November 28, 2009
New data provided by The New York Times suggests that the “wealth gap” is actually getting a little tighter. You know the saying “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” (sometimes a different word was used!). But this 35 year trend may be retracting a bit with the latest recession. A lot depends on the stock market. Most experts think this recent “rally” will again be followed by either a bear cub or a grizzly. Time will tell.
In the past 12 months, the number of Americans with a net worth at or above $30 million saw a good 25% decline, according to CapGemini and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management . A main cause is the fact that dividends have fallen (the steady income of the rich, primarily).
November 23, 2009
No real estate firm in the Chicago market has more facebook BFFs!!!!!!
November 21, 2009
As reported in the Pioneer Local a local Oak Park IL doctor has become the first orthopedic surgeon in outer space – The ultimate Chicago relocation! My hometown, Oak Park IL is immediately adjacent to Chicago on her west side. Home to lovely victorians, it also houses the home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright as well as many of his commissioned homes.
A quick El or Metra trip takes you to heart of downtown Chicago in moments, making it a perfect home for commuters. This short term relocatee is my neighbor Dr. Robert Satcher Jr., 44, who along with six other astronauts recently set off on a journey to the int’l space station aboard the space shuttle Atlantis
Satcher is a surgeon at both Northwestern Memorial Hospital & Children’s Memorial Hospital and an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Satcher’s Uncle Dave is a former US Sugeon General.
Twitter users can follow his journey at www.twitter .com/astro_bones. His November 18th tweet was “Launch was amazing! 7.7 million pounds of thrust, mach 25, microgravity in less than 9 minutes! Awesome.” I was going to tweet him back but didn’t want to bother him in case he was near one of those big red buttons or something.
I’m sure he’s eager to return to the “broad lawn and narrow minds” of Oak Park – The sarcastic phrase b rought upon us by another favorite son, Ernest Hemmingway.
November 13, 2009
The Wall Street Journal recently published its quarterly survey of where the U. S. Housing Market is headed.
What are some of the “30,000 feet” observations? A sharp drop in the number of homes listed for sale in most major U. S. markets; yet a prediction for even GREATER home inventory in the marketplace.
Why? With regulatory changes, banks are likely to acquire even more homes in the coming months, pushing them onto the open market as REOs, or foreclosed properties.
The news for Chicago, or transferees moving to Chicago or from Chicago? A predicted 5.6% drop in inventory, to an almost 20 MONTH housing supply. That will be in tandem with a 10.8% price change (downward, unfortunately), which happens to be the same percent as our current jobless rate.
Still, the fact of the matter is that the sooner we move through this acute correction, the sooner we will return to a normal market. Of course, that will be the “new normal” and that is yet to be defined.
To read the entire report, click here.
November 8, 2009
Relocating and need something really high end? Baird and Warner’s Jim Kinney , vice president of luxury home sales, recently listed the 13,200 SF goldcoast penthourse of Bill Wrigley Jr (chewing gum heir and chairman of the Wrigley Co.). The price, an astonishing $14 MILLION.
The property is undeveloped space on the 8th floor of the Lucien Lagrange-designed luxury building at 66 E. Goethe. The unit is a combo of three that he purchased for over $9 million some seven years ago. The space has never been built-out. Kinney was quote in a Chicago Tribune article as indicating “The penthouse includes two 1,500-square-foot outdoor spaces on the roof, plus six garage spaces… In addition, Wrigley is including architectural drawings that he commissioned for the space in the asking price.”
Kinney added, when asked about the building, that it is “a sort of Who’s Who of Chicago that lives there. It’s a matter of the right timing to get the right match.”
The price dwarf’s the famous relo listing of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie DImon’s $10.5 MILLION, which is in the same neighborhood, around the corner on tony Astor Street.
November 6, 2009
BREAKING NEWS from RIS MEDIA: Obama Signs Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension
According to RIS MEDIA: President Barack Obama approved the first-time homebuyer tax credit extension which will extend the tax credit until April 30, 2010!!!!!!!!!! A great day for Chicago real estate.
More good news for Chicago real estate? The first-time homebuyer’s tax credit extension is one step closer to reality! Last night the house voted overwhelmingly 403-12 to pass the bill – following a similar vote in The Senate earlier this week. The credit will provide up to $8K for new homebuyers and will be extended through APRIL 30 2010 (for contracts) with a close date of June 31, 2010.
“But wait there’s more” as they say - The legislation includes a reduced credit of up to $6,500 to REPEAT buyers if they’ve owned their homes for five years or more (caps include a purchase price of $800K, single homebuyers must earn less thatn $125K, married less than $225K).
Next step, Mr. Obama’s signature. Many feel confident that Chicago’s own will be signing it soon.
Read more here.
November 5, 2009
Senate clears the way for tax credit extension!
By an 83 vote margin, the U. S. Senate this week voted to end debate on the package and present legislation to President Obama for his signature next week! Read about it HERE.
Due to expire at month’s end, the $8000 tax credit would be extended through April 30, 2010. Thus the 11/30/09 deadline would disappear. The new credit would now be available for move-up as well as first time buyers and will also apply to couples with an income of up to $225K, a $55K increase above today’s version of the law. In addition, a $6500 max credit may also be used by move-up homeowners, subject to length of residency requirements. Good news for Chicago Real Estate!
Keep your fingers crossed!
November 1, 2009
The IRS seems to be looking a bit more closely at mortgage interest deductions, according to The Daily Real Estate News. Even for luxury real estate holders, the mortgage interest deduction is one of the biggest helps that the IRS provides to the rich. You can deduct your interest on up to a cool million of mortgage payments (plus real estate taxes) on the total paid out for your primary and vacation homes.
But it seems that the IRS is enforcing more and more of the complex rules and recording requirements, which can be very confusing for the average home owner, even millionaire home owners! For example, mortgages acquired after 1987 (um….22 years ago?) are subject to different loan deduction regulations than those older loans. Advice – Seek a good tax attorney. These tax breaks are too good to give up!