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Articles filed under Residential Real Estate

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  • Westgate in neighborhood spotlight Oct 31, 2014 12:01 AM
    A few years ago when Lisa Soto was traveling to physical therapy in a medical van, the driver stopped to pick up a woman in the Westgate subdivision. That’s when she discovered the charming neighborhood in Elk Grove Village where she now lives with her husband Pablo and three-year-old son.

  • Top-tier apartments proposed for unfinished Libertyville building Oct 31, 2014 5:37 AM
    Cedar Street Co., of Chicago is proposing to finish the top two floors of a prominent building in downtown Libertyville with 34 high-end aparments. The proposal would attract single, affluent tenants, company representatives say and provide the village with increased sales and property taxes. Cedar Street bought the building last year out of receivership and with the conversion plans to invest $12.5 million.

  • No Indian mound means apartments can be built in Schaumburg Oct 30, 2014 11:36 AM
    Vacant land along Algonquin Road in Schaumburg — suspected three years ago of being the site of an American Indian mound — might soon become a rare, post-recession residential development containing 192 apartment units.

  • Listing of the week Nov 4, 2014 1:00 PM
    Thanks to an unexpected move out of state by the new owners, this idyllic cottage, built in 1943 and located overlooking Tower Lake, is back on the market after only a year.

  • Townhouse proposal could displace downtown Des Plaines church Oct 28, 2014 4:14 PM
    A developer is proposing to build 61 townhouses on the site of a shuttered banquet hall and restaurant in downtown Des Plaines, but members of an existing storefront church are upset they might be displaced as a result. “We feel part of this community and want to stay part of the city of Des Plaines,” said Vern Wons, a member of the Good News Christian Center.

  • 11 towers, 'whole community' envisioned near Rivers Casino Oct 29, 2014 10:36 AM
    An “eco-campus” of office buildings, residential towers, hotels and retail stores is being proposed on the site of an existing office complex across the Tri-State Tollway from Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Robert Kozonis, owner of O'Hare Lakes, is asking for zoning changes that could one day allow as many as four 10-story office towers, five 11-story residential towers around Lake Peterson, two 9-story hotel towers and four levels of retail below the hotels -- a "whole community."

  • Route 53 extension: Hopes and concerns of those along the corridor Oct 27, 2014 10:29 AM
    The prospect of a Route 53 extension has been part of life in central Lake County for five decades. A new version of the project is on the table, but is it a transportation and economic benefit the region can’t afford to pass by or an expensive dream that will never be built? Those who live and work along the corridor want to know what happens next.

  • ’Silicon Beach’ brings tech boom to Los Angeles Oct 26, 2014 7:35 AM
    In the past few years Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and YouTube have opened offices on the west side of Los Angeles from Santa Monica south to Venice and Playa del Rey. They are joined by hundreds of startups including Hulu, Demand Media and Snapchat. Major Hollywood players like The Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. have launched startup accelerators to help local tech entrepreneurs. The city of Los Angeles even hired its first chief technology officer, former Qualcomm executive Peter Marx, earlier this year.

  • A last chance to end 50-year Rt. 53 extension struggle Oct 27, 2014 9:36 AM
    After 50 years of debate over the future of a Route 53 north extension into Lake County, a make-or-break decision is in the works with a new proposal that hinges on balancing interests involving environmental protection, improved transportation and economic development. “This is our last best chance. We've gotten further with this project than any of the other efforts,” said Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor.

  • Seven area homeowners win ‘Painted Ladies’ contest Oct 26, 2014 6:30 AM
    Seven area homeowners have earned top honors in the Chicago’s Finest Painted Ladies & Her Court competition, an exterior painting contest. Elgin homeowners Chris and Rebecca Berry have been named Grand Prize winners.

  • Suburban home prices increase 5.4 percent in September Oct 24, 2014 12:01 AM
    Tighter inventory was a factor driving home prices higher in Illinois during the month of September, while home sales showed an annual decline, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

  • Bartlett prepares to lower property tax levy to $9.3 million Oct 22, 2014 6:24 PM
    Bartlett trustees are preparing to cut the village's property tax levy by nearly 1.5 percent to a total of $9.34 million. Taxpayers can weigh in on the levy during a public hearing before the village board Nov. 18.

