Category Archives: rates

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.

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How the Inventory Shortage Affects You

You’re considering moving and hear that there’s an inventory shortage. What does that mean? And how does it affect you?

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of homes for sale nationwide between March and April was 13.6% below the level of a year ago. Comparing homes for sale in Elmhurst, we’ve seen a 25% decrease in volume between the 12-month period ending May 2011 and that ending May of 2013. Simply put, that means when you go out looking for houses, there are less available to you than in recent years. Fewer homes are listed, and they move off the market more quickly.

What does that mean for buyers and sellers in the Elmhurst community? In many ways, this is a perfect time for current home owners to move. Prices are still low for buying but are much better for sellers than over the past few years.  At LW Reedy we help our buyers and sellers understand that inventory shortage affects your preparation process, whether you’re looking for a new home, selling your home, or both.

In a market with an inventory shortage, buyers feel the pressure of the time crunch.

  • Homes are staying on the market for less time. If you find a home you like, be prepared to make a decision quickly before another buyer comes in with an offer faster than you.
  • Inventory shortage also creates multiple offer-situations. Be prepared to go in with your best offer.
  • Educate yourself about pricing before you’re ready to buy. Visit multiple homes with your LW Reedy realtor.
  • Research home improvement costs. With the buying process going quickly, you may not have time to call in a contractor to give you an estimate for a new kitchen or flooring. Having some general costs in mind can help you make a wise decision.
  • In general, an inventory shortage affects the market with increases in housing prices and mortgage rates. Take advantage of the current house prices and mortgage rates now before they go up.

Sellers need to be prepared for the unique selling situation of an inventory shortage as well.

  • Sellers need to be well educated on pricing in the area. While prices are increasing overall and overtime and you can get more for your home than last year at this time, there is a tendency to overprice in this situation. Overpricing creates difficulty for the seller because you lose time and you lose leverage with buyers, especially as the market time (number of days on the market) increases. An increase in market time makes buyers wonder why it’s not selling, if there’s something wrong with the house.
  • Be ready for your house to sell quickly. Make sure you have a plan in place for your new home and are getting ready for your move.

The best first step if you’re thinking of buying or selling is to find a Realtor. Our LW Reedy Realtors know the market in Elmhurst and the surrounding area and can be sure you’re well-educated and ready to buy and sell with confidence in this inventory shortage market. Check our listings to get a feel for the houses on the market, and contact us to set up a time to discuss your needs.

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Rates Thursday

Guaranteed Rate is offering a 15 Year Fixed Mortgage Rate of 2.875% and a 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rate of 3.625%. Take advantage of the historic mortgage rates, they will not last! According to the KCM Blog, this upcoming year rates will increase minimally 4%.


MLS Monday

New listings in DuPage have taken a slight downturn this month compared to last year. According to an MLS local market update, there have been over 18% changes in closed sales in DuPage County, signaling that inventory is low.