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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Chicago, IL

#21 Jan 18, 2009
If you care that much about the reputation of your address, and/or what amenities and "stuff" you have above and beyond the essentials, then you have much bigger problems than what $$$$ your rent is. Frankly, I don't want to meet the person that really cares where you live, or, who lives in your building. Goodness. Keep all these superficial yahoo's in the same buildings and hopefully some will collapse now and then....ridding us of them once and for all. Times have changed.
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#23 Jan 18, 2009
Well, Jerry, I have a long track record that makes a mockery of your attempts to mischaracterize what I have to say.

A little homework would have shown you that I live in Wimlette and own a business in Chicago - and can't be held accountable for the Trib's wacky notion that I have some relation to Seymour, IN (which I've never even heard of.)

Fact-checking isn't your strong suit, is it, Jerry?

What is it with you anonymice that you're driven to ranting by someone who simply disagrees with you from a position of greater knowledge and experience?
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#24 Jan 18, 2009
Wilmette. Sorry for the typo.
Get real

Fishers, IN

#25 Jan 18, 2009
Joe Zekas wrote:
Well, Jerry, I have a long track record that makes a mockery of your attempts to mischaracterize what I have to say.
A little homework would have shown you that I live in Wimlette and own a business in Chicago - and can't be held accountable for the Trib's wacky notion that I have some relation to Seymour, IN (which I've never even heard of.)
Fact-checking isn't your strong suit, is it, Jerry?
What is it with you anonymice that you're driven to ranting by someone who simply disagrees with you from a position of greater knowledge and experience?
Boy you fancy people in Wilmette and you don't even know what an ISP is. You should go back to school and find out. The location listed for you is the location of your ISP, not your physical location.

Anyway, I think this article is just feeding into what is going on in this country as a whole. NOBODY needs to be spending $3000+ on rent. We all know even with everything that is going on in the long run as far as the economy that Real Estate is the best investment in the long run. Agreed that if you are going to buy a house and sell it in a few years you will loose in this market, but overall in the long run for folks with stable roots there is no better investment than real estate.

But you should not be spending $3000+ a month on rent. If you cannot get a mortgage for that property buy something cheaper and when the time is right move up. If you cannot get any mortgage even more the reason you have no business spending $3000 + a month on rent in today's economy with layoffs like morning coffee just to impress someone else with your address. SAVE your money until you can buy something within your budget. Those of us that live within our means and are responsible are the ones paying the price!!

Also a previous poster had a great point that with the current status you may want to make sure these owners are not in foreclosure!!!!
Arrelious

Piedmont, OK

#26 Jan 18, 2009
Joe Zekas wrote:
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.
Actually, Pete is correct! I am familiar with another project that Joe Zekas promoted. It was a disaster from the beginning. Yet he tried to defend it over and over again. Here is the link to Joe's own comments about a conversion in Lakeview http://yochicago.com/today/new-condos/kroupa-... . This condo conversion by the Kroupa group was horrible on all accounts. It was even condemned by the city for a month because of asbestos. Hey Joe, you basically told everybody not to believe the actual residents of the building in that link! Are you still a big believer in the development at 2930 north sheridan? Being a resident of Wilmette as you claim, I would have figured you to have enough money to buy the remaining 150 units in such a lucrative real estate venture. Or maybe you actually value your hard earned money?
SameOld

Chicago, IL

#27 Jan 18, 2009
Of course there are deals out there. The people who are cool-headed and buy right will make a lot of money. This market offers and investment opportunity like we have not seen in years. I've made a 30% stock market gain in one month. People are buying cheap real estate today and will make $100,000 in 3 years. It's unquestionable. It's only a matter of time. The smart people are buyers. The market ALWAYS goes up. That is because there are MORE people and a FIXED amount of land. Simple. It's all about timing but mark my words. A LOT of people are going to make a LOT of money in the next year.
SameOld

Chicago, IL

#28 Jan 18, 2009
Renter wrote:
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.
You are completely wrong. The laws do protect the renter...to the point of being very unfair to the landlord. Read up on tenant rights and you will see that any tenant can screw any landlord and there is not much the landlord can do about it.
Pete

Chicago, IL

#29 Jan 19, 2009
SameOld wrote:
Of course there are deals out there. The people who are cool-headed and buy right will make a lot of money. This market offers and investment opportunity like we have not seen in years. I've made a 30% stock market gain in one month. People are buying cheap real estate today and will make $100,000 in 3 years. It's unquestionable. It's only a matter of time. The smart people are buyers. The market ALWAYS goes up. That is because there are MORE people and a FIXED amount of land. Simple. It's all about timing but mark my words. A LOT of people are going to make a LOT of money in the next year.
It's not 2005 anymore. Real estate always goes up, until it doesn't.
Renter

United States

#30 Jan 19, 2009
SameOld wrote:
<quoted text>
You are completely wrong. The laws do protect the renter...to the point of being very unfair to the landlord. Read up on tenant rights and you will see that any tenant can screw any landlord and there is not much the landlord can do about it.
Let me guess. You're a deadbeat landlord. Yup.

“Full service, discount broker”

Since: Apr 08

Chicago, IL

#31 Jan 19, 2009
Vaughan Johnson wrote:
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.
Not at all. Renting makes sense for a lot of people. Crain's showed some data a while back that showed that renting in Chicago was 60% of the cost of owning. If you look around you'll see that that $2000/mo will get you a lot more in a rental than it will in a purchase. People buy for reasons other than economics - usually emotional. However, a lot of people mistakenly believe that renting is "throwing your money away".
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#32 Jan 19, 2009
Arrelious wrote:
<quoted text>
I am familiar with another project that Joe Zekas promoted. It was a disaster from the beginning. Yet he tried to defend it over and over again.
Thanks for the link - it enables everyone to see that you don't read very well.

The comments on our site blasted this development. In response, I suggested that people a) not rely solely on anonymous comments and b) check things out for themselves.

That's promoting a development? The developer doesn't think so.

You make my point very well with your blatant misrepresentation of what I said. Don't rely on anonmymous commenters. Check things out on your own.

All of the statements here to the effect that no one can afford $3k a month in rent are flat-out wrong. Many people can. And many of those people, in turn, are very conservative about their finances. There's no reason to assume they're living above their means.
Pete

Chicago, IL

#34 Jan 19, 2009
Joe Zekas wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the link - it enables everyone to see that you don't read very well.
The comments on our site blasted this development. In response, I suggested that people a) not rely solely on anonymous comments and b) check things out for themselves.
That's promoting a development? The developer doesn't think so.
You make my point very well with your blatant misrepresentation of what I said. Don't rely on anonmymous commenters. Check things out on your own.
All of the statements here to the effect that no one can afford $3k a month in rent are flat-out wrong. Many people can. And many of those people, in turn, are very conservative about their finances. There's no reason to assume they're living above their means.
Joe, everyone on an internet discussion board is an anonymous commenter. Including you. How do I know Joe Zekas is your real name, and how do you know Pete is mine? The entire premise of the internet is that you take everything with a grain of salt. I didn't believe the housing market was collapsing when I first read about it on the internet. But when I started seeing the same general story in multiple places and corroborating evidence to back it up, I thought there's probably something to this. This was in 2006, way before mainstream media started reporting on trouble in the housing market. The internet is a valuable source of information provided you have some common sense about how to use it.
JJC

Dublin, OH

#35 Jan 19, 2009
Jman wrote:
"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.
I thought it was common knowledge that real estate is the way to financial security. Renting is a waste of money.
As for your comparison, I have a brand new 1-bedroom condo, all the upgrades, brand new everything in Lincoln Square. Bought it a year and a half ago. My mortgage is $1,692... assessments $111 and $191 taxes a month. All together, just a tad under $2000. Even if 90% of my money goes to interest for 5 years (which it doesnt), Ill still have 10,152 more dollars than the idiot who rents a place for $2000 a month. That doesnt even count appreciated value!
Pete

Chicago, IL

#36 Jan 19, 2009
JJC wrote:
<quoted text>
I thought it was common knowledge that real estate is the way to financial security. Renting is a waste of money.
As for your comparison, I have a brand new 1-bedroom condo, all the upgrades, brand new everything in Lincoln Square. Bought it a year and a half ago. My mortgage is $1,692... assessments $111 and $191 taxes a month. All together, just a tad under $2000. Even if 90% of my money goes to interest for 5 years (which it doesnt), Ill still have 10,152 more dollars than the idiot who rents a place for $2000 a month. That doesnt even count appreciated value!
Do you think your place (or one very similar in the same general area) would rent for $2000 per month? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you. Far from appreciating, your place is depreciating right now and will continue to do so indefinitely. If I wanted a 1-bedroom in Lincoln Square I'd rent one for far less than you're paying and put the rest of the money into savings (like I currently do). Sure, the interest rate isn't great but it beats the hell out of a depreciating condo. Not to mention, money market accounts don't carry the risk of a special assessment.
Demrats

Euclid, OH

#37 Jan 19, 2009
$3000/month is par for course in NYC. I paid that much when I lived there and I had a smallish place. So it is all relative. As for the RE market, don't buy into the myth that it will come back up again. Sometimes it does not. Remember Dallas RE in the 1980s? Well it still has not regained its glory days. Miami may be the same way because unlike stocks, with RE it takes a while (a long while sometimes) for the excesses to work its way out.

So Joe, if a condo was selling for 900K in 2006 and now is selling for 800K, is that a bargain? What if this was selling for 500K in 2004? Blanket statements that promote real estate for a self serving purpose can be harmful. Renting has its merits as does home ownership (but please don't think it is an investment with a positive return), because it is not.
Joe Zekas

Evanston, IL

#39 Jan 19, 2009
Demrats wrote:
So Joe, if a condo was selling for 900K in 2006 and now is selling for 800K, is that a bargain? What if this was selling for 500K in 2004? Blanket statements that promote real estate for a self serving purpose can be harmful. Renting has its merits as does home ownership (but please don't think it is an investment with a positive return), because it is not.
General statements about real estate have no value. A specific property may have been a bargain at 900k in 2006 and might be overpriced at 800k today. Etc. You can't ask or meaningfully answer these questions in the abstract.

You don't see me making blanket statements about real estate and can't find any time I've ever suggested that renting isn't preferable to ownership for some people at some times.

I can introduce you to a number of guys with 9-figure net worths gained from investing in Chicago real estate over the long term. See how far you get telling them real estate isn't an investment with a positive return.
JJC

Dublin, OH

#40 Jan 20, 2009
Pete wrote:
<quoted text>Do you think your place (or one very similar in the same general area) would rent for $2000 per month? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you. Far from appreciating, your place is depreciating right now and will continue to do so indefinitely. If I wanted a 1-bedroom in Lincoln Square I'd rent one for far less than you're paying and put the rest of the money into savings (like I currently do). Sure, the interest rate isn't great but it beats the hell out of a depreciating condo. Not to mention, money market accounts don't carry the risk of a special assessment.
Your argument only has a leg to stand on in historically brief economic downturns. Even then, most real estate has historically bounced back to make up for the lost equity due to the relativily short real estate climate of a recession.

My condo may be depreciating right now, slightly... but it will bounce back. When it does, the appreciated value, plus the equity built will far surpass any additional income one would put away into an money market or other safe type investment after renting.

Historically, most real estate properties value doubles every ten years. I would like to see your money market do that.
Pete

Chicago, IL

#41 Jan 21, 2009
JJC wrote:
<quoted text>
Your argument only has a leg to stand on in historically brief economic downturns. Even then, most real estate has historically bounced back to make up for the lost equity due to the relativily short real estate climate of a recession.
My condo may be depreciating right now, slightly... but it will bounce back. When it does, the appreciated value, plus the equity built will far surpass any additional income one would put away into an money market or other safe type investment after renting.
Historically, most real estate properties value doubles every ten years. I would like to see your money market do that.
Your condo will not be worth double 10 years from now. I'll bet the entire amount of my money market on it. Historical appreciation rates have been dealt a huge blow by the biggest real estate depression in history, which will take years to recover from.

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