Monthly Archives: October 2015

How to Appeal Property Tax Assessments

DuPage County property taxes are due on September 1st. With the median property tax in DuPage County at $5,417 per year and the median home value of $316,900, the property tax has been 1.71% of a property’s assessed fair market value. If you think your assessment is too high, you need to act now so that your tax bill next June will reflect the correct assessment. The deadline for Addison Township is Monday, October 26th. The deadline for York Township will be at the end of November.

psearchThe DuPage County Tax assessor determines the taxable value of each property annually, based on features of the property and the market price of other properties sold in the neighborhood. Your assessor’s office can give you a copy of your property’s most recent assessment, as well as, other homes in your area.

The city of Elmhurst straddles two townships, York Township and Addison Township. Property located north of North Avenue are in Addison Township and homes south are in York Township. If you have a question about your assessment, contact the assessor’s office for your township.

The Assessor’s office is required to value all property at piechart1/3 of fair market value as of January 1st each year. The County and State monitor the Townships values using a 3 year study ensuring that in times of rapid real estate growth or decline, assessments stay stable. For instance, 2014 assessments were determined using 2011, 2012 and 2013 sales. Taxes increase or decrease based on the financial needs of the taxing bodies such as schools, cities and villages, libraries, park districts and other taxing bodies. If property assessments decrease, the rates of the various taxing districts increase so that the tax dollars remain the same in order to collect enough money to cover all of the taxing bodies’ expenses.

Some reports claim that up to 25% of homes in the United States are over-assessed. You can check your assessment here and get the form you need to appeal here, but you need to act quickly. The deadline for both York and Addison Township this year is sometime in the middle of September.

Reduced assessments do not lower taxesThere are several legitimate reasons to appeal your property assessment.

1) The assessed value of your property is higher than the property’s actual market value as determined by a recent sale or appraisal.
2) The assessment of your property is based on inaccurate information such as incorrect dimensions.
3) The assessment is higher than those of similar surrounding properties.

If you don’t agree with your assessment, the best place to start is by calling your assessor’s office. Discuss why you think there is a problem with the assessment and explain your position. Most property tax stepsproblems can be resolved with the assessor, but if you are still not satisfied, file a complaint with the County Board of Review.

A Real Estate agent with experience and knowledge of your neighborhood would be a powerful ally in your discussions with the assessor.  Any LW Reedy Real Estate agent would be happy to help determine the market value of your property by locating comparable properties to support your case.  With just a little extra help, you could be well on your way to lowering your property taxes next year.

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Are You Prepared to Entertain Old Man Winter?

thermometerThe mercury is dropping and it’s time to think about weatherizing your home. Tackle a task or two every weekend and you’ll be ready when the first snowflake falls.

Safety first. Hire a professional to check your furnace if you skipped it in the spring. Don’t wait until you turn the switch and nothing happens. Change your furnace filter every month to keep the air in your home clear of dust and allergens. If you have a fireplace, have the chimney cleaned, making sure there are no birds or critters calling your flue home. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work and the batteries are fresh. Look at exhaust fan covers to make sure they haven’t broken during the summer. Thshovele pipe into your bathroom exhaust fan makes a fantastic home for birds looking to come in from the cold.

Check your snow blower and get fresh gas. Keep snow removal equipment at the front of the garage for easy access. Check your shovel to make sure it isn’t broken and purchase a good supply of salt or sand. If you have pets, purchase salt that won’t hurt the tender pads on their feet. Bring gardening tools inside and spray them with a thin coating of lightweight oil to prevent rust. Empty gas out of your lawn mower and clean off mud and other debris.

For a good video on other things to think about, click here.

Take a walk around the outside of your house looking for holes where mice can get in and heat can escape. Check to see if you need to caulk or weatherstrip doors or windows and touch-up bare spots on wood trim to keep it from rogutter 2tting. If you have them, switch the screens to storm windows. Look at your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are tightly fastened and not sagging. The weight of snow and ice could pull them off the house. While you’re looking, you may as well clean the gutters. Make sure downspouts extend at least five feet from the house so that you don’t incur water damage when the snow melts. Clear all storm drains to prevent flooding. Check your attic, basement and crawl space for leaks and use a sealant to plug any that you find.

