News & Articles

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To ensure the safety of those celebrating New Year's Eve with alcoholic beverages, Chicago is keeping its tradition of offering penny rides on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace. CTA buses, trains and Pace buses will offer penny rides from 8:00p.m. tonight (Saturday) through 6a.m. tomorrow (Sunday, January 1st). Extra service will be established on several routes. The CTA will run on its usual holiday schedule on Monday. Have a safe and happy New Year 2006.

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no smoking in Chicago Illinois

I was surprised to find that the smoking ban was passed as discussions I had seen and heard made it seem unlikely that this ban would actually be implemented. Smoking will be banned at all stores, restaurants, sports arenas and other public areas as of January 16, 2006.

The exception to the above is taverns and restaurant bars/lounges that have until July 1, 2008 to comply with the ban. A tavern is considered as any establishment that earns at least 65 percent of proceeds from the sale of alcohol. After January 16th of 2006, smoking will only be allowed within 15 feet of the bar and will be banned within 15 feet of the entrance of any building where smoking is banned.

There are exceptions to the ban. Smoking will be allowed at private clubs such

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I read an interesting article in an e-mail I received from the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.  Sales of single family homes dropped off 2.9% compared to October of 2004. orland park condo for sale. However, the Illinois condo market has remained strong.  Condo sales were up 10.2% from October, 2004.

I don’t remember condo sales outpacing single family homes.  I certainly could have missed some past statistics but this surprised me.  I guess with the huge price increases we’ve seen in the past 2-3 years, many first-time buyers are simply being priced out of single family homes.  Or, maybe it’s that baby boomers are downsizing.  Could be a bit of both.

The median home price in October went from $184,000 in ’04 to $209,900 this year, a 14.1 percent increase.  However, it is

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ripped moneyI was surprised to read an article about some of the negative state of affairs happening in Illinois regarding wages and income levels.  Although our employment status is showing moderate growth, there has been a continuing decrease in higher paying jobs with the usual perks and benefits.  That might not affect most of us, but there has also been a decrease in median income in Illinois.  In fact, it has fallen 12% since 1999! On a positive note, diversity in the work force has increased.

I think we can all understand how this can affect the real estate market.  Have you ever driven through another new upscale subdivision being built and wonder how so many people can afford these kinds of homes?  If things continue as they are, those types of homes will

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housing real estate graphIf you ask someone what their opinion is on real estate in 2006 with interest rates inching up, you'll get many different answers. Here are some of them:

    The Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) interviewed several people. The first is Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial in Chicago. Diane feels the real estate market will be slower but not a collapse. I agree with Diane that although Illinois certainly felt the real estate boom of the past 5 years, we were not on the highest end of that frenzy. So our softer market won't be as drastic as other markets.

    IAR also interviewed Lawrence Yun of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). I will sum up his interview. Mr. Yun feels that rising interest rates are certainly not going to be good, yet at a

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