Chicago voters will decide the fate of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal to raise the real estate transfer tax on million-dollar properties. The Chicago City Council approved the referendum 32-17, and voters will have the final say in March.

Currently, all Chicago real estate sales are taxed at 0.75%. The proposal would create a tiered structure based on the value of the property being sold.

Here is the link to read more about this tax:

Give A Smile-Get A Smile

In today’s world of technology, we do not have ample opportunity to get personal. Life is fast-paced and everyone seems to be in a rush. We dial the phone and we talk to machines. We spend long hours on the computer playing games, emailing one another or working with our web pages. Even in the office environment, we email the person in the cubicle 3 feet away instead of walking over to hand them a task list.

Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I cannot imagine ever being without my computer and am guilty of spending a large part of my day working online. The computer and the Internet afford many opportunities. Now at no charge outside of my Internet connection, I can communicate with persons all over the world. If screened carefully young people have a world of education available at their fingertips. I could continue to expound on the many benefits that technology has brought into our lives. However, that is not the gist of this article.

As a result of the technological age of today’s world, our personal touch with one another is decreasing. We need to take full advantage of the opportunity to be personal. Humans are becoming strangers to one another. People are in a hurry to get on with the business of living and walk past each other on the street without even a nod.

Have you wondered why there is so much clinical depression in the world today? Ask yourself why our young people are so distressed. Why so many of them attempt suicide or worse the murder of their classmates or families. Do you conclude as I do that we need more of a personal touch?

Have you taken notice to how you felt when you were standing in line at a bank and someone turned and smiled at you? Prior to that smile, you were feeling very anxious, possibly tapping your foot in impatience. You weren’t very happy to be there waiting in a long line. You had things to get done and you were getting more frustrated by the minute. It was one of the mundane drudgeries we all have to go through. Then comes this smile from the person in the line next to you and suddenly you feel much better. You are compelled to smile back. You do so without giving it thought, as though it is a natural inclination to reciprocate the smile.

Think about it, don’t you feel compelled to smile back when someone smiles at you? Doesn’t if lift your mood, and bring you out of a frustrated frame of mind? But that smile does so much more than that. It makes you feel accepted and liked. Somebody cares and shares the things you go through. It makes you part of a group, an integral part of the human race. If you do not think that our society, do research into why our young people join gangs. The kids will tell you they are seeking to belong, to be a part of something. The gang becomes an extension of the family.

There is power in the smile, you see. Its as though that instant someone waved a wand and all the drudgery disappeared. You suddenly feel warm and responsive and the person who offered you a smile has just gone from a stranger to be wary of to a kindred spirit. Sometimes a conversation is started and now the mundane drudgery has actually become an enjoyable experience. You no longer feel frustrated and rushed and in spite of yourself and enjoying yourself. The world is now warm and fuzzy instead of cold, fearful and bitter.

I do not mean to imply that giving and receiving a smile is the solution to the world’s problems, but it is a very good place to start. We all need to feel that sense of belonging. We are after all members of the same human family. We should feel moved to embrace each other in our hearts and minds.

So go ahead and smile. I dare you. But be careful. You might find the world a friendlier place to live. You might find that people are warm and kind and appreciative. Your smile might just make their day.

Installment Sales Contracts

New Real Estate Act of 2018 involves Installment Sales Contracts related to Real Estate… It provides that a real estate installment contract for residential real estate is subject to the foreclosure provisions of the Code if the purchase price is to be paid in installments over a period in … Adds a corresponding change in the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Effective January 1, 2018.

To learn more about this new act visit:

Why You Need an Illinois Real Estate Attorney?

The sale of a home, whether you’re the buyer or seller, is an incredibly complicated process. When you go through a closing for a home, you’ll immediately notice the extensive amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out and finalized.

If you were to attempt this on your own, you may easily make a mistake that is going to be a problem later on. These problems could affect your tax return at the end of the year, how much tax you’re paying or generally the sale of the home that makes it difficult to receive the paperwork that you need.

An experienced Illinois real estate attorney will review and inspect every important document for any mistakes made regarding the documents such as:

  • Your broker’s listing agreement
  • The specific terms of the sales contract
  • Income and property tax consequences
  • Subdivision covenants, conditions and restrictions
  • Liens and other defects of title
  • Insurance requirements
  • Mortgage terms and lender’s requirements
  • Federal and local statutes regarding disclosures required for real estate and lending transactions.

They will also answer any questions you may have concerning the sale or purchase of a home.

Many people are novices when it comes to real estate and they may easily make mistakes if they don’t really know what they’re doing when buying or selling. An Illinois Real Estate attorney can answer your questions and assist you through the process of home buying or selling so that it can get done quickly and effortlessly.

Illinois Real Estate Laws Effective 2015

On January 1, more than 200 new laws took effect in Illinois.  Here is a brief synopsis of these laws related to Real Estate.

Real Estate/Property

PA 98-1106 (SB 2952) “Last known address” now includes e-mail
E-mail addresses are now included in the definition of the term “last known address” in the Self-Service Storage Facility Act. This law provides that notice under the Act shall be delivered by verified mail or by electronic mail to the last known address of the occupant. It provides that a notice sent by electronic mail is presumed delivered when the owner receives a receipt of delivery to the occupant’s last known address. It further provides that a sale shall be deemed to be held at the self-service storage facility where the personal property is stored if the sale is held on a publicly accessible online website.

PA 98-1109 (SB 3044) Amendments to the Real Estate License Act of 2000
This bill amended the Real Estate License Act of 2000 to add the definition of “Broker price opinion” and “Comparative market analysis” to the Act. It provides requirements and reasoning for broker price opinions and comparative market analyses. It provides what must be included in written/electronic broker price opinion/comparative market analysis and requires a criminal background check, including fingerprinting to Illinois State Police, for each new applicant for licensure by examination or restoration.

PA 98-0735 (HB 4784) E-mails for condo associations
Allows condo boards to deliver notices electronically to unit owners with their permission in order to facilitate more effective communication with their members.  Also allows a condo owner to designate an e-mail address, postal address, or both, for official purposes and for an association’s records

PA 98-0754 (SB 2597) Seller disclosure in residential sales
A technical change to include “windows” and “doors” in what a seller must include in known material defects when selling residential property.  Previously, the law specified “walls”; that language was intended to cover windows and doors as well.  This law makes clear that inclusion.

PA 98-0933 (HB 5709) Real estate valuation waiver
Since county engineers are already exempted from having a license for valuation on property under $10,000 this would allow municipal engineers to be equal to county engineers for the purposes of a valuation of property under $10,000.

PA 98-0966 (SB 3286) Access to gated communities for process servers
Requires employees of gated communities provide access to process servers showing legitimate credentials to serve process on a resident of that gated community.

PA 98-0996 (HB 4782) Condo Board Lease
The civil code is amended to allow a condo board of managers to take possession of a property under authorized judgment and within 8 months after the month of termination, may permit or extend a lease for additional terms not to exceed 13 months.

PA 98-1068 (HB 4783) Condo association preventing suing developers
Condo association bylaws are often written with clauses that prevent a property owner from suing a developer.  In many cases, there are defects to the condos and the owner must seek the approval of the association to seek legal action.  This law does not allow such clauses in association bylaws.

PA 98-0821 (SB 2656) Power of attorney during condominium transfer after death
During any transfer of a condominium residential unit after the death of the owner, any parking or amenity owned and used by the owner is to be included. The law revises the Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act to restrict the agent from exercising certain decision making powers, however it does not restrict the agent from the ability to sell.

PA 98-0836 (SB 2985) Changes regulations for small estate affidavits
Amends the Probate Act of 1975 to requiring anyone executing a small estate affidavit to list and classify the debts of the decedent. Should a decedent’s estate be insufficient to cover the costs of the affidavit, then it shall be paid pro rata. Allows the executor of a small estate affidavit to examine and remove the contents of the safety deposit box of the decedent of the affidavit.

PA 98-1062 (HB 4123) Protections for mobile home owners
Mobile home owners used to run the risk of mobile park owners going out of business or filing for bankruptcy and not being told until the day they are required to leave.  The law requires more transparency about who the park owner is and notice requirements should the mobile home owner have to leave.

PA 98-1042 (HB 5322) Electronic voting for condo associations
Amends the Common Interest Community Association Act to allow condo associations with more than 10 units and up to $100,000 in assessments to allow voting, required notices, signatures, consent or approvals through electronic transmission. Associations must make reasonable accommodation, at its expense, for any person to conduct business with the association without the use of electronic or other means.

PA 98-0842 (SB 3057) Amends the Common Interest Community Association Act
Exempts certain provisions of the Act requiring a common interest community unit owner leasing a unit to deliver a copy of a lease to the association if the community instruments provide otherwise.


The Real Estate purchase agreement

The Real Estate purchase agreement is the most important document in the transaction. Although standard printed forms are useful, it is recommended that you have a lawyer with Illinois Real Estate transaction knowledge explaining the form and making changes and additions to reflect the buyer’s and or the seller’s desires.

There are several issues that may need to be addressed in the purchase agreement; below are some common examples:

  • If the property has been modified or there has been an addition to the property, was it done lawfully, with permits?
  • If the buyer has plans to change the property, may what is planned for the property, what are the zoning restrictions, etc.?
  • What happens if a buyer has a home inspector inspect the property and discovers termites, asbestos, radon, or lead-based paint is found?
  • What if the property is found to contain hazardous waste?
  • Is the closing appropriately conditioned upon the buyer obtaining financing?
  • What are the legal consequences if the closing does not take place on time, and what happens to the down payment?

Most buyers finance a substantial portion of the purchase price for a home with a mortgage loan from a lending institution. The purchase agreement should contain a carefully worded provision that it is subject to the buyer’s obtaining a commitment for financing.

Mortgage loan commitments and mortgage loan documents are complex. Seek advise from an Illinois Real Estate Lawyer and let them review and explain the importance of these various documents.