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Site Tracks Sales of Lawyers' Lairs

Did you know that Mel M. Justak, an estate-planning associate at Reed Smith in Chicago, and his wife just sold their two-bedroom condo in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood? They got $340,000 for it, $4,000 less than they paid to purchase it in 2003. Perkins Coie IP associate Douglas L. Sawyer and his wife fared better in selling their four-bedroom Lincoln Park home, receiving $1 million for a place they bought in 2005 for $925,000. Meanwhile, Faith Bugel, a staff attorney for the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago, and David A. Rickard got a good deal for themselves in purchasing a four-bedroom, 5.1 bath home in Lincoln Park for $1.73 million. They bought it from Chicago Title, which paid a million more for the property in 2003.

I know all this not because I am well connected to real estate agents in the Windy City. No, I read about each of these transactions on the unusual Web site Chicago BlockShopper.com. Launched in May 2006, it reports on real estate transactions in Chicago's Lincoln Park and Lake View neighborhoods. A companion site, BlockShopper St. Louis, does the same for suburban St. Louis County.  The site does not favor lawyers so much as lawyers favor the well-to-do neighborhoods it covers. The transactions above were reported with headlines touting the buyers' or sellers' occupations. Thus:

There are plenty of other professionals featured as well -- investment bankers, financial consultants, business executives, doctors and bank managers, to name a few. Each article includes a Google map showing the location of the property and photograph of the property's exterior.

Lawyers are well represented in the St. Louis site as well. There is the real-estate lawyer's purchase of a four-bedroom for $595,000, the corporate lawyer's sale of his four-bedroom for $1.2 million, more than double what they paid for it a decade ago, and an asbestos lawyer's purchase of yet another four-bedroom home for $899,000.

With talk of a troubled real-estate market dragging down the economy across the nation, it is good to know that lawyers are doing their fair share to keep the market moving.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 30, 2007 at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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