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With federal tax reform looming, should I prepay 2017 Cook County property taxes?

By Michael H. Wasserman

Paying property tax bills before the end of the 2017 may help some owners save on their federal income tax liabilities.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been called the most sweeping tax reform bill in decades. Like it or
not, tax reform is coming. Others might wring their hands with glee or with worry. We are already working on ways to minimize the pain this reform might cause. 
One aspect of the pending tax reform plan presents a clear challenge for most Chicagoland home owners, the elimination of deductions for State and Local Taxes (SALT). The house and senate plans both limit deductibility to $10,000. Once the tax reform is signed into law, we will pay federal income taxes on the money we use to pay our local taxes exceeding that $10,000 threshold. Some homeowners who have the foresight (and lets face it, the savings) to act swiftly may want to pre-pay their first installment 2017 property tax bills this year before the tax laws kick in, so that those payments …
Recent posts

We hit 100 Yelp reviews! Read the good, the bad and the indifferent

O ne hundred reviews ago, our firm didn’t take Yelp seriously. We knew word of mouth was important, and that Yelp was an easy way for people to leave reviews about pizza joints, taverns and such. But then Yelp grew. As did our reviews. And they were mostly good.

Celebrating Thanksgiving with a Side of Gratitude

Our real estate law firm loves Chicagoland. We live here; we work, cycle and play here. Most of us grew up here. We give back to our community here too through “Thanks to You,” our charitable program. With great pride and gratitude, we have delivered more than $48,000 in charitable donations since 2012. And we have pledged more than $8,000 this year so far.

Help! My Neighbor’s Old Tree is Growing Over my Roof

Let’s say about 100 years ago, a family planted an oak tree on the edge of their property. Over generations it’s grown into a magnificent tree that provides summer shade, autumn color and a swing for the neighborhood kids. You probably even liked the tree when you bought the house next door to it.

But today, its root system is invading your basement, its acorns bombard your yard and its huge limbs loom threateningly over your roof. By law, can you cut it down? Trim it? Turn it into a boat?

Protect your property from mortgage fraud (FREE!)

By Michael H. Wasserman

When it comes to identity theft, credit card spending is only the tip of the iceberg. Not only are thieves using stolen information to go shopping on your Visa card, they are scamming medical insurance, falsifying citizenship / immigration status and travelling and using false (your) credentials. They also want to use your information to take away your home—or at least your hard earned home equity.

Recent data security breaches at Equifax  (and who-knows-what other attacks) leave us all vulnerable to these gambits. I recently offered up six steps to take to protect yourself from the Equifax breach…and today, for readers who already own or are in the process of buying real estate, I suggest one more step: property fraud alerts.

Chicago area property owners can and should sign up for FREE property fraud alerts through their local county Recorder of Deeds. These alerts will let you know if any documents affecting your property are filed in their offices, someth…

What to do when drones fly near your home

Imagine a quiet evening on the deck of your new home when—out of nowhere—a noisy drone begins hovering around your property, almost certainly snapping photos or video. It’s like Space Invaders meets Gladys Kravitz. So what do you do?

Cleaner. Leaner. Still generally civil. Check out our new website!

We’ve updated mhwasserman.com to be user- and mobile-friendlier.

From streamlining the look and including reviews to adding photos of our team, we’ve made it easier to help sellers, buyers and brokers understand how we get them to the closing table on time, as planned.

Stay tuned! The new look is just the first step, soon we'll add a real estate resource section, where you will find checklists, links and forms that help simplify the often-complex real estate process.

Check us out at mhwasserman.com.

Questions? Compliments? You can still call me at 312.726.1512—some things haven’t changed.