WBEZ | real estate http://www.wbez.org/tags/real-estate Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Seeing The Financial Crisis Through ‘The Big Short’ http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-19/seeing-financial-crisis-through-%E2%80%98-big-short%E2%80%99-114517 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0115_big-short1-624x399.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_99962"><p>Goldman Sachs agreed late yesterday to pay $5 billion to end investigations into claims that it knowingly sold faulty mortgage bonds in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have already settled.</p></div><p>This comes during a week that the financial crisis has been in the news for other reasons. Yesterday, &ldquo;The Big Short,&rdquo; based on the Michael Lewis book that documents the events that led up to the 2008 crisis, was nominated for five Oscars.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&#39;s</em> Robin Young takes a look at the film and how things have changed since 2008, with&nbsp;Barry Ritholtz&nbsp;of&nbsp;Ritholtz Wealth Management and&nbsp;Sylvia Alvarez&nbsp;of&nbsp;the Housing &amp; Education Alliance.</p><div id="attachment_99964"><a href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2016/01/0115_big-short2.jpg" title="In “The Big Short,” Christian Bale plays the eccentric real-life trader Dr. Michael Burry, one of the few who figures out how unstable the housing market is. (Paramount Pictures)"><img alt="In &quot;The Big Short,&quot; Christian Bale plays the eccentric real-life trader Dr. Michael Burry, one of the few who figures out how unstable the housing market is. (Paramount Pictures)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2016/01/0115_big-short2-624x351.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="In “The Big Short,” Christian Bale plays the eccentric real-life trader Dr. Michael Burry, one of the few who figures out how unstable the housing market is. (Paramount Pictures)" /></a><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/01/15/financial-crisis-the-big-short" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 15 Jan 2016 13:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-19/seeing-financial-crisis-through-%E2%80%98-big-short%E2%80%99-114517 Who Will Pay for Michigan's Orphaned, Contaminated Sites? http://www.wbez.org/news/who-will-pay-michigans-orphaned-contaminated-sites-114478 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/image003.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Michigan has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.audgen.michigan.gov/finalpdfs/13_14/r761021714.pdf">more than 280 contaminated sites&nbsp;</a>that are &ldquo;orphans.&rdquo; That means the company that made the mess no longer exists and the state has to deal with it.</p><p>But Michigan is running out of money to tackle these environmental problems. That was not good news for Antrim County, home to one of the largest contaminated sites in the country. State management of an underground plume of trichloroethylene (TCE) has been crucial here for years and will be needed in the future.</p><p><strong>A lack of state funding to clean up the plume is causing concern</strong></p><p>It&rsquo;s been more than a decade since residents like Ruth Ann Clark went onto city water because of the TCE contamination. Her water comes from Mancelona, about eight miles away from her house.</p><p>Clark has a small farm with llamas and donkeys. She says she spends more than $100 a month on water. She doesn&rsquo;t know if the TCE plume has reached her land yet, but she&rsquo;s not worried because she has clean water.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been okay,&rdquo; she says with a smile.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s not okay for everyone in Antrim County. In fact, millions more dollars must be spent to keep all her neighbors safe. Where that money will come from is a critical question for this community.</p><p><strong>An expanding legacy of pollution</strong></p><p>Not far from Clark&rsquo;s home is Summit Village, part of Shanty Creek Resort. The resort is one of the main drivers of economic growth in this area. It was purchased in 2007 and the new owners say they&rsquo;ve put another $15 million into it.</p><p>Realtor Donna Gundle-Krieg says a lot of money has been spent in Summit, one of three villages in Shanty Creek, where there&rsquo;s a hotel and conference center.</p><p>&ldquo;This is probably the area with the most expensive homes,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>But homes here will need to hook up to city water soon, because the TCE plume is moving towards them.</p><p>Gundle-Krieg has a vacant lot listed in Summit Village for $10,000. She doesn&rsquo;t expect to see a house on it anytime soon. She thinks it will be bought by someone who wants the beach access that goes with it on Lake Bellaire.</p><p>There is some confusion about exactly what is happening with the water. Gundle-Krieg says she frequently comes across homeowners who say they weren&rsquo;t told anything about the plume when they bought property and ask her what the situation is.