illinois - Articles

For Sale: 6 Princely Settings for 'Game of Thrones' Viewing

ZillowThis Texas castle's grand banquet hall could accommodate an army. By Catherine Sherman Where are you watching "Game of Thrones"? With the hit HBO show back for a fourth season, now is the perfect time to dream about a Red Keep of your own. Maybe a medieval-style fortress with turrets galore? Or, perhaps a... Continue Reading »

'Batpool' Home in Hinsdale, Ill., Is a 'Batman' Fan's Dream (House of the Day)

Haven't yet caught the new "Batman" flick "The Dark Knight Rises"? Why not feast your eyes instead on this $2.55 million Hinsdale, Ill., mansion that has a luxury swimming pool stamped with Batman insignia. It's known across the country as "the Batpool." Apparently, this is something of a trend. We've also spotted... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures: Illinois Town Invests in Them

Foreclosed homes can bring down the value of neighboring homes and otherwise be a blight on the community if they sit vacant for an extended period of time. That's why the town of Cicero, Ill., a Chicago suburb, is buying up bank-foreclosed properties, rehabbing them and selling them back to residents as subsidized... Continue Reading »

The LeBron Effect: Home Values When Celebrities Move In

Last week, a rampant rumor spread around Chicago that LeBron James was seen getting out of an SUV to check out a house for sale on Sheridan Road in Highland Park, Ill., with Michael Jordan (who happens to live in Highland Park as well). This was huge news, of course, since James is probably the biggest NBA free agent of... Continue Reading »

Chicago Foreclosures Aren't Stopping

On the heels of some positive reports about Chicago's housing market, including the surge of home sales in March, that nasty, little word "foreclosure" is back. We've discovered this month that Chicago renters were harder hit than homeowners in the housing crisis, foreclosure auctions are hitting an all-time high, and... Continue Reading »

Chicago: Law's Revamp Would Help Foreclosed-On Renters Recover Deposits

Security deposits haven't been that secure for many Chicago tenants lately, especially after foreclosures forced occupants from more than 8,500 rental units in 2009. That ended up costing renters as much as $7.3 million in lost deposits. Current city law requires landlords to return security deposits to displaced... Continue Reading »

Chicago Home Sales Dented by Racist 'Yard Art'

It's hard enough to sell a home sitting next to a neighbor who refuses to mow their lawn and patch up a dilapidated roof, or one that plays music with rib-rattling subwoofers turned up to 11 in the wee hours of the night, but what happens when a man living on your block posts racist signs on his garage? The answer, for... Continue Reading »

Chicago's North Mayfair is

Betty White isn't the only one showing us that being old and adorable can get you plenty of attention these days. Chicago's North Mayfair, an idyllic neighborhood on the Northwest side of Chicago that has tried its best to keep from being overrun by the looming developments pervading many of the city's communities, was... Continue Reading »

Five Reasons to Rent Now in Chicago

The weak economy has landlords on the ropes and renters are trying their best to swoop in quickly to take advantage. According to a recent national survey conducted by, more than 95 percent of renters say they plan on moving to another apartment in 2010. Renters are also choosing to make their transitions... Continue Reading »

Chicago Housing Recovery: Not Until 2013

What do the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago housing market have in common? They'll both have to wait at least another year for redemption. But bad news for Chicago's housing market - it may have to wait even longer than the Super Bowl losers. According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an Irvine, Calif.-based... Continue Reading »

Ex-Chicago Bull's Real Estate Foul

Former Chicago Bull Tyson Chandler is trying his damnedest to get out of the Village of Northfield in Illinois, a suburb northwest of the Loop in Chicago. Northwestern University football coach Pat Fitzgerald, on the other hand, has successfully moved on up into a lavish abode in the same village. Chandler, who played for... Continue Reading »

New Law Increases Property Taxes in Chicago

Talk about a one-two punch: Homeowners in Illinois' Cook County are not only facing the expiration of a property tax cap later this year, but they're also seeing higher first-installment property tax bills, thanks to a new law Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law back in October. In plain English, this all translates into... Continue Reading »

Radon in the Home Still a Silent Killer

Gloria Linnertz was so angry and grief-stricken that she told The Chicago Sun-Times that she only wanted to do one thing to her home: Tear it to the ground. Her husband, Joe Linnertz, died of lung cancer in 2006. The cancer was brought on by radon gas levels in their home that registered four times higher than the U.S.... Continue Reading »

Homeowners Cash In on Clunker Appliances

The Car Allowance Rebate System, better known as "Cash for Clunkers," was a big success in helping car owners trade in their old automobiles for new fuel-efficient ones back in July and August. Will a similar program to entice homeowners to swap out their old home appliances for new energy-efficient ones be just as... Continue Reading »

