Roscoe Village Single Family Home Sells For Under 2004 Price: 3308 N. Bell

We last chattered about this 4-bedroom single family home at 3308 N. Bell in Roscoe Village in December 2009.

3308-n-bell-approved.jpg

See our prior chatter and pictures here.

It has since sold as a short sale for $19,000 under the 2004 purchase price.

It had a finished lower level with guest suite. 3 out of the 4 bedrooms were on the second level.

It also had cherry cabinets in the kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Was this a deal?

Mario Greco at Prudential Rubloff had the listing.

3308 N. Bell: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 car garage

  • Sold in April 1992 for $119,000
  • Sold in August 1995 for $291,000
  • Sold in March 2001 for $522,000
  • Sold in June 2004 for $649,000
  • Sold in August 2006 for $728,000
  • Originally listed in September 2009 for $729,000
  • Under contract in ten days
  • Fell out of contract
  • Re-listed as a “short sale” in October 2009 for $649,000
  • Sold in January 2010 for $630,000
  • Taxes of $7798
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 20×16
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11
  • Bedroom #3: 11×9
  • Bedroom #4: 20×10 (lower level)

128 Responses to “Roscoe Village Single Family Home Sells For Under 2004 Price: 3308 N. Bell”

  1. A deal? Not really, unless perhaps the new owners have 3 or more kids & they were factoring in the public vs private school savings.

    But a nice place, & for people planning on being there for 10+ years probably a decent investment.

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  2. ??? so 630k is hard for me to swallow/understand when you get a frame house with architecturally ugly dormer.

    Yeah i get the Roscoe village vibe i eat and shop there often (i ate brunch at Orange this past weekend) but i dont get the crazy prices for this area?

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  3. Welcome to the neighborhood future FB’s. Brilliant idea to pay 630,000. The realtor probably sold them on the “deal” they were getting compared to the previous sale price. It’s a frame house with awkward ceilings upstairs.

    The previous owner did do an ok job on keeping up the backyard. Overall, it’s a nice property, but they overpaid by at least $30-40K on this one.

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  4. “Welcome to the neighborhood future FB’s”

    +

    “they overpaid by at least $30-40K on this one”

    =

    Really? you think that overpaying by ~5-6% = FB? IF (very, very big IF) they live there for 15 years, even $50k overpaying isn’t going to matter–a total erosion in city RE values (which is certainly possible) would, but $50k on the front end will be annoying, not F’ing.

    Now, if they’re selling in 3 years, that’s an entirely different story, but buying with an intent to re-sell in less than 5 years has generally been a bad idea in 10 of the last 11 decades. And overpaying *is* going to give a good F’ing in that case.

    “so 630k is hard for me to swallow/understand ”

    So, Groove, you’re saying your house is about-as-nice/somewhat-nicer than this place. And you have a double lot. And this place sold for something like twice what you could get for yours.

    But I bet the folks who bought this don’t even know that your hood is in the city. And would (at least) consider sending their kid(s) to Audubon, but wouldn’t use CPS in your hood. That $12k for two kids in Catholic school caps to over $200k in home price. So that’s most of the diff, and the rest is that you don’t get people with $150k+ loop-based family incomes considering houses near Riis Park.

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  5. Damn Groove you gonna take that ownage?

    I demand a dance off

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  6. “But I bet the folks who bought this don’t even know that your hood is in the city. And would (at least) consider sending their kid(s) to Audubon, but wouldn’t use CPS in your hood. That $12k for two kids in Catholic school caps to over $200k in home price. So that’s most of the diff, and the rest is that you don’t get people with $150k+ loop-based family incomes considering houses near Riis Park.”

    All very valid points, but you cant compare it to my home or my hood (i know i did in previous post). i get the extra price bump for the area (not the school) i just dont get the whole roscoe village Extra extra premium.
    what do you think this house across addison in Bell would be worth? i would say less than 630k and you would get a better school. (assuming it would even go up for sale in bell, nothing does)

    the PITI will be like $4200 a month for this? crazy!

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  7. The only party that got owned is the buyer who paid $630,000.
    $3,687 is the monthly nut assuming a 30 yf @ 5% + taxes.

    Would you pay $3,687 per month to live here?

    IT’S 2006 ALL OVER AGAIN!

    10% down payment
    $417,000 first mortgage @ 5%
    $149,000 second mortgage @ 5% (assuming)
    $650 a month in taxes
    ____________________________________

    $3,687 monthly payment. (of course there are tax benefits of a couple of hundred above and beyond the standard deduction).

    The monthly payment maybe a little lower of course if there is an ARM @ 3.75%, which would lower this another few hundred to around $3,200.

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  8. “what do you think this house across addison in Bell would be worth? i would say less than 630k and you would get a better school. (assuming it would even go up for sale in bell, nothing does)”

    I think the same house would sell for $700K pretty easily in Bell. (Not debating whether it would truly be worth that, whatever that means, just that it would find a willing buyer in today’s market at that price.) There was a crappy frame house in Bell (I think on Bell) with a bad reno that was listing at least initially at $800K a while ago. Probably a bigger lot than this one. Don’t see it listed any longer and no time to track it down. Would be interesting to know what it sold for if it did.

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  9. “what do you think this house across addison in Bell would be worth? i would say less than 630k ”

    Frame 1.5/2 story houses in Bell, east of Western, last 2 years, stats per redfin (except ??, which is my recollection):

    1938 Bradley–3/1.5, May-09, $630k
    1940 Grace–4/1.5, Sep-08, $718k
    3710 Hoyne–3/1 (56×47 lot, no garage), Jul-08, $411.5k
    3813 Bell–4(??)/2, Jan-10, $690k
    3908 Oakley–4/1.5, Jun-08, $625k

    So, I don’t think it would sell for much less, certainly not more-less than the ~$40k Dave M sez these folks overpaid in the actual location.

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  10. This house is really nothing more than a sad commentary on what parents are required to spend to get a SFH in a neighborhood with a decent CPS school. $3,687 per month for a SFH in a decent CPS elementary school district.

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  11. “1938 Bradley–3/1.5, May-09, $630k
    1940 Grace–4/1.5, Sep-08, $718k
    3710 Hoyne–3/1 (56×47 lot, no garage), Jul-08, $411.5k
    3813 Bell–4(??)/2, Jan-10, $690k
    3908 Oakley–4/1.5, Jun-08, $625k”

    took a free moment and I was just looking on redfin for this info, thanks anon saved me some time :)

    3813 bell looks like a good comp to this. ouch 690k????????

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  12. “3813 Bell–4(??)/2, Jan-10, $690k”

    I think that’s the one I had in mind. Interesting. As I said, I would have thought they could have gotten $700K or even $725K for it. I didn’t look in person at the house but a friend who went through it thought the reno was shoddy.

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  13. “This house is really nothing more than a sad commentary on what parents are required to spend to get a SFH in a neighborhood with a decent CPS school. $3,687 per month for a SFH in a decent CPS elementary school district”

    HD,

    thats why i constently point to the far NW side for good schools, good houses, at good prices. what is 15 minutes added to train commute?
    its yuppies wanting to be cool and extra yuppies at any cost.

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  14. “thats why i constently point to the far NW side for good schools, good houses, at good prices. what is 15 minutes added to train commute?
    its yuppies wanting to be cool and extra yuppies at any cost.”

    It’s more than 15 min. If you’re talking Oriole/Norwood Park, which I know you are, that’s at least 50 min door to door for me, compared to 25 min at the moment (granted this is from Logan/Bucktown area, not RV which would be longer). That adds up for me.

    And there is nothing walkable out there. If there were reasonable restaurants and stores to walk to (don’t need super cool/yuppy) we’d consider more seriously. Almost might as well be in the suburbs.

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  15. Of course some areas will command a premium, and RV is one of them, but how hefty a premium? It’s so much easier to command a premium when higher income professional buyers can still borrow 90% of the purchase price and are willing to devote over $3,500 a month for a weird SFH in a decent neighborhood. And don’t give me that ‘this guy is rich’ BS because if he were rich he wouldn’t have bought one of the (arguably) crappier houses in the nicest neighborhood and probably would have put down 20%.

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  16. “This house is really nothing more than a sad commentary on what parents are required to spend to get a SFH in a neighborhood with a decent CPS school. $3,687 per month for a SFH in a decent CPS elementary school district.”

    So this is what the market says the house is worth. I wouldn’t personally pay that much right now, but obviously people are willing to pay it. What’s the problem?

    And of course, there are other considerations besides just the school. Short commute. Good walkability in the neighborhood. Convenient grocery shopping. Pretty safe ‘hood. Within striking distance of Wrigley and the lake.

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  17. This house could have easily been a teardown back in 2002.

    $630,000 for this one is a complete joke. And it’s on the wrong side of Addison if you were going for the school district.

    When will it be on CCRD so we can look up the buyer?

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  18. I’m happy to hear more info on Audubon, but I’m not sure much if any of whatever premium this house gets is from the school.

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  19. what is an FB?

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  20. It’s in CCRD; Look above I posted the details.

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  21. “And there is nothing walkable out there. If there were reasonable restaurants and stores to walk to (don’t need super cool/yuppy) we’d consider more seriously. Almost might as well be in the suburbs”

    If your looking for walkable then do Edison Park or Edgebrook. (near metra lines and expresways).

    I understand the almost burbs and extra commute thing, but when you are looking because of city location, schools, and safe area for kids would you rather be dropping 4k a month or 2k a month with better schools and parks?

    the 4k get you a fancy address, slightly better walkablity, slightly better commute time, with lower schools.

    I would rather use the extra cash for a great college fund (your kids wont have school debt after graduation) suck up my commute time (doing it for the kids not yourself).

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  22. “So this is what the market says the house is worth. I wouldn’t personally pay that much right now, but obviously people are willing to pay it. What’s the problem? ”

    The problem is that this is exactly what perpetuates the cycle of our messed up local housing market.

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  23. They will be lucky to get $575k for this anytime in the next 5 years if they have to sell.

    FB = F’d buyer, which is exactly what this buyer is.

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  24. “If your looking for walkable then do Edison Park or Edgebrook. (near metra lines and expresways).”

    Have thought about it but Metra is inconvenient for my office. Suburbs would be a closer call if Metra were more convenient.

    “suck up my commute time (doing it for the kids not yourself).”

    I agree with a lot of what you say Groove. For me, part of the tradeoff is also how much time I get to spend with my son. I have about 3 hours a day with him during the week at the moment. I’m cutting that by almost a third if I move to a close to hour commute.

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  25. “suck up my commute time (doing it for the kids not yourself).”

    I understand all of your points, but the commute time is one I still wonder about. In my industry, I work a lot of late nights. So the difference between a 30 minute commute, door-to-door, and a 60 minute commute is not seeing the kids before bedtime most nights. Is it still worth it? I’m not sure.

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  26. The previous owner who paid $728K is in sales, per linked in. Assuming the wife must have worked too, unless they had an extremely toxic mortgage.

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  27. Mario must be busy this morning because if he wasn’t I’m sure he would be telling us that there was a lot of interest in this house at this price. That is my understanding at least.

    You or I might not like it but this is in fact where the market is. Overall I think Chicago is a very high cost of living area but like Father Guido Sarducci used to say: supply/demand.

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  28. “I have about 3 hours a day with him during the week at the moment. I’m cutting that by almost a third if I move to a close to hour commute”

    i hear you on that, that why i live where i live cause i am home at 5:20 and my son is in bed at 8pm. and after tax/audit season i am looking to change that to 4:20 :)

    “I understand all of your points, but the commute time is one I still wonder about. In my industry, I work a lot of late nights. So the difference between a 30 minute commute, door-to-door, and a 60 minute commute is not seeing the kids before bedtime most nights. Is it still worth it? I’m not sure.”

    I guess cause i dont work in the loop and only work late the first two days of the month my view point gets one-sided.

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  29. “I guess cause i dont work in the loop and only work late the first two days of the month my view point gets one-sided.”

    And that gets to another point about the appeal of areas like Roscoe Village – the El. If you don’t work downtown or don’t need the El, prices will be coming down. And there will always be better deals. But if you’re tied to the El for the next 10-15 years, why wouldn’t you pay a premium to be close to it? Add in a decent public school and you’d pay even more, no?

    In a perfect world, my company would relocate to the burbs, and I’d buy a great house out there in a great school district. But faced with commuting downtown for the rest of my career, I’d much rather keep it short.

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  30. “The problem is that this is exactly what perpetuates the cycle of our messed up local housing market.”

    The $500k 3/2 condos are more of a problem. Drove up land prices. That $728k price was at least $400k of land “value”. The land may be “worth” barely half that now. So if teh structure is worth the same, they over paid by ~$100k.

    But if this is $530k, what’s the 3/2 condo at 33xx Damen worth? $400k? $350k? And so on, with smaller places/diff locations.

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  31. Yuppies’ reliance upon the handful of decent CPS schools will soon experience another challenge – likely significant cut-backs, big teacher terminations, and a long teacher strike. Those several “good” schools will suffer the same budget reductions, gutting all the niceities. Note that CPS has a $1 billion 2010 budget shortfall. “Doomsday clause” in teacher contract allows CPS to terminate and renegotiate teacher contracts. Teachers union has already said “no concessions”, so the stalemate is set with a strike likely. This issue seems to be getting more attention from national press than our anemic local press.

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  32. “Note that CPS has a $1 billion 2010 budget shortfall.”

    $975mm, $280mm of which is catch-up pension funding (which requirement *will* be relaxed), and $475mm of which is State funding Quinn is threatening to withhold ($200mm for this year, $275mm for next year) in order (in part) to fund state pension catch-up. Over 3/4 of the shortfall is pension related.

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  33. “Yuppies’ reliance upon the handful of decent CPS schools will soon experience another challenge – likely significant cut-backs, big teacher terminations, and a long teacher strike”

    Of course, these same problems are playing out variously around the suburbs as well. The Oswego area district is in pretty bad shape, whatever district houses Lincoln Way is approaching trouble, and I think it was Downers Grove that was recently in the news for budget shortfalls.

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  34. The times…they must be gettin’ hard if ole MG has taken to doing short sales.

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  35. Short, witty, poignant, observant:

    Keep up the good work westloopelo!

    Bravo!

    “westloopelo on March 2nd, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    The times…they must be gettin’ hard if ole MG has taken to doing short sales.

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  36. “Over 3/4 of the shortfall is pension related.”

    It’s the pension and social security stuff that makes me worried the world is coming to an end. I guess I can always retire to Costa Rica. Wonder where the good school districts are down there…

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  37. “It’s the pension and social security stuff that makes me worried the world is coming to an end.”

    The SS stuff will just get cut once SS tax is no longer surplus to current benefits–which currently is projected in happens in 2015 or 16. Remember the “lockbox” from the 2000 election? No one checked to see if the box had an actual bottom–it’s all been spent, and the only alternatives to cuts are a *huge* increase in the ss-tax–currently 12.8 (half paid by employers), to slightly more than 17 in 2032 or so, or a same $$ increase in general income tax (to repay the “borrowed” SS money).

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  38. “the only alternatives to cuts are a *huge* increase in the ss-tax–currently 12.8 (half paid by employers), to slightly more than 17 in 2032 or so, or a same $$ increase in general income tax (to repay the “borrowed” SS money).”

    Or running a bigger deficit, no? Or is there some mechanism to prevent that.

    The pension obligations seem maybe even more problematic (although I’d guess they are smaller in some relevant relative sense) as much of it can’t be cut, correct?

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  39. “Or running a bigger deficit, no? Or is there some mechanism to prevent that.”

    Well, sure, but I don’t think that the global market will really swallow *another* $5T+ of publicly held US debt (to “repay” the “lockbox”), over and above the current year deficits we’re projected to maintain.

    “The pension obligations seem maybe even more problematic (although I’d guess they are smaller in some relevant relative sense) as much of it can’t be cut, correct?”

    Why would the pension obligations be *unable* to be cut? Politically feasible, perhaps not, but there are lots of ways to cut future obligations, even for current employees w/o violating the spirit of the obligations. Current estimates of state/muni pension obligations is ~$3T, with a third of that in medical benefits (which are subject to whacking); future benefits are based on current EE headcount and pay increase patterns. Decrease headcount and annual pay increases, decrease future pension obligations. Eliminate double-dipping. Eliminate Politician’s pensions. Base pension only on base salary, not including OT or paid out vacation/sick leave. All of that would *dramatically* reduce future obligations (and current funding need) w/o generating *any* sympathy from the general public. And, of course, *totally* re-do retirement funding for new employees.

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  40. “there are lots of ways to cut future obligations, even for current employees w/o violating the spirit of the obligations”

    My question was really meant to be more of a question than a statement. I’m speculating that there is a lot of it obligated to existing retirees and soon to be retirees that can’t be cut much.

    When you see pension shortfall numbers, that’s relative to existing obligations I assume. Is there still discretion to substantially lessen those obligations?

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  41. “When you see pension shortfall numbers, that’s relative to existing obligations I assume.”

    But “existing obligations” is the actuarial value of future obligations, assuming that past patterns of pay, retirement age, and life expectancy continue and the shortfall calculated assuming x% return on the value of current pension trust funds and “required” future contributions. And they change annually–you can have a surplus one year and a *massive* shortfall the next, if your pension manager were to, say, have invested parallel to the BrightStart funds.

    Probably the best way to cut future obligations is to get all state/muni employees to smoke 3 packs of pall malls daily.

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  42. They should just get rid of cost of living adjustments, and remove overtime pay from the pension formula. New employees should get no pension but instead receive a 403b match. Simple enough, eventually will save billions.

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  43. “get all state/muni employees to smoke 3 packs of pall malls daily”

    ps: this would also probably increase the productiveity of some of said employees, by preventing them from being an impediment to those who do do a good job.

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  44. Good thing King Barack gave a 2% raise to federal workers this year… what a chump

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  45. “Good thing King Barack gave a 2% raise to federal workers this year”

    Federal workers hired after 1984 (ie, most of them) don’t have a pension, but SS and the Thrift Savings Plan with some matching.

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  46. Why should government workers get a raise, when in the private sector, most employers had pay freezes or pay cuts? No wonder why there is such a deficit.

    Why do elected officials need pensions? In most cases, they are already rich, and isn’t it considered “public service”?

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  47. the lockbox didn’t get the court votes, lost by 1.

    “Remember the “lockbox” from the 2000 election? No”

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  48. “the lockbox didn’t get the court votes, lost by 1.”

    Well, yeah, but it’s not like the T-bills held by the SS trustees are actually treated teh same as those held by the public. There well could be selective default on those.

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  49. Gary – We did have a lot of interest at the list price of $649k – and the appraisal came in higher than $630k.

    Westloopelo – Times really are tough. I have no idea how I’m going to make ends meet on the $225M I closed since 1/1/09 – and the $25M in pending deals I have closing so far in ’10… Any ideas?

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  50. CORRECTION: $225M since 1/1/08. :)

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  51. Where do you really think the market will be a year from now? If place was put back on the market a year from now, where do you think it would sell at?

    5% of this sale price

    I think the writing is on the wall that we are due for another credit lockup and prices will fall, and fall hard. So I continue to rent. But what if I keep renting instead of buying and I am wrong? I don’t think prices will go up, but if I keep waiting for a bottom I think of all the years I could have been in a place I really could have enjoyed. Or what happens if hyperinflation destroys the buying power of my savings and rewards all the people who took on all this debt?

    I keep going back-and-forth and I think maybe I should just buy now since I can afford to safely.

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  52. edit:
    I think the HTML read my greater than and less than signs wrong. Post is supposed to say

    less than 5% of the sale price
    within 5% of this sale price
    greater than 5% of this sale price

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  53. “I keep going back-and-forth and I think maybe I should just buy now since I can afford to safely.”

    Would your enjoyment have enough value to you to balance whatever loss you expect to be the maximum? You’re doing specific enough c/b analysis that you should be able to roughly quantify the value (or at least the relative value) and the relative likelihood of each extreme scenario (and one or more middle scenarios, too) to arrive at some net expected value for buying–if it’s positive, or tolerably negative, then it seems like you should buy, but if it’s far negative, then not.

    If your p for credit lock-up + 30-50% drop is anything close to 50%, then I think you’d be crazy to buy–especially if your cash position is such that you could buy a place you’d like if it were 50% off.

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  54. “Or what happens if hyperinflation destroys the buying power of my savings and rewards all the people who took on all this debt? ”

    This is undoubtedly the government’s intent, even though they won’t admit it. It hasn’t happened yet because the banks are scared to death they are sitting on all this bad debt so they aren’t lending their excess reserves, and there really aren’t many creditworthy customers anyway that want credit. So no hyperinflation until the Fed stops paying interest on reserves and banks start throwing the money around. They aren’t likely to throw the money around as they did that between 2003-2007 and that got them where they were today.
    Also unions aren’t as powerful as they were in the 1970s so they aren’t likely to put upward pressure on wages.

    Inflating away the debt solves, more or less, all the government’s problems and the real estate market’s as well.

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  55. “less than 5% of the sale price
    within 5% of this sale price
    greater than 5% of this sale price”

    Barring general collapse of SFH prices in the city (possible), I don’t see this dropping more than ~5%, but I doubt it’s going up in the near term–>if they were selling w/in the year, especially, it would most likely be a quasi-distressed (or relo) sale.

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  56. “Inflating away the debt solves, more or less, all the government’s problems and the real estate market’s as well.”

    Then we get gorillas to eat the inflation, and expect they just die during the winter?

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  57. And if there is inflation everyone will pay higher interest rates on that funny money making just as difficult to pay off.

    Ben’s going to need his infamous helicopter money drops and even that may not prevent the malaise we’re in. Everything else he’s tried has failed.

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  58. “Barring general collapse of SFH prices in the city (possible), I don’t see this dropping more than ~5%”

    Completely possible and probable. All it takes is a shift of the mix to more distressed sales. Also Credit Suisse released their updated option-ARM chart today which also shows regular ARMs. Big pain still in store through 2012.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/03/new-credit-suisse-arm-recast-chart.html

    What happens to even those regular ARM resets in 2011 & 2012 when rates are higher than they are now? Even if the Fed manages to keep rates at 0% (unlikely) they won’t be able to keep blowing out their balance sheet to buy MBS debt to keep rates lower.

    “Then we get gorillas to eat the inflation, and expect they just die during the winter?”

    If Volcker is still alive bring him back. If he passes bring him back with strings a la “Weekend At Bernies”.

    Also, kiddos, sorry to inform you but this here cow town called Chicago is indeed behind the valuation curve and last month’s Case Shiller proved as much. We haven’t taken the haircuts nearly to the extent of other areas and likely will–our jobs situation isn’t much better than most case shiller MSAs save Vegas, LA & Detroit.

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  59. “And if there is inflation everyone will pay higher interest rates on that funny money making just as difficult to pay off. ”

    No. Sustained higher inflation (say 5%/year) would lead us out of this mess in a few years with minimal disruption to the economy or labor markets. The problem is inflation is notoriously difficult to control and is never evenly spread across the board.

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  60. Thanks Anon. Nothing like a little math to figure this out. :) But I think, over the next two years I put the odds at
    deflation: 3-to-1
    hyperinflation: 4-to-1
    and status-quo: even money.

    We are going to have to pay eventually, but, much like bubbles, downturns have a way of going longer than people expect.

    —-

    I agree Bob, I think inflating the debt away is the easiest way out of this mess. And the easiest way is the most likely way for an inept government.

    Nixon destroyed the gold standard and that is what caused the hyperinflation of the 1970s (well that was what lit the powder keg). So I do you kill the dollar this time?

    Copy and pasted this from Pete Stolcers but I agree with the below:
    Here is a list of countries that are on the brink of financial disaster: Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Venezuela, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Dubai. When one of them defaults, the cost of capital spikes and credit to the other “problem counties” will dry up. This will ultimately drive them to failure when they are not able to raise capital so that they can meet their obligations.

    This is a giant Ponzi scheme. Countries borrow money and spend more than they generate in revenues. This continues for decades until the money borrowed can no longer cover the interest owed to lenders. When the first tier crumbles, lending locks up and the problem spreads to larger countries …

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  61. “This is a giant Ponzi scheme.”

    What in the financial markets is *not* a ponzi scheme at this point? Growth is the only way to not have it not ALL collapse, and we’re having trouble finding the growth. Most of the stock market relies on some future fool paying you more than you paid for a piece of (non-existant) paper that only has value if someone else want to buy it from him. It all relies on a future greater fool.

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  62. “It all relies on a future greater fool.”

    Thats only growth (or story) stocks. For value stocks they’re valued according to the Gordon growth model, which needn’t even require growth. Just that the discounted cash flows of future incoming dividends exceed the current share price to make the stock a buy.

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  63. “Just that the discounted cash flows of future incoming dividends exceed the current share price to make the stock a buy.”

    What %age of the total market cap is dividend paying stocks? And what %age of those are trading at/near NPV using a reasonable cap rate?

    But, yeah, that’s very true. Still, aren’t they all denominated in ponzi-script?

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  64. “What in the financial markets is *not* a ponzi scheme at this point? Growth is the only way to not have it not ALL collapse, and we’re having trouble finding the growth. Most of the stock market relies on some future fool paying you more than you paid for a piece of (non-existant) paper that only has value if someone else want to buy it from him. It all relies on a future greater fool.”

    U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion
    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/u_s_economy_grinds_to_halt_as

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  65. “What %age of the total market cap is dividend paying stocks? And what %age of those are trading at/near NPV using a reasonable cap rate?”

    Not essential questions and besides that data isn’t easy to get. Plus it doesn’t account for companies that one day might start paying dividends. Total Wilshire5k dividend yield is 2.25% as of 9/2008.

    http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/downloads/fact_info/DJW5000_Facts.pdf

    NPV all depends on discount rate, and these days that dividend yield isn’t too shabby (if it still holds today). In fact in that scenario the market is much more appropriately valued than, say, P/E. But yes its an _awful lot of risk_ for only 2.25% return.

    “But, yeah, that’s very true. Still, aren’t they all denominated in ponzi-script?”

    Doesn’t matter–equities have a natural inflation hedge built in: companies are going to raise prices and their fundamentals won’t be affected (save short term fluctuations before mgt adjusts). Thats probably largely the reason why the dividend yield is so low for that amount of risk: they can adjust to the market whereas fixed income securities really can’t.

    Also in addition to company fundamentals being buffeted by their reaction to inflation, lets not forget inflation would similarly impact the market capitalization (and share price) of a stock.

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  66. “Thats probably largely the reason why the dividend yield is so low for that amount of risk: they can adjust to the market whereas fixed income securities really can’t. ”

    no its mainly because buying back stock is a much cheaper (tax wise) alternative.

    You can get good yield though. Buying a company like AT&T which has increased its dividend every year for the last million years (it seems) is yielding 6%, same with Altria, BP, there are tons of quality companies yielding 5% as well and are still increasing their dividends every year even through all this crap

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  67. Diversification is key though. I used to work at good ol’ Generous Electric back in the day. They had a AAA rating (which people thought meant something) and their dividend hadn’t been cut since the GD and wasn’t going to be cut according to their lying CEO right up until the point it actually was. It was obvious to me accounting fraud was going on at the time so I didn’t hesitate to move out of co stock at the time.

    Any company with a high dividend yield in a tough industry I’d say is a good candidate to cut their dividend to around a 1-3% level.

    But yes oil & tobacco are among the safest dividends. I made a bunch off RJR back in the day when they missed earnings and the stock tanked 20% in one day. Easiest trade I ever made as I know people who prioritize their smokes ahead of food. :D

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  68. Err..It was obvious to me accounting fraud was going on at the time I worked there. I left long before the current crisis.

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  69. Bob if you have owned GE for 35 years like some folk have you really don’t care if they cut their dividend… your cost basis over the long term will really win out. you’re looking at something like an 11,000% return if you bought GE back in 1975 look at exxon, even though those companies have really weak dividends and no real growth potential, look at the long term appreciation of those stocks. Insane!

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  70. If you could effectively predict GE or Exxon would’ve grown like they did you’d be the oracle of Chicago and a more metro-version of Buffet.
    My cost basis in co stock was built during the early part of the last decade after it was already a lumbering giant. I got out ahead of the game, even if only slightly.

    Is the next GE or Exxon lurking among the 6,700 equities in the W5k? Probably–but don’t assume you can pick it. And that’s not a great reason for being overly bullish on equities.

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  71. my point is that they were already huge blue chip companies in 1975 and still gained shareholders 10000% returns

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  72. “my point is that they were already huge blue chip companies in 1975 and still gained shareholders 10000% returns”

    No one wanted to own stocks in 1975 so you would have been in the minority owning either of these.

    But that being said: a big percentage of the return was through their dividends (which have accounted for 44% of all returns over the last 80 years on the S&P.) You’re simply compounding for decades.

    Take Exxon. If you had bought it at the beginning of 1996, say, it would have returned 1667% with dividends reinvested through Feb of 2009. Without reinvesting dividends, your return drops down to only 548% during that same period.

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  73. Exxon is timeless and should be owned by anyone who wants to pass down wealth. It was up almost 100% during the lost decade of the 2000s, it blew away INTC and MSFT.

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  74. Other blue chippers performed as well as XOM. JNJ easily beat XOM over the last decade, for instance. It pays a larger dividend yield, so that probably boosted results somewhat.

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  75. “No one wanted to own stocks in 1975 so you would have been in the minority owning either of these.”

    Nobody wanted to own stocks in late 2008, early 2009 either… see my point?

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  76. “Westloopelo – Times really are tough. I have no idea how I’m going to make ends meet on the $225M I closed since 1/1/09 – and the $25M in pending deals I have closing so far in ‘10… Any ideas?”

    Yeah here’s an idea, stop exaggerating your numbers! HEHEHE
    I take it those #’s are the total of the entire office and not just yourself, right? $225 mil in two years in a down economy?
    OK, whatever you say. I know you are successful, but I just can’t see those figures in a depressed city like Chicago.

    I have officially hung up my tool belt as of last month.
    I thought I would hold out for another ten years, but I just can’t seem to get my groove back. I did a few small rehab projects for repeat clients once I got back in the city, but it is not as fulfilling as doing my own houses.
    Any ideas on how I can survive owning only $350 mil worth of property? LOL

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  77. Yep. $225M+ – someone here can look it up in the MLS for you…

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  78. To be clear, that figure is for MY volume alone. Not the entire office.

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  79. “Yep. $225M+ – someone here can look it up in the MLS for you…
    To be clear, that figure is for MY volume alone. Not the entire office.”

    I just threw up a little. People really post like this? I don’t find the numbers to be sickening, just the arrogance. In fairness, if we are going to be braggalicious about our numbers, let’s also include an objective assessment of happiness and contribution to the greater good. And I’m out.

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  80. “People really post like this?”

    You forgot to 2d quote the post he was responding to (not that he didn’t start tossing the $$ around, this time):

    “Any ideas on how I can survive owning only $350 mil worth of property?”

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  81. “I just threw up a little. People really post like this?”

    Think about it: he wasn’t throwing it out there to brag/get into an e-penis size contest with WLEO–his book of business is free advertisement. If I owned a big ol’ property and wanted to sell you’d bet I’d be calling one of the star agents.

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  82. If you follow the thread up, WL was feeling sorry for my “having to do short sales” and assumed I was “hurting” in this market. The exact opposite is true and the easiest way to point that out is to share publicly available and objective information to refute his assumption. I know most people on this board can’t imagine any “realtard” actually doing well in this market. The fact of the matter is – as in any business – the best do better in a down market and consumers gravitate to quality/established brands.

    If we knew WL’s name, we could confirm whether or not he owns $350M worth of property… ;)

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  83. I think its a conversion issue. MG was obviously using ‘M’ in the shorthand for Million. westloopelo I believe was using ‘M’ in the roman numeral sense of thousand. I think it is entirely possible Westloopelo did indeed build up $350,000 of sweat equity over his lengthy rehabbing career.

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  84. “I think it is entirely possible Westloopelo did indeed build up $350,000 of sweat equity over his lengthy rehabbing career”

    g.o.

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  85. I want to go on the record that I’ve never engaged in Realtor(tm) bashing on crib chatter.

    “I know most people on this board can’t imagine any “realtard” actually doing well in this market. “

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  86. “I want to go on the record that I’ve never engaged in Realtor(tm) bashing on crib chatter.”

    I haven’t either… But when people start listing their accomplishments (and making me puke a little) and doing strange things with square footage and then getting all defensive about it and their deals that fell through and their “team” can’t find the time to show you a place (true story)…

    On another (not) note… You know when you meet someone just briefly at a party and you just know that you don’t like them, that you aren’t the same people, that you don’t ever want to be around them? Like when they make you uncomfortable talking about themselves and not knowing their audience… And then everyone in the room starts looking at them and you just hope that they don’t think that they are with you. Oh nothing. It’s not important. But someone is. Very important!!!

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  87. Matt Garrison on March 3rd, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Greco is making a market. He is pretty damn good at it. Doesn’t matter if you like him.

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  88. I would just like to add to what Matt said- in that in the 2.5 years I’ve been running this site I’ve seen many of the listings consolidate to a group of the top agents (and their “teams.”) (This is especially true in the upper bracket- but Mario doesn’t just cover the 7 figure properties.)

    It’s not a coincidence in a down market that sellers would be attracted to those who can actually close the deal.

    I’ve also found that the top agents are much more realistic on pricing properties (some of you may disagree) because they don’t “need” the listing, per say, and will tell it like it is to the seller. Then the seller can deal with the reality (and sell the property) or not.

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  89. “Greco is making a market.”

    What does this mean exactly?

    Also, MG what does your team do that isn’t done by other realtors? I thought the process was pretty simple, put it on the MLS & other standard marketing channels, do some open houses, and wait for a written offer with a check to come in, present it to seller.

    Unless MG is somehow finding that buyers, that wouldn’t surface otherwise, how is there any real value-added?

    I’d like to know, this question is generic, directed to any and all listing brokers not just MG.

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  90. I can take a stab at answering this even though I’m not a broker/agent or on any “team.”

    To me, the marketing is superb by many of the top agents (great pictures and websites). And, as I’ve said, the best agents know how to price properties. They tell it like it is. And this gets properties sold.

    Heck, some even walk dogs during showings and actually clean before open houses.

    I’ve also seen some of the best agents convince clients that they need to either (1) paint their place or (2) stage it before listing it. Both of which can sell a property faster and for a higher price.

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  91. OK truce for all involved here!
    Anyone who has been reading CC for awhile should realize that while MG and I have had a ‘colored past’ with each other, I still do respect him for his accomplishments. I do know the volume of business he has done and it is quite a feat under normal circumstances and under Chicago’s circumstances, it is quite extraordinary. I was being sarcastic with his response and expected him to answer as he did. But know both he and I are being truthful with regards to our sales figures.
    Now as far as my business is concerned, I too am being very honest about my numbers, if not going for a bit of an understatement. As I have repeatedly stated, I have been in this field for over 25 years, coming from an entire family who is involved in most every aspect of the RE game. You have to think anyone who is successful and who has that amount of time invested, in as many different markets as I have, SHOULD be at the level that I am. I am neither bragging nor exagerating just as MG is not doing, we are merely telling it for how it is.
    As has been stated (and questioned) many times here, only the best of the best has survived in this f’ed up market. This goes for RE brokers/agents and also (thank God) for my segment of the industry as well. That said, there were good reasons for the issues Jon (whom I also admire for his knowledge and sensibility of the business) mentioned. A few of his posts did make me wonder about his tactics…but just as I do not like to be questioned or doubted about my methods, I am sure MG takes the same route in answering about his listings.
    As far as revealing my name, my families name or my company name, that is just something that I would have a difficult time doing, especially on the ‘net. I have been involved with some high profile clients at times and feel it is in their best interest to stay silent regarding my involvment.
    Let’s just leave it at that and I hope you all are respectful of my reasons for staying mum at this time.

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  92. While Sabrina does state some very relevant defenses in her support of MG, there are many other, more involved practices that successful agents perform that puts them at the top of their game. It is very similar to what I do myself when working towards a positive outcome for our clients.
    When you are genuinly sincere in wanting to receive the most favorable outcome for both sides of the deal makers, you do what you have to do to get to those outcomes. He has his bag of proven tricks just as I do.
    It is all about utilizing every drop of creative marketing and solid and honest representation of yourself. We both are not merely just letting our properties sell themselves and doing the bare minimum to get our results…We LIVE this industry and everything we do is motivated by wanting success for ourselves and for our clients.
    Refer back to my many comments about the shady, half assed, bare bones operators who worked themselves right out of business with their unsavory practices. The horrific economic downturn did force those with a lot at stake to up their game 100% and I personally took great deal of joy seeing many close up shop and move on to to other fields…it restored the real reason we do what we do and left only the cream of the crop to finalize these transactions.

    Alright MG, I am extending an olive branch to you and let’s just leave it at that. Our back and forths were fun to participate in and only someone with the good fortune we both have earned would be up for such pissing contests. I think early on we both knew what we were dealing with and had no problem stabbing each other when the other felt the need to do so.
    But just as I hung up my tool belt, assisted a few members of my faithful crew in carrying on with their successful careers, I am hanging up anything that could be considered mean nastiness…and hope you are willing to do the same.
    Good luck and continued success to you!

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  93. Funny, but I just looked at this issue. Analyzed the data on all realtors for the last 12 months: http://blog.lucidrealty.com/2010/02/27/most-realtors-starving-in-this-real-estate-market/ and Mario comes up with $82.6 MM for the last 12 months, which is consistent with the numbers he posted earlier. Now, to be fair, that’s for Mario’s entire team, which is kind of like a brokerage within a brokerage. All sales are consolidated under the team leader.

    But I’m with Dan – more or less. There is no magic in this business. There is just good, common sense business practices – which surprisingly few realtors follow. And that’s what creates the opportunities for those who have common sense. You wouldn’t believe the clowns that I run into. I can tell the difference just by the way they schedule appointments. You call some agents in the middle of the day and you can barely hear them over the soap operas in the background – if you can reach them at all. You call Mario’s group and you get a live person.

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  94. Matt Garrison on March 4th, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Dan-

    “Greco is making a market”

    “What does that mean exactly?”

    There is generally an initial 10% spread in expectations between buyer and seller and our job is to figure out how to get deals done. It takes a lot of experience. That’s why you don’t see too many inexperienced agents doing big volume. It’s not just marketing. It is overall ability to execute using experience, market knowledge, tactics, skills etc.

    That’s what I mean by making a market in reference above.

    MGG

    MGG

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  95. The other half of the job is dealing with people.about sensitive issues – the value of a seller’s home – which everyone knows ain’t easy.

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  96. Matt Garrison on March 4th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    HD

    Very true.

    MGG

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  97. WL – Olive branch accepted.

    Most of what I was going to say in response to the question above has been said. I’ll add that PRICING – including having the difficult “you’re going to lose money” conversation right when you meet the seller OR “your purple beaded headboard has to go and I don’t care that dear old dead Auntie Gertie gave it to you” talk – is the MOST IMPORTANT factor in getting property moved.

    As for my Group, I am organized in such a way that I bring 99% of the business in and I have sales agents that help me (not replace me) with showings (I do all 2nd, 3rd, “bring mom/dad back” showings and negotiate every single deal) and I have office staff that handles everything from scheduling the floorplan/photo/video appointment to processing the contract once we’re sold. We show up to every showing & I am more detail-oriented (read, crazy) than others in the business. I review my listing sheets weekly to make sure they evolve if necessary (i.e., FHA guidelines were rumored to be changing 4 times since 10/09 and remarks were edited every time the deadline for change came/went); we take pix as seasons change so the place that was listed in Dec doesn’t have snow in the picture in April (if unsold); I speak with sellers re price every 2-3 weeks or more if necessary and send them a renewed CMA every Tues to reflect weekend activity and how their market has changed since last week, and I search the MLS “hot sheet” the minute I get out of bed, once in the middle of the day and before I go to sleep so I know what the new/sold/closed inventory is.

    Another reason I’ve been able to thrive instead of starve in this market is being able to speak intelligently about stuff other than the latest trend in “spa baths,” i.e., know the 2/1/10 FHA requirements like the back of my hand so that sellers know what they need to do to get their ASSOCIATION/BUILDING ready for sale (i.e., tell deadbeats in #2S and #3N to get their assessments paid up b/c if 15% of a building is more than 30 days in arrears on their monthly assessments, buyer won’t be able to get FHA or conventional conforming financing in the building without an at least 25% down payment). There are buyers agents out there right now (as evidenced by ?s I get every day from them) who think FHA approvals have gone away and don’t know the difference b/w FHA spot approvals (now gone) and building approvals (all that is left) or who don’t know that if the commercial space in a multi-use condo building (think 3-4 unit new/newer const bldgs on commerical strips like Southport, Clark, Lincoln, etc makes up more than 20% of the total sqftge of the building their 10% down buyer can’t get financing in that building (even with his/her 790 FICO score) and they shouldn’t be spending time looking at these buildings. Or from the listing agent side, telling seller to check the % of ownership in their condo docs and make sure commercial space %age isn’t going to kill their ability to sell, etc.

    In addition, I have someone answering my phones from 830am until 630 pm 7 days/week. There is no other agent in the city or elsewhere that I’m aware of that has this kind of coverage. And I routinely start my day at 430am and end it at 930-10pm. I treat emails and vmails as if they are hand grenades with the pin pulled sitting in their respective inboxes and return them within 30 minutes and sometimes within 5.

    Finally, back in 2002 when I started in this business, I made the decision to be more of a CTA train and less like a town car and take anything that came my way in any neighborhood that made sense (i.e., reasonable drive time, etc.) at any price point – knowing that the $150k Rogers Park buyer or $200k Lakeview seller would someday sell/buy again – and more importantly – those same people would tell their friends/family about me. My staff bitches about my taking the $150k 1bd/1ba listing on Touhy/Clark and I tell them that you never know who knows whom – and this philosophy hasn’t failed me. This is the lifeblood of our business and I’ve kept/grown these relationships into a steady stream of referral business.

    A lot of other agents dream of being the $3M+ SFH guy/gal or want their name on a bus stop in Andersonville as “the agent” for a specific ‘hood. I took the opposite approach as stated above and I have been the top agent in many different ‘hoods over the years just by volume alone. This approach helps with the all-important pricing issue stated above b/c if all you know is Roscoe Village or North Center and price a house/condo without deep knowledge of what that price buys you in OTHER ‘hoods buyers may be open to, your inventory will sit and your seller will fire you.

    These are a few of the qualities/practices that have helped me survive/thrive in this market.

    Flame away… :)

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  98. You’re not going to get any flames for hard work MG. I just wish I had your stamina. No amount of coffee will keep me alert and functioning for a 4:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. work day.

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  99. I’ll be 40 this year. Sleep gets less necessary as the body ages. :)

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  100. I sincerely appreciate the participation of agents here. I also probably differ from many here as I don’t expect full candor from anyone. I expect agents to do their job–market, sell, broker deals, etc. And I don’t begrudge them for doing so and the successful ones for being successful. And again I appreciate their time on this site posting their points of view.

    I did go to one showing at an MG listing once, where the agent (not MG) was very professional and polite but kinda inexperienced (maybe a few months out of college) and just started to make up stuff about schools. But I find I hardly ever get any good intel on schools from agents, even when there is positive info they should be promoting. As difficult as I find it is navigating CPS, I guess I don’t really blame them for that either.

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  101. “I tell them that you never know who knows whom – and this philosophy hasn’t failed me.”

    Amen, brother.

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  102. The Chicago & beyond land baron, the self-made realtor and his empire team, and now the olive branch… This has ALL the makings of a LIFETIME movie! I’m serious! We’ll need westloopeo to play himself so long as his high-end clients are ok with the publicity and maybe Luke Perry or Chris Noth for MG? Any girlfriends? Tina Yothers, Alyssa Milano… Meredith Baxter Birney is looking for work – she’d be a perfect sinister realtoress to provide added drama. What a wonderful outlet for all these tips and achievements we’ve heard SO MUCH about — don’t keep them to yourselves! All of America needs to know!!! I’m struggling with a title though — Famous To Themselves: Trus Stories of Crib Chatters Most Spectacular. Nah. Need help!

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  103. True, not Trus.

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  104. Alright Jon now you’re just being a hater. The guy works his ass off – regardless of his profession – and I can respect that.

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  105. I would just be happy to see Tina Yothers employed.

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  106. I’d like to get Alfonse Ribeiro a role in that movie as well…

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  107. Alfonso. Not Alfonse. And would have loved to get Andrew Koenig a role as well but…

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  108. I think it’s dicey for realtors to pontificate on the quality of schools. I think they should merely figure out which school the home belongs to and then point the consumer to an objective Web site that rates them.

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  109. Consumers really don’t understand how hard it is to be very successful in residential real estate and how good agents typically deserve every penny earned. People often joke about Realturds, etc but it isn’t an easy career, especially now.

    When times are good, anyone can be a Realtor or mortgage lender and make decent coin. However, when the market tanks, only the best thrive.

    The barriers to entry are way too low in residential real estate which is part of the problem, however, the industry is designed such that the brokerages can survive off newbies who only close a handful of transactions per year before eventually washing out.

    While I don’t know Mario personally, I have financed a couple of deals with him as the listing agent and/or buyers agent and can attest that he does have a well oiled machine that gets the job done. He is correct about the things that help in this market is the little details, because it is that minutae that sinks deals by screwing up the financing. Nothing is more aggravating when an agent says the building is FHA approved and we find out it isn’t. Or the listing agent doesn’t care to find out the HOA is a huge lawsuit. Or title is f’ed up. Or the 100s of other little things that are very important in getting a deal done beyond the paint colors and appliance package.

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  110. Gary – Agreed re schools

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  111. “I think it’s dicey for realtors to pontificate on the quality of schools. I think they should merely figure out which school the home belongs to and then point the consumer to an objective Web site that rates them.”

    I’m fine with that. I’d say maybe 20% of the listings I’ve gone to the agent does not know the neighborhood elementary. I’ve gone to two Coonley showings, in both cases the agent could not accurately explain the Coonley neighborhood/gifted distinction (which I am not putting in the does not know category).

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  112. ” I think they should merely figure out which school the home belongs to”

    Way, way too hard for many of them, Gary. I have heard too many tales of outright lies. When in doubt, everyone should refer to the CPS locator, even if across the street from a school.

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  113. Exactly what I am talking about, anon! I showed one of my listings to an agent that has lived right around the corner from my listing for years and she thought my listing was in the same school district as her home.

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  114. “I’ve gone to two Coonley showings, in both cases the agent could not accurately explain the Coonley neighborhood/gifted distinction (which I am not putting in the does not know category).”

    I bet there are current Coonley parents who couldn’t describe it accurately, at least to someone (like you) who really *gets* the distinction.

    At least they weren’t claiming it as Bell.

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  115. “Way, way too hard for many of them, Gary. I have heard too many tales of outright lies. When in doubt, everyone should refer to the CPS locator, even if across the street from a school.”

    I’d be fine with that–what bothers me more is when people make stuff up either lying or because that’s their perception of what they should do to “sell” the property. But is it really that hard for the realtor to put the address in the locator? (I now know enough to check the locator in any event.)

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  116. “But is it really that hard for the realtor to put the address in the locator?”

    It’s apparently too hard for some realtors to tell their clients to pick up their crap before the photographer comes over, so I’d have to say that yes, it is too hard.

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  117. “It’s apparently too hard for some realtors to tell their clients to pick up their crap before the photographer comes over, so I’d have to say that yes, it is too hard.”

    I went to a showing for a short sale listing recently where the agent had these I guess college students, though they looked like high schoolers to me, house sitting in the place. Not necesssarily a bad idea. BUT they were there just hanging around for the showing, one of them went into a bathroom just as we were about to look at it, and there were these crappy mattresses on the floor of the bedroom. Kitchen was not filthy but certainly not clean.

    I was more amused than anything. I’m not really bothered by this kind of stuff, and the house was wrong for us for many concrete reasons, but my wife was appalled.

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  118. I wouldn’t expect an agent to give me subjective “advice” on schools (for example, regarding quality of instruction) any more than I’d look for Suzanne to research my finances. Certainly knowing (and verifying) the attendance area school is a reasonable expectation for any agent–it is astounding how many do not know (or lie?).

    Beyond that, I think what MG said about FHA regulations applies to school programs/policies – doing the extra work and knowing the details is what separates the wheat from the chaff. I would expect the top agents to be keeping up with the current shifts in CPS admissions policies as they affect their listings, just as the top ones are all over shifts in FHA policies.

    p.s. Would like to see a quantitative analysis, but I have also noticed a consolidation of listings with top agents recently–in fact, I see Mario’s name popping up ever more frequently!

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  119. roma,

    I posted a link to just such an analysis above – 6:13 AM. Don’t think the spam filter will let me post another link on the same thread.

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  120. Gary,

    Yes, I saw that and thought it was quite interesting, and it certainly hints at the phenomenon. But it isn’t a comparison over time and it looks at sales, not listings (so it also has a lag). I’m wondering if certain agents are increasing their market shares of listings over the last, say, 6-9 months.

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  121. With 5,000 agents throwing in the towel over the last 2 years it almost certainly has to be the case.

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  122. That’s probably true. Although still would be interesting to see how much.

    In any case, it isn’t the only possible scenario: one could imagine more sellers using lower-commission agents in a declining market where they are likely to have little/no profit or take a loss.

    Of course, we may be seeing spikes in %’s of listing from both superstars and low-commission/rebate agents, with those in the middle cut out.

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  123. “Of course, we may be seeing spikes in %’s of listing from both superstars and low-commission/rebate agents, with those in the middle cut out.”

    Seems most likely, no?

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  124. “MG on March 4th, 2010 at 9:30 am
    And would have loved to get Andrew Koenig a role as well but…”

    ouch.

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  125. Jon: the best realtor scene in all of moviedom was Annette Benning with Peter Gallagher in American Beauty (perverted anti-white suburban movie made by clever bigoted homosexuals with Spielberg’s blessing).

    But anyway, this scene was hilarious, LOL!!!:

    Peter Gallagher: “You like gettin’ nailed by the king?”
    Bening: “Oh, yes, I love it! F’ me, your majesty!”
    Gallagher: “Aarrggh! Who’s the king??”
    Bening: “Oh, you are!”
    Gallagher: “Who’s the king??”

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  126. OUCH!
    LOL wake up on the full of jealousy side of the bed this morning Jon?
    Did you overlook the positive shout out I gave you on the olive branch post? I used to admire and respect your observations…it seems as though I might need to retract that comment.

    But on to more important matters.

    I was thinking more along the lines of say…Christian Bale, Eric Bana or even Colin Farrell to play the ‘Chicago and Beyond Land Baron’ role.
    As fab as I am at age 50, it just might be a good idea to cast a younger and (dare I say) sexier actor to play me as I am not sure what the follow up sequel of “The Trials and Tribulations of a Chicago/NY/Miami land baron” might hold for me?
    That chapter has yet to be written.

    Oh Sabrina, would it be possible to change my screenname to “Chicago and beyond land baron”? I am sort of diggin that new moniker…..

    Jon farts out:
    “The Chicago & beyond land baron, the self-made realtor and his empire team, and now the olive branch… This has ALL the makings of a LIFETIME movie! I’m serious! We’ll need westloopeo to play himself so long as his high-end clients are ok with the publicity and maybe Luke Perry or Chris Noth for MG? Any girlfriends? Tina Yothers, Alyssa Milano… Meredith Baxter Birney is looking for work – she’d be a perfect sinister realtoress to provide added drama. What a wonderful outlet for all these tips and achievements we’ve heard SO MUCH about — don’t keep them to yourselves! All of America needs to know!!! I’m struggling with a title though — Famous To Themselves: Trus Stories of Crib Chatters Most Spectacular. Nah. Need help”

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  127. Chicago and beyond land baron (f/k/a Westloopelo):

    You need to pick one: (1) take from me your undying admiration and respect which I have worked tirelessly to achieve, or (2) partake in my sparring and have your valient life portrayed in my movie. But not both! Oh, and don’t refer to my posts as farts. It’s poor form even for a baron!

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  128. “Oh, and don’t refer to my posts as farts. It’s poor form even for a baron!”

    And so odd from someone who felt that starting a response with “um, …” was uncivil.

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