</p><p>Property owners between Mancelona and Bellaire have this trouble today because of a degreaser used to clean machinery 50 years ago.</p><p>Herb Tipton got a job at Mount Clemens Metal Products in the 1960s.</p><p>&ldquo;The cleaning fluid was kind of a last resort,&rdquo; Tipton says. &ldquo;It was expensive.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;<br />He says what they did use, they poured down the drain.</p><p>&ldquo;But I don&rsquo;t think anybody really knew the after-effects,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;&#39;Course, that&rsquo;s true all over the world.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Michigan comes up short for clean water</strong></p><p>The TCE plume spreading across Antrim County might be the largest in the country, contaminating trillions of gallons of water.<br />&nbsp;<br />That&rsquo;s too expensive to clean up, so the state has spent $18 million to keep people from drinking the stuff. More will be needed to get clean water to everyone who will eventually need it. That&rsquo;s why community leaders were surprised in 2014 when they were told there wasn&rsquo;t enough money to extend more water lines.</p><p>They went to Lansing and proposed the state spend another $2 million to expand and upgrade the city water system. The state offered $500,000.</p><p>The idea that the state couldn&rsquo;t afford to protect drinking water in Antrim County sent shockwaves through the community last year.</p><p>Dean Branson, with Three Lakes Association, says the state&rsquo;s ability to manage this problem is critical. Without it, he says property becomes worthless since nobody will build a home on a lot that might not have clean water one day.</p><p>&ldquo;You aren&rsquo;t going to pay anything for that lot,&rdquo; Branson says. &rdquo;You aren&rsquo;t even going to pay your taxes. You&rsquo;re basically going to let it go back to the bank.&rdquo;</p><p>Branson helped work out a novel solution last spring. It involves the county sharing some of the costs of the next phase of work on the water system. Local governments seldom finance this kind of project. It&rsquo;s usually left to the state or federal government.</p><p>The agreement was not easy to get. Some county commissioners said the state would find the money one way or another and voted against the plan. County officials insisted this is the only time they&rsquo;ll spend money on this problem.</p><p>The agreement will protect everyone for a few years before more work is needed. Dean Branson says he&rsquo;s confident the state will be there to help.</p><p><strong>Who will pay?</strong></p><p>That&rsquo;s because at a meeting this summer, a division chief from the Department of Environmental Quality told a room full of people that the state will protect their drinking water. On videotape, Bob Wagner said if anyone asks the DEQ whether it&rsquo;s safe to buy property in Antrim County, the answer will be &ldquo;yes.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s safe. It&rsquo;s fine,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;There is no risk. It&rsquo;s all managed. That&rsquo;s our message.&rdquo;</p><p>Where the money will come from to keep that commitment is the question.</p><p>More than 280 contaminated sites were identified in Michigan in 2014 that still need work, including the TCE plume coming from Mancelona, and there is no more money to start new projects. In fact, Wagner says the state might have to pull back on groundwater monitoring at some of these sites next year.</p><p>The pool of money that has been used for this work in recent decades came from voter approved bonds. Voters have agreed to let Michigan borrow more than $2 billion since 1988 for an array of environmental initiatives.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>Finding a new long-term funding source is one of the goals laid out in Michigan&rsquo;s new water strategy, a comprehensive approach to a variety of water-related issues. Conversations about how that could happen are just beginning in Lansing.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/who-will-pay-michigans-orphaned-contaminated-sites#stream/0" target="_blank"><em> via Michigan Radio</em></a></p></p> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/who-will-pay-michigans-orphaned-contaminated-sites-114478 Using Crowdfunding for Personal Use http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/using-crowdfunding-personal-use-114525 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Personal Crowdfunding-Flickr-Rocio Lara.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Have you ever gone online to solicit money for a personal project or something you need or want?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>These days, crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe are filled with personal appeals: People looking for money for their cancer drugs, fertility treatments, or even to be a help them buy a house.