2250 N. Ohio's Rooftop Pool
My listing at 2250 N. Ohio which is listed for sale as well as for rent at $4,750 a month.

I’d like to tip my hat to Jeff Kerr over at the ChiTown Living Blog for pointing out this informative article in the Chicago Tribune about what homeowners need to consider when renting out their homes.

As I’ve mentioned before, this is a conversation I have with my own clients from time to time. Of the 40 properties I have listed for sale at this time, five are also listed for rent.

There are a number of benefits to renting out your home, especially in the current market, but there are also some pitfalls to be considered.

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Peter Marx

Earlier this fall, Chicago attorney Peter Marx came to our weekly sales meeting at Coldwell Banker’s Gold Coast Office. He had been invited to speak to us about “short sales.”

Until this year, I had never been involved in a short sale. Now, I have good friends who purchased a condo in a conversion in 2005 and have since seen the interest rate on their loan reset to an excessive rate (over 9%) and the husband lose his job. My team and I at Coldwell Banker have been trying to help them sell their condo for a price in excess of their mortgage amount but have received no offers. So, just last week, we canceled and relisted their home at a price that is more than 10% below the principal balance on their mortgage. When we get a buyer, we will work with Peter to contact their lender and negotiate a short sale.

Given that short sales are becoming more frequent in our Chicago area residential market, I asked Peter if he would consider writing a guest post for the blog that I could share with our readers. If you’re considering a short sale yourself or are just curious about this arrangement that has been grabbing headlines, you will find Peter’s post very helpful. – Jenny

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It’s property tax time again, and if you’ve cracked open your recent bill (or a copy of the Chicago Tribune), you know that while your home’s value may have dipped in the past year, your taxes almost certainly haven’t.

If your bill is more than expected, you might investigate the following potential money saving options:

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In recent months, a few of my Chicago luxury real estate clients have sold their homes and opted to move into a rental.

Their motives vary widely. Some want to put the proceeds from their sale in the bank and wait for the right home to come along. Others are in a volatile career or financial situation and are reluctant to commit until they achieve more stability in their lives. Still others are renting because they have difficulty meeting the new down payment requirements that lenders require. The decision about whether to rent or buy your next home can be a complicated one – particularly when you throw in unpredictable careers, personal relationships, and market forces beyond our control.

If your decision to rent or to buy is primarily a financial one, then you might want to check out a tool from The New York Times. They have simplified the financial aspects of the decision with their online calculator. You simply enter the variables (rent costs, mortgage rates, property taxes, etc.) and you’re shown a real-time graph of when it’s best to rent and when it’s best to buy.

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