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Showing posts from January 18, 2008

Buy a House, Save a Municipal Pension.... (part 2)

Now that the State legislature approved the Hamos bill (our mass transit bail out) all eyes turnb to the City Council who must now vote on the proposed transfer tax increase. As realtors and others in the industry wring their hands with worry about how the increased fee will effect the already slow market, it looks like our neighbor to the north in Evanston may well get into the act themselves.

I'll explain in a minute, if you'lll indulge me this digression about my closing this morning.

Most of the parties late to arrive, as they all had trouble finding nearby parking. One of the real estate agent proudly announced that she avoided that problem by riding the el. She proceeded to grimace, look the buyer in the face, and comment to the effect that at least she (the buyer) saved money by closing before the City raised the transfer tax. She proceeded to lambast the legislature for making her poor buyers bear the brunt of saving the transit workers pension funds. I, rather smugly, …

Walk Score - a new tool for home buyers

Did you hear the news? Apparently oil prices have been rising, and gas for our cars is getting more expensive. Then there's also something or other about global climate change and carbon emissions and such. Oh, and the kids are all getting really, really fat. Obesity seems to create health problems and there is some crisis or other in the healthcare industry too. Wow, I though the real estate market slow down and mortgage lending crises were a mess.

So much bad news.

So, here is a neat tool that could help buyers, renters, and their agents identify properties in neighborhoods that are "walkable." Enter a street address into the system and walk score will show you a map of what's nearby and calculate a "Walk Score" rating of the relative "walkability" of the area for you. Its not perfect, but hey - its a (great) start and a really cool idea.

Pick the right house - reduce your dependence on the car; get some exercise; support your local (micro…