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>So, where do we draw the line on which types of fundraising efforts to support? What goes into your decision to give or NOT to give? &nbsp;Ron Lieber, writer of the &quot;Your Money&quot; column for the New York Times, joins us to talk about how crowdfunding campaigns are getting more personal.</div></p> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/using-crowdfunding-personal-use-114525 Will a Fed Interest Rate Hike Slow the Housing Recovery? http://www.wbez.org/news/will-fed-interest-rate-hike-slow-housing-recovery-114177 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/img_4700_toned-36896b70b2013a7519f588cd5024ef3404c2d8c5-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res459770864" previewtitle="De Desharnais, a homebuilder and real estate agent in Nashua, N.H., stands in front of a house her company is constructing. She says her company had 32 employees at the height of the housing boom, and now only has six despite the industry's gradual recovery."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="De Desharnais, a homebuilder and real estate agent in Nashua, N.H., stands in front of a house her company is constructing. She says her company had 32 employees at the height of the housing boom, and now only has six despite the industry's gradual recovery." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/14/img_4700_toned-36896b70b2013a7519f588cd5024ef3404c2d8c5-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="De Desharnais, a homebuilder and real estate agent in Nashua, N.H., stands in front of a house her company is constructing. She says her company had 32 employees at the height of the housing boom, and now only has six despite the industry's gradual recovery. (Chris Arnold/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>The Federal Reserve is expected to start raising interest rates later this week, and anyone who&#39;s ever bought a house &mdash; or thought about it &mdash; knows that if mortgage rates rise by much that will make it tougher to afford a home.</p></div></div></div><p>Homebuilders are watching the interest rate decision closely too. That&#39;s because this 100-year flood of a housing crash has been especially tough on them.</p><p>De Desharnais, a homebuilder in Nashua, N.H., says she&#39;s one of the lucky ones &mdash; her company survived the crash. But it didn&#39;t come without pain.</p><p>&quot;We had 32 employees on our payroll at normal times; we have 6 on our payroll right now,&quot; she says.</p><p>The housing market definitely has improved in the past few years, but Desharnais says homebuilders like her can&#39;t help but be a bit nervous about the prospect of the Fed raising interest rates.</p><p>&quot;People are out there finally buying,&quot; she says. &quot;So builders like us that have been around a long time, we have big subdivisions that we&#39;ve been carrying through that recession. I think there is a big concern if the interest rates go up, that everything&#39;s going to come to a screeching halt.&quot;</p><div id="res459719330"><div id="responsive-embed-mortgage-rates-20151211"><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/mortgage-rates-20151211/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/mortgage-rates-20151211/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script></div></div><p>But Desharnais says most homebuilders don&#39;t think that will happen. That&#39;s because the Fed has been signaling that interest rates will only start rising very slowly, and mortgage lenders already have begun baking that increase into today&#39;s mortgage rates.</p><p>Desharnais, who also is a licensed real estate agent, says she hasn&#39;t seen any rush by homebuyers to purchase before rates go up.</p><p>&quot;People aren&#39;t out there going, &#39;Jeez, we gotta go do something, because the rates are going to increase,&#39; &quot; she says. &quot;There&#39;s no sense of that within the real estate community at all.&quot;</p><p>Some economists, though, think people who want to buy a house should have a greater sense of urgency.</p><p>John Burns, who runs&nbsp;<a href="http://realestateconsulting.com/" target="_blank">a national real estate consulting firm</a>, says mortgage rates are expected to rise about 1 percentage point over the next several years. That would mean the same-priced house will cost you 12 percent more in monthly payments.</p><p>&quot;So if mortgage rates go from 4 [percent] to 5 [percent], payments are going to go up 12 percent; that will hit affordability hard,&quot; he says. &quot;And I don&#39;t think that message has really gotten out there to people &mdash; that they understand they should take advantage of where rates are today.&quot;</p><p>And Burns says it&#39;s once again become easier than many people think to qualify for a mortgage, despite caution on home loans by some of the biggest banks.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s a lot of non-banks, like Quicken Loans and loanDepot, that are taking a lot of market share from the banks,&quot; he says. &quot;As long as you can provide the income, and you&#39;re not, say, below a 660 FICO score &mdash; which is about a bottom 30 percent of the country &mdash; they can get you a mortgage relatively affordably.&quot;</p><p>Looking ahead to next year, one big question will be whether first-time homebuyers finally will return to the market. William Wheaton, a housing economist at MIT, says millennials just aren&#39;t settling down and buying houses like past generations &mdash; partly because fewer are getting married.</p><p>He says that in recent decades, the proportion of households between the ages of 20 and 35 who never had been married was about 30 percent. In the 2010 census it was twice that &mdash; 62 percent.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s just an enormous change,&quot; Wheaton says. &quot;These people are&nbsp;</p><p>Wheaton says it&#39;s one question that has big implications for the future of the housing market.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/15/459690556/battered-home-builders-remain-wary-of-interest-rate-increases?ft=nprml&amp;f=459690556" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 12:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/will-fed-interest-rate-hike-slow-housing-recovery-114177 Morning Shift: November 12, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/morning-shift-november-12-2015-113756 <p><p>Back in 2004, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/wbez-25-wilco%E2%80%99s-jeff-tweedy-music-and-life-113750">Chicago musician Jeff Tweedy</a> was at crossroads. His band Wilco was buzzing from critical and popular success that followed their album <em>Yankee Hotel Foxtrot</em>. And Wilco was about to release a follow up, <em>A Ghost Is Born.</em>&nbsp;But Tweedy was also struggling with migraine headaches and an addiction to painkillers. Shortly after his time in rehab, Tweedy talked with WBEZ about the ups and downs in his life. It was one of our favorite interviews we&rsquo;ve aired here at the station. Now he joins us again to look back on that period.</p><p>Plus, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/cook-county-board-president-toni-preckwinkle-talks-tax-hikes">Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle</a> talks about why the county needs a hike in both the hotel tax and sales tax.</p><p>And, we discuss the restrictions on the number of personal <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/city%E2%80%99s-inconsistent-rules-homeless-113755">possessions for homeless Chicagoans</a>. We hear how a policy was created and how it&rsquo;s being enforced in two parts of the city.</p><p>Plus, you can now <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/you-can-now-crowdfund-real-estate-projects-chicago-113753">crowdfund real estate projects</a> in Chicago. We check in with real estate reporter Dennis Rodkin.</p><p>And we have another installment of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/my-life-three-songs-psychotherapist-jinnie-cristerna-113752">&quot;My Life in Three Songs&quot;</a> with psychotherapist Jinnie Cristerna.</p></p> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 12:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/morning-shift-november-12-2015-113756 You can now crowdfund real estate projects in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/you-can-now-crowdfund-real-estate-projects-chicago-113753 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/real estate flickr Ted Guarnero.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Have you ever used a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or GoFundMe to back a project? If so, it&rsquo;s likely to have been a creative project. Maybe a local band that needed a little extra cash to put out its next album or a tech entrepreneur that needed more money to manufacture a cool new Bluetooth speaker.</p><p>Lately though, you can <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20151107/ISSUE01/311079997/the-next-thing-in-crowdfunding-real-estate-development">crowdfund real estate projects.</a> And as Crain&rsquo;s Chicago Business&rsquo; <a href="https://twitter.com/Dennis_Rodkin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Dennis Rodkin</a> writes, it&rsquo;s happening in our area, and it&rsquo;s becoming more common.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 12:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-12/you-can-now-crowdfund-real-estate-projects-chicago-113753 Five Chicago zip codes among most lucrative for house flipping http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-02/five-chicago-zip-codes-among-most-lucrative-house-flipping-113592 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/house flickr American Advisors Group aag.com_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Several Chicago neighborhoods have made another Top 10 list. They&rsquo;re not the hottest areas, or the chic-est, or the ones with the best restaurants. They&rsquo;re the <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20150806/CRED0701/150809913/chicago-the-most-profitable-market-for-house-flippers">Top 10 zip codes in the country for house flipping.