General Discussion: Got Opinions On How the Forums Should Be Set Up?

As most people know, I’m going to attempt to convert CribChatter to a Forum site so that all of you who want to chatter about a certain property or part of the city can do so more easily.

With inventory so low, it’s become difficult to find content that is remotely interesting. I thought I’d create a way for all of us to talk about real estate at least until the inventory situation improves.

For example, Milkster posted some questions recently about mold remediation and whether or not she should go through on a house purchase. The forum would be the perfect platform in which to ask this question.

I will have the site default to the Forums page so that everyone can easily see who is posting new topics and on what. The old content will not be lost. You will still be able to search the archives for the 5+ years of posts on properties.

I want to keep the Forum manageable and also easy to use.

From the previous site re-design, I know many of you have strong opinions about what works and what doesn’t and what you’d like to see.

What categories do you want as the Forums?  Here are some possible examples:

  1. General Housing Market Conditions
  2. The GreenZone
  3. Inner Suburbs

Please chime in.

We’ll see how this goes. If it gets boring using Forums, we can always go back to individual posts on properties. Change is good.

Thanks!

Sabrina

67 Responses to “General Discussion: Got Opinions On How the Forums Should Be Set Up?”

  1. In addition to the categories you’ve already suggested I would allow people to post properties they would like to discuss. Some other suggestions:
    Buying strategies
    Selling strategies
    The real estate industry
    Financial/ economic matters – we spend a lot of time talking about that
    Neighborhood information
    Building information

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  2. Lake Titicaca on June 14th, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Yea, great idea. Some other suggestions:
    Each poster must include a pic of their current residence (let’s see how the Ikea-haters have furnished);
    Include the market value of your current residence and purchase price (Think the bottom has been hit?);
    Hometown (As a native Chicagoan, my guess is that all the suburban haters are originally from Ohio or Indiana, and think living in a dirty toliet of a city is chic);
    Current income level (If you make $50k working a a legal intern, stifle your comments about the $2mm Lake Shore Drive apartment.

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  3. In addition to Gary’s suggestions, we will inevitably go off topic so a non-real estate category with subsections including

    Food/restaurants
    Government

    Oh and let’s bring back Rip on a Realtor

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  4. Some forum infrastructure, like that used by the forums at sherdog.com, has an ignore poster feature. Not sure that I’d use it as I tend to ignore HH and Bob, but it might be a nice option if that’s the forum-type you’re thinking of converting to.

    Perhaps a subforum on “where to find/recommended contractors” would be useful. I recall a number of random asks along those lines.

    In my experience, you can never go wrong with a Miscellaneous or Off Topic subforum.

    Finally, perhaps a subforum to discuss Bob’s ACT/SAT Scores. ????

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  5. “In addition to Gary’s suggestions, we will inevitably go off topic so a non-real estate category with subsections including”

    Don’t forget:

    What are the ‘right’ kind of white people?
    Whitez Rule, Amirite?
    Vent your spleen about the Joooze and the tehgayz.

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  6. “Oh and let’s bring back Rip on a Realtor”

    Yeah- this isn’t going to happen. The nice thing about CribChatter is that we’ve never involved the realtors (unless they posted here- and even then- it was pretty respectful.)

    But a restaurant/food forum isn’t a bad idea given how much it’s discussed. ha!

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  7. Highrises
    Rentals
    Maintenance/home improvement

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  8. HH vs gays, blacks, women, Jewish people, immigrants
    Enemy of the state Zekas

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  9. “(As a native Chicagoan, my guess is that all the suburban haters are originally from Ohio or Indiana, and think living in a dirty toliet of a city is chic)”

    Nope, I’m a native and find most suburbs to be awful wasteland.

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  10. Oops sorry anon had beat me to this.

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  11. “Don’t forget:
    What are the ‘right’ kind of white people?
    Whitez Rule, Amirite?
    Vent your spleen about the Joooze and the tehgayz.”

    Yeah, if that could all happen in one place, that’d be great.

    Also need to be careful about not splitting into too many distinct topics right away. If you split up the traffic too much, people will stop visiting or might never think to look.

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  12. Some topics I can think of:

    High-rises, green zone, outer neighborhoods, inner suburbs, do it yourself maintenance, contractors, tax appeals, mortgages, hot/gentrifying neighborhoods, schools, local issues /big neighborhood projects.

