Chicago Relocation

Read RDC president Judy Gray’s comments on the relocation industry

June 27, 2009

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My friend and colleague Judy Gray from Cam Taylor Realtors in Columbus OH recently released a detailed overview of the issues discussed at the recent RDC event in San Diego, CA.

As Judy describes RDC, it is composed of members reflecting the breadth and depth of the US Domestic relocation bility industry; it facilitates open communication; highlights emerging trends; and identifies opportunities for the growth of the mobility profession.

While my personal focus is on Chicago relocation, it’s reassuring to see that my cohorts around the country are often faced with the same issues.  Read the fantastic article on her propopoly blog here!  Thanks for letting us share this information!



Housing and Economic Recovery Act (H.E.R.A.)

June 23, 2009

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Housing and Economic Recovery Act (H.E.R.A.) : One of Rubloff’s hard working interns, James Waller, shared some comments on HERA – The Housing and Economic Recovery Act.  James is currently pursuing a real estate degree at DePaul University in Chicago IL.

The Recovery Act is estimated to be $13.61 billion for various projects created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Act will surely affect those transferring into or out of Chicago, or anywhere nationally.

This program will create tens of thousands of jobs by having workers produce modernized homes that are energy efficient. Additional resources will be used to stabilize and revive local neighborhoods and housing markets with heavy concentrations of foreclosed properties. This funding will also assist the vulnerable families and individuals who are on the brink of homelessness or have recently become homeless.

To be eligible for H.E.R.A. a candidate must have a loan on an owner-occupied principal residence. Your monthly mortgage payment must be greater than minimum range of about 31 percent of the borrower’s total monthly income. The borrower must certify that he/she did not obtain the existing mortgage fraudulently and has not intentionally defaulted on an existing mortgage. The borrower must also show they have not been convicted of fraud. Only the primary residence is allowed to receive this program, so this means no speculators, investment properties, second or third homes will be refinanced

A majority of homeowners that are facing foreclosure were misled or were in other ways the victims of unfair lending practices. In order to prevent future abuses by lenders, this act will incorporate a nationwide loan originator licensing and registration system to set minimum standards for all residential mortgage brokers and lenders.  It also strengthens mortgage disclosure requirements to help ensure that borrowers understand their mortgage loan terms.

Commercial real estate is impacted primarily through those provisions of the bill focused on green building and energy efficiency as well as business tax incentives. H.R. 1 provides significant funds for state energy programs, which could be used to support commercial property owners’ investment in energy efficiency upgrades. While commercial property owners seeking to invest in alternative energy systems for onsite power generation would benefit from the Department of Energy Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees Program.


Transferees, Professionals Prepare For Upcoming Business Changes

June 19, 2009

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A number of new federal requirements in the housing industry (Chicago real estate as well as nationwide) are on deck for the near future – It is important as a relocating transferee or a relocation professional to be ready for it. Here’s an overview of four of the events coming between July ‘09 and January ‘10 — A more complete post on each is coming soon!

HERA – Hera is the Housing & Economic Recover Act. It will be begin 7/30/09 and will implement new timelines for delivery to consumers regarding disclousures and TIL. Many states, including Illinois, will also implement fingerprinting as an enhanced background check (see our blog post on that subject!).

HOEPA – The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act – Effective 10/1/09, HOEPA affects high dollar mortgages. It will involve new categories, disclosures and processes. Get ready for lots of changes to the marketing materials consumers will receive.

HVCC – The Home Value Code of Conduct – Already enacted, HVCC includes new appraisal delivery regulations. HVCC requirements MUST be met for sale to Fannie/Freddie.

Finally, RESPA changes – The Real Estate Settlement and Procedure Act – Althought legislation is still in flux, RESPA plans include a revised HUD-1 and Good Faith Estimate; the “required use” provision will go away.

Lots of new stuff on the horizon for anyone buying or selling a home in Chicago or anywhere in the U.S., stay tuned for details!


Real Estate Economic Data at your fingertips

June 16, 2009

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One of the best sources of hard data on the overall economy for Chicago and Chicago Real Estate in the government site and the specific Illinois information found at .

A quick perusal will give a snapshot of the last 5 months (with archived data available) of economic data, including Labor Force Data (including the key unemployment rate, which should be of great concern if you’re buying real estate in Chicago or selling real estate in Chicago .  The January statewide unemployment rate, by the way, was 7.9%, up from 6.7% in September. Layoff rates are noted as well.

Construction starts, manufacturing info, trade and transportation information, plus statistics on finance and professional and business services are also available.  Just think, it could be worse, you could own luxury real estate in Scotland (see www.guidemehome2chicagoluxury for more info)!

Whenever you consider relocation or selling in Chicago, take all the facts into account so you can make an informed decision!


When relocating, why should you insist on an RDC member?

June 3, 2009

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At the recent ERC / RDC conferences in San Diego (Employee Relocation Council and Relocation Directors Council ), I caught up with Judy Gray, CRP, RCC, Global Relocation Director for Cam Taylor Realtors in Columbus OH, who is also president of RDC. I asked her why, as a consumer or a relocation company, you would want to work with an RDC member. Listen to her response: