Weekend Links for July 14, 2012
- Learning to love a new neighborhood. The rising rent rates in Chicago mean that many 2012 tenants will need to find apartments outside of their comfort zone. ChicagoNow blogger Lainie Peterson gives us her account of learning to love her new neighborhood, Old Irving Park.
- Another new Credit Score - for mortgages only. CoreLogic has partnered with FICO to create a special credit scoring model designed to assess how well you'd do paying a mortgage specifically. Weak payers have been scoring better than usual on this model, leading some to worry that it will open the door to home loans for too many subprime buyers again. More info on the score tells us that it folds in rent payments, payday loan payments and other non-traditional loans to assemble a more comprehensive picture. However, available data depends on the sources making it available. While upscale landlords may have the werewithal to submit data on their wealthy tenants, it's the poorer tenants who really need the boost that this score could bring. Low-rent landlords are not likely to surrender their payment info gladly, especially if the income numbers don't match what they send to the IRS.
- The Phantom Fourth Credit Bureau. Like the Fifth Beatle and the Seventh member of Monty Python, there have been any number of claimants among lesser-known risk analysis companies of being the fourth credit bureau on par with Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Check out these articles on Innovis, CoreLogic, and a shady network of other providers of personal payment histories. (The photo gallery on the last one has a misleading cover image as it's an older article, but the data within the slideshow is pertinent.)
- Eviction of the week. A Dayton, OH property manager is under investigation for stealing upwards of $10,000 from her employer. Residents of her former properties are now faced with proving that they paid their rent or getting evicted. The thieving manager remains at large until the cops figure out exactly how much she stole.
- CHA's Empty buildings getting emptier. Last week I linked you to the scoop on the Chicago Housing Authority's high vacancy rate in their subsidized low-income housing projects. The nadir for occupancy was the Lathrop Homes, at 80% vacant. Now Lathrop residents are protesting the CHA's decision to remove the remaining residents to complete their modernization on the complex.
They may not be allowed back in when it's finished, but would instead have to go to the end of the lengthy waitlist.
- A great companion article to the ongoing bargaining series. Derek Thompson of the Atlantic discusses the 11 Ways that Consumers are Hopeless at Math. Basically, we are unable to judge value accurately, so we will settle for judging it precisely ... against the options presented to us.
- Where not to get a cheap apartment. Curbed Chicago has released a "heatmap" of the most popular and trendy downtown Chicago high rise apartments. I've spoken with managers in many of these buildings over the past few months. Most of them are booked until October. It's currently July. Protip: to help out your fellow Chicagoans instead of faceless corporate property management, make note of the addresses, and then look into renting a condo on the same block.