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Our main blog has been moved to chicagonow.com/getting-real
but we occasionally post articles here as well.

Appealing DuPage County property taxes

March 9th, 2015 by Jennifer Williams

tax

Did you fall out of your chair when you received your property tax bill? Do you think your assessor is wrong? Did you know you CAN do something about it?

In Illinois, property taxes are based on the market value of your home. Assessed values are required by law to be based upon the three prior years of actual sales transactions within the jurisdiction. For example, the 2013 assessed value was based upon sales occurring during the 2010, 2011 and 2012 calendar years.

Property taxes collected are used locally to fund and support community services such as fire protection, schools, park districts and construction, among others. We all want to contribute our fair share to keep these services, but what if you think they’ve over-assessed your property value?

If you want to appeal your DuPage County property taxes, you should start with your local Township Assessor’s office. They will review your information and files and provide you their results. If you still feel you’re tax bill isn’t accurate, you can file an appeal with the DuPage County Board of Review. You will need to provide evidence to support your claim, which should include three (3) or more comparable properties, preferably from the same neighborhood.

Once your appeal has been filed, you will have a hearing with the Assessor and County Board of Review. You may be asked questions about your property, as will the assessor. Once the hearing is concluded, the board will make its decision which will be mailed to the property owner after all Board of Review action is completed for the tax year. If you still think the assessment is inaccurate, you can appeal to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board or the Appellate/Circuit Court.

To prepare for your appeal, you should:

  • Have a recent appraisal, recent sale of property or recent sales of comparable properties
  • Review your property characteristics at the assessor’s office before filing an appeal
  • Understand that Fair Market Value is not the highest or lowest selling price of a property but the most probable selling price
  • When comparing properties in your area, use only similar properties (i.e. same design, same size, etc.)

Are you interested in how your township compares to others? You can view DuPage County property tax rates for all the individual townships here.

 

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Quirky New Smart Gadgets for Your Home

February 10th, 2015 by Jennifer Williams

Smart Home gadgets for under $100

With all of our “smart” technology, Quirky, an online community where amateur inventors can bring their ideas to life, and GE, have unveiled seven new smart gadgets guaranteed to increase the IQ of your home.  Under $100, they’re packed with ways to help you control your home appliances right from your smartphone, anywhere, anytime.

Let’s start with explaining Wink, an app available in both iOS and Android that acts as a main control center for connected devices. It works with devices from various manufacturers including: Philips, Nest, and General Electric (GE), which is one of Quirky’s partners. Through Wink, you’re able to monitor and control any sensor separately or let them communicate with each other and you can set some very cool actions. For example, if you open a window, your heat/AC will turn off; or when your garage door opens, your lights, furnace, and even television can all turn on.

The first new gadget is a window and door sensor named Tripper, created by Robert Sweeney, independent inventor for Quirky. For only $40, this tiny white rectangle will alert you when your windows or doors open. This is great for families with small children or even pets, which have a way of sneaking out unnoticed. Not only can you get an alert for openings, Tripper can be connected to Wink and set to turn off your heat or AC when a window is opened.

Tripper

Tripper

The next product is Overflow, created by Michael Taylor, Quirky contributor. For only $35, it monitors the moisture levels where ever there may be a problem: under your water heater, basements, garages, or attics. Just set the maximum moisture level and if it goes over, you’ll receive an alert. Though it won’t solve any leaks, you’ll be aware of it before the problem becomes a huge disaster! Overflow connects with the Wink app as well.

Overflow

Overflow

 

By the same inventor of Overflow, comes Outlink, a $50 wall outlet that monitors energy usage and allows you to turn appliances on and off remotely. Even when items are off, they continue to suck up energy if they’re still plugged in. Just replace your current outlets for things like your television, fans, hair dryer or anything that stays plugged in when not in use, with Outlink. With a few quick clicks on your smart phone, everything can be regulated and it’s much easier than trying to run around every morning and unplug all your appliances.

Outlink

Outlink

Taylor’s third contribution is a switch that essentially acts as a main light switch for your home. For $60, Tapt will let you control any of the lights in your house with a mere touch of a button or through your smartphone. This is perfect for those times when you’re settled into bed for the night and see the bathroom light on, or trying to get your kids up in the morning, just turn on their lights! With Wink, you can program lights and appliances to on and off while your away or asleep, adding a layer of security as well.

Tapt

Tapt

Created by Nathan Firth, Quirky contributor, Ascend connects to your garage door and now you control it from your phone. For $90, you actually just swipe your finger up on the garage door image on your phone, then watch your door go up. You’ll get real time alerts when the door is opened. Better still, it works from anywhere around the world, allowing you to always have access to an “extra” key. Let friends or family in the house even if you’re not there.

Ascend

Ascend

We all have those rooms that are either too hot or cold compared to the rest of the house. This problem led Denny Fong, Quirky contributor, to his idea. Traditional thermostats can’t control individual rooms, but Norm can. Norm is designed to connect with a series of sensors (not included in the $80 device price) that tell it which rooms are in use and Norm will heat or cool accordingly. The Wink hubs sell for $50 each and you would need as many as spaces you want to control. No more cold nights needing extra blankets!

Norm

Norm

Quirky is currently selling bundle packs as well with many of the main items included to get you well on your way to the smartest house on the block!

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2013 DuPage County Property Tax Rates

February 2nd, 2015 by Jennifer Williams

Last year we published an article on the property taxes in DuPage County, Illinois. In the table below which is listed in order from towns with the highest tax assessment rate to the lowest, see how your property tax rate compares to other communities in DuPage County. We’ve included tax years 2012 and 2013 and calculated the difference for your convenience. Interestingly, Villa Park is the only city in DuPage County to decrease their property tax rate, from 7.77% in 2012 to 7.69% in 2013, a resulting decrease of .08. Oak Brook continues to have the lowest property taxes in DuPage at only 3.84%, due in part to the many corporations and the Oak Brook mall.

City 2012 2013 Difference
1 Glendale Heights 11.4035 12.6354 1.2319
2 Hanover Park 10.9595 12.6972 1.7377
3 Bartlett 10.1029 11.8336 1.7307
4 West Chicago 10.0131 11.2942 1.2811
5 Bensenville 9.334 10.094 0.76
6 Carol Stream 9.3051 10.2032 0.8981
7 Aurora 9.2872 10.0029 0.7157
8 Woodridge 9.1027 9.9155 0.8127
9 Bolingbrook 9.012 9.8869 0.8749
10 Wayne 8.6775 10.1954 1.5179
11 Winfield 8.3995 9.3648 0.9653
12 Elk Grove Village 8.2982 8.9105 0.6123
13 Lombard 8.2547 8.9748 0.7201
14 Addison 8.1764 9.0604 0.884
15 Glen Ellyn 7.8773 8.4647 0.5874
16 Villa Park 7.7659 7.6855 -0.0804
17 Lisle 7.6868 8.3032 0.6164
18 Bloomingdale 7.6694 8.5344 0.865
19 Itasca 7.553 8.2639 0.7109
20 Wood Dale 7.4751 8.0992 0.624
21 Roselle 7.4261 8.158 0.7319
22 Warrenville 7.3779 7.9863 0.6084
23 Wheaton 7.358 7.8747 0.5167
24 Elmhurst 6.9301 7.588 0.6579
25 Naperville 6.7945 7.2779 0.4834
26 Darien 6.7155 7.2001 0.4846
27 Westmont 6.6881 7.2014 0.5132
28 Clarendon Hills 6.1747 6.4722 0.2975
29 Downers Grove 5.873 6.3562 0.4832
30 Oak Brook Terrace 5.8489 6.4539 0.605
31 Hinsdale 5.4654 5.7334 0.268
32 Burr Ridge 5.0382 5.3477 0.3095
33 Willowbrook 4.8933 5.1734 0.2801
34 Oak Brook 3.5871 3.8389 0.2518

For more information on how real estate property taxes are determined, visit DuPage County Tax Calculation where you can also learn how to calculate taxes as a percent of purchase price.

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How Much Does an Elmhurst Condo Cost? Check out Crescent Court

August 8th, 2014 by Sari Levy

Elmhurst Condos, Crescent Court

Elmhurst  Condo

Located in the heart of downtown Elmhurst and built in 2005, Crescent Court is an Elmhurst condo complex with about 120 units.  Located on York Street within walking distance to the train and the various shops and restaurants, it is one of the more desirable Elmhurst Condo choices.  Units range in size from 945 square feet to just over 2,400.

You can expect to pay upwards of $250.00 per square foot or more if the unit is highly finished. In the last year 10 units have sold between both buildings. Compared to other Elmhurst Condos, the price per square foot is fairly high.

On August 4th, 145 S York Unit 510 sold for $380,000. Listed by Coldwell Banker as the Berteau model with 2 beds and 2 baths and located on the buildings top floor, it boasted:

“ALL NEW CARPET, NEW GRANITE COUNTERS IN KITCHEN WITH BRAND NEW STAINLESS STEEL LG HIGH EFFICIENCY APPLIANCES. NEW FAUCETS THROUGH OUT KITCHEN AND BATHS. BATHROOMS HAVE NEW LG HI MAC VANITY TOPS/SINKS. “

A similar Elmhurst Condo in Crescent Court unit #310 is currently being listed by @ Properties and is priced at $349,000.  It boasts bamboo floors, a private balcony and 2 parking spots.

Check out more Elmhurst Condos for sale.

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Extremely Low Home Inventory Levels in DuPage County Continue In April

May 21st, 2014 by Sari Levy

The inventory of single family homes for sale in DuPage County has decreased more than 38% from April 2013 to April 2014, with condos and townhomes remaining fairly stable with only a 5% decrease. April 2014 had a 3 month supply of single family homes for sale in DuPage County, compared to a 4.8 month supply last year.

Condos and townhomes had a 4.6 month supply compared to a 4.9 month supply in April 2013. Cook County is seeing extremely low inventory levels as well. The inventory of single family homes for sale in Cook County decreased almost 21% since April 2013, while the condo and townhome inventory decreased almost 19%. Cook County had a 3.5 month supply of homes for sale in April 2014, while there was a 4.4 months supply of condos and townhomes. In April 2013, Cook County had 5.4 months supply of condos and townhomes and 4.5 months of single family homes for sale.

These inventory numbers vary city by city, so if you’d like specifics on your area, please let me know. Whether you are interested in selling or planning to buy a home, give us a call to get our perspective and further data.

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