  • Millennials spurring Canadian condo boom bet on rates Oct 19, 2014 6:19 AM
    TORONTO — Qamar Qureshi is doubling down on Toronto’s condo boom. Qureshi, a senior finance manager at Sun Life Financial Inc., took out a mortgage this year for a C$360,000 ($323,000) one-bedroom unit plus den in downtown Toronto to live closer to work. Three years ago, he bought a C$320,000 luxury suite before construction started and will begin making payments when it’s finished next year. “It was worth it because interest rates didn’t seem too bad — you have to strike while the iron is hot, right?” Qureshi, 29, said from his car en route to his 12th-floor apartment overlooking Lake Ontario. “They won’t raise interest rates any time soon. I know it. People have been saying rates will rise for years and it hasn’t happened.” Qureshi is among the younger Canadians who, lured by record-low borrowing costs, are fueling a surge in Toronto condo sales. As the nation’s household debt nears an all-time high, these buyers may face a spike in mortgage payments and the possibility of default once rates begin to climb. “The younger millennials don’t have any recollection of any interest rate rise or shock and what impact that would have on their day-to-day finances,” said Jason Daly, vice president of product and marketing at Waterloo, Ontario-based Manulife Bank, where residential mortgage loans make up about 80 percent of its C$23 billion in assets. Many millennials, born from 1980 to 2000, don’t realize that when rates jump their debt servicing costs will go up significantly, he said. Condo sales in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, jumped 20 percent to about 2,000 transactions in September from the year- earlier period. That compares with 6.5 percent the month before and 14 percent in July. Developers, whose cranes crowd the Toronto skyline, have about 130 condo towers under construction. That’s the most in any North American city, according to industry researcher Emporis GmbH. First-time homebuyers are the most active purchasers of condos, according to Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto. They have been lured to the towers after mortgage restrictions in the last five years priced many first-time buyers out of the low-rise market. Today, half of those in Canada aged 25 to 35 are homeowners, according to data compiled by CIBC. The “robust” condo sales activity “is driven largely by investors and first-time homebuyers who see condo ownership as a cheaper alternative to unaffordable low-rise units,” Tal said in a Sept. 17 note to clients. Sales of existing homes in Canada grew in August at the fastest pace in four years, led by Toronto and Vancouver. The 1.8 percent rise to 42,295 units was the seventh monthly national increase in a row, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Vancouver sales rose 8 percent to 2,967 units in August and Toronto purchases climbed 2.1 percent to 8,259. The trade group boosted its 2014 sales forecast to 475,000 units from a June prediction of 463,400, citing a burst of activity fueled by a drop in mortgage rates after a “bleak” winter. Condo owner Paul McGuire, 29, said the renewed strength in prices has made many of his friends anxious about missing the chance to buy a home. “Some of them have been saying, ‘I need to get in because prices are only going up,’ “ said McGuire, a treasury manager at a manufacturing company. He owns a condo in downtown Toronto and lives in another two-story loft in the city’s west end that he bought last year. McGuire cautions friends against overbidding for units. “You don’t want to be house-poor,” he said. Borrowers have been attracted by mortgage rates that dropped to an average 4.8 percent for a conventional five-year term in April — an all-time low — and have stayed in that position since then, according to Bank of Canada weekly data. That compares with 6.3 percent a decade ago and a record peak of 22 percent in 1981. Lenders are charging customers as little as 1.99 percent for some mortgage products. Household debt rose to 163.6 percent of disposable income in the second quarter, approaching the record 164.1 percent last year, according to Statistics Canada. The rise has been fueled by a 1.4 percent rise in mortgage debt to C$1.17 trillion. Buyers today are less concerned about a possible housing bust since the Bank of Canada toned down its statements about possible issues, according to Toronto-based Douglas Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal. “Some of this year’s surprising strength and resiliency in housing is due to the fact that we are hearing much fewer warnings out of Ottawa this year,” Porter said by email. Finance Minister Joe Oliver told reporters on Oct. 1 he didn’t see “a housing bubble, neither does the governor of the Bank of Canada,” referring to Stephen Poloz. Poloz has said the housing market is Canada’s main domestic risk. Former Governor Mark Carney and the late Jim Flaherty, by contrast, spent a good part of their tenure issuing warnings about rising household debt. Manulife Financial Corp.’s Canadian bank in 2013 withdrew a promotional 2.89 percent five-year fixed rate under pressure from Flaherty, who said he didn’t want a “race to the bottom” on mortgage rates. The Bank of Canada’s overnight interest rate is forecast to rise to 1.5 percent by the end of next year from 1 percent now, where it has stood for four years, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. The 26 percent of Canadian mortgage holders with adjustable rates will be impacted immediately by an increase in interest rates. The 66 percent with fixed rates may feel the pinch when they refinance. When interest rates rise, “even though it’s going to be a gradual pace, it’s still going to be a hefty burden,” said Mazen Issa, senior Canada macro strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. Debt payments would eat up 52 percent of income for people holding mortgages insured by the government if loan rates rise by 2 percentage points. That compares with 45 percent in the first quarter, according to calculations by DBRS Ltd. The job market may not rescue younger Canadians having trouble paying their mortgages. Statistics Canada’s latest labor market report showed a surprise loss of 11,000 jobs in August, led by a record 111,800 in employees shed at private companies. The Bank of Canada in July said that the slack labor market has been tougher on young workers, leading to a bigger drop in their labor force participation rate. Average home prices were about five times greater than incomes in the second quarter, a record high and up from about three times income a decade ago, according to the Bank of Canada. If Qureshi’s mortgage payment increased by about 30 percent a month, he may not be able to afford his recently purchased 800-square-foot (74-square-meter) unit in Toronto’s City Place complex. Qureshi, who tracks his expenses in an Excel spreadsheet, now pays C$2,100 monthly and said he can afford up to C$2,800. That’s not taking into account the payments he’ll need to start making on his second unit next year. Qureshi isn’t shaken about the possibility of higher rates. “I’ve always been a positive person,” he said. “If I can’t afford paying off the mortgage, then hopefully my income will go up.”