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  13. the only three features we need for the forums

    1. pictures of yourself (this is mainly just for Milkster, MuiMiu, and Juliana’s hot daughter)
    2. a ignore poster feature where we can click and all future posts by HH will be invisible to the user
    3. A sub-forum in all forums for Fun Groove Facts/stories

    oh wait, wait. i forgot the most important one a GOSH DARN MOTHERFING LATE AS ALL HECK WIKI ICKY WAS SUPPOSED TO CREATE

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  14. “Here are some possible examples:
    General Housing Market Conditions
    The GreenZone
    Inner Suburbs”

    How about one for The RedZone? (Not a joke, I’m a serious)

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  15. Respect_My_Authoritah on June 14th, 2013 at 9:33 am

    “….. at least until the inventory situation improves”

    Until there is a new 100-story condo built downtown, you can forget any level of inventory improvement.

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  16. The CC Forum is going to leave YoChicago in the dust!!! It will attract alot of people, with diverse knowledge and opinion about real estate. It could end up like a City-Data forum however, not that it’s a bad thing. Vlajos has posted there 5,340 times: http://www.city-data.com/forum/members/vlajos-1097635.html

    “High-rises, green zone, outer neighborhoods, inner suburbs, do it yourself maintenance, contractors, tax appeals, mortgages, hot/gentrifying neighborhoods, schools, local issues /big neighborhood projects.”

    That is a great list.

    ” gays, blacks, women, Jewish people, immigrants”

    Sabrina: I volunteer to be a moderator, so we can keep out and censor the riff-raff and defamation of heterosexual suburbanite two-parent families, Big Ten college graduates, Bridgeport dwellers, transplants from Midwest, etc. etc. to a minimum.

    “What categories do you want as the Forums?”

    We could have a “Joe Zekas Watch” or a “YoChicago propaganda” category.

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  17. Depending on what forum software you’re going to use, I would caution against going too crazy with different forums/categories. eg, there’s no reason to split by neighborhood because all that does it make it harder for people to scan through lots of topics at once. For forums, I’d stick with just a couple like Listings, General Market, etc and then maybe an off-topic to cover restaurants.

    If the forum supports tags, that’s a different story, do neighborhoods with those.

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  18. New Developments (these will increase as the market improves and inventory gets lower), Builders (for those who wish to discuss building a home)

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  19. Keep it simple. The fewer the number of sub forums the better. 6 to 10 at most. There can be unlimited number of threads within each sub forum. GZ, RZ, suburbs, home improvements, OT, forum rules. That’s about it

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  20. I think a rental (at least GZ highrise buldings) category. We spend a good amount of time discussing this.

    Also, would there be a way to tag the neighborhood each property is in? For example if a particular property is in RN, you could click RN under the post and it would pull all properties with that tag.

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  21. I would err on the side of fewer rather than more forums to start off with. Maybe even only a single one. Then as needed (or periodically) split off forums as organically seems necessary. If you set up 47 forums initially, there is a good chance that many of them will only have a post or two 6mo down the road. Rather than have a bunch of empty unused forums, split off as necessary.

    If it were me, I would commit to a single forum for *at least* one month, and maybe 2 or 3 then decide what the subs should be.

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  22. an easy way to test it out without revamping the site or implementing new software might be to just have a schedule. you use to do 3 posts a day so it could be something like:

    Mondays: Buying strategies, Rentals, GZ
    Tuesdays: Selling strategies, Schools, DIY/contractors
    Wednesdays: The real estate industry, Red Zone, up and coming nabes
    Thursdays: Is this property in X or Y neighborhood, etc
    Fridays: Finance/economics, etc, etc

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  23. “Keep it simple. The fewer the number of sub forums the better. 6 to 10 at most.”
    ” If you split up the traffic too much, people will stop visiting”

    Cannot be said enough.
    GZ
    Outer Hoods
    Burbs
    General Market
    Service Providers
    Open Thread
    House of Hof

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  24. “Finally, perhaps a subforum to discuss Bob’s ACT/SAT Scores. ????”

    With a sub-sub for specualation about what the scores would have been without the claimed learning disability.

