Real Estate

Same Sex Marriage, Divorce and Division of Property

Same-sex marriage has been one of the most polarizing issues in recent years, and its legality on a national level was not resolved until only last year. Before that, its legality was decided one state at a time. This means that many couples had to leave their own state to legally wed. While the first same-sex marriage licenses in the United States were issued in 1975, gay marriage did not become officially legal in any state until 1999. Policy on same-sex marriage varied widely between then and … [Read more...]

Is Property Tax Relief on the Horizon?

Property taxes in Illinois are the second highest in the nation. It's a growing problem. However, Governor Rauner's administration and the General Assembly are going to attempt to tackle it in the coming year. To reduce property tax rates for homeowners, the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force is recommending a number of changes. There are approximately 7,000 taxing bodies throughout the state. There are also several hundred mandates that local governments have … [Read more...]

Will New Real Estate Lien Law Prevent Messy Title Issues?

An amendment to the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act should decrease the real estate transaction problems caused by contractor’s liens. Public Act 99–0178 changes the Lien Act as of January 1, 2016. The new provision allows a property owner or “...other person having an interest...” to substitute a surety bond for lien rights. A bond can free the property from a contractor's attachment while allowing him to retain his right to recover payment. The property can be sold while payment disputes are … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolution #1: Get Estate Documents in Order

The New Year is the perfect time to plan for the future. While your energy is high and your spirits are up, be sure to fit estate planning into your schedule this month. Getting it out of the way now means you won't have to worry about it for the rest of the year. The following are key documents you should prepare, review, then place in secure storage. Living Will. This written statement details your desires should you become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for yourself. … [Read more...]

2016 Estate & Gift Taxes at a Glance

Estate planning is not something that should be taken lightly. As the rules change, and limits are adjusted, individuals should stay on top of their estate plans to ensure that transfer of their estate is smooth and efficient after their passing. 2016 Estate Exemption Limit The IRS has recently announced the 2016 estate and gift tax exemption. They have increased it to $5.45 million. This means that an individual may leave this amount to their heirs without them having to pay federal estate … [Read more...]

Spike in Deed Fraud An Epidemic in Major Cities

As advances in technology continue to develop and an increasing number of Realtors place properties and sales records online to enhance the transparency of real estate transactions, a spike in deed fraud has become an epidemic in some major cities. The rising threat has begun to target unsuspecting homeowners in cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit. A recent report about Sybil Patrick, whose beautiful brownstone home was sold for $750,000 without her knowing, clearly portrays the … [Read more...]

Avoid these dangers when negotiating a commercial real estate lease

Landlords often push longer lease terms, offering better pricing or other incentives to sweeten the deal. Yet without flexibility, a small business locked in a long-term lease may suffer should it encounter unexpected growth or decline. Limiting the duration of a real-estate lease to one to two years will better suit the needs of less mature businesses. A real estate lawyer in Chicago can help you negotiate renewal options with reasonable limits on rent increases. (article continues below … [Read more...]

Rahm Emanuel Requests Significant Raise to Illinois’ Commercial Property Taxes

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking to raise taxes on commercial property holders in the hopes that these tax increases will stave off the state's ever burgeoning budget shortfalls. This past week, he pitched his proposals to Chicago's 50 Alderman seeking their support of the largest property tax increases in the history of Illinois. At issue is the philosophy of how to deal with the city's budget shortfalls which exceed $9 billion dollars a year. Coupled with over $159 billion in IOU's owed to … [Read more...]

Selling your home in the winter

People are often reluctant to put their home on the market with winter approaching. The reality is that marriages and births, promotions and job transfers happen year-round, so people are looking for houses during all seasons. Selling a home during winter can actually work to the seller's advantage, since potential buyers are usually relocating out of necessity, creating greater urgency. Regardless of the season, the key to selling any home is creating appeal. Adding thoughtful touches … [Read more...]

Selling your home? Change the interior wall colors

People selling their homes in Illinois should heed the advice of professionals when it comes to setting a price and clearing out the clutter. According to Consumer Reports, painting interior rooms is also a key part of moving the property quickly. The organization reports that investing a little bit of money can generate up to a 3 percent return. There are several considerations for those ready to pick up a brush. As any Elk Grove Village real estate attorney knows, the color and type of … [Read more...]

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