What $1M Can Get You in Chicago South Loop

A million dollars isnt what it used to be, but it still goes pretty far in the South Loop Chicago real estate market. Chicago is one of the best real estate markets in the country for buyers right now because, though its a world class city, home prices are far below those in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

If youre looking for a South Loop Chicago condo, theyre available with every amenity under the sun. The best buildings have spacious interiors, 24/7 security, pools and exercise centers. In a luxury building youll never need to worry about parking thanks to dedicated secured lots.

Of course, you wont need a car unless you want one. The South Loop is well-connected to Chicagos public transit grid, offering easy access to downtown and all the major employers in the area. Besides work, you may not even want to leave the neighborhood. South Loop has fantastic restaurants and great entertainment options, plus its one of the safest regions in the city.

Best of all, South loop Chicago homes for sale are seriously undervalued. A $1 million home will offer three or more bedrooms, two or more baths, and great views of the city. This elite neighborhood has every attraction you could ask for, and its all possible for less than seven figures.

Homeowner Tips To Reduce Taxes

If youre looking to buy a Streeterville condo or house, you may be wondering how it will affect your taxes. While property taxes might send your total tax payments up, there are a number of steps you can take to offset the increase.

Mortgage Interest

Mortgage interest is fully tax deductible on all loans valued at $1 million or less. For larger loans, you will be able to deduct interest on the first million.

Second homes are also eligible for the deduction as long as you actually reside in them. To keep the deduction, youll need to use the home for the greater of 14 days of the tax year or for at least 10 percent of the days that you rented it out.

Walk With the Property Tax Assessor

Want to keep your property tax as low as possible? Walk your property with the property tax assessor while pretending that youre their friend that doesnt want them to buy Streeterville real estate. Point out defects like old appliances and roof problems to make sure your nice garden and fresh paint dont inflate their valuation of your home.

Check for Tax Breaks on New Appliances

Each year, federal, state, and local governments offer tax breaks on new appliances to promote things like energy efficiency and reducing pollution. If a new appliance is already on your radar, keep an eye out for available tax credits.

To find out more or to learn about Streeterville homes for sale, contact us today.

How to Avoid Overpaying for Your South Loop Chicago Mortgage

A busy professional interested in buying a new residence couldnt do better than homes for sale in the South Loop. The area offers all of the amenities of living in the best part of the city: easy access to transportation, museums, and restaurants, as well as the culture and social events that make Chicago great. South Loop Chicago real estate offers a wide range of prices and sizes, to fit the small family or single family lifestyle.

Finance Matters: How to Make Sure Youre Not Overpaying On Your Mortgage

Once you find the perfect place, its time to double check the points of your mortgage. Being well informed is the best way to make your decisions. Here are some key points you should be aware of when comparing lenders offers:

  • Interest Rate. In short, the interest rate is the rate of interest youre charged to borrow the money needed to secure your home.
  • APR. A lot of people completely overlook this when deciding on their price for a home, only looking at the interest rate. The APR is the cost of the loan in total, including all of the fees and points that might vary from lender to lender this is the real number you should be paying attention to when comparing.
  • Fees. Mortgage loans generally come with a variety of fees. Ask them to separate and itemize these fees for you, so that you can better compare one lender with another. Some fees may be negotiable, dont just acquiesce to a loan when youre not comfortable with the terms.
  • Lock the Rate. Locking the rate is important because it will fix your rate and fees, giving you time to finalize and close on the home.

To find out more about homes for sale, contact your South Loop realtor today!

5 Things To Look For In A Chicago Condo

Chicago real estate is full of a wide array of interesting properties that reflect the diverse communities the city has to offer. It is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own special brand of flavor and culture to fit any taste. With such an eclectic selection to choose from, looking for just the right condo to call home can seem overwhelming.

Here are our top 5 things to look for when choosing your new condo:

  1. Neighborhood. Before you even get going, you want to really study the city and decide which neighborhoods you would feel most at home in. This choice might be based on proximity to work or the demographics of the area.
  2. Parking. As with most cities, parking can be a huge issue. Even if you dont drive, it still might be problematic for guests that come visit and should be something you consider before purchasing.
  3. Transit. One big perk to Chicago is the transit system. Even if you dont currently use it, you might find a local el or bus is a much better way to get across the city at rush hour.
  4. Building Maintenance/Homeowners Associations. Many condos have Homeowners Associations, so youll want to really pay attention to their rules and regulations before committing to a purchase. You also want to pay special attention to the maintenance in the common areas of the building.
  5. School and Park Districts. While buyers who dont have children often pay little attention to the school district, its something to consider when purchasing because it will have a direct effect on the resale value of the property. Park districts are also important, especially if you want to join in local events and participate in activities.

To find out more, contact your Related Realty Chicago realtor today!

3 Things to Know About Mortgage Costs in Chicago

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is planning on reducing borrowing costs for prospective Chicago homeowners; such news is notable, given that it comes after a long line of cost increases from the cash-strapped agency.

What are the specifics of the FHA’s plan, and how will it impact your clients looking for FHA mortgages in Chicago?Here are the three things you should keep in mind:

  1. The FHA’s Plan Will Tackle Mortgage Insurance – The FHA, which is overseen by HUD and insures mortgages with down payments as low as 3.5 percent, finances its operations via mortgage insurance, which borrowers pay in addition to their monthly Chicago mortgage. So, according to the FHA, a low-down payment mortgage comes with a few more fees as a result. But the FHA will lower those premiums, reportedly dropping them from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent.
  2. The FHA Can Afford It – Given that the FHA increased Chicago mortgage premiums in 2013 because of shaky finances, is it really a good idea for them to lower those premiums now in 2015? Though critics are stating that the FHA should keep its premiums at their current level, the agency’s finances have improved dramatically in the last year.  According to an independent audit in November, the FHA’s insurance fund (a rainy-day fund of sorts that mortgage premiums fund) was valued at $4.8 billion; that’s up from a $1.1 billion deficit in 2013, and spurred many industry advocates (including NAR and the MBA) to lobby for lower premiums in Chicago.
  3. Its Impact May be Marginal – It’s unlikely that lower mortgage premiums at the FHA will lead to any kind of surge in homebuyer demand, simply because the savings from the lower premiums may not amount to that much money. According to an analysis by Sterne Agee, a borrower with a 30-year, $100,000 mortgage insured by the FHA would save roughly $25, at most, in their monthly mortgage payments in Chicago. Though Sterne Agee admitted that its analysis was more back-of-the-envelope than anything else, it argued, “This savings will pull some marginal borrowers into homeownership, but it isn’t enough, in our view, to assume single family housing demand increases above our current assumption.”

Most importantly, lower FHA mortgage premiums do not change the greater economic forces currently impacting the housing market in Chicago, namely low savings rates and even lower wage growth. Some consumers will undoubtedly benefit from lower premiums, but it’s unlikely that housing will kick into high gear as a result of the policy.