Hi! It's been seven years since I last updated StrawStickStone and about three years since the site was hacked by spammers forcing me to take it offline.
We're back. Although this is purely an archive. I won't be making any further posts since this blog and most of its content was made with the assistance of tools like the MLS that I no longer have access to.
I'm not a Realtor anymore. I hung up my license in 2016 to start RentConfident, an online data service that researches Chicago landlords and apartment buildings on behalf of tenants. If you enjoy what you find here at StrawStickStone, I suggest you stop by the RentConfident blog, where I am still writing real estate-related content, albeit focused on the tenant side pretty exclusively.
Some of the info on here is pretty dated, but a lot of the advice is still valid despite the many years that have elapsed since I wrote it. In 2012-13 we were in the depths of a housing recession. Now we've spent several months in coronavirus-induced lockdown. Mass evictions and an uncertain market await us when we emerge from our hidey holes.
It took me a bit of effort to recover everything from the hack. I had a backup from about 2 months prior to the final entry, but had to recreate about 25 entries including the 7 final installments of my 2013 eviction series by copying data back over from the Wayback Machine. Everything is exactly as it was. The maps which used Google Fusion Tables will no longer work but the rest of the site should still be functional.
To those who've asked when StrawStickStone would ever come back, here you go. To everyone else, welcome!