The Many Ways Homeownership Affects Your Taxes

home ownership and taxes, what you need to know

Whether your home is a house, condominium, cooperative apartment, mobile home, houseboat, or house trailer that contains sleeping space and toilet and cooking facilities, there are things you should know about home ownership and how it affects your taxes.

Things like how you treat items such as settlement and closing costs, real estate taxes, sales taxes, home mortgage interest, and repairs. There are items related to buying, selling, moving, and owning a home that you can and cannot deduct on your tax return.  

Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Spring to Buy or Sell

man making a chess move

If you're thinking of selling or buying real estate in the Chicagoland area, you have probably heard about the very low inventory of available properties to buy.  At the moment inventory levels have plunged to new multi-year lows in many areas.  There is very little competition for sellers, and there are lots of buyers just waiting for homes to come on the market.

In most Chicago communities inventories are down from 10-30% from this time last year . . . and inventories were low last year at this time.

Norwood Park Housing: Median Sales Prices Increase By Double-Digit Percentages

Norwood Park community welcome sign

The median sales price for detached single family homes in Norwood Park increased 9.4% in the first 11 months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.  The median sales price in 2015 was $289,000, and increased to $316,050 in 2016.  It also took, on average, about 10 days less to sell a Norwood Park home this year.  The average market time for 2016 was only 69 days.  Closed sales held steady with a 2.1% increase the the number of homes sold.

Chicago Property Tax Rebate Deadline Has Been Extended To December 30th

Chicago property tax rebate program written on cityscape backdrop
If you are eligible for Chicago's Property tax rebate, you now have until December 30th to deliver your application to any of the 26 neighborhood locations citywide.  The rebate gives working and middle class families and seniors tax relief from the increase needed to fund pensions of first responders, and possible rebates range between $25 and $200.

Here are the requirements you must meet in order to be eligible:

What is the Difference Between Interest Rate and APR?

Laptop screen in browser on interest rates

Buyers are often confused about the difference between the Interest Rate and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR).  

The interest rate is a percentage of the principal loan amount, and reflects the base cost of borrowing the money.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) takes the base interest rate and adds to it the additional costs to get the loan.

What are these additional costs?

And, why is it important and useful for the buyer to know and understand the APR?