Buying a chicago home five rulesWhether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re thinking about moving to a larger Chicago home or Chicago condo, the five-year rule is a good one to follow. It’s a simple question of how long you plan to stay in the home, and the answer can help you decide whether or not you should stay where you are or make the move.

For some, it has everything to do with the upgrade cycle. You purchase a smaller Chicago condo or townhome with the intention of staying there. Then, a few years later, you realize there’s not enough space and you need something larger. This upgrade cycle usually repeats itself until the buyer finally settles into a house that is big enough for their family. While great in theory, if you continually sell and purchase a Chicago home that…

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Mortgage Rates for Chicago real estateThe buzz is all about low mortgage rates when it comes to Chicago real estate right now. In 12 of the 13 weeks from mid-April through mid-July 2012, long-term home loan rates matched or hit new lows. Prospective Chicago home buyers are coming off the sidelines like they haven’t in years in search of a new home thanks to record-low interest rates that will help keep their monthly payments low. But how do you take advantage of them?

First off, your credit matters big time here. Only those with the a credit score in the top tier will be able to take advantage of these historically low rates. It also pays to stay in the know with regard to how mortgage rates are fluctuating. That way, you can jump in when the time is right. Keith Gumbinger, a vice president…

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Trends in Decorating Chicago Luxury HomesIt’s rare for buyers to write a check for a home that has everything they have ever wanted. More and more buyers are looking for Chicago homes where they can do a bit of work themselves and make it a place that complements their lifestyle. There are a variety of amenities right now that are hot when it comes to luxury Chicago homes.

Here’s a look at what is piquing buyer’s interest!

  1. Fire Features: If you have a backyard, consider adding a fire feature. Whether it’s a fire pit for gathering around or standing urns that provide warmth and reflect off the water, this is a magical way to give your backyard a bit of character and pizazz. If you’re considering an outdoor makeover, popular outdoor amenities currently include pizza ovens, wet bars, and…

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Tax Relief on Mortgage Debt

Tax Relief on Mortage DebtRealtors, mortgage brokers and homeowners have all breathed a huge sigh of relief that tax relief on mortgage debt was part of the “Fiscal Cliff” legislation. Although this law has only been extended it will nevertheless have a positive impact on the market since it limits tax liability from short sales and workouts involving forgiven, deferred and cancelled mortgage debt and provides the continuation of alternatives to foreclosure. a reduction in foreclosure inventory is positive for home values.

This tax relief is of special benefit to upside down homeowners. The Mortgage Debt Tax Relief Act generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage…

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New "Fiscal Cliff" Tax Provisions Impact on Real Estate

Fiscal Cliff Deal Favors Housing RecoveryThere is good news for real estate in the new “Fiscal Cliff” tax bill that Congress finally passed after extensive debating sessions.

The main points of the legislation as they relate to Real Estate are outlined below:

  • Tax Relief for 1 year on Mortgage Debt forgiveness, deferment or cancellation.
  • Tax Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums extended through 2013.
  • Extension of the Energy Efficient tax credit for existing home till the end of 2013
  • Pease/PEP phase out for deductions
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Estate Tax

Tax Relief on Mortgage Debt

Debt relief on loan modifications, short sales and foreclosures became taxable at the end of 2012 when the previous law, which was voted to…

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