Friday, September 25, 2015

Uptown Chicago Sticker Shock

Uptown Chicago Sticker

A quick Sheridan Rd snappy in the Uptown Neighborhood of Chicago.  I forget, what we protesting again?



Friday, August 28, 2015

Second City To Re-open Soon

Second City, Chicago
Wells Street, Chicago

Its been two days since a fire destroyed the offices at Second City on Wells Street in Chicago's Old Town Neighborhood, injuring four firefighters and at least one other person. Performances are expected to resume in September.



Friday, August 14, 2015

Chicago Steeple Reno

Lincoln Square steeple renovation
W Wilson Ave near Lincoln Square

No real point to be made here. Just a cool early morning shot of a local church getting a little 'work' in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What A 'Cash' Real Estate Deal Really Is (...and isn't)

Let me begin by saying what a 'cash' real estate deal is not. With rare exception, it is not a shopping bag stuffed with twenties and C-notes plopped down in the middle of a title company closing table next to the HUD statements, complimentary pens, and customary jar of breath mints (although I did once find myself staring, in awe, at a gym bag full of stacked and banded currency in the lap of a potential foreclosure buyer--but I'll save that for another post on another day). 

Also, a 'cash' deal is not always a wired money transfer to the title company on closing day, nor is it necessarily a certified bank check brought by the purchaser for the full purchase amount. Of course, both of these examples are fairly common occurrences when the buyer has already sold and closed on a previous property; or, a corporate relocation company is involved in the deal via an agreed buy-out scenario; or, the purchaser is just plain rich.

The type of 'cash' deal I'm referring to is something more commonly used as a Real Estate 101 negotiation tactic, particularly in a multiple offer situation. Simply put, it is a waiver (and absence) of any 'mortgage contingency' attached to the initial contract. Such a waiver usually does not prohibit a buyer from getting some form of financing--the deal just can't be dependent on it. In other words, the buyer is declaring his/her liquidity for the offered amount, or is absolutely certain in their ability to obtain a real estate loan outside the legal wording of the deal (usually backed by a large bank account, portfolio of paid-off properties, etc). A verified Proof of Funds letter should be required in any case.

And while such 'cash' deal offers (mortgage contingencies waived) may appear to be stronger than offers merely accompanied by a glowing 'pre-approval’  letter on watermarked stationery, the seller should not be too quick to jump. I've found, over the years, that most offers with a 30% - 50% down payment (and the balance financed) close escrow with equal or better success than any of the scenarios mentioned above. Deals that begin as 'cash' sometimes morph into 'financed' after initial acceptance, depending on the savvy of the real estate attorneys involved--and usually after the property has already been flagged as 'Pending' in the MLS and tied-up in Attorney/Inspection Review for a week, or two, or three, or.... At this point, many sellers just decide to move forward and work with the deal they already have in hand rather than killing it (not as easy as it sounds), and re-listing.
Bottom line: at the very the end of the real estate day--if the deal successfully closes escrow, the seller walks with 'cash' anyway; be it from a closed loan, certified bank check, money wired from standing assets, a shopping bag of bundled swag, or otherwise. And that, dear readers, you can take to the bank.



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chicago Side Streets

Albany Park, Chicago

Edgewater Beach, Chicago

Buena Park, Chicago

Took a spin through a couple Chicago Neighborhoods over the weekend and came across all kinds of  ways to relax  and enjoy the nice weather. (+ Free Chicago MLS Search Engine)



Monday, July 13, 2015

Smoking vs Buying a Chicago Condo

Uptown Chicago cig sign
cig sign @Lawrence & Marine, Chicago

Okay, I'm not a tobacco user so I have no dog in that fight (see above pix). To each his/her own, etc. However, simple math reveals that the money spent on a two pack a day habit ($11.80 per pack + tax in the city...geez) would easily cover the principle, interest & PMI payment on most two bed/one bath condos currently for sale in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. And...quitting for 18 months would cover most of the necessary 10% down payment. Simply put, quit smoking and buy some property, fellow hipsters. Even in the worst real estate market, it won't kill you.

Condo Sale Price      = $150,000

10% Down Payment  = $  15,000

Monthly P&I @4%     = $       665

Monthly PMI            = $         56

ps...quit drinking, too...and you can probably buy a Lexus.



