Morning Minute: Chicago makes list of top cities for real estate investors

Thinking about investing in real estate? Then Chicago would be a good bet since it ranked as the No. 4 U.S. metro when it comes to first-year home price appreciation for those who will be looking to sell later, according to the real estate investment company, HomeUnion. covers those findings and more in the blog post, “The Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate on a Budget.” The post also looks at cities with the best returns for owners who want to be landlords.

Infographic by Find the infographic and full blog post at

Infographic of HomeUnion data by Find the infographic and full blog post at


In other headlines:

11 modern closing gift ideas for every type of buyer – Inman

Obama administration presents a look at life after HAMP – HousingWire

IHDA to reopen foreclosure prevention program

IHDAStarting Aug. 1, homeowners who have experienced at least a 15 percent drop in income through no fault of their own and need help paying their mortgage can apply for federal assistance from the Hardest Hit Fund Program.

According to information from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), qualifying homeowners could receive up to $35,000 in reinstatement assistance and/or monthly mortgage payment assistance.

Reinstatement assistance is a one-time payment of all mortgage arrearage, fees and penalties, while monthly mortgage payment assistance will pay 100 percent of the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payments for up to 12 months. The assistance will be provided as a five-year forgivable loan and funds may have to be repaid to the IHDA if the owner sells the home at a profit or refinances during the five-year loan term.

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois and Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer made an announcement last Friday in Chicago about the program reopening.

For more information, go to:

Round two: Illinois REALTORS® head to Philadelphia for the DNC

USA political symbols

Illinois REALTORS® are in Philadelphia today for the opening hours of the Democratic National Convention and the association is sponsoring a reception tonight for the state’s political delegation.

The visit to Philadelphia comes after association members played a role in the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Illinois REALTORS® officers and staff had an opportunity to meet with top policymakers from Illinois, and sponsored an event at the gathering.

The association, which is bipartisan in nature, typically sends representatives to both the Democratic and Republican conventions. Attendance gives association members an opportunity to meet with political leaders in a more informal atmosphere, a continuation of the lobbying work done in Springfield.

See all of the coverage here

Search helps Patterson choose her own charitable path

Alisa Patterson

Alisa Patterson

In 2003, Alisa Patterson needed a job with a flexible schedule so she could help care for her young children and her cancer-stricken father.

Not only did that search get her started in real estate, but it enabled her to spend key time with family, led her to a productive career as a REALTOR®, connected her to the local chapter of the American Cancer Society and introduced her to many people.

Today, Patterson is a managing broker for the Byron office of Dickerson & Nieman REALTORS, and says her community involvement has helped her career and vice-versa. “To be honest, the volunteer experience has probably exceeded my expectations,” she says. “It’s opened a lot of doors for me. And so many of the people I’ve met, I’ve felt a connection to. Seeing them at the events year after year, many of us have become friends. Some, I think will be lifelong friends, and that’s something I didn’t anticipate.”

Patterson, who also serves as president of the Rockford Area REALTORS® (RAR) and vice president of membership for the Rockford Chapter of the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, says good advice given in the early stages of her real estate career, helped her choose the American Cancer Society.

“I was told to pick a charity or cause that would mean something to me, and following the death of my father, I became involved with annual cancer walks with local cancer survivors and family members of victims.  Fundraising – finding sponsors who’ll donate money or goods for those walks – seemed like a good fit for me.

“Eventually I chaired and co-chaired the walks, and in recent years I’ve participated in the walks with a team named Buffalo,” she says. “During the last several years, I’ve helped a friend with a three-week garage sale that raises money for the American Cancer Society. This year, the garage sale raised more money than it ever has before.”

Patterson says, “There’s something special about the people I’ve met through volunteering, and it has to do with the unique stories each of us share. It seems that everyone has either lost someone to the disease or knows someone who’s had cancer.”

Earlier this summer, Patterson was named RAR’s REALTOR® of the Year and she also was one of a select group to participate in the Illinois REALTORS® Leadership Training Academy. She says she loves her career and her involvement with the local and state associations. “I’m doing what I love to do, and it pays itself back over and over again.”

So how does she define her success?

“I measure my success with my family’s happiness,” she says, noting that her children are 23, 14 and seven years old. “I don’t measure my success monetarily. I measure it in terms of making dinner for my family, taking my son to hockey practice and my daughter to softball and volleyball. Having the flexibility to be there for those ‘special’ moments, to me, that is ‘success.’”

Read the Illinois REALTORS® blog for weekly stories about the community involvement of Illinois REALTORS® during the association’s 100th anniversary year. If you have an idea for a REALTOR® to highlight with an article, please send it to To read stories like this, go to: #MemberMonday

Housing policy, advocacy take REALTORS® to Cleveland and DC during past week

Finding safe and comfortable housing for the homeless should come before tackling job training, drug addiction, mental health and other related issues, said Matthew Doherty, the Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. His comments came as part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ “Housing for All” symposium in Washington, DC this week.

In other news, Illinois REALTORS® attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and shared some of their observations on the Illinois REALTORS® blog: