Some Prices Fall 50%- Even in Kenilworth: 620 Abbotsford Road

We’ve chattered many times about how it is (or isn’t) “different” in some neighborhoods or towns because wealth in those areas would insulate them from the housing bust. 

We’ve debated whether prices would fall in the Greenzone or in exclusive communities on the North Shore- or if they did- if the declines wouldn’t be as severe as other areas.

Thanks to the reader who posted a link to this excellent Wall Street Journal article discussing case studies of homeowners around the country who lost their homes to foreclosures from all different income levels and neighborhoods.

Mentioned in the article is a couple from Kenilworth who bought a 5-bedroom vintage Colonial home at 620 Abbotsford Road in 2004 for $1.31 million and lost it to foreclosure in August 2010. (By the way- Bank of America had the loan.)

Kelli Kobor and her husband thought they were making a safe investment in 2004 when they made a $350,000 down payment on the $1.3 million purchase of their five-bedroom Dutch colonial in Kenilworth, Ill., a wealthy suburb on Chicago’s North Shore.

Ms. Kobor and her husband have no other debt. They never refinanced or took out a second mortgage. But like many other Americans, they ran into trouble making their mortgage payments last year after Ms. Kobor’s husband lost his job and later found a new one that paid much less.

Their home had fallen in value, wiping out any equity and making it impossible to refinance. Ms. Kobor wasn’t eligible for the government’s loan-modification programs because her loan was too large; her mortgage servicer offered a six-month interest-rate reduction that tacked the payment shortfall onto their loan.

Tired of feeling “strung along,” they ultimately surrendered the home to the bank in what’s known as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, and moved out in August. They now rent a three-bedroom ranch-style home in Deerfield, about 10 miles away.

Moving her family was a “very difficult choice, a very difficult transition,” says Ms. Kobor, 43. She still takes her son to play with his best friend and former neighbor. “Every time I drop him off,” she says, “I have to look at my house.” The home was listed for sale last month at $749,000.

Ms. Kobor and her husband are saving to buy another home, although this time they’ll approach home ownership differently. They will take out a smaller loan, one they can repay within 10 or 15 years. “We will never leverage up like that again,” she says.

But the biggest surprise over losing her house is that “our lives are so much better now,” Ms. Kobor says. “The relief of knowing that we are not in a bottomless hole that we’ll never be able to climb out of—psychologically, it has been great.”

The house sold on December 29, 2010 for $650,000, or about 50% under the 2004 purchase price.

Built on a 60×150 lot, it had a 2-car garage and central air.

It had hardwood floors throughout, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen and a full finished basement.

Did someone get a deal?

Or is this just a return to the norm- even in Kenilworth?

Michael Olszewski at Area Wide Realty had the listing. See the pictures here.

Faces of the Home Foreclosure Crisis [Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos, December 29, 2010]

620 Abbotsford Road in Kenilworth: 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 car garage, 2289 square feet

  • Sold in January 1991 for $520,000
  • Sold in June 2004 for $1.31 million
  • Lis pendens filed in June 2010
  • Bank owned in August 2010
  • Originally listed in November 2010 for $749,000
  • Sold on December 29, 2010 for $650,000
  • Taxes of $21,468
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×17 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 10×15 (third floor)

174 Responses to “Some Prices Fall 50%- Even in Kenilworth: 620 Abbotsford Road”

  1. This is a sad story. I hate reading about when misfortune befalls prudent people such as the Kobors.

  2. “Ms. Kobor and her husband are saving to buy another home, although this time they’ll approach home ownership differently. They will take out a smaller loan, one they can repay within 10 or 15 years. “We will never leverage up like that again,” she says.”

    Behind most million dollar homes are million dollar mortgages.

  3. This really is a sad story. These two people had no reason to think that they could not service their debt when they bought this place.

    Just think- if the bubble had never happened, these people would have been able to buy this house for something close to the price some new buyer just paid, and maybe the husband would not have lost his job as a result of the worldwide deleveraging and economic contraction that is now taking place.

    Let’s hope that innocent people out there who are now contemplating major personal financial decisions get the good of the scary lesson in this couple’s story, and in the current economic debacle. That lesson is that life as we have known it in this country since WW2 is most likely over forever. The time when you could count on getting a medium-to good-to great-job and working at it for life, and being able to borrow and spend because you would always have that job and your income would always keep up with inflation- is over, most likely for good. Now you can count on NOTHING- not the degree you borrowed $150K to get, not the great job you’ve had for 5 years, and not even your savings what with policy makers who are determined to inflate our way out of all this debt even if it means reducing 90% of the population to starvation.

    I’m very sorry if you expected better. I once did, too. It would be wise to plan on a life with lower income, higher prices, and perpetual flux.

  4. I can also say that the Kobors’ new mentality regarding house debt is going to become a lot more commonplace, and house prices will drop lower as fewer people are willing to assume even a “normal” thirty-year mortgage for 3x their income.

    A 10-year mortgage on a place that doesn’t cost much more than my yearly income looks better all the time, and I suspect that I’m not the only prospective buyer out here who has been scared into ultra-conservatism by the current economy. Nobody’s job is really reliable anymore and people whose incomes are stagnant or dropping, and who are burdened with school and car debt already are going to think many times before going in up to their necks for a house.

  5. “Nobody’s job is really reliable anymore….”

    tell that to doctors!!

  6. Ms Kobor had an interesting blog: http://thornburgisdead.blogspot.com/

    Have a field day with this one, boys…

  7. 650 is a nice way to get into Kenilworth…

  8. Putting down 300k is good. Not having much of a backup plan when the job falls through is bad. The monthly nut on a million dollar mortgage is hefty. They were only half prudent. If they had put down 300k on a 600k home in deerfield where they live, it is unlikely they would. Be in foreclosure today. The monthly obligation on a million dollar mortgage plus taxes is substantially more than living in deerfield in a 600k home. I feel bad there has been a 300k loss but it was foolishly and imprudently flushed down the toilet through, as ms kobor admits, overleveraging.

  9. Poor them. Something about this system is wrong though. If their loan was modified they could have stayed and paid the rest. I heard something similar couple of weeks ago on NPR. This time it was about a poor working class family and bank took their home only to sell it to a flipper for 90K or something which the family could have easily afforded.

  10. im convinced the suburbs are in much worse shape than the city, especially the north shore. look at some of the prices in glencoe vs the bubble. 40-50% discounts. i grew up there and drove through winnetka when i came back for xmas…it seems that every other house on the block is for sale.

  11. danny (lower case D) on December 31st, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Great posts Laura. Happy New Year to everyone.

    I think a big topic for 2011 will be many similar couples making the decision to “deed in-lieu-of-foreclosure”.

  12. Sad story.

    There are certainly lots of great deals on the north shore. If we weren’t set on living in the city, I would have spent the last two years searching and buying up there, rather than ELP. I’d probably still be looking though if I were, as (i) I’d have needed a bigger down (I’d be looking at a house to close in the $700-800k range, as oppossed to a condo in the $400-500 range) and (ii) I see further price declines on the north shore, to a greater extent than ELP.

  13. Kennilworth is an amazing suburb and a wonderful place to raise a family. It is quite competitive but the lush green yards and closeness to the lake can’t be beat. There was a time that they were so elite (ie snobby) that they didn’t allow for the Metra train to run through the suburb. People had to get off and then take a bus or something to the next stop and get on. I still would rather be in East Lincoln Park but Kennilworth is no slum!

    Sad story and $300K is a LOT OF MONEY to lose. My uncles, aunts, etc. have lost $50K or $100K but $300K? Wow!

  14. what idiots and deadbeats. Buying a $1m home and then walking away. And even them thinking of buying something new after they cost the bank and taxpayers money because they lost on their bet on an expensive house. They bought this mediocre house for a huge amount and were idiots b/c they wanted status and to live in Kenilworth. But they are white trash in the end.

  15. Lesson here: don’t extrapolate your economy dependent service job earnings into perpetuity

  16. homedelete: when you see listings like this, do you have an opinion why Park Ridge split-levels and ranches are still coming out with asking prices around $475K, etc.??? When is the shoe going to drop there?

  17. This story must be made up. I know it is not true because Clio said the nicest suburbs(such as Kenilworth) are exempt from the housing downturn. Houses in those areas are not declining in value.

  18. So, they overleveraged without a back-up plan that they needed due to rampant overleveraging. Sadness is not what comes to mind.

  19. so, what kind of monthly nut is it on a million dollar home? If it’s a 30 year fixed at 5%, it’s almost $5400, then add tax and interest, and you’re over 6k a month. What kind of salary can support that? $15k a month? $25k a month? Clearly, it’s more than I could ever imagine.

    The wife didn’t work and couldn’t add to the household income? Sounds like the entire thing fell on the back of the husband. When people are spending per month more than I earn per month, well, I’m a tad confused that they didn’t have buckets of money saved or available to liquidate. Yes, there’s a bit of schadenfreude in my tone, too.

  20. “This time it was about a poor working class family and bank took their home only to sell it to a flipper for 90K or something which the family could have easily afforded.”

    So they should have lent to a known deadbeat again instead of taking the investor’s cash? I’m sure they “easily could have afforded” the original note at one time, too.

  21. I think someone pointed out once the Banks get 80% off the PM Insurance, so then to go ahead and sell that home to the flipper for 90K…things that make you go hmmm.

  22. I dunno their situation exactly (and maybe there are details we don’t know that are more damning) but how prudent did they need to be? Losing a job and having much less income is a very difficult situation. What should they have been prepared for? Being able to have a job loss and replace only e.g. half the income? How much of a backup fund for covering the mortgage should they have had? One year, 3 years, 5 years?

    In the absence of the bubble, 25 percent down in a seemingly “safe” neighborhood might be seen as prudent. Did people use to put much more down and/or have more savings before buying? Was it imprudent that their plan could have been that in the event of a negative life event they could have covered the costs of selling and even a modest (5-10 percent) drop in prices without going into foreclosure (and possibly still having enough for a downpayment on a cheaper place)? Maybe not seeing the bubble was the imprudence but that may be asking a lot.

  23. Doesn’t it make more sense for the bank to write down 10-20% principal on these homes so people stay and pay, especially in situations where people are strategically defaulting, than to foreclose (costly or take it back) and pay fees to a real estate agent to sell it at 70% of the mortgage value….This is why a principal write down makes sense. The transaction costs to the banks and eventual loss when it sells for less is costly.

    The article discuss the strategic defaulter in AZ who could pay but won’t b/c his house is worth far less….how does the bank win on this. I’ve always been a free market capitalist but in this case it seems to me the housing market would be better for everyone, including the banks, if they just wrote down 15% of the mortgage principal. This could cure the strategic defaulters anyway.

  24. When my wife an I had $300,000 to put down we paid cash for a $270,000 house. Wasn’t in Kenilworth though.

  25. Dan: people can list for whatever they want but that doesnt mean it will ever sell. Homes are usually priced high due to mortgage balances, unrealistic expectations, or both. 2011 might be another very slow year.

  26. Icarus- the bank has to repay the mortgage ins co from the sale. Its called subrogation. If there is a loss then the insurance co takes a loss.

  27. I think what is saddest about the article is that they were fairly responsible in that they put down a significant chunk of change –300K. Had they done 3% like many people, they could have walked away without losing their equity. That’s what is wrong with the crisis….people who paid cash for their houses and/or put down substantial down payments lost equity. Those who were irresponsible and put no money down are free to walk away and begin to save to purchase the same product at half the price. I wish I didn’t have so much equity in my house….then I too could walk away and buy something nicer at a lesser price.

  28. Sold in January 1991 for $520,000
    Sold in June 2004 for $1.31 million

    “Maybe not seeing the bubble was the imprudence but that may be asking a lot.”

    Really? They took a big risk and they paid for it. Certainly not worth any pity.

  29. DZ – the lady admitted she borrowed too much money. 25% down on 600k and 25% down on 1.31 million result in profoundly different mortgage balances.

    a local – This lady had a $960,000 mortgage (though the infamous Thornburg) so a loan modification with a principal balance reduction of 10% or 15% or even 20% isn’t going to help someone who take a job with 50% less income.

    The lesson to learn from all this – the good times never last forever so don’t squander it or flush it down the toilet on real estate.

  30. “The lesson to learn from all this – the good times never last forever so don’t squander it or flush it down the toilet on real estate.”

    To heck with that my lesson learned is if I had the means to buy their place for 700k and it fit my lifestyle I probably would. My lesson learned is there are going to be feasts for the economic vultures off of the carcasses of those who over-levered.

  31. What does a deed-in-lieu do to your credit?
    Can you walk away from a mortgage in Illinois, even though you can afford the payments, or will the bank come after you?

  32. “Really? They took a big risk and they paid for it. Certainly not worth any pity.”

    I don’t know if they deserve pit but I don’t think they deserve schadenfreude or the like.

    “So, they overleveraged without a back-up plan that they needed due to rampant overleveraging. Sadness is not what comes to mind.”

    Their backup plan I’m guessing is that they could have sold off, paid off mortgage, and maybe have a little extra left. And would have worked ok without a major bubble. Given a major bubble, it made little sense to leverage up but made little sense to buy at all. Difficult to have/sustain a bubble if everyone sees it.

    “the lady admitted she borrowed too much money.”

    In retrospect, given a bubble, of course they borrowed too much. Also given a bubble, it made little/no sense to buy at all. I”m just saying it’s a little tough to beat them up too much for not seeing a bubble (esp given that it’s not obviously as if they used their home as an ATM) when lots of people did not.

    “25% down on 600k and 25% down on 1.31 million result in profoundly different mortgage balances”

    Well sure, and if they hadn’t been able to get a job at all, they probably couldn’t have afforded the $600K home indefinitely. Sure, they could just have paid cash for a $270K home as old man did. But question is whether not doing so was imprudent.

  33. i don't comment often on December 31st, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    To pile onto the armchair quarterbacking—

    the real issue I have with this couple is buying so much house when they have at least one college tuition due within 10 years (even tuition for public directional college has gotten out-of-hand).

    ps, glad to see a lack of vitriol or schaudenfreude. Let civility reign on the internet in 2011!

  34. “Given a major bubble, it made little sense to leverage up but made little sense to buy at all.”

    “In retrospect”

    Hindsight is 20/20 and I don’t recall ever reading about the housing bubble, even in financial publications, back in 2004. I doubt anyone else on here has either. Hence, my sympathy for them. At the time it probably seemed like a completely rational decision. They also put up a lot of money so it’s obvious their full faith & credit were behind their belief that their house was worth 1.3MM.

    I have scha..however you spell it..for a large number of properties featured here on CC. These people aren’t among them.

  35. Yeah, if prices had kept appreciating and there house was now worth 1.6 mil then everyone would be saying how smart they were to buy a house that they could grow into.

  36. “I don’t recall ever reading about the housing bubble, even in financial publications, back in 2004. I doubt anyone else on here has either.”

    As I’ve said, I’m in agreement with your general view re this property/couple, but the possibility of a bubble was definitely discussed in mainstream publications in 2004. Wasn’t the conventional wisdom though.

  37. Conventional wisdom in 2004 would have told you that $1,310,000 for a 2,300 sq foot dated home just barely east of Green Bay road was way too much money. Even with a 300,000 down payment and a good job. Seriously. I would have told you the same thing then too.

  38. schadenfreude bob, schadenfreude

  39. I definitely WAS reading about the bubble as early on as 2003.

    By 2004, the ultimate outcome was pretty well written in stone, yet even I wondered just how far it would go, even with warnings from Paul Volcker at about that time, that there was a great deal of risk in the immense tower of leverage that had been built by then. I recommend reading AMERICAN THEOCRACY by former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips (and everything else he’s written, as well), in which he discusses the swelling global credit bubble of the early 2000s at great length.

    People out here might not have had warning, but our politicians, policy makers, and financial kingpins surely did…. but, as one trader said at one house when someone questioned the risks the place was taking, “the government will just have to bail us out”.

  40. “Doesn’t it make more sense for the bank to write down 10-20% principal on these homes so people stay and pay, especially in situations where people are strategically defaulting, than to foreclose (costly or take it back) and pay fees to a real estate agent to sell it at 70% of the mortgage value….This is why a principal write down makes sense.”

    If my neighbor gets a cramdown, I want one too. And the neighbor on the other side will too. And then everyone on the street. Right? Then they basically have to cram down just about every part of the country and the banks go under once again. Hooray!

    It is a moral hazard to cramdown. The government is doing everything it can to avoid this.

  41. “When people are spending per month more than I earn per month, well, I’m a tad confused that they didn’t have buckets of money saved or available to liquidate. Yes, there’s a bit of schadenfreude in my tone, too.”

    There is “rich” and there is income well-off (hence the recent argument about the tax extension for those making $250,000.)

    If you make $300,000 a year as a law firm partner- and you put down $300,000- but you’ve only been making this money a few years- how much other money do you think you have? Hundreds of thousands sitting around?

    So then the law firm implodes or lays off people due to the recession. You can’t get another firm job (they are all downsizing) and you have no book of business so now you take an in-house job at a financial firm and it pays $120,000. (this is NOT the scenario with this kenilworth house- but I have known this to happen to friends.) So you based your mortgage payment on the $300,000 and now you’re at $120,000. The wife could get a job- paying about $75,000 but after childcare costs it’s pretty much a wash.

    So- now they can’t pay that $5,000 a month mortgage. They can tap into other savings for a year or two. But it’s just bleeding money because, for the long haul, they can’t afford the house.

    There are more people in this situation than people realize. In the Kenilworth example, they at least put a decent amount down. I’ve seen the $1.2 million house in Lakeview where just $100k was put down.

    Loose credit is a wonderful thing- until it implodes.

  42. “(I’d be looking at a house to close in the $700-800k range, as oppossed to a condo in the $400-500 range) and (ii) I see further price declines on the north shore, to a greater extent than ELP”

    Why? Aren’t the demographics pretty much the same? Why would the north shore drop MORE?

  43. It could be that that people are beginning to leave the suburbs and return to the cities, at least healthy, viable cities like Chicago, NYC, Seattle, Portland, or San Fran.

    I can think of a number of reasons for this. For one thing, the suburbs are sprawling too far out. We have never had so many people with grueling 50-mile-each-direction commutes, which would have been unthinkable 40 years ago, during the first and second waves of the suburban buildout. You might notice that the outer suburbs are beginning to really fail, especially mid-priced and lower-priced burbs. Let Motorola close up shop, and a number of our outer burbs will be so over that the best thing anyone can do with them is knock them down and turn them back to farmland- have you noticed the escalation in the prices of farmland lately? Look no further than the oil prices, which seem to have found a floor of about $85 a barrel, for this. I don’t believe the surge in oil prices is the result of speculation, nor will it be temporary. What this means is that most people will simply not find the burbs affordable anymore even if you GIVE them their houses.

    Another thing, that probably applies more to really fine suburbs like Kenilworth and Lake Forest and other such places, is demographics. The “boomer” generation is getting to the age where people are sick of running 12 room houses. One woman from Glencoe who bought a condo at the old AAA building on Water St back in the 90s said she never wanted to see a lawn again. We have this immense wave now of older people who want to dump their houses and are looking forward to having the theaters and museums and all the other urban amenities within walking distance.

    All in all, the burbs are starting to go out of style, and soon the trickle back to the city will become a flood. This will probably happen in another ten years or so. The disinvestment in the burbs will probably be as rapid and much more complete than the disinvestment that took place in the cities during the post-WW2 era, and the only survivors will be the fine old “railroad” suburbs that were built during the 20s and 30s, like Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe, Kenilworth, and maybe Hinsdale out west. Think- when the cities disinvested, they still had their museums, their libraries, their museums, their little corner stores, and their fine old buildings, and most of all, their easy access to all these things. When the exurbs disinvest, they will have NOTHING.

  44. 2300 sqf @ $1.3m = $565/sqf.

    $565/sqf. In Kenilworth. For a not-really-up-to-date 2.5 bath in Kenilworth. It’s nice that they made a substantial downpayment, but that doesn’t make them responsible. These people were really stupid.

  45. “People out here might not have had warning, but our politicians, policy makers, and financial kingpins surely did…. but, as one trader said at one house when someone questioned the risks the place was taking, “the government will just have to bail us out”.”

    I said few people had warning in 2004, or at least were espousing them. And given half of our houses of congress is elected every two years and the other every 6, and we’ve had two presidential election cycles since then: no I don’t buy it.

    As far as intra-burb migrations I could care less. It shows how many centuries behind Chicagoland is, however, if the migration patterns still mimic 19th century lines & technology. LOL.

  46. “People out here might not have had warning, but our politicians, policy makers, and financial kingpins surely did…. but, as one trader said at one house when someone questioned the risks the place was taking, “the government will just have to bail us out”.”

    I said few people had warning in 2004, or at least were espousing them. And given half of our houses of congress is elected every two years and the other every 6, and we’ve had two presidential election cycles since then: no I don’t buy your statement.

    As far as intra-burb migrations I could care less. It shows how many centuries behind Chicagoland is, however, if the migration patterns still mimic 19th century lines & technology. LOL.

  47. A different Joe on December 31st, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Laura – I’d love to leave the suburbs and move into the city. Unfortunately, the risk I’d have to absorb to do this right now is off the charts.

    First, property taxes at the current high levels do not truly reflect how much it costs to live in the city. There is a gaping budget deficit, and a huge pension deficit that city taxpayers are going to have to pony up for shortly. And this is not a trivial amount of money.

    In addition, services are on the decline. An obviously biased source, but check out the Second City Cop blog. There is a lot of a crime and hence, resources being shifted around that isn’t really made public.

    Third, if I buy a condo, how can I truly gauge how financially secure the other owners are? How will I know I won’t be an owner in a Section 8 development ten years from now?

    I’ll keep my modest lawn in the suburbs and pay the gas tax, which I can control. It is much less risky at this point.

  48. Kenilworth and all the “ego suburbs” will bounce back. Though they might not see the record highs of the bubble again anytime soon there will always be people who want to live there for status. At the end of the day there is a large portion of our society that values an address over the home located at that address.

  49. fuck Kenilworth

  50. Sorry but I don’t feel sorry for anyone who chooses to walk away and have someone else pick up the tab rather than accepting the consequences of their actions. This from someone who got caught in a bubble overseas and wasn’t handed an easy way out, we had to struggle for 5 years instead.

  51. The old “railroad” suburbs will last because A)they claimed the most favorable locations first and are the closest to town and to the lake; b)they have the most beautiful old housing stock built in the 20s and 30s; and C)they have their RAIL LINES.

    Rail tech might seem really old hat in an era of cheap fuel, but that era is just about behind us. Air and auto travel will become extremely expensive, and locations on efficient, electrified rail lines will be prime as they have always been in our suburbs.

    Additionally, rail lines don’t take up the space highways do. They tend to build communities, which cluster around them, while highways scatter them. People these days express a distinct preference for a “neighborhood” or “village” feel where they live, and subdivision developers are studying New Urbanist-type “village” subdivision with denser housing and small-town type retail mixed in.

  52. gringozecarioca on January 1st, 2011 at 8:23 am

    “People out here might not have had warning, but our politicians, policy makers, and financial kingpins surely did…”

    Yes an elite omniscient class. ROFLMAO. Makes me laugh when people say garbage like this. I saw these people standing on lines to buy just like everyone else.

    Might mention too that if you bought in ’03 and sold by ’06-’07 you would have seen some pretty damn fine returns in many places. Just cause something is overvalued doesn’t mean it didn’t get a lot more overvalued before finally turning. Look at places like Canada and Australia where people have been calling a bubble for years now. I agree it’s in a bubble but prices still keep rising.

  53. “and locations on efficient, electrified rail lines will be prime as they have always been in our suburbs.”

    Huh? You need to look at a map of the Metra Electric and south shore lines before stating this nonsense. Blue Island, Riverdale, Dolton, Harvey, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Flossmoor, Olympia Fields, Matteson, Richton Park, University Park, Hammond, East Chicago, and Gary are all well past their prime, if ever “prime” at all.

  54. “The old “railroad” suburbs will last because A)they claimed the most favorable locations first and are the closest to town and to the lake; b)they have the most beautiful old housing stock built in the 20s and 30s; and C)they have their RAIL LINES.”

    I have to agree with G on this one. My family owned a home in Olympia Fields for 55 years. It took 3 years to sell it and we got like a 2% return on it over those years- mainly because Olympia Fields has not held up in terms of pricing. Gorgeous historic homes in Homewood Flossmoor as well- but you can’t give them away now (many historic homes built by famous architects.)

    Towns and neighborhoods change. Many people on Crib Chatter assume because you live in a chic neighborhood right now- that in 20 years it will remain so. Not always.

  55. This is not a sad story—it’s a glad story, esp. if read in conjunction with Ms. Kobor’s blogs, FB posts, prior statements to the WSJ, and her hubby’s internet profile.

    Consider Ms. Kobor’s earlier walk-on appearance at the WSJ (August 3, 2009, subscription required):

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124924069909799645.html
    ————————————————————
    Some residents [of Kenilworth] are angry because policymakers in Washington specifically excluded jumbo mortgages in housing-rescue plans. “We’re considered either rich people who don’t deserve help or deadbeats who bought too much house,” says Kelli Kobor, a 42-year-old substitute high school teacher. “I don’t see Washington prepared to deal with us.”

    Five years ago, she and her husband bought their five-bedroom Dutch colonial in Kenilworth for $1.3 million with a 25% down payment using equity they’d built up from two previous homes. Her husband lost his job in December and took a new one that pays much less, making it harder to make mortgage payments. Ms. Kobor says she missed her first mortgage payment in the spring but is now current.

    In July, her mortgage servicer agreed to temporarily lower her interest rate for six months, and the unpaid balance will go into a balloon payment due when the loan is paid off.

    Like many young families that move to Kenilworth, Ms. Kobor and her husband were drawn by the town’s top-rated public elementary school, which is just a few steps from their home, and the tight-knit community of 800 households.

    Local real-estate agents have told her she’d be lucky to sell the house for the $960,000 that’s owed on their jumbo adjustable-rate mortgage….
    ————————————————————

    Got all that?

    Ms. Kobor is reportedly a “substitute high school teacher”—but we also learn that she was also a house flipper—who, third time around, got caught holding the bag (a five-bedroom Dutch colonial) when previously she had bagged others.

    Her blog insinuates that when her last acquisition fell in value, leaving her upside down, she sought relief from her lender—a “principal reduction,” but was rejected, so she (& hubby) surrendered the too-big five-bedroom Kenilworth pile for a more snug three-bedroom ranch-style Deerfield rental—presumably until that day (which won’t be long) when hubby’s career enables them to afford the style & status to which they’ve become accustomed.

    Why feel glum about any of that? To paraphrase another North Shore resident’s famous lines in “Stripes”:

    Guys! Hey! What’s everybody so down about? Didn’t everybody make lots of money flipping houses during the great levering-up?

    CCers too often bemoan the hard-luck tales of bagholders when they ought to instead celebrate the foresight (& profits!) of all those pre-05 sellers, like the 04 Abbotsford Rd. seller who now looks like a genius.

    The fact that life in the GZ, with its top-rated public elementary schools and tight-knit communities, is (finally!) becoming more affordable ought to be loudly cheered & widely publicized.

    Hopefully, the New Year will bring many more such 50% off Blue Light Specials on the North Shore! I’m positively elated about the new low prices (in aisle seven). This isn’t a sad story—it’s a glad story, as Ms. Kobor confirms:

    . . . “our lives are so much better now,” Ms. Kobor says. “The relief of knowing that we are not in a bottomless hole that we’ll never be able to climb out of—psychologically, it has been great.

    Amen to that! Truer, less-expensive GZ valuations will indeed make many “lives … so much better now.”

    That’s a happy story if I’ve ever heard one.

  56. Best post in a while wojo, excellent analysis. Im glad you foound the source of the down payment.

  57. An interesting tidbit – Ms Kobor had a profile on City Data with the name Clio1…

  58. Clio … it’s a new year … please come back … I have been reading cribchatter since the beginning and your insights and controversies have been the best. Fuck your critics.

  59. Not sure if clio is coming back but if you do e-mail him he might be convinced to drive his Rosso Vik Lambo (Gallardo?) around your cul-de-sac. Not in any sort of opulent display of grandiosity but rather for the children. It might happiness to the children, as clio has publicly stated how much happiness people seeing his car derive from it.

  60. is that a ze carocia sighting? blast from the past/brazil

  61. “is that a ze carocia sighting?”

    It is indeed. From the land of nearly 100% employment and 6% growth (Brazil).

  62. Did I miss something vis-a-vis Clio? Did he renounce the site? I haven’t read any posts for a while . . .

    I’ll join ss in urging Clio to return. His posts certainly enlivened the discussion, regardless of whether I agreed with him or not.

    Come back, Clio!

  63. I like Clio!

  64. Another tidbit is that the subject in question was a regular persona at village meetings. IIRC, the main concern was a referrendum to include the villgage in a national historic registry because it would “hurt” home prices. Irony of ironies.

    But, that is the north shore. Overly involved neighbors and sometimes petty squables. But the schools are good and you don’t have aggravated sexual assaults on young women as they walk from the Brown line in Lake View (as just happened a day or so before Christmas, good god). It’s all about trade offs.

    “fuck Kenilworth”

    Best post I’ve seen in some time.

    “There was a time that they were so elite (ie snobby) that they didn’t allow for the Metra train to run through the suburb.”

    My recollection is the train station dates to the platting of the village and is somewhat historic. Not sure where that comment comes from. But the snobby part (and segregated part) was very true and still is to a degree.

  65. By the way, the suburbs are getting pummeled right now and its good to highlight cases such as this. It reinforces the huge opportunity cost families face when making purchase decisions in Chicago (postage stamp) vs. prestigious suburb (with a real yard). 650k is a real bargain. I am really surprised it sold where it did.

  66. Kenilworth and Des Plaines share something in common: 50% off. Funny money was everywhere.

    “JMM on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:51 am

    By the way, the suburbs are getting pummeled right now and its good to highlight cases such as this. It reinforces the huge opportunity cost families face when making purchase decisions in Chicago (postage stamp) vs. prestigious suburb (with a real yard). 650k is a real bargain. I am really surprised it sold where it did.”

  67. “650k is a real bargain. I am really surprised it sold where it did.”

    Does the $1.3MM 2004 price seem in line with what things were going for at the time, or high-ish?

  68. “Does the $1.3MM 2004 price seem in line with what things were going for at the time, or high-ish?”

    From a distance, it seems they overpaid a bit at the time, but also that there wasn’t too much to choose from in the mid-range (ie, not the little stuff (eg, on Exmoor) and under $1.75), so they may have leapt at the first reasonable-seeming place.

  69. “so they may have leapt at the first reasonable-seeming place.”

    Yes, and they probably overpaid for the era, but not by the degree implied by the 2010 price. The right price for the time was probably $1M based on some old sales data. That is still a 35% loss, which is unreal.

    “Kenilworth and Des Plaines share something in common: 50% off. Funny money was everywhere. ”

    I’m looking for volume and I don’t see it. This case is definitely unusual.

    A total gut rehab just traded for north of $2M:

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Kenilworth/232-Essex-Rd-60043/home/13785624

    Two other homes closer to the lake cracked $3M recently. Not to mention the $9M Percy tear down is still WIP.

  70. “A total gut rehab just traded for north of $2M”

    2.5x land area, plus bit better location, plus larger/reno’d/much more lux = more than twice the price of this one, even in normal circumstances.

    But certainly this house would have traded higher in a “normal” transaction. Perhaps even north of the $749k initial REO ask.

  71. “Kenilworth and Des Plaines share something in common: 50% off. Funny money was everywhere. ”

    Someone would be interested in this:

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Park-Ridge/921-S-Broadway-Ave-60068/home/18930388

    at half off, but who’s buying that instead of, as just one example, 180 Sheridan in Winnetka, 100 yards from the beach/park and about the same distance to the (“better”) HS (ie, maybe too close).

  72. Here are the 2004 sales between $1.1 – $1.5M:
    614 KENILWORTH 8/6/2004 $1,187,500
    537 ABBOTSFORD 8/2/2004 $1,225,000
    536 STERLING 1/6/2004 $1,228,500
    350 MELROSE 3/26/2004 $1,300,000
    620 ABBOTSFORD 6/18/2004 $1,310,000
    636 WAYLAND AVE 9/16/2004 $1,500,000

    Here are the 2004 stats:
    Sold 37
    Max $4,200,000
    Min $489,550
    Ave $1,480,014
    Med $1,228,500

  73. someone who hit it big that has has extended family on the NW side and wants to be in that general area close to family and their comfort zone and doesn’t need a North Shore address for personal validation. The price is too high though.

    “but who’s buying that instead of, as just one example, 180 Sheridan in Winnetka, 100 yards from the beach/park and about the same distance to the (”better”) HS (ie, maybe too close).”

  74. PS I’m thinking of the family of let’s say a NW side cop, who had 4 kids, 3 of whom live middle-class lives but the one son became a lawyer or something and wants his kids near their cousins, grandparents, etc.

