iMove Chicago participated in the Loyola Student Housing Fair yesterday and we can say without equivocation that it was a resounding success. We had a great time talking with students about the Chicago apartment options in Andersonville, Rogers Park, Uptown, Evanston near the Loyola Lake Shore Campus and in the Golf Coast, Streeterville, Loop, Downtown, and South Loop areas near the Lake Shore Drive Campus. The turn out at the student housing fair was great. We spoke with over 150 students and are anxious to get started on their custom housing search. If you missed the fair and still need housing services, please feel free to contact an iMove Chicago agent or visit our site at iMoveChicago.com. We look forward to hearing from you and perhaps we will have the opportunity to talk with you soon about your Chicago apartments rental search.
What? Yes, you read it right. Certified funds may no longer be an acceptable mean of funding a purchase. Last week, I represented a client at the purchase of an Andersonville condo (they got a great deal by the way - but that's for another post). As I have done over a hundred times before, I instructed my client that he should bring the necessary "cash to close" in the form of a certified check payable to themselves (not to "cash" as a check written as such could be lost and the funds gone). My client followed my instruction and came to closing with the requisite funds in the form of a Bank of America certified check written to himself. All was good, or so we thought. After signing the mountain of documents required to purchase a property in the progressive age, we sat back and waited for the title closer to do her job. We were all stunned when she took one look at our check and said "no"....."not acceptable." Huh??? She went on to explain that due to the advent of "phone deposits" (i.e. take a picture of a check and deposit it to your bank account), the title company could no longer accept certified checks because the client or some other nefarious and ill purposed individual could possibly have taken a phone snap shot of the closing check and thus have deposited the funds prior to our client having tendered same to the tile company. Wow! After scrambling to cancel the check and securing a last minute wire transfer, we closed the deal. Afterwards, I called around to a few colleagues and discovered that in fact almost all title companies are now following a similar policy. Take note. Its a new world out there folks.
Today it happened again. A tenant who viewed a ver nice condo rental unit in Andersonville on Thursday and seemed to be committed to renting decided to "sleep on it" and make a decision over the weekend. Guess what? The unit was rented by the time she came in to our office to apply today. This scenario is playing out much more frequently than we have ever encountered in the past. No, we don't have a bunch of government surveys and statistics to confirm our hunch. What we do have is day to day evidence of the fact that apartments in Chicago are renting far quicker than they ever have in the past. One agent in our office also experienced a bidding wat on Friday over a Gold Coast studio apartment. The rent started at $1,000 but settled out at over $1,200. We have never heard of that happening before. We have recently had many clients facing multiple, competing applications on apartments in Chicago. The trend doesn't seem to be limited to the popular neighborhoods of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Downtown, Loop. Rather, we are seeing first hand evidence of a very tight rental market throughout Chicago, in communities like Andersonville, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Uptown, Albany Park, Evanston, Roscoe Village, and Wrigleyville.
We can only speculate as to the reasons underlying this trend. Perhaps, give that the housing market remains in the doldrums, more folks are staying put. People who have lost homes to foreclosure are also returning to the rental market. Builders and developers have all but stopped new construction. Many units caught up in the mortgage foreclosure mess are sitting idle and vacant as cases work their way through the legal system. All of these factors seem to be contributing to the tightening rental market.
The end result is that competition for value priced units seems to be at an all time high. We are about to enter the spring rental market and this will reveal whether the trend continues. What we are observing is that rents for many large rental companies are on the increase, reflecting what these apartment owners must be seeing in terms of vacancy rates. Stay tuned, it looks to be a rough ride.
We can now confirm that Bucky Gear officially has a new home. The Andersonville clothing store will be taking up residence in the storefront previously occupied by the Monkey Gallery at 5238 North Clark Street in Andersonville. According to store owner Timothy "Bucky" Adams, the move is expected to take place during the last week of February and the new store, after some remodeling, will be expected to open during the second week of March. Stay tuned for an official opening date. We are glad to see that this Andersonville business is staying in the neighborhood.
iMove Chicago agents were instrumental in facilitating the relocation of Buck Gear. Call on us if you are looking to relocate your business or residence to Andersonville, Rogers ark, Edgewater or Uptown.
Under a measure approved by the Chicago City Counceil, parking scofflaws and any one else who owes the City could be facing a rude awakening when they go to the mailbox in search of their tax refund. A new ordinance passed by City Council will now allow the City of Chicago to intercept your tax refund to pay any City debt that you may owe. Mayor Emanuel called those who owe the City money "deadbeats" who must now pay. Many criticized the move because the City debts are often determined by administrative hearings that some liken to "kangaroo courts." The City projects it will collect an additional $7 million through the measure. So, if you are having trouble parking while visiting Andersonville, Edgewater, Rogers Park or Uptown, make sure you feed that meter.
Zebras in Andersonville? Well, No. But, I didn't have anything better to write about today until I came across an article that finally has a plausible answer for the age-old question: Why do zebras have stripes? Many have speculated that it was for camaflogue or perhaps an elaborate way of identification. Those theories have been debunked as far back as Darwin. An article in the Economist magazine puts forth a new theory backed by scientific evidence. What researchers have discovered is that the zebra's vertical pattern of stripes allows the animals to fend off horse flies and the African equivalents. Turns out that the eyes of these pests are attuned to solid colors and horizontal color contrasts. The zebra's vertical pattern of black and white seems to serve as natures way to cloak the zebra from the pest. Who woulda thunk. Now the next time you see a zebra in Andersonville looking for a chicago apartment or perhaps a cup of coffee, you can know the animal's true raison de existance.
Paying your landlord on time could now be more important than ever. The big three credit bureaus have put in place plans to start reporting rent payment as a part of consumer credit history and to factor the timely payment of rent into the ever important credit score that is universally used by lenders and credit card companies.
The reporting of rent history could actually help many people who have a very limited credit history. One group in particular - students - often have little or no history. What they often do have is several years history of timely payment of rent. This could help tremendously when these consumers emerge from school and start applying for credit.
Of course, not all landlords will report, so the actual impact of the rule change could be highly variable. Many small landlords in communities like Andersonville will likely not be reporting to the bureaus. Rather, it will be the large apartment complexes and high rises like those downtown in the loop, in Lakeview and in Lincoln Park. It will be interesting to see how this impacts consumer behavior.
The ostensible purpose of the City of Chicago Sticker design is to honor first responders, but controversy has erupted after it was alleged that the design instead depicts gang signs. The stickers are just now about to go on sale and the cIty Clerk's office is left scrambling. The issue is a hot one given all the gang activity in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park and Andersonville.
The City Clerk says she is "investigating."
UPDATE: Late yesterday the City Clerk caved in to public pressure and criticism and announced that the city sticker design would be changed. Here is the new design. We think it looks better than the old one.