Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Free Chicago Real Estate MLS Search Engine

 230 S Lasalle St, Chicago

"ACTION!" Click here to access all Chicago neighborhoods and zip codes.
Apartments | Houses | Condos | High Rise | Mid Rise | Townhomes | Walk-ups | Lofts | Rentals | Short Term | Long Term | Newly Listed | Price Changed | Re-Activated | Back on Market 

Geno Petro - Chicago REALTOR®


Chicago Neighborhood Colors

3432 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago

Albany Park | Lincoln Square Neighborhood Bridal Boutique showing its 2016 pre-spring colors.

Apartments | Houses | Condos | High Rise | Mid Rise | Townhomes | Walk-ups | Lofts | Short Term | Long Term | Newly Listed | Price Changed | Re-Activated | Back on Market 



Friday, January 08, 2016

Chicago Uptown Alley

Argyle & Kenmore  2016

iPhone snapshot in the Uptown Neighborhood of Chicago



Monday, January 04, 2016

2015 | 2016 Lincoln Square Pix

Wilson Ave Reno | Chicago 2015
Wilson Ave Reno | Chicago 2016

Change for the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of Chicago in 2016



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rest In Pieces

Kenmore Avenue Construction @Argyle

Uprooted parking meters on N Kenmore Avenue in the Uptown Neighborhood of Chicago: part of the ongoing Argyle Streetscape Project.



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Zen Meditation

Chicago Christmas 2015




Friday, December 11, 2015

Chicago Landmark Buzz...

Dispensary "33" - 5001 N Clark St, Chicago
Wrigley Field Marquee Restoration - 3600 N Clark St, Chicago

Pictured above: Dispensary 33, Chicago's first medical pot dispensary in the Uptown neighborhood and Wrigley Field's iconic marquee restoration project in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.  History being made on Clark Street in 2015.



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Pumps in Chicago

Halloween  Pumpkin
Cheers 2015

Shiny Happy Pumpkins near the DePaul neighborhood of Chicago.



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chicago Wrigleyville Withdrawals

Sheffield & Waveland Avenues

Hey Hey. The good news is pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 120 days.  Pictured above: Chicago Wrigleyville Neighborhood 12 hours after 2015 NLCS Game 4.



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.