  75. Not everyone wants to live on the North Shore. It doesn’t suit me and the people I’ve met that live there (and i’ve known plenty) are mostly dbags and prick. Take JMM & Joe Z for example.

    Of course much of the north shore scenery and lifestyle is just fab, completely fabulous. I would do lake forest in a heartbeat if I had the money, and it was of suitable commuting distance for me (I work plenty of other places than downtown); but neither are favorable to me living in LF and I have no desire to live along the lake in Lake County at this time.

  76. “someone who hit it big that has has extended family on the NW side and wants to be in that general area close to family and their comfort zone and doesn’t need a North Shore address for personal validation. The price is too high though.”

    Right. The point is who–among those that can and would spend almost $2mm on a house–would buy the oversized house on the undersized lot waytooclose to Maine South. At something like $1.2, sure, I get that, even if something “better” is available elsewhere. Almost $2mm is a lot different.

  77. “course much of the north shore scenery and lifestyle is just fab”

    Spoken like a true dbag.

  78. JMM, you seem to be avoiding this:

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=9782#comment-115521

  79. i can t beleive i missed a wonderful post about kenilworth.

    oddly the two north shorers on CC today are really doing a bang up job showing yall what to expect with that address.

  80. “oddly the two north shorers on CC today are really doing a bang up job showing yall what to expect with that address.”

    Counting only known, current residents, Groove? There are at least a couple more who grew up there, at least one of which is adding some flavor to today.

  81. “Counting only known, current residents, Groove? There are at least a couple more who grew up there, at least one of which is adding some flavor to today.”

    yes as my memory lapses and cant remember the rahm’s of cribchatter. IIRC most are NW Burb transplants here?

    we need a wiki link on the right side of “know facts” about the cc regulars

  82. “oddly the two north shorers on CC today are really doing a bang up job showing yall what to expect with that address.”

    Hey, what is that supposed to mean?

    I didn’t realize Anon was from Kenilworth.

    And G, I didn’t bother to read the frustrated professor babble, so no.

  83. “someone who hit it big that has has extended family on the NW side and wants to be in that general area close to family and their comfort zone and doesn’t need a North Shore address for personal validation. The price is too high though.”

    $2M for a shared driveway? Certainly smacks of a builder who let the RE bubble get to his head.

  84. “And G, I didn’t bother to read the frustrated professor babble, so no.”

    So, you are avoiding it.

  85. No, I didn’t read it. But with benefit of verse, I can tell you that autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity are beyond the scope of this discussion.

    Send me some MLS stats on lake front houses over the last 10 years pls.

  86. Shared driveway is a shame. You better have a really awesome neighbor relationship. That is a red flag on what appears to be a really nice home. Did I mention a really nice extremely expensive home with a busy runway running right overhead. I was at a HS football game at Maine South high school in November and it was non stop really low flying planes.

  87. jmm, too funny. If you can’t wow ‘em with knowledge, bury ‘em in BS.

  88. “That is a red flag on what appears to be a really nice home. Did I mention a really nice extremely expensive home with a busy runway running right overhead.”

    Some people might prefer that, JP–it’s a feature, not a bug.

  89. Yeah that house has it bad for plane noise. But that runway only opened a little over 2 years ago so the lot and construction probably already started.

    It will go into foreclosure and sell around 1M is my guess. Meanwhile the guy guts the place, crates it up and builds himself a mcmansion outside of Warsaw then in 4 years re-enters Chicago with a “Tourist Visa” and never leaves.

  90. “I can tell you that autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity are beyond the scope of this discussion.”

    That’s arguably better at least than the last time you used heteroscedastic:

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=9102#comment-84573

    I’m really not sure why you feel the need to throw your fancy words around. They’re sometimes used correctly, sometimes not, but invariably not particularly helpful or illuminating.

  91. “They’re sometimes used correctly, sometimes not, but invariably not particularly helpful or illuminating.”

    My goal isn’t to illumninate you. And I remain equally unimpressed with your analysis. I know there is an inner academic crying for attention here, but basically your point was the last 10 years aren’t valid. Which is a point for another thread, but has no bearing on whether prices are trading within a range.

    Hopefully you don’t have any money invested in the market, because any mutual fund that is compared against its benchmark or index will calculate risk, risk adjusted return, fit and variance in this manner. But who cares about that, right?

    Of course, you couldn’t offer a better analysis of what a range would be, but that’s besides the point right?

  92. G, I am still waiting on the north shore lakefront houses. Back to 1980s would be nice. Thanks.

  93. Park Ridge has never been pleasant for planes but on the other hand the commute for me to get to the NW suburbs would be unbearable if I lived east of Green Bay road.

    The problem with the NS, (and I suppose plenty of other places too) is the conspicuous consumption of wealth. There are few modest homes 1,200 sq foot home on the North Shore (yes highland park has some but you know what I mean)…. You don’t buy in Glencoe to drive a 9 year old imported vehicle. High school take vacations to aspen on spring break, every year. The regular kids are left out of a lot simply because they cannot afford the lifestyle. Now yes these are generalizations but in my years of growing up straight west of the NS, and after going to colleges with plenty of NS students, plenty of generalizations can be made. I didn’t grow up with that kind of lifestyle and I don’t feel comfortable around it. maybe it’s an insecurity, maybe it’s a chip on my shoulder, but the vast majority of the people I’ve known from up there are the children or grandchildren of the tremendously wealthy (or at least live like it) and it’s tough just being a regular joe out there.

  94. Unlike the Kobors, most Kenilworth residents (as well as residents from other high end suburbs) actually can afford their houses. The Kobors really never could afford the house they bought in the first place. Having a 350k downpayment and being able to make the monthly payments for a little while does not mean you can afford the house. I was always taught that if you have a relatively stable job, you shouldn’t spend more than 25% of your gross income on a house. Also, you should have at least 50% of what the house is worth in other assets. If you don’t, you really cant afford the house. Remember, there is a reason that these suburbs are exclusive and prestigious: most people can’t afford them!

    Oh, and another thing worth mentioning with these types of properties that have come down so much in value – the taxes remain extremely high. Sure, you may be able to afford the purchase price but look at the taxes: 21468 for a 650k house is outrageous. You could appeal the taxes but that is an unknown and even if they lower it a bit, you know it is going to creep back up.

    Raising your kids here is a whole different story. I remember growing up in Kenilworth and being teased about being so poor. My family lived in a converted and expanded coach house and the kids kept teasing me that I lived in a garage and my father was a chauffeur and my mother was a maid. It was awful – so think twice even if you CAN afford it. I don’t think Hinsdale is much better. Oak Brook remains an awesome place to raise kids – very supportive families and government – and THERE ARE NO MUNICIPAL REAL ESTATE TAXES!!!

  95. Clio – good to have you back.

    See my post above about being a ‘regular Joe’ on the north shore.

  96. “My family lived in a converted and expanded coach house and the kids kept teasing me that I lived in a garage and my father was a chauffeur and my mother was a maid.”

    Clio are you really Jim McManus? Positively fifth street?

    ” 21468 for a 650k house is outrageous.”

    Actual 2009 taxes were 10% lower than that and the new sale price will reduce to around 12k or so.

    That’s before the pension reform bill hits, which was signed into law on 12/31.

  97. “basically your point was the last 10 years aren’t valid. Which is a point for another thread, but has no bearing on whether prices are trading within a range.”

    You can go back and read what I wrote. Apologies for any jargon. I tried to limit it, but also figured anon was probably the only person reading closely at that point.

    “Hopefully you don’t have any money invested in the market, because any mutual fund that is compared against its benchmark or index will calculate risk, risk adjusted return, fit and variance in this manner. But who cares about that, right?”

    I suppose that explains where you got your analysis from. That does actually make sense.

    “Of course, you couldn’t offer a better analysis of what a range would be, but that’s besides the point right?”

    That is, I think, in fact, besides the point. As I understood the bidding, you had offered a prediction of flat for case shiller. Flat meaning within some range (which is perfectly reasonable). I thought (but would have to go back and look) that the lower limit of your range as you defined it was 120. That was your range, which didn’t depend on any of your fancy stuff. But now you have lowered the range using your analysis. And I explained what I saw as the flaws in your analysis.

  98. “actually can afford their houses”

    Clio, I am fairly certain with your lifestyle if your income was reduced to zero you’d be as f’d as they were, or worse. The vast majority of folks up that way have similar executive / consulting / services jobs as did the head of household here.

