Monthly Archives: August 2013

Rates Thursday

Guaranteed Rate is offering mortgage rates at 4.50% for a 30 Year Fixed. While rates may be at a “record high” according to the Chicago Sun Times, now is the time to work with Guaranteed Rate. The Mortgage Business Association average is 4.80% and Guaranteed Rate’s 4.50% is still the best bet for a home mortgage.

Guaranteed-Rate-Logo

Are Your Property Taxes Too High?

Everyone thinks their property taxes are too high, but are they really? And what should you do if they are?

Property Tax Factors

Your property tax amount is influenced by two factors. One you can contest; the other you cannot. You can appeal the assessed of the value of your property, which is the amount the township determines your home is worth. You cannot contest the tax rate, which is the amount every home’s assessment value is multiplied by to get the property tax amount. Even if you can get the assessed value decreased, your total tax bill may go up if the tax rate is increased.

Discovering Assessed Value

The first step in dealing with your property taxes is to determine the assessed value. Assessed values are not published on the same day each year, so it is important to continually check the papers and website for the publishing dates. For York Township, for example, the assessor’s office says they are typically published any time from August to December. Your assessed amounts are only published in the paper if there was a dramatic change. If you do not see your property listed, that means that your assessed values were subject to the same increase or decrease as the majority of the properties in the township. There are 3 ways to discover the assessed value of your home:

  1. Go to the township website. In Elmhurst, you are in York Township (630-627-3354) if you are south of North Avenue and Addison Township (630-530-8161) if you are north of North Avenue.
  2. Look in local papers. Papers that publish the assessed values include the Elmhurst Press, the Lombardian, and the Villa Park Review.
  3. Call your LW Reedy Realtor. They’d be happy to look it up for you.

2013 Dates to Remember for York and Addison Townships

Township Assessed Values Published Filing Date
York Township August 20, 2013 September 23, 2013
Addison Township Not yet finalized – expected to be first week of September. Watch the website. 30 days after assessments are posted

Evaluating Your Assessed Value

How do you know if your home is assessed at a reasonable amount?

  1. Multiply the assessed value by 3 to get the estimated market value of your home, or how much you think it might sell for if it were on the market today.
  2. Ask your local LW Reedy Realtor to run a report of comparable properties for you so you can compare your estimated market value against similar homes in your area. Your Realtor will find at least 3 homes that are of the same style as your home, have similar square footage, and are in the same neighborhood. Comparisons must be with homes that have been sold within the past 3 years. For example, if you are reviewing your assessed value today, the assessor’s office would consider homes sold in 2010, 2011, and 2012. They might consider one from January of 2013.
  3. If you’d prefer to do your own research, check assessed values of other properties in your neighborhood on the township website. Be sure the neighborhood code for the homes you are comparing against are the same as your neighborhood code and that the homes you are comparing against are of the same style and similar square footage. Assessed values are public information.

The Appeal Process

How do you appeal?

  1. Go to the township website to determine the deadline for appeals.
  2. Print the Board of Review Appeal form (residential).
  3. Call the township office and let them know that you’re going to be appealing the taxes and that you will be coming by to drop off your papers. It’s always a good idea to find out if there is a time that the office is the least busy.
  4. At least a week prior to the deadline, stop by the township office in person to deliver your appeal forms and comps. The deputy may not need your forms. They may simply look at the comps and make a decision at the time. They may also take your forms and say they will get back to you. Alternatively, it is also possible that they will ask you to mail the forms to the county tax office.

Decision Time

What happens next?
If you do not receive a decision on the spot, you will receive a decision from the township by phone within about a week of your request for review. If you are not happy with their initial offer, you have the opportunity to appeal at the county level. The county will set up a time for you to appeal before the Board of Review. However, it is important to note that any reduction offer made by the township assessor may be taken off the table if it is not accepted.

Property taxes are a large piece of the budget for home owners. It’s your responsibility to keep tabs on the amount you are being charged. Take the time to check it out. You could end up saving a lot of money. Check in with your LW Reedy Realtor with any questions. They’re always ready to help.

Tagged , , , , ,

The View from 101 York

LW Reedy has been serving the Elmhurst community and surrounding areas since 1951. As the largest locally-owned real estate agency in Elmhurst, we have a passion for local news and events. Here’s our view of the community for this month, from our perch at 101 York in the heart of downtown Elmhurst.

reedy

Back to School

Elmhurst public schools start August 19. For tips on school supplies, back-to-school haircuts, and avoiding first-day anxiety, check out our Back to School Basics blog post. For data on schools in Elmhurst and surrounding areas, like student-teacher ratios and number of students per grade, visit the LW Reedy website.
BacktoSchool
Rock Out!

