on-targetAs one of Chicago’s top ten residential real estate agents (and #77 in the nation according to The Wall Street Journal), I am a frequent source for the media. I always enjoy the opportunity to share my “in-the-trenches” perspectives on Chicago’s residential market, as I believe that what is happening locally is more relevant to Chicago homeowners than generalized national reports.

Unfortunately, as with any interaction with the media, there’s the risk of having one’s comments taken out of context, and that is precisely what happened in my July 2009 interview with Stephane Fitch for his Forbes magazine story entitled “America’s Most Troubled Luxury Neighborhoods.” Fitch distilled our 30 minute interview into two quotes that, out of context, contradict the key points I made in our interview. Having my name associated with misleading information about Chicago’s real estate market, and especially about the Lincoln Park neighborhood where I was the #1 selling agent in 2008, is troublesome.

So, I’d like to set the record straight: Chicago’s Lincoln Park is not a “troubled” neighborhood. While I cannot comment on the other neighborhoods mentioned in his story, I disagree with his assertion that home prices in Lincoln Park are on the verge of “collapse.”

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Sad doggyWhile much attention has been paid to the human side of the foreclosure crisis – and justifiably so – pets are being left behind both figuratively and literally. As families have been foreclosed on or have abandoned homes with underwater mortgages, some, for whatever reasons, have chosen to leave their pets to fend for themselves.

Thankfully, many struggling pet owners in Chicago have done the humane thing by taking their pets to shelters. Even though some people are only turning over their pets until they get back on their feet (such as through the PAWS Chicago foster program), Chicagoland shelters are feeling the strain.

If you want to help with the rising needs of Chicago shelters and animals, consider volunteering at a shelter, adopting a pet or donating to a related cause. You can find resources on all of this at the PAWS Chicago website. There’s even a REALTORS®-based pet outreach program in Chicago: REALTORS® to the Rescue!

And should you need a nice, big backyard for a new four-legged friend, I’m always available to help with that.