    Gatsby images conjured up by HD who doesn’t know any better are just that, a myth. No mint idle rich sipping mint julebs at Indian Hill. People work hard, are well educated and want a family lifestyle somewhat insulated from the bs of the city. Nothing wrong with that.

  99. “figured anon was probably the only person reading closely at that point.”

    G was certainly reading, too.

  100. “That is, I think, in fact, besides the point.”

    Sorry DZ, but you’re weak. Plain and simple.

  101. “Raising your kids here is a whole different story. I remember growing up in Kenilworth and being teased about being so poor.”

    See, I’d rather have my kids be the “poor” kids in NT than the rich kids in wherever (in the indistinguishable middle is better), but that’s not really here or there.

  102. “Clio, I am fairly certain with your lifestyle if your income was reduced to zero you’d be as f’d as they were, or worse”

    No – I am extremely conservative in that respect and made sure I had at least the amount of my mortgages in other assets just in case something like this happened. Also, at any income level or house price, you should try and have at least 3-6 months (hopefully 1 year) emergency funds available. I realize that many people don’t make that much money – but they should realize that they don’t have to life in Kenilworth/OB/Hinsdale or the GZ to have a good life. Simplifying your life and living within your means can bring a tremendous calm to an otherwise stormy world out there.

  103. I’d rather be the rich kid in the (in the indistinguishable middle is better) rather than the poor at NT; same for any children I might have someday.

    JMM: I’ve met plenty of wealthy families from up – not necessarily the idle rich like Gatsby (who got all his money from criminality anyways) – but more than enough family money than ‘working hard’ alone would satisfy. My life experience from 14/15 to about 25 had NT and NS kids in virtually every classroom I sat in. I feel qualified to speak about own experiences as an outsider looking in. Whether or not it’s reality is a different story.

  104. Clio,

    Other assets such as real estate? And other assets current income which I am sure you need a lot of.

    I believe the foreclosure happened at least a year after the job loss, BTW. Read the first WSJ article.

  105. “See, I’d rather have my kids be the “poor” kids in NT than the rich kids in wherever (in the indistinguishable middle is better), but that’s not really here or there.”

    That’s more or less what my wife was and, while she might be the better person for it (relative to the rich kid in wherever), I can tell you she did not enjoy it.

  106. “My life experience from 14/15 to about 25 had NT and NS kids in virtually every classroom I sat in. I feel qualified to speak about own experiences as an outsider looking in.”

    It pains me to say it this bluntly but only the real deadbeats from NT end up at Loyola. But for the top 25 school set, it is a different story. Many from eastern european jewish families that emigrated in the 20th century. Worked hard and came from modest but increasingly successful means. NT is a pressure cooker, and that is not a good thing, but it reflects the culture of the community. To those whom much is given, much is expected.

  107. “I’d rather be the rich kid in the … rather than the poor at NT”

    1. Yeah, we knew that.
    2. I was talking about my kids, not me. It was less than fun most of the time, but … so?
    3. The use of quotes was intentional–”poor” in the NT of your description (somewhat diff in reality) is still wealthy in all objective senses. Not talking about being the single parent renting a 1 br in Wilmette and letting the two kids share the room while I sleep on the couch and try to figure out how to pay the utilities and for groceries–and that ain’t even actually poor.
    4. The “rich” kids in SchaumLingColn HeiStaGroveShire have their own issues which are not ones I’d want to deal with.
    5. Yes, obviously more fun for the kid. But that’s not the point–it’s always more fun to have no job and spend someone else’s money.

    “I can tell you she did not enjoy it.”

    Well, yeah, and kids don’t enjoy lots of things that are good for them.

  108. “NT is a pressure cooker, and that is not a good thing, but it reflects the culture of the community. To those whom much is given, much is expected.”

    Hadn’t realized the township was so Marxist.

  109. “Also, you should have at least 50% of what the house is worth in other assets. If you don’t, you really cant afford the house. Remember, there is a reason that these suburbs are exclusive and prestigious: most people can’t afford them!”

    Clio, 25% of gross income sounds fine, but is perhaps a bit low. On the other hand, if every buyer had to have 50% of a home’s value tied up in other assets, very few people would ever buy a place, even in the best of times. For instance, I just purchased a place that runs me about 30% of net income. But with mortgage-sized student loans to service, I’m a LONG ways off from having nearly a quarter million dollars invested in other assets.

    I have family members who borrowed a few grand towards a down payment, and maxed out their credit cards for the rest, in order to buy a home in east Wilmette in the late 70′s/early 80′s. I think they paid about $130k, for what was one of the older and least improved houses on the street. Thirty years later they sold it as a tear down for $1 million. I don’t think the kids they raised were too traumatized by having grown up in one of the dumpier houses in their neighborhood. They got to grow up a few blocks from the lake/beach, walk to elementary school, and attend one of the best public high schools in the country. Based on the life they were able to give their family, I think those folks would have been happy to sell at triple their purchase price, say, $400k. That they walked with a cool mil was just icing on the cake (some admittedly fortuitous icing, of course, as they pretty much sold just before things went in the tank, then landed a great deal in the city just as things went in the tank).

    Based on Clio’s pre-req’s for buyers, and based on both Clio’s and HD’s concerns about the socio-economic/class distinctions on the north shore, the folks I know should have never purchased up there. I realize that Kworth and Glencoe are at a different level of elitism and potential d-baggery, but the story nonetheless applies.

    Buy in the nicest possible area you can, both for yourself and your kid’s sake. I grew up in a working-class suburb of an east coast rust belt city – very friendly, down-to-earth, shirt-off-their-back folks, mind-you – but working-class. To the extent I’ve kept track, most of the kids I grew up with haven’t done a heck of a lot. I dropped out of school and moved out west at 18, spending a decade of living in very nice, but very expensive locations, the playgrounds of rich kids from places like Kworth and Glencoe. I had plenty of resentment at first, working as a dishwasher or janitor to support my ski bum lifestyle while kids from Marin, Westchester or the north shore of Chicago seemed to roll into town for a season with their Four Runners and Pathfinders seemingly stuffed with cash. But people can often adapt to their surroundings: put a good kid into a bad school, and he might wind up dead or in jail; put a rust belt high school dropout into a resort community full of trustafarians, and he might wind up defending the virtues of life in ELP as a hobby.

  110. Jmm: once again, you’ve proven why you and joe make fine neighbors and why as an outsider looking in on the north shore, its not anywhere I need to be.

    But I bike the north shore century ride every summer. Beautiful ride, I love the landscape and homes. The people unfortunatelly ruin it for me.

  111. “Jmm: once again, you’ve proven why you and joe make fine neighbors and why as an outsider looking in on the north shore, its not anywhere I need to be.”

    Don’t compare me to Zekas. I bear no resemblance to that realtor sycophant.

    You have no clue, that is all I was illustrating.

    Families live in the area to avoid the crime and malfeasance you have in the city.

    The people who are most flagrant with their supposed wealth actually have the least. So basically you ran into a few jackass posers growing up. Net, you know nothing about the area. That’s just my opinion.

  112. “Hadn’t realized the township was so Marxist.”

    Actually that is a biblical reference.

    Instead, I think you meant:

    From each according to his ability to each according to his need.

  113. “I dropped out of school and moved out west at 18,”

    “to support my ski bum lifestyle”

    Part of the allure of the north shore is those kids hopefully won’t be exposed to as many kids like you (were). Not sure about the millenials and younger but in my generation peers had a huge amount of influence during the teen years. This can be a bad thing.

    At my highschool in a southern state several gals got knocked up and several guys dropped out of school at the first opportunity (16). They aren’t doing so well these days, even those who did go back and get all the boxes checked to further their careers.

  114. cool story anonny. a little odd that you can love the park so much after spending so much time as a ski bum

  115. Jmm: My experiences of the north shore don’t come from john hughes movies. They come from people like you and joe.

    But you’re not the worst of the worst. That belongs to the suburbs directly west of the north shore, like northbrook and glenview. the people who couldnt afford the north shore but instead are living it up one suburb in, and are no more than a couple paychecks from disaster living in their 700k split level tract home with a lexus in the driveway.

  116. Very nice annony, I like your story…

  117. HD – the economy is improving, the stock market is up, jobs are more stable, and companies are starting to hire (slowly, but surely). While it is true that disaster can happen to anyone (and has with this latest recession), the general outlook is much brighter – I don’t know if we will see a lot more of these “disasters” in the coming years.

  118. just wait until the states start laying off.

    “I don’t know if we will see a lot more of these “disasters” in the coming years.”

  119. First off – Welcome back Clio! It is good to have our cc and real estate cheerleader back.

    Annony – damn good story. I worked in the ski/snowboard industry from mid 80′s to 1999 and loved every minute of it!

    Bob – while I do not support drop outs I do enjoy hearing the stories of the people finding the right path at the right time and finding success. My daughter is one but I will try to force/ encourage as much education as possible when she grows up. Heck I’d even lie to see her in an MBA program if she leans toward business.

    Pergaps I’ll have her call you for a reference letter to your Alma mater in around 25 years!

  120. Make that LIKEto see her….damn spell check!

  121. Yea, Clio! Welcome back!

  122. gringozecarioca on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Sabrina…An update from down south here where kids are definitely raised in apartments. Or slums.. take your pick. Actually it is unheard of for someone to move out of their parents until they are married. That includes University. Family is big here.

    Well skyscraper city has a link to Rio and the nicest streets here are going for about 20-30K reals (US 13-19K/sq m) or for us gringos that would be about US$1,300 to US$1,800 a sq ft. Anything exceptional could be double that. I know Paris 6th-7th is about Euros 13,000 a sq m or about US$1,600 a sq meter with obviously the same caveat for anything exceptional.

    Crazy! The nicest parts of Rio now trade flat to Paris..

  123. gringozecarioca on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    change that Paris to US$1,600 a sq FT. Guess I think in metric too much already. Wish the language came as easily.

  124. Thanks endora and everyone else for the warm welcome back – actually, truth is I never left. I just didn’t post anything for two weeks – it was my christmas present to the cc’ers.

  125. “homedelete: But you’re not the worst of the worst. That belongs to the suburbs directly west of the north shore, like northbrook and glenview. the people who couldnt afford the north shore but instead are living it up one suburb in, and are no more than a couple paychecks from disaster living in their 700k split level tract home with a lexus in the driveway.”

    Speaking as someone who lives one town over from one of the lakefront towns, I don’t think your stereotype is accurate for most of us. My town is filled with people who like the north shore area, want great schools & parks for their kids (my town has some of the top rated schools in the state), but don’t need to live in the most prestigious town. I’m pretty confident that the “couple paychecks from disaster” description doesn’t apply to the great majority of residents, though I’m sure there are some that are struggling in the current economy. Each of these “one-in” towns has housing ranging from a few hundred thousand to significantly over $1 Million, has people that stretched their budgets to afford here (as well as many who bought very conservatively (I put down over 30%) including many of my neighbors that own second homes in resort areas.

    And, just for context, I lived in the city (including some transitional areas) for 14 years before moving here, and will likely move back into the city as an empty nester, so I love Chicago, but for this stage of life the North Shore (including the one-in towns) is a really nice place to live!

  126. ““See, I’d rather have my kids be the “poor” kids in NT than the rich kids in wherever (in the indistinguishable middle is better), but that’s not really here or there.”

    share the same views as your bro, rather have the wiggle room for the kid to strive for something than rest on his/her hands.

    “That’s more or less what my wife was and, while she might be the better person for it (relative to the rich kid in wherever), I can tell you she did not enjoy it.”

    bad example DZ, what teen truly enjoyed anything?

    “I had plenty of resentment at first”

    uh oh, annoy was coerced by the darkside and chose its path. should have stayed a ski bumpkin life would have been more simple. chasing the silver spoon is too much work, if you dont have the spoon handed to you its simpler to pretend it doesnt exist.

  127. roscoevillager on January 4th, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Woah – glad to have been a western suburbanite, while classism exists I was certainly never called “poor” by any of the other WNHS grads.

  128. “Woah – glad to have been a western suburbanite, while classism exists I was certainly never called “poor” by any of the other WNHS grads.”

    i went to CPS and everyone was poor so bullying was really only not getting beat up if the thought you were a gangsta disciple, a royal, 4 corner hustler, or for a old man a taylor street duke.

  129. ““Hadn’t realized the township was so Marxist.”

    Actually that is a biblical reference. ”

    You think Marx created the concept? Same thing, *slightly* different interpretation.

  130. Note, also, that Marx’s grandfather had been the Rabbi of Trier. As in the old Trier after which New Trier is named.

  131. “bad example DZ, what teen truly enjoyed anything?”

    I think those rich kids anonny mentioned had a good time. Not necessarily good for them, but probably a good time.

    “Well, yeah, and kids don’t enjoy lots of things that are good for them.”

    Fair enough. But what about being (relatively) well off but hiding it from your kid? Like living in a shitty rental w/o a functioning ice maker.

  132. “Note, also, that Marx’s grandfather had been the Rabbi of Trier. As in the old Trier after which New Trier is named.”

    history lesson=OWNED!
    i now bow to the master

  133. “I think those rich kids anonny mentioned had a good time. Not necessarily good for them, but probably a good time.”

    but even as a teen i bet the “rich” kids were still pissed cause of something else they wanted/had to do but didnt get/didnt want to do.

    its all relative/subjective as i didnt grow up rich, in my mind dont think i grew up poor, but compared to most on here their opinion i grew up dirt poor.

    i had good times but as teen i had to do things i didnt like and didnt get what i wanted. and no mater how “dinsey” or happy go lucky smiley a teen is deep down there is always angst and despair cause timmy didnt call me back at 8pm and i think he is cute so it mean he hates me and i am fat and ugly and look like a muppet, the world is over.

  134. “Fair enough. But what about being (relatively) well off but hiding it from your kid? Like living in a shitty rental w/o a functioning ice maker.”

    If you were to stay (about) where you are, and lil DZ went to local CPS, it would be pretty hard to hide. Not that that will happen, but maybe you should opt for a life of filling ice trays, or sending lil DZ to Walgreen’s for bags of ice.

  135. “but even as a teen i bet the “rich” kids were still pissed cause of something else they wanted/had to do but didnt get/didnt want to do.”

    This is so true – I remember for my sixteenth birthday, all I wanted was a cherry red Mercedes 560SL and I kept telling my parents who never told me that I wouldn’t get it. Then, on my birthday morning, they told me to look in the garage. When I did, there was nothing but the trash – and my mom looked at me and said, “I know – it’s trash day – take it out”. They didn’t get me anything for my birthday that year – I was so mad and thought it was child abuse/neglect. God – how idiotic was that?!!

  136. “sending lil DZ to Walgreen’s for bags of ice”

    I can’t wait to do that. Actually, he’s pretty strong already and I bet he could cross a couple streets. I’m always pleasantly surprised by how cheap ice is, at least in comparison to the pain of those stupid ice trays.

    Awesome story clio!

  137. “I’m always pleasantly surprised by how cheap ice is, at least in comparison to the pain of those stupid ice trays.”

    Fun fact: *some* Popeye’s have ice for $0.99 for a ten pound bag. Cheap!

    “God – how idiotic was that?!!”

    Idiotic enough to make a good story. Your teenage fake internet you sounds like a Sinhala friend of mine who was actually borderline poor but harbored similar delusions of $75,000 birthday presents.

  138. iirc, in the 80s new trier was known for their high suicide numbers. maybe the rich kids weren’t all having a great time

  139. “iirc, in the 80s new trier was known for their high suicide numbers. maybe the rich kids weren’t all having a great time”

    Or maybe clio was an excellent serial killer.

  140. sorry anon – parents took me out of the public school system at age 9 – they put me in a school on the south side so I wouldn’t be teased so much. However, I like your idea….

  141. so we all know where clio came up with the idea for his rich kid’s aren’t happy thesis

    brilliant

  142. U of c lab school Clio?

  143. “You think Marx created the concept? Same thing, *slightly* different interpretation.”

    Sorry, but it isn’t the same thing at all.

    One outlines the precendent for a planned economy (socialism, marxism, communism), the other implors good works and giving back, a cornerstone judeo-christian concept, and is often associated with success and leadership.

    Go quoting Marx with that statement and see how it goes.

  144. “parents took me out of the public school system at age 9″

    So they have $22k (in 2010 dollars) to spend on your tuition but they had the rent a coach house in Kenilworth? WKW has homes where all in PITI would be only slightly more than that tuition nut and that assumes you were an only child (potentially safe assumption). Give me a break — that doesn’t add up.

    http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/admission/tuition/index.aspx

  145. Also, there were plenty of other private options in the area at the time including two:

    North Shore Country Day
    Baker Demonstration

    Within a mile or two from KW.