Chicago's Olympic Loss Hurts Bronzeville

When a city is at the losing end of an Olympic bid, what happens to the city neighborhoods that were counting on a lift from all those Olympic development dollars? That's the question they've been pondering in Chicago's aptly-named Bronzeville neighborhood since the city lost the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in... Continue Reading »

Chicago Sells Landmark Building for $1

While flatiron buildings look pretty cool, they're virtually useless and downright wasteful if they've been vacant for nearly 20 years. This was the plight of the historic Morris B. Sachs flatiron building in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood northwest of the Loop. So the city sold it for $1 and now the six-story... Continue Reading »

Bargain Hunting Among Chicago's Mansions

Chicagoans break out your wallets: The prices of several area mansions are dropping. Some of the nation's most-prized real estate properties are on the the sales block in The Windy City, led by a 26-room, 27,000-square-foot mansion, which even after a $4 million drop in price, is still the area's priciest. Built... Continue Reading »

Walmart Fails to Create Jobs in Chicago

Does Walmart add to homeowners' quality of life when it moves in to a new urban neighborhood? Not necessarily, so says a recent study. Some might welcome having the same opportunity suburbanites do to buy fishing gear, a new printer and cheap socks all in one place. But those looking to Walmart to create jobs or stimulate... Continue Reading »

Illinois Offers New Web Site for Renters

For Illinois residents who are looking to rent for the first time, or who are planning on moving into a new rented residence soon, a group of state agencies has started, a free, bilingual Web site that aims to help people find housing that suits their needs and financial capacities. The Illinois... Continue Reading »

Chicago Real Estate Business Owner is World's Greatest Couch Potato

What does a Chicago-based real estate business owner do to kick off 2010? Sit and watch a record-breaking 72 straight hours of television, of course. Jeff Miller, a 26-year-old real estate business owner from Rogers Park, participated in and won his third consecutive Ultimate Couch Potato competition at Chicago's ESPN... Continue Reading »

Chicago Area Homes Were Had at 5% Discount in November

According to data released by Redfin, an online real estate search and brokerage firm based in Seattle, homes that were sold in the Chicago area in November went at an overall discount of nearly 5 percent, down slightly from the last time the company updated these figures. The overall discount for the 5,765 homes sold in... Continue Reading »

No Rebound: Chicago Bulls Guard Takes a Loss (On His House)

So far this season, the Chicago Bulls are struggling to make good on the promise they showed late last spring in the NBA playoffs. To add salt to the wound, Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich and his coach, Vinny Del Negro, are encountering some hardships off the court as well – in the real estate game. Hinrich, who... Continue Reading »

The Fall of Chicago's East Garfield Park

East Garfield Park, a community located on the west side of Chicago, is a prime example of an area that has seen a precipitous drop in home prices during the past year and a half. One home in the area has even seen a 94 percent drop in its selling price. This particular home, a three-bedroom, two-bath condo located at... Continue Reading »

States May Be

The Census Bureau's tally of state population changes, released just before Christmas, has become more fodder for some long-suffering states. Five of the nation's largest states were dubbed "the biggest losers," meaning they saw the highest imbalance between people moving out and people moving in. Not surprisingly, none... Continue Reading »

Chicago Homebuyers Seeing Smaller Discounts

According to data gleaned from Redfin, a Seattle-based online real estate brokerage and search company, Chicago-area neighborhoods are seeing homes being sold at prices closer to list prices than they were at the beginning of the year. The list price, according to Redfin, is "The price of a home for sale set by the... Continue Reading »

Chicago Homeowners Could See $200 in Property Tax Relief

Earlier this month, the City Council voted 38-to-12 in favor of Mayor Daley's proposed $6.1 billion budget, which included a property tax relief program for qualified Chicago homeowners. The funds would be funneled from the infamous 75-year, $1.15 billion deal to privatize the city's parking meters. The City of Chicago's... Continue Reading »

Culture Clash in Chicago's Boystown Section

Lakeview's Center on Halsted is a haven for GLBTQ youth, and its programs and services attract teens from across the city. But while the Center's staff is pleased to see such a high turnout from West and South Side youth, some neighborhood residents are less enthusiastic. The Center moved into its current building on... Continue Reading »

Can Chicago Survive Without Oprah?

Oprah is as inextricably linked with the Chicago landscape as the Sears Tower. Thus her recent announcement of discontinuing "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011 has caused quite the stir in the Windy City. Beyond fears of life without their daily dose of Oprah, many Chicagoans are concerned about how this decision will... Continue Reading »

I Want It: Wrigleyville Condo Gets It Right

This 2-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot condo at 1014 Roscoe Street is the total package: light-filled, well-proportioned and conveniently located. This sunny apartment features large south- and east-facing windows, and comes with an in-unit washer and dryer. The spacious kitchen, with its granite countertops and... Continue Reading »

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