Downtown deals and housing downturn a...

Downtown deals and housing downturn allow renters to go upscale

There are 38 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jan 18, 2009, titled Downtown deals and housing downturn allow renters to go upscale. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

It's not just a chance to see how the other half lives. It's a chance to live there yourself.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

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RentalForeclosur e

West Des Moines, IA

#1 Jan 18, 2009
Here come to old, "if it's too good to be true..." AND "renter beware". Before jumping into that next level bargain make sure your not the one getting taken to the cleaners. We have found that many struggling owners are doing anything they can to get some cash out of their property before the bank take it in foreclosure. Before renting you can check online at http://www.rentalforeclosure.com to find out if the landlord is facing foreclosure and make sure that you stay in high society is not short lived.
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#2 Jan 18, 2009
Many people still want to buy, even in this very tough market - as evidenced by the fact that traffic continues to increase at:
http://yochicago.com
http://newhomenotebook.com
Visitors stay up to date on the latest developments - and can rate and review them.
Pete

Chicago, IL

#3 Jan 18, 2009
Joe Zekas is a real estate cheerleader who runs the websites he linked to, and is one of the few people left who really believes it is a good time to buy.
Pete

Chicago, IL

#4 Jan 18, 2009
"Balanoff spotted an ad for a $3,500-a-month one-bedroom condo on Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville. Sight unseen, Balanoff offered $3,000 a month, and the two sides settled on $3,025."

Man, did he get ripped off.
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#5 Jan 18, 2009
Anyone who actually reads our sites will see that we're not cheerleaders.

Pete, on the other hand, is a relentless cheerleader for the notion that the sky is falling, and trashes anyone who disagrees.
Rich

Highland, IN

#6 Jan 18, 2009
For the rest of us who live in normal priced apartments things haven't changed. In fact rent is probably increasing due to folks moving from homes they once owned and folks that no long qualify for a home loan.
The Trib does a great disservices to the majority who will not be renting the high end apartments because the "bargain" prices are still way higher then most would spend or can afford. Why anyone would rent an apartment for thousands of dollars?? Do people have that much disposable income??
Demrats

Pontiac, MI

#7 Jan 18, 2009
So this is the next scam being pitched by realtors? Live beyond your means in a luxury building because you MAY meet someone famous. No one will know if you rent or own. What a crock, what a scam. If you want to rent at a 1 bdrn at $3000/month, I have a senate seat to sell you.

Is subprime renters a term???
Demrats

Pontiac, MI

#8 Jan 18, 2009
Also, home prices will fall significantly over the next 12-18 months. Read the current Barrons round table. Zulauf and Gross have a very good explanation of why. So beware of those telling you all is well in the housing market because it is not. Especially beware if they tell you that Chicago is immune to what is happening in Miami and Phoenix, because the subprime crises is not local it is national and it affects liquidity at all levels and therefore housing as well.

Don't get fooled by fools bearing you great buying opportunities in the real estate market.
anonymous

Chicago, IL

#9 Jan 18, 2009
Of course we know who rents and who owns in our buildings. The renters are the ones who aren't on the list to attend the board meetings. What a silly statement.
socialist pig

Lockport, IL

#10 Jan 18, 2009
It's much too soon to say what is going to be a good investment. Just wait till BHO moves in and REALLY ruins the econmony.
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#11 Jan 18, 2009
Demrats wrote:
Don't get fooled by fools bearing you great buying opportunities in the real estate market.
And don't be fooled by those who tell you there are no buying opportunities.
Demrats

Pontiac, MI

#12 Jan 18, 2009
Joe Zekas wrote:
<quoted text>
And don't be fooled by those who tell you there are no buying opportunities.
Just like BAC was a great buying opportunity at $23. At $9 it must be even better. Same for Citi etc.

Joe, I own 3 condos in Chicago and am looking to buy 1 more. There are NO good opportunitites avaiable. None period. a 5-7% haircut is not a buying opportunity.

If you are so certain, provide statistics - don't make drive by statements.
Pete

Chicago, IL

#13 Jan 18, 2009
I suspect there will be plenty of good buying opportunities once the banks are forced to stop sitting on foreclosures and liquidate them quick. Then the price declines will be real and swift. Equity-rich individual sellers may cling to wishing prices, but banks are not nearly as emotional. Not to mention, anyone who must sell quickly will be forced to discount however much the market requires.
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#14 Jan 18, 2009
Demrats wrote:
<quoted text>
There are NO good opportunitites avaiable. None period. a 5-7% haircut is not a buying opportunity.
Buying opportunities lie in the specifics of a deal, not in broad statistics. And, depending on the deal, 5-7% may present a buying opportunity.

If you're genuinely looking you'll see deals for far greater than 5-7% discounts. And don't ask me where they are - real buyers are out there negotiating rather than preening on comment threads.
Vaughan Johnson

Warrenville, IL

#15 Jan 18, 2009
I think it's funny that these people think they're financially smart and saving money when in fact they're just flushing less money down the toilet. If you've got $2000 or more for rent, then you've got enough money to buy a house which is a far smarter investment than handing over your money to someone else every month.
Jman

Calumet City, IL

#16 Jan 18, 2009
"If you've got $2000 or more for rent, then you've got enough money to buy a house which is a far smarter investment than handing over your money to someone else every month"
ON a mortgage you throw away 200-400 on hoa fees a month, 200-500 on property taxes a month, upkeep, 2000-5000 on real estate transfer tax, and about %90 of your payments the first 5 years go towards INTEREST not your EQUITY. Don't be fooled by the myth of throwing away money.
And rents have been decreasing. I looked on craigslist and they are much lower than a year ago.
Chris

New York, NY

#17 Jan 18, 2009
Rent is not throwing you money away. Buying something that was WAY overpriced was throwing your money away. Buying makes sense if you plan on staying 10+ years, but if not it is an awesome time to rent in Chicago. And anyone who says rent is "throwing your money away" probably got suckered into a bad mortgage.
Renter

United States

#18 Jan 18, 2009
Renting in Chicago can be troublesome. The rental laws in Chicago don't protect the interests of the tenants against deadbeat landlords who don't maintain their property. As so many of these subprime borrowers try to rent out their condos, sometimes at a loss, they are going to be even less likely to take care of maintenance. The renter will get the short end of the stick.
Robert Salm

United States

#19 Jan 18, 2009
OMG, I wish I could've written an article about the other side of the equation: those of us who've been squeezed by year after year of annual 10% rental increases, utility surcharges that range from $75-150. Who is this article written for? Who in their right mind would lease a $2000 1-bedroom right now? You have to be really secure in your employment to take that risk, plus.

Had this writer actually looked at most of the corporate managed buildings downtown, there would have been a different perspective. That of continued high rents and paltry 1-month off deals, which ONLY apply to new renters and not to those of use who plumped up their profits during the good years. Most corporate managed rental buildings are still doing quite well with college students and Indian & Pakistani contract workers moving in at record rates.

I read this article and couldn't contain my laughter, but I don't pity the renters who wish to pay extraordinary high prices.
Robert Salm

United States

#20 Jan 18, 2009
Pete wrote:
"Balanoff spotted an ad for a $3,500-a-month one-bedroom condo on Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville. Sight unseen, Balanoff offered $3,000 a month, and the two sides settled on $3,025."
Man, did he get ripped off.
I agree! Even 1-bedroom apartments at The Bernardin, one of Michigan Avenue's most grossly overpriced corporate managed apartment buildings, seldom go for nearly that much. I can see $2000, maybe $2400, but $3500 ($3025)? My only thought is that the unit is furnished.

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