Archive for the 'Ask the “Specialist”' Category

Learn How to Talk Like a Chicagoan…

In Chicago we teach our young how to say ” Chicago”                                       







Follow the link and you too can learn how to talk like a Chicagoan




Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

A New Way to Pay Forward in 2016

I would like to share something about myself. I have been a supporting small businesses by giving money to Kiva Loans.  For those of you who do not know Kiva, they are a micro lenders that change lives. They lend small business loans . Businesses pay back the loans through sales of products they sell. Once the loan is paid off they can borrow more money and you can lend the money to others. This year I wanted to support local business seeking Kiva loans and found three companies to support.   GoldStar Greeting Cards: Provide unique affordable greeting cards and other paper products.   Mindful Indulgences: Is a confectioner that makes healthy veegan chocolate trufffles.   The C.A.N Art Studio: Is a community based art studio where you can take classes, rent studio space, or have parties.

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

A Walk Through The Chicago Botanic Gardens

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Thinking Outside the Box

Some people  in Real Estate work for Big Box Companies while others like to work in Little Boutique offices. In doesn’t matter which kind of office you work in but it does matter how you think.

Sometimes office policies are restrictive and want people to conform and in the end this restricts people from being creative.

Real Estate as a profession needs more creative thinkers who think outside the box.

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

10 Reasons to Live in Chicago

1. State Street: Chicago is really an easy city to get around. State and Madison is where the city begins State Street runs North and South and Madison runs East and West. At State and Madison you are at 0 degrees north and south and 0 degrees east and west. State Stree is still a Great Street with Macy’s or what I still refer as the old Marshall Fields.

2. Science and Industry Museum:  Chicago has some of the best museums from the Science and Industry, Field Museum, The Shedd Aquarium, The Adler Planetarium, Dusable Museum, Oriental Institute just to name a few


3. Buckingham Fountain: The Buckingham Fountain was built in 1927 and is a center piece to Chicago and its wondrful parks. Buckingham Fountain makes you feel like you are in Paris.

4. The Art Institute: One of the premier Museum of Art in the world with one of the best Impressionist Art Collections.

5. Michigan Ave: Most beautiful street with the best shopping in the world. Picture shows one of two water towers that survived the Great Chicago Fire.


6. The Chicago River:  Take a tour down the Chicago River or come visit during St. Patricks day and watch the River turn green.


7. The Chicago Blues Festival: Attend one of the many festivals and enjoy Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Classical,  to Rock.


8. China town: Enjoy the food at China Town, Greek Town, Italian Neighborhood, Pilsen for Mexican.


9. Lincoln Park Zoo: Open all year long and free.


10. Frank Lloyd Wright: Enjoy the different archecture styles from Prairie Style, Queen Anne, Victorian to mid-century  modern.


Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Top Financial Worries for Retirement




The Business Section of the Chicago Tribune had an article “Before Retiring; what’s to Worry?” I surprised that Housing did not make the top retirement financial worries? Top on the list was Medical Expenses being too high with 28%, next came My Savings will run out at 23%, My daily expenses will be more than I can afford at 18%, I’ll have too much debt at 11%, to Other at 20%. I was wondering if Housing is in the top of the Other category or does it not exist? My opinion is Housing should be right below Medical Expenses. I know we all worry about being healthy when we retire. We start to eat right, exercise more, watch our cholesteral, etc. because we don’t want to go to the doctor. But let’s talk about housing for a minute. If you own a house and your thinking about retirement then you must be thinking about moving and the cost involved in the move. You also must be thinking about how much equity you have in your home and add this to my other savings you then ask ” Will I out live my savings?” I am sorry to say the Chicago Tribune could have written a better article about retirement if they just included the cost and savings one has in their home LIKE  Book

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

News About IL Real Estate Specialists

As the Broker Owner of IL Real Estate Specialists I am pleased to announce the recent affiliation of the National Mortgage Forgiveness Plan Organization to help homeowners in distress in Evanston and Skokie. IL Real Estate Specialist has dedicated itself to help as many homeowners who are experiencing all sorts of distress and hardships and have nowhere to turn for advise. National Mortgage Forgiveness Plan and IL Real Estate Specialists as a Real Estate Professional Affiliate are here to help homeowners and listen to their unique problems and come up with solutions.

