Market Conditions: Despite Seasonal Slowdown, November Still Second Best in 10 Years

State Street at Christmas 2011

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with November’s home sales.

As predicted, things slowed in the historically slow time of the year.

The housing market just feels pretty “blah” right now- doesn’t it?

From the IAR:

The city of Chicago saw year-over-year home sales decline slightly in November 2017 with 1,923 sales, compared to 1,937 in November 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in November 2017 was $259,500, down 0.2 percent compared to November 2016 when it was $260,000.

Here is the November sales data for the last 9 years (thanks to G for some of the data):

  • November 2007: 1859 sales and median price of $290,000
  • November 2008: 1093 sales and median price of $222,500 (16% short/REO sales)
  • November 2009: 1905 sales and median price of $215,000 (29% short/REO sales)
  • November 2010: 1144 sales and median price of $182,500 (39% short/REO sales)
  • November 2011: 1429 sales and median price of $157,000 (43% short/REO sales)
  • November 2012: 1750 sales and median price of $180,000
  • November 2013: 1844 sales and median price of $200,000
  • November 2014: 1638 sales and median price of $230,000
  • November 2015: 1661 sales and median price of $233,500
  • November 2016: 1937 sales and median price of $260,000
  • November 2017: 1923 sales and median price of $259,500

Last year was a ten year high in November sales. This year wasn’t far behind.

“Today’s numbers are reflective of both the seasonality of the market and the lack of clarity on the potential impact of tax reform,” said Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Vice President of Agent Development at @properties. “Sales prices seemingly stabilized in November, despite slight declines in inventory and market time, which reflects that pricing and demand are starting to level out, a trend that will likely continue into the new year.”

Average market time statewide fell to 58 days from 62 days a year ago.

Additionally, statewide inventory declined 12% to 52,819 from 60,005.

Mortgage rates continue to be favorable for home buyers. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.9% in the month of November versus 3.77% in November 2016.

“The market is experiencing what appears to be a pretty typical seasonal slowdown in many areas of the state,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI, broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. “Illinois is poised to end the year in positive sales and median price territory, and the final quarter of 2017 should provide a steady push into the new year as more properties come onto the market after the holidays.”

Is there any indication that market conditions will change heading into 2018?

Should homebuyers expect another competitive, bidding war type of market?

Illinois home prices increase in November; Sales hold steady [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, December 20, 2017]

100 Responses to “Market Conditions: Despite Seasonal Slowdown, November Still Second Best in 10 Years”

  1. My $0.02

    With Amazon looking like they’re heading south and the potential impacts of the Fed tax plan, 2018 sees a cooling off in the $600M-$1MM bracket Spring will open up with some pretty big variances in pricing – Smart money trying to cash out and maybe get a bidding war going and Dumb money – holding out for top dollar.

    Development in gentrifying hoods will be in an ugly spot come Mid summer when lenders finally realize whats going on.

    It will be interesting to watch what older professional Millennials start to do over the the next few years. As they start kicking out spawn will they stick it out in the city or will they move to the burbs.I suspect that the calculus will start driving them out

    Jan Terri will find a perfect home in which to showcase her talents and were the Old Style will flow like the Mighty Mississippi

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  2. JAN TERRI SEZ “IM ON A GRAVY TRAIN WITH BISCUIT WHEELS LOLZ!!!”
    LET THE OLD STYLE FLOW LIKE WINE!!!!!!!!
    GO BROWNS!!!

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  3. its the fucking taxes here that are stifling appreciation

    it would literally take a miracle like Amazon coming here (who knows at this point, I’d highly doubt it) for the upper middle end to keep going in positive territory

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  4. Abe Frohman, keep up the Jan Terri comments! They’re some of the best humor on here!

    Second, this tax bill is a huge lift to all millennial renters.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/money/2017/12/19/pf/how-tax-bill-affects-you/index.html

    Many millenial renters will want to join the ranks of condo & home ownership with their extra cash even if it doesn’t make sense monetarily. They want the sense of success, status, freedom, and accomplishment. Home prices will go up because of this.

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  5. With the property taxes in the suburbs being higher (in areas with good schools where, presumably, people would live to flee the city to raise kids) and the cap on deductions for those taxes in the new bill, it might create an incentive for people to stay in the city.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/19/opinion/republican-taxes-school-savings-.html

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  6. “With Amazon looking like they’re heading south”

    Huh? Where’s that reporting?

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  7. “With the property taxes in the suburbs being higher” Umm not much anymore. Ours are up over 40% the last 4 years with more on the way. Wife and I looked at each other a few months ago and for the first time ever decided it’s not worth it anymore. We cant even use our local public school. No idea what we will do but all options are on the table now. I’d like to stay but we have a huge section 8 presence near us with more affordable and section 8 on the way (thanks spineless city council and planning dept.), taxes on a townhouse that are approaching what my friends in DuPage pay for a $900K 4-5 bd house in a great school district and basic quality of life BS like junkies looking to score at the end of the block, car break ins, loud mouthed section 8rs screaming at 3am. Chicago needs to decide what it wants to be fast.

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  8. marko, sounds like suburbs are perfect for you if DuPage is something that interests you. Regardless, the fastest growing household income level in Chicago is the $100K+ group. Broken down further, $200K+ is growing even faster. The population declining fastest is lower income households. Half the population loss in the City is simply poor kids. For further info:

    https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

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  9. We are in the 200+ bracket and guess which brackets are most mobile and best able to afford to move or sell an underwater house? Frankly DuPage doesn’t interest us, we’d be more likely to head to CA. I dont think the Illinois politicians really grasp the severity of the situation here. I own a small business that can be anywhere. The wife runs the international sales for a CA based business, its only in Chicago because of proximity to large customers, frankly it could be anywhere though, it’s only a few people who would gladly move to OC ro LA. 100 years ago people had to live here to earn a living and much of America was too hot or too far away. 40 years ago people lived here because Chicago offered high pay relative to cost of living. Today that cost of living value is being strained mightily.

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  10. I’m not following. LA will cost at least 50% more and the schools are atrocious. And have you seen CA income taxes?

    But LA is much more sensible than DuPage.

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  11. What are you not following? At the costs Chicago is approaching, we might as well just move somewhere like Glendale, or OC like Corona Del Mar. It doesn’t have to be LA the city proper, just saying the value play that made Chicago attractive is gone for us. I grew up here so it’s harder for me to leave but the wife could give shit about Illinois or Chicago, she has a point. There will be more income tax and a second car cost, we can swing it. There are thousands of couples right now all over this city doing the exact same math.

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  12. “Huh? Where’s that reporting?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-headquarters-atlanta-bid-hq2-2017-12

    But it does look like the media has backed off

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  13. Housing costs out there are about 50% higher out there and you will pay more in taxes. But I get it, that doesn’t matter to you. You like the area. Seems like a good move for you guys.

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  14. Tone is reminding me of JoeZ

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  15. Funny, Marko. I see the exact opposite. We keep looking at other cities and finding we’d be taking a huge hit lifestyle wise as cost of living in other cities exceeds what we have here in Chicago. Chicago is far from perfect, but I don’t see any top tier cities offering the same value.

    We’ve seriously considered Seattle, Portland, Austin, Atlanta, Bay Area, among others and we aren’t going to be saving money by moving. In fact, it would actually cost more because of housing increase over current and the increase in salaries is not high enough to generate a net positive imho.

    Even smaller cities seem to be just as expensive if you want to live somewhere urban or inner ring type suburb. I have zero desire to live in some bumblestank subdivision 40 miles outside of a city.

    Even in some areas we looked where housing was marginally cheaper (lower property taxes) the schools sucked so any gain is offset negatively by private school tuition which we don’t have now.

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  16. “But it does look like the media has backed off”

    Amazon has had an Illinois registered lobbyist every year since 2009.

    That’s a data point that means effectively nothing. Guy isn’t even local.

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  17. “Even in some areas we looked where housing was marginally cheaper (lower property taxes) the schools sucked so any gain is offset negatively by private school tuition which we don’t have now.”

    But he’s in a situ where it would (likely) be private schools, or move. If moving, OC seems like a better option than Elmhurst. Which seems reasonable.

    It’s undoubtedly true that the nicer parts of SoCal are more expensive than the roughly comparable equivalents here, esp on a psf basis, but there is a lifestyle shift, too, and if that’s appealing, it may be worth it.

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  18. I’m with Russ. The only US cities I would consider living in are SF, NYC, Chicago, Seattle, maybe Philly. We won’t live in a suburb anywhere, so doesn’t really matter. All would effectively cost more to a lot more and I personally would not be any happier in any of those places.

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  19. “I’d like to stay but we have a huge section 8 presence near us with more affordable and section 8 on the way ”

    Anyone who speaks like this better have voted for Donald Trump. If you vote for the Democrats, you have no right whatsoever to oppose Section 8, the poor, or diversity. But alas, we know that many dim-witted liberals vote leftist out of either virtue-signaling or guilt. But then, when it comes to themselves and their lives, they eschew diversity totally.

    Escaping to a suburb for “good schools” is not a slam dunk anymore. Glenbrook North HS will be allowing kids to piss/crap in any bathroom they choose next year based on self-identified gender no matter what reproductive organs the young student’s body actually has. What does that tell you about the level of education (outside of math) they’re getting? They can’t even get science right, let alone the social subjects.

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  20. Who is JoeZ?

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  21. @Russ – I didnt say we wouldn’t take a slight hit, it just makes it easier to move. If your net is basically the same and your paying for an extra car and same taxes and real estate cost for smaller but arguably better located house ( c’mon, 70 degrees every day? No winter? Beach? ) The surveys that always ask Illinois residents why they are leaving always downplay the weather – I think the weather is factor 1 or 2 for most people’s decision to finally leave. The taxes are the last straw.

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  22. “but there is a lifestyle shift, too, and if that’s appealing, it may be worth it”
    Exactly. Smaller house, but 365 outdoor living, backyard gatherings. A lot of people in OC are house poor but make up for it with the relaxed work environment and outdoor life. However I’d rather burn from the rays of a thousand suns than move to Inland CA or some place like Riverside…If your not within striking distance of the coast I dont see the appeal.

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  23. Tone posted “Housing costs out there are about 50% higher out there and you will pay more in taxes. But I get it, that doesn’t matter to you. You like the area. Seems like a good move for you guys.”

    To which johnnyu posted “Tone is reminding me of JoeZ”

    Which might have rung true to me only if Tone had instead ended his post “You’re clearly a stupid bleeping idiot who is likely Sabrina posting under pseudonym ‘Tone’ and me & my paying clients will be much much better off with you moving to SoCal.” There I fixed it for johnnyu who can return to watching his soaps

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  24. “If your not within striking distance of the coast I dont see the appeal.”

    Coachella Valley has it’s charms. Would rather there than PHX (except that PHX is what, 1/3 the cost?)

    But otherwise, yeah, no point to SoCal at the current costs, unless you’re seaward of the first (real) ridgeline.

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  25. “it’s the fucking taxes” is a common Chicago complaint. But in many other places similar to Chicago, you’d say “it’s the fucking housing prices”. And there are plenty of places where you’d say “it’s the fucking housing prices and the fucking taxes”.

    As Russ pointed out, for comparison purposes you need to look at value, not one aspect of a big picture.

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  26. Marko, no doubt there are some benefits. We all just figure out what we want and what we are willing to sacrifice. Being a southerner, I hate Chicago weather. Wife and I decided anywhere we move will have better weather. However, when we look at other cities, we just have a hard to replicating what we have here in Chicago (Oak Park).

    Great house. Great schools k – 12 in walking distance. 3 Public Transportation options plus driving is easy. Walkable neighborhood. A ton of parks within a few blocks in any direction from my house. Multiple grocery stores, restaurants, etc in walking distance. Easy drive into downtown Chicago to all the other world class amenities and activities.

    When we we look at other cities, the house may be similar, but the neighborhood isn’t walkable. The school usually suck or only good elementary. Have yet to find one with a decent high school. Far fewer amenities like parks, museums, etc.

    Basically, the stuff we take for granted now we realize we won’t really have at the same level as we do now. Sure the weather is going to be nicer, but that is really the only benefit imho.

    Just haven’t found that combination of employment, city & income that makes moving to another city worth it at this point in our lives.

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  27. Never understood the weather comments.

    Winter must not be too bad or else you like being miserable. There’s tons to do – CC ski, snowshoe, bike, skate, etc.

    Russ’s last paragraph is dead on, most people can find a place that hits on at least 8 of ones top 10 preferences. Why not move to somewhere that makes you happy

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  28. @Russ – it would be ironic to move to a much warmer city, but no longer be near a walkable family ice cream shoppe.

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  29. When you look at the 12 month moving average of sales and contracts in Chicago it has actually been rather flat for the last couple of years. Not much evidence of that turning around.

    “Should homebuyers expect another competitive, bidding war type of market?”

    Another? Which of the 100 Chicago area markets are we talking about? In a few neighborhoods maybe. It’s not one monolithic market. And it all depends on how properties are priced. If realtors insist on taking the easy road and underpricing properties then there will be bidding wars regardless of how hot the market is.

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  30. Perfect example is a recent deal that I saw. The listing agent horribly underpriced a SFH in Logan Square. Listed it at 290K, initially as a condo by mistake. We knew that it was worth at least $345K and possibly much more. It ultimately went for $370K, which was within the quite wide range, with at least a dozen bids in under one week (they had to extend the deadline once they realized they listed it as a condo). When you have a bunch of deals like that do you call it a “bidding war market”?

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  31. Helmethofer – even the math is common core shit and scores have dropped precipitously over the years. Math today is the new gender studies.

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  32. “It’s not one monolithic market. And it all depends on how properties are priced.”

    I agree Gary.

    Clearly, what is happening in Southport is not what is happening in Hyde Park or McKinley Park. And what is happening in the condo market is not the same as the single family home market which is not the same as the townhouse market.

    Looking for a starter home? That’s a completely different market than $1 million+.

    So, sure, there’s not “one” market. Heck, it can vary even block by block as some streets are considered more prestigious than others. Ditto for school districts.

    But the GreenZone has been hot for several years now. Too many buyers looking for the same property- like Jenny’s dream townhouse under $500,000 in one of the best neighborhoods. When those DO come on the market, you’re almost guaranteed to have more than one buyer.

    Inventory remains at decade lows. With the economy this hot, I’m assuming that 2018 is going to be another tough market for many buyers. Especially if mortgage rates rise.

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  33. “Why not move to somewhere that makes you happy”

    Yes! Thank you JohnnyU.

    No one is forced to stay in Chicago unless they’re in jail. My god. It’s a big country. Pack up that U-Haul and get going out to San Diego. Sell everything and move to Hawaii or the Virgin Islands. Head down to Florida. There’s no income tax there.

    NOTHING is stopping you.

    There are plenty of people who love the winter. They love the snow and ice skating and snow shoeing. Snowmobiling rocks as does skiing.

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  34. “If your not within striking distance of the coast I dont see the appeal.”

    You’re talking Southern California. In the north, “the coast” isn’t really a big factor. As I’ve stated before on this blog, I knew native Californians who worked in San Francisco or Palo Alto and went YEARS without seeing the ocean. They just never bothered to drive/take the train out to Ocean Beach or to cross over the mountains down the peninsula (where it was always fogged in.)

    It’s just not that pleasant. Sorry. It’s the truth. Cold, windy, beaches suck, water is cold, riptides…blah.

    So you can easily live “inland” – i.e. in the East Bay- and never see the water and never care. Heck, even in Marin County you aren’t seeing the ocean either. There are plenty of other outdoor activities to do and most people see the Bay every day and that is enough. It’s like looking at Lake Michigan every day. Same thing.

    That being said, there are plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, sailing that most people did. But Northern California is just different than the south- in weather, outlook, jobs etc.

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  35. “However I’d rather burn from the rays of a thousand suns than move to Inland CA or some place like Riverside…If your not within striking distance of the coast I dont see the appeal.”

    By the way, to get a good understanding of “inland” California, I really recommend the current movie Lady Bird. It takes place in Sacramento and it’s described as the “Midwest of California” in the movie.

    Too true!

    In fact, many neighborhoods in that city have Midwest names like Elk Grove and, yes, there’s an Oak Park there. Lol.

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  36. “it’s only a few people who would gladly move to OC ro LA. 100 years ago people had to live here to earn a living and much of America was too hot or too far away. 40 years ago people lived here because Chicago offered high pay relative to cost of living. Today that cost of living value is being strained mightily.”

    It is?

    No offense marko, but this comment makes me think you believe California is the American Dream and you haven’t actually looked at the cost of living there. Even Compton homes are now over $400,000 and what you get is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath that is about 1000 square feet. And if you make over $200,000 you’ll pay close to 11% state income tax. It’s nearly triple Illinois.

    And maybe that will be worth it for you. Or maybe you will rent. Renting is fine. But rents are high right now too.

    I loved California. I would go back again in a heartbeat BUT only if I made $500,000+ a year. Because, otherwise, it’s just not even close to being affordable. If you are upper middle class or rich, it’s wonderful. And if you can work from home and not have to drive to work every day, especially in Southern Cal, then you’ll have it made.

    LA is adding a lot more public transportation too. The OC isn’t though.

    Chicago is a bargain compared to other large cities in America which also have subways, trains, a downtown core with museums and shopping etc. Seattle used to be kind of affordable, about 15 years ago, but Amazon ruined all of that. Housing is INSANE there and only getting worse. They’re going to have a crisis soon because teachers, nurses, police etc won’t be able to afford a place to live in the next generation.

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  37. “With Amazon looking like they’re heading south”

    The decision won’t come out until 2018 but if they pick somewhere in the south, good for them. I’ve said in the past, that whomever gets Amazon HQ2 could get burned. It’s one of those things like, “better watch out what you ask for” because HQ1 basically has irreparably changed Seattle (and many believe, not for the better.)

    It won’t be easy to absorb that many jobs. It will strain services. It will strain housing. It will strain the employment situation as Amazon will clearly drain employees from other companies as it hires. It’s not going to hire all newbies out of college.

    Only a handful of cities could really handle an employer like Amazon: NYC, Toronto and Chicago being among them.

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  38. “…If your not within striking distance of the coast I dont see the appeal.”

    Striking distance is gonna cost you marko. Corona del Mar will cost you around $1.3M for something entry level almost decent – townhouse/condo thing; you’ll be the poors but those killer kabobs you grill on your small patio under a propane heater in February count for something. Maybe you can get a small townhouse in Costa Mesa for $800K, but for that price your stucco box with Home Depot finishes will back onto an intersection or something equally unappealing. At least you know what you’re getting with property taxes though – 1.25% of the closing price, and they’re capped unlike Chicago taxes. Income tax is a killer, and if you’re making say $275K as a married couple, that’s around 9%. Once you pay off the mortgage and decide to retire in the house you just paid for, remember that all your retirement income except SS, is state taxed at the same rate as if you were still working.

    Also, keep in mind that the amount of housing debt that people take on here is *totally* insane. Debt = perception = reality. So you think your neighbors at that Costa Mesa townhouse you just bought for $800K are going to be kinda like you and your wife – professional, traveled, worldly, from a cultured city with experiences, the kind of folks you wouldn’t mind sharing margaritas and the sampler platter at Javiers on a Thursday night. Could be, but probably not. Those people are most likely rungs beneath you on the cultural/economic ladder, and the only reason they’re your neighbors is because they took on mountains of debt (a lot of hard money loans happening out here), and it’s well beyond their means to ever completely pay; they’re hoping for a profitable flip, perhaps to a midwesterner or better yet to an Asian. Out with the old and in with the new mainland Chinese family who bought the house (all cash) next to yours for their daughter while she’s studying at Irvine? Nothing says I found my piece of paradise like a fleet of white (always white) C-classes constantly blocking your driveway. They’ll just ignore the association warnings and pay the fine, every time, because, well that’s what they do in China.

    If you cannot afford the price of admission that’s within striking distance of the coast, maybe in the $1.8M+ range, just admit to yourself that you’re about 30 years too late and go to a tanning booth. The weather is certainly sweet I”ll give you that, but I’m moving to the desert (a whole different sort of crazy) and will never *ever* leave my home base of sane Chicago.

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  39. “Math today is the new gender studies.”

    Really?

    My kids took Calculus just like I did. (Shrugs.)

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  40. Jay is spot on. I’ve done quite a few mortgages in CA and people carry way more mortgage debt than they do here or anywhere else in the country. Remember, option ARMs and subprime were built around CA borrowers needing affordability products to minimize payments while increasing loan sizes.

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  41. “Math today is the new gender studies.”

    gender studies is a core life skill being taught a wrong way at the elementary school level?

    That’s a pretty bold, librul, statement by you HD.

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  42. Off-topic question I’ve been wondering about: If you are a family and move to a city neighborhood that has a good elementary school, but a terrible high school, what do you do if your kid doesn’t get into a selective enrollment CPS high school?

    For example, the south loop. South Loop Elementary is a good school, but Phillips Academy is a dumpster fire. I can’t imagine very many Sloop Elementary kids are going on to Phillips, and certainly not every good student makes it into Jones/Payton/Northside, so where are they going?

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  43. Fred,

    They don’t go to Phillips. They either get into a selective enrollment high school or they go to private school like De La Salle, St Ignatious, Mount Carmel, etc. Some families will move to the suburbs and other may move to Lincoln Park if that high school is acceptable enough for them b

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  44. “The weather is certainly sweet I”ll give you that, but I’m moving to the desert (a whole different sort of crazy) and will never *ever* leave my home base of sane Chicago”

    At least we have water here – lots of it – so much that there’s a huge lake with a rising water level – and last time I counted 4 pumps in my house (including ejectors) and a snowblower to get the water out of my house. LA’s water comes from the mountains hundreds of miles away.

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  45. “gender studies is a core life skill being taught a wrong way at the elementary school level?”

    It’s just a funny comment. But don’t get me started on common core math. It’s one of the few things in life that truly gets me angry. The rest is all just faux anger.

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  46. “[SLoop kids] either get into a selective enrollment high school or they go to private school like De La Salle, St Ignatious, Mount Carmel, etc.”

    I suspect some number of them go to LPHS in IB or double honors (which may or may not be “selective enrollment” from one’s perspective). On the private front, the British School’s upper school campus is just north of the Roosevelt Collection, so that’s a local private option.

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  47. “If you are a family and move to a city neighborhood that has a good elementary school, but a terrible high school, what do you do if your kid doesn’t get into a selective enrollment CPS high school?”

    If you ride the subway or work in the city, you hear people talking about this all the time. Openly.

    From my own eavesdropping, it seems that most move to the suburbs and just get their kid into the solid suburban high schools.

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  48. LOL. The listing notes on this condo. TMI, dude!!

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/5313-N-Delphia-Ave-60656/unit-314/home/13559578

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  49. I live in New York and have done some buy and hold rehabs in Chicago over the past 10 years as a hobby/investment. Property taxes are my highest expense. I see Chicagoans complain but then ultimately take a lackadaisical approach about property taxes and politics.

    Over the past year I immersed myself in the Milwaukee market because prices went up so much in Chicago. I ultimately decided to buy again in Chicago for a few reasons. I like being able to walk and take public transportation and Chicago has endless REAL neighborhoods to explore even far away from downtown.

    Also, people are just plain cheap in Milwaukee. Landlords AND tenants. Seems like a cultural thing. It’s not that far away, but people are slow and backwards. They legitimately don’t grasp the concept that time is money and money is time.

    I worry about the Illinois anti-business/sanctuary city/benefits gravy train just like I do in New York. But I feel *more* positive about Chicago’s future regarding jobs than I do about Milwaukee’s. I know I can get a better class of tenant in Chicago and I know there will be more options for me personally if I move here. New York has become too expensive for law-abiding taxpayers. If you’re a tourist or on the dole it’s perfect.

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  50. “Also, people are just plain cheap in Milwaukee. Landlords AND tenants. Seems like a cultural thing.”

    I am very familiar with the state and its people, and yes, they are all like that. I have millionaires in my family who won’t pay for catered food at funerals, holiday parties and the like. They want everyone to bring a home cooked dish (99% of the time it’s potatoes, meat and cheese). They have funeral services on monday afternoons because its the cheapest time. The state can barely support any restaurants because no one will go out to eat. The only thing it does support is a craft beer scene, the locals will shell out some $$$ for six packs, but then make up the difference with the cheapest quality of hard liquor. They buy less flashy cars – imports don’t sell well at all and so on and so on. Drive up and down the streets of shorewoods and the driveways are filled with minivans and mid size suvs. That same neighborhood in IL would be glencoe and you see nothing but mercedes and bmws.

    On the otherhand, the state’s finances are in excellent shape, the state is growing in population and attracting a lot of business, including the new foxconn. So, there’s something to be said about that frugality because it pays dividends.

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  51. Re Milwaukee/Wisco – Blame the Lutherans and the stigma associated with the spending of money on anything they deem flashy. A $70k Pick up is fine Vs a $50k BMW

    IMO/E – Its not cheap, its frugal (Maybe to an extreme in some cases – they dont value Cambria over Formica, Pick up can be used to haul the boat/Sleds/ATV)

    I find that Chicago has a lot of “Fake it till you make it”, conspicuous consumption and general asshattery than Milwaukee.

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  52. “They are all like that.” Only morons over-generalize like that. Just last week or so you accused me of living above my means just because Trump’s BS tax plan will limit my tax deductions, and now you rip people who do exactly otherwise. That makes you somewhat of a hypocrite to me too, good job.

    Few people in Milwaukee give a flying fuck what people in NY or Chicago think, the ones who think just like they do mostly leave.

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  53. “They are all like that.”
    “Only morons over-generalize like that.”

    Imo SidV does a disservice to morons everywhere by comparing them to hd, a singularly buffoonish ass-hat. Hey Mr. “Russia is a nothing burger” – what do you make of Bannon saying re Don Jr’s June’16 Trump Tower mtg:

    “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s—, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” & “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”

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  54. Southbound, you have a severe case of TDS; You find a way to bring Trump into everything. Go seek professional help.

    SidV: “That makes you somewhat of a hypocrite to me too, good job. ” I don’t really care what you think because you have reading comprehension problems. I didn’t ‘rip’ anybody. I commented on observations about a people in a state I am very familiar with. If you want to take that as a ‘rip’ because you are up to your eyeballs in debt, so be it. I could care less. I’ll give you a referral to an insolvency attorney if you want.

    JohnnyU: Frugal probably is the better word than cheap. I actually used the word ‘frugality’ in my last sentence when describing the state’s finances.

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  55. I still say they are cheap and backwards!

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  56. “They legitimately don’t grasp the concept that time is money and money is time.”

    There are a lot of places where the pace of life is much slower than Chicago. I guess “cheap and backwards” is relative. There are plenty of people in more rural locations than Milwaukee that would have you clawing your eyes out if you had to deal with them for professional services.

    The quote from the film “Oh Brother” is accurate: “Well, ain’t this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!”

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  57. ” “Well, ain’t this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!”

    In Chicago we this place Bridgeport.

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  58. “I am very familiar with the state and its people, and yes, they are all like that.”

    Really? I’ve never seen that in Madison. They’re building just as big McMansions there with all the organic, trendy markets etc. as everywhere they do in Chicago. No ones bringing home cooked meals there.

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  59. “On the otherhand, the state’s finances are in excellent shape, the state is growing in population and attracting a lot of business, including the new foxconn.”

    The state’s infrastructure is a disaster and its university system has really taken the brunt of it too. The bridges, highways, regular roads are a disgrace.

    Many of the people I know who live there talk about it constantly. It’s the reason they’ll vote out Walker and his ilk. They’re sick of potholes.

    Foxconn, by the way, is building close enough to the Illinois border so they can get some of our well trained people. It’s no secret that many employees will be Illinois citizens.

    Also, many in the town where Foxconn is going are dreading it. Unemployment is already low there and the government is taking people’s homes and land so they can build the plant. Many are pissed they have to move. They are also worried about traffic. As it is, they can’t even find enough people to work at the nearby Amazon distribution facility.

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  60. Over the past year I immersed myself in the Milwaukee market because prices went up so much in Chicago. I ultimately decided to buy again in Chicago for a few reasons. I like being able to walk and take public transportation and Chicago has endless REAL neighborhoods to explore even far away from downtown.

    Thanks for checking in again Milkster and letting us know what was happening with your rehabs/investments. Milwaukee is a second tier city. Not in a horrible way but it just is.

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  61. Milkster is probably investing in the less desirable neighborhoods in Milwaukee hoping to make a buck, there’s little there that’s affordable with lots of renters, much to walk to and relatively crime-free all at once. The Mil bus system isn’t bad but it’s almost nobody’s first choice, still you can viably take it to a number (not a big number) of interesting neighborhoods if you aren’t above it.

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  62. Sabrina, the people I talk to in Wis, all over the state, are reporting back the exact opposite of what you say. They all like Walker (outside of the irrelevant Madison resistance, of course). The roads aren’t that great but they’re not as bad as some reports suggest. Foxconn is being welcomed. A handful of people over the border who KNOWINGLY OWN LAND OFF THE HIGHWAY BETWEEN TWO MAJOR CITIES are upset. Of course they are.. Until they get their checks.

    Last time I checked, Wisconsin’s population is growing; IL’s is declining. Heck, one of my very best friends picked up and moved there with his partner a few years ago. I still text with him a few times a week and we head up for chicago sports games. He says he’s never coming back to IL. And he’s not the only one.

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  63. “Milkster is probably investing in the less desirable neighborhoods in Milwaukee hoping to make a buck…”

    DUH. What exactly is your point here? I’m not investing in order to LOSE money. You have a lot of time to make your little negative comments about everyone, but you don’t walk the walk and you’ve probably never owned anything.

    The reason why I focused on Milwaukee is because I LIKE Milwaukee. I’ve made some friends there. I LOVE the music scene. I went to several concerts and festivals. I saw country, house, rock, heavy metal – It was AMAZING! I went to a Harley rally. I drank peanut butter chocolate stout in Humboldt Park. Everything is inexpensive and accessible. There are PLENTY of dive bars. There are a couple of restaurants I like. I love going out in Milwaukee. People are friendly and awesome. The only drawback being that you can’t live there without a car. But when I sliced and diced the numbers they didn’t pan out.

    I looked at 3 different neighborhoods I liked. One was Class A, one was Class B and one was Class D.

    I interviewed a husband and wife who are in business full-time doing Class D rentals on the Northside. It can be a great business, and in Milwaukee you can buy multi-family buildings super cheap. It’s not really my thing though. I like to fix my houses up nicely. Not with fancy finishes or anything, but I like the structure and mechanicals in tip top shape and I like things kept looking nice. I have had the most success renting to professional tenants with good jobs downtown.

    When you’re doing Class D in Milwaukee your tenant base is low-income and you’re dealing with very high crime areas. Your rent is paid by Section 8 or other local rental-assistance programs. It requires you to be walking the properties every day and keeping an eye on things. This doesn’t work for me since I live in New York. I can’t trust a property management company to do things like I do.

    The really weird thing about Milwaukee too, is that rents are pretty much the same across the board in all neighborhoods. 2 bed / 1 bath apartments will rent from $600 – 800 all over the city.

    I looked at a 2-Flat – they call it a “duplex” – in a Class A neighborhood. They were asking 200K and the taxes were 5K. The units were renting for only $600 each and they were destroyed. The owner had deferred maintenance for decades. Each tenant had multiple cats with overflowing litter boxes and the poor cats were just going to the bathroom on the carpet. One of the tenants was morbidly obese and had hooked some sort of hoisting contraption to the toilet seat. The place needed a full gut.

    The irony is that you would get the same rents or even more in a Class D area where you can easily buy a building for 25K.

    I made an offer on that house but I didn’t get it. It was a dual-agency where I was dealing with the seller’s agent. He did not even want to submit my offer. The owner had stated what his bottom line was because he had donated the building to the Lutheran Church and the funds were going to go into some sort of annuity for his retirement. At the point I made my offer the building had already sat for 6 months and gone through one failed contract where the buyer could not get financing. After the agent refused to submit my offer it sat for almost another year before selling for a little bit more than what I offered. This is why I say they don’t understand the concept of time vs. money. I could have had the deal wrapped up in 2 weeks.

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  64. I was at an all-day conference in Milwaukee. A good number of people brown-bagged their lunches. I did too. I like eating healthy and I hate getting ripped off buying food downtown. It was different because most NY or CHI peeps would probably just buy their lunch.

    This one really weird guy who made a few non-sequiturs ate a whole bag of white bread for lunch. I watched him. BIG CHICKEN-HAWK LOOKING LOAF-EATING LURCH!!!

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  65. “the state’s finances are in excellent shape, the state is growing in population and attracting a lot of business, including the new foxconn.”

    Foxconn has a $4,000,000,000.00 price tag for WI’s taxpayers.

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  66. I have a lot of family in WI, they all hate Walker and Trump. None live in Madison.

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  67. lmao milkster – that listing “I met a women” “best thing is the water pressure” hahahahaha

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  68. Maybe it’s because my Milwaukee friends are not natives, but they don’t live like people are describing here. They go out to eat. They are normal middle class people with normal middle class cars. I like that Milwaukee isn’t at all crowded. I remember driving up for a weekend to visit friends and being anxious that I would get there too late on a Friday and be stuck in crazy traffic, but to my surprise the downtown was a ghost town.

    If you go further north in Wisconsin, you can own a horse for about the same price as a dog costs in Chicago.

    I would consider living in Chicago, but it’s even colder than Chicago and the salaries are lower.

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  69. Don’t think I could live in Milwaukee, but I really like the city. I think sometimes being in a large city like Chicago jades you to how nice and accessible some smaller cities can be, but I can’t move anywhere colder than Chicago.

    Wife and I usually drive up once or twice a year to Milwaukee for a weekend getaway. Great museums, lakefront, and restaurants. City kind of has a Portland / hipster vibe to it.

    The Harley museum is great. Stayed at the Ironhorse Hotel which is a boutique hotel with a motorcycle theme. The Pabst Brewery hotel is nice too. It is a converted brewing factory. They have a great art and children’s museum as well. You can take a tour of the Sprecher’s soda factory too. They also have a nice food hall and shopping district downtown.

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  70. jenny, Milwaukee is a stagnant city. It’s cute for a short visit, but there is nothing going on there. Milwaukee metro hasn’t even recovered the jobs it lost since the 2000 recession. Chicago metro is well past peak and gaining each month.

    Madison is the real economic driver in the state and the portion of WI in the Chicago MSA. Small towns are hollowing out in WI, just like every in America.

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  71. Milkster, My point was that, initially at least, you seemed down on Milwaukee. Unfairly in my opinion. So I was thinking your experiences were likely tainted by spending most of your time in crappy renter-oriented neighborhoods on business only. If you had given a fairer or more complete opinion up front I wouldn’t have made my “negative little” comment. Not sure why I needed to explain that to you but nice to get the full picture.

    Also not sure what you mean by “walk the walk” but my worst nightmare is being a landlord so why the hell would I own anything other than my house, no thanks. And of course any duplex in a true class A neighborhood woukd be a steaming pile, obviously.

    Also the last time I rented there the 2bd 1 bath was 650 a month, that was 25 years ago so not sure what kind of BS “ABD” hoods you actually checking out.

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  72. “one of my very best friends picked up and moved there with his partner a few years ago. I still text with him a few times a week and we head up for chicago sports games.”

    Yep, HD is on the down low. Explains quite a lot.

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  73. I worked at a large firm in Chicago with a guy who commuted from Milwaukee. He has like 4 or 5 kids. When things tanked in 08, and he learned that he wasn’t making partner, he joined a prominent Milwaukee firm as partner, probably for comp similar to market first-year associate comp in Chicago. After 8 years or so in Chicago, I think he had his (giant/lavish) home in Milwaukee nearly paid off and the kids’ college funds well on their way.

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  74. Tone,

    I don’t know who you are talking to or what you are doing in WI, but your experiences are different than mine, and appear to be in the minority of views and experiences.

    Wisconsin is a red state outside of a handful of neighborhoods in milwaukee, brown county and dane county. The state went Red for Trump, it’s elected walker and is very happy with him and the state is growing. The sheriff of milwaukee counyt is a republican who is on fox news all the time. Furthermore, when you say that ‘small towns’ are hollowing out – Milwaukee is not a ‘small town’. It’s the biggest town in the state. Madison is smaller than milwaukee, a lot smaller. The small towns that are hollowing out are very small manufacturing towns, like rockford, decatur, and so forth. all fewer than 100,000 people. In fact, Millenials are moving to small cities (Rather than towns, or villages) in mass. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/05/millennials-small-cities-ready-not-here-we-come/830955001/

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  75. https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/2016/10/29/state-economy-faces-trouble-uw-researchers-say/92895852/

    WI is experiencing a brain drain and produces low paying jobs.

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  76. WI is not a red state. It barely voted for the Con. Obama blew both McCain and Romney away. The state switches its governors between Rep and Dem every 8-12 years. Walker barely won his elections. He is hardly popular.

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  77. “It barely voted for the Con.”

    When you say things like this, because of your TDS, it shows that your personal biases have affected your ability to think rationally.

    Let me give you a counter example. Let’s say that we’re having a discussion, and I just throw in there that B. Hussein Obama was our first Muslim president, and that he hates America. That would kind of tell you a lot of about me, right? the way you feel about me if I said that is *exactly* the same way I feel about you when you say “con man” when referring to the president. ANd if you say “well, it’s true he’s a con man” then I’ll say sure, it’s true he’s a muslim and he hates america.

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  78. “WI is not a red state. ”

    Except it voted for a republican president; it has a republican governor, it has 5 (R) reps to 3 (D) reps, it has one (R) senator, and they control the WI senate and two/thirds of the assembly is also (R). (and is it OK to say that the community organizer was also a con man who conned WI too?)

    But yeah, WI is not a red state. It may have been light blue, but it’s sure read as hell now.

    Go seek help for your TDS.

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  79. We own a home in WI. We live in Chicago though. I have family that lives up north though, they all hate Trump and Walker.

    Taxes are higher up there too. The income tax is much higher in WI than here and we actually pay over 2% our home value on the WI property and about 1.5% on our Chicago home.

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  80. I’m not sure why the vast majority of people ever get into rental properties. You can buy a REIT in a 401k or IRA and never have to deal with tenants, maintenance, emergencies, leases, realtors, property taxes, late rent payments, deposits, insurance or maintenance. REITS have returned 8.9% real (after inflation) since 1970. After dealing with what my parents have had over the past 30 years, no thank you.

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  81. WI voted for a Dem President from 1988-2012. The governor switches parties every 8 years or so. The state is highly gerrymandered. If you knew anything about WI you would know this.

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  82. Oh blame gerrymandering! Classic TDS behavior. Did Rachel tell you this too? With all her maps and charts and stuff? Or was it huffpo

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  83. Lol, You are clueless. You can’t refute a single fact. You know nothing about WI.

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  84. During that time, Plenty of REITS and similar RE investment vehicles have essentially gone belly up, leaving a few dimes on the dollar. That’s not necessarily a great return given the historical risk. But yes, the right REIT is nice to be in.

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  85. We own a home in WI. We live in Chicago though. I have family that lives up north though, they all hate Trump and Walker.
    Taxes are higher up there too. The income tax is much higher in WI than here and we actually pay over 2% our home value on the WI property and about 1.5% on our Chicago home.

    I own a cabin in WIsco as well. The towns arent stupid, hammering non residents for property taxes is part of the cost of entry, especially if you’re on water

    They have a pretty clean house map, doesn’t look as bastardized as Illinois.

    It’s a weird state, it’s either hard core socialist or pretty hard right, not much middle ground. You’d fit in well

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  86. Nope, we pay resident level taxes on our home in WI. We own the home with our Wisconsin resident family.