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  25. Or what we can do is something other than a forum. Maybe set up like a Blog. You could post a listing 3 times a day and we could make comments on it. You could use the tips on listings that we have sent you, and any other we send in the future.

    like maybe have a cribchattererer dive by this place and take a picture of the front and you could use it for your cover picture of the blog post. you could have a a quick description and maybe sales history of the place. maybe even your take and what you think.
    well here is the link, let me know what you think of my idea?

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/5850-N-Natoma-Ave-60631/home/13506278

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  26. “The RedZone?”

    The locals there call it Chiraq (pronounced shy-rack)

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  27. So many good ideas! I really hope a dedicated JZ thread makes the cut.

    On a related note, I was given the opportunity to meet JZ but was unfortunately going to be out of town. I was really looking forward to bashing 235. Hopefully I’ll get another chance…

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  28. “On a related note, I was given the opportunity to meet JZ”

    What is this?? You think he’s some celebrity? LOL!

    PS You know Chicago is starved for big-time celebrities when “newscasters” are considered our top celebs. lots of newscaster nepotism going on too.. offspring of Lester Holt, Weigel, Jiggetts, etc. get jobs on camera, no problem.

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  29. ““The RedZone?”

    The locals there call it Chiraq (pronounced shy-rack)”

    I thought it was a reference to this: http://cribchatter.com/?p=11360 and other Zaskowski specials. No?

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  30. There is no red zone. It’s always been GZ and non-GZ. Then there’s been the concept of a GZ-within-the-GZ, but that should probably be reworded into something like First Tier GZ: Lakeview, LP, RN, etc. and Second Tier GZ: East Village, OIP, Logan Sq., Edgewater, etc.

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  31. Sabrina what ever you do, do NOT divide the board up into mutiple subforums

    Have a general discussion where people can post properties maybe divide it into Suburbs/City but that should be it

    Have a remodeling/contractor/lawn care related section

    and an Off-topic section

    Thats all ya need, maybe a “post of the day” done by you? Also keep the “recently replied posts” section like you have now, thats a nice feature. Also might want to have a private message function as well.

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  32. gringozecarioca on June 14th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    “With a sub-sub for specualation about what the scores would have been without the claimed learning disability.”

    Is there actually a doubt that he is mentally handicapped?

    And I want a Ze’s “How to turn your sun room into a solarium for fun and profit” section

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  33. gringozecarioca on June 14th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    oh and of course the “Not to compare Chicago to NYC, but….” section..

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  34. Neighborhood Boundaries.

    Let’s get this “Green Zone” fleshed out block-by-block, and address the disconnect between the relatively unwanted parts within it and Green Zone quality (or least priced) pockets/strips like Logan Boulevard, the Villa, etc.

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  35. .”maybe a “post of the day” done by you?”

    Great idea. Whatever the content, or extent, a daily ‘focus’ to go with teh other stuff. Maybe sort of combined with Icky’s idea, that it move thru the fourms on a regular basis: M=GZ, T=Market, W=Non-GZ, R=’Burb, F=Wild card.

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  36. “Let’s get this “Green Zone” fleshed out block-by-block”

    I would love this!

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  37. if you need some technical help, feel free to reach out to me, I run a phpbb forum elsewhere on the interwebs real address w/ this post in case you don’t still have it.

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  38. I think CC is so great because there are only 2 or 3 posts a day and everyone participates. If there are so many categories no one will look at all of the posts and will not get as many responses to their posts/questions. No one has time to go through all that… some days I barely have time to check daily, let alone read all the comments on a particular post.
    I guess we will see who is really bored at their job and who is really working!

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  39. Sales – What just sold and for how much, what is for sale, pricing issues, foreclosures
    Rentals – New buildings, rental rules or laws, application issues
    Developments – Anything new from residential to commercial
    Market – Analysis, new/quarterly housing stats, trends
    Financing – Always an interesting subject on RE boards
    Neighborhoods – The place to discuss the CC never ending debate of what constitutes which ‘hood
    Schools – Always important, esp for breeders and breeders who are looking to buy
    Boards – General Co=op Board questions, applications, Home Owners Associations, Assessment quest.
    Brokers – A place for brokers / agents and those who love brokers / agents can safely gather…..
    Renovation – Westloopelo’s page…….
    Services – Well, just about anything legal….
    Anything – Restaurants, stores, malls, CTA, Metra issues,

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  40. I want westloopelo renovation page! That would potrntially attract an entirely new set of users.

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  41. I think you should have a map resource so we can determine what neighborhood each listing is in. This would prevent a lot of future quarrels. Also, can we have a google map that clearly defines what the green zone is. We always fight what neighborhood is in it and which is out of it.

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  42. chicagomytown on June 15th, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    discussion on relators

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  43. Thanks for the shoutout jp3chicago! It’s true though, including a renovation section in the forum will definitely bring in a new set of readers. Not to make it all about renovating a property, but just about what can or should be done to help sell a unit or what can be done to improve it once you purchase one. That is where the services section would play in as well as not all projects can be DIY and people are always asking where to find someone who has the experience to do what they need done. The best people in the renovation industry do not advertise, rather they get business by word of mouth referrals. When I first started in the business…actually throughout my career, I let my (our) work speak for itself and never once did I resort to any sort of advertising. While I am officially retired now and turned over the business to the couple who stayed with me since day one, I still receive calls from friends and associates of people I did work for over the years.

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  44. “Let’s get this “Green Zone” fleshed out block-by-block, and address the disconnect between the relatively unwanted parts within it and Green Zone quality (or least priced) pockets/strips like Logan Boulevard, the Villa, etc.”

    If you look at http://richblockspoorblocks.com you can see the median income by census tract. The higher incomes are in green – a real green zone. What’s interesting is when you compare that map to the crime maps I’m doing there is really amazing overlap. Crime totally correlates with income – with the exception of the area south of North Avenue as DZ pointed out the other day.

    Not that that’s a big surprise or anything but it’s one thing to postulate this and another thing to actually see this.

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  45. “discussion on relators”

    This is NOT going to happen. There are entire websites devoted to this. Discussion of realtors isn’t what Crib Chatter is about.

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  46. “I think you should have a map resource so we can determine what neighborhood each listing is in. This would prevent a lot of future quarrels. Also, can we have a google map that clearly defines what the green zone is. We always fight what neighborhood is in it and which is out of it.”

    YoChicago has neighborhood resources. Look there.

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember us ever really fighting over what the actual GZ is. It’s pretty obvious.

    South Loop
    Loop
    River North
    Streeterville
    Gold Coast
    Lincoln Park/Old Town
    Lakeview
    Andersonville
    Parts of Uptown
    North Center
    Lincoln Square
    Wicker Park
    Bucktown
    Ukrainian Village
    Logan Square

    Am I missing anything? These are the areas that the wealthy 20 and 30-somethings want to live in.

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  47. “Let’s get this “Green Zone” fleshed out block-by-block, and address the disconnect between the relatively unwanted parts within it and Green Zone quality (or least priced) pockets/strips like Logan Boulevard, the Villa, etc.”

    The Villa is not the GZ. Neither is Schorsch Village.

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  48. “Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember us ever really fighting over what the actual GZ is”

    Just debate over the marginal gz hoods. And where exact boundaries are.

    “Am I missing anything?”

    West loop, ravenswood manor, ravenswood gardens, and whatev the area w of western between addison and montrose is called (it that is not (mostly) included under whatev is meant by nortcenter)? Not suggesting they necessarily are, but they’re candidates and arguably

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  49. “the area w of western between addison and montrose is called (it that is not (mostly) included under whatev is meant by nortcenter)?”

    It’s part of the NortCenter community area–east of the river to the Metra tracks, from Montrose to Diversey.

    Doesn’t mean it’s not still labeled ‘Thar be Dargons’ on the chamber of commerce map.

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  50. “Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember us ever really fighting over what the actual GZ is”

    that’s like saying:

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember CLIO ever really talking up Oak Brook

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember Anonny ever really talking about unicorns in ELP

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember HD ever really obfuscating

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember GROOVE ever really turning the English Language on its side

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember Chitown Girl ever really coming to a discussion three days late

    Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember Ze Ever really talking about Weed

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  51. “that’s like saying:”

    Maybe Sabrina spends so much time going back and deleting those arguments, that she only has time to delete the most obvious of tehHof’s nonsense. Have you looked for past GZ arguments recently?

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  52. “Am I missing anything? These are the areas that the wealthy 20 and 30-somethings want to live in.”

    West Loop

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  53. Green Zone denotes a decent amount of relative safety and minimal gang activity, but also higher income area at the same time with real neighborhood amenities that draw people in from other neighborhoods and outside the city too. I would take out Uptown and Logan Square from your list.