    I am guessing it was more than teasing that drove that one. And, I know more than a few families living in KW that would seriously balk at 22k in tuition, based on their family sizes but paying that much for even one child. So, I am skeptical of the “I was teased for not being rich enough” sob story.

  146. “So they have $22k (in 2010 dollars) to spend on your tuition but they had the rent a coach house in Kenilworth? ”

    dont forget about the place they bought/rented in hyde park for him and his caretaker plus sibblings if i recall.

  147. JMM – no, they didn’t RENT the coach house – they bought it – and it wasn’t JUST a coach house. It used to be a coach house of a huge estate – they subdivided and expanded it – it was still pretty expensive. Also, my parents weren’t into showing off at all – so they didn’t buy the biggest house they could afford – just bought what they needed. Not everyone buys what they can afford….

  148. “dont forget about the place they bought/rented in hyde park for him and his caretaker plus sibblings if i recall.”

    True – but they got divorced, sold the house in KW and moved back to their respective countries, leaving poor Clio and his sisters to fend for ourselves in the terribly scary world of the south side….

  149. did they tease you a lot on south western as well?

  150. CH – first of all, it was NORTH western avenue. Second of all, I don’t know why you guys tease me for saying Western ave was scary -it REALLY WAS (esp south of Division). I haven’t been back for 10-15 years, but as an innocent little kid, it was terrifying.

  151. “CH – first of all, it was NORTH western avenue. Second of all, I don’t know why you guys tease me for saying Western ave was scary -it REALLY WAS (esp south of Division). I haven’t been back for 10-15 years, but as an innocent little kid, it was terrifying.”

    You had stated (implies?) that the scary on Western was a recent event, (possibly?) in the Lambo. The “as a kid” scary was Belmont near Racine. Try to keep your fake internet facts straight.

  152. Clio,

    Oh well then it’s pretty clear as there has been very little subdivision in the village. You must have moved in sometime in the mid 1970s. It might be fair though to wonder if teasing likely had to do more with native origin that the real estate situation.

  153. Anon- everything I have ever posted is 100% true. As a kid, Western was scary – I have never driven the lambo down there and haven’t been back for a long time. Our caretakers lived near Ashland and Nelson which was also scary (but not so much) as a kid. Since then, I HAVE been back to Ashland/Nelson and it has VASTLY improved. check my posts – I don’t lie.

  154. JMM – maybe, but I was a very good looking mixed race kid.

  155. I recall someone else suggesting the lambo drive down Western apart from Clio.

  156. “You had stated (implies?) that the scary on Western was a recent event, (possibly?) in the Lambo. The “as a kid” scary was Belmont near Racine. Try to keep your fake internet facts straight.”

    My recollection is that clio said Western IS scary but then when challenged/ridiculed/etc. suggested the statement was based on long past experiences.

    “I haven’t been back for 10-15 years, but as an innocent little kid, it was terrifying.”

    I don’t know how the 10 years squares with the little kid timeline.

  157. You had pretty ritzy neighbors back then. Never hurts to have an insurance titan next door. Before the billions of course.

    But, your lot was probably larger than a standard large lot in town, so again, the sob story ain’t really justified.

  158. DZ – the 10-15 year period was spur of the moment typing – it was actually more like mid 80s which would be 25 years.

  159. JMM – when you are a kid, you don’t realize what others have and don’t have – all you know is your current situation. I was definitely poorer (material wise) than all of my fellow classmates. My parents shopped at Kmart and Venture ALL the time for everything and we had particle board furniture (you know, those scandanavian design shelves). My parents were academics and didn’t care or know about society/class stuff so our house was always junky. I think that was more the source of the teasing than my parents actual net worth (which, as kids nobody knows).

  160. “I don’t know how the 10 years squares with the little kid timeline.”

    But it’s 100% true!! He says so!!!

    Here’s the original thread:

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=9224

    Yes, no mention from clio of the Lambo on Western, but also no mention of 10-15 years ago, with many, many implications of recent excursions–most importantly related to driving to/from the western ‘burbs.

  161. Clio, I was a kid once. I don’t think kids pick up on the quality of furniture. I am, unfortunately, heavily influenced by what we had growing up — chandelier in the foyer, persian rugs everywhere, heirloom furniture. We also had radiators but gas is still much better. I’ve been able to replicate a lot of it I guess as a creature of habit (save the old artwork and except for the beach which is out of reach nowadays).

  162. Persian rugs are probably made by children, you know.

  163. JMM, you could be the poster child for my college thesis (which, I hope one day to turn into a book): “Poor little Rich Kid”. You would definitely appreciate and understand the problems that many wealthy children face. To me, maybe growing up middle class or upper middle class might be the best.

  164. “also no mention of 10-15 years ago, with many, many implications of recent excursions–most importantly related to driving to/from the western ‘burbs.”

    I agree on the implications point. As I said, he did say clearly that it IS scary, not WAS. But he didn’t quite come out and say it he had driven it recently. And there is this:

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=9229#comment-89133

  165. “when you are a kid, you don’t realize what others have and don’t have – all you know is your current situation. I was definitely poorer (material wise) than all of my fellow classmates. My parents shopped at Kmart and Venture ALL the time for everything and we had particle board furniture (you know, those scandanavian design shelves). My parents were academics and didn’t care or know about society/class stuff so our house was always junky. I think that was more the source of the teasing than my parents actual net worth (which, as kids nobody knows).”

    clio when i was 9 and under i dont remember looking at furniture maybe some kid got a GT and i got a huffy or i got go-bots and the other got the transformer base station.
    at most if the kid was wearing “floods” that day would be a bad day for him.
    i really cant see a 9 year old making a joke about being “Poor” unless the parents told/forced the kid something but thats a different issue.

  166. “at most if the kid was wearing “floods” that day would be a bad day for him.
    i really cant see a 9 year old making a joke about being “Poor” unless the parents told/forced the kid something but thats a different issue.”

    Yeah, I guess you didn’t really go to school with any “rich” kids, then. Definitely can feel that, and, from my experience it was most evident in quality/number of shoes and winter coats. And some 9 yos are real little shi … bullies.

  167. “you could be the poster child for my college thesis”

    No, probably not. We’ve never had much in the way of wealth / status issues. Chicago is a relatively inexpensive place to be compared to other places and there was never much time to focus on that due to the requirements of assimilating into and eventually managing the businesses.

  168. “Yeah, I guess you didn’t really go to school with any “rich” kids, then. Definitely can feel that, and, from my experience it was most evident in quality/number of shoes and winter coats. And some 9 yos are real little shi … bullies”

    rich is relative/subjective but looking back there were kids way better off than i when i was nine. and yes if you wore “biscuit toe” shoes all five days you will be joked on.

    but at nine all that didnt matter on tackle football day, if you sucked at sports and the girls didnt think you were cute you were a nerd and that was that regardless of you parents veneer particle board furniture.

  169. “True – but they got divorced, sold the house in KW and moved back to their respective countries, leaving poor Clio and his sisters to fend for ourselves in the terribly scary world of the south side….”

    taking the comeback story approach on that one. weird from the eternal optimist.

    you dont look at it as they didnt want to uproot you from your friends and realized they had you “in” at a top notch school? hmmm seems the story could many ways than the underdog approach

  170. Groove, I was being facetious when I described “fending for myself”. I recognize that I have been extremely fortunuate in my upbringing, but also want to underscore the problems that many rich kids experience. It may be just as stressful (but in a different way) than being lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class.

  171. “It may be just as stressful (but in a different way) than being lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class.”

    life is stressful no matter what hand is dealt. different stressesesesesss but none the less just plain out stressful its all about finding the balance and having a bit of nerve saved up for the unexpected, all and all with a good balance and line carved priorities its all a cake walk.

  172. Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.

  173. http://www.redfin.com/IL/Kenilworth/604-Brier-St-60043/home/13783827

    Under contract w/o price reduction at 999k list. That is a much better price, but then again it is a much better house.

    Buyers in these areas pay up for turn-key, improved properties. In a family situation, which is the likely move in buyer, no one wants to mess around with rehabs and they are willing to pay for this convenience.

  174. ha,

    that house is on my redfin watch list, cant think of a better way to spend 1mil :)

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