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  87. LOL, that was not what was implied…

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  88. Tone is the definition of a FIB. You should stay in IL, you putz.

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  89. “It’s a weird state, it’s either hard core socialist or pretty hard right, not much middle ground. You’d fit in well”

    Yeah, he’d fit in well in a lake community of FIBs from the North Shore. Maybe in madison proper.

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  90. Tone: “…The state is highly gerrymandered. If you knew anything about WI you would know this.”

    CC’s clown prince claiming to be opining from his new res in/near Minocqua WI: “Oh blame gerrymandering! Classic TDS behavior. Did Rachel tell you this too?…Or was it huffpo”

    imo lyin’ hd isn’t qualified to claim he’s a trained paralegal on the internet given his repeated displays of poor reading & writing skills as well as ignorance of current matters. wadda an ignorant pos!

    Recently SCOTUS heard arguments in case which arose after WI’s new Republican majority redrew their Assembly district lines. In 2012 Republicans won a minority of the statewide vote but captured 60 of the 99 seats (hey isn’t that stolen straight from dt’s playbook?). The gerrymandered new lines corralled Democratic voters into some districts and scattered them among others, where they were doomed to be ineffectual in electing preferred candidates.

    It’s hard to get judicial relief re gerrymandering but if SCOTUS doesn’t remedy this now there’s an election in ’18 (& if Cook County resident hd gets caught voting in WI he may end up spending time w/his doppelganger Screech and other deplorables in a WI slammer)

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  91. “Lol, You are clueless. You can’t refute a single fact. You know nothing about WI”

    Your TDS is affecting your reading comprehension skills. Read these facts very closely and then tell me, that as a state, WI hasn’t turned purple or even red:

    it voted for a republican president; it has a republican governor, it has 5 (R) reps to 3 (D) reps, it has one (R) senator, and they control the WI senate and two/thirds of the assembly is also (R).

    Please don’t repeat “gerrymandering”. I heard you the first time. I chose to ignore it given the worthlessness of the argument.

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  92. SB, I’m pleased to see that your treatment for TDS is working – you made it one post without mentioning Trump!

    As for Supreme Court case, yes, I’m familiar with it, and I’ve heard that NC is not even a democracy anymore due to gerrymandering according to some liberal think tank.

    I hate to do the whaddabout but its so damn appropo – here’s a link to resistor in chief luis guitteriez’s gerrymandered district:

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/_2ajzMClyJos/TLONwkR9EqI/AAAAAAAAAwk/8DGN7BtcCAw/s1600/USCongDist4-Gutierrez-20101011-150.jpg

    DO you know why park ridge can’t elect a R to any level of government other than the township (local is non-partisan) – because the districts are all gerrymandered to split the town into four separte districts all overlapping with heavy D strongholds.

    So before you start whining (And that’s what it is, whining about losing) about gerrymandering in WI, you may want to look in your own backyard first, and correct some problems there.

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  93. “Yep, HD is on the down low. Explains quite a lot.”

    Jesus, his ‘partner’ is of the opposite sex. They’re not married. They’re more than just boyfriend/girlfriend, but not married, or even engaged. Partner is probably the best word. and you all you can think about is gay. What’s wrong with you, boy?

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  94. The gerrymandering convo was Federal, not state

    RIF

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  95. State gets to draw the federal districts and state districts. Hence when il lost a seat last time around they drew out joe walsh and some other R and instead drew in duckworths dream district. Now granted Walsh is a goof but he’s still an R vote and it was the D legislatures decision to keep a D over an R district.

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  96. lyin’ hd posted incorrectly “..you made it one post without mentioning Trump!”
    yes, reading (& comprehending) is fundamental but it still escapes ‘lil lyin’ hd

    dt’s fair game – he’s got has much more impact re IL RE values than the IL pols you & others routinely excoriate here (with good cause) for voting the interests of their union & other $ backers. But when dt & repubs suck up to their 1% backers by passing a largely unnecessary tax rollback primarily benefiting those 1%’rs that’ll add around $1.5 tril to deficit hd regurgitates fox news BS abt dt’s ‘middle class tax reform miracle’.

    I hope dt & his fellow paralegals get $1000 bonuses from the firm’s partners for gamely supporting the r agenda – so when staff takes their kids to vacay @ the Dells they can explain why college is gonna be on their kids nickel (along w paying back that $1.5 tril+ transferred mainly to 1%’rs).

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  97. “I still text with him a few times a week and we head up for chicago sports games. He says he’s never coming back to IL. And he’s not the only one.”

    No one says you have to. It’s a big country. I say this all the time. I don’t understand why HH sits here bitching about it.

    Move!

    There are warm states. There are states with no income tax.

    Go there. Enjoy. America rocks. It’s completely diverse and there’s always an open road.

    Just stop bitching about your choices.

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  98. I just posted my December update. Sales were up 3.9% over last year but IAR will report about a 1.8% increase. In keeping with the title of this post it was the 3rd highest December in 11 years. Inventory still remarkably low and detached home inventory fell even more.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2018/01/chicago-real-estate-market-december-strongest-growth-in-9-months/

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  99. “In keeping with the title of this post it was the 3rd highest December in 11 years.”

    Thanks Gary. I don’t see the big deal if it was the third highest in 11 years. We’re well past the bottom now. For a truly “hot” month, it should be the best in that time period. Not the third best. But it sounds pretty solid.

    December is a dead month anyway (usually) so it doesn’t really matter. Most of the listings are left over.

    Although it does seem like a bunch of properties are coming on the market early in January instead of waiting until after the Super Bowl. With inventory so low and the weather still good for looking (no snow), it seems like a lot of buyers are also out looking.

    Is anyone worried about rising mortgage rates? I wonder. That could push a few people off the sidelines early.

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  100. “Is anyone worried about rising mortgage rates?”

    well they haven’t been rising so, probably not

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