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CHICAGO REAL ESTATE NEWS & MORE

CHICAGO APPRENTICE WINNER BILL RANCIC PARTNERS WITH “LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU”; OPENING ITALIAN EATERY IN RIVER NORTH

Donald Trump’s former “Apprentice” winner, Bill Rancic and wife Giuliana Rancic (E! News anchor), have plans to team up with R. J. Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. 

They are scheduled to open an Italian restaurant in River North this January at 52 W. Illinois St.  The eatery will replace Ben Pao, which is closing next month after a long and successful stint in the neighborhood.

Anyone who watches the reality T.V. show “Giuliana and Bill” knows they fly between two cities, but purchased a home in a Chicago suburb to begin their family.  Looks like Bill is the big winner in their ongoing debate on which city to hang out more, because we all know the restaurant business takes hard work and commitment.  No time for small trips until it is up and running!

It should be a great partnership and don’t be surprised to see the restaurant tied into their reality show in the future.

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August 29, 2011 Posted by | CHICAGO BUSINESS - TOP PICKS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2011 AMERICA’S BEST PLACES TO LIVE, CHICAGO NOT ON THE LIST

Money Magazine released its 2011 “Best Place to Live in America” list today.  While Chicago is at the top of my list, it did not seem secure a place on the their list.

Coming in as the number one place to live is Louisville, Colorado.  It boasts some of the lowest crime rates in Colorado and with a population of 18,400, has an extremely low unemployment rate (6.3%).

One of the top reasons it was found to be the best place to live, is the abundance of jobs in tech, telecom, aerospace, clean energy, and health care.  In this tough market having a healthy job market is a definite draw.  It also offers world-class mountain biking, hiking, and skiing in the nearby Rockies.

Lucky for local residents, they have also experienced a steady real estate market, with housing prices that have barely moved since 2005.  Add this to their incredible school system, which consistently ranks among the top three academically in Denver, and you have a winning combination.

If you have not been to Chicago, it is a beautiful city with many incredible amenities.  Don’t believe the hype, come find out for yourself.  I love Chicago and would not want to live any other place in the world! 

FULL LIST OF TOP PLACES TO LIVE

MOVE TO CHICAGO TODAY…

August 15, 2011 Posted by | CHICAGO BUSINESS - TOP PICKS | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CHICAGO RENTS CONTINUE TO RISE, WHY NOT BUY?

Chicago area rents have continued to climb during the past year.  While many renters scramble to find the “perfect” rental in the city, they often find themselves out of luck for two reasons.  The first reason is the huge increase in rental rates at A+ buildings, many renters just cannot afford to pay the high premiums.  The second reason is apartments in the city are being rented faster than ever before.

Renters in search of a home have found themselves losing out to the highest bidder, and find the lack of inventory astounding.  If you want a two bedroom in the downtown market for under $2000 per month, good luck!  And if you happen to find one, you better act quickly or it will be gone.  Many renters are also staying put, so there is slim pickings and getting tighter by the day.  It is not unheard of for a rental to go on the market on a Monday, and be gone by Friday.

One more important thing to note; the requirements for renters are becoming almost as strict as getting a loan.  Have a pet? Expect to cut the available units in half, or get ready to put down a $500 pet deposit, if lucky enough to find an apartment allowing pets.  Have mediocre credit?  It may put you to the back of the line, and yes…multiple offers is common.

But this all raises the question…why are so many paying exuberant rents when they can own for far less in many scenarios?  Well, the fear put into them about the continued decline in pricing is probably the source, but in reality does this make sense?  If the general public would go back to the original tradition of the “American Dream”; essentially owning a home and stop worrying about the home values, maybe they would think differently.  While it is also a fact, many have declining credit scores and are fearful of getting a loan, there are still FHA loans available and believe it or not, banks are still offering conventional loans.

According to Crain’s and Appraisal Research, rents at downtown buildings are already well above the highs of the last boom and are likely to continue to rise.  Class-A  properties have already seen a 9.5% increase from a year ago.  Will this now create a “rental bubble?”

In the coming years, will renters realize the point of owning a home was to invest for the long-term instead of feeding thousands into a landlords pocket?

How long will renters continue to dump money into a bottomless hole?  Well, since this type of depressed housing market has not been experienced in the history of reporting, only time will tell.  Let’s just hope the incredible “once in a lifetime” deals are scooped up by the buyers thinking about their future.  In my opinion, it still really is a great time to buy, no matter what we are all being told.

READ FULL STORY  IN CRAIN’S

August 15, 2011 Posted by | CHICAGO REAL ESTATE | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

(VIDEO) 2011 STOCK MARKET CRASH, CREATES GOLD RUSH (via Brittaj17’s Blog)

The stock market has once again taken a plunge and continues to be a roller coaster ride for many. So what’s the next wave? Gold…that’s right, many are now considering this is a more stable investment. But while the average American cannot afford to purchase enough to make a dent, heavy hitter’s in the stock market are now really beginning to buy hug … Read More

via Brittaj17’s Blog

August 10, 2011 Posted by | HEADLINE NEWS | , , , , , | Leave a comment

2011: CHICAGO WISHES PRESIDENT OBAMA HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY; CELEBRATION TONIGHT (via Brittaj17's Blog)

2011: CHICAGO WISHES PRESIDENT OBAMA HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY; CELEBRATION TONIGHT CHICAGO residents greeted President Obama with a warm welcome as he hit the tarmac about 6pm this evening.  He arrived to his beloved city, to celebrate his 50th Birthday with party at the Aragon Ballroom.  While it is marks a special Birthday for President Obama, his event is actually a pre-scheduled fund-raiser.  The celebration is expected to cause delays on some streets and will affect certain train stations.  But in the end, many won't mind … Read More

via Brittaj17's Blog

August 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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