Clean out the garage so that your car actually fits inside. That way you won’t have to spend cold winter mornings dusting off your windshield. Clean your patio furniture and pack it where it won’t be exposed CarCoveredWithSnowto the elements. Take in the hose and make sure all exterior faucets are off. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves and sprinkler heads to protect them from bursting. Clean between the boards of your wood deck to stop mold and mildew growth. Make sure all your exterior light bulbs work and fixtures are clean for those dark afternoons when you are coming home in the semi-darkness. Secure handrails and check for rotten wood on steps. Those should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid a nasty fall. Dump soil from planters and bring clay pots inside so that they don’t break. Dig up flower bulbs, brush off the dirt and store in a bag or box with peat moss. Don’t forget to label the container so you know what you are planting next year.

For more tips on keeping your house in good shape this winter, check out this article from The National Association of Realtors.

The View from 101 York – October 2015

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.

 

October 3, 2015

All Animal Expo

The DuPage County Fairgrounds will host all types of animals from canaries and parrots to reptiles, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, chinchillas and rabbits. At this time of year, the tarantulas and scorpions are animalsa must see. There are also some puppies and kittens for the soft-hearted and chickens and ducks just to be complete. You can also buy pet supplies like cages, tanks, bedding and anything else you need.

The animals will be accepting visitors from 10:00 am t0 3:00 pm in building 1. Admission is $5 and parking is free.

 

October 9 and 16, 2015

Fright in the Forest

Scary trainTake a spooky tram tour and hike through the woods at The Morton Arboretum. Finish off the evening with live music, cocktails and snacks. Recommended for people 16 years old and over, the tram rides take off every half hour beginning at 6:30 pm. The last tram departs at 8:30 pm. The cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. There is no cost for children and seniors. For more information, please call (630) 968-0074.

 

October 9 and 16, 2015

Halloween Hayrides

Take a trip to the Lake View Nature Center in Oakbrook Terrace andOakbrook Halloween take a hayride around Terrace View Park. Learn about Halloween creatures along the way, explore things that go bump in the nights and enjoy story time, crafts and refreshments at the campfire. Registration is required and the cost is $5 for residents and $6 for non-residents.

 

October 10, 2015

York and Vallette Fall Fest

The annual Fall Fest will feature safe Trick-or-Treating from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at pumpkinsYork and the Prairie Path. Organizers encourage costumes for all attendees. Along with Trick-or-Treating, there will be pumpkin carving or painting, story telling, a bean bag toss, pony rides, a petting zoo, moon jump and more.  The most fun you can have on a fall Saturday is right here in your own backyard.

 

October 10, 2015

Fall Festival at Cantigny Park

Enjoy the Fall colors while taking a hayride ($1), listening to music and snacking on some yummy treats. The day has a full schedule of fun activities that run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Including a craft show,  pumpkin sales and decorating ($2 or $4), crafts ($3), inflatables, petting zoo ($1), and entertainment throughout the day. Admission is free but parking costs $5.

 

October 13, 2015

Improv Clinic

The Elmhurst Library is sponsoring an Improv clinic in the Storytime Room from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. If you’ve always wanted to give way to your improvinner comedian, now is the time. Improve your quick-thinking skills and participate in an evening of spontaneous comedy. This class comes with the warning that hilarity will ensue. All skill levels are welcome. No registration is required.

 

October 17, 2015

BBQ Dinner and Concert

Spend the evening at the Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church with Brian Dennehy before enjoying Coplands Music of the Heartland, narrated by Mr. Dennehy. The Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra will also present “A LincolnBBQ Portrait,” and Schwantner’s “New Morning for the World,” based on the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dinner will be held in the Garden Room of the Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church.

The cost of the dinner is $30 per person or $50 for a couple.  The cost of the concert varies from $9 for a student to $65 for a family. Click here for more details.