Free concert and more! Sons of the Never Wrong and the Matt Stedman Band perform at Berens Park’s Park Palooza. Saturday, August 24, 5 to 10pm. Music, BBQ, beer garden. Activities for kids and families.
park-palooza-13

Rock out and help man’s best friend at the 4th annual Rockin’ for Rescue Sunday, August 25 from 11am to 4pm at Silverado in Elmhurst, headlining Forget Hannah and featuring the School of Rock band. Proceeds benefit the Great Lakes Lab Rescue, an organization that places unwanted Labrador Retrievers into loving homes. Tickets $13 for adults, $8 for kids in advance, more at the door. Reserve your spot today!

RFR-full-logo-w-GLLR

Don’t miss the last Music at the Gazebo August 15 on Spring Road in Elmhurst.

Taste of Elmhurst

School is starting, but the farmer’s market goes on. Farm fresh produce and other yummy treats at York & Valette Farmer’s Market Wednesdays from 7am to 1pm. The market goes on through October.

Only one more of the Wilder Mansion Culinary Series with of Cafe Amano’s Chef Marco on Wednesday August 21: The Islands of Greece.

Library Programs for All Ages

Summer reading programs have ended, but reading fun continues with special library programs. Sign up for programs for all ages from Littlest Story Time for the youngest library patrons to Duct Tape Club or Movie Night (this month The Great and Powerful Oz) for the junior high crowd to drop-in training for learning how to download e-books.

Share Your News!

Have some events you’d like listed in next month’s View from 101 York? Contact debcasey@mac.com with details.

Don’t miss news about Elmhurst and surrounding suburbs! Subscribe to this blog today. Check out LW Reedy’s Community Links for Elmhurst and surrounding area websites. Follow us on Facebook for more Elmhurst news and to keep up to date on what’s happening in real estate today. 
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back-to-School Basics

BacktoSchoolThis time of year many parents are aching for school to start. The kids need routine. Siblings are at each other’s throats. Yet we’re all also dreading that return to homework and making lunches. Are you and your kids ready for the first day of school? Our tips may help.

The Facts

For registration and details about times and transportation, visit the District 205 website.  District 205 schools start on August 19, 2013.

Can’t remember the guidelines for physicals, vision exams, and proof of dental visits? Here is who needs what:

  • General physical exams for those entering kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade.
  • Vision exams for those entering kindergarten.
  • Dental exams for those entering kindergarten, 2nd grade and 6th grade.
  • Sports physicals for all school athletes annually.

Our school data links provide information about our community and school system, including data about all the local schools.

The Stuff

Check your school’s website for school supply lists. For parents who pre-ordered supplies through the PTA, some items are not included in the packages. You may need to purchase items like long-sleeved paint shirts/smocks, gym shoes that can be left at school, audio headsets, and flash drives. Check your lists.

Long-sleeved art smocks can be hard to find. You can find them at My Favorite Toy Store in Elmhurst and Downers Grove and The Chalkboard in Downers Grove.

PE Uniforms for most schools are to be purchased at Viking Awards at 846 N York Rd, Elmhurst. Check your school’s website for details.

The Deals

For gym shoes, get a great deal at the Back-to-School Sale at Fleet Feet for older kids (sizes 1 to 7). 10% off during August.

Before you visit Fleet Feet or any other shoe store, stop by Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic  free shoe sizing with Certified Pedorthist Ryann Jackson. All welcome: patients, friends, community members. No appointments necessary. Best way to prevent injury to your children’s feet! August 13 at 2pm.

While JC Penney is not giving away free haircuts for back-to-school this year, they are offering haircuts for kids for $10 ($14 usual price) for the entire month of August.

Get your daughter a free polish at Sweet & Sassy Oak Brook Promenade with her Sassy Haircut.

Friendly Advice

We all know the basics. We’re supposed to start the kids back on their school-year schedule with bedtimes and wake-up times a good week or two before school starts. We’re supposed to give them a healthy breakfast on their first day of school. We should pack their lunches the night before. But what else can make the first day, week, month a more peaceful experience for the whole family? Here are some tips:

  • Make decisions about school-year media rules before school starts.
  • Plan out and buy ingredients for healthy lunches and snacks so there’s no scrambling at the last minute.
  • For younger kids, check out books from the library about the first day of school. Try The Kissing Hand or Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes or many other great back-to-school books.
  • Go over the routine, schedule and calendar for the first week the weekend before school starts so everyone feels prepared and no one is surprised.
  • Talk about the new school year. What are their biggest fears? What are they most excited about?
  • Organize the homework area. Set them up for success with the right supplies for doing homework as well as for at school.
  • Remind kids about after-school routines like putting away their lunch boxes and washing their hands as well as rules like finishing homework before playing on the electronic devices.
  • Prepare yourself with tips from professionals (including information about managing back-to-school anxiety) and other parents so you and the kids can start the school year off right.

Be sure to follow LW Reedy on Facebook for posts about fun events and news in Elmhurst and surrounding areas throughout the school year. Before you know it, you’ll be wishing winter break was here already!