  • Sometimes, homebuyers have no time to wait Oct 18, 2014 12:01 AM
    Purchasing a newly constructed “spec” home — one a builder has constructed on speculation, without having a buyer lined up beforehand — can be a great option for many people. It works well for those of all generations who want to purchase new construction, but have a limited time frame.

  • Lombard to take its time to study DuPage Theatre site options Oct 17, 2014 8:12 AM
    The Lombard village board agreed to move forward with a marketing analysis Thursday in hopes of gaining more guidance on what to do with the vacant downtown property where the DuPage Theatre once stood. During a workshop discussion, village staff presented the board with various options for marketing the property at 101-109 S. Main St., along with a proposal from Tracy Cross & Associates to do a marketing analysis of the 2-acre site for $17,500.

  • Model profile features Pleasant Square Oct 17, 2014 12:01 AM
    Homebuyers looking for luxury townhouse living will find a gem in Schaumburg — the new Pleasant Square community with two showstopper models that are stunning visitors. The Caldwell and Aldine models have been receiving rave reviews from customers, said Cheryl Bonk, vice president of sales and marketing for M/I Homes.

  • Districts 211, 214 agree to change boundary for Arlington Downs Oct 17, 2014 5:30 AM
    Officials from two Northwest suburban high school districts have agreed to shift attendance boundaries so families who might move into apartments at the former Sheraton hotel site now known as Arlington Downs are not split into separate schools. The boundary dividing Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 now runs directly through the building.

  • Barrington project gets started with coffee, not cement Oct 15, 2014 5:26 AM
    Village officials and developers intended to have the “first pour” ceremony for The Barrington Village Center, the long-awaited retail project at Hough and Main streets, but the dreary Tuesday morning weather forced organizers to change plans. Instead of the first pour of concrete, village officials and other VIPs poured a few cups of coffee. “We took a bit of poetic license with that,” Village Manager Jeff Lawler said.

  • Leases, loans make it possible for you to go solar Oct 12, 2014 7:11 AM
    A new financing offering could make home solar cheaper and more attractive to homeowners, and keep the adoption of home solar growing. The offer, announced by SolarCity this week, is a loan that allows homeowners to install their own solar system on their roof for little or no money down, and pay less for electricity. Previous plans, while popular, turned off some because the solar company owned the system.

  • Listing of the week Oct 11, 2014 12:01 AM
    You have to visit this “near-town country estate” in unincorporated Lombard to believe it. Who would expect to encounter a 1.5-acre horse-friendly property so close to the Lilac Village?

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