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  54. “I would take out…Logan Square from your list.”

    Well, if we’re talking about logan square proper, as opposed to the community area, which I suppose we must be because bucktown is individually identified,…

    “relative safety and minimal gang activity”: no murders on gary’s map.

    “higher income area”: cps tier 4.

    “real neighborhood amenities that draw people in from other neighborhoods and outside the city too”: farmers market, restos and brewpubs galore (setting aside q of whether people are really drawn from outside the city to other GZ areas, such as the nortcenter backwaters).

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  55. “setting aside q of whether people are really drawn from outside the city to … the nortcenter backwaters”

    Thank my stars, no, not much. You can have those dirty suburbanites; bad enough when they pass thru going to Wrigley.

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  56. “Am I missing anything?”

    River West
    East Village
    University Village/UIC/Taylor St
    Roscoe Village (I guess now considered part of LakeView)

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  57. LOL, no, it is quite far from being obvious & is always changing. Otherwise it would never have expanded beyond the Gold Coast. People here have awful short memories/timeframes, I remember when the Loop resembled a post-apocalyptic warzone on any given day after 6 pm. I’m talking hobo campfires in Daley Plaza.

    “Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t remember us ever really fighting over what the actual GZ is. It’s pretty obvious.”

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  58. “I’m talking hobo campfires in Daley Plaza.”

    I thought those were aldermanic committee meetings.

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  59. “South Loop
    Loop
    River North
    Streeterville
    Gold Coast
    Lincoln Park/Old Town
    Lakeview
    Andersonville
    Parts of Uptown
    North Center
    Lincoln Square
    Wicker Park
    Bucktown
    Ukrainian Village
    Logan Square”

    Occasionally when Sabrina posts overpriced properties in one of these “swingin’ singles” hoods I will post an alternate property in that same thread with ~10% of the PPSF of the featured property in such areas as:

    Avalon Park
    Auburn Gresham
    Austin
    Belmont-Cragin
    Garfield Park
    Chatham
    South Chicago
    South Deering
    And a few others.

    This way the blog will not be confined to idiot white progressive people (and hangers on) who live in a bubble.

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  60. Don ‘t forget our favorite, the New East Side!!!

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  61. “I remember when the Loop resembled a post-apocalyptic warzone on any given day after 6 pm. I’m talking hobo campfires in Daley Plaza.”

    Like 30 years ago? Well- LP was the ghetto back then too. So what’s your point?

    No one on this blog has ever seriously debated what makes up the GZ RIGHT NOW in the entire time I’ve been running the site. Come on. Sure- a few neighborhoods are not on everyone’s list (is Edgewater included?) but no one here has ever argued about it. To say we’ll suddenly be arguing about it now is hogwash.

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  62. “East Village”

    Isn’t this just the Ukrainian Village?

    Roscoe Village is part of North Center.

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  63. “LP was the ghetto [in 1983]”

    Not the part of LP that certain people consider the only ‘real’ LP.

    “Roscoe Village is part of North Center.

    Was, is and will be.

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  64. logansquarean on June 18th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I suspect it’s part of the inventory problem, but if there could be a “Deal of the Week”, or “Fix Up or Tear Down?” post every now and then I might read more of the posts and participate again. Nowadays, all that seems to be featured are properties that I will never be able to afford, in areas I’m not interested in living in. The Green Zone is not for everyone! :-)

    I’ll agree that (at least in the beginning) the less different categories, the better. It might be fun to have a “poll” feature enabled, where your readers can create a poll and we can vote on a question posted. One board I often read has dubbed a polling section, “Crap/Not Crap”, that can be quite amusing at times.

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  65. “I suspect it’s part of the inventory problem, but if there could be a “Deal of the Week”, or “Fix Up or Tear Down?” post every now and then I might read more of the posts and participate again.”

    logansquarean: I’d love to feature other properties than what is in the GZ but either there’s nothing on the market or it goes under contract so quickly there’s no point in chattering about it. These are the problems right now with running this site with these market conditions (and that’s nothing compared to what buyers are going through- poor guys.)

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  66. Sabrina: Above you have a pull down menu for ‘property types” but it’s missing split-levels. This site should feature more split levels.

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  67. As much as I despise split levels, it would be fun right chat about them. Certainly better than leftists and Nazis.

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