished reading an article in the December 2008 issue of Realtor magazine "Making Dollars (and Sense) or Investing in a Downturn" and had to write this blog as my response. The article begins by saying it is a Great Time to Buy Real Estate for the following reasons- lots of inventory, low mortgage rates, and motivated sellers, and more renters because more people are less inclined to qualify for a loan because of poor credit. It then goes on to interview Realtors who are now Investors and buying real estate. I find this article kind of insulting on many levels to the average investor or buyer because it seems to imply that since Realtors find the market right to buy then others buyers should too. The article went on to give "Tips for Better Investing". Following are some of the ...
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
Fluoridation in our water has been a major issue, in the U.S. since the 1940's.  The idea behind adding a controlled amount of fluoride to our water was an effort to reduce tooth decay.  Proponents have said that a controlled amount of fluoride in the drinking water of a community can help substantially reduce decay in the population. I live in Evanston, Illinois which was the second community in the entire United States to accept the idea of fluoridated water.  Evanston began fluoridating it's water back in the mid 1940's, as part of a study.  The study showed that Evanston had a 12.5% reduction in cavities in children 12-14 years old, compared to Oak Park (the control community, which did NOT add fluoride) in the same period of time. Opponents of flouridation are concerned with advers...
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
Yesterday, I watched the "Big Three " CEO's from Ford, GM, and Chrysler ask for a $25 Billion dollar bailout from our Government. As I sat there listening to the questions from our Senators and then listened to the answers from each of the Auto Executives I thought to myself "Why do these guys need a bail out from the Government?" " Why don't they go ask the Oil Industry Giants "Exxon-Mobil", "BP", "Shell"  and "OPEC", who have been making nothing but money from us consumers to bail out the Auto Industry.  I go on to think about this a little more and say "hey" that's not such a bad idea because without cars their will be less need for oil. Go wait your turn Ford, GM, Chrysler, The Housing Market needs the money first.
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
Honesty- " Honesty is he best policy". If you honestly do not know how you got in your current situation or how to get out thats ok because that is why I started the Help Program because many of us are in the same situation and it sometimes takes a person from" the outside looking in rather than a person from the inside looking out" to help  guide you through a difficult time. If you find your self needing Help then together we can look at your current situation and begin to map out all the options for your particular situation. Energy- " It is better to put energy toward something that you can control" and that is exactly what I intend to do with you. Let's focus together on options that are right for you. Lift- By focusing on those things that you have control it will surely "lift you...
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
As a follow up to the Chicago Crains Report ranking Illinois as the 9th Highest in terms of foreclosures I decided to see how my primary market in Evanston is doing in relation to the State. I decided to see how many Single Family Homes and Attached Family homes are currently being marketed as either Short Sales or Bank owned properties. In Evanston there are 26 Single Family Homes listed as Short Sales and another 14 listed as Bank Owned.  This  number of both Short Sales and Bank Owned Real Estate represents  14%  (40 out of 289) of all Active Single Family Listings in Evanston. The Average Number of days a Short Sale is on the market is 147 days and 167 days for Bank Owned property. In Evanston there are 26 Attached Family Homes listed as Short Sales and another 4 listed as Bank Owne...
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According to a new report from Chicago Crain 12,681 homeowners in Illinois have received a foreclosure-notice last month. This represents one (1) foreclosure notice for every 410 homeowner. According to Realty Track figures, Illinois is ranked as the ninth (9) highest among other states. Other states in the top 10 were California, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio. The Top three states are -Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. With Wednesdays news by Treasury Secretary Paulson  stating that the Fed does not intend to use the TARP money to buy risky  mortgage assets it is the opinion of this writer that the housing market will continue to suffer until a new administration can come in with a new plan.    
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY! Veterans Day is our opportunity to honour the service our men and women serving in the military. It happens once a year, every November 11, 2008.  Take a moment to think about our good men and women who've served our country, both at home and abroad. And save a good thought for all of our military in harm's way.  Send up a prayer, wish them well, and hope they return home soon to their families, friends & communities who love and miss them. They serve to protect and preserve our freedoms!  And they also serve who sit at home and tend the fires while waiting for their return. THANK YOU to all the good men and women, and their families who are serving and have served in any of the United States Armed forces.  You have the thanks of a grateful nation! And take another ...
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
On Friday of last week, an event worthy of Halloween occurred here in Evanston.  We were notified by the news that 3 dead bodies had been found in an Evanston home... where a 90 year old woman was living, and here's the kicker.... no foul play was suspected?  Now how can you find 3 dead bodies in a house, and there be no foul play? There was no fire... the furnace was fine, so there was no asphyxiation due to a bad furnace, or a space heater.  It was not a suicide.  As news came to the forefront, the bodies were her three siblings who had been "dead for some time".  Ewwwwww! As we awaiting further information, we were all surprised to learn that this had occurred in the 1200 block of Judson.  A block strewn with large, million dollar homes, only scant blocks from downtown and Evanston's...
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
My daughter, Sarah, got married this summer.  And since I wasn't a member of Active Rain at the time, I never filled you all in, so, here we go.  Consider yourselves lucky... you could have been subjected to months and months of planning, and choosing. My daughter married a boy she met at College, her sophomore year (his Junior year) as they were moving into their dorm room.  He brought a plate of cookies to greet the three co-eds who were moving in.  My wife and I were in the room, along with another set of parents, helping the girls move in and set up their room.  I thanked "the boy" for bringing the cookies and for "hitting on our daughters' (Daaa-aaaaa-aaad!... ahh, three separate syllables in that one... I've done my job). The "boy" (as we affectionately call him) turned out to be ...
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
  Somethings are used to being upside down like   Bats     Monkeys and Sloths   While other things don't like it   like Homes and   People    Are You Upside Down With Your Mortgage? Do you Owe More than Your Home is Worth? Why be upside down when you should be on your feet?  A "Short Sale"" is a better alternative than "Foreclosure.           Why ride the roller coaster when you don't have to.                                                       Find out if a "Short Sale" is right for you.                                                                                          1-888-307 7311   Best Kept "Secret" About Foreclosures                                    Ext. 1  All About "Short Sales"                                                                 Ext.  8  
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
Because they hate looking like martians!         Nor do they like wearing tights and funny capes?        Nor do they like to be in a position of Authority         Nor do they like to do Magic Tricks       nor do they like being possessed....   They just want to be loved by you. This last picture is my dog Bailey.
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By Alan May, Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
Or is it the MAIN benefit?   I received a phone call from a fellow agent telling me that he'd seen my post about Barack O'Lanterns A Pumpkin for Change.  Since he is a member of Active Rain, I presumed that he'd found it here on AR.  But it turns out... "no"... he found it on a site that handles local events in my town EvanstonNow.com.  I don't know how they picked it up... I'm gonna guess they got it off of localism.com (cool!). But c'mon... how cool is that?
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By Jack Lewitz
(Exit Strategy Realty)
  No the world is not exploding but we are at a real fragile time in history. In my opinion, we need to focus our attention on the Housing market from the bottom up not from the top down. If we don't we will just spiral out of control. As it is now the numbers do not look good. The average home has declined 16% nationally this year, unemployment is aveaging 6.1%, the stock market has had record losses of over 500 points in a day. Every day we hear about more Bank Foreclosures, Bank Failures, and Bankruptcies. Will GM be the next bail out the government has to deal with. In another week we will have the most important election in my life.. I hope everyone goes on to vote.. Hopefully,  together we can solve the housing  problem....
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