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This office serves clients in real estate transactions
of all types. I also assist clients with estate planning for everyone, including the GLBT community, and represent Illinois
condominium associations as needed. I help real estate investors who are renting their properties deal with difficult renter
issues, and I advocate for renters dealing with difficult landlords.
I work with clients in Chicago and all over the Chicagoland area, including
Wilmette, Skokie, Morton Grove, Plainfield, Wheaton, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Naperville, Oak Park, Winnetka, Des Plaines, Orland
Park, Berwyn, Carol Stream, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Barrington, Palatine, Park Ridge, Gurnee, South Holland, Park
Forest and more.
My goal is to give each
and every client personal, friendly and competent service at a reasonable price. I also strive to use technology in the best
way possible to keep my clients informed.
My legal background includes working for a major Chicago developer and
working for a boutique firm in their real estate division. I am also a landlord of a three flat building in Rogers Park and
I am managing broker of a small real estate brokerage.
I work with all different types of clients, including
developers, first-time buyers, buyers of second (or third!) homes, all sellers and the LGBTQ community.
My real estate blog is below. Please make sure to check back on a regular
basis to check out what's new. I update my blog about once a week and welcome any questions that you may have.
Ask me too about help with personal injury, divorce,
and any other legal issues!
Greenview Drive, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
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Check out my interview, Expert
Advice on Buying a Foreclosed Home on Illinois Homes, one of the top sites
for Illinois homes for sale, including Wheaton,
IL real estate. Illinois Homes also services Michigan homes for sale and Pennsylvania homes for sale.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Sunrise Equities Abandons Another Project
About a month ago, I blogged about a client who was buying a condo from Sunrise Equities, whose developer,
Salman Ibrahim, had left town, abandoning all of the investors for that property. We are currently working to get my client's
earnest money back, and now, Crain's Chicago Business just published another article in their October 27 issue about another
property that Sunrise owned that is going into foreclosure at 4700 N. Clarendon Avenue.
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Sunrise purchased the
site in June 2007 with financing from Cole Taylor Bank and disappeared in August, leaving all of the investors in the lurch,
including a group of Irish investors. Cole Taylor has file a $15.5 million dollar foreclosure suit against the project, and
the group of Irish investors is suing to recover the $250,000 in earnest money that they put down to buy 16 units in the 162-unit
Apparently the project was a very "ambitious" one and would have been the tallest building
Another sad chapter in the saga of Sunrise Equities....
Friday, October 24, 2008
Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early a Good Option?
A friend and real estate agent I know, Jean-Marie Minton, with Keller-Williams, Lincoln Park, sent out
a very interesting mailer this week on paying off your mortgage and I'd like to share some of the tidbits with you:
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One additional mortgage payment per year can save you thousands in interest. You can cut years off your mortgage by
doing so! Even paying an additional $20/month on a $100,000 loan at 6.5% interest can save you $13,000 in interest over the
course of your loan.
If you are paying PMI, it's even more important to pay down your mortgage. You can stop
paying PMI premiums once you reach 20% equity in your home.
Also, if you would like to feel secure and have peace
of mind in knowing that you're debt-free, paying off your mortgage is a good idea.
However, if you prepay your
mortgage, you may be subject to prepayment penalties if your mortgage calls for them, and you will also lose your tax
deduction, so keep this in mind as well.
If you choose to pay off your mortgage early, or pay additional funds,
make sure that you specify the payment is to go to principal, not future payments.
Monday, October 13, 2008
My Press Debut!
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A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Chicago RedEye newspaper to contribute to an article
on buying/sharing property with a person not related to you.
It was published today,
here it is! Thanks to Kyra Kyles from the RedEye for thinking of me!
HUD Changes to RESPA Too Expensive and Not Effective
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Earlier this year, HUD proposed changes to RESPA. While these changes are probably necessary, this
is a very difficult time in the real estate market, as anyone knows.
Here are some of the proposed changes:
1) The proposed Good Faith Estimate is four times as long as it is today. The proposed form also fails
to accomplish the changes that HUD and the Federal Reserve Board set out to do.
2) The packaged-services provider provision
favors discount pricing over quality services and skews the playing field for the largest lenders.
3) The required "closing
script" for settlement officers comes too late in the transaction and opens title agents to new liability and ignores
closing procedures in several states.
In early August, close to 2/3 of the House urged HUD Secretary Steve Preston
to withdraw the changes and work to repair them. We'll see where it goes!
(Information taken from "HUD
Push on RESPA" article in Realtor magazine, October 2008 issue.)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Real Estate Market Dead Unit 2010?
The September 29, 2008 issue of Crain's Chicago Business had a great article on predictions involving
when the real estate market will turn around. Previous predictions I have read had put the turnaround in 2009, but now experts
are saying it won't be until 2010 or 2011 before the market starts getting better. In a survey of 424 real estate executives,
90% of them said they have a "bearish" outlook on the market for the next 12 months, compared to 68% a year ago.
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Also, 62% of them say that the market will stabilize in 2010, while 12% believe it would be 2009. Another 22% indicated
they thought it would be until 2011 before the market starts getting back to normal.
In the presidential election
side of things, the Chicago respondents indicated by a whopping 64% that they believe the election of John McCain would have
the most favorable impact on commercial real estate. Surprising considering Illinois is a traditionally Democratic state,
and of course, the home state of Barack Obama.
Of Chicago respondents, 56% of the executives chose multi-family
housing as the best investment in the next few years.