In the month of June  a concerted effort will be made to reach out to homeowners and offer them assistance and Real Solutions to their problems. To learn more about National Mortgage Forgiveness Plan or a way to get in contact with Il Real Estate Specialists today just click on the link provided:

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Using Quit Claim Deeds in Illinois

A quitclaim deed allows property owners to transfer whatever interest they may have in a specific piece of real estate. As opposed to a warranty deed, it does not offer any guarantees that the owner has good title or even ownership at all; it simply conveys whatever interest exists at the time of the deed’s signing. Once buyers accept it, they are left with little to no recourse against the former owner. This lack of protection generally makes a quitclaim deed unsuitable for purchasing real estate from an unknown party.


Yet, a quitclaim deed is fully sufficient to convey property in other circumstances, such as transfers between family members or spouses. For example, in case of divorce, a spouse can quit claim to his or her interest in the property; alternately, the deed can be used to add a spouse to the title. Other scenarios that lend themselves to using a quitclaim deed are transfers to a corporation or into a trust as well as uncertainties regarding title.


When there is a cloud on the title, a question whether parties unnamed in the deed have interest in the property, the title insurance company may require a quitclaim deed in order to remove the potential interest holder and to restore marketability of the owner’s title. Lenders might require the same from a spouse who will not be on the title.



A basic form for the quitclaim deed is provided in the Illinois statutes (765 ILCS 5/10). Record it with the recorder of deeds office in the county where the property is located. This provides official notice of the land transfer and makes the instrument part of the public record; if unrecorded, it may be void to subsequent purchasers for valuable consideration (765 ILCS 5/31).


Further information about quitclaim deeds and other real estate documents is available at When in doubt about what type of deed to use or to accept, seek legal help from an attorney.

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Fannie and BOA: Playing the Game of Hearts….

hearts game




I just finished reading an article about the recent agreement between Fannie Mae and BOA. BOA has agreed to pay FAnnie MAe $3 Billion in Compenatory Fee obligations, will repurchas 30,000 loans from Fannie and sell their servicing rights of 2 Million Mortgages.

As I read this article it reminded me of a Game of Hearts. In a game of hearts you pass 3 cards to the person next to you. Usually these are the worst cards in your hand because the objective of the game is to end up with “no hearts” or all of the “hearts” which is called “Shooting the Moon”. Shooting the Moon includes getting all hearts plus the Queen of Spades which is called ” the Bich” in the game.

Now back to Fannie and BOA. Fannie has just passed BOA its worst cards the “ACE” and “King” of Hearts and the “Queen” of Spades (Bitch) cards to BOA. Now it is up to BOA to decide how to play the game. Do they try to win by not getting any Hearts or do they get them all by “Shooting the Moon”.

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Most Feared Name in Real Estate today Is “Strategic Default”



Decisions  or plans designed  to impact  favorably the key factors on  which the desired outcome of an organization, game, system, venture, or war, depends. See also tactical.


Why do people in the Real Estate Industry today hate the word “Strategic”?  We all make decisions and sometimes we make bad decisions and have to re plan and make new decisons. Our decisons have impact on others. Sometime these decisions have negative impact on others and this is what is feared the most.

I have come to realize working in the distressed Real Estate Market that Organizations all strategize. Its a game and it all depends on which strategy you use depends on whether you win the game or loose.

To say some are allowed to strategize and others are not allowed is not fair. It gives an unfair advantage to some and is almost like cheating in a game.

I have had many discussions with Banks about the word “Strategic Defaults” and everytime I use this word I get a negative response. Why do they not like this word, well for one reason, they see a Strategic Default favors the seller and not the Bank.  I am not sure this is always the case but lets say “Strategic Defaults” do favor the Seller. Are there not Strategic Foreclosures being made that favor the Banks over the Seller? The answer is Yes. So if both Seller and Lender are both doing it then I say lets get this word out in the open and discuss “Strategies” together that benefit both Seller and Bank.

All of the Major Banks today favor Short Sales over Foreclosure. Why because this Strategy in the end is better for them. In most instances the Lender will net more money in a Short Sale than if it goes to Foreclosure. Yet inorder to do a Short Sale the Seller must show a Hardship. A “Strategic Default” is not viewed as a “Hardship”. Thus the dilemma.

I ask: Why is  Donald Trump allowed to do a “Strategic Default” and others are not?  I think the answer is because Donald Trump has money and it is better for the bank to default on one of his projects than loose the his business. In other words “Strategic Defaults” with Donald Trump actually is a “Strategy” that benefits both Donald Trump and The Banks who lend him money.

I say this concept of “Strategic Default” needs to be re-examined and allowed to happen because it really can benefit all parties in the transaction.



Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

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