Saturday, July 11, 2015

Uptown Chicago Coffee Spot

Heritage Uptown Coffee
Heritage Outpost @1325 W Wilson Avenue, Chicago

My latest favorite java spot is Heritage Outpost in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Located in the lobby of a circa 1920s elevator apartment building, Heritage is the coolest new spot in the 'hood. The 1300 block of W Wilson has a very old world European vibe and this micro coffee house (fashioned with a 'walk-up' sidewalk window) fits right in. Great coffee and great people watching. Feels like the Left Bank of Paris in 1945 -- or so I imagine.



Tuesday, July 07, 2015

My Top 10 Chicago Real Estate Deals - July 2015

Click Here to view my Top 10 Chicago real estate deals for July.  This month I'm focusing on Near North Side & Near West Side condos priced between $450,000 - $535,000. And if you're on Facebook, please drop by & 'Like' my Chicago Real Estate.House business page--that is of course, if you like it.



Monday, July 06, 2015

Dog Friendly Chicago Rentals -- July 2015

Click Here >> for the latest New, Price Changed & Re-Activated Chicago Dog Friendly Rentals
Apartments | Houses | Condos | High Rise | Mid Rise | Townhomes | Walk-ups | Lofts | Short Term | Long Term | Newly Listed | Price Changed | Re-Activated | Back on Market



Thursday, July 02, 2015

Chicago Neighborhood Pix

Uptown Neighborhood woman walking down Sheridan Road.

Logan Square Neighborhood Sticker Jeep
'Dykes on Bikes' on Halsted. Lakeview Neighborhood



Monday, June 29, 2015

Chicago Pride Parade 2015

Balloons By Tommy
Pride 2015 Clarendon & Broadway
Balloons By Tommy!



Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Clark Street, Chicago

clark st chicago
N Clark Street, Chicago 

Foot traffic is a little light today near Clark & Webster in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline
View of Chicago Skyline from Montrose Harbor

Click here for free & easy access to MRED powered Chicago MLS, compliments of my real estate website, GenoPetro.House. It's as simple as entering a zip code & price-point. Updated every 15 minutes.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

RENTED IN 17 DAYS! - 3900 North Pine Grove Ave Unit 712, Chicago, IL 60613

Chicago Lakeview Dog Friendly Rental

Just Listed!!!

3900 Pine Grove Chicago #712 Bathroom

3900 Pine Grove Chicago #712 Balcony3900 Pine Grove Chicago Indoor Pool

3900 N Pine Grove Ave #712, Chicago, IL 60613

$1,650/month   Dogs OK!

Year Built: 1974
Sq Footage: 725 sqft.
Bedrooms: 1 Bed
Bathrooms: 1 Bath
Parking: 1 Garage
Lease Duration: 1 Year (See Details Below)
Deposit: $1,650
Pets Policy: Cats & Dogs OK
Laundry: In Unit
Floor: 7
Property Type: Condo


High floor (partial lake & downtown views) condo w/private balcony & grill. HEATED GARAGE PARKING INCLUDED! Awesome 1 bedroom w/spacious living area & lofty vibe. In-Unit Laundry & DW. Heat, Water & Gas included! Elevator Bldg. Extra storage space. Indoor Pool. Steps to lakefront, public transit & all things Wrigleyville. Mid-June or July 1st occupancy. Some furniture can stay (kit table, chairs, wall-unit). Dogs OK!


  • Living room
  • Storage space
  • Breakfast nook
  • Range / Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Private pool
  • Balcony, Deck, or Patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Cable-ready

  • Elevator
  • Secured entry
  • Shared pool
  • Fitness center
  • Near transportation
  • On-street parking
  • Garage - Attached

Garage Parking, Heat, Gas & Water Included. Indoor Pool. Private Balcony w/Grill. Dogs OK!

  • Website:
  • Virtual Tour:

Contact info:


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Chicago Loop Snapshot: it's still your grandfather's skyline

Adams & Lasalle, Chicago 2015
Adams & LaSalle, Chicago 2015

The Rookery (circa 1888) on the near left, Federal Reserve Bank (circa 1922) to the far right, the Chicago Board of Trade (circa 1929) straight ahead.