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Taxation & Estate Planning

: Death and Taxes Blog

Chicago BlockShopper: What Fresh Hell Is This?

By Joel A. Schoenmeyer

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I first became aware of the idea of BlockShopper when a friend of mine, a partner at a big Chicago law firm, called to ask whether he could take title to his new townhome in a private manner. "What's the big deal?" I wondered.

The "big deal" (as a new client informed me last evening) is Chicago BlockShopper, a site that reports on real estate transactions in the (fairly upscale) Lincoln Park and Lake View neighborhoods of Chicago. (There's also a BlockShopper site for St. Louis.)

The articles look like those fake headlines you can make for someone's birthday or some other special occasion ("Cleveland OB-GYN Named Best Mom in America"). But in this case, the articles relate to the purchase and sale of real estate, and flesh out the identities of buyers and sellers with information gathered from other parts of the web. It's legal, of course -- I just question whether it's appropriate from a lack of privacy perspective. I guess you can always take title in a land trust, or change your name to John Smith.

Full post as published by Death and Taxes Blog on January 15, 2008 (boomark / email).

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