</a> Four Chicago neighborhoods and Berwyn occupy sports on the list from Realty Trac.</p><p>Crain&rsquo;s Chicago Business&rsquo; <a href="https://twitter.com/Dennis_Rodkin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Dennis Rodkin</a> explains why the Chicago area dominates the list and what impact flipping is having on those areas.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2015 12:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-02/five-chicago-zip-codes-among-most-lucrative-house-flipping-113592 Tribune Media considering sale of landmarked headquarters http://www.wbez.org/news/tribune-media-considering-sale-landmarked-headquarters-113252 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_060601048923.jpg" style="height: 379px; width: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="(AP File Photo/Nam Y. Huh)" />Tribune Media has announced it recently hired real estate investment banker Eastdil Secured to explore the sale or find a partner to help redevelop Tribune Tower, which sits on three acres along&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;Michigan Ave.</p><p>In a statement Thursday, Tribune Real Estate president Murray McQueen says the landmarked building and its location along&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s premier retail street is expected to attract interest from &quot;a broad range of private and institutional investors and developers.&quot;</p><p>The 36-story, neo-Gothic building houses the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Tribune and other tenants. The building has 737,000 square feet, but the entire site is zoned for up to 2.4 million square feet.</p><p>Tribune Media spun off its publishing division, including the Los Angeles Times and other daily newspapers, last year to focus on its broadcasting business.</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/tribune-media-considering-sale-landmarked-headquarters-113252 Morning Shift: September 22, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/morning-shift-september-22-2015-113028 <p><p>The Chicago City Council gets back to business today after some time off and the biggest item on its agenda: the 2016 <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/mayor-rahm-emanuel-reveals-budget-113027">budget</a>. Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially presents his plan to the Council &mdash; a plan that includes a property tax hike of nearly $600 million. WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian has more details on what the mayor is asking of taxpayers.</p><p>On that tax hike, $45 million of the money would go to school construction. No doubt some parents whose kids attend the affluent Ogden International School on the near north side would like to see some of that money, rather than having the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/local-school-council-votes-jennerogden-merger-113026">school merge </a>with one that has historical ties to the former Cabrini Green public housing complex. WBEZ Education reporter Becky Vevea stops by with a recap of a meeting last night that saw a unanimous vote for the merger.</p><p>We&rsquo;ve also got the back story on Gary, Ind.&rsquo;s push to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/gary-proposes-anti-sagging-pants-ordinance-113022">ban sagging pants</a>.</p><p>Plus how Chicago&rsquo;s Independent Police Review Authority is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/ipra-fails-investigate-potential-cpd-criminal-activity-shown-video">handling a case</a> of potential criminal activity by a couple of Chicago police officers.</p></p> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 11:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/morning-shift-september-22-2015-113028 Growth in home prices and number of home sales is cooling off http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/growth-home-prices-and-number-home-sales-cooling-113024 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/housing American Advisors Group.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The growth in home prices and the number of homes selling is <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20150921/CRED0701/150929996/chicago-area-home-sales-rise-in-august-illinois-realtors-say">starting to slip overall</a>. That&rsquo;s pretty typical for the end of the summer, but this year it&rsquo;s a little more pronounced. On the flip side, home values are up in some Chicago area neighborhoods and towns. And in the meantime, things on the condo front aren&rsquo;t so great.</p><p>Here to break it down for us is Crain&rsquo;s Chicago Business Real Estate Reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/Dennis_Rodkin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Dennis Rodkin</a>.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 11:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/growth-home-prices-and-